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Trucking 2015 Highlights and 2016 Outlook

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 Carry

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”





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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"

View all posts by Allen Smith →

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