Sunday, June 30, 2013

FMCSA Orders Colorado Trucking Company to Immediately Cease Operations for Continuing to Endanger Public Safety

E & K Trucking found to be operating unsafe vehicles in violation of December 2012 out-of-service order

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Commerce City-Colo.-based E & K Trucking, Inc., USDOT No. 604546, to immediately cease its trucking operations, declaring the company to be an imminent hazard to public safety. E & K Trucking operates a small fleet of trucks that primarily haul construction scrap and debris. The company was discovered to still be operating unsafe vehicles in direct violation of an order issued by FMCSA in December 2012 that revoked the company’s operating authority for previous safety violations. "We will not allow unsafe truck and bus companies to endanger the public," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We will use all means possible to remove unsafe commercial vehicles from our highways and roads. There is no higher priority than safety."

An FMCSA investigation found that the company failed to routinely inspect, maintain and repair its vehicles to ensure they were safe to operate. Each vehicle inspected earlier this month by FMCSA was ordered out of service for serious safety violations.

"Our safety regulations protect everyone who shares the road with large trucks and buses," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "The safe condition of the vehicle and the qualifications of the driver are the responsibility of the company. Company owners that cannot or will not abide by the safety regulations will find their business shut down while facing civil, and possibly criminal, penalties."

Safety investigators also found that E & K Trucking failed to conduct background checks on drivers, to ensure that they possessed commercial driver's licenses or that they were medically qualified.

In addition to accumulated civil penalties and interest already imposed upon the owners of E & K Trucking by FMCSA, the company owners face additional fines of up to $25,000 and possible criminal charges and imprisonment should they fail to comply with the imminent hazard out-of-service order announced today.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at


Sunday, June 23, 2013

File A Trucking Complaint

Have you experienced safety, service or discrimination issues with a moving company, bus or truck company, including hazardous materials, or cargo tank facility? Please call 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238) from 9am‒7pm, Mon‒Fri EST or file a complaint below.

If this is a safety emergency, please call 911 immediately. The NCCDB complaint system is intended only for investigation of past events.

File A Complaint Here

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Choosing the Right Global Positioning System (GPS) Navigation Device For a Truck

It is important to understand that not all navigation systems are the same. That is why it is critical for truck and bus drivers to use the right navigation system when operating a commercial truck or bus. By using a navigation system that does not provide important route restrictions, such as low bridge overpasses, the shortcut you thought would save you time and fuel may end up costing you more than you bargained for. A typical system that a consumer might buy at an electronics or auto parts store may not have software programming to show low bridges, hazmat routes and other information relevant to commercial motor vehicle operators.

The FMCSA created a visor card specifically for truck and bus drivers on how to choose the right navigation system intended for them. The visor card gives tips for safe use of navigation systems, and can be downloaded free-of-charge.

The visor card provides tips on selecting the proper navigation system designed for trucks and buses, and the correct use of the navigation systems. For example, in order for the navigation system to provide you with the appropriate route, truck and bus drivers should enter all relevant information such as:

vehicle's length, width and height;
axle weight; and
any hazardous materials being hauled.

By following the recommended route, obeying traffic signs and not driving while using a cell phone or texting, tragedies can be prevented and lives saved on our roads and highways.

Download GPS Visor Card


Friday, June 7, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make a Year?

To begin, generally speaking, being a truck driver (on average) can earn from $30,000 - $40,000 per year. However, keep in mind that the amount also varies depending on what trucking company you work for. To break these numbers down from an hourly perspective, long distance truck drivers begin at approximately $15.00 per hour. In contrast, experienced truck drivers can earn upwards of $20.00 per hour. Keep in mind, however, that many long distance truck drivers get paid by the mile, not by the hour. For a visual perspective, please not the graph below regarding pay scale.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

DOT Inspection Video - Roadcheck 2013

This is a good video to give you an ideal what the DOT man will be looking for during 2013 Roadcheck.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

July 2013 New Hours of Service Rules

Who Must Comply HOS Final Rule

Most drivers must follow the HOS Regulations if they drive a commercial motor vehicle, or CMV.

In general, a CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • A vehicle that is involved in Interstate or intrastate commerce and is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards is also considered a CMV

The Hours of Service of Drivers Final Rule [Download PDF Version] was published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2011. The effective date of the Final Rule is February 27, 2012, and the compliance date of selected provisions is July 1, 2013. The links below provide more details regarding the HOS Final Rule:

Summary of Changes of HOS Final Rule Published in December 2011

The table below [Download PDF Version] summarizes the differences between the prior HOS Rule and the new HOS Final Rule published in December 2011:

Limitations on minimum "34-hour restarts" None (1) Must include two periods between 1 a.m.- 5 a.m. home terminal time.
(2) May only be used once per week.
Rest breaks None except as limited by other rule provisions May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver's last off-duty period of at least 30 minutes. [HM 397.5 mandatory "in attendance" time may be included in break if no other duties performed]
On-duty time Includes any time in CMV except sleeper-berth. Does not include any time resting in a parked vehicle (also applies to passenger-carrying drivers). In a moving property-carrying CMV, does not include up to 2 hours in passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper-berth.
Penalties "Egregious" hours of service violations not specifically defined. Driving (or allowing a driver to drive) more than 3 hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered an egregious violation and subject to the maximum civil penalties. Also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.
Oilfield exemption "Waiting time" for certain drivers at oilfields (which is off-duty but does extend 14-hour duty period) must be recorded and available to FMCSA, but no method or details are specified for the recordkeeping. "Waiting time" for certain drivers at oilfields must be shown on logbook or electronic equivalent as off duty and identified by annotations in "remarks" or a separate line added to "grid."

Summary of HOS Regulations

The following table [Download PDF Version] summarizes the HOS regulations for property-carrying and passenger-carrying CMV drivers.

Property-Carrying CMV Drivers (Valid Until July 1, 2013) Passenger-Carrying CMV Drivers
11-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
10-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
14-Hour Limit
May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
15-Hour On-Duty Limit
May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

Browse other articles I have posted:

Roadcheck 2013


June 4-6, 2013

Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world, with approximately 14 trucks or buses being inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during a 72-hour period in early June. Each year, approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors at 1,500 locations across North America perform the truck and bus inspections. CVSA sponsors Roadcheck with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico). Roadcheck is one of a series of activities that occur year round whereby CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle, driver and cargo safety and security.

Since its inception in 1988, the roadside inspections conducted during Roadcheck have numbered over 1 Million, resulting in more than 220 lives saved and 4,045 injuries avoided. It has also provided for the distribution of countless pieces of educational literature and safety events to educate industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations and the roadside inspection program.

View the Six levels of a Roadside Inspection

Commerce and the Interstate Highway System

It's amazing what a significant impact the date June 29, 1956, would have on our nation's history and prosperity. On this date, President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid-Highway Act. This act allowed 41,000 miles of highways to be built, which would connect the nation. This interstate highway system allowed for mobility that no other nation could rival. This increased mobility was great for commerce, as well. Trucking companies have huge amounts of freight that need to be transported. With this improved road system, truck drivers were able to deliver their freight in a more time efficient manner.

To begin, the interstate highway system has had a tremendous impact in regards to our nation's economic development and stability. As noted in The Best Investment a Nation Ever Made, by Wendell Cox and Jean Love (June, 1996).

  • "By increasing speed and expanding access, freight costs have been reduced substantially. Tractor-trailer operating costs have been estimated at 17 percent lower on interstate highways than other highways (Benefits of Interstate Highways (Washington, DC: United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 1983).
  • The interstate highway system made less expensive land more accessible to the nation's transportation system and encouraged development.
  • The travel time reliability of shipment by interstate highway has made "just in time" delivery more feasible, reducing warehousing costs and adding to manufacturing efficiency.
  • By broadening the geographical range and options of shoppers, the interstate highway system has increased retail competition, resulting in larger selections and lower consumer prices.
  • By improving inter-regional access, the interstate highway system has helped to create a genuinely national domestic market with companies able to supply their products to much larger geographical areas, and less expensively" (Cox and Love, 1996).

Each of the aforementioned bullets presented by Cox and Love (June, 1996) have had a tremendous effect on our nation's economy, infrastructure, job growth, etc. According to 1996 data reports, it was estimated that the interstate highway system was responsible for about $14 billion; in additional economic activity. It can be inferred with the increase in population over the years, that the interstate highway system is responsible for even more money in economic development and growth, in 2013.

As shown, it's very evident that the interstate highway system has had great impacts within our nation's structure and economy. However, its benefits to trucking companies and truck drivers individually, may be more subtle. Some ways in which the interstate highway system has benefits trucking companies and truck drivers include the following facets:

  1. More direct routes equate to time savings; thereby, reducing expenditures on freight transportation.
  2. The additional options offered by various routes allowed for great mobility amongst truck drivers. They are no longer tied to a single route.
  3. Since greater mobility allows for more opportunities, both for producer and consumer; it equates to job growth. More truck drivers were needed to keep up with the demand of transporting increased cargo across America.
  4. The interstate highway system also allowed for greater job freedom. Now, truck drivers could work from locations, which may otherwise be out of the way. By today's standards, for example, it's not unheard of for a truck driver to leave from Dayton Ohio, in the morning; drive a freight delivery to Flint, Michigan (approximately 6 hours); and back home for a late dinner. How? By simply hopping on I-75 North to get to Flint; and then on I-75 South, to go home. Very convenient!
  5. Lower retail prices have also come with the advent of the highway system. Retailers no longer have to rely on one delivery option. A retailer can now shop around for the best delivery price for their freight. Thereby, they can pass the savings onto their consumers.

However, while increased commerce is a definite benefit, the highway system does come with its flaws, as well. There's an obvious correlation between the following: increased population, rising gas prices, fossil fuel shortages, road repair expenditures, etc. Trucks require a great deal of fuel to transverse the country repeatedly. All of the mentioned weaknesses put a great deal of stress on our economy. To keep the interstate highway system an integral contributor to our nation's economic vitality, it must be allowed to develop and grow as our population grows. In fact, "if traffic congestion is permitted to worsen, then American consumers will pay a heavy toll, in higher prices due to higher shipping costs, jobs lost due to foreign competition, reduced employment opportunities, and less leisure time" (Cox and Love, 1996). Additionally, as noted in The Best Investment a Nation Ever Made, by Wendell Cox and Jean Love (June, 1996), the positive contributions regarding the interstate highway system and our economic development since its inception (up to 1996), can be seen in the chart below:

Benifits of the Interstate Highway System

(The Best Investment a Nation Ever Made, by Wendell Cox and Jean Love (June, 1996).

The final aspect of the highway system to be shown is the effect it's had on the movement of freight across the nation. An interesting notion on freight movement is the vast improvement of moving cargo by road, over the former rail system. Obviously, historically speaking, America's railways were the main mode of freight movement for quite some time. Economically, though, it wasn't very cost effective. In fact, with the advent of the interstate highway system, the movement of freight became more cost efficient. As noted in The Interstate Highway System Its Development, and Its Effects on the American Spatial, Economic and Cultural Landscape, by Andrew Armbruster (April, 2005), the given excel graph shows the economic improvement between the rail and road systems.

Freight Cost Chart

(Armbruster, 2005).

It is obviously clear of the vast impact the interstate highway system has had on our nation's economy and progression. One thing seems to ring clear in recent studies, however; the fact remains that as a country, we need to be willing to reinvest in our current highway system through repairs, improvements, and expansions. If we fail to do so, it could have dire economic consequences. However, since we are indeed a "nation on wheels", it seems likely that the necessary monies will be allocated to keep this great country and the truck drivers to keep it supplied with goods, at the forefront of a united highway system.


Armbruster, Andrew. The Interstate Highway System. Rep. N.p.: n.p., 1995. Web. 30 May 2013.

National Transportation Statistics 1996 (Washington, DC: United States Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 1996)

1994 Highway Statistics and National Transit Database 1994 (Washington, DC: United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, 1996).

Cox, Wendell, and Jean Love. "The Best Investment a Nation Ever Made." Public Purpose. N.p., June 1996. Web. 29 May 2013.

Information on getting a CDL license: