Thursday, May 21, 2020

Getting good sleep: It still ain’t easy, especially in trucking

But sleepiness poses a lot of risks, 
especially to transportation workers.

Fleetowner 29966 Sleeperberth1 0


I’ve slept in a sleeper berth a time or two and it’s something that takes getting used to for most folks; even for long-haul irregular route TL drivers who live in their trucks three weeks or more out of a month.

There are external noises to deal with, the often-constant rattle and hum from diesel-fired auxiliary power units (APUs) or idling engines, and the effort to get physically comfortable on a mattress that’s mayhap not as comfy as the one back home.

Thus getting good, restorative sleep for truck drivers can sometimes be a struggle, and that’s before we inject medical issues such as sleep apnea in to the mix. But truckers should take heart from one aspect of their “sleep struggles,” if you can call them that – they aren’t unique to the freight-hauling business, not be a longshot.

According to a recent global survey conducted by Royal Philips called Better Sleep, Better Health. A Global Look at Why We're Still Falling Short on Sleep, which looked at what keeps people from getting their “optimal” night's rest.

The survey – conducted online in February by Harris Poll on behalf of Philips – reviewed the “sleep habits” of over 15,000 adults across 13 countries – the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Poland, France, India, China, Australia, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Japan – examining how they prioritize, address, and perceive a range of “sleep issues.”

Philips said several studies estimate that more than 100 million people worldwide suffer from sleep apnea, 80 % of whom remain undiagnosed, and that, globally, 30% of people experience difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep. Sleeping well is essential to good health, and yet only one-third of people who suffer from sleep disorders seek professional help, the company noted.

"Sleep is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. On a day-to-day basis, how well and how long we slept the night before is the single most important variable dictating how we feel," said Dr. David White, chief medical for Philips. "Thus inadequate sleep can have an immediate impact on our wellbeing unlike exercise or diet. This survey shows that despite knowing sleep is important to overall health, people are still struggling to address it in the same way they would exercise or nutrition. The more we understand how sleep impacts everything we do, the better we can adjust our lifestyle and find solutions that help us get better sleep."

The findings from that research should be of interest to truckers:

Though the survey found that the majority of those polled (67%) view sleep’s impact on their overall health and well-being to be “significant,” only 29% felt “guilty” about not getting enough sleep, in comparison to the guilt over not exercising regularly (49%) and eating healthier foods (42%)
About six in 10 global adults (61%) have some kind of medical issue that impacts their sleep, with a quarter of adults reporting insomnia (26%) and one in five experiencing snoring (21%). Worrying has kept over half of global adults up at night in the past 3 months (58%), followed by technology distractions (26%).
After a bad night’s sleep, those polled said they “look tired” (46%), are “moody/irritable” (41%), aren’t as “motivated” (39%), or they have trouble concentrating (39%).
Three-quarters of those polled (77%) have tried to improve their sleep in some way. Collectively, many have turned to soothing music (36%) or instituted a set bedtime/wake-up schedule (32%).
Throughout the global results, one outlier presented itself in adults aged 18 to 24; the so called “Millennial” generation. Despite being less likely to follow a set bedtime compared to other generations (38% vs. 47% of those aged 25 and over), this group reported getting more sleep each night, on average, than other age groups, with those aged 18-24 getting an average of 7.2 hours, compared to 6.9 hours among those aged 25 and over. They are also more likely to feel guilty about not regularly maintaining good sleep habits as compared to those ages 35 and over (35% vs. 26%).
Now while all of that may sound a bit too “touchy-feely” for many truckers, the impact of sleep deprivation is anything but. In fact, chronic sleep-deprivation, which affects 37% of U.S. workers, is getting so bad that the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Sleep Research Society (SRS) and the National Safety Council (NSC) have joined forces in a campaign to get companies to help their workers avoid fatigue and develop healthy sleep habits for long-term success and well-being.


“Nearly 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep problem and nearly 60% of them have a chronic disease that can harm their overall health,” said Janet Croft, the senior chronic disease epidemiologist in CDC’s division of population health. “Lack of sleep and sleep disorders, including stops in breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), excessive daytime sleepiness (narcolepsy), restless legs syndrome, and insomnia, are increasingly recognized as linked to chronic disease, including obesity, high blood pressure, and cancer.”


And such chronic fatigue is costly in other ways. According to the NSC, fatigued workers cost employers about $1,200 to $3,100 per employee in declining job performance each year, while sleepy workers are estimated to cost employers $136 billion a year in health-related lost productivity.

Sleepiness also impacts transportation in major ways. For example, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates that fatigue has been a contributing factor in 20% of its investigations over the last two decades – and it’s why the agency included “reduce fatigue-related accidents” on its 2017–2018 Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements. 

In February, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a research brief estimating that drowsy driving is involved in up to 9.5% of all motor vehicle crashes. Their projections indicate that drowsy driving causes an average of 328,000 motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. each year, including 6,400 fatal crashes.

On top of all that, the effects of sleepiness are exacerbated and pose a constant struggle for workers who work night shifts or rotating shifts, and for those who work long hours or have an early morning start time.

U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics show about 15% of full-time employees in the U.S. perform shift work, many of whom suffer from chronic sleep loss caused by a disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm.

Chronic sleep deprivation is also associated with an increased risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses that negatively impact a worker’s well-being and long-term health, according to the CDC’s research – and insufficient sleep is a big problem in transportation-related categories, the agency added.

In fact, a recent CDC analysis found that the jobs with the highest rates of short sleep duration were communications equipment operators (58.2%), other transportation workers (54%) and rail transportation workers (52.7%).

Along with that, night shift workers and those driving during nighttime hours are most at risk for chronic sleep loss. The NSC found that 59% of night shift workers reported short sleep duration compared to 45% of day workers, while the risk of safety incidents was 30% higher during night shifts compared to morning shifts.

All of that is good fodder for trucking to keep in mind as the industry attempts to handle a surge in freight demand that’s expected to keep on rolling through this year and next.

SOURCE: https://www.fleetowner.com/industry-perspectives/trucks-at-work/article/21702127/getting-good-sleep-it-still-aint-easy-especially-in-trucking

Monday, May 18, 2020

6 Common ELD Violations And Tips To Prevent Them


Electronic logging devices or ELDs were initially brought in to minimize the number of road accidents and improve driver’s safety. It’s true that before April 2018, drivers, as well as the administrators, were somewhat reluctant to adopt entirely new technology. This was the key reason behind the ELD mandate.

The ELD mandate rules that all carriers must have FMCSA certified ELDs for trucks installed in their vehicles to comply with the latest regulations. Any violation will directly affect their CSA (Compliance, Safety, and Accountability) score.

Now, what are the types of violations that the drivers can avoid?

How will they stay compliant while on the road?

Let’s talk about all that and more in this post.

The common ELD violations all truckers should be aware of
• Not using an FMCSA-compliant ELD device
The most common type of ELD violation is not using FMCSA certified ELDs in the vehicles. Fleet owners or truckers may install cheap ELDs to avoid the upfront costs of upgraded devices and find out later that those are not even in compliance with the FMCSA regulations. That results in a violation under Section 395.22A with a severity weight of 5, which is followed by hefty fines and a reduction in the CSA scores. You can avoid such an adverse situation by checking the list of FMCSA’s registered devices before you set off to buy one. That way you will steer clear of trouble.

• Inability to transfer data when asked
If any trucker fails to transfer data from the ELD device when prompted to do so by an authorized enforcement official, then he or she will be charged with ‘no record of duty’ status under Section 395.8A with the severity weight of 5. This is yet another reason to ensure that you have a fully functional ELD, which can transfer data electronically via Bluetooth or other measures, installed in your vehicles. Remember, it is easy enough to find affordable ELDs for owners and operators, but make sure you buy the equally efficient ones.

• Failure to report a malfunction in the device
Drivers should be aware of any malfunctions in the device so that they can produce supporting documents and switch to a paper log to avoid violation under Section 395.34A1. They should be thoroughly aware of the device diagnostics and probable malfunctions. The ELD manufacturer can shed light on that. Further, the drivers should also submit a written notice to the fleet owner regarding malfunctions, if any, and produce a copy of the document to the enforcement officials to avoid getting penalized. Lastly, the carriers should fix any malfunction within 8 days. In unable to do so, they should get a specific extension from the FMCSA Division Administrator.

• Failure to log in/out
According to the ELD mandate, all truckers must log in to their ELDs before starting their respective journeys and log out after completing their day’s work. Truckers that fail to do so will be charged with ‘no record of duty’ status under Section 395.8A with a severity weight of 5. Hence, fleet owners must provide rigorous training to truckers before they get on to drive the ELD-installed vehicles, so that they grow a habit of logging in/out and do not forget it at any cost.

• The device’s display screen is not visible
If the display screen of the ELD is not visible outside the truck, then the driver can be charged under Section 395.20B for incomplete/wrong log. If you are a driver, you can avoid this situation by ensuring that the device screen is visible from outside the vehicle while mounting it. A little tilting and undocking are acceptable, especially if you are using a portable device like a Smartphone. Mobile devices need not be handed over to the authorized officials to help them check the screen. The drivers can do that on their behalf, without running the risk of breaking the law.

• Failure to manage unassigned driving time
A trucker that fails to assume/decline unassigned driving time on their ELDs can be charged with a violation under Section 395.32B for an incomplete/wrong log. Therefore, all drivers must be thoroughly trained to manage unassigned logs on their ELDs.

Some other ELD violations that all drivers should make a mental note of are, a:

  • Failure to maintain ELD instruction sheets for reporting a malfunction
  • Failure to provide authentic possession documents in favor of the driver
  • Failure to keep the ELD user’s manual within the vehicle
  • Failure to add the trailer number, location description, shipping docket number, etc. manually
  • Failure to certify the authenticity of the information provided by the ELD
  • Although it may seem a lot of work, getting acquainted with any new system requires a certain level of understanding, knowledge, and training. ELD solution providers are also trying to do their bit by ensuring that the changes from the current way of doing things are incremental and easy to understand. And this is all necessary given that 16th Dec. 2019 is just around the corner.

SOURCE: https://truckx.com/6-common-eld-violations-and-tips-to-prevent-them/

Friday, May 15, 2020

A&T Road Service- We Tow HD Trucks, Buses and Mobile Homes

This is our  2014 Kenworth with a 500 hp Cummins and 18-speed gearbox is outfitted with an NRC Quickswap detachable tow unit with a tag axle for extra capacity. This allows the truck to be a wrecker and also a transfer vehicle, so with the unit disconnected, it will tow mobile home units, trailers of all kinds and with the wrecker unit attached is capable of lifting up to 20,000 lb steer axles for heavy duty truck towing. This unit can easily to HD trucks, buses, mobile homes.
It is outfitted with tools and parts to make minor mechanical repairs, air line repair, fuel line repairs, add fuel, and can take care of any DEF needs. It is also equipped with extra high intensity lights for more effective and efficient night work, since A&T Road Service is available 24 hours a day.

Need a tow? Call 1-800-434-1205


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

In NTSB top transport issues, technology's pace quickening, human error in sharp relief

A 2015 crash near Chattanooga, TN where this tractor-trailer plowed into construction zone traffic, striking eight vehicles and killing six occupants.

Technology is the unifying theme running through NTSB's updated Most Wanted List this year as well as the related recommendations the agency has.

All indications in the National Transportation Safety Board's latest "Most Wanted List" of problems to fix in transportation point to one thing: in many ways, technology across that broad industry isn't just advancing, it's accelerating. It is both problem and solution.

Learn more at: https://www.fleetowner.com/safety/article/21703470/in-ntsb-top-transport-issues-technologys-pace-quickening-human-error-in-sharp-relief

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Towing Guide - Vehicles Towing RV's

Camping World Toyhauler

A key aspect of buying a towable RV is understanding the tow rating of your current (or future) vehicle. Pay attention to the automobile’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (normally found on a sticker inside the driver’s side door frame). This number is the maximum weight your vehicle should tow.

You don’t want to fall in love with an RV only to find out the RV is too heavy for your vehicle to safely tow. To help you find the right RV, please use our Vehicle Tow Rating Finder as well as our Glossary of Terms.

Learn about capacities here: https://rv.campingworld.com/towguide

Sunday, May 3, 2020

The SmartAdvantage™ Powertrain from Cummins and Eaton



Cummins, the leading diesel engine manufacturer, and Eaton, the leader in heavy-duty transmissions, have joined forces to bring you the SmartAdvantage™ Powertrain. These totally integrated units take the efficiency of Cummins ISX15 with SmartTorque2 (ST2), and combine it with the smooth-shifting Eaton Fuller Advantage 10-Speed automated transmission, for 3-6% better fuel economy. For more information, visit http://cumminsengines.com/smartadvantage

Thursday, April 30, 2020

At A&T Road Service, we not only do we provide reliable 24-hour road service; We Also Provide::

  • In-House TOWING
  • Fully Equipped Mobile Repair Units
  • Tire Replacement
  • Load Adjustments
  • Welding
  • Fuel Delivery
  • Lock-Outs
  • Vehicle Storage
  • Hydraulics
  • DOT & BIT Inspections
  • Crane Inspections
  • Glass Replacement
  • Vehicle Rentals
  • Liftgate Repairs and Service
  • Tens of Thousands of Parts In-Stock
We are centrally located in Fairfield CA which is approximately 45 miles from San Francisco or Sacramento and about 50 miles from Stockton. We regularly service Fairfield, Vallejo, Rio Vista, Napa, Vacaville, Travis AFB, Winters, Dixon, Davis, Benicia, St. Helena, Calistoga, Suisun City, Green Valley, Crockett, Hercules, San Pablo, Richmond, Concord, Walnut Creek, Martinez, Boyes Hot Springs, Sonoma, Allendale, Cordelia, Pleasant Hill, Pittsburg, Antioch, Novato, American Canyon, Truck Scales and much more. We’ve even gone as far as San Jose, the South Bay and the Peninsula because we always answer the phone 24/7. Solano County is our home turf, but readily service Napa County, Yolo County, Contra Costa County, Sonoma County, Sacramento County, and San Joaquin County, Alameda County and Marin County. We also have been known to travel to San Francisco County, Santa Clara County and San Mateo County. In fact, if you need immediate service, we will travel where ever we need to in order to take care of your problem. We are at your service and we mean that sincerely.

A&T “Mobile” Truck Road Service is a part of the BIT Inspection Program and is able to do inspections for you on-site. We are DOT Certified and all BIT inspections are performed utilizing DOT/BIT Inspectors. A&T “Mobile” Truck Road Service meets all requirements under Title 49 of the DOT Inspectors Guide.

You can find more information about the CalBit Program and the requirements at their website
Contact A&T Road Service at: 707- 427 - 1386

Need a tow? Call 1-800-434-1205


Monday, April 27, 2020

The Bandag Retreading Process


The excellence of Bandag retreads is a direct result of Bandag’s sophisticated and highly standardised Retreading Process. State-of-the-art technology builds accuracy and efficiency into every step. Our patented Bandag process is geared towards restoring the original performance level of your tyres while ensuring consistency and reliability, each and every time.

Friday, April 24, 2020

About Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)


History

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (49 U.S.C. 113). Formerly a part of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. Activities of the Administration contribute to ensuring safety in motor carrier operations through strong enforcement of safety regulations; targeting high-risk carriers and commercial motor vehicle drivers; improving safety information systems and commercial motor vehicle technologies; strengthening commercial motor vehicle equipment and operating standards; and increasing safety awareness. To accomplish these activities, the Administration works with Federal, State, and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry, labor and safety interest groups, and others.

Activities
Commercial Drivers' Licenses
The Administration develops standards to test and license commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Data and Analysis
The Administration collects and disseminates data on motor carrier safety and directs resources to improve motor carrier safety.

Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
The Administration operates a program to improve safety performance and remove high-risk carriers from the Nation's highways.

Research and Technology
The Administration coordinates research and development to improve the safety of motor carrier operations and commercial motor vehicles and drivers.

Safety Assistance
The Administration provides States with financial assistance for roadside inspections and other commercial motor vehicle safety programs. It promotes motor vehicle and motor carrier safety.

Other Activities
The Administration supports the development of unified motor carrier safety requirements and procedures throughout North America. It participates in international technical organizations and committees to help share the best practices in motor carrier safety throughout North America and the rest of the world. It enforces regulations ensuring safe highway transportation of hazardous materials and has established a task force to identify and investigate those carriers of household goods which have exhibited a substantial pattern of consumer abuse.
Updated: Monday, March 31, 2014

Learn more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The #1 and #2 Causes of Truck Breakdowns

Our Solutions:

#1 Tires: 



Michelin
Continental
General tire
RoadLux
Bandag
Triangle


#2 Brakes

BRAKE DRUMS & ROTORS
Durabrake
Gunite
Webb
Raybestos
Motorcraft
Centrifuse
KIC
Meritor
Delco
Automann

NORTH BAY
Truck Center
Home of
A&T Road Service
1245 Illinois Street
Fairfield, CA 94533
707-427-1386

Hours:
Monday-Friday
7:30am to 5:30pm
Saturday
8:00am to 5:00pm

Saturday, April 18, 2020

RPM & Fuel Economy - Driver Training for On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engines


Driver Training for On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engines – Part 5 of 13 in a series of chapters from the Cummins On-Highway Heavy-Duty Truck Engine Driver Training Video Series updated in 2015. This segment discusses the effect RPM has on fuel economy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Fleet Safety and Driver Monitoring

Driver behavior contributes to over 90 percent of the crashes that kill tens of thousands of people and cost billions of dollars annually. Improving fleet safety involves more than simple driver monitoring and reactive policy measures—it requires a proactive solution to verbally coach drivers in real-time to develop safer driving habits.
ORBCOMM technology is squarely focused on the driver, and offers the only real-time fleet safety solution that detects unsafe driver behavior and offers verbal coaching before a crash or fineable offense occurs.
Improve Fleet Safety with Verbal Driver Coaching
  • In-cab Verbal Coaching: Send automated in-cab verbal alerts in real-time when drivers are speeding or driving aggressively.
  • Speed-by-Street™: Send automated verbal alerts when drivers exceed the speed limit on any given road segment.
  • Lane Departure & Collision Avoidance: Alert drivers in real-time if they drift outside their lane or get too close to other vehicles.
Keep Drivers Safe and in View
  • Seat Belt Use Alerts: Ensure drivers are wearing a seat belt by sending alerts to drivers and managers.
  • Crash & Roll Over Detection: Receive instant notification via phone, text or e-mail when a vehicle has been in a crash.
  • Road Hazard Awareness: Allow drivers to communicate with each other regarding hazardous areas including debris, construction and severe weather conditions.
  • Emergency Call/Panic Button: Call for help via hands-free cell network communication with a single push of a button.
  • Signal Jamming Detection: Help prevent hijacking by detecting the use of GPS and GSM jammers. Track stolen vehicles via GPS.
Monitor Drivers for Enhanced Fleet Performance
  • Automated Exception Alerts: Receive instant notifications via text, e-mail or phone call when a driver commits a serious violation.
  • Driver/Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR): Create fully customizable vehicle inspection checklists for operators to complete electronically.
  • Driver/Fleet Scoring: Automate driver/fleet scorecards to identify safe drivers and those in need of additional training.
  • Work Alone Timer: Allow drivers to set up timers warning management if they do not return to the vehicle within a given time frame.
  • Vehicle Inspection Alerts: Send timed checklist alerts to remind drivers of pre/post-trip instructions and inspection requirements.


Thursday, April 9, 2020

OOIDA asks Congress to act on top trucking issues


April 6, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has written U.S. Congress reminding them of key issues facing the trucking industry that must be addressed once the Covid-19 crisis passes.

“Without any sort of work-from-home option, truckers are manning the front lines of the industry as they always have done,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA president and CEO. “They certainly welcome the public praise from all who have noticed their role in the pandemic response. But they will need more than words to stay afloat in an uncertain future.”

As the crisis passes, OOIDA wants Congress to prioritize the following:
 H.R. 6104, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, should be passed to address the shortage of parking for trucks. This bipartisan legislation would provide dedicated funding for projects that expand truck parking capacity.

Congress must support the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) efforts to modernize and improve hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. Truckers shouldn’t just get temporary relief when the nation needs their help responding to an emergency.

Congress must take steps to address the persistent problem of excessive detention time, which reduces driver wages, slows the movement of freight and has been linked to increased crash rates. Many drivers spend countless unpaid on-duty hours being detained due to the inefficiency of others within the supply chain.

 Congress must repeal the overtime exemption for employee drivers in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The average truck driver works 60-70 hours per week, which is rarely, if ever, reflected in their compensation.

Congress must waive the 2020 payment of the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) to provide immediate tax relief to owner-operators, many of which are struggling to keep their businesses operational during and after the crisis.

“These aren’t necessarily the only issues in trucking that need to change to bring improvements,” added Spencer. “But memes and applause don’t pay bills or reduce the overregulation that keep them from making a living. These are things that Congress can move quickly on to help truck drivers.” The complete letter can be read here.

SOURCE: https://www.trucknews.com/regulations/ooida-asks-congress-to-act-on-top-trucking-issues/1003139177/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newcom&utm_campaign=TruckNewsDaily&utm_content=2020040782017

Monday, April 6, 2020

A Look At USDOT Number


A motor carrier’s USDOT number is used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to track safety performance. All legal entities involved in interstate commerce using commercial motor vehicles are required to have one. Nearly forty states mandate that their intrastate carriers have a USDOT number. Regardless of the state of operation, any intrastate carrier that’s required to have a Hazardous Material Safety Permit (HMSP) must also register with the FMCSA. With over 1.5 million registered carriers in the U.S., questions are bound to exist. The following covers the most commonly asked questions regarding the fundamentals – or ABCs – of FMCSA registration.

A = A Single Number. As a matter of policy, the FMCSA assigns a unique USDOT number to each person or entity that registers. A one-to-one relationship should exist between a legal entity and a USDOT number, but the FMCSA’s position is not hard and fast regarding this stance. Some companies do have multiple USDOT numbers, but it is the FMCSA’s preference that divisions and terminals report up through the corporate USDOT number. The agency does prohibit companies from obtaining or keeping multiple USDOT numbers to avoid compliance, mask or conceal non-compliance, or hide a history of non-compliance. The unique identifier policy is also the reason that USDOT numbers are not transferable. When, as a result of a sale or merger, a new entity is created (as identified by a new FEIN), the new entity will also need a new USDOT number to continue transportation operations.

B = BASICs Influencer. Five of the seven Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) BASICs rely solely on the number of relevant inspections within the BASIC to determine a carrier’s scoring and resulting peer group ranking. However, two of the BASICs, Unsafe Driving and Crash Indicator, also take into consideration how many “at bats” the carrier has. These two BASICs have a utilization factor that incorporates the number of power units and the vehicle miles traveled into the methodology formulas. It stands to reason that if all things are equal, a carrier that has twice as many powered vehicles and travels twice as many miles in a year will have twice the number of accidents and unsafe driving violations. Because of this factor, carriers that are growing should/must update their MCS-150 more often than every other year so they can be properly compared with their peers.
When carriers are reducing their size, based on vehicle counts, it’s as important to provide updates more often than biennially. This is because the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) plan uses a carrier’s MCS-150 vehicle count as the starting point to determine the fee bracket. The more vehicles reported, the greater the likelihood of being in a higher fee bracket. Changing from one bracket to the next can mean the difference of hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars that the carrier pays.

C = Counting Vehicles and Drivers. As stated, getting the counts right can make a difference in a carrier’s CSA peer group and the fee bracket for UCR. But what vehicles and drivers should be counted? At first glance, the driver count seems the more difficult of the two to calculate. The FMCSA wants the drivers broken out by the number that operate strictly intrastate (within one state) and the number that operate interstate (in multiple states). The agency then wants those totals broken down into drivers that operate exclusively within a 100 air-mile radius and drivers that work outside of the 100 air-mile radius. Those four totals need to add up to the total number of drivers.
From the total number of drivers, a separate count is needed for the number of CDL drivers. At this point, it seems almost as bad as doing your own taxes on the long form, but it needn’t be. The driver counts are based on an average workday. The FMCSA is not expecting carriers to break out the spreadsheets and pivot tables. They are looking for an educated overview of the operation. The data is used more from a census point of view rather than from an enforcement stance. Your driver count does not enter into the calculation of any safety scores.

The exercise is completed more easily when you work it out backwards. Start with the number of drivers that operate CMVs on any given (average) day. Break that count into drivers that are likely to stay within 100 air-miles (not necessarily qualifying for the short-haul exception). The outside the air-mile number is then the difference from the total. Break those numbers out into the average that run intrastate versus interstate. The interstate versus intrastate breakdown is most important if taking advantage of the often more permissive intrastate rules.

Counting vehicles seems like it would be easier than drivers, and it might be if the count also used the “on an average workday” instructions. But, the MCS-150 instructions are a bit confusing regarding which vehicles to count. Thankfully, MCSA-1 will eventually replace the MCS-150. The MCSA-1 is much clearer and provides exactly what the FMCSA is looking for.

The vehicle count is based on the number of vehicles, on the day the form is submitted, that have a weight of 10,001 pounds or more (rated, actual or used in combination) and are operating under the carrier’s USDOT number. For the purpose of the operation, count vehicles that are registered to the carrier or have been leased for more than 30 days in the last year. On the MCS-150 there is no distinction between inter- and intrastate vehicles. If the vehicle meets the description above, it should be counted.

The count does need to be broken down by the type of vehicle and whether the vehicle is owned by the carrier or leased. Leased vehicles are subdivided by whether the lease agreement is a term or a trip lease. The vehicle types are relatively straight forward. But one question that is often asked in this area is how to count pickup style trucks. Pickups are considered straight trucks.

The old adage goes, if all else fails, read the directions. That’s good advice when registering or updating your registration with the FMCSA. On paper, the MCS-150 is three pages, but the form comes with eight pages of instructions and examples. For the most part, the instructions are simple and written in plain English. As with taxes, filers have two additional options: filing electronically or hiring a professional. The electronic versions have some help available through the process, which makes it a little easier. Since professionals are familiar with the process, there should be no guessing or headaches for those who choose this option.

By Wayne Schooling
Posted in: Wayne's World

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About Wayne Schooling
Wayne Schooling has been in the transportation business since 1962. Starting out as a driver, Wayne later made the switch to management. Over the years, he has accumulated 22 various awards and honors, been involved with 6 professional affiliations, has spoken at several lectures, and earned 3 professional diplomas. Wayne, who has written for 10-4 Magazine since 1994, is currently President Emeritus of the NorthAmerican Transportation Association (NTA).

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Friday, April 3, 2020

Rivian R1T First Look: Trucks go electric


Rivian's R1T is an electric pickup truck that promises off-road driving, more than 5000Kg of towing capacity, and a 400 mile range. We got to take a closer look at the LA Auto Show.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Peterbilt Trucks at the 2020 NTEA Work Truck Show


Medium Duty Marketing Manager, Phil Hall, walks us through the trucks on display in our Peterbilt booth at the NTEA Work Truck Show.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Making of an American Truck | Exceptional Engineering


Exceptional Engineering: The Making of an American Truck
The Swedish automotive group Volvo has been producing trucks for the North American market since the late 1970s. Every ten minutes, a new truck rolls off the assembly line, with a tailor-made production line equipped to cater to individual customer requirements. More than 500 color tones are available for the cab paint job alone. After just one day in assembly, the new trucks are ready to roll on public highways throughout the United States provided they have successfully completed a test drive on the factory track.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

What to Do If There Is an accident?

Q. What should I do at the scene of an accident ?

Ans.
.  STOP Immediately and move only if it is safe to do so.

Call 911 if there are injuries.

Call  the  police.  In  some  areas,  police  authorities  may  respond 
to  every  accident  scene.  They  may  consider  factors  such  as  the 
severity  and  location  of  the  accident  (some  police  authorities 
will not come to the scene if the accident is on private property). 
However,  you  should  attempt  to  notify  the  police.    You  should 
also be aware that most policies require notification to the police
within a specified time period if the accident is a hit and run.

Obtain   names,   addresses,   telephone   numbers,   and   driver’s  
license numbers from all drivers.

Obtain  license  plate(s)  and  vehicle  identification  numbers.    Ask 
to  see  driver’s  license(s)  and  vehicle  registration(s)  to  verify  the 
information is accurate.

Obtain   names,   addresses,   and   telephone   numbers   of   other  
passengers and any witnesses.

If   you   have   a   camera   or   a   cellphone,   take   photographs   of  
the  damage,  and  the  accident  scene  (traffic  controls,  visual 
obstacles).

If  the  owner  of  a  damaged  car  or  damaged  property  cannot  be 
located, leave a note with the names and addresses of the driver
and owners of the involved cars.

Notify your agent and/or your insurance company immediately.

If anyone is injured or the vehicle damage exceeds $750.00, you must  report  the  accident  to  the  Department  of  Motor  Vehicles within  10  days. Failure  to  notify  the  DMW may result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

Learn more at:  http://optimastaging.com/optimatemplate5/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Accident-What-Next-Brochure-10-15-15.pdf

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Safe Fleet’s Predictive Stop Arm™ (PSA) Detects an Average of 4-6 Daily Illegal Passbys Per Bus



Safe Fleet’s Predictive Stop Arm™ (PSA) Detects an Average of 4-6 Daily Illegal Passbys Per Bus
Illegal passbys are a common cause of school bus-related accidents
  • Safe Fleet customers pleased with successful deployment of patents-pending PSA pilot, will continue to deploy on school buses
  • First-to-market Smart Safety Solutions™ aims to proactively keep students out of harm’s way through the use of radar technology and predictive analytics
  • Live demonstration of the Smart Safety Solutions at the Annual National Association for Pupil Transportation Conference and Trade Show (NAPT) in Columbus, Ohio on Nov. 4, 2019
BELTON, Missouri November 4th, 2019 (7:00 AM ET) – Safe Fleet, a leading global provider of safety solutions for fleet vehicles, is pleased to announce the successful completion of the Predictive Stop Arm™ (PSA) pilots deployed in 30 school buses across North America. After this successful pilot phase, Safe Fleet customers have committed to continue to use the school bus safety technology on their school buses.
Safe Fleet has developed Advanced Technology for the Danger Zone to address school bus safety. The Danger Zone is the area extending 15 feet to the front, rear and sides of the bus that poses the highest risk to children of being hit by passing vehicles or their own bus.
The PSA is a first-to-market, patents-pending solution using radar technology and predictive analytics, to monitor oncoming vehicle traffic for probable stop arm violations. The technology helps to further increase safety in the Danger Zone by aiming to notify the bus driver and the students that it may not be safe to cross the street – before an accident occurs.
Safe Fleet’s Right-Hand Danger Zone (RHDZ) technology solution focuses on the right-hand side of the bus, where students are at risk of being caught in the bus doors, wheel wells, or struck by the departing bus. Making use of advanced video analytics, the solution detects students and their movements within a definable right-hand danger zone area and provides notification of potential danger to drivers before a potential accident occurs. One of the solution’s key defining characteristics is that it is not just detecting motion, but rather intelligently identifying objects and the threat they or the bus poses during and shortly after departure.
Safe Fleet will host live demonstrations of the new and innovative Smart Safety Solutions at the Annual National Association for Pupil Transportation Conference and Trade Show (NAPT) in Columbus, Ohio. The demonstrations will be held outside the west side connector of the Greater Columbus Convention Center on November 4, 2019 from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM  ET.
John Knox, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Safe Fleet, states, “The launch of our Smart Safety Solutions marks a significant milestone achievement for us this year. Children are unfortunately still being injured in accidents that could be prevented, and our solutions aims to save lives. Close calls shouldn’t happen and can be avoided with technology like the PSA and the RHDZ. Our goal is to pave the way towards a future where there will be a continuous decline in number of child fatalities in school transportation-related crashes through advancements in technology.”
George Sontag, Transportation Supervisor at Worthington Public Schools, a local school district in Columbus, Ohio, states: “We are proud to partner with Safe Fleet to pilot the PSA solution that takes a proactive approach to increase school bus safety. With the technology they provided, our children are safer and protected against tragic school transportation incidents.”
Safe Fleet expects to launch the PSA across many more districts in the coming year.
About Safe Fleet
Safe Fleet has a vision to reduce preventable deaths and injuries in and around fleet vehicles with a goal of ZERO accidents.  To that end, Safe Fleet’s best-of-breed smart solutions form an integrated safety platform for fleets of every type – School Bus, Transit Bus, Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement, Work Truck, Truck and Trailer, Construction, Agriculture, Waste & Recycling, Industrial and Military.
With our broad portfolio of market-leading safety solutions, 1,600 employees, and 14 manufacturing locations across North America, also serving Europe, Asia and the rest of the globe, Safe Fleet continues to innovate and deliver the smart solutions that fleets will need to survive and thrive in a changing world – and ensure that drivers, passengers, first responders, in-the-field workers, and pedestrians arrive home safely.
At Safe Fleet, we’re Driving Safety Forward.™
For more information about Safe Fleet and its portfolio of brands, please visit www.safefleet.net.
For further information, please contact:
Irene Lo
Magnolia Communications
irene@magnoliamc.com
604.306.1015