Connecticut diesel tax decreases July 1

Effective July 1, 2016, Connecticut’s per-gallon diesel fuel tax rate will decrease to 41.7 cents per gallon, which is down from the current rate of 50.3 cents per gallon. The state diesel tax rate is comprised of two components. One is a base rate of 29 cents per gallon. The second component is calculated annually, and is based upon the average wholesale price per gallon of diesel fuel from the period of April 1 through March 30, plus the applicable gross receipts tax rate on petroleum products. Since the average wholesale price was lower for this twelve-month period that the previous twelve-month period, the variable component of the diesel tax rate will go down.

Additional industry training seminars scheduled

MTAC is pleased to announce that several educational seminars have been added to the training calendar. These classes will be held at the MTAC office building, and will last for approximately two hours.

Hours of Service – Do you understand the hours of service regulation? When is a log book required? What are the requirements to claim the 100/150 air mile exemption? What records must I keep? These are some of the questions that will be discussed in this two-hour session on hours of service. Before the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rules apply in December of 2017, you must understand the basic requirements in order to determine exactly what must be done. Join us in the training opportunity to keep your company in compliance with federal regulations. Attend this class on Sept. 13 to help avoid fines and drivers being put out of service.

Cargo Securement – Cargo securement is always a concern to our industry. In recent years, more aggressive enforcement of the load securement regulations has been in effect. Load securement can affect your CSA safety rating. This seminar is designed to address many of the common issues related to load securement. We will talk about the “general requirements” as well as “load specific” requirements. We will work through a few problems in calculating load securement requirements. Of course, we will strive to answer some of those specific questions your particular operation may have. This two-hour session on Oct. 4 should help you avoid any “unfortunate situations” that may occur.

Complying with the FMCSA – This two-hour session is designed to help you in your compliance efforts in regards to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. We will examine some of the common causes of violations during an investigation/audit. Are you prepared for that “knock on the door” with the FMCSA investigator? Being prepared and having an idea of the process, as well as what will be checked, will result in better outcomes. It is much easier to be in compliance than to pay fines, have your safety status downgraded, or in the extreme case receive a shutdown order. Be proactive in your compliance efforts by attending this class on Oct. 18.

Connecticut should create Highway Trust Fund

Read the full OpEd written by MTAC President Joe Sculley in the Hartford Business Journal.

If Connecticut is going to improve its transportation infrastructure, the state must focus on highways, in addition to other modes. This focus should include not only maintenance and potential expansion, but the taxes that are paid to fund these things, and how those taxes are spent.

Simply claiming that increased spending on rail and transit will ease congestion because doing so takes drivers off the road is not a strong argument.

The Federal Highway Administration data shows that Connecticut already spends most of its state highway user fees on rail and transit, yet the state still suffers from terrible traffic congestion on our highways. If the spending of state highway user fees on transit was guaranteed to ease congestion, Connecticut wouldn’t have the traffic problems it does.

The state needs increased highway investment to ease congestion. That is why the state should create a Highway Trust Fund in order to ensure that Connecticut’s highways, roads and bridges receive the proper attention and funding that they deserve.

Connecticut Route 8 lane closures

From the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Motorists should be aware that on the evening of June 10, the Route 8 southbound on-ramp from Chopsey Hill Road will be closed to traffic and remain closed until June 25, 2016. Detours will be posted to guide motorists to the Exit 4 southbound on-ramp on Lindley Street.

By 8 a.m., Saturday June 11, it is anticipated that all traffic realignments will be completed, and the Stage 1 Crossover configuration will be established. The configuration will remain in effect continuously until the morning of June 25. During this fourteen-day period, the number of lanes on Route 8 will be reduced to three lanes northbound and two lanes southbound between Exit 3 and Exit 5, with Route 8 southbound shifted onto northbound portion of the highway.

Segments of Route 8, Route 1 and various local roads in Bridgeport will be impacted by this project. Motorists should be aware that short term alternating closures of Capitol Avenue and Lindley Streets will be required to facilitate the demolition and reconstruction of the bridges. During these closures, detour routes will be posted to assist motorists in navigating around the work zones.

Federal greenhouse-gas regulations delivered to OMB

From Transport Topics.

The final version of the Phase 2 federal greenhouse-gas regulation for trucks on June 3 was sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review.

Federal regulators are intent on publishing the final version of Phase 2 of GHG regulations for medium- and heavy-duty trucks by August, but recent comments on the proposal have shown disagreement among truck and engine makers, industry and environmental advocates and manufacturers of glider kits.

The proposed joint greenhouse-gas Phase 1 rule of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took effect in January 2014, and the second half starts Jan. 1.

In February 2014, President Obama asked EPA and NHTSA to write a Phase 2 rule, and the proposal was published in June 2015.

In its current form, the rule would start regulating trailers in 2018 and trucks in three stages: 2021, 2024 and 2027.

The rulemaking would respond to requirements of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which was signed into law Dec. 19, 2007. The statute requires that regulators establish a medium- and heavy-duty on-highway vehicle and work truck fuel efficiency improvement program that achieves the maximum feasible improvement, including standards that are “appropriate, cost-effective and technologically feasible.”

The law also requires that the new standards provide at least four full model years of regulatory lead time and three full model years of regulatory stability.

Commercial tire safety tips

treadwear-visor-cardThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is concerned about commercial tire safety and has previously issued alerts to the motor coach industry to raise awareness regarding summer tire safety issues. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) have highlighted that exceeding tire speed ratings, increased front axle loads, and increased uptime/equipment utilization have led to increased tire failures on commercial trucks.

For these reasons, FMCSA in collaboration with NHTSA, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), and the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) developed a visor card outlining tips for commercial tire safety to be distributed during International Roadcheck 2016 to be conducted June 7-9th.

Click on the image to open and download a PDF of the visor card.

Boat transport equipment for sale

The owners of a MTAC member company are retiring after 37 years of running their family business. To prepare for their retirement, they are seeking to sell some equipment that was used by the business. Specifically, they have two day cabs and three trailers, all customized for boat transport and reportedly in excellent condition. The equipment was used on a semi-seasonal basis, and averaged 300-400 moves per year. If you would like to speak to the owner about the equipment, call Joe Boccia directly at (860) 395-8480.



Next Week – CVSA Roadcheck – Focus on Tires

Next week, June 7-9, is the industry’s opportunity to demonstrate to law enforcement officials that MTAC members and the trucking industry make safety and compliance a priority.

International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute in Canada, the United States and Mexico during a 72-hour period. During the annual three-day event, CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle and driver safety.

Each year, International Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. The special emphasis for 2016 International Roadcheck is tire safety (i.e., measuring the tire tread depth, checking the tire pressure, checking to make sure that no items are lodged between dual tires and examining the overall condition of the tire to make sure that no deep cuts or bulges exist in the sidewalls of the tire).

MTAC members should be sure that their trucks, especially tires, are in compliance. To comply with federal regulation, do not operate trucks with tires that: have less than the minimum tread depth (minimum tread depth for steer tires is 4/32-inch, and 2/32-inch for any other wheel position); have body ply or belt material exposed through the tread or sidewall; have any tread or sidewall separation; are flat or have an audible leak; have a cut to the extent that the ply or belt material is exposed.

Law enforcement officials will be conducting Roadcheck at weigh stations, and through “roving” patrols throughout Connecticut, from June 7-9.

MTAC Visits Botticello, Inc.

This week, MTAC President Joe Sculley visited MTAC Board member Dennis Botticello of Botticello’s, Inc., in Manchester, Conn. Botticello’s is a long-time member which serves all of Connecticut for a variety of services, including trucking. They are also in the equipment sales and rentals business, and have commercial, industrial, and municipal services.

Botticello’s provides a wide array of products and services, including: decorative stone, custom crushing, demolition and disposal services, and stump grinding.

If you need contact info for Botticello’s, Inc., contact the MTAC office.

Connecticut Resources

Connecticut ranks 50th in state fiscal condition

From the George Mason University Mercatus Center.

On the basis of its fiscal solvency in five separate categories, Connecticut ranks 50th among the US states and Puerto Rico for its fiscal health. Connecticut’s fiscal position is poor across all categories. With between only 0.46 and 1.19 times the cash needed to cover short-term liabilities, Connecticut’s revenues matched only 94 percent of expenses, producing a deficit of $505 per capita. The state is heavily reliant on debt to finance its spending. With a negative net asset ratio of −0.88 and liabilities exceeding assets by 34 percent, per capita debt is $9,077. Total debt is $20.88 billion. Unfunded pensions are $83.31 billion on a guaranteed-to-be-paid basis, and other postemployment benefits (OPEB) are $19.53 billion. Total liabilities are equal to 53 percent of total state personal income.