Roadcheck Returns During Time of Increased Attention to Compliance

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Week of May 30, 2011
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The annual 72-hour safety inspection blitz returns just as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration starts a media-driven purge of non-compliant carriers.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) — the not-for-profit organization behind the annual Roadcheck CMV safety blitz — recently announced that this year’s event will focus on two key areas of the DOT’s motor carrier safety agenda: hours-of-service compliance and distracted driving. During Roadcheck, which runs from June 7-9, inspectors will also be targeting household goods and passenger carriers.


Hours-of-service violations frequently top both FMCSA’s and Roadcheck’s annual roadside inspection driver violations list. To avoid trouble, drivers should comply with all applicable hours-of-service requirements and keep their log books updated to the time of their last change of duty status. To ensure hours-of-compliance, carriers should be providing warnings and feedback to drivers as part of their regular log book audits.

Household Goods

The emphasis on household goods carriers was added in response to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hunch that a number of companies may be operating under the enforcement radar. The agency believes that some unscrupulous companies are moving household goods without the necessary or proper authority.

Roadcheck Inspections

The majority of drivers stopped during Roadcheck events are subjected to a North American Standard Level I Inspection. The 37-step Level I inspection takes about an hour to complete and focuses on a variety of driver and vehicle factors, including alcohol and drug use, log books, brake systems, safe loading and lighting devices.

More information about Level I Inspections — including a step-by-step description of the process — is included in Foley’s 23-page What to Expect During a Roadside Inspection guide. For a limited time, the guide is available for just $9 when you use Coupon Code “Roadcheck11” at

FMCSA Under Pressure

As any veteran driver will tell you, every year Roadcheck is an intense flurry of enforcement activity. This year, however, drivers should be prepared for particularly stringent inspections. FMCSA has found itself under the media spotlight, thanks to a third fatal motor coach crash in as many months.

FMCSA has been criticized for not taking these carriers off the roads before they caused fatal accidents. In the most recent accident, which occurred in Fredricksburg, VA, on May 31, the company was “Alert” in all five of the public BASICs of the CSA compliance monitoring system.

This accident occurred despite FMCSA already performing additional inspections of carriers. During the first two weeks of May, FMCSA conducted more than 3,000 passenger carrier inspections and removed 442 unsafe buses and drivers from the road. Out-of-service citations were issued to 127 drivers and 315 vehicles during the unannounced crackdown. The agency also recently initiated 38 full-blown compliance reviews on passenger carriers.

In a May 5 media event, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro announced the agency’s “Action Plan” to improve passenger carrier safety. The plan includes the development and implementation of zero tolerance policies for unsafe companies and drivers, the introduction of a pre-authority safety audit and more.

Surviving Roadcheck

Roadcheck comes at the same time every year and, by now, most drivers should be used to it. Before you head out on to the roads, be sure to perform an extra-detailed pre-trip vehicle inspection. Make sure that you have all the appropriate paperwork and be sure that your logbook is both neat and up-to-date. Budget for extra time, Level I inspections last up to an hour, sometimes even longer. Finally, even if you find the delay frustrating, keep your cool with the inspector; be polite and professional at all times.

Transportation Ticker

Trucking Community Rallies Around Joplin

Two weeks after the storm hit, Joplin residents are still sifting through the rubble that once was their town, hoping to find some sign of life buried in the destruction.

Current reports have the death-toll at 139 with 990 people injured. 29 more people remain unaccounted for. Damage to the city is estimated to be more than 3 billion.

The trucking community has rallied around Joplin, delivering time, supplies, rescue equipment and personnel to the city. If you would like to help, we have compiled a list of aid-agencies collecting monetary and material donations on the Transportation Ticker blog.

Go to for more information

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • • Vol. 111, No. 689 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

Industry Groups Challenge Provision of New Licensing Rule

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A coalition of industry groups is challenging a provision of the recent federal rule that sets tough new testing standards for commercial licenses.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rule, posted last month, contains a provision that prohibits third parties from administering skills tests to the applicants they have trained. The agency put in the prohibition as protection against a possible conflict of interest arising from a trainer at a commercial training school also acting as a state-certified test examiner.

But the industry coalition, in a petition filed yesterday at the agency, said this will cause problems for the industry and the states. It will "greatly exacerbate" the driver shortage by limiting entry-level drivers and will impose burdens on states that allow third-party testing.

The coalition members are American Trucking Associations, the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Professional Truck Driver Institute, an arm of TCA.

They complain in their petition that this provision was not included in earlier versions of the rule. "Had it been included, there would have been a great outcry from both trucking interests, and the entry-level commercial driver training industry," the coalition said.

The provision evidently got into the final rule after Oregon and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association suggested it in their comments on the proposed rule, the coalition said. It added that the suggestion should have been noticed for comment by other parties before it was adopted.

The coalition also said that the final rule already contains safeguards against fraud, such as background checks and training for third-party testers. And, the July 8 effective date of the rule means that training schools and motor carriers will have just a month to implement significant changes in their business practices, the coalition said.
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Scammer Alert! 6/1/2011

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From Roadmaster:

We received a call at approximately 12:00 noon from a guy who said his name was Chuck Davis. He claimed he was the Director of Driver Service for Con Way. Said he was looking for 3 drivers to fill empty seats. His phone is 205-381-3382 also said felony over 5 years ok, DUI over 3 years ok pay scale of $425 per week for 6 weeks after .28 cents a mile. This for some reason didn't sit well so I contacted Con Way to verify Mr. Davis was who he claimed to be. After speaking to Con Way, they informed me that no such employee existed. I had one of our employees to call Mr. Davis looking for one of these positions he was told that he needed to supply a phone # where Davis could call him back.

Beware the scammers are out there!

Joplin, Missouri Needs Our Help

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From Dave Heller of TCA

Good morning:

As you know, the city of Joplin, Missouri, was ravaged by one of the most devastating tornadoes in U.S. history and has requested assistance from the trucking industry. Joplin-based carrier Con-Way Truckload has informed TCA that many of its neighbors have asked to borrow trailers for storage. While Con-way is happy to help, it simply does not have enough equipment to meet the demand. About 15-20 more trailers are currently needed and given the circumstances, each would have to be on loan for an indefinite period of time. If you can help, please contact Randy Cornell, vice president, maintenance, at Con-Way Truckload at (417) 623-5229 x5737 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you for your assistance.

Petition for Reconsideration to All Members

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As many of you know, on May 8 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a Final Rule regarding Commercial Learner's Permits.  The Final Rule prohibits schools from testing (as third-party testers) students that they have trained.

The CVTA Board of Directors authorized the filing of a Petition for Reconsideration of the third party testing prohibition with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  Following that authorization, CVTA shared its concerns and coordinated with others impacted by the provision. 

We are pleased to report that a Petition for Reconsideration was filed today on behalf of five entities:  the American Trucking Associations, Inc.; the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, Inc.; the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driver Training Schools, Inc.; the Truckload Carriers Association, Inc.; and the Professional Truck Driver Institute. CVTA is very pleased to have the support of these other organizations on this important issue.

Click here for a copy of the Petition.  (Log-in Required.)

Job Fair Invitation - Great Lakes Truck Driving School

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Great Lakes Truck Driving School will be hosting a job fair on June 2nd, 2011 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. This job fair is expected to be one of the largest truck driving job fairs in the history of the state.

35 - 40 companies from all over the country will be seeking candidates to fill multiple truck driver job openings. Job seekers are encouraged to bring a resume and be prepared to fill out applications. This event is open to the public, free to attend, and there is no need to register.

Non-CDL holders are also encouraged to attend. The job fair is a great chance to learn about the many opportunities available within the industry.

Over 400 jobseekers were in attendance at the Great Lakes Truck Driving School October 28th, 2010 job fair. The fair featured 23 companies seeking experienced and inexperienced truck drivers.

For more details on the event, including a list of scheduled recruiters, visit and click on the, “School Events” button or call (866) 932-3436.