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Tow & Refrigerated Truck Drivers

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Shippers Remain in Control of Rates, but 2023 Could Bring Balance

Trucking has had a tough year in spite of market conditions that have been red hot in the late 2020s and early 2021s. Since the beginning of the year, spot rates have declined by 27.6% according to FreightWaves’ National Truckload Index. In the contract market, which makes up a larger portion of the trucking industry, the rate to move a truck dropped by 6% over the same period. 

Making service decisions for older assets

The extended lifecycles of replacement parts will require fleet maintenance managers to reevaluate their choices. Short-term lifecycles were dominated by low costs, but going forward we will focus on extending the life of replacement parts and assets. Oil drains, brakes, and tires are not the only items to be addressed in preventive maintenance, but also parts, components, and sensors. Maintenance of sensors will be crucial since a fouled sensor can cause a truck to stop working.

Gap between contract, spot rates narrowing

Both spot and contract rates are likely to ring in the New Year on the same slope, with the spread between the two narrowing.

Average spot and contract van rates were virtually equal in February, but the gap between spot and contract van rates reached an all-time high in November: 69 cents, according to DAT. It started to close in December.

FMCSA exempts deaf drivers despite CVTA objections

Federal regulations state that a person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person “first perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at not less than five feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or, if tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to American National Standard.”

The most-read FreightWaves stories of 2022

In 2022, FreightWaves readers were captivated by these closures and bankruptcies of trucking companies, collapsing freight demand, regulations aimed at the trucking industry and much more.  

Here’s a look at some of FreightWaves’ most-read news stories of 2022.



Hauling dry van commodities with 
unlimited radius saving him
24% on his insurance renewal.


Hauling autos with unlimited
 radius saving them over
19% on their insurance renewal.


Hauling reefer and dry van commodities with unlimited radius saving him 21% on
 his insurance renewal.


Hauling flatbed commodities with 300
 radius saving them over
23% on their insurance renewal.

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