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Please submit your comments by these methods. Please DO NOT CALL FMCSA to submit your comments. Calling is not one of the methods allowed in this Docket Number FMCSA-2018-0248.
These are the following methods :
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Then search for FMCSA-2018-0248, look for ANRPM: Hours of Service of Drivers. Choose the comment button ” Hours Of Service” give your comments in the box provided, name and other required information. There is optional information if you want you can fill it up. Review your comments and then submit. 

  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.

If you want FMCSA to send you confirmation that they receive your comments, Please send a self-stamped postcard with your mail. Please make sure to put this Docket Number FMCSA-2018-0248.

These are 4 topics you need to comment:

A. Short-Haul Operations

Under 49 CFR 395.1(e)(1)(ii)(A), drivers do not have to prepare RODS or use an ELD if they meet certain conditions, including a return to their work reporting location and release from work within 12 consecutive hours. Drivers operating under this provision, therefore, have a 12-hour window in which to drive up to 11 total hours. Other truck (though not bus) drivers have a 14-hour window in which to drive up to 11 total hours. [49 CFR 395.3(a)(2)-(3)].

B. Adverse Driving Conditions

The current rule in § 395.1(b)(1) allows 2 additional hours of driving time under adverse conditions, which are defined in § 395.2 as “snow, sleet, fog, other adverse weather conditions, a highway covered with snow or ice, or unusual road and traffic conditions, none of which were apparent on the basis of information known to the person dispatching the run at the time it was begun.” Although the rule allows up to 13 hours of driving time under adverse conditions, instead of the normal 11 hours, it does not provide a corresponding extension of the 14-hour driving window to 16 hours.

C. 30-Minute Break

Under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii), except for drivers who qualify for either of the short-haul exceptions in § 395.1(e)(1) or (2), driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. (The 30-minute break rule does not apply to drivers who operate CMVs within a 100 air-mile radius of their normal work reporting location and return to that location within 12 hours, as authorized by § 395.1(e)(1), or to drivers who do not need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), operate within a 150 air-mile radius of their work reporting location, and meet certain other requirements, as authorized by § 395.1(e)(2)).

D. Split Sleeper Berth Time

There are special HOS rules for CMV drivers who operate vehicles equipped with a sleeper-berth. In essence, these rules allow a sleeper-berth user to divide the minimum 10 hours off-duty into an equivalent two separate periods. Drivers who use sleeper berths, as defined in § 393.76, must take at least 8 consecutive hours of the 10-hour off-duty period in the sleeper berth as required by § 395.1(g)(1)(ii)(A)(1). In Start Printed Page 42634addition to the 8- through 10-hour sleeper-berth period, in order to acquire additional driving time the driver using the sleeper berth exception must, either earlier or later in the duty period, have a separate period of at least 2 hours off-duty, which may be in the sleeper berth if desired. It does not matter which rest period is taken first. After the second required rest period is completed, the driver will have a new point on the clock from which to calculate hours available.

To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting comments, including the collection of information comments for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB.

Updated buyout program offers fleets an affordable option to improve safety and increase efficiency

KeepTruckin, the #1 rated electronic logs and fleet management platform, today announced that new customers participating in its Shifting Gears buyout program will be offered free KeepTruckin Smart Dashcams for a year. Inspired by successful deployments by early adopters, the addition of the Smart Dashcam offers fleets of all sizes an affordable plug-and-play solution to improve safety, reduce risk, and streamline operations.

Working together to form an integrated platform, the KeepTruckin Electronic Logging Device (ELD) and Smart Dashcam offer a tamper-proof solution that provides real-time visibility into events as they unfolded from the driver’s perspective. By expanding its buyout program to include the Smart Dashcam, KeepTruckin has removed previous financial barriers for small- to medium-sized fleets looking to deploy a modern fleet management system that integrates hours of service compliance and video intelligence in one package. Participating in the KeepTruckin Shifting Gears program helps fleets cover the cost of switching to KeepTruckin solutions and addresses the needs of many fleets and drivers who can’t change ELD providers without the risk of high fees.

“We firmly believe that integrated dash cams are the way forward to making roads safer,” said Shoaib Makani, CEO, and co-founder, KeepTruckin. “The addition of our Smart Dashcam to the buyout program will make video intelligence more accessible to fleets and is the first step in seeing safety technologies as standard equipment across the trucking industry.”

Despite passenger vehicles being at fault in 85% of truck-passenger accidents, commercial drivers are more likely to be blamed when cases are litigated. Having undoctored recordings of critical events, such as hard braking, hard acceleration, or hard corners, provides fleet managers with transparency into events as they unfolded. Unlike other standalone, road-facing dash cams that are connected to vehicles and used by multiple drivers, videos recorded by the Smart Dashcam are automatically associated to a driver based on ELD data. By integrating hours of service with video monitoring, fleet managers are provided the context to clearly understand exactly what took place.

More information please click here

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, which limit the operating hours of commercial truck drivers.

The upcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which will be published in the Federal Register, responds to widespread Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns and seeks feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our nation’s highways and roads.  The comment period will be open for 30 days.

The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving; and
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.

In addition, the ANPRM seeks public comment and relevant data on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from HOS rules (1) pertaining to the 14-hour on-duty limitation (filed by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association) and (2) pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement (filed by TruckerNation).

Earlier this year, the congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which required most FMCSA-regulated motor carriers to convert their records from paper to an electronic format, became effective. While compliance with the ELD rule has reached nearly 99 percent across the trucking industry, it has also brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking.

Additional information on the ANPRM, including how to submit comments to the Federal Register docket, is available here.

The first in a series of public listening sessions on the ANPRM will take place Friday, August 24, 2018, in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time.  Further information is available here

Information on current HOS regulations is available here.

Information on electronic logging devices (ELDs) carried onboard long-haul trucks and used by commercial vehicle enforcement officers to check compliance with HOS regulations is available here.

ER doctors, speech therapists, truck drivers, taxi drivers, rideshare drivers, beauty consultants, music teachers and more came to the State Capitol this week to ask our elected representatives to help us! In a media conference and rally which happened on the measures of the California State Capitol Wednesday, almost 200 individuals called on state legislators to take actions to prevent or pause the Dynamex conclusion prior to the Aug. 31 statute. The Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County ruled that Dynamex had wrongly categorized its drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees. The conclusion adopted what is generally known as the ABC test for ascertaining whether employees should be categorized as employees or independent contractors. As stated by the court decision, the recently adopted ABC examination presumes that workers are workers unless the hiring entity fulfills the following three prerequisites for categorizing employees as independent contractors:”

(A) the employee is free from the control and management of the hirer in relation to the operation of the job, both under the contract to the operation of the work and actually;

(B) the employee performs work that’s outside the typical course of their hiring entity’s company; and

(C) the employee is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the exact same nature as the work done for the hiring thing.”

Due to this judgment, such as the I am Independent Coalition, assert the ABC evaluation is a”one-size matches all evaluation” which will compromise a vast selection of complicated and rapidly changing businesses.”There are almost two million Californians who operate as independent contractors in several businesses which vary from health care, engineering, construction, transport, beauty, finance, insurance, entertainments and a lot more,” based on an I am Independent Coalition press release.

EkoStinger has signed a deal with South Carolina-based Vanguard Trailer, Company to provide trailer aerodynamic devices to their own trailers. “We sell thousands of inventory trailers each year and our customers need aerodynamic devices in their trailers which work and are durable, EkoStinger’s product fits that criteria,” explained Jay Malave, President of Vanguard Trailer, SouthEast.

Malave went on to state ;”when you are promoting as many trailers because we sell, you need a product that works for nearly all your customers, this is actually the item that makes the best sense” Sources at EkoStinger report that having a product partner such as Vanguard Trailer not only gives their products a literal platform in which they may be sold, the company also aligns with EkoStinger’s journey towards a high level of consumer satisfaction. “This is a fantastic partnership and we’re thankful to have been selected as a favorite vendor,” said Steve Smith, Executive Vice President of EkoStinger. Smith went on to say,”We are focused on manufacturing quality, competitively priced aero goods while delivering the highest degree of customer service.”

Daimler Trucks North America is recalling more than 45,000 Freightliner Cascadia trucks for problems with the instrument panel, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall documents.

Cascadia trucks model year 2017-19 are affected by the recall. According to NHTSA, the ignition control unit may not perform the required bulb checks for the anti-lock brake system or electronic stability control if the ignition is turned on and off and back to on position too quickly. This goes against Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 121, “Air Brake Systems,” and 136, “Electronic Stability Control Systems on Heavy Vehicles.”

Daimler Trucks North America says it plans to notify owners of affected vehicles. Dealers will reprogram the ignition control unit to ensure a bulb check is performed each time the ignition is turned on. The recall is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Please call Daimler Trucks North America’s customer service at 800-547-0712 with recall number FL-780. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-491.

Volvo Trucks North America recently welcomed home the very first Volvo truck model to roll off the assembly line at its New River Valley assembly facility in Dublin, Virginia. Donated by the Wilson family, founders of the former Wilson Trucking Corporation, the 1982 Volvo F7 model will reside at the Volvo Trucks Customer Center, adjacent to the plant. Volvo and Wilson Trucking enjoyed a long-standing relationship beginning in the 1970s when Wilson Trucking purchased the first Volvo F86 model sold in the U.S. In 2011, Wilson Trucking took delivery of the 500,000th U.S.-built Volvo truck model.

Left to Right: Ginny and Chuck Wilson and Guy and Rebecca Wilson with the 1982 Volvo F7.
A dash-mounted plaque, installed during production, commemorates the production of the first U.S.-built Volvo truck.

The bill will call for the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement to publish a list of port drayage carriers, or their successor companies, together with outstanding conclusions for wage offenses and other labor law violations. The accountability of customers will likely be determined through civil court or through the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. The passage by the appropriations committee, which has a state on almost any legislation with financial or budgetary impact, sets the stage for a vote by the complete meeting, which could occur early next week.

Customers won’t be held responsible if they finish their contract having a drayage carrier with 90 days of their being recorded by the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement.
A California bill that would transport freight forwarders and beneficial cargo owners responsible for wage disputes between jack drayage carriers along with their drivers took a step closer to becoming law. The California Assembly’s appropriations committee passed Senate Bill 1402. The bill, also introduced February, could require that customers additionally be responsible when port drayage carriers don’t produce well on conclusions over settlement and wage disputes together with drivers.

The bill sponsors say by holding drayage clients accountable for unpaid claims and wages they are able to use their”market power to bring about needed change in the industry.”
The bill comes from investigations into Southern-California drayage industry, which is basically made up of independent builders that rent trucks from owners. Based on the bill’s legislative analysis, some 1,150 drivers have filed claims with the state’s Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. The Department of Labor Standards Enforcement has awarded $45 million to 450 drivers. But many drivers have not been able to secure these assets as the company organizations have sometimes shut up company, only to reopen under a different name. The California Senate passed May.

Walmart is facing a 50K fine for allowing trucks to park at one of its own Illinois stores. The penalty came from the city of Springfield, which asserts the store is not after the parking plan accepted by the city as it was constructed.

The fine has been issued last week following Walmart failed to act on its proposed plans, like re-striping its parking lot to allow truck spots or placing barriers to prohibit trucks, according to the State Journal-Register post. The report states that the town of Springfield is much more enthusiastic about dealing with Walmart to find mend any issues compared to collecting the whole fine. “We’re still weighing all of our options and continued to use the city to achieve options, before then, We’re working within the regulations,” stated Walmart National Media Relations Senior Manager Casey Staheli

While it is not unusual for Walmart shops to permit overnight truck parking, then it’s prohibited at many of the stores throughout the country. Policies may vary because Walmart allows truck parking rules to be put on a store-by-store basis. The approved program does not include truck parking, based on a post by The State Journal-Register. The local paper reported that town officials began asking the store to handle safety concerns brought on by the trucks, such as blocked visibility, last April.

After countless hours of road testing and precision tuning, Rand
McNally today unveiled ClearDryve™: a breakthrough premium stereo headphone and noise-canceling
mono headset in one. The wireless, 2-in-1 ClearDryve™ 200 headphones are
available now exclusively at Love’s Travel Stops and on store.randmcnally.com.
Developed by Rand McNally engineers and designers, in concert with audio experts on multiple
continents, ClearDryve™ 200 provides professional drivers with two high-end products for a
price generally associated with lower-quality headsets. First, ClearDryve™ 200 offers superior
wireless stereo headphones with impeccably rich and clear sound. By removing an ear cup and
positioning the high-quality boom microphone, ClearDryve™ 200 becomes an exceptional
headset with more than 90% of ambient noise eliminated.

“We have created something truly special for professional drivers,” said Stephen Fletcher, CEO
of Rand McNally. “Our convertible, 2-in-1 headphones provide drivers with a hard-working
headset for making and receiving calls while on the road and an ultra-high-fidelity pair of
headphones for relaxing after the day’s drive.”

ClearDryve™ 200 is not just flexible; it was specifically designed for professional drivers.

The headphones feature plush ear cups made of memory foam and covered in a soft, oil-resistant
material to stay comfortable all day. Active noise cancellation blocks the most disruptive noises
in a truck’s cab – like wind and the roar of the engine – eliminating the need to “crank up the
volume” and preserving hearing. Additionally, the Bluetooth®
the connection allows drivers to wirelessly connect the headphones with
their smartphones up to 50 feet away, enabling them to stay connected and mobile while
performing inspections and fueling up.

Key features include:

 2-in-1: A removable 2nd earpiece turns the premium stereo headphones into a mono
headset. The boom microphone swings out of the way when not in use and can be
muted. The headset is designed to switch the mono sound from ear-to-ear as the
adjustable ear cups can be used on either ear.

 Clear sound: Multiple microphones cancel in-cab noise, enabling clear two-way
communication. The device’s signal processing removes more than 90% of in-cab noise from
the microphone for crisp, clear calls. And with the slide of a button, ClearDryve™
200’s active noise cancellation kicks in to tune out ambient noise while listening to
music.

 Wireless: ClearDryve™ 200 is cable-free with a built-in rechargeable battery offering
more than 20 hours of talk time, over 500 hours of standby time and more than 20 hours
of music playback time. Controls on the headphones enable drivers to take calls, skip
songs, and change the volume without having to touch their smartphones.

 Superior comfort and finishes: The headphones feature premium stitching, oil-resistant
materials on memory foam, and eye-catching matte and polished metals. The
over-the-ear cups provide comfort and an acoustic seal.