Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Dec. 14, 2020:
Heavy snow expected in Mid-Atlantic, southern New England states this week
Much of the Northeast expects a major winter storm later this week to deliver as much as two feet of snow in some locations, freezing rain in others and blizzard-like conditions in parts of New York, New Jersey and southern New England.
The storm is expected to cover from Southern Illinois, to the Middle Atlantic states, the Northeast and into eastern Canada. It’s still forming and is expected to unfold from Tuesday, Dec. 15, through Thursday, Dec. 17, and affect travel on major thoroughfares, including I-95.
According to the National Weather Service Eastern Region, heavy snow is expected from eastern West Virginia across western Maryland, Pennsylvania, northwest New Jersey, eastern New York and southern New England.
“The combination of heavy snow and gusty winds can create near-blizzard conditions just inland of the coast where all or mostly all of the snow falls from the storm,” AccuWeather said in a report Monday. “Northern New Jersey and the lower Hudson Valley of New York state through southern New England is the most likely zone to experience near-blizzard and whiteout conditions. In this area, winds can frequently gust between 40 and 50 mph, dropping the visibility to near-zero at times at the height of the storm Wednesday night into Thursday morning.”
As much as a foot of snow could be seen in some larger cities, including Boston; Providence, Rhode Island; Hartford, Connecticut; Scranton, Allentown, Harrisburg and State College, Pennsylvania; Patterson, New Jersey; and Hagerstown, Maryland.
Several inches of snow are expected in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Snow is expected to end by Friday morning.
According to Accuweather, ice is forecast to cover parts of western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina, southwestern and central Virginia and part of central Maryland from last Tuesday night to Wednesday.
FMCSA considering changes to driver citation reporting regs
As part of its effort to remove costly, redundant and burdensome regulations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is considering eliminating the requirement that interstate truck drivers annually prepare and submit a list of their traffic violation convictions to their employers.
The agency says the requirement is “largely duplicative” of another provision that requires carriers to make an annual inquiry of each driver’s motor vehicle record (MVR) from every state in which the driver holds or has held a CDL or permit in the past year.
For drivers licensed by a foreign authority rather than by a state, that provision would be amended to require carriers to make an annual inquiry to each driver’s licensing authority where a driver holds or has held a CDL or permit. This change would require carriers to request the MVR equivalent from Canadian and Mexican driver’s licensing authorities.
FMCSA says removing this requirement for drivers to provide a list of their traffic violation convictions would reduce the paperwork burden on drivers and carriers without adversely affecting safety.
The American Trucking Associations previously voiced support for the removal of this requirement for drivers in 2017 when the DOT asked the public to identify rules that were good candidates for repeal, replacement, suspension or modification.
The agency is seeking comment on the proposal, which can be made here through Feb. 12.
Potential clutch issue prompts recall of 1,200 Freightliner Cascadias
Daimler Trucks North America is recalling approximately 1,233 model year 2021 Freightliner Cascadia trucks for a potential issue with the clutch assembly, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.
In the affected trucks, the clutch flange may break due to the heat treating and stamping process, which could cause loose parts to fall into the clutch pressure plate assembly, resulting in clutch disengagement.
Daimler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the clutch on affected trucks. Owners can contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 with recall number FL-869. NHTSA’s recall number is 20V-742.