Supreme Court requests Solicitor General input on AB 5

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Nov. 15, 2021:

SCOTUS requests Solicitor General input on AB 5 ruling

The United States Supreme Court on Monday invited the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the federal government’s views on whether the Supreme Court should hear the California Trucking Association’s suit claiming federal law preempts California’s AB 5 for the trucking industry. AB 5, if applied to trucking, would effectively ban the leased owner-operator model in California. 

According to Transportation specialists Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hansen and Feary, “it is not uncommon for the [Supreme] Court to ask for the Solicitor General’s views on matters of federal preemption.” The Solicitor General is the federal government’s representative before the Supreme Court.

There is no deadline for the Solicitor General’s brief to be filed. After it is filed, SCOTUS will meet again to determine if it will hear the AB 5 case.

The AB 5 bill, which institutes the restrictive ABC test for determining independent contractor status, took effect in California in January 2020. A federal district court, however, granted an injunction that exempted the trucking industry from the law.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has since ruled that AB 5 was not preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994. The Ninth Circuit then granted a stay of the injunction while appeal is sought in the Supreme Court.

The injunction should remain in place while SCOTUS awaits the Solicitor General’s brief, Scopelitis said.

Truckstop.com offering free load board subscriptions

Truckstop.com is gifting 100 owner-operators and small fleets with a free 30-day subscription to the Load Board Pro level of its service ahead of the holidays to help make sure as much freight is moved as possible.

The first 100 carriers to register for Truckstop.com’s Hauliday giveaway will receive the free 30-day subscription. The offer only applies to new Truckstop.com customers. The new customers will automatically be charged for the subscription at the end of the 30-day trial.

Recent data from Truckstop.com revealed more than 75% of truck drivers have said they plan to take on additional shifts ahead of this holiday season to support struggling supply chains. Of that 75%, more than 56% said they plan to take extra loads so they can take part in delivering goods to fellow Americans during the holidays.

"Truck drivers are the backbone of the American supply chain, so providing them with innovative freight management solutions is even more meaningful this time of year, but more importantly, necessary to keep the supply chain going," said Paris Cole, chief executive officer of Truckstop.com. "The Load Board Pro subscription enables them to efficiently plan their day, check rates, identify the best paying loads and get paid quickly, all essential in running a smooth trucking operation during a historic time in the freight industry."

Truckers Christmas Group to host virtual concert for second year

For the 14th year in a row, Truckers Christmas Group is hosting its annual fundraiser. Over the last 13 years, the group has helped more than 217 trucking families with $127,000-plus raised to assist families in need to deliver Christmas to their children. 

The group will for the second year host a virtual concert on so-called "Small Business Saturday," November 27, featuring trucker-songwriters Bill Weaver and Ken Freeman, The Stone Creek Four band, Laura Joy Music, Jeremiah Craig, and others. During the concert, TCGO's store will offer discounts. 

The group's 2021 Western Boot Raffle proceeds apace to raffle off two pairs from Heritage Boot and Lucchese. The raffle is currently under way through December 24. A drawing will be held live on the TCGO Facebook page on Christmas Eve. The company's third annual raffle with the Road Pro Family of Brands, too, will give away a selection of goods valued well above $500 that were donated by RoadPro. These include the Road Pro Stove on the Go, gloves, flashlights, CB antenna, the new RoadPro Handsfree Bluetooth CB Radio with headset, and more. Find more about TCGO's efforts and how you can participate/nominate a family in need, via the company website. 

In 2020, in spite of the year's many challenges, TCGO assisted 35 trucking families with a non-restricted grant of $650 per family.   

The group hopes 2021's fund-raising efforts will further raise its giving levels. "Even the smallest donation helps to make a difference in the lives of truckers in need," said President Mark Abraham.  

Great Dane trailers recalled over brakes issue

Great Dane Trailers is recalling approximately 200 model year 2020-2022 Everest, Champion and Freedom trailers for an issue related to the anti-lock braking system on the trailers, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

Great Dane says the screws that secure the bracket cover and end cover of the iABS unit may have been improperly tightened, which can allow the screws to loosen and back out, resulting in a loss of pressure in the unit. A loss of pressure can cause loss of brake function.

A remedy for the issue is under development. Owners can contact Great Dane customer service at 1-877-369-3493. NHTSA’s recall number is 21V-841.

Power steering defect prompts recall of certain Mack trucks

Approximately 79 model year 2021 Mack Granite and LR trucks are being recalled due to a machining defect that can cause pressure to build in the power steering pump and break the shaft seal, resulting in a loss of power steering assist.

Dealers will replace the power steering pump for free to remedy the issue.

Owners can contact Mack customer service at 1-800-866-1177 with recall number SC0432. NHTSA’s recall number is 21V-856.

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