Your June 22 Pre-Trip: Improving conditions for women in trucking

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. Former truck driver seeks to improve conditions on the road

Before earning her CDL, Kim Bourne worked as a trauma, ER and flight nurse in Kentucky for 13 years. In 2008, she earned her CDL and joined her husband on the road. According to a University of Kentucky News report, though Bourne enjoyed life on the road, she also witnessed the ugly side of trucking. She noticed women in the profession were often victims of sexual harassment and oppression at truck stops and over CB radios. Bourne eventually retired from the industry and went to graduate school. Now, she plans on conducting research on the disparities among female truck drivers and domestic violence within the trucking industry. UK News has more.

2. Shippers urged to lock in rates now

According to a Spend Matters report, since trucking costs are due to rise, locking in rates near current levels will generate savings. Economist Paul Robinson states: “Rising oil prices are filtering through to fuel prices and finally to trucking rates, hitting the industry as it also grapples with the ongoing driver shortage. The most likely response to that shortage is that wages will also have to rise, giving further support to rising rates.” Spend Matters has more.

3. Flow Below Aero raises $1.5M

Developer of aerodynamic systems for tractor-trailers, Flow Below Aero reported that it raised $1.5 million, the Austin Business Journal reports. Flow Below’s AeroKit system is designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve fuel efficiency by more than 2%, the company said. According to the report, it costs $1,800 to outfit one vehicle.

4. Food truck tackles food inequity

Some Kansas City entrepreneurs are using the concept of food trucks to tackle food inequity in their city. According to a KCUR Morning Edition report, the Rollin’ Grocer, a custom-built trailer that boasts air conditioning, refrigeration, a security system, and more than 600 different items, parks in front of areas of the city that lack full-service grocery stores. KCUR has more.

5. Workhorse Group lauds new FAA rules for commercial drone flights

Workhorse Group applauds the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) June 21 release of new rules approving the routine commercial use of drones weighing less than 55 lbs. The rules allow drone operators to fly without special permission from the FAA. Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse, said: “The FAA’s new rules represent a welcomed first step in the modernization of commercial drone flights in the United States. We believe Workhorse is uniquely placed within the commercial package delivery sector to take advantage of this rule. Unlike other companies that are likely to adapt off-the-shelf drone technology for package delivery, Workhorse has been alone in conceiving a truck-and-drone delivery model literally from the ground up. Our HorseFly drone provides an ideal drone-based package delivery system in tandem with our Workhorse E-GEN electric delivery truck. In addition to the financial savings and environmental benefits Workhorse provides, the drone and truck combination satisfies the operational limits outlined by the FAA today. This includes the ability to maintain visual contact with the drone as it approaches a residence to drop off a package. We are currently studying the FAA rules in detail and plan to take advantage of the greater leeway they allow us as the drone-based package delivery space continues to evolve rapidly.”

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