Prepare for CVSA Brake Safety Day

CVSA has announced Brake Safety Day on September 7th, 2017. This day-long inspection blitz is replacing the annual CVSA brake safety week-long blitz.
The Level 1 37-step inspections will include a concentration on the following:
– Brake system components
– Air or hydraulic fluid leaks
– Worn linings, pads, drums, or rotors
– Other faulty brake system components

In addition to preparing by checking out brakes independently, consult with an FMCSA Qualified Brake Inspector when in doubt about your systems.

Feel free to call a DOT Consultant at CNS with any additional questions.

DOT Allocates $10M For Emergency Repairs for I-85

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued $10 million in emergency funds to the state of Georgia for repairs on the section of Interstate 85 that collapsed Thursday evening due to a fire.

A fire underneath an overpass on I-85 outside of Atlanta caused it to collapse, indefinitely closing both lanes of the major corridor. Through-trucks are required to use the I-285 bypass regardless, but now the state is diverting car traffic from I-85 to I-285, which could cause greater congestion on the bypass route.

The DOT has stated that the $10 million in “quick release”funding will be used to restore emergency access and to initiate the most critical repairs to the damaged roadways and bridges in the next few weeks.

Mentorship to Encourage Millennial Drivers in Your Company

In 2015, the American Trucking Association estimated that 890,000 new commercial truck drivers would be needed by 2025 to meet the rising freight demands. Currently, based on data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Baby Boomers” (ages 45-65) compose 49.4% of the drivers on the road, while “Millennials” (ages 21-34) make up less than 16%.

Why the shortage? What is inhibiting Millennials from pursuing a career on the road?
Several reasons are speculated by transportation industry professionals:
– An increase in load rates is needed to keep pace with the cost of living, or restructuring of way drivers are compensated. For Example, changing pay structures to hourly wages rather than a rate per mile.
– CDL holders must be 21 year of age or older for interstate travel. The increasing trend of post-high school young adults taking a “gap year” or two years before pursuing college or secondary education has allowed the transportation industry an opportunity that is squandered by federal regulation on interstate travel.
– Young drivers (under age 25) are costly to insure for trucking companies, and not desirable candidates for employment because of the financial burden they present.
And lastly:-
– Millennials do not view life on the road as attractive, exciting, or glamorous. Long haul opportunities are viewed as isolating and restrictive. Many are also unfamiliar with the complex regulations imposed by the FMCSA, and inexperienced with balancing communication between job requirements, company dispatchers, safety managers, and customers.

How can trucking companies better accommodate the needs of Millennials in the workplace, or on the road? Aside from the suggestion of pay increase or restructure, the impression of the isolated trucker must be addressed and reformed.
Like any industry, training is vital to a secure and enjoyable career. Although drivers are given adequate training on physically driving and maneuvering a truck, filling out a log book or operating e-log system, and communicating with a dispatcher.
A suggestion by our own president and CEO at Compliance Navigation Specialists is simply- “Mentorship”. At CNS, our consultants can guide you through the complex federal regulations and set you up for success in the trucking industry as an owner operator. However, the solitude of the road can be daunting. Having someone to talk to can make a big difference in your success.
“Mentorship programs at larger carriers, Swift for example, have proven effective at forging a relationship between an inexperienced driver and a veteran driver. In addition to knowledge gained by the inexperienced driver with a new CDL, it furthers the sense of community within the trucking industry.”
“A growing presence of young or inexperienced drivers, as well as driver’s spouses or families on social media proves that a sense of community is desired. It is time that companies follow suit to fulfill the benefit of inter-generational mentorships.”

June 6-8, 2017 Roadcheck

 

The annual International Roadcheck inspection blitz, put on by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, is set for June 6-8, 2017 according, to CVSA’s website.
The CVSA blitz is undertaken by inspectors throughout North America. It is an annual 72-hour event when inspectors perform a very high number of inspections on commercial vehicles, to “conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives.”
While the CVSA has yet to announce the event formally, or what the inspectors will be focusing on, the dates have been published on it’s website. Tire Safety, as well as traditional Level 1 inspections, were the focus of last year’s event.
During last year’s event, there was a total of 62,796 inspections conducted. Of the 62,796 inspections performed, 42,236 of them were Level 1 inspections. A total of 9,080 trucks and 1,436 drivers were placed out of service during the blitz. The highest number of out-of-service violations for trucks was due to brakes. While the highest number of out-of-service violations for drivers was due to hours-of-service violations.

34-hour Restart

 

A new study’s results have confirmed that truckers’ 34-hour restarts will no longer require two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods and will not be limited to only once per week.

While the study has not been made public, the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General has issued a letter confirming the conclusions of the report. To comply with a directive from Congress, the results from the study mandate for the removal of both the 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. regulation and the once a week limit.

The 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. requirement and the once-weekly limit have been suspended since December of 2014, awaiting the results of the U.S. DOT’s study. As stated, by an OIG update issued last week, the provisions did not enhance safety, at least to a degree to justify them. The study found that truckers who did adhere to the 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. restart, did not operate any safer than truckers who did not abide by those rules.

A spokesperson from the DOT says the department is in the “final stages of reviewing the study” before they will be required to submit a final report to Congress. On Thursday, the DOT’s OIG, sent a letter signing off on the DOT study to Congress, saying that they were, in agreement with the report’s findings and that the DOT adhered to Congress’ directives in completing the research.

The study was conducted by the FMCSA, along with Virginia Tech, and included more than 200 drivers who were studied for the DOT report. The drivers were split into two groups, one group following the 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. rule, the other group was given the option to use the restart whenever they wanted.

In July 2013, the more restrictive hours-of-service rules went into effect, receiving criticism from drivers and companies from all over the country for keeping drivers from returning to duty until 5 a.m. after a restart, even if the restart had consisted of a full 34 hours.

Main proponents against the new regulations, said that it forced more drivers into rush hour traffic, which then caused more safety and operational concerns. They also stated that the rules were put into effect by FMCSA with no scientific evidence to back up the restrictions.

In December of 2014, Congress cleared legislation to put the regulations on hold while requiring the FMCSA to perform the 34-hour restart study. Congress stated for the 2013 rules to go back into effect, the study must show significant safety and health benefits operating under the 2013 rules.

New OOS-Criteria Handbook

On April 1, 2017, new and updated out-of-service criteria will go into effect for commercial motor vehicles. The new and updated criteria have been put together by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance of Law Enforcement and Industry. A new edition of the OOS-criteria handbook, which contains all the new and updated criteria, is now available for $35 for CVSA members, and $45 for non-members.

There have been few significant changes made in the last few years, however new out-of-service conditions related to the up and coming electronic log mandate that goes into effect December 18, 2017 are included. Quite a few clarifications have also been added to help remove confusion regarding certain OOS violations, along with changes to out-of-service conditions related to Inactive U.S. DOT numbers.

The Transition to E-Logging Is Coming

Are you prepared to switch from paper log books to an electronic logging device?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will soon require all carriers to install some type of electronic on-board monitoring device in vehicles to track vehicle status and how many hours a driver has been on the road. The trucking industry has been using the same system–paper log books—since 1938, but with the rise of technology and capabilities, the switch to GPS logging could significantly improve highway safety by preventing driver fatigue. It also will give companies a more accurate view of what is actually happening with their drivers.

On June 23, 2015, the transportation subcommittee of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee passed a bill that will set specific date by which the FMCSA must publish the final version of the Electronic Device Mandate. It is believed that the ELDM could come as early as the second half of 2016. Check back here for updates on that date.

The FMCSA Electronic Device Mandate has four basic parts:

  • The requirement to use ELDs in place of paper log books
  • Protections against driver harassment
  • Hardware specifications for the devices
  • Hours-of-service related supporting documents drivers must continue to carry after the mandate

Electronic GPS/logging devices are revolutionizing the way large motor carriers transport goods, collect data and communicate in real-time. They can assure that products arrive on time, operators are less fatigued and our roadways are safer for everyone. It won’t be long before these multi-purpose GPS monitoring units are installed in every truck in America.

Many fleet companies are already installing in-cab electronic systems in all of their vehicles. That’s because the devices track driving hours, fuel efficiency factors, location and critical events like hard braking and the activation of trailers’ roll stability controls. All of that is communicated in real time to the company, by satellite or cell tower, and can be used to make decisions en route.

We have already heard testimonies of how the devices have helped fleet companies reduce deadheading (trailers traveling empty between unloading and reloading) and increase fuel efficiency improvements as much as a tenth of a mile per gallon per year.

Although big trucking companies are eagerly adopting data strategies in their business models, smaller carriers have been less enthusiastic. There’s no reason to fear the future. Our compliance partner, CNS—Compliance Navigation Specialists, can help you understand how to manage the transition from paper logs to e-logging. Contact a specialist today with your questions.