Public News


CDL Changes Start Jan. 30

on .

By Jill Dunn
Overdrive Online

Truckers must keep paper copies of their medical examiner’s certificate with them while driving for another two years, according to a final rule to be published Nov. 15.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s upcoming final rule will extend that mandate for interstate CDL holders until Jan. 30, 2014. It also will continue requiring carriers keep paper copies of their drivers’ certificates until then.

This month’s final rule is a follow-up to the agency’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, issued last June, which proposed amending a 2008 final rule.

That 2008 final rule required CDL holders subject to federal physical qualification provide an original or copy of their medical examiner’s certificate to their state driver’s licensing agency. State agencies must post the medical certification information in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System, the federal electronic database.

After the 2008 final rule, several states told the FMCSA their offices lacked the capacity to comply by the rule’s Jan. 30, 2012, deadline. The agency extended the paper copy requirement for interstate CDL holders and carriers two years to provide sufficient overlap for state agencies.

However, the FMCSA did not extend the deadline for state agencies. Beginning Jan. 30, drivers applying for or renewing CDLs under the non-excepted interstate category will have to self-certify and provide the certificate or a copy to the state licensing agency. All drivers affected by the rule will have to comply by Jan. 30, 2014.

More information on the final rule, FMCSA-1997–2210, is available here.



Marines First to Cut Tuition Assistance

on .

From Newsroom America
By Jon E. Dougherty at 19 Oct 19:33

(Newsroom America) -- The Marine Corps has become the first U.S. military branch to cut college tuition assistance to its members, and the cuts are substantial, according to newly released figures., quoting an official Marine Corps education document, said the branch will reduce tuition reimbursement rates from $250 per credit hour to $175 per hour for undergraduate courses. Rates will also fall to $225 per credit hour for graduate level courses, and the overall annual tuition assistance limit has been reduced from $4,500 to $3,500 per fiscal year.

The reductions are no doubt part of the Pentagon's overall strategy of reducing its budget as lawmakers seek to cut hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending over the coming years... Continue reading...

(c) 2011 Newsroom America.

Dan England Elected ATA Chairman

on .

GRAPEVINE, Texas — American Trucking Associations’ Board of Directors elected Dan England, chairman of Salt Lake City-based C.R. England Inc., its 67th chairman.

The board voted at ATA’s annual Management Conference & Exhibition, which adjourns here on Tuesday.

“I’m honored to have been chosen by my peers in this great industry to represent America’s motor carriers, drivers, independent contractors and employees,” England said in a statement.

“The last few years have been difficult for our industry and our nation, but I’m confident that regardless of our challenges, trucking and ATA will continue to lead the country toward economic recovery,” he said.

Refrigerated carrier C.R. England is ranked No. 21 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers, and is the largest refrigerated carrier.... Continue reading...



Werner Enterprises Takes Part in NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony

on .

Greg Werner and Derek LEathers in Times Square

Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ: WERN), a premier transportation and logistics provider, participated in the NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony Sept. 19, 2011 at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City's Times Square. In honor of the occasion, Greg Werner, vice chairman and CEO of Werner Enterprises, rang the Closing Bell with several key customers in attendance.

"We are very proud to have been able to celebrate our history and achievements by ringing the NASDAQ Closing Bell," Greg Werner said. "As we celebrate our 25th anniversary as a publicly traded company, we are proud of the relationship we hold with our customers, investors and associates. We look forward to reiterating our commitment to all these key stakeholders for many years to come."

Since becoming a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ stock exchange 25 years ago, Werner's total shareholder return has delivered 943 percent, exceeding the total returns of both the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 index during this same period by more than 100 percentage points.

Greg Werner and Derek LEathers in Times Square

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. is the world's largest exchange company. It delivers trading, exchange technology and public company services across six continents, with more than 3,500 listed companies.

Werner Enterprises, Inc. was founded in 1956 and is a premier transportation and logistics company, with coverage throughout North America, Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and Australia. Werner maintains its global headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska and maintains offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and Australia. Werner is among the five largest truckload carriers in the United States, with a diversified portfolio of transportation services that includes dedicated; medium-to-long-haul, regional and local van; expedited; temperature-controlled; and flatbed services. Werner's Value Added Services portfolio includes freight management, truck brokerage, intermodal, and international services. International services are provided through Werner's domestic and global subsidiary companies and include ocean, air and ground transportation; freight forwarding; and customs brokerage.


Pressure Builds for Cell Phone Ban

on .

Sep 19, 2011 10:40 AM, By Sean Kilcarr, senior editor

Widespread support for a complete ban on cell phone use by commercial truck and bus drivers – both handheld and hands free – is rapidly increasing, following an accident follow-up report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) last week urging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to speed up efforts to put such a ban in place.

The NTSB’s recommendation follows its investigation of a March 2010 crash that killed 11 people, which found the tractor-trailer driver cited for causing the accident used his cell phone 69 times in the 24 hours prior to the crash, with four calls made in the minutes leading up to the fatal collision.

“The NTSB determines that the probable cause of this accident was the truck driver’s failure to maintain control of the truck-tractor combination vehicle because he was distracted by use of his cellular telephone,” the group said in its report, adding that poorly designed median barrier and lack of adequate guidance to the states in the form of high-performance median barrier warrants contributed to the severity of the crash.

Though FMCSA already proposed placing such a ban on cell phone use by both commercial truck and bus drivers last December, many feel that effort is moving too slowly.

The National Safety Council (NSC) is one group strongly urging faster adoption of the NTSB’s proposed ban on cell phone use by commercial vehicle drivers, noting that its research indicates that 23% of all crashes each year involve cell phone use.

“We strongly support the NTSB recommendation for a total ban,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO, in a statement. “We called for a national ban on all cell phone use among drivers in 2009, recognizing that research shows no safety benefit from hands-free devices. The distraction to the brain from cell phone...
Continue reading...



9/12/2011 Natural Gas for Trucking Building Momentum

on .

From Trucking Info.Com

9/12/2011 Natural Gas for Trucking Building Momentum
By Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

Sales of trucks powered by natural gas will grow faster than the rest of the North American Market over the next several years, according to Frost & Sullivan, an industry analysis firm.

A new report predicts that North American sales of Class 6-8 LNG and CNG vehicles will rise to nearly 30,000 by 2017. That's up from just 1,950 last year, slightly less than 1% of North American sales.

The researchers estimated that the total truck market will grow from 226,400 vehicles last year to 371,700 in 2017, and by that point nearly 8% of sales will be powered by some form of natural gas.

One of the stumbling blocks to fleets using natural gas is the higher up-front cost. The Frost & Sullivan report said while a basic Class 8 diesel tractor costs $100,000 to $150,000, but natural gas engines add $28,000 to $72,500, depending on the type of natural gas ignition technology used.

In some areas, government programs are helping out. For instance, the Ryder/San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) Natural Gas Vehicle project has allowed the company to secure lease agreements for 90 natural-gas trucks in its Southern California fleet.

The Ryder/SANBAG project is part of a joint public/private partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, San Bernardino Associated Governments, Southern California Association of Governments, and Ryder.

The $38.7 million project includes:

* 202 natural gas vehicles available for lease or rent
* three strategically located natural gas compliance maintenance shops in Rancho Dominguez, Orange  
and Fontana
* two fueling stations.

Even without government subsidies, analysts at Frost & Sullivan said fleets can get their money's worth as long as natural gas prices are $1.50 less per gallon-equivalent than diesel fuel. The researchers said most fleets they have studied pay $1.65 to $1.80 per natural gas gallon equivalent, significantly lower than the $4 a gallon diesel is running at the pump these days.

The other main limitation to broader natural gas adoption is the absence of a broad-based fueling infrastructure, which makes the vehicles more suited to certain types of trucking, such as refuse fleets, drayage operations at ports, regional fleets, private fleets and dedicated contract carriage. Right now, the area of California to Texas is most densely developed as far as natural gas fueling infrastructure is concerned, and is still growing.

In recent months, major energy companies have announced big investments to push further natural gas infrastructure.

Chesapeake Energy, the country's second-largest producer of natural gas, is creating a $1 billion venture capital fund, Chesapeake NG Ventures Corp. The fund will identify and invest in companies and technologies that make it easier to move from imported oil to domestic natural gas resources. The company's redirecting about 1-2% of its annual drilling budget to the effort.

Over the next 10 years, the company anticipates committing at least $1 billion to natural gas vehicle initiatives. One of its first investments is $150 million in Clean Energy Fuel to accelerate its build-out of LNG fueling infrastructure along U.S. interstates.

Last week, Shell and Westport Innovations announced they've teamed up to encourage transportation companies to switch over to natural gas and develop standards for its use.  The two will launch a co-marketing program in North America aimed at giving customers a better economic case when buying and operating liquefied natural gas-powered vehicles.

As soon as next year, Shell will make LNG available to some heavy-duty fleet customers at truckstops in Alberta, Canada's energy hub. Shell wants to produce LNG by 2013 at its Jumping Pound gas-processing facility in the foothills of Alberta.

"We really see this as the starting gun for the whole industry," Westport CEO David Demers said on CNBC's "Mad Money."

Help Wanted: Trucking Job Applicants on the Decrease

on .

By Olivia Vidal - bio | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Driving for a living can bring a decent wage, but the number of applicants has gone down over the past few years according to at least one transportation provider.

Sentinel Transportation, LLC Terminal Manager Keith Porter said most companies have become more competitive with the hiring process.  They're also looking closely at driving records of applicants.

Porter also said with the decrease in applicants, salaries and benefit packages have become significantly better so as to attract more people to the trucking industry.

"Right now, our drivers here in Lake Charles are earning between $55,000 to $70,000 per year," Porter said. "We have terminals within our company that are earning in the $90,000 to $100,000 range."

But many drivers are nearing retirement and companies like Sentinel will need to fill the spots.

"Within our company we've got about 25-percent... Continue Reading...