As we journey into 2024, the trucking landscape is evolving. To keep you well informed and ward away any possible anxieties, we wanted to discuss some of the key developments defining the year ahead. We also want to share how Carter will be maintaining our commitment to you, our drivers, this year. Let’s dive into the transformative path of the trucking industry in 2024, exploring challenges, triumphs, and the promising road ahead.

Detention Pay Reforms

In response to a 2021 infrastructure law, the FMCSA is diligently investigating driver compensation, with a study set to conclude in July 2024. This comprehensive analysis includes an examination of detention pay’s impact on safety and driver retention, aligning with a parallel study focusing specifically on detention time, set to be completed in July 2025.

Advocacy for fairer detention pay has gained momentum, with an OOIDA Foundation survey revealing potential losses of up to $1,500 per week due to uncompensated detention time. Potential reforms could translate to increased financial compensation, fostering enhanced driver satisfaction and retention. Reduced detention time not only benefits drivers but also ensures timely deliveries and minimizes waiting times at docks, contributing to smoother freight movement.

Simplified Drug Testing

The FMCSA is proposing changes to drug testing policies, introducing oral fluid testing as a viable alternative to traditional methods. This innovative approach aims to enhance safety and accuracy by mitigating the risk of cheating, but its implementation awaits certification by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for at least two laboratories.

Apart from ensuring greater accuracy, oral fluid testing holds the potential to save carriers and drivers both time and money. Its flexibility in collection, conducted at or near the workplace, streamlines the testing process, offering a more efficient alternative.

Emission Standards and Sustainability Initiatives

In 2024, the trucking industry is poised to make significant strides in environmental sustainability. The EPA’s strict standards, effective from model year 2027, mark a landmark shift, promising an 80% reduction in emissions compared to previous limits. This environmentally conscious movement is echoed by the team at Carter, with our steadfast commitment to sustainability aligning with the broader industry goals. As Carter adopts greener practices, including the incorporation of electric and alternative energy vehicles, the company contributes to the collective effort in reducing the carbon footprint of trucking operations.

Speed Limiters

The FMCSA’s impending proposal requiring speed limiters in trucks manufactured post-2003 signifies a pivotal moment in enhancing fuel efficiency, environmental impact, and road safety for professional drivers. The proposed max speed of 68 miles per hour aims to optimize fuel consumption, reduce emissions, and potentially improve overall road safety. However, the proposal’s impact on delivery times and travel efficiency remains a topic of discussion.

Skills and Competency Standards

The FMCSA is revisiting a 2009 proposal for a competency test for new drivers, aiming to ensure a solid understanding of federal safety requirements. While the American Trucking Association supports this initiative, OOIDA expresses reservations about its effectiveness in translating knowledge into on-road safety compliance.

Regardless of any changes, Carter will stand by our commitment to developing future trucking professionals. In 2024, we will continue to invest in its driver trainee program, fostering safe driving habits, paperwork proficiency, and on-time delivery skills. The program, spanning five weeks, includes hands-on training with local and OTR trainers, with financial incentives for trainers contributing to the success of trainees. This dedication to training excellence not only enhances safety standards but also positions Carter Express as a leader in nurturing the next generation of skilled trucking professionals.

Amidst industry changes, Carter is focused on our drivers and supporting them in long-term, rewarding careers. For a carrier you can count on for all of 2024 and beyond, consider a career with Carter Express.