By Staff Reports | October 01, 2009

Despite a lingering recession, weak freight volumes and higher fuel prices, the number of trucking companies with five or more power units that failed in the second quarter of this year was the lowest in more than two years, according to an analyst.

The latest failures report from Donald Broughton, senior research analyst for Avondale Partners, estimates 370 carriers failed in the second quarter, down sharply from both the first quarter of this year and the second quarter of 2008. The average size of failed companies was 18 trucks.

Both the number of failures and the average size were at their lowest level since the first quarter of 2007, Broughton reports.

The number of trucks being pulled from the road is less than 15 percent of last year’s second-quarter rate, Broughton says.

Without a surge in failures, freight pricing will not improve as needed to return the industry to health, Broughton says.

— Staff reports

Short hauls

GEORGIA. The I-85 northbound rest area in Franklin County and the I-85 southbound rest area in Gwinnett County east of Atlanta are closed permanently due to high maintenance costs anddeteriorating conditions.

KANSAS. Cash tolls were scheduled to increase 5 percent Oct. 1 on the state turnpike. Drivers with KTAG accounts will see no change. For a five-axle rig traveling from Topeka to Wichita, the $39.75 cash toll went up to $41.74. The $12.50 toll from Kansas City, Kan., to Topeka rose to $13.13.

MICHIGAN. Truck tolls on the Mackinac Bridge are scheduled to increase to $4.50 an axle from $3.50 in 2010. The toll will rise to $5 an axle by 2012 and $6 in 2014.

MINNESOTA. Expect detours and possible increased congestion at the I-494 and 7th Avenue interchange in South St. Paul into early October. Crews will close the eastbound I-494 ramp to 7th Avenue and the 7th Avenue ramp to westbound I-494, as well as the north frontage road for improvements.

NEVADA. A new law allows police officers and certain inspectors who have completed a state training program to stop and weigh trucks.

RHODE ISLAND. Cash tolls on the Pell (Newport) Bridge have risen to $2 per axle.

TENNESSEE. I-40 traffic across the Hernando DeSoto Bridge in Memphis is restricted for months during a seismic retrofit of the structure. Traffic sometimes will be reduced to one or two lanes in each direction.

TEXAS. Cities and counties that enforce no-idling are allowed to restrict idling during federally mandated rest periods to five minutes. A few exemptions apply to the law that carries a fine up to $500 in Dallas.

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