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  • 21 Jun 2021 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Driver makes parenting, nurturing daughter a priority, even on the road.

    At two-years-old Evelyn is already starting to recognize words. She even sings along to nursery rhyme songs. It’s the result of a nighttime reading routine thanks to her father, driver Dane Christensen, and his wife, Kim, who make sure there is time for a story, even when daddy isn’t there.  

    Dane works as part of a sleeper team out of CACH, near Chicago, but makes time daily to be an active parent while traveling on the road. He schedules his driving time so he is able to read to Evelyn each night.

    Having a routine in place, Evelyn’s bedtime is at 8:30 p.m. Dane shared that either he or his wife, Kim, would call each other around 8:25 p.m. and start the evening with “Where’s daddy?”

     “We have a map, like the school maps…states are different colors and fun. We have ones of those up on the wall. It has a little UPS truck on it.”

    Dane says Evelyn and Kim move a passport size photo of him on the map to the state he is calling from. After a quick break to brush her teeth, it’s time for three songs and a story. As of late, Evelyn’s favorite story is The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Her top ‘jams’ include: Itsy Bitsy Spider, Moon Moon Moon, and This Little Piggy, with an occasional Row Row Row Your Boat making her playlist cut.

    Dane started the routine of reading to Evelyn when he became a sleeper team driver for UPS in September 2019. Regularly reading to Evelyn benefits her cognitive recollection and it already shows.

    Evelyn recognizes books and sifts through the pile of books in her room to pick her own read for the night. “For a while Brown Bear, Brown Bear was one of her favorite books, and she goes “Brown Bear,” and then she would hand it to me or her mother,” Dane said.

    During the weekends when Dane is home, he and Kim keep their routine of reading and singing with Evelyn before bed. It’s a routine he believes in, “If we have any other children, I’m going to do it the exact same way.”

    Although Dane and his driving partner travel 5,337 miles for four to five days out of the week, through 11 mid-west and east coast states, it is worth it to Dane. This position allows him to spend more quality time with his family, in comparison to his prior job. “I actually get to see my family more often now, because I’m home for solid days.”


  • 14 Jun 2021 10:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The American Transportation Research Institute today released research on how truck drivers currently use truck parking availability systems, and their perspectives on how truck parking information is distributed. 

    The research is based on a survey of more than 1,100 truck drivers, and cross-tabulates findings from all sectors, age groups, experience levels and gender. The research was conceptualized by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC), through their recognition that the numerous truck parking information systems being developed by public sector agencies are often based on disparate technologies and information distribution channels. The RAC believed that the lack of national standardization may be creating confusion and distrust of these potentially invaluable systems. 

    “This new research on driver issues and preferences toward truck parking information systems is hopefully a first step in developing a national driver-centric system, built on clear standards and approaches,” said Bill Hambrick, a professional driver for Werner Enterprises and an America’s Road Team Captain. 

    The research recognizes that the truck parking information systems are managed at a facility level, but corroborates that long-haul interstate drivers are the preferred users of the system, and that the system designs and approaches should not differ considerably across state lines. 

    For access to the full report please visit ATRI’s website at TruckingResearch.org.


  • 25 May 2021 12:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The New York State Bridge Authority (NYSBA) is announcing that its five bridge toll crossings in the Hudson Valley are set to convert to cashless tolling beginning in Summer 2021. The conversion to cashless tolling at NYSBA’s toll crossings will be rolled out in phases, starting in July 2021 at the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, which already has some structural elements for cashless tolling that were installed during the initial phase of the current deck replacement project. 

    “This conversion to cashless tolling will bring great benefits, such as reduced congestion, to drivers who use the Bridge Authority system,” said Tara Sullivan, Acting Executive Director of the Bridge Authority. “We’re excited to bring this 21st century technology and improved driving experience to travelers in the mid-Hudson region.”

    The implementation at Newburgh-Beacon will take place after the July 4th holiday weekend, with an exact date to be announced. 

    Projects to convert to cashless tolling on the other four spans operated by the Bridge Authority – the Bear Mountain, the Mid-Hudson, the Kingston-Rhinecliff and the Rip Van Winkle Bridges – will begin in subsequent months, with the conversion to cashless tolling on all five spans to be fully complete by Spring 2022. When cashless tolling is operational at these five bridge crossings, motorists will experience non-stop travel under gantries with state-of-the-art sensors and cameras that read E-ZPass tags and take license plate images.  

    Vehicles with E-ZPass tags are automatically charged and vehicles without E-ZPass tags will have their license plate image captured and a toll bill mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle via Tolls by Mail.  

    Non E-ZPass customers have a number of options to pay including by mail, over the phone, online, and via the TollsNY app. Customers who call **826 from most mobile devices will receive a text message with a link to the Tolls by Mail website and information on how to pay their toll bill.   

    Get E-ZPass Today

    Motorists are encouraged to sign up for E-ZPass, the easiest and quickest way to pay tolls. All drivers, regardless of residency, can sign up for a New York E-ZPass account at E-ZPassNY.com or by calling the E-ZPass Toll Free Customer Service Center at 800-333-TOLL (8655). 

    Current E-ZPass customers are encouraged to sign up for mobile alerts and to properly mount Tags to their windshield. Customers can login to their account at E-ZPassNY.com for more information. 

    TollsNY App

    The new TollsNY mobile app has been released to help drivers manage E-ZPass accounts, find and pay Tolls by Mail invoices, and get important account alerts for tolls accrued at tolling sites. The TollsNY app is available free in the Apple Store and Google Play.

    The Bridge Authority will offer updates on its social media pages about the upcoming stages of its cashless tolling conversion, including the roll-out schedule. These can be found on NYSBA’s Facebook and Twitter profiles at www.facebook.com/NYSBridge and www.twitter.com/NYSBridge.  


  • 13 May 2021 10:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At the request of New Jersey Motor Truck Association and Fuel Merchants Association, the NJDOT issued a waiver to increase weight on fuel trucks by up to 10% or 88,000 pounds. Click here for NJDOT waiver.

    Please note you will need an overweight permit. Go to Home (gotpermits.com)

    The USDOT just issued an emergency order which allows overweight fuel trucks w ith permits to operate on the interstate system providing the state also issues a waiver. Click here for announcement.

    EPA ISSUES FUEL WAIVERS

    2021 Fuel Waivers

    Alabama, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Specific Counties of Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia

    On May 11, 2021, EPA issued a waiver of the requirements for low volatility conventional gasoline and Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) in Alabama, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Specific Counties of Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The waiver begins May 11, 2021, and ends May 31, 2021. 

    Fuel Waiver Concerning Multi-state.

    District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia 

    On May 11, 2021, EPA issued an emergency waiver of the low volatility Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) requirements in RFG Covered Areas in District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. This waiver is a response to the unexpected Colonial Pipeline shutdown. The waiver begins May 11, 2021, and ends May 18, 2021.  Fuel Waiver Concerning Multi-state.

    FMCSA - Although some states are issuing emergency declarations for size and weight we have to be cautious.

    173.24b(d)(2) states; a bulk packaging may not be loaded with a hazardous material that except as otherwise provided in this subchapter exceeds the maximum weight of lading marked on the specification plate.

    In the past, we have seen issues where the cargo tanks operating under similar emergency declarations have been overloaded with product (usually diesel fuel as its weight per gallon is almost a pound more per gallon than gasoline) and it exceeded the maximum product load that the cargo tank is designed to transport. That is of concern as it may cause additional stresses being subjected to the cargo tank. To my knowledge, PHMSA has never issued any emergency relief on this in the past when states impose emergency declarations on weight limits (both gross weight and axle weight).

    Each manufacturer and tank is designed separately so there is no across the board criteria, each tank would be treated based on the load limits listed on the plate and each carrier would need to know this information to ensure it was not overloading the tank could have structural consequences on the tank over time.

    As an example, gasoline weighs on average 6.19 lbs per gallon, and diesel fuel weighs 7.02 lbs per gallon. So with the above specification plate if it were a 9,400 gallon capacity tank (just grabbed the first example I could find and gallon capacity is not listed on the tank) that was loaded with 9,400 gallons of diesel fuel at 7.02 lbs per gallon the maximum load would weigh 65,988 lbs… which would exceed the limit of the tank marked at 63, 900 lbs by 2,088 lbs maximum capacity and be a violation of the HMR – specifically 173.24b(d)(2).


  • 12 May 2021 1:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Biden-Harris Administration is continually assessing the impact of the ongoing Colonial Pipeline incident on fuel supplies for the East Coast and is monitoring reported shortages in parts of the Southeast. This ongoing effort includes evaluating resources the federal government can mobilize to mitigate potential impacts.

    As part of this process, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has started the work needed to enable consideration of a temporary and targeted waiver of the Jones Act.

    Today, USDOT’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) initiated a survey of Jones Act-qualified vessels to begin the process of evaluating what assets are available in the Jones Act fleet to carry petroleum products within the Gulf, and from the Gulf up the Eastern Seaboard. This step is being taken to determine whether there is sufficient capacity on Jones Act-qualified vessels to carry the product and to determine if a waiver is warranted. Responses have been requested today.

    The Maritime Administration's role in the Jones Act waiver process is to determine the availability of Jones Act vessels to carry the products for which a waiver is sought. Authority to receive requests for and to approve waivers to the Jones Act belongs to the Department of Homeland Security.

    Over the weekend the USDOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced it was taking steps to create more flexibility for motor carriers and drivers. FMCSA issued a temporary hours of service exemption that applies to those transporting gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined petroleum products to Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

    Today FMSCA is adding West Virginia to the list of states covered, bringing the total to 18 states covered.   

    USDOT’s top priority is safety, and while current circumstances dictate providing industry flexibility, FMCSA will work closely with its state and industry partners to monitor driver work hours and conditions for the duration of the exemption.

    In addition, USDOT’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is canvassing rail operators to determine their capacity to help transport fuel from ports inland and if there are additional steps FRA could do to help them increase capacity to do this.  They are also engaging industry to identify trends indicating capacity pressures. 

    USDOT’s FMCSA and Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) are tracking two states (GA, NC) that have issued emergency declarations, which have include weight waivers for trucks on State roadways.  Other states are considering similar action.  FMCSA and FHWA are working with the full list of potentially effected States to share information and best practices and try to harmonize and align their efforts.

    USDOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) assisted Colonial Pipeline’s efforts to get Line 4 up and running yesterday on a manual basis and is continuing to support efforts to ensure safe movement of fuels manually, while concurrent efforts to restore the system’s operation continues.

    Since the weekend, USDOT has been conducting outreach to gather information on how USDOT and our agencies can assist. To date, USDOT senior officials have talked to officials from multiple states and localities. Agency staff have also been in touch with labor, safety, and industry groups. Outreach is ongoing.

    This situation continues to develop and the Department of Transportation remains committed to assisting wherever it is needed. 


  • 12 May 2021 1:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The U.S. DOT today announced additional help for States in areas affected by the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline.  The White House and DOT have determined that previous declarations of “major disaster” issued by the President within the past 120 days allow States covered by those declarations to use Interstate highways in their State to transport overweight loads of gasoline and other fuels.  Each State must continue to follow its own procedures for issuance of special permits authorizing the loads, but the added flexibility announced today lawfully permits these trucks to run on the Interstate Highway System and other Federal highways.  This flexibility is in addition to preexisting authority for States to issue special permits allowing the trucks to run on State highways. 

    The previous Presidential declarations created this authority for up to 120 days.  Given the declarations’ varied dates of issuance, that period will expire at different points for the affected States between now and early September.  The first State whose 120-day period will expire is Maryland, on June 4.  The last State is Virginia, on September 7. 

    The ten States covered are Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  All these States are already covered under the separate Emergency Declaration that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued on May 9, which grants truck drivers making emergency fuel deliveries in areas affected by the pipeline disruption relief from the Federal hours of service limits and certain other safety regulations.

    Consistent with 23 U.S.C. 127(i) and applicable State laws, States that are currently operating under Federal Major Disaster Declarations may issue special permits to overweight vehicles carrying divisible loads on Interstate and Defense Highways that are delivering relief supplies, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products.  States may exercise this authority for 120 days from the date of the declaration of the major disaster.

  • 12 May 2021 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On May 11, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear told the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee that growing pressures on the U.S. supply chain are fast approaching crisis levels, and that immediate action from Congress is needed to ensure our economic recovery is not derailed by further disruptions. In testimony before the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, during a hearing titled Freight Mobility: Strengthening America’s Supply Chains and Competitiveness, Spear outlined the trucking industry’s key priorities on infrastructure, workforce, safety and the environment, detailing specific legislative steps lawmakers must take to ensure the integrity and longevity of the nation’s supply lines as the economy climbs out of the COVID crisis.

    “Investments in our supply chain are desperately needed, including the roads and bridges that connect our ports, rail yards and airports to the National Highway System. Do that, and you will witness measurable efficiencies, including gains in productivity and safety, job growth and sustainable employment, and historic reductions in carbon emissions,” Spear told members of the committee in his opening remarks

    “With your leadership, we remain hopeful that federal action can solve this growing national crisis,” he said. “Understand that if these investments are indeed made, you have the opportunity to go home before your constituents and point and say: that road, that bridge, that railroad, port, waterway, airport… I did that. I made that happen.”

    The trucking industry moves more than 72% of the nation’s freight tonnage, and over the next decade, trucks will be tasked with moving 2.4 billion more tons of freight than they do today. Breakdowns in our surface transportation infrastructure, as well as a severe and widening truck driver and diesel technician shortage, threaten the industry’s ability to keep goods moving safely and on time. 

    Freight bottlenecks and congestion on the National Highway System already cost the trucking industry an annual 1.2 billion hours of lost productivity, which is equivalent to more than 425,000 drivers sitting idle for an entire year — adding $75 billion to the cost of freight transportation. In addition, the industry currently faces a shortfall of nearly 61,000 drivers and will need to hire roughly 1.1 million new drivers over the next decade to keep pace with economy’s increased freight demands.
     
    Spear called on the Senate panel to advance a bipartisan surface transportation infrastructure bill this year, focused on roads and bridges, that’s responsibly funded with a modernized user-fee system. He also called on lawmakers to pass the DRIVE-Safe Act, legislation to remedy the driver shortage by promoting opportunity and enhancing safety training for emerging members of the trucking workforce. The bipartisan bill is backed by more than 117 organizations representing all levels of the U.S. supply chain.

    A transcript of his opening remarks is available here. His written testimony is available here.

  • 09 May 2021 6:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced today as part of the federal government’s efforts to actively assess the implications of the Colonial Pipeline incident and to avoid disruption to supply, that the USDOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is taking steps to create more flexibility for motor carriers and drivers. FMCSA is issuing a temporary hours of service exemption that applies to those transporting gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined petroleum products to Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

    USDOT’s top priority is safety, and while current circumstances dictate providing industry flexibility, FMCSA will work closely with its state and industry partners to monitor driver work hours and conditions for the duration of the exemption.

    The full text of FMSCA’s action can be found here.


  • 07 Apr 2021 10:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This year's Operation Safe Driver Week will take place July 11-17 with an emphasis on speeding. During Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in risky driving behaviors in or around a commercial motor vehicle. Identified unsafe drivers will be pulled over and issued a citation or warning. 

    "Data shows that traffic stops and interactions with law enforcement help reduce problematic driving behaviors," said Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. "By making contact with drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel aim to make our roadways safer by targeting high-risk driving behaviors." 

    CVSA selected speeding as its focus this year because despite a drop in roadway travel last year due to the pandemic, nationally, traffic fatalities increased. According to the National Safety Council's (NSC) preliminary estimates, the estimated rate of death on roads last year increased 24% over the previous 12-month period, despite miles driven dropping 13%. The increase in the rate of death is the highest estimated year-over-year jump NSC has calculated in 96 years. 

    In addition to speeding, law enforcement personnel will be tracking other dangerous driver behaviors throughout Operation Safe Driver Week, such as reckless or aggressive driving, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane change, failure to obey traffic control devices, failure to use a seat belt, evidence of drunk or drugged driving, etc. 

    CVSA's Operation Safe Driver Program was created to help to reduce the number of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors. Operation Safe Driver Week is sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and with support from the motor carrier industry and transportation safety organizations. This initiative aims to improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner – either in or around commercial motor vehicles – through educational and traffic enforcement strategies. 

  • 23 Mar 2021 11:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The American Transportation Research Institute today launched a new data collection initiative to better understand the rising costs of trucking insurance and how those costs are ultimately impacting the industry’s overall operational costs. This research was identified by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee as a top research priority in 2020.

    Motor carriers are asked to provide data through an online data collection form that will quantify changes in deductibles, excess insurance over minimum requirements, and how drivers and fleets are balancing insurance costs against rising risk levels. The research will be complementary to ATRI’s annual Operational Costs of Trucking, but will provide more granular detail on one of the most volatile cost centers in the annual analysis.

    “ATRI’s industry data collection initiatives are critical to understanding industry operations based on real-world data, and this latest effort to benchmark insurance cost trends will provide important insight into a carrier’s management of total cost of risk,” said Randy Guillot, Triple G Express President.

    All submitted data will be kept strictly confidential and aggregated. As needed, ATRI will sign a confidentiality agreement.

    The data collection form is available online and carriers are asked to provide data by Friday, April 23, 2021. 


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