CCJ Daily Dispatch, Oct. 28: ATA head Spear lauds trucking’s COVID response, vows fights on tolls, crash verdicts

user-gravatar Headshot
Updated Oct 29, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020: 

ATA President Chris Spear touts trucking’s efforts amid COVID-19 pandemic
In his annual address to the American Trucking Associations’ Management & Exhibition Conference on Monday, ATA President and CEO Chris Spear highlighted the challenges presented to motor carriers by the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding state shutdown orders — and lauded the industry’s response to those trials.

“Our combined efforts have helped put America on a path to full recovery… and the numbers prove it,” he said. “Throughout this pandemic, trucking has done what it does best – care. We restocked depleted shelves and delivered medical supplies and test kits to first responders. At the same time, we kept our own safe… distributing nearly 1,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 250,000 KN-95 masks and helped FMCSA distribute over one million more, free of charge.”

Spear also spelled out ATA’s top regulatory and policy priorities for the year ahead, including continuing to back carriers against what he called “frivolous lawsuits” that lead to massive court-ordered payouts against trucking companies; working with legislators on passing a long-term infrastructure bill; fighting trucks-only toll efforts at the state level; and working with law enforcement to stop human trafficking.

“It’s no surprise that America has awakened to the trucking industry. Together, we inspire others. Together, we will win and grow. And we’ll always answer the call when our country needs us most. Trucking isn’t just the backbone of our economy, it’s the heartbeat of this nation.”

5,100 trucks placed out-of-service during Brake Safety Week
More than 5,100 trucks were sidelined for various brakes-related violations during the annual Brake Safety Week, which was held Aug. 23-29.

Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance inspectors across the U.S., Canada and Mexico removed 5,156 trucks from highways with out-of-service violations, accounting for 12% of the 43,565 trucks inspected during the week-long blitz.

“Although many commercial motor vehicle enforcement agencies were forced to reduce services in the spring due to the pandemic, it was important that we resumed inspection and enforcement duties as soon as it was safe to do so,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “With truck drivers designated ‘essential personnel’ by the government, we needed to ensure that the vehicles traversing our roadways were safe to support commercial drivers as they selflessly continued to work during such a difficult and challenging time.”

During the inspection spree, inspectors keyed in on the chafing of brake hoses. CVSA says chafed hoses were separated into five levels based on severity, with two levels being out-of-service conditions.

A total of 6,697 hose chafing violations were reported by inspectors, with 1,012 of those leading to out-of-service orders.

Tyson Foods adopting mirror-replacement camera system on trucks
Tyson Foods is installing the Stoneridge MirrorEye Camera Monitor System that replaces traditional rear- and side-view mirrors with exterior mounted cameras and interior mounted monitors on a number of its trucks to help drivers’ view of their surroundings, including blind spots.

Tyson has been working with Stoneridge to develop and install the MirrorEye system on 55 company trucks. The company is the largest refrigerated fleet to commercially adopt the system outside the initial evaluation period.

“Installing MirrorEye is about helping drivers make better, more informed driving decisions,” said Kyle Neely, senior vice president, distribution, Tyson Foods. “When drivers have a more complete and real-time view of their surroundings, they’re able to do their job even better. As a carrier of choice and industry leader, we have a responsibility to improve the safety of our drivers, as well as everyone on the road.”

For a more in-depth view of the Stoneridge MirrorEye system, see CCJ Editor Jason Cannon’s test drive of the system from earlier this year.