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California Trucking Association files AB 5 appeal with U.S. Supreme Court | I-70 still closed in CO

Updated Aug 14, 2021

Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021:

AB 5 officially appealed to U.S. Supreme Court

The California Trucking Association on Monday, Aug. 9, filed a petition for a writ of certiorari before the United States Supreme Court in CTA’s continuing litigation against California’s AB 5.

“We believe the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) prohibits a state statute such as California’s AB 5 that clearly abolishes the historic role within the trucking industry of independent owner-operators,” said CTA CEO Shawn Yadon.

Yadon added that there are more than 70,000 owner-operators in the state that could suffer “irreparable damage” if AB 5 is applied to the trucking industry.

“It is our hope the United States Supreme Court will take up this urgent matter of national significance and we are asking the country’s highest court to fully consider the question of FAAAA preemption of the ‘all or nothing’ ABC test and resolve the circuit conflicts that exist on this issue.”

[Related: California A.B. 5: Likely next steps, wait-and-see mode prevails with uncertainty after court ruling]

In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the problematic ABC test within AB 5 for determining independent contractor status in California should apply to the trucking industry, essentially banning the traditional leased owner-operator model in the state. The court denied a request for a rehearing in June, then granted a stay to CTA to keep trucking’s exemption from the law in place until the case plays out in the U.S. Supreme Court.

If SCOTUS chooses to hear the case, the injunction will be stayed until the Supreme Court’s disposition of the case. If SCOTUS declines to hear the case, the injunction will be lifted immediately.

The Supreme Court usually takes about six weeks to decide whether or not to hear a case. There is then a period of about 80 days in which the parties in the case file briefs with the court before the case is heard.

[Related: The California contractor conundrum: 'It's a waiting game, with a lot at stake']

I-70 remains closed in Colorado after mudslides

Progress continues to be made on cleaning up part of Interstate 70 in Colorado that was closed indefinitely by rock and mudslides late last month.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said Monday that good weather allowed crews to do significant work over the weekend. However, detours remain in place and CDOT continues to suggest truckers avoid I-70 through the state altogether and take I-80 through Wyoming or I-40 through New Mexico.

A stretch of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon was closed after heavy rains July 31 caused flooding and rock and mudslides near the site of the scar left by an earlier wildfire. It was estimated that some 100 vehicles were trapped on the highway by the mudslides. 

CDOT said crews removed 440 truckloads of debris – each weighing about 13 tons – from the closed section of the highway Saturday and Sunday, August 7 and 8.

The stretch of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon has long been an issue of concern for Coloradans, including those in the trucking industry. So much so that there have been discussions about, but no action on, creating a secondary route for use in circumstances such as the recent mudslides.

Writing in Colorado Politics, Colorado Motor Carriers Association President Greg Fulton said the state needs to act sooner than later to create a detour around Glenwood Canyon.

"We commend CDOT for not only their extraordinary efforts toward reopening I-70 as early as possible but also broaching the issue of the need for a reasonable and safe detour around I-70 for those times when Glenwood Canyon is closed," Fulton said.

He added that state and federal governments ought to invest in improvements to Cottonwood Pass, a county route that would need to be upgraded to handle increased traffic. 

[Related: Roads 511: Highway information in real-time]

SelecTrucks expands component warranty coverage on used trucks

SelecTrucks, one of the largest retailers of used trucks in North America, announced expanded component coverage and a new warranty concierge program, administered by Fleetrock, to enhance its 60-Day Buyer’s Assurance coverage.

Select Limited Warranties are zero deductible with no aggregate limits and include unrestricted progressive damage on covered components. They are available up to 48 months, 400,000 miles and are backed by the strength and reputation of Daimler Trucks North America. SelecTrucks' 60-Day Buyer’s Assurance coverage is included with every Select Limited Warranty plan and provides added confidence for those first months of used truck ownership.

SelecTrucks' 60-Day Buyer’s Assurance component coverage has been expanded to include:

  • After-treatment system control modules and diesel exhaust fluid lines
  • Detroit Assurance cameras and radar sensors
  • Detroit DT12 clutch actuator and shift controller 
  • Powertrain harness and powertrain sensors

In addition to the expanded component coverage, SelecTrucks’ 60-Day Buyer’s Assurance now includes Fleetrock after-sales support. Fleetrock is a leading provider of fleet management services and will provide SelecTrucks customers with around-the-clock after-sales support for their first 60 days of ownership, including warranty concierge service.

[Related: Senate passes $1 trillion infrastructure bill, skips truck parking funding, insurance hike]

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