Viewing posts from: January 2017

Petitioners Ask FMCSA to Reconsider Insufficient Final Rule for Entry-Level Truck Drivers

Posted January 25, 2017 by Administrator

On December 7, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued the Final Rule for Entry-Level Driver requirements. Since then, four groups have petitioned the FMCSA requesting that the new rules be rescinded.

The final rule does not include a behind-the-wheel standard for student drivers. Instead, it only requires a skill test administered by state licensing agencies. Initially, in the proposed rule that was announced last March, FMCSA had included a provision that would require new drivers to undergo 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training. The petitioners are concerned that, without the behind-the-wheel training, new drivers will not be adequately prepared to operate safely on public roadways.

The four petitioners that are asking the FMCSA to reconsider their new driver requirements include the following entities:

  1. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety,
  2. the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association,
  3. the Truck Safety Coalition, and
  4. Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways.

The petition was filed December 21, 2016.

The petitioners cited the following concerns about the Final Rule.

  • It is critical that new drivers spend time actually operating a commercial motor vehicle on public roads with an experienced instructor trained on how to handle safety critical situations.
  • Real-world experience is needed in order to enhance the ability of commercial driver license (CDL) applicants to safely operate a tractor-trailer and avoid crashes and other traffic incidences. More than one body of experts concur with this assertion.
  • CDL applicants need more than rudimentary skill sets to pass maneuvering tests, thus placing the CDL applicant, the public and other drivers at risk for safety violations, injury, and death.

In order to support their claim that the Final Rule is not adequate, the petitioners cited a 1995 Highway Administration report. The report, titled “Assessing the Adequacy of Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Training,” asserts that the minimum criteria on eight key factors of driver training, including time behind the wheel, should be set at “38.5 hours for heavy trucks and motor coaches as well as 9 hours for school buses.”

The petitioners have requested a stay of the effective date of the 2016 Final Rule until the FMCSA can review their concerns and render a decision on their Petition for Reconsideration.

Cline Wood represents top trucking and agribusiness insurance carriers across the country. We have access to all types of insurance programs. We treat your company as if it were our own. Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your risk, which directly contributes to your bottom line.

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Protecting Your Farm with Uniquely Tailored Coverages

Posted January 18, 2017 by Administrator

Maintaining a successful farm is not an easy job. Some may argue it is not a job at all, but a way of life. Unfortunately, farms face a number of threats that jeopardize farmers’ livelihood. In order to ensure a thriving farming environment, farmers need to be aware of the risks and take measures to mitigate them. The best way to do so is by investing in coverages that are uniquely tailored to the risk exposure of your area and the nature of your business.

Types of Insurance All Farmers Need

With the right insurance, farmers can remove the stress of worrying about risk factors and instead focus on the farm itself. There are four types of insurance all farmers should consider.

  • Farm liability protection. This insurance protects individuals from losing their farms because of liability issues. This includes bodily injury, associated medical costs, and damage to other people’s property. It can also provide legal defense if necessary.
  • Dwelling coverage. This is often part of a homeowner’s insurance policy. It provides coverage for damage to the individual’s home in the event of a disaster. Some examples include hail, windstorms, theft, and vandalism.
  • Farm equipment coverage. This type of insurance offers coverage for farming equipment, materials, and machines. This insurance can provide blanket protection up to a certain dollar amount or individuals can itemize high-cost items.
  • Barn insurance. Farmers purchase this type of insurance for barns and other buildings on their property. Some examples include buildings that house livestock, equipment, and so on.

By taking these necessary precautions, farmers can reduce their risk. This will allow farmers to focus more of their attention on operating their farm than worrying about what threatens it. To learn more about how insurance can improve your agribusiness, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

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9 Extreme Winter Weather Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

Posted January 11, 2017 by Administrator

Winter snow and ice storms can be breathtakingly beautiful and dramatic because they deliver very cold rain that freezes on contact and coats everything with a layer of glimmering ice. But ice storms can be incredibly dangerous for anyone on the road because the roads become slippery like a skating rink. It is just as easy for someone to plow into your vehicle as it is for you to lose control.

Here are 9 tips you can use to increase your awareness of how to drive in inclement conditions. If an ice storm is in the forecast, it’s best to stay off the road, but if you’re already driving and rain starts turning into ice, follow these tips.

  1. Slow down

Slow down and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles to give everyone more time to react in slippery conditions.

  1. Accelerate slowly

Be sure to apply the gas slowly to avoid losing traction and skidding on the ice.

  1. Brake safely

Apply the brakes earlier than you normally would because it takes longer to slow down on icy roads.

  1. Look out for icy patches

Steer clear of glossy ice patches on the road. Be especially vigilant on bridges, entrance and exit ramps and roads near water because these areas will freeze up first.

  1. If you lose traction

If you feel your vehicle start to slide, remove your foot from the gas pedal. Don’t slam on the brakes because that can cause you to skid and lose control. Keep your steering wheel straight but if your vehicle starts to veer to one side, gently steer into that direction. Steer toward an area where you can regain traction. Do not apply the brakes until you’ve regained traction.

  1. Avoid cruise control

Even a light tap on the brake pedal to deactivate the cruise control can cause you to skid when driving on a slippery surface. Also, you have less control of your vehicle when it’s in cruise control mode.

  1. Watch for trees and power lines

Watch out for overhead trees and power lines. If you see a power line down, do not drive over it.

  1. Prepare ahead

Advanced preparation can help immensely when it comes to extreme weather driving.

  • Check your tire tread. Make sure your tires have adequate tread.
  • Inflate tires properly. Tire pressure drops significantly in cold weather. Check your tire pressure monthly and inflate your tires to the proper level.
  • Install tire chains. When there is a lot of snow or icy conditions and the road is completely covered, install tire chains to get better traction.
  • Keep fluid reservoirs full. It’s especially important to keep your windshield wiper fluid reservoirs full with the right freeze protection for the area in which you’ll be driving.
  • Examine your windshield wipers. Check your windshield wipers regularly. If the rubber is cracked, broken, or falling off, replace your wipers as soon as possible.
  • Check your coolant. Check your coolant or antifreeze with every fill up. Running low can potentially ruin your engine.
  • Take an emergency kit. Prepare a winter emergency kit for your vehicle. Include a jump starter that is fully charged. Also, bring a spare phone with a charger. Often, 911 calls will go through even if your phone does not have service.
  1. Monitor the forecast

Always stay on top of the weather forecast. If you can, limit driving time when there are winter storm advisories.

Cline Wood represents top trucking and agribusiness insurance carriers across the country. We have access to all types of insurance programs. We treat your company as if it were our own. Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your risk, which directly contributes to your bottom line.

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Webinar: FMCSA Regulatory Updates – What You Need to Know to Improve Scores in 2017

Posted January 4, 2017 by Administrator

Join Cline Wood University for this complimentary webinar and learn how to improve your safety scores in 2017. Subject matter expert Justin Cunningham, Director of Safety at Cline Wood, will review and analyze the latest FMCSA regulatory changes and the impact on transportation businesses. These changes could have a significant impact on your safety culture – topics include:


* Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
* Speed limiters
* CDL – Entry Level Training
* Safety Fitness Determination
* EOBR Mandate

Date and Time: Wed, Jan 11, 2017 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM CST

Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6182017700354279682

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