California lawmakers in D.C. call on state to repeal AB 5

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Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, July 19, 2022:

Calif. lawmakers urge governor to repeal AB 5

Rep. Michelle Steel (R-California) led members of the California Congressional Delegation in sending a letter last week to California Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to take immediate action to prevent AB 5 from “devastating the California trucking industry and further crippling nationwide supply chains.”

“The U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition that leaves a reported 70,000 independent truckers with serious doubts about whether they can continue to operate inside our state,” the lawmakers said. “This creates a legal mess made by the state of California. AB5 continues to restrict the ability of Californians to work as independent contractors.”

The group added that AB 5 will have a negative effect on the supply chain and will lead to many independent contractors leaving the state. “Without enough truckers, cargo will continue to sit at the ports waiting to be delivered,” the group said. “We must allow for truckers in California to work as independent contractors.”

The lawmakers sent the letter after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the California Trucking Association’s case against the law. The law had been stayed pending appeal, but will now go into effect, potentially shrinking the number of owner-operators, further worsening the backlogs at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and exacerbating the supply chain crisis, the group added.

Members of Congress joining Steel in sending the letter included Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Darrell Issa, Ken Calvert, Young Kim, Tom McClintock, Mike Garcia, Connie Conway, David Valadao, Doug LaMalfa and Jay Obernolte.

Autocar trucks added to widespread steering gear recall

Autocar is recalling approximately 601 model year 2022-23 Legend, Xpeditor and Xspotter trucks equipped with R.H. Sheppard steering gears that were recalled last month, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The steering gears may have been assembled incorrectly, which can cause the gear to fracture.

The remedy is currently under development.  Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on Aug. 29. Owners can contact Autocar's customer service at 765-489-5499 with recall number ACX-2204 DC-2202. NHTSA’s recall number is 22V-475.

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Several other truck OEMs have issued recalls based on the Sheppard recall, including Daimler, Volvo, Mack and Navistar.

ATA launches new program to address issues facing women in trucking

Last week, The American Trucking Associations announced it is launching Women in Motion, a new program designed to elevate and highlight the contributions of women to the trucking industry, encourage more women to consider a career in trucking, and address important issues within the policy arena that specifically impact women.

“The trucking industry relies on women -- whether in the boardroom, as a technician, or behind the wheel -- and we believe that by highlighting the many contributions the women already in trucking make, we can demonstrate what a rewarding and lucrative career path it can be for millions of others,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “The name Women in Motion is an apt description of our industry, and I’m pleased that ATA is recognizing these individuals who are critical to our industry and looking for solutions to make their jobs even more gratifying and more secure.”

The Women in Motion program will focus on the core issues women face on the road and in the industry. Working with coalition partners, policymakers and business leaders, Women in Motion will work to provide a more secure work environment for women in the industry, including advocating for issues like safer truck parking, as well as increased diversity in trucking.

The program will also provide support and development opportunities for women in the trucking industry, as well as promoting the industry as a career path to women across the country.