How are state marijuana laws impacting trucking? Driver input needed

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, April 3, 2023: 

ATRI seeks driver feedback on impacts of marijuana legalization

The American Transportation Research Institute on Monday launched a truck operator survey to better understand the impacts of state laws legalizing marijuana when it comes to the trucking industry and its workforce.

ATRI first deployed this survey in-person at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, last week, where more than 300 drivers completed it. ATRI has now placed the survey online for additional feedback.

ATRI’s marijuana impacts research was designated a top priority of its Research Advisory Committee in 2022. The topic was identified as critical because of the conflict and uncertainty between new state laws legalizing marijuana and long-standing federal law, especially for those that are part of a federally-regulated workforce such as trucking.

The survey asks for driver perspectives and knowledge related to new state laws, as well as the impact of these laws on roadway safety and the workforce.

“Driver input is a critical component of ATRI’s research, and this newest survey is no exception,” said ATRI President Rebecca Brewster. “We hope that professional drivers will take a few minutes to provide their perspectives on this critical topic.”

Truck drivers can complete the confidential survey online here through April 28.

[Related: Can truckers use CBD? All you need to know about cannabis, hemp, testing and the clearinghouse]

TravelCenters of America getting closer to acquisition by BP

last-minute bid from convenience store operator ARKO Corp. didn't slow down BP Products North America Inc.'s bid to acquire TravelCenters of America. TA on Monday said it filed its definitive proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its pending acquisition by BP. Under the terms of the pending transaction, BP will acquire all of the outstanding shares of TA common stock for $86 per share in cash.

The Special Meeting of Shareholders to approve the pending acquisition of TA by BP is scheduled for Wednesday, May 10, at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. Subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to close three business days after the Special Meeting.

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ARKO Corp., one of the largest convenience store operators in the U.S. with 3,200 locations under various brands, last week issued a letter urging TravelCenters of America’s board of directors consider ARKO’s proposal to acquire TravelCenters -- a bid the TA brain trust had already rejected. 

Tesla Semis recalled for parking brake issue

While it’s unclear exactly how many Tesla Semis have been built and delivered, we now know it's at least 35. 

Tesla is recalling 35 of its all-electric Semi tractors to fix an issue with the parking brake, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The company said the electronic parking brake valve module (PVM) may fail to move into the park position when the parking brake is activated, increasing the likelihood of a rollaway and/or crash. 

Tesla service will replace the PVM free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 23. Owners can contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752 with recall number SB-23-33-001. NHTSA’s recall number is 23V-205.

PepsiCo took delivery of the first production Semis Dec. 1, and during the company's third-quarter earnings call, Musk said Tesla would produce 50,000 Semis a year starting in 2024. 

[Related: Tesla's 'badass' Semi torn apart by operators]

Hazard light noncompliance lands 24,000 Cascadias in a recall

Daimler Trucks North America is recalling a large number of Freightliner Cascadia models for a noncompliance issue related to the hazard lights.

DTNA is recalling approximately 24,282 model year 2020-21 Freightliner Cascadia trucks in which the hazard warning lights may flash improperly during an Advanced Braking Assist event. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment."

Dealers will update the software controlling the hazard warning lights for free. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 19. Owners can contact DTNA customer service at 800-547-0712 with recall number FL851. NHTSA’s recall number is 23V-208.

The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
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