As we have discussed in our previous articles, there are two bills moving at the same time that are separate from each other, but still connected under Biden’s infrastructure hopes.
First, there is the bipartisan “physical” infrastructure plan that is estimated to cost $1 trillion, down from the $2.3 trillion proposal.
The infrastructure bill is focused primarily on what senators consider “core” infrastructure, including repairing roads, bridges, waterways and airports, as well as expanding access to things like broadband and electric vehicle charging stations.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will force a vote next Wednesday on advancing the bipartisan infrastructure package before the August recess. It is not clear whether 10 Republicans will vote to advance the bipartisan bill.
Second, there is the recent partisan budget agreement spending deal that is expected to be around $3.5 trillion that will include much of the $1.8 trillion “human” infrastructure American Families Plan.
The American Families Plan will use about $1 trillion in investments and $800 billion in tax credits over a decade, paid by the richest Americans who make over $400,000, aimed toward children and families. The Biden administration maintains that under the new plan, no one making $400,000 a year or less will see their taxes go up.
Senate Democrats cannot lose a single vote on the reconciliation bill in a Senate split 50-50 by party.
How will the infrastructure plan affect the trucking industry?
While the bipartisan plan has not been fully written out yet, Biden’s original proposal can give us a clue.
Transportation = $621B
- $115B will go towards bridges, highways, roads, and $20B for road safety
- Will address about 20,000 miles of roads
- Replace the top 10 most economically significant bridges, and
- Repair around 10,000 bridges
- $85B for Public Transportation for new rail cars and transportation to connect cities within and into cities
- $80B for Amtrak
- $25B for Airports
- $17B for Ports, waterways, and ferries
Electric Vehicles = $174B
- This will include tax incentives and rebates to push buying American-made cars
- An estimated 500,000 charging stations by 2030, and
- Electrifying buses and federal vehicles
Electric Grid = $100B
- Make grid more resilient
- Includes 10-year extension and phase down of an expanded refundable investment tax credit and production tax credit for renewable energy generation and storage
- Higher labor standards
- 100% carbon pollution free power by 2035
- $16B will go towards abandoned mines and gas wells
Corporate Tax Hikes to include:
- 15% minimum tax on corporate profits (to prevent businesses like Amazon who may have zero tax on profits currently)
- Increase corporate tax rate to 28%
Workforce = $100B
- Workforce development, including apprenticeships and assistance for those who have lost their jobs
- Create hundreds of thousands of jobs across multiple industries
A recent study on Biden’s infrastructure plan found that commercial truck driver jobs are forecast to make some of the biggest gains from the 15 million infrastructure jobs created or saved over 10 years.
“Transportation and materials moving” make up 60% of the infrastructure related occupations either created or saved by Biden’s plan while jobs for commercial drivers of heavy trucks and light truck/delivery drivers would account for 20% of the 15 million jobs estimated in the report.
The report also forecasts that the infrastructure jobs created or saved would be spread across the country with roughly 20% of the infrastructure jobs would be in Midwestern states and 22% going to states in the Southeast.
Change happens. How can I stay compliant?
If these bills get passed, there will be a boom in trucking jobs and freight demand, as well as a rise in new venture trucking startups.
This means carriers will need to smoothly manage the compliance requirements in DQ files, ELD management, drug testing, and more.
At CNS, our DOT Compliance Programs focus on Proactive Safety Management (PSM),a mindset that will ensure your fleet’s safety and compliance is always in order and ahead of the FMCSA.
Our PSM Motor Carrier Program includes:
- ELD management
- Driver Qualification File Management
- New driver on-boarding
- Driver safety meetings
- CSA score management
- Policies and handbooks
- Vehicle maintenance
- and more
COVID-19 vaccines are currently being given to Phase 1A, frontline health care workers and residents and staff at long-term care facilities.
On December 20, 2020, the CDC recommended that people age 75 and older and “frontline essential workers,” such as emergency responders, teachers, manufacturing workers, and grocery store employees, be included in the next wave, Phase 1B.
Phase 1C will then include truck drivers, people 65-74 years old, those between 16 and 64 with high-risk medical conditions, and “other essential workers” such as transportation and logistics workers, food service workers, and more.
However, states have the final say on how vaccines are distributed.
For instance, Arkansas put truck drivers in Phase 1B ahead of adults 65 years and older and adults of any age with chronic health conditions while Alabama put long-distance truck drivers in the fourth phase, along with groups such as office workers who do not have frequent close contact with coworkers, customers, or the public.
When will truckers receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
As with any large scale manufacturing, distribution, and inoculation plans, this is a moving target and will depend on your state.
Currently, there is not enough vaccine available for people in Phase 1B and 1C.
According to U.S. projections, December should have had 20 million vaccines for people, 30 million in January, and 50 million in February.
It is estimated that Phases 1A and 1B will include around 73 million people and Phase 1C will add another 129 million people.
Additionally, even if there are vaccines available at clinics, the roll-out of actually getting people vaccinated has been much slower than predicted.
Health officials are emphasizing the need to continue to practice social distancing and mask wearing, including those who are receiving the vaccine, to reduce spread until enough people can receive the vaccine.
Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
Our CNS Occupational Medicine Team will be offering the COVID-19 Vaccine soon in Pennsylvania.
- We will only be offering CDC recommended and approved vaccines.
- COVID-19 Vaccine will be offered in phases, starting with healthcare workers, then the elderly and first responders and many other essential workers, and lastly the general population.
- The CDC is offering an app called V-Safe for check-ins and to record and report any side effects.
Vaccine Administration length: 15 minutes.
Are you concerned for your staff and/or drivers and their COVID-19 exposure?
We offer on-site pre-shift screenings, screening questionnaires and temperature screenings for your distribution site, terminal, construction site or office.
Antigen tests are most effective when regular tests are administered, while Antibody Testing provides insight into an employees’ COVID-19 exposure by determining whether they have developed COVID-19 antibodies.
With all of the IFTA and IRP audits, Compliance Navigation Specialists, Adam Galante and Chris Kiehl, talk about Electronic Record Keeping Requirements to stay compliant.
Imagine driving down a road and looking into the window of a truck and seeing no driver. That is starting to become the reality of the trucking industry! The invention of autonomous trucks are becoming more popular as the technology improves. The use of radar and cameras on trucks are helping the truck to be more safe, but there is still a long road ahead.
There are fewer and fewer drivers pursuing a career in trucking every year. The FMCSA says that by 2024, there could be 175,000 less truck drivers on the road. For this reason, trucking professionals and industry leaders are trying to get ahead by technology. Some trucking companies are using radar technology, while others are using cameras as their primary safety control and radar as backup.
The technology already exists for trucks to drive on highways but when it comes to urban areas, there are more issues because of pedestrians, right-of-ways, traffic lights, stop signs, etc. This is tougher to program because there are so many unknowns and it can be very dangerous for pedestrians crossing the street. The truck must also understand all rules of the road and be as alert as a real truck driver before it can become more popular.
As of October 2017, there have been autonomous trucks delivering for FrigidAire. They are currently making 650 mile trips from Texas to California only, but are looking to increase the number of places that they drive and the distance that they drive. FrigidAire uses companies that use radar technology.
Companies such as TuSimple use cameras to pinpoint where on the road they are, and where there are other vehicles. They equip the truck with about 10 cameras and use radar as backup. These cameras can detect danger 300 meters which provides the truck plenty of time to stop in case of an emergency.
While both of those technologies still use a human to override control if needed, the real future of the industry is eliminating the human element, and that is what Uber is aiming to do with their technological strides. Currently, their trucks drive a distance on the highway, but as soon as the truck exits the highway, a driver enters the truck to in to take it the rest of the way.
The trucking industry, regulated by the FMCSA, always tries to keep up with the newest technology to keep their truckers and other people on the roads safe. Autonomous trucks are the newest technology in the industry and can help solve the issue of a declining number of truck drivers. Technologies such as radar technology and cameras on trucks will eventually be able to eliminate the need for trucker drivers behind the wheel.
Truck driving may be a great career choice for you. There are many benefits to becoming a truck driver. With the shortage of truck drivers, Class A CDL licensed drivers are making more money than ever before in addition to the great benefits that they are receiving.
1. The pay is above average
Class A CDL drivers are making an average of $45,000 per year, which is well
above the average factory worker. This is due in part to the shortage of drivers that are available. Qualified drivers are earning more every year.
2. The benefits can help you and your family
Many trucking companies will give you benefits such as dental, medical, paid
time off and a 401k. These benefits can help you stay safe and healthy, while also enjoying your time off with your family.
3. Get paid to travel the country
Being a truck driver means you are getting paid to drive. Imagine all the things
that you could see while you were driving. If you are driving a load from New
York to Texas, you would be driving through so many different states and seeing so many cultures and landscapes.
4. Meet new people from all over the country
Traveling across the country and stopping at different rest-stops, along the way,
means you will have the opportunity to meet new people. It can be a great
opportunity to make connections and network. Another opportunity to meet people will come when you get to your final destination and drop off your load.
There are many benefits to becoming a truck driver and the benefits are only increasing. As less people are becoming truck drivers, the benefits continue to increase in order to attract them. Qualified drivers can earn well above the average and get the opportunity to travel.