News roundup, April 29: Trucking groups call for suspension of federal excise tax on trucks, trailers

Updated Apr 30, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, April 29, 2020:

Trucking groups call for suspension of excise tax on new trucks
A group of more than 100 trucking-related entities – including OEMs, national and state organizations and more – penned a letter to congressional leaders asking for a suspension of the 12% federal excise tax on the purchase of new heavy-duty vehicles.

The letter calls for the suspension until the end of 2021 to help boost new truck sales to help jumpstart the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to help get safer and more environmentally friendly trucks on the road.

“As representatives of the trucking industry and other important sectors of the economy, we believe that the suspension of the FET would serve as an extremely effective and immediate policy to spur the sales of newer, cleaner trucks, which would retain jobs in the trucking sector and help rebuild our economy,” the letter says.

The group says the tax increases the cost of new heavy-duty trucks and trailers by $22,000 on average, adding that the suspension of the tax would “spark the purchase” of these vehicles.

“Suspension of the tax would also encourage the sale of newer trucks, which have the latest safety technologies that help reduce roadway crashes and related injuries and fatalities,” the letter says. “During this crisis, our nation has been more dependent than ever on our trucking fleet for delivery of goods and critical medical supplies, yet the average age of a truck on the road today is almost 10 years old.”

ATA and Protective Insurance partnered to deliver 55-gallon drums of hand sanitizer to 10 locations in eight states for drivers to refill their personal supplies for free.ATA and Protective Insurance partnered to deliver 55-gallon drums of hand sanitizer to 10 locations in eight states for drivers to refill their personal supplies for free.

ATA distributing hand sanitizer to truckers
The American Trucking Associations and Protective Insurance Company have partnered to make hand sanitizer available for truck drivers at 10 locations in eight states with more locations to be announced later.

ATA and member company ABF Freight are hauling 55-gallon drums of sanitizer, purchased by Protective Insurance, for drivers to refill their personal supplies for free.

The first ten locations are:

  • Alabama – Scale house on I-20 eastbound in Heflin
  • Colorado – TravelCenters of America in Commerce City
  • Indiana – Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer in Indianapolis
  • Iowa – Iowa 80 Truckstop in Walcott
  • Ohio – Jet Express in Dayton
  • Pennsylvania – Sideling Hill Rest Stop in Waterfall
  • New Jersey – Molly Pitcher Rest Area at exit 8A and Joyce Kilmer Service Area at exit 8N on the New Jersey Turnpike
  • Texas – Love’s Travel Center in Troy and the Flying J at exit 472 off of I-20 in Dallas

Trucker named Highway Angel for helping at accident scene
An Illinois-based truck driver has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for stopping to help at the scene of an accident between a tractor-trailer and a passenger van.

Steven MarcySteven Marcy

Steven Marcy, of Tinley Park, Illinois, was headed southbound from Indiana to Nashville, Tennessee, in a blowing snowstorm in November when he saw a tractor-trailer up ahead of him sitting across both southbound lanes. The driver had lost control, and a full-size passenger fan had hit the side of the trailer.

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Marcy set his brakes, turned on his flashers and rushed to the scene, where he found the driver of the van disoriented and his wife, in the passenger seat, unconscious. The driver of the truck came over to check on the passengers, and another motorist brought blankets to help keep them warm.

The right front corner of the van was damaged, and the passenger door was jammed. The windshield and right window were also shattered. The driver of the van was upset at the trucker for causing the accident, but Marcy distracted him by urging him to call 911 for an ambulance. He then worked to get into the van to check on the passenger.

“They hit hard,” Marcy said. “The passenger was knocked unconscious and was slumped to the left over the console and bleeding from her head and mouth.”

She began to wake up and complained that her back was hurting. Marcy carefully helped her sit upright, then held her in place and comforted her until EMTs arrived approximately 27 minutes later.

For his willingness to help, TCA presented Marcy with a certificate, patch, lapel pin and truck decals. His employer, ABF Freight, also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel. EpicVue sponsors the Highway Angel program.

Volvo’s ‘Select’ parts store to get Fall upgrade for remote access to dealer inventory 
Under COVID-19 working conditions, Volvo Trucks North America has been encouraging customers to utilize the its Volvo Select Part Store, the company’s e-commerce parts platform, to minimize in-person transactions. Select offers the convenience of online ordering and direct delivery from customers’ Volvo Trucks dealer location.

Today, Volvo says, 53,000 registered users utilize the store through 105 Volvo Trucks dealer groups across the U.S. and Canada. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the service secures parts for customers without the need to visit a dealership for pick up. This Fall, the company says, the store will be getting an upgrade with a next-generation e-commerce platform, with an expanded range of features, functionality and benefits to customers and dealers.

Volvo customers who would like to start ordering parts online through the Volvo SELECT Part Store should contact a participating dealer or visit the Volvo Select website via this link.