CVTA Members Participated in a Panel Entitled From Text Book to Log Book

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Brad Ball, Roadmaster Drivers Schools and Chuck Wirth, American Institute of Trucking recently participated in a panel entitled From Text Book to Log Book. The panel was held at the Truckload Carriers Association – Recruiting and Retention Conference, February 11-13, 2013 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

The session discussed how carriers and truck driver training schools should work together to recruit and retain new drivers to the industry. You will learn the best practices for building a good relationship with a school, what the roles of carriers and the schools should be in the relationship, and how to share information and resources to ensure that newly trained drivers have a smooth transition from their CDL training to being on the road alone.

  • The top reasons truck driving schools find that new drivers leave the industry and how to mitigate those concerns
  • Best practices for recruiters presenting to drivers-in-training at truck driver training schools
  • Matching the carrier’s business model to the school’s operational model to benefit both parties

AAMVA Publishes CDLIS and ACD Manual

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AAMVA Publishes CDLIS Documentation in Support of Release 5.3

As of February 22, 2013, the following documentation reflecting new CDLIS requirements is available for download from the AAMVA website at
• CDLIS Specifications (Release 5.3.1) - 5.3 excluding permit rule requirements
• CDLIS Specifications (Release 5.3.2) - 5.3 including permit rule requirements
• CDLIS State Procedures Manual (Release 5.3.2)  
This documentation includes provisions from the final permit rule (Commercial Driver's License Testing and Commercial Learner's Permit Standards), changes to medical certification requirements and additional changes / clarifications vetted by the CDLIS Working Group.  Additional details can be found in each associated change control document.
AAMVA will be scheduling webinars in the near future to assist with all aspects of Release 5.3, including;
• An overview of documentation content and updates,
• Assistance with understanding changes in requirements and potential impact state-side,
• Implementation options and associated time-lines, and
• Questions related to structure testing requirements.
For further information, please contact the AAMVA Help Desk at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

AAMVA Publishes Revised ACD Manual (Release 5.0.0)

As of February 22, 2013, the following documentation reflecting updates to the ACD Manual is available for download from the AAMVA website at  
• AAMVA Code Dictionary (ACD) Manual (Release 5.0.0)
• Implementation Planning Guide (Release 5.0.0)
This documentation includes ACD changes approved by the ACD Working Group that will become effective on September 1, 2013.  Updates include the addition of several new codes, plus clarifications and corrections to existing information.
AAMVA will be scheduling webinars in the near future to assist with the new ACD release.  For further information, please contact the AAMVA Help Desk at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

DOT Seeks Stakeholder Input on the Next ITS Strategic Research Plan, 2015-2019

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The U.S. Department of Transportation Seeks Stakeholder Input on the Next ITS Strategic Research Plan, 2015-2019

Link to

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is seeking public input as it develops the next version of the ITS Strategic Plan. A new document called An Open Dialogue on the Draft Focus and Themes for the Next ITS Strategic Research Plan: Engaging Stakeholders in Their Discussion and Development was released today and it identifies the ITS-related issues that USDOT will focus on for the rest of the decade.

The current  ITS Strategic Research Plan—2010-2014 established a focused research agenda to prepare the next generation of intelligent transportation system (ITS) technologies for widespread deployment throughout the nation. This discussion document is the first step in developing the ITS research agenda for 2015 to 2019.

The purpose of the document is to identify the focus and themes for the next installment of the ITS Strategic Research Plan and invite stakeholders to participate in their discussion. This open dialogue will enable continuity of the USDOT’s current research programs while establishing new or redefined goals and objectives to meet emerging research needs.

The document presents the following broad themes for discussion:

  • Maturing Connected Vehicle Systems – Focuses on what is needed to accelerate the maturity of vehicle-based communications with surrounding systems
  • Piloting and Deployment Readiness – Focuses on the security, policy, business opportunities, capabilities, pilots, and incentives needed to support vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) implementation
  • Integrating with the Broader Environment – Focuses on the integration and decision support capabilities to enable V2V and V2I interaction with other governmental services and public utilities.

The discussion document provides an opportunity for stakeholders to share their perspectives and help shape the future of federal ITS research.

To participate in the discussion, visit  The full document is available at


Additional ITS Resources on the Federal Highway Administration Office of Operations Website

Legislative Report - 2.16.2013

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On February 11, 2013, the National Association of State Approving Agencies (NASAA) held its Mid-Winter Training & Business Meeting.  NASAA facilitates the efforts of the state approving agencies (SAAs) to promote and safeguard quality education and training programs for all veterans and other eligible persons.  SAAs are established on a state-by-state basis to approve programs of education within each state and their primary responsibility and focus is the review, evaluation, and approval of quality programs of education and training under state and federal criteria.

A panel discussion entitled: Challenges and Opportunities: The GI Bill included representatives from the American Legion, VA, NASAA, National Association of Veteran's Program Administrators (NAVPA), StudentVeterans of America (SVA), and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW).  The panel discussion focused primarily on implementation efforts at the VA of the Principles of Excellence established by Executive Order 13607 and H.R. 4057, the Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-249).

Lautenberg Won't Seek Re-Election in 2014

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Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), a longtime advocate of transportation safety and infrastructure, will not seek reelection in 2014, he announced Thursday.

Lautenberg has continuously pushed to improve trucking safety, including a proposal enacted last year to mandate electronic logging devices to track drivers' hours of service on all trucks.

He has also pushed against increasing truck size and weight regulations and advocated for more laws to crack down on drunk driving.

Lautenberg, who leads the subcommittee responsible for surface transportation within the Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation committee, has focused much of his work since his 1982 election on improving passenger rail service and infrastructure.

"While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I'm going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate," he said in a statement.

Job Fair to Highlight Need for Transportation Workers

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Transportation, one of Nebraska's fastest-growing industries, needs workers, and labor and trucking officials are encouraging people who are unemployed or underemployed to consider applying for those jobs.

Anyone interested in jobs related to the movement of people and products by road, rail, air and water is encouraged to attend a job expo Tuesday at Metropolitan Community College's south campus that will feature about 35 transportation companies.
“We're doing industry-specific job fairs because what we're trying to do is show people where there are jobs and where there's a need. In this transportation, distribution and logistics area, they're doing lots of hiring — and all kinds,” said Deb Christensen, a business service representative for the Nebraska Department of Labor, which is sponsoring the event with the Nebraska Trucking Association.

The challenge will be matching skills with jobs, trucking industry people say.

Among those hiring is Brad Morehouse, vice president of W.N. Morehouse Truck Line. The Omaha company currently has 118 drivers and is looking to fill about five positions. Morehouse said the company could add up to 30 additional trucks to its fleet because it has the freight and customer volume, but he knows he couldn't find enough drivers.

“We get stacks and stacks of applications. We just can't get them qualified for numerous reasons,” he said. “Sometimes it's our own company policy, while the other half would be regulations — government regulations, physical regulations. There's so many and it's definitely gotten more challenging.”

Another issue is that because the state requires drivers be at least 21 years old before they can drive a truck across state lines, high school graduates who choose to not go to college select a different trade to pursue. They become electricians, plumbers and framers.

“There's different options,” he said, “but we're not one of the options.”

Generally, trucking companies require that driver applicants have a commercial driver's license, some over-the-road driving experience and a good driving record and work history. Other companies offer on-the-job training opportunities.

Christensen said insurance companies have a lot of influence on driver requirements. They want experienced, safe drivers because of the injury they can cause on the road and the high cost of the trucks.

Nationally, about 90 percent of for-hire truckload carriers say they can't find enough drivers who meet U.S. Department of Transportation requirements, according to a study last year by the American Trucking Associations. The group estimates the industry is short 20,000 to 25,000 drivers now and says the driver shortage could balloon to 239,000 by 2022.

The driver shortage could lead to delayed shipping of products and shortages of products for the consumers to purchase. Long term, the shortage of transportation workers could be felt in consumers' pocketbooks in the form of higher prices at the meat counter or retail stores, said Larry Johnson, president of the Nebraska Trucking Association.

The American Trucking Associations has said the bulk of the shortage is in long-haul, over-the-road jobs.

While drivers and diesel mechanics are the most immediate need, the Tuesday event is geared toward any position in transportation, like the planning, management and distribution processes. Those jobs can include warehouse workers, dispatchers and office managers.

The event isn't just for people new to transportation, but also for students who are choosing a career and for workers looking to re-enter the field and move up.

“We want people to see there's room for them to move up in the industry,” Christensen said. “With their knowledge, they can do a lot to help the industry.”

In 2010, the transportation and warehousing industry employed 49,578 in the state, according to projections by the Nebraska Department of Labor, and the department projects it will grow 17.6 percent by 2020. That puts it behind only three other categories: mining (18 percent), construction (22.5 percent) and administration/waste management services (18.8 percent).

Each transportation and warehousing subcategory shows strong growth the next 10 years: air transportation at 13.7 percent, rail transportation at 15.5 percent and truck transportation at 21.6 percent. The support activities for transportation subcategory, which is generally logistics, is projected to grow 16.8 percent.

Truck driving in particular has been designated as a “hot job” by the state because there are more openings than applicants, Christensen said.

The driver shortage remains a challenge for Sarpy-based Werner Enterprises, one of the largest trucking firms in the nation. In its fourth quarter of 2012 earnings report, Werner pointed to driver pay increases by competitors, fewer and increased competition for truck driving school graduates and an improved housing construction market as factors.

Werner's executive vice president-driver resources, Bob Synowicki, said it's difficult to quantify the number of people transportation has lost to construction, but the company has noticed the trend increase the past several months.

That's despite its truck-driving pay — starting at about $40,000 annually and reaching more than $60,000 annually.

The draw of construction jobs, Synowicki said, is that they allow for workers to get home every night.

He said Werner's driver retention rates improved some during the fourth quarter, noting that about 70 percent of its driving jobs are shorter-haul, regional fleet operations that allow drivers to get home weekly or sooner.

Johnson said there have been pushes by companies to ensure workers are getting home regularly and partnerships by community colleges and the Nebraska Departments of Education, Economic Development and Labor to help steer applicants toward the industry.

But he thinks it'll take more than that for workers to realize the opportunities.

“The big national problem is kind of a systemic result, maybe because of an emphasis on (higher) education over the last 20 years,” he said. “What we're seeing in the economy is that it's going to take some time to change people's minds — not only the workers, but the young workers, parents and high school counselors.”

The positive side is that the expos seem to help. Last year, Johnson said, similar expos specifically for truck drivers and diesel mechanics drew big turnouts, and companies, the underemployed and unemployed made connections.

“We hope that people will enter by choice, not chance,” he said.


Webster, Chamberlain and Bean to Assist CVTA with Legislative and Legal Issues

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Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, LLP is the leading law firm in the United States specializing in the provision of a full range of legal services to non-profit organizations. Since 1970, WC&B has provided comprehensive legal services to a broad range of trade associations, professional societies, public charities, private foundations, scientific organizations, churches, clubs, schools and civic groups, lobbying groups, and political committees and candidates.

WC&B also assists individuals and businesses of all sizes on business transactions and other legal matters. In providing legal and counseling services, the attorneys of WC&B seek to combine their legal experience with solid business judgment gained from over four decades of service. Our clients appreciate this approach, as well as our ability to effectively address their needs by involving attorneys with complementary areas of expertise.

Our main point of contact will be David Goch. David is currently working with the Board of Directors to seek information on prioritizing the important issues for CVTA. David will then put together a plan of action with the Board of Directors. The results will be highlighted in a presentation at the 2013 Spring Conference. We are also delighted to welcome John Hazard, who will be working with us on legal issues and clarifications.

If you have any issues you would like CVTA to address, please contact Cindy Atwood at the CVTA office 703-642-944 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you for your continued support.

All the Best
Cheryl Hanley