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Toll road to the CSA SMS…

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Tyler Utterback inspectionI’m deep in the weeds of the CSA program again — we’re set for an update in our CSA’s Data Trail series, continued on from last year, for next month’s issue. Here’s a little teaser from yesterday’s trip to the scale house on I-74 in West Harrison, Ind., where I met Indiana State Police First Sergeant Tyler Utterback (pictured, right) as well as Cincinnati-based driver Elvin Hilton — whose 2009 Kenworth T660, pulling an intermodal chassis and container, passed inspection with flying colors. Can’t say the same about a few other drivers parked there, for a variety of reasons, but it’s always a learning experience in the inspection barn, isn’t it…

2009 KW T660 at Indiana inspection barnNot a bad-looking KW, wouldn’t you say? The T660 is part of a small fleet owned by a Cowan agent based in Cincinatti. Hilton runs intermodal out of Cinci into Indiana and back daily — the former long-haul owner-operator (he was leased to Landstar for quite some time) is home every night, he says. In any case, stay tuned for more… 

Also, I came across an interesting piece of reporting from Australia, where the trucking industry is facing a toll-road expansion project that is intended, say the road’s operators, to be financed in large part by an increase in truck tolls. The discussion, mind you, isn’t about whether to change the rules to allow more tolling projects — the nation down under has already gone there. I read it as a window into where we could be here in the U.S. if the fuel tax and the dedicated Highway Trust Fund aren’t preserved as our principle highway maintenance and expansion funding source. You can give the story a read here.  And tell me how you think such a future would look — daydream or nightmare? 

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