#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:

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

 

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.

Starting a Trucking Company?

To make it easy we like to break down the steps into 3 stages.

The first stage is setting up your Business Entities and DOT authority. Choose your business name. You need to verify that the name you have chosen is available through your home-based state. After confirming your business name is available, you need to choose how you will want to set up business structure – whether an LLC or Sole Proprietorship, S Corp, Partnership, etc. is best for your new company. Once you have your company name and business structure finalized, you need to obtain your Employer Identification Number (EIN). You need this to set up your business entity, to pay employees, file your 2290, etc.  Next, you need to apply for the type of business structure through your business state. This can take a couple of days or weeks depending upon your base states process.

The second stage is obtaining your DOT number and Motor Carrier number. If you are planning to be “For Hire” (meaning hauling someone else’s property) interstate, you need to set up a Motor Carrier Number which can take up to 21 days to become active.  If you will be “For Hire” intrastate you need a Public Utility Commission (PUC) number, depending upon your state.

New VentureDuring your wait for the “For Hire” authority to complete its process, you need to start shopping for commercial auto insurance.  The filings from the insurance MCS-90 needs to be filed prior to becoming “Authorized for Hire.”  Choosing the right agent is very important when it comes to trucking insurance. Just because you have worked with an agent on your homeowner or car policy doesn’t mean they would be the right agent for you. Work with an agent the specializes in trucking insurance and who knows what coverages you need. It never hurts to get multiple quotes and compare. During the quoting process you need to have your truck and trailer VIN, as well as a qualified driver and driver’s information for processing your quotes (may vary from insurance carrier to carrier).

The next item you need to ensure that your Motor Carrier number will become active is a BOC3 filing. A BOC3 filing is process agent that can receive legal paperwork on your behalf in every state. Along with “Interstate” classification is a filing called a UCR, which is Unified Carrier Registration.  This is a mandatory annual fee for interstate carriers to help pay for law enforcement to receive training on new laws and regulations.

When your DOT and MC is active it is time to get your vehicle titled and registered. By waiting until your MC number becomes active to title your vehicle you will save on unnecessary sales tax. If going out of state, you need to register your vehicle through the International Registration Plan (IRP) through your base state. You will then apply for an IFTA sticker. If traveling in NY, KY, OR, and/or NM you need to apply for individual HUT Permits before traveling in those states. Lastly for licensing, you need to file your Heavy Highway Use Tax (2290) within 30 days of registering your truck. 

The third stage we classify as Compliance setup. You will be audited by the FMCSA on your compliance practices within your first year of operation. Get prepared and ace it to set the standard of health and compliance within your new company.

  • Driver Qualification Files – Anyone driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle will need to complete a driver qualification file. The file will consist of a drivers application, Certification of Violations, Motor Vehicle Record, etc. It is important to complete and maintain a DQF file throughout the year as you can receive fines if not in compliance.
  • Drug and Alcohol Consortium – Anyone driving a commercial motor vehicle over 26,001 lbs., otherwise known as a CDL driver, must complete a pre-employment Drug Test as well as be enrolled into a random drug and alcohol consortium. Potential fines for noncompliance can be as high as a $11,000 per violation.
  • Vehicle Maintenance – You should keep organized files for each unit that you have under your authority. This would be any work orders, receipts, and annual inspection for your vehicles.
  • Accident Register – According to FMCSA regulation, you must keep an accident register for each year and hold the completed accident register for three years.

Now that you are licensed properly, and you have properly set up your compliance you will be ready to hit the road.  For a more information, or to outsource all of your compliance, insurance and/or licensing needs, contact CNS and or NIS to get setup for success.

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AOBRD/ELD

At CNS 2019 Compliance Conference John Irwin CDS, Chief Executive Officer from Compliance Navigation Specialists discussed AOBRD transition to ELD. “The deadline is fast approaching which is December 16, 2019. Don’t wait until the last minute to make the switch. It will take some time to change your units out. Also it will take you time to learn a new system. Understanding the difference between them is key.” said John Irwin. Below is the chart that was shown in Mr. Irwin’s slides.