Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982

% + \ , *< 3' " ' - 5 7 .- r sZ .% = ? -- - -\% A ", . % ? s ," +'1 * Congressional Research Service r, I The Library of Congress ,\ Washington, D.C. 20540 [SURFACE TRANS~ORTATION ASSISTANCE ACT OF 19821 ARTICLES TO ACCOIQM 1 ~ 0 2 4 1 ~ Articles reproduced by the Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, with permission of the copyright claimants. COMPLIMENTS O F Gene Snyder . progrm. Sen. Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who also voted aye, received $1,000 from ATA in 1979 and 1980, but was not up for nelectjno b t year and got nothing. On the other hand, Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.W. the Senate minority lender, who voted againat the highway bill and tax incmm. got $9.040, more than m y other senator. It w u no lerret rt the time of the laat c o n p i o n a l campaign that trucking h e a were likely to be discussed by the new C o n g r e ~What s u r p r i i the ATA was the fact that the aubjjat came up during the lame-duck m i o n of the old Cangrem when longdormant highway legislation Look on the aura of r j o b 'I juut think this jloar by the ATA] is an aberration due to fact there wcu a tremendous push for r johe bill and a huge highway and transit bill.' Howard said. 'It dl got ial Hill wnund up in ita o m momenlum.' '&I what did it buy? The highway tar ~d construction I'm not aa naive to Mieve that pqlitkal contributions do any more bill, signed thu week by President thnn give you an oppnrtunity to sit Reagan, would bump the heavy vedown with the congrmman or h L hicle uner fees on 18-wheelenfrom a p m members and explain your po- maximum of $240 r year lo a maximum of $1.900 by 1988 i f allowed to s~tion,"said liennett C. Whitlock Jr., take full effect. prcsideut of the A'I'A. That, 'the truckers my. would be Rep. James J. Howard (D.N.J.), clPiiman of the Houne Public W o r b confwatory, and this time they MY Committoe, which mote all but the .they do not intend to br bushLar &ion of the lioum vemion d whacked i n a rhort h e - d u c k amlhe highway bill. w i v e d $6,000 nion where they have no tima to mofrom ATA's PAC in the last two bilize end fight. I h t the lame duck wan not r totrl yew according to Federal Election IUR~ fnr the trucken. 'hnnidering Commiaaion recnrds. the odds.' mid Whitlock i n an interHe neverlholenn voted for the bill. Including the taxes, on every m a - view this week, "Ifeel we did a fairly hion ilcame up i n the liouue. decent jnb la far u the llill m mnSO did Rep. Dan htenkowski cerned." (D-IH.), chairman of Wnys and The ~rnnspnrtationI)elmrtment, Meann, who received $2.020 from afler computing how much damage 4TA. various kinds of vehicles do b high- Americab truckers, one of the best-fiianced and strongest interest groqps on Cepitd Hill, are already p& Cangrese for relief frnm the mapr tax increase on heavy trucb voted laat month dong with the increase in the federal gasoline tar. Early betting is that the trucken may nucceed. at least partially. 'Evsry congreeamnn i n the cnuntry ham at leest one trucking company in h u dbtrict or has a commodity that noods to be hauled by a trucker.' r ~ngreclsional slalf member said. y p y can touch everyone.' The American Trucking Asaocia f i o ~ ~political ' action committee @@id. out $286,566 to 398 umngresa i o d d i d a t a e during the b t anysign. More than one-filth d . h t to(al-459,860-was given lo mimben of the 141me Waya and Mearu and Senate Fbmce committtec+ the tax-writing bodiw 04 Cap- rmsunwnut By Douglas B. Feaver Increase in User Fees Riding Hill to Ease 1984. I t will be fours yean after that before the tax reaches the $1,900 maximum. What was gained in that prwas not only a reduction from the administration's goal, but also a substanlid amnnnt of time before the tax lnkes effect. Thnt time, justified on Capitol Hill as needed to help the ailing industry thrnugh hard times, gives the ATA end its allies I 8 months to . work out a better deal.. The ATA's goal in the new Congrew, Whitlock mid, will be to reduce the tax at least to a maximum of $t.MO per 18-wheeler. "I've got to Innk at the 96-1 vote and figure thnt in a blace to start." Whitlock yuid. He agreed ha^ the t w k & a will have to give up rome- Tramportation Department's formuthing, i n exchange for liberdizcd b are dl wet. and he hss been tryweight and width limita th6y also ing to prove that to Congrees. I n yean past, Lha ATA annually received in the new highway IlgisI held a dinner party at which hunLetion. Thb Trmportation Department d r e d of trucking executives would mys that trucks do 33 percent o{ the come to visit their reprwntativm 'It wan the bent dinner," s i d highway damage. Under current tax r a h they pay 25.1 percent of the Howard. There were no specha" federal cust of building and repairing .One year the cherries jubilee were highways. Under the new tax pack- delivered in small semi-treiler trucks age, which mumen a much higher carved from ice and equipped with battery-poweredheadlighb. level of federal highway spending, The ATA hasn't held that party they would pay 27.7 percent. Whitlnck'a $1,200 maximum for several yeare. "Che m t was enormous," said Whitlnck. He paused. wmdd lenve them paying 24 6 percent, or 1e.w than the current per- 'h.layhe wc ahculd do i t agein," he cenlage when applied against 1985 said, winking. St"// researcher Corin lfott conhighway needs. Whitlock mid, i n effect, that the tributed to thrs r r w r l . weya and concluding that trucks were not peying their ehare, initially proposed increasing the heavy trurk lax to $2.900 annually, to take effect April 1, the same day the new gssoline tax will take hold. Dy the time the administration bill left the O I f i b f Management and Oudget the tax we4 down l o $2.700. When i t left the llouve Ways and Means Committee i t wss $2.000, but would phase in over three years. When it 161 the Senale Finance Committee it wan $ l.6OO. to phase in over six yearn. The Senate, hy a 96bl vote. cut i t to $1.200. The tinuse-Senate ronference apeemenl, which hrnme Inw, pushed the lax bnck to $I.IMO, hut the first penny w ~ l lnot be collected until July I. effective a strike would be, how many trucken acutalfy pledge fealty The Independent Trucken Asro- to the ITA and precisely which d ciation, which r e p m n b an un- many I T A demand. Coryeer would known number of (Ncken with a l i t ham to meet to avoid or end r of demands ranging from repeal of rtrike. He id them us about the 66 mph rpeed limit to a ban on 100,000 independent trucken and atate trucking taxes, yesterday d l e d that they tramport 80 to 80 penant for a nationwide truck #trike begtn- of the f w d wwed by truck. The I T A hea heen mrcmaoful In ning Jan. 31. Mike Pnrkhuraf president of h the pant in disrupting the nationl I T A and editor and publisher d tramporlation ayetern, parlicularly Ovsrdriw, r trucking magazine h a t when striking to obtain relief from r a p the $2.60 i t mtr in the 'price I$ fuel shortages No ITA ntrike atLNth," mid at r well-attended new tempt has been completely nuawnconference that the atrike "will k t ful. however. M many indspendenb have continued to nperate. m lory u Congress wm(s i t to." Parkhunt's strike all t not aupThe primary target of the walkout appean to be the 6-cent-a-gallon ported by the American Trucking Amiationa, which repneenb gaeolina ud died fuel tax rise. 10.000 to 15.000 buck f i r m lmcdultd to go into effect April I. Federal officials familiar with the and large lncreascs i n bucking tares trucking industry mid yesterday Lhst Congnm p d i n the reccnt h e - ' they ere monitoring the situation duck session to finance highway cod- and taking it wriouely, but that they #(suction and impmvemenb i n masr expect many truckem to continue h i t . Parkhunt's literature ullr working if they can find work. The the act "the truck bankruptcy bill." trucking businem, like many others. P u k h u n t continually provided has been n r i w s l y affected by the non-mwen lo questions about how temaion By W ~ hh lgz lua~R sw~ B. .UFeaver .IIW ~ B W I~lclepe~lclent Association Urges Nationwide Strike R i g Shulduwn Set Jan. 3I As much as 5 percent of traffic will switch from rail to truck as a result of new legislation on gas taxes and heavy trucks. That is the conclusion reached by Booz Allen Hamilton analysts who studied the issue and found that most of the traffic being diverted would be low margin merchandise traffic. Hugh Randall, vice president of the firm, and Dr. Paul Roberts, a principal, said in an interview that they felt there would be some net effect on railroads, but that the reduction in profits would not be large. Six railroads recently -requested a study of the effect of the heavy truck tax increases and the nickel-a-gallon hike in fuel taxes. While that study was not made public, Dr. Roberts and Mr. Randall did discuss some of the issues which relate to the question. They declined to release more specific statistical material, though they said that as much as 50 percent of the traffic currently moving by rail is susceptible to diversion to trucking. They noted that "a substantial portion" of truck traffic also could be attracted to rails, though they declined to cite' a specific percentage saying that there is wide disagreement about the precise amount. They said that competition was stiffest for merchandise traffic such as manufactured goods moving in trailerload sizes by piggyback or truck. The stiff competition has forced prices down to a paper-thin margin, Mr. Randall noted. The new regulations will affect that type of traffic substantially, said Mr. Randall. As much as 20 percent Journal of Cmrncrce SIaH By RlPLEY WATSON 3RD of the merchandise traffic could use the higher cubic foot capacity granted by the new laws before reaching the weight limit, he said. But Mr. Randall said that there was almost an anomaly now because carriers might actually benefit by losing some traffic being carried at little or no profit. The analysts pointed out that a number of .factors are affecting the marketplace, changing the nature of shipments and forcing a change in the traffic patterns. Among the new factors c!ted were changing regulatory responsibility, overcapacity, state of the infrastructure and new philosophies on inventory management. Dr. ' ~ o b e r t ssaid that one little noted aspect of the new climate was the fact that Congress has taken the powers to regulate sizes and weights for itself, leaving other agencies out of the picture. He suggested that this could lead to faster and less publicized changes in regulations, noting that the 1974 legislation which increased allowable weights in response .to the Arab oil embargo was done a s a rider to another bill. Mr. Randall termed the new arrangement a sort of "anti-New Federalism." Other impacts were seen in possible increases in state taxes and levels of enforcement of the new weights by financially pressed states. Dr. Roberts suggested that the movement toward heavier trucks has not ended and that the possible outcome of that issue could be adoption of the federal bridge formula to determine the permissible maximum weights. This would increase the weight currently set at 80,000 pounds to at least 107,000 pounds. "There's a real possibility that the weights will be jacked up again," Dr. Roberts said. At those levels, Booz officials feel that railroads would be especially vulnerable because much of their traffic base traditionally has been bulk commodities which cannot be carried on highways. One problem the truckers face in taking advantage of any higher weight limits is the lack of capital to replenish their fleets, Mr. Randall noted. Dr. Roberts predicted fleets wouldn't be replenished until new capacity was needed. "Overcapacity is rampant," he said. That would work in favor of the railroads since the truckers couldn't take advantage of the new limits they have advocated for years. For that reason, he said, the trucking industry would benefit more from a slower economic upturn which would give them more time to accumulate captial to use for new trucks. On the other hand, a fast economic upturn will benefit the railroads because truckers wouldn't have enough time to re-equip their fleets. Another factor which the railroads They declined to release more specific statistical material, though they said that as much as 50 percent of the traffic currently moving by rail is susceptible to diversion to truckin8. have on their side is the nature of the condition of the highways and rail facilities. "The infrastructure is falling apart," Mr. Randall said. Both men noted that the $4.4 billion program to rehuild the roads wouldn't be sufficient to restore the roads to top condition. Mr. Randall called it a "finger in the dike." In contrast, all but one major railroad has tracks which are in better condition than they have been in years. Railroads have parked vehicles in good condition while trucks have been wearing out slowly competing for available loads, Mr. Randall said. The Booz officials agreed with railroad marketing officials who saw the long-range dangers to piggyback traffic in the building of larger trucks that won't fit on the current genetation of flatcars. Dr. Roberts said one major result of the economic depression while interest rates were high was the seemingly permanent drop in inventory levels. Those levels, he said, were first drawn down in response to high interest rates, but inventory levels haven't risen as carrying costs dropped. One reason for that situation is the increasing acceptance of the "Kanban" theory which calls for inventory levels to be dropped drastically and tied closely to production. The low levels of inventory have changed the marketplace because traffic managers are choosing to make smaller shipments rather than larger ones which tend to increase inventory, Dr. Roberts said. That has favored truckers who are more adept at the less than trailerload movements, he said. New Truck Laws Mav Cut Rai1,Trade 5% 5 Nation's Citia Weekly lvuy 3,1983 P ~4J How gas tax bill impacts on transportation As adopted by Congress, the gas tax bill, H.R. 621 1 will provide nearly $71 billion for surface transportation. needs for the remainder of this decade. The bill not only increases federal gas taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels to increase revenues to the federal highway trust fund, but also r e a u t h o d the federal surface transportation legislation. All urban highway programs had expired Dec. 17 when the stopgap 90-day bill passed in October ended. H.R. 621 1 includes 4 major sections: highway, public transportation, commerce, and tax. Outlined below are the items pertinent to cities in each of these sections. Anyone with questions should contact Frank Shafroth in the Office of . Federal Relations at (202) 626-3020. "The Highway Improvement Act of 1982." This title reauthorizes the federal highway programs, including the urban and secondary which expired Dec. 17. As agreed to, the title provides $4 billion a year for interstate construction with each state guaranteed at least one-half of 1 percent. The bill dramatically increases funding for the so-called 4 R program-to reconstruct, rehabilitate, resurface, and repair €he interstaw $-tern-from the current level of $800 nnllion to $1.9 Mffion this year and to over $3 billion by FY 1986. - Funds for the bridge replace~entand rehabilitation programs increase from the current level of $900 million to $1.3 billion this year to $1.8 billion in FY 1986. There are currently over 200,000.bridges in the country in need of rehabilitation; Funding for state primary highways would also significantly increase and the allocation system was significantly qhanged. Funding would increase from fhe current level of $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion this year and $2.4 biiion by FY 1986. The House had proposed to change the existing apportionment based upon area, rural population, mileage of postal routes, and urban population to a new foq~ulabased one-half on rural population and one-half on urban population. The Senate insisted upon retaining the current provisions. To compromise, the Congress agreed to use a CDBG-the formula, where each state will receive the greater amount between the Senate or the House formula, but adjusted to reflect a hold-harmless provision, a minimum allocation, and the reduction to 100 percent of the authorization. There is no increase from the current funding level for the urban FAUS p m gram; however, the federal match will kmain at 75 percent, rather than 50 percent as originally recommended by the Senate. There is an increase for the secondary program to $633 million a year. The Conference Report rejected the House proposed changes in the Highway. Beautification Act which NLC opposed., The bill would have expanded the rights of the billboard industry at the expense of cities. The highway title contains an amendment to guarantee that no state recei,ves less than 85 percent of each d o k it puts into the Trust Fund. In Chart this adjustment is reflected in the column second from the end. The highway title also includes a provision to require that at least 40 percent of primary, secondary, and urban systems funds be spent on repair. Finally, the highway title contains a compromise reflecting fiscal concerns of a number of states-a temporary matching fund waiver. Under this provision, the federal match may be as high as 100 percent when a state highway department so requests, subject to repayment of the state-local match by Sept. 30, 1984. This amendment was agreed to in order to permit constmction to p m in these states which would be unable to meet match requirements due to current state fiscal problems. As adopted, the estimated apportionments for each state for the highway program would be as shown in accompanying chart. "Federal Public Transportation Act of 1982" The public transportation portion of the bill re; .horizes the public transportation program for 4 years, adding on $779 million in new funds from the federal Highway Trust Fund gas tax revenues in the current fiscal year, and up to $1. l billion in the subsequent years. This title creates a new unified grant to allocate capital and operating assistance, and distributes the funds to all cities over 200,000 in size by a new formula based upon service factors. The bill reduces operating assistance in the current fiscal year from the FY'82 level by 15 percent for cities over 1 million, 10 percent for cities between 200,000 and 1million, and 5 percent for cities between 50,000 and 200,000. The Section 18 program for small cities increases from the current level to approxjmately $88 million o v a the four years of the authorization. Operating bbtanct Efforts to phase out federal operating assistance or to reduce it annually over the period of the legislation failed. As adopted, the bill wodd retain the current section 5 program for the m i n d e r of fixal year 1983, before phasing in the new seaion 9 unified grant in FY'84. Under the provisions of this legislation, cities of more than 1 million would be permitted to use up to 85 percent of their FY'82 operating assistance in each of the years 1983-1986; cities of between 200,000-1,000,000 would be permitted to use 90 percent; cities between 40,000200,000 would be permitted 95 percent. Because in many instances the levels of operating assistance made available through the FY'83 appropriations will be less than the amount cities are permitted, the legislation would permit cities to use the section 5 bus funds (Tier N) for operating assistance. The bill also includes a waiver provision, permitting cities to use higher levels for FYI83 and FY'84. In these years, any city is permitted to transfer capital money for.operatbg assistance up to the operating level .received in FY'1982. In order to utilize the waiver provision, a city is required to: (A) certify it has provided public notice and opportunity for comment, (B) certify it has developed a 3 year plan to assure compliance with the reduced federal operating levels by FY'l985, and (C) remit one-third of the transferred , amount to the U.S. Transportation Secff tary, where it shall be deposited in the capital discretionary fund. The federal match for operating remains at 50 percent. Capital AUocations This year, a separate public transportation capital grant will be distributed to all cities b a d u p o n a new service based formula. For bus cities over 200,000, the formula will be 50 percent population/ population density, and 50 p e m t bus revenue vehicle miles. For rail cities, the formula will be 60 percent fixed guideway revenue vehide miles and 40 percent fixed guideway route d m .These grants may be used for capital purposes only, including new starts. The federal share will be 80 percent. The current discretionary grant program will be funded at a lwel of $1.6 billion for FY'83. The federal match will be 75 percent. Unified Transit Grants Commencing in FY'1984, the current section 5 operating assistance program will disappear to be replaced by a cornbined capital-operating grant formula. The formula allocations will be based upon the factors related in the previous paragraph, except that there will be a 4 percent set aside for rail productivity and a 9 pertent set aside for bus produ&vity. These productivity formulas will be based upon the &ber of passenger miles traveled multiplied by the number of passenger miles & v e l d for each dollar of operating cost. Under the unified grant, ati& will only be permitted to w a portion for operating assistance, as explained above. The remainder must be used for capital with an 80 percent federal share. The waiver provisions allowing some capital to be used for operating assistance will apply in N 1983-84. The capital may be used for new starts. Discretionary Capital Grmb The &xisting discretionary capital grant program will remain. It will, however, shrink as it becomes an allocation from the penny for transit from the Federal Highway Trust Fund Also, the current federal match for discretionary grants will change from 80 percent to 75 per- cent. Commerce This section of the bill prohibits any state from establishing or &forcing any truck length regulation of less than 48 feet for a single trailer or 28 feet per trailer for a double. It is similar to another provision in the bill prohibiting the allocation of any federal surface transportatian funds to a state which does not permit truck weighing up to 80,000 pounds. The bill permits the heavy trucks on interstate highways, but provides the Secretary of Transportation authority to designate portions of state primary high-, ways for the truck length preemption. In each case, states are prohibited from en- acting or enforcing any law denying reasonable access to these trucks from "terminals, facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest, and points of loading and unloading for household goods caniers." This section of the biU gives the tary of Transportation authority to set insurance requirements for motor camem. ADAP The commerce portion of the bill also accelerates increases in the airport development grant program by taking $225million authorized for 1986 and 1987 and authorizing them for 1983 and 1984. The new funds are to k expended for projects involving construction, reconstruction, or repair work commenced after enactment. The secretary is directed to give preference to projects which hcrease airport safety or capcity. "Highway Revenue A d of 1982" This portion of the legislation autho-. rizes an increase in the federal gasoline tax from 4 to 9 cents effective April 1, 1983. Similar increases are provided for the taxes on diesel fuel, special motor fuels, and motorboat fuels. Present iaw exemptions for buses, local and state governments, nonprofit educational institutions, and fanning w e are retained. Taxicabs are provided a 4 cent exemption through Sept. 30, 1984, and the conditions through which the exemption is granted is broadened to include cities where ride-sharing is prohibited by local law. Truck-related taxes The 10 percent tax on trucks and trail: ers whose gross vehicle weighi exceeds 10,000 pounds is increased to 12 percent, and the weight thresholds are increased to 33,000 pounds for trucks and 26,000 pounds for trailers. The tax is convmed from a manufacturer into a retail tan Roadtrailer trailers are exempt from the tax. The present law tax on truck parls is repealed. These provisions are effective on April 1,1983, for tax increases and on Dec. 2, 1982, for tax reductions. Heavy vehide ast The heavy vetude use tax is converted to a graduated tax effective July 1, 1984. The maximum tax is increased to $1,600 on July 1, 1984, $1,700 on July 1, 1986, $1,800 on July 1, 1987, and $1,900 on July 1, 1988. There is a one-year delay of this phase-in for Beets with 5 or fewer trucks. If a truck is retired from service during the year because of accident or theft, the use tax will be refunded on a pro rata basis. There is also an exemption for bucks *used on highways for 5,000 miles or less. Sod4 Secvitp At3 provhions ;The bill adds tertain types o f mbgy assistance provided to AFDC and SSI recipients to items of income not m t e d as income for purposes of determining benefits under these programs. Unemployment compensation The bill provides from 2 to 6 wwks of supplemental unemployment compensation. 0 lway improvement 3JN 2JY3 1.m U'3 11% 2.479 % m &nl ssn w UU Lrn 6.W s n 9 Ulo w w un L.nl M Lltl 5.031 2725 4951 LW 1w Mt 152 LIY 1.355 136 Ult un 1.914 U31 2 x 1 U I Sn us 229 =, u141 1.819 nc Sf23 3.4U IJm 4.W 1.m .r36 1&301 100 W 521.131 Source-Congressional Public transportation (in millions) FY' 1983 Highway Trust Fund Revenuer Dkretiorury Grants 75% federal Shue . U n i f d Grants Cities &tween M.000-m,wa 'Bus Cities m . ~ l ~ p o o Over lP00pa0 Bus Productivity Rail Cities Rail Prodoctivhy Interstate Substitutions $ 779 FY' 1% FY' 1986 $1,100 10¶7l.YJl Record p . ~,-B$ l - wmes. But there appears to be Wde support for some sort of action. in- 1974 and 1979. while dramatizing their opposition to sharp Increases in the price of fuel. the independents demonstrated their strength, tying up truck stops. expressway entrances m d secondary roads throughout the country. Sometlmes their actlvitlcs were accompanied by violence. "I've never seen things a s bad as thls," said Edward V. Klley. senior vice president of the American Truckhg Assoclatlons, the industry's m a h - Once again, troubles are piling up for the trucking industry. Towage and revenues are down because of the recession. Scores of truckers. caught in rate wars following deregulation of the industry, have gone bankrupt. Washington has just imposed a new series of tax increases on truck fuel. truck parts, truck use and truck sales. And once again, as they did twice in the last decade, the nation's 100.000 independent truckers who haul 90 percent of the nation's fresh food and half of its steel -are threatening tostrike. This time their aim is to persuade Congress to provide some relief from the new taxes. The stoppage is scheduled next Monday. No one knows how many of the indo pendents-drivers whoown their own tractors but generally haul trallen provided by someone else will heed the strike call or how many other drivers will honor the stoppage If It By WtLLlAM SERRIN Tax-Protest Strike Nears - trade organization. And many truc) drivers agree. "All the drivers a n saying, 'I hope we go on strike.' " saic Willie Bell, a trucker from Washington who was driving a load of clothing to Atlanta. Of most immediate concern to truckers Is the law imposing the new taxes. Slgr~edby President Reagan on Jan. 6. it is expected to raise more than fJ billion a year to help rebuild the nation's highways, bridges and mass transportation. The Government considers the law an employment act through which perhaps 320,000 Jobs will be cnated. Transportation Secretary Drew Lewis, who is urging the truckers not to strike, says the tax Increases are equitable. Indeed, he and other Administration officials assert that heavy trucks have never paid a proper share of highway maintenance and that only now, with the new taxes, will that imbalance begin to be righted. But the Industry complains that the tax increases are excessive. Michael Parkhurst, president of the Independent Truckers Association and editor of Overdrive, a trucking magazine, says the new law will mean unemployment for many truckers, particularly among the independents. who pay their own fuel costs and taxes. "They slipped it through as slick as grease." he said. Yet the new law, which will raise fuel taxes beginning April 1 and phase in the other tax increases over five years, is only one of many problems facing the trucking industry. Trucks haul a major portion of the nation's goods and constitute a bulwark of the economy. The recession has dramatically reduced tonnage and revenues for the trucking industry. According to Richard Staley, senior economist with the A.T.A.. the industry is operating 30 to 40 percent over capacity there are about a third more carriers than buslness will sustain. - c m i e r s have gone bankrupt since deregulation. and a lot of others are on the brink. The union says tens of thousands of truck drivers a r e out of work, with unemployment in the industry now exceedin Ipercent. Mr. %ley ofthe American TrucW kwciations says one major problem for the industry is the way the I.C.C. observes the deregulation law. He said the agency almost automatically certifies new companies and Is creating "excess capacity" even though the law. he added, stipulates that companies should not be certified If it a p pears they will engage In predatory activities. including extensive ratecutting. "Congress dldn't say, 'complete dog eat dog,' " Mr. free market Kiley said. "The I.C.C. Is acting as If It did." He also said that in the first nine months of 1982 (the latest period for which information is available) tonnage was down about 10 percent, mileage was down somewhat less and revenues were down about 6 pt?rcent. "We n m ' t making m y money," Mr. Staley said. M o w e r , deregulatloh. which went Into effect in July 1980 as an effort to increase competition, has brought a big increase in the number of trucking companies. It has also brought what the indust and the International B r o t h e r h Jof Teamsters, the principal trucking union, say is ratecuttin reminiscent of the rate wars that le! to regulation in 1935. Mnny companies have refused tosign the National M a s ter Freight Agreement, the Industry's primary labor contract. According to the Interstate Commerce Commission. more than 8.000 new trucking wmpanles have been chartered since deregulation. The industry says more than 200 regulated Hard Times 'for TruckersQ New York Times 1-27-83 I Talks Wlth Union Requested Facing such far-reaching industry problems, Arthur H. Bunte Jr., president of Trucking Manngement Inc., the bargainhg 3rm of the unionized trucking Industry, has asked the teamsters' union to discuss what he called adjustment9 to the master agreement. The union granted the industry significant concessions in 1982, the first time the agreement had been reopened since it was established by James R. Hofla. then the union's The teamsters' genpresident. in 1W. eral executive board, nt a meeting In Florida yesterday, dlccussed the industry's Intest request but m c h d no decision. The mee(ing is to resume today. The sltuatlon Is complicated because the union farm dilficultl~sof its own. Roy L. Williams. president of the teamsters, accepted last year's changes In the master freight agreement, which covers some 300 wmpanies, without mn or objectloms from union members. ut subsequent concessions for United Parcel Service ran Into strong opposition. If Mr. Wllllams were to agree to more trucklng concessions now, he might find his s u p port within the union weakened. The call for a strike by independent truckers waq issued by Mr. Parkhurst of the Independent Truckers Association, which claims a membership of 30.000. He served a s a leader during the two previous trucker walkouts Although the 1979 strike cost his organization 5200,000, he declares that such actions are the only way to gain national attention. - - - Organlzatlons*Vlews Differ The American Trucking Associatlons has supported a fuel tax increase. saying that t h nation's ~ roads desperately need money for repairs. and is not endorsing Mr. Parkhunt's strike call. But Mr. Kiley of the A.T.A., which includes many large companies, said it sympathizes with the independent truckers. Mr. Kiley said his organization believes the best way to change the law is through legislative pressure. Mr. Parkhurst, while urging mcmbers of Congress to revise the tax-increase law. says a strike threat and perhaps a strike is necessary to get Congress to act. "We tried gentlernanly, civilized behavior." he sald. "and look where that got us." Some membersol Congress have already said the law does impose excessive burdens on the trucking Industry and have promised to seek amendmenls. Some drivers say they will act with caution if the strike occurs next week. "We'll have to do like we did last kind of see how It's going." time said Max Smith, who was hauling can from North Carolinia to Maryland. He plans todo whatever his boss tells him to do. he added. Others seem more militant. W.C. McKean, a trucker. from Auburn, Me.. noting the roughand-tumble Image sometimes associated wilh truckers, declared: "People seem to thhk we're not much good for anything. If we shut this country down fora few days. they'll know better." '70 '74.. '00 'Prolscllon '0s ' - 850 Source. Standard and Poora. Amerlcm ' 7 1 '74 I Intercity freight hauled by truck. In billlons of ton-rnlles.