Friday Five: stay ahead of IFTA changes, Starsky Robotics, ELD updates, and more


 

Did you know?

The first highway to be adopted through the Adopt-a-Highway program was Highway 69 in Texas on March 9, 1985. The highway was adopted by the Tyler Civitan Club, and the program has since spread from the US into Canada, Japan, and New Zealand.

Trucking Tip of the Week

Discussion surrounding paying for the upkeep and updates needed on roads has emerged this week, opening up the subsequent discussion on whether to increase fuel tax or create more toll roads. Chances are, at least in the short-term, fuel tax will be the final choice. With IFTA taxes due soon, it’s always smart to keep an eye on what jurisdictions charge so you can request enough to cover all your expenses. Check out IFTA’s website to see changes on the horizon and the current rates.

Technology in Trucking

Starsky Robotics tested a fully autonomous vehicle in Florida in February. The truck was controlled by a person at a desk, in a building, nowhere close to the vehicle, for seven miles. During this session, the truck was placed in full autonomy mode with no one at the controls. Starsky’s goal is to remove drivers completely from the process. They are designing their trucks to handle all freeway/highway travel, with a remote operator handling first and last mile operations. These operators would handle and monitor 10 to 30 vehicles per hour.

ELD Bill Updates

Two weeks ago, we provided you with a list of states and their bills that would have an adverse effect on the ELD mandate. There were four states that had produced anti-ELD bills, but none of those bills had seen traction within their respective states. Idaho’s bill exempting agricultural haulers (SMJ104) has been approved by the Senate and has been sent to the House for approval. Likewise, the bill that had been proposed in Missouri (HR5213) asking Congress to overturn the mandate also saw movement, as it was passed to the Oversight Committee. Both of the bills introduced by the state of Tennessee (HB1962 and SB1936) have been sent to both the House and Senate Transportation Committees. These bills would exclude the state from enacting the mandate as a whole. The second bill in Missouri (HB2437) and the bill introduced in South Dakota (SCR14) have not seen any movement.

Lastly, the FMCSA has yet to offer a ruling up to OOIDA’s request for ELD exemption for small fleet carriers.

HOS Waivers Granted

As winter comes to an end, major weather systems are still moving throughout the country. Five states have declared states of emergency as of March 1 that waive hours of service rules for certain types of drivers. Currently, 11 states have declarations still in effect. To see if your state is included in the exemptions and which states are seeing adverse weather, check out the Emergency Declaration page on the FMCSA website.

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 mailbag@truckstop.com.

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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.