Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, June 22, 2021:
Minneapolis looking to ban overnight truck parking
The Minnesota Trucking Association said it opposes a truck parking ban proposed by the city of Minneapolis. The city's Transportation and Public Works Committee plans to hear an ordinance regulating truck parking in the city of more than 420,000 people on Wednesday, June 23, at 1:30 p.m.
“The Minnesota Trucking Association strongly opposes the truck parking ban under consideration by the city of Minneapolis,” said MTA President John Hausladen in a written statement on Monday. “If approved, this ban would force truck drivers to park outside of the city, which would impede on-time deliveries and disrupt daily commerce.”
The proposed ban says all vehicles that weigh or have a carrying capacity over 26,000 pounds would be prohibited from parking on any street unless one of the following criteria is met:
- The truck is actively engaged in loading, unloading or providing a service.
- The truck is stopped or parked at the direction of a police officer or traffic control agent.
- The truck is in a zone with signage authorizing parking vehicles of increased weights.
The city could cite drivers, lessees or the owner of the vehicle for violations. The fine for violating the ordinance would start at $100 through Dec. 31, 2022 and increase to $250 afterwards.
Hausladen noted that many trucks parked overnight in the city are independent contractors from the area.
“These small businesses, many of whom are minority owned, would have no viable alternative for overnight parking,” he said. “This ban could effectively force many of these hard-working residents to choose between their livelihood and the place they call home. With an existing truck driver shortage we simply cannot afford to have qualified drivers leave the industry.”
Hausladen called on the city to look for ways to provide more safe parking for truckers rather than taking parking away.
“We call on the Minneapolis City Council to craft a fundamentally fair policy that balances parking management concerns with the essential services truck drivers provide,” he said. “We would welcome the opportunity to work with Minneapolis leaders to develop a smart solution.”
MTA urged its member fleets and their drivers to testify at the hearing.
West Coast flatbed fleet tapped to haul Capitol Christmas Tree
System Transport has been selected to transport the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Washington, D.C., in 2021.
The 2021 tree will make its way to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building from the Six Rivers National Forest in California.
System Transport was recommended by Kenworth Truck Company and has a strong reputation on the West Coast, according to Bruce Ward, president of Choose Outdoors, the non-profit partner that assists the USDA Forest Service with coordinating the annual public engagement initiative.
“As a second-generation family-owned and operated company, Christmas is a special time of year for us”, said Dennis Williams, President and CEO of Trans-System, System Transport's parent company. “We are proud to be a part of the annual tradition that brings the Christmas spirit to our nation’s capital, and to all the families who gather around their own trees to share the spirit of the season.”
The tree will be harvested in late October before making the in-state and cross-country journey and arriving at the U.S. Capitol in late November. The tree will be decorated with thousands of handmade ornaments made by Californians and will light up the nation’s Capital throughout December.
System Transport first opened its doors in 1972 with one truck and trailer. It now boasts more than 1,000 employees and operates more than 800 trucks. The company is headquartered in Spokane, Washington, with terminals in Caldwell, Idaho; French Camp, Fresno and Bloomington, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; Olathe, Kansas; Ennis, Texas; and Gary, Indiana. The business operates all types of flatbed freight primarily throughout the West Coast to the Midwest.