Industry Update: Tire Inflation and Trucking Tech

Curves ahead for trucking
Photo credit: Lou Levit

For those wondering, I was out at GATS last week. Let’s get caught up on all things trucking!

Did You Know?

Houston, Texas, is the second largest city in the United States in terms of shipping tonnage. With its waterway port, airports, railways, and distribution centers, Houston is a major hub for all things transportation.

HOS Suspensions, Fuel Prices, and Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey has impeded nearly 10% of U.S. trucking, but that number swells to over 90% when talking about the gulf coast. Hours of service has been suspended for those vehicles bringing aid to the affected areas of Texas and Louisiana. Fuel prices are already rising, as Harvey also affected companies tasked with refining oil into fuel. It is estimated that nearly two million barrels a day of oil refinement has been forced to shut down, according to Bloomberg News.

Related: How Hurricane Harvey is Disrupting the Trucking Supply Chain

As the next major weather event – Tropical Storm Irma – forms off of the East Coast, time will tell how much more of an effect hurricane season could have on the transportation industry this fall.

Trucking Tech

Cummins is developing a Class 7 and Class 8 electric vehicle. Cummins debuted their day cab, built by Roush, on August 29. The lithium-ion-battery-operated vehicle can go up to 100 miles on a single charge and has a clean diesel option to help extend range. In an attempt to compete with Tesla, Cummins wants to prove to critics they can adapt with the times and is expected to come out with an electric powertrain for buses by 2019.

In other news, Tesla believes it can crank out 25,000 of their Class 8 big rigs each year. The company is currently seeking to test drive its autonomous platooning trucks in two western states.

Trucking Tip of the Week

Keep your tire inflation in check. Truck tires can lose two psi per month, and you can lose 1% of your fuel economy once your tires go 10 psi below the recommended level. That might not sound like a lot, but over a tank of diesel, that’s two gallons—or, at current diesel prices, $5.21 per tank. Add this up over the course of a month, and you’ve said goodbye to $80. Check your tires and save your pocketbook.


ELD News

The FMCSA has announced they won’t put drivers out of service for not having ELDs come December. All out-of-service designations for ELD-related issues will be postponed until April 2018. Don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet, however: the postponement won’t stop you from getting fined, keep scores off your record, or guard against being put out of service for incomplete or non-existent logs. Protect yourself and don’t fall into a false sense of security.

Congress will be back in session on Tuesday. As of now, the ELD Extension Act of 2017 has 35 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives but still hasn’t garnered any major interest in the Senate. More to come as Congress begins debating this topic.

Keep your shiny side up!

There was plenty of other information rolling through this week. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to let us know – email 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.