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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


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Truckers United: A True Brotherhood

Apr
1,
2009
2

For those who have been following, you know that there has been a tremendous amount of discussion regarding the hours of service rules and the laws of the State of Virginia in regards to truck drivers and the lack of parking. There have been numerous posts on other blogs and many news stations have picked up on it, making the general public more aware of this dangerous situation.

To sum things up, the FMCSA has established the hours of service rules stating that drivers must take a 10 hour break after 11 hours of driving. Next, there is a shortage of parking which has existed for many years now, forcing truck drivers to stop and park at either unsafe or inconvenient locations, taking the law required 10 hour break.  The state of Virginia has proposed to close even more parking areas, creating an even more dangerous situation for drivers who need to rest. To make matters worse, law enforcement within the state is ticketing drivers who stop to take their rest.  They wake them up to tell them that they are not allowed to park in the areas they are resting in, thus forcing them to “move on”, driving illegally by breaking the required law for the 10 hour break.  As you can see, either way they end up breaking the law.  Without enough parking available, they are forced to park illegally or forced to drive illegally, without their much needed and federal law required rest.

Recently it has come to our attention that two brothers, JB and Frederick Schaffner ( SilverSurfer) are doing much to remedy this problem as well as many other trucking issues which exist within the trucking industry. Their goal is to create a true unity among truck drivers and be at the aid of drivers in need.

JB and Silver Surfer

Many of you have complaints and are angry and frustrated about these driving conditions and laws which you have been forced to adhere to. Mr Schaffner has written a guideline to go by when addressing the authorities for these matters. We think it should be read and action should be taken if this applies to you:

SIlverSurfer:

“It has been brought to my attention to provide some help with what needs to be addressed. Here are some talking points to aid in your communication…”

1. Ask for the lead person in the specific agency your contacting. Example: Secretary of Public Safety Administrator Ms. Hazelgrove. Always ask for the administrator, but expect to possibly get their assistant.

2. Be clear on why you’re calling. This is an issue of truckers being ticketed and forced to violate HOS regulations and drive tired by law enforcement. Impress upon the individual you’re speaking with the seriousness of this issue. That a situation is being created by Virginia’s law enforcement which could result in a tragic situation, and they are using a law which is incompatible with FMCSA regulations.

3. Point out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulation being violated. It is Part 355, Compatibility of State laws and regulations effecting interstate motor carrier operations. The state is required to review and determine whether state laws are compatible with FMCSA regulations. And in this specific case…a “Waiver of Determination” [355.25(d)] must be on file to allow the enforcement of the laws being enforced.

4. Remain respectful and don’t become frustrated when ignorance is being relayed back to you in the conversation. Take whatever contact info offered and follow through with contacting the individual you are told to contact. When you do…let that individual know exactly who told you to call them.

5. This is the important part…repeat call 2 to 3 times a week. Do exactly the same thing with your communication. Make it known through this process we are not going away until they abide by the laws which are already in place, and being violated.

This is a battle we can win. The law is very clear regarding this issue…and it’s on our side.

STAND UP, SPEAK OUT OR ACCEPT WHAT COMES!!!

Safe Trails and God Bless,
-SilverSurfer-

This was taken from a recent post in a social media group we encourage all to join:

http://unitedcdl.ning.com/group/theamericandriver

“We are calling upon all truckers to take the few minutes each day and hound these state agencies regarding the time limit parking enforcement, which is in direct violation with FMCSA’s regulations.”

The FMCSA regulations being violated is Part 355

Governor’s Office
Tim Kaine
804-786-2211

VA DMV/Motor Carrier Services
MSCAP Administrator
804-367-0266

Secretary of Public Safety
Ms. Hazelgrove
804-786-5351

Secretary of Transportation
Ms. Evelyn Shelton or Ms. Melony Roberts
804-786-8032

Join us and speak out in the name of safety.

Safe Trails and God Bless,
-SilverSurfer-

SilverSurfer has also recently addressed the  Secretary of Transportation within the state of Virginia proving this,  by providing stated Federal Laws, that their actions toward truck drivers are illegal when based upon the Federal laws provided by the FMCSA. Included in part of the ending to his letter, he stated, “if only someone within the state of Virgina’s government would only stand up and do what’s right.”

These are the Federal Laws which he referred to when addressing the issue.

Requested Information:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations

Part 395: Hours of service of drivers
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrguidedetails.asp?rule_toc=764&section_toc=764

This link is to a U.S. Department of Transportation news release.
Please take note of paragraph 4 stating, "...new federal rule
 requires all truck drivers to spend at
least 10 hours resting between shifts before being allowed
 back on the road."

FMCSA 07-08
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Contact: Kristin Schrader
Tel.: (202) 366-9999
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/news/news-releases/2008/111808.htm

This link is to the Federal Register / Vol. 73, No.224 / Wednesday, November 19,
2008 / Rules and Regulations (69567), in which the final rulemaking process was
completed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding new hours of
service of drivers (part 395.)
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/rulemakings/final/E8-27437-HOS-Final-Rule-11-19-08.pdf

Part 350: Commercial motor carrier safety assistance program
350.333 Guidelines for the State Law and Regulation Compatibility Review
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrruletext.asp?chunkKey=09016334800242d9&keyword=355

Part 355: Compatibility of State Laws and regulations effecting interstate motor
carrier operations
355.25 Adopting and enforcing compatible laws and regulations
(a) General.  No State shall have in effect or enforce any State
law or regulation pertaining to commercial motor vehicle safety
in interstate commerce which the
Administrator finds to be incompatible with the provisions
of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

(b) New State Requirements.  No State shall implement
any changes to a law or regulation which makes that or any
other law or regulation incompatible with a provision of
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

(c) Enforcement.  To enforce compliance with this section,
the Administrator will initiate a rulemaking procedure under
part 389 of this subchapter to declare the
incompatible state law or regulation pertaining to
commercial motor vehicle safety unenforceable in interstate commerce.

(d) Waiver of Determination.  Any person (including any State)
may petition for awaiver of a determination made under paragraph
(c) of this section. Such petition will also be considered in a
rulemaking proceeding under part 389. Waivers shall be
granted only upon a satisfactory showing that continued enforcement
of the incompatible State law or regulation is not contrary to the
public interest and is consistent with the safe operation of
commercial motor vehicles.
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrruletext.asp?chunkkey=09016334800242e8

The bottom line: We must remain united and continue the true
 brotherhood of trucking.
Together we can and will continue to
 "raise the standards of the trucking industry.

© 2009 – 2013, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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2 Responses to Truckers United: A True Brotherhood. - Post a Comment

  1. Chuck

    There’s a lot of issues in the transportation industry that preturbs me as a driver of twenty-three years. Parking in a safe place to rest is at the top. States like Nebraska and Arkansas don’t allow parking on exit and entrance ramps even when there’s plenty of room for the general public to go by. I wish we truck drivers could boycott these states by no delivering freight anywhere in the states that treat us so contemptually. especially municipal, state and government institutions. Especially them. I’d bet their attitude would change then after not receiving any goods for awhile.

  2. Allen Smith

    Hi Chuck: as you know drivers have been talking about striking and such things as you have mentioned, but I doubt if they ever will. Fear of losing their jobs, etc., I’m sure plays a big part of it. I wish they would though. Shut down for 7 days and see what happens! Truckers are taken for granted and the general public either doesn’t understand the importance of this industry in relationship to America’s survival or they just don’t care. But you’re right …. if they were to ever shut down for a good length of time, the country would surely take notice! They would have to, and just as they did in Canada years ago, as well as other places around the world, their attitude would change!

What do you have to say about this?

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