Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

March 2020
ATA Signs the Department of Transportation's Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking Pledge

Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations committed to continuing the Federation’s efforts to combat human trafficking by signing the Department of Transportation’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge.

“ATA has been a strong supporter of anti- trafficking measures – from our involvement in Truckers Against Trafficking to using our educational tools like America’s Road Team to raise awareness of this serious crime,”

said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Today, we are proud to reaffirm our commitment to the cause by taking DOT’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge.”

As part of this commitment, made January 28, ATA will continue to educate the industry and general public about human trafficking, including member companies and employees this includes a specific target of training 20,000 employees of member companies about how to spot and respond to suspected incidents of trafficking.

ATA, a marque partner and member of the Board of Directors of Truckers Against Trafficking, assists in the fight against human trafficking by raising awareness and educating the trucking industry on how to recognize and report situations involving human trafficking. In addition, ATA First Vice Chairman Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, president of Garner Transportation Group, served on the Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking.

“We commend Secretary Chao for her leadership on this important issue and we look forward to continuing to work with her, DOT staff and our industry partners to eradicate human trafficking,” Spear said.

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 3.3% in 2019

Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 3.3% in all of 2019, about half the annual gain in 2018 (6.7%), for the tenth straight annual increase.

The advanced SA For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 4% in December after falling 3.4% in November. In December, the index equaled 118.2 (2015=100) compared with 113.6 in November.

“Last year was not a terrible year for for-hire truck tonnage, and despite the increase at the end of the year, 2019 was very uneven for the industry,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The overall annual gain masks the very choppy freight environment throughout the year, which made the market feel worse for many fleets. In December, strong housing starts helped advance the index forward.”

It is important to note that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight.

November’s reading was revised down slightly compared with our December press release.

Compared with December 2018, the SA index rose 3%, which was preceded by a 2% year-over-year drop in November.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 112.7 in December, 2% below the November level (115.1). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

Can-US Medical Reciprocity Updated to Allow Insulin Using Diabetics to Operate in US

The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) has informed CTA of updates to the medical reciprocity agreement between Canada and the US with respect to commercial vehicle drivers who are dependent on insulin for managing diabetes.

The original agreement signed in 1998 prohibited insulin-dependent Canadian domiciled commercial drivers from operating in the United States. Similar prohibitions were in place for US-domiciled drivers not being able to operate in Canada.

Accordingly, the update of the Canada-US medical agreement, removed the prohibition on crossborder operations for commercial drivers with ‘insulin treated diabetes mellitus’, effective September 9, 2019. The remaining provisions of the agreement are not affected by this amendment.

In response to this change, Canadian jurisdictions are currently undertaking driver licensing system queries to identify diabetesrelated code W licence holders to be able to advise them of the lifting of this prohibition.

CCMTA reports this task will take time to complete depending on jurisdiction. Additionally, Canadian jurisdictions are also at various implementation timelines issuing new drivers licence cards and abstracts without the code W designation.

Affected Canadian commercial vehicle operators are encouraged to contact their respective provincial and territorial jurisdictions directly on the process to remove code W from their licence to allow them to operate in the United States.

FMCSA Announces 2-Year Delay In ELDT Implementation

Alexandria, VA… The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a full delay of the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulation until February 2022. The regulation was originally to take effect on February 7, 2020. This decision further delays all ELDT requirements almost a full decade after Congress directed the agency to act. It deals a blow to safety advocates and the professional driver training community that has been advocating for a more comprehensive curriculum.

“While news of the full delay is not unexpected, it is very disappointing to the entire commercial vehicle training community as well as safety advocates who have seen this as a critical step towards improving highway safety,” said CVTA President, Don Lefeve. The ELDT rule applies to both interstate and intrastate commercial drivers seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Unlike numerous state laws on commercial driver training that provide exemptions for employers, or have lax training requirements, ELDT requires anyone seeking a CDL to receive formal training, register with the FMCSA, and teach the proper curriculum. “From large organizations to one-man trainers, ELDT will create a training standard that will positively impact every driver responsible for driving an 80,000-pound vehicle on our roadways. Put simply, the ELDT rule is in the interest of everyone’s safety,” added Lefeve.

The Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) has been at the forefront of ELDT outreach and has been working with stakeholders across the industry to increase awareness of the new rule and educate state partners on their role in the process. CVTA members have been piloting various training and reporting requirements since September of 2018 in anticipation of the original compliance date to be best prepared to implement when it does come out.

“CVTA will continue to push for ELDT implementation prior to the 2-year delay. We look forward to working with the FMCSA and all interested parties to speed up implementation and lead outreach to states and industry stakeholders,” added Lefeve.

Kenworth Offers $1,000 Savings to OOIDA Members on Qualifying New T680, T880 and W990 Sleeper Truck Purchases

KIRKLAND, WA… Kenworth and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) have again teamed up for the 18th consecutive year to provide a $1,000 savings to OOIDA members on qualifying purchases of new Kenworth sleeper trucks during 2020.

Eligible trucks are the Kenworth T680, T880 and W990 with a 52-inch or larger factory-installed sleeper. Both new stock and special order vehicles qualify.

Owner-operators have a passion for Kenworth trucks. This special program is our way to thank OOIDA members who purchase a qualifying Kenworth T680, T880 or W990 sleeper truck in 2020. OOIDA members benefited by purchasing 432 Kenworth trucks under this cooperative program last year,” said Laura Bloch, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing.

Buyers must show their OOIDA membership card to their Kenworth dealer at time of purchase in 2020. A copy of the bill of sale and warranty, along with the buyer’s OOIDA membership number, must be mailed to: OOIDA, P.O. Box 1000, Grain Valley, MO 64029, or faxed to OOIDA at (816) 229-0518.

Limit for a single customer is three qualifying Kenworth trucks per year. Other limitations apply on the Kenworth rebate program. See your Kenworth dealer for more details.

OOIDA is an advocacy group for owner-operators and independent truck drivers and currently has more than 160,000 members. OOIDA’s website is at

Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at Kenworth is a PACCAR company.

OOIDA To Senators: Congress Contributes To Dysfunction In Trucking - It’s Time To Listen To Small-Business And Professional Truckers

Washington, DC The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association delivered a blunt message at a Congressional hearing today on behalf of the nation’s truck drivers: It’s time to listen to the hard-working men and women that drive for a living.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh voiced concerns of truckers as the only witness who has worked as a truck driver at the “Keep on Truckin’: Stakeholder Perspectives on Trucking in America” hearing before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety. Pugh was a trucker and small-business operator for nearly 23 years with roughly 2.5 million miles of safe driving before joining OOIDA staff in 2017.

“If you ask most drivers what Congress has done recently to improve the profession, the answer is nothing,” said Pugh. “Washington has allowed trucking policy to be overly influenced by executives looking to maximize profits, activists who’d like to regulate truckers to oblivion, state and local governments who view truckers as rolling piggybanks and self-proclaimed “experts” who don’t even know what the inside of a truck looks like.”

OOIDA’s full testimony included suggestions on which policies Congress should enact and which ones they should reject if they are truly interested in improving highway safety and the working conditions for small-business truckers and professional drivers.

As Congress considers the next highway bill, OOIDA recommended several ways that the Committee could make a positive difference such as repealing the failed ELD mandate and the overtime exemption for drivers in the Fair Labor Standards Act, providing dedicated funding for new truck parking capacity and fixing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. The Association urged the Committee to abandon meaningless, unproven and unsafe proposals such as requiring speed limiters, mandating front and side underride guards, raising insurance minimums and allowing under-21 drivers to engage in interstate commerce.

OOIDA thanks Subcommittee Chair Deb Fischer (R-NE) for holding the hearing which focused on stakeholder perspectives regarding the state of the trucking industry, truck safety issues and the current regulatory environment. Senator Fischer is one of the few Members of Congress who has routinely engaged the trucking industry on policy matters. Other witnesses testifying included representatives from the American Trucking Associations, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the Livestock Marketing Association and the Truck Safety Coalition.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 160,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.

Trucking Calls For Bold, Bipartisan Infrastructure Package- ATA Stresses Need For Viable, Cost-Effective Funding In The Near-Term

Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear issued the following statement after House Democrats released their outline for infrastructure legislation yesterday:

“We commend Speaker Pelosi and House Leaders for their commitment to revitalizing American infrastructure. Each additional day that we short our nation’s roads and bridges of needed funds, more lives are at put at risk, more hours of the day are lost sitting in traffic and more damage is done to the environment.

“We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration on a robust infrastructure package that restores our roads and bridges with a cost-effective, fiscally conservative and realistic funding solution in the near-term.”

ATA has proposed the Build America Fund, which would be supported with a federal fuel-usage fee built into the price of transportation fuels—diesel and gasoline—collected at the wholesale terminal rack, phased in at a nickel per year over four years. The fee would be indexed to both inflation and improvements in fuel efficiency, with a five percent annual cap. ATA estimates the Build America Fund would generate $340 billion in new revenue over the first ten years, without adding a dime to the federal deficit or requiring any new administrative bureaucracy.

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward

USMCA Signing Will Pave Way to Stronger Economy, Trucking Industry - ATA Urges Countries to Quickly Implement North American Trade Deal

Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations leaders hailed the signing of the newly ratified United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement during a ceremony at the White House, where ATA President and CEO Chris Spear and 12 professional truck drivers from ATA member companies were in attendance.

“Today’s signing ceremony is the beginning of the next phase in our strong and productive relationship with Mexico and Canada,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “ATA and our members are proud to have been engaged throughout the process, attending the ministerial conferences and working with the administration and our trucking partners in Canada and Mexico to shape this final outcome. We commend President Trump for making this a top priority of his presidency and seeing it through to completion.”

USMCA is projected to increase annual U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico by a combined $33 billion above the current NAFTA baseline. The agreement is also expected to increase U.S. GDP by $68 billion, stimulating broad sectors of the economy that the trucking industry serves, like agriculture and manufacturing.

The following professional truck drivers—members of America’s Road Team—were in attendance, representing a combined 33.2 million safe-driving miles throughout their collective careers:

* Ina Daly, XPO Logistics

* Steve Fields, YRC Freight

* David Green, Werner Enterprises Inc.

* Rhonda Hartman, Old Dominion Freight Line

* John Lex, Walmart Transportation

* Don Logan, FedEx Freight

* Charlton Paul, UPS Freight

* Dion Saiz, FedEx Freight

* Russ Simpson, Holland

* Dee Sova, Prime Inc.

* Tony Spero, ABF Freight System

* Derrick Whittle, Cargo Transporters

In 2018, trucks moved more than $770 billion worth of goods between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and transnational trade between the three countries supported roughly 90,000 U.S. jobs in the trucking industry—including 60,000 truck drivers. Those figures should only increase as USMCA is implemented.

“Trucks move 70% of all freight in the U.S. and 76% of the freight that moves between the U.S. and our closest neighbors, so we expect trucking will see significant benefits from USMCA as the agreement boosts exports to Canada and Mexico and generates a measurable increase in our gross domestic product in the years ahead,” ATA Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of International Trade Policy and Cross-Border Operations Bob Costello. “We look forward to working with leaders in all three countries to ensure smooth enactment of USMCA.”