2021 has been a slightly hectic year. How has yours been? Our predictions mostly came true, most notably the Tesla Semi being delayed another year. The trucking industry has been through a lot in this past year; here is a recap.
Unlike our last Year in Review where we talked about the biggest articles of the year overall, we have opted to highlight the most popular article written in each month. This way, we get a broader look at the entire year.
January 2021: 5/5 Sleeper Berth Split
An idea that was touted early in the year was the potential for truckers to have two shorter sleep sessions rather than one long one. To the best of our knowledge, however, the proposal was never published in the Federal Register and the idea died before it could truly get off the ground. Presumably, its death had to do with the transition from Wiley Deck to Meera Joshi being the leader of the FMCSA.
February 2021: Executive Order 13801 Reversed
Like the 5/5 sleeper berth split proposal, Executive Order 13801 never really got off the ground due to governmental meddling, but the idea was to allow industry leaders to have a say in what is needed to train the next generation of the workforce, including for truck drivers. With the Democratic Party seeing it as rife for abuse, they kicked the can down the road for the entirety of Trump’s presidency and then tossed it when Biden took office.
March 2021: Extended Sleeper Cabs
While not a news event, our article on extended sleeper cabs seemed to turn heads for March. With them being essentially miniature, portable hotels, it is not hard to see why. The single biggest argument against owning an extended sleeper cab would be the cost, not just of purchase but of ownership, but for some, all of the added amenities may be worth it.
Of course, if you want to finance one, TopMark Funding would be happy to help!
April 2021: Biden’s Infrastructure Plan
Joseph R. Biden’s infrastructure plan was very ambitious, totaling approximately $2 trillion in spending. However, while most of the ideas were shelved, some of them did make it into the latest infrastructure spending bill.
May 2021: I-40 Bridge Closure
It is no surprise that our nation’s infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired, but at the very least governments are quick to get things done once they are fully aware of an emergency. When an inspector from the Arkansas Department of Transportation reported a full crack in the bridge, authorities were quick to close it down and get it repaired. Fortunately nobody was hurt and the bridge was fully operational again in August.
June 2021: Hours-of-Service Exemption Extension
What was once “two weeks to flatten the curve” has now become an all-out war against coronavirus. The FMCSA has been extending the State of Emergency regarding hauling COVID-19-related goods for a while now, and June was no exception.
July 2021: Senate Discusses Federal Excise Tax
Of all the things that died in the halls of Congress, this one hurts the most. Since World War I, the United States government has added 12% of the purchase price to a truck. Every once in a while the topic comes up again, but sadly does not get very far. Were the federal government to suspend or eliminate the FET, trucking companies would be more inclined to purchase newer, safer, cleaner vehicles. Keep fighting the good fight, Senator Todd Young!
August 2021: Biden’s Executive Order on Truck Emissions
This executive order outlines emission goals for trucks with a model year of 2030 or later. While an admirable swipe of a pen, it does not do much to solve the problem now. We stand by our position in that article that the best way to help the environment by regulating the trucking industry would be working to raise the average model year on the road: encouraging people to upgrade from a 1999 to a 2014.
September 2021: Another Exemption Extension
Coronavirus makes for some popular news amongst truckers, and as such the FMCSA article about it was the most popular article for September.
An interesting thing worth mentioning is the addition of “Supplies to assist individuals impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.” In the absolute vaguest terms, would this not apply to everyone?
October 2021: FMCSA Clearinghouse Requirement
As of November 8th, the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and state licensing agencies are in full communication regarding drug and alcohol use and its impact on getting or renewing a CDL.
November 2021: California Port Fines
Perhaps that most effective way to get someone to do something is to hit them right in the wallet, which is what the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles hope to do with fining ocean carriers who linger. The plan seems to be working, with the backlog slowly dwindling rather than increasing.
December 2021: Yet Another Exemption Extension
Even 21 months after the start of the pandemic, the coronavirus and its newer variants continue to dominate news headlines and what our readers choose to read. There is not much to talk about in this regard; the rules for the exemption are the same as they were for the September extension.
2021 news was dominated by very particular events including coronavirus, supply shortages, and inflation, all of which are intertwined with one another. Coronavirus makes it harder to build things, which decreases supply, which raises prices. It will be interesting to see how 2022 unfurls.
Top Trending Trucking Articles
- FMCSA COVID-19 Emergency Extended Another Three Months
- NTEA Cancels Conference, but not for the Reason You Expect
- Johnny Cash and the Distance to go Everywhere, Man
- CTA Petitions the Supreme Court
- Senate Passes INVEST in America Act
- Trucking Insurance Bill Reintroduced to Congress
- Biden Signs Executive Order on Truck Emissions
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