Shipping by Road
FMCSA Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Requirements

Red semi truck on highway

FMCSA Goes on Tour

The Eagles, a popular band for several decades, broke up back in the 1980s. A famous quote from one of the band’s members is that they would play as a band again “when Hell freezes over.” Interestingly enough in 1994 the band got back together and went on tour. Of course, the name of the tour was “Hell Freezes Over”. I mention this because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is also about to go on tour.

The tour known as the “ELD Implementation National Tour” is a way for FMCSA staff members and experts to present, discuss, and help with the new Electronic Logging Devices or ELDs. An ELD is a device designed to sync with an engine to record driving times. This recording will make for easier and better tracking of a driver’s hours of service (HOS). These ELDs will replace the paper logbooks that certain drivers are required to maintain. To access the Federal Register for the full Final Rule, click here.

The ELD Final Rule was published in December of 2016 and has a 3-phase implementation. Each phase has its own time frame, objective(s), and device requirements.

ELD Rule implementation phases:

  • Phase 1: Awareness and Transition
    • Dates: February 16, 2016 to December 18, 2017
    • Objective: Learning the requirements of the new rule and planning for compliance
    • Devices allowed: paper logs, logging software, Continue Reading…
Are We a Trucking Company?

According to the FMCSA or the DOT as we call it there are a number of ways that you could be considered a trucking company under interstate regulations. One definition of a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) is found under 49CFR 390.5 and states that a vehicle with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating tag found on the doorframe of most trucks) of over 10,001 pounds is a CMV. Other definitions are found elsewhere under the federal laws and when you add in each individual state requirement’s it gets to be confusing.

1. Do you have a vehicle with a GVWR of over 10,001 pounds? (49 CFR 390.5)

2. Do you have a single unit vehicle with a GVWR of over 26,001 pounds? (49 CFR 383.5)

3. Do you have a vehicle with a combination GVWR of over 26,001 pounds or greater? (49 CFR 382.107)

4. Do you have a three axle (two drive or tandems) with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or greater?

5. Do you have a vehicle with a GVWR of over 57,000 pounds?

6. Do you have a vehicle originally designed to carry 16 or more passengers including the driver?

7. Do you have a vehicle which transports placardable amounts of Hazardous Materials?

8. Do you have a vehicle which requires a driver to have a CDL to operate it?

9. Do I transport Hazardous Materials that are not placardable?

If you answered yes to Continue Reading…

US hours of service waiver

Effective March 18, 2010 the FMCSA has granted a limited 90-day waiver from the Federal hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for the transportation of anhydrous ammonia from any distribution point to a local farm retailer or to the ultimate consumer, and from a local farm retailer to the ultimate consumer, as long as the transportation takes place within a 100 air-mile radius of the retail or wholesale distribution point.

This 90-day waiver allows carriers with a satisfactory safety rating to use the HOS exemption when their drivers are delivering anhydrous ammonia from any distribution point to a local farm retailer or to the ultimate customer, and from a local farm retailer to the ultimate customer as long as the transportation takes place within a 100 air-mile radius of the wholesale distribution point or the local farm retailer. This 90-day waiver preempts inconsistent State and local requirements applicable to interstate commerce and is effective as of March 18, 2010.

Courtesy Lt. C. Black, Michigan State Police

CSA 2010

What is it? Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) is a program being rolled out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to improve truck and bus safety. The aim is to reduce commercial vehicle incidents, injuries and fatalities.

FMCSA incorporates several key properties:

  • Flexibility – recognizes changes in technology and the environment
  • Efficiency – improves Federal and State enforcement
  • Effectiveness – aims to improve safety performance
  • Innovation – use of technology to track and measure data
  • Equitability – ensures consistent treatment.

Some of the BASIC (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories) the FMCSA will look at are:

  • unsafe driving – driving infractions, i.e. speeding, reckless driving, etc.
  • driver fatigue – drivers who are tired, ill or not in compliance with hours of service (HOS)
  • driver fitness – lack of training, medical certification and/or experience
  • alcohol/controlled substances – under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances and/or abuse of over the counter medications
  • vehicle maintenance – improper or lack of maintenance
  • improper load securement – unsafe handling of dangerous goods, load shifting, etc.

The system will assess information gathered through safety data collection and can result in interventions such as:

  • early contact
  • investigations
  • follow-ups, or
  • unfit suspensions.

The goal is that by the end of 2010, the roads will be safer for everyone.

Further information Continue Reading…