Posted on October 04, 2016
Maintaining your health as a commercial driver should be a high priority. Unfortunately, eating healthy while on the road is not always convenient and can even seem impossible at times. However, proper planning and smart diet choices can help you avoid weight gain while traveling. Here are some tips to help you maintain your waistline while on the road.
Invest in a Crockpot
Many crockpots can plug into low voltage cigarette lighters or other standard vehicle outlets. Opt for a smaller crockpot that functions on less voltage such as a 12 V crockpot. It should not indicate it is for household use only. Invest in crockpot liners to reduce clean up time. It may also be wise to use crockpot lid clips to ensure the lid stays on as you drive over bumps.
By preparing your meals in advance, you can avoid last minute food decisions. If you wait until you are starving to eat, the likelihood of eating a healthy meal diminishes. Plus, with a crockpot you also get to choose the ingredients yourself. This allows you to control your fat intake and ensure you are eating a nutritious meal.
Eat Small and Frequent Meals
If you gorge yourself on sumptuous meals two or three times per day, you will eat more than you intended to. By eating more often throughout the day, you are less likely to binge eat. To help avoid this, be sure to eat breakfast every day. If you eat smaller, nutrient-dense meals every two to three hours over a twelve hour period you can better control your food intake.
Snacking: Know Yourself
It is easy to tell yourself to stop snacking throughout the day. It is another matter to follow through with the advice. If you know that you are a frequent snacker, take steps to diminish their weight gain effects. For example, instead of eating chips and cookies keep healthy options on hand such as granola, nuts, and fruit.
The S Word
It’s a devious four letter word that adds inches to your waistline: soda. Reduce your soda intake or cut it from your diet altogether if at all possible. You should also try to cut juice and energy drinks as well. Water is the best choice for your health. Plus, sometimes individuals mistake dehydration as hunger. If you stay hydrated, you can reduce the frequency you feel the urge to snack. To learn more about healthy and safety practices for trucking professionals, contact us.
Posted on September 27, 2016
It’s important for every commercial operator to understand the Hours of Service rules. But knowing when you’re exempt from these rules can also prove very useful. A brief review of the core rules:
- 30 Minute Break: A non-passenger-carrying commercial operator must take a break of at least 30 minutes from driving after an 8 hour period of driving. Non-driving work related activities can be performed during this time.
- 14 Hour Rule: A non-passenger-carrying commercial operator must stop driving after being on-duty for 14 consecutive hours.
- 11 Hour Rule: Within the aforementioned 14 hour window, a commercial operator may drive a maximum of 11 hours.
So now let’s take a look at some of the exemptions:
- Providing Emergency Assistance: Providing direct assistance to an emergency as defined by the FMCSA suspends all Hours of Service regulations.
- 16 Hour Extension: The 14 Hour Rule is extended to 16 hours for those who qualify for the 100 air mile provision or 150 air mile provision as defined by the FMCSA.
- Adverse Driving Conditions: Unanticipated adverse weather conditions extend the 11 Hour Rule to a 13 hour limit.
- 3o Minute Break Exemption: All drivers who qualify for 100 air mile provision status are exempt from the 30 minute break rule.
Understand when and how these exemptions apply can make you safer and more efficient as an owner operator or as a large fleet. To learn more about transportation news, compliance, and coverages, contact us.
Posted on September 20, 2016
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has brought a number of relevant changes to the transportation industry regarding the handling of both human and animal food. The rule exists to reduce the likelihood of contamination, and requires all shippers to develop and implement written procedures adequate to ensure sanitary handling of the products in question.
Which Businesses Must Comply with the FSMA?
With some exceptions (noted below), the final rule applies to shippers, receivers, loaders and carriers who transport food in the United States by motor or rail vehicle, whether or not the food is offered for or enters interstate commerce. Persons in other countries who ship food to the United States directly by motor or rail vehicle (from Canada or Mexico), or by ship or air, and arrange for the transfer of the intact container onto a motor or rail vehicle for transportation within the U.S., if that food will be consumed or distributed in the United States.
Exemptions to the FSMA Include:
- Shippers, receivers, or carriers engaged in food transportation operations that have less than $500,000 in average annual revenue
- Exporters who ship food through the United States (for example, from Canada to Mexico) by motor or rail vehicle if the food does not enter U.S. distribution.
- Transportation activities performed by a farm
- Transportation of food that is transshipped through the United States to another country
- Transportation of food that is imported for future export and that is neither consumed or distributed in the United States
- Transportation of compressed food gases (e.g. carbon dioxide, nitrogen or oxygen authorized for use in food and beverage products), and food contact substances
- Transportation of human food byproducts transported for use as animal food without further processing
- Transportation of food that is completely enclosed by a container except a food that requires temperature control for safety
- Transportation of live food animals, except molluscan shellfish
The FSMA Key Requirements
- Vehicles and transportation equipment: The design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment to ensure that it does not cause the food that it transports to become unsafe. For example, they must be suitable and adequately cleanable for their intended use and capable of maintaining temperatures necessary for the safe transport of food.
- Transportation operations: The measures taken during transportation to ensure food safety, such as adequate temperature controls, preventing contamination of ready to eat food from touching raw food, protection of food from contamination by non-food items in the same load or previous load, and protection of food from cross-contact, i.e., the unintentional incorporation of a food allergen.
- Training: Training of carrier personnel in sanitary transportation practices and documentation of the training. This training is required when the carrier and shipper agree that the carrier is responsible for sanitary conditions during transport.
- Records: Maintenance of records of written procedures, agreements and training (required of carriers). The required retention time for these records depends upon the type of record and when the covered activity occurred, but does not exceed 12 months.
- Small businesses must comply by June 6, 2018
- Other businesses must comply by June 6, 2017
To learn more about transportation regulations, coverages, and news, contact us.
Posted on September 13, 2016
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the final data on car crash fatalities from 2015 and the numbers are not good. For the past five decades, traffic-related deaths have been on the decline. This past year saw a 7.2% increase in traffic fatalities compared to the previous year—the highest it’s been since 2008. The nation hasn’t seen a one-year increase of this size since 1966.
In just a decade, safety programs and vehicle improvements helped reduce traffic-related deaths by nearly 25%. This dramatic increase in traffic fatalities spurred the White House into action. The Department of Transportation (DOT) and NHTSA are conducting an investigation to try and determine the cause of the rising traffic deaths. Even without the completed report, they have some preliminary thoughts behind the increase in fatalities.
More jobs and cheaper fuel. Both of these factors correlate to an increased number of drivers on the roadways. This includes driving for leisure (e.g. vacations and day trips) and young people driving. Total vehicle miles traveled in 2015 rose by more than 3.5%. That is the largest surge in almost 25 years.
Poor safety habits. Driving safety campaigns seem to have lost their edge in 2015. Almost half of the passenger vehicle fatalities involved the occupant not wearing a seat belt. Nearly one third of the fatalities involved drunk driving or speeding. One in ten involved distracted driving.
In essence, there are more drivers making poor safety decisions. The data shows that driving drunk, distracted driving, speeding, and not wearing a seat belt all contribute to an increase in traffic-related deaths. Drivers can reduce their risk by making safe choices such as wearing their seat belts, following the speed limit, and staying focused on the road. This increase in passenger vehicles and poor safety habits poses a serious risk to truck drivers. To learn more about reducing trucking risks, contact us.
Posted on September 06, 2016
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a proposal August 26, 2016 that would require commercial vehicles to be equipped with speed limiting devices (also known as speed limiters.) The new regulation would apply to trucks weighing more than 26,000 lbs.
The proposal does not include a specific speed to which trucks will be limited. The speed limits that have been suggested include 60, 65 and 68 mph; additional research and analysis needs to be completed before a decision is reached.
The proposal states that a standard will be set and each vehicle will have its device set to that speed limit when it is manufactured and sold. Every vehicle that qualifies under the ruling will be equipped with a device that will read the vehicle’s current speed setting as well as its past settings through its onboard diagnostic connection.
Interstate carriers who operate vehicles that meet the requirement will be required to maintain the speed limiting device for the life of the vehicle.
“Even small increases in speed have a large effect on the force of an impact. Setting the speed limit on heavy vehicles makes sense for safety and environment” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind.
According to the DOT, review of data indicates that limiting the speed of heavy vehicles reduces the severity of crashes and reduces fatalities and injuries. In addition to saving lives, the DOT maintains that implementing the speed-limiter devices could save lives and more than $1 billion in fuel costs each year, making the proposed regulation a win for safety, reducing fuel costs for transportation companies as well as helping the environment.
Many carriers that are already using speed limiter devices voluntarily have experienced an increased level of on-road safety as well as fuel efficiency and equipment lifespan with little or no negativity to productivity.
The DOT is seeking public comment on the rule for 60 days following its official publication in the Federal Register. The DOT is seeking input on two issues:
- What should the speed limit for heavy-duty trucks be?
- Should the mandate apply to all trucks or only new trucks?
The DOT will use comments submitted by the trucking industry as well as other interested parties when developing the actual mandate. To learn more about trucking regulatory compliance, risk management, and coverages, contact us.
Posted on August 22, 2016
Interstate Motor Carriers invites you to a complimentary, educational web seminar on the FMCSA mandated responsibilities of motor carriers, drivers, and IEPs involved in intermodal transportation. Rob Dowling, Transportation Safety & Loss Control Director at The Capacity Group, will provide an overview of intermodal transportation and related FMCSA regulations. All businesses involved in intermodal transportation should attend this webinar. Key topics include:
- Overview of Intermodal Transportation
- Motor Carrier & Driver Responsibilities
- Intermodal Equipment Provider Responsibilities
- FMCSA Roadability Safety Fitness Procedures
- UIIA & Automated DVIR Processing Guidelines
- FMCSA Requirements for Intermodal Equipment Providers
Date & Time: Wed, Sep 14, 2016 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM EDT
Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1201698415668513795
Posted on August 16, 2016
Cargo theft continues to prove a serious threat to the security and stability of businesses in the transportation industry. At various points in the supply chain, your cargo could be vulnerable to attack or subterfuge. To control your risk and loss, a number of best practices should be implemented. These include:
- Use best in class locks, not plastic or a bolt seal.
- Trucks should be full of fuel, drivers rested and available to drive for at least 250 miles.
- Screen all job applicants and current employees. An online authentication service can be used to detect fake licenses.
- Don’t ship on a Friday for a Monday delivery – shippers will be anxious to move product out and may be less rigorous with driver vetting.
- Track the location and possession of your cargo – always. Leverage real-time monitoring, GPS tracking, and other technologies – they’ll save you money in the long run.
- A photo of the driver and their CDL should be copied and attached to shipping records. It is essential that all personal information is securely handled and stored during ID validation.
- Brokers should verify references by using GIS (Google maps) mapping tolls to verify company information. If the name on the truck doesn’t match the load tender, confirm with carrier of record.
- Brokers should validate insurance information by calling the insurance company. Cross reference company contact information by viewing the insurance company’s website. If you can’t find the website or the information doesn’t match up, consider this a red flag.
To learn more about ways to avoid cargo theft, improving transportation practices, and obtaining trucking coverages, contact us.
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.