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FMCSA Grants Exemption to 30-Minute Rule for Truckers Hauling Fuel

Posted December 27, 2018 by Administrator

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) hours of service (HOS) regulations dictate that if drivers can’t complete their duty within twelve hours under the 100 air-mile radius exemption that they have to take a 30-minute rest break. However, this rest break poses problems for carriers transporting hazardous materials. They can’t leave the cargo unsupervised, and attending the CMV doesn’t qualify as resting. The parking shortage also prevents drivers from finding a safe and secure area to park trucks toting hazardous material.

To address these challenges, FMCSA offered exemptions to the rule for carriers transporting specified fuels. However, propane didn’t make the initial list. This put drivers transporting petroleum-based cargo in a difficult situation. While most of them load their vehicles in the morning with the intent to finish several deliveries by the end of the day, outside circumstances can prevent this from happening.

These drivers operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) on interstate highways so traffic and accidents can impede their deliveries. Since they can’t leave their hazardous cargo to rest but they also can’t push beyond the 12-hour regulation, the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) petitioned FMCSA for an amendment. The transportation agency granted the request, which will remain in effect through April 10, 2023.

Complying with FMCSA regulations is critical to remain in operation as a trucking company, but these rulings can create challenges for fleets. In this instance, the need to transport hazardous cargo safely took precedence and FMCSA issued an amendment. Cline Wood understands the risks involved with transporting hazardous materials. We can help your trucking company assess its risks and implement solutions to address them: get in touch at safetrucking@clinewood.com.

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.

Veterans Day – Honoring All Who Served

Posted November 12, 2018 by Erin

Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, wants to be the first to thank our many Military men and women for their years of Military Service.  We are blessed to have many clients and associates as members of our family that have served in the military, are currently serving in the military, or have a close family member serving in the military.

We also want to recognize the family members who held the home front down while each of these men and women were away serving our country.

Without all their efforts we as Americans would not have the Freedom we have today!

Sunday, November 11, 2018 is Veterans Day – and also observed November 12, 2018.

We truly hope everyone shows you and all your family members the appreciation you deserve for our freedom, not only on this day but for the rest of your life.

Again, THANK YOU for our freedom, and for being part of our Cline Wood Marsh & McLennan Agency Family.

 

 

Cline Wood expands Risk Management Team with addition of two experienced safety professionals

Posted September 21, 2018 by Erin

CLINE WOOD EXPANDS RISK MANAGEMENT TEAM WITH ADDITION OF TWO EXPERIENCED SAFETY PROFESSIONALS

Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, has hired two new risk consultants to help its transportation and agribusiness clients build and enhance their safety cultures and design and implement various industry-specific risk management solutions.

Steve Page has spent over 30 years as a leader in transportation and safety management. His previous leadership positions within several realms of the trucking industry included roles focusing on safety and safety programs, compliance, FMCSR rules and regulations, and driver management/coaching. He earned the NATMI Certified Director of Safety designation in 2003 and many other awards and acknowledgments because of his work in transportation safety. Steve will primarily work with employers in the Midwest region.

Kenny Ray has spent over 30 years building a successful career in safety, security and risk management. His experience includes 25 years as a peace officer in Texas and many years with the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Rangers in various leadership positions. These combined with his most recent role as a transportation safety director have positioned him well to support Cline Wood clients in Texas and the Southwest.

“We are committed to helping our clients build a safety culture that helps control losses and increase the value of their companies,” said Mike Wood, president of Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company. “Our team is made up of proven professionals who have met the challenges in the industries we represent and they will work with our clients to find solutions to those challenges. We are extremely pleased to have both Steve and Kenny join us, as they embark on a new stage of their careers.”

 

Please contact our Safety & Risk Management team with any questions at safetrucking@clinewood.com.

 

HOS House Bill Proposes to Alter Regulations for Livestock and Agriculture Haulers

Posted July 2, 2018 by Administrator

There have been a series of bills proposed this year that target Hours of Service (HOS) reforms in response to the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate that went into effect in December 2017. The latest bill, filed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, June 21, 2018, aims to reform the regulations for livestock/agriculture haulers. The bill would also allow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to move faster on any rulemaking that would provide drivers with split sleeper berth flexibility. The new rule would make it faster and easier for drivers to maintain records under the ELD mandate.

The new bill, called The Honest Operators Undertake Road Safety Act (H.R. 6178), was introduced by Representatives Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia), Rick Crawford (R-Arkansas) and Bruce Westerman (R-Arkansas). The bill is the first to be backed by the American Trucking Association (ATA) this year. The ATA announced its support for the legislation on Thursday.

The bill targets the livestock and agriculture hauling sector specifically, like other HOS reform bills filed recently. This bill provides relatively small reforms, instead of a complete overhaul of the HOS rules and regulations. The HOURS act would provide exemptions to truck drivers that are hauling livestock and agriculture commodities, allowing them to be exempt from HOS limits and duty status records. The bill, if passed, would apply year-round as long as the driver is within a 150 air-mile radius of the source of the livestock or agriculture product. Some of the other bills have included time-limitations during state-designated planting and harvesting seasons.

A big part of the HOURS Act is the reduction in supporting documents drivers would be required to maintain. Current regulations require drivers to keep at least eight supporting documents on hand for the previous 24-hour work period. HOS supporting documents include:

  • Fuel receipts
  • Bills of lading
  • Dispatch records.

The new regulation, if passed, would allow drivers to legally maintain only two documents per day, one verifying their start time and the other the end of their workday. The bill would also allow FMCSA to permit more flexible split sleeper options, such as 5-5, 6-4 and 7-3. Current regulations dictate a strict split sleeper berth time to 8 and 2 hours, for the required 10 hour off-duty period every 24 hours.

If FMCSA does propose a rule to alter split sleeper times, the HOURS Act would allow the agency to skip the required process of rulemaking and move directly to rule proposal and accepting public comments.

The HOURS Act would directly impact short-haul as well as long-haul drivers. A short-haul driver is defined as someone who operates within 150 air-miles of their work reporting location. Under the proposed bill, short-haul drivers would be exempt from HOS regs and the ELD mandate if they complete their work day within 14 hours. Current regulations allow this only for non-CDL drivers operating under the short-haul exemption.

To learn more about transportation industry news, trucking coverage and risk management, contact Cline Wood 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.

How the Denham Amendment Could Impact the Trucking Industry If Passed

Posted June 11, 2018 by Administrator

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill that passed in the House in late April 2018 could have serious implications for the trucking industry if it passes the Senate as well.

The so-called “Denham” bill, named after it’s sponsor Representative Jeff Denham, has had mixed reactions from the trucking industry. Some organizations, such as the American Trucking Association (ATA) believes the amendment will help streamline interstate commerce by providing a federal standard for hour-of-service (HOS) rules. But other industry groups believe the amendment will rob truck drivers of needed rest and rightful compensation.

The amendment was originally a part of the FAST ACT passed by congress in December, but this amendment didn’t make the cut, so that’s why it’s been tacked on to the FAA bill.

Here is a breakdown of how the amendment could impact the industry.

The amendment seeks to pre-empt state laws related to rest breaks. It would require all truck drivers to abide by the Department of Transportation (DOT) hours-of-service regulations first.

  • The amendment would allow drivers to follow the federal guidelines for taking breaks, which are not as stringent as some states, such as California. California requires a 10-minute rest break for every two-hours worked and a 30-minute meal break every five hours worked. The federal guidelines require drivers to take a 30-minute break every 8 hours, which is now enforced by electronic logging devices (ELDs).
  • The amendment also prevents drivers from being paid for the breaks they take (California pays drivers for their breaks).
  • Drivers can still take breaks, but they would lose money by doing so.

The ATA wants a unified system that is seamless in order to facilitate interstate commerce. However, drivers’ rights and general wellbeing may be impacted if the amendment passes.

  • The amendment would permit drivers to disregard state HOS regulations, which might speed up shipment times.
  • However, the amendment could deter drivers from taking needed breaks in the interest of a reduction in compensation, which could lead to an increase in accidents, injuries, property damage and even death due to driver-fatigue.
  • The amendment would impact drivers’ wages because trucking companies would no longer be required to meet state wage requirements; they would only have to meet the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

This amendment could have a serious impact on the trucking industry.

  • Drivers may struggle to get better pay, which is especially critical as the truck driver turnover rate is approaching 100 percent.
  • Interstate commerce would be streamlined, but drivers may experience ELD implementation issues or become dissatisfied and leave the industry.
  • Drivers may not get the rest they need, which could exacerbate the sleep apnea problem in the industry as well as contribute to the high rate of commercial truck crashes.

Shippers may also be impacted. On one hand, the amendment would allow a more streamlined system for interstate commerce, which could allow shippers to get shipments out faster. On the other hand, if the amendment creates more issues for drivers and further increases the turnover rate, it could cause rates to increase. The Denham amendment has yet to pass the Senate, so the impact of the potential bill remains to be seen.

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

Driver Safety – Preventing Heat Related Accidents

Posted May 31, 2018 by Erin

DRIVER SAFETY: PREVENTING HEAT-RELATED ACCIDENTS

Whether they’re driving, unloading, tarping, or any number of other tasks they perform on a daily basis, your drivers are working in the heat during the summer months.  They may not realize it, but the summer heat presents a serious risk to their health if they don’t take proper precautions to avoid heat exhaustion, or worse heat stroke.

At Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, it’s our mission to partner with you in ensuring your drivers are safe, accident-free, and avoid costly claims that can have a major impact on both your drivers and your business. Below are several great heat stress tips that we strongly encourage you to share with your drivers and incorporate into your safety training.

Keep employees as cool as possible

Encourage your employees to use these tips for staying safe in the heat:

  • Drink plenty of water. In hot weather, drink enough to quench your thirst. The average adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day and even more during heat spells.
  • Dress for the weather. When outdoors, wear lightweight clothing made of natural fabrics and a well-ventilated hat.
  • Stay inside if possible. Do strenuous outdoor tasks early or late in the day.
  • Eat light. Replace heavy or hot meals with lighter, refreshing foods.

Heat exhaustion, heat stress and heat stroke are not to be messed around with. If an employee starts to experience:

  • Dizziness, weakness, nausea, headache and vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Body temperature rising to 101°F
  • Sweaty skin
  • Feeling hot and thirsty
  • Difficulty speaking

Get the person cooled down, out of the sun and the necessary medical assistance.

Read more about the symptoms and first aid treatments on our MMA blog and also learn more about Resources available from OSHA/NIOSH, including their Heat Safety Tool and how it can help you determine the heat index, precautions to take in the day’s heat and more.

For more information or assistance, please contact us at safetrucking@clinewood.com.  We appreciate your safety efforts!

 

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.

Medical Certification Submission Requirements Postponed Due to Cyber Attack on FMCSA Registry

Posted May 4, 2018 by Administrator

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced changes to the CDL Medical Certification reporting submission requirements, due in part to technical issues on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners registry website.

The FMCSA Medical Program requirements are designed to ensure commercial motor carriers are physically qualified to engage in interstate commerce. Drivers are required to obtain a medical exam from a certified medical examiner that is listed in the National Registry. In a new rule that is expected to roll out June 2, 2018, medical examiners are required to submit driver exam results by midnight the following day. However, due to the technical glitch in the current system, examiners are being told to hold on to the exam results from completed physical and then upload them when the system is back online.

The agency is postponing requirements that medical information on drivers and their exam results be submitted to state agencies for three additional years. The postponement is due in part to the technical issues that resulted from unauthorized access to the system, triggering the National Registry website outage. An incident in early December 2017 caused the National Registry to be taken offline, leading to interruptions in the development of the electronic transmission process.

Delaying compliance on the submission of the records until June 22, 2021 will give the agency adequate time to make the necessary programming changes.

Drivers are still required to self-report their certification status to their state agencies, a requirement that has been in effect since January 30, 2012. Certified medical examiners are encouraged to continue to conduct DOT physicals and issue medical examination certifications. Examiners are required to pass certain tests and become listed in the registry.

FMCSA has confirmed that no personal information was exposed in the December 2017 cyber attack. The registry has been down since December and continues to remain down. A simple search by zip code is accessible, but access to the full portal is still not functioning. The attempt to access data by the cyber criminals was not successful, and no information was compromised. Roadside inspectors are continuing to check drivers’ medical certificates, but there is a backlog of exam results being uploaded into the system due to the site still being offline.

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.

What You Need to Know About the Crop Insurance Deadline

Posted February 26, 2018 by Administrator

Agricultural is a risky venture from several different standpoints. Weather events like hurricanes, wildfire, and drought can decimate crops; safety hazards such as grain engulfment, vehicle rollovers, and fall hazards lurk in every corner of the farm; and even the sun can pose a threat to farmers if they work too hard for too long during the heat of the day.

While farmers can control some of these risks by taking safety precautions, they cannot do much to prevent natural disasters. That is why crop insurance is so important. It can mean the difference between surviving an extreme weather event to plant again the next year and complete financial ruin.

Who Needs Crop Insurance?

All farmers need crop insurance, but young and new farmers need it the most. They are more leveraged than established farms. This makes them vulnerable to extreme weather because they cannot afford to lose a significant chunk of their income. Some weather events cause so much damage that it equates to an entire year’s worth of farming income. Without crop insurance, weather events such as droughts or natural disasters such as wildfires could wipe out an entire generation of new farmers.

Crop Insurance Deadline Approaching

Hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires accounted for more than $1 billion in crop insurance indemnities in 2017. Farmers need crop insurance to survive such costly and catastrophic events. However, farmers cannot insure crops at their leisure. The 2018 deadline for eligible spring crops is rapidly approaching. Farmers have until February 28 or March 15 to invest in crop insurance. The sales closing dates vary depending on the type of crops the farmer grows. The dates can also differ by county or state as well.

Regardless, the deadline is drawing nearer. Farmers need to insure their crops now to safeguard against natural disasters and extreme weather. As 2017 proved, no farm is immune to these events. Parts of the South, Midwest, Northern Plains, and California all experienced the devastating effects of these catastrophic incidents. To learn more about protecting your crops and your livelihood, 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.

FMCSA Releases Electronic Logging Device Transition Information

Posted November 21, 2017 by Erin

FMCSA has released additional information on the ELD Transition. The ELD rule is going forward as planned on December 18, 2017.  Listed below are the most recent details provided by FMCSA in regard to the ELD transition:

  1. FMCSA will continue its policy of transparency towards the industry when it comes to implementation issues of this rule, passed by Congress five years ago.
  2. The ELD rule is going forward as planned on December 18, 2017. FMCSA has listened to important feedback from many stakeholder groups and is primarily concerned with helping ease the transition to full implementation of the ELD rule in a manner that does not impede the flow of commerce and maintains and improves safety for operators and the public.
  3. To ease the transition to ELDs, FMCSA’s partners at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance have previously announced a delay in placing non-ELD compliant vehicles out-of-service until April 1, 2018, which will allow continued time for carriers and law enforcement to adjust to the new technology. In addition, FMCSA is announcing that violations cited during the time period of December 18, 2017 through April I, 2018 will not count against a carrier’s Safety Measurement System scores.
  4. FMCSA has heard concerns specific to the transportation of agricultural commodities, especially the transportation of livestock. While those concerns are specifically related to the hours-of-­service requirements and not ELD, FMCSA feels it is important to take additional time to evaluate these issues, and therefore will be issuing a 90-day waiver for these groups (detailed in forthcoming guidance) to allow the Agency to fully evaluate recently filed exemption requests.
  5. In the coming weeks, FMCSA will publish guidance for comment relating to the application of the agricultural commodity hours-of-service exemption. FMCSA will also provide guidance on the existing 150 air miles hours-of-service exemption in order to provide clarity to enforcement and industry and will consider comments received before publishing final guidance.
  6. Finally, FMCSA will publish guidance on another hours-of-service issue, known as Personal Conveyance, which has become more relevant due to the upcoming ELD rule enforcement. The goal of these guidance documents is to take input on their application and develop a consistent and uniform application of the provision.
  7. Public participation in this guidance is essential to the process, so we ask for continued engagement from all impacted stakeholder groups across industries.

Click Here to View the Official Notice from FMCSA

Source: Kansas Motor Carriers Association

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.

ATA Reports Shortage of National Truck Drivers to Reach 50,000 by End of 2017

Posted October 25, 2017 by Administrator

The American Trucking Association released the findings of their latest study on the shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. The report, released October 20, 2017, indicates that the trucking industry is expected to have a shortage of 50,000 truck drivers by the end of 2017.

In addition to the general lack of new applicants, the lack of qualified drivers is a significant factor in the overall problem. This is a serious concern for the industry as a whole, as well as a concern for the supply chain infrastructure and the U.S. economy.

This is the first study that has examined the truck driver shortage since 2015. Researchers found that the truck driver shortage decreased from 45, 000 in 2015 to 36,500 in 2016 but has increased to an expected 50,000 in 2017.

The reason for the decrease in 2016 was a reduction in the demand for cargo deliveries, triggered by the collapse of oil prices at the end of 2014. When fuel prices drop, carrier revenues fall due to declining fuel surcharges. This is called a “freight recession.” Freight volume and rates finally started to come back in mid-2016 and a boom market in November and December 2016 for the demand for truck freight boosted truckload rates.

If the current trends continue the shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. could increase to more than 174,000 by 2026. In addition to the overall lack of drivers and lack of qualified drivers, the ATA study found the following contributors to the current truck driver shortage includes:

  • an aging driver population
  • lifestyle issues
  • regulatory challenges.

In order to address this increasing shortage, fleets are increasing wages and offering other incentives. Fleets are also reaching out to women and other non-traditional workforce demographic populations. Industry advocates are calling for policy changes, such as reducing the age of drivers while simultaneously putting in place a graduated licensing system and making it easier for returning veterans to qualify for a CDL. These, and other innovative programs are working to make it easier – and more attractive – to enter the truck driving profession.

Cline Wood is more than just an insurance agency. We tailor insurance and risk products and services that improve your bottom line. As a Cline Wood client, we care about your business; you can depend on the knowledge and experience of Cline Wood to help analyze and solve your needs. To learn more about how Cline Wood can help your trucking business, 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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