Highway Funding Solutions Being Debated
The Highway Trust Fund is expected to run out of money by September, 2014. Several financing ideas are being floated, but the current "do nothing" Congress means that real solutions may be hard to come by.
President Obama has suggested a one-time infusion into the fund. The administration's plan calls for $302 billion over four years as part of the highway program reauthorization. About half of that would come from corporation tax reform. Another big chunk of that ($63 billion) would come from eliminating loop holes in the trust fund.
Failing to get new fundings means that the Federal Highway Administration would be forced to cut back on the flow of Federal funds to States for highway construction and maintenance. That could begin as early as this coming summer. Mike Hancokc, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), says that if that happens, States may have to suspend their highway project plans.
While Congress might argue for comprehensive reform of the tax code, most parties such as American Trucking Assocations, argue that the quickest and surest way to resolve the problem is to raise the federal fuel tax.
However, most players agree that in the current Congress, that is not going to happen. Senator Barbara boxer, D-CA, speaking at the AASHTO meeting, said their was not enough support to make a fuel tax increase happen. She said Obama's approach is viable because it does not require reforming the entire tax system.
The next Highway Bill is currently being written and will likely be in debate by spring or summer. Details courtesy truckinginfo.com.
Metering May Be Used on I-70 Mountain Corridor for Safety Reasons
Tunnel Safety Metering may be implemented along the I-70 mountain corridor prior to the Eisenhower Tunnel during peak travel times along I-70 eastbound. This type of metering is used sparingly in this area but when implemented, it is done so for safety reasons. Due to the lack of shoulders and pull offs inside the tunnel, CDOT is unable to allow backups inside the tunnel. Traffic must remain moving throughout the entire tunnel which is nearly 1.7 miles long. Should an emergency occur within the tunnel in stopped traffic, emergency vehicles would not be able to maneuver inside the tunnel or in the immediate tunnel vicinity. When stop & go traffic congestion on I-70 east of the tunnel threatens to back traffic into the tunnel, Tunnel Safety Metering is put into effect. Alternating red and green traffic lights keep traffic moving eastbound through the tunnel at a consistent rate, while allowing the congestion on the east side of the tunnel to dissipate.
Ramp metering is a different type of metering and is used along US 40 to relieve the congestion along I-70 eastbound during peak travel times. The delays travelers experience on US 40 prior to entering I-70 helps keep their overall delay shorter by not overwhelming I-70 with so many vehicles that delays grow so large that travel times won't recover until late at night. US 40 traffic can add over 800 vehicles per hour to I-70 from 2 pm. through 6 p.m. on weekends and Holidays. Travelers are encouraged to take advantage of peak hour dining and lodging deals to avoid long delays.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has launched a campaign to encourage mountain visitors to “Change Your Peak Time” when traveling back to Denver, by skipping the rush between 1p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Instead travelers can “Press Play, Avoid Delay” by spending an extra hour having fun in the mountains instead of spending an extra hour in peak traffic.
Leadership Workshop Set for March 5 at CMCA Training Center
ActionCOACH and CMCA will again host a leadership training workshop called "Leadership Skills for Outstanding Team Development". The two hour session is free to CMCA member carriers. Valued at $198, the workshop will be held on March 5, 2014 from 8:30 am to 10:30 am at the CMCA Training center. Topics include:
- Three key focus areas for respected leaders
- 10 principles of leadership
- Critical communication skills for leaders
- Achieving great leadership skills
- 6 most important words a leader can say.
Allied Conference Announces 3rd. Annual Sporting Clay Shoot
On May 9th. the CMCA 3rd. Annual Sporting Clay Shoot will be held at Kiowa Creek in Bennett, Colorado. The event, sponsored by the Allied Conference, offers breakfast, a morning of competitive shooting and lunch for a registration fee of $100 or $350 for a squad fo four shooters.
Registration is now open and the signup deadline is May 1. Return the registration form to CMCA. The Allied Conference is also looking for sponsors for this event. Details are on the registration form. Contact Tracy at 303 433-3375 if you have questions.
2014 CMCA Safety Awards
Nominations Now Open
Banquet set for April 4th, 2014
It's an annual tradition in Colorado to honor drivers, safety supervisors and fleet management for outstanding safety records over the previous year. Nominations are now open for achievements in 2013. All forms have been posted on the Safety News page and nominations must be returned by March 7, 2014.
Safety is an important aspect of trucking in Colorado and member fleets pride themselves on maintaining excellent safety records. We are looking for sponsors for this event to ensure that things go smoothly. Sponsorship forms are included with the other nomination forms.
The annual safety awards banquet will be held on April 4th at the Doule Tree by Hilton hotel on Quebec Street in Denver. This event is always a sell out, so be sure that your fleet is well represented. Details on the Safety News page.
Top Tech Competition Set for April 26
The Maintenance Council of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association has announced the 2nd Annual Colorado TopTech Skills Competition. The skills competition is designed to test the skills of our local technicians in multiple categories having to do with heavy duty vehicle maintenance.
Set for April 26, 2014 at the Licoln College of Technology, Denver Campus, the competition will include both a written test and several "hands-on" work stations with problems. Registration begins on February 1 and early registration deadline is February 28.
The overall winner will have the opportunity to represent Colorado at the 2014 National SuperTech Competiton in Orlando, Florida during the week of September 21, 2014. CMCA will help support the technician and their guest at the national competition as funds permit.
For UPS, Emissions Control Drives Innovation
United Parcel Service has managed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2.1 percent in 2012 (compared to 2011) despite increased parcel deliveries.
While ground and air fuel savings were part of it, as was investment in alternative-fuel vehicles, one of the carrier's biggest gains came from retooling routes using the latest routing software.
in 2012, UPS shaved 12.1 million miles from ground deliveries using software and better dispatch.
By 2017, UPS plans to greatly expand use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. According to the company, these next generation vehicles logged 295 million miles by the close of 2012. By 2017 UPS plans to log over 800-million miles with these vehicles.
I-70 Mountain Corridor "Best Practices" Available
Long a leader in improving transportation in the I-70 Mountain Corridor through Colorado, CMCA has created a comprehensive "Best Practices" document to assist motor carriers in navigating this stretch of mountain highway.
Colorado requires ALL trucks to carry chains on the I-70 corridor between Morrison and Dotsero from September 1st. to May 31st.
Penalties for non-compliance are high. Get your Chains NOW.
West Slope Training Sessions Need Students
This year CMCA is offering a number of training sessions in Grand Junctions to satisfy the need of carriers located on Colorado's Western Slope.
All classes are being conducted at Wagner Equipment,
2322 I-70 Frontage Road
Grand Junction, CO
(use West Parking Lot)
Annual Vehicle Inspections & Appendix G Compliance
March 18, 2014 - 8 am
Defensive Driving Seminar
March 18, 2014 - 1 pm
April 23, 2014 - 8:00 am
DOT Audit Survival
April 24, 2014 - 8 am
Pre & Post Trip Vehicle Inspections
April 24, 2014 - 12:30 pm
Some of these sessions may be cancelled if enrollment is inadequate. It's time to sign up. Please fax applications to 303 477-6977