Operation Airbrake set for September 7

On May 3, 2017, more than 9,500 commercial motor vehicles were inspected for an unannounced brake safety enforcement event coordinated by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). Enforcement personnel throughout North America conducted inspections on large trucks and buses to identify out-of-adjustment brakes, and brake-system and antilock braking system (ABS) violations.

Inspection data from the enforcement initiative produced the following notable results:

  • In all, 9,524 inspections (U.S. 8,140; Canada 1,384) were conducted as part of Brake Safety Day
  • 79% of the vehicles inspected did not have any critical item vehicle violations.
  • 21% (1,989) resulted in a vehicle being placed out of service for vehicle violations of any kind.
  • 12% (1,146) resulted in a vehicle being placed out of service for brake-related violations.

Many participating jurisdictions were able to survey ABS compliance, as follows:

  • 4,635 air-braked trucks and tractors were identified as requiring ABS; 8% (391) had ABS violations.
  • 3,222 trailers were identified as requiring ABS; 15% (487) had ABS violations.
  • 723 hydraulic-braked trucks required ABS; 6% (41) had ABS violations.

Brake-related violations comprise the largest percentage of all out-of-service violations cited during roadside inspections. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce the braking capability and increase stopping distances of trucks and buses, which pose a serious risk to driver and public safety.

CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program is holding one more brake safety enforcement event this year on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017 throughout Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Brake Safety Day is part of the Operation Airbrake Program sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Operation Safe Driver Week set for October 15-21

Get ready for more inspections! Law enforcement agencies throughout North America will engage in heightened traffic safety enforcement and educational outreach as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week, Oct. 15-21, 2017. Throughout the week, enforcement personnel will identify and issue warnings and/or citations to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and passenger-vehicle drivers exhibiting unsafe driving behaviors on our roadways.

DOT shelves speed limiter proposal drops financial responsibility and sleep apnea proposals


The FMCSA has decided to withdraw a 2014 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) which sought to increase minimum financial responsibility limits for motor carriers. The Agency stated that it does not have sufficient data or information to support further rulemaking.

Despite receiving thousands of comments in response to the ANPRM, commenters did not provide responsive information necessary to allow the Agency to proceed to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – which oddly enough hasn’t seemed to stop them in the past. And a formally announced withdrawal is very odd as well.

In accordance with the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), the FMCSA was required to conduct a study on the issue of minimum financial responsibility limits for motor carriers. With skyrocketing medical costs and high-profile crashes i.e., Walmart vs Tracy Morgan and the Skagit River bridge collapse that far exceeded the insurance limits, FMCSA floated a proposal to more than triple those minimums to somewhere around $3.5 million. However, studies (including FMCSA’s own study) have shown that roughly half of 1% of all truck-involved crashes even exceed the current minimum levels.


FMCSA has also withdrawn its 2016 ANPRM on obstructive sleep apnea.

Per the Agency, “Upon review of all public comments to the ANPRM, FMCSA has determined there is”, — again — “not enough information available to support moving forward with a rulemaking action and so the rulemaking will be withdrawn”.
See regulations.gov RIN: 2126-AB88


In an under-the-radar move by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Department’s proposed speed limiter mandate was moved away from their active rulemakings list to a long-term agenda item. The proposed rulemaking would require the installation of speed limiters on all new heavy trucks & buses over 26,000 lbs.

The proposal was announced last September by then U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Foxx touted the proposed mandate as a safety measure that could save lives and more than $1 billion in fuel costs each year.

The move away from the active list gives an indication that the Department will not pursue a rulemaking any time soon.
Given that federal regulation since President Trump’s inauguration has slowed to a crawl, the Administration’s stance on implementing new regulations likely had an impact on these regulations.


The end of the year will be here before you know it. It’s time now to begin discovering what is expected of you to be compliant with Electronic Logging Devices.

Beginning on December 18, 2017, motor carriers required to maintain records of duty status (RODS) must select compliant Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), and ensure they are installed and drivers and administrative staff are trained to use them (December 16, 2019 for carriers using AOBRDs). Additionally, motor carriers should know how to annotate and edit RODS, certify RODS, and collect required supporting documents.

ELD Requirements

Devices must be synchronized with the Engine Control Module (ECM) to automatically record the following:

    • Engine power status
    • Vehicle motion status
    • Miles Driven
    • Engine hours
    • Date & Time
    • Geographic location information
  • Must have a display or printout function
  • Must have a wireless connection or be able to locally transfer data via USB and Bluetooth®
  • Must have volume control or mute option for any audio feature

Supporting Documents

The ELD Rule still requires drivers and carriers to retain supporting documents (in paper or digital format) to verify HOS compliance. Drivers must submit all their supporting documents to their motor carriers, and motor carriers must retain (not more than eight) supporting documents for each 24-hour period that a driver is on duty.

Document Types

Bills of lading, itineraries, schedules, or equivalent documents that show the starting and ending location for each trip.

  • Dispatch records, trip records, or equivalent documents;
  • Expense receipts (meals, lodging, fuel, etc.);
  • Fleet management system communication records;
  • Payroll records, settlement sheets, or equivalent documents showing payment to a driver.

Required Information

Each supporting document must contain the following information: Date, time and Location (including the name of the nearest city, town, or village); driver name (or a carrier-assigned ID number) that allows the carrier to link the document to the driver. The vehicle unit number can be used, if that number can be linked to the driver.

Editing and Annotating Records of Duty Status

Limited editing is allowed to correct mistakes, enter missing information, and provide notes or explanations (annotation) for ELD records. All edits, whether made by the driver, or suggested by the carrier, must be annotated.

Driver Certification of RODS

The driver must certify each RODS. A driver must certify any edits he/she makes; and should certify carrier edits if they are accurate. Certification is intended to protect drivers from unilateral changes to the RODS.

Carrier Retention of ELD Information

Carriers must retain original ELD information (on the device, or on a separate back-up system) for at least six months, along with the associated required supporting documents. Carriers must ensure ELD information is stored with appropriate security, to protect driver privacy. Carriers must also provide drivers with access to the records, on request, for a period of six months.

Displaying and Transferring Data

Starting on the compliance date, enforcement officials may request access to RODS through data transfer. An ELD must be able to either: Transmit data using wireless Web services and email, or Transfer data locally using a thumb or flash drive (USB2.0) and Bluetooth®.
Installation of these units is a bit cumbersome, but not so much that you couldn’t do it yourself. Basic installation for most units consists of locating, connecting and routing the adapter cable to the ECM and the ELD module and (in some models) connecting the Bluetooth® connection. Check the FMCSA website for a list of registered ELDs.

When choosing a compliant device, you will have two basic options. 1) a unit designed only to track HOS requirements; and 2) a management system (requiring a wireless web connection) that includes tracking, monitoring and mapping options. Some devices do not include a tablet. Instead, carriers connect their own tablet or phone to an application via Bluetooth®.

The costs vary greatly between the two. For example, with both systems you will be charged to lease or purchase the connection equipment and with a management system you also pay a monthly fee for the connectivity and the additional system features. Lease/purchase charges can start around $100 and monthly fees can start as low as $15.

IMPORTANT: a smartphone or tablet alone will not meet the ELD requirements. A device must be “integrally synchronized” with the truck’s engine to comply.

Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0167

International Roadcheck June 6-8, 2017

CVSA Puts Special Emphasis on Cargo Securement

Mark your calendars for June 6-8, 2017. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 30th annual International Roadcheck will take place during those three days. International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world covering Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Over the 72-hour period, CVSA-certified commercial motor vehicle inspectors Throughout North America will conduct inspections of commercial motor vehicles and their drivers. Each year, International Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year’s focus is cargo securement. While checking for compliance with safe cargo securement regulations is always part of roadside inspections, CVSA is highlighting cargo securement safety this year as a reminder of its importance to highway safety.

According to the CVSA, damaged or defective tiedowns, loose or unfastened tiedowns, and not having the required number of tie-downs are the most common violations. Drivers need to take specific care in calculating the weight of the cargo plus any length requirements when determining the correct number of tiedowns required.

TIP: unmarked or illegible markings on tiedowns may cause an inspector to error on the side of caution and downgrade your tiedown and its Working Load Limit (WLL) which could cause you to be cited.

Inspectors will primarily be conducting the North American Standard Level I Inspection, which is the most thorough roadside inspection. It is a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Drivers are required to provide items such as their driver’s license, hours-of-service documentation, motor carrier registration and shipping documentation, and inspectors will be checking drivers for seat belt usage and the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The vehicle inspection includes checking items such as the brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft, exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices (required lamps), steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, windshield wipers, and emergency exits (on buses). Learn more at cvsa.org.

America’s Aging Infrastructure

Aging Infrastructure

The U.S. has a failing infrastructure and we have to find a way to pay to upgrade it now. That was the reoccurring message delivered during a recent Senate hearing on Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America.

According to the Senate panel and those testifying before the panel, underdeveloped ports, failing locks, constrained rail, crumbling bridges, congested roads and insufficient waterways are all part of an aging U.S. infrastructure that is straining to meet the demands of the 21st century population and commerce. Testifying before the panel, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka provided an estimate that the U.S. infrastructure deficit is approaching $4 trillion.

Five experts representing different areas of the U.S. economy were on-hand to opine on the state of the country’s network of movement and industry. During the hearing there were suggestions on how to relieve stress and congestion throughout the network, but in no way did anyone suggest that stress relievers would fix the underlying and costly need for maintenance and upgrade. Conversely, David MacLennan, CEO of Cargil (representing food and agriculture) stated that the consequences of inaction will have a rippling effect all the way up the supply chain. MacLennan made specific reference to the devastating effect on corn prices paid to farmers following hurricane Katrina in 2005 that represented $3 billion in lost market value.

Like a broken record from previous hearings, the consensus was that the country’s infrastructure is deficient, but funding the effort to fix it remains elusive. The favored method of payment discussed during the hearing was an increase in the federal fuel tax indexed for inflation and a user fee to address those that are less reliant on fuel but no less reliant on the system. Fedex CEO, Frederick Smith stated “the entire country is moving away from internal combustion engines” making the current fuel tax insufficient. Additionally, he suggested the use of RFID modules on vehicles to track distance traveled as a way to calculate the user fee.

As part of his first 100 days in office, President Trump has pledged to fill the $1 trillion gap noted by the National Association of Manufacturers as improvements needed to our transportation systems over the next 10 years. We can only hope that not only will this happen within that time, but it will happen in an manner that brings the country together. That would be Huge.

New CCIA Gear

Our 2017 shirt design features America’s “Mother Road” Historic Route 66.
New CCIA Gear

Our new design is set on 100% preshrunk cotton in American royal blue. The shirt design showcases American strength, ingenuity and pride starting with the symbolic Bald eagle clasping onto California’s Route 66 highway sign. The trucking industry, a key component to the prosperity of American businesses is featured with an 18-wheeler in silhouette along the road with the sun shinning brightly in the background. The term “Mother Road” is draped across the top of the design on a colonial-aged scroll adding a much needed feeling of maturity and patriotism. To add a little flare and to leave no doubt about the message, “HISTORIC ROUTE” was drawn in a vintage font and prominently place in the center of the design. Stars complete the image by surrounding the artwork and compounding the American theme.

Route 66 was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System. US 66 was established on November 11, 1926 and was completely paved by 1938. The highway originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles.

The new highway brought life and economic prosperity to those communities along its path and would eventually lead to the construction of the U.S. Highway System. The trucking industry compounded that prosperity and would eventually form the backbone of the U.S. economy.

The decline of Route 66 began in late 1950’s with the signing of the Interstate Highway Act by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and was officially removed from the United States Highway System in 1985.

Job-Related Fatalities Rank #1, Injuries #6

According to a blog by the U.S. Department of Labor, one out of every six American workers killed on the job is a tractor-trailer truck driver. In 2014, 761 truck drivers were killed while working, marking the fifth year in a row those numbers have increased. Of those fatalities, 78% were caused by transportation incidents.

Citing data from the Bureau, truck drivers also have the highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses requiring days off from work across all occupations (55,710 in 2014). In this category, truckers ranked 6th behind police officers and sheriffs, firefighters, highway maintenance workers, correctional officers and nursing assistants.

The dominant injury-related causes were slips, trips and falls, followed by overexertion. Most likely causes were pushing and pulling containers; lifting heavy items while loading and unloading; and routinely getting in and out the vehicle.

Some prevention tips are listed below.

    • Use good body position / posture in all tasks.
    • Use mechanical aids whenever possible
    • Use three points of contact when working on
    elevated work surfaces.
    • Don’t jump off your vehicle or trailer
    • It is always better to face the direction you
    want to go rather than walk backwards
    • Be careful when opening up a trailer as loads
    can shift.
    • Get help securing your loads and stay out
    of the direct path of the strap as it may break.

CSA Update

In a Senate hearing on June 8, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx testified about the status of reform to the controversial CSA program and when the carrier scores will be returned to the public website.

The FAST Act (the current five-year, $305 billion transportation bill) requires that the CSA scores be removed from public view and fixed before they can be publicly held out as factual safety data.

Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) stated that the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office and internal DOT reports concluded that the CSA program was badly in need of reform. Following that statement, Thune asked Foxx “when will the (CSA) program be reformed” so that the CSA motor carrier scores “can be returned to the public website with confidence that the analysis is appropriate and represents the risk of an individual carrier.” Foxx replied, “it’s going to take a while to do revised analysis”. He continued by stating, “I would expect it might take a year or two probably more like two years before that information would be posted back up.”


International Roadcheck (June 7-9)

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 29th annual International Roadcheck (I-R) will take place June 7-9, 2016. I-R is a 72-hour period when approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial, territorial and federal inspectors in jurisdictions across North America perform large truck and bus safety inspections. During I-R, inspectors primarily conduct North American Standard Level 1 Inspections which include an examination of both the driver and vehicle.

Drivers are required to provide items such as their license, endorsements, medical card and hours-of-service documentation, and may be checked for seat belt usage and the use of alcohol and/or drugs. The vehicle inspection includes checking items such as the braking system, securement of cargo, coupling devices, exhaust system, frame, fuel system, lights, steering mechanism, driveline/driveshaft, suspension, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels and rims, and windshield wipers.



USDOT Announces Unrepaired Recalled Volvo Trucks That May Still be Operating on the Nation’s Roadways Are in an Unsafe Condition, “such vehicles are to be immediately ordered out-of-service by federal and state roadside safety inspectors.”

Get more details in the two attached FMCSA announcements.