Fleets want more parking, as safety groups push speed limiters, AEBs

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023:

ATA, state associations call on governors to fund truck parking projects 

The American Trucking Associations, through its federation of 50 state associations, on Wednesday called on the governors of every state to prioritize truck parking in their infrastructure spending.

In a letter sent to every governor, ATA and state trucking associations spelled out numerous resources available through the federal government, including money from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to improve and expand truck parking facilities.

“Construction of new truck parking capacity at rest areas or adjacent to private facilities is eligible for funding, as are improvements that allow for increased parking capacity at nontraditional locations, such as weigh stations and commuter lots, when appropriate,” the letter said. “Some states have already utilized these resources to increase parking capacity or improve the operational efficiency of existing facilities.”

The letter cites a U.S. Department of Transportation report that found 98% of truck drivers reported experiencing difficulty finding safe parking. ATA and the state associations added that 70% of drivers report being forced to violate federal hours-of-service rules because of this common scenario. 

The letter urged states to “examine the availability of truck parking within your state and take such actions as are necessary to ensure that truck drivers have a safe place to sleep when they are out on the road delivering more than 70% of America’s freight.”

Parking, as has been reported in Overdrive recently, is at the heart of a number of issues facing owner-operators, including predatory towing, a tire-puncturing maniac and more.

[Related: Trucking's horrific October: Crimes, crashes, and calling it like it is]

Truck Safety Coalition calls for action on speed limiters, AEBs

The Truck Safety Coalition this week called for “immediate action” from federal agencies to advance rulemakings that it believes will increase highway safety.

TSC recently compiled data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and found more than 5,700 people died in crashes involving large trucks in 2021.

The group added that truck-involved crash fatalities have increased  71% since 2009 and, as a result, “more action is needed to combat this deadly rise in crashes,” TSC said.

The Truck Safety Coalition called on Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation “to aggressively pursue commonsense solutions to reduce truck crash violence on our roads.” Efforts TSC wants the government to make include:

TSC also called on FMCSA to require new motor carriers to pass a knowledge exam to prove they know and can implement Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), an idea long-debated among truckers themselves, with past Overdrive showing majorities in favor of a test. 

[Related: 68 mph? FMCSA backtracks after ‘inaccurate’ reveal of speed-limiter intentions]

TA honoring veterans throughout November

TravelCenters of America is continuing its tradition of honoring veterans and armed forces members throughout November at TA, Petro and TA Express locations nationwide.

Starting today, Nov. 1, TA will launch its annual Round Up campaign supporting the Special Operators Transition Foundation (SOTF), a non-profit focused on successfully transitioning veterans into their next career.

Customers at participating locations will have the opportunity to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar amount, with the difference donated directly to SOTF. This campaign will run throughout the month and end on Nov. 30.

TA CEO Debi Boffa said that TA was able to help more than 200 Special Operator veterans in its round-up campaign last year. “We hope to surpass that number this year with the help of our passionate team members and generous guests,” she added. 

On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, active-duty military, veterans and reservists are invited to enjoy a complimentary meal at participating quick-service or full-service restaurants. Veterans will need to present their proof of service prior to ordering. Proof of service can include a Uniformed Services ID card, current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), veterans’ organization membership card, photograph in uniform, DD214 form, a citation, or commendation.

Ritchie Bros. hosting global auction in February

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers will host its global auction event in Orlando, Florida, from Feb. 19-23, 2024.

Known for its size, selection and customer experience, the annual event typically attracts consignors and bidders from all over the world and generates hundreds of millions of dollars for consignors each year. Consignors have their choice of flexible selling options, whether their inventory is listed virtually or onsite at the more than 200-acre facility.

"Our February Orlando auction has become one of the most exciting events in the equipment industry, not only for local buyers and sellers but also across the North American and international markets," said Jeff Jeter, Chief Revenue Officer for RB Global. "Last year, we helped connect consignors and buyers from over 80 countries, using technology that expands the available market and creates efficiencies for our online and onsite customers." 

Bidding for the February 2024 Orlando auction will be available online and in-person, with a live auctioneer and bid catchers onsite. Customers will also be able to explore Ritchie Bros.' core products and services onsite in Orlando, as well as a variety of other services and solutions.

The 2023 auction saw more than 13,300 items sold from more than 1,100 consignors, with 22,600 bidders and $244 million in transaction value cumulatively.

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