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The FMCSA has posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Qualifications of Drivers; Diabetes Standard, proposing to do away with the Diabetes Exemption Program. Although there are many drivers who feel this is a long overdue rule, others are concerned that the rule (the way it is written) would compromise the safety of the driver and the highways.
Dr Randolph Rosarion, certified Medical Examiner in the US DOT FMCSA National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) and Elaine Papp, board certified occupational health nurse and founder of Health and Safety Works, LLC, will be our special guests on AskTheTrucker ‘Live” Saturday 6/27/15 at 6:30 PM ET as they discuss the complex and unseen details of insulin dependent Diabetes mellitus and how it relates to the NPR and the professional driver.
FMCSA’s New Proposed Rule, amending insulin treated driver qualification standards, published, May 4th, in the Federal Register.
Qualifications of Drivers; Diabetes Standard Summary –
“FMCSA proposes to permit drivers with stable, well-controlled insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to be qualified to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. Currently, drivers with ITDM are prohibited from driving CMVs in interstate commerce unless they obtain an exemption from FMCSA…..”
Dr Rosarion and Ms. Papp have written articles regarding the NPR. A few can be read here:
“FMCSA’s Proposed Rule could Amend Driver Qualification Standards for Insulin Treated Diabetes” by Dr Randolph Rosarion
“Qualifications of Drivers” Diabetes Standard- FMCSA ‘s Notice of Proposed Rule Making” by Elaine Papp
“FMCSA NPR to amend certification of drivers using insulin: “sketchy” at best” by Dr. Randolph Rosarion
Both Dr Rosarion and Elaine Papp are Advisers for North American Trucking Alerts (NATA)
Have questions about your Diabetes or the Proposed Rule?
Call in # 347-826-9170 Then click “1″ on your keypad to join in the conversation
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on Fighting CDL driver harassment, retaliation, and false DAC reporting
Many drivers have experienced, or are at the very least familiar with, employer retaliation via wrongful and often harmful false information reported to authorized agencies. It’s not an exaggeration to say that many a career has been ruined by these antics. The most common of all is the infamous DAC report.
Professional CDL drivers have agreed that even “subtle suggestions” of DAC or other negative reporting is still used to maintain “control” of their driver employee. Is there a solution to these behaviors? Can drivers fight back? Yes they can. Below are just 2 examples of cases that were taken to court and then won. Both cases were won by Paul Taylor of Truckers Justice Center
Not all false DAC reporting makes it to court as in the above two examples. Sometimes all it takes is to dispute or challenge the false allegations via the HireRight website. As drivers have found out however, sometimes it’s not all that easy to contest false information that is reported. Jon Stanek of Stanek Law Office, as just one of his trucker related services, assists drivers through his website FixMyDacReport
Both Paul Taylor and Jon Stanek will be our guests on AskTheTrucker “Live” Saturday June 13th 6PM ET to discuss many aspects of driver experienced retaliation, and more importantly, solutions. They will be taking calls and answering questions
Paul and Jon specialize in Trucker cases and have extensive experience in the courtroom and are dedicated to Trucking Employment Law, harassment, discrimination, credit reporting errors, wrongful termination, truck lease disputes,wage disputes…and more
STAA whistleblower protection — Harmful information on DAC Reports
Listen through the above link, player below, or by phone
Topics to be included in Discussion
Have you had an experience with retaliation? Did it go on your DAC report and cause extensive problems?
Need to ask a question TONIGHT? Paul and Jon will be taking calls. 347-826-9170
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Dr. Randolph Rosarion — certified medical examiner listed in the US DOT FMCSA National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
There is a reason why the PDR (Physician Desk Reference) is so bulky, listing every possible side effect for every drug from aspirin to anti-cancer medications. The rumor is, as I was told in medical school is that the PDR is written by lawyers or “legal” minds, and not by doctors. Whether true or not the irony is clear, and if true, it seems quite reasonable (to me anyway) why it would be more valuable to have it authored by legal persons rather than medical.
Nonetheless, the PDR is no doubt a valuable reference tool, not unlike FMCSA’s Medical Examiner’s Handbook, which is currently in defunct mode but soon to re-emerge, as we are promised. If the previous FMCSA memorandum to medical examiners and training organization with regards to the obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) recommendations, and this new proposed rule to amend the regulations regarding insulin treated diabetes are any indications, I can only surmise that the FMCSA like it’s own Handbook is not so much as re-inventing itself but changing it’s look, putting on a new outfit so to speak, but in the process drastically altering the way commercial drivers are evaluated and certified. Is this FMCSA “new look” just a way to appease lawmakers and stake holders, who no doubt put tremendous pressure on the agency, or a sincere attempt to abridge it’s regulatory machinery and cut through the bureaucratic red tape for the betterment of the driving professional? In it’s mission statement the FMCSA succinctly and purposefully states:
Our primary mission is to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.
Medical professionals who decide to perform commercial driver medical evaluations are required to follow certain qualification standards in the evaluation of commercial drivers to insure public safety, and must now pass an examination to become certified through the recently established National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME). The NRCME was mandated by congress and went into effect last year on May 21, 2014. The hope with the creation of the NRCME was to further improve the driver certification process by using only trained and certified medical examiners, who apply FMCSA driver medical standards in evaluating commercial drivers to improve public safety and decrease fraud, and directly link the National Registry with state and federal driver databases.
Well then I ask, is the goal of ensuring public safety, still achievable or even palpable with the new proposed rule “as written”? The fact that the current Diabetes Exemption Program will be dissolved in the process is really not the issue here. As a lot of us see it, the main setback here is that in it’s current state or language, the proposed rule actually fails to meet the standards already established by the FMCSA itself for the Diabetes Exemption Program. So doing away with the Diabetes Exemption Program is not the problem here. We can do away with the exemption program, but with the current proposed rule as written if passed, we will not maintain the same level of safety.
Comment by July 6th 2015 FMCSA NPR Qualifications of Drivers; Diabetes Standard
In reality, regardless of whether the driver goes through the FMCSA’s current Diabetes Exemption Program, or is evaluated and certified entirely by the medical examiner interacting with the treating clinician or primary care giver as suggested in the new rule, the fact is, it remains an exemption process. The burden will only now be shifted to the medical examiner, and probably will not necessarily be alleviated for the driver either, that is, if the treating clinician properly evaluates and medical examiner certifies accordingly. Then we need to ask, once certified how do we enforce this entire new process in lieu of the current Diabetes Exemption Program, to ensure that the driver using insulin remains compliant?
If you remember Johnny Depp’s movie “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”, I can certainly ask the same of the FMCSA. What’s Eating the FMCSA?, because a lot seems afoul with the new rule. But to be fair, the FMCSA does rely on medical expert opinion from the Medical Review Board (MRB), the Medical Expert Panel (MEP), as well as the Office of Medical Programs within the FMCSA itself to help with the interpretation and application of it’s medical regulations and recommendations. The FMCSA ultimately decides what recommendations made to the agency by it’s medical experts to accept. It publishes notice of proposed rules such as the current rule at hand and submits it for a period of public comment. Why does the FMCSA need such a wide body of medical experts to help it understand medical issues like insulin and diabetes and many other medical conditions? The simple answer is it’s complicated, both understanding the medicine and to properly apply it through the legal system without over burdening drivers, and simultaneously maintaining public safety.
So I ask again, What’s eating Gilbert Grape? What’s really eating the FMCSA? Less I feign an answer, I’m afraid that what ever I say now would just be speculation, so your guess is as good as mine. However, as a medical professional, I and many others see a lot wrong “medically” with the new proposed rule as written, and I hope to have some of those colleagues contribute their thoughts to the next post.
Memorial Day is here. To be continued…..
© 2015, Randolph Rosarion. All rights reserved.
Technorati Tags: diabetes exemption, DOT medical examiner, FMCSA, Medical Examiners Handbook, National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, new proposed rule, NPR, Qualifications of Drivers; Diabetes Standard, Randloph Rosarion
By Allen Smith
Low wages, driver shortage, high driver turnover, low retention, poor recruiting practices, cheap freight, working without pay, low hiring standards and unskilled labor are just a few of the phrases you will hear included in any discussion regarding professional CDL driver wages.
You will find many articles describing the facts regarding the problems encompassing the causes of stagnant truck driver pay, whether it be the fact that wages have not increased in decades, the unfair pay structure, the classification of drivers, or even the fact drivers work many hours without pay.
There are also those who write and offer suggestions about ways to address and resolve the dormant driver wage situation. Unfortunately, most who feel compelled to write or share their thoughts and ideas about wage solutions, or even mention that there is an unfair balance between drivers wages and industry profits, comes from the driver population itself.
That is not to say that there has not been a recent voice made by carriers claiming they are addressing the wage issue by raising driver pay which in most cases means increasing the cents per mile rate (CPM). Of course this most recent announcement by carriers was actually initiated by the anticipation of a driver shortage as many of the younger generation needed to fill the seats of veterans retiring, do not find the trucking industry an “appealing career” as discussed in a previous post: Truck Driver Retention and the Generation Gap.
But just how significant are these current driver wage increases? Keep in mind, even if a motor carrier claims they are raising their driver pay .03 CPM, that is only an increase of $60.00 per week, based on a 2,000 mile weekly scale.
Veteran truck driver Pat Hockaday introduces an interesting and well-calculated new thought to the ongoing CDL wage discussion. Mr. Hockaday is the founder of TruckersUnited.org and has spent a great deal of time contemplating the best solution for a fair increase of drivers wages, including the most practical method in which they should be designed. The details of his observations and methods can all be found in his writings known as “JoJo’s Paper.”
Below is a post that Pat posted on his FaceBook wall and has allowed us to share it here as well. I believe that this reading, along with JoJo’s paper, should motivate and inspire dialogue between all drivers, not arguing or criticizing one another, but rather sparking thoughts and ideas for real driver solutions:
“It’s been a Long Day. Before I go to bed I am very happy to announce that TruckersUnited.org in it’s new and improved format is up and running! Thank’s Danny, I know that You have worked very hard to make it happen!”
“As an individual with an opinion and a possible solution that I believe will solve many problems within this industry, I hope to meet more like minded individuals that are willing to work towards common goals to turn this industry around from the small guys perspective.”
“I believe this can be done only if we are willing to work towards common goals.
SAFETY; Why are we having regulations shoved down our throats in an attempt to force us into compliance? Hasn’t anyone figured out that Drivers are only trying to earn a living and to do so they must bend or twist the law?”
“Safety comes at a price! Drivers are paying that price in lower earnings due to their time needed to earn being regulated. Drivers are paid piece work wages and when their time need to produce pieces is regulated away they earn less and must become creative in order to sustain themselves and their families!”
“Are these regulations creating safer or more dangerous roadways for the public? Is it possible that if the Drivers were paid to be safe instead of being forced to earn less they would have no need to act in ways deemed unsafe?”
CHEAP FREIGHT RELIES ON CHEAP LABOR
“We O/O’s and small carriers have to compete against mega carriers that have, due to their size, set the labor rates for this industry. Intentionally or not, they have influenced freight rates to remain low and to stagnate. One can not raise their rate to pay better because that would give the others a competitive edge! Is it possible that if they all had to pay a salary based on a minimum wage standard they would all save money and maintain their competitive edge and their bottom line?”
“The megas and the FMCSA have been working on their agenda to have it their way without considering Us small Guys! Isn’t it up to us to let it be known what we need?”
“In it’s simplest form it all boils down to money. You and I can do whatever is required, we can break the law in order to earn. Why can’t we influence laws that enable Us to Earn without breaking the law?”
“In JoJo’s Paper I have laid out a concept that accomplishes the Goal of Safety by paying the Co OTR Drivers a living wage. I put this concept out for all to consider and discuss. Maybe a better idea will come out of it or maybe it can be improved upon. I only know that We little guys have been fussing and fighting among ourselves while they are deciding how it is going to be. It’s time to start working together like a team so that we can win or lose as a team.”
“It’s up to you what your future will bring, WHY are YOU letting THEM decide for YOU?
Let’s start talking so that we may find solutions where they can’t, right under their noses!”
Recently Mr. Hockaday was a guest on AskTheTrucker “LIVE” and oddly enough, it was a health show about the relationship and affects between CDL wages and truck driver health. You can catch the full broadcast below:
As professional drivers, I believe it is important to be able to open dialogue by sharing all of our experience, knowledge, thoughts, ideas, opinions and so-forth, which can ultimately lead to an agreed upon and in many cases, a final solution to an industry problem.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Technorati Tags: ask the trucker live, cdl, cents per mile, cheap freight, cpm, driver pay, driver retention, FMCSA, freight, Pat Hockaday, rates, truck driver wages, truck drivers, Truckers United, Trucking, trucking safety
For many, the trucking lifestyle is difficult enough, but when a driver is faced with an illness or sickness on the road, the difficulties can become much more serious.
I remember years back when I became extremely ill while miles away from home and my primary doctor’s care. As we often do while living life on the road, I continued to ignore my symptoms, believing that I would just “ride it out” and get well on my own.
As the illness worsened, I was finally forced to pull into a hospital parking lot in Cleveland, Tennessee where I was immediately wheeled into the ER. I would remain there for nearly two weeks as I overcame blood poisoning and discover that I had only been three hours away from becoming a fatality.
Back then, there were no Smartphones, WiFi, laptops or video communications of any kind and when a driver faced unknown medical symptoms while thousands of miles away from home, life on the road could become very unpleasant and dangerous to say the least.
In today’s technological advances, the ability for professional truck drivers to have access to a doctor’s care is available 365 days and 24/7. DocOnCall24/7 is specifically designed with the truckers’ lifestyle in mind, offering immediate access to licensed physicians at anytime via phone, email or video conference.
For only $19.99 per month, truck drivers and their families will receive medical services offering Telehealth, Vision, Dental, Diabetic, Pharmacy, Counseling, Lab Testing, MRI and CT Scans, Medical Health Advisory and more. Services are available to members as often as needed and there are no health restrictions.
Everyone is encouraged to sign up for their Free Prescription card on the website, membership is not required.
There are also FREE Prescription Discount Cards for the iPhone and Android
smartphones. Use the Group NBRx9848A
With this app you can receive discounts at all major pharmacies, check for the lowest
cost for the medication, and find the nearest pharmacy.
Android App Download
iPhone App Download
In her continuing Truck Driver Health series, Donna will discuss the services and benefits further with DocOnCall24/7 on Ask The Trucker “Live”. The broadcast: DocOnCall24/7 offers truckers remote access to certified doctors, will air Thursday, May 28th, 2015 at 6:00 PM Eastern Time.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
We are at an age of information overload, we’ve been there for awhile, and it’s getting even greater. With that said, is it really overload or is it information disorder, leading to confusion? Let’s face it, we can pretty much ask Google ( or other search engine) ANYTHING we want and find an answer. With the click of a mouse, you can search a word or phrase on the internet, and then within seconds, a list of 100+ results and options pop up! Now what?
It’s still up to us to determine the authenticity and credibility of that information, similar to sifting through the sand for the golden nuggets.
Resources on the web include: newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs, organizations, websites, government sites, forum sites and more. Another popular source for information are social media platforms such as FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + , Pinterest, and so many others.
The trucking industry is no different, the information available to us is a tremendous asset. Along with journals and informational websites, including the option to have up to date news sent directly to your email, there are the increasingly popular Social Media websites sprouting.
Because of the internet and technology, no longer are professional truck drivers isolated as they drive, the only communication being their CB radio.
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media sites and interactive information site have created a window of opportunity to share information and become interactive to people they would have never been heard from before.
To sum it up, the ability to obtain information and communicate has reached new levels. Along with that, there is the ability to share information to thousands in an instant “Click”.
To put it simply, the once isolated and voiceless now have the ability to locate many informative destinations as well as be heard and to share their own vital messages.
But now the question is, ” how do you keep up with it all?”
To aid with that dilemma, Trucking Social Media (TSM) has created a central Hub in attempts to help organize many of the resources available today.
Since the launch of the Trucking Social Media Convention in 2011, it has been our goal to unite with like minded people, sharing our info along with that of others throughout the industry, sharing all knowledge, experiences, and finally our voices.
The Trucking Social Media website is an extension of that original vision and goal. As we combine the technology, the internet, and mobile communication, our latest goal is to create a trusted Hub of quality resources and information.
The Resource Page: Informative websites, Social Media Groups, Government Agencies, Blogs, Charities, Advocacy, Health, Cooking, Associations, Directories, etc… is collected and updated on the website by TSM as well as submitted by those within the industry who would like to offer their resource suggestions and be a part of a trusted community. This vital info can then be shared via Social Media, reaching multitudes of others.
Videos are also a large part of the website as the trucking community shares their voice by sending in their Video URL, such as from YouTube.
Partners Page Our partners are an essential part of the Trucking Social Media Hub.
Our Partners continue to display their commitment toward honesty and integrity by offering the highest quality info, products and services.
SlideShare VIDEO for Truth About Trucking, LLC network
To Learn more about Trucking Social Media and how you can be a part of a trusted community of information, products, and resources, please watch the VIDEO below.
contact info- firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) recently issued a decision in the matter of an application (Docket Number: FMCSA-2013-0513) for a categorical exemption from the minimum property broker and surface freight forwarder financial security requirements imposed by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (“MAP-21”) passed by congress and signed into law by the president in 2012 (P.L. 112-141), which was filed by the Association of Independent Property Brokers & Agents (“AIPBA”), a trade group founded and operated by the author since 2010.
In that decision, in which FMCSA denied AIPBA’s requested blanket exemption, the agency acknowledged that more than 9,000 intermediary businesses spontaneously shut down in December of 2013 when the new $75,000 minimum property broker bond requirement went into effect under amended 49 U.S.C. §13906(b) and was enforced by the agency after a two month grace period.
While some of these brokers gave up their brokerage businesses to join bigger brokerages as agents as part of a concerted effort by some larger brokerages to “consolidate” the freight brokerage industry,
(http://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/20110109thebigbetofbradjacobs/), others have continued to operate without any license or bond with impunity as third-party intermediaries arranging for motor carrier transportation, calling themselves “dispatchers” and “dispatch services” instead of brokers and holding themselves out to the public through social media.
“Property brokers” that operate in interstate commerce are required to be registered under 49 U.S.C. § 13904. Proper registration results in in the issuance of a “license” by FMCSA upon compliance with the financial security requirements prescribed by regulation (49 CFR 387).
“Property broker” is defined by Federal regulation in 49 CFR 371.2(a): “Broker means a person who, for compensation, arranges, or offers to arrange, the transportation of property by an authorized motor carrier.”
However, under said rule, there is an exception: “Motor carriers, or persons who are employees or bona fide agents of carriers, are not brokers within the meaning of this section when they arrange or offer to arrange the transportation of shipments which they are authorized to transport and which they have accepted and legally bound themselves to transport.” That is, an entity is not a broker if it is a “bona fide agent” of a carrier as defined under 49 CFR 371.2(b) as: “…persons who are part of the normal organization of a motor carrier and perform duties under the carrier’s directions pursuant to a preexisting agreement which provides for a continuing relationship, precluding the exercise of discretion on the part of the agent in allocating traffic between the carrier and others.”
Regardless of whether an intermediary works for a shipper or carrier and regardless of whether it touches the shipper’s money, an intermediary is a broker if it is paid by any party in the equation to arrange transportation as per 49 CFR 371.2(c): “Brokerage or brokerage service is the arranging of transportation or the physical movement of a motor vehicle or of property. It can be performed on behalf of a motor carrier, consignor, or consignee.” The term “dispatching” is covered within the official FMCSA definition of “motor carrier” at 49 CFR 390.5:
“Motor carrier means a for-hire motor carrier or a private motor carrier. The term includes a motor carrier’s agents, officers and representatives as well as employees responsible for hiring, supervising, training, assigning, or dispatching of drivers…” Most of these entities operating as dispatch services “dispatch” for more than one carrier under a power of attorney, which declares the dispatcher an agent of the carrier.
Therein lies the problem… Under the theory of “agency”*, it would appear an intermediary cannot be a nonexclusive agent of multiple competing carriers because this violates its “fiduciary duty of agent to principal;” that is, it would appear that an intermediary can’t lawfully help two competing carriers and call itself an agent of both of them as this problem of performing its fiduciary duty comes up when it chooses to load one of its carriers over the other. Contracted brokers don’t have this level of fiduciary responsibility.
In order to be a “bona fide agent,” then, the “agent” must be an exclusive agent for just one carrier. An intermediary calling itself a “dispatch service” when it services multiple carriers instead of a “broker” is like a legal professional saying he is not an “attorney” but a “lawyer” as he then attempts to practice law without being duly admitted to the bar. Shakespeare would say: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
” This matter was settled by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) years ago… In “Practices of Property Brokers” (49 M.C.C. 277, 295-303 (1949)) the ICC considered the distinction between agents of carriers and brokers and concluded that one who is in a position to allocate shipments between competing principals is a broker, who requires a license; an agent who devotes his service exclusively to a single carrier is part of that carrier’s organization and does not require a license.
Many third-party “dispatchers” charge motor carriers a 6% minimum fee but get the loads from brokers who are taking at least 12%. From a business standpoint, inserting a second middle man into the equation can therefore be said to adversely affect carriers’ bottom line. However, from a legal standpoint, these motor carriers need to recognize that “dispatchers” are not licensed under 49 U.S.C. § 13904 and are therefore not bonded by law for carriers’ protection; only licensed property brokers and freight forwarders are.
So, letting a “dispatcher” handle their money in place of a duly licensed broker clearly creates significant risk exposure for carriers. Legal practitioners should therefore warn their motor carrier clients of this pitfall and determine if the mere use of an unlicensed dispatcher by their motor carrier clients could in and of itself entail liability for aiding and abetting unlicensed operations under 49 CFR 390.13.
When it comes to “dispatch services,” the law is clear: it is not what an intermediary calls itself that defines whether it is a broker or not, it is what the intermediary does. Therefore, notwithstanding being a “bona fide agent” of one motor carrier, if an intermediary is an entity that receives compensation in exchange for arranging motor carrier transportation of regulated commodities across state lines, then it is an interstate property broker no matter what its chooses to call itself.
Unlawful brokers that call themselves “dispatchers” unfairly compete with duly-licensed brokers by circumventing the broker licensing and bond requirements. They can operate at less of a cost than law-abiding brokers who pay up to $10,000/year for a $75,000 surety bond or trust fund instrument.
Perhaps it is time for the relevant trade groups to crack down on these unlicensed players through the private cause of action provision established by MAP-21 to challenge the unlicensed dispatcher model in Federal court.
* According to Black’s Law Dictionary, “Agency” is “a relation, created either by express or implied contract or by law, whereby one party (called the principal or constituent) delegates the transaction of some lawful business or the authority to do certain acts for him or in relation to his rights or property, with more or less discretionary power, to another person (called the agent, attorney, proxy, or delegate) who undertakes to manage the affair and render him an account thereof.”
James P. Lamb is a non-attorney transportation practitioner duly admitted to practice before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board and Federal Maritime Commission. He is president of the Association of Independent Property Brokers & Agents (AIPBA) and chairman of the broader Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC). He is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
© 2015, James Lamb. All rights reserved.
Technorati Tags: 75K property Broker Bond, agent, AIPBA, Association of Independent Property Brokers & Agents, brokers, dispatch services, FMCSA, MAP 21, motor carriers, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act
Recent study results from ATRI has confirmed what many professional drivers have been adamantly saying, ” 2013 HOS restart provisions have compromised truck safety”
Although there are many issues that drivers and carriers may not agree upon, the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rule change of July 2013 is not one of them.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dan Murray
April 29, 2015
Arlington, VA – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released the results of a new analysis of the safety and operational impacts from the 34-hour restart provisions. In this latest of an ongoing series of Research Tech Memos, ATRI analyzed an extensive truck GPS database to identify changes in truck travel by time-of-day and day of the week that may have occurred after the July 1, 2013 change to the Hours-of-Service (HOS) restart provisions. ATRI also examined several years or pre- and post-July 1 federal truck crash data to quantify safety impacts resulting from the HOS rules change implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The truck GPS data analysis identified a shift of truck traffic from nighttime to daytime and a shift of truck traffic away from the weekends to more congested weekdays, with the biggest decreases in truck activity occurring on Sunday nights.
The crash data analysis showed a statistically significant increase in truck crashes after the July 1, 2013 rule change, specifically with injury and towaway crashes. In particular, the increase in injury and towaway crashes would be expected based on the shifting of trucks to more congested weekday travel due to increased traffic exposure.
The crash increases and operational shifts would ostensibly be independent of overall economic improvement since the statistical tool utilizes percentage change, and tonnage growth percentages over the 2-year period were relatively constant. In addition, truck unit position points are a better indicator of physical truck movements than freight volumes.
ATRI’s report features some possible explanations for the GPS and crash data findings as a result of operational changes the industry had to make post-July 1, 2013. Among these are:
“After many years of crash decreases, everyone knows our industry has experienced an uptick in crashes,” said Dean Newell, Vice President, Safety of Maverick USA, Inc. and a member of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee. “This latest analysis from ATRI validates both changes in operations and crash risk that seem to be associated with the restart rule. Regulations should serve to improve safety, not create additional safety risks.”
ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is
engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
TruckerToTrucker.com today launches a scholarship resource to inform transportation workers and their families about the scholarship opportunities available in this industry
Culver, IN, April 25, 2015 –(PR.com)-– TruckerToTrucker.com today launches a scholarship resource to inform transportation workers and their families about the scholarship opportunities available in this industry.
There are eight different scholarship programs totaling $18,000+ in annual award opportunities on the Trucker to Trucker resource page with more to be added in the coming months. Awards can be used to pay for college and graduate school, as well as commercial truck driving schools.
The scholarship resource consolidates various programs and grants offered by companies, non-profits, and state and national transportation organizations across the US to provide a single source of information for trucking and transportation industry specific scholarship opportunities.
“There are dozens of generous scholarships available to the members of our industry and their families, but few people know about them,” said Jimmy Steele, communications coordinator for TruckerToTrucker.com. “We wanted to make it easy for people to find a program that will help make their education more affordable.”
Each program has unique requirements and eligibility guidelines. The resource page is located at http://www.truckertotrucker.com/trucking-scholarship-resource.cfm, and provides links to the full details of each scholarship to help students find current information on the awards.
“In 2013, we started to offer a scholarship for students to attend a commercial driving program. Even after reaching out to schools and organizations to spread the word, it was almost impossible to give the money away,” said Steele. “After talking with other groups who had the same issue, we realized that the industry needed a single resource that students can visit to understand all their opportunities.”
Announcement can be found here –
TruckerToTrucker.com offers two types of award each year. A $1000 college scholarship for the children or grandchildren of those working in the transportation industry. And, a $500 truck driving school scholarship for those who wish to start a career as a professional driver.
About Trucker to Trucker:
TruckertoTrucker.com launched in 2003 with the purpose of making it easy for owner operators, dealers, and fleet owners to sell their commercial trucks, trailers, and equipment online. With thousands of daily visitors, TruckertoTrucker.com has become a leading online marketplace for all brands of trucks and trailers. Trucker to Trucker also provides digital marketing services like website design, promotion, and inventory management for dealers and other high volume sellers. For more information, visit http://www.truckertotrucker.com
Trucker To Trucker
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
With yesterday’s passing of bill S. 178, known as The Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act of 2015, American society has taken one step closer to fighting such atrocities against humanity.
Unanimously passing in the Senate by a vote of 99-0, the bill focuses on providing justice for the victims of trafficking as well as additional support in combating the illegal trade.
Based out of Englewood, Colorado, Truckers Against Trafficking continues their drive to educate, inform, train and bring help and solutions to combat domestic human trafficking. With their first-of-its-king mobile exhibit, The Freedom Drivers Project travels the country providing an inside look into human trafficking by offering educational information for trucking professionals and the general public as well.
Beginning as an initiative of Chapter 61 Ministries in 2009 and officially becoming a 501(c)3 organization in 2011, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) continues to have an impact on the atrociousness of human trafficking. Most recently, Conway Truckload driver, Kevin Kimmel “made the call” which led to the rescue of a young lady who had been kidnapped out of Iowa. Mr. Kimmel was recognized on April 3, 2015 when Truckers Against Trafficking presented the driver with their 2015 Harriet Tubman Award.
Additionally on yesterday, the same day of the passing of bill S. 178, Truckers Against Trafficking received the Suzanne McDaniel Memorial Award for Public Awareness as part of the annual Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus Awards at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D. C.
TAT was chosen for the award by U. S. Representative Ted Poe (R, TX). Bill Brady, an 18-year veteran over-the-road truck driver for Lodestar, accepted the award on behalf of TAT. A dedicated trucker against trafficking, Brady has been working with TAT since 2012, speaking at schools and colleges, working trucking shows for TAT and often driving the Freedom Drivers Project to various locations around the country.
Kylla Lanier, Deputy Director of Truckers Against Trafficking will join us as our special guest on Ask The Trucker “LIVE” on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 6 PM Eastern Time.
Tune in “live” as Mrs. Lanier will discuss the continual efforts of Truckers Against Trafficking, more on The Freedom Drivers Project and share the successful stories of professional truckers who are “making the call” and saving lives.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Technorati Tags: ask the trucker live, Bill Brady, bill S. 178, Conway truckload, harriet tubman award, human trafficking, kevin kimmel, kylla lanier, Ted Poe, The Freedom Drivers Project, The Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking, truck drivers, Truckers, truckers against trafficking
Many truckers are familiar with the 75 Chrome Shop located in Wildwood, Florida. Established in 1990, the shop has grown into much more than the name implies.
Their 17th Annual Truck Show will be a three-day event scheduled for April 24-26th, 2015.
In 2014, the event displayed over sixty show trucks with over 4,000 spectators while offering food and entertainment which includes a spectacular light show as well as a Bounce House and Games for kids.
For this year’s Pride & Polish Truck Show, they have added a new category, “Everyday Truck Drivers” which offers non-chrome truck show contestants the opportunity to participate by “showing off” their trucks in an “exterior judging” only competition.
The 75 Chrome Shop is located just west on State Road 44 off of I-75 at exit 329.
Donna and I will be enjoying the event this year and hope to see you there.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Con-way Truckload driver Kevin Kimmel from Tavares, Florida has been named the 2015 Harriet Tubman award winner by Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) SOURCE Truckers Against Trafficking
Kevin Kimmel received the Harriet Tubman Award from Truckers Against Trafficking at a ceremony on April 3rd. He also has been announced as a TCA Highway Angel.
Below is the Truckers Against Trafficking press release. Kylla Lanier, deputy director fro Truckers Against Trafficking , will be our guest on AskTheTrucker “Live’ on Blog Talk Radio sharing the outstanding accomplishments of TAT and the heroic actions of our nations drivers which have saved so many innocent lives from the atrocities of human trafficking.
TAVARES, Fla., April 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Con-way Truckload driver Kevin Kimmel from Tavares, Florida has been named the 2015 Harriet Tubman award winner by Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) for his actions which saved a woman from torture and modern-day slavery.
The award, which carries with it a $2,500 check, is named in honor of famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman, whose courageous personal actions resulted in the transportation of 300 slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad and whose overall role in the freedom movement was instrumental in the freeing of thousands more. Born into slavery in 1820, Miss Tubman was the first African American woman buried with full military honors and the first to have the inaugural Liberty ship named after her – the SS Harriet Tubman – by the US Maritime Commission.
“Because of Harriet Tubman’s connection to transportation through the Underground Railroad and her heroic work to free thousands of slaves, TAT believes she epitomizes the symbol of freedom a trucking anti-trafficking award represents,” said Kendis Paris, TAT executive director. “And we’re proud to say that Con-way Truckload partners with TAT in the training of their employees with TAT materials. To date, they’ve trained over 1500 of their employees. Driver Kevin Kimmel’s actions in reporting the suspicious activity he saw while resting at a truck stop is exactly the type of action we want to recognize with the Harriet Tubman award. This award was created to honor a member of the trucking industry each year whose direct actions help save or improve the lives of those enslaved or prevent human trafficking from taking place.”
On the morning of Jan. 6, 2015, Kimmel caught a glimpse of a distraught-looking young girl in the darkened window of an RV which had pulled into the New Kent, Virginia truck stop where Kimmel had stopped for some sleep.
Suddenly, her face was gone, almost as if it had been yanked away by someone.
Kimmel reported later to media that he, “saw a guy come up and knock on the door, then go inside the truck stop, then quickly came back and knocked again, all of the sudden the thing was rocking and rolling.”
He decided things didn’t looked right and called the police. When police responded, they found an Iowa couple in the RV, along with a 20-year-old malnourished and frightened young woman, who said the couple had kidnapped her two weeks earlier in Iowa, had physically and sexually abused her and then forced her into prostitution. The couple was arrested and charged with sex trafficking.
Kimmel, who has daughters and granddaughters, learned the gruesome details of the case through the news. “I’m just happy I helped her,” he said.
Kevin Kimmel received the Harriet Tubman Award from Mark Brown, TAT Board president, and Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, at a special ceremony at Con-way Truckload’s headquarters in Joplin, Missouri on the morning of April 3.
SOURCE Truckers Against Trafficking
Kimmel will receive the Harriet Tubman Award and the check from Mark Brown, TAT Board president, and Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, at a special ceremony at Con-way Truckload’s headquarters in Joplin, Missouri on the morning of April 3. At that same ceremony, he will be awarded the Truckload Carrier Association’s Highway Angel Award
For more information on TAT’s Harriet Tubman Award, go to
Truckers Against Trafficking is a 501c3 organization whose mission is to educate, equip, empower and mobilize members of the trucking industry to fight human trafficking as part of their everyday jobs.
SOURCE Truckers Against Trafficking
Kevin Kimmel also received the TCA Highway Angel Award read more
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Recently 44 year trucking veteran and 4 million safe miles owner operator “Tom” Byerley, had enough regarding the “unfair and faulty” Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program.
After decades of driving, Tom elected to become a broker, helping other owner operators receive fair and honest rates, and offering the option of small and personalized service (rather than mega brokers)
Tom has experienced and empathized greatly with many small carriers as they struggle with misleading and publicly shared CSA scores.
Tom then felt compelled to write to members of Congress expressing his concerns regarding the controversial methodology and data collection of the FMCSA’s (CSA) program carrier ratings.
CSA’s goal was suppose to increase highway safety by determining a carrier safety score in attempt to identify unsafe ones. CSA’s ultimate goal for safety was based on their method to target, identify, and then make public these scores. These scores could then be used by insurers, brokers, freight-forwarders and others interested in reviewing registration and safety performance information of motor carriers.”
The outcome however is far different than that of CSA’s original goals as determined by the GAO report of Feb 2014.
Their method, ( Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program) has been in high question ( and scrutiny) as to the accuracy of it’s methodology.
In Feb of 2014 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the scoring system used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in its Compliance, Safety, Accountability system is flawed and is made up of an incomplete data set. The GAO also concluded the program is particularly unfair for small carriers. It also stated that it would “raise questions about whether the Safety Measurement System (SMS) is effectively identifying carriers at highest risk for crashing in the future,”
Recently in March, The House introduced a bill targeting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountabilityprogram and would, if it becomes law, force FMCSA to remove its carrier rankings from public view and restructure the program. The Safer Trucks and Buses Act of 2015, is similar to a bill introduced in the previous Congress, again introduced by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.).
LETTER to CONGRESS by Tom Byerley
“My name is Carl (Tom) Byerley. By way of back ground, I operate a transportation business called Urtruckbroker.com. I am also a member of the broker trade group Association of Independent Property Brokers & Agents’ (AIPBA) Board of Directors and a serve on the broader industry trade group Small Business in Transportation Coalition’s (SBTC) Advisory Council.
The APBA & SBTC has been gathering data from trucking companies on their use of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) program ratings and we are examining how CSA has affected their driver hiring and termination practices. I believe that this information might be helpful to you in your bill to remove CSA data from public view and we offer it in furtherance thereof. I would also suggest that you please consider incorporating into your bill an additional, specific restriction in the language of your bill that prohibits FMCSA’s from making CSA information available to motor carriers’ insurance companies.
We are looking at supporting a bill and/or commencing litigation that would cause the FMCSA to change the current appeal process used (DataQ). The way the system currently works in reality, a driver receives points against the company’s CSA — SMS statistics in addition to the points he gets with respect to any violations found in relation to the original reason for the vehicle stop (i.e. if the officer states he stopped the driver for speeding in a construction zone and decides not to issue a citation for speeding, the driver still gets CSA-related points that could ultimately put him out of a job and/or prevent him from getting another job. In essence, the driver gets convicted without due process and gets no opportunity to defend himself against what should be a mere allegation of a violation. We believe this is a violation of drivers’ Constitutional rights.
We would be very interested in your views on this and other issues concerning the FMCSA’s CSA program.
As a courtesy, I offer the enclosed copy of my individual company’s Carrier CSA report as a further example for your review.
Thank you for your consideration.
C. Tom Byerley, Urtruckbroker.com
AIPBA Board Member SBTC Advisory Council
Tom asks those who are reading this to feel free in writing him to discuss how FMCSA’s CSA and SMS has affected them and to share your thoughts and ideas.
email Tom Byerley at
Tom will also be calling in on AskTheTrucker ‘Live’ during one of our OPEN FORUM shows. ”
Show Link: Open Trucking Forum- Addressing FMCSA shortcomings
Saturday April 11 2015 6PM ET
Join in the conversation! 347-826-9170
Listen from your computer OR dial in to listen
To be a part of the show- press “1″ on your keypad after dialing in
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
FMCSA Denies AIPBA’s Request for Property Broker Bond Exemption in Wake of Nearly 10,000 Businesses Being Forced Out-of-Business; Two Federal Lawsuits Now Move Forward
The Association of Independent Property Brokers & Agents (“AIPBA”) announced today that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), an agency of the United States Department of Transportation, has denied its application for a categorical exemption from the minimum $75,000 property broker and freight forwarder bond requirement that recently was raised from $10,000 and caused nearly 10,000 small surface transportation intermediary businesses to go out of business.
AIPBA can now move forward with two lawsuits previously filed in Georgia (“Association of Independent Property Brokers and Agents, Inc. v. Foxx, No. 13-15238-D (Atlanta, GA 11th Cir.)” and Florida (“Association of Independent Property Brokers and Agents, Inc. v. Foxx et al, No. 5:15-cv-00038-JSM-PRL (M.D. FL.)”.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (PRWEB) March 31, 2015
The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) announced via in the “Federal Register” on March 30th, 2015 that it has denied the Association of Independent Property Brokers & Agents’ (“AIPBA”), a freight broker trade group, August 2013 application for a categorical property broker and freight forwarder bond exemption See AIPBA Exemption Letter
The decision was opened for “public inspection” on March 30, 2015 online at:
Under Federal Law (49 USC 13906), a minimum $75,000 bond has been required of property brokers and freight forwarders in order to receive and maintain a federal business license since October 1, 2013.
AIPBA issued a statement in response to the FMCSA’s decision:
“The AIPBA is very disappointed in FMCSA, in this instance. We disagree with FMCSA’s long-awaited decision on this application, and find it totally devoid of sensitivity toward the nearly 10,000 small business intermediaries, especially members of the minority brokerage community, that were revoked in the first two weeks of December of 2013 and the anti-competitive obstacles to entry currently in place due to a bond obviously set too high for over 40% of the property brokerage industry to handle,” AIPBA President James Lamb said.
Lamb stated that whereas AIPBA offered that over 9,800 intermediaries (8,200 of which were brokers were revoked in the first two weeks of December 2013 as a direct result of enforcement of a $75,000 minimum bond, FMCSA acknowledged in their decision that 8,962 intermediaries were, indeed, lost during the full month of December 2013, the difference representing a relatively small amount of intermediaries whose licenses were reinstated in the last two weeks of that month, and other new non-small business broker applicants sparked by the 2012 highway bill dubbed “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act of 2012 (“MAP-21″)
Lamb noted that while FMCSA points in its decision to a small increase over the year that followed, Lamb believes it neglects to acknowledge that a significant part of that increase is due to the fact that MAP-21 reinforced the need for large carriers to obtain broker licenses when they arrange transportation (formerly asserted to be unregulated as a matter of “interlining”) when the carrier does not take possession of the property at least at some point in the shipment.
“The current broker census therefore cannot be fairly attributed to a return of these small business brokers that were utterly decimated in December 2013,” Lamb said.
According to the AIPBA website, AIPBA has two lawsuits in motion; one previously filed in Georgia (“Association of Independent Property Brokers and Agents, Inc. v. Foxx, No. 13-15238-D (Atlanta, GA 11th Cir.);” and the other in Florida (“Association of Independent Property Brokers and Agents, Inc. v. Foxx et al, No. 5:15-cv-00038-JSM-PRL (M.D. FL.)” against the FMCSA over the broker bond issue, one of which, is now before the U.S Court of Appeals.
Listen TODAY, March 31st @ 3PM ET
FMCSA Broker Bond Decision
AIPBA President James Lamb will be on Sirius XM’S Road Dog Trucking News Channel 146 today at 3PM Eastern talking about the Broker Bond Exemption Application Decision.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on Trucking and the real truth about Obstructive Sleep Apnea
On Saturday March 21st at 6PM ET AskTheTrucker “Live’ will have one of the most informational shows for one of the most controversial and concerning topics within the trucking industry. Sleep Apnea.
Our guests will include certified DOT medical examiner Dr Randolph Rosarion and Elaine Papp, former Division Chief of the Office of Medical Programs at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Both Dr Rosarion and Elaine Papp are members of the Advisory Council for the North American Trucking Alerts.
Dr. Randolph Rosarion, MD is a certified medical examiner listed in the US DOT FMCSA National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners and received his medical degree from Stony Brook University School of Medicine. His medical practice, USDOT Medical Examiner is located in College Point, Queens, New York and specializes in Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation and Occupational Medicine. As a recognized leader in the field, he received the Best of Queens Award 2013 for Department of Transportation Commercial Driver License Medical Examinations.
ALL your questions answered:
OSA — Obstructive Sleep Apnea
1. Sleep science background
2. Review of sleep disorders including Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA )( prevalence, diagnosis and treatment)
3. Review of AASM practice guidelines and FMCSA MRB/MEP recommendations (polymyography, vs portable monitors) , CPAP, surgery, dental appliances
4. BMI. neck size and Co-morbidities , how they factor in evaluation
5. FMCSA guidance over the years to current position
6. The mechanics of sleep apnea and why weight plays a role
7. Why people who aren’t overweight have OSA
9. Costs for Sleep Apnea- Testing and Equipment
Elaine Papp spent 7 years as the Division Chief of the Office of Medical Programs at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), contributing to the relationship between medical conditions, their impact on safe operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and FMCSA regulations/guidance.
Ms. Papp has a broad range of occupational safety and health experience, from private industry to international organizations.
Previously, Elaine worked for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in several capacities: analyzing legislation and writing Congressional testimony, crafting regulations and compliance assistance materials, participating in on-site enforcement inspections, and conducting presentations on behalf of the Agency.
Elaine Papp- FormerDivision Chief of the Office of Medical Programs at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
WHAT ARE YOUR DEEPEST Concerns regarding Sleep Apnea?
Please comment to this post. We will be taking callers the night of the show, however, we expect lines to be full and we want to ensure that ALL questions are answered.
Saturday March 21, 2015
Call in to listen, comment or ask questions 347-826-9170
OR Listen from your computer
Call in to listen, comment or ask questions 347-826-9170
Listen from your computer
COMMENT with your questions, thoughts, and concerns to this post
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on Neglected 20 Year Old Semi arrives at MATS PKY area promoting driver health
Walk A Mile America/TruckDriversHealth.org to Use Old Semi Truck to Stress importance of Driver Hearth
For Immediate Release.
At the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) this year, there will be a different kind of truck among the country’s premier truck beauty show !
Among these shined and polished working show trucks, will be the WalkAMileAmerica 20 year old neglected and abused semi ( once a “show truck” itself), displaying to everyone what happens when even the most sound and beautiful truck is neglected over time. The purpose of this is to correlate similar effects of both driver body and truck, stressing the importance of “care and maintenance for both.
WalkAMileAmerica affiliated with TruckDriversHealth.org, will be sharing the causes, effects, and also solutions for bringing the driver (and truck) back to “health”.
They will also be at Booth 32010, sharing information and literature.
Just off the production floor, the semi truck is a gleaming specimen of craftsmanship. With proper care and routine maintenance, it can travel over the road for a million miles or more.
But neglect it, and the tractor can transform into a rusted and battered shell. Perhaps still able to function, but it may need some attention to perform at a peak level.
Over time, all semi trucks will break down, need repairs aid even need to be replaced. But they aren’t the only thing the trucking industry depends on to keep the country’s economy moving
Just like the semi truck needs maintenance, the same goes for over-the-road drivers, though the pool of them is small and even dwindling due to ongoing driver shortages, recent government regulations and the job’s notorious unhealthy lifestyle.
To drive home the importance of driver health. Walk A Mile America and TruckDrivers Health.org are taking a neglected semi truck on tour to serve as a physical representation of the continuing crisis in the transportation industry: poor driver health.
In response, the nonprofit foundation dedicated to improving the health of the nation’s truck drivers is developing a boot camp of sorts to help over-the-road drivers instill and maintain healthy habits.
Poor health has plagued truck drivers for decades. Long hours driving, lack of healthy foods, irregular sleeping patterns and the nomadic lifestyle has manifested itself in obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea and hypertension.
Statistics from the National Institute of Health indicate that not only is the truck driver population unhealthy, but it is significantly worse off than the general public. For example, more than 50 percent of truck drivers are considered obese, compared to 26.7 percent of the rest of the population. Data shows diabetes and hypertension are much more common among truck drivers, as well.
Poor health affects not only the driver, who may experience a shortened lifespan, be unfit to drive, and miss time and possibly money on the job, as a result. Companies feel the effects of drivers in poor health, too, potentially paying higher insurance premiums, missing delivery deadlines or even having to address employee turnover.
The trucking industry overall suffers as well. Not having fully recovered from a recent driver shortage, the Industry could lose many more employees because of these health problems. Drivers now are required to pass a Department of Transportation Examination to obtain a driver’s license. They must pass a comprehensive physical and meet various baseline metrics before they are approved to drive.
The Compliance Safety and Accountability Act of 2010, which addressed roadside safety violations, has added the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC), it requires drivers to earn a medical certification card, indicating they have physical and medical clearance to operate a semi truck.
These regulatory steps are important ones in addressing the chronic problem of driver health, but the Walk A Mile America program is intended to target the driver first. By reaching out to drivers through a boot camp program of sorts, they will learn to adopt and maintain tips for pursuing a healthier lifestyle.
This will yield positive benefits for their employer as they are in good health to perform their jobs, meet various regulatory standards and possibly batter healthcare premiums.
For years, poor’ health has nearly been synonymous with the trucking industry. By addressing it, hopefully that image will change and ultimately attract new drivers to the market to fill the enormous anticipated growth in moving goods.
Making this change will require reaching the driver through employers, insurance programs and direct contact.
For more information or to donate and support this cause, please visit walkamileamerica.com 405-542-5857.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on Healthy trucking groups rallying at Papa John’s lot at MATS
As MATS approaches in less than 10 days, the drive for truckers to not just become healthier, but to enjoy the journey of becoming healthier increases. The words “sacrifice ” and “diet” are no longer part of the healthy trucker vocabulary. These words are being replaced with words such as, “delicious”, “flavorful”, and “lifestyle”
Here is yet another moving FaceBook group, Heart Smart Highway, who has passionately embraced this lifestyle and is encouraging others to do the same.
Heart Smart Highway is proud to announce its coming arrival at the Papa Johns Parking lot during the Mid America Truck Show March 26th — 28th. Heart Smart Highway founder Jeannie Lennox and Les Willis of Godspeed Expediters invite you to start your MATS
Experience the MATS start off on the right note…..WITH A BLAST OF HEALTH!
Join us Thursday morning from 9-10 a.m. in the Papa Johns parking lot at the Heart Smart Highway trailer.
Look for our Banner. We will be sharing shots of refreshing Heart Smart smoothies and demonstrating the Nutribullet superfood nutrition extractor. While you are there fill out a short questionnaire and be registered to win a Nutribullet system of your own (a $100.00 dollar value). Winner will be announced via text message at 2:00 PM Saturday.
Everyone that stops by will receive a Heart Smart Highway logo jar opener made from recycled tires. Also we will be showing, on an outside monitor, Health documentaries talking about different health concerns in our industry and society.
End MATS with a BANG!
Join us Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m. at the Heart Smart Highway trailer to listen to Heart Smart Highway friends Gary and Julie Tussey playing guitar and singing songs from their new Blues and Rock CD “Big Blond Baby”. Until then safe and Healthy travels to all!
For more info please contact Jeannie Lennox
NOTE: Heart Smart Highway also runs monthly contests on their sister FaceBook Page Heart Smart Highway Cooking Challenge
Contestants post as many recipes with photos as they want to be entered into monthly challenge. Recipes need to be cooked on the truck and be healthy meal options.
At the end of each month a winner is announced and the winners each month receive a prize which is sent to them.
This challenge will be for the months of February thru the end of July.
The six monthly winners will be registered into a Healthy cook off challenge to be held at GATS (Great American Truck Show) in August 2015.
Godspeed Expediters will be the sponsor for the GATS final cook off event and offering a $500 dollar gift certificate to winner.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
by Eric Halsey
What truckers have known for a long time is becoming increasingly clear to the rest of the country: US roads are in dangerously bad shape.The World Economic Forum has responded by pushing the US from 5th to 16th in the world on its infrastructure rankings. This is particularly true in Texas, where decades of tax averse state administrations have resulted in a terrifying annual gap in what’s needed to maintain, let alone improve, basic infrastructure. What does this mean for the trucking industry? And what’s being done to remedy the situation? We take a deeper look below.
First, how exactly did we get to this point? Taking a step back in time, the US invested heavily in its infrastructure following the Second World War as part of the Eisenhower Highway System. This took decades and billions of dollars to build, but it’s been the backbone of the US economy and transportation network ever since.
In Texas, this resulted in more than 3,000 miles of high quality interstate highways in addition to the second largest state highway system in the country. But highways must be maintained and upgraded once built. Without a new stoplight or overpass to respond to increased usage or new asphalt to fix potholes, roads can quickly become deadly. One small region around Odessa, Texas is demonstrating this with shockingly high death rates.
The oil boom in that region may be doing wonders for the local economy, but that additional economic activity is not being converted into additional revenue for maintaining and improving the local infrastructure, which is buckling under the strain of 60,000 additional residents who have arrived in the past 10 years. The results are sadly predictable: a 157% increase in traffic deaths from 2009 to 2013.
Texas as a whole has been lucky enough to benefit from higher than average economic growth for the past several years. But the trend in Austin is to stand back and let this growth develop on its own. Whatever you think of the economics of the Perry Administration though, the trucking industry knows that without government investment, that kind of growth can’t continue forever.
The worry then is that Texas is not taking advantage of this period of growth to make the kinds of investments necessary to continue it. What happens if the economy hits another rough spot, just as the state of Texas’ transportation infrastructure reaches a breaking point? This could be a deadly combination for both those on the roads and the economy as a whole.
A common way to raise the revenue necessary to maintain road infrastructure throughout the US is through gas taxes. But this poses some problems. As cars have become more fuel efficient and mild inflation has built up over the years, the money collected from these taxes, adjusted for purchasing power, has dropped by more than half from 18 cents a gallon to 7 cents a gallon over the course of the Perry Administration.
Some would like to blame a lack of federal funding, but even that can’t fully make up for the shortfall. So, Texas finds itself in a situation where economic growth is leading to more cars putting greater strains on the roads while the money necessary to maintain those roads has effectively been cut by almost two thirds. While it may be easy to see this as a simple numbers game, it’s important to remember that this problem translates directly into high death rates each and every month. As a result, Texans are demanding action.
In response to this growing crisis, on November 4th, Texans passed an amendment to divert some $1.7 billion dollars in gas taxes from going into a rainy day fund to directly paying for infrastructure. But this is still an estimated $4 billion short of what is needed.
Ultimately, diverting funds is simply a stopgap, and not a great one at that. What’s needed is to raise gas taxes and registration fees. Texas currently has no income tax and one of the lowest sets of transportation fees in the country. In this atmosphere of economic growth, it’s not unreasonable to see some mild increases designed to specifically put money into safer roads.
As it stands, lawmakers are simply waiting for the situation to develop into a more serious crisis, one which would allow them to finally act and overcome political pressure not to raise taxes or fees at all. But for families who have already lost loved ones and for truckers who worry a little more every time they drive through the Lone Star State, simply waiting for things to get worse is unacceptable.
What do you think about the state of Texas roads and the politics surrounding the issue? Let us know in the comments section.
Eric Halsey is a historian by training and disposition who’s been interested in US small businesses since working at the House Committee on Small Business in 2006. Coming from a family with a history of working on industry policy, he has a particular interest in the Surety Bonding and Freight Industries and Professional Certification; he loves sharing his knowledge of the industry for JW Surety Bonds.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on Cooking in the Truck Summit debuting at MATS 2015
For Immediate Release.
Cooking in the Truck Summit March 26th 2015, 8PM in the Papa Johns Lot at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) at the Freightliner hospitality trailer
Linda Caffee, Freightliner Team Run Smart Pro and Tom Kyrk founder and chief blogger for Road Tested Living, will be hosting the first Cooking in the Truck Summit.
This event will be held March 26th 2015, at 8PM in the Papa Johns Lot at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) at the Freightliner hospitality trailer.
In recent years there has been a increase in the number of drivers who cook in their trucks. This is done for a variety of reasons ranging from saving money, to health, to scheduling, among other reasons. A variety of resources in recent years have became available to help encourage drivers to cook in their trucks. These range from web sites to cookbooks for truckers, and Facebook pages.
Linda and Tom would like to improve the networking and communication between these various groups as to resources available. As well as to get the word out that cooking on the truck does not have to be hard, complicated, or expensive.
The purpose of this Summit is three fold:
1) Is to discuss ways to encourage and promote cooking in the truck.
2) To share ideas on storage, and cooking ideas
3) To discuss ways to work with the various companies in the trucking industry to help them understand our needs. By doing this it is hoped that the products and services we need and use will become more widely available and economical.
Anyone with an interest in cooking in their truck, or grilling outside are welcome to attend. If a member of your group is able to attend as a representative we will give them a brief opportunity to discuss what your group specialty as well as share links and resources. If someone from your group is unable to attend.
Feel free to e-mail the information to email@example.com subject line summit include the information about your group or its resources. If you have personal information or pictures of your cooking tools or storage ideas please feel free to submit it as well if you will be unable to attend.
Everyone is encouraged to submit pictures and a brief description of their favorite cooking appliances, as well as storage solutions for life on the truck. This information will be made available to anyone free of charge on the Facebook page Cooking in the Truck Summit as well as on RoadTestedLiving.com.
The ultimate purpose of this meeting is to bring everyone together to exchange ideas and encourage unity. This is not about promoting one style of cooking or way of doing things. Everyone is welcome from the expert chef to the novice who just reheats cans. There is no wrong or right way.
Linda and Tom would like to thank Freightliner for allowing us to use their hospitality trailer for this meeting. This summit is not in formal affiliation with any group. Linda and Tom are doing this on their own as they feel it is important bring as many people and ideas together as possible to promote cooking and living better on the road.
Road tested Living Founded in 2014 has the purpose to share life’s lessons in living well taken from the road. It is to show that one can lose weight and have a high quality of life despite the challenges of living and working in a small space with limited facilities. RTL also shares human interest stories and the tech reviews and information that makes life more pleasant on the road.
Freightliner Team Run Smart is an open community for all truckers who mean business. It’s where you turn to for expertise you can use right away. They operate on four pillars: Truck Smart, Fuel Smart, Business Smart, and Health Smart.
You’re in the trucking industry for the long haul in more ways than one. That’s why we’re here for you whether you drive a Freightliner or not. We’re all facing increasing industry pressures – from keeping operating costs low to staying healthier on the road. As a member of Team Run Smart, you’ll get advice from fellow truckers and dedicated Freightliner industry pros that you can use to overcome the pressures you’re facing. We’ll deliver the fresh content that can help you Run Smart.
Linda Caffee started her driver career with her husband Bob after their children left home for college in 2000. Bob started as a driver for a large motor carrier with Linda as a rider. They decided to enter the Expedite industry as team drivers in 2005 and purchased their first Freightliner. Linda has had her Class A licenses since the early 80′s starting out driving in the oil field and hauling grain as fill in driver. Linda and her husband Bob are currently leased to Landstar Express America.
Tom Kyrk has been in the trucking industry for over 9 years, working for a major over-the-road refrigerated carrier. He has done a little bit of everything: working as a campus police dispatcher, in retail electronics, and in restaurant kitchens. Out of all these jobs, he enjoys driving the most! Cooking is a close second though, as he is taking back his health with good choices and lifestyle changes. RoadTestedLiving.com chronicles his story, shares tips with drivers, and embodies the idea of learning to live well from life’s lessons on the road.
Further information, or inquiries can be obtained by contacting Tom Kyrk at firstname.lastname@example.org (ph) 607-201-4609.
or Linda Caffee
NOTE: JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION !
Linda and Tom will be calling in to AskTheTrucker “Live” on Blog Talk Radio to discuss the Cooking Truck Summit and also to share tips about cooking and health while trucking.
Thursday March 12th at 6PM ET
Open Forum ” ‘Just Do It’: Steps to turn driver health around”
Call in number 347-826-9170
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
As part of our concern for the growing concern of improving health within the trucking industry, AskTheTrucker will be continuing a series of health shows on AskTheTrucker “Live’.
We have also aligned ourselves with many within the industry who are also concerned about the increase of illness which has taken a pronounced incline, not just within the trucking industry, but throughout our nation. As it relates to trucking, the types of food drivers consume along with the sedentary lifestyle, is taking its toll on them physically and emotionally. Yet the possibility to change their habits appears for some to be too far out of reach.
Justifications often heard are, “ It’s too difficult to eat healthy on the road” and “I’m too tired to exercise after driving” and even, “I already have to fight the 14 hour clock. Although these comments hold some validity, they are merely challenges to overcome in order to reach a desired goal and are not reasons to prevent or quit trying to attain a goal with keywords being “desired goal.”
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. ~Henry Ford
The question now becomes: do you have a goal to reach regarding your health? Do you want to feel better? Lose weight? Have more energy? Lower your blood pressure, cholesterol or sugar or change your food intake for preventative medicine? For many, it could be to change your food intake to help cure an illness?
If the answer is yes to any of these, then the justifications of why one cannot achieve their goals just will not hold up. They become excuses for “wishes” because obviously, there is no magic wand or fairy godmother. But there are people to help and encourage others in the trucking industry; drivers, groups, websites, and organizations.
The best way to achieve success is through the above mentioned support. We all want to feel like we “belong” and are among those who face the same challenges and have similar obstacles and goals. Just as there are support groups such as AA, OEA and others we are all familiar with, trucking has many organizations, websites, and social media outlets which reach out and offer support and vital information to the trucking community, including the topic of Truck Driver Health.
One of the various groups we have joined forces with is the non profit TruckDriversHealth.org. We became involved with this organization a few months ago after observing the incredible story on the website written by driver and a founder of the organization, Barry Pawelek.
Basically the story is about a truck he owned, sold, and then miraculously came back full circle to him 20 years later, only after being severely neglected and abused. Being concerned with health for many years, Barry concluded that the body of a truck driver deteriorates comparably to their own truck if both are abused and neglected.
This 20 year old truck will be showcased at MATS this year for all to see, along with encouraging literature offering free sources and information. Read the full story here.
Another group which we support and also will be at MATS at the Freightliner Booth, is a group of concerned drivers, companies, and sponsors, offering free info to drivers as well a 100+ page cookbook with 7o recipes. A limited supply of only 250 copies will be available at MATS, however an ebook version will be offered free at ATBSshow.com.
Recipes in the cook book are originals from Tom Kyrk, Linda Caffee, Rolling Strong wellness coaches, staff members from ATBS and Kerri Ewing with eCapital.com. The information and cookbook can be obtained at the Freightliner Booth via TeamRunSmart and ATBS.
Another group at MATS are our friends over at the Trucking Solutions Groups, led by chairman, Rick Ash. Once again they will be leading the “health walk” from the Papa John’s parking lot at the OOIDA stage to Kentucky Downs and back.
The popular website Road Tested Living is owned and run by driver, Tom Kyrk, who is “driven” by his passion for educating and inspiring others. Tom is also involved in his FB groups Road Tested Living, Team Run Smart, and the Trucking Solutions Group. His recipes and advise have aided and inspired many.
Other social media groups focused on Health for truckers include:
NOTE: The above is a partial list of groups. If you are aware of other groups promoting and supporting trucker health, please feel free to post in the comment section.
Another website which includes focus for Truck Driver Health is the North American Trucking Alerts. Join us Thursday 3-5-15 on AskTheTrucker ‘Live’ as we discuss with a few organizations and driver groups who we have aligned with within the industry, as to what they are doing to address driver health concerns and how they are reaching out to drivers to offer advise and support.
Are you concerned about driver health? We want to hear from you. What you are doing to address your health or how you are reaching out to others to help them?
Listen to the show from either your computer or your phone.
If you listen from your computer and want to be part of the chat room and share your website links with everyone as they pertain to health, CLICK ON THIS LINK.
© 2015, Max4health. All rights reserved.
Truck Driver Kenny Capell — Case Dismissed- Charged with Obstruction of Justice after being awoken during mandated 10 hour break
Yesterday was a victorious day for fellow truck driver and friend Kenny Capell when he found out that his “Obstruction of Justice” case was dismissed. Kenny immediately called to share the good news with us here at AskTheTrucker and also with James Lamb of SBTC.
Mr Capell had been arrested on April 15th, 2014 at a scale house in Ringgold, GA for refusing to provide ID while being awoken from his sleeper berth during his federally mandated Hours of Service 10 hour break.
Kenny is a truck driver who drives team with his wife and was sleeping in the sleeper berth of his commercial truck when his wife was driving. The officer woke Kenny when his wife pulled into a weigh station, and demanded his ID.
The same officer, Leigh A. Parsons, had previously woken him up on March 28th, where at that time, Kenny had provided requested documents. This 2nd time however, he refused and was handcuffed, arrested, and jailed for 12 hours.
Kenny had requested a trial for this case where a series of trials had continually been postponed. When Kenny sent a Freedom Of Information Act Request to the Georgia Dept. of Public Safety on 4/24/14 demanding any and all audio/video of his arrest, the GA DPS stated that there was no video, only to find out later that the internal affairs investigator had indeed seen the video.
An internal affairs investigation was initiated after Kenny had also filed a police misconduct complaint and James Lamb of SBTC wrote a letter to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division: ‘Request for ‘Pattern and Practices’ Investigation of Georgia Motor Carrier Compliance Division; Civil Application Pursuant to Title 42,U.S.C. Section 14141.
Kenny just recently heard the case was dismissed “through the grapevine”, as the almost one year old case was actually dismissed on Feb. 6th, 2015. Kenny learned of the decision on Feb. 24th, through a phone call from a relative who was notified that they were entitled to their bail money back because the case was dismissed.
Kenny’s incident was originally brought to our attention last summer via Martin Hill who contacted us through email. Martin continues to report on the timeline of the case through his website Liberty Fight.
After Martin contacted us, we then contacted Kenny Capell and conducted a phone interview followed up by an AskTheTrucker ‘Live’ broadcast with both Martin Hill and Kenny Capell, describing the incident on the show: “Trucker’s Right to Sleep and the 4th Amendment.”
Prior to the radio broadcast, Kenny had been waiting for his first hearing of August 11th, only to be postponed to October 10th, and again postponed until December 8th, finally postponed once again, which this time ended up as a dismissed case. After hearing about the ordeal James Lamb called into the radio show and also became concerned about the trail of events which had taken place. Mr Lamb then followed up with Kenny, offering to voluntarily travel from Florida to GA to testify for Capell as an expert witness in the trial.
We invite you to Join us Thursday Feb. 26th 6PM ET for our program: Trucking Open Forum Highlights “Obstruction of Justice.”
We invite you to call in and offer your input to the topic via call-in number: 347-826-9170.Listeners can either listen through the link on their computer, where they can also join in the chat room, or can catch the show via their phone line calling the same number.
We will review the series of events which have taken place since Kenny Capell’s last radio interview on AskTheTrucker “LIVE.” Kenny will also share with us what he has endured this past year and why he did what he did, making a stance for all professional drivers who are trying to remain compliant while maintaining their “Right to Rest.”
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Although nobody will dispute the role that the deregulation of the trucking industry in 1980 had on the truck driver retention problem, the fact remains that the industry itself remains as a major player in its continuance.
As far back as 1966, the average turn-over rate among drivers was 27% and even then, the two primary reasons for drivers quitting were low pay and home time. In 1975, the average annual pay for employee truck drivers was $33,020.00, rising to $36,816.00 by 1978. In 1986 it had fallen to $29,692.00 and by the year 2000 had risen to $32,604. (1)
Today, in 2015, the average median income for a company driver is approximately $37,000 per year, closely meeting the peak income during 1978. What is interesting to note, is no amount of a raise in income takes into consideration any rise in cost of living. If this factor was considered for between the years of 1978 and 2015, the average annual pay for a company driver today would be $127,613 using the CPI-U-X1 consumer price index measuring system. (2) When one figures in inflation for the same time period, 2015 average annual pay for a company-employed driver would rise to $133,876.
However, in all fairness, one would be inaccurate to say that trucking is the only industry failing to provide their employees or contractors with appropriate modern-day wages. All industries do the same thing, thus the reason in the rise against that known as “Corporate Greed.” Regardless, this is one of the primary areas where the trucking industry is refusing to see when it comes to the decades-old problem of driver retention.
It would be unreasonable to believe a motor carrier should pay a company driver $133,000 per year, but it would be reasonable to see a minimum average skilled wage of $50,000 to $65,000 which could be accomplished through raising freight rates, commanding pay for detention time and other various points of business. In many areas of commerce, the industry seems to fail to understand that they could be in control, but it is much easier and non-confrontational to simply continue earning off of the backs of their drivers.
Motor carriers continue to focus on two areas in their combat against the high turn-over rate among drivers: (1) the so-called “driver shortage” and (2) driver recruiting tactics. Drivers, on the other hand, are still focused on the very same issues that can easily be shown to be problem areas back in the 1960’s:
The same concerns among drivers dating back for decades are still concerns addressed today: lack of communication, no respect and feeling unappreciated and of little value; and now today, the industry faces perhaps their greatest challenge yet, and one they will have to eventually address: a new generation.
There are newer generations of not only a society, but an age of technology that will continue to work against the standard ways that motor carriers have conducted their business over the past years. Before the age of internet and the immediate ability to locate information, trucking companies could get away with the false advertising and driver recruiting tactics used to lure the uniformed novice into the vocation. With the ever-ready trucking forums and job sites such as Indeed.com and others, the savvy techies of today can instantly read reviews by drivers, relating to the potential employer. Simply put, motor carriers and driver recruiters are not able to “fool” the potential new employee as easily as they once were.
Secondly, the newest of generations see no purpose or have little desire to enter a vocation like OTR trucking, due to the very reasons that are still concerns of veteran truckers. Simply put, times have changed. This younger generation can see themselves as being much more capable of accomplishing bigger and better things than spending their lives in a truck, working for a company that provides low pay, disrespect, little home-time, along with the industry regulations and their image perception of “The Truck Driver.”
The trucking industry has failed to respond to the needs of drivers in the years gone by and the new generation is seeing it, they are reading about it and they are hearing it through the technological advances that are available today. Veteran drivers saw it coming years ago and others have addressed the issue such as Todd Dills, Senior Editor of Overdrive Magazine. Why would motor carriers be so surprised that they would not want to enter such a vocation and lifestyle?
The old, worn-out concepts and ways of conducting recruiting tactics and empty promises to bring in new drivers will not work with the new generations, at least on a large enough scale to “fix” the problem that the industry has created. Raising driver pay to .45 or .50 cpm will not work when many newcomers are still starting out at .27 cpm by those fine “starter companies” and when it is obvious that the “pay raise” is really no raise at all. These generations understand that such raises in 2015 still only barely match the USD value of the mid to late 1970′s.
The trucking industry is in fact, facing three new generations in which the largest majority see no attraction toward driving a truck: (1) the Millennial Generation, (2) Generation Z, and (3) the Generation Selfies. These are the problems and the reasons for those problems that the trucking industry now faces in their attempt to bring in new drivers.
So what is the solution?
Everyone knows that during the past decades, the industry has purposely failed to retain drivers, whether they will admit it or not. The common practice of “starving out” drivers and deliberately and intentionally “churning” them over is nothing new and has been revealed many times over, thanks to the age of social media.
The first step in retaining drivers within the industry is to first, actually want to retain them. Secondly, drivers have been advising the industry for thirty years on how to keep drivers: higher pay, more home time and treated with respect. The industry’s problem at this level is that they have not been listening or most probable, have refused to listen because for every driver to quit, companies knew there were ten waiting to replace them. Not so today.
Even with the industry facing the three generations of potential new drivers, there will always be someone wanting or needing a job. That “job” however, is going to have to change in order to meet the criteria for employment by some within these generations. Motor carriers will have to raise their own standards of professionalism by increasing pay to a much higher livable wage. They are going to have to provide these “new drivers” with greater home time and to treat them with the respect that a skilled worker deserves.
Despite the classification by the U.S. Labor Department, the CMV operator is “SKILLED” and carriers are going to have to start treating them as such and seeing their drivers as an important and vital partner within their employment.
Carriers will have to redesign their company and the image of the industry into an elite, high profile career opportunity. They will have to demand the highest expectations of professionalism by their drivers, offer higher CDL training standards and require a superior code of conduct. This code will need to be maintained at all times to combat the driver image issue which has contributed to the fall of the industry within the eyes of these generations and the general public.
Over the years, the industry created these problems that are now coming back to bite them. Many drivers as well, has played their part in the downfall but one can only take being beaten down for so long until they finally simply stop caring. In reality, the probable solution is mostly in the hands of the industry. With all the problems created and maintained by the industry over the years, they never saw the obstacle of the generation gap coming and now it is here.
Finding, hiring and retaining future drivers from the newer generations will never work on a large enough scale unless the industry commits to the measures in bringing respect and attractiveness to the vocation and addressing the issues raised by drivers for decades, once and for all.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Regulations need to be uniform, and consistent throughout North America, for all aspects of the oversize trucking industry
by Hal Kiah
Most truckers already can tell you that the trucking industry is the most over-regulated industry in the world, a well known fact to anyone in the industry. With Federal regulations being in constant flux and change, any trucking company, along with its drivers, and owner-operators have to constantly look over their shoulder because they can’t tell when the next abrupt change is going to sneak up on them and put them into “negative” mode.
Taking into consideration those who make a living escorting oversize loads, and the drivers that haul those loads, these people are most generally people who have been behind the wheel of big rigs for a number of years, and then decided to do something different for a change, while remaining in the trucking industry. The driver that actually moves the oversize load can tell you pretty much the same thing as the Pilot car driver, that there is no uniformity between the states as to regulations governing the movement of oversize loads. Most every state has their own interpretation of when it is appropriate for these loads to move through their area of responsibility, and when not to move, and how.
One state will tell you in their regulations, that you can move ½ hour before sunrise, until ½ hour after sunset, while the next state may say that you have to wait ½ hour after sunrise to move, and stop the same amount of time prior to sunset taking place. Then, one state will say that you can move on the weekend, while the neighboring state says you cannot, or you can move only up to a certain point (usually 12 noon) on a Saturday, and/or Sunday. (In all honestly,…. the weekend is almost always the best time for an oversize load to move, as most people are not on the roadways, and the driver can get moving first thing in the morning, and not have to deal with rush hour traffic, and the majority of drivers in a high congestion area) And one state in particular, says that you can only move on Tuesday thru Thursday, so if you get stuck Thursday afternoon getting loaded, and have 200 miles to the state line, where you can continue to run the next day, and you only have time enough to make it about 100 miles before the sunset curfew, …. you’re stuck until the next Tuesday before you can move again! Fun, real fun.
Drivers and Pilot cars also have to put up with curfew times, what time of day a load is allowed to move, weekend movements, holiday restrictions in different areas. How many escorts are needed in each state, for the same load, or if the load actually needs an escort. Take for example, several states, that say that for a load of 14 feet wide or greater, you must have an escort or escorts, while trucks pulling mobile homes, or modular homes, need no escorts at all. (And many of those are far wider than other oversize loads!)
The driver and escort have to deal with the routes that states tell them they can use, that turn out to be back roads where no oversize load should be in the first place, due to the size of the roads and the limited space (if any) for oncoming traffic to get around. This can get very nerve racking, and scary, especially when you have an on-coming big rig, or worse, another oversize load the same size, or larger than the load you and the pilot car are hauling. Add to that, getting the general public to move over, or stop, or hold back, so that a load can be safely moved through an intersection or a tight corner, where the driver needs as much room as possible to maneuver.
Now, add to the plight of the Pilot car driver, their responsibility is to help get you safely moved from place to place, while holding off traffic when the load needs to avoid an obstacle on the side of the road, or when making corners, or any other number of reasons that the load needs room. Other drivers, including the general public, and even a number or so-called truck drivers, do not want to wait for oversize loads to do what they need to do, like, getting parked, making turns, moving over for vehicles broke down on the shoulder, or for police or emergency vehicles stopped on the shoulder, thereby putting the pilot car driver at high risk.
Add to the pilot car driver (or escort), the hodgepodge of regulations that they have to meet, with every state having its own requirements as to what the pilot car driver must have in their possession, how they must be in control of traffic (as if they wear a badge and gun, as a police officer does) that the next state does not require, along with differing certifications, in different states. Along with the size of oversize load signs they are required to have, and their placement on the vehicle, that can differ from state to state. These signs are the same size that Big trucks have to have, and many of today’s cars simply cannot accommodate these large signs or the placement that they have to use drastically affects the pilot car’s fuel mileage. Plus, they are required to carry spare warning flags, safety cones, first aid materials, and any number of things.
The regulations need to be uniform and consistent throughout North America for all aspects of the oversize trucking industry, with no confusion thrown in. With every state having their own idea as to how things should run, it adds to the confusion and frustration of what is required of truckers, pilot car operators, and all those who work within the trucking industry. Then add to enforcing proper driver safety among, not just truck drivers, but the general motoring public as well, or the driving problems that are faced in the country today, will only continue.
© 2015, Hal Kiah. All rights reserved.
For the last few years truck driver health has been a much greater concern for the trucking industry than it has been in the past. As a matter of fact, the concern for better health awareness in general is becoming more prominent worldwide. The importance of acknowledging the need to exercise more, watching what kind of food we put in our body, yearly physical exams, and being more aware of the side effects of prescription and non prescription drugs, has resulted in an accepted worldwide program for preventative disease in general, including cancer, which is the second leading cause of death.
Cancer is a disease that many have either personally experienced or know someone who has experienced the affects and outcome of. Sadly, so many more have had a loved one pass away from this dreaded disease.
Cancer Prevention is being embraced and viewed as as a need, almost equal to the importance of a cure, with the logic, “the best cure is not to get the disease in the first place.”
Easier said than done? For many the answer is yes, especially when part of disease prevention involves voluntarily making sometimes difficult changes and modifying your lifestyle while being an over the road truck driver.
For the life of an Over the road truck driver, exercise and eating right is one of the most difficult challenges. The good news to that however, many truckers are willingly making the necessary changes and are reaping the benefits from doing so. There are many groups and websites dedicated to the success of better health for professional drivers.
With February being Cancer Prevention month, Team Run Smart is focusing a lot of time discussing living a healthy lifestyle while driving OTR, paying close attention to the type of food being eaten and the amount of physical activity performed, both being so important to preventing many illnesses, including cancer. Also part of Cancer prevention is regular health check ups.
We encourage you to invite your friends and family in the trucking industry to learn more about cancer prevention join Team Run Smart.
By doing so you will be supporting Cancer Research.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
The trucking industry certainly has its share of problematic issues which most often are aimed at the drivers’ ability to succeed or fail in their chosen career. On average, the beginning trucker will last only six months before calling it quits and with the ongoing regulatory process constantly working to appease various political groups, more veteran truck drivers are slowly shifting away from the over-the-road (OTR) sector.
Although one would hope to see the industry step up and take responsibility for its own downfall, one of the most serious issues within the industry which is still very prevalent today and one which is largely responsible for many drivers’ financial ruin: the motor carrier truck leasing program.
Although a precise and definite interpretation has yet to be established, Debt.org defines predatory lending as: “any lending practice that imposes unfair or abusive loan terms on a borrower. It is also any practice that convinces a borrower to accept unfair terms through deceptive, coercive, exploitative or unscrupulous actions for a loan that a borrower doesn’t need, doesn’t want or can’t afford.”
Especially in a poor job economy, many will look to OTR trucking simply because the “jobs” are always available, a red flag in itself. Regardless, this scenario is all too often the perfect set-up for those motor carriers operating a predatory lending program. For the most part, the majority of veteran drivers will advise any newcomer to the industry to stay away from these trucking companies’ leases. They are, in general, the very epitome of the characterization and delineation of predatory lending.
Predatory lenders will look for those people with poor credit, no cash available for down payment and especially, those who are just starting out in their trucking “job” career. They will work to convince them that they will make a great deal more money as an “owner operator” under their lease program. As discussed many times before, these trucks are most often used and have been “sold” many times over to previous “owner operators.”
Many drivers continue to be taken advantage of via these programs consisting of an over-priced,often mechanically compromised vehicle with a high interest or balloon pay-off rate or through the industry’s “starving out” process. The carrier will play on the driver’s entrepreneurial spirit, giving them the hope of achieving the American Dream. In reality, these lease programs are nothing more than a money-making scheme for the company.
To avoid becoming a victim of the industry’s predatory lending market, common sense is the most affective preventive measure, although it is most often ignored due to the unethical practices by such carriers. If at all possible, one should not even consider a trucking company lease option program, specifically as a new, uniformed driver. Although drivers have been successful in such leases, these are often those drivers who have gained experience and business knowledge of the industry first, before jumping into a company lease.
If financial reasons play a role in one’s decision, a “common sense” approach when considering a trucking company lease option program is not to allow the carrier to intimidate or play on your emotions where you end up with a truck you cannot afford. If you are feeling pressured or intimidated by the carrier, red flags should again be recognized.
Furthermore, the best practice a driver can utilize is to absolutely stay away from those lease programs offered by the most recognized, large-sized “starter companies.”
In addition, common sense can easily be noted by simply remembering to follow the old adage:
“If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”
The absolute best common sense approach to take if you feel there is no alternative but to deal with a company lease option is to do nothing without the presence and final approval of your attorney.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on Truck parking crisis exposed
When the general public thinks of ‘truckers’, they many times will associate these men and women driving down the highways as those who are deliberately driving as many hours as they can without sleep, without concern or care about their fatigue, their safety, or the safety of others sharing the roads. Unfortunately, this is the image that has been portrayed for many years in the past by much of mainstream media. It is sensationalism at its worst and at the expense of others. It is irresponsible, taking focus away from the sources and root causes which has affected the health, well being and safety of both professional drivers and the motoring public. This diversion of focus has not just created apathy for drivers, but even worse, almost a loathing of them. Seen as selfish greedy individuals trying to make as much money as they can at the expense of others.
Here is the simple truth. Drivers want to make a decent wage and they want to REST SAFELY when they are tired. That sounds easy enough, right? Why all the distorted confusion?
As professional drivers however, we know it is not that easy, as was the case for Michael Boeglin and Jason Rivenburg, both murdered because of a lack of safe truck parking.
Drivers are allowed to drive for 11 hours in a 14 hour window. They are paid only for the hours they drive. That driving window includes all possible scenarios which could occur, such as detours, highway accident delays, delays at shippers and receivers (anywhere up to 14 hours or more), weather conditions, etc….
There are a lot of factors which dictate a drivers driving day. Industry and driver priorities (not necessarily the same) include being on time, using all available hours to drive, remaining compliant (regulations), and most importantly, taking mandated time to rest to avoid Truck Driver Fatigue.
Simply put, in order to remain compliant, rest properly and avoid truck driver fatigue, drivers must be able to park safely. The serious repercussions of the lack of truck parking, although known for decades to exist, has now become more apparent as the Hours of Service (HOS) rule is strictly enforced, especially since more trucks are equipped with ELD’s. The Truck Parking Shortage had been downplayed in the past, until recently.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently posted an article, Too Many Trucks, Too Little Parking. Journalist Betsy Morris took a deep look into the industry and shared a serious issue with millions. She interviewed many within the industry trying to determine the causes of major issues, and truck parking was one of those issues that kept showing up.
Her research included extensive interviews, including one with veteran driver Dave DellaMaggiore, who was selected to share real life experience with the WSJ. Dave and fiancée Robin Search created the FaceBook group, Give Truckers Room, educating drivers of passenger vehicles on how to drive safely around semi trucks. Well known throughout the trucking world, Hope Rivenburg, known for Jason’s Law shared her story and the long uphill battle for more safe truck parking, a story that although known by most within trucking, was not common amongst the general public.
The WSJ article has created an elevated awareness nationally and within the industry, revealing the seriousness and fatal consequences that the Truck Parking Shortage can and has caused. It’s not a bunch of drivers complaining, it’s a national safety risk and one that creating more regulation will not solve.
One article which stood out and came to our attention was from UtraShipTMS. It included a solution for the truck parking shortage, along with this statement to the trucking industry:
“An actively managed yard provides managers with a clear inventory of available spaces which could be used in theory to allow truckers to dwell as they wait – sometimes for hours – for loading or unloading. Extra yard space for those with ample lots could be made available to truckers for overnight parking. Keeping drivers off of public streets, freeway ramps and vulnerable, remote parking places like abandoned lots is a laudable goal. It is also one that logistics as an industry is going to be forced to address.”
A powerful call to action to the industry, and an example of what the newly formed website and coalition North Amercian Trucking Alerts has aimed to achieve: accountability and action, confronting and offering solutions to the issues of the trucking industry.
Join us Thursday 1/29/15 on AskTheTrucker “LIVE” as we have as our guest, President and CEO of UltraShipTSMm, Nicholas Carretta. Mr. Carretta will discuss the truck parking shortage and the need for industry involvement in order to help resolve the issue. He will also share with us their YMS, the UltraShips’ solution to help resolve the shortage within the logistics segment.
Also joining us is veteran trucker Dave DellaMaggiore, the driver interviewed by the WSJ and an advocate for the industry. He will be sharing in the discussion his suggestions as well.
Truck Parking Shortage Receive National
Call In Number 347-826-9170
Related Articles and Info:
North American Trucking Alerts
Tim Taylor and NetworkFOB lead the way in support for Jason’s Law and Trucker Safety
Parking shortage hits the mainstream
Supply Chain News: Forget the Driver Shortage – Parking Spots for Truckers Increasingly Hard to Find
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Technorati Tags: AskTheTrucker Live, Dave DellaMaggiore, hope rivenburg, Jason’s law- H.R.2156 S971, Michael Boeglin, Nicholas Carretta, truck driver fatigue, truck parking shortage, UltraShipTMS, wall street journal
Posted by Comments Off on Truckers working together to reclaim professional image
In years past, professional truck drivers were known as the “Knights of the Road”, looked upon as highway heroes crisscrossing the country in their donation toward the greatness of America. In the fifties and sixties, their pride in the profession was well noted by their shiny-kept rigs while dressed in sharp uniforms. It was a vocation that was respected by all, including the trucking companies which employed them.
The history pertaining to the fall of this once factual image is a long one; much too long for a simple blog post. The many aspects within the trucking industry which has contributed to its decline is well known among the veterans, and although there are still those drivers who work toward displaying the same pride and self respect from decades gone by, the past “image” of the “truck driver” is in large part, a sad one.
Among those striving to regain that long-lost illustration of the conveyor of our nation’s cargo, is Brian Carlson, founder of the Drive for Freedom (DFF) organization. A non-profit advocacy organization under section 501(c) (3), the DFF takes driver image seriously, believing that “one must take responsibility and lead by example if professional drivers are going to be able to accomplish positive change for their industry.”
The DFF is much more than a social media group and page, although it does share much info on social media platforms: it is an established foundation with directly settled programs which are aimed at achieving its goal in providing positive change and solutions to those issues faced by drivers and the industry.
The Team Field Advisor Safety Program is one such example which is based on driver commitment in achieving three positive goals: reducing accidents, improve public’s view of drivers’ image and a drivers-support-drivers initiative.
The image portrayed within any industry plays an enormous role in the success of its employees and business status. The image which comes across to customers, business partners, consumers and the general public as a whole, can affect the outcome of many important aspects related to personal and business accomplishments. For the trucking industry, these will include such issues as driver wages, FMCSA safety ratings, driver skill classification, truck parking concerns, and even regulations.
To achieve regaining the honor and respect which was once naturally interpolated among the professional driver, will take the full collaboration of all involved within the industry: drivers, brokers, shippers, receivers, motor carriers et al.
Brian Carlson was our recent guest on the Ask The Trucker “LIVE” program, discussing the driver image issue further, along with the goals of the Drive for Freedom organization. Among callers were other drivers within the industry working toward reclaiming the “Knights” title and representing drivers in leading by example:
Rick Ash and Henry Albert of the Trucking Solutions Group and Tom Ingraldi, contributing member for the North American Trucking Alerts (NATA), were a few joining in on the conversation. Also sharing in the conversation was Richard Wilson of TCRG Consulting, who is also on the advisory council as Regulation and Compliance Representative for NATA. We are proud and honored to also have Rick, Henry, Rich, and Brian as members and contributing authors for NATA.
The truck driver “image” is a serious problem for the industry and organizations such as these see the importance in addressing the issue and working toward the solution, as well as other important aspects such as driver health, etc.
To learn more about the Drive for Freedom organization or to become a supporting member, visit: drive4freedom and speak directly with Brian or Jennifer Carlson.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Technorati Tags: ask the trucker, brian carlson, DFF, drive for freedom, drive4freedom, driver image, FMCSA, Henry Albert, North American Trucking Alerts, regulations, Richard Wilson, Rick Ash, TCRG Consulting, Tom ingraldi, truck driver, truck driver wages, trucker image, Trucking, trucking companies, Trucking Solutions Group
Posted by Comments Off on Costs of ELD mandate addressed by Pivot Technology Resources
It is no longer a question as to “if” the mandatory use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELD’s) is coming to the trucking industry, but a matter of “when.” The exact final rule date for the FMCSA Electronic On-Board Recorders rule has yet to be established (expected to be 2015), but according to a recent report by Overdrive Magazine, the effective date will not likely be until 2017 (2 years after final rule).
Either way, the ELD mandate was one of the hottest topics among professional drivers last year, and remains as such as 2015 moves forward. For owner operators and independents, cost played the major factor in voicing their opposition to the rule, with carrier harassment issues following close by.
Although the FMCSA added a proposal within the rule-making process adding the “measures to address concerns about harassment resulting from the mandatory use of ELDs”, many drivers continue to see this impending ELD mandate as further evidence to the deterioration in the ability to earn a living wage within a truck driving career; with 71% of independent and small-fleet owner-operators reporting that they would quit over-the-road trucking should ELD’s become mandatory.
As a measure to assist in lowering the cost of such regulations and continuing technology, Pivot Technology Resources has been helping independents and small fleet carriers since 2008, becoming recognized as the trucking industry’s most reliable source for quality new and used mobile communications and asset tracking equipment.
By obtaining the latest technology of working in-cab computers from various sources, they are able to offer a brand-new in-house warranty on ELD’s and other mobile devices at a price for about half the cost, as well as offering other money-saving services to both driver and carrier.
All of the equipment represented by Pivot Technology Resources is thoroughly tested, cleaned, and backed with a new warranty before it is sold on the secondary market.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on 2013 HOS restart rule projects increase in total truck crash stats
As the Hours of Service (HOS) rule was published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2011, the trucking industry wasted no time in fighting back against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforcement.
With an effective date of February 27, 2012, and a complete provision compliance date of July 1, 2013, the primary concern of the industry focused on the requirements of the 34-hour restart provision in the HOS rule. The new rule called for drivers to include two rest periods between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. during their 34-hour restart, and limited use of the restart to once a week. In addition, drivers were required to take a minimum 30 minute break before they could begin driving again if they had been on-duty for eight hours.
The reasoning behind the change was the belief by the FMCSA and various safety advocacy groups that this would allow drivers additional time to rest as the goal was to reduce the number of truck crashes along the nation’s highways. Those within the industry including both organizations and drivers to a large degree, believed this would send more drivers out on the road during the periods of higher congestion since a large majority of drivers perform their driving duties during night hours.
Controversies over the trucking industry’s HOS rules have been debated for nearly twenty years, with the most recent 2013 HOS restart provision at the top of the list. As the industry continued to argue their case against the provision, former FMCSA Administrator, Anne Ferro testified November 2013 before the House Small Business Subcommittee, providing additional information about the 2013 Restart Rule and the 2012 FMCSA Field Study. Concerning the impact of the HOS final rule, Ms. Ferro stated:
“We estimate the new requirements will prevent 1,400 crashes, 560 injuries, and save 19 lives each year.”
On June 3, 2014 FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro faced criticism over the agency’s hours of service (HOS) rules before a Senate Surface Transportation Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill. Ferro defended changes made last year to the “34-hour restart” provision of the HOS regulations. Also at the June 3 hearing, subcommittee members Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) challenged Ferro on the economic and safety impacts of the rule.
The Senators questioned Administrator Ferro on whether FMCSA had done adequate research to support FMCSA claimed benefits for their rule changes. It was also brought up during this hearing that many truckers complained the changes required them to drive more during highly congested morning hours.
The Senate Appropriations Committee on June 5 approved legislation rolling back a portion of controversial changes made in 2013. An amendment was attached to the committee’s FY 2015 DOT appropriations bill that would effectively stay for one year changes that limit use of the “34-hour restart” to once in a seven day period and require that it include two off-duty periods between 1:00 am and 5:00 am, essentially reverting back to pre-July 2013.
The amendment would also require additional study of the safety efficacy of the new rules.
The amendment, proposed by Senator Susan Collins (ME), received strong bipartisan support. While the amendment has always been supported by the trucking industry and much of the business community, the provision to roll back HOS changes, known as the “Collins Amendment” for its sponsor Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), has strongly been opposed by the Obama Administration, safety advocacy groups, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and state truck enforcement officials.
DOT Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has expressed “strong objection” saying the rollback of the restart will “put lives at risk.” After long and much heated debates, the rest period requirements were suspended via The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, enacted on December 16, 2014. All other hours-of-service rules, including the 30-minute rest break provision, remained unchanged with carriers and drivers maintaining compliance. This will remain until next fiscal year, Oct 1,2015.
FMCSA posted an Updated Notice: Hours of Service of Drivers.
The bill states: “Section 133 temporarily suspends enforcement of the hours-of-service regulation related to the restart provisions that went into effect on July 1, 2013 and directs the Secretary to conduct a study of the operational, safety, health and fatigue aspects of the restart provisions in effect before and after July 1, 2013. The Inspector General is directed to review the study plan and report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations whether it meets the requirements under this provision.”
Since the Collins Amendment requires FMCSA to conduct a study to compare the safety experience of fleets under both sets of rules, many believe the study results will support the trucking industry position. However, if the data generated by the study indicates otherwise, the 2013 HOS restart rule could be a returning.
With the recent release from the FMCSA Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCIMS) summarizing the crash record statistics beginning from 2010, the numbers include data up to August 31, 2014. By extrapolating the current information, it is possible to extend the application to cover the remaining four months of 2014. In doing so, one can reach a reasonable conclusion to what extent the change in HOS rules were successful in meeting the goals of reducing truck crash statistics in eight different categories:
As of August 31, 2014, the number of vehicles involved in fatal and non-fatal crashes (1) was 104,132. By extrapolating the figures to continue through the four months remaining, the final variable reached would come to 156,198. This number would exceed all previous years between 2010 and 2013:
As of August 31, 2014, the number of fatal and non-fatal crashes (4) was 97,501. Extending forward to the year’s end, the projected number would reach 146,251. Again, this number would exceed all previous years:
Other factors that would conclude a rise in yearly percentage would include the number of vehicles in non-fatal crashes (3): 152,298:
And the number of non-fatal crashes (6): 142,764:
Factors concluding a decrease in annual percentage would show to be the number of vehicles in fatal crashes (2), the number of fatal crashes (5), number of fatalities as a result of a crash (7):
The number of injuries as a result of a crash (8) for 2014 would appear to show a decrease in numbers from the previous year of 2013, but still higher than 2010 through 2012:
So what conclusion can be drawn by the projected estimated statistics? Was the FMCSA’s 2013 HOS restart rule successful in reducing fatal crashes, and if so, what is the explanation to the increase in the overall total number of crashes?
It will be interesting to see the actual final numbers of 2014 for the FMCSA Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCIMS) crash record statistics, and even more so, the Field Study the FMCSA will be conducting, comparing the safety involvement of fleets under both sets of HOS rules required by the Collins Amendment.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on Hope Rivenburg to speak on Jason’s Law at ITEA Conference
Hope Rivenburg, crusader of Jason’s Law, will be one of the guest speakers at the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association (ITEA) Conference in Glen Ellyn, Illinois on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015.
The conference will be held at the College of DuPage, Suburban Law Enforcement Academy (SLEA) in the Homeland Education Center.
Via the ITEA, “the theme for the event this year revolves around the expression Protect The Industry, and is open to law enforcement and the trucking industry.”
Although 2014 was a “frustrating year” for Jason’s Law, Hope advises that the Jason’s Law non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation has some “great ideas we are working on to make Jason’s Law truly be implemented in 2015.”
The issue concerning the shortage of safe and secured parking areas for the nation’s three million plus truck drivers has been ongoing for decades. Signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) is the most recent funding and authorization bill to govern United States federal surface transportation spending, with the bill going into effect on October 1, 2012.
Jason’s Law, a provision successfully incorporated into MAP-21, allows funding for additional safe truck parking. Jason’s Law also made state truck parking projects eligible for federal funding through the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP), Surface Transportation Program (STP), and Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).
As part of the bill, the Department of Transportation (DOT) was directed by Congress to conduct their own study and assessment for the need of additional truck parking facilities within each state. The DOT study was to be completed by April 1, 2014, although verification of the completed study is currently unclear.
Ms. Rivenburg launched her own study via the National Truck Parking Survey which collected data directly from professional truck drivers regarding the availability of safe truck parking. The Federal Highway Administration welcomed the survey, urging professional truck drivers to participate in order to help identify areas across the country experiencing a critical shortage of truck parking areas.
Nearly 4,000 professional truckers shared their knowledge and expertise in the survey which was also provided to the DOT to assist in their assessment mandated by Congress.
In March of 2014, Hope spoke with Wendy Parker of The George and Wendy Show via teleconference, to provide an update on the progression of Jason’s Law:
In July of 2014, Hope was one of our special Guests on our Truth About Trucking “Live” broadcast: Truck Parking Shortage: Drivers at Risk, as the heated discussion of truck parking shortages, once again surfaced when OTR driver Michael Boeglin was fatally shot in Detroit, Michigan as he waited to load.
Hope made many points on the show as reported in Overdrive Magazine, including the fact that Jason’s Law and the funding it makes available for creating further parking alternatives for trucks at the state level, also competes with maintenance and upkeep of roads and bridges.
She also noted that making the parking safety issue a priority at state DOT levels, should now be the primary concern. Drivers can find a full listing of state DOT websites via the Federal Highway Administration’s: State Transportation Web Sites.
Invited to speak before the ITEA, Hope will be addressing the attending representatives of the law enforcement, motor carriers and professional driver’s community. For more information on the 4th Annual ITEA Conference, please visit their webpage: Illinois Truck Enforcement Association.
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on NATA brings trucking issues to forefront in 2015
Like any other industry, trucking has many issues. There are those who speak about them, write about them, give advice about them and analyzes them.
The list of trucking issues is a long one, but depending on who and what segment of the industry you speak to, the causes and solutions are often different. There’s often a lot of blaming, finger pointing, self interests, and many times just complaining going on, distracting many from focusing on the focal point of the problems at hand.
North American Trucking Alerts will be setting the stage to change all that in 2015, bringing the focus of trucking issues on professional drivers, as almost every trucking issue is centered around our nations drivers in one way or another such as:
Regulations, CDL Training, HOS, ELD’s, Detention time, Wages, Truck Parking, Driver Health, Industry Image, and the most discussed issue currently at hand, the perceived and anticipated Truck Driver Shortage.
We at NATA believe that by addressing and bringing awareness to these issues and by focusing on the professional driver, that real and viable solutions can be achieved. It will take a sincere level of concern however, addressing the issue for the good of the entire industry and not for individual gain. The 3 A’s of NATA are Awareness, Accountability, and Action.
We invite you to join North American Trucking Alerts and be a part of ideas, solutions, and accountability: everyone from individuals, drivers, organizations, groups, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers and all who have a vested interest in the trucking industry. The most concerned within the industry are coming together, putting aside their differences, and working together for the good of everyone affected. It is our goal to highlight those who step up and take action toward drivers and ultimately, industry concerns.
NATA has brought together many within the industry to contribute their thoughts and ideas through Articles and membership Forum Postings. Our contributors are among the finest and most concerned within the industry and more are being added on a regular basis.
So far NATA’s advisory committee includes Richard Wilson of TCRG Consulting, who has been recently nominated for membership and representation for the Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee (ELDTAC). The final date to submit an application or nomination is set for January 9, 2015.
Other areas for the advisory committee will include: Health, Financial Guidance, Law and Trucking Employment, all of whom will be added to the NATA site as they are assigned.
Membership for CDL drivers and their families are free for the month of December. All members are automatically entered into the Cobra Prize giveaway. Winners will be announced on the New Years Eve broadcast on Truth About Trucking “Live”, Wednesday December 31st at 6PM ET.
Prizes include a CDR 840 DRIVE HD Dash Cam and the 29 LX BT CB Radio with Bluetooth. All who JOIN North American Trucking Alerts in December will be part of Random Prize Drawing — Prizes donated by Cobra Electronics.
NATA is seeking all those within the industry who desire to be a part of unity, commitment, ideas and solutions for trucking’s most crucial concerns. Again: Awareness, Accountability and Action . . . we invite all those interested to join and be a part of NATA’s goal.
Contact NATA for more information via:
© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on Truckers Role in FMCSA Driver Training Advisory Committee
Establishing a nationalized standard for entry-level driver training, which more specifically would include on-road training has been an ongoing issue within the trucking industry for nearly 30 years.
With the signing of MAP-21 in July of 2012, the highway bill required the Secretary of Transportation to finally issue regulations that would establish minimum requirements for entry-level training. The deadline to do so was October of 2013.
Most recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced its intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking (RegNeg) committee to negotiate and develop proposed regulations to implement Section 32304 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act; the section which addresses establishing the minimum requirements standard.
The Proposed Rule document has been issued with the intent to establish an Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee (ELDTAC) and is calling for solicitation of applications and nominations for committee membership. The final date to submit an application or nomination is set for January 9, 2015.
As professional CDL drivers, the opportunity to play a major role in establishing such a committee is powerful, especially when one considers other FMCSA committees such as the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, commonly known as MCSAC.
Established in 2006, the MCSAC committee is responsible for providing advice and recommendations to the FMCSA Administrator relating to motor carrier safety programs and regulations. The 20 member committee largely consists of individuals with backgrounds in motor carriers, law enforcement and safety advocacy groups:
MCSAC Committee Members:
Such committees are highly lacking in any representation for the rights and concerns of the professional truck driver. As the FMCSA calls for a process to begin the formation of its Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee, truck drivers can have a major role in nominating an FMCSA ELDTAC member who will represent and speak on their behalf regarding the rule-making process.
Such a role is in direct relationship to the founding principles of NATA: the North American Trucking Alerts. The goals of NATA are Awareness, Accountability and Action:
No longer can drivers and the industry continue to talk about the issues as they have done for decades. It is now time to implement solutions for the problems facing the professional driver, as well as the industry as a whole. As drivers are made aware of the issues and accountability to the problems are established, the final step is action.
In taking action toward having a driver representative as a member of the ELDTAC, NATA will be nominating Richard Wilson, President and CEO of TCRG Consulting and Regulation.
Mr. Wilson also serves on the NATA Advisory Council as the Regulation and Compliance Representative. He also regularly attends the FMCSA MCSAC meetings in Washington, D.C. and will continue to do so while representing NATA and its members.
Tune in to Truth About Trucking “LIVE” on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 6:00 PM ET as Richard Wilson joins us as our guest to further discuss the need for nationalized entry-level driver training standards.
As drivers, your comments and nominations for the ELDTAC committee membership is the first step in taking a vital role in the regulatory process. Final date for submission is January 9, 2015 for Docket No. FMCSA-2007-27748 with ID No. FMCSA-2007-27748-0853.
To submit your comments and nomination connect directly to: RegulationsGov.
© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on Will Trucks of the Future Revolutionize Freight Shipping?
by Lorenzo Estébanez
Since the dawn of the space age, one of the biggest promises of the future was a driverless car. The future’s been a mixed bag—there aren’t any colonies in space, but the Internet is better than anyone could’ve imagined. However, the driverless car is a futuristic dream that’s closer than ever to reality.
Futuristic cars are going to revolutionize the road, and no one has more to look forward to than truckers. Not only are autonomously driven trucks on the horizon, but there are countless new technologies that are going to change trucking. The next generation of vehicles is going to make hauling freight in the 21st century easier than ever. Even better, they look incredibly cool. These trucks are going to be loaded with the sort of science fiction technology that will have drivers feeling like Batman. Here are some future trucks that American commercial drivers can look forward to:
The camera system and radar sensors of the Mercedes Benz Future Truck 2025 work “like the autopilot on a plane,” according to the Daimler company. This system is entirely onboard, meaning that the truck is truly autonomous. It doesn’t have to rely on control from a different source, or a complicated infrastructure. The truck’s onboard computer system brings 100% focus to long-hauls that could otherwise lead to driver distraction or boredom.
The truck also has a next-generation headlight system. Rather than two or four headlights, the Future Truck 2025 has a wide panel of LED lights. This means that the truck will be safer for other drivers on the road without sacrificing visibility. Not only is it safer, though, but the distinctive clean design makes it look like the helmet on a Star Wars villain.
As the world’s biggest retailer, no company has more skin in the shipping game than Walmart. With hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenues, it makes sense that Walmart would be at the forefront of developing some amazing future trucks.
In keeping with Walmart’s renewable energy vows, the Walmart Advance Vehicle Experience Concept Truck is electric. It may not be autonomous, but the cab offers driver visibility like no other truck on the road. The driver won’t just be comfortable while driving—the truck offers a full-size sleeper. The vehicle is made exclusively from carbon fiber, making it 4,000 lbs. lighter than comparably sized trucks, which frees up and extra 2 tons for freight. Additionally, its engine and aerodynamics give it great fuel economy for a truck of its size.
The name says it all: this is the truck for optimal aerodynamics. Mercedes invested 2,600 hours of wind tunnel testing into the Aerodynamics Truck and Trailer to reduce drag. As a result of all that work, every part of the truck is optimized against wind resistance. Mercedes’s innovations are so cutting edge that the shape of the trailer exceeds regulations, and legislation is going to have to change in order to keep up. According to GizMag, though, “The reported benefits are so significant, however, that this may be achieved in due course.” Where other trucks force their way through the air, Mercedes’s Aerodynamics Truck and Trailer will slice through it.
Given its name and the way the Spacetruck looks, someone could understandably think that German automaker MAN’s latest concept truck is intended for use outside Earth’s atmosphere. Seeing it unveiled caused Trucks and Trailers Magazine to declare that “the designers at MAN have made perhaps the most beautiful trucks ever built.”
In addition to its striking design, the MAN Spacetruck is built to be aerodynamic, as well, so those who want to stare at it will have to look fast.
Every industry has its visionary, genius designers. In the world of future trucks, that man is Luigi Colani, a Swiss-German engineer who’s become famous in automotive design circles. The Innotruck, developed by the Technical University Munich, might be Colani’s most striking design.
The Innotruck’s cab looks less like a traditional truck and more like the dearly departed Concorde supersonic jet. It moves like no other truck, too, with the front tires turning on a pivot connected with the cab. The Innotruck is designed to be “both a testbed and a demonstration vehicle for a number of emerging technologies,” meaning that anything that ends up on future trucks may be tested on the Innotruck first.
Luigi Colani didn’t become a visionary engineer by only designing one truck—he’s got a whole fleet of next-generation trucks in the works. Built by Mercedes, what he calls his “Biodynamic trucks” are the ultimate in green design. The trucks are memorable for their pod-like cabs, with three windshield wipers that keep the windscreen dry and recall Mercedes Benz’s distinctive logo.
However, what’s truly remarkable will be the fuel efficiency. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Colani is working with the Siemens Corporation to improve fuel efficiency for trucks by 25% or more. Whatever the future holds for trucking, it’s a sure thing that there will be Colani designs on the road.
These are just a few of the future trucks that drivers can expect to see on the road the next 10 years. There are even more trucks, currently in the concept stage, that will integrate the most advanced technology of the 21st century to make trucker’s lives easier. When those vehicles come out, Bryant Surety Bonds will be pleased to work with the truckers of the future to help them get bonded and get on the road. Let us know in the comments what next-generation developments in trucking you’re looking forward to.
© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on Is Truck Driver Pay the Answer to all Issues?
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:
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.
Posted by Comments Off on Industry holds solutions to trucking safety
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%.
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:
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.
Posted by Comments Off on Truck Parking and the 14 hour rule
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 CDL. TRI
© 2014, Tom Ingraldi. All rights reserved.
Posted by Comments Off on Empty Seats: A Trucker Strike of a Different Kind
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.
Posted by Comments Off on Safe truck parking, who’s responsibility is it?
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.
Posted by Comments Off on The Power of CDL Drivers Credentials
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.
Posted by Comments Off on NMTA: Helping Truckers Succeed
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:
There are 1.5 million minority truck drivers in the U.S:
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 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.