Archive for January, 2017

Association writes letter about driver jobs

Monday, January 9th, 2017

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent a letter to vice-president elect Mike Pence about the state of driver jobs.

The letter asked that the transition team for the incoming administration consider a stay of pending regulations that jeopardize small-business truckers.

OOIDA said in the letter that for too long the U.S. government has failed to understand the value of a trucking industry made up mostly of small businesses and single truck enterprises.

“Too many regulations are one-size fits all, while small-business truckers are diverse in order to meet the needs of shippers, receivers and consumers,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA.  “Burdensome regulations stifle competition and punish the people who make up the one industry that most impacts all sectors of the economy. Without trucking, life as we know it would come to a grinding halt in less than a week.”

OOIDA pointed out that for the past several years, the federal government has implemented new regulations with unprecedented costs and volumes that have actually resulted in more crashes involving trucks, not less.

“Regulations such as these not only have little to do with safety or compliance, but actually make highways more dangerous and change the trucking landscape to favor only a handful of large carriers,” added Spencer.

In the letter, the Association said “It is our hope that with your administration we can collectively review the excessive burdens being pursued by federal regulators and seek less intrusive alternatives that enhance highway safety and promote opportunity for independent operators.

National training standards and driver jobs

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is taking a look at national training standards and how the impact driver jobs.

The department established a comprehensive national minimum training standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or certain endorsements. The standards established address the knowledge and skills necessary for the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles and also establish minimum qualifications for entities and individuals who provide entry-level driver training.

The comprehensive CDL training requirements, which emphasize safety and promote driving efficiency, will result in lives saved, reductions in fuel consumption and emissions, vehicle maintenance cost reductions, and industry-wide performance improvements. The rulemaking was mandated by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

“This new rule represents the culmination of a sustained and coordinated effort to identify appropriate pre-licensing CDL standards that will enhance safety on our Nation’s roads,” said FMCSA Administrator T.F. Scott Darling, III. “Without the collective efforts of our stakeholders working closely with us, we could not have completed this important lifesaving rule. We especially appreciate the Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee for its tireless efforts and expertise to enhance roadway safety through the negotiated rulemaking process.”

Under the Final Rule announced today, applicants seeking a CDL would be required to demonstrate proficiency in knowledge training and behind-the-wheel training on a driving range and on a public road, with training obtained from an instructional program that meets FMCSA standards. There is no required minimum number of hours for the knowledge or behind-the-wheel portions of any of the individual training curricula, but training providers must determine that each CDL applicant demonstrates proficiency in all required elements of the training in order to successfully complete the program.

Mandatory, comprehensive training in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories would apply to the following individuals under the Final Rule:

First-time CDL applicants, including:

“Class A” CDLs

“Class B” CDLs

Driver jobs and drug testing

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is discussing driver jobs and drug testing.

According to this department, the controlled substances random testing rate for regulated motor carriers will remain at 25 percent for calendar year 2017.

FMCSA regulations require that truck and bus companies that employ commercial driver’s licensed (CDL) drivers conduct random drug and alcohol tests upon these individuals at a nationally prescribed percentage, which is informed by the results of an annual survey.

“For the safety of everyone traveling on our highways and roads, no driver should ever get behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” said FMCSA Administrator Scott Darling.  “Commercial motor vehicle companies must comply with the crucial safety responsibility of conducting rigorous drug and alcohol testing programs for all of their CDL drivers.”

For calendar year 2016, FMCSA lowered the minimum annual drug testing rate from 50 percent to 25 percent following three consecutive calendar years (2011, 2012, 2013) of drug testing data received in the Management Information System (MIS) survey, which indicated that the positive rate for controlled substances was less than one percent.  FMCSA conducts the MIS survey to ensure compliance with the set testing rates.

According to federal regulations, when the data received in the MIS for two consecutive calendar years indicates that the positive rate for controlled substances is less than one percent, the FMCSA Administrator has the discretion to lower the annual testing rate to a minimum of 25 percent of a carriers’ driver positions.  If, however, at any time the positive rate for controlled substances exceeds one percent, the testing rate will automatically revert upward to 50 percent.