Neil Abt

Senior Editor,
Fleet Owner

Neil Abt, senior editor at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.


Landstar downplays likelihood of capacity crunch over ELDs

Landstar System said it does not anticipate a significant capacity crunch when the electronic logging devices (ELD) mandate takes effect this December, even though 24% of the truck drivers it uses have not yet installed the devices.

Request for hair testing in drug screening draws mixed reactions

A number of trucking industry groups and motor carriers expressed support for using hair samples instead of urine when testing for drugs during pre-employment screenings of truck drivers. But in comments filed with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made public this week, other groups and individuals questioned the reliability and fairness of testing hair.

New York approves one-year autonomous vehicle pilot program

New York just signed off on a one-year program that allows demonstrations and testing of autonomous vehicle technologies on public highways.

The measure was included in the state’s latest budget agreement signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this month.

It temporarily relaxes existing state law requiring drivers to have at least one hand on the steering wheel.

Road to driverless trucks clogged with unanswered questions

With nearly daily media reports detailing new breakthroughs of highly automated commercial vehicles (HACVs), it may seem they are almost ready for large-scale use.

Yet a public listening session sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) illustrated just how many questions remain to be answered before the technology can become a reality on the nation’s highways.

Indiana raises fuel taxes as part of road bill

The Indiana legislature approved an infrastructure funding measure that increases the state’s diesel and gasoline tax by 10 cents a gallon on July 1, while ensuring that all of the money gained from that fuel tax bump is completely dedicated to roads by 2025. 

Gov. Eric Holcomb – elevated to the position last January to replace Mike Pence, who is now Vice President of the U.S. – indicated he will sign the measure projected to boost road funding by $1.2 billion a year by 2024. 

ODFL’s Congdon floats 20-cent infrastructure fee

David Congdon, CEO of Old Dominion Freight Line, said a 20-cent “build America infrastructure fee” added to the per-gallon rack cost of motor fuels could be included in a federal infrastructure bill this year.

California again tops in cargo thefts

California once again led the nation in cargo theft activity, according to a new analysis from CargoNet, with 51 crimes reported during the first quarter of 2017.

Overall, there were 358 supply chain risk incidents in the U.S. and Canada during the January-March period reported to CargoNet, the firm said, with 58% involving vehicle theft, 54% involving straight cargo theft and 7% falling into the identity theft/wire fraud category.

Manufacturing groups ask Trump to raise truck weights 2

Increasing federal truck size-and-weight limits and granting more exemptions from the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate were among the recommendations manufacturing groups sent to the Trump administration.

Truck tonnage index dips in March

For-hire truck tonnage dipped 1% in March from February, American Trucking Associations reported, a figure the group said was likely constrained by winter storms during the month.

ATA’s seasonally adjusted index stands at 137.5, a gain of 0.7% from March 2016. The index was up 0.2% for the first quarter, compared with the same time frame in 2016, and 1.2% higher from the fourth quarter.

The index’s all-time high was 142.7 in February 2016.

Report highlights medical certification problems 2

A new report has raised concerns about the costs and quality of medical care for commercial drivers nearly three years after the implementation of a federal mandate aimed at improving the process.