Rough Start to 2023 in Trucking

Elyse Byers profile image
Elyse Byers
2 min read
February 2, 2023

On this episode of The Road Forward, Alex, Flint, and Matt discuss what’s new in the trucking industry. They shared their thoughts on recent trucking news, including electric and autonomous trucks, as well as the most recent ATRI Crash Report.

PGT buys Nikola EV Truck

PGT is a PA-based flatbed hauler that’s making headlines with their recent purchase of a Nikola Tre BEV semi-truck. This makes them the first flatbed company to add a zero-emissions, fully electric semi to their fleet. PGT hopes to have a 35% electric fleet by 2025.

It’s worth noting that there are some practical issues with electric trucks and vehicles in general. One of these issues is that batteries are heavy–especially for vehicles of this size–not to mention they have a relatively short range before needing a charge. For this reason it’s likely that PGT’s electric trucks will be running on local, dedicated routes.

Matt also pointed out that even though fully electric vehicles like the Nikola Tre have zero emissions, we still must ask where the power comes from in the first place. If fossil fuels are burned to create this energy, is it truly zero-emissions? 

All this being said, electric vehicles are cutting-edge technology, and this can be a powerful tool to attract drivers.

Read the full article here. 

Autonomous Truck Shakeout

For years we’ve been seeing many companies jumping on the autonomous trucking bandwagon, including new companies like TuSimple. This begs the question: how many companies do we actually need competing?

Flint mentioned that based on the stock market, some of these companies are actually worth less than the money they have in the bank. If a recession is around the corner, this could pose additional challenges for the industry. Sure, the technology is there, but legislation prevents them from going to market. This is one of many reasons why driverless trucks aren’t a common feature on highways today.

“There are people that are good at raising money and there are people that are good at making money.”


Maybe a future in autonomous trucks isn’t as close as we thought?

Read the full article here.

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ATRI Crash Report

You might remember our recent blog article on the Top Trucking Violations of 2022, referencing this report by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). It serves to reinforce the correlation between certain driver behaviors and the likelihood of collision. These behaviors include aggressive driving, lane changing best practices, and a previous record of collisions caused by the driver. 

This report also gave statistics on truck drivers between the ages of 18-21 and shows that their rates are actually better than older drivers, those 24 and over. These stats are a powerful indicator that younger truck drivers will do well on the road, and we may see a shift in the trucking demographic in coming years. 

The ATRI Crash report is incredibly detailed and insightful, however all of its data is taken from inspection reports. There are other ways to understand driving trends without a driver having to get a violation. In addition, we mentioned the success that young truck drivers are having, but their skills in things like risk assessment are yet to be fully developed. This is why there’s such a need for technology like AI dash cams. Truckspy’s driver-facing cameras use AI to identify positive and negative driving behaviors, so you can coach your drivers and reward them for safe behavior. 

See the full report from ATRI here.

Learn more about TruckSpy’s AI dash cam options here. 

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