November 30, 2015:  MCM Weekly Newsletter

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Dec 9                Billings Safety Meeting
                          Meeting info TBD

Dec 17               Missoula Safety Meeting
                          Location:  Perkins, 12:00p - 1:00p
                          Speaker & Topic TBD

Dec 25               MCM Office Closed for Christmas Holiday
HOS Restart Suspension May Extend Through February
The hours-of-service restart rules for truck drivers likely will remain suspended through February, a few months longer than expected.

An update by trucking regulators on the status of a congressionally mandated study of the restart rules indicated that the completed study likely will reach Congress by mid-February, instead of next month.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration spokesman Duane DeBruyne told Transport Topics on Nov. 19 that the agency will provide the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General its review of the restart rules in mid-December.

"The statute provides the [OIG] 60 days to conduct its review," DeBruyne said.

That means OIG has until mid-February to finalize its review of the study.

The study is to address whether the rule has safety benefits and is better for drivers in terms of fatigue, health and work schedules. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which was contracted by the agency, spent five months collecting data for the study.

Earlier this year, the office of the secretary of transportation had told TT the restart study was due to arrive at OIG by Oct. 12, and not December. Then, the secretary's office said, the final report on the restart rule was due to Congress on Dec. 11.

The restart rules are required to remain suspended until a final study is presented to
Congress, according to a fiscal 2015 funding law enacted in December 2014. That law suspended FMCSA's rule requiring truck drivers to take off two consecutive periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. during a 34-hour restart.

Truckers still have to adhere to HOS regulations set prior to July 2013.

From Transport Topics
Who's In The Driver Seat?
With the driver shortage continuing to climb to the top of motor carrier concerns, ATRI has released a new report that highlights a challenging future for the trucking industry based on demographic data and a dramatic shift in the age of the industry's driver workforce.

ATRI's analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found that the trucking industry is disproportionately dependent on employees 45 years of age or older, many of whom will retire in the next 10-20 years. Complicating this is a sharp decrease over the past 20 years in the number of younger drivers that make up the industry, particularly those under 35.
Distribution of Employees 20 Years of Age and Older
One of the challenges highlighted by the study is the lack of vocational education offering for high school students to introduce them to a career in trucking. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Education, less than 30 percent of high schools nationwide offer any type of trade and industry transportation vocational courses. Further exacerbating the issue is the gap between high school graduation and CDL eligibility.
The results of this research prompted ATRI's Research Advisory Committee (RAC) to rank two companion studies on younger driver issues as part of its 2015 top research priorities list. The first, Getting Younger Drivers in the Driver's Seat, will focus on increasing the trucking industry's vocational presence and examine the potential for a Graduated Commercial Driver's License (GCDL).
The second, Younger Driver Assessment Tool, is designed to develop a screening tool to assess younger drivers that possess the cognitive decision-making attributes of mature, safe drivers. Once the tool is developed and validated, it then could be used to identify a pool of younger drivers for a GCDL pilot test involving commercial drivers 18-20 years old.

While finding ways to safely bring younger drivers into the industry is one potential solution to the growing driver shortage, the industry must also address a number of other challenges that make it difficult to retain the current driver population and recruit additional new entrant drivers.

When looking at commercial driver responses to ATRI's 2014 Annual Top Industry Issues Survey, drivers chose the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules as their top pick, followed closely by Truck Parking. While Congress provided some relief to the more restrictive 34-hour restart provisions, continued uncertainty over the future of the HOS rules is a concern for many drivers. The lack of available truck parking often puts drivers in the difficult position of having to decide whether to continue to driver tired ( and possibly out of available hours) or park in less-than-safe locations like abandoned parking lots or highway exit and entrance ramps. ATRI's research is investigating a number of potential solutions for truck parking challenges including a real-time truck parking availability notification system that would let drivers know in real-time how many spots are available at a given exit so they don't waste valuable time driving around looking for a spot.

The growing burden of congestion on the highway is another big issue impacting the industry's ability to retain and recruit new drivers. Commercial drivers in Illinois regularly travel through one of the nation's top truck bottlenecks as identified in ATRI's annual list of the top 100 most congested truck corridors. The Byrne Interchange (formerly the Circle Interchange) has been the perennial top location on the ATRI list. However, in the 2014 list, the Byrne Interchange (now#1on the list) was surpassed by the George Washington Bridge connecting New York and New Jersey.

to see the entire list of ATRI's top 100 truck bottlenecks or to order any of ATRI's report, visit
ATRI is the trucking industry's 501 (c) (3) not-for profit research organization. The Institute's primary mission is to conduct transportation research with an emphasis on the trucking industry's essential role in a safe, efficient, and viable transportation system.
Can GPS Records Be used for IFTA & IRP?
Yes, but you need to know what you're doing.  Both the International Registration Plan and IFTA require a carrier operating under those programs to keep mileage records that can be audited for the carrier's compliance.  Most basically, those records have to show where a carrier's vehicles went -- that is, routes and miles traveled -- sufficient for an auditor to determine the accuracy of what the carrier reported on its IRP application for registration and its IFTA fuel use tax returns.  For some years now, records produced by global positioning systems, often supplemented by records from other electronic devices, have been able to produce records that qualify.  Several years ago, IRP adopted language that specifically requires its member jurisdictions to permit such electronic records - if they are adequate - to serve for purposes of audit; and now IFTA, effective next year, has done likewise.  (See the preceding piece.)  Many if not most states already permitted carriers to submit GPS and similar records for audit.  These changes in policy are particularly timely, since the U.S. federal regulation to require electronic logging is expected to be published any day now, and it will also require that nearly all interstate commercial vehicles employ GPS or something akin to it.  So nearly all interstate carriers are likely soon to have GPS records.  What can go wrong on audit?

There are at least three different kinds of potential problems.  First, the records, although produced electronically, and not inaccurate, may not be exact enough for IFTA and IRP purposes.  For instance, it's expected that the ELD rule will require a GPS system, for purposes of hours of service, to pinpoint a vehicle's position only within a radius of several miles.  That's nowhere near precise enough for IRP and IFTA.  There probably won't be anything in the rule that prevents GPS for HOS to be much more accurate, but records that are good enough to comply with HOS rules will not automatically be good enough for IRP and IFTA.  GPS and other electronic tracking systems may also fail to report precisely enough carrier operations in metropolitan areas, unless they are particularly calibrated to do so - and this again is required for IRP and IFTA, as those programs need to know just where a vehicle went.  GPS providers are not necessarily aware of these distinctions.  Second, records for HOS compliance need only be kept for 6 months.  Depending on a carrier's arrangements for maintaining mileage records, which often means the agreement the carrier has with its GPS provider, those full, original records may not be available when an IRP or IFTA auditor comes to call three or four years after the records were produced.    
Raymond Port of Entry Change in Hours
Trucking Moves America Forward Launches Online Store further extends image-building effort of trucking industry
Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), the industry-wide image and education movement, announced the opening of its online store, SHOP TMAF, as a next step in the movement's awareness and branding goals.
"We are proud to announce our e-commerce addition to the TMAF website. The store is an extension of the broader effort to encourage industry members to spread their messages of pride for the industry they call 'home,' said Kevin Burch, TMAF co-chair and president of Jet Express. "We see this as another way to create a dialogue about the trucking industry."
With the TMAF-branded gear, trucking professionals can proudly showcase the industry's evolution as a modern one, and one that is continually improving its image and reputation.
Just in time for the holiday shopping season, visitors can go directly to or to the SHOP TMAF tab from the home page of to browse and purchase branded clothing and promotional items. The product catalogue consists of hats, Nike polo shirts, t-shirts with and without pockets, tumblers, buttons, lapel pins and window clings and signs for trailers.
TMAF encourages trucking companies, associations and organizations - all members of the industry - to join the effort and spread the pride and joy of trucking, by posting a link ( to the store on their websites.
Free Safety Workshops
Montana's workers are exposed to a range of workplace hazards on a daily basis. But how do we keep these exposures to a minimum? Join us this December as we help you and your co-workers stay injury free as we present Working Together for a Safer Montana.

We All Share the Responsibility -   Let's face it; no matter what you do for work, on the job safety is always a concern. But the question remains, who is responsible for the safety of an employee? We contend everyone in your workplace must play a part. In this session we'll help you break down the roles and responsibilities of each of your employees so you get everyone in your organization working together for safety.

Not Only for Office Workers - Ergonomics are one of the most overlooked issues in workplace safety, yet they affect everyone from the receptionist to the traveling salesman to a line worker at a manufacturing facility. Simply put, ergonomics has to do with proper posture, managing forces and an excessive repetitive motion. In this section of the workshop we'll give you the tips you need to tackle everyday ergonomic issues, as well as open the floor for discussion to for participants to share their ergonomic challenges and solutions.

Dates and Locations
December 1 - Kalispell - Hampton Inn
December 2 - Missoula - Best Western Grant Creek Inn
December 3 - Helena - Holiday Inn Express
December 4 - Great Falls - Holiday Inn
December 8 - Butte - La Quinta Inn
December 10 - Miles City - Sleep Inn & Suites
December 11 - Billings - Big Horn Resort
December 15 - Bozeman - Holiday Inn

Register Now. The free trainings take place from 8:30 am - Noon. If you have questions, call 800-332-6102 extension 5361 (Kirk Smith).