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  • 13 Jun 2024 12:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In a June 13th Federal Register notice, FMCSA announced its plan to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review and approval and invites public comment.

    FMCSA intends to use quantitative data collection techniques through a self-administered online survey to understand CMV drivers' perceptions and behaviors regarding safety belt usage and road safety.

    Background

    Existing data on the usage of safety belts and perceptions related to road safety do not capture the diversity of different types of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers in a post-coronavirus disease 2019 national emergency landscape. Understanding safety belt usage and perceptions of road safety among CMV drivers will assist FMCSA in gauging emerging trends among this cohort and will inform future messaging and communication efforts targeting CMV drivers.

    Eligible participants are self-identified CMV drivers residing in the United States with internet access. The collection is an online voluntary survey, with a low burden for respondents and a low cost for the Federal Government. The collection is non-controversial and does not raise issues of concern to other Federal agencies. The results are not intended to be disseminated to the public, and the information gathered will not be used for the purpose of substantially informing influential policy decisions. The collection is targeted to the solicitation of opinions from respondents who have experience with the program or may have experience with the program in the future. Personally identifiable information is not being collected. There are no gifts or payment incentives ( e.g., money or reimbursement of expenses, a token of appreciation) being provided to participants.

    CLICK HERE for Federal Register notice.


  • 24 Apr 2024 12:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released a new report that analyzes the benefits of employing renewable diesel (RD) as an alternative to battery electric vehicle (BEV) trucks.

    This analysis is a follow-up to findings from past ATRI research on the topics of zero-emission vehicles and electric infrastructure challenges.  In those past reports, ATRI utilized the U.S. Department of Energy’s GREET Model to confirm renewable diesel as a promising solution for lowering the trucking industry’s CO2 emissions.

    While both RD and BEV pathways have implementation costs, the report concludes that relying on BEV to decrease CO2 emissions is nearly six times more expensive than using RD. 

    In the report, RD and BEV pathways are evaluated on three criteria:

    • Environmental Benefits
    • Operational Capabilities
    • Financial Viability

    It was confirmed that when trucks using RD today are converted to BEV, there is a significant negative environmental impact.  Additionally, the report highlights operational benefits for trucking when using RD as an alternative, as well as significant infrastructure and new vehicle cost savings.

    “My company quickly and successfully transitioned to renewable diesel in April of last year.  ATRI’s research offers concrete evidence that this move is better for the environment and easier to achieve than other low-carbon options,” said Andy Owens, CEO and Manager of A&M Transport of Glendale, Oregon.

    Overall, ATRI estimated that a transition to BEV for long-haul trucking will cost over $1 trillion in electric infrastructure and vehicle purchase costs over 15 years.  However, to achieve similar CO2 benefits with RD, ATRI estimates a price tag of $203 billion, a significant cost savings for achieving the same environmental benefits.  Since RD is considerably more scalable than BEV and can be deployed immediately in trucks without modifications, it is likely that CO2 benefits using RD can be achieved on a much shorter timeline than with a BEV transition.

    A copy of the full report is available through ATRI’s website here.

    ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501c3 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.


  • 15 Apr 2024 2:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A text messaging scam designed to trick drivers into entering their banking or credit card information into a bogus website is now targeting New Jersey drivers.

    The text message, which claims to be from “NJ Turnpike toll services,” directs drivers to click a link to pay an outstanding toll balance in order to avoid a late fee. NJ Turnpike toll services is not associated with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority or any other toll agency in the New Jersey E-ZPass Group. The outstanding toll balances described in the text messages are not real. Drivers who receive text messages from NJ Turnpike toll services should delete them without clicking on the link. And drivers who have clicked the link and filled out the form should immediately contact their bank or credit card provider.

    Similar scams have been reported recently by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and other U.S. tolling agencies. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority received the first inquiries from drivers who have received the NJ Turnpike toll services messages on Thursday, April 11th.

    This scam does not appear to target New Jersey E-ZPass customers. The bogus text messages are being sent to phone numbers in New Jersey area codes regardless of whether the recipients are E-ZPass account holders.

    Drivers who believe they have received one of the bogus text messages can file a report with the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

  • 04 Apr 2024 11:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In a groundbreaking move for New Jersey's energy and transportation sectors, KW Rastall Oil proudly announces that beginning April 17, 2024, it will become the first company in the state to offer Neste MY Renewable Diesel™, a renewable Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) that is chemically identical to fossil diesel. This pioneering initiative underscores KWR's commitment to innovation, sustainability, and providing customers with cleaner energy alternatives.

    KW Rastall Oil (KWR) has partnered with Diesel Direct, the largest distributor of renewable diesel in the country, to supply and brand its cardlock facility. This partnership launches the first retail truck stop in New Jersey equipped to offer Neste MY Renewable Diesel. Diesel Direct is thrilled to support this venture, marking a significant milestone in the availability and distribution of renewable fuels in the region.

    Neste MY Renewable Diesel is made from sustainably sourced, 100% renewable raw materials. The use of Neste MY Renewable Diesel can reduce GHG emissions by up to 75%* over the fuel's life cycle compared to fossil diesel, paving the way for a cleaner, more sustainable future. It delivers strong performance compared to fossil diesel, and since it is a "drop-in" solution, no modifications to existing diesel engines and fueling infrastructure are needed to make the switch.

    KWRs decision to introduce Neste MY Renewable Diesel aligns with its mission to lead by example in the transition towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly fuel landscape. "Our commitment to sustainability and innovation is at the core of everything we do," said David Rosenburgh, President of KWR. "Offering Neste MY Renewable Diesel allows us to make a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions in New Jersey while providing our customers with a superior, drop-in replacement of traditional fossil diesel."

    Neste MY Renewable Diesel not only offers environmental benefits but also provides operational advantages for businesses and consumers alike. Its compatibility with existing diesel engines and infrastructure means that customers can make a seamless switch to renewable diesel, without additional investment in new technology or equipment.

    KWR is making Neste MY Renewable Diesel accessible to a wide range of customers, including fleet operators, transport companies, and individual consumers. The fuel will be available at KWR's retail fueling station in North Brunswick, its other NJ dispatch centers and through direct delivery services to fleets, job sites, tanks, and businesses.

    KWR invites businesses and consumers in New Jersey to join them in making a positive environmental impact by choosing cleaner fuels, such as renewable diesel. This initiative is a step towards reducing the state's carbon footprint and advancing towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.

    KWR (Rastall Oil) is a leading provider of fuel services in New Jersey, known for its commitment to innovation, quality, and environmental sustainability. With a history of nearly 50 years of fueling, KWR is dedicated to meeting the energy needs of today while planning for the energy solutions of tomorrow.

    For further information, please contact:

    Bryan Domenick, Sales Manager, Mid-Atlantic Region

    Phone: (732) 297-5600 x 25
    Mobile: (848) 202-6989
    Fax: (732) 821-3113
    Email: BryanD@Rastalloil.com  
    Website: http://www.rastalloil.com/


  • 27 Mar 2024 11:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PA Turnpike), in partnership with the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) began enforcing  the Work Zone Speed Safety Camera program designed to crack down on drivers speeding through highway construction sites.

    Previously referred to as Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement, the initial five-year pilot program was made permanent when House Bill 1284 was signed into law on December 14, 2023.

    The legislation made several adjustments, including a new 15-day warning period beginning on the mail date of the first violation.

    If a driver is caught speeding through a work zone by Work Zone Speed Safety Cameras, they will not receive a second violation until 15 days after the mail date of their first violation.

    This allows time for the warning to be delivered to the motorist to ensure they are aware of the program and change their driving behavior. Once the 15-day warning period has ended, multiple violations can be received on consecutive days, and even on the same day.

    Additionally, under the new legislation, all violations are reset, meaning every motorist will start over with a first violation, even if they had received violations under the pilot program.

    Violations that were issued prior to Feb. 15, 2024, during the pilot program are still valid and will continue to be pursued.

    "The Work Zone Speed Safety Camera program is about making work zones safer for both workers and motorists by reducing speeds and changing driver behavior," said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. "Data from the pilot program shows it was successful, and we're pleased that it's now a permanent program in Pennsylvania."

    Over the course of the five years of the pilot program, there was a 38 percent reduction in speeding in work zones (one mile per hour or more over the speed limit), a 47 percent reduction in excessive speeding in work zones (11 miles per hour or more over the speed limit), and work zone crashes declined by up to 50 percent when a speed enforcement vehicle was present.

    Work zones with speed safety cameras deployed are marked with signage in advance of the enforcement area. To improve driver awareness and ensure the signs are more easily noticed by motorists, new high-visibility signs are being implemented.

    Pennsylvania's Work Zone Speed Safety Camera program uses vehicle-mounted systems to detect and record motorists exceeding posted work zone speed limits by 11 miles per hour or more using electronic speed timing devices.

    Camera systems are only operational in active work zones where workers are present.

    Registered owners will receive a warning letter for a first offense, a violation notice with a $75 fine for a second offense, and a violation notice with a $150 fine for third and all subsequent offenses.

    These violations are civil penalties only; no points will be assessed to driver's licenses.

    "Speed safety cameras are important tools for discouraging drivers from exceeding posted speeds," explained PA Turnpike Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey. "Paying attention and reducing speed are critical as drivers approach a work zone where workers are inches from live traffic. The goal of this program is to build awareness and most importantly, to change unsafe driving behaviors.

    In 2022, there were 1,293 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania, resulting in 14 fatalities, and 42% of work zone crashes resulted in fatalities and/or injuries. Since 1970, PennDOT has lost 90 workers in the line of duty. The PA Turnpike has lost 45 workers since 1945.

    For more information on the Work Zone Speed Safety Camera program, including a list of projects where the units are deployed, visit WorkZoneCameras.PennDOT.gov.

  • 26 Mar 2024 9:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26, a cargo vessel struck a support column of the I-695 Key Bridge. The strike caused a complete collapse of the bridge into the Patapsco River. There is a shutdown of traffic along that portion of I-695, which has more than 1.3 million truck crossing per year (average about 3,600 per day). This is a primary route entering and exiting the Port of Baltimore.  A state of emergency has been declared by our governor, and we are in contact with various state and federal agencies about the impact this will have on trucking.  Should you want to push something out to your members that travel in Maryland, below is a summary of alternate routes you may share.

    Route alternatives due to Key Bridge collapse.

    As a result of the I-695 Key Bridge collapse due to ship strike, motorists must avoid the southeast corridor of I-695. The I-695 Outer Loop is closed at MD 10 (exit 2) and the Inner Loop is closed at MD 157/Peninsula Expressway (exit 43). Alternate routes will be the I-95 or I-895 tunnels; however, trucks should be aware of the following restrictions on those roadways.

    Hazardous materials are prohibited in the tunnels and should use the western section of I-695 to travel around Baltimore. This includes vehicles carrying bottled propane gas in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers), bulk gasoline, explosives, and significant amounts of radioactive materials.

    Vehicles in excess of 13’-6”, in height, or 96” (8 feet) in width are prohibited from using the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895). The I-95 Ft. McHenry Tunnel restrictions are height – 14’ - 6”; width – 11’ - 0”.

    Louis Campion, President & CEO

    Maryland Motor Truck Association


  • 26 Mar 2024 12:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A collection of more than 100 business, labor and nonprofit groups have sent a letter to all members the New Jersey Legislature urging them to oppose Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed $1-billion-plus business tax increase on business in the FY25 State Budget. 

    The governor’s proposed 2.5% Corporate Transit Fee is a permanent and retroactive restoration of an expired Corporate Business Tax surtax on corporations with more than $10 million in earnings – returning New Jersey to the highest CBT tax rate in the nation, by far, and the only state with a double-digit CBT rate. 

    “This action further hurts New Jersey’s economic competitiveness for the creation and attraction of jobs and capital because corporations can pick and choose their investment locations based upon where they get the best return on investment,” the NJBC wrote. 

    “New Jersey’s business climate already has an unrelenting tax environment. We are the only state in the nation that is in the top tier of the four major taxes…. If you in the State Legislature want to improve our economy and organically grow our revenues to be able to pay for things like Stay NJ, then this tax increase is certainly not the answer.” 

    This coalition stated that the “massive 20% business tax increase” is especially difficult to understand and harmful to the state’s business climate, “because Governor Murphy publicly acknowledged in a radio interview just weeks before his budget proposal that New Jersey’s corporate taxes were already high and that the corporate business surtax hurt our state competitiveness.  

    “What changed?” the coalition asked. 

    The coalition also noted that the proposal to dedicate a new business tax to NJ TRANSIT was poor public policy, for three major reasons: 

    • “CBT is a very volatile revenue, one of the must unstable revenue sources in the New Jersey state budget. If we truly value transportation, then we should find a stable revenue source for it.” 
    • “There is no nexus or a weak nexus at best between the CBT and transportation in many areas of New Jersey, and no other state dedicates a corporate tax to a mass transit agency. Why would CBT payers in South New Jersey or Northwest New Jersey pay for a NJ TRANSIT system they and their employees do not use?”  
    • “A ‘dedication’ implies permanence, and making a CBT increase permanent exacerbates its negative impact on businesses and competitiveness. Those affected by this new 20% business tax get a double hit that was not the case with the prior temporary surtax. It is a cash tax increase and also a hit to a company’s balance sheet and stock value for publicly traded companies.”   

    Similarly, the NJBC objected in the letter to a new ‘Warehouse Fee’ tax increase on New Jersey’s important logistics industry, which would likely be passed on to the consumer. 

    “This tax will further hurt the competitiveness within many important sectors of our economy – retail, manufacturing, logistics, and other industries that work with them,” the coalition wrote.  

    “In practicality, this is a tax on every item that goes into any box in New Jersey. This ill-conceived tax is punitive and does not seem to serve any public policy goal given the scant detail that has been provided on how the money will be utilized. As such, this tax must also be rejected.” 

    To read the full NJBC letter to the State Legislature, clichere. 


  • 20 Mar 2024 12:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Full electrification of the U.S. commercial truck fleet would require nearly $1 trillion in infrastructure investment alone, according to a new report from Roland Berger released today by the Clean Freight Coalition. The study forecasts a realistic infrastructure buildout for the electrification of medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, exposing what the CFC calls a massive investment gap as state and federal policymakers mandate increased adoption rates of battery-electric commercial vehicles.

    Key findings:
      

    • Preparing today’s commercial vehicle fleet for electrification would require the commercial vehicle industry to invest upwards of $620 billion in charging infrastructure alone, including chargers, site infrastructure and electric service upgrades.
    • Utilities would need to invest $370 billion to upgrade their grid networks to meet the demands of just commercial vehicles.
    • This nearly $1 trillion expenditure does not account for the cost of new battery-electric trucks, which according to market research can be two to three times more expensive than their diesel-powered equivalents. For example, a diesel Class 8 truck costs roughly $180,000, while a comparable battery-electric truck costs over $400,000.
    Image

    Price Tags for Roland Berger Report

    The CFC, which consists of transportation stakeholders across the trucking and motorcoach industries, says that policymakers must address these cost concerns and infrastructure hurdles to make an electrified supply chain function smoothly for the American economy. The study found that while medium-duty vehicles will face fewer roadblocks, economic and operational constraints make electrification very challenging for the heavy-duty segment.  Furthermore, the study outlined the significant improvements in battery range and charging infrastructure capabilities that would be needed to support a path for the electrification of longhaul vehicles.

    “Electrification means focusing on the vehicle segments that are easier first; it means that we have to look at how fleets operate and potentially adjust; it means that we need better cooperation and planning across industries and governments; and it requires an openness to alternative technology paths to decarbonizing the heavy-duty segment,” said Roland Berger Senior Partner Dr. Wilfried Aulbur. “It also is clear that an industry with a yearly turnover of about $800 billion and a profit margin around 5% cannot invest $620 billion without financial support or a significant increase in freight rates.”

    “This study thoroughly examines the issues surrounding the infrastructure buildout necessary to electrify commercial vehicles, and it clearly shows how the heavy-duty vehicle industry’s needs are vastly different not just from other sectors of our economy, but from each other,” said CFC Executive Director Jim Mullen. “I want to thank the team at Roland Berger for so clearly outlining the challenges electrifying our supply chain poses as the industry and nation continue working toward our shared goal of reducing trucking’s impact on the environment.”

    To read a one-page summary of the report, click here. A fuller summary of Roland Berger's work can be found here.
     
    # # # 
     
    Paying the Bill: What They’re Saying About the Cost of Supply Chain Electrification

    Hear from CFC members and stakeholders about what this report means for policymakers as they weigh moving forward with costly battery-electric vehicle mandates.

    American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear
    “We’re facing an unfunded, $1 trillion mandate that carries enormous consequences for the American consumer. You don’t overcome obstacles by ignoring them, which this study lays out the high investment costs required to electrify the commercial vehicle industry. Policymakers should take note that pursuing technology-neutral solutions can deliver operational savings and emissions reductions at a fraction of the cost. A real-world understanding of the path to our shared goal of zero emissions is needed, but unrealistic timelines and expectations will break the bank.”

    American Truck Dealers President Laura Perrotta
    “America’s commercial truck dealers have made enormous investments to sell and service EVs – nearly $1 billion in this decade. Unfortunately, dealers are faced with inadequate charging infrastructure, delays when installing chargers due to parts shortages and utility workload challenges, and unaffordable upgrades required to meet new electricity demands. This study puts into perspective the enormous national commercial charging needs and related costs required to meet the Administration’s regulatory goals.”

    American Bus Association President and CEO Peter Pantuso
    “Forcing the transportation sector to transition to electric vehicles, without considering the totality of what’s involved, makes no sense. This study is a wakeup call and should change the conversation. The U.S. bus industry has a strong environmental record, taking cars off the road and reducing congestion. We’ll continue to support climate initiatives, but they need to be grounded in reality, and the reality is: charging infrastructure has a long way to go before EV transition can succeed.”

    NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings
    “As fuel providers serving the fleets moving freight on the Interstate Highway System, our industry is at the forefront of investments in new refueling technologies and their infrastructure. Today’s report from Roland Berger clearly demonstrates that policy must not depend on a single technology to reduce the carbon emissions from commercial trucks. Investing in the necessary charging stations to fuel commercial trucks is expected to require $620 billion from truck stops, fleets and ultimately consumers. To raise that kind of capital, we need to overcome the many challenges impeding businesses’ ability to recoup these vast investments. This report underscores the critical need for policymakers to incentivize the existing low-carbon fueling options available today, including renewable diesel and biodiesel, while the industry implements longer-term options.”

    National Tank Truck Carriers, President and CEO Ryan Streblow
    “The eye-opening report released today by Roland Berger on forecasting a realistic electric infrastructure across our nation to support the trucking industry reinforces the tank truck industry’s concerns on the current aggressive and unrealistic regulatory approach to zero emissions. We will continue to face major electrification concerns in the tank truck industry - excess weight, limited range, and safety. The tank truck industry is our nation’s insurance policy when natural disasters strike. Before flipping a switch, we need to ensure there is a scalable and affordable energy source in place to allow the tank truck industry to serve those when they need it the most. The Roland Berger data is a clear indication our legislators and regulators need to work with the trucking industry to effectively develop and deploy a sustainable long-term solution.”

    National Motor Freight Traffic Association Executive Director Debbie Sparks
    “As representatives for the less-than-truckload segment of the industry, the transition to zero emission trucks is a paramount concern to our members; if not done in a sustainable and affordable fashion, it will negatively impact their businesses, as well as the overall supply chain. This study is imperative to the understanding of the issues at stake in this move to zero emission trucks.”

    Truckload Carriers Association President Jim Ward 
    “Roland Berger's in-depth analysis does a great job of illuminating the challenges that arise when transforming the industry to 100% BEV. It provides great insight into the capital investment and upgrades required for utility distribution and transmission and identifies the vast number of chargers that will need to be installed to continue to deliver America’s goods in a timely manner.”  

     
    ###

    About the Clean Freight Coalition
    The Clean Freight Coalition is an alliance of truck transportation stakeholders committed to a clean energy future for America’s trucking industry. Participating associations span motor carriers of every size and sector, truck dealers, truck stop operators and the bus industry.  Learn more at www.cleanfreightcoalition.org.

    About Roland Berger
    Roland Berger is the only management consultancy of European heritage with a strong international footprint. As an independent firm, solely owned by our Partners, we operate 51 offices in all major markets. Our 3000 employees offer a unique combination of an analytical approach and an empathic attitude. Driven by our values of entrepreneurship, excellence and empathy, we at Roland Berger are convinced that the world needs a new sustainable paradigm that takes the entire value cycle into account. Working in cross-competence teams across all relevant industries and business functions, we provide the best expertise to meet the profound challenges of today and tomorrow.


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