Trucking Biz Buzz

DAT Solutions: A Southeastern shift

The national average reefer rate was unchanged during the week ending April 26 despite some promising signs that demand would increase soon.

Nationally, the number of reefer load posts increased just 1 percent and average spot truckload rates have yet to make a seasonal jump, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the OOIDA MembersEdge load board.

Let’s take a closer look at the good, the bad, and a tip of the week in the spot market:

The good
So far this spring, imported produce from Mexico has dominated reefer demand, with solid opportunities for hauls from along the southern border. Now the focus is shifting to the Southeast. Reefer volume is up in Florida, Georgia peaches have started to ship, and produce is ripening elsewhere along the coast.

The top three markets for reefer load posts on DAT MembersEdge are Miami, Atlanta, and Lakeland, Fla., with several sharp increases on key lanes: Miami to Elizabeth, N.J., surged 31 cents and paid an average of $1.76 a mile, Miami to Boston rose 30 cents to $1.97 a mile, and Lakeland to Baltimore was up 25 cents to $1.81 a mile.

Nationally, the reefer load-to-truck ratio was unchanged, holding at 2.6 loads per truck. The national average reefer rate held steady at $1.78 per mile. 

The bad
The van market is still trying to find some traction. The van load-to-truck ratio was unchanged compared to the previous week, rounding to 1.4 loads per truck on 4 percent lower volume. The national average van rate was also unchanged at $1.50 a mile. 

Regionally, van rates weakened or remained the same in several key markets including Atlanta (unchanged at $1.64), Charlotte (down 2 cents to $1.74), Los Angeles ($1.83, unchanged), and Chicago (down 1 cent to $1.75). 

The rising price of fuel has done little to move the needle on spot rates. The national average diesel price rose 4 cents to $2.20 a gallon, building on a 3-cent gain the previous week.

The takeaway
If you haul reefer freight, you’ll have no trouble finding a load out of Miami, where the load-to-truck ratio is roughly 7. But the average rate from Miami to Atlanta is still low at $1.41. You’ll want to negotiate hard on the southbound leg, from Atlanta to Miami, which averaged $2.06 last week.

Another option is to build a tri-haul out of Miami. Tune in every Wednesday at 6 Central Time to Sirius XM’s Road Dog Channel and OOIDA’s Land Line Now, where Terry Scruton talks with DAT. This week, he talked with Peggy Dorf about opportunities on the MembersEdge load board to increase revenue by adding a third leg to your route. Look for more information about load availability and rates at OOIDA’s

(Editor’s note: The analysis above is provided to Land Line as a reader service from DAT Solutions. Rates and trends reported are reflected in the DAT Solutions network)


Truck show dates make May a busy calendar month

Truck show season is underway and May’s calendar features events across the country featuring some of the industry’s most eye-catching trucks. Check Land Line’s Industry Calendar periodically for updated information.

If you are near Earlville, Iowa, on May 6-7, swing by the Midwest Pride in Your Ride Truck and Tractor Show. Pride in Your Ride will feature show trucks, antique farm tractors, a truck pull, truck drag racing and more. The event will take place at the Tri-State Raceway. For more information, visit

One day after the Pride in Your Ride Show, the Make-A-Wish foundation in Philadelphia will be hosting its 27th annual Mother’s Day Truck Convoy. From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 8 at Burle Industries off of Route 23 in Lancaster more than 300 trucks will be participating in a convoy that will leave at 1:30 p.m. sharp. Other activities include live music, BBQ, games, auctions and more. Visit the website by clicking here for details.

On May 12-14, Kenly 95 Petro in Kenly, N.C., will be hosting the 5th annual East Coast Truckers Jamboree. The “Gear’d Up” show will feature motorcycles, cars and street trucks in addition to the big rigs. Live music includes John Berry on Friday and Jim Quick and the Coastline Band on Thursday. Go to for additional information.

The American Truck Historical Society is planning its National Convention on May 26-28 at the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center in Salem, Ore. Last year’s show featured a variety of trucks, both antique and new. Everything from old-school pickup trucks to B-model Macks to Marmons and everything in between can be seen. Visit for more information.


FMCSA reports 830 trucks affected by Volvo recall still not fixed

Approximately 830 Volvo 2016-2017 VNL, VNX and VNM trucks subjected to the large scale steering recall are unaccounted for, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. On Tuesday, the agency issued a recall update with a reminder that these vehicles should not be operated “as they pose an imminent hazard and are to be immediately ordered out-of-service by federal and state roadside safety inspectors.”

On March 31, Land Line reported Volvo recalling nearly 20,000 trucks because of a substantial defect with the steering. The defect is so significant that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has urged owners to take affected vehicles out of service as soon as possible or face penalties.

Some trucks may be missing a roll pin on the steering shafts, potentially disconnecting the lower steering shaft from the junction block. Additionally, the bolt connecting the upper steering shaft to the lower steering shaft may not have been properly tightened. Both situations can cause the steering shaft to separate.

On March 25, nearly 14,000 affected trucks had been fixed or taken out of service, approximately three-fourths of all trucks affected by the recall. 

Volvo Trucks North America spokesperson John Mies confirmed to Land Line that the company will reimburse customers for “reasonable towing and/or rental expenses.”

Any drivers wanting to make a claim must submit it in writing to Volvo Group North America LLC, Attn: Steering Shaft Recall, 7900 National Service Road, Greensboro, N.C. 27409. Make sure the affected vehicle’s VIN is included as well as supporting documents justifying the amount being requested. An itemized breakdown of each expense must be included.

Repairs to affected trucks can only be done by someone authorized by Volvo Trucks. To find the nearest shop, drivers should call Volvo’s customer support line at 877-800-4945.

Owners can call Volvo at 877-800-4945 and choose option No. 1. Volvo’s recall numbers for this campaign are RVXX1602 and RVXX1603. This recall supersedes safety recall 15V-786.


WABCO acquires Laydone Composites Ltd.

WABCO, a component provider for OEMs, has recently acquired Laydon Composites Ltd. (LCL), a manufacturer of aerodynamic devices for heavy-duty trucks and trailers, according to a news release.

LCL, based in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, generated approximately $25 million (Canadian dollars) last year. The company has been around for more than 30 years.

WABCO’s acquisition will give worldwide access to LCL products. In a symbiotic relationship, WABCO in turn will be able to expand its North American market access through LCL’s pre-established relationships.

LCL’s collapsible air fairings improve air flow over tractor cabs, reducing fuel usage as much as 12 percent. For trailers, LCL’s patented, SmartWay Elite certified TrailerSkirt and nose fairings reduce air drag for a combined 9 percent fuel savings and lower CO2 emissions.

For more information about WABCO products visit the company website.


Love’s opens new location in Davenport, Fla.

Love’s Travel Stops has opened a new location in central Florida. Drivers will now have a new place to stop at along Interstate 4 and U.S. Highway 27 in Davenport, Fla.

Davenport’s new Love’s location is the fourth Love’s Travel Stop in Florida since 2014. Including the 69 truck-parking spaces in Davenport, Love’s has added 373 truck-parking spaces in Florida. Love’s other newer travel stops in Florida are in Fort Pierce, Fort Myers and Mossy Head. Love’s operates 12 travel stops in the state.

The Davenport Love’s features seven showers, a Love’s Truck Tire Care facility, RFID cardless fueling and CAT scales. Customers can also enjoy gourmet coffee, fresh fruit, gift items, an Arby’s restaurant and more.


New truck show planned for September 2017 in Atlanta

The North American Commercial Vehicle Show is set to debut Sept. 25-29, 2017 in Atlanta.

The show, which will be focused on the commercial fleet and heavy-truck market, will consist of more than 300,000 square feet of exhibition space.

According to a news release, the NACV Show will allow suppliers, commercial vehicle OEMs and the supply chain to meet with and address the needs of the North American commercial vehicle industry audience. The show will be held on alternating years from the Deutsche Messe-hosted show in Hannover, Germany.

The NACV Show will be organized and managed jointly by Hannover Fairs USA and Newcom Business Media.

“The new North American Commercial Vehicle Show is a perfect fit with Deutsche Messe’s commercial vehicle events portfolio,” said Larry Turner, the President and CEO of Hannover Fairs USA. “Hannover Fairs USA and Newcom are uniquely positioned to develop and organize this new event while working with the industry to guarantee the needs of all participants are met.”

The NACV Show will specifically target North American-based commercial fleet owners, owner operators, commercial and light commercial vehicle dealers, distributors, repair shops, truck manufacturers and the commercial vehicle trade media, according to a news release.

“We look forward to working with Hannover Fairs USA to leverage Deutsche Messe and Newcom’s commercial vehicle event expertise, experience and sales network to gain a strong position in the United State with major manufacturers and pertinent industry associations,” said Joe Glionna, the Vice President and General Manager of the NewCom Business Media.

In late March, the American Trucking Associations announced plans to explore development of a new commercial vehicle event. ATA, along with the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association division of the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, said it had entered into an agreement with Messe Frankfurt to develop a new, biennial North American based truck and transportation event that also would take place in odd numbered years.

No further details have been released.


WisDOT begins electronic credential pilot program

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is seeking drivers to participate in a pilot program regarding electronic credentials. WisDOT wants participants to go paperless with certain documents to assess time saved and the convenience of updating credentials.

Already in progress and ending on Sept. 30, participation is informal and voluntary. Drivers who wish to participate are encouraged to have electronic forms of the following documents:

  • IRP cab card or intrastate vehicle certificate of registration
  • Trailer vehicle certificate or registration
  • IFTA license
  • Lease agreement, if lessee is providing IFTA or IRP
  • Authority documents
  • Certificate of insurance
  • Hazmat Registration Certificate
  • Non-hazmat bills of lading

Electronic documents not supported by the pilot program:

  • CDL
  • Federal Medical Examiner Certificate
  • Hazmat shipping papers and related required documents
  • Hazardous material guidebook
  • Emergency response guidebook
  • FMCSA regulations handbook
  • Canadian operating authority
  • Any other paperwork not listed as included

Documents can be presented in a pdf file on a tablet, smartphone or a computer. Law enforcement may request a driver to send the file to an email address. Personal websites with electronic credentials are also acceptable. Drivers must show paper documents to law enforcement if requested, regardless of availability of electronic documents.

Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota are also participating in the program, along with some law enforcement agencies in Illinois. Other states may be added during the pilot.

After the pilot date, a final report will include results and recommend laws and procedure changes needed to implement electronic credentials as a substitute for paper documents.

For more information about the pilot program, including a handbook and roadside brochure, visit the WisDOT website.


NHTSA investigates Freightliner Cascadias for wiper motor failure

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into a possible defect with 2015-2016 Freightliner Cascadias. Affected trucks may have an issue with wiper motors.

According to a document from NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation, the agency has received field reports indicating a possible wiper motor failure on Cascadia trucks. Wiper motors may occasionally cease to operate, leading to reduced visibility when wipers are needed.

Field reports reveal that multiple trucks are experiencing the same issue, and motor failures occur multiple times within the same vehicle. Approximately 5,000 trucks may be affected.

NHTSA has opened a preliminary evaluation. The investigation will determine the severity and scope of the defect and issue a recall if warranted.


Ryder donates $25,000 to Women In Trucking scholarship

Ryder System’s Ryder Charitable Foundation has donated $25,000 to the Women In Trucking Foundation, according to a press release.

The Ryder Charitable Foundation supports causes related to expertise, innovation, safety and community collaboration. The WIT Foundation provides student scholarships to women interested in the transportation industry.

In March, five women received the Ryder/WIT Foundation Scholarship to begin work on a career in trucking. Each recipient was awarded $1,500 for tuition and fees to a technical school of their choice. The winners are as follows:

  • Corinna Carter – enrolled at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tenn.
  • Heather Dodson – enrolled at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Md.
  • Wanda Lee-Ann Edwards van Muijen – enrolled at Professional Transport Driver Training School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Susan Murphy – enrolled at Midwest Technical Institute in Springfield, Mo.
  • Shanna Waters – enrolled at Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro, Ga.

For more information about the Ryder Charitable Foundation, visit its website. More information about the WIT Foundation can be found by clicking here


Slow month for trucking leads to lower overall freight tonnage in February

Official freight numbers for February are in. The index that measures freight movement in tons and ton-miles reveals freight was up for air freight, water and rail carloads. However, significant declines in truck and pipeline freight brought down the overall index.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Freight Transportation Services Index for February decreased by 0.7 percent to 122.2. February’s TSI is a 1.2 percent decrease of the all-time high of 123.7 set in November 2014.

The February index is 29 percent above the low during the recession in April 2009. TSI records began in 2000.

Trucking freight decreased by nearly two points to 135.8 from 137.5, a 1.2 percent drop. However, American Trucking Associations’ numbers reveal a tonnage increase of 7.2 percent in February. ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership.

According to the DOT, TSI’s drop lines up with monthly decreases in the Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production index. Manufacturing activity and high inventories showed signs of decline.

Freight Transportation Services Index measures month-to-month changes in freight shipments in tons and ton-miles. This information is used to measure the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry.



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