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Our Fingers Have Been Flying!

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Here at Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc., we've been pounding the keyboard these last few months.

We just finished writing an app for the iPhone. "CDL Review" recaps all the topics that applicants must study to pass the Commercial Driver's License Test and offers over 400 practice multiple-choice test questions. The answers to the test questions are included in the app as are explanations as to why those answers are correct.

The app is currently going through a review and approval process and will then be available in the iPhone App store. We're anticipating a December launch.

We are also now writing short "how to" and "about" pieces for publication on various Web sites. Our first piece, "How to Climb into a Truck Cab" was just posted on www.ehow.com and you can follow this link to check it out: http://www.ehow.com/how_7451115_climb-truck-cab.html ... We'll be doing more stories like this in the future.

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 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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FMCSA Publishes Driver’s Q&A About CSA2010

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of November 1, 2010
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

This special issue of Fast-Fax reprints in full the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s official response to questions that have been posed by drivers about CSA2010.

What is the DSMS?
The Safety Measurement System (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 will have access to the DSMS for use during motor carrier safety investigations. Neither drivers nor employing motor carriers will have access to the DSMS. While some third-party vendors are developing and marketing CSA2010 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 CSA2010?
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 CSA2010. Additionally, PSP 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 CSA2010, the safety data accessible through PSP is the same data that the DSMS and enforcement staff use during motor carrier investigations.

Will FMCSA Use CSA2010 to Remove CMV Drivers From Their Jobs?
No. CSA2010 does not give FMCSA new authority to remove drivers from their jobs and cannot be used to publicly rate or assess drivers’ safety performance in the way carriers are rated or assessed 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.
  • Similar to today’s SafeStat, tickets or warnings that drivers receive while operating their personal vehicles do not count in the new SMS.
  • Neither FMCSA nor CSA2010 restricts drivers based on BMI, weight or neck size.
  • Drivers should ask current and potential motor carrier employers about their safety performance as measured under CSA2010. Drivers and carriers with strong safety performance histories stand to benefit from the new compliance and enforcement program.


Can FMCSA use CSA2010 to Revoke a Driver’s CDL?
No. CSA2010 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 CSA2010. 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 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.


How Does CSA2010 Affect a Motor Carriers’ Employment of CMV Drivers?
Under CSA2010, FMCSA continues to hold motor carriers responsible for the safety performance of the drivers they employ. This is a long-standing FMCSA position and is not unique to CSA2010. 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.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 110, No. 661 • © Foley Services, Inc. 2010

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High-paying jobs found in trucking industry

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HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Day after day and night after night, stories of unemployment and the bad economy dominate headlines. This story is not one of them. There's an industry where employers can't find enough people to hire for high-paying jobs.

Tristan Worell is searching for the right path, and he hopes he's found it behind the wheel of a truck.

"Going over the road, exploring different states, cities," Worell said.

It's not been an easy road for Worrell, who went straight out of college and straight into unemployment.

"I'm 24 years old; it's pretty tough," he said. "I came out expecting... Continue to read more...

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Barbara Schultz has been selected as a Captain for the Tennessee Trucking Association’s Road Team

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Covenant Transport, Inc., Chattanooga, TN is pleased to announce that professional driver Barbara Schultz has been selected as a Captain for the Tennessee Trucking Association's Road Team.

Barbara was one of eight candidates vying for one of six open positions. A Covenant over-the-road driver since 2008, Barbara has driven over 300,000 accident-free miles with the company. Road Team Captains are ambassadors of the trucking industry to the public, and it is an honor to be selected to this elite group of professional men and women. Barbara will serve an 18-month term, representing Covenant Transport and the trucking industry at public engagements around the state of Tennessee.

 


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ATA Inducts First Woman Chairman

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TruckingInfo.Com

10/21/2010
ATA Inducts First Woman Chairman

The American Trucking Associations this week inducted its first female chairman. Barbara Windsor is president and CEO of Hahn Transportation, New Market, Md., a specialized regional trucking firm that hauls refined petroleum and construction materials throughout the Mid-Atlantic corridor.


Back in 1933, during Great Depression, a Maryland farmer and his wife made the decision to give up farming. They moved to the nearby town with their two young daughters and started trucking. That man, James Russell Hahn, was Windsor's grandfather.


"Early on he knew how essential trucking was to everyone, especially the Maryland farmers - moving the crops from the fields to the canneries, the milk from the farm to the creameries, the coal or oil to the homes, schools and hospitals for heat," Windsor recalled during her induction ceremony.


James Hahn went on to become a chairman of the Maryland Motor Truck Association in 1967. His daughter, Rebecca Hahn Windsor, would become the first female chairman of MMTA in 1988.


In 1997, Barbara Windsor became the second female chairman of MMTA, following her mother. She is also active in the National Tank Truck Carriers.


Both of her parents, Rebecca Hahn Windsor and Robert Windsor, now retired, were very active in the day to day operations of the business. While trucking was in the family's roots, her parents always encouraged her to pursue her own dreams.


Windsor took her parents' message to heart. Prior to joining them at Hahn in 1991, she lived in Kansas City where she was employed by Trans World Airlines for 20 years. But she kept up with the family business.


"I really wish my grandfather could be here to see his granddaughter very proudly and humbly accept the chairmanship of this great organization that he believed in and supported for many years. His legacy lives on."


 

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Trucking ‘rebirth’ the theme of ATA’s Annual Meeting

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http://www.thetrucker.com/News/Stories/2010/10/19/TruckingrebirththethemeofATAsannualmeeting.aspx

Trucking 'rebirth' the theme of ATA's annual meeting

"There's only one thing certain in the trucking industry today," American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves said. "And that is that these are game-changing times." (The Trucker: KEVIN JONES)

By KEVIN JONES
The Trucker Staff
10/19/2010

PHOENIX - Trucking is poised to rise from the ashes of recession, the industry's top booster told carrier executives, truck makers and vendors gathered Monday in the Valley of the Sun - although most of those in trucking shouldn't expect business to take off for at least another year.

"Here we are, looking to resurrect a trucking industry, not only from the economic ruins of the past two years, but also anticipating a rebirth influenced by a myriad complicated national and international factors," American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves said, opening the annual ATA Management Conference and Exhibition with his State of the Industry address. "But the timing of that rise back to profitability, back to robust freight volumes, back to the need for new trucks and trailers, back to having the headache over where to find drivers - the timing of that anticipated recovery keeps eluding us."

In addition to the stagnant economy, other factors include "political gridlock" and the "proposed activist policy and regulatory agenda in Washington," according to Graves.

Indeed, he said trucking still faces "the most significant changing times" since deregulation in the 1980s.

Among "the list of issues that we're expected to manage our way through," Graves pointed to CSA 2010, Hours of Service, electronic logging, fuel efficiency standards, finding a way to pay for infrastructure improvements, the shift to alternative fuels for trucks, an "assault" on the independent contractor model, driver pay, and adapting to the nation's need for additional freight capacity.

"There's only one thing certain in the trucking industry today," he said. "And that is that these are game-changing times."

The inability of policy makers to settle on a long-term transportation funding plan is the result of "both political parties pandering shamelessly to voters," touting "outside-the-box solutions" rather than tackling the tough - but most effective - solution: increasing fuel taxes. And so responsible governance has become secondary to "political cleverness" in Congress and the White House, Graves suggested.

"As a result, many of our critical issues will go unresolved, or will be resolved in a manner guided by political expediency rather that by what's good public policy for the nation," he said. "You can't build world class infrastructure without money.  Roads aren't free and they're not cheap."

Other policy issues on ATA's watch list include the owner-operator ban by the Port of L.A. and a push to persuade fleets to convert to natural gas-powered trucks.

On a positive note, he credited fleets with a "safety first" culture for a 20 percent decline in fatality accidents - and the political goodwill that earns on Capitol Hill and in state capitols.

"Any time we can begin a conversation with a public official on a positive note about our safety performance will dramatically improve our chances of successfully gaining their support on whatever issue we are primarily there to discuss," Graves said.

Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff may be contacted to comment at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

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Trucking Companies Report Shortage of Drivers

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http://www.sacbee.com/2010/10/11/3094477/trucking-companies-report-shortage.html

By Gordon Dickson
McClatchy Newspapers

FORT WORTH, Texas – Michael Brock is hitting the open road in search of job security. After two decades of construction jobs, he is tired of being laid off when times get tough. He enrolled at the C1 Truck Driver Training in Benbrook, Texas, and plans to become a long-distance driver. "Construction is not stable enough for me," Brock, 43, said during a recent class. "Driving a truck is a stable industry. As long as you keep your report clean, you've got a job."

Americans as a whole may be struggling to find work after a long recession, but there are jobs aplenty in the cab of an 18-wheeler. Trucking companies are reporting a shortage of drivers nationwide, which could delay shipments and ultimately raise... Continue to read more.