The partial shutdown of the U.S. government could delay the publication of a proposed rule to reform hours of service regulations, according to a U.S. DOT official.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officials hinted in December that a notice of proposed rulemaking offering potential revisions to federal hours requests could come as early as March. But the lingering closure of federal agencies will impede FMCSA’s ability to proceed with the rulemaking process, the official said.
Though the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration remains mostly unaffected by the shutdown, operations at other branches of the DOT have been hampered. More than 20,000 U.S. DOT workers are furloughed, including more than 400 of the 1,470 employees at the DOT’s Office of the Secretary (OST). Also, 327 employees at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) 488 employees have been furloughed.
Those two agencies — the OST and the OMB — must review and approve the hours of service notice of proposed rulemaking before it’s published. Since operations at those agencies have been mostly shutdown, “everything’s stopped,” the official said, referring to the federal rulemakings process.
The official didn’t say whether FMCSA had filed an hours of service proposal with OST, which must clear it before it heads to OMB. But there’s “back and forth” required between the three agencies (OST, OMB and FMCSA), the official said.
It usually takes weeks, if not months, for rulemakings to be cleared for publication. Once cleared, the proposed rule will be sent back to FMCSA.
“Until [the shutdown] is rectified,” the official said, the hour’s rule will be hung up in that procedural process.
What’s more, when the government shutdown ends and employees at the OST and OMB return to work, they’ll have a large backlog of rulemakings and filings to address from all other government agencies, the official said, which will further impede the hours of service proposal.
FMCSA boss Ray Martinez has insisted the agency wanted to “fast track” the hours of service rulemaking. However, that was well before the shutdown fight ensnared D.C. The partial government shutdown is now in its fourth week and is the longest in U.S. history. President Trump and Congressional leaders remain at odds over funding for a wall along the southern border of the U.S.
Despite the hours of service proposal likely being delayed by the shutdown, other FMCSA operations remain unaffected. Agency functions like compliance reviews, grants to states for enforcement, new entrant carrier processing, reviews of DataQs challenges and issuance in CDLs, to name a few, have not been affected by the lapse in funding for the U.S. DOT. FMCSA derives much of its funding from the Highway Trust Fund, funded by gas and diesel taxes and not annual appropriations from Congress.
In sum, more than 800,000 workers nationwide have been furloughed by the shutdown. Employees at many government contractors have also been furloughed over the funding lapse.
Avoid getting stiffed: New flag on brokers with bonds pending cancellation can be effective recon tool
Todd Dills | December 10, 2018
In early November, FMCSA stood up what amounts to a new flag on brokers/forwarders and motor carriers whose surety bonds/insurance have been marked for cancellation by the provider.
Read the complete article here.
Small fleet owner Scott Jordan once had something of a maxim he’d repeat about his business dealings. “In all the years I’ve been in business,” around seven years as an independent, he’d say, “I’ve never been screwed over by the broker or shipper, only the trucker.”
Last year, that changed in a big way on a load that Jordan booked for one of his owner-operators. Working with a sizable broker, he was led to believe the freight was something of a need-it-now item. Complications ensued, appointments for delivery were rescheduled repeatedly, and rate confirmations were updated to reflect the changes. After reaching an agreement to store the load for about a week, it turned into a $3,800 load, well over the initial rate.
Written by Todd Dills originally published here. Read the rest of the article.
Full article can be found here.
A bill was filed Wednesday in the U.S. House that would, if passed, exempt the smallest trucking companies — those with 10 trucks or fewer — from compliance with the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate on a permanent basis.
Read article here.
Gene Schultz has been in the trucking business for nearly 60 years. Ask him what technological advances have made his job easier over the years and three things come to mind:
- Satellite trailer tracking
- The DAT load board
“We take it for granted now because it’s so easy,” Schultz says about the DAT load board.
“You type into the computer that you need a load from this city to that city and a second later it gives you dozens of loads to choose from,” he said. “You can do more today with one guy and the DAT load board than we could do with 10 back then.”
The early days
Schultz got his start in the trucking industry working for his father’s produce-hauling business in Rochester, Minnesota in the 1950s. When his father died in 1959, Schultz took over the business. At that time Schultz Transit had six trucks. Schultz grew the business to 235 trucks, 242 drivers, and back-office staff of 42, including warehouse and cross-border operations staff in Laredo, Texas. He liquidated the business in 1991, and in 1997 he and two other partners started another trucking company, Hiawatha Transport, which they later sold.
Rather than retire, in 2010 Schultz accepted a job in the transportation division of Ashley Furniture, the world’s largest furniture maker, based in Arcadia, Wisconsin. His job involves negotiating contracts, pricing, and finding loads for Ashley’s empty trucks after they deliver furniture from the manufacturing plants to distribution centers throughout North America.
Schultz says that DAT products have helped him fill Ashley trucks and have turned what previously were deadhead miles into a profit center for the company. He uses the DAT Power load board for finding loads, DAT RateView™ for pricing guidance, and DAT CarrierWatch® for some monitoring of carriers.
The Uber Team met Frank in December of 2016. He’s a career driver who’s constantly on the road. When we asked him what one feature he wished we could create for him, he responded: “Get me home more.”
Original article found here.
Nearly a month into his job as FMCSA Administrator, Ray Martinez told an audience at the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) that he looks forward to “meeting great people” and having “productive conversations.”
Martinez addressed the TCA annual convention in Kissimmee, Fla., the morning of Mar. 26. The week before, Martinez spoke to a less friendly audience at the Mid-America Truck Show about the ELD rule.
“I wish (the conversation) could be more productive rather than just anger,” he said about that previous industry meeting. “I am looking for (TCA) for help on how to move the ball forward.”
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Originally published here.
Truckers hauling agricultural products and livestock have received further reprieve from compliance with the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Tuesday that such haulers will have until June 18 to adopt an ELD. They can continue to run on paper logs in the meantime.
Ag and livestock haulers had already secured a three-month compliance extension beyond the mandate’s December 18 compliance deadline, giving them until March 18 to comply. However, the agency decided to provide such truckers an additional 90 days to comply so it can “continue to work on outreach and communication with the ag community so they have the fullest understanding of the rule and regulations,” said FMCSA head of enforcement Joe DeLorenzo.