Overdrive Staff | April 03, 2011

Paramount Freight Systems of Ft. Myers, Fla., was selected as the Best Fleet for Owner Operators by the Truckload Carriers Association. Fremont Contract Carriers Inc. of Fremont, Neb., was selected the Best Fleet for Company Drivers.

In addition to providing steady miles and home time, said TCA’s announcement, Paramount works with its owner-operators by providing insurance options at reasonable rates, quarterly surveys to collect input on the effectiveness of company programs and a “buddy” system that ensures a smooth transition for new contractors. Paramount has 122 owner-operators and no company drivers.

The Best Fleets to Drive For program is sponsored by the TCA, CarriersEdge and Marsh Inc.

— Staff reports

EOBR comment period extended

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is extending the comment period to May 23 on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding electronic onboard recorders and hours-of-service supporting documents.

FMCSA said both the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the American Trucking Associations requested the extension. In granting the extension, FMCSA said it believes that others planning to make comments also would benefit from the extra time.

Under the proposal, all interstate commercial truck and bus carriers that now use log books to track hours compliance would have to use EOBRs instead. The proposal would relieve carriers of the current requirement to retain certain HOS documents, such as delivery and toll receipts, that are used to verify the number of hours the vehicle is in operation. About 500,000 carriers would be affected by the proposed rule, FMCSA said.

Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered FMCSA to issue a NPRM on hours-supporting documents by yearend. In December, the court gave the agency another month – until Jan. 31 – to comply. The court order stemmed from a lawsuit ATA filed in early 2010 to compel FMCSA to move forward with a regulation as mandated by Congress in the mid-1990s.

— Staff reports

Report: FMCSA should study wait time

Without more data on the extent detention time contributes to hours-of-service violations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may lack key information to reduce these offenses.

That was the conclusion of a Feb. 18 Government Accountability Office report, based on more than 300 trucker interviews and other research.

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) on Feb. 17 introduced H.R. 756, which directs the U.S. Department of Transportation to research trucker wait time and report results within a year of the bill’s passage. It was referred to committee without co-sponsors.

The DOT would issue a rulemaking within a year of that report on maximum hours drivers can be detained without compensation and set penalties for violations.

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