Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

January 2024

Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) Now Accepting Nominations For TCA Professional Drivers Of The Year Award

Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is now accepting nominations for its TCA Professional Drivers of the Year through December 8, 2023. 

  The awards program, revamped last year with a name change and increased cash prizes, celebrates five drivers with a prize of $20,000 per driver and recognition at TCA events and publications throughout the year. 

  Nominees are expected to show a commitment to safety, demonstrate leadership on and off the road, and contribute meaningfully to the success of their companies or to the industry. Drivers must be nominated and employed by a TCA carrier member.

  “We are thrilled with the success of the revamped TCA Professional Drivers of the Year awards program. We are proud to shine a spotlight on our industry’s incredible truck drivers who not only tirelessly deliver goods and keep our economy moving, but they also make amazing contributions within their communities and at home.” Said TCA President Jim Ward. “We also extend our heartfelt appreciation to Loves and Cummins for their support, which has been instrumental in making this program possible throughout the years.” 

"Every day, the Love’s Travel Stops’ team strives to make life on the road easier for professional truck drivers. These underappreciated heroes impact each and every one of us as they perform one of our country's most demanding and important jobs. We are honored, once again, to recognize those drivers who set the highest standard for the industry mile after mile." said Jon Archard, Love's Travel Stops' Vice President of Fleet Sales.

José Samperio, Vice President and General Manager of the North American On-highway business for Cummins Inc. is also proud to be a part of this program. “Many truckers are responsible for more than just safely transporting the goods we rely upon in our daily lives. When they aren’t logging miles, they are also responsible for community involvement, peer leadership, and improving their respective company cultures. Cummins is honored to continue to support the TCA Professional Driver of the Year program that rewards those drivers who go above and beyond to make a positive difference in the world around them.”

Applications to nominate a driver are now open and will run through Dec. 8, 2023. To submit a nomination visit Winners will be recognized during TCA’s Annual Convention in Nashville, TN. from March 23 to 26, 2024. 

Freight Advocacy Coalition Applauds Appointment of Allison Dane Camden to Lead USDOT Freight Office

WASHINGTON, DC… The Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC) congratulates Allison Dane Camden on her appointment to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Office of Multimodal Freight Infrastructure and Policy (Freight Office) as the first Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multimodal Freight. She most recently served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Multimodal Development and Delivery for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) – a member of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors. CAGTC Executive Director Elaine Nessle offered the following statement:

 “Allison Dane Camden is a proven leader with extensive experience working in the transportation and goods movement industry. From her time supporting Congressman DeFazio and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in advancing various freight policy initiatives, to leading government relations at WSDOT for one of the most trade dependent states in the country, Deputy Assistant Secretary Camden is ideally suited to take on this important leadership role at USDOT. Over the years, CAGTC has had the pleasure of working with Ms. Camden in her various roles. Her comprehensive policy expertise and strong understanding of our nation’s complex and multifaceted freight infrastructure needs will prove valuable to the Administration and freight community alike.

 In advancing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Congress recognized the complex nature of national freight policy and investment decisions by calling for the establishment of a dedicated freight office within USDOT, which has been a longstanding priority for CAGTC. The Freight Office will serve as an essential resource in facilitating improved modal alignment and coordination among federal agencies, overseeing the administration of multimodal funding programs, and guiding national freight planning and policy development.

Throughout her impressive career, Deputy Assistant Secretary Camden has demonstrated the leadership and specialized multimodal freight industry knowledge needed to carry out the Freight Office’s mission and begin establishing its legacy for decades to come. CAGTC looks forward to supporting her and the Freight Office on this important work.”

RIDOT Permanently Closes Old Downtown Newport Exit Effective December 8

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding motorists that effective December 8, it permanently closed the old Downtown Newport exit on Route 138 East coming into Aquidneck Island from the Pell Bridge. With its closure, all traffic will use the new ramp system to access Downtown Newport.

The new alignment replaces the exit with an intersection one-quarter of a mile after the old exit. Drivers should stay left after the old off-ramp and use one of the two lanes for turning left at the new JT Connell Connector Road, then left again onto JT Connell Highway toward Farewell Street and Downtown.

The JT Connell Connector Road opened last year and drivers can use this today as an alternate route to Downtown. RIDOT recommends travelers use the new road to become familiar with it before the old exit closes.

The new ramp system was designed to improve safety and reduce congestion, especially the backup of vehicles on the bridge from the Downtown Newport exit. RIDOT estimates the change will reduce rear-end and sideswipe crashes by 80 percent and reduce vehicle emissions.

In addition to the new ramp system’s benefits to safety and efficiency, the $74 million Pell Bridge Ramps Phase 2 project will improve the connection between Newport's North End and the Downtown area for all users. The project includes a shared-use bike path and new commuter parking lot, both expected to open next year.

With a smaller footprint, the new design also will spur economic development as it frees up approximately 25 acres of land. It will be finished by the end of 2024.

Additional information about the project and the latest traffic pattern changes will be posted at The web page also has a form anyone can use to sign-up to have regular project updates emailed directly to them. 

All construction projects are subject to changes in schedule and scope depending on needs, circumstances, findings, and weather.

The Pell Bridge Ramps Phase 2 Project is made possible by RhodeWorks, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Improvement and Jobs Act. RIDOT is committed to bringing Rhode Island's infrastructure into a state of good repair while respecting the environment and striving to improve it. Learn more at

Kenworth Founders Inducted into American Trucking Industry Leader Hall of Fame

 KANSAS CITY, MO… The founders of Kenworth Truck Company, Harry W. Kent and Edgar K. Worthington, were inducted into the 2023 American Trucking and Industry Leader Hall of Fame class during a ceremony at the American Truck Historical Society (ATHS) headquarters in Kansas City on October 25th. 

 The recognition, honoring the contributions of trucking industry pioneers to society and the economy, coincides with Kenworth’s 100th anniversary. The event commemorated the company’s milestone by displaying Kenworth trucks through the years, including two special edition models introduced in 2023: the T680 Signature Edition and W900 Limited Edition. Kenworth’s 100th Anniversary tour trailer and historical exhibit, featuring an extensive timeline of Kenworth’s history, video presentations and vintage Kenworth badges, was also displayed.

 In January 1923, Harry W. Kent and Edgar K. Worthington combined their names to create Kenworth. They established the company’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and the first truck rolled off the manufacturing line two months later. In Kenworth’s first year, the Seattle truck manufacturer produced 78 gasoline-powered trucks. Since then, Kenworth has grown from a Pacific Northwest truck manufacturer to a global brand producing more than a million Class 5 to Class 8 models, including state-of-the-art diesel, battery electric and fuel-cell vehicles.

 “A century ago, Harry Kent and Edgar Worthington successfully built a rugged and dependable truck for Pacific Northwest loggers to haul heavy loads down tight, muddy roads – an achievement that addressed a seemingly unsolvable problem at the time,” said Kyle Kimball, Kenworth director of marketing. “We were proud to participate in this recognition from the American Truck Historical Society in honor of that first logging truck and all the Kenworth transportation innovations since and to come that will help our customers drive the next 100 years.”

 The ATHS announced the full list of 2023 Hall of Fame of honorees last summer. Additional inductees were: Robert A. Young Jr., founder of ABF Freight; Ted Rodgers, first president of American Trucking Associations; Frank Seiberling, founder of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.; and Al and Don Schneider, founders of Schneider National Inc. A tour of the ATHS visitor center took place following this year’s induction ceremony. Past inductees, as well as ATHS members and its board of directors, attended. This is the third year the ATHS honored pioneers in the trucking industry.

 The ATHS Hall of Fame induction ceremony marked the last public event for Kenworth’s 100th anniversary trailer and exhibit, which covered 20,405 miles, stopped at 28 industry trade shows and community gatherings across the United States and Canada, and visited by approximately 92,000 people. To commemorate the end of the tour, Kenworth conducted a ceremonial key hand-off to Chris Koenig, whose family owns the history trailer and allowed Kenworth to restore and update it for the 100th anniversary. The trailer was originally used for Kenworth’s 75th anniversary tour in 1998 before it was purchased by the late Allen Koenig, founder of Midwest Specialized Transportation. To commemorate the final tour stop of the 100th anniversary trailer, Koenig attended the Hall of Fame festivities and brought his 75th Anniversary Limited-Edition W900L to participate in the ATHS display of Kenworth trucks through the years.

 “We sincerely appreciate the Koenig family’s passion for Kenworth trucks and for allowing us to use and restore their trailer for the 100th anniversary tour,” said Kimball. “It has been a special experience to share Kenworth’s history with the trucking community this year, something that would not have been possible without the generosity of Chris Koenig and his family, trailer sponsors Michelin, Alcoa and Bendix, and the dedication of nearly 50 Kenworth employee volunteers, including 14 drivers.”

 “My dad loved trucks, especially Kenworths. He was a firm believer in the Kenworth product, which is why he only operated Kenworth trucks when he owned Midwest Specialized Transportation,” said Chris Koenig. “I know he is looking down and smiling that the trailer was put to good use to teach the younger generation about the history of the company he took so much pride in.”

 Kenworth Truck Company, founded in 1923, is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Throughout 2023, Kenworth celebrated its historic 100th anniversary.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Tool Finalized, Moves Climate Change Performance Measure Forward

 WASHINGTON, DC… The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced a finalized performance measure that will provide State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) a national framework to track transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), along with the flexibility to set their own targets for reduction.

 “Every state has its own unique climate challenges, and every state ought to have the data, funding, and flexibility it needs to meet those challenges head on,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg. “This new performance measure will provide states with a clear and consistent framework to track carbon pollution and the flexibility to set their own climate targets—which we will also help them meet with more than $27 billion in federal funding through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.” 

In support of President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to cutting carbon pollution in half by 2030, FHWA is taking two important steps toward addressing the impacts of climate change with today’s announcement:

 1. Adding a new greenhouse gas performance management measure to the existing FHWA national performance measures to establish a national framework to help states track performance and make more informed investment decisions

2. Creating a flexible system under which state DOTs and MPOs will set their own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from roadway travel. 

 “Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and reducing emissions from that sector while ensuring our economy works for everyday Americans is critical to addressing the climate crisis,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “We don’t expect state DOTs and MPOs to solve a problem this large on their own, which is why this performance measure does not impose penalties for those who miss their targets.”

 The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) includes more than $27 billion in funding across various programs that Federal agencies are using to support carbon pollution reduction projects.  Here are some examples:

 * The Carbon Reduction Program provides $6.4 billion in formula funding to State and local governments to develop carbon reduction strategies and fund a wide range of projects – including eligible assets owned by local governments, counties and Tribes – designed to reduce carbon emissions from on-road highway sources.

* The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) formula program provides $5 billion to states, primarily through a statutory formula, to build out a national electric vehicle charging network, an important step towards making electric vehicle charging accessible to all Americans.

* The Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) discretionary grant program provides $2.5 billion in competitive funding to states, local governments and Tribes to deploy electric vehicle charging and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors and in communities.

* The Congestion Relief Program provides $250 million in competitive funding to advance innovative, multimodal solutions to reduce congestion and related economic and environmental costs in the most congested metropolitan areas of the U.S.

* The Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities Program provides $400 million in competitive funding to reduce truck idling and emissions at ports, including through the advancement of port electrification.

* The Low or No Emission Vehicle Program provides $5 billion to replace transit buses with zero emission electric buses and other low or zero emission technologies, adding even greater emissions reductions benefits to transit systems that lower emissions at a baseline compared to the many passenger cars they replace.

* The Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program provides $7.2 billion to help state and local governments carry out environmentally friendly pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure projects.

* The Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Program provides $69 million in funding to local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning with new fixed guideway or core capacity transit capital investment projects. BIL also expands TOD financing opportunities through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) programs.

In addition to the programs above that have specific eligibilities for projects that will reduce carbon pollution, federal aid highway formula programs like the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP) and the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) include broad eligibilities that allow states the flexibility to pursue projects that will reduce carbon pollution.

These formula and discretionary funding sources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and additional funding from the Inflation Reduction Act provide State, local and Tribal governments critical resources for a wide variety of projects that reduce carbon pollution. Additionally, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides the largest Federal investment in public transportation ever, which will increase transportation options for all Americans and reduce carbon pollution from single-occupancy vehicles.

Combined, these investments will support State and local governments in meeting the emissions reduction targets that they will set using the new FHWA performance measure.

FMCSA Searching For Carriers To Participate In Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program

By Megan Magensky (Administrator, PMTA)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is conducting a three-year commercial driver apprenticeship program, in accordance with Section 23022 of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

This program will allow qualified drivers ages 18-20, who hold intrastate commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), to explore interstate trucking careers. 

FMCSA will grant apprentice drivers approval to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce while they are under 21 years of age. During the pilot program’s probationary periods, apprentice drivers can operate in interstate commerce only when accompanied by a qualified, experienced driver in the passenger seat. 

Apprentice and experienced drivers must meet all criteria specified in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Apprentice drivers must operate vehicles equipped with onboard monitoring systems (OBMS) that include forward-facing and in-cab driver-facing cameras, an automatic or automatic manual transmission, active braking collision mitigation system, and a governed speed of 65 miles per hours at the pedal and under adaptive cruise control. Apprentice drivers cannot transport passengers or hazardous materials or operate double- or triple-trailer combinations or cargo tank vehicles while participating in this program, regardless of any license endorsements they hold.

According to FMCSA, this program was created to also help trucking companies hire and train new drivers.

Participating motor carriers must: 

* Have proper operating authority, if required, and registration; 

* Have at least the minimum levels of financial responsibility required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs); 

* Not be a high- or moderate-risk carrier; 

* Not have a conditional or unsatisfactory safety rating; 

* Not have any open enforcement actions in the previous 6 years; 

* Not have a crash rate above the 2021 national average (0.96 crashes per million vehicle miles traveled); 

* Not have a driver out-of-service (OOS) rate above the 2021 national average (5.30%); 

* Not have a vehicle OOS rate above the 2021 national average (19.40%);

* Have a registered apprenticeship (RA) program through the Department of Labor; 

* Provide proof of insurance for under 21 drivers prior to being issued an exemption from FMCSA for the age requirements requirements found in 49 CFR 391.11(b)(1). 

To learn more visit:

You can also contact FMCSA division administrator Chris Henry with any questions at: [email protected]

CVSA Announces Dates for 2024 Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative

  Washington, DC… The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has set the dates for the next  Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative (HTAI) for each of its three member countries. In the U.S., the initiative is scheduled for Jan. 8-12, 2024. Canada’s HTAI dates are Feb. 19-23, 2024. And in Mexico, HTAI is set for March 11-15, 2024.

  CVSA’s annual five-day human trafficking awareness, outreach, identification and prevention initiative aims to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about the crime of human trafficking, the signs to look for and what to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked. 

  According to the United Nations, human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception with the aim of exploiting them for profit. Men, women and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world, including North America. Human traffickers often use violence, fraudulent employment agencies, and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick and coerce their victims.

In preparation for the 2024 Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative, CVSA is offering human trafficking awareness resources to its membership and working with Truckers Against Trafficking to distribute wallet cards, posters and window decals. Fill out our online form to order complimentary outreach materials.

  During the five-day awareness initiative in each country, CVSA jurisdictions will note human trafficking awareness and outreach efforts and projects and submit that data to the Alliance. The results will be released in summer 2024.

  To find out what your jurisdiction is doing to increase human trafficking awareness, contact the agency/department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety within your state, province or territory.

  The Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative is part of CVSA’s Human Trafficking Prevention Program. The program seeks to reduce human trafficking throughout North America through coordinated enforcement and investigative and educational awareness measures within the commercial motor vehicle industry.

COP 28: Achieving a Pragmatic Energy Transition with Advanced Engines and Renewable Biofuels


WASHINGTON, DC… The assessment of progress toward meeting international climate change goals, the value of commitments, and near-term reductions in carbon are at the forefront of deliberations at the 28th meeting of the United Nations Council of the Parties (COP28) underway in Dubai.

Increasingly the size and scope of the climate challenges are becoming clearer, with all signs pointing toward the need for a diverse set of solutions—in both policy and technology. 

As H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the President-Designate for COP28 UAE said, “Together, we will prioritize efforts to accelerate emissions reductions through a pragmatic energy transition, reform land use, and transform food systems.”

The Engine Technology Forum’s Executive Director Allen Schaeffer says, “A pragmatic energy transition begins with the understanding that we must continue to utilize and optimize our existing energy systems, even as we accelerate efforts to develop new fuels and technology options for a reduced carbon future that relies less on fossil fuels. 

“The possibility for a new energy economy built on renewable electric power and new fuels like hydrogen holds equally great potential and uncertainty of success. There is an increasing, and shared, recognition that such a shift to a new energy economy will be uneven both in duration and effect.

“Until then, the global economy must continue to function by enabling mobility, providing power, and working the land to serve the growing global population.

“Internal combustion engines function at the intersection of our two energy worlds; utilizing abundant energy from fossil fuels and cleaner energy from renewable fuels. They are uniquely suited to leverage the best of both worlds; the role that they are playing today. One out of every two economic sectors depend on internal combustion engines and fossil fuels. Trucks, trains, buses, marine workboats, as well as agricultural, forestry, mining, and construction equipment rely almost exclusively on diesel technology. 

“Even as new fuels and technologies emerge, internal combustion engines will be best suited and continue to serve many of these key sectors for decades to come. This makes continued advancements in internal combustion engines and fuels essential to the kind of progress needed, both near term and long term, in meeting global climate goals.

“We must value carbon reductions in whatever form they come and recognize all opportunities for investment. There is an undisputed time value to carbon removal in the near term. Substituting an increasing percentage of low-carbon renewable biodiesel fuels for fossil fuels across the population of millions of existing diesel engines, vehicles, and equipment is proven to yield valuable and immediate reductions in greenhouse gases as well as other emissions. These benefits are achievable in a relatively short timeframe at lower cost compared to that required to introduce new technologies and their supporting fuel infrastructures.  

“We cannot deny developed or developing countries the opportunity for progress. Tackling the multiple challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as implementing adaptation and mitigation measures, ultimately requires many technologies and solutions. It only makes sense that we leverage the best of what we have available from internal combustion engines using advanced renewable biofuels as new fuel and energy technologies emerge.” 

Brenntag Essentials Opens Operations Site In Maurice, Louisiana (USA) And Expands Services To The Local Energy Sector


* The new facility is strategically positioned along the U.S. Gulf Coast to service key customers for Energy Services in deepwater Gulf of Mexico

* The 63-acre site is equipped with a state-of-the-art Innovation & Application Center, warehouse, tank farm and blending facility

Brenntag, the global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution, announced the opening of its new facility in Maurice, Louisiana, USA. Strategically positioned along the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Maurice site is located south of Lafayette, Louisiana and will be the primary operations hub for Coastal Chemical, a Brenntag Group company, in addition to serving other areas in the region.

Equipped with expanded warehousing, storage and automated product production, the showpiece of the 63-acre complex will be a 5,000 square foot Innovation & Application Center designed to meet the demand and challenges of the dynamic deepwater production for Brenntag customers in the energy industry.

Scott Leibowitz, President of Brenntag Essentials North America, commented: “It is important for Brenntag to provide our customers with local services and last mile distribution excellence. Investing in this new facility enables us to foster Brenntag’s resilience in this market against the background of shifts on the global energy sector and supports the Brenntag energy service platform in North America.”

“This investment represents Brenntag’s commitment to providing technology-based solutions to the energy industry along the Gulf Coast and beyond,” added Blake Willis, President of Coastal Chemical. “It strengthens Coastal Chemical and Brenntag’s presence in the attractive South Louisiana area and allows for continued operational excellence and industry leading services, while helping our customers produce energy in an efficient and safe manner.”    

Brenntag is the global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution. The company holds a central role in connecting customers and suppliers of the chemical industry. Headquartered in Essen, Germany, Brenntag has more than 17,500 employees worldwide and operates a network of about 600 sites in 72 countries. In 2022, Brenntag generated sales of around 19.4 billion EUR. The two global divisions, Brenntag Essentials and Brenntag Specialties, provide a full-line portfolio of industrial and specialty chemicals and ingredients as well as tailor-made application, marketing and supply chain solutions, technical and formulation support, comprehensive regulatory know-how, and digital solutions for a wide range of industries. In the field of sustainability, Brenntag pursues specific goals and is committed to sustainable solutions in its own sector and the industries served.. For more information, visit  

Bendix Supports Intent Of NHTSA And FMCSA Proposed Ruling Requiring Automatic Emergency Braking On Heavy Vehicles

 AVON, OH…  Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix) endorses the recent action taken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to improve highway safety.

The agencies published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on July 6 that would require automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems on heavy vehicles – those with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds). The notice also proposes to amend FMVSS No. 136 to require nearly all heavy vehicles to have an electronic stability control (ESC) system that meets the equipment requirements, general system operational capability requirements, and malfunction detection requirements of FMVSS No. 136.

In September, Bendix submitted a complete response to the agencies regarding the company’s position on the NPRM. The company shared its belief that the mandate is a good step while identifying points of concern and offering recommendations to address them.

“Bendix supports helping to make roads safer for all drivers and passengers,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs. “Technologies such as AEB and ESC help accomplish this goal. The Heavy Vehicle AEB mandate is a step in the right direction to help advance this goal. However, we have reservations – which we addressed in our comments – regarding single-unit truck implementation and timing, along with training/education, maintenance, and performance testing. That said, Bendix supports the intent of NHTSA and FMCSA and looks forward to working with the agencies to address our areas of concern with the NPRM.”

As described in the NPRM, an AEB system uses multiple sensor technologies and sub-systems that work together to sense when the vehicle is in a crash-imminent situation and automatically applies the vehicle brakes if the driver has not done so, or automatically applies more braking force to supplement the driver’s applied braking.

 Crash Mitigation, Not Crash Avoidance

Bendix is the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that deliver stability control and collision mitigation. The company offers a range of recommendations in its detailed response to the NPRM. Most importantly, it suggests that NHTSA and FMCSA keep their perspective on collision mitigation and not expect a crash avoidance approach, in keeping with the technology available today and for the foreseeable future.

“The driver is still an integral part of the safety equation and remains in control of the vehicle at all times,” Andersky said. “Safety technologies such as stability control and collision mitigation complement safe driving practices and are not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving. No technology replaces a safe driver practicing safe driving habits, and comprehensive driver training. All safety systems have limitations. Education and awareness – including ready access to the Operator’s Manual prior to getting behind the wheel – are vital in ensuring that drivers understand what the systems can and cannot do in specific situations they may encounter on the road.”

According to its NPRM response, Bendix is concerned the agencies are advocating a rulemaking requiring systems to deliver crash avoidance in every testing scenario. “While we appreciate the intent, at this time, we see it as aspirational and not yet achievable,” Andersky said. “Therefore, Bendix proposes a testing approach that recognizes mitigation as the result and speed reduction as the requirement.”

To that end, Bendix believes it’s essential to consider a more detailed approach to the certification test, including specific speeds for testing. 

Vocational Truck Considerations

Bendix supports the agencies’ need to ensure that most commercial vehicles are equipped with stability control and AEB. At the same time, the company advocates a greater understanding of the vocational – or single-unit – truck market to help ensure collision mitigation systems are operational for those applications that can use the technology appropriately.

“As the agencies noted in the NPRM, others – for example, alterers and body builders – not just OEMs, are involved in the final assembly of a vocational vehicle,” Andersky said. “This creates much more complexity due to the number of variations possible with single-unit trucks, such as ambulances, dump trucks, fire trucks, utility vehicles, and tow trucks. Complexity means exceptions, time, and the need for more guidance.”

With those considerations as a backdrop, Bendix recommends that NHTSA and FMCSA consider implementing one of two approaches. One is mandating the technology only on Class 7 and 8 tractors and motorcoaches and considering a separate rulemaking for single-unit trucks. The other is defining and providing permanent exemptions for those applications where a system is not feasible with the current technology – examples include snowplows, car carriers, vacuum trucks, front-discharge cement mixers, front-loading refuse trucks, and city buses with bike racks.

Matters of Education and Maintenance

In its response to the NPRM, Bendix also stresses the importance of driver education and proper maintenance practices.

“We urge the agencies to ensure that fleets provide drivers with sufficient education and training about the collision mitigation systems on fleet vehicles,” Andersky said. “This instruction should include classroom and on-the-road training to ensure understanding of the system operation, its capabilities and limits, potential driver overrides and the effect of overrides on system performance, repercussions for tampering with the system, data collected, and what the system does not do to support the driver.”

Additionally, Bendix suggests that the agencies consider adding information on collision mitigation technologies, along with stability control, as part of the CDL standard test approach. 

In terms of maintenance, Bendix emphasizes that all components used for repairs must deliver the same level of performance as original equipment and must be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommended service procedures.

Additionally, Bendix’s response includes recommendations on topics including testing on actual vehicles, HMI (human-machine interface) considerations, malfunctions vs. performance degradation due to environmental conditions, implementation timing, and others. Regarding retrofitting, Bendix agrees with the agencies that vehicles should not be retrofitted with the technologies.

“The AEB mandate is another step in helping to equip commercial vehicles with the technologies that can help to make our highways safer for everyone,” Andersky said. “We look forward to working with NHTSA and FMCSA to deliver a final rule that provides the broadest coverage.”

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 1.1% in October

 Washington, DC…  American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.1% in October after declining 1.1% in September. In October, the index equaled 115.2 (2015=100) compared with 113.9 in September.

“After hitting a floor in April, tonnage has slowly and inconsistently improved, but remains 3% below its recent peak in September 2022,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Despite the monthly gain, truck freight remains soft as it continues to contract on a year-over-year basis. It is important to remember that our for-hire truck freight index, which includes both truckload and LTL freight, is dominated by contract freight with minimal amounts of spot market loads. The traditional spot market remains much weaker than contract tonnage.”

September’s decline was unchanged from our October 24 press release.

Compared with October 2022, the SA index fell 2.1%, which was the eighth straight year-over-year decrease. In September, the index was down 4.1% from a year earlier.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 119.7 in October, 6.3% above the September level (112.5). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.6% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 11.46 billion tons of freight in 2022. Motor carriers collected $940.8 billion, or 80.7% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

ATA Statement on GOT Truckers Act

 Washington, DC… American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear issued the following statement on the introduction of the GOT Truckers Act:

“This proposal is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to boost trial attorneys’ fees. It would reduce drivers’ paychecks and decimate trucking jobs by upending the pay models that for 85 years have provided family-sustaining wages while growing the U.S. supply chain.

"Truckload drivers today are earning nearly $70,000 on average plus benefits, and wages across the board continue to rise at historic rates year-over-year – except at Yellow, where one party’s refusal to come to the table destroyed 30,000 jobs. The bill would not affect owner-operators, who, as independent contractors, are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 “To support this misguided legislation is a vote for supply chain chaos and the inflationary consequences for consumers. Rather than plaintiffs’ bar bailouts, lawmakers interested in actually supporting drivers could begin by fixing the nationwide truck parking shortage that costs drivers on average $5,500 in lost earnings annually.”

ATA Reveals Five Finalists for National Driver of the Year Award

 Washington, DC… American Trucking Associations’ Safety Management Council announced the five professional truck driver finalists for the 2023 ATA National Driver of the Year Award, one of the industry’s highest honors. 

“The Driver of the Year award honors professional drivers for their commitment to safety and professionalism,” said SMC Executive Director Jacob Pierce. “These five candidates have all demonstrated real dedication to this industry over their careers.  On behalf of ATA and the SMC, I want to congratulate them.” 

The ATA National Driver of the Year Award, sponsored by EROAD, acknowledges one notable professional driver for career-long professional achievements as well as for excellence and commitment to safety on the road. Nominees are selected from a pool of outstanding state Drivers of the Year submitted by ATA’s affiliated state trucking associations. Each candidate’s qualifications and achievements are examined by a group of industry safety professional judges who narrow down the nominees to a group of finalists. 

This year’s finalists are: 

 * Robert Crater, nominated by the North Carolina Trucking Association. Crater has 41 years of experience, the past seven with Unifi Manufacturing Inc., and has more than 2.6 million accident-free miles. Crater was the 2023 North Carolina Trucking Association Driver of the Year as well as the 2017 Unifi Trucking Driving Champion. 

 * Henry Grider, nominated by the Missouri Trucking Association. Grider has been driving for 43 years, the past 15 with Transland, and has tallied 1.4 million accident-free miles. A decorated Army Veteran, Grider served as an Army Ranger from 1968-1973, earning three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star. He was also part of MTA Chair's Safe Driver Club from 2017-2021. 

 * David Wolford, nominated by the Ohio Trucking Association, has 20 years of experience, nearly all of it with Continental Express Inc., and nearly 2.5 million accident-free miles. He was Continental Express's 2020 Dedicated Driver of the Year as well as the winner of the 2022 OTA Driver of the Year Award. 

 * Timothy Burnett, nominated by the Trucking Association of New York, has 35 years of driving experience – the past 30 with Walmart Transportation. Inc. With 3.9 million accident-free miles, Burnett was New York’s Driver of the Year in both 2016 and 2022.  

 * Jerry Joyner, nominated by the Kansas Motor Carriers Association, has 50 years of experience, the last 33 with Walmart Transportation Inc. With more than 6 million accident-free miles in his career, Joyner was the 2008 Leo Wozniak Award winner as well as the 2010 and 2022 KMCA Driver of the Year. 

The Safety Management Council Awards & Recognition Committee judges each video submission and selects a winner. The winner will be announced at ATA’s Safety, Security and Human Resources National Conference and Exhibition, held in Phoenix, Arizona, in April.

ATA Recognized Eight Companies with Annual Change Leader Award

 Austin, TX… The  American Trucking Associations honored eight companies with the 2023 ATA Diversity Equity and Inclusion Change Leader Award for their efforts and commitment to creating a culture of acceptance and belonging for their employees.

“Diversity is a major part of the industry’s current and historical success – and the ATA Diversity Equity and Inclusion Change Leader Award recognizes ATA members who have made a commitment to creating a culture of acceptance and belonging for their employees,” said Sarah Rajtik, ATA executive vice president of human resources, operations and industry affairs. “I want to congratulate these companies for their efforts to foster welcoming workplace environments regardless of their companies’ size or experience.”

Sponsored by TenStreet, the Change Leader Award was first handed out in 2022.

“On behalf of TenStreet, I am proud to be a part of this wonderful industry and for the opportunity to present this award,” said Marilyn Surber, transportation advisor with TenStreet. “TenStreet is honored to be associated with this award.  We hope these recipients will be an example to our industry of how to create an environment where all people, regardless of gender or ethnicity, can have a fulfilling career in trucking.”

This year’s winners of the ATA Diversity Equity and Inclusion Change Leader Award are:

 * Believers Trucking

* Cargo Transporters Inc.

* Covenant Logistics

* Garner Trucking Inc.

* Knight-Swift Transportation

* Kodiak Robotics

* Pilot Flying J

* Werner Enterprises Inc.

ATA President Urges European Parliament to Reject Extreme California Emissions Plans

 Austin, TX… The  American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear told members of the European Parliament that the international governing body should embrace realistic, achievable timelines to reduce emissions, rejecting California’s unrealistic and unreasonable timelines.

“California’s development of the Advanced Clean Truck and Advanced Clean Fleet rules aim to create a zero-emission vehicle market beginning next year. Given where the technology, infrastructure, power grid, cost and operational requirements stand, these regulations will undoubtedly fail to deliver the vehicles and market adoption California seeks,” Spear said in his testimony. “California’s response is predictable: They will just adjust the timelines and percentage targets, unleashing even more uncertainty for the industry. This was the case for the passenger vehicle industry, and we expect history to repeat itself.”

ATA has consistently called for unified regulations across all 50 states. Spear noted that next year, because of California’s extreme regulatory push, the industry will be forced to contend with dueling regulatory regimes – one for California and one for the other 49 states.

“This patchwork of conflicting regulations is not ideal nor conducive in achieving zero emissions. California’s ‘go it alone’ strategy will result in capped diesel sales, an extension of older and higher polluting trucks on the road, and significant price increases in the dwindling number of available diesel trucks,” he said. “This framework has set California up for failure, which in turn sets our industry and economy up for failure.”

“The ATA starts with yes. We are committed to further reducing our emissions, we’ve proven that. We simply ask that policy makers and regulators be realistic about the path forward and how it can be best achieved,” Spear told Parliament.

“The federal Environmental Protection Agency is now finalizing a new set of carbon reductions as part of its Greenhouse Gas Phase 3 regulation, and ATA is working with the agency to develop timelines and targets that reflect operational realities,” he said. “To get to zero, we need to be honest and transparent about the road ahead. The infrastructure to support clean, next generation trucks must first be in place. Production of renewable and low-carbon fuels must increase. The path to a zero-emission future hinges on unbridled innovation; and, government and industry stakeholders working together, not apart. A technology-neutral regulatory framework is needed to allow for diverse technology options to continue reducing tailpipe emissions like low carbon fuels, hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen fuel.”

ATA President Hails Advocacy Successes, Warns of Threats in State of the Industry Address

 Austin, TX… American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear said the Federation’s continued advocacy efforts were making a difference, but warned that the industry was threatened by a coalition of outside interest groups.

“For nine decades, the ATA and its federation of 50 state trucking associations has been the leading voice for our industry in Washington, DC and every state capitol throughout the country. That’s volume, reach and history no other voice in trucking can claim, and few industry associations can match,” Spear said in his annual State of the Industry Address. “Today, we can proudly declare our efforts are making a difference.”

Spear pointed to the “very real, data-backed narrative” at the core of ATA’s advocacy, a narrative that “was shared during six Congressional hearings, allowing ATA to steer the legislative process toward your Tier 1 priorities.”

“This steady cadence of truth and common sense is what you expect of your association. It cuts directly through the rhetoric and emotion peddled by our foes: trial lawyers chasing jackpot justice, self-promoting union bosses and delusional environmental extremists,” he said. “Together, they constitute a clear threat to our industry’s ability to grow and support our nation’s economic security.”

Spear cited ATA’s victories on lawsuit abuse – particularly in Iowa and Florida – as evidence that the association can achieve victories across the country, providing a template for continuing to fight on labor issues and increasingly unrealistic environmental mandates from California.

“We fight to win. We are committed to helping our state association partners shape legislation, strategies and outcomes,” he said. “We’re helping fund awareness, so state lawmakers understand what’s at stake and do the right thing.

“ATA’s support of our state trucking partners is not limited to just one issue. Today, we stand alongside the California Trucking Association as they file suit against the California Air Resources Board… an unelected, ill-informed band of extremists who have no clue the impact their timelines and targets will have on our economy,” Spear said. 

“These are today’s stakes, which underscores why advocacy matters. Without a seat at the table, our industry – our way of life – could look entirely different over the next decade,” he said. “Which is why we must evolve and adapt more quickly than any threat that comes our way.” 

ATA, State Trucking Associations Call on Governors to Provide Truck Parking Funds

 Washington, DC… American Trucking Associations, through its federation of 50 state associations, called on the governors of every state to prioritize truck parking with their infrastructure spending priorities.

In a letter sent to every governor, ATA and state trucking associations spelled out the numerous new resources provided by the federal government, including new funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to improve and expand truck parking facilities.

“Construction of new truck parking capacity at rest areas or adjacent to private facilities is eligible for funding, as are improvements that allow for increased parking capacity at nontraditional locations, such as weigh stations and commuter lots, when appropriate,” the letter said. “Some states have already utilized these resources to increase parking capacity or improve the operational efficiency of existing facilities.”

The industry has been calling for greater investment in truck parking capacity, citing safety concerns that affect the entire motoring public. A U.S. Department of Transportation report found that 98% of truck drivers regularly experience problems finding safe parking, often leaving them with no other option but to park in unsafe or unauthorized locations. A staggering 70% of drivers have been forced to violate federal hours-of-service rules because of this common scenario. 

“Truck drivers are the backbone of our society and our economy. Without them, the daily conveniences we take for granted—from fresh water to fuel to the literal roofs over our heads—would not exist,” the letter said. “We urge you to examine the availability of truck parking within your State and take such actions as are necessary to ensure that truck drivers have a safe place to sleep when they are out on the road delivering more than 70% of America’s freight. We hope you will use the aforementioned resources, as well as other non-Federal resources, to prioritize and address this serious safety problem.”

American Trucking Associations, FedEx Join Forces to Empower Women In Motion

Washington , DC… The American Trucking Associations proudly welcomed FedEx Corp., as the inaugural founding sponsor of the trucking industry group’s Women In Motion program.

“FedEx is making significant strides in advancing opportunities for women within their organization,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We are fortunate to have their support and expertise as we work together to showcase the opportunities, they, and the entire trucking industry, are providing for women in the transportation industry.”

Women In Motion, which will gain ATA council status early next year, has a mission of connecting and empowering women across the transportation industry; seeking to foster a nurturing environment where women, from seasoned professionals to newcomers, support each other through the challenges and successes of their careers. By championing advocacy, mentorship, networking and collaborative learning, WIM aims to drive transformative change across trucking, building a strong but welcoming community within the industry.

“This is an exciting day, not only for ATA but for our entire industry. The overwhelming response from our members affirms that we are in the right place at the right time, and we eagerly anticipate the journey ahead,” said WIM Co-Chair Sarah Rajtik, ATA chief operating officer.

“For decades, the logistics industry has been male dominated, but we continue to break that mold at FedEx; and thanks to ATA’s unwavering commitment to our industry and their aggressive advocacy, we are confident trucking is positioned to push for real change for women in the transportation industry,” said Lisa Lisson, senior vice president, Network Operations for FedEx Express. “Our missions and goals are seamlessly aligned, making it a natural decision to support ATA’s Women In Motion. We are honored and excited to be part of this initiative.”

This collaboration between ATA and FedEx is the next big step in WIM’s effort to champion the advancement of women in the transportation industry and promises to advance the council’s goal of delivering meaningful change.

To learn more about Women in Motion, visit

$110 Million in Grants Awarded to Improve Safety on America’s Roadways by Preventing Deadly Wildlife-Vehicle Crashes

 WASHINGTON, DC… The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced $110 million in grants for 19 wildlife crossing projects in 17 states, including four Indian Tribes. The funding is made possible by a new program in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and can support projects that construct wildlife crossings over and below busy roads, add fencing, acquire tracking and mapping tools, and more. Overall, BIL makes a total of $350 million available over five years under the Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program. 

 Each year, it is estimated that there are more than one million wildlife vehicle collisions in the U.S. Wildlife-vehicle collisions involving large animals result in injuries to drivers and their passengers, representing approximately 200 human fatalities and 26,000 injuries to drivers and their passengers each year. These collisions also cost the public more than $10 billion annually. This includes economic costs caused by wildlife crashes, such as loss of income, medical costs, property damage, and more. 

 “Every year, too many Americans are injured or killed in crashes involving cars and wildlife, especially in rural areas – but President Biden is tackling this challenge through these first-ever roadway safety grants,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The projects we’re funding today in 17 states will reduce collisions between drivers and wildlife and save American lives.”

 “We are pleased to announce the first round of grants under the Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program to projects that will significantly reduce the number of collisions between motorists and wildlife,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “These roadway safety investments will ensure that motorists and wildlife get to their destinations safely and are a win-win for safety and the environment.”

 Project selections in this round of grants include: 

 * The Arizona Department of Transportation will receive $24 million for the Interstate-17 (I-17) Munds Park to Kelly Canyon Wildlife Overpass Project. The project includes nearly 17 miles of new wildlife fencing tying in existing culverts, escape ramps and double cattle guards to reduce wildlife vehicle collisions along I-17 while increasing habitat connectivity for local species, particularly the elk. 

 * The Wyoming Department of Transportation will receive $24.4 million to build an overpass, several underpasses, and high-barrier wildlife fencing along 30 miles of US 189 in southwest Wyoming, a rural highway corridor with a high number of wildlife-vehicle collisions.

* The Colorado Department of Transportation will receive $22 million to build a dedicated overpass on I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs, the state’s two most populous cities. Once completed, the Greenland Wildlife Overpass will be one of the largest overpass structures in North America, spanning six lanes of interstate highway. It will help reduce vehicle collisions with elk and mule deer along I-25 and connect vital habitats on both sides of the highway from the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains.

 * The Stillaguamish Tribe in Washington State will receive $8.5 million to design and construct a wildlife overpass with fencing on rural State Route 20 in Skagit County. The Red Cabin Creek Wildlife overpass at Milepost 76.2 will span two lanes of traffic and is aimed at helping multiple species, including elk. 

 * The California Department of Transportation will receive $8 million to reduce wildlife vehicle collisions and connect animal habitats between protected State Park lands on either side of US 101. Improvements include increasing the size of an existing culvert and installing 2.5 miles of fencing at road crossings, allowing for safer roads for drivers.

 * The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will receive $840,000 to develop a comprehensive statewide strategic plan with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Game Commission, and others to address the wide-ranging challenges and opportunities associated with the safe management and stewardship for wildlife crossings across the state.


The Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program supports the Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS), which sets a goal of achieving zero roadway deaths and serious injuries through a Safe System Approach to prevent crashes from happening in the first place. Projects funded by this program reduce wildlife crashes, which will reduce the associated economic impact (such as loss of income, medical costs, property damage, and decline in productivity and quality of life) while simultaneously improving habitat connectivity to sustain the environment and improve the overall safety of the traveling public. 

 The full list of project selections can be found at Wildlife Crossings Program | FHWA (