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AT NewsBlitz: A call for more truck safety tech; truckers and the port settlement; will laid off oil field workers take the wheel?

Feb. 23, 2015
American Trucker’s round-up of this and that this week features bite-size news of safety groups who want mandatory collision avoidance systems for big trucks; the labor settlement at the West Coast ports; trucking looks to laid off oilfield workers to fill diver’s seats; computer problems back up trucks at a Texas border crossing; and a reporter goes along for a spin in a snowplow.
American Trucker’s round-up of this and that this week features bite-size news of safety groups who want mandatory collision avoidance systems for big trucks; the labor settlement at the West Coast ports; trucking looks to laid off oilfield workers to fill diver’s seats; computer problems back up trucks at a Texas border crossing; and a reporter goes along for a spin in a snowplow.

A coalition of highway safety groups has filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requesting that the agency initiate rulemaking to require forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems on all new large trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or more.

NHTSA has estimated that current generation systems can prevent more 2,500 crashes each year and future generation systems could prevent over 6,300 crashes annually. However, the agency has not yet decided to move ahead to require this basic crash avoidance technology, the groups note.  Here’s a video demonstrating how such a system works.

The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have announced a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports—but that’s about all the sides are saying after a long and bitter feud slowed ocean imports and exports to a trickle.Port truckers are ready to get back to business-as-usual, a KTVN News reports. 

"Our trucking members have been significantly impacted by the events of the last few months and we respectfully call on the PMA members to work with us to ease the operational and financial burdens we face as we help the industry dig out from under this backlog," said California Trucking Assn.’s Alex Cherin, executive director of the CTA's Intermodal Conference.

Can truckers work for a former punk rock artist with nose ring who didn’t get her automobile driver’s license until she was 28? Apparently, according to a profile of the RFX CEO on FastCompany.com.

One industry’s bust could be another’s boon: Motor Carriers are trying to scoop up laid off oil field workers to fill empty driver’s seats, Bloomberg News reports.

When the system’s already pushed to its limit, any little problem can turn into a big mess. That’s what happened at the U.S.-Mexico border in Brownsville, TX. crossing when a computer glitch caused southbound traffic to slow to a trickle at Veterans International Bridge, resulting in a line of trucks that stretched back toward the port.

Tis the season: With ice and snow dominating the weather forecast—and clogging roads from coast to coast—one may well wonder what it’s like to be a snowplow driver. The Daily Journal of Parkhill, MO goes along for a scrape. And there’s video:  

About the Author

Kevin Jones | Editor

Kevin has served as editor-in-chief of Trailer/Body Builders magazine since 2017—just the third editor in the magazine’s 60 years. He is also editorial director for Endeavor Business Media’s Commercial Vehicle group, which includes FleetOwner, Bulk Transporter, Refrigerated Transporter, American Trucker, and Fleet Maintenance magazines and websites.

Working from Little Rock, Kevin has covered trucking and manufacturing for 15 years. His writing and commentary about the trucking industry and, previously, business and government, has been recognized with numerous state, regional, and national journalism awards.

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