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Exciting New Tool for Recruiting Drivers and Students

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CVTA is pleased to be able to announce that the "Rookie of the Year" Contest created by Randall Reilly Publishing is up and running. The first "Rookie of the Year" will be recognized at the Great American Truck Show in Dallas, TX in August. CVTA helped Randall-Reilly in the development of this contest because the Association believes that the contest is a great way to not only recognize new drivers and attract attention to the truck driving occupation and build excitement about it.

The grand prize will include $10,000 cash as well as merchandise provided by sponsors. Semi finalists will also be recognized. Nominations may be submitted by schools, employers, trainers and individuals.

As its contribution, the Truckload Carriers' Association has agreed to host the application website. The website is: www.TruckLoad.org. When you land on the website, scroll to "Contests and Awards." The Rookie of the Year contest is the second one listed.

We encourage all members to nominate individuals that have been outstanding students or employees. 


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Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) and Drivers - Separating Fact from Fiction

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With the launch of the CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) in December 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) continues to receive questions from drivers. Below is a slightly updated reprint of an earlier What’s New entry separating fact from fiction regarding CSA and drivers.

FMCSA is committed to providing all stakeholders with factual and timely information on CSA. As part of this commitment, it is important that commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are aware of how CSA affects them.

Drivers, we have heard and appreciate your questions on issues ranging from the Driver Safety Measurement System (DSMS) to the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP). Here are the FACTS:

What is the DSMS?

The SMS assesses a carrier’s safety performance based on its roadside violations and crashes. The DSMS is a tool within the SMS used by enforcement staff only. Its primary purpose is to help enforcement staff assess driver safety as part of motor carrier investigations. The DSMS does this by identifying which of a motor carrier’s drivers to examine during that carrier’s compliance review.  This enforcement tool uses a subset of violations to evaluate an individual driver’s safety performance across employers. Appendix A in the SMS Methodology Report shows the violations used in the DSMS.

Who can see the DSMS?

Only enforcement staff have access to the DSMS for use during motor carrier safety investigations. Neither drivers nor employing motor carriers have access to the DSMS. While some third party vendors are developing and marketing CSA driver scorecards, these companies do not have access to full driver violation histories in FMCSA databases. FMCSA has not and will not validate any vendors’ scorecards or data.

What is the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) and how does it impact CSA?

PSP is a new, voluntary FMCSA program mandated by Congress that is designed to assist the motor carrier industry in assessing individual drivers’ safety performance as part of the hiring process. PSP is a completely separate program from CSA. Additionally, PSP contains 3 years of inspection reports and 5 years of crash reports; however,  it does not provide a rating, score, or formal assessment of any kind. Drivers are encouraged to obtain and review their PSP report before applying for new jobs and request a review of any potentially inaccurate data through FMCSA’s DataQs program. While the PSP is not part of CSA, the safety data accessible through PSP is the same data that the DSMS and enforcement staff use during motor carrier investigations. For more information about PSP, visit FMCSA’s PSP Website at psp.fmcsa.dot.gov. For more information about DataQs, visit dataqs.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Will FMCSA use CSA to remove CMV drivers from their jobs?

NO CSA does not give FMCSA new authority to remove drivers from their jobs and DSMS information is not publicly shared in the way that motor carrier safety data is today. Other important facts related to driver employment are outlined below.

  • Carriers will not inherit any of a newly hired driver’s past violations. Only those inspections and crashes that a driver is involved in while operating under a carrier’s authority can be applied to a carrier’s SMS data.
  • Similar to the previous system, SafeStat, tickets or warnings that drivers receive while operating their personal vehicles do not count in the new SMS.
  • Neither FMCSA nor CSA restricts drivers based on BMI, weight, or neck size.
  • Drivers should review current and potential motor carrier employers’ SMS data which is located at http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms. Drivers and carriers with strong safety histories stand to benefit from the new compliance and enforcement program.

Can FMCSA use CSA to revoke a driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL)?

NOCSA does not give FMCSA the authority to revoke a CDL. Only state agencies responsible for issuing CDLs have the authority to suspend or revoke them.

The CDL Program is completely separate from CSA. FMCSA has developed and issued standards for the testing and licensing of CDL holders. These standards require states to issue CDLs only after the driver has passed knowledge and skills tests related to the type of vehicle the driver expects to operate.

The data kept by a state (i.e. tickets, citations, written warnings, convictions) and the data that are kept by the Federal government and used in the DSMS (i.e. violations from roadside inspections and crash reports) are separate.  Drivers can review their state data by requesting their Motor Vehicle Record (MVR). Drivers may review the data kept by the Federal government through the PSP program referenced above and may request a review of the Federal data through FMCSA’s DataQs system (dataqs.fmcsa.dot.gov/login.asp).

How does CSA affect a motor carriers’ employment of CMV drivers?

Under CSA, FMCSA continues to hold motor carriers responsible for the safety performance of the drivers they employ. This is a longstanding FMCSA position and is not unique to CSA. All inspections and crashes that a driver receives while under the authority of a carrier will remain part of the carrier’s SMS data for two years unless overturned through the DataQs system, even if the carrier terminates the driver.

FMCSA’s CSA website is the official resource for information about this new safety program. We encourage drivers and all stakeholders to visit the CSA Website http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov and sign up to receive regular updates by email at csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/stay_connected.aspx.
Know the facts, be prepared.

Thank You,
CSA Web Team
USDOT/Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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Scammer Alert! 5/20/2011

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Good afternoon everyone!

I just wanted to take a moment and remind all of you that this is the time of year for the scam artists to come slithering out of the woodwork! 

I got a call today from a man named David Greene.  He claims to be the Director Of Driver Operations with Con-Way Transportation.  He gave the phone number 702-542-3175. (My first tip-off.  All the scam numbers I seem to get have the 702 prefix).  He claimed that they were looking for 6 drivers from our area immediately, and 14 more very soon.  Four weeks of training pay at $450, .32 per mile, out 14 days and home 4, and very interested in women drivers.  I have contacted Amanda Dunkle at Con-Way (she's included in the thread) and confirmed that there is no one working at Con-Way by that name. 

I am almost POSITIVE that this is the same man that contacted me last spring, and claimed to be Joseph Greene, with US Express.  He tried unsuccessfully to get one of our students to Western Union him $450, and claimed a local trainer would pick him up once money was received.  (Police were trying to track him but were unable to do so). 

Please forward this warning to all public and private schools that you associate with.

Sincerely,

Rebekah Casner
Coordinator-Truck Driver Training
Kishwaukee College
Thanks for the heads up!
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News and Alerts: Hot News! - Bumper to Bumper

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New! Easy CDL Hazardous Materials Endorsement Review

If you've got an iPhone, iTouch or iPad, check out our latest app:  BUMPER TO BUMPER ® Easy CDL Hazardous Materials Endorsement Review. Our first app was so well received (it got four and five stars from users), we decided to do another. We heard that applicants for the Haz Mat Endorsement are especially nervous about that written test.  The Easy CDL Haz Mat app is a great test prep aid. Nine "lectures" cover the information that endorsement applicants must know and the audio feature makes reading more enjoyable. Over 200 multiple-choice test questions give the student lots of practice. There's even a bonus Glossary of haz mat terms.

Look for the Easy CDL Haz Mat app and our first app, BUMPERTOBUMPER® Easy CDL, in the iTunes store or go to Study By App on the Internet. We'd love to hear your reactions (one reviewer called our first app "awesome"). You can also leave your comments right on the iTunes Easy CDL pages. And yes, we plan to do a third app before the year is out.

Final Rule on the Commercial Driver Learner's Permit

A final rule has been issued on the Commercial Drivers Learner's Permit. It will have impacts on schools, third-party and bilingual testing as well as license applicants. John attended a Webinar with AAMVA's Kevin Lewis and wrote up a great summary. See it on our blog.

Like Us on Facebook

Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc. now has its own Facebook page. We invite you to Like us on Facebook.

Check out the Latest "How to..."

We've been writing short "how to" pieces for publication on various Web sites. They're falling into two categories, Driving Skills and How to Get a CDL. Our latest "How to Get a CDL" story is "Tips for Passing Your CDL." Other CDL-related stories are "How to Get a Commercial Driver's License in Mississippi" and "How to Get a CDL in Nebraska."

Our "skill" how-tos are "How to Back Up a Trailer Safely," "How to Hook Up Tractor-Trailer Doubles," "How to Climb into a Truck Cab," .. . "How to Test Trailer Air Brakes for Leaks," "How to Adjust Fifth Wheel Trailer Height" and "How to Hook Up a Tractor Protection Valve."

Check 'em out. Just click on the links to view the stories. You can easily email them, share them and even print them out using the buttons at the top right of the Web pages.

If you have any questions or would like more information about any of the above, don't hesitate to call us at 361-749-4007 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Check our Web site www.bumper2bumpertruckbook.com, or our blog at www.cdlbookblog.com. Just go to the Free Stuff page on our blog and click on the orange-and-white RSS Feed logo to subscribe. You can leave comments or suggestions there, too. And, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/redwritertx for updates.

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Easy CDL Hazardous Materials Endorsement Review Debuts

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PRESS RELEASE
For more information contact:  Devorah Fox
ph: 361-749-4007, fax 361-749-4009
e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“EASY CDL HAZARDOUS MATERIALS ENDORSEMENT REVIEW” APP DEBUTS

Easy CDLPORT ARANSAS, Texas – Easy CDL Hazardous Materials Endorsement Review, an app for the iPhone, has just debuted in the Apple iTunes App Store. The Hazardous Materials Endorsement Review follows on the heels of BUMPER TO BUMPER© Easy CDL, the first iPhone app developed by Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc., publishers of BUMPER TO BUMPER®, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations and other commercial motor vehicle driver training materials, and produced by StudyByApp, LLC, an educational software development company that develops apps for the iPhone, iTouch and iPad. Easy CDL Hazardous Materials Endorsement Review sells for $2.99 and can be obtained via the Study By App Web site at www.studybyapp.com or from the iTunes store at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/easy-cdl-hazardous-materials/id436098704?mt=8.

Easy CDL Hazardous Materials Review’s nine units recap all the topics that applicants must study to get a Hazardous Materials Endorsement on their Commercial Driver's License Test. It offers over 200 practice multiple-choice test questions and includes a bonus Glossary. The answers to the test questions are included in the app as are explanations as to why those answers are correct. According to the reviewers who gave BUMPER TO BUMPER© Easy CDL four and five stars, the audio "lecture" that accompanies each of the units makes prepping for the CDL tests more enjoyable.