Headline News

Update: Navistar, EPA settle suits

Navistar International Corp. said it had reached an agreement May 3 with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that settles lawsuits it had filed in March 2009 concerning the agency’s certification policies for diesel-powered trucks equipped with selective catalytic reduction. The agreement calls for EPA to hold a public workshop or hearing to address the issues Navistar raised in its challenges before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. EPA must publish the agreement ...

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New Mexico may close 14 rest areas

Almost half of New Mexico’s public rest stops would be closed because of a funding shortfall, according to the state’s Department of Transportation. The New Mexico DOT has chosen 14 of the state’s 32 rest stops — 13 full-time and one seasonal — for possible closure soon. Ten of the rest stops are along Interstates 10, 25 and 40, and the rest are on U.S. highways 64, 70 and 180, according to the transportation agency. Eight of ...

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Nebraska latest state to ban texting

Nebraska became the latest state to ban texting while driving. Gov. Dave Heineman signed a law last week that bans texting. Beginning July 1, texting while driving will be a secondary offense, which means police officers can’t stop potential violators without suspecting them of breaking another law. Violators could face $200 fines. Nebraska becomes the 22nd state to outlaw texting while driving for all drivers. Recently, governors in Iowa and Wyoming signed texting ban laws and governors in ...

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Groups lobby to reinstate biodiesel tax credit

Truck stop trade group NATSO and other industry partners April 12 urged Congressional leaders to reinstate the biodiesel tax credit with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2010, to ensure a healthy biodiesel market for producers and consumers. In a letter addressed to Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Representatives Sander Levin (D-Mich.) and Dave Camp (R-Mich.), NATSO urged lawmakers to quickly convene a conference on the American Worker, State and Business Relief ...

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Truck orders up 35% in March

March Class 8 truck total net orders for all major North American manufacturers increased 35.9 percent higher than February, preliminary data from FTR Associates indicate.

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Drivers call for hours changes

Drivers and others in trucking called for more flexibility in sleeper berth regulations Friday, March 26, during the fifth public hearing on revising the hours of service rule. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration held the day-long meeting at a convention center in Louisville, Ky. FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro, who has attended some of the hearings, said the challenge is finding ways to make the regs more flexible, but in ways that will “protect us from those ...

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Health care bill offers immediate changes

The U.S. House of Representative approved the Senate’s Christmas Eve-passed version of health care and insurance reform legislation by a vote of 219-212, with 34 Democrats joining Republicans in voting against the bill. U.S. President Obama was expected to sign the legislation Tuesday, March 23. The House also voted in favor of several changes to the Senate bill (220-211) that faces Senate action in reconciliation this week. “Immediate Improvements” to the health care system enabled by the ...

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Spot freight index up 215% in February

Freight availability on the North American spot market in February more than tripled from a year earlier, based on the TransCore Freight Index. February’s increase of 215 percent marked the fifth consecutive month of improvement on a year-over-year basis and indicated unusually strong seasonal volume. The level for February, normally a weak month for spot freight, was within 5 percent of the record levels reached in 2004. The TransCore North America Freight Index measures truckload freight volume found ...

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CSA 2010 webinar set for March 17

As carriers begin to cope with the realities of Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, they’ll look at retention and recruitment in new ways. In a webinar produced by Overdrive and Truckers News, Schneider National’s Don Osterberg will examine how fleets need to evaluate drivers’ safety performance and whether the new federal safety initiative will create a shortage of drivers with sufficiently clean records. The free, one-hour presentation, “CSA 2010’s impact on the driver force,” will take place ...

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Obama budget eyes employee-contractor issue

In recent years, governmental agencies and courts have tried to decide if workers are employees or independent contractors. Now a provision in President Obama’s 2011 federal budget request targets the issue.   Obama wants $25 million for the Department of Labor to add 100 enforcement employees and competitive grants to boost states’ ability to address misclassification. Classification is not a black and white issue, not even to the Internal Revenue Service. ”There is no ‘magic’ or set number ...

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