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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Trucking Industry Update

We know it’s been a bit since the last one and you’ve probably been itching for it… so here it is, the latest trucking industry update! This time, we’re going to be focusing on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and and the initiatives set for the last three months of 2015.

How do they affect you, you might ask? Well, it’s the FMCSA’s job to do everything in its power to keep you safe. Don’t you like being safe and knowing what’s going on in your own industry? Of course you do, because there’s nothing wrong with being a well-informed trucker, and that’s why you’re going to keep reading to see the FMCSA’s newest initiatives!

FMCSA Yearly Initiatives


Safety Fitness Determination (SFD):

Currently, the FMCSA is in the process of publishing a new rule that would greatly increase the use of inspection data when making Safety Fitness Determinations of motor carriers. The new proposed rule would change the process for assessing the performance of truck companies to focus more on current performance information, such as roadside inspection and crash data. If you don’t like this rule, well, you may be stuck with it anyway. Although luckily for you, the FMCSA is giving everyone the option to voice their opinion. So if you don’t like it, you can tell them personally!

Inspection Modernization:

The FMCSA has officially launched a new version of their inspection software, called Aspen 3.0. It’s got a new look and feel, as well as lots of new and innovative features. The software includes many roadside functions, and even allows law enforcement officials to get direct access to out-of-service notices. So if you’re driving out of service you may want to rethink that, because it’s about to be much easier for them to find you!

Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) Phase III:

In order to prepare the launch of its final two CSA interventions, the FMCSA is working on training federal and state investigators. One of the biggest safety measures being implemented is the crash BASIC investigation, which will focus on specific trends that are most common in carrier crashes. Seems like that might be useful, right?
In addition to spending more time analyzing crashes for contributing factors, the FMCSA will also be fine-tuning its SMS algorithm to do a better job of identifying carriers to investigate. Once the changes are made official, they will be announced in a Federal Register notice. We’re not sure exactly how this works, but if you think your company could be at risk for an investigation, you better get it together fast!


Electronic Logging Devices (ELD):

Here’s the rule you’ve been hearing about a lot recently, and also the one that you’re probably the least excited about. Sense some sarcasm? Maybe just a tad. But in all seriousness, we know that most truckers across the nation are dreading the implementation of this rule, but it’s looking more and more likely that it’s only a matter when, not if. That’s right, the final ELD rule is currently under review and is scheduled to be published later in the year.

Don’t think this rule is going to help you? Take a look at why the FMCSA sees the rule as “beneficial to all parties,” and maybe it can change your view.

  • It is estimated that by improving the hours of service (HOS) compliance, up to 20 fatalities and 400 injuries can be prevented each year. 
  • The electronic logging systems will save companies time and money.
  • Drivers will be protected from harassment. The devices will keep companies from forcing drivers to drive for longer than the mandated period under the HOS agreement.
  • Law enforcement agencies can now view and review driver HOS records with ease.
Still not liking the idea? Yeah we don’t blame you, but it’s looking inevitable, so the best thing to do now is prepare yourselves!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about any of these new rules or implementations, just let us know! Just kidding, please don’t do that; take all those issues up with the FMCSA! They’re always happy to receive feedback from trucking professionals like yourself.

If you have any other trucking related issues, that’s where we come in. We offer a ton of services for trucking professionals, so if you need anything taken care of for you, just give us a call at 803.386.0320 or email us at support@tsnamerica.com.

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