Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Oct. 8, 2021:
Speeding, seat belt violations highest Operation Safe Driver Week citations
More than 28,000 commercial vehicles were pulled over during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Operation Safe Driver Week, which was held July 11-17 across North America. Law enforcement also stopped nearly 18,000 passenger vehicles during the blitz that aims to prevent dangerous driving behaviors. Speeding was the focus of this year’s event.
In the U.S., law enforcement personnel issued a total of 8,438 warnings and 12,264 citations, made up of 4,420 warnings and 3,158 citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers, and 4,018 warnings and 9,106 citations to passenger vehicle drivers.
Among citations written to commercial vehicle drivers, speeding topped the list with 1,690 citations and 2,549 warnings issued. Failure to use a seat belt was the next highest violation with 1,225 citations and 954 warnings. Other top violations for truck drivers included failure to obey traffic control device, texting/using a handheld phone, improper lane change and following too closely.
CVSA also lumped a variety of violations into one pool labeled state/local driver violations, which could include vehicle-related observations an officer may notice during a traffic stop, such as equipment violations, expired license plate tags, inoperative lamps and more. Commercial vehicle drivers received 6,631 warnings and 4,007 citations for these various violations.
Passenger vehicle drivers were also cited most for speeding and seat belt usage with 9,349 and 1,355 citations issued, respectively. Distracted driving/using a handheld phone was the third highest violation for four-wheelers with 573 citations issued.
In addition to the one-week enforcement blitz, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also participated by conducting a seven-week investigative event targeting trucking companies with a history of crashes and unsafe driving behavior.
FMCSA’s event ran from June 7 to July 16, with participation from all its divisions. The agency prioritized moderate-risk and high-risk carriers for remote on-site and off-site investigations.
FMCSA field staff completed 90 high-risk and 201 moderate-risk carrier investigations, resulting in 64 conditional ratings and 30 unsatisfactory ratings. Three driver notices of claim are planned, 21 carriers entered the denial of access process, 10 out-of-service orders were issued, and one pattern of safety violations case is under review. Out of 291 investigations, nine resulted in enforcement for the violation of 392.2 – unsafe driving.
Freightliner electric trucks hit mileage milestone
Daimler Trucks North America announced this week that its Freightliner battery-electric Innovation and Customer Experience (CX) fleets have reached one million miles of real-world usage, with fleets operating across the West Coast and Canada. With the opening of order boards for the eCascadia and eM2 earlier this year, DTNA is already seeing high demand for its electric trucks.
Comprised of over 40 battery electric Freightliner eCascadias and eM2s, the Freightliner Electric Innovation and CX Fleets have transformed the testing process by putting trucks into the hands of almost 50 customers to accumulate experience while performing real work, in real fleets, and real commercial vehicle applications.
“We have reached a tipping point in our electrification journey,” says Rakesh Aneja, Vice President and Chief of eMobility, DTNA. “After a million miles of learning in close collaboration with our valued customers, we are ready to move from prototype to scale -- from tens of customer experience trucks to hundreds of production units. We remain committed to continuously improve our vehicle technology, reduce cost of ownership, and support infrastructure development -- the required trifecta for a successful electrification transformation.”
Nikola partners with energy firm for hydrogen production facilities
Nikola Corporation and TC Energy Corporation have agreed to collaborate on co-developing, constructing, operating and owning large-scale hydrogen production facilities in the United States and Canada.
Nikola’s Energy business unit and TC Energy are actively collaborating to identify and develop projects to establish the infrastructure required to deliver low-cost and low-carbon hydrogen at scale in line with each company’s core objectives. Additionally, the companies are looking to accelerate the adoption of heavy-duty zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and hydrogen across industrial sectors by establishing hubs in key geographic locations.
A key objective of the collaboration is to establish hubs producing 150 tons or more of hydrogen per day near highly traveled truck corridors to serve Nikola’s planned need for hydrogen to fuel its Class 8 FCEVs within the next five years.
Ryder opens five new used truck centers
Ryder System this week announced the grand openings of five new used vehicle sales centers in Salt Lake City, Utah; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Orlando, Florida; Syracuse, New York; and Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Ryder used vehicles consist of day cab tractors, sleepers, refrigeration equipment, box trucks, sprinter vans, cargo vans, and trailers. Ryder has staff on-site to consult with potential buyers on the vehicle that is best suited for their business needs, as well as provide a complete vehicle maintenance history report. Customers also benefit from discounted pricing, extended warranty, and Ryder’s best-in-class maintenance plans to keep payments low and maximize uptime.
These five new locations support Ryder’s commitment to continuously enhancing the customer experience, ensuring both convenience and quality, in securing pre-owned commercial vehicles through Ryder’s used truck centers and online.