Communication Skills for Effective Driver Training Webinar - Save the Date

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Free webinar brought to you by Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) and Truckload Academy (TA)

Target audience: School instructors and carrier driver finishers

From Classroom to Finishing Program:  Communication Skills for Effect Driver Training

Attracting people to training schools is the first step in recruiting new drivers to our industry.  The next step is effective training whether in the classroom or the cab of a carrier’s truck.  The ability to communicate effectively to trainees is an important skill for instructors and driver trainers.  It ensures new drivers acquire the skills and knowledge they need to be successful and continue driving for our industry.

Join trucking industry and training professionals Thursday, December 19, at noon ET as they help you understand:

  • Nonverbal communication clues and how they reinforce or contradict verbal communication
  • Techniques for improving listening skills for different situations
  • Techniques for reinforcing desired behavior
  • Effective mediation techniques for different situations
  • Principles of anger management

Registration information will be sent in early December.  Please forward to others who might be interested.

Congress Urged to Act On Highway Funding

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By Scott Gutierrez and Michele Fuetsch, Staff Reporters

This story appears in the Nov. 25 print edition of Transport Topics.

WASHINGTON — Congress no longer can put off finding a long-term solution to U.S. infrastructure needs without risking that the nation will slip behind global competitors, several industry leaders said Nov. 21 during a transportation conference here.

At the session — labeled “Infrastructure for the Future” and sponsored by the American Highway Users Alliance and the Volvo Group — retailers, manufacturers and freight haulers joined in highlighting how a crumbling and congested infrastructure hurts the economy.

Continue reading at:

DOT REQUEST FOR COMMENTS: Primary Freight Highway Network

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The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a series of key highways to serve as a highway Primary Freight Network, as required by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The notice appeared in today’s Federal Register.  You can access the notice on-line:  This notice solicits comments on the draft initial designation of the highway Primary Freight Network.  Comments must be received by December 19, 2013.

Background:  MAP-21 calls for the Secretary of Transportation to designate up to 27,000 miles on existing interstate and other roadways, with a possible addition of 3,000 miles in the future, as a Primary Freight Network. The Federal Register notice identifies more than 41,000 miles of comprehensive, connected roadway that a Federal Highway Administration analysis shows would be necessary to transporting goods efficiently on highways throughout the nation to make up the highway Primary Freight Network. 

The Primary Freight Network proposal is based on the origins and destination of freight movement, shipment tonnage and values, truck traffic volumes and population. Under MAP-21, the highway Primary Freight Network will become part of a larger highway National Freight Network that includes all interstates and other rural highway routes designated by states that make up critical highway portions of the nation’s multimodal freight system.

ATRI Study Identifies Significant Operational and Economic Impacts from New HOS Rules

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Findings Impact Both For-Hire and Private Fleets

Arlington, VA - The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released the findings of its latest analysis of the operational and economic impacts resulting from the new Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules, which went into effect July 1, 2013. 

The changes to the Hours-of-Service rules implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) include provisions which limit use of the 34-hour restart and require a rest break before driving after 8 hours on-duty.

Among the operational and economic impacts identified by ATRI are:

  • More than 80 percent of motor carriers surveyed have experienced a productivity loss since the new rules went into effect, with nearly half stating that they require more drivers to haul the same amount of freight.
  • Among commercial drivers surveyed by ATRI, 82.5 percent indicated that the new HOS rules have had a negative impact on their quality of life, with more than 66 percent indicating increased levels of fatigue.
  • Commercial drivers are forced to drive in more congested time periods, although the FMCSA Regulatory Impact Analysis did not address increased safety risks with truck traffic diversion to peak hour traffic.
  • The majority of drivers (67%) report decreases in pay since the rules took effect.
  • The impacts on driver wages for all over-the-road drivers total $1.6 billion to $3.9 billion in annualized loss.

ATRI’s analysis is based on industry survey data of over 2,300 commercial drivers and 400 motor carriers as well a detailed analysis of logbook data representing 40,000+ commercial drivers.

“We anticipated significant impacts on our operations and across the entire supply chain from the new rules and our experience since July 1st is bearing that out,” commented Kevin Burch, President of Jet Express. “ATRI’s analysis clearly documents the productivity impacts and real financial costs being borne by carriers and drivers. It’s only a matter of time before these impacts ripple throughout the nation’s economy.”

A copy of this report is available from ATRI at

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization.  It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

National “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” Kids’ Art Contest - Rules & Entry Form

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The annual Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Safety Belt Partnership ( “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” art contest for children with a relative or sponsor in the truck and bus industries in grades K-6 (ages 5-12) runs through Friday, February 28, 2014!

The awards ceremony is held in conjunction with the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (May 4-10, 2014) celebrations aimed at increasing awareness about work safety – being safe on the job. The “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” art contest focuses on urging truck, bus and all drivers to buckle up to saves lives and reduce injuries.

Children with a relationship to individuals or organizations in the trucking and bus industries can participate as per entry requirements.

Artwork that best illustrates “the importance of commercial motor vehicle drivers buckling up” with the overarching message “Safety Belts Save Lives” will win the grand prizes in each of the two age categories.

The winners of this contest will be honored at an awards ceremony to be held at the U.S. Department of Transportation Headquarters in early May 2014. That afternoon there will be a special program for the winners at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall.

Click here to download the entry form.

When creating your work of art think about these questions:

  • Why is it important for truck and bus drivers to buckle up every time?
  • Bus and truck drivers can spend many hours a day on the road. Why is the motto “Safety Belts Save Lives” really important for them?
  • Do you see big trucks and buses on the road? Why is it important for those drivers to buckle up and be safe?
  • What would happen if a truck or bus driver did not buckle up while on the job?

The subject of the artwork entry is to be the student’s personal expression of the importance of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers buckling up.


1.   Entries can be a painting, drawing, collage, or other two-dimensional work no larger than

11” x 17”.

2.   For contact purposes only, students must include their name, address, phone number, school, and grade on the back of their artwork.

3.   All entries must be emailed or postmarked by February 28, 2014.

Participation: Entrants are divided into two categories by grade:

  • Category A - K through 2nd grades, as of September 3, 2013
  • Category B - 3rd through 6th grades, as of September 3, 2013
  • There will be a total of 12 winners including first place prize winners for each category.


  • Two Grand Prizes: Winners will receive a cash prize from the some CMV Safety Belt Partnership members and a copy of their artwork mounted and framed, and will be honored at an awards ceremony to be held at the U.S. Department of Transportation Headquarters.
  • Twelve students featured in a 2015 calendar will receive a certificate of appreciation from the CMV Safety Belt Partnership for their entry.

Entry Requirements:

  1. Only one submission per student.
  2. Artwork should be 100% produced by the student.
  3. Student must be related to someone working in the truck or bus industry, or sponsored by a partnering member or association of the CMV Safety Belt Partnership or by a business or driver in the commercial vehicle industry. For more information about sponsorship, please see
  4. Entry may be a painting, drawing, collage, or other two-dimensional work no larger than 11” x 17”.
  5. CMV Safety Belt Partnership and members reserve the right to copy and modify any entry for reproduction. Entries will not be returned and may be used for future promotional opportunities.
  6. Artwork will be judged on originality of design, clarity of theme message, and artistic merit.
  7. Contest ends Friday, February 28, 2014.
  8. All submissions must be postmarked no later than Friday, February 28, 2014.
  9. Results decided by April 1, 2014.

Click here to download the entry form.

CMV Safety Belt Partnership Associations

  • American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA)
  • American Bus Association (ABA)
  • American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)
  • American Trucking Associations (ATA)
  • Associated General Contractors (AGC)
  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)
  • Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA)
  • DRIVE SMART Virginia
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • First Student, Inc.
  • Great West Casualty Company
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
  • International Registration Plan, Inc. (IRP)
  • Krueger Ergonomics Consultants
  • National Association of Public Funded Truck Driving Schools (NAPFTDS)
  • National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT)
  • National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS)
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • National Private Truck Council (NPTC)
  • National Safety Council (NSC)
  • National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc. (NTTC)
  • National Association of Truckstop Operators (NATSO, Inc.)
  • Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS)
  • Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA)
  • Professional Truck Driver Institute
  • Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
  • REI Safety Services
  • School Transportation Florida Department of Education
  • Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA)
  • Truckload Carriers Association Professional Truck Driver Institute, Inc.
  • United Motorcoach Association (UMA)

Click here to download the entry form.

National Safety Agency Urges DOT Audit Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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Key Development: National Transportation Safety Board recommends audit of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, citing bus and truck crashes.
Next Steps: It is up to the Department of Transportation to conduct the audit.
By Heather Caygle

Nov. 7 — The chief government agency in charge of investigating transportation accidents across the country is recommending the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration be audited following serious questions about proper oversight of bus and trucking industries after several deadly crashes. The National Transportation Safety Board Nov. 7 called for an audit of FMCSA's processes overseeing motor carriers and commercial trucks, expressing concerns with both the thoroughness and quality of the agency's oversight. In addition, the NTSB reviewed FMCSA's oversight of four recent commercial vehicle crashes and found that safety deficiencies and “red flags” were present prior to the crashes but went unnoticed by FMCSA regulators.

“Our investigators found, that in many cases, the poor performing company was on FMCSA's radar for violations, but was allowed to continue operating and was not scrutinized closely until they had deadly crashes,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman in a statement.

Compliance Review Weaknesses

The NTSB found that FMCSA missed key signals during routine compliance reviews before the accidents and had those safety violations been addressed, it is possible the crashes wouldn't have occurred.

The four accidents reviewed included two motor coach crashes and two commercial truck crashes within the last year. In total, the accidents resulted in 25 deaths and 83 injuries.

FMCSA needs to crack down before crashes occur, not just after high visibility events, NTSB says.

“While FMCSA deserves recognition for putting bad operators out of business, they need to crack down before crashes occur, not just after high visibility events,” Hersman said.

In a safety recommendation letter sent to the Department of Transportation requesting the audit, Hersman said that FMCSA's poor quality investigative work presents a serious problem in need of review from DOT.

In its audit, DOT should identify why FMCSA inspectors are missing some safety violations by motor carriers during the review process and take steps to address those problems, Hersman said.

FMCSA Responds

In response, a FMCSA spokeswoman said the agency has taken several steps over the last year to increase its oversight of bus and trucking companies. Those steps include putting FMCSA inspectors through specialized training and conducting a “top-to-bottom” analysis of the agency's current oversight procedures.

“In the past three years, we have more than tripled the number of unsafe companies and drivers we have taken off the road through more comprehensive investigations,” said FMCSA spokeswoman Marissa Padilla.

“We are continuously looking for new ways to make our investigation methods even more effective so we shut down unsafe companies before a crash occurs and will thoroughly review the NTSB's findings.”

FMCSA has about 350 safety inspectors charged with overseeing more than 525,000 truck and bus companies. NTSB's Hersman asked that DOT respond to its audit request within 90 days.

Reproduced with permission from Daily Report for Executives, 217 DER A-25 (Nov. 8, 2013).
Copyright 2013 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) <>

Special Alert to All CVTA Members

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CVTA is concerned for all its members' instructors regarding the self-certification, medical certificate deadline:

Truck drivers have until January 30 to self-certify their operating status and provide medical examiner certificates to state driver licensing agencies.

On January 30, 2012 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration began requiring CDL holders to identify if they conduct intrastate or interstate commerce and if they hold non-excepted or excepted status. Most truckers are classified under non-excepted interstate commerce and must furnish a current medical examiner's certificate to state agencies.

Those who do not need to have a license renewal, upgrade or transfer during the two-year implementation process still must self-certify and provide the certificate, often called a DOT card, by the 2014 deadline.

State agencies who do not receive self-certification, medical certificates and any required variance from CDL-Holders by the compliance deadline must notify drivers that they are no longer medically certified in non-excepted interstate commerce. State officials will remove all CDL privileges from their licenses.

Please do not take this lightly. Have your instructors certified before the January 30, 2014 deadline.  The following link provides a wealth of information.

New Medical Certification Requirements: A Guide for Commercial Driver License (CDL) Holders - Frequently Asked Questions

If you need clarification or assistance, contact Cindy Atwood at the CVTA office (703) 642-9444 or click here.

Until the next time.  
John Diab