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Maps-21 Roundtable with FMCSA

The sole purpose of this particular notice and relevant attachments goes to my attempt to further the industry’s awareness of recent regulatory progress towards correcting certain unintended consequences of the fact that only a limited number of the statutory provisions of MAP-21, Section 32918, have actually been subject to regulatory implementation as elements of 49 CFR Parts 300 to 399 through a September 2013 “Omnibus Rulemaking”.  To be specific, I’m referring to the currently ENFORCEABLE $75,000 “Minimum Financial Security” requirement mandated under 49 USC 13906 (b) (3), when considered within the context of the currently UNENFORCEABLE “Immediate Suspension” of a broker’s actual “registration” mandated by 49 USC 13906 (b) (5) when “the available financial security of that person falls below the [$75,000] amount required under this subsection.”  Hence the importance of completing the further rulemaking necessary for consistent enforcement of this section of MAP-21.  Quite obviously, what we’re talking about here is the frequently recurring pattern of known financially failing brokerage operations being able to continue soliciting freight from shippers at (say) $2.00 a mile, while still able to lure in motor carriers with promises of (say) $7.00 a mile.  Such is the clear avenue of blatant fraud occasioned by the perpetuation of apparently “current” $75,000 BMC-85 surety filings for up to sixty (60) days following even complete exhaustion of the corpus of any such trust formally evidenced thereby, a regulatory anomaly facilitated by the unequivocal language of paragraphs 7 through 9 of the Form BMC-85 itself

 

As a matter of fact, with decades of experience in the industry, and acting as the sole owner of a BMC-85 provider with more than 1,300 such surety filings at the time the $75,000 “Bond” requirement was implemented in 2013, my reaction was immediate:  The very first thing that occurred to me was that from that point on such a surely increase certainly would create the clear impression that somehow the federal government would be guaranteeing full payment to motor carriers engaged in brokered transactions regardless of imprudent or outright fraudulent activity by the party actually handling the money.  That’s why I voluntarily discontinued more than 1,000 such surety instrument relationships with all but some 300 of what could be deemed my most reliable BMC-85 clients and proceeded to diversify my firm’s activities as a consulting, and service referral agency accordingly.  Nevertheless, I’ve remained in the forefront of current transportation intermediary surety industry developments, both good and bad.   As an example of the latter, after I’d authorized a full payout of the $75,000 corpus of one broker’s trust just recently my staff received more than $300,000 in new claims THE NEXT DAY.

 

Whereupon, for a better introduction to the recent regulatory progress I’ve noted, check out the attached copy of my own “Post-Event Comments” on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) “Broker & Freight Forwarder Financial Responsibility Roundtable” convened in Washington D.C. on 20 May 2016.  In the event, I was specifically invited to attend that formal administrative fact-finding proceeding in order to testify as to circumstances material to “… when on 4 November 2015 my BMC-85 provider became the first qualified business entity ever to actually file a formal ‘Request for Immediate Suspension’ of an FMCSA licensed broker’s actual operating authority ‘Registration’  pursuant to the express provisions of 49 USC 13906 (b) (5).”   Subsequently, “… the entire roundtable panel appeared to approve of both the theory and practical applications of the ‘Immediate Suspension’ of the actual operating authority registration … of financially failing brokers which my BMC-85 provider had introduced.” To be sure, since then I’ve been working diligently with that agency’s Registration, Licensing & Insurance Division towards facilitating further rulemaking towards that particular end, which only now has been advanced to the third item in significance (behind only “group surety bonding” and “assets readily available”) listed for priority consideration in DOT/FMCSA’s Fall 2017 “RIN: 2126-AC10” publication, a copy of which reproduced under elements of a more recent FMCSA notice introducing it is attached hereto as well.

 

Furthermore, for those of you interested in discussing such matters I have my my regular outside counsel, Oregon attorney John P. Manning.  Significantly, in 1992 Mr. Manning began serving as in-house counsel of the management contractor for the BMC-85 Division of United California Discount Corporation (“UCD”), and accordingly had been involved in the first instance in the development of most of the basic BMC-85 contractual and operational procedures currently employed by the surety providers for a very large segment of that market.  In fact, my own company (along with several others I could name) was a spin-off of another spin-off of one of UCD’s former brokerage clients which decided to change roles.  Accordingly, should you decide to follow up on and /or have your organization support the regulatory processes I’ve referenced, I hope you’ll find this notice and attachments introduced hereby instructive as stated when cancellations are submitted for BMC-84 “Surety Bonds” and BMC-85 “Trusts” the industry is notified to contact the surety provider, but once the notice is posted

Brokers will  no longer process loads in the business as usual format.  The new standard eliminates the thirty (30) days waiting period  for brokers to accept loads from shippers and hire motor carriers

that the FMCSA and DOT websites have identified as pending insurance cancellations. This synchronized posted warning In “Bold Red  Letters” that the accounts are pending cancellation.  The DOT,

Safer web-site no longer trails the FMCSA site for 30-45 days, but is current on the status of cancellations, and simultaneously warns the industry with a “Broker Alert”.

Post Event Comments-Round Table

Pending Regulatory Initiatives

Many carriers threatened to quit after ELDs. Did they?

Four months before the ELD mandate took effect on Dec. 18, 2017, DAT surveyed TruckersEdge users to learn how they planned to deal with the new regulation. Most of the respondents were owner-operators and small carriers, and 30% of them said that they would leave the industry rather than use an ELD. 

That didn’t happen. While some may have followed through on that threat, the number of active carriers actually has actually grown at a faster rate since the mandate went into place. So, what changed?

 

Read the full article here.

Uber Puts the Brakes on Self-Driving Truck Program That Spurred Lawsuit

By Glenn Fleishman

July 30, 2018

A promising program to put Uber in the driver’s seat for freight has hit the brakes: the company has stopped development on Otto, its self-driving truck project. The news, first reported by TechCrunch, was confirmed in a statement by Eric Meyhofer, Head of Uber Advanced Technologies Group. Otto garnered early attention by completing a 120-mile autonomous delivery in October 2016.

Uber said that it was shifting resources within its Advanced Technologies Group, which handles research on autonomous vehicles, to focus entirely on cars. Following a fatality in Arizona in March this year, after which the company stopped all its street-based driving tests, the company only last week returned to the road, starting in Pittsburgh.

The truck project was acquired from Otto, which operated in San Francisco, while Uber’s car development occurs in Pittsburgh, where the company has hired away a big portion of the local Carnegie Mellon University’s robotics group in 2015. Employees will be reassigned or offered severance, according to the company.

Read full story here.

 

ELD exemption for small carriers introduced in U.S. House

Full article can be found here.

A bill was filed Wednesday in the U.S. House that would, if passed, exempt the smallest trucking companies — those with 10 trucks or fewer — from compliance with the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate on a permanent basis.

New FMCSA head wants ‘productive conversations’ on ELDs, safety

Original article found here.

Nearly a month into his job as FMCSA Administrator, Ray Martinez told an audience at the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) that he looks forward to “meeting great people” and having “productive conversations.”

Martinez addressed the TCA annual convention in Kissimmee, Fla., the morning of Mar. 26. The week before, Martinez spoke to a less friendly audience at the Mid-America Truck Show about the ELD rule

“I wish (the conversation) could be more productive rather than just anger,” he said about that previous industry meeting. “I am looking for (TCA) for help on how to move the ball forward.”

Post Your Truck to Find Better-Paying Loads

This article can originally be found here.

Chad Boblett is the owner and driver of Boblett Brothers Trucking of Lexington, KY. Chad also founded the Rate Per Mile Masters group on Facebook, a communications hub for more than 18,000 members, including owner-operators, truck drivers, and other transportation and logistics pros. 

 

It might seem counter intuitive, but I always make sure to post my truck on the load board when there’s plenty of freight to choose from. That’s the best time to get calls from brokers who are willing to pay higher than average rates for loads that are going where you want to go.

A lot of carriers don’t want to post their trucks in a hot market. They worry that they’ll get bombarded with too many calls. My advice: Include more detail in your truck posting, and don’t forget to include your destination.

A lot of truckers will say that they leave the destination blank because they will go anywhere for the right money. That could be true, but it also opens the door to receiving calls about a broker’s “problem” loads — the ones that are hard to cover. Brokers have two main problems when covering loads: either the rate is too low, or the load is going to a dead market that no one wants to go to, or both.

Who wants to get calls on a broker’s problem loads? If you’ve positioned yourself in a market with plentiful freight, reward yourself by getting calls on loads that you really want. Believe me, brokers would much rather call a carrier on a load that matches what the carrier is looking for.

The first thing I learned using the DAT load board was how to get positioned in a hot market. This was because I knew the negotiating power of receiving a call from a broker that needs my service versus calling on loads with less priority. 

It Pays to Be Flexible

If you were a broker, would you make the most calls on loads that have to get picked up today or on the loads that can get picked up some time in the next three days? You’re going to call about the one that’s more urgent.

As a carrier, if you are not posting your truck, then you are making calls on load posts. Those loads might be the ones that are less urgent. Rates and negotiations favor the side that has more flexibility. When the broker calls you about a load that needs to move today, there’s not much flexibility. That’s when you can negotiate for an above-average rate.

 

Contact us today to learn more about DAT load boards, or call 800.551.8847.

 

 

Map: A state by state look at ELD mandate enforcement

Read Full Article at here

 

 

Courtesy of CCJ sister site Overdrive, the graphic above shows how truck enforcers in each state are handling enforcement of the electronic logging device until April 1. Though the U.S. DOT required nearly all truckers who keep records of duty status to switch to an ELD by December 18, there’s somewhat of a soft enforcement period ongoing until April 1, the date established by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance for when out-of-service orders for non-compliance will begin being issued.

ELD compliance delay sought by Sikh, Punjabi trucker groups

Read full article here. By Matt Cole

 

Two groups representing Sikh truckers and Punjabi truckers are petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for a delay in complying with the electronic logging device mandate for members who haul agricultural products, as well as small business trucker members.

SikhsPAC and the North American Punjabiz Trucker Association are requesting the delay for their “fresh produce shipper and small truck business members,” the exemption request states, who the groups say are not fully prepared to meet the mandate’s requirements. The groups also voice concerns over driver privacy in their request, as well as that the ELD marketplace doesn’t accommodate the needs of the agriculture hauling industry and doesn’t factor in existing exemptions.

Volvo eyes 2019 for electric truck sales

Volvo Trucks this week said it expects to begin selling electric trucks in Europe in 2019, with the first units put into operation with select customers later this year.

Göran Nyberg, President of Volvo Trucks North America, says electric trucks drastically reduce noise and exhaust emissions and create new opportunities to manage logistics. For example, more freight can be moved at night, resulting in fewer trucks competing for road space during peak traffic times.

“By using electrically powered and quieter trucks for goods transport in urban areas, we meet several challenges simultaneously,” he says. “Without disturbing noise and exhaust gases, it will be possible to operate in more sensitive city centers. Transport may also take place throughout less busy periods, for example in late evening and at night. This will reduce the burden on the roads during daytime rush-hour traffic, allowing both the road network and vehicles to be utilized far more effectively than today.”

Nyberg says urban distribution and other pick-up and delivery applications are a starting point for battery-powered electric trucks, but he envisions broader deployment of electric trucks for freight movement in North America as technologies and the market mature. With well-developed logistics and more effective utilization of roads in the evenings and at night, it is also possible for many smaller vehicles to be replaced by fewer but larger vehicles, thus further contributing to lower emissions and less traffic. For example, distribution trucks have just over ten times the load capacity of a regular van. If a larger proportion of transport assignments could be carried out during hours when fewer people are on the road, this will also significantly reduce the risk of accidents.

“Volvo’s technology and deep understanding of electromobility are based on proven commercial solutions already used in Volvo’s electric buses, and solutions introduced in Volvo’s hybrid trucks as far back as 2010,” adds Keith Brandis Volvo Trucks North America vice president for product planning. “Electric vehicles will be part of our future, but the vehicles themselves are only one part of what is needed for large-scale electrification to succeed. Enabling long-term sustainable transport is a complex issue that requires a holistic and wide range of measures. We are working closely with customers, cities, suppliers of batteries and charging infrastructure, and other key stakeholders to create the necessary framework for battery-powered electric trucks.”

Volvo Concept Truck

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