Eight-state HOS waiver extended | What are the best truck stops?

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Feb. 17, 2023:

FMCSA extends regional emergency declaration

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this week determined an emergency exists that warrants extension of a regional emergency declaration in eight states.

As a result, truck drivers hauling gasoline, diesel and jet fuel into Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming in direct support of the emergency are exempt from Part 395.3 (maximum driving time) of the hours of service regulations through March 17 or until the end of the emergency, whichever is sooner.

The declaration was first issued Jan. 16 and was set to expire Feb. 15. The emergency declaration was issued “in response to the unanticipated shutdown of the Suncor refinery in Colorado, severe winter storms, and high demand resulting in difficulty in obtaining necessary fuel in the affected states, and the current and anticipated effects on people and property,” FMCSA said.

The extension was issued based on the continued response to the Suncor refinery shutdown, impacts of winter storms and high demand for the fuels.

[Related: Colorado refinery shutdown prompts eight-state hours of service waiver]

Convoy digital broker's planned layoffs, Atlanta office closure

In a message to digital-broker Convoy staff posted by company cofounder and CEO Dan Lewis on LinkedIn yesterday, Lewis laid out a new customer-support model that "is flexible, and brings together dedicated support teams, highly trained on one or a few shippers’ needs and operating requirements, powered by our industry-leading digital platform that automates away much of the work of a traditional freight customer support team."

Lewis spoke of "operational efficiency gains of 30%-40%" as a result within the customer-support teams, and less need for staff. The company's Atlanta location would thus be closed, and the company, he said, would need "significantly fewer Atlanta-based employees" in efforts aimed at "speeding our path to profitability." 

Much of Lewis's announcement stressed impacts on shipper-customer support staff -- questions to Convoy about whether or not carrier-support staff would be affected went unanswered Thursday and midway into Friday, February 17. 

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The layoff announcement comes approximately one month after the broker/freight platform announced a new "instant bid response" feature for carriers bidding on freight within the Convoy network and app, automating in part whether a carrier's bid is accepted, rejected or counter-offered. The system uses what the company called "dynamic pricing models" to evaluate bids and changing market conditions. 

[Related: Disruptive behavior most truckers wouldn't give a demerit]

Trucker Path reveals 'Top 100 Truck Stops of 2022'

Rainbow Trucker's Lounge, West Wendover, NevadaThe Rainbow Trucker's Lounge in West Wendover, Nevada, was the highest-rated independent truck stop of 2022 in the Trucker Path app.Trucker Path this week announced the results of its annual ranking of truck stops, with the Top 100 Truck Stops among chain and independent facilities being chosen by the nearly one million Trucker Path app users.

“The 2022 Top 100 Truck Stops chosen by Trucker Path’s driver community includes both chain and independent facilities that offer the best parking, food and other amenities,” said Chris Oliver, CMO at Trucker Path. “This recognition means they are the best of the best among places for drivers to stop based on their offerings and the top-notch customer service they provide.”

For its rankings, Trucker Path gathered more than 8.5 million in-app ratings, reviews and driver feedback to determine the Top 100 from among more than 8,000 truck stops and fuel locations in the app.

The following top five lists represent the overall top five, and the top five chain and independent locations with the highest ratings in their respective categories. Drivers across the nation can look for Trucker Path Top 100 Truck Stops that display a window decal honoring the location and their place on the annual Top 100 list. 

All Truck Stops

1st Place -- Kwik Star #1071, Davenport, Iowa
2nd Place -- Love's Travel Stop #827, Moses Lake, Washington
3rd Place -- Rainbow Trucker's Lounge, West Wendover, Nevada
4th Place -- Bert's Travel Plaza, Wellsville, Kansas
5th Place -- Workman’s Travel Center Ozark, Ozark, Arkansas

Independent Truck Stops

1st Place -- Rainbow Trucker's Lounge, West Wendover, Nevada
2nd Place -- Bert's Travel Plaza, Wellsville, Kansas
3rd Place -- Stones Truck Stop, Watertown, South Dakota
4th Place -- Pinehurst Gas N Go, Pinehurst, Georgia
5th Place -- Iowa 80, Walcott, Iowa

Chain Truck Stops

1st Place -- Kwik Star #1071, Davenport, Iowa
2nd Place -- Love's Travel Stop #827, Moses Lake, Washington
3rd Place -- Workman’s Travel Center Ozark, Ozark, Arkansas
4th Place -- TA Express Vermillion #275, Burbank, South Dakota
5th Place -- Roadstar Travel Center Jarrell #17, Jarrell, Texas

“The Trucker’s Lounge in West Wendover, Nevada, is very pleased to have received this very complimentary designation from the truck driving community,” said Dave Fuller, general manager of Peppermill Resorts. “We appreciate providing a well-lit, safe stopover for our friends passing through I-80 on the border of Nevada and Utah.”

A full list of 2022 Top 100 Truck Stops can be found here.

[Related: BP acquires TA for $1.3 billion]

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