Ray Martinez leaving FMCSA at end of October

DOT recently announced that the current FMCSA Administrator, Ray Martinez, will be leaving his position; his last day will be October 28th.

Mr. Martinez has been heading up the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) since March 2018 and has been a very active and involved leader, with initial intentions of settling differences between the agency and the trucking industry. Martinez regularly attended trade shows and conferences to talk to industry leaders and discuss updates on FMCSA work.

How will current FMCSA projects be affected?

Since he started in March 2018, Martinez began work on two major projects, the overhaul of the hours of service regulations and the pilot program for younger interstate drivers.

With this change occurring in the middle of these programs, the major question most trucking professionals have is, will this effect or prolong these programs from being completed? The answer tot his question is unclear, however, there is a good chance that these programs will see a delay.

The move is a result of an ongoing desire to be closer to family in Massachusetts, where he will manage a DOT construction project at the Volpe Center. After switching positions with the current deputy administrator—Alan Hanson (new DOT chief counsel)—Jim Mullen will temporarily replace Ray Martinez until President Trump nominates a permanent replacement.

If you have any questions, call 888.260.9448 or email at info@cnsprotects.com.

FMCSA changes CDL requirements

On February 7, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will place new CDL requirements on entry-level driver training (ELDT).

Individuals wanting to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), upgrade their current license from a Class B to a Class A CDL or receive driver training for a passenger, school bus or hazmat endorsement. Requirements are also changing for instructors offering CDL training.

What class of CDL are you required to have?

Is it difficult to get a CDL license?

As of February 7, 2020, entry-level CDL trainees will have much stricter requirements for obtaining their CDL. For anyone planning to become a truck driver, you can attend a CDL school and get your CDL license before changes go into effect in 2020.

The new rules require an entry-level driver to complete a prescribed program of theory and behind-the-wheel instruction provided by a school or other entity listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR) before taking the CDL test.

What are the new requirements to obtain a CDL license?

  • CDL school requirements: The minimum standards and requirements for CDL schools will be set at a federal level, as opposed to being set by each state.
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) management: CDL schools must record and report hours behind the wheel (no federal minimum) to DOT.
  • Schools must register and self-certify: Schools can self-certify instructors. Individual instructors may have to register with the DOT depending on the state.
  • CDL driving instructor requirements: Driving instructors are required to have a minimum of 2 years driving experience, a clean motor vehicle record and a medical certification for classroom, on the road and private range instruction
  • Increase in curriculum mandates:
    • DOT requires 31 theory course topics instead of the original four knowledge topics, which will be accompanied by 19 mandated behind-the-wheel (BTW) skills, that will be tested with vehicle inspection skills at the state department of motor vehicles.
    • The new Training Provider Registry (TPR) will require CDL schools to apply to join, starting February 7, 2022.

Learn more about all levels of truck driver training and CDL test preparation courses that we offer at our CNS Driver Training Center.

If you have CDL questions, call or email CNS at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

Alternate Cargo Securement for Agricultural Commodities Approved by FMCSA

April 15th 2019, FMCSA granted a waiver to the American Trucking Associations’ Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference.  This allows alternate securement for ag commodities transported by wood or plastic boxes and large fiberglass tubs, or for hay, straw and cotton bales that are grouped by large singular units.


Wood and Plastic boxes and bins should be secured by perimeter tie-downs used in pairs with corner irons, along with blocking at the front end of the trailer.  Trailers 32 ft long or less would also require the use of at least one lateral tie-down in the center of the trailer.  Trailers longer than 32 ft would require at least two lateral tie-downs.

Fiberglass tubs need be secured with at least two perimeter tie-downs – one attached near the front right corner of the trailer crossing diagonally to the left rear corner of the tub, and one attached near the front left corner of the trailer and extending to the right rear corner of the tub.


Baled Cotton, hay, straw and other similar commodities in horizontal bales would have to be secured with at least two parallel longitudinal tie-downs over the top of the load and by a least four cross tie-downs if loaded more than one tier high.  Vertical bales would have to be secured with two perimeter tie-downs.  If stacked in two tiers, two longitudinal tie-downs that extend over the top of the load and at least four cross tie-downs.

The exemption is effective through April 15, 2024.

Read more regulation through https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FMCSA-2017-0319-0004