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Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

December, 2017

ATA Board Endorses Comprehensive Automated Truck Policy

Orlando, FL… The Board of Directors of the American Trucking Associations unanimously approved the federation’s first-ever policy for the development of automated trucks.

“Over the past year, ATA has been active in this debate, advocating for recognition of the importance of the trucking industry when it comes to the development of automated vehicles,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said. “The adoption of this policy gives a clear direction about what our industry will expect and require as policymakers establish a comprehensive framework for automated vehicles.”

“Automated and connected vehicle technologies have the potential to dramatically impact nearly all aspects of the trucking industry. These technologies can bring benefits in the areas of safety, environment, productivity, efficiency, and driver health and wellness,” the introduction to the 21-point policy states. “Automated driving technology is the next step in the evolution of the safety technology currently available, and will help to further improve driver safety and productivity, as well as the safety of other motorists and road users. Automated technology comes in many levels that will assist the driver and in some cases, handle the driving task. The application of automated and connected vehicle technology in the trucking industry will center on solutions in which there remains a role for drivers, recognizing the duties and requirements drivers have beyond operating the vehicle.”

ATA’s new policy covers a variety of topics including safety, the roles of the federal and state governments, uniformity across state lines, infrastructure and education. “ATA has always been at the leading edge of developments in the trucking industry, and now with this policy in hand, we are poised to continue leading this industry into a more automated future,” said ATA Chairman Dave Manning, president of TCW Inc. “I’d like to thank all the ATA staff and members who worked diligently in crafting this foundational document and look forward to the challenge of using it to advocate on behalf of our industry.”


ATA Commends House For Passing Tax Reform To Help “Get the Economy Moving Ahead at Full Speed”

Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations issued the following statement, commending the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:”

“We applaud the House for passing the first major tax reform legislation in three decades, a bill that will enhance the U.S. economy by encouraging business investment and producing good-paying American jobs,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear.

“As the employer of more than seven million American workers and an industry that moves seventy percent of the nation’s freight, the trucking industry knows full well how simplifying our nation’s onerous tax code will get our economy moving ahead at full speed,” said Spear.

“We believe the three basic tenets embodied in the tax reform package—lowering tax rates on business income, broadening the tax base to render it more equitable, and simplifying the enormously complex tax code—will benefit all sectors of the industry represented by the ATA,” said ATA Chairman Dave Manning, president of TCW Inc., Nashville, Tennessee. “That includes not only large fleets, but the 97 percent of the industry made up of small businesses who operate fewer than twenty trucks.”

“We thank Speaker Paul Ryan and Chairman Kevin Brady for their leadership that led to the swift passage of this legislation, and we now encourage the Senate to pass a tax reform bill that will provide incentives for significant, long-term growth for our economy,” said Manning.


ATA Congratulates 2017 EPA SmartWay Excellence Award Winners

Orlando, FL… American Trucking Associations congratulated the 28 winners of the EPA SmartWay Excellence Awards – most notably the 10 members of ATA who were honored during the ATA Management Conference & Exhibition.

“EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership is an example of how the trucking industry can work in a way that improves the environmental sustainability of the global supply chain,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We are honored to partner with SmartWay in a joint effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce fuel use within the trucking sector. The EPA has chosen companies that genuinely desire to improve their efficiency while continuing to lead the industry. We are grateful that their work is being recognized.”

“As the SmartWay program completes its 13th year, the EPA recognizes its top Carrier Partners for their commitment to innovating transportation systems to become more efficient and environmentally aware,” said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation & Air Quality. “The nation depends on the trucking industry to deliver America’s goods, and these award-winning SmartWay carriers have demonstrated that it is possible to place an emphasis on environmental integrity while maintaining status atop the industry’s leaders. Lowering greenhouse gas emissions has the dual benefit of increasing revenue and reducing fuel costs.”

Among this year’s winners of the SmartWay Excellence Award are ATA members: Bison Transport Inc.; Contract Transportation Services Co.; Diversified Automotive Inc.; Meijer; Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.; Penske Truck Leasing; Rocha Transportation; Royal Trucking Company; Walmart Transportation LLC and Werner Enterprises Inc.

EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership is a market-driven initiative that empowers businesses to move goods in the cleanest, most energy-efficient way possible, while protecting public health and reducing the impacts of climate change. Demonstration of a commitment to corporate sustainability and social responsibility through SmartWay provides for a more competitive and environmentally-friendly business environment.

Since 2004, SmartWay Partners have saved 170.3 million barrels of oil—the equivalent of eliminating annual energy use in over 6 million homes and $24.9 billion in fuel costs. SmartWay’s clean air achievements (72.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, 1,458,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 59,000 tons of particulate matter emissions avoided) help protect citizens’ well being.


ATA Honors California’s Yadon with President’s TAEC Award

Orlando, FL… California Trucking Association President Shawn Yadon was named the 16th recipient of the American Trucking Associations’ President’s Trucking Association Executives Council Leadership Award during the group’s annual Management Conference & Exhibition.

“Shawn has shown a desire to better his association and the trucking industry through his work,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “His efforts in the state of California have been an example for state association executives across the country to follow, and we are proud to present him this award.”

Yadon has been CTA president since 2014. As the leader of the trucking association in the most populous U.S. state, Yadon navigates unique challenges that have a significant impact on the country’s wider economy. In a challenging legislative environment, Yadon has excelled, securing a fuel tax increase and working to protect trucking’s independent contractor model.

“ATA has a vast network and good relation with all state federations, so we are proud to now sponsor this award,” said ATA Chairman Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express Inc. “Shawn is a great friend and a tremendous leader for our industry. He has set the bar high for his state association and is an example of how to represent the ATA and trucking industry well.”

TAEC is comprised of staff executives of state trucking associations and conferences affiliated with the American Trucking Associations. TAEC serves to promote the trucking industry; contribute to the improvement of the associations and organizations established to serve the trucking industry; and advance the professional stature and capabilities of the managers and executives of such associations.

The President’s TAEC Leadership Award was created in 2002 by ATA to honor a state trucking association leader and to create an enduring legacy for that leader and for the industry. The award comes with a $10,000 grant for a non-profit 501(c)(3) trucking education or research organization chosen by Yadon.

“In the short time Shawn has been at CTA, he has been a great partner for other state executives and a dependable asset for the wider trucking industry,” said TAEC President Kendra Hems, president of the Trucking Association of New York. “The entire state trucking association community is thrilled to recognize Shawn with the Award and it is a pleasure to have him as a peer in the industry.”

Prior to joining CTA, Shawn served eight years at Copart Inc. as vice president of corporate affairs. Before that, Shawn spent six years leading E*TRADE’s state government affairs efforts and before that, Shawn spent 19 years with FedEx, including his last 11 years as the company’s chief government affairs representative in the western United States.

ATA also honored TAEC executives Dan Furth, president of the National Tank Truck Carriers, and Rick Clasby, executive director of the Utah Trucking Association, for their five years of service to the trucking industry.


ATA Honors the Year’s Best in Trucking

Orlando, FL… American Trucking Associations recognized the winners of several of the industry’s top honors as part of the association’s Leadership and Awards Luncheon at its annual Management Conference & Exhibition.

“This industry provides constant examples of hard work and professionalism exhibited by its people on a daily basis,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Today, we take a moment to honor groups of people and companies that have gone above and beyond in the pursuit of excellence to earn the title of champion and promote safety throughout our vital industry.”

Among those honored were:

•Roland Bolduc, a professional driver with FedEx Express from East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and the 2017 National Truck Driving Championships Bendix

Grand Champion;

•Mark McLean, a FedEx Freight technician from Montgomery, New York, who won his third Grand Champion title at the TMC SuperTech competition;

•ATA National Truck Driver of the Year Gary Plant, a professional driver with Walmart Transportation in Loveland, Colorado. Plant has more than 41 years of professional driving and has accumulated 4.4 million accident-free miles.

In addition, ATA also honored three fleets with the ATA’s President’s Award:

•Fortune Transportation is a for-hire, general commodities truckload fleet in Windom, Minnesota, for fleets under 25 million miles;

•A. Duie Pyle, West Chester, Pennsylvania, for fleets between 25 million and 100 million miles and;

•Ruan Transportation headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, for fleets with more than 100 million miles.

The ATA President’s Award goes to fleets who demonstrate innovative approaches to safety and go above and beyond to keep America’s highways safe.

In addition, ATA announced the winners of its first annual 5K Fun Run/Walk, sponsored by Velociti and Rolling Strong. In the men’s category, the winners were: Eric Parker, Mirza Kazarcin and Kevin Forbes. And in the women’s category, the winners were: Anna Spear, Yulia Lama and Rachel Cooper. The top finishing America’s Road Team Captain was Dion Saiz, FedEx Freight.


ATA Presents 2017 Mike Russell Trucking Image Award Winners at MCE

Orlando, FL… American Trucking Associations honored a professional truck driver, a state trucking association, an industry non-profit and a motor carrier with the ninth annual Mike Russell Trucking Image Award.

“Every person working in the trucking industry has the responsibility to advocate on its behalf and demonstrate the safety-first mentality of the trucking industry to the public,” said ATA Chairman Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express Inc. “The winners we present today embody this award. These companies, organizations and individuals have gone above and beyond over the past several years to establish positive awareness of the trucking industry.”

This year’s winners are:

•The Arkansas Trucking Association Foundation for their organization’s efforts to leverage local relationships to amplify the American Trucking Associations national agenda, and setting an example of how to build a network of advocates who positively represent the trucking industry;

•Load One for their substantial involvement in Trucking Moves America Forward and company-wide efforts to elevate pro-trucking national statements through their image programs, trailer wraps, and work in their local community;

•Truckers Against Trafficking for their outreach in the community, on social media, and on the highways to put an end to human trafficking;

•Herschel Evans, Holland Inc., for representing the industry through his role as an America’s Road Team Captain, lifetime commitment to safe driving, and his establishment of the Safety Drive for a Cure truck driving competition to support the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, which has grown to attract national attention and tens of thousands of dollars in donations.

The Mike Russell Trucking Image Awards are named in honor of the late Mike Russell, a trucking industry supporter and former ATA vice president of public affairs, and are sponsored by HireRight.

“The Mike Russell Trucking Image Award helps us recognize the ways in which individuals, organizations, and companies are committed to promoting the trucking industry to the public in new ways,” said Steven Spencer, managing director of transportation at HireRight. “These award winners continue to contribute to the advancement of our industry’s positive message and magnify the work of the many great people working in the trucking industry.”


ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 0.9% in September Tonnage Index Up 7.4% from Year Earlier

Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SAFor-Hire Truck Tonnage Index slipped 0.9% in September, following a 4.7% gain during August. In September, the index equaled 144.4 (2000=100), down from 145.7 in August.

Compared with September 2016, the SA index surged 7.4%. In August, the index increased 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. Year-to-date, compared with the same nine months in 2016, the index is up 2.4%.

As part of this report, ATA also revised its August increase in the index down to a 4.7% gain from the previously reported 7.1% increase.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 145.3 in September, which was 5% below the previous month (152.9).

“Tonnage gave back some of the solid gain in August, but remains at very high levels despite the weather-related issues during the month,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Going forward, rebuilding from those hurricanes and other natural disasters like the wildfires in California will add to freight demand.

“September’s small setback doesn’t worry me. Freight has been improving and I would have thought tonnage last month would have been softer than it was,” he said.


Motor Carrier Tax And Fee Changes Keep Oregon Moving

SALEM, OR… Motor carrier fees, such as registration fees and weight-mile taxes, help support Oregon’s transportation system – statewide and at the city and county levels.
The increased fees starting in 2018 are part of the Keep Oregon Moving funding package to improve our state’s transportation system and to enhance our economy.
The Oregon Legislature and Gov. Kate Brown approved House Bill 2017 to provide Oregonians with improved roads and bridges, more transportation options, and enhanced safety throughout the transportation system.

Here are some investments into the system that your fees are helping pay for:

•The bill will send the additional money to highway maintenance, preservation, seismic upgrades and safety, including specific projects across the state. It will increase the amount of money going to small cities and counties.

•It will create a Safe Routes to School infrastructure program in Oregon to reduce barriers and hazards to children walking or bicycling to and from school.

•It also will add accountability measures for the Department of Transportation, including additional requirements of the Oregon Transportation Commission. The bill also creates a permanent legislative joint committee on transportation responsible to oversee the department, including its policies and budget.

Along with improving Oregon’s transportation system for travelers, this transportation package will support Oregon’s economy by sustaining jobs, keeping freight moving, and providing a boost to local communities across the state.

Many new fees for motor carriers take effect January 1, 2018. Staff at the Motor Carrier Transportation Division are working hard to implement the changes in the bill prior to mailing your 2018 renewals

If you have questions about which changes apply to your operations, please contact our Phone Service Center at 503-378-6699.

Fees and taxes that changed include: weight mile taxes, road use assessment fees, weight receipt fees, over dimension single trip permit and continuous trip permit fees increased.

Fees that did not change include: Continuous operation variance permits (OD Annual permits that include county roads), heavy vehicle trip permits, temporary passes and most registration fees.

A detailed table of fees can be found on our web site at: www.oregon.gov/ODOT/MCT/Pages/HB2017_MotorCarrier….

For more information on the transportation package, visit: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Pages/HB2017.aspx


NATSO Statement on Biodiesel Tax Credit Letter

Alexandria, VA… On October 31, a diverse group of biodiesel producers, fuel retailers, and trucking interests sent a letter to Capitol Hill in support of extending and phasing out the biodiesel blenders’ tax credit, and outlining their opposition to efforts to shift the credit to a producers’ credit, as the tax-writing committees consider tax reform legislation.

David Fialkov, NATSO’s Vice President of Government Affairs, issued the following statement:
“This is a significant development because we have every segment of the biodiesel supply chain writing in support of extending and phasing out the blenders’ tax credit. The blenders’ credit has successfully incentivized fuel retailers to incorporate biodiesel into their fuel supply in a manner that enables them to lower their diesel prices. This benefits trucking fleets and drivers who get to pay less money for fuel and it benefits biodiesel producers who have a vibrant, growing demand for their product. The blenders’ credit is good for everyone.

“The only real surprise here is that there are a small handful of domestic biodiesel production companies who didn’t sign this letter. These companies, who represent approximately half of U.S. biodiesel production, continue to insist that the U.S. government pay them for simply making a product, regardless of whether the public wants to buy it. This may help them in the short-term but it doesn’t help their customers, and it certainly doesn’t help the truck drivers who they want to buy their product.  

“Phasing out the blenders’ credit over five years makes sense in the context of comprehensive tax reform where Congress is looking to lower rates, simplify the tax code, and foster economic growth. Shifting to a producers’ credit, on the other hand, is excessively complicated, would create a brand new tax expenditure and would result in higher fuel prices. 

“What’s more, it divides the stakeholder community. Fuel retailers do not support a producer credit. You don’t have to be Nostradamus to see that a divided stakeholder community makes it less likely that the biodiesel tax credit will be extended in any form. That would be undesirable for everyone. The companies that would be hurt the most, however, are not retailers, who will continue to sell fuel that their customers want to buy. It will be the small biodiesel producers who are unwittingly beholden to a flawed advocacy strategy.”


North American Trucking Associations Issue Statement of Support for NAFTA

Orlando, FL… The American Trucking Associations, along with the Canadian Trucking Alliance and Cámara Nacional del Autotransporte de Carga –CANACAR – the three largest trucking industry organizations in North America issued a joint statement encouraging their governments who are currently renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement to craft an updated pact that benefits all nations.

“The trucking industries in Canada, Mexico, and the United States have all benefited significantly from NAFTA and we, the national trucking associations from all three countries, urge negotiators to update the trade agreement in a manner that continues to benefit trade,” the statement reads in part. “We strongly encourage our governments to update NAFTA to keep North America competitive internationally. In this endeavor, making border crossings and rules governing international commercial transportation more efficient is a crucial element that will only help our industries make North America stronger.”

“Trucking and trade are synonymous,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “In the more than two decades since NAFTA was enacted, we have seen strong growth in trade – the majority of which is moved by truck – between the United States, Mexico and Canada. It is vital to the health of our industry and our economy that we maintain and strengthen these relationships.”

“Cross-border trade supports over 46,000 U.S. trucking jobs, including 31,000 U.S. truck drivers, and generates $6.5 billion in revenue for our industry annually,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “As the U.S. renegotiates this agreement with Canada and Mexico, we urge them to keep the tremendous benefits to our economy and our industry in mind.”


OTA: Trucks Safest Vehicles on the Road

Despite some recent dramatic media coverage, the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) assures the public the trucking industry’s commitment to road safety is at an all-time high.

The most recent province-wide truck related safety stats reflect the trucking industry’s strong commitment to road safety:

•Only 1.8 percent of large trucks involved in collisions between 2010-2014 had a defect that could have contributed to a crash.

•Between 2010-2014, persons killed in truck crashes represented 18.8% of fatalities in the province; however only 28.3% of those collisions police determined the truck driver was not driving properly (71.7% of the collisions were the result of an error by the other vehicle driver).

•Between 1995 and 2014 there has been a 66% decline in fatality rate from large truck collisions, while at the same time large truck vehicle registrations have increased by 75%.

“Our industry is committed to safety. The stats reflect that as do the actions of the vast majority of the professional operators on Ontario’s highways,” said OTA president Stephen Laskowski. “It is OTA’s goal – a goal shared by the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Transportation – to enforce the full extent of the law for the minority of carriers and drivers who do not share this commitment to safety,” added Laskowski

OTA is part of an upcoming working group with MTO and the Ontario Provincial Police to develop strategies to reduce distracted and aggressive driving.

“OTA and its member carriers are dedicated to developing improved road safety policy strategies with our partners by better utilizing technology, education, improved roadway design and strategic enforcement,” added Laskowski.