ATRI wants to hear from owner-ops on detention | New HOS waivers in the Plains

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Jan. 22, 2024:

ATRI calls for owner-op input on detention time

As part of a larger study on the impacts of truck driver detention on the trucking industry, the American Transportation Research Institute has issued a call for owner-operators and motor carriers to participate in a new ATRI data collection on the consequences of driver detention in the industry.

Driver detention -- time spent waiting at shipper or receiver facilities outside of loading/unloading -- is of course a longstanding issue in trucking. ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC) identified the need for new research to document the widespread negative consequences of driver detention for carriers, truck drivers, shippers and the economy as a whole.

The short survey asks owner-operators to share details on their experiences with detention and how the problems bears on their operations, as well as any strategies designed to mitigate detention

Later this year ATRI will release two additional surveys as part of this research -- one for company drivers and one for shippers/receivers. 

Motor carriers and owner-operators can complete the survey here.

[Related: 'Way past ridiculous': Owner-ops sound off on FMCSA's baby steps on detention]

Two Plains states issue HOS waivers due to weather

Certain truck drivers traveling through Montana and North Dakota can operate with an hours of service waiver temporarily as a result of harsh winter weather.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte on Jan. 19 signed an executive order waiving parts 395.3 of the federal hours of service regulations (maximum driving time) for motor carriers and drivers hauling residential heating fuels through Feb. 1. Commodities included in the waiver include heating oil, natural gas and propane.

Gianforte said “recent historic low temperatures and ongoing conditions have caused an increased short-term demand for propane and heating oil and necessitate the timely delivery of these products.”

Additionally, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum issued a 30-day waiver from Parts 390-399 of the federal hours of service regulations through Feb. 17. North Dakota’s waiver applies to drivers transporting propane supplies.

[Related: Cold weather brings HOS relief for these propane haulers]

Paccar recalls 11K Kenworth, Peterbilt trucks over mirror issue

Paccar is recalling more than 11,000 Class 5-8 Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks for an issue related to the cab mirrors, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

Affected trucks include model year 2022-‘24 Peterbilt 535, 536, 537 and 548 models, and Kenworth T180, T280, T380 and T480 trucks. 

In the affected units, the glass lock ring on the cab mirror assembly may not be fully seated, allowing the mirror glass to detach.

Dealers will inspect the mirror glass lock ring and repair it as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 15. Owners can contact Kenworth customer service at 425-828-5888 with recall number 24KWA or Peterbilt customer service at 940-591-4220 with recall number 24PBA. NHTSA’s recall number is 24V-017.

Landstar breaks ground on new Indiana facility

Landstar groundbreaking in Crawfordsville, IndianaLandstar broke ground on a 14-acre site in Crawfordsville, Indiana, for its newest field operations center.Landstar

Landstar System announced Friday, Jan. 19, the groundbreaking of its new field operations center in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

The center is being built on a 14-acre site west of I-74 in Crawfordsville with Landstar’s nearly 10,000 independent leased owner-operators in mind, the company said.. The new 7,000-square-foot building will include classrooms, a conference room and several convenient amenities for owner-operators, such as a business center with free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, showers and a breakroom. 

“Landstar maintains facilities focused on its leased owner-operators across the United States and in Canada,” said Rocco Davanzo, Landstar Transportation Logistics executive vice president of capacity development. “They serve as domicile locations and designated places for Landstar independent owner-operators to connect and network with each other, and to participate in continuous professional education to keep their businesses running smoothly.” 

Landstar owner-operators who visit the new center also will have access to the facility’s secured parking lot, which has spaces for more than 100 trucks and 70 additional passenger vehicles. 

Cummins, Paccar, Daimler joint venture picks location for battery plant

Marshall County, Mississippi, roughly 60 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee, will be the home of an advanced battery cell manufacturing facility for a joint venture founded by Cummins' zero-emissions business segment Accelera, Daimler Trucks & Buses U.S. Holding, and Paccar, the companies announced last week. 

The 21-gigawatt hour (GWh) factory is expected to begin producing battery cells in 2027. The joint venture, announced in September 2023, localizes battery cell production for commercial electric vehicles and is expected to create more than 2,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs, with the option for further expansion as demand grows.

Accelera, Daimler and Paccar will each own 30% of, and jointly control, the business, which will focus on lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery technology for commercial battery-electric trucks. EVE Energy will serve as the technology partner in the joint venture with 10% ownership and will contribute its battery cell design and manufacturing expertise to the future cell manufacturing plant.

DTNA President and CEO John O’Leary noted that localized battery cell production is expected to help drive down costs while the collaboration among truck manufacturers’ biggest players should produce differentiated battery cell technology that supports the adoption of electric vehicles for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. 

“This site selection represents an exciting and tangible step toward advancing our Destination Zero strategy and our vision to lead the industry toward a decarbonized future,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins Chair and CEO. “We are excited to join the Marshall County community to drive economic growth and job creation in Mississippi, while continuing to expand our strong partnerships and serve the diverse needs of our customers.”

The Marshall County site solidifies Paccar's presence in The Magnolia State, as its MX engine line is produced about 130 miles east in Columbus. 

"The state, the communities and the people of Mississippi are wonderful business partners for Paccar. We look forward to expanding that partnership in northern Mississippi with this new battery cell factory that will provide industry-leading cost effective zero-emissions solutions for our customers,” said Paccar CEO Preston Feight.

[Related: Cummins, Paccar, Daimler partner on EV development]

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