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Weight Limit Exemption for Dairy Truck Drivers

Posted April 25, 2017 by Administrator

A recent federal regulation now allows states to adjust how they treat milk trucks versus other haulers. This amendment to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act authorizes states to issue special permits to milk truck drivers regarding weight limits as well as treat their dairy cargo as a non-divisible load.

One state, Connecticut, has already taken advantage of this revision. Prior to the change in law, Connecticut milk haulers had to travel with their trucks at 80 percent capacity. This meant it required five trucks to haul four trucks worth of milk. This provides two significant benefits:

  • Small and mid-sized farmers can now use the full capacity of their dairy trucks, which helps them save money
  • More economic use of milk trucks means less traffic on state roads

Exemption Improves Road Safety

While helping dairy farmers save money is a considerable benefit, improving road safety is a much farther-reaching advantage. Traffic congestion is not only aggravating, it is a major source of risk to truck drivers and passenger vehicle alike. Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are harder to maneuver and bring to a complete stop than passenger vehicles. While CMV drivers can do their part to ensure they are following safe driving practices, they cannot account for how other vehicles will drive around them.

Reducing the number of trucks to deliver the same amount of cargo is a necessary step for improving road safety.  It is vital for dairy farmers and milk truck drivers to stay up to date with which states are cashing in on this amendment to the FAST Act. Dairy haulers often cross state lines, so they need to ensure their cargo weight meets each state’s rules. To stay up to date with the latest federal regulations affecting agribusinesses, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

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Helping Feed the World

Posted April 17, 2017 by Erin

To watch the video, click here.

Argo Group has a role in protecting vital industries across the globe, from agriculture to manufacturing and hundreds of others. One reason for Argo’s success in so many sectors has to do with the partnerships it forms, prompted by its emphasis on collaboration with clients.

One such collaboration is helping Cattle Empire, one of the nation’s largest cattle-feeding operations. Argo, in partnership with broker Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, covers the herd and property against loss.

Lucas Christensen, chief financial officer for Cattle Empire, grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana. He understands the importance of having an insurance partner dedicated to the concept of sustainability.

Christensen recalls a bumper sticker on the car he drove as a teenager when he fed the animals. It read: “Ranchers: the original environmentalists.”

“I think that’s something I grew up understanding and learning that we live off the land and off the animals, and so it’s in our best interests to take care of those,” Christensen says.

He appreciates the role that Argo plays in keeping his operation running smoothly.

“More so than the monetary recovery of loss, which is important, is the speed in which we are helped,” Christensen says. “If we have a major loss, we need partners with us that will stand by us and be ready to aid us at a moment’s notice.”

Article originally published on, to view the full article click here.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.



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EPA’s Latest Initiative – Phase 2 Heavy-Duty National Program

Posted April 4, 2017 by Administrator

Fuel-efficiency and carbon pollution standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks in America were finalized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last year. These new standards, which will go into effect by the year 2027, will improve the fuel efficiency of commercial motor carriers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby bolstering energy security and saving vehicle owners substantial fuel costs.

The program, called the “Final Phase 2 Program” is designed to promote a cleaner, more efficient trucking industry by encouraging the application of currently-available technologies and the development of new technologies that will produce cost-effective remedies by the year 2027. The EPA is projecting that the new imperatives will have a lasting positive effect for the industry, the entire economy and public health.

  • CO2 emissions are expected to be reduced by 1.1 billion metric tons,
  • $170 billion will be saved in fuel costs,
  • oil consumption will be reduced by up to two billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program,
  • the buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 is expected to recoup the investment in fuel-efficient technology within two years of purchase,
  • $230 billion in net benefits to society, including benefits to our climate and the public health of Americans.

Heavy-duty trucks generate the most greenhouse gas emissions and use the most energy in the U.S. transportation sector. They currently account for 20 percent of GHG emissions and oil use.

The EPA and NHTSA continue to work on fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for trailers. They are expected to take effect as soon as 2018 for certain trailers, while other trailers will have until 2021 to comply. Credits will be available for those who wish to voluntary participate before the final deadline. Types of technologies that are being considered for the standards include:

  • aerodynamic devices,
  • light-weight construction, and
  • self-inflating tires.

The agencies who were involved in developing the new Final Phase 2 Program are very excited about the new U.S. national standards that were developed with input from a variety of sources including trucking industry, labor and environmental leaders.

To learn more on transportation industry news, trucking coverages, and risk management, contact us.

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Is a Recession on the Horizon for the Trucking Industry?

Posted December 6, 2016 by Administrator

trucksThe trucking industry in America may be facing a downturn, causing some analysts to predict that economic indicators are signaling a recession. Some of the negative trends that analysts point to as worrisome include:

  • low diesel prices
  • energy sector issues
  • high business inventories
  • weakness in the manufacturing sector
  • decrease in exports due to a strong dollar
  • driver shortages that make it difficult to cover deliveries and routes
  • government regulations that make it difficult to recruit and retain drivers

The trucking industry is a major player when it comes to economic expansion. When fewer goods are delivered due to a reduced need, it could signal a slowing of economic growth in the U.S. The trucking industry accounts for 70 percent of the tonnage carried by domestic freight. Trucks move 9.2 million tons of freight annually. Over 37 billion gallons of diesel fuel were required to provide that much transportation.

Even if manufacturing improves and consumer demand stabilizes, there is a high degree of economic uncertainty predicted for 2017. High inventory stocks continue to hold down trucking freight volumes, which have been falling since the second half of 2015. Hopefully, the supply chain will clean out the excess stocks which will benefit the trucking industry.

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Thanksgiving Weekend – Holiday Theft Awareness

Posted November 21, 2016 by Erin


Motor carriers should be mindful of the increased risk of theft as Thanksgiving approaches. Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, and warehouses and trailers are filling up with valuable inventory. Naturally, these make for target-rich environments to would-be thieves. In fact, around Thanksgiving 2015 there were 18 reported cargo theft incidents totaling approximately $1.48 million in reported losses.

Source: Freightwatch International

Please click on the link below for some great loss prevention tips from Great West Casualty Company that can help motor carriers and drivers prevent cargo thefts this year.

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ELD mandate upheld in court, compliance date remains December 2017

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 by James Jaillet. To see the full article click here.

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FMCSA Announces Safety Advisory for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Devices

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:

  1. Turn off the
  2. Disconnect the device from any charging equipment.
  3. Disable all applications that could activate the phone inadvertently (such as an alarm clock.)
  4. 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.

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Drug and Alcohol Seminar (Kansas City location)

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
4747 Flora
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.


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Congratulations to Skip Wombolt, Michael Gully and Jeff Buchheit. MOTA award recipient and newly appointed board officers.

Posted September 29, 2016 by Erin


Last Thursday during the 79th Annual Missouri Trucking Association Convention, Cline Wood Producer Skip Wombolt was presented with the “G. Findley Reed Award” the allied industry’s highest service award.

G. Findley Reed was a long-time allied member of the Missouri Motor Carriers Association and a leader in the insurance industry. Fin Reed passed away some years ago, and in his memory and to remember his service to the Association, and honor other valued allied members, the G. Findley Reed Award was established.

G. Findley Reed had a high regard for the Missouri Motor Carriers Association and recognized the importance of bringing together, at least once a year, both the allied industry and the motor carrier members of the Association.

Each year at the annual convention, an allied industry member is recognized for service to the motor carrier industry and, in particular, for service to the Association.

Congratulations Skip!

Cline Wood would also like to congratulate our client Michael Gully, of Gully Transportation, Inc., on his election to serve as Chairman of the board for MOTA for the 2016-2017 year. Congratulations Michael!

Cline Wood would also like to congratulate our client Jeff Buchheit, of Buchheit Logistics, on his election to serve as 3rd Vice Chairman of the board for MOTA for the 2016-2017 year. Congratulations Jeff!

To see the full press release from this year’s MOTA convention, please visit their website here.


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Webinar: Best Practices for Truck Brokers to Reduce Costs & Improve CSA Scores

Posted September 13, 2016 by Administrator

The beautiful red US Truck with chrome

Join Cline Wood University as we discuss insurance and risk management best practices for trucking brokers. Subject matter expert Ben Armistead, Partner at Greenwich Transportation Underwriters, will explain the critical components required to make truck brokers appealing to underwriters. Implementing these safety strategies and best practices will reduce insurance costs, improve CSA scores and attract business to your organization. Topics include:

* Broker Management Goals
* Risk Management Strategy & Objectives
* Critical Best Practices
* The Insurance Underwriting Strategy

Date & Time: Wed, Sep 21, 2016 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM CDT

To Register:

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