Do you know what the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) means when it issues an Imminent Hazard Out-Of-Service Order? Have you even heard of one?
It sounds serious and it is. Its the government at its wits end!
On February 25, 2016 FMCSA declared J and J Transportation of Worcester, Massachusetts (US DOT # 2497430) to be an imminent hazard to public safety. They ordered them to shut down and cease trucking operations immediately.
It all started with an accident in which the driver was killed. As in these cases, a post accident investigation found multiple violations by the driver in his log book. The same driver had received tickets before (2 last year) for false record of duty status. So they kept digging.
They found the trucking company did nothing when their driver got the tickets in roadside inspections. No refresher course, no training, nothing at all.
They kept digging.
J and J Transportation was unable to produce vehicle maintenance records or driver vehicle inspections (pre & post trip checks). They did not have driver qualification files. So they had drivers out on the road with suspended or invalid commercial driver’s licenses. The did not have pre-employment drug tests for their drivers. The DOT regulations state that you must have a negative pre-employment drug screen in your hand before you allow a driver behind the wheel.
Read the order in its entirety here.
So, whats my point?
Rest assured knowing that in the event of an accident, fatal or not, the holes in your hiring, your truck maintenance and record keeping will be revealed.
Would you like a check-up of your DOT procedures and records? We can do that!
The FMCSA recently gave notice they are considering rules for entry-level CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle) driver training. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said “Well trained drivers are safer drivers”.
That is a true statement but what sort of training the government comes up with could be scary. You have the opportunity to make your voice heard. The committee that is working on the components of the regulation is also taking input from the public.
Read about the proposed rule here. You can also make comments or questions from the page.
Click here to read the FMCSA announcement.
If you employ drivers you might want to make your voice heard. What do you think training should include? I have a few ideas that I learned from my years as a driver:
- Following distance: A multitude of problems can be avoided with enough following distance.
- Adjust speed to conditions. If the speed limit sign says 65 its not mandatory. Drive for the conditions.
- Consider who is driving next to you. Automobile drivers have no idea what it takes to drive a truck down the road. Unfortunately a truck driver has to think for them and anticipate their next move.
This is a great opportunity to put in your 2 cents. What do you think should be included in driver training?
The definition of coercion is the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.
But coercion in the trucking industry has been subtle. A dispatcher may give a load to a driver, knowing that he can’t make the delivery by following the hours of service regulations. The driver could complain to the dispatcher, who would then say, OK, I will get someone else and you will sit for the rest of the week. Well, the driver has kids, a mortgage, a car payment, what do you think he is going to do? He took the load. And when he got pulled in to the scale, and his log book was in violation it wasn’t the dispatchers problem. Log book fines average $2500.00 and are the bill goes to the driver.
Read the rule from FMCSA here.
The responsibility is on the driver to tell the person asking him or her to violate the regulations, that it would be a violation and doesn’t want to do it. The coercion comes in after the driver says no and the person adds a threat or or as a condition of employment.
Unfortunately the regulation is not perfect. The entire burden is on the driver to report and prove the coercion happened. But it is a step in the right direction.
Be good to your drivers and run legal.
Is it possible to edit electronic logs? The answer is yes.
Although the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has yet to issue its final rule* on Electronic Logs they have issued regulatory guidelines concerning editing. According to the regulatory guidance, the driver must be allowed to correct errors, enter and annotate, and certify the accuracy. The exception is driving time. Since the electronic log senses movement and engine RPM and “turns itself on” to log miles using GPS, the driving time itself cannot be changed, but in the case of unassigned driver or team drivers mixed up, it can be corrected.
Read the rule in the Federal Register here.
I have blogged before about electronic logs, or as the FMCSA calls them, AOBRD for Automatic On-Board Recording Device,
Read that blog here.
*That final rule has been pushed back to October 30, 2015, but don’t get your hopes up, its been delayed before.