Drug Testing Access System
Category Archives: Industry News
Let’s face it; long hauls are boring after about the first 10 or 20 miles! Your tires make that humming sound against the road, which doesn’t exactly add to whatever music you are playing. Most of the scenery on long hauls is the same, especially if you’ve driven the haul before – you’ve seen all there is to see. These two potentially deadly combinations, the “white noise” of the tires and nothing visually exciting to keep your attention (unless you like road kill, and if you do, don’t tell me), contribute to road fatigue, which is what causes the peepers to droop.
In July, a ruling was passed that would allow the FMCSA to revoke a carrier’s operating authority based not on their poor safety record, but on a lack of cooperation with authorities. For the first time ever, the FMCSA has shut down a company for refusing to allow access to their records.
After the Fung Wah company, a Boston-based passenger carrier, had their busses placed out of service, the company briefly leased new vehicles, but were shut down entirely on Tuesday after they wouldn’t produce safety records requested by the FMCSA.
This week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is drawing attention to the Safety Management Cycle (SMC) that helps identify and address safety and compliance issues related to the Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC).
The SMC for the HM BASIC suggests actions that carriers can take to identify the root cause of safety issues, establish and improve their safety management controls, and reduce or eliminate violations. For instance, new hire and refresher trainings are effective ways to communicate company policy and expectations about how to safely transport HM cargo. Also, implementing a disciplinary policy where high-consequence incidents result in stringent disciplinary action can help provide incentive to make every effort to follow company policy.
There has been a lot of talk recently about the upkeep of our nation’s highways and how heavy commercial vehicles do more than their fair share of damage to the roads. Regulations about the number of wheels required per pound of weight carried are supposed to keep trucks from putting too much weight on any one section of road, thereby reducing wear and tear. Now congress has been presented with a bill, HR612, which would allow longer and heavier trucks on our highways.
Earlier this month in his State of the Union address, President Obama briefly touched on his “Fix-It-First” campaign, a plan to invest $ 50 billion into the nation’s transportation infrastructure with $ 40 billion going specifically to roads, bridges, transit systems, and airports. There was the idea that the things that were top priority would be fixed first, but that was about as specific as it got.
Now the White House has given a few more details. Apparently, bridges in disrepair or unable to bear the weight of commercial vehicles are just as much of a concern for the government as they are for truckers. The White House says that the plan could fix 80% of the bridges deemed structurally deficient.
The FMCSA is sticking to its guns; the HOS changes will go into effect on July 1st despite the widespread outcry against it. The ATA has been the driving force behind the opposition, with an ongoing court case between the FMCSA and the ATA as the proverbial battleground for the issue.
In an attempt to push off the HOS changes so that a court would have enough time to (hopefully) rule in their favor, the ATA sent a letter asking for the compliance date to be pushed back to three months after the court ruling. The goal, according to Bill Graves, president of the ATA, is to prevent any unnecessary training which will be rendered useless when the ruling is overturned.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (JBHT) announced the Company has been recognized by Walmart for Innovative Excellence in Transportation for 2012.
In a letter of commendation to J.B. Hunt, Rob Kusiciel, Vice President Walmart Inbound Transportation, and Ken Braunbach, Senior Director of Transportation, wrote: “We are aware of the operational challenges and financial pressures the transportation industry continues to face. Your ability to rise above these obstacles has won our utmost trust and confidence. We look forward to continuing our rewarding partnership for the years to come.”
John N. Roberts, III, President and Chief Executive Officer of J.B. Hunt, said, “J.B. Hunt prides itself on being an industry leader in finding creative and novel solutions to the transportation needs of our customers. We truly appreciate this recognition from Walmart and look forward to continuing our work together optimizing their transportation network.”
Federal agents raided a trucking company in Mt. Crawford, VA on February 12th on charges of forcing drivers to falsify logbooks. Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens all the time, but for it to be happening to such a degree that there’s a raid by federal agents really says something.
The raid was the result of an investigation that has been ongoing since 2006 and came about when workers reported that their supervisors forced them to lie about their hours in order to get paid. Agents said that no less than seven witnesses complained about having to falsify records.
The economy is very slowly getting back on its feet. Freight tonnage is up and consumer spending is on the rise. The clothes, gadgets, cars, fuel, even the homes they live in only show up if trucks are allowed to deliver them. But it seems that people have forgotten the old saying: “If you bought it, a truck brought it.” Some people somehow don’t see the necessity of trucks and are just seeing them as a nuisance, so they ban them entirely.
The latest city in the series of communities to issue a ban on trucks is Warner Robins, GA. While their population is only around 69,000, this is not some small community in the middle of nowhere; they’re just outside of Robins Air Force Base, which is the largest industrial complex in the State of Georgia.
As part of a larger bill that takes drug testing for state welfare and unemployment to a new even more stringent level, West Virginia news station WSAZ (Channel 3) reports that proposed drug testing for drivers licenses would begin with a prospective driver’s first attempt at gaining a license.
Additional information revealed by WSAZ discusses that drivers would have to pass a drug test three times before being able to obtain their West Virginia drivers license—once to get a learner’s permit, once for the intermediate West Virginia driver’s license, and finally, pass one more drug test to obtain a full license with all driver benefits.
“I think it’s crazy, way too far. No one wants to pee in a cup three times for the government. Even people who drive professionally with Class A licenses aren’t under that kind of pressure. It’s like these representatives want a police state,” says Suzanna Miller, a West Virginia native.
While some argue it will deter drug use within the state of West Virginia, others disagree. “These politicians say they want smaller government, then they want to have us taxpayers foot the bill for three drug tests per driver in the state? That’s not smaller government and it’s a lot closer to the communism they claim Obama is part of,” states a local West Virginian and business owner, Markus Powell.
In April of 2012 West Virginia passed a measure that mandates drug testing for those who partake in job and training programs funded by the government, but according to commentators on the original story posted in Charleston, West Virginia, most state residents find this measure acceptable.
“It’s not that we oppose having to pass a drug test for anything, it’s that we oppose having to pass a drug test for everything,” says marijuana legislation topic blogger, Dave Dawkins, adding, “People want to feel free, and they won’t feel really very free if they have to pass a urine test three times for a driver’s license. I doubt this measure will pass in West Virginia, but that won’t keep them from trying and using this as a platform to make drug testing for welfare seem totally status quo.”