The trucking industry is vibrant, complex and constantly changing. The successful operation of a fleet or owner-operator business requires an in-depth understanding of various trucking regulations and new trucking laws. Keeping current with changes to trucking regulations is essential to ensure compliance and keep trucks on the road. By 2022, the existing regulations continue to apply, but there may be changes. Also, there are a couple of new truck laws coming into force this year or on the horizon. Here's what you need to know about the most recent regulations from the trucking industry.
REGULATIONS TO WATCH IN 2022
The Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act was initially introduced in 2019 and is named after an Atlanta college student who was killed after colliding with a truck in 2002. It aims to minimize the impact of large truck accidents by imposing speed limiters on trucks above 26,000 pounds, limiting their maximum speed to 65 mph. The act has been highly controversial, with both the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the safety group Road Safe America recently backing updated regulations that include concessions for trucks that are utilizing adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking systems.
The bill was reintroduced in May 2021 with support from both sides, but it has not yet been debated in the House. It could become a new federal regulation for truckers in 2022 and would need to be closely monitored.
With a renewed drive to clean energy, there is some speculation that the Department of Transport might adopt California's mandate, which calls for zero emissions by 2045. Although not confirmed, it only makes sense to keep an eye on changes in emissions standards in 2022 and beyond.
3-ELDS AND WAIVERS
Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) were prescribed by the FMCSA in December 2017 for the majority of highway carriers, replacing paper logs. These devices synchronize with a vehicle's engine to automatically record driving time, preventing drivers from falsifying HSOs and, in theory, minimizing road accidents. In November 2021, the FMCSA announced one of the guaranteed trucking regulatory changes for 2022. This regulation dictates that any ELDs relying on 3G cellular connectivity will no longer comply, as mobile carriers are rapidly shutting down 3G networks and upgrading to more advanced 5G. All major carriers have announced dates to finish the 3G closures in 2022, although they may close some areas sooner. Drivers and fleets should plan to upgrade any 3G-reliant ELDs immediately to avoid malfunctions and FMCSA non-compliance.
Lack of proper parking for trucks is a major problem in the U.S., which has worsened as many public stops have been closed due to COVID-19. Further adding to the problem are cities like Philadelphia and Minneapolis issuing city-wide bans of trucks parking on city streets, and ongoing lack of parking near ports, as drivers attempt to clear backlogs of container freight in major hubs like Los Angeles and Long Beach. With strict HOS regulations in place, many drivers have a hard time staying within legal hours and following break requirements without legal spaces to park their trucks.
The American Trucking Association (ATA) has been a vocal proponent of regulations to address the parking issue and in March 2021 the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act was introduced for this purpose. The bill provides $755 million over five years for truck parking and includes grant programs for states, public agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, and private sector partnerships.
Truck parking is an issue that should be of particular interest to drivers, who are reported to spend an average of 56 minutes per day (a tenth of their total working hours) locating parking as well as fleet managers who employ these drivers. The lack of safe, legal parking has a financial impact on the fleet but it also impacts driver satisfaction. We hope that you found some useful information in this blog post.