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Federal Trucking Regulators Introduce Two New Rules:


The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carriers Safety Association) announced last week the new rules for drivers. The first change is in the training requirements for truck and bus drivers. The prior proposal would have required truck drivers to complete 30 hours of training at the wheel before they were even eligible to complete the commercial driver license test. However the new rule states that training hours are determined by the instructor’s evaluation and how well the trainee performs the driving procedures. A score of 80% is required to pass the evaluation. The second rule announced allows motor carriers the chance to document when a new hire either refused or had failed their new driver drug and alcohol tests. This rule additionally requires that employers routinely check the database against current employees to see if drug or alcohol violations occurred in the past that would decrease their ability to complete ‘safety-sensitive’ functions as part of their driver duties. Both rules go into effect in the coming months, but do not require compliance until the year 2020. This lengthy period is to allow the necessary time to design the technology that would be needed. It will be required that the new driver must give consent before their name is checked in the database. If an employee does test positive for drugs or alcohol, they must complete the return-to-duty drug/alcohol rehabilitation process before they can begin working again.

Read the full article in the Transport Topics Magazine issued week of December 12, 2016


Freight Forecast: Year-Over-Year Decline


According to the Americas Commercial Transportation (ACT) Research, numbers have indicated a 28% decrease in truck orders from September this year to that of the same month in 2015. Reports have shown a total of 13,900 units in September during a traditionally slower month out of the year. ACT Vice President Steve Tam was quoted in the Transport Topics magazine saying, “This level of order intake is in line with how we see the industry performing. We expect to see a modest seasonal uptake in the fourth quarter, probably around 19,000 units.” Analyzing month by month on year-over-year basis the average numbers slumped by 40%. The article in Transport Topics Magazine informs on various statistics similar in nature but then goes on to note a relatively positive trend. Earlier in 2016 the inventory of unsold heavy trucks peaked at 25,000 but more recent data has shown that the number has now dropped closer to 15,000. Analysts from the ACT Meeting discussed much about the state of the U.S. Economy and left readers with a more positive thought. “The truck forecasts are built on a few more years of steady, though uninspiring economic growth. There do not seem to be serious warning signs for a recession currently.”

Read the full article in the Transport Topics Magazine issued week of October 10th, 2016.


Tolls in Illinois Rise For a 3rd Year in a Row:


Looking back at 2015, trucks faced a 40% increase in the amount they pay to Illinois highway tolls and another 10% rise in 2016. Following this trend, trucks will face another 10% increase in January of 2017. This three year increase is contributing to the $12 billion / 15 year Illinois highway project that began in 2011. The plan is to widen and rebuild the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (Interstate 90) which allows travel from Chicago to Rockford. In addition they plan to construct a new interchange as part of the Elgin O’Hare that would connect the Tri-State tollway (I-294) to (I-57) while building a new Illinois route 390 and I-490 tollway. Due to this toll increase trend, several alternate routes have become more attractive of an option if time is a non-concern. Truck drivers throughout Illinois ask themselves if the congestion around Chicago is worth the price they are paying in tolls. An approximate hour and fifteen minutes is saved by using the tollway to get to Rockford rather than taking side routes but at the expense of $30 paid in tolls. Could this become a safety issue for drivers if they routinely avoid the price of the toll?

Read the full article in the Transport Topics Magazine issued week of October 31st, 2016.


How Will the ELD Mandate Affect Me?

How Will the ELD     Mandate Affect Me?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is mandating all non-exempt commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to use an electronic logging device (EDL) to record a driver’s Record of Duty Status (RODS) in place of the current logbook method to verify compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) requirements.