TENNESSEE RECEIVED federal stimulus funding for idle reduction rebates for small fleets, with priority given to fleets with five trucks or fewer, and truck stop electrification. Tennessee motor carriers can apply for rebates for 50 percent of idle reduction technologies, such as auxiliary power units, for long-haul trucks. The legislation is providing $1.73 million to supplement the state’s Idle Smart Clean Diesel Grant program.
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION trade between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico was 31.5 percent lower in June than in June 2008. It was the sixth consecutive month with a year-to-year decline of greater than 27 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
FTR ASSOCIATES released preliminary data showing Class 8 orders for all major North American truck makers totaling 10,758 units in August, the strongest showing since November 2008. The figure includes orders for the United States, Canada, Mexico and exports. The August orders were 20 percent better than the previous month.
TRUCK DRIVERS going through Illinois might not have to go far if they want to test out their luck. With a new provision of the state’s gaming laws, truck stops occupying at least three acres with a separate fueling station for semis would be allowed to install gambling machines. The truck stops also must be licensed to sell alcohol to install the machines.
PENSKE TRUCK LEASING announced a 16-city North American 2010 Selective Catalytic Reduction Engine Seminar and Open House that runs through Nov. 17 in Portland, Ore. Penske and Freightliner will provide customers with 2010 SCR engine emissions standards seminars and tours of a Freightliner exhibit trailer. For more information, call Michelle Hall at (888) 216-9365.
Roadside Medical plans new clinics
A clinic in Oklahoma City will be the first of the 11 to open, in October, followed by one in Dallas in early 2010. The sites have been licensed to Brough Group International, a Houston-based investment and physician-staffing company.
Roadside President Bob Perry said, “As we expand, we continue to bring convenience and affordability to truckers.”
Long Haul Clinics of Ft. Myers, Fla., which operates Roadside Medical, spent two years and $3.5 million in research and development to create the business model for physicians and investors to run the truck stop clinics. Three Roadside Medical sites are open in Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee. Long Haul is negotiating to award licenses for 80 sites at Pilot locations.
At its existing locations, Roadside provides DOT physicals and screening, sleep apnea tests and wellness programs. No appointments are necessary at clinics, which are typically open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
— Deirdra Drinkard
Audit critiques cross-border program
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has satisfied much of the safety recommendations made for the Mexico cross-border trucking program, but needs better traffic conviction data, its oversight office reported.
The agency’s Office of Inspector General released its Aug. 17 audit of the program that ended in March after President Obama signed a bill barring project funding. The office was required to annually review the program, which began in 2007 and allowed a limited number of Mexican and U.S. fleets to do business beyond the border zone.
FMCSA fully met six of the eight congressionally required criteria. It also substantially met the criteria to have “adequate capacity at southern border to conduct meaningful inspections,” as well as “having sufficient databases to allow safety monitoring of Mexican carriers and drivers.”