Teens behind the wheel of a big rig. Good, bad or necessary?

Teens behind the wheel of a big rig. Good, bad or necessary?

Insiders, Teens fresh out of high school could soon be behind the wheel of more big rigs as part of the federal Safe Driver Apprenticeship Program that aims to get CDLs in the hands of people ages 18-20.

It's been off to a slow start, but recent proposed changes could fix that. Today's Inside Lane exclusive story digs into what the program is all about and where its headed.

Have an opinion about young drivers? Is it good? Bad? Or necessary to fill the widening gap of needed drivers? Send us a note.

Inside today's newsletter
🚚 Yellow Corp's $137M case dismissed against Teamsters
🛑 Baltimore bridge saw 4.2M annual commercial vehicle crossings
🌱 EPA emission targets criticized; fleet adjustments expected
💳 Fuel payment systems beef up security post-700% skimming rise
🌿 FMCSA notes fewer drug positives, more refusals and violations

All this and more in the Monday edition of The Inside Lane.

Is the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Program the answer to the truck driver shortage?
The American trucking industry faces a critical driver shortage, with hopes pinned on young drivers to fill the gap. Like 20-year-old Ulysses Mota, aspiring to join Husky Trucking, sees promise in the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot (SDAP) program.

Who can join?
Introduced as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, SDAP allows drivers aged 18-20 to operate in interstate commerce, aiming to address the industry's pressing needs. However, low enrollment figures and regulatory hurdles hinder its effectiveness.

Will the program succeed?
The program's potential benefits include early training and increased accessibility to the industry for young individuals. While some fleets, like Garner Trucking and Badger Express, embrace SDAP, others face challenges meeting requirements. Despite setbacks, hope persists for SDAP to alleviate the industry's ongoing struggles.

Read more about the crackdown at Overdrive.


A federal court has thrown out Yellow Corp’s $137M lawsuit against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Filed shortly before the business filed for bankruptcy, the lawsuit alleges the union blocked a restructuring plan by demanding higher wages.

Land Line


More than 4.2 million commercial vehicle journeyed crossed Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge in the 12 months before it collapsed, according to new research from Geotab ITS. The data shows 510,000 commercial vehicles used the bridge each year, 44% of which are heavy-duty, reflecting its importance to the freight sector.


Experts warn rush to beat EPA's new emission rules may backfire

The EPA’s new NOx (nitrogen oxide) and greenhouse gas emission targets are inadequately supported by infrastructure or incentives, experts have warned. A large pre-buy is predicted ahead of 2027’s limits coming into force, with fleets switching to longer lifecycles to delay electric vehicle investments and a growing risk of smaller operators being driven out of the market.

Trucking Info

Fuel skimming skyrockets: how new tech could save your wallet

Fuel payment system suppliers are adding protections to curb skimming, following an FBI-published 700% rise in incidents since January 2022. New features include approval via an app, or proximity data which assesses whether a second fuel purchase is taking place suspiciously close to the first. Truckers are also being warned to check card readers thoroughly - or pay cash if they are uncertain.


Drug positives down, but refusals up in FMCSA report

Positive tests for marijuana and other controlled substances fell by 10.5% during 2023, according to the FMCSA’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, but the headline figures don’t tell the full story. Refusals increased by 40%, while overall drug violations reported to the the Clearinghouse also rose slightly - to 68,229 incidents.

Transport Topics

Quote Of The Day

“Yellow’s greedy executives drove this company into the ground despite enormous, selfless sacrifice from its workforce for decades. This lawsuit represented management’s desperate, last-ditch attempt to save face — and they failed yet again.”

  • Sean M. O’Brien, General President, Teamsters

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