about 19 hours ago
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has filed a request to investigate what CDL truck and bus drivers do during their home time. Specifically, the agency aims to study the effects of “excessive commuting” between a drivers home and work terminal.
If the request for the study is approved by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), then the FMCSA plans to survey up to 12,000 drivers to perform their research.
In the proposal, the FMCSA states that long commute times [between a commercial driver’s home and work terminal] “can lead to excessive fatigue while on duty, creating safety concerns for both the CMV driver and other drivers on the roads.”
Although no new rules or regulations are being proposed, the study could become the foundation for future regulations.
In order to complete the study, the FMCSA will ask 12,000 registered CDL holders to complete a 20-minute online survey. The FMCSA will pay drivers a $10 incentive to complete the survey.
The agency is currently accepting public comments on the proposed study.
As of January 6th, the proposal has received 18 public comments. A majority of the comments oppose the proposed study.
Driver Tammy Dodge wrote the following public comment:
This is not required to subject truck drivers to this. This is a violation of their privacy it seems to me. First this ELD thing which these electronic devices have been unreliable at the very least and follow no common sense approach to everyday circumstances that are dealt with daily by the drivers. These regulations seem to be unfairly aimed at the truck driver to make their jobs almost impossible to work. This is just another bad regulation aimed at the truck driver that might live a ways away from their terminal. Now the FMCSA wants to penalize them even more for having to drive to work. Will it ever stop? It just keeps going on and on with bad regulations aimed at the everyday, hard working, family supporting, tax paying truck driver. Not to mention without these hardworking individuals this country would not be able to enjoy all the essentials needed for basic daily life. The government and the FMCSA needs to stop targeting this group that keeps America running, and stop continually listening to the giant fleet owners and every group that has to blame someone for something that happens on the road. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH FMCSA!!!
Another driver, Brandon Kisamore, stated the following:
FMCSA needs to find something better to do than make our lives harder. I’ve had my fill of your nonsense and if it continues, this industry will be one more driver short.
In order to post your own public comment, click here, or search for Docket ID: FMCSA-2017-0313 on the Regulations.gov website. The public comment period will close on January 26th, 2018.
There’s nothing more embarrassing than to have your truck on the hook! Some say it’s no big deal, but for me, it’s embarrassing. I recently left home to take a load to Lynchburg, VA when my truck started making a weird knocking noise. My truck started losing power and the noise got louder. I was travelling route 360 and just entered Amelia county when I slowed to the point I had to turn my flashers on. I barely made to the burned out truck stop on the left.
I contacted my dispatch and it took him 14 hours to get someone out there! 14 hours of freezing my buds off, starvin’ like Marvin, and sleepy as a cat!! Even though the temperature outside was 48°, it felt like 30° in the truck. There was no place to go and get warm or to eat.
The next morning, my boss called to say a wrecker was coming for me. I said, ‘Yes,thank you because I am really cold.’ Well several hours later he called again to give me the name of the wrecker company ant to find out where exactly I was located. Another few hours later, the man with the wrecker called and said he will be out within the hour. He arrived 4 hours later! Ughhhh!
He arrived and told me my boss called him around 12 noon to inform him of my breakdown. 12 noon… I called him at 2 a.m.!!! Men!!! I asked the driver to drop me at home on his way to Chesapeake. He did and there I stayed for 3 weeks.
Finally, I am back at work in a different truck and dealing with the dreaded ELD’s! Crazy, huh?
I’m coming up on 23 years as a professional truck driver. 23 years!! Wow, never thought that I would be doing this for that long. My initial plans were to drive a truck for 2-3 years then open my own trucking company. Well, needless to say, that didn’t happen. I thought about it for a long time but decided that having my truck leased to a company would be better.
I spent weeks out on the road away from my kids for years. I would come home on the weekends and they would come running when I pulled into the yard with the truck. The first thing my daughter would ask me is how much is the check. I’d laugh and tell her something maybe $500 less than what it really was. My son, on the other hand, would jump into the driver seat before I could get out. He’d sit there for about an hour, pretending to be going through the gears, making engine noises with his mouth. My daughter showing the things in a magazine, hoping I would agree to purchase it for her. Of course, I have burst her bubble and tell her, “Bills first.”
During my many years of travel (work), I took a lot of pictures. At one point, I teamed up with a friend and went further than I ever would solo. Who would have thought I would be in Washington state or Oregon? I have picked up and delivered in 46 states. North Dakota and Maine are the only ones I have not traveled in.
Music has taken me across the U.S. and back. Don’t know how I could have made it without it! I have tried to take as many pictures as I can in each state. Most of the pictures were taken with a little 3 mega pixel camera, which took some amazing pictures. I have added some of my many pictures below.
I have enjoyed being out on the road. I’ve met some very interesting people. I’ve been close to a lot of vacation spots and historical monuments but did not have the chance to stop and enjoy. I had hoped that once I slowed down a bit that I would get the chance to actually travel to them. Well, I haven’t made it back yet, but its something I am looking forward to once I stop. I have always said, “You don’t have to leave the country to find a beautiful vacation spot. Just look out your back window!”
Todd Dills|February 12, 2016
Turns out the 34-hour restart-related item inthe late-2015 Congressional appropriations bill may have done a little more than was intended. The intent of the item was to reinforce the stay of enforcement of limitations on use of the 34-hour restart that were implemented in 2013 and which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrationcontinues to study as to their effectiveness, as required by law.
But read what the appropriations bill actually states relative to the restart, and it becomes clear that not only did it extend that stay and put limitations on FMCSA’s ability to reinstate the restrictions — once-per-week use of the restart and inclusion of two 1-5 a.m. periods — it essentially nullified the restart entirely.
None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act or any other Act may be used to implement, administer, or enforce sections 395.3(c) and 395.3(d) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, and such section shall have no force or effect on submission of the final report issued by the Secretary…
Required 34-hour restart study finished, advances to next step, says FMCSA boss
That’s the key part of this, and what exactly does 395.3(c) and 395.3(d) refer to? Those are, essentially, everything in the regulations pertaining to the restart. And since the appropriations bill’s language doesn’t specify an alternative to those regulations, as the Truckload Carriers Association noted this afternoon in a message to members…
…then there is no restart provision to abide by.
That’s DOT’s recent interpretation at least, according to TCA. Now, before you go back to recapping entirely, take note of the rest of that message from TCA:
As discussions around this issue remain fluid, we are instructing our carrier members to keep their fleets operating as they have always been as members of Congress seek to reach an agreement on the best way to proceed. In an email to its Executive Committee, of which TCA is part, ATA has put forth options which they can use to negotiate with lawmakers. Of those options, the parties involved, including TCA representatives, have selected what ATA perceives to be the most flexible option on the table. The selected option consists of the following:
Total weekly cap of 75 hours in any 7 calendar days Retains 60/7, 70/8 rules.Taking an off-duty period of 34 consecutive hours or more allows the driver to exceed the 60/7 & 70/8 limits, up to the 75-hour, 7-calendar-day cap.
We’ll update more when we have word of any final solution, as changes wouldn’t go into effect until certified by DOT in concert with lawmakers. As TCA noted, “as of today, we are continuing to operate as we did yesterday.”
At once, reminds me of Tom Strese‘s sage words from about a year ago as the exemptions to the milk-and-cookie break really started to pile up: If we’re not careful, Strese said, “pretty soon our HOS rules are going to look like the tax code.”
Can you live without the restart? Keep it simple, so to speak — or as simple as recapping can be? Stay tuned for more…
Rollback of 34-hour restart regs further entrenched by Congressional budget deal.
FMCSA will have to prove its 2013-implemented rules are better for driver fatigue and highway safety than previous hours rules before they can go back …
Law enforcement officers conducted 19,480 roadside inspections on commercial drivers and vehicles during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s 2015 Operation Safe Driver Week in October, CVSA announced Jan. 5.
The total number of inspections dropped from the 24,184 conducted in 2014’s Safe Driver inspection blitz. The top five warnings and citations issued to commercial truck drivers were size and weight, speeding, failure to use a seatbelt, failure to obey a traffic control device and using a handheld phone. In total, 13,807 commercial vehicles were inspected during the week.
Law enforcement officers handed out 1,243 size and weight citations and 497 warnings, 404 speeding citations and 877 warnings, and 580 seatbelt citations and 112 warnings. In all, 4,062 citations and 3,923 warnings were given to commercial vehicle drivers.
“Unsafe driving behaviors can result in lives lost. That’s what Operation Safe Driver Week aims to combat through driver enforcement and education,” said CVSA President Maj. Jay Thompson with Arkansas Highway Police. “Our mission is to make our roadways as safe as possible. We will continue to work toward that goal by ensuring drivers are operating safely in and around large trucks and buses.”
Top 10 toughest states for traffic enforcement
Indiana, Delaware, Illinois top the rankings for violations that contribute CSA’s Unsafe Driving measure. Often used by enforcement as a reason to inspect, without an …
Other statistics from Operation Safe Driver Week for commercial vehicles include:
The percentage of stopped CMVs given speeding warnings and citations increased from 5.8 percent in 2014 to 9.3 percent in 2015.
The percentage of warnings and citations for failing to obey traffic control devices increased from 2.5 percent in 2014 to 3.85 percent in 2015.
The percentage of CMVs pulled over that were given seatbelt warnings and citations increased to 5 percent in 2015 from 2.8 percent in 2014.
“Everyone traveling on our highways and roads should reach their destination safely,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “I thank CVSA and its members for their partnership and commitment to safety. By working together through efforts like Operation Safe Driver, crashes will be prevented and lives will be saved.”
James Jaillet|June 19, 2015
Major refrigerated carrier C.R. England, one of the largest fleets in the U.S., was granted last week an exemption to one portion of federal rules dictating driver training. But, says C.R. England chief counsel TJ England, the exemption was not sought as an attempt to evade driver training regulations, as perceived by some, but is instead meant to help new entrant drivers start work quicker by avoiding unnecessary red tape.
The only new entrant drivers that fall under the exemption, England says, are those who have completed all necessary skills tests and written tests and who have a commercial learner’s permit, but simply haven’t been to their home state “to stand in a line at the DMV,” England said, to receive their CDL.
“They’ve met all the same requirements” as an actual CDL holder, he said. “There are no more requirements and no more testing. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have asked for [the exemption].”
The waiver granted to C.R. England this week by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration allows new drivers, who have documentation that they’ve passed written and skills tests, to operate a commercial truck without a CDL-licensed driver-trainer in the front seat, as required by federal regulations.
The driver-trainer would still be in the vehicle, according to C.R. England’s exemption application and FMCSA’s waiver, but he or she could be in the sleeper. C.R. England said in its original application for the exemption in December, and TJ England told Overdrive this week, that the exemption will allow the fully trained, learner’s permit-holding drivers to work in a team operation until they can be routed to their home state to obtain their CDL.England said upcoming changes to CDL issuance rules, set to go into effect July 8, make it more difficult for drivers to get to their CDL-issuing state — their home state — to receive their actual CDL card. England likened the changes to a student who goes to school outside of his or her home state, but must return home to obtain a diploma before being able to work a job.
England said while FMCSA’s intentions with the rule changes are good — reducing CDL fraud — one key “unintended consequence” limits states’ ability to grant temporary CDLs, which would allow new entrant drivers to drive and carriers to route them to their home state to receive their permanent CDL before the temporary would expire.
“We didn’t like [how the new rules] unfairly impeded out of state drivers and made it more difficult for them to get a CDL and get to work,” he said. “What we wanted was to level the playing field between in state and out of state driver applicants, so when they were qualified and had met all the standards, they were then able to drive.”
Major carrier allowed to skip certain driver training regs
Under the terms of the exemption, a learner’s permit holder who has passed a CDL skills test may drive a truck and trailer for C.R. …
At least 30 hours behind the wheel: Pre-CDL driver-training rulemaking committee issues ‘consensus’ recommendation
Two dissenting votes on the committee — from NASTC and ATA — open the door for FMCSA to not pursue an training rulemaking, but signs …