The trucking industry has paid in up to one third of Colorado’s federal and state roadway taxes in the most current years. Vehicle miles traveled by the trucking industry on CO roads amounts to only eight percent of all roadway miles traveled.
Some problems facing Colorado in improving their safety record stem from a few issues. It does not help in safety that there is a serious shortage of drivers and mechanics. It would be helpful to offer young adults the information and and ability to discern if a career in trucking is attractive. Trucking at certain business levels can reward drivers with a steady lucrative salary. This shortage certainly contributes to many safety issues especially when moving oversized transportation through the state.Trucking in Colorado Safety Concerns
Trucking in Colorado Safety Concerns
For third parties, the loose concerns related to oversight and transparency also cloud these efforts. In the mountainous terrain of Colorado all forms of flatbed shipping and dry van shipping are effected by the constant need to rejuvenate roads due to the harsh environment.
On the I-70 shipping lane truck incidents are in a decline almost certainly related with the shift of larger carriers to move their freight in off peak hours. Also, the decrease in frequent use of tractors hauling double trailers has contributed. Double trailers cause a higher percentage of incidents because of the steep grades that mountainous terrains are noted for.
Currently CO has the highest fines in the United States for violating the chain traction laws in the trucking industry and oddly the least restrictive for autos and their traction specifications. Colorado needs to increase fines on autos to help make the passage after snow storms safer. This could easily be handled if they brought back the state inspections and enforced them without slacking off.
The Colorado Motor Carriers Association is working with carriers who have the most violations, to adopt strategies and technical assistance in line with regulations. In cab, real time weather information and road conditions is a must for every driver. “We have the technology now, we just need to bring the cost down and enforcement up.” Arthur Dellwood.
There is an oversize and overweight permit problem in CO. The issuance of permits is local to the cities and counties, so many times the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. Because of the hairball created from city and county to obtain permits the transportation logistics process is confusing and costly. For overweight and oversized transportation shippers and their bottom line cost and time management run on tight margins.
As usual transparency and general oversight for any agreements that will help in safety are needed to move the effort forward. Reasonable oversight by officials and a shorter duration of the agreements so that they are revisited and revised in an efficient manner when new methods from technology are promising even greater reductions in auto and trucking roadway safety.
DOWN THE ROAD: The “One Stop Shop” state solution is being studied so that a fleet owner can buy all needed permits at one time. The state would then distribute the monies to the cities and counties.