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FMCSA To Force 500,000 Carriers To Use EOBRs

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of January 31, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

FMCSA publishes a NPRM mandating that interstate long-distance carriers use electronic logbooks.

Earlier this week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would require interstate commercial truck and bus companies to install electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) to monitor their drivers’ hours-of-service (HOS) compliance.

This wide-sweeping proposal is expected to impact approximately 500,000 carriers, according to DOT estimates.

Who Does the Rule Cover?

In the NPRM, FMCSA is proposing that all interstate carriers who currently use Records of Duty (RODS) logbooks to document drivers’ HOS be required to use EOBRs. Those carriers who do not meet these criteria currently would not be required to implement an EOBR. This includes those who are covered by the 100- and 150-airmile exemptions. Intrastate motor carriers would also not be covered by the new regulations.

Proposed Punishments

Carriers found to be in violation of the EOBR requirement would face civil penalties of up to $11,000 for each offense. Non-compliance would also negatively impact a carrier’s safety fitness rating and could put their DOT operating authority at risk.

In addition to punishment for not having an EOBR, motor carriers could also be punished for tampering with or modifying an EOBR. A part of this anti-tampering effort would include a ban on electronic-jamming devices.

In a nod towards practicality, FMCSA will give carriers three years after the Final Rule is published before they begin enforcing the new rule.

What is an EOBR?

An EOBR is quite simply, a digital log book. It is an electronic device that records a driver’s duty time and location. These devices must meet stringent specifications. As FMCSA did not include a new definition of an EOBR nor new specification requirements, it is safe to assume that the EOBRs that they will be requiring to be installed will meet the specifications currently detailed in 49 CFR Part 395.16.

Hours-of-Service NPRM

This is the second NPRM concerning an aspect of the hours-of-service regulations to be released in the last six weeks. In late December, FMCSA released the latest proposal for ammending the always controversial regulations.

Under the proposal — still open for comments — the following would replace the current rules:

  • The proposal retains the 34-hour restart provision that allows drivers to restart the clock on their weekly 60 or 70 hours by taking at least 34 hours off-duty.
  • The restart period must include two consecutive off-duty periods from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. Also, drivers would be allowed only one restart per seven-day period.
  • The proposal calls for a 14-hour workday that includes at least a one-hour break. As a result, drivers will have a maximum of 13 hours to complete all on-duty work-related activities.
  • The agency is leaning towards adopting a 10-hour limit on daily driving time, but is soliciting comments on whether drivers should be limited to 10 or 11 hours.
  • The proposal also includes the option of extending a driver’s daily shift to 16 hours twice a week to accommodate loading and unloading issues.

Listening Session

With these two issues — forcing carriers to buy expensive EOBRs and the always unpopular hours-of-service regulations — the special listening session Fast Fax first reported in last week’s issue should be especially interesting (if not a little volatile).

The listening session will be held on February 17 in Arlington VA. Attendees can also listen in online. Details on how to attend can be found in the Transportation Ticker sidebar.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 672 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

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J. J. Keller Introduces New Training Center - Combines online courses, recordkeeping and resources for safety training

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News Release
February 4, 2011

J. J. Keller Introduces New Training Center
Combines online courses, recordkeeping and resources for safety training

Neenah, WI – To help safety trainers reach all their employees with consistent, effective training, J. J. Keller has launched a dedicated Training Center at jjkellertraining.com

The Training Center features online courses that address safety topics in Construction, General Workplace Safety, Hazardous Materials, Hazwoper, Human Resources, Laboratory Safety, Right-to-Know and Transportation. More than 150 course titles are available to help fulfill initial, remedial and refresher training needs.

To view entire release, click on the following link: New Training Center

For more information, contact:
J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. 
Marketing Communications
Mary Borsecnik
1-800-843-3174, ext. 2508
E-mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To visit J. J. Keller's Press Room, click here

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Spotlight Shines On 25th Anniversary Celebration - U.S. Xpress

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Spotlight Shines On 25th Anniversary Celebration

January 31, 2011

Pat QuinnThe transportation industry media spotlight has been shining brightly upon U.S. Xpress and the January 21st event commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Company's first load. Six of the leading transportation media outlets are publishing stories highlighting the Company's history and our growth from a small fleet to one of one the leading transportation providers in North America. Some of those stories have already made it to the Internet and the links are listed below.

proclamationThe celebration of this milestone for the Company also earned the attention from a number of local and state leaders. Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield issued a special proclamation in honor of Company Co-Chairmen and Co-Founders Max Fuller and Pat Quinn.  Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Edd Wilson also spoke to those in attendance about the important contributions that U.S. Xpress has made toward providing jobs and helping to enhance the quality of life in our community.

The 25th anniversary event offered one of the first opportunities for new Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann to address a group in Chattanooga. Both Mayor Coppinger and Congressman Fleischmann had great praise for U.S. Xpress. Congressman Fleischmann also spent a moment talking about the importance of taking on the regulations in Washington that are hurting our industry.

In taking a moment to look toward the future, the Company announced during the event that we will become a gold-level sponsor of the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans who have been injured while serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Brea Kraztert, the Manager of Strategic Partnerships, traveled from the WWP home office in Jacksonville to take part in the announcement.

U.S. Xpress, Inc. President John White, Chief Financial Officer Ray Harlin and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wardeberg made a presentation to Max and Pat on behalf of the executive team and all our employees. Jeff summed up the vision and leadership provided by Max and Pat with the following observation:

Max"From my perspective, the one trait that I think best describes the journey that both of you have taken over the past 25 years is that neither of you is ever satisfied. It's instilled in all of us that we can always do better. If we keep that hunger, there is no reason that this company won't continue to celebrate anniversary after anniversary well into the future. Thank you for all the hard work, your leadership and your sacrifice."

You can see Jeff's speech as well as the other presentations at the 25th anniversary celebration through the video links below. For your convenience, we have divided the coverage of the 25th ann iversary event in two parts with a running time of approximately 13 minutes apiece.

Transportation Industry Media Coverage Links:

To read the coverage from FleetOwner Magazine's online edition, please click on the following link: FleetOwner Magazine Article #2

To read the coverage from Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine's online edition, please click on the following link: Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine Article

To read the coverage from the Commercial Carrier Journal's online edition, please click on the following link: Commercial Carrier Journal's Article


For more information, please visit www.USxpress.com.
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Large vehicles' fuel efficiency to be regulated

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Future tractor-trailers, school buses, delivery vans, garbage trucks and heavy-duty pickup trucks must do better at the pump under first-ever fuel efficiency rules coming from the Obama administration.


WASHINGTON - Future tractor-trailers, school buses, delivery vans, garbage trucks and heavy-duty pickup trucks must do better at the pump under first-ever fuel efficiency rules coming from the Obama administration.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department are moving ahead with a proposal for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, beginning with those sold in the 2014 model year and into the 2018 model year.

The plan is expected to seek about a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption from longhaul trucks, according to people familiar with the plan. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to speak publicly before the official announcement, expected Monday.

Overall, the proposal is expected to seek reductions of 10 percent to 20 percent in fuel consumption and emissions based on the vehicle's size. Large tractor-trailers tend to be driven up to 150,000 miles a year, making them ripe for improved miles per gallon.

The rules will cover big rig tractor-trailers, "vocational trucks" such as garbage trucks and transit and school buses, and work trucks such as heavy-duty versions of the Ford F-Series, Dodge Ram and Chevrolet Silverado.

The White House has pushed for tougher fuel economy standards across the nation's fleet as a way to reduce dependence on oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions tied to global warming.

The fleet of new cars, pickup trucks and SUVs will need to reach 35.5 mpg by 2016, and the government is developing plans for future vehicle models that could push the standards to 47 mpg to 62 mpg by 2025.

Medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks are much less fuel-efficient than conventional automobiles; the fleet of tractor-trailers typically get about 6 mpg to 7 mpg, while work trucks can achieve 10 to 11 mpg. But they still consume about 20 percent of the transportation fuel in the U.S.

Margo Oge, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told reporters last week the proposed rules would be a "win-win situation for the country, the economy, climate change and energy security." She declined to release details.

President Barack Obama was joined by truck manufacturers in the Rose Garden in May when he said the government would release the first-ever proposed standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency for large trucks this year. Obama estimated then that the fuel efficiency of tractor-trailers could be improved by 25 percent using existing technologies.

"This is going to bring down the costs of transporting - for transporting goods, serving businesses and consumers alike," Obama said on May 21, flanked by executives with Daimler Trucks, Volvo, Cummins and Navistar, and trucking industry and union officials.

The improvements in fuel efficiency will come through a combination of more efficient engines, improved aerodynamics and better tires.

Environmental groups have pointed to a National Academy of Sciences report this year that said the trucks could make broad improvements during the decade through existing technologies. The report found that using advanced diesel engines in tractor-trailers could reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent by 2020 while hybrid versions of garbage trucks and buses could see a 35 percent cut in fuel use by 2020.

"Whether you are a company or an individual truck owner, you will be saving money on day one because you'll be saving more on fuel than increased loan payments on a big truck," said David Friedman, research director for the clean vehicles program of the Union of Concerned Scientists.


www.mysanantonio.com/business/automotive/article/Large-vehicles-fuel-efficiency-to-be-regulated-857442.php
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HRClicks - Ruling on Background Check Inquiries

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Background check inquiries supported by U.S. Supreme Court - The United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously on January 19, 2011 that NASA's background check inquiries into contract employees' behavioral conduct did not violate the employees' right to informational privacy. more ...

Executive Order seeks improved regulation and regulatory review - On January 18, 2011, President Obama signed an Executive Order advising agencies to propose and adopt regulations only when the proposed benefits justify the costs, seek public input, and coordinate regulatory activity across agencies to reduce wasted effort. more ...

Female employee fired because of her age - An age discrimination case brought by the EEOC has been settled with two Houston-area adult-oriented businesses. According to the EEOC's suit, the businesses violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by harassing and ultimately firing a waitress because of her age. more ...

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News and Alerts: Check It Out!

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How to...
Here at Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc., we've been writing short "how to" pieces for publication on various Web sites. Our first piece was "How to Climb into a Truck Cab." .. . Since then, we've done several others: "How to Test Trailer Air Brakes for Leaks," "How to Adjust Fifth Wheel Trailer Height" and our latest, "How to Hook Up a Tractor Protection Valve." Collect 'em all. 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 page.

Easy CDL
If you've got an iPhone, iTouch or iPad, check out our latest release, BUMPER TO BUMPER ® Easy CDL, an app for the iPhone. It's a great supplement to a formal training program. Students at even the best truck driving schools might appreciate a little extra review and opportunities to practice with the sample test questions so we've attached a poster about it. Download the poster and hang it in the classroom to let your students know about this resource.

It's also a great tool for CDL holders who want to add Endorsements to their license. We're hearing that applicants for the Haz Mat Endorsement are especially nervous about that written test. Easy CDLBUMPER TO BUMPER ® Easy CDL in the iTunes store or go to Study By App on the Internet. (A celebrity does the audio; can you guess who it is?) We'd love to hear your reactions and, like others who have downloaded the app, you can also leave your comments right on the iTunes Easy CDL page.

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
has 60 (count 'em!) haz mat test questions with which to practice. Look for
, or our blog at www.cdlbookblog.com. Just go to the Free Stuff page 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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Ready, Set…DRAW! Be Ready. Be Buckled - Safety Belts Save Lives!

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Annual Safety Belt Partnership Art Contest Extended:

The annual Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Safety Belt Partnership “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” art contest for children of relatives in the truck and bus industries in grades K-6 (ages 5-12) has been extended.  The new deadline is February 28, 2011.

The “Be Ready, Be Buckled” art contest focuses on urging truck, bus and all drivers to buckle up to saves lives and reduce injuries. This year’s theme focuses on the motto “Safety Belts Save Lives!”  Children with a relationship with individuals or organizations in the trucking and bus industries can participate as per entry requirements.