Hundreds of Truck Drivers Protest Against Climate Bill in Salem

On Thursday June 27, hundreds of truck drivers drove to the streets while gathering with loggers, farmers, and family members in Salem Oregon, at the state capitol building in protest against H.B. 2020. 

Oregon house bill 2020 (H.B. 2020) is an Oregon bill that would introduce a statewide cap and trade system in efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Those protesting fear that if this bill is passed it will raise fuel costs and even cause job cuts.

The Oregon Trucking Association, TimberUnity and the Farm Bureau, along with other natural resource groups spread the news about the event to their members in efforts to protest the bill. They also wanted to show support for the eleven Republican senators who refused to vote on bill H.B. 2020 by walking out eight days ago. Despite Oregon’s Governor, Brown’s efforts to get the senators vote, he has been unsuccessful. They stand firm in their refusal to return to Salem. 

During the protest, 18 senate democrats met for a floor session with hopes the republican senators would join. They need two republican senators to reach a quorum of 20, which is the minimum number of members needed to make the proceedings of the meeting valid. The legislative session ends on Sunday, so lawmakers only have a few more days to pass H.B. 2020.

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What to expect during an audit

Anyone can be audited at any time so it’s important to know what kind of audit that will take place to adequately prepare. There are four kinds of audits which include: Compliance review, New entrant audit, Security audit, and Hazardous materials audit. 

An audit is divided into six inspection factors: 

General– The carrier is required to provide documentation of insurance and type or cargo being transported.

Driver– The carrier is required to provide documentation of the correct licensing for all drivers operating a CMV. The carrier must also maintain records of drug and alcohol testing for all drivers.

Operational– The DOT requires six months of logs and DVIRs for all drivers employed during the six month period being evaluated. These logs will be examined for HOS violations, Form and Manner errors and falsification of logs.

Vehicle–  The carrier is required to provide documentation of records for all repairs, inspections, or maintenance performed on the vehicle, the file should clearly detail the following: Company number or license plate number, Model and year, VIN or serial number, tire size, and owner (if not the motor carrier).

Hazardous Materials: The DOT requires record of any hazmat documentation.  The carrier must also submit proof of required training for transport of hazardous materials.

Accidents: The DOT requires documentation of all driver accidents and injuries for review.

Each factor is reviewed and rated Satisfactory, Conditional, or Unsatisfactory.

Automatic Failure Violations include the following: Alcohol and Drug Violations, Driver Violations, Operator Violations, Repairs and Inspection Violations.

Here’s a checklist to have ready during an audit:

__ A current copy of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR)

__ An up-to-date MCS-90 form showing liability insurance coverage that meets the limit required for your operation.

__ A written program/policy in place for drug and alcohol use and testing.

__ A summary of all drug and alcohol testing conducted in the past calendar year, along with the current status of any drivers who tested positive.

__ Motor vehicle records (MVRs) on all new and rehired drivers.

__ A copy of pre-employment drug tests for all drivers.

__ Proof that all drivers hold a current commercial drivers license (CDL).

__ Six months of completed driver logs on all drivers.

__ At least 14 months of valid annual inspections for all operating commercial motor vehicle equipment.

__ Complete maintenance records.

__ A current DOT security plan.

__ 90 days of post-trip inspection reports for each commercial vehicle in which defects have been found.

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FMCSA issues reminder for AOBRD deadline

The Department of Transportation is warning drivers currently running Automatic On Board Recording Devices (AOBRD) that they’re almost out of time to switch to an approved ELD. 

On June 18, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reminded drivers that they only have a few short months left to make the switch from AOBRD to ELD.

The FMCSA posted on Facebook a reminder that on December 16, 2019 all drivers currently operating AOBRD must switch to an ELD registered with the FMCSA. Here’s the list of ELDs self-certified by the manufacturer: The FMCSA concluded in their post that, “if the device you are considering is NOT on the list, it’s NOT an ELD.”

If you use Ezlogz, you can switch from AOBRD to ELD with the click of a button. However, with other carriers it may be a more painful process and you might find yourself searching the market for a new FMCSA-compliant ELD. 

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Truck driver sacrificed himself to save others in crash on I-94

Two semi truck drivers were killed in a crash on I-94/41 on Wednesday. The crash happened in a construction zone near Mount Pleasant in Racine County Wisconsin.

Sheriff Christopher Schmaling stated, in a press conference, that the crash began when a semi truck driving southbound on I-94 made a lane change and hit a construction barrier. The driver then swerved and crashed into the median wall, which sent the median wall into oncoming traffic in the northbound lanes.

Three vehicles traveling northbound collided into the median and each other. In that moment, the second semi truck traveling northbound chose to heroically drive off the interstate to avoid colliding with the over vehicles ahead of him. This sent him crashing 30 feet below the interstate, where his truck burst into flames and hung off of the side.

Both semi truck drivers died at the scene and two other people are suffering from serious injuries.

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Automation might not wipe out truck drivers

A new study by researchers Maury Gittleman and Kristen Monaco published by the Center of Transportation and Logistics, argues that despite contrary belief, truck drivers may not be at such a high risk of losing their jobs due to automation.

Gittleman and Monaco found among the 2-3 million estimated truck drivers that could lose their jobs, according to multiple media sources, may not be the case. Their research uses data on employment, job tasks, and operational characteristics to identify market segments that are more likely to be impacted by technology. In addition, Gittleman and Monaco considered whether autonomous truck deployment may weaken labor market churning on long-haul trucking.

During their research they found that a small amount of workers of the truck driving occupation which will be most affected. Gittleman and Monaco found three factors that attributed to the inflation:

  • The count of truck drivers is increased due to a misunderstanding of its occupational classification used in federal statistics
  • Truck drivers do more than drive and these non-driving tasks will continue to be in demand
  • Some segments of trucking will be easier to automate than others

In conclusion, the research suggests that even though autonomous truck will change how goods are transported through the nation, not all truck driving jobs will be easily automated and still require human labor. Technology may transform the trucking driving industry but it won’t eliminate the need for truck drivers.


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Peterbilt and Kenworth recalled for faulty mirror glass

PACCAR Incorporated is recalling 2020 Peterbilt 567, 579, and Kenworth T680, T880 and W990 vehicles due to a defect in the mirror glass which may cause the glass too detach as a result from inadequate adhesion.

As a result, if the mirror glass detaches from the mirror carrier plate the driver will not only have reduced visibility but the glass can become a road hazard and increases the risk of a crash or injury to other drivers and pedestrians.

In a statement from PACCAR roughly 4 percent of the 3,907 recalled trucks are expected to have the problem. The recalled trucks were built from Feb. 14 to March 6.

PACCAR notified the dealers on May 31 and customer notices go out June 20-21. Designated dealers will inspect the upper mirror glass/mirror carrier to determine if it needs replacing. Kenworth owners may contact PACCAR customer service at 1-425-828-5888 and Peterbilt owners may call 1-940-591-4220.

PACCAR’s numbers for this recall is 19KWC and 19PBC.

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TuSimple partners with PCC for a first of its kind AV certificate program for truck drivers

TuSimple a company located out of San Diego, Calafornia, whose mission is to bring self-driving trucks to the market has partnered up with Pima Community College (PCC) in Tucson, Arizona, for a first-of-its-kind autonomous vehicle certificate program.

The program is called “Autonomous Vehicle Driver and Operations Specialist”, which launches on September 2019, registration will be in August. The program will consist of five courses covering technology deployed in self-driving semi trucks. The program requires the students to have a Class A Commercial Driver’s Licence (CDL) prior to enrollment as the students will build on their knowledge through out each course.

TuSimple director of public affairs Robert Brown says, “Human drivers will have to interact with our vehicles for the foreseeable future.” Brown concluded that the Autonomous Vehicle Driver and Operations Specialist program will allow truck drivers up-skill as the industry changes. TuSimple will prioritize hiring the certificate graduates for jobs at its Tucson testing center and they hope to eventually expand the program nationwide.

TuSimple most recently partnered up with the United States Postal Service (USPS) for a two-week pilot program to transport mail between the USPS distribution center in Phoenix, AZ and Dallas, TX.

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How Much Time Do Truckers Waste At Loading Docks? The FMCSA Wants To Know

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking public feedback on driver detention times at loading docks to better understand how it impacts safety on the road.

In a 2011 study conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which recommended the, “ FMCSA examine the extent to which detention time contributes to hours of service violations in its future studies on driver fatigue and detention time.’’ In response to the GAO report, the FMCSA sponsored a study later conducted that estimated the average detention time a driver spends loading and unloading is, “10 percent of their stops for an average duration of 1.4 hours beyond a commonly accepted two-hour loading and unloading period”. However, the study failed to calculate what normal loading and unloading times should be.

The DOT study hypothesizes that not only does detention time increase fatigue, but may also contribute to dangerous driving behaviors and increased frustration.

The FMCSA is seeking comments on the following questions:

  • Are data currently available that can accurately record loading, unloading, and delay times?
  • Is there technology available that could record and delineate prompt loading and unloading times versus the extended delays sometimes experienced by drivers?
  • How can delay times be captured and recorded in a systematic, comparable manner?
  • Could systematic collection and publication of loading, unloading, and delay times be useful in driver or carrier business decisions and help to reduce loading, unloading, and delay times?
  • What should FMCSA use as an estimate of reasonable loading/unloading time? Please provide a basis for your response.
  • How do contract arrangements between carriers and shippers address acceptable wait times? Do these arrangements include penalties for delays attributable to a carrier or shipper?
  • What actions by FMCSA, within its current statutory authority, would help to reduce loading, unloading, and delay times?

Ezlogz offers geofencing, a feature which allows the admin to set up a barrier to track how long a driver is at a location, which will then notify the admin when they leave the geofenced area. Many of our customers like to use this feature at loading docks. Geofencing is an essential feature every fleet should have to track which loading docks effect your drivers available driving and on-duty time.

The FMCSA stated they need more information on trucker detention time at shippers and receivers in order to understand how those delays impact highway safety. The FMCSA is requesting feedback, there is a 90-day comment period ending on September 9, 2019. If you’d like to leave a comment please follow all guidelines listed here


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Alabama Passed Bill to Lower Minimum Age for Truck Drivers

The state of Alabama, announced a new law to lower the minimum age for truck drivers to 18, instead of 21, in hope to aid the truck driver shortage. The bill was signed by Gov. Kay Ivey last week but won’t go into effect until Feb. 7, 2020.

The law will help the truck driving industry attract more people, as we face a nationwide shortage. While it might attract a younger audience, it’s still up to local business in Alabama if they want to hire 18 year olds with CDL’s. As they need to consider if the increased insurance rates is something they can afford.

There are restrictions for the young drivers, which include:

  • Limited to Class A CDL only
  • No hazmat or passenger endorsements
  • Prohibited from operating oversize or specially configured loads requiring a permit from ALDOT
  • Limited to commercial driving within the State of Alabama only

Alabama Trucking Association President Frank Filgo says, “This legislation is a win-win for motor carriers, shippers and consumers,” and “The ongoing truck driver shortage, now estimated to be more than 60,000 nationally, is a burden to the economy. With the passage of this bill, additional drivers will help advance long-term, sustainable profitability for Alabama motor carriers and suppliers.” Lowering the age requirement will not only benefit the trucking industry but the economy as well.

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Reminder: New Hours of Service Releasing Today, June 7

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) U.S Department of Services (DOT) is scheduled to release new flexible hours of service. They began revising the HOS in August 2018, and opened the proposed rule making for public comment and feedback.

The FMCSA asked for comments on the following:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving; and
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.

The new HOS regulations are scheduled to be released today, June 7th, however the DOT can change the date. Following the release of the revised HOS, there will be a 49-day comment period allowing the public to give valuable feedback. The comment period will end on July 26. Based on the feedback, the agency will determine to either revise the rules or proceed with the final rule.

For a more in depth article please see our post

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