CCJ Daily Dispatch, Sept. 28: FMCSA denies request for longer HOS for fleets using certain self-driving tech

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Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Sept. 28, 2020: 

FMCSA denies self-driving tech company’s request for longer HOS
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration denied a request from self-driving technology company Pronto.ai that would have allowed certain drivers to extend their daily hours of service.

Pronto petitioned FMCSA to allow its motor carrier customers to drive up to 13 hours of a 15-hour period following 10 consecutive hours off-duty, as long as the trucks were equipped with the Copilot by Pronto advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), the SmartDrive Video Safety Program and operating under certain other safeguards.

FMCSA denied the request because it said it could not ensure that the waiver would be as safe as current regulations.

“The premise that the use of advanced technology should reduce the workload on drivers appears reasonable on the surface, but the absence of data or information to quantify the impact on driver fatigue and alertness leaves the agency with no choice but to deny the application,” FMCSA said in its denial.

Four rookie truckers named finalists for military vet award
Four military veteran truck driving rookies have been named finalists for Fastport’s Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award, which will award the winner a fully-loaded Kenworth T680.

The four finalists are:

  • Ivan Hernandez – U.S. Army, Werner Enterprises
  • Gail Losee – U.S. Army, Stevens Transport
  • Shaun Mason – United States Marine Corps and U.S. Army, Prime Inc.
  • Ray Miller – U.S. Army, Stevens Transport

The Kenworth T680 that goes to the winner features the complete Paccar Powertrain with a Paccar MX-13 engine, Paccar 12-speed automated transmission and Paccar 40K tandem axles, and includes a 76-inch sleeper equipped with the Kenworth Driver’s Studio package of premium elements.

“It is important for the trucking industry to continue to offer veterans support and career opportunities,” said Laura Bloch, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing. “As Kenworth’s way of thanking our military veterans for their service, we are again offering a Kenworth T680 as the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award. Congratulations to our four finalists – Ivan Hernandez, Gail Losee, Shaun Mason and Ray Miller – and to the other successful drivers who achieved Top 10 status in this special recognition program.”

Wabash recalling certain van trailers for side skirt issue
Wabash National is recalling approximately 218 model year 2019-2021 van trailers with flat bottom floors that are equipped with aerodynamic skirts, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The company says the skirts attached to the vans could come loose. Wabash has notified owners, and dealers will rework the safety tether assembly to keep the skirt attached for free.

Owners can contact Wabash’s customer service at (765) 771-5404 with recall number B20012. NHTSA’s recall number is 20V-551.