Viewing posts from: April 2016

Webinar: How to Reduce Incidents & Costs with Improved Driver Safety Strategies

Posted April 25, 2016 by Administrator

Man standing in front of truck

Join Cline Wood University for this complimentary web seminar and learn simple, effective and easy-to-implement strategies to improve driver safety. Subject matter expert Mark Woodward, a Senior Loss Prevention Trainer and Certified Safety Consultant, will review how your organization can create a comprehensive driver safety program that will reduce incidents, decrease down-time and control costs. Topics include:

  • Creating & Implementing Simple Safety Rules that Promote Incident Free Driving
  • How Worker’s Comp Laws Support Employer Efforts to Maintain a Safe Work Environment
  • Developing a Comprehensive Driver Safety Package for your Transportation Organization
Date & Time: Wed, May 11 @ 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM CST

One More Change Regarding MEC Forms Now in Effect

Posted April 18, 2016 by Administrator

135426212Over the last year, several changes regarding FMCSA medical examination regulations have taken effect.  As of April 20th, all medical examiners will have to adhere to the requirement stating they have to electronically submit MEC forms. But there are still more changes in store for doctors, truckers and commercial carriers regarding Medical Examination Certification information.

Changes Are Coming

Here is a list of the changes that are occurring now and will occur in the next three years for the medical examination process.

  • Medical Examination Report form includes more questions that focus on the trucker’s medical history
  • Medical Examination Report Form and Medical Examiner’s Certification Form are new and to be electronically transmitted (This is to be implemented in full force by April 20th)
  • MEC information is to be electronically submitted once a month by medical examiners
  • All electronically submitted certification data will be in a database accessible by law enforcement during roadside inquiries within 15 days of a certification exam
  • All truckers will need to carry their exam certificate with them for 15 days after the date of their physical
  • By June 22, 2018 medical examiners will have to transmit the result of a DOT physical the day the exam is performed
  • After June 2018, the MEC data will be accessible as soon as it is transmitted by medical examiners
  • Truckers will no longer be required to carry their certificates after June 2018 because law enforcement will have ready access to the information.

The speed and ease of access of results of medical certification exams does make it easier for truckers, commercial carries and law enforcement. There are some trucking trade groups, however, who see major problems with this process and have been trying to influence the FMCSA to implement changes in the medical examination regulations. So far their attempts have been unsuccessful.

To learn more about how the new DOT physicals process effects your truckers and your company, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

Tire safety to be emphasis of annual 72-hour inspection blitz in June

Posted April 11, 2016 by Erin

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced its annual International Roadcheck, which will take place June 7-9, will have a special emphasis on tire safety this year.

Inspectors will be measuring tire tread depth, checking tire pressure, checking to make sure no items are lodged between dual tires and examining the overall condition of the tires to ensure no deep cuts or bulges exist in the sidewalls. Checking tires is part of a normal inspection, but CVSA is highlighting tire safety during the blitz as a reminder to drivers and carriers, the organization said.

Nearly 75,000 inspections take place each year during the inspection spree, done by a joint effort of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and others. During the inspection blitz, inspectors will primarily conduct full 37-step Level I inspections, which is the most thorough inspection.
Article originally published on CCJ Digital, written by Matt Cole.

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FDA Finalizes new requirements for food haulers, excludes some small carrier operations

Posted April 11, 2016 by Erin

The federal government’s Food and Drug Administration released April 5 a Final Rule that sets new sanitation-related standards for food haulers and others in the supply chain, like shippers, who deal in the transportation of food products.

The rule does, however, have a notable exception for small companies: Carriers, shippers and receivers who bring in less than $500,000 in total annual revenue will not have to abide by the rule’s new procedures.

The rule’s key requirements for carriers include: (1) That carriers and drivers ensure their refrigerated trailers are pre-cooled prior to loading food, carriers/drivers provide upon request by shippers and receivers proof they’ve maintained the appropriate temperature for the food they’re hauling and (3) carriers develop and implement procedures that specify their practices for cleaning, sanitizing and inspecting their equipment.

The new rule also requires that shippers inspect carriers’ trailers prior to loading food products and requires any entity subject to its requirements, such as carrier personnel and drivers, to “take appropriation action to ensure that the food is not sold” if they become aware of any indication that a shipment of food was not kept at the proper temperature throughout its shipment.

Shippers will now also be required to give carriers written sanitation requirements for their vehicles and require shippers to keep records showing they’ve done as much.

The FDA says the rule likely won’t change carrier and shipper practices, saying it essentially only codifies already existing best practices for food shipments.

The rule will take effect a year following its April 6, 2016-scheduled publication date in the Federal Register.

Article originally published on CCJ Digital, written by CCJ staff.

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Agricultural Slump Leads to More Aid

Posted April 11, 2016 by Administrator

livestock imageAs farm income is expected to hit a 14-year low, more agribusiness profits are being bolstered by US subsidies. Unless the price of important crops such as corn performs better than expected, the US farming community will continue to struggle to be profitable.

Over $50 Billion in Aid

According to USDA estimates, federal aid will comprise 25% for total profit for farmers this year. Total aid will reach over $50 billion, which is higher than was predicted two years ago. The last time farmers received this high of a payout was ten years ago in 2006. And agriculture states are looking for ways to help their farmers with even more government aid as the prices for certain crops continue to falter.

Corn and Soybeans a Losing Proposition

Agribusiness income is less than half what it was even three years ago. The main culprits of the lackluster profits are the price of corn and soybeans. Despite the fact that corn and soybeans are the biggest US crops, farmers will lose money for every acre they plant this growing season due to a significant drop in prices. And the price of corn over the next few years will be a major factor in the fate of the farming industry.

Experts estimate that corn prices will hover around $3.70 a bushel for the next nine years. If corn manages to rise above this estimated average, then the government won’t have to provide as much aid to farmers between now and 2025.  If corn prices drop, to say $3.00 a bushel, then government subsidies will need to increase over the next nine years.

In the meantime, states that depend on farming are looking at alternatives, such as adding cottonseed to the list of crops that qualify for subsidies, and emergency aid to help farmers make it through the lean years.

Contact the experts at Cline Wood to learn more about the current state of agribusiness and how it affects your business.

Liability increase taking back seat to other regs, insurance rep says

Posted April 5, 2016 by Erin

An increase in the minimum amount of liability insurance required of motor carriers was a hot topic in the last two years, but the issue may be on the regulatory backburner, according to Brett Stalnaker with Progressive Insurance.

He said talks heated up late in 2014 to raise the minimum from the current $750,000 required in liability insurance, but because of other regulations dealing with FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability scores, electronic logs and more that came about toward the end of the year, talks have cooled off.

The agency published in late 2014 an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking feedback from the trucking industry and other stakeholders about a potential increase in the liability minimum.

“Things have quieted down a lot on liability,” Stalnaker said. “If the minimum is raised in the future, we do offer up to $2 million in liability, so we’re ready when that does happen. For now, though, it seems to be on the backburner.”

Stalnaker added that Progressive will be announcing in the coming months more information on electronic logs and efforts the company is making to ease the transition for drivers into the mandate.

Article originally published on by Matt Cole.

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Trucking Industry Lost 4,000 Jobs in Two Months

Posted April 1, 2016 by Administrator

trucksThe commercial trucking industry has had difficulty finding enough qualified drivers to fill open positions. Recently, the for-hire trucking industry employment fell significantly in the first quarter of 2016, losing 4,000 jobs in the last two months. The Department of Labor announced that total employment in the trucking industry fell by 1,600 jobs in February and 2,400 jobs in March.

The 4,000 job loss was a blow to the industry that was still recovering from the severe drop in employment in December of 2015. While as a whole the industry has seen a steady increase of for-hire jobs, 2015 was a rocky year for commercial trucking. According to the DOT, total employment for the for-hire trucking industry was 1,4623 million in March.

While the trucking industry may have lost a significant number of jobs, trucking employment is better than many other industries. In March, the unemployment rate rose to 5%, despite an increase of 215,000 jobs across the US.

If your company is going through a significant organizational overhaul, then you should contact the experts at Cline Wood. We can help you streamline all of your business expenses while practicing strategic risk management.

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