News

Print

HRClicks - Ruling on Background Check Inquiries

on .

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 ...

Print

News and Alerts: Check It Out!

on .

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.

Print

Ready, Set…DRAW! Be Ready. Be Buckled - Safety Belts Save Lives!

on .

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.

Print

LaHood reaffirms DOT’s commitment to combat distracted driving

on .

By CCJ Staff
Published January, 20 2011

 

At an event marking the one-year anniversary of FocusDriven, the first national nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for victims of distracted driving, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood reaffirmed his commitment to putting an end to distracted driving.

Joined by family members of distracted driving victims, including FocusDriven President Jennifer Smith, and representatives from Safeway and the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, LaHood unveiled a number of new public education initiatives and discussed the important leadership role businesses play in promoting safe driving behavior.

“Distracted driving is a deadly epidemic, and when it comes to road safety, we will not take a backseat to anyone,” LaHood said. “That’s why distracted driving will continue to be a major part of DOT’s robust safety agenda. Together with advocates like FocusDriven and NETS, and employers like Safeway, we can put an end to this deadly behavior and save lives.”

To show the devastating real-life effect of distracted driving, DOT unveiled the latest in its “Faces of Distracted Driving” video series, which explores the tragic consequences of texting and cell phone use while driving. The video features people from across the country who have been injured or lost loved ones in distracted driving crashes. This week’s video features 17-year-old Emily Reynolds. Emily’s older sister Cady was killed in 2007 when a teen driver texting on her cell phone struck Cady’s car in Omaha, Nebraska. To watch, or find out how to submit a video, visit: www.distraction.gov/faces.

Also at Thursday’s event, FocusDriven President Jennifer Smith launched a new anti-distracted driving PSA. Titled the “5500 campaign,” the 30-second public service announcement includes pictures of hundreds of distracted driving victims, putting faces to the fatalities that occur on American roadways.

“In our new PSA, we want to remind people that each and every distracted driving fatality is someone’s loved one, and that person’s family is in tremendous pain,” said Smith. “Our new campaign will urge the public to put down the phone and focus on the drive. We cannot wait until others are killed or injured to take action. The statistics show that it’s no longer ‘if’ someone you know will be affected by distracted driving, it’s ‘when.’ ”

On the employer side, Shannon Campagna, vice president of Federal Government Relations for Safeway grocery stores, spoke about the company’s decision to institute an anti-distracted driving policy for all Safeway truck drivers. The policy prohibits Safeway’s 1,525 truck drivers from talking or texting on cell phones, or from using hands-free devices while driving.

“The safety of our employees, customers and residents in the communities where we operate is and always has been of the utmost importance to Safeway,” Campagna said. “This policy not only helps keep our employees and customers safe, but we believe it is a good business practice as it ensures that our products arrive safely and on time. Implementation of policies limiting use of phones and mobile devices by more private companies will help minimize distractions for drivers and keep Americans on the road safe and healthy.”

Bill Windsor, NETS chairman, also announced the results of their 2010 Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) campaign. The campaign, which promoted anti-distracted driving employer policies, reached 5,000 public and private organizations representing more than 20 million U.S. employees. Of the 4,690 unique organizations that downloaded the NETS electronic tool kit, 88 percent currently have or expect to have a cell phone policy in place within the next 12 months.

“Employers can make a real difference in keeping their associates safe both on and off the job by educating them about the dangers of distracted driving and adopting policies to prevent it,” said Windsor.

While public awareness about America’s distracted driving epidemic has grown in recent years, the problem still looms large. In 2009, nearly 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver. To learn more about DOT’s efforts to stop distracted driving, go to www.distraction.gov.

www.ccjdigital.com/lahood-reaffirms-dots-commitment-to-combat-distracted-driving/

Print

HELP! I Can’t Find My CSA Information

on .

DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of January 17, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

In this week’s issue, Fast-Fax will answer the most common questions we’ve received about the new CSA website, including how to log in.

As you may know, in December, FMCSA released (a limited amount of) CSA information to the general public. At the same time that the public information was released and CSA was formally ‘switched on’, FMCSA made a number of key changes to how the information is presented. (They also enacted some other changes to the system, such as, changing the name from CSA2010 to CSA). We’ve had a number of calls and emails from confused carriers trying to find their information.

New Website

The first change is that the web address of the CSA portal has changed. To view your information you now need to go to http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/. (If you visit the old CSA page, look for a link for ‘SMS Data’ to find the new site).

Another change to the web interface is that, by and large, FMCSA is referring to the CSA data as SMS data. SMS — the Safety Measurement System — is the name of the CSA system that actually measures carrier compliance.

How To Find Your Information

When you arrive at the SMS page you will see, prominently placed at the top right hand side of the screen, a log-in box asking for your DOT Number or your Motor Carrier Number. This is actually the public log in. If you were to use this, you would only receive the limited information available to the public. To get the full CSA information available to motor carriers, you need to do the following:

Step One: Log into FMCSA’s Portal

  • Scroll down to where it says “Click Here To Log In With Your USDOT Number and Motor Carrier PIN Number.”
  • Where prompted, input your DOT number and then your PIN Number.

Step Two: Return to the CSA Page

  • To view your information you will actually need to log in again.
  • Go up to the main login, type in either your DOT number or MC number. Your DOT number may automatically appear in the box.
  • Click search.

This will open up the SMS data site. At first glance it will look identical to the public site however, on closer inspection, you should see that the Cargo-Related and Crash Indicator BASICs are viewable.

Problems With The Site

One criticism of the new site is that it is very graphics heavy. It may be slow to load on older computers. You should also be sure that your Flash and Java plug-ins are up-to-date. If you are having a problem, look for a message from your browser telling you you need to update (often found in a yellow drop-down bar at the top of the page).

Changes in Terminology

If you checked your information during the data preview this fall you may have seen the terms ‘Deficient’ and ‘Investigative Deficiencies’ being used to describe BASICs with percentiles above the threshold. You may also have seen a logo that looked like a red spray painted X.

Since the public launch, FMCSA has made the terminology and appearance of the CSA information less aggressive. If you are deficient in a BASIC you will now see a box that says ‘ALERT!’ We have had several questions on this matter. Please note that ‘ALERT!’ is the same as ‘Deficient’. Some carriers have been working under the assumption that ‘ALERT!’ was a more mild status message; again, it is not, ‘ALERT!’ is the same as ‘Deficient.’

The logo has also been removed (it just has a text ‘ALERT!’ now) and the colors have been changed from red to orange. This was an effort to allay concerns that outsiders to the industry would be unduly concerned by FMCSA’s previous choice of terminology.

Questions

If you have any questions about CSA, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 1-800-253- 5506 x 715 to speak with a customer service representative for any DOT Compliance issue.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 670 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 20110
Print

Best News for the Trucking Industry Has Nothing to Do With Trucking

on .

http://www.glgroup.com/News/Best-News-for-the-Trucking-Industry-Has-Nothing-to-Do-With-Trucking-52264.html
Analysis by: John Schulz
Analysis of: U.S. Factories Buck Decline
Published at: online.wsj.com

Summary

American manufacturing, long written off as a economic loser, is making a comeback. For the first time since 1997, the number of manufacturing jobs grew last year by 1.2 percent, of 136,000 new jobs. And it's not a one-shot deal. Economists are predicting a 2.5 percent gain, or 330,000 new manufacturing jobs, this year.

Analysis

This may be the best thing to happen to the trucking industry since economic deregulation in 1980. The number of net U.S. manufacturing jobs increased last year for the first time since 1997. Manufacturing jobs grew by 1.2 percent, of 136,000 jobs, and that growth is expected to more than double this year. As one who has never bought into the Great Globalization Theory, I welcome this news. And so should everyone connected with the trucking industry.

These are jobs that will directly affect freight volume, and thus rates and profitability, in the industry. As the offshoring craze begins to show cracks -- anybody else had an offshore call center experience worthy of "Saturday Night Live?" -- U.S. manufacturers are beginning to see value in keeping plants here.

Economists for Moody's Analytics and IHS Global Insight insist this is not a one-shot deal. They expect this trend to continue at least for the beginning of this decade.

Ford, Caterpillar,  and Whirlpool are some of the names taking advantage of tax breaks, excess capacity and infrastructure and other built-in advantages of employing a U.S.-based work force.

As trucking volume is roughly divided 50-50 by retail and industrial, any increase in industrial utilization in this country is good news for the big industrial truckload carriers such as Werner Enterprises, Schneider National, J.B. Hunt and many others. LTL firms such as beleaguered YRC Worldwide, Con-Way and FedEx Freight also figure to gain from this growth.

Of course, it will take more than a year or two of manufacturing increases to get the U.S. economy out of its doldrums. More than 144,000 factories -- that's factories, not jobs -- were lost during the George W. Bush administration. Manufacturing now accounts for merely 11 percent of U.S. total economic output, compared with 27 percent in 1950.

Entire domestic industries -- furniture and footwear come immediately to mind -- have been wiped out because of cheap labor and non-existent environmental regulations in places such as China.

With Chinese president  Hu Jintao in the Nation's Capital for talks with President Barack Obama, I would like to submit a question to his excellency: there will be no U.S. middle class to buy your cheap Chinese-made goods if you continue your mutually destructive economic path. There, I said it.

http://www.glgroup.com/News/Best-News-for-the-Trucking-Industry-Has-Nothing-to-Do-With-Trucking-52264.html