FMCSA Exempts Transco, Inc. From The 30-Minute Rest Break

Image result for loading docks

On August 27, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) granted Transco, a large grocery retailer, their request for 30-minute rest break exemption. 

Transco filed a request in October 2018, which the FMCSA has now granted. However, the exemption allows the drivers, “to comply with the 30 minute break requirement while performing on-duty not-driving tasks.”

In Transco’s request for exemption, the company told the FMCSA their drivers are at a higher safety risk with the 30-minute rest break because they operate at lower speeds, make frequent stops, and have set driver schedules. 

The FMCSA noted that, “in most cases Transco relies on team drivers who alternate during shift deliveries. Total trip time averages 17.2 hours. However, total driving time for both drivers combined averages just 9.1 hours. Each driver spends, on average, only 4.55 hours or 32.5% of their shift engaged in driving.” Transco argued that the 30 minute rest break actually decreases their drivers safety.

In addition, the FMCSA stated 3,580 drivers who make wholesale deliveries to grocery and convenience stores are eligible for the 30-minute rest break exemption. 

The exemption is valid for five years.

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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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New 7 Mile Truck Route Opening Next Month

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced the Starke Truck Route, a four lane truck route implemented to reduce traffic congestion on U.S. 301, will open sometime in September this year.

The Starke Truck Route started construction in August 2016, located on the west side of Starke, Florida. The $90 million, 7.3 mile long, route is constructed between County Road 227 and County Road 23. Which is expected to provide additional capacity for future growth in the area and improve safety. 

The route is estimated to carry over 25,000 vehicles per day in 2020, and increase to over 31,000 per day by the year 2040. Despite mixed feelings about the project from the locals, after hearing concerns that the route will negatively impact local business the Florida Department of Transportation assured “the new road was constructed with the safety and needs of residents and businesses alike in mind”. 

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Missouri Truck Drivers Want to Ban Driverless Trucks

In fear of losing their jobs, truck drivers rallied at the state capitol building in Jefferson City, Missouri, on Tuesday, to raise awareness of the impact self-driving semi trucks will have on the trucking industry. 

The drivers also showed their support for Rep. Mike Moon, who greeted his supporters at the capitol building and invited them inside to listen to their concerns. Moon created a bill that could ban driverless truck technology in the state of Missouri. Moon argues driverless trucks will not only rob good people of their jobs, but they’re also a safety risk to the public. 

The event was organized by veteran owner-operator Bill Bogar, who stated he fears the impact driverless technology will have on his job. Bogar explained, “This is my job… once these things come in, I’m done; I’m out. Most of these people coming in today are literally a week out of being out of business.” Bogar continue to say many companies are lining up to join automated trucking because there’s numerous grants available.

Additionally, participants voiced their concerns about HR 1511, which would require drivers to provide barriers on their trailers to prevent under-ride crashes, which are rare. Furthermore, the type of skirts legislation wants to require are too expensive for operators.

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New Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

The US Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a secure online database where employers, FMCSA, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and State law enforcement can access real-time information pertaining to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on CDL drivers drug and alcohol testing program. 

Carriers will be required to report drug and alcohol violations and check their employees records if prohibited from performing certain functions, including operating a commercial vehicle, due to a program violation which a driver has not successfully completed the return-to-duty (RTD) process.  

Canadian carriers who operate into the U.S. are required to register and comply with the new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Registration for the clearinghouse will open this fall and go into effect January 2020.

All records of drug and alcohol program violations will remain in the clearinghouse for five years or until the driver has completed the return-to-duty process. 

Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/commercial-drivers-license-drug-and-alcohol-clearinghouse

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City Issuing Truck Drivers More Fines

The Police Department of Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania, has been authorized by the mayor to issue more citations to truck drivers for illegally driving on municipal roads. 

The Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee at the Greater Susquehanna Valley, said truck drivers ignore the roads weight limits and often get stuck in neighborhoods, “and police officers have to stop traffic to help them navigate out of the community,” according to committee chair McGranaghan. 

McGranaghan also suggested that officers “throw all you can”, implying to issue as many tickets and fines to truck drivers as they can, in hopes the area will gain a reputation they won’t tolerate such behavior. 

McGranaghan and engineer Art Thomas for Monroe Township, who claimed township has similar issues, both warned they’ll be in contact with National Beef Packing Company, LLC., in regards to their drivers being majority of truckers getting stuck on municipal streets.

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Cash Reward for Missing Truck

A Missouri based company, Prime Inc., sought help from their customers and social media page to find their missing truck. The vehicle was last seen on August 8th, in the Columbia, SC area. The company assured their customers in their Facebook post the driver is safe.

The company is offering a $2,500 reward for any information leading to the missing truck. The company also stated the truck may be missing decals to properly identify it.

Call Prime Inc, security department, at (417)521-3911 if you know any information that could lead them to retrieve their vehicle.

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FMCSA Proposed Permanent Crash Prevention Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s FMCSA proposed a permanent crash preventability determination program to receive additional data for recognizing possible safety risks. The program will examine the feasibility, costs, and benefits of determining and displaying the preventability of specific types of accidents.

The FMCSA conducted a survey in August 2017, where they reviewed over 5,600 accidents involving semi-trucks and bus companies to determine if a crash was preventable. An estimated 94% of the crashes reviewed were found not to be preventable by the motor carrier or commercial driver.

Elaine Chao

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, announced on March 29, during a Mid-American Trucking show the department plans to make the current program permanent. In addition, the agency has proposed to remove the “not preventable crashes” from the Safety Measurement System (SMS) Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Category (BASIC), a more extensive evaluation of crashes from eight to fifteen. 

FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez, said the data received from the original program informed the industry to take action to expand and improve the program. Martinez stated, “Data drives our agency’s decisions…We’ve listened to carriers, drivers, and other commercial motor vehicle stakeholders throughout each step of this process, and strongly encourage all interested parties to submit comments on our proposed changes.” 

The FMCSA is currently seeking public comment on the proposal, the comment period is open for 60 days ending on October 4, 2019.

Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/us-department-transportation-proposes-permanent-crash-preventability-determination-program

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Increased Fines for Truck Driving Violations

On Tuesday July 31, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) increased fines for federal trucking violations. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act requires the FMCSA to adjust fines every year due to inflation. The final rule published on July 31 was effective immediately.  

In order to adjust the fines adequately the DOT multiplies the penalty by the difference from October 2017 to October 2018. The percentage difference this year is 1.02522. 

All fines increased as seen below:

ViolationNew Penalty ValueFormer Penalty Value
Failure to respond to
Agency subpoena to
appear and testify or
produce records
(minimum)
$1,093$1,066
Failure to respond to
Agency subpoena to
appear and testify or
produce records
(maximum)
$10,932$10,663
Out-of-service order:
Operation of CMV by
driver
$1,895$1,848
Out-of-service order:
Requiring or
permitting operation
of CMV by driver
$18,943$18,477
Out-of-service order:
Operation by driver of CMV or
intermodal equipment that was
placed out-of-service
$1,895$1,848
Out-of-service order:
Requiring or
permitting operation
of CMV or intermodal
equipment that was
placed out-of-service
$18,943$18,477
Out-of-service order:
Failure to return
written certification or correction
$947$924
Out-of-service order:
Failure to cease
operations as ordered 
$27,331$26,659
Out-of-service order:
Operating in
violation of order
$24,017$23,426
Out-of-service order:
Conducting
operations during
suspension or
revocation for failure
to pay penalties
$15,419$15,040
Out-of-service order:
Conducting operations during
suspension or revocation
$24,017$23,426
Record-keeping:
Maximum penalty per day
$1,270$1,239
Record-keeping:
Maximum total
penalty
$12,695$12,383

Violation
New Penalty ValueFormer Penalty Value
Knowing falsification of records $12,695$12,383
Non-recordkeeping
violations
$15,419$15,404
Non-recordkeeping
violations by drivers
$3,855$3,760
Alcohol prohibition
violations
(first offense)
$3,174$3,096
Alcohol prohibition
violations (second or
subsequent
conviction)
$6,348$6,192
Commercial driver’s
license violations
$5,732$5,591
Special penalties
pertaining to
violation of OOS orders
(first conviction)
$3,174$3,096
Special penalties
pertaining to
violation of OOS orders
(second or subsequent
conviction)
$6,348$6,192
Knowingly allowing,
authorizing employee violations of OOS order (minimum)
$5,732$5,591
Knowingly allowing,
authorizing employee violations of OOS order (maximum)
$31,737$30,956
Special penalties
pertaining to railroad-highway
grade crossing violations
$16,453$16,048
Financial
responsibility
violations
$16,915$16,499
Violations of
Hazardous Materials
Regulations and Safety Permitting
Regulations
(transportation or
shipment of hazmat)
$81,993$79,976
Violations of Hazardous Materials Regulations and Safety
Permitting
Regulations (training)
(minimum penalty)
$493$481
Violations of
Hazardous Materials
Regulations and Safety
Permitting
Regulations (training)
(maximum penalty)
$81,993$79,976
ViolationsNew Penalty ValueFormer Penalty Value
Violations of
Hazardous Materials
Regulations and Safety
Permitting
Regulations
(packaging or
container)
$81,993$79,976
Violations of
Hazardous Materials
Regulations and Safety Permitting
Regulations (compliance with FMCSRs)
$81,993$79,976
Violations of
Hazardous Materials
Regulations and Safety Permitting
Regulations (death,
serious illness, severe
injury to persons;
destruction of
property)
$191,316$186,610
Operating after being declared unfit by
assignment of a final “unsatisfactory”
safety rating
(generally)
$27,331$26,659
Operating after being declared unfit by
assignment of a final “unsatisfactory”
safety rating (hazmat maximum penalty)
$81,993$79,976
Operating after being declared unfit by
assignment of a final “unsatisfactory”
safety rating –
hazardous materials (maximum penalty if death, serious illness, severe injury to
persons; destruction
of property)
$191,316$186,610
Violations of the
commercial
regulations,
property carriers
$10,932$10,663
Violations of the CRs, brokers$10,932$10,663
Violations of the CRs, passenger carriers$27,331$26,659
Violation of the CRs,
foreign carriers,
foreign motor
private carriers 
$10,932$10,663

ViolationNew Penalty ValueFormer Penalty Value
Violations of the CRs,
foreign motor carriers, foreign motor private carriers before
implementation of
North America Free
Trade Agreement land transportation
provisions (maximum penalties for
intentional violation)
$15,034$14,664
Violations of the CRs,
foreign motor carriers, foreign motor private carriers before
implementation of
North America Free
Trade Agreement land transportation
provisions (maximum penalties for a pattern of international
violations)
$37,587$36,662
Violations of the CRs, motor carrier or
broker for
transportation of
hazardous wastes
(minimum)
$21,885$21,327
Violations of the CRs, motor carrier or broker for transportation of hazardous wastes (maximum)$43,730$42,654
Violations of the CRs, household goods carrier or freight forwarder, or their receiver or trustee$1,644$1,604
Violation of the CRs, weight of HHG shipment, charging for services (minimum or first violation)$3,291$3,210
Violation of the CRs, weight of HHG shipment, charging for services (subsequent violations)$8,227$8,025
Tariff violations$164,531$160,484
Additional tariff violations, rebates or concessions (first violation)$328$320
Additional tariff violations, rebates or concessions (subsequent violations)$411$401
Tariff violations, freight forwarders (max penalty for first violation)$823$803
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Ezlogz New Features!

At Ezlogz we strive to provide the best service possible for our customers. We’ve always said that Ezlogz is made by truckers for truckers, so we know what it’s like to be on the road. 

This month Ezlogz released a new feature that notifies our technical support team when an event occurs. Either the driver isn’t connected to the scanner, the app isn’t updated, the incorrect vin number was entered, or the driver tries to connect to a scanner not from his company, the list goes on! 

We’re dedicated to providing the best service. When an event occurs our technical support team is notified and calls each driver within 5 minutes of the event trigger. We solve the problem immediately to save you hassle and stress.

Your drivers will be back on the road in no time! No more having to call in to speak with a representative because Ezlogz provides the best service.

We have 24/7 customer support, feel free to give us a call at 1(800)670-7807 or email us at sales@ezlogz.com

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