Fatality Wrecks with Big Rigs Up 13%

An accident is the worst possible outcome for a truck driver, and fatality wrecks are every trucker’s nightmare. Unfortunately, research reveals that big rig collisions that result in death have risen sharply in recent years. Specifically, the National Highway Safety Traffic Safety Administration reports that semi-truck fatality wrecks are up by 13%. This alarming statistic reveals the dire need for new safety measures, but with big-rig wrecks increasing in fatality numbers, it may not be clear where to start. Trucking companies can combat this deadly problem by understanding its root cause, identifying risk factors, and implementing more stringent safety standards.

Understanding the Cause of Increased Fatalities

Such a dramatic uptick in deaths would seemingly be attributable to a specific cause. It doesn’t seem to be the case, though, as experts blame different issues, and there’s no single clear culprit. Instead, a range of problems appears to be contributing to the topic. Trucking companies that want to fight against fatalities should start by understanding the following three possible causes of the increase.

National Trucker Shortage

When considering the reasons for the increase in fatalities, it’s impossible to overlook the nationwide shortage of truck drivers that occurred in the wake of COVID-19. Although there’s evidence to suggest that the shortage may end, its impact will undoubtedly continue to have consequences. The increase in enormous rig collision fatalities may be among these consequences. With fewer drivers available, many truckers faced an increased workload and intensified pressure to meet tight deadlines. Together, these factors may encourage unsafe behaviors such as speeding and sleepy driving.

Return to the Road

A shortage of truckers isn’t the only consequence of COVID-19. The pandemic also ushered in a widespread period of quarantine, during which many people stayed home instead of driving. Now, people are rushing at the opportunity to get back on the road. Thus, the sudden increase in traffic has also resulted in a sudden spike in deaths. It may be due to a deterioration of driving skills during the lockdown.

Inconsistent State Laws

Any interstate driver who travels through multiple states in a day may find it challenging to keep track of the speed limits and other standards as they can change regularly. To complicate matters further, some states have even raised their speed limits, which some reasonably interpret as disregarding roadways fatalities. It may encourage other motorists to engage in unsafe driving behaviors that increase the likelihood of collisions and fatalities.

Forming Solutions to Minimize Fatalities

How can trucking companies combat the problem? Likewise, truckers should understand the impact an accident can have on truck insurance rates. To save lives and keep truck insurance rates low, carriers should consider the following potential solutions.

Recruiting Safe Truck Drivers

Recruiting more truckers is important in lightening the load of those currently on the road. More importantly, though, trucking companies should focus on hiring truckers who can drive safely on the road. Promising predictors of driver safety include their civilian driving record and background check results.

Investing in Training Programs

Truck drivers need to complete training and onboarding that will familiarize them with the exceptional standards of your company. As you develop your training program, it’s essential to incorporate thorough coverage of safety protocol. It should include a discussion of your company’s safety principles, individual state traffic laws, and the variance in those laws.

Switching Priorities to Incentivize Safety

It’s essential, too, to ask what kind of behavior your company is incentivizing. If your company offers drivers bonuses for meeting tight deadlines, you may unintentionally incentivize unsafe driving behaviors. Conversely, if your company provides rewards for adherence to safety laws, you’re motivating drivers to follow the rules and drive with safety in mind.

Trucking Companies Can Save Lives With Safety

Trucking companies can play an important part in either encouraging or discouraging the unsafe driving behaviors that may cause these collisions. It should motivate every trucking company to recruit safe truckers, implement better safety training, and incentivize safe driving. Following these steps may be the best approach to lowering the truck accident fatality rate.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

How To Improve Your Trucking Business Profit Margins Part 1

Your trucking business profit margins often depend on a speedy, efficient, and cost-effective fleet to help you succeed. When supply chain delays or a national trucker shortage slows things down, how can businesses maintain profits — much less increase them?

Trucking Business Profit Margins

Trucking business profit margins are indeed delicate, but several steps can combat revenue instability. With more profit in your pocket, you’ll have the resources to expand further, growing your business even more! If you’re wondering how to make a more significant profit in your trucking business, consider the following tips for increasing trucking profits.

Find a Way to Cut Fuel Costs

One of the costliest expenditures facing trucking companies is gas. You may be wasting money if you’re paying full price for gas. There are plenty of ways trucking companies can save significant money on gas expenses. Your trucking business profit margins can depend on some simple steps. The easiest way to do this is to use fuel cards. Fuel cards allow companies to take advantage of discounts and other benefits to reward loyalty. These cards — also called fleet cards or business gas cards — can save a trucking company thousands of dollars every year if used to their full potential. Companies should look for a card that offers rewards such as cashback and fuel discounts.

Minimize Driver Time Spent Idling

Another primary source of waste — and cause of costs going up — is excessive driver time spent idling. When truck drivers allow their engine to idle for extended periods, it burns through gas far more quickly than most truckers realize. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, idling may be costing you half a gallon of gas per hour. This figure varies depending on the truck’s size, make, and model, but truckers must avoid idle time whenever possible. Contrary to popular belief, starting an engine typically does not use more fuel than idling. Save money by turning off your truck.

Always Plan the Most Efficient Routes

The Global Positioning System has revolutionized truck routing and allowed companies to plan the most efficient routes easily. You can even plan hands-free using a device loaded with routing software. Too many drivers deviate from the directions provided by these devices, though, and increase costs substantially in the process. Look for a routing application that helps you drive fewer miles to reach your destination, and most importantly, be sure that you follow its directions. In some cases, you may even be able to use your Electronic Logging Device (ELD) to optimize your route plan.

Invest in Fuel-Efficient Tires and Accessories

Tires can affect trucking business profit margins. Additionally, some drivers don’t realize that the tires and accessories on their trucks play a significant role in their fuel efficiency. Indeed, some types of tires specifically optimize the fuel efficiency of a truck. These tires typically also feature low resistance to rolling, which uses less energy while you are driving. It has no impact on the performance or speed of the truck, but it massively reduces the fuel usage required to operate the truck. In addition to choosing fuel-efficient tires, drivers should always perform regular maintenance on tires by ensuring that they inflate them properly. If drivers underinflate their tires, your fuel economy will likely suffer. Thus, it will reduce up to 10% in some cases.

Drive-In a Way That Saves Gas

Tires aren’t the only factor that can affect fuel economy. The way that you drive can have a significant impact, too. Most ELD systems track truckers’ driving habits, including habits such as the following:

  • Speeding
  • Sudden braking
  • Use of cruise control
  • Variations in speed
  • Excessive idling

These actions can contribute to the average fuel economy a driver achieves. Speeding, for example, will have an immediate detrimental impact on your gas mileage — as will sudden stops, inconsistent speed, and long periods spent idling. Cruise control can improve fuel efficiency. Truckers can review data collected by their ELD to understand better what driving behaviors contribute to ideal gas mileage.

Recognize the Most Expensive Liabilities

Many trucking companies overlook liabilities as a source of expenses, which can be a significant mistake. There are many disadvantages associated with trucking, and it’s the responsibility of every carrier to anticipate and mitigate these risks. Do this by investing in truck insurance. Truck insurance allows companies to invest in protection against the most common dangers that drivers encounter on the road. It helps with transporting cargo safely. Without the proper insurance, a single incident could wreak havoc.

Improve the Aerodynamics of Your Fleet

One overlooked strategy for improving profit margins is enhancing the aerodynamics of your truck. Some research suggests that installing accessories to reduce drag can save hundreds of gallons of gas per year. It is an impressive figure, and it illustrates just how vital aerodynamics are when it comes to a truck’s fuel economy. Accessories such as underbody side skirts can provide this effect. Invest in performance-improving alterations that can reduce drag, improve aerodynamic performance, and give your company’s profit margin the boost it needs.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

Trucker Work Environment and Sustainability Initiatives for 2022 (Part 2)

Trucker work environment and sustainability initiatives in 2022 will alter the trucking industry for the better. Better work environments and sustainability practices have never been more apparent. Additionally, the trucker work environment and sustainability initiatives in 2022 will cut down on pollution. The trucking industry is a huge source of air pollution, and recent reports spotlight widespread driver dissatisfaction. The industry must address these problems, but finding a clear path forward has proven difficult for many trucking companies.

Luckily, technological innovations and activism by truckers may provide the push necessary to improve both working conditions and sustainability. It can mitigate trucking companies’ liabilities, leading to fewer truck insurance claims. Truck insurance is imperative for addressing the exposures that emerge across the industry, but implementing better practices is essential.

More Competitive Compensation for Truckers

One of the most effective strategies for improving truckers’ working conditions is offering better pay and benefits. Even with the best working environment, truckers will struggle if compensation is insufficient to support their health and wellbeing. It is one reason why many trucking companies increase wages and invest in additional benefits such as mental health services and dental coverage for truckers.

This additional compensation can go a long way in improving truckers’ working environment. Long days spent on the road can be stressful and isolating, so drivers must access resources that can help them thrive. These resources can also be foundational when launching sustainability initiatives. If a trucking company has a staff of healthy and engaged drivers to rely on, sustainability becomes a realistic goal.

Fostering Unity Amongst Drivers

Unity is key to sustaining a good work environment for truckers. It applies to connections within the company — truckers should share mutual trust and communication with managers — but it also applies to goals. A company must have guidance from a unified set of objectives to succeed. Delivering extraordinary service and maintaining efficiency is often the first goal, but companies should make sustainability a high-ranking goal and promote its importance to all truck drivers. Companies can do the following to unite drivers in this goal:

  • Incentivize eco-friendly practices
  • Educate drivers about the benefits of sustainability
  • Train drivers in sustainability practices on the road
  • Set clear goals regarding sustainability
  • Clearly explain drivers’ role in achieving goals

These steps can establish the unity that will support improved sustainability practices. Without a unified team, sustainability will remain an esoteric idea with no straightforward application in the real world. A team that’s unified and supported with essential resources, on the other hand, can carry out environmental initiatives successfully.

How can trucking companies improve their team’s cohesion if unity is lacking? In addition to improving compensation and working conditions, companies should regularly communicate with drivers to hear their concerns and discuss potential solutions. Communication is always at the core of improvement. Fostering open discussions will bolster your team’s sense of unity substantially.

Launching a Sustainability Initiative Successfully

With a team that’s unified in improving sustainability, your company can proceed to roll out initiatives that aim to reduce environmental impact. This process may look different for every company, but it includes a few general steps that can improve success rates:

  • Identify clear goals for the outcome of the campaign
  • Delegate drivers’ and team members’ responsibilities
  • Allocate resources to the campaign’s tasks
  • Establish support from other agencies and sources

The latter of these — establishing outside support — is a critical step. Many non-profit organizations and government agencies offer support for environmental campaigns. Trucking companies may be surprised by the wealth of resources that these can provide.

A sustainability campaign is also more likely to succeed if there is a clear benefit for participants — including truckers. Reducing air pollution might not seem to pose any immediate benefit to drivers, so a more tangible motivation may be necessary to ensure the initiative’s success. Unsurprisingly, the financial incentive is typically a very effective motivator — and when it comes to trucking, sustainability can offer many fiscal rewards.

Minimizing idle time, for example — an objective that recent trucking tech aims to achieve — is a great way to reduce air pollution from big rigs. It can also substantially reduce a trucker’s fuel expenditure, significantly saving trucking companies money. More considerable savings means better profits, and drivers could thrive financially. Offering financial incentives for sustainability achievements is a practical investment in ensuring the success of an initiative.

Minimizing Environmental Impact, Maximizing Trucker Satisfaction

Reducing environmental harm and boosting the trucker work environment are achievable goals. Many trucking companies operate based on the false assumption that clients will prioritize price above all else. On the contrary, research indicates that trucking clients are often inclined to do business with companies committed to sustainability and employee wellness. These commitments often translate to better service, so it’s worth the investment to partner with conscientious carriers.

Clients that prioritize a carrier’s sustainability practices are correct in assuming that they will receive better service. Sustainability benefits every part of the supply chain — truckers, trucking companies, clients, and carriers. By investing in better work environments for drivers, trucking companies can boost profits and build relationships with clients that share these values. It will help make trucking a safer and more sustainable line of work while minimizing its impact on the environment.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

DOT Promotes Flexibility in Trucking Hours to Maintain Trucker Safety

In a recently released memo, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) detailed final rules updating the hours of service to increase safety on roadways by updating existing regulations for commercial truck drivers.

The need for this change has come about due to the disruption in the nation’s trucking supply chain as a result of COVID-19. The outbreak of the virus this last spring upended everything from logistics to international shipping, which then trickled down to trucking companies, altering their service hours. In turn, this increased demand has affected trucker’s overall safety.

The solution from the FMCSA was implemented to bring more flexibility to new hours of operation, thus encouraging more rest and support for truck drivers.

Hours of Service Rules: A Closer Look

First adopted in 1937, FMCSA’s hours of service rules specify the permitted hours of operation for commercial truck drivers. In 2018, FMCSA penned an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to receive public comments on the HOS rules to limit unnecessary burdens placed on truck drivers while upholding Trucker safety on highways and roads. In 2019, the Agency published a detailed proposed rule which received plenty of public commentary.

Based on these comments and input, FMCSA’s final rule on hours of service offers some revisions to the existing rules.

First, the FMCSA will increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after eight hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.

Secondly, the FMCSA will modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow truck drivers to split their required 10 hours of off duty time into two periods. Also, the FMCSA will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending the maximum window of time during which truck driving is allowed by two hours.

Lastly, the FMCSA will change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the truck drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the truck driver may work from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

This change in hours of service rules is estimated to provide nearly $274 million in cost savings on an annual basis for the U.S. economy and American consumers. The trucking industry, although it has seen some disruption in recent years due to fewer available drivers and automation in driving technology, is still a major component of the national economy. The industry employs more than seven million people and moves nearly 75% of the nation’s domestic freight.

Since the onset of COVID-19, truck drivers have played a key role in getting the country through by driving supplies from state to state. FMCSA has provided relief to commercial truck drivers to get medical supplies, food, and household goods to Americans in need during these unprecedented times.

About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

What the Trucking Industry Should Know About OSHA Inspections

The trucking industry has seen major changes in a number of ways recently. Whether it’s systematic changes to legislation, like with California’s AB-5 legislation, or through unprecedented disruptions to supply chains, like with COVID-19, truck drivers and trucking companies have needed to adapt to the evolving industry. But while these changes have seemed abrupt, causing trucking companies to rethink how they approach everything from Truck insurance to operating hours, some industry updates can be prepared for, like with the recent OSHA updates meant to protect workers in the industry.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the right to inspect any workplace. There are many different things that might trigger an inspection, but the ultimate goal is to make sure a business is compliant with rules and taking the right precautions to keep its employees safe.

Here are some things that the trucking industry should know about OSHA inspections.

What Are Some Reasons an OSHA Inspection Takes Place?

As noted above, OSHA has the right to inspect any company at any time to look for any discrepancies when it comes to workplace safety. OSHA prioritizes inspections, according to the most hazardous workplace, which puts the trucking industry front and center since it’s repeatedly referenced as a dangerous work environment for all involved. Here are some reasons why an inspection might be carried out:

  • Imminent Danger: These are hazardous scenarios that can end up causing death or serious injury to people.
  • Severe Injuries: The employer must report any major injury or illness promptly to OSHA, which then carries out an inspection.
  • Employee Complaints: OSHA encourages employees to speak up and report any health and safety hazards or violations.
  • Referrals: This kind of inspection occurs when a government agency, other organization or individual has reported a possible hazard at a worksite.

Typically, OSHA does not give employers a warning before it conducts their inspections. Exceptions to this rule might include imminent danger scenarios and inspections that can effectively be conducted following regular business hours.

How Can Trucking Companies Handle an Inspection?

Businesses that are covered by the OSHA Act should already have a course of action in place for handling potential inspections. Since these inspections can happen at a moment’s notice, preparation is key. Doing this will increase preparedness and limit the chances of panic should an OSHA inspector show up at a trucking company’s worksite or operations center.

When an OSHA inspector arrives, it’s important for trucking company supervisors to obtain their credentials and be cooperative. While volunteering information isn’t the right choice upfront, it still helps to be cooperative and not try to obstruct an inspection. The last thing a trucking company would want is to get in an inspector’s way or give up information that was not asked for in the first place.

What Are the Penalties of Noncompliance?

Not all companies are prepared for an inspection, or at least not thrilled to see an inspector come onto their site. If OSHA gives out a de minimis violation, meaning it’s a technical violation that has no direct effect on the health and safety of truck drivers, then OSHA will not issue a citation. However, there are serious penalties that OSHA can give out, such as:

  • Serious violations: this means there’s a significant chance that death or serious physical harm may occur, and the employer should have been made aware.
  • Willful or repeated violation: An employer intentionally and knowingly violated OSHA’s rules.
  • Failure to Abate: The employer failed to correct a previously cited violation. Money penalties for these violations are adjusted each year, but a serious violation can exceed $12,000.

What Should Trucking Companies Know About New OSHA Regulations?

OSHA spent most of last year increasing its number of employer inspections and pursuing new rulemakings and programs. In 2019, it conducted more than 33,000 inspections addressing workplace violations related to falls, chemical exposure, silica exposure, and other hazards.

OSHA also recently issued a proposed rule that would amend parts of the cranes and derricks in construction standard, as well as those that have to do with industrial trucks. The proposed amendments will include correcting references to power line voltage, broadening for forklifts carrying loads under the forks.

This also encompasses trucking companies that operate on commercial sites. Trucking companies should be aware of the violations listed above and avoid any potential fallout or legal ramifications that may come. This will help to keep employees safe and the entire work environment compliant with any updates OSHA may have.

About Western Truck Insurance Services


Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

AB-5 Legislation Update

The state of California has asked a federal court to begin lifting the preliminary junction against imposing AB-5 on the state’s trucking industry. The requests to the Court of Appeals for the state’s 9th Circuit is part of the appeal of the attempt by the California Trucking Association (CTA) to be granted an injunction against the position that AB-5 has put the trucking industry in.

The state’s AB-5 Legislation has been a topic of controversy for over a year now. What it does is move 2018’s Dynamex California Supreme Court decision into law, which established an ABC test to determine the status of an independent contractor that could essentially eliminate the owner-operator model in California, and disrupting everything from investing in commercial truck insurance, such as general liability insurance, and the sharing economy.

According to the appeal by the attorney general’s office, the law set in place by the FAA in the early 90s “preempts state and local regulation that has a significant effect on the prices, routes or services of motor carriers.” This has been the position of the CTA as well and a case they have been trying to make since AB-5 began picking up steam last year.

The state’s appeal is mostly looking at the prices, routes, and services, as mentioned above, in the preliminary injunction. The state cited legal precedents that it said should be looked at as meaning that state labor regulations are not preempted by the Federal Aviation’s act.

Independent Contractors and Trucking Companies

If the argument that AB-5 doesn’t entirely ban the hiring of independent contractors as truck drivers by a company, the state’s argument stays focused on prices, routes, and services. The test brought on by AB-5, the ABC test, and the earlier standard used to decide if someone is a full-time employee or a contractor do not define the rights or benefits that a trucking carrier has to provide its drivers.

The state went on to argue that the decision to grant the injunction then offers no “substantive analysis on what impact labeling motor carriers’ drivers to be ‘employees’ will have on prices, routes, and services”. The state argues that what might be seen as a hurried nature of the CTA action is reason enough to overturn the injunction.

The state’s filing says the ABC test became a reality for trucking companies and their drivers with the Dynamex decision, which was put into place in April of 2018. However, the injunction wasn’t put into motion until December of 2019, plenty of time for the plaintiffs to seek injunctive relief during that time period.

About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

Poor Trucking Maintenance & Accidents

Collisions with large trucks on the road typically result in major injuries and even death. And with the rise in trucking accidents in recent years, it’s important to look at the factors that are creating this issue. Large truck accidents have many different potential causes. Driver error may play a part, but the main issues relate to poor trucking maintenance. From tire health to checking fluids, it’s important for truck drivers to understand the danger poor maintenance plays in accidents.

Dangers of Poor Trucking Maintenance

With as much weight as trucks put on the road and as much time as they spend traveling, it’s no surprise that they these vehicles need regular maintenance. Routine trucking maintenance should be completed just like any regular commuter vehicle. Sometimes, however, fleets of vehicles in a trucking company are not serviced frequently enough, leading to more potential incidents.

If a poorly maintained truck is back on the road, the risk of incident is much higher than if it were to be restored. Even if the driver practices the necessary safety measures, the hazards presented by a poorly maintained truck could cause accidents.

No matter the reason behind a trucking accident, truck drivers should be driving with the right level of truck insurancethat keeps them protected. This kind of coverage, including general liability and physical damage coverages, can provide peace of mind after an accident. In addition, this insurance policy will provide the funds needed to repair a truck’s damage to make sure it remains in its optimal operating condition.

Brakes and Steering

Any issues with brakes and steering that a truck driver notices must be given attention. The vehicle in question needs to undergo a full inspection to make sure that all brakes are working as they should be and that the steering is in good working condition. Failure to check on brakes and steering could end up causing a major accident, especially as the brakes on these large trucks undergo much more strain and wear and tear than typical vehicles, this is especially important. Trucking maintenance should be comprehensive and prioritize the most-used features of the vehicle.

Vehicle Fluids

Large trucks do require routine fluid checks, just like your average everyday sedan or pickup. It’s important that brake fluid, steering fluid, motor oil, and radiator fluid are checked on a regular basis. Simple additions of these fluids can keep the truck running smoothly during its commute.

Tire Health

Over time, the weight and wear put a strain on a truck’s tires. Similar to brakes, this a routine check that should never be skipped. There should also be an emphasis on proper rotation and replacement, as well. A large truck that has a damaged or worn set of tires can be a hazard to anyone around them on the road. The risk of vehicle loss due to tire blowouts puts everyone in harm’s way.

Broken and Damaged Lights

A broken taillight, as simple and unassuming as it may seem, can end up causing major problems. If a turn signal or headlight is out, this could increase the risk of collisions since many trucks travel by night. When any light is not working properly, it could lead to a potential accident that can be avoided with the right level of regular care and simple trucking maintenance checks.

About Western Truck Insurance Services


Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

COVID-19: Temporary Suspension of Motor Carrier IRP Requirements

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to create stress and disrupt our daily lives when it comes to fearing for our health and safety, lawmakers and industry leaders are also having to deal with the logistical and economic fallout that could happen as a result. From businesses closing down for two weeks to people staying indoors throughout the day, practically every industry is taking a hit as spending, investing, and overall business have all come to a veritable halt.

Texas Suspends Motor Carrier IRP Requirements

In Texas, the state’s governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster on Friday, March 13, as coronavirus began to spread and cause panic. And as the state looks to test more citizens for the virus, Abbot has waived certain regulations related to commercial trucking. The motor carrier IRP requirements suspension will help to expedite commercial vehicle delivery of more supplies in every truckload, including items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and grocery store items.

Desperate Times

The waivers implemented by Abbott will be coordinated through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and will look to restock shelves and make more items readily available.

“As the State of Texas works to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus, we are taking precautionary measures to ensure that Texans have access to the goods and supplies they need,” said Governor Abbott. “Suspending these state trucking regulations will improve our ability to deliver the necessary supplies throughout the state so that grocers and retailers are able to continually stock their shelves. I want to remind Texans that stockpiling resources is neither necessary nor productive. The State of Texas is prepared and will continue to take action to support our communities.”

The 3 Suspended Statutes

Three specific sets of statutes have been suspended by Abbott. They include:

  • The International Registration Plan (IRP) vehicle registration under Transportation Code 502.091 and 43 Tex. Admin. Code 217.56, as long as the vehicle is registered in one of the 48 contiguous states of the United States
  • The oversize and overweight permitting requirements under Transportation Code, Chapters 621 through 623, as well as Title 43, Chapter 219 of the Texas Administrative Code, for all divisible and non-divisible vehicles and loads
  • The 72-hour and 144-hour temporary registration permits under Transportation Code 502.094 and 43 Tex. Admin. Code 217.40(b)(3), as long as the vehicle is registered in one of the states of the United States

Abbott also announced that drive-thru testing is now available in San Antonio with more of these test sites opening up soon. The San Antonio location has been testing first responders, health care workers, operators of infrastructure and key resources, and high-risk patients. Next, Abbott plans on opening more drive-thru testing sites for truck drivers in Dallas and Austin.

About Western Truck Insurance Services


Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

California Truckers and Teamsters Appeal to Ninth Circuit After Ruling

The trucking industry in California has been caught up in a whirlwind of legal battles in the last few months as new legislation has been proposed, passed, and protested around the classification of workers in the industry. Everyone from truck drivers to dock workers to independent contractors are all involved as the state’s new AB5 bill, which represents a total change in how these employees can receive benefits and even find the right level of commercial Truck insurance for their daily operations.

Now, in a new appeal, truckers and teamsters in the industry are voicing their concern. A U.S. District Court judge has issued a preliminary injunction in the AB5-related case of California Trucking Association, et al., v. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., and International Brotherhood of Teamsters temporarily blocking the ABC test.

What is the AB5 Bill?

AB5 essentially codifies the Dynamex case from April 2018 in which California’s Supreme Court determined that an ABC test must be used to determine worker classification in wage-order claims. Under this new test, a worker is presumed to be an employee. To go about this in a successful way, a company must demonstrate that the worker satisfies all three parts of the test.

These three parts include:

  • The worker is free from control and direction in the performance of their services
  • The worker is performing work outside the usual course of the business of the hiring company
  • The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade or business

AB5 makes the ABC Test the law in the state, but it also expands beyond wage-order claims to all provisions under the state Labor and Unemployment Insurance codes.

Making Their Appeal

The AB5 test went into effect on January 1 of this year and has faced plenty of backlash already from the trucking industry as well as the gig economy, a major player in the state with companies like Lyft and Uber. The California Trucking Association and two independent motor-carriers won a preliminary injunction on January 16, after a judge found that they’d established a likelihood of success on the merits of the arguments they were making.

The truckers involved in the injunction argued that FAAA preempts the ABC test because it requires them to classify all drivers as employees, causing major interference with their routes, services, commercial truck insurance, and prices.

The following is a statement from Julie Gutman Dickinson, local counsel to the Teamsters Port Division:

“We are not surprised by the Court’s decision to issue a preliminary injunction blocking application of AB5’s ABC test to California truck drivers; however, the decision does not impact port and rail drivers’ fight for their employee rights and an end to systemic wage theft. The bottom line is that in every port trucker misclassification/wage theft case to date, misclassified California port truck drivers have been found to be employees NOT independent contractors under the California Borello test. It simply does not matter whether you apply the ABC test under Dynamex, AB5, or the Borello test, they are employees under all tests. The Court’s preliminary injunction has no practical effect on the employee status of these drivers—they are clearly employees.

In Regards to Wage Claims

“In over 500 wage claim cases at the California DLSE, drivers have uniformly been found to be employees NOT independent contractors under the Borello test. There is not one case that I am aware of where any driver has been found to be an independent contractor under Borello. And in all private litigation I have participated in and am aware of, port and rail drivers have uniformly been found to be employees under the Borello test. Indeed, the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals has made crystal clear that Borello is NOT preempted under the FAAA.

The Test

“The question of whether the ABC test is preempted will go through legal proceedings before there is any final determination. Even if ultimately prong B is found preempted, prongs A and C should remain intact as they have in other jurisdictions. Further, even if the ABC test as a whole were ultimately found to be preempted for interstate drivers, it would still be immaterial to the fact that these drivers have been uniformly found to be employees under Borello, a test that has definitely been determined NOT to be preempted.”

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

Truck Parking Safety Tips

For truck drivers, finding available and safe parking on the road has been a problem for as long as trucking has been a service. Now, the issue has grown as the rise of e-commerce has put more trucks on the road. But, just as many states across the country have closed down rest areas due to cost cutting and changes to hours of service rules.

With more trucks on the road, driver frustration when it comes to finding sensible and safe parking is at an all-time high. As three million trucks drive across the country, only 300,000 parking spaces await them when they need a break. While some trucks return to their terminals before the day is done, there’s still a surplus of truck drivers who need to find their own spot for the night.

So, what can truckers do to not only find a space but be safe?

Position for Safety

When a driver pulls into a truck stop, they should park as far away from traffic as they can. This means that they will need to park in the back of a lot. It may be tempting to just pull into the nearest space when you’re driving in, but other people will be finding spots there too. Avoid parking in a spot near the end of a row as these are closest to the parking lot traffic.

Plan Your Route

Truckers are already following a pre-planned route as it is. However, they should also factor in fuel stops and truck stops that will be used en route. Try to plan the driving schedule around fulfilling miles and driving hours within certain regulations, as well as factoring in arriving at truck stops early. Competition for finding available parking can be hard, so planning where to park will help you avoid any illegal or unsafe parking.

Protect Your Cargo

If you plan on sleeping in your cab overnight at the truck stop, remember to take some extra care in order to protect you and what you’re hauling. Close the windows up, lock the doors, and keep valuables, such as cell phones and electronics, out of sight. It can also help to have window shades installed to keep out any potential for wandering eyes.

To go even further, truckers can install dash cams for truck insurance purposes as well as to help boost their peace of mind. Truck insurance, such as crime insurance, can help truckers and the companies they drive for avoid major legal fees if a safety issue does occur. While no one wants to look forward to a safety issue wherein truck insurance is used, it doesn’t hurt to have assets protected under this coverage.

Add Some Strategy

Parking spots that are more strategically planned for are the ones that won’t require a driver to back out when they have to leave in the morning. Try to find spaces that let you pull through or back into. Also, be aware of the parked trucks around where the spot is located and try not to park in a space where the other trailer will have to back up towards when it’s leaving.

Go for Well-Lit Spaces

Parking under or near lights, or in truck stops where floodlights are present is better than going for a dark lot. While a dark lot may look like it’s ideal for cutting out extra light and will help you sleep, it’s not as safe. Lights help to turn thieves away or at least shine a light on them if they try to steal. Truck stops always have people coming and going, so find a balance between an optimal parking spot location and one that’s well-lit.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.