Trump taps former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to lead DOT

Excerpt from Transport Topics article:

Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao has been chosen by President-elect Donald Trump to run the Department of Transportation under his watch.

The Trump transition team made the announcement Nov. 29. If confirmed by the Senate, Chao would succeed Anthony Foxx.

As DOT chief, Chao would be the point person driving the next administration’s massive goals for infrastructure funding and myriad regulations. Trump has pledged to deliver legislation to Congress during his first 100 days in office that would aim to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure over 10 years by providing $137 billion in tax credits to companies. Trump’s plan would need congressional approval.

See the full Transport Topics article online.

Dump Truck Council Party a success

MTAC thanks the attendees and sponsors of the 2016 Dump Truck Council Christmas party for an enjoyable night. Specifically, MTAC and the Dump Truck Council appreciate the sponsorship provided by the following companies:

  • AA Industries, LLC
  • A. B. CDL Training Center
  • Acadia Insurance
  • Botticello, Inc.
  • CCIA – EMF
  • Connecticut Retail Merchants Association
  • DMR Material
  • Distinctive Gardens & Tree Care, LLC
  • Dom’s Pool Water, LLC
  • Environmental Services, Inc
  • Garrity Asphalt Reclaiming
  • Harken’s Landscape Supply
  • Holden Brothers
  • Holden Construction
  • JV III Construction, Inc.
  • Manchester Ice & Fuel
  • Maneeley’s Banquet Facility
  • Mitchell Associates Inc.
  • Mover’s and Warehousemen’s Association
  • MTAC Group Insurance Trust
  • MTAC Services Corp.
  • Nutmeg International Trucks
  • O & G Industries, Inc.
  • Oasis Truck Tire Service
  • Russo Brothers, Inc.
  • SBBJ Construction
  • Sinclair Risk & Financial Management
  • Stewart & Stevenson Atlantic Division
  • T & A Realty, LLC
  • Transurance, Inc.

MTAC members moving to Fleet Screen

MTAC is pleased to report that a large number of its member companies that participate in the drug and alcohol testing consortium have already transitioned to our new partner, Fleet Screen. MTAC recommends that any member who has not completed their transfer form to enroll with Fleet Screen do so as soon as possible.

Using Fleet Screen through MTAC’s consortium will result in a savings of time and money, and improved customer service. Several other state trucking associations in the Northeast already use Fleet Screen to run their testing consortiums, and all report exceptional service and member satisfaction.

Complete this setup form, including your random pool participant lists, to sign up. Email the form to Laurie Biggs at laurieh@fleetscreen.com and Shelley Sullivan at shelleys@fleetscreen.com at Fleet Screen.

Research from ATRI identifies autonomous vehicle impacts on trucking industry

Excerpt from the American Transportation Research Institute website.

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released its report identifying potential impacts of autonomous vehicle technology on the trucking industry, which include significant safety and productivity benefits that may result from autonomous technology adoption. This research was identified as the top research priority for the industry by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee earlier this year.

The analysis mapped potential autonomous vehicle impacts to the trucking industry’s top ten issues as surveyed annually by ATRI. From hours-of-service to the driver shortage to driver health and wellness, benefits and challenges to commercial drivers and motor carriers were identified across the top ten issues. For instance, ATRI identified numerous changes to the hours-of-service regulations and the ELD mandate that would allow commercial drivers to improve safety and productivity through autonomous vehicle operation.

These improvements, however, will require federal leadership and significant input from the trucking industry. ATRI’s research also documents a number of potential public sector impediments to autonomous truck deployment including poor infrastructure quality, uncertainties related to tort law, and the possible need for federal preemption.

You can read the full post and access a copy of the report online.

FMCSA issues safety advisory for certain cargo tanks

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is issuing a safety advisory to provide notice to owners and operators of DOT407 and DOT412 cargo tank motor vehicles manufactured by Keith Huber Incorporated.

These cargo tanks are NOT in compliance with Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) and do NOT meet 49 CFR 178.347. This Safety Advisory is for cargo tanks manufactured by Keith Huber Incorporated prior to May 1, 2013.

* IMPORTANT NOTE: Keith Huber Incorporated is no longer in business and ceased manufacturing cargo tanks on or about May 1, 2013. Keith Huber Incorporated is a distinct entity from the Keith Huber CorporationCargo tanks manufactured by the Keith Huber Corporation are NOT subject to this safety advisory.

Continued use of the Keith Huber Incorporated DOT407 and DOT412 cargo tanks in specification hazardous materials service is prohibited; owners and operators are subject to immediate enforcement and civil penalties.

The complete safety advisory is available online at the FMCSA website.

Owners and operators with questions are directed to contact FMCSA’s Hazardous Materials Division at fmcsa.cargotank@dot.gov.

Larson’s Tunnels: Big plan, even bigger challenge

Excerpt from Connecticut Mirror article:

Not everyone is thrilled with U.S. Rep. John Larson’s proposal to build massive highway tunnels under Hartford, but Daniel Burnham might be, were he still with us. It was Burnham, the great Chicago architect and planner, who said, “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.”

Larson’s is anything but a little plan; it is breathtaking in scope. It has stirred the blood of some public officials and business leaders. But the concept is so vast, complex and potentially expensive – it would be longer than Boston’s “Big Dig” tunnels – that many doubt it could be realized.

Larson calls the proposal a “100-year solution” that would reduce traffic congestion on both I-84 and I-91, recapture large swaths of downtown land for much-needed development, reconnect northern neighborhoods to the rest of the city and even provide fill to repair the aging dikes on the Connecticut River.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin praised it for those reasons, as has State Rep. Tony Guerrera, co-chair of the General Assembly’s transportation committee. CT News Junkie blogger Susan Bigelow called the idea “brilliant and necessary.”

Others see it, as a Hartford Courant letter writer put it, as “the mother of all pipe dreams.”

MTAC Membership Directory

The Motor Transport Association of Connecticut is excited to announce its continued partnership with E&M Consulting to produce this year’s Membership Directory. E&M will be contacting all of the members in the coming weeks about advertising opportunities in the Membership Directory. This gives you the chance to promote your business or practice while supporting Motor Transport Association of Connecticut.

E&M will be managing the ad sales, creative design, and formatting. They are extremely professional and produce a high quality publication, and we ask that you give E&M a moment of your time. If you have any questions or would like to advertise, please contact Josh with E&M Consulting at (860) 656-9254, (800) 572-0011, or josh@emconsultinginc.com.

As always your support of Motor Transport Association of Connecticut’s products and services is greatly appreciated.

MTAC visits Santa Energy

This week, MTAC President Joe Sculley visited member company Santa Fuel. Santa’s Director of Transportation Owen White, is a member of MTAC’s Board of Directors. Mr. White is also a past chairman of the Board of Directors.

Santa Fuel, Incorporated, is a leading home heating oil and propane company in Connecticut, and has been providing home heating fuels in a personalized and friendly manner to their neighbors for over 70 years. Santa is a local, family-owned home heating oil and propane company that provides installation and service of home heating and cooling systems as well as chimney maintenance and energy assessments to keep your home safe and energy efficient.

Visit the Santa Fuel website.

Republicans draw event in Senate, pick up seats in House

Excerpt from Connecticut News Junkie.

Democrat Hillary Clinton may have won Connecticut, but Republican candidates made big gains Tuesday in the race for control of the General Assembly. In the Senate, Republicans picked up three of the four seats they needed to take over the majority, drawing even at 18-18 in the chamber.

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, a Democrat, presides over the Senate to cast any tie-breaking votes.

Heather Somers of Groton, George Logan of Ansonia, and Len Suzio of Meriden were able to win their elections boosting the Republican membership to 18. The same amount as the Democrats.

“While tonight’s results weren’t what we hoped overall, we will continue to pursue an aggressive agenda to grow jobs, strengthen our economy and help middle class families get ahead,” Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, said.

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said the message sent Tuesday by the voters is that they want more cooperation between the parties. He said the Democrats overplayed their majority.

To see the full article on the Connecticut News Junkie website.

I-84 East Exit 23 on-ramp temporary configuration

Message from Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Effective Thursday night, Nov. 10, there is a change to the I-84 eastbound on-ramp from McMahon and Baldwin Streets in downtown Waterbury. The ramp will originate on the far left lane of the existing ramp, and traffic will enter I-84 East just west of Hamilton Avenue Bridge.

The existing on ramp, which enters I-84 East just east of Hamilton Avenue, will remain open for one more week, when it will be temporarily closed for bridge construction.

Signage for all lanes will be posted.