This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending March 3, 2018.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. A February 27, 2018, article reported the survey results of nearly 2,000 owner-operators published by OOIDA Foundation:
"When professional truck drivers were asked how the ELD mandate was affecting safety so far, 79 percent stated it was decreasing safety overall, 75 percent reported feeling more pressured to speed, 72 percent said they felt more fatigued, and 44 percent said they felt more harassed, according to the Foundation's analysis."
Two other points covered were:
- the percentage of respondents who had not yet "purchased and installed an ELD in their truck": 35%; and
- the "real-world costs" of ELD use based on early results may be even higher than what the FMCSA predicted.
According to a February 28, 2018, article:
- "53 percent of those who had purchased an ELD were required to pay an initial upfront cost";
- "55 percent of those who had purchased a device were required to pay a monthly fee"; and
- "participants estimated that ELDs would decrease their annual income by a median of $25,000 due to missed loads and delays".
2. A class-action lawsuit filed against XPO Logistics on February 26, 2018, claims that the company:
- "used a deliberate scheme to misclassify their truck drivers as independent contractors"; and
- "failed to pay minimum wage, wages for missed meal periods, wages for missed rest periods, and reimbursements for business expenses".
3. Practice common sense and don't do this...
"On Tuesday, February 27, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that they had rescued an unidentified truck driver near Cortland in Jackson County after he drove for a mile through deep flood waters", according to a March 1, 2018, article.
4. Did you read the February 27, 2018, article about the White House report that implies that "trucking doesn't pay enough for highways"?
It states that President Trump's Administration stance is "that tolling should be a prime mechanism for boosting highway funding."
If you disagree with that, let your voice be heard.
5. And speaking of letting your voice be heard, Allen Smith of AskTheTrucker.com said on February 27, 2018:
"Tell Congress to Remove Section 134 of the House T-HUD Appropriations bill in the final spending package."
The article states: "This is the 4th time the ATA has attempted since 2015 to get this language in a bill for the sole purpose of ensuring truckers will not be paid for anything more than their piece work wages, such as cents per mile."
Furthermore, "It is about preempting states rights and states' labor laws which prevent carriers from exploiting their drivers."
6. It sounds like a great service management platform, but I am frustrated as to why the Volvo ASIST mobile app is named that.
I infer from the spelling that ASIST is an acronym that stands for something. But what?
Neither the March 1, 2018, article announcing the app release, nor the Volvo website, nor the listing of the Android app say what the acronym stands for. Hmm...
7. In a February 27, 2018, article about the enforcement of the ELD mandate taking place on April 1, the CVSA director of roadside inspection program had this to say:
"...the regulation requires the following information to be available in the cab: a user manual describing how to use the ELD; an instruction sheet for producing and transferring data; an instruction sheet for reporting malfunctions and record-keeping procedures during malfunctions; and a supply of blank records of duty status for recording hours of service for at least 8 days. Any of this information can be in electronic form."
This is important because truck drivers can be put out-of-service for any and all of the reasons listed in the article. Being put out-of-service can be costly, and so can any associated fines.
8. States have been busy:
- In Connecticut, while the governor "proposed an increase in fuel taxes and tolls to pay for transportation" and the state's DOT agreed, "some state lawmakers are opposed to more taxes, including tolls." (reference)
- "The Ohio DOT is proposing to close a rest area located at the 3.6 milemarker on I-77 Northbound in Washington County." (reference)
9. A February 28, 2018, poll on OverdriveOnline.com asked,
"Which service would you most like to see if rest areas were commercialized?"
Of 382 votes (as of 3/2/2018), 198 votes (51.83%) were in favor of "more parking".
10. Could electronic logging devices (ELDs) "make it easier for plaintiff lawyers to utilize powerful 'reptile' tactics to win over juries and obtain unfairly large awards"?
A March 2, 2018, article defines "reptile tactics" and states that two attorneys "suggest that ELD data used in court cases may hurt smaller trucking firms more than larger ones."
If you're an owner-operator, you may wish to review your insurance policy with your agent to make sure you're covered.
11. Our heartiest congratulations go to:
- YRC Freight driver Bobby Elrod, who has driven five million consecutive miles without having any accidents (reference); and
- Bryan Smith, who "is one of three finalists for the 2017 Owner-Operator of the Year award" (reference).
My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.