Truck for a hero section
Written by Owner Operator Team

Despite the Fuel Cost Decline Operational Costs are Still High

In 2023, operational costs for trucking carriers increased despite lower fuel prices, with the overall marginal cost of operating a truck reaching $2.27 per mile, a 0.8% rise from 2022, according to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). Since 2020, costs have increased by 62.4 cents per mile. The survey, which included carriers of various sizes, revealed that truck and trailer payments rose by 8.8% to 36 cents per mile, driver wages increased by 7.6% to 77.9 cents per mile, and repair and maintenance costs grew by 3.1% to 20.2 cents per mile. Additionally, leased owner-operator compensation climbed to $2.10 per mile despite a weaker freight market and lower volumes.

Date for Operation Safe Driver Week is Revealed

Operation Safe Driver Week, scheduled for July 7 to 13, is a testament to the collaborative spirit of the transportation industry. This week will see intensified law enforcement efforts across North America targeting reckless and careless driving behaviors. Led by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), this annual initiative aims to enhance roadway safety through educational outreach and strict enforcement measures. Last year’s campaign resulted in over 2,500 citations for commercial vehicle drivers and 1,800 for passenger car drivers. This year, the focus remains on combating behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving, and reckless operation, which pose significant risks to road users. The initiative underscores collaboration among law enforcement agencies and transportation stakeholders across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to reduce traffic incidents and promote safer driving practices.

Latest Safety Recalls Issued by the NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has taken a proactive approach to ensure the safety of commercial vehicles. They have issued a series of safety recalls, impacting brands like Autocar, Daimler Truck, Mack Trucks, and more. These recalls address various safety concerns, such as improperly secured axle lock nuts in Autocar vehicles, potentially leading to wheel separation and fuel filter hose separation in certain Daimler Truck models, posing fire and engine stall risks. Other recalls include overloaded electrical systems in a Ford E-450 vehicle, tie rod failures in Mack Trucks, missing door beams and incorrect labels in Chrysler Ram ProMaster vehicles, and damaged trim panel clips affecting side curtain airbag deployment in Rivian vehicles. The recalls aim to mitigate risks associated with these defects through dealer inspections, part replacements, and owner notifications scheduled for the coming months.

Fuel Tax Changes To Be Implemented in Eleven States

Starting July 1, significant fuel tax rate adjustments will affect eleven states across the U.S. California and Colorado will see increases in both gas and diesel taxes to keep pace with inflation, while Connecticut’s diesel tax rises due to increased wholesale prices. Illinois continues annual increases tied to inflation under a state capital plan, and Indiana follows a mandated yearly adjustment. In contrast, Kentucky will reduce fuel taxes based on falling wholesale prices. Maryland will slightly decrease taxes under an inflation indexing law, while Missouri proceeds with the fourth of five planned increases to its fuel tax rate. Nebraska’s tax will rise by half a cent, and New Jersey will initiate a series of annual increases through 2028. Virginia also adjusts upwards, aligning with consumer price index changes. These adjustments aim to fund transportation infrastructure amidst fluctuating fuel prices.