Posted on January 15, 2016
The results of a recent assessment – the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) ninth annual Operation Safe Driver Week – concluded that passenger car drivers are approximately three times as likely to speed as commercial drivers. These results stem from a statistical sample size of over 21,000 drivers were pulled over during the week in late 2015 by more than 2,500 law enforcement officials at hundreds of locations across the United States and Canada.
The most common violations for commercial drivers included:
- Size and weight
- Failure to wear a seatbelt
- Failure to obey a traffic control device
- Using a handheld phone
The CVSA has worked in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for nearly a decade to promote awareness and adherence to safety protocols for commercial drivers. An increase in citations seemingly indicates an increased commitment on the part of law enforcement officials to promote safety, while the significantly lower rate of infractions among commercial drivers versus passenger drivers indicates a level of professionalism and dedication among commercial vehicle operators. To learn more about the CVSA, the FMCSA, and trucking safety and coverages, contact us.
Posted on November 03, 2015
Any motor carrier that must comply with MCA80 and attach MCS90 will have to file for proof of financial responsibility under the new regulations. The effective date these regulations has been pushed back to a 9/30/16 implementation and 12/31/16 for enforcement.
At present, only for-hire motor carriers who have applied for authority to haul processed goods of others in interstate commerce and have been provided an MC# are required to have an insurance filing. The MCA80 requires all for-hire interstate motor carriers to meet the financial responsibility requirements ($750,000). Additionally, it requires all motor carriers hauling any quanitity of hazardous material across state lines to have a filing (limit of no less than $1,000,000). This only applies to intrastate hazmat transport in bulk quantities.
The implementation pushback will allow the Department of Transportation additional time to prepare to for the significant increase in registered transportation professionals/operations. Estimates vary from 25,000 to over 100,000 new registrations resulting from the regulatory changes. Additionally, the extra time will allow motor carriers to prepare for and better understand the new rules by the time they are implemented.
Clearly this will affect a wide number of motor carriers. But it will also impact insurance providers. How? According to Tommy Ruke, a trucking insurance expert: “The first consideration is that this is a law, unlike proposals for ELD’s, speed limiters, and the drug clearinghouse, so URS will happen. The first published date is 12/12/15 when only the MCSA-1 application will be available and must be used for all new applications for registration (obtaining a new DOT#). It will be very interesting on how this will be done and what it will look like. We will keep an eye on how this works.”
Ruke goes on to say “The entities with new DOT#’s will be provided temporary registration that will allow them to operate without a financial responsibility filing until 9/29/16. The 9/30/16 date will be the important date for insurance providers because as published this is the date that the MC# will go away and filings can first be made. As I read the rule, the current motor carrier with a MC# and a 91X filing will not have to make a new filing. Any motor carrier who has a current filing and the filing is cancelled and replaced, the replacement filing will have to be done with the new system. Effective 9/30/16 the exempt for-hire motor carrier (ones with DOT#’s but no MC#, so no filing) will be able to have a filing made on their behalf. Private carriers with federal DOT#’s that are hauling any hazardous items in interstate commerce will also be able to have a filing made on their behalf as well as intrastate carriers that haul in bulk.”
For more information on this and other transportation regulatory changes, contact us.
Posted on October 21, 2015
Could a national “SmartPark” initiative for the trucking industry become a reality soon?
Pilot programs that give truckers real-time information about parking availability are well underway in Tennessee and Michigan. The goals of the projects are to reduce driver fatigue, better adhere to hours of service requirements, and improve drivers’ work conditions. Commercial truck drivers typically spend 30 minutes or more searching for a place to park their rigs.
Expansion of these “SmartPark” projects into a ubiquitous, multi-state, corridor-focused network is a dream of many in the industry. They hope Congress will make the necessary funding available when it confronts reauthorization of the current surface transportation law, which expires October 29.
The National Transportation Safety Board recommended 15 years ago that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) take steps to provide truckers with real-time information on the location and availability of parking spaces. But it was just two years ago that federal officials felt they had found a workable technology a system that identifies vacant spaces through a combination of Doppler radar and laser scanning and disseminates that information via dynamic electronic message signs, smartphone apps, websites and in-cab messaging.
The FMCSA has been testing the system on northbound Interstate 75 in eastern Tennessee. The Federal Highway Administration is funding a similar system along a 129-mile stretch of southwest Michigan’s I-94 corridor that’s used by 10,000 trucks daily but offers only 158 spaces in its five public rest areas. The corridor’s commercial truck traffic accounts for 23 to 30 percent of all its traffic and represents some of the highest commercial volumes in the Midwest.
The projects are working well, making it easier for drivers to avoid going over hours and saving carriers money because drivers can spend more time driving and less time searching for parking. Truck Smart Parking Services, one of the partners working with FMCSA, estimates that national deployment of the system could save industry $4.4 billion annually. Each driver could save two gallons of diesel and reduce greenhouse emissions by nearly 45 pounds per parking search, more than 3.3 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Interstate Motor Carriers has consistently provided creative solutions and specialized insurance programs to the trucking industry since 1936. Contact us for a fresh look at your insurance options.
Posted on September 17, 2015
American transportation organizations now face a widespread driver shortage. Motor carriers at every corner of the country are scrambling to find ways to retain their best and brightest. While the race has certainly begun to offer better total compensation through pay, benefits, and related structures, more and more carriers are realizing the personal element of the business – drivers stay where they feel appreciated. This seems especially appropriate as we celebrate national truck driver appreciation week.
Team building, positive reinforcement of healthy driving behaviors, and a personalized workplace environment centered on developing relationships and rewarding success are a few of the ways in which drivers bond with their team, making turnover far less likely. Some specific implementations of these strategies include:
- Driver reward points redeemable towards non-cash items
- Driver feedback programs to understand individual driver accomplishments and challenges
- Use of CRM software to ensure consistent and high-quality client interaction – drivers perform better when expectations are clear
- Periodic awards for high performance in specific categories, with accolades and non-cash bonuses
In addition to workplace development and rewards programs, carriers are increasingly turning to predictive modeling to help assess where and when attrition might occur. Specific behaviors, language, and changes in performance can all indicate intent to depart.
To learn more about these and related strategies for motor carriers, contact us.