Avery Vise

Contributing editor
Articles by Avery Vise
FMCSA extends comments on drug clearinghouse

The public will have more time to comment on the proposed drug and alcohol clearinghouse, although not as much time that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was asked to provide. In a notice posted April 17 at the Office of the Federal Register, FMCSA granted a 30-day extension to the original comment deadline, allowing comments to be filed until May 21.

DOT judge reverses FMCSA’s shutdown of DND International

Barely two weeks after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shut down Napierville, IL-based DND International (USDOT No. 1434005), a Dept. of Transportation administrative law judge (ALJ) has invalidated the agency’s April 1 imminent hazard out of service (IHOOS) order on the grounds that it violated statutory and regulatory procedures and was unwarranted by the facts in the case.

Advisory panel to consider CSA program changes

A subcommittee of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee will meet April 29-30 to discuss concepts for changes to the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. MCSAC’s CSA subcommittee plans to prepare a letter for the full committee in May.

Sen. Durbin seeks investigation of FMCSA oversight

A week after praising the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for acting swiftly to shut down DND International (USDOT No. 1434005) as an imminent hazard, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) is calling on the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General to audit FMCSA’s oversight of trucking companies with a history of violations.

OOIDA seeks delay in medical examination change

Saying that the number of certified medical examiners is insufficient, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. has called on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to delay the requirement that beginning May 21 medical exams must be conducted by a medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

The best defense? 

In recent months, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has absorbed some serious blows over its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program and related activities, but the agency might have stumbled onto a winning—or at least delaying—strategy by redirecting everyone’s attention elsewhere.

NTSB calls for tractor-trailer safety measures

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended changes in tractor-trailer design standards to improve truck drivers’ visibility of other vehicles and pedestrians and to improve the side and rear underride protection systems on both tractors and trailers.

ATA, NTTC ask Congress for hazmat reforms

Congress should take steps to make hazardous materials shipments more efficient and cost-effective while continuing to ensure safety and security, the American Trucking Assns. and the National Tank Truck Carriers told a House committee April 2.

Key legislators seek GAO review of HOS studies

The chairmen of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its highways and transit subcommittee have asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office to evaluate two studies that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration used to justify changes to hours of service (HOS) regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers. Effective July 1, 2013, drivers can restart their cumulative duty time only once a week, and that 34-hour restart must include two consecutive periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Most drivers also must take a 30-minute break during their driving shift.

Technician employment rises sharply, BLS says

The number of heavy-duty truck and bus mechanics and diesel specialists rose at nearly twice the rate as all U.S. occupations from May 2012 to May 2013, according to data released April 1 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, the number of automotive service mechanics and technicians increased at nearly twice the rate of truck and bus mechanics and diesel specialists. The data is included in the annual Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, which represents a snapshot as of May 2013.

Daimler’s Bernhard: Diesel is the alternative fuel

The wave of interest in natural gas for heavy-duty transportation is beginning to break, and the industry has begun to understand its limitations, the head of Daimler’s global truck and bus business said March 28. “I am convinced that a highly efficient diesel engine will remain the most important alternative in the United States,” said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard in a speech to the annual Heavy Duty Manufacturers Assn. breakfast at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.

FMCSA hopes to launch split rest study this year, Ferro says

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is confirming its plans to study whether expanding use of split rest in sleeper berths can improve both safety and productivity, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro said March 26. In response to a split rest pilot test proposed by the American Trucking Assns. and the Minnesota Trucking Assn., the agency indicated in December that it had already planned to conduct such a study in conjunction with the National Assn.

Productivity gains sharply reduced truck demand, says ACT’s Vieth

LOUISVILLE. Increases in shipment density, improved equipment utilization and growth in domestic intermodal volume since 2007 combined to replace an estimated 266,000 Class 8 trucks that otherwise would have been needed to haul the same freight, says Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT Research.

New entrants need to specialize, truckload leaders say

GRAPEVINE, TX. Trucking companies starting out must find a way to stand out from entrenched, larger competitors, several leaders of the truckload industry advised attendees at the Truckload Carriers Assn. annual meeting in Dallas.

Asked by moderator Todd Amen, president of trucking consulting firm ATBS, what they have learned that they would pass on to today’s new carriers, Swift Transportation founder and CEO Jerry Moyes quipped, “If I had to start again I probably wouldn’t.”

ALK products to integrate with McLeod

GRAPEVINE, TX. ALK Technologies said its ALK Maps and PC Miler Web Services products will be integrated with McLeod Software’s Load Master and PowerBroker products. The ALK products offer a fully customizable cloud-based interactive mapping platform with map visualization and geocoding and routing functionality for enterprise applications. ALK made the announcement March 24 at the Truckload Carriers Assn. annual meeting in Dallas.

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