regulations

NPR looks at truckers’ health issues and regulation

A radio story on regulators' scrutiny of truckers health aired last week Friday for a larger than usual audience -- on NPR by reporter Frank Morris out of station KCUR in Kansas City, Mo. He introduced the heart -- or stomach -- of the story quickly: "Outside the Iron Skillet restaurant on I-70 east of Kansas City -- where you can get a salad, but the chicken-fried steak and eggs with gravy sure look more appealing ...

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News flash: Owner-operator likes electronic logs

Jeffersonville, Ind.-based owner-operator Perry Famularo says he "was one of those guys who said, 'If you make me go to electronic logs, I’m out of here.'" Leased to Dart Transit, though, he was presented with the opportunity a couple years ago to try out one of the PeopleNet eLogs units the mostly owner-operator carrier was beginning to test and offer its contractors. As Famularo tells it, "Dart asked me would I want to experiment with one. I said, 'Well sure, I’m willing to ...

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Tonight: CSA 2010 round robin, webinar on gaining authority

A message yesterday from the folks with AsktheTrucker.com about their online radio show, Truth About Trucking, scheduled for 5 p.m. EST this afternoon, detailed the 40 questions the program hopes to answer about CSA 2010 (see below for a full list), delayed from July implementation for carriers to November but no less fraught with complexities and, yes, areas provoking all manner of lines of inquiry. Truth About Trucking host Allen Smith collected the questions direct ...

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Flex time — ATA lays down support for sleeper berth/HOS flexibility in comments to feds

The latest wrinkle in the ongoing debate over potential changes to trucking hours-of-service regulations, for which so many drivers have offered various proposals for injecting flexibility into the system, is the biggest trucking-company organization in the nation's support for codifying split rest in the sleeper berth. "Allowing shorter documented sleeper berth periods  would promote safety and health," ran a portion of the American Trucking Associations' comments on the questions posed by the hours-of-service listening session ...

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A modest proposal for hours flexibility: ‘Gold Card drivers’

Trucker/marathoner/blogger Jeff Clark offers a well-thought-out idea for hours-of-service flexibility, giving the stellar, safe drivers out there a new name and the freedom to use their status to run how they please: "Gold card drivers" are "drivers who do not get into accidents," he says. "They don’t get moving violations. They don’t get out-of-service violations, and they do not do drugs. These drivers deserve to be recognized. They also have a lot to teach new ...

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Amid industry discussion of EOBR rule, smartphone logging apps proliferate

Though the FMCSA's just-published limited-mandate and performance-standards rule for electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) for logging did next to nothing to open up the market for tools beyond the paper log and expensive devices tethered to the truck's ECM, smartphone applications with similar functionality continue to proliferate. The UDrove app and online storage service, released earlier this year (functional on iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices) enables owner-operators to log hours, track mileage for tax purposes, record fuel and business expenses, and ...

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Trucking through hours-of-service flexibility and EOBRs

With a new rule mandating electronic on-board recorders for a boosted number of hours-of-service (HOS) noncompliant carriers, the ongoing HOS listening sessions and FMCSA review of the current hours rule and the expectation among industry parties that an across-the-board EOBR mandate may be in the offing several years down the road, the issue of work time and outside control of that time has been front and center of late. Bison Transport driver Tom Balaz of Winnipeg, Manitoba, ...

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Satirical news mag picks up on texting ban ironies

Humor mag The Onion is known for picking apart the news of the day, and the news business, in often satirically cutting fashion -- in a story published years ago in its pages it ran a picture of an orange-jumpsuited prisoner wearing a crown of thorns with the headline "Christ kills two in abortion-clinic bombing." It picked up on the ironies inherent in last week's ban on the practice of texting while driving in this faux man-on-the-street series ...

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Ban eating while driving too?

Though the writer played it as an example of distracted driving, could it be an argument for more flexibility in the hours of service? Whatever the case, given today's news that a nationwide texting-while-driving ban is in the offing, I guess it couldn't be helped that Joseph Rose of the Oregonian newspaper wrote on the Hard Drive blog of 45-year-old Los Angeles-based trucker Andrew Quintero's accident on I-5. Quintero's truck and trailer crossed the median and came to rest ...

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Have truck, can’t hunt

Over-the-road drivers deal with all manner of annoyances, some rising to the level of outright injustice -- I think immediately of the numerous times I've watched a fellow auto-driver cut across three lanes of traffic at 70-plus mph within mere feet of a rig's front bumper, to name just one -- but writing in the Montana newspaper Billings Gazette, reporter Brett French recently uncovered one such injustice that might take the cake for most downright ...

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