Carriers 101 on Coercion

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When a D.O.T. auditor shows up to investigate about a driver you had or currently employee, and they discover you scheduling requires him to break FMCSA regulations . . . the driver may not be the one on the hot seat.  When the auditor asks for your explanation . . .
  • I thought it was ok . . .
  • We’ve always done it this way. . .
  • No one ever told me . . .
  • I fired him because he wouldn’t do his scheduled route in time . . .

and other variations on a carrier’s  “its-not-my-fault” explanations will not fly now that  ‘driver coercion” was added by the D.O.T. in its effort to go beyond roadside inspections and gain more FMCSA compliance from Carriers. (Read More:   DOT roadside Inspections enforcement status  and 10 Hours of Duty Rule)

FMCSA backs drivers with coercion rule  : FleetOwner.com Kevin Jones

A new rule to protect drivers from being compelled to violate federal safety regulations is set to publish today in the Federal Register. Known as the “driver coercion” rule, it provides FMCSA with the authority to go after not only carriers, but also shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries. ( read more )

Vocabulary:

What is Coercion?

Such actions are used as leverage, to force or leverage the victim to act in a way contrary to their own interests.

Example:

A driver is given a route  which he points out  is impossible to complete without going over the 11 hrs driving and or 14 hrs on-duty DOT rule.  If the driver reluctantly accepts the task because they fear the loss of their position or their job it could be considered coercion.  Accidents and road side inspections with a citation will go hard on the carrier, especially if the driver challenges their citation because of coercion.

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Carrier Monitoring DOT Safety Measurements

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English: Antique New Hampshire speed limit sig...

English: Antique New Hampshire speed limit sign. On display at Clark’s Trading Post, Lincoln New Hampshire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First:  Carriers need to set the standard and manage safety habits of ‘their drivers and the trucks they drive.  In an ideal world, the concern for others well-being can  inspire companies to create a safety culture for the drivers and their habits.

Note Well:   If your company is distracted from acting on your commitment to  public and employee safety, the DOT is determined to help remind you.  If you are really sloppy about your road safety, you could be looking for a new line of work.

Carrier management would be wise to go to http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/ and enter their DOT# .

DOT Safety Measurement Site

Once your enter your DOT# you will see how the Department of Transportation sees you, the Carrier.   and you will understand how much of a regulatory burden may be on your horizon or patting on the back . . . is due.

You will also be able to see the kind of citations your company has received, whether or not your drivers have turned in citations received during road inspections.

If you DOT# has passed the 65th percentile, your company is subject to the possibility of a field audit at any time from the DOT.  The carrier below has passed the 65% percentile because of three (3 ) citations.

Interpreting DOT Safety Measurement Emphesis Hand Held

Two (2) citations:  Driver was caught using a hand-held cellular phone while driving.

One (1) citation:  Driver was speeding 11-14 miles over the posted speed limit.

Both are heavily weighted.

Your take-away for making it this far:

Monitoring your DOT# Safety Measurement at http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/    you can take corrective action, even if the citation ( s ) were not reported by your drivers.

Recommendation:  By monitor your DOT# at    http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/  quarterly or more frequently you company’s health is more assured.

See Road Damage? What would you do?

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Heading West on the Gratigny Parkway Miami, FL December 14th 10am.  After having gone over this road damage many times this year I decided to do something about it.  While riding in truck as a passenger I decided to take a picture on the fly.  Here it is.

Gratigny-Overpass-Crack

Next to the yellow line this hole has been getting bigger and bigger.  You can see metal rebar exposed now.   As you can tell, this is pretty high off the ground.  Maybe 50’ .  Today, after making almost 15 or 20 phone calls with many dead ends and hearing ‘. . . that’s not our responsibility. . . call this number ######.”    $#&^$&^^%*(&^%*%$.  

I BECAME MORE DETERMINED TO GET THIS INFORMATION IN THE RIGHT HANDS.

I finally succeeded by calling . . .

The Florida Highway Patrol  305-376-4303

The officer did not want my picture and assumed he knew where I was speaking of.  I may never know.  BUT   after spending so much time I’m going to make the most of the effort.

BOTTOMLINE:  Be an owner of the situation, it may be your family that benefits.

UCR Registration : Here’s the Scoop

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Q: What is UCR?
UCR is the Unified Carrier Registration program. Created by federal legislation to authorize, through registration, all Commercial Motor Vehicles carrying their own goods and products across state lines. It also includes carriers transporting interstate goods even if your vehicles do not leave the state; except in non-participating state noted in Yellow in the map below.

Q: What is a “Commercial Motor Vehicle”? in  the UCR system?
Any self-propelled or towed (like a trailer) vehicle used on highways engaged in
interstate travel that:
has a gross weight of 10,001 pounds or more or,
– is designed to transport 11 or more passengers (including the driver) or,
– is required to have hazardous waste placarding

UCRregistration

 

Example:   A Green state roadside inspection of your non UCR registered truck cites and reasonably penalizes your company, regardless of your truck is from a Yellow non-participating state . What is the fine or penalty?  Whatever they decide is ‘reasonable’ . . . do you like playing with fire?

A Green state roadside inspection of your non UCR registered truck cites and reasonably penalizes your company, regardless of your truck coming from Yellow non-participating state .  Will they impound your truck till it’s paid? Answer:  Whatever they decide is ‘reasonable’ . . . do you like playing with fire?

If your answer is ‘YES’ in any of the rows below, you need to register your interstate truck(s). 

Your Business State

States Your Trucks Drive in 

Does This Describe You?

Green

Yellow & Green   or

Green only

YES

Yellow

Yellow only

NO

Yellow

Yellow & Green

YES

Start UCR Registration

View UCR Information

Register for a user account

UCR Procedures

UCR-1 Instructions

UCR-2 Instructions

UCR-1 Form

UCR-2 Form

UCR Brochure

UCR FAQ

Registration Instructions-2010

Registration Instructions-2011

Registration Instructions-2012

UCR Registration Form – 2010

UCR Registration Form – 2011

UCR Registration Form – 2012

UCR State Percentages – 2010

UCR State Percentages – 2011

SAFER

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FMCSR : To Mandate EOBR or not to Mandate EOBR

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There is no doubt that fatique is a killer.  There may be a mandate coming for On-board recorders (EOBR’s) to monitor driver HOS (hours of service compliance).  There are many efforts taking place these days compelling citizens to do this and that, I hope I don’t have to name them.  Do you think this trend of Government mandated purchases

Graph outlining the relationship between numbe...

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for our own good is a good trend?  You should also let your congressman know how you see things. Click Here. 

On to the article . . .  “This proposed rule also continues the Department’s partnership with Cornell on the e-Rulemaking Initiative, an important step toward keeping President Obama’s promise of opening government to more effective citizen participation. The Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative (CeRI) makes the federal regulatory process more accessible to the public through Regulation Room, an online public participation environment where people can learn about and discuss proposed federal regulations and provide effective feedback to the Department.

Citizens can find more information on the Cornell online effort and provide comments on the proposed rule at regulationroom.org over the next 60 days. The Department of Transportation encourages participation in this rulemaking through Regulation Room, but the public may also submit comments to the DOT docket at regulations.gov.

3373334458_808c6d0da2_s[1]The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today issued a regulatory proposal that would require interstate commercial truck and bus companies to install electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) to monitor their drivers’ hours-of-service (HOS) compliance.

The proposed rule would also relieve interstate motor carriers from retaining certain HOS supporting documents, such as delivery and toll receipts, which are currently used to verify the total number of hours drivers spend operating the vehicle. This part of the proposal fulfills an order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia requiring FMCSA to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding supporting documents by January 31, 2011.

“We cannot protect our roadways when commercial truck and bus companies exceed hours-of-service rules,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This proposal would make our roads safer by ensuring that carriers traveling across state lines are using EOBRs to track the hours their drivers spend behind the wheel.”

EOBRs are devices attached to commercial vehicles that automatically record the number of hours drivers spend operating the vehicle. Several carriers, including Schneider National, Maverick USA, J.B. Hunt, Knight Transportation and U.S. Express Enterprise, have already installed EOBR technology on their fleets. Approximately 500,000 carriers would be affected by the proposed rule.

Under the proposal, interstate carriers that currently use Records of Duty (RODS) logbooks to document drivers’ HOS would be required to use EOBRs. Short-haul interstate carriers that use timecards to document HOS would not be required to use EOBRs.

Carriers that violate this EOBR requirement would face civil penalties of up to $11,000 for each offense. Noncompliance would also negatively impact a carrier’s safety fitness rating and DOT operating authority. In April 2010, FMCSA issued a final rule that mandates EOBRs for interstate carriers with serious patterns of HOS violations.

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CSA 2010 – Frequently Asked Questions – J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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Here is a tid bit of info on 2010CSA which will effect any driver and carrier (company) with DOT numbers.  Read and act accordingly NOW.

Q: Is there a minimum size of company that will be included in the CSA 2010 program?
A: Any interstate carrier that has a US DOT number, no matter what size, will be included in the program. 

Applicability
Q: Which carriers are affected by CSA 2010?
A: Any interstate carrier that has a US DOT number is covered by the CSA 2010 program, no matter what “type” of carrier they are (for-hire, private, flatbed, van, utility, construction, etc.), what size carrier they are, or what type of vehicles they operate (CDL required versus non-CDL required vehicles). 

Q: Are intrastate carriers affected by CSA2010?
A: It depends on if their state requires intrastate carriers to get a DOT number, if they upload intrastate carrier violation and accident data into the Safetynet/MCMIS system, and if they do anything with the output of the system. What the states that require intrastate carriers to have a DOT number will do with CSA 2010 remains to be seen. 

Q: Is there a way I can file for a waiver and not participate in the CSA 2010 program?
A: No. There are no waivers. Any interstate carrier that has a US DOT number will be involved in the CSA 2010 program. 

Q: How does CSA 2010 affect Canadian and Mexican carriers?
A: Any interstate carrier with a US DOT number will be involved in the CSA 2010 program, no matter where they are domiciled. However, only accidents and violations that occur in the US will be counted in the data collection and evaluation system. The same is true of US carriers operating in Canada or Mexico (only violations that occur in the US will be counted in the carrier’s data and evaluation).Click the link below . . . learn more . . . there’s much more you need to know.

via CSA 2010 – Frequently Asked Questions – J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc..

Driver’s Daily Log HOS Multi-Invoice Reporting Solution

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When your driver has more than one invoice and more than one delivery each day . . .  here is a  suggestion . . . SDDRDate

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