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Ask The Trucker

22
Nov
Truck Driver Pay

Truck Dri­ver Pay

Pro­fes­sional CDL truck dri­vers have seen many changes over the past sev­eral years which have had a direct effect on their job abil­i­ties. From seem­ingly small changes such as the abol­ished use of cell phones rul­ing in 2011 to the larger Com­pli­ance, Safety and Account­abil­ity (CSA) pro­gram, exten­sive reg­u­la­tory imple­men­ta­tions con­tinue to drive a large num­ber of skilled, expe­ri­enced truck dri­vers away from the vocation.

Many vet­eran dri­vers are ready to explain that the main rea­son they have cho­sen to leave their truck­ing career is due to the restric­tions that these reg­u­la­tions place on them, pre­vent­ing the oppor­tu­nity to earn a liv­able wage. Indus­try pro­fes­sion­als also voice their dis­cern­ment over the effect that these grow­ing reg­u­la­tions con­tinue to sti­fle the indus­try as a whole, lead­ing to the ever-continual truck dri­ver shortage.

A large major­ity of pro­fes­sional truck dri­vers will agree that a sim­ple solu­tion to any such dri­ver short­age would be to: “Focus on increas­ing dri­ver pay, develop and imple­ment cdl train­ing stan­dards for new dri­ver entrants, either through fed­eral or a state-to-state action, and to stop push­ing dri­vers to vio­late fed­eral regulations.”

How­ever, prob­lems faced by dri­vers on a reg­u­lar basis, far exceed the three issues stated above:

  • Beyond the CSA and train­ing stan­dards, dri­vers are pushed to their lim­its via the Hours of Ser­vice (HOS) rules
  • In par­tic­u­lar areas across the coun­try, the abil­ity to find a safe and secure place to park is not only prob­lem­atic, but often life threatening
  • The soon-to-be rul­ing on the Elec­tronic Log­ging Device (ELD’s) man­date which many dri­vers con­sider an inva­sive and harass­ing tool
  • The lifestyle which for many, result in poor dri­ver health issues
  • The fight against the truck dri­ver DAC report, used by many com­pa­nies as a retal­i­a­tion tool against drivers
  • The treat­ment of dri­vers by the ship­pers and receivers
  • The long peri­ods of time away from home and family
  • The uneth­i­cal recruit­ing tac­tics by many motor carriers

A list per­tain­ing to the strug­gles and sac­ri­fices faced by the pro­fes­sional truck dri­ver is seem­ingly end­less. While the idea is raised that increas­ing dri­ver pay is cer­tainly one avenue in main­tain­ing an inter­est in the voca­tion, is it the only answer? As a dri­ver fac­ing all of the prob­lems and issues within the indus­try, and look­ing down the road to the future of truck­ing, would receiv­ing a good and decent pay raise be enough for you to remain in the career?

Is the amount of pay the com­plete answer to all truck dri­ver issues? Would you as a dri­ver, gladly con­tinue receiv­ing poor treat­ment from those ship­pers and receivers who hold no moral or eth­i­cal stan­dards toward dri­vers, if your pay­check was big enough? Would you still be will­ing to face the health issues and being away from home for months at a time, if your pay­check was substantial?

Are you con­tent in being forced to vio­late HOS and to accept forced dis­patch­ing and future reg­u­la­tory restric­tions, if your pay­check was big enough? Are you say­ing that you are more than will­ing in con­tin­u­ing to be spo­ken down to by dis­patch­ers, ship­pers, receivers, law enforce­ment, the media and the gen­eral pub­lic, if only your pay­check was big enough?

The indus­try main­tains its con­cern over a dri­ver short­age and a pos­si­ble solu­tion to retain­ing dri­vers. Are dri­vers really say­ing that the amount of their pay­check is the only aspect pre­vent­ing them from enter­ing or remain­ing within the vocation?

If so, then the indus­try now has its answer in regards to all of these issues. If not, the indus­try needs to lis­ten to the dri­vers’ greater con­cerns and rea­sons and come to address all of the issues at hand.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
17
Nov

Regard­less of con­sis­tent evi­dence that con­tin­u­ally shows that the high­est per­cent­age of auto-truck crashes are caused by the dri­ver of the auto, the debate between the truck­ing indus­try and reg­u­la­tors rages on as imple­ment­ing addi­tional reg­u­la­tions upon the indus­try is still the answer in improv­ing safety among the highways.

The auto-fault per­cent­age changes year to year, but the result is always the same, regard­less of who insti­gates the study. The 2013 study by the Amer­i­can Truck­ing Asso­ci­a­tion (ATA) placed the fault at 80%; a study by the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan Trans­porta­tion Research Insti­tute resulted in an 81% fault rate and a 2009 study by the Fed­eral Motor Car­ri­ers Safety Admin­is­tra­tion (FMCSA) show auto dri­vers were to blame 81% of the time.

Through the years, not much has changed. In 1998 for exam­ple, an exam­i­na­tion issued by the High­way Safety Infor­ma­tion Sys­tem resulted in the same con­clu­sion: ” the car driver’s behav­ior was more than three times as likely to con­tribute to the fatal crash than was the truck driver’s behav­ior. In addi­tion, the car dri­ver was solely respon­si­ble for 70 per­cent of the fatal crashes, com­pared to 16 per­cent for the truck driver. “

As it may seem that these con­firmed sta­tis­tics are used to cast blame, this should be fur­ther from the truth. As we can all agree that each fatal crash is a tragedy, one can­not con­tinue com­pound­ing reg­u­la­tions upon reg­u­la­tions in the hope of ensur­ing a 100% safe dri­ving envi­ron­ment because real­ity shows that dri­ving has never been totally “safe.”

In 1899, the U.S. Gov­ern­ment began keep­ing data records on motor-vehicle deaths. In that same year, there were 26 and by 1950 the num­ber reached 33,186 and for 2012 there were 33,561. Between 1963 and 2007, num­bers increased, rang­ing from the low 40’s to as high as 54,589 in 1972. Since 2007, where records show a num­ber of 41,259 deaths across the United States, the num­bers have declined.

In fact, as the num­ber of motor-vehicle deaths remained within the range of the low 30’s and low 50’s between 1950 and the most cur­rent year data of 2012, records by the Fatal­ity Analy­sis Report­ing Sys­tem show that traf­fic fatal­i­ties have been the low­est they have ever been within the past 65 years, with the num­ber of 32,479 in 2011 being the low­est in 62 years.

Still, recent reports remain focused on stat­ing that while over­all fatal­i­ties have con­tin­ued on a down­ward trend, acci­dents involv­ing com­mer­cial trucks increased by 8.7% between 2009 and 2010. How­ever, when one looks at the over­all data for the period between 2008 and 2011, the num­ber of large trucks involved in fatal crashes actu­ally declined by 12%.

Commercial Truck Fatalities: 2001-2011

Com­mer­cial Truck Fatal­i­ties: 2001–2011

By focus­ing on only one area of over­all sta­tis­ti­cal report­ing such as this results in the call for more reg­u­la­tions to be placed on the CMV dri­ver and the indus­try, i.e. Elec­tronic Onboard Recorders (EOBRs) and changes in the Hours of Ser­vice (HOS) rules. Adding reg­u­la­tions on top of reg­u­la­tions will not help the indus­try become safer, and most often will have the oppo­site effect as car­ri­ers and dri­vers are pushed to fur­ther lim­its in meet­ing the demands of the con­sumer, busi­ness incen­tives and their own per­sonal welfare.

The FMCSA can con­tinue to imple­ment as many reg­u­la­tions that they wish upon dri­vers and the indus­try, yet none will ever have a direct effect on the mil­lions of auto dri­vers and their dri­ving habits or on their way of think­ing. It is impos­si­ble for any gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tor to devise a rule which will pre­vent the dri­ver of an auto to not pass a CMV and then imme­di­ately swerve back in front of it to take the next exit. It is impos­si­ble for any gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tor to devise a rule which will pre­vent the dri­ver of an auto from pulling out in front of an oncom­ing CMV in hopes of beat­ing a few sec­onds of extra wait­ing time and it is impos­si­ble for any gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tor to devise a rule which will pre­vent the dri­ver of an auto from dri­ving while fatigued.

Fur­ther reg­u­la­tions are noth­ing more than com­pound­ing a prob­lem with more prob­lems. The truck­ing indus­try itself can be the one to ensure safer high­ways and fur­ther cor­rect many of the issues faced within the indus­try, with­out gov­ern­men­tal action to impose addi­tional regulations:

  • Develop and imple­ment their own Entry Level Dri­ver Train­ing AND Hir­ing Standards
  • Increase dri­ver wages which have remained stag­nant for the past 25 years which add to dri­vers push­ing for more miles in antic­i­pa­tion for a liv­able pay check
  • Develop a pro­fes­sional treat­ment toward their dri­vers, respect­ing the cur­rent rules in place as they relate to HOS rules, dri­ver fatigue and dri­vers’ law­ful rights
  • Stop the intim­i­da­tion, harass­ment and retal­ia­tory behav­ior against dri­vers to work toward end­ing the industry’s “Us against them” mentality
  • To fur­ther cam­paign and pro­mote high­way safety by pro­vid­ing edu­ca­tional resources directed at the gen­eral pub­lic in order to cul­ti­vate a deeper under­stand­ing and aware­ness for autos as it relates to shar­ing the road with the big rigs

As safety groups con­tinue to play a major role in the addi­tion of reg­u­la­tions placed on the indus­try, often these groups dis­play a sup­port­ive approach for the dri­vers. Safety groups have called for bet­ter pay for dri­vers; they have voiced their con­cerns for the need of safer park­ing areas and appro­pri­ate rest time for dri­vers; they have expressed inter­est in the need to stop forced dis­patch­ing, caus­ing the dri­ver to be pushed beyond the bound­aries of safety.

By all ways and means, the indus­try itself has been its own worst enemy. If the indus­try would step up and imple­ment the solu­tions to the prob­lems, would the gov­ern­ment then have any rea­son to inter­vene on behalf of safety groups and attor­neys? If the indus­try is so fear­ful of the CSA, safety rat­ings and inter­ven­tions from the FMCSA, and is truly con­cerned about a dri­ver short­age, why is it not pos­si­ble for one of the world’s largest indus­tries to cre­ate the solu­tions to the prob­lems that they have allowed to con­tinue for decades?

This indus­try must stop cast­ing blame in all direc­tions toward the FMCSA, pro­fes­sional dri­vers and even the gen­eral pub­lic, all for the sake of cor­po­rate greed. They must finally face these issues which they have gen­er­ated over the years which in return, have forced the gov­ern­ment into the equa­tion with such actions as HOS, speed lim­iters and ELD’s.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
12
Nov
Truck Parking and the 14 hour clock

Truck Park­ing and the 14 hour clock

By Tom Ingraldi

I know I am beat­ing the same drum here but… Most of the park­ing “short­age” is due to the present Hours of Ser­vice (HOS) and the 14 hour clock. Before that fiasco of a law, it was noth­ing to head in to a cus­tomer, decide if it was a good place to park or to “cir­cle the wagon” and see if there was any safe park­ing nearby. We are now so time con­strained there is no “extra time” to find park­ing. And if a cus­tomer keeps you over­long that same clock does not give in order to find a safe place to park. Get rid of the 14 hour clock is the only fight we should be fight­ing, all else will fall in line when we win that battle…

While I agree with the prob­lem of truck park­ing it still comes down to stand­ing up for you. I am 3 years+ on E-logs with no vio­la­tions. This is because I have my rules and dis­patch does not drive my truck. First: Allow four hours for a load or unload. If they get me loaded in 2 their load will be deliv­ered on time. If they get me loaded in 4 hours, I can leave the facil­ity but chances are the load is going to be resched­uled. Any­thing over 4 hours and all bets are off. I keep in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion with dis­patch and warn them, I will [and have] dropped the trailer and left or take my break in their door. By the way you can refuse to move your truck, but if asked you must leave the cus­tomers prop­erty. Take what’s valu­able and walk out. Until we all start tak­ing a stand we will con­tinue to have the same prob­lem. Sim­plest solu­tion is to get rid of the 14 hour rule it is caus­ing this whole situation.

As I have said a thou­sand times. We need to fight the 14 hour clock. It is a law that has the com­pletely oppo­site effect of what was intended. We have to hurry thru our day to “beat the clock” in order to make a pay­check. We have to worry con­stantly at any delay at a ship­per or receiver because our clock is run­ning and we may not have time to park legally and safely. No 14 hour clock, no wor­ries about time run­ning out before we can park. Most of us out here are out here because we are flex­i­ble in our sleep sched­ule. We know to sleep when we are tired and before the 14 hour clock, we did. We napped to avoid rush hour in cities, school zones. We also could break for a decent lunch and\or shower. Now every­thing must be crammed in to fit the clock. Yes the cure to truck dri­ver fatigue is sleep. But I sleep when I am tired and can­not sleep because the clock tells me to. Com­mon sense and good judg­ment should dic­tate when you sleep. Not any clock or any other per­son. Let­ting dis­patch drive your truck is a recipe for dis­as­ter. You drive your truck when you feel you should any other deci­sion should be cause for giv­ing up your CDLTRI

Related Posts
‘What the Gen­eral Pub­lic Needs to Know about high­way safety, truck dri­ver fatigue, and truck parking”

“Trucker Shoot­ing rekin­dles pleas to offi­cials for more safe truck park­ing

“The Absolute Cure for Truck Dri­ver Fatigue

 

 

© 2014, Tom Ingraldi. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
21
Oct
Empty Seats - Trucker Strike

Empty Seats — Trucker Strike

The infa­mous truck dri­ver short­age has been a con­tin­ual news story for at least the past two to three decades as noted in this arti­cle from Feb­ru­ary of 1990: Dri­ver Short­age Spurs Com­pany Incen­tive Plans. This par­tic­u­lar arti­cle from nearly 25 years ago, even makes the statement:

“With so many jobs to fill, truck­ing exec­u­tives are tak­ing a more sym­pa­thetic view of dri­vers. Once regarded as eas­ily replaced com­modi­ties, dri­vers increas­ingly are courted–even pampered–by employers.”

Recently, ATA chief econ­o­mist Bob Costello con­tin­ued with his assess­ment of this “seri­ous” issue within the truck­ing indus­try by stat­ing: “… the con­tin­ued high turnover rate demon­strates that the mar­ket for qual­i­fied, expe­ri­enced dri­vers in the coun­try remain tight.” How­ever, should one look at this issue from a log­i­cal point of view, it would be deter­mined that the con­tin­ued high turnover rate would demon­strate a severe prob­lem within the indus­try at it relates to the rela­tion­ship with their dri­vers.

The truck dri­ver short­age myth has been a pop­u­lar news-getter for decades and even today there are sto­ries express­ing such worry as: “It has become so dif­fi­cult to fill truck-driver jobs that pay has begun ris­ing and com­pa­nies are pur­su­ing each oth­ers drivers.

In sev­eral pre­vi­ous arti­cles I have closed with fol­low­ing com­ments such as: “The indus­try itself cre­ated the short­age, they con­tinue to cre­ate the short­age and only they can stop it”, most notably in the post: Break­ing Down Bar­ri­ers to the Truck Dri­ver Short­age.

In the Spring of 2012, the Cana­dian Truck­ing Alliance, the equiv­a­lent of the ATA,  shared the same sen­ti­ment by shar­ing the fol­low­ing find­ings through their report: Blue Rib­bon Task Force on the Dri­ver Short­age in Trucking:

“As indi­cated through­out this report, it is the car­ri­ers them­selves – the enti­ties that hire, fire, deter­mine what and how to pay their dri­vers, who price their ser­vice and deal with their cus­tomers, who are ulti­mately respon­si­ble for their busi­nesses and there­fore for ensur­ing they are able to recruit and retain the peo­ple needed to do the work.”

The great­est prob­lem today is that truck dri­ving does not appeal to a younger gen­er­a­tion who are say­ing “No, Thank you” to long hours, low pay and the never-ending signs of dis­re­spect and abuse. The days of learn­ing about poten­tial voca­tions through the daily news­pa­per are over, as a tech-savvy gen­er­a­tion can learn all they need to know about a car­rier via truck­ing social media out­lets within minutes.

Fur­ther­more, as some car­ri­ers are “step­ping up” with increases in wages, can one really see a two or three cents-per-mile increase as a “raise?”  Accord­ing to the U.S Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics, aver­age CPM start­ing wages are between $0.28 and $0.40; the near very same as 20–25 years ago. Motor car­ri­ers adver­tis­ing a raise increase to $0.38 cpm, I ask: where exactly is the raise?

Even as a few car­ri­ers report a wage increase to $0.48 to $0.51 cpm, this can still not be seen as a raise for the sim­ple fact of adjust­ing for infla­tion and cost-of-living expenses from the pre­vi­ous 2–3 decades; this is sim­ply bring­ing dri­vers up-to-date to where their wages should have already been in regards to the past 25 to 30 years. Per­haps a 2015 start­ing mileage rate of $0.65 to $0.70 for com­pany dri­vers and $2.00 to $2.50 for lease owner oper­a­tors could be seen as a real raise?

The truck­ing indus­try now finds itself faced with a new, upcom­ing gen­er­a­tion which has a more human mind­set of where they would rather “have a life” instead of “spend­ing a life” in a truck, away from home and fam­ily for weeks or months at a time. Even if the OTR indus­try were to change to a com­plete regional mode of oper­a­tion, allow­ing dri­vers to make it home every 2–3 days or every week­end, this new gen­er­a­tion still dis­re­gards truck­ing as a viable career and only sees it as just another job.

Regard­less of the astound­ing short­age for truck dri­vers in a ter­ri­ble econ­omy that is cry­ing for jobs, accord­ing to U.S. Cen­sus Bureau data, 36% of those aged between 18 to 31 were liv­ing with their par­ents as of 2012; the high­est pro­por­tion within the past 40 years. As 56% of adults aged 18 to 24 are liv­ing at home, this mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion has made it clear that truck­ing is not an option.

Low pay, the lifestyle, the dis­re­spect, the clas­si­fi­ca­tion as “unskilled” labor among many other fac­tors, all play a part in this industry-made dri­ver short­age. In addi­tion, as many call for the FMCSA to final­ize an indus­try train­ing stan­dard for entry-level dri­vers which some see as another means to fill the empty seats, we may have another 25 years of just talk.

The pri­mary rea­son that there is still no stan­dard has to do with costs; costs to the car­ri­ers who would have to bring in addi­tion­ally trained instruc­tors, more train­ing sup­plies, etc. In an indus­try such as truck­ing, years passed can pro­vide the truth to such issues: when a rule-making is based on safety ver­sus costs, costs will always win for those who carry the most money for lobbying.

I have said it before and I will say it again: The indus­try itself cre­ated the short­age and only they can stop it. If not, this trucker strike of a very dif­fer­ent kind will continue.

Recently a new move­ment has begun which will sep­a­rate the com­plain­ers and blamers from the doers. The move­ment is part of the North Amer­i­can Truck­ing Alerts and it rep­re­sents a call to all those who are actively choos­ing to be a part of real solu­tions rather than con­tin­ual empty talk.

AAA = Aware­ness, Account­abil­ity, Action

The call is for aware­ness, account­abil­ity and action from all those involved in truck­ing, every­one: dri­vers, car­ri­ers, ship­pers, receivers, bro­kers, groups, CDL Schools, and Orga­ni­za­tions. It is time to address the truck dri­ver short­age, as well as all the issues fac­ing the indus­try and pro­fes­sional dri­ver and the facts that are lead­ing up to them. The buck needs to stop at all who are con­cerned enough to offer sup­port and be part of real solutions.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
20
Oct

by Brian Carl­son

DriveForFreedom- Brian Carlson

I am an indi­vid­ual that places peo­ple before any­thing mon­e­tary more often than not.Those that know me, or know of me, will tell you that with certainty.

How­ever as the prob­lems asso­ci­ated with safe truck park­ing here in Amer­ica increase and con­cerns for a viable and sen­si­ble solu­tion mount. I want to place money first in this case just briefly.

First, we under­stand that our nation oper­ates on an eco­nomic and polit­i­cal sys­tem in which a country’s trade and indus­try are con­trolled by ‘pri­vate own­ers’ for profit, rather than by the state. So know­ing this, it is easy to see why we have so many prob­lems in this par­tic­u­lar area of our Industry.

Sec­ond, we look at the liti­gious state of our coun­try, is it easy for us to ascer­tain why our ship­pers and receivers refuse to accom­mo­date our nations valu­able  OTR truck­ers regard­less of per­sonal safety? Yes it is.

Third, we look at our con­vo­luted Insur­ance struc­ture and notice that most policy’s are writ­ten based solely on ‘Lia­bil­ity’. Who can we blame or charge if some­thing hap­pens? How are we pro­tected? More­over ‘who’ are we pro­tect­ing our­selves from. Or what are we pro­tect­ing our­selves from? Well that’s easy, the answer is each other.

This reveals some­thing stun­ningly sad, that a per­sons life will have value, after we have placed a value on what will pro­tect them from their neigh­bor. What does this say about our pri­or­i­ties? So with­out ‘income’-as we have seen with dri­vers dying or being placed in harms way, sense­less deaths have been the ‘out­come’! This is unacceptable.

Fourth, we look at the lack of care and con­cern that many who drive pro­fes­sion­ally and I use that term loosely with respect to some. Many dri­vers have shown a far less than savory atti­tude towards other peo­ples prop­erty,  its seen every day. As a result those that do not act this way are pay­ing dearly. That ‘must’ weigh on the con­science of dri­vers. Or is it like a bag of bricks, all they have to do is drop it and keep on truck­ing? They should be racked with guilt?

Con­se­quently by their actions those we do busi­ness with, have made it clear they will not give con­ces­sions to those that have not earned it, or have in the past squan­dered their good graces. The unfor­tu­nate down side is that the respectable dri­vers in our coun­try are despi­ca­bly pun­ished for the thought­less actions of oth­ers. Isn’t that always the way? This is another obvi­ous rea­son why the pri­vate sec­tor is unwill­ing to step up to the plate and help solve the problem.

So know­ing the afore­men­tioned, what is the solu­tion to our plight? Well its 3 fold.

First, we must enlist our indus­try heads to step for­ward and con­front our nations truck stop own­ers, our cus­tomers and other mem­bers of the pri­vate sec­tor to imple­ment a viable, sen­si­ble, work­able solu­tion for the very peo­ple they have hired to do a job for them.

This means that yes, it is the respon­si­bil­ity of our com­pany own­ers to make cer­tain that they have gone above and beyond the call of duty to pro­tect their invest­ment. Ahh, there would be the oper­a­tive word, ‘Investment.’

The truck dri­ver is and always will be the very first invest­ment that a truck­ing com­pany owner is duly bound morally, eth­i­cally, and finan­cially oblig­ated to pro­tect. There in brings me to this word. ‘Oblig­a­tion’. This word has ‘sharp teeth’ and when used goes directly against how mankind thinks, lives or oper­ates. As human beings we live most days believ­ing that we are not oblig­ated to do any­thing for any­one. But, this can­cer would be one of the biggest rea­sons we have a truck park­ing issue.

Sec­ond, all com­pa­nies own­ers must send out a let­ter to their entire dri­ver base inform­ing them that as we work to cor­rect the truck park­ing issue, and seek res­o­lu­tion in this mat­ter, we ask all of our dri­vers to live with respect for not only them­selves, but for those they inter­act with daily. To make a con­certed effort to live dif­fer­ently in and around truck stops, around our cus­tomers and around the gen­eral pub­lic. When we make it clear to them– that even those that do not feel it is their con­cern, make it their con­cern… and show initiative.Then those that do not care at all, may just step up and live out­side of their com­fort zone for every­one else as well.

Third, know­ing that cost will most cer­tainly be asso­ci­ated in order for safe truck park­ing solu­tions to be pre­sented and imple­mented, find a rea­son­able and sen­si­ble method of recoup­ing those costs over a longer period of time, so as to avoid the solu­tion pre­sent­ing a finan­cial ‘bur­den’ for the very peo­ple that ‘need’ the solution.

In other words, do not pun­ish some­one because they require some­thing just because it some­how incon­ve­nienced  us. That’s a nasty atti­tude, and it hap­pens every­day in our country.

The truth is folks, it boils down to human­ity and how will­ing are peo­ple here in a free Amer­ica able to place their finan­cial and per­sonal beliefs aside, to tackle the prob­lem for the ben­e­fit of every­one. Man is unwill­ing to give up the most pow­er­ful grip it has on Man,
Domin­ion. The effect of this, depen­dency. The cost, has been death, as was the case for recent mur­dered trucker Michael Boeglin.

So now lets place money aside as we redress our griev­ances? We see that it is a cul­mi­na­tion of a great many things that has lead to this very seri­ous prob­lem. Sadly we have addressed it peace­ably, to no avail.

So know­ing this, we will deal with inad­e­quate park­ing for truck­ers until the end of time. Unless all involved work together. Hmm…knowing Man. That’s going to be a tough one to get in the door, regard­less of what angle we use.

© 2014, Brian Carl­son. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
2
Oct

Truth About Trucking "LIVE"There are many top­ics of dis­cus­sion open within the truck­ing indus­try, and depend­ing on who you are, the tone for the dis­cus­sion will be set accord­ing to how you view the issue.

Whether you’re the FMCSA, ship­per, dri­ver, car­rier, safety advo­cacy group, trade group, bro­ker, or any other part of the indus­try, the one thing that all will agree upon is that it is the pro­fes­sional dri­ver who is respon­si­ble for get­ting the freight moved and in doing so has become the industry’s great­est asset.

With that being said, it’s no won­der that most of these major truck­ing issues involve dri­vers  in one way or another. Know­ing all this, one would assume that pro­fes­sional dri­vers would be a much respected, highly regarded and sought after pro­fes­sional within the indus­try, but unfor­tu­nately, this is not the case. How could that be? How could the one part of the indus­try, who is respon­si­ble for the bil­lions of dol­lars of rev­enue every year, not be con­sid­ered as so essen­tial? The answer lies within the dri­vers them­selves. It involves how the dri­ver per­ceives him or her­self and how this per­cep­tion has been prop­a­gated and even encouraged.

Our spe­cial guest, Kirk Kostoff draws from twenty years of com­bined skills in the B2B sales mar­ket­ing and strate­gic busi­ness devel­op­ment arena, draw­ing from his expe­ri­ences in the For­tune 500 market.

In 2011 Mr. Kostoff entered the logis­tics side of busi­ness through his intro­duc­tion and inter­ac­tion with CR Eng­land and what he refers to as their “self pro­claimed” legit­i­mate fran­chise. His recent actions with the ongo­ing CR Eng­land class action lit­i­ga­tion asso­ci­ated with dri­vers’ rights, legit­i­mate wages and liv­ing con­di­tions has posi­tioned him as an upcom­ing “voice of rea­son” and con­cern for the small busi­ness owner, just recently found­ing The Dri­vers Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica.

Join us Thurs­day, Octo­ber 2, 2014 as we dis­cuss with our guest “The Power of Dri­ver Cre­den­tials, The Dri­ver Short­age Myth, Motor Car­rier Truck Leas­ing and dri­ver Reme­dies through Edu­ca­tion and Imple­men­ta­tion” via our Blog Talk Radio show: Truth About Truck­ing “LIVE.”

We invite every­one to con­sider these top­ics and call in with their per­spec­tives as we will also dis­cuss the CR Eng­land case as it is pub­lic knowl­edge and to reit­er­ate for all the indus­try new­com­ers about motor car­rier leas­ing scams to once again explain how it all works against the pro­fes­sional truck driver.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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24
Sep
National Minority Trucking Association

National Minor­ity Truck­ing Association

In the ever-changing atmos­phere of the truck­ing indus­try, edu­ca­tion is the key to not only sur­viv­ing, but in achiev­ing any level of per­sonal or busi­ness suc­cess. Many pro­fes­sional truck dri­vers become “trapped” within the idea that the only skill they may pos­sess is one of driving.

The National Minor­ity Truck­ing Asso­ci­a­tion is “com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing its mem­bers with com­pre­hen­sive edu­ca­tion that will enable them to suc­ceed in all areas of the truck­ing and trans­porta­tion industry.”

From finan­cial plan­ning to CDL train­ing to assist­ing in employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties, NMTA is lead­ing the effort to help truck­ers and minority-owned motor car­ri­ers with suc­cess­ful busi­ness tools such as teach­ing how to secure and main­tain gov­ern­ment and com­mer­cial con­tracts, as an example.

Although their foun­da­tion is based upon the minor­ity com­mu­nity, the NMTA works for all truck­ers, offer­ing many ser­vices and ben­e­fits to assist in their indus­try suc­cess; whether it be as a dri­ver, bro­ker or diesel engine tech­ni­cian, the point is clear: there are many addi­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties within the indus­try, other than “dri­ving.”

Founder and CEO, Kevin Reid, launched the NMTA as he dis­cov­ered a void in the rep­re­sen­ta­tion and edu­cat­ing of minori­ties in the truck­ing and trans­porta­tion industry.

Their sta­tis­tics offer a clear insight into an area of truck­ing that very few are aware:

There are 458,729 minor­ity owned trans­porta­tion firms:

  • 44% are Hispanic
  • 37% are African-American
  • 16% are Asian
  • 3% are Native American
  • .03% are Women

There are 1.5 mil­lion minor­ity truck dri­vers in the U.S:

  • 14% are African American
  • 12.6% are Hispanic
  • 5.4% are Women

The National Minor­ity Truck­ing Asso­ci­a­tion is already see­ing a steady rise of achieve­ments in response to their efforts. Through their com­mit­ment in help­ing those to suc­ceed in the indus­try through edu­ca­tion and train­ing, pro­vid­ing ben­e­fits and resources and con­sul­ta­tion and advo­cacy work, the NMTA reports that a 21% growth rate among minori­ties is pro­jected within the indus­try through the year 2020.

Kevin Reid

Kevin Reid

Kevin Reid will join us as our spe­cial guest on Truth About Truck­ing “LIVE on Thurs­day, Sep­tem­ber 25, 2014 to fur­ther dis­cuss the future goals of the NMTA and their work in help­ing those to suc­ceed in an indus­try which clearly shows a pat­tern of biased deci­sion mak­ing, specif­i­cally toward women and minorities.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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23
Sep
Allen Smith= Host of Truth About Trucking Live

Allen Smith= Host of Truth About Truck­ing Live

There’s a mount­ing trend in the media regard­ing the Truck­ing indus­try, I‘d like to call it TIA or Trucker Issue Aware­ness. For years, dri­vers have attempted to put their issues in front of main­stream media, and it appears that some of dri­ver con­cerns are indeed creep­ing in.

Let’s first review (AGAIN) just some of the issues that affect many dri­vers: Low wages( includ­ing not being paid for all work such as deten­tion time), over reg­u­la­tions, dri­ver harass­ment, lack of truck par­ing, cheap freight, lack of respect by employ­ers, ship­pers, and even law enforce­ment, retal­i­a­tion, poor CDL train­ing, etc…

For many years dri­vers have been frus­trated with the image that has been placed on them, por­tray­ing them as reck­less speed­ing thugs blaz­ing down the high­way, with­out thought or care for oth­ers on the high­way. Every­where you looked there would be sta­tis­tics of how many deaths occur each year involv­ing fatal acci­dents with trucks, even though, almost always, stats prove that trucks were at fault only about 20% of the time.

Truck­ers con­cerns always seem to have fallen on deaf ears in the past, how­ever of late, many of these issues have received atten­tion by non-trucking publications.

The media has honed in for years on the topic of truck dri­ver fatigue, giv­ing the impres­sion to the gen­eral pub­lic that dri­vers delib­er­ately go hours and hours with­out sleep in order to increase their indi­vid­ual prof­its. It wasn’t until the recent Wal­mart Tracy Mor­gan acci­dent that the media started to inves­ti­gate and under­stand the dilemma dri­vers face regard­ing Hours of Ser­vice, ELD’s, and that “pre­cious time” remain­ing on the dri­vers 14 hour clock. That time which is often care­fully guarded by com­pa­nies to ensure that none is wasted.

I believe another rea­son there is more atten­tion given to dri­ver prob­lems is the exten­sive indus­try claim to the truck dri­ver short­age. It isn’t until the gen­eral pub­lic is faced with the fear of how “things will affect them”, that so many begin to take notice. That’s when peo­ple start to care and begin to ask, “why is there a short­age?” It’s this gen­eral pub­lic con­cern which has opened the door to dis­cus­sion of dri­ver issues, dri­ver pay  being a lead topic by many.

A major topic which was revealed on our Truth About Truck­ing ‘Live” radio show was the lack of truck park­ing which is caus­ing seri­ous prob­lems for pro­fes­sional dri­vers and com­pro­mis­ing the safety of all using the high­ways. “Truck Park­ing Short­age: Dri­vers at Risk”
Many ship­pers and receivers, even though they are aware of the park­ing short­age prob­lems that dri­vers face, still do not allow dri­vers to park on their prop­erty prior to PU or deliv­ery. This was the case for Michael Boeglin who was shot and killed as he waited out­side the prop­erty of ship­per Thy­sennK­rupp. The same can be said for Jason Riven­burg who was also shot and killed in 2009.  Jason’s Law for more safe Truck Park­ing is now in MAP21.

Another issue which was brought up on the show that night was the fact that law enforce­ment is in the prac­tice of wak­ing dri­vers up dur­ing their fed­er­ally man­dated breaks. This led to a fol­low­ing radio show with Kenny Capell and Mar­tin Hill as they shared their story on Truth about Truck­ing Lives’ show titled, “Truck­ers Right to Sleep and the 4th Amend­ment” Mar­tin Hill is the founder of Don’t Wake Me Up

CDL dri­ver Kenny Cap­pel explains how he was arrested for obstruct­ing jus­tice by Geor­gia Motor Car­rier Com­pli­ance Offi­cer Leigh A. Par­sons as he refused to vio­late the Fed­er­ally man­dated Hours of Ser­vice rule. This led to SBTC ( Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion) to File a Police Mis­con­duct Com­plaint with U.S. Dept. of Jus­tice. Kenny is sched­uled for a court date on Octo­ber 10th so it will be inter­est­ing to see how the US DOJ han­dles this com­plaint. Read more here

Abe Attallah- ABC's 2020

Abe Attal­lah– ABC’s 2020

The most recent story cov­ered by the media was by ABC’s 20/20 as they inter­viewed Abe Attal­lah To watch the  20/20 show “The Dan­gers of Forc­ing Truck Dri­vers to Drive Sleep Deprived”

Let’ us con­clude by say­ing that it is not just main­stream media that needs to under­stand the truth about dri­ver issues, but the indus­try as a whole needs to become involved and become account­able in order to solve the prob­lems that pro­fes­sional dri­ver face. Dri­vers are the back­bone of the indus­try, and for all those who claim they are con­cerned about dri­vers, their con­cerns, and the pos­si­bil­ity of a dri­ver short­age, then must be taken,  just talk­ing about things isn’t going to cut it.

 

North American Trucking Alerts- Awareness and Accountability

North Amer­i­can Truck­ing Alerts– Aware­ness and Accountability

North Amer­i­can Truck Alerts— Be a part of the solution

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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9
Sep
Abe Attallah of Run Hard Convoy- Tells all on 20/20- 9/12/14 - 10 PM ET on ABC

Abe Attal­lah of Run Hard Con­voy– Tells all on 20/20

 

Mark down the date and time
Fri­day Sep­tem­ber 12th
10pm ET
ABC’s 20/20

 

 

Pro­fes­sional CDL truck dri­ver Abe Attal­lah was inter­viewed by ABC’s 20/20 regard­ing the topic of Safety in the Truck­ing Indus­try. Also inter­viewed for the seg­ment were rel­a­tives of come­dian James McNair, known as Jimmy Mack, who was killed dur­ing the famous Tracey Mor­gan “Wal­mart Crash”.  The show is sched­uled to be aired on Fri­day 9/12/14 at 10 PM.

As many may remem­ber back in March, Mr Attal­lah, while work­ing for K&B Trans­porta­tion, noti­fied his dis­patcher that he was too fatigued to drive.  Truck dri­vers have the full right and author­ity to deter­mine when it is unsafe to drive, period. ( FMCSA Reg­u­la­tion § 392.3

Once the dis­patcher is informed by the dri­ver, the con­ver­sa­tion should be over, but that is not what hap­pened to Abe.   Read more

Mr Attal­lah recorded the con­ver­sa­tion between him­self and dis­patch. He had expe­ri­enced this kind of behav­ior in the past and decided to have evi­dence of it this time. The video was made to sub­mit to K& B as proof, but Abe said that when he did sub­mit it to the safety depart­ment, their reply to him was,  “that’s how we do things here at K&B….. . At that point he made the video pub­lic.   Richard Wil­son of TCRG con­sult­ing spoke to Abe and then noti­fied FMCSA soon after the inci­dent occurred.  FMCSA was “enlight­ened” of this type of behav­ior ( which prior to this inci­dent, they had only “heard” of such occurrences)

 

After the video went viral on YouTube, the owner of K&B apol­o­gized to Abe. Abe stayed for 3 more weeks with K&B, how­ever, the com­pany con­tin­ued to stack his breaks and he had two more inci­dents with the same dis­patch­ers that were recorded in the video.  Abe decided to then quit.

Recently Abe got a copy of his DAC report from HireRight, and instead of a com­ment by K&B on his DAC, Abe has told us that it says to call them ( K&B) for more details. Gotta love the DAC report… and the com­pa­nies that use it for retaliation.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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8
Sep
Hal Kiah of Truck Driving Career and North American Trucking Alerts

Hal Kiah of Truck Dri­ving Career and North Amer­i­can Truck­ing Alerts

Our friend and fel­low truck dri­ver advo­cate, Hal Kiah, shares his thoughts about the truck­ing indus­try and explains why he believes truck­ers are leav­ing their dri­ving careers.
As a vet­eran dri­ver, Hal has been instru­men­tal in the last few years, aid­ing and men­tor­ing other dri­vers via social media and per­sonal com­mu­ni­ca­tion.
Mr Kiah is presently part of the North Amer­i­can Truck­ing Alerts (NATA)website and Face­book Page, which had it’s pre­view on 9/6/14, and is sched­uled to launch in Octo­ber 2014.  The theme of NATA is “bring­ing aware­ness and account­abil­ity to the truck­ing industry”

 

Vet­eran dri­ver Hal Kiah’s insight of the truck­ing industry

Truck­ing is an indus­try where every­thing that makes this coun­try what it is,  revolves around what truck­ing is, which is the men and women who make the wheels roll through the coun­try, and deliver the prod­ucts this coun­try relies upon to mar­ket. With­out those men and women behind the wheel, whether it is in an 18 wheeler, or a straight truck mak­ing the local deliv­ery, this coun­try will come to a stop… Fast!

The aver­age per­son is totally unaware of this because they are fully used to see­ing prod­uct on the store shelves, at the deal­er­ship, the local con­ve­nient store, or even at the fac­to­ries peo­ple work at, mak­ing every­thing we have…Everywhere!

Only recently, have com­pa­nies started see­ing the writ­ing on the wall, observ­ing that truck­ers, espe­cially the more senior truck­ers, have been walk­ing out the door and hand­ing the keys back to the truck­ing com­pa­nies, finally walk­ing away from a lifestyle that they came into because they WANTED to, and loved doing.

Rea­son?? There are a num­ber of reasons;

(1)       Dri­ver Wages– Dri­vers have been get­ting paid at what are essen­tially early 70′s rates. This has been keep­ing dri­vers on the road for not just a Cou­ple of weeks at a time to make their bills and help them put some money in the bank, but much longer, with no vis­i­ble increase in the money they work for, and need, in order to just make ends meet at home to feed their fam­i­lies, pay rent and util­i­ties, car pay­ments, you name it. Dri­vers only get paid while the wheels are turn­ing, which means that much of their time parked and wait­ing, doing paper­work, inspec­tions, or any­thing else work related with­out the truck mov­ing, is not com­pen­sated for.

(2)       Com­pa­nies have been treat­ing dri­vers like a com­mod­ity that is avail­able with­out restric­tion, giv­ing dri­vers the feel­ing (and jus­ti­fi­ably so) that com­pa­nies believe dri­vers are a “Dime-a-dozen”, behav­ing as if there is no end to the sup­ply of dri­vers out there.

(3)       There are some truck­ing com­pa­nies out there, (and truck­ing schools) that have their own dri­ver train­ing pro­gram for new dri­vers, and many senior dri­vers believe that these schools are entirely inad­e­quate. Dri­vers are basi­cally “pumped” through many truck­ing schools with just the basics of oper­at­ing a truck, with­out the nec­es­sary train­ing to get both dri­ver, rig, and load, down the road safely.

(4) Dri­vers have been con­stantly fac­ing more and more reg­u­la­tion changes in addi­tion to what they were already fac­ing, with a group, or groups, of peo­ple con­stantly push­ing for changes that make NO sense, and whose col­leagues have never oper­ated a big rig, nor have even sat or rid­den in one, to know exactly what is involved with not just dri­ving these rigs, but get­ting from one end of the coun­try to the other, Safely.

(5) Thanks to the think­ing of “peo­ple in the know”, dri­vers have sud­denly real­ized that they are clas­si­fied by the Depart­ment of Labor as no more than “Unskilled Labor”. Pro­fes­sional dri­vers know that it take far more skill to oper­ate these rigs today than ever before;  Know­ing how to have a truck prop­erly loaded, so that it is within legal weight stan­dards, mak­ing turns in such a way as to avoid acci­dents, know­ing how to make the rig get up and down steep grades at proper speeds, know­ing the equip­ment well enough to know what needs to be fixed, hav­ing the knowl­edge to load and haul over­sized loads with spe­cial­ized equip­ment with­out hav­ing dam­age done to either, han­dling haz­ardous mate­ri­als loads and how they must be loaded for safe trans­port, safely get­ting them trans­ported past com­mu­ni­ties, so that in the event of an inci­dent, com­mu­ni­ties will not be adversely affected.

All these things, and more, require many skills that not every­one has the capa­bil­i­ties to per­form, mak­ing truck­ers some of THE most skilled peo­ple out there. Pro­fes­sional dri­vers  come from var­i­ous back­grounds and life skills;
mil­i­tary per­son­nel, for­mer police, fire­fight­ers, medics, office man­agers, doc­tors, lawyers, teach­ers. Every branch of life there is in this coun­try has some very skilled peo­ple now work­ing in the truck­ing indus­try, that are more skilled than peo­ple realize.

The reg­u­la­tions changes men­tioned are one of the major rea­son that dri­vers are leav­ing the indus­try, and with dri­vers leav­ing like they are, the short­age of QUALIFIED dri­vers is just going to grow and grow, with no end in sight, unless some­thing heav­ily dras­tic and nec­es­sary takes place.  It’s going to take more than just truck­ing com­pa­nies step­ping up to make the changes. It’s going to take ship­pers, receivers, man­u­fac­tur­ers, ports, Every­one, to include the gen­eral pub­lic… to get involved with help­ing these dri­vers be more than just a bunch of “meat behind the wheel”.

Another thing that HAS to take place, is much bet­ter “dri­ver edu­ca­tion” pro­grams at local schools, with INSTRUCTORS being prop­erly trained in how to edu­cate today’s young dri­vers in shar­ing the high­ways Safely with the big­ger equip­ment on the road, telling  new dri­vers things like, “Just don’t be scared around the big trucks” and then assum­ing, that’s all it takes.   This just will not do!

It is time, past time actu­ally, that some­thing finally takes place, to fight to change what is going on, and to see to it, that the sit­u­a­tion that this coun­try faces, is changed, for the bet­ter. And not just by truck­ers, and truck­ing com­pa­nies, but by every­one, because with­out every­one par­tic­i­pat­ing, these changes can­not take place, and it has to be with a uni­fied effort. In other words, we must all be accountable.

With­out truck­ers, and the rigs they drive, com­pa­nies can­not exist, freight can­not make it to mar­ket, prod­ucts can­not be pro­duced, food, cloth­ing, med­i­cine, all the neces­si­ties of life, can­not make it to the pub­lic. But given the Right steps, These changes CAN, take place!

© 2014, Hal Kiah. All rights reserved.

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27
Aug
RVP Gas

RVP Gas

As Florida gas prices con­tinue to decline, dis­cus­sion on radio talk shows point to the fact that prices should con­tinue to fall as the State moves from the 7.8 Sum­mer blend, back to the tra­di­tional 9.0 blend. What many never real­ized how­ever, is that the Sum­mer blend was not used this year within the State.
Summer-grade ver­sus Winter-grade Fuel

Between the period of June 1 and Sep­tem­ber 15, the EPA reg­u­lates gaso­line volatil­ity through the VOC reduc­tion sea­son. Cer­tain coun­ties within the State were required to use the 7.8 RVP (Reid Vapor Pres­sure) gas blend. In Florida, these coun­ties were: Broward, Dale, Duval, Hills­bor­ough, Palm Beach and Pinella. The coun­ties in North Car­olina included the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill and Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point areas.

2014 was the first year that Florida remained with the 9.0 blend through the Sum­mer sea­son, elim­i­nat­ing the usage of the for­merly required 7.8 blend. Florida, as well as North Car­olina, will no longer be man­dated to use the 7.8 RVP blend dur­ing the Sum­mer season.

The deci­sion comes from a doc­u­ment signed by EPA Admin­is­tra­tor Gina McCarthy on March 19, 2014 detail­ing the action, sub­mit­ting the doc­u­ment for pub­li­ca­tion in the Fed­eral Reg­is­ter. How­ever, the rule went into effect with­out any fur­ther notice since the agency received no adverse com­ments within 30 days of the Fed­eral Reg­is­ter publication.

The orig­i­nal pro­posal to the EPA by The Florida Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion was sub­mit­ted as a request for a Uni­form Statewide Reid Vapor Pres­sure Stan­dardwhich many believe could lead the way for other States to request the same standard.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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20
Aug

Spe­cial broad­cast planned for Thurs­day 8–21-14 6PM ET ( 5PM Dal­las Time)

Spe­cial Guests “LIVE” from the Great Amer­i­can Truck­ing Show

Great American Trucking Show

Great Amer­i­can Truck­ing Show

For all of us who wanted to be at GATS but just couldn’t make it!

There are some pretty allur­ing peo­ple and events at the Great Amer­i­can Truck­ing Show this year and we have a few folks call­ing into Truth About Truck­ing ‘Live’ on Thurs­day night to share it all with us.

 

Some of our callers will include: Singer Song­writ­ers Tony Jus­tice, Lind­say Lawler and Brad James;
Kylla Lee­burg of Truck­ers Against Traf­fick­ing, Christina Schnese of Make It Hap­pen USA, Emily Wey­mouth, win­ner of OverDrive’s 2014 Most Beau­ti­ful, The HTAA to dis­cuss the launch of their Hepati­tis C Cam­paign, Truck­ing Solu­tions Group’s yearly Blood Drive, Tom Kyrk of Road Tested Liv­ing, James Lamb to dis­cuss SBTC’s launch to unite the truck­ing com­mu­nity,  Team Run Smart’s Henry Albert and Jimmy Nevarez, sneak pre­views from ven­dors about their lat­est and great­est, and who­ever else gets pulled in.

Truth About Trucking "Live" on Blog Talk Radio

Truth About Truck­ing “Live” on Blog Talk Radio

 SHOW LINK
Join us Thurs­day 8–21-14 6PM ET ( 5PMGATS” Time )

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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17
Aug
Truck Parking Shortage

Truck Park­ing Shortage

There has been once again a grow­ing con­cern regard­ing the dan­gers of Truck Park­ing Short­ages through­out the nation. The recent mur­der of Michael Boeglin, a trucker parked out­side of  ship­per ThyssenKrupp’s prop­erty, wait­ing to be loaded, has cre­ated many folks from all sides of the indus­try to take a stand and speak up regard­ing the risks asso­ci­ated from the lack of truck park­ing. These risks include dan­gers to pro­fes­sional dri­vers as well as the motor­ing public.

The SBTC met with FMCSA & FHWA in Wash­ing­ton, DC on the Safe Truck Park­ing Issue on Thurs­day August 14th. SBTC called for Industry-Government Part­ner­ships to iden­tify, solve and rec­on­cile indus­try and pub­lic safety prob­lems and the cre­ation of a Spe­cial Dual-Agency Safe Truck Park­ing Task Force.

A let­ter was  pre­sented dur­ing the meet­ing from James Lamb of SBTC

August 14, 2014
Mr. Larry Minor, Asso­ciate Admin­is­tra­tor for Pol­icy
Fed­eral Motor Car­rier Safety Admin­is­tra­tion
1200 New Jer­sey Avenue, SE
Wash­ing­ton, DC 20590

Dear Mr. Minor:

On behalf of the Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion (“SBTC”), I would like to thank you for the oppor­tu­nity to meet with the Fed­eral Motor Car­rier Safety Admin­is­tra­tion (“FMCSA”) and Fed­eral High­way Admin­is­tra­tion (“FHWA”) to dis­cuss what we believe might be a role for FMCSA with respect to Jason’s Law (Sec. 1401 of the Mov­ing Ahead for Progress in the 21st Cen­tury ActMAP-21”) and the Safe Truck Park­ing issue.

By way of back­ground, SBTC is a net­work of trans­porta­tion pro­fes­sion­als, asso­ci­a­tions, and indus­try sup­pli­ers that is on the front lines when it comes to issues that affect trans­porta­tion pro­fes­sion­als in small busi­ness. We seek to pro­mote and pro­tect the inter­ests of small busi­nesses in the trans­porta­tion indus­try. We sup­port team­work, coop­er­a­tion, trans­parency, and part­ner­ships among truck­ers, car­ri­ers, bro­kers, and ship­pers and seek to pro­mote eth­i­cal busi­ness prac­tices and the utmost integrity. SBTC is a non-profit Florida cor­po­ra­tion estab­lished as a 501©6 busi­ness league. SBTC offers this packet to the Agency and FHWA in the inter­est of stim­u­lat­ing our dis­cus­sions on this issue and for­mal­iz­ing an industry-government part­ner­ship in this and other areas grounded in iden­ti­fy­ing, solv­ing and rec­on­cil­ing indus­try and pub­lic safety problems.

Dur­ing the course of research­ing this issue, we learned that in 2000, the National Trans­porta­tion Safety Board (“NTSB”) issued a report (Appen­dix A) enti­tled: High­way Spe­cial Inves­ti­ga­tion Report: Truck Park­ing Areas.” On page 23 of this report, NTSB stated:

“The Safety Board believes that the Fed­eral Motor Car­rier Safety Admin­is­tra­tion (FMCSA), in coop­er­a­tion with the FHWA, ATA, OOIDA, National Pri­vate Truck Coun­cil (NPTC), and NATSO, should cre­ate a com­pre­hen­sive guide, avail­able both on paper and in elec­tronic for­mat, for all truck­drivers to use that will inform dri­vers about the loca­tions of all park­ing areas (both pri­vate and pub­lic) and the space avail­abil­ity. The FMCSA should also develop a plan for its dis­tri­b­u­tion and main­te­nance. In addi­tion, the ATA, OOIDA, and NPTC should dis­trib­ute the guide to their mem­bers and urge them to use it to direct dri­vers to the near­est park­ing areas.

 Four­teen years later, we agree.

SBTC believes that such a guide should be devel­oped to incor­po­rate and address two ideas: (1) best prac­tices with respect to dri­vers choos­ing safe places to park and (2) NTSB’s rec­om­men­da­tion to help dri­vers iden­tify the loca­tions of all safe park­ing areas (both pri­vate and pub­lic) and the space availability.

In the inter­est of devel­op­ing such a guide, we rec­om­mend the cre­ation of a dual agency task force, com­prised of inter­ested par­ties and safety advo­cates, indus­try and gov­ern­ment lead­ers. Among the inter­ested par­ties FMCSA & FHWA might choose from are:

Hope Riven­burg, dri­ver safety advo­cate and widow of trucker mur­der vic­tim Jason Riven­burg, for whom Jason’s Law is named.

Ash­ley Boeglin, widow of Michael Boeglin recent trucker mur­der vic­tim, who has already begun advo­cat­ing for other dri­vers’ safety in the after­math of her loss.

David Clark, father-in-law of Michael Boeglin, who has also started advo­cat­ing for other dri­vers’ safety.

Desiree Wood of the 501©6 group Real Women in Truck­ing, women truck­ing advo­cate, whose group issued the 2013 “Truck Park­ing Spe­cial Report” (attached hereto as Appen­dix B), which reports results of a dri­ver sur­vey and was pre­vi­ously filed with Tom Kear­ney of FHWA.

Allen and/or Donna Smith of Truth About Truck­ing, who, along with the help of War­caba & Asso­ciates, Ms. Riven­burg and oth­ers, were instru­men­tal in cre­at­ing the sur­vey ref­er­enced above.

We also make ref­er­ence here to FWHA’s 2002 “Study of Ade­quacy of Com­mer­cial Truck Park­ing Facil­i­ties — Tech­ni­cal Report and attach it hereto as Appen­dix C.

On page 2 of this report, FHWA stated:

“The Fed­eral Motor Car­rier Safety Admin­is­tra­tion has ten­ta­tively esti­mated that dri­ver fatigue is a pri­mary fac­tor in 4.5 per­cent of truck-involved fatal crashes and is a sec­ondary fac­tor in an addi­tional 10.5 per­cent of such crashes.”

SBTC believes that “dri­ver fatigue” is indeed the cen­tral prob­lem that FMCSA has prop­erly been tack­ling, but that this prob­lem has var­i­ous under­ly­ing com­po­nents that need to be addressed and dealt with by the Agency and safety advo­cacy groups as well. For instance, notwith­stand­ing bona fide safety con­cerns sur­round­ing manip­u­la­tion of paper logs, we would point to how many dri­vers are con­cerned that upon imple­men­ta­tion of man­dated elec­tronic hours of ser­vice log­ging devices (“E-logs’) they might be forced to shut down by a com­puter in an unsafe loca­tion and fall vic­tim, too, along the likes of the late Jason Riven­burg and Michael Boeglin.

Sim­i­larly, run­ning out of hours on the 14 hour clock and unrea­son­able deten­tion time are too often cul­prits in moti­vat­ing oth­er­wise eth­i­cal and respon­si­ble law-abiding dri­vers to drive while fatigued out of desperation.

Indeed, SBTC believes the mis­sion of the Fed­eral Motor Car­rier Safety Admin­is­tra­tion should tran­scend the mat­ter of pro­tect­ing the pub­lic from the indus­try to include pro­tect­ing and pro­mot­ing the safety of the mem­bers of the industry.

Finally, with respect to the 18 month FHWA study of the state of truck park­ing facil­i­ties in the states man­dated by MAP-21, that we under­stand is cur­rently in progress, the SBTC seeks a mech­a­nism to ensure that once this Fed­eral report is com­plete, that those states iden­ti­fied with truck park­ing defi­cien­cies prop­erly use MAP-21 fund­ing to address those defi­cien­cies and we look to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to encour­age the states not to improp­erly divert these ear­marked funds for unre­lated purposes.

Once again, I thank both agen­cies for this oppor­tu­nity to share our thoughts and insight into the Safe Truck Park­ing issue and we look for­ward to work­ing in part­ner­ship with the gov­ern­ment to tackle this and other impor­tant issues.

Sin­cerely,
JAMES P. LAMB,

SBTC Chair­man

James Lamb- Chairman of Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC)

James Lamb– Chair­man of Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion (SBTC)

 

PO Box 480370, Fort Laud­erdale, FL 33348–0370
Toll Free Tel: (800) 215‑6704 — Fax (954) 900‑4397
Web­site:  www.SmallTransportation.org
Email: Membership@SmallTransportation.org

 

 

 

SBTC has requested that a best prac­tices guide and park­ing direc­tory be devel­oped to assist truck­ers in find­ing a safe haven while on the road.

Safe Truck Park­ing Resources:

Real Women in Truck­ing 2013 Truck Park­ing Spe­cial Report (Sur­vey):
http://www.realwomenintrucking.com/2013/12/03/truck-parking-special-report/#sthash.mYrorwG5.dpuf

FHWA 2013 Pre­sen­ta­tion: http://www.smalllinks.com/36RW

FHWA 2002 Report: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/01158/01158.pdf

NTSB 2000 Report: http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/safetystudies/SIR0001.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
13
Aug

In a deci­sion issued August 11, 2014, the Occu­pa­tional Safety and Health Admin­is­tra­tion (“OSHA”) has found that truck owner Terry Unrein fired truck dri­ver Rebecca Barn­hard for refus­ing to drive a truck with a defec­tive steer tire and for com­plain­ing that a head­light on the truck oper­ated only inter­mit­tently. Unrein owned and oper­ated five trucks, and trans­ported goods under con­tract with Gulick Trucking.

OSHA ordered Unrein to rein­state Ms. Barn­hard to her for­mer posi­tion as a truck dri­ver, to pay her back pay, and to pay her attor­ney fees. OSHA also ordered Unrein to post a copy of a notice at its work place indi­cat­ing that Ms. Barnard had won her case, and that the Sur­face Trans­porta­tion Assis­tance Act pro­tects dri­vers from retal­i­a­tion for mak­ing com­plaints about vio­la­tions of com­mer­cial vehi­cle safety reg­u­la­tions, and for refus­ing to drive in vio­la­tion of a com­mer­cial vehi­cle safety regulation.

Ms. Barn­hard states, “I am delighted with OSHA’s deci­sion and feel that my deci­sion to refuse to drive an unsafe truck has been vin­di­cated. My employer wanted me to take short­cuts to side­step DOT reg­u­la­tions and I am happy that the law pro­tected me when I refused to take short­cuts with safety.”

Attorney Paul Taylor

Attor­ney Paul Taylor

Mr. Barn­hard was rep­re­sented by Mr. Paul Tay­lor, an attor­ney with Truck­ers Jus­tice Cen­ter in Burnsville, Minnesota.

A com­plete copy of OSHA’s deci­sion may be viewed here.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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6
Aug
NetworkFOB- Leading the way in support for Jasons Law and Trucker Safety

Net­work­FOB– Lead­ing the way in sup­port for Jasons Law and Trucker Safety

Since the June 26th mur­der of truck dri­ver Michael Boeglin in Detroit, much atten­tion has been directed towards the seri­ous lack of truck park­ing cri­sis and its direct asso­ci­a­tion with truck dri­ver fatigue and dri­ver safety.

Not only is there already insuf­fi­cient truck park­ing, but there are addi­tional hin­drances which fur­ther enhance the exist­ing cri­sis, inten­si­fy­ing the safety haz­ards for pro­fes­sional drivers.

Other obsta­cles which are exac­er­bat­ing the park­ing short­age and dri­ver risk include:

Forced to Park Ille­gally- Because of the com­bi­na­tion of lack of truck park­ing and the HOS of ser­vice rule, which pre­vents truck­ers from dri­ving after their allowed hours of dri­ving time, truck­ers at times are forced to pull over on the side of a road to rest, many times on an exit or entrance ramp, caus­ing severe high­way safety risks for them­selves and the gen­eral public.

Ship­pers and Receivers – Accord­ing to the data of the 2013 Truck Park­ing Sur­vey, a major prob­lem dri­vers are faced with is their pick up and deliv­er­ies at ship­pers and receivers. Many time dri­vers arrive early and are not allowed to park on the prop­erty of either, even though many facil­i­ties have ample park­ing avail­able. Again this was the case for Jason Riven­burg who parked in a nearby aban­doned gas station.

Forced to Park in unsafe sur­round­ings - Dri­vers are forced many times to park in unsafe sur­round­ings in order to get their much needed rest. This was the case for Jason Riven­burg, who parked in an aban­doned gas sta­tion wait­ing to be able to unload his early morn­ing deliv­ery, which resulted in his vio­lent death. Jason was an open tar­get for preda­tors as he parked in an iso­lated area and was shot and killed before he could make his early morn­ing deliv­ery at Food Lion.

In response to the pre­vi­ous arti­cle on Ask­TheTrucker,What the Gen­eral Pub­lic needs to know about High­way Safety, Truck Dri­ver Fatigue, and Truck park­ing’ Tim Tay­lor of Net­work­FOB has responded on LinkedIn and to his mail­ing list with the fol­low­ing state­ment.
It is our hope that the rest of the Indus­try will fol­low his lead with this call

Tim Taylor Executive Chairman at Network FOB

Tim Tay­lor
Exec­u­tive Chair­man at Net­work FOB

Response by Tim Taylor-Executive Chair­man at Network FOB

As a com­pany we would like to have our agents sup­port our efforts to imple­ment Jason’s Law, a law writ­ten to make park­ing safer for dri­vers. The law is in place, the imple­men­ta­tion is not.

The basics are this:

Truck dri­ver Jason Riven­burg, kissed his 2-year old son and preg­nant wife good-bye on Wednes­day, March 4, 2009. He dropped a load in Vir­ginia and then headed off to his sec­ond deliv­ery in South Car­olina. He was 12 miles away from his des­ti­na­tion when he needed to pull off the road. He was ahead of sched­ule and trucks are not allowed to show up at deliv­ery sites early. The only place he had to park was an aban­doned gas sta­tion – he’d heard through the grapevine it was safe.

The grapevine was wrong. Jason was mur­dered in his truck that night. His killer stole $7.00. Thir­teen days later, his wife Hope gave birth to twins.

We as a com­pany and as an indus­try need to help ensure the safety of dri­vers. If you tweet, tweet about it, if you LinkIn post about it. If you sim­ply want to help in other ways, talk to ship­pers, receivers, dri­vers and dis­patch­ers about it. This is some­thing to give back to those who do so much for us. Nobody should have to place them­selves in dan­ger­ous places to com­ply with rest require­ments. The new HOS reg­u­la­tions demand more rest peri­ods, those places to rest should be safe.
Read about Jason’s Law here: http://jhlrivenburg.com/cgi/wp/
and here:
Elite Freight Agents (all Net­work FOB per­son­nel are invite to join our group)”

This is not the first time that Mr. Tay­lor has expressed con­cern for pro­fes­sional dri­vers as he con­tacted us 7/23/14 on Twit­ter with this tweet.

Tim Tay­lor ?@Tim­Naples Jul 23 @ask­thetrucker Allen. We need a bul­let point on Jason’s Law to keep pub­li­ciz­ing it to non-trucking folks. It’s known in trucker community

In response to Tim’s request, Ask­TheTrucker cre­ated the Jasons Law Bul­let Point
“Jasons Law for Improved High­way Safety Address­ing Truck Dri­ver Fatigue”

Tim con­tin­ued to express his con­cerns for pro­fes­sional dri­vers by stat­ing to me personally,

I per­son­ally abhor the prac­tices of some ship­pers (ware­houses etc) that abuse or mis­treat dri­vers. I don’t like mis­treat­ment by any­body to any­body. A dri­ver at the bot­tom end of the eco­nomic scale is espe­cially vul­ner­a­ble to the “sys­tem”, being forced basi­cally to sleep in unsafe areas”

Ask­TheTrucker applauds Mr Tay­lor for tak­ing this vocal and moral step, sup­port­ing the hard work­ing truck­ers of this coun­try, and acknowl­edg­ing the obsta­cles and sac­ri­fices they endure.

Related read­ing by Tim Tay­lor “High respon­si­bil­ity can­not be com­pen­sated with low pay”

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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2
Aug

 

Hope Rivenburg of Jasons Law_ Filmed at 2012 Annual Trucking Social Media Convention- by Investigation Discover

Hope Riven­burg of Jasons Law Filmed at 2012 Truck­ing Social Media Convention-by Inves­ti­ga­tion Discovery

Jasons Law for Improved High­way Safety: Address­ing Truck Dri­ver Fatigue

Address­ing Truck Dri­ver Fatigue caused by insuf­fi­cient truck park­ing, not allow­ing dri­vers to com­ply with Hours of Ser­vice Fed­eral Reg­u­la­tions, there­fore pre­vent­ing them to receive rest after dri­ving 11 hours driving.

Fed­eral Reg­u­la­tions con­tinue to be placed on Com­mer­cial Dri­vers, how­ever, the causes for Truck Dri­ver Fatigue are con­tin­u­ally not addressed. Besides an Hours of Ser­vice Rule set in place by the FMCSA, which has in many dri­vers opin­ions INCREASED their fatigue

Truck dri­ver Jason Riven­burg, kissed his 2-year old son and preg­nant wife good-bye on Wednes­day, March 4, 2009. He dropped a load in Vir­ginia and then headed off to his sec­ond deliv­ery in South Car­olina. He was 12 miles away from his des­ti­na­tion when he needed to pull off the road. He was ahead of sched­ule and trucks are not allowed to show up at deliv­ery sites early. The only place he had to park was an aban­doned gas sta­tion – he’d heard through the grapevine it was safe.

The grapevine was wrong. Jason was mur­dered in his truck that night. His killer stole $7.00. Thir­teen days later, his wife Hope gave birth to twins.

Jason’s Law to allow for more safe truck park­ing, received bi-partisan sup­port in both the Sen­ate and the House. H.R. 1803.spon­sored by U.S. Reps Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN), with sig­na­tures from 26 sup­port­ing con­gress­man. In the Sen­ate, Sen­a­tors Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gilli­brand of NY brought forth S 1187.

Jason’s Law was passed and made law in the 2012 Trans­porta­tion Bill Map 21 As of this date there has been no sig­nif­i­cant addi­tion of Truck Park­ing. The widow of Jason Riven­burg who has tire­lessly fought for more safe truck park­ing ini­ti­ated the National Truck Park­ing Sur­vey which has been pre­sented to the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DOT).

Lack of park­ing has been a major com­plaint for truck­ers for decades, con­firmed though exten­sive research and fund­ing by branches of the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion, includ­ing the FMCSA.

Because of a slug­gish econ­omy, many more park­ing facil­i­ties are clos­ing down, increas­ing the need for more gov­ern­ment aware­ness and pub­lic con­cern for the problem.

What many do not real­ize is that the lack of truck park­ing facil­i­ties poses an extreme dan­ger to the gen­eral pub­lic as well as pro­fes­sional truck dri­vers. The prob­lem with inad­e­quate truck park­ing affects every­one dri­ving the highways:

Jasons Law- Parking said no trucker

Dri­vers are strictly reg­u­lated by law on how many hours they are allowed to drive

  • Dri­vers are allowed to drive only 11 hours/day ( Hours of Ser­vice Reg­u­la­tions setby Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment)Know­ing this, a dri­ver must plan their trip accord­ingly in order to com­ply with reg­u­la­tions, not exceed­ing their dri­ving lim­its. The Hours of Ser­vice rule for truck dri­vers con­tains an 11-hour daily dri­ving limit and 14-hour work day limit.

Note that this is strictly enforced and a dri­ver who vio­lates HOS receives a vio­la­tion. Since the FMCSA incep­tion of CSA (Com­pli­ance Safety, and Account­abil­ity), these vio­la­tions can prove to be dam­ag­ing to both the dri­ver and the car­rier, as all vio­la­tions will be recorded and main­tained. If a dri­ver can not find park­ing to rest, he/she not only risks receiv­ing a vio­la­tion, but more impor­tantly risks the lives of those shar­ing the high­ways with them.

  • Sleep is the cure for fatigue- A truck dri­vers job is demand­ing, and the lack of rest can cause seri­ous ram­i­fi­ca­tions in regards to high­way safety. If a dri­ver plans his/her trip and there is no ade­quate park­ing avail­able in either the rest area or truck stop, he/she is forced to move on, many times dri­ving fatigued, look­ing for an avail­able spot, whether that be legal or ille­gal parking.

The fact that truck dri­vers many times are forced to drive fatigued because of a lack of park­ing is a con­tra­dic­tion to the goal of improv­ing safety set by the FMCSA

  • Forced to Park Ille­gally- Because of the com­bi­na­tion of lack of truck park­ing and the HOS of ser­vice rule, which pre­vents truck­ers from dri­ving after their allowed hours of dri­ving time, truck­ers at times are forced to pull over on the side of a road to rest, many times on an exit or entrance ramp, caus­ing severe high­way safety risks for them­selves and the gen­eral public.
  • Forced to Park in unsafe sur­round­ings - Dri­vers are forced many times to park in unsafe sur­round­ings in order to get their much needed rest. This was the case for Jason Riven­burg, who parked in an aban­doned gas sta­tion which resulted in his vio­lent death. Jason was an open tar­get for preda­tors as he parked in an iso­lated area and was shot and killed before he could make his early morn­ing delivery.
  • Ship­pers and Receivers — Accord­ing to the data of the 2013 Truck Park­ing Sur­vey, a major prob­lem dri­vers are faced with is their pick up and deliv­er­ies at ship­pers and receivers. Many time dri­vers arrive early and are not allowed to park on the prop­erty of either, even though many facil­i­ties have ample park­ing avail­able. Again this was the case for Jason Riven­burg who parked in a nearby aban­doned gas station.

    Courtesy of RealWomenInTrucking.com

    Cour­tesy of RealWomenInTrucking.com

One solu­tion sug­gested by SBTC is the Com­mu­nity Ori­ented Approach.

Recently, on June 26th 30 year old OTR trucker Michael Boeglin of Fer­di­nand, Ind. was shot and killed in his truck as he parked at an aban­doned build­ing wait­ing to pick up a load from the nearby ThyssenK­rupp steel plant.

  • Accord­ing to the data of the 2013 Truck Park­ing Sur­vey, it has come to our atten­tion that law enforce­ment, includ­ing DOT, has been wak­ing dri­vers up for either ID, inspec­tions, or ask­ing them to move. Dri­vers are man­dated to REST as part of the Hours of Ser­vice Reg­u­la­tions of the FMCSA ( Hours of Ser­vice Reg­u­la­tions set by Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment)This behav­ior is unac­cept­able and unlaw­ful, adding to the already seri­ous con­cern of truck park­ing short­ages result­ing in lack of or inter­rupted sleep for driver.

It also com­pro­mises safety of the high­way for all as it encour­ages fatigued dri­vers to drive, iron­i­cally by those who are sworn to secure our safety.

One solu­tion has been brought up by SBTC, who is call­ing on law enforce­ment agen­cies to engage in sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing to stop the unlaw­ful prac­tice of wak­ing dri­vers up dur­ing the Fed­er­ally man­dated sleep peri­ods cur­rently plagu­ing dri­vers. SBTC has deter­mined there is a mech­a­nism to report those local law enforce­ment agen­cies that habit­u­ally inter­fere with fed­er­ally man­dated sleep to the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice and we are invit­ing truck­ers to file Sleep Inter­fer­ence Com­plaints with the SBTC.

There are many other rea­sons which affect Truck Dri­ver Fatigue, how­ever, we must address the Issue of “Allow­ing Dri­vers to Sleep” if we are ever going to “cure” this problem.

No Truck Parking- A common sign within the Industry

No Truck Park­ing– A com­mon sign within the Industry

RESULTS for Truck Park­ing Sur­vey Open Com­ments Down­load­able Links:

  • What are the cir­cum­stances and how often does it take 60 min­utes or more to locate truck park­ing to com­ply with your fed­er­ally man­dated hours of ser­vice (HOS) rest break?”  Click Here for PDF
  • “States that need most improve­ment.” Click Here for PDF

  • “Please iden­tify which Ports and/or sur­round­ing facil­i­ties have an inad­e­quate amount of safe park­ing. Click Here for PDF
  • “Cities most men­tioned that need more truck park­ing.” Click Here for PDF
  • “Ship­pers and Receivers that detain dri­vers but do not allow them to remain parked safe on their prop­er­ties.” Click Here for PDF

Sup­ple­men­tal infor­ma­tion :

Jasons Law Courtesy of TruckerToTrucker.com

Jasons Law Cour­tesy of TruckerToTrucker.com

Jason’s Law (Sec­tion 1401)

Ques­tion: Truck park­ing projects are eli­gi­ble for High­way Safety Improve­ment Pro­gram (HSIP) and Sur­face Trans­porta­tion Pro­gram (STP) funds (sec­tions 1112 and 1108 of MAP-21). Does sec­tion 1401 of MAP-21, Jason’s Law, extend this eli­gi­bil­ity to National High­way Per­for­mance Pro­gram (NHPP) funds? (Added 1/6/2014)

Answer: Yes, truck park­ing projects are con­sid­ered a high­way safety improve­ment and such improve­ments for seg­ments of the National High­way Sys­tem (NHS) are eli­gi­ble under 23 U.S.C. 119(d)(2)(I).

DOWNLOAD THIS ARTICLE HERE:
What the Gen­eral Pub­lic needs to know about High­way Safety, Truck Dri­ver Fatigue, and Truck park­ing

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
27
Jul

GATS

The Truck­ing Solu­tions Group (TSG) will once again be busy at the Great Amer­i­can Truck­ing Show this year. The show is being held on August 21–23, 2014 at the Kay Bai­ley Hutchi­son Con­ven­tion Cen­ter (for­merly Dal­las Con­ven­tion Center).

TSG Annual Blood Drive at GATS

TSG Annual Blood Drive at GATS

 

Trucking Solutions Group Health Awareness Walk

Truck­ing Solu­tions Group Health Aware­ness Walk

The  TSG group will be hold­ing its annual blood drive in part­ner­ship with the Amer­i­can Red Cross in booth #23080 on all three days. No appoint­ment is necessary.

 

 

 

 

Also, once again TSG will be con­duct­ing their annual Health Aware­ness Walk on Sat­ur­day morn­ing at 9 am. This year the group is going to walk over to Dealey Plaza, loca­tion of the for­mer Texas Book Depos­i­tory build­ing from which Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy was shot.

NEW THIS YEAR FOR TSG!
Bone Mar­row donors are needed des­per­ately to help save the lives of those suf­fer­ing from leukemia and other blood cancers.

This year The Truck­ing Solu­tions Group is also part­ner­ing with Make It Hap­pen USA , a bone mar­row donor reg­istry orga­ni­za­tion. TSG will assist Make It Hap­pen USA in increas­ing the num­ber of peo­ple reg­is­tered in the national bone mar­row donor registry.

 

Make It Happen USA, partnered with Delete Blood Cancer, has a simple goal. To recruit more individuals to become registered donors.

Make It Hap­pen USA, part­nered with Delete Blood Can­cer, has a sim­ple goal. To recruit more indi­vid­u­als to become reg­is­tered donors.

Reg­is­tra­tion will  take place in the Truck­ing Solu­tions Group booth #23080. Fill out a form and have your mouth swabbed, which will be used to detect a pos­si­ble match in the data­base of needed stem cell or bone mar­row donors.

DOES ANCESTRY OR ETHNICITY AFFECT MATCHING?

Eth­nic­ity and her­itage are very impor­tant fac­tors. Patients are most likely to match some­one of sim­i­lar eth­nic­ity or her­itage. Poten­tial donors with diverse eth­nic her­itage are severely lack­ing on the reg­istry. Adding more eth­ni­cally diverse mem­bers increases the like­li­hood that all patients will find a life­sav­ing match.

How do I become a bone mar­row donor?

The first step to becom­ing a bone mar­row donor is to register.

Only 2% of the US pop­u­la­tion is part of the reg­istry. Every 3 min­utes a child or adult is diag­nosed with a blood can­cer. It’s quick, easy, pain­less and free!
A reg­is­tra­tion form, some edu­ca­tion and a mouth swab. And it can all be done at the TSG booth! 


If you can not make it to GATS feel free to con­tact Tom Kyrk at roadtestedliving@gmail.com to find out how to get your FREE kit to do at home. This great ser­vice they are will­ing to offer dri­vers who can not make the event.

Great Amer­i­can Truck Show Hours:
Thurs­day August 21– 12pm-5
Fri­day    August 22– 10 am-5 pm Sat­ur­day. August 23– 10 am-5 pm

Make It Hap­pen USA
25761 E. Orchard Dr.
Aurora, CO 80016 Phone: 303.667.6657

Related Posts
“Doing For Oth­ers”  by Tom Kyrk  of Road Tested Living

 

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
24
Jul

Photo cour­tesy of: Maren Guse, cnycentral.com

Oper­at­ing as an inde­pen­dent, small bro­ker or a car­rier with 5 to 20 trucks, one high dam­age freight claim can make the dif­fer­ence between main­tain­ing a suc­cess­ful truck­ing busi­ness to hav­ing to shut the doors completely.

With the rise of cargo theft increas­ing by an over­all aver­age of nearly 600% within the last few years, the aver­age loss value across all cat­e­gories of inci­dents was $161,676 per quar­ter as last reported in August, 2013.

In fact, on a scale of 1–5, with 5 being the high­est for theft risk, the United States sits at a scale of 4 with “decep­tive pickup” still being one of the high­est forms of meth­ods used by thieves. This method rep­re­sents 6.4% of cargo theft incidents.

Should a small car­rier or inde­pen­dent find them­selves in such a sit­u­a­tion where they are at a loss of tens of thou­sands of dol­lars, what hap­pens if their insur­ance car­rier does not pay the high dam­age claim? In many cases, the smaller car­rier and inde­pen­dent will find that the insur­ance com­pany will deny the claim due to what is known as “Intel­lec­tual Act of Driver.”

Case in point:

A small bro­ker turned over a high, over-sized load to a small car­rier oper­at­ing around 20 trucks. The dri­ver of the flatbed was told by the pilot car dri­ver in front that he was good to go for clear­ance to an upcom­ing bridge. Unfor­tu­nately, he was mis­taken. The truck dri­ver ended up top­ping out the bridge, caus­ing nearly $30,000 in damages.

With a high dam­age claim and the insur­ance com­pany deny­ing cov­er­age due to “Intel­lec­tual Act of Dri­ver,” $30,000 could prove to be the end of a busi­ness for both bro­ker and inde­pen­dent. Such inci­dents can result in the smaller bro­ker not being able to pay such a large claim and fines, unable to pay the car­rier and dri­ver as well as not capa­ble of pay­ing the bond.

Same can be true for cases involv­ing “decep­tive pickup.”  How easy is it for some­one pos­ing as a dri­ver or asso­ciate for a car­rier to enter a ship­per claim­ing to be the pickup for a par­tic­u­lar high value load?  Ship­pers rarely con­firm a driver’s iden­tity or even the mark­ings on the truck, such as the Vehi­cle Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Num­ber (VIN). By not doing so, how can the ship­per be absolute cer­tain that the vehi­cle used for pickup is valid?

Smaller bro­kers also find them­selves the tar­get of cargo thefts by not con­firm­ing the VIN and/or iden­tity of the dri­ver and vehi­cle. Because of this, it remains that cargo theft is a seri­ous cause of bro­kers and inde­pen­dents tak­ing the respon­si­bil­ity  for such high dam­ages, fines and claims which can ulti­mately lead to the fail­ure of their business.

Out of court set­tle­ments for bro­kers and independents

In the case of the above over-sized load inci­dent, the bro­ker was caught in a seri­ous “who to blame” sce­nario. The bro­ker needed the claim paid but the insur­ance com­pany denied it; the truck dri­ver pointed at the pilot car oper­a­tor while the oper­a­tor pointed at the truck dri­ver. Hav­ing to take the issue to court would only fur­ther com­pound expenses for all par­ties involved.

An impor­tant les­son to learn for small bro­kers, as well as inde­pen­dents, is that in seri­ous cases such as these where claim dam­ages, fines and the pos­si­bil­ity of court costs could ruin their com­pany or seri­ously dam­age their busi­ness prof­itabil­ity, Net­work FOB can help all par­ties involved to set­tle the dam­ages with­out hav­ing to go to court.

In the over-sized load claim, Net­work FOB assisted the agent by offer­ing an afford­able finance plan to cover the cost of the $30,000 dam­age claim. Spe­cial­iz­ing in the han­dling of freight loss claims, the Net­work was founded by Exec­u­tive Chair­man, Tim Tay­lor and offers ser­vices for truck­load, heavy haul, LTL, inter-modal, inter­na­tional, expe­dited and small parcel.

By offer­ing the smaller agent in this case a pay­ment plan for 11 months at 8%, result­ing in a monthly pay­ment of $2,900, the agent was able to pay the claim and not fear los­ing the busi­ness. Where claim set­tle­ments are usu­ally based on a 50/50 split, as in the past when it was often seen at 55/45 and even 60/40, Net­work­FOB has offered the ratio of a 80/20 split, eas­ing the bur­den for many bro­kers and truck­ers when faced with a high dam­age claim where the insur­ance com­pany denies coverage.

In my inter­view with Mr. Tay­lor, he also offered advice for ship­pers, bro­kers and dri­vers in order to fur­ther assist in the bat­tle against truck cargo theft:

“It’s a mat­ter of wis­ing up. Bro­kers and ship­pers need to check the cer­tifi­cate of insur­ance. They need to ver­ify the VIN on the truck, the mark­ings on the truck and trailer. The ship­pers espe­cially have to get more involved. As a bro­ker, how do you know that the dri­ver and truck VIN and mark­ings are valid? We just can’t take their word for it when they are on the phone, a thou­sand miles away. Have them email or fax you the required doc­u­ments and then relay that infor­ma­tion to the ship­per.

“Dri­vers must keep up on their paper­work and doc­u­ments. They need to be care­ful when talk­ing on the phone with the bro­ker or ship­per, tak­ing down all the load infor­ma­tion. These cargo thieves will stand by, lis­ten­ing, tak­ing down your notes and load info and beat­ing them to the ship­per. They have all the info the dri­ver just pro­vided for them; why would the ship­per not believe them?”

“The ship­pers have to get more involved by check­ing the vehi­cle mark­ings and num­bers, as well as the infor­ma­tion on the so-called pickup dri­ver. This will play a major role in com­bat­ing cargo theft.”

You can read more about their ser­vices via the Net­work­FOB press release.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
23
Jul
Trucker Michael Boeglin and his wife, Ashley. (Photo from Fox 2 Detroit)

Trucker Michael Boeglin and his wife, Ash­ley. (Photo from Fox 2 Detroit)

On June 26th 30 year old OTR trucker Michael Boeglin of Fer­di­nand, Ind. was shot and killed in his truck as he parked at an aban­doned build­ing wait­ing to pick up a load from the nearby ThyssenK­rupp steel plant.

The fam­ily is try­ing to pick up the pieces from the dev­as­ta­tion of this tragedy, how­ever as you can imag­ine, it has not been an easy jour­ney so far nor is the road ahead expected to be either.

The truck­ing com­mu­nity  has since shown its sup­port for the fam­ily through a vari­ety of ways, includ­ing 3 Fund­ing Options to aid widow Ash­ley Boeglin and her unborn child.  The fam­ily is also reg­is­tered with CrimeStop­pers and funds col­lected through the options below will also be used for the reward to aid in the cap­ture of these cold blooded mur­der­ers of fel­low trucker Michael Boeglin.

Please choose one if the options to place your dona­tion, there is NONE too small.
All 3 Options have been ver­i­fied and approved by the Boeglin Family.

Option 1–  GoFundMe  “Michael and Ash­ley Boeglin Fam­ily Fund”  ini­ti­ated by  Mis­sy­La­dyTrucker of AskAVeteranDriver.com  The page was cre­ated by David Clark along with this mes­sage: “Today was close to the tough­est day in my Life! Mike was buried today ~ the ser­vice was great ~ all of the peo­ple were won­der­ful and very sup­port­ive, I just NEVER imag­ined that WE, the Fam­i­lies and Friends of Mike would EVER have to expe­ri­ence the loss, and the dev­as­ta­tion of what­ever this is~! I know i’m just not mak­ing any kind of sense ~ it’s just so sense­less! Thank you for the sup­port ~ but WE have a long way to go for Ash­ley and the baby ~ please help~!!!!!  ”

Option 2–  Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion started by James  of SBTC, is call­ing for dona­tions to be made from com­pa­nies and indi­vid­u­als within the truck­ing indus­try. Mr. Lamb will present the fam­ily the col­lected funds  along with the names ( not amounts) of those who par­tic­i­pated in this fund­ing drive.

Options 3–  The Ger­man Amer­i­can Bank  Dona­tions can be made by call­ing 812–367-2288  Ash­ley Boeglin gave this num­ber out the night of our radio show when we asked her if there was a dona­tion line peo­ple could call into.

David Clark and Ash­ley Boeglin also request that we ALL main­tain aware­ness for the mur­der of Michael and not allow it to be swept away and forgotten.

They have since spo­ken with Hope Riven­burg of Jason’s Law and have become strong sup­port­ers for more safe truck park­ing.

The fam­ily believes that had the ship­per, ThyssenK­rupp, allowed Michael to park while he waited to load, this tragedy could have been avoided.

You can lis­ten to the replay of the show with David and Ash­ley, ” Truck Park­ing Short­age: Dri­vers at Risk” below.

Pop­u­lar Cur­rent Events Inter­net Radio with Aubrey Allen Smith on BlogTalkRadio

 

Also, please review the Truck Park­ing Sur­vey which sheds lights of the dan­gers truck dri­vers face because of the seri­ous short­age of safe truck parking.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
22
Jul

 

 Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC).

Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion (SBTC).

By James Lamb

As a for­mer New York Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DOT) Motor Car­rier Inves­ti­ga­tor who used to per­form Fed­eral Level Three Dri­ver Inspec­tions through­out New York State, I am aston­ished to hear sto­ries of how local law enforce­ment offi­cers rou­tinely wake up inter­state dri­vers who are engaged in Federally-mandated rest under the Hours of Ser­vice (HOS) sec­tion of the Fed­eral Motor Car­rier Safety Reg­u­la­tions (FMC­SRs) and demand iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for no legit­i­mate rea­son and under color of law. In most instances, this prac­tice essen­tially amounts to an unlaw­ful vehi­cle stop and con­sti­tutes unwar­ranted harass­ment in vio­la­tion of the trucker’s civil and due process rights.

Dur­ing my years in state gov­ern­ment DOT ser­vice, I would have never even thought to wake a dri­ver up merely to con­duct a DOT inspec­tion. Our nor­mal oper­at­ing pro­ce­dure was to stop vehi­cles already in motion at a weight sta­tion in the nor­mal course of state gov­ern­ment busi­ness and deal with them one-by-one as they rolled in. Wak­ing dri­vers up was not some­thing we were ever trained to do and it appears such a prac­tice is being engaged in by rouge law enforce­ment offi­cers in an arbi­trary and capri­cious man­ner, con­sti­tut­ing an abuse of power.

Recently, thanks to vet­eran pro­fes­sional dri­ver & trucker advo­cate Allen Smith (and his partner-in-time wife Donna) of Truth About Truck­ing, this issue has been get­ting spe­cial atten­tion in the con­text of the more broad issues being dis­cussed by mem­bers of the Indus­try such as: safe truck park­ing, dri­ver pay, HOS, dri­ver harass­ment, and E-logging pro­pos­als. Indeed, dri­vers are quick to point out the sheer hypocrisy of a police offi­cer wak­ing a dri­ver up in the mid­dle of their sleep period to per­form such a DOT inspec­tion to deter­mine if the dri­ver is in com­pli­ance with HOS.

Driver in Sleeper Berth courtesy of <a target=www.aaat.com" width="300" height="235" />

Dri­ver in Sleeper Berth
cour­tesy of www.aaat.com

Imag­ine, if you will, how that con­ver­sa­tion must go:

 Offi­cer: “OK, boy, rise and shine… time for a DOT Inspec­tion.”
Trucker: “What? Now? I’m in the mid­dle of sleep­ing”
Offi­cer: “That’s right, son, it’s inspec­tion time… so break out that log book so I can see if you are in com­pli­ance…”
Trucker: “Well, I WAS in com­pli­ance… until you woke me up! Now I’m in vio­la­tion because I am talk­ing to you.”

Some­times, it’s not so toned down and there are down­right ver­bal con­fronta­tions… and in cer­tain instances, the trucker even gets arrested for “obstruc­tion of jus­tice” if he protests the tim­ing of the enforce­ment action. That’s “jus­tice” you ask? Well, not really. But usu­ally either the courts or the more rea­son­able admin­is­tra­tors of police agen­cies have a way of sort­ing things out and set­ting things right… but only after much unnec­es­sary stress and frus­tra­tion that could have been eas­ily avoided with a lit­tle com­mon sense and, well, cour­tesy. It’s an under­state­ment to say address­ing this issue is a long time coming…

As most of us in the Indus­try know—especially the pro­fes­sional OTR truck dri­ver, under 49 CFR Part 395, oper­a­tors of property-carrying com­mer­cial motor vehi­cles (CMVs) over 10,000 lbs, with cer­tain excep­tions, may not law­fully drive a CMV more than 11 hours fol­low­ing 10 con­sec­u­tive off duty hours and they may not drive after hav­ing been on duty for more than 14 hours. The HOS rules have been in a state of flux for years but this has been the essence of HOS for some time now.

Police offi­cers read­ing this arti­cle should be famil­iar with the con­cept of “Community-Oriented Polic­ing,” which has been around for a few decades now. Accord­ing to the U.S. Depart­ment of Justice:

 “Com­mu­nity Polic­ing is a phi­los­o­phy that pro­motes orga­ni­za­tional strate­gies, which sup­port the sys­tem­atic use of part­ner­ships and problem-solving tech­niques, to proac­tively address the imme­di­ate con­di­tions that give rise to pub­lic safety issues such as crime, social dis­or­der, and fear of crime (see: http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/vets-to-cops/e030917193-CP-Defined.pdf; empha­sis added).”

Essen­tially, it’s a kinder, gen­tler, friend­lier form of polic­ing that makes police and cit­i­zens part­ners in address­ing the under­ly­ing causes of society’s prob­lems. So, if we can do this in polic­ing, then why not apply this to truck­ing to address indus­try prob­lems? SBTC thinks WE CAN!

What Can Be Done

National Truck Parking Survey- Hope Rivenburg-2013 Truck Driver Social Media Convention

National Truck Park­ing Sur­vey– Hope Rivenburg-2013 Truck Dri­ver Social Media Convention

Accord­ingly, SBTC is pleased to intro­duce into the Trans­porta­tion Indus­try the phrase “Community-Oriented Park­ing,” (COP), part and par­cel of a more broad term we are coin­ing called: “Community-Oriented Truck­ing,” (COT) based on form­ing sim­i­lar part­ner­ships. With respect to an issue like safe truck park­ing, then, what we are essen­tially say­ing is we need more “COP” in the equation.

Now, what do we really mean by Com­mu­nity Ori­ented Park­ing? Well, it’s sim­ply a mat­ter of form­ing part­ner­ships between police and truck­ers to defeat the real enemy, namely, dri­ver fatigue that is the cul­prit behind some (not all, but some) CMV-related motor vehi­cle acci­dents. As Allen Smith and other dri­vers report, the answer to dri­ver fatigue is very sim­ply “sleep.” And if sleep is the answer… then any­thing and any­one who inter­feres with sleep is, well, part of the under­ly­ing prob­lem. Case-in-point: not being able to find a safe park­ing area inter­feres with sleep.

To embrace the ‘community-oriented’ approach, first, both police offi­cers and dri­vers need to be involved and com­mit­ted to the pro­gram. On the one hand, offi­cers need to be sen­si­tive to– and exer­cise restraint out of respect for– the driver’s need for sleep to defeat dri­ver fatigue. In turn, dri­vers need to respect the prop­erty they are on and the other mem­bers of the com­mu­nity around them. Key­word: “respect.” Indeed, mutual respect is the key ingre­di­ent. It’s a pretty sim­ple con­cept and is the right for­mula for improv­ing driver-officer rela­tions and driver-community rela­tions in general.

As the Chair­man of the new Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion (SBTC), I am there­fore call­ing on law enforce­ment agen­cies and law enforce­ment man­age­ment groups through­out the United States to insti­tute sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing when it comes to tak­ing enforce­ment action that unnec­es­sar­ily and unrea­son­ably inter­feres with CMV dri­vers’ sleep. Just like the “tex­ting can wait” cam­paigns we see cur­rently in progress in some states like New York these days, SBTC sug­gests that enforce­ment can wait”. That driver’s log book will still be there when he or she wakes up.

We are also ask­ing law enforce­ment benev­o­lent orga­ni­za­tions to embrace this call for def­er­ence to the need to sleep as a mat­ter of pro­mot­ing pub­lic safety and mit­i­gat­ing offi­cer lia­bil­ity. If that dri­ver gets awoken, stressed out over a ticket, and then can’t fall back to sleep as a result then the police agency and the offi­cer could be held liable for a result­ing acci­dent later that day if it can be proven that the dri­ver fatigue was actu­ally caused by the enforce­ment action!

We there­fore ask orga­ni­za­tions that look out for the wel­fare of offi­cers to sim­i­larly put out the call for offi­cers to respect the sanc­tity of sleep for the oper­a­tors of long haul, over the road truck dri­vers. What’s more, we think respect for dri­ver sleep should be for­mally cod­i­fied in law, rules, and police depart­men­tal poli­cies to ensure rouge offi­cers who know­ingly and will­fully vio­late the sanc­tity of sleep are held account­able for such vio­la­tions as mat­ters of law and justice.

SBTC is cur­rently work­ing with FMCSA in the spirit of industry-government part­ner­ship to iden­tify and solve indus­try prob­lems and their under­ly­ing causes. Safe park­ing is at the top of our list. How can truck­ers help? By tak­ing indi­vid­ual respon­si­bil­ity in the form of how they con­duct them­selves in pub­lic and how they inter­act with fel­low dri­vers and mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ties they are guests in. Only through dri­ver account­abil­ity are we to suc­cess­fully con­vince ship­pers and receivers to assume a role in dri­ver safety.

For more on this, look for the SBTC’s new “Trucker Watch” pro­gram in com­ing months (cur­rently under devel­op­ment) geared toward simul­ta­ne­ously enhanc­ing and pro­mot­ing safe park­ing sce­nar­ios for dri­vers, improv­ing dri­vers’ image and rep­u­ta­tion in the eyes of both law enforce­ment and the pub­lic, and “proac­tively address(ing) the imme­di­ate con­di­tions that give rise to pub­lic safety issues such as crime, social dis­or­der, and fear of crime.”

 

Haven’t heard much about the SBTC yet? Well, you will… We are the up-and-coming new small busi­ness ori­ented trade group for “the lit­tle guys” in the trans­porta­tion indus­try who believe we– as truck­ers, car­ri­ers, bro­kers, and ship­pers– are all work­ing in part­ner­ship on the same sup­ply chain team. If you are look­ing for an alter­na­tive to OOIDA to rep­re­sent your inter­ests, one that offers a pro­fes­sional, common-sense, no-nonsense and pos­i­tive approach to indus­try prob­lems– and you believe in form­ing part­ner­ships rather than incit­ing neg­a­tiv­ity and pro­mot­ing con­flict, then SBTC is the right group for you. Visit us online at http://www.smalltransportation.org .

Regards,

/s/ JAMES P. LAMB, Chairman

Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion (SBTC)

© 2014, James Lamb. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
14
Jul
National Truck Parking Survey- Hope Rivenburg-2013 Truck Driver Social Media Convention

National Truck Park­ing Sur­vey– Hope Rivenburg-2013 Truck Dri­ver Social Media Convention

The infa­mous Truck Park­ing Short­age has once again risen its UGLY and Deadly head as yet another trucker is mur­dered because of inad­e­quate safe truck parking.

Insuf­fi­cient Truck Park­ing has been a seri­ous prob­lem for decades, con­firmed by numer­ous FMCSA stud­ies. The fol­low­ing was issued by FMCSA in 1996 and recently updated in 2014 FHWA Com­mis­sions Com­mer­cial Dri­ver Rest and Park­ing Require­ments Study”  

Fed­eral High­way Administration’s Truck Park­ing Ini­tia­tives Slideshow from FHWA Truck Park­ing Activities

On June 26th 30 year old OTR trucker Michael Boeglin of Fer­di­nand, Ind. was shot and killed in his truck as he parked at an aban­doned build­ing wait­ing to pick up a load from the nearby ThyssenK­rupp steel plant.

Trucker Michael Boeglin and his wife, Ashley. (Photo from Fox 2 Detroit)

Trucker Michael Boeglin and his wife, Ash­ley. (Photo from Fox 2 Detroit)

These words are eerily sim­i­lar to the ones we heard 5 years ago in March of 2009 as OTR Truck Dri­ver Jason Riven­burg had parked to rest at an aban­doned gas sta­tion in South Car­olina before his early morn­ing deliv­ery. Both OTR dri­vers wives’, preg­nant at the time of their hus­bands mur­ders, Hope Riven­burg giv­ing birth to twins in 2009 shortly after the homi­cide of Jason and Ash­ley Boeglin, wife of recently shot trucker Michael, is due to give birth in Novem­ber 2014.

What is another sim­i­lar­ity for both of these mur­ders? The LACK OF SAFE and Ade­quate Truck Park­ing, pro­tect­ing pro­fes­sional dri­vers from harm’s way as they run a 14 hour clock, being com­pli­ant with FMCSA Hours of Ser­vice rules.

It’s now been 5 years since U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko first intro­duced the orig­i­nal bill “Jason’s law” to the House in April of 2009 .  The bill, HR 2156, was intro­duced shortly after the March 5, 2009 fatal shoot­ing of Schoharie County OTR dri­ver, Jason Riven­burg and was designed to allow states to receive requested fund­ing in areas where truck park­ing was most needed.

Widow Hope Riven­burg led the 3 year cru­sade, tire­lessly lob­by­ing for more safe truck park­ing until the bill, Jason’s Law, was passed and included in the 2012 Trans­porta­tion Bill.

  • Lan­guage on Truck Park­ing can be found in Sec­tion 1401 of MAP-21 (PL 112–141) enti­tled “Jason’s Law”.

Hope Riven­burg went the extra mile after Jason’s Law was included in MAP 21 by play­ing a major role in HER National Truck Park­ing Sur­vey.  The results of the sur­vey answered many of the ques­tions of where and why truck park­ing is such an issue for pro­fes­sional dri­vers.  The Sur­vey, taken by almost 5000 pro­fes­sional dri­vers, sheds light to why dri­vers are forced to park in iso­lated and dan­ger­ous loca­tions.
Read the dri­vers com­ments on how ship­pers and receivers refuse safe haven for them as they “wait”.  If you want to under­stand the true obsta­cles and chal­lenges that dri­vers face, then read­ing the results of this sur­vey is a must.  Also read:  TRUCK PARKING SPECIAL REPORT by Desiree Wood of Real Women in Trucking

Small Business in Transportation Coalition

Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coalition

Now the truck­ing indus­try is call­ing for unity regard­ing the plea for more safe truck park­ing. Ask A Vet­eran Dri­ver, led by Mis­sy­La­dyTrucker,the cre­ator of the truck­ers help­ing group, first reached out to David Clark, and helped set up the GoFundMe rais­ing over $10,000. A Memo­r­ial Con­voy link can also be found through the same web­site. Along with the above men­tioned fam­ily GoFundMe fundraiser authored by Michael’s father in law, David Clark, the Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion led by James Lamb is call­ing for addi­tional fund­ing from the truck­ing indus­try.

The pur­pose of this 2nd fundraiser ( also approved by the Boeglin fam­ily) is to:
1 Raise funds for widow Ash­ley Boeglin and unborn child
2 Cre­ate indus­try wide con­cern and aware­ness for addi­tional truck park­ing
3 Dis­play sup­port for pro­fes­sional dri­vers, stand­ing  in uni­son, and demand­ing the fol­low through for fund­ing of Jasons Law in the Trans­porta­tion bill.

Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion (“SBTC”) Sets up Fundraiser for Mur­dered Trucker’s Family

James Lamb Gen­eral Man­ager, 12PL; Pres­i­dent, AIPBA;

Dear Group Member,

I know you prob­a­bly get hit up often for dona­tions, but this time it’s dif­fer­ent. This one is for the ben­e­fit of a fallen mem­ber of the truck­ing fam­ily: Michael Boeglin.

Read James Jaillet’s July 7th story “Trucker found shot in truck in Detroit, rig burned” in Over­drive here:
http://www.overdriveonline.com/trucker-found-shot-in-truck-in-detroit-rig-burned/

Then, please con­sider donat­ing here:
In set­ting up this fundraiser, we hope to gar­ner both truck­ing and main­stream media atten­tion to spot­light the issue of safe park­ing for truckers.

While some have declared this story is “not news­wor­thy, ” let’s show them how truck­ing takes care of its own. The amount col­lected will be announced at the SBTC’s Indus­try at Sea event in Sep­tem­ber (www.IndustryatSea.com). Donors* will be rec­og­nized on SBTC social media and web­sites (amounts donated will remain confidential).

I am start­ing off the fundraiser per­son­ally with the first dona­tion…
Please donate what you can. Even just $5 (the cost of a Sub­way foot long) will help.

Sin­cerely,
James Lamb, Chair­man
Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion (“SBTC”)

*The SBTC pledges that 97% of all monies col­lected will be sent to Michael Boeglin’s widow for the ben­e­fit of her and her unborn child (three per­cent will be ear­marked for admin­is­tra­tive expenses such as credit card pro­cess­ing fees).

Hope­fully the dis­play of INDUSTRY sup­port which is tak­ing off will send a mes­sage to Wash­ing­ton telling our gov­ern­ment offi­cials that enough is enough!  Michael Boeglin may not be a celebrity, demand­ing high pro­file atten­tion of main­stream media, he is how­ever a father, son, hus­band, son in law, and a valu­able and loved mem­ber of his fam­ily and the truck­ing community.

Remem­ber, after the recent tragic fatal Wal­mart crash killing James McNair and injur­ing celebrity Tracy Mor­gan, Politi­cians began yelling for stricter HOS and ELD’sWho in Wash­ing­ton is yelling for more safe truck park­ing now that a “truck dri­ver” has been killed?  IS ANYBODY LISTENING?

Note: In con­ver­sa­tion with Overdrive’s Wendy Parker, Hope Riven­burg stresses the need for dri­vers to con­tinue to press their leg­is­la­tors on areas where truck park­ing is sorely lack­ing and/or unsafe. 

 

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
9
Jul

Examiner.com, an online news net­work serv­ing over 20 mil­lion monthly read­ers across the world, appar­ently con­sid­ers the recent mur­der of truck dri­ver, Michael Boeglin as “Not News­wor­thy.

As a writer for the Exam­iner since May 7, 2010, my most recent arti­cle: “Another trucker mur­dered while Con­gress ignores trans­porta­tion fund­ing” was denied pub­li­ca­tion due to the above given rea­son. An incred­i­ble exam­ple of how main­stream news media con­trols the con­tent intended for the gen­eral public.

There­fore, due to this manip­u­la­tion, I will pro­vide the arti­cle here for future reference:

Another trucker mur­dered while Con­gress ignores trans­porta­tion funding

Safe Truck Parking

Safe Truck Parking

It is a ter­ri­fy­ing replay of the heart break­ing story of Hope Riven­burg which led to her three year bat­tle to imple­ment Jason’s Law, a law passed under the High­way Restora­tion Bill to pro­vide fund­ing for safe truck park­ing. This time how­ever, the truck driver’s name is Michael Boeglin, and sim­i­lar to Hope Riven­burg, his wife Ash­ley is expect­ing their first child.

As in the case of Jason Riven­burg who stopped at an aban­doned gas sta­tion, Michael parked his rig at an aban­doned build­ing to wait to pick up his sched­uled load. Accord­ing to Detroit police reports, Michael was shot and his rig set on fire. It is another hor­ri­ble real­ity of what pro­fes­sional truck­ers face while liv­ing life on the road which offers lim­ited safe and secured park­ing areas.

Although Jason’s Law was passed through the Sen­ate as part of the $109 bil­lion trans­porta­tion bill, no fur­ther action by the House or Sen­ate has been taken to fund safer park­ing areas for truck­ers. Also incor­po­rated into MAP-21, the law not only allowed fund­ing for more safe truck park­ing eli­gi­ble under the NHPP, STP and HSIP pro­grams, (Ref: MAP-21, page 5) but also required the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion to per­form a study and assess­ment of truck park­ing facil­i­ties by April 1, 2014. A study and assess­ment that was not com­pleted at the required time. (Ref: MAP-21, page 9).

The DOT sur­vey, con­ducted under the efforts of the Fed­eral High­way Admin­is­tra­tion (FHWA) recently con­cluded receiv­ing com­ments from dri­vers as of May 2nd, 2014.

Not want­ing to wait for D.O.T. to per­form their study, Hope Riven­burg stepped up once again and launched her own truck park­ing suvey which was pre­sented to the DOT to be used in con­junc­tion with their own. The 2013 Jason’s Law Safe Truck Park­ing and Focus Group Pre­sen­ta­tion has thus far received over 15,000 views via Hope’s Slideshare pre­sen­ta­tion. The lady who fought end­lessly for safe truck park­ing fund­ing, con­tin­ues to do the work of Congress.

Most recently, pro­fes­sional trucker, Desiree Wood, founder of Real Women in Truck­ing, includes in her report­ing that as Con­gress went home over the 4th of July hol­i­day, the funds which have been legally set aside for Fed­eral Trans­porta­tion money will begin to “dry up” within a mat­ter of weeks. The news links to Wash­ing­ton Post reporter, Ash­ley Halsey III July 2nd report: Count­down to a shut­down of fed­eral trans­porta­tion fund­ing.

To the wife and fam­ily of Michael Boeglin, truck­ers across social media out­lets send their con­do­lences, yet nobody more than Hope Riven­burg can under­stand the pain they are going through. Through the Jason’s Law Face­book page, Hope once again raises her voice in stand­ing up for the right of truck­ers to have a safe place to park while they con­tinue in their efforts to keep Amer­ica moving:

“I have to vent and no it will not be polit­i­cally cor­rect!! A few weeks ago all we got to hear from all the polit­i­cal big wigs, and “pow­er­ful peo­ple” on all the major news out­lets how HOS need to be tight­ened due to the semi hit­ting a limo which had a “star” in it. Really tight­en­ing more stu­pid rules is not going to solve the prob­lem. Let’s use some com­mon sense if the trucks don’t have a place to park how are they going to obeyed by these “rules?”

“Most of us have heard about the sense­less mur­der of dri­ver Mike Boeglin (which if any­one did research is the 4th mur­der done this way in the past 30 days in Detroit). But you don’t see any of the peo­ple or media sta­tions that was call­ing for stricter HOS say­ing any­thing about how we need to get ship­pers and receivers’ to let dri­vers park on the prop­erty, or just sim­ply proved these men and women with safe park­ing. What a con­cept. Might make it so these dri­vers have less fatigue, and actu­ally can obeyed by the HOS and return home safely to their loved one.”

“I am sure most of these “pow­er­ful” peo­ple live in up scale neigh­bor­hoods, so they don’t have to worry about crim­i­nal activ­ity. I won­der how they would “rest” if they knew pros­ti­tu­tion, drug deals, and mur­ders were hap­pen­ing out­side their homes while they were “rest­ing”? Wake up peo­ple EVERYONE no mat­ter what their social sta­tus had SOMEONE that love them. Everyone’s life is just as impor­tant as the next persons.”

“Mr. Schumer see­ing you were one of the peo­ple call­ing for tougher HOS’s how about you help get implanted a bill you intro­duced back in 2009 like Con­gress­man Tonko is try­ing to.”

“To the fam­ily of Mr. Boeglin I am so very sorry for your loss. I am sorry your child will grow up only know­ing their father from sto­ries. I am sorry a very happy time in your life has been dark­ened with sadness.”

Since 2012, when Jason’s Law was passed, the House and Sen­ate con­tin­ues to ignore the seri­ous impact of the lack of safe truck park­ing across the coun­try. Not only are they allow­ing the funds to dwin­dle away into obscu­rity, but they choose to sit idly by while our nation’s dri­vers like Jason Riven­burg and Michael Boeglin and oth­ers who’s names will never be known, are murdered.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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8
Jul
Truck Driver Fatigue

Truck Dri­ver Fatigue

With the most recent FMCSA man­dated 30-minute break require­ment for Class A CDL dri­vers, the con­tin­ual attempt to con­trol truck dri­ver fatigue is ongoing.

Although one fatal crash is too many, stud­ies by the Fed­eral Motor Car­rier Safety Admin­is­tra­tion has shown that only 1.4% of fatal truck acci­dents were the result of fatigue.

Safety groups con­tinue to push an exag­ger­ated 30% fig­ure into the main­stream media which is seen as truth by the mis­in­formed gen­eral public.

Con­stantly push­ing for and imple­ment­ing addi­tional reg­u­la­tions to com­bat truck dri­ver fatigue will con­tinue to prove unsuc­cess­ful as an indus­try attempts to estab­lish a one cure-all solu­tion for a group con­sist­ing of mil­lions of “individuals.”

The ulti­mate respon­si­bil­ity in man­ag­ing fatigue is up to the indi­vid­ual dri­ver and once brought to the atten­tion of the dis­patcher, the proper action must be taken to cor­rect the prob­lem. All too often the dri­ver is told by dis­patch to: “Roll down your win­dow to get some fresh air,” “Drink a lot of cof­fee,” “Turn your radio on,” “Get out and walk around your truck,” or “Splash some water on your face.”

Although these dis­patch­ing pro­fes­sion­als may con­sider these options as “words of wis­dom,” none of these will have any direct or long-lasting effect in com­bat­ing truck dri­ver fatigue. In fact, they will have no last­ing effect on fatigue, period and most often they will assist in mak­ing mat­ters worse.

A dri­ver expe­ri­enc­ing fatigue could run around the truck 30 times while drink­ing 5 gal­lons of cof­fee and dump­ing a bar­rel of ice-cold water over their head in below-zero temps and 20 miles down the road be falling asleep at the wheel. As one comes to under­stand true human fatigue, even­tu­ally, the body will make you shut down.

No mat­ter the lit­tle “tricks” we use or the num­ber of reg­u­la­tions placed on pro­fes­sional dri­vers, in the end, fatigue will always win. Not even a 30-minute break will fight off human fatigue. To actu­ally over­come dri­ver fatigue, the proper step has to be taken by the indi­vid­ual and accepted by dis­patch­ers and all oth­ers who play an active role in dri­ver safety.

The only absolute cure for dri­ver fatigue is sleep.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
2
Jul
Industry at Sea

Indus­try at Sea

Hosted by the Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion, (“SBTC”), 2014 will mark the 2nd year for the Indus­try at Sea event which works to bring together truck­ing pro­fes­sion­als from all areas of the indus­try includ­ing truck dri­vers, prop­erty bro­kers, freight for­warders and ship­pers, agents and motor carriers.

Designed to pro­mote a “trans­parency” busi­ness model among all par­ties of the indus­try, the event, a three-day cruise to Nas­sau, Bahamas, is spon­sored by DOT Author­ity and 12PL, a prop­erty bro­ker stat­ing their mis­sion as:

“To pro­vide qual­ity and afford­able logis­tics ser­vices for ship­per clients by for­mu­lat­ing part­ner­ships among the play­ers in the sup­ply chain through an eth­i­cal pol­icy of trans­parency in transportation.”

Trans­parency, eth­i­cal busi­ness prac­tices and an over­all trust-respect part­ner­ship between all par­ties of the indus­try is some­thing that Truth About Truck­ing, LLC and this blog has been pro­mot­ing since its incep­tion in 2000. It was our main theme behind the Truck Dri­ver Social Media Con­ven­tion as well.

In order to build a last­ing, pro­fes­sional busi­ness rela­tion among dri­vers, bro­kers, car­ri­ers, ship­pers and all par­ties involved, action must be taken by each indi­vid­ual group. At some point, the “con­stant rhetoric and argu­ing” must stop and the “action” to be taken is meet­ing, shar­ing and net­work­ing together as a “team” with all work­ing together toward the same goal: a suc­cess­ful career for all.

I recently had the oppor­tu­nity to cor­re­spond with a planned attendee of the event, Tim Tay­lor, Exec­u­tive Chair­man of Net­work FOB, a leader in logis­tics and freight for­ward­ing. The fol­low­ing is an arti­cle by Mr. Tay­lor which for me, estab­lishes the mind­set which all in the indus­try should be focus­ing upon. It is a great exam­ple of the cal­iber of peo­ple who will be attend­ing the Indus­try at Sea conference:

Donna and I have already booked our cabin and are attend­ing the Indus­try at Sea event in Sep­tem­ber. We look for­ward to dis­cussing impor­tant dri­ver issues with all atten­dees, includ­ing a ten­ta­tively sched­uled guest from the Fed­eral Motor Car­rier Safety Admin­is­tra­tion (FMCSA).

To join the event, please visit: http://industryatsea.com and we look for­ward to meet­ing every­one there.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
1
Jul

Many times dri­vers want to be a part of the Rule Mak­ing Process of the FMCSA or be a part of the pub­lic com­ments of the FMCSA ‘s Motor Car­rier Safety Advi­sory Com­mit­tee (MCSAC) how­ever, they are intim­i­dated by the process.  It can appear to be an over­whelm­ing process and many are tempted to throw their arms up and say some­thing like, ” What dif­fer­ence will it make?”  I can assure you how­ever, you do make a difference.

Although pub­lic com­ments are allowed at the actual meet­ing itself, truck­ers find dif­fi­culty being able to attend the meet­ings in per­son either because of their work sched­ule or the inabil­ity to eas­ily park in the meet­ing loca­tion near DC ( Arling­ton, VA)

Below is a video show­ing how to sub­mit com­ments online to FMCSA’s MCSAC com­mit­tee.
MCSAC is charged with pro­vid­ing advice and rec­om­men­da­tions to the FMCSA Admin­is­tra­tor on motor car­rier safety pro­grams and motor car­rier safety regulations

VIDEO 1

VIDEO 2

Regulations.gov This web­site con­tains valu­able infor­ma­tion for those con­cerned about the rule mak­ing process of the FMCSA

Included on the site:
What can I find on this site?
How do I find a rule?
How do I sub­mit a com­ment?
How do I find my com­ment?
Do my com­ments make a difference?

Sub­mit your com­ments on pro­posed reg­u­la­tions and related doc­u­ments pub­lished by the U.S. Fed­eral gov­ern­ment. You can also use this site to search and review orig­i­nal reg­u­la­tory doc­u­ments as well as com­ments sub­mit­ted by others.

Want to know more about reg­u­la­tions? Reg­u­la­tions 49 CFR Parts 300–399

Watch the video below to aid in the process of “How to sub­mit com­ments to the FMCSA

 

Audio Ver­sion of “How to Make Com­ments to FMCSA

Dur­ing the time the FMCSA was tak­ing com­ments on our cur­rent Hours of Ser­vice, the Truck­ers For A Cause Group hosted an edu­ca­tional con­fer­ence call with Jim Hill, the for­mer Sec­re­tary of the FMCSA and Joe Rajko­vacz, who at that time was work­ing with OOIDA, to dis­cuss the most effec­tive meth­ods of mak­ing com­ments to the FMCSA. Although some of the con­tent will be out­dated, the prin­ci­ples remain the same.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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30
Jun

How to File a Com­plaint Against an Ille­gal Bro­ker

FMCSA

National Con­sumer Com­plaint Database-Broker Com­plaint Disclaimer

In his con­tin­u­ous effort to help “clean up” the actions and rep­u­ta­tion within the freight bro­ker seg­ment of the trans­porta­tion indus­try, James Lamb of the AIPBA (Asso­ci­a­tion of Inde­pen­dent Prop­erty Bro­kers & Agents) takes seri­ous notice to FMCSA’s Call to Help USDOT Crack Down on Unli­censed, Ille­gally Oper­at­ing Brokers.

 

Mr Lamb’s deep rooted con­cern for freight bro­ker fraud is widely known. He was a strong oppo­nent against the $75,000 bro­ker bond, which was increased to “sup­pos­edly” dimin­ish the harm­ful and costly effects of bro­ker fraud. Mr Lamb has adamantly stated that the bond would not decrease Bro­ker Fraud and that crim­i­nal­iza­tion by stricter enforce­ment of laws would rem­edy the problem.

On Octo­ber 1st, 2013, MAP-21 was imple­mented by the FMCSA. Part of that imple­men­ta­tion included the con­tro­ver­sial $75,000 bro­ker bond.

Here is the video explain­ing the stance against the 75K dol­lar Bro­ker Bond and how it will adversely affect truck­ers and the industry.

VIDEO

Mr Lamb has since called on the Freight Bro­ker com­mu­nity to vol­un­tar­ily include rate trans­parency  as a stan­dard part of their busi­ness model with car­ri­ers, ship­pers, and owner oper­a­tors. He is lead­ing by exam­ple through his newly formed bro­ker­age 12PL. He believes by incor­po­rat­ing and apply­ing rate trans­parency, trusted part­ner­ships between all play­ers involved will be estab­lished as well as a more lucra­tive busi­ness for all. Lamb goes on to say, “The ques­tion is not just how much the load pays the trucker, but how much the load pays period, and how much the trucker gets and how much the bro­ker gets.”

Small Business in Transportation Coalition

Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coalition

Along with the his 12PL bro­ker­age, James Lamb has cre­ated the SBTC ( Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion) invit­ing bro­kers, truck­ers and other enti­ties to be a part of a pos­i­tive and pro­duc­tive alliance within trans­porta­tion. A major goal for SBTC is to fos­ter greater col­lab­o­ra­tion and bet­ter rela­tion­ships among bro­kers, ship­pers and carriers.

Industry at Sea

Indus­try at Sea

In order to fur­ther build and strengthen this part­ner­ship, the SBTC will be hav­ing its annual Indus­try At Sea cruise  this Sep­tem­ber where dis­cus­sions and net­work­ing will be a high­light while atten­dees also enjoy a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas. Details here

 

 

AIPBA Heeds FMCSA’s Call to Help USDOT Crack Down on Unli­censed, Ille­gally Oper­at­ing Brokers.

To File a Com­plaint Against an Ille­gal Bro­ker :

FMCSA: “FMCSA will accept com­plaints regard­ing unreg­is­tered bro­ker­age activ­i­ties of motor car­ri­ers through our National Con­sumer Com­plaint Data­base. FMCSA will work with indus­try groups to use this com­plaint infor­ma­tion and other data to ascer­tain the extent of the unli­censed bro­ker pop­u­la­tion sub­set within the motor car­rier indus­try. The agency will then work toward devel­op­ing a com­pre­hen­sive enforce­ment pro­gram. FMCSA strongly encour­ages all motor car­ri­ers not to accept loads from unreg­is­tered bro­kers or freight for­warders, as these enti­ties might not have the finan­cial secu­rity man­dated by MAP–21. FMCSA also notes that motor car­ri­ers bro­ker­ing loads with­out prop­erly reg­is­ter­ing with FMCSA as bro­kers may be sub­ject to pri­vate civil actions pur­suant to 49 U.S.C. 14707.”

(SOURCE:)

Bro­ker Com­plaint Disclaimer

 

This web­site can be used to sub­mit or report a com­plaint involv­ing an arrange­ment for trans­porta­tion by a bro­ker. Before sub­mit­ting a com­plaint, please check all that apply: This com­plaint involves a bro­ker engaged in arrang­ing transportation…

 

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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26
Jun
Trucking's Perfect Storm?

Trucking’s Per­fect Storm?

What a roller coaster ride over the last few weeks, and it appears quite a storm has been brew­ing within the truck­ing indus­try. Just to keep every­one up to date, here’s a brief review how it has gone down and what has come out of it all:

June 3rd – Anne Ferro makes her state­ment on the DOT “Fast Lane Blog” mak­ing her plea to main­tain the 2013 HOS rule and explain­ing why an amend­ment would threaten safety.

Thus, bring­ing to the atten­tion the graphic dis­play of fatal truck crashes brought on by truck dri­ver fatigue. Just the title of the Blog Post says who the tar­geted audi­ence is:   “Con­gress shouldn’t roll back safety.”  The blog post appeared just two days prior to Sen­a­tor Susan Collins, R-Maine, intro­duc­ing an amend­ment to the Trans­porta­tion, Hous­ing and Urban Devel­op­ment appro­pri­a­tions bill that would sus­pend the require­ment of the 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. peri­ods dur­ing the restart and would allow more than one restart in a seven-day period.

June 5th – Sen­ate appro­pri­a­tions com­mit­tee approved by a large major­ity, the 12 month sus­pen­sion of the 34 hour restart pro­vi­sion. Sen­a­tors who voted for this amend­ment agreed that the  changes would amend restric­tions in the 2013 HOS rule, which presently pre­vents dri­vers from using the restart more than once per week and requires the restart time to include two peri­ods between 1am and 5am. Rea­son for the amend­ment included:

  1. Present 2013 HOS com­pro­mises safety by forc­ing more trucks on road dur­ing early morn­ing traffic
  2. There was insuf­fi­cient data by FMCSA prov­ing improved safety for the 2013 HOS ruling

Dur­ing this same time, truck stop chains were pulling Maxim mag­a­zines off the shelves as an ad inside the mag­a­zine included a graphic, depict­ing truck dri­vers as ser­ial killers out on the road, por­tray­ing them to have lit­tle regard for human life or road safety.

June 5th - OOIDA requested res­ig­na­tion for FMCSA Admin­is­tra­tor, Anne Ferro, writ­ing a let­ter to DOT Sec­re­tary Anthony Foxx. OOIDA stated that Ferro has a “clear bias against truck­ers and the truck­ing indus­try” and that the agency “can no longer per­form its reg­u­la­tory and enforce­ment duties impartially.”

The group also charged Ferro of vio­lat­ing fed­eral laws that pro­hibit fed­er­ally appro­pri­ated money to be used for lob­by­ing pur­poses (Refer­ring to the DOT Fast Lane Blog post of June 3rd). Those in favor of OOIDA’s call became pas­sion­ately involved, com­ment­ing on numer­ous posts and threads, which then car­ried a momen­tum and included dis­cus­sion for all FMCSA reg­u­la­tions which had been bur­den­ing dri­vers dur­ing the last few years; HOS, ELD’S, CSA, and an in gen­eral  over reg­u­la­tion of the industry.

Shortly after, James Lamb of the AIPBA also wrote Sec­re­tary Foxx, defend­ing Anne Ferro.

June 8th — The tragic and fatal truck crash involv­ing a Wal­mart trucker, killing come­dian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair and injur­ing come­dian Tracy Mor­gan. The dri­ver was quoted as say­ing he hadn’t slept for 24 hours, which quickly was inter­preted by the media as mean­ing that he had been dri­ving for 24 hours. (It wasn’t until days later that it was deter­mined that he had actu­ally been speeding.)

The mis­in­for­ma­tion was soon exploited by media, truck­ing safety advo­cacy groups, celebri­ties, and even politi­cians, dis­tort­ing the truth by say­ing in so many words: truck dri­ver fatigue is respon­si­ble for most fatal acci­dents and now the Sen­ate wants to pass an amend­ment to fur­ther reduce safety, amend­ing present HOS reg­u­la­tions by allowing/pushing pro­fes­sional dri­vers to drive even more hours with­out rest.

Below are asso­ci­ated links:

The pub­lic became out­raged, assum­ing by the head­lines and com­ments of the media, that the Collins amend­ment, which was pro­posed in order to sus­pend unsafe por­tions of the 2013 HOS rule, were now made to believe that the amend­ment neg­li­gently com­pro­mised high­way safety to appease truck­ing greed.

June 17th - Another let­ter writ­ten by Annette Sand­berg, for­mer admin­is­tra­tor of the FMCSA, also spoke out in sup­port of the Collins Amend­ment and its vital changes to the 34-hour restart pro­vi­sion. The let­ter was addressed to lead­ers of the Sen­ate Com­mit­tee on Appro­pri­a­tions, Sub­com­mit­tee on Trans­porta­tion, she stated the changes to the restart pro­vi­sion imposed by the cur­rent admin­is­tra­tion were “done with­out the ben­e­fit of proper sci­en­tific research, and [are] hurt­ing high­way safety” — as well as the economy.

She also stated that due to the Wal­mart crash that “Cur­rent evi­dence … indi­cates the cause of this crash had noth­ing to do with the pro­vi­sions being addressed in Sen­a­tor Collins’ amend­ment.” Also in the let­ter, she made the point that “To imply that these changes had any­thing to do with crash in New Jer­sey is polit­i­cal oppor­tunism at its worst.”

Finally in her let­ter, Sand­berg explained how the cur­rent restart rules could actu­ally com­pro­mise safety rather than enhance it, by forc­ing more trucks onto high­ways dur­ing early morn­ing hours, some­thing that most all dri­vers agree with, includ­ing those dri­vers who oppose OOIDA’s call for the recent administrator’s resignation.

It wasn’t until a group of OOIDA mem­bers wrote their let­ter to Sec­re­tary Foxx, sup­port­ing Admin­is­tra­tor Ferro and dis­agree­ing with OOIDA’s call for her res­ig­na­tion, that the indus­try appeared to be divided. Their let­ter included sup­port for the admin­is­tra­tor by point­ing out pos­i­tive con­cerns that the present admin­is­tra­tor has addressed for dri­vers, such as when she addressed Con­gress, stat­ing that dri­vers should be paid for all on duty time.

It is this let­ter that has become the most recent focus of atten­tion in the indus­try, as this group of vet­eran dri­vers (who also sup­port OOIDA in other issues), are now being dis­sected, scru­ti­nized and crit­i­cized by some of their fel­low dri­vers, some even going so far as to call the authors of the let­ter “trai­tors” to their fel­low drivers.

But are they really? Or are they point­ing out facts, voic­ing their opin­ions through con­vic­tion, and in doing so, allow­ing oth­ers to be aware of points that may have oth­er­wise been missed in all of the com­pli­cated and emo­tional sequence of events.

Stand­ing up for what you believe in is hardly easy, and it doesn’t always prove you are right, but it does dis­play courage to go against the tide of the major­ity, tak­ing the chance to expose your­self to ridicule and crit­i­cism. But in the end, what you have achieved, even with the harsh­est skep­tics and haters, you have planted a seed.

This newly planted seed will cre­ate curios­ity and many will research its fact, truth and valid­ity, and if they do inves­ti­gate for them­selves, they have just broad­ened their mind to open­ness and con­trary opin­ion as well as becom­ing more informed regard­ing ALL the facts. It could very well be an “Ahh Ha!” moment for many.

Many will not change their opin­ions, how­ever, the knowl­edge they have gained by try­ing to prove wrong, those who have the “audac­ity to speak up against pop­u­lar opin­ion,” has now proven to ben­e­fit them also; by sup­ple­ment­ing their infor­ma­tion and knowl­edge, cre­at­ing greater con­vic­tion for beliefs, based on facts rather than just going along with the pop­u­lar­ity of the masses.

I believe this entire trail of events has stirred up a pas­sion and an increased thirst for indi­vid­ual under­stand­ing of what is going on in our indus­try. It is putting together many of the puz­zle pieces: low dri­ver wages, the need to be paid for all on duty time, deten­tion pay, dri­ver fatigue — the real causes, HOS and the real issues for the need for dri­ver rest flex­i­bil­ity, ELD’s and how they relate to dri­ver wages while enforc­ing a flawed HOS rule.

I will include a quote by Jeff Clark in regards to dri­ver wages/profits:

“Elim­i­nate the incen­tive to cheat would go fur­ther towards fight­ing fatigue than any HOS or mechan­i­cal device.”

When I read this, it indeed was sim­i­lar to what James Lamb, another indus­try pro­fes­sional has sug­gested, that dri­vers are opposed to ELDS  because they would no longer be able to cheat on their logs, sig­nif­i­cantly affect­ing their wages. Mr. Lamb’s solu­tion was to call for Rate Trans­parency among Freight Bro­kers, indi­cat­ing that if Bro­kers were trans­par­ent, then O/O’s would make more profit and the con­cern for ELD’s would diminish.

Both Jeff and James, with­out prior dis­cus­sion, have agreed that dri­vers need to make more money and then other issues would also be resolved, if only their wages and prof­its were increased.

You may now won­der, where do I stand on all of this? I myself believe the HOS rule is severely flawed, not allow­ing flex­i­bil­ity for dri­vers to receive qual­ity rest. I believe that the Collins amend­ment will cre­ate safer roads. I believe there are many rea­sons which con­tribute to truck dri­ver fatigue. I can see that the FMCSA still has much work to do with CSA and I believe that dri­vers should get paid for ALL work and time on duty, not just dri­ving. I believe ELD’s are a tool enforc­ing a flawed rule.

I also want to see higher stan­dards for CDL train­ing, which in itself would improve high­way safety. We have a long way to go, but I also believe that dri­vers are moti­vated right now to become involved as never before. Do I think that Ann Ferro should resign? No. With all that has just hap­pened in just the last 3 weeks, we have the momen­tum and lever­age needed to encour­age the FMCSA  to lis­ten intently, while every­thing is out on the table from all sides.

Why slow the process down by start­ing all over again?

Want to know how to sub­mit com­ments to FMCSA ?

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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22
Jun

The Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion (SBTC) is host­ing an edu­ca­tional and net­work­ing con­fer­ence for the truck­ing indus­try, sched­uled for Sep­tem­ber 12th — 15th, 2014.

The Indus­try at Sea event is a three-night Nas­sau, Bahamas cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Enchant­ment of the Seas, depart­ing from Port Canaveral, Florida with a stop-over at the cruise line’s pri­vate island, CocoCay.

Founded by James Lamb, Pres­i­dent of Fort Laud­erdale based, Asso­ci­a­tion of Inde­pen­dent Prop­erty Bro­kers and Agents (AIPBA) the SBTC is a “net­work of trans­porta­tion pro­fes­sion­als and indus­try sup­pli­ers who seek to pro­mote and pro­tect the small busi­ness play­ers in the trans­porta­tion industry.”

The event seeks to bring those involved within the bro­ker­age and truck­ing indus­try sup­ply chain, as well as truck dri­vers’ owner oper­a­tors, to meet and net­work together in order to build a more trans­par­ent and col­league relationship.

Impor­tant links for the Indus­try at Sea Event:

For more infor­ma­tion, ques­tions may be sub­mit­ted through the con­tact form or call: 954–253-5049.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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19
Jun
Stop False DAC Reporting

Stop False DAC Reporting

Cal­i­for­nia based Worker’s Coun­cil Law Firm con­tin­ues its work toward build­ing a ver­i­fi­able data­base relat­ing to inac­cu­ra­cies placed on pro­fes­sional CDL truck dri­vers’ DAC Reports.

The Worker’s Coun­cil cre­ated the DAC Report Class Action Reg­istry largely due to the response received through our Stop False DAC Report­ing peti­tion.

Both sites have recently been updated and those wish­ing to sup­port the peti­tion and reg­istry should make note of the new web locations.

The Worker’s Coun­cil con­tin­ues to encour­age dri­vers who have been vic­tim­ized by motor carrier’s false report­ing to Hire Right DAC Truck­ing Solu­tions to share their story with the DAC Reg­istry.

The peti­tion has received 3,539 sig­na­tures to date, with 5,000 sig­na­tures as the reach­able goal, which at that time, will be sub­mit­ted to Con­gress for a “Call to Action” against this retal­i­a­tion tool used upon dri­vers by many truck­ing companies.

The most recent com­ments con­tinue to show that false DAC report­ing is a major prob­lem for CDL dri­vers, capa­ble of destroy­ing their dri­ving careers:

  • June 19, 2014 12:06 AM  — DAC/usis is and as aways been a black­ball service,usis tries to intim­i­date with their name even though they ARE NOT an US gov­er­ment agency in any shape or form. Knowl­edge is power,now more than ever,CDL dri­vers you need to research these company’s just as much as they do you.
  • June 18, 2014 10:20 PM  — I can­not find another truck­ing com­pany to hire me because my ex-employer has fal­si­fied my DAC Report. I have applied for 30+ jobs with­out suc­cess. Every com­pany tells me that I can­not be insured. The last com­pany I applied at told me what was on my DAC Report. Two false entries have black­listed me from any future employ­ment as a truck driver.
  • June 3, 2014 8:04 AM its not fair to lose any chance to have a job after a bad dac report. any­body need to have another chance to prove himself.

If you have expe­ri­enced retal­i­a­tion from a motor car­rier through their use of false DAC report­ing, sign the Stop False DAC Report­ing peti­tion and con­tact the Worker’s Coun­cil DAC Report Class Action Reg­istry as we con­tinue to move for­ward against this abuse of the pro­fes­sional driver.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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12
Jun

By: Allen Smith

The recent fatal crash in New Jer­sey involv­ing Wal-Mart truck dri­ver, Kevin Roper has gained atten­tion by anti-trucking and safety advo­cacy groups who believe that the indus­try still does not have enough reg­u­la­tions placed on dri­vers. Although every­one can agree this was a ter­ri­ble tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with all involved, far too many fail to under­stand that a large per­cent­age of added reg­u­la­tions actu­ally have an oppo­site effect on safety.

In the case of the Wal-Mart crash involv­ing come­dian Tracy Mor­gan, com­ments have been made by some, includ­ing safety advo­cacy groups, sug­gest­ing that the acci­dent could have been avoided if the dri­ver had been “prop­erly rested.” They have gone so far as to say that the recent amend­ment passed by Sen­ate Appro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee would fur­ther jeop­ar­dize the safety of our nation’s high­ways. Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth.

Reg­u­la­tions are in place to address dri­ver fatigue, yet it is impos­si­ble to imple­ment a reg­u­la­tion that could con­trol dri­vers’ indi­vid­ual and per­sonal actions when off duty. There­fore, these kinds of state­ments are sim­ply “atten­tion grab­bers” and hold no truth in any sort of actual problem-solving actions.

Before this tragic event took place, the amend­ment to sus­pend the cur­rent 34 hour-restart rule was voted upon by the Sen­ate Appro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee, giv­ing the FMCSA fur­ther time to study the rule’s impact upon the indus­try as it is cur­rently in place.

This amend­ment would affect the two restart pro­vi­sions only, as listed below, and was brought up by Sen­a­tor Susan Collins (R-Maine) dur­ing a markup of the THUD bill, obtain­ing com­mit­tee approval by a vote of 21–9.

The present dri­ver HOS Rules state:

  • May drive a max­i­mum of 11 hours after 10 con­sec­u­tive hours off duty.
  • May not drive beyond the 14th con­sec­u­tive hour after com­ing on duty, fol­low­ing 10 con­sec­u­tive hours off duty.
  • May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes.

In addi­tion, cur­rent reg­u­la­tions per­tain­ing to a “rest period” state that CMV drivers:

  • May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 con­sec­u­tive days. A dri­ver may restart a 7/8 con­sec­u­tive day period after tak­ing 34 or more con­sec­u­tive hours off duty. Must include two peri­ods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. home ter­mi­nal time, and may only be used once per week, or 168 hours, mea­sured from the begin­ning of the pre­vi­ous restart.

Again, the pro­posed amend­ment would only have an affect per­tain­ing to the two restart pro­vi­sions within the cur­rent FMCSA reg­u­la­tions. The amend­ment, in many eyes within the indus­try was added to indeed improve safety, as it would reduce con­ges­tion of trucks on the road between the hours of 1–5 A M.

Amend­ing or adding addi­tional reg­u­la­tions upon reg­u­la­tions is not the com­plete answer to improv­ing high­way safety. As I men­tioned ear­lier, added reg­u­la­tions can actu­ally have an oppo­site effect on safety. Case in point: the required 30 minute break.

As a dri­ver who has worked 12–14 hour night shifts for the past eight years, it is always good to grab my “home load” and begin the final­iza­tion of my shift. Dur­ing these hours, my body is accus­tomed to keep the adren­a­line flow­ing and finally head home­ward bound.

Due to the new 30 minute break rule, I will have my final load on and ready to go, but instead of being able to con­tinue dri­ving and fin­ish my shift as I am phys­i­cally accus­tomed to doing, I now must stop for 30 min­utes. Within this 30 minute time-frame, the body nat­u­rally relaxes and the adren­a­line sub­sides. Restart­ing 30 min­utes later, I may now no longer be as “awake” as I was pre­vi­ously due to this “relax­ing break.”

What were before an easy task ahead now can become much more dif­fi­cult, remov­ing fur­ther aspects of safety that were there before. This is just a small exam­ple of how adding “safety reg­u­la­tions” upon reg­u­la­tions can actu­ally make the task of the dri­ver a great deal more dif­fi­cult. To clar­ify, the 30 minute break is not part of the 12 month restart amend­ment and will remain in place.

The con­tin­ual efforts to add reg­u­la­tions upon reg­u­la­tions will have lit­tle or no ben­e­fi­cial effect on dri­ver safety as long as the major causes of truck dri­ver fatigue go ignored:

  • Ship­per and Receiver Deten­tion Time run­ning into dri­ver HOS
  • Lack of ade­quate and safe park­ing areas
  • Forced Dis­patch
  • Entry-Level Dri­ver Train­ing Stan­dards con­tinue to be ignored by FMCSA

I believe it is all of our respon­si­bil­ity as truck­ing and truck dri­ver advo­cates, to not let this tragic event, includ­ing the death of a much loved and admired come­dian, Jimmy Mack, to go unno­ticed. It is our oblig­a­tion and oppor­tu­nity at this time to stand up and explain to those who are fed exag­ger­ated and mis­lead­ing untruths, the real causes of the word “fatigue” for pro­fes­sional drivers.

It is our duty to com­ment on main­stream media, such as the Daily News and Busi­ness­week, in order that the truth about truck dri­ver fatigue and reg­u­la­tions can be revealed and understood.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
9
Jun

AIPBA Logo Proud Member JPG File

Recently there have been some pretty heated dis­cus­sions on one of the pop­u­lar Social Media web­sites, LinkedIn, involv­ing the dif­fer­ent ideals and goals among freight bro­ker trade groups, specif­i­cally the AIPBA and TIA.

Each group has become quite vocal in their com­ments, with emo­tions and pas­sion on top­ics mounting.

TIAToday on LinkedIn, James Lamb, General Man­ager of 12PL;  and Pres­i­dent of AIPBA, announced an apol­ogy to TIA pres­i­dent and CEO, Robert Volt­mann in response to Trans­porta­tion Inter­me­di­aries Asso­ci­a­tion Ethics Case 14–17(2) DECISION June 2, 2014

Although not your typ­i­cal apol­ogy, Mr. Lamb does dis­play a time­line of dif­fer­ences and griev­ances between the 2 groups.

Here is that Apol­ogy on LinkedIn also …

“The TIA’s “Ethics” com­mit­tee recently demanded that I apol­o­gize for my past com­ments about the TIA and their pres­i­dent Robert Volt­mann. Hav­ing giv­ing this seri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion, I have decided I agree with them that an apol­ogy is very much in order. I there­fore offer this one to the TIA and industry.”

“I’m sorry… I founded and launched the Asso­ci­a­tion of Inde­pen­dent Prop­erty Bro­kers & Agents (AIPBA), a non-profit, volunteer-run busi­ness league, which com­petes with you, Mr. Volt­mann, and the TIA in the freight bro­ker trade group arena since 2010.”

“I’m sorry… we now have 2,518 mem­bers in 2014.”

“I’m sorry… we launched a com­pet­ing con­fer­ence event called Indus­try at Sea  sail­ing again this September.”  Industry at sea

“I’m sorry I exposed the fact that in 2004 you said rais­ing the bro­ker bond would NOT fight fraud (http://www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=11447&t=Opinion-Higher-Bonds-Are-Not-the-Answer) and then– after you began sell­ing optional $100,000 bro­ker bonds, you con­ve­niently flip-flopped and changed your posi­tion and told the indus­try and Con­gress we very much need a $100,000 bond to “fight fraud”.”

“I’m sorry… we stopped you for two years in a row in 2010 and 2011 from enact­ing a $100,000 bro­ker bond in both houses of Con­gress and that you NEVER got one.”

“I’m sorry… that when you finally found some­one in Con­gress to attach and hide your failed anti-competitive, stand-alone leg­is­la­tion deep within the 600 page 2012 MAP-21 high­way bill, we and our allies got the amount low­ered to $75,000 dur­ing the con­fer­ence com­mit­tee deliberations.”

“I’m sorry… that you don’t real­ize that after you polled your own TIA mem­bers and the major­ity respond­ing told you that they wanted ANYTHING other than a $100,000 bond that you and your Board lob­bied for one any­way and many mem­bers of the indus­try con­sider that anti-democratic, if not down­right fas­cist, dic­ta­to­r­ial leadership.”

“I am sorry… that you can’t admit that 9,801 small busi­nesses in the inter­me­di­ary indus­try were absolutely ter­ror­ized for three years by your $100,000 bond lob­by­ing and then your $75,000 bond exter­mi­nated their licenses and put each one of them out of busi­ness last December.”

“I’m sorry… you came up with a lame “clean­ing of the data­base” excuse to explain away this dec­i­ma­tion of 41% of the inter­me­di­ary indus­try so your mem­bers could achieve greater mar­ket power to charge ship­pers more and pay truck­ers less.”

“I’m sorry… that the truth is: every bro­ker who was revoked had been pay­ing an annual $10,000 bond pre­mium to remain in active license sta­tus and YOU put them out of business.”

“I’m sorry… your new bar­rier to entry vio­lates America’s National Trans­porta­tion Pol­icy cod­i­fied at 49 USC 13101, which encour­ages “fair com­pe­ti­tion” and “rea­son­able rates.”

“I’m sorry… we have called for bro­kers to be rate trans­par­ent and your pol­icy at TIA has been to try to hide the cost of bro­ker­age ser­vice from ship­pers and car­ri­ers despite 49 C.F.R. Sec­tion 371.3, which affords car­ri­ers a right to know.”

“I’m sorry… that we have cre­ated the Small Busi­ness in Trans­porta­tion Coali­tion (SBTC) to encour­age part­ner­ships in trans­porta­tion among ship­pers, bro­kers, car­ri­ers, and inde­pen­dent truck­ers designed to level the play­ing field and pro­tect and pro­mote attacks on small busi­ness from groups like TIA.”

“I’m sorry… your “Ethics” Com­mit­tee felt the need to politi­cize our Ethics Com­plaint against your abu­sive TIA mem­ber Shawn Roch and use that as a forum to attack the AIPBA’s polit­i­cal stances and that they chose to HIDE impor­tant infor­ma­tion from the indus­try such as the fact that the father of the sub­ject of our ethics com­plaint is the chair­man of your “Ethics” committee.”

“I’m sorry… mem­bers of the indus­try find that move devoid of integrity and ethics.”

~James Lamb~

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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2
Jun

 

Debate continues over mandatory detention pay

Debate con­tin­ues over manda­tory deten­tion pay

Lack of Deten­tion Time Pay is noth­ing new, it’s been hap­pen­ing for years, so why all the talk now? Dri­vers are becom­ing fed up with a lot of things going on; Too many reg­u­la­tions and pro­posed rules, high fuel costs, low pay, less than ideal freight rates, bro­ker rates, HOS, ELD’s, and more writ­ing on the wall of other things com­ing down the pike.   Add to that giv­ing 20 or so hours /wk of your time for free ( unpaid DT), and the frus­tra­tion mounts.  They have become more vocal on Social Media while https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=6650305&trk=anet_ug_hm" target="_blank">jour­nal­ists are report­ing and expos­ing more of the indus­try problems.

It’s dif­fi­cult for DOT not to be aware of what’s going on, espe­cially since hold­ing a dri­ver up can inter­fere with his/her HOS , which now becomes a safety con­cern. ( Safety is the magic word)

At a a House Small Busi­ness Com­mit­tee hear­ing in November,  DOT admin­is­tra­tor Anne Ferro said.
”Dri­ver pay and extreme load­ing dock delays have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on dri­vers’ abil­ity to be effi­cient, pro­fes­sional, and safe. In short, uncom­pen­sated delays force dri­vers to press legal and phys­i­cal lim­its to cap­ture a day’s pay. The logis­tics indus­try gets this time free on the backs of the dri­vers and small busi­nesses. Uncom­pen­sated deten­tion time needs your atten­tion, because what makes the job bet­ter, often makes the job safer.

Although Deten­tion time was included in DOT’s high­way bill, Con­gress did not include it in their first draft of their high­way bill. So dis­cus­sions mount among dri­vers.  Should the gov­ern­ment cre­ate yet one more reg­u­la­tion to ensure paid Deten­tion Time?   You would think it would be a unan­i­mous “yes” among dri­vers, but the gov­ern­ment track record for reg­u­la­tions is not the “best’ when ben­e­fit­ing dri­vers. I guess you could say not all “trust” the pos­si­ble outcome

Review it

Most OTR dri­vers are paid by the mile, not hour, so it only makes sense that there should be com­pen­sa­tion for this type of pay­ment arrange­ment while the “wheels aren’t turn­ing.”
The truth is, the truck­ing indus­try has got­ten away with it for years, exploit­ing dri­vers, whether they be owner oper­a­tors or com­pany drivers.

Owner oper­a­tors either deal with the ship­per directly or through a bro­ker. If Deten­tion Time pay is not pre-arranged by owner oper­a­tor, then there may lit­tle an o/o can do about it after the fact. Sure, he/she can decide not to haul for that ship­per, but the fact is that there are MANY other car­ri­ers who will.  If the o/o does demand an arrange­ment for DT, chances are the ship­per will look for some­one else.

Com­pany dri­vers on the other hand have grown to accept lack of DT as part of their job.  Can you imag­ine accept­ing not being paid for wiat­ing­time, even if it means going against your HOS clock, inter­fer­ing with your next appoint­ment time, and finally tak­ing way from your paid miles and the abil­ity to make more money?

We all agree that ALL dri­vers should be paid Deten­tion Time, there’s no argu­ment there, but why are they not get­ting paid now?

1)      Car­rier does not charge ship­per ( in order secure nego­ti­a­tion of load) there­for does not pay dri­ver ( Com­pany dri­ver)
Here is a com­ment sup­port­ing this which was made on a post back in 2011 ATA Opposes HR756– Pay­ing Truck­ers for Deten­tion Time  

 COMMENT: “The dirty lit­tle secret here is that these car­ri­ers use the dri­vers’ unpaid time as a nego­ti­at­ing fac­tor: if nobody is going to charge deten­tion pay, then they can bid a lower rate on the load-under a com­pany that DOES demand deten­tion time. Also, com­pa­nies that do charge deten­tion usu­ally pocket the major­ity of it on com­pany drivers-paying them some­thing like $15/ hr after the first two unpaid hours. The ATA knows that if any­one actu­ally starts look­ing at a driver’s unpaid hours, the next place they’ll look is the unpaid hours the car­ri­ers them­selves dump on the dri­ver. No-they dont want to go there!”

2)      Car­rier charges ship­per deten­tion time, how­ever car­rier does not pass it on to com­pany dri­ver.
“Truck­ing Indus­try Saves Mil­lions in Dri­ver Deten­tion Pay”

3)      0/0’s Arrange load though ship­per and do not dis­cuss DT rates.  Dri­ver shows up and has to wait X num­ber of hours with­out pay.  At this point the o/o has to decide whether he/she will ever do busi­ness with this ship­per again.  Let’s say they choose not to,  How many other o/o’s or large car­ri­ers will?
Answer: A lot

Let’s say that o/o did state their DT time rates and the ship­per refused, now the deci­sion is up to the o/o to either take it or not.  It sounds sim­ple doesn’t it,?just don’t haul it, right?
Not all the time, some­times that load was the one that deter­mined whether you go home or not; sat for an extra day or not, etc….

The 2 Sides of Deten­tion Pay

Although all will agree that ship­pers and car­ri­ers should both be held responsible,(ensuring dri­vers be com­pen­sated for all their “wait­ing” time,)  the dif­fer­ence in opin­ion lies in HOW they should be held account­able. Should the dri­vers “unite” (hmmmm) or should the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment step in?
Note:  Dri­vers Unit­ing would only help o/o’s not com­pany dri­vers. It would mean that ALL would agree not to haul freight that didn’t include DT pay­ment. But what about the larger car­ri­ers? Couldn’t they haul it?

Next, who is respon­si­ble for dri­ver DT com­pen­sa­tion?  If you’re a com­pany dri­ver, then it’s the car­rier, but if you’re an o/o, then it’s the ship­per. So if there was a man­date, who would be man­dated?
Note: FMCSA does not have author­ity over ship­pers when it comes to reg­u­la­tions. ( but they do car­ri­ers)
If the car­ri­ers were man­dated to pay dri­vers DT, the car­ri­ers would then need  to make sure they were paid by ship­per to cover their DT costs.

Once the com­pany dri­ver gets paid for deten­tion time, it would fol­low through with o/o’s  as they will now have lever­age.
So let’s say the car­ri­ers are forced to pay their dri­vers and they in turn charge the ship­pers, It could gets sticky:
How much? Min­i­mum wage? ( not accept­able)  Any­thing too low for the com­pany dri­ver would reduce o/o lever­age when nego­ti­at­ing with the ship­per or broker.

 Sum­mary and Solutions:

Sum­mary:
How do you fix a prob­lem where every­one is respon­si­ble to some degree? Car­ri­ers, Ship­pers, Receivers, Bro­kers, and Owner Operators?

Car­ri­ers want to appease their cus­tomers so they don’t demand DT rates.
Ship­pers and Receivers aren’t con­cerned because no one is mak­ing them account­able and they don’t care about the dri­ver, safety, HOS, ELD’s,  or any­thing else, as long as they are mak­ing more profit.
Bro­kers- Only the ones that o/o’s have a good rela­tion­ship with and trust, those who will deter­mine up front and ensure dri­ver gets paid for DT.
Owner Oper­a­tors – Many o/o’s do not cal­cu­late DT in the load they are nego­ti­at­ing.  Many ask for DT, but when told that it’s not paid, they take the load any­way, regard­less…. Thus no reper­cus­sions for ship­per.   Many WILL refuse to do busi­ness with that ship­per, but guess what, there are 10 more who will!
The only one who is not directly respon­si­ble for DT time pay is the com­pany dri­ver, UNLESS, it becomes part of a demand when being hired.

Solu­tion:  So the ques­tion remains, Should Deten­tion Time be manda­tory and who should be man­dated?
Ide­ally, it should, but for sig­nif­i­cantly more than just min­i­mum wage.
Although it is the ship­pers and receivers who are respon­si­ble for hold­ing dri­vers up, it is the car­ri­ers who will need to be reg­u­lated and  in turn make ship­pers respon­si­ble through com­pen­sat­ing their ( car­rier) DT expenses. In other words, the days of exploit­ing dri­vers by using them as nego­ti­at­ing tools would be over. On the bright side, the play­ing field would be even for everyone.

Once ship­pers are hit in their pock­ets by car­ri­ers, you will see how much more quickly appoint­ments are kept.

 Video Cred­its and Related Posts
“Deten­tion (You Ordered It, You Unload It)”- by Brad James
Brad James-  Face­book music page

The scrum over manda­tory deten­tion pay

Can Elec­tronic Log­ging Devices Fix Deten­tion Time ?

https://www.teamrunsmart.com/the-pros/jeff-clark/may-2014/the-case-for-mandatory-detention" target="_blank">The Case For Manda­tory Deten­tion Pay

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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26
May
Vietnam Vet Rich Wilson reflects on Memorial Day

Viet­nam Vet Rich Wil­son reflects on Memo­r­ial Day

This is kinda long and lengthy, but take a moment to read it for Memo­r­ial Day! This is a very per­sonal time of the year for me, I cel­e­brate Memo­r­ial day, I don’t say “have a happy Memo­r­ial Day” To me it’s a day to remem­ber and reflect.

Some times it brings back bad mem­o­ries, but the voices of my com­rades, no broth­ers, com­fort me as I hear them say­ing, “It’s ok that you sur­vived, we need some one to carry on our legacy. Remem­ber that night in the Bar out­side of NKP, we all agreed, we’d meet some day, cause we all going to Heaven, Cause we done did our time in HELL!”

While going through some old doc­u­ments, I ran across this report, I’d thought I’d share:

“Octo­ber 1972 North Viet­nam. Two crew mem­bers of an F-4 Phan­tom are shot down deep in North Viet­nam. For­tu­nately, they eject over rugged ter­rain and land safely away from pop­u­lated areas. Unfor­tu­nately, the enemy has observed their descent, and even before the two sur­vivors land, recov­ery teams are sent to inter­cept them. Join­ing up, the two men quickly size up their sit­u­a­tion and decide to climb to higher ground to put dis­tance between them­selves and the pur­su­ing bad guys and aid the Jollys in recovery.

The Jolly Greens, in fact, are approach­ing at max­i­mum airspeed. Pararescue men Ray Stewart and Richard Wil­son are on the Low Bird. It now becomes a race between them and the clos­ing ground forces. The lat­ter are so close to the sur­vivors, the two men can hear the shrill sig­nal whis­tles and yelp­ing dogs. Both men race up the steep slopes dri­ven with new energy when they hear the approach­ing thun­der­ing of the 40th ARRS HH-53Cs. Low Bird dri­ves in under the pro­tec­tive umbrella of the Sandys. Stew­art and Wil­son exact tolls on the enemy forces with their mini-guns. The extrac­tion is swift and flaw­less, deny­ing the enemy the oppor­tu­nity to add two more POWs to its cells in Hanoi.

I Think about those guys in my unit all 14 of them that did not come back, I honor there mem­ory as best I can. BUT, I also remem­ber com­ing home and fly­ing through the air­ports in Hawaii, then Cal­i­for­nia, then taken a C 141 to Dover Air Force base for some well deserved R&R. I spent those 15 days avoid­ing my own friends as they were anti war, and treated us as Mur­ders of chil­dren, and the elderly! I went on to do 12 more mis­sions. When I came home it was to sneers and Jeers.

MEMORIAL DAYI hid for years the fact that I had been in Viet Nam to avoid run­ning into one of those…lets just say, stu­pid peo­ple. I have spent many years with the anger in my heart, towards my county men for the way Viet Nam vets have been treated! I pray every night for those wounded or killed in the wars or con­flicts that fol­lowed, as well as those brave young peo­ple com­ing home. I am proud to see a young sol­dier thanked for their ser­vice, a seat given up for them.

So in writ­ing this post I feel it’s time 34 years later to for­give our county and those who booed us upon our return. It;s time to move on. To all of those who have given the Last Full Mea­sure, I salute you on this Memo­r­ial Day, Happy Memo­r­ial day, NA “Have a Solemn, and safe, Memo­r­ial Day, and take a sec­ond or to to just thank, or think of A VET, because if it wasn’t for them you would not even be typ­ing on Face Book! Thank you for tak­ing your time to read this!  ~Richard Wil­son~ TCRG Consultants

Memorial Day 2014

Memo­r­ial Day 2014

© 2014, Richard Wil­son. All rights reserved.

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21
May
Elaine M. Papp, Division Chief for the FMCSA Office of Medical Programs returns as guest on Truth About Trucking "Live" June 19th 6PM ET

Elaine M. Papp, Divi­sion Chief for the FMCSA Office of Med­ical Pro­grams Guest on Truth About Truck­ing “Live” June 19th 6PM ET

Elaine Papp, RN, MSN, COHN-S CM, Divi­sion Chief for the FMCSA Office of Med­ical Pro­grams of the FMCSA will once again be join­ing us on Truth About Truck­ing ‘Live June 19th 2014 at 6PM ET.  The last time Ms Papp was with us on May 8th, she explained the  National Reg­istry Of Cer­ti­fied Med­ical Exam­in­ers Pro­gram, includ­ing an FAQ dur­ing the show.

The Truth About Trucking”Live” broad­cast, “Under­stand­ing the National Reg­istry Of Cer­ti­fied Med­ical Exam­in­ers Pro­gram” with Ms. Papp, included her response regard­ing the on going con­cerns by dri­vers, the ATA and OOIDA, as they appre­hen­sively antic­i­pated that there would not be suf­fi­cient cer­ti­fied med­ical exam­in­ers to accom­mo­date all dri­vers med­ical exams by the May 21st dead­line.
You can lis­ten to her reply on the replay  here.

Elaine will be address­ing even more of dri­ver and car­rier con­cerns on June 19th, includ­ing med­ical reg­u­la­tions, exemp­tions, and waivers.  Details of the show will be announced on our Blog Talk Radio show descrip­tion page as we get closer to the date.  Ms. Papp will be tak­ing callers on the show,  a few dri­vers have writ­ten their ques­tions to us already.

FMCSA

FMCSA

If you have a spe­cific health or med­ical ques­tions you would like to ask Ms. Papp, please ask in the com­ment sec­tion below  or send an email to info@truthabouttrucking.com.
Sub­ject Line:  FMCSA Med­ical Show

Deaf Truckers United at 2012 Truck Driver Social Media Convention

Deaf Truck­ers United at 2012 Truck Dri­ver Social Media Convention

Many remem­ber Elaine Papp from the 2012 Truck Dri­ver Social Media Con­ven­tion in Kansas City, MO as she gave her pre­sen­ta­tion address­ing many dri­ver health con­cerns. Those who attended, warmly remem­ber her as she  lis­tened intently as the Deaf Truck­ers United Group made their plea for hear­ing exemptions.

Later in 2013, the FMCSA granted 40 indi­vid­u­als exemp­tions from the hear­ing require­ments of the phys­i­cal qual­i­fi­ca­tions stan­dards at 49 391.41(b)(11).
It rep­re­sented the first time the agency had granted such exemp­tions
Read more FMCSA Grants Hear­ing Exemptions

 

 

 

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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13
May
CVSA Road Check 2014

CVSA Road Check 2014

The largest tar­geted enforce­ment pro­gram on com­mer­cial vehi­cles will soon be tak­ing place between June 3–5, 2014. Dur­ing the 72 hour period, nearly 10,000 Com­mer­cial Vehi­cle Safety Alliance (CVSA) cer­ti­fied inspec­tors will oper­ate from 1,500 loca­tions across North Amer­ica to per­form truck and bus inspections.

The annual pro­gram focuses on com­pli­ance and enforce­ment, tar­get­ing var­i­ous ele­ments of motor car­rier, vehi­cle, dri­ver and cargo safety and security.

Accord­ing to the CVSA web­site, “approx­i­mately 14 trucks or buses are inspected, on aver­age, every minute from Canada to Mex­ico” within the estab­lished 72 hours.

Level 1 inspec­tions will focus on nine spe­cific areas: brakes, cou­pling devices, fuel and exhaust sys­tems, frame, van and open-top trail­ers, light­ing, cargo secure­ment, steer­ing, sus­pen­sion and tires, wheels, rims and hubs. The aver­age cost of being placed out-of-service is $861, not includ­ing costs of other fines and repairs.

The CVSA pro­vides a Road­check Check List for Dri­vers for the pos­si­bil­ity of a road­side inspec­tion in order to be bet­ter pre­pared to make it through with­out any dis­rup­tion in service.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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7
May
Effec­tive on May 1, 2014 Logis­tic­sCom became the first national freight bro­ker­age agency to enact an Eth­i­cal Bro­ker Rate Trans­parency Pol­icy. This rate trans­parency pol­icy is open to all car­rier part­ners of Logis­tic­sCom along with our clients. 

Effective on May 1, 2014 LogisticsCom became the first national freight brokerage agency to enact an Ethical Broker Rate Transparency Policy

Effec­tive on May 1, 2014 Logis­tic­sCom became the first national freight bro­ker­age agency to enact an Eth­i­cal Bro­ker Rate Trans­parency Policy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release)May 4, 2014FORT WAYNE, Ind.It is crit­i­cal for the trans­porta­tion indus­try to oper­ate in an open and trans­par­ent man­ner to pro­tect the inter­est of the ship­ping par­ties, the car­rier and the dri­ver. The Eth­i­cal Bro­ker Rate Trans­parency Pol­icy will play a piv­otal role in cur­tail­ing unnec­es­sary cost esca­la­tion brought on by mega-brokers ques­tion­able busi­ness com­mis­sion struc­tures, while, in addi­tion build­ing a true busi­ness alliance with ship­pers, small car­ri­ers, owner-operators and like-minded freight brokers.

By sup­port­ing or enact­ing an Eth­i­cal Bro­ker Rate Trans­parency Pol­icy we as freight bro­kers will be doing our part in cur­tail­ing esca­lat­ing cost brought on by large cor­po­rate mega-brokers and their efforts to main­tain their high (22–35%) fees.LogisticsCom will inform and ver­ify with the cus­tomer what our fee is (deducted from their ship­ping bill) and what is for­warded onto the car­rier. Logis­tic­sCom will inform and ver­ify with each car­rier what the load actu­ally pays and what they will be paid.

I would encour­age every small to mid­size freight bro­ker­age agency through­out the nation to enact an Eth­i­cal Bro­ker Rate Trans­parency Policy.

Con­tact
Greg McClain
***@logisticscom.com

— End —

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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6
May
 Specialist Manufacturers Of Silicone Hoses

Spe­cial­ist Man­u­fac­tur­ers Of Sil­i­cone Hoses

In June, 2007, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment brought in a reg­u­la­tion which aimed to reduce emis­sions from light pas­sen­ger and com­mer­cial vehi­cles. The reg­u­la­tion was brought in to help reduce the neg­a­tive effects of pol­lu­tion on the envi­ron­ment and on people’s health.

In the 1990s, it was found that 20% of all car­bon diox­ide emis­sions came from goods vehi­cles and the EU set a tar­get to reduce these lev­els to 8% by the end of 2012. As this did not hap­pen (emis­sions actu­ally increased to 28% or goods vehi­cles) some new leg­is­la­tion has been brought in.

What is the Euro 6 Standard?

If your truck has a diesel engine, you will need to reduce its emis­sions of nitro­gen oxides as soon as the Euro 6 stan­dard comes into play on the 1st Sep­tem­ber 2014.

Vehi­cles used to trans­port goods will be capped at 80mg/km and diesel vehi­cles will be capped at 170mg/km. You will also need to check sev­eral other cat­e­gories to make sure your truck is com­pli­ant as, if it is over a cer­tain weight, your emis­sions will be mea­sured in terms of their energy out­put rather than dis­tance trav­elled and, in order to com­ply with the Euro 6 stan­dard, you should make sure your emis­sions meet the required lev­els. This applies to tailpipe, evap­o­ra­tive and crankcase emissions.

Which Pol­lu­tant Emis­sions Will Be Tested?

The EU is par­tic­u­larly con­cerned with the reduc­tion of nitro­gen par­tic­u­lates, oxides and hydro­car­bons as these are dam­ag­ing to the envi­ron­ment and can cause health problems.

What Do I Need To Check To Make Sure My Truck Complies?

You must make sure that your truck has a device fit­ted to con­trol pol­lu­tion and you should check it every five years or after trav­el­ling 100,000 km. If you are self-employed, con­tact your local ser­vice cen­tre for more infor­ma­tion about get­ting one fitted.

As well as hav­ing an anti-pollutant fit­ted, you should check the fol­low­ing emissions:

- Tailpipe

- Evap­o­ra­tive

- Crankcase

It is also a good idea to test any other emis­sions from your vehi­cle includ­ing its idling speed and car­bon diox­ide emis­sions. A good garage should be able to help run these tests and they should be aware of the new regulations.

If your vehi­cle fails any of the emis­sions checks, you should get rel­e­vant parts fit­ted to cut down on pol­lu­tant emis­sions. There may be tax breaks avail­able if you need to make mod­i­fi­ca­tions to your vehicle.

This con­tent was pro­vided by Ley­land Hose & Sil­i­cone who are spe­cial­ists in sil­i­cone hose prod­ucts for a wide range of per­for­mance, com­mer­cial and bespoke per­sonal uses.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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28
Apr

 

TeamRunSmart PROSThere’s so much going on within truck­ing truck­ing right now it could make your head spin!  When you look at just a few of the top­ics of con­cern; reg­u­la­tions, EPA, CARB, fuel prices, a main ques­tion we always find our­selves ask­ing seems to be, “Are things bet­ter or worse for the truck­ing indus­try these days?”  Another pop­u­lar ques­tion, “how has inno­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy affected both car­ri­ers and pro­fes­sional drivers?”

Let’s face it, the main focus of con­cern for every­one involved is ones bot­tom line, no mat­ter who you are in this industry.

So we ask, how can inno­va­tion, resource­ful­ness, and tech­nol­ogy aid us all dur­ing these finan­cially dif­fi­cult and try­ing times?

Join us on Thurs­day May 1st at 6PM ET on Truth About Truck­ing ‘Live” as we have as our guests Henry Albert and Jimmy Nevarez of Team Run Smart.  Jimmy and Henry will address­ing some vital truck­ing con­cerns and issues.

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Trans­port, Inc., based in Statesville, NC.   Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was rec­og­nized by Over­drive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year. He recently was one of 7 awarded by Trav­el­Cen­ters of Amer­ica, oper­a­tor of TA and Petro Stop­ping Cen­ter facilities,the Cit­i­zen Dri­ver Award. The award rec­og­nizes dri­vers who pro­mote respect for the indus­try.  As part of his award, Travel Cen­ters has named one of their stop­ping cen­ters after Henry– The Henry Albert Travel Cen­ter in Laredo, Texas

Henry Albert

Henry will be dis­cussing the all impor­tant fuel mileage dilemma and will be shar­ing how he has achieved almost 10 MPG in his truck.  He’ll also be dis­cussing the advance­ment in tech­nol­ogy and com­par­ing trucks and autos of the 70′s com­pared to today
Have increased reg­u­la­tions actu­ally made things ‘bet­ter’ for trucks?

Jimmy Nevarez is the Owner/President of Angus Trans­porta­tion, Inc., based in Chino, Cal­i­for­nia. Jimmy pulls 53′ inter­modal rail con­tain­ers haul­ing gen­eral dry and refrig­er­ated goods as a leased inde­pen­dent con­trac­tor in South­ern California.

Jimmy is a Magna Cum Laude hon­ors grad­u­ate of DeVry Uni­ver­sity in Pomona, CA with a bachelor’s of sci­ence is busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion. He majored in operation’s man­age­ment, which he attained while dri­ving as an 11-western states owner-operator. He has pulled var­i­ous types of equip­ment through­out his career includ­ing dry vans, reefers, flatbeds, pneu­matic tankers, bot­tom dumps, and containers.

Jimmy Nevarez
Jimmy presently dri­ves a CNG fueled truck and will be shar­ing many facts (as well as putting to rest some myths) asso­ci­ated with trucks fueled by com­pressed nat­ural gas.

Truth About Truck­ing “Live” on Blog Talk Radio
Smart Tech­nol­ogy and Advance­ment
Thurs­day May 1st 6PM ET Call in # 347–826-9170

To have an Alert sent to your phone for this and All Truth About Truck­ing shows
Click Here

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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24
Apr

 

National Registry law  goes into effect May 21, 2014.

National Reg­istry law goes into effect May 21, 2014.

Announce­ment from FMCSA

Driver/Carrier:

By now, you’ve heard about the National Reg­istry law that goes into effect May 21, 2014. After that date, all inter­state com­mer­cial motor vehi­cle (CMV) dri­vers must get their med­ical cer­tifi­cates from a cer­ti­fied med­ical exam­iner listed on the Fed­eral Motor Car­rier Safety Administration’s National Reg­istry of Cer­ti­fied Med­ical Exam­in­ers.

Find a cer­ti­fied med­ical exam­iner in your area—or any­where in the country—by fol­low­ing these three sim­ple steps.

  1. Visit the National Reg­istry Web site and search by Zip Code, State, or exam­iner name.
  2. Choose a cer­ti­fied med­ical exam­iner from the list and call to make an appointment.
  3. If your pre­ferred health care pro­fes­sional isn’t on the list, sim­ply refer him or her to the Cer­ti­fied Med­ical Exam­in­ers page to learn more about get­ting certified.

If you’ve already had an exam and have a cur­rent cer­tifi­cate that cer­tifi­cate will be valid until its reg­u­lar expi­ra­tion date.

Please spread the word and encour­age your fel­low CMV dri­vers to find a Cer­ti­fied Med­ical Exam­iner by May 21st. They can find more infor­ma­tion in the Fact Sheet for Dri­vers or by going to the National Reg­istry Web site, so pass it along!

Thank you for your com­mit­ment to safer roadways!

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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23
Apr

Press Release

BY: Trucker Char­ity, Inc.

 

Truckers Helping Truckers

Truck­ers Help­ing Truckers

Car­bon Monox­ide has been a con­cern of the truck­ing world for a long time. Even now, with the under truck exhaust sys­tems (grass burn­ers) and  APU’s, the worry remains and is becom­ing more pronounced.

Every day we at Trucker Char­ity hear of a dri­ver that has died in his sleep or become sleepy at the wheel. Even flu like symp­toms could be con­tributed to Car­bon Monox­ide poi­son­ing as well as heart dis­ease, car­dio vas­cu­lar dis­ease, glan­du­lar prob­lems, just to name a few.

Smoke detec­tors could help alert a dri­ver, or even some­one in the sur­round­ing area, of a prob­lem before a truck burst into flames.

Vir­ginia Chomo, a vol­un­teer of Trucker Char­ity, after research­ing, dis­cov­ered that there were no exist­ing detec­tors for semis, decided that some­thing had to be done.

Trucker Char­ity, Inc. is proud to announce that Vir­ginia, after inves­ti­gat­ing and deter­min­ing how this needed to be done and pur­su­ing this course of action, has been appointed to head the task force that will assist Under­writ­ers Lab­o­ra­to­ries (UL) in devel­op­ing and set­ting stan­dards for Smoke and Car­bon Monox­ide detec­tors for Semi trucks.

She has also been in dis­cus­sion with man­u­fac­tur­ers regard­ing the spe­cial needs of these detec­tors and the abil­ity to pos­si­bly alert neigh­bor­ing trucks or those pass­ing by, to a poten­tial problem.

Also being dis­cussed is the use of a qual­ity air mon­i­tor that can be used regard­ing all the above. Once stan­dards are estab­lished, detec­tors and alarms will be specif­i­cally pro­duced for Semi trucks. This will be use­ful to help pre­vent the expo­sure of car­bon monox­ide, keep our dri­vers alive and health­ier, and also a way to cre­ate vital aware­ness to the indus­try and the world, real­iz­ing the prob­lem pro­fes­sional dri­vers have been deal­ing with for years.

To read more about this process and con­tin­ued updates go to

www.TruckerCharity.org

 

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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