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Overdrive Staff | May 01, 2011

Cross-border plan detailed

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed cross-border trucking project with Mexico will require fewer participants and will equip Mexican trucks with electronic on-board recorders, paid for by the United States.

FMCSA will respond to feedback and consider public comment in forming its final program.

The agency anticipates an average of one long-haul border crossing per week per truck, with each Mexican carrier having two trucks participating in the program, and 46 carriers participating. It assumes an attrition rate of 25 percent after 18 months in the project.

It believes 4,100 inspections can be made within three years, enough to draw reasonable analysis of the program’s effectiveness. The previous pilot program, which ended in 2009, was to run 18 months.

Mexican carriers would have to complete three stages before the FMCSA issues permanent operating authority. Provisional or permanent operating authority may be suspended or revoked during the pilot program if the carrier has a substandard safety performance or violates program rules, such as transporting placardable hazmat or operating beyond the scope of its authority.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association asserts that Mexico lacks safety standards equivalent to those of the U.S. OOIDA and some congressional members said the U.S. should have challenged the legality of retaliatory tariffs Mexico imposed on U.S. exports after the first program ended.

The American Trucking Associations welcomed the proposal, which it said requires Mexican carriers to comply with U.S. standards and provides sufficient oversight to enforce these rules.

The notice is available at www.fmcsa.dot.gov under “News & Alerts.” The public may comment on the notice by including the notice’s docket number, FMCSA-2011-0097.

— Jill Dunn



Navy vet named Back on the Road winner

Former owner-operator and Navy veteran David Acosta was named Arrow Truck Sales’ Back on the Road winner April 1 in Louisville, Ky. The Orlando, Fla., native was presented with keys to a 2007 Volvo VNL 780, provided by the used truck retailer.

David Acosta received a 2007 truck and a one-year driving agreement as part of his selection as Arrow Truck Sales’ Back on the Road recipient.

Acosta also receives a one-year work agreement with Heartland Express and several other products and services.

Acosta was nominated by his wife, Angela, after several tough years and a growing list of repair bills forced him to lose his truck. Medical bills for the couple’s daughter, Amanda, put stress on the family’s finances as well. Amanda has been battling a kidney disease that requires around-the-clock care from her mother.

“David constantly puts everybody before himself,” Angela said in her nomination. “Money is extremely tight and our family is struggling more than we ever thought imaginable.”

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