A little relief?

| June 01, 2006

The report estimates that highway crashes cost society $230 billion a year, or about $820 per person.

The final 2005 report will be available in late summer.
-Lance Orr

Another FMSCA Official Resigns
Warren Hoemann, deputy administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, resigned, effective last month. Hoemann had been acting administrator since March 31, when former Administrator Annette Sandberg left the agency. The acting administrator and acting deputy administrator is John Hill, who served as assistant administrator and chief safety officer. Neither the White House nor the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a replacement for either Sandberg or Hoemann.

Diesel Fuel Continues Rise
The national average retail price of a gallon of diesel increased 2 cents for the week ending May 1, to $2.896. That increase was much smaller than the 11-cent increases of the previous two weeks, but it still left diesel costing 63 cents more than in the same week of 2005. The West Coast had the most expensive diesel in the country at $3.098.

Tonnage Drops
Following a year-end run-up, the American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index dropped for a second consecutive month. The index fell 3.2 percent in March, following a revised 3.6 percent drop in February. The indicator had increased from September 2005 to January 2006. The dip put the index at 110.1, its lowest level since November 2003. Compared with March 2005, the index was 2.6 percent lower.

Security Council
The American Trucking Associations unveiled a new security council on May 1, to reflect the heightened importance of trucking industry security. The council is comprised of: Brian Shutt, ABF Freight System’s manager of security, as national chairman; Curtis Shewchuk, Con-Way Transportation’s director of corporate protective services, as first vice chairman; William Downey, the vice president of the Kenan Advantage Group, as second vice chairman; Susan Chandler as executive director; and Mike Hodge as director of claims and security.

Best Companies
FedEx and Qualcomm have made the ranks of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America.” At No. 23, Qualcomm made the list for the eighth straight year. At No. 64, FedEx made the list for the ninth consecutive year.

SuperRigs Contest
The 24th annual Shell Rotella SuperRigs truck beauty contest is June 22-24 at the Sacramento 49er Travel Plaza in Sacramento, Calif. Working truck owners will compete for more than $10,000 in cash and prizes. Twelve winners will appear beside their trucks in the 2007 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar.

I-85 Speed Limit Increase
Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine signed a bill increasing the speed limit for all vehicles from 65 mph to 70 mph on Interstate 85 from Petersburg south to the North Carolina line. The law will take effect July 1 after a traffic engineering study.

Hybrid Vans
Freightliner Custom Chassis will produce more than 100 hybrid electric-powered walk-in vans for FedEx Express and other customers in 2006. Designed for lower emissions and better fuel economy, the vans are built on an MT-45 SR chassis platform from Freightliner Custom Chassis and have a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 15,000 pounds. FedEx Express, which initiated the program, already is operating 18 of the vans in Sacramento, Calif., Tampa, Fla., New York City and the District of Columbia.

New IdleAire Locations
IdleAire has opened the first four of approximately 210 new locations planned to be ready by the end of the first quarter of 2007. The company says it expects to be operating 50 locations by the end of June. New locations available to fleets and drivers include the Pilot in Laredo, Texas, the TA in New Braunfels, Texas, the Ontario East TA in Ontario, Calif., and the TA on Lovell Road in Knoxville, Tenn.

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