Monday, October 26, 2015

FMCSA hours of service4 Frequently Asked Questions about FMCSA Hours of Service

Off Duty Does Not Equal Sleeper

Question: Off duty and sleeper are interchangeable, right? Don't they mean the same thing?
Answer: No, and this is a common misunderstanding.
When drivers see that off duty and sleeper both apply to their 10-hour break (any combination of off duty and sleeper), they think they are interchangeable.  However, this is not the case.
Sleeper berth means the driver is resting (not necessarily sleeping) in the sleeper-berth compartment of the unit.
Off-duty time is when the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work.
According to FMCSA hours of service, a driver who is in the sleeper berth and logs off duty can found in noncompliance for either an inaccurate log or a form and manner violation.

If You Need to Be There, You're On Duty

Question: With the regulation in February 2012 that allows a driver to log “time spent resting in or on a parked vehicle” as off duty, can I now log time at a shipper or receiver as off duty if I am in the cab of my unit?
Answer: According to FMCSA hours of service, on-duty time is defined as:
“All time loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle, supervising, or assisting in the loading or unloading, attending a commercial motor vehicle being loaded or unloaded, remaining in a state of readiness to operate the commercial motor vehicle, or in giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded.”
If any of these apply, you are on duty and not driving.
Auditors and inspectors determine whether a driver had the ability to leave the facility when judging whether he or she could have been off duty.
So, if you need to be there, you are considered on duty.

Only Log Sleeper-Berth Time IN Your Sleeper Berth

Question: Can I log sleeper-berth time if I am at a shipper or receiver?
Answer: You can log sleeper-berth any time that you are resting in the sleeper-berth compartment of your unit.
You cannot log sleeper-berth time if you are not in the sleeper berth compartment of your unit. Remember to log what you do and do what you log!

The Ins and Outs of On-Duty Time

Question: What is on-duty time?
Answer: Following is the definition of on-duty time from the FMCSA hours of service regulations (it's Part 395.2, if you're keeping score). Please note if anyof these qualifiers apply, then a driver is recording on-duty time:
On-duty time means all time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work.
On-duty time shall include: 
(1) All time at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper, or on any public property, waiting to be dispatched, unless the driver has been relieved from duty by the motor carrier;
(2) All time inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle at any time; 
(3) All driving time as defined in the term driving time;
(4) All time in or on a commercial motor vehicle, other than:
(i) Time spent resting in or on a parked vehicle, except as otherwise provided in Part 397.5 of this subchapter;
(ii) Time spent resting in a sleeper berth; or
(iii) Up to 2 hours riding in the passenger seat of a property-carrying vehicle moving on the highway immediately before or after a period of at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth;
(5) All time loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle, supervising, or assisting in the loading or unloading, attending a commercial motor vehicle being loaded or unloaded, remaining in readiness to operate the commercial motor vehicle, or in giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded;
(6) All time repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled commercial motor vehicle;
(7) All time spent providing a breath sample or urine specimen, including travel time to and from the collection site, to comply with the random, reasonable suspicion, post-crash, or follow-up testing required by Part 382 of this subchapter when directed by a motor carrier;
(8) Performing any other work in the capacity, employ, or service of, a motor carrier; and 
(9) Performing any compensated work for a person who is not a motor carrier.

From the ATA...................

Contact:  Sean McNally
October 20, 2015

Poll Shows Americans Continue to Believe Trucking is Safe, EssentialDespite Attacks on Industry, Public Thinks Well of Trucking

Philadelphia – A new national poll released today found the public continues to believe truck drivers are among the safest on the road and that the industry is essential to the American economy.

The poll, the second commissioned by American Trucking Associations, was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies between August 30 and September 1, surveyed 800 registered voters on their attitudes about politics, the trucking industry and the state of infrastructure.

“Our industry invests more than $7 billion each year in safety tools, technologies and practices, and this poll tells us those investments are working,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Americans believe trucks move the most freight and that our drivers are safe and getting safer. Those facts beliefs are not just correct, they are important to keep in mind when debating important safety issues.”

Among the poll’s findings were:
·         A majority of Americans, 63%, believe trucks move most of the nation’s goods – a three-point increase from 2014.
·         Sixty percent of respondents said they have a favorable view of the trucking industry, the highest among transportation modes.
·         When asked to offer unscripted thoughts on trucking, respondents called drivers hard working, said the industry provided thousands of jobs and trucking was dependable and efficient.
·         The majority of Americans, 57%, said trucking’s safety record was excellent or good.
·         And 34% of respondents said trucking’s safety record had improved over the past 20 years.
·         Ninety-one percent of Americans believe car drivers are more likely to engage in risky behavior on the highways than truck drivers and 70% believe they are more likely to be at fault when a car and truck collide.
·         Eighty-one percent of Americans believe truckers are safer drivers.

The poll also addressed the issue of speeds and speed limits, finding that:
·         Sixty-nine percent of Americans oppose reducing highway speeds to improve safety and reduce pollution, and 63% oppose the installation of speed limiting devices on passenger vehicles, but
·         More than half – 56% – of respondents said they favored mandating speed limiters for large trucks.

“Safety is our industry’s most important calling,” said outgoing ATA Chairman Duane Longchairman of Longistics, Raleigh, N.C. “I’m pleased that so many of my fellow Americans think so highly of our safety record, but we should not be satisfied. We need to do more to not only improve our safety record, but to tell people about it.”

The poll’s results were released here at ATA’s Board of Directors meeting. A copy of the presentation can be found here.

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tips for the Scale House

How to Scale at Tractor Trailer.....

For 80,000 lb gross weight, the goal is 12,000 lb on the steering axle, 34,000 lb on the drives and 34,000 lb on the trailer axles
  • Before beginning, lock the trailer brakes.
  • Load the steering axle first.
  • Lower the landing gear, unlock the fifth wheel, dump the tractor airbags. Cautiously back up the truck toward the trailer until the tractor is as close to it as it can safely be without affecting the truck's ability to turn. Be sure to get out of the vehicle and visually check the distance. When you've determined the distance is safe and correct, lock the 5th wheel in place, inflate the tractor air bags and raise the landing gear.
  • Release the slider pins.
    With the trailer brakes still locked, release the slider pins underneath the trailer and slowly back up with it's wheels locked so the axles are sliding further underneath the trailer. Sliding the trailer wheels further under, decreases the drive axle weight and increases weight on the tandem axles.  Generally the rule of thumb, is about 400 lb. per hole on the trailer slider.
  • Scale the truck and adjust accordingly.
    If the weight on the trailer axles is too heavy, these wheels need to slide backwards to the rear of the unit until they reach 34,000 lb. on the scale.
  • Do not slide and adjust on the scale plate. Pull away from the scale plate and make adjustments, then rescale.
  • When scaling, we like to load the steering axle and tandem trailer axles to maximum when possible, leaving some room for extra wt. on the drives, to allow for the weight of taking on fuel.
  • The weight of fuel is calculated at about 7 lb/'s a nice easy number to do the math in your head. This formula will help you calculate how much weight to load on the drives, before you fuel.
  • In the winter months, it is advisable to leave a bit more weight on the drives to help with traction when climbing hills and to prevent spinning out.
  • Always do adjustments on flat, dry pavement, to prevent locked axles from sliding and to ensure slider pins reset correctly, after locking.
  • The process varies according to the number of axles, as the various states and provinces dictate their axle wt. allowances.