Here are five things worth knowing today:
1. A slump in truck orders may not mean the U.S. is headed toward recession, Bloomberg reports. Though Class 8 orders dropped 48% in January, Bloomberg says it’s important to remember that 2014 was the strongest year for freight since the recession. According to the report, truck manufacturers expect the North American market to drop about 15% this year, and they have responded by cutting jobs and production. Bloomberg has more.
2. New truck wash racks at the Peddler Hill Maintenance Station east of Sacramento are helping California’s Department of Transportation recycle water year-round, Caltrans reports. According to the report, crews use treated and recycled wastewater from snow removal equipment for de-icing brine during the winter and for other maintenance activities in the summer. The department has posted a series of video’s highlighting Caltrans activities.
3. According to an AASHTO report, the Congressional Budget Office projects the Highway Trust Fund will run dry in 2021. And, according to the report, unless Congress provides more funding, it could rack up a $108 billion cumulative deficit through 2026. The five-year FAST Act relies on $70 billion in intergovernmental transfers to cover annual shortfalls between what the fund receives in excise tax receipts and what it is projected to spend. CBO estimates that in 2021 the highway account would end the year with less than $500 million, with the transit account $2billion in the red. AASHTO has more.
4. State governors and legislators across the country are reluctant to raise their gas tax rates to increase infrastructure funding even though there’s not enough money to make up transportation budget shortfalls, Governing.com reports. Last week, the White House announced it will ask Congress for a new $10-per-barrel tax on oil, which would raise up to $32 billion a year for infrastructure and reward states for investing in transit and clean energy. Governing has more.
5. Tennessee-based Nichols Fleet Equipment is celebrating its 25-year anniversary, according to a Nooga report. Founder David Nichols Sr. started the company in 1991, built his own shop in 1997 and expanded in 2000, according to the report. And now, he is looking forward to the company’s growth. Learn more about the company, which takes incomplete vehicles – just a chassis and cab – and turns them into complete units at Nooga.com.