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U.S. Bridge Spending Lags as Repair Needs Dwarf Funds

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Source: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=32732

By Michele Fuetsch, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the Aug. 19 print edition of Transport Topics.

Despite the nation’s efforts to upgrade its bridges in recent years, a staggering 151,500 are still labeled as deficient, the cure for which is to spend $20.5 billion every year between now and 2028.

That estimate comes from the Federal Highway Administration, which oversees the health of the nation’s bridges and which says that current spending on the spans is $12.8 billion annually.

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CSA Data Could Be Used Against Fleets in Court Cases, Defense Lawyer Warns

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Source: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=32737

By Eric Miller, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the Aug. 19 print edition of Transport Topics.

A trucking industry defense attorney warned that plaintiffs’ attorneys will attempt to get Compliance, Safety, Accountability data into evidence to bolster accident claims that a carrier is unsafe.

“If CSA evidence makes its way into the courtroom, in my opinion, it could very well tip the scales in given cases,” Ted Perryman, a lawyer with the St. Louis law firm of Roberts Perryman, said during an American Trucking Associations webinar earlier this month.

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HOS Combatants Agree Court Ruling Marks End of 17-Year Regulatory Fight

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Source: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=32741

By Timothy Cama, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the Aug. 19 print edition of Transport Topics.

The chief adversaries in the nearly 17-year battle over federal work rules for commercial drivers agreed that the recent appeals court decision upholding most of the government’s latest regulation closes the book on the overhaul of the so-called hours-of-service rule, which had not changed significantly in 57 years.

But while the trucking industry says it wants to move beyond the issue of truck-driver fatigue, groups that have filed numerous lawsuits aimed at pushing regulators, lawmakers and courts to restrict truckers’ driving hours said they want to make sure the government does not forget about the issue.

Continue reading at: http://www.ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=32741

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FMCSA Says HOS Exception Doesn’t Apply to Oil-Field Drivers Hauling Sand, Water

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Source: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=32735

By Timothy Cama, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the Aug. 19 print edition of Transport Topics.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration refused last week to make changes to a regulatory guidance document it published last year allowing some specialty truck drivers at oil and gas exploration sites to extend their workdays.

FMCSA said the hours-of-service exception cannot be used by drivers hauling sand and water.

In the Aug. 12 notice published in the Federal Register, FMCSA said that after opening the issue to public comment and holding hearings, it will not change its interpretation that the waiting-time exception for oil-field workers can apply only to specially trained drivers with specially constructed equipment.

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Craigslist Scam Targets Truck Drivers

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Tulsa, OK police are warning truck drivers about a man who is using Craigslist ads to solicit truck drivers for bogus jobs in order to get information for an identity theft scam, according to a report by Fox23 News in Tulsa.

Police told the news station the scammer has used numerous aliases but recently has gone by Jim or Forrest.

Tulsa Police provided a description of the suspect. Police say he's an older white male about 5-foot-8 with a pot belly who's been offering jobs that don't exist to drivers.

Police believe the suspect drives a gray late-'80s or early-'90s Mercury Cougar with tinted windows and paint peeling off.

The police warn truckers to never fax copies of your driver's license, Social Security card or any other personal information and to only fill out applications from established businesses at their physical office.

Anyone with information about the identity scam is asked to call 918-596-COPS (2677).  

Source: FleetOwner.com

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Truckers Fighting Back Against Human Trafficking - TA/Petro & Hamrick School

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Source: www.wkyc.com/news/article/307746/3/Truckers-fighting-back-against-human-trafficking

CLEVELAND -- A nationwide group called Truckers Against Trafficking is getting local support from Northeast Ohio.

The idea is to educate truck drivers, truck-stop workers and motorists how to spot victims of human trafficking.

TravelCenters of America has taken a very public stance against trafficking and that campaign extends to the truck stop in Lodi.

Debbie Shelton is the general manager at the Lodi Travel Center truck stop.

"I have a daughter and I would hope that, if she was in trouble, someone would help her too," says Shelton. The lounges for drivers have information on the red flags of human trafficking.  

It's estimated that over 100,000 minors are prostituted in the U.S. every year, and they are trafficked along our highways and truckstops every day.

At Hamrick Trucking School in Medina, students are being made aware of the sex trade as well.

They are on the front line of stopping it and can save someone's life.

"If I see a former student of mine getting into a truck with a prostitute, I will come after you, after I call the police first," says Pat Welsh, Hamrick Trucking instructor.

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center is at 1-888-373-7888. Call if you see suspicious activity.

WKYC-TV

Source: www.wkyc.com/news/article/307746/3/Truckers-fighting-back-against-human-trafficking

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Industry Asked to Rank Top Concerns

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Dave Pierce
(770) 432-0628
August 5, 2013

Arlington, VA  – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, today launched the 2013 Top Industry Issues Survey.  The annual survey, commissioned by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), asks trucking industry stakeholders to rank the top issues of concern for the industry along with appropriate strategies for addressing each issue.  The survey is in its 9th year and participation by trucking stakeholders has grown each year.

“In complex times like this it is critical that we do our part to help ensure a thriving future for the trucking industry,” said ATA Chairman Mike Card, President, Combined Transport, Inc.  “With your participation, we can speak with a collective industry voice on what’s most important to us.”  The results of the 2013 survey will be released at the ATA Annual Management Conference and Exhibition, to be held October 19-22, 2013 in Orlando. 

Industry stakeholders are encouraged to complete the survey online.

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DC Court of Appeals Rules on HOS Challenges

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From Eric Sauer, Vice President- Policy & Regulatory Affairs, California Trucking Association

On August 2, 2013, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit announced their ruling on challenges to the new Hours of Service rules that went into effect on July 1, 2013.
 
The court was responding to challenges brought forth by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and Public Citizen. The court combined the two challenges and issued a single ruling for both.
 
The Court ultimately denied both challenges, with one exception – the ruling vacates the 30-minute rest break requirement for short haul truck drivers.
 
“We conclude that what remains of the 2003 Final Rule after two remands and three rulemakings are highly technical points best left to the agency. We therefore generally affirm the rule and vacate only the agency’s application of the 30-minute break to short-haul drivers.”
 
At this time it is unclear if further legal maneuvers or appeals will be taken to continue to challenge the HOS rule. CTA is monitoring the developments with these challenges and will provide guidance on the final outcome once it becomes available.

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Court to Hear CSA Arguments in September

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Source: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=32585

A federal court will hear arguments in September on whether the federal government followed the law in implementing and publicizing the new Compliance, Safety, Accountability program for trucking and bus company safety rankings.

The Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation (ASECTT), a group of brokers, shippers and carriers, filed the lawsuit last year, saying the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should have followed the formal rulemaking process when it told shippers and brokers to consider CSA scores when hiring carriers.

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Tulsa Company Says Need for Skilled Truckers Booming

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Source: http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/Sunday_Tulsa_company_says_
need_for_skilled_truckers/20130727_298_0_EvaGra690896?subj=298

By KYLE ARNOLD, World Staff Writer on Jul 27, 2013, at 4:11 PM

Eva Gray, a truck driver with Melton Truck Lines, gets into her truck in Tulsa. A spokeswoman said the company would hire anyone who is qualified to fill the demand for drivers. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

Eva Gray isn’t what you might expect out of a long-haul trucker.

The 29-year-old Maryland native has a petite frame, red hair and a big smile. She spends her nights and weekends taking online classes and is just a year away from getting a master’s degree in psychology.

“I was just bored with what I was doing, and driving is something that always appealed to me. So I just went for it,” said Gray, who had just finished a trip hauling lumber from New Hampshire to Springfield, Mo.

“It’s the experience of a lifetime. You get to see so many things every day that you would never get to see.”

Her truck is loaded with the newest high-tech gadgets in the industry, like a GPS device to show her the shortest routes to destinations and electronic logs to show her how much time until her next required rest.

Gray is one of more than 900 drivers at Tulsa-based Melton Truck Lines Inc. The company would hire a hundred more if qualified drivers walked in the door, said Angie Buchanan, vice president of human resources and safety.

“We have 70 openings right now, but we would hire anyone that is qualified,” Buchanan said. “There is as much work out there as we can take.”

The entire trucking industry is facing a shortage of drivers as the economy rebounds, the energy industry demands more trucks and the baby boom generation, which makes up the largest pool of drivers, is aging out and getting off the roads.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the U.S. will need 330,000 more truck drivers by 2020. With the average trucker being 55 years old, the industry will face a shortage in the next decade from retirements.

Source: http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/Sunday_Tulsa_company_says_need_for_skilled_truckers/20130727_298_0_EvaGra690896?subj=298