The President's Column
by Steve Weitekamp
In December, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) conducted several meetings between its staff — including Erik White, Tony Brasil, Elizabeth White and Todd Sax — and the public to discuss proposed potential modifications to the On-Road Diesel Engine Regulation. The proposed modifications were reviewed in the November 2013 CMSA Communicator cover article, which included an exemption for CARB-registered trucks operating less than 5,000 total miles per year until 2020 and a short-term, less than six months, Good Faith exemption addressing several issues. Many CMSA members participated in CARB seminars in Diamond Bar, San Diego and Sacramento.
Below are the comments that I expressed during several of those meetings:
“The moving and storage industry, like the construction industry, has struggled through the greatest recession since the Great Depression. (Note: Construction, a much larger industry, is an industry that the CARB is very familiar with and therefore a valuable touch point to shortcut the discussion.) The On-Road Diesel regulations are placing a financial strangle hold on our industry. Moving and storage is a low-margin business. We are a service industry that happens to own trucks. We drive relatively few miles, with most of our equipment operating less than 40,000 miles per year. Frequently, our movers run their trucks less than two hours a day.
Moving and Storage is a vocational trucking business very similar to construction trucking. If “they” don't build it, “we” can't move you into it.
We ask that any relief given to construction needs to be extended to all vocational trucking. Additionally we ask for access to grant funds that have been sealed off to movers due to our low mileage and the fact that we don't move "salable goods." We ask that any additional modifications to the rule include the California Moving & Storage industry and that the Vocational Trucking definition include the moving and storage industry. Essentially, the California Moving & Storage Association requests:
More Time/Postponement of the Rule,
Higher Exemption Threshold (5,000 total mile exemption is not enough) and
Access to Grant and Loan Funds as Vocational Trucking has been Excluded”
In addition, we also shared our concern regarding recent incidents where HHGs carriers have been subject to the Drayage Rule when transporting containers not involving their direct service to or from the port. Our Association has participated in this process since its inception and has served as a participant in the TRAC subcommittee.
Any modifications to the rule will not be finalized until it’s reviewed and approved by the CARB Board of Directors at their scheduled meeting on April 24, 2014, in Sacramento. CMSA will be there to represent our membership as well as the greater moving and storage industry.
In other news, applicable items in the MAX 4 Tariff are scheduled to increase .07 percent in 2014. The expected date of adjustment is January 16, 2014. Based on past experience, it will probably take some time after this date to get a copy of the modified tariff pages. While this increase may seem relatively small, it would have been nonexistent if not for CMSA’s application that resulted in the January 21, 2010, CPUC decision to reset the productivity offset factor from .667 to .95 for five years. The decision also stipulated that after this five-year period, which extends through 2015, the productivity offset factor will either be .95 or .85, dependent on California economic conditions, and not to return to the ridiculous offset factor of .667.
January 2014 - CMSA