FMCSA’s role includes mandating medical qualifications for commercial driver’s licenses as well as research and ongoing studies that look at driver mortality.
— Randy Grider
California votes to keep emissions regs
California voters solidly rejected Proposition 23, which would have suspended enforcement of the state’s program of reducing greenhouse gas emissions until the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent or less for a year.
Over 60 percent of voters opposed Proposition 23. In addition, the election of Democrat Jerry Brown to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a retreat on environmental regulation less likely.
If passed, Proposition 23 could have delayed enforcement of the regulation to reduce GHGs from certain heavy-duty tractors and trailers. That regulation will continue, as the California Air Resources Board is considering changes to the rules. CARB staff recently released its final proposal on changes.
Proposed amendments reflect feedback from stakeholders on several issues, including the incompatibility of certain trailer configurations with existing verified aerodynamic devices, the unavailability of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay-verified retread tires.
— Staff reports
2010 PRODUCTION of Class 8 vehicles was forecast at approximately 151,000 units, up 27 percent from a weak 2009, ACT Research says. ACT forecasts that demand will grow the next two years, with production in 2012 exceeding 300,000 units. Meanwhile, October Class 8 truck total net orders for all major North American manufacturers reached 18,386 units, a 22 percent increase over the previous month, based on preliminary data from FTR Associates. October was the third consecutive month showing month over month increases.
TRADE USING SURFACE transportation between the United States and Canada and Mexico in August increased 25 percent over August 2009 to $68 billion, said the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation. U.S.-Canada surface transportation trade in August was up 21 percent from August 2009. U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade was 32 percent higher than August 2009.
VIRGINIA LAUNCHED a pilot program to provide additional truck parking along the Commonwealth’s Interstates. The program will use undeveloped properties owned by the Virginia Department of Transportation as truck-only rest areas. The first site, a paved lot along the eastbound lanes of I-66, opened Nov. 8. The pilot period will last 90 days, followed by a 60-day evaluation period.
MACK TRUCKS OPENED a customer center Oct. 28 near the company’s Macungie, Pa., assembly plant. The center includes the Mack Museum and Heritage Center, filled with Mack vehicles dating back to 1905.
UAW-REPRESENTED employees at Navistar ratified a new four-year labor agreement, the company announced Oct. 30. Navistar said the labor agreement was approved by a majority of voting UAW members and replaces the prior contract that expired Oct. 1.