Four groups have petitioned the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to reconsider provisions of the Final Rule for Entry-Level Driver requirements, which the agency issued on December 7.
The final rule does not include a requirement for 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training for new drivers. Last March, FCMSA had included in its proposed rule a minimum of 10 hours of training on a “driving range” as well as an unspecified amount of time driving on a public road. The final rule requires no behind-the-wheel standard for student drivers, instead deferring to skills tests administered by state licensing agencies. The petition notes that under the new rule, the determination of whether a student driver has the skill set required to operate safely on public roadways is “entirely in the hands of the instructor.”
The petition was filed by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the Truck Safety Coalition and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways on December 21.
Read more here: U.S. groups want requirement for behind-the-wheel training
It only makes sense that we would want someone driving a large truck at 70 miles an hour on the road with much smaller vehicles to have adequate practice. Doesn’t it?
You will want to read this in-depth article on truck safety full of practical knowledge and insight — written by a trucker husband/wife team.
Opinion: Trucking Regulations Don’t Address Biggest Risk – Unsafe Behavior, Trucks.com, by Jeff & Linda Halling, September 8, 2016
Written by Jeff and Linda Halling, a husband-and-wife driving team based in Missouri. This is one in a series of periodic guest columns by industry thought leaders.
While the federal government is adding new trucking industry regulations — including speed limiters for big rigs and electronic logging devices for drivers — these moves don’t really address the root causes of truck crashes.
If we really want to improve safety for truckers and the motoring public, we need to focus on the base reasons for unsafe behavior. We believe better training is key — teaching drivers good work habits. That will reduce the frequency of truck crashes. . .
Read more here: Trucking Regulations Don’t Address Biggest Risk – Unsafe Behavior
Jeff and Linda Halling, a husband/wife independent owner-operator team, recently made some comments on a facebook page about what they think needs to be done to make trucking safer:
While we totally agree with the dangers increasing with trucks putting even more regulations is not the answer. There are more rules and regulations in the trucking industry then there are in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Micromanaging every move never works. Here is the list of changes that we feel need to be made:
1) Better training for new entrants into the industry. Way too many of the mega carriers give their new drivers two weeks classroom one week driving and turn them loose on their own. Part of the problem is that the government classifies us as unskilled labor. Really!!?? A heavy equipment operator is considered skilled labor but a person driving at 80 thousand pound rig is not. Bullshit! By reclassifying Trucking as a skilled labor will increase training and better pay.
2) The hours of service have to be totally redone. One size does not fit all. 11 hours of driving and 70 hours in 8 days is more than enough. However the 14-hour rule is what causes the most safety problems. A driver starts working at 6 a.m. He goes to make his delivery and sits at the dock for 5 hours waiting to be unloaded. He gets paid nothing for that time. He then drives 45 minutes across town to make his pickup. He sits at that dock for 4 hours waiting to get loaded. He gets nothing for that time. The load he picks up goes 500 miles for delivery the next day. But he can only work for another 4 hours because his 14 hours are up. All the time that he spent at the dock was spent resting. But under the current rules he can only work four more hours before he is required to take a 10-hour break. The rule should be if you are in your sleeper for 4 hours or more you can extend the 14-hour clock.
3) There needs to be much more safe secure adequate parking for us to take a required rest period. A lot of drivers that fall asleep are not doing it because they’re pushing themselves to make a delivery they are doing it because they couldn’t find a place to park. All the electronic gadgetry in the world telling the driver to park does no good unless there is a place to park.
Those are the three main things that Linda and I see that will improve safety. We have also been a firm believer that the answer to this industry is not company drivers but independent owner-operators like us. Pride in ownership means a lot more than driving a truck for somebody that thinks you are nothing more than a number. Owner operators have much more flexibility in their pickups and deliveries than a company driver. They also have much more to lose if they mess up.
The bottom line is you’re right — changes need to be made — but the RIGHT changes need to be made.
Facebook post on which Jeff Halling was commenting: https://www.facebook.com/groups/494507530713925/permalink/682662138565129/
Let’s all get together and talk about how to make the roads safer.
Just read the report of a truck tire which came off and hit an SUV–ending a life:
Heed the wise counsel of this driver who has a passion for writing about SAFE DRIVING. Always do thorough pre-trip inspections (by the way, commercial drivers are required by FMCSA to do them, see manual below, plus youtube videos with pre-trip instructions):
Pre-trip Inspection Regulation, p. 356, FMCSA Safety Regulations
Here are some Youtube videos on how to do a pre-trip inspection:
Good to see stronger CDL laws proposed for California. The truck driver in our crash got his CDL in California. These rules might have prevented our crash if they had been in place sooner. Hopefully, they will save many lives by ensuring better training for CDL truck drivers.
“California Senate endorses rule targeting CDL ‘diploma mills'”
“A bill halfway through the California statehouse would put in place a new rule to help ensure that aspiring truck drivers get the proper training before heading out on the road.”
– See more at: http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=29438#.Va17SflViko
To follow my facebook conversation with some truckers, go here: https://www.facebook.com/TruckersUnitedUSA/posts/1575533959380841
Feel free to jump in the conversation. I think that I will need to chew on this one for awhile and figure out where to go next with this.
Check out Tilden Curl’s (an independent owner-operator trucker) thoughts on Minimum Liability Insurance and see what you think: Tilden Curl Paper on Trucker Insurance
Mary selfie at 10:41 a.m., May 4, 2013
Crash was at 1:58 p.m., May 4, 2013
Mary’s braids, saved by a nurse
“Driver training committee finds consensus on behind-the-wheel time
In Washington, D.C., a committee tasked with developing recommendations for a rule on entry-level driver training for truck and bus drivers has come to a consensus on language to present to the FMCSA on or before June 15. Among them are a required number of hours behind-the-wheel and the creation of a new national registry for driver trainers.
The Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee – an appointed group of 26 stakeholders in transportation, safety and education – has met for six two-day sessions this year to find consensus as part of a negotiated rulemaking. . . ”
– See more at: http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=29143#.VW20lM9Vikp
Last week, Jerry and I met with Charlie Gray, CEO of the Carolina Trucking Academy. He had written to us soon after we launched the AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up for Truck Safety Petition sharing his thoughts with us:
At the time, we were focused on the petition and the three truck safety issues which it addressed: 1) combatting driver fatigue through use of Electronic Logging Devices; 2) improving underride guards; and 3) raising the minimum liability insurance for truck drivers.
Finally, the time seemed right to correspond with Charlie and we were able to set up a time to meet together and discuss our shared concern about the lack of adequate requirements for CDL training. We enjoyed getting to know Charlie and look forward to working with him to promote better standards for CDL training programs.
Earlier this week, Jerry received an email which contained a letter from Charlie sent out to his friends with whom he shares devotional thoughts on a regular basis: