Viewing posts categorised under: Transportation

2017 International Roadcheck Event to Focus on Cargo Securement Inspections

Posted May 26, 2017 by Administrator

This year the International Roadcheck event sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is being held June 6-8, 2017. The event is held across North America, including the United States, Canada and Mexico, where nearly 17 trucks or buses will be inspected, on average, every minute during a 72-hour period. Inspectors will primarily be conducting the Level 1 roadside inspection, which is the most thorough, to make sure the big rigs should be on the road.

The North American Standard Level I inspection is very detailed. Here is a highlight of what the CVSA inspectors really do. It is virtually impossible to tell, just by looking at a rig, if it is in compliance or not. Visually, a vehicle can look old and still be able to pass an inspection and, vice versa, a newer vehicle can look like it should be in tip-top shape but not be in compliance. It takes a highly-trained, certified inspector to complete the comprehensive inspection.

The Level I inspection entails the following checks:

  • driver credentials
  • valid commercial license
  • no outstanding warrants
  • up-to-date log books
  • driver hours are in compliance
  • medical card is current
  • major vehicle components (front, back, sides, rear and underneath)
  • check chassis, frame and braking components

The message the CVSA International Roadcheck is sending to trucking companies and drivers throughout the event is the same message for every day of the year: make safety your very highest priority. When transporting hazmat and securing cargo, remember that keeping your truck in compliance will help to ensure that you, and everyone that shares the road with you, will get home safely. Lives, and livelihoods, depend on it. For more information about trucking safety, compliance, and coverages, contact us.

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Safe Parking for Commercial Trucks

Posted May 11, 2017 by Administrator

Truckers need and deserve safe parking. Shipping and receiving facilities are sometimes in very bad neighborhoods. When there isn’t a safe place to park, drivers may be mugged, beat up or have their equipment damaged. Between 2010 and 2014, 40 big-rig drivers were killed while working, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. And homicides are only part of the problem. Truck cargo thefts occur at the rate of at least twice daily; 86% of those when commercial vehicles are parked in unsecured location such as public parking and truck trailer drop lots.

The issue of safe and adequate parking has been an issue for decades. The FMCSA has conducted studies on the issue. One study, “Commercial Driver Rest and Parking Requirements” was originally conducted in 1996 and was updated in 2014. The study found that there are 1700 miles of interstate highway that are not within 30 miles of a truck stop or rest area. Some drivers choose to ignore important Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) hours-of-service rules so they can keep driving until a legal and safe parking spot is available. The shortage of parking suitable for commercial motor vehicles puts tired drivers in a bad position.

The FHWA has established the National Coalition on Truck Parking. So far, several major trucking organizations, such as the American Trucking Association and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have joined the coalition. The coalition is looking at concerns such as why $231M in parking projects across the U.S. have been submitted, but only $34M has been allocated. Most of the $34M ($20M) has been awarded to pay for intelligent transportation systems technology that alerts drivers when parking spaces are available through in-cab messaging notification systems. Some drivers advocate for cities to change zoning laws to permit additional commercial vehicle parking accessibility. Other advocates want shippers to take more responsibility and allow truckers to park in their lots when resting or waiting.

Clearly, the truck driver parking shortage remains a stubborn issue that just won’t go away. Trucker parking shortage is costing the trucking industry time, money and productivity, not to mention the risk for drivers in terms of stress, fatigue, security for their equipment and, most importantly, their personal safety.

To learn more about the issues that concern truck drivers today, trucking coverage and risk management, contact us.

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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Pros and Cons of Electronic Log Books for Commercial Truck Drivers

Posted May 2, 2017 by Administrator

Many commercial truck drivers that have not started using electronic log books are skeptical, if not worried, about implementing an electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) system in their vehicle. Although most drivers will admit the system is not yet perfected, many have been pleasantly surprised. The general consensus is that there are more good points about e-logs than bad.

Positive aspects often cited by drivers include:

  • the system forces you to get the proper amount of rest. Getting enough rest is important not only from a regulations point of view, but for the health and safety of the trucker and the public.
  • despite having to adhere to the hours-of-service regulations, drivers do not feel they are losing money in the long run. This was a major concern of many drivers. Most drivers report that by having the proper rest and sleep they reduce stress, which actually leads to increased productivity.
  • e-logs prevent drivers from being pushed or pressured by dispatchers requiring unreasonable delivery schedules because the driver’s hours are documented in the log.
  • if a situation arises – such as inclement weather or sleepiness, the log book becomes the driver’s ally because it documents the condition that causes them to pull over, ensuring that they will operate your vehicle safely.
  • upper management of fleets like the e-logging system because records are accurate and legible. The logs can be reviewed at any time by the company’s safety team, which saves money and time.

The major complaint heard by drivers using the EOBR is that there’s no leeway when using an e-logging system. For example, if a driver gets stuck in traffic there’s absolutely nothing they can do to get off the road safely in the time the machine allots. Drivers feel there should be some latitude built into the system for uncontrollable circumstances.

There’s no doubt that the EOBR system is the future of the trucking industry. It appears that this is a good thing because our country’s drivers will be rested and less stressed, and the roads will be safer for both drivers and the general public who share the road with them.

To learn more about the issues that concern truck drivers today, trucking coverage and risk management, contact us.

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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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.

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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Webinar: Keeping Your Focus on the Road Ahead

Posted April 11, 2017 by Administrator

Truck InsuranceJoin Cline Wood University and industry expert Mike Bohon from Great West Casualty Company as we discuss factors that contribute to rear end crashes. These include (but are not limited to) following distance, vehicle speed, driver distractions, and improper reaction by the driver. We’ll cover a variety of important strategies to combat these issues – improving safety and reducing risk. Topics include:

* Calculating stopping distance
* Gauging proper following distance
* Reducing/eliminating distractions
* Mentally practicing reactions to road hazards
* Preventing/mitigating rear-end crashes

Date & Time: Wed, Apr 19, 2017 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM CDT
To register for the complimentary webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8878248911594592771

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.

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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What To Do If Your Trucking Insurance is Non-Renewed

Posted March 28, 2017 by Administrator

Despite popular belief, insurance cancellations are actually more common than you might think. Perhaps you’ve received a notice that reads something like:

“Attention: Your current insurance policy is being non-renewed due to…”

While a non-renewal notice is something you should take seriously, it typically will not negatively impact your ability to find alternate insurance. Here are some facts you should know before securing a new insurance policy and what to do so that you keep your trucking operations running seamlessly.

Why the Non-Renewal?

A non-renewal is not the same as a cancellation. Unlike a cancellation notice, and non-renewal notice is generally issued when there is a change with the insurance carrier. For example, the insurance carrier may no longer write in your state or has left the market completely, which are circumstances outside of your control.

However, if the reason for your non-renewal notice is due to late or non-payment of premiums, an increase in the frequency or severity of claims, or poor inspection reports or compliance issues, your ability to find new insurance may be impacted.

What Should You Do Next?

You’ve received a non-cancellation notice 30-90 days before your renewal date, so use your time wisely. If you’re insured directly through the carrier, finding a new insurance company may be tricky. It is now your responsibility to find and secure new insurance before your current policy is expired.

If you’re insured through an insurance agency, it is likely your agent is already aware of the situation and will be working to find a replacement company that is best suited for your circumstances.

If you were insured through a carrier and will be shopping around for a new carrier, we recommend you have the following information ready.

  • Driver schedule

Name, driver’s license number, date of birth, hire date, number of years of CDL experience for each driver

  • Vehicle schedule

Year and make of each vehicle, VIN numbers, and value of each of your tractor/trailers

  • IFTA

Last four (4) quarters of Fuel Tax Reports (mileage broken down by state)

  • Loss runs

Loss runs for the last three (3) years

  • Financial information

Financials for the most recent year

  • Insurance certificate

Your most recent insurance certificate that shows your current coverage

  • Commodities hauled

List top 3 – 4 commodities hauled

  • Safety information

Safety director’s name and experience, a copy of your safety manual, copy of driver guidelines, and any safety equipment

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.

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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U.S. Senate Subcommittee Hears Testimony on Improving Truck Safety on our Nation’s Highways

Posted March 21, 2017 by Administrator

On March 14, 2017, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security featured panelists for a hearing on continuing to improve safety for truckers on our country’s highways. Advancements in truck safety and potential future reforms as well as a full range of perspectives on implementation of safety programs were primary focal points. Other opportunities and challenges facing the trucking industry were also expected.

Here is a list of the panelists included at this hearing.

  • Christopher A Hart, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board
  • Paul P. Jovanis, Professor Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University; Chair, Transportation Research Board Committee
  • Jerry Moyes, Chairman Emeritus, Swift Transportation
  • Adrian Lund, President, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The hearing was held in the Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements and a recorded video of the hearing is available here.

The testimony given by panelists from government, academia and industry focused on the following 3 issues:

  1. Advocacy for fully funding Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and reforms moving forward,
  2. Opposition to legislative reforms by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA), and
  3. Asking for congressional action to improve motor coach safety.

Committee members were presented with an overview of the challenges facing local and state law enforcement in an uncertain funding environment. Captain Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol and Vice President of the CVSA, testified about his concerns related to the potential consequences of job loss and cuts to outreach and educational programs that would occur if the states lose Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program Basic and Incentive Grants this year.

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.

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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Insurance Claim Subrogation – How It Helps Get $$$ Back For You

Posted March 13, 2017 by Erin

Insurance Claim Subrogation

How It Helps Get $$$ Back For You

Your company driver was recently involved in an accident that wasn’t his fault. You promptly reported the claim to your insurance carrier, and the claim adjuster just paid the repair shop a significant amount to repair your tractor/trailer.   But shouldn’t the other driver that caused the accident (and his insurance carrier) have to reimburse your insurance carrier for what was paid on the claim?  The answer is yes, and the skilled staff in your insurance carrier’s Subrogation Department is there to help with this process.

 

The term “subrogation” in general terms refers to the process by which a debt is collected from another person or company. A more formal definition is “The substitution of one person or entity for another, especially when the substituted party becomes responsible for a debt or legal claim.”[1] Typically a Subrogation Department does not come into the picture until your insurance carrier has paid your claim.  Common types of claims that are referred to a Subrogation Department include physical damage, cargo, auto accidents, and all types of liability scenarios where another party appears to be at fault based upon the claim investigation.

 

The Subrogation Department representative assisting you will typically send a demand package to the at-fault driver and/or their insurance carrier. This demand package includes documentation obtained during the claim investigation which confirms who is responsible for the accident (example: police report), details regarding how much was paid on the claim, and a request for prompt payment.  Expenses that can be part of a demand include: deductible amount, lost downtime or rental expense, medical bills, hotel bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the accident.

 

Every year insurance carrier Subrogation Departments recover hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of their insureds. The money recovered is credited to the corresponding claim files, helping put their insureds back in a pre-accident financial condition.  If you should have any questions about the Subrogation process, please contact your insurance carrier, your assigned claim adjuster, or Cline Wood Agency at 888-451-3900.

[1] Source: “subrogation.” thefreedictionary.com. 2003-2017. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/subrogation (14 Feb. 2017)

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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Developing Your Safety Culture

Posted March 13, 2017 by Erin

Developing Your Safety Culture

The most important thing your company can do to prevent costly accidents and injuries to not only your workers, but also others out on the road, is to develop a strong Safety Culture. Below are 10 key steps adapted from the experts at OSHA that will help put your company on the right track.[1]

 

    1. ALWAYS SET SAFETY AND HEALTH AS THE TOP PRIORITY Communicate on a regular basis to your drivers, independent contractors, and all other workers that making sure they practice good safety habits and go home healthy at the end of each day is very important and the way your company does business.
    2. LEAD BY EXAMPLE Ownership, management, and supervisors must also practice good safety habits, and make safety part of daily conversation and company communications.
    3. IMPLEMENT A REPORTING SYSTEM Develop and communicate an easy to follow reporting procedure for drivers and all other workers to report any injuries, accidents, illnesses, near misses, hazards, or safety concerns. Include an option to report anonymously.
    4. PROVIDE TRAINING Train drivers and all other workers on how to safely do their jobs, prevent accidents, and identify any potential hazards in the workplace or out on the road. Conduct regular follow-up training.
    5. CONDUCT INSPECTIONS While your insurance carrier may send a loss control consultant to conduct a survey from time to time, it’s important that you regularly conduct your own self-inspections to quickly identify and address potential hazards.
    6. COLLECT HAZARD CONTROL IDEAS Ask your drivers and other workers for ideas and suggestions for improvement. They are the ones that typically know what the potential issues are, but may not ever speak up.  Provide them time during work hours if necessary in order to encourage their input.
    7. SEEK INPUT ON WORKPLACE CHANGES  If you don’t already have a Safety Committee, form one. Include good drivers on the Safety Committee. They should meet regularly, review all incident reports and suggestions, and also provide their own insight.
    8. ADDRESS EMERGENCIES Identify any foreseeable emergency scenarios (examples include fire, hazardous spills, and weather events), and develop specific instructions on what to do in each case. Once completed and approved by Management these should be included in all training and posted in visible locations within the workplace.

[1] Source: https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/ten-easy-things.html

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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