Showing posts from tagged with: trucking regulatory compliance

Webinar: Legal Implications of Electronic Logging Device Implementation and Compliance

Posted July 5, 2017 by Administrator

Join Cline Wood University and Roberts Perryman as we discuss the specifications and legal implications of electronic logging device (ELD) implementation and compliance. Subject matter expert Jason Guerra will address the impact on your trucking business. Topics include:

* The Law, Rules & Deadlines
* Compliance: Supporting Documentation and Technical Specs
* Implementation Issues & Considerations
* Exemptions Regarding Short Haul, Towing, Older Models
* Extension for Use of AOBRDs
* Avoiding Pitfalls

Date & Time: Wed, Jul 12, 2017 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM CDT

To Join: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3771330763710693123

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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How to Prepare Your Drivers for a DOT Motor Vehicle Audit

Posted June 27, 2017 by Administrator

The Department of Transportation (DOT) regularly conducts motor vehicle audits to ensure that carriers are in compliance with applicable regulations. Audits are conducted without prior notice. The types of audits that are conducted include the following:

  • Compliance Review

Checks the vehicle to determine if the equipment meets safety standards. All areas of compliance are covered.

  • Security Review

Reviews the safety plan, training of the driver and other security-related measures.

  • Hazardous Materials Reviews

Comprehensive review that covers all aspects of transporting hazardous materials, such as policies, training, shipping documentation and labeling of containers.

  • New Driver Entrants

Within 3-6 months of the issuance of a USDOT number, a new driver safety audit will be conducted.

Paying attention to details and maintaining thorough records are important keys to passing the audit. It is imperative that you keep a copy of the DOT Compliance Checklist, Level 1 DOT Commercial Vehicle Inspection as well as a current North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria publication issued by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance on board your rigs so that drivers can refer to them as needed.

Here are 4 tips to help your company fleet stay in compliance and be prepared for a DOT audit.

  1. Talk with your drivers

As a fleet owner, it is vitally important for you to build rapport with your drivers so that there is a trust relationship. If you perceive the driver is making mistakes, you need to understand why the mistakes are happening and have enough of a relationship for there to be honest dialog with the goal of resolving the issues. Your drivers are the life of your business; they are the people that move your loads. They will be the ones that either make or break your business.

The inspection officer will begin the audit by interviewing the driver. During the interview, the officer will be inspecting the interior of the cab to ensure the cab and dash instruments are in good repair. The officer will also be looking for evidence of drug and/or alcohol usage during the cab inspection.

  1. Make Sure Your Equipment is in Good Repair

Use the Level 1 DOT Commercial Vehicle Inspection Checklist to determine if your vehicle is in compliance. Pay careful attention to the seat belts, windshield wipers, emergency lights, brake lights, lighting devices of all types, emergency exits, electrical cables, braking systems, fuel systems, exhaust systems, electrical cables, etc.

  1. Keep Your Paperwork and Logs Organized and Up-to-Date

It’s vitally important that your driver’s record keeping is organized and current so that he or she can easily demonstrate to an inspector that everything is in order. Make sure they know where their fire extinguisher and triangles are, and their documents are in order. Make sure they keep their information in a place that is easy to access and that everything is complete.

  1. The Attitude of the Driver is Important

Help your drivers understand how to maintain a respectful, cooperative attitude. If a driver is argumentative, sullen or uncooperative, the inspector is likely to demand a Level 1 Inspection. A driver with a cooperative, positive attitude will have a smoother experience and the inspection will go much quicker.

Your drivers should expect an inspection at any time. Work with them to help them understand the importance of passing their inspections, and support them in developing the systems they need to keep things organized and up-to-date. Maintain a positive relationship with them and model courtesy, respect and a professional attitude at all times.

Following these general guidelines will help your drivers pass their DOT inspections in a timely, efficient manner, helping them get back on the job working for your company.

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

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Are Your Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors?

Posted June 13, 2017 by Administrator

In recent years, federal and state entities have engaged in an effort to reclassify independent contractors for motor carriers as employees. Sometimes authorities will conduct preemptive audits on the Department of Labor (DOL) compliance status to determine if companies are in compliance with federal and state labor laws as they apply to worker classification.

In order to ensure your company is in compliance, there are important tests that need to be adhered to when it comes to independent contractors versus employee status. Important tests to know are:

  1. The right to control

The overarching test of the right to control is whether or not the owner-operator controls the manner and means of completing the work. The one caveat to this test is when the control is originating from rules or regulations imposed by the Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or other entity that governs the trucking industry. External regulatory controls are seen as mutual between the company and the owner-operator and therefore are not a determining factor in whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor.

  1. ABC

The ABC test refers to three parts, listed as “A”, “B”, and “C.” In this test, the DOL has taken the position that most workers in the U.S. are employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA.) The one primary exception to this is if the owner-operator operates under the authority of multiple carriers.

  1. 3. Relative nature of the work

The nature of the work helps to define the relationship. If the work is considered integral to the business, it is more likely that the worker is an employee. Work that is temporary or non-integral may imply independent contractor status.

  1. Economic realities

The economic realities test is something that has been devised by some courts and federal agencies to help businesses determine the differences between an employee and independent contractors. Basically, the economic realities test considers how dependent or independent the worker is on the business. If a person gains a large part of their income from one business then they are likely an employee. Other factors to consider are level of skill, nature of the work, intent of the parties and social security taxes and benefits.

  1. IRS “20 Factor”

Tax liability is determined by the workers’ employment status. In order to help businesses determine whether a worker should be classified as an employee or independent contractor the IRS has devised twenty questions or factors called the “IRS 20 Factor Test on Employment Status.”

It’s critical that motor carriers and owner-operators understand the differences and legal implications of operating as an employee versus an independent contractor. While it may seem attractive to call your drivers owner-operators or independent contractors, it is vitally important that the tests for independent contractors are met if the driver is considered an owner-operator.

An important factor to consider is the right for an individual to sue the company should the driver be involved in an accident. If the driver meets the employee test, damages can be collected from the trucking company. If the driver can be classified as an independent contractor, then the other party in an accident is limited to the amount of damages they can recover from the contractor. The law does not accept the word of an employer in such a matter; the aforementioned tests will be taken into consideration in determining who is liable in the event of an accident.

To learn more about the issues that concern truck drivers today, trucking coverage and risk management, 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.

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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.

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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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