Passing Zone

At ATA, Thoughts on Policy-Making and Politicking

Blog Commentary by David Cullen, Executive Editor

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) speaking to ATA committee in Orlando. Photo: David Cullen

You could certainly be forgiven if you were attending the American Trucking Associations’ annual confab here in Orlando this week and thought you’d made a wrong turn and stumbled into one of those partisan party retreats that Capitol Hill denizens hold somewhere outside the Beltway every now and then. Blog Commentary by David Cullen, Executive Editor READ MORE

Tags: ATA, American Trucking Associations, U.S. DOT, Infrastructure Funding, Donald Trump

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Tuesday, October 24, 2017 9:09 PM | » Comments(0)

Trump Talks Taxes – but What about Roads?

Blog Commentary by David Cullen, Executive Editor

Photo: via Twitter, @realDonaldTrump

Trump deploys trucks to talk up taxes – but shouldn't trucking take him to task on funding infrastructure? David Cullen wonders in his Passing Zone blog. READ MORE

Tags: Infrastructure Funding, Tax Reform, U.S. Congress, Donald Trump, Legislation

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Thursday, October 12, 2017 2:16 PM | » Comments(2)

Ray of Hope: Trucking's Beacon of Fuel Efficiency

Blog commentary by David Cullen, Executive Editor

Richard Branson (center) expounds on how trucking's mpg efforts are a "ray of hope" in the global campaign to save fuel and protect the planet from climate change. Looking on (right) is NACFE's Mike Roeth. Photo: David Cullen

David Cullen lets you in on why Sir Richard Branson is so excited about trucks these days. READ MORE

Tags: NACFE, Run on Less, Fuel Efficiency, Carbon War Room, Richard Branson, Climate Change, CO2, Greenhouse Gases

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Tuesday, September 19, 2017 6:20 PM | » Comments(0)

In the Land Where Zero Wins

Blog commentary by David Cullen, Executive Editor

“Choose Your Ride” is literally a publicity vehicle. Wittily marked up by WisDOT as half State Patrol cruiser and half taxi, it’s an award-winning public-service ad warning against the danger and expense of drunk driving. Photo: Wisconsin DOT

David Cullen takes you to The Badger State, where the state DOT is determined to change the human culture around highway safety for the better, in his Passing Zone blog. READ MORE

Tags: Highway Safety, Wisconsin, Highway Fatalities

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Thursday, August 24, 2017 2:34 PM | » Comments(0)

Speed Kills — But You Can Help Stop It

Blog Commentary by David Cullen, Executive Editor

“You can’t tackle our rising epidemic of roadway deaths without tackling speeding,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt, “and you can’t tackle speeding without the most current research. Speed kills." Photo: Minnesoto DOT/Julie Bottolfson

A report by the National Transportation Safety Board points an unwavering finger at the deadly toll that speeding by motorists keeps taking on our highways. Executive Editor David Cullen looks at the report in his Passing Zone blog. READ MORE

Tags: Driver Safety, Highway Safety, NTSB, Speeding

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Tuesday, August 1, 2017 2:30 PM | » Comments(6)

Trucking and CSA Reform: The $64,000 Question

Blog Commentary by David Cullen, Executive Editor

Photo: FMCSA

In his Passing Zone blog, Executive Editor David Cullen explains why even with a mandated report recommending reform, trucking should not expect any quick changes to FMCSA's CSA enforcement scheme. READ MORE

Tags: FMCSA, CSA, Vigillo, Donald Trump, TransComply

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Thursday, July 6, 2017 3:36 PM | » Comments(1)

Trump Sticks to Vague Infrastructure Script

Blog Commentary by David Cullen, Executive Editor

Photo: U.S. DOT

In his Passing Zone blog, Executive Editor David Cullen gives his take on the latest words on infrastructure from President Trump. READ MORE

Tags: Infrastructure, Infrastructure Funding, Donald Trump

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Wednesday, June 7, 2017 3:05 PM | » Comments(0)

'Welcome to Washington...'

Blog Commentary by David Cullen, Executive Editor

President Trump's 2018 Budget Photo: White House Office of Management and Budget

Are we on a highway to nowhere? In his Passing Zone blog, Executive Editor David Cullen delves into what President Trump's budget proposal has to say about fixing and building America's roads and bridges. READ MORE

Tags: ATA, Fuel Tax, Highway Funding, White House

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Thursday, May 25, 2017 2:09 PM | » Comments(0)

Seeing Safe Driving and Self-Driving as Going Hand in Hand

Blog commentary by David Cullen, Executive Editor

Mercedes Benz Actros cabover fitted with Daimler AG’s Highway Pilot Connect autonomous-driving system. Photo: David Cullen

An engineering expert contends that contends that autonomous driving and vehicle safety advances shouldn’t be viewed in isolation. David Cullen has more in his Passing Zone blog. READ MORE

Tags: NPTC, Autonomous Vehicles, University of Alabama

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Thursday, May 4, 2017 1:21 PM | » Comments(0)

Knight-Swift: A Merger of Mindsets

Blog commentary by David Cullen, Executive Editor

Executive Editor David Cullen says if any two companies were made for each other, Knight Transportation and Swift Transportation were. After plowing through the transcript of the conference call held for analysts to disclose the impending birth of a new trucking behemoth — Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. — he explains why in his Passing Zone blog. READ MORE

Tags: Swift Transportation, Knight Transportation, Knight-Swift, Mergers & Acquisitions

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Wednesday, April 12, 2017 11:44 AM | » Comments(0)

EPA Aims to Toss Away SmartWay

Commentary by David Cullen, Executive Editor

In his Passing Zone blog, HDT's David Cullen weighs in on an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to eliminate the agency's voluntary fuel-saving SmartWay program as part of budget cuts under the Trump administration. READ MORE

Tags: SmartWay, EPA

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Tuesday, April 4, 2017 2:22 PM | » Comments(15)

For the Love of Robots

Poster for the production of R.U.R.(Rossum’s Universal Robots) by the Marionette Theatre, New York, 1939. Image: U.S. WPA Federal Theatre Project

In his Passing Zone blog, HDT's David Cullen ponders whether self-driving trucks will just take away a job that very few people want anymore. READ MORE

Tags: Autonomous Vehicles, Robots

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Wednesday, March 29, 2017 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

House Transpo Committee Boldly Goes Online

Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

Despite its ultra-wonky clunkiness, “infrastructure” is a word that keeps right on trending hard inside the Beltway. READ MORE

Tags: Infrastructure, U.S. House of Representatives, Infrastructure Funding

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Monday, February 6, 2017 2:24 PM | » Comments(0)

The Not-So-New Capitol Hill Players…

Photo: Architect of the Capitol

How the Trump Presidency ultimately pans out, of course, remains to be seen. But a key influence on how well the 45th President might succeed as an agent of change is as clear as the electoral-college vote— the GOP establishment still holds sway on Capitol Hill. READ MORE

Tags: U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Donald Trump

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Friday, January 13, 2017 2:10 PM | » Comments(0)

Chao Seen as Shoo-in for DOT Chief

Image via Elainelchao.com

Of all those nominated to hold high government positions so far by President-elect Trump, Elaine Chao is the most likely to breeze through confirmation by the Senate. READ MORE

Tags: U.S. DOT, Donald Trump

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Friday, January 6, 2017 2:18 PM | » Comments(0)

7 Rules to Watch in ‘17

President-elect Trump speaking during the election campaign. Image: DonaldJTrump.com<br />

Donald Trump has yet to be sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States, so it's still far too soon to confidently predict how his stated goal of reducing the federal regulation of American business will be met in 2017. READ MORE

Tags: FMCSA, Regulations, U.S. Congress, Donald Trump

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Thursday, December 29, 2016 12:12 PM | » Comments(0)

Lessons of Water Win Could Pave Way for Highway Victory

Leadership, willingness to negotiate, and dealing in hard facts helped steer a major water infrastructure bill through Congress. Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

When trucking advocates push for an extensive highway bill on Capitol Hill next year, they will at least have a proven roadmap to consult. READ MORE

Tags: Highway Funding, AASHTO, Infrastructure Funding, Donald Trump

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Monday, December 12, 2016 2:29 PM | » Comments(0)

Whose Infrastructure— Ours or Theirs?

The Trump infrastructure plan calls for spending $1 trillion-- but how much on what remains to be explained. Photo: U.S. Department of Transportaion

Listen carefully when you hear a politician or a lobbyist speak of “infrastructure.” To really mean anything, that big ugly word has got to be qualified. READ MORE

Tags: Highway Funding, Capitol Hill, Donald Trump

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Friday, November 18, 2016 12:47 PM | » Comments(0)

Outside the Beltway: Tour the Statehouse Battlegrounds

Colorado State Capitol Building, Denver. Photo: Colorado Tourism Office

Executive Editor David Cullen takes a look at how this election may shake at in statehouses across the country in his Passing Zone blog. READ MORE

Tags: State Legislation

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Tuesday, November 8, 2016 1:21 PM | » Comments(0)

Hope for Highways Inside the Beltway

Photo: Evan Lockridge

Executive Editor David Cullen shares his thoughts on a new survey on what issues are most likely to make it through Congress next year, no matter who wins the White House, in his Passing Zone blog. READ MORE

Tags: U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Highway Funding, Election Day

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Monday, November 7, 2016 2:33 PM | » Comments(0)

Will Trump Effect Unseat Key House Transpo Leaders?

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) Photo: Evan Lockridge

Of great interest to the trucking industry is the impact Donald Trump’s recent free fall in the polls may have on the reelection of key members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. READ MORE

Tags: House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Bill Shuster, Chuck Schumer

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Tuesday, October 18, 2016 11:49 AM | » Comments(4)

Parsing the Party Platforms on Transportation

The text of both the Democratic and Republican 2016 platforms runs for about 50 pages and each devotes just about 200 words to issues directly related to transportation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the positions presented are largely mirror images; that is to say, they are direct opposites. READ MORE

Tags: Politics, Infrastructure Funding, The White House

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Sunday, July 24, 2016 7:00 PM | » Comments(0)

Could House Caucus Drive Forward Self-Driving Trucks?

Photo: Daimler Trucks North America

Although the makeup of its initial members as well as its stated goals strongly suggest its main focus will be on benefiting the auto industry, the new bipartisan House Smart Transportation Caucus may also help put autonomous trucks on the nation’s highway. READ MORE

Tags: Connected Vehicle Technology, Autonomous Vehicles

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Friday, April 29, 2016 1:15 PM | » Comments(1)

Some Shippers Serve Up a Different Take on Green

The Jolly Green Giant of General Mills Image: generalmills.com

Eleven natural food suppliers plus outdoors outfitter Patagonia are urging the proposed Phase 2 round of GHG/MPG standards be tightened and sped up. READ MORE

Tags: GHG Phase 2, EPA, NHTSA

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Friday, April 8, 2016 12:55 PM | » Comments(1)

Cosmo and the Woman Trucker

Rusty Dow, a Corps truck driver, traversed the Alaska Highway during the 1940s. Image: Army Corps of Engineers

Cosmopolitan is not where most would-be truckers will turn for advice on launching a career behind the wheel. READ MORE

Tags: Truck Drivers, Women Drivers

Author: David Cullen | Posted @ Tuesday, February 9, 2016 2:37 PM | » Comments(0)

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Author Bio

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David Cullen

Executive Editor

Executive Editor David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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