Midwest Carriers opens new HQ

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Trucking news and briefs for Monday, April 15, 2024:

Midwest Carriers opens new HQ

Midwest Carriers announced April 11 that it has opened a new headquarters to bring its operations under one roof.

The Kaukauna, Wisconsin-based company said it’s always been focused on growth, with three locations in the Fox Valley, plus an affiliation with Osborn Trucking in Fond du Lac. Now, “the new building makes it easier to work as one team and offers more amenities to our employees, especially our drivers,” the company noted.

“The new headquarters is the latest investment in our driver-focused culture, and some amenities also benefit our logistics and support staff,” said President Eric Van Handel. “We designed the new space with our employees in mind and want them to feel a sense of pride and comfort in it.”

The new headquarters is located at 2600 Buchanan Street in Kaukauna, just off I-41. It offers 24/7 access to:

  • Driver’s lounge, featuring a shower room, laundry, kitchenette, big screen TVs and quiet nap rooms
  • Covered truck wash bay that’s heated, allowing drivers to get out of the elements to wash their truck and perform other preventative maintenance
  • Concrete parking with full lighting and cameras for safety

Midwest Carriers has also recently partnered with Penske to provide truck and trailer maintenance at the new facility six days a week to keep the fleet running smoothly.

Fleet seeks waiver to allow alternative steel coil securement method

Delta, Ohio-based K&L Trucking is petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to expand an existing exemption that allows the company to use an alternative steel coil securement method in its operations.

In December 2020, FMCSA granted a five-year waiver to the fleet that allows its trucks to transport coils from North Star Blue Scope Steel to Fulton County Processing -- which are less than two miles apart -- using the alternative securement method. Now, the fleet has applied to expand the exemption to transportation to and from other points within a few miles of each other.

The exemption would allow the use of a specialized metal coil carrier permanently attached to the flatbed trailer using sixteen 5/8-inch Grade 8 bolts each rated to hold 27,611 pounds. The coil carrier serves to distribute the coil’s weight while securing the coil and preventing rolling during transport. 

Rather than using the four chains required by federal regulations to prevent the coil from moving forwards or backwards, K&L uses a large single 2-ply synthetic strap with Kevlar protective coating rated with a working load limit of 44,800 pounds routed through the eye of the coil and securing each coil to the coil carrier.

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The exemption would apply to all K&L employees driving trucks utilizing this specialized cargo securement technique transporting metal coils less than 4 miles to and from North Star Blue Scope Steel, Fulton County Processing, Worthington Industries, Nova Tube and Steel, and BlueScope Recycling and Materials -- all located in Delta, Ohio.

FMCSA will accept public comments on the request for 30 days beginning Monday, April 15. Comments can be filed at www.regulations.gov by searching Docket No. FMCSA-2024-0101.

Michigan ending remaining spring weight restrictions

The Michigan Department of Transportation is lifting the last remaining “frost law” spring weight restrictions, effective at 6 a.m. Monday, April 15.

Weight restrictions are implemented during the spring frost thaw period to help protect the roads and are now completed for the 2024 season.

County road commissions and city public works departments put in place their own seasonal weight restrictions, which usually, but not always, coincide with state highway weight restrictions. Signs are generally posted to indicate which routes have weight restrictions in effect.