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FMSCA seeking public comment on revising HOS

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WASHINGTON – The  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Tuesday said that it is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, which limit the operating hours of commercial truck drivers.

The upcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service-advanced-notice-proposed-rulemaking, which will be published in the Federal Register, responds to widespread Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns and seeks feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on the nation’s highways and roads.  The comment period will be open for 30 days, stated FMCSA in a news release announcing the ANPRM.

The ANPRM goes out in the form of questions taken from listening sessions with stakeholders, including petitions asking for more HOS flexibility by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the United States Transportation Alliance, the United Drivers Alliance and others, with Raymond P. Martinez, FMCSA’s sixth administrator, commenting that the ANPRM “basically opens the floor” to these groups and other trucking stakeholders to comment on how they want to see the HOS changed.

He noted that HOS changes haven’t been addressed for the last 15 years and that many things have changed in the way commerce operates during that period, including more congestion and more vehicles on the road, along with “real-time delivery” created by internet shoppers who order something in the morning and want it delivered by that afternoon.

The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
  • Extending the current 14-hour, on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8 hours of continuous driving; and
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.

In addition, the ANPRM seeks public comment and relevant data on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from HOS rules (1) pertaining to the 14-hour on-duty limitation (filed by OOIDA) and (2) pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement (filed by TruckerNation).

“So this is a good opportunity to step forward if you have thoughts on these specific points or something that might be related to them,” Martinez told members of the trucking news media during a briefing on the ANPRM. “We keep hearing flexibility, flexibility, flexibility. Of course, we’re a safety agency so we look at everything through the lens of safety,” he added.

Now that ELDs are in place and generating information, “that allows us to pivot and say, now where is the flexibility in that [HOS regulation],” Martinez said. FMCSA is trying to be “agile” in listening to stakeholders and then acting on what they’ve heard in the past several months. The ANPRM is a “step forward” he said, in seeing what HOS changes should look like.

But he cautioned that the kind of feedback that the agency receives on the ANPRM will determine on how FMCSA will move forward, or not, with any HOS changes.

Joe DeLorenzo, director of FMCSA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance, added that the ANPRM is “deliberately very nonspecific” because the agency wants it to “provide a framework for the kind of information that we would need in order to make a decision going forward.”

Earlier this year, the congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which required most FMCSA-regulated motor carriers to convert their records from paper to an electronic format, became effective. While compliance with the ELD rule has reached nearly 99 percent across the trucking industry (according to FMCSA), it has also brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking.

Additional information on the ANPRM, including how to submit comments to the Federal Register docket, is available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service-advanced-notice-proposed-rulemaking

The first in a series of public listening sessions on the ANPRM will take place Friday, August 24, 2018, in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time during the Great American Trucking Show being held there.  Further information is available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/event/public-listening-session-hours-service.

There will also be a listening session September 14 in Washington, D.C. at the DOT headquarters and two additional sessions “geographically dispersed across the United States,” Martinez said, adding that those locations have yet to be determined.

Information on current HOS regulations is available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations.

Information on electronic logging devices (ELDs) carried on-board long-haul trucks and used by commercial vehicle enforcement officers to check compliance with HOS regulations is available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jerry turpen

    August 24, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Take the eld out of the trucks put driver’s back on paper logs and fix the 14 hour clock so if a driver stops during their 11 hour drive time so does the 14 hour clock stop then the hwy will be safer period that helps a driver to be safe on the road and keeps America Safe if you think about it and let it sink in also drivers won’t have to kill there self are anyone to get some miles in. Thank you for listening to me.also take all computers out of trucks..

  2. Keith Stouch

    August 25, 2018 at 7:35 am

    After 27 of driving both local and long haul (cost to cost) with no Citations, Violations or Accidents in a CMV.
    I am all in on ELD’s. I’ve used them for the last 10 years and because of experience with them and my Safety Record. The company I now work for asked me to come into the Safety Department last year to help with the transition. The 40 plus drivers that I now manage and help at first complained but, now tell me that they are getting more rest for the same pay. So the only thing that I can see that needs to be addressed is Driver’s Pay first and fore most, Then Detention Time and poor planing by dispatch.
    Shippers and Receivers Still don’t care how long they hold a driver for and then Dispatch still make promises that their load will be there Yesterday! Then Driver’s are told to get it done or lose your job!
    With the Driver shortage growing. Drivers have to understand that they now have control.
    Demand Higher Pay for a 14 hour day. Work smarter not harder. Driver should be paid for every mile they drive and every minuet they wait Period!
    Keep the ELD’s the days of lying on paper are over. I know I will get a lot of sh!t for this from older drivers, which I am one of but, to them I say Look at your Drivers License. Does your Company’s name appear on it.
    That is the only true resume you have so protect it. Your name is always first to appear on a Citation and your personal CSA score takes a hit. Think about it! DRIVERS ARE IN CONTROL, DRIVERS ARE IN CONTROL, DRIVERS ARE IN CONTROL.
    Thanks for letting me vent.

  3. George S. Ingram

    August 27, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    My humble suggestion would be Keep the ELD’s, we have a 14 hour work day so keep the 1/2 hour break before 8 hours of on-duty/drive time but the other 2 and a half hours remaining on the work day can be either used for on-duty time, pre/post PTI’s, or driving time. It will be up to the driver and company’s to better utilize the on-duty time. Some day’s I pick up a preloaded trailer and go…..not much on-duty time lost, other day’s the loaders and loading company just suck and keep me there for one, two, or three hours (Wal.-Mart comes to mind). But on many day’s I have more on-duty time remaining vice driving time. So just shift any left over on-duty time to driving time. I could really use it and it won’t take me beyond the 14 hour work day. Either that or just call us intern’s like at a hospital and work us 28 hours a day because fatigue is not a factor at hospitals and apparently human life is cheap there.

  4. Jonathan Davis

    September 2, 2018 at 10:57 am

    It would be very helpful to have an extra 2 hours for the work day in case of adverse conditions, for many truck drivers 14 hours is barely enough to get the job done. I used to be fine with the 30 min mandatory break but sometimes it makes it harder to stop and take a quick break because I don’t want to wait so long to stop for lunch, or some other delay causes me to take a 30 min break too early and then I can’t stop until I get to my destination, or I’ll need another 30 min break and then my 14 will run out and I can’t make it to my destination, which is very frustrating and not healthy.

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Stay Metrics releases Stay Ahead as new platform for survey products

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As the centerpiece of the Stay Ahead platform, Stay Metrics is introducing a new tool for reducing early-stage driver turnover (drivers who leave within the first year with your carrier, what Stay Metrics calls “new-to-you” drivers). (Courtesy: STAY METRICS)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Stay Metrics, a provider of driver retention tools for motor carriers, has released Stay Ahead, a new platform for its suite of driver survey products, which include onboarding surveys, fleetwide ongoing/annual surveys and exit/departure surveys.

Joining these surveys is a powerful new feature that lets carriers make the most of their data, according to Mary Malone, vice president of business development.

“The Stay Ahead tool helps carriers stay ahead of turnover, stay ahead of driver satisfaction, and stay ahead of growing their fleets,” Malone said. “It’s solidly focused on the future and making that future as successful for carriers as possible.”

As the centerpiece of this new platform, Stay Metrics is introducing a new tool for reducing early-stage driver turnover (drivers who leave within the first year with your carrier, what Stay Metrics calls “new-to-you” drivers).

The Intervention Opportunities feature makes Stay Metrics’ proven onboarding surveys even more effective by pointing out exactly which drivers need attention to stay during their first year, Malone said.

“This feature comes with a redesign and significant upgrade to Stay Metrics’ Self-Service Reportal for clients to see their data and analytics. It provides on-demand access to a wide range of reports, providing full transparency and powerful options for tracking drivers’ satisfaction and retention,” she said.

The Stay Ahead portal works with the onboarding surveys to alert carriers any time a driver appears to be at risk of leaving. The at-risk status of drivers is determined based on a Stay Metrics proprietary model that identifies at-risk drivers based on previous research.

Carriers can also filter drivers based on their alerts and willingness to recommend the carrier.

An additional helpful component is the ability to export all drivers that have intervention opportunities on a spreadsheet. Stay Metrics recommends that carriers check the system once per week and export this list as a checklist for their driver calls that week, Malone said.

“At a certain size of carrier, you can’t realistically call everyone each week,” said Tim Hindes, Stay Metrics co-founder and CEO. “That’s why this feature is so helpful. It helps teams prioritize their calling time to reach the drivers that need it most and provides suggested topics for those conversations. The combination of who to call and what to talk about makes this the most actionable tool on the market for driver engagement and satisfaction.”

In addition to intervention opportunities, the Stay Ahead tool also brings to the forefront any questions drivers have after taking their surveys.

“This powerful communications tool lets carriers know what information drivers need right now,” Hindes said. “These questions have always been collected by Stay Metrics and sent to carriers as Intervention Alerts, which will continue, but now carriers can export a checklist as a helpful tool to make sure the team addresses each one.”

Industry professionals and media are invited to attend a free webinar demonstrating how the Stay Ahead platform and its new features work on September 18 at 2 p.m. EDT. To register go to https://www.staymetrics.com/webinar/.

“I honestly believe this could be a revolution in how carriers onboard new drivers and keep them beyond the first year,” Hindes adds.

Carriers can find out more about each of the surveys that are part of the Stay Ahead platform on the Stay Metrics website at staymetrics.com.  8

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Daimler celebrates 750,000th unit produced at Cleveland, N.C., plant

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The 750,000th truck produced at Cleveland Truck Manufacturing, a Freightliner new Cascadia, pictured in front of the plant. (Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

CLEVELAND, N.C. — Daimler Trucks North America on August 26 commemorated the production of the 750,000th vehicle built at its Cleveland, North Carolina, truck manufacturing plant.

Keys to the milestone vehicle — a Freightliner new Cascadia — were presented to representatives from United Parcel Service during a ceremony at the facility.

“Over the past 30 years, our Cleveland plant has served as the foundation for our North American manufacturing operations and has been an integral part of our growth, innovation and leadership,” said Roger Nielsen, president and CEO, Daimler Trucks North America. “This production landmark demonstrates both customer acceptance of our solutions and the strength of our team. As we continue to evolve our product offerings and technologies, the Cleveland facility will remain a critical part of our strategy and success.”

“UPS celebrates this landmark achievement alongside DTNA as we accept the 750,000th truck produced by the Cleveland truck manufacturing plant,” says Carlton Rose, president of global fleet maintenance and engineering at UPS. “We applaud the efforts made by thousands of employees across UPS, DTNA, and Peach State Trucks Centers to bring this milestone to fruition. This accomplishment signifies our companies’ continued success as collaboration transforms technology and service defines the customer experience.”

Freightliner Trucks acquired the plant in 1989 and started producing the Freightliner Medium Conventional, a day cab truck model based on a Mercedes-Benz cabin mounted on an American chassis.

Over the years, the product line-up at Cleveland has evolved as DTNA’s newest innovations entered the marketplace.

Today, in addition to the Class 8 new Cascadia, the Cleveland plant also produces the Western Star 4700, 4900 and 5700XE truck models, and the Freightliner Coronado and Columbia for the right-hand drive Australian and New Zealand markets.

Since the first truck rolled off the line in Cleveland, DTNA has invested more than $350 million in the facility, including a recent $27 million investment to add a new logistics center with state-of-the-art technologies to support the company’s lean supply chain practices.

More than 2,200 people are employed at the Cleveland facility, DTNA’s largest manufacturing plant in the U.S.

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Stevens Transport driver Dwight Arnold name trucking’s top rookie

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Dwight Arnold accepts the winner’s check for $10,000 after being named trucking’s top rookie during the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas August 23. (Courtesy: STEVENS TRANSPORT)

DALLAS — Dwight Arnold, a driver for Stevens Transport, has been named the 2019 Mike O’Connell Trucking’s Top Rookie Award.

Presentation of the award was made August 23 during the Great American Trucking Show here.

Arnold, 38, lives in Clarksville, Tennessee. He won $10,000 and prizes from the RoadPro Family of Brands and Rand McNally. Arnold also received $1,000 from his company for winning the award.

“It gives you a buffer so I can work harder and get more done, clear debt and prepare a better life for my family,” he said of winning and the cash prize. “It’s a dream come true.”

According to the Stevens Transport website, Arnold was born in Kissimmee, Florida, and raised in Jacksonville, Florida.

In 2001, Arnold, joined the United States Army and during his time in the service, served as an ammunition specialist, military recruiter and a special unit transportation officer.

Arnold received many awards in the Army, including the Army Commendation Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with a Campaign Star and an Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two stars.

After retiring from the service in August 2014, Arnold said he wanted a profession that matched what he was already used to doing and allowed him to see his family more.

Having experience in the transportation industry, he realized that a profession as a truck driver would be the perfect fit and obtained his CDL from Tennessee Truck Driving School and graduated from orientation at Stevens in August of 2018.

Today, Arnold is a member of the Stevens Independent Contractor Division and is driving in the company’s Kraft dedicated fleet.

“Trucking has given me the opportunity to make a better home dynamic for me and my family,” Arnold said. “As for my future plans with Stevens, I’m hoping to start a fleet with four to five trucks and I also hope to build financial stability with my family, thanks to the financial success that I have had with trucking so far.”

Arnold’s driver manager DeAnthony Montgomery spoke high praise about Arnold’s success at Stevens.

“Dwight is a driver that I know will complete every task presented to him with a positive attitude,” Montgomery said. “He consistently delivers every load on time and is a very motivated and exemplary driver. I am glad to have him on my team.”

Arnold was one of 11 finalists for the award.

The other 10 finalists, the driver training school they attended and their employer include:

  • Aaron Pratt, Maverick Transportation, Maverick Transportation
  • Bradley Chislett, National Tractor Trailer School, H.O. Wolding
  • Daniel Walton, Roehl Transport, Roehl Transport
  • Jaron Grier, New England Tractor Trailer Training School, U.S.Xpress
  • Kandy Qualls, United Truck Driving School, Earl L. Henderson Trucking Co.
  • Matthew Hepburn, Miller-Motte College, Melton Truck Lines
  • Oday Alhousha, CDL Xpress School, Hogan Transport
  • Pamela Girton (Coffman), Tulsa Technology Center, Groendyke Transport
  • Thomas Blitch, Roadmaster Drivers School, Werner Enterprises, Inc.
  • Tyria Snow, Diesel Driving Academy, TMC Transportation

Each received $1,000 and a prize package.

The award is named after the late Mike O’Connell, who was formerly the executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, and who originated the idea of the award.

O’Connell said he believed that honoring a top rookie driver helped show new drivers they are appreciated by the trucking industry. 8

 

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