"The Voice of the New Jersey Trucking Industry... Dedicated to Safety and Service"

News

  • 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. 


  • 17 Mar 2021 9:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The American Transportation Research Institute today released a new report detailing the costs of deploying and operating a national vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax. This study was identified as a top research priority by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee in 2020.  

    With a goal of understanding the opportunities and challenges of a federal system, the research first explored the technical and administrative requirements of charging every U.S. driver for miles driven. Next the costs of operating a VMT tax program were calculated, including those associated with technology, data communications and account management.

    It was found that replacing the federal fuel tax with a VMT tax that is assessed on 272 million private vehicles could result in collection costs of more than $20 billion annually – or 300 times higher than the federal fuel tax. The central reason for this large increase in costs is the shift in collection points – from a couple hundred fuel terminal operators to every registered motor vehicle in the U.S.

    “It’s clear that a VMT tax is a far more complicated and costly replacement for the fuel tax than many had anticipated,” said James Burg Trucking Company President and CEO Jim Burg. “If a system like this is going to work for everyone, many years of thoughtful planning and federal leadership are needed.” 

    Additionally, the report found that hardware costs alone would have an initial price tag of $13.6 billion and require ongoing replacement, telecommunications costs would be approximately $13 billion annually, and account administration would be an additional $4.3 billion each year. On top of these costs, credit card transactions for electronic payment and even the shipping costs for the hardware could each cost more than $1 billion.  

    “With policymakers preparing to lay out a vision for the future of America’s infrastructure, ATRI’s analysis could not come at a more critical time,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Most experts agree that some sort of VMT system is a part of that future, and ATRI’s report makes clear that implementing it will take thoughtful leadership, cooperation from stakeholders and a strong plan to transition away from current funding streams.”

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


  • 10 Mar 2021 9:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


  • 03 Feb 2021 10:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has set May 4-6 as the dates for this year’s International Roadcheck. Over that 72-hour period, commercial motor vehicle inspectors in jurisdictions throughout Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will conduct inspections on commercial motor vehicles and drivers.  

    “CVSA shares the dates of International Roadcheck in advance to remind motor carriers and drivers of the importance of proactive vehicle maintenance and driver readiness,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “International Roadcheck also aims to raise awareness of the North American Standard Inspection Program and the essential highway safety rules and regulations in place to keep our roadways safe.” 

    Inspectors will ensure the vehicle’s brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, driver’s seat, exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims, hubs and windshield wipers are compliant with regulations. Inspections of motorcoaches, passenger vans and other passenger-carrying vehicles also include emergency exits, electrical cables and systems in the engine and battery compartments, and seating. 

    Inspectors will be looking for critical vehicle inspection item violations, outlined in the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. If such violations are found, the vehicle will be placed out of service, which means that vehicle cannot be operated until the identified out-of-service conditions have been corrected. 

    Vehicles that successfully pass inspection, without any critical vehicle inspection item violations found after a completed Level I or Level V Inspection, should receive a CVSA decal. In general, vehicles with a CVSA decal are not re-inspected during the three-month period during which the decal is valid. Instead, inspectors focus their efforts on vehicles without a valid CVSA decal. 

    Also during an inspection, inspectors will check the driver’s operating credentials, hours-of-service documentation, seat belt usage, and for alcohol and/or drug impairment. A driver will be placed out of service if an inspector discovers driver-related out-of-service conditions. 

    Each year, CVSA asks its member jurisdictions to capture and report data focusing on a certain category of violations during International Roadcheck. This helps bring awareness to certain aspects of a roadside inspection. This year, inspectors will capture data on two categories, corresponding to the two main inspection categories of the North American Standard Level I Inspection – driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. For the driver category, hours of service will be highlighted this year, and for the vehicle category, inspectors will be paying special attention to lighting. 

    According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the lighting violation “lamps inoperable” (Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations 393.9) was the number one vehicle violation in fiscal 2020, accounting for approximately 12.24% of all vehicle violations discovered that year. And during last year’s International Roadcheck, the top driver out-of-service violation category in North America was hours of service, accounting for 34.7% of all driver out-of-service conditions. 

    “It’s important to remember that International Roadcheck is a data collection effort,” said Sgt. Samis. “The inspections conducted during the three days of International Roadcheck are no different from the inspections conducted any other day of the year. Other than data collection, the inspection process is the same.” 

    As was the case last year, in consideration of COVID-19, law enforcement personnel will conduct inspections following their departments’ health and safety protocols during 2021 International Roadcheck. 

    In addition, as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, every effort will be made to get vaccine shipments to their destination, quickly and safely. COVID-19 vaccine shipments will not be held up for inspection, unless there is an obvious serious violation that is an imminent hazard. 

    International Roadcheck is a CVSA program with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation and its National Guard.


  • 02 Feb 2021 2:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    All commercial vehicle restrictions have been lifted in CT/NJ/NY

    IN PA I-84 Empty trailer ban has been lifted. 


New Jersey Motor Truck Association | 160 Tices Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 | 732-254-5000

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software