What the Transportation Consultant Program does for contractors
By Greg Dineen
Rules affecting the trucking industry affect everything contractors do, but many contractors tell me “I’m not in the trucking business.” Yes, you are.
Every piece of equipment on a jobsite comes by truck—sometimes, as with mobile cranes and concrete pumps, the equipment is the truck. Every load of concrete, stick of wood and pound of dirt and rock, hauled into or off the site comes by truckload and you pay for it. In addition to materials, supplies and equipment hauling, most contractors have a fleet of trucks.
As contractors, you should belong to an industry trade association that keeps you informed on all aspects of government control of the construction industry, from legislation, workers’ compensation and labor negations to air quality and other issues. They should also keep you up to date on what is happening in the construction transportation industry.
Transportation issues are in a constant state of flux. Local and state government agencies are constantly hatching new ideas to control our industry—and for the most part, raise fees for these agencies. Among these ideas are increasing fees for permits, changing truck routes to basically ban heavy hauls through their communities and changing hours of operation.
The Transportation Consultant Program was developed five years ago to combat the growing tide of unnecessary rules. Here are a few examples of the success we have provided the members of our supporting organizations:
- 24/7 travel for the heavy-haul industry throughout most of the state of California—a savings of $14 million per year in costly delays, fees and fines.
- SB 372 (Margett) defines unusually large and heavy loads, stopping local governments from charging outrageous fees for transportation permits within their boundaries.
- Seminars for 164 local government agencies in the state just last year to promote uniform regulation of our industry. Many of these agencies now call us to discuss how to approach these issues.
- Work in partnership with Caltrans to develop rational inspection and permit programs instead of a steady stream of “gotcha” rules, changed at a bureaucratic whim.
For years most of you have suffered the delays, and paid the fees and fines. When you could, you added these costs to your charges for your customers, further driving up the cost of construction in California. What you can’t add is the lost time, frustration and waste these rules cost your company.
This is no longer necessary with our program. What is necessary is that when you are confronted with a transportation problem, you get in touch with us. Our services are free to members of the following associations: SCCA, AGC’s Southern California chapters, BIASC and ECA — the four associations that provide Southern California Industry Advancement Funds, which makes up the majority of our funding.
We also receive funding from the Northern California Industry Advancement fund, so members who are signatory with the Carpenters unions in that area receive our services. Other associations that support this work include the California Dump Truck Owners Association (CDTOA) and the Mobile Crane Operators Group (MCOG).