Safety groups urge Congress to oppose efforts to block speed limiters

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Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Aug. 25, 2023:

Safety groups voice opposition to anti-speed limiter legislation

A number of highway safety groups joined forces to voice their opposition to legislation in both the U.S. House and Senate that, if passed, would block the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from mandating speed limiters on heavy-duty trucks.

The Truck Safety Coalition, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Trucking Alliance, Road Safe America, and the National Safety Council said they are “steadfastly opposed” to the Deregulating Restrictions on Interstate Vehicles and Eighteen-Wheelers (DRIVE) Act.

The groups cited a 71% increase in truck crash deaths since 2009, claiming that “speeding continues to be a leading contributing factor in the tragic rise in truck crash deaths and injuries.”

They add that speed limiters “are a proven solution to curbing traffic deaths.”

“About 98% of the 62,000 trucks operated by Trucking Alliance carriers already use speed limiters, because it’s safe for our drivers,” said Steve Williams, CEO of Maverick USA (CCJ Top 250, No. 75) and president of The Trucking Alliance. “The science is clear. It takes an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer rig much farther to stop when going 80 miles per hour than it does at 65 or 70 miles per hour. Everybody needs to slow down, and allowing FMCSA to pursue its rulemaking is the right thing to do.”

The groups also noted that “speed limiter devise are already standard equipment on large trucks,” stating the most fleets already use them. “A speed limiter requirement will save lives and prevent needless suffering. FMCSA must be allowed to continue this critical rulemaking.”

The American Trucking Associations has also been opposed to Congressional 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: Congress floats third effort to block speed limiter mandate]

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Wildfires prompt HOS exemptions in Canada

Wildfires in western Canada have prompted Transport Canada to grant temporary hours of service waivers for truck drivers hauling essential goods into affected areas through the end of September.

Two exemptions are in effect -- one for Alberta and the Northwest Territories, and one for British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.

The purpose of the exemptions is to “support efforts by extra-provincial truck undertakings and their drivers to transport essential supplies and equipment, in direct assistance to the emergency relief efforts in response to the wildfires” in the four regions.

Drivers and carriers based outside the affected provinces and territories utilizing the exemptions are required, prior to operating under the exemption, to notify in writing the provincial hours of service director of the base jurisdiction of their intention to operate under this exemption. They also must provide to the provincial hours of service director of the base jurisdiction documentation that will contain the following information:

  • The commercial vehicles that are to be operated
  • The license plate numbers of those vehicles and the province of issuance
  • The names of drivers who will operate the commercial vehicles
  • The drivers’ driving license numbers and province of issuance

Full requirements for operating under the exmeptions can be found here for Alberta and Northwest Territories, and here for British Columbia and Yukon.

STG Logistics expands Canadian intermodal network

STG Logistics is expanding its intermodal network into and out of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Moncton and Halifax – additions the company said complement its current Canadian services in the Toronto and Montreal markets.

STG last month acquired Best Dedicated, a Chicago-area-based carrier that added expedited, dry van, temperature control and flatbed OTR transportation solutions to complement its existing intermodal, drayage and facility-based containerized logistics services, including the nation’s largest network of container freight station and transload facilities. 

"We are excited to continue our intermodal growth by offering our best-in-class service to customers with Canadian opportunities," said Geoff Anderman, STG Logistics president and chief operating officer. "As the leading provider of Port-to-Door services for containerized goods, we feel that these new lanes enhance and strengthen our industry position."

STG Logistics will utilize its fleet of 15,000 GPS-equipped 53' intermodal containers and proprietary Rail Optimizer system to move shipments both intra-Canada and cross-border. Mexico routes will utilize the Falcon Premium and Eagle Premium services offered by the Union Pacific Railroad. Falcon Premium provides the fastest intermodal service between the Chicago and Detroit markets and the Mexican border, as well as the most direct rail route available between Canada and Mexico. 

[Related: Best Dedicated Solutions acquired by port-to-door logistics company]

C&K Trucking opens two new intermodal terminals

C&K Trucking, a nationwide intermodal trucking operation, announced this week the addition of two new terminal locations in Columbus, Ohio, and Kansas City, Kansas, to its growing nationwide network of locations.

"As our company continues to identify ways to grow our assets to serve our drayage customers, we have identified both these regions as areas for our strategic growth," said C&K Trucking President Sean McShane. "With these new locations in place, we strengthen our position in the Midwest region and offer our customers a convenient option with C&K Trucking."

C&K Trucking specializes in drayage management, or the movement of shipping containers from one mode of transportation, such as trains or shipping lines, to another, or to a distribution center, warehouse, or final destination. The new terminals offer C&K contractors a place to begin or end their intermodal transportation journey, as well as store or service customer shipping containers.

The C&K Trucking Columbus terminal is located at 4005 Fisher Road, and is headed by Gina England-Johnson, a transportation industry veteran with experience launching new terminals. The full-service terminal will include dispatch and intermodal transportation services. Plans are in place to add shipping container yard services in the future. The terminal will be an expected hub for cargo and containers traveling through Columbus via the Norfolk Southern and CSX rail providers.

The company’s new Kansas City terminal is located at 1705 Kansas Avenue, and is under the management of Tommy Brewer. Brewer has more than 20 years of experience in the local marketplace and an impressive track record in business development. The Kansas City terminal will offer the same services as Columbus, with the addition of container yard storage and related services, which are now available.