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ATA survey shows trucking provides competitive pay, benefits

According to data covering 130 trucking fleets and more than 130,000 drivers released on Dec. 15 by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), median pay for drivers was on par with the national median for all U.S. households, and the industry offers drivers “competitive” benefits. “Fleets are raising pay and offering generous benefit packages in order to attract and keep their drivers in the face of a growing driver shortage,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.

Among the study’s key findings:

Transportation Services Index reaches new high

The Department of Transportation’s Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), released on Dec. 10, rose 0.3 percent in October from September. That marked the fourth consecutive monthly increase—and the highest level since the TSI began in 2000.  The October 2014 index level (121.8) was 28.8 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.

An estimated $163 billion needed annually to fix transportation infrastructure

The “2015 Bottom Line Report” on transportation investment needs, released on Dec. 9 by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the American Public Transportation Association, estimates that meeting current demand would require an annual capital investment over six years by all levels of government of $120 billion in the nation’s highway and bridge network and $43 billion in America’s public transportation infrastructure. Currently, only $83 billion is invested in roads and bridges, while just $17.1 billion is invested in public transit.  

Illinois truck/trailer toll rates to jump 40 percent

Truck/trailer toll rates on the Illinois Tollway are set to increase by 40 percent beginning Jan. 1, 2015 to help rebuild, improve and expand the agency’s 286-mile system. In response, many trucking companies are planning to increase delivery rates. Additional 10 percent annual hikes are planned until 2018, when the annual toll rate increases for trucks and trailers will be linked to the consumer price index. Click here to see the rates by toll plaza for 2015.  

SC&RA calls on members to comment on HOS woes not fixed by spending bill

On Dec. 16, President Barack Obama signed the 1,603-page, $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by Congress the previous week that lifted the threat of a government shutdown. The bill funds most government agencies through September 2015.

ICSA issues guidance on unattended, erected mobile cranes

The International Crane Stakeholders Association (ICSA) has published guidance on “leaving mobile cranes unattended in [partially] erected mode.” In addition to SC&RA, ICSA members include: Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Crane Industry Council of Australia, European Association of Abnormal Road Transport and Mobile Cranes, European Federation of Material Handling, China Construction Machinery Association, and Japan Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association.

SC&RA expects sell-out of Annual Conference Products Fair Exhibits

By the time exhibit space for the Products Fair for the SC&RA 2015 Annual Conference opened to the public on December 17, 72 of the 90 booths already had been secured by past exhibitors. Due to the Products Fair’s popularity with hundreds of industry executives who make major purchasing decisions, SC&RA expects all booth space to be reserved well before the event during the Annual Conference, April 14-18, at Las Costa Resort, Carlsbad, Calif. 

SC&RA announces holiday schedule

The SC&RA offices will be open on December 24, 2014 until 1:30 pm and closed Dec. 25-26, 2014 and Jan. 1, 2015. There will be no newsletter next week. SC&RA wishes you and yours a Merry Christmas and a safe, healthful and prosperous New Year.

ATA commits to hiring 100,000 veterans

On Dec. 2, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) announced it was committing on behalf of the trucking industry and its members to hire 100,000 veterans as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign.

ICSA issues guidance on unattended, erected mobile cranes

The International Crane Stakeholders Association (ICSA) has published guidance on “leaving mobile cranes unattended in [partially] erected mode.” In addition to SC&RA, ICSA members include: Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Crane Industry Council of Australia, European Association of Abnormal Road Transport and Mobile Cranes, European Federation of Material Handling, China Construction Machinery Association, and Japan Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association.