Posts Tagged ‘Trucking Industry News’

Trucking Industry News: Expect Major Delays on I-895 through Mid-October

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

The I-895 K-Truss Bridge Repair Project commences tomorrow, June 20, 2012, and the delays are expected to begin immediately. The project will include the resurfacing of the bridge deck, median barrier work, as well as additional work scheduled to be performed on approach roadways between Shell Road/Hanover Street and Potee Street.

The I-895 K-Truss Bridge Repair Project Timeline and Lane Closures

  • Stage 1: Begins June 20 and is scheduled to last approximately 30 days. One northbound lane closed (left lane).  Two southbound (SB) lanes open.
  • Stage 2: Begins Mid-July and is scheduled to last approximately 2 weeks. One NB lane closed (right lane).  Two SB lanes open.
  • Stage 3: Begins early August and is scheduled to last approximately 2 weeks. Two SB lanes closed, two-way traffic (one lane for NB traffic, one lane for SB traffic) on NB bridge.
  • Stage 4: Begins mid-August and is scheduled to last approximately 45 days. Both lanes open in each direction, traffic shifted to outside lanes for work in left median, with reduced lane widths.

Major delays are to be expected during the morning and evening rush hours, Saturdays starting at noon (southbound), and Sundays starting at 4 p.m. (northbound).

Because of this, we highly encourage truck drivers to avoid I-895 if at all possible. Use I-95 and I-695/Key Bridge as alternate routes.

If you have any questions about The I-895 K-Truss Bridge Repair Project or The Trucking Industry, please contact Middleton and Meads by calling 410-752-5588 or click here today!

With three locations to serve you throughout Baltimore, Washington and Virginia, Middleton and Meads will keep you “on the road.” So go ahead and do what you do best and let us take care of the rest. Our service professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. That is why companies of all sizes depend on us – day in, day out, mile after mile.

The Middleton & Meads Company has a long and respected history in the transportation industry. We are a family owned and operated company through four generations, celebrating over 90 years quality of truck, bus and equipment repair and service.

We work with you to provide the solutions to your transportation needs!

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Sources:

Maryland Motor Truck Association – MMTA E-News

 

Fuel Economy: How to Save Fuel and Money! :: Trucking Industry News

Friday, June 8th, 2012

As a truck driver or fleet manager, you know that fuel is one of the largest expenses incurred by each and every truck fleet, accounting for as much as 25% of total operating costs. Because of this, exceptional fuel economy is incredibly important.

Improving Fuel Economy: Consuming Fuel as Efficiently as Possible

  • Overcoming Forces: Fuel is consumed to produce horsepower to overcome all of the forces acting upon the truck. Thus, a truck that travels down the road with minimum resistance will use less horsepower and consume less fuel.
  • Key Factors: Aerodynamics, truck equipment – engine and accessories – powertrain efficiency; tire rolling resistance; environmental conditions; fleet management technology and telematics; driver behavior; and vehicle maintenance all play a role in fuel economy. Addressing these issues and staying current with the latest technologies will help improve fuel economy.
  • Middleton & Meads: Monitoring a fleet can be a difficult task, while you are running your business. That’s why Middleton & Meads offers a state of the art Fleet Management System to help maintain your fleet. Allow Middleton & Meads to customize a plan to minimize costly breakdowns. From cost reports to scheduling notifications, the Middleton & Meads Fleet Management System can help track your vehicle’s maintenance history as well as the costs to maintain your fleet. A well-managed fleet with well-maintained vehicles is sure to help boost the fuel economy of your trucks!

We keep your Vehicle on the Road and you in Business!

If you have any questions about Fuel Economy or Fleet Management, please contact Middleton and Meads by calling 410-752-5588or click here today!

With three locations to serve you throughout Baltimore, Washington and Virginia, Middleton and Meads will keep you “on the road.” So go ahead and do what you do best and let us take care of the rest. Our service professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. That is why companies of all sizes depend on us – day in, day out, mile after mile.

The Middleton & Meads Company has a long and respected history in the transportation industry. We are a family owned and operated company through four generations, celebrating over 90 years quality of truck, bus and equipment repair and service.

We work with you to provide the solutions to your transportation needs!

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

 

Trucking Industry News: Reducing the Stopping Distance of Class 8 Tractors

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

In an effort to make the stopping capabilities of tractor trailers similar to that of a typical passenger car, The U.S. government enacted a three-year program (completed in August 2013) to help reduce the stopping distance of Class 8 tractors. The first phase, which went into effect August 2011, covered three axle tractors up to 59,600 pounds gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR). The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) regulations will eventually include all tractors with GVWRs over 59,600 pounds.

Important Information Regarding the Reduction of Class 8 Tractor Stopping Distances

  1. Steer Axle: The primary change to the tractors’ brakes is on the steer axle. This is because a weight transfer occurs during high deceleration, adding significant load to the steer axle. As a result, more torque can be added to the steer brakes. Therefore, it is important for these tractors to have either larger, higher torque drum brakes on the steer axle, or higher torque air disc brakes.
  2. Two Basics: First of all, brake replacement linings must be selected to assure the friction level of the replacement lining produces equivalent brake torque to the original equipment (OE) linings. Secondly, the introduction of large volumes of air disc brakes to the North American market increases the potential for naturally occurring compatibility problems between disc and drum brakes.
  3. Brake Lining Ratings: The Technology and Maintenance Council’s Recommended Practice 628, Aftermarket Brake Lining Qualification is a voluntary system for rating aftermarket brake linings…and it’s free!
  4. Air Disc Brakes vs. Air Actuated Drum Brakes: Remember, these two are different animals all together, with differences in both design and friction material. The disc brake is the newer product and it has all the advantages of disc brakes on cars, including consistent torque output, significantly reduced fade, and potentially longer life. 

If you have any questions about the Reduction of Class 8 Tractor Stopping Distances, please contact Middleton and Meads by calling 410-752-5588or click here today!

With three locations to serve you throughout Baltimore, Washington and Virginia, Middleton and Meads will keep you “on the road.” So go ahead and do what you do best and let us take care of the rest. Our service professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. That is why companies of all sizes depend on us – day in, day out, mile after mile.

The Middleton & Meads Company has a long and respected history in the transportation industry. We are a family owned and operated company through four generations, celebrating over 90 years quality of truck, bus and equipment repair and service.

We work with you to provide the solutions to your transportation needs!

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Sources:

Tractor Braking Systems

 

Trucking Industry News: Summer Maintenance Tips for your Truck

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Just as truck maintenance is crucial before the frigid winter weather sets in, so too is it crucial before the scorching summer weather takes affect. The typical hot, dry, and humid summer weather here in Maryland causes additional stresses on your truck. This makes spring (NOW!) the perfect time to address truck maintenance.

Summer Truck Maintenance Tips

  1. Cooling System Issues: An estimated 40 percent of downtime is caused by cooling system problems, problems that are 100% preventable. So be sure to perform routine engine maintenance to ensure that your truck is running as efficiently as possible.
  2. Engine Coolant: Your engine coolant should be checked every 500 operating hours, 20,000 miles or three months, whichever comes first. It is important to not only monitor coolant levels, but also color. Coolant that appears cloudy or has particulates floating could be an indication of bigger problems.
  3. Tire Pressure: The most critical factor in tire maintenance is proper inflation. Proper inflation leads to proper contact with the road, which will improve traction and braking capabilities. It will also ensure your tires last longer.
  4. Electrical Systems: Be sure to check the alternator’s wiring, battery, battery cables, and the wiring from the engine’s electrical controls. Make sure everything is in proper working order, wires are not frayed and there are no signs of corrosion.
  5. Middleton & Meads: The Middleton & Meads Corporate Headquarters is located at 1900 South Hanover Street in Baltimore. The over four-acre site contains the 35,000 square foot 37 service bay Mechanical Repair building, and the 15,000 square foot 16 bay Collision Repair Center, along with three acres of secure vehicle storage.

If you have any questions about Truck Maintenance, please contact Middleton and Meads by calling 410-752-5588or click here today!

With three locations to serve you throughout Baltimore, Washington and Virginia, Middleton and Meads will keep you “on the road.” So go ahead and do what you do best and let us take care of the rest. Our service professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. That is why companies of all sizes depend on us – day in, day out, mile after mile.

The Middleton & Meads Company has a long and respected history in the transportation industry. We are a family owned and operated company through four generations, celebrating over 90 years quality of truck, bus and equipment repair and service.

We work with you to provide the solutions to your transportation needs!

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Sources:

Summer Weather Maintenance Tips

Trucking Industry News: Truck Grants and how you can take Advantage

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

There are several grants and voucher programs currently available that truckers can take advantage of to help reduce the cost of a new truck or trucking technology installation. These grants/voucher programs include:

  • Idle Reduction Grant: You can receive 50% off the list price of an APU or other installed idle reduction technology, capped at $4,000 per truck.  There is still $75,000 waiting to be spent on both new trucks and retrofits!  In order to ensure the remaining money is used up, the program has recently been expanded to include leased vehicles, and vehicles purchased from out of state dealers (as long as the trucks are registered in Maryland).  Applications will be accepted until June 15, with awards made on a first-come, first-serve basis, so act quickly!  For more information, call Louis Campion at MMTA or go to http://energy.maryland.gov/Transportation/idle/.
  • Maryland Electric Truck Voucher Program: A new voucher program will provide up to $20,000 towards the purchase of electric trucks over 10,000 lbs!  Applications are due by June 6, 2013, but $380,000 of the $500,000 program has already been spent.  To see a full list of vehicles, or for more information on the program, go to www.energy.maryland.gov/Transportation/met.
  • Port Dray Truck Grant: The Port of Baltimore’s Clean Diesel Program will award $20,000 toward the purchase of a new truck to help assist port operators in voluntarily replacing their older trucks with a 2007 or newer engine!  For eligibility requirements and an application, call the truck hotline at 301-405-3577, or click on www.efc.umd.edu/cleandiesel.html.

If you have any questions about Trucking Grants, please contact Middleton and Meads by calling 410-752-5588or click here today!

With three locations to serve you throughout Baltimore, Washington and Virginia, Middleton and Meads will keep you “on the road.” So go ahead and do what you do best and let us take care of the rest. Our service professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. That is why companies of all sizes depend on us – day in, day out, mile after mile.

The Middleton & Meads Company has a long and respected history in the transportation industry. We are a family owned and operated company through four generations, celebrating over 90 years quality of truck, bus and equipment repair and service.

We work with you to provide the solutions to your transportation needs!

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Trucking Industry News: Hours of Service Handbooks Coming Soon

Friday, April 6th, 2012

We already told you about the new changes to the hours of service rules in our previous blog, Trucking Industry News: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Announces Several Changes to Hours of Service Rules. While most of these changes will not go into effect until next summer – July 1, 2013 to be exact – a few key rule changes have already become effective. These include:

  • Time resting in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) will now be counted as off-duty time in lieu of the current on-duty time.  It is important to note that this off-duty time does NOT extend the 14 consecutive hour daily limit; however, it can be used to allow a driver to extend his weekly limits.  There is no limit on the amount of time that a driver can rest in a parked commercial vehicle.
  • A new “egregious” hours of service violation – defined as exceeding the maximum daily drive time of 11 hours by three or more hours – begins in February.  The penalty for this violation can be as much as $2,750 for a driver and $11,000 for the motor carrier.

Are you having trouble keeping up with these new rules? If so, you are not alone. But you are in luck!

HOS Handbook coming soon to MMTA: This spiral bound 200+ page handbook clearly explains the new HOS final rule with compliance dates 2/27/12 and 7/01/13. The book also includes logging scenarios and examples, and a list of FAQ’s.

LIMITED TIME OFFER: All books preordered by April 7th are only $5.25 regardless of quantity ordered!

Call 410-644-4600 today and reserve your copies, or email Selena at sgriffin@mmtanet.com.

More information, including Q&A, a copy of the rule, and a comparison chart summarizing key changes, is available at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos-final/hos-final-rule.aspx.

If you have any questions about the Hours of Service Handbooks, please contact Middleton and Meads by calling 410-752-5588 or click here today!

With three locations to serve you throughout Baltimore, Washington and Virginia, Middleton and Meads will keep you “on the road.” So go ahead and do what you do best and let us take care of the rest. Our service professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. That is why companies of all sizes depend on us – day in, day out, mile after mile.

The Middleton & Meads Company has a long and respected history in the transportation industry. We are a family owned and operated company through four generations, celebrating over 90 years quality of truck, bus and equipment repair and service.

We work with you to provide the solutions to your transportation needs!

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

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Trucking Industry News: Maryland’s General Assembly Enters Final Weeks

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

With only a few weeks remaining in Maryland’s General Assembly, many issues still remain unresolved. The issues still being debated that concern the transportation industry include:

  • Require mandatory off-loading of vehicles carrying perishable products if they exceed the gross vehicle weight limit by more than 5,000 lbs.
  • Permit Baltimore City to install height detectors to electronically enforce time-of-day restrictions on prohibited truck routes.
  • Authorize the Maryland State Police to adopt certain sections of Parts 385 and 386 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, governing new entrant carriers and carriers declared as imminent hazards.
  • Tighten the procedures for public hearings and notice requirements before the MD Transportation Authority approves a toll increase.
  • Prevent transfers of monies out of the Transportation Trust Fund.
  • Eliminate an outdated certification requirement for drivers carrying controlled hazardous substances.
  • Expand the sales tax to dozens of services, including motor vehicle repair and maintenance.
  • Make the state’s cell phone ban a primary offense.

 

Perhaps the most controversial proposal came straight from Governor Martin O’Malley, himself. On March 14th the House and Senate committees in the Maryland General Assembly began deliberations on the Governor’s proposal to apply the state’s 6% sales tax to both gasoline and diesel.

  • The current motor fuel excise tax of 23 cents/gallon for gasoline and 24.25 cents/gallon for diesel would remain intact.
  • The 6% sales tax would be phased in at 2% per year over three years.
  • The sales tax would be calculated based on the six month average cost of the lowest grade of gasoline and then applied to both gas and diesel.
  • The tax would be calculated after subtracting the current federal and state excise taxes.

 

Maryland Motor Truck Association members joined the MMTA in opposition to the proposal. Where do you stand on the Governor’s proposal? Let us know how you feel!

MMTA’s top priority remains its opposition to any new fuel taxes that include diesel.  on a proposal introduced by Governor Martin O’Malley that would  If passed, the plan would generate $650 million in transportation revenues.  Details include:

More importantly, voice any displeasure to your legislators and express your opposition to any fuel tax increase. Legislators can be called at 1-800-492-7122. The operator will tell you who your legislators are based on your home or business address.  E-mails can be sent by looking up your legislators’ addresses at www.mdelect.net.  Please act now!

The General Assembly adjourns on April 9.  A list of all bills that MMTA is tracking is available at www.mmtanet.com.

If you have any questions about Governor O’Malley’s Tax Plan, please contact Middleton and Meads by calling 410-752-5588 or click here today!

With three locations to serve you throughout Baltimore, Washington and Virginia, Middleton and Meads will keep you “on the road.” So go ahead and do what you do best and let us take care of the rest. Our service professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. That is why companies of all sizes depend on us – day in, day out, mile after mile.

The Middleton & Meads Company has a long and respected history in the transportation industry. We are a family owned and operated company through four generations, celebrating over 90 years quality of truck, bus and equipment repair and service.

We work with you to provide the solutions to your transportation needs!

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Sources:

Maryland Motor Truck Association – MMTA E-News

Trucking Industry News: CDL Holders Provide Proof of Medical Certification

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

As of January 30, 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is requiring medical certification (Med Cert) status and the information contained on the medical examiner’s certificate (DOT card) to be included in the driving records of Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders. So what does this mean for CDL holders?

• CDL applicants will be required to certify which of the four types of commercial driving (commerce) they will be performing.

• CDL holders operating in interstate commerce, and subject to medical eligibility requirements, will be required to provide a copy of each new Med Cert document to the MVA prior to the expiration of their current documentation. Drivers in other categories may also be required to provide this information to the MVA.

• All CDL holders will be required to provide the MVA with updated self-certification status and Med Cert documentation, if required, by January 30, 2014. The MVA will begin contacting CDL holders for updated Med Cert documents beginning January 30, 2012.  Failure to supply the required information or downgrade to a noncommercial license will result in cancellation of the CDL holders entire commercial and noncommercial driving privilege/license.

• CDL holders can conveniently submit their information through the mail, e-mail, or by faxing the necessary documentation. Specific details regarding this process will be included in the notices provided by the MVA. Please read the FAQ’s for more information.

You DO NOT need to submit your medical certification information to the MVA until you have been directly contacted by the Administration. However, if you visit a MVA branch office to renew or obtain a duplicate, corrected, or new CDL, you will be required to present valid Med Cert documentation at that time

For more information, go to www.mva.maryland.gov/Driver-Services/CDL/default.htm.

If you have any questions about the FMCSA’s New Regulations for CDL Holders, please contact Middleton and Meads by calling 410-752-5588 or click here today!

With three locations to serve you throughout Baltimore, Washington and Virginia, Middleton and Meads will keep you “on the road.” So go ahead and do what you do best and let us take care of the rest. Our service professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. That is why companies of all sizes depend on us – day in, day out, mile after mile.

The Middleton & Meads Company has a long and respected history in the transportation industry. We are a family owned and operated company through four generations, celebrating over 90 years quality of truck, bus and equipment repair and service.

We work with you to provide the solutions to your transportation needs!

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Sources:

Confusion over Medical Certificate Cleared

New Medical Certification Requirements – A Guide for CDL Holders

Trucking Industry News: Governor Plans to Apply Sales Tax to Motor Fuels

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The Maryland Motor Truck Association (MMTA) is closely following Maryland’s General Assembly, specifically Governor Martin O’Malley’s proposal to apply the state’s 6% sales tax to motor fuels. MMTA’s Board of Directors opposes any fuel tax increase that includes diesel.

Highlights of Governor O’Malley’s Plan

  • Applying the state’s 6% sales tax to motor fuels, phased in at 2% per year over three years.
  • There is a braking mechanism that slows the phase in if gas prices rise significantly in years two and three.
  • This proposal will raise the cost of fuel by at least 18 cents per gallon.
  • The sales tax would be applied to the retail price of motor fuel, based on the six-month average cost of the lowest grade of gasoline, minus federal and state excise taxes.
  • The tax would be paid by the wholesaler/distributor as it first enters the state.
  • The legislation also includes some modest protection that the monies will be used for transportation purposes, as well as restoration of some lost local transportation aid to counties and municipalities.

 

A full list of the bills that MMTA is tracking in the General Assembly is available at www.mmtanet.com.

If you have any questions about the Governor O’Malley’s Tax Plan, please contact Middleton and Meads by calling 410-752-5588 or click here today!

With three locations to serve you throughout Baltimore, Washington and Virginia, Middleton and Meads will keep you “on the road.” So go ahead and do what you do best and let us take care of the rest. Our service professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. That is why companies of all sizes depend on us – day in, day out, mile after mile.

The Middleton & Meads Company has a long and respected history in the transportation industry. We are a family owned and operated company through four generations, celebrating over 90 years quality of truck, bus and equipment repair and service.

We work with you to provide the solutions to your transportation needs!

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Lawsuits Begin in Response to FMCSA’s Changes to the Hours of Service Rules

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

As we mentioned in a previous blog – Trucking Industry News: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Announces Several Changes to Hours of Service Rules – The Maryland Motor Truck Association (MMTA) recently announced several Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) changes to the hours of services rules. Most of these rules will not go into effect until July 1, 2013. A few, however, went into effect Monday, February 27th. These include:

•     Time resting in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) will now be counted as off-duty time in lieu of the current on-duty time.  It is important to note that this off-duty time does NOT extend the 14 consecutive hour daily limit; however, it can be used to allow a driver to extend his weekly limits.  There is no limit on the amount of time that a driver can rest in a parked commercial vehicle.

•     A new “egregious” hours of service violation – defined as exceeding the maximum daily drive time of 11 hours by three or more hours – begins in February.  The penalty for this violation can be as much as $2,750 for a driver and $11,000 for the motor carrier.

As expected, the American Trucking Associations recently filed suit in an objection to the revised 34-hour restart. Additionally, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Public Citizen, and the Truck Safety Coalition sued last week for judicial review of the 11 hour daily drive time limit.

There is no telling how these lawsuits will affect the implementation of these new restrictions.

If you have any questions about the FMCSA hours of service rules, please contact Middleton and Meads by calling 410-752-5588 or click here today!

With three locations to serve you throughout Baltimore, Washington and Virginia, Middleton and Meads will keep you “on the road.” So go ahead and do what you do best and let us take care of the rest. Our service professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. That is why companies of all sizes depend on us – day in, day out, mile after mile.

The Middleton & Meads Company has a long and respected history in the transportation industry. We are a family owned and operated company through four generations, celebrating over 90 years quality of truck, bus and equipment repair and service.

We work with you to provide the solutions to your transportation needs!

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Sources:

Maryland Motor Truck Association – MMTA E-News