News

Self-Certification/Medical Examiners Certification

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All Third Party CDL Skills Testers,

As you may know, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently amended their regulations to require people who have, or who are seeking a commercial driver license, to self-certify the type of driving they engage in or expect to engage in to their state’s licensing agency. Additionally, all commercial driver license (CDL) holders, subject to the physical qualification requirements of the FMCSRs, must provide a current copy of their Medical Examiner’s Certificate to their state driver licensing agency. These provisions were signed into state law on January 27, 2012

Current CDL permit holders, Out-of State CDL transferees, and people seeking a CDL on or after Jan. 30 will be required to meet the provisions of the new law when testing, applying for a permit or transferring a CDL from another state.

Beginning Jan. 30, 2012, when submitting commercial test results to PennDOT for processing, please include a completed Self-Certification Form (DL-11CD) along with the DL-402CD and DL-403CD. In addition, drivers who self-certify on the DL-11CD that their driving type is “Non-excepted Interstate” or “Non-excepted Intrastate” are also required to submit a copy of their valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) along with the Self-Certification Form (DL-11CD). (Drivers will be required to continue carrying the MEC until 2014.) Unless the required information is submitted along with the commercial test results, the examinee will not be issued an upgraded CDL. If you have any questions relating to this updated process, please contact me via email or (717) 787-4219.

Additionally, PENNDOT will begin notifying existing CDL holders by letter in March of the requirements. Failure to complete and submit the self-certification form or to provide a copy of a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (if required) by the due date listed in the notice will result in their commercial driver license being downgraded, meaning that they will lose their commercial designation and only be authorized to drive non-commercial vehicles. Drivers who have their license downgraded will be required to go through the entire commercial learner’s permit process to regain their commercial driving privilege.

Attached is a Self-Certification/Medical Examiner’s Certification Fact Sheet regarding the new law, a copy of the Self-Certification Form (DL-11 CD), and the Notification Schedule for Existing CDL Holders. Further information is available on PENNDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services Web site, www.dmv.state.pa.us, by clicking on the “New CDL Law 2012” button.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Timothy D Schaffner | Manager
PA Department of Transportation
Bureau of Driver Licensing | CDL Third Party Testing
1101 South Front Street | Harrisburg, PA 17104
Phone: 717-787-4219 | Fax: 717-705-1131
www.dot.state.pa.us

Stevens Transport to Equip 2,000 Tractors with Qualcomm’s MCP200

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Stevens Transport, a Dallas-based refrigerated carrier, announced that it has selected Qualcomm’s Mobile Computing Platform 200 to integrate across its fleet of about 2,000 tractors to enhance its customer service while increasing efficiency and productivity.

“With the adoption of Qualcomm’s MCP200 and many of our key applications, Stevens Transport will be able to better optimize its fleet operations by leveraging important analytics and critical business information to increase productivity, run more loaded miles and generate more revenue, all while providing its customers with the best possible shipping experience,” says Norm Ellis, vice president of sales, services,and marketing at Qualcomm Enterprise Services. “We are committed to providing our customers with smooth, comprehensively managed operations that ultimately ensure success for their own customers... Continue reading...

Source: ccjdigital.com/stevens-transport-to-equip-2000-tractors-with-qualcomm%E2%80%99s-mcp200/

Download Your 2012 Pocket Guide to Transportation

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The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration produces the Pocket Guide to Transportation as a compact resource that provides snapshots of the U.S. transportation system and highlights major transportation trends. The Pocket Guide contains a wealth of information divided into five sections:

  • Safety
  • State of Good Repair
  • System Use and Livable Communities
  • Economic Competitiveness
  • Environmental Sustainability

The Pocket Guide to Transportation supports the BTS mission to create, manage, and share transportation statistical knowledge. This contributes to data driven and evidence based decision making.

Click here to download the entire document.

Recording of Webinar on Web-based Training

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You can see how the Delmar products (copyright PTDI) align with the PTDI standards at www.ptdi.org/standards: Page 16 of the Curriculum Standards is an overview of the required units and time, followed on subsequent pages by details of objectives for each unit. In the Certification Standards, see specifically Standards 5.2 (Instructional Time) and 9.2 (Distance Learning Option). Guidelines on distance learning and the related standards for PTDI course certification are also provided below.

Contact information for the product or the standards is listed at the bottom of this page.

How many hours does PTDI allot to a distance learning program?

The PTDI Certification Standard on Distance Learning (DL) (page 50 of the Certification Standards and reprinted below) was updated and re-released in May 2011.  Formerly it had allowed two hours per chapter.  It now basically requires the school to ensure that the a student gets the equivalent training by DL as if in the classroom setting.  Equivalent does not mean equal to; i.e., if you have four hours for a unit to be completed in the classroom, via DL it may take only two or three hours for a student to learn the same information.  The school is responsible for verifying that the student is getting the same (equivalent) training.  Also note that independent study (IS) is a separate option from distance learning and has its own requirements, which includes a minimum of 70 (84 50-minute hours) of actual classroom/lab instruction.  IS is Certification Standard 9.1 (page 49 & printed below) and also has guidelines in the Curriculum Standards (page 7-8).

PTDI Certification Standard 9.2 – Distance Learning Option:

  1. All PTDI enrollment standards as outlined in Standard 1.4 (Student Eligibility and Admissions) are applicable.
  2. Distance learning is defined as: educational or instructional activity that is delivered electronically to students. This could include interactive instructional models such as audio or video computer conferencing, or Internet/Web-based instruction. The use of home-based learning using only a workbook as a study guide is not acceptable.
  3. The core curriculum in distance learning must be the same or comparable to the curriculum in the on-campus program.
  4. The course provides for timely interaction between instructor and student.
  5. The course being offered electronically must be the equivalent of all hours of credit as required for classroom/lab time in PTDI Standard 5.2 (Instructional Time).
  6. The school must verify appropriate training and support services to instructors who teach courses and programs electronically as outlined in Standard 3.2 (Instructor Development). Training must be documented and placed in the instructor file.
  7. Prospective students in distance education programs must be provided with information regarding admission; skills needed to participate; equipment requirements; academic support services available; course and program completion requirements; and any additional costs for distance learning programming as outlined in Standard 1.1 (Truth in Advertising & Public Information).
  8. Each student must take a proctored exam at a certified location offered by the school. Documentation of identity, date and time, location of the test and test scores must be signed by the appropriate administrator and placed in the student file.
  9. Courses begin and end within a specified or controlled time frame and require that the assignments and tests be submitted by specific due dates. Students must be able to review completed lessons as part of the course offered prior to any proctored exam.

(Rev. 5/20/11)

PTDI Certification Standard 5.2 – Instructional Time (excerpt) states: Classroom and lab time must be a minimum of 104 hours (60-minute hours) or 125 (50-minute hours).

  • Classroom/lab and skills training must include each component outlined in the Curriculum Standards Units of Instruction as found in “Curriculum Standards and Guidelines for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Courses.”

PTDI Certification Standard 9.1 - Independent Study Option:

Independent study is an alternative method of guiding student learning in addition to traditional classroom instruction and must meet the same objectives with regard to content, time on task and mastery of material.  It requires independent consideration and mastery of a designated body of knowledge and is, therefore, differentiated from homework, which merely reinforces materials covered in class.  Independent study should include the following key elements for each unit:

  • Number and title of PTDI curriculum classroom unit for which it is proposed independent study be substituted; e.g., Unit 1, Unit 2 (See Curriculum Standard Units of Instruction in “Curriculum Standards and Guidelines for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Courses.”)
  • Classroom hours required for that unit, including both classroom contact hours and independent study
  • Total number of hours being submitted with independent study
  • Performance objectives
  • Knowledge objectives
  • Independent study materials to be used
  • Estimated time to complete independent study materials
  • Procedure used to determine whether the student did in fact achieve the objectives
  • Evaluation instruments and other documentation indicating successful completion of independent study

Thirty-four (34) (41)hours of independent study may be utilized for classroom/lab instruction, subject to a minimum of 70 (84) hours actual classroom/lab instructions, in order to meet the required 104 (125)hours of classroom/lab time.  Courses must explain how the option is used and complete and file the time waiver form.  (See Appendix C of these standards.)

If independent study is used it should be cited in the school catalog, brochures, and other documents where it is legal to do so.

(Rev. 5/20/11)

FOR INFORMATION ON PTDI:

Marlene Dakita
Certification Coordinator
Professional Truck Driver Institute
555 E. Braddock Rd., Alexandria, VA 22314
703-647-7015; fax 703-836-6610
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.ptdi.org

FOR INFORMATION ON THE WEB-BASED PRODUCT:

Jennifer Barbic
Senior Marketing Manager
Delmar | Chilton
Cengage Learning
5 Maxwell Drive, Clifton Park, NY 12065
(0) 800.998.7498 x2691 | (e) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.trainingbay.cengage.com | www.chilton.cengage.com

CTA decides in La Quinta to combat human trafficking

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LA QUINTA — Members of the California Trucking Association will join a nationwide effort to put the brakes on human trafficking, the group’s president announced today during the annual CTA conference in La Quinta.

“At the California Trucking Association, we say that ‘safety is our priority,’ and that priority drives our members to combat the evils of human trafficking,” said CTA Chief Executive Officer Michael Campbell.

“Truckers are the heart and soul of our nation, so the choice to join forces with Truckers Against Trafficking was a natural one for our members.”

Kendis Paris, national director of Truckers Against Trafficking, said having the state’s largest trucking association involved in the anti-trafficking campaign will “make a substantial difference.”

“Truckers are the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways,” Paris said. “We’re very excited ... and believe the California trucking industry will do much to put a dent in domestic sex trafficking.”

CTA will distribute informational DVDs for its member companies to use during training, orientation and safety seminars, according to the organization. Wallet-size cards will also be provided to members with information about how to recognize trafficking and what to do when it’s suspected... Continue reading...

News and Alerts from Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc.

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Happy New Year!
Hope 2012 has been good to you so far. This is a banner year for us — it's our 25th year! Yes, we first hung out our shingle on Jan. 5, 1987. Lots of things have changed since then but one thing remains the same: the need for a solid education to get new drivers off to a good start and a promising career. Let us know what we can do to help provide that.

Hang on to that paper
Starting Jan. 30 and no later than Jan. 30, 2014, all commercial driver’s license holders must provide information to their state driver’s license agency regarding the type of commercial motor vehicle operation they drive in or expect to drive in with their CDL. Drivers operating in certain types of commerce will be required to submit a current medical examiner’s certificate to their state licensing agency to obtain a “certified” medical status as part of their driving record. CDL holders required to have a "certified" medical status who fail to provide and or update their medical examiner’s certificate will become “not-certified” and may lose their CDL. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators has a helpful link on their Web site about this.

Play Time
If there's drilling operations going on in your area, you know that a shale "play" means a geographic area which has been targeted for exploration due to favorable geoseismic survey results. There are plays all over the US but here in south Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale play is big news. It's created challenges in lots of industries, not the least of which is commercial motor vehicle driving, training and safety. Our Education Coordinator, John Rojas, is a member of the Eagle Ford Consortium. He recently participated in the Eagle Ford Shale Job and Vendor Fair held January 13, 2012 at the Laredo Energy Arena and is spearheading the meeting scheduled for the March 1-2, 2012 in San Antonio. He's the go-to guy if you've got questions about what all this drilling means to you and your enterprise.


We've Got an App for That!
If you've got an iPhone, iTouch or iPad, check out our latest app: BUMPER TO BUMPER ® Easy CDL for Hot Shot Trucking. Our first two apps, BUMPERTOBUMPER® Easy CDL and Easy CDL Hazardous Materials Endorsement Review were so well received they've earned a Five Star rating. Easy CDL for Hot Shot Trucking will help operators of heavy duty pickups study for and pass the CDL tests, get a license and be able to drive a commercial motor vehicle truck-and-trailer combination with a gross combined weight rating in excess of 26,000 pounds. Eight "lectures" cover the information that CDL applicants must know and the audio feature makes reading more enjoyable. Over 200 multiple-choice test questions give the student lots of practice. There's even a bonus vehicle inspection video.

Look for these apps in the iTunes store or go to Study By App on the Internet. We'd love to hear your reactions. You can also leave your comments right on the iTunes Easy CDL pages.

And yes, we've started working on our fourth app. Look for a Spring 2012 launch. It's on a topic that people have been asking us to write about for decades!

Interested in a custom app for your program, like an orientation or safety session? We can do that. Give us a call at 361-749-4007 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." ' + path + '\'' + prefix + ':' + addy31409 + '\'>'+addy_text31409+'<\/a>'; //--> .
We've Got a Map for That!
trucking school mapCheck out our blog at www.cdlbookblog.com where we've added an interactive map. Clicking on the different maptacks links to the Web sites of truck driving schools in the US and Canada. We hope that makes finding a good training program easier. Contact John Rojas to find out about getting your school on the map. Phone 361-442-9552 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." ' + path + '\'' + prefix + ':' + addy30792 + '\'>'+addy_text30792+'<\/a>'; //--> .

Like Us on Facebook
Did you know that Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc. now has its own Facebook page? We invite you to Like us on Facebook.

"How to..."
Don't forget to check out our short "how to" pieces on the Internet:

Just click on the links to view the stories. You can easily email them and share them. If you want to print them to use as handouts, there's a button for that at the top right of the Web pages.

And now, for something completely different!
This has nothing to do with trucking or training, but you might find it of interest. For decades, people (including Mike Byrnes) have been telling Devorah Fox that she should write a novel. She finally did. You can find "The Lost King" as a print book in the createspace.com e-store or on www.amazon.com where it has a Five Star Rating! You can even read the first chapter for free. It's also available as in e-book in Kindle format. Don't have a Kindle e-book reader? No problem. You can download a free Kindle for PC app and read Kindle books on your computer. You can also download free apps to read Kindle books on your iPhone or iPad.

Check our Web site www.bumper2bumpertruckbook.com, or our blog at www.cdlbookblog.com. Just click on the orange-and-white RSS Feed logo to subscribe. You can leave comments or suggestions on the blog as well. And, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/redwritertx for updates. Questions? Suggestions? Give us a call at 361-749-4007 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." ' + path + '\'' + prefix + ':' + addy4862 + '\'>'+addy_text4862+'<\/a>'; //--> .

Major Transit Awards, Addressing Local Needs and Cutting Red Tape

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U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Proposes Streamlining Major Transit Awards, Addressing Local Needs and Cutting Red Tape

WASHINGTON – During his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, President Obama called on federal agencies to cut red tape in construction projects.  Accepting that challenge, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today proposed a significant change in the way major transit projects compete for federal funds by streamlining the process and making decisions more responsive to local needs.

“This proposal would move more job-generating bus, rail and ferry projects from the drawing boards into construction sooner and with less red tape along the way,” said Secretary LaHood.  “President Obama has asked government agencies to cut red tape, eliminate waste, and streamline bureaucracy wherever possible, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

The proposed changes could potentially shave six months or more off the time that is now required to move major projects through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts pipeline. This new approach may also result in financial savings for the federal government and local taxpayers by allowing approved projects to begin construction sooner, thereby saving on finance charges and other costs.

The streamlined proposal would allow the FTA to focus more on local needs, such as economic development, revitalization and responding to historically underserved populations while reducing or eliminating certain time-consuming technical requirements that are duplicative or unnecessary.

“Our process for selecting big capital projects is historically successful—but at times painfully and unnecessarily complicated,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “We’re aiming to make common-sense changes that will make a big difference to communities throughout the United States that need more mobility, and better access to jobs, sooner rather than later.”

Other benefits from the changes would include increased transparency and continued rigorous scrutiny of each project proposal.  By giving greater emphasis to evaluation criteria concerning environmental benefits and local economic impact, it would be possible for FTA to consider a variety of smaller-scale projects that might better meet a community's needs, including streetcars and rapid bus services. 

The proposed changes are described in FTA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to streamline the evaluation and rating of New Starts and Small Starts projects, published in two separate notices in today’s Federal Register are the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-25/pdf/2012-1198.pdf and Notice of Availability, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-25/pdf/2012-1195.pdf.

A 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule begins today. Comments may be formally submitted to the federal government’s docket website at Regulations.gov. FTA also plans to hold a number public listening sessions and an online informational webinar; details will be announced in a future Federal Register notice.  All received input will be taken into consideration before a final rule is issued.

The New Starts and Small Starts program is one of the largest discretionary grant programs in the U.S. Government.  FTA’s final Fiscal Year 2012 appropriation includes more than $2 billion in capital projects requested by President Obama under FTA’s capital investment program.  Proposed projects such as rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit, and ferries are evaluated and rated on a number of measures at several steps in the process as they seek FTA approval for a federal funding commitment to finance project construction.

FTA’s streamlining effort was undertaken in response to an announcement in January 2010 by Transportation Secretary LaHood to change how major transit projects are selected to receive federal financial assistance from FTA. As part of this initiative, FTA rescinded restrictions issued by the Bush Administration in March of 2005 that greatly limited the factors that would be considered when evaluating transit projects seeking federal matching dollars.