Chris Spear named ATA president, succeeding Bill Graves

From Transport Topics.

Christopher Spear was named president and CEO of American Trucking Associations, effective July 9, succeeding Bill Graves. ATA made the announcement July 1, when it introduced Spear to the staff at the federation’s Arlington, Virginia, headquarters. Spear was given a five-year contract and chosen from a field of about two dozen candidates, according to ATA Chairman Pat Thomas. ATA had been looking for a new CEO since October, when Graves, 63, announced at the end of ATA’s Management Conference & Exhibition that he would leave at the end of 2016. He is staying on for the remainder of this year as an adviser

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead this great association and serve this vital industry,” Spear said. “Trucking is the backbone of our economy and a catalyst for American job growth, delivering critical goods to businesses and homes coast-to-coast. I am excited to work alongside ATA’s members and federation partners to ensure the industry continues to prosper and safely move our nation forward.”

MTAC President Joe Sculley said that ATA made a great choice in hiring Chris Spear as the next president, and that he looks forward to working with Mr. Spear to advance the goals of the federation.

Trucking industry invests $9.5 billion in safety

From Transport Topics.

The trucking industry invests at least $9.5 billion in safety annually according to a report released June 29 by American Trucking Associations.

The investments include technologies on trucks such as collision avoidance systems, electronic logging devices for driver hours of service compliance and video event recorders. In addition, they include driver safety training, driver safety incentive pay, and compliance with safety regulations that include driver drug testing and records checks, according to the ATA report.

The investment numbers were based on data compiled in two industry surveys taken in 2014 and the fall of 2015, ATA said.

The largest investment category is in driver safety training, equaling 36% of all investment. Driver safety training was followed by expenditures in compliance with safety rules (26%), onboard safety technologies (25%) and driver safety incentive pay (13%), ATA said.

Read more online at Transport Topics.

Connecticut recycling trailblazer Paine’s receives industry honor

From the Hartford Business Journal.

The longtime leader of East Granby-based recycling and waste hauling provider Paine’s Inc. was inducted this month into the National Waste & Recycling Association’s (NWRA) Hall of Fame.

Michael Paine, who has been president of his family’s business since 1989, received the honor June 7 in Las Vegas at an industry trade show.

Paine’s, which was once primarily an egg farm with a side hauling business, said its leader helped it become the first New England company to offer automated trash collection and curbside recycling.

Paine joins more than 180 fellow industry managers and executives who the NWRA has inducted since 1986. The Association said the award recognizes “industry visionaries and icons that have created an enduring legacy through their inspirational leadership, core values and significant contributions.”

Paine has chaired the NWRA’s Connecticut chapter since the 1990s, testifying regularly on proposed state legislation related to waste and recycling.

He served as NWRA’s chairman in 2007, as a member of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s Modernizing Recycling Working Group in 2012, and he is currently serving his second term as a Simsbury selectman.

Read the full Hartford Business Journal article online.

Mike Paine is a member of the MTAC Board of Directors, and is a strong supporter of the Association. Congratulations to Mr. Paine on this recognition.

Reminder to update MCS-150

Some MTAC members have recently been notified that their USDOT number was deactivated because they have not updated their form MCS-150 within the past two years. This is a reminder that FMCSA requires that carriers’ form MCS-150 be updated at least once every two years. When updating an MCS-150, members need to ensure that truck count, driver type and count, annual truck fleet mileage, commodities carried, etc is accurate. Incorrect or outdated information can affect your CSA scores dramatically, usually in a negative manner. This can lead to investigations (audits) and fines. Keep your information up to date on the scheduled month and year.

Additionally, if business situations change dramatically within the two-year update periods, members should submit the corrected information by updating their MCS-150 information online. Reminder, when updating your MCS-150, don’t forget to also notify MTAC if your number of trucks has changed.

According to FMCSA’s website, failure to complete a Biennial Update will result in deactivation of a company’s USDOT number and may result in civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day, not to exceed $10,000.

Truck restrictions on I-95 for DNC convention

From the June 23, 2016 PennDOT press release.

Commercial vehicles weighing more than five tons will be prohibited from traveling on Interstate 95 between Exit 13 (Interstate 76 West/Route 291/Valley Forge) and Exit 22 (Interstate 676) in Philadelphia from Saturday, July 23 at 12:00 PM, until midday Friday, July 29, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said today.

“The rerouting of commercial vehicles off I-95 is associated with the security for the Democratic National Convention,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “PennDOT and regional transportation partners will utilize a combination of electronic message boards and stationary signs to guide commercial truck drivers along alternate routes during this temporary restriction.

“We urge commercial drivers, if possible, to travel on interstate highways outside the Philadelphia region during the week of the convention to avoid being diverted off I-95,” Richards added.

Among the types of commercial vehicles to be restricted from traveling on this part of I-95 during the convention are delivery trucks, utility vehicles, parcel trucks, small dump trucks, buses, flatbed and stake trucks, refrigerated and box trucks, large delivery trucks, refuse trucks, cement mixers, buses, and all tractor-trailer combinations including double trailers.

In addition, motor homes and recreational trailers operated for personal use and weighing more than five tons will also be restricted from traveling on this section of I-95.

The following are the posted detours that drivers of vehicles over five tons will be directed to follow to return to I-95 once they exit the interstate:

  • From I-95 north: Route 291 (Penrose Avenue) east, to 26th Street, to Interstate 76 west, to Interstate 676 east; and
  • From I-95 south: I-676 west, to I-76 east, to 26th Street, to Route 291(Penrose Avenue) west.

In addition, the northbound and southbound entrance ramps to I-95 between Exit 13 and Exit 22 in Philadelphia will be closed to commercial vehicles over five tons. Commercial vehicles will be directed to use arterial roads to reach either I-95 north or south beyond Exit 13 or Exit 22.

FMCSA issues rule increasing most motor carrier civil penalties

From Transport Topics.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued an interim final rule increasing — and in some cases decreasing — its motor carrier civil penalties for violations of federal regulations.

In an announcement scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on June 27, the agency said several laws require periodic “catch-up” adjustments based on cost-of-living increases. Those adjustments result in most penalties jumping from 10% to more than 105%.

The adjusted penalties go into effect August 1, the agency said.

The rule provides for some of the more serious penalties to be assessed on a daily basis if a carrier fails to take corrective action or obey out-of-service or suspension orders.

Although most of the penalty increases are computed using a formula, others are left to the discretion of the agency, according to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015.

Read the full article online at Transport Topics.

Route 9 proposal removes traffic lights in Middletown

An excerpt from the Hartford Courant.

State engineers may have found a way to finally get rid of those highway traffic lights that have plagued commuters, beach-bound travelers and local motorists on Route 9 for decades.

The state Department of Transportation has a new proposal to add bridges, ramps and a roundabout that would remove the need for the lights by eliminating crossing traffic. With an early estimate of $75 million, the plan is a fraction of the cost and logistical nightmare of prior plans to raise or bury the highway — plans that were estimated at $400 million or more.

The full article is available online.

MTAC visits Freightliner of Hartford

This week, MTAC President Joe Sculley visited member company Freightliner of Hartford. Freightliner of Hartford is located right off of Interstate 84, where they sell, service, and support Freightliner heavy-duty highway tractors and medium-duty trucks; heavy vocational trucks and extreme-duty vehicles; Sprinter cargo and passenger vans; fire and emergency rescue trucks. Freightliner of Hartford is also an authorized parts & service dealer for Western Star trucks.

Freightliner of Hartford maintains corporate fleets for some 60 companies in Connecticut, and also major for national transportation companies. More than 50 municipalities in Connecticut bring their fire and rescue vehicles to Freightliner of Hartford, trusting the company to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment operating at peak performance.

Long Island Expressway parking concerns

From Trucking Association of New York (TANY).

Member companies are asked to remind their drivers who may be operating in the Long Island area to avoid parking on the shoulders or service roads of the Long Island Expressway. Additionally, everyone is asked to spread the word to any other companies who may drive in this area to avoid parking on shoulders and service roads.

Recently there have been increased instances of illegal parking, creating a safety hazard for all operators. The NYSDOT is trying to get their message out and issue warnings rather than tickets, but will begin issuing tickets if the situation does not improve. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Tire Safety Tips: Driving safely and legally on the road

Excerpt from Acadia Insurance blog post.

While the dangers of winter driving may be behind us, the hot summer months ahead have their own dangers. Depending on the climate, the time between mid-May and early October is when drivers will be seeing more and more treads lining the interstates.

Tire blowouts are one of the most dangerous occurrences for drivers of both commercial and personal vehicles and have serious consequences, such as damaged loads, damaged rigs, and injury or death to the driver or others on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), truck tire blowouts were accountable for 200 crashes and 223 fatalities between the years 2009-2013. Blowouts can result in tire debris or driver loss of control, which can cause dangerous situations for all of those around.

As a reminder, Acadia Insurance, and their agent Sinclair Risk and Financial Management, are valued MTAC partners. Contact Marty Shea at (203) 284-3208 for information on how to potentially get approved for competitively-priced commercial lines insurance coverage, including a dividend-paying worker’s compensation program.