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 Incorrect or outdated information can affect your CSA scores dramatically, usually in a negative manner.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.

2016 Truck Driving Championship results

The 2016 Connecticut Truck Driving Championship was held on Saturday, June 11 at FedEx Freight in Windsor Locks. Here are the results of all the trophy classes, and winners of other special awards. Congratulations to all winners!

  • Step Van: 3rd place: Andrew Tenney, FedEx Express; 2nd place: Seth Eaton, FedEx Express; 1st place: Glen Cooke, FedEx Express
  • Straight Truck: 3rd place: Joe McClain, FedEx Express; 2nd place: John Mahon, Mondelez International; 1st place: Drew Martin, FedEx Express
  • 3-Axle: 3rd place: Tony Orfitelli, XPO Logistics; 2nd place: Ernie Budlowski, XPO Logistics; 1st place: John Brown, Domino’s SCC CT
  • 4-Axle: 3rd place: Dominic Cessarini, FedEx Express; 2nd place: Cruz Vasquez, FedEx Freight; 1st place: Dave Misenheimer, Domino’s SCC CT
  • 5-Axle van: 3rd place: Ted Wish, Frito Lay; 2nd place: Aaron Sperry, A. Duie Pyle; 1st place: John Greene, FedEx Freight
  • Flatbed: 3rd place: Ozzie Bartlett, Bozzuto’s; 2nd place: Larry Hoskins, XPO Logistics; 1st place: Tony Spero ABF Freight Systems
  • Sleeper: 3rd place: Karen Roderick, FedEx Ground; 2nd place: Steven Johnson, Domino’s SCC CT; 1st place: Mark McClure, Domino’s SCC CT
  • Tank Truck: 3rd place: Joe Moniz, FedEx Freight; 2nd place: Bill Priebe, Coastal Carriers of CT; 1st place: Paul Brandon, FedEx Freight
  • Twin Trailers: 3rd place: Bert Howard, FedEx Ground; 2nd place: Steve Lemieux, XPO Logistics; 1st place: Matt Walsh, Frito Lay
  • Company Award (highest average score): 3rd place: FedEx Express; 2nd place: Domino’s SCC CT: 1st place: FedEx Freight
  • Bob Toce Award (highest score in 4-axle): Dave Miseheimer, Domino’s SCC CT
  • Rookie of the Year (highest score among first time competitors): Aaron Sperry, A. Duie Pyle
  • Benjamin Mongillo Award (highest written test score, rookies): Aaron Sperry, A. Duie Pyle
  • Pre-Trip Award (highest pre-trip score): Tony Spero, ABF Freight

Grand Champion: Tony Spero, ABF Freight – Mr. Spero had the highest combined score among the written exam, pre-trip vehicle inspection, and skills course portions of the competition.

2016 Truck Driving Championship Photo Gallery

Stratford-based trucker is state’s grand champion

An excerpt from the Connecticut Post.

2016-tdc-spiro-01They’re calling him the Grand Champion of Connecticut truckers. Tony Spero, of Stratford-based ABF Freight, drove home with the top award in the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut’s Truck Driving Championship. According to an MTAC release, “the Grand Champion is the driver who has the highest combined score from the written exam, pre-trip vehicle inspection, and skills course in the competition.”

The annual event, which involves some of the safest truck drivers in the state, was held last Saturday at FedEx Freight in Windsor Locks.

“MTAC congratulates Tony Spero on the hard work and dedication that led to this accomplishment,” said MTAC President Joe Sculley in a statement. “He has earned this award in previous years as well. The fact that he was the top driver at the competition again this year shows how seriously he takes safety and compliance with government regulations.”

Read the full article at the Connecticut Post website.

Thank you TDC sponsors and volunteers!

By all accounts, the 2016 Truck Driving Championship was a success. That is due to the work of the TDC Committee, comprised of Roland Bolduc, Keith Herzig, Jim Hosey, Ron Newman, and Ben Zadrozny. There were also many volunteers that day who served as judges, scorekeepers, and those who cooked on the grill.

Additionally, donations of supplies and equipment were key to success. Thank you to FedEx Freight, Bozzuto’s, Ryder System, Coastal Carriers of CT, Manchester Ice & Fuel, Crystal Rock, and J&S Radio Sales.

MTAC thanks TDC sponsors, including FedEx Freight, Whelen Engineering, NETTTS, ABF Freight, Crystal Rock, Ryder System, Kay’s Trucking, Soulsby Law Firm, Bozzuto’s, Domino’s SCC CT, Coastal Carriers of CT, FedEx Express, Aaron Supreme Storage Containers, J.R. Christoni, Toce Brothers, Stewart & Stevenson, J.J. Keller, Acadia Insurance, John DeGrand & Son, and Gregory & Howe.

Thank you once again to FedEx Freight for use of their facility. MTAC looks forward to another great event next year.