After the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) kicks into gear at the beginning of July, the motor carrier industry will begin to see the effects of a “compliance review.” Jeff Davis, President of Fleet Safety Services LLC, will help SC&RA members and other carriers prepare for the successful completion of an FMCSA compliance review during a webinar on July 24 at noon Eastern. This presentation will also include examples of how CSA scores affect insurance premiums.
The advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index issued by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) on June 18 jumped 2.3 percent in May to the highest level on record after falling 0.2 percent in April. The May SA index of 126.0 (2000=100) surpassed the previous high in December 2011(124.3). Compared with May 2012, the SA index surged 6.7 percent, which is the largest year-over-year gain since December 2011. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2012, the tonnage index is up 4.5 percent.
Construction employment increased in a majority of states in May, setting all-time highs in Louisiana and North Dakota, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) of Labor Department data. “The strongest recoveries in construction employment have occurred in states with oil and gas activity, while the steepest construction job losses have occurred in Sunbelt states,” said AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. “However, patterns for the past year show that even some lagging states are beginning to add jobs.”
On June 19, Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-W.Va.) introduced legislation that would significantly increase Federal investment in the nation’s bridge infrastructure. Rahall’s bill, the Strengthen and Fortify Existing Bridges (SAFE Bridges) Act, provides $5.5 billion in dedicated funding for states to start to reduce the backlog of more than 150,000 bridges that have reached or are nearing the end of their expected lifespan.
On June 19, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety (HECS) Branch of the Department of Health of Canada. The MOU allows OSHA and HECS to collaborate on implementing the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling in their respective jurisdictions, as well as any future developments of the GHS.
Although the number of the nation’s bridges rated “structurally deficient” has slightly decreased, a change in the way Congress funds infrastructure repair could reverse the trend. Despite the overall improvement, more than 66,000 remain listed as deficient, and more than 60,000 bridges are now posted for legal weight or less, resulting in increased time and costs for SC&RA members moving overweight loads. Kansas leads the nation with 6,853 posted bridges.
Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez joined Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock on June 18 to break ground on the federally funded $1.3 billion Downtown Crossing—the second half of the Ohio River Bridges project, a joint effort between Kentucky and Indiana that will help more than 100,000 drivers every day.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has sent a proposed supplemental rule for electronic logging devices to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s office for review, according to a June 21 Transport Topics article. The new proposal, which FMCSA hopes to publish as soon as November, is intended to address a federal appeals court’s concerns about potential driver harassment and is expected to be sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget for further review in August.
Director of North Carolina Department of Transportation Permits Tammy Denning has been selected as the new Chair of the Permit Officials organization within the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO). In her new position, Denning will lead the region’s efforts in following through on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Harmonization Resolution.
Only 13 of 80 booths remain available for the Exhibit Center during the 2013 Crane & Rigging Workshop, September 18-20, at the Hilton at Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, Fla. Companies wishing to exhibit during the event should act soon because, due to fire-code regulations at the property, no other booths will be added to meet demand. All booth purchases include a six-foot draped table, two chairs, a wastebasket, an ID sign and, upon request, electrical service. All exhibitors also receive one complimentary registration to the Workshop with the purchase of the booth.