Arkansas Trucking Association

'Bots' respond to DOT request for comments

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In the October 2017 issue of Arkansas Trucking Report, we reported that the Department of Transportation published in the federal register a request for public comment on existing rules and agency actions that should be repealed, replaced, suspended or modified. DOT collected many responses, but it turns out many of them were submitted by ‘bots.’

A ‘bot’ is an app that performs an automated task. In this case, 477 comments, about one-third of the 1,483 comments DOT received, were automated and not submitted by an individual human.

The issue was realized when the same word-for-word response was submitted over and over:

The ELD rule should proceed as planned this December. The rule is not a change to hours of service, it's simply a change in how professional drivers record hours of service. Delaying the ELD rule will endorse drivers to operate outside of their current hours of service, and that is simply not safe to the motoring public. The industry needs to embrace legal and safe operations with ELD use. This issue has been legislated, promulgated, and litigated. The time to move forward is now.

DOT does not yet know who launched the boilerplate responses, but the culprit did plagiarize parts of a speech by American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear when he said to Management Conference & Exhibition attendees “This issue has been legislated, promulgated, and litigated. The time to move forward is now."

Walmart’s Secret Food Laboratory Offers Competitive Edge

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A recent Planet Money episode reported Walmart’s newest venture—inventing food. The popular NPR program and podcast visited Walmart’s Culinary & Innovation Center to try the “Tropickle,” a bright red pickle infused with tropical fruit punch.

With increased competition from Amazon in the grocery sector after the Seattle-based ecommerce site acquired Whole Foods in August, Walmart is getting creative to protect its place in the grocery space, Planet Money reports.

Read more: Walmart’s Secret Food Laboratory Offers Competitive Edge

Trucking can be Fun and Games in New Kid's App

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Dr. Panda, the world's #2 paid kids' app developer, launched a new app, Dr. Panda Trucks, for kids to control up to 7 different trucks to customize a construction project.

Read more: Trucking can be Fun and Games in New Kid's App

ATA Recognized for Industry Image Efforts

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Arkansas Trucking Association received the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award from American Trucking Associations Monday at the annual Management Conference & Exhibition. Arkansas’s organization was recognized for its efforts to engage industry stakeholders, media and all levels of government to promote the dynamics of trucking and improve the image of the industry across the state and nation.

ATA was also lauded for setting an example of how to build a network of advocates who positively represent the trucking industry.

Read more: ATA Recognized for Industry Image Efforts

Arkansas Road Team Selects Four New Captains

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The Arkansas Trucking Association is pleased to announce it has added four new members to the Arkansas Road Team, a select group of professional drivers chosen for their commitment to highway safety, communication ability and interest in improving the image of the trucking industry. This complimentary outreach program of the ATA serves as a public education service to address highway safety and to educate the motoring public on safe driving, especially near large commercial vehicles.

Read more: Arkansas Road Team Selects Four New Captains

First Marijuana Distribution License Issued in Colorado

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Colorado's new Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) issued its first transport license, which will allow transportation, distribution and warehousing services for legal weed.

Prior to becoming a licensed marijuana logistics firm, CannaRabbit has operated as a licensed cannabis courier for several years, transporting items like test samples, flower and marijuana-infused products throughout the state's network of growers, manufacturers, dispensers and laboratories. But as of July 1, the company can transport, store and warehouse cannabis products for up to seven business days.

Read more: First Marijuana Distribution License Issued in Colorado

DOT's Priorities No Longer Include Truck Speed-Limiter Rule

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On July 20, the Office of Management and Budget published a revised "unified agenda" that did not include the speed-limiter rule as a near-term agenda item for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Last August, both the FMCSA and the NHTSA proposed the rule to require speed-limiting technology in heavy-duty vehicles. However the Trump Administration's aim to cut federal regulations has stalled the rule for now.

Read more: DOT's Priorities No Longer Include Truck Speed-Limiter Rule

Highway Department Gets a New Name

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The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department has changed its name to the Arkansas Department of Transportation. The oversight of the department won’t change, ARDOT's Public Information Officer Danny Straessle says, but will allow the name of the department to be more consistent with federal language and other states.

Read more: Highway Department Gets a New Name

New App Encourages Drivers to Rate Shippers

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A new app, Dock411, will allow truck drivers to share their experiences with different shippers and rate those shippers. The information drivers can share includes directions to the facility, whether pets are allowed, if Wi-Fi is available and any challenges involved in backing into the dock.

With only the dock address, drivers can access what the company and other drivers have written about it, including details like dock door location, yard hazards, photos of the facility, the ability to park overnight and up to 35 other items. Drivers can then add details about their own experience.

Read more: New App Encourages Drivers to Rate Shippers

California Port Tests Battery-Powered Trucks

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GSC Logistics, Port of Oakland's largest motor carrier, will begin testing battery-powered trucks at the Northern California seaport this fall. The three-year trial with a heavy-duty, all-electric truck is part of a statewide-effort to determine the feasibility of zero-emission freight hauling.

GSC Logistics said its trucks will shuttle import containers from Port of Oakland marine terminals to a nearby yard. The rig has a 160-kilometer (100-mile) battery range, and the port will have charging stations installed to plug in the trucks on-site.

Read more: California Port Tests Battery-Powered Trucks

Refrigerated Trailer Operation Limits Being Discussed in California

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The California Air Resources Board has scheduled workshops to discuss limiting the operating time of refrigerated trucks and trailers while at certain facilities, including grocery stores, distribution centers and cold storage warehouses.

California has recently set new targets for reducing air pollution, including decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and cutting petroleum use by cars and trucks by up to half from 2015 levels by 2030. In order to address air pollution around freight corridors and near distribution centers, California is considering an operation limit for Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs).

Read more: Refrigerated Trailer Operation Limits Being Discussed in California

National Truck Driving Championship in Orlando

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Arkansas sent nine drivers representing five different carriers to compete at the 2017 National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC) in Orlando, Aug. 9-12.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) sponsors the annual championships, known as the "Super Bowl of Safety," to recognize industry leadership in safety and to promote professionalism among truck drivers.

Read more: National Truck Driving Championship in Orlando

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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