Douglas Ball, SC&RA’s Vice President of Transportation, will address “harmonization” of state permitting requirements and enforcement during an educational session at the Specialized Transportation Symposium, February 27-March 1, in Orlando, Fla. In addition to reporting about what SC&RA has accomplished on these issues in the last 12 months, he will discuss related issues and objectives expected to command the Association’s attention throughout 2013.
SC&RA members that have been thinking about exhibiting at the Products Fair during the SC&RA Annual Conference, April 2-6, Westin, Kierland, Scottsdale, Ariz., are encouraged to act soon. Although SC&RA has expanded the event to 90 booths this year, only 13 remain available. The Products Fair will be the only official activity on Friday, April 5, 9 a.m.-noon. Booth fees include one complimentary registration to the Annual Conference.
An often underestimated benefit of SC&R Foundation scholarships and grants is the ability of these awards to enhance the resume of recipients. The scholarships are restricted to students preparing for careers or currently employed in the specialized carrier, crane and rigging or related industries. Hiring managers in the industry already have a high regard for the Foundation and its programs, including the scholarships and grants.
The seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index issued by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) on January 22 increased 2.8 percent in December after surging 3.9 percent in November. The back-to-back increases in November and December were by far the best of gains of 2012. As a result, the SA index equaled 121.6 (2000=100) in December versus 118.3 in November. Despite the solid monthly increase, compared with December 2011, the SA index was off 2.3 percent, the worst year-over-year result since November 2009. For all of 2012, tonnage was up 2.3 percent.
The January 18 edition of the State Laws Newsletter noted a recent recommendation by the Minnesota Transportation Finance Advisory Committee to impose a 40 cent per gallon fuel tax increase over the next 20 years to fund the state’s transportation requirements. The committee offered two suggestions for spreading out that increase, one of which involves a 10 cent jump in the first year. Additionally, the body also recommended increases in local wheel taxes, but did not recommend that the state pursue a vehicle miles traveled tax or tolls.
Recent issues of Wind Energy SmartBrief included the following items of interest to SC&RA members involved with the hauling, erection and maintenance of wind farms:
TransCanada’s proposed new route for its Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska was approved by Governor Dave Heineman on January 22. “Over the past year, we have been listening to Nebraskans as we worked to identify a new route for the Keystone XL Pipeline that avoided the Sand Hills, protected sensitive areas, and addressed as many concerns as possible,” said TransCanada CEO Russ Girling.
The Global Forecast in the January 4 issue of The Kiplinger Letter predicted a worldwide economic increase in gross domestic growth (GDP) of 3.6 percent in 2014—up from 2.8 percent in 2013. Other highlights include:
Arizona must strengthen its enforcement of fall protection rules for residential construction unless it is willing to let the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) take over jurisdiction of the standards, according to an article in the January 10 issue of the Construction Labor Report. At issue is Arizona’s failure to require the use of conventional fall protection in most circumstances when workers are six to 15 feet above a surface, warned OSHA in a letter sent on December 7, 2012.
On January 14, the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General announced it had launched an audit of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The audit comes at the request of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee.