Peterbilt 579, 567 units recalled over U-bolt issue that could impact fuel tanks

Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023:

Inconsistent U-bolt length prompts recall of Peterbilt trucks

If you own a 2021-’24 model year Peterbilt 579 or 567, it may be subject to a new recall.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents, Paccar is recalling approximately 1,315 of the units because the U-bolts that attach the air tank to the chassis may contact the fuel tank and, over time, wear a hole in the tank. A punctured fuel tank can leak fuel, increasing the risk of a fire.

Dealers will inspect and trim the U-bolts, and replace the fuel tank as necessary, free of charge.  Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed Nov. 24. Owners can contact Peterbilt's customer service at 940-591-4220 with recall number 23PBH. NHTSA’s recall number is 23V-653.

[Related: Paccar recalls a range of medium-duty trucks]

Weight exemption for Iowa ag haulers extended

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Oct. 11 signed an extension of a proclamation relating to the weight limits and transportation of grain, fertilizer and manure. The proclamation was first issued Sept. 11 and was set to expire Oct. 11. It is now effective through Nov. 11.

The proclamation allows vehicles transporting corn, soybeans, hay, straw, silage, stover, fertilizer (dry, liquid and gas), and manure (dry and liquid) to be overweight (not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight) without a permit for the duration of the waiver.

This waiver applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa (excluding the interstate system) and those that don't exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight. Other stipulations that must be met to take advantage of the exemption: 

  • The load cannot exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code § 321.463 (6) (a) and (b) by more than 12.5%
  • The load cannot exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds
  • Drivers must comply with posted weight limits on roads and bridges

[Related: Certain Iowa ag haulers get temporary weight exemption]

Calstart begins work on plan for zero-emission corridor

Industry nonprofit organization Calstart announced Monday the launch of a project to guide investment in commercial medium- and heavy-duty (MHD) zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure along I-95, one of the nation's most heavily traveled freight routes.

The East Coast Commercial ZEV Corridor project will incorporate input from fleet operators, the charging and fueling industry, utilities and communities to determine the most equitable and efficient path forward to support ZEV deployment.

"The I-95 Corridor project, once completed, will put into practice the integration of zero-emission vehicles, infrastructure, and addressing climate-change issues that has been carried out in other areas of the country," said John Boesel, president and CEO of Calstart. "The successful implementation of this project will put to rest the unfounded concerns of zero-emission opponents by demonstrating that this technology is both economically feasible and a benefit to all."

Funded by a $1.2M grant from the Department of Energy, the two-year initiative will define the locations, contributors and processes that could result in an advanced technology, zero-emission freight corridor up and down the Eastern seaboard.

The Calstart-led ZEV Corridor project hopes to transform the I-95 thoroughfare from New Jersey to Georgia, the firm said, into a model of MHD ZEV efficiency. 

[Related: Hight Logistics: Among small fleets, definitely 'one of the first' proving out battery-electric in drayage]

New TA Express opens in Kansas

TravelCenters of America is continuing its expansion efforts with the opening of a TA Express in Fairview, Kansas. 

The new TA Express is a franchised site, formerly known as Bert’s Express, and offers fueling, convenience items, dining options and other services for professional drivers and motorists. The site is located on the corner of U.S. Highway 75 and West 1st Street.

The location features an A&W restaurant, with plans to open a new Dunkin. It also offers 40 truck parking spaces, three diesel fueling lanes, three showers and more.

The Fairview TA Express is the company’s seventh location to open in Kansas, growing the total nationwide network of travel centers to 292. 

[Related: TA buying historic Route 66 truck stop]