Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA
PDA Releases 3rd Quarter Driver Data
Brentwood, TN… PDA released data compiled from thousands of phone calls with professional truck drivers during the third quarter of 2021. The data was gathered as part of PDA’s efforts to help trucking companies curb turnover while providing accurate and actionable data to address their drivers’ concerns.
As in the two previous quarters of 2021, the two most mentioned concerns were equipment and compensation issues.
“For the seventh quarter in a row, equipment and compensation issues continue to be the top driver issue,” said Scott Dismuke, PDA’s director of operations. “Based on our data, many times equipment and compensation issues go hand in hand. As we have consistently seen, drivers experiencing breakdowns and extended time in the shop usually experience compensation issues in the following weeks.”
Dismuke noted that companies not paying attention to equipment issues may be missing an opportunity to curb turnover.
“Equipment issues lead to driver frustration and often times frustration leads to drivers leaving a carrier,” said Dismuke. “In this current driver market, reducing driver frustration is key and reducing equipment issues can not only lessen driver frustration, but it can also help prevent compensation issues.”
Overall compensation issues did drop slightly in Q3, going from 24% in Q2 to 22% in Q3. Miles-related compensation issues dropped to the lowest point of 2021 to 40% in Q3, down 6% from a yearly high Q2. Dismuke noted that in a strong freight market and a very competitive driver market, drivers struggling with miles continue to be a high turnover risk.
“Drivers are being contacted by recruiters from other companies every day,” stated Dismuke. “If drivers are struggling with miles in a strong freight market, those drivers are a high risk for turnover. If drivers are not making the pay promised, they have multiple options to go elsewhere.”
Operations issues were the third top issue for the sixth straight quarter, remaining steady at 13%, equal to where it was in Q2. Driver feedback about operations continues to center on driver manager communication issues which rose 2% from 45% in Q2 to 47% in Q3.
Dismuke notes that communication issues continue to spike in 2021 and will continue to be a key to retaining drivers in this market.
“Communication issues are up 17% since Q4 of 2020.” said Dismuke. “Slow or no response from a driver manager accounted for over half of the communication issues in Q3 and nearly 20% of communication issues were with night/weekend dispatch. Proactive communication and keeping drivers in the loop not only reduces communication issues, it also makes the driver feel respected and relieves driver frustration.”
Finally, for the first time since Q4 of 2020, COVID-19 issues spiked. Personal issues was the fourth top issue in Q3 at 10%. Nearly 40% of drivers mentioning personal issues noted concern surrounding COVID-19.
Of those drivers expressing concerns about COVID-19, 52% are concerned about their family, while 38% of drivers were concerned about personal risk. Dismuke noted the rise in COVID-19 Delta variant cases in Q3 accounted for the spike.
“PDA believes that the increase in COVID-19 cases related to the Delta variant, media coverage and the discussion of vaccine mandates are all key reasons in the rise of COVID related concerns in Q3,” he said. “We are already seeing COVID numbers going down in many parts of the country, however the discussions surrounding vaccine mandates could more than likely have an effect on COVID-19 related concerns going into Q4.”
ATA Freight Forecast Shows Freight Recovering from Pandemic-Induced Dip - After 2020 Decline, Freight Expected to Grow by 7.4% in 2021
Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations released its annual look at the future of the freight economy – U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast 2021 to 2032 – showing a strong rebound and continued growth for freight demand this year and into the future.
“With a focus on the supply chain this year, it is key we understand that among the many stressors on the system, the simple growth in freight demand and the economy is a significant factor,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “After falling 6.8% in 2020, freight volumes are set to surge 7.4% this year – and we will see continued growth in freight demand across all modes for the foreseeable future.”
Some key findings of this year’s Forecast:
* Total freight tonnage will grow from an estimated 15.1 billion tons in 2021 to 19.3 billion tons in 2032 – a 28% increase.
* While truck’s share of the freight tonnage will slowly decline from 72.2% in 2021 to 71% in 2032 – overall volumes will grow across all segments of the industry: truckload, less-than-truckload and private carrier. Truck tonnage should grow from 10.23 billion tons this year to 13.7 billion tons in 2023.
* The total revenue derived from primary freight shipments in the U.S. will increase from an estimated $1.083 trillion in 2021 to $1.627 trillion in 2032.
“Trucking is continuously looking forward, and Freight Forecast is a tremendous tool for industry leaders and policymakers to see what the future holds for the transportation sector,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Forecast is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in understanding not just the trucking industry, but the entire freight economy.”
U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast 2021 to 2032 is available for purchase at www.atabusinesssolutions.com.
ATA President Lauds Industry’s Efforts in Pandemic, Addressing Issues - Spear Says Association’s Value Has Been ‘Established,’ Calls for Growth
Nashville, TN… In his annual State of the Industry and Association Address, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear praised the industry’s efforts to keep the country moving through the Covid-19 pandemic and continued work to address issues critical to trucking.
“Throughout this pandemic, truckers proved how we make a difference. There was no playbook. Yet our drivers are once again this industry’s most valuable players. You’re among an elite list of professionals that include scientists, first responders and healthcare providers,” Spear said. “When many in this nation sheltered in place, you maintained composure and answered the call.”
Spear said ATA’s ability to remain aligned on key issues was critical to being at the table as key decisions are being made in Washington and around the country.
“Despite playground politics, there’s reason to be optimistic. In the wake of it all, America responded… thanking truckers in every state, Congressional district and community in the country, he said. “Our image is what we make of it… it’s who we are and how we want to be perceived. We need to ride the crest of this wave, steering each challenge toward a favorable outcome.”
A singular favorable outcome Spear called out as imminent was passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the House.
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is an example of what’s possible when we tell our story,” he said, calling the bill a “historic” investment not just in our roads and bridges, but in developing the industry’s future workforce.
Victories like the infrastructure bill are key to establishing ATA’s value to the industry, Spear said, but said the next step was growing the association and its influence.
“ATA is not, nor ever will be, the association of ‘No.’ We’re not complacent obstructionists. When confronting an issue, an opinion different from our own… we double down our effort to improve that outcome,” he said. “We don’t complain. And we don’t quit. And our persistence and dedication to any challenge, no matter how hard, is why we win.”
Trucking Cheers Bipartisan Bill to Curb Lawsuit Abuse
Arlington, VA… , American Trucking Associations cheered the introduction of the Highway Accident Fairness Act of 2021, led by Representatives Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) and Garret Graves (R-LA-6). Among other things, the bill would protect trucking companies from the financial burdens of defending against or settling fraudulent insurance claims resulting from staged collisions.
“We thank Reps. Cuellar and Graves for introducing this common-sense bill to curb rampant lawsuit abuse against the trucking industry. Staged accidents, third-party litigation financing, and disproportionate nuclear verdicts are perverting civil justice into a profit center, jeopardizing highway safety and adding more costs and strain to our nation’s supply chain,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This legislation would restore balance and fairness to the system and help ensure justice drives accident litigation – not profiteering and windfalls.”
Specifically, the Highway Accident Fairness Act of 2021 would:
* Assure fair and prompt recoveries for highway accident victims with legitimate claims;
* Provide for federal court jurisdiction over interstate cases of national importance;
* Maintain stability in the movement of interstate commerce and protect the public from the safety hazard of staged collisions;
* Provide transparency when litigation finance companies invest in highway accident lawsuits as a profit-making opportunity;
* Protect motor carriers and insurers from the financial burdens of defending against, settling or being found liable for fraudulent claims that result from staged collisions; and
* Protect law enforcement agencies from expending resources dealing with the aftermath of staged collisions.
“Highways are a significant component of our economic supply chain. Every single day, goods flow across states to get food on shelves and products in homes. We must commit ourselves to keeping these transit corridors open and safe all year round,” said Congressman Cuellar. “That is why we must pass this important legislation protecting our truckers from staged collisions that cause dangers for civilians on the road and economic problems for trucking companies provided an essential service. Thank you to Rep. Graves and the American Trucking Association for their support.”
“Louisiana drivers pay some of the highest insurance rates in America. This is unacceptable and the solutions don’t require rocket science. Our bill will prevent criminal rings from further increasing the cost to drive and do business in Louisiana,” Congressman Graves said. “One $4.7 million settlement caused all of our insurance rates to go up. Our legislation cracks down on fraudulent claims, increases safety on the roads, and will help to lower insurance rates for drivers. Thanks to Rep. Cuellar for joining the effort, the American Trucking Association, and all those supporting.”
Province to Require Companies Give Truck Drivers Washroom Access
TORONTO… The Ontario government intends to introduce legislation that would allow delivery workers access to use the washroom facilities at businesses where they are delivering or picking up loads. Consultations conducted by the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee have indicated that couriers, truck drivers, and other transportation workers are often denied the use washrooms at businesses they serve.
The announcement made by Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, is part of the government’s broader efforts to protect and support vulnerable workers, including truck drivers who have helped keep the economy moving through the pandemic by delivering the essential goods, food and medicine Canadians need.
“The Ontario Trucking Association is extremely thankful to Mr. McNaughton and the Ford government for recognizing our drivers as the true heroes they are and encouraging everyone in the supply chain to do their part in treating drivers with respect. The Minister saw a problem and implemented a solution that will no doubt serve as a model for other jurisdictions across North America,” said OTA President and CEO Stephen Laskowski.
The announcement comes at a critical time for the trucking industry, which is experiencing an acute driver shortage. Trucking companies – and truck drivers in particular – are already facing immense supply chain pressures during the pandemic. As a result of this capacity crunch, any shippers who continuously disrespect truck drivers risk being deselected as customers.
“Our province’s truck drivers deserve our respect, our support, our thanks and our best efforts to help them do their jobs so Ontarians can put food on our tables and have access to the goods we need,” said Laskowski. “We are encouraged this announcement will give truck drivers access to the necessary facilities wherever they may be working.”
The announcement is the latest example of the Ford Government’s support for the trucking industry and truck drivers throughout the pandemic, added Laskowski. In the early days of COVID-19, government leaders publicly demanded that companies in the supply chain provide washroom access to truck drivers and that restaurants not discriminate against truck drivers by refusing food service. At that time, while long-haul drivers found washroom facilities to come by, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, directed the MTO to immediately install portable washrooms and provided parking at 32 truck inspection stations across the province.
These actions are on top of previous announcements to improve14 existing truck rest areas, build 10 new rest areas and add 178 additional truck parking spaces at four existing ONroute travel plazas, along with other initiatives focused on Northern Ontario.
“It’s great to see how the Ford Government’s ongoing verbal support for the trucking industry is followed-up with action,” said Laskowski. “Ontario continues to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the trucking industry throughout the COVID pandemic to help keep the province’s economy moving.”
OTA will be reviewing this new legislation and will provide details to members on what drivers can expect from customers once it’s implemented.
Pandemic-Related Challenges to Global Supply Chain Exacerbated by Labour Shortages faced by Trucking Industry: CTA-Nanos
TORONTO… Pressing labour shortages faced by the Canadian trucking industry are creating additional challenges to an already stressed global supply chain. An aging workforce, barriers to appropriate training, the image of the industry and a lack of support are all contributing to the difficulties faced by the Canadian trucking industry to keep goods flowing within a stressed and recovering global supply chain.
In a recent research study undertaken by Nanos Research on behalf of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, senior executives within the Canadian trucking industry were consulted to provide their views on business trends, operational challenges and regulatory issues and government agendas. The strong consensus is that labour shortages are a continued challenge for the industry. The issue has only become more prominent as pressures grow in response to a recovering global supply chain in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent report by Trucking HR Canada confirms that in the second quarter of 2021 there were over 18,000 truck driver vacancies; along with 72% of employers reporting that the recruitment of truck drivers is a significant business challenge.
“The response of the Canadian trucking industry over the past 18 months during the height of the pandemic has demonstrated how critical the trucking industry is to the life blood of the Canadian economy,” says Canadian Trucking Alliance Chair, Jean Claude Fortin. “At the same time, we’re facing labour challenges which are threatening to impede the industry’s ability to effectively contribute to the economic recovery that is presently underway.”
The study issued by Nanos Research is an ongoing consultation with the CTA. Together, the industry executives consulted for the survey moved 11.7 million loads, operated 67,000 trucks operated, and employed over 70,000 people.
“The trucking sector study suggests growing labour shortage concern which may impact supply chains,” says Nik Nanos, Chief Data Scientist of Nanos Research.
To help alleviate the driver shortage and attract a new generation of workers to the industry, CTA will soon be unveiling largest image/public relations campaign in its history. Trucking is Changing – a national social media campaign highlighting the changing face of the industry to young people – will hit the internet this month.
Carriers suggest that an opportunity to significantly improve truck and highway safety is to focus federal and provincial enforcement resources on the main identifiable threat to highway safety – carriers that sidestep all regulations as a business strategy.
These unsafe fleets – referred to by the industry as Driver Inc. companies – target ill-prepared and inexperienced drivers who, without much knowledge about industry rules and regulations, are easily taken advantage of by unscrupulous trucking companies. The growing numbers of Driver Inc. fleets are fueled by the underground economy; abuse their labour by not paying payroll taxes, workers’ compensation or employees vacation/overtime payments; and force drivers to work without regard to hours-of-service rules. Some of these drivers may also be new to Canada and the abusive operator they work for often take advantage of the fact they are unknowledgeable of Canadian labour and safety laws. These Driver Inc. drivers are then provided trucks which may not be properly inspected for safety, are uninsured or covered by fraudulent insurance; and in many cases, have had their emissions controls removed.
To protect new arrivals to Canada who want to make Canada their home and work in the trucking industry, CTA is advocating a Trusted or Known Employer Program. These workers should only be permitted to work for compliant fleets that uphold Canadian labour and safety standards so they and their families can thrive and enjoy all the benefits of our great nation, says CTA. The Liberal Government’s policy platform is committed to a Trusted Employer system to streamline application processes for Canadian companies hiring temporary foreign workers to fill labour shortages.
CTA is calling on the Government of Canada, provinces, and major private and public sector buyers of transportation services to continue working with CTA in improving truck safety by targeting enforcement resources where it matters most – eliminating the practice of Driver Inc., and the implementation of a Trusted/Known Employer Program for all trucking immigration programs.
More Than 5,000 Amazon Drivers And Transportation Employees Are Trained To Identify And Respond To Instances Of Human Trafficking
Amazon transportation employee Mark Stephens immediately felt concerned when he pulled into one of his familiar truck stops outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
Stephens, a field leader who teaches defensive driving and safety courses to Amazon drivers and transportation associates, saw two young women walking in between the lines of tractor-trailer trucks parked at the rest stop. The young women seemed lost and out of place. An SUV suddenly pulled up alongside the women. A male passenger stepped out and pushed both women into the vehicle.
Stephens said he realized he might be witnessing human trafficking, based on the red flags he’d been taught to recognize by Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a nonprofit organization that trains trucking industry professionals to help identify, report, and fight sex trafficking. The TAT training educates truck drivers to recognize possible signs of human trafficking on the road and ways to safely report it to law enforcement, which can ultimately help authorities identify and support victims, prosecute traffickers, and save lives.
Amazon currently offers the TAT training to its Transportation Operations Management (TOM) truck drivers and employees. Less than a year after Amazon launched the partnership with TAT, 100% of Amazon drivers and employees—more than 5,000 people—have been trained, including Stephens.
Stephens said he quickly called the National Human Trafficking Hotline to report what he’d seen at the truck stop. Moments later, a police officer in a cruiser with flashing lights intercepted the SUV and began talking to the driver.
“I teach our drivers that when you’re out on the road, you need to take a 360 view. See what’s out there. Be aware of your surroundings. It’s part of the Amazon culture,” said Stephens, a Marine Corps veteran and father of three daughters. “The TAT training provides an additional layer of situational awareness. It’s up to everybody to pay attention and get involved, plain and simple. That could be your daughter, your son, someone close to you.”
Over the past decade, Amazon has taken numerous steps to strengthen its efforts to identify and prevent the risk of modern slavery and forced labor, including enhancing partnerships with industry associations and nonprofits like TAT. In 2019, Amazon became an official corporate sponsor of TAT and began incorporating the nonprofit’s training into the company’s freight driver training program, with the goal of raising awareness about human trafficking. The effort is also a reflection of Amazon’s ongoing commitment to its employees, which are embodied in the company’s two newest Leadership Principles: “Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer” and “Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility.” Amazon believes that leaders work daily to create a safer work environment, and strive to do better for the communities we serve.
Nearly 25 million people are estimated to be victims of human trafficking worldwide, with reports of trafficking in all 50 states in the U.S. Victims are often exploited by traffickers in the sex industry and forced to engage in commercial sex on the streets or at restaurants, truck stops, and motels—places where truckers often stop. That means truckers can be key helpers in spotting human trafficking.
With more than 3.5 million long-haul and heavy-trailer truck drivers traveling across the U.S., trucking professionals can play an important role in helping law enforcement and other government agencies fight sex trafficking, according to TAT. The nonprofit estimates that in the last five years alone, 41% of calls from professional drivers have been made on behalf of minors.
“Trucking professionals like Mark Stephens have helped identify more than 1,000 victims through their calls into the National Human Trafficking Hotline,” said Kendis Paris, executive director and co-founder of TAT. “We need corporations that employ and leverage truckers to join the fight and help more drivers become TAT-trained. We’re very encouraged to see Amazon do just that.”
On the frontline of the fight against human trafficking
Amazon Web Services (AWS) technology is helping Polaris in its mission to tackle a $150 billion illegal industry that’s growing at an alarming rate.
In addition to supporting TAT, Amazon has joined other efforts to help fight modern slavery and forced labor. The company works with Polaris, a nonprofit that assists trafficking victims and survivors, and works to prevent sex and labor trafficking. Through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, Polaris has identified and responded to more than 73,000 cases of human trafficking and labor exploitation since 2007. Amazon Web Services (AWS) works with Polaris to infuse cutting-edge technology into its infrastructure to accelerate the development of the largest known U.S. data set on trafficking.
Amazon also collaborates with Thorn, an organization that builds technology to protect children from sexual abuse. The organization leverages AWS machine learning tools in a Thorn product called Spotlight, which investigators can use to automatically flags ads that are likely to show at-risk children. To date, Spotlight has helped identify more than 17,000 child sex trafficking victims.
Oregon Expands Historic Transportation Investment With 3% Vehicle Fee Increase
SALEM , OR… Oregonians will see fees rise about 3% when they renew their vehicle tags, get a trip permit or apply for a vehicle title next year.
The fee increase will take effect Jan. 1, 2022, and is the third of four scheduled fee changes under Oregon’s historic House Bill 2017 transportation investment package. The final fee increase will start in January 2024.
Residents across the state are already seeing improvements funded by these fees. This includes hundreds of millions in improved city streets, updated sidewalks and bicycle routes in school neighborhoods, reinforced bridges and roadways to withstand earthquakes and much more.
DMV is starting to mail vehicle registration renewal reminders with the updated fees for tags expiring after the first of the year. If your tags expire in January or later, you will need to pay the new fee even if you renew before the end of 2021 – whether online, by mail or in person.
Common fees included
The vehicle fees most Oregonians are familiar with are passenger car registration and titles.
Under Keep Oregon Moving, passenger car tags and title fees are based on a vehicle’s fuel efficiency rating. Drivers of electric vehicles or vehicles that are rated at more than 40 mpg can pay the full fee for two or four years up front, or they can pay a lower fee and a monthly per-mile charge for miles driven in Oregon if they join OReGO at www.myorego.org.
Passenger vehicle registration fees cover two-year periods, except for new vehicles, which begin with a four-year registration.
A glimpse of what your fees are supporting
* Creating safe routes to school – This program makes improvements around schools so that students can walk, bike and roll safely. One factor in choosing projects to fund is that the school serves low-income or disadvantaged populations. See this program in action in the Willamette Valley community of Gervais.
* Preparing for earthquakes – Reinforcing key bridges and slopes in Southern Oregon is one of many projects across the state to keep people and freight moving after a major
* Reducing congestion – The Urban Mobility Office is focused on reducing bottlenecks in the Portland metro area, which impacts the movement of Oregon’s goods from all over the state. Work will improve the busy Rose Quarter area and the bridge connecting Oregon and Washington.
* Improving city streets – The Small City Allotment program allows communities to update their local streets. This fall, small cities around the state are receiving $5.1 million in funding after the Small City Allotment Advisory Committee unanimously approved the latest round of recommendations in the 2022 Small City Allotment program.
More ways than ever to get DMV services
DMV is continuing to expand services and increase choices for Oregonians who need services – online, by appointment and rising availability of standby service if you walk in.
First, check DMV2U.Oregon.gov to see if you can get what you need online. DMV has added over 20 services online in the past couple years at DMV2U.
Consider Real ID option next time you visit DMV
If you travel by air or might in the future, consider getting the Real ID option next time you visit DMV. Starting in May 2023, you will need a Real ID-compliant form of identification at airport security checkpoints for all flights.
You will need to visit a DMV office in person and bring more than your current license, permit or ID card in order to add the Real ID option to your card. Before you go to DMV, create your own checklist of documents you’ll need to qualify at Oregon.gov/RealID
OOIDA Letter to DOT - Fund Truck Parking through IIJA
November 29, 2021
The Honorable Pete Buttigieg
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Secretary Buttigieg,
The enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) presents an opportunity for you to
address a safety crisis that America’s truckers have faced for decades – the national shortage of truck
parking. Truckers need a safe place to rest when they’re tired and to comply with mandatory breaks
required by federal regulations. If truck drivers can’t find a safe and legal parking space, they are forced
to park in unsafe locations, such as road shoulders or vacant lots, or continue driving when they may want
to take a break or are in violation of hours-of-service requirements. This creates safety issues not only for
truckers, but for the motoring public as well.
With the significant new infrastructure investment provided by the IIJA, we ask that you dedicate $1
billion in discretionary funding to address this long-running shortage.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and numerous states have been studying this issue for
decades and have all concluded that there is a shortage of parking. Most recently, USDOT released the
results of its updated 2019 Jason’s Law Survey in December 2020. The survey found that truck parking
shortages are a major problem in every state and region, and that the problem continues to worsen. As
part of the IIJA, the White House highlighted that states will conduct additional assessments of the issue.
But we are well past the time for more studies and observations. Instead, it is time to take meaningful
steps to expand truck parking capacity, and that begins with significant federal investment.
We are extremely disappointed that the IIJA does not dedicate any funding exclusively to truck parking,
despite the broad bipartisan and industry support for federal investment. With the significant amount of
new discretionary funding your department will be responsible for allocating under the IIJA, we believe
that you have the ability to direct funding to critical truck parking projects across the country.
We believe $1 billion is an appropriate level of funding to build out truck parking capacity. As you know,
there is significant bipartisan support in Congress and from across industry for this amount. The
bipartisan Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 2187) would dedicate hundreds of millions of
dollars for the expansion of truck parking capacity. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Chairman Peter DeFazio included $1 billion for truck parking construction in the House-passed highway
bill, the INVEST in America Act. Ranking Member Sam Graves also addressed truck parking in
Republicans’ reauthorization proposal and pushed for the inclusion of funding in the Build Back Better
bill. There is also broad support for this level of commitment from industry, law enforcement, and safety
groups. There are very few trucking issues where you will find this type of comprehensive stakeholder
agreement on a solution.
Fixing the parking shortage will also help address ongoing supply chain disruptions. Studies indicate
truckers spend on average 56 minutes a day of driving time looking for parking. By reducing this wasted
time, USDOT can help alleviate supply chain issues by enabling drivers to be more efficient. To put this
in context, MIT Professor David Correll, who specializes in supply chains and trucking research, said
during a recent House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing that if all truckers added just
18 minutes of driving time to their working day, it would add enough capacity to address the alleged
“driver shortage.” While we know there is no shortage of drivers, this shows that the time wasted finding
parking directly affects the current disruptions.
Truck parking is already eligible for funding under the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA),
Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE), and National Infrastructure
Project Assistance (NIPA) discretionary grant programs, and states can currently use their formula
funding for truck parking as well. Unfortunately, hardly any federal funding has been dedicated to this
problem because states have never recognized how serious this issue is to highway safety and the overall
efficiency of our nation’s supply chain.
In order to reach this funding target for truck parking, we ask that you use all available authorities and
opportunities to focus on truck parking, including encouraging discretionary grant applicants to apply for
truck parking funding and to include truck parking as part of larger transportation project applications.
You have spoken about the need to make truck driving a more viable and sustainable career for those
entering the industry and the countless Americans already making their living behind the wheel. You’ve
recognized firsthand that the mythical shortage of drivers is tied directly to retention. Truckers
consistently rank the lack of truck parking as one of their top concerns, and there are few better ways you
could improve their safety and livelihoods than by addressing the parking crisis. It should not be a shock
to anyone that good drivers leave the trucking industry over the inability to find something as basic as a
safe place to rest when they are weary. We can and should do better by these absolutely and always
President & CEO
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc.
DOT Misses Opportunity with RAISE Grants Says ATA
The American Trucking Associations expressed disappointment as the Department of Transportation directed millions of dollars in federal funding toward localized and low-value projects, rather than focusing on critical freight infrastructure of national priority.
“At a time when the entire nation is focused on supply chain challenges, the Department of Transportation missed a real opportunity with this tranche of RAISE grants,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Bike paths and greenspaces might be nice things to have, but they pale in comparison to the importance and urgency of unclogging our ports and highways.”
The DOT’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, or RAISE, grants directed nearly $200 million of this year’s $1 billion funding pool to bicycle and pedestrian projects. Only 16 of the 63 capital projects are for actual road safety and mobility improvements.
“With the RAISE program now set to receive a significant boost in funding following the passage of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, it’s critical these funds go to projects of national impact, such as intermodal connectors and freight bottlenecks along the National Highway System,” Spear said. “Projects with primarily local benefits should be funded locally – not with federal dollars.
“Furthermore, we urge Congress to provide the oversight necessary to ensure that future awards are not similarly squandered,” he said.
ODOT Encourages Drivers To Be Ready For Winter Driving ConditionsWinter is coming
If you must travel in difficult weather conditions, be sure to have chains or traction tires for your vehicle and use them when it’s necessary.
• Chains can be link chains, cable chains or other devices that attach to the wheel, vehicle, or outside of the tire that are specifically designed to increase traction on snow and ice. Drivers should note that link chains may not be recommended for use on some types of vehicles; check your owner’s manual.
• Traction tires can be studded tires or tires that meet Rubber Manufacturers Association standards for use in severe snow conditions and carry a special symbol on the tire sidewall showing a three-peaked mountain and snowflake. These tires work about as well as studded tires on ice, but work better than studded tires or regular, all-weather tires in most other winter conditions. And they cause no more damage to road surfaces than regular, all-weather tires.
Both chains and other types of traction tires are easier on roads than studded tires. Our latest study concluded studded tires cause about $8.5 million in damage each year on state highways.
When driving in winter conditions you may see signs letting you know the current requirements for chains or traction tires. When signs go up, Oregon law requires identified vehicles to be chained up. Traction tires may be used in place of chains for some passenger vehicles that are not towing a trailer or another vehicle. In some cases, all vehicles may be required to have chains regardless of the type of vehicle or the type of tire being used.
This year, the Oregon fine for failing to use chains or traction tires when required increased to $880 per violation. The 2021 Oregon Legislature raised the fine to encourage compliance and improve safety. For instance, when a truck loses traction and becomes stuck or crashes, it can delay dozens or hundreds of other travelers impacted by blocked lanes. Crashes on Oregon highways and freeways can block traffic for many hours depending on the location, weather conditions, severity of crash and availability of incident responders.
The estimated cost of delays caused by trucks failing to follow Oregon chain laws is over $8 million a year – to the motor carrier industry and other highway users.
Chain laws in effect year-round
Chain and traction tire laws are in effect year-round in Oregon; however studded tires are only allowed from November 1 through March 31.
Be ready, severe winter weather can hit without much notice, so be prepared to comply with Oregon chain and traction tire laws and associated posted signs.
Know before you go: Please visit www.TripCheck.com or call 511 for the latest road conditions. ODOT provides bad-weather driving tips and how-to videos online: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/pages/winterdriving.aspx.
CVSA Launches New Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative in Canada and the U.S.
Greenbelt, MD… The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is launching a new annual three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative (HTAI) early next year in Canada and the U.S., corresponding with each country’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day. In the U.S., the initiative will start on U.S. Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which is Jan. 11, to Jan. 13. In Canada, it will start on Canada’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which is Feb. 22, to Feb. 24.
This initiative is an awareness and outreach effort to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about the crime of human trafficking, the signs to look for and what to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked.
According to the United Nations, human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception with the aim of exploiting them for profit. Men, women and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world, including North America. Human traffickers often use violence or fraudulent employment agencies and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick and coerce their victims.
“Human traffickers often use roadways as the mode of transportation for transporting their victims,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “Since our roadways are the ‘workplace’ for truck drivers, motorcoach drivers and commercial motor vehicle inspectors, they are in a prime position to make a difference in helping to identify potential victims of human trafficking.”
“Identification, and ultimately prevention, starts with education,” Capt. Broers added. “Through CVSA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative, we aim to equip drivers and inspectors with the tools they need to proactively serve on the frontline in our effort to end human trafficking.”
In preparation for the 2022 Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative, CVSA is offering human trafficking awareness resources to its membership and working with the Truckers Against Trafficking organization to distribute wallet cards and window decals. In addition, during the three-day awareness initiatives, CVSA jurisdictions will note human trafficking awareness and outreach data and submit that data to the Alliance.
To find out what your local jurisdiction is doing to increase human trafficking awareness, contact the agency/department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety within your state, province or territory.
ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 0.4% in October - Index 1.8% Above October 2020
Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.4% in October after rising 2.2% in September. In October, the index equaled 113 (2015=100) compared with 112.6 in September.
“October’s gain was the third straight totaling 2.9%,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The combination of solid retail sales, inventory rebuilding, and generally higher factory output offset some areas of softer freight growth, like home construction, in October.
“Economic growth remains on solid footing, which is good for truck freight volumes going forward. The largest problem for the industry isn’t the amount of demand, but making sure we have adequate supply. It is good to see that fleets were able to haul more tonnage in recent months in the face of constrained supply,” he said.
September’s reading was revised down slightly to 2.2% from our October 19 press release.
Compared with October 2020, the SA index rose 1.8%, which was the largest year-over-year gain since May. In September, the index was up 1.4% from a year earlier. Year-to-date, compared with the same ten months in 2020, tonnage is up 0.1%.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 115.8 in October, 2.6% above the September level (112.9). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.5% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 11.84 billion tons of freight in 2019. Motor carriers collected $791.7 billion, or 80.4% 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