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Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

July, 2018

Alexandria, VA… NATSO, the national association representing travel plazas and truckstops, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America and the National Association of Convenience Stores applaud President Trump for rejecting a proposal to revise the Renewable Fuel Standard in a manner that would have greatly harmed fuel retailers and their customers.

“We thank President Trump for his leadership and for keeping his promise to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard. The proposal that was presented to the President yesterday was designed to undercut the RFS and he saw right through it. This entire process has made clear that the only rational way to reform the RFS is in Congress through the legislative process. The retail fuels community looks forward to being an active participant in that process.”

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 2.2% in April, Tonnage Index 9.5% Higher than April 2017

Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.2% in April after easing 1% in March. In April, the index equaled 112.5 (2015=100), up from 110.1 in March. 

ATA revised the March decline slightly from the originally reported 1.1% to 1%.

Compared with April 2017, the SA index surged 9.5%, which was the largest year-over-year increase since October 2017. Year-to-date, compared with the same four months last year, tonnage increased 8%, far outpacing the annual gain of 3.8% in 2017.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 109.2 in April, which was 4.8% below the previous month (114.7).

“Truck freight tonnage remains robust,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “And I don’t think we’ve even seen the traditional spring freight season yet. People are just getting around to buying grills, lawn mowers, and yard tools. Plus, the produce season was also delayed due to a cold snap in early spring. Longer-term, strength in consumption, factory output, and construction should keep truck freight tonnage solid for the quarters ahead.”

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.6% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled nearly 10.5 billion tons of freight in 2016. Motor carriers collected $676.2 billion, or 79.8% 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 10th day of the month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons and key financial indicators.


Continental Announces Recall of 655 Tires in U.S. and Canada

FORT MILL, SC… Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (Continental) announced the company’s decision to voluntarily initiate a safety recall for 655 commercial vehicle tires. The tires involved in the recall are 11R22.5 Conti Hybrid HS3, Load Range G, produced during DOT weeks 9, 10, and 11 of 2018, and sold in the original equipment and replacement markets in the U.S. and Canada.

The tires were identified as having a potential quality issue of visible cords through the inner liner, which could cause loss of internal pressure through the sidewall resulting in slow or rapid deflation during tire mounting or while the tire is in service. Since the safety of our customers is paramount at Continental, we have decided to voluntarily issue a safety-related recall for the affected tires. The tires are identified with the Department of Transportation (DOT) codes A33T KWUX 0918, A33T KWUX 1018, and A33T KWUX 1118. Only the production DOT weeks 0918, 1018, and 1118 are affected. Continental has not received any reports of accidents or injuries resulting from this condition.

Continental has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Transport Canada of the details of the recall. For tires sold in original equipment business, Continental is in communication with our customers to identify end users who purchased vehicles with affected tires. For tires sold in replacement business, Continental is in communication with its tire distributors and dealers to identify end users who purchased affected tires. All identified tire owners will be promptly notified and informed about the details of the recall and how to receive replacement tires at no charge.

Customers seeking more information, including instructions for identifying affected tires as well as obtaining replacement tires, are asked to contact their local Continental sales representative or our Customer Service team in Inside Sales. For the U.S. market, the contact number is toll-free 1 (800) 450-4028. For Canada, the contact number for English-language service is toll-free 1 (800) 461-9681, and for French-language service is toll-free 1 (800) 361-2844. 


Federal Agency Announces Consumer-Friendly Guidance that Allows Moving Vans to Find Safe Parking Overnight

ALEXANDRIA, VA… The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced new guidance, effective immediately, that will allow household goods drivers to leave a customer’s residence to find a safe place for overnight parking after the 14th hour of their duty time elapses. Specifically, the FMCSA will now allow commercial drivers to use “personal conveyance” status to leave a shipper or receiver and travel to a safe location for the rest break.

Personal conveyance status – which does not count against on-duty time – was last updated in 1997. Since 2014, the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) has fought on behalf of the moving and storage industry to secure relief from the 14-hour duty time rule. This new guidance will expire on May 31, 2023.

“The operational demands of the household goods transportation industry are unique in that our motor carriers spend a majority of their ‘duty time’ outside the truck by interacting with the consumer, taking inventory of the items, and wrapping and securing their shipment for travel,” said AMSA President and CEO Scott Michael. “Despite adequate business planning, unforeseen delays can occur at a consumer’s residence under which compliance with the 14-hour rule is nearly impossible. I applaud Administrator Ray Martinez for enacting this common-sense reform to help movers, as well as the customers they serve, move and operate safely and efficiently.”

“Until now, household goods drivers were forced to leave their large truck in residential neighborhoods. This untenable situation diminished safety by reducing neighborhood road traffic visibility in early-morning hours, inviting theft or damage of a family’s goods, and presenting a possibly dangerous playground for kids,” said AMSA Vice President of Government Affairs Paul Milotte. “In some circumstances, leaving a large commercial moving van overnight is simply not permitted by local ordinances, forcing movers to halt or delay completion of a move. This can cause real economic harm to families closing on the sale of a home, or delaying pre-booked travel or the start of new employment. Credit is due to the administrator, his staff and key congressional advocates for pushing this vital reform across the finish line.”

AMSA urges all motor carriers and drivers transporting household goods to review this information for details on how to comply with this change. For more information about AMSA, visit ProMover.org.


NATSO Launches Alternative Fuels Council 

Alexandria, VA… NATSO Inc., the national association representing the travel plaza and truckstop industry, today launched a new business venture known as the Alternative Fuels Council (NATSOAltFuels.com) to help fuel retailers leverage the resources necessary to learn about and incorporate alternative fuels into their supply offerings.

The Alternative Fuels Council will work with members of the truckstop and travel plaza community and other fuel retailers to navigate the litany of state and federal fuel regulations, and to utilize available government incentives for alternative fuels, including the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Alternative Fuels Council will also help its partners implement profitable strategies related to alternative fuel supply options and fuel infrastructure.

“The Alternative Fuels Council is designed to satisfy our industry’s need for expert, convenient and cost-effective solutions that help fuel retailers bring alternative fuels to market,” said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. “The alternative fuels market is an important growth opportunity for many fuel retailers nationwide; and both the fuel retailing industry and their customers will benefit from the collective resources and benefits of this endeavor.”

Among its initial offerings, NATSO’s Alternative Fuels Council today unveiled a new Biodiesel Fuel Quality Plan designed to help those who blend, market, and distribute biodiesel blends ensure the final product that they sell to consumers meets a minimum standard of quality. As part of this plan, the Alternative Fuels Council will help facilitate fuel testing and analysis for marketers.

“Maintaining fuel quality is increasingly important to today’s fuel retailers amid the growing number of fuel offerings and renewable fuel blending options,” said NATSO Fuel Specialist Jeff Hove. “While certain accreditation and quality assurance can be provided by biodiesel producers and suppliers, it is imperative that fuel retailers remain vigilant regarding the quality of the finished product.” As NATSO’s Fuel Specialist, Hove will be the primary liaison between the Alternative Fuels Council and its fuel retailing partners.

Through the Fuel Quality Program, those who blend, market and distribute biodiesel can access a step by step guide to the blending process. The guide directs users through fuel quality management, including sampling procedures, protocols and proposed schedules, to help ensure that alternative fuel meets the required ASTM fuel quality standards.

To learn more about the Alternative Fuels Council and the Biodiesel Fuel Quality program visit NATSOAltFuels.com.



NAVISTAR PARTS DISTRIBUTION RECEIVES MAJOR INDUSTRY AWARD

Carlisle & Co. Honors Navistar Edmonton Parts Distribution Center with First Place Recognition in Top Performing Warehouse Award

LISLE, Ill. — May 21, 2018 — Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) announced that its Edmonton Parts Distribution Center (PDC) was named the first-place honoree of the Top Performing Warehouse Award by Carlisle & Co. The annual award recognizes the highest performing parts distribution centers in the automotive and commercial vehicle sectors. Navistar’s PDCs were recognized for their performance relative to their industry peers earning three of the top five positions, including number one, three and four.

“Receiving three of the top five awards, including number one from Carlisle & Co. once more is an honor for our company as it validates our commitment to be the leader in aftermarket parts distribution,” said Josef Kory, senior vice president, Parts, Navistar. “Our first-rate logistics capabilities and distribution centers drive customer uptime by providing them with unrivaled product availability, service and value in the industry.”

In addition to Edmonton’s first place finish, the following Navistar Parts Distribution Centers rounded out the top five:

  • Third Place: Queretaro, Mexico.
  • Fourth Place: Las Vegas, NV.

The metrics-driven Top Performing Warehouse Award recognizes warehouses that perform in the top of their class to provide high quality parts availability to their customers in an efficient and productive manner. 

About Navistar

Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, proprietary diesel engines, and IC Bus® brand school and commercial buses. An affiliate also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com.

* All marks are trademarks of their respective owners.


PA Turnpike Activates Cashless Tolling on Findlay Connector (Toll 576)

HARRISBURG, PA… The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) is reminding motorists the Findlay Connector (Toll 576) in Allegheny and Washington counties has now been converted to a cashless tolling system.

Cashless Tolling allows customers to pay without stopping at the Findlay Connector’s six on/off ramp toll plazas, which will start being removed this week. Trips that were once tolled between Exits 1-2 and Exits 4-6 are now free. It’s only when vehicles pass under the overhead gantry located at milepost 2.6 on the Findlay Connector that tolls will be assessed electronically.

Customers in this area must pay tolls using E-ZPass or PA Turnpike TOLL BY PLATE. E-ZPass customers will have their toll deducted from their pre-paid account as usual. Customers without E-ZPass will receive a PA Turnpike TOLL-BY-PLATE invoice.

“Tolling agencies across the country are introducing cashless systems and we owe it to customers to continue to use the best technology available in every facet of our operations,” said PTC CEO Mark Compton. “At the same time, our system is somewhat unique, and we want to be sure that the technology makes sense for our customers and operations.”

Compton noted that the PTC is committed to a series of staged cashless pilot projects. This approach ensures that the system will be tested under different circumstances.

With the Findlay Connector conversion, the Turnpike will operate four cashless tolling pilot locations. Last month, it converted the Keyser Avenue and Clarks Summit tolling points on the Northeastern Extension. Last spring, it converted the Beaver Valley Expressway (Toll 376). In January 2016, it opened a cashless tolling point near the Turnpike Bridge over the Delaware River at the New Jersey border. The PTC assured employees there will be no layoffs with the pilot projects.

Vehicle Classification System Upgrade

As part of the upgrades on the Findlay Connector, the PTC replaced its axle and weight-based vehicle classification system with a new axle and height-based system. This system is currently used by other tolling agencies such as in New York and Ohio, and offers improved accuracy, efficiency and predictability.

The axle/height system will detect the number of axles and height between the first two axles to assess the toll; vehicles under 7.5 feet are considered low profile (“L” designation) while those over 7.5 feet are considered high profile (“H” designation).

Along with the classification changes, Findlay Connector drivers will see new toll rates. The new rates reflect an increase implemented on most other PA Turnpike sections in January. Findlay Connector rates did not increase at that time and have not increased in more than five years. The new rates are available at the Turnpike’s online toll calculator. Visit https://www.paturnpike.com/toll/tollmileage.aspx.

For more information on the project, including a cashless tolling video, visit www.nocashzone.com.


Statement on President Trump’s Decision to Reject Plan to Revise Renewable Fuel Standard

Alexandria, VA… NATSO, the national association representing travel plazas and truckstops, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America and the National Association of Convenience Stores applaud President Trump for rejecting a proposal to revise the Renewable Fuel Standard in a manner that would have greatly harmed fuel retailers and their customers.

“We thank President Trump for his leadership and for keeping his promise to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard. The proposal that was presented to the President yesterday was designed to undercut the RFS and he saw right through it. This entire process has made clear that the only rational way to reform the RFS is in Congress through the legislative process. The retail fuels community looks forward to being an active participant in that process.”


Truckers Support ELD Exemption Bills For Small-Business Motor Carriers

GRAIN VALLEY, MO… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the nation’s only organization exclusively representing professional and small-business truckers, supports a bill that would exempt motor carriers with 10 or fewer trucks from an electronic logging device mandate.

“We’re thrilled that Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-MT) introduced a bill to provide relief from the ELD mandate to small-business truckers. While the mandate is already in effect, it’s never too late to do the right thing,” said Collin Long, OOIDA Director of Government Affairs.

The “Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018” or HR5948, would allow motor carriers that own or operate 10 or fewer commercial vehicles to record their hours-of-service on a paper logbook. It would also require the U.S. Department of Transportation to implement the exemption within 90 days after becoming law.

“The ELD mandate currently in place continues to frustrate drivers and small businesses,” added Long. “Our economy cannot afford to lose more of either. Technology that is truly beneficial doesn’t have to be mandated – it is eagerly embraced!” said Long.

“This is a great bipartisan bill, and one that hopefully can generate a ton of support from Congress and impacted stakeholders. We realize it has a long way to go, but we’re encouraged that so many in Congress are still concerned about the negative impact the ELD mandate continues to have on our nation’s small-business truckers,” said Long

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 160,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.