top of page (3).png
SAFETY lANE wHITE logo.jpg (9).png

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

  • The soaring price of diesel is hitting smaller trucking fleets that make up the bulk of the highly fragmented U.S. trucking market particularly hard.

  • Diesel costs are reaching new highs across the U.S., straining the operations of trucking companies and wrecking the transportation budgets of businesses that need to ship goods.

  • The price of the fuel that powers heavy-duty trucks has increased by more than$2.46 a gallon in roughly two months, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The national average price has climbed to $4.62 a gallon, setting a record for the second week in a row, as prices at the pump surpassed $6.50 in some markets.

  • Rising energy prices, along with higher material costs and growing labor expenses, have helped push inflation in the U.S. to a four decade high.

The costs have hit consumers at the pump, with gasoline prices across the U .S. up by about a third since the start of the year. The price for diesel fuel that is crucial to industrial business has continued going up. That has added to rising costs in supply chains and to inflation pressure on things from housing construction to deliveries of consumer goods.


The costs are hitting smaller trucking fleets that make up the bulk of the highly fragmented U..S. trucking market particularly hard, worsening cash flows for businesses that tend to be lightly capitalized with little cushion to absorb sharp changes in costs.

The national average price of diesel has risen about $2 a gallon since the start of the year and pump prices have surged past $6 a gallon in several regional markets, including New England and Central Atlantic states. In California, where historically fuel costs more than in the rest of the country, the average price is above $6.46 a gallon.

U.S. commercial vehicles, including big rigs, burn about $6.4 billion gallons of diesel annually, according to the American Trucking Associations.

Trucking companies generally can cover rising diesel prices through fuel surcharges that are built into contracts. But the thousands of smaller fleets and independent owner operators that make up the bulk of the highly fragmented truck market have a harder time passing along the added expenses.

The rising operating costs are hitting those operators just as base shipping prices on trucking's spot markets are dropping on wavering freight demand.

Larger trucking companies that work more with long-term contracts that include fuel surcharges tend to be more insulated from the fluctuations.

For small fleets fuel costs have gone up 25% to 30%, adding extra cost to lower rates. It is coming directly out of the profit for independent truckers.

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

The pandemic showed us what the challenges for a commercial driver in the trucking industry are:

  • high turnover rates,

  • an aging workforce,

  • long hours away from home,

  • time spent waiting–often unpaid–to load and unload at congested ports, warehouses, and distribution centers.

According to one estimate per CDL Life, long-haul full-truckload drivers only spend an average of

6.5 hours per working day driving despite being allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours.

That means about 40% of their capacity is not being used.

Many truckers also bear the burden of:

  • gas,

  • insurance,

  • maintenance costs

Which reduces their take home pay, creating significant challenges in recruiting and retaining drivers with the right credentials and experience into today's trucking jobs.

At the same time, the industry reports historic demand for its services. Reflecting that demand, wages for employed drivers in all trucking segments have increased 7-12% in the last year alone, but employment in some segments is still below pre-pandemic levels.

President Biden has stated that he will address these trucking workforce challenges and begin "building a next generation trucking workforce.”

The presidents plan can be broken down into three phases that we will call:






  • Take steps to reduce barriers to drivers getting CDLs:

DOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA) are supporting state departments of motor vehicles as they return to or even exceed pre-pandemic commercial driver's license (CDL) issuance rates, which is helping bring more truck drivers into the field. FMCSA will provide over $30 million in funding to help states expedite CDL. Today, FMCSA is sending all 50 states a toolkit detailing specific actions they can take to expedite licensing and will work hand in hand with states to address challenges they are facing. FMCSA will also begin closely tracking delays, identifying states that have challenges with issuing CDLs, and communicating with all 50 governors about ways they can reduce delays in issuing CDLs.

  • Kick off a 90-day Challenge to accelerate the expansion of Registered Apprenticeships:

This 90-day challenge is a national effort to recruit employers interested in developing new registered Apprenticeship programs and expanding existing programs to help put more well-trained drivers on the road in good trucking jobs.

  • Conduct veterans-focused outreach & recruitment:

There are approximately 70,000 veterans who are likely to have certified trucking experience in the last five years. The DOL Verans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will work with Veterans Service Organizations, Military Service Organizations, unions, industry trucking associations, training providers, and private partners to enable transitioning service members and veterans to attain good jobs in the trucking industry. DOL and VA will work to ensure veterans' driving experience is recognized for those seeking a CDL and will build on proven models, such as SkillBridge programs for transitioning service members.

  • Launch joint DOT- DOL Driving Good Jobs Initiative:

Supporting drivers and ensuring that trucking jobs are good jobs is foundational for a strong, safe, and stable trucking workforce.

DOT and DOL are announcing today the launch of the joint Driving Good JOBs initiative, which marks a new partnership between the agencies that will include:

  • Hosting listening sessions that engage drivers, unions and worker centers, industry, and advocates

  • Lifting up employers and best practices that support job quality and driver retention that can be scaled,

  • Working together to implement research and engagement efforts outlined in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

  • - including studying the issue of truck driver pay & unpaid detention time,

  • - identifying effective and safe strategies to get new entrants in the field from underrepresented communities, including women and young drivers between the ages of 18 to 20

  • - setting up a task force to investigate predatory truck leasing arrangements,

  • - and identifying longer term actions, such as potential administrative or regulatory actions that support drivers and driver retention by improving the quality of trucking jobs.


DOL and DOT will kick off listening sessions with drivers, industry and labor leaders, and advocates to hear their perspectives, profile promising practices, and source scalable solutions to retention and job quality issues for truckers. The first events in this series are happening today in South Carolina with Secretary Buttigieg, Deputy Administrator Joshi, and representatives from DOL and at the White House co-chaired by Secretary Buttigieg, Secretary Walsh, and National Economic Council Director Deese.

FMCSA will issue funding opportunities for states to streamline CDL processing and reduce testing delays.

DOL, DOT, and intermediary partners will work closely with committed trucking employers to launch the first group of Apprenticeship Challenge programs.

FMCSA and DOL will begin an in depth study of driver compensation, as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to examine truck driver pay, including the time drivers spend waiting to pick up or drop off freight without getting paid.

DOL’s VETS and the Department of Veteran Affairs will organize a meeting with Veterans Service Organizations and Military Service Oganizations to discuss opportunities to employ veterans in the trucking industry, including leveraging Veteran Affairs' education and training benefits.


Acknowledging that safety is the highest priority for truck drivers, FMCSA will launch a pilot for drivers ages 18 TO 21 as mandated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, incorporating Registered Apprenticeships to ensure rigorous training standards and pairing each young driver with an experienced mentor.

DOL and DO will host a series of national Apprenticeship Accelerator meetings to help more firms develop new programs and release a quick start toolkit for apprenticeships in the trucking sector.

DOL VETS, DOL Employment and Training Administration, and DOT's Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration will conduct a roundtable to discuss efforts to facilitate a CDL for transitioning service members and veterans. The meeting will include representatives from the United Services Mlitary Apprenticeship Program as well as Veterans Affairs.

In FY21, VETS initiated and implemented ENPP to more effectively assist transitioning service members with the establishment of career goals and to connect them with best in class employment partners to facilitate positive employment outcomes. ENPP is currently at 16 military installations. DOL will expand the Employment Navigator and Partnership Pilot (ENPP) program to now include the trucking industry.


The Department of Labor will announce the results of the 90 day Apprenticeship Challenge and announce new partnerships to continue to expand apprenticeships in the trucking industry.

DOT and DOL will launch the task force dedicated to promoting the recruitment, inclusion, and advancement of women in trucking established in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This task force will be the first of many strategies to help build the pipeline and diversify the trucking workforce.

DOT and DOL will launch the task force to investigate predatory truck leasing arrangements that dissuade drivers from entering or staying in the industry established in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

DOT and DOL will deliver a comprehensive action plan, informed by its series of listening sessions, outlining any further administrative and regulatory actions the Administration can take to support quality trucking jobs

4 views0 comments
  • Writer's pictureEvelina.Petrov

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

- Install the Right Transponders:

Installing the right transponders in a vehicle is the best way to minimize the risk of violations, especially with the rise of cashless tolling across the United States, which has resulted in new challenges for commercial fleets, especially heavy toll facility users with a national footprint. Strategically managing transponder deployment across a fleet helps lessen the impact of higher toll rates, administrative fees, and delayed billing associated with toll by plate and violations transaction. If a fleet reallocates or rebills its toll fees as a standard business practice, then the delay created by violations can disrupt accounting and financial reporting, resulting in, at best, a delay in billing or, at worst, the inability to recoup the expense. with a transponder, transactions post as quickly as possible, typically between 24 and 72 hours.

- Pay Attention to License Plates:

If a fleet has deployed toll transponders on a national or regional level, maintaining up to date vehicle lists with all tolling authorities, including license plates, is essential to fully cover the fleet's vehicles when using tolled facilities. Any tolling authorities require transponders to be associated with vehicle plates when they are activated on the account, but this is not a universal practice.

Larger trucking fleets often have multiple trailers for every tractor, adding significantly to the complexity of tracking, processing, and paying toll transactions. Home tolling authorities will accept trailer license plates, but others will not. Since many gantries and other toll readers will capture the license plate at the rear of the vehicle, it is common for toll by plate transactions to be assessed based on the trailer rather than the tractor. For commercial carriers that rent or lease trailers it can be difficult for tolling authorities to identify who owns the license plate, and, therefore, who is responsible for the toll. This can result in additional accounting delays and cost, especially if the toll transaction is initially assessed to the trailer rental or leasing company and then reallocated to the lessor's fleet.

3 views0 comments
bottom of page