Overdrive Magazine

Overdrive February 2019

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6 | Overdrive | February 2019 Join all our friends at facebook.com/OverdriveTrucking Follow breaking news and commentary at twitter.com/OverdriveUpdate Subscribe to our YouTube channel at youtube.com/OverdriveMag Subscribe to our daily newsletter at OverdriveOnline.com/newsletter-signup Exercise your trucking business mind at " Overdrive's Trucking Pro"group at Linkedin.com Share and comment on photography from around the trucking world at Instagram.com/overdrivetrucking e pace of change in trucking seems to have picked up in recent years. As developments con- tinue into 2019, here are ve broad areas to watch: COMPENSATION. Trucking shi ed down a gear as it concluded a banner year in 2018. A decent but not great 2019 is forecast, as Senior Ed- itor James Jaillet reports on page 26. Even so, un- employment is low, and freight demand remains relatively strong. at's a recipe for above-average pay hikes. AUTONOMOUS TRUCKS. Some of the glitz has faded, and that won't change in 2019. One recent telling development was Daimler Trucks & Buses concluding that platooning – long touted as an early application for autonomous trucking – isn't looking so promising. " e technology we would have to put in," saysCEOMartin Daum, outweighs the savings. e autonomous vehicle hype, obvious in recent years at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, was more subdued at last month's event, given newly widespread appreciation of the technical and regulatory obstacles. Trucking faces the same, if not higher, hurdles. at's good news for driver jobs. No one familiar with the challenges of Level 5 autonomy, where there is no driver/monitor in the truck, is predicting its over-the-road trucking debut even in the next decade. ELECTRIC TRUCKS. Unlike autonomy, this twin whiz kid of the trucking world has a clearer path for development. is year through next, more eet testing and then commercial produc- tion of electric and hydrogen-electric trucks will be under way with newcomers Nikola, Tesla and or, as well as established truck makers, in varied truck sizes up to Class 8. Expect scrambling as truck stops and other players try to build infra- structure to support alt-energy trucks — if not in long-haul,then at least in other segments. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS. If you have any doubt about the legal complexities surround- ing this business model, read Senior Editor Todd Dills' story about California-based concerns on page 28. Whatever happens in Congress, the courts, the U.S. Department of Labor, the IRS or elsewhere, the legitimacy of leased owner-oper- ator arrangements may not be totally clari ed by yearend. Don't be surprised if it gets even more confusing in California. HOURS OF SERVICE. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will propose a revised rule, thanks largely to Administrator Ray Martinez, who has given more than lip service to that goal. True to his and drivers' mantra, "flexibility," the revision will try to remedy the lack of it in the current rule, notably the sleeper berth split. As for the demon gadget that measures those hours, don't expect changes to the electronic log- ging device mandate. e bright side: Whenever a new hours rule takes e ect – unlikely to be in 2019, given the speed of major rule changes – with luck ELDs will measure work and rest hours that make a little more sense. Daimler has cast doubts on the cost-effectiveness of platooning with autonomous trucks. On tap for 2019 By Max Heine, Editorial Director mheine@randallreilly.com, twitter: @maxheine

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