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  • February 22, 2024 9:00 AM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association joined a coalition of business and industry organizations across PA urging Governor Josh Shapiro and state lawmakers to ensure a robust and reliable energy supply for the state’s businesses and consumers.

    The letter advocated for legislative action that would create effective public policy to ensure the state maintains a reliable energy supply.

    Highlighting the absence of calls for new taxes or tax increases in Shapiro’s recent budget address, the coalition said the state’s energy industry plays a key role in bolstering the state’s economic landscape.

    “Pennsylvania is a global energy leader that is home to abundant natural resources, industry thought leaders, and cutting-edge innovators,” the coalition members wrote.

    Additionally, the coalition said it was confident that a partnership between industry and government through public policy can enhance the state’s global energy position.

    “Through bipartisan cooperation, we have the opportunity to develop and advance policies, such as permitting reform, that promote domestic energy production and its use in legacy and emerging industries,” the letter said. “The Commonwealth’s energy success story is still being written, and we all have an opportunity and responsibility to ensure current and future chapters in this story are defined by themes of innovation, global leadership, and economic growth.”

    The letter was signed by the American Petroleum Institute – Pennsylvania, Associated Pennsylvania Constructors, Consumer Energy Alliance, Keystone Contractors Association, Manufacturer & Business Association, Marcellus Shale Coalition, National Federation of Independent Business, Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association; Pennsylvania Builders Association; Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council, Pennsylvania Forest Products Association, Pennsylvania State Grange, Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association, Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, and Pennsylvania Septage Management Association.

  • February 15, 2024 11:18 AM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released the 2024 Top Truck Bottleneck List measuring the level of truck-involved congestion at over 325 locations on the national highway system.

    For the sixth year in a row, the intersection of I-95 and SR 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey is once again the Number One freight bottleneck in the country.

    The three Pennsylvania bottlenecks making the top 100 list are:

    #32 – Philadelphia, PA – I-76 at I-676

    #63 – Philadelphia, PA – I-476 at I-95

    #64 – Philadelphia, PA – I-76 at US 1

    According to ATRI, the study is based on an extensive database of freight truck GPS data using several customized software applications and analysis methods along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location. ATRI’s truck GPS data is also used to support numerous state and federal freight mobility initiatives. The bottleneck locations detailed in this latest ATRI list represent the top 100 congested locations, although ATRI continuously monitors more than 325 freight-critical locations.

    “Traffic congestion on our National Highway System inflicts an enormous cost on the supply chain and environment, adding $95 billion to the cost of freight transportation and generating 69 million metric tons of excess carbon emissions every year,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “The freight bottlenecks identified in this report provide an actionable blueprint for state and federal transportation officials on where to invest infrastructure funding most cost-effectively. Increasing freight efficiency should be a top priority for the U.S. DOT, and alleviating these bottlenecks would improve highway safety, protect the environment and support interstate commerce.”

    The following bottlenecks fill out the top 10, as the worst bottlenecks in the United States.

    • Chicago: I-294 at I-290/I-88
    • Chicago: I-55
    • Houston: I-45 at I-69/US 59
    • Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North)
    • Atlanta: I-20 at I-285 (West)
    • Los Angeles: SR 60 at SR 57
    • Houston: I-10 at I-45
    • Atlanta: I-285 at SR 400
    • Nashville: I-24/I-40 at I-440 (East)

    For access to the full report, including detailed information on each of the 100 top congested locations, please visit ATRI’s website here.

  • February 12, 2024 1:45 PM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    75 Pennsylvania mayors sent a letter urging the Biden administration to finalize the US Environmental Protection Agency’s strongest proposed rule for the GHG Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3 rule (HDV rule).

    The HDV rule would accelerate the transition from large internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs).

    The 75 mayors supporting the adoption of this rule including the mayors of Bethlehem, Conshohocken, Erie, Pittsburgh, and the boroughs of Hatboro and State College in Pennsylvania say they can see the potential to benefit of these regulations and are urge the Biden administration to finalize the rule.

    “The City of Erie and its port have a rich history of trade and logistics, which play a pivotal role in transporting goods across the Northeast,” said Erie Mayor Joseph V. Schember. “My office and the City of Erie support the EPA's Proposed Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Rule and believe electric trucking is the future of transportation. Our City of Erie neighborhoods are some of the most underserved and disproportionately affected communities in Erie County, Pennsylvania. That makes this project, which would help to reduce emissions and improve air quality, especially important for our community.”

    “It’s important to do all we can to ensure the next generation is able to call Pittsburgh home,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey. “That means safeguarding our environment through forward-thinking use of energy. We have already made great strides in electrification of City of Pittsburgh vehicles, with 88 electric vehicles already in our fleet and 78 electric vehicle chargers. The City of Pittsburgh continues to strive toward the future by supporting the EPA's Proposed Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Rule and the benefits of heavy-duty electric transportation.”

    The mayors’ letter follows another letter sent to the White House by over 80 corporate leaders in November, advocating for the same standard to be adopted.

    The mayors’ letter does not address plans to bolster the inefficient electric grid or expand the charging infrastructure required to support the U.S. supply chain with electric trucks.

    Today, a clean diesel truck can spend 15 minutes fueling anywhere in the country and then travel about 1,200 miles before fueling again. In contrast, today’s long-haul battery electric trucks have a range of about 150-330 miles and can take up to 10 hours to charge.

    After one trucking company tried to electrify just 30 trucks at a terminal in Joliet, Illinois, local officials shut those plans down, saying they would draw more electricity than is needed to power the entire city.

    A California company tried to electrify 12 forklifts. Not trucks, but forklifts. Local power utilities told them that's not possible.

    Weight factors are another factor unaddressed by the mayors’ letter. Battery-electric trucks, which run on two approx. 8,000-lb. lithium-ion batteries, are far heavier than their clean-diesel counterparts. Since trucks are subject to strict federal weight limits, mandating battery-electric will decrease the payload of each truck, putting more trucks on the road and increasing both traffic congestion and tailpipe emissions.

    Today’s clean diesel trucks produce 99% lower emissions than those from the 1980s. 60 trucks today emit what just a single truck emitted in 1988. However, a century-old 12% federal excise tax on heavy-duty vehicles disincentivizes fleets from updating their equipment with today's clean diesel tractors. 

  • February 12, 2024 11:48 AM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    PMTA Safety Director, John Rigney, has been reappointed by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) to the ATA Law Enforcement Advisory Board (LEAB).

    Rigney has served on LEAB since 2022.

    Rigney is one of 26 other industry and law enforcement officials named to the LEAB this year.

    The LEAB advises the ATA Federation on strategies to grow and strengthen relationships between the trucking industry and law enforcement organizations across the country. Comprised of ATA members with previous experience in federal, state or local law enforcement, as well as current and retired law enforcement officials, this year’s LEAB has 27 members with a total of 685 years of law enforcement experience. 

    “Now in its fourth year, the Law Enforcement Advisory Board continues to deliver results on a whole host of issues impacting highway safety. This group’s engagement with state officials and local, state and national law enforcement organizations has helped secure hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grant funding to expand truck parking capacity across the country,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Security, including cargo theft and cybercrime, has now been added to ATA’s strategic priorities, further demonstrating the ATA Federation’s commitment to our partners in law enforcement.”  

    The 2024 LEAB will be chaired by Mark Savage, director of connected truck solutions at Drivewyze Inc. Steve Dowling, director of enterprise safety training at Covenant Logistics Group Inc., and Steve Keppler, co-director of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting, will serve as the board’s first and second vice chairmen respectively. 
    Members of the 2024 LEAB: 

    • Andrew Beckett, Amazon
    • Christopher Vinson, Midlothian (Texas) Police Department  
    • Derek Barrs, HNTB Corp.  
    • Fred Fakkema, Zonar Systems Inc.  
    • Gary McCarthy, Aurora Innovation Inc.  
    • Jake Elovirta, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance  
    • Janice Mulanix, PrePass Safety Alliance  
    • Jeff DeVere, Washington Trucking Associations  
    • Jeff Ferber, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.  
    • Jeff Tippit, La Porte (Texas) Police Department  
    • John Rigney, Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association  
    • John Samis, Drivewyze Inc.  
    • Jonathan Beshears, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.  
    • Keith Eoff, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.  
    • Malik A Henderson, PrePass Safety Alliance  
    • Marc Nichols, Drivewyze Inc.  
    • Mark Savage, Drivewyze Inc.  
    • Michael Martin, Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.  
    • Parker Harrison, Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.  
    • Richard Elliott, Safeway Transportation LLC  
    • Rocco Marrari, EBE Technologies  
    • Ron Cordova, Zonar Systems Inc.  
    • Steve Dowling, Covenant Logistics Group Inc.  
    • Steve Keppler, Scopelitis Transportation Consulting  
    • Tim Cardwell, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas   
    • Todd Armstrong, Illinois State Police  
    • Will Cole, Montana Trucking Association    

  • February 08, 2024 12:02 PM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    Governor Josh Shapiro presented his 2024-2025 budget proposal to the general assembly Tuesday.

    He says he hopes the Commonwealth will prioritize economic opportunity, access to higher education, public education and law enforcement all without raising taxes and maintaining a surplus of $11 billion.

    At the beginning of his address, Shapiro noted that Pennsylvania is the only state in the country with a divided legislature calling on both parties to compromise to get something done.

    Shapiro called attention to Pennsylvania’s “rainy day fund” saying while it’s important to prepare for an emergency, ratings agencies have said there is too much money sitting in surpluses around the country instead of being driven out into communities. He said he wants to use that money as an investment.

    Shapiro said that investment should begin in the classroom and lead to a life of opportunity and a retirement with dignity.

    He referred to the 2023 Commonwealth Court decision that ruled Pennsylvania’s education funding unconstitutional. Shapiro said the new budget will give $1.1 billion increase in funding to schools, ensuring no school gets less than they did last year, and that the money is distributed in a more equitable manner. $900 million of that will be distributed through a new adequacy formula.

    Shapiro also addressed an “elitist attitude” towards post-high school decisions he’s noticed in the Commonwealth. He said we should treat trade careers with the same level of respect as someone who chooses to go to college.

    The budget calls for a $2.4 million increase in Career and Technical Education.

    Another $2 million will go to help businesses transition to skills-based hiring practices to ensure those without college degrees aren’t overlooked and can still find family-sustaining jobs.

    Shapiro announced plans to create a new “Career Connect” program that would create thousands of internships and connect employers with young people.

    $2 million will build a digital location for career, education and training resources.

    He also announced a three-part plan for higher education uniting Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education schools with Pennsylvania’s 15 community colleges. Shapiro said he hopes colleges will create pathways to get affordable credentials and degrees that meet the needs of the workforce. $975 million (a 15 percent increase) will go to this new system.

    He plans to increase the Department of Labor and Industry’s investment in Industry Partnerships by $2.2 million to support workforce development and workforce needs of Pennsylvania’s workers and businesses.

    $1.2 million will support labor law compliance to protect law-abiding businesses from unscrupulous competitors.  

    In terms of economic development, Shapiro created an economic development strategy that focuses on five sectors: agriculture, energy, life sciences, manufacturing and robotics and technology.

    He proposed a $500 million bond to develop sites for plants to bring businesses to Pennsylvania. He says the added revenues from the companies will pay back the bond.

    $20 million will go to large-scale innovation and leverage Pennsylvania’s research and development assets.

    $3.5 million will go towards creating the Pennsylvania Regional Economic Competitiveness Challenge to provide different regions with the resources they need to plan and implement economic development strategies.

    $25 million will establish a new Main Street Matters initiative, supporting small businesses and downtowns in PA.

    Shapiro stressed the importance of agriculture to Pennsylvania’s economy and said he wants to help farmers take advantage of the latest equipment through Ag innovation funding and protect livestock with $5 million for state animal testing labs to prevent disease outbreaks.

    The budget proposal invests $10.3 million in agriculture innovation to support and attract new agriculture businesses, including energy and conservation endeavors.

    $5.6 million will reform the Dairy Margin Coverage Protections offered to dairy farmers and dedicate a new Dairy Development Specialist to advocate for and help promote the Pennsylvania dairy industry.

    $125 million will go to infrastructure and Shapiro plans to continue to decouple state police funding with infrastructure funding. He says this will put both parties on stronger financial footing.

    This budget proposes to decrease overall State Police reliance on the Motor License Fund to $250 million and further reduce the reliance on the Motor License Fund by $125 million annually until the support is eliminated in 2026-27.

    The budget allocates $48.5 million for Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) to maintain fleets and helicopters, train new cadets and combat gun violence.

    Shapiro plans to increase spending on public transportation by $283 million. $161 million will go to SEPTA, bringing the total amount of state funding to $1 billion.

    Under Shapiro’s proposal, new funding would be dedicated to support historically disadvantaged (small, diverse) businesses.

    Shapiro also announced plans to raise the minimum wage to $15 and legalize marijuana. He says in both cases we’re losing out to neighboring states.

    He said legalizing marijuana would bring in more than $250 million in annual revenue. He plans to expunge the records of those convicted for nonviolent possession of small amounts of marijuana and allocate $5 million in restorative justice initiatives from adult use cannabis proceeds.

  • January 25, 2024 10:14 AM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has issued a call for motor carriers and owner-operators to participate in a new ATRI data collection on the consequences of driver detention in the industry.

    ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC) identified this issue as a top industry priority in early 2023. This survey asks motor carriers and owner-operators to provide input on several different components of driver detention. Responses will be incorporated into research that identifies solutions for managing and reducing truck driver detention.  A second survey for truck drivers will be launched later this year.

    All responses will be kept confidential. The final report will only be presented in an aggregated, non-identifying format.

    To take the survey, click here: https://www.research.net/r/2024CarrierCoDsurvey

  • January 18, 2024 8:34 AM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    PA Road Team Captain John McKown testified before the Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing on January 11 to inform lawmakers about what the trucking industry is doing to fight human trafficking. 

    January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. 

    The public hearing, titled "Human Trafficking: Target it. Stop it. Prevent it. took place at the Union Trust Building in Pittsburgh, PA. 

    The purpose was to highlight the present-day impact and activity of human trafficking in Pennsylvania by focusing on coordinated efforts between government, non-profits and the community. 

    The hearing consisted of four panels focusing on the problem, prevention and education, policy development and survivor care. 

    McKown testified on the "Prevention: Raising Awareness and Education" panel about efforts within the trucking industry to educate and fight human trafficking. 

    McKown is a certified trainer with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT). TAT is a non-profit dedicated to educating the trucking industry on signs to look out for while drivers are traveling and what to do if they see something suspicious. 

    You can read McKown's testimony below. 

    For more information on Truckers Against Trafficking, click here. 

  • January 11, 2024 3:19 PM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is asking carriers to participate in the 2024 Driver Compensation Survey

    According to ATA, this survey data will be used to produce the 2024 Driver Compensation Study, a benchmarking tool that will yield information on driver pay to help carriers make well-informed compensation decisions.

    Previous studies covered data from more than 180 fleets, over 135,000 employee drivers, and nearly 20,000 independent contractors, with data broken down by For-Hire TL carriers, LTL carriers and Private fleets.

    The 2024 Driver Compensation Study will include detailed pay estimates broken down by carrier type, trailer type and region. It will also explore the wide variety of driver pay structures (hourly, per-mile, annual salary, percent of revenue) as well as driver incentives, benefits, and bonuses.

    Survey participation is not limited to ATA dues paying members. All motor carriers, except those in the moving sector, are encouraged to participate.

    Carriers that participate will qualify to receive the comprehensive 2024 Driver Compensation Study for $100. (It costs $1,500 for non-participants), a free executive summary prior to the release of the report and an invitation to a participant-only, free of charge webinar hosted by ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello & Senior Analyst Lindsay Bur to discuss the results of the study and answer questions. The Driver Compensation Study is slated for release later this summer.

    For those interested in completing the survey, the form can be accessed at https://www.trucking.org/driver-compensation-study. The deadline for remittance of the survey is Friday, March 29 and completed surveys should be sent to [email protected].

  • January 04, 2024 5:21 PM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    Rep. Kyle Mullins (D-112) and Sen. Greg Rothman (R-34) are planning on introducing resolutions in their respective chambers urging U.S. Congress to pass legislation allowing CDL drivers under 21-years-old to drive commercial motor vehicles over state lines.

    Mullins posted a memorandum to all Pennsylvania House members asking for co-sponsors on December 6, 2023.

    Rothman posted a memorandum to all Pennsylvania Senate members asking for co-sponsors on January 2, 2024.

    PMTA is encouraging members and the entire trucking community to call their legislators and ask them to support the resolutions.

    Both memorandums refer to the national truck driving shortage, which according to the American Trucking Associations is around 78,000 drivers.

    The memos state this shortage is expected to increase with the need for new drivers rising to 1.2 million over the next decade and state, “To ensure Pennsylvania’s economic security and supply chain efficiency, we must expand the pool of qualified drivers.”

    Both include the line, “to date, 49 states, including Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. allow under-21 CDL holders to operate Commercial Motor vehicles in intrastate commerce,” and go on to address how current Federal regulations require CDL drivers to be at least 21 years old to operate in interstate commerce.

    “In other words, an under-21 Pennsylvania truck driver is currently permitted to pick up a shipping container at the Port of Philadelphia and haul it 300 miles across the state to Pittsburgh, yet the same driver is prohibited from transporting the same freight on the eight-mile journey across the Delaware River to the East Camden Rail Yard,” Mullin’s memorandum states.

    Both memorandums state, “allowing CDL drivers under the age of 21 to participate in interstate commerce will significantly broaden the pool of qualified drivers to address the current shortage while mitigating the future need for CDL drivers. Not only will this benefit the Commonwealth, but it will also benefit the CDL drivers who will have earlier access to career opportunities enabling them to establish themselves in the industry and find family-sustaining jobs.”

    Mullins and Rothman are now seeking support from other Pennsylvania lawmakers to co-sponsor the resolution and bring attention to this critical issue.

    To contact your legislator:

    -          Find them here: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/#address

    -          If you’re reaching out to a HOUSE member:

    o   Have some notes or facts with you and prepare what you want to say. This call should take no longer than a minute or two. Be prepared to talk to a staff member of your legislator or leave a voicemail.

    o   Call the number or email the address listed under contact information.

    o   State your name, and say you are a resident of (city, county, townships etc.)

    o   Tell them you are calling to urge your representative to co-sponsor Kyle Mullins resolution on the truck driver shortage posted December 6, 2023.

    o   Explain WHY. Do you have a personal story of how this would impact you and your business? Now’s your chance to tell them. Be clear, concise and polite.

    o   Say thank you for taking the time to address something impacting Pennsylvania’s supply chain.

    -          If you’re reaching out to a SENATE member:

    o   Have some notes or facts with you and prepare what you want to say. This call should take no longer than a minute or two. Be prepared to talk to a staff member of your legislator or leave a voicemail.

    o   Call the number or email the address listed under contact information.

    o   State your name, and say you are a resident of (city, county, townships etc.)

    o   Tell them you are calling to urge your senator to co-sponsor Greg Rothman’s resolution on the truck driver shortage posted January 2, 2024.

    o   Explain WHY. Do you have a personal story of how this would impact you and your business? Now’s your chance to tell them. Be clear, concise and polite.

    o   Say thank you for taking the time to address something impacting Pennsylvania’s supply chain.

    -          After the call:

    o   If you left a voicemail, consider posting on social media and tagging your legislators and/or emailing them.

  • January 04, 2024 11:16 AM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    CARB is extending the Clean Truck Check registration deadline to January 31, 2024, allowing vehicle owners additional time to complete their initial fleet reporting and meet the 2023 $30 compliance fee for each truck. 

    Vehicles must be registered in the California Clean Truck Check, Vehicle Inspection System (CTC-VIS) portal. 

    California Senate Bill 210 directed CARB to develop and implement a comprehensive heavy-duty vehicle inspection and maintenance (HD I/M) regulation to ensure that vehicles’ emissions control systems are properly functioning when traveling on California’s roadways. The Board approved the regulation on December 9, 2021, with implementation to be phased in starting January 2023.

    According to CARB, the “Clean Truck Check,” combines periodic vehicle testing requirements with other emissions monitoring techniques and expanded enforcement strategies to “identify vehicles in need of emissions related repairs and ensure any needed repairs are performed.”

    This does impact Pennsylvania fleets. Nearly all diesel and alternative fuel heavy-duty trucks, buses, and other vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating over 14,000 pounds that operate in California are subject to semiannual testing and the projected compliance deadlines presented in Table I and Table II below. Affected vehicles include hybrid trucks and buses, commercial vehicles, privately-owned vehicles, government vehicles, and vehicles registered outside of California. For information on vehicles that are exempt from Clean Truck Check, click here: Fact Sheet: Heavy-Duty Inspection and Maintenance Program: Background and Requirements.

    More information on the program can also be found here: https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default/files/ED-Training/mscd_tru/content/index.html#/lessons/NvQYgJG26FHO_Ww04nWnZ4zuN0N9rK7K

    Vehicles identified as potential high emitters will receive a “Notice to Submit to Testing” and are required to submit a passing compliance test to CARB within 30 days of receipt of the notice.

    The second phase of the program was rolled out in September, requiring owners to register their trucks and pay the annual compliance fee.

    Before implementation of the final phase of the program, CARB is required to announce an effective date at least 90 days before the date.

    As such, as of April 1, 2024, vehicles subject to the regulation must pass an emissions compliance test twice per year.

    There are seven credentialed testers in PA, but it appears they are carriers that test their own trucks: Available for Hire Credentialed Testers | California Air Resources Board.

    If you can’t find a tester, you can become a credentialed tester here: Tester Training Course and Exam | California Air Resources Board.

    The Nevada Trucking Association has a webinar available to learn more, link here.

    CARB is planning to hold a training webinar on the database on January 9, 2024 from 1:30pm to 5:00pm PST. Register and submit questions here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mccMMYn8Q360nPUAvWZKEg#/registration

    The contact for the Clean Truck Check on CARB’s website is [email protected].

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