Connect with us

The Nation

Modernize the Truck Fleet Coalition rallies support for repealing FET

Published

on

Jodie Teuton, chairwoman of the American Truck Dealers, delivers remarks at a Capitol Hill press conference on June 19, 2019, to increase support in Congress for bipartisan legislation to repeal the federal excise tax on the sale of heavy-duty trucks and trailers. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, who is sponsoring the legislation, listens in. (Courtesy: AMERICAN TRUCK DEALERS)

WASHINGTON — The Modernize the Truck Fleet (MTF) coalition rallied on Capitol Hill Wednesday to urge Congressional support for bipartisan legislation repealing the 12% federal excise tax (FET) on the sale of heavy-duty commercial trucks and trailers.

“The FET was first enacted to help pay for World War I,” said Jodie Teuton, chairwoman of the American Truck Dealers (ATD). “This tax may have made sense in 1917, but today the FET delays heavy-duty truck fleet turnover by adding more than $20,000 to the average price of a new truck.” Her remarks were made during a press conference held as part of Modernize the Truck Fleet Week June 17-21.

A national network of commercial truck dealers, trade association executives and trucking industry stakeholders are in Washington this week to meet with members of Congress to urge them to cosponsor H.R. 2381 and S. 1839, bills that would repeal the FET and encourage the deployment of the newest trucks and trailers.

“The FET made sense when it was implemented 100 years ago, but just like trucks that were designed in 1917, it’s no longer viable in the modern world. Today, it’s a cost-prohibitive barrier for small businesses looking to upgrade their outdated trucks to safer, cleaner, more modern vehicles,” said Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., sponsor of H.R. 2381, a bill to repeal the FET.

“The average age of most heavy-duty trucks on the road today is nearly 10 years old – that means a decade worth of technological advancements is effectively being sidelined. The 12% FET limits truck replacement by discouraging truck owners from upgrading their outdated vehicles – leading to higher emissions and more dangerous roads. We won’t truly see a modern truck fleet in the U.S. until it’s repealed,” LaMalfa said.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., sponsor of S. 1839, the Senate FET repeal bill, said, “This burdensome tax creates excessive costs that are passed on to truckers, who play an essential role in maintaining our nation’s economy. I was happy to introduce legislation to repeal it.”

The MTF coalition, launched in January, is urging Congress to repeal the FET and identify an alternative source of revenue that reflects today’s modern truck fleet. The coalition includes ATD, Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA), NTEA — The Association for the Work Truck Industry, Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, National Trailer Dealers Association (NTDA) and National Tank Truck Carriers Association.

“With an infrastructure bill as likely to pass as any piece of legislation this Congress, this is the time to put all of our combined energy into finding a way to replace the onerous FET,” said Jake Jacoby, TRALA president and CEO. “We are excited to be a part of such a collaborative effort working with truck companies, manufacturers, dealers and end users who all want to put the cleanest, most technologically advanced trucks onto our highways immediately.”

Gwendolyn Brown, NTDA president, said the FET is an unfair method of taxing the trailer industry, and it limits the purchase of newer, safer and greener trailers and parts — all of which are boons to the economy.

“As increasing regulatory burdens are mandated by the EPA, CARB and other government agencies, the costs of heavy-duty trucks and trailers continue to increase making the FET that much more burdensome,” Brown said.

Teuton, a Kenworth and Hino dealer in Louisiana said that America’s trucking industry wants safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to move America’s economy.

“Repealing the FET and replacing it with a tax based on road use paid over the life of a vehicle is part of that solution,” she said. “The FET is an indiscriminate, upfront tax. It makes no sense that a truck which drives 15,000 miles a year pays the same tax as a truck driven 150,000 miles.”

At the press conference, Volvo Trucks North America, a member of the MTF coalition, displayed a World War I-era truck and a new Mack Anthem.

“There is an opportunity, right now, to modernize the nation’s infrastructure, modernize the truck fleet and modernize the Highway Trust Fund,” Teuton said. “Repeal of the FET means more trucks rolling on our nation’s highways that are cleaner and safer.”

.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Nation

Can you say oversized load!

Published

on

That is big!

 

Continue Reading

The Nation

Diesel prices all but stagnant nationwide, less than 2-cent shift anywhere

Published

on

The average price for a gallon of diesel nationwide fell by 0.7 cents for the week ending July 22, to currently stand at $3.044 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The lack of movement in diesel prices continues a pattern that has been going on for the past month. On June 24, diesel was at 3.042, with changes of less than 1.5 cents every week in between.

Though tiny, the movement in diesel prices was nearly unanimous this past week, down in all but one region of the country.  That one exception was the Rocky Mountain region, where diesel rose 0.3 cents, to $2.978. Year-to-date, diesel prices are lower in every region, with the Rocky Mountain region again being the standout, having the greatest difference, 39.1 cents from this time last year.

California made it a clean sweep for lower diesel prices year-to-date with a drop of 1.3 cents this past week, to $3.939, still by far the highest in the country, but 0.4 cents below this time last year.

Along the rest of the West Coast, diesel dropped 1.1 cents to $3.198, bringing the overall West Coast average to $3.611 per gallon.

The average along the East Coast is currently $3.072, with prices highest in the Central Atlantic, where diesel is going for $3.259 after a 1.3-cent drop. Diesel is $3.122 in New England following a decrease of 0.9 cents over the past week, while in the Lower Atlantic region diesel slipped by 0.4 cents to stand at $2.937 per gallon.

That’s still slightly better than the Midwest, where diesel is going for $2.948 per gallon after a drop of 0.8 cents. Meanwhile, the Gulf Coast, the low-price leader in diesel, fell by the same 0.1 cent it gained the week before to stand at $2.804.

On Monday, increasing tensions between Iran and Western countries failed to produce a sharp reaction in the crude oil markets. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 98 cents, or 1.57%, to settle at $63.45 a barrel. U.S.-based West Texas Intermediate crude rose 59 cents, or 1.06%, to settle at $56.22 a barrel.

Click here for a complete list of average prices by region for the past three weeks.

Continue Reading

The Nation

DOL opinion letter: Time in sleeper berth does not count as compensable time

Published

on

The Department of Labor says the time a truck driver spends in the sleeper berth is not compensable time. Pictured in the Peterbilt 579 UltraLoft sleeper berth. (Courtesy: PETERBILT MOTORS)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor said Monday said it had determined that time spent in the sleeper berth by professional truck drivers while otherwise relieved from duty does not count as compensable time.

The DOL issued the determination in a written opinion letter by the department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the individual person or entity that requested the letter.

The American Trucking Associations lauded the opinion.

“ATA welcomes Monday’s opinion letter from DOL Wage and Hour Division Administrator Cheryl Stanton that concluded time spent by a commercial driver in the sleeper berth does not count as compensable hours under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, unless the driver is actually performing work or on call,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This opinion, which is consistent with decades-old DOL regulations, the weight of judicial authority, and the long understanding of the trucking industry, clears up confusion created by two recent court decisions that called the compensability of sleeper berth time into question.

Significantly, this opinion letter provides new guidance, the DOL said.

Under prior guidance, the DOL said WHD interpreted the relevant regulations to mean that while sleeping time may be excluded from hours worked where “adequate facilities” were furnished, only up to eight hours of sleeping time may be excluded in a trip 24 hours or longer, and no sleeping time may be excluded for trips under 24 hours.

“WHD has now concluded that this interpretation is unnecessarily burdensome for employers and instead adopts a straightforward reading of the plain language of the applicable regulation, under which the time drivers are relieved of all duties and permitted to sleep in a sleeper berth is presumptively non-working time that is not compensable,” the opinion letter said. “There may be circumstances, however, where a driver who retires to a sleeping berth is unable to use the time effectively for his or her own purposes. For example, a driver who is required to remain on call or do paperwork in the sleeping berth may be unable to effectively sleep or engage in personal activities; in such cases, the time is compensable hours worked.”

The ATA commended Acting Secretary Patrick Pizzella and Stanton for adopting a straightforward, plain-language reading of the law, rather than the burdensome alternative interpretation embraced by those outlier decisions.

“ATA also commends the department for making guidance like this available through opinion letters, which provide an opportunity for stakeholders to better understand their compliance obligations prospectively, rather than settling such matters only after the fact, through costly and wasteful litigation,” Spear said.

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending