Congress repeats truck weight bill

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By Jill Dunn

For the third consecutive year, Congress is considering a bill to allow states to increase interstate weight limits to 97,000 pounds for six-axle trucks.

On Feb. 17, Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) introduced the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, or H.R. 763, which was referred to committee with one co-sponsor.

The bill text is not yet available via Congress’ online website. The Coalition for Transportation Productivity, a group of shippers and other associations supporting the increase, said some trading partners, including Canada and Mexico, use limits higher than the U.S. 80,000-pound limit set in 1982.

The current weight limit means even if trucks have additional unfilled space, shippers must pay for additional trucks, adding to road congestion and emissions.

The American Trucking Associations supports the measure, which the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association opposes because of safety concerns.

The two previous years, the SETA was referred to committee the day of introduction. In 2009, Michaud’s bill had 54 co-sponsors and last year, Republican Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo’s bill had three co-sponsors.

Urgent News from CVTA

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CVTA has been active on two issues that could have a major impact on our school and carrier members.

First, the Association has submitted written testimony to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee which is holding a series of nationwide "listening sessions" on transportation policy.

The sessions are highly controlled, thus we were not able to testify in person. Lou Spoonhour will be attending the session that is to be held in Chicago on Sunday, February 20, and hopefully he will be allowed to present CVTA's testimony for the record during the roundtable portion of the hearing.

States target licensing of illegal immigrants

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By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Land Line state legislative editor

Two states still allow illegal immigrants to obtain full-blown driver’s licenses. One more state offers a permit that allows them to drive, but not use the license as an ID. In each case, lawmakers are trying to end the practice.

In recent years, the list of states providing driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants has dropped from nine to two – New Mexico and Washington. In Utah, illegal immigrants can obtain licenses to drive, but they cannot be used as identification.

Supporters of stricter licensing rules say the current system allows for identity fraud and raises other public safety concerns.

Opponents say that cutting access to driver’s licenses would raise insurance costs because illegal immigrants wouldn’t be able to obtain insurance. The result would be many more uninsured drivers.

They also say that the purpose of a license is to show proof of the ability to drive – not be used for identification purposes.

In New Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez said the system is a disaster waiting to happen. She campaigned a year ago on a pledge to stop letting illegal immigrants get driver’s licenses.

The governor’s administration said the change could affect 82,000 driver’s license holders in the state.

“As other states clamp down, New Mexico has become a haven for people looking to circumvent the law,” Martinez said during a recent news conference.

A House bill would require applicants to have a Social Security number to get a driver’s license... Continue to read more...

California Dump Truckers Sue CARB to Overturn Emission Rule

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Calling the regulation "overreaching," the California Dump Truck Owners Association has filed suit against the California Air Resources Board challenging the legality of board's Truck and Bus Regulation.

The lawsuit, California Dump Truck Owners Association v. Air Resources Board, was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, Sacramento Division, on February 11.

Specifically, CDTOA asserts that CARB's regulation is unconstitutional as it is preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act, and seeks an injunction prohibiting CARB from enforcing the rule.

CDTOA has attempted to work with CARB for more than four years to find reasonable solutions that accomplish the goal of cleaning California's air while avoiding the needless devastation of the state's trucking industry and specifically the dump truck industry, the group said in a press release.

The group says the dump truck industry is struggling with 50 percent unemployment and rampant construction price deflation in the state. It claims enforcement of the costly emissions rule will cause incalculable damage to the construction transportation industry.

CARB, the association says, has repeatedly refused to address the association's concerns. Left with no remaining option, CDTOA has decided to pursue a solution through the courts.

"Our members are experiencing the worst economic conditions in living memory and CARB continues to place impossible regulatory burdens on them at a time they can least afford it," says Lee Brown, executive director of CDTOA. "Our members support clean air, but the air we breathe can't be more important than the people that are breathing it."

Brown says the CARB regulations would adversely affect the truckers' business model by forcing premature retirement or replacement of otherwise perfectly good assets...
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The FMCSA will host a listening session Feb. 17

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FMCSA Hours-of-Service Listening Session

On Thursday, February 17, 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will hold a public listening session in Arlington, VA on its regulatory proposal that would revise hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for commercial truck drivers.

The entire listening session will be webcast live via the Internet from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST to enable public participation across the country. In addition, FMCSA will host an online comment and question forum for the public starting at 12 noon until midnight EST... Continue to read more...

Details about the webcast and forum are available at:

CARB holds "one stop" truck regulation meetings for truckers

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The California Air Resources Board is working with local air quality districts to host “one stop” events to help explain truck regulations already being enforced in the Golden State.

The events include regulation updates, financial information, and demonstrations of truck inspections, though no actual inspections will be performed.

Suppliers of exhaust retrofits and SmartWay approved equipment will be in attendance, and financial grant application assistance is available by appointment.

The next meeting is Feb. 19 at the College of Alameda in Alameda, CA. Other events will be held March 5 in Riverside, CA; March 19 in San Mateo, CA; and March 26 in Fresno, CA.

Click here for more information.

J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. Responds to EOBR Proposal with Electronic Logging Solution

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News Release
February 10, 2011

Low-cost hours-of-service system helps fleets prepare for the proposed EOBR mandate

Neenah, WI – J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc., the nation’s most respected name in risk and regulatory management, is responding to the electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) proposal released by the FMCSA on January 31, 2011 by reminding carriers that the company’s electronic logging solution, powered by J. J. Keller’s Encompass™, is a cost effective answer to the proposed regulatory changes.

The electronic on-board recorder proposal from the FMCSA would mandate that all motor carriers currently required to maintain Records of Duty Status (RODS) for hours-of-service recordkeeping would be required to use EOBRs to “systematically and effectively monitor their drivers’ compliance with HOS requirements” within three years of the proposal becoming regulation. This EOBR mandate, combined with the December 2010 Hours of Service Proposed Rulemaking and the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative from FMCSA, will place an exceptional burden on carriers to understand and comply with driver logging regulations.

During a recent poll of nearly 1,000 transportation professionals, J. J. Keller found that over 40% of respondents said that cost is the main reason that they are not using E-Logs. However, DOT estimates show that most carriers should actually see a cost benefit as a result of the installation and use of an EOBR solution.

J. J. Keller’s electronic logging solution is priced at $6 per driver per month, plus a one-time $199 on-board recorder fee and a monthly data plan for a mobile device. J. J. Keller’s Encompass captures and audits all of a company’s driver logs, providing online reporting and compliance information that can immediately improve fleet operations. It is the only solution on the market that provides the combination of electronic and paper log auditing to support a mixed fleet. The Encompass solution goes beyond capturing in-cab hours-of-service data by storing significant driver and vehicle data, such as driver files and vehicle maintenance records, within the web-based service.

James J. Keller, President and Chief Operating Officer at J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc., said, “As the FMCSA moves in the direction of mandating EOBRs for all drivers, J. J. Keller ‘s commitment to helping companies of all sizes comply with hours-of-service is stronger than ever. We have been helping companies comply with hours-of-service regulations since 1953 by offering log books, training, auditing services, and more – our affordable E-Log solution is an evolution of the expertise we have demonstrated to our customers for over half a century.”

J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. will be hosting a complimentary webcast, Hours-of-Service: What you need to know, on Thursday, February 17 at 10:00AM Central Time. The webcast will take a closer look at:

  • Hours-of-Service fundamentals – the rules, who needs to follow them, and the exceptions,
  • The impact of CSA,
  • The FMCSA’s proposal – potential changes to driving time, the 24-hour restart, and the definition of on-duty time,
  • The EOBR mandate and new proposal – what could this mean for your fleet, and
  • Establishing a compliant culture within your organization.

Carriers of all sizes are invited to register for this event by visiting

To learn more about E-Logs, powered by J. J. Keller’s Encompass™, visit or call 1-888-473-4638.

About J. J. Keller’s Encompass™
J. J. Keller’s Encompass™ is the most comprehensive enterprise system available for fleet compliance. Fleets rely on Encompass to manage daily tasks such as driver hiring and qualification, alcohol and drug testing, driver training and recordkeeping, fuel tax reporting, maintenance tracking and more. Fleets can add J. J. Keller's EOBR to automate hours-of-service with E-Logs and/or generate driver performance reporting. To learn more about J. J. Keller’s Encompass™, visit

About J. J. Keller Business Services
J. J. Keller Business Services has been helping companies reduce risk and improve regulatory compliance since 1953. Through online and consulting services, and turnkey outsourcing, J. J. Keller Business Services can assist you in reducing accidents, offloading time consuming compliance work, and developing effective compliance programs. To learn more about J. J. Keller Business Services, visit

For more information, contact:
J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
Marketing Communications
Stephanie Dean
1-800-843-3174, ext. 7802
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