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News

  • 24 Jan 2018 9:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has released Port Performance Freight Statistics Program: Annual Report to Congress 2017. This report is the second edition of the annual report from the BTS Port Performance Freight Statistics Program established by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015. The goal of the program is “to provide nationally consistent measures of performance” of the nation’s largest ports, and to report annually to Congress on port capacity and throughput. This annual report presents data and statistics on capacity and throughput at the top 25 ports by tonnage, 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU), and dry bulk tonnage; nationally consistent port performance metrics; and looks ahead at improving this statistics program. The report also includes detailed information on U.S. maritime ports and discussions of throughput and capacity measures to provide a more complete picture of port activity and to place the statistics in context. The complete report or individual sections may be downloaded directly from the BTS website. This publication can also be obtained by ordering online, by contacting BTS by phone at 202-366-DATA or by e-mail at answers@dot.gov
    Email links icon
    . Media contact: Dave Smallen: 202-366-5568, david.smallen@dot.gov


  • 23 Jan 2018 12:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FMCSA grants a limited 3-month waiver from the Federal hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for electronic logging devices (ELDs) to motor carriers and drivers operating property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMV s) that are rented 

    for a period not exceeding 30 days. The Agency takes this action in response to a waiver request from the Truck Renting and Leasing Association, Inc. (TRALA). The Agency has determined that granting this waiver is in the public interest and will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to the level that would be achieved absent the waiver, based on the terms and conditions imposed.

    This waiver is effective January 19, 2018, through April 19, 2018.

    View the Federal Register notice at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-01-19/pdf/2018-00843.pdf



  • 10 Jan 2018 10:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     The IRS announced today that it has extended the 2018 due date for certain entities to provide 2017 health coverage information forms to individuals.
     
    Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 2, 2018, to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals, which is a 30-day extension from the original due date of Jan. 31.
     
    Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers must furnish statements to employees or covered individuals regarding the health care coverage offered to them. Individuals may use this information to determine whether, for each month of the calendar year, they may claim the premium tax credit on their individual income tax returns.

    This 30-day extension is automatic. Employers and providers don’t have to request it. The due dates for filing 2017 information returns with the IRS are not extended. For 2018, the due dates to file information returns with the IRS are:

    • Feb. 28 for paper filers
    • April 2 for electronic filers

    Because of these extensions, individuals may not receive their Forms 1095-B or 1095-C by the time they are ready to file their 2017 individual income tax return. While information on these forms may assist in preparing a return, the forms are not required to file. Taxpayers can prepare and file their returns using other information about their health coverage. They do not have to wait for Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to file.

    More information is contained in Notice 2018-06. Also visit www.irs.gov/aca for more.


  • 10 Jan 2018 9:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FMCSA is proposing to revise the regulatory guidance concerning driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty, referred to as “personal conveyance.” This provision is available to all CMV drivers required to record their hours of service (HOS) who are permitted by their employer to use the vehicle for personal use. The Agency requests public comments on the guidance and its economic impact.

    Comments are due by January 18, 2018.

    Current Regulatory Guidance

    Question 26 under section 49 CFR 395.8 currently reads as follows:

    Question 26: If a driver is permitted to use a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for personal reasons, how must the driving time be recorded?

    Guidance: When a driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work, time spent traveling from a driver's home to his/her terminal (normal work reporting location), or from a driver's terminal to his/her home, may be considered off-duty time. Similarly, time spent traveling short distances from a driver's en route lodgings (such as en route terminals or motels) to restaurants in the vicinity of such lodgings may be considered off-duty time. The type of conveyance used from the terminal to the driver's home, from the driver's home to the terminal, or to restaurants in the vicinity of en route lodgings would not alter the situation unless the vehicle is laden. A driver may not operate a laden CMV as a personal conveyance. The driver who uses a motor carrier's Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for transportation home, and is subsequently called by the employing carrier and is then dispatched from home, would be on-duty from the time the driver leaves home. A driver placed out of service for exceeding the requirements of the hours of service regulations may not drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) to any location to obtain rest.

    Proposed Change

    FMCSA proposes to replace the above interpretation with the following revised Question 26 and seeks comments on this guidance. FMCSA also seeks public comments and information on other appropriate uses of a CMV while off-duty for personal conveyance, as well as the economic impacts of the proposal. FMCSA proposes to update the guidance for

    § 395.8 Driver's Record of Duty Status to read as follows:

    Question 26: Under what circumstances may a driver operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as a personal conveyance?

    Guidance: A driver may record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance (i.e., for personal use or reasons) as off-duty only when the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work.

    (a) Examples of appropriate uses of a CMV while off-duty for personal conveyance include, but are not limited to:

    1. Time spent traveling from a driver's en route lodging (such as a motel or truck stop) to restaurants and entertainment facilities and back to the lodging.

    2. Commuting from the last location where on-duty activity occurred to the driver's permanent residence and back to that last on-duty location. This would include commuting between the driver's terminal and his or her residence, between trailer-drop lots and the driver's residence, and between work sites and his or her residence.

    (b) Examples of uses of a CMV that would not qualify as personal conveyance include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1. The movement of a CMV to enhance the operational readiness of a motor carrier. For example, moving the CMV closer to its next loading or unloading point or other motor carrier-scheduled destination, regardless of other factors.

    2. After delivering a towed unit, and the towing unit no longer meets the definition of a CMV, the driver returns to the point of origin under the direction of the motor carrier in order to pick up another towed unit.

    3. Continuation of a CMV trip in interstate commerce, even after the vehicle is unloaded. In this scenario, on-duty time does not end until the driver reaches a location designated or authorized by the carrier for parking or storage of the CMV, such as a permanent residence, authorized lodging, or home terminal.

    4. Bobtailing or operating with an empty trailer to retrieve another load.

    5. Repositioning a CMV and or trailer at the direction of the motor carrier.

    The CMV may be used for personal conveyance even if it is laden, since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the carrier at that time.

    Comments

    In addition to general comments concerning the guidance, the Agency is seeking information on the following:

    1.     Which carriers or drivers would take advantage of the additional flexibilities proposed in this guidance?

    2.     Are there particular segments of the industry that would take advantage of this change more than others?

    3.     Are there some carriers or segments of the industry that would prohibit their drivers from driving laden vehicles for personal conveyance?

    4.     For what reasons would a carrier prohibit drivers from driving a laden vehicle for personal conveyance?

    5.     What benefits would the new flexibilities provide to carriers and drivers?

    Read the full Federal Register notice at 

    https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-12-19/pdf/2017-27315.pdf.  

  • 19 Dec 2017 8:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This is a reminder that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing program will soon require testing for four semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone).  The change is effective January 1, 2018

    What does this mean for the employees?

          Beginning January 1, 2018, in addition to the existing DOT drug testing panel (that includes marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and opiates), you will also be tested for four semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone).  Some common names for these semi-synthetic opioids include OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, Exalgo®.

          If you test positive for any of the semi-synthetic opioid drugs, then as with any other drug test result that is confirmed by the laboratory, the Medical Review Officer (MRO) will conduct an interview with you to determine if there is a legitimate medical explanation for the result.  If you have a valid prescription, you should provide it to the MRO, who will determine if the prescription is valid.  If a legitimate medical explanation is established, the MRO will report the result to your employer as a ‘negative’.  If not, the MRO will report the result to your employer as ‘positive’. 

          As it has been the requirement in the past, when your employer receives a ‘positive’ drug test result, your employer is to immediately remove you from performing safety-sensitive functions and provide you with a list of qualified Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP) available in your area.  In order to return to performing safety-sensitive functions for any DOT-regulated employer, you must complete the return-to-duty process that will include an evaluation by a SAP, who will require education and/or treatment.  The SAP will determine if you successfully completed the prescribed education and/or treatment.  Before an employer could return you to safety-sensitive work, the employer must get a negative result on a directly observed return-to-duty drug test.  After you return to safety-sensitive work, you must be subject to directly observed follow-up testing for 12-60 months depending on the SAP’s recommendations.

    Do I need to tell anyone about my prescribed medications?

          Your employer may have a policy that requires you to report your prescribed medications to them.  So check with your employer.  If your job function has DOT-regulated medical standards (truck/bus driver, airline pilot, mariner), the DOT agency regulation may require you to report your prescribed medications to those who approved your medical qualifications.

    What should I tell my prescribing physician?

          If you are taking any prescription medications, consider this to be a reminder to have a conversation with your prescribing physician to discuss your safety-sensitive work.  Be proactive in ensuring that your prescribing physician knows what type of transportation-related safety-sensitive work you currently perform.  For example, don’t just provide a job title but describe your exact job function(s) or ask your employer for a detailed description of your job function that you can give to your prescribing physician.  This is important information for your prescribing physician to consider when deciding whether and what medication to prescribe for you.  It is important for you to know whether your medications could impact your ability to safely perform your transportation-related work.         

    Will the MRO report my prescribed medication use/medical information to a third party?

         Historically, the DOT’s regulation required the MRO to report your medication use/medical information to a third party (e.g. your employer, health care provider responsible for your medical qualifications, etc.), if the MRO determines in his/her reasonable medical judgement that you may be medically unqualified according to DOT Agency regulations, or if your continued performance is likely to pose a significant safety risk.  The MRO may report this information even if the MRO verifies your drug test result as ‘negative’.

         As of January 1, 2018, prior to the MRO reporting your information to a third party you will have up to five days to have your prescribing physician contact the MRO.  You are responsible for facilitating the contact between the MRO and your prescribing physician.  Your prescribing physician should be willing to state to the MRO that you can safely perform your safety-sensitive functions while taking the medication(s), or consider changing your medication to one that does not make you medically unqualified or does not pose a significant safety risk.

    NOTE:   This document informally summarizes some of the effects of recent changes to the Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs that are important for transportation employees, but it should not be relied upon to determine legal compliance with those procedures.


  • 15 Dec 2017 9:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A study released recently by the Pew Charitable Trusts finds that eleven states were in deficit – overall spending exceeding overall revenues – for the fiscal years 2002 through 2016.  

    The study looked at all revenues and spending, not just that covered by a state’s regular budget, which often excludes pensions and other special funds.  

    New Jersey finds itself at the bottom of this list as well as similar rankings in this category:  the state managed to cover only a little more than 92 percent of its costs, and was in deficit in every year of the 15 in the study period.  So was Illinois, the second-worst, which covered a little over 94 percent of spending.  

    The other deficit states, in alphabetical order, were California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, and New York. 

    As a whole, the states averaged 102.2 percent, with some of the jurisdictions whose economies depend heavily on oil and gas coming out the best in those years:  Alaska, North Dakota, and Wyoming.  

    Details on the Pew study may be seen here: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/analysis/2017/10/26/revenue-trails-expenses-over-long-term-in-11-states?hd&utm_campaign=2017-11-01+PNN&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Pew.

    Source: The State Laws Newsletter

  • 13 Dec 2017 8:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Just one week before the U.S. electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is set to kick in, nearly half of trucking professionals who responded to a recent survey said they’ve yet to select an ELD.

    The survey was conducted between Nov. 30 and Dec. 5, by HELP Inc., the provider of the PrePass weight station bypass service. The survey was taken by 1,620 trucking professionals, 49% of whom said they haven’t yet selected an ELD.

    Only 33% of respondents said they have selected and installed an ELD, while 18% said they have made a selection but have yet to install them.

    More than half the respondents who identified themselves as fleet managers reported having ELD devices installed and operational, while just under 28% of drivers and owner-operators claimed to be ready.

    Of those who have not installed an ELD, 68% don’t plan to do so before the deadline, the survey found. They cited reasons including not being convinced the ELD mandate will take effect. Some 31% of drivers said they don’t plan to install an ELD at all.

    “It is surprising to see that such a large share of both owner-operators and drivers as well as fleet professionals see no need or rush to comply with the upcoming ELD mandate,” said HELP CEO Karen Rasmussen. “Whether they are in favor of ELD or not, there is every indication that the FMCSA intends to follow through with its plans to require the devices without delay.”

    The poll also found 24% of respondents said they have not selected an ELD due to the costs.

    “I believe there is a misconception among some fleets and owner-operators/drivers that ELDs are expensive and difficult to install, but that’s not the case,” said Rasmussen. “PrePass and a few other providers offer ELD solutions that literally take just a few seconds to install when paired up with a smartphone or tablet, and the apps cost no more than a dollar per day to use.”


  • 06 Dec 2017 10:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Webinar: Online Resources for the Hazardous Materials Inspector

    Description
    Learn how to access the new CVSA online learning management system and take advantage of new training opportunities. We’ll show you where to find hazardous materials regulations, special permits and interpretations on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) website, and modal hazardous materials regulations and interpretations on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website.

    Audience
    CVSA-certified roadside inspectors, Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) managers, hazardous materials program managers and motor carrier safety managers/directors

    Date and Time
    Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, from 1-2 p.m. (EST)

    Presenter
    CVSA Director of COHMED Program Bill Reese

    Registration
    Registration is required to attend this webinar. Click here to register.

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you have not previously joined a webinar with CVSA, you may be prompted to download and install a GoToWebinar program (this is required to view the webinar). Please download well in advance of the start time to ensure everything is in working order prior to the start of the webinar.

    Connecting
    A telephone number and access code will be included in your registration confirmation email. Your telephone audio pin will be shown on the webinar control panel on screen after you connect to the webinar via computer.

    Audio
    To hear the audio, you may be able to use your computer's speakers (VoIP) but a landline telephone is preferred if you want to verbally ask questions. After connecting by computer, dial the phone number sent with your registration confirmation and (important) enter the audio pin shown after you connect via computer. If you’re using a telephone, we recommend you use a landline, if possible, rather than a cell phone, and participate on the call from a noise-controlled location. We recommend using either the audio from your computer or your telephone; not both. Using both results in audio feedback.

    Webinar Archives
    If you're unable to attend the webinar or are interested in viewing the recording of this webinar at a later time, CVSA members can view webinar archives through their CVSA member portal. Once logged in, click on the "My Video & Webinar Library" tab at the top of the page to view a listing of all past webinars. This webinar will be added to the archives approximately one week after the webinar concludes.

    Contact Information
    If you have any questions, contact CVSA Director of COHMED Program Bill Reese.

    Thank you and we look forward to having you join us for this informative webinar.


  • 06 Dec 2017 9:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Driver Compensation Survey deadline has been extended to December31! But we encourage you not to wait – take 25 minutes today and complete the survey!
     

    Avoid spending a lot of money on key industry data by participating in our survey and receive this crucial report to your operations and driver recruitment and retention at up to 70% off.
     

     ATA Members participants will receive the published report for $150, 70% off the $500 price for non-participants.
     
    Non-members participants will receive the published report for $300, 67% off the $900 price for non-participants.
     

    Valid, up-to-date industry-specific compensation information provides a clear competitive advantage. Armed with current market data, you don’t pay more or less than you need to remain competitive. Take the survey now! 

    TAKE THE SURVEY

     

    We really appreciate you taking the time to help gain insights that will contribute to the industry grow.

     

    Please note that all data collected will be held in strict confidence.

     

    If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email or call Ryan Platner at rplatner@trucking.org, 703-838-1935.


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