ATA, OOIDA ask for speed limiter comment period extension

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Trucking news and briefs for Monday, May 23, 2022:

ATA, OOIDA ask for extension for speed limiter comments

Two major trucking organizations are asking for more time to respond to a proposal to require speed limiters on all heavy-duty trucks.

In a May 11 letter posted to the Federal Register, the American Trucking Associations asks the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for an additional 30 days to comment on the notice. ATA said its Safety Policy Committee “will be meeting mid-May to discuss this notice and solicit feedback. Extending the comment period an additional 30 days will allow ATA to incorporate this feedback into public comments."

On May 13, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association asked FMCSA for a 60-day extension. OOIDA said a similar joint proposal from FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2016 had a 90-day comment period and said it believes the current notice “merits the same attention and deserves an equal 90-day public comment period.”

“This is one of the most overreaching proposed rulemakings in decades as it relates to the safety of the traveling public, roadway efficiency, and the livelihoods of our nation’s professional truck drivers,” OOIDA said. “Our members are on the road and away from home up to 250 days or more each year. Considering what is at stake, as well as the amount of time and resources it will take to develop meaningful feedback, we believe FMCSA should grant a 60-day extension to file comments.”

Unless changed, the deadline to make comments on the notice is June 3. The proposal has drawn some 11,500 comments since being posted May 4.

OOIDA has long been opposed to speed limiters, while ATA has generally favored the tech on heavy-duty trucks.

Foodservice giant Sysco looks to add 800 battery-electric trucks to fleet

Sysco Corporation and Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) jointly announced last week a Letter of Intent (LOI) to deploy up to nearly 800 battery-electric Freightliner eCascadia Class 8 tractors serving Sysco customers by 2026. The first eCascadia delivery is expected to arrive at Sysco’s Riverside, California, site later this year.

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"Sysco is committed to making meaningful investments to support achievement of our climate goals, including those that encourage the development of electric tractors and trailers. We are eager to partner with a like-minded industry leader like Daimler Trucks North America to deploy battery-electric trucks nationwide,” said Marie Robinson, Sysco’s EVP, Chief Supply Chain Officer. “This investment shows our commitment to sustainability and growing responsibly and will ultimately help us meet our goal of reducing our direct carbon emissions by 27.5 percent by 2030.”

Sysco aims to power more of its tractor fleet with alternative fuels, and the deployment of Freightliner eCascadias along with refrigerated trailers will play a significant role in achieving its science-based climate goal to electrify 35% of its U.S. fleet by 2030, the company said.

Sysco Riverside is continuing to build its charging infrastructure to support additional battery-electric truck deployments, including additional solar capacity.

Pitt Ohio deploys electric Class 7 box trucks

Pitt Ohio Volvo VNR Electric box truckPitt Ohio has added two Volvo VNR Electric box trucks to its fleet.Pitt Ohio (CCJ Top 250, No. 48) has added two Class 7 Volvo VNR Electric box trucks to its Cleveland, Ohio, fleet.

The 26-foot battery-electric box trucks will be operated out of Pitt Ohio’s Cleveland terminal as part of its LTL freight shipping business. The charger is part of the company’s overall electrical system, which includes their patented renewable energy microgrid that is powered by on-site solar and wind. 

“The company applies green fleet management practices, which start with maintaining and operating a modern fleet. We’re excited to see how these two zero-tailpipe emission Volvo VNR Electric trucks add to our story,” said Chuck Hammel III, president of Pitt Ohio. "As our business grows, so do our miles driven by Pitt Ohio trucks. Our increased use of renewable energy and sustainable transportation solutions is more critical than ever as we strive to reduce our carbon output.”

The Volvo VNR Electric box trucks are designed for local and regional delivery routes and feature a four battery 264-kWh capacity with a 150-mile range. The zero-tailpipe emission trucks will be used on a variety of pickup and delivery routes for customers in the greater Cleveland area. 

The company is actively trying to reduce its carbon footprint on the road and at its facilities, including a patented renewable energy microgrid that is powered by eight wind turbines and 1,500 solar panels on site, generating up to 68 megawatts (MW) of annual energy. In addition, Pitt Ohio has added a small solar strip to the roof of the Volvo VNR Electric box truck to provide renewable power to the liftgate.

The trucks will be supported and maintained by TransEdge Truck Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is finalizing the training and infrastructure development needed to become a Volvo Trucks Certified Electric Vehicle (EV) Dealership.