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.

Reminder: Drug & alcohol testing consortium with Fleet Screen

MTAC is transitioning to a new partner who will run its drug and alcohol testing consortium. Members should continue to complete any random tests that were scheduled by its former partner between now and December 31, 2016, but should sign up with Fleet Screen as soon as possible.

MTAC’s new partner, Fleet Screen, will save members significant time and money. A move to Fleet Screen will result in a nearly 20% reduction in per-test drug test costs to members. Additionally, members will save even more money because Fleet Screen will test at a rate that is much more in-line with what is required by federal regulation. They will not over-test. Time spent away from the job in order to get tested will be minimized.

Fleet Screen currently works with a number of other state trucking associations, and is a strong supporter of MTAC. They are dedicated to providing the highest quality screening services, along with exceptional customer service.

To ensure Fleet Screen has current information on each member, and to facilitate a smooth transition during setup, please fill out this Setup Form, including your random pool participant lists, and email to Laurie Biggs at laurieh@fleetscreen.com and Shelley Sullivan at shelleys@fleetscreen.com.

Bestpass surpasses $60 million in savings on toll for customers

Press Release from Bestpass.

Bestpass, Inc., a company that provides single-source payment and streamlined toll management services to commercial fleets, recently surpassed $60 million in savings on tolling costs for its customers, which range in size from solo owner-operators to mega-fleets with thousands of vehicles.

Bestpass saves its customers money on tolls by obtaining the highest possible volume discounts and passing those discounts through to customers who would not otherwise be eligible; by identifying and correcting misreads and erroneous violations; and by saving administrative time and associated costs with its toll-focused customer service team and dynamic online toll management tools. The $60 million in toll savings is calculated as an aggregate of all of these factors.

“The new milestone is a testament to the value we provide our customers day in and day out,” said John Andrews, president and CEO of Bestpass. “We are immensely proud of our role as the toll expert and an invaluable partner with drivers on the road and fleets in the back office.”

Workers comp insurance rates drop for third straight year

From Connecticut News Junkie.

Continued reductions in workplace injuries and claims are two of the reasons that workers compensation insurance in Connecticut is getting less expensive for businesses.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance, which analyzes and recommends rates in more than 40 states, asked for a 10.9 percent overall average rate reduction.

Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade said Monday that the 10.9 percent reduction was approved by regulators. That makes it the third straight year workers compensation insurance has dropped in Connecticut.

In 2015, the regulators approved decreases of 3.9 percent for loss costs and 6.3 percent for assigned risk. In 2014, the approved decreases were 2.9 percent for loss costs and 2.8 percent for assigned risk.

NCCI annually collects data from the workers compensation market in Connecticut and countrywide in order to annually propose rate adjustments for the ensuing year. There are more than 300 companies licensed to sell workers compensation insurance in Connecticut.

See the article published by Connecticut News Junkie online.

OOIDA loses appeal in ELD case

Excerpt from Transport Topics article.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit denied the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s challenge to the federal electronic logging device mandate Oct. 31.

OOIDA had asked the court to vacate the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s final rule, which was issued in December 2015 and is scheduled to go into effect Dec. 17, 2017.

The court knocked down each of OOIDA’s five main arguments.

“Petitioners claim … that the final rule is contrary to law because it permits ELDs that are not entirely automatic,” the court said in its 28-page opinion. “We disagree. … Petitioners argue that the agency used too narrow a definition of ‘harassment’ that will not sufficiently protect drivers. This claim also fails. When defining harassment, the agency sought input from drivers, motor carriers and trade organizations; it considered administrative factors; and it ultimately provided a reasonable definition of the term.”

See the full Transport Topics article online.

ABS Seminar on Nov. 17

There is still room to attend the last brakes seminar of the year! There is an ABS Seminar that will be taught at the MTAC building on Nov. 17.

Federal regulations require that any employee responsible for brake inspections, maintenance, service, or repairs on any commercial motor vehicle must understand the brake service or inspection task to be accomplished. The best way to do that is through “participation in a training program sponsored by a brake or vehicle manufacturer or similar commercial training program.” (FMCSR 396.25)

Attend this class in order to meet the federal standards, and add a Certificate of Training to the personnel file of everyone who works on your brake systems. Instructor John White of FleetPro® is certified in all types of braking systems and has been responsible for training hundreds of mechanics and drivers in commercial brake systems. John’s teaching style and his active classroom environment makes him one of the most sought after instructors in the Northeast.

Register online for this class today.

MTAC selects Fleet Screen to run drug and alcohol testing consortium

fleet-screen-250x205-logoMTAC is pleased to announce that we have selected a new partner to run our drug and alcohol testing consortium. MTAC’s new partner, Fleet Screen, will save members significant time and money. A move to Fleet Screen will result in a nearly 20% reduction in per-test drug test costs to members. Additionally, members will save even more money because Fleet Screen will test at a rate that is much more in-line with what is required by federal regulation. They will not over-test. Time spent away from the job in order to get tested will be minimized.

Fleet Screen currently works with a number of transportation industry associations, and is a strong supporter of MTAC. They are dedicated to providing the highest quality screening services, along with exceptional customer service.

MTAC strongly recommends that members (and non-members who participate in our consortium) move to Fleet Screen. Non-DOT employees who have been in MTAC’s random testing pool should be moved to Fleet Screen as well.

To ensure Fleet Screen has current information on each member, and to facilitate a smooth transition during setup, please fill out the attached setup form, including your random pool participant lists, and email to Laurie Biggs at laurieh@fleetscreen.com and Shelley Sullivan at shelleys@fleetscreen.com.

During the setup process, members will be contacted by email from Fleet Screen staff with information on the program and with questions as needed. You may also be contacted by phone from Fleet Screen staff requesting information. Please be sure to provide all requested information to Fleet Screen in a timely manner.

You may also contact Fleet Screen by phone at (866) 622-0044 ext. 701 (Laurie Biggs) or ext. 204 (Shelley Sullivan).

Election of MTAC officers and directors

The MTAC membership, at its annual meeting on Oct. 27, elected the following individuals to serve as officers, beginning Jan. 1, 2017:

  • ATA State VP (one-year term) – Bob Hamilton, Bozzutos
  • Chairman of the Board (two-year term) – John Pruchnicki, Coastal Carriers
  • 1st Vice Chairman (two-year term) – Ed Michaels, American Transportation & Logistics
  • 2nd Vice Chairman (two-year term) – Mike Paine, Paine’s Inc.
  • Treasurer (two- year term) – Norm Bolduc, Kay’s Trucking
  • Secretary (two-year term) – Andy Anastasio, Anastasio & Sons Trucking

The MTAC membership also elected the following individuals to serve two-year terms on the Board of Directors, beginning on Jan. 1, 2017:

  • Alan Baumert – Nutmeg International Trucks
  • Jim Brown – William B. Meyer
  • Richard Connors – Manchester Ice & Fuel
  • Thomas DeGrand – John DeGrand & Son, Inc.
  • Jim Holden – Herb Holden Trucking
  • Mark Salter – Salter’s Express
  • Rick Samples – Cummins Metropower
  • James Vitali, Sr. – Tuxis – Ohr’s Fuel, Inc.
  • Bob Hill – W.B. Hill
  • Matt McConnell – Black Rock Truck Group

Annual meeting wrap-up

MTAC had a successful 96th Annual Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 27 at Maneeley’s in South Windsor, Conn. Many thanks to our keynote speaker Chris Spear, president & CEO of American Trucking Associations. MTAC also greatly appreciates our seminar presenters, including Chris Henry, FMCSA division administrator for Connecticut; Rick LaRose, tax unit assistant manager for the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services; David Rose, partner, Wilson Elser law firm; Lieutenant Don Bridge, Connecticut DMV Commercial Vehicle Safety Division; Mike Glinski, MTAC safety and compliance consultant.

Finally, MTAC thanks its generous sponsors.

Platinum Sponsors

 

Gold Sponsors

 

Silver Sponsors

  • Acadia Insurance
  • Cummins MetroPower
  • New England Tractor Trailer Training School
  • Sinclair Risk & Financial Management

Bronze Sponsors

  • Crystal Rock
  • Gregory & Howe
  • O&G Industries
  • Stewart & Stevenson Power Products
  • Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman, and Dicker LLP

Interstate trucks don’t get “free” ride on Connecticut highways

The Hartford Business Journal published this letter to the editor written by MTAC President Joe Sculley.

Dear Editor:

I am writing to clarify one point that was made in your Q&A with Congressman John Larson, which was published (“Larson: $10B tunnel plan to reshape Greater Hartford”) on Oct. 17. In response to one question, Congressman Larson stated that “These interstate vehicles get a free ride while they clog our highways and create wear and tear.” While this statement could be accurate when referring to passenger cars, from an interstate trucking perspective, that is not the case.

Interstate trucks pay fuel use taxes to the state in which they use the fuel, regardless of the state in which the fuel was purchased. Interstate motor carriers are required to do this under an interstate agreement recognized by Congress known as the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). Under this system, interstate motor carriers paid more than $178 million in state fuel taxes to Connecticut in one year alone, according to the most recent data from the Federal Highway Administration.

Similarly, interstate trucks pay apportioned registration fees to all of the states in which they operate, regardless of where the truck is based. Interstate motor carriers are required to do this under an interstate compact recognized by Congress known as the International Registration Plan (IRP).

In both systems, taxes and fees owed to Connecticut are calculated based on the number of miles driven in the state.

These two agreements ensure that any commercial truck traveling through Connecticut pays its fair share of taxes and fees, regardless of where the truck is based, or where its fuel is purchased.