Rush Enterprises partners with Locomation on autonomous truck maintenance

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Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021: 

Autonomous tech firm Locomation partners with Rush Enterprises
Autonomous trucking firm Locomation announced a new partnership with Rush Enterprises in which Rush will become a primary installation and maintenance provider for Locomation’s autonomous technology.

Central to the Locomation technology is the Autonomous Relay Convoy platform, which allows one driver to pilot a lead truck equipped with technology augmentation while a follower truck operates in tandem through Locomation’s fully autonomous system.

“Our strategic relationship with Rush Enterprises provides us with a significant boost to our commercial-focused trajectory,” said Dr. Çetin Meriçli, CEO and co-founder of Locomation. “We know that we can count on Rush’s entire team to bring the expertise and experience needed to quickly build out autonomous capabilities in entire fleets while maintaining industry-leading reliability and safety standards.”

Former small-fleet owner sentenced to probation for falsifying ELDs
The former owner of a Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based trucking company was sentenced to three years of probation – which includes six months of home confinement – 50 hours of community service, a $1,000 find and a $100 special assessment for falsifying federal records.

Damir Sisic, the owner of now-defunct Sisic Transport Service LLC, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to falsify federal records in October 2020. According to the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Sisic allegedly conspired to falsify the hours of service listed in STS drivers' electronic logs from January 2018 through May 2019.

"STS truck drivers were routinely exceeding the maximum number of driving hours and 'on-duty' hours, without spending the required hours off-duty," OIG said.

Sisic owned approximately 11 tractors and 10 van trailers and employed between seven and 10 drivers at a time. Each truck was equipped with an ELD.

HHG mover sentenced for fraud
Farah Al-Ibrahim, a New Jersey-based household goods mover, was sentenced to three years of probation, $75,193 in restitution and a $100 special assessment for her role in a conspiracy to obtain money from customers of various moving companies through false and fraudulent pretenses.

DOT OIG says the sentencing follows her Feb. 22, 2019, guilty plea to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Top 250 carrier announces minimum weekly pay for drivers
Shelbyville, Tennessee-based Big G Express (CCJ Top 250, No. 146) implemented this month a $1,000 minimum weekly pay program for its new and current drivers.

“One of our goals is to take some of the stress out of our drivers’ week due to the unknowns like time getting loaded/empty or countless other unexpected things that can happen day to day in the trucking industry,” said Chris Kelley, VP of Operations with Big G. “We want to take care of those drivers that have done everything they need to do but for some reason may have just had a bad week due to some of those unknowns.”

In addition to the new minimum weekly pay program, the company also offers practical mileage route pay with a generous starting base pay-per-mile, an automatic half-cent per mile raise every six months, per diem option, and several bonus opportunities such as monthly mileage bonus, fuel and performance bonus (bi-annual), safety bonus (annual) and referral bonus.