Your Nov. 20 Pre-Trip: Trucker retires at 82

Nov. 20, 2015
After 60 years in the industry, trucker Richard Smith is finally hanging up his keys. The veteran trucker from Plumstead is retiring at age 82.
Here are five things worth knowing today: 1. After 60 years in the industry, trucker Richard Smith is finally hanging up his keys. The veteran trucker from Plumstead is retiring at age 82, according to the Bucks County Courier Times. Smith, whose father founded the family trucking business R.W. Smith Trucking, will remain the company’s president, but he’ll leave the driving to his son, grandsons and other employees, the Courier Times reports.2. Moderate wage growth, declining gasoline prices and continued low interest rates on auto loans will drive new car and light truck sales higher in 2016, Steven Szakaly, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), said on the sidelines of the Los Angeles Auto Show. “New light-vehicle sales will rise to 17.71 million units in 2016, a 2.3% increase from our forecast of 17.3 million sales in 2015,” Szakaly said. “This would mark the seventh straight year of increasing U.S. new-vehicle sales.” Szakaly cautioned that without heavy automaker incentives, new-vehicle sales will likely peak in 2016, according to NADA. He added that wages will grow only about 2% over the next 12 months, and interest rates are likely to rise by 50 to 75 basis points by year end 2016. 3. Wayne Finchum, a longtime employee of Titan Transfer, and an accomplice are accused of embezzling $2 million over the past six years, according to the Times-Gazette. Finchum and Jerry Melton Raymer allegedly developed a scheme to defraud Titan, according to the report. The Times-Gazette has more.4. According to the American Trucking Assns., the shortage of truck drivers could reach to 174,000 by 2024. A story in the Republican-American reports that this trend isn’t new; trucking has been down this road before – most recently about 10 years ago. Bob Costello, chief economist at ATA, says that the improving economy has opened more employment alternatives for people who might otherwise be drawn to trucking. The Rep-Am has more.5. The mayors of five cities near polluted freeway corridors are calling for cleaner heavy-duty trucks along those corridors. South Gate Mayor Jorge Morales announced the advent of a breakthrough solution, along with Commerce Mayor Lilia Leon, Maywood Mayor Eddie De La Riva, Bell Mayor Ali Saleh and Compton Mayor Aja Brown on Nov. 17 at South Gate Park at the intersection of Pinehurst and Tweedy streets in South Gate. The five mayors were joined by representatives from the California Energy Commission (CEC), the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) to explain this new solution to clean the air near and around their cities.
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.

Sponsored Recommendations

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...

80% Fewer Towable Accidents - 10 Key Strategies

After installing grille guards on all of their Class 8 trucks, a major Midwest fleet reported they had reduced their number of towable accidents by 80% post installation – including...

Proactive Fleet Safety: A Guide to Improved Efficiency and Profitability

Each year, carriers lose around 32.6 billion vehicle hours as a result of weather-related congestion. Discover how to shift from reactive to proactive, improve efficiency, and...

Tackling the Tech Shortage: Lessons in Recruiting Talent and Reducing Turnover

Discover innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining tech talent in the trucking industry at our April 16th webinar, where experts will share insights on competitive pay...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!