Viewing posts categorised under: News

Thanksgiving Weekend – Holiday Theft Awareness

Posted November 21, 2016 by Erin


Motor carriers should be mindful of the increased risk of theft as Thanksgiving approaches. Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, and warehouses and trailers are filling up with valuable inventory. Naturally, these make for target-rich environments to would-be thieves. In fact, around Thanksgiving 2015 there were 18 reported cargo theft incidents totaling approximately $1.48 million in reported losses.

Source: Freightwatch International

Please click on the link below for some great loss prevention tips from Great West Casualty Company that can help motor carriers and drivers prevent cargo thefts this year.

ELD mandate upheld in court, compliance date remains December 2017

Posted October 31, 2016 by Erin

A federal mandate requiring nearly all U.S. truck operators to use electronic logging devices to track duty status has been upheld in court, meaning the December 18, 2017, compliance date remains effective.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal court overseeing the case, voted to keep the mandate in place, securing a victory for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and its ELD rule. Its decision was issued Oct. 31, following oral arguments made in Chicago on Sept. 13.

The decision does not change the rule’s exemption for pre-2000 year-model trucks, which are allowed to operate without an ELD.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a lawsuit on behalf of two truckers in March in an attempt to have the mandate overturned. But OOIDA was unable to convince the court of its arguments that the rule violates truckers’ Fourth Amendment rights to privacy. OOIDA also claimed the rule didn’t meet standards set by Congress for an ELD mandate — an argument the court also rejected.

The rule “is not arbitrary or capricious, nor does it violate the Fourth Amendment,” the 7th circuit judges wrote in their decision.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is the same court that tossed out FMCSA’s 2010-published ELD mandate on the grounds that the rule didn’t do enough to protect truckers from harassment by carriers via the devices.

The court in its Oct. 31 decision said the agency fixed those issues in its 2015-issued rule.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is the highest court in the country next to the Supreme Court. OOIDA still has the option to appeal a ruling.

The Supreme Court, however, has signaled it may not take up the case, at least from preliminary filings made this year.

The ELD mandate rule, published December 2015, requires all truckers currently required to paper logs to transition to an ELD by December 18, 2017.

This article was originally published on by James Jaillet. To see the full article click here.

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
  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.

Drug and Alcohol Seminar (Kansas City location)

Posted October 11, 2016 by Erin

Cline Wood is happy to share some information on upcoming free seminar scheduled in Kansas City, Missouri next week. This is a drug and alcohol seminar for supervisors taught by Mark Woodward from Missouri Employers Mutual and John Throckmorton from TOMO Drug Testing.

7:30 a.m.  Registration begins. Continental breakfast provided.

8 a.m.-noon Seminar

Oct. 13—Kansas City
Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts
4747 Flora
Kansas City, MO 64110

Participants who complete the full session will receive a Certificate of Completion indicating compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirements, and most state requirements for Supervisor Drug and Alcohol Recognition Training. This is a free seminar.  This certification would normally cost $75/person.  Here is the link to the information and sign-up on our website.

If you have contacts who can benefit from such training, please forward this information.


Congratulations to Skip Wombolt, Michael Gully and Jeff Buchheit. MOTA award recipient and newly appointed board officers.

Posted September 29, 2016 by Erin


Last Thursday during the 79th Annual Missouri Trucking Association Convention, Cline Wood Producer Skip Wombolt was presented with the “G. Findley Reed Award” the allied industry’s highest service award.

G. Findley Reed was a long-time allied member of the Missouri Motor Carriers Association and a leader in the insurance industry. Fin Reed passed away some years ago, and in his memory and to remember his service to the Association, and honor other valued allied members, the G. Findley Reed Award was established.

G. Findley Reed had a high regard for the Missouri Motor Carriers Association and recognized the importance of bringing together, at least once a year, both the allied industry and the motor carrier members of the Association.

Each year at the annual convention, an allied industry member is recognized for service to the motor carrier industry and, in particular, for service to the Association.

Congratulations Skip!

Cline Wood would also like to congratulate our client Michael Gully, of Gully Transportation, Inc., on his election to serve as Chairman of the board for MOTA for the 2016-2017 year. Congratulations Michael!

Cline Wood would also like to congratulate our client Jeff Buchheit, of Buchheit Logistics, on his election to serve as 3rd Vice Chairman of the board for MOTA for the 2016-2017 year. Congratulations Jeff!

To see the full press release from this year’s MOTA convention, please visit their website here.


Webinar: Best Practices for Truck Brokers to Reduce Costs & Improve CSA Scores

Posted September 13, 2016 by Administrator

The beautiful red US Truck with chrome

Join Cline Wood University as we discuss insurance and risk management best practices for trucking brokers. Subject matter expert Ben Armistead, Partner at Greenwich Transportation Underwriters, will explain the critical components required to make truck brokers appealing to underwriters. Implementing these safety strategies and best practices will reduce insurance costs, improve CSA scores and attract business to your organization. Topics include:

* Broker Management Goals
* Risk Management Strategy & Objectives
* Critical Best Practices
* The Insurance Underwriting Strategy

Date & Time: Wed, Sep 21, 2016 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM CDT

To Register:

USDA Announces Climate-Change Initiative to Support Farmers, Ranchers and Forest Land Owners

Posted August 25, 2016 by Administrator

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a new climate change initiative aimed at supporting the nation’s farmers, ranchers and forest land owners. The initiative, Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry, is a comprehensive and detailed approach to issues related to climate change in the U.S. The goal of the initiative is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon storage and generate clean renewable energy. The USDA’s strategy is to implement best practices that are designed for working production systems that provide multiple economic and environmental benefits. The strategy will also help support resilience to extreme weather, which is a vital consideration for agribusiness.

The USDA expects to reduce net emissions and enhance carbon sequestration by over 120 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year by 2026. This equals about 2% of economy-wide net greenhouse emissions, the equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road.

Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our future generations according to President Obama. The effects of climate change can no longer be ignored or denied. The planet’s warmest year on record was last year, and 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have happened since the year 2000. America’s ranchers and farmers have already been experiencing the devastating effects of impacts of climate change, such as severe flooding, extreme heat, drought, wildfires, disease and pests. These frightening climate-change related changes are driving the historic actions of the President to cut the carbon pollution that drives climate change and protect America from the impacts.

The 2014 Farm Bill gives the USDA the authority to provide incentives and technical assistance to farmers, ranchers and forest land owners. The initiative will address soil health, improve nutrient management, conserve and enhance forest resources on private and public lands. In addition, the USDA will increase efforts to improve energy efficiency, develop renewable energy and use biomass both as a liquid fuel and to contribute to heating, cooling and electric needs.

The Climate-Change Initiative consists of the following 10 strategies:

  1. Soil Healthlivestock image
  2. Nitrogen Stewardship
  3. Livestock Partnerships
  4. Conservation of Sensitive Lands
  5. Grazing and Pasture Lands
  6. Private Forest Growth and Retention
  7. Stewardship of Federal Forests
  8. Promotion of Wood Products
  9. Urban Forests
  10. Energy Generation and Efficiency

For more information about the Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry Initiative click here.

To learn more about agribusiness news, coverages, and educational webinars, contact us.

Flooding suspends hours regs in Louisiana for truckers carrying emergency relief loads

Posted August 22, 2016 by Erin

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency for the state Aug. 12 in light of the historic flooding around Baton Rouge and across the southern part of the state. Per federal law, certain federal safety regulations have been temporarily suspended for some truck drivers through the duration of the declaration.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says such a declaration by a state “trigger[s] the temporary suspension of certain federal safety regulations, including hours of service, for motor carriers and drivers engaged in specific aspects of the emergency relief effort.”

FMCSA says drivers responding to provide “direct assistance” to an emergency, as defined here, are exempt from applicable regulations in all states on their route to the emergency, even through states that may not be involved in the emergency or stated in the declaration of emergency. The agency adds the exemptions only apply to regulations in 49 CFR Parts 390-399 and do not “exempt drivers/carriers from the requirements relating to CDL, drug/alcohol, hazardous materials, size and weight or state/federal registration and tax requirements.”

Drivers and carriers should coordinate with state officials before providing assistance, according to FMCSA. The agency also says truckers should use good judgement when operating under the temporary exemptions.

The state of emergency is in effect until Sept. 10.

Read the full story from CCJ here.  

Article written by Matt Cole and originally published on

Annual Brake Inspection Blitz set for September

Posted August 22, 2016 by Erin

Inspectors will be keying in on brake safety again this September when the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Brake Safety Week takes place Sept. 11-17.

Across North America, law enforcement agencies will conduct inspections on commercial vehicles to look for out-of-adjustment brakes, and brake system and anti-lock braking system violations during the week.

Specifically, CVSA says inspectors will be looking for “loose or missing parts, air or hydraulic fluid leaks, worn linings, pads, drums or rotors, and other faulty brake system components.” Inspectors will also be checking ABS malfunction indicator lights to make sure they’re in working order, CVSA says. Defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will result in the vehicle being placed out-of-service.

Most inspections occurring during the week will be full Level I inspections, according to CVSA, and 10 jurisdictions will be using performance-based brake testing to measure braking efficiency.

“CMV brakes are designed to hold up under tough conditions, but they must be routinely inspected and maintained carefully and consistently so they operate and perform properly throughout the vehicle’s life,” CVSA says. “Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce braking efficiency and increase the stopping distance of trucks and buses, posing serious risks to driver and public safety.”

During 2015’s brake inspection spree, inspectors conducted 18,817 inspections and placed 2,321 of those trucks out-of-service – or 12.3 percent.

Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Read the full story from CCJ here.  

Article written by CCJ Staff and originally published on

FMCSA Rulemaking Meetings Continue Amid Sleep Apnea and Trucker Debate

Posted August 10, 2016 by Administrator

The beautiful red US Truck with chrome

The debate about rulemaking and who pays in the screening and treatment for truck drivers with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) continues as the FMCSA holds late August meetings for recommendations. The public meetings will be held Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 22-23, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern at the FMCSA National Training Center in Arlington, Va.

Drivers are raising concerns about lost time and money after being referred for a sleep test by a medical examiner. The guidelines for referring a driver for a test are also in question regarding the neck circumference and body mass index (BMI) ratios that can trigger the testing.

Although the rulemaking process has not reached the stage of whether the FMCSA will issue a regulation or just guidance truckers are attempting to get out ahead of any final rulings regarding both testing criteria and cost burden. Many have suggested the agency pursue a pilot program to help determine what the practical costs and implications of such a rule would be.

What is clear at this point is that not all insurance providers cover screenings, equipment and everything that goes along with OSA. The American Transportation Research Institute has also released its findings of a study on sleep apnea conducted this year. ATRI found that costs to truckers can exceed $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenses when referred for sleep apnea screening and much higher costs for treatment if it is not fully covered under their insurance. To learn more about FMCSA regulations and trucking news, visit our blog regularly or view our webinars.

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