2017 is an exciting year to be an OTR driver. There could be some changes coming to the trucking industry that greatly impact truckers and trucking companies. At K&J Trucking, we want you to be prepared! Here are a few of the hot button issues we see coming in the trucking industry in 2017.
No one really knows at this point how Trump's proposed budget will address infrastructure improvements. Anyone in trucking knows that these improvements are one of the top issues in the transportation of goods. In a press conference earlier this year, Paul Ryan mentioned that the administration remains committed to improving infrastructure but they aren't sure yet how much "fiscal space" they can make in their spring budget and President Trump mentioned improvements to the infrastructure during his address to Congress. We are hopeful that improvements are coming. But that also means construction is likely which is never fun for OTR drivers.
The E-Log Mandate is scheduled to go into effect on December 18, 2017 and there has been no movement thus far to change that roll-out. It is possible that the Trump administration would remove this mandate as a part of limiting restrictions and regulations in industry, a pet project that President Trump has frequently mentioned. It is probably best to assume that the mandate will go on as planned.
With the future of the EPA in question it is unknown how greenhouse gas emissions standards may change, however, 2017 is slated to be the year for greener engines. According to current regulations, drivers of tractor-trailer combinations need to achieve up to a 25% reduction in fuel economy and greenhouse-gas emissions from 2017 to 2021. While this is a weighty goal, it also means we can expect exciting new trucking technology. Although purchasing this new technology can be expensive, we hope that the improvements will outweigh the financial burden for many drivers.
Food Safety & Modernization Act (FSMA)
The first round of compliance dates for the FSMA hit in September of 2016 for large companies; and smaller companies will follow in September of 2017 or later. At this point even the FDA admits they are a little unclear on how they will be evaluating, educating, and regulating companies. Our guess is that with all of the changes coming under the Trump administration, FSMA regulations will probably be put on the back burner. But OTR drivers should still be prepared for changes in this area, especially if you drive for refrigerated carriers or deal with any kind of food product.
Potential Changes in the ACA
The future of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is still up in the air. It is unknown whether Congress will choose to repeal and replace ObamaCare, make improvements to the current laws, or dismantle the ACA altogether. Since some owner operators get their health insurance through the federal marketplace, this could affect the trucking industry. If you are nervous about this change, please talk to us at K&J Trucking. During open enrollment we offer insurance coverage for our company drivers AND for our owner operators, if you are interested.
Join Up with K&J Trucking
There is change in the air, but with the economy improving we feel confident that 2017 will be a great year for the trucking industry and for K&J Trucking. If you're interested in trucking South Dakota (or Oklahoma and Nebraska) we have truck driving jobs. We currently have company driver and owner operator positions open for drivers out of Sioux Falls, SD; Grand Island, NE; and Guymon, OK.
K&J Trucking has job openings for regional truck drivers, intermediate truck drivers, and long-haul truck drivers. We also have a great leasing program. Click below and we can contact you to see if K&J Trucking is a good fit for you!