Heating fuel haulers get HOS relief in Wisconsin

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Jan. 9, 2023:

Hours regs suspended for Wisconsin heating fuel haulers

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Friday issued an executive order declaring an energy emergency related to a shortage of residential heating fuel in the state.

As a result, truck drivers in the process of obtaining or hauling residential heating fuel in Wisconsin are exempted from the hours of service regs.

In his declaration, Evers said winter weather conditions have created strong demand for heating fuel, and added that multiple terminals across Wisconsin have limited supplies of product on-hand, are on allocation, or are loading off of the pipeline, which is resulting in long wait times and drivers traveling longer distances to obtain product.

The declaration is in effect “as long as drivers transporting residential heating fuel are providing assistance for the emergency, or for a period of 30 days,” through Feb 4, whichever is shorter.

[Related: FMCSA again grants hours of service flexibility, paper logs for fireworks haulers around July 4]  

Cross-border truck freight up 13% year-over-year in October

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported last week that cross-border truck freight increased by nearly 13% from October 2021 to October 2022.

Of the $133.8 billion of freight moved between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, $83.3 billion was moved on trucks, which was up 12.9% from the prior year.

Freight between the U.S. and Canada totaled $65.4 billion, up 11.6% from October 2021, and freight between the U.S. and Mexico totaled $68.4 billion, up 16.2% from October 2021.

Between the U.S. and Canada, trucks moved $35.1 billion worth of freight in October, while trucks moved $48.2 billion of freight between the U.S. and Mexico.

The busiest truck port in the nation in October was Laredo, Texas, which saw $21.5 billion in truck freight. Detroit was the second-largest port in terms of trade value, with $10 billion in freight having moved through in October.

The top commodity moved by truck for U.S.-Mexico trade was electrical machinery, making up $11.1 billion, followed by computers/parts ($11 billion) and vehicles/parts ($6.6 billion).

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Computers/parts was the top commodity moved by truck between the U.S. and Canada at $5.7 billion, followed by vehicles/parts ($4.7 billion) and electrical machinery ($2.4 billion).

[Related: Owner-operators' 2023 income expectations trend sharply negative]

CVSA Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative kicks off today

Today is the first day of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s five-day annual awareness and outreach effort to educate truck drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about the crime of human trafficking, the signs to look for and what to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked.

This week, CVSA law enforcement jurisdictions in the U.S. will track human trafficking awareness and outreach activities and events, and submit that data to the Alliance. CVSA will gather the information and report the results this summer.

In addition, in the months leading up to the awareness campaign, CVSA educated its membership and the general public on human trafficking through webinars, radio appearances and online resources. The Alliance also worked with Truckers Against Trafficking to distribute wallet cards and window decals, which are still available upon request.

CVSA selected this week for its 2023 Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative to align with U.S. National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which is Jan. 11, and National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking involves compelling or coercing a person to provide labor or services or engage in commercial sex acts. The coercion may be subtle or overt, physical or psychological. Victims of human trafficking can be anyone, regardless of race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, education level or citizenship status.

“CVSA’s law enforcement and motor carrier communities are committed to bringing attention to human trafficking,” said CVSA President Major Chris Nordloh with the Texas Department of Public Safety. “Working together, we will put an end to this crime.”

If you suspect someone is in a human trafficking situation or you are the victim of human trafficking, call the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or text 233733. The hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Support is provided in more than 200 languages and all calls are confidential and answered live by highly trained anti-trafficking hotline advocates.

As a North American organization, Canada and Mexico will also be participating in CVSA’s 2023 Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative. In Canada, the initiative is scheduled for Feb. 20-24, and in Mexico, it will be March 13-17.

[Related: Owner-operator takes Truckers Against Trafficking up the mountain]

TruckPro acquires St. Louis-based repair shop

TruckPro announced Wednesday the acquisition of the assets related to the operations of Plaza Fleet Parts.

Plaza Fleet was founded 77 years ago by Louis J. Boggeman Sr., and remains a family-owned operation with Louis J. “Jay” Boggeman Jr. serving as president and Paul Boggeman as general manager.

Plaza Fleet has facilities in St. Louis, Missouri, and Denver (operating as Mobile Power & Hydraulics in Denver) and is recognized as an industry leader in the heavy-duty aftermarket.

“Plaza Fleet has a history of dedicated customer service, and Jay and his team have built the business by establishing trust and confidence with their customers,” said Chuck Broadus, TruckPro’s CEO. “We are eager to move forward with this partnership and expand our operations, we welcome the Plaza Fleet team to the TruckPro family, and we are very optimistic about our future together.”

“We are really excited to join TruckPro and look forward to carrying on our legacy through this partnership,” said Jay Boggeman. “Our team has developed a thriving business, and we are confident that this combination will allow us to provide enhanced capabilities and resources that will benefit our customers and our associates as we become an integral part of the TruckPro organization.”