ATA chairman: Trucking looking up

Tommy Hodges of ATA

The trucking industry faces regulatory challenges in the next few months. While Hodges said he would like to see highway reauthorization at the top of the list of most important issues, cap and trade, truck size and weight, electronic onboard recorders, CSA 2010 and revamped hours of service will dominate the trucking industry in the coming months.

Hodges briefly outlined each issue:
• Proposed cap-and-trade legislation that could put a 47-cent-a-gallon increase on refineries will have a residual effect on trucking.
• Legislation concerning size and weight of trucks is the most decisive issue for the industry and it’s difficult to get a consensus.
• On EOBRs, “get ready for them. They are coming.” This could result in a $1,750 price increase for each truck.
• CSA 2010 is “free agency for drivers,” as it gives drivers with good safety records the upper hand to make wage and benefits demands on trucking companies.
• Rewrite of the hours-of-service rule could create a productivity hit on the industry. He says driving time may be reduced by one to two hours a day and the industry could see the loss of the 34-hour restart provision. “This could mean an 18 percent to 19 percent loss of productivity if we lose two hours of driving time.”

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