The American Trucking Associations campaign participated with hundreds of volunteers to lay 200,000 wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery last Saturday. For 6 days Ralph Garcia and Nate McCarty from ABF Freight System Inc drove to multiple school and other locations to educate on sharing the road with trucks and trucking safety before reaching their final destination to deliver the wreaths.
Starting December 18th truck drivers will no longer have to file daily reports pre- and post- trip inspection. Getting rid of this rule will save the trucking industry $1.7 billion and 46.7 million hours a year. It’s a waste of time and money with 95% of inspections reports having no safety concerns, however there are certain trucking associations that do not completely agree of getting rid of reports. The ATA reported that 35% of their members will continue to file reports with 40% of electronic data recorders having way to file reports electronically.
The American Trucking Association has been pushing for Congress to find a long term highway funding solution however, Obama does not believe that it will get done this year, suggesting Congress concentrate on finding a short-term highway funding fix instead. Obama challenges congress to “redesign and think through how, what is a sustainable way for us on a regular basis to make the investments we need… we’ve got to figure it out”
Raising the gas tax seems like the quickest and most rational fix, which is probably why a bi-partisan pair in the house is pushing for a fuel tax increase. Their bill proposition suggests raising the gasoline and diesel tax by 15 cents over the next three year and more importantly indexing the tax to inflation. They quoted another president, “We simply cannot allow this magnificent (infrastructure) system to deteriorate beyond repair.”- Reagan. He then raised the gas tax from 4 to 9 cents a gallon two months later. The bi-partisan pair might have some support but there are huge challenges.
The reason Obama believes they will not find a highway fund solution anytime soon is the current lame-duck session that Congress is in. Plus, even if they weren’t in a lame-duck session Congress hasn’t raised the gas tax in over 20 years and there’s a reason for that, it’s strategically frightening for members of Congress. It seems the challenges for this simple solution to a major problem might actually be detrimental.
For The Video on Obama’s Proposition go to Transport Topics>>
For More on the Bi- Partisans Proposed Raise in Gas Tax go to HDT>>
The U.S Chamber of Congress launched Hiring Our Heroes in March 2011 and has recruited 1,700 companies to commit to hiring about 585,000 veterans with 369,000 veterans already hired, however the current goal is to get 500,000 veterans hired, fortunately the American Trucking Association has committed to hiring 100,000 veterans. With the driver shortage this is a win-win for both sides. They are using FASTPORT’s trucking track system to match veteran with fleets with open positions. TroopstoTruckers.com is another great programs trying to get our veterans into the driver seat. Check it out.
Earlier this year the FMCSA tried to raise the liability insurance above the $750,000 current minimum, but it was shut down by the House of Representatives back in June. The liability insurance minimum has not been changed since 1982, however the ATA states that only 1% of truck related crashes exceeds the $750,000 and would just increase, not only the primary rates, but premium rates as well. They worry that carriers might want to cushion the blow of higher insurance rates with higher freight rates.
The FMCSA are asking carriers 26 “financial responsibility” questions. Here are the topics-
2. Current Insurance Levels
3. Impacts of Increasing Insurance Coverage
For the exact questions go to OverDrive Online>>
Congressmen are concerned about FMCSA’s recommended training organizations who are incorrectly teaching medical examiners how to test sleep apnea on truckers. How to handle sleeping disorders are being argued by many. Although it was first recommended to strengthen it’s guidance by medical examiners, the trucking industry was concerned because that decision did not clearly state what the responsibilities of motor carriers and other employers would be. The new recommendation is to write a new rule that not only covers the new developments on sleep disorders but an understanding on the impact of such a rule, including its cost and benefits which is estimated at $1 billion a year by the American Trucking Association. Trucking Info>>
The American Trucking Association Conference that took place in San Diego from Oct. 4-7 had a lot of technological solutions to the problems in the trucking industry. Fleets and suppliers were particularly targeting the driver’s experience. Video based driver risk management was the most popular technology discussed at ATA. Although Video based driver risk management tool and other technological advancments are very useful, there is also the question of privacy.
In a world where people like Edward Snowden are telling you to get rid of Dropbox and avoid Google and Amazon if you value your privacy, should we accept the reality of the world we live in which has little privacy or stay traditional with no technological advancements? Would you actually stop using Google and Amazon? LoadSmart would love to know how the trucking industry feels about adding cameras and GPS in trucks, along with other technological tools.
Technology at ATA
Here is a quick list of the most talked about technology at the American Trucking Association Conference. For more info on all of this go to CCJ Digital>>
1. DriveCam for Lytx lists top drivers in need of interventions
2. SmartDrive 360 viewing
3. Zonar with GreenRoad for real time driver feedback
4. PeopleNet in-cab scanning capabilities for documents
5. Omnitracs in scanning application on mobile
6. TND 760 weigh station bypass