Owners of Trucking Company Guilty of Forcing Drivers to Falsify Safety Records

On Monday September 16, the owners of CDE Corporation and Winsor Hill Hauling and Recycling Corporation, based in Rhode Island, were sentenced to 12 months of probation and fined $1250 for instructing employees to falsify federally mandated United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR) so their trucks, needing repair, could remain on the road.

The owners, a married couple, Leslie Cucino and Robert Cucino, Jr. admitted to threatening their drivers to report “no defects” on the DVIR reports otherwise they will be fired. The drivers knew of serious defects but falsified records to keep their jobs. 

Although both Companies are closed down now the scheme went on for years. In multiple cases officers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts issued inspection reports, citing many defects such as faulty brakes. The couple plead guilty to the charges.

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FMCSA Seeking Public Feedback on IL Emblem Petition

On January 20, 2012, Allerton Charter Coach, Inc. submitted a petition to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requesting the agency review the Chicago Ground Transportation Tax, which applies to interstate motor passenger carriers, in the FMCSA’s jurisdiction.

The tax requires providers of vehicle passenger transportation in Chicago to pay a fee that varies by the capacity of the vehicle and display an emblem on their windshield as evidence of payment. The tax applies regardless if the vehicle is registered in the state of Illinois and failure to comply results in a fine. The FMCSA prohibits states from requiring interstate CMV’s to display any form of identification other than the ones required by the Secretary of Transportation. However, Chicago found a way around the rules. 

The emblem display is exempt under U.S.C. 14506(b)(2), stating, “The statutory exceptions cited by Chicago are, respectively, credentials required under the International Fuel Tax Agreement or applicable State law and State law rendering motor vehicle licence plates or other displays that the Secretary determines are appropriate.” In 2012, when Atterton first submitted the petition, Chicago opposed and counteragrued that Allerton didn’t demonstrate a live dispute, and proved that the display is exempt. 

Now, seven years later the American Bus Association (ABA) requested the FMCSA republish the petition for an opportunity of additional public feedback. As during the original petition from Allerton, the FMCSA only received five comments. The comment period will end on October 3, 2019. If you’d like to leave a comment, go here.

Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/notices/2019-18983

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FMCSA Warns Drivers of Scams Requesting Payment for Biennial Filing

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking companies and corresponding businesses to update their information every two years, even if the information hasn’t changed. The required information on the biennial update form (Form MCS-150) includes the name and location of business, operational information, number of vehicles and drivers.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT),  issued a warning on Friday, August 30, as well as the FMCSA following up with a social media post warning truckers of scams requesting money for carriers to file their DOT biennial update. 

The scams are sent out via email and letters which include threats of fines for failure to pay. These emails and letters containing links to websites requesting money is not associated with the DOT or WisDOT. 

More information about the FMCSA’s biennial updates can be found here. While companies are required to renew their USDOT number ever two years, filing is free on the FMCSA website, here.

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State of Emergency—Tropical Storm Dorian

Hurricane Dorian is making its way towards Florida, and is expected to reach a category 4 storm before it hits land. President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency and ordered federal assistance for the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has also issued an emergency declaration for the states and territories that are expected to be effected by Hurricane Dorian.  

Florida is preparing for what could be the most powerful storm in 27-years. Governor Ron Desantis, of Florida, issued an executive order on Wednesday, declaring the following counties in a state of emergency, suspending HOS for drivers providing aid: Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Volusia and Union.

The FMCSA’s declaration states, “This emergency declaration addresses anticipated emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of supplies, equipment, fuel and persons and provides necessary relief.” Precisely, the FMCSA’s notice allows exemption from parts of 390-399, of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), which cover parts and accessories needed for safe operation, HOS and longer combination vehicles. Drivers aren’t exempt from requirements relating to CDL, drugs and alcohol, hazmat, size, weight and registration requirement. 

The declaration issued by the FMCSA applies to the following states and territories: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency-declarations

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FMCSA Will Charge $1.25 for Every Driver a Carrier Hires

Starting next year the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will require trucking companies to pay $1.25 per employee, prior to hiring them. In addition, carriers are still required to pay a yearly fee for pre existing employees, as part of the FMCSA’s new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rule.

Beginning January 6, 2020 carriers will be required to report drug and alcohol violations and check their employees records if prohibited from performing certain functions. The database will provide the necessary information for the past five years. The FMCSA stated they’ll charge carriers to access the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a flat fee of $1.25, and carriers can purchase bulk query plans but they’ll still be priced at $1.25 each. 

The agency offers two types of queries; The first is “limited”, which checks for the presence of information in the queried driver’s Clearinghouse record. Second, is “full”, which provides employers with detailed information about any resolved or unresolved violations in a driver’s Clearinghouse record. The carrier must obtain the drivers consent for both queries. 

The Clearinghouse will be implemented to replace the old process of calling a driver’s previous employer to retrieve drug and alcohol records. Once the Clearinghouse goes into effect on January 6, 2020, carriers must comply with both the old and new rules until 2023 when the old method will discontinue.

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Long Awaited HOS Changes

The FMCSA released the HOS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The proposal is designed to increase safety and not increase driving time. The FMCSA believes these changes will save an estimated $274 million for the U.S. economy and American consumers.

Based on public comments the FMCSA proposed to revise the following rules:

  1. 30-Minute Rest Break
    • Required after 8 hours of driving time. Previously was 8 hours on duty.
    • The break will be allowed while on-duty, not driving. Previously had to be off-duty.
  2. Split Sleeper Berth
    • 7/3 hour splits are permissible. Previously drivers were required to split 10 hours off duty into two periods. 
    • NPRM requests research on further splits
  3. Adverse Driving Conditions
    • On-duty time can be extended to accommodate 2 additional hours of driving during adverse conditions. 
  4. Short-Haul Drivers 
    • Short haul CDL drivers can now operate within 150 air-mile radius and up to 14 hours. Previously 100 air-mile radius and 12 hours. 
  5. 14 Hour Clock 
    • Drivers will be allowed to “pause” their 14 hour on-duty clock once, for up to 3 hours during their duty day. 

The FMCSA is currently seeking public feedback on the proposed revisions. If you’d like to leave a comment, click here

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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

Source: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-06-10/pdf/2019-12167.pdf

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Tips to Keep Truck Drivers Safe On The Road

The life of a truck driver isn’t easy and while there’s many ways to stay safe such as seatbelts, speed limits, and planning your trip ahead of time, at Ezlogz we’re focused on your safety. We understand what it’s like to be on the road, after all Ezlogz is made by truckers for truckers. Here are our tips to stay safe:

Ezlogz Dash Cams

One way to stay safe on the road is with dash cams. Dash cams are useful because they provide proof during accidents. They’re also are a great way to prevent fraud and theft. Coming soon, Ezlogz will be offering Dash Cams. It’s an extra layer of protection we believe every driver should have, because our cameras offer live data you’ll never have to worry about what’s going on.

Ezlogz SOS

Within the next month Ezlogz will be releasing a new feature, our SOS button. This will allow any driver who enables SOS to send a driver in distress message to nearby drivers. Ezlogz takes pride in building a platform where drivers can communicate with one another, once the driver enables SOS, dispatch will automatically get notified, the driver in distress also has the option to call 911. It’s another feature Ezlogz provides to keep your drivers safer on the road!

Communication

Communication is key. It’s important to communicate if there’s issues with the load, truck, or shipping docs because it’s better to be safe than end up with a violation or out of service order. If you feel like something’s not right tell your boss or supervisor about it.

As always Ezlogz has 24/7 customer support in more than six languages. Feel free to give us a call anytime at 1(800)670-7807 or email support@ezlogz.com

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2019 Inspection Blitz: What to Expect

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) announced that the 2019 International Roadcheck will begin on June 4th and end June 6th. The inspection will be taking place throughout all of North America. During the 72-hour blitz, CMV inspectors will be inspecting both the commercial motor vehicles and the driver.

Most drivers who are inspected will receive the full 37 point North American Standard Level I Inspection. Every year the International Roadcheck focuses on a specific category of violations, this year they’re focusing on steering and suspension systems. According to the CVSA, inspectors may also conduct, “Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection.” If no violations are found during the inspection a CVSA decal will be applied to the vehicle. The decal indicates the vehicle passed the inspection from a CVSA certified inspector. On the contrary, if there are violations present the CVSA certified inspector may issue the vehicle out of service. The vehicle cannot resume operating until the violations are corrected, the same goes for a driver who is issued out of service.

The International Roadcheck is the biggest enforcement program on CMV’s in the world. The CVSA states that, “around 17 trucks and buses inspected, on average, every minute in Canada, the United States and Mexico during a 72-hour period.” This means during the inspection blitz that roughly 24,480 CMV’s are inspected every 24-hours.

Source: https://cvsa.org/news-entry/2019-roadcheck-dates-focus/

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Transitioning to ELD from AOBRD

On December 16, 2019, any driver still running an AOBRD will be in violation of the electronic logging device (ELD) law. It’s important all users understand the difference between the two so they know what to expect.

An Electronic Logging Device is electronic hardware that’s connected to the OBD port of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The ELD records hours of service (HOS), driving time, miles driven, and engine information. Because the ELD is attached to the CMV it doesn’t have to be turned on for it to collect data. However, the user must log on their ELD app to record the correct status such as on duty and off duty, and personal conveyance. An Automatic On-board Recording Device (AOBRD) functions similar to an ELD but AOBRDs allow drivers and fleets the opportunity to correct mistakes on logs. It also displays less information, making corrections less apparent. In comparison, ELDs displays all annotations, and automatically recorded events cannot be edited only annotated by the admin.

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.

This is what founder and CEO of Ezlogz, CJ “Sergey” Karman, has to say about the transition from AOBRD to ELD, “Taking into consideration the new HOS law expecting to be published next month, the transition should be smooth, I can see it benefiting the logistics industry.” CJ concluded, “Because Ezlogz is the first ELD provider on blockchain technology, with tamper proof, imputable, and transparent ELD data our customers will be at ease with the process.” We’re anticipating the new HOS law expected next month. Hopefully it will encourage drivers with AOBRD to make the switch sooner than the deadline.

The table below compares how both AOBRD and ELD records data, locations, editing, and driving time. This table summarizes the FMCSA’s comparison chart.

AOBRDELD
What it records:

-Date and Time
-Engine hours
-Vehicle miles
-Drive times
-Locations
-Duty status
-Date and Time
-Engine hours
-Vehicle Miles
-Locations
-Duty status
-Vehicle malfunctions
-Identifying information
on driver, carrier & vehicle
Locations:

-Can be entered
manually
-Recorded at change
of duty status
Automatically records when:
-Engine is turned off or on
-Change in duty status
-60 min intervals while
driving
Editing:

-Records who made an
edit and when
-Automatically recorded
events cannot be edited
only annotated
Driving time:

-Can only be edited
when attributed to
the wrong driver
-Automatically records when
vehicle reaches 5mph
Inspections:

-Not required to print
out logs
-Must transfer data to
officials by web, email, or
bluetooth
-If transfer not available, the
ELD must display or print
out the logs

S

Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/faq/what-are-differences-specs-1988-aobrd-rule-and-eld-rule

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