FMCSA Seeks Public Comment on Pilot Program to Allow Drivers Ages 18-20 to Operate Commercial Motor Vehicles in Interstate Commerce

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it is seeking public comment on a potential pilot program that would allow drivers ages 18-20 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.

“Commercial trucks and buses are essential to a thriving national economy, and the Department wants to ensure the public has an opportunity to comment on this important potential change,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Drivers ages 18-20 may currently only operate CMVs in intrastate commerce. In July 2018, USDOT announced the details of the Commercial Driver Pilot Program required under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which allows certain 18- to 20-year-olds with military training to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

Today’s action requests comments on a second pilot program to allow non-military drivers ages 18-20 to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. FMCSA requests comments on the training, qualifications, driving limitations, and vehicle safety systems that FMCSA should consider in developing options or approaches for a second pilot program for younger drivers.

“We want input from the public on efforts that offer the potential to create more jobs in the commercial motor vehicle industry, while maintaining the highest level of safety. We encourage all CMV stakeholders to submit comments on a potential interstate pilot program for younger drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.

The Federal Register Notice, including how to submit comments, is available here.

CNS and affiliates announce new headquarters to be completed in 2020

Lititz PA- Compliance Navigation Specialists (CNS), is the fastest growing full-service transportation compliance company locally, and across the contiguous United States.  Today, CNS is pleased to announce the new company headquarters is to be built and completed by late 2020. The new headquarters will be located at 151 Koser Rd in Lititz PA.

“We greatly look forward to our new headquarters for our family of companies. The space will allow us to serve our clients more collaboratively and add room for our proven and continued growth” says John Irwin, Founder and CEO. “Our new location will not only allow us to reach more clients throughout North America, but also be more effective within our local community. Over the past year we have added more relevant services for local transportation companies including HAZMAT training classes, CDL exam prep, among others that are completed at our current location. The added space will allow more driver training and safety classes. Another new service that has been added this month are DOT and PA School bus physicals, and the new location will give us options to expand occupational medicine services as well.”

CNS will build a two story 19,000-square foot building on 4.10 acres zoned I-1 in Manheim Township. The building will be called The HUB. “We named the new headquarters The HUB, due to the fact that it will be the center of activity when it comes to transportation licensing, compliance and risk management.” The property will house Compliance Navigation Specialists, Northern Insurance Specialists, Carolyn’s Notary Service (Carolyn’s Notary Service will enjoy two locations with the new build – the current Copperfield Circle location, and the new Koser Road location) and the newest affiliate CNS Driver Training Center.

The building will feature an indoor 65 foot bay for Pre-Trip inspection trainings, a large training center with monthly training classes to be held, physical examination rooms, a drug testing facility, vehicle licensing center as well as offices with a bull pen area for 40+ employees. The upstairs will be left vacant for future use or potential partners that would be a relevant fit for our clientele.

The completed build date is scheduled for September – October of 2020.

About CNS and Affiliates
As the fastest growing, industry-leading, full-service compliance company, CNS delivers results for its clients. Proactive Safety Management services save companies time and money when it comes to safety, licensing and risk management. Powered by technology, a knowledgeable staff, industry leading partners and affiliates, CNS is the preferred partner for transportation companies around North America. CNS and affiliates serve more than 1,800 clients, overseeing half a million units and works with industry leading brands, visit (www.cnsprotects.com). CNS is affiliated with Carolyn’s Notary Service, a licensing and auto tag business serving Pennsylvania’s complete licensing and registration needs (www.carolynsnotary.com). CNS is also affiliated with Northern Insurance Specialists, an insurance agency specializing in transportation insurance for the trucking and motor coach industry serving 23 states (www.northernprotects.com).

#TrailerSafetyWeek

Making Roadways Safer One Trailer at a Time

We’re gearing up for the second annual national Trailer Safety Week to be held June 2-8, 2019! By participating in this safety campaign, we hope to improve the safety of the nation’s roadways by raising trailer safety awareness through education of end-users, dealers and manufacturers on safe trailering practices. The goal is to close the communication gap between trailer manufacturers and end-users to make towing safer.

Whether you’re a dealer or manufacturer, pointing end-users to the information on www.TrailerSafetyWeek.com is an easy way to help improve our nation’s roadways. End-users are vastly undereducated on the proper use of trailers. It’s crucial to utilize the connections that dealers and manufacturers have with consumers to increase safety and awareness.  From driving tips to trailer maintenance and components, the Trailer Safety Week website provides end-users with need-to-know information regarding trailer safety in an easy to understand format.

In addition to resources found on the Trailer Safety Week website, trailer dealers and manufacturers have the opportunity to attend various events held across the nation. During these events, dealers will learn about the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers’ Compliance Verification Program and the importance of trailers being built to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. In addition, attendees will learn about the resources available for dealers to offer end-users. Trailer safety publications will also be distributed at these events as well as Trailer Safety Week key-chains. Unable to attend an event? Order you Trailer Safety Publications here.

North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Updated

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has updated the following out of service criteria:

  • DRIVER’S SEAT (MISSING), a. to provide an out-of-service condition for a missing driver’s seat. Drivers using a temporary seat rather than a permanent seat that is secured to the vehicle in a workmanlike manner was added to the out-of-service criteria.
  • DRIVER MEDICAL/PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS, a. Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate by modifying the language. A driver who possesses a valid Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) but is not complying with the SPE requirements should be placed out of service.
  • BRAKE SYSTEMS, g. Brake Drums and Rotors (Discs), (2) by adding language and a picture for cracks in structural supports of a brake rotor. If there are cracks through the vents in rotors, a collapse of the rotor is imminent; therefore, the vehicle should be placed out of service.
  • STEERING MECHANISMS, h. Tie Rods and Drag Links, (3) to add an out-of-service condition for a non-manufactured hole. A non-manufactured hole in a drag link should be placed out of service.

 

You can purchase the new North American Standard Out-of-Service book from CVSA by clicking here.

Amazon Cracks Down on Carriers with Bad Safety Records

While the economy is currently strong, the trucking industry is always an excellent barometer of the state of the economy as well as where it could be headed in the near future.  Companies that contract out loads to local shippers – for example companies like Amazon – are becoming more stringent with the local shippers procuring loads.  Regional dispatchers and brokers are usually hesitant to work with carriers that have poor SMS scores and conditional safety ratings.

The last few months more companies such as Amazon, are no longer working with carriers that have conditional or unsatisfactory ratings – period.  Carriers may have had a safety or compliance review from the 1990’s and since that time, run a very compliant and safe operation.   What we at Compliance Navigation Specialists are seeing is companies like Amazon no longer working with carriers with a conditional rating – no matter the company SMS scores or job performance.  What had been an issue that was left up to brokers to use a carrier at their discretion has now become company policy that only non-rated and satisfactory carriers can secure loads.

The conditional ratings that have been hiding on SAFER or where simply overlooked in the past, now must be dealt with and removed.  CNS can address these issues with a Corrective Action Plan and Safety Rating Upgrade request that will be submitted to the FMCSA.  CNS also helps explain the process to Brokers and Dispatchers demanding documentation from Carriers.  Carriers often lose time and money when trying to remedy these situations themselves, writing their own Corrective Action Plans which tend to be inadequate.  Once submitted to an FMCSA regional office and respective state for upgrade, months could pass before a review is processed.  If the review is denied, carriers have more work and time to spend on resubmitting.  This is where hiring a professional firm to handle the safety rating upgrade from the start will save you time and inevitably, money.

 

Learn more on how we can help with your safety rating upgrade. 

Don’t have a bad safety rating but are worried you may not pass an audit? Learn more how CNS can help you prepare for an audit.

Now Offering DOT CDL Physical Exams

CNS is now offering appointments for DOT medical card exams. The service will be provided at CNS headquarters, located at 38 Copperfield Circle, Lititz PA 17543 as well as onsite exams across PA for fleets. The service will also extend to PA School Bus medical exams.

Exam appointments can be scheduled Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each Month.

CNS has hired, John Reel, PA-C, MPAS, as our new Certified DOT Medical Examiner.     DOT CDL Physical Exams

John has 35 years of experience in emergency medicine, general surgery, family practice, pulmonary medicine, internal medicine, occupational medicine and urgent care. John was named one of 50 Physician Assistants Who Make A Difference Today by the National Commission of Certified Physician Assistants Health Foundation in 2017.

 

Schedule an exam today! Exams@cnsprotects.com or by calling 717.625.0280 Option 2

UCR Enforcement Date Delayed to May 1, 2019

A new CVSA bulletin provides guidance for verifying compliance with the UCR Agreement during a roadside inspection and encourages roadside enforcement for the 2019 registration year, with a new enforcement date of May 1. 2019.

 

This extension is based on a recommendation from the UCR Board. The start of the 2019 UCR registration period was delayed while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) completed its rulemaking process on fee levels for 2019 and further delays have created cause for the extension.

Spotted Lanternfly Permit

What is the Spotted Lanternfly?

The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive planthopper native to China, India, Vietnam. It was first discovered in Pennsylvania in Berks County and has spread to other counties in the southeast portion of the Commonwealth. The insect has the potential to greatly impact agricultural crops such as grapes, hops and hardwoods. It is also reducing the quality of life for people living in heavily infested areas.

Counties are under quarantine:

Pennsylvania

Berks
Bucks
Carbon
Chester
Delaware
Dauphin
Lancaster
Lebanon
Lehigh
Monroe
Montgomery
Northampton
Philadelphia
Schuylkill

New Jersey

Mercer
Hunterdon
Warren

Virginia

Fredericks

Who needs a permit?

For businesses, agencies, and organizations, a Spotted Lanternfly permit is required for those located or working within the quarantine, who move vehicles, products or other conveyances within or out of the quarantine zone.

 

Permit Process:

  • No cost to business to obtain a permit
  • The permit process requires managers and/or supervisors to complete the online permit course to demonstrate a working knowledge and understanding of the pest and quarantine requirements.
  • The online course and exam are located on the Penn State Extension website: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly-permit-training

 

Enforcement Start Date May 1, 2019

How Can CNS help?

As required, all employees that drive company vehicles will need to be trained on identifying and stopping the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly.  CNS is trained on the trainer requirements from the PA Department of Ag. CNS can train your drivers. This is a 35- 45 min course. Please note that a supervisor from your company will still be required to take the course from the Penn State Extension.

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CLASS B to CLASS A CDL GETS MORE STREAMLINED

Elaine L. Chao, US Transportation Secretary, said “Today’s action demonstrates the Department’s commitment to reducing regulatory burdens and addressing our nation’s shortage of commercial drivers” in reference to the FMCSA announcing today a final rule reducing costs and simplifying the process to upgrade a Class B Commercial Drivers License to a Class A CDL. By adopting a new Class A CDL theory instruction upgrade curriculum, the rule will save eligible driver trainees and motor carriers across the United States over $18 million annually.

FMCSA Administrator, Raymond P. Martinez, called the final rule “common-sense” and committed the FMCSA 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.”

FMCSA is amending the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations published on December 8, 2016 detailing 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 DEL 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 complete the same level of theory training as individuals who have never earned a CDL.

A copy of the final rule announced today is available here.