Michigan rest area closing for renovations in April

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, March 31, 2022:

I-94 rest area closing through most of April

If you travel Interstate 94 west of Detroit, be aware that one rest area will be closed for most of April.

The Michigan Department of Transportation said the Belleville Rest Area off westbound I-94 at mile marker 188, west of Belleville Road, will be closed from 7 a.m. Monday, April 4, through Monday, April 25. MDOT said the rest area will be completely closed, including its 33 truck parking spots.

The closing is necessary as crews upgrade the exterior areas for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to MDOT.

During the closure, crews will replace the curb and sidewalks and install new benches, handrails, picnic facilities, tables, stoves, and trash receptacles. 

The next nearest rest area on westbound I-94 is the Grass Lake rest area, which has 19 truck parking spots, restrooms, and vending machines. 

[Related: Operators grade shippers, and the results get surprising]

Werner gets waiver allowing certain CLP holders to drive team

In a notice published in the Federal Register Thursday, March 31, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is granting a five-year waiver to Werner Enterprises that will allow certain commercial learner’s permit holders driving for the company to operate a truck without a CDL holder in the front seat.

Werner requested an exemption to allow CLP holders who have passed the CDL skills test but have not yet obtained their CDL from their home state to drive a truck without having a CDL holder in the front seat, effectively allowing them to drive team.

The waiver went into effect March 31, 2022, and expires March 31, 2027.

FMCSA has previously granted similar exemption requests to C.R. England, initially in 2015, CRST Expedited in 2016, and Wilson Logistics in 2021.

New KW dealership opens in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Kenworth has opened a new 24,000-square-foot Kenworth truck dealership in North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin Kenworth, a subsidiary of CSM Companies, has seven locations throughout the state, including Madison, Green Bay, Menomonie, Milwaukee, Wausau, La Crosse and now Fond du Lac. 

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Wisconsin Kenworth – Fond du Lac is located at 460 N Rolling Meadow Drive, North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The dealership is located on more than 12.5 acres and features 17 service bays, including a Kenworth PremierCare ExpressLane and more than 5,000 square feet for parts inventory.

Driver recognized for helping couple who crashed during icy conditions

The Truckload Carriers Association has named Karl Scholl, from Calgary, Alberta, a Highway Angel for stopping to aid couple who landed in the ditch during icy road conditions. 

Karl SchollKarl SchollThe Bison Transport driver was traveling near Moyie, British Columbia, one morning in December when he noticed other drivers flashing their lights, signaling that there was something up ahead.

“The roads were in poor condition from ice and snow,” he said. “As I crested a hill, I saw a black pickup towing a 12-foot U-Haul in the ditch.”

A couple were standing on the narrow shoulder, he shared. They had lost control on black ice, and their truck had crossed the center line and landed in the ditch at an angle. After some difficulty, they had managed to climb out and make their way up to the road.  

Scholl slowed as he approached the scene and then positioned his truck and trailer as a barricade to prevent other drivers from sliding into the motorists.

“I put on my safety vest and jumped out to check on the couple,” he said. He also grabbed some traffic cones.

Although shaken and scared, the couple told Scholl they were OK and had already called for a tow truck. Scholl invited them, and their two border collies, to wait in his truck and assured them everything would be OK. He then set up traffic cones behind his truck to alert other drivers and began directing traffic in both directions to prevent the scene from becoming worse.  

Once the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrived on-scene, they let Scholl continue directing traffic. He stayed on scene for two hours until the couple’s truck and U-Haul were eventually pulled from the ditch.

In a letter to Bison Transport, the couple Scholl helped said that “not only did [Karl] help us on this very unpredictable and frightening morning, but he restored faith in our hearts that human kindness and caring goes a long way on a very cold December morning. Thanks to Karl, we have learned to pay it forward, and we will always stop to lend a hand to those on the road in need. Thank you, Karl; we are forever grateful.”  

TCA has presented Scholl with a certificate, patches, lapel pin and truck decals. Bison has also received a letter acknowledging him as a Highway Angel.

[Related: Christopher Lloyd is Highway Angel of the Year]

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