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  • November 27, 2023 11:10 AM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    If you have or use an FMCSA Portal account, you must act now to maintain access.

    How you log on to the FMCSA Portal is changing to ensure enhanced security and compliance with the Federal Mandate for Multifactor Authentication. 

    Starting December 1, 2023, users will access the FMCSA Portal through a Login.Gov account instead of using your current FMCSA Portal username and password. 

    To ensure access to the FMCSA Portal, you must set up a Login.gov account by Dec. 1, 2023.

    The Federal Cybersecurity plan under White House Executive Order 14028, Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, and Office of Budget Memorandum M-22-09, Moving the U.S. Government Toward Zero Trust Cybersecurity Principles (Federal Zero Trust Strategy) requires all Federal agencies to adopt secure Multifactor Authentication (MFA) to enhance information security by Dec. 31, 2023.

    Multifactor Authentication (MFA) is a method to verify your identity requiring two or more pieces of evidence (factors). These factors can be something you know (like a password), something you have (like an access card) or something you are (like facial recognition or fingerprint).

    To create a Login.gov account, follow the steps in the pdf below.

  • November 22, 2023 8:11 PM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    Governor Josh Shapiro’s administration announced it will appeal the Commonwealth Court’s decision to block Pennsylvania from entering the controversial Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) program.

    The Commonwealth Court struck down RGGI at the beginning of November finding the fee for emissions allowances was a tax, which must be levied by the state legislature. The Court ruled RGGI is “invalid and unenforceable,” and that the DEP does not have the constitutional authority to collect revenue.

    A statement released by Shapiro’s administration states the Commonwealth Court decisions on RGGI were “limited to questions of executive authority” and states the administration must protect “important authority for this Administration and all future governors.”

    RGGI is one of Governor Tom Wolf’s signature environmental proposals. Republican lawmakers have said they believe RGGI will make Pennsylvania less competitive as an energy producer.

    States participating in RGGI agree to cap the amount of carbon that energy producers release, with the cap decreasing over time. States keep the proceeds from sales of emissions allowances under the cap. In Pennsylvania, that revenue was proposed to fund other pollution-reduction initiatives.

    Shapiro has not stated definitively whether or not he will enforce RGGI if he wins the appeal. He instead says he hopes the legislature can find a solution.

    The statement from Shapiro’s administration states “should legislative leaders choose to engage in constructive dialogue, the governor is confident we can agree on a stronger alternative to RGGI.”

  • November 20, 2023 10:32 AM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    A new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule aims to crack down on brokers and freight forwarders refusing to pay motor carriers for completed services.

    According to PMTA Member and FMCSA Pennsylvania Division Administrator Chris Henry, FMCSA received a “great deal of feedback” from carriers sharing concerns about dealing with brokers and freight forwarders who failed to pay them for the legitimate services they completed.

    This final rule will ensure brokers who do not pay carriers for the agreed upon work performed will have their operating authority quickly suspended and will be unable to continue accruing claims over time.

    Brokers and freight forwarders are defined as transportation intermediaries that work with shippers to arrange the movement of freight.

    Brokers arrange the transportation of freight by authorized for-hire carriers but do not handle the freight directly.

    Freight forwarders are intermediaries who handle freight directly, including assembling, consolidating, break-bulking, and distributing shipments. They assume responsibility for transporting the freight and use, for any part of the transportation, a motor carrier subject to FMCSA jurisdiction.

    “We have more than 32,000 brokers and freight forwarders registered with FMCSA, and we know the majority of them operate with integrity and uphold the contracts made with motor carriers and shippers,” Henry said in an email to PMTA. “Unfortunately, a minority of brokers with unscrupulous business practices can create unnecessary financial hardship for unsuspecting motor carriers.”

    The new rule will provide carriers with more information to help avoid contracting with unscrupulous brokers and could help carriers get paid faster for the work completed.

    Henry says FMCSA will:

    • Limit the asset types that can be maintained in broker or freight forwarder trusts to cash, irrevocable letters of credit (ILCs) issued by a Federally insured depository institution, and Treasury bonds.
    The assets in these trusts are used to satisfy legitimate claims against brokers who fail to pay for services rendered.
    Trusts are agreements between a broker and a financial institution.
    The listed asset classes are stable in value and can be easily liquidated within seven calendar days of an event that triggers a payment from the trust.
    • Establish procedures and requirements for the immediate suspension of broker and freight forwarder operating authority registration if the available financial security falls below $75,000.
    • Clarify when a broker or freight forwarder is in financial failure or insolvency and establish related requirements.
    • Remove “loan or finance companies” from the list of financial institutions allowed to provide BMC-85 trust funds for brokers and freight forwarders, as they are not robustly regulated at the federal or state level like the other entities on the list.  
    • Amend FMCSA regulations to add civil penalties for surety and trust fund violations of the regulations and establish a process for the suspension of sureties and trusts in the event of noncompliance with the regulations.

    The Broker and Freight Forwarder Financial Responsibility rule will go into effect January 16. It can now be viewed in the Federal Register: View Federal Register

  • November 14, 2023 10:40 AM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    Each year the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) releases the "Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry" study ranking the top ten issues industry members identify in a survey. PMTA distributes this survey to members. If a state turns in over 40 responses, ATRI will put together a top ten list for that individual state along with solutions to address those issues.

    This is Pennsylvania's Top Ten List for 2023: 

    1. Truck Parking

    • Advocate for a dedicated federal funding program to increase truck parking capacity at freight-critical locations.
    • Encourage local and regional governments to reduce the regulatory burdens limiting the construction and expansion of truck parking facilities.
    • Research the relationship between truck parking availability and highway safety.

    2. Economy

    • Identify and promote reforming / repealing ineffective and burdensome regulations that increase industry costs without providing benefits.
    • Quantify the impact of increasing trucking operational costs on the supply chain and nation’s economy.
    • Advocate for reshoring and near-shoring of equipment and parts manufacturing to reduce the reliance on international supply chains.

    3. Driver Shortage

    • Advocate for expanding interstate CDL eligibility to 18-20-year-old drivers.
    • Research the primary factors behind drivers leaving trucking careers.
    • Support an industry-funded outreach program to improve the trucking industry’s image.

    4. Driver Retention

    • Research and promote the retention strategies of carriers that continuously experience low driver turnover.
    • Conduct market research on truck driver experiences and perspectives mapped to truck driver tenure data.
    • Evaluate the impact of truck driver benefits, including health insurance and retirement benefits, on driver retention.

    5. CSA

    • Work with FMCSA to update its carrier prioritization methodology, improve its accuracy, and enhance transparency in CSA.
    • Advocate for FMCSA to speed up the DataQ process by improving internal processes for reviewing Request for Data Reviews (RDRs).

    6. Driver Distraction

    • Advocate for national standards for distracted driving laws for all motorists.
    • Encourage harsher penalties and more aggressive enforcement of distracted driving laws for all road users.
    • Quantify the role of car driver distraction in car-truck crashes.

    7. Lawsuit Abuse Reform

    • Promote state-level reform to cap damages paid to plaintiffs in truck-involved crashes.
    • Quantify the impact of third-party litigation funding on trial outcomes.

    8. Equipment / Parts Shortages

    • Analyze recent data on equipment costs, availability, and economic conditions to improve industry response to future shortages.
    • Investigate the challenges and requirements of near-shoring and other truck parts sourcing practices.

    9. Driver Training Standards

    • Work with driver training schools to develop and/or update “best practices” and model curricula.
    • Research the impact of Entry-Level Driver Training regulations on highway safety.

    10. Zero-Emission Vehicles

    • Quantify the charging infrastructure requirements and subsequent supply chain cost increases of zero-emission truck mandates.
    • Assess the potential of a Federal Excise Tax (FET) repeal for encouraging fleet investment in newer, more energy-efficient equipment.
    • Research the impacts of battery-electric vehicles on transportation infrastructure, crash response and first responder safety.

  • November 10, 2023 1:31 PM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    The House Transportation Committee met Tuesday to discuss House Bill 1833.

    If passed, this bill would amend Title 74 to create an alternative procurement method of Design Build Best Value.

    This legislation would allow PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to use the Design Build Best Value method as an alternative to competitive sealed bidding.  

    According to a Reason Foundation report, Pennsylvania’s highway system ranks 41st in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition.

    Pennsylvania ranks in the bottom 10 nationally in other disbursements, structurally deficient bridges and rural interstate pavement condition.

    “Given the poor condition of its bridges and its mediocre pavement condition, the state might consider reprioritizing its spending to focus more on roadway and bridge maintenance,” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “While it may be challenging for Pennsylvania to have low costs and roadways and bridges in good condition, the state needs to prioritize bringing its infrastructure to a state of good repair.”

    In a The Center Square article, Feigenbaum says a design-build approach to roads, where one firm designs and constructs a project, rather than a design-bid-build approach, where multiple firms work on a project, could give Pennsylvania better results.

     “If Pennsylvania was able to do (design-build), they could construct projects probably 20%-30% cheaper than they’re doing right now, both in construction and maintenance,” Feigenbaum is quoted saying the article.

    The bill states Design Build Best Value can only be used when it has been determined in writing by either a Deputy Secretary for PennDOT or a contracting officer for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission that a construction project would benefit from the Design Build Best Value method. 

    The Agency utilizing design build best value is required to publish the notice of determination for a reasonable time on a website accessed by industry partners in consulting and construction.    

    HB 1833 enables PennDOT and the Turnpike to conduct a one-step or two-step request for proposals.  

    •  One-step request for proposals - the agency shall seek a technical and price proposal. 
    -   PennDOT and the Turnpike Commission are limited to advertising no more than five one-step design build best value procurements per calendar year.   
    • Two-step request for proposals - the agency shall seek a statement of qualifications as step one and a technical and price proposal as step two.  
    PennDOT and the Turnpike Commission shall advertise no more than 20 two-step design build best value procurements per calendar year.  

    The proposal that is determined in writing to be the most advantageous to the agency shall be selected for contract negotiations necessary to finalize a contract or to clarify any remaining issue regarding scope, schedule, or any other information provided by the selected best value offeror without impacting material price and evaluation factors.  

  • November 07, 2023 4:39 PM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    Traffic congestion on U.S. highways added $94.6 billion in costs to the trucking industry in 2021 according to the latest Cost of Congestion research published by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). 

    This is the highest-level yet recorded through ongoing research.

    ATRI utilized a variety of data sources including its unique truck GPS database to calculate trucking delay from 2017 through 2021 on major U.S. roadways.  While year-over-year congestion costs decreased in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they rose sharply in 2021 with a total of 1.27 billion hours of lost productivity. 

    This increase in costs reflects the dramatic post-COVID economic recovery, with high GDP growth and freight demand borne from record levels of consumer spending.  This level of delay equates to more than 460,000 commercial truck drivers sitting idle for one work year, and the 2021 figure represents a 27 percent increase from the report’s baseline year of 2016 – an increase that is twice the rate of inflation.

    Pennsylvania’s statewide costs ranked ninth in the country at $3.2 billion in 2021, a 13.3 percent increase from 2016.

    At the metropolitan level, Philadelphia’s total cost of congestion was $2.1 billion in 2021, an increase of 26.42 percent from 2016.  The metro had the fourth highest costs among metropolitan areas nationally.

    “We know PennDOT has state and federal money available to them to address the congestion points. We expect that PennDOT will effectively and transparently use its funding to focus on the areas most in need,” said PMTA President and CEO Rebecca Oyler. “PMTA has worked with PennDOT to provide support for federal discretionary grant funds, specifically for some of the most important infrastructure projects in Pennsylvania. We will continue to support these efforts now that tolling is no longer an option.”

    Pennsylvania is set to receive $13.1 billion in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) which may help address congestion in the state.

    A copy of this report is available here.

    ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

  • November 06, 2023 9:13 AM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    In two rulings issued on November 1, 2023, Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court struck down one of Governor Tom Wolf’s signature environmental proposals, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), an interstate program he joined via regulation to reduce carbon emissions from state power plants.

    States participating in RGGI agree to cap the amount of carbon that energy producers release, with the cap decreasing over time. States keep the proceeds from sales of emissions allowances under the cap. In Pennsylvania, that revenue was proposed to fund other pollution-reduction initiatives.

    Pennsylvania joined RGGI in 2019 when Governor Wolf’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) finalized its RGGI regulation. It was quickly challenged in court by Senate Republicans, energy companies, and unions. In 2022, Commonwealth Court issued an injunction prohibiting PA from participating in RGGI until the challenges were resolved.

    An issue in the court cases was whether the fee for emissions allowances was a tax or a licensing fee. Though licensing fees may be promulgated by a governor as part of a regulation, taxes may only be levied by the state legislature. The fee at issue would affect consumers in the end. Some estimates pegged an increase in consumer electrical rates at 30 percent or more as a result of RGGI.

    In opinions filed last Wednesday, Commonwealth Court ruled by a vote of four to one that RGGI is “invalid and unenforceable.” The court found that money raised by RGGI is a tax and that DEP does not have the constitutional authority to collect revenue through the program because only the state legislature may levy taxes.

    It is not known whether Governor Shapiro will appeal the ruling to the state’s Supreme Court. Shapiro has raised concerns with the program, saying it’s not clear whether RGGI will address climate change while protecting jobs and affordable power. He did not, however, reverse Gov. Wolf’s participation in the program when he had the opportunity. He has thirty days to decide on an appeal.

  • November 02, 2023 9:01 AM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) are calling on Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro to prioritize truck parking with infrastructure spending.

    In a letter to Governor Shapiro PMTA, ATA, the National Tank Truck Carriers and Truckload Carriers Association spelled out the numerous new resources provided by the federal government, including new funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to improve and expand truck parking facilities.

    “The lack of available truck parking has dire safety implications for both truck drivers and the motoring public,” the letter states. “When drivers are unable to find safe, authorized parking, they are stuck in an untenable situation, forced to either park in unsafe or illegal locations, or violate federal hours-of-service regulations by continuing to search for safer, legal alternatives. As a last resort, drivers reluctantly park in unsafe locations—such as highway shoulders, interstate entrance and exit ramps, and abandoned properties—creating heightened safety risks for themselves and other motorists.”

    A U.S. Department of Transportation report found that 98 percent of truck drivers regularly experience problems finding safe parking. A staggering 70 percent of drivers have been forced to violate federal hours-of-service rules because of this common scenario.

    “Construction of new truck parking capacity at rest areas or adjacent to private facilities is eligible for funding, as are improvements that allow for increased parking capacity at nontraditional locations, such as weigh stations and commuter lots, when appropriate,” the letter said.

    The letter details some of the federal-aid highway programs and USDOT programs offering grant funding for truck parking projects.

    “Truck drivers are the backbone of our society and our economy,” the letter said. “Without them, the daily conveniences we take for granted—from fresh water to fuel to the literal roofs over our heads—would not exist. We urge you to examine the availability of truck parking within your State and take such actions as are necessary to ensure that truck drivers have a safe place to sleep when they are out on the road delivering more than 70% of America’s freight. We hope you will use the aforementioned resources, as well as other non-Federal resources, to prioritize and address this serious safety problem.”

    View the full letter here: 

  • November 01, 2023 9:45 AM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    The country’s longest veterans’ parade – Wreaths Across America’s annual “Escort to Arlington” – kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023.

    The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA) is participating in a statewide virtual convoy in partnership with Wreaths Across America collecting donations for wreaths to be placed on veteran's graves before the holidays. 

    As a part of the Escort to Arlington, stops with public events will be held in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Washington D.C., before arriving at Arlington National Cemetery on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 16 – National Wreaths Across America Day.

    In total, 259,000 sponsored veterans’ wreaths are needed to reach the goal of placing a wreath on every eligible marker at Arlington National Cemetery. To make a $17 sponsorship which supports the year-round mission and places a veteran’s wreath for an American hero this year, please donate through PMTA's link: https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/175407/Overview/?relatedId=0 

    For each wreath donated through the PMTA link, the association receives a monetary donation. 

    To spark some healthy competition, PMTA is keeping track of which members donate more to Wreaths Across America: Carrier or Allied members. Right now, carrier members are in the lead. 

    The official route, which can be viewed here, will travel down the East Coast, stopping at schools, memorials, and other locations along the way to spread the year-long mission to REMEMBER the fallen, HONOR those who serve, and TEACH the next generation the value of freedom.

    Participants for this year’s Escort to Arlington will include Gold Star families – including the current National President of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., Pamela Stemple – Blue Star families, volunteers, and veterans representing many eras and Veteran Service Organizations such as the American Legion Auxiliary – including current National President Lisa Williamson – the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, VFW and VFW Auxiliary, and more. Members of the Patriot Guard Riders and Patriot Riders, and law enforcement from departments across Maine and other states along the route will provide escort to ensure safe transport for all participants throughout the week.

    What began 30+ years ago as a pilgrimage by a Maine wreath maker in a single truck to deliver 5,000 wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery as a gesture of thanks has become a year-long mission to Remember, Honor, Teach. National Wreaths Across America Day ceremonies are happening at more than 4,000 participating locations across the country on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. These events are free and open to all people. To find a participating location near you to support and/or volunteer to place wreaths, click here.

    For the 9th year in a row Chevrolet, has provided the 12 wrapped escort vehicles that will transport participating Gold Star families and veterans during the week-long trip. In addition, Chevrolet has also sponsored 4,000 veterans’ wreaths for placement at Arlington National Cemetery to help honor our nation’s veterans.

    The Escort to Arlington has grown to consist of 13 tractor-trailers representing Baylor Trucking, Budd Van Lines, Saia LTL, Schneider National, Witte Bros. Exchange, Inc., Hartt Transportation Systems, Inc., Delhaize Transportation LLC (DBA Hannaford Supermarkets), American Trucking Associations – Workforce Heroes, Cargo Transporters, Inc., Prime Inc., Tyson Foods, Inc., Walmart Transportation, and Pottles Transportation. Additionally, Load One Carriers will once again serve as the ceremonial wreath transporter for the week. These dedicated organizations and their professional drivers will haul a portion of the sponsored veterans’ wreaths heading to Arlington National Cemetery for placement on Saturday, Dec. 16.

    To donate, click here: https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/175407/Overview/?relatedId=0

  • October 27, 2023 12:47 PM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

    One of Pennsylvania's Road Team Captains was selected along with 35 other professional truck drivers as a finalist for the 2024-2025 America’s Road Team.

    “These men and women were selected as finalists for America’s Road Team because they have outstanding safe driving records, share a passion for the trucking industry and are role models among their peers,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We owe these professional drivers our gratitude, without them the American economy would come to a halt.”

    UPS driver Bernie Wanyo has been driving professionally for 25 years. With upwards of 1,800,000 safe driving miles under his belt, he's been recognized as a 2022 Driver of the Month and a Pennsylvania Road Team member. 

    Wanyo placed second in the Sleeper Berth category at Pennsylvania's 2023 Truck Driving Championships. He's been recognized with UPS CEO Carol Tome Safety Challenge Coin, UPS 1-19 Year Safe Driving Awards, ATA One Million Mile Award, 2022 Safety Drive for a Cure Rookie of the Year (placing second in the Sleeper class and participating as a member on the winning Small Team). Bernie has also volunteered at the 2019 and 2022 ATA National Truck Driving Championships. 

    Wanyo has driven wreaths to Indiantown Gap National Memorial Cemetery for Wreaths Across America and in his free time enjoys spending time with family, fishing and motorcycling. 

    America’s Road Team is a group of professional truck drivers with superior safety records. It was created in 1986 to represent the trucking industry and is sponsored by Volvo Trucks. Captains, with support from their companies, dedicate a few days each month to attending industry events, speaking at schools, or meeting policymakers on behalf of the trucking industry.

    The 36 finalists will advance to the final round of the selection process, which will be held this January in Washington. A panel of evaluators, including industry officials and trucking news media representatives, will judge the contenders on their knowledge of the trucking industry, dedication to safety, ability to communicate the industry’s messages and overall safe driving record. The finalists – with a combined total of 81 million safe-driving miles and 1,035 years as professional truck drivers – are highway safety experts eager to share their experiences with the motoring public.

    The newly chosen 2024-2025 America’s Road Team will be announced on January 16, following a ceremony at ATA’s Headquarters in Washington. New Captains, after receiving their signature navy blue America’s Road Team blazer, will begin working to share the industry’s message of safety, essentiality and sustainability with the motoring public, media, business and community groups, public officials and their fellow truck drivers around the country.

    Captains from previous teams continue to serve as ambassadors to the industry and are called upon frequently to participate in safety events, speaking appearances and industry conferences.

    “Being named a finalist for America’s Road Team is a major achievement for professional truck drivers, and ATA congratulates each of them for this accomplishment," said ATA Chief Operating Officer Sarah Rajtik. “America’s Road Team will continue to serve as a voice for the industry, which benefits from their professionalism, dedication and safety as they educate the public on highway safety, the positive impact the trucking industry plays in our economy and why a career in professional truck driving is great.”

    Pennsylvania Road Team Captains Doug Frombaugh, Bill Bennett and John McGown have previously been selected to serve on America's Road Team.

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