In my former life with the State of New Mexico’s Motor Transportation Police, I was always shocked by the number of commercial drivers who didn’t make time to do proper pre-trip inspections before getting on the road. Part of this oversight is an inherent trust drivers seem to have in their truck operating well on their last run or with the driver that drove the truck last. The other part was simple math – the less time spent outside of the truck, the more time on the road. Unfortunately, these pre- and post-trip inspections, also known as “kicking the tires,” is the easiest action operators and drivers can take to protect themselves and others.
Today’s transportation industry faces increasingly stringent regulatory standards. The highest-profile example is the looming electronic logging device (ELD) deadline; by December 16, 2019, all carriers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s ELD mandate must be equipped with self-certified devices registered with the FMCSA. In addition to the sweeping ELD mandate, many fleets are or soon will be subject to a wide range of more specific regulations.
Truckers will have to have their rigs smog-checked and certified in order to operate legally in California under a bill signed into law by the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom.
The measure, Senate Bill 210, makes California the first state with a smog-check program for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. It provides the industry a few years of relief before the smog checks begin, though. The estimated startup date for an operational program is 2023.
These are questions that trucking companies hauling agricultural goods and commodities have long asked: what exactly counts as an agricultural commodity to be transporting where the driver is then exempted from the federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations and by extension, having to use electronic logging devices (ELDs), and why are some agricultural goods left out? Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) on Tuesday reintroduced the Agricultural Trucking Relief Act (H.R. 1673) to clarify the definition of “agricultural commodity” to include a broader range of agricultural products.
Truckers racing to beat the federal rule requiring a rest break after driving for eight hours could be contributing to increased fatal crashes involving big rigs, according to some in the industry. Deaths from large truck crashes reached their highest level in 29 years in 2017, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will hold a public listening session Saturday, Sept. 22 on potential changes to its Hours of Service (HOS) rules for commercial truck drivers. The listening session takes place at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV from 10 a.m.-noon PDT.
A session that was to be held last Friday, Sept. 14 in Washington, DC was canceled due to severe weather from Hurricane Florence. Additional listening sessions are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 28 in Joplin, MO and Tuesday, Oct. 2 in Orlando.
The agency is initiating the process to potentially modify Hours of Service rules now in place for drivers.
On August 23, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) published a rulemaking process that is aimed at reforming specific areas of the current hours-of-service regulation. The hours-of-service (HOS) regulation was enacted to limit the total operating hours a commercial truck driver works on duty. The FMCSA will be examining four areas of the existing regulation. Once decided, the new rules, will be published as an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.