Ready or not, hours of service changes arrive tomorrow on 9/29/2020

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 29, some widely anticipated changes to trucking industry regulations take effect. At 12:01 a.m. EDT that day, drivers will see several provisions of the rules regulating their hours of service change, the first significant change in more than 15 years. 

What do the changes include?

  • drivers will be allowed to use their 30-minute break in an on-duty, not-driving status and requiring it within their first eight hours of drive time, rather than their first eight hours on-duty
  • modifies the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their 10-hour off-duty period into windows of seven hours and three hours, in addition to the existing eight-hour, two-hour option. It also adds the shorter period in any split off-duty will pause the rolling on-duty clock
  • allows drivers to extend their drive-time limit and their on-duty window by two hours if they encounter adverse weather conditions or traffic congestion
  • changes the short-haul exception available to some commercial drivers by lengthening their maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles

Driver survives after being pulled from ‘virtually disintegrated’ semi truck

A truck driver survived a multi-vehicle crash that completely obliterated his rig in Michigan over the weekend. 

The accident happened in Casco Township, Michigan on Interstate 196 near Exit 22 on Friday, September 18th at around 5:15 p.m.

According to Midwest Family News, a J.B. Hunt semi truck was parked on the shoulder of I-196 northbound for a tire repair when a second semi truck suddenly slammed in it. The force of the impact completely obliterated the second truck and left the driver with ‘multiple injuries.’ 

Both the truck driver and tire repair man were transported to nearby hospitals. The driver of the J.B. Hunt truck was apparently uninjured in the incident. 

Interstate 196 northbound was shut down at Exit 20 while officials investigated the incident and cleared the wreckage. 

As of Tuesday, September 22nd, the incident was still under investigation.

Drivers getting new voice at FMCSA

0-25 drivers to inform agency on issues such as hours of service, truck parking and training
A group of 20-25 truck drivers will be providing direct feedback to federal regulators on safety issues ranging from hours of service (HOS) to truck parking.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced Friday that the new commercial driver panel subcommittee has been set up to inform the agency’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) with the goal of gaining a range of viewpoints and experiences among different sectors of the driver community, including drivers of straight trucks, agriculture haulers, and hazardous materials drivers.

“The Department of Transportation and this administration believe in listening to our drivers and hearing their concerns directly,” commented FMCSA Deputy Administrator Wiley Deck.

“We know that many of the solutions to the challenges we face don’t come from Washington — they come from the hardworking men and women who are behind the wheel all over our nation. This new subcommittee to MCSAC will further help us hear from America’s commercial drivers,” Deck said.

FMCSA held up this year’s final rule on revised HOS regulations as an example of how it is formulating regulations based directly off feedback from commercial drivers seeking more flexibility in how they operate on the road.

“During the Trump administration, FMCSA has focused on hearing directly from commercial drivers and incorporating their opinions and concerns into the agency’s safety initiatives,” FMCSA stated. “The agency continues to hold listening sessions and discussions with the motor carrier industry to gather feedback and shape FMCSA’s priorities.”

Among the issues covered during MCSAC’s last meeting, held in mid-July, were plans to look more in depth at crashes in the last-mile delivery sector and driver pay.

An FMCSA official said a listing of the new members was not yet publicly available, and the first meeting with the new driver panel was not yet scheduled.


fully operational ELD installed and in use on Dec. 17

Time is running out on the latest technology change coming to the cabs of the trucking industry.

Starting Dec. 17, all motor carriers and drivers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s electronic logging device final rule must use an ELD, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

The deadline is significant for carriers and drivers utilizing grandfathered automatic onboard recording devices, which will no longer be allowed to provide records of duty status as a substitute to a required ELD. Motor carriers utilizing an AOBRD must have a fully operational ELD installed and in use on Dec. 17.

The CVSA says there will be no extensions or exceptions made to the Dec. 17, ELD deadline. CVSA said there will be no “soft enforcement” grace period.

Drivers not utilizing a registered ELD and subject to the rule on will be considered to have no record of duty status or no logbook, according to CVSA. That also applies to a driver still using an automatic onboard recording device. Such a driver will be declared out of service for 10 hours.

Brake issues puts over 4000 CMV out of service

Some 4,626 of the 34,320 commercial vehicles inspected in September had brake-related problems serious enough to place them out of service.

Those inspections were conducted from Sept. 15-21
In the U.S., 49 jurisdictions conducted 31,864 roadside inspections and placed 4,344 (13.6%) commercial motor vehicles out of service due to brake-related violations.

Inspectors found:

2,567 units had chafed rubber hose violations
1,347 units had chafed thermoplastic hose violations
2,704 violations of § 393.45 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and Canadian equivalent violations included chafed rubber hoses.
There were 1,683 violations of § 393.45 of the FMCSRs that included kinked thermoplastic hoses.
Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake Program sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.


Lawmakers cooking up a new way to keep you from driving after drinking

Two senators have introduced a bill that would require all new vehicles to come equipped with technology that would prevent the driver from operating under the influence of alcohol.
The bill was introduced on Wednesday by Senators Rick Scott and Tom Udall.
Five million dollars per year would be put toward the effort of developing the DADSS technology, which lawmakers say could include “devices to determine a driver’s blood alcohol level by touching the steering wheel or engine start button” or “sensors that passively monitor a driver’s breath or eye- movements.”
The bill would allot $25 million for testing the technology on a fleet of 2500 vehicles as part of a pilot program.
Deaths from drunk driving are completely preventable, Every drunk driving death is one too many.
Senators Scott and Udall say that the implementation of alcohol detection technology in all vehicles would save 7000 lives per year.

A Substitude for rearview mirrors

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering allowing cameras to replace both rearview and sideview mirrors on trucks.
NHTSA announced it will be opening a 60-day comment period to gather technical information and analysis on camera monitoring systems so that the agency can determine whether these systems can provide the same level of safety as the rearview mirrors.

Prior research on rearview cameras the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) is being issued in response to a 2014 petition filed jointly by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Tesla to replace outside rearview mirrors on cars, and a similar petition filed in 2015 by Daimler Trucks North America for heavy trucks.
However, “both of these petitions cited improved fuel economy (not safety) as the primary benefit of allowing this change,” NHTSA points out in the proposal. “Neither petition provided objective data or analysis to aid the agency in determining the net effect on safety of amending FMVSS No. 111 to permit a CMS compliance option for rear visibility.”

NHTSA stated that while it sees CMS as “promising” technology, “the agency has some lingering safety concerns that it believes should be addressed prior to deciding whether to propose amending FMVSS No. 111 to permit CMS as a compliance option for rear visibility.”

For example, it cited a news report in which the CEO of a CMS manufacturer found that 5 to 10% of motorists suffer motion sickness or have depth-of-vision problems when viewing the CMS video image. “NHTSA is not aware of any research having been done in this area, but the possibility that some percentage of drivers cannot use a CMS is something that NHTSA believes deserves further research.”

The agency is also encouraging comments on the potential economic effects of CMS, including the cost difference between a vehicle equipped with CMS compared with rearview mirrors, and the extent to which the improved fuel economy provided by using cameras instead of mirrors would offset that increased cost.


Fuel tax increase, starting today in Arkansas

Gas and diesel fuel taxes are going up. Starting from today, October 1, taxes on both gasoline and diesel fuel will be increasing throughout the state of Arkansas. The diesel fuel tax will increase 6 cents to 28.5 cents per gallon. The gasoline tax will also increase by 3 cents to 24.5 cents per gallon. Increases are part of a $95 million highway funding for maintaining roads and bridges according to the Arkansas Department of Transportation. In the past 20 Years this is the first fuel tax increase in the state of Arkansas

Straight truck 26’
Available for rent/lease - $600/week
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Three Trucks Collide On California Freeway

Source: KCBSTV

Weekend Blizzard in Montana

According to the Weather forecasters,
the greatest amount of snowfall is predicted to occur in north and central parts of Montana, where at least a foot of snow is possible.
In some areas even multiple feet of snow are possible
The blizzard could also bring wind gusts of up to 40 m.p.h.



Interstate 10 has re-opened between Beaumont and Winnie after it was flooded  last week. Parts of the highway continue to hold water and are only open to one lane.                         Interstate 10 remains closed in both directions at the San Jacinto River.                                  Westbound lanes are detoured south on Spur 330 to SH146 southbound and then to SH 225 westbound.

Source: ABC News

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Oil price storm under control

Working with members of OPEC and the potential for offsetting oil shortages using emergency crude reserves should be enough to keep oil prices in control in the U.S., according to the country’s chief business lobbyist.

Chamber of Commerce CEO, Tom Donohue said the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil processing facilities are causing concerns about oil prices.

“However, President Trump has indicated willingness to user our national oil reserves to balance some of that, and I’m sure we’ll move together with OPEC to produce more oil as necessary,” Donohue said.

“I think in the next few days Saudis will get their system up and going again, and I think it’s going to result in others being very careful and more alert to protecting their resources".

While Trump reportedly authorized a release of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves “if needed,” Secretary of Energy Rick Perry told CNBC today it’s “premature” to know whether such action is warranted.

- ATA considers raising diesel tax for truck-only lanes -


Darren Hawkins,

President and CEO of YRC Worldwide said trucking industry must work with lawmakers to ensure congestion mitigation measures take into account other factors such as the environment For trucks, predictability of shipments would be greatly enhanced, with the potential for drafting and platooning, not to mention the safety of separating the cars and the trucks,” Pence said. They would be paid for by “walling off” a portion of the funds generated from an increase in the diesel fuel tax that would be used for the lanes. Tolls will not solve the most important challenge facing this committee: the impending bankruptcy of the highway trust fund [HTF],” Hawkins said. “Failure to address the shortfall will continue to induce states to consider bad options like tolls. ATA and nearly every organization that cares about surface transportation efficiency has proposed an increase in the fuel tax to address these needs.”


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