January 2014

HOS ROLLBACK CALLED FOR

On November 20th, leaders of American Trucking Associations again called on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Congress to swiftly address the mounting problems caused by changes to the hours-of-service rules. “From the outset, ATA was confident the hours-of-service rule changes were based on politics, not data,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Well now we’re seeing mounting evidence that rather than solving anything, these rules are creating many problems for drivers and fleets alike.” Graves called on Congress to support the TRUE Safety Act, a bill introduced by Reps. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Michael Michaud (D-Maine) to stay the new rules until an independent review can be completed.

ARE YOU COMPLIANT?

On Jan. 30, 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration began requiring CDL holders to identify if they conduct intrastate or interstate commerce and if they hold non-excepted or excepted status. Most truckers are classified under non-excepted interstate commerce and must furnish a current medical examiner’s certificate to state agencies. Those who do not need to have a license renewal, upgrade or transfer during the two-year implementation process still must self-certify and provide the certificate, often called a DOT card, by the 1/30/2014 deadline.

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TRUCKING JOBS FOR VETERANS

A new study released in November by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommended a series of regulatory changes to further ease the transition of military personnel and veterans into much-needed civilian jobs driving commercial motor vehicles. In releasing the study, FMCSA also announced plans to implement the changes as soon as possible. Changes include:

  • Extending the period of time, from 90 days to one year, in which an active duty and recently separated veterans can take advantage of a Military Skills Test Waiver.
  • Updating federal regulations to allow over 60,000 service members trained and employed in the operation of heavy vehicles, many of which are nearly identical to civilian commercial motor vehicles, to immediately qualify for a CDL while still on active duty; and
  • Allowing a service member who is stationed in one state, but licensed in another, to obtain a CDL before being discharged.

EYES ON THE ROAD

A trucker who crashed his semi into parked emergency vehicles on an Arizona highway was looking at photos of scantily clad women on Facebook at the time of the crash, according to investigators who examined dashcam video of the incident. An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer was killed on May 6 when the trucker drove his empty fuel tanker down Interstate 8 highway at 65 miles an hour and plowed into three police cars and two fire trucks that were responding to a roadside accident. Please be careful.

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR LOAD

A new report from the logistics security services provider, FreightWatch International, shows a recorded total of 212 cargo thefts in the United States in August through September, with 76 thefts in August, 84 in September and 52 in October. The average loss value per incident during the period was $256,586. Compared with the previous three-months thefts decreased by 9%, while the average loss value increased by 58%. The electronics sector had the highest average loss value this quarter at $1,100,130. This represents a 450% increase over the last rolling quarter’s average, largely due to a pair of very high-value incidents. Clothing/shoes, which experienced 14 thefts, averaged $302,776 in losses. Pharmaceuticals followed with an average loss value of $189,481 resulting from seven high-value thefts among its reported incidents. The average loss in the alcohol/tobacco product type dropped from $347,714 to $135,497 this rolling quarter, putting it in fourth place in this tracking sector.

“Believe you can and you're halfway there." ― Theodore Roosevelt