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  • 16 May 2018 1:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The NYS Thruway Authority is trying to get users of the NYS Thruway to fill out a survey about the services they provide and the services people would like to see.

    There is an entire survey dedicated for the opinions of commercial drivers. Considering the responses will help determine what changes the Thruway Authority will make to accommodate commercial drivers, please take a moment to complete the survey. Many thanks for your input.

    The survey is available at: www.Thruwaysurvey.com


  • 15 May 2018 10:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today issued a data call for the annual update to its Operational Costs of Trucking report.  Among the for-hire fleet metrics being requested by ATRI are driver pay, fuel costs, insurance premiums and lease or purchase payments. Carriers are asked to provide full-year 2017 cost per mile and/or cost per hour data.

     

    The results of this data collection, combined with the previous Operational Costs of Trucking reports, will yield 10 full years (2008 - 2017) of trucking cost information derived directly from fleet operations.  This research provides carriers with an important high-level benchmarking tool and government agencies with real world data for transportation infrastructure investment decisions.

     

    "It's not hard to understand why ATRI's Operational Costs of Trucking report is among its most-requested studies - fleets large and small can use ATRI's analysis to identify ways to improve your operating efficiency.  We look forward to participating in this year's data collection and encourage others to do so as well," said Mark Droubay, president of Double D Distribution in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

     

    For-hire motor carriers are encouraged to provide confidential operational cost data to ATRI by Friday, June 22, 2018.  ATRI's data collection form is available online at www.truckingresearch.org.  The results of this study will be available later this year, however participating motor carriers will receive an advance copy of the report.


  • 01 May 2018 10:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Following a review of the requirements put in place in 2016 regarding the “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” regulation, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has taken action to correct an error that was made with regard to implementing the final rule.

    OSHA determined that Section 18(c)(7) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and relevant OSHA regulations pertaining to State Plans, require all affected employers to submit injury and illness data in the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) online portal, even if the employer is covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption of their own state rule. 

    OSHA immediately notified State Plans and informed them that for Calendar Year 2017 all employers covered by State Plans will be expected to comply. An employer covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption of a state rule must provide Form 300A data for Calendar Year 2017.  Employers are required to submit their data by July 1, 2018. There will be no retroactive requirement for employers covered by State Plans that have not adopted a state rule to submit data for Calendar Year 2016.

    A notice has been posted on the ITA website and related OSHA webpages informing stakeholders of the corrective action.

    Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


  • 01 May 2018 9:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The dangers tractor trailer drivers face don’t end once they reach their destination. Whether at the warehouse, dock, or construction site, drivers are exposed to struck-by, crushed-between, and other safety hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is teaming with the trucking industry to raise awareness of these hazards, and help prevent serious and fatal injuries.

    Screenshot of OSHA flier

    According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 96 fatalities in truck transportation occurred in Midwestern states from 2015 to 2017. Thirteen of those fatalities appeared to be related to coupling (attaching) and uncoupling (detaching) trucks from the rig.

    OSHA and the trucking industry developed a new flier that addresses the three most common hazards: parking, backing up, and coupling and uncoupling vehicles. Important steps include training workers to: park vehicles on level ground, set the emergency brakes, and place wheel chocks between the tandem wheels of the trailer to prevent the vehicle from rolling; and get out of the vehicle, and look for people and other obstructions before backing up.

    Visit OSHA’s Trucking Industry webpage for information on other industry hazards.

    Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


  • 24 Apr 2018 3:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission today announced that it will postpone the Cashless Tolling go-live date for the Findlay Connector — the six-mile segment of Southern Beltway (PA Turnpike 576) in Washington and Allegheny counties. Originally planned for April 29, the go-live date will be delayed to later this spring or summer.

    The postponement provides additional time needed to continue testing of the tolling equipment at the highway speed (70-mph) electronic-tolling facility at milepost 2.6 on the Connector. This new Cashless Tolling zone, upon conversion, will replace six existing toll plazas located on the Connector’s on/off ramps.

     

    A new go-live date for the Findlay Connector will be announced in the coming weeks.

     

    “We want to be sure that each of the components of this complex system are functioning up to our standards prior to the go-live date,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “Without a doubt, all-electronic tolling is one of the biggest changes our customers and our organization have seen in more than 77 years, so we have a duty to proceed deliberately and thoughtfully.”

     

    The electronic-tolling technology being deployed on the Findlay Connector is installed on a gantry — a framework structure made of concrete columns supporting overhead steel beams. “Cashless tolling technology in general has been proven effective and is in fact successfully operating on dozens of toll facilities nationwide including two of our own pilot projects here in PA as well as in New York and Maryland, to name a few,” Compton added.

     

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike converted the Beaver Valley Expressway (Toll 376) to Cashless Tolling in April 2017 and the Turnpike Bridge over the Delaware River in January 2016.

     

    With Cashless Tolling, even drivers without E-ZPass no longer stop to pay; they proceed through the tolling location at the posted speed limit. As they do, cameras take a photo of the vehicle’s license plate, and a monthly PA Turnpike “TOLL BY PLATE” bill is mailed to the vehicle owner.

     

    The postponement will have no impact to the customer’s driving experience on the Findlay Connector, as the systems and operations involved do not alter travel patterns or accessibility.

     

    Conversion of the Keyser Avenue and Clarks Summit toll plazas on the Northeastern Extension (I-467) in Lackawanna County is still on target for an April 29 conversion.


  • 24 Apr 2018 12:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is ensuring the stability of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) website, the security of the data, and the privacy of drivers and medical examiners.  This is of paramount concern.  There was an unsuccessful attempt by someone to compromise the NRCME website.  It is conclusive that there was no personal information exposed.

    Currently, there are several key features available on the National Registry.  As of April 6, 2018, healthcare professionals wishing to become a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry are able to register.  FMCSA previously released a static look-up function allowing both State Driver’s Licensing Agencies (SDLA) and employers to check the validity of medical cards.  Additionally, in February 2018, FCMSA corrected erroneous email notifications that were sent to certain medical examiners incorrectly stating that they would be removed based on out-of-date information.

    There are more than 58,000 certified medical examiners on the National Registry that can continue to perform medical exams on commercial truck and bus drivers. These certified medical examiners can continue conducting physical qualification examinations and issue a paper Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC), Form MCSA-5876 to qualified drivers.  Medical examiners should segregate all examinations completed while the functionality was offline and be prepared to upload them to the National Registry system when it is fully available, without penalties.

    FMCSA and UDDOT will continue to work to address these issues as the website is brought fully back online.

    For updates and status, visit the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website here.


  • 17 Apr 2018 12:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hercules welcomes Frank Conti as its new Chief Operating Officer with 25+ years of global manufacturing and commercial experience with middle market private companies and Fortune 500 public companies. “Hercules has a compelling tradition of providing creative engineering designs, delivering outstanding product quality, and building long term customer partnerships”, says Conti. In addition, “I am delighted to be a team member and build upon such a strong foundation of accomplishments.”

    With the drayage industry suffering from a decade-long chassis shortage brought on by recessionary headwinds, the exit of ocean carriers from the business, and the enactment of the Roadability Rule in 2010, the opportunity exists for growth within the Industry regarding chassis and intermodal products. Conti understands these industry opportunities and is looking forward to expanding Hercules manufacturing platform within the drayage industry and other diversified industrial markets.

     

    “We are very excited to have Frank Conti join the Hercules executive team,” said Matt Denegre, Director at Baymark Partners, which acquired Hercules Chassis in 2016. “Frank is a seasoned executive with a deep operational background in automotive and industrial parts manufacturing. Due to the increased demand for intermodal trailers, Frank will have an immediate impact as we expand our product line and broaden our customer base.”

     

    Prior to joining Hercules Chassis, Conti was Vice President of Global Channel Sales with Belden Inc., a $2.4 billion revenue public company and global leader in network connectivity and cable solutions for various markets. Prior to BELDEN, Conti held operational leadership positions with several Private Equity owned manufacturing companies that support the Transportation, Vehicle, Aerospace, Military, & Data Communications markets. His early career leadership included Business Development activities with industry leading public companies including Corning and DuPont.

     

    As the saying goes, there simply is no substitute for experience! And, the Hercules team is positioned for continuous organic growth, developing new business opportunities and expanding their market reach.


  • 16 Apr 2018 11:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Vermont Truck & Bus Association reminds carriers traveling on U.S. Route 4 in the state from the New Hampshire line to Vermont Route 100 that a state permit is required for combinations between 68 and 75 feet in length.  The permit is free from the state department of motor vehicles, but being caught without one will be expensive.  VTBA warns that Woodstock, Vermont, is particularly aggressive about enforcing this requirement.  See here:  http://dmv.vermont.gov/sites/dmv/files/documents/OSD-01-Excess_Length_App.pdf

    Source: The State Laws Newsletter


  • 10 Apr 2018 11:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) granted an application submitted by the National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc. (NTTC) and the Massachusetts Motor Transport Association, Inc. (MMTA) on behalf of the transportation of specific petroleum-based fuel in interstate commerce. The two associations asked for an exemption from the 30-minute rest break requirement in the federal hours-of-service (HOS) regulations.

    Federal HOS requirements

    According to federal regulations, interstate drivers — who are required to maintain a record of duty status, or log, on board the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) — are subject to the 30-minute rest break provision. However, those drivers who meet the criteria to claim the “100 air-mile radius exception” do not have to maintain a log and are not subject to the 30-minute rest break requirement.

    NTTC and MMTA’s concerns

    The tank trucks are normally loaded with products in the morning, and deliver the products to three or more service stations during the remainder of the duty day. Most of the estimated 38,000 vehicles engaged in such transportation each day qualify for the 100 air-mile radius exception. However, on rare occasions, they unexpectedly exceed the criteria to complete the day within 12 hours, and are required to log the day.

    NTTC and MMTA outlined the concerns they have with interrupting delivery of hazardous materials in order for the driver to take the required 30-minute rest break. For instance, as a security measure, a motor carrier may require that a tank truck transporting certain fuels be attended by the driver when the vehicle is stopped, and a driver attending a CMV is not considered off duty as required by the rest-break rule. Attendance is not required by regulation except for transporters of certain explosives.

    FMCSA’s decision

    FMCSA granted this exemption because it found that the level of safety achieved by this industry operating under the terms and conditions of the exemption, would be equal to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be achieved if the drivers were required to take the rest break.

    These drivers receive several short “breaks” each day when they unload product at service stations. While the exemption will allow these drivers to operate beyond the 12th hour, they will still have to complete their duty day before the 14-hour limit by which most CMV drivers are governed. In addition, these drivers will be required to maintain an HOS log in accordance with Part 395, as required of all CMV drivers who find during a duty day that they are not qualified for the 100 air-mile radius exception.

    The exemption is effective April 9, 2018, and expires on April 10, 2023.

    J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.® All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.


  • 03 Apr 2018 9:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) Board of Directors has approved the 2018 Top Research Priorities as identified by ATRI's Research Advisory Committee (RAC). ATRI's RAC developed the list of recommended research topics at its meeting held in Dallas in March and the ATRI Board vetted and approved that list at its meeting last week.

    The research topics cover a wide array of critical industry issues including the impact that urban planning and "smart city" design have on truck operations, inconsistencies in CDL testing, and continuing research on the impact of autonomous technologies on the trucking industry.

     

    The 2018 ATRI top research priorities are:

    • Urban Planning and Smart City Design for Trucks - examining how and where truck freight delivery can be effectively incorporated into urban planning and smart city design approaches.
       
    • Assessing the Consistency and Accuracy of CMV Crash Data - will identify ways to improve commercial motor vehicle crash data collection, quality review, data management and data submission at the local and state levels.
       
    • Role and Impact of Government Regulations on Autonomous Vehicles - research will assess the positive and negative impact of regulations being promulgated at the state-level for identification of model legislation on how autonomous technologies and vehicles should be deployed.
       
    • Inconsistencies in CDL Testing - will review the range of requirements for CDL testing across states and identify best practices to develop an effective set of testing requirements.
       
    • Autonomous Impacts on the Truck Driver - a detailed analysis of how autonomous truck technologies will change the operational environment and driving requirements for commercial drivers.
       
    • Best Practices for Cannabis Intoxication Testing - exploring best practices in the U.S. and abroad, the research will benchmark recommended maximum intoxication levels and identify recommendations for driver sobriety testing.

    ATRI is the trucking industry's 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation's essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

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