Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

August 2022

Inspectors Place More Than 1,200 Commercial Motor Vehicles with Brake Violations Out of Service During CVSA’s Unannounced Brake Safety Day

On April 27, 46 jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S. removed 1,290 commercial motor vehicles with brake-related critical vehicle inspection item violations from Canadian and American roadways. That’s 14.1% of the 9,132 commercial motor vehicles inspected that day.

This unannounced one-day inspection and enforcement initiative, conducted by members of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), focuses specifically on the brake systems and components on commercial motor vehicles. On Brake Safety Day, CVSA-certified inspectors conduct their usual commercial motor vehicle inspections; however, in addition, for this initiative, they also reported brake-related data to the Alliance.

* Forty-six jurisdictions participated.

* A total of 9,132 inspections were conducted.

* Of the total number of inspections conducted, 1,290 vehicles were placed out of service.

* The brake-related out-of-service rate was 14.1%.

In addition, inspectors compiled and reported brake hose/tubing violation statistics, which was the focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Day. There were 1,534 brake hose/tubing violations. CVSA asked inspectors to submit data on four categories of brake hose/tubing chafing violations:

* A category 1 violation is when the wear extends into the outer protective material. Thirty-two percent of brake hose/tubing chafing violations were identified as this category. A category 1 violation is not an out-of-service condition.

* Category 2 is when wear extends through the outer protective material into the outer rubber cover. This is not an out-of-service violation. The largest category, 37% of brake hose/tubing chafing violations were category 2.

* In category 3, wear has made the reinforcement ply visible, but the ply remains intact. Thirteen percent of brake hose/tubing chafing violations were identified as category 3, which is not an out-of-service violation.

* In category 4, chafing has caused any part of the fabric/steel brain reinforcement ply to be frayed, severed or cut through. This is an out-service-condition. Eighteen percent of brake hose/tubing chafing violations were category 4.

On April 1, CVSA updated the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria to amend category 4 to make any tubing/hose damage resulting in the fabric/steel braid reinforcement ply being frayed, damaged or cut an out-of-service violation.

Compared to last year, the new category 4 brake hose/tubing chafing violations, as a portion of total brake hose/tubing chafing violations, increased modestly from 17% to 18%, even when accounting for what amounts to combining of categories 4 and 5 from 2021.

In addition, CVSA member jurisdictions equipped with performance-based brake testers (PBBTs) participated in Brake Safety Day activities, conducting 92 inspections with PBBTs, resulting in six, or 6.5%, commercial motor vehicles being placed out of service for insufficient overall vehicle braking efficiency.

CVSA conducts two major brake-safety inspection and enforcement initiatives each year. One is this initiative, a one-day unannounced brake-safety campaign. CVSA does not provide advance notice or warning for Brake Safety Day. The other campaign, Brake Safety Week, is publicly announced well in advance and lasts for a week. This year’s Brake Safety Week is scheduled for Aug. 21-27.

Brake Safety Day and Brake Safety Week are part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program in partnership with the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, and Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and the National Guard. Operation Airbrake is a comprehensive program dedicated to improving commercial motor vehicle brake safety throughout North America. The goal is to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems on commercial motor vehicles by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation.

ATA Chairman Urges Congress to Take Steps to Address Inflation

Washington, DC… American Trucking Associations Chairman Harold Sumerford Jr. urged members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to address areas of inflationary pressure on the trucking industry: congestion, fuel prices and labor shortages.

“More than 80% of American communities rely exclusively on trucks for freight services, so capacity constraints on trucking supply chains caused by inflation and shortsighted policies directly impact the costs for those consumers,” Sumerford said.

Sumerford, CEO of J&M Tank Lines, Birmingham, Alabama, spoke to Republican committee members during a roundtable on inflation, presenting three areas Congress should focus on: investments in physical infrastructure, fuel costs and workforce development.

In the wake of last year’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, Sumerford said Congress should prioritize investments in roads and bridges that enable maximum utilization of trucking capacity to ensure that goods get to market at the lowest possible end cost for consumers. He highlighted the need for infrastructure projects that generate productivity and efficiency as a way to combat inflation, telling lawmakers that “eliminating bottlenecks and making highways more efficient is essential to our economic resilience.”

Sumerford also advocated for an “all-of-the-above approach” to reducing fuel costs, noting that diesel prices are $2 per gallon higher than they were just a year ago.

Finally, Sumerford urged Congress to focus on workforce development initiatives to both address the persistent truck driver shortage and help the trucking industry keep pace with increasing freight demand. He suggested that lawmakers do more in federal workforce programs to “prioritize skilled trades and protect the independent contractor model that empowers tens of thousands of owner-operators to enter the trucking industry and grow successful small businesses.”

“The quickest way to ensure supply chains have access to affordable trucking capacity is to improve pathways for students and other workers to begin rewarding careers as truck drivers and owner operators,” he said.

Canadian ELD Enforcement Coming Jan 2023

TORONTO, Canada… There will be no more delays in enforcement of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate for federally regulated carriers, authorities confirm to the Canadian Trucking Alliance. The mandate will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.  

 CTA has been advised by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) that the provinces and territories are firmly committed to enforcing the ELD mandate in January 2023 and no announcements on further delays are expected. If a particular jurisdiction is not able to enforce the rule in January, all others who are ready will proceed with enforcement at that time, regardless.

 “Based on updates from our government partners at CCMTA and provincial associations, it is our clear understanding all jurisdictions will be ready to start enforcement on January 1,” said Geoff Wood, CTA’s Sr. VP, Policy. “But, if there’s unforeseen circumstances that lead to a jurisdiction not being ready to enforce, other jurisdictions that are ready and prepared will not be held back and will go forward. The industry has been well prepared for this rule for a long time and has waited long enough for enforcement. It’s time enforcement begins.”  

 In recent discussions with CTA’s provincial trucking associations and provincial/federal officials responsible for the introduction and enforcement of the ELD mandate, governments across the country have indicated they are busy preparing for enforcement and report no major technical roadblocks that would prevent enforcement in January. 

 According to these same reports, the only remaining provinces left to finalize their regulatory paths are Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and British Columbia. However, the Quebec Trucking Association expects matters to be finalized shortly, while the BC Trucking Association says it has been assured the government of BC will also be in a position to begin enforcement of ELDs as of January 1. The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association reports that it believes both Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia will also enforce in January 2023.

 Below are comments from the provincial trucking association leaders within CTA on the ELD mandate: 

“Safety on our roads is our top priority; therefore, it is extremely important that enforcement of ELD’s start January 2023. We can’t afford another delay with this implementation. Carriers are ready therefore Transport Canada and all jurisdictions should move this forward” – Jean-Marc Picard, Executive Director, Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association.

 "I can only reiterate the importance of the implementation of the regulations concerning ELDs on January 1, 2023 as agreed by the Ministers of Transport during the CCMTA meeting in February 2022 and confirmed by the Minister of Transport François Bonnardel to the QTA Board of Directors on April 29." – Marc Cadieux, CEO Quebec Trucking Association

 “The Ontario Trucking Association Board of Directors was advised in April by officials from the Ministry of Transportation that effective January 1, 2023, they will be fully enforcing the requirements for Electronic Logging Devices.” – Stephen Laskowski,  President and CEO, Ontario Trucking Association.

“The Province of Manitoba is prepared to implement the federal ELD mandate on January 1, 2023. This is an important industry initiative for raising the bar on road safety.” – Aaron Dolyniuk, Executive Director, Manitoba Trucking Association

 “The enforcement of the ELD mandate as of January 2023, is an important step in Saskatchewan to improving road safety and compliance within our province and across the country.” – Susan Ewart, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Trucking Association

 “All necessary Alberta legislation is in place to allow enforcement in Jan 2023. AMTA applauds the Alberta government for being ready for Federal HOS ELD enforcement in January 2023.” – Chris Nash, President, Alberta Motor Transport Association.

 “BCTA believes and has been assured that BC will be in a position to begin enforcement of ELDs as of January 1.” – Dave Earle, President and CEO, British Columbia Trucking Association. 

  There are currently 52 ELDs certified by Transport Canada for use in Canada.  Transport Canada’s website is the official source of information for certified devices and carriers are strongly encouraged to review the list of certified devices. CTA would also encourage carriers to review certified product offerings available from CTA Team Canada ELD vendors listed on the Transport Canada site.

CVSA Launches Revitalized Emergency Declarations Site

  Greenbelt, MD…  The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), working with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, has updated, improved and re-released its emergency declarations website. 

  In addition to the reliable, up-to-date content previously available on the site, the emergency declarations website now also provides: 

* Information on changes to allowable weights through a standard set of pertinent information, which includes contact information for each state’s overweight permitting office 

* An interactive map of declarations throughout Canada, Mexico and the U.S. 

* The ability to subscribe to notices of new declarations

* Information on the issuer of the relief, the type of relief granted, and emergency declarations’ beginning and end dates 

* Comprehensive exemption details, including all relevant information for vehicle permits for size, overweight restrictions on interstates, waivers for overweight restrictions on state roads, and marking and lighting relief

* Contact information for the jurisdiction’s issuer

Previously, the emergency declarations website focused on emergency relief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations § 390-399 provided to motor carriers through the states or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. CVSA has expanded the site’s offerings and capabilities and improved the user experience.

  During an emergency, moving relief supplies efficiently to an affected area may require shippers to route through multiple jurisdictions. To facilitate speedy delivery of such supplies, jurisdictions may use emergency declarations to temporarily alter certain requirements for shippers and motor carriers. There may be multiple sources of information about waivers, amendments, extensions, exemptions, executive orders, etc., as well as changes to allowable vehicle weights issued during emergencies, which results in confusion among drivers, shippers, motor carriers and state departments of transportation. The emergency declarations website aims to eliminate that confusion by offering one easy-to-access, up-to-date public online repository that the commercial motor vehicle enforcement community and the motor carrier industry may reference at any time.

  “Providing necessary regulatory relief during emergencies is crucial to preventing loss of life and preserving critical transportation infrastructure,” said CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney. “CVSA’s emergency declarations website is a reliable online source for emergency information, resulting in improved movement of critical relief supplies during national, regional and local emergencies.”

  CVSA will be offering a webinar on Friday, June 24, about the enhanced CVSA emergency declarations website and its new features.

Note: If the president should provide a major disaster declaration for any state, that state and any others may choose to issue special permits for trucks carrying divisible loads of emergency relief supplies in excess of federal weight limits to (or hauling debris from) the affected area on the interstate highway system up to the end of the 120-day period of availability of that declaration. Permits are eligible for travel to and through a state for which a current declaration is active from any other state. View presidential declarations.

PA Court Shuts Down Bridge Tolling Plan

The Commonwealth Court recently ruled that PennDOT’s P3 initiative to toll nine bridges violated Act 88 and has blocked the plan moving forward.

The court ruled in favor of the petitioners South Fayette Township, Bridgeville Borough and Collier Township in a 36-page opinion issued today. The ruling, penned by Judge Ellen Ceisler, states that the Major Bridge P3 Initiative is void ab initio (from the beginning).

Judge Ceisler noted that it was “clear that the (P3) Board had no specific bridges in mind when it approved the initiative in November 2020. There is no indication that the Board engaged in any meaningful consultation with “persons affected” by the Initiative, as Act 88 requires.” The opinion went on to state that “Instead, DOT purported to do so afterward once specific bridges were announced. This is inconsistent with Act 88’s procedural framework, both as shown by the statute’s text and as understood by the Board in its P3 Manual.”

The opinion pointed out that the board approved a “multi-billion dollar transportation project based on what was essentially a four-page powerpoint recommendation from DOT that failed to delineate which, or how many, pieces of public infrastructure the Initiative would affect.”

The opinion also noted the amicus brief filed by the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association in a footnote that stated: “Berks County, along with several municipalities in Berks County, and the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association filed amicus curiae briefs, in which they raised concerns with the Initiative’s approval process, and the anticipated harm caused by the implementation of the Initiative.”

Judge Ceisler also issued an injunction in May in a similar case in Cumberland County, halting the projects from moving forward. Now, she has ruled that PennDOT and the P3 Board have violated the law.

“PMTA is grateful to Commonwealth Court for recognizing the necessity to put a halt to all nine bridge tolling projects across the state because it is clear from her opinion that PennDOT violated the P3 law from the beginning,” PMTA President and CEO Rebecca Oyler said. “From the day the initiative was announced in November 2020, PMTA has pointed out that the agency failed to follow basic steps not only required by law, but also expected of any government action – communicate before acting.

“Had they communicated with the Pennsylvania trucking industry, they would have heard that the consequences of tolling would be catastrophic. With diesel prices already at record levels, now is the worst possible time to add $5000+ per truck per year for trucking companies and other small businesses. These are costs that are ultimately passed on to consumers.”

“Today is a good day for the trucking industry and for the driving public in Pennsylvania.”

Biden-Harris Administration Takes Step Forward to Combat Climate Change, Announces Proposed Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Framework

WASHINGTON ,  DC… To advance President Biden’s commitment to combat climate change and bring down costs for families, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for states and municipalities to track and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) makes available more than $27 billion in federal funding to help State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) meet their declining GHG targets. The new rule would take two important steps to combat climate change:

 1. Establish a national framework for tracking state-by-state progress by adding a new GHG performance management measure to the existing FHWA national performance measures to help states track performance and make more informed investment decisions.

2. Create a flexible system under which State DOTs and MPOs would set their own declining targets for on-road greenhouse gas emissions from roadway travel on the National Highway System.

 “With today’s announcement, we are taking an important step forward in tackling transportation’s share of the climate challenge, and we don’t have a moment to waste,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Our approach gives states the flexibility they need to set their own emission reduction targets, while providing them with resources from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to meet those targets and protect their communities.”

 This proposed rule builds upon and would add greater transparency to the work that 24 states and the District of Columbia are already doing under state law GHG target-setting requirements.

 Transportation is the leading source of GHGs in the U.S., and the Biden-Harris Administration has put forward an integrated approach to reducing emissions from the sector while ensuring our economy works for all Americans. This entails the use of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to help state and local governments meet their GHG reduction targets, in addition to efforts to help reduce transportation costs for the American people through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which are in place to make driving more affordable by increasing fuel efficiency.    

 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding is available through various programs over five years, including but not limited to:

* The Carbon Reduction Program will provide $6.4 billion in formula funding to states and local governments to develop carbon reduction strategies and fund a wide range of projects designed to reduce carbon emissions from on-road highway sources.

* The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program will provide $5 billion to states primarily through a statutory formula to build out a national electric vehicle charging network, an important step towards making electric vehicle charging accessible to all Americans.

* A Discretionary Grant Program for Charging and Fueling Infrastructure will provide $2.5 billion in competitive funding to states and local governments to deploy electric vehicle charging and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors and in communities.

* The Congestion Relief Program will provide $250 million in competitive funding to advance innovative, multimodal solutions to reduce congestion and related economic and environmental costs in the most congested metropolitan areas of the U.S.

* The Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities Program will provide $400 million in competitive funding to reduce truck idling and emissions at ports, including through the advancement of port electrification.

* BIL includes more than $5 billion for the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Program, which will help ensure our nation’s transit systems are tackling the climate crisis and working better for all of us.

* BIL also includes $7.2 billion for the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside that can help state and local governments carry out environmentally friendly pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure projects.

* Additionally, FTA’s $69 million Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Program provides funding to local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning with new fixed guideway or core capacity transit capital investment projects. BIL also expands TOD funding opportunities through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) programs.

 In addition to new funding sources that states can access from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, new and existing formula programs provide states and local governments critical access to funding to encourage public transportation and other integrated land use and transportation projects and strategies that reduce air pollution by giving Americans more climate-friendly options for travel, and help state and local governments meet the emissions reduction targets this proposed rule would require them to set for themselves.

 “Every state and local government in this country is seeing the impacts of climate change on their communities and infrastructure.  States have a critical role to play as we work nationwide to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and slow those impacts,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “State laws already require 24 states and the District of Columbia to set targets and track their greenhouse gas emissions and this proposed rule would bring this locally proven approach to scale nationwide.”

 This proposed rule would help the transportation sector evolve from the leading source of emissions to become the biggest part of the solution, standardizing practices that many states have already established economy-wide, by making data comparable across states lines and metropolitan areas, and by facilitating better planning and outcomes for local communities. 

 The proposed rule also aligns with the Administration’s net-zero targets as outlined in the national policy established under Executive Orders (E.O.) 13990, “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” and E.O. 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.”

 The proposed rule would require State DOTs and MPOs to report biennially on their progress in meeting the declining targets they establish and require FHWA to assess significant progress toward achieving those targets. 

 The proposed rule is expected to publish in the Federal Register next week. A signed copy of the document submitted to the Federal Register for publication is available on FHWA’s website.  A final rule may be published after FHWA has had the opportunity to review the comments submitted.

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Rose 0.5% in May

Washington, DC…  American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.5% in May after falling 1.4% in April. In May, the index equaled 117.1 (2015=100) versus 116.5 in April.

“The transition in the freight market continued in May with the index hitting the second highest level since the pandemic started. Specifically on the market transition, ATA’s tonnage index is dominated by contract freight. The traditional spot market has slowed as freight softens, but these contract carriers are backfilling any losses in freight with loads from shippers that is reducing spot market exposure,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Essentially the market is transitioning back to pre-pandemic shares of contract versus spot market.

“Overall, economic indicators that are important to trucking slowed in May, including retail sales, housing starts, and manufacturing output,” he said.

April’s decline was revised up from our May 24 press release.

Compared with May 2021, the SA index increased 3.7%, which was the ninth straight year-over-year gain and the largest since April 2021. In April, the index was up 2.5% from a year earlier. In 2022, year-to-date and compared with same period in 2021, tonnage was up 2.7%. 

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 119.7 in May, 4.2% above the April level (114.8). 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 10.23 billion tons of freight in 2020. Motor carriers collected $732.3 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.