The following news stories cover topics in trucking that cover the state of Ohio and beyond. These news bits cover trends, events, and occurrences that affect the trucking industry. Many trucking professionals find it interesting, informative, and enlightening to read these accounts and to get an idea of trends, updates, and other items affecting the trucking industry around the country. The articles are sourced from trucking news services.

CBO claims highway account of budget request will keep highway trust fund solvent through 2023

The highway account of the federal Highway Trust Fund would remain solvent until the fiscal year 2023 because of President Obama’s 2016 budget request, the Congressional Budget Office claims.

The fund is designed to help states finance large-scale infrastructure projects. Congressional Republications have not announced a rival plan that would account for the fund’s shortfall, nor have they endorsed the six-year, $478 billion transportation funding plan the administration proposes yet. According to the current law, the trust fund cannot have a negative balance, and fund administrators have no authority to borrow additional funds.

The CBO also acknowledged that budget request would keep the transit account found in the fund solvent until the fiscal year 2024. Each of the highway and transit accounts most likely will not be able to meet obligations sometime this summer according to analysis.

For more on this story, visit Transport Topics at this link.

Builder/small fleet owner Eldon Jaeger tours in custom Peterbilt 379 for cancer cure

Builder/small fleet owner/operator Eldon Jaeger’s custom Peterbilt 379 is christened the “Long Haul Survivor.” Touring the country through 2013-14 with the intent of raffling off the truck and raising $100,000 for the American Cancer Association’s “Relay for Life” project, the truck will debut at Jaeger & Co.’s Midwest Pride in Your Ride Truck Show in Earlville, Iowa, according to Jaeger’s son-in-law and building partner Mike Heiderscheit. a story posted at the trucking site Overdrive discussed.

But Jaeger is already planning his next project, one he has dubbed “Destination Unknown.” A Peterbilt 359 daycab with an 84-inch “extra extended” hood, Heiderscheit says the truck will have a Detroit V-12 “for power, and an Allison automatic.” Jaeger and Heiderscheit plan to raffle off rides in the truck at different truck pulls throughout the Midwest. In addition, they are selling tribute decals to put on the truck in memory of cancer survivors, or those who died of cancer.

The work is in memory of Jaeger’s daughter, Heiderscheit’s wife, Brenda.

These projects, along with the money they have raised for cancer research and awareness, has garnered news coverage, such as CBS2 in Jaeger’s home of Worthington, Ohio.

For more information on Jaeger’s projects, including news coverage of his efforts, you can visit the Overdrive page at this link.

Diesel prices drop, breaking 5-week long increase streak

The price of diesel declined 2.7 cents/gallon the week of March 9, snapping a streak of 5 consecutive weeks of fuel increases, according to an article in the trucking publication Transport Topics. The drop in price caused the price per gallon of diesel fuel to fall to an average $2.917. Transport Topics cites a Department of Energy report as the source of their claim.

The Diesel pump price had risen 11.3 cents/gal. combined between Feb. 2 and March 9 according to data collected by the DOE’s Energy Information Administration. The national average for a gallon of diesel is $1.086 lower than the same week last year when it was right at $4/gallon.

Gas prices had jumped 44.3 cents/gal. since late January, until last week’s downturn. The fuel cost is still $1.094 cheaper than one year ago. Also, Bloomberg News reports that crude oil’s prices dropped to their lowest point in 6 years March 16. Their report also mentioned that crude futures fell to $43.88/barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement price since March 2009. Crude prices have dropped $6.12 since closing at $50 on March 9.

Department of Energy conducts a survey each week of about 400 diesel filling stations and 800 gasoline stations to compile national average fuel prices.

You can read more about this story at Transport Topics by navigating to the story here.

 

Americans drove more in 2014 than each of the previous seven years, according to Federal Highway Administration

The Federal Highway Administration released a report that claims Americans drove a combined 3.02 trillion miles last year. That represents the most miles since 2007, and the second-highest since the group began collecting data 79 years ago.

These new numbers highlight the need for a greater investment in in transportation infrastructure and seems to go along with the projections from Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, which was included in his recently-released “Beyond Traffic” report, according to the HFWA announced in a statement.

The FHWA used this announcement to advocate for more innovation and investment in roadways. The group claims that the average American spends the equivalent of as much as 5 days per year stuck in traffic. While all states recorded increases, Indiana’s 10.5% increase led the nation as the largest single-state traffic increase compared to the same month in the prior year.

The FHWA’s report said that distance is roughly equivalent to 323 round trips from Earth to Pluto. In December alone, drivers in cars (and trucks and other motorized vehicles) travelled 251.4 billion miles, the highest for any December since at least 1939, when data collection began.

You can learn more about this subject from the news story at Transport Topics, available at this link.

American Trucking Associations and almost 40 other groups ask Congress not to “devolve” federal transportation funding

American Trucking Associations and about 40 other industry trade groups and businesses have sent a letter to Congress with the intent to put pressure on them to pass a long-term transportation bill and oppose any what they call the “devolution of federal transportation funding, according the Transport Topics news site reported.

The letter said, “Some federal rules arguably increase the cost of projects and slow construction, however, these challenges do not warrant putting the safety of motorists and the health of the nation’s economy at risk by decimating the primary funding program for our nation’s most critical infrastructure.”

Some in Congress have been quoted as saying that federal transportation program funding should be eliminated, and that states should collect fuel taxes and support and maintain roads and infrastructure on their own.

Last year some of those behind the claims introduced a measure called the Transportation Empowerment Act, which they designed with the intent of devolving the federal system. The TEA was ultimately defeated in the Senate but sparked fears of a new, similar measure.

Devolution of the federal aid program would not permit the states to keep the revenue currently flowing into the Highway Trust Fund from fuel and excise taxes on truck and tire sales, according to the letter. “Under devolution, this money simply goes away, forcing state and local governments to replace tens of billions of dollars with tax increases or redirection of their existing resources,” it stated.

“Devolution represents abandonment by Congress of a most fundamental constitutional obligation to promote interstate commerce and would prove disastrous to state and local governments’ ability to maintain, improve and coordinate their transportation systems when it is widely acknowledged that current resources are already seriously insufficient,” the letter said.

If the TEA or a similar bill were to pass, states would have to replace lost federal revenues through an increase in their own fuel taxes. Gas taxes would have to increase by about 23 cents by the year 2020, while others would have to raise fuel taxes by more than 30 cents, according to the letter.

The letter was signed by more than 40 different groups, including the American Trucking Associations, including The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Associated General Contractors of America, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, International Warehouse Logistics Association, National Tank Truck Carriers, National Industrial Transportation League, Truckload Carriers Association and American Moving and Storage Association.

In addition, carriers such as FedEx Corp., Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., UPS Inc. and Werner Enterprises also signed the letter, as did Volvo Group North America.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, was asked about the possibility of cutting the federal funds and said doing so would mean “we’re going to be doing less; less of maintenance, less of new capacity building,” he said.

You can read more about this article at its source here.