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National Safety Agency Urges DOT Audit Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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FMCSA Audit
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) <
http://www.bna.com>

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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
Chairman
CVTA

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Stevens Transport Welcomes Medal of Honor Recipient

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On November 7, 2013, the Stevens Transport community warmly welcomed a national hero and recipient of the Medal of Honor: Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta. During an unforgettable event hosted at the Stevens Transport global headquarters in Dallas, TX, Staff Sergeant Giunta vividly described a life-changing event that occurred on October 25, 2007 in Afghanistan in which Giunta heroically put his life in jeopardy on behalf of his fellow servicemen and his country.

Attacked from 30 feet away by insurgents using AK-47 rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, and stationary machine guns, Giunta exercised ingenious wherewithal to offer medical aid to several wounded comrades while simultaneously imposing precise firepower to deter advancing armed Afghani fighters. Once the onslaught seized, Giunta chased an unidentified Afghani soldier dragging a wounded US combatant into enemy territory. When the opportunity arose, Giunta successfully inflicted a lethal gun wound into the enemy soldier from afar, forcing him to release the wounded American behind. Shortly after the tragic surprise attack, US intelligence officials identified the anonymous Afghani soldier as a high value US target and international terrorist.

Since 1980, Stevens Transport has proudly employed countless US veterans to further the corporate initiative of industry-leading service, setting a remarkable example for other preeminent logistics companies to mirror. Representing the timeless United States Military credo: "for the man on my right and the man on my left", US veterans have continued to lead the Stevens Transport workplace with unmatched ambition, leadership, and exemplary teamwork. Stevens Transport cannot thank our military servicemen enough for the daily sacrifices they make to ensure the freedom of all American citizens. Stevens Transport Management wants to honorably thank Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta for sharing his unique story of valor, courageousness, and embodiment of the enduring American spirit. 




Stevens Produces Video to Honor Veterans

Key Stevens Staff Featured In Special Video Tribute

Using Senior Staff that also served in various branches of the United States Military, Stevens Transport produced a short video to honor all those who have served in the military.

The video was prepared for a special Veterans Gala Event held in Dallas and is also published on our YouTube channel.  It helps underscore the value of the service veterans have provided our nation during their military service as well as the invaluable contributions made daily at Stevens Transport.

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Schneider National Ranks #10 on G.I. Jobs’ Top 100 Military Friendly Employers List

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Continued Commitment to Hiring Current and Former Military Personnel Makes Schneider Highest Ranking Trucking Company on 2014 List

GREEN BAY, Wis. – (November 11, 2013) – Schneider National, Inc., a premier provider of truckload, intermodal and logistics services, announced today it has made the coveted G.I. Jobs Top 100 Military Friendly Employers® list for the eighth straight year. Schneider ranked number ten on the list — earning acknowledgment for the programs and benefits it offers to current and former military personnel. It is the highest ranking trucking company named to this year’s list.

G.I. Jobs' 2014 Top 100 Military Friendly Employers list honors the top 2 percent of U.S. companies that are doing the most to embrace America's service members and veterans. More than 5,000 companies were ranked this year based on survey results that assess the strength of a company’s military recruiting program, including the percentage of new hires with prior military service and all policies in place to recognize military service.

“Even though we have been named to this prestigious list eight years in a row, learning we have been honored (along with so many other companies with strong track records of military support) is always a big thrill,” said Rob Reich, vice president of maintenance and driver recruiting, Schneider National and a veteran of the U.S. Army. “The highest honor, of course, is the fact that so many current and former military members choose Schneider as their employer. It’s not surprising, since our core values of safety, integrity, respect and excellence mirror those of the military: duty, respect, integrity and pride.”

Schneider National’s deep military roots date back to the company’s founder, Al Schneider, a National Guardsman who understood the valuable skills military members bring to the table. Today, Schneider continues its commitment of providing rewarding careers to those with a military background through specific programs to ease transition and ensure long-term career success, including:

  • Apprenticeship Program: Being one of only a few transportation providers certified under the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Apprenticeship Program, allowing Veterans, Guard members and Reservists to receive both their weekly wages from Schneider National and their monthly educational benefit payment from the VA — up to $1,236 each month.
  • The Schneider National Military Owner-Operator Program: This initiative provides military personnel with the tools, training and support they need to become successful small-business owner-operators. This program helps new owner-operators obtain a new or gently used truck through a special little-to-no-money-down, no-credit check lease.

“Schneider bends over backward to accommodate those who serve in the military and understands the importance of working with your schedule,” says Richard Barczewski, a regional driver for Schneider’s Van-Truckload division who has been deployed to Afghanistan twice since joining the company in 2006. “Plus, there is a real sense of loyalty and respect at Schneider along with the feeling of camaraderie — you are a member of the team.”

Coupled with the comprehensive benefits package Schneider provides to all associates, military personnel can also expect:

  • Extended company benefits and differential pay if deployed for up to 18 months
  • Excused time off for weekend drill and annual training (no vacation time required)
  • Quick-hire process, allowing active military to apply, interview and be accepted two months prior to separation
  • Nationwide opportunities throughout Schneider’s network of offices, maintenance facilities and operating centers

Schneider is one of the nation’s largest and most-recognized employers of military personnel, with over 20 percent of its hires having a military background. In addition to eight consecutive years of recognition from G.I. Jobs, the company has won numerous national, state and regional awards: the inaugural Department of Defense Freedom Award, HireVetsFirst ESGR 5-Star employer, ESGR Extraordinary Employer Support Award, 2013 Most Valuable Employer by Civilianjobs.com and Top 35 Veteran Employer by Military.com.

To learn more about Schneider’s career opportunities for current and former military personnel, please visit http://www.schneiderjobs.com/CompanyDrivers/Military.

About Schneider National, Inc.

Schneider National has exceptional career paths for professional drivers and truck school graduates. Opportunities exist for company drivers and owner-operators in Schneider’s Regional, Over the Road, Dedicated, Tanker, Team Expedited, Intermodal, Oil Field Transportation and Port Dray divisions.

 

A $3.5 billion company and one of the largest truckload carriers in North America, Schneider has been a top choice for drivers for more than 77 years. Schneider provides drivers great weekly miles, steady freight and the comfort of knowing that “safety first and always” is the cornerstone of the company’s philosophy. Schneider is ranked a top-paying carrier by the National Transportation Institute and has been nationally recognized for its support of veterans, Reservists and National Guard members. For more information about Schneider National career opportunities, visit www.schneiderjobs.com. You can also connect with Schneider on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jobsatschneider and Twitter@schneiderjobs.

 

About G.I. Jobs

G.I. Jobs is published by Victory Media, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business and has served the military community since 2001. Our Military Friendly® lists and methodology can be found at www.MilitaryFriendly.com. Our data-driven lists are published in G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse, Vetrepreneur magazines, republished in periodicals like USA Today, Wall Street Journal and are frequently cited on national TV programs such as CNN, CNBC, NBC, Fox News and others. You can follow Military Friendly on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MilitaryFriendly or on Twitter @Mil_Friendly.

 

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ATA to Review Political Stance

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Source: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=33305

Leaders at MC&E Urge New Alliances Only With Supporters

By Neil Abt, Managing Editor

This story appears in the Oct. 28 print edition of Transport Topics.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Weary of another year of political gridlock, trucking industry leaders meeting here vowed to make more critical assessments before offering support to lawmakers and to take a more cohesive message directly to the public.

Bill Graves, president of American Trucking Associations, opened the federation’s Management Conference & Exhibition with a warning to Congress.

Continue reading at: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=33305

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Supporting Veterans in Becoming Gainfully Employed

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The Post-9/11 GI Bill has paid for nearly 1 million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to go to school at a cost of about $30 billion since 2009.  With an influx of over one million more veterans projected to enter higher education in the next several years, institutions should be prepared to serve veteran students.  Military veterans represent a unique type of non-traditional student who must overcome distinctive challenges to reintegrate into the civilian workforce yet many employees never have special training to serve this population.    

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Executive Director and Founder, Paul Rieckhoff, has stated "The GI Bill is a promise we made to the veterans of World War II: that those who defend our country should be able to take advantage of America's opportunity.” The promise of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, however, isn’t fulfilled when a veteran enrolls and completes a degree program; it is fulfilled when they become gainfully employed.

CS108 – Supporting Veterans in Becoming Gainfully Employed is a new online course facilitated by Dr. Garland H. Williams, Associate Regional Vice President, Military Division, for the University of Phoenix and retired U.S. Army Colonel.  This course helps career services practitioners understand the unique obstacles veterans face in the reintegration process, how to help them translate their military experience into civilian language and provides strategies & tools that can support veterans in becoming gainfully employed.

Learn More about this New Online Course!

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Hours-of-Service Back as Top Concern in Annual Trucking Industry Survey

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ORLANDO, FL – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research institute, today unveiled its list of the top ten critical issues facing the North American trucking industry.

The changes to the federal commercial driver Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules that went into effect July 1, 2013 caused HOS to top the list in ATRI’s annual survey of more than 4,000 trucking industry executives.  The complete results were released at the 2013 Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) meeting in Orlando, FL, the nation’s largest gathering of motor carrier executives.  The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also solicited and tabulated specific strategies for addressing each issue.

Continued concern over the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program caused that issue to rank second this year, after ranking first in 2012.  Worry over the implications of a driver shortage resulted in that issue ranking third in this year’s survey while concern over the economy lessened, causing that issue to slip one position to fourth place.  Continued economic growth, coupled with CSA and HOS changes may be contributing factors to the driver shortage according to some in the industry. 

The ATA-commissioned survey results and proposed strategies will be utilized by the ATA Federation to better focus its advocacy role on behalf of the U.S. trucking industry and ATA Federation stakeholders.

"ATRI’s annual survey of top industry issues makes it easier for us to keep track of all the complex forces affecting motor carriers and drivers so that we can focus on running a safe and profitable industry,” said ATA Chairman Mike Card, President, Combined Transport, Inc., Central Point, Oregon.

"As we all know, the trucking industry constantly faces changes and challenges to how we operate safely and efficiently,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “However, our industry has always responded to these issues with determination and ATRI’s work gives us the information to decide where to focus our energies first and foremost.”

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.  A copy of the survey results is available from ATRI at www.atri-online.org.

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Shutdown Impact Minimal

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Source: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=33104

Freight Officials Wary of Long Budget Impasse

By Michele Fuetsch, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the Oct. 7 print edition of Transport Topics.

 Freight transportation officials said their companies suffered only minimal effects from the federal government shutdown last week but added they were preparing for disruptions if the budget dispute drags on.

While most federal agencies were shuttered, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Federal Highway Administration were among the few continuing normal operations because they are supported by the Highway Trust Fund and not the general budget.

Continue reading at: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=33104

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Member Alert - 10.7.2013

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Fred Stamey, Director Truck Driver Program, Sampson Community College received a call from a man calling himself Michael Davis from Martin Transport. Mr. Davis called the school looking for students drivers.
 
He indicated that he is a recruiter for Martin Transport. (HE IS NOT) and once he has access to the students, he instructs them to wire funds to him for orientation and transportation. He assures them that the student will be reimbursed upon arrival. He is asking for $150 - $175.
 
The number he is providing is a throwaway phone so it can't be tracked.
 
Please be sure to warn all your staff and students that Carriers do not require funds up front for a job.

Thank you Mr. Stamey for the heads up!

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CVTA Now Has a New Executive Director - Don Lefeve

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After an extensive search, we are happy to announce that Donald Lefeve will be joining CVTA as our new Executive Director.  Don comes to us from the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU).  He has an extensive background in legislative affairs and government relations.  His experience working with government agencies, congressional and state relations, and grassroots makes him uniquely qualified to champion our cause and get the message out. He will be a true asset as we expand our working relationship with a variety of government agencies.

Prior to joining APSCU, Don served in several senior government affairs positions both in-house with a telecommunications company and as a consultant. He began his career serving on the legislative staff of US Senator John Warner (R-VA). Don holds a B.A. degree in history from Randolph-Macon College, a J.D. degree from George Mason University School of Law. In 2006, he served as a Fellow at the Thomas C. Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia.
     
Don will be joining us on October 1, 2013.  We know that you will, as you always do, make Don feel a part of the CVTA family.  For those of you who have yet had a chance to meet Don, you will have an opportunity to do so at the Fall Conference in DC.  Please register today!

Sincerely,


Cheryl Hanley,
Chairman, CVTA

Bruce Busada
Chairman,
Search Committee