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Cross-border expansion begins: FMCSA now accepting Mexican carrier applications for authority

Posted on Jan 18, 2015 in Regulatory

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officially began Jan. 15 accepting applications for Mexican carriers to apply for authority to operate in the U.S. beyond the commercial border zone. The agency announced Friday, Jan. 9 it would “soon begin” accepting applications for any Mexican carrier wishing to move international freight to and from the U.S. The move brings the U.S. into more complete compliance with the requirements of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The U.S. had been paying roughly $2 billion a year in tariffs because it hadn’t fully opened the border to Mexican carriers. Despite criticism of the data gleaned from the three-year cross-border pilot program with Mexico that ended in October, the agency says it had a “robust” set of data to use to make its decision, as CCJ reported earlier this week. Read...

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Greater federal oversight of trucking, more stringent medical requirements for drivers included in NTSBs annual Most Wanted list

Posted on Jan 18, 2015 in Regulatory, Safety

  NTSB recommends that FMCSA and NHTSA implement mandates for crash avoidance systems and rollover-prevention systems. The National Transportation Safety Board released its 2015 Most Wanted List of safety regulations this week, and included in list of 10 items are four items related to trucking and truck operators. Stronger oversight includes, per NTSB, (1) more steps to ensure new entrant carriers address any safety deficiencies and quicker out-of-service placement if deficiencies are not improved, (2) implementation of an electronic logging device mandate and (3) instituting sleep apnea screening requirements. NTSB’s request for improved oversight also includes requirements that all trucks be equipped with collision warning technology, tire pressure monitoring systems, rollover stability control systems and lane departure warning systems. NTSB’s second trucking-related item is for drivers of all vehicles, including trucks (and planes): The safety board asks for a...

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Trucking got restart rollback, but heres what Congress left out of omnibus bill

Posted on Dec 31, 2014 in Regulatory

  Suspending 2013’s 34-hour restart provisions and forcing FMCSA to study the rules and better justify them? Check. Unchecked? Blocking FMCSA’s insurance increase rulemaking and setting deadlines for an electronic logging device mandate and a Safety Fitness Determination rule. President Obama Dec. 16 signed the appropriations bill that halts enforcement of the requirement that a drivers’ 34-hour restart include two 1 a.m. to 5 … And it’s a step that makes sense: The agency’s justification for the rule (which carriers and drivers have claimed is too restrictive, clogs up highways even further during rush hour and in fact makes drivers drowsier rather than more alert) has always been flimsy, and the science it used to back up the regulation was likewise questionable. But harken back to just a few months ago, when Congress stood at the threshold of really...

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Through the regulatory looking glass

Posted on Nov 23, 2014 in Regulatory

    Even as the wrangling begins over President Obama’s executive order altering U.S. immigration law – a move even sympathetic political experts believe is fraught with constitutional danger – the regulatory apparatus of the federal government is gearing up for the new year with a host of efforts that will not only impact trucking but potentially trickle down to affect businesses and consumers as well; particularly where their collective wallets are concerned. I’ve touch on some of the specific trucking regulations now in the works in this space before, but now we’re going to examine a slew of broader rulemaking efforts underway within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will no doubt side-swipe trucking in some fashion. Daniel Krohn, a business research analyst with IBISWorld, pulled together a nice synopsis of five major regulatory broadsides about to be...

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Teamsters Get First Win in Attempt to Organize FedEx Freight Drivers

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 in Career, Regulatory

  After years of attempting to organize drivers at the trucking company FedEx Freight, the Teamsters Union on Tuesday scored its first victory. A group of 47 drivers at FedEx Freight’s East Philadelphia terminal in Croydon, Pennsylvania, voted to join Teamsters Local 107 in Philadelphia. The vote was 26-18. “The drivers are fed up with FedEx Freight,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “These workers are tired of management talking down to them at every chance, and they want decent benefits, including more affordable health insurance. They also want consistent and fair working conditions and a more hopeful future.” In a statement, FedEx said, “We believe our open and thriving work environment provides a more flexible, team-oriented and customer-focused work model than the union offers.” The company also said it is considering its options following the vote, including an...

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Regulatory update: FMCSA progress on speed limiters, driver clearinghouse, other rulemakings

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 in Regulatory, Safety

  Between now and the end of next summer, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration projects it will publish at least five proposed or final rules to either change existing or add new regulations to the industry, according to a monthly Department of Transportation report. The agency’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to increase the amount of liability insurance carriers must have is still projected to be published this month. The rule made its way to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget Sept. 29, and it is expected to clear the OMB any day. The DOT report projects its clearance for Oct. 12, but the rule still hasn’t cleared. The DOT lists a projected publication date of Oct. 22. RelatedNotice of new fitness determination rule in ‘front office,’ FMCSA safety chief saysA major revision of the way...

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