Greenbelt, Maryland (Dec. 2, 2019) – Starting Dec. 17, 2019, all motor carriers and drivers subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) electronic logging devices (ELD) final rule must use an ELD. This deadline also pertains to grandfathered automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs), which will no longer be allowed under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to provide records of duty status as a substitute to a required ELD. Motor carriers utilizing an AOBRD must have a fully operational ELD installed by Dec. 17, 2019.
According to FMCSA, there will be no extensions or exceptions made to the Dec. 17, 2019, ELD rule deadline. In addition, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) stated that inspectors will begin fully enforcing the ELD rule on Dec. 17, 2019; there will be no "soft enforcement" grace period.
If a commercial motor vehicle driver is required to have an ELD and the vehicle is not equipped with a registered compliant ELD, the driver is considered to have no record of duty status; that also applies to a driver still using an automatic onboard recording device after the AOBRD to ELD transition deadline of Dec. 17, 2019. According to the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, a property-carrying driver who does not have a record of duty status in his or her possession when one is required will be declared out of service for 10 hours and a passenger-carrying driver without a record of duty status when one is required will be placed out of service for eight hours.
CVSA-certified roadside inspectors use the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria to identify conditions that preclude further operation of a commercial motor vehicle by its driver for a specified amount of time, or for some conditions, until the violation is corrected. The April 1, 2019, North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria specifies the out-of-service conditions related to deficiencies of record of duty status and hours-of-service rules and regulations. In addition, CVSA's Inspection Bulletin regarding hand-held and electronic logging devices outlines the requirements for devices used to record drivers' hours of service, according to 49 CFR Part 395 Subpart B – Electronic Logging Devices.
FMCSA implemented the ELD rule to make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage and share record of duty status information, and to help improve road safety and reduce the number of crashes. An ELD automatically records a driver's driving time and other hours-of-service data. Hours-of-service rules and regulations were developed to minimize driver fatigue and improve safety for everyone on the road. In addition, ELDs monitor a vehicle's engine data, such as when the engine is running, whether the vehicle is moving, miles driven, duration of engine operation, etc.
It's important to note that the ELD final rule does not change any of the underlying hours-of-service regulations. For more information regarding ELDs, the ELD final rule, hours-of-service, etc., visit FMCSA's website.
** UPDATE : AS OF 1:45 P.M. Monday, December 02, 2019 **
In NJ: Tractor trailers are restricted in BOTH DIRECTIONS from using:
Pennsylvania has made a couple of tweaks – lifting their ban on US 22 and reducing the length of the restriction on I-78
In PA: Empty and Double Wides are banned
NY State and CT presently do not have travel restrictions in place.
New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez- Scaccetti today issued a commercial vehicle travel restriction on portions of I-78, I-80, and I-287 starting at 12 midnight tonight.
The winter storm is expected to produce difficult travel conditions across the northwest portion of the State due to accumulated snow and ice that will cause limited visibility on the roadways and disrupt snowplow operations, especially during the morning and evening commuting period on Monday, December 2.
NJDOT is prepared and coordinating our response with our regional transportation partners and the New Jersey State Police to ensure the safety of all travelers. Ice and winds could bring trees and branches down on roadways. NJDOT crews have tree-clearing equipment available to remove debris from state highways to ensure plows, emergency personnel and utility companies can get through.
Commercial Vehicle Travel Restriction
The restriction applies to the following Interstate Highways in New Jersey including:
I-80, both directions from the Pennsylvania state line to exit 43 (I-287)
I-78, both directions from the Pennsylvania state line to exit 29 (I-287)
I-287, both directions from exit 21 (I-78) to the New York border
The commercial vehicle travel restriction in New Jersey applies to the following vehicles:
Empty straight CDL-weighted trucks
Passenger vehicles pulling trailers
The restriction DOES NOT apply to:
New Jersey Turnpike
Garden State Parkway
Atlantic City Expressway
The Department is reminding motorists:
AVOID UNNECESSARY TRAVEL during the storm
Consider Telecommuting tomorrow, if possible
If you must drive and road conditions deteriorate, GET OFF THE ROAD somewhere safe and
wait it out
Always STAY CLEAR of plows and spreading trucks. If they are behind you, let them pass
DO NOT PASS between trucks that are in a plow formation
Be patient and use caution
In order for NJDOT and our regional and local transportation partners to safely and efficiently clear roadways of snow and ice, motorists need to Clear the Roads so We Can Clear the Roads.
NJDOT will deploy our Incline Package assets on I-280 and I-78 at Jugtown mountain (between Exits 7 and 11), which includes pre-positioning towing assets, NJDOT Safety Service Patrol (SSP) trucks, and coordination with New Jersey State Police.
NJDOT will be using Variable Message Signs throughout the storm to provide updates. Once conditions improve, NJDOT will lift the Winter Weather Alert.
Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT's traffic information website www.511nj.org for real-time travel information and for NJDOT news and updates follow us on the NJDOT Facebook page or on Twitter @NJDOT_info.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney are about the destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands New Jerseyans, and this is not hyperbole.
Click here For the Article: https://www.trentonian.com/news/the-lives-of-hundreds-of-thousands-of-new-jerseyans-are/article_91e95642-0c08-11ea-a16d-e311dc18d1ae.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=user-share
TRENTON, N.J. – Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick criticized Democrat efforts to ruin the 'gig economy,' where many people use independent contractor jobs to supplement income.
"This attempt by politicians to re-engineer the gig economy reduces job opportunities for those who, again, need them the most," said Bramnick (R-Union). "These are moms and dads looking to better their income or simply earn enough to afford the high taxes Democrats force them to pay. This one-size-fits-all policy is bad for the New Jersey economy."
Bramnick noted that other than ride-sharing drivers, workers such as truckers, journalists, childcare workers, landscapers, hairdressers, musicians and others could be at risk of losing income.
Here is a link with the most common independent contractors by industry: https: / / payable.com / blog / industries-most-1099-workers.
A freelance writer from South Jersey wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer how she will have to leave the state or risk losing half her income. Another article on 101.5 noted that many working parents use independent contractor gigs for the flexible hours and supplemental income that address their needs.
Executive Summary: Recently, New Jersey took several steps to severely restrict the use of independent contractors or gig workers in the Garden state. The latest effort is Bill S4204, which creates a presumption of employment status for contractors.
New Jersey bill S4204 will apply to all businesses within the state. In short, the law states that any person who performs a service for remuneration is considered an employee for purposes of all the state’s employment laws, “unless and until it is shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development” that the service provider meets a newly revised ABC test. The bill delegates to the Commissioner of Labor the authority to determine whether a contractor meets the ABC test and is thereby a bona fide independent contractor. Additionally, the bill also revises the ABC test, making it much more difficult for a worker to be considered an independent contractor.
Analysis: S4204 revises the ABC test, keeping the “A” portion of the test intact, but amending the “B” and “C” prongs. All three prongs of the test must be met for a worker to be considered an independent contractor.
A. The first portion of the test, the “A” prong, often is referred to as the control test and reads: “[t]he individual has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of the service, both under the individual’s contract of service and in fact.” This portion of the test generally refers to who sets the hours of work, the manner in which the work is performed, or where the work is performed. This tends to be the easiest prong for independent contractors to meet.
B. The amended “B” prong seeks to add the proposed italicized language and delete the stricken language and states: “[t]he individual’s service is outside the usual course of the business for which that service is either performed or the service is performed outside all places of business of the employer for which the service is performed.” The revision to the B prong prevents companies from meeting this prong by showing that the service providers performed their work at a different location than the company’s. Rather, now companies must show that the service providers’ businesses are different than the company’s business. So, for example, doctors who contract with a health care group, an attorney contracted by a law firm or a political consultant contracted to a political campaign may not be able to meet the B prong. In terms of the transportation industry, the modification of the B prong test subjects this law to preemption challenges under Federal Aviation Authorization Act (FAAA).
C. Finally the “C” prong was modified to add the following phrase: “The individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.” Prior to this revision, contractors could meet this prong by simply demonstrating they possessed their own business or company separate from the company with whom they contracted. The bill adds the requirement that service providers must actually be performing the services of their business to qualify for the exemption. In other words, a plumber must be providing plumbing services to qualify for this prong. Conversely, a lawyer who contracts with a university to teach a class will most likely not meet prong C, since he is not providing legal services to the university.
According to a very strict interpretation of the bill’s language, even if service providers meet the ABC test, they could still be considered employees “unless and until” the Commissioner finds otherwise. Technically, this provision could prevent a company in private litigation from asserting a valid defense that a service provider is an exempt contractor and not an employee. Assuming the company meets the ABC test, under a strict interpretation of the bill, the company must still show that the Commissioner has found the service provider meets the ABC test. For “unless and until” the Commissioner does so, the service provider is presumed to be an employee. If the bill becomes law and is enforced in accordance with this interpretation, it likely will face constitutional challenges.
Interestingly, this bill was proposed to mimic the passage of AB 5 in California, which adopted a similar ABC test and garnered much media attention. Ironically, although the California law made it harder for some companies to use independent contractors, the same law actually made it easier for other companies. In California, unlike the New Jersey proposal, the ABC test only applies to non-exempt industries. The law actually eliminated the ABC test for certain exempt industries, allowing them to use the Borello test or economic reality test, which is a much more lenient standard. See, https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_independentcontractor.htm. The New Jersey law would not provide for similar exemptions and, if passed, would make New Jersey’s law regarding independent contractors the most restrictive in the nation.
The Bottom Line: If the bill passes, which we predict it will, every company should review all 1099s issued in 2019 to assess the risk with each relationship and determine how to mitigate the risk created by these relationships. It is also recommended that companies review cash ledgers for recurring payments to identify potential hidden contractors. It is expected that entire business models may be impacted by this legislation, and companies should not rely on prior industry practices to assess their state of compliance.
If you have any questions about this bill or the use of independent contractors, please feel free to contact Salvador Simao, email@example.com, the North East Regional managing partner in our New Jersey office. You may also contact the FordHarrison attorney with whom you usually work.
From Sept. 15-21, 2019, inspectors conducted 34,320 commercial motor vehicle inspections as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week and placed 4,626 vehicles out of service after critical brake-related conditions were identified during roadside inspections. The majority of commercial motor vehicles inspected (86.5%) did not have any critical brake-related inspection item violations.
During a roadside inspection, if an inspector identifies critical vehicle inspection item violations, he or she will render the vehicle out of service, which means those violations must be corrected before the vehicle may proceed. 13.5% of the commercial motor vehicles inspected during Brake Safety Week were removed from roadways specifically for brake-related vehicle inspection item violations.
Sixty jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S. participated in this year’s Brake Safety Week. In the U.S., 49 jurisdictions conducted 31,864 roadside inspections and placed 4,344 (13.6%) commercial motor vehicles out of service due to brake-related violations. In Canada, 11 jurisdictions conducted 2,456 roadside inspections and 282 (11.5%) commercial motor vehicles were placed out of service for brake-related violations.
As part of this year’s Brake Safety Week, inspectors also collected and reported data on brake hoses/tubing.
"Inspectors conduct more than 4 million roadside inspections every year and checking brake components is just one element of the inspection procedure inspectors perform on commercial motor vehicles every day," said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. "This inspection and enforcement event reminds drivers and motor carriers of the importance of properly functioning brakes and spotlights the work done by inspectors, motor carriers and drivers every day to keep our roadways safe by ensuring vehicles are in appropriate working condition."
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, highway crash fatality data for 2018, there was a 2.4% decline in overall fatalities, the second consecutive year of reduced crash fatalities. However, conversely, for 2018, large-truck related fatalities increased by 0.9%.
"While we applaud the decrease in the overall number of fatalities on our roadways last year, we’re alarmed by the increase in the number of large-truck-related fatalities," said Sgt. Samis. "CVSA conducts high-profile, high-visibility enforcement events, such as Brake Safety Week, to reduce the number of fatalities occurring on our roadways. Roadway safety is our number one priority and we will continue our efforts to improve brake safety throughout North America."
Brake Safety Week is an inspection, enforcement, education and awareness initiative that is part of the Operation Airbrake Program sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.
The American Transportation Research Institute released the findings of its 2019 update to “An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking.” Using detailed financial data provided directly by motor carriers of all sectors and fleet sizes, this “Ops Costs” research annually documents and analyzes trucking costs from 2008 through 2018. ATRI's analysis provides industry stakeholders with an essential benchmarking tool, and government agencies with input on industry finances necessary for comprehensive transportation planning and infrastructure improvement analyses.
ATRI’s newest 2019 Ops Costs report documents the extremely robust economic environment that carriers and drivers experienced in 2018, but these same economic conditions put considerable upward pressure on nearly every line-item cost center experienced by carriers.
The average marginal cost per mile incurred by motor carriers in 2018 increased 7.7 percent to $1.82. Costs rose in every cost center except tires, with fuel costs experiencing the highest year-over-year growth of 17.7 percent. Not surprisingly, insurance costs saw the second fastest year-over-year growth at 12 percent. As a strategic response to the severe driver shortage that existed in 2018, driver wages and benefits increased 7.0 and 4.7 percent, respectively – representing 43 percent of all marginal costs in 2018.
Repair & maintenance (R&M) costs, at 17.1 cents per mile in 2018, have increased 24 percent since 2012 – a counterintuitive increase given the record sales of new trucks and trailers. From 2012 to 2018, overall motor carrier operational costs have increased more than 11.6 percent – exceeding the 10.8 percent inflation rate for that same time period.
ATRI’s 2019 report again includes an “Industry Sector in Focus” analysis for tank fleet operators.
“ATRI’s 2019 Operational Costs research highlights the extent of the cost increases our industry experienced in 2018. Savvy carriers will continue to use this cost data as a benchmarking tool, and to better educate our customers on the financial and operating pressures our industry faces,” said Jerry Sigmon, Executive Vice President of Cargo Transporters, Inc. “The new 2019 report also gives us important explanations and hints on how to better manage the cost volatility we've been experiencing.”
Since its original publication in 2008, ATRI has received over 16,000 requests for the Operational Costs reports.
On Sept. 26, 2019, at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Biloxi, Mississippi, the CVSA Board of Directors voted on and approved a new Inspection Bulletin which outlines tread depth measurement of evolving commercial motor vehicle tires.
The 2019-03 – Evolving Commercial Vehicle Tire Design Tread Depth Measurement Inspection Bulletin explains how to properly measure the tread depth of commercial motor vehicle tires with evolving treads. An evolving tread design is a tread pattern that experiences a significant and noticeable transition in appearance as the tire wears down from the new state to the worn state. As the tread wears, some features disappear, while new features are revealed. This evolution in the tread pattern allows for the balancing and optimization of multiple performance characteristics over the full life of the tire as well as maximum use of all available tread rubber. The bulletin is also available in French and Spanish.
An Inspection Bitz, a one-minute informational video explaining the inspection of an evolving commercial motor vehicle tire, is available online, and can also be accessed through the CVSA member portal and via the 2020 CVSA North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria app, which will be released in spring 2020.
CVSA reminds all certified roadside inspectors to visit the Inspection Bulletins section of the CVSA website to check that they have the latest versions of all Inspection Bulletins. We want to ensure all inspectors are conducting roadside inspections using the most up-to-date version of each bulletin. The CVSA website will always contain the current version of each Inspection Bulletin which should be used by CVSA-certified roadside enforcement personnel.
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Download instructions to register as a:
CDL driver (includes CLP drivers)
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If you employ yourself as a CDL driver, register as an employer and, when asked, indicate that you are an owner-operator (that is, an employer who employs himself or herself as a CDL driver, typically a single-driver operation).
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