Showing posts from tagged with: fmcsa

Agriculture and Livestock Haulers Receive 90-Day ELD Exemption from FMCSA

Posted December 18, 2017 by Administrator

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a temporary waiver of the electronics logging device (ELD) mandate for agricultural commodities and livestock carriers.

The 90-day waiver will be in effect through March 18, 2018. The FMCSA made it clear that drivers who are operating under the waiver must comply with the following conditions:

  1. Drivers must carry a copy of the waiver notice with them on board and make it available for review during inspections.
  2. Drivers who wish to utilize the waiver must have a “satisfactory” rating from FMCSA or be unrated. Motor carriers with a conditional or unsatisfactory rating are not allowed to take advantage of the waiver.
  3. Drivers using the waiver must notify FMCSA within 5 working business days if they are involved in an accident and must provide details of the incident to the agency.

FMCSA announced that the waiver was being granted to give them time to gather additional public commentary on the mandate so that they can better address the concerns of agricultural and livestock haulers related to operating under the ELD regulation.

The agency specified that it wants to investigate “certain exemption applications” related to the agricultural industry concerning the use of ELDs to document hours of service for drivers. The agency also wants to clarify the “applicability of requirements” for agricultural carriers as it relates to the original deadline.

FMCSA officials have indicated they will be providing related to the existing 150 air miles hours-of-service exemption. The guidance is expected to assist carriers in understanding how to maximize the use of the statutory exemption. The agency has indicated a desire to implement the ELD mandate using a process that improves safety without impeding commerce.

The agency has indicated they will be publishing an official notice of the waiver announcement in the Federal Register in the next few days. For more on transportation and agribusiness updates and coverages, contact Cline Wood.

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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.

Clearinghouse Rule to Take Effect in August

Posted June 27, 2016 by Administrator

shutterstock_118561318 - CopyThe OMB has announced the status of three different rules that affect Commercial fleets. The Clearinghouse rule will be published as planned, but the Speed Limiter rule had been delayed again.

Clearinghouse Rule

This rule makes changes to how commercial carriers report the results of drug tests to the FMCSA. Carriers have to report who they use to administer their drug tests and give permission to these administrators to submit information on all drivers to the FMCSA. In addition, if any drivers fail a drug test or refuse to submit to a drug test, the fleet owner must report this information to the FMCSA

Controversial Speed Limiter Rule

The controversial Speed Limiter rule has been pushed back again. The rule that would restrict how fast trucks can travel was supposed to be published at the end of Spring. Now the scheduled date is the end of summer if it doesn’t get pushed back again.

Fuel Efficiencies Rule

Another important rule that affects motor carriers is the joint EPA and NHTSA rule to improve truck fuel efficiency emissions. The rule scheduled to be published in September will require 2018 model trailers and 2021 model tractors to comply with these standards. The entire vehicle will need to be in compliance by 2027.

For more important news regarding the trucking industry, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

New Initiatives Make it Easier for Military Vets to Become Truck Drivers

Posted March 23, 2016 by Administrator

shutterstock_118561318 - CopyThe FMCSA has proposed several rule changes in order to make it easier for military veterans to obtain a CDL and transition to a truck driving career. The FMCSA has also made a new website available for veterans to learn about partner initiatives, current and future FMCSA programs, and job resources.

Future FMCSA Programs

The FAST Act requires the FMCSA to create a procedure to make it easier for VA doctors to perform DOT medical certifications for veterans and launch an interstate driving program for veterans between the ages of 18-21.

In addition to the initiatives created by the passage of the FAST Act, the FMCSA wants to give veterans more time to apply for skills test waiver. In addition, the FMCSA suggests that military personnel who are in the process of transitioning to civilian life be allowed to apply for a CDL in states where they are stationed.

Partner Initiatives

The FMCSA has partner initiatives with many groups including:

  • The US Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Helmet to Hardhats
  • Army’s Soldier for Life
  • American Legion’s Veterans Employment and Education Commission

Hiring a veteran for your commercial trucking company offers many benefits. To learn more about the ways that hiring practices affect your business insurance rates, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

2016 Could Be the Year of Regulatory Reform

Posted January 26, 2016 by Administrator

shutterstock_118561318 - CopyWith all of the changes and upheavals in the transportation industry, there could be good news in the area of regulatory reform. From the FAST Act to the pending confirmation of T.F. Scott Darling III, transportation regulation could be seeing many changes in 2016.

New FMCSA Administrator

President Obama nominated T.F. Scott Darling III last summer for the FMCSA administrator position. Darling III had to wait five months before his confirmation hearing in January. Before the Senate Committee hearing, Darling promised to reform many aspects of the FMCSA, including the CSA.

President Obama’s Regulatory Agenda

President Obama’s nomination of T.F. Scott Darling III was only one step in his effects to create an aggressive regulatory agenda. The introduction of the FAST Act was another effort of the Obama administration to improve regulation in the transportation industry. President Obama wanted changes in CSA scoring, which was part of the FAST Act.

As acting administrator of the FMCSA, Darling III has made many promises but has carried through on few of the regulations President Obama would like to see enacted, such as electronic logging devices and speed limiters. Many believe the acting administrator is waiting to be nominated before beginning aggressive changes in the FMCSA.

For more industry news, contact us today.

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