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Mexican carriers’ EOBRs flag hours ‘violations’

| August 28, 2012

FMCSA Associate Administrator for Enforcement Bill Quade updated the Cross-Border Subcommittee of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee August 27 on progress in the Pilot Program on NAFTA Long-haul Trucking Provisions.

Quade revealed during discussion that monitors of participating carriers’ electronic onboard recorder systems had shown “violations” of U.S. hours-of-service rules when drivers were in Mexican territory. “When they get to the border we’re making sure they haven’t driven so long [in Mexico] that they are outside of compliance with our rules.” However, Quade added, the EOBRs “have flagged times when they’ve violated the 11-hour rule and 14-hour rule in Mexico – we don’t have any authority to enforce that.”

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Executive Vice President Todd Spencer called such violations a bad indicator of future performance. While drivers in Mexico don’t have a formal federal log-book requirement, state and federal work hours rules can dictate more restrictive schedules. “We had heard that Mexico’s [work hours] regulations are even more stringent than ours,” said Spencer. “I would generally think that if there wasn’t any real level of compliance with the regulations that are applicable there, it wouldn’t be much of an indicator of compliance on this side of the border.”

Since the last update on the program, delivered at the MCSAC’s May meeting, some progress had been made in the number of Mexican carriers approved for long-haul in the United States.

But MCSAC cross-border subcommittee members continued to express concern over the status of the program. Reacting to the intelligence that 109 of the the program’s 111 total truck inspections had been conducted at border checkpoints, Henry Jasny of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety worried that “border inspections won’t give you much of a good look at how the carriers are operating inside the U.S. when they’re not at the border…. I’d like to see more inspections outside the border area.”

Of the total 112 crossings, however, Quade reported, almost half of them resulted in carriers going no farther than the commercial zone along the border. Of a total 60,000-plus U.S. miles driven by cross-border carriers, 38,000 of those miles were driven in California and Texas alone. “Most carriers crossing in California are staying in California,” Quade said, with the Texas crossings resulting in trips throughout the Southeast as far north as Kentucky and North Carolina.

  • Porter M. Corn

    More smoke and mirrors coming from Todd Spencer and the so-called “safety groups”.

    All we need to be concerned about is do they comply with our rules and regulations when they are in our country. What they do in their country is indicative of nothing to do with their ability to comply here.

    If they are over hours as indicated by their EOBR’s, they are put to bed by the inspectors on this side. I see these program trucks and other Mexican carriers that have authority beyond the pilot program laid up at truck stops between Laredo and San Antonio every week. You don’t need an “indicator of compliance” as Spencer asserts. You have “proof of compliance” contained within the EOBR.

    Jasney’s comment is just as irrelevant and ridiculous as Spencers. These trucks are being Level I inspected at the border as required. So what is an inspection in the interior of the country going to prove? Besides, with the mandatory CVSA inspection sticker, further inspections are not required unless cause can be shown.

    Interesting to their comments about many of the trucks operating only in California and Texas. Considering border to border US 101 is 808 miles end to end in California and likewise I-5 is 796 miles end to end, most of these carriers coming across at Otay Mesa would be doing business exclusively in California.

    Just more attempts to muddy the subject and not admit the attempts of OOIDA and Teamsters to put a stop to this program has been an abysmal failure.

  • Todd Dills

    Interesting, Porter, that there’s no U.S. carrier participation in this program this time around, though according to Larry Minor at FMCSA there was supposed to be — what do you chalk it up to? Abrupt ending of the last one?

  • Thomas Duncan

    Maybe some of these “truckers”should find out who Todd Spencer and OOIDA are and what they are about before they start downgrading their efforts.They are THE GAME in town and for the life of me I will never understand “truckers” who will not join with them and support their ever going battle to help us keep our Liberty and freedom in this business.

  • YouAreYourOwnWorstEnemy

    Fools !! When you call for “More Regulations” against your Competition, they call for “More Regulations” against you. A Battlefield of idiots, shooting themselves in their own feet. Empowering the Regulator everyday with more and more infighting. And what will you keep getting? More rules, more regulations, more inspections. STFU

  • Ripped OffDrivers

    ..the cross border committee??? How Hilarious….are they with or without heads??? Yep we need that beautiful breed of Head Choppers up here to drag us into the gutter like them.
    ….American companies are already hiring as many Mexican Drivers as they can……trucktops are filled with Spanish Speakers….the goal is a Low Paid Mexican in every truck pronto!!!!!!!! And it is working….for these wealthy tycoon trucking company execs…… strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.