The Denham Amendment: Truck driver pay and rest breaks to be decided by Congress this week

The Denham Amendment: Truck driver pay and rest breaks to be decided by Congress this week

This week, Congress will decide the fate of an American Trucking Association-backed amendment to a federal aviation bill that could have massive repercussions for truck drivers.

The Denham Amendment, named for California Rep. Jeff Denham, would attempt to standardize truck driver rest breaks and benefits by creating a uniform nationwide set of requirements that would preempt state laws and regulations. Denham has attempted to pass the amendment several times over the past few years.

The amendment has been tucked into the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act, which is up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

OOIDA has issued a call to action, urging truckers to contact their lawmakers to demand that they oppose the Denham Amendment. OOIDA argues that the broad language of the amendment could have serious and negative repercussions for drivers.

OOIDA says that “the amendment would let large carriers further reduce driver wages, resulting in a negative outcome for highway safety” and that it “would block any future efforts to expand driver pay and ensure truckers are fairly compensated for all the hours they work.” OOIDA also points out that trucking regulation amendments do not belong in aviation bills. You can click here for information from OOIDA on how to contact your representatives.

OOIDA’s acting president Todd Spencer notes, “Congressman Denham continues to push his F4A amendment at the behest of ATA. They’ve had every opportunity to narrow the scope of the language, and they’ve simply refused to do so. The amendment being considered now is overly broad and we’re concerned it goes well beyond addressing state meal and rest break laws.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has also urged Democrats to oppose the Denham Amendment, declaring that “This wrongheaded amendment denies truck drivers the voluntary lunch or rest break that they are guaranteed in more than 20 states by state law, which in many cases have been on the books for decades.”

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VIDEO: Kentucky third graders pay tribute to coal trucks with parody video

Kentucky third graders pay tribute to coal trucks with parody video

A third grade class from Pike County, Kentucky went viral after posting their tribute to Kentucky coal mining.

Their song, “Mine the Coal,” was written by teacher Erica Rowe and sang to the tune of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off.” The video was published April 3, 2018 and has been viewed nearly 200,000 times.

“Mine the Coal,” is mostly about mining work, but you can find references to the work of coal haulers during the 1:30 – 1:40 portion of the video.

I’m drivin’ down the road (drivin’ down the road)
I load the truck before I go (truck before I go)
Haulin’ coal is what I know (mm-hmm)
Haulin’ coal is what I know (mm-hmm)

The students earned third place in a regional competition.

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Be on the lookout for missing Oregon truck driver

Be on the lookout for missing Oregon truck driver

A driver’s company and the Oregon State Police are asking for help in locating a truck driver who has been missing since Tuesday.

Be on the lookout for missing Oregon truck driver

Be on the lookout for missing Oregon truck driver

Twenty-two year old truck driver Jacob Cartwright was last seen on Tuesday, according to a Facebook post from his company, La Grande, Oregon-based Little Trees Transportation:

HELP!! I have a driver and truck missing. Last known location was US395 South at Pilot Rock, OR Tuesday April 24 at 8:15pm, and his GPS pinged at tower on OR244 MP 33 near Starkey, OR at 9:45pm.

Driver’s name is Jacob Cartwright. He’s 22 years old. 6’6” tall 275 lbs. He’s married with 2 small children and a third on the way.

Truck is a green 2005 Kenworth T600 OR plate # Y AIN 633. Truck 02 of Little Trees Transportation. It’s pulling a 53’ Wabash Dry Van plate # HV11122 OR unit #5301.

He loaded in Portland Tuesday afternoon. He stopped at the TA in Troutdale, OR from 4:30-4:55. He was heading to Nyssa, OR.

If seen please contact Oregon State Police in La Grande at 541-664-4600, or Little Trees Transportation at 971-219-1881.

Truck, trailer, and load can be replaced. We cannot replace a life!!

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VIDEO: That’s one way to end a police chase…

VIDEO: That's one way to end a police chase...

Ohio police have shared incredible dash cam video of an alleged stolen vehicle chase that ended when the suspect ran a stop sign and crashed under a truck’s trailer.

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The chase happened around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 24, in Mentor, Ohio, according to the Mentor Patch.

Police say that 33 year old Scott Paradiso fled after pulling over for police, who suspected that the Jeep that he was driving was stolen. Authorities says the Paradiso pulled over briefly but took off when the police officer got out of his cruiser. As other officers pursued, Paradiso ran a stop sign and crashed under a truck’s trailer.

Truck driver David Bilton wasn’t hurt. Paradiso was extracted from the Jeep and then airlifted to the hospital. He is listed in critical condition.

Mentor police continue to investigate the incident.

You can take a look at video from another police officer’s dash ca below.

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VIDEO: Man crushed by two big rigs as son comes to his aide

Man crushed by two big rigs as son comes to his aide

A pickup driver was fatally crushed by two big rigs in Llano, California as his son tried to assist him.

The accident occurred on April 24, 2018 around 10:00 p.m. when the driver of a Ford F-150 rolled over and halted near 170th Street East and Avenue T8.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the driver’s son was in the area and turned around to assist his father. A few minutes later, an 18-wheeler noticed the F-150 in the roadway and stopped to help. As that semi was stopping, another big rig failed to notice the scene and crashed into the pickup, causing the F-150 to be crushed in between both semi-trucks.

The unidentified father was pronounced dead at the scene.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating both crashes.

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Virginia lawmaker raises alarm about truck parking problem

Virginia lawmaker raises alarm about truck parking problem

A Virginia delegate believes that the ELD Mandate is to blame for a serious safety issue after he spotted numerous truck drivers with nowhere to park lined up on the shoulders and onramps of the interstate.

Chris Hurst, member of the Virginia House of Delegates, took to Twitter this week to draw attention to a serious truck parking issue in Ironto. He wrote: “This. Is. Crazy. Each night after sundown, trucks are lined as far as the eye can see at rest stops along Interstate 81. I took these pics as I was driving home tonight. We’ve got to fix this.” Hurst also included several photos of the trucks lined up along the interstate.

Virginia lawmaker raises alarm about truck parking problem

Virginia lawmaker raises alarm about truck parking problem

Hurst went on to clarify that he is looking for a trucker friendly solution to the problem.

Hurst also pointed to the new ELD Mandate as a cause for the truck parking problem.

Hurst told WSLS that he doesn’t have any immediate solutions for the truck parking problem but that he is willing to listen to truck drivers who have ideas.

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Shooting incident at Indiana factory blamed on frustrated trucker

Frustrated Trucker

Police say that a non-injury shooting incident outside of a factory in Seymour, Indiana, was triggered by a driver’s frustration with a late load.

The incident was reported yesterday around 4 a.m. at the RR Donnelley printing plant, according to The Tribune.

Police were called to printing plant after an employee reported to a manager about hearing several shots fired outside of the facility. The gunfire “wasn’t close enough to cause a panic, but it was close enough to cause concern,” according to Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott.

When police arrived on the scene and reported to the area where the shots were heard, they found one semi truck, two co-drivers, three handguns, and a spent shell casing. Investigators said that several shots had been fired into the ground on the south side of the facility.

No injuries were reported.

Both truck drivers denied firing a gun. However, after interviewing the drivers, police believe that the shots were fired because of frustration caused by a delay in picking up a scheduled load.

Police sent the shell casings and firearms to the lab to try to determine which of the drivers pulled the trigger. No arrests have been made at this time, but charges could follow.

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Michigan Troopers: Truckers have been preventing suicides for decades

Michigan Troopers: Truckers have been preventing suicides for decades

Michigan State Police (MSP) say yesterday’s viral incident of parking trucks under an overpass to prevent a suicidal man from jumping is nothing new — troopers say that the technique has been in use for years and that truckers are always willing to help.

On April 24 around 1 a.m., thirteen truck drivers parked underneath an overpass in Detroit in order to shorten the fall should an emotionally disturbed man on the bridge decide to jump. The man eventually made it off the overpass without injury and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

While many people remarked that they’ve never seen trucks used in this way, MSP’s Lt. Mike Shaw told Fox2 that troopers have been using the technique for many years: “We have been doing this for as long as I have been in the department, which is 1995. We have kept it quiet for that long but social media and cell phones kind of changes that.”

Shaw went on to explain how the technique works: “We know that usually if someone jumps from that height it’s usually not going to be a good outcome. We will actually steal semi trucks out of the crowd and as we get the cars off the freeway we will direct the semis to another trooper that’s standing underneath the bridge and we will start to line them up right across.”

Shaw says that he never has a shortage of truck drivers who volunteer to help prevent a suicide. “They want to help out too. Nobody wants to see somebody take their own life and if it takes parking your truck underneath an overpass for a couple of hours to make sure somebody’s safe, they’re more than willing to do something like that,” he said.

You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 or texting 741-741.

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Trucker faces attempted murder charges following truck stop stabbing over parking spot

One truck driver is fighting for his life and another has been booked on attempted murder charges following a parking spot dispute at an Arizona truck stop that turned bloody yesterday.

Thirty-seven year old South Carolina-based truck driver Dereck Johnson has been arrested and charged with second degree attempted homicide for allegedly stabbing another truck driver at the Pilot Travel Center in Rio Rico, according to Nogales International.

Sheriff Antonio Estrada says that the incident was sparked around 3 p.m. in the truck stop parking lot: “There was a dispute, a disagreement over parking of the tractor-trailers on the lot there.”

The verbal argument in the parking lot moved into the truck stop building, where it escalated. Estrada said, “The suspect obviously took out a knife, yielded a knife, and stabbed the victim in the frontal area numerous times.”

Police say that Johnson did not resist arrest.

The victim, 33 year old Pennsylvania-based truck driver Ahmet Gumoskaya, was airlifted to the hospital and is listed in serious condition.

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Carrier ordered out of service for “complete and utter lack of compliance” with FMCSA regulations

A Georgia-based trucking company has been declared an imminent hazard to public safety by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for a laundry list of offenses including illegally reincarnation, substance abuse screening violations, and failure to properly record and monitor their drivers’ record of duty status.

Daya Trucking was issued a federal out of service order on April 23 after authorities discovered that the company was a reincarnated version of Ekam Truck Lines. The FMCSA says that Ekam received an Unsatisfactory safety rating in 2017 and reincarnated into Data Trucking in order to avoid complying with the required actions needed to improve the safety rating. The FMCSA responded to this discovery by merging the safety records of Data and Ekam and placing both companies out of service.

A compliance investigation into Data reportedly uncovered a variety of violations. Here are some of the highlights from their findings:

  • Between Jan. 1, 2018, and Feb. 28, 2018, Daya’s non-compliant Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRD) system recorded 4,802 hours of unidentified driving time resulting from 51 instances of drivers unplugging or disabling the recording mechanisms.

“Investigators found an instance in which a Daya driver recorded his off-duty time commencing in Orangeburg, South Carolina. After disconnecting the AOBRD, the driver continued operating his vehicle. Global positioning system (GPS) records showed the vehicle leaving South Carolina, passing through Georgia and Florida, before arriving in Brewton, Alabama, where the driver reconnected the AOBRD.  The following day, the same driver, after crossing Mississippi and now near Ruston, Louisiana, again recorded that he was commencing his off-duty time, however, he again disconnected the AOBRD and continued driving through Louisiana and across Texas before arriving in New Mexico, as documented by GPS records.”

  • Investigators found that Daya allowed seven drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) before receiving negative pre-employ tests as required by federal safety regulations.  Four drivers known to have tested positive for controlled substances were found to have been dispatched by Daya.
  • Investigators found instances of five drivers without a current commercial driver’s license (CDL) or in possession of a suspended CDL, nevertheless, being allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
  • In the past 12 months, Daya vehicles have been placed out-of-service at a rate of 46 percent and cited for inoperable required lamps, exposed tire fabric, defective brakes, broken or missing axle position components, and oil or grease leaks from hubs.

In addition to the out of service order, Daya may be subject to civil and criminal penalties, including up to a year in prison if the violations are found to be willful.

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