Rules regarding driver jobs

May 7th, 2019

Some new rules have been enacted regarding driver jobs.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently announced it is granting petitions to preempt the State of California’s meal and rest break rules, which differ from current Federal hours-of-service regulations.

FMCSA’s granting of these petitions is in response to widespread concern from drivers, concerned citizens, and industry stakeholders.  In 1996, Congress preempted states from enacting or enforcing policies “related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier.”

California’s law is incompatible with Federal regulations and causes a disruption in interstate commerce.

In addition, the confusing and conflicting requirements are overly burdensome for drivers and reduce productivity, increasing costs for consumers.

Additionally, safety issues have likely resulted from the lack of adequate parking solutions for trucks in the State.

“Safety is FMCSA’s top priority and having uniform rules is a key component to increasing safety for our truck drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.  “During the public comment period, FMCSA heard directly from drivers, small business owners, and industry stakeholders that California’s meal and rest rules not only pose a safety risk, but also lead to a loss in productivity and ultimately hurt American consumers.”

In all, over 700 public comments were submitted to the Federal Register docket regarding the petitions.

Regulations and driver jobs

May 7th, 2019

An upgrade in regulations will affect driver jobs.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a final rule streamlining the process and reducing costs to upgrade from a Class B to Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).  By adopting a new Class A CDL theory instruction upgrade curriculum, the final rule will save eligible driver trainees and motor carriers $18 million annually.

“Today’s action demonstrates the Department’s commitment to reducing regulatory burdens and addressing our nation’s shortage of commercial drivers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

FMCSA is amending the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations published on December 8, 2016.  The ELDT rule requires the same level of theory training for individuals obtaining a CDL for the first time as for those who already hold a Class B CDL and are upgrading to a Class A CDL.  FMCSA recognizes that because Class B CDL holders have prior training or experience, they should not be required to receive the same level of theory training as individuals who have never held a CDL.  FMCSA has concluded this change will maintain the same level of safety established by the 2016 ELDT rule.

“This effort is a common-sense way of reducing the regulatory burdens placed on CDL applicants and their employers.  FMCSA continues to strategically reform burdensome regulations to improve the lives of ordinary Americans by saving them valuable time and money – while simultaneously maintaining the highest level of safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.

FMCSA estimates that over 11,000 driver-trainees will benefit annually by this rule and see an average reduction of 27 hours in time spent completing their theory instruction.  This results in substantial time and cost savings to these driver-trainees, as well as to the motor carriers that employ these drivers.

The final rule applies only to Class B CDL holders, and does not change the behind-the-wheel (BTW) (range and public road) training requirements set forth in the 2016 ELDT rule.  All driver-trainees, including those who hold a Class B CDL, must demonstrate proficiency in all elements of the BTW curriculum in a Group A vehicle.

Workshop for driver jobs and safety

April 28th, 2019

A new workshop regarding driver jobs and its safety is being planned.

The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA) will offer a May 1 workshop regarding the safe operation of powered industrial trucks and the formal instruction, practical training, and evaluation of operator performance required by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The morning workshop will be held 10 a.m. to noon at the Labor Department’s Wethersfield office located at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard.

“There are always hazards associated with operating any type of equipment,” explains CONN-OSHA Occupational Safety Training Specialist Catherine Zinsser. “Our goal is to make sure operators of these ‘fork trucks’ have the latest information and understand the requirements, since it can make a significant difference regarding their health and safety when operating this type of vehicle.”

Admission to the seminar is free, but pre-registration for the seminar is required.

 

Company increases pay for driver jobs

April 7th, 2019

Walmart has decided to pay drivers more for driver jobs, according to CDLLife.com.

Though Walmart already offers some of the highest pay in the trucking industry, the company says that they’ll be offering a straightforward per mile pay increase to try to meet their goal of hiring nearly 1000 new drivers this year.

On January 23, Walmart announced that starting in February, they’ll be increasing driver pay by one cent per mile to a total of nearly 89 cents per mile.

The company says that this per-mile increase coupled with an extra $1 for every arrival means that the average pay for first year drivers will increase from $86,000 to $87,500.

This pay increase along with 21 days of paid vacation and the guarantee of a stable work schedule sets a new industry standard for how trucking companies can attract and retain drivers.

Walmart has plans to use the pay increase to attract 900 new drivers into their private fleet in 2019.

In addition to increasing driver pay, Walmart is also modifying how it hires drivers.

The company has shifted from a more stringent single day hiring process to a days-long hiring event during which new drivers work with veteran Walmart truckers to hone their skills and perfect their processes, the company has been able to significantly increase the number of drivers who qualify to join the team.

 

Regulatory costs and driver jobs

April 7th, 2019

A new initiative is meant to streamline costs when it comes to obtaining driver jobs.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a final rule streamlining the process and reducing costs to upgrade from a Class B to Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).  By adopting a new Class A CDL theory instruction upgrade curriculum, the final rule will save eligible driver trainees and motor carriers $18 million annually.

“Today’s action demonstrates the Department’s commitment to reducing regulatory burdens and addressing our nation’s shortage of commercial drivers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

FMCSA is amending the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations published on December 8, 2016.  The ELDT rule requires the same level of theory training for individuals obtaining a CDL for the first time as for those who already hold a Class B CDL and are upgrading to a Class A CDL.  FMCSA recognizes that because Class B CDL holders have prior training or experience, they should not be required to receive the same level of theory training as individuals who have never held a CDL.  FMCSA has concluded this change will maintain the same level of safety established by the 2016 ELDT rule.

“This effort is a common-sense way of reducing the regulatory burdens placed on CDL applicants and their employers.  FMCSA continues to strategically reform burdensome regulations to improve the lives of ordinary Americans by saving them valuable time and money – while simultaneously maintaining the highest level of safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.

FMCSA estimates that over 11,000 driver-trainees will benefit annually by this rule and see an average reduction of 27 hours in time spent completing their theory instruction.  This results in substantial time and cost savings to these driver-trainees, as well as to the motor carriers that employ these drivers.

Clearinghouse website for driver jobs

April 7th, 2019

Additional online resources are being created for driver jobs.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released additional online resources for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders, employers, state driver licensing agencies, medical review officers, and substance abuse professionals regarding the upcoming implementation of its CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse in January 2020.

The new clearinghouse resource webpage provides commercial motor vehicle (CMV) stakeholders with a variety of informative resources about the clearinghouse, including a comprehensive fact sheet, implementation timeline, frequently asked questions, and more.

Additionally, CMV stakeholders can sign-up to receive clearinghouse-related email updates as the implementation progresses.

“As this Congressional mandate is enacted, FMCSA’s goal is to provide as many resources and updates as possible to those who will be using the upcoming Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.  As we transition to the use of the clearinghouse, we will ensure drivers, employers, and state licensing agencies are kept up-to-date throughout the implementation process.  FMCSA is here to be helpful and to assist all CMV stakeholders who have questions regarding the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.

The clearinghouse will be a secure online database that will allow FMCSA, CMV employers, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and law enforcement officials to identify – in real-time – CDL drivers who have violated federal drug and alcohol testing program requirements, and thereby improve safety on our nation’s roads.

 

Proposal would fund investments for driver jobs

March 11th, 2019

A new proposal would potentially fund infrastructure investments to help driver jobs.

American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear told the House Ways and Means Committee that the nation’s infrastructure needs demand real funding solutions from the federal government, not reliance on gimmickry.

“We are no longer facing a future highway maintenance crisis – we’re living it – and every day we fail to invest, we’re putting more lives at risk. In nearly 53 percent of the highway fatalities, the condition of the roadway contributed,” he said. “Time wasted sitting in traffic – rather than at work or with our families – has skyrocketed. Motorists now pay an average of $1,600 due to repairs and congestion each year. Trucking now loses $74.5 billion sitting in gridlock. These are regressive realities and the escalating costs of doing nothing – and they are reflected in the prices we all pay. These costs are measurable and should serve as offsets for new spending on our nation’s infrastructure.”

ATA has proposed a 20-cent-per-gallon fee on motor fuels – collected at the wholesale rack – as a way of raising real funding for investment in infrastructure. This fee, called the Build America Fund, would be phased in over four years at a nickel per year and generate $340 billion over the next decade for road and bridge repair and replacement.

“Federal inaction has prompted cash-strapped states to adopt regressive revenue schemes that hurt commuters, communities and divert funds to non-infrastructure priorities,” Spear said in his testimony, citing variable tolls on Interstate 66 in Virginia.

“This is the essence of regressive and our future if you choose to devolve your Constitutional authority to the states,” he said. “In contrast, if motorists paid the average toll – the cost of a 10-mile trip over an eight-day period on I-66 would equal their cost for an entire year under ATA’s Build America Fund for all roads and bridges in the United States.”

Tonnage Index for driver jobs increases

March 11th, 2019

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.3% in January after falling 1% in December, which will affect driver jobs. In January, the index equaled 117.3 (2015=100), up from 114.7 in December.

ATA recently revised the seasonally adjusted index back five years as part of its annual revision.

“After monthly declines in both November and December, tonnage snapped back in January,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “I was very pleased to see this rebound. But we should expect some moderation in tonnage this year as most of the key sectors that generate truck freight tonnage are expected to decelerate.”

Compared with January 2018, the SA index increased 5.5%. In 2018, the index increased 6.7% over 2017, which was the largest annual gain since 1998.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 113.1 in January, which was 2.9% above the previous month (109.9). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

 Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

 ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

Bill to address truck driver shortage

March 11th, 2019

The introduction of a new bill will take a look at resolving truck driver shortage.

Bipartisan bills in the U.S. House and Senate have been introduced that would help address the nation’s growing shortage of truck drivers, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear praised the legislation as critically important to the American economy.

“The strong bipartisan, bicameral support behind this legislation demonstrates how real a threat the driver shortage presents to our nation’s economic security over the long-term – and how serious our lawmakers are about addressing it with common-sense solutions,” Spear said. “Given the broad coalition of interests backing this measure, there is growing understanding across the country that the impact of this issue reaches far beyond just trucking and commercial vehicles. It is a strain on the entire supply chain, from the manufacturers and producers on down to retail and the end consumer, who will see higher prices at the store.”

ATA is a member of the DRIVE Safe Act Coalition, co-led by ATA and the International Foodservice Distributors of America, and includes the National Association of Manufacturers, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders of America and more than 40 other national trade associations and companies.

While 48 states permit individuals to obtain a commercial driver’s license and drive trucks at age 18, federal regulations prevent those drivers from crossing state lines until they turn 21. This restriction bars a vital population of job seekers from interstate trucking, exacerbating the driver shortage, as qualified candidates are lost to other industries. The DRIVE Safe Act would allow certified CDL holders already permitted to drive intrastate the opportunity to participate in a rigorous apprenticeship program designed to help them master interstate driving, while also promoting enhanced safety training for emerging members of the workforce.

The DRIVE Safe Act would help train younger drivers far and above current standards. Under the legislation, once a driver has met the requirements to obtain a CDL, they would begin a two-step program of additional training that includes a number of performance benchmarks each candidate must demonstrate competency in.  In addition, they would be required to complete at least 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving time with an experienced driver in the cab with them. All trucks used for training in the program must be equipped with NTSB-endorsed safety technology including active braking collision mitigation systems, forward-facing video event capture and a speed governor set at 65 miles per hour.

Significantly, all of these post-CDL training, safety, and technology standards under the DRIVE Safe Act would be required on top of all the pre-CDL training benchmarks that new drivers will be required to satisfy when the Entry Level Driver Training Rule goes in to effect in February 2020, which includes 59 different topics of knowledge and behind-the-wheel training for Class A CDL applicants.

Driving school for driver jobs opens

February 9th, 2019

A new driving school for driver jobs has been launched.

Maverick Transportation LLC, a National Transportation Institute 2018 Top Pay Carrier and also named 2018 Best Fleets to Drive For, recently announced the opening of its new driving school, Maverick Driving Academy.

The school, which is located on the company’s North Little Rock campus, held its first class in December.

“One of the biggest challenges that trucking companies face today is attracting new drivers to the industry,” said John Culp, president of Maverick Transportation. “We have been successfully training drivers for many years and are excited to announce the addition of CDL education to our curriculum. Maverick Driving Academy will offer a seamless path to employment at Maverick, for those seeking a new career as a professional truck driver.”

The company opened up its first training facility in North Little Rock in 2005 where it has provided drivers with industry-leading training and securement curriculum.

Maverick’s new driving school will be an expansion to the company’s existing programs. Here, students will receive the necessary CDL education and training to become professional drivers.

“Our new school is a way to add to the driver education that has already been a vital part of our growth and success over the years,” said Culp. “We are committed to growing our company ‘The Maverick Way’ and we’re looking forward to having these new drivers walk through our doors.”