Your April 26 Pre-Trip: How severe weather impacts trucking

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. A KULR News 8 report takes a look at how challenging it can be for truck drivers to haul goods from point A to B during severe weather. Frank Molodecki, fleet risk and safety manager at Diversified Transfer and Storage, explains to KULR that there are many challenges weather poses on truck drivers, including the amount and type of fuel, establishing a route, bringing along the necessary supplies, and looking at yesterday’s weather and forecasting the trip. He also explains that consumers typically don’t feel the pinch of severe weather delays until it becomes a serious issue.

2. During Monday’s 2016 NASSTRAC Shippers Conference in Orlando, FL, Derek Leathers, president and COO of Werner Enterprises, addressed the rate rollercoaster U.S. shippers and trucking companies have been riding, according to a JOC report. Leathers referred to what he called “aggressive procurement behavior” on the part of shippers looking to drive truckload rates lower in a soft market, according to the report. JOC has more.

3. Google, Ford Motor Company, Uber, and two others announced today that they will form a coalition to push for federal action to help bring self-driving cars to market, Reuters reports. The group said in a statement it will work with lawmakers, regulators and the public to realize the safety and societal benefits of self-driving vehicles, according to the report. Reuters has more.

4. Texas just spent $4.25 million widening a highway, and according to a Wired report, “in defiance of conventional wisdom among transportation planners,” the state doubled the speed of rush hour traffic on a notoriously congested highway in Dallas. According to the report, the Texas Department of Transportation repaved shoulders along both sides of highway 161 between Dallas and Fort Worth in September. With the extra lanes in place, traffic “started sailing,” according to the report; though it wasn’t supposed to work that way. “The rule of induced demand says widening highways does not ease congestion, and often makes it worse.” Wired has more.

5. Stemco, an EnPro Industries company, and Ridge Corporation announced today that they have entered into a settlement and patent license agreement that brings an end to the litigation between them.  Accordingly, the companies have asked the court to dismiss all claims and counterclaims in the litigation. Ridge is now licensed to use the Stemco patents and will immediately resume its manufacture and sales of GreenTail devices. Stemco’s manufacture and sale of TrailerTail aerodynamic device technology will continue uninterrupted. 

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