FMCSA Seeking Public Feedback to Allow Drivers Ages 18-20 to Operate CMV in Interstate Commerce

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The U.S Department of Transportation’s FMCSA announced that they’re seeking public comment on allowing a potential pilot program to allow drivers ages 18-20 to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. The transportation industry is a crucial factor to our economy. It’s unclear if the FMCSA is acknowledging the driver shortage we face, however by lowering the age requirements to operate a CMV in interstate commerce it may be a small piece to the puzzle.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao says, “Commercial trucks and buses are essential to a thriving national economy, and the Department wants to ensure the public has an opportunity to comment on this important potential change”.

As of last year the FMCSA launched a pilot program allowing 18-20 year olds to operate CMVs in interstate commerce, provided that they must have military training. This was granted by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Currently, the second pilot program the FMCSA is requesting comments on, if passed will allow drivers under 21 to operate CMVs interstate without having military training.

The FMCSA is requesting feedback on the training they should consider, as well as, vehicle safety systems, driving limitations, and qualifications to include in the second pilot program.

The FMCSA is requesting comments on the following questions:

  1. What data are currently available on the safety performance (e.g. crash involvement, etc.) of 18-20-year-old drivers operating CMVs in intrastate commerce?
  2. Are there concerns about obtaining insurance coverage for drivers under 21 who operate CMVs in intrastate commerce, and would these challenges be greater for interstate operations?
  3. What is the minimum driving experience that should be required for a driver to be admitted to a pilot?
  4. What kind of supervision, and how much, should be required for drivers under 21 in a pilot?
  5. Should there be any specific training / qualification requirements for mentors, supervisors or co-drivers? If so, what type of training or qualifications?
  6. Should FMCSA require that participating motor carriers establish a formal apprenticeship program according to Department of Labor Standards? If so, why?
  7. Should there be time or distance restrictions on younger drivers? If so, what should these be and why?
  8. Should younger drivers have more limited hours of service, such as a maximum of 8 hours of driving each day? If so, what limits should be applied and why?
  9. Should younger drivers be prohibited from transporting hazardous materials, passengers, and/or operating tank vehicles or oversize/overweight vehicles? Should there be other restrictions?
  10. What safety standards should participating drivers have to meet? Are the requirements from the Under 21 Military Pilot program appropriate?
  11. What action(s) should the Agency consider taking if drivers in this pilot program are convicted of violations while operating in interstate commerce?
  12. At what point should FMCSA remove a driver or motor carrier from a pilot program?
  13. Should FMCSA include requirements for safety equipment or on-board recording systems in a pilot program for younger CMV drivers? If so, what equipment and why?

If you’d like to leave a comment please visit here, the comment period ends 07/15/2019

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Powered by Ezlogz

Ezlogz is the fastest growing and expanding logistics company in the Northwest. With our headquarters office located in Vancouver, WA, another office in Illinois, and two locations in Europe. We’re proud to say within the next few months we will be opening our first office in Toronto, Canada, so we can fully serve our Canadian partners too.

On December 16, 2019 all U.S carriers must be ELD compliant. Luckily, for our customers who are currently running AOBRD, we make it EZ to switch to ELD. Unlike other providers Ezlogz doesn’t require extra wires for you to convert to ELD. In fact, because Ezlogz is an active member in eight trucking associations, during our attendance to the Illinois Trucking Association safety conference, we were surprised to find out that more than 50% of companies won’t be compliant by the end of the year due to failure to comply with the ELD laws. In addition, the industry is 25 years behind in software technology, at Ezlogz we’re using the future of technology with fully ELD compliant in-house blockchain technology and the first ELD with hash data.

What is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain technology is a growing list of records, which contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block a timestamp, and transaction data. Blockchain is resistant to modification of the data. It’s an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.

24/7 Customer Support

At Ezlogz we strive for customer satisfaction, that’s why we have 24 hour customer support in multiple languages. Our customer support representatives speak English, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Spanish and French. We believe communication is key to operating a business, and language barriers are challenging, that’s why Ezlogz is proud to offer six languages to our customers.

What’s New

Ezlogz is an all in one fleet management solution. In the next 60 days Ezlogz is releasing micro pointing for brokers and shippers. Because brokers are in regular communication with drivers and use GPS to track the status of an order. Ezlogz is providing a new service integrated with our blockchain technology for our users to send their location to brokers or shippers through a live data link, that shows pinpoint location. Once the link has expired the location is no longer available, delivering peace of mind.

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Ezlogz New Product: Dash Cams

Ezlogz is excited to announce that we have partnered up with SmartWitness, and on June 25, 2019 we’re releasing dash cams. What makes our dash cameras unique is that they go beyond just recording driving. These one of a kind cameras not only record the road but also record the driver. With facial expression recognition, cameras can identify when a driver is distracted or sleepy, and will alert them. For safety there is also a driver-initiated panic button. Every truck driver should have a dash cam, especially since CMV’s are highly targeted for insurance payouts. Insurance fraud is estimated to cost $80 billion annually.

One testimonial from Chris Novy, said, “In May of 2012 my vehicle was struck by the outer edge of a rain-wrapped EF-5 tornado. The windows were blown out and the vehicle filled with mud and water. The entire event was recorded on my SmartWitness SVC400. Although the tornado took one of the cameras the footage survived and remarkably the SVC400 lived to see another day.” None of us are expecting a tornado to destroy our vehicles, but Ezlogz believes that by offering dash cams to our clients we can help you keep your fleet and drivers safe.

Video evidence provided from dash cams are beneficial because they prevent insurance fraud, staged accidents, conflicting reports of actual events, driving offense allegations and so much more! Ezlogz smart digital cam with live stream data has intelligent driving, high definition video with audio recording, LTE/ WIFI connectivity, dash cam alert and unsafe driver behavior identification.

The new camera releasing July 1st features 1080p HD wide angle 150° lens, records drivers view and optional driver facing camera with the plug n’ play 2nd camera option. Ezlogz offers vehicle tracking, driving behavior that monitors speeding, acceleration and braking. Ezlogz is dedicated to provide the best all in one fleet management solution for ELD services and keeping our customers safe on the road. The extra protection from Ezlogz combined with these dash cameras not only will give you peace of mind knowing your drivers are taken care of but will also assure your drivers that we have their back.

On June 25, 2019 Ezlogz will also release a new SOS feature. When a driver is in an incident or stranded on the road hurt, our SOS signal will alert other Ezlogz users nearby, within a 10 mile radius, which will allow pinpoint location on our POI map. The safety administrator of the account will also get notified, they then have the option to contact the driver and/or local emergency services. We believe that the truck driving community works best when we look out for one another. Because Ezlogz is made by a trucker we understand what it’s like to be on the road, and that’s why we take your safety seriously.

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What you need to know about CSA Scores and How to Check Them

Importance

CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores are important because it determines if you’re a high risk driver. The way this score works is that a lower score is better, and a high CSA score will put you on the FMCSA’s watch list. A score of 65 or greater will result in a warning letter and in some situations higher scores will receive an out-of-service order that shuts down operations. The CSA uses the Safety Measurement System (SMS) to collect and report data. The SMS’s purpose is to identify high-risk motor carriers and to recognise motor carriers with patterns of compliance issues and driving performance.

How Is The Score Determined

Like a credit score, CSA scores are updated monthly. Your score is determined by seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) which include: unsafe driving, reported crashes, HOS compliance, controlled substance and alcohol, driver fitness, and hazardous materials compliance. Please note that for reported crashes, even if the driver isn’t at fault,  your CSA score will still be effected.

Why Your CSA Score Matters

CSA scores matter because it’s purpose is to keep drivers and carriers safe and accountable on the road. For drivers, your score can help determine if you get a job or not. On the other hand, for carriers your CSA score matters because the higher the score means more inspections, and higher insurance premiums. It’s important to check your score regularly and encourage your drivers to always drive safely.

How To Improve Your CSA Score

The FMCSA gives 5 tips to help improve scores. Tip #1, Ensure compliance by being knowledgeable of all regulations. Secondly, understand how your safety management contributes to your safety issues. Thirdly, when there’s a change to your companies profile, check and update your MCS-150 carrier registration information. Tip #4, review your inspection and crash reports–request corrections as needed. Last but not least, educate your company on the regulations and best practices. To check your score visit csa.fmcsa.dot.gov

How Ezlogz Can Help Your Score 

Ezlogz offers our own scorecard that measures connectivity, HOS, harsh brakes, hard accelerations and miles. Our score is based out of 100 points, and the higher the better. The account owner can view all their driver’s scores and see the exact location where they may be braking hard, which also shows how fast they were going. In 45 days Ezlogz is releasing a dash cam that monitors facial expressions and will alert drivers when they become sleepy or distracted. Stay tuned for more information!

Source: https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMS/HelpCenter/Index.aspx#faq30905

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IMO 2020 Fuel Rule: What It Means For Truckers

On January 1, 2020 the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) regulation on limiting sulphur content in marine fuel will go into effect. IMO 2020 will allow a maximum of 0.5% sulphur in fuel, the current content gap is 3.5%. The new regulation will disrupt fuel supplies to transportation industries such as trucking, airline, ships and railroads. Which will result in an increased price in diesel by 20 to 30 percent.

The goal of this regulation is to reduce sulphur emissions which causes acid rain. This will significantly reduce the amount of sulphur released into the atmosphere and have major environmental benefits. However, for workers in the transportation industry this will result in a higher cost to operate. Trucking companies are already suffering from a driver shortage as a result from high labor costs. When the IMO regulation goes into effect, the trucking industry will take a hit, once again. Because bunker fuel is tied to the price of oil, set by Brent Crude Oil price which has been increasing since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) started reducing their oil supply in the beginning of 2017. Because they didn’t adequately prepare for the increased use of bunker fuel in 2018, they executed a cost-recovery program called emergency bunker surcharges (EBS), which passed the costs to shippers.

Sergey “CJ” Karman, founder and CEO of Ezlogz, recalls when he was an OTR driver. He averaged 6.7 mpg and round trip from Portland to Dallas would cost CJ about $1,900 in fuel. However, after the regulation goes into effect the same trip will cost a lot more. One way Ezlogz can help, is with our point of interest (POI) map which shows weigh stations, truck stops, gyms, rest stops, parking lots, hotels, service centers and gas stations. On the POI map, Ezlogz also shows the current prices at each gas station which can help save money once the regulation goes into effect.

https://ezlogz.com

We’re already anticipating an increased cost, but we might not be prepared for a shortage. There are a number of issues regarding the government’s capabilities to enforce this regulation, and determine overall compliance mainly with ocean freight. Initially, the regulation will be enforced to ships docked at port. Those who are non-compliant are subject to violations. However, not all ports have the capability test the fuels. According to Allegro, “Oil refiners around the world are not equipped to produce enough low-sulfur fuel by 2020, so many ships may resort to diesel, causing consumer prices to go up.” Allegro concluded, “the replacement of high-sulfur oil will require refineries to run at high utilization, increasing costs and compressing margins. From the refiners’ point of view, some of the refined bunker fuel will not reach the level of low-sulfur needed to meet regulatory standards.” Everything has a cause and effect. We can’t predict what’s going to be the outcome inflicted upon the transportation industry. Despite our best intentions, all we can do is utilize our resources to be more cost efficient, especially if there’s a shortage in bunker fuel.

Source https://www.allegrodev.com/blog/imo-2020-quest-low-sulfur-fuel-threatens-margins/

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New Regulations for Entry-Level Driver Training

The FMCSA has issued new regulations for entry level driver training (ELDT) that will go into effect February 7, 2020. The new program is called “On Ramp Entry-Level Driver Training” created by Instructional Technologies Inc. (ITI),  which is expected to save driver trainees and motor carriers $18 million annually. On Ramp ELDT, is an online training, testing and recordkeeping system. On Ramp creates a minimum standard, to help CDL schools meet the new federal requirement.

Instructional Technologies Inc. (ITI), is a training solutions provider for the transportation industry. ITI’s new ELDT key features includes 24 hour access to On Ramp for students, and group training modules. The modules will make it quicker and easier to account for student attendance and participation. One way ITI achieves this is by after showing an On Ramp video in the classroom, students will automatically receive a quiz, that also counts for participation.

CDL Schools must apply to the Training Provider Registry (TPR) through the FMCSA and self-certify their instructors. Instructors are required to have two years minimum of driving experience, a clean MVR, medical certification for classroom, and on the road and private range instruction. Also, in the past there was four knowledge topics required by the department of transportation. Now there will be 31 theory course topics, joined by 19 behind the wheel (BTW) skills, tested along with vehicle inspection skills.

The ELDT establishes minimum training requirements for entry level drivers of CMVs. Anyone applying for Class A or Class B CDL, (also upgrading their CDL), or a hazardous materials (H), passenger (P), or school bus (S) endorsement for their license for the first time is required to take ELDT. In addition, the ELDT requirements do not apply to individuals holding a valid CDL or a P, S, or H endorsement issued before February 7, 2020. Please note that the rule doesn’t create any new exceptions, if someone is currently exempt from taking a skills test in order to obtain a CDL, they are not required to take ELDT.

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Canada: Don’t wait until the ELD mandate

In December 2019 all Canadian drivers must be compliant with the new ELD mandate. However, if you sign up now you’ll be grandfathered in allowing you to use AOBRD/ERD. Similar to the process used in the U.S, the mandate will allow a two year period where those grandfathered in with ERD will have time to transition to ELD.

During the two year grace-period drivers and carriers with ERD will be exempt from using an ELD, allowing them time to select, install, and train their drivers to use an ELD. Resembling the U.S, after the two year period, all Canadian drivers must be in full compliance. Failure to comply may result in ELD violations, with fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, and out of service orders.

Canada and the U.S mandates are similar in many ways, one difference is the Canadian mandate applies to any CMV 1995 or newer, and the U.S mandate applies to any CMV 2000 or newer. Another difference includes Personal Conveyance mode. The U.S doesn’t have any restrictions, yet Canadian drivers are only limited to 75 kilometers within 24 hours. Also, in the U.S, carriers are required to share detailed reports and files to enforcement of eight days of log data. Where as Canada doesn’t require detailed reports, but drivers are required to share 14 day log data in PDF form.

There are benefits to using AOBRD/ERD compared to ELD. For instance, with ERD fleet managers can reassign driving time to a different driver, with ELD you cannot. Also, ELD it’s required to transfer data to an DOT inspector during an inspection, yet ERD is not required to transfer data, instead they must email in PDF format, or fax to DOT officials. The table below compares how both AOBRD/ERD and ELD records data, locations, editing, and driving time. This table summarizes the FMCSA’s comparison chart.

Roughly 80,000 Canadian CMVs operate into the U.S on a regular basis. The Canadian ELD mandate will ensure consistency with drivers transporting over the U.S Canadian border. The Canadian ELD mandate will help drivers comply with each countries regulations and create a safer work environment for everyone on the road.

Don’t wait last minute to be compliant, sign up now to use ERD, or later for ELD. Ezlogz offers an all in one fleet management solution. It’s packed with essential features like IFTA calculation, GPS tracking, trip planner, navigation, document center, and more. Ezlogz offers what every truck driver, fleet manager and logistics companies need to make their fleet smarter, and to make life on the road a lot easier. Ezlogz is FMCSA certified and fully compliant with FMCSA & CCMTA rules and regulations.

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Transitioning to ELD from AOBRD

On December 16, 2019, any driver still running an AOBRD will be in violation of the electronic logging device (ELD) law. It’s important all users understand the difference between the two so they know what to expect.

An Electronic Logging Device is electronic hardware that’s connected to the OBD port of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The ELD records hours of service (HOS), driving time, miles driven, and engine information. Because the ELD is attached to the CMV it doesn’t have to be turned on for it to collect data. However, the user must log on their ELD app to record the correct status such as on duty and off duty, and personal conveyance. An Automatic On-board Recording Device (AOBRD) functions similar to an ELD but AOBRDs allow drivers and fleets the opportunity to correct mistakes on logs. It also displays less information, making corrections less apparent. In comparison, ELDs displays all annotations, and automatically recorded events cannot be edited only annotated by the admin.

If you use Ezlogz, you can switch from AOBRD to ELD with the click of a button. However, with other carriers it may be a more painful process and you might find yourself searching the market for a new FMCSA-compliant ELD.

This is what founder and CEO of Ezlogz, CJ “Sergey” Karman, has to say about the transition from AOBRD to ELD, “Taking into consideration the new HOS law expecting to be published next month, the transition should be smooth, I can see it benefiting the logistics industry.” CJ concluded, “Because Ezlogz is the first ELD provider on blockchain technology, with tamper proof, imputable, and transparent ELD data our customers will be at ease with the process.” We’re anticipating the new HOS law expected next month. Hopefully it will encourage drivers with AOBRD to make the switch sooner than the deadline.

The table below compares how both AOBRD and ELD records data, locations, editing, and driving time. This table summarizes the FMCSA’s comparison chart.

AOBRDELD
What it records:

-Date and Time
-Engine hours
-Vehicle miles
-Drive times
-Locations
-Duty status
-Date and Time
-Engine hours
-Vehicle Miles
-Locations
-Duty status
-Vehicle malfunctions
-Identifying information
on driver, carrier & vehicle
Locations:

-Can be entered
manually
-Recorded at change
of duty status
Automatically records when:
-Engine is turned off or on
-Change in duty status
-60 min intervals while
driving
Editing:

-Records who made an
edit and when
-Automatically recorded
events cannot be edited
only annotated
Driving time:

-Can only be edited
when attributed to
the wrong driver
-Automatically records when
vehicle reaches 5mph
Inspections:

-Not required to print
out logs
-Must transfer data to
officials by web, email, or
bluetooth
-If transfer not available, the
ELD must display or print
out the logs

S

Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/faq/what-are-differences-specs-1988-aobrd-rule-and-eld-rule

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New Flexible Hours of Service set for next month

The U.S Department of Transportation listened to the communities questions and suggestions regarding updating the current hours of service (HOS) to be more flexible. The new regulations are set to come out early next month.

The Department of Transportation plans to publish the HOS regulations on June 7th, and allow a 49-day comment period, ending on July 26. Which will allow the public to respond before they finalize the updated HOS regulations.

FMCSA initially started the process of changing the regulations in August 2018, they asked for feedback on the reform. As a result, the FMCSA received thousands of responses. The HOS rules considering changes includes; eliminating the 30-minute rest break; the sleeper berth rule to allow drivers to split their required time in the sleeper berth. Also, allowing drivers to take a rest break once per 14-hour duy period for up to three consecutive hours if the driver is off-duty.

On March 29, 2019, Elaine Chao, the Transportation Secretary announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., that the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is advancing, and the contents of the notice isn’t public yet. Choa said, “I can’t go into the details or the specifics for this proposal, but let me note that the department understands the strong interest in increasing flexibility and is giving it serious consideration,” Chao concluded, “We asked for your participation, and you participated.”

The Department of Transportation may change the date the HOS rule is publicized. We are expecting it to be available on June 7, 2019.

Source: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2018-0248

https://www.ttnews.com/articles/dot-submits-proposed-rule-change-hos-regulations-omb

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Why There’s A Truck Driver Shortage

Truck drivers aren’t praised for their job, in fact they get little recognition. The economy depends on truck drivers to transport freight and other items Americans purchase. As a direct result of the lack of drivers the cost of goods and shipping costs will inflate, but what’s really causing the shortage of drivers may surprise you.

One issue impacting the shortage is age and gender. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of a commercial truck driver in the U.S. is 55 years old, that’s just 11 years till retirement, at age 66. What’s surprising is the Department of Transportation requires all professional drivers to be at least 21 years old, which is quite the age gap for the average trucker. So what’s causing the younger generation not to pursue a career in trucking? Well, the unemployment rate for millennials is more than twice the national average, at a soaring 12.8 percent. Millennials aren’t all to blame though, because statistically only 8 percent of truck drivers are female. Companies are so desperate to hire drivers they’re offering signing bonuses, pay raises, and referrals. Some companies even started to offer free online-college tuition for their drivers. If the trucking industry can market to women and the younger generation, it might solve part of the problem.

We need to consider what it’s like to be on the road, then maybe we’ll understand why this is a dying profession. Professional drivers barely get to see their families and the constant trips make it hard to maintain relationships. Leah Fessler, a publicist for Quartz wrote, “ The 50% divorce rate statistic is a myth. Divorce rates vary by factors like race, education level, and employment status.” According to Fessler the divorce rate for truck drivers is 44.2 percent. This doesn’t mean that if you’re a truck driver you’ll get divorced, there’s other factors at play. This occupation is difficult and demands a lot of time away from your loved ones. Becoming a truck driver isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle choice.

Truck drivers don’t get the respect they deserve. People often don’t take into consideration the amount of time it takes a semi-truck to stop, nor do they see all they’ve sacrificed to keep us safe on the road. CEO and owner of Ezlogz, CJ “Sergey” Karman, was in the logistics industry for over 12 years, drove all 48 states, he also owned a trucking company, and was a broker and safety director. His response to the question if his years of experience being a truck driver still has its side effects, CJ responded,

Once a trucker, always a trucker. I’m grateful for having that experience. I do miss it at times, but truckers don’t get the respect they deserve. The extra stress, aside from driving, that’s brought on from paperwork like BOL, lumper and fuel receipts, is why we created the platform Ezlogz. We’ve been able to help drivers be more organized and lead a less stressful life on the road.

Many people like CJ, who used to be drivers, will never forget the life on the road and have the utmost respect for this occupation. It’s a profession America can’t afford to lose.

Sorce:

https://psmag.com/social-justice/the-long-white-line-the-mental-and-physical-effects-of-long-haul-trucking
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm#tab-6
https://qz.com/1069806/the-highest-and-lowest-divorce-rates-in-america-by-occupation-and-industry/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryalton/2016/12/22/millennials-are-struggling-to-get-jobs-heres-why-and-what-to-do-about-it/#3f536eba4bb0

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