— Staff Reports
TRUCK TONNAGE as measured by American Trucking Associations’ For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 5.9 percent in 2011 over the previous year, which was the biggest annual rise since 1998. The seasonally adjusted index surged 6.8 percent in December from November. The December level was 10.5 percent higher than a year ago.
TWO PETERBILT TRUCKS won at the American Truck Dealers Commercial Truck of the Year awards at the ATD Convention and Expo. The Peterbilt 587 SmartWay conventional tractor won in the heavy-duty (Class 8) division and the Peterbilt Model 210 low cab forward won in the medium-duty (Class 3-7) competition. Nine trucks were nominated for the awards.
ATA asks to review hours rule
The American Trucking Associations Feb. 14 petitioned the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s recently published final rule changing hours-of-service regulations.
“The rules that have been in place since 2004 have contributed to unprecedented improvement in highway safety,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “The law is clear about what steps FMCSA must undertake to change the rules and we cannot allow this rulemaking, which was fueled by changed assumptions and analyses that do not meet the required legal standards, to remain unchallenged.”
Last month, a Washington, D.C., appellate court dismissed a lawsuit that had sought changes in the existing HOS rule. The court issued the dismissal order in response to a request from the defendant Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the plaintiffs — the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Teamsters union, Public Citizen and the Truck Safety Coalition. The court’s Feb. 8 order stated the current rule, issued Dec. 22, “supersedes the rule at issue in this case.”
The revised rule requires two early morning four-hour rest periods with the 34-hour restart, and does not change the 11-hour driving limit during one shift. Drivers and companies must comply with the final rule by July 1, 2013.
Drivers also cannot drive after working eight hours without first taking a break of at least 30 minutes. Drivers can take the 30-minute break whenever they need rest during the eight-hour window.
— Staff reports
EPA investigates Navistar’s engine transition dating
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleges that thousands of Navistar Inc. engines sold as pre-2010 models were actually assembled during 2010 and are subject to fines up to $37,500 per violation for not conforming to 2010 emissions standards.
Navistar disputes the EPA charge, says spokesman Steve Schrier. “We firmly believe our 2010 transition was appropriate, and we will continue our discussions and cooperation with the agency on this matter,” he says.
“The bottom line is that Navistar will sell engines in 2012 that are fully certified in all 50 states,”