ATRI study says HOS will cost trucking industry

HOS rulesChanges to the hours-of-service (HOS) rule, which were made final in December 2011, were hailed at the time by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as being beneficial to the trucking industry to the tune of $133 million a year. Now, just as the new rule changes are about to become effective this July 1, a study released last week by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), a research arm of the American Trucking Associations, says not only will the rule changes not benefit the industry, they will actually cost the industry. The ATRI projects that cost to be $189 million a year.

Put those numbers together and a $322 million discrepancy becomes glaringly apparent.  How did the divergence in calculations occur? The ATRI studied two provisions of the HOS rule changes – the new limit of one 34-hour restart per week and the demand that two rest periods be taken each week between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. The ATRI says those requirements will result in the average driver losing 15 minutes a week in productivity. The institute calls that a conservative measure, too.

The ATRI says the FMCSA came up with a different number because the agency didn’t weigh several key factors that will be byproducts of the HOS changes that will affect productivity. Some of these resulting factors include lost work hours, the limiting of driver productivity, increased roadway congestion, increased restart times, and other miscellaneous costs.

As for the 34-hour restart provisions, the ATRI deduces in its report that the FMCSA based its calculation on faulty logbook data. The data the agency used was compiled from carriers who were undergoing compliance reviews and safety audits. Data from drivers who did not stick to the hours of service limits was not included and therefore skewed its calculations.

Prime – Fit for Success

Prime Inc. was founded by Robert E. Low in 1970. Low began the Missouri-based company with one dump truck and one vision – to provide the ultimate customer satisfaction and damage-free delivery of shipments. Ten years later, this vision enabled Prime to become a $50 million operated company serving from their corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.

Over the years, Prime began to focus on areas within the company that proved profitable in their growth. Since 1986, Prime’s equipment, services, and personnel have remained on the cutting edge of the transportation industry. Most notable of services are Prime’s different tracking options that help customers keep track of their shipments. The Qualcomm Mobility system provides customers with continuous communication and load status throughout the whole shipping process. Prime believes that better control of shipments reduces cost. These cost reductions will not only benefit the company but also the customer, building a better customer/business relationship in the process.

From the beginning, Prime has been striving to be North America’s most successful refrigerated, flatbed, and tanker carrier that provides reliable services to their US and international customers. Prime currently operates a fleet of 4,400 tractors, 7,600 temperature controlled trailers, 980 flatbeds, and 390 tanker trailers. From pickup and delivery to dry freight and temperature controlled freight, Prime works with impeccable accuracy to deliver affordable on-time services for customers.

Prime accommodates their drivers with several driving opportunities, offering solo and team driver jobs for both company and independent contractor positions. Driving territories include regional and over the road driving job options. The company works hard to ensure that Prime employees are cared for and respected for their labor. Company drivers and owner operators are offered competitive benefits, pay, and incentives to reward their loyalty and safety.

Another benefit to Prime employment is their push for a healthy workplace environment, from their offices to the insides of the trucks. Recently, the company established a Health and Wellness Program for all employees and truck drivers to take part in. Prime employee Siphiwe Baleka was once a world class athlete before becoming a professional driver. He created a workout regime after gaining a substantial amount of weight and decided that truck drivers needed a better way to stay fit while on the road. The company has adopted his strategy and made it a voluntary program to improve the trucking lifestyle.

View Prime, Inc.’s company profile for more information about their trucking jobs in in your area.

Focus on…Jacksonville

Jacksonville, FloridaJacksonville, “America’s Logistic Center”, is the contiguous United States’ largest city in area extending over 874 miles. Bordered and divided by numerous waterways, Jacksonville’s strategic location along the Atlantic Ocean and the St. Johns River allows the city to act as a key supplier for Florida and much of the United States. With an enticing subtropical climate and an abundant amount of notable attractions, many businesses and over 1.3 million residents have decided to call this growing city home.

Originally inhabited by Native Americans, Jacksonville natives have long relied on the area’s local resources, especially its waterways. Jacksonville was established in 1822, soon after the United States acquired Florida from Spain, and was named after the seventh president, Andrew Jackson. Before Florida was declared a state in 1845, Jacksonville’s natural seaports played an important role in the international shipping and trading of cotton and timber.

Today, Jacksonville is home to one of the most diverse ports in the Southeast and continues to play a crucial role in international shipping. With trade connections all over the world, the Port of Jacksonville stays busy with a variety of goods flowing throughout the port’s terminals on a daily basis.

With miles of beaches, easily accessible railroads, and many major interstates, Jacksonville’s transportation capabilities seem endless. While the St. John River acts as barrier between the east and west sides of the city, several major bridges cross over the river allowing goods to easily reach their destination. Whether you’re a trucker, a tourist, or a business, Jacksonville offers it all. From America’s newest cruise port to the largest urban park system, Jacksonville offers unique opportunities to even the most diverse crowd.

Attracting many successful businesses, Jacksonville provides a variety of trucking possibilities for every truck driver. With a healthy economy focused on tourism and transportation, Jacksonville makes finding a trucking job easy. To find the right Jacksonville trucking job for you, check out the available jobs that await you by clicking here.

Oversize load hit braces prior to bridge collapse

On May 29, a 2010 Kenworth truck-tractor with a 1997 Aspen flatbed trailer loaded with a casing shed was traveling south on I-5 when it crossed a bridge at milepost 228.25 in Mount Vernon, Skagit County, Washington. It was following a pilot car.

According to a preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board, witnesses stated that as the oversize load and pilot car approached the bridge, a second truck-trailer, also traveling southbound, passed the oversize load in the left lane. The oversize load driver later told the accident investigators that this action made him “feel crowded”, so he moved over to the right. The top of his load subsequently “hit the overhead portal and multiple sway braces on the far right side of the truss structure.”

Load bearing components of the bridge superstructure were damaged on impact, thus leading to the failure and collapse of the northernmost bridge span. Two passenger vehicles were on that span at the time of the collapse and were sent into the Skagit River with the damaged portion of the bridge. The driver of a southbound 2010 Dodge Ram pickup towing a 2009 Jayco camper trailer and the driver of a northbound 2013 Subaru XV Crosstek along with a passenger were rescued from the water but sustained various injuries. An additional adjacent span received impact damage from the oversize load.

The driver reported to accident investigators that he believed the height of his oversize load was 15 feet 9 inches. The pilot car driver reported that her clearance pole mounted on the front of the vehicle was set at 16 feet 2 inches and reportedly cleared the bridge.

“The lowest portion of the sway braces, as measured over the active portion of the roadway, was determined to be 14 feet 8 inches,” said the report. “The over-water truss spans were non-load-path-redundant, and certain members of the truss were considered fracture critical.” The bridge was built in 1955.

Ryder a Top Green Provider of 2013

Ryder Trucks logoIn 1933, John Ryder placed a down payment on a Model A Ford and began his vision to create his own trucking business. Ryder System, Inc. began as one man’s dream, and in the last 80 years, has flourished into a “greener” Fortune 500 industry company. The company announced on June 4th that Ryder was named one of 2013’s Top Green Providers by Food Logistics.

Being named one of the “Top Green Providers” of 2013 reflects Ryder’s progress in providing a greener, more sustainable transportation and logistics service for their customers. Ryder joins Food Logistics in reaching towards the goal of sustainability in the global food chain. Darin Cooprider, Vice President of Ryder System, Inc., stated that being on the list “not only validates our core beliefs in sustainability, but also motivates Ryder to continue making strides in improving sustainability for our customers.”

Engaging customers on how they can go green on their supply chain is another step closer to Ryder’s goal of global sustainability. Customers are able to take advantage of Ryder’s ability to optimize greener shipments and travel routes as well as request that Ryder use alternative fuel vehicles when available. Since 2010, Ryder has been building their fleet of natural gas vehicles and offering the use of this fleet in the Arizona, Michigan, and Louisiana markets.

Within the warehouse and other facilities, Ryder promotes energy saving lighting and temperature control technologies. The company is currently working on ways to dispose of their by-products and waste in a more eco-friendly way.

Ryder’s efforts in becoming green has landed them on Inbound Logistics’ Green Partners list for the last five years, as well as making Newsweek’s Top 500 Green U.S. Companies three years in a row. Working on reducing carbon intake has landed Ryder the recipient of the 2011 NGV Achievement Award. Its go green or go home for Ryder in their quest to make the environment a healthier work place.

View Ryder’s company profile for more information about the company and their employment opportunities.

Will EOBRs result in driver harassment? Survey says…

An Information Collection Request (ICR) consisting of interviews and surveys submitted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may help determine whether or not the use of Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBRs) could establish a form of driver harassment when used by carriers or enforcement personnel. EOBRs are used to document drivers’ compliance with hours of service rules to ensure that they don’t run over legal limits.

In the Federal Register, the FMCSA announces:

“The purpose of this new ICR is to broadly examine, by the collection of survey data, the issue of driver harassment and determine the extent to which Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBRs) used to document drivers’ hours of service (HOS) could be used by motor carriers or enforcement personnel to harass drivers or monitor driver productivity. The survey will collect information on the extent to which respondents believe that the use of EOBRs may result in coercion of drivers by motor carriers, shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries. The proposed surveys for drivers and carriers collect information related to issues of EOBR harassment of drivers by carriers. FMCSA plans to publish a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking on EOBRs. Prior to the issuance of a final rule, FMCSA will consider the survey results.”

In 2010, the FMCSA issued a final rule on the use of EOBRs, but it was subsequently challenged by the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association. The court overturned the final rule saying that more checks needed to be in place in order to impede possible driver harassment or undue pressure by carriers.

The FMCSA says it will be conducting in-depth interviews with carriers and drivers to question what can be done to prevent driver harassment and identify productive ways to keep companies from participating in driver harassment. The FMCSA also wants to know what carriers and drivers feel is an appropriate response to harassment accusations.

Comments of concern expressed in the FMCSA announcement include intrusion into drivers’ rest and personal time, driver fatigue, purchase and maintenance costs of EOBRs, and invasion of privacy. Survey questions will be under the broad topics of schedules, fatigue, communications, and paid and unpaid time.

Submit a comment to share your voice with the government about EOBRs and possible driver harassment by June 27.