This new technology further supports the shift to on-demand transactions in the shipper-carrier industry. Expectations continue to increase regarding availability of goods and services, and this may be one of the most significant advances toward that goal for freight carriers.
Posted on August 09, 2016
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate began to go into effect on February 16 of this year. But we’re still in phase 1 of the three-phase implementation process. Currently compliance is voluntary, as the FMCSA encourages motor carriers to prepare for their upcoming compliance requirements. Phase 2 begins on December 18, 2017. In this phase, carriers will be permitted to use only AOBRDs (Automatic On-Board Recording Devices) installed prior to this date, or ELDs certified and registered after the inception of phase 1.
In the third and final phase beginning December 16, 2019, all applicable carriers must enlist certified and registered ELDs in their transportation efforts. Currently ELD manufacturers certify their own devices for compliance with federal guidelines. Increasingly widespread use of ELDs is intended to help protect drivers from excessive road-time, reduce the likelihood of falsified logs, and standardize data across the industry. The mandate applies to most commercial vehicles with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds.
There have been legal challenges filed by some businesses and organizations – perhaps most notably the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which has claimed that the FMCSA has failed in proving the cost-benefit ratio of the new regulations are beneficial to the industry. This transitional period in the industry is likely to provoke a number of challenges, both legal and logistical, but many carriers have already initiated compliance efforts with the forthcoming regulatory phases. To learn more about the ELD mandate and how your organization can comply and benefit, contact us.
Posted on August 04, 2016
Intermodal freight transportation plays a crucial role in the safe and secure conveyance of goods around our country and the world. Trucking provides a key element in this process – transporting goods between points of origin/destination and the ports where the goods are transferred to cover distances. But operating as a freight carrier in this context presents its own set of risks and challenges. In light of this, IMCCA now offers an exclusive New Jersey intermodal drayage program with a number of great benefits. These include:
- $1 million in limits for each policy
- Trailer interchange limits up to $50,000
- Commercial Auto Liability with $1 million in limits
- General liability for trucking exposure as well as garage and warehouse exposure
Additionally, the program includes trained rapid response teams – comprised of legal professionals and engineers – available nationwide in the event of a significant claim. Customized coverage solutions allow local and intermediate motor carriers to obtain an optimum blend of coverages while controlling costs and accounting for specific regional and operational challenges. To learn more about how IMCCA can improve operations and reduce risk for intermodal drayage carriers, contact us.
Posted on July 19, 2016
The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance) have announced a Brake Safety Week starting September 11, 2016. Commercial vehicle inspectors will be conducting thorough and widespread examinations as part of the annual enforcement campaign to emphasize the importance of brake maintenance and safety procedures. Brake issues can cause widespread damage and fatalities. And although the brakes used in commercial motor vehicles are built to be exceedingly durable, a number of factors can contribute to their suboptimal performance, including:
- Improper Installation
- Lacking Maintenance
- Disuse or Corrosive Exposure
- Multiple Emergency Stops
- Compromised Fluid Lines
Inspectors will be evaluating the brakes on multiple criteria, including ABS functionality, loose or missing parts, fluid leaks, worn components, and other factors as applicable. Over 2,000 power units were placed out of service last year. To learn more about how you can avoid joining them, contact us.
Posted on July 12, 2016
The CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) Website has been updated with the June 24, 2016 snapshot. Motor carriers, check your safety assessment now.
Complete SMS results are available to enforcement users and motor carriers that are logged into the SMS. Logged-in enforcement users can view all carrier safety data, while logged-in motor carriers can only view their own data. If you are a motor carrier and do not have login credentials, please click here for more information on how to obtain your PIN.
Posted on July 05, 2016
The trucking industry is responsible for moving the vast majority of freight in the United States – approximately 10 billion tons annually. But the efficiency of this process is staggeringly poor. The complexities of connecting a freight transporter with a business in need of moving cargo can dramatically hinder a carrier’s bottom line. The impact is felt all around, with increased prices for businesses in need of freight hauling, and customers who pay increased prices as a result.
Enter the potential solution: intelligent, responsive industry connectivity apps. The apps are designed to connect a shipper with the appropriate trucking outfit to schedule transport at a competitive price. The criteria for finding an ideal match include distance, weight, size and other customary variables. Carriers are approved based on their financial security, reputation, equipment, rates and other factors.
The vast majority of industry power units are now owned by relatively small players. These apps will make those alternatives more effective for businesses in need of freight transport. But larger carriers will need to make use of them as well to stay competitive and current. Thus this concept provides one of few solutions to move the entire industry forward, from owner operators or the biggest players. Several of these solutions are already coming to market, with more on the way. Contact us to learn more.
Posted on June 20, 2016
Yet another fatal and tragic trucking incident has brought into focus the staggering settlement costs growing increasingly common in industry litigation. Five nursing students from Georgia Southern University died in a recent tractor-trailer incident that has the country and the industry asking a lot of questions, not least of which is how settlement costs could total more than $70 million.
The details of the case are as follows: The driver (John Wayne Johnson) has admitted fault in the accident. Though he has a record of falling asleep at the wheel, he insists he was awake at the time of the crash, and that systems in place to prevent these incidents were not functioning properly (including proximity warning sounds). Johnson and his employer, Total Transportation of Mississippi, have been indicted on numerous counts.
Johnson will be facing five counts of homicide by vehicle in the first degree and serious injury by vehicle, and one count each of reckless driving, failure to exercise due care, and following too closely. These are substantial charges that could keep Johnson behind bars for many years.
Total Transportation is indicted separately, as it is a corporate entity. The charges include one count of serious injury by vehicle in the first degree and one count of criminal responsibility of corporations. A statement from the attorney representing one of the victims’ family members has indicated that said family alone would receive $14 million in a settlement with Total Transportation. Extrapolating this settlement across all five victim families would bring the total cost of legal fees and settlements to over $70 million.
These costs are representative of a dramatic trend in the industry. But are they justified? Insurers and industry experts largely say no – the implications of which are significant. Most transportation businesses don’t have the cash reserves to cover such a settlement, which makes plain the importance of liability coverage. Yet insurers are equally concerned. Several transportation insurance carriers are reducing coverage limits, raising rates, or dropping clients entirely. Many freight carriers will now need two or three insurance policies to procure $10 Million or more in liability coverage. What will the future of trucking legal settlements and damages look like? And how can safety and risk management practices reduce insurance premiums and the likelihood of such tragic and costly events? Contact the trucking insurance experts to learn more.
Posted on June 07, 2016
Posted on May 23, 2016
The United States senate has passed a fiscal 2017 transportation funding bill that could redefine some important aspects of Hours of Service and equipment regulations. These include weekly hours worked prior to required rest breaks, DOT rules on implementing speed limiters nationwide, and revised government spending on transportation infrastructure.
In addition, the bill prevents state governments from modifying break and rest periods related to Hours of Service regulations for the upcoming year, and upholds the delay of safety fitness determinations by the FMCSA. The House Appropriations Committee has shut down an amendment proposed by Representative David Price (D-N.C.). The vote to pass the bill into law is expected shortly after the Memorial Day recess. Highlights of the bill include:
- Weekly hours allowed prior to required rest break: 73
- DOT to issue speed limiter final rule within six months
- Extended prohibition of modifications to the 34-hour restart
- New infrastructure development and improvement grants
- Pipeline network funding and Amtrak funding
To learn more about transportation compliance, coverages, and best practices, contact us.
Posted on May 09, 2016
Sufficient tread depth will be the primary emphasis of the upcoming CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance) annual RoadCheck on June 7-9. NHTSA officials have identified a number of reasons for the growing importance of this safety practice, including increased axle loads, increased speed limits, and increased power unit uptime, among others. Inspections and out-of-service orders in this area have declined over the last three years, leading to a drop in compliance and an uptick in accidents and liability suits. Do you know your tread compliance requirements?
- No tread/sidewall separation
- No exposure of body-ply or belt material
- No inflation/air containment breaches
- Minimum depth of 4/32 inch for steer tires
- Minimum depth of 2/32 inch for all other tires
What practices does your organization have in place to ensure safety and compliance with regard to tire tread wear? What liability coverages do you possess in case of tread-related motor vehicle incidents?
Contact us about regulations, risks, and what you can do to stay safe and compliant.
Posted on April 25, 2016
A Senate transportation funding bill to come in fiscal year 2017 would require the DOT (Department of Transportation) to promptly set forth a proposed rule on commercial power unit speed limiters. Many consider the safety-oriented and environmentally friendly changes overdue, while others consider them yet another overreach in government regulatory activity. Yet support in the administration seems quite strong, as the proposed rule received unanimous support during a hearing last month.
The speed limiter proposal primarily seeks to improve safety by reducing the frequency of fatal crashes on roadways. If implemented next year, the transportation and housing legislation would provide $56.5 billion in fiscal 2017 – approximately $3 billion less than President Obama’s funding request. The bill would provide over half a billion for infrastructure improvement, a critical and long-overlooked issue in the United States. Nearly a billion would go toward NHTSA’s autonomous vehicle research. Several other safety and efficiency projects are also earmarked for support, should the Senate transportation funding bill come to fruition.
The bill includes no language regarding Hours of Services regulations, a perennial issue in the transportation industry. Amendments may be proposed to add such legislation into the bill prior to its passage in the Senate – a move that could make the bill even more contentious, but also even more relevant. To learn more about how this bill and other imminent trucking regulatory changes could affect your organization, contact us.