Monday, December 9, 2013

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Releases New Study Outlining Opportunities for Returning Veterans

Experienced military truck and bus drivers will more easily be able to
obtain civilian commercial driver‘s licenses under proposed FMCSA regulatory changes

WASHINGTON -- A new study released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommended a series of regulatory changes to further ease the transition of military personnel and veterans into much-needed civilian jobs driving commercial motor vehicles. In releasing the study, FMCSA also announced plans to implement the changes as soon as possible.
"Our military men and women make tremendous sacrifices in service to our nation, and helping veterans transition to the civilian workforce when they come home is just one way to show our gratitude," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Today's report builds on the work FMCSA has already accomplished on behalf of our veterans and outlines opportunities to help even more qualify for jobs based on the skills and training they receive in the armed forces."
The study, which was directed by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21 Century Act (MAP-21) one year ago, analyzed training, testing and licensing similarities and differences between military and civilian commercial driver's license (CDL) requirements. A number of federal and state regulatory changes were identified that would not adversely impact safety but would allow returning U.S. military personnel possessing extensive training and experience operating trucks, buses and other heavy equipment to more easily and conveniently receive a state-issued CDL.
The opportunities outlined in the report require formal rulemaking action, which FMCSA will initiate this year. The proposed changes include:
  • Extending the period of time, from 90 days to one year, in which an active duty and recently separated veterans can take advantage of a Military Skills Test Waiver. The waiver, which FMCSA first implemented in 2011, allows states to waive CDL skills tests for service members with two years of safe driving experience with similar vehicles. Today, 46 states and Washington, D.C. offer the waiver, which has already provided almost 2,000 military personnel a quicker pathway to a job;
  • Updating federal regulations to allow over 60,000 service members trained and employed in the operation of heavy vehicles, many of which are nearly identical to civilian commercial motor vehicles, to immediately qualify for a CDL while still on active duty; and
  • Allowing a service member who is stationed in one state, but licensed in another, to obtain a CDL before being discharged.
"The demand for truck drivers will continue to rise in the coming years, so we are taking action to remove the obstacles that prevent military veterans from finding employment in the industry," said Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "The men and women who serve in uniform commit their lives to protecting our country -- in many cases by operating heavy vehicles -- and there are no better credentials for becoming a safe truck or bus driver."
FMCSA will continue to explore other ways to ease the transition from military occupations to jobs requiring CDLs, including waiving the requirements for pre-employment drug testing for recently discharged military personnel based on their recent participation in random drug testing programs run by the military.
In August, FMCSA announced almost $1 million in grants to six colleges to help increase enrollment in commercial motor vehicle training programs, making it easier for veterans and their spouses to obtain CDLs and find transportation jobs. These grants are in addition to similar funding awards made by FMCSA two years ago.
The agency also granted a petition from Virginia in May to allow their military bases to be certified as third-party testers of military personnel for CDL knowledge and skills tests. New Mexico and Wisconsin are preparing to follow suit.
From 2010 to 2020, the need for heavy-vehicle drivers is expected to grow by more than 17 percent -- faster than the national average for other occupations. Jobs as city, tour and school bus drivers, as well as light truck or delivery services drivers, are expected to continue growing at the national average.
A copy of the study is available here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Collaborates with Transport Canada and Others to Launch Interactive Driver Fatigue Management Tool

New Resources Geared to Help Bus and Truck Drivers
Prevent Fatigue-Related Crashes

WASHINGTON - Anne S. Ferro, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced the launch of the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP), a website that provides training and education on commercial bus and truck driver fatigue management.
“We can help save lives and prevent crashes on our roads by providing drivers and companies with educational tools, like those contained in the North American Fatigue Management Program website,” said Administrator Ferro. “This is another supportive resource truck and bus drivers can utilize in addition to complying with our hours-of-service rules.”
"The launch of the program is very good news," said Minister Raitt. "The collaborative work that has been done with partners will assist motor carriers and drivers in managing fatigue, and promote safety by reducing fatigue-related crashes."
The NAFMP is a voluntary, interactive web-based educational and training program developed to provide commercial truck and bus drivers and carriers with an awareness of the factors contributing to fatigue and its impact on performance and safety. It provides:
  • Information on how to develop a corporate culture that facilitates reduced driver fatigue;
  • Fatigue management education for drivers, drivers’ families, carrier executives and managers, shippers/receivers and dispatchers;
  • Information on sleep disorders, screening and treatment;
  • Driver and trip scheduling information; and,
  • Information on Fatigue Management Technologies.
The program was developed by multiple partners, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Transport Canada, Alberta Employment and Immigration, Alberta Transportation, Alberta Worker’s Compensation Board, Alberta Motor Transport Association, Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail du Québec, Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec, and the American Transportation Research Institute.
The NAFMP fatigue management tool does not replace or override the FMCSA or TC’s regulations on hours-of-service. FMCSA and TC-regulated commercial motor carriers and drivers continue to have a duty to know and comply with the respective FMCSA or TC hours-of-service regulations.
For more information on the North American Fatigue Management Program, please visit Additional educational tools for commercial drivers are available on FMCSA's website at

Thursday, October 17, 2013

How to Get a Commercial Driver’s License – CDL

Here is a great video if you are interested in getting your CDL. It covers all of the requirements to get your Commercial Driver’s License.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Keep the Load on the Road.

Over 78% of rollovers involve driver error. As a driver, YOU are the key component for preventing rollovers. The preview above highlights what you’ll see in the full 17 minute video.

So why do rollovers happen and what can you do to prevent them? This Cargo Tank Truck Rollover Prevention video answers those questions and more.
  • You’ll see how rollovers happen, why they happen, and what you can do to avoid them.
  • You’ll hear how vehicle design and loads affect rollover potential.
  • You’ll learn the warning signs of unsafe behaviors and conditions that contribute to rollovers.
  • And you’ll watch survivors of rollovers tell their stories.

This video will show you how to:
  • Avoid sudden movements that may lead to rollovers
  • Control your load in turns and on straight roadways
  • Identify high risk areas on roads
  • Remain alert and attentive behind the wheel
  • Control speed and maintain proper “speed cushions”
These 17 minutes can save your life—and the lives of others!

Think you know about rollovers? 
Click here to download a Fact Sheet on cargo tank rollovers.

Friday, September 27, 2013

FMCSA Declares Laredo, Texas, Trucking Company an Imminent Hazard to Public Safety, Orders Shut Down

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Laredo, Texas-based REDCO Transport, Ltd., USDOT No. 1670585, to immediately cease its trucking operations, declaring the company to be an imminent hazard to public safety. REDCO operates a fleet of 112 trucks transporting general freight.
"It is unacceptable for commercial truck and bus companies to disregard critical safety regulations that serve to protect the motoring public," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Companies that choose to needlessly endanger innocent lives will be blocked from operating on our highways and roads. There is no higher priority than safety."
On Aug. 12, 2013, a truck operated by REDCO crashed into a van stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 20 in Louisiana. Three people, including the truck driver, were killed. Within hours of the crash, FMCSA launched an investigation into REDCO and found the company had routinely failed to ensure its drivers comply with federal hours-of-service regulations designed to prevent fatigue, including limitations on daily driving and maximum on-duty hours. The investigation further found that REDCO failed to ensure its drivers complied with controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulations, and failed to ensure its drivers were properly qualified. In some instances, drivers were dispatched before federally required pre-employment drug test results were received.
"Blatant disregard of federal rules compromises the safety of every traveler on our roadways," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "We will continue our vigorous enforcement efforts and our close collaboration with state and local authorities to further improve roadway safety every day, every mile, everywhere."
Since the beginning of 2013, FMCSA has issued out-of-service orders to a total of 10 trucking companies and 25 bus companies. The agency has also declared seven commercial driver's license holders as imminent hazards, blocking them from operating in interstate commerce.
A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at

Friday, September 20, 2013

How to Become a Teamster and Its Importance

How to Become a Teamster and Its Importance

The foundation of this country is built on the backbone of the middle class man and woman. For assurance of a high quality and equitable work environment, unions were formed. For over a century, the largest and most powerful union workforce has been the Teamster's Union. Historically, the Teamsters have be a leader in the creation of higher wages, benefit packages, and better working conditions. However, a union is only as strong as its members. In this case, by becoming a Teamster's union member, you're joining a family of nearly 1.5 million people! Read Full Article

You will find more articles on the Teamsters at The Trucking Library.

Monday, August 12, 2013

July 2013 CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS)

CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) website updated

The CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) website has been updated with the July 26, 2013 snapshot.  Check your safety assessment now at: or on

July Snapshot Includes Two New Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has added two violations to the Safety Measurement System (SMS). One of the violations is based on the new Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations and the other is based on a more detailed description of existing controlled substances and alcohol regulations. Both were implemented in the SMS as of July 1, 2013. If motor carriers have one or both of these violations, they will see them in the July snapshot of their SMS data which was released in early August.

The table below includes descriptions of the new violations, the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) they relate to, and how they are weighted in the SMS.
BASIC Violations Added to the SMS
BASIC Violation Code Description Severity Weight Violation Group Driver-Related (Y/N)
HOS Compliance 395.3(a)(3)(ii) Driving beyond 8-hour limit since the end of the last off-duty or sleeper period of at least 30 minutes

(Note: Does not apply to short haul drivers)
7 Hours Y
Controlled Substances/Alcohol 392.5(a)(3) Driver in possession of intoxicating beverage while on duty or driving 3 Alcohol Possession Y

FMCSA’s new HOS regulation (395.3(a)(3)(ii)) requires drivers to take a 30-minute rest break during the first eight hours of a shift. Based on a court decision, effective August 2, 2013, FMCSA will no longer enforce the 30-minute break provision for drivers that qualify for either of the short haul operations exceptions outlined in 49CFR 395.1(e) or (2). This new regulation and guidance can be found at

Friday, August 9, 2013

Enforcement Policy – Court Decision on the 30-Minute Rest Break Provision


HOS Final Rule

On December 27, 2011 (76 FR 81133), FMCSA published a final rule amending its hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The final rule adopted several changes to the HOS regulations, including a new provision requiring drivers to take a rest break during the work day under certain circumstances. Drivers may drive a CMV only if 8 hours or less have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. FMCSA did not specify when drivers must take the 30-minute break, but the rule requires that they wait no longer than 8 hours after the last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of that length or longer to take the break. Drivers who already take shorter breaks during the work day could comply with the rule by taking one of the shorter breaks and extending it to 30 minutes. The new requirement took effect on July 1, 2013.

Court Decision

On August 2, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its ruling on the
Hours of Service litigation brought by the American Trucking Associations and Public Citizen. The Court
upheld the 2011 Hours of Service regulations in all aspects except for the 30-minute break provision as it
applies to short haul drivers. While the decision does not officially take effect until the mandate is issued
52 days after the decision (unless a party files a petition for rehearing, either by the panel or en banc, or
moves to stay the mandate pending the filing of a petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court), FMCSA
announces the Agency will immediately cease enforcement of the 30-minute rest break provision of the

HOS rule against short-haul operations.

The Agency requests that its State enforcement partners also cease enforcement of this provision. States that do so will not be found in violation of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP).


Effective August 2, 2013, FMCSA will no longer enforce 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) against any driver that
qualifies for either of the “short haul operations” exceptions outlined in 49 CFR 395.1(e)(1) or (2). The
Agency requests that State and local enforcement agencies also refrain from enforcing the 30-minute rest
break against these drivers. Specifically, the following drivers would not be subject to the 30-minute break


  • All drivers (CDL and non-CDL) that operate within 100 air-miles of their normal work reporting 

location and satisfy the time limitations and recordkeeping requirements of 395.1(e)(1).

  • Non-CDL drivers that operate within a 150 air-mile radius of the location where the driver reports 

for duty and satisfy the time limitations and recordkeeping requirements of 395.1(e)(2).

FMCSA will also be initiating a rulemaking to include text in the HOS regulations noting that the 30 minute
break provisions do not apply to short haul drivers.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

June Carrier CSA Scores

The CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) website has been updated with the June 21, 2013 snapshot.  Check your trucking companies safety assessment now at:

Monday, July 1, 2013

My thoughts on todays new Hours of Service

Today we as truck drivers start a new Hours of Service once again. It seems to this truck driver that the people that regulate us very rarely listen to us and give more weight to those who believe they know what is best for us. These citizens groups most likely have never been in a truck or even know a truck driver.

I am a line haul driver for an LTL trucking company in the mid-west. My day starts at 9PM and ends in the morning. A 12 or more hour night is common for me and by the end of my shift I am eager to get home to my family and get some rest. The new HOS now force me to add 30 minutes to each day. So my 12 hour night now becomes a 12 1/2 hour day. I know when I need a break during the night and if I find myself tired or fatigued I will stop and get out of the truck and walk around.

What will I do about the new HOS? I will do what is legal like I always do. In the quarter of a century I have been driving I have seen many changes to HOS. I always adapt to them and go on down the road. It would be fun for me to pick the hours, days and times that the people who govern me work. I would add more hours to them to get their head out of their butt and get there job done!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

FMCSA Orders Colorado Trucking Company to Immediately Cease Operations for Continuing to Endanger Public Safety

E & K Trucking found to be operating unsafe vehicles in violation of December 2012 out-of-service order

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Commerce City-Colo.-based E & K Trucking, Inc., USDOT No. 604546, to immediately cease its trucking operations, declaring the company to be an imminent hazard to public safety. E & K Trucking operates a small fleet of trucks that primarily haul construction scrap and debris. The company was discovered to still be operating unsafe vehicles in direct violation of an order issued by FMCSA in December 2012 that revoked the company’s operating authority for previous safety violations. "We will not allow unsafe truck and bus companies to endanger the public," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We will use all means possible to remove unsafe commercial vehicles from our highways and roads. There is no higher priority than safety."

An FMCSA investigation found that the company failed to routinely inspect, maintain and repair its vehicles to ensure they were safe to operate. Each vehicle inspected earlier this month by FMCSA was ordered out of service for serious safety violations.

"Our safety regulations protect everyone who shares the road with large trucks and buses," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "The safe condition of the vehicle and the qualifications of the driver are the responsibility of the company. Company owners that cannot or will not abide by the safety regulations will find their business shut down while facing civil, and possibly criminal, penalties."

Safety investigators also found that E & K Trucking failed to conduct background checks on drivers, to ensure that they possessed commercial driver's licenses or that they were medically qualified.

In addition to accumulated civil penalties and interest already imposed upon the owners of E & K Trucking by FMCSA, the company owners face additional fines of up to $25,000 and possible criminal charges and imprisonment should they fail to comply with the imminent hazard out-of-service order announced today.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at


Sunday, June 23, 2013

File A Trucking Complaint

Have you experienced safety, service or discrimination issues with a moving company, bus or truck company, including hazardous materials, or cargo tank facility? Please call 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238) from 9am‒7pm, Mon‒Fri EST or file a complaint below.

If this is a safety emergency, please call 911 immediately. The NCCDB complaint system is intended only for investigation of past events.

File A Complaint Here

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Choosing the Right Global Positioning System (GPS) Navigation Device For a Truck

It is important to understand that not all navigation systems are the same. That is why it is critical for truck and bus drivers to use the right navigation system when operating a commercial truck or bus. By using a navigation system that does not provide important route restrictions, such as low bridge overpasses, the shortcut you thought would save you time and fuel may end up costing you more than you bargained for. A typical system that a consumer might buy at an electronics or auto parts store may not have software programming to show low bridges, hazmat routes and other information relevant to commercial motor vehicle operators.

The FMCSA created a visor card specifically for truck and bus drivers on how to choose the right navigation system intended for them. The visor card gives tips for safe use of navigation systems, and can be downloaded free-of-charge.

The visor card provides tips on selecting the proper navigation system designed for trucks and buses, and the correct use of the navigation systems. For example, in order for the navigation system to provide you with the appropriate route, truck and bus drivers should enter all relevant information such as:

vehicle's length, width and height;
axle weight; and
any hazardous materials being hauled.

By following the recommended route, obeying traffic signs and not driving while using a cell phone or texting, tragedies can be prevented and lives saved on our roads and highways.

Download GPS Visor Card


Friday, June 7, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make a Year?

To begin, generally speaking, being a truck driver (on average) can earn from $30,000 - $40,000 per year. However, keep in mind that the amount also varies depending on what trucking company you work for. To break these numbers down from an hourly perspective, long distance truck drivers begin at approximately $15.00 per hour. In contrast, experienced truck drivers can earn upwards of $20.00 per hour. Keep in mind, however, that many long distance truck drivers get paid by the mile, not by the hour. For a visual perspective, please not the graph below regarding pay scale.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

DOT Inspection Video - Roadcheck 2013

This is a good video to give you an ideal what the DOT man will be looking for during 2013 Roadcheck.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

July 2013 New Hours of Service Rules

Who Must Comply HOS Final Rule

Most drivers must follow the HOS Regulations if they drive a commercial motor vehicle, or CMV.

In general, a CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • A vehicle that is involved in Interstate or intrastate commerce and is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards is also considered a CMV

The Hours of Service of Drivers Final Rule [Download PDF Version] was published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2011. The effective date of the Final Rule is February 27, 2012, and the compliance date of selected provisions is July 1, 2013. The links below provide more details regarding the HOS Final Rule:

Summary of Changes of HOS Final Rule Published in December 2011

The table below [Download PDF Version] summarizes the differences between the prior HOS Rule and the new HOS Final Rule published in December 2011:

Limitations on minimum "34-hour restarts" None (1) Must include two periods between 1 a.m.- 5 a.m. home terminal time.
(2) May only be used once per week.
Rest breaks None except as limited by other rule provisions May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver's last off-duty period of at least 30 minutes. [HM 397.5 mandatory "in attendance" time may be included in break if no other duties performed]
On-duty time Includes any time in CMV except sleeper-berth. Does not include any time resting in a parked vehicle (also applies to passenger-carrying drivers). In a moving property-carrying CMV, does not include up to 2 hours in passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper-berth.
Penalties "Egregious" hours of service violations not specifically defined. Driving (or allowing a driver to drive) more than 3 hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered an egregious violation and subject to the maximum civil penalties. Also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.
Oilfield exemption "Waiting time" for certain drivers at oilfields (which is off-duty but does extend 14-hour duty period) must be recorded and available to FMCSA, but no method or details are specified for the recordkeeping. "Waiting time" for certain drivers at oilfields must be shown on logbook or electronic equivalent as off duty and identified by annotations in "remarks" or a separate line added to "grid."

Summary of HOS Regulations

The following table [Download PDF Version] summarizes the HOS regulations for property-carrying and passenger-carrying CMV drivers.

Property-Carrying CMV Drivers (Valid Until July 1, 2013) Passenger-Carrying CMV Drivers
11-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
10-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
14-Hour Limit
May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
15-Hour On-Duty Limit
May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

Browse other articles I have posted:

Roadcheck 2013


June 4-6, 2013

Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world, with approximately 14 trucks or buses being inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during a 72-hour period in early June. Each year, approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors at 1,500 locations across North America perform the truck and bus inspections. CVSA sponsors Roadcheck with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico). Roadcheck is one of a series of activities that occur year round whereby CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle, driver and cargo safety and security.

Since its inception in 1988, the roadside inspections conducted during Roadcheck have numbered over 1 Million, resulting in more than 220 lives saved and 4,045 injuries avoided. It has also provided for the distribution of countless pieces of educational literature and safety events to educate industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations and the roadside inspection program.

View the Six levels of a Roadside Inspection

Commerce and the Interstate Highway System

It's amazing what a significant impact the date June 29, 1956, would have on our nation's history and prosperity. On this date, President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid-Highway Act. This act allowed 41,000 miles of highways to be built, which would connect the nation. This interstate highway system allowed for mobility that no other nation could rival. This increased mobility was great for commerce, as well. Trucking companies have huge amounts of freight that need to be transported. With this improved road system, truck drivers were able to deliver their freight in a more time efficient manner.

To begin, the interstate highway system has had a tremendous impact in regards to our nation's economic development and stability. As noted in The Best Investment a Nation Ever Made, by Wendell Cox and Jean Love (June, 1996).

  • "By increasing speed and expanding access, freight costs have been reduced substantially. Tractor-trailer operating costs have been estimated at 17 percent lower on interstate highways than other highways (Benefits of Interstate Highways (Washington, DC: United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 1983).
  • The interstate highway system made less expensive land more accessible to the nation's transportation system and encouraged development.
  • The travel time reliability of shipment by interstate highway has made "just in time" delivery more feasible, reducing warehousing costs and adding to manufacturing efficiency.
  • By broadening the geographical range and options of shoppers, the interstate highway system has increased retail competition, resulting in larger selections and lower consumer prices.
  • By improving inter-regional access, the interstate highway system has helped to create a genuinely national domestic market with companies able to supply their products to much larger geographical areas, and less expensively" (Cox and Love, 1996).

Each of the aforementioned bullets presented by Cox and Love (June, 1996) have had a tremendous effect on our nation's economy, infrastructure, job growth, etc. According to 1996 data reports, it was estimated that the interstate highway system was responsible for about $14 billion; in additional economic activity. It can be inferred with the increase in population over the years, that the interstate highway system is responsible for even more money in economic development and growth, in 2013.

As shown, it's very evident that the interstate highway system has had great impacts within our nation's structure and economy. However, its benefits to trucking companies and truck drivers individually, may be more subtle. Some ways in which the interstate highway system has benefits trucking companies and truck drivers include the following facets:

  1. More direct routes equate to time savings; thereby, reducing expenditures on freight transportation.
  2. The additional options offered by various routes allowed for great mobility amongst truck drivers. They are no longer tied to a single route.
  3. Since greater mobility allows for more opportunities, both for producer and consumer; it equates to job growth. More truck drivers were needed to keep up with the demand of transporting increased cargo across America.
  4. The interstate highway system also allowed for greater job freedom. Now, truck drivers could work from locations, which may otherwise be out of the way. By today's standards, for example, it's not unheard of for a truck driver to leave from Dayton Ohio, in the morning; drive a freight delivery to Flint, Michigan (approximately 6 hours); and back home for a late dinner. How? By simply hopping on I-75 North to get to Flint; and then on I-75 South, to go home. Very convenient!
  5. Lower retail prices have also come with the advent of the highway system. Retailers no longer have to rely on one delivery option. A retailer can now shop around for the best delivery price for their freight. Thereby, they can pass the savings onto their consumers.

However, while increased commerce is a definite benefit, the highway system does come with its flaws, as well. There's an obvious correlation between the following: increased population, rising gas prices, fossil fuel shortages, road repair expenditures, etc. Trucks require a great deal of fuel to transverse the country repeatedly. All of the mentioned weaknesses put a great deal of stress on our economy. To keep the interstate highway system an integral contributor to our nation's economic vitality, it must be allowed to develop and grow as our population grows. In fact, "if traffic congestion is permitted to worsen, then American consumers will pay a heavy toll, in higher prices due to higher shipping costs, jobs lost due to foreign competition, reduced employment opportunities, and less leisure time" (Cox and Love, 1996). Additionally, as noted in The Best Investment a Nation Ever Made, by Wendell Cox and Jean Love (June, 1996), the positive contributions regarding the interstate highway system and our economic development since its inception (up to 1996), can be seen in the chart below:

Benifits of the Interstate Highway System

(The Best Investment a Nation Ever Made, by Wendell Cox and Jean Love (June, 1996).

The final aspect of the highway system to be shown is the effect it's had on the movement of freight across the nation. An interesting notion on freight movement is the vast improvement of moving cargo by road, over the former rail system. Obviously, historically speaking, America's railways were the main mode of freight movement for quite some time. Economically, though, it wasn't very cost effective. In fact, with the advent of the interstate highway system, the movement of freight became more cost efficient. As noted in The Interstate Highway System Its Development, and Its Effects on the American Spatial, Economic and Cultural Landscape, by Andrew Armbruster (April, 2005), the given excel graph shows the economic improvement between the rail and road systems.

Freight Cost Chart

(Armbruster, 2005).

It is obviously clear of the vast impact the interstate highway system has had on our nation's economy and progression. One thing seems to ring clear in recent studies, however; the fact remains that as a country, we need to be willing to reinvest in our current highway system through repairs, improvements, and expansions. If we fail to do so, it could have dire economic consequences. However, since we are indeed a "nation on wheels", it seems likely that the necessary monies will be allocated to keep this great country and the truck drivers to keep it supplied with goods, at the forefront of a united highway system.


Armbruster, Andrew. The Interstate Highway System. Rep. N.p.: n.p., 1995. Web. 30 May 2013.

National Transportation Statistics 1996 (Washington, DC: United States Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 1996)

1994 Highway Statistics and National Transit Database 1994 (Washington, DC: United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, 1996).

Cox, Wendell, and Jean Love. "The Best Investment a Nation Ever Made." Public Purpose. N.p., June 1996. Web. 29 May 2013.

Information on getting a CDL license: