The American Transportation Research Institute has released its annual report ranking the top ten critical issues facing the trucking industry.
ATRI collected survey data from both motor carriers and from truck drivers to compile their top ten list.
Not surprisingly, the survey results reflects serious concern over the regulatory burden that Washington is asking truckers to shoulder in uncertain economic times.
Here are ATRI’s top ten critical issues in trucking for 2016.
1. The ELD (Electronic Logging Device) Mandate — The December 2017 deadline for implementation of ELDs has created serious concern within the trucking industry, with 65% of the survey respondents worried about how the mandate will impact productivity.
2. Hours of Service regulations. Carriers are extremely worried that Congress could revert back to the 2013 HOS provisions, which 80% of truckers say cost them productivity.
3. Cumulative Economic Impacts of Trucking Regulations on the Industry — This is the first time in history that this issue has ever appeared on the survey, reflecting trucking’s growing concern about over regulation.
4. Truck Parking — ATRI says, “The growing scarcity of available truck parking creates a dangerous situation for truck drivers who are often forced to drive beyond allowable HOS rules or park in undesignated and, in many cases, unsafe locations.”
5. The Economy — Slow economic growth has caused this concern to jump from number 8 last year to number 5 this year.
6. CSA Scores — The FAST Act of 2015 removed CSA scored from public view and added reforms to study data accuracy, resulting in the lower ranking for this concern.
7. Driver Shortage — This controversial response has dropped from the number 3 concern last year due to a soft freight market.
8. Driver Retention — Driver turnover dropped in the first quarter of 2016, but the cost of recruiting and training remains a significant concern for carriers.
9. Transportation Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding — While Congress has passed several acts to aid in transportation infrastructure funding, the drivers who spend their lives on the nation’s highways are still concerned about whether they are safe to drive on now.
10. Driver Distraction — A lot of money has been spent on advertising campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of driver distraction, but those ads have not convinced drivers to put their phones down when they drive.