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Covenant Transport – 25 Year Anniversary Celebration

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Covenant 25th AnniversaryOn My 17 & 18, covenant Transport gathered to celebrate its 25-yearanniversary. The company held a reception after the annual shareholders meeting to honor the 2-year employees, which include James Burklow, R.H. Lovin Jr., Mike Owens, David & Jacqueline Parker, Clay Scholl and Stan White.

The celebration continued the next day with a 1980’s celerity and each department was invited to decorate heir space in an 80’s theme. A luncheon was held for all employees and 25th anniversary t-shirts were distributed. In addition to the corporate office celebration, each terminal hosted a luncheon for the drivers.

The company gathered to not only celebrate the outstanding contributions of these individuals, but also the many milestones achieved by the company. David Parker founded Covenant Transport at age 28 with his wife, Jacqueline, and has worked to make it into a$600 million-a-year corporation.

“It’s been a long, hard, joyful, wonderful, emotional ride for the last 25 years,” David Parker said, reflecting on the milestone achieved by his company.

For more information, contact Covenant Transport: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 423-463-3847

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Annual Truck Driving Career Fair on Thursday, July 21st - Hamrick School, Ohio

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Hamrick School invites you to attend the Annual Truck Driving Career Fair on Thursday, July 21st, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm at 1156 Medina Rd., Medina, OH 44256.

This is a great chance for current students, graduates, and the public to:

  • meet with various trucking companies' representatives and learn about employment opportunities;
  • view different motor carriers' equipment;
  • learn about tax deductions, resume writing, on-line job search, credit union benefits, insurance info and more...
  • acquire information about our Truck Driver Training Programs. (CDL Class "A")

Bring your resume and be ready to talk with trucking industry employers. Registration is not required.

Please call 1-800-362-0098 or visit our website for more information: www.hamrickschool.edu.

Thank you very much.


Sincerely,

Val

Val Hamrick, M.Ed., M.A.
Vice President/Director of Education
Hamrick School
1156 Medina Road
Medina, OH  44256

Call Toll Free:  1-800-362-0098

Accredited member, ACCSC; OH Reg.# 88-02-1147T; Lic. # 155

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Carriers Alerted to Aggressive Marketing Attempts to Sell Supervisory Training for Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements

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Notice to Carriers:

In recent weeks, we have received numerous inquiries regarding companies using aggressive marketing tactics to sell supervisor training to employers who may be subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s drug and alcohol testing requirements. Please note that the FMCSA is not familiar with these companies nor the training they are offering.

49 CFR §382.603 requires supervisors of CDL drivers to take 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of alcohol abuse and another 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of controlled substances use. The purpose is to qualify supervisors for determining when reasonable suspicion testing is needed.

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FMCSA Proposal Eliminates Confusion on Schedule I Drug Use by CMV Drivers

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of July 4, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The agency also plans to eliminate incorrect use of the term “actual knowledge” and harmonize Part 382 refusal-to-test provisions with Part 40 requirements.

Today, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed changes designed to clear up “perceived” inconsistencies regarding Schedule I drug use by CMV drivers. The bottom line is that the use of Schedule I drugs by CMV drivers is never permitted.

Change 1: Schedule I Drugs
Here’s why some people are confused. Although 49 CFR Part 392.4 clearly prohibits the use of Schedule I drugs, other parts of the regulations are not so definitive. FMCSA is concerned that some may be interpreting that certain regulations (49 CFR Parts 382.213, 391.41 (b) (12), 391.43(f )) permit the use of Schedule I drugs when recommended by a medical practitioner.

While a physician’s prescription validates the use of other drugs, it does not, nor has it ever, applied to Schedule I drugs. In fact, Schedule I drugs cannot legally be prescribed in the United States. Even when a driver is taking a Schedule I drug as directed by a physician, the Medical Review Officer is not permitted to report a verified negative test result.

Under the proposed changes, the regulations will use the term “non-Schedule I drug” when making an exception for use as directed by a medical professional.

What’s a Schedule I Drug?

Schedule I Drugs are one of five classifications established by the Controlled Substances Act, which regulates the manufacture, possession, use and distribution of certain substances. Schedule I substances are those that have:

  • a high potential for abuse;
  • no accepted medical use in the U.S.; and
  • a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

At this time, Federal law only allows for the use of Schedule I substances in research, chemical analysis or the manufacture of other drugs. Examples of Schedule I drugs include marijuana, heroin, ecstasy (MDMA), mescaline and peyote.


Medical Examination Form to Be Updated
In conjunction with the regulatory change, FMCSA plans to update the Medical Examiniation Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination form. Once the changes are finalized, Foley will update DQF 2: Medical Examiniation Report and DQF 2-1: Medical Examiner’s Instructions and ensure that they are available before the effective date.

Change 2: Refusals
FMCSA is also proposing to clear up an inconsistency between the DOT’s Part 40 and FMCSA’s Part 382 drug and alcohol testing regulations. Part 40 deems refusing pre-employment and return-to-duty tests as violations that require drivers to complete the return-to-duty process. Currently, FMCSA’s 49 CFR 382.211 does not include pre-employment and return-to-duty refusals as violations. The agency is proposing to correct this inconsistency by adding pre-employment and return-to-duty refusals to the prohibitions in 382.211.

Change 3: Actual Knowledge vs. Knowledge

Finally, FMCSA is proposing to replace the term “actual knowledge” with “knowledge” in 49 CFR Parts 382.201 and 382.215 to clarify the regulations. The problem is that “actual knowledge” is defined elsewhere as the observation of alcohol or controlled substances use. Parts 382.201 and 382.215 address test results — not observed use — so the use of the term knowledge is more appropriate.

Comments Due by Sept. 6
FMCSA is accepting comments on the proposed changes through September 6, 2011. To comment, or to read what others have to say, visit www.regualtions.gov and search for Docket No. FMCSA-2011-0073. To request a PDF copy of the proposal, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Transportation Ticker

U.S., Mexico Ink Cross-Border Trucking Agreement. The United States and Mexico signed a three-year memorandum of understanding this week paving the way for the return of cross-border trucking and the suspension of retaliatory tariffs.

Safety is a major focus of the pilot program, according to the DOT. Mexico-based carriers participating in the pilot will be required to complete a three-stage evaluation process in order to receive permanent operating authority.

The program’s terms and conditions require Mexico-based carriers and drivers to comply with all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, track hours-of-service compliance with electronic monitoring systems, and submit to drug tests conducted by HHS-certified labs in the U.S. Additionally, the DOT will review complete driving records, and program participants must complete an English language assessment.
Visit www.FoleyServicesBlog.com for more information.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 694 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

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Another One Bites the Dust...

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of June 27, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration continues its highly publicized war against problematic passenger carriers; naming and shaming those shut down. Are cargo-carrying motor carriers next?

FMCSA’s aggressive pursuit of passenger carriers claimed another victim this week. The Agency issued a press release announcing that it had shut down Georgia-based H & W Tour, Inc. for gross violations of the regulations.

Serious Violations

The press release revealed that the violations H & W Tour, Inc. committed were so severe that the shut down order was issued only a few hours after the investigation began. Per FMCSA:

“Evidence obtained during a compliance review conducted today by FMCSA Safety Investigators disclosed that H & W Tour, Inc., continued transportation of passengers without federal operating authority and without the required level of insurance. The company failed to conduct pre-employment drug tests on its drivers and institute a random drug and alcohol testing program as required by federal regulations. The company failed to ensure that its drivers comply with hours-of-service requirements, records of duty requirements and driver’s qualification requirements. Buses were not properly inspected, maintained or repaired by the company as required by federal regulations.”

Why Is This Happening?

Obviously, these violations are extremely serious. So why is FMCSA taking such a hard-line? And why now?

The reason lies in the media response to the Bronx Expressway crash in March. Not only was that a particularly deadly accident — 14 killed — but the facts of the accident, especially, the fact that the bus was nearly cleaved in two were, from a media perspective, highly salacious.

It is safe to say that most bus and truck crashes don’t get the media attention that the Bronx expressway crash did and since then, there has been widespread media coverage of the safety of the motor coach industry. In the last month or two virtually every crash involving a bus has made at least the cable news channels if not the nightly network broadcasts.

This has put a lot of pressure on FMCSA. Not only is the agency being held culpable for the accidents it is also finding that the CSA system is a double-edged sword. By posting every violation, even the most minor, on the publicly accessible website, it is being forced to answer to the media — and to Congress — for every violation it allowed to pass.

Are Cargo-Carriers Next?

The key question for the summer will be ‘are cargo-carriers next?’ Unfortunately, there is a distinct possibility that they will be. Late last week, there was a tragic accident near Fallon, NV which has brought the media spotlight squarely on truck drivers.

In this accident, a truck failed to stop at a crossing-gate and plowed into the side of Amtrak’s California Zephyr. At least six people were killed with another two still left unaccounted for.
Already, there have been strong similarities to the Bronx Expressway accident in the media’s response. Within hours of the crash, the Associated Press was dissecting the trucking companies’ CSA scores and looking for previous violations. These were quickly spread around the web and cable news and even were discussed during the nightly network broadcasts.

While it is still early, it looks likely that FMCSA will be forced to respond to this accident with the same strict hand they responded to the bus companies.

What Can You Do?

It is important to understand that, for the foreseeable future, FMCSA is not going to be giving any leeway for moderate to serious violations. While Foley Carrier Services has always endorsed strict regulatory compliance, it cannot be overstated that, right now, you should be crossing every ‘t’ and dotting every ‘i’.

As we reported in Fast-Fax 690, appeals extensions are a thing of the past. If FMCSA finds a serious error with your compliance activity, it is likely you will be immediately shut down (and your company’s name publicly denounced).

We recommend, very strongly, that you perform a self-compliance review of your entire operation. If you have any area where you even think you may have an issue, please give us a call. You can call us toll free at 1-800-253-5506. We will be more than happy to go over any area of the regulations and to help you make sure that you are in compliance.

Transportation Ticker

Late Breaking News. As Fast-Fax was being put to bed this week, we received word that yet ANOTHER passenger carrier had been shut down by FMCSA.

Mr. Ho Charter Service of Bethlehem, PA, was already appealing a fine for not having a random drug testing program when one of its busses crashed, killing the co-driver and injuring 25 more.

During the appeal against the original fine, it was discovered the company had hired two new drivers (those involved in the crash) without requiring a pre-employment drug or alcohol test. It was also discovered that the two drivers had falsified their records. The details of the shut-down were published in an FMCSA press-release.

Go to www.FoleyServicesBlog.com for more information

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 693 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

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Scammer Alert! 7/1/2011

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From Gary Pressley
@ Heavy Metal Truck Training

I just received one of those ‘scam calls’ (again).  It was a guy calling himself Robert Evans with USA Trucking... telephone number 205-213-3847.  When I started asking him too many ‘insightful’ questions, he hung-up.

Thanks.

Gary Pressley
American Truck Training North, Inc
dba Heavy Metal Truck Training
11098 Clark Road
Inver Grove Heights MN 55077

Thank you Gary for sharing this with CVTA!

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Safe, Compliant Carriers Well-Positioned to Take Advantage of Current Market

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of June 20, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The freight market currently favors carriers. Will your CSA scores help or hurt you during carrier contract negotiations?

A quick glance at freight indices, such as the Market Demand Index (MDI) and the Shippers’ Condition Index (SCI), shows that motor carriers continue to have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating with shippers. That’s good news for safe, reliable carriers, who are well-positioned to take advantage of the favorable market conditions. For the most part, carriers with high scores in one of more of CSA’s BASICs will be out of luck.

The MDI Advantage

For most of 2011, the Market Demand Index (MDI) has strongly favored carriers over shippers. In recent weeks, MDI has climbed back up to 14.56. Earlier this year — at the height of produce season — MDI peaked at 15.62, and then fell to below 12 before beginning a second upward climb in late May.

To understand the leverage an MDI of over 14 provides trucking companies, consider that the market equilibrium resides at an MDI of 7.0. Shippers take control when MDI dips below 7.0, and carriers have the upper hand when MDI is above 7.0. All in all, 2011 has been a good year for reliable carriers with solid CSA scores.

SCI Shows Temporary Improvement for Shippers

The Shippers’ Condition Index (SCI), another indicator of the freight market, shows short-term improvements for shippers. According to report publisher FTR Associates, the June SCI was -5.4, up from -11.4 in May. With SCI, any reading above zero suggests a favorable shipping environment. The improved SCI is being tied to a general slowdown in freight demand growth as well as delays in new Federal regulations for carriers.

The break for shippers won’t last, according to FTR. An improving economy combined with a tighter regulatory environment will push the index further down the SCI’s negative scale. Shipping costs are expected to increase through the balance of the year and into 2012. Carriers who are able to withstand the current regulatory and economic challenges should be able to capitalize on the shippers’ challenges.

Position Your Company for Success

Unfortunately, not all carriers are in a position to benefit from shippers’ woes. In fact, the high MDI can be traced to a few factors that many trucking companies are struggling to overcome — rising diesel prices and FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability Measurement System. In particular, many carriers who had no problem landing jobs during the SafeStat era, have found themselves ineligible for work because one or more of their CSA rankings are above cut-off levels established by shippers and brokers.

Carriers should be aware that CSA cut-off levels established by shippers are often well below FMCSA’s published intervention thresholds (see below). To be eligible for work and the most competitive contracts, carriers should maintain CSA scores well below the following levels: 65% in the Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service) and Crash Indicator categories, and 80% in the Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Vehicle Maintenance, Cargo-Related categories.

Know Where Your Company Stands

So, how does your company rate in this carrier market? Will you be able to take advantage of the favorable MDI? To find out, start by reviewing your CSA rankings. You can access your current report by logging into the CSA Safety Measurement System at csa.fmcsa.dot.gov. You’ll need your DOT number and current P.I.N. to access your full report. Check your scores in each BASIC to ensure that they are well below the thresholds established by your customers, and identify any areas needing improvement. Then take the necessary steps to better your poor scores and maintain and improve upon your good ones.

Improving Your CSA Scores

The Fast-Fax team has devoted quite a bit of ink and paper to helping carriers understand and improve their CSA scores. One of the most practically helpful issues was Fast-Fax #673, which discusses five FMCSA tips for improving CSA scores. Topics covered include:

  1. Understand Your Requirements
  2. Evaluate Your Safety Management
  3. Check and Update Your MCS-150
  4. Review Data, Request Corrections
  5. Educate At All Levels of Your Company

To request a copy of Fast-Fax #673, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . For additional help improving your CSA scores, call a Foley Compliance Specialist at 1-800-253-5506, ext. 0869 for a free CSA consultation. More information about CSA is available at www.FoleyServices.com.


Transportation Ticker

FMCSA Seeks Congressional Help. Last week FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro reached out to Congress for help in her agency’s ongoing battle against unsafe motor coach operators. During a June 13th House hearing on Improving Bus Safety on our Nation’s Highways, Ferro requested enhancements to her agency’s authority that would allow it to:

  • Conduct enroute bus inspections; not just at points of origin and destination;
  • Establish a “successor liability” standard to charge a new company when it reincarnates from an unsafe carrier;
  • Require full safety audits before a company can receive passenger carrier authority;
  • Raise the penalty to $25,000 per violation for bus companies that attempt to operate illegally; and
  • Regulate passenger ticket sellers, known as brokers, just like it does brokers of freight and household goods.


Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 692 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

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Scammer Alert! 6/23/2011

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From Karen Crabb
@ Schneider National

I just was alerted by one of our field recruiters that there is a scam artist in the NE states right now representing himself as a Schneider associate. He is going to the Trucking Academies & asking for the director, introducing himself as “Greg” or “Gary Graham” from Schneider National. He is asking for a list of the students names & phone numbers, and saying we are offering a straight into orientation opportunity from truck training school for a fee of $500! Frank said that even after one school contacted him on “Greg” approaching the school; he received a call from another school saying that “Gary Graham“ was offering this school the same thing. He even left a contact phone of 205-381-3382. If you hear of anything from any of your applicants, please take seriously and get as much information as you can and let your leader know include Frank also

CVTA strongly suggest you to call Karen Crabb at 920-592-6009, if you've been contacted by this scammer.

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FMCSA Punts on Medical Certificate Filing Rule

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of June 13, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a proposed rule effectively delaying an overhaul to the medical certificate filing regulations that has been on the books since 2008. Drivers and motor carriers will be required to keep paper copies of the medical certificate until at least 2014

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed delaying an important overhaul to the Medical Certificate system. The agnecy wants to continue to require that drivers and motor carriers keep a paper copy of the medical examiner’s certificate.

Before this ruling, FMCSA had been initiating a new system with each State Driver’s Licenseing Agency (SDLA) whereby the CDL and Medical Certificate are effectively merged into a single electronic document. The delay is being proposed as a way to give the SDLAs more time to implement the new system.

The requirement will be in effect until January 30, 2014.

The New Rule

We first wrote about this rule in Fast-Fax 565, back in December of 2008. Below is a reminder of the new rule:

The new rule will require your state’s licensing agencies to modify their CDL procedures to:

  • Require submission of the medical examiner’s certificates (or a copy) from those drivers operating in non-excepted, interstate commence who are required by part 391 to be medically certified;
  • Record a CDL driver’s self-certification regarding type of driving (e.g., interstate (non-excepted or excepted) and intrastate (non-excepted or excepted) on the CDLIS driver record);
  • Date stamp the medical examiner’s certificate (or a copy);
  • Provide the stamped medical examiner’s certificate or a copy as a receipt to the driver;
  • Retain the certificate or a copy for three years from the date of issuance;
  • Post the required information from the certificate or a copy onto the CDLIS driver record within 10 days; and
  • Update the medical certification status of the CDLIS driver record to show the driver as ``not-certified’’ if the certification expires; and then downgrade the CDL within 60 days of the expiration of the driver certification.

When Will This Go Into Effect?

As the new rule affects the SDLA in every state, FMCSA has given plenty of time for the rules to go into effect:

All CDL holders must comply with the requirement to submit to their SDLA their self-certification as to whether they are subject to the physical qualification rules by January 30, 2014.
As the implementation dates will vary from state to state, it is our understanding you will be notified of when you need to submit your information.

Who Will Be Required To Submit A Medical Certificate?

  • All drivers who have a CDL will be required to submit a medical examiner’s certificate providing they meet the provisions of 49 CFR 383.5. The four categories of CMVs for which an operator is required to have a CDL, as defined in 49 U.S.C. 31301(4) and specified in 49 CFR 383.5, are the following:
  • Those with a Gross Vehicular Weight Rating (GVWR) or Gross Combination Weight (GCW), of at least 26,001 pounds, including towed units with GVWR or GCW of more than 10,000 pounds;
  • Those with a GVWR or GCW of at least 26,001 pounds;
  • Those designed to transport at least 16 passengers, including the driver; or
  • Those of any size used to transport either hazardous materials that require a placard on the vehicle under 49 CFR part 172, subpart F, or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin under 42 CFR part 73.

Any Questions?

iIf you have any questions about this new rule email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Transportation Ticker

Two More Carriers Removed from the Road. Over the weekend, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) removed two more carriers from the road. North Carolina-based United Tours, Inc. and Michigan-based Haines Tours were declared “imminent hazard(s)” to public safety and ordered to cease operations immediately.

Haines Tours was shuttered for its practice of transporting passengers in the luggage compartment. During a May 27 inspection in Lake Township, Ohio, an officer discovered six passengers riding in the luggage compartment with unsecured luggage. According to FMCSA, United Tours was using drivers who did not have a proper CDL and/or who were not medically examined and qualified. Go to www.FoleyServicesBlog.com for more information.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 691 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

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Scammer Alert! 6/14/2011

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From Chuck Wirth, American Institute of Technology

An employee from AIT had a message from a Chris Johnson claiming to work for TransAm and needing drivers.  He was very rude on the phone. the employee googled his phone number and discovered that he was a scammer. The number he left was 205-381-3382. Please see the link below of others reporting this caller using a different name and carrier, but the same phone number.

http://blog.bumper2bumpertruckbook.com/?p=521

From Dean Cochran
Director of Driver Recruiting
TransAm Trucking, Inc.

A school in TN just received a phone call claiming to be a TransAm Recruiter in need of students, he needed them to apply blind by calling him direct. He left a phone number of
205-381-3382 claims his name is Chris Johnson. Sounds like the scammers are at it again.  Please don't have your students call him and don't give his name and number to your students, I'm sure he will want them to wire money to him.

Beware the scammers are out there!!!!!

Thanks for the heads up!