Bill to block bans of internal combustion engines advances

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Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023:

Bill to block internal combustion engine bans advances

Legislation that would amend federal law to block attempts to eliminate the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines cleared its first hurdle last week, as it passed the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and will move to the full House floor.

Introduced in March by Rep. John Joyce (R-Pennsylvania), the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act was introduced in response to the California Air Resource Board’s decision to effectively ban the sale of new, internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035.

“California regulators shouldn’t have the power to determine what vehicles are sold to families in Pennsylvania,” Joyce said. “One state should not be able to set national policy,      and Americans should not be forced into making purchases they are unable to afford. I’m proud to see the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act pass through the Energy and Commerce Committee and look forward to its passage in the House.”

In addition to blocking attempts to ban the sale of traditional engines, it would also restrict the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing any Clean Air Act waivers that would ban the sale or use of new motor vehicles with internal combustion engines.

A version of the bill was also introduced in the Senate in June by Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma). According to a press release from Mullin, the bill has support from the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC) and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), among others.

[Related: California bans diesel truck sales as of 2036]

TForce Teamsters ratify new contract

Members of the Teamsters Union overwhelmingly ratified a new national contract at TForce Freight, formerly UPS Freight and now a subsidiary of TFI International (CCJ Top 250, No. 4) by 81%.

The five-year agreement provides members with significant improvements to wages and benefits, and safeguards against subcontracting and technology, the union said. 

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“Teamsters at TForce have set a powerful example for how to take on the employer and win a strong agreement,” said Sean M. O’Brien, Teamsters General President and Chair of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC). “Over the next five years, TForce workers will continue to establish better standards for freight under this contract, including the most lucrative economic package in the industry and vital protections for technology, pension, health care, and safety.”

The agreement will go into effect Aug. 1, 2023, and expire July 31, 2028.

Contract highlights include wage increases; increases from TForce to health, welfare and pension plans; protections from “invasive technology,” including preventing disciplne from cameras and prohibiting the “use of robots, driverless vehicles, drones, or other technology to move freight or replace drivers, clerks, or dockworkers;” an additional holiday; required air conditioning in newly purchased equipment; additional time off; protections against subcontracting; and more.

Teamsters voted in-person last week and ballots were counted on Sunday. The agreement covers approximately 7,800 Teamsters at 126 local unions throughout the U.S. 

[Related: UPS avoids strike, reaches deal with Teamsters union]

Volvo recalls 55K trucks over windshield wiper motor issue

Volvo Trucks is recalling more than 55,000 trucks due to the windshield wiper motor gears possibly wearing prematurely, causing the motor to fail, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The recall includes 55,012 model year 2022-‘24 VNR, VNL, VHD, and VAH trucks.

Dealers will replace the windshield wiper motor assembly, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed Sept. 15. Owners can contact Volvo Trucks customer service at 1-800-528-6586 with recall number RVXX2309. NHTSA’s recall number is 23V-511.

Small number of Peterbilt, Kenworth trucks recalled for driveline issue

Paccar is recalling certain approximately 19 Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks because the adhesive thread-lock may not have been applied to the four flange mounted yoke bolt threads on the driveline, allowing the driveline fasteners to loosen.

Loose fasteners may allow the driveline to separate from the truck, increasing the risk of a crash, the recall states.

Affected models include:

  • 2023 Peterbilt 548
  • 2023-‘24 Peterbilt 536
  • 2023-’24 Peterbilt 537
  • 2023-‘24 Kenworth T280
  • 2023 Kenworth T480
  • 2024 Kenworth T380

Dealers will apply adhesive thread-lock and replace the fasteners, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed Sept. 19. Owners can contact Paccar’s customer service at 1-425-828-5888 (Kenworth) with recall number 23KWE or 1-940-591-4220 (Peterbilt) with recall number 23PBE. NHTSA’s recall number is 23V-504.

Mack recalls small number of garbage trucks

Mack Trucks, Inc. (Mack) is recalling approximately 19 model year 2024 LR garbage trucks. 

In the affected units, the reinforcing floor welds may be missing from around the passenger seat pedestal, reducing floor strength. The pedestal may buckle during a crash, preventing the passenger seat from properly restraining a passenger, the recall states.

Dealers will inspect and add welds as necessary, replace the missing floor welds, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed Sept. 15. Owners can contact Mack customer service at 1-800-866-1177 with recall number SC0446. NHTSA’s recall number is 23V-513.