legislation testimony

TAM Testimony – In Support, Training Tomorrow’s Trucking Workforce

The following testimony was sent to the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means and Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies chairs. Our testimony supports Amendment 41, Relative to Training Tomorrow’s Trucking Workforce.

The Commonwealth must strengthen its pipeline to develop a new workforce for the trucking industry. TAM supports Massachusetts Amendment 41, Relative to Training Tomorrow’s Trucking Workforce.

The testimony supporting Amendment 41 is provided below but is also available as a PDF download.


Dear Chair Michlewitz and Chair Parisella:

On behalf of the Trucking Association of Massachusetts (TAM), I am writing in strong support for adopting Amendment #41, Relative to Training Tomorrow’s Trucking Workforce, to House Bill 4789, the House economic development legislation. With the trucking industry experiencing one of its greatest workforce challenges in recent years, it is essential that the Commonwealth strengthen its pipeline for developing a new workforce for this vital industry.

Complementary to the House economic development bill’s strong focus on workforce, Amendment #41 seeks to bring a new generation of qualified workers into the trucking profession by directing the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education to create a grant program, subject to appropriation, that would support training and education programs that address the workforce shortages in the commercial trucking industry. The applicable areas of the trucking workforce targeted would include truck drivers, mechanics, technicians, and ancillary support personnel. The grant program would be used to train students, create new jobs, retrain and upgrade existing jobs, and retrain existing workers to implement new technologies and to help meet the workforce needs of the trucking industry within the Commonwealth.

Amendment #41 is an important initiative for growing the trucking industry in Massachusetts. The creation of this program will allow for the training of students and transitioning career professionals — creating new jobs while improving the retainage and upgrading of existing jobs to help meet the growing workforce needs of the trucking industry. As reported by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), “there is no single cause of the driver shortage, but some of the primary factors include: high average age of current drivers, which leads to a high number of retirements; women making up only 7% of all drivers, well below their representation in the total workforce; the pandemic caused some drivers to leave the industry, [and] truck driver training schools trained far fewer drivers than normal in 2020. At current trends, the shortage could surpass 160,000 in 2030. This forecast is based on driver demographic trends, including gender and age, as well as expected freight growth. )See the report from the American Trucking Associations, Truck Driver Shortage Analysis Update 2021.)

Truck drivers and other trucking personnel play a crucial role in the current economy. 93% of all goods transported into and within the Commonwealth have been on a truck. Every item on the shelves of Massachusetts retailers are filled with products transported by the trucking industry. With interest in the profession dwindling, there is a clear need to encourage this career path. The revitalization of the profession is important for more than just the trucking companies, but the Commonwealth as a whole. This initiative will create a mechanism for a wide variety of organizations and employers to train and hire trucking professionals to fill the Commonwealth’s workforce shortage.

I appreciate your consideration of this important matter and respectfully request that you adopt Amendment #41 as part of House Bill 4789. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Sincerely,

Kevin Weeks
Executive Director
Trucking Association of Massachusetts

2024 TAM Golf Outing

Chairman’s Memorial Golf Outing scheduled for Sept. 23

Please join us for the Annual TAM Chairman’s Memorial Golf Outing, which will be held on Sept. 23 at Charter Oak Country Club in Hudson.

legislation testimony

TAM Testimony – Add Rolling Stock Initiative to House Bill 4722

The following testimony was sent to the Massachusetts Speaker of the House and chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means. Our testimony supports House Bill 4722, An Act Relative to Strengthening Massachusetts Economic Leadership. Still, we respectfully ask legislators to add the Rolling Stock Initiative to the bill’s language.

Adding the Rolling Stock Initiative will generate additional tax revenue, improve public safety, and create a cleaner environment while creating numerous jobs with competitive salaries.

The testimony supporting House Bill 4722 is provided below, but it is also available as a PDF download. The PDF download includes attachments with Fact Sheets, graphics and the Rolling Stock Initiative language.


Dear Speaker Mariano and Chair Michlewitz,

On behalf of the over 250 member companies of the Transportation Association of Massachusetts (TAM), I am writing in strong support of House Bill 4722, An Act Relative to Strengthening Massachusetts Economic Leadership. The passage of this legislation – which will support so many industries throughout the Commonwealth – is essential. With that in mind, the trucking industry is also a vital link for supporting these same industries throughout the Commonwealth. With many thanks for your previous support, I respectfully request that you again include the rolling stock initiative, which will lead to additional tax revenue, greater public safety, a cleaner environment while creating numerous jobs with competitive salaries, to this legislation.

As you may know, TAM has been the voice of the trucking industry in Massachusetts since 1919. One of the oldest transportation associations in the United States, we represent a wide variety of companies ranging from small, family-owned trucking companies with a single truck to large national trucking companies with thousands of trucks. The trucking industry within the Commonwealth is responsible for transporting over 90% of all goods and products found in our homes and workplaces. In addition to being a key facilitator for the growth of other industries, the trucking industry is a significant creator of jobs within the Commonwealth. As a recent study by the Dukakis Center for Urban Research & Policy at Northeastern University stated “[t]he overall trucking industry (including private and for-hire tucking) represent about one in 12 jobs or about 300,000 jobs in Massachusetts in 2017. And, trucking companies meet all Massachusetts freight movement needs.” (“The Importance of the Trucking Industry to the Massachusetts Economy”, Pritchard, R. & Scott, A., p.3 (May 2018)). In terms of employment demographics, the trucking industry is quickly diversifying as companies seek drivers to meet the growing need for trucking. (“Truck Driver Shortage Analysis 2019”, Costello & Karickhoff, American Trucking Associations, July 2019)(“ In 2018, 40.4% of [truck] drivers were minorities, which has jumped 13.8 percentage points from 26.6% in 2001.).

The rolling stock initiative, which has been passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives as part of other economic development proposals in the past three sessions, is important to maintaining the trucking industry’s presence in the Commonwealth. Notwithstanding the significant impact of the COVID pandemic, rising fuel costs and a depleted workforce, the commercial trucking industry within the Commonwealth has been experiencing a decline as many trucking companies have moved to other states or simply closed down. Part of the reason that trucking companies have left the state is due to the Commonwealth’s tax policies. In particular, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) collects sales and use tax for rolling stock purchased in other states which have an exemption in place for rolling stock. (i.e. tractors and trailers used in interstate commerce). As a result, any company with a nexus within the Commonwealth is being charged sales and use tax by the DOR even though the rolling stock was purchased in other states. Accordingly, various truck companies, who may be domiciled in Massachusetts or have repair facilities in Massachusetts, are now seeking to locate them outside of the state to reduce the nexus necessary to collect such tax.

Exempting the sale and use of rolling stock from taxation will bring Massachusetts in line with a majority of other states (37) within which an exemption from sales and use tax for rolling stock already exists. In fact, every surrounding New England state, except Vermont which applies a de minimus fee, has a rolling stock exemption in place. That said, amending Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 64H (i.e. sales tax) and Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 64I (i.e. use tax) to specifically exempt rolling stock from the sales and use tax brings much more than simple tax relief to the trucking industry. According to the aforementioned study conducted by the Dukakis Center for Urban Research & Policy, the elimination of the sales and use tax on rolling stock will, following national trends, create “2,768 more employees and 2,076 more power units … operating and generating an additional $15.9 million in tax revenue per year; while not estimable, … the impact on private fleets may be just as large.” (“The Importance of the Trucking Industry to the Massachusetts Economy”, Pritchard, R. & Scott, A., p.14 (May 2018)).

The need for eliminating the taxation of rolling stock cannot be overstated. First, this initiative will create a more attractive environment for trucking companies to remain in the Commonwealth. Trucking companies rely on constantly maintaining and upgrading their equipment. This means purchasing new rolling stock on a regular basis. If trucking companies know that their out-of-state purchases will incur an in-state tax, the companies will work to continue to reduce their nexus to the taxing state. As it stands, Massachusetts trucking companies are already at a competitive disadvantage when competing against carriers located in the neighboring states.

Second, but just as important, this initiative will have a significant positive impact on public safety and the environment. Exempting the sale and use of rolling stock from taxation will encourage the purchase of new equipment with the latest technology available as well incentivize companies to operate their newer trucks in the Commonwealth. This directly increases public safety and creates additional environmental benefits. In terms of public safety, new trucks include lane-departure, crash collision and speed regulator technology that significantly improve road safety. In terms of environmental benefits, newer trucks have more efficient engines and exhaust systems. This leads to greater fuel efficiency and reduces emissions of NOx and particulate matter to further support the Commonwealth’s fuel efficiency and clean air efforts. Given the Commonwealth’s recent interest in reducing emissions from the transportation sector, the rolling stock initiative makes even more sense.

Third, by keeping trucking companies in the Commonwealth, the good jobs and competitive salaries that these companies offer will remain within the state. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Massachusetts is in the top ten for annual mean wage for heavy and tractor-trailer drivers within the country. (See http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm). If more trucking companies find Massachusetts tax policy less favorable than neighboring states, it is likely the decrease in Massachusetts trucking companies will become even more significant.

Fourth, if the Commonwealth discourages trucking companies from domiciling in the state, transportation expenses will rise — further impacting the high cost of living already experienced in the Commonwealth. The costs associated with transporting goods are fairly straightforward. (See https://truckingresearch.org/2022/08/10/an-analysis-of-the-operational-costs-of-trucking-2022-update/) (“Total marginal cost of trucking grew by 12.7 percent in 2021 to $1.855 per mile, the highest on record. Leading contributors to this increase were fuel (35.4% higher than in 2020), repair and maintenance (18.2% higher than in 2020), and driver wages (10.8% higher than in 2020”). If the Commonwealth’s tax policies continue to cause trucking companies to domicile elsewhere, the additional fuel, tolls and vehicle maintenance, among other costs, will be borne by Massachusetts residents and businesses that already rely on the industry for over 90% of their goods. If the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated one thing about the trucking industry, it is that it remains essential to residents and businesses alike.

This initiative is a matter of common sense. Given that neighboring states such as New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont (partial) exempt rolling stock from sales and use tax, Massachusetts’ current tax policy is causing higher costs for Massachusetts residents and businesses while driving economic opportunity to neighboring states. This initiative, which has been passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives during the past three sessions, will not exclude trucking companies from the myriad of other taxes and fees the industry pays to the Commonwealth each year. This initiative simply tries to keep Massachusetts on par with the vast majority of states (37) with an exemption already in place.

On behalf of the thousands of men and women in Massachusetts who rely on the good jobs and competitive salaries these Massachusetts companies provide, I encourage you to quickly pass House Bill 4722. In doing so, I again respectfully request that you include language to create an exemption from the Massachusetts sales and use tax as applied to rolling stock for trucks as you have in the past. This measure will produce additional tax revenue in the future while strengthening the trucking industry in Massachusetts in a manner that also improves the environment and public safety. Again, thank you for your past and, hopefully, continued support for this initiative.

I have attached a variety of information about this initiative for your review. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know. I appreciate your consideration of this important matter.

Sincerely,

Kevin Weeks
Executive Director

Please see the downloadable PDF, which includes attachments with Fact Sheets, graphics, and the Rolling Stock Initiative language.

Tristate Truck Driving Championships

Sweeney earns Massachusetts TDC Grand Champion award

Rich Sweeney, representing XPO, earned the 2024 Massachusetts Grand Champion title at the Tri-State Truck Driving Championship on June 8 in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Sweeney competed in the 5-Axle Tractor Tank Trailer class.

Congratulations to all the winners, including Jeremy Mastello, our Massachusetts Rookie of the Year.

Class Winners

  • Scott Barton, FedEx Freight, Twin Trailers
  • Christopher Buswell, FedEx Freight, Straight Truck
  • Rafael Jusfredo, FedEx, Step Van
  • Sean Medeiros, FedEx Freight, 3 Axle Tractor Trailer
  • Richard Sweeney, XPO, 5 Axle Tractor Tank Trailer

A special shout-out to all the volunteers and sponsors, especially Craig Moran from MobileMe Transportation, for all his support.

See you all next year!

Mass TDC 2024 photos

legislation testimony

TAM Testimony – In support of Act Relative to Strengthening Massachusetts Economic Leadership

The following testimony was sent to the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. Our testimony supports House Bill 4459, an act to relative to strengthening Massachusetts economic leadership, which will support many industries throughout the Commonwealth.

The testimony supporting House Bill 4459, An Act Relative to Strengthening Massachusetts Economic Leadership, is also available as a PDF download.


Dear Chair Finegold, Chair Parisella and Members of the Committee:

On behalf of the over 250 member companies of the Transportation Association of Massachusetts (TAM), I am writing in strong support of House Bill 4459, An Act Relative to Strengthening Massachusetts Economic Leadership. The passage of this legislation – which will support so many industries throughout the Commonwealth – is essential. With that in mind, the trucking industry is also a vital link for supporting these same industries throughout the Commonwealth. To that end, I respectfully request that you include the rolling stock initiative, which will lead to additional tax revenue, greater public safety, a cleaner environment while creating numerous jobs with competitive salaries, to this legislation.

As you may know, TAM has been the voice of the trucking industry in Massachusetts since 1919. One of the oldest transportation associations in the United States, we represent a wide variety of companies ranging from small, family-owned trucking companies with a single truck to large national trucking companies with thousands of trucks. The trucking industry within the Commonwealth is responsible for transporting over 90% of all goods and products found in our homes and workplaces. In addition to being a key facilitator for the growth of other industries, the trucking industry is a significant creator of jobs within the Commonwealth. As a recent study by the Dukakis Center for Urban Research & Policy at Northeastern University stated, “[t]he overall trucking industry (including private and for-hire tucking) represent about one in 12 jobs or about 300,000 jobs in Massachusetts in 2017. And, trucking companies meet all Massachusetts freight movement needs.” (“The Importance of the Trucking Industry to the Massachusetts Economy”, Pritchard, R. & Scott, A., p.3 (May 2018)). In terms of employment demographics, the trucking industry is quickly diversifying as companies seek drivers to meet the growing need for trucking. (“Truck Driver Shortage Analysis 2019”, Costello & Karickhoff, American Trucking Associations, July 2019)(“ In 2018, 40.4% of [truck] drivers were minorities, which has jumped 13.8 percentage points from 26.6% in 2001.).

The rolling stock initiative, which has been passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives as part of other economic development proposals in the past three sessions, is important to maintaining the trucking industry’s presence in the Commonwealth. Notwithstanding the significant impact of the COVID pandemic, rising fuel costs and a depleted workforce, the commercial trucking industry within the Commonwealth has been experiencing a decline as many trucking companies have moved to other states or simply closed down. Part of the reason that trucking companies have left the state is due to the Commonwealth’s tax policies. In particular, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) collects sales and use tax for rolling stock purchased in other states which have an exemption in place for rolling stock. (i.e. tractors and trailers used in interstate commerce). As a result, any company with a nexus within the Commonwealth is being charged sales and use tax by the DOR even though the rolling stock was purchased in other states. Accordingly, various truck companies, who may be domiciled in Massachusetts or have repair facilities in Massachusetts, are now seeking to locate them outside of the state to reduce the nexus necessary to collect such tax.

Exempting the sale and use of rolling stock from taxation will bring Massachusetts in line with a majority of other states (37) within which an exemption from sales and use tax for rolling stock already exists. In fact, every surrounding New England state, except Vermont which applies a de minimus fee, has a rolling stock exemption in place. That said, amending Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 64H (i.e. sales tax) and Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 64I (i.e. use tax) to specifically exempt rolling stock from the sales and use tax brings much more than simple tax relief to the trucking industry. According to the aforementioned study conducted by the Dukakis Center for Urban Research & Policy, the elimination of the sales and use tax on rolling stock will, following national trends, create “2,768 more employees and 2,076 more power units … operating and generating an additional $15.9 million in tax revenue per year; while not estimable, … the impact on private fleets may be just as large.” (“The Importance of the Trucking Industry to the Massachusetts Economy”, Pritchard, R. & Scott, A., p.14 (May 2018)).

The need for eliminating the taxation of rolling stock cannot be overstated. First, this initiative will create a more attractive environment for trucking companies to remain in the Commonwealth. Trucking companies rely on constantly maintaining and upgrading their equipment. This means purchasing new rolling stock on a regular basis. If trucking companies know that their out-of-state purchases will incur an in-state tax, the companies will work to continue to reduce their nexus to the taxing state. As it stands, Massachusetts trucking companies are already at a competitive disadvantage when competing against carriers located in the neighboring states.

Second, but just as important, this initiative will have a significant positive impact on public safety and the environment. Exempting the sale and use of rolling stock from taxation will encourage the purchase of new equipment with the latest technology available as well incentivize companies to operate their newer trucks in the Commonwealth. This directly increases public safety and creates additional environmental benefits. In terms of public safety, new trucks include lane-departure, crash collision and speed regulator technology that significantly improve road safety. In terms of environmental benefits, newer trucks have more efficient engines and exhaust systems. This leads to greater fuel efficiency and reduces emissions of NOx and particulate matter to further support the Commonwealth’s fuel efficiency and clean air efforts. Given the Commonwealth’s recent interest in reducing emissions from the transportation sector, the rolling stock initiative makes even more sense.

Third, by keeping trucking companies in the Commonwealth, the good jobs and competitive salaries that these companies offer will remain within the state. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Massachusetts is in the top ten for annual mean wage for heavy and tractor-trailer drivers within the country. (See http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm). If more trucking companies find Massachusetts tax policy less favorable than neighboring states, it is likely the decrease in Massachusetts trucking companies will become even more significant.

Fourth, if the Commonwealth discourages trucking companies from domiciling in the state, transportation expenses will rise — further impacting the high cost of living already experienced in the Commonwealth. The costs associated with transporting goods are fairly straightforward. (See https://truckingresearch.org/2022/08/10/an-analysis-of-the-operational-costs-of-trucking-2022-update/) (“Total marginal cost of trucking grew by 12.7 percent in 2021 to $1.855 per mile, the highest on record. Leading contributors to this increase were fuel (35.4% higher than in 2020), repair and maintenance (18.2% higher than in 2020), and driver wages (10.8% higher than in 2020”). If the Commonwealth’s tax policies continue to cause trucking companies to domicile elsewhere, the additional fuel, tolls and vehicle maintenance, among other costs, will be borne by Massachusetts residents and businesses that already rely on the industry for over 90% of their goods. If the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated one thing about the trucking industry, it is that it remains essential to residents and businesses alike.

This initiative is a matter of common sense. Given that neighboring states such as New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont (partial) exempt rolling stock from sales and use tax, Massachusetts’ current tax policy is causing higher costs for Massachusetts residents and businesses while driving economic opportunity to neighboring states. This initiative, which has been passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives during the past three sessions, will not exclude trucking companies from the myriad of other taxes and fees the industry pays to the Commonwealth each year. This initiative simply tries to keep Massachusetts on par with the vast majority of states (37) with an exemption already in place.

On behalf of the thousands of men and women in Massachusetts who rely on the good jobs and competitive salaries these Massachusetts companies provide, I encourage you to quickly pass House Bill 4459. In doing so, I respectfully request that you include language to create an exemption from the Massachusetts sales and use tax as applied to rolling stock for trucks. This measure will produce additional tax revenue in the future while strengthening the trucking industry in Massachusetts in a manner that also improves the environment and public safety.

For your review, I have attached a variety of information about this initiative for your review. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know. I appreciate your consideration of this important matter.

Sincerely,

Kevin Weeks
Executive Director

legislation testimony

TAM Testimony – In support of An Act Relative to Carriers of Property by Motor Vehicle

The following testimony was sent to the State Senate Committee on Ways and Means. Our testimony supports Senate Bill 2209, which addresses a practical problem for larger motor carriers who may choose to ship alcohol within Massachusetts.

The testimony supporting Senate Bill 2209, An Act Relative to Carriers of Property by Motor Vehicle, is also available as a PDF download.


Dear Chair Rodrigues:

On behalf of the Trucking Association of Massachusetts (TAM), I am writing in strong support for Senate Bill 2209, An Act Relative to Carriers of Property by Motor Vehicle. This legislation, which addresses a practical problem for larger motor carriers who may choose to ship alcohol within the state, will ultimately reduce administrative costs for the Commonwealth.

As you may know, a variety of Massachusetts laws govern the shipment of alcohol from a manufacturer directly to the consumer. Under the licensing construct created under the applicable laws, each motor vehicle transporting an alcohol product must have a license from the Commonwealth. Under Senate Bill 2209, a motor carrier would be able to obtain a fleet permit to transport or deliver the products sold at retail by licensees under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 138, §§19B, 19C, or 19F to the ultimate consumers of such products. In addition, any motor carrier so licensed would be required to ensure that parcels transported or delivered are clearly labeled with words that indicate that the package contains alcohol. The signature of a person, age 21 years or older, and proof of valid identification confirming the same will also be required for delivery. Finally, the motor carrier with a fleet license must have documentation reflecting all of these and other requirements are met.

With razor thin margins associated with the delivery of goods, trucking is at its core logistics. Unfortunately, for trucking companies with large fleets today, this means that each tractor and trailer must be able to be used for a wide variety of purposes. Whether transporting lumber, furniture, food or alcohol, a trucking company must be able to redirect its fleet to reflect market conditions and delivery needs at a moment’s notice. The Commonwealth’s licensure system – requiring each and every truck that might possibly haul alcohol be licensed – creates a disincentive for motor carriers to enter the Massachusetts market. As a result, Massachusetts consumers pay higher costs associated with a lack of competition.

Senate Bill 2209 will allow for the more practical issuance of a fleet license that covers a motor carrier’s entire fleet of vehicles. In doing so, Massachusetts will become a more attractive environment for trucking companies to transport alcohol. This legislation will not sacrifice public safety in any manner as all the same rules will still apply. All the safeguards that apply to ensuring that alcohol is only delivered to individuals 21 and older will remain in place. What this legislation will do is increase competition which will ultimately benefit consumers. As well, by issuing fleet licenses, the Commonwealth will be able to reduce licensing costs and associated resources, which may then be put towards enforcement efforts, thereby further safeguarding the general public.

I appreciate your consideration of this important matter and respectfully request that you release this legislation for its full consideration by the Senate. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Sincerely,

Kevin Weeks
Executive Director

sumner tunnel truck strike over height

New Sumner Tunnel warnings due to “over-height” strikes

sumner tunnel truck strike over heightThere has been a sharp increase in strikes this year because of over-height issues. Here is a look at the past few years:

  • 2022: 31 for the year (Eight between Jan 1 and April 30)
  • 2023: 32 for the year (Six between Jan. 1 and April 30)
  • 2024: 21 so far between Jan. 1 and April 25

With the uptick of reported over-heights in the Sumner Tunnel, the following measures are being taken and/or are underway by the District:

District 6 of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has mobilized two variable message signs (VMS) on Rte. 1A SB just before Curtis Street. The two boards provide the following messages.

  • TRUCKER NOTICE
  • USE 90W TO 93 N & S

A project is also underway to use GPS and wireless digital communication platforms to deliver specific messages directly to the trucks’ cabs regarding height restrictions as they enter the driving routes.

Note that trucks are not obligated to divert to the Ted Williams Tunnel.

Kevin Holmes ATG

ATG’s Kevin Holmes named a Business Leader of the Year

Kevin Holmes ATGAdvantage Truck Group was founded in 1984 in a two-pumper service station with $12,000, Kevin Holmes’s life savings. He was undercapitalized, but he jumped in anyway.

“Nine thousand dollars went into gas in the ground and the rest into rent,” Holmes said.

ATG is now New England’s biggest Daimler Trucks North America dealer and the company opened its eighth regional location in 2021. The expansion came after it merged its sales and service provider Tri-State Truck Center with McDevitt Truck in New Hampshire in 2018.

The Worcester Business Journal named Kevin one of 2024’s Business Leaders of the Year, representing central Massachusetts.

 

snow traffic jam

Massachusetts makes ATRI’s list of Top 100 Truck Bottlenecks

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has released its 13th annual list highlighting the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America.

The 2024 Top Truck Bottleneck List measures the level of truck-involved congestion at over 325 locations on the national highway system. Based on extensive freight truck GPS data, the analysis uses several customized software applications and analysis methods, along with terabytes of data from trucking operations, to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location.

Massachusetts

Rank #51
Boston, MA: I-93 at SR 3

Rank #71
Boston, MA: I-95 at I-90

Rank #94
Boston, MA: I-95 at I-93 (North)

Click here to read the full report on the ATRI website.

truck route detour signs

Overweight Truck Detours – I-90 between Westfield & Lee

Updated on Jan. 9, 2024

Updated weight restrictions beginning Jan. 10

Based on feedback and information from the trucking community and impacts to the communities affected by the detour, MassDOT performed additional analysis to determine if weight restrictions could be modified on the Montgomery-Russell Bridge to allow heavier loads to travel along I-90 and not use the detour.

The analysis concluded that the weight restrictions could be modified to some extent. The modified weight restrictions are based upon a thorough assessment by the MassDOT Highway Division’s Structural Section, as well as changes made to the operations, equipment staging, etc., by the contractor.

If unforeseen issues arise during construction, weight restrictions may change, and the bridge may be posted with new restrictions for safety purposes.

The Montgomery – Russell Bridge along I-90 is currently under construction through 2025. The bridge is located at approximately mile marker 36 and spans US Route 20, CSX Railroad, and the Westfield River.

Due to the necessary repair work, construction staging, construction equipment loads, and travel lane shifts, it is necessary to limit the loads over the bridge and implement an overweight truck detour beginning December 4 and lasting through 2025.

This weight restriction and detour will not impact private passenger vehicles and most other traffic. Based on analysis of special permits and tolling data, MassDOT anticipates this detour will impact approximately 10 to 15 trucks daily.

What trucks are affected?

Loads over the below limits will be detoured off I-90 and onto Routes 10, 202, and 20. The detour will be in effect for two years and adds six miles to a trip. Overweight trucks will not be permitted to utilize the detour route during peak hours of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Advance truck detour signs will be posted on I-90, and detour signs will be posted along the detour route.

Trucks with the following maximum weight limits are permitted to travel across the bridge as of Jan. 10:

  • 20 Tons (single unit two-axle, H20)
  • 45 Tons (single unit three+ axles, Type 3)
  • 50 Tons (truck trailer combo, Type 3S2)
  • 55 Tons* (truck trailer-trailer combo, Type 3-3)

Tandem trucks over the 55-ton limit must break down before entering Massachusetts (traveling eastbound on I-90) or in Chicopee (traveling westbound on I-90) at Exit 51.

MassDOT has a PDF showing eastbound and westbound truck detour routes and additional details concerning the detour.