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.
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 …
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 …
James Jaillet|March 19, 2015
Following the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s release this week of its CSA-based QCMobile app, a representative from the Government Accountability Office reiterated her agency’s stance that carrier rankings in CSA are unreliable and should not be publicly displayed.
FMCSA’s app release is the agency’s latest push to invite third-party use of rankings in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, coming despite concerns by carriers, brokers, inspectors and the GAO about the scores’ ability to accurately depict carrier safety or future crash risk.
Susan Fleming, director of the GAO’s physical infrastructure department, was interviewed about the matter briefly Wednesday by Mark Willis on his SiriusXM Road Dog Trucking News program.The GAO, she said, favors removal of the scores from public view, citing its own study on the program in which it concluded the rankings are flawed due to inconsistent and variable data from states, lack of data on smaller carriers and lack of correlation between several CSA BASICs and crash occurrence.
Overdrive’s Todd Dills in recent years also reported in-depth on these issues, finding the program discriminates against smaller carriers and CSA ratings often times do not have a positive relationship to accident rates.Fleming told Willis in the March 18 interview that FMCSA’s continued push of CSA scores is giving her agency “a little bit of heartburn.”
The app “is another way of publicly displaying information we don’t consider to be reliable,” Fleming told Willis.
Furthermore, the app’s stripped down view of CSA’s Safety Measurement System BASIC rankings could create even more confusion for third parties such as brokers, insurers or shippers looking to use CSA scores to make determinations about carriers.
“Taking a look at what the app doesn’t provide — It doesn’t provide frequency of violation and doesn’t even really explain what the scores mean,” she says. “[FMCSA doesn’t] plan to implement our recommendation, but we’re not wavering from our work,” she said.
Here’s a 4-minute clip of Fleming’s talk with Mark Willis, recorded and uploaded by ATA:
Jill Dunn | November 14, 2014
Drivers picketing at a similar strike held this year at Southern California ports.
Some port truckers serving the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach began another work strike Thursday, protesting what they’ve said are retaliatory actions by their carriers and theft of wages.
Drivers for three companies, Green Fleet Systems, Total Transportation Services and Pacific 9 Transportation began the strike Nov. 13, but by the afternoon, drivers for two of the companies had agree to a cooling off period.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says he is working with the drivers and the carriers to negotiate a return to work.
The strike — the fourth this year — was again organized by the Teamsters’ Justice for Port Drivers.
Work slowed at the ports when trucks representing one of the three fleets approached, but no terminals were closed.
The two ports in Southern California serve about 15,000 trucks a day and several thousand carriers.
California Trucking Association CEO Shawn Yadon noted the strike is the second work stoppage since the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s West Coast contract expired July 1.
Last June, a study commissioned by the National Retail Federation and National Association of Manufacturers indicated a five-day port shutdown would cost the national economy $9.4 billion and would disrupt 73,000 jobs.
The companies and the Harbor Trucking Association, a coalition of Los Angeles and Long Beach intermodal carriers, did not have immediate comment.
The American Trucking Associations is seeking hours of service waivers for port truckers at the two ports, which ATA says could help with labor negotiations.
ATA to petition FMCSA for hours flexibility for port truckers
Truckers serving certain ports may soon have some flexibility in compliance with federal hours-of-service rules, if a push by the American Trucking Associations and some …
Trucking labor disputes: Teamsters win another FedEx victory, court orders benefits payback in misclass case
The Teamsters have scored another victory at FedEx — the labor union’s second overall win at the parcel giant and second within the last month. …
Overdrive Staff|November 12, 2014
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking approval for an information collection request in which it plans to question states on their progress of complying with Congressionally required upkeep of CDL-issuing agencies.
The 2012 highway funding act MAP-21 requires states to submit to the Department of Transportation actions they plan to take to “address any deficiencies in [their] commercial driver’s license program, as identified by [the DOT] in the most recent audit of the program,” according to a Federal Register entry scheduled for Nov. 13 publication.The MAP-21 stipulations are aimed at state agencies’ notifications and record-keeping of testing, licensing, violations, convictions and disqualifications, FMCSA says.
States must submit their plans by Sept. 30, 2015.
The agency is accepting public comment on the request before sending it to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for approval.The agency will start collecting public comments Nov. 13 on regulations.gov. Use the Docket Number FMCSA-2014-0133 to find the docket and to comment. Comments will be accepted for 60 days.
For the information request its seeking approval for, FMCSA says it will send each state a spreadsheet or PDF that state licensing agencies must complete and return.
States must note deficiencies discovered in the most recent DOT audit of their agency and give a detailed plan on how they can come into compliance, FMCSA’s notice says.