Archive for August, 2013


trucking66Drew Preston, manager of congressional and public affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with moderator Tom Lehner, vice president of public policy, the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, presented a rather bleak future. concerning infrastructure funding, during “The Future of Our Nation’s Infrastructure and What it Means for Trucking and the Economy,” discussion at the fourth annual Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference, held in Dallas, TX, last Thursday.

The main focus of the Conference was the harsh reality that there are major infrastructure problems and funding, somehow, is needed to fix it. The Highway Trust Fund, Which has historically financed the country’s interstate system and other transportation infrastructure investments, has always been funded through taxes on gas and diesel fuel. However, with the Obama Administration’s tough stance on environmental protection and society’s desire for more fuel-efficient vehicles, available funding has been evaporating. The Fund currently spends $15 billion more than its revenue.

According to Preston,

It’s only really the tip of the budgetary iceberg awaiting us this fall … it’s going to take compromise which is sadly in short supply these days.

Even though Preston supports the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) legislation, which was signed in July 2012, it only lasts two years and is not a viable long-term solution, according to him.

Preston using gas and diesel fuel to help sustain it, as the first option.

Politically however … no one, Republicans, Democrats, House, Senate, the White House are ready to step up and lead.

He added, however, that trucking companies showing support for at least this type of legislation will help for longer-lasting legislation in the future.

Prestion summariezed his opinion in one frank statement:

 I’m sorry I don’t have a magic wand to help.

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, Committment, Results”

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS BLOG!!!

Advertisements

trucking71The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has added two violations to the Safety Measurement System (SMS), which are included in the SMS snapshot update now posted.

Carriers can check their safety assessment at http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms.

One of the violations is based on the new Hours of Service regulations and the other is based on a more detailed description of existing controlled substances and alcohol regulations.

Both were implemented in the SMS as of July 1, 2013.

In the HOS Compliance BASIC, driving beyond the eight-hour limit since the last off-duty or sleeper period of at least 30 minutes carries a severity weight of seven and is driving related.

In the Controlled Substance/Alcohol BASIC, driver in possession of intoxicating beverage while on duty or driving carriers a severity weight of three and is driver related.

If motor carriers have one or both of these violations, they will see them in the July snapshot of their SMS data which was just released.

The FMCSA’s new HOS regulation (395.3(a)(3)(ii)) requires drivers to take a 30-minute rest break during the first eight hours of a shift.

Based on a court decision, effective Aug. 2, 2013, FMCSA will no longer enforce the 30-minute break provision for drivers that qualify for either of the short haul operations exceptions.

The violation related to the Controlled/Substances Alcohol BASIC was addedbecause of industry and law enforcement feedback. It enables roadside inspectors to distinguish between alcohol possession and alcohol use. SMS assigns a lower severity weight to alcohol possession.

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, Committment, Results”

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS BLOG!!!

trucking64According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), fraudulent letters, claiming to be sent by a Department of Transportation Executive, are being sent to Carriers.

The letters are dated July 10 and are being mostly sent via fax. They appear to be from the DOT’s Transportation Procurement Office and are signed by a fictitious name: Julie Weynel, Senior Procurement Officer.

These fraudulent letters request that current or potential contractors register by submitting their company’s financial information on a release form entitled, “Authorization to release financial information”.

In reality, the DOT does not require any financial information to be submitted in order to be eligible for procurement.

This is the 12th fraudulent letter sent out by “Julie Weynel” since September 24, 2013.

If you receive one of these letters, the Department of Transportation advises that you…

DO NOT complete the release form which is attached to the letter and DO NOT release any information to the facsimile number cited in the letter. If you suspect you have received one of these letters, immediately contact Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General Hotline at 1-800-424-9071.

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, Committment, Results”

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS BLOG!!!

trucking59The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Friday brought an end to much of what the court called “the permanent warfare surrounding the Hours of Service rule” by upholding the new HOS regulations with one minor exception. The court declared in their statement on the ruling that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration “won the day not on the strengths of its rulemaking prowess, but through an artless war of attrition,”

This brings to an end a 10-year fight among the trucking industry, safety advocates and the FMCSA that resulted in all or portions of two Hours of Service “final rules” being overturned by the appeals court and a third being essentially withdrawn by the agency with the promise to write a completely new rule, which it issued in December 2010 as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and in December 2011 as a final rule.

This time, as opposed to the previous three lawsuits that were brought by safety advocates,  the trucking industry, led by the American Trucking Associations, took up the fight, only to have the court side with the FMCSA.

The only exception was a decision by the court not to apply the new 30-minute break rule to short-haul drivers, or those whose routes take them 150 air miles or less from their home terminal.

Trucking interests will, more than likely, remain unhappy with the 2011 rule’s 34-hour restart provision that limits the use of restart to once a week (rather than unlimited use during a one-week period) and the requirement that all restarts include two consecutive 1 a.m.-to-5 a.m. time periods.

And, they will not like the 30-minute break requirement that says a driver must take a 30-minute break no more than eight hours after going on duty, either. The driver must go off-duty during the break, although he or she can stay in the truck so long as they do no work.

Safety advocates were strongly opposed to the 11-hour driving limit, preferring the 10-hour limit that was in place prior to 2004, and were hoping to see the 34-hour restart eliminated entirely; however, the court found that the safety advocates were without standing to challenge the restart provision.

The FMCSA is as pleased as punch with the decision:

We are pleased with the court’s decision to uphold the department’s Hours of Service requirements for truck drivers. The ruling recognizes the sensible data-driven approach that was taken in crafting this important regulation to increase safety and reduce driver fatigue – a leading factor in truck crashes. The ruling also provides added certainty for all affected, moving forward. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is reviewing the court’s opinion and will soon take additional action, as needed, for its full implementation.

The ATA, not so much:

While we are disappointed the court chose to give unlimited deference to the FMCSA’s agenda-driving rulemaking, the striking down of the short-haul break provision is an important victory,” said Dave Osiecki, ATA senior vice president of policy and regulatory affairs.

The court recognized on numerous occasions the shortcomings of the agency’s deliberations, so despite upholding most of the rule, we hope this opinion will serve as a warning to FMCSA not to rely on similarly unsubstantiated rulemakings in the future. One thing this rulemaking makes clear is that fatigue is a small problem when viewed through a crash-causation lens. ATA hopes FMCSA will work with the trucking industry to address more pressing safety and driver behavior issues, including those than can be directly affected through proven traffic enforcement activities aimed at unsafe operating behaviors.

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, Committment, Results”

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS BLOG!!!