NHTSA Proposes Speed Limit Increase
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to make a proposal to increase commercial truck speed limits that has met with cautious optimism from transportation industry leaders and carrier fleet managers.
The NHTS is reviewing national speed limits for Class 7 and Class 8 trucks, and industry leaders are expecting the new speed limit to be set at 68 mph.
Truck Specific Highway Lanes Gaining Popularity
As the transportation industry continues to expand, while Federal regulations like the revised HOS ruling limits on the road hours, the problem of congested highways during peak hours is quickly becoming more of a reality.
States such as Washington and California have experimented with truck dedicated lanes that allow commercial trucks to safely pass through cities without mingling with passenger vehicles. Dedicated lanes for trucks can improve traffic flow but it also improves safety as the majority of truck related accidents are caused by passenger cars.
Missouri is also studying a truck dedicated highway that would run from Kansas City to St. Louis. The concept is still years away from implementation, but would restrict trucks to the current I-70 lanes and build a new freeway for passenger cars and other vehicles.
Small Fleet Owners Encouraged to Participate in Grant Program Providing Anti-Idling Equipment
Owner-operators serving the continental 48 will be eligible to apply for a new program designed to offload energy waste while idling.
STEP is a DOE grant program offered by Cascade Sierra Solutions of Eugene, OR. The company announced the $10 million Shorepower Technologies Electrification Project as a way to provide idle reduction equipment rebates for devices on medium and heavy-duty diesel trucks that incorporate electric standby operation or run on battery power to eliminate engine idling during mandated rest periods.”
The program is aimed more specifically at small fleet owners who may apply for a maximum of 25 rebates per fleet.
Equipment purchases must be pre-authorized by Cascade Sierra Solutions with a rebate certificate prior to installation, Cascade’s release stated. Those selected must agree to use STEP project electrified truck parking where available until June 2014.
According to the release, the types of equipment eligible for the rebates, and the maximum payments, include auxiliary power units or generator sets with electric stand-by options, $2,000 max; battery HVAC systems, $1,600; battery evaporative cooler systems, $700; thermal storage systems, $260, truck cold plate systems, $3,200; trailer transport refrigeration units with electric stand-by options, $5,000; and e-Hybrid transport refrigeration units with electric stand-by options, $5,000. The equipment must be SmartWay-approved technology.
Influential Women in Trucking Nominations Now Open
Industry group Women in Trucking are holding their second annual “Influential Woman In Trucking” award ceremony this March 5th in Kissimmee, FL and they want you to tell them about notable professionals you know deserving of the award. Anyone can submit nominees, but the process is closed on January 31st.
Award candidates are defined as women who make or influence key decisions in a corporate, manufacturing, supplier, owner-operator, driver, sales or dealership setting. You can find out more about WIT and the award at http://www.womenintrucking2012.org/