News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans
Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire
Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills
Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status
ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant
New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters
Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week
Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July
Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks?
Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks
Experts warn of active wildland fire season
More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking
Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award
Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs
Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo
HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers
FMCSA takes a further look at detention time
Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest
Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week
Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo
Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments
Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration
Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts
Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles
Autonomous trucks on USPS test run
Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC
Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA
Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins
Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole
Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South
Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets
Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers
'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states
Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers
Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business
ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for
Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks
Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings
Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels
Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business
Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise
Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need
Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border
Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules
Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates
Don't get scammed by skimmers
Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking
Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers
Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy
Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap
Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising
FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website
Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award
The hidden danger of looking but not seeing
Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout
Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire
Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases
Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness
Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports
New tax changes hit drivers hard
FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military
Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use
Congress committee looks at state of America's highways
Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same
Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks
Detention - A problem still in search of a solution
February Highway Angels honorees named
Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets
Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage?
Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage
Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team
Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards
Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers
LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30
2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry
Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018
TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award
TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year
Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers
New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018
Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup
Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks
Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017
Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way
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Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach
Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal
Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice
The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers
The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017
We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better
Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon
ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for
Last Updated: Tue, April 23, 2019
The law of unintended consequences has struck again.
The purpose of federally mandated electronic logging devices was to prevent log book "cooking" with the goal of reducing accidents and making it easier for trucking companies to verify their drivers' reporting of hours of service.
Now, into its second year of full mandatory use, there are concerns in the industry that not only have ELDs not reduced accidents, but that the devices are causing some to question whether the wall of separation between independent contractor and employee status is disappearing.
The industry admits that use of ELDs by drivers has virtually eliminated log book cheating. But the problem arises when trucking companies deploy telematics features available in the electronic devices to track and monitor drivers. Independent contractors get monitored and tracked just as employees do.
Recent court cases have gone against carriers on the evidence that technology like onboard recorders and now ELDs with advanced telematics have given those companies employee-level control over the drivers that they had classified as independent contractors.
Courts look at factors like how much control the carrier has over when, where and how the driver accomplishes the task of hauling his or her load for the carrier. Today's ELDs with telematics allow carriers to virtually micromanage drivers with no regard for the difference between independent contractors or employees.
Jeremy K. Schrag and Morgan L. Simpson, attorneys with law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, told MH&L, “Moving forward, it is important for trucking firms to understand the relationship between wage and hour litigation and the monitoring capability of telematics packages.
“Trucking fleets that use sophisticated telematics tracking devices to monitor, assign and check in on independent owner-operator drivers are at a higher risk of an adverse wage and hour decision.”
Not reducing accidents
The issue of ELDs muddying independent contractor status notwithstanding, some in the industry are questioning whether ELDs are effective at all for the purpose that they were originally mandated.
The FMCSA has compiled statistics examining data available since the ELD mandate was put into effect in December 2017 and was subject to full enforcement in April 2018.
In summary, FMCSA found that hours of service violations did indeed decrease, especially among smaller carriers and independent owner-operators. Large carriers did not show a marked decrease in violations because most were already deploying ELDs and already had better HOS compliance.
However, at that same time accident rates and unsafe driving violations among smaller carriers and independent owner-operators increased, sometimes significantly, once ELDs were introduced into their driving program.
It is suggested that these smaller trucking firms and independents drove under unsafe conditions in order to make up for lost revenue because of having to maintain a stricter HOS compliance.
The purpose of ELDs was to increase HOS compliance; which FMCSA rule drafters believed should reduce accidents and increase driving safety. But, as the law of unintended consequences rears its ugly head, the FMCSA is learning that quite the opposite has taken effect.
The trucking industry is pinning hopes on some HOS revisions by the FMCSA and the Department of Transportation that are now at the White House Office of Management and budget for review.
Briefly, some of the rules undergoing revision might be those regarding the 30-minute break, a more-driver-friendly split sleeper berth rule, a petition by the Owner-Operator Independent Association to take a rest break once per 14-hour duty for up to three consecutive hours if the driver is off-duty, and a TruckerNation.org petition that would allow drivers to use multiple off-duty periods of three hours or longer instead of the required 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
The research cited in the FMCSA report was conducted by Alex Scott, Northeastern University; Andrew Balthrop, the University of Arkansas; and Jason Miller, Michigan State University.
According to the study, "Our research also provides another example of how policy interventions are fraught with uncertainty in complex systems with many interconnections and possible feedbacks.
"There are many examples of potential policy gains being offset by unintended and often deleterious consequences in these environments: seatbelt usage can potentially increase other unsafe driving behavior (Peltzman 1975), the Endangered Species Act can be detrimental to the species listed (Ferraro et al. 2007), and high-stakes testing increases cheating (Jacob and Levitt 2003)."
The study concluded that the gains from fatigue reduction along with other benefits like reduced paperwork, and more information availability to both inspectors and carriers due to the electronic capture of a driver’s activities, were offset by increases in unsafe driving behavior.
The study researchers concluded with, "Nonetheless, with regards to safety, drivers are heavily incentivized to avoid accidents, and this did not change with the ELD mandate.
"Given the legal liabilities involved with being in a crash when outside hours-of-service limits, drivers are incentivized to be extra cautious when driving beyond limits. The ELD mandate has not done much to change the driver calculus in this respect, and so it is perhaps not surprising that we fail to uncover significant accident reductions."
Sources: MH&L, MH&L, ResearchGate
Hours Of Service
Split Sleeper Berth Rule
Truck Driver Safety