Showing posts from tagged with: trucking news

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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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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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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Rising Insurance Costs to Dramatically Impact Trucking Industry

Posted December 27, 2016 by Administrator

Insurance rates rose substantially for trucking companies in 2016. And while trucking companies as well as independent-operators have felt the sting of rising costs, the consumer will soon feel the pain of increasing transportation prices that show up in higher costs for consumables.

There are several factors that have had an impact on the rising insurance rates in America.

  1. Insurance premiums have increased 10% – 30% as a result of very high legal settlements.
  2. Major companies (like Zurich Insurance Group AG and American International Group Inc.) have eliminated for-hire policies, making it harder for trucking companies to secure adequate coverage.
  3. New food handling transportation requirements instituted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have increased liability for trucking companies.
  4. Lesser settlements – in the $25,000 – $75,000 range – are also having an impact. Even though they are lesser amounts they are often not litigated because the cost of litigation does not make it worth taking them to court, even though many times the trucking company was not at fault.
  5. Frivolous suits are another frustrating factor because they consume resources and needlessly inflate insurance rates.

The negative risk exposure for trucking companies has translated into a renewed emphasis on safety. Safety is no longer just for safety’s sake (although it is extremely important in its own right.) Safety today has a major impact on the bottom line for the company and therefore is a business imperative. Not only are insurance premiums impacted, but safety mitigates risk which is now a significant financial factor for the trucking industry.

Insurance firms today are clear – they want to see motor carriers cultivating a culture of safety. Safety must become a core value of the company, not just a priority. A core value indicates permanency; safety has to be non-negotiable. No matter what conditions are placed on the freight load, it must be safely transported from start to finish no matter what.

Trucking company leaders need to back up the core value of safety with financial supports. For example, one safety feature that companies are installing are in-cab video systems that can provide video proof of driver actions in the case of an accident. That type of information can help drivers improve their safety practices. In-cab video – and other safety technological tools – cost money but are a good investment on the part of the company leadership.

Truck drivers themselves need to be empowered to make safety judgment calls without fear of recrimination. They are on the front lines and need to know they can challenge issues when they see them. Focusing on safety as fundamental to the trucking company or driver will help to mitigate insurance premium increases and will, ultimately, benefit everyone.

Cline Wood is a national commercial property and casualty insurance agency that serves the commercial agribusiness and trucking industries. To learn more about Cline Wood and how we can help your business mitigate your insurance risk, contact us.

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How a Modest Farm Truck Driver Changed the Future of Global Shipping Forever

Posted December 20, 2016 by Administrator

It was during the Great Depression and Malcolm McLean, the son of a North Carolina farmer, started a trucking company to help his family survive those harrowing times. It was on one of those long hauls that he had a new idea that would someday revolutionize the shipping industry. It was the dawn the day before Thanksgiving and McLean was exhausted from driving all night. As he wearily drove up to the loading docks to deliver his produce, he realized there were at least 20 trucks already waiting ahead of him. Frustrated, tired and worried he wouldn’t make it home in time for Thanksgiving dinner the next day, he wondered if there wasn’t an easier way to unload freight.

In those days freight was unloaded piece by piece by the longshoremen. Each shipping item was first unloaded and then restocked on the ship. It would easily take a week to load a ship. McLean wondered if there was a way for his entire truck bed to be unloaded and reloaded at once.

His idea was not well received. Everyone thought the best way to improve shipping efficiency was to increase the load size by packing the freight better and by improving the speed time of the boat. No one thought his idea would make enough of a difference to be considered.

It took McLean many years to have the opportunity to try out his innovative idea. He grew his company to a large trucking fleet of over 1700 trucks by the early 1950’s. He then decided to sell his company, which sold for $12 million. He had to sell his trucking company before he could buy a shipping line, as per U.S. regulations at the time. Once he sold his trucking company, he then raised the capital to buy the shipping company and what he needed to develop his innovation.

Once he owned the shipping company he went about designing the truck bed containers, including a necessary but newly invented locking system. He then purchased two WWII tankers that he remodeled to fit the truck containers. He even designed a new crane that could easily unload the truck and stack the shipping freighters.

His inventions were well worth the wait. His new trucking container loading system reduced the cost of loading 39 times from $5.86 per ton to only $.16 per ton. Even more impressive, what had once taken a week to load now only took 8 hours. McLean had forever changed the way goods were shipped, loaded and unloaded all because of a delay at the dock way back when he was driving a truck just to keep food on the table and help his farmer neighbors.

The big takeaway here is the importance of looking at problems with a fresh eye and different perspective than may be the current norm. Sometimes it takes someone who is an outsider to see what may appear to be obvious but is overlooked by an insider in the industry.

Cline Wood is a national commercial property and casualty insurance agency that focuses on the commercial agribusiness and trucking industries. To learn more about Cline Wood and how we can help your business, contact us 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 phone.samsung-galaxy-note-7
  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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Webinar: New DOL Standards Pose Challenges for Trucking Companies

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 man and truck
* Criminal Background Checks
* Misclassification
* Whistle Blower Litigation
* Retaliatory Discharge

Date & Time: Wed, Oct 19, 2016 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM CDT

Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1805350090969271812

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