FMCSA grants CRST exemption request for student drivers By Mark Schremmer, Land Line associate editor | Friday, October 19, 2018

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on Friday, Oct. 19 that it renewed an exemption for CRST Expedited that allows the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based trucking company to have student drivers run team with a commercial driver’s license holder.

Current regulations require a CDL holder with the proper class and endorsements to be seated in the front while a commercial learner’s permit holder is driving on public roads or highways. The exemption allows student drivers who passed the skills test but have not yet received the CDL document to drive a CRST commercial motor vehicle accompanied by a CDL holder “who is not necessarily in the passenger seat.”

CRST’s previous exemption from the regulation was granted for two years on Sept. 23, 2016. The new exemption is effective for five years until Sept. 24, 2023.

“FMCSA has analyzed the exemption application and the public comments and has determined that the exemption, subject to the terms and conditions imposed, will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption,” the agency wrote.

CRST says the exemption allows the company to “foster a more productive and efficient training environment by allowing commercial learner’s permit holders to hone their recently acquired driving skills through on-the-job training and to begin earning an income right away. “

Through the end of 2017, CRST reported zero crashes to FMCSA involving drivers using the exemption.

FMCSA has granted similar exemptions to such fleets as C.R. England and New Prime.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has spoken outagainst such exemptions.

During the public comment period for CRST’s request, Jarrod Hough, an OOIDA member from Indianapolis, questioned the logic.

“Why would FMCSA even consider this? The roads and traffic are bad enough already,” Hough wrote. “Permit holders don’t have the experience to operate a commercial vehicle by themselves without the trainer sitting upfront and in the passenger seat. That is what a trainer is for, to teach and give guidance to the student. Not to be in the sleeper berth while the student is left alone.”


Time to Say Goodbye

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!”

Port truckers resume strikes due to alleged wage theft

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.


July 13, 2014  

        Everyday I have the same routine, I get up at 4:45 or 5:00 in the morning, go to the bathroom and clean up before heading out at 5:30 to work. My hours are 6 to 2 p.m., but sometimes I am there until about 3. I return home after a 20 minute drive and walk into the house with little children running around and screaming.  After a hard day, that is the last thing I need to be hearing! It really sucks!!!  

        Back in December 2013, I said ‘goodbye’ to a job I really enjoyed so I could spend more time with my family, especially my granddaughters.  Now that I have been here for 6 months, I am not happy or satisfied.  Everyone is getting on my nerves and I am feeling like it is time for me to go.  Visions of the road are on my mind everyday.  I find myself in places I’ve traveled through when I was out there.  Even though, I’ve said the biggest thing about the road I didn’t like is using so many different bathrooms, I still want to go back.  I am happiest out there! I’ve been sitting around way too much! I have tried to work 2 jobs to take my mind off of being out there but I still feel like I have to go!  

I love my grandbabies more than life but Gramma gotta go! I’m sleeping too much, watching too much TV, eating way too much, and twiddling my thumbs a lot; if those are not reasons to hit the highway, nothing is!!  Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, too, but staying around here is DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!  

So needless to say, I am looking for another driving job, something that will bring me home on the weekends, maybe. Seriously though, I think I was born to ride the highways and byways, keeping the truck moving, stopping by home every couple of weeks to say ‘hi’.  I will get rid of all the things I put in storage and return to the road until I can’t do it anymore.    

As we truckers say, “Whoop whoop, trukkin up!”