The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has set the date for its 2021 International Roadcheck, the 72-hour blitz of commercial vehicle inspections across North America. From May 4-6, law enforcement officers will focus on lighting and hours of service (HOS).
Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., appears one step closer to taking over the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) after sailing through a Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 21. Noting a “bipartisan appetite for a generational opportunity to transform and improve America’s infrastructure,” he said that good transportation policy can make the American Dream possible by “getting people and goods to where they need to be, directly and indirectly creating good-paying jobs.”
Although FTR’s outlook for 2021 is bullish, Vise told American Trucker there are still looming risks of concern.
“Shut ’em down!”
Talk of a nationwide driver shutdown has been echoing nationwide for years – most notably and recently on social media sites. But these angry words have done little to coalesce truck drivers into a potent force that can bring about the changes they desire.
With the new year comes the second full year of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations’ Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, the national database of commercial driver substance violations created to remove loopholes that allowed violators to continue operating trucks. According to data from the first 10 months of its existence, thousands of fleets and owner-operators still need to register with the database or face non-compliance repercussions.
A recent announcement by Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor hit truck drivers right in their gut. He said in an earnings call that the company has a “new appetite to look at drive-thru-only restaurants.” In other words, no dining-in for truck drivers or anyone else for that matter.
They’re not the only fast-food restaurant to consider that transition. Quick service restaurants—or QSR in industry lingo—with plans to reduce or eliminate in-dining service and focus instead on drive-thru trade. McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC and others are also moving towards smaller or non-existent dining rooms in the future.
Where does that leave semi drivers who crave a quick burger and fries?
Preliminary information for October from ACT Research indicates that the US trailer industry booked 54,200 net orders for the month, up 6% from September and more than 68% better than the same month last year.