Truck Leasing Task Force hosting public session at MATS

Updated Mar 7, 2024

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, March 4, 2024:

FMCSA hosting Truck Leasing Task Force meeting at MATS

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Truck Leasing Task Force (TLTF) will host a hybrid in-person and virtual meeting on Thursday, March 21 with the in-person portion occurring at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. and 1-3 p.m. Eastern, according to a Federal Register notice set to publish Tuesday, March 5. FMCSA is requesting that would-be attendees register in advance by March 14. Pre-registration is not yet available but should be in the coming days.

During the meeting, TLTF will begin consideration of a new task looking at the impact of truck leasing agreements on the net compensation of truck operators, including port drayage drivers, and specific agreements available to drayage drivers at ports related to the “Clean Truck Program” or similar efforts to decrease emissions from port operations.

[Related: Lease-purchase task force zeroes in on restrictive maintenance covenants]

The meeting will also include a visit from Brian Stansbury, FMCSA’s Chief Counsel, and a public comment period that will allow truck drivers and lessees to tell their personal experiences with leases and to present any supporting information they would like to share to assist TLTF in making recommendations on such agreements.  

Oral comments from the public will be heard during designated comment periods from 11 a.m. to noon and 2-3 p.m. Eastern at the discretion of the TLTF chair and designated federal officer. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for each commenter will be limited to two minutes. Speakers are requested to submit a written copy of their remarks for inclusion in the meeting records and for circulation to TLTF members.

[Related: FMCSA lease-purchase task force wants your input]

Kenworth, Mack trucks recalled for air tank issue

Paccar has issued a new recall that affects approximately 697 Kenworth trucks of varying models and vintages, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

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In the affected trucks, the air tanks have an insufficient volume of air for the brake system, and as such, they fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 121, "Air Brake Systems." Insufficient air volume can reduce braking performance and increase the risk of a crash, the recall states.

Truck models included in the recall are:

  • 2009-‘21 Kenworth C500
  • 2014-‘16 Kenworth T440
  • 2009-’15 Kenworth T660
  • 2015-‘24 Kenworth T680
  • 2009-‘24 Kenworth T800
  • 2013-‘23 Kenworth T880
  • 2009-‘19 Kenworth W900

Dealers will install the correct volume air tanks, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 23. Owners may contact Paccar customer service at 425-828-5888 with recall number 24KWD. NHTSA’s recall number is 24V-145.

The same air tank issue also prompted a recall from Mack Trucks of approximately 10 model year 2022-’24 Mack Granite trucks.

Mack dealers will add additional air tank volume, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 15. Owners may contact Mack customer service at 800-866-1177 with recall number SC0458. NHTSA’s recall number is 24V-122.

[Related: Volvo recall hits new VNL, VNR models]

Driver named Highway Angel for helping injured woman lying in highway

Mike Dobis, a truck driver for ABF Freight from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for stopping to help an injured woman on the shoulder of a highway.

Mike DobisMike DobisOn Feb. 14 around 12:50 p.m., Dobis was traveling westbound on I-40 just before exit 25 near Memphis, Tennessee, when he noticed an accident ahead and began to move forward slowly. 

“I realized somebody was laying in the road,” he said. “These people just drove through and I’m like, please tell me they didn’t hit her.” 

Dobis slowed down to stop and got the traffic behind him to stop, and then he checked on the injured woman who was lying in the road.

“She was breathing but in pretty bad shape -- blood everywhere,” the former Marine said.  

Dobis, who has been driving a truck since 1981, called 911 and talked to both the police and the woman while getting a jacket out of her car. He placed it over her to help her get warm, keeping her on the ground and immobile because she complained of back pain.

He said there were four cars and a semi-truck involved in the accident, and all the cars appeared to be immobilized. He suspects the injured woman was ejected out of the passenger window of one of the cars. The driver was nowhere to be found at the site. Dobis stayed with the injured woman until police arrived and dismissed him. 

“All I could do was hold her hand and try to comfort her,” he said. 

Averitt drivers, employees donate $1.5M to St. Jude

Averitt St. Jude donationAveritt associates contribute a record $1,500,001 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, reflecting their commitment to aiding in the fight against childhood cancers.Averitt

Truck drivers and other Averitt associates recently donated $1,500,001 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – a record amount for Averitt’s associates and the fifth consecutive year of a donation over $1 million.

It’s also the ninth consecutive year Averitt associates have either matched or broken their fund-raising record, the company said.

The milestone was made possible through two avenues.

First, the donation was funded by contributions from Averitt associates and retirees participating in Averitt Cares for Kids. More than 95% of associates are members of the charitable-giving organization.

Second, the donation was made possible by a $1 million company contribution in honor of associate accomplishments, milestones, life events and participation in community service projects.  

Averitt Cares for Kids began in 1987 and has contributed more than $15 million to numerous charities, including more than $12 million to St. Jude. Since 1990, Averitt Cares for Kids contributions have been designated to St. Jude as part of their special partnership. And in 1997, Averitt Cares for Kids completed a $1.5 million endowment to help fund the initial construction of the St. Jude Leukemia and Lymphoma Clinic -- 80% of all St. Jude patients visit the clinic at some point during their treatment.

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