TM 6 • February 15-28, 2018 Nation Thetrucker.com Soy Transportation Coalition wants to see heavier trucks allowed on nation’s interstates THE TRUCKER STAFF ANKENY, Iowa — The Soy Transportation Coalition wants to see heavier trucks on the nation’s interstate highway system. Permitting six-axle, 91,000-pound tractor trailers on the interstate system is one of 10 priorities the trade association says are important to endure the transportation needs of the U.S. soybean industry in the midst of national debate on the U.S. infrastructure. Another item on the top 10 list is a call for an increase in the federal tax on gasoline and diesel fuel by 10 cents a gallon and index the tax to inflation, plus ensuring rural areas receive proportionate, sufficient funding from the fuel tax increase. “Allowing six-axle, 91,000-pound semis would enable a farmer to transport an additional 137 bushels of soybeans or wheat or 146 additional bushels of corn per load. This would, of course, result in fewer truck trips, fewer gallons of fuel consumed,” said Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the coalition. “I think it’s important to note that trucking and rail — particularly within agriculture — are increasingly not interchangeable modes of transportation. Over the past several decades, the railroads have adopted a business model of emphasizing long-haul service, which has resulted in limiting access to the rail network in rural areas. The average rail haul for soybeans and grain is 900 miles. Trucking is mostly utilized to feed into the long-haul modes — like rail and barge — vs. competing with them.” As the nation increasingly examines and explores the multi-modal transportation system, many suggestions from policymakers and constituents have been long on ambition but short on specifics, Steenhoek said. Moreover, there is a concern within agriculture that the transportation interests of urban areas could exclude the interests of rural areas, he added. “Farmers should realize that if we are unwilling to promote the transportation solutions that would benefit our industry, we should not expect others to do so,” says Gerry Hayden, a soybean farmer from Calhoun, Kentucky, and chairman of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “During this pivotal time in which the White House and Congress are developing a strategy for improving our multi-modal transportation system, it is critical the farmer perspective has a seat at the table.” Steenhoek said that given how soybeans and many agricultural products have arguably the most diverse and elongated supply chain of any industry, the list highlights opportunities to enhance rural roads and bridges, highways and interstates, freight rail service, the inland waterway system, and ports. The STC board of directors also decided to list the top 10 priorities, rather than ranking them against each other, he added. “In developing the list, the Soy Transportation Coalition board of directors did not want to simply promote those infrastructure projects with the largest price tag,” Hayden said. “Some of the items on the list certainly do involve more federal investment, which we believe is appropriate. However, we also believe many of our transportation challenges can be addressed by implementing smarter regulations and by practicing better stewardship of taxpayer dollars.” Established in 2007, the Soy Transportation Coalition is comprised of thirteen state soybean boards, the American Soybean Association, and the United Soybean Board. The goal of the organization is to position the soybean industry to benefit from a transportation system that delivers cost effective, reliable and competitive service. 8 COMPLY NOW J. J. KELLER® ELOGs THE EASIER WAY TO COMPLY WITH THE ELD MANDATE MAKE A LIVING AND ENJOY THE LIVING PART Penske is hiring safe, professional truck drivers to haul freight for some of the world’s leading brands. • Return home daily • Choose from a variety of shifts and customers • Receive outstanding benefits • Join an internationally renowned team 855-235-7367 gopenske.com/drivers Apply using job number 1003259 SIMPLE • FLEXIBLE • AFFORDABLE Quick ELD install • Your smart device • Minimal up-front cost Talk with an ELD Specialist today! Call 855.693.5338 or visit JJKeller.com/ELDspecialist Penske is an Equal Opportunity Employer. PC 123423
Thetrucker.com Nation February 15-28, 2018 • 7 ATA, TAT bringing fight against human trafficking to Capitol Hill this month THE TRUCKER STAFF ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations and America’s Road Team are joining Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) on Capitol Hill this month to continue bringing awareness to the issue, specifically emphasizing efforts to reduce demand. “The trucking industry is seven million strong, and our goal is to have everyone in our industry trained on how to recognize human trafficking and how to take action to rescue victims and save lives by making the call and reporting the crime,” ATA Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs Elisabeth Barna told the House Homeland Security Committee during a roundtable on the issue. “Our industry has made nearly 2,000 calls to the national human trafficking hotline, resulting in more than 600 likely human trafficking cases identified involving more than 1,300 trafficking victims. More than 375 of those rescued victims were minors.” On February 21, ATA, America’s Road Team, Truckers Against Trafficking and a bipartisan group of Members of Congress are hosting a campaign launch at ATA’s Capitol Hill office for TAT’s newest activity, the Man to Man Campaign. The trucking industry plays a central role in eradicating modern-day slavery from the nation’s transportation systems, stated an ATA news release. “As part of ATA’s efforts to help train the industry’s 7.4 million trucking industry employees in human trafficking awareness, ATA recommends trucking companies and drivers visit the official Truckers Against Trafficking website. Truck drivers are also asked to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline to report suspicious behavior related to human trafficking at 1-888-373-7888.” Barna, a board member of Truckers Against Trafficking, spoke openly about trucking’s efforts to bring awareness to human trafficking and educate the industry’s workforce about signs of trafficking at a roundtable hosted by the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas. The roundtable discussion helped educate committee members on the important role industry stakeholders play in spreading awareness about human trafficking, preventing trafficking, and informing law enforcement of possible trafficking activity when it is witnessed. The roundtable also included representatives from the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and the National Human Trafficking Hotline (Polaris), as well as public sector partners from the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency Homeland Security Investigations unit and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers. After testifying at the House Homeland Security roundtable, Barna appeared on the DHS Blue Campaign’s first-ever Facebook Live broadcast, which brought together public and private sector stakeholders to discuss human trafficking. The Facebook Live broadcast also included representatives from Delta Airlines, Amtrak and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers. “Truck drivers are family men and women and a lot of them have kids who could be targeted for trafficking, so they’re able to talk to their peers and ask them to continue spreading the message about human trafficking awareness,” said Barna. “We are starting to be able to get more signs and videos about trafficking into the driver lounge areas or at diesel fuel stations. Our member companies are getting more engaged every day, and many of the larger trucking companies are training their entire workforces on human trafficking awareness.” TAT-trained truck driver, John McKown, Great truck insurance rates and personal service are yours as an OOIDA Member. Friendly, fast, efficient service for the busy owner-operator. At OOIDA you are never just a truck insurance customer. You are our mission. 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