15 April 2008
SC&RA will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the annual Specialized Transportation Symposium, March 7 through 9, at The Disney Coronado Springs Resort, in Orlando, FL. The event will continue a dialogue that began in Dallas in March 1987. Although the name eventually changed from the original Oversize/Overweight Transportation Symposium, the underlying philosophy of the event has remained constant for two decades.
“The symposium provides a unique opportunity for state and federal transportation officials to meet with representatives of specialized carriers, pilot-car companies and other industry members to discuss and resolve difficult transportation issues,” said Doug Ball, SC&RA vice president, transportation. “As a result of these symposiums, there has been a tremendous amount of success in overcoming numerous obstacles.”
Ball pointed out that the progress towards uniformity in permitting processes has resulted in increased efficiency that has saved money for both industry and government. “We're also always looking at how uniform procedures can enhance safety,” he says.
“Originally known as the Oversize/Overweight Transportation Symposium, the underlying philosophy of the SC&RA Specialized Transportation Symposium has remained constant for two decades”
The interaction between industry and transportation officials perhaps will be most obvious on the panels featured during two breakout sessions on Friday March 9:
Move Toward Uniformity – Goal or Myth? will cover such areas as size and weight allowances, equipment configurations, permit procedures, pilot car requirements, certification and reciprocity, and the impact of specific commodity tolerance allowance from the perspective of SC&RA member companies and state officials. State and Industry Problem Solving will provide a forum for industry and state officials to examine prospects of standardizing permit issuing software systems, instituting uniform information requirements, and developing mutually beneficial solutions during a time of rising overdimensional freight volumes and state fiscal woes.
Attendees also will gain the government's perspective during a session in which regional permit officials examine the impact on permit processing and the infrastructure as a result of the increased volume of superloads, the progress toward uniformity, the affect of automation on operations, and the evolution of other critical issues in each region. Appearing will be a representative from each of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) regions: West (WASHTO), Mississippi Valley (MSVSHTO), Northeast (NASHTO), and South (SASHTO).
For a national overview, John Hill, administrator of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA), is expected to discuss strategic plans to improve safety through regulations while balancing motor carrier efficiency. In addition, he will examine FMCSA partnerships with state and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry and safety groups. Also speaking on federal regulatory issues will be Larry Minor, FMCSA director of the Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations.
Timothy Lynch, American Trucking Associations senior vice president of Federation Relations and Strategic Planning, will explore the 2009 Highway Reauthorization and its impact on state departments of transportation and industry, the realities of transportation needs necessary to meet the nation's growing demands, and the reality of a decaying infrastructure with the projected increase in cargo.
Offering a unifying theme will be featured speaker Michael Broome, who will elaborate on the qualities that make America great – hard work, leadership, accountability, teamwork and service. As the founder and president of Broyhill Leadership Conferences, he has addressed more than 3,000 audiences since 1980.
Other noteworthy sessions will focus on such topics as the impact of a successful safety culture, the Hauling Job of the Year winners, and a 20-year retrospective on how the the symposium has nurtured partnerships between industry and state transportation officials.
Still another highlight will be the Exhibit Center, featuring leading companies that supply products and services to specialized carriers. For the first time, the Exhibit Center will be open on two days.
An optional three-hour behindthe- scenes Innovation in Action Tour will include tales of how Disney has always pushed the limits of technology, demonstrated by an up-close look at innovation at a range of locations, including the Walt Disney World Nursery and Tree Farm, and the Utilidor System.
Many attendees will be arriving on March 6 for meetings of the Pilot Car Task Force and of regional associations of state highway transportation and permitting.
Until January 19, early-bird registration fees are available at $350 for members and $250 for each additional member, $410 for non-members, $90 for government employees and $110 for spouses.
Visit www.scranet.org and click on the Events/Registration link at the top of the page to review the official program, which includes registration forms for the event, hotel rooms and exhibits. Information also is available by calling SC&RA at (703) 698-0291. act