Trucking news and briefs for Friday, May 7, 2021:
Various industries, including trucking, call on House Democrats to reject liability insurance hike
More than 60 organizations representing the trucking, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, materials and towing industries are petitioning members of the U.S. House of Representatives to reject an increase of motor carriers’ minimum liability insurance requirements.
In letters sent to the Blue Dog Coalition of fiscally-responsible Democrats and the Problem Solvers Caucus – both of which seek commonsense solutions to various issues – the coalition explains that an insurance increase “is wholly unnecessary” and “would do nothing to improve highway safety and would have a severe negative impact” on their members due to significantly higher operational costs.
The letters state that federal research indicates the current $750,000 minimum requirement covers damages in 99.4% of crashes involving commercial vehicles.
The letters are in response to efforts to increase the insurance minimum to as much as $4 million.
“Rejecting calls for increases in insurance coverage will help protect American jobs and businesses, including countless small businesses, from an unnecessary and excessive policy designed to further line the pockets of trial lawyers at the expense of truckers, farmers, construction firms, manufacturers and more,” the letter concludes. Among groups that signed the letters are the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, numerous state trucking associations and more.
Nikola, Total Transportation Services ink deal for 100 Nikola trucks
Nikola Corporation said it will collaborate with Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI), a prominent Southern California port trucking company, to expedite zero-emission transportation at the port of Los Angeles/Long Beach. The partnership will include vehicle trials and a Letter of Intent to order 100 Nikola Class 8 battery-electric vehicle (BEV) and fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) semi-trucks.
The Nikola Tre BEV is designed for local deliveries up to 350 miles. The Nikola Tre FCEV truck is targeted for distances up to 500 miles.
TTSI President Vic LaRosa said his company's trucks operate for up to 20 hours per day, adding "the expected availability of the BEV aligns with our desire to reach our sustainability goals quickly and the FCEV is ideal for longer-range applications."
The LOI is for 100 zero-emission trucks beginning with a four-truck pilot slated to start in the first half of 2022 and consisting of two BEVs and two FCEVs. Based on satisfactory completion of the vehicle trials and subject to TTSI obtaining certain government funding, thirty BEVs are projected to follow later in 2022, and 70 FCEVs are anticipated to start in 2023.
Barr-Nunn Transportation named 2020 Walmart E-Commerce Carrier of the Year
Barr-Nunn Transportation was named the 2020 Walmart E-Commerce Carrier of the Year – the second consecutive year the carrier has received the distinction. The annual award recognizes Walmart transportation partners for dedication to customer service, effective communication and providing improved service and solutions.
Walmart noted the carrier stood out by providing critical services and creative solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.