042518-Rigs_on_highway-AGM.jpg Photo: Aaron Marsh

Your Trucker pre-trip: Police, truck convoy save man’s life

Here are five things worth knowing in the world of trucking today, April 26:

1. Police, truck convoy save man’s life

A report in Conservative Review highlighted the life-saving efforts of Michigan State Police and the trucking community for helping a man who threatened suicide on a highway overpass near Detroit. According to the report, the lanes of I-696 near Detroit on Tuesday morning were closed in response to the man’s suicide threat as state police and truckers organized a convoy of 13 tractor-trailers to park under the overpass and shorten the distance of his fall. Ultimately, the man did not jump, and he was taken to hospital for evaluation. Conservative Review made it a point to thank the police and the “selfless, loving members of the trucking community” who gathered to help save a life.

2. 20/20 explores the dark side of trucking as a female driver

Journalist Diane Sawyer rode along with a female truck driver for a recently aired 20/20 report titled My Reality: A Hidden America. The trucking news and entertainment blog CDL Life posted a video of the segment, which looks at the hazards of navigating as a woman in the trucking industry. According to the report, some of the women truckers told stories of sexual assault and others said they always carry a weapon while on the road. CDL Life has more.

3. Inland ports boost rail cargo due to higher trucking costs

According to a report in The Post and Courier, inland ports, like the Port of Charleston, are boosting cargo that moves to and from East Coast ports by rail due to rising trucking costs. The Post and Courier reports that the rail alternative is becoming more popular because of new regulations for truckers, such as the electronic logging device mandate. So instead of loading truck shipments, distributors are able to schedule shorter trips to an inland port and then let rail cars bring cargo the rest of the way, the report noted.

4. Port truckers fight to end ‘exploitation’

Port truckers in California joined a local democratic senator at the California Capitol for two days of legislative hearings on a bill that would “end the rampant exploitation” of an estimated 25,000 port truckers who haul goods for the nation’s largest retail companies. According to the American Journal of Transportation, the bill, titled Dignity in the Driver’s Seat, would call for retail companies to be held liable for wage and labor violations when they hire trucking that exploit workers.

5. Trucker sentenced to life for deadly smuggling scheme

The truck driver found guilty of a human smuggling scheme that resulted in the deaths of 10 immigrants received two life sentences last Friday in San Antonio Federal Court. According to a report in The Daily Reporter, James Matthew Bradley Jr. was sentenced with no chance of parole, although his attorneys sought out a manslaughter charge that could have brought a more lenient sentence. Last July Bradley was hired by a Texas trucking company to transport a semitrailer from Schaller to Brownsville. Instead, the report noted, he traveled farther south to Laredo near the U.S./Mexico border, where his trailer was loaded with people who had illegally crossed the border. Eight of them died during the sweltering ride to San Antonio, and two more were hospitalized and died later. The Daily Reporter has more.

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