Your Jan. 8 Pre-Trip: Truckers say they’ll do what it takes to avoid RI tolls

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. Truck drivers are retaliating against Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo’s toll plan that targets large commercial trucks, saying they’ll do whatever they can to avoid the tolls. According to the Providence Journal, David Roche of Jewelers Shipping Association, a Cranston trucking company, predicts that there will be a lot more big rigs on the Mass Pike and on I-84 in Connecticut if truck toll gantries are placed on major highways across Rhode Island. Other in-state trucking companies claim they will do whatever they can to get around the tolls as well. The Providence Journal has more.

2. Forbes examines how an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP, could possibly help fix the high driver turnover rate in the trucking industry. The article looks at a decade-old ESOP at Paladin Capital, a 1,000-truck operation in Nashville, and the company’s low driver turnover rate. According to Forbes, drivers who are owners help the company achieve “near perfection in on-time performance for its demanding retail chain store clients.” Forbes has more.

3. According to a report in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, a lack of truck parking and drivers’ desire for Tim Hortons coffee have reportedly caused some drivers to begin parking in the middle of a major Saskatoon roadway. The Saskatchewan Trucking Association has warned its members not to leave their vehicles idling while they visit the coffee shop. A spokesperson for the trucking association said large trucks blocking traffic due to a lack of appropriate parking is one of the larger problems facing the industry. StarPhoenix has more.

4. CBC News Nova Scotia reports that trucking association members in southwestern Nova Scotia hope Bay Ferries will consider adding crossings between Saint John and Digby to alleviate a backlog of commercial traffic. Trucking companies, who met with Bay Ferries officials on Thursday, say the backlog is costing them. CBC has more.

5. J & M Towing announced it has added a flatbed truck to its fleet in an effort to better serve its customers, according to the Fond du Lac Wisconsin Reporter. The dual cab can carry up to six passenger cars, which will allow the company to transport families back home when their vehicle is towed, according to the report. J & M Towing has been operating in the Fond du Lac area for nearly 40 years.

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