FMCSA grants ELD exemptions

The struggle to incorporate Electronic Log Devices into the trucking industry continues, resistance gains traction as the December 18, 2017 deadline draws near.

A brief outline of the recent exemptions granted:

– UPS’s (United Parcel Service) request that drivers be allowed to change duty status outside of and away from their vehicle has been granted by the FMCSA for a five year minimum. The change in status will be made via drivers’ mobile device-based ELDs.

– A second waiver allowing carriers to make multiple yard moves without numerous re-entries on a mobile device was also granted. It, too, will serve for a five year minimum. The FMCSA requires the ELD must be able to switch to “driving” mode when needed, when the truck exceeds 20mph, or when the truck exits a geo-fenced yard.

– However, an exemption requested by a water hauling fleet was refused due to the company’s lack of proof regarding lack of cab space. The company argued that the trucks rarely travel; the FMCSA countered that it had not seen a demonstration of how a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level achieved with an ELD would occur without one.

FMCSA: Medical Examiners To Begin Using Revised Medical Forms April 20

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reminds Medical Examiners that physical exams must be completed using the revised versions of Medication Examination Report Form (MCSA-5875) and Medical Examiner’s Certificate Form (MCSA-5876) on April 20, 2medical_symbol(4)016.

In April 2015, FMCSA published it’s Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration final rule, requiring the revised use of the forms. However, in December 2015, FMCSA announced a 120-day grace period to “ensure that Medical Examiner’s had sufficient time to become familiar with the new forms and to program electronic medical records systems.”

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CVSA FMCSA June 7-9 Inspection Blitz Focuses on Tire Safety

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will be joining forces for the 26th annual International Roadcheck on June 7-9 this year. A total of 75,000 inspections are anticipated by both parties; performed by CVSA-certified local, state, federal, and Canadian-provincial inspection authorities.

The highlighted aspect of the inspection campaign in 2016 will feature an emphasis on tire safety. Tire inspection is a routine component of a normal roadside inspection- consisting specifically of measuring tire tread depth, measuring tire pressure, checking between dual tires, and checking sidewalls for bulges or deep cuts. Check out the top tire-related violations here from the CVSA in 2015.

The most in-depth inspection routine will be completed by inspection authorities on the majority of blitz stops. A Level 1 North American Standard Inspection includes:

  • Driver’s License
  • Driver’s Daily Log
  • Driver and Vehicle Inspection Report
  • Coupling Devices
  • Medical Card
  • Seat Belt
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust System
  • Frame
  • Fuel System
  • Turn Signals
  • Brake Lamps
  • Tail Lamps
  • Head Lamps
  • Lamps on Projecting Loads
  • Safe Loading
  • Steering Mechanism
  • Suspension
  • Tires
  • Trailer Bodies
  • Wheels and Rims
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Hazmat Requirements (If Applicable)

Always perform a thorough, focused pre-trip inspection, including tires. See Tips for Avoiding Tire Violations here.



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Safety Fitness Determination

Closeup shot of male hand in watches holding car steering wheel

A proposed federal rule that would give the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration another means to score and target unsafe carriers has cleared the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

The so-called Safety Fitness Determination Rule cleared the OMB late last week and is now in the hands of the DOT, ready for publication as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking when it chooses.

Since this is the proposed version of the rule, there will be a public comment period, likely either 60 or 90 days, following its publication. FMCSA will then begin work on a final version of the rule and send it down the regulatory pipeline for publication, a process that could take several years to complete.

The DOT has been working on the rule since 2007. Few details are known about what it entails. According to the agency’s regulatory summary, it would give FMCSA a new system to “determine when a motor carrier is not fit to operate.” The safety determination, however, would be in part based on the BASIC categories in the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, and it’s unclear whether recent Congressional action to remove CSA rankings from public view will impact the SFD rule.

Language in the highway bill expressly prohibited use of SMS BASIC “alerts and the relative percentile for each BASIC developed under the CSA program” to be used for carrier Safety Fitness Determinations until FMCSA acts on the required revamp of the CSA program. The highway bill directed the agency to, within 18 months, commission a study by the National Academies to recommend improvements to the CSA SMS, with implemented changes then following before returning the SMS to public view.

The NPRM will likely be published before year’s end.

If you have questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact CNS.  It is important that you understand what this could mean for you and your business.

The Transition to E-Logging Is Coming

home-electronic-tracking-bgAre you prepared to switch from paper log books to an electronic logging device?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will soon require all carriers to install some type of electronic on-board monitoring device in vehicles to track vehicle status and how many hours a driver has been on the road. The trucking industry has been using the same system–paper log books—since 1938, but with the rise of technology and capabilities, the switch to GPS logging could significantly improve highway safety by preventing driver fatigue. It also will give companies a more accurate view of what is actually happening with their drivers.

On June 23, 2015, the transportation subcommittee of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee passed a bill that will set specific date by which the FMCSA must publish the final version of the Electronic Device Mandate. It is believed that the ELDM could come as early as the second half of 2016. Check back here for updates on that date.

The FMCSA Electronic Device Mandate has four basic parts:

  • The requirement to use ELDs in place of paper log books
  • Protections against driver harassment
  • Hardware specifications for the devices
  • Hours-of-service related supporting documents drivers must continue to carry after the mandate

Electronic GPS/logging devices are revolutionizing the way large motor carriers transport goods, collect data and communicate in real-time. They can assure that products arrive on time, operators are less fatigued and our roadways are safer for everyone. It won’t be long before these multi-purpose GPS monitoring units are installed in every truck in America.

Many fleet companies are already installing in-cab electronic systems in all of their vehicles. That’s because the devices track driving hours, fuel efficiency factors, location and critical events like hard braking and the activation of trailers’ roll stability controls. All of that is communicated in real time to the company, by satellite or cell tower, and can be used to make decisions en route.

We have already heard testimonies of how the devices have helped fleet companies reduce deadheading (trailers traveling empty between unloading and reloading) and increase fuel efficiency improvements as much as a tenth of a mile per gallon per year.

Although big trucking companies are eagerly adopting data strategies in their business models, smaller carriers have been less enthusiastic. There’s no reason to fear the future. CNS can help everyone understand how to manage the transition from paper logs to e-logging. We’re here for you! Contact one of our specialists today with your questions.