Congress floats third effort to block speed limiter mandate

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Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023:

Senate legislation would block speed limiter mandate

A third Congressional effort to block the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from mandating speed limiters on heavy-duty trucks was introduced in the Senate July 27.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) introduced the “Deregulating Restrictions on Interstate Vehicles and Eighteen-Wheelers (DRIVE) Act,” which is identical to the House bill introduced in May by Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-Oklahoma).

If passed and signed into law, the bills would block FMCSA from requiring “vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds operating in interstate commerce to be equipped with a speed limiting device set to a maximum speed.”

“Montana truckers play an essential role in the Treasure State’s economy and ensuring they stay safe on the job is one of my top priorities,” Daines said. â€śOverreaching, out-of-touch D.C. mandates oftentimes make truckers’ jobs harder and can even put their lives at risk -- I’ll keep fighting for Montana truckers and against big government.”

Like the House version of the bill, Daines’ bill has not picked up any bipartisan support, but it is cosponsored by five Republican Senators.

Another effort to block speed limiters is included in the 2024 transportation budget bill that passed the House Appropriations Committee in July. It awaits a vote by the full House, setting up a potential battle in the more contentious Senate.

The American Trucking Associations has generally been opposed to efforts to block speed limiters, while the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, and CDL Drivers Unlimited groups have signaled support for the legislation to block the technology.

[Related: Safety groups ask House reps to pump brakes on speed limiter block]

Flatbed fleet PGT Trucking launches daily run with Nikola BEV

PGT Trucking Nikola electric truckAs of Aug. 1, PGT Trucking is moving material via a Nikola Class 8 battery-electric truck between Steel Dynamics' Pittsburgh galvanizing locations.PGT TruckingPGT Trucking (CCJ Top 250, No. 93) announced it is the first fleet in the flatbed industry to provide dedicated transportation services using a Class 8 zero-emissions truck to Steel Dynamics, one of the largest domestic steel producers and metals recyclers in North America.

The initial run took place on Aug. 1 as PGT Trucking moved material between Steel Dynamics' Pittsburgh galvanizing locations. This daily shuttle service marks a significant step forward in PGT Trucking's commitment to sustainable and efficient transportation solutions.

"PGT Trucking is extremely proud to have successfully launched our first dedicated run for Steel Dynamics using Nikola's Class 8 battery-electric vehicle," said Gregg Troian, PGT Trucking President. "We are committed to providing our customers with innovative and sustainable transportation solutions, and this service offering will lead to a greener future for both the trucking and steel industries."

Environmental sustainability is a key focus for the two companies, and this partnership allows PGT Trucking to transport Steel Dynamics' products efficiently while minimizing environmental impact. It is estimated that a short-haul delivery made using this truck will eliminate PGT's carbon emissions by more than 105,000 pounds annually. To support this partnership, Steel Dynamics installed a charging station at their MetalTech location for the battery-electric truck.

[Related: PGT Trucking hauling low-GHG steel on Nikola electric truck]

Nominations open for Influential Woman in Trucking award

The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) and Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) are seeking nominations for the 2023 Influential Woman in Trucking award.

The award was created in 2010 to honor women in the transportation industry who make or influence key decisions in a corporate, manufacturing, supplier, owner-operator, driver, sales, or dealership setting. Nominees must also have a proven record of responsibility, mentorship, and serve as a role model to other women in the industry.

“The number of women in the trucking profession continues to grow,” said Jennifer Hedrick, WIT president and CEO. “We are honored to share their stories and mark their accomplishments through this award.”

Nominations will be accepted through September 11.

The winner will be announced at the upcoming WIT Accelerate! Conference & Expo Nov. 5-8 in Dallas, Texas. Each finalist will serve as a panelist for the Unstoppable Women in Trucking You Must Know About panel discussion on Nov. 7.

Past recipients of the Influential Woman in Trucking award include:

  • 2022 – Trina Norman, southern California feeder operations manager, UPS
  • 2021 – Lily Ley, vice president and chief information officer, Paccar
  • 2020 – Kristy Knichel, president, Knichel Logistics and Jodie Teuton, co-founder, Kenworth of Louisiana
  • 2019 – Ruth Lopez, director, transportation management, Ryder System, Inc.
  • 2018 – Angela Eliacostas, founder and president, AGT Global Logistics
  • 2017 – Daphne Jefferson, principal and executive coach, Jefferson Consulting Group, LLC (former deputy administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)
  • 2016 – Ramona Hood, president and CEO, FedEx Custom Critical
  • 2015 – Kari Rihm, president and CEO, Rihm Kenworth
  • 2014 – Marcia G. Taylor, CEO, Bennett International Group
  • 2013 – Rebecca Brewster, president and COO, American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI)
  • 2012 – Joyce Brenny, founder and CEO, Brenny Transportation, Inc./Brenny Specialized, Inc.
  • 2011 – Rochelle Bartholomew, CEO, CalArk International