PMTA News

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  • September 29, 2022 2:48 PM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that it has resumed planning work and federal environmental reviews for six bridge replacement projects proposed as part of the Major Bridge Public-Private Partnership (MBP3).

    A Categorical Exclusion (CE) Reevaluation is being prepared for the I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement Project  and the I-80 Over Lehigh River Bridge Project to evaluate and document how the projects would affect the surrounding community’s quality of life, including health, safety, cultural resources, environmental resources and more. Approval of the CE Reevaluation is anticipated this fall (2022).

    The I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge, which crosses Maiden Creek in Greenwich Township, is aging and does not meet current design standards. The proposed project involves replacing the existing bridge to address the poor structural condition, and to widen it to accommodate acceleration and deceleration lanes and full inside and outside shoulders in each direction. 

    Through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental review process, the I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement Project was approved as a CE in November 2019, and the project team was allowed to move forward with final design and right-of-way acquisition.

    The I-80 Over Lehigh River Bridges, which cross over the Lehigh River, Lehigh Gorge State Park, Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad and SR 1005 (River Road) in Carbon and Luzerne Counties, are aging and reaching the end of their serviceable lifespan. The proposed project will address the deterioration of the aging bridge structures and provide safe connectivity for interstate travelers, commuters, commercial users, emergency services, tourists and local residents.

    In November 2020, the MBP3 was proposed by PennDOT and approved by the Pennsylvania P3 Board, which includes representatives from all four legislative caucuses, to rehabilitate or replace major Interstate bridges using toll revenues, providing PennDOT with a means of addressing the state's growing backlog of needs without using or impacting the funding for PennDOT's larger program. In February 2021, PennDOT announced nine candidate bridge projects, including the I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement Project, for inclusion in the program. 

    An Environmental Assessment (EA) was prepared to study the potential impacts related to tolling and toll diversion in accordance with NEPA. The EA was made available for public comment on May 4, 2022. Comments received on the project’s EA in Spring 2022 were evaluated and considered in the development of the CE Reevaluation. Updated information on the project and potential impacts is available on the project website at www.penndot.pa.gov/i78Lenhartsville and at www.penndot.pa.gov/i80LehighRiverBridge. A comment form is available on the website.

    In July 2022, the General Assembly amended the state’s P3 law to remove tolling as a means of funding the MBP3. This means PennDOT will have to reallocate currently programmed state funds and federal funds now available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will result in the deferral or elimination of some projects in the 2023 12-Year Program (TYP).

    PennDOT entered into a Pre-Development Agreement (PDA) with Bridging Pennsylvania Partners (BPP) to advance preliminary design work for the MBP3 bridges. The PDA will lead to separate contracts to finalize design, build, finance and maintain packages of bridges in the MBP3, including the I-80 Lenhartsville Bridge the I-80 Over Lehigh River Bridges. PennDOT will repay the amounts financed by the development entity through recurring availability payments over 30 years, beginning when construction is complete.


  • September 27, 2022 6:42 PM | Rebecca Oyler (Administrator)


    Remember our fallen U.S. Veterans.

    Honor those who Serve.

    Teach your children the value of our Freedom.

    Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, a worldwide wreath-laying ceremony takes place at Arlington National Cemetery, along with 2,500 other locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad in honor of American heroes.

    This amazing logistical feat would not be possible without the help of hundreds of volunteer trucking companies. The efforts of the generous trucking company owners, the drivers, and all their employees make the mission possible. The trucks are responsible for carrying thousands of Veteran’s Wreaths to a growing number of participating cemeteries across the United States. These fine people make up our “Honor Fleet”


    This year, Wreaths Across America has open loads of respect for Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio, along with other destinations. Help is needed by PMTA members to continue to Move the Mission.

    If you think you can help, please contact [email protected] or call Don Queeney direct at 757-761-5710. https://trucking.wreathsacrossamerica.org/ 

    Many carriers consider this program The Best Thing in Trucking. Please, come join our Honor Fleet and help us all to Remember, Honor and Teach.

    “Thank you to all the transportation companies and professional drivers that make our goal possible each year.”  

    - Wayne Hanson, WAA Board Chairman


  • September 26, 2022 1:01 PM | Rebecca Oyler (Administrator)

    On September 26, Health Canada announced that the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, along with other rules associated with cross-border travel, will expire on September 30, 2022. 

    Effective October 1, 2022, all travelers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer be required to take the following health measures: 

    Submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website:

    1. Provide proof of vaccination

    2. Undergo pre- or on-arrival testing

    3. Carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation

    4. Monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada.

    For more information, see the announcement from Health Canada

    To date, there has been no announcement from the U.S. that the federal government will be making any similar changes to the current COVID-19 vaccine requirements for foreign nationals entering the country. 


  • September 21, 2022 12:17 PM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    Harrisburg, PA The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) invites the public to review and offer comments on a revised draft of the agency’s 2045 Freight Movement Plan (FMP) during a 15-day public comment period from September 21 through October 5, 2022.

    “The Freight Movement Plan underscores our ongoing commitment to freight planning statewide,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “Through our planning efforts, we want to ensure that the Department is properly positioned not only to accommodate the demands of freight transportation, but to help facilitate it.”

    The FMP provides information on PennDOT’s efforts to continually improve the safe and efficient movement of freight statewide. Having an approved and up-to-date freight plan helps ensure Pennsylvania remains eligible for federal funding under the National Highway Freight Program (NHFP). This federal program will add an average of $58.5 million annually to the state’s program

    The plan is available on PennDOT’s website, and an electronic comment form is available.

    Through collaboration with freight stakeholders, PennDOT developed the plan over a two-year period. The plan addresses all state and federal provisions for freight planning, including those from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by President Biden November 2021.

    The plan is an update to Pennsylvania’s current freight plan, PA On Track, which the Federal Highway Administration approved in November 2017.

    Subscribe to statewide PennDOT news and traffic alerts at www.penndot.pa.gov/news or choose a region under “Regional Offices.” Information about the state’s infrastructure and results the department is delivering for Pennsylvanians can be found at www.penndot.pa.gov/results. Find PennDOT’s planned and active construction projects at www.projects.penndot.gov.

     


  • September 19, 2022 9:48 AM | Rebecca Oyler (Administrator)


    On Friday, September 16, 2022, PMTA and its Northwest Chapter, along with Klapec Trucking Co., hosted a Legislative Meet-and-Greet at Klapec’s facility in Reno, PA. Members were able to hear from local lawmakers and discuss with them many issues affecting their companies and the trucking industry in PA.

    In attendance at the event were:

    • ·         PA State Sen. Scott Hutchinson
    • ·         PA State Rep. Donna Oberlander
    • ·         PA State Rep. R. Lee James
    • ·         PA State Rep. Brian Smith
    • ·         Kyle Hannon on behalf of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey
    • ·         Brad Moore on behalf of U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson

    PMTA Northwest Chapter President Dale Knox welcomed the group, introduced the team from Klapec Trucking, and thanked them for hosting the event. Dale introduced PMTA President & CEO Rebecca Oyler, who reiterated her thanks and talked about Klapec’s history as a Pennsylvania family-owned business. Klapec is an example of the type of company PMTA works hard on behalf of every day. She then discussed some of the barriers that hold the trucking industry back in PA, including high costs to operate compared to other states, CARB, and PA registration requirements. Rebecca thanked the legislators who voted to stop PennDOT’s P3 bridge tolling initiative.

    Sen. Hutchinson stated that the legislators were there to learn from the experts in the audience. He was pleased that the tolling was stopped because it would have been a drag on the trucking industry. It is his goal to help businesses grow. This means limiting costs that government imposes, especially with inflation so high. He mentioned that several tax code changes will make attracting and retaining businesses easier. He is also concerned about unpaid Turnpike tolls and stated that the General Assembly is considering ways of addressing this.

    Rep. James mentioned his work in ensuring that elections are run well because, “no matter how you’re registered, you want your vote to count.” Tourism is an important focus for him as well, as many local businesses are struggling to recover from the pandemic. He also stated that the General Assembly has worked on several constitutional amendments this year.

    Rep. Oberlander stated that the anti-tolling coalition will continue to be vigilant to ensure that tolling isn’t presented as a solution again. She was interested in addressing the CARB issue that Rebecca had mentioned, getting Pennsylvania out of California’s emissions standards. She had heard from constituents about new CDL requirements (ELDT) preventing veterans drivers from getting back into the industry.

    Rep. Smith, who owned his own trucking company before running for the General Assembly, talked about going into the transportation industry because he didn’t want to sit behind a desk. He compared being a House member to being a dispatcher – he never knows what will come up on any given day as he is out and about meeting with constituents. He would be interested in sponsoring a bill that would allow federal inspections to be sufficient for PA-registered tractors.

    Brad Moore talked about the importance of associations for businesses. Legislators and staff know a little about a lot but depend on associations like PMTA to educate them on the details. He thanked the members in the room for their work, saying that trucking is a unique industry that touches every other industry. He mentioned workforce and inflation as being significant issues that affect the industry.

    PMTA’s first member question related to electric trucks. He was concerned that state and/or federal policy would push the industry to all electric, like California, by 2035. Rep. Oberlander believed that this is unachievable and unnecessary. Sen. Hutchinson stated that he is opposed to having PA’s regulations tied to other states.

    The member wondered what the legislators thought about a mileage-based user fee. He was especially concerned that it may be an add-on to the fuel tax, and the fuel tax wouldn’t go away. Rep. Oberlander responded that electric vehicles are not currently paying their fair share of roadway taxes. The General Assembly had tried to increase their registration fee, but this was defeated.

    Rep. Smith noted that trucks already pay a mileage-based tax, but cars are different, and the solution is more complicated. He said discussions need to happen. The answer must be either/or, and not both. Sen. Hutchinson stated that electric vehicles should not get a free ride as they are already highly taxpayer subsidized. He believes that the public will not tolerate a GPS-based mileage-based system because of privacy concerns and that a simpler system will need to be found. Rep. James noted that he has not yet seen a workable plan for replacing the fuel tax, so discussions must continue.

    A member asked about high truck registration fees in Pennsylvania forcing many national trucking companies to register out of state. Lower fees may bring them back to Pennsylvania and increase funding for roads and bridges. Rep. James responded that the legislature is aware of it and discussing potential solutions. Sen. Hutchinson asked PMTA how PA compares to other states, and PMTA staff volunteered to send that information to the participants.

    A PMTA member brought up abusive towing practices and provided an example towing bill his company received with an exorbitant cost. He said that something needs to be done to stop the practice. Rep. Smith responded that this happened to his company too, so he is aware of the issue. He also mentioned auto insurance minimums as a high priority for him. The legislators were interested in addressing the issue. Rebecca mentioned that abusive towing is a national as well as a state issue and that PMTA is working on several fronts on the issue. It is a problem that many PMTA members have experienced, and it must be addressed.

    A member asked about drug and alcohol testing. She understands why random testing is necessary but wondered whether there could be any flexibility. Testing providers have 9-5 hours, but drivers don’t. Working around their hours and travel to get 50% of drivers tested every year is difficult.

    A member brought up PennDOT’s winter weather restrictions. He said that drivers know when conditions are bad and when they need to park their truck. Rep. Smith agreed and mentioned that the legislature was able to get milk haulers exempted last year. He stated that local drivers know how to drive (or not drive) in bad weather, but some truckers on the road are still a problem. Rep. Oberlander said that PennDOT has been lowering speed limits, rather than shutting down the roads, which is what they want to see. Rebecca stated that PMTA has been discussing the restrictions with PennDOT.

    Another member brought up lawsuit abuse as a major concern and mentioned that safety systems and technology are preventing accidents and reducing severity. However, insurance rates continue to climb. The participants agreed that this is an issue that should be addressed.

    Kyle Hannon thanked participants and volunteered to pass on to Sen. Casey many of the concerns that members brought up. The event closed with thanks all around, lunch, and a No-Zone display featuring a Klapec truck.  


  • September 14, 2022 12:36 PM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    May be an image of 8 people, people standing and outdoors

    On Thursday, September 15, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), and the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA), along with members of PMTA's Road Team, gathered at the I-81 southbound rest area near Grantville to recognize National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

    Representatives from each agency discussed the important role of truck drivers in Pennsylvania and interstate commerce. The PMTA team distributed coffee and doughnuts sponsored by the GIANT COMPANY to drivers who stopped by. 

    WHAT: PennDOT, PSP, PMTA recognized the important role the trucking industry plays in commerce.

    WHEN: Thursday, September 15, 2022; 8:00 - 10:00 AM

    WHERE: Grantville Rest Area, I-81 southbound, mm 79

    MEDIA CONTACT: Fritzi Schreffler, 717-418-5016

    Below are the remarks shared by PMTA President and CEO Rebecca Oyler in recognition of and thanks to America's truck drivers.

    Good morning.

    I would like to thank you all for being here this morning as the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association and our partners with the Pennsylvania State Police and with PennDOT extend our gratitude for the truck drivers in our state. We are here specifically to recognize National Truck Driver Appreciation Week but in reality, we at PMTA are thankful for truckers all year round. 

    Incredibly, 96.2 percent of manufactured tonnage is transported by trucks in Pennsylvania. That comes out to about 414,000 tons per day. Nearly 88% of all Pennsylvania communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods.

    In Pennsylvania, if you bought it, a truck brought it. The shirt on your back, the food on your table, and the gas in your gas tank got to you because it was first on a truck. 

    PMTA is grateful to the men and women that climb behind the wheel everyday to deliver goods to warehouses, stores and even our front doors. Every day we share the road with these guardians of commerce, and we are thankful for their dedication to safety and their commitment to move freight securely and efficiently. 

    There are more than 3.7 million truck drivers in America and one in every 15 Pennsylvanians work in the transportation industry, so there is a good chance that you know a truck driver. So if you get the chance, we encourage you to say a word of thanks. And if you don’t know a driver personally, there will be one delivering your next Amazon package at your door soon. 

    Thank you to all those out there on the roads today keeping America Moving.

    Thank you.




  • September 11, 2022 10:42 PM | Rebecca Oyler (Administrator)

    The 2022-23 budget deal that passed in Harrisburg this past summer contains significant benefits for Pennsylvania’s business community. PMTA members may benefit from the tax changes that take effect in 2023, including:

    • A reduction in the Corporate Net Income Tax rate. Pennsylvania’s current 9.99% CNI is the highest flat rate in the country, putting its corporations at a significant competitive disadvantage. Starting on January 1, 2023, it will be reduced to 8.99%, with automatic annual .50 percentage point reductions until the rate reaches 4.99% in 2031, when it will be the 8th lowest in the country. This is the first time Pennsylvania’s CNI has changed since 1995.

    With 97% of trucking companies being small businesses, it’s important that there are benefits for small businesses coming next year too. The following tax benefits will help Pennsylvania businesses that are subject to the Personal Income Tax rate:

    • Like-Kind Exchanges. Starting in 2023, businesses may dispose of one asset and acquire another without generating a tax liability from the sale of the first asset. Pennsylvania was the only state in the country that didn’t allow for this tax deferral at the state level.
    • Tax Deduction for Qualifying Equipment Purchases. Section 179 of the Federal tax code allows owners of pass-through businesses to write off the entire depreciation of purchased qualifying equipment during the initial tax year, effectively reducing the cost by lowering tax liability. Pennsylvania law limited these deductions to $25,000 for businesses subject to the state's personal income tax. In 2023, the deduction limit will increase to be consistent with the federal limit, providing equity for small businesses.

    Businesses equipment that qualifies for Section 179 is almost any asset with a useful life beyond one year. Vehicles have a complicated set of exceptions, however, vehicles intended for business, such as semi-trucks, dump trucks, and forklifts are fully eligible for the deduction.

    To determine how these state tax changes may impact you, contact your tax professional.


  • September 10, 2022 9:57 PM | Rebecca Oyler (Administrator)


    On Friday, September 9, PMTA and Ward Transport and Logistics Corporation hosted a Legislative Meet-and-Greet at Ward’s headquarters in Altoona, PA. PMTA members were able to hear from many local lawmakers and talk with them about issues affecting their companies and what the legislature might do help the industry.

    In attendance at the event were the following PA General Assembly members:

    • ·       Sen. Judy Ward
    • ·       Sen. Wayne Langerholc
    • ·       Sen. Cris Dush
    • ·       Sen. Joe Pittman
    • ·       Rep. Kerry Benninghoff
    • ·       Rep. Rich Irvin
    • ·       Rep. Lou Schmitt
    • ·       Rep. Jim Gregory

    PMTA President & CEO Rebecca Oyler welcomed the group, thanking Ward Transport and Logistics for hosting the event. Rebecca thanked Ward for being a member of PMTA because Ward represents what PMTA works for on behalf of all its members: the opportunity for PA trucking companies and the businesses that support them to compete effectively, succeed at they do, and thrive so that they can contribute to the economic prosperity of the state and the nation.

    Rebecca thanked Sen. Langerholc for authoring and the lawmakers in the room who had voted for the compromise that stopped PennDOT’s P3 bridge tolling initiative, which PMTA had long fought to stop. She mentioned several issues that are holding the industry back in PA, including high costs to operate compared to other states, CARB, and PA registration requirements.

    Rep. Benninghoff, House Majority Leader, opened by stating that the legislature works for everyone in the room and that PMTA members should stay in touch with lawmakers to make sure they understand the industry’s issues. Sen. Pittman agreed but noted that, though the Legislative branch is important, the people who are in the Executive and the Judiciary branches are critical too. Rep. Schmitt also agreed but noted that because the legislature is the policymaking branch, it’s critically important to tell legislators what’s important to the industry, stating “if you’re not in the conversation, it doesn’t count.” Sen. Ward agreed that legislators need to hear thoughts and ideas from PMTA members – today and long after today.

    Rep. Gregory noted his experience in addiction treatment and recovery and discussed how important this is to the industry. He said that policymakers are actively looking for solutions, if members have found any, please share them.

    Sen. Dush stated that underinsured motorists are affecting the industry every time they are involved in an accident with a truck and noted that the legislature is working to address this.

    Sen. Langerholc thanked PMTA for working hard on behalf of its members to fight bridge tolling. He said that the issue wasn’t being discussed early on and may have slipped through except for PMTA’s calling attention to it. He is glad that Gov. Wolf ultimately signed SB 382 because bridge tolling would have been an astronomical cost to the trucking industry.

    Langerholc also noted that the Transportation Committee recently held a hearing on PennDOT’s contract with an Australian company to complete the nine bridges. This P3 contract would require about $9 billion over 30 years for projects that would cost around $3 billion now.

    Rep. Irvin discussed the U.S. truck driver shortage, noting that these are family-sustaining jobs. Career and technical education is important to push for.


    Member questions followed. The first question asked whether the legislature would consider reducing registration fees for trucks because the high costs of registration in PA drive companies to less expensive states to register, leading to fewer registered trucks and less revenue overall. Sen. Langerholc agreed and thought that it would be a good issue to bring up next year. Rep. Benninghoff stated that most legislators don’t know how much it costs to run a truck on the road and how punitive these costs can be for small businesses. He agreed that this may be an issue for next session. Sen. Ward told members to invite a lawmaker to their facility to show them their business and discuss these issues with them.

    Rep. Schmitt added that people don’t generally understand how heavily regulated the trucking industry is, including that small businesses must comply with the same rules as big businesses. Sen. Dush reiterated that members should make sure they talk to their legislators about these costs. Added costs mean less employees.

    The next member question related to infrastructure funding, specifically, how to ensure that funding raised for this purpose funds roads and bridges. Sen. Dush noted that the liquid fuels tax is not tracked well – it should be tracked by zip code. Sen. Langerholc stated that federal money is automatically dispersed according to formulas. With the state’s Motor License Fund, the amount going to the PA State Police was reduced this year, but is still substantial, and this needs to be addressed.

    The conversation then turned to PennDOT’s winter weather restrictions. There was some discussion over whether they have in fact increased safety on the road. Some legislative guests and members noted that the private sector is well positioned to determine for themselves whether or not it is safe to drive. The companies in attendance noted that they each have a process for keeping their drivers safe during winter weather and determining whether it is appropriate to drive. A member pointed out that PennDOT’s reason for winter weather restrictions is their concern about being able to clear the road if a large truck is disabled. This is an issue that need to continue to be discussed.

    A member brought up a concern about drivers involved in accidents he has investigated that are unable to understand English. This is a safety concern but probably a federal issue.

    Another member asked how the state might provide incentives (tax incentives or insurance incentives) to implement safety technologies in trucks. Some legislators thought that tax incentives may be a good idea, though others believed that reducing companies’ overall tax burden would be the best way to free up funding for these technologies. A suggestion was made that the safety industry should make studies about the impact of technologies available to actuaries in the insurance industry.

    Lastly, a member asked about tort reform. What can PMTA do to stop lawsuit abuse? Rep. Benninghoff answered that members should pay close attention to judicial elections – know who is running and what they stand for. Also vote in retention elections.

    The event closed with a tour of Ward’s facilities.

    PMTA’s next Legislative Meet-and-Greet is Friday, September 16 at Klapec Trucking in Reno, PA. Guests include: Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso (also candidate for Lieutenant Governor), Sen. Scott Hutchinson, Rep. Donna Oberlander, and Rep. Brian Smith. Register to attend today!


  • September 06, 2022 12:40 PM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    Atlanta, GA – The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, today launched the 2022 Top Industry Issues Survey.  The annual survey asks trucking industry stakeholders to rank the top issues of concern for the industry along with potential strategies for addressing each issue.

    Now in its 18th year, ATRI’s annual analysis not only ranks the issues overall but also provides insights into how critical topics are ranked differently by motor carriers and professional drivers.  The report also allows stakeholders to monitor issues over time to better understand which issues are rising, or falling, in criticality.

    “The annual Top Industry Issues Survey has long been a crucial part of understanding the issues facing our country’s supply chain.  ATRI’s research provides a chance for thousands of trucking industry professionals, from drivers to executives, to weigh in on the most important topics that affect trucking and collectively decide on the best strategies for addressing each,” said ATA Chair Harold Sumerford, Jr., CEO of J & M Tank Lines, Inc.

    “I encourage my fellow drivers to take a few minutes and complete the Top Industry Issues Survey.  Whether your top issue is truck parking, driver compensation, detention, traffic congestion or something else, it only takes a few minutes to make your voice heard and for us collectively to let the industry know what drivers are most concerned about,” said Steve Fields, an America’s Road Team Captain and professional truck driver for Yellow.

    The results of the 2022 survey will be released October 22, 2022 as part of the American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition to be held in San Diego, California.

    Industry stakeholders are encouraged to complete the 2022 survey available by clicking here.  The survey will remain open through October 7, 2022.

    ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501c3 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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