Coronavirus takes a toll on trucking industry
JKC Trucking co-owner and vice president Mike Kucharski says ever since coronavirus started, the trucking industry had to adapt its plan to transport food and some of those changes may be permanent.
House lawmakers this week passed an infrastructure bill, which includes two measures that could be challenging for the trucking industry.
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The $1.5 trillion bill, known as the Moving Forward Act, adjusts both the required minimum amount of insurance for commercial motor vehicles and the timeline for implementing new Hours of Service regulations.
TRUCKERS’ REQUIRED INSURANCE COVERAGE COULD INCREASE TO $2M
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-required minimum coverage is $750,000, but the bill raises that amount to $2 million.
The increase is designed to ensure insurance requirements keep up with inflation while supporting families who have lost loved ones.
Insurance costs have been a point of contention for the industry due to a number of nuclear verdicts, which refer to large jury awards sometimes in excess of $10 million.
High insurance costs have been cited as a contributing factor to company failures.
TRUCKING COMPANIES WILL FAIL ONCE PPP LOANS RUN OUT, EXPERTS SAY
The legislation would also delay the updated Hours of Service rules published last month pending a comprehensive review to determine the “safety impact.”
According to the bill, results of the review are to be published “not later than 18 months” after the date the review is initiated.
Hours of service regulations govern how long commercial drivers can operate without resting.
The updated guidance issued by the Department of Transportation would allow drivers to split their mandatory 10 hours of rest in two different ways (an 8-2 or 7-3 split) as opposed to being forced to take it all at once. Neither split counts against the 14- hour driving window.
The rule was considered “a major step forward” by industry insiders because it would allow drivers to get rest when they need it.
Those changes were scheduled to take effect in September.
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In order to become law, the bill still needs to be approved by the Senate.
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