Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, April 13, 2021:
Group urges cities to find more truck parking
The National League of Cities, an organization made up of city leaders from across the country, is asking its members to look at available parking in their jurisdictions and consider using it for truck parking.
An article by NLC Program Director for Transportation and Infrastructure Services Brittney Kohler says cities and towns are reporting some city-managed parking is currently unused, adding that it could be possible to allow truck drivers to use that space.
“Ask your transportation planners how they are looking at the future of parking management and revenue and how other cities are managing parking,” Kohler suggests to city leaders. “Find out if the available parking spots that are underutilized might be appropriate to explore for truck parking.”
Among parking areas she mentions that could be explored for truck parking include:
- Excess airport parking
- City-owned staging areas, properties or parking lots near highway exits or trucking destinations including ports, rail yards or major businesses
- Stadium parking
- Government building parking lots
- Transit or maintenance yards
- Major shopping malls
- Government-owned sites waiting for development
- Warehouses and other major shipping/receiving pressure points
Kohler cites the results of the Jason’s Law surveys and adds that while cities are eligible, “few have used federal grants to modify existing parking or to build new truck parking with existing operators. Cities and towns are only recently experiencing excess parking opportunities.”
She also says that with surface transportation funding reauthorization on the horizon, truck parking could become a grant program cities can take advantage of.
Trucker named Highway Angel for helping young driver after hit-and-run
The Truckload Carriers Association has recognized Jackie Burnette, a driver out of Woodlawn, Virginia, for Mountain River Trucking, as a Highway Angel for his caring support of a young driver following a hit-and-run that pushed her vehicle against Burnette’s tractor-trailer.
It was just before Thanksgiving, and Burnette was traveling where I-40 and I-85 connect east of Greensboro, North Carolina. While driving along, he felt the front end of his truck nearly lift off the ground at the right bumper.
“I’d been hit hard and it was hard to hold it in the lane,” Burnette said. “I looked and saw that a car had just kinda skated off me and then went off to the side.”
He got stopped and called 911, then his safety advisor, and ran back to the scene.
“There was a young lady, and the first thing she did was say how sorry she was and that she didn’t mean to hit me,” he said. “I asked if she was okay. She was really shaken up. She said she thought someone had hit her and pushed her into me. It all happened so fast. I went over and looked and sure enough, someone coming from an on ramp had struck her and pushed her into me and then drove off.”
While there was damage to Burnette’s truck, he credited his carrier for having good equipment.
“I have to give the boss man credit for his equipment,” Burnette said. “He’s got FlowBelows in between the drive tires (axles) on the tractor. When she hit the fender, she bounced off and came down the side and back into my drive wheels. If it weren’t for the FlowBelows, it would have sucked her in beneath the trailer and this would have been a lot worse story.”
TCA has presented Burnette with a certificate, patch, lapel pin and truck decals. His employer has also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.
Large carrier increasing driver pay
Milan Supply Chain Solutions recently announced a pay increase for its regional over-the-road drivers and independent contractors.
Effective April 18, an experienced company driver can expect annual earnings of over $79,000, according to a statement from the company.
Milan also rolled out new pay rates for independent contractors, who can now gross over $189,000 annually, the company says.
“Our drivers are the lifeblood of the company,” said Vice President of People Ops Rachel Lovell. “Their commitment never wavered during the pandemic and continues to stand strong. We want to reward them for their hard work and dedication”
In addition to enhancing drivers' base pay model, Milan has also implemented a minimum pay program.