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New Hampshire bill would
make idling incentive law
An incentive to reduce truck idling could soon become
Hampshire. A House bill would increase the maximum weight limits for
large trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology.
Sponsored by Rep. Brian Rhodes, D-Nashua, the bill would authorize
commercial vehicles equipped with auxiliary power units to weigh up to
an additional 400 pounds.
Supporters say the weight exemption removes the disincentive that would
keep truckers from using APUs. They say a reduction of 400 pounds in
cargo is a major loss in hauling potential and represents an economic
disincentive for using these units.
An analysis attached to the bill explains that the rule allows
additional weight for vehicles using idle-reduction technology in order
to promote reduction of fuel use and emissions.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 states have laws that
allow the weight exemption.
Indiana bill targets
If an Indiana state lawmaker gets his way, drivers who
regard for the safety of others could face stiff penalties.
Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, has offered a bill that targets
reckless driving and other poor driving decisions.
Indiana law now calls for anyone found guilty of driving in a reckless
manner to face up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 fines.
In addition to fines and possible jail time, the bill calls for anyone
found to be driving a tractor-trailer "in a reckless or deliberate
attempt" to endanger others to face a lengthy amount of time off the
road. If such actions result in injury to another person, a judge could
recommend a one-year license suspension. Injuries that result in death
could result in a three-year ban.
According to the fiscal impact statement attached to the bill, there
were 35 occurrences of truck drivers being cited for reckless driving
during the five-year period that ended in 2009.
New Jersey DOT says it will
reimburse tows, penalties during snowstorm
The New Jersey Department of Transportation has
reimburse "reasonable towing costs" incurred by drivers during a
post-Christmas snowstorm that stranded many.
No one has publicly stated, however, whether trucks towed during the
storm will be covered by the reimbursement.
The snowstorm caused many vehicles on the Jersey Turnpike to be stuck,
prompting police and tow companies to remove many from the scene.
Members of the public were outraged at automatic tow policies in place
on the Jersey Turnpike - an issue truckers have dealt with in more
expensive form for years.
A spokeswoman with the New Jersey DOT told Land Line Magazine on
Monday, Jan. 10, that additional information would be forthcoming as to
which vehicles would be eligible for tow reimbursement, and whether
trucks would be included.
Kentucky bill would limit
Discontent over a plan that sought to toll three
the Louisville area in order to pay for new Ohio River bridges has
spurred action at the Kentucky statehouse.
Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, has introduced a bill that would make
sure tolls are not added. The bill, dubbed the "Keeping Kentucky's
Freeways Free Act," would make it illegal to charge tolls on existing
roadways to pay for new projects.
If approved by lawmakers, tolls could not be charged on the
Sherman-Minton Bridge, Clark Memorial Bridge and John F. Kennedy Bridge
to pay for the new east-end and downtown bridges.
NRA calls for lower toll
[IrishTrucker.com] The National Roads Authority has
feels motorists and hauliers are being over charged at a number of toll
plazas around the country.
The call from the NRA will put more pressure on the toll operators to
reduce their prices at certain plazas, and if it goes ahead, it will be
a huge relief to hauliers around the country, who are paying exorbitant
amounts on the tolls every week.
Averitt Associate Wins New
Pickup Truck for Saving Fuel
Averitt Express has proclaimed driver Marty Robbins the
"F-150 4x4 Fuel Duel" challenge. Robbins was handed the keys to his new
truck at a surprise ceremony held at the Greensboro, N.C., service
center. Robbins was randomly selected as the winner of the grand prize,
a 2010 Ford F-150 4x4 pickup truck, from a pool of hundreds of eligible
associates. In addition, 20 other Averitt associates each won a $500
fuel card after their names were selected from a random drawing.
The unveiling was the culmination of the six-month-long "F-150 4x4 Fuel
Duel" challenge. Averitt designed the program to create enthusiasm
about fuel conservation amongst its associates.
Averitt drivers conserved 132,544 gallons of fuel over last year and
saved the company $356,545.
Meritor, students co-design
future fuel efficient truck
ArvinMeritor recently entered into a heavy-duty truck
partnership program with one of the nation's leading art/design
For the second year in a row, College for Creative Studies (CCS) in
Detroit will work with the truck components systems manufacturer on the
program, which involves 15 senior-level students in looking for new
ways to slash fuel consumption and emissions by 10 to 20 percent as
required by impending government regulations.
[Mark West, professor and assistant chair of MFA Transportation Design
at CCS] says the students' designs address fuel efficiency,
sustainability/recycling, and aerodynamic issues. They also closely
considered the vehicle's life expectancy, hybrid powers, integrated
solar panels, highway safety, driver comfort and safety, and
10 natural safety threats likely to test your driving
over the next several months
This time of year the experts have one piece of advice: Be prepared for
Toll free? Governors agree to cut costs on
Toll opponents in the Louisville area have won a victory
this week, but there's still work to be done. On Tuesday, Jan. 4, the
governors of Kentucky and Indiana and the mayor of Louisville agreed on
a plan to scale back the Ohio River Bridges Project, save $500 million,
and work to keep at least two of the three existing bridges free of
Pa., New York tolls rise
The start of a new year usually includes toll increases,
which for 2011 includes the Pennsylvania Turnpike and New York City
bridges and tunnels.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike toll increases began Jan. 2. E-Z Pass
customers are paying 3 percent more in 2011, while cash customers face
a 10-percent increase. The fare schedule will not be printed on tickets
until the authority receives the new tickets this spring. ...
How to: Maintain Landing Gear
Crank, lube, inspect
Doing the job
Truckers say $1.21 per mile is unfair for West
Virginia toll road
History has proved that truckers will avoid toll roads
the rates get too high. Upon learning that the proposed U.S. Route 35
toll project in West Virginia could carry a toll of $1.21 per mile for
five-axle vehicles, truckers are already saying they won't use it.
According to the toll schedule, two toll plazas will be set up.
Truckers paying cash will be asked to pay $8.50 at each plaza, or $17
for a full-length trip, which amounts to $1.21 per mile. E-ZPass
account holders would pay $8.08 for fix axles at each plaza, or $16.16
for a full trip, which amounts to $1.15 per mile.
Toll increases would be guaranteed every four years through the
proposed sunset date of 2043. Toll rates toward the end of the contract
are proposed at $16 for five axle vehicles per toll plaza, or $32 for a
full-length trip. That amounts to $2.29 per mile.
Dollars and Sense: Idle-reduction strategy
Choosing an idle reduction technology can be one of the
difficult decisions to make. Systems and costs vary widely. A study by
the American Transportation Research Institute put diesel-fired heaters
at the bottom of the cost range for purchase ($888) and annual
maintenance ($110). Full-function diesel auxiliary power units/gensets
are at the top, at $7,750 to purchase.
If you don't employ idle-reduction technology today, start evaluating
your need by keeping a detailed idle log. Write down every time you
idle and why. Keep track of hours idled and sort them by reason, such
as air-conditioning, heat, AC power, warming the engine, etc. Try this
for a year ideally, or at least for three months.
Bad Money Habits--and Eight Steps Toward
...What exactly are the money habits that Americans so
desperately want to reverse?
Impulse spending, for one -- ...
CreditCard.com's Lisa Bertagnoli offers eight steps to change bad
financial habits that New Year's Resolvers can put into play: ...
Pilot Flying J Enhancing Driver Benefits
Frequent Fueler Program
Pilot Flying J is launching Frequent Fueler Advantage on
Jan. 3, calling the new loyalty program nation's largest for
professional drivers and RV customers.
Frequent Fueler Advantage will allow professional drivers to instantly
accrue and redeem loyalty points in all participating Pilot and Flying
J travel centers, travel plazas and restaurants across the U.S. and
Pilot Travel Centers and Flying J merged in July, and the new loyalty
program combines the best of both previous programs. Added benefits of
the new program include extended shower expirations for loyal
customers, shower credits for expeditors and in-store rewards for club
Anti-toll petition nets more than 10,000
An anti-toll group based in Louisville, KY, recently
submitted 10,300 signatures in opposition to a plan that calls for
tolls to be levied on existing bridges.
Shawn Reilly, founder of the group Say No to Bridge Tolls, said the
signatures were sent to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's
"We're asking Secretary LaHood not to allow tolls on existing
infrastructure," Reilly said.
Truckers and trucking companies are among those deeply entrenched in
the fight to keep the Sherman Minton, John F. Kennedy, East Side and
U.S. 31 bridges toll free.
IdleAir offers free services to drivers
It's the reality that not all drivers will make it home
the Christmas holidays - and sometimes that's because of the weather or
other unforeseen circumstances.
IdleAir is offering free services from noon on Christmas Eve through
midnight Christmas day to drivers stuck on the road. The offer is good
for all drivers, not just drivers working for companies with fleet
To receive the free service, ...
Sleep Apnea in Truck Drivers Lowers Health Care Costs
For commercial motor vehicle drivers with obstructive
apnea (OSA), effective treatment lowers health care costs and
disability rates, reports a study in the May Journal of Occupational
and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American
College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).
Treating OSA in truck drivers has economic as well as health and safety
benefits, according to the new study, led by Dr Benjamin Hoffman, chief
medical officer of Waste Management Inc.
For treated drivers, health plan costs decreased by an average of
$2,700 in the first year and another $3,100 in the second year,
compared to no change for untreated drivers. The treated drivers also
missed fewer work days (average 4.4 days in the first year) and had
lower short-term disability costs ($528 over 2 years).
On average, treatment for OSA led to "over $6,000 in total health plan
and disability cost savings per treated driver," the researchers write.
Total costs decreased by 41 in drivers treated for OSA (compared to an
8 decrease in untreated drivers).
Ohio Turnpike raises speed
limit to 70 mph for all
The Ohio Turnpike Commission voted Monday, Dec. 20, to
the speed limit for trucks and cars to 70 mph effective April 1, 2011.
Ohio Turnpike Commission commissioners are hoping the 5 mph increase
will give truckers an incentive to use the toll road. The speed limit
on other major routes in the Buckeye State is 65 mph.
"Time is money for truckers. And we anticipate that the increased speed
limit on the Ohio Turnpike will encourage commercial vehicles off of
the congested, rural, two-lane country roads and onto the safer,
well-maintained, well-designed Ohio Turnpike," Commission Chairman
Joseph Balog said in a statement.
Speed limits and time savings are only part of the equation truckers
use to determine whether to use a toll road. Another important
threshold is price.
Belzer and Swan calculated that when tolls increased by 83 percent on
the turnpike, 13 percent of the truck traffic diverted to alternate
routes. The researchers then showed that much of the traffic returned
to the turnpike when the toll rates were decreased.
The Ohio Turnpike Commission approved a toll increase in 2009 and
provided a discount incentive for customers who have E-ZPass.
Time for stealin'
A new report by FreightWatch International shows a
whopping-28 percent increase in cargo theft on a per-day basis during
the Holidays compared with the other calendar days.
[Dan Burges, corporate director of Global Intelligence] said the
Holiday season gives cargo criminals a greater opportunity to commit
thefts and disappear with the product.
"Prior to each major holiday, the logistics and security industry is
reminded to increase security measures over the upcoming days," Burges