Event Showcases Efforts to Keep Goods Moving During Holidays
Eric Sauer, California Trucking Association Vice President, Policy and Government Relations; Tom Brannon, Caltrans District 3 Deputy Director of Maintenance and Traffic Operations; Jeffrey Greer, FedEx Freight Senior Vice President of Human Resources; Lieutenant Matt Tweed, California Highway Patrol Truckee
KINGVALE, CA – The California Trucking Association (CTA), California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) gathered today at the Caltrans Maintenance Station in Kingvale to showcase their unique partnership behind the California Pusher Truck Program, which literally pushes trucks through mountain storms to keep millions of dollars in commerce moving over Donner Pass during the winter season.
“CTA has partnered with Caltrans on the Pusher Truck Program for more than 30 years. By employing pusher trucks, Caltrans can help big rigs that have lost traction on the steep inclines of Donner Pass regain momentum and ensure the $4.7 million per hour in commerce continues moving through the Interstate-80 corridor,” said Eric Sauer, CTA’s senior vice president of government affairs. “This program would not exist without the generous financial support of CTA members, whose contributions fund the program, and, most importantly, FedEx’s incredible donation of two of their fleet trucks that have been
retrofitted to provide truckers with the ‘push’ they need to increase the safety of all travelers during the harsh winter months,” Sauer added.
“FedEx Freight is proud to work with the California Trucking Association and Caltrans on this important effort,” said Jeffery Greer, senior vice president of human resources for FedEx Freight. “Our contribution to the Pusher Truck Program is a great opportunity to demonstrate FedEx’s ‘Safety Above All’ promise in a way that benefits drivers and the communities in which they operate.”
Every hour, more than 3,500 trucks traverse Donner Pass, a number that increases during peak holiday time. The Pusher Truck Program ensures big rigs are able to keep moving, roads stay open and driving conditions are safe for all drivers.
“This program is critically important because it keeps closures of I-80 to a minimum. Even when fully ‘chained up,’ commercial big rigs often struggle to gain enough traction on the snow-covered inclines of Donner Pass, particularly if they have to stop for slowed or blocked traffic. As part of this important partnership, CTA provides maintenance, parts, and service for the pusher truck. Caltrans, in return, provides fuel, insurance, pre-ops and post-ops of the equipment, and qualified operators,” Tom Brannon, Caltrans District 3 deputy director of maintenance and traffic operations, added.
Additionally, Caltrans, CHP and CTA representatives took the opportunity today to remind drivers of important safe winter driving tips as many Californians take to the roads this holiday season.
As part of its ongoing efforts to improve roadway safety, and keep traffic and commerce flowing throughout the state of California, the California Highway Patrol conducts significant educational outreach to the public. “The safest driver is an educated driver, and in no place is that statement more true than in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Time and time again we encounter motorists who are ill-prepared or un-informed about the weather and driving conditions in which they find themselves. Our outreach goal and partnership with Caltrans and the California Trucking Association is to make our roadways safer, reduce collisions and most importantly keep traffic moving,” said Matt Tweed, commander with the California Highway Patrol.
Informational posters have and will be placed in the region’s state highway rest areas, more than 20,000 winter driving tips cards will be distributed to gas stations, convenience stores, vacation home rental agencies and other locations frequented by travelers. Social media also will be used to make sure travelers are prepared for winter driving conditions as they travel to and through the mountains this holiday season.