They might be far away, but we have mountains, snow and construction too!
The Colorado Motor Carriers Association (CMCA), Colorado State Police and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), teamed up to launch a campaign called "The Mountain Rules."
The organizations are releasing a series of videos to educate trucking companies and their drivers on the challenges of driving in mountainous regions of the country.
This newest release covers hot breaks, winter driving and construction zones. The organizations say these are critical pieces to driving in any state, not just Colorado.
“We know that our state’s terrain and unpredictable weather conditions create immense challenges for semitruck drivers,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “We’ve created this series as a way to equip truck drivers with the necessary knowledge and awareness to safely and confidently navigate our highways, especially in the high country.”
CDOT and its partners encourage all truck drivers to educate themselves and view the videos, which can be found on CDOT’s YouTube channel and at freight.COtrip.org. The Mountain Rules videos also are distributed to truck driving schools, trucking companies, and other trucking-related entities.
“The steep downgrades, winding roadways, and fast changing weather conditions, make for a challenging drive, for even the most experienced truck driver,” said CMCA President Greg Fulton. “The Mountain Rules program and videos provide a great educational tool for truck drivers, especially those unfamiliar with Colorado's mountains. It helps them to understand how to navigate our mountainous roadways in a safe manner. We believe this tool and other strategies by our state and local partners will make mountainous corridors like I-70 safer and reduce delays and closures.”
Find the videos and more information here: https://freight.colorado.gov/mountain-rules/mountain-rules
(Picture from PennTrux, June 1990)
Samuel, J. Lansberry, 82, passed away on Sunday, July 2 in Pittsburgh.
Mr. Lansberry founded Samuel J. Lansberry, Inc. in 1959 in Woodland, PA with one 10-ton two-axle dump truck that he used to haul coal from local strip mines to tipples for processing. As business grew, Sam began to haul additional commodities and added tractor-trailer end dumps to the fleet. In the 1980s, Sam added pneumatic tank trailers, and the late 1990s saw the addition of tri-axles.
Today, Lansberry Trucking, Inc. is a diversified dry-bulk transportation firm offering services to customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Lansberry Trucking continues to be a PMTA member.
In 1975, Sam and his wife Sandy co-founded Woodland Equipment & Supply Company, which provided trucking, stockpiling, and transloading services for customers in the northeast. In 1989, they also co-founded Cress-Wood Co., LLC, a commercial real estate company. Sam also founded a river terminal and warehousing company, Armstrong Terminal, Inc., in Schenley, PA in 1991, and acquired a hydraulic hose company, World Wide Equipment Co., LLC in 2018.
Sam was involved in PMTA throughout his career, helping to shape legislation and grow the trucking industry in Pennsylvania. He served as Chairman from 1989-1991.
Sam was an avid Harley Davidson rider and enjoyed long trips with his wife and friends throughout Pennsylvania and beyond. Sam was also an enthusiastic racing fan, particularly of sprint car racing and the "World of Outlaws." He enjoyed visiting sprint car tracks.
Sam was an outdoorsman, including hunting and fishing in Pennsylvania and beyond. He made many trips west and to Canada to hunt elk, moose, mule deer, and antelope, as well as to fish with his friends and family over the years.
Sam served in the U.S. Army Reserves.
He is survived by his wife, Sandy L. Lansberry of Woodland; two sons, Samuel J. Lansberry, II of Treasure Lake, and Adam T. Lansberry and wife Angi of Clearfield; and two grandchildren, Alex and Alayna Lansberry.
Private services will be held at the convenience of the family. A public memorial service will be announced at a later day.
PMTA's thoughts and prayers are with Sandy and the entire Lansberry family.
Sam was an outstanding leader, businessman and friend. We will miss him.
In light of the announcement that Yellow Corp. has ceased operations, American Trucking Associations (ATA) launched a new database to help jobseekers find new employment in the trucking industry.
This portal will connect former Yellow employees with prospective employers who are eager to utilize their unique and in-demand skills and experience.
ATA President and CEO says he wants to ensure former Yellow employees remain part of the industry they have done so much to build and strengthen.
Providing this personal information is completely voluntary and will not be given to employers outside of ATA membership, nor will it be disclosed to third-party vendors.
“Yellow’s closure is a substantial blow to America’s economy and the company’s 30,000 hardworking employees and their families in all 50 states," Spear said in a statement to PMTA. “The past several days have been especially difficult for drivers, dock workers, mechanics, salespeople, administrative and support personnel, and other employees, many of whom dedicated decades of their careers to the company. Yellow personnel earned a well-deserved reputation as being professional and solution-oriented, helping countless customers to seamlessly navigate the complexity of logistics to ship their products on time virtually anywhere in the country.
Spear said ATA hopes this tool will help former Yellow employees find work in the industry.
“Since its founding nearly a century ago, Yellow has been an integral part of our supply chain. As the nation’s first less-than-truckload carrier, it was a key part of trucking history as well. Through the company’s involvement with the American Trucking Associations, Yellow employees promoted the industry and were tremendous advocates for highway safety, leading by example."
PMTA's Northwest Chapter is hosting a job fair in Erie, PA August 19. Employers from across PA will be hiring on the spot for a variety of trucking industry jobs. It is free to attend, though we suggest bringing a resume.
The new deadline to get a Real ID is May 7, 2025.
Previously, the deadline to get a Real ID was in 2020. The deadline was pushed back when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Departments of Motor Vehicles.
According to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security, the latest extension is needed to “address the lingering impacts of the covid-19 pandemic” that have created vast backlogs for state motor vehicle departments.
“This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a Real ID-compliant license or identification card,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said. “DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.”
REAL ID is a 2005 federal law that affects how states issue driver's licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes, such as boarding a domestic commercial flight, or entering a military installation or federal facility that requires ID.
With this extension, starting May 7, 2025, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant license/identification card, or another form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to:
REAL ID-compliant versions of all Pennsylvania driver's license types are available, including commercial driver's licenses.
CDL holders are currently NOT eligible to apply for REAL ID online - you must apply in person at a PennDOT Driver License Center.
If a CDL holder chooses to get a REAL ID, they are still required to present the required documents to PennDOT.
These documents can be taken to any PennDOT Driver License Center for pre-verification:
For information on REAL ID for non-U.S. citizens, please visit our REAL ID Info for Non-U.S. Citizens page.
CDL holders have two options when obtaining a REAL ID:
PennDOT released a Summer 2023 project update for the I-83 South Bridge Project.
The update says:
"PennDOT resumed work preparing the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the I-83 South Bridge Project to replace the I-83 John Harris Memorial (South) Bridge over the Susquehanna River in Dauphin and Cumberland counties. The bridge will not be tolled and is no longer included in the Major Bridge Public-Private Partnership (MBP3). The project will be moving forward with non-tolling funding sources and to expedite this critical project, the department continues to seek federal discretionary funding so the project can be delivered earlier. Further opportunities for public involvement are planned, including a Public Hearing later this year.
PennDOT is preparing an EA for this project to address the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). An EA is a detailed study of how a project would affect the surrounding community's quality of life, including health, safety, cultural resources, natural resources, and more."
The update includes a description of the project, stating "The I-83 South Bridge is aging. It no longer meets current design standards, and it is reaching the end of its serviceable lifespan. Due to bridge conditions and anticipated increases in traffic volumes, the bridge and its connections on the West Shore and East Shore need to be upgraded."
In November 2020, PennDOT approved a plan to toll nine interstate bridges to raise money for their repair including the I-83 South Bridge that connects Cumberland and Dauphin Counties.
This outraged PMTA members who said the consequences of tolling would be catastrophic. Members believed the tolls would add over $5,000 in expenses per year per truck which would deeply impact any business, but particularly the small, local trucking companies.
On February 15, 2022 PMTA filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit South Fayette Township et. al v. PennDOT, a challenge by several municipalities near the I-79 Bridgeville bridge arguing that PennDOT did not follow the basic requirements of the law in its P3 process.
On May 18, 2022, the court issued an injunction putting a halt to all nine tolling projects.
At the time of the injunction, PMTA President and CEO Rebecca Oyler released a statement saying "And although we are pleased to know that no additional motor license funds, 40% of which come from trucks, will be spent on this clear agency overreach, we wonder how many bridges could have been built with the money PennDOT has already spent on the Major Bridge P3 Initiative. "
Now, the update from PennDOT says the agency will replace the bridge using state funds and additional federal funds now available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA), joined the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) to announce the launch of a crash reduction initiative on I-81.
This is a multi-state initiative to discourage the unsafe driving behaviors that are statistically proven to cause crashes.
I-81 is an 855-mile stretch of highway extending from the Canadian border in New York to Tennessee. The interstate runs through Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. It is one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the eastern U.S.
Between 2018 and 2022, there were over 5,000 crashes on I-81 involving commercial motor vehicles. Pennsylvania had the second-most crashes with over 1,605. The most crashes occurred from Scranton south to Hazleton and around the Harrisburg area.
The USDOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is working with law enforcement, including PSP, to conduct extra patrols and engage in education efforts.
The education piece is focused on teaching drivers of passenger cars how to drive safely around commercial motor vehicles.
Listed below are the reminders and calls to action the involved agencies are sharing.
· All vehicles must share the road safely.
· Always obey all traffic laws: Wear your seatbelt, obey the speed limit, slow for work zones, and don’t drive distracted. Unsafe driving behaviors can lead to crashes and fatalities.
· Make sure your vehicle is in safe working order, and follow all regulations regarding hours of service, medical certification, and CMV credentialing and driver licensing.
· Additional tips for commercial motor vehicle drivers can be found at FMCSA’s website here.
· Obey the speed limit on I-81 and wear your seatbelt.
· Never drive distracted or impaired.
· When driving around large trucks and buses, be patient and leave more space.
· Drivers of large trucks and buses have natural blind spots: Don’t cut off commercial motor vehicles or drive on the left or right side of them for a long period of time.
· Big trucks take 40% more space to stop: Don’t follow commercial motor vehicles too closely or merge or make sudden stops directly in front of them.
· Additional tips for motorists can be found at FMCSA’s Our Roads, Our Safety website.
PA Road Team member Bob Dolan spoke about his career driving I-81. He used the Road Team trailer to demonstrate blind spots on trucks and encouraged drivers to be mindful around truck drivers on the road.
Senator Dan Laughlin (R-49) and Senator Sharif Street (D-3) introduced bipartisan legislation that would legalize adult use of marijuana in Pennsylvania.
If passed, Senate Bill 846 would legalize recreational marijuana use for Pennsylvanians ages 21 and above.
“Legalized adult use of marijuana is supported by an overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians and this legislation accomplishes that while also ensuring safety and social equity,” said Laughlin. “With neighboring states New Jersey and New York implementing adult use, we have a duty to Pennsylvania taxpayers to legalize adult-use marijuana to avoid losing out on hundreds of millions of dollars of new tax revenue and thousands of new jobs.”
Additionally, law enforcement would be given the means to adjudicate driving under the influence and the authority to pursue and eradicate any illicit market. Senate Bill 846 would ban any marketing directed toward children and would set workplace requirements regarding marijuana use for all those operating in good faith.
If passed, this bill would grant licenses to sell marijuana to social and economic equity applicants while providing room for new and existing licensees to ensure demand in Pennsylvania is met. It would also expunge non-violent marijuana convictions for medical marijuana patients and all non-violent marijuana convictions.
“We have a unique and singular opportunity to correct decades of mass incarceration, disproportionate enforcement against marginalized communities, the criminalization of personal choice and the perpetuation of violence, which all materialized from the failed war on drugs,” Street said. “Legalizing the adult use of cannabis will help us fully and equitably fund education, lower property taxes, and address a variety of community needs throughout Pennsylvania.”
Senate Bill 846 would allow medical marijuana patients to grow a limited number of cannabis plants at their home for personal use to help ease what supporters of the bill call "cost and accessibility burdens."
During state budget hearings held in 2021, the Senate Appropriations Committee was told by the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office that legalized adult-use marijuana could generate $400 million to $1 billion in new tax revenue for the Commonwealth.
For more information on PMTA's stance on this and other legislation, click here.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill regarding catalytic converter theft.
The bill would require scrap processors and recycling facility operators collect identification information for those cashing in a catalytic converter and penalizes businesses that don't collect that information correctly. This bill would also require recycling facilities to comply with a holding period for transactions that include a catalytic converter.
The legislation would also make it an offense for people that is not affiliated with a commercial account to, without proper justification, intentionally possess a detached catalytic converter. The bill would make this a third-degree misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500.
This legislation would take effect in 60 days upon enactment.
PMTA President and CEO Rebecca Oyler shared testimony with the House Committee on the impact of catalytic converter theft on the trucking industry.
She shared personal stories of Pennsylvania Truckers.
She says while all car-owners are targets, this crime is particularly devastating for truck drivers.
“For many drivers, their trucks are their livelihoods,” Oyler said. “For small businesses, trucks are often the only way they can get to their job sites and customers, deliver their products or provide their services. Putting their trucks out of commission puts their business out of commission.”
Oyler says the cost of replacing a new catalytic converter can range from $1,000 to $2,500, and that doesn’t factor in the business lost due to the truck being out of service.
Wednesday, Pennsylvania Senators voted to charge owners of electric vehicles an annual fee.
Senate Bill 656 amends Title 75 to require owners of noncommercial passenger electric vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of under 14,000 pounds to pay an electric vehicle road user charge. The annual fee to drivers is $290 and will be paid with the registration fee.
The fees collected will go into the Motor License Fund for highway maintenance and construction.
In May, President and CEO Rebecca Oyler wrote a letter to the Chairmen of the Senate Transportation Committee in support of the bill. In it, she writes:
"This legislation will simplify the process and ensure electric vehicle owners are paying their fair share towards the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure, just as individuals who drive gas powered vehicles contribute towards fuels taxes...
Approximately 75% of PennDOT’s highway and bridge funding comes from federal and state gas tax revenue, which continues to decline. Fuel economy improvements and the transition to alternative fuels and electric vehicles—positive trends in themselves—will continue to reduce gasoline and diesel consumption, and, therefore, the revenue from the Liquid Fuels tax... The current projected growth in electric-powered vehicles is steep, with corresponding declines in gas tax revenue...
Senate Bill 656 provides a means for operators of electric vehicles to pay for their use of the system as they do not pay gas tax which funds highway maintenance and construction in our Commonwealth."
Electric vehicle owners can pay the fee in full by credit or debit card, electronic funds transfer or check or money order to the department or enroll in an electronic payment plan of $24.17 per month by credit or debit card or electronic funds transfer to the department.
The Pennsylvania Senate voted to expand a ban on texting while driving Thursday.
Senate Bill 37 would increase penalties for drivers who have a cell phone in their hand while driving. This includes while sitting in traffic or at a stoplight.
The bill does allow people to push a single button to start or end a phone call on a phone that is within easy reach and to use it for navigation or listening to music. The bill includes exceptions for emergency responders and for people calling 911.
In May, President and CEO Rebecca Oyler wrote a letter to Senate leaders in support of the bill. In it, she writes:
"The trucking industry has long been subject to a mobile device ban, and we have seen the positive impact that reducing distractions can have, so we believe that extending similar bans to all drivers – or at the very least, encouraging all drivers to practice personal responsibility can improve safety."
First-time offenders will receive a $150 fine.
If the offender is convicted of homicide by vehicle, Senate Bill 37 would give the court the ability to sentence up to five years. If the offender is convicted of aggravated assault by vehicle, the bill gives the court the ability to sentence up to two years.
If passed by the House, drivers will have a grace period of a year in which they only receive a written warning for violation.
Senate Bill 37 will require driving tests to ask a question about the effects of distracted driving and student driving manuals to include a section on distracted driving and the penalties.
The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 37-11. It now goes to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
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