Changes to the federal regulations that govern how many hours truckers may drive each day have taken a step closer to being changed.
Speaking at the Truckload Carriers Association annual convention in Kissimmee, Florida Tuesday, March 3, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Acting Administrator James Mullen announced the final rule was sent last night to the White House Office of Management and Budget. By law, the OMB has 90 days to rule on the proposed regulation, but there’s a provision that allows that to expand to 120 days.
“While I can’t go into the specifics of this final rule, please know that the goal of this process from the beginning has been to improve safety for all motorists and to increase flexibility for commercial drivers,” Mullen told the filled ballroom at the Gaylord Palms Resort. Talking to reporters after his speech Mullen said he would not and could not attempt to guess how the OMB might react to the proposed changes.
FMCSA’s proposed hours of service reforms, published last August, called for several changes to existing hours of service regulations, all of which then Administrator Ray Martinez said would provide greater flexibility to drivers. Chief among them was the ability for drivers to pause their 14-hour on-duty clock one time and go off-duty for up to three hours. It also provided the option for drivers to extend their 14-hour clock by two hours if they face adverse conditions such as traffic or weather.
If the OMB approves the rule, the next step would be for FMCSA to publish the rule in the Federal Register and set an implementation date.
In his address to TCA, Mullen emphasized the importance of the hours of service changes. He said, “It’s my priority, it’s the priority of the Secretary (of Transportation Elaine Chao), it’s the priority of this Administration to get these modifications finished.”
Mullen also touted the success of the agency’s recently opened Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. He said more than 680,000 drivers have been entered into the database, and that 9,000 drivers who have failed or refused testing have been identified. He said this is critical to highway safety.
The former Werner executive also touched on the success of the mandated electronic logging device regulation. Since becoming mandatory, there has been a 52% reduction in hours of service violations and that during roadside inspections less that one percent of drivers are non-compliant with ELD use.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published a temporary final rule providing for a two-year delay in implementing the final agency rule of December 8, 2016, “Minimum Requirements for Training Entry-Lev-el Commercial Vehicle Operators,” the latest ELDT rule.
provisional final rule extends the date the rule is observed from February 7,
2020, to February 7, 2022.
posted in the Federal Register says that a delay in the compliance date will
provide FMCSA with additional time to complete the development of a Training
Service Provider Register (TPR). The Extension will allow training providers to
independently confirm that they meet the training requirements. The TPR will further provide an electronic
interface, which will receive and store (ELDT) certification information from
training providers and transmit this information to state driver licensing
participants in the US automotive market, the notification of the Federal
Register was not a surprise, since FMCSA announced at the end of November that
it was preparing a notification, but did not know when it would be published.
rule is in the interest of everyone’s safety. In turn, CVTA will continue to
push for ELDT implementation before the 2-year delay.
extension applies to all requirements established in the December 2016 final
- The date by which the training service providers should start uploading the training certification information for a specific driver to TPR, an electronic database that will contain ELDT information;
- The date by which the 5DLA must confirm that applicants for Commercial Driving License (CDL) have complied with ELDT requirements before passing a specific knowledge or skill test;
- The date by which training providers wishing to provide ELDT must be indicated in the TPR;
- The date by which drivers seeking CDL or approval must receive the necessary training as indicated in the final ELDT rule.
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”.
Crestwood Transportation – a company based out of Texas – are raising their starting pay from 46 cents to 60 cents for all tanker drivers in the central region. The pay raise was said to be effective March 21 of this year.
- Image by Crestwood Transportation Facebook Page via [https://www.facebook.com/CrestwoodTransportation/photos] (copyright-free)
According to the company, drivers can now start at up to $80-85,000 per year.
In order to be considered for the position, applicants require two years of experience, a tanker and hazmat endorsement, and most importantly a clean driving record.
The company wants to reward their current and new drivers by receiving load pay, layover pay and detention pay as well as steady safe driving records.
Sources: “Crestwood Transportation Raises Driver Pay by 14 Cpm.” CDLLife, 1 May 2018, cdllife.com/2018/crestwood-transportation-raises-driver-pay-by-14-cpm/.
Anheuser-Busch are reportedly teaming up with Nikola in buying up to 800 hydrogen-electric trucks to replace more than half of their fleet.
The trucks being delivered will be the Nikola Two – also known as the Day Cab version – and have a capability of producing zero emissions, ability to be refueled in 20 minutes and have a range between 500 and 1,200 miles.
Manager Editor, Brian Straight reported:
” The cab is designed with “surround vision” and features a 15 in. touchscreen that gives the driver a virtual aerial view of the area around the truck and trailer in real time, eliminating blind spots. A panoramic windshield and a forward position for the driver provides improved visibility. That view is complemented by high-definition cameras combined with radar, sonar and computer software. The result is a complete 360 deg. view of the vehicle.
The mid-cab design features a sliding entry door to reduce the dangers of climbing into and out of the cab.
Inside the cab, there is a touchscreen where some of the most advanced productivity tools are located. Nikola aims to make the vehicle an “all-inclusive” model, giving drivers all the tools they need to do their jobs. This includes standard readouts such as battery levels, ranges, wheel torque and cabin controls, Bluetooth-enabled phone, calendar, integrated logging and driver/vehicle performance data and more. It also includes navigation and vehicle data as well as “Nikola Shipments.”
Nikola has plans for converting 100% of their fleets in the future.
Sources: Straight, Brian. “Anheuser-Busch to Buy up to 800 Nikola Hydrogen-Electric Trucks.” FreightWaves, www.freightwaves.com/news/green-trucking/anheuser-busch-to-buy-nikola-hydrogen-electric-trucks.
As previously stated in a recent post, HOS – Hours of Service – is a federal regulation of limitations most truckers have for the length of time they can be driving or be required to take rest breaks.
Who is required to comply with these regulations? Here is a simple breakdown stated directly from the FMCSA:
“In general, a CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of these descriptions:
- Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
- Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
- Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
- Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
- Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards”
Sources: “Hours of Service.” Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, United States Department of Transportation, 30 Dec. 2013, www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-of-service.
As discussed in previous posts, the future of the trucking industry was brought with bespoke aerodynamic designs created by Shell and AirFlow Truck Co.
- Image by The Trucker via [http://www.thetrucker.com/News/Story/BespoketrucksShellandAirFlowTruckCohavedesignedandbuiltone] (copyright-free)
It is designed and built as a hyper-fuel-efficient Class 8 truck with the capability for reducing the energy usage associated with the transportation of goods. The body of the proposed tractor is made of carbon fiber from the side skirts, to the hood, and front end.
The Trucker News Publisher states:
” The truck will use a number of full synthetic Shell Lubricants products including Spirax S6 GXME 75W-80 transmission oil, Spirax S5 ADE 75W-80 differential oil and Spirax S6 GME 40 wheel hub oil. In addition, Shell Rotella Extended Life Coolant will provide excellent high-temperature protection and heat transfer. Shell Rotella Diesel Exhaust Fluid, a high purity diesel exhaust fluid, will also be in the truck. ”
The efficiency and lesser fuel costs could really make positive and growing changes for both Shell, AirFlow Truck Co. and the trucking industry altogether.
Sources:“’Bespoke’ Trucks? Shell and AirFlow Truck Co. Have Designed and Built One – TheTrucker.com – America’s Trucking Newspaper.” The Trucker, www.thetrucker.com/News/Story/BespoketrucksShellandAirFlowTruckCohavedesignedandbuiltone.
- Image by unknown via [https://gajitz.com/if-batman-were-a-trucker-hed-drive-this-cool-future-rig/] (copyright-free)
Amazon discussing future ideas for autopilot drones that make their own deliveries, Tesla creating a self driving car, and companies like XPO Logistics Inc making the move with the use of robotic machines to raise mass production in their warehouses, what are plans for the future in the trucking industry?
It’s a possibility that one day in the future, trucks will have self driving deliveries that make it from destination A to B or robotic machines that can make deliveries themselves, with technology and innovation rapidly growing every day, anything is possible.
Sources: “The Future of Freight: What’s Your Vision?” Transport Topics, 5 Apr. 2018, www.ttnews.com/articles/future-freight-whats-your-vision.
“Profit, Revenue Grow at XPO as It Invests in Tech.” Transport Topics, 3 May 2018, www.ttnews.com/articles/profit-revenue-grow-xpo-it-invests-tech.
- image by Ezlogz COO via Washington State
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The Trucking Alliance – The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security – are reportedly pushing congress for drug testing to ensure there are no prior opioid addiction or illegal use of substances while going behind the wheel.
- Image by unknown via [http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/drivers/news/story/2018/05/trucking-alliance-pushes-congress-to-tighten-truck-driver-drug-testing.aspx] (copyright-free)
If Congress decide to push for drug testing, verification for no opioid addiction or illegal drug use will be required at least 30 days prior to employment to anyone applying for safety sensitive related jobs in the trucking industry.
Sources: “Trucking Alliance Pushes Congress to Tighten Truck Driver Drug Testing.” TopNews – Drivers – TopNews – TruckingInfo.com, www.truckinginfo.com/channel/drivers/news/story/2018/05/trucking-alliance-pushes-congress-to-tighten-truck-driver-drug-testing.aspx.