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Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

January, 2020

13.5% of CMVs Inspected During 2019 Brake Safety Week were Removed from Roadways for Brake-Related Violations

Greenbelt, MD… From Sept. 15-21, 2019, inspectors conducted 34,320 commercial motor vehicle inspections as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week and placed 4,626 vehicles out of service after critical brake-related conditions were identified during roadside inspections. The majority of commercial motor vehicles inspected (86.5%) did not have any critical brake-related inspection item violations.

During a roadside inspection, if an inspector identifies critical vehicle inspection item violations, he or she will render the vehicle out of service, which means those violations must be corrected before the vehicle may proceed. 13.5% of the commercial motor vehicles inspected during Brake Safety Week were removed from roadways specifically for brake-related vehicle inspection item violations.

Sixty jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S. participated in this year’s Brake Safety Week. In the U.S., 49 jurisdictions conducted 31,864 roadside inspections and placed 4,344 (13.6%) commercial motor vehicles out of service due to brake-related violations. In Canada, 11 jurisdictions conducted 2,456 roadside inspections and 282 (11.5%) commercial motor vehicles were placed out of service for brake-related violations.

As part of this year’s Brake Safety Week, inspectors also collected and reported data on brake hoses/tubing. 

* 2,567 units had chafed rubber hose violations. 

* 1,347 units had chafed thermoplastic hose violations.

* 2,704 violations of § 393.45 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and Canadian equivalent violations included chafed rubber hoses.

* There were 1,683 violations of § 393.45 of the FMCSRs and Canadian equivalent violations that included kinked thermoplastic hoses.

“Inspectors conduct more than 4 million roadside inspections every year and checking brake components is just one element of the inspection procedure inspectors perform on commercial motor vehicles every day,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samiswith the Delaware State Police. “This inspection and enforcement event reminds drivers and motor carriers of the importance of properly functioning brakes and spotlights the work done by inspectors, motor carriers and drivers every day to keep our roadways safe by ensuring vehicles are in appropriate working condition.”

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, highway crash fatality data for 2018, there was a 2.4% decline in overall fatalities, the second consecutive year of reduced crash fatalities. However, conversely, for 2018, large-truck related fatalities increased by 0.9%. 

“While we applaud the decrease in the overall number of fatalities on our roadways last year, we’re alarmed by the increase in the number of large-truck-related fatalities,” said Sgt. Samis. “CVSA conducts high-profile, high-visibility enforcement events, such as Brake Safety Week, to reduce the number of fatalities occurring on our roadways. Roadway safety is our number one priority and we will continue our efforts to improve brake safety throughout North America.”

Brake Safety Week is an inspection, enforcement, education and awareness initiative that is part of the Operation Airbrake Program sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.


AASHTO Applauds Congress for Saving Billions for Transportation

WASHINGTON The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials thanked Congress and the President for their bipartisan support for eliminating the $7.6 billion rescission of Highway Trust Fund contract authority, originally set to occur July 1, 2020.

“On behalf of the 50 state departments of transportation, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, that unanimously supported rolling back this rescission, I extend our thanks to the leadership in the House and Senate, committee leaders and their staffs, and the President for removing the threat of disruption and potential delays in the coming construction season,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO executive director. 

“The resolution of this issue comes at a time when states are preparing their budgets for the coming construction season, eliminating potential uncertainty that could have delayed important transportation infrastructure investments,” he said. 

In his first segment of a new video series on Transportation TV entitled On Time with Tymon, AASHTO Executive Director Jim Tymon expresses his gratitude on camera. Watch the segment here: https://youtu.be/brj1bPEKD4Q


ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 0.3% in October Index 1.7% Higher than October 2018

Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined 0.3% in October after rising 1% in September. In October, the index equaled 118.1 (2015=100) compared with 118.5 in September.

“October’s tonnage change, both sequentially and year-over-year, fits with an economic outlook for more moderate growth in the fourth quarter,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The ongoing slowdown in manufacturing activity also weighed on truck tonnage last month.”

It is important to note that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight, which is performing significantly better than the plunge in spot market freight this year.

September’s reading was revised up compared with our October press release.

Compared with October 2018, the SA index increased 1.7%, the smallest year-over-year gain since June. The index is up 3.9% year-to-date compared with the same period last year.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 125.4 in October, 8.4% above the September level (115.7). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

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

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



Carrier One Safety Director Recognized by Illinois Trucking Association

Alsip, IL… Carrier One Director of Safety Milton Van Horn was recently named the Illinois Trucking Association’s (ITA) Safety Professional of the Year. He was honored with this award during ITA’s annual meeting expo on September 17-19 in Normal, Ill.

Van Horn was nominated for the award because of his outstanding support and service to safety at Carrier One, a privately-owned flatbed carrier based in Alsip, Ill. According to Matt Hart, executive director of ITA, this award was initially created in 2013 as a way for ITA to recognize the hardworking men and women who have devoted their lives to the safety of the highways and trucking industry. Nominees must go above and beyond in their work for the Illinois Trucking Association and promoting safety in trucking. Van Horn received a plaque for this recognition.

“We are extremely proud of Milton here at Carrier One,” said Jason Schaftlein, director of recruiting and retention for Carrier One. “His influence on our safety culture is significant which is why we’re one of the safest companies on the road today. This recognition is well deserved.”

Van Horn has been working in the trucking industry for 29 years - 17 of those years as a driver and the last 12 working in safety. His years of experience have helped him understand what today’s drivers face on the road and how to help prepare them to be better drivers. 

“We educate, train and inform our drivers how to operate safely on the highways and keep themselves and the general motoring public safe,” said Van Horn. “Our safety department is always available to our drivers and is the most valuable tool in their toolbox. Safety is the cornerstone of our organization.”

Other Carrier One personnel who were recognized by ITA include Marissa Jansma, DOT Compliance Specialist, and Shannon Doughty, Orientation Manager. Both of these individuals were honored for their participation in the Illinois Trucking Leadership Program. This program helps up-and-coming professionals in trucking to enhance their leadership skills and increase professionalism in the industry. Jansma was also selected to be on a panel of professionals to determine the ITA fleet and driver of the year awards. 

Founded in 2003, Carrier One is a privately-owned flatbed carrier that operates primarily east of the Rockies. The company prioritizes safety, reliability and building strong relationships with customer across the country. Recently, Carrier One was awarded a Fleet Safety Award from the Illinois Trucking Association – one of the top three safest companies in the state of Illinois.

To learn more about service or careers at Carrier One, visit drivecarrierone.com or call 888-997-1082.


CTA Lauds Report Calling for Tampering Enforcement, Champions Trucking’s Enviro Record

The Canadian Trucking Alliance applauded a recent University of Toronto study calling for a crackdown on tampering of heavy truck emissions control technology but also pointed out the trucking industry should be proud of being the only freight mode that has virtually eliminated air pollutants from diesel engines and is the only one to use mandated carbon-reducing equipment.

The two-year study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology and involving researchers at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, claims large trucks are the greatest contributors to black carbon emissions close to major roadways. 

While it’s the industry’s mission to get any outstanding polluting trucks off the roadways, CTA points out that any trucks manufactured after 2007 virtually eliminate cancer-causing particulates. Since then, the industry has embraced the reduction of carbon emissions from the trucking industry and supported Phase I and Phase II Environment Canada regulations governing carbon reductions from heavy trucks. These regulations led to the “near zero emissions” diesel engine – as it’s been dubbed by the Environmental Protection Agency – which will reduce carbon emissions from by 241.1 megatonnes between 2020-2029 at a cost of $6.1 billion to the industry.

Although the regulations were a necessary, progressive step toward reducing the trucking industry’s carbon footprint and air quality impact, CTA highlights the industry’s operational struggles with the environmental control devices, which brought higher maintenance costs, volatile engine performance –forcing many fleets to add up to 20 percent more trucks to cover the increase of vehicles put out of service – and higher fuel consumption.

“While no one is disputing there is room for improvement, the trucking industry should be very proud of the advancements it’s made to eliminate pollution and carbon emissions from diesel engines,” says CTA’s Geoff Wood, senior VP, Policy. 

As this progress has come with significant increases in the purchase price of vehicles and operating and maintenance costs, a small, but growing minority of fleets, have taken to removing emission control equipment from trucks to increase reliability and reduce operating expenses.

For this reason, CTA was encouraged by the UofT report’s conclusion, echoing the Alliance’s call for government to increase powers to tackle tampering and the installation of delete kits in the trucking industry. 

“Substantial fines or loss of licence, should be imposed on operators caught tampering with vehicle emissions systems,” states the report. “Trucks equipped with modern emissions treatment systems should not be polluting.” 

CTA suggests the government should take enforcement even further by targeting the suppliers of anti-emissions systems devices and services. The Alliance points the U.S. as an example, where there are significant fines and legal consequences for the manufactures, sellers and installers of aftermarket devices and services designed to circumvent emission controls.

“Compliance needs to be rewarded, not the other way around,” says Wood. “We welcome the conclusions of this report which finds that tampering is a growing problem that interferes with environmental progress while also hampering the competitiveness and growth of law-abiding, environmentally conscious carriers.

“We now find ourselves in a situation where harmful environmental, and unfair business practices are allowed to continue, unchecked. This needs to be corrected to maintain the integrity of the industry and the protect the environment.”

Although it’s not ultimately the decision of the Government of Canada, CTA says Transport Canada and Environment Canada should encourage the provinces to enforce tampering. Th province of Ontario recently announced a significant policy to address tampering. 

Additionally, the federal government, through a heavy truck green technology incentive program, could offset some of the rising costs associated with carbon reduction by expediting the market penetration of ancillary devices and technology such as anti-idling, aerodynamics for tractors and trailers, wide-based single tires, driver monitoring and telematics and hybrid-electric propulsion systems.

“The bottom line is there is no viable alternative to the diesel engine, so removing some of the barriers to the newest and greenest carbon-reduction equipment makes sense and rewards an industry that is already the most regulated from a pollution and carbon emissions standpoint,” says Wood.


CTA Lauds Sask for Seeking Trucking Training Dollars

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is applauding the move by the Government of Saskatchewan to pursue federal training dollars for truck driver training. The Government of Saskatchewan wants Ottawa to include truck driver training as an eligible program as part of the federal government’s required legislative changes to enable the Canada Student Loans Program to pilot potential variations across the country.

“When it comes to training dollars, CTA wants to see its prospective students given the same level of financial support as other sectors, and applauds the leadership shown by the Government of Saskatchewan in seeking this equity from Ottawa,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. ‘Once the new cabinet is appointed, CTA will be working with Ottawa to support the Government of Saskatchewan’s vision that equal training funding treatment is made available for truck drivers across Canada.”

Trucking HR Canada’s (THRC) recent labour market data clearly shows a current need for 22,000 truck drivers across the country. As a result of the trucking industry facing a significant driver shortage, many Canadians are discovering the opportunities in the trucking sector and are seeking the same funding treatment as students and job seekers in other industries. Furthermore, Trucking HR Canada’s recent youth research shows there are about 1.1 million young Canadians that would consider a career as a long-haul truck driver, with one-third of respondents citing the cost of training as a key barrier to entry.

“The Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) members confirm THRC’s conclusion that attracting people to our sector is a challenge without funding for training,” said Susan Ewart, executive director, STA. “The Government of Saskatchewan has heard us and believes the occupation of truck driving deserves and needs this funding. We applaud this direction. STA is looking forward to working with province and CTA to make this vision happen.” 

CTA will be work with THRC to ensure potential federal funding criteria and the technical specifications drafted for a truck driver training pilot program are eligible for both private and public training institutions.


CVSA Reminds Motor Carriers of the Dec. 17, 2019, ELD Compliance Deadline

Greenbelt, MD…Starting Dec. 17, 2019, all motor carriers and drivers subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) electronic logging devices (ELD) final rule must use an ELD. This deadline also pertains to grandfathered automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs), which will no longer be allowed under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to provide records of duty status as a substitute to a required ELD. Motor carriers utilizing an AOBRD must have a fully operational ELD installed by Dec. 17, 2019.

According to FMCSA, there will be no extensions or exceptions made to the Dec. 17, 2019, ELD rule deadline. In addition, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) stated that inspectors will begin fully enforcing the ELD rule on Dec. 17, 2019; there will be no “soft enforcement” grace period.

If a commercial motor vehicle driver is required to have an ELD and the vehicle is not equipped with a registered compliant ELD, the driver is considered to have no record of duty status; that also applies to a driver still using an automatic onboard recording device after the AOBRD to ELD transition deadline of Dec. 17, 2019. According to the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, a property-carrying driver who does not have a record of duty status in his or her possession when one is required will be declared out of service for 10 hours and a passenger-carrying driver without a record of duty status when one is required will be placed out of service for eight hours.

CVSA-certified roadside inspectors use the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria to identify conditions that preclude further operation of a commercial motor vehicle by its driver for a specified amount of time, or for some conditions, until the violation is corrected. The April 1, 2019, North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria specifies the out-of-service conditions related to deficiencies of record of duty status and hours-of-service rules and regulations. In addition, CVSA’s Inspection Bulletin regarding hand-held and electronic logging devices outlines the requirements for devices used to record drivers’ hours of service, according to 49 CFR Part 395 Subpart B – Electronic Logging Devices.

FMCSA implemented the ELD rule to make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage and share record of duty status information, and to help improve road safety and reduce the number of crashes. An ELD automatically records a driver’s driving time and other hours-of-service data. Hours-of-service rules and regulations were developed to minimize driver fatigue and improve safety for everyone on the road. In addition, ELDs monitor a vehicle’s engine data, such as when the engine is running, whether the vehicle is moving, miles driven, duration of engine operation, etc.

It’s important to note that the ELD final rule does not change any of the underlying hours-of-service regulations. For more information regarding ELDs, the ELD final rule, hours-of-service, etc., visit FMCSA’s website.


Government of Ontario Committed to Attracting Investment with Highway 401 Expansion

The Ontario government is making a significant strategic economic investment in the province’s highway system by widening 18 kilometres of Highway 401 from Mississauga to Milton.

“This stretch of highway has over 20,000 trucks a day travelling on it – each carrying vital goods for all sectors of our economy,” said OTA Chair David Carruth. “As a fleet with a terminal in the region, this investment is an important need and will help make this province more competitive in attracting future customers for all trucking fleets across Ontario.”

Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation, announced today the province is investing $640 million to widen Highway 401 by 18 kilometres, from the Credit River in Mississauga to Regional Road 25 in Milton and includes reconstruction of bridges as well as upgrades to support facilities and features. Construction is underway and drivers can expect to use the expanded highway by 2022.

“Our government is committed to strengthening Ontario’s highway network and making Ontario open for business,” said Associate Minister Surma. “This crucial expansion of Highway 401 means that thousands of Ontarians will spend less time in traffic.”


Truckers Hail Deal on USMCA Trade Agreement Trade Pact Will Provide Growth, Certainty to Industry and Economy

Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations leaders hailed an agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada that paves the way for USMCA’s ratification in Congress.

“Now with a clear path to USMCA’s ratification, this is an historic victory for truck drivers, motor carriers and the entire American economy,” said ATA President Chris Spear. “The vast majority of trade in North America moves on truck, with $772 billion worth of goods crossing our borders with Mexico and Canada every year. USCMA will provide the certainty our industry needs while ensuring the United States remains competitive on the world stage.” 

“Trade is a tremendous driver of revenue and creator of jobs in trucking, which is why passing USMCA has been so important to our industry,” said ATA Chairman Randy Guillot, president of Triple G Express Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana. “Trade with our two closest neighbors supports nearly 90,000 Americans in trucking-related jobs and generates $12.62 billion in annual revenue for our industry. As USMCA deepens our economic ties, we expect these figures – like our economies – to continue to increase.”

“In a Washington that has been gridlocked by partisan politics, this is a great example of what is possible in creating consensus around good policy,” Spear said. “Truckers and our economy depend on good policymaking, and this bipartisan agreement is a reminder of how government can make our lives and businesses stronger. I thank President Trump, Speaker Pelosi, and all who have put disagreements aside to achieve this historic agreement.”