Mixed Reaction

| September 11, 2005

“This measure will boost the flow of goods and eliminate international obstructions to production, distribution and economic opportunities,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO.

Greg Owen, chairman of the Food Transporters Conference, an ATA affiliate, said allowing the United States into such markets will lead to new growth and profitability in U.S. agriculture.

Todd Spencer, OOIDA’s executive vice president, said the overwhelming number of truckers saw no benefit from NAFTA, which he said is increasing problems with cross-border trucking. “So adding CAFTA to that is just another layer of problems that have never been resolved,” Spencer said. “There isn’t a scenario where we would advise a U.S. trucker to drive his truck into Mexico.”

Because of CAFTA, more than 25,000 U.S. jobs are expected to be created in the first year alone, and as many as 130,000 new positions will be created throughout the next decade, ATA said. U.S. agricultural exports are expected to grow by $1.5 billion annually.
-Lance Orr

DOT Enforces Number Displays
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has begun enforcing the rule mandating that commercial motor vehicles must display an active, valid U.S. Department of Transportation number.

The rule, which became effective July 5, affects all trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds, all vehicles transporting hazardous materials, all for-hire passenger carriers operating vehicles rated by the manufacturer as having an eight-passenger capacity and all not-for-hire passenger carriers operating vehicles rated for more than 15 passengers.

All such vehicles must show the name of the carrier and the carrier’s USDOT number on both sides of the vehicle. Leased owner-operators must show the number of the carrier they are leased to. Some states require owner-operators to get their own number before their International Registration Plan license plates are renewed.

Some states have truck marking regulations that match the federal regulations: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Intrastate hauling within these states requires a USDOT number.

Vehicles without one are subject to fines.

For the 90 days after the USDOT number is issued, that number-holder is audited by government agents or private contractors.

To secure a USDOT number and learn how to pass a safety audit, call (888) 414-1874.
-Lance Orr

Energy Bill Includes Aid to Reduce Diesel Emissions
President Bush signed an energy bill in August that has been praised by the American Trucking Associations as helping mitigate costs of emission-reducing equipment and promoting renewable fuels.

“The push toward renewable fuels and investments in new refining capacity serve to prevent high fuel prices from limiting the long-term potential of the economy while also easing the fuel needs of our industry,” ATA President Bill Graves said.

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