Trucking news & briefs for Thursday, April 23, 2020:
ATBS updates ebook with documentation information for Paycheck Protection Program application
Update, 4/24/2020: The House of Reps followed through shortly after the publication of the following with approval of the Senate bill to extend the CARES Act and appropriate another $310 billion in funding for PPP loans.
Get ready, watchers note, as the next round of Paycheck Protection Program funding, at press time still awaiting approval by the House of Representatives (a vote was expected today) after passage in the Senate, is expected to go even faster than the first.
Owner-operator business services firm ATBS has updated its ebook guidance on the CARES Act with details on necessary documentation for Paycheck Protection Program loan applications. The PPP, the firm believes, is perhaps the most readily applicable program to emerge from the March-passed legislation, intended to help small businesses of all types make payroll amid ongoing economic turmoil.
Updates include a detailed list of documents/financial records you will need handy with the application, whether you pay W2 employees are in business solely for yourself. Those documents include, for the self-employed, a 2019 Schedule C showing net business profit.
Self-driving truck tech company petitions FMCSA for longer HOS
Pronto.ai, a company that that builds self-driving truck technology, has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to allow its motor carrier customers to drive up to 13 hours of a 15-hour period following 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
The waiver, if granted, would apply to carriers using trucks equipped with Pronto’s Copilot advanced driver assistance system, the SmartDrive Video Safety Program and certain other safeguards.
“This unique exemption promotes a significant improvement in the safe operation of CMVs on the highways,” Pronto said in its request. “It requests additional driving and duty-period hours for drivers of vehicles equipped with advanced technologies that greatly mitigate the risks of driver distraction and inattentiveness and assist the driver in maintaining safe operations.”
The company said it believes the request doesn’t contribute to cumulative fatigue “because it does not request exemption from required rest breaks, the requirement for 10 hours off duty between duty periods, or the ’60/70 hour rule.'”
The request is available for public comment here through May 20.
Two Smokey Point drivers recognized as Highway Angels
Kyle Fitzgerald and William Lyons, who drive for Smokey Point Distributing, have been honored for their efforts at the scene of an accident in Michigan last fall.
The two were named Highway Angels by the Truckload Carriers Association for their efforts to divert traffic away from a disabled vehicle in the middle of a busy interstate.
The pair were traveling on I-75 in Michigan bound for Toronto with four pilot vehicles. The lead pilot vehicle radioed back as he topped a hill that there was a two-vehicle accident ahead. A small car was stopped in the middle lane and a box truck was pulled over on the right shoulder.
Lyons and Fitzgerald decided they should stop to help. The small car had rear-ended the box truck only about a minute before they arrived on the scene. “Traffic had not even begun to slow down around the wreck,” shared Fitzgerald. “We pulled to the left shoulder, short of the accident scene.”
Both men credit their pilot teams for the way they handled the situation: Veronica Nutt and Steve Sanders with T&H Pilot Car Services of Verden, Oklahoma; Larry Morris with S.J. Pilot Car Service of West Memphis, Arkansas; and Mike Froncisz with Veteran Pilot Services Ltd. of Ontario, Canada.
For their willingness to help, both drivers were presented with certificates, patches, lapel pins and truck decals. TCA also presented Smokey Point Distribution with a certificate acknowledging their drivers as Highway Angels. EpicVue sponsors the Highway Angel program.
Penske rolls out updated used trucks website
Penske has updated its used trucks website to help customers more easily shop, buy and finance used trucks online easer.
The company says in an effort to support COVID-19 social distancing measures, customers can search through Penske’s online inventory, speak with an expert via phone or email and schedule a safe delivery or pickup.
“I am excited to introduce to commercial vehicle purchasers a website with a new look and feel and an improved customer experience,” stated Jack Mitchell, Penske senior vice president of vehicle remarketing. “When shopping online for the right used Penske trucks to fit your fleet’s needs, the intuitive search function is quicker and streamlined.”
Secure truck parking provider expanding services
Secure Trailer Lots, a company that offers yearly leases for truck parking in 40 cities across 21 states, is now offering overnight and monthly parking options at its Houston, Texas, location. Reservations for the lot can be made online.
The company says the Houston yard will be the “first of many” STL yards to implement short-term parking reservations.