Trucking news & briefs for June 10, 2020:
FMCSA extends HOS waiver for certain COVID-19 relief haulers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended its hours of service exemption for COVID-19 emergency relief haulers for another month through July 14 while also narrowing its definition of relief loads. The waiver was set to end June 14.
The agency says the extension is due to the national emergency declared by President Trump still being in effect.
The waiver now only covers the following load types:
- Livestock and livestock feed
- Medical supplies and equipment related to COVID-19 testing, diagnosis and treatment
- Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19, such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
No longer included in the waiver are loads of food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of stores; fuel; precursor raw materials like paper, plastic or alcohol; liquefied gases to be used in refrigeration or cooling systems; or equipment, supplies and persons meant to provide temporary housing and quarantine facilities.
FMCSA says there is “no longer a need for emergency relief with respect to the other categories of supplies, equipment, and persons covered by the May 13 extension.”
Bob Voltmann, head of TIA, stepping down at September’s end
Bob Voltmann, longtime president and CEO of the broker group Transportation Intermediaries Association, is leaving the association at the end of September, TIA announced Wednesday. Voltmann has been with TIA since June 1997. He called the decision to step down “difficult,” but that “it is time to continue to change and grow myself by taking on a new challenge.”
“I have accomplished everything I was hired to accomplish,” said Voltmann. “Together, we took TIA from a fledgling organization with weak finances and turned it into an association worthy of the dynamic third-party logistics industry.”
Voltmann had become somewhat of a prominent figure of late in the issues surrounding broker transparency and accusations against brokers of reverse price gouging when the market tilted under the coronavirus pandemic. He defended brokers at large, arguing the market dictates freight pricing.
“I have loved every minute of working with TIA Members and will miss the many friends I have made over the years. There is never a good time, [but] sometimes we have to just take the plunge,” Voltmann said.
New extra-extra-large blade trailer for wind-energy transport
As reported in Overdrive‘s feature detailing some of the ins and out of the heavy-specialized hauling niche in the May issue, as manufacturers push the limit on the size of single pieces of large componentry, increasingly complex, large trailers to move those pieces to their destinations are required. Windmills rotor blades are no exception. Worldwide, trends are seeing blades with lengths well over 200 feet. The new WingMAX trailer from Belgian manufacturer Faymonville, part of the TeleMAX flatbed trailer series, is designed for such blades.
The trailer is long “but also strong and very easy to maneuver,” says Faymonville product manager Rainer Noe, describing the basic principle of the trailer, available as a three or four-axle model.
Technical advantages, the company says, include a long gooseneck stroke, a loading platform with a 4-fold extension, gooseneck length that’s compatible with both four- and five-axle trucks, and strong 19.5-inch pendle axles that provide for a steering angle of up to 60 degrees and a maximum stroke of almost 24 inches. In combination with the hydraulically lifting and lowering gooseneck, the new WingMAX makes obstacles like roundabouts easier to handle (hydraulically operated features can be controlled by a radio remote controller). The gooseneck can be lifted on its own by up to 67 inches. Sliding load supports for the blade tip frame enable the trailer to be shortened even under load — an aid to deal with winding road sections more easily.
Loadsmart partners with Opendock to streamline appointment booking
Digital freight brokerage Loadsmart has partnered with Opendock, a dock scheduling system for shippers and carriers, that will allow shippers to improve the delivery appointment process.
The collaboration looks to automate appointment scheduling for more than 1,800 warehouses that use the Opendock system.
Loadsmart says the integration allows its Smart Scheduling technology to instantly select and book the best appointment by using artificial intelligence to analyze travel time and other factors. If a driver’s ETA changes while en route, Loadsmart can automatically reschedule the appointment.
Arizona adding truck parking to I-40 rest area
The Arizona DOT has expanded a renovation project at the I-40 Meteor Crest rest area to nearly double the truck parking spaces between the eastbound and westbound locations.
With 65 truck parking spaces currently available at the rest area between Flagstaff and Winslow, ADOT is adding 32 spaces to the westbound facility and 24 spaces to the eastbound facility. This $5.2 million improvement was added to a current project renovating both the Meteor Crater Rest Area and the Painted Cliffs Rest Area along I-40 near New Mexico.
A similar project recently completed at the I-40 Haviland Rest Area in northwestern Arizona has added 38 truck parking spaces to the seven already available in each direction. That facility is west of Kingman between mileposts 22 and 23.
“Adding nearly 100 truck parking spaces along the busy I-40 corridor will promote safety by helping long-haul truckers who log long hours to get goods where people need them,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “They can pull into these rest areas with more confidence there will be spaces for them.”
There are 468 total commercial vehicle parking spaces at the state’s 27 rest area facilities.