Each week we recap the hot topics in freight and compile them into one place so you can easily stay up to date on the industry. Check back each Monday and start your week off in the know. TRANSFLO & GO!

‘That’s a Girl, She’s Driving That Truck’

Women make up just 6% of the truck-driving workforce, according to the American Trucking Associations. But it’s hardly a man’s job. In fact, the number of women in trucking increased by 68% from 2010 to 2018, one of the fastest-growing segments of the driver population.

The Twin Cities Pioneer Press profiles Kat Laursen, who got into trucking in 2014 at Halvor Lines in Superior, Wisconsin. She’s one of a number of women flocking to the truck driving industry.

Debbie Landry, director of driver services at Halvor, says equal pay is likely drawing women into the industry, as well as a shifting culture and an increase in women trainers.

Although more women are in the field, Laursen says gender barriers still exist: “I see it when I’m driving down the road, like people stop and look — and then they’ll look again. (They go), ‘no way, oh my God, that’s a girl, she’s driving that truck.’”

RELATED: Schneider National blog: Advice for women who want to become truck drivers


HOS Compliance Improves in ELD Era

Is it the ELD effect? FMCSA said violations for exceeding daily driving and on-duty limits dropped significantly in fiscal year (FY) 2019, which ended Sept. 30 and included the first full year of ELD enforcement.

The number of violations for driving beyond the 11-hour daily limit fell 34% year over year in FY 2019, after a 32% decline in FY 2018, the period that included the December 2017 ELD mandate.

All told, the number of “11-hour-rule” violations were down 55% over the last two years.

The total number of driver out-of-service (OOS) violations rose 2.9% in FY 2019 to 186,365, slightly lower than the peak of 186,773 OOS violations reached in FY 2017, before the ELD mandate took effect. ELD violations under 395.8AELD accounted for 13.5% of OOS violations in FY 2019.

Bill Cassidy at Journal of Commerce analyzes the data, including any changes in crashes and overall road safety.

California Labor Law on Hold

As legislative deadlines go, Jan. 1 loomed large in California where Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which makes it harder for gig-economy companies like Uber and Postmates to qualify their workers as independent contractors rather than employees, was set to go into effect.

But one day before the rule was to take effect, a federal judge temporarily blocked the law in order to consider a number of lawsuits, including one from the California Trucking Association. Industry officials say AB5 would remove opportunities for drivers to own their own businesses and work as independent owner-operators in California.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez said a temporary restraining order will remain in effect until Jan. 13 while he considers making the injunction permanent.

Joe Rajkovacz, director of governmental affairs for the Western States Trucking Association, told Transport Topics that the ruling is a “a wonderful New Year’s gift. “This is important because it gives everybody a temporary reprieve right now, before the legal system can fully vet whether the industry is entitled to a permanent injunction against AB 5, as it affects the trucking industry.”

While the CTA will get its day in court, other organizations are pushing back and saying they just won’t comply.

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