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trucking125Last Saturday, at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY, Tom Kelly, a field officer for the FMCSA, gave an update on some changes in the works for agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program

According to Kelly, a study that evaluates both the impact of implementing crash fault weighting into CSA scores and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s ability to implement such a system is still being reviewed by the agency and peers, prior to its release.

Even though he didn’t say when the crash weighting report would be released, Kelly did say the agency will announce its next potential steps regarding crash accountability when the report is released.

Per Kelly, the report is looking to answer the following questions:

•Do police accident reports provide consistent, efficient and reliable information to support crash weighting determinations?

•Will the process make CSA a stronger predictor of future crash risk, and how might it be weighted in CSA’s Safety Measurement System?

•How would FMCSA manage the process for making crash weighting determinations and how would the agency implement public input?

Kelly did not elaborate on any specifics as to what the agency has found in their research in writing the report.

Kelly also spoke on the progress of two rulemakings underway regarding CSA, saying for both CSA’s new Safety Measurement System website proposal and its proposed changes to the DataQs system, the agency is reviewing and considering public comment before creating the final rules for both.

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384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com.

Visit our website at http://transportfirm.com!

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trucking123It was announced last Thursday on Facebook, that an electronic-logging-device-mandate petition was launched on the White House’s “We the People” website, a website which was created to serve as a place for U.S. citizens to lobby the executive branch directly through petitions.

It is believed that the petition was created March 19th, by a resident of Lima, Ohio, with the initials D.N. The petitions.whitehouse.gov website’s privacy policy requires the withholding of full names.

The goal of the petition is to have 100,000 signatures collected by April 18. Its language reflects the viewpoint of a great number of those in the transportation industry. Even though it uses the term EOBR rather than the ELD terminology of the original mandate, the petition is clearly targeted toward the recently-released proposal from the FMCSA.

According to the petition:

These devices do not make American highways or trucks any safer. Safety is achieved with proper training and education. These devices will only serve to force small trucking companies and independent truck drivers to close because they simply cannot afford the potential required equipment and subscription costs.

More than 50% percent of those who responded to a poll released earlier this month, which anticipated the ELD mandate, indicated that they preferred retirement or another line of work over trucking with an electronic log. However, in responding to that same poll, 1 in 4 indicated they would find a way to make it work or were running e-logs already.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to hire the best, to make sure that your business gets to market.

The Transportation Firm, LLC knows that your supply needs are unique.

And that’s exactly why we’ve pooled together the best minds in the industry to create specific solutions customized to suit your ever-changing operating environment.

From precise design to seamless execution, our dedicated transportation professionals are involved every step of the way to provide you with the most accurate and economical transportation the industry has to offer.

The Transportation Firm, LLC

384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com.

Visit our website at http://transportfirm.com!

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trucking120Last Friday, March 14th, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro told Congress that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wasn’t established to protect the trucking industry, as she appeared before them to defend the agency’s public display of trucking company safety scores and new hours-of-service rules.

Ms. Ferro was appearing at an oversight hearing on the implementation of various MAP-21 mandates. While she was there, several members of the House Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit questioned Ferro about some “unintended consequences” of HOS changes and about the recent Government Accountability Office study that was critical of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

Rep. Richard Hanna commented that FMCSA is “hurting the people that you are paid to help.”

He brought up inaccurate and unreliable carrier data leading to “erroneous” safety scores under CSA, and in turn to higher insurance costs, expensive litigation, and loss of business. Hanna also lambasted FMCSA’s field study regarding the changes to HOS.

These are real-world, tortuous problems that you’re putting these truckers through, and frankly the organization acts like they’ve got all the time in the world to correct these problems. I think you need to back up, ma’am, and take a look at some of this stuff. Are we so thick we can’t hear the very people whose lives we’re impacting? Is there nobody you believe except some academic who does a study?

Ferro shot back,

I’m not hired to help the industry. I’m hired to ensure the safety of the traveling public and improve the safety of the operations of trucks and buses. That’s what the agency was created to do, and as its lead I’m very proud to be a part of that.

Ferro went on to explain that the hours-of-service rule was designed to reduce the cumulative fatigue experienced by truck drivers, and that while the agency recognizes the financial impact on trucking companies, there is a “much larger safety and health benefit.”

Other members of the committee cited instances of a driver stuck in traffic, or of a female driver being forced to stop at an unsafe location when the available duty hours run out.

According to Rep. Markwayne Mullen the new hours-of-service rules are “hypocritical,”. He also challenged Ferro to do her job based on the driver HOS limits.

Drivers know when they’re tired and when they’re not…they’re professionals. Ma’am, no one regulates how many hours you can work. This is a one-size-fits all approach, and you don’t want to hear about it.

Ferro then responded that there are “significant operating opportunities” within the new rule, and that Mullen’s call to focus on lawbreakers was “the heart of CSA.”

In a similar vein, Rep. Lou Barletta asked why, given the GAO’s report of the program’s shortcomings, FMCSA isn’t “doing the right thing” by removing carrier scores from the website “until CSA is fixed.”

Ferro responded by emphasizing that the agency is committed to improving the program, but she disagreed with GAO recommendation that CSA should focus more on larger trucking companies. Additionally, she emphasized that CSA is designed to “anticipate” safety problems, and not to wait until after crashes have occurred to measure carriers, as the GOA study suggested.

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Now, more than ever, it’s important to hire the best, to make sure that your business gets to market.

The Transportation Firm, LLC knows that your supply needs are unique.

And that’s exactly why we’ve pooled together the best minds in the industry to create specific solutions customized to suit your ever-changing operating environment.

From precise design to seamless execution, our dedicated transportation professionals are involved every step of the way to provide you with the most accurate and economical transportation the industry has to offer.

The Transportation Firm, LLC

384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com.

Visit our website at http://transportfirm.com!

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tfl1According to data recently released by the load board, Internet Truckstop, per-mile rates on the spot market saw healthy increases in all three segments in February: flatbed, reefer and dry van. These increases sent rates to big year over year gains and set a record for dry van loads.

The rates follow small month-to-month drops in January, which could be blamed on the bad weather.

Internet Truckstop reports that dry van, which just topped the $2 mark for the first time in the middle of 2012, has now been above $2 for three months in a row and hit a record mark in February with a per-mile rate of $2.08. This was second all-time with only to July 2013′s $2.09 coming in higher.

Van rates only rose above $2 twice in 2013, and February’s number was 42 cents higher than the same month in 2013. The segment had an 8-cent increase from January’s $2.

The Reefer segment posted its highest rate since July in a 5-cent month-to-month increase, increasing the rate to $2.29 a mile. Reefer rates in February came in 41 cents higher than February 2013.

Flatbed, the steadiest of the three rates, had its highest month-to-month gain since May to June last year, climbing 4 cents to $2.011. Rates in that segment were 16 cents higher than the same month last year, which was a surprisingly large gap, considering its non-volatile nature.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to hire the best, to make sure that your business gets to market.

The Transportation Firm, LLC knows that your supply needs are unique.

And that’s exactly why we’ve pooled together the best minds in the industry to create specific solutions customized to suit your ever-changing operating environment.

From precise design to seamless execution, our dedicated transportation professionals are involved every step of the way to provide you with the most accurate and economical transportation the industry has to offer.

The Transportation Firm, LLC

384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com.

Visit our website at http://transportfirm.com!

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trucking49The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) has again extended emergency declarations. This means that they have waived certain federal regulations for those involved in the interstate hauling of emergency relief supplies as cold weather continues in the Midwest and Northeast.

The FMCSA based these declarations are based on input they received from governors or their designated representatives as to the need for propane and other home heating fuel, along with road salt and similar supplies.

All of the new extensions are set to expire on March 15 or when the emergency ends, whichever is sooner.

The states where the emergency declarations are being extended for deliveries of propane and other home heating fuels, along with salt or other anti-icing supplies to maintain safe roads include Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont, which are served by one FMCSA regional office, along with Ohio, which is served by a separate one.

Regulations are being waived for propane and other home heating fuel deliveries in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, while regulations are being waived for propane and diesel fuel shipments in South Dakota.

There are no new declarations for the Southern region, as the governors from the area did not indicate a need for them, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to hire the best, to make sure that your business gets to market.

The Transportation Firm, LLC knows that your supply needs are unique.

And that’s exactly why we’ve pooled together the best minds in the industry to create specific solutions customized to suit your ever-changing operating environment.

From precise design to seamless execution, our dedicated transportation professionals are involved every step of the way to provide you with the most accurate and economical transportation the industry has to offer.

The Transportation Firm, LLC

384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com.

Visit our website at http://transportfirm.com!

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trucking16Last Tuesday, President Obama issued an Executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to begin work on a new round of fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

The administration timeline calls for draft regulatory language to be ready by March 2015, with another year for review and implementation.

The trucking industry, which worked with the Obama administration on the original truck fuel efficiency standards that took effect Jan. 1, is both generally supportive and cautiously optimistic about the latest proposal.

According to ATA President and CEO Bill Graves.

We stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the president and his administration in 2011 when the historic first fuel efficiency standards were set for heavy-duty vehicles. As we begin this new round of standards, ATA hopes the administration will set forth a path that is both based on the best science and research available and economically achievable.

ATA has drafted a set of guiding principles for evaluating future emissions standards. Those principles include harmonization with existing California Air Resources Board rules, economic and scientific feasibility and a recognition of trucking’s diversity in the use of equipment.

ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, Charleston, S.C., who was on hand to greet the president as he stepped off the platform, adds that

Trucking is a very diverse industry. As such, whatever standards the administration sets should reflect that diversity and whatever tests are devised should accurately reflect what drivers face on the roads every day.

The ATA notes that it has also pushed for sustainability alternatives, including a national speed limit of 65 miles per hour, increased participation in SmartWay for fuel efficiency, improving truck productivity and reductions in idling.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to hire the best, to make sure that your business gets to market.

The Transportation Firm, LLC knows that your supply needs are unique.

And that’s exactly why we’ve pooled together the best minds in the industry to create specific solutions customized to suit your ever-changing operating environment.

From precise design to seamless execution, our dedicated transportation professionals are involved every step of the way to provide you with the most accurate and economical transportation the industry has to offer.

The Transportation Firm, LLC

384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com.

Visit our website at http://transportfirm.com!

“Integrity, Commitment, Results”

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trucking93On February 12th, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced a proposed rule establishing a Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

This rule will lead to the creation of a database of CDL holders that have failed or refused a drug test. It will also require carriers to upload such information and consult the database when hiring drivers.

The agency was set to publish the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register last Friday,  Feb. 14, according to a DOT report from Feb. 10. However, the Publication Date is still listed as “to Be Determined” (TBD) on their website.

The establishment of the Drug Clearinghouse is required by the MAP-21 highway funding act. The rule cleared the White House’s Office of Management and Budget Jan. 28.

According to FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro.,

We are leveraging technology to create a one-stop verification point to help companies hire drug and alcohol-free drivers. This proposal moves us further down the road toward improving safety for truck and bus companies, commercial drivers and the motoring public everywhere.

The American Trucking Associations voiced their strong support for the rule, calling it “long overdue.”

Now, more than ever, it’s important to hire the best, to make sure that your business gets to market.

The Transportation Firm, LLC knows that your supply needs are unique.

And that’s exactly why we’ve pooled together the best minds in the industry to create specific solutions customized to suit your ever-changing operating environment.

From precise design to seamless execution, our dedicated transportation professionals are involved every step of the way to provide you with the most accurate and economical transportation the industry has to offer.

The Transportation Firm, LLC

384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com.

Visit our website at http://transportfirm.com!

“Integrity, Commitment, Results”

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trucking117According to the American Trucking Association’s State Laws Newsletter, a break which the IRS gave to carriers, regarding the filing of the heavy vehicle use tax more than two years ago, is coming back to haunt some people.

Back during the fall of 2011, the filing season for the federal heavy vehicle use tax was extended several months, from the usual due date of the tax, August 31, until the end of November. That move was in response to Congress being late that year in extending the tax itself. Plus, because carriers must show proof of payment of the HVUT before renewing the registration of vehicles subject to the tax, IRS waived this requirement for renewals from July through November 2011. This move allowed carriers to renew by showing their 2010 filing instead.

Even though some carriers got their registrations renewed in this fashion, they neglected to pay the HVUT.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, it is now contacting such taxpayers to collect the delinquent amounts.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to hire the best, to make sure that your business gets to market.

The Transportation Firm, LLC knows that your supply needs are unique.

And that’s exactly why we’ve pooled together the best minds in the industry to create specific solutions customized to suit your ever-changing operating environment.

From precise design to seamless execution, our dedicated transportation professionals are involved every step of the way to provide you with the most accurate and economical transportation the industry has to offer.

The Transportation Firm, LLC

384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com

Visit our new website at http://transportfirm.com

“Integrity, Commitment, Results”

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS BLOG!!!

trucking114Last Friday, while delivering the Keynote Speech at the Mid-West Truck & Trailer Show in Peoria, Ill.,   FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro refused to budge when it comes to the new Hours of Service Rule, during the Q & A portion of her address.

We are not changing the rule. This is the first time in a decade that we’ve got a rule that passed legal challenge. There are today no changes afoot.

…There continues, though, to be commitment on my part to one, take what we are hearing to improve how we are explaining the rules so that everybody has examples you can use while training your drivers, dispatchers and safety directors,” Ferro said. “And that we understand what the impact is on your operation and how many different ways that’s being interpreted. And two, continue to research to see, down the road, you know … to see what is the best approach. But again, this rule is in place.

That statement followed her speech, which touched on several topics, including electronic logging devices, Compliance, Safety, Accountability Scores, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s overall safety mission.

The current HOS rule, which began being enforced July 1, 2013, states that the 34-hour restart provision can only be used once every 168 hours and must include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods. Drivers are also required to take a 30-minute break after working eight consecutive hours.

During her address, Ferro once again brought up her two-day ride-along from Maryland to Missouri with owner-operator Leo Wilkins in November, where she slept in the truck’s sleeper berth,

What an eye-opener for me, what I knew in theory, of the operations and regulations already put in place.

According to Ferro, the new rule has decreased the number of HOS violations. She claimed that, initially, there were about 500 to 600 violations of the 30-minute break provision, but that has now slowed down to about 400 a month in the last two months.

Concerning the rule about drivers not driving after 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days, Ferro said that there were about 900 violations prior to the rule being enforced in July. In the first two months after the ruling, there were about 1,200 violations.

According to the FMCSA Administrator, violations have now dropped down to the 800-range in a month, because,

It comes down to ensuring your drivers and you are rested behind the wheel.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to hire the best, to make sure that your business gets to market.

The Transportation Firm, LLC knows that your supply needs are unique.

And that’s exactly why we’ve pooled together the best minds in the industry to create specific solutions customized to suit your ever-changing operating environment.

From precise design to seamless execution, our dedicated transportation professionals are involved every step of the way to provide you with the most accurate and economical transportation the industry has to offer.

The Transportation Firm, LLC

384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com

Visit our new website at http://transportfirm.com

“Integrity, Commitment, Results”

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS BLOG!!!

ATA to Reorganize

trucking113Last Friday, January 24th, the American Trucking Associations, announced it was reorganizing and streamlining a number of the association’s core functions.

In making the announcement, ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said,

We have a long history of successes on behalf of our members, from legislation requiring electronic logging devices and the creation of a clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results, to beating back toll initiatives at the state level and getting one of the very few laws passed through Congress last year to require regulators use the appropriate process, not ‘guidance’ to address the important issue of sleep apnea. “But we know our members expect and demand even more success in the future, and that’s why after examining our organization from top to bottom, we have chosen to consolidate a number of our divisions to meet those expectations.

As our members are acutely aware, these challenging economic times require organizations to be more agile and responsive to changes – whether they are changes to the business environment or changes on Capitol Hill, and by streamlining our organization, we can be more nimble in responding to the challenges facing our industry.

All of  ATA’s functions will now fall into one of three areas: National Advocacy, Communications and Public Affairs and Finance and Operations, each area reporting to an executive vice president.

Graves also announced that Dave Osiecki, formerly senior vice president of advocacy and regulatory affairs, will be ATA’s new executive vice president and chief of national advocacy; Jeff Mason, formerly senior vice president of image and communications, will be the group’s executive vice president of communications and public affairs; and Karla Hulett, formerly CFO and senior vice president of finance and administration, will be ATA’s COO and executive vice president of finance and operations.

Graves explained that,

ATA will continue to be the most powerful voice on behalf of the trucking industry on Capitol Hill, in the media and in the public. These changes will allow us, however, to more effectively serve our members and respond to our rapidly changing world.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to hire the best, to make sure that your business gets to market.

The Transportation Firm, LLC knows that your supply needs are unique.

And that’s exactly why we’ve pooled together the best minds in the industry to create specific solutions customized to suit your ever-changing operating environment.

From precise design to seamless execution, our dedicated transportation professionals are involved every step of the way to provide you with the most accurate and economical transportation the industry has to offer.

The Transportation Firm, LLC

384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com

Visit our new website at http://transportfirm.com

“Integrity, Commitment, Results”

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS BLOG!!!

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