It’s a new year! Here at F|Staff, we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary, we’re excited about offering Fast Pay to our drivers, and we’re looking forward to a great year! Here’s what’s happening around the industry

 

Love’s Expands with Four Huge New Facilities

In December, Love’s added four new stores in three states, including Ohio, Illinois, and Idaho. The facilities include their largest store yet, located in Bliss, Idaho, with 21,000 square feet of indoor space, 115 truck parking spaces, and nine diesel bays. All new facilities, including those in Rockford and Olney, Illinois, and Napoleon, Ohio offer, showers, shopping and laundry facilities, a CAT Scale, and a dog park. In January, Love’s announced that they plan to open as many as 50 new truck stops across the country in 2021, which would add approximately 3000 new truck parking spaces to the Love’s network. Love’s management wants truckers and travelers to know that their stores are clean and safe, with friendly staff, and they’re ready to accommodate more travelers than ever before.

 

Texas Starts New Awareness Campaign for Motorists

The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) launched a new campaign for 2021 to remind motorists that commercial vehicles need “lots of room.” The “Be Safe. Driver Smart.” campaign aims to make vehicle drivers aware of their unsafe driving habits around commercial vehicles. The campaign takes place mainly along the I-35 corridor and includes advice such as:

  • How to pass trucks safely
  • How to avoid truckers’ blind spots
  • What constitutes a safe following distance around trucks
  • Safe maneuvering behind and along-side trucks

 

Road Closures in Arizona Due to Snow!

On January 25th, multiple freeways in Arizona closed due to massive snowstorms. With 14 inches of snowfall in less than 24 hours, the I-40 corridor became a significantly hazardous route, resulting in accidents and at least one jack-knifed semi. This uncharacteristic storm serves as a good reminder for truckers to keep an eye on weather reports and always be prepared for unexpected conditions. We still have a couple of months of winter left, so be sure to pack your truck with extra clothes, blankets, portable heat sources, water, and snacks just in case you get stuck in the cold.

 

FMCSA to Evaluate Sleeper Berth Flexibility

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is evaluating the merits of allowing 6/4 and 5/5 splits of mandatory sleeper berth rest time to provide drivers with greater flexibility. Once a 60-day comment period lapses, the FMCSA will recruit 200 to 400 commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders who regularly use the sleeper berth provision. They will seek to include drivers from small, medium, and large carriers, team drivers, and owner-operators. The study places certain restrictions and requirements on participants, and participants will agree to between 6 to 12 months of participation.

 

New Deputy DOT Secretary Brings Valuable Freight Experience

Polly Trottenberg, the incoming deputy secretary of transportation, could likely be a valuable resource for the Department of Transportation (DOT) secretary and the trucking industry as a whole. Trottenberg’s experience includes policy experience at DOT, where she had a broad range of responsibilities, including motor carrier issues and commercial trucking policy. In an interview with Freightwaves, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa stated, “She knows how to prioritize our infrastructure needs so the country can better serve the more than 700,000 Teamsters who work across the industry as well as all Americans who use the nation’s roads, rails, and airports. The Teamsters are confident she will hit the ground running and will help direct a much-needed major overhaul of U.S. transportation networks.”