Read the monthly column of NPTC President & CEO Gary Petty in Fleet Owner magazine.
Click on an issue below to view.
Increasing truck size and weight could be a boon to efficiency and safety.
The National Private Truck Council has joined the Steering Committee of the Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP), a group of shippers, motor carriers and their associations seeking to increase truck weight limits.
CTP is asking Congress to allow states to increase the federal vehicle weight limit to 97,000 lbs. for vehicles equipped with an additional (sixth) axle for travel on Interstate highways. These vehicles would have to meet the same safety standards as trucks currently allowed on Interstates. The coalition also supports a user fee on units equipped with the additional axle; the funds generated from the fee would be dedicated to bridge repair.
Six-axle trucks carrying 97,000 lbs. get 17% more ton-miles per gallon of fuel than five-axle trucks carrying 80,000 lbs. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation estimates that use of six-axle trucks would save 2 billion gals. of diesel fuel annually and reduce engine emissions by 19% per ton-mile.
“This is not a new idea,” says Rick Schweitzer, NPTC general counsel, who represents the council on the CTP Steering Committee. “In 2000, DOT conducted a study and concluded that increased truck weights would not only reduce costs, but the additional axle would actually save $2.4 billion in pavement restoration over 20 years,” he continued. “As far back as 1990, the Transportation Research Board looked at this issue and found that the increased weights would result in a 1.6% reduction in the cost of goods movement by truck and that pavement costs would not be significantly affected.”
Moreover, safety is not adversely affected by the additional weight. In the U.K., which adopted a 97,000-lb. limit with six axles in 2001, the number of heavy-truck-related fatalities fell by 35% as of 2006. More recently, under a pilot program now made permanent, the state of Maine has allowed six-axle, 97,000-lb. trucks on its Interstates since 2010. In 2014, fatalities on Maine roads were the lowest in 70 years, and the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety specifically noted that congressional action allowing Maine to permit heavier, six-axle trucks full access to the Interstate highways may have “helped to make roads safer.”
In addition, NPTC supports increasing the federal length limits on double trailers from 28 to 33 ft. This additional capacity would improve the productivity of those private carriers that transport lighter and less dense freight.
In MAP-21, Congress required DOT to conduct a new Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study addressing differences in safety risks, infrastructure impacts, and the effect on levels of enforcement between trucks operating at or within federal truck size and weight limits and trucks legally operating in excess of federal limits.
The study was supposed to be submitted to Congress by November 2014, but it has not yet been published. Our concern is that the department will not release its conclusions in time for Congress to consider them as part of the highway reauthorization bill under consideration this year. We need DOT to finish its study, and for Congress to upgrade our truck size and weight rules to permit improved productivity, lower emissions, reduced highway congestion, and fewer accidents.
Founded nearly 20 years ago, Sentinel Transportation is a national model of exceptionally high safety management standards and operational practices. The company’s 750 employees, including 650 drivers and 400 tractors, operate out of 40 terminals. Sentinel provides specialized read more . . .
Leading private fleet management practitioners and supplier partners will gather in Jacksonville, FL, January 17-21, 2015, for the Private Fleet Management Institute (PFMI) in what promises to be the best program in the event’s two decade-long history. Since the event has a read more . . .
Praxair Inc., which traces its roots to 1907 when it became the first company in North America to commercialize cryogenically separated oxygen, is the largest industrial gas supplier in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. Its products include read more . . .
In conjunction with its annual National Safety Conference, NPTC is pleased to recognize a unique group of some of the nation’s top private fleet drivers. They are recognized as such by being selected as an NPTC National Driver All-Star. The program, which is now read more . . .
Started by C. L. George over 90 years ago in a modest country store outside of Springdale, AR, George’s Inc. began as a one-truck operation hauling live poultry to major cities in the Midwest. Today, the fourth-generation, privately held company has grown into a highly successful producer of read more . . .
The annual NPTC National Safety Conference, scheduled for September 11-12, will again be held near the Washington Dulles International Airport at the Dulles Hyatt Hotel. Check out NPTC’s home page at www.nptc.org for details about hotel reservations and conference registration.
Designed to optimize return read more . . .
Mid South Baking Co., headquartered in Bryan, TX, operates a successful regional commercial bakery, producing and delivering an enormous number of fresh quality products each day to thousands of customer locations and distribution centers throughout read more . . .
Attendees at NPTC’s 2014 Annual Conference felt that this was perhaps the best overall event in the Council’s history.
“This was a great show and more spectacular than ever. Everyone seemed pleased,” commented an attendee.
“All the speakers were phenomenal and the food was incredible,” said another. “A great job of creating natural…opportunities for vendors and fleets to interact.” read more . . .
Founded in Chicago in 1924, Ace Hardware began as a small chain of independent hardware retailers that decided to come together to achieve consolidated buying power and market advantage. Today, Ace is the largest hardware cooperative in the industry with more than 4,850 . . .
Alliance Imaging, a division of Alliance HealthCare Services, is the largest premier provider of advanced diagnostic imaging services in the United States, with more than 1,000 hospital partners and other health care clients located in 46 states. In addition to read more ....
Privately owned since 1847, Orgill is the world’s largest independent hardware distributor with more than 6,000 customer accounts in all states, 10 Canadian provinces and 50 countries. Listed in Forbes as one of the ....
The Britt Hunt Co. was founded in 1992 by young entrepreneur and family business visionary Britt Hunt. The company started in the Nashville area as a distributor of Hunt Brothers Pizza and has since evolved over the past ....
Planning for the NPTC 2014 Annual Conference scheduled for April 13-14 in Cincinnati, OH, has been in the works since last summer. More than 1,000 attendees and 175 exhibitors are expected in the world-class exhibit hall, which will be packed ....
It is rare these days to find a company in America still operating after 160 years, and even more rare for one to still be independently owned and operated as a family ....
The Private Fleet Management Institute (PFMI) will break new ground in 2014. Over the five-day course taking place Jan. 18-22, PFMI will have more speakers and a larger line-up of highly interactive round-table discussions featuring ....
Millions of golf fans recall Justin Rose on the final-round 18th hole winning golf’s 2013 U.S Open Championship this June at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA, one of the most ....
Founded in 1936 by Joseph W. Luter as a family-owned business and now recently purchased by China-based Shuanghui International Holdings, Smithfield Foods is the largest producer of pork products in the world. On the way to ....
The annual National Safety Conference conducted by the National Private Truck Council is described as an intense, concentrated overview of key issues that are critical to running a private fleet at an exceptionally high safety standard. This year’s upcoming meeting on ....
Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is a national dairy farmer-owned cooperative in the United States that handles about 30% of the milk produced in the country. In 2012, DFA marketed more than 61 billion lbs. of milk—the equivalent of more than ....