Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, June 17, 2020:
Truck dealer group calls for support during ‘Suspend the FET Week’
American Truck Dealers, an offshoot of the National Automobile Dealers Association, has dedicated this week as “Suspend the FET Week” and is asking trucking industry stakeholders to advocate for the suspension of the Federal Excise Tax (FET) on heavy-duty trucks through 2021.
The FET has grown from 3% to 12% since it was instituted in 1917 to help fund World War I, and with many fleet tractors ringing registers for around $150,000, it tacks an extra $18,000 onto most Class 8 trucks.
ATD said the COVID-19 pandemic brought heavy-duty truck sales down 62.5% in May 2020 compared to the same time a year ago.
“Suspension of the FET, which routinely adds $12,000 to $22,000 to the price of a new truck, would immediately spur the sales of newer, cleaner heavy-duty trucks and more importantly retain and support truck dealership and industry jobs,” the group said.
ATD was one of more than 100 trucking industry stakeholders to pen a letter to Congress in April calling for the FET’s suspension.
Two fireworks companies get hours waiver extended
Two fireworks hauling companies have received a waiver renewal from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration allowing their drivers to drive beyond their 14th hour on duty during the Independence Day holiday period.
The waiver applies to drivers of 60 trucks for Illumination Fireworks Partners and Ace Pyro from June 28-July 8 for the next five years.
These drivers will be allowed to exclude off-duty and sleeper-berth time of any length from their 14-hour window. They will not be allowed to drive after accumulating 14 hours of on-duty time, and they will still be subject to the 11-hour driving time limit and the 60- and 70-hour on-duty limits.
The two companies have been operating under the same exemption since 2016.
Pilot opens new truck stop in Illinois
The Pilot Company opened a new Pilot Travel Center in Rochelle, Illinois, in late May. The travel stop, located at 1201 E. Illinois Route 38, adds 78 truck parking spots to the region.
The location also offers eight diesel lanes, Dunkin Donuts self-serve offerings, five showers and more.
The store is the company’s 71st location in Illinois.