Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA
Use Extra Caution When Driving Around Snowplows In This Winter Weather
With winter weather persisting in many parts of the state, drivers should remember to always pay attention when approaching winter maintenance equipment and never pass snow plows on the right.
ODOT plows were operating in all corners of Oregon Monday, with heavy snow closing Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge and causing whiteout conditions on Mount Hood. Extra care is needed to look out for the workers along slippery roads. Remember to never drive around barricades; they’re there to keep everyone safe.
And where there are snow plows road workers are nearby. Consider that just since Christmas Day there have been 10 crashes across Oregon where drivers struck an ODOT plow.
As a reminder to motorists, passing on the right is illegal when there is no lane available and the driver does not have a clear view ahead (ORS 811.415). Many, if not most plows have retractable wing plows that extend eight feet into the right lane and use of the wing plow severely restricts a driver’s view into the right lane.
Dual wing plows used on some multi-lane highways also have plow blades that extend off the left side of the truck.
When you pass snowplows, you run the risk of hitting the plow blades, damaging your vehicle or even going off the road. The plowed snow may contain rocks and other debris, so the safe choice is to stay several car lengths behind plowing operations.
If conditions are severe enough to require a snowplow, the safest place to be is well behind the plow. They travel slowly but will pull over periodically to let you pass when safe to do so.
Especially during severe winter weather like we saw today, the safest thing to do is avoid traveling all together.
If you must travel, here are a few tips.
* Know before you go. Visit tripcheck.com and see road conditions along your route, start to finish.
* Remember that many tripcheck.com cameras include temperature, elevation and other critical details about road conditions.
* Drive for conditions. If encountering rain, mud, snow, ice or extra traffic be sure to slow down and give extra space for stopping.
* Keep your vehicle in good operating shape, checking brakes, lights, tires and wipers regularly.
* Watch out for bicyclists and pedestrians. In wintry conditions, visibility drops.
* Pay attention to roadside message signs. They contain critical information about conditions on the road ahead.
* Be patient, wear your seat belt, pay attention to conditions and keep a sober driver behind the wheel to help ensure a safe arrival.
ATA Coordinates Truckloads of Disaster Relief Supplies for Kentucky Storm Victims
Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations delivered 840 cases of bottled water to Heartland Worship Center in Paducah, Kentucky, where area residents continue to rebuild and recover from last week’s devastating storms. The truckload was driven by Herschel Evans, professional truck driver for Yellow Corporation, using ATA’s Share the Road tractor-trailer.
“It’s a real blessing to be in a job and to possess a skillset that enables us to make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives after a disaster strikes our fellow citizens,” said Evans. “These truckloads of relief symbolize the spirit of our nation, and the people of Kentucky should know that the cavalry is coming, and that we have their backs in this time of need. More is on the way.”
ATA is planning to deliver several more relief loads next week, in close coordination with the Mayfield-Graves County Regional Emergency Operations Center and the Kentucky Trucking Associations. Tarps, generators, power and extension cords are currently the supplies in greatest need, which ATA is now working to collect and load onto trucks.
Those looking to support storm relief efforts can visit the Trucking Cares Foundation or donate through Trucking Moves America Forward.
ATA Hails Supreme Court’s Rejection of OSHA Vaccine-or-Test Mandate
Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of the Biden Administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate for employers:
“Today, ATA has won a tremendous victory on behalf of the trucking industry and workers and employers everywhere. Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court validates our claim that OSHA far overstepped its authority in issuing an emergency temporary standard that would interfere with individuals’ private health care decisions.
“Trucking has been on the front lines throughout the pandemic – delivering PPE, medical supplies, food, clothing, fuel, and even the vaccines themselves. Thanks to this ruling, our industry will continue to deliver critical goods, as our nation recovers from the pandemic and we move our economy forward.
ATA Statement on Retirement of Congressman Peter DeFazio
Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear issued this statement following the announcement that Representative Peter DeFazio, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, plans to retire from Congress:
“Chairman Peter DeFazio is without question a gifted legislator and leader who, over the span of four decades, has made a difference in the lives of all Americans. His absence will come at a time when we need more elected officials willing to put the nation’s interest ahead of themselves.
“Amidst bitter partisanship throughout Washington, Chairman DeFazio stands out as one of the rare solution seekers committed to advancing the legislative process. Our industry appreciates the fact that he will solicit members’ thoughts, listen to logic and make decisions based on facts, not knee-jerk rhetoric and emotion. That collaboration is something our industry looks for in an elected official and what ultimately shapes sound public policy.
“Few legislators have been more instrumental in driving national infrastructure policy than Chairman DeFazio. He’ll leave the House having cemented a lasting legacy that his constituents and all Americans will see, feel and use for decades to come. We thank him for his service and partnership.”
ATA President: Infrastructure, Workforce Remain Trucking’s Top Priority
Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on how the trucking industry is responding to ongoing supply challenges caused by a multitude of global factors. Spear told lawmakers that infrastructure investment and workforce development remain the trucking industry’s highest focus and detailed specific keys for Congress to help unlock bottlenecks throughout the supply chain.
ATA has been an ardent supporter of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill signed into law this week, having testified 25 times over the last five years on the dire need for greater federal investment to fix roads and bridges and bolster the U.S. supply chain.
“So as you turn to oversight, it will be critical that discretionary monies address congestion at the top bottlenecks and intermodal connectors, of which 70% are under state and local jurisdiction; and, that funding be provided for truck parking like in the House-passed bill, which costs the average driver $5,500 in direct compensation annually,” Spear said in his opening remarks.
He also stressed the slow return to post-pandemic work across all segments of the economy, transportation included. The nationwide truck driver shortage grew from 61,500 pre-pandemic to 80,000 post-pandemic, despite dramatic pay increases over that same time period.
“Pay has increased substantially, especially in the most challenging sectors of our industry,” Spear said. “Long-haul earnings, for instance, are up 24.3% since the beginning of 2019, and increasing at five times their historical average, which is nearly 10% year-over-year. Yet, the shortage and retention of talent remains—elevating other contributing factors, including lifestyle changes, more time with family, work flexibility choices that only independent contractors enjoy, time lost from severe congestion and detention time and the added layers of mandates, including requiring our workforce to vaccinate for a job that has one of the lowest risk and exposure rates in the country.”
Spear cited actions the industry is taking to grow and strengthen its workforce over the long-term, such as pursuing federal apprenticeship programs included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, more urban hiring, recruiting veterans and exiting military service members, and boosting retirement incentives and health and wellness programs.
ATA Seeks Industry Participation for Comprehensive Driver Compensation Survey
Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations launched its latest effort to provide driver compensation benchmarking tools for the trucking industry by soliciting information from carriers about the current state of driver pay.
“We know that since we last conducted a driver compensation survey in 2019, much has changed in our industry, updating that data with a robust examination of the current environment for driver pay will be a valuable tool for motor carriers and policymakers,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.
Historically, the ATA Driver Compensation Study has included data from more than a 100 fleets and hundreds of thousands of drivers across all sectors of the industry. The broad spectrum of participants allows ATA to break down the compensation data by sector.
Carriers participating in the survey will receive the full final report for a discounted rate, a free summary of the results prior to the report’s release and an invitation to a participant-only webinar where Costello will break down the results of the survey.
“The more carriers we have in the survey, the better and more relevant our results will be, so I encourage all fleets to participate,” Costello said. “The data we collect for this survey is entirely confidential and will not be shared with anyone. This is an opportunity for carriers to get a real-time understanding of the current landscape of driver compensation at a time when recruiting and retention of drivers is as important as it has ever been.”
For more information or to participate, click here or call 703-838-1935.
CVSA Adopts North American Fatigue Management Program
Greenbelt, MD… The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is now home to the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP), a comprehensive educational and training program aimed at preventing fatigue-related risks and crashes and cultivating a corporate safety culture that proactively works to eliminate driver fatigue.
As an organization comprised of law enforcement jurisdictions, motor carriers, trucking organizations, safety associations and federal agencies committed to eliminating crashes on our roadways, CVSA was tasked by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FNCSA) with the management and evolution of the NAFMP. The NAFMP steering committee also includes Transport Canada, working closely with FMCSA to support the program.
"Our goal at CVSA is to prevent crashes involving commercial motor vehicles," said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. "Offering the North American Fatigue Management Program as one of the Alliance’s driver-related educational programs helps us do our part to combat crashes caused by driver fatigue and exhaustion."
"CVSA has the ideal infrastructure of events and channels of communication to foster the NAFMP," said NAFMP Steering Committee Chair Roger Clarke.
"FMCSA is excited for this additional opportunity to partner with CVSA to address driver fatigue," said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi. "FMCSA has supported the NAFMP since its inception and looks forward to CVSA continuing to provide this important program to educate the motor carrier industry on driver fatigue."
The NAFMP was developed by medical and sleep scientists from Canada and the United States through a multi-year, four-phase comprehensive process. The program aims to prevent driver fatigue and eliminate fatigue-related crashes by:
* Offering easy-to-access online fatigue prevention training and education to commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carrier executives and managers, freight shippers and receivers, dispatchers, driver managers, driver’s spouses and families, safety managers and trainers, etc.
* Encouraging a motor carrier safety culture that proactively considers situations that may contribute to driver fatigue and fights to prevent it
* Identifying sleep disorders and treatment options
* Utilizing driver fatigue management technologies
In addition, CVSA plans to enhance, improve and grow the program by:
* Hosting live and recorded Q&A sessions
* Offering a moderated forum where users may ask questions and provide feedback
* Offering information sessions at CVSA events and conferences
* Hosting program and steering committee meetings to discuss program improvements
* Offering webinars on various topics relevant to fatigue management
* Offering Spanish content in addition to English and French
Learn more about the NAFMP and how to implement a fatigue management program by visiting the NAFMP website. Download a step-by-step implementation manual and register in the eLearning platform for the program courses.
"This program has the potential to reduce fatigue-related risks, improve driver alertness, health and wellness, increase productivity, and decrease crashes and roadway fatalities," said Capt. Broers. "The online training and educational courses available through this program are free, voluntary, self-paced and available 24/7. We encourage all drivers and motor carriers to utilize these online tools."
For more information, contact CVSA Fatigue Management Program Specialist Rodolfo Giacoman via email or at 301-830-6155.
This program was made possible through an international partnership of law enforcement jurisdictions, federal agencies, academics and motor carrier stakeholder groups.
Trucking Applauds House Passage of Bill Modernizing Port Regulations
Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations is applauding passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, H.R. 4996, which cleared the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 364-60. Introduced by Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD), the bill is the first major update for laws governing U.S. maritime port operations in more than 20 years.
ATA says the legislation is needed to end abusive practices imposed on American trucking companies at U.S. maritime ports by ocean carriers, most of which are foreign-owned. Specifically, the trucking industry seeks relief from excessive detention and demurrage charges—unfair fees levied on motor carriers by ocean carriers and marine terminal operators when shipping containers are not moved on schedule, even though delays are typically due to factors entirely outside truckers’ control and often the result of inefficiencies caused by the ocean carriers themselves.
The legislation mandates a new rulemaking by the Federal Maritime Commission to prohibit unjust and unreasonable detention and demurrage practices, including an examination of the appropriate billing parties for those charges. Members of ATA’s Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference and Agriculture and Food Transporters Conference say such changes are critical to improving the treatment of truckers servicing our ports.
“Ensuring fair practices at our ports is critical to ensuring goods get from docks to warehouses and store shelves,” said Jon Eisen, director of ATA’s IMCC. “House passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act is a major step toward modernizing regulations to reflect the commercial realities of ocean freight and their impact on our domestic transportation networks. ATA welcomes the improvements in this bill and a vigorous debate over these issues.”
H.R. 4996 also adds supporting the growth and development of U.S. exports and promoting reciprocal trade in foreign commerce to the mission of the FMC.
“For too long we have seen negative impacts within our agricultural and food supply chains and believe this language is a step in the right direction to remedying those problems,” said Jon Samson, executive director of ATA’s AFTC. “The U.S. exports a significant amount of agricultural and food products, and we are appreciative that Congress recognizes that and has moved forward in support of our industry.”
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration, where Commerce Committee members are currently drafting companion legislation.
Second Edition of API 1525A Published to Ensure
Bulk Oil Chain of Custody and Documentation
WASHINGTON… The American Petroleum Institute today announced the publication of the Second Edition of API 1525A - Bulk Engine Oil Chain of Custody and Quality Documentation. The publication provides procedures for managing the bulk engine oil chain of custody to ensure oil quality from the point of manufacture to installation in a consumer’s engine. Updates were made due to modernization of processes in the supply chain and to harmonize the standard with the current edition of NIST Handbook 130 - Uniform Laws and Regulations in the Areas of Legal Metrology and Fuel Quality.
All parties involved with supplying finished bulk engine oil to consumers have a role in protecting the quality of the oil throughout the supply chain. Responsibility for quality starts with the oil manufacturer or marketer and ends with the installer. The blender, the transporter/distributor and the installer that originally ordered the product have a role in ensuring the quality of the engine oil received matches the quality ordered. API 1525A, provided at no cost here, describes the requirements incumbent upon each of these roles to ensure engine oil quality is maintained.
The procedures specifically address several topics.
* Marketer/blender practices which includes implementation of a quality testing and tracking system to allow identification of and assure conformance to the API service category claimed for every batch of engine oil delivered to distributors and installers,
* The importance of proper ordering and receipt of bulk engine oils and appropriate chain of custody documentation that identifies the bulk engine oil throughout the supply system,
* Requirements for informing consumers about the types of engine oil available for installation and requirements for notification (written and/or electronic) of the oil installed in engines.
“Oil marketers, distributors and installers of engine oil who use API 1525A and have committed to supplying API licensed engine oils will ensure that consumers always receive high-quality oil,” said API Senior Manager Jeffrey Harmening. “Oils meeting API specifications will provide the required protection for today’s modern engines and enable them to operate optimally and efficiently which in turn reduces their carbon footprint.”
API 1525A forms the basis for the API Motor Oil Matters (MOM). The program licenses oil change locations and provides benefits for installers and their customers. MOM-licensed oil-change locations and distributors certify that they meet the requirements set forth in API 1525A.
Licensed locations commit to dispensing oils meeting API performance standards and permit API to sample their bulk oils as part of the API aftermarket audit program, ensuring they are pouring the oil as stated to their customers. Licensed installers and distributors also meet the regulations for chain-of-custody enshrined in NIST Handbook 130, as adopted by the National Conference on Weights and Measures annually. Information about all the benefits of MOM can be found at MotorOilMatters.org.
API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than 11million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our nearly 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.
To learn more about API and the value of oil and natural gas, please visit API.org
PDA Releases Top Ten Driver Issues of 2021- Equipment and Compensation Issues Top the List
Brentwood, TN… PDA (People, Data, Analytics), a professional driver data and retention industry leader, released its first ever Top Ten Driver Issues List of 2021, identifying the top driver frustrations from last year based on thousands of phone calls with drivers.
“PDA has spent the last several years collecting data from tens of thousands of drivers on issues and frustrations they experience out on the road,” said Scott Dismuke, vice president of operations for PDA. “This year’s list offers key insights into the challenges drivers are facing in a very critical freight and tight driver market.”
Topping the list in 2021 were mechanical/breakdown issues with the tractor.
“Equipment supply chain issues are clearly leading to driver frustration,” said Dismuke. “With orders for new tractors still constrained by part delays and labor shortages, equipment issues are not going away any time soon. We see this trend continuing this year and possibly beyond.”
The second biggest issue for drivers in 2021 was regarding compensation and pay rates not being competitive.
“Compensation is almost always at the top of any driver issues list and last year was no different,” stated Dismuke. “In 2021, we saw very aggressive driver recruitment as well as many industry wide pay increases. Drivers see the advertisements; they know what companies are offering. If drivers aren’t making what carriers are promising, in this market, they have multiple options to go elsewhere.”
Drivers complaining about equipment assignment and mechanical/breakdown tractor issues was the third top issue of 2021.
“Once again, equipment supply chain problems come into play with this issue. However, providing clean and properly inspected equipment to new drivers during this equipment shortage will be key going into 2022,” said Dismuke. “We have said consistently that the cleanliness and the operability of a driver’s truck at assignment is the first impression a carrier makes on a new driver.”
The complete list is below, and Dismuke stated that PDA will be providing additional details when it releases its 2021 Recruiting and Retention Annual report next month.
1. Tractor -- Mechanical Breakdown Issues
2. Compensation -- Pay Rate Not Competitive
3. Equipment Assignment -- Tractor Broken Down
4. Home Time -- Wants Daily Home Time
5. Miles -- Inconsistent Miles
6. Trailers -- Mechanical Issues/Tires
7. Compensation -- Paycheck Inaccurate
8. Miles -- Poor Scheduling/Planning
9. Communication -- Slow Response by Driver Manager
10. Equipment -- On Board Comm Device Not Working
Based in Brentwood, Tenn., PDA’s mission is to change the landscape of the transportation industry by offering comprehensive retention programs, rehire programs and actionable driver data that helps trucking companies keep and rehire drivers.
Media Reports US Deadline to Impose Vaccine Mandate on Canadian Truck Drivers is January 22
TORONTO… Major media outlets in the United States are reporting that Canadian truck drivers crossing into the US will have to show proof of vaccination beginning January 22, 2022. Although an official release has not been issued by Washington, the January 22 date would seem to coincide with the expiration of current US exemptions for Canadian truck drivers crossing, which end on January 21.
CTA continues to ask Washington and Ottawa to work with the Canadian/US trucking industry, as well as the major purchasers of cross-border truck transportation, to select an enforcement date that is far less disruptive to already fragile supply chain.
CTA estimates that between 10 to 20 per cent of the 120,000 Canadian truck drivers would be forced out of the $650 billion-dollar cross border supply chain and upwards of 40 per cent of the 40,000 US-based cross border drivers.
FHWA Publishes Final Rule to Promote Broadband Access in Underserved Communities
WASHINGTON … The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration published a new Broadband Infrastructure Deployment final rule that will allow for the installation of broadband during road construction projects, alongside other utilities, to avoid the need for further excavation in the future. Often referred to as “dig once,” this approach can minimize cost and disruption to the traveling public.
“Broadband has become as important today as electricity was in the early-mid 1900’s, and like our predecessors back then, the Biden-Harris Administration will ensure that all Americans - from our cities to our rural counties - have access,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “By allowing broadband to be installed at the same time as other road improvement projects, we will reduce disruptions to residents, make better use of taxpayer dollars, and deliver economic opportunities to communities. I’ve seen the commonsense benefits of the ‘dig once’ principle as mayor and am pleased to support them now as Secretary.”
“The new broadband rule will promote digital equity for Americans in underserved communities,” Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said. “Broadband capability can greatly level the playing field and improve the quality of life -- by allowing remote work and access to education, health care and other services and opportunities from home.”
Highway rights-of-way are commonly used to accommodate public utilities, such as phone lines, electrical lines and pipelines. Expanding their use to include wireless broadband technology is a critical next step in advancing connectivity in disadvantaged and rural communities that lack such capability.
State departments of transportation will be required to identify broadband utility coordinators and establish a process to register broadband entities. States will coordinate telecommunications and broadband planning with transportation and land use planning to develop strategies that minimize repeated excavations.
Overall, the rule will improve coordination processes and reduce inefficiencies during highway construction, making it easier to deploy broadband.