Mask mandate from CDC skips truck drivers

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Feb. 1, 2021: 

Truck drivers exempt from CDC mask mandate
Operators of commercial trucks traveling alone are explicitly exempt from a transportation-focused mask mandate issued Friday, Jan. 29 by  the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the 11-page CDC order. The order requires passengers on public transportation -- buses, trains, airplanes, taxis and ride-share (Uber, Lyft, etc.), among other public transportation systems -- to don a face covering. The order, however, does not apply to truck drivers, which are specifically stated as being exempt from the mandate so long as they do not have a passenger. If they do, both parties must wear a mask to comply with the CDC order. 

Rhode Island, N.Y., order tractor-trailers off certain highways as winter storm rolls in
Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo issued a proclamation prohibiting tractor-trailer trucks from all state highways effective at 5 a.m. this morning, Monday, February 1.

This restriction, the state said, was intended to aid the Rhode Island Department of Transportation's efforts to keep highways passable and safe for emergency vehicles. Forecasts called for snow intensifying quickly on Monday. 

As conditions change in states up and down the Eastern seaboard, keep an eye on them via Overdrive's Roads 511 Twitter list aggregating state DOTs and 511 travel info services via this link.

The New York State Thruway Authority along with the state's governor issued a similar prohibition on "all tandems, short and long," for the New York State Thruway effective Monday at 5 a.m. in the following locations:

  • I-87 from NYC Line to Exit 24 (Albany)
  • I-95 (New England Thruway)
  • I-287 (Cross Westchester Expressway)  

In addition, effective 5 a.m. Monday, all empty trailers were to be banned on the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, I-87 between Exit 8 to Exit 21A and the Berkshire Spur.

Brakes issue prompts recall of small number of Daimler vehicles
Daimler Trucks North America is recalling a small number of vehicles manufactured with a certain steering arm configuration with air disc brakes, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The recall affects approximately 133 model year 2021 Western Star 4700 and 5700, Freightliner Business Class M2, Cascadia, and Custom Chassis XC Chassis vehicles. 

On these trucks, one of the six brake caliper mounting bolts on the driver side steer axle may have been incorrectly tightened, which could cause the other caliper bolts to loosen and not provide adequate clamping force between the brake caliper and brake anchor plate, reducing braking effectiveness.

Daimler will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and repair the trucks if necessary. Affected truck owners can contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 with recall number FL-873. NHTSA’s recall number is 21V-018.