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On The Horizon - March 25, 2024

Construction resumes on I-90 bridges east of Alberton

Construction resumes on I-90 bridges east of Alberton

 

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and Frontier West are resuming work on the I 90 Bridges – East of Alberton project. This project is rehabilitating two bridges on Interstate 90 (I-90). These bridges include the westbound bridge located five miles east of Alberton, and the east and westbound sides of the bridge located six miles east of Alberton.

 

Work remaining includes replacing the bridge deck (driving surface) of the eastbound lanes of the six-mile bridge, painting portions of the steel superstructures to slow corrosion, replacing bridge joints and damaged bearings, repairing bridge girders, upgrading bridge drainage and guardrails, resurfacing the pavement approaches, and replacing the shoulder rumble strips and pavement striping.

 

During construction, motorists can expect:

 

  • Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction.

  • East and westbound traffic will travel on the same side of the interstate for approximately two miles.

  • Speed limits will be reduced.

  • Width and length restrictions will be in place (visit 511mt.net for the most up-to-date information).

The goal of this project is to extend the service life of the bridges. Construction is anticipated to be completed in late fall 2024. More information about these improvements can be found at https://www.mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/i90eastalbertonbridges/.

 

If you would like to sign up to receive construction email notifications, contact Brandon Coates at brandon@rbci.net or by call 406-465-3350. For text notifications text ‘ALB90’ to 866-434-0866 (toll-free)*. 


In Memoriam

Some of you will remember MTA past president JE Williams, serving as president from 1989-1990. JE past away peacefully at the age of 85 on March 1, 2024. Born on January 1, 1939 he leaves behind a legacy of dedication and service.


Report: ZEV Transition Will Cost U.S. Trucking $1 Trillion

The Clean Freight Coalition, a transportation advocacy group, unveiled a new study that puts the price tag for fully transitioning the U.S. trucking industry over to battery-electric vehicles at $1 trillion.

The coalition is an alliance of truck transportation stakeholders committed to a clean energy future for America’s trucking industry, according to the group. Participating associations span motor carriers of various sizes and freight sectors, as well as truck dealers, truck stop operators, and the bus industry.

The study was conducted jointly with several trucking industry organizations. Joining CFC executive director Jim Mullen at the online press briefing March 19 were:

  • American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear

  • American Truck Dealers President Laura Perrotta

  • American Bus Association President and CEO Peter Pantuso

  • National Association of Truck Stop Owners President and CEO Lisa Mullings

  • National Tank Truck Carriers President and CEO Ryan Streblow

  • National Motor Freight Traffic Association Executive Director Debbie Sparks

  • Truckload Carriers Association President Jim Ward


The ELD Hacking Threat: Q&A with Serjon's Urban Jonson

Did you know your fleet’s electronic logging devices may be vulnerable to hackers?

It’s true. Serjon, a cybersecurity firm specializing in fleet transportation security, held a press conference during the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting in New Orleans in early March. Urban Jonson, senior vice president, information technology and cybersecurity services for Serjon, briefed media on the threats facing fleets with compromised ELDs.

ELDs are essentially communication devices used to record and report truck driver hours of service. Due to certain technical requirements of the regulations, ELDs require the ability to “write” messages to the truck’s network to obtain information, such as engine hours. The ELD also requires internet access to report the HOS information. Read More


ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 4.3% in February

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 4.3% in February

Index Fell 1.4% from February 2023 

 

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 4.3% in February after decreasing 3.2% in January. In February, the index equaled 116.0 (2015=100) compared with 111.3 in January.




“After a very soft January, due in part to winter storms, truck tonnage snapped back in February,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “February’s level was the highest in a year, yet the index still contracted from a year earlier, suggesting truck freight remains in a recession.”

January’s decrease was revised up from our February 20 press release.

Compared with February 2023, the index fell 1.4%, which was the twelfth straight year-over-year decline. In January, the index was down 4.5% from a year earlier. 

The not-seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 109.7 in February, the same as in January. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight. 

In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.6% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 11.46 billion tons of freight in 2022. Motor carriers collected $940.8 billion, or 80.7% of total revenue earned by all transport modes. 

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators. 


Will's Safety Tip

Part 3 of the workers comp series discusses How Much Does Workers’ Comp Pay an Injured Employee.

No matter what type of business you run, on-the-job injuries or illnesses can happen.

This is where workers’ compensation insurance can step in and give your employees important benefits. An injured or ill employee can file a workers’ compensation claim and receive weekly payments to cover lost wages. This coverage is known as Indemnity Loss (lost wages). Benefits paid to the injured employees medical bills are called Medical Loss. Remember, this coverage won’t help if your employee gets a personal injury that’s not related to their work.

If an employee incurs wage losses while recovering from a work-related injury, they may receive temporary partial or temporary total disability benefits. Currently, the maximum amount of benefits depends on your date of injury and can be viewed here.

Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are paid to workers who are recovering from a work-related injury but are still able to work part-time or in a diminished capacity. Their wages must be lower than normal. TPD benefits continue until the employee returns to their former position and their previous wages. The benefits paid are calculated on the difference between the former and current wages. For example, if an employee was earning $800 per week before and currently receives $450 weekly, the TPD benefit amounts to $350.

Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are received by employees who are temporarily unable to work at all due to their work-related injury or illness. Montana workers’ compensation benefits generally equal 2/3 of the employee’s gross wages up to the maximum rate allowed by the state. The benefits continue until the employee returns to work or reaches the maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is the state at which a physician deems the patient will not experience further improvement.

Investing in workplace safety is a key to controlling rising insurance costs. A safe working environment contributes to a business’s overall success and the well-being of its employees. That’s why a robust safety program is important. Preventing injuries from occurring is the primary goal; however, if an injury does occur, a Return to Work (RTW) program is an important tool to help control the cost of workers’ compensation claims, which in turn could lower your premium costs.

Stay Safe!


Lunch Discussion


JJ Keller Featured Products



MTA Truck Driving Championship

MTA is excited to announce that registration for the 2024 Truck Driving Championship is now open! The championship will be held on June 8th at the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out! Click the links below for the registration form, sponsorship opportunities and Hotel Information!

2024 TDC Registration form
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TDC Sponsorship Opportunities
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We need help to put on this great event! So if you are able to help or know of anyone, please let us know! Thank you in advance for you help in making this event happen! To register to volunteer use the sign up sheet below

Volunteer registration form
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Barry 'Spook' Stang Memorial Scholarship

MTA is excited to announce that we are accepting applications for the Barry 'Spook' Stang Memorial Scholarship for 2024-2025! This scholarship is for any new or returning student planning on attending a Montana College, University, Trade school or other educational institution. Student must be a dependent of or be employed by an MTA member. Application form can be found below or on our website!


Scholarship application 2024-2025
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