Posts Tagged ‘FMCSA


You May Need A Tanker Endorsemnet Now for IBC’s

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA has expanded the  definition of “tank vehicle” that now applies to vehicles hauling an aggregate of 1,000 gallons in containers of 119 gallons or larger. This will now include the many petroleum and chemical distributors that haul 275 gallon and larger tote tanks. Your driver’s may need a TANK “N” endorsement if the combined gallons is 1,000 gallons or more.

Under a notice of guidance published Thursday, May 24, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says individual states must adopt the definitional change by 2014 at the latest.

The change originated in May 2011 when the FMCSA issued a final rule for CDL testing and learner’s permits. In that rule, the agency expanded the definition of tank vehicles to include haulers of 1,000 gallons aggregate in containers of 119 gallons or more.

In the guidance document issued this week, the agency says it absolutely intended to expand the definition of “tank vehicle” to flatbedders hauling intermediate bulk containers, or IBCs. That had been a point of contention for some because truckers hauling IBCs containing certain liquids or gaseous materials have not previously needed the tanker endorsement. Hazardous materials are covered under different rules.

The American Trucking Associations petitioned the agency earlier this year to change the definition back to the way it was prior to the CDL-testing rule. And while the FMCSA did grant the petition, the agency did so to study the matter further and to clarify its intentions through official guidance. The guidance states:

“The new definition is intended to cover (1) a vehicle transporting an IBC or other tank used for any liquid or gaseous materials, with an individual rated capacity of 1,000 gallons or more that is either permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or chassis; or (2) a vehicle used to transport multiple IBCs or other tanks having an individual rated capacity of more than 119 gallons and an aggregate rated capacity of 1,000 gallons or more that are permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or the chassis.”

The agency has also clarified its intentions for empty bins and those with residue only.

“Furthermore, the definition of tank vehicle does not cover the transportation of empty storage tanks that are not designed for transportation and have a rated capacity of 1,000 gallons or more, that are temporarily attached to a flatbed vehicle,” the FMCSA stated.

Down the Road – Mike


Change? Hours of Service Rule

Since the FMCSA new Hours of Service regulation changes do no go into effect until June 2013 does that mean they are serious about change? It seems to me that 18 months is a long period for the changes that they claim will improve driver safety. If it truely is the right change to make why delay it 18 months from the rule’s published date?

The guts of the changes include a mandatory 30 minute break in an 8 hour period, before continuing to drive and a change in the 34 hour restart. In order to qualify for the restart you have to have 2 periods that include 1am to 5am in the 34 hour period.

The restart qualifier baffles me. Now drivers will be forced to start after traffic begins to build so they are out there with more opportunities to mix it up in heavily congested traffic.

What’s your take?

For the complete rule go here.

Down the Road – Mike


December to Remember

Did you have a December to remember?

There was a lot of stuff going on in December of 2010. With the blast off of CSA2010 (now just CSA), the Hours of Service rule changes and the Christmas Holidays it may have been difficult to remember what the heck the new year means.

I was fortunate enough to be able to take some time off the last couple of weeks, but now it’s time to refocus and also catch up on the 2010 left overs.

Today might be a good time to look at your CSA scores on the FMCSA website, Vigillo or other source and pick one item to focus on in January. Write it down, along with a few action steps and you can get the new year off on the right foot.

My focus will be on Cargo Securement and I am going to blast out a reminder to our managers to do a 10 minute review of our last training with our drivers.

Down the Road – Mike


CSA Go Live Date Nears


The slated launch date of December 6th, 2010 for the Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) is right around the corner. As that nears the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has made some last minute adjustments to the measurement system.

The agency will modify the presentation of SMS BASIC results by:

  • Changing the highlight color from red to orange.
  • Changing the term “Deficient” to “Alert” when a motor carrier’s score in one or more BASICs is above the FMCSA threshold for intervention.
  • Improving the language to clarify that BASIC results signify the carrier is prioritized for an FMCSA intervention.

Feedback during the Data Preview indicated that the display of SMS results needs to clarify that BASIC percentiles above the FMCSA threshold signify the carrier is prioritized for an FMCSA intervention and do not signify or otherwise imply a “safety rating” or safety fitness determination.

The Cargo-Related BASIC will be modified to:

  • Recalibrate the Cargo-Related BASIC by adjusting the cargo securement violation severity weightings based on input from subject matter experts (SMEs).
  • Modify the public display to show the SMS Cargo-Related BASIC violations only. The percentiles and intervention status will not be on public display.

Hopefully the above change will level out the scores for carriers that haul the majority of there loads on floats and lowboys versus carriers that haul mainly closed vans.

To review your CSA scores go here.


Down the Road – Mike


Another Transportation Fee Doubles

Last week I received a letter from the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration PHMSA letting me know that the Hazardous Materials Registration fee that we paid in June of 2009 for the 2009-2012 period had gone up as of March 30, 2010.

Now we owe an additional $3,200 on top of the $2950 we paid last year. This, along with the notice received last month concerning the increase in Unified Carrier Registration UCR fees for 2010 (almost double the 2009 fee) from $3800 to $7511 has me wondering what will be next.

The Hazmat Registration fees for small hazmat carriers remain relatively unchanged, but the fee for large motor carriers jumps from $975 to $2575 annually. Ouch!

So far in 2010 it is costing carriers an additional $6,911 in government fees to operate, not including the increase in fuel spending.

The registration fees for the 2010-2011 year are due by July 1, 2010. Motor carriers can register with the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration by clicking here.

Remember “Road Check 2010” is June 8 – 10. If you have any vehicles due for their periodic inspection in June, now would be a good time to step it up and get them done.

Down the Road – Mike


UCR Fees Just Shy of Double

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has finally set the 2010 fees for the Unified Carrier Registration UCR program.

The following will be the fees for 2010:

0-2 trucks $76 (old fee $39)
3-5 trucks $227 (old $116)
6-20 trucks $452 (old $231)
21-100 trucks $1,576 (old $806)
101-1,000 trucks $7,511 (old $3,840)
1,001 and above $73,346 (old $37,500)
The fees are based on the number of trucks in the fleet, and trailers do not count.

The fees proposed accounted for “bracket shifting” – motor carriers that move from one category to a lower-paying category because of downsizing etc. That shifting has resulted in a 25 percent loss in revenue in past years.

Be sure to update your MCS-150 before you file the UCR fees.

Motor carriers can begin filing UCR fees on May 3.


CSA2010 Sneak Preview

FMCSA announced today that the Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010 Data Preview in now available, which will allow individual motor carriers to review their safety performance data by the CSA 2010 Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). The Data Preview begins on April 12, 2010 and ends on November 30, 2010, the national launch date for the CSA 2010 safety enforcement program.

During the data preview period, motor carriers are encouraged to closely examine their performance data and immediately address any safety problems. This is also an opportunity for motor carriers to update and verify their safety performance data online.

This important step is designed to focus motor carriers on identifying and addressing unsafe behaviors that can lead to crash risk.

FMCSA has added more stringent security measures for online access. Carrier’s will need to have their DOT number and login PIN to access the previewed data. Click here for details.

Down the Road – Mike

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