Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, March 3, 2021:
Bottleneck in Canadian ELD registry leads to soft enforcement period for mandate
After months of speculation about just what Canadian regulators would do with respect to the June 12, 2021, enforcement date for Canada's version of the electronic logging device mandate, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra today announced an intent to work with industry and others on details of a "progressive enforcement period" to begin with "education and awareness" exclusively.
Alghabra, however, did emphasize the need for as much as speed as is possible for carrier implementation. That's wholly dependent on Canada's ELD registry of third-party certified devices, which continue to feature not a single device, with the deadline little more than three months away.
Mike Millian, head of the Canadian Private Motor Truck Council and among the more vocal of critics of the mandate timeline given the slow rollout of the registry, signaled that "no penalties to carriers at the start of the mandate" is "great news for the industry, and a position the PMTC has been very vocal in pursuing for many months now."
Millian added that "our only concern has been enough time for our members, and the rest of the industry, to be able to transition with an adequate list of certified devices to choose from. This announcement alleviates a lot of those concerns."
Alghabra also emphasized the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on commercial trucking operators and underscored the importance of all involved, noting that "truckers and other commercial operators deserve our thanks and appreciation for delivering essential services to Canadians – without them, we can’t beat this pandemic."
The Canadian ELD mandate took a decidedly different approach to device certification than the U.S. mandate, which required only that providers attest to their own devices' compliance with the regulation's extensive device specifications. Canada opted for a third-party certification requirement for any provider looking to get their device approved to be listed on the Canadian registry -- U.S. carriers entering Canada, like Canadian carriers, will be required to use a Canadian certified device while in the nation. –Todd Dills
Diesel prices cross $3/gallon mark for first time since January 2020
For the first time in more than a year, average diesel prices across the U.S. are higher than $3 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s weekly report.
The U.S.’ average price for a gallon of on-highway diesel for the week ending March 1 is $3.072, up 9.9 cents over the previous week. Fuel prices are at their highest mark since the first week of 2020 when prices were at the year's high of $3.079, according to DOE.
During the most recent week, prices increased in all regions with the most significant increase being seen in the Rocky Mountain region, where prices jumped by 12.7 cents.
The nation’s most expensive diesel can be found in California at $3.846 per gallon, followed by the Central Atlantic region at $3.20 per gallon.
The cheapest fuel can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $2.837 per gallon, followed by the Rocky Mountain region at $2.983 per gallon.
Prices in other regions, according to DOE, are:
- New England – $3.014
- Lower Atlantic – $3.018
- Midwest - $3.041
- West Coast less California – $3.174
ProMiles’ numbers during the same week saw fuel prices increase by 9.3 cents, bringing its national average to $2.925 per gallon.
According to ProMiles’ Fuel Surcharge Index, the most expensive diesel can be found in California at $3.688 per gallon, and the cheapest can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $2.729 per gallon.
Legislation would pave way for more women in trucking
A bill reintroduced in the U.S. Senate would establish a Women of Trucking Advisory Board within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to bring more women into the trucking industry. The bill was first introduced in 2019.
The Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act was reintroduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) – members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. U.S. Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) and Sharice Davids (D-Kansas) also introduced the bipartisan companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Under the bill, the Women of Trucking Advisory Board “would identify barriers to entry for women in the trucking industry, work across organizations and companies to coordinate formal education and training programs and help identify and establish training and mentorship programs for women in the industry. The legislation also requires the FMCSA administrator to submit a report to Congress on the board’s findings and recommendations.”
According to a press release from Sen. Baldwin, women currently make up 47% of the United States’ labor force but represent 24% of America’s trucking workforce and only about 7% of drivers.
The bill has received support from across the trucking industry, including from Women in Trucking, the American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
“Although women currently make up 47% of the United States’ labor force, they represent less than 7% of truck drivers and only a quarter of all transportation and warehousing jobs in trucking,” said ATA Senior Vice President Edwin Gilroy. “While the trucking industry has taken great strides over the last decade, growing the number of women truck drivers by 68% since 2010, the fact is that women remain underrepresented in the industry. We agree that more work needs to be done. The Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act represents a tangible step toward a stronger and more diverse trucking workforce.”
19 Missouri locations added to PrePass bypass service
PrePass Safety Alliance recently completed expansion of PrePass’ by[ass app service to 19 weigh station locations operated by the Missouri Department of Transportation.
The new PrePass mobile app sites in Missouri include:
- Bloomsdale – SB I-55
- Caruthersville – WB I-155
- Charleston – SB I-57
- Eagleville – SB I-35
- Foristell – WB & EB I-70
- Harrisonville – SB US 71
- Joplin – WB & EB I-44
- Kearney – NB I-35
- Mayview – WB & EB I-70
- Platte City – NB I-29
- St. Clair – WB & EB I-44
- Steele – NB I-55
- Watson – SB I-29