Utah Trucking Association Newsletter; June 27th, 2024

Upcoming Events:

  • July 11, 2024: Safety Management Council
  • August 16th – 17th, 2024: Great Salt lake Truck Show
  • August 27th, 2024: UTA membership Appreciation Fair
  • September 11th, 2024: TruckPAC Golf Tournament
  • November 1st, 2024: Driver Awards Banquet


Applications Due This Sunday!

June 30th, 2024

Special Offers:

Events and Announcements:  


Samba Safety


New ATRI Research Identifies Strategies for Mitigating Women Truck Driver Challenges

Washington, D.C. – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released new research identifying approaches to increase the number of women truck drivers entering and staying in the industry. After quantifying six key challenge areas facing women truck drivers, the research lays out an action plan for the industry – with discrete steps for motor carriers, truck driver training schools and truck drivers – all designed to make trucking careers more attractive to women.

This research was identified by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee in March of 2023 as a top priority to help further understand the challenges women drivers encounter. The research then promulgates specific strategies that the industry can implement to increase the relatively small number of women in trucking. 

Among the challenges identified in ATRI’s research were industry image and perception, training school completion, truck parking shortages and restroom access, and gender harassment and discrimination.

ATRI’s research included input from thousands of truck drivers, motor carriers and truck driver training schools through surveys, interviews and a women driver focus group to identify the underlying factors that generate challenges, as well as strategies for navigating and overcoming these barriers to success for women drivers. 

“ATRI’s research gives a voice to the thousands of women truck drivers who have found successful and satisfying careers in this industry and encouragement to other women to consider truck driving jobs,” said Emily Plummer, professional driver for Prime Inc. and one of the America’s Road Team Captains

The research found that women are drawn to driving careers for the income potential, highlighting the fact that pay parity for women and men is much more prevalent in the trucking industry than in other fields. 

The analysis found that carriers that implement women-specific recruiting and retention initiatives have a higher percentage of women drivers (8.1%) than those without (5.0%). The report details how fleets can put such initiatives in place.

“This report provides an important roadmap for the industry to increase the number of women drivers,” said Joyce Brenny, Brenny Transportation President and CEO. “We have found tremendous success and improved safety with our women drivers and believe others who utilize this research will also experience success.”

New ATRI Research: Industry Costs Increased More than 6 Percent During Freight Recession

ashington, D.C. – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released today the findings of its 2024 Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking. This annual report analyzes line-item costs, operating efficiencies, and revenue benchmarks by fleet sector and size, providing crucial benchmarking for motor carriers and a comprehensive overview of the financial state of trucking for decisionmakers in both industry and government.

The overall marginal costs of operating a truck hit $2.270 per mile in 2023. While the increase was only 0.8 percent over the previous year, when surcharge-protected fuel costs are excluded, marginal costs rose 6.6 percent to $1.716 per mile.

Overall, 2023 expenses rose moderately across most categories, with average costs across line-items increasing at less than half the rates experienced during 2021 and 2022. Truck and trailer payments grew by 8.8 percent to $0.360 per mile, driver wages grew by 7.6 percent to $0.779 per mile, and repair and maintenance costs grew by 3.1 percent to $0.202 per mile. The exception to this trend was truck insurance premiums, which grew by 12.5 percent to $0.099 per mile after two years of negligible change.

The soft 2023 freight market posed many challenges for operational efficiency, as tracked in the report. Deadhead mileage, a critical financial drain, rose to an average of 16.3 percent for all non-tank operations, and driver turnover rose by five percentage points in the truckload sector.

These pressures combined with low freight rates strained profitability across the industry. Average operating margins were 6 percent or lower in all fleet sizes and sectors other than LTL. The truckload and specialized sectors experienced drops in per-mile or per-truck revenue, and most saw “other costs” – expenses outside of the core marginal line-items – increase as a share of total revenue.

The report also includes analyses of cost trends in 2024 and beyond, including, for the first time, carrier-reported changes in Q1 2024 costs.

“The current economic environment makes cost management essential to successful operations,” said Gregg Troian, PGT Trucking President. “ATRI’s Operational Costs report provides the targeted costs and operational benchmarks necessary to identify opportunities for reducing expenses and how to best act on those opportunities in our fleet.”

Brake Inspection Blitz Sidelines 570 Trucks

This year’s Brake Safety Day data found that of the 4,898 inspections conducted, 4,328 commercial motor vehicles did not have any brake-related out-of-service violations — 88.4% of the total number of vehicles inspected. However, inspectors identified 570 (11.6%) commercial vehicles with brake-related critical inspection item vehicle violations. Those vehicles were immediately placed out-of-service until the critical violations could be properly addressed.

FMCSA to Hold in-Person Listening Session on Potential Safety Fitness Test Changes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plans to hold an in-person listening session about possible changes to its safety fitness determination system. The event will take place at 1 p.m. Central time on June 29, running concurrently with the Texas Trucking Show.

California’s 9th Circuit Upholds AB5 Law

The California worker classification law, commonly known as AB5, has been upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. According to California officials, AB5’s goal was to prevent businesses from misclassifying workers as independent contractors. However, many in the trucking industry disagreed.

Culture is Critical to Improving Driver Safety

When improving workplace culture, businesses must build trust, communicate clearly, and practice introspection. Fleet leaders share how a culture-focused approach helps carriers tackle safety holistically.

Trucking Jobs Take a Big Hit in May

Thousands of trucking jobs were lost in May as overcapacity, low rates and high operating costs continue to plague the industry. According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 5,000 trucking jobs were eliminated from the economy in May.

High-Value Cargo Increasingly Targeted by Thieves 

The trend of increasing cargo theft across the U.S. is no secret. Cargo theft recording firms have been reporting on the rise for more than a year. California, Texas and Tennessee were the top three states for cargo theft in the first quarter, though Arizona was among the top states for high-value thefts.

Canada Border Agent Strike Averted, For Now

 The union representing border agents called off job action until further notice as mediated talks will continue until Wednesday.

Is Fleet Maintenance the Next Cyberattack Frontier? 

A recent report from Colorado State showed that drivers’ ELDs were a point of cyber security vulnerability but the threat of a cyber breach isn’t so much about the ELD itself; it’s about a cyber pirate gaining access to a fleet’s telematics system.

Brake Safety Week Scheduled for August 25th-31st

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced that this year’s brake inspection and compliance enforcement initiative will take place Aug. 25-31. For this year’s Brake Safety Week, inspectors will focus on the condition of brake linings and pads. Brake lining and pad issues may result in vehicle violations and affect a motor carrier’s safety rating. The inspection procedure for air brakes is available on CVSA’s website.

Lawsuit Filed to Stop EPA’s Emissions Rule for New Heavy-Duty Vehicles

The American Petroleum Institute (API) filed a lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, June 18, challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) heavy-duty (HD) vehicle emissions standards for model years 2027-32. 

ATA Reports Tonnage Turnaround for May With 1.5% Rise

The ATA For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.5% year-over-year to 115.9, marking the first year-over-year gain in 15 months. The results also reflected a 3.6% increase from the 111.9 reported for April.

Fake Safety Audit’ Phishing Emails Keep Pouring In

Owner-operator Wayne Bruene, mostly hauling grain today out of a home base of Ankeny, Iowa, alerted the Western States Trucking Association to what’s clearly a phishing email making the rounds. It purports to be a follow-up email to a prior phone conversation with a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration auditor about an “Entrant Safety Audit.”

Trucking Conditions Continue to Improve; Spot Market Steady

“Better days are in sight for trucking companies, but the market still needs to work through the tough combination of too much capacity and sluggish freight demand,” reasoned FTR vice-president of trucking, Avery Vise.

UCR Fees to Increase in 2025

After proposing a 25% increase to UCR fees early this year, FMCSA is now finalizing the increase, which will equate to $9 annually for the smallest of carriers.

Senators Ramp Up EV Pushback

Senior Republicans in the Senate are again taking aim at the Biden administration’s promotion of electric vehicles, the latest move in Congress’ persistent pushback on efforts to compel businesses and everyday drivers to transition away from vehicles powered by fossil fuels. The administration also is facing pressure from Democrats for a lack of progress on buildout of charging infrastructure.

FMCSA to Survey Truck Drivers on Whether They Wear Seat Belts 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Wednesday it will conduct a survey of commercial motor vehicle drivers on seatbelt use. Federal law has long required drivers of commercial motor vehicles to wear seat belts. In 2016, a new federal law required passengers in commercial motor vehicles to also be properly restrained. 

California Bill to Fund Transit Via Tax or Vehicle Surcharge Sidelined

For the second year in a row, legislation to help bail out San Francisco-area transit has been sidelined at the California statehouse. Dubbed the “Connect Bay Area Act,” SB1031 would authorize a November 2026 vote in multiple Bay Area counties to decide whether to raise $1.5 billion annually for up to 30 years to help cover costs for train, bus and ferry operations in the region.

CVSA Releases Results of 2024 Brake Safety Day

According to CVSA, of the 4,898 inspections conducted, 4,328 (88.4%) commercial motor vehicles had no brake-related, out-of-service violations. However, inspectors identified 570 (11.6%) commercial vehicles with brake-related critical violations. Those vehicles were immediately restricted from travel until the violations could be addressed.

Record Number of Fourth of July Travelers Expected on U.S. Highways

A record number of Americans are expected to jam the nation’s highways to observe the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. AAA projects a record 60.6 million people will travel by car over Independence Day week – that’s an additional 2.8 million travelers compared to last year.

Fleet Drivers Distracted By Work and Want More Safety Training, Study Finds

New research from insurance provider Nationwide shows commercial fleet drivers are facing increased distractions and safety risks on the road, exacerbated by staffing shortages that are leading to longer hours behind the wheel and a reduced focus on safety. Nearly three-quarters of commercial drivers surveyed said they want their management to increase the training being provided to drivers to help prevent accidents and improve safety. Edelman Data and Intelligence (DXI) conducted the national online survey of 400 commercial drivers and 1,000 general consumers.

Congress Eyes Creation of Anti-Fraud/Cargo Theft Task Force

report on the details of the bill notes that the Appropriations Committee “remains concerned with the alarming rise in supply chain fraud and theft through interstate commerce, particularly in the rail, motor carrier, and intermodal systems, including attempted burglary, theft of merchandise, or possession of merchandise stolen from a railcar and/or motor carrier.”

Towing Industry Dominates FMCSA Public Discussion of Predatory Billing and Practice

Tow company owners and representatives forcefully pushed back against perceived overly simplistic views of what is or isn’t ‘predatory,’ with plenty attempts at explanation for why they charge what they charge.

Is Cyber Security Insurance Trucking’s Next Big Premium?

Cybersecurity insurance is a topic of increasing interest in the trucking community, and small fleets and owner-operators may stand to benefit the most, according to National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) COO Joe Ohr. NMFTA doesn’t take a position on whether motor carriers should carry cybersecurity insurance, but it does help those in the industry weigh the pros and cons.

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