The most-viewed stories on Truckinginfo.com for 2012 were heavy on news from Washington, D.C., whether from the FMCSA or the halls of Congress, as well as from Lisle, Ill., where Navistar International is headquartered: 1. I-75 South Closed in NE Tennessee for About Two Weeks
In March, the Tennessee Department of Transportation closed both lanes of Interstate 75 South in Campbell County in northeast Tennessee on the Kentucky border, due the collapse of a section of embankment.2. FMCSA Orders Truck Driver to Stop Operating
In December, a truck driver who admitted to losing consciousness before hitting and killing an Illinois state trooper was ordered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to stop driving immediately because he failed to disclose a disqualifying medical condition during his DOT physical.3. Navistar Shutting Down Workhorse as Part of Cost-Cutting
In September, we learned that Workhorse Custom Chassis was going out of business and due to shut down in October. Navistar had been its owner since 2005. 4. Court Rules for Navistar Competitors in Clean Air Case
In a victory for Navistar's competitors, in June federal court said that the Environmental Protection Agency should not have allowed Navistar to pay penalties on engines that don't meet clean air standards. 5. Navistar To Close Garland Truck Plant
In late October, Navistar announced it would close its Garland, Texas, truck manufacturing operation as part of its cost-cutting efforts. Navistar intends to cease operations at the Garland facility by the first half of 2013.6. Cell Phone Restrictions Now in Effect
Interstate truck and bus drivers were prohibited from using handheld cell phones while driving as of Jan. 3. Drivers face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification for multiple offenses. Companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving face a maximum penalty of $11,000. 7. FMCSA Shuts Down Kansas Trucking Company for Extreme Hours of Service Violations
In September, FMCSA shut down Kansas-based HP Distribution LLP and an affiliated company, HP Distribution LLC, after discovering the company knowingly permitted drivers to falsify their logbooks. The investigation found that 72% of the drivers audited falsified their log books at a rate exceeding 10%. One driver was found to have faked his logs more than 50%. 8. Congress Passes Highway Bill; House Bill Would Block EOBR Mandate
In early July, the House and Senate passed the highway reauthorization bill, easily clearing both chambers. The bill holds transportation spending at current levels, authorizing $101.3 billion for highways and transit over the next 27 months.
The bill kept a controversial requirement for electronic onboard recorders to track driver hours of service (something the FMCSA is already working on.) Yet even as the passage of the bill was announced, an amendment to block the EOBR mandate was being added to legislation in the House. That legislation did not succeed, but it got enough interest to bump this particular story on the highway bill above the many others we covered during the year as far as user views.9. President Signs Military CDL Act
In December, President Barack Obama signed the Military Commercial Drivers' License Act of 2012, which makes it easier for veterans and service men and women to obtain Commercial Drivers' Licenses. It was one of the few issues various aspects of the trucking industry agree on, with the Teamsters union, American Trucking Associations and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association all expressing their support.10.Navistar Will Add Urea-Based Aftertreatment to Meet Emissions Regulations
After several years of trying to come up with what it said was a better way to meet EPA 2010 regs, Navistar International in July announced it would add urea-based aftertreatment to its engines.