Research on autonomous truck testing

From the American Transportation Research Institute.

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released new research that identifies both the positive and negative impacts associated with numerous government policies, programs and regulations that target autonomous truck development and testing. ATRI’s study proposes a framework by which autonomous truck standards could be developed.

This study was identified as the top research priority for the industry by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee in 2018.

You can download the report on the ATRI website.

Safety Seminars scheduled in 2020

These events are complementary to TAM members and open to non-members for a recommended $25 per person donation. If your company is interested in hosting a Safety Roundtable event, please contact us.

2020 Schedule

  • Jan. 31, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. | Regency Transportation, 5 Kenwood Circle, Franklin, Mass.
  • April 3, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. | UMASS Amherst, The Guinness Room in Marcus Hall
  • Sept. 18, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. | Location is TBD

Registration

Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse webinar available for playback

The Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse registration deadline is Monday, Jan. 6, 2020.

In response to frequent and numerous questions about various components of the new Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, the Trucking Association of Massachusetts has partnered with the Maine Motor Transport Association (MMTA) to release a webinar to help guide members.

The webinar may not answer every question, it does guide viewers through the basics of the Clearinghouse, the sometimes-confusing registration process, and it answers many of the most frequently asked questions.

Special thanks to MMTA for allowing us to provide this information to members. Additional information including slide downloads are available at the MMTA website.

Webinar Video

 

Banning commercial trucks from local streets

Trucking Association of Massachusetts past Chairman John Hamel recently submitted feedback on an important topic to the trucking industry. The Boston Globe recently asked, Should Massachusetts ban commercial trucks from local streets except for pickup and delivery?

In part, he wrote:

From a practical point of view, preventing trucks from taking the most direct route between two points would only increase the potential for accidents. By adding to the miles trucks have to travel, it would also mean expanded use of fossil fuels and create more congestion on our already overcrowded roadways.

Visit the Boston Globe website and read The Argument piece. You can also provide your opinion by voting.

EPA sponsors supply chain assessment

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay division partnered with the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) and Home Depot to complete a supply chain assessment using data from Home Depot, the third largest importer of cargo. From the Executive Summary

Global trade has increased significantly in recent decades, and some forecasters expect goods movement activity to triple or quadruple within the next few decades. All modes of freight transportation rely almost entirely on fossil fuels, and carbon emissions from marine transport have grown even faster than overall activity, principally due to inefficiencies in goods movement and lagging technology adoption. This study evaluates the capacity of current and future technologies and strategies to improve the energy and environmental performance of a real-world global supply chain. It also highlights the drivers of and barriers to a greener freight sector, and explores how to foster collaboration across industry, government, and civil society to facilitate future implementation of technologies and strategies.

From the International council on Clean Transportation.

This is one of the first studies to incorporate technology research, operational best practices, and emissions accounting methodologies in an in-depth assessment of a real-world supply chain. It highlights how analyzing real-world data need not compromise business confidentiality.

The full report can be downloaded here [PDF, 2.7 MB].

Advantage Truck Group delivers meals, fights hunger

Advantage Truck Group’s seventh annual event creates a community of giving within the trucking industry, helping to feed almost 16,000 people in Central Massachusetts.

Tomorrow – Dec. 18 – Trucking Association of Massachusetts member Advantage Truck Group (ATG) will lead the delivery of 3,000 fresh meals to six food pantry organizations in Central Massachusetts. It’s part of the company’s annual Haulin’ 4 Hunger program to help address hunger and food insecurity in the region.

The Haulin’ 4 Hunger team of ATG employees and industry sponsors (including TAM members) will lead a caravan of trucks and vans and hand-deliver fresh meals of hams and turkeys, along with assorted fixings, to organizations offering food pantries and other services to those in need. Read more about this effort at the Truck Parts & Service website.

Shrewsbury, MA (December 2019) —Advantage Truck Group (ATG), the largest Daimler Trucks North America dealer network in New England, is leading its annual Haulin’ 4 Hunger volunteer event to help combat hunger, an initiative launched in 2012 that has now provided nearly 16,000 fresh meals to Central Massachusetts residents who lack consistent access to enough food.

In Massachusetts, 1 in 11 people struggle with hunger. Through Haulin’ 4 Hunger, ATG is bringing together a team of employees and business sponsors (many of whom are owner-operator companies) to lead the delivery of nearly 3,000 fresh meals to six food pantry organizations.

“We believe it’s important for our company to make a difference in the communities where we live and work. Rather than gifting customers with a holiday basket, we decided to create a program – with the support of our customers – to give their gift to others,” said Kevin G. Holmes, President and CEO of ATG. “This simple idea has resulted in seven years of giving, and with the help of our customers, employees and sponsors we have been able to expand our reach and increase the number of fresh meals we provide to those in need.”

Read the full article at Truck Parts & Service online.

ATA responds to USMCA agreement replacing NAFTA

The US, Mexico and Canada have finalized a trade deal that will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Chris Spear, the president of the American Trucking Association sent out a letter to members on Dec. 9. The text of the letter is included below.

Dear ATA Members:

A long sought agreement on USMCA has been reached. This agreement is a significant step toward ratification, which is expected to happen before the House and Senate adjourn for the year.

Trade is a Tier 1 ATA priority and considerable work went into moving USMCA forward. I want to thank our members, state associations, coalition partners and stakeholders for playing a key role in making this happen. Once again, our Calls on Washington are making a difference. Our voice is being heard!

The ATA team and I will continue to track the remaining steps and keep you apprised.

ATA’s official statement is:

“Now with a clear path to USMCA’s ratification, this is an historic victory for truck drivers, motor carriers and the entire American economy,” said ATA President Chris Spear. “The vast majority of trade in North America moves on truck, with $772 billion worth of goods crossing our borders with Mexico and Canada every year. USCMA will provide the certainty our industry needs while ensuring the United States remains competitive on the world stage.”

“Trade is a tremendous driver of revenue and creator of jobs in trucking, which is why passing USMCA has been so important to our industry,” said ATA Chairman Randy Guillot, president of Triple G Express Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana. “Trade with our two closest neighbors supports nearly 90,000 Americans in trucking-related jobs and generates $12.62 billion in annual revenue for our industry. As USMCA deepens our economic ties, we expect these figures – like our economies – to continue to increase.”

“In a Washington that has been gridlocked by partisan politics, this is a great example of what is possible in creating consensus around good policy,” Spear said. “Truckers and our economy depend on good policymaking, and this bipartisan agreement is a reminder of how government can make our lives and businesses stronger. I thank President Trump, Speaker Pelosi, and all who have put disagreements aside to achieve this historic agreement.”

Best,

Chris Spear

MassCEC expands scope to include transportation sector

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), a quasi-governmental state agency working on clean energy initiatives throughout the Commonwealth, is currently expanding the scope of its projects into the clean transportation sector.

They have developed a new grant funding opportunity titled “Accelerating Clean Transportation Now” (ACTNow) that will accelerate adoption of a broad range of clean transportation options and focus on supporting innovative business models and use cases.

Additionally, they are creating a collaborative forum through Slack for various companies and stakeholders to begin establishing ideas and connections for the grant.

For additional information, contact MassCEC.

Maine proclamation of emergency concerning propane transport

Janet T. Mills, governor of the State of Maine, has declared – through proclamation – the current shortage of propane gas constitutes a civil emergency. This transportation exemption effective from Nov. 26 through Dec. 10 enables propane gas delivery crews to transport such gas more effectively to Maine homes and businesses.

From a Reuters article dated Nov. 22.

A strike at Canada’s biggest railroad, Canadian National Railway Co, entered its fourth day on Friday as talks continued with no signs of a deal and analysts warned that a prolonged dispute would weigh on economic growth. …

Canada’s biggest rail strike in a decade has sparked concerns that farmers and homeowners may run short of propane, although the union claims the railroad has manufactured that shortage.

The State of Maine’s proclamation is available as a PDF download at the State of Maine website and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.

 

Regency Transportation participates in air quality research

Trucking Association of Massachusetts member Regency Transportation has offered tractors to be part of an engine data collection campaign be run by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM). NESCAUM is a nonprofit association of air quality agencies in the Northeast.

The NESCAUM Board of Directors consists of the air directors of the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), New Jersey, and New York. Their purpose is to provide scientific, technical, analytical, and policy support to the air quality programs of the eight Northeast states. A fundamental component of their efforts is to assist member states in implementing national environmental programs required under the Clean Air Act and other federal legislation.

NESCAUM hosts committees and workgroups comprised of state staff who meet regularly to discuss issues ranging from regional haze to air permitting to mobile source issues. NESCAUM also provides forums for public education, promotes air quality initiatives, and hosts the Clean Air Academy, which provides advanced air quality training for state officials.

As part of the program that Regency is participating in, NESCAUM has obtained engine data loggers that will be installed in several chosen Regency tractors over the next few months.