Your Sept. 28 Pre-Trip: Highway Trust Fund deadline looms amid Boehner resignation

Sept. 28, 2015
The Highway Trust Fund is, however, set to expire on Oct. 29, and its balance could be nearly depleted in November.

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. House Speaker John Boehner, who announced his resignation from Congress last week, said there will not be a government shutdown this month, according to MSNBC. Although the potential for a shutdown has appeared to grow in the recent days, according to the AASHTO Journal, the Highway Trust Fund would not be at risk. The Trust Fund is, however, set to expire on Oct. 29, and its balance could be nearly depleted in November.  According to AASHTO, “Whoever leads the majority Republican caucus in the House would be able to greatly influence the agenda on issues including how to fund the Highway Trust Fund and other surface transportation programs, and when to move an extension or long-term bill.” The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has not released its version of a long-term highway funding plan. The U.S. Department of Transportation warns that the highway fund is set to “fall below safe levels” on Nov. 20 if Congress doesn’t act by then, AASHTO said.

2. Daimler Trucks announced that it is pushing autonomous driving for trucks further. On Friday, Oct. 2, the worldwide first autonomously driving series-production truck will start its maiden voyage, the company announced. Winfried Kretschmann, Prime Minister of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, and Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses, will carry out this tour. The World premiere of the first series-production autonomous truck on public roads will stream live from the rest area Denkendorf/Autobahn A8 this Friday at 9 a.m. GMT – 4 a.m. ET – at Fleet Owner will provide a link to the live stream.

3. House lawmakers are arguing over a pair of bills intended to address recent auto recalls and improve the federal government’s oversight of the auto industry, according to The Hill. Republicans presented the bills on Friday, and Democrats say the proposals are “too lax on automakers” and claim their proposals offer “a more comprehensive overhaul of federal auto oversight,” according to The Hill. Concerns have been raised after a series of auto recalls occurred recently at General Motors and Takata, as well as in the wake of the recent allegations that Volkswagen cheated on federal emissions standards. The Hill has more.

4. In today’s top supply chain and logistics news from The Wall Street Journal, Swift Transportation slashed its outlook for the rest of the year, reporting that its customers are moving toward long-term contracts that can produce lower margins for carriers. Swift also said it based its decision on delayed deliveries of new trucks and legal claims, according to WSJ. The Journal also reports that California trucking companies are preparing for a new environmental rule that they say will increase logistics costs. According to the report, state regulators have reinstated a requirement for a 10% cut “in the carbon content of transportation fuels sold in the state by 2020.”

5. Alcoa Inc., a truck wheels manufacturer, announced that it will separate into two independent companies, Today’s Trucking reports. According to the report, the move will result in a yet-to-be-named company and another company that will keep the Alcoa name. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016, Today’s Trucking said.

About the Author

Cristina Commendatore

Cristina Commendatore was previously the Editor-in-chief of FleetOwner magazine. She reported on the transportation industry since 2015, covering topics such as business operational challenges, driver and technician shortages, truck safety, and new vehicle technologies. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

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