Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020:
Trucker caught in second largest border meth bust
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa commercial border crossing near San Diego seized more than 3,100 pounds of methamphetamine and other illegal narcotics as part of what CBP says is the second largest meth bust along the southwest border in the history of the agency.
On Oct. 9, a tractor-trailer arrived at the facility with a shipment manifested as medical supplies. It was referred for a more intensive inspection, where officers found anomalies with the rear of the trailer.
Officers offloaded the shipment and found 1,816 packages co-mingled with the medical supplies that primarily contained clear plastic pipette tips, spray bottles of surface decontaminate and calibrated pipette tools used for sampling and dispensing liquid.
CBP officers later extracted approximately 3,014 pounds of meth, 64 pounds of heroin, 29 pounds of fentanyl powder and almost 37 pounds of fentanyl pills, worth an estimated $7.2 million.
“This massive seizure is testament of what law enforcement agencies can do when we combine forces – prevent over $7 million worth of deadly drugs from entering our country, thus saving countless lives from addiction and overdose deaths,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery.
The truck driver, a 47-year-old Mexican citizen, was arrested and turned over to the custody of the joint investigative team from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and the DEA. CBP says he will face criminal charges.
FMCSA allowing pulsating brake lights on back of tankers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted a waiver to the National Tank Truck Carriers to allow fleets to install a red or amber brake-activated pulsating lamp in the upper center position or in an upper dual outboard position on the back of tanker trailers, in addition to the steady-burning brake lamps required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
FMCSA granted a similar exemption to tanker fleet Groendyke Transport in April 2019, allowing the carrier to install an amber brake-activated pulsating light in the upper center on the back of tanker trailers in addition to the steady-burning brake lights. Groendyke said over a 30-month period, using the lights reduced rear-end collisions by nearly 34% and eliminated all rear crashes at railroad crossings.
The waiver granted to NTTC allows any carrier using tankers to install the lights. The waiver is effective immediately and is good through Oct. 8, 2025.
New truck inspection facility opens in Texas
The Texas Department of Public Safety opened a new truck inspection facility in Seguin along I-10.
The facility is located on I-10 East at mile marker 620 east of Seguin and includes a number of features to expedite inspections. There is a four-lane wide awning for trucks to pull under, allowing trucks that pass the initial screening to continue on their way while trucks with potential violations are pulled over for additional safety checks.
It also features $1 million in technology that helps detect in real time if a commercial vehicle is following the law, including a weigh-in-motion sensor and an over-height detector, as well as hazardous materials placard and carrier identification sensors. The sensors are connected to a computer database that identify credentialing, violation history and if the vehicle is under a federal out-of-service order. A thermal imaging array examines a truck’s wheels and brakes for abnormalities, such as defective brakes.
A 90-foot platform scale — the only one like it in the state — also allows inspection officials to weigh an entire truck at once.
TruckX releases wired ELD option
ELD maker TruckX has added an in-cab wired ELD option to its lineup, in addition to its existing Bluetooth smartphone and tablet app-based ELD app.
The company says that this allows TruckX users to experience the same app interface through a dedicated unit. There is no Bluetooth connection required and is directly hard-wired with the trucks engine.
TruckX says mounting the device takes only minutes and four screws. The setup includes a heavy-duty tablet that can withstand high temperatures inside the parking lot and can handle daily use, TruckX says. A solid docking station keeps the tablet charged. A mount is included to install on the dash, and it comes with a dual-network SIM card and cloud management, TruckX says.
Like the BYOD app, TruckX says the system includes features like GPS tracking, IFTA calculations, 24/7 customer support and diagnostics included in the monthly subscription service.