Skip to Content

Category Archives: Brokers

FREE DOT Inspections

AKRON, Ohio — In response to the economic impact from COVID-19 and to help keep fleets on the road to deliver essential products, Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Centers are offering free Department of Transportation (DOT) inspections, a value up to $120. These government-mandated inspections include a full review of the tractor and trailer, including brake systems, tires and wheels, exhaust systems, lighting and more.

Link to full article

0 0 Continue Reading →

COVID-19 and TFSMall

The team at TFSMall are thinking about our clients, and all members in the transportation industry.  We are in a unique and vulnerable situation.  The transportation industry is the backbone of the United States.  Within the current health epidemic across the world, logistics will become even more important.

We are all at risk in contracting and being diagnosed with the COVID-19 (Corona) flu virus, so we wanted to share with you the guidelines directly from the CDC to reducing your risk.  This is the link that you need to follow to access the most up to date information.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

Please be sure to work from home if you can, wash your hands more than usual and for an extended period, refrain from touching face and look after the more vulnerable such as the elderly and those with underlying ailments that could make them more susceptible.

Overall, do not panic.  Follow the guidelines and stay safe.

The team at TFSMall.com

0 0 Continue Reading →

EPA Seeks Comment for Cleaner Trucks Initiative

EPA Seeks Comment for Cleaner Trucks Initiative

Original post link

Andrew Wheeler

MARSHALL, Va. — Federal environmental regulators on Jan. 6 announced a call for public input to assist with the development of new guidance for emissions standards targeting commercial vehicles.

At a livestock exchange in the western part of Virginia, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler explained the Cleaner Trucks Initiative aims to reduce oxides of nitrogen, or NOx, emissions and streamline regulations.

“The U.S. has made major reductions in NOx emissions, but through this initiative we will continue to reduce emissions, while spurring innovative new technologies, ensuring heavy-duty trucks are clean and remain a competitive method of transportation,” Wheeler said.

In its advance notice of proposed rulemaking unveiled Jan. 6, the agency explained the initiative is a “holistic rethinking of emission standards and compliance.” The public comment period will last 30 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register.

The input the agency receives would assist in shaping guidance to reduce in-use emissions under broad operating conditions. Additionally, the rule would be designed to enable effective technological solutions while considering cost impacts. It also would seek to promote fair and effective compliance and enforcement provisions, incentivize early compliance and innovation, ensure a coordinated nationwide program, and engage with stakeholders, the agency indicated.

EPA intends to unveil proposed guidance this year based on the feedback it receives, followed by a final rule possibly as early as 2021, the administrator indicated.

The Trump administration had announced in 2018 it would tackle this issue. EPA informed that a revision of NOx standards for on-highway heavy-duty trucks and engines occurred in 2001. According to estimates the agency provided, heavy-duty vehicles remain among the largest contributors to NOx emissions despite reductions of about 40% for such emissions between 2007 to 2017.

Epa by Transport Topics on Scribd

Several stakeholders who joined Wheeler at the announcement of the advance notice of proposed rulemaking applauded the agency’s move.

“ATA is committed to continuing to work closely with EPA on developing the next generation of low-NOx emitting trucks through the Cleaner Trucks Initiative,” American Trucking Associations Executive Vice President of Advocacy Bill Sullivan said. “To this end, the trucking industry seeks one national, harmonized NOx emissions standard that will result in positive environmental progress while not compromising truck performance and delivery of the nation’s goods.”

“EPA’s announcement on the Cleaner Trucks Initiative is a productive step toward updating standards for on-highway heavy-duty trucks and engines to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter,” Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies Executive Director Jason Sloan said.

0 0 Continue Reading →

What is the best Transportation Management System (TMS)?

Making a decision about which one to utilize can be based on a variety of reasons…typically these reasons come down to two…Budget and Features!

0 0 Continue Reading →

FMCSA Receives More Than 2,600 Comments on HOS Proposal

FMCSA Receives More Than 2,600 Comments on HOS Proposal

Trucks park for a rest break along the side of Interstate 66 in Manassas, Va. (Jim Galligan for Transport Topics)

The variety of the more than 2,600 written public comments on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed changes to its hours-of-service rules FMCSA HOS policiesillustrate the challenge of finding solutions that address the concerns of the trucking industry’s different segments.

The agency’s request for public comment on the HOS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ended on Oct. 21, and the agency must now digest the comments and craft a final rule, a process that could take months.

The proposal, announced Aug. 14, would allow truck drivers more flexibility with their 30-minute rest break and with dividing their time in the sleeper berth. It also would extend by two hours the duty time for drivers encountering adverse weather and extend the shorthaul exemption by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 hours to 14 hours and increasing the distance limit in which drivers can operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

American Trucking Associations said it mostly supports the proposed changes, but had a few precautionary comments on some of the provisions.

While ATA fully supports the agency’s proposed 7/3 split of the 10-hour sleeper berth period, it said that FMCSA should conduct a field pilot program and only propose further flexibility — such as a 6/4 or 5/5 split — if the results demonstrate that additional splits would not harm driver performance or road safety. FMCSA had planned to conduct such a pilot, but has since decided it has enough data to make a determination.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and some drivers would like to see the final rule offer an option of 5/5 hour or 6/4 hour split.

“Beyond expanding the split sleeper provision to 7/3, FMCSA should also include 6/4 and 5/5 splits in any final rulemaking,” OOIDA wrote, noting that 85% of members surveyed in 2019 supported the idea. “Drivers said they would use the 5/5 split an average of 2.02 times per week and the 6/4 split an average of 1.86 times per week,” the group said.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance expressed concern about potential confusion regarding changes to the 30-minute rest break rule. “FMCSA’s proposed change to the 30-minute rest break requirement eliminates the need for the existing exemptions to the rule,” it wrote. “Upon finalization of the change, FMCSA should revoke all existing applicable on-duty exemptions to the 30-minute rest break requirement.”

ATA said it supports the proposed expansion of the shorthaul exemption, but expressed concern that it could increase the number of drivers who would be no longer be required to use electronic logging devices or records of duty status relative to current rules.

The Truckload Carriers Association also expressed concern about the impact of this proposal on the ELD mandate.

“Many drivers who are currently required to log their HOS with an ELD could be exempted from this obligation under the proposed rule change. TCA is opposed to any proposal which would weaken the ELD mandate,” it said in its comments.

Like several other driver and trade organizations that filed comments, ATA and other trade organizations also expressed a lack of clarity regarding the adverse driving conditions provision in the proposal that would give drivers an extra two hours of driving time in bad weather.

“Although ATA supports the proposed changes allowing a driver to extend their on-duty time up to two additional hours, the agency should review and revise the existing definition and provide guidance on what constitutes ‘adverse conditions,’ ” ATA wrote.

Some organizations — including the National Transportation Safety Board, National Safety Council, Teamsters Union, Advocates for Auto and Highway Safety, and Road Safe America — oppose any changes to the HOS rules.

“Given this rulemaking combined with the FMCSA’s inaction on sleep apnea, fatigue risk management, and other fatigue countermeasures, the NTSB is concerned about the FMCSA’s efforts to mitigate fatigued driving among commercial drivers,” NTSB wrote. “The NTSB encourages the FMCSA to emphasize safety over flexibility in this and any future rulemaking pertaining to HOS and other fatigue rulemakings.”

The National Safety Council wrote, “If enacted, this rule would have a direct impact on driving safety by raising the risk for commercial motor vehicle drivers and all those who share the road with them.”

But Rachel Snow, a truck driver who lives in Tooele, Utah, filed comments that appeared to represent a widespread feeling about the proposal.

“I have been driving for 21 going on 22 years, accident-free,” Snow wrote. “I am 42 years old and I have always found the restrictions of the FMCSA HOS to be a burdensome restraint on my abilities. I understand that what is being proposed is not everything I would like to see offered, but it is a step in the right direction.

0 0 Continue Reading →

UPS Predicts Record Holiday Season

UPS Predicts Record Holiday Season

 John Sommers II for Transport Topics
Link to original article
UPS Inc. says it has been preparing for what it expects to be a record-breaking holiday shipping season by building additional automated facilities and adding jets to its fleet to handle more packages as online shopping continues to grow.

UPS Worldport

The shipping giant said retail sales are forecast to grow more than 5%, and online holiday retail sales are likely to reach a new high.

EARNINGS: UPS Net Income Up 15.9%, Revenue Rises 5%

The addition of automated facilities allows the company to handle another 400,000 pieces per hour, UPS said. The company expects to deliver more than 32 million packages a day, up 50% over its regular daily volume.

The company is hiring 100,000 seasonal workers for the holiday shipping season, which starts the week of Thanksgiving, spikes the following week and lasts past Christmas with returns and purchases using gift cards. This year, however, a late Thanksgiving means a shorter holiday shopping season overall.

UPS also expects that a shift toward more widespread next-day delivery will drive increased demand for its services.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Indiana DOT Announces $99 Million for Local Roads

Indiana DOT Announces $99 Million for Local Roads

Link to original article

Indiana DOT announces funding for local projects. The Indiana Department of Transportation and Gov. Eric Holcomb recently announced the distribution of $99.2 million in state matching funds across local government agencies to fund infrastructure construction projects.

The funding, made possible through the Next Level Roads: Community Crossings Initiative, will be dispersed across 229 cities, towns and counties, according to an INDOT press release issued Oct. 10. Community Crossings, which Holcomb signed into law in April 2017, has awarded more than $612 million in state matching funds to local government agencies.

The purpose of the program is to boost economic vitality by helping communities with projects such as road resurfacing and preservation, bridge rehabilitation and replacement and road reconstruction to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Material costs associated with crack filling and chip sealing also are eligible for funding. Chip sealing involves adding a coating of liquid asphalt and aggregate to protect the surface of the road.

“High-quality local roads and bridges are an important part of our formula for attracting jobs, growing our economy and building strong communities,” Holcomb said. “Our fully funded Next Level Roads plan and record-b

Holcomb

reaking level of construction has gained Indiana national recognition for our approach to infrastructure, and Community Crossings takes that commitment to the local level all across the state.”

The Community Crossings program has grown in popularity since its inception. According to the press release, the latest round of funding attracted more applications than there were dollars available. INDOT accepts applications for the program twice a year, in January and July. There is a $1 million cap annually per community for local government agencies interested in applying.

There will be an estimated $100 million available to communities that apply during the January 2020 call for projects. INDOT evaluates projects on a basis of need, traffic volume, local support, regional economics and impact on mobility.

“Efficiently and safely moving people and commerce is vital to the quality of life and vitality of our communities,” said Indiana DOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness. “INDOT is excited to partner with communities through this matching grant program to make infrastructure investments that contribute to the success of all Hoosier cities, towns and counties.”

Indiana DOT announces funding for local projects.

In order to be considered for funding, local government agencies must provide matching funds from a source approved for road and bridge construction. Larger communities must match 50%, while smaller ones must match 25%. They also are required to submit an asset management plan approved by INDOT for maintaining existing roads and bridges.

The funding is meant to help smaller communities, although all Indiana city, town and county government agencies are eligible to apply. State law requires that 50% of the available matching funds annually get awarded to places within counties that have populations of 50,000 or fewer people.

In November 2018, INDOT divided $100 million across 283 cities, towns and counties for local road projects through the Next Level Roads: Community Crossings Initiative.

INDOT also has used federal funds to support local road projects. In March 2018, the agency directed $161 million to rural road, bridge and sidewalk projects. The money was divided among 66 towns, cities and counties to support bridge rehabilitations, resurfacing efforts and traffic safety projects. The federal funds were supplemented with local funds, creating $212 million for those infrastructure projects.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Perspective: Connecting the Trucking Industry

This is an interesting article from TransportTopics.  Use www.eTruckBook.com and the Transportation Directory on www.TFSMall.com to get networking and connected!

https://www.ttnews.com/articles/perspective-connecting-trucking-industry/

October 9, 2019 1:15 PM, EDT

Perspective: Connecting the Trucking Industry

The business of moving freight is all about connection. The connection between shipper and carrier, between driver and vehicle, between technician and engine — all of these are critical.

As an intermodal carrier, I see these connections in practice every day. Living in that space between the port and the railhead or highway and distribution center is part of the rhythm of my daily life.

As I take up the responsibility of being American Trucking Associations’ chairman, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the importance of connections. We have important connections — to our fellow members, to our state associations, to our affiliates — and those connections help us raise our collective voice to connect to lawmakers, regulators and law enforcement to move our industry forward.

Randy Guillot

To me, it is those connections that make our federation strong. They allow us to, when we work together to strengthen them, effect change. Just look at what we have been able to accomplish since we gathered last in Austin: We were able to secure critical relief from onerous state meal-and-rest-break rules; we changed and shaped the conversation on infrastructure; we made the case for sensible hours-of-service reform, resulting in a proposal to provide flexibility for our drivers.

Our industry, despite our differences and diversity, faces the same challenges — finding and keeping good drivers; congestion; proliferation of tolls; over-regulation; and increasing threats from an aggressive plaintiff’s bar that sees our trucks as rolling piggy banks.

As chairman, I plan to spend the next year working to bring our industry even closer together to make progress on as many fronts as possible. Despite the uncertainty that comes with a national election, I firmly believe we can do so much if we work together.

It would be easy to throw our collective hands up and walk away, put our feet on the desk and wait to see how things shake out next November. But that’s not in our DNA as truckers.

Most of us have been in this business our whole lives. Growing up, my family vacations were with my father to see customers. Delaware, Michigan, California, Tennessee … we would hit the road to see the country, but also to connect with shippers.

From those earliest days, trucking has been part of my life. When I was 13 I learned to type so I could work in the billing department. I worked my way through the business as I went through school — dispatch, safety, sales — connecting with as many parts of our trucking company as I could.

I even, for a short time, drove a truck for our company. That brief experience taught me a lot about trucking — notably, that while I can drive a truck, I am not a good truck driver. Certainly not when compared to the million-mile champions on our America’s Road Team or at the National Truck Driving Championships. It gave me a real appreciation for what the men and women who literally make our industry go do on a daily basis.

That knowledge inspires me to work on their behalf to improve this industry. To bring more of our resources to bear on issues like developing our next generation of drivers and finding new, young, energetic men and women to drive our trucks. To safely and responsibly integrate technology into our industry. To ease pressure on those drivers with the hours-of-service by working with FMCSA to safely bring flexibility to their daily lives.

These goals are achievable if we work together, and that is my challenge to you. Come together. Deepen our connections to each other and to this federation. Share your time and your talent with your fellow executives by joining ATA or coming to a Call on Washington, or reaching out to your representative on the issues critical to your business.

Being at the table is important — not just to ATA, but to your businesses. From personal experience, I can tell you the connections you make as part of this federation can serve not just the larger industry; it will benefit your company.

Through my work at ATA and the Louisiana Motor Transport Association, I have been able to participate in some great undertakings on behalf of trucking: The rebuilding of the Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference, the founding of the North American Chassis Pool Cooperative and, now, it has given me the privilege of serving as ATA chairman.

It was my connection to trucking, to my colleagues in ATA and LMTA, to our customers, to our friends in the industry, that allowed these things to happen.

Those connections are important, and I encourage you to join me in deepening and developing those connections this year.

Guillot is president of Triple G Express Inc., an intermodal motor carrier based in the New Orleans area. American Trucking Associations is the largest trade federation in the trucking industry and has headquarters in Arlington, Va., as well as affiliated associations in every state. ATA owns Transport Topics.

 

0 0 Continue Reading →

Ryder System’s Ruth Lopez named winner of Influential Woman in Trucking award

Ryder System’s Ruth Lopez named winner of Influential Woman in Trucking award

0 0 Continue Reading →

California Passes Bill That May Affect Independent Contractor Status for Truckers

California Passes Bill That May Affect Independent Contractor Status for Truckers

Link to Article

California lawmakers have passed a bill that codifies into law a 2018 state Supreme Court decision that makes it easier for independent contractors to become reclassified as employees of motor carriers.

Assembly Bill 5, passed along party lines by the state Senate on Sept. 10 and Assembly on Sept. 11, was the latest development by officials in California attempting to reduce what they have called widespread misclassification of independent contractors.

The bill was signed into law on Sept. 18 by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had publicly voiced his support for the legislation.

California has passed a bill to reclassify independent contractors, owner-operators working for motor carriers.

The bill has been opposed by the California Trucking Association because the trade organization said it will require many motor carriers to use an employee standard known as the “ABC test” that truckers have said makes it difficult, if not impossible, to continue the use of independent contractors.

The test was upheld by the California high court in a case styled Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles.

The B-prong of the ABC test is the most troublesome, carriers have said. It dictates that for a motor carrier to establish that a worker is an independent contractor that the worker must perform work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.

Greg Feary, a partner in the Indianapolis-based trucking law firm Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C., called the California legislation “Dynamex on steroids.”

“I think it will ripple through the industry and cause some changes for sure,” Feary told Transport Topics. “For the most part, the ABC test would be used under this statute for courts or other adjudicators in the government to determine whether an owner-operator providing truck driving services to a motor carrier is an independent contractor. It’s a controversial bill.”

“AB 5 could have been amended to address worker misclassification issues, as well as protect the 70,000 [predominantly minority] truckers currently operating as independent contractors,” California Trucking Association’s CEO Shawn Yadon said in a statement. “There is no reason why protecting workers does not include defending the right of tens of thousands of drivers who have built their businesses as independent truckers, invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in clean trucks and have operated successfully.”

Fuel Tax Hike Repeal

Yadon added, “AB 5 will have implications that will go beyond worker classification. Like the rest of the nation, California is experiencing a shortage of truck drivers, this measure will aggravate the problem by removing thousands of drivers from rosters as many have indicated they will move to other states or seek a different line of work altogether.”

AB 5 proponents created a scenario in which they chose winners and losers by carving out exemptions for some professions while excluding others, California Trucking Association said.

It added that AB 5 was amended to allow drivers working within the construction industry a narrow window to continue operating as independent truckers for a two-year grace period. However, the bill will severely limit work opportunities for tens of thousands of independent owner-operators in other business sectors.

In California, more than 136,950 trucking companies remain primarily small, locally owned businesses with small fleets and independent drivers, according to California Trucking Association.

“Today the Legislature made it clear: we will not in good conscience allow free-riding businesses to profit off depriving millions of workers from basic employee rights that lead to a middle-class job,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the bill’s author. “Employers looking to cut costs at the expense of workers have misclassified more than a million Californians and in turn, we have seen income inequality increase, union membership decline and the power of working people diminish.”

0 0 Continue Reading →

YOUR SHOPPING BAG