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Motor Carriers Asked to Weigh in on 34-Hour Restart Changes

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Rebecca Brewster
(770) 432-0628
October 31, 2012

Arlington, VA - The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released a survey on the potential impacts of changes to the 34-hour restart rule. Under the new Hours-of-Service rules that are scheduled to take effect next year, changes to the 34-hour restart will include 1) a requirement that a restart include two periods between 1 a.m. – 5 a.m., and 2) a limitation of one restart per 7-day time period. This survey is part of a larger ATRI study quantifying real-world operational impacts on the trucking industry that may result from these revisions.   

Motor carriers are encouraged to provide confidential input on the HOS changes through ATRI’s survey, available online at www.atri-online.org or by clicking here. The aggregated and anonymized results of the survey will be available later this year and ATRI’s full HOS study will be released in early 2013.

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TransCore’s Canadian Freight Index Slows in September

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Consistent with North American Data

TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- TransCore’s Canadian Freight Index saw a drop in month-over-month spot market freight volumes in September, decreasing by 15 percent from August. Year-over-year load volumes were down 24 percent from September 2011. Quarterly figures were down 14 percent year-over-year while truck capacity was up 13 percent. The softening of the Canadian spot market freight is similar to figures reported for the North American Freight Index. While a decrease was detected in both equipment and load postings, the equipment to loads ratio for September widened to level s previously seen more than two years ago. The var iance however is reflective of previous third quarter results leading into fourth quarter. Available capacity is comparable to April 2012, which is typical for the month of September.

The top states of origin for loads destined to Canada in order of most loads were Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois and Indiana. California moved from fourth highest in August to third this month.

The top destinations for freight originating in Canada were New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and California, with New Jersey bumping Florida from spot number five. Cross-border postings still accounted for 70 percent of all load postings. Intra-Canada postings made up 26 percent of the total load volumes.

Regional Breakdowns:

Top destinations for loads imported into Canada were:
• Ontario 54 percent
• Western 22 percent
• Quebec 21 percent
• Atlantic 3 percent

Top regions for import equipment into Canada were:
• Ontario 52 percent
• Western 24 percent
• Quebec 21 percent
• Atlantic 3 percent

Regions of origins of loads within Canada were:
• Western 43 percent
• Ontario 27 percent
• Quebec 22 percent
• Atlantic 8 percent

About Canada’s Largest Freight Matching System
TransCore’s Loadlink freight matching database constitutes the largest Canadian network of carriers, owner operators, freight brokers and intermediaries and has been available to Canadian subscribers since its inception in 1990. Over 13 million full loads, LTL (less than truck load) shipments and trucks are posted to the Loadlink network annually. As a result of this high volume, TransCore’s Canadian Freight Index is representative of the ups and downs in spot market freight movement and provides a historical account of the domestic and cross border spot market freight movement. The Loadlink network provides Canadian based companies with:

• The largest online database of available loads and trucks
• Unlimited access to the network and integrated services
• Guaranteed payment

About TransCore’s Link Logistics Freight Solutions
TransCore’s Freight Solutions serves brokers, carriers, owner-operators and shippers in the United States and Canada with best-in-class products. Load boards or freight matching include Loadlink in Canada and TransCore 3sixty powered by the DAT Network in the United States. Loadlink has the largest Canadian freight matching database of loads and trucks and offers access to other services such as Quickpay, credit reports, insurance and operating authorities, dispatch software, mileage software and more. TransCore’s trailer tracking and in-cab communications solutions feature the industry’s fastest response times and state-of-the-art satellite networking.

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DOT Emergency Relief Funds for Hurricane Damage in NY and RI

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U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $13 million in Quick Release Emergency Relief Funds for Hurricane Sandy Damage in New York and Rhode Island

Additional Funding Expected as States Continue Damage Assessments

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced he is making $13 million in quick release emergency relief funds immediately available to New York and Rhode Island to help begin repairing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, while assessments continue throughout the Northeast to determine the full extent of the damage. Today's announcement follows President Obama’s call for federal agencies to act quickly and bring all available resources to bear as quickly as possible.  It also builds on the disaster assistance for these states approved by President Obama in the last several days, including the major disaster declaration approved for New York early today, which make federal assistance - like these emergency relief funds - available to supplement state and local response and recovery efforts.

The $13 million represents 100 percent of the state-requested funds - $10 million from New York and $3 million from Rhode Island. These two requests are just the first to arrive at the Department of Transportation and represent the first installment of federal-aid highway funds to help repair roads, bridges and tunnels in these two states. DOT is expecting other states impacted by Hurricane Sandy to apply for additional emergency relief funding in the coming days.

“President Obama has directed us to immediately help restore vital transportation infrastructure following this unprecedented and devastating storm – and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” said Secretary LaHood. "These emergency relief funds are just a down payment on our commitment to all of the states impacted by Hurricane Sandy.”

Quick release emergency funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will be used to pay for a variety of repairs to roads and bridges that are immediately necessary. Rhode Island will use the funding to repair damaged sea walls supporting roadways; New York will use it for general emergency repairs to federal aid highways.

“This funding is only the first step in the difficult process of helping the region recover,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "The federal government stands ready to assist in helping affected states repair roads and bridges so that residents can begin to resume daily activities.”

To further speed access to critical repair funds, Secretary LaHood held a conference call Tuesday afternoon with officials from 14 impacted states to outline how they can apply for quick release emergency relief funding. Secretary LaHood also described other steps the Department of Transportation has taken to assist states, including an Eastern Regional Emergency Declaration from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to temporarily lift hours-of-service requirements and other regulations to assist interstate motor carrier drivers and operators providing direct emergency relief.

FHWA's emergency relief program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. Restoring critical infrastructure is essential to enabling first responders and relief workers to access impacted communities and to quickly restoring services to impacted residents.

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Drivers and Carriers Asked to Weigh in on Navigation Systems

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Arlington, VA – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has launched a new survey today that explores the use of navigation systems by commercial drivers. This brief online survey, which seeks both commercial driver and motor carrier input, will capture information on the attitudes of both groups toward navigation systems including perceived benefits and risks.

While navigation systems are becoming increasingly commonplace in the nation’s commercial vehicles, the impact that these devices have on driver behavior, decision making and safety is not fully understood. There is mounting anecdotal evidence that GPS navigation units are being blamed for large truck crashes where “bridge strikes” and other crashes in which the truck driver was using a navigation system designed for passenger vehicles have been high profile events.

The results of this survey will provide further insight on the use of these systems and their impact in commercial trucking operations, as well as the impacts that other methods for providing directions to drivers might have on fleet safety and operations. The research results will also provide an opportunity for the public sector to improve transportation operations and minimize infrastructure damage. Drivers and carriers are encouraged to complete the confidential survey, available on ATRI’s website at www.atri-online.org.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

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Low Participation by Mexican Truckers Threatens Cross-Border Program

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Source: ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=29403

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Low participation by Mexican carriers in the cross-border trucking program could lead to the resumption of Mexican tariffs on U.S. goods, an official with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said.

Without more carriers participating, FMCSA cannot collect the safety data it needs to judge Mexican carriers’ safety, said Bill Quade, the agency’s associate administrator.

 

Continue reading at: ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=29403

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Marvin Garvey wasn’t about to ignore a distraught woman - Highway Angel

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Source: truckload.org/index.asp?bid=232&nid=326&archiveyear=2012

Marvin Garvey wasn’t about to ignore a distraught woman who looked like she could use a Highway Angel

Alexandria, Virginia:

When no one else will stop, it is often a professional truck driver who saves the day. The Truckload Carriers Association honors these individuals as Highway Angels, and the latest one is Marvin Garvey of Hampstead, North Carolina. Garvey, who drives for Epes Transport System, Inc., of Greensboro, North Carolina, is being recognized for the compassion he showed to a stranded motorist.

On August 19, 2012, in the late morning, Garvey was driving along I-85/I-40 near Greensboro, North Carolina, on his way to make a delivery. Traffic was very heavy, and up ahead, he heard horns honking and saw vehicles maneuvering around something. It turned out to be a woman whose car engine had stalled and would not turn back on. The woman was quite upset – in tears because she was stuck in the middle of heavy traffic with horns blaring at her. No one was stopping to help.

After passing her, Garvey pulled over, walked back to the scene, and pushed the woman’s vehicle onto the shoulder. He then calmed her down, telling her which way she was headed, where the closest exit was, and other pertinent information. At one point, he even walked back to his truck to check the GPS, wanting to be certain he had provided the correct details. He stayed with the woman until she managed to reach her brother on a cell phone.

The next day, the woman wrote a letter to Epes Transport praising Garvey for his assistance during her stressful ordeal. “He was really like an angel,” she said. “He could have possibly saved my life. Who knows how long it would have taken for someone to run right into me? I offered to pay him for his trouble, but he politely refused. He was a gentleman who went out of his way to help me. It is a rare thing in this day and time for someone to get involved.”

Garvey, who retired from the U.S. Army two years ago after a 20-year career, says that helping people is the “military thing to do.”

“I can’t believe how cold-hearted some people are,” he said, referring to the many motorists who saw what happened but kept on driving. “She was clearly frustrated. I just couldn’t leave her stranded in that danger zone.”

For his efforts to help the woman, Garvey has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch. Epes Transport System also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.

The Highway Angel program is sponsored for TCA by Internet Truckstop. Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.

Source: truckload.org/index.asp?bid=232&nid=326&archiveyear=2012

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More Information in Regards to Sending Convictions on MX Drivers

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This announcement from FMCSA is to provide additional information and an update to the previous guidance and information provided regarding the Gateway Portal shut down on midnight Tuesday, Oct. 9th.
 
For your awareness: A State's ability to access CDLIS information on US and Canadian drivers continue without any interruption. The shutdown of the Gateway has no effect on State CDLIS transactions involving US and Canadian drivers.
 
A. For States that are sending convictions via CDLIS on MX drivers the CDL Division provides the following guidance:
 
Please re-send your convictions when the MX node is back up again. FMCSA will notify you when the MX node is back up. For more information about how to use UNI to re-drive your convictions automatically, please see the CDLIS System Specifications 5.2 document, page 10, Section 3.6 Message Retry.
 
B. For states that are sending convictions via paper on MX drivers:
 
Please send the paper convictions to the following new mailing address that has been provided by the new service provider:
 
OBXtek - FCWD
8300 Boone Blvd, Ste 550
Vienna, VA 22182-2681
 
You may also contact the following phone number and email address for any questions about paper convictions on MX drivers:
 
Helpdesk email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Helpdesk Telephone: 1(855) 537-7517

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DOT Inspector General Agrees to Audit CSA After Request From Congress

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By Eric Miller, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the Oct. 22 print edition of Transport Topics.

The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General has agreed to conduct an in-depth audit of the government’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program and to include a look at the relationship between carrier safety scores and crash risks.

The Oct. 12 audit request was made by Rep. John Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.), chairman of the House Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, and the ranking Democratic member, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)... Continue reading. (Log in to TTNEWS is Required.)

 

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CVTA Attended Veterans Transportation Career Opportunities Forum

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Recently Mike O’Connell received an invitation to the Veterans Transportation Career Opportunities Forum. Mike and Cheryl Hanley asked John Diab and Cindy Atwood to attend in his place.

/CVTA_JohnDiab_VAT_ForumThe forum focused on careers in the trucking, transit, and motor coach sectors. Participants discussed the importance of working with truck and bus companies to recruit qualified and safety-conscious Veterans for the critical jobs that need to be filled. The DOT is striving to remove barriers that stand in the way of our veterans’ success and connecting them with job opportunities that they deserve. This meeting gave motor carriers and other stakeholders a chance to tell DOT and DOL how they can assist in making the transition for veterans easier.

Together, DOT and Veterans Affairs have launched the Veterans Transportation Career Center, a web site to help veterans find jobs in the private sector. On this site, veterans can learn what training and certification are needed for civilian jobs, determine what career fits best with their background, and search for available jobs in their field. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is doing what it can to make obtaining a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) easier for veterans with military driving experience.

In May, FMCSA proposed a rule allowing states to waive the CDL skills test for military drivers with two years of safe driving experience. Today, 39 states are offering or preparing to offer this option, and DOT is encouraging the other states to do the same.

The latest transportation bill, MAP-21, requires DOT and FMCSA to examine the gaps between military training and the requirements for a CDL. This study will provide us with the information needed need to work with the military and the states to fill those gaps.
 
There are significant grants available from DOL and DOT that CVTA members are not currently able to access. There was an indication that privately owned schools were not held in the same esteem as Community Colleges. CVTA is striving to change the perception with the Departments of Labor and Transportation.
 
Our friends from ATA specifically Boyd Stephenson did a wonderful job of supporting CVTA and its members schools. His comments were very favorable and we believe had an impact on the group. We thank Boyd and ATA for their continued support.

The session ended with a commitment to work together. We all realize that providing opportunities to talented and skilled veterans is essential to strengthening America’s transportation system. The DOT promised will continue to work with an ever increasing wide range of partners to help veterans find success in transportation fields.

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ODAPC Confirms Heroin Testing Change

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of October 8, 2012
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The Department of Transportation’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance confirmed changes to the process by which heroin is identified in a urine sample. Under the new rules, testing for and identifying heroin use should be more streamlined.

Under the new rules, Laboratories and MROs will no longer be required to consult with one another about testing for morphine usage when the laboratory finds 6-AM in a urine sample. In a Final Rule issued on Wednesday, October 3, the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance chose to enact the rules unchanged from the Interim Final Rule issued on May 3 (see Fast-Fax 736).

6-AM and Morphine

Opiates, one of the ‘drugs’ tested for under the DOT 5-Panel are in fact not a unified, single substance, but instead a broad family that includes legitimate medications and illegal substances. Morphine, an opiate, is a legitimate pain management medication. Heroin, also an opiate, does not have any legitimate usage.

Heroin differs from Morphine in a variety of ways. Most importantly, in terms of drug testing, it is marked by a unique metabolite — 6-AM. When laboratories test your urine sample, they look for these metabolites as a sign of drug use. While heroin use may produce Morphine metabolites, it will also always produce 6-AM. However, Morphine (or any other drug) will never produce 6-AM: only Heroin will.

By this process, the MRO can tell if the positive test can be explained by the use of legitimate medication or not. Heroin has no legitimate use, so the MRO will know the positive cannot be explained away.

So What Has Changed?

During the last revision of the drug testing regulations, the DOT was confronted by industry figures who claimed that a provision of the rules was unnecessary. Under the current rules, if a laboratory finds 6-AM, the must consult with the laboratory about whether traces of morphine were also found in the sample. These traces would be lower than the normal cut-off level but higher than the laboratories’ minimum level of detection.

That was quite complicated, and, according to many of the experts that contacted the DOT, not necessary. DOT has agreed, and, in the Interim Final Rule, has removed the complicated relationship entirely.

The new regulations were scheduled to go into effect on July 3 of this year. ODAPC did not explain why they were delayed.

How Does This Affect You?

This is one of those ‘behind-the-scenes’ regulations that won’t affect you very much at all (unless you get a heroin positive). In reality, you probably won’t notice any changes.

The change does, however, streamline the process of identifying a heroin user; hopefully speeding up the time it takes to get the individual off the road.

Avoiding Trouble With Opiates

It is safe to claim that opiates are the cause of more unintentional violations of the regulations than any of the other controlled substances that the DOT tests for. Safety-Sensitive personnel need to be very careful when they are being prescribed a painkiller, as failure to follow the rules can lead to very serious consequences. Most importantly, they need to ensure that the doctor prescribing the drug knows that the patient drives a truck for a living.

In fact, this is good advice for any time a safety-sensitive individual is given a new prescription. If the individual is sent for a test, and has been taking a prescription opiate, the initial test will come back positive. The MRO will investigate, including contacting the prescribing doctor. One of the questions asked will be ‘were you aware of the patient’s job and would you still have prescribed this medication if you were?’ If the Doctor assures the MRO that they knew and that the medication will not affect the patient’s job-skills, the MRO will declare the test negative. If, however, the patient had not told the MRO that he or she was a truck driver the likely result is a confirmed positive test.

Ensure that all safety-sensitive personnel know to talk to their doctors BEFORE they start a new medication.

 

 

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 112, No. 758 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2012