Biden, Trudeau asked to reinstate truck drivers' cross-border vaccine exemption

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Updated Feb 24, 2022

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Feb. 21, 2022:

U.S. governors, Canadian provincial leaders want truck drivers’ cross-border vax exemption reinstated

A group of 16 governors from the United States and two Canadian premiers penned a letter to President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau requesting the leaders reinstate the exemption for truck drivers from cross-border COVID vaccine mandates.

“We understand the vital importance of vaccines in the fight against COVID-19 and continue to encourage eligible individuals to get vaccinated,” the group said in the letter. “However, we are deeply concerned that terminating these exemptions has had demonstrably negative impacts on the North American supply chain, the cost of living, and access to essential products for people in both of our countries.”

The letter noted that the timing of the mandates – with Canada’s going into effect Jan. 15 and the U.S.’ on Jan. 22 – “could not have been worse” due to supply chain challenges caused by the pandemic.

“These constraints, combined with increasing inflation, place significant burdens on the residents of Canada and the United States,” the group added. “Furthermore, transportation associations have informed us that the lack of exemptions will force thousands of drivers out of the trucking industry, which is already facing a significant workforce shortage. The removal of these exemptions is ultimately unnecessary, and we cannot afford to lose any more truck drivers who transport food and other vital supplies across the border.”

Six states testing e-inspections with Drivewyze

Electronic inspections (e-inspections) at weigh stations are now being conducted in a pilot program enabled in part by the Drivewyze company in Kansas, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia and Utah, at select weigh stations. 

According to Brian Heath, President and CEO of Drivewyze, the program is currently operating in a phase one deployment that expedites CSA-crediting Level III driver-credentials inspections. Drivewyze will deliver more information on phase two of the program that builds toward a vision of an in-motion Level VIII inspection in the coming months, the company said. Phase one, the company believes, is already delivering material benefits to participating agencies and fleets and marks a step forward in Drivewyze’s goal to change roadside inspections.    

"Traditionally, officers need to screen carrier and driver data against multiple back-office systems, each requiring a different login and manual data entry,” said Heath. "The process is time-consuming for officers as they juggle access and data entry into multiple federal and state systems. Credentials are often entered multiple times into unintegrated systems, which wastes time; and officers are only human, so it’s natural that errors occur in the process."

With e-inspection, carrier and driver credentials, as well as hours of service data, are transferred wirelessly from the Drivewyze platform, which is embedded in the vehicle’s onboard electronic logging device (ELD). Officers don't need to collect this information manually, nor do they need to manually enter the information into multiple screening and inspection systems. "This dramatically reduces the time and errors that can happen with traditional roadside inspections,” said Heath. “We’ve seen e-inspections reduce the time for a ‘clean’ Level III inspection from close to 30 minutes, sometimes more, to only a few minutes.” 

Any fleets subscribed to Drivewyze PreClear weigh station bypass service can request to participate in the e-inspection pilot project. Drivewyze’s ELD partners are continuing with software updates so fleets can opt-in to this option. Currently, fleets using Platform Science and Geotab platforms can access and utilize e-inspections, and Trimble support is currently in development. 

Pennsylvania Kenworth parts, service dealership relocates to larger facility

Kenworth of Pennsylvania – Muncy has relocated to a larger parts and service dealership to accommodate the growing needs of local truck fleets, owner-operators and truck operators traveling through the area.

The 24,600 square-foot facility is nearly four times the size of its previous Muncy location. Kenworth of Pennsylvania – Muncy is situated on a 9-acre lot and features 15 service bays and a 6,000 square-foot parts department. 

“Our new parts and service location in Muncy will help us support our customers with improved uptime and parts availability,” said Tim Mitchell, Kenworth of Pennsylvania president. “We look forward to providing an enhanced customer experience to our customers who rely on our Muncy location for their parts and service.”

Kenworth of Pennsylvania – Muncy is located at 80 Fitness Drive in Muncy, approximately 5 miles from its previous facility. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is (570) 308-3590.