NHTSA extends comment period for trailer side underride guard requirement

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Trucking news and briefs for Monday, June 12, 2023:

More time to comment on trailer side underride guards

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is extending the comment period for its advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) related to side underride guards on trailers.

NHTSA published the notice on April 21 and requested comments on a number of factors related to side underride guards, including their effectiveness, unexpected benefits and costs, and more.

NHTSA's advance notice said side underride guards could add more than 800 pounds to the trailer and upward of $3,000 in additional cost, and laid out membership for its 16-person Advisory Committee on Underride Protection, which will make recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on safety regulations related to underride crashes.

The comment period was originally set to close June 20. Its extension comes after requests from the American Trucking Associations and others, who said they needed additional time to gather information and develop comments.

The comment period was extended for 30 days and now closes July 20. Comments can be filed here.

TCA awards $140k in scholarships

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) awarded its 2023-'24 TCA Scholarship Fund to 10 high school seniors, 7 college freshmen, 17 college sophomores and 14 college juniors scholarships totaling more than $140,000. Recipients span across the United States and Canada.

TCA Scholarship Fund Chairman and American Central Transport (CCJ Top 250, No. 41) Senior Vice President Bob Kretsinger congratulated each of TCA's 48 recipients, adding that the "TCA Scholarship Fund is thrilled to recognize the hard work and drive of the 2023-24 class of recipients. I am so grateful for the generous support and outreach of the TCA community who make this amazing TCA member benefit possible."

TCA President Jim Ward noted 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the Scholarship Fund’s creation. Since 1973, the Fund has provided scholarships to students associated with the trucking industry. Each scholarship recipient must be a student in good standing attending a four-year college or university and must be associated with a TCA member company as an employee, independent contractor, or the child, grandchild, or spouse of an employee or independent contractor of a TCA member company.

The application process was managed by the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC). A selection committee, established by OFIC, scored the applicants, taking into consideration the applicant’s GPA, major, extracurricular activities, hours worked, and more.