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Low Participation by Mexican Truckers Threatens Cross-Border Program

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Source: ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=29403

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Low participation by Mexican carriers in the cross-border trucking program could lead to the resumption of Mexican tariffs on U.S. goods, an official with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said.

Without more carriers participating, FMCSA cannot collect the safety data it needs to judge Mexican carriers’ safety, said Bill Quade, the agency’s associate administrator.

 

Continue reading at: ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=29403

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Marvin Garvey wasn’t about to ignore a distraught woman - Highway Angel

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Source: truckload.org/index.asp?bid=232&nid=326&archiveyear=2012

Marvin Garvey wasn’t about to ignore a distraught woman who looked like she could use a Highway Angel

Alexandria, Virginia:

When no one else will stop, it is often a professional truck driver who saves the day. The Truckload Carriers Association honors these individuals as Highway Angels, and the latest one is Marvin Garvey of Hampstead, North Carolina. Garvey, who drives for Epes Transport System, Inc., of Greensboro, North Carolina, is being recognized for the compassion he showed to a stranded motorist.

On August 19, 2012, in the late morning, Garvey was driving along I-85/I-40 near Greensboro, North Carolina, on his way to make a delivery. Traffic was very heavy, and up ahead, he heard horns honking and saw vehicles maneuvering around something. It turned out to be a woman whose car engine had stalled and would not turn back on. The woman was quite upset – in tears because she was stuck in the middle of heavy traffic with horns blaring at her. No one was stopping to help.

After passing her, Garvey pulled over, walked back to the scene, and pushed the woman’s vehicle onto the shoulder. He then calmed her down, telling her which way she was headed, where the closest exit was, and other pertinent information. At one point, he even walked back to his truck to check the GPS, wanting to be certain he had provided the correct details. He stayed with the woman until she managed to reach her brother on a cell phone.

The next day, the woman wrote a letter to Epes Transport praising Garvey for his assistance during her stressful ordeal. “He was really like an angel,” she said. “He could have possibly saved my life. Who knows how long it would have taken for someone to run right into me? I offered to pay him for his trouble, but he politely refused. He was a gentleman who went out of his way to help me. It is a rare thing in this day and time for someone to get involved.”

Garvey, who retired from the U.S. Army two years ago after a 20-year career, says that helping people is the “military thing to do.”

“I can’t believe how cold-hearted some people are,” he said, referring to the many motorists who saw what happened but kept on driving. “She was clearly frustrated. I just couldn’t leave her stranded in that danger zone.”

For his efforts to help the woman, Garvey has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch. Epes Transport System also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.

The Highway Angel program is sponsored for TCA by Internet Truckstop. Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.

Source: truckload.org/index.asp?bid=232&nid=326&archiveyear=2012

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More Information in Regards to Sending Convictions on MX Drivers

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This announcement from FMCSA is to provide additional information and an update to the previous guidance and information provided regarding the Gateway Portal shut down on midnight Tuesday, Oct. 9th.
 
For your awareness: A State's ability to access CDLIS information on US and Canadian drivers continue without any interruption. The shutdown of the Gateway has no effect on State CDLIS transactions involving US and Canadian drivers.
 
A. For States that are sending convictions via CDLIS on MX drivers the CDL Division provides the following guidance:
 
Please re-send your convictions when the MX node is back up again. FMCSA will notify you when the MX node is back up. For more information about how to use UNI to re-drive your convictions automatically, please see the CDLIS System Specifications 5.2 document, page 10, Section 3.6 Message Retry.
 
B. For states that are sending convictions via paper on MX drivers:
 
Please send the paper convictions to the following new mailing address that has been provided by the new service provider:
 
OBXtek - FCWD
8300 Boone Blvd, Ste 550
Vienna, VA 22182-2681
 
You may also contact the following phone number and email address for any questions about paper convictions on MX drivers:
 
Helpdesk email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Helpdesk Telephone: 1(855) 537-7517

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DOT Inspector General Agrees to Audit CSA After Request From Congress

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By Eric Miller, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the Oct. 22 print edition of Transport Topics.

The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General has agreed to conduct an in-depth audit of the government’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program and to include a look at the relationship between carrier safety scores and crash risks.

The Oct. 12 audit request was made by Rep. John Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.), chairman of the House Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, and the ranking Democratic member, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)... Continue reading. (Log in to TTNEWS is Required.)

 

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Mike Card Elected ATA Chairman

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LAS VEGAS — Mike Card, president of Combined Transport, Central Point, Ore., was elected American Trucking Associations’ 68th chairman at ATA’s annual Management Conference & Exhibition here Wednesday.

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected by one’s peers to represent them,” said Card, who succeeded Dan England, chairman of C.R. England Inc., Salt Lake City, in the one-year position.

“It is not secret that our nation and our industry are at a crossroads,” Card said in a statement, “with looming changes in hours-of-service, a steady, but still slow, economic recovery, a federal government threatening to impose even more onerous regulations on our industry — while all the while underinvesting in the highway system we depend on.”

Speaking at ATA’s annual MCE banquet Wednesday evening, Card said being named chairman was “the highlight of my life [and] I’m going to do everything I can to expand the influence of ATA’s voice.”

He also said he is planning a trip to Mexico City in a few weeks to talk with Mexican trucking industry officials, as well as ATA’s Canadian counterpart, to help with cross-border trade issues.

“Mike is emblematic of what makes our industry great,” ATA President Bill Graves said in a statement. “The son of a driver-turned-entrepreneur and the leader of a family business, Mike will be a tremendous ambassador for ATA and for trucking,” Graves said.

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Driver Shortage Requires Industry Action, Experts Say

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John Sommers II for Transport Topics

LAS VEGAS — The shortage of truck drivers will worsen as the economy recovers and as the federal government adds more regulations, so it is critical the industry retains current drivers and attracts younger ones to the profession, a panel of experts said here Tuesday.

Ensuring drivers have more time at home, providing reliable equipment to company drivers and offering pay incentives and bonuses are all important steps that fleets should take, according to the discussion at American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition.

Derek Leathers, president and chief operating officer of Werner Enterprises, said that through schedule adjustments, about 71% of his drivers get home at least once a week. That has helped lower turnover and attract more applicants.

Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express, said fleets need to set up mentoring programs so younger drivers gain valuable experience until they are old enough to drive trucks on their own.

Lou Spoonhour, president of Driveco Truck Driver Learning Center, urged ATA and fleets to join with training schools to tell lawmakers how important it is to increase funding for programs that can get new truck drivers on the road in as little as six weeks.

Kenny Veith, president of ACT Research, said the industry’s high turnover rates show that the problem is more about retention than an insufficient number of applicants. He was optimistic in saying that federal regulations will limit the total driving pool, thus tightening capacity and allowing for higher rates. As a result, he said fleets would more easily be able to boost driver pay and keep more of the existing driver workforce.

The session was moderated by Howard Abramson, publisher and editorial director of Transport Topics Publishing Group, and was sponsored by Freightliner Trucks.

Additional coverage of the discussion will appear in the Oct. 15 print edition of Transport Topics.

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Graves on Challenges From Regulations, Sluggish Economy

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John Sommers II
for Transport Topics

LAS VEGAS – The trucking industry continues to face challenges, from federal regulations and a sluggish economy, to the threat of more tolling on the nation’s highways, said Bill Graves, president of American Trucking Associations.

“I honestly do believe that anyone who is operating in the trucking industry is at a crossroads – in fact you’re facing an entire series of crossroads – each one a decision point sending you in directions that will ultimately determine success or failure, profitability or loss, growth or stagnation,” Graves said Oct. 8 at the opening session of ATA’s Management Conference & Exhibition here.

The nation’s biggest problems are “the sluggish economy, a very dysfunctional federal government and the people of this nation who lack confidence that the economy will get better and that our government as its currently assembled in Washington isn’t capable of getting the job done,” he said.

Graves singled out the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program as a key example of how Washington is threatening trucking’s success.

He said the program will make the highways safer, but needs to be altered to ensure the data provides an accurate picture of carriers’ safety records.

Despite other challenges such as hours-of-service, more tolls and rising fuel prices, he said trucking was still well-positioned for the future.

“The essentiality of the industry and the demand for freight movement by truck – a growing demand for freight movement by truck – is unquestioned,” Graves said. “The long-term macro outlook for trucking has never been better, but the near-term micro view continues to be very challenging.”

By Transport Topics