For over 20 years, SC&RA has held unique annual meetings to bring together federal and state highway officials, permit engineers, equipment manufacturers, escort service operators, shippers and specialized carriers. Originally known as Oversize/Overweight Transportation Symposiums, these meetings were renamed the Specialized Transportation Symposiums in 2003 to reflect changes within the industry.
Since the beginning, the focus has been on the need for uniformity in the process of issuing and enforcing permits for overdimensional loads. Despite the considerable progress that has been made over the years, much work remains to be done.
At the 2008, Specialized Transportation Symposium, June 4-6, at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH, the tradition continues with a panel of regional Department of Transportation (DOT) off cials, who will address the most critical issues they face. They are expected to provide candid updates on the permit process, recent steps toward greater uniformity, the increased volume of overdimensional loads and the impact of infrastructure decay.
Panelists will include Utah DOT's Richard Clasby, chair of the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; New York DOT's Joe Lee-Civalier, chair of the Northeast Association of State Transportation officials; and Missouri DOT's Michelle Teel, chair of the Mississippi Valley Conference of State Highway and Transportation officials.
Once again, those regional transportation groups will hold their own meetings before the symposium off cially begins. Such meetings of transportation off cials from different states were a rarity before SC&RA began the annual symposiums.
Several sessions will look at the issues from a federal perspective. Following the opening remarks, a senior official from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will examine national issues relating to size and weight, regulatory actions and strategies to enhance national transportation efficiencies. The symposium's closing session will cover significant developments concerning federal safety regulations involving load securement, hours of service, and electronic on-board recorders.
SC&RA's ongoing commitment to safety also will be demonstrated in a number of other sessions and a Transportation Group Safety Committee meeting. Steve Keppler, director of Policy & Programs, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), will discuss how industry and enforcement agencies can work together to improve the safety and efficiency of overdimensional cargo transportation.
Safety considerations will command considerable attention in a session on the rules, controls and proper use of pilot cars. Panelists will contemplate ways to make even better use of the “Best Practices” guidelines developed by SC&RA in cooperation with CVSA under an FHWA grant. A special Pilot Car Task Force Meeting before the symposium will consider update procedures, certification and safety measures.
Regardless of the precautions, specialized transport companies take, accidents happen in the industry. Angela Cash, a partner in the full service transportation law firm of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, will provide valuable information on accident response and effective crisis management.
On the other hand, some incredibly challenging hauling jobs turn out perfectly every year. See some prime examples from jobs completed in 2006 and 2007 during the review of the SC&R Hauling Job of the Year winning entries.
Increasingly, doing the job right also means paying attention to environmental considerations, particularly through greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Today's diesel prices magnify the need to conserve fuel. Through its Smart Way Program, the Environmental Protection Agency is working with the trucking industry on important economical and ecological advancements. Find out more during the Smart Way session.
Adding a light touch to the proceedings will be Charles Petty, a humorous motivational speaker who has been inducted into the National Speaker Hall of Fame. He will discuss the importance of maintaining energy and purpose in life and work. His presentation will include tips on achieving and maintaining a healthy productivity level.
You may register online at www.scranet.org/event/display_event.cfm?Event=22. Additionally, the SC&RA Web site includes the official program; room reservation form; exhibitor registration form, floor plan and booth assignment; and information about the hotel and Cincinnati. For additional information, call (703) 698-0291.