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Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

June, 2017

Animated Video Shows How Speed Limiters On Large Trucks Are Dangerous For All Highway Users

Grain Valley, MO… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the nation’s only organization representing professional and small-business truckers, created a video demonstrating the dangers of speed limited trucks.

The video is designed not only for the trucking community, but also for all highway users, so that they can learn the dangers of speed differentials created by artificially speed limiting large trucks.

“We encourage our members and the motoring public to share the video freely,” said Norita Taylor, director of public relations at OOIDA.

A mandate to limit the speed of large trucks was proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in September of 2016. The Association is opposed to such a mandate saying such devices create congestion and speed differentials, which lead to higher accident involvement rates.

“Studies and research have already proven what we were all taught long ago in driver’s ed classes, that traffic is safest when vehicles all travel at the same relative speed,” said Taylor. “Limiting trucks to speeds less than the flow of traffic increases interactions between vehicles which can lead to more crashes.”

The video demonstrates in animated format along with infographics what happens to traffic when trucks are speed limited. It also includes a short interview with Dr. Steven Johnson, a researcher that has conducted extensive empirical studies on highways and speed.

OOIDA wants policymakers on the federal level to recognize the negative consequences of over regulating the trucking industry. The Association also recently launched an effort called the“Knock Out Bad Regs” campaign in which its members are encouraged to push back against excessive trucking regulations.

The campaign helps educate and encourage Association members on what they need to do in identifying their lawmakers in Washington D.C. and reaching out to them effectively. The “Knock Out Bad Regs” effort will give OOIDA members the tools to hold the Administration and Congress to their pledge to reduce regulations.

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ATA Calls Trucking Image Champions to Action

ATA’s Mike Russell Trucking Image Award Opens for Applications

San Antonio, TX… American Trucking Associations announced the beginning of its search to find and honor trucking’s greatest industry advocates with this year’s Mike Russell Trucking Image Award.

“The trucking industry has seen increasing respect in Washington in recent months, but we still have work to do on improving the image of our industry throughout North America,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “The Mike Russell Trucking Image Award recognizes the time and energy put into shaping a stronger image of trucking by the men and women who work tirelessly to spread our industry’s message of safety, essentiality and professionalism.”

Sponsored by HireRight for the third consecutive year, the award is given to an individual, motor carrier, trucking organization and industry supplier who exhibits a commitment to helping all trucking industry stakeholders by showcasing the industry’s essentiality, safety-first mentality, and professionalism.

“ATA believes that the image of our industry can only improve when trucking professionals and drivers go out and tell our story,” said ATA Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs and COO Elisabeth Barna. “Studies have shown time and again that when members of the general motoring public meet a trucking professional they are significantly more likely to have a positive view of our industry.”

“Any attempt to move the needle in the right direction for our industry’s perception is honorable and HireRight is excited to have the opportunity to sponsor the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award for the third year in a row,” said Steven Spencer, managing director of transportation, HireRight. “We look forward to seeing creative, effective campaigns nominated for this award.”

The Mike Russell Trucking Image Award celebrates companies, organizations and individuals who imaginatively generate positive awareness of the trucking industry. Image and outreach efforts, like Trucking Moves America Forward, help ATA counter a seemingly endless chain of anti-truck messages played out in the national media. Without the support of these leaders, the benefits of an improved image of the trucking industry would not be possible.

ATA’s March trip to the White House went viral, receiving more than 1 billion global impressions and providing a forum for trucking stakeholders to share our story with a worldwide audience. Building off of that successful event, increased attention was given to truck drivers and industry professionals. ATA expects awareness and respect for the trucking industry to continue to grow through outreach campaigns undertaken by Mike Russell Trucking Image Award nominees.

Submissions for this award are evaluated by an expert, impartial panel of judges based on creativity, frequency, impact, and execution. Visit the official nomination page to find out more about the award and how to submit a nomination.

Completed applications should be submitted by August 18 to ATA’s Industry Affairs Department. The winners of the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award will be announced October 21-24 during the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition in Orlando.

ATA Commends Senate Push for Federal Hair Testing Standards

Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations is applauding U.S. Senator John Thune (R - S.D.) and a bipartisan group of senators for sending a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, urging federal guidelines for hair-test drug screening standards be expedited. Thune, chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, was joined by Senators John Boozman (R - Ark.), Joe Manchin (D - W.Va.), Deb Fischer (R - Neb.) and Ron Johnson (R - Wisc.) in signing the letter.

“American Trucking Associations thanks Chairman Thune and Senators Boozman, Manchin, Fischer and Johnson for their leadership,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Making sure America’s truck drivers are safe and drug-free is among our highest priorities.

“The inherent advantages of hair testing are clear, which is why the previous Administration’s failure to act - as required by law - was deeply frustrating. That lack of action is having a real impact on the trucking industry.”

Spear recently met with top officials at the Department of Health and Human Services and urged for a quick release of guidelines for hair testing as a federally accepted method of mandatory drug screening. The FAST Act, signed into law in 2015, required HHS to issue scientific and technical guidelines for hair testing by December 4, 2016 - a deadline that was not met.

“Hair testing provides a longer detection window and is easier to collect and harder to adulterate than urinalysis,” Spear said. “As we’ve explained to HHS, many trucking companies are using urinalysis to meet federal requirements, while also paying the additional cost to conduct hair testing. Federal standards must be updated to include the most effective testing methods.”

ATA Honored to Win EPA SmartWay Affiliate Challenge Award

Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations officials expressed their gratitude to the Environmental Protection Agency for honoring the federation with its seventh EPA SmartWay Affiliate Challenge Award.

“We take tremendous pride in receiving this award for the seventh time and for the sixth consecutive year. It is a testament to the remarkable progress our industry has made toward energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said. “Our federation is fully committed to reducing fuel use and emissions, setting our industry on a road to a sustainable future that shrinks our environmental footprint and boosts our bottom line.”

“EPA commends the SmartWay Affiliate Challenge honorees for their extraordinary level of commitment and enthusiasm in supporting more efficient and sustainable business practices in moving goods,” said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “These organizations represent diverse industry sectors and stakeholders who are showing that American prosperity and protecting the environment can go hand in hand.”

“The SmartWay program is a demonstrable success with measurable results. Its partners - including many ATA members - have saved more than $25 billion in fuel costs and more than 170 million barrels of oil and eliminated 73 million metric tons of carbon emissions, 1.5 million tons of NOx and 72,000 tons of particulate matter,” said Glen Kedzie, ATA vice president and energy and environmental affairs counsel.

Companies On Site Hiring At Expedite Expo

The expedited trucking industry offers lucrative income opportunities for drivers. But where can you discover the expedite jobs that best fit your lifestyle and financial goals?

Come to Expedite Expo 2017 to meet prospective companies face-to-face to find the trucking carrier that’s right for you. These companies have over 500 job positions available!

These companies are looking for vans, straight trucks and tractors.

Expedite Expo will be held July 14 & 15 at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington, KY. The show starts at 8:00am both days with informational workshops. The Expo floor is then open at 11:00am on Friday and 10:00am on Saturday. Both days the show floor will close at 4:00pm EDT. Registration, admission, and parking are all FREE!

While you’re at the Expo, take advantage of the free educational workshops to help you maximize your income potential. Learn from industry experts and fellow expedite drivers about how to spec a truck, choose the right carrier, reduce costs, improve profits, and save time. You’ll receive the latest, most effective strategies for surviving — and thriving — in today’s economy.

The Expo offers FREE registration, FREE easy and convenient parking, and a great hotel attached to the Convention Center.

Launched in 2001, the Expo attracts attendees and exhibitors from across North America to learn about the newest trucks, career opportunities, and products geared specifically to owner operators and drivers of medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. The Expo covers over 50,000 sq. ft. of trucks, truck parts, trucking displays and product exhibits.

For more details about Expedite Expo, visit http://www.expediteexpo.com or call 859-746-2046.

TCA’s Debbie Sparks to Join Wreaths Across America

ALEXANDRIA, VA… Deborah “Debbie” Sparks, vice president of development for the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), announced she will leave the organization on May 31 to oversee strategic development and logistics for Wreaths Across America (WAA).

Sparks, who has been with TCA since December 2006, helped foster TCA’s partnership with the non-profit organization that strives to “remember, honor, and teach” about the sacrifices veterans have made for their country. She has served on the Arlington National Cemetery strategic development team, which made history two years in a row by placing a wreath on every marker at the cemetery. She and her team at TCA, working closely with the transportation group at WAA, have been responsible for recruiting and dispatching hundreds of trucks that transport remembrance wreaths to nearly 1,300 veterans’ cemeteries nationwide.

“Though we will miss Debbie at TCA, she is the right person for this position,” said John Lyboldt, TCA’s president. “This is a great opportunity for both Debbie and TCA, as we are committed to our partnership with Wreaths Across America and look forward to continuing to share the mission within the trucking community.”

In her newly created position, Sparks will continue to be involved with the trucking industry by working to grow the involvement and contributions of carriers and the larger trucking industry throughout the country. 

Help the Canadian Truckers Support Victims of Spring Flooding

Persistent rain has led to flooding in several areas of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and British Columbia – putting many Canadians at risk.

The Canadian trucking industry is once again taking the lead to help communities in need. Through Trucks For Change Network and the Canadian Trucking Alliance, highway carriers are currently working with Red Cross Logistics teams to distribute water, first aid, cots, blankets, cleanup kits and hygiene supplies to those affected across Canada.

CTA carriers who want to get involved by making equipment and services available for emergency relief deliveries in these areas should contact Trucks for Change’s Pete Dalmazzi at [email protected]. Trucks for Change will be coordinating these efforts.

Additionally, a dedicated web portal, via the Red Cross’ website, has been launched for members of the trucking industry who would like to make a financial contribution. Provincial trucking associations and member carriers are encouraged to get involved in this cause.

If you prefer to make a corporate donation via cheque, please mail it directly to:

Attn: Sarah Oberholzer, Philanthropy Department

Canadian Red Cross

21 Randolph Avenue, Toronto ON M6P 4G4

Please include a note reading: “This donation is to be included in the trucking industry contribution to the Spring Flood appeal”.

NATSO Foundation Partners With DHS Blue Campaign to Fight Human Trafficking 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The NATSO Foundation today announced a new partnership between the NATSO Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Blue Campaign to combat human trafficking.

This partnership marks the latest chapter in the NATSO Foundation’s multi-pronged anti-human trafficking initiative aimed at creating awareness and educating the truckstop and travel plaza industry to fight human trafficking along America’s Interstate Highway System.

“As an industry that caters to millions of travelers every year, truckstops and travel plazas and their employees are in a key position to help identify and stop human trafficking along America’s highway system,” said NATSO Foundation President Lisa Mullings. “Sadly, human trafficking has been reported across all modes of transportation and in many legitimate businesses that unknowingly are used for this illicit activity. Truckstops and travel plazas are effectively creating the equivalent of a Neighborhood Watch program so that our industry is equipped to help if we encounter a victim of this horrible crime.”

For more than five years, the NATSO Foundation has been helping members of the truckstop and travel plaza community engage in the fight against human trafficking. The NATSO Foundation’s goal is to provide the truckstop and travel plaza industry with the necessary tools to train owners, operators and employees so that those individuals are equipped to help if they encounter a victim of this horrible crime.  

The NATSO Foundation works closely with the Department of Transportation, Polaris Project, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Truckers Against Trafficking and other organizations to gain insight into best practices on how to educate members of the truckstop and travel plaza community to identify suspected cases of human trafficking and report the information to the appropriate authorities.

The NATSO Foundation in 2016 launched an online course titled, “The Role of Truckstops in Combating Human Trafficking” to help truckstops and travel plazas train their staff in recognizing and responding to suspected incidents of human trafficking. The course is available on the NATSO Foundation’s website free of charge so that any member of the truckstop and travel plaza industry can leverage this educational resource. The course can be accessed at www.natso.com/onlinelearning. 

Through this alliance with the DHS Blue Campaign, the NATSO Foundation will provide the DHS Blue Campaign’s training and awareness materials – including posters, handouts and other materials — to the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas. These materials will enhance the NATSO Foundation’s educational resources.

OTA-CCOHS Provide Free Workplace Health & Safety e-learning Courses to OTA Carriers

The Ontario trucking industry has worked diligently over the last two decades to improve its on-road vehicle safety performance and help make the Province’s roads among the safest in North America.

Now, thanks to a partnership with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), the Association is looking forward to also making Ontario’s trucking workplaces the safest.

Through a special agreement between the two organizations, each OTA carrier member can take two special complimentary CCOHS e-learning courses in 2017. Beyond the complimentary seats, OTA members can also access the extensive e-course library at the maximum discounted rate.

“CCOHS has a comprehensive e-library on health and safety issues that can assist our membership in understanding compliance measures as well as help all of our carriers improve their health and safety performance,” said Stephen Laskowski, President, OTA. “We are very happy we have found such a willing and able partner in CCOHS to be able to provide such a great deal for our members.”

CCOHS also has staff on hand that are trained to answer questions for carriers related to federal regulations and health and safety compliance.

“This is a partnership built on the mutual goal of preventing injuries and illnesses for workers in the trucking industry,” says CCOHS President Gareth Jones. “We are confident that through this enhanced access to CCOHS training materials, we can create productive, meaningful change to achieve that goal.”

To take advantage of this offer, you will need your OTA membership ID number.

Truckers Association Finalizes Settlement In NY Tax Case

Grain Valley, MO… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the nation’s only organization representing professional and small-business truckers, wrapped up a class action lawsuit against New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance on April 19, 2017.

The state’s Supreme Court – which is the state’s trial court – ordered that New York pay a total of $44,429,473 for an unconstitutional registration and decal fee.

“We fought against a number of similar taxes back in the 1980s and 1990s and the states lost in every one of those cases,” said OOIDA President Jim Johnston. “We were shocked that New York even thought they could get away with this. The amount for the New York HUT decal is $19, which may seem insignificant, but if other states were to do the same thing, it would be huge – collectively and in administrative costs.”

The Association had challenged the taxes as unconstitutional and discriminatory against out-of-state truckers who drive their trucks mostly in other states - in contrast to New York-based truckers who drive a disproportionately higher number of miles in New York. OOIDA established that the challenged taxes resulted in a higher per mile tax rate being imposed on out-of-state trucks, and therefore violated the Commerce Clause.

The class action lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of taxes that impose $15 for a certificate of registration and a $4 decal charge on all trucks using New York state highways. The taxes are imposed not only on New York-based trucks, which are driven proportionately higher miles in New York, but were also charged on trucks based outside of New York, which are driven mostly in states other than New York.

“If there are other states that think tacking on flat fees to their state truck taxes won’t be noticed as an economic burden to interstate commerce, they need to understand this is not a good idea,” said OOIDA’s Johnston. “We will take them to court in a heartbeat.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the only national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 158,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.