Connecticut’s toll-wary truckers tally their economic benefits

From the Hartford Business Journal.

Connecticut’s trucking industry delivers some $3.2 billion in pay to its workers annually, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg in calculating the sector’s financial and other contributions to the communities it serves, fresh data shows.

Connecticut’s 58,400 trucking jobs annually earn an average of $54,350 per worker, says the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). Based in Arlington, Va., ATRI jointly released its data Thursday via the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut (MTAC) in Hartford.

“These numbers prove once again what the hard-working men and women in the industry already know; the trucking industry provides good-paying jobs and great career opportunities,” MTAC President Joe Sculley said in a statement.

“Our employees also know that the trucking industry is the backbone of the economy,” he said.

The ATRI data comes amid growing concerns among Connecticut’s truckers about the potential for state lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session to seriously weigh tolling state highways to fund road maintenance and other transportation infrastructure.

See the complete article from the Hartford Business Journal online.

Truckers say they already pay fair share for Connecticut roads

From the Yankee Institute.

Governor-elect Ned Lamont has reiterated his call to toll trucks as a way to raise revenue for state transportation costs, but truckers and trucking companies are already paying for Connecticut roads, according to data released by the American Transportation Research Institute.

A fact sheet released by ATRI notes the trucking industry paid 32 percent of all state taxes owed by motorists, while only accounting for 5 percent of the miles traveled in Connecticut.

The typical tractor trailer paid $8,610 in state fees and taxes and an additional $8,906 to the federal government in fees and taxes.

President of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut Joseph Sculley said the state of Connecticut takes in between $25 and $30 million per year from out-of-state trucks through the state’s participation in the International Fuel Tax Agreement and the International Registration Plan.

See the complete article from the Yankee Institute online.

MTAC Announces Partnership with Wilson Elser Law Firm

MTAC is pleased to announce a new partnership with national law firm Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman, & Dicker LLP. The firm, better known as Wilson Elser, is more than 800 attorneys strong. They serve clients of all sizes, across multiple industries and around the world. Wilson Elser has 37 strategically located offices in the United States and another in London. This depth and scale has made Wilson Elser one of the nation’s most influential law firms, ranked in the Am Law 200 and top 53 in the National Law Journal 500.

Wilson Elser is a law firm that specializes in transportation, among other industries. With offices in Hartford and Stamford, Connecticut, they offer ready access to virtually any legal service, drawing on the collective experience resident among their own attorneys and colleagues throughout the broader firm. Wilson Elser has worked with several MTAC members over the past few years.

Wilson Elser is ready to serve their trucking industry clients in any number of areas, including but not limited to:

  • Contesting fines issued during a roadside inspection
  • Crafting motor carrier − independent contractor agreements
  • Establishing procedures  to help ensure that pre-trip and post-trip inspections are completed and documented properly
  • Dealing with all aspects of a shipper/broker/carrier relationship
  • Defending civil and/or criminal litigation.

As part of this partnership, Wilson Elser will send periodic newsletters to MTAC members and conduct seminars focused on legal issues in the trucking industry. These valuable adjuncts are intended to help members and prospective members stay up to speed on the many legal issues impacting the transportation industry in Connecticut and beyond.

Contact Wilson Elser attorneys directly:

  • Brian Del Gatto: (203) 388-2400
  • Joseph Baiocco: (203) 388-2403
  • Stephen P. Brown: (203) 388-2450

UCR fees dip again in 2019, registration open until April 1

From Overdrive Online

Unified Carrier Registration fees for trucking companies, brokers and freight forwarders for 2019 have been reduced from 2018 levels so as not to exceed the statutory maximum set by Congress. Fees will climb in 2020 from 2019, but still stay below levels from 2010-2018.

For carriers with one or two trucks, the 2019 fee will be $62. In 2020, that fee will climb to $68.

The new fees went into effect Dec. 28. Registration for 2019 is available at www.ucr.gov, and it must be completed by April 1.

Fees graduate higher for carriers with more trucks.

Carriers with between three and five trucks will pay $185; those with six to 20 trucks will pay $368; fleets with 21-100 trucks will pay $1,283; while trucking companies with between 101 and 1,000 trucks will pay $6,112 in 2019. Carriers with more than 1,000 trucks will pay $59,689 this year and $66,072 next year.

In 2020, fees will increase from 2019’s level but stay below levels from 2010-2018. Here are the fees for the next two years, compared to previous fees:

Click here to see the rates and the complete article from Overdrive Online.

MTAC to film video on tolls

MTAC is producing a video about the negative impacts of tolls on the Connecticut trucking industry. Since many members are not able to take an entire day off of the job on short notice to come to the Capitol, MTAC believes producing a video will help spread our message.

We need your involvement in order to make an effective video. Filming is scheduled to begin on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. at the MTAC office building. Register through the MTAC website to let us know that you will be coming.

MTAC seeks participation from any and all of the following: business owners, CEOs, CFOs, controllers, independent contractors, drivers, and operations managers, to name a few.

Come to the MTAC building on Jan. 31 prepared to talk about what your business does, and how Connecticut tolls would impact your business.

As a reminder, tolling proposals that have been on the table during the last couple of years call for tolling current highway capacity, which you have already paid for with fuel taxes, registration fees, etc. For your information, below are some suggested toll rates (on a per-mile basis) from a study released in November 2018 by Connecticut DOT consultant CDM Smith.

Fleet Screen background check service

Motor Transport Association of Connecticut (MTAC) and Fleet Screen have developed a proprietary background check service for MTAC members to assist them with their driver screening needs.

Criminal Background Checks and Motor Vehicle Records (MVR’s) are essential screening tools for motor carriers to ensure that their prospective drivers meet the safety criteria established by the industry and company policy.

All reports are FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) compliant and are reviewed by Fleet Screen prior to reporting to your company.

Screening Packages are as follows:

Driver Bundled Package, $47 each, includes:

  • Social Security Verification
  • CDLIS Report
  • Connecticut Driving Records (MVR’s)
  • National Criminal Database
  • One County Criminal Report

Connecticut Criminal Record Check, $32 each, includes:

  • National Criminal Database
  • Connecticut Driving Records (MVR’s)
  • One DOT Employment Verification (all additional employers $15 each)

The above options are just a sample of what is available. Click here to see a document detailing all of what Fleet Screen has to offer.

Contact

Ben Johnson at Fleet Screen at (817) 332-0044 x702, or benj@fleetscreen.com and mention that you are a MTAC member.

NOTE: Connecticut’s “Ban the Box” law prohibits the inclusion of a question about criminal history on the initial employment application, unless the employer is required to do so by an applicable state or federal law. However, employers may still inquire into applicants’ criminal histories, but such background inquiries must occur AFTER an employment application has been completed, e.g., during an interview.

Sinclair Risk & Financial Management presents OSHA 10-hour

MTAC is pleased to announce that it will be hosting an OSHA 10-hour Construction Training Course, presented by Sinclair Risk & Financial Management. The course, which will be held over two consecutive days, is scheduled for Feb. 21 and 22. This course will be free to MTAC members in good standing.

The OSHA 10-hour Construction Training Course represents a broad overview of OSHA policies, procedures, and standards, as well as construction safety. The class will focus on OSHA standards that address the most hazardous conditions. The training will also cover a variety of general industry safety and health hazards which a worker may encounter. MTAC member employees should attend this course to help maximize safety on the job site.

The class will be held at the MTAC office building, 60 Forest Street, Hartford, Conn. On Feb. 21 the class will run from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (with a break for lunch). On Feb. 22, the class will begin at 8 a.m. and should conclude by noon.

In order to comply with OSHA notification and certification requirements, interested individuals must register for this class by February 7.

REMINDER: Sinclair is a valued MTAC partner, which recently paid out more than $494,000 in insurance dividends as part of the MTAC/Sinclair/Acadia Safety Group program.

Register online at the MTAC website.

Training Class: Driver Qualifications/Driver Files/Medical Certificates

Are your drivers properly qualified? If (when) USDOT arrives at your business, are your driver qualification (DQ) files in order? Which drivers need a DQ file? What is the difference in the files for a CDL vs a Non-CDL driver? To comply with the medical certificate process, what do I need in my DQ file?

What are some of the pitfalls encountered when that DOT audit occurs?

How long do I need to keep DQ records? After my driver files are set up WHAT DO I NEED TO DO ANNUALLY to maintain them?

These are some of the questions that will be answered during this 2 hour Driver Qualification seminar. Don’t leave your company open to violations that can be easily avoided!

The cost is $55 for members, $80 for non-members. Register on the MTAC website today.

New Westbound 25 on-ramp to be relocated on Dec. 14

The new westbound 25 on-ramp will open to traffic beginning on Friday, December 14.  The new on-ramp will be located further to the west than the existing/interim ramp, entering I-84 west of the new Harpers Ferry Road Bridge.

  • The existing ramp, west of Scott Road, will close permanently.
  • In addition, Plank Road East, the new two-way local road between Scott Road and Harpers Ferry Road, will open to traffic.
  • The westbound 25 on-ramp and Plank Road East will meet Harpers Ferry Road at a new intersection north of the Harpers Ferry Road Bridge, and new signalization will be in operation.

If inclement weather causes delays, work will be postponed until the following day.

 

Connecticut Resources

Bond Commission OKs tens of millions during Malloy’s final meeting

In near unanimous support, the state Bond Commission on Tuesday morning greenlit dozens of projects worth tens of millions of dollars, mainly geared toward transportation and economic-development initiatives.

The 50-minute special meeting was likely the last chaired by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is nearing the end of his two-term governorship. Gov.-elect Ned Lamont will assume Malloy’s seat Jan. 9.

Malloy thanked the 10-member commission for its service during his tenure and lauded the group’s ability to unanimously agree on what he estimated was 98 percent of the borrowing requests acted on by the commission over that time.

“The state has made significant investments in its future. Its infrastructure is in far better shape than it was, although it has a long way to go, partially in the area of transportation,” Malloy said during the meeting held at the state legislative office building. “Our schools are stronger, our universities are in better shape than they were, our economic-development efforts have led to more private-sector jobs than in any time in our history.”

The largest approval on Tuesday was a $91.6 million request from the Connecticut Department of Transportation for various projects. That includes $78 million for improvements along Interstate 84 and more than $13.6 million for urban bikeway, pedestrian connectivity, trails and other programs.

See the full article from Hartford Business Journal online.