Friday Five: TuSimple, fuel tax for heavy trucks, CARB updates, and more


Did you know?

36 percent of the money that ends up in the state and federal government road/highway funds comes from truckers.

Trucking Tip of the Week

For fleets of all sizes, knowing your overhead is key to keeping your business afloat. If you’re aware of upcoming surcharges, you can better negotiate rates reflective of your time, effort, and costs. If you are picking up a load at a port, you might consider negotiating with demurrage in mind before accepting a load. Other possible surcharges include: fuel, other port fees, truck ordered not used, deadhead, lift gate delivery, New York Metro, toll roads, and detention time.

Technology in Trucking

TuSimple, a Chinese-based company attempting to make a splash in the US with autonomous trucks, is expanding. With headquarters in Beijing and San Diego, the company is expanding into Tucson, Arizona with the promise of 90 new jobs. The company has partnered with Nvidia, a company that makes computer chips for Peterbilt. TuSimple believes that autonomous vehicles are at least 10-years from traveling without a driver. As other companies enter the industry and future legislation threatens to stymie growth, autonomous trucks face serious issues ahead.

Infrastructural Improvements

The White House stated this week that heavy trucks are not paying their share of taxes to help maintain the roads. The report stated that trucking is not keeping up with fuel tax demands particularly, and the White House — including President Trump — is asking to increase the fuel tax rate by as much as 25 cents per gallon. President Trump also used this time to push his toll road plan to improve the nation’s infrastructure. The report, which heaps praise on Oregon and its conscientiousness of changing fuel tax levels to suit its infrastructural needs, suggests that drivers pay additional levels of taxes based on their vehicles use of public roads and fuel economy rate. This would essentially result in a system where the more efficient the vehicle, the more taxes the driver will end up paying. Find the full PDF report here or Fleet Owner’s article here.

CARB to Regulate Model Years on the Road

Some drivers may think they can circumnavigate the ELD mandate because they have older vehicles. If the California Air Resource Board (CARB) has a say, this is highly unlikely. CARB, which is often a reference point for the EPA, has set out a timeline for older trucks subject the CARB jurisdiction to be removed from the road. CARB plans on doing this by restricting the DMV from issuing registrations to large rigs older than a model year of 2000 starting 2020. In 2021, that year moves up to 2005, and by 2023, your truck must be newer than model year 2010 in order to maintain compliance.

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.