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Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

October, 2019

NATSO, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Thank Congressman Brindisi for Commitment to Local Business

Alexandria, VA… NATSO member Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores thanked U.S. Congressman Anthony Brindisi for visiting its Binghamton, N.Y., location to learn about the critical role that travel plazas play in local economies as well as to discuss issues of importance to the truck stop and travel plaza industry.

During the visit, Congressman Brindisi, representing New York’s 22nd District, spent time behind the counter interacting with store employees, serving customers and meeting constituents. Congressman Brindisi also toured the location to learn more about how the fuel retailer operates.

“We appreciate that Representative Brindisi took time to visit our location and meet with our customers and our employees to learn more about the fuel retailing industry and how we serve both the local community and the nation’s professional truck drivers,” said Love’s Manager of Government Affairs Tom Kirby. “Representative Brindisi was able to see first-hand our commitment to the communities in which we operate. We commend Congressman Brindisi for exhibiting a real understanding of how federal policy directly affects the daily operations of our business, our employees and our customers.”

During the visit, Love’s officials emphasized the vital role that travel stops play in helping people and goods move throughout our country. In addition, the travel center industry serves local communities, including playing an important role in providing access to healthy food options for beneficiaries of the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Thursday’s discussion also included the high interchange fees that travel stops must pay every time a customer swipes a credit or debit card as well as the need for Congress to extend the Biodiesel Tax Credit. The biodiesel tax credit allows fuel retailers to sell cleaner-burning biodiesel at a price that is cost competitive with diesel, thereby lowering prices at the pump and encouraging the use of more environmentally friendly fuels.


EPW Transportation Reauthorization Bill Supports Freight Infrastructure Through 2025

WASHINGTON, DC… The Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC) applauds Chairman Barasso (R-WY), Ranking Member Carper (D-DE) and members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for approving the bipartisan America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 (ATIA) during today’s Committee markup.

“We applaud the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for introducing a bipartisan reauthorization bill that responds to the core funding and policy objectives of our Coalition,” said Paul Hubler, Chairman of CAGTC and Director of Government and Community Relations for the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments in Los Angeles County. “Specifically, we appreciate and support the robust funding increases proposed for the national discretionary and formula grant programs for freight and highway projects, as well as significantly increasing amounts that can be awarded to port, rail and multimodal projects.”

EPW has begun reauthorization by releasing proposed legislation that includes sustained, unprecedented levels of investment in our national freight network. Among the bill highlights are:

Increases INFRA/ Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program funding to $5.5 billion over five years (the FAST Act authorized the program at $4.5 billion over five years). Funds available to multimodal projects through this program increases significantly – from a cap of $500 million over five years to a cap of 30% annually, or $1.65 billion. The proposal also calls for transparency measures in the grant decision making process; and,

Increases freight formula program funding to $8.5 billion over five years (the FAST Act authorized the program at $6.3 billion over five years) and raises the amount that can be invested annually in multimodal freight infrastructure from a cap of 10% of project funds available to multimodal projects, to a cap of 30%, or $2.55 billion.

“We’re very pleased by the EPW Committee’s surface transportation authorization proposal, in particular, the Committee’s call for increased funding dedicated to freight through the INFRA program as well as the freight formula program. These funding levels are unprecedented, as is the Committee’s call for flexibility in allowing increased investment across all freight modes. CAGTC has championed robust, dedicated, and flexible freight funding since our establishment in 2001,” stated CAGTC Executive Director Elaine Nessle. “As the reauthorization bill moves forward, we look forward to working with the Senate Finance Committee to ensure these freight funding provisions become law.”

CAGTC has long maintained that investment in freight infrastructure will pay dividends by improving America’s competiveness in global markets while mitigating the safety and environmental impacts of goods movement through our communities.

For more information on the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, please visit www.tradecorridors.org


As Truck Driver Shortage Worsens,Trucking Companies Begin Recruiting Women

To help remedy a critical truck driver shortage, U.S. trucking companies are more heavily recruiting women. Advanced Training Systems president and CEO John Kearney says that simulator training will play a key role in readying these new drivers for the road.

 

(St. Petersburg, FL) August 12, 2019—Recent projections from American Trucking Association (ATA) indicate that the trucker shortage is expected to double over the next decade. Since more than 70 percent of the nation’s total freight moves by truck, the impact of this shortage cannot be overstated.[1] “Long-haul trucking is the hardest hit,” said John Kearney, CEO of Advanced Training Systems, a leading designer and manufacturer of virtual simulators for driver training. “To address this problem, U.S. trucking companies are widening their recruiting efforts to include a segment of the population they have long ignored—women.”

 

ATA figures show that the female component of the U.S. trucker population has increased slowly over the last 15 years, from 4.5 percent in 2003 to roughly six percent in 2018.[2]

The median annual wage for U.S. truck drivers is $44,500, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics[3]. However, some companies are paying much more to try to fill jobs. Walmart is paying truck drivers an average of more than $87,000 annually.[4]

 

In Kansas, Sen. Jerry Moran is crafting a bill that would promote more women in the trucking industry. The bill proposes the creation of an advisory board within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to provide training, education and recruitment of female truck drivers.[5]

 

Despite the alluring salary, women have concerns about going into the field. Being away from home for long periods of time, vehicles perceived to be uncomfortable and difficult to drive and physical safety have been obstacles to women becoming truck drivers.

 

The industry is seeking to address those concerns and make the environment safer and better for women, Kearney said.

 

Advantages to having more women in trucking may go beyond reducing the trucker shortage. It would also improve highway safety overall. A report by the American Transportation Research Institute found that women truck drivers outscore men in several important safety areas. Women are 20 percent less likely to be involved in a crash, are 45 percent less likely to participate in logbook violations and are 60 percent less likely to commit hours-of-service violations.3

 

Another way companies are trying to bring more women into the industry is by offering family-friendly benefits. Prime Inc., a trucking company, offers passenger permits that allow drivers to bring family and pets along, a video system embedded in the truck for drivers to connect with their families from the road and guaranteed time off.[6]

 

One issue that has been an obstacle is safety, but companies are addressing this with sexual harassment awareness training and self-defense classes. Women in Trucking, an organization dedicated to encouraging females to become truckers and providing resources for women on the road, has offered free self-defense courses in light of the #MeToo movement last March.[7]

 

“The industry as a whole wants to become a better place for women to work,” Kearney said. “The emphasis on simulator training bears out what we’ve been saying for a long time: it should be mandatory for the whole industry, just as it is for pilots. Another big factor is automatic transmissions, which is making it an easier job for everybody. There’s a lot more to do, but we are committed to making trucking a profession a woman can successfully start with and stay with.”

 

About Advanced Training Systems LLC: 

Advanced Training Systems (ATS) is a technology and engineering firm that has revolutionized the design and manufacture of high-tech simulator systems to improve training for operators of all types of motor-powered vehicles. ATS, the holder of multiple patents in its field, is dedicated to providing cutting-edge adaptive training at an affordable cost to all involved in the transportation industry, resulting in more qualified drivers/operators and safer streets. For more information, visit www.atstrainingsystems.com 

 

[1] Cassidy, William B., “US truckload carriers still short drivers: ATA,” Journal of Commerce, July 24, 2019.

 

[2] Connley, Courtney, “Just 6 percent of America’s truck drivers are women—here’s what it’s like,” CNBC, June 18, 2018.

[3] “Occupational Employment Statistics.” Www.bls.gov, 29 Mar. 2019

[4] Kerenzulli, Kerri. “Walmart Is Hiring Hundreds of Truck Drivers and Paying Them Close to $90,000 a Year.” CNBC, CNBC, 29 Jan. 2019

 

[5] Gallagher, John. “U.S. Lawmaker Wants to Break Barriers to Women Truckers.” Freightwaves.com, 11 Aug. 2019

 

[6] Drive For Prime. “For Trucker Families: Being A Truck Driver With A Family.” Drive For Prime, Drive For Prime, 6 Apr. 2018

 

[7] Everett, Brynn. “Women In Trucking Association Partners with Survive Institute to Offer Free 90-Minute Self-Defense Course.” Home, 12 Mar. 2018

 

ATA Releases Updated Driver Shortage Report and Forecast- Industry Ended 2018 Short More Than 60,000 Drivers

Arlington, VA…. The American Trucking Associations released its latest examination of the driver shortage, finding the industry needed 60,800 more drivers at the end of 2018 to meet the country’s demands for freight services.

“Over the past 15 years, we’ve watched the shortage rise and fall with economic trends, but it ballooned last year to the highest level we’ve seen to date,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The combination of a surging freight economy and carriers’ need for qualified drivers could severely disrupt the supply chain. The increase in the driver shortage should be a warning to carriers, shippers and policymakers because if conditions don’t change substantively, our industry could be short just over 100,000 drivers in five years and 160,000 drivers in 2028.”

The report, which can be downloaded here, details the factors that contribute to the shortage, including an aging driver population, increases in freight volumes and competition from other blue-collar careers. It also outlines potential market and policy solutions. While the report covers the entire trucking industry, the bulk of the shortage is in the over-the-road for-hire truckload market.

“The trucking industry needs to find ways to attract more and younger drivers,” Costello said. “Right now, the average age of an over-the-road driver is 46 years old, and almost as alarming is that the average age of a new driver being trained is 35 years old.

“Whether by removing barriers for younger drivers to begin careers as drivers, attracting more demographic diversity into the industry, or easing the transition for veterans, we need to do more to recruit and retain drivers,” he said. “That includes increasing pay, which happened at a brisk pace last year, to keep pace with demand, addressing lifestyle factors like getting drivers more time at home, and improving conditions on the job like reducing wait times at shipper facilities.”

In order to meet the nation’s freight demand, the report says the trucking industry will need to hire 1.1 million new drivers over the next decade – an average of 110,000 per year to replace retiring drivers and keep up with growth in the economy.


ATA Tells Congress to Put Brakes on Spread of Tolls

Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations told a House subcommittee that the use of tolls to finance infrastructure construction and maintenance was inefficient, unsafe and damaging to the trucking industry.

While the trucking industry is willing to pay its fair share for infrastructure improvement, we believe that tolls are not the right solution, and in fact can be very harmful to our industry, our customers and ultimately, to consumers,” YRC Worldwide Inc. CEO Darren Hawkins told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways & Transit on behalf of ATA.

In his testimony, Hawkins cited inefficiencies in toll collection, traffic diversion and misdirection of toll funds as significant problems with tolling when compared to other financing methods.

“Tolling has very high collection costs relative to other highway user fees,” he said. “While the cost of collection has come down with the introduction of transponders, costs can still exceed 10 percent. On some major toll facilities, these costs are much higher. On the Ohio Turnpike, for example, 19 cents out of every dollar is spent collecting tolls, while the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s collection costs exceed 20 percent. Contrast this with the 0.2 percent cost of collecting federal fuel taxes.

“Clearly, the waste that goes into collecting a toll is simply unacceptable when far more efficient alternatives are available. Our user fees should be used to build roads, not toll road bureaucracies,” he said.

Hawkins also warned that because of federal funding shortfalls, states are abusing tolls to fund other projects at the expense of tollpayers, particularly the trucking industry.

“Federal law allows states to shift excess toll revenue to any Title 23 eligible purpose. This results in toll payers bankrolling projects that they may not benefit from,” he said. “In addition, because the vast majority of roads can’t support tolls, a small minority of motorists can be saddled with the subsidization of a state’s surface transportation system, regardless of whether the toll payers benefit.”

Because tolls are only even a potential solution for a handful of projects, Hawkins urged Congress to do more to fund infrastructure so states aren’t forced to look to tolling or other riskier financing schemes.

“It is important to note that tolls will not solve the most important challenge facing this subcommittee – the impending bankruptcy of the Highway Trust Fund. Failure to address the shortfall will continue to induce states to consider bad options like tolls,” he said. “ATA and nearly every organization that cares about surface transportation efficiency has proposed an increase in the fuel tax to address these needs, and we urge your support.” 


ATA Truck Tonnage Index Surged 6.6% in July Index 7.3% Higher than July 2018

Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 6.6% in July after falling 1.2% in June. In July, the index equaled 122.7 (2015=100) compared with 115.1 in June.

“Tonnage in 2019 has been on a rollercoaster ride, plagued with large monthly swings, which continued in July as tonnage surged after falling significantly in May and June,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “However, take out the month-to-month noise, and you see that truck tonnage is still on a nice upward path. 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.” 

June’s reading was revised down compared with our July press release.

Compared with July 2018, the SA index surged 7.3%, the largest year-over-year gain since April. 

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 122.8 in July, 4.5% above June level (117.5). 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. 


CTA Asks Provincial Transport Ministers to Apply ELDs to Provincially-Regulated Carriers

The Canadian Trucking Alliance recently wrote to each provincial transportation minister, urging them to adopt recently announced federal rules mandating third-party certified electronic logging devices (ELDs).

While the rules announced by Transport Canada last month cover federally-regulated carriers, CTA is calling on all jurisdictions in Canada to announce and have in place ELD regulations for provincially-regulated carriers, thereby applying ELD requirements nationally for both provincially- and federally-regulated carriers whose drivers are required to maintain a logbook. It is critical to transition the federally-and provincially-regulated fleets from their existing paper-based compliance regime to an electronic one, based on each jurisdiction’s existing application and operational processes.

CTA reminded the ministers how fatigue and distracted driving related collisions, as well as hours-of-service related violations like those documented in the Humboldt Bronco bus-truck collision investigation, will be reduced with the introduction of third-party certified ELDs for all carriers whose drivers are required to maintain a logbook, regardless of whether they are provincially or federally regulated.

“The non-compliant hours of service behaviour shown by the carrier and driver involved Humboldt tragedy (federally-regulated) is easily imitated by a minority of provincially regulated carriers. Non-compliant behaviour that leads to road safety risks knows no boundaries and certainly does not distinguish between provincially and federally regulated carriers when it comes to hours of service regulations,” the letter stated. “In our view, the events and timeframes in the days prior to the Humboldt collision would have been much more transparent under an ELD regime. We must end the opportunities for this egregious and unsafe behaviour regardless of whether the trucking company crosses provincial/territorial boundaries or offers services within a jurisdiction.

“It was happenstance the carrier involved in the Humboldt collision was federally regulated; the collision could have just as easily involved a non-compliant provincially regulated carrier,” the letter continued. “As responsible industry representatives and governments, we are responsible for regulating the industry to the best of our ability by ensuring that gaps between federally- and provincially-regulated carriers with respect to hours of service compliance and monitoring are eliminated.” 

CTA added the solution to reducing red tape for industry and government is also just as clear.

“Why should there be two methods for hours-of-service monitoring (ELD and paper) when modern, third-party-compliant ELDs are far superior. Asking government officials to enforce an outdated, time consuming, unsafe paper system – in concert with a proven, robust electronic method seems to make little sense from both a safety and administrative cost perspective,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “Now is the time to streamline the compliance verification methods required by industry and monitored by the professional enforcement teams across the county in the interest of elevating public safety and reducing red tape.”


Cummins Expands Its X15 Portfolio With New Efficiency And Productivity Series For 2020

COLUMBUS, IN… Cummins Inc. is expanding its 2020 X15 portfolio with a new X15 Efficiency Series engine and the X15 Productivity Series offering operational efficiency without compromising the performance and drivability that drivers demand. 

The 2020 X15 Efficiency Series engine delivers up to 5% better fuel economy than the prior X15 Efficiency Series engine and is designed for increased uptime and improved driver satisfaction. It has an industry-leading maintenance schedule, including an oil-drain interval of up to 75,000 miles. The new X15 Productivity Series offering has the broadest range of ratings in the industry which means it can serve even more markets.

“We are proud of the performance and reliability of the X15 engine platform,” said Brett Merritt, Vice President – On-Highway Engine Business at Cummins. “The new 2020 X15 Efficiency Series engine provides improved fuel economy and further reduces greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why we’re bringing our new X15 Efficiency Series engine and X15 Productivity Series offering to the market a year ahead of regulation requirements.”

Greater Efficiency and Total Cost of Ownership – the X15 Efficiency Series

The 2020 X15 Efficiency Series brings customers unparalleled reliability and efficiency in the heavy-duty trucking market.

“Since the launch of the X15 platform in 2017, customers are hitting or exceeding fuel mileage targets and only performing preventative maintenance to the product. With a 2020 X15 Efficiency Series engine, customer benefits will only improve,” Merritt continued.

Engine hardware enhancements to the Efficiency Series provide better air handling and lower friction, delivering up to 3.5% fuel economy improvements to the base engine offering. Lower oil consumption is expected with modified liner geometry in the power cylinder. Valve adjustments have been made for increased durability.

With a customer’s total cost of ownership in mind, Cummins has an industry-leading oil drain interval (ODI) of up to 75,000 for the X15 in 2020. An ODI of up to 80,000 miles is available to customers using Valvoline Premium Blue 15W-40. For added value, customers participating in Cummins OilGuard program have the potential to increase to a 100,000-mile ODI. These extensions will decrease maintenance costs and improve vehicle uptime for customers, all while protecting their coverage under warranty should they need it. 

With a comprehensive set of ratings in the X15 Efficiency Series, customers have the power of choice to select what is right for their operations. 

EX Ratings: The New Integrated Power Offering with the X15 Efficiency Series

The new EX ratings offered in the X15 Efficiency Series deliver expanded powertrain capabilities that can deliver up to an additional 1.5% fuel efficiency increase on top of the improvements gained through base engine hardware and feature enhancements. These ratings contain the full suite of powertrain features, including not only all prior ADEPT features, but new capabilities such as predictive gear shifting, predictive braking, on-ramp boost and dynamic power, delivering powertrain performance and driver satisfaction across an entire fleet.

Powertrain features in the EX ratings are available exclusively with the X15 Efficiency Series engine when paired with the Endurant transmission from the Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies joint venture. For more information about the X15 Efficiency Series ratings visit cummins.tech/efficiency-series.

“The EX ratings represent the incredible gains that come from the integration of industry leading engine and transmission technologies. Customers, in one easy selection, receive an optimized powertrain already configured for the highest levels of efficiency and drivability. We were able to make these improvements without compromising the power drivers demand, which means everyone wins,” said Merritt. 

Response When it Counts – the X15 Productivity Series

The X15 Productivity Series ratings are designed for multi-purpose, vocational and heavy-haul customers who look not only for efficiency in their powertrain, but also response and performance needed to get the job done thanks to a wider engine speed range.

The introduction of the Productivity Series brings even more ratings to give customers the power of choice. With six new ratings available in 2020 and the inclusion of four former Performance Series ratings, customers can find the right solution for their application. 

The Productivity Series offering is comprised of two different engine hardware sets, common with either the 2020 X15 Efficiency Series or the X15 Performance Series. For more information about the X15 Productivity Series ratings visit cummins.tech/productivity-series.

Unprecedented Power to Round Out the Portfolio – the X15 Performance Series

In 2020, Cummins is offering the same X15 Performance Series engine customers have come to trust. With no changes to the product in 2020 the X15 Performance Series still dominates the big-bore industry with exceptional transient response and the most powerful engine brake. 

The 2020 X15 Performance Series contains seven ratings, with four former Performance Series ratings moving to the Productivity Series offering. For more information about the X15 Productivity Series ratings visit cummins.tech/performance-series.


Support for the Road Ahead

With the broadest support network in the industry and comprehensive warranty and extended coverage options, Cummins is prepared to back its product in the field. With a suite of Connected Solutions, Cummins expertise is with customers no matter what their needs are – remote calibration updates with Connected Software Updates, insights into fleet health with Connected Diagnostics, or solution-based reporting and intelligent service scheduling with Connected Advisor – because customer support goes beyond delivering the right hardware.

“We know that staying on the road is what customers need to meet their business goals, and we are committed to delivering products that help them be as successful as possible,” concluded Merritt. 


Industry Executive Touts Benefits of Trade to Trucking Werner Enterprises CEO Calls on Congress to Ratify USMCA

Arlington, VA… Werner Enterprises President and CEO Derek Leathers urged Congress to quickly ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in order to advance the critical trading relationship between the U.S. and its North American neighbors.

“Failing to pass the USMCA would have a negative impact on truck drivers along with the customers we serve across North America: manufacturers, farmers, retailers, and consumers,” Leathers told the Senate Finance Committee on behalf of ATA. “Ratification will provide certainty and usher in a new era of increased innovation, more good-paying American jobs, and sustained economic growth.”

In his testimony, Leathers highlighted the importance of trade with Mexico and Canada to the U.S. trucking industry, which moves roughly 76% of all goods that are shipped between the three countries.

“Every day, there are 33,000 truck entries across our northern and southern borders—hauling more than $2 billion of goods,” he said. “To put this in perspective: 12.2 million truck crossings moved approximately $772 billion of goods across our Canadian and Mexican borders in 2018.” 

Because of how interconnected the U.S. economy has become with Mexico and Canada since the 1994 enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement, failing to ratify the USMCA would have a serious negative impact on the trucking industry, putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk.

“The USMCA represents more than a trade agreement. The flow of commerce between our nations has become a major cornerstone of our economy, supporting the livelihood of roughly 90,000 people employed in the U.S. trucking industry, including nearly 60,000 U.S. truck drivers,” he said.  


Latest Freight Forecast Projects 25.6% Increase in Tonnage by 2030 - Freight and Logistics Revenues to Top $1.6 Trillion Annually in a Decade

Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations released its latest ATA Freight Transportation Forecast: 2019 to 2030, an annual projection of the state of the freight economy, showing continued growth in the industry.

“America’s trucking industry, and the overall freight transportation industry, are poised to experience strong growth over the next decade as the country’s economy and population grow,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Our annual Freight Forecast is a valuable look at where we are headed so leaders in business and government can make important decisions about investments and policy.”

Among the findings in this year’s Forecast:

* Overall freight tonnage will grow to 20.6 billion tons in 2030, up 25.6% from 2019’s projection of 16.4 billion tons.

* Freight industry revenues will increase 53.8% to $1.601 trillion over the next decade.

* Trucking’s share of total freight tonnage will dip to 68.8% in 2030 from 71.1% this year, even as tonnage grows to 14.2 billion tons in 2030 from 11.7 billion tons.

* Trucking and total rail transportation will lose relative marketshare, even as revenues and tonnage grows, while intermodal rail, air and domestic waterborne transportation will show modest growth and pipeline transportation will experience explosive growth – surging 17.1% in tonnage and 8.6% in revenue over the next decade.

“Freight Forecast clearly lays out why meeting challenges like infrastructure and workforce development are so critical to our industry’s success,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “It belongs on the desk of every decision maker in our industry and in the supply chain.”

ATA Freight Transportation Forecast: 2019 to 2030 is available for sale now at ATA Business Solutions.


MECP Increasing Powers in Fight Against Emissions Tampering

Canada… The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) is ramping up their enforcement powers by updating legislation to help combat the widespread use of emissions-control delete kits and tampering throughout the province. 

During recent amendments to Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act (OEPA) MECP made changes to their enforcement policies that makes tampering restrictions applicable to out-of-province vehicles on Ontario roads and now allows them to seize plates from any vehicle (regardless of domicile) where the emissions systems have been tampered with while operating in Ontario. Officers previously had the ability to seize plates/permits, but the legislation was only applicable to Ontario-plated vehicles. 

Additional amendments will also allow for the levying of larger administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) that can be issued by the ministry against companies found to be non-compliant, instead of the traditional fines and tickets issued by Ontario Courts under the Provincial Offences Act.

MECP is also in the process of amending additional regulations under the EPA to strengthen their enforcement abilities against those who sell, distribute and install delete kits in Ontario. Proposed amendments are expected later this year. 

“These changes signal a true commitment from the provincial government to clean up our air and create a level playing field for all trucking businesses that are operating in Ontario,” says Stephen Laskowski, president, Ontario Trucking Association. “These amendments are a great first step and will help ensure that all carriers that tamper with their emissions systems and pollute in our province will be held accountable for their actions.”

Last year, the MECP announced the beginning of a consultation process to help redesign the heavy truck emissions program. OTA submitted comments to MECP regarding the redesign of the Drive Clean program, including stronger roadside enforcement on emissions and speed limiter component tampering. Trucks that are governed at 105 km/h have shown to provide significant GHG reductions compared to trucks that don’t have speed limiters. 

It is anticipated that a draft regulation will be published later this year, along with the formation of an industry/government working group to deal with a number of technical issues related to the use of delete kits, enforcement and other areas.


NATSO Urges EPW Committee to Pass Surface Transportation Bill

Alexandria, VA… NATSO, the national association representing the travel plaza and truckstop industry, today urged the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to advance its five-year $287 billion highway reauthorization bill, “America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act.”

NATSO applauded the Committee for ensuring that highway and infrastructure programs are adequately funded without repealing the federal prohibitions on tolling existing interstates or commercializing rest areas.

“We applaud Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.) for introducing a bipartisan effort to address the nation’s critical infrastructure needs through ‘America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019’,” said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. “This measure marks a step in the right direction when it comes to enhancing supply chain efficiencies, while also harnessing the private sector’s ingenuity to take meaningful steps to improve the environment. We urge the Committee to advance this legislation during its markup on July 30.”

NATSO is supportive of the Committee’s effort to establish a grant program that would stimulate private investment in electric vehicle charging and natural gas refueling stations along designated highway corridors. Private sector investment in alternative fuels such as electricity and natural gas are key to meeting the fueling needs of the traveling public.

It is NATSO’s hope that policymakers will steer grants toward projects where private capital is being placed at risk, rather than toward public utilities that inappropriately use their monopolistic stature to crowd out private investment in EV charging infrastructure.

NATSO strongly supports private sector investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the travel plaza and truckstop community is making significant investments in this regard.

When public utilities spread the costs for EV charging infrastructure to all ratepayers — regardless of whether the ratepayers own an electric vehicle – it amounts to a regressive wealth redistribution whereby middle and lower class Americans help subsidize the costs of wealthy Americans to recharge their electric vehicles. It also gives utilities a leg up in the market that allows them to unfairly compete with the private sector. Awarding grant money to those public utilities that utilize rate payer dollars to invest in electric vehicle charging would effectively allow them to “double dip” and ultimately undercut private sector investment in EV charging. 


Senate Bill Marks Progress On Clean Transportation And Electric Vehicles, But Leaves A Lot To Be Desired

WASHINGTON — The Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works unveiled a major transportation bill which includes a section on climate change that shifts some federal highway money to Complete Streets — a program that makes streets safer for walking and biking. The legislation also moves money toward investments in public transportation designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and authorizes funding for an expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

That said, the section on climate change represents only about three percent of the total funding authorized by the bill with the rest leaning heavily towards highway funding. The bill also relaxes the environmental review process of projects.

Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Transportation Campaign director, issued the following statement:

“Some commitment to climate change in the Senate committee’s bill is a step in the right direction. To meet the public health and climate challenges we’re facing, we need to transform our transportation system. That means we must stop spending money on building highways and instead invest in clean, modern and reliable public transportation and robust, accessible and safe walking and biking options. Not only will these investments reduce pollution, but they will also support more livable communities. 

“While some attention to this essential issue marks progress, we clearly still have a long way to go. These are positive provisions in a bill that is still flawed overall. It heavily skews funding in favor of highways over cleaner and more sustainable transportation investments. Only through dramatic change can we ensure Americans have the freedom to drive less and live more.”

Morgan Folger, Environment America Clean Cars Campaign director, issued the following statement:

“With the threat of climate change looming larger than ever, we need to stop burning fossil fuels and transition to clean, renewable energy sources in every aspect of our lives. This especially includes cars and trucks. While increasing funding for electric vehicle charging stations laid out in this bill is a positive step forward, our national leaders should go even further to accelerate the transition to all-electric cars and trucks. Too much is at stake to act otherwise. 

“We’re glad to see more funding to address climate change in this bill. However, we oppose other provisions in the bill like the one that revokes the environmental review process for oil and gas pipelines in public lands. Running more oil and gas pipelines through our beautiful public lands is an accident waiting to happen, will increase harmful global warming pollution, and only further prolongs our unsustainable addiction to fossil fuels.”


TCA Committed to Working with FMCSA on HOS

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to make changes to the federal hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. These include granting additional flexibility for drivers utilizing a truck’s sleeper berth, standardizing the 14-hour driving window for short-haul drivers, alterations to the 30-minute rest break requirements, and updates to the definition and use of the adverse driving conditions exemption. We are grateful to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, FMCSA Administrator Raymond Martinez, and the entire FMCSA staff for their efforts to understand the legitimate concerns of the industry and work with all stakeholders to enact policy reflecting the true conditions on our nation’s highways. TCA President John Lyboldt stated, “We applaud the Agency’s efforts to create safety-first, data-driven regulations. The initiative to reduce roadway fatalities represents an industry lift for which TCA is committed to uniting with our federal agency partners.” 

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is pleased to see that FMCSA will be soliciting input from the public, and we look forward to submitting our comments on this NPRM. We also encourage all TCA members and the wider trucking industry to provide input to FMCSA, particularly using data from electronic logging devices. Commenters should utilize their data to prove the need for regulatory changes to grant full sleeper-berth flexibility to improve the driver’s workday, improve safety, and remove unnecessary burdens hindering the free flow of commerce in this country. TCA will provide more information to members on how to submit your comments in the coming days.