Daily dispatch, March 5: Hirschbach drivers named Highway Angels of the Year, TuSimple expands autonomous truck tests with UPS

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Updated Mar 6, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, March 5, 2020:

Ed and Tracy Zimmerman were named the 2019 Highway Angels of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association.Ed and Tracy Zimmerman were named the 2019 Highway Angels of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association.

Husband-wife team named Highway Angels of the Year
Ed and Tracy Zimmerman, a husband-wife team for Hirschbach Motor Lines, have been named the 2019 Highway Angels of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association.

The couple was recognized for their actions on May 25, 2019, when they drove up on an accident along I-77 in West Virginia. Tracy was driving with Ed in the bunk asleep, and she saw a car rolled over in a ditch on fire.

Tracy stopped the truck and positioned it to block traffic as another motorist ran up yelling for a fire extinguisher. He told Tracy the driver was trapped in his vehicle. She then grabbed the truck’s fire extinguisher and yelled for Ed, and they both ran over to the car.

With an off-duty firefighter who had also stopped at the scene, the Zimmermans and others on the scene were able to pull the driver, whose leg was stuck, free from the car and away from the scene before the car exploded.

Autonomous developer TuSimple expands testing with UPS
TuSimple, a 2015 start-up aiming to bring Level 4 autonomy to heavy-duty trucks, announced March 5 it will expand its partnership tests with UPS to 20 trips a week, including a new route from Phoenix, Arizona, to El Paso, Texas. TuSimple operates as a motor carrier and contracts loads from UPS. The two companies partnered on autonomous testing last spring to run 10 trips a week between Phoenix and Dallas.

TuSimple says that, with its current 18 contracted customers, it runs around 20 autonomous trips per day with real loads.

Meritor recalls nearly 2,000 steer axles
Meritor is recalling approximately 1,883 steer axles that could have insufficient lubrication, which could damage wheel end bearings, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

Affected axles include Meritor MX10-120EVO, MX12-120EVO and MX14-120EVO models.

Meritor will notify the vehicle manufacturers that purchased the axles, and dealers for those manufacturers will inspect and replace the wheel end components, as necessary, for free. Owners of trucks with affected axles can contact Meritor customer service at 1-866-668-7221. NHTSA’s recall number is 20E-006.