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Annual TCA convention to be held March 1-3 in Florida; Cal Ripken Jr. to speak



Cal Ripken Jr.
Former Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. will deliver the keynote address at the opening general session of the 82nd annual Truckload Carriers Association convention on Monday, March 2. Over 1,000 Truckload Carriers Association members will attend the convention. (Courtesy: Truckload Carriers Association)

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) 82nd annual convention will be held Sunday through Tuesday, March 1-3 at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida.

The theme for the meeting is “Truckload 2020.”

TCA is a trade association whose collective sole focus is the truckload segment of the motor carrier industry. Founded in 1938, the association represents dry van, refrigerated, flatbed, tanker and intermodal container carriers.

There will be general sessions Monday and Tuesday, and executive panel discussions Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Beginning Sunday and continuing throughout the convention TCA will conduct “Trucking in the Round” breakout session.

An awards banquet Tuesday night concludes the convention.

The first general session will be Monday morning and will feature the annual chairman’s address by TCA Chairman Josh Kaburick, CEO of Earl L. Henderson Trucking Company Inc. and the keynote address by former Major League Baseball’s Iron Man and Hall of Fame member Cal Ripken Jr.

Ripken spent 21 years playing major league baseball — all with the Baltimore Orioles — and set standards for achievement that are unlikely to be surpassed. During his career, Ripken compiled 3,184 hits, 431 home runs and 1,695 RBIs, and he won two Gold Glove Awards for his defensive play. TCA President John Lyboldt said Ripken will share a compelling presentation while telling of lessons of perseverance from the baseball diamond to business, what it takes to become an “Iron Man” in your own business and the eight keys to success in business, from leadership to loyalty.

The Tuesday morning general session at 8:15 a.m. will include Lyboldt’s presidential address and remarks by incoming Chairman Dennis Dellinger, president and CEO of Cargo Transporters Inc.

Tuesday morning’s featured speaker will be Curt Cronin, a Navy SEAL for 19 years.

Cronin deployed 13 times and spent more than four years overseas. In that time, living and working in an environment where milliseconds made the difference between life and death and winning and losing, he honed his talent as a catalyst for transformation and rose to eventually lead the nation’s premier SEAL assault force. In his presentations Lyboldt said Cronin will address the art of leadership, organizational change for the information age, and the talent of harnessing your own courage and heroism to inspire and empower individuals and teams.

Also Tuesday morning will be an appearance by Jim Mullen, acting deputy administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, who is responsible for providing executive leadership and expert guidance on policy matters.

He will cover the following in his address:

  • Reversing the four-year trend of increased fatalities involving large trucks.
  • Potential changes to the Hours of Service regulations.
  • The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
  • The FMCSA’s new study to identify factors to all FMCSA reportable large truck crashes.

The topic of the Sunday afternoon executive panel discussion will be “Practical Approaches to Nuclear Verdicts.” Panelists include Daniel Murray, senior vice president of the American Transportation Research Institute; Clay Porter, national outside counsel at Schneider; Doug Rennie, partner, Montgomery, Rennie, Jonson law firm; and Charli Morris, a legal communications consultant.

Monday afternoon’s executive panel at
2:15 p.m. will be a panel discussion on “Leadership Transition from Today’s Executives featuring Jon Coca, president, Diamond Transportation System Inc.; Karen Smerchek, president, Veriha Trucking Inc.; Kameron Wilson, vice president, Wilson Logistics; and David Heller, vice president of government affairs, Truckload Carriers Association.

The Tuesday afternoon executive panel discussion will be “Current and Future State of Truckload” with Chris Henry, program manager, TCA Profitability Program; Jack Porter, program director, TCA Profitability Program; and Dean Croke, chief insight officer at FreightWaves.

Lyboldt also announced the Trucking in the Round topics including:

  • Are You Attracting Women to Your Fleet?
  • Non-Trucking Engagement and Retention Tools
  • Creating a Winning Orientation Strategy
  • Using Research on Driver Commitment to Improve Retention with an Emphasis on New-to-You Drivers
  • Driver Feedback as Reputation Management: Take Control of Your Carrier’s Online Identity
  • Bridging the Knowing-Doing Gap to Profitability
  • How the Class 8 Cycle Drivers Freight Rates
  • Using Technology to Improve Safety Within Your organization and Effectively Conveying Those Improvements to Your Insurance Carrier
  • Are You Using the Right Coverage for Your Independent Contractors?
  • Get DISC Connected
  • 2020 Best Fleets to Drive For: Statistics, Trends, and Innovations
  • Building a Battleplan to Survive AB5 and the ABC Test
  • Fraudulent Workers’ Compensation Claims
  • Simplify Your Office Through AI
  • Assuring the Successful Continuation of Your Privately-Owned Trucking Company
  • Autonomy in Heavy-Duty Vehicle Environments
  • Practical Applications to Manage Driver Fatigue Risk
  • New Ways Technology is Moving More with Less
  • Security Logistics — Cargo Theft, Supply Chair and Loss Prevention Solutions.

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The Nation

Stretch of Highway 22 in Oregon closed after tanker crash, diesel spill



tanker crash on highway 22
Highway 22 between Idanha and Santiam Junction is unlikely to reopen until Friday or Saturday as crews remove contaminated soil in a roadside ditch and rebuild a 600-foot section of roadway, the Oregon Department of Transportation said. (Courtesy: Oregon State Police)

IDANHA, Ore. — A stretch of Highway 22 will be closed for much of this week as crews clean up gasoline and diesel fuel that leaked out of a crashed tanker truck near Idanha along the North Santiam River, state transportation authorities said Monday.

The highway between Idanha and Santiam Junction is unlikely to reopen until Friday or Saturday as crews remove contaminated soil in a roadside ditch and rebuild a 600-foot section of roadway, the Oregon Department of Transportation said.

An oil sheen was visible on the North Santiam River downstream of the crash site, but officials said most of the tanker’s oil seeped into the ditch, where it was absorbed by the soil. It’s unclear how much entered the river, the Statesman Journal reported.

The city of Salem said Monday that its drinking water is safe and the oil from the spill has not reached its water treatment plant near Stayton, which is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) away from the crash. The oil will take several days to reach the plant, the city said, and teams will test the river water at multiple locations this week. Crews have set up absorbent berms to capture the oil on the water.

If any fuel is detected in the river, the city will close the water intake gates as it did in a similar situation three years ago.

The crash on Sunday closed Highway 22 near Detroit and Santiam Junction. The truck was carrying 10,600 gallons of fuel total — 6,500 gallons of gasoline in a tanker trailer and 4,100 gallons of diesel in the truck’s tanker.

About 7,800 gallons of fuel emptied into a roadside ditch and the rest was recovered, according to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality officials.

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The Nation

FMCSA final rule lowers annual registration costs for motor carriers



truck driving down road
The reduction of the current 2019 registration year fees range from approximately $3 to $2,712 per entity, depending on the number of vehicles owned or operated by the affected entities. (iStock Photo)

WASHINGTON — Motor carriers will now see a reduction in the price they must pay to register their vehicles. On February 13, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a final rule that realigns the fees for the Unified Carrier Registration Plan.

According to the document posted on the federal register last week, this rule establishes reductions in the annual registration fees the states collect from motor carriers, motor private carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies for the UCR Plan and Agreement for the registration years beginning in 2020.

“For the 2020 registration year, the fees will be reduced by 14.45% below the 2018 registration fee level to ensure that fee revenues collected do not exceed the statutory maximum, and to account for the excess funds held in the depository,” the document reads. “The fees will remain at the same level for 2021 and subsequent years unless revised in the future.”

The reduction of the current 2019 registration year fees range from approximately $3 to $2,712 per entity, depending on the number of vehicles owned or operated by the affected entities.

The UCR Plan and the 41 States participating in the UCR Agreement establish and collect fees from motor carriers, motor private carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies. The UCR Plan and Agreement are administered by a 15-member board of directors; 14 appointed from the participating states and the industry, plus the Deputy Administrator of FMCSA or another Presidential appointee from the Department, according to the final rule.

Revenues collected are allocated to the participating states and the UCR Plan. If annual revenue collections will exceed the statutory maximum allowed, then the UCR Plan must request adjustments to the fees. In addition, any excess funds held by the UCR Plan after payments are made to the states and for administrative costs are retained in the UCR depository, and fees subsequently charged must be adjusted further to return the excess revenues held in the depository.

Adjustments in the fees are requested by the UCR Plan and approved by FMCSA. These two provisions are the reasons for the two- stage adjustment adopted in this final rule.

“While each motor carrier will realize a reduced burden, fees are considered by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A–4, Regulatory Analysis as transfer payments, not costs. Transfer payments are payments from one group to another that do not affect total resources available to society. Therefore, transfers are not considered in the monetization of societal costs and benefits of rulemakings,” according to the document.

The rule states that the total state revenue target is more than $107 million.

For more information or the read the rule in its entirety, visit

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The Nation

Rhode Island DOT looks to hike trucks-only tolls amid court battle; public input sought



Rhode island dot wanting to hike rates on trucks-only toll system while court battle continues; public comment sought
A truck passes through one of Rhode Island's six operating toll gantries. (courtesy: Providence Journal)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — As the Connecticut legislature prepares to vote this week on Gov. Ned Lamont’s controversial and long-debated “trucks only” toll proposal, a similar system in Rhode Island continues to operate while legal action to overturn the tolls is underway.

The original Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) proposal to charge tolls on trucks only included 14 locations, all bridges RIDOT deemed as structurally deficient. Tolls collected at each bridge would be used to repair and upgrade the specific location.

RIDOT is accepting public comment through March 1 on a plan to increase the toll on a newly installed gantry at the Oxford Street Bridge in Providence, a bridge crossing Interstate 95. The original toll for the bridge was set at $2.25 per trip; however, RIDOT is studying the cost-benefit ratio of doubling the rate to $4.50. RIDOT representatives requesting comment on the proposed increase claim the increase is really no increase at all; it is simply an effort to maintain the revenue forecast from the 14 gantries included in the original tolling proposal.

Currently, Rhode Island has constructed toll gantries at six of the originally planned locations; however, as the program has moved forward, two locations have been temporarily or permanently delayed. Rather than adjusting anticipated total revenue based on 12 locations, Gov. Gina Raimondo has instead directed RIDOT officials to study and request rate hikes at specific bridges. The toll hikes will allow Rhode Island to collect the same $45 million forecast from the 14 original gantries. This new twist on a toll program already challenged as unconstitutional by the American Trucking Associations, and one which an appellate court has ruled Rhode Island must face in a lawsuit, is leading the trucking industry and toll opposition to question RIDOT’s language in press releases and discussions on the issue.

Chris Maxwell, president of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, said, “This should serve to reinforce concerns over the unbridled power and discretion given to RIDOT and further feeds the suspicion and skepticism of Rhode Island’s business owners about the end game of this scheme.”

Maxwell’s comments come on the heels of an already approved increased toll rate at another location in Providence. The Route 6 bridge over the Woonasquatucket River was increased from $2.00 to $5.00 last fall.

Maxwell also expressed concern about changing the still new tolls program when original approval was based on environmental impact studies. “From a legal standpoint,” he said, “these ‘on the fly’ changes would seem to undermine and violate the purpose and extent of the environmental impact assessments.”
Other opponents to the Oxford Street bridge toll increase note that the bridge does not fall into the criteria RIDOT deemed as structurally deficient, meaning revenue from the toll would be used at other locations, a provision not included in the tolling plan.

From RIDOT’s perspective, not only is the proposed toll rate increase not really an increase, it is also going to save the state money. RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said that the infrastructure costs of eliminating two planned toll locations will result in lower implementation costs.

“Our thinking is we’ll forgo building [a gantry] at the viaduct in Providence, or at least while the viaduct is being built,” Alviti said on WPRO radio. “We’ll assign the toll amount we were going to collect there to the next nearest location, which is Oxford Street.”

Chris Maxwell believes he has a full understanding of RIDOT’s intent. “[They] deliberately chose the most densely traveled tool location in the who scheme to further their insatiable appetite to soak businesses, consumers, and taxpayers,” he said in an interview with Transport Topics.

RIDOT is justifying its proposed action based on the original toll proposal’s expectation of generating $45 million in revenue. In any event, Peter Alviti says, truckers traveling I-95 through Rhode Island will still be paying $20.00 per trip.

When is an increase not an increase? It depends on what your definition of increase is. For those wanting to comment, emails can be sent to or comments can be submitted in writing to Jay McGinn, P.E., Project Manager II RIDOT, 2 Capitol Hill, Providence RI 02903. Following cutoff date for comments on March 1, the new rate will be implemented on March 5.

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