Overdrive Magazine

April 2019

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18 | Overdrive | April 2019 Pete's back in black Peterbilt debuted its Model 579 Blackout Exterior Package designed to increase the truck's driver appeal. The package includes an exclusive black-effect exterior paint, Dura-Black aluminum wheels and a black finish grille crown. The black grille crown and aluminum wheels also are available as stand- alone options with any exterior color. Fuel taxes to increase in Alabama, Arkansas Governors in Alabama and Arkansas last month signed new laws that will increase fuel taxes. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey approved a 10-cent fuel tax increase to help pay for infrastructure improvements. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a highway funding bill that will increase diesel fuel prices by 6 cents. Alabama's fuel tax increase applies to diesel and gasoline. A 6-cent increase will take effect Aug. 31, and the tax will increase by 2 cents on Oct. 1, 2020, and again on Oct. 1, 2021. The increases will bring the state's fuel taxes to 29 cents for diesel and 28 cents for gas. The law ties Alabama's fuel tax to the Federal Highway Administration's National Highway Construction Cost Index, which could adjust fuel taxes in the state by no more than 1 cent every other year. Arkansas diesel taxes will increase to 28.5 cents, while gas taxes will increase 3 cents to 24.5 cents. The fuel tax hikes will take effect Oct. 1 and are part of a highway funding package that will generate an esti- mated $95 million annually for the state. Arkansas voters will decide next year on the other part of the infrastructure fund- ing, a half-cent sales tax that would pro- duce $205 million a year. — Matt Cole Introduced into both chambers of Congress in late February was a bill that would allow commercial driver's license holders under age 21 to cross state lines and work in interstate operations. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent a let- ter to Congress opposing the legislation. Currently, federal law allows only CDL holders 21 and older to operate interstate, while 48 states allow drivers 18 and older to operate Class 8 trucks intrastate. The Drive Safe Act (H.R. 1374 and S. 569) also would institute new training cri- teria for under-21 operators to drive inter- state. Those requirements would include at least 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving time, both with an expe- rienced operator training them. Trucks used for this training would be equipped with active braking systems, forward-facing video recorders and governors that cap speeds at 65 mph. The legislation also was introduced in both chambers during the last Congress, but no action was taken. The American Trucking Associations, a strong proponent of the legislation, has argued that it could help the industry tap into a larger pool of prospective career drivers. OOIDA said in its letter that many of the same entities pushing for a change in the current minimum age require- ment would use it to take advantage of a new pool of young drivers who would be subjected to poor working conditions, predatory lease-to-own contracts and inadequate compensation. — James Jaillet PRIME INC. AND NUSSBAUM TRANSPORTATION were named the overall winners of the Truckload Carriers Association's Best Fleets to Drive For contest. The awards were announced last month by TCA and CarriersEdge at TCA's annual meeting in Las Vegas. Prime, Best Overall Fleet in the large carrier category, and Nussbaum, the small carrier category winner, have been named to the Best Fleets Top 20 multiple times. WEST VIRGINIA lawmakers last month passed a resolution that gives the state's trans- portation secretary authority to raise speed limits on inter- states to 75 mph. A LARGE SINKHOLE that opened up on eastbound Interstate 20 near Van, Texas, at the 545 milemarker forced the Texas Department of Transportation to close the interstate in that direction and reroute traffic until repairs were completed. PACCAR AND VOLVO recalled trucks because of issues with an automated manual transmis- sion's clutch assembly. The larg- est recall, from Paccar, includes more than 25,300 Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks. Contact customer service at 918-259- 3258 with recall number 18PBE or 18KWH. Volvo's recall affects about 1,220 model-year 2018- 19 VNL tractors. Contact cus- tomer service at 800-528-6586 with recall number RVXX1901. MACK RECALLED about 3,900 model-year 2019-20 Anthem, Granite and Pinnacle trucks manufactured between Jan. 15, 2018, and Jan. 11, 2019, because the passenger-side door down-view mirror could detach. Contact customer service at 800-866-1177 with recall number SC0416. Bills would allow under-21 truck drivers

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