Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, April 14, 2022:
Texas governor eases some pressure at border
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott late Wednesday afternoon agreed to decrease inspections by the Texas Department of Public Safety at one border crossing in Laredo after meeting with leaders of Nuevo León in Mexico.
Abbott and Nuevo León Governor Samuel Alejandro García Sepúlveda signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday in which Sepúlveda agreed to increase enhanced inspections on the Mexican side of the border, and Abbott agreed to back off on state inspections at the Laredo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge “to restore the border-crossing inspections process to allow crossings at a faster pace,” the agreement reads.
The agreement comes after Abbott last week ordered Texas DPS to conduct inspections at U.S.-Mexico border crossings, in addition to those already conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to curtail the flow of drugs and human trafficking into Texas, according to the governor's order. It resulted in major slowdowns at border crossings for truck drivers, and Mexican truckers even blocked the Pharr International Bridge in protest of the order.
“Until President Biden enforces the immigration laws passed by Congress, Texas will step up and use its own strategies to secure the border and negotiate with Mexico to seek solutions that will keep Texans safe,” Abbott said. “This historic memorandum of understanding between Texas and Nuevo León is a major step in the Lone Star State's efforts to secure the border in the federal government's absence.”
Abbott's charge of the federal absence is a reference to the Biden Administration’s decision to end Title 42 expulsions — which allowed CBP agents to prohibit immigrants at the Mexican border from entering the U.S., even those seeking asylum, if they potentially pose a COVID-19 health risk.
A press release from Abbott Wednesday afternoon said that his office has been in contact with governors of other Mexican states about signing similar agreements.
Reitnouer intros new line of flatbed trailers
Reitnouer has introduced the new CK Series of aluminum flatbed trailers.
Aimed at the “combo trailer” market, each of the Reitnouer CK-80, 90 and 100 trailers is some 1,000 to 1,800 pounds lighter than comparably equipped steel-aluminum/combo trailers, the company said.
The Reitnouer CK Series trailers also feature an innovative design and an advanced coating platform that virtually eliminates rust and corrosion issues. Reitnouer said the CK trailers are also durable and easy to repair — delivering double the trailer lifespan over steel/aluminum combination trailers.
“This is a trailer that we engineered from the ground up to compete very favorably with composite/combo trailers, including a price point that is very, very competitive,” said Bud Reitnouer. The Reitnouer CK-80, 90 and 100 trailers are now available across the United States and Canada and in-stock at many Authorized Reitnouer Dealers.
Rhode Island seeks trucker input on parking
The Rhode Island Division of Statewide Planning is seeking truck driver input on a statewide Truck Parking Study.
The new study is intended to identify truck parking gaps and to develop potential solutions. Truck drivers and other industry stakeholders are being asked to share their perspectives and experiences on truck parking in Rhode Island through an online survey.
Trucker recognized for helping revive unresponsive crash victim
The Truckload Carriers Association has named ABF Freight System truck driver Paul Jones a Highway Angel for using his military medical training to revive an unresponsive injured passenger after a car crash last November in Old Mystic, Connecticut.
On Nov. 29, 2021, around 11:10 p.m., Jones was driving southbound through the area on Route 95. He said a car passed him on the left, then proceeded to crash into a trailer traveling in front of it.
The car then veered into Jones’ lane and ran off the road into the woods. Jones and other vehicles stopped to help, and Jones called 911. Other witnesses to the accident that stopped pulled the injured man out of the vehicle and laid him on the ground. He was unresponsive.
“My military stuff just kicked in,” said Jones, referring to emergency medical training he had received during his five years in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served from 1981 to 1985. Jones couldn’t detect a pulse in the injured man, so he applied a medical procedure he learned in the Marines, called a sternum massage.
“I got down on my hands and knees, I gave him a little smack on the sternum,” he said. “He actually came back to life and scared the hell out of me.”
Jones recalled that when emergency personnel arrived on the scene and he described what he had done to help the crash victim, one of the EMTs said, “Man, it’s good to be in the right place at the right time.”
TCA has presented Jones with a certificate, patches, lapel pin and truck decals. ABF has also received a letter acknowledging him as a Highway Angel.