Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023:
Disappearance of Iowa trucker remains unsolved
Volunteer search efforts for a missing Iowa truck driver are on hold as search leaders work to find new leads.
Wall Lake, Iowa-based David Schultz, 53, went missing on Nov. 21. His truck, loaded with baby pigs, was found on Highway 71 not far from his destination of Sac City, Iowa. His phone and wallet were found inside the truck, his jacket in a ditch nearby.
The United Cajun Navy volunteer group joined the search for Schultz on Nov. 24, combing more than 100,000 acres around where the truck was found before suspending the search on Dec. 3.
“At this point in our operations, our focus will shift,” the group said in a Dec. 3 Facebook post. “We will be continuing to work with specialized teams and investigators to try and receive any new leads, but at this time we have searched over 100,000 acres around where the truck was found and David's last known location. And we feel we may have exhausted any potential search locations in the area.”
A Dec. 5 report by ABC News noted that search leaders believe they would have found Schultz if he had wandered off because of a medical emergency or other problem.
[Related: Police searching for missing trucker in Iowa]
Bipartisan bill would cut red tape for TSA credentialing programs
The House of Representatives introduced legislation that would cut redundant fees and background checks for workers applying to multiple Transportation Security Agency-managed credentialing programs, such as the Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC) and the program for hazmat endorsements.
The so-called "Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act" would allow workers to apply existing valid background checks to multiple TSA programs rather than having to have a new background check when applying for each program.
The bill was introduced by Reps. Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) and Adam Smith (D-Washington), along with Reps. Mark Green (R-Tennessee), Michael Guest (R-Mississippi), Salud Carbajal (D-California) and Dina Titus (D-Nevada).
“I’ve heard from many transportation workers in my district who have had to spend a significant amount of time and money to keep their required credentials up to date,” Smith said. “The legislation we introduced would create a more streamlined application and renewal process, reducing unnecessary hurdles for transportation workers, a crucial workforce in our economy.”
The bill does not make any changes to the back-end security assessment conducted for individual applicants. Rather, it would change the consumer-facing applicant process to reduce the burden on transportation workers who must maintain more than one TSA credential.
The bill has received support from more than 150 associations, Smith said, including the American Trucking Associations, numerous state trucking associations, the Teamsters union and others.
Similar legislation was previously introduced in the House in 2022, but it never made it to a vote on the House floor.
Free MATS registration open
Truck drivers interested in attending the 52nd Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, next year can now register online for free.
The annual truck show -- one of the nation’s largest -- will be held March 21-23. It will feature hundreds of exhibitors, numerous education events, the PKY Truck Beauty Championship and more.
More information will come available as the event draws closer.
MHC opens new South Carolina dealership
Murphy-Hoffman Company (MHC) has opened its newest location in Fort Mill, S.C.
The new location will support and serve the greater Charlotte area, the company said. MHC has invested more than $26 million into the new dealership, which expands its footprint to 19 states.
MHC Kenworth -- Charlotte is now located at 3361 Highway 21, near the intersection of Interstate 77 and Highway 21. The dealership is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, offering Kenworth and Isuzu new truck sales, all-makes premium truck service and parts. MHC said the state-of-the-art, 90,000 sq.-ft., facility features the only temperature-controlled service facility in the region and an expanded parts warehouse. Additionally, it offers 33 service bays, compressed natural gas (CNG) service capabilities, DPF cleaning, alignment, mobile truck maintenance and certified support for Paccar, Cummins and Cat engines, Eaton drivetrains and Allison transmissions.
It features a driver’s lounge with an 86-inch flatscreen TV, free Wi-Fi, a washer/dryer and dedicated restrooms and showers.
This expansion is one of four newly constructed locations by MHC in 2023. Other newly constructed locations include dealerships in Englewood, Colorado, and El Paso, Texas, as well as an MHC Truck Leasing facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to new construction of advanced facilities, MHC also opened Kenworth locations in Cortez, Colorado, and Dallas (mid-duty) and Grand Prairie (leasing) in Texas.
The new Fort Mill dealership joins 10 other MHC dealership locations and six MHC Truck Leasing locations serving the Carolinas. It will host an open house in the first quarter of 2024 for customers to explore the new dealership and learn more about MHC’s all-makes capabilities.