Diesel increases to highest national average since 2014

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Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021:

Diesel prices soar to nearly 7-year high

Diesel prices across the United States hit the highest national average since December 2014 during the week ending Sept. 27, according to the Department of Energy’s weekly report.

The U.S.’ average price for a gallon of on-highway diesel now stands at $3.406, up 2.1 cents over the previous week. This week's price is the highest since the week ending Dec. 15, 2014, when prices averaged $3.419 per gallon nationwide.

Fuel prices have been steadily increasing since near the end of 2020. Prices fell to $2.372 during the week ending Nov. 2, 2020, and have since increased by more than a dollar.

Last week the most significant increase was seen in the Midwest region, where prices jumped by 3.6 cents. Only two regions – the Rocky Mountain and New England regions – saw a decrease during the same week, with prices falling by 2.4 cents in the Rocky Mountain region and by a tenth of a cent in New England.

The nation’s most expensive diesel can be found in California at $4.339 per gallon, followed by the West Coast less California region at $3.664 per gallon.

The cheapest fuel can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $3.142 per gallon, followed by the Lower Atlantic region at $3.288 per gallon.

Prices in other regions, according to DOE, are:

  • New England – $3.299
  • Central Atlantic – $3.514
  • Midwest – $3.326
  • Rocky Mountain – $3.605

ProMiles’ numbers during the same week saw fuel prices increase by 1.7 cents, bringing its national average to $3.314 per gallon.

According to ProMiles’ Fuel Surcharge Index, the most expensive diesel can be found in California at $4.282 per gallon, and the cheapest can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $3.088 per gallon.

Nearly 500 Freightliner Cascadias recalled for potential exhaust issue

Daimler Trucks North America is recalling approximately 460 model year 2022 Freightliner Cascadia tractors due to a potential issue in the exhaust system, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

According to the recall, the exhaust pipe outlet may have been improperly installed with the tip facing towards the battery box mounted directly above the frame rail, which could melt the battery box, increasing the risk of a fire.

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No remedy for repairs has been established at this time. Owners can contact DTNA's customer service at 1-800-547-0712 with recall number FL-901. NHTSA’s recall number is 21V-715.

Eroad seeks driver of the year submissions

Fleet management services provider Eroad has opened submissions for its annual Safety Star Driver of the Year awards program. Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 29.

Now in its third consecutive year, the Safety Star program shines a light on outstanding drivers that go above and beyond the call of duty to serve the trucking community. The award winner also embodies safety on the road and goes the extra mile to keep themselves, their fleet, and the public safe. 

This contest is open to any company driver or contracted truck driver from the Eroad base of customers. A company driver must be nominated by the motor carrier by which they are currently employed, and each company may nominate up to five drivers. 

Ten finalists will be chosen with the Safety Star Driver of the Year award winner announced in mid-November. The winner will be selected for their ability to operate safely and professionally, demonstrate leadership abilities within their company, and their contributions to the industry and community. Applications are judged by third-party experts.

Crete announces driver pay increase

Crete Carrier Corporation (CCJ Top 250, No. 25) is once again raising pay for drivers with Crete Carrier, Shaffer Trucking and Hunt Transportation.

Pay for drivers is set to go up on Oct. 9. Base pay for drivers has increased by 27% over the last year, according to the company.

Drivers on the national random OTR fleet will see a 5 cents per mile raise. The top 50% of national random drivers will now average $1,998 per week, according to the company. Pay for regional drivers will be increased by 2-5 cents per mile, depending on the fleet. Pay on dedicated fleets varies, but most have increased recently or will increase in the future.

Pay increases apply to company drivers (solo and team) and owner-operators.

The company has also increased the allowed speed on trucks, as of Sept. 27. Cruise control speed has been increased from 65 mph to 68 mph, and speed on the foot pedal is now 65 mph. Most drivers will have these speed changes performed over the air, but some trucks may have to have the adjustments made in the shop.