Special Edition V.30 (April 2020)
Maine Driver Ron Round Featured on Tucker Carlson Show
April 21, 2020

Below is the story that was run on the Tucker Carlson Tonight show last night celebrating the role truckers play during the pandemic. Great job representing the trucking industry Ron!

New Data Show COVID-19 Impacts on the Trucking Industry

Atlanta, GA – Today, the American Transportation Research Institute is releasing new data that quantifies the continued impacts of COVID-19 business disruptions on the trucking industry.  
ATRI’s latest analysis looked at truck activity across six states from February 9 through the most recent week ending April 18, by converting its real-time truck GPS dataset into a truck activity index. 
“The GPS data we use is a valuable tool into what is going on in the economy and the trucking industry right now,” said ATRI President and COO Rebecca Brewster. “We knew from talking to drivers and carrier executives that there were significant impacts on operations as a result of COVID-19, but now, by analyzing this data we are able to put numbers and data to feelings and anecdotes.” 
From early February into March, the data shows a spike in initial truck activity in the analyzed states – documenting the response to high consumer demand for items such as non-perishable food and paper products, as well as the much-needed emergency medical supplies. 
The analysis further documents the impacts of the stay-at-home orders that shut down major segments of the economy, with a resulting decline in April trucking operations. 

  • Of the six states analyzed, California had the earliest stay-at-home order issued on March 19. California also experienced the earliest upward spike in truck activity, occurring during the week of March 1. However, truck activity in California is now down 8.3 percent from early February. 
  • In Florida, Illinois and New York, truck activity spiked the week of March 8 but is now down on average by over 10 percent from February 9. 
  • In Pennsylvania and Washington, truck activity spiked during the week of March 15, but is now down by an average of nearly nine percent from February 9. 
There are initial signs of a return to normal, however. In New York, one of the earliest states to experience high numbers of cases, truck activity started a positive uptick during the week of April 12. 
"In these unprecedented times, we need to rely on science and facts, not anecdotes and speculation. This ATRI research is able to tell us in near-real-time what the pandemic is really doing to the trucking industry,” said American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello.  
With Truckers, Trump Pushes Big Infrastructure Funding
Transport Topics

If there was doubt about the type of event that was about to take place at the White House on April 16, two large commercial trucks parked on the premises should’ve been a hint. The country’s truck drivers were being honored.

The coronavirus pandemic has created battlefields around the country where many individuals have risen to the occasion and acted heroically. President Donald Trump sought to make clear to the country, as well as the world, among the heroes are the millions of women and men delivering goods to supermarkets, warehouses and elsewhere. He referred to truckers as essential and thanked God for their contributions during the crisis.

“I know the truckers. They wouldn’t switch with anybody. It’s what they love, right? That’s why they’re good at it,” said the president, who stood alongside Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and four truckers. “Truckers are playing a critical role in vanquishing the virus, and they will be just as important as we work to get our economic engines roaring, which is happening very quickly. You watch.”

Best Practices to Keep COVID-19 at Bay in Maintenance Shops

Few things have stayed the same during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many more people work from home (if they were able to keep their jobs). And no one can really predict what next month will look like, let alone next year. But trucks’ tires still wear out. Their engines still require maintenance. That much is known.

But what isn’t is how repair and service shops can keep from being their neighborhood’s next outbreak hotspot? People are coming and going, maybe to work in the shop or to pick up or drop off vehicles. They may have just come from the hospital or a grocery store, places where the public still congregates and the novel coronavirus can hop from host to unsuspecting host.

Several States Clarify, Extend COVID-19 Truck-Weight Waivers
The Trucker

Several states are issuing, clarifying, and in some cases extending a variety of temporary truck weight waivers in support of national COVID-19 relief and prevention efforts.

On April 13, the California Department of Transportation announced it would issue temporary special permits for overweight trucks transporting COVID-19 emergency supplies as part of the recent State of Emergency declaration issued by Governor Gavin Newsom in early March and subsequent activation of the federal Stafford Disaster Relief and Assistance Act.

“Authorizing these special exceptions clears a path for greater volumes of material vital in the fight against COVID-19,” noted Toks Omishakin, Caltrans director, in a statement. “Emergency medical supplies and equipment, groceries, perishable items, water and countless other essential items will now reach their destinations more rapidly than they did before, at a time when people need them most.”

We will keep MMTA members posted as new information comes in. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to email Tim, Randy or Brian if you have questions.