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21st century technology helps solve truckers' paperwork problems
04/19/2012
 
In an effort to develop a method of assessing the weight-mile tax that is more efficient for both truckers and state government, ODOT’s Motor Carrier Transportation Division (MCTD) has developed an application for automating the billing and collection of the weight-mile tax.
 
The application, which ODOT has named Truck Road Use Electronics (TRUE), uses a GPS-equipped smart phone to map and convert GPS coordinates to mileage totals. The application takes Oregon’s truck weight-mile tax rates or road use assessment fees and calculates what’s due for the miles traveled on Oregon roads. The automated process replaces recordkeeping paperwork while ensuring the greatest accuracy for road-use reporting.
 
“TRUE is a great example of a project that will make life easier for truckers using 21st century technology,” said Gregg Dal Ponte, ODOT MTCD Administrator. "For the first time in history, trucking fleets can now conduct their business unencumbered by record keeping requirements, and government will send them an invoice for their metered use of the highway infrastructure at the end of the month."

 TRUE is integrated with ODOT’s Oregon Trucking Online website, allowing for truck location mapping updated every five minutes, individual and summary trip details, individual vehicle and fleet summary reports, calculation of weight-mile tax paid by all heavy trucks and the road use assessment fee paid by heavy haul operators, creation of tax statements, and online payment of taxes. The latest TRUE device uses Verizon cellular service and the Android platform.
 
Haney Truck Line of Portland, which completed a pilot test with TRUE in February 2010, continues to test the device in several of its trucks. In December 2010 ODOT accepted the first paperless, fully-automated weight-mile tax report and payment for truck road use in Oregon where a company operated trucks without paper records and then electronically received and paid a billing for its metered use of the highway system. In early 2011, ODOT engaged Shaw Transport of Georgia as a new partner.
 
ODOT considers TRUE a “proof of concept” that demonstrates the efficiencies of using technology to track and pay weight mile taxes.  However, ODOT is exploring the possibility of partnering with the private sector to make this or a similar service available to the trucking industry.
 
For more information on how TRUE works, view the video on ODOT’s YouTube Channel.