News

Babin Pleads Directly To Trump To Postpone ELD Mandate

By Staff, Go By Truck News, November 10, 2017

 Babin-Trump

The lawmaker who lost a bid in Congress to delay the upcoming electronic logging mandate is now appealing directly to President Trump to issue an executive order providing an immediate waiver for all truckers.

Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, sent Trump a letter yesterday pleading with him to delay the mandate “as long as possible, but at a bare minimum, I would encourage an initial waiver for all sectors until April 1, 2018” He expressed concern that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association is not yet able to “implement this massive, complicated regulation.”

“Millions of hardworking American truckers, farmers and small businesses need you to take immediate and decisive action to protect them from a massive new regulation that is scheduled to go into effect just 39 days from today. I am writing on their behalf with a plan to help you do just that,” the letter states.

“Accordingly, I respectfully request that you issue an Executive Order as soon as possible, instructing the Secretary of Transportation to provide an immediate waiver for all trucking sectors and operations subject to this mandate, until such time as it can be certified that implementation will not cause economic or other harm to the millions who are subject to it.”

Babin cited his three primary concerns with the mandate which, he points out, was written by the Obama administration; cost, safety and cybersecurity.

According to Babin, the Obama administration estimated the mandate will cost $2 billion in compliance costs and that, as a Republican adminstration, the people don’t want them to “mandate that every hardworking truck driver in America spend thousands of dollars on the purchase, installation and monthly service fee for a government approved tracking device.”

Babin also states that the perception that ELD’s will make roads safer is dubious and says some of the largest trucking companies with the worst safety records have already been using ELD’s for years.

As for cybersecurity, Babin points out that ELD’s connecting to the truck’s onboard computer leaves it vulnerable to being used in terror attacks. He cited a recent study on the issue by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association.

“Mr. President, rolling back the regulatory overreach of the previous administration has been one of our proudest achievements since you took office. Together, we have now used the Congressional Review Act to block 15 separate new burdensome regulations from going into effect, and the economy and stock market have responded in kind. A few powerful interests will tell you that this mandate is good for trucking, and our country, but millions of hardworking people across our country who came together exactly one year ago to elect you president profoundly disagree. I ask that you listen to those millions of voices, and give everyone at least another three months to get this right.”

The letter concludes with Babin asking Trump to act no later than Dec. 1 to truckers will have a clear understanding of intent before the scheduled deadline.

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ELDs, Hours of Service, Detention – And Data

By Deborah Lockridge, HDTTruckinginfo.com, November 14, 2017

data

A common complaint about mandatory electronic logging devices is that they will no longer allow drivers to (illegally) “fudge” their logs to compensate for overly long detention times at shippers and receivers. Yet the data that ELDs can provide could help carriers and the industry at large address the detention issue, both on a shipper-specific basis and on a regulatory level.

As I pointed out in an HDT editorial earlier this year, the underlying reason many drivers and fleets don’t want ELDs really wasn’t so much the notion of using an electronic device to track driver hours — it was the hours of service regulations themselves.

But by digging in their heels and resisting the ELD mandate, driver and fleets are only hurting their cause for revising the HOS regs to something that better reflects the day-to-day realities of trucking.

“Nobody can advocate for a change in the rules by saying we’re not going to follow the rules. The best way is to embrace the benefits of the technology and argue the [HOS] changes at a later time. We can emphasize problems with truck parking, with detention time, and ELDs will go a long way toward doing that, because we will have sound data and sound science behind us.”

ELD provider KeepTruckin has been doing just that, using the data it has gathered to create a petition to the FMCSA to allow drivers to extend their 14 hours to 16 hours when they are detained for extended periods of time.

Some of the findings in the data:

– 75% of drivers are detained at a pickup or drop off location for 2+ hours every week.

– 35% of drivers are detained at a pickup or drop off location for more than 6 hours every week.

– On average, a driver faces seven Extended Detention Events every month.

– Drivers drive 3.5 mph faster after an Extended Detention Event.

– 81% of drivers said they feel pressured to make it to their next stop in time.

– 32% said they drove faster after being detained at a stop.

While the intent of the 14-hour limit is to reduce fatigue related accidents, if it causes drivers to go faster to make up for lost time, does that result in driving that is less safe?

I don’t think we have enough data yet to know for sure, but it’s certainly food for thought. And as more and more telematics data is becoming available (see our December issue for more on data analytics), we’ll be able to get more of that data.

“Our ultimate goal is to help drivers and carriers get paid for detention time,” explained founder and CEO Shoaib Makani. “With 200,000 drivers using the KeepTruckin ELD, we know exactly which shippers and receivers are detaining drivers for excessive periods of time. We are going to publish that data so that carriers knows who the worst offenders are and can demand payment for detention time.”

Less Than Half Of Fleets Are ELD Compliant, According to Survey

By Staff, Go By Truck News, November 9, 2017 

Compliance, Agentur, bedingung, betrieb, betriebsausgaben, mŠnnchen, business, ŸberprŸfen, †berprŸfung, Sicherung, sichern, sicherstellen, durchsichtig, einhaltung, unterricht, firmen, firma, standard, gesellschaft, gesetz, gesetze, StrichmŠnnchen, Einhaltung, intelligenz, Transparenz, ŸberprŸfen, ordnung, strategie, marketing, Richtlinie, Richtlinien, policy prohibitive, signs, BWL, qualitŠt, regeln, Standards, signs, standard, symbol, text, transparenz, Kodizes, verarbeiten, vorschriften, words, work, wort, zeichen, festlegen

With less than six weeks until the Dec. 18 deadline for fleets to install mandatory electronic logging devices, one survey indicates there will be a lot of smaller fleets that are at risk for citations and fines – or who will leave the industry altogether.

CarrierLists, a company providing carrier sourcing tools for freight brokers and shippers across the US and Canada, publishes a weekly survey of carrier readiness for the ELD mandate. Its Nov. 3 survey of 1,900 carriers showed only 40% of fleets running five to 100 tractors are compliant already or have started the process of installing ELDs – although other survey data shows install rates are accelerating.

In early October, the survey showed only 23% of fleets operating 5 to 100 trucks had or were in the process of installing ELDs.

The low rate of ELD adoption for smaller carriers will affect the entire industry. Some of the smallest carriers are expected to exit the industry entirely as a result of the mandate.

“Anything less than 100% adoption will likely ripple through the trucking market in a tidal wave,” CarrierLists President Kevin Hill said. “Even at 90% compliance, it will create chaos with capacity and rates, until supply meets up with demand again.”

He pointed out that according to the American Trucking Associations, 97% of carriers operate fewer than 20 power units, and with over 586,000 for-hire carriers on file with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, “that means that as many as 380,000 carriers aren’t ELD-ready. Given the sample size and number of carriers on file, we can say with a high degree of confidence that fewer than half of the operating carriers in the United States are ready for this change.”

White House advances proposal to repeal regs that threaten glider kits

By James Jaillet, Overdriveonline.com, November 9, 2017

 EPA repeal of emmissions regs

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget has concluded its review of an attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency to repeal Obama-era emissions regulations placed on glider kit trucks, paving the way for publication of the proposed rule.

The OMB approved the proposal as “consistent with change,” meaning it issued recommendations to the EPA to alter the rule, but not substantively enough to delay its publication in the Federal Register. The EPA will likely publish the proposed rule in the coming weeks and accept public comments for 60 or 90 days. The OMB cleared the proposal just two and a half weeks after the EPA submitted it, signaling the administration is moving quickly to repeal the regs ahead of their effective date in January.

No details about the rule have been made public. According to a summary in the OMB’s regulatory dashboard, it would repeal the emissions standards enacted in 2016 by the EPA that threatened the glider kit industry because of its use of older engines.

The tightened emissions regulations placed on glider kit trucks were part of the sweeping Phase 2 emissions standards put in place by the Obama-era EPA. The EPA’s new glider kit rule would not affect the other components of the Phase 2 standards, which call for dramatic reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases by tractor-trailers. Those standards will be phased in over 10 years, should the Trump EPA not alter them.

The glider kit-specific portions of the Obama-era Phase 2 standards would force glider vehicle manufacturers, such as Fitzgerald Glider Kits, to drastically alter operations to meet the standards. Fitzgerald said last year that the rule would “decimate” the glider kit business, which accounts for about 3 percent of total new truck sales each year.

EPA representatives said last year, however, that the roughly 10,000 glider kits sold each year emit about the same amount of greenhouse gases and NOx as 200,000 trucks with engines compliant with 2010 emissions standards.

Growing Exemption Requests Highlight ELD Problems, According To OOIDA

By Staff, Go By Truck News, November 2, 2017

delay word circle marked on a calendar by a blue ballpoint pen. 3D illustration

The increasing number of requests for exemption from an electronic logging device mandate and the government’s recent responses proves there is no safety benefit of this technology. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association says this as one of many reasons the upcoming federal regulation requiring trucks to be equipped with electronic logging devices should be delayed.

“The reasons cited in the requests are not unique to just a single company or one sector of the trucking industry,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA. “Many of those same concerns apply to all affected by this one-size-fits-all mandate.”

Twelve organizations have filed exemption requests and 31 organizations have requested a delay.

“In one instance, they denied the request, and in a couple of others, they granted the requests, but in none of these did FMCSA’s decisions show any consistency in reasoning,” said Spencer.

In its denial to one group, the agency said that the request did not demonstrate how, without using ELDs, they would maintain a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level achieved without the exemption.

But in granting exemptions to two other groups, the agency made no mention of safety.

“It’s the Nightmare on ELD street,” said Spencer. “Confusion and concern surround this issue. The best solution is an alternate ending to the frightening scene by way of a delay.”

The timing of the announcements comes on the heels of a recent coalition push to delay the electronic logging device mandate.

OOIDA has contended that a delay is necessary until the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration addresses numerous unresolved issues identified by impacted stakeholders. There are significant technological and real-world concerns that have not been addressed by FMCSA. These concerns include the certification of devices, connectivity problems in remote areas of the country, cyber security vulnerabilities, and the ability of law enforcement to access data.

“The ELD mandate is estimated to cost impacted stakeholders more than $2 billion, making it one of the most expensive federal transportation rulemakings over the last decade,” said Spencer. “This is a massive, unfunded mandate that provides no safety, economic, or productivity benefits for those ensnared by the mandate. This is another example of a costly regulation imposed on small-business truckers that has no bearing on safety.”

The timing of the announcements comes on the heels of a recent coalition push to delay the electronic logging device mandate. Following is a list of coalitions of organizations seeking a delay:

Agricultural Retailers Association

American Pipeline Contractors Association

American Pyrotechnics Association

Associated Equipment Distributors

Distribution Contractors Association

Livestock Exporters Association of the USA

Lucas Oil Products

Mid-West Truckers Association

National Association of Chemical Distributors

National Association of Small Trucking Companies

National Aquaculture Association

National Corn Growers Association

National Cotton Council

National Electrical Contractors Association

National Federation of Independent Business

National Grain and Feed Association

National Ground Water Association

National Hay Association

National Motorists Association

National Precast Concrete Association

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

New England Fuel Institute

North American Wood Pole Council

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Petroleum Marketers Association of America

Power & Communication Contractors Association

Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute

SikhsPAC

Southern Pressure Treaters’ Association

United States Cattlemen’s Association

Source: Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

FMCSA nominee backs ELD mandate, but aware of ‘hardships’

By Neil Abt, FleetOwner.com, October 31, 2017

Raymond-Martinez

President Trump’s nominee to head the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said he expects the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate to go forward, but would have an “open-door policy” for concerned stakeholders.

“The goal is to not cripple commerce. The goal is to make roadways safer,” said Raymond Martinez, picked to run FMCSA by Trump in September.

Martinez appeared before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Though there was not a vote on Martinez, Sen. Roy Blunt said he expects the panel to move quickly.

Martinez said he is aware the ELD mandate “could cause serious hardships to small independent truckers,” and is willing to listen to reasonable suggestions on either ELD or hours-of-service exemptions.

However, Martinez also acknowledged paper-based logs are “susceptible to fraudulent entries.”

When asked about Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores being removed from public view,

Martinez called himself an “advocate for transparency.” He then added “the data does have to be accurate in order to be effective for the consumer … and to be fair to the industries regulated.”

If confirmed, he pledged to review CSA studies and “to make appropriate changes as recommended on how best to move forward.”

Martinez is currently chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. He previously served as chairman of the Governors Traffic Safety Committee in New York.

In his opening statement, Martinez gave his view on how he would run FMCSA.

“Implementation of laws and promulgating regulations should be done with the best information available, and must be viewed by stakeholders as reasonable, rational and fair. If confirmed as FMCSA administrator, I would continue to pursue data-driven policies,” he said.

Martinez appeared at the hearing alongside three other Department of Transportation nominees: Diana Furchtgott-Roth as assistant secretary of transportation for research and technology, Bruce Landsberg as a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, and Leon Westmoreland as director of the Amtrak.

Furchtgott-Roth said autonomous vehicles would be a key area of research. Automated technology and drones can improve safety and boost economic growth, but also may come with unintended risks on employment and population distribution, she said.

While the majority of the hearing was cordial, Furchtgott-Roth was on the receiving end of several critical questions surrounding her past comments questioning climate change and supporting the devolution of the federal highway system to states.

White House May Raise Gas Tax 7 Cents To Pay For Infrastructure

By Staff, Go By Truck News, October 27, 2017

Tax

The Trump administration may support the first hike in the federal gasoline tax in decades to pay for President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure package.

Trump’s economic adviser Gary Cohn told House lawmakers on Wednesday that they’ll get a chance to vote on a gas tax hike early next year as part of an infrastructure bill, according to two lawmakers who were present.

“Cohn seemed receptive to it,” one meeting participant told The Hill.

Separately, an industry source tells The Hill that the White House intends to back a 7-cent gas tax increase to pay for U.S. roads, bridges, highways and other public works, though it’s unclear if the proposal would be included in initial infrastructure legislation or if the administration will push to have it added at the committee level.

Trump signaled some openness to raising the federal gas tax earlier this year, telling Bloomberg News that it’s something he would “certainly consider.” But the idea quickly drew opposition from GOP lawmakers and influential conservatives.

The proposal, once billed as a 100-day priority for Trump, has taken a back seat to other GOP issues such as tax reform and health care. And Republicans have essentially shut the door on the idea of using an upcoming tax-reform bill to set aside some money for infrastructure.

With that funding option likely off the table, officials are eyeing other potential offsets for the rebuilding plan, including a hike in the federal gas tax – a concept that has been batted around in transportation circles for years. 

The Highway Trust Fund, which provides money for road construction and other transportation projects across the country, is financed by a federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel fuel.

But the taxes have been frozen since 1993, even as the buying power of the revenue has been sapped by improvements in car fuel efficiency.

A hike in the tax would help fix the ailing trust fund, which the Congressional Budget Office predicts will be insolvent in the next decade without concrete solutions. The business community and labor unions have long been pushing to raise the gas tax.

But the proposal is sure to run into resistance from influential conservative groups like Americans for Tax Reform, which opposes any tax increases, and from many Republicans, who say the gas tax is not a sustainable, long-term funding solution.

Opponents also argue that it would be unfair to the growing number of states that have already raised gas taxes on their own.

“It’s like putting a band-aid on the problem,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on transportation, told The Hill on Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) have long been staunchly opposed to the idea.

Some lawmakers want to pay for the initiative using the revenue from repatriation, or taxing corporate earnings stored overseas at a one-time, lower rate when it returns to the U.S. But the administration and GOP leaders have shown no indication that they plan to include any money for infrastructure in the tax-reform package.

Other lawmakers prefer to raise the fuel tax to help finance construction projects. Many Democrats, along with a small but fervent group of Republicans, support the concept, which also has the backing of the business community, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a growing number of red states.

While the issue is certain to face an uphill battle, some transportation advocates believe that having the support of the White House could help erode some Republican opposition in Congress and bring along key lawmakers such as House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), who has long maintained that all funding options are on the table when it comes to infrastructure.

Source: The Hill

Driver Shortage Could Hit All Time High This Year

By Deborah Lockridge, HDT Truckinginfo.com, October 22, 2017

ATA discusses driver shortage

ORLANDO – The trucking industry could be short 50,000 drivers by the end of 2017, warned American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello Sunday at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition.

The driver shortage was a key part of a wide-ranging presentation called “How Do Your Numbers Stack up?”

According to the report, ATA’s first in-depth examination of the driver shortage since 2015, the driver shortage eased in 2016 to roughly 36,500 – down from 2015’s shortfall of 45,000.

“We experienced a ‘freight recession,’ last year, which eased the pressure on the driver market,” Costello said. “Now that freight volumes accelerating again, we should expect to see a significant tightening of the driver market.”

In the report, ATA projects the shortage to reach 50,000 by the end of 2017 and if current trends hold the shortage could grow to more than 174,000 by 2026.

Driver turnover at large truckload fleets, which hit an all time high of 130% in 2005, averaged 81% last year with the freight slowdown. But by the second half of this year, it was back up to 90%, Costello noted.

While 50,000 is an all time high for the industry, he said, it feels even worse. “There’s quality vs. quantity. This is where the shortage feels much worse.”

Derek Leathers, president and CEO of Werner Enterprises, explained, “The real issue I think we’re all faced with is the quality driver shortage. The ability to find drivers who meet the quality expectations we all have. This summer we crested 100,000 applications for the year. The problem was the hire rate in terms of meeting quality criteria was 2.7%.”

Costello detailed the causes of the shortage in the report, including the demographics of the aging driver population, lifestyle issues, regulatory challenges and others; as well as possible solutions.

Over the next 10 years, he said, we need to attract almost 900,000 new people to the industry.

Demographics is a big part of the problem. ATA’s research arm, the American Transportation Research Institute, recently updated its demographic data on drivers and found some 57% of drivers are 45 or older. Only 4.4% are 20-24 years old, noted Rebecca Brewster, president and COO of ATRI.

“These demographics are daunting,” Leathers said. “I’m happy to report ours have moved about 10 years to the left, thanks to the focus we’ve put on bringing more young people in.”

“While the shortage is a persistent issue in our industry, motor carriers are constantly working to address it,” Costello said. “We already see fleets raising pay and offering other incentives to attract drivers. Fleets are also doing more to improve the lifestyle and image of the truck driver, but there are also policy changes like reducing the driver age as part of a graduated licensing system, or easing the transition for returning veterans, that can make getting into this industry easier and therefore help with the shortage.”

This led to a discussion of ATRI’s efforts to develop a younger driver assessment tool. The idea is to look at the characteristics of some of the industry’s best drivers and look at things such as personality traits, health, risk tolerance, age, attitudes regarding safety, and cognitive ability, and try to find younger candidates with similar traits.

“As we thread this needle as an industry,” Leathers said, “we’re going to have to bend over backwards to address every safety concern and some we probably haven’t thought of.”

Brewster noted that a new data point added to ATRI’s industry metrics this year was more granular data on incentives and bonuses. The average bonus safety bonus per driver was $1,499, the average on-time delivery bonus was $1.946, with an average $949 starting bonus and $1,143 retention bonus.”

Leathers mused, “Do these reflect what we stand for? In my mind what we ought to be doing is paying the folks in the truck in our fleet today and taking care of them every way we can. Put the money with the person who’s already proven they can do it,” rather than large sign on bonuses. “It’s nice to see more emphasis on safety, on-time and retention bonuses.”

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