Archive for November, 2013


trucking101During last week’s Hours of Service Meetings, up on Capitol Hill, FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro was grilled by members of the House of Representatives, including House Small Business Subcommittee Chairman Richard Hanna, who said,

What do you say to somebody who has spent not two days but a lifetime in a truck and says [the new hours] has upset their sleep … You’re saying the rule helps and truckers on the road don’t think it does.

According to Hanna, in his introductory comments, even though FMCSA maintains the rule costs truckers less than 1 percent of revenue per year and impacts less than 15 percent of commercial drivers, transportation industry members who should know, estimate the new Hours of Service Rules will cost $376 million annually and will “cost jobs”, as well.

Ferro tried her best to defend the controversial new rule but subcommittee members and  truckers, too, were giving her “what for”.

Like Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association member Tilden Curl of Olympia, Wash., the 28th Goodyear Highway Hero, who said,

Where before [the rules] I could rest due to shipper/receiver delays, weather or whatever, now it’s run, run, run ’til seven days have passed; then [I] get a rest or slow down ’til [my] hours catch up.

Ferro responded by relying on the FMCSA’s research and said that it

shows that 85 percent of the truck driver workforce (1.36 million drivers) has an average weekly work time of 60 hours or less and thus, does not need to use the voluntary 34-hour restart.

FMCSA’s research is definitely not in line with an American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) survey released last Wednesday, which shows that 80 percent of carriers have suffered a productivity loss since the new rules went into effect and more than 66 percent of drivers surveyed reported increased fatigue under the new rules.

Hanna went on to ask Ms. Ferro why FMCSA was “so numb” to needs of truckers and several subcommittee members said the agency showed “arrogance” in publishing the rules before its congressionally mandated study on the rules’ impact was completed.

Ferro said the agency “denies arrogance and numbness.”

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trucking16Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that the number of people killed in large truck-related crashes in 2012 rose to 3,921 from 3,781, an increase of 3.7 percent.

Additionally, NHTSA said the number of large truck occupants who died in crashes increased 8.9 percent to 697 in 2012 from 640 in 2011.

2012 marks the third consecutive year that the number of large truck fatalities has increased. The all-time low was 3,380 fatalities in 2009. Since then, there has been a 16 percent increase in large-truck related fatalities.

The best comparison for this data concerning fatalities is the number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and the VMT for 2012 for large trucks, which is a number provided by the Federal Highway Administration. Those have not been released yet.

NHTSA said the 2012 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data indicated that that total highway deaths increased to 33,561 in 2012, which is 1,082 more fatalities than in 2011.

The majority of the increase in deaths, 72 percent, happened in the first quarter of the year. Most of those involved were motorcyclists and pedestrians.

While the newly released data announced Thursday marks the first increase since 2005, highway deaths over the past five years continue to remain at historic lows.

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384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com

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

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trucking97Last Thursday, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended an audit of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s oversight processes in the aftermath of four deadly crashes that the NTSB investigated.

According to the Safety Board, the accidents might have been prevented if the FMCSA had not overlooked operational and equipment deficiencies involving the carriers during compliance reviews.

The NTSB sent a 14-page letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx detailing their findings and recommendations.

The NTSB also issued a news release which read,

The findings from these investigations raise serious questions about the oversight of motor carrier operations.

…Together, these accidents resulted in 25 deaths and 83 injuries. In each accident, investigators identified safety deficiencies and noted red flags that had been present prior to the crashes but were unnoticed or were not acted upon by FMCSA regulators until after the crashes.

According to NTSB Chairman, Deborah A.P. Hersman,

While FMCSA deserves recognition for putting bad operators out of business, they need to crack down before crashes occur, not just after high-visibility events. Our investigators found that in many cases, the poor performing company was on FMCSA’s radar for violations, but was allowed to continue operating and was not scrutinized closely until they had deadly crashes.”

The FMCSA replied to the NTSB’s recommendations:

Increasing safety to save lives and prevent bus and truck crashes is at the heart of our mission at FMCSA. In the past three years, we have more than tripled the number of unsafe companies and drivers we have taken off the road through more comprehensive investigations. We have also brought together key safety, industry and enforcement organizations to ask for their help and support our efforts. We are continuously looking for new ways to make our investigation methods even more effective so we shut down unsafe companies before a crash occurs and will thoroughly review the NTSB’s findings.”

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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.

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384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com

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

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tfl1Congressional Republicans and Democrats got together last week to introduce a bill in the U.S. House that would undo the current hours of service rule and allow truck drivers to go back to abiding by the hours rules in place prior to the July 1 changes.

“The True Understanding of the Economy and Safety Act (TRUE Safety Act)” was introduced last Thursday. This bill would delay the current hours rule until Congress’ investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office, can assess the methodology the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration used to craft the 34-hour restart provisions in the new rules.

According to the findings of a panel of fleet managers, released last week, the current Hours of Service Rule is pushing older, experienced drivers out of the industry, which will eventually take a toll on safety.

If the new bill is passed, the GAO would be required to perform the study, and FMCSA would be barred from re-implementing the July 1 restart provisions until six months after the GAO submits its report to Congress.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine).

Hanna said the bill would allow Congress and the GAO to assess the regulations…

to ensure the rule makes sense and will not actually harm the traveling public and the American economy.

It is wrongheaded for the federal government to impose an arbitrary and capricious regulation that impacts almost every sector of the American economy without first finishing a study on its effectiveness. Federal agencies should have an obligation to prove that new rules and regulations do not cause more harm than good – in terms of both safety and costs.

According to Rice, the bill will “rein in FMCSA,” which he says has “abused its authority”.

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!!!