Industry News

| December 11, 2008

The system is different from other paperless logs in that anyone with network access can see where a truck is, gauge how far it traveled that day and determine the driver’s hours-of-service status, says Della Sanders, Werner associate vice president of safety and compliance.

The new $136 billion corporate tax law, the 2004 American Jobs Creation Act, modifies the excise tax on tires and eliminates the quarterly installment option for the heavy vehicle use tax. As that can be as much as $550 per vehicle, the change could hurt small fleets and owner-operators.

The law, which went into effect Jan. 1, converts the highway tire tax from one based on the tire’s weight to one based on the tire’s load capacity – the maximum load rating labeled on the tire, as determined by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Under the new law, the tire tax is 9.45 cents for every 10 pounds of tire load capacity over 3,500 pounds. In the case of non-radial and super-single tires, the tax rate is 4.725 cents for each 10 pounds of tire road capacity over 3,500 pounds. A super single tire, designed to replace two tires in a dual assembly, is greater than 13 inches in cross-section width.

The previous system included a tax of 15 cents per pound on tires between 40 and 70 pounds, a base tax of $4.50 plus 30 cents for each additional pound on tires between 70 and 90 pounds, and a base tax of $10.50 plus 50 cents for each additional pound on tires heavier than 90 pounds.

The changes were designed to ease the measurement and enforcement of the tax. Before, the Internal Revenue Service weighed individual tire batches to determine their weight. Now, all the IRS must do is find the DOT-approved load rating stamped on the side.

Detroit Diesel plans to build a new heavy-duty diesel engine at the company’s Redford, Mich., plant.

The new engine, being developed by Detroit Diesel and parent company DaimlerChrysler, will be launched in 2007 and will meet the stringent federal emissions requirements that take effect that year. During a period of transition, the new engine will be sold in tandem with the Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine.

Detroit Diesel also announced that it plans to begin North American assembly of the MBE 900 medium-duty diesel engine at Redford. That engine platform, too, will be online by 2007.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance backs mandatory use of electronic onboard data recorders and no longer seeks a longer shift to help truckers deal with delays.

The alliance asked the Canadian government to immediately adopt the hours-of-service regulations OK’d in 2003 by Canada’s highway and transportation ministers.

“CTA does not wish to see the draft regulations agreed to by the federal and provincial ministers held up any longer,” says David Bradley, CTA chief executive officer.

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