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Your Trucker pre-trip: Famous trucker protests regulatory changes, quits industry

Here are five things worth knowing in the world of trucking today, Jan. 17:

1. Famous owner-operator quits industry after 14 years

Former Star Trek actress and owner of Jupiter, Florida-based trucking firm Bratcat Express Corp. says she’s shutting down her company and quitting the trucking industry in protest of recent regulatory changes, according to a Live Trucking report. Brita Nowak, who became an owner operator in 2004, has operated BratCat Express Corp., which hauls frozen and refrigerated foods. “Now, after more than a decade behind the wheel, she says recent changes in trucking have caused it to become a ‘miserable activity,’” Live Trucking wrote.

2. Chamber of Commerce to urge Trump to raise gas tax

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is preparing a push to raise the federal gas tax by 25 cents per gallon to help fund the Trump administration’s infrastructure bill. According to The Washington Post, the proposal is part of a series of principles the Chamber of Commerce will “offer in a bid to help shape the debate about upgrading U.S. roads, bridges, airports and other critical infrastructure.” The White House is expected to introduce its vision of a bill later this month. The Washington Post has more.

3. Ohio trucking company shutters

Iddings Trucking, located at 741 Blue Knob Road in Ohio, announced it will close its doors this week, The Marietta Times reports. Following the news of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in December 2017, former executive director Brad Loeber told The Marietta Times “that the company hoped to turn a corner, start fresh and even hire some new employees.” The company had 32 employees, including 27 drivers, and is expected to close on Friday. The Marietta Times has more.

4. Drivers protest job cuts at Toledo Jeep facility

UAW Local 12 union workers in Toledo, OH, protested potential job cuts at the Toledo Jeep transportation facility after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles decided to close the terminal. That facility supplies the local Jeep assembly plant with auto parts. According to a report from The Blade, Bruce Baumhower, president of UAW Local 12, which represents 88 drivers at the truck terminal, said during a press conference-rally Monday at Local 12 headquarters, “that by closing the terminal and bidding the work to outside firms, Chrysler is violating anti-outsourcing language in the contract and the union may be forced to respond in ways the company will not like.” The Blade has more.

5. Diesel pickups unveiled at Detroit auto show

Automakers at the recent Detroit Auto Show unveiled their latest diesel pickup trucks. According to Reuters, General Motors Co. announced it would offer a diesel 2019 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and now offers diesel versions of its Equinox, Cruze, Colorado, Express and medium- and heavy-duty trucks. American Trucker’s sister publication, Fleet Owner, also reported on the latest pickups at the auto show.

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