Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


Lowering Trucking’s CDL Training Standards

Jan
27,
2016
0

Free CDL Training

For 20 years, one of the major concerns for veteran drivers and truck driver advocates has been the lack of clearly defined CDL (Commercial Driver License) training standards stated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

 The FMCSA mission statement is as follows:
The primary mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

It would only seem logical that the first and most important requirement to assure minimal crashes, injuries, and fatalities, would be to ensure that the training for drivers of vehicles, which can weigh upward to 80,000 pounds, be of the utmost priority.  Unfortunately these standards have not been clearly defined by the FMCSA, and therefore many Truck Driving Schools  have allowed profits to dictate quality of training offered to career seeking students.

After many years of  continuous appeals to the FMCSA by those in the industry to create stricter standards to improve the training for future drivers,  the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established the Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee (ELDTAC) to conduct a negotiated rulemaking on entry-level training for drivers of commercial motor vehicles. The committee will provide recommendations based on a consensus-based process on the development of minimum training requirements for individuals applying for a commercial driver’s license, in accordance with the requirements of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)

The FMCSA’s ELDTAC committee continues to work on the long awaited and badly needed Rule to improve CDL training standards. ( Last meeting was May 2015)

Now, for those not familiar with how trucking and the training to obtain a CDL works, here’s a brief summary.

You take a written test, just as you would to get a non-commercial license. If you pass, you receive a CLP ( Commercial Learners Permit)  You then go to a truck driving school and pay anywhere from $1500- $7500 to receive enough instruction and training to be able to take a “Skills Test” to receive your CDL license ( You must have your CLP 14 days before being allowed to take the skills test.)  While you have a CLP, you must have a CDL holder in the front seat at all times while driving.
Most quick training schools and company training schools are about 3 weeks in duration and offer little to no over the road driver training, usually teaching students on lots marked with cones.

Note:  Although most students who graduate CDL school and then take Skills Test have little to no actual Over the Road (OTR) driving experience, there are schools which do offer more training. Many of these schools are either vo-tech or community colleges. There are also private schools offering much more training, preparing students responsibly. These schools do this because of their integrity and high standards, not because of government guidelines and rules.

Who gives the skills test?
States develop their own tests which must meet the minimum Federal standards provided for in Subpart G and H of 49 CFR Part 383. Model driver and examiner manuals and tests have been prepared and distributed to the States to use, if they wish.

* Each basic knowledge test, i.e., the test covering the areas referred to in 49 CFR 383.111 for the applicable vehicle group, shall contain at least 30 items, exclusive of the number of items testing air brake knowledge.
* To pass the knowledge tests (general and endorsement), applicants must correctly answer at least 80 percent of the questions.
* To pass the skills test, applicants must successfully perform all the required skills (listed in 49 CFR 383.113 through 49 CFR 383.123)

Third Party Skills Test ( such as Carrier Training Schools)
Third Party Skills Testing:

A State may authorize a person (including another State, an employer, a private driver training facility or other private institution, or a department, agency or instrumentality of a local government) to administer the skills tests, if the following conditions are met:

* Tests must be the same as those given by the State.
* The third party has an agreement with the State containing, at a minimum, provisions that:
o Allow the FMCSA, or its representative, and the State to conduct random examinations, inspections, and audits without prior notice.
o Require the State to conduct on-site inspection at least yearly.
o Require that all third party examiners meet the same qualification and training standards as State examiners.
* At least annually, State employees must evaluate the programs by taking third party tests as if they were test applicants, or by testing a sample of drivers tested by the third party and then comparing pass/fail rates.
* Reserve unto the State the right to take prompt and appropriate remedial action against the third-party testers in the event that the third-party fails to comply with State or Federal standards for the CDL testing program, or with any other terms of the third-party contract.

Iowa Rules Transportation Dept

Iowa Department of Transportation- CLP and CDL

Trucking Training Companies request more Leniency of training standards as FMCSA attempts to establish Stricter training standards.

Although, the ELDTAC committee appears to attempt to create a rule to IMPROVE training standards,  C.R. England and CRST have ironically requested an exemption to reduce standards.  Both C.R. England and CRST have requested that drivers who have their CLP and passed a Skills Test will be able to drive WITHOUT a CDL Holder sitting in the front seat next to them.  This will allow the truck to RUN TEAM ( while the CLP holder has little to no OTR driving experience), running the truck 24/7 as each driver sleeps while the other drives.  This is Team Driving, not new driver training.

Although there were hundreds of objections last year regarding compromising safety when the C.R. England exemption request was posted on FMCSA website, the FMCSA granted the C.R. England exemption request regardless

CRST’s exemption request remains open on FMCSA’s website and comments are due Feb, 2016.
Read “Commercial Driver’s License Standards: Application for Exemption; CRST Expedited (CRST)”

Read Comments

Write your Comment

FMCSA’s response to CRST’s exemption request should be this:
‘Because we are presently investigating and creating Training Standards for ENTRY LEVEL DRIVERS at the ELDTAC Committee , we can not offer you a decision at this time.’

A petition has been created on We the People to ensure training companies do not decrease the already lacking training standards.

THE PETITION “Stop Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from granting unsafe exemptions for truck driver trainees”

Stop Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from granting unsafe exemptions for truck driver trainees

Stop Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from granting unsafe exemptions for truck driver trainees

 Summary and Facts to know which  describe the seriousness of this petition,  including the dangers of inexperienced drivers on the highways, and the importance of commenting on the FMCSA Docket regarding CRST Exemption Request as well as the need to sign the Petition.

1) It is and has been known for many years( over 20) that students coming out of CDL SCHOOLS holding a CLP ( commercial learners permit) are not qualified to drive OTR as most have ZERO OTR driving experience from the schools.

2) CLP holders must take a Skills Test to receive their CDL license. The Skills test does not include OTR driving and the “tester” is in a grey area.

3) After the CLP holder passes the Skills Test, most of the time they do not have much more driving experience than they did when they first entered the Truck Driving School.

4) The Insurance companies understand this, and that is why MOST Companies CAN NOT hire a new CDL holder as the Insurance Company requires “X” amount of time driving experience before they will insure them. These Companies understand they do not have enough driving experience and are an accident risk.
HOWEVER: The large carriers are “Self-Insured” therefore they bypass not being able to “get insurance”, thus they take on new CDL holders to and act as “training company” These companies are called “training companies”, but are actually Team Driving Profit makers.

5) Many of these companies are awarded government subsidies for “training new CDL holders” and giving an opportunity for creating new jobs.  This is a money maker for these companies, especially when the turnover rate is over 100% for these new drivers. The failure rate for new drivers coming into the industry remains HIGH also.   Churning New Drivers is a profit maker for 2 reasons:
a) they receive government subsidies
b) They hire the new CDL Holder at much lower wages, hauling freight for as low as 15cpm, running team.  Make no mistake, running that truck 24/7 while paying 2 drivers low wages is a MONEY MAKER.

6) The FMCSA understands the degree of lack of training  of  CDL schools as well as the exploitation of the Self Insured Carriers masquerading as Training Companies.
They know this because of extreme pressure from the Trucking Community and were compelled by MAP21 to create STANDARDS for ENTRY LEVEL TRAINING. The FMCSA ELDTAC committee meets to eventually establish final training standards. ( It has been over a year since the committee was created)
I myself have been writing about the dangers and exploitation of students from CDL Training Schools since 2000. Everyone in the industry knows many CDL Training Schools are a farce, teach little, and are a money maker. We recommend vo-tech and community colleges as well as a few private schools dedicated to superb training. We do not recommend carrier training schools.

Related Article by Desiree Wood: Does this Sound Safe to You? If Not, Please Take Action …

7) According to the Laws the way they are written now, a CLP holder must have a CDL holder sitting in the front seat with them while they are driving. Notice it does not require that CDL holder in that seat to be a trainer, nor does it state that the CDL holder needs to have any required driving time experience.( as they are supervising the CLP holder who HAS LITTLE TO NO driving experience.) In other words, it is not uncommon to have a CLP with no driving experience, driving team with a CDL holder of 6 months or less!!   So much for FMCSA being about SAFETY!
NOTE:  Even though this may sound ludicrous to most, what it more outrageous, is the fact that training companies are requesting exemptions and more leniency from these already unsafe requirements!

8) The CLP holder who passes the “skills test” must pick up their hard copy of their license in their home state. Training companies usually send them by Bus to pick up their license.

9) Now, CRST is asking for an exemption, saying that their CLP holder who has passed the so called “skills” test” should be able to drive with a CDL holder who DOES NOT HAVE TO SIT IN THE FRONT SEAT WITH THEM. They state that it is a formality to pick up their CDL in their Home State, and it is causing financial hardship on CRST, requesting that the FMCSA allow the CLP holder to DRIVE TEAM ( not having to have the CDL holder in the seat next to them, but rather sleeping in the bunk) so they can “drive the CLP holder” home, and moving freight and allowing for the CLP holder to make $$
The problem with this is:
a) the CLP holder makes close to nothing as long as they do not have their CDL in hand
b) CRST would have up to 6 months to get them home, meaning they have 6 months to exploit the driver for hardly any pay . Most quit before the 6 months…. And then owe them 5-7 thousand dollars for their schooling. Yup, that free schooling wasn’t so free after all.

COMMENTS SHOULD BE MADE TO THE FMCSA COMMENT SECTION.   It is imperative that we ALL do! If for nothing else, but at least a record of thousands of people saying how unsafe the FMCSA Training Standards (or lack of) are!

The Petition must be signed.  Please take the time and fill in your info and then confirm when you receive your email confirmation.
The Importance of the Petition is to create an even greater awareness to the general public who have no idea of how unsafe the roads are as they drive the highways with people who are required to have ZERO driving experience and just a permit.

Remember, the petition was created because the FMCSA already granted CR ENGLAND the exemption, despite of 100’s of comments opposing and saying how unsafe it is. THEY GRANTED IT ANYWAY.

We are hoping the petition will override ( OR PREVENT) another poor safety decision should it again be made by the FMCSA, allowing even more leniency, rather than increasing Entry Level Training standards, which is what they are supposed to be in the process of DOING!

Final Notes and Additional Facts

1) You have until Feb 4th to make your comment to the FMCSA.

2) Also note;  by hiring new CDL and CLP graduates at Low wages, this keeps experienced driver wages down as well as freight rates, which keep owner operator profits also down.

3) We need to Demand statistics for accidents from drivers with less than 1 years experience. These records are not to be found anywhere, and yet the safety departments have the data. They are not allowing the data to be known.
It is these statistics that are combined with ALL CDL drivers data, that is causing more regulations and “safety” gadgets to be applied in Trucks.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS; IMPROVE SAFETY BY INCREASING TRAINING STANDARDS (along with eliminating racing the 14 hour clock) … and wages will go up and the need for more regulations will be lessened.

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Trucker Gets Shot: Allow Truckers to Defend Themselves

Jan
11,
2016
4

“Another Trucker Gets Shot: SBTC Challenges NRA to Back their Michael’s Law Amendment to 18 U.S. Code 926A to Allow Truckers to Defend Themselves…”

SBTC Chairman James Lamb

SBTC Chairman James Lamb

In the aftermath of yet another trucker being shot last month— this time, 72 year old senior citizen Lloyd Jerry Matson, Sr., who still works as a truck driver, the Chairman of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (“SBTC”) issued another statement today challenging the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) to change what the SBTC Chairman believes is its current, failed course and immediately join the SBTC’s “Michael’s Law Amendment” bandwagon in the interest of protecting and promoting the Second Amendment rights of all Americans. According to “Livetrucking.com,” Matson could not find a safe place to park and was shot after parking in an unsafe location.

SBTC Chairman James Lamb said he has yet to receive a response to his November 2015 request to the NRA for NRA’s support for the SBTC’s proposed amendment to current Federal law codified at 18 U.S. Code 926A. Lamb’s proposed bill, referenced below in its entirety, would expand the existing Federal “Interstate Transportation of Firearms” statute into a right-to-carry law for all Americans engaged in crossing state lines whether working –or engaged as consumers– in interstate commerce. Lamb indicated the recent shooting of Mr. Matson made the NRA’s delay in responding concerning. Lamb advised there have been over 500 workers in the transportation industry murdered in the past decade, according to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“While the NRA thinks about our proposal, we are losing transportation workers to homicide at the average rate of 4 people every month,” Lamb said.

********
PROPOSED MICHAEL’S LAW AMENDMENT

18 U.S. Code 926A; (Renamed): Interstate possession, transportation and carrying of firearms…

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of any Federal law or any Federal rule, an American citizen who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from possessing, carrying, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to carry on his person in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity and transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place in any state to any other place in a different state in accordance with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

(2) FEDERAL PREEMPTION The states are hereby preempted from regulating firearms that are transported into, out of, or through their state by an American citizen who is not a resident of that state, regardless of whether or not the firearm is carried in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity, pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

********

Offered as what Lamb refers to as a “compromise bill,” that is– a compromise to the SBTC’s original “Mike’s Law” bill that called for an national firearms permitting system for those working in interstate commerce, a bill which NRA and NRA members objected to as a special carve out bill for truckers that some feared would create a national database that could later be used to confiscate firearms, Lamb’s Plan B bill, dubbed the “Michael’s Law Amendment,” would effect Federal preemption against anti-gun states and afford all Americans a Federal right-to-carry into, out of, or through any state. The proposed statute prohibits a state from regulating the gun rights of American citizens crossing state lines if they are not residents of that state, thus respecting “states’ rights” guaranteed by the 10th Amendment.

Like the original “Mike’s Law,” the new bill is also named after over-the-road truck driver, Michael Boeglin who was sadly murdered and burned in his truck on June 26, 2014. Lamb advised he secured permission to name this bill after Michael Boeglin from Boeglin’s widow, Ashley Boeglin. Like Matson, Boeglin, too, had been forced to park in an unsafe location due to a lack of safe nearby parking, according to a 2014 report by The Trucker.

“We believe the national reciprocity path the NRA has been on for about a decade now clearly has not worked. And even if it somehow were to get through Congress in one of its recent versions– and were to be signed by the president– we think it would be successfully challenged and overturned on 10th Amendment grounds at the insistence of anti-gun states that don’t want to be coerced by the Federal government into accepting other states’ firearms permits. That is, we believe the NRA has essentially been spinning its wheels for nearly 10 years, rather than offering its members and all pro-gun Americans a real, bona fide solution to the Second Amendment crisis. In contrast, we believe a bill like our “Michael’s Law Amendment,” which is firmly grounded on the ‘Commerce Clause’ of the U.S. Constitution, would withstand judicial scrutiny and be upheld if challenged. In other words, its time for the NRA to adopt a ‘Plan B’ and the SBTC’s Michael’s Law Amendment is it,” SBTC Chairman James Lamb said today.

Lamb’s 2014-2015 Petition to Congress has been signed by more than 11,000 Americans who support the gun rights of truckers like Matson, who are currently on the road without a lawful means to protect themselves.

“We listened to NRA members and heard them loud and clear. We are excited by the prospects of success if the NRA gets on board. In fact, last April, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio personally expressed to me he is in support of our right-to-carry efforts and even indicated he would sign such a gun bill into law if elected president. So we look forward to an NRA backed, Rubio-sponsored bill in the Senate and a champion in the House to stand up for Americans’ gun rights,” Lamb said.

Lamb indicated he hopes on behalf of nearly 9 million Americans who work in the transportation industry, many of whom are NRA members, that the SBTC would hear from the NRA that they have decided to support the Michael’s Law Amendment and stand up for all Americans’ gun rights in a real, meaningful way.

Related Post  SBTC Challenges the NRA to Stand Up for Truckers’ Gun Rights

CALL TO ACTION
CONVINCE NRA TO SUPPORT “MICHAEL’S LAW”
IN FURTHERANCE OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT… 

“Dads Medical Expenses”

ABOUT SBTC
The SBTC is a network of transportation professionals, associations, and industry suppliers that is on the front lines when it comes to issues that affect transportation professionals in small business. We seek to promote and protect the interests of small businesses in the transportation industry. We support teamwork, cooperation, transparency, and partnerships among truckers, carriers, brokers, and shippers and seek to promote ethical business practices and do business with the utmost integrity.

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Trucking 2015 Highlights and 2016 Outlook

Jan
8,
2016
0
Trucking 2015 Highlights and 2016 Outlook

Trucking 2015 Highlights and 2016 Outlook

It’s 2016 and many of us are reflecting upon 2015 and so many of the events which have taken place.  There were many highlights during 2015 , including one of the most controversial of the year, FMCSA’s Final Rule for the ELD mandate.

The ELD mandate will apply to all drivers required to keep records of duty status, except drivers who
1. keep records of duty status in 8 or fewer days out of every 30 working days,
2. drivers in drive-away and tow-away operations and
3. truckers operating vehicles older than model year 2000.

The mandate will take effect 12/2017.

COERCION RULE Another FMCSA new rule to protect drivers from being compelled to violate federal safety regulations was published Nov.30 2015 in the Federal Register. Known as the “driver coercion” rule, it provides FMCSA with the authority to go after not only carriers, but also shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries. This has a 60 day wait time to take effect.

The long awaited highway bill, FAST Act of 2015, a five-year highway bill which passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama Dec. 4, 2015.  In it were many victories for drivers, including the the striking of the Denham Amendment which would have directly spelled out that states cannot regulate truckers who fall under federal hours-of-service regulations. This amendment could have derailed efforts to reform  driver pay and  compensating drivers for detention time.

 Transportation Bill included the following

CSA Reform .As required by the law, the FMCSA pulled the Compliance Safety Accountability Safety Measurement System and its BASIC categories of carrier safety analysis and evaluation from public view

Detention time study: The bill requires FMCSA to study and produce a report on how truck driver detention at shippers and receivers impacts drivers, their schedules, their pay and impedance of flow of U.S. freight. –

Insurance rule study: Congress directs FMCSA to further study carrier liability insurance minimums and before initiating a rule to raise them

Under-21 truckers: A controlled study, to be performed by FMCSA, that will collect data on under-21 truckers who are former members of the military or reserves

Size/weight reform: No measures to change truck size and weight standards in the U.S. made it in the bill.

Carrier hiring standards’ was struck down. The House highway bill sought to put in place criteria that brokers, shippers and others would have been encouraged to use when making carrier hiring decisions. One of the criterion — which called for shippers and brokers to hire only carriers with “Satisfactory” safety ratings. Again, struck down.

34-hour restart in July 2013 until a study can be done REMAINS as part of the highway bill
As in the previous spending bill of 2014, the provision remains and states that the driver is not required to have two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods as part of the 34-hour off-duty period. Drivers are not required to wait 168 hours from the beginning of one restart period to the beginning of the next one. To have a valid restart, a property-carrying driver must simply have 34 consecutive hours off duty.

 Other Trucking Highlights of  2015

Truck Parking Crisis finally gets the attention it deserves.Wall Street Journal hones in on truck parking as well as others journals also

National Truck Parking Coalition  was formed as a result of the hard work of Hope Rivenburg and her Jason’s Law victory in Map21 – US DOT truck parking survey leads to pledge & National Coalition on Truck Parking

Mikes Law and the RIght To Carryhttp://askthetrucker.com/sbtc-challenges-the-nra-to-stand-up-for-truckers-gun-rights/

Kenny Cappel wins the “Right to Sleep” CDL driver Kenny Cappel was arrested for obstructing justice by Georgia Motor Carrier Compliance Officer Leigh A. Parsons as he refused to violate the Federally mandated Hours of Service rule. This led to SBTC (Small Business in Transportation Coalition) to File a Police Misconduct Complaint with U.S. Dept. of Justice. Result was Trucker victory for Obstruction of Justice “Right to Sleep” court case.

Trucker Driver Kenny Capell -Case Dismissed- Charged with Obstruction of Justice after being woken up during mandated 10 hour break

 Trucker Goals for 2016

WAGES and the perceived Truck Driver Shortage –  and the affects upon Driver Wages, which for some reason began to take on an increased sense of urgency in 2015, even more so than in the past.

For years the phrase “truck driver shortage” had become part of trucking’s language, but this year there appeared to be more emphasis and reality to it.
Read more “The Evolution of the Driver Shortage, Trucker Wages, and Safety”

But was there really a driver shortage to the degree and desperation that one was being led to believe?  The simplified answer is YES and NO.
The “Yes” part,;  drivers are leaving the industry, whether that be from retiring, illness, or they just had enough of regulations, life on the road, and low wages. The new generation was not as eager to be a part of the trucking industry either, as the lifestyle and sacrifice does not line up with the low wages being offered.
The “No” part of the driver shortage answer is because there remain plenty of drivers looking for work, but they, for some reason  are not hireable, either because of CSA and the associated PSP driver scores, or tainted DAC reporting, or simply choose not to work for Low Wages. The ATA blamed it on driver job hopping.  But why are they hopping?
Read more ” Defining the Truck Driver Shortage and the “Qualified Driver”

This year we believe that Truck Driver Wages are among the most crucial issues for professional drivers.  Although there are other very crucial topics to be concerned about, Driver Wages seem to be consistently affected by all other concerns.  As long as professional drivers are paid piece work ( CPM) and are racing a 14 hour clock, wages will be the center of all other concerns.

Examples:  ELD’s–  Drivers are most concerned about ELD’s because they feel they will limit their wages. Solution: Salary or hourly pay. Amount depending on experience. Be paid for all time.

Hour of Service (HOS) Drivers time eaten by 14 hour clock when waiting for delays such as detention time, weather, etc…  Solution: Salary or hourly pay. Amount depending on experience. Be paid for all time.

Truck Parking- Drivers need to rest in order to safely drive and comply with hours of surface.  Many times there is not enough parking so drivers travel to find parking all while racing the clock ( As was the case with the Tracey Morgan accident in 2014)
Solution: Salary or hourly pay. Amount depending on experience. Be paid for all time.

Speed Limiters ( proposed rule)-  Drivers need to be able to drive highway speed limits in order to drive more miles/create more revenue. Solution: Salary or hourly pay. Amount depending on experience. Be paid for all time.

CDL TrainingEntry Level Drivers being brought in at LOW wages competing with veteran drivers.   Solution: Salary or hourly pay. Amount depending on experience. Be paid for all time.

Cheap Freight– Company drivers used as pawn to negotiate freight rates. This results in cheap freight and affect owner operators revenue and profits.
Solution: Salary or hourly pay. Amount depending on experience. Be paid for all time.

On Saturday January 9th at 6PM ET, we will be having the first show of 2016- We’ll be  Entering Trucking 2016 with the most urgent and controversial issues for professional truck drivers.

We’re not only going to discuss YOUR concerns for this year, but the plans of attack on how to address them. What are your top issues for 2016?  Wages?, HOS?, Detention Pay?, ELD’s?, Truck Parking?, Regulations?  But more importantly, what are your thoughts and ideas to confront these issues?

Join us as we enter 2016 on AskTheTrucker “Live” Open Forum “2016 Top concerns for professional drivers”
6PM ET
347-826-9170

 

 

 

 

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XypperApp- Freight and Shipping Solution Increases Owner Operator profits

Dec
13,
2015
1
Xypper App to your iPhone

Download Xypper App to your iPhone

Better than a Load Board, an app that is leveling the playing field for owner operators, offering fair, ethical and trustworthy Loads directly to their smart phones and email.

XYPPER APP–  Is a Freight Shipping Transportation Management Solution for Carriers, Shippers, and Brokers.  Loads sent directly to Carrier phone.  Numerous Features not found in other Load offering/matching Apps, include automated Invoicing and BOL Solutions.

An invaluable App for independents/owner operators, where ethical brokers, shippers, and Carriers work together to keep trucks always loaded and freight always moving.

As indicated, a major goal behind the  Xypper App, is to reach a level of higher standards, meaning to be able to unite those within the industry who believe that ethics are priority above and beyond what is often presently expected.

DOWNLOAD XYPPER TO YOUR SMART PHONE

 

Watch The Video

 

Xypper App to your Android

Download Xypper App to your Android

Using the revolutionary technology, Xypper has the ability to address and resolve many of the freight and load  challenges facing independents today. Watch Video 2

  • Keeping their trucks loaded
  • Save time searching for loads by having MATCHED loads sent to them in real time
  • Ratings for shippers and brokers on the app
  • Automated billing, invoicing, and BOL

 

 

Download automatically enters you for Entry to Win a FalconEye 2 Camera 1080P Trucker Dash Cam
iphone Xypper App
Android Xypper App

 

Xypper

The app where freight loads come to you.

  •  Trucker Benefits
  • Stop searching for loads- Be notified via smart phone instead
  • Subscribers to Xypper are matched according to; truck type, location, route, availability, available capacity.
  • Instant load matching availability from the time the load is posted to YOUR phone.
  •  Reduce Down Time- Always stay Loaded- Increase Revenue
  • Reduce paperwork!! Xypper generates paperwork and sends it to your email
  • Rated Carriers Shippers and Brokers
  • Real Time order tracking capability to your customer
  • FREE for Truckers and No Commitment

OWNER OPERATORS

Approximately 9.2 billion tons of freight are moved annually. In order for this to seamlessly  happen, the transportation industry has many facets and players such as  shippers, brokers, factors, and carriers.  Among carriers are owner operators, specifically independents, who each year seem to contend with more challenges as they strive for their business to remain profitable.

Owner Operators are required to be business savvy, understanding their business costs and the ability to quickly recognize adequate freight rate offers specific to their individual personal business model.

A good number of owner operators use load boards to keep track of available freight, others, use freight brokers, and still others use both. Keeping your truck loaded with profitable loads is one crucial aspect of an independents’ business which will define their degree of success.  Along with keeping up with available loads is making sure that all the paperwork is in order, verified, and submitted in a timely manner, in order to assure payment.

When carriers conduct their business with shippers and freight brokers, it is imperative that carriers follow through with due diligence to make sure the integrity of the shipper/broker they’re dealing with is honest and reputable. Many  a carrier has fallen prey to shipping and brokering scams and in the process has lost thousands of dollars.

Check the legitimacy of the Broker Here on FMCSA website

Read more to make sure your broker is legitimate, ask these three key questions:

Brokers and Shippers

On the other hand, shippers and brokers must do the same thing!  There are many honest brokers and shippers who have hired carriers who have not followed through on their commitment of contract.  Again, due diligence on all sides is imperative.
FMCSA Safety Measurement System

Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System ( SAFER)

Blinded by the Light

More Benefits for Carriers and Shippers

  • Free of charge to sign in the system
  • Eliminates the cost searching for loads
  • Streamlines transportation sourcing with automated truck capacity availability on line
  • Lists detailed shipment information regarding access, pickup and delivery schedule
  • Provide enhanced accountability through detailed transaction history
  • Offers an integrated invoicing solution.
  • Automated Invoicing and BOL Solutions
  • Allows for real time access matching loads with carriers
  • Rated Carriers Shippers and Brokers

Download XYPPER TODAY
Iphone Xypper App
Android Xypper App

By signing up those within the industry who drivers find “trust worthy”, and then sharing this information with them, we are confident that owner operators will find this App to be a tremendous benefit in 2 ways.
The combination of an App with benefits which exceed all others, along with the “trust factor”, is a combination which will eventually benefit everyone involved, and frankly, once it is more widely known, it will be a tough app to beat.

 

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How to Ensure Fair Trucker Wages in the 2015 Transportation Bill

Nov
19,
2015
6

In Early November, The House passed their 325 billion dollar long term Transportation Bill. Within the bill were items of concern for drivers, including the Denham Amendment, which would prove, if passed, to negatively affect driver wages. The amendment was slipped into the House Bill at the 11th hour, suggesting that its true agenda for being there would hopefully go unnoticed.

Denham Amendment Vote No

The Denham amendment was not included in the Senate version of their highway bill. In order for an amendment to become law, it must first be a part of the final Transportation Bill, and before the Transportation bill can be final, both the House and the Senate must agree, including all of the provisions.
In order to get to this final version of the highway bill, a conference committee made up of the representatives (conferees) – from both the House and Senate are meeting this week to negotiate their differences in the 2 bills.
The decision as to whether or not to include the provision eliminating your rights (Denham Amendment) was scheduled for November 20, 2015, when funding would run out. However, the U.S. House passed by a voice vote late Monday a short-term highway funding bill that extends federal highway funding to Dec. 4.

 How concerned should drivers be and why?
If the Denham amendment is added to the final Transportation Bill, it would be devastating to wages for professional drivers. In a nutshell, trucking companies would legally only have to pay drivers for the miles they drive, not any other work they do.

Last week we began an all out awareness and action campaign, requesting that  professional drivers  call their representatives to put an end to the Denham Amendment and unfair wages. THIS CALL STILL STANDS  202-224-3121

Truckers make their pleas to fellow drivers:

Ernesto Guierrez video “Say “NO” to Denham Amendment and Trucker Wage Theft”

Allen Smith Video The Truth About Trucking Network says NO to the Denham Amendment

Hal Kiah- The Denham Amendment Must be Defeated For Truckers and Their Families

On Saturday November 14th we aired a radio show on AskTheTrucker “live’ where our guest Aashish Desai, attorney advocate, explained exactly what the amendment is and how it would affect trucker wages. You can listen to the specific segment of the 2 part show here,

During the show, Jerry Fritz, a 50 year veteran of the trucking industry called in and had this to say,

“This is the most egregious and dangerous act that is about to confront and affect truck drivers and their families in the 50 or more years I know.” Jerry Fritz

How concerned should drivers be about the Denham Amendment?

Another comment made by veteran Andrew Richard Eatough driver posted in Driver voices raised against highway bill amendment to resolve state/federal legal conflicts

“This is the most frightening piece of trucking legislation I have read. It literally pays the driver for time on duty driving only. Nothing else. It could literally do away with the On Duty Not Driving line or any compensation for any work done when not driving, hold and detention, loading and unloading, fuel bonuses, safety bonuses, just sitting in the first seat and driving down the road on duty driving. You will literally become steering wheel holders at the stroke of a pen, because that is all you will be paid for. I will say this one more time, drivers. You do not need a union to do collective bargaining.” Andrew Richard Eatough

When you want a law passed, just include the word SAFE

As drivers know, whenever they see a new proposed rule or law which claims to be in the name of “safety” ,drivers know they must stop and look carefully, as this will usually mean another detrimental outcome is in store for them. The Denham Amendment is no exception.

This is true from the article from California Trucking Association
“Representatives Jeff Denham (R-CA) and his allies offered this amendment to H.R. 3763 (highway reauthorization bill) to clarify that state break requirements and state laws restricting productivity based pay are pre-empted under federal law.

They continue to say, “The amendment will help preserve the ability of trucking companies to continue to provide safe, productive, and efficient services.”

Read that carefully again, the words “productivity based pay”… in other words… “ only paid for miles driven” Now read this once more also, “The amendment will help preserve the ability of trucking companies to continue to provide safe, productive, and efficient services.” Here is that word “safe”, and notice it’s associated with the words “productive” and ”efficient.”

I ask you this, how is it possible for a driver to be safe, knowing they will only be paid for their miles driven, and all while racing an obstacle and challenge ridden 14 hour clock?
How is it safe to be held up at a dock, not being compensated for the time you are detained, and yet you then have to “race” to make your next appointment,  as you fight to legally get enough miles for a decent paycheck? Not only that, but encouraged by your employer to “strategically log”, so you can maximize your hours.  In doing so, this assures your company gets their “product moved efficiently” while not having to pay you for any of your waiting time.  Safe?  I think not.

I ask you drivers, why are we consistently asking for more miles to earn more money? Why aren’t we asking to be paid for ALL TIME?   Which reminds me,
Here is part of the Denham Amendment that is most concerning to OTR Truckers, or at least it should be

‘‘(B) A State, political subdivision of a State, or political authority of 2 or more States may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law that requires a motor carrier that compensates employees on a piece-rate basis to pay those employees separate or additional compensation, provided that the motor carrier pays the employee a total sum that when divided by the total number of hours worked during the corresponding work period is equal to or greater than the applicable hourly minimum wage of the State, political subdivision of the State, or political authority of 2 or more States.

On Monday, November 16th, OOIDA put out a Call to Action to their members to oppose the Denham Amendment.

As lawmakers continue resolving the differences between the House and Senate versions of the Highway Bill this week in Washington, we would like to draw your attention to language that, if included, is certain to impact your bottom line. This language was introduced via amendment, by Congressman Jeff Denham (R-CA/10th), as a result of a 9th circuit court decision to enforce a 100 year old law in California pertaining to meal and rest breaks for employees. However, the language also includes an ambitious overreach that would limit the states’ ability to allow for any other driver compensation except mileage pay. OOIDA stands firmly opposed to this language.

The Denham amendment was passed by the House in early November by a 248-180 vote, but was not included in the Senate’s version of the highway bill. OOIDA needs you to speak out and oppose the Denham amendment because it would unravel mandated fair-pay for drivers and would empower large carriers to further reduce driver wages. It would also gut the ability for states to address critical items like payment for detention time, safety training and medical examinations or other costs associated with licensing procedures.
OOIDA

The teamsters also had this to say;

“But as lawmakers in the House and Senate move to conference to work out differences in their bills before funding runs out on Nov. 20, we must insist that lawmakers not eliminate meal and rest break provisions that allow truckers to receive a much-needed respite while going about the rigors of their jobs. They should also remove language which would directly hinder the ability of drivers who are paid on a piece rate basis to receive the full wages they deserve for a hard day’s work.”

Drivers, make no mistake, The Denham Amendment would ensure that trucking companies would NOT have to ever pay you for ALL your time, but would only have to pay you for what you “produce”, or miles driven.

This bill is designed to meet the self-interest of the trucking companies while undermining fairness for workers, safety for all drivers, and the rights of the states to enact laws designed to protect workers and advance the health and safety of the citizens of the state.

What is the justification to add the Denham Amendment to the Transportation Bill?

The amendment was proposed as a solutions to what many see as state-to-state encroachment (particularly, today, in California) on federal authority over transportation. The Federal Aviation Administration Act’s section on intrastate trucking services effectively de-regulated intrastate transportation in 1994, turning those states that continued to set rates for intrastate carriers, into what the national industry had become by that time, in large part, following interstate deregulation that began with the 1980 Motor Carrier Act.

Because there are those who desired to fit the amendment to suit their agenda, the Denham Amendment appears to be redefining legislation, even suggesting that Congress intended back in 1994 when it passed the FAAAA, to in fact preempt ( prevent) all states’ rights from maintaining or enacting their own wage laws, including minimum wage laws and meal and rest break laws, in relation to truck drivers.
However, there is no such express intent to be found ANYWHERE in the 1994 Act.
Moreover, in the Dilts v. Penske decision, the Ninth Circuit ruled last year that in fact no such preemption based on the FAAAA existed, either express or implied. Thereafter, the United States Supreme Court denied review of the decision, making it the binding law of the Ninth Circuit.

The Denham Bill says that all these state laws are “preempted” by the federal deregulation law. The trucking industry has argued this issue and lost in the federal and state courts. The Supreme Court refused to even hear them. They now seek to run around these court decisions by slipping in this amendment. 

To strengthen the argument for states’ laws, there is the default and minimum wage protection law in the country shown in the Fair Labor Standards ActFLSA, which provides just that – minimum protections. Moreover, the FLSA specifically includes a “savings clause”, which Congress expressly reserved to all the states the right to enact additional wage laws which could offer their workers rights in excess of the minimums provided by the FLSA.  They further provided that the states could never offer less than that provided by the FLSA. In other words, the FLSA was established as a minimum for workers pay rights, but certainly not a ceiling.

Consistent with the rights afforded by the FLSA, California and many other states have in fact enacted wage laws and protections which exceed the FLSA’s minimums.
It appears now however, Representative Denham seeks to default back to the minimum protections afforded by the FLSA, by preempting states laws that exceed those allowed at the federal level, as revised by the Motor Carriers Act.

The Denham Amendment would, if included, essentially eradicate any state’s laws, which were created to protect drivers from wage theft. The amendment will allow trucking companies to pay drivers only for the time they spend driving, despite the fact that drivers are required to spend a great deal of time performing non-driving duties in fulfillment of their employment, often well in excess of 20% of their work day.

WHO IS BEHIND THE DENHAM AMENDMENT?
On our AskTheTrucker Live Special Alert broadcast on Tuesday 11/17/15, it was concluded that ATA is behind the Denham Amendment, not the federal government, which so many drivers had believed to be the case.

The (ATA), has attempted to have meal and rest breaks thrown out by the federal courts but have lost.. Again, The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that such breaks are not a violation of U.S. law. Now they are trying a different back door approach, Congress.

This pending amendment intendeds to provide to the industry an altered interpretation of the law ,which the courts, including even the Supreme Court, would not issue.

SO if the courts rule against you…. Go find a Congressman.

Say No to Denham Amendment

So I, along with many others are calling upon truckers and their families to act swiftly, and Call your Rep at the US Capitol Switchboard today before it’s too late at, 202-224-3121

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AskTheTrucker “Live” 2 Crucial Trucking Topics for drivers

Nov
12,
2015
5

MARK it DOWN !  Saturday Nov 14th at 6PM ET  AskTheTrucker ‘Live’ Trucking Open Forum

AskTheTrucker ‘Live” Addressing 2 Crucial Trucking Topics for Professional Drivers

AskTheTrucker Live

Two Crucial Trucking Topics affecting professional drivers will be discussed Saturday 6PM ET Call in number 347-826-9170

Mikes Law

‘Mikes Law’ and the Right to Carry

  1.  At 6PM ET  ” The importance of ‘Mike’s Law’ and the CDL driver”
    Mike’s Law bill for Americans working in interstate commerce,  protects and promotes the Second and Fourteenth Amendment Rights of Americans working in interstate commerce, allowing them to be able to carry firearms for self protection nationwide. Many Professional drivers carry legally, having their concealed carry permit from their home state.  But many times the issue  comes up where a drivers’ home state carry permit is not acknowledged in another state.   It can be confusing as there are state reciprocity laws, and they are complicated, especially in states such as NY, NJ, and Illinois.  Here is an example of how Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity Maps

    Mike’s Law would  set up an EXTRA, OPTIONAL permitting system that overrides anti-gun states on the basis of Federal power which regulates interstate commerce. So for example, if you work in interstate commerce, and you are traveling through New York and law enforcement asks to see your state permit, you get to say “Aha, I have a Mike’s Law Federal permit” and that trumps their state laws.
    Read ABC News
  2. James Lamb- Chairman of Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC)

    James Lamb- Chairman of Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC)

    SBTC Chairman James Lamb joins us as our first guest. He has asked the NRA to support the SBTC’s proposed bill entitled “Americans Working in Interstate Commerce Protection Act,” (commonly referred to as “Mike’s Law” named after an over-the-road truck driver named Michael Boeglin who was murdered and burned in his truck on June 26, 2014), which calls for the creation of a new business carry firearms permitting program for Americans working across state lines.

 

2  At 7PM ET  We will discuss the Denham Amendment, an amendment that few truckers are aware of.  The amendment was slipped into the the U.S. House Transportation Bill which cleared Nov 4th.

House of Representatives (2)
The amendment, introduced by Representative Jeff Denham from Turlock, California, has introduced legislation which could substantially reduce the amount truckers are compensated and eliminate their right to take breaks under the laws provided by their state. After  battling in the courts for years (trucking companies) and losing these issues, the trucking industry is now trying to sneak in a provision eliminating your rights in a larger transportation bill in hopes that the provision will go unnoticed.

Read more what the Teamsters had to say about the amendment
“House Moves Multi-Year Transportation Bill Forward, but Concerns for Drivers Remain”
“But as lawmakers in the House and Senate move to conference to work out differences in their bills before funding runs out on Nov. 20, we must insist that lawmakers not eliminate meal and rest break provisions that allow truckers to receive a much-needed respite while going about the rigors of their jobs. They should also remove language which would directly hinder the ability of drivers who are paid on a piece rate basis to receive the full wages they deserve for a hard day’s work.”

Our guest will be  attorney and advocate, Aashish Desai of the Desai Law Firm
Mr Desai represent thousands of truck drivers in wage disputes with their employers. His firm has spent the last several years filing wage and hour class actions against the trucking industry in California. He has reviewed tens of thousands of payroll documents, sat through hundreds of truck driver and industry depositions, and knows the real reason for this amendment to existing law.

DRIVERS: Your urgent action is needed to stop THE DENHAM AMENDMENT from happening!   A decision as to whether or not to include the provision eliminating your rights will be made by November 20, 2015.
Act
now! Contact each representative below and let them know that you do not support the Denham Amendment to the Transportation Bill.

Sam Graves (R-Mo.): (202) 225-7041 Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.);(202) 225-5635
Candice Miller (R-Mich.): (202) 225-2106 Corrine Brown (D-Fla.); (202) 225-0123
Rick Crawford (R-Ark.): (202) 225-4076
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) (202) 225-8885
Lou Barletta (R-Pa.): (202) 225-6511 Elijah Cummings (D-Md.); (202) 225-4741
Blake Farenthold (R-Texas); (202) 225-7742 Rick Larsen (D-Wash.); (202) 225-2605
Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio); (202) 225-6265 Michael Capuano (D-Mass.); (202) 225-5111
Jeff Denham (R-Calif.); (202) 225-4540
Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.); (202) 225- 5256
Reid Ribble (R-Wis.); (202) 225-5665 Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.); (202) 225-5701
Scott Perry (R-Pa.); (202)225-5836 Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.); (202) 225-3265
Rob Woodall (R-Ga.); (202) 225-4272 Albio Sires (D-N.J.) (202) 225-7919
John Katko (R-N.Y.); (202) 225-3701
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) (202) 225-8050
Brian Babin (R-Texas); (202) 225-1555   Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.) (202) 225-9894
Garret Graves (R-La.) (202) 225-3901

Saturday November 14th 6PM ET
Listen via your computer
Click on the Player below
Listen via phone  347-826-9170

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Veteran Health Care and CMV drivers

Nov
6,
2015
0
HealthAndSafetyWorks

Elaine Papp-Founder and CEO of HealthAndSafetyWorks.net

Veteran Health Care and CMV drivers

On October 9, 2015, Congressman Rob Woodall of Georgia introduced a bill, H.R. 3739, Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act see the text of the bill 

What does this bill mean?
If passed, this bill would exempt Veterans Affairs (VA) health care providers from the National Registry regulation. It would allow VA health care providers to provide physical qualification examinations for those veterans who qualify for VA health care benefits.  The VA health care providers would not need to be trained or tested or listed on the National Registry of Certified medical examiners.

 

 

I have concern for veterans and the cost of health care. I also have concern for road safety. I don’t think exempting VA health care providers from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) is a good idea. Below is my alternative. It addresses the concerns of health care cost for veterans, maintains the constancy and integrity of the National Registry system and maintains the ability to transfer medical certificate information electronically to the state driver’s licensing agencies, thus, eliminating the need for CMV drivers to take their records into the SDLA ( state driver’s licensing agencies) office.

I understand that some CMV drivers are veterans who qualify for Veterans’ Affairs (VA)     Health Benefits, yet, are required to undergo a physical examination by a National Registry Certified Medical Examiner. I also understand that some of these drivers are  concerned about the additional cost for the examination since few VA health care          providers are listed on the National Registry. In addition, I understand that many drivers prefer to see their primary care provider for their FMCSA medical certificate. In the paragraphs below I address these concerns and offer my alternative.

I propose that congress draft and pass a bill that requires referral to the National Registry provider and reimbursement of costs for those veterans who are CMV drivers and qualify for VA benefits. This should be done if the VA health care center does not employ a certified medical examiner. This referral and reimbursement process is already utilized by the VA when a veteran needs care of a specialist not available at the VA Health center.  My alternative does not set a precedent and it addresses the cost and accessibility of the National Registry certified medical examiners for veterans who qualify for VA healthy benefits.

My reasons for offering this alternative are listed below.

veteran health care

Veteran Health Care

1) The need for the National Registry

Prior to the establishment of the National Registry, many CMV drivers saw their primary care provider to obtain their medical certificates. Over time it was discovered that most primary care providers are not familiar with

a) the role and responsibility of a CMV driver

b) the difference between operating a CMV and automobile

c) the FMCSA regulations and guidance. Serious crashes involving loss of life resulted from improperly medically certified drivers. Thus, Congress mandated that the Agency develop a method for ensuring that health care professionals performing the physical examinations are trained and proficient in the requirements of driving.   The National Registry Program was developed over a period of several years and was published for public comment as required. Thus public input was included.

2) Primary health care professionals qualifications.

Primary health care professionals as well as those listed on the National Registry are qualified medical professionals, licensed to practice in the United States. But, just as some medical professionals take courses and board certification examinations to become certified as a specialist (e.g. endocrinologist, cardiologist, etc.), so, too, health care professionals take the training and the tests to become proficient in transportation health, to become certified on the National Registry.   The professionals on the National Registry understand the FMCSA regulations and can synthesize the driver’s medical information with the regulations and the ability to safely operate a CMV in interstate commerce. National registry Medical Examiners also contact and obtain information for the primary care provider as needed.

Several studies have shown that since primary care providers have a personal relationship with their patient they often will bend to the patient’s requests to help their patient receive a benefit.   In the past, some of these primary care providers have issued medical certificates when the driver’s medical condition was not conducive to safe operation of a CMV in interstate commerce.

3) Inconsistency of driver qualifications.

Congressman Woodall’s bill exempts VA health care professionals from the National Registry and gives some CMV drivers the ability to see their primary care provider while others CMV drivers must go to a National Registry provider — so a double standard will be set and inconsistency will result.

4) Adverse impact on electronic transfer of medical certificates to SDLAs

Mr. Woodall’s bill also impacts the data entry system that electronically transfers medical certificate information to the SDLAs for CMV driver licenses. Drivers and SDLAs requested that driver medical certificates be electronically transferred from the Medical Examiner through the National Registry to the SDLAs. FMCSA just finalized a regulation to enable this function. If CMV drivers are examined and issued medical certificates for a medical provider not on the National Registry, the data transfer function will be circumvented and the driver will need to make the medical certificate into the SDLA. The electronic data transfer system will be adversely affected.

5) Veteran Affairs Health Care Clinics

VA Health Clinics are overwhelmed with numbers of veterans seeking care. This is well documented. Thus, it may be difficult for CMV drivers to get a timely appointment for a medical examination to obtain a CMV driver’s medical certificate. By utilizing a referral and reimbursement process, the VA Health center will minimize the number of patients to be seen at its facility and meet the CMV driver’s need.

I am concerned about veterans and all CMV drivers. But I am also concerned about the safety of our roads. . I believe veteran’s concerns can be integrated with concerns for the safety of our roads and integrated into the already existing system.

I recommend that you consider my ideas and take action writing to your congressman and to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. To learn more about the committee and which congressman serves on it., go to: Transportation House

Contact information fro writing or collating the committee is:

2251 Rayburn HOB

Washington, DC 20515

(202) 225-6715

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I-95 Corridor Coalition to advise OTR CMV drivers about available truck parking

Nov
2,
2015
1

The Truck ‘N Park Demonstration System Goes Live on November 20, 2015.

Truck 'N Park The I-95 Corridor Coalition

Truck ‘N Park

ATTENTION TRUCKERS!

 Real-Time Truck Parking Space Availability Information

At Rest Areas

WHAT:           The I-95 Corridor Coalition, an alliance of transportation agencies along the Eastern Seaboard, is testing an automated technology to advise over-the-road commercial vehicle drivers on the real-time availability of truck parking spaces. This effort will initially involve two public rest areas in Virginia and Maryland.
The Truck ‘N Park Demonstration System can be accessed by website or phone.

WHO:              Truckers traveling northbound along the I-95 corridor are invited to try out the system.

WHY:              Save time and quickly find parking spaces when you are nearing a break.

WHERE:         The demonstration system provides the number of empty parking spaces in real time at the following public rest area locations:

  • I-95 Ladysmith Rest Area, Northbound, Ladysmith, VA (MM 107, approximately 30 miles north of Richmond).
  • I-95 Welcome Center, Northbound, Laurel, MD (MM 37, approximately 20 miles south of Baltimore).

WHEN:           The test period will begin on November 20, 2015, and continue for approximately four months. During that period, truckers may use the system as often as needed. There is no charge for using the system. This is your opportunity to test the system and furnish feedback.

HOW:              To access the Truck ‘N Park system, please do one or more of the following:

  • Before beginning your trip, go to the website, I95truckparking.com. Click on “Parking Map.” Then click on the large red “dots” to display current parking information at Ladysmith or the Maryland Welcome Center.
  • From the road, when safe to do so, call 855-TRK-PARK (855-875-7275). Menu options will be verbally listed for you. When prompted, say “Find Parking” or “List Locations.” Then say “Ladysmith” or “Maryland Welcome Center” for current parking information at those lots.
  • The system also has a specialized Call-Back feature which automatically calls your cell phone with updates on the number of empty parking spaces in the lot you’ve chosen. There are two ways to set up a call back:
    • From the website, select “Call Back Setup.” Register for the service (we do not track your information), select the lot, and schedule the call back. If you need help, see the “FAQ” section on the website.
    • On the phone system, say “Call Me Back.” Then say “Ladysmith” or “Maryland Welcome Center.” Select the time interval for the call back.

BE SAFE:       While driving, calls to the Truck ‘N Park system should be made using a hands-free device only. When a call back is received, please take the call only when it is safe to do so. If you are unable to answer, the system will stop calling after several rings and try you again later. Safety first!

PRIVACY:      Your privacy will be maintained. No data will be retained about you or your vehicle.

FEEDBACK:  We would appreciate your feedback. After using the Truck ‘N Park test system, you will be invited to provide feedback on your experiences. You may do so at any time during the test period by clicking on “Feedback” on the website, or staying on the phone line.  855-TRK-PARK (855-875-7275

Thank you for testing the Truck ‘N Park Demonstration System!

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SBTC Challenges the NRA to Stand Up for Truckers’ Gun Rights

Oct
28,
2015
2

 

SBTC Challenges the NRA to Stand Up for Truckers’ Gun Rights

Small Business in Transportation Coalition Challenges the National Rifle Association to Protect and Promote Truckers’ Gun Rights

SBTC Small Business Transportation Coalition

The Chairman of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (“SBTC”) issued a bold statement today challenging the National Rifle Association to protect and promote the Second and Fourteenth Amendment Rights of Americans working in interstate commerce to be able to carry firearms for self protection nationwide. SBTC Chairman James Lamb asked the NRA to support the SBTC’s proposed bill entitled “Americans Working in Interstate Commerce Protection Act,” (commonly referred to as “Mike’s Law” named after an over-the-road truck driver named Michael Boeglin who was murdered and burned in his truck on June 26, 2014), which calls for the creation of a new business carry firearms permitting program for Americans working across state lines.

"Mike's Law" Sign the petition -Trucker Mike Boeglin, murdered on June 26, 2014

“Mike’s Law” Sign the petition -Trucker Mike Boeglin, murdered on June 26, 2014

 

“We understand the NRA has been asking members of Congress that we have approached not to sponsor the Mike’s Law bill and support their national concealed carry reciprocity bill instead. We would respectfully request the NRA reconsider their position as we believe our bill is a stepping-stone to national reciprocity.

 

 

 

“Mike’s Law is the back door to national reciprocity for all Americans.”

Whereas the NRA bill could be challenged on 10th Amendment “states’ rights” grounds, our bill is firmly grounded on the Commerce Clause. Mike’s Law also invokes the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection of the laws” guarantee in that truckers should receive the same right to possess firearms while they sleep in their trucks as the majority of Americans, who sleep in residential buildings,” SBTC Chairman James Lamb said today.

Lamb’s Petition to Congress has been signed by approximately 11,000 Americans so far who are in favor of a business carry permit that allows Americans working between states to carry firearms concealed under Federal authority, in accordance with the government’s power to regulate interstate commerce under the United States Constitution.

“U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has personally expressed to me he is in support of Mike’s Law and even indicated he would sign it into law if elected president. And we believe once Mike’s Law is passed and signed into law, the NRA could seek it to be extended to all Americans who “engage” in any form of interstate commerce, including as consumers, on 14th Amendment grounds. Mike’s Law is the back door to national reciprocity for all Americans,” Lamb added.

Lamb indicated he hopes on behalf of nearly 9 million Americans who work in the transportation industry, many of whom are NRA members, that the SBTC would hear from the NRA that they have decided to support Mike’s Law and stand up for truckers’ gun rights.

Contact Information James Lamb/Kevin Rea SBTC

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The Evolution of the Driver Shortage, Trucker Wages, and Safety

Oct
25,
2015
3

Allen Smith- Truck Driver Shortage

Truck Driver Shortage: Addressing Safety,  Driver Wages, Retention, Driver Job Hopping and Turnover rates.

The time has come for everyone within the trucking industry to address the facts about the infamous truck driver shortage. The driver shortage is not really a shortage per say, but rather a reduction in the abundance of excess drivers that were previously available in the past.

Before I go on, let me start out with this statement: truck driver wages have not changed in 25 years.

Here is a breakdown of the difference between the truck driver shortage of the past and the present so called truck driver shortage:

In the last few decades it has been common to have as high as a 125% turnover rate for drivers within the trucking industry. As long as I can remember ads have been claiming there has been a truck driver shortage, a ploy to attract thousands into the driving sector of the trucking industry.

The ads would read something like this:

“Make 100 thousand dollars driving a truck, see the countryside, no skill needed.”

Those entering the industry would receive their CDL license, many times from a trucking school, sign-on with a starter company which completed their training, and basically run team from anywhere between 18-25 cpm, driving with a trainer. They would be out for weeks or months at a time earning a weekly paycheck of between $200-$400. During this time there were many abuses existing, but that’s another topic.

Also during this time, many carriers did not raise the wages for their veteran drivers, mainly because they could get their freight moved cheaper by the steady influx of new drivers entering the industry.

Most new drivers left the industry, disillusioned after less than a year, only to be replaced by others, and so the churning of new CDL drivers continued as well as the high turnover rate. The result? Freight rates remained low and so the race to the bottom evolved along with low retention rates.

There was no REAL driver shortage as it was a business strategy to get people to enter the industry and to keep wages down. There was actually an overabundance of drivers, but they were not staying and the carriers did not care. Mission accomplished. Freight was being moved cheaply and veteran drivers would not complain about wages or treatment in fear of being replaced. Life was good for the carrier. Truckers complained in the Trucking Forums and truck stops where their voices went largely unheard.

What has changed now when referring to a truck driver shortage?

The short story is people are leaving the trucking industry, and less, rather than more as in the past, are entering. For the experienced veteran, it is no longer worth staying and for any potential newcomer, it is not worth entering. The short answer to the “why” equation is simple: wages do not match the time and sacrifice of the vocation. Many drivers who have opted to stay cannot find employment (unqualified), which we will explain.

The average age of the driver today is around 50 years old although I know many who are older. Many veteran drivers began their careers in the 70’s and 80’s when wages were envied and drivers were respected. As we entered the 90’s, the rise of Truck Driving Schools became popular and the FMCSA set requirements for a CDL License. Driving schools, company training, Government Subsidies, and cheap labor were common terms. Along with it came many other terms such as cheap freight, DAC reporting, retaliatory treatment, and starving out.

CDL training, both school and company training, became the formula for higher profits.

The industry’s business model has been the same for decades: claim a driver shortage, attract more people to the industry, receive government subsidies, move freight with low entry level wages, keep freight rates low, and eventually make it difficult for owner operators to compete with the giant “company driver” carriers.

Veteran drivers accepted the fact that their wages would no longer rise as well as the fact that many hours of unpaid labor would continue to be a part of the vocation. This became an acceptable part of the job. Drivers would be pushed to their limits against Hours of Service in order to maximize profits, often pushed to go over the legal hours. Trucks reported by drivers with mechanical problems were told to “keep going” and if they complained, they could be “punished” with “no miles.” During these times drivers would receive DOT violations, such as over hours or mechanical problems, while the company did NOT receive the violation. Was the safety of the driver a company concern or did company profits trump safety?

Drivers began “Job hopping” looking for that “better job” or that better company which would pay and treat them better. Sometimes they found it but most often they did not as again, this is the standard business model for the industry.

So what has changed? How is the “driver shortage” different than it was in the past? Is there now a real driver shortage and if so, how can it be resolved?

  • WAGES – As the years roll by, drivers are now leaving because they have not been adequately compensated for their sacrifices and TIME. This is more evident than in the past as the cost of living continues to rise and driver wages have not gone up in the last 20-plus years. Time away from home and being available while out on the road 24/7 must be considered, not just the piece work or CPM. Drivers must be paid for ALL work. A salary would solve many of the issues drivers are confronted with.
    TruckersUnited.org

    TruckersUnited.org

    Pat Hockaday of TruckersUnited.org has a detailed solution for Drivers Wages. We urge everyone to look at it.

  • Health and Retirement : Yes it is true that the average age of veteran drivers is 49 and many will be retiring soon, but it is not just their age, it is also their decision to retire. Again, a main reason is that the sacrifice of the job does not meet today’s required wages. Also, the lifestyle leads to many health concerns such as the availability of nutritious food, lack of exercise due to the sedentary lifestyle, lack of medical resources while over the road and the inability to take time off to address an illness for fear of not being paid. A salary wage would address this problem: a suggested one-week paid vacation and five personal days to address illness and medical appointments.
  • The Qualified Truck Driver – The implementation of CSA has now made the carrier and the driver responsible for violations and crashes, not just the driver.
    Companies have a safety score which is public and used by shippers, brokers, and insurance companies. Drivers do not have a public score, however they have a PSP report which reflect their last few years violations and crashes. Carriers look at this and based on the driver’s PSP, determine if that particular driver would be a “risk” for violations, thus used as a predictor for compromising carrier CSA scores.

This has greatly affected how Carriers Hire. The result is THOUSANDS of drivers looking for employment but not being hired. What does the ATA say about this? According to the October 2015 Truck Driver Shortage report:

“Many carriers, despite being short drivers, are highly selective in hiring drivers because they have made safety and professionalism high priorities.”

Is it safety or is it their CSA scores and insurance premiums? After all, prior to CSA,  they never appeared to be quite as concerned about safety. This is an unarguable fact.

Read more – Defining the Truck Driver Shortage and the “Qualified Driver”

  • Job Hopping – According to the ATA 2015 Truck Driver Analysis – Drivers who are looking for better jobs, including better pay and better treatment and who appear to be “job hopping” are considered “not qualified.”  In other words, they are available for employment and though not technically considered part of the “driver shortage” the fact that companies are reluctant to hire them, makes them unavailable for the hiring process. The ATA blames this on other companies trying to lure their good drivers to drive for them instead by offering the driver a hefty sign-on bonus. The question is, if their current carrier is such a great company, why are they not staying with them and why do they continue to job hop?
  • Regulations – Drivers are leaving because of added or modified regulations such as Hours of Service, ELD’s, anticipation of Speed Limiters, etc. Many regulations which in theory are intended to increase safety, actually have an opposite effect when drivers are being paid by their productivity and CPM. These regulations that are put in place limit driver productivity and their wages, creating an urgency by the driver to get more miles and therefore become a safety risk. A solutions is higher driver wages, again, preferably salary.

Interestingly enough, Carriers look at Regulations, specifically HOS, as a cause for the driver shortage also, only with a twist.

Motor carriers think of truck driver Hours of Service as reducing industry productivity.
According to the recent 2015 ATA Truck Driver shortage report:

“Reductions in productivity exacerbate the driver shortage as it requires more trucks, and thus more drivers, to move the same amount of freight.”

Drivers look at regulations as reducing their wages, especially when they are fighting a 14 hour clock, ELD’s, speed limiters and unpaid work, including detention time. Just as companies are concerned about their bottom line and productivity in regards to HOS regulations, the drivers are also concerned about their productivity, in other words their cpm wages. As long as drivers are paid CPM this will always be the case.

  • Entering Drivers – Because of the internet and Social Media, those entering the industry are aware of the low wages, lack of respect and health problems related to trucking. In the past, the inflated ads worked, but for today’s tech-savvy generation, they no longer do. Again, the sacrifice of being away for extended periods of time does not appeal to many, especially when their initial take home will be less than $500.00 per week and the opportunity to earn much more will be slow-coming. When they calculate their hours with their take home pay, most often it is below minimum wage.

Solutions for Ending the Driver Shortage

  • Driver Solutions

Higher wages -Paid personal days and vacation and more respect. Wages must represent an acceptable living wage and equal to the sacrifice of the job. Being Paid for ALL time working. Preferably a salary.

More At-Home Time

Driver Image – Drivers want to regain the honorable driver image of the past because they want more respect and higher wages. Hire those who have a high self worth and self esteem. This will be achieved when driver wages are increased.

CDL Industry Training Standards – Promote motivated and highly trained competent drivers into the industry. This will be achieved by quality training. This is another topic which deserves more discussion later.

Better treatment – By all aspects of the supply chain, including: trucking companies, shippers, receivers and brokers.

  • Industry Solutions

Raise Wages – Unfortunately, what is classified as a significant raise, even at a 15% increase, only represents a .06 CPM raise and still does nothing to compensate for being paid for ALL work or time on the job.

More At-Home Time – Potential drivers are often hesitant to take a job that requires so much time away from home, especially at the beginning of the new vocation.

Driver Image – The Trucking Industry wants to improve Driver Image to attract more people into the industry as well, but many veteran drivers believe this is only for giving the illusion of a well paying and respected job and to draw from the younger generation who today, are showing no signs of interest.

Lower Driving Age – Interstate driving currently has an age minimum of 21. The 18-20 year old segment has the highest rate of unemployment of any age group, yet this is an entire segment that the industry cannot access with the exception of local routes, which is generally reserved for seniority. This could prove to be a dangerous choice as the industry looks to those recently receiving a license with little life experience and allowed to drive an 80, 000 pound vehicle safely. This would once again create another new driver industry churn as years ago as it would continue the industry’s business model of bringing them in at low wages, move the freight cheap, and when they leave, just replace them.

Hiring Military – I am all for hiring our military vets as long as the industry does not exploit them using the same business model as encouraging them to get more miles through an underpaid, unfair, and unsafe CPM only wage model.

Better Treatment by the Supply Chain – Compounding the already difficult lifestyle, drivers often complain of mistreatment at shipping and receiving facilities. Complaints range from restricting access to restrooms to having to wait extended periods of time before the trailer is loaded or unloaded. Improving the experience for drivers at drop-off and pickup locations would provide for a more attractive career choice. All companies in the supply chain, including trucking companies, shippers, receivers and brokers must treat drivers with the respect that they deserve.

Conclusion – Make no mistake: carriers fully understand that the combination of being paid CPM while being compliant with HOS, ELD’s, Speed limiters, etc.,  while combined with hours of non-paid waiting time and hours of work while not driving and not being paid will reduce the drivers paycheck.

Carriers also realize that drivers are at risk for being unsafe as they try to get as many miles as they can to increase their paycheck. They also understand that drivers contend with HOS, additional anticipated regulations that by the way, are supported by ATA such as ELD’s and Speed Limiters, as well as weather, delays, and many other unpreventable factors which can interfere with the 14-hour clock, forcing many drivers to operate in an unsafe manner.

Carriers also fully understand that driver perform hours of unpaid work and unpaid waiting time. They know drivers are not happy and are leaving because of the uncompensated lifestyle. They know that the word is out that drivers are not making enough money so new drivers are not entering the industry.

The industry claims there are not enough drivers, but it is more accurate to say that there is not an abundance of drivers. Yet, SIGNIFICANT wage increases which would include being “paid for all time” are not being considered as a solution. Why? Motor carriers claim that they cannot afford it as freight rates do not allow it.

Easy Fix Consider driver wages as part of the formula for profit and allow rates to rise.

After all, the industry created cheap rates years ago by hiring new drivers at low wages and then churning them out. Just reverse the concept and remedy the problem. Allowing freight rates to rise not only would allow for increased wages, but would then aid Owner Operators to also make higher profits.

Drivers paid by CPM, while their job is based on an hourly clock which includes work and wait time without piece production no longer makes sense in today’s age of trucking.

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