Future of the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and Exemption Requests

fmcsa cdl clearinghouse annual queries

The CDL Clearinghouse program took effect on January 6, 2020 stating that all trucking companies with an operating authority—including owner-operators—are required to register in the clearinghouse and conduct a yearly query on each driver and store their violation history.

According to the April 2021 CDL Clearinghouse report, drug and alcohol violations are pacing around 60,000 each year, consistent with 2020 Clearinghouse data of 56,000 violations.

With over 5.1 million drivers under the authority of FMCSA, the annual positive rate would be 1.12%, likely delaying the random drug testing rate drop from 50% to 25% until 2025 or later.

With the Biden administration still in their first year, DOT priorities are being outlined and changes to the CDL Clearinghouse are likely coming.

But what changes are on the horizon? 

 

Biden nominates a data-centric regulator to head FMCSA

Meera Joshi, a New York City taxi regulator who pioneered the use of data tools to weed out unsafe drivers and devised a pay protection program for drivers working for app-based services, has been serving as deputy and acting FMCSA administrator since January.

She has been nominated to lead the FMCSA.

If she is confirmed, a full plate of issues await her, including the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Program, proposals to lower the legal age for commercial truck drivers, autonomous vehicles, and the impact of the new drug and alcohol test clearinghouse.

Most notable is a proposed rule that would revise the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. According to the abstract listed with the rule, the proposal would “streamline and improve error-correction procedures, queries and consent requirements.” As of right now, the notice of proposed rulemaking is expected in February 2022.

 

FMCSA Clearinghouse Exemptions

Other likely changes coming to the drug and alcohol Clearinghouse are exemption requests.

Last year, the Motion Picture Compliance Solutions (MPCS) exemption to the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Rule has been granted after stating that it did not fit their industry’s model.

According to the FMCSA, MPCS specifically requested “an exemption from the requirement that an employer must not employ a driver who is subject to drug and alcohol testing to perform safety-sensitive functions prior to conducting a full query of the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.” Instead, the MPCS would conduct a limited query of the Clearinghouse before an employer can hire a driver for a project.

In March, the transportation company FirstGroup requested a similar exemption from FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse pre-employment full query because it is costing them “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

The company applied for the exemption on behalf of three of its subsidiaries, First Student, First Transit, and First Mile Square and is the largest provider of home-to-school transportation in North America with a fleet of 43,000 yellow school buses.

FirstGroup says the full query requirement is “hindering its ability to hire at the speed and level needed to keep pace with the demands of the contracted school and transit transportation industry.” The company added that the delays and administrative costs stemming from full query has resulted in “hundreds of thousands of dollars of increased costs.”

Like the MPCS exemption, First Group is requesting FMCSA to allow it to conduct a limited pre-employment query of the Clearinghouse. If the limited query indicated that information about the driver existed in the Clearinghouse, the company would then conduct a full query with the consent of the driver. As part of the exemption request, FirstGroup also would conduct a second limited query within 30 to 55 days of the initial limited query and conduct multiple limited queries on all its’ CDL drivers each year.

As one commenter on the request noted, if approved, this would “open the flood gate that will surely result in additional carriers applying for the same exception.”

Regardless of the outcome to this exemption request, more exemption requests are likely to come as hiring pressure builds and inflated costs continue to burden larger carriers.

Whether or not the exemptions are approved is yet to be seen and will depend highly on the situation of the particular carrier requesting the exemption.

 

Need Clearinghouse and Compliance help?

It is important to note that effective January 6, 2023, the FMCSA clearinghouse will become the sole query source for employers to meet the requirement to identify prospective drivers with drug and alcohol violations.

Right now, carriers must request previous employment for drug testing history and query the Clearinghouse database.

Carriers must also perform a clearinghouse query on all drivers annually. If non-compliance surfaces in a compliance review or safety audit, a carrier faces a fine of up to $2,500 per offense.

CNS offers a comprehensive Drug and Alcohol Consortium Service and are a certified consortium and third-party administrator (C/TPA).

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

How To Pass 2021 CVSA Brake Safety Week Set For August 22-28

DOT Audit | DOT Compliance Services | CNS

Last year’s CVSA Brake Safety Week found 12% of the 43,565 commercial motor vehicles inspected had brake-related violations and were placed out-of-service.

The annual CVSA Brake Safety Week enforcement blitz is scheduled for August 22-28, 2021.

Enforcement officials will inspect commercial motor vehicles during this time and place vehicles out-of-service (OOS) until any critical OOS brake or other violations are corrected. Vehicles that pass may receive a passed-inspection CVSA decal.

“Brakes are one of the most important systems in a vehicle,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “Failure of any component of a brake system could be catastrophic. Routine brake system inspections and component replacement are vital to the safety of commercial motor vehicles.”

2020 CVSA International Roadcheck and Brake Safety Week Results

According to the US federal regulations and the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, if your brake system efficiency falls below the minimum of 43.5%, your vehicle will be put out-of-service.

Brake system and brake adjustment violations during last year’s International Roadcheck inspection accounted for 38.6% of all OOS conditions. That was more than any other vehicle violation category.

“Brake system” was the third most cited vehicle-related factor in fatal commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) latest “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts” report.

Last year’s Brake Safety Week found that 12% of commercial motor vehicles inspected had brake-related violations and were placed out-of-service.

The dates for Brake Safety Week are shared in advance to remind motor carriers, drivers, and commercial motor vehicle mechanics/technicians to proactively check and service their vehicles.

What is covered in a roadside brake safety truck inspection?

Inspectors will be paying special attention to brake hoses and tubing, which must be properly attached, undamaged, without leaks, appropriately flexible, and free of leaks, corrosion, and any other type of damage.Top of Form

At roadside, brake inspections include visual checks as well as an air brake test using a performance-based brake tester (PBBT) in the 14 jurisdictions where it is available. The performance-based air brake test measures the slow speed brake force and weight at each wheel and uses those measurements to determine the efficiency of the braking system.

As long as the brake system efficiency stays above 43.5%, the vehicle will not be placed out-of-service, unless another critical OOS violation is found.

How can I prepare for a truck inspection of my air brakes?

If you know your brake system you are more likely to know if there is an issue. You should know what size and type of air brake chamber you have and learn how to properly identify it.

Check out our industry library resources of 15 videos, 2 ebooks, industry links, and CNS In The News content.

Most air brake chambers will have a marking on them, letting you know what type and size it is. If you know the type of chamber you have, you will also be able to determine the maximum allowable push rod travel for that brake chamber and whether it is in or out of adjustment.

You should inspect your air brake system and all brake components regularly during your pre and post-trip inspection to keep your vehicle in safe operating condition.

The list below covers some items you can visually check on a regular basis to ensure they are securely attached, leak-free, and free of damage, such as corrosion and holes.

  • Air brake chamber
  • Brake hoses and tubing
  • Cotter pins
  • Clevis pins
  • Slack adjuster
  • Air lines

The CVSA has answered some frequently asked questions about your air brake system and inspection and have also provided an air brake inspection checklist, which is a great way to be sure you are prepared for your roadside safety inspection.

In addition to being prepared for a brake inspection, it is even more important to be prepared for a complete truck inspection.


Vehicles Maintenance

Vehicle maintenance costs can be a huge line item for fleet companies and at times, hard to keep under control. Routine maintenance of your vehicles is a necessity to ensure that your biggest assets always stay on the road.

An experienced and knowledgeable vehicle maintenance partner can make all the difference.

CNS can effectively manage your vehicle maintenance to meet your specific driving demands. We effortlessly handle an unlimited number of preventive maintenance schedules for all the vehicles in your fleet.

Serving your customers is your business; maintaining your fleet should be ours. Depend on CNS to keep your vehicles on the road and benefit from our expertise and gain a partnership that is dedicated to your success.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.


The Saga of California’s AB5 Independent Contractor Law For The Trucking Industry

How AB5 affects the trucking industry in California and nearby states

On Sept. 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed bill AB5 into law that will make it more difficult for companies to classify people who work for them as independent contractors with the new ABC test.

Under the ABC Test, a worker is presumed to be an employee unless the employer can show that all three of the following “prongs” or conditions are satisfied:

  1. the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work,
  2. the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business, and
  3. the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

Hours before the law was to take effect Jan. 2020, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the state from enforcing it upon truck drivers.

Days later, a hearing on the trucking group’s request for a preliminary injunction was set and the plaintiffs can argue that they have carried their burden for purposes of emergency relief to show:

  • that they are likely to succeed on the merits,
  • likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of relief,
  • that the balance of equities tips in their favor, and
  • that their requested relief is in the public interest.

Fast forward more than a year to May 2021 and a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down a lower court’s injunction against the application of the California’s AB5 contractor law and its ABC test to trucking.

The California Trucking Association has 14 days to seek rehearing, which should be expected on or before May 12. If this request is denied or if the rehearing fails to change the view of the court it will be just seven days before the injunction lifts.  

 

How AB5 affects the trucking industry in California and nearby states

To describe the situation, let us look at port truckers in California. There are around 13,000 truckers regularly serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. However, only a few hundred are classified as employees.

The others are owner-operators who traditionally:

  • lease their rigs from trucking companies,
  • drive under those companies’ permits, and
  • rely on them for work assignments.

These owner-operators are paid by the load and get a 1099 independent contractor tax form at the end of the year.

While this is a popular business model, there are some who abuse this relationship. For example, to meet the state’s strict clean-air regulations, trucking companies forced drivers to purchase new trucks beginning in 2008 rather than assume the expense. Many drivers, who also pay for diesel fuel, repairs, and insurance, fell into debt as they worked overtime to pay off huge loans for their trucks. If they missed payments, some companies reclaimed the trucks and fired the drivers, seizing their equity.

The new AB5 law would basically require carriers to hire the independent contractors and pay them health insurance and other employee benefits.

It is not just California carriers that must deal with the law’s ABC test B prong, which requires carriers and contractors to be in essentially separate areas of business. Carriers across the state’s border that deliver inside California will be required to meet this B prong as well.

Today, the carriers that have been taking the “wait and see” approach on the law and the court’s process are now facing a near-term reality that the independent contractor system might not be possible and will have to face an increase in costs to hire the drivers.

Other carriers have been cutting ties with California as the cost of doing business in the state are greater than the reward and pull out of any California operations to shield themselves from the impact of the AB5 law.

 

CNS can help fleets with our new driver hire program

If AB5 does not include a trucking exemption, then there will be a flood of independent carriers going through a new hire process. There are a lot of rules around the hiring process, not limited to drug testing, CDL Clearinghouse queries, compliant DQ file process, and more.

To get these drivers on the road fast, Compliance Navigation Specialists has developed a new hire program that will streamline your hiring process.

Our New Hire service includes the following:

  • Tailor Drive Qualification file (paper) or Online Tailored Driver Qualification File (Paperless)
  • Initial Audit
  • Previous employer inquires completed on your behalf
  • Initial Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)
  • Pre-Screening program report (PSP)
  • Online Record Retention
  • Pre-employment drug screening verification
  • Doctor on medical card verification
  • FMCSA clearinghouse full query
  • Driver Qualification
  • New Hire phone support
  • and more

Accuracy, organization and diligence are crucial to keeping your files in order and ready for an audit at a moment’s notice. Our DQF Management System is completely customizable to your individual needs. The consultants at CNS stay in communication with you regarding document updating, as well as offering comprehensive reports upon request, and reports of routine audits by our own DQF Auditors.

Our driver management and new hire management services will exceed your expectations. You focus on trucking, and let us focus on your driver file management. If you have a fleet of drivers, we assure you that you can’t do this cheaper in-house.

Eliminate the administration cost and have Compliance Navigation Specialists manage your files.

We will ensure that your information is collected, current, and complete. In addition, we will continue to update your files as required, and let you know when an updated piece of information is needed.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.


FMCSA increases fines twice this year for trucking regulation violations

FMCSA increases fines for trucking regulation violations

As of May 3, 2021, the DOT has increased the fine amount for trucking violations to reflect inflation, but why twice in one year?

Due to the 2020 inflation fine increase that happened January 11, the May 3 announcement for 2021 annual changes means it is the second time this year the U.S. Department of Transportation adjusted fines.

The DOT must publish any annual minimum and maximum penalty adjustments by January 15 of every year, and the new levels take effect immediately upon publication of the rule. This means we will not see another fine increase until after January 16, 2022 or later.

This is in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

This latest change means the fine amounts have been increased 1.01182 percent.

For example, new minimum penalty for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) violations [49 U.S.C. 521(b)(2)(C)] or employer violations pertaining to knowingly allowing, authorizing employee violations of out-of-service order [49 U.S.C. 521(b)(2)(C)] will be $5,902 instead of $5,833.

This rule does not change previously assessed or enforced penalties that DOT is actively collecting or has collected.

2021 FMCSA Fines List

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.


Breaking Down Biden’s Second Half $1.8T Infrastructure Plan: American Families Plan

President Joe Biden revealed the second half of his $4 trillion infrastructure plan. The first infrastructure plan, called the American Jobs Plan, is estimated to cost $2.3 trillion. The second half of the infrastructure plan, called the American Families Plan, will cover “human infrastructure” and estimated to cost $1.8 trillion.

The second half of Biden’s infrastructure plan will go towards social/human infrastructure to include expanding the child tax credit, school infrastructure, free community college, universal pre-kindergarten, helping the underserved communities, and more. 

The American Families human infrastructure plan will use about $1 trillion in investments and $800 billion in tax credits over a decade, paid by the richest Americans who make over $400,000, aimed toward children and families. The Biden administration maintains that under the new plan, no one making $400,000 a year or less will see their taxes go up.

Biden delivered the new spending plan before a joint session of Congress just before his 100th day in office that focused on handling the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

 

“First, access to a good education.”

Free Universal Preschool = $200 billion

  • This will go towards free universal preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds, offered through a national partnership with states

Free Community College and Other College Incentives = $295 billion

  • $109 billion will go towards ensuring two years of free community college for all students
  • $85 billion will go towards Pell Grants, and increasing the maximum award by about $1,400 for low-income students
  • $62 billion will go towards a grant program to increase college retention and completion rates
  • $39 billion program will give two years of subsidized tuition for students from families earning less than $125,000 enrolled in a four-year historically Black college or university, tribal college or university, or minority-serving institution

 

“Second, provide access to quality, affordable child care.”

High-quality Child Care = $225 billion

  • This will go toward high-quality childcare and ensure families pay below 14% of their income toward child-care services

 

“Third, provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.”

Paid Family and Medical Leave = $225 billion

  • This will go to create a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program

 

“Fourth, put money directly into the pockets of millions of families.”

Child Nutritional Needs = $45 billion

  • This will go towards expanding access to the summer EBT program, which helps some low-income families with children buy food outside the school year

Lowering Health Insurance Premiums = $200 billion

  • This will make permanent the $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus plan’s provision lowering health insurance premiums for those who buy coverage on their own

Additionally, Biden wants to extend through 2025, and making permanently fully refundable, the child tax credit expansion that was included in the Covid relief bill; making permanent the recent expansion of the child and dependent care tax credit; and making permanent the earned income tax credit for childless workers.

For a few more details of the American Families Plan, you can check out the White House Fact Sheet on the proposed plan.


Speeding Towards CVSA Operation Safe Driver Week, July 11-17, 2021

CVSA OPERATION SAFE DRIVER WEEK, JULY 11-17, 2021

Data shows that even a 10 mph increase in speed ups the risk of a crash by 9.1%.

During Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement agencies across North America engage in heightened traffic safety enforcement and education aimed at combating unsafe driving behaviors by both commercial motor vehicle and passenger-vehicle drivers.

According to CVSA, activities are held across the United States, Canada and Mexico with the goal of increasing commercial vehicle and non-commercial vehicle traffic enforcement, safety belt enforcement, driver roadside inspections and driver regulatory compliance.

“Late won’t kill you, speeding will.”

The focus area for Operation Safe Driver Week is speeding.

Speeding continues to be the number one cited driver-related factor in highway fatal crashes and was a factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2018, killing 9,378 people or an average of more than 25 people per day.

In 2018, NHTSA showed that speeding was a contributing factor in 26 percent of all traffic fatalities and just under 10,000 lives were lost due to speeding.



Past Operation Safe Driver Week Stats

Last year’s Operation Safe Driver Week saw 14,378 passenger vehicle drivers and 2,339 commercial motor vehicle drivers receive citations for speeding.

In 2019, 16,102 passenger vehicle drivers and 1,454 commercial motor vehicle drivers received citations for speeding.

During 2018’s Operation Safe Driver Week, 16,909 passenger vehicle drivers and 1,908 commercial motor vehicle drivers were issued citations for speeding.

The top citations that passenger and CMV drivers receive are for:

  1. Violating State/Local Laws
  2. Speeding
  3. Failing to use a seat belt
  4. Failure to obey a traffic control device
  5. Using a handheld phone
  6. Inattentive and/or careless driving

What will law enforcement look for?

Law enforcement will be on the lookout for drivers engaging in speeding and unsafe driving behaviors and will be pulling over drivers to issue a warning and/or citation.

This includes:

  • speeding
  • failure to use a seat belt
  • reckless or aggressive driving
  • distracted driving
  • following too closely
  • improper lane change
  • failure to obey traffic control devices, and
  • evidence of drunk or drugged driving

Failure to wear a seatbelt was the second highest violation for both types of drivers and buckling up is the single most effective thing vehicle drivers and passengers can do to protect themselves in the event of a crash.

A study in 2014 shows that issuing citations does influence driver behavior, with just a 1 percent increase in citations leading to a 28 percent reduction in motor vehicle crashes.

This reduction in crashes is a major reason law enforcement has backed and promoted CVSA’s focus on speeding and the message, “Late won’t kill you, speeding will.”

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

Breaking Down Biden’s First Half $2.3T Infrastructure plan: American Jobs Plan

Biden Infrastructure plan

We break down the plan that will likely affect the trucking and transportation industries the most

President Joe Biden revealed the first half of his $4 trillion infrastructure plan. The plan announced, called the American Jobs Plan, is estimated to cost $2.3 trillion. The second half of the infrastructure plan, called the American Families Plan, will cover “human infrastructure” and estimated to cost $1.8 trillion.

According to Biden, the American Jobs Plan is a 15-year vision that will generate 3-5 million new jobs and spend the $2 trillion over the next 8 years to improve our “crumbling infrastructure,” currently ranked 13th in the world.

The plan focuses on a balance between current transportation, roads, and household issues while preparing for a more electrified future.

While Biden wants the plan to be bipartisan, as he will bring in Republicans to the White House to discuss the details, he also wants to get this done. It is estimated that a version of this plan will potentially pass around August or September and may go through budget reconciliation to get passed.

We break down the plan that will likely affect the trucking and transportation industries the most.

Transportation = $621B

  • $115B will go towards bridges, highways, roads, and $20B for road safety
    • Will address about 20,000 miles of roads
    • Replace the top 10 most economically significant bridges, and
    • Repair around 10,000 bridges
  • $85B for Public Transportation for new rail cars and transportation to connect cities within and into cities
  • $80B for Amtrak
  • $25B for Airports
  • $17B for Ports, waterways, and ferries

 Electric Vehicles = $174B

  • This will include tax incentives and rebates to push buying American-made cars
  • An estimated 500,000 charging stations by 2030, and
  • Electrifying buses and federal vehicles

 Electric Grid = $100B

  • Make grid more resilient
  • Includes 10-year extension and phase down of an expanded refundable investment tax credit and production tax credit for renewable energy generation and storage
  • Higher labor standards
  • 100% carbon pollution free power by 2035
  • $16B will go towards abandoned mines and gas wells

 Corporate Tax Hikes to include:

  • 15% minimum tax on corporate profits (to prevent businesses like Amazon who may have zero tax on profits currently)
  • Increase corporate tax rate to 28%

Workforce = $100B

  • Workforce development, including apprenticeships and assistance for those who have lost their jobs
  • Create hundreds of thousands of jobs across multiple industries

The bill will also include a trillion dollars to go towards manufacturing, broadband, carbon capture, clean water, households, and schools/children incentives.

The second half of Biden’s infrastructure plan will go towards social/human infrastructure to include expanding the child tax credit, school infrastructure, free community college, universal pre-kindergarten, helping the underserved communities, and more. 

The American Families human infrastructure plan will use about $1 trillion in investments and $800 billion in tax credits over a decade, paid by the richest Americans who make over $400,000, aimed toward children and families. The Biden administration maintains that under the new plan, no one making $400,000 a year or less will see their taxes go up.

Biden delivered the new spending plan before a joint session of Congress just before his 100th day in office that focused on handling the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

For a few more details of the American Jobs Plan, you can check out the White House Fact Sheet on the proposed plan.


Soft Enforcement As Canadian ELD Mandate Goes Into Effect June 2021


After many discussions which began in 2019, the Canadian ELD mandate requiring the use of ELDs will go into effect in three months on June 12, 2021 and will replace paper-based daily logbooks.

However, the minister of transport just announced that there will be no hard enforcement in the beginning due to the country’s difficulty in certifying ELD devices.

To date, there are no third-party tested and certified devices listed on Transport Canada’s website.

“This will give sufficient time for the industry to obtain and install certified electronic logging devices without penalty as of June 12, 2021,” Alghabra said in a statement issued March 2. “Early enforcement measures will consist of education and awareness.”

Cross border carriers and U.S. ELD manufacturers have raised concerns over whether U.S. devices approved for use in the U.S. will also be acceptable to Canadian authorities.

ELD providers must not only invest in changes to meet these new requirements but also pay an expensive fee ($50,000+) to an independent certification facility for each hardware variant.

 

What is an ELD or electronic logging device?

Commercial driver fatigue is a long-standing road safety issue that the United States has addressed through the use of ELDs.

The Canadian mandate closely follows the U.S. rules and operability requirements, but each mandate has unique variations that drivers and carriers across both countries must be aware of to remain productive and profitable.

There are many advantages to using ELDs, but the main purpose is to ensure that commercial drivers remain within their daily driving limit and accurately log their working hours. If commercial drivers are not within the regulated limit, there may be fines associated with the violation.

The use of ELDs also reduces administrative burdens, such as eliminating the need for paper daily logs and reducing the time enforcement officers need to verify regulatory compliance.

These new electronic logs for truckers are aligned with the United States road safety regulations and will support economic growth, trade, and transportation on both sides of the border.

After extensive research and consultation, Transport Canada has implemented a third-party certification process will be put in place to ensure that the electronic logging devices will be accurate and reliable.

Other important facts about the Canadian ELD mandate:

  • Transport Canada is committed to aligning with vehicle regulations in the United States.
  • Aligning Canadian and US electronic logging device regulations will allow Canadian and US operators to use the same logging device in both countries.
  • ELD data transfers are different as Canadian regulations require carriers to send detailed log reports in PDF format and for a longer period of time (14 days vs. 8 days in the US) and, at inspection, drivers will transfer logs directly to officers not to a centralized database.
  • Canadian-certified ELDs must be capable of notifying the driver at least 30 minutes in advance of reaching any duty-/driving-hour limitation.
  • Transport Canada estimates that requiring the use of electronic logs for truckers will reduce the risk of fatigue-related collisions by approximately 10 percent.

 

ELD Questions? Our ELD Specialist can assist

There are multiple options to fit the needs of today’s fleet, and when it comes to compliance and the ability to expand to do more, there is no better solution than ELD Chrome, built on the award-winning OneView platform from Pedigree Technologies.

Pedigree Technologies’ OneView is preparing to have their ELD system ready and fully compliant for the Canadian ELD mandate starting on June, 12, 2021.

With over 12 years of experience in the ELD business (formerly AOBRDs), Pedigree Technologies has developed the most compliant, intuitive, and reliable solutions on the market. Drivers and fleet managers alike appreciate the ease of use and the superior support they receive.

Simplified and practical ELD, HOS, and DVIR management with IFTA management option, critical data recording, and automated reports, save office staff time while reducing errors and improving accuracy. ELD Chrome eliminates the need for paper logs and inspections by recording all data electronically, tracking (HOS) to meet FMCSA regulations, and reducing manual paperwork. It also offers the ability to expand beyond ELD, giving you both compliance and access to additional OneView applications.”


Further ELD Questions? Get a Free Demo

Contact us with any questions. Our ELD specialists can perform a demo with our ELD devices.

What FMCSA Hopes To Learn From Proposed Split Sleeper Pilot Program

Proposed Split Sleeper Pilot Program

In January, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced they will be exploring further flexibility for team drivers by evaluating 6/4 and 5/5 sleeper berth split options in a new pilot program.

According to FMCSA Deputy Administrator, Wiley Deck, “gathering more data on split-sleeper flexibility will benefit all CMV stakeholders.”

Last year, the hours-of-service rules were revised to allow team drivers to choose to spend only seven hours in the sleeper berth instead of eight as drivers can split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 or a 7/3 split.

While this did not change the 14-hour driving window, the FMCSA hopes this will reduce driver temptations to speed or operate unsafely because their workday is ending.

“FMCSA continues to explore ways to provide flexibility for drivers, while maintaining safety on our roadways. This proposed pilot program will provide needed data and feedback for the agency to use now and in the future,” said Deck.

As part of the pilot program, FMCSA will collect driver metrics, such as crashes, fatigue levels, caffeine consumption and duty status for the duration of the study and analyze participants’ safety performance, but the data collected does not guarantee the agency will go forward with the proposed rulemaking.

FMCSA will provide systems and devices to participants for:

  • Driver record of duty status
  • Video-based monitoring system
  • Roadside violations data
  • Wrist actigraphy data to evaluate sleep and wake times
  • Psychomotor vigilance test data for driver’s behavioral alertness based on reaction times
  • Subjective sleep ratings to measure driver fatigue levels
  • Driver sleep logs

The program, of around 200-400 drivers from all fleet sizes, will start with 90 days using the current HOS regulations followed by at least 6 to 12 months to collect data from driver participants operating under a temporary exemption from current HOS and allowed to split time as 6/4 and 5/5.

While we wait over a year for the data to be collected and analyzed, it begs the question of why not just use a simpler solution and do what the proposed rule changes for the last three years has included—the use of the sleeper berth to stop the 14-hour clock for up to three hours.

According to one driver, “Instead, the FMCSA went with the split sleeper berth option for flexibility. The problem with that is figuring the remaining available hours from the first rest period. It is all very confusing and the ELD system we use does not automatically calculate those hours. The driver shows HOS violations until the ten hours is met. Now they want to waste money on the 6/4 and 5/5 split? In typical government fashion they are wasting money on studies and making it more difficult than it needs to be. Simply stop the clock when in the sleeper berth for up to three hours. Simple.”

Only time, and the data collected, will tell if more flexibility will come to the split sleeper berth hours-of-service rules.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.


COVID-19 Waivers To Wind Down As Renewals Deadline Pushed To May 31

Truckers and COVID-19 | DOT Compliance Services | CNS

The eighth FMCSA extension was previously set to expire on Feb. 28, but extends hours of service for COVID relief haulers for the following categories only:

  • Livestock and livestock feed
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19
  • Vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores

Motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to COVID-19 are exempt from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

According to the FMCSA, “Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.”

 

Medical Card and CDL Renewal Extension Ending May 31

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the FMCSA feared drivers would have trouble renewing commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and commercial learners permits (CLP) or getting DOT physicals for their medical cards.

So, the FMCSA announced and has extended a waiver effective until May 31, 2021, that waives the requirement that the State either change the medical certification status to “not certified” or  downgrade a CDL or CLP driver whose Medical Examiner’s Certificate has expired.

In other words, the extended waiver now permits, but does not require, states to extend the validity of CDLs and CLPs due for renewal since March 1, 2020 and waives the requirement that drivers have a medical exam and certification, provided they have proof of a valid medical certification and any required medical variance issued for a period of 90 days or longer and expired on or after Dec. 1, 2020.

State drivers license agencies (SDLAs) must bring their CDL and CLP issuance and medical certification practices back into conformance by May 31, 2021.

Commercial drivers who wish to retain a HAZMAT endorsement during CDL renewal are required to retake the Hazmat knowledge test in accordance with 49 CFR 383.71(d)(3) and 383.73(d)(4). FMCSA has not issued a waiver or an exemption from this requirement.

The FMCSA also issued an Enforcement Notice, explaining that it will not take enforcement action against drivers and motor carriers that fall under the terms of the waiver.

FMCSA will not take enforcement action against a driver with an expired medical certificate if the driver had a valid medical certificate issued for a period of 90 days or longer that expired on or after December 1, 2020.

However, we have seen some roadside enforcement still give violations out when drivers are meeting the waiver guidelines.

 

CNS will assist with DataQs, DOT Physicals and Drug and Alcohol Testing

Incorrect violations can be challenged and our DataQ process and our DOT consultants are well-versed in the FMCSA rules and regulations, with specific knowledge on what officers are required to note in their report. We are able to challenge one DataQ or schedule a monthly review of all roadside inspections and report on which violations can be challenged.

Our DOT Compliance Specialists can help with DataQs. Call one of our DOT Compliance Specialists at 888.260.9448 to discuss your options or you can request more information in the form below.

CNS collection sites and network of collection sites are open for DOT physicals and required drug and alcohol testing.

You can schedule a DOT physical locally or a drug and alcohol test nationwide by calling CNS at 888.260.9448.


DataQ