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The Transportation Industry Gears Up for a Busy Fall, Winter

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance
Week of September 13, 2010

The industry is abuzz with news about Part 40 changes, safe trucker parking, EOBR rule revisions, distracted driving and, of course, CSA2010.

It’s been a busy week in the world of DOT safety regulation news. In this week’s issue, we are highlighting a few of the top stories and looking forward to a few big changes on the horizon.

Distracted Driving Summit

This week the DOT announced the agenda for its second national Distracted Driving Summit. The day-long event will be held on September 21 in Washington, D.C. and broadcast live over the internet at www.distraction.gov. Those who are unable to attend have been invited to submit questions in advance by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by the close of business on September 20. “Distracted Driving as an Occupational Safety Issue,” scheduled for 9:25 a.m., appears to be the most interesting presentation on the agenda.

Safe Truck Parking Drive

On Wednesday, an industry association staged a national call in day to show support for two “Jason’s Law” bills. The bills — HR2156 and S971 — would allocate $120 million over the next six years for safety improvements to rest areas and truck stops across the country.

The drive may be over, but it is not too late to show your support for “Jason’s Law.” To participate, simply call the U.S. Capital switchboard at 202-224-3121 and give the operator your home zip code. He or she will then connect you with your representatives.

FMCSA Amends April EOBR Rule

FMCSA made two technical corrections and made changes to performance standards in its April 2010 Electronic Onboard Recorders for Hours of Service final rule. After reviewing petitions for reconsideration from EOBR manufactures, FMCSA has eliminated the specific operating temperature range and replaced the requirement for a USB Type B connector with the requirement for a Type A connector. The agency also said it is considering if it must undertake a separate rulemaking to establish fault code thresholds.

FMCSA began mandating the use of EOBRs on June 10, 2010 for motor carriers who have more than a 10% error rate on their hours-of-service documentation. The regulations governing the technical specifications go into effect on June 4, 2012.

Part 40 Changes, Effective Oct. 1

This week we’ve been busy putting together a mailing for our DOT drug and alcohol testing clients. We want to make sure everyone is up-to-speed with the changes that go into effect on October 1, 2010. The changes include a revised 5-panel drug test designed to remove more drug-using employees from safety-sensitive jobs as well as new qualification requirements for Medical Review Officers. (See Fast-Fax issue #650 for details). The bottom line is that clients using a standard Foley Services’ policy do not need to make any revisions at this time. Those with custom policies that include specific cut-off levels will need to revise and reissue their policies or issue an addendum.

We are also encouraging clients to educate their DOT-regulated supervisors and employees about the DOT’s new 5-Panel drug test. To aid in this effort, we have developed an informational flyer that employers can distribute to employees or post on break room walls. (To request a copy of the flyer, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .) We have also updated our “DOT Supervisor Training for Reasonable-Suspicion Drug and Alcohol Testing” webinar. The two-hour session now includes information about Ecstasy, including the signs and symptoms of abuse. Registration information is available at foleyservices.webex.com.

On the Horizon

The regulatory deck is stacked with several highly anticipated final rules, proposals and procedural changes expected in the coming weeks and months. Here are a few worth paying attention to:

  • Hours of Service. New proposal expected in November 2010.
  • The National Launch of Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA2010). FMCSA says the new system will be rolled out nationally in fall/winter 2010. Preview data is already available to carriers at csa2010.fmcsa.dot.gov.
  • Safety Fitness Determination. Proposed rule slated for release in February 2011.
  • National Database on CMV Drug and Alcohol Testing. The database they’ve been talking about for years is getting closer to reality.


Keep reading Fast-Fax for updates on these important issues and anything else the DOT and FMCSA are working on.

Editor: Donald E. Lewis, President • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 110, No. 654 • © Foley Services, Inc. 2010

 

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FMCSA Makes Several Requests to Change On-Going Information Collection Activities

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance
Week of September 6, 2010

Information collection activities ranging from training certificates to hazmat safety permits may be changed following FMCSA’s requests.

Thursday’s Federal Register contained several requests by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to make changes to current information collection activities. Ranging from Training Certificates to Hazmat Safety Permits, the information collection activites undertaken by FMCSA cover a wide variety of topics. The public is encouraged to submit comments on these requests.


Training Certification for Drivers of Longer Combination Vehicles


FMCSA requested Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to revise an Information Collection Request (ICR) entitled, Training Certification for Drivers of Longer Combination Vehicles. This ICR was deemed necessary because the training certificates drivers are required to present to prospective employers serve as proof the drivers have successfully completed the training to operate Longer Combination Vehicles (LCVs) safely.


Motor carriers are required to maintain a copy of the training certification in each LCV driver’s qualification file. This file may be reviewed by Federal or State enforcement officials. This ICR was revised because of an anticipated increase in the number of LCV drivers submitting training certificates to employers. This has resulted in FMCSA having to alter the estimated information collection burden for this training task.


Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program


FMCSA requested approval to revise an ICR entitled Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program. The information FMCSA requires consists of grant application preparation, quarterly reports and electronic data documenting the results of driver/vehicle inspections performed by the States. This ICR is being revised due to an increase in the estimated number of State inspections that will be performed annually resulting in change to the estimated burden to perform this activity.


Hazardous Materials Safety Permits


FMCSA requested approval to revise an existing ICR entitled Hazardous Materials Safety Permits, due to an increase in the estimated number of annual trips in which permitted hazardous materials are transported. This ICR requires companies holding permits to develop a communications plan that allows for the systematic tracking of the hazmat shipment.


A record of these communications, including the time of the call and location of the shipment must be kept by either the driver (for example, if it were recorded in the log book) or by the company. These records must be kept, either physically or electronically, for at least six months at the company’s principal place of business or readily available to the employees at the company’s principal place of business. This ICR was revised because of an increase in the estimated number of annual trips in which permitted hazmats is transported resulting in change to the total information collection burden for maintaining a daily communication record.


Accident Recordkeeping Requirements


Finally, FMCSA announced its plan to request that the OMB approve revision of the Information Collection (IC) entitled Accident Recordkeeping Requirements because FMCSA has obtained more accurate data upon which to base calculation of the paperwork burden of this IC.


Submitting Comments

You can submit comments via the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal:
http://www.regulations.gov .
Fax:
1-202-493-2251
Mail/Courier:

Docket Management Facility,
U.S. Department of Transportation,
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140,
Washington, DC
20590-0001

Editor: Donald E. Lewis, President • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 110, No. 653 • © Foley Services, Inc. 2010

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Enrollment is up at trucking schools

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By Gordon Dickson, 817-390-7796
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Michael Brock is hitting the open road in search of job security.

After two decades working construction jobs, he is tired of being laid off when times get tough. He enrolled at the C1 Truck Driving School in Benbrook and plans to become a long-distance driver.

"Construction is not stable enough for me," Brock, 43, said last week during a class. "Driving a truck is a stable industry. As long as you keep your report clean, you've got a job."

Americans as a whole may be struggling to find work after a long recession, but there are jobs aplenty in the cab of an 18-wheeler. Trucking companies are reporting a shortage of drivers nationwide, which could delay shipments and ultimately raise the price of goods.

"During the recession, companies had to cut the work force, so now that freight volumes are picking back up they don't have the work force to accommodate the demand," said Brandon Borgna, spokesman for the American Trucking Associations in Arlington, Va. "A lot of drivers are older. There isn't that younger generation stepping in."

Read more at Star-Telegram

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Covenant Transport Celebrates Driver Appreciation Week

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PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 22, 201
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Covenant Transport honored its fleet during the American Trucking Associations’ National Driver Appreciation Week by providing lunch and homemade goodies to all the drivers at Covenant terminals nationwide Tuesday, September 21st. The theme of the celebration at Covenant was Snow White and the Seven Basics of CSA2010.

“Professional truck drivers deliver our nation’s essential freight safely everyday,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “As a result of this commitment, our nation’s highways are the safest they have ever been and our grocery shelves are stocked. We as a nation owe a great deal to the truck drivers out on our nation’s roads everyday.”




Photo caption: Front row (left to right): Michael Smith (Safety Dir.), Robert Graham, Kim Perry (Admin.), Marilyn Smith (Compliance), Jack Beeman and Michael Miskell. Back row: Tony Viney, Tim Clark (Operations Dir.), Doug Cook (VP Safety) and Jim Lyon (VP Operations).

 

Covenant Transportation Group, Inc. is the holding company for several transportation providers that offer premium transportation services for customers throughout the United States. The consolidated group includes operations from Covenant Transport and Covenant Transport Solutions of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Southern Refrigerated Transport of Texarkana, Arkansas; and Star Transportation of Nashville, Tennessee. The group operates one of the ten largest fleets in North America as measured by revenue. The Company's Class A common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol "CVTI".

For further information, please contact:
Michael W. Smith
Director of Safety
Covenant Transport

Phone: 800-721-5202 x3501
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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Covenant Transport Receives State Safety Award

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PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2010

Covenant Transport has received a Fleet Safety Award for being one of the top three carriers for highway safety in the state of Tennessee for 2009 in the *Truckload Over 7 Million Miles” category according to the Tennessee Trucking Association. The award was presented to Covenant by the TTA at its Annual Convention in Destin, FL. September 14.

“Receiving this award in our home state of operations is a testament of the commitment to Safety on the highways from our employees”, says Michael Smith, Safety Director.

Pictured above, Michael Smith Safety Director on the left and Doug Cook VP of Safety on the right.

Joey Hogan, president of Covenant stated, "Our leadership, training and goal setting are all focused on sustaining a high level of performance in keeping our fleet, cargo and the motoring public safe on every highway in every state."

Covenant Transportation Group, Inc. is the holding company for several transportation providers that offer premium transportation services for customers throughout the United States. The consolidated group includes operations from Covenant Transport and Covenant Transport Solutions of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Southern Refrigerated Transport of Texarkana, Arkansas; and Star Transportation of Nashville, Tennessee. The group operates one of the ten largest fleets in North America as measured by revenue. The Company's Class A common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol, "CVTI".

For further information, please contact:
Michael W. Smith

Director of Safety

Covenant Transport

Phone: 800-721-5202 x3501

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Trucking's Monster Jam

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By Rich Duprey
Fools.com
September 11, 2010


If you've ever witnessed a traffic jam start as drivers slow down to look at an accident, you'll understand the wreck that's about to hit the trucking industry.

Complaints about aggressive truck drivers have led not only to a crackdown by state highway patrols, but also the implementation of a driver-safety measurement system intended to weed out drivers who are deemed unfit to sit behind the wheel of a big rig. Known as the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, it will instead cause the industry -- which had been on the road to recovery -- to crash. And there will be a big jam in every corner of the economy as a result.

You're doing a heckuva job ...
Like a lot of government programs, the regulations are well intentioned but will have dire consequences. Trucking companies are having trouble finding qualified drivers, and analysts estimate that the rules will reduce the driver pool by as much as 7%. And now, even though large trucks are involved in just 6% of all accidents nationwide, a rote, just-check-the-boxes rating mentality means that Werner Enterprises (Nasdaq: WERN) says it will have to let some drivers go even though they have unblemished accident histories.

Many drivers, for example, aren't allowed to supervise the loading of their trucks, but if a load shifts or spills, they're held accountable and will have points counted against them in the rating system. Same with companies that have their own maintenance and repair shops, where drivers are still responsible for any vehicle defects. And any warnings the police issue are held against drivers just as if they'd gotten a ticket.

... but don't come back!
The trucking industry has lost almost 150,000 jobs since 2008 (Continue to read more...)
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Trucker shortage creates openings for long-haul drivers

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By Dale Yurong
abclocal.go.com

Some worry a trucker shortage may delay the delivery of products around the country and raise the price of some items.

Despite the tight economy, the American Trucking Association says the industry is still short of long-haul drivers.

Big rigs on Highway 99 help transport many of your favorite foods, products and machinery. Moving freight up and down the state isn't a problem for trucking companies. But cross-country jobs are harder to fill.

Jose Sandoval is a truck driving instructor for Proteus. The program trains farm workers like Marco Garcia and helps them find work once they finish their training. Sandoval said, "A lot of them are over the road. We've been placing a lot of them local also, especially right now with the season, tomatoes and stuff like that. A lot of Ag work."

Sandoval says long haul jobs offer more opportunity. But the drivers he trains all want to stay local because they don't want to spend weeks away from their families. He explained, "Actually I tell them if they go on the road it's a better chance for them for experience and they come back after six months to a year, they're going to have a lot of doors open for local work."

Trucking company owner Jim Ganduglia said the trucker shortage does not apply to California. A line of idle rigs shows how many of his drivers are waiting for work. Ganduglia said, "They're not sitting there because I like to see green and yellow paint parked against my fence. It's because the economy stinks."

Ganduglia ships freight around the state. Everything from Ag fertilizer to chemicals. He said, "We've got customers where they were shipping 10 loads a day are now shipping maybe five. Most often none. It goes from feast to famine from one day to the next."

Ganduglia says he recently had to lay off four drivers -- A first since Jim's father started the company back in 1939.

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