34 Hour Restart Rollback Included in Spending Bill Just Passed by Congress
ATA efforts have paid off in that the 34-hour provision of the Hours of Service Regulations will be tossed out and replaced by the older, less restrictive version. The recently passed $1.1 trillion government spending bill includes the rollback provision while FMCSA is directed to do more research on the issue.
The bill that includes this has not yet been signed by the President, but all indicators indicate that he will.
ATA President and CEO Bill Graves thanked Congress.
“We have known since the beginning that the federal government did not properly evaluate the potential impacts of the changes it made in July 2013,” Graves said in a statement. “Now, thanks to the hard work of Senator (Susan) Collins and many others, we have a common sense solution. Suspending these restrictions until all the proper research can be done is a reasonable step.”
ATA has been pursuing the change for more than a year. It contends that the restart provision enacted by FMCSA in July 2013 reduces productivity for some carriers and may increase risk by putting more trucks on the road during Monday morning rush hour.
This is not a one-sided issue of course and the issue is not so much resolved as delayed for further study.
Generations on the Road...
The commemorative 75th anniversary book is now for sale! The 100-page book is a full color coffee-table style book highlighting the history of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association as well as families in trucking. Each book is $75 and quantities are limited.
Call Autumn at 303-433-3375 x 101 or email@example.com to order your copy today!
No Defects - No Driver Vehicle Inspection Report - FMCSA Finally Moving on Cutting Red Tape
On December 18 the U.S. Department of Transportation will eliminate the need for commercial truck drivers to file Driver Vehicle Inspection reports if there are no vehicle defects.
This should reduce countless hours complying with a burdensome daily paperwork requirement, without compromising safety. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that commercial motor vehicle drivers spend approximately 46.7 million hours each year completing Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs).
FMCSA has been over a year pursuing this change in response to President Obama's call for federal agencies to cut bureaucratic red tape. “America’s truckers should be able to focus more on getting their goods safely to store shelves, construction sites or wherever they need to be instead of spending countless hours on unnecessary paperwork that costs the industry nearly $2 billion each year,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement.
Commercial truck drivers are required to conduct pre- and post-trip inspections of their vehicles to identify any safety defects or maintenance concerns. The final rule announced today removes the requirement that drivers file a report for approximately 95 percent of inspections when equipment problems or safety concerns are not identified.
President Obama launched the Administration's Regulatory Review and Reform initiative in January 2011 by issuing Executive Order 13563. The order commenced an unprecedented government-wide review of regulations with the goal of eliminating or modifying out-of-date, ineffective or overly-burdensome rules and reducing regulatory burdens on the private sector. The retrospective review effort to date includes actions that will save more than $20 billion dollars over the next few years, with more savings in the future.
In June 2012, FMCSA eliminated a comparable requirement for truck drivers operating intermodal equipment trailers used for transporting containerized cargo shipments. The cost savings to the intermodal industry was estimated to be $54 million annually.
The final rule, available later today (12/9/14) on the Agency's website (www.fmcsa.dot.gov), will be effective on December 18, 2014.
2014 CMCA Convention Highlights & Images Posted
The hughely successful CMCA convention will long be remembered as a milestone in CMCA history. We have posted a few highlights on the convention page including the golf tournament winners. Additional images and impressions from this gala event will be posted as they become available. Also check the CMCA Facebook page.
Movers Group Asking for Exemption to
14-hour Driving Rule
The International Association of Movers, a trade association representing van lines has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to let drivers work after the 14th hour in some circumstances.
The rules prohibit drivers from driving after the 14th hour on duty following 10 hours off. The exemption would permit driving up to 75 miles or 90 minutes after the 14-hour period, and could only be used after the driver notified the carrier.
IAM is looking for an exemption not just for its members but all household goods movers. It told the agency that the moving sector has unique operating characteristics because customers often change plans and the driver must accommodate those changes.
According to IAM this situation exists rarely, but when it does the driver is faced with two choices: either stop the loading or unloading in order to move the truck within the 14-hour limit, or finish the work and leave the truck where it is for the mandatory 10-hour break.
IAM claims this is equilvalent to the Hours of Service provision that gives short-haul carriers an increased driving window once a week.
FMCSA has posted a "Notice of Application for Exemption - request for comments" and is seeking comments on this proposal.
Diesel Cost Now Lowest Since 2011
Average diesel prices have dropped 23 cents per gallon over the last year. Last week they averaged $3.60 per gallon. The slide has been steady through most parts of the country.
Gasoline prices have also dropped and are now below $3 per gallon in some locations for the first time since December 2011.
There are several factors at work in these declines. The United States has been ramping up crude production thanks to fracking. This year U.S. production is expected to reach the highest since 1970.
Also worldwide demand for oil is slightly down as natural gas and alternatives gain a stronger position as energy sources.
OPEC member nations have also been trying to increase their share of world markets. According to Bloomberg News, OPEC output in October hit a 14-month high.
Courtesy: Energy Information Administration, and TruckingInfo.com.
New ATA Survey Shows Driver Pay is Competitive
A new study by the American Trucking Associations contends that median pay for truck drivers in the U.S. is on par with the national median for U.S. households, while the trucking industry offers driver's competitive benefits. Median U.S. household income is just over $53,000.
These are the findings of the 2014 Driver Compensation Study, which surveyed over 130 fleets covering more than 130,000 drivers.
"Fleets are raising pay and offering generous benefit packages in order to attract and keep their drivers in the face of a growing driver shortage," said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. "As the economy grows, we are seeing an ever more competitive driver market," Costello said. "The data in this report will be critical for fleets looking to recruit and retain the best drivers."
A copy of the report can be ordered through ATA's website.