FMCSA again extends regulatory relief for truckers carrying pandemic-related goods

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is extending its temporary hours-of-service exemptions and other regulatory relief for commercial truck drivers transporting items intended to assist with COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts.

Announced Aug. 31, the extension of Emergency Declaration 2020-002, initially issued March 13, 2020, and expanded and modified multiple times, is scheduled to remain in effect through Nov. 30.

Regulatory relief is extended to drivers who are transporting:

  • COVID-19 vaccines; constituent products; and medical supplies and equipment, including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines
  • Medical supplies and equipment for the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment to help curb the spread of COVID-19, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of stores or distribution centers
  • Gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and ethyl alcohol
  • Supplies to assist individuals impacted by the “consequences” of the pandemic (e.g., building materials for individuals displaced or otherwise impacted as a result of the emergency)
  • Livestock and livestock feed

Drivers making routine commercial deliveries, “including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration,” are not covered under the exemption.

“To be eligible for the exemption, the transportation must be both (i) of qualifying commodities and (ii) incident to the immediate restoration of those essential supplies,” FMCSA says.

The regulatory relief doesn’t extend to safety regulations concerning speed limits, fatigue, texting/phone use while driving, crash documentation and out-of-service rules, among others.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

FMCSA to medical examiners: Submit driver exams conducted when registry was offline

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set a deadline of Sept. 30 for certified medical examiners to submit the results of physical qualification exams of commercial truck and bus drivers that were completed while the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners was offline from Dec. 1, 2017, through Aug. 13, 2018.

According to a notice published in the Aug. 9 Federal Register, “a significant number of health care professionals” – estimated at around 14,000 – haven’t uploaded results of exams conducted during the 36-week window in which the national registry website wasn’t accessible after a hacking attempt.

“FMCSA makes this request to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that results of all examinations conducted during the outage are reported to the national registry,” the notice states. In an audit published in January, the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General estimates that 780,000 or so exams may be outstanding from the database.

FMCSA announced in April 2018 that the attempted hack was unsuccessful and no personal information was exposed. After the incident, the agency says it advised medical examiners to “segregate all examinations completed during the outage and be prepared to upload them to the national registry system when it is back online and operating normally.”

According to the notice, the database’s reporting functionality for medical examiners was restored on June 22, 2018, while administrative assistants and third-party organizations were able to again submit results on behalf of medical examiners on Aug. 13, 2018. However, FMCSA didn’t require immediate uploads amid initial concerns of accelerated activity on the temporary national registry system. “Continued improvements” to the system have helped alleviate the concerns, the notice states.

The national registry website notes that FMCSA is developing a new database “to better serve you.”


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

FMCSA looks to expand area where safety tech can be mounted on truck, bus windshields

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking to increase the area safety technology can be mounted inside commercial motor vehicles and expand the definition of “vehicle safety technology.”

According to a notice of proposed rulemaking published in the July 6 Federal Register, the proposals are in response to a rulemaking petition from Daimler Trucks North America.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations mandate that vehicle safety devices be mounted no more than 4 inches “below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers.” The devices also must remain outside the driver’s line of sight to the road and highway signs/signals.

FMCSA is proposing to increase that parameter to 8.5 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers. The FMCSR’s rule that the devices may not be mounted more than 7 inches “above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers” would remain unchanged.

The proposed expanded definition of “vehicle safety technology” adds braking warning/assist systems, automatic emergency braking, driver camera systems and attention assist warning, as well as global positioning systems and other devices. Those include systems and devices that use lidar, radar and sensors.

The deadline to comment on the NPRM is Aug. 5.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Calling Arizona’s Safest Professional Drivers!

First published by Arizona Trucking Association
Calling Arizona’s Safest Professional Drivers!

 

The safest professional truck drivers are gearing up for this year’s Battle of the States. Will you represent Arizona?

This year’s state-level virtual knowledge competition will be held on July 31 by the Arizona Trucking Association. Trivia contests will be based on Facts for Drivers, federal and state laws, state trucking history and culture. What is more, our top 10 contestants will qualify to go on to the National Battle of the States: Virtual Truck Driving Championships. Plus, you have the opportunity to win some exciting prizes!

Complete your 2021 Arizona Virtual TDC registration form and submit it  for a chance to be named Grand Champion of trucking safety. The deadline to register is July 23rd.

REGISTER AT: https://arizonatrucking.com/virtual-tdc/

For more information on the National Battle of the States, including how to qualify, visit BattleofTheStates.trucking.org. Join our NTDC Facebook group for the latest updates and practice questions.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

FMCSA extends ‘regulatory relief’ for transporters of pandemic-related goods

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration once again is extending temporary hours-of-service exemptions and other “regulatory relief” for commercial motor vehicle drivers transporting items intended to assist with COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts.

Announced May 26, the extension of Emergency Declaration 2020-002, initially issued March 13, 2020, and expanded and modified multiple times, is scheduled to remain in effect through Aug. 31.

Regulatory relief is extended to drivers who are transporting:

  • COVID-19 vaccines; constituent products; and medical supplies and equipment, including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines
  • Medical supplies and equipment for the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment to help curb the spread of COVID-19, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of stores or distribution centers
  • Livestock and livestock feed

Drivers making routine commercial deliveries, “including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration,” are not covered under the exemption.

“To be eligible for the exemption, the transportation must be both (i) of qualifying commodities and (ii) incident to the immediate restoration of those essential supplies,” FMCSA says in a notice.

The regulatory relief doesn’t extend to safety regulations concerning speed limits, fatigue, texting/phone use while driving, crash documentation and out-of-service rules, among others.

FMCSA says it plans to review the emergency declaration on or around July 1, and may modify or terminate it “if conditions warrant.”


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Additional Measures Taken to Help States Affected by Pipeline

First published by FMCSA.

USDOT Announces Additional Measures to Help States in Areas Affected by the Colonial Pipeline Incident

The U.S. DOT today announced additional help for States in areas affected by the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline.  The White House and DOT have determined that previous declarations of “major disaster” issued by the President within the past 120 days allow States covered by those declarations to use Interstate highways in their State to transport overweight loads of gasoline and other fuels.  Each State must continue to follow its own procedures for issuance of special permits authorizing the loads, but the added flexibility announced today lawfully permits these trucks to run on the Interstate Highway System and other Federal highways.  This flexibility is in addition to preexisting authority for States to issue special permits allowing the trucks to run on State highways.

The previous Presidential declarations created this authority for up to 120 days.  Given the declarations’ varied dates of issuance, that period will expire at different points for the affected States between now and early September.  The first State whose 120-day period will expire is Maryland, on June 4.  The last State is Virginia, on September 7.

The ten States covered are Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  All these States are already covered under the separate Emergency Declaration that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued on May 9, which grants truck drivers making emergency fuel deliveries in areas affected by the pipeline disruption relief from the Federal hours of service limits and certain other safety regulations.

Consistent with 23 U.S.C. 127(i) and applicable State laws, States that are currently operating under Federal Major Disaster Declarations may issue special permits to overweight vehicles carrying divisible loads on Interstate and Defense Highways that are delivering relief supplies, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products.  States may exercise this authority for 120 days from the date of the declaration of the major disaster.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

House Bill 2173 Extends CDL renewal period from 5 years to 8 years

First published by ATA.
ATA Commends the Passage and Signing of House Bill 2173
ATA Commends The Passage And Signing Of House Bill 2173

Legislation allows commercial drivers to renew their CDL every eight years instead of five

Tolleson, AZ – Yesterday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2173 into law, Commercial Driver Licenses; Renewal Time (HB2173). HB2173 passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate with unanimous support.

HB2173 adds three years to the renewal period for a person possessing a commercial driver license, increasing the renewal period from five years to eight years. Medical certificates and hazmat endorsement remain the same.

“Truck drivers often spend long periods of time away from home and during this pandemic they have been on the frontlines delivering necessary food, supplies, medicine, and more,” stated ATA President and CEO, Tony Bradley. “HB2173 makes it easier on drivers to renew their CDLs now and in the future by extending the renewal period from five to eight years. ATA and its membership are grateful for the overwhelming bi-partisan support we received from legislators. We would like to thank our primary sponsor Rep. Frank Carroll in addition to our co-sponsors Rep. Leo Biasiucci, Rep. Judy Burges, Rep. Tim Dunn, Rep. Gail Griffin, Rep. Brett Roberts, Rep. Ben Toma, and Rep. Justin Wilmeth. Finally, we would like to thank Governor Ducey for signing this important legislation,” continued Bradley.

The text of HB2173 can be found at: https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/55leg/1R/bills/HB2173H.pdf

The new law will take effect on the General Effective date, which is 90 days after the legislature adjourns sine die.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Trucking groups to CDC: Truck stops, travel plazas should be vaccination sites

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

travel plazas should be vaccination sites

Alexandria, VA — A coalition of trucking-related groups, including the American Trucking Associations and an association that represents truck stop owners, is urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to designate truck stops and travel plazas as mobile COVID-19 vaccination sites to help “alleviate significant challenges that truck drivers currently face in receiving an expedient vaccine.”

In a letter dated Feb. 25 and sent to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, ATA, NATSO – formerly known as the National Association of Truck Stop Operators – and others contend truck drivers “should be allowed to receive a vaccine in a state other than that within which they reside due to their length of time on the road and away from home.”

The coalition also requests that drivers be allowed to receive a second dose of a vaccine at a different location, if needed.

“It is improbable that they would have the ability to return to the primary vaccination site on a specific date or time,” the letter states. “By administering vaccines through our nationwide network of locations, we can ensure the ability of our employees and the nation’s truck drivers to continue serving on the front lines of the fuel and food distribution systems across the country.

“Furthermore, by vaccinating truck stop employees, we can amplify the breadth and scope of vaccination deployment across the communities in which we operate. It is imperative that we protect those who are delivering critical supplies – including the vaccine – throughout the country.”

The coalition also includes the Truckload Carriers Association, National Private Truck Council, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, and National Tank Truck Carriers.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

FMCSA extends pandemic-related hours-of-service exemptions

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says temporary hours-of-service exemptions and other “regulatory relief” will continue for commercial motor vehicle drivers transporting items intended to assist in the COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts.

Announced Feb. 12, the extension of Emergency Declaration 2020-002, initially issued March 13 and expanded and modified multiple times, is scheduled to remain in effect through May 31.

Regulatory relief is extended to drivers who are transporting:

  • COVID-19 vaccines; constituent products; and medical supplies and equipment, including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines
  • Medical supplies and equipment for the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment to help curb the spread of COVID-19, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of stores or distribution centers
  • Livestock and livestock feed

Drivers making routine commercial deliveries, “including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration,” are not covered under the exemption.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA and USDOT to ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

FMCSA proposes amending guidance on CMV ‘yard moves,’ hours of service

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking public comment on a proposal to revise the agency’s guidance on “yard moves” and commercial motor vehicle drivers’ hours of service.

According to a notice published in the Jan. 4 Federal Register, FMCSA regulations require most CMV drivers to record their HOS under four categories: driving; on-duty, not driving; sleeper berth; and off-duty. The agency’s design and performance standards for electronic logging devices – which record HOS – provide two “special driving categories”: personal conveyance and yard moves.

FMCSA, however, did not define “yard moves” in its final rule on ELDs and is seeking to update its guidance to include the following: “A driver may record time operating a CMV for yard moves as on-duty, not driving under 49 CFR 395.8(b) only if the movement of the CMV occurs in a confined area on private property,” such as an intermodal or port facility.

Other examples of “yards” may include a motor carrier’s place of business; a shipper’s privately owned parking lot; and a public road where access is restricted by gates, lights, flaggers or other means.

“For example,” FMCSA says, “if a driver must operate on a public road briefly to reach different parts of a private property, the movement may be considered a yard move if public access is restricted during the move.”

Additionally, FMCSA is seeking responses to the following questions:

  • Would defining “yard moves” provide necessary clarification while benefiting drivers and carriers?
  • Are there other situations or properties where drivers may be in a “yard move” status that should be included in the guidance?
  • Would adding examples of “yard moves” prove helpful? If so, give examples for consideration.
  • How should “yard” be defined in the guidance?

The deadline to comment is Feb. 3. FMCSA plans to reevaluate its guidance “no later than” five years after it’s finalized.

“This guidance, if finalized, lacks the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in any way,” FMCSA says. “This guidance document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding the agency’s interpretation of its existing regulations.”


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA and USDOT to ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.