Friday Five: Ford’s self-driving van, change to the 14-hour rule, and Raymond Martinez confirmed as the head of the FMCSA

Highway and trucks through chainlink fence.

Did you know?

Roughly six percent of the truck drivers on the road are women. That’s just over 200,000 of the 3.5 million drivers on the road.

Trucking Tip of the Week

The New Year is here! This means that the FMCSA will be announcing their dates for inspection blitzes. You can save yourself a ton of headaches, large fines, and out of service designations by knowing what the FMCSA will focus on and the blitz dates in advance. Check out the FMCSA’s website to ensure you are up-to-date.

Technology in Trucking

Ford has announced plans for a self-driving, fully autonomous commercial van, to be released by 2021. The van will be considered stage-4 autonomy, which means it will have some limitations on where it can go and will still need a driver. The vehicle will be able to drive within a certain geo-fenced area and should be autonomous in a freeway setting. However, in town and on two-lane highways, the vehicle will need a driver at the helm. To read more, check out the interview with Ford’s Chris Brewer.

Hours of Service

OOIDA has requested a change to the 14-hour rule according to a press release on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. The request is asking for a pause in the 14-hour rule for up to three hours when the driver is off duty. With this suggestion, OOIDA is also requesting the elimination of the half hour break rule but acknowledge the need for the 10-hour restart. The FMCSA has yet to publish the petition on their website.

Raymond Martinez Confirmed

Raymond Martinez was finally confirmed as the head of the FMCSA on Tuesday, February 13. If you think that the FMCSA has been relatively quiet regarding policy over the last year, you were correct, but this could very well change. Martinez is expected to look into mandatory sleep apnea testing and has also stated that he intends to look into ELDs and their effect on small businesses. Prior to being appointed to the head of the FMCSA, Martinez was head of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and the New York State Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. He also worked as the US Deputy Chief of Protocol under President George W. Bush.

Keep your shiny side up!

Plenty of other information rolled through this week. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to let us know by emailing us at


Regulatory Affairs Analyst Jeremy Feucht follows the latest political and legislative processes, along with their potential effects, on the trucking industry. He has worked in the U.S. Senate and has served as a member of Planning and Zoning, City Council, and Urban Renewal boards.