Viewing posts from: August 2015

Top 6: Blogging on Agribusiness

Posted August 25, 2015 by Administrator

Agribusiness plays a crucial role in the health, safety, and security of our nation. Our economy depends upon the products we grow, how and where we ship them, and the ongoing success of the businesses that do so. As such, safety, regulatory compliance, science and technology, medical and cultural and shifts, and a host of other factors can significantly impact the health of the agribusiness sector. The Cline Wood agribusiness blog brings interesting and relevant content to those who work in or with the agribusiness community in a concise and professional format. Check out our top 6 posts from recent months to learn more:


FMCSA Future Enhancements to SMS Causing Carrier Concerns

Posted August 20, 2015 by Erin

Commercial vehicle associations are weighing in with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on the Agency’s intent to incorporate several enhancements to the Safety Measurement System (SMS). Most notably, the changes will affect the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) scores which would be publicly available on the FMCSA/SMS website and used by the Agency to prioritize and intervene with motor carriers that pose the greatest safety risk. The American Bus Association (ABA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) have submitted detailed accounts of their positions on the changes FMCSA is proposing to affect, both positive and negative, and express concern for some of the methods prescribed, especially in light of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finding that due to data and methodology issues, SMS scores are often unreliable indicators of future crash risk. The associations are in agreement that while many of the proposed changes are consistent with the goals of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program, FMCSA needs to focus on refining crash data to more accurately reflect carriers’ safety performance and better crash risk connection.


MCS-150 and Other Updates Available Through URS

Posted August 20, 2015 by Erin

URSlogoFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires all entities under its jurisdiction to update their information every two years. You are required to provide this update every two years even if your company has not changed its information, has ceased interstate operations since the last update, or is no longer in business and you did not notify FMCSA.


CVSA’s 2015 Annual Brake Safety Week is September 6-12

Posted August 20, 2015 by Erin

During the week of Sept. 6-12, 2015, law enforcement agencies across North America will conduct brake system inspections on large trucks and buses to identify out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week.

Read more about CVSA’s inspection procedures at

Brake-related violations comprised the largest percentage (representing 46.2 percent) of all out-of-service violations cited during Operation Airbrake’s companion International Roadcheck campaign in 2014.

Top 5 Best Practices for Highway Breakdowns

Posted August 18, 2015 by Administrator

shutterstock_118561318 - CopyHighway breakdowns occur every day, across the country. Observing safety best practices can save time, money, and even lives. It’s crucial for all drivers in your organization to familiarize themselves with safety practices, and to always employ them when experiencing a breakdown. Here are our top 5:

  1. Look for the safest spot on the shoulder and pull over. Wider breakdown areas are generally safer, and corners should be avoided. Stay calm and focused.
  2. Call for help. This can include roadside assistance, emergency personnel, or your corporate response team. Ascertaining your location will make this call more productive.
  3. Increase visibility beyond your hazard lights. If you can safely exit your vehicle and have roadside flares available, place them approximately 50 feet behind your car. You can also raise your hood to alert motorists that your vehicle is inoperative.
  4. Stay with your vehicle. If you’ve called for roadside service, you must be present when help arrives. If you exit your vehicle, stay away from the traffic flow. Walking along a highway is dangerous. Many people are killed each year while walking beside busy roads.
  5. Don’t try to be a mechanic. If you have insufficient experience with diagnosing engine issues or executing a tire change, proceed with extreme caution. It can be challenging to change a tire in your driveway – doing so beside a busy highway is significantly more difficult and dangerous. Before considering this, it’s best to wait for the police to arrive. They will help you determine if it’s safe to change your tire and can slow down traffic if you decide to do this.

To learn more about driver safety best practices, transportation safety, and related issues, contact us.

Bridge Strikes a Serious Hazard for Commercial Trucks

Posted August 11, 2015 by Administrator

bridge strikesA bridge strike is where a vehicle crashes into a bridge that has a railway on it or into a bridge that is built over the railway. Bridge strikes are a crucial problem. In the U.S. there are over 1,500 strikes of bridges per year. It causes a significant problem because after the strike, trains are unable to travel over it until it is repaired and inspected. Often trains have to be diverted, trips cancelled, and travelers delayed for significant amounts of time.

Bridge strikes are a serious safety hazard. Bridge strikes have cause injuries, death, damage to the infrastructure, interruption of carrier transportation and delays in travel time.

Bridge strikes can be avoided. Better awareness of route restrictions can be communicated through highly noticeable road signs and industry-standard electronic navigation systems.

There is a penalty for failing to comply with a posted route restriction along a roadway. The maximum penalty is $11,000 for a company, $2,750 for a driver. Source: Appendix B to 49 CFR part 386, paragraphs (a)(3) and (a)(4). (Electronic Code of Federal Regulations)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is working to address the issue of bridge strikes. They have offered the following information to help interested parties recognize the work being done to eliminate bridge strikes.

  • The FMCSA will work with its State and local partners to ensure they understand their enforcement authority against motor carriers and drivers that fail to abide by roadway signs
  • The FMCSA will work with its State partners and the truck and bus industries to distribute the Agency’s visor card “GPS Selection Guide for CMVs
  • The Agency will also work with commercial driver training school associations to encourage them to include electronic navigation system selection information in their training programs.

FMCSA’s information systems do not have crash statistics associated with the use of electronic navigation systems. However, even one truck or bus striking an overpass is one too many, which is why the Agency is taking action to ensure professional truck and bus drivers know the importance of selecting the right navigation system.

To learn more about transportation safety, risk reduction, and best practices, contact us.

Cline Wood is now part of MMA Same People. Same Service. More Resources.

Posted August 3, 2015 by Administrator

mma-buttonAs of today, Cline Wood has joined Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of Marsh, the world’s leading global insurance broker and risk management advisor. We’re thrilled about the opportunities this presents to Cline Wood, our employees and you.

No staffing changes will be made as a result of this transaction and there are no positions being eliminated so you’ll continue working with the same people. We’re staying in our offices, our leaders remain with us and will be just as involved as always, and we’ll continue serving transportation and agribusiness employers throughout the country. In short, the attention and service you’ve come to expect from the people you trust won’t change.

What will change is the increased quantity and quality of resources and expertise we now have available to help you strengthen and protect your organization. Among other things, this includes specialized expertise in areas such as management liability, safety and loss prevention, health management and wellness, and employee benefits programs; expanded marketplace clout and access; and a broader geographical footprint with offices throughout the United States and in Canada. You also now have access to any service or product available through any of Marsh & McLennan Companies’ operations.

Cline Wood has always worked hard to be considered a leader by the industries we serve. Our leadership and people have always been committed to operating ethically; introducing new ideas, products and services to the marketplace; providing solid advice and advocacy; and exceeding client expectations. We remain committed to these things and will continue working to earn your business every day. In fact, this is what attracted MMA to Cline Wood, and MMA’s demonstrated history of allowing—encouraging, actually—its acquisitions to keep and maintain their cultures is what attracted us to them.

You can learn more about MMA at

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or any issues we can address. As always, we appreciate your business and look forward to serving you in the future.

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