Senate files bill to allow under-21 truckers to drive interstate

A bill that would allow CDL holders under the age of 21 to cross state lines has been filed in the U.S. Senate. The Drive-Safe Act, which was also filed in the U.S. House in March, would institute extra training hurdles and require 18-20-year-old drivers to log hundreds of hours behind the wheel alongside a more experienced driver before being permitted to operate interstate. The bill is backed by the American Trucking Associations. Currently, federal law prohibits interstate operations to drivers 21 years and older. However, proponents of allowing younger drivers to cross state lines argue that, in large states, drivers can operate on trips hundreds of miles long, yet can’t make much shorter trips across multiple states. They also argue that nabbing drivers at an earlier age — 18 or 19 instead of 21 — could expand the industry’s ability to attract career truck operators. Read more

Cummins Recalls 500,000 Trucks for Emission Control Catalyst Failures

Engine maker Cummins Inc. announced it will voluntarily recall 500,000 model-year 2010-15 medium- and heavy-duty trucks to replace a defective catalyst in the emissions control system. The campaign is the largest voluntary recall of medium- and heavy-duty trucks ever, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This comes after a recall begun in 2016 of 232,000 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 vehicles with pre-2013 Cummins engines. Recalls for those vehicles were approved in July 2016 and July 2017, respectively, and are underway. Those vehicles and the latest medium- and heavy-duty trucks all produce excessive amounts of smog-forming nitrogen oxide. Read more

Facing lawsuit from ATA, Rhode Island touts trucks-only toll plan

One month into Rhode Island’s trucks-only tolling plan, truckers have already paid $625,989 at the first two of 14 gantries to open in the state, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. RIDOT says the total received so far is $27,322 more than what the state’s financial studies estimated. “With one full month of operation under our belts, we feel confident that the tractor-trailer truck-only tolling system is working as expected,” says RIDOT Director Peter Alviti. The trucking industry has staunchly opposed the Rhodeworks truck tolling plan. The American Trucking Associations just this month filed a lawsuit against the state seeking to have the plan struck down in court. ATA argued its unconstitutional and discriminatory against interstate trucking companies. RIDOT says 188,815 trucks were tolled in the first month of the first two tolls’ operations, which began June 11. The first location is between exits 2 and 3 on I-95 and charges truckers $3.25 once per day in each direction when passing under the gantry. The second location is between..... Read more