Canadian province eyes legislation requiring bathroom access for truck drivers

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Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Oct. 22, 2021:

Canadian province proposing legislation to require bathroom access for truckers

The Ontario government Wednesday announced its intentions to introduce legislation that, if passed, would mandate washroom access for truck drivers at businesses where they are picking up and delivering.

The legislation is the result of consultations conducted by the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee that have indicated that truck drivers, couriers and others are often denied use of a washroom at businesses they serve.

“This is something most people in Ontario take for granted, but access to washrooms is a matter of common decency currently being denied to hundreds of thousands of workers in this province,” said Ontario Minister of Labor, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton. “Workers who deliver and pick up goods have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, ensuring that essential supplies continue to reach the people of Ontario. Providing these hardworking men and women with access to washrooms is a small change that will make a big difference, so they can do their jobs with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

The Ontario Trucking Association strongly supports the proposed legislation.

“Our province’s truck drivers deserve our respect, our support, our thanks and our best efforts to help them do their jobs so Ontarians can put food on our tables and have access to the goods we need,” said OTA President and CEO Stephen Laskowski. “We are encouraged this announcement will give truck drivers access to the necessary facilities wherever they may be working.”

FTR Shippers Conditions improve slightly

Market conditions for shippers continued to gradually improve in August, according to FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index, improving to the best reading since September 2020 at -6.8, slightly better than the -8.1 July index.

A minor loosening of capacity utilization and marginally lower fuel costs contributed to the improvement in the August SCI measure. Market conditions for shippers are technically getting better, but the relief is so incremental as to be of little value, FTR noted.

“Conditions in August continued to head in the right direction, though not enough to provide relief for shippers,” said Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR. “This is, however, as good as it will get for 2021. Shippers conditions are likely to degrade as the year wears on and demands for holiday shipping ramp up. Fuel, in particular, is expected to be a significant headwind as prices have increased dramatically heading into the winter season.”

Idaho Mack dealer receives EV certification

Mack Trucks dealer Northwest Equipment Sales, based in Boise, Idaho, is now a Certified Electric Vehicle Dealer, making it the first Mack dealer in the Northwest U.S. with that designation.

Northwest Equipment began the process for EV certification in February 2021. Meeting frequently with the Mack team to help them through the stringent requirements and process, the 28,000 square-foot Boise dealership will have four bays available for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). These bays can also be used for diesel-powered vehicles when vacant.

“Mack Trucks would like to recognize and thank Northwest Equipment Sales for their commitment to electrification and for their support of the Mack LR Electric, Mack’s first fully electric vehicle,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president of sales and commercial operations. “The investment and certification ensures that Northwest Equipment is ready and able to meet the needs of our customers as we continue to see the adoption of electric vehicles in fleets.” 

TEC Equipment’s Fontana, California-based dealership is also a Certified EV Dealer and was the first Mack dealer to have this designation. To be EV-certified, dealerships must meet numerous safety, charging, infrastructure and training requirements. Updating the facility is also required. With the certification, Northwest Equipment Sales’ Boise location is now fully equipped and ready to service the Mack LR Electric refuse vehicle.

Production of the LR Electric will begin this year at the Mack Lehigh Valley Operations facility in Macungie, Pennsylvania, where all Class 8 Mack vehicles for North America and export are assembled.