Posted October 31, 2016 by Erin
A federal mandate requiring nearly all U.S. truck operators to use electronic logging devices to track duty status has been upheld in court, meaning the December 18, 2017, compliance date remains effective.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal court overseeing the case, voted to keep the mandate in place, securing a victory for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and its ELD rule. Its decision was issued Oct. 31, following oral arguments made in Chicago on Sept. 13.
The decision does not change the rule’s exemption for pre-2000 year-model trucks, which are allowed to operate without an ELD.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a lawsuit on behalf of two truckers in March in an attempt to have the mandate overturned. But OOIDA was unable to convince the court of its arguments that the rule violates truckers’ Fourth Amendment rights to privacy. OOIDA also claimed the rule didn’t meet standards set by Congress for an ELD mandate — an argument the court also rejected.
The rule “is not arbitrary or capricious, nor does it violate the Fourth Amendment,” the 7th circuit judges wrote in their decision.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is the same court that tossed out FMCSA’s 2010-published ELD mandate on the grounds that the rule didn’t do enough to protect truckers from harassment by carriers via the devices.
The court in its Oct. 31 decision said the agency fixed those issues in its 2015-issued rule.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is the highest court in the country next to the Supreme Court. OOIDA still has the option to appeal a ruling.
The Supreme Court, however, has signaled it may not take up the case, at least from preliminary filings made this year.
The ELD mandate rule, published December 2015, requires all truckers currently required to paper logs to transition to an ELD by December 18, 2017.
This article was originally published on ccjdigital.com by James Jaillet. To see the full article click here.
Posted October 25, 2016 by Administrator
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a safety advisory October 21, 2016 to provide notice to commercial motor vehicle owners, operators and passengers on the risks and regulations as they pertain to the recently recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone as well as other damaged, defective or recalled lithium cells or batteries used for portable electronic devices.
Individuals who own or possess a Galaxy Note 7 may not transport the device on their person or in bags in or on commercial motor carriers, to, from or within the United States. The emergency order also prohibits the shipment of the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphones as cargo.
The FMCSA advises drivers and passengers to take the following precautions:
- Turn off the phone.
- Disconnect the device from any charging equipment.
- Disable all applications that could activate the phone inadvertently (such as an alarm clock.)
- Protect the power switch to prevent its unintentional activation.
The transportation of electrical devices, such as batteries and battery-powered devices that are likely to produce sparks or generate a “dangerous evolution of heat” is forbidden unless packaged in a manner which precludes such an occurrence, according to a spokesperson for the Federal Hazardous Materials Relations. The recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones are subject to this regulatory prohibition and may only be transported by commercial motor vehicles as cargo under the conditions of a special permit or approval issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s associate administrator for hazardous materials safety.
Posted October 18, 2016 by Administrator
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently amended their regulations to help integrate more veterans into the transportation industry. The amendment increases the window veterans have from exiting the service and applying for a skill waiver test to receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
The FMCSA has taken additional steps to display their commitment to recognizing and utilizing veteran’s skills. On October 18, 2016, the FMCSA announced almost $1 million in grants for seven institutions across the nation. These grants will help these institutions train and prepare veterans for jobs in the transportation industry. The FMCSA provides this funding through their Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training (CMV-OST) program. These grants will provide training for over 250 students.
The FMCSA’s grants do more than help veterans transition into civilian lives. They also help institutions train veterans to be the best drivers in the industry. This includes knowing and following best safety practices. Given their previous military experience in addition to continued training, the FMCSA believes veterans provide an excellent resource for quality and safe drivers.
The focus on safety is not without good reason. 2015 saw a drastic increase in road fatalities. Couple that with the fact that trucking has the highest on-the-job fatality rate in America, and it is easy to see why the FMCSA has safety concerns. Driver safety should always be a major concern for fleet managers. To stay up to date with the latest federal regulations to improve trucking safety, contact Cline Wood.
Posted October 12, 2016 by Administrator
In an unprecedented ruling, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service has announced a new proposed policy that would hold livestock transporters responsible for the mistreatment of the animals they carry. The new rule would allow civil or criminal action to be taken against instances of animal abuse related to animals with a connection to an official slaughterhouse establishment.
The current law holds farm owners and slaughterhouses solely responsible for the care of animals in conjunction with slaughter. This policy proposal is the first time that carriers will be held accountable for the handling of the livestock they are hired to transport. This is significant because many of the truck carriers are not employed by either the farmers or the slaughterhouses and are therefore exempt from the current law. Policymakers hope that the new policy will improve the welfare of livestock during transport.
One major change policymakers have explicitly included in the proposed rule is that speeding while transporting livestock will be considered inhumane treatment. Speeding while hauling animals bound for slaughter has been known to result in the animals slipping and becoming injured due to falls. Under the proposed new ruling, FSIS can investigate and find the transportation professional liable. The FSIS believes the new ruling will improve conditions for livestock bound for slaughter by making sure the proper procedures for hauling will be enforced.
The official notice will be published in the Federal Register. The proposed policy will go into effect in 90 days unless public comment calls for a revision of the ruling. At Cline Wood we represent top agribusiness insurance carriers across the country with access to all types of insurance programs. We treat your company as if it were our own. Our goal is to go beyond simply providing you with affordable insurance. Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your risk, which directly contributes to your bottom line.
Posted October 11, 2016 by Erin
Cline Wood is happy to share some information on upcoming free seminar scheduled in Kansas City, Missouri next week. This is a drug and alcohol seminar for supervisors taught by Mark Woodward from Missouri Employers Mutual and John Throckmorton from TOMO Drug Testing.
7:30 a.m. Registration begins. Continental breakfast provided.
8 a.m.-noon Seminar
Oct. 13—Kansas City
Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts
Kansas City, MO 64110
Participants who complete the full session will receive a Certificate of Completion indicating compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirements, and most state requirements for Supervisor Drug and Alcohol Recognition Training. This is a free seminar. This certification would normally cost $75/person. Here is the link to the information and sign-up on our website.
If you have contacts who can benefit from such training, please forward this information.
Posted October 6, 2016 by Administrator
Join Cline Wood and Roberts Perryman as we discuss the challenges facing the trucking industry in light of new Department of Labor regulatory standards. Effective December 1, the new DOL standards regarding payment of overtime will affect most trucking industry occupations. This includes drivers, mechanics, dispatchers, sales and recruiters. Subject matter expert Ted L. Perryman will address the impact on your trucking business and more. Topics include:
* FLSA Overtime Changes
* Criminal Background Checks
* Whistle Blower Litigation
* Retaliatory Discharge
Date & Time: Wed, Oct 19, 2016 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM CDT