Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, March 19, 2020:
Yokohama recalling some of its commercial tires
Yokohama Tire Corporation said Wednesday it has notified NHTSA that it plans to voluntarily recall 19 sizes of commercial tires that were manufactured at its West Point, Mississippi plant between Jan. 12, 2020 and Feb. 15. A total of 4,209 tires are being recalled.
The recall was issued because the tires may have been manufactured with an out-of-specification compound and there is a risk of possible tire damage due to material detachment inside the tire, which could lead to a tire disablement and an increased risk of loss of vehicle control.
Goodyear suspending tire production in the Americas
Sagging market demand driven by the spread of the COVID-19 virus has prompted Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company plans to suspend Americas manufacturing through at least April 3, the company announced Wednesday.
A phased shut down will begin across the company’s tire, retread and chemical plants in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and the United States over the coming days. Its facility in Peru was closed earlier this week.
The company said it will monitor the local conditions of its warehouse and distribution operations, as well as inventory and supply levels, to continue delivery of Goodyear products.
Pennsylvania reverses course on some rest stop closures, truck parking restrictions
Under pressure from trucking industry stakeholders nationwide and the White House, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reversed course on its decision earlier this week to close the state’s interstate rest areas and ban truck parking.
PennDOT has identified 13 of its 30 rest areas most utilized by truckers that will be available again by Thursday. At these locations, PennDOT said it will remove barricades and make them available for truck parking. Portable restroom facilities will be available at these locations, with each location equipped with five portable toilets (one of which is ADA-accessible) that will be cleaned once a day. Electronic message signs will be used near the applicable centers to notify drivers near the opened areas. In order to prevent further spread of COVID-19, PennDOT said it will not open any of the indoor facilities “because there is no staff to keep them clean and properly sanitized. We will continue to evaluate and will determine whether additional rest areas can be reopened.”
Similarly, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is expected to roll back some of the restrictions put in place yesterday to 17 of its service plazas. The proposed changes, expected to take place no later than Saturday, include indoor bathrooms being available at all hours, the convenience store open at all hours, and one restaurant at each location open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. for a limited take-out menu.