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  • 16 Dec 2015 11:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Retaining Restart Suspension Provides Long-Term Benefit for Trucking Safety

    Arlington, Va. – Today, leaders of the American Trucking Associations thanked Congress for recognizing the harm done by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s 2013 hours-of-service restart restrictions and requiring the agency to meet an appropriate safety, driver health and driver longevity standard before re-imposing those restrictions.

    “We’re pleased that in the omnibus spending compromise released today, Congress has seen fit to demand that FMCSA ‘show its work,’ before imposing unnecessary and onerous restrictions on the use of the 34-hour restart by commercial drivers,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “FMCSA foisted these restrictions on the industry without doing a proper investigation into how they might impact trucking safety and truck drivers’ health and longevity, so it is completely appropriate for Congress to establish a safety and health standard.”

    In 2013, FMCSA required that drivers using a 34-hour restart to reset their weekly allotment of hours have two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. in their extended off-duty period and artificially limited the use of those extended rests to once a week. ATA believed at the time, and was shown to be correct based on American Transportation Research Institute analysis of FMCSA crash data, that these restrictions would push more truck traffic into riskier daytime hours, thus increasing – not decreasing – the risk of truck-involved crashes. ATA also believed that FMCSA’s driver health and longevity theory had no basis in reality.

    “We greatly appreciate Congress’ attention into this important matter and their insistence that FMCSA properly vet and support the rules they promulgate,” said Dave Osiecki, ATA executive vice president and chief of national advocacy.

    In addition to the hours-of-service language, ATA also expressed disappointment that the omnibus bill does not allow for the modest increase in tandem trailer length that had achieved bipartisan support in the House and the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    “We’re disheartened that Congress allowed itself to be cowed by the fearmongering tactics of anti-truck lobbyists,” said ATA Chairman Pat Thomas, senior vice president of state government affairs for UPS. “By removing language that would have allowed twin 33s on U.S. highways, Congress has passed up a huge opportunity to improve highway safety and trucking’s efficiency.” 

    American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook.Trucking Moves America Forward


  • 16 Dec 2015 9:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Medical Examiner's Certification Integration final rule requires certified Medical Examiners (MEs) to continue using the current driver examination forms found on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website until December 22, 2015, and to use the newly revised driver examination forms discussed in the final rule beginning December 22, 2015.

    FMCSA posted the final PDF versions of the Medical Examination Report (MER) Form, MCSA-5875 and Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC) Form, MCSA-5876 on the FMCSA and National Registry websites. However, the agency reports that the delays in posting the forms do not allow examiners enough time to fulfill their duties.

    As a result of the unexpected delays in posting the final versions of the driver examination forms and recognizing that MEs need to have access to the forms prior to the effective date for a number of reasons, the FMCSA is planning to postpone the effective date for use of the newly revised MER and MEC. FMCSA will be publishing a Federal Register notice announcing this change and providing a revised effective date.  2015 © J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.® All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

  • 15 Dec 2015 12:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it is seeking public comment on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) requiring passengers riding in property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to use safety belts. 

    Federal rules have long required all commercial drivers to use safety belts (49 CFR 392.16); this proposed rule would hold both trucking companies and commercial truck drivers responsible for ensuring that any passenger riding in the truck cab is also buckled up.  

    Approximately 275 occupants of large trucks killed in crashes in 2013 were not wearing their safety belts, according to the most recently available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  

    For a copy of the Federal Register announcement, see: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/12/10/2015-30864/commercial-drivers-license-standards-use-of-seat-belts

  • 11 Dec 2015 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced the adoption of a Final Rule that will improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue.

    “Since 1938, complex, on-duty/off-duty logs for truck and bus drivers were made with pencil and paper, virtually impossible to verify,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “This automated technology not only brings logging records into the modern age, it also allows roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that put lives at risk.”

    The Final Rule requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELD) will result in an annual net benefit of more than $1 billion – largely by reducing the amount of required industry paperwork.  It will also increase the efficiency of roadside law enforcement personnel in reviewing driver records.  Strict protections are included that will protect commercial drivers from harassment. 

    On an annual average basis, the ELD Final Rule is estimated to save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving large commercial motor vehicles.

    “This is a win for all motorists on our nation’s roadways,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling.  “Employing technology to ensure that commercial drivers comply with federal hours-of-service rules will prevent crashes and save lives.”

    An ELD automatically records driving time.  It monitors engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven, and location information. 

    Federal safety regulations limit the number of hours commercial drivers can be on-duty and still drive, as well as the number of hours spent driving.  These limitations are designed to prevent truck and bus drivers from becoming fatigued while driving, and require that drivers take a work break and have a sufficient off-duty rest period before returning to on-duty status.

     The four main elements of the ELD Final Rule include:

    • Requiring commercial truck and bus drivers who currently use paper log books to maintain hours-of-service records to adopt ELDs within two years.  It is anticipated that approximately three million drivers will be impacted.
       
    • Strictly prohibiting commercial driver harassment.  The Final Rule provides both procedural and technical provisions designed to protect commercial truck and bus drivers from harassment resulting from information generated by ELDs.  [A separate FMCSA rulemaking further safeguards commercial drivers from being coerced to violate federal safety regulations and provides the agency with the authority to take enforcement actions not only against motor carriers, but also against shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries.
       
    • Setting technology specifications detailing performance and design requirements for ELDs so that manufacturers are able to produce compliant devices and systems – and purchasers are enabled to make informed decisions.
       
    • Establishing new hours-of-service supporting document (shipping documents, fuel purchase receipts, etc.) requirements that will result in additional paperwork reductions.  In most cases, a motor carrier would not be required to retain supporting documents verifying on-duty driving time.

    In developing the ELD Final Rule, FMCSA relied on input from its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, feedback from two public listening sessions, comments filed during an extended comment period following the 2011 proposed rule, and comments to the 2014 supplementary proposed rule.  The Final Rule also incorporates the mandates included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act and other statutes.

    The ELD Final Rule permits the use of smart phones and other wireless devices as ELDs, so long as they satisfy technical specifications, are certified, and are listed on an FMCSA website.  Canadian- and Mexican-domiciled drivers will also be required to use ELDs when operating on U.S. roadways. 

    Motor carriers who have previously installed compliant Automatic On-Board Recording Devices may continue to use the devices for an additional two years beyond the compliance date.

    A copy of the ELD Final Rule announced today is available at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices-and-hours-service-supporting-documents.

    Further information, including a comprehensive, searchable list of frequently asked questions, and a calendar of upcoming free training webinars, is available at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/elds.

  • 10 Dec 2015 2:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Every year, we marvel at Santa Claus’ extraordinary feat of delivering toys to boys and girls all over the world.

    But, while it’s impossible for any mortal to match what Santa accomplishes in a single night, he does have down-to-earth counterparts in freight terminals and truck stops across the nation — truckers.    

    Think about it. Over the course of a year, truckers probably move about as much freight as Santa does (and in tougher conditions — Santa doesn’t have to contend with heavy traffic, road construction, tolls and inspections). Both leave home and family to get the job done.

    Santa and truckers both have to meet impossibly tight delivery deadlines and follow complicated routes. While both deliver toys and coal, truckers also haul everything from auto parts to zucchini. Santa doesn’t get paid and truckers don’t get paid enough.

    Both have big hearts and a soft spot for children. Both have a mystique about them and appear larger than life. Most importantly, they’re both absolutely necessary for the holidays.

    Here’s a chart comparing the two:  

    Comparison

    Santa Claus

    Truckers

    Schedule

    1 (very long) night a year

    Several hundred nights a year

    Vehicle

    Sleigh

    Semi

    Power source

    Reindeer & magic

    Diesel engine

    Navigation

    Rudolph

    GPS

    Cargo

    Toys & coal

    Everything

    Health

    Immortal

    Definitely mortal

    Diet

    Cookies and milk

    Jerky and Mountain Dew

    Clothing

    Red suit, boots, stocking cap

    Jeans and flannel, boots, baseball cap

    Red tape

    No weight scales or HOS for Santa

    Enough for the world’s biggest bow

    Physique

    Hefty

    Likewise

    Record-keeping

    A list he checks twice

    Electronic logs

    Communication

    Letters

    CB radio, smartphone

    Maneuverability skills

    Lands on rooftops

    Backs into loading docks

    Star of TV & movies

    Check

    Check

    Has own musical genre

    Check

    Check

    Iconic figure

    Check

    Check

    Makes people happy

    Check

    Check

    Big hearts

    Check

    Check


  • 09 Dec 2015 9:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Following two oversize load crashes that led to partial bridge collapses, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a Safety Alert to remind motor carriers of the importance of obtaining permits and carefully reviewing routes before transporting oversize loads.

    The Safety Alert, “The Impact of Oversize Loads on Our Nation’s Bridges,” cites the May 2013 crash in which a truck transporting an oversize load struck the Interstate 5 Skagit River Bridge near Mount Vernon, Wash., resulting in the collapse of a bridge span. It also cites the March 2015 crash in Salado, Texas, involving a truck carrying an oversize load on Interstate 35 that struck concrete bridge beams of an overhead highway bridge. The beams collapsed and fell into the travel lanes of the interstate, resulting in one motorist fatality and three injuries.

    “When transporting oversize loads, planning ahead is critical,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart, “Both carriers and permitting authorities need to do their part to ensure the safe transport of oversize loads.”

    The NTSB Safety Alert provides several tips that carriers and permitting authorities can use to ensure that oversize loads are transported safely.

  • 07 Dec 2015 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Each year truck drivers across the United States volunteer to drive a cargo of honor and respect by delivering wreaths to the cemeteries for veterans for Wreaths Across America Day.

     On Tuesday, Dec. 8, two truckloads of wreaths from Wreaths Across America will be arriving from Maine. One Eleven Logistics, based in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey has volunteered the trucks and their truck drivers Mark Jensen from Blackwood NJ, a Navy Veteran and Frank Postell from Croyde, PA to pick the wreaths up from Maine. Destiny Transportation in Edison, New Jersey has volunteered warehouse space and equipment.

    Mark from One Eleven Logistics picking up the wreaths to come back to NJ. 

    The wreaths will be transported by volunteers from New Jersey based trucking companies for delivery to local cemeteries for the December 12th National Wreaths Across America Day ceremonies.

     According to New Jersey Motor Truck Association Executive Director, Gail Toth, “The New Jersey Motor Truck Association is a proud supporter of the Wreaths Across America program. Our members in addition to volunteering to make deliveries have donated 470 wreaths for NJ cemeteries and will be sponsoring the wreath laying ceremony at the historic Old Colonial Cemetery in Metuchen. The ceremony on December 12th at Noon – all are welcome especially the children.”

     WAA's mission is to; Remember our fallen heroes Honor those that serve and Teach our children about the sacrifices made by veterans to preserve our freedoms. This mission is carried out by laying wreaths on veterans' graves across the country on the second Saturday of December.

    Frank from One Eleven Logistics picking up the wreaths for NJ 

    If you would like more information about the event, please call Gail Toth at 732-254-5000. For more information about Wreaths Across America visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org

  • 18 Nov 2015 12:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Arlington, VA - The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released the latest findings of its annual truck bottleneck listing.  The 2015 Congestion Impact Analysis of Freight-Significant Highway Locations, which assesses the level of truck-oriented congestion at 250 locations on the national highway system, uses several customized software applications and analysis methods, along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location.  The data is associated with the FHWA-sponsored Freight Performance Measures (FPM) initiative.  The locations detailed in this latest ATRI report represent the top 100 congested locations. 

     The number one spot on the ATRI list this year is the Tom Moreland Interchange in Atlanta, GA, a five-level stack interchange at the intersection of I-285 and I-85.  Known by local commuters as "Spaghetti Junction," it is not only the confluence of two highly traveled interstates, but also provides ramps to four secondary roadways.  Also notable on this year's list - four of the top 10 truck chokepoints are located in Houston, TX.  The top 10 locations on the ATRI list this year are: 

    1. ATLANTA, GA: I-285 AT I-85 (NORTH)
    2. CHICAGO, IL: I-290 AT I-90/I-94
    3. FORT LEE, NJ: I-95 AT SR 4
    4. LOUISVILLE, KY: I-65 AT I-64/I-71
    5. HOUSTON, TX: I-610 AT US 290
    6. HOUSTON, TX: I-10 AT I-45
    7. CINCINNATI, OH: I-71 AT I-75
    8. HOUSTON, TX: I-45 AT US 59
    9. LOS ANGELES, CA: SR 60 AT SR 57
    10. HOUSTON, TX: I-10 AT US 59

    "With a robust economy comes increased demand for consumer goods, the lion's share of which is carried by truck.  We see that reflected in the ATRI truck bottleneck list as more trucks move through the nation's major metropolitan areas to deliver the goods," said Ed Crowell, Georgia Motor Trucking Association President and CEO.  "ATRI's ranking allows states to better understand where targeted infrastructure improvements could keep the economy moving."  

     

    For access to the full report, including detailed information on each of the 100 top congested locations, visit www.atri-online.org. 

    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.


  • 21 Oct 2015 10:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Despite Attacks on Industry, Public Thinks Well of Trucking

    Philadelphia – A new national poll released today found the public continues to believe truck drivers are among the safest on the road and that the industry is essential to the American economy. 

    The poll, the second commissioned by American Trucking Associations, was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies between August 30 and September 1, surveyed 800 registered voters on their attitudes about politics, the trucking industry and the state of infrastructure.

    “Our industry invests more than $7 billion each year in safety tools, technologies and practices, and this poll tells us those investments are working,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Americans believe trucks move the most freight and that our drivers are safe and getting safer. Those facts beliefs are not just correct, they are important to keep in mind when debating important safety issues.”

    Among the poll’s findings were:

    • A majority of Americans, 63%, believe trucks move most of the nation’s goods – a three-point increase from 2014.
    • Sixty percent of respondents said they have a favorable view of the trucking industry, the highest among transportation modes.
    • When asked to offer unscripted thoughts on trucking, respondents called drivers hard working, said the industry provided thousands of jobs and trucking was dependable and efficient.
    • The majority of Americans, 57%, said trucking’s safety record was excellent or good.
    • And 34% of respondents said trucking’s safety record had improved over the past 20 years.
    • Ninety-one percent of Americans believe car drivers are more likely to engage in risky behavior on the highways than truck drivers and 70% believe they are more likely to be at fault when a car and truck collide.
    • Eighty-one percent of Americans believe truckers are safer drivers. 

    The poll also addressed the issue of speeds and speed limits, finding that: 

    • Sixty-nine percent of Americans oppose reducing highway speeds to improve safety and reduce pollution, and 63% oppose the installation of speed limiting devices on passenger vehicles, but
    • More than half – 56% – of respondents said they favored mandating speed limiters for large trucks. 

    “Safety is our industry’s most important calling,” said outgoing ATA Chairman Duane Long, chairman of Longistics, Raleigh, N.C.“I’m pleased that so many of my fellow Americans think so highly of our safety record, but we should not be satisfied. We need to do more to not only improve our safety record, but to tell people about it.”

    The poll’s results were released here at ATA’s Board of Directors meeting. A copy of the presentation can be found here.


  • 07 Aug 2015 8:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Arlington, Va. — 420 professional truck drivers will arrive in St. Louis today to compete in the National Truck Driving Championships at America’s Center Convention Complex & Edward Jones Dome Center.  These elite drivers earned their way to compete in the “Superbowl of Safety” after winning their title earlier this summer at the state level.

    Over 420 drivers from all 50 states will compete in St. Louis for four days, challenging their driving skills, and knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. From 18-wheeler five axle sleepers to tank trucks to twin trailers—they will drive a course that recreates situations truck drivers face daily. These maneuvers may include: an alley dock, a rear line stop, a side park, a scale stop, a right turn, a front line stop, and straight line driving through a diminishing clearance.

    On August 15, one contestant will drive away as the Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion.

    “The Truck Driving Championships represent the culmination of the industry’s dedication to safety,” said New Jersey Motor Truck Association Executive Director, Gail E. Toth.  “I congratulate all the contestants and I hope New Jersey cheers for our drivers this week.”

    New Jersey participants at National Truck Driving Championships for each category include:

    Antonio Barros, UPS Freight (Sleeper) - Kearny, NJ

    Jorge Cardoza, Jr., FedEx Freight (Straight Truck) - Elizabeth, NJ

    James F. Erickson, FedEx Freight (Flatbed) - Marlton Lakes, NJ

    Carlos Chavarriaga, FedEx Freight (Step Van) - Elizabeth, NJ

    Richard Lopardo, A. Duie Pyle Inc. (4-Axle) - Monroe, NJ

    Jorge Lopez, FedEx Freight (5-Axle) - Jersey City, NJ

    Bartlomie Pachicki, FedEx Freight (Tank Truck) - Carlstadt, NJ

    Wilbert Vano, Con-way Freight (3-Axle) - Colonia, NJ

    Joseph White, FedEx Freight (Tank Truck) - Keansburg, NJ

     ATA’s National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships include top professional truck drivers from around the United States competing at company, state and regional levels to make it to the national competition Aug. 11-15 in St. Louis, Mo. The NTDC annually attracts over 2,000 cheering friends, family, colleagues and spectators. For more information, visit the 2015 National Truck Driving Championships website.  Follow NTDC this week on Facebook.

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