FMCSA Issues Proposed Safety Fitness Determination Rule
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a proposed safety fitness determination rule that would use data from agency and roadside inspections and investigations, or both, in evaluating on a monthly basis whether a carrier is fit to operate.

The proposed rule would replace the current three-tier federal SafeStat rating system of "satisfactory, conditional or unsatisfactory" for carriers used since 1982 with a single determination of "unfit," which would require the carrier to either improve or cease operations. A carrier could be proposed unfit by failing two or more Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) through inspections or investigation results, or a combination of both, the agency said.

Once in place, the rule will permit FMCSA to assess the safety fitness of approximately 75,000 companies a month using the agency's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program's safety measurement system methodology. FMCSA said it currently is only able to investigate 15,000 motor carriers annually.

The proposal said that based on experience and empirical data from the safety measurement system and interventions, the integration of on-road safety data into the safety fitness determination process would improve the assessment of motor carriers and the identification of unfit carriers. Such integration is a long-standing recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board.

The agency estimated that under this proposal, fewer than 300 motor carriers each year would be proposed as "unfit" solely as a result of on-road safety violations.  Further, the agency's analysis has shown that the carriers identified through this on-road safety data have crash rates of almost four times the national average. 

The proposed fitness determination failure standards would be equivalent to the measures that would determine a motor carrier unfit at the 96th percentile for the Unsafe Driving and HOS Compliance BASICs - a rating that would put a carrier in the worst 4% of fleets that have measurable data in the system.

The agency is accepting comment on the rule for 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register, which was January 21.

We encourage our members to file a comment on this proposed rule, as it will have a huge impact on the industry.

TMHA Board
of Directors
Mike Connell
Bennett Motor Express
First Vice President
Dave Gallano
Gallano Trucking
Second Vice President
Tom Witt
Roehl Transport
Past President
Jon Coca
Diamond Transportation System, Inc.

Clayton Fisk
Warren Transport

Jeremy Ihle
Ihle Transport, Inc.
Heather Johnson
Transportation Logistics
TMHA Mission Statement  
To provide an ongoing forum for education, networking and advocacy for flatbed, step-deck and lowboy (RGN) carriers that specialize in the transportation of machinery and machinery-related commodities throughout the United States and Canada.
International Driver Excellence Award Nominations

For the second year in a row, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will recognize the exceptional careers of professional commercial motor vehicle drivers and their commitment to public safety. CVSA officially acknowledges these individuals through the annual International Driver Excellence Award (IDEA).

This annual award recognizes individuals who go above and beyond the performance of their duties as a commercial vehicle driver, distinguishing themselves conspicuously and beyond the call of duty through the achievement of safe operation and compliance carried out with evident distinction for an extended period of time.

The Department of Transportation gave an update on a rulemaking to require speed limiters on heavy trucks, now projecting the rule to be published in February. The proposed rule has been stuck in the White House's Office of Management and Budget since May 2015.

The DOT rule that would mandate use of speed limiters on heavy trucks could require governors on all trucks weighing over 27,000 pounds to a speed established by the rule.

A proposed rule on minimum standards for entry-level driver training is projected to clear OMB, as well as the Final Rule to implement the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

Top 10 Forecasts for 2016 by Kiplinger
  1. A good year for US economy but not a great year - modest GDP growth/overall inflation will pick up
  2. Chances of terrorist attack in US and abroad remain high
  3. Expect a shake - up in the Republican Presidential race - someone will emerge as the new mainstream challenger once voting begins in Iowa and New Hampshire
  4. Crude Oil prices will bounce back...but just a bit
  5. Modest gains in the stock market and even more volatility
  6. President Obama will travel to Cuba before he leaves office in January 2017
  7. The end of the 40% excise tax on high-cost health plans will be in sight
  8. Congress will OK a trade deal that Obama covets - the Trans-Pacific Partnership will ease tariffs between the US and 11 other nations.
  9. More small satellites will mean big opportunities for all kinds of firms - There will be 300 -plus small satellites launched in 2016, three times as many in 2013.
  10. Generation Z - 70 million kids born after 1998 will start making their mark. Generation Z will challenge merchants and bosses with their wants.