Interstate Highway system turns 60

by: Paul Gerou on

Transportation.Gov web banner

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Bookmark and Share


From Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau:

Today, the Interstate system turns 60.  On this date in 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Interstate Highway Act of 1956 into law from his hospital bed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., only two days after it was passed by Congress.  It didn’t give us a nation, but it certainly helped to ensure our 50 states were united. Back then, there were only 48 states – Alaska and  Hawaii were only territories then.

As the highway system grew, so too did the nation. Where better quality, high-speed interstates took root, businesses and suburbs followed. As you can see from this population density map spanning the decades, America’s population centers were as linked to interstates as they are today.  

Keep reading on the Fast Lane!


by: Karol Smith on

Brake Safety Week is September 6-12. Tens of thousands of vehicles can expect an inspection by state and federal inspectors, with an emphasis placed on brake components. 

According to CVSA, inspectors will look for "brake-system components to identify loose or missing parts, air or hydraulic fluid leaks, worn linings, pads, drums or rotors and other faulty brake-system components."

CVSA said during the 2014 inspection spree, inspectors from participating agencies inspected 13,305 vehicles, resulting in 2,162 trucks put out-of-service for brake violations.

Posted by the MTA Weekly Dispatch - September 1, 2015

Speed Limiters---Let's weigh in with CCJ and OOIDA

by: Karol Smith on

CCJ published a very interesting article this week on the upcoming Speed Limiter mandate.

OOIDA and ATA are looking for feedback. 

How do you feel about speed limiters in commercial vehicles? 

We are interested in finding out your thoughts on this controversial subject.

Please comment below. Please keep your comments professional. 

CVSA’s annual Road Check Inspection Blitz Scheduled for June 2-4

by: Karol Smith on

Road Check, the annual inspection blitz done by a joint effort of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and others, has been scheduled for June 2-4, CVSA announced this week. Roughly 10,000 inspectors from state, local and federal enforcement agencies will  perform nearly 70,000 inspections on trucks and buses over the 72-hour period. They will be stationed at 1,500 inspection points around North America.  This year’s special emphasis will be cargo securement, though it will still be primarily performing full 37-step Level I inspections — the most thorough inspection — throughout the week.  

Last year’s Road Check, which also took place in early June, resulted in a vehicle out-of-service rate of 18.7 percent and a driver out-of-service rate of 4.8 percent. Also in 2014, more than 72,000 drivers and vehicles were inspected

CVSA has on its site resources for drivers and fleets. Here’s a link to the nine top things inspectors will be looking for. And here’s CVSA’s checklist for drivers.

The Point of the North American Standard
Level I Inspection Procedure


Check for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system; Check for “S” cam flip-over; Be alert for audible air leaks around brake components and lines; Check that the slack adjusters are the same length (from center of “S” cam to center of clevis pin), and that the air chambers on each axle are the same size. Check brake adjustment; Ensure the air system maintains air pressure between 90 and 100 psi; Measure pushrod travel; Inspect required brake system warning devices, such as ABS malfunction lamps and low air pressure warning devices; Inspect tractor protection system, including the bleedback system on the trailer.


Safety Devices-Full Trailers/Converter Dolly(s): Check the safety devices (chains/wire rope) for sufficient number, missing components, improper repairs, and devices that are incapable of secure attachment. On the Lower Fifth Wheel check for unsecured mounting to the frame or any missing or damaged parts; or any visible space between the upper and lower fifth wheel plates. Verify that the locking jaws are around the shank and not the head of the kingpin and that the release lever is seated properly and that the safety latch is engaged. Check the Upper Fifth Wheel for any damage to the weight bearing plate (and its supports) such as cracks, loose or missing bolts on the trailer. On the Sliding Fifth Wheel check for proper engagement of locking mechanism (teeth fully engaged on rail); also check for worn or missing parts, ensure that the position does not allow the tractor frame rails to contact the landing gear during turns. Check for damaged or missing fore and aft stops.


Check your fuel tanks for the following conditions: Loose mounting, leaks, or other conditions; loose or missing caps; and signs of leaking fuel below the tanks. For exhaust systems, check the following: Unsecured mounting; leaks beneath the cab; exhaust system components in contact with electrical wiring or brake lines and hoses; and excessive carbon deposits around seams and clamps.


Inspect for corrosion fatigue, cross member(s) cracked, loose or missing, cracks in frame, missing or defective body parts. Look at the condition of the hoses, check suspension of air hoses of vehicle with sliding tandems. On the frame and frame assembly check for cracks, bends, sagging, loose fasteners or any defect that may lead to the collapse of the frame; corrosion, fatigue, cross members cracked or missing, cracks in frame, missing or defective body parts. Inspect all axle(s). Inspect for non-manufactured holes (i.e. rust holes, holes created by rubbing or friction, etc.), for broken springs in the spring brake housing section of the parking brake. For vans and open-top trailer bodies, look at the upper rail and check roof bows and side posts for buckling, cracks, or ineffective fasteners. On the lower rail, check for breaks accompanied by sagging floor, rail, or cross members; or broken with loose or missing fasteners at side post adjacent to the crack.


Inspect all required lamps for proper color, operation, mounting and visibility.


Make sure you are carrying a safe load. Check tail board security. Verify end gates are secured in stake pockets. Check both sides of the trailer to ensure cargo is protected from shifting or falling. Verify that rear doors are securely closed. Where load is visible, check for proper blocking and bracing. It may be necessary to examine inside of trailer to assure that large objects are properly secured. Check cargo securement devices for proper number, size and condition. Check tie down anchor points for deformation and cracking.


Check the steering lash by first turning the steering wheel in one direction until the tires begin to pivot. Then, place a mark on the steering wheel at a fixed reference point and then turn the wheel in the opposite direction until the tires again start to move. Mark the steering wheel at the same fixed reference point and measure the distance between the two marks. The amount of allowable lash varies with the diameter of the steering wheel.


Inspect the suspension for: Indications of misaligned, shifted, cracked or missing springs; loosened shackles; missing bolts; unsecured spring hangars; and cracked or loose U-bolts. Also, check any unsecured axle positioning parts and for signs of axle misalignment. On the front axle, check for cracks, welds and obvious misalignment.


Check tires for proper inflation, cuts and bulges, regrooved tires on steering axle, tread wear and major tread groove depth. Inspect sidewalls for defects, improper repairs, exposed fabric or cord, contact with any part of the vehicle, and tire markings excluding it from use on a steering axle. Inspect wheels and rims for cracks, unseated locking rings,and broken or missing lugs, studs or clamps. Also check for rims that are cracked or bent, have loose of damaged lug nuts and elongated stud holes, have cracks across spokes or in the web area, and have evidence of slippage in the clamp areas. Check the hubs for lubricant leaks, missing caps or plugs, misalignment and positioning, and damaged, worn or
missing parts 

Freightliner launches first-ever road-legal North American autonomous truck

by: Karol Smith on

Press release via CCJ 5/5/2015

Freightliner launches first-ever road-legal North American autonomous truck. If you’re one of the many in trucking who scoffed at the idea of a commercially-viable self-driving truck, or at best figured such technology was years — if not decades — away, you need to reset your expectations.  For more information click here:

Minnesota Trucking Association

by: Paul Gerou on

StarTribune Article Says, "Show Truck Drivers More Respect" 

The Minnesota Trucking Association was successful in placing a story in the StarTribune regarding how to safely share the road with big trucks.


"Nathan Wick logs thousands of miles a year driving a semitrailer truck for UPS Freight. The hours are long and demanding, but the most stressful part of his job is the driving behavior of other motorists. Wick says motorists have lost respect for big rigs, and as a result put themselves and his fellow truck drivers at risk. The Drive recently went for a ride with the 2012 Minnesota Trucking Association's Driver of the Year and it didn't take long to see why he feels that way.


On our short trip on Interstate 35W from Blaine to Forest Lake in blinding rain, drivers changing lanes failed to give ample clearance when pulling in front of Wick. ­Others tailgated or drove in his blind spot for extended periods. A few got too close for comfort, all behaviors rife with dangers."


Read the complete story