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Tuesday, February 05 2019
NEW REGULATIONS IN THE 2019 AGENDA

ORLANDO, Fla.—The ELD (Electronic Logging Devices) mandate transformed the trucking industry last year. The congressionally mandated rule, as a part of MAP-21 – is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data. An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate hours of service (HOS) recording. 

Excluded from the mandate were trucks using Automatic On-Board Recording Devices, or AOBRDs. However, fleets using AOBRDs are required to switch to ELDs by Dec. 17 of this year. Many large fleets have been using AOBRDs for years and have yet to make the switch. Just as many small carriers saw productivity drop as they got used to ELDs, large carriers could experience similar problems when moving from  AOBRDs to ELDs.

Hours of service reform efforts

As many drivers pointed out last year, their issues with ELDs are actually issues with Hours of Service (HOS). FMCSA began listening sessions in March 2018 to hear directly from drivers, and in August the agency asked for input on changes to certain HOS regulations such as rest breaks and split sleeper berths.

New minimum wage rules

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently reminded its members to be aware of the new minimum wage requirements in several states in 2019. 

Drug testing for drivers

Full compliance with the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is required by January 2020. This regulation requires employers to search the clearinghouse database for drug and alcohol violations when conducting pre-employment screenings and annual verification. The current transportation funding bill calls on the FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER ADMINISTRATION (FMCSA) to issue a rulemaking to permit hair follicle testing as an acceptable alternative to urine testing after the Department of Health and Human Services issues guidelines. Currently, drivers are screened for drug use by analyzing urine samples, which can detect drug use in the past few days. Hair follicle testing can detect drugs for longer periods, up to 2-3 months.

  • The Clearinghouse will also require the following:
  • Employers will be required to query the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees' drug and alcohol violations before permitting those employees to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads.
  • Employers will be required to annually query the Clearinghouse for each driver they currently employ.
  • State Driver Licensing Agencies will be required to query the Clearinghouse whenever a CDL is issued, renewed, transferred, or upgraded.

The Clearinghouse will provide FMCSA and employers the necessary tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a CMV based on DOT drug and alcohol program violations and ensure that such drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before operating a CMV on public roads.

On the other side of the aisle, an online trucking group with more than 4,000 members is plotting a nationwide truck driver shutdown in order to raise awareness about various trucking regulation and policy concerns. The group’s website outlines the changes that they are protesting in order to see, which include:

  • Hours of Service reform
  • Updated truck driver training and safety standards
  • A change to ELD regulations so that they are only required for companies with more than 10 trucks or trucking companies that have a poor safety rating.
  • Standardization of inspections and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulation enforcement
  • More involvement from truck drivers in the creation of new FMCSA trucking regulations.
Posted by: AT 02:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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