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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.

Multiple Factors Drive Rise in Refrigerated Commercial Trailer Sales

Posted August 28, 2017 by Administrator

The refrigerated trucking industry is of critical importance to both the trucking industry and the U.S. economy as a whole. The refrigerated trucking industry hauled 520.1 million tons of freight in 2015, which was 5 percent of all truck freight. Refrigerated freight generates $14.3 billion in revenue annually, which is 1.9 percent of all truck revenue ($748.9 billion.)

The demand for refrigerated transportation has increased since 2014, according to ACT Research Co, a commercial vehicle transportation and research company. The growth can be attributed to several factors, including new federal food handling requirements that went into effect in March 2016, as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA.)

The primary driver of the demand, according to the ACT Research study, is the consumer demand for fresh food and eating out. Food service businesses and food carriers are scrambling to keep up with the demand. U.S. refrigerated trailers are scrambling to keep the pipeline full and transportation moving.

In 2014, a record 46,500 refrigerated trailers where shipped by U.S. manufacturers, which is the highest to date. Then, in 2016 46,000 reefer trailers were shipped, making it the second highest in refrigerated trailer sales.

ACT is projecting 43,000 refrigerating trailer units will be sold in 2017. Refrigerated trailer sales are expected to remain solid in the near future. In addition to food, the refrigerated transport market includes electronics, pharmaceuticals and ammunition, which are shipped in refrigerated trailers.

Cline Wood represents top trucking insurance carriers across the country. To learn more about the issues that concern commercial truck carriers today, trucking insurance 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.

Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

Posted June 26, 2017 by Erin

Sometimes all it takes is one time slipping on a wet surface to cause a debilitating injury to a worker’s back, a broken bone, or worse.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 800 work-related fatalities and over 300,000 total work-related injuries due to slips, trips and falls in 2015.[1]

Once an injury occurs, a worker is typically unable to work for an extended period of time, potentially meaning less income.  There could also be significant medical expenses and decreased ability to conduct your normal daily activities, making it difficult to take care of your loved ones.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

    1. ONLY WEAR STURDY, WATERPROOF WORK BOOTS
      This helps keep your feet dry and prevents them from slipping off most surfaces.  NO flip flops, slides, or sandals.
    2. MAKE SURE YOUR WORK BOOTS HAVE GOOD NON-SLIP TREAD
      This helps give you good traction in adverse weather conditions and prevents slips/falls.  If your work boots are old, chances are good the tread is worn down and it’s time for a new pair.
    3. MAKE SURE YOUR WORK BOOTS HAVE A STEEL SAFETY TOE
      This helps prevent injuries from bumps or items accidentally dropped on your foot.
    4. REVIEW YOUR SURROUNDINGS
      Look around you to see if there are any potential hazards, like potholes, water/snow on the ground, etc.
    5. USE THREE POINTS OF CONTACT
      When getting in or getting out of your truck or trailer, make sure you have either two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand making contact with the truck the whole time.  This helps ensure stability.

     

    If you follow these basic guidelines you will drastically reduce the chance of a slip, trip or fall type of accident.  Your employer and your family will also appreciate your efforts to work safer and come home happy and healthy at the end of the workday.

    If you should have any questions regarding the information above or would like to discuss other safety topics, please don’t hesitate to contact Cline Wood at 888-451-3900 or safetrucking@clinewood.com.

    [1] Sources: https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/4836-fatal-work-injuries-in-the-united-states-during-2015.htm; https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh2.pdf


    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.

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.

 

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.

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.

Helping Feed the World

Posted April 17, 2017 by Erin

To watch the video, click here.

Argo Group has a role in protecting vital industries across the globe, from agriculture to manufacturing and hundreds of others. One reason for Argo’s success in so many sectors has to do with the partnerships it forms, prompted by its emphasis on collaboration with clients.

One such collaboration is helping Cattle Empire, one of the nation’s largest cattle-feeding operations. Argo, in partnership with broker Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, covers the herd and property against loss.

Lucas Christensen, chief financial officer for Cattle Empire, grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana. He understands the importance of having an insurance partner dedicated to the concept of sustainability.

Christensen recalls a bumper sticker on the car he drove as a teenager when he fed the animals. It read: “Ranchers: the original environmentalists.”

“I think that’s something I grew up understanding and learning that we live off the land and off the animals, and so it’s in our best interests to take care of those,” Christensen says.

He appreciates the role that Argo plays in keeping his operation running smoothly.

“More so than the monetary recovery of loss, which is important, is the speed in which we are helped,” Christensen says. “If we have a major loss, we need partners with us that will stand by us and be ready to aid us at a moment’s notice.”

Article originally published on Argolimited.com, to view the full article 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.

 

 

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.

Is a Recession on the Horizon for the Trucking Industry?

Posted December 6, 2016 by Administrator

trucksThe trucking industry in America may be facing a downturn, causing some analysts to predict that economic indicators are signaling a recession. Some of the negative trends that analysts point to as worrisome include:

  • low diesel prices
  • energy sector issues
  • high business inventories
  • weakness in the manufacturing sector
  • decrease in exports due to a strong dollar
  • driver shortages that make it difficult to cover deliveries and routes
  • government regulations that make it difficult to recruit and retain drivers

The trucking industry is a major player when it comes to economic expansion. When fewer goods are delivered due to a reduced need, it could signal a slowing of economic growth in the U.S. The trucking industry accounts for 70 percent of the tonnage carried by domestic freight. Trucks move 9.2 million tons of freight annually. Over 37 billion gallons of diesel fuel were required to provide that much transportation.

Even if manufacturing improves and consumer demand stabilizes, there is a high degree of economic uncertainty predicted for 2017. High inventory stocks continue to hold down trucking freight volumes, which have been falling since the second half of 2015. Hopefully, the supply chain will clean out the excess stocks which will benefit the trucking industry.

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