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OOIDA files suit against Indiana Toll Road fee increase

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The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said the 35 percent increase in tolls will cost five-axle trucks $60 to use the 156-mile road which equates to roughly 38 cents per mile based on the toll alone.

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has filed a lawsuit against the Indiana Finance Authority, the Indiana Toll Road Concession Co. (ITRCC), the Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation and Gov. Eric Holcomb.

The class action complaint, filed in federal district Court in Indianapolis, challenges the 35 percent increase in tolls imposed on drivers of heavy vehicles travelling the Indiana Toll Road that was implemented on October 5, 2018.

The increase was intended to raise $1 billion for Indiana’s “Next Level Connections Program.”

OOIDA says the measure is burdensome, discriminatory and violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Back in October, OOIDA had sent a letter to the governor expressing objections to the plan.

OOIDA’s lawsuit says the tolls imposed by the ITRCC are not only excessive but are also used to subsidize services and facilities provided by the state that have no functional relationship to the Indiana Toll Road (ITR).

“The governor has admitted publicly that the increased tolls on truckers were intended for out-of-state users,” said Todd Spencer, president of OOIDA. “He seems to think that, in his own words, ‘capturing other people’s money’ is okay. He would be very wrong about that. Truckers are not rolling piggy banks. Indiana’s failure to solve the state’s history of serious financial problems and bad decisions should not fall upon the shoulders of truckers,” said Spencer.

OOIDA seeks an injunction to stop further imposition of the toll increase along with refunds of excessive tolls paid since October 2018.

In the letter to the governor, Spencer said if the 35 percent was implemented, five-axle trucks would pay $60 to use the 156-mile road which equates to roughly 38 cents per mile based on the toll alone.

“However, at 73 cents per gallon, Indiana has the fifth highest combined federal and state diesel excise tax rate,” the letter said.  “If we assume five-axle trucks average 6.2 miles per gallon, each truck will consume approximately 25 gallons of diesel traversing the ITR, paying another $18.25 in taxes.  Collectively (i.e. tolls and diesel taxes), five-axle trucks will pay more than 50 cents per mile on the ITR.”

Two things worth noting in more detail, Spencer wrote:

  • These figures exclude other federal truck-only taxes, such as the International

Registration Plan, 12 percent federal excise tax on new equipment, annual Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, and numerous other state and local taxes in Indiana.

  • Based on our data, the average leased owner-operator drives roughly 100,000 miles and has a gross income of $155,000 annually, which equates to $1.55 per mile. In other words, Spencer said, a leased owner-operator would fork over 31 percent of their gross per-mile pay to use the ITR. After accounting for numerous other expenses (i.e. the fuel itself, maintenance, food, incomes taxes, etc.) the net percentage is actually much higher than 31 percent.

“Enacting this significant truck-only toll increase on the ITR will inevitably discourage or inhibit truckers from travelling through Indiana,” Spencer wrote.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the only national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 160,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.

 

 

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The Nation

Big rig causes 100-year-old bridge to collapse in North Dakota

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This undated photo provided by Grand Forks County Sheriff's Department shows the overweight semi that caused the collapse of a small, historic bridge near Northwood, N.D. Authorities say the semi, with a trailer load of dry beans, was traveling on the 56-foot-long, restricted-weight bridge over the Goose River Monday. (Grand Forks County Sheriff's Department via AP)

NORTHWOOD, N.D. — Sheriff’s officials say an overweight semitrailer loaded with dried beans caused a more-than-century-old bridge to collapse in North Dakota.

Grand Forks County sheriff’s officials say the bridge over the Goose River near Northwood collapsed Monday afternoon. Photos show the wooden and iron span buckling under the weight of the vehicle. The bridge is partly submerged in the water.

Police said a 2005 Peterbilt semi-truck was driving on the bridge when the structure reportedly crumpled beneath it, causing the trailer to hangover the west abutment.

The 56-foot-long bridge was built in 1906 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It has a 14 ton weight restriction. Sheriff’s officials say the semitrailer was 29 tons over that limit.

The driver, who was not injured, faces an $11,400 overload fine.

Officials say it will cost up to $1 million to replace the bridge.

It was not immediately clear if weight-limit signs were posted, and police said the incident was still under investigation

Northwood is about 200 miles northeast of Bismarck.

 

 

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Women In Trucking names its 2019 top woman-owned businesses

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Angela Eliacostas is the founder and owner of AGT Global Logistics, one of the companies the Women In Trucking Association has named its 2019 Top Women-Owned Businesses in Transportation. (Courtesy: Women in Trucking)

PLOVER, Wisc. —  The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has announced its annual list of the “Top Woman-Owned Businesses in Transportation.”

The names of the companies being recognized in 2019 were released in the latest edition of Redefining the Road, the official magazine of WIT.

WIT created the list was created to recognize women in leadership and encourage more women to become proactive leaders in their organizations and even start their own businesses, WIT president and CEO Ellen Voie said. The program supports WIT’s overall mission “To encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize the obstacles they face.”

Entrepreneurship is a viable means of economic self-sufficiency, and many women are choosing an enterprise connected to transportation to be part of their career aspirations, according to Brian Everett, publisher of Redefining the Road.

Companies considered for the recognition must meet criteria that includes majority ownership by a woman, financial stability and growth, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Each company was nominated and chosen based upon business success and accomplishments, including those related to gender diversity.

This year’s list includes companies from a diverse range of business sectors in the commercial freight transportation marketplace, including motor carriers, third-party logistics companies and original equipment manufacturers.

Companies named to the 2019 “Top Woman-Owned Businesses” list and their primary female business owners are:

  • Bennett International Group; Marcia G. Taylor, CEO
  • Kenco Logistics; Jane Kennedy Greene, chairwoman
  • London Auto Truck Center; Donna Childers, vice president
  • Rihm Family Companies; Kari Rihm, president and CEO
  • Veriha Trucking, Inc.; Karen Smerchek, president
  • Rush Trucking Corp.; Andra Rush, CEO
  • Aria Logistics; Arelis Gutierrez, CEO
  • Lodgewood Enterprises; Arlene Gagne, president
  • S-2international, LLC; Jennifer Mead, CEO
  • International Express Trucking; Karen Duff, president and CEO
  • Brenny Transportation, Inc.; Joyce Brenny, CEO and founder
  • Knichel Logistics; Kristy Knichel, CEO
  • Garner Trucking; Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, CEO
  • LYNC Logistics; Cindy Lee, president
  • Ontario Truck Training Academy; Yvette Lagrois, president
  • AGT Global Logistics; Angela Eliacostas, owner and founder
  • Powersource Transportation; (Barb Bakos, president
  • LaunchIt Public Relations; Susan Fall, president
  • United Federal Logistics, Inc.; Jennifer Behnke, president
  • BCP Transportation; Nancy Spelsberg, Ardis Jourdan, Kristie Rozinski
  • Ladybird Logistics Ltd.; Felicia Payin Marfo, managing director
  • DGT Trucking; Donna G. Sleasman, owner
  • RFX Inc.; Kimberly Welby, president and CEO)

These companies will be recognized during a special program at the Women In Trucking Accelerate! Conference & Expo, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 in Dallas. For more information, visit WomenInTrucking.org.

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The Nation

Can you say oversized load!

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That is big!

 

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