News

DOT “Blitz Week” Week 2022: What You Need To Know!

May 1, 2022

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) International Roadcheck — commonly known as DOT Week or DOT Blitz — is scheduled for May 17-19, 2022.  Each year, CVSA focuses on a specific aspect of a roadside inspection. This year, the focus will be on wheel ends. Wheel end components support the heavy loads carried by commercial motor vehicles, maintain stability and control, and are critical for braking. Violations involving wheel end components historically account for about one quarter of the vehicle out-of-service violations discovered during International Roadcheck, and past International Roadcheck data routinely identified wheel end components as a top 10 vehicle violation.

During this three-day period, truckers may be stopped and checked for vehicle maintenance and driver compliance practices in the areas detailed below.

DOT Blitz Week 2022

The mechanical health of their vehicle, including but not limited to:
• Brakes
• Engines
• Lights
• Steering functions
• Fuel systems

Driver documentation:
• Driver credentials
• Hours of service (HOS) adherence and documentation
• Drug/Alcohol impairment
• Proper permitting (where applicable)

The wheel-related assembly regulations that will be checked for this year include:
• Wheels and rims cannot be broken or cracked.
• Stud and/or bolt holes cannot be “elongated” (no longer round).
• Bolts and nuts cannot be “loose.”
• Tread depth on a tractor’s steer tires must be no less than 4/32 inches.
• Tread depth on all remaining tires must be no less than 2/32 inches.

PRO-TIP: Treat Every Week Like DOT Week!
The best way to prepare for inspections is to always be ready for them. By conducting pre-trip inspections, drivers can catch the ‘low-hanging fruit’ law enforcement officers look out for on the road, such as turn signal lights, having a fire extinguisher and cargo securement.


DOT, DOL Announce Expansion of Trucking Apprenticeships, New Boards To Improve Working Conditions of Truck Drivers

January 18, 2022

U.S. DOT SealIn December, as part of Administration’s approach to strengthen America’s supply chains, address bottlenecks, and lower prices for Americans, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the Biden-Harris Trucking Action Plan, Today, to uphold the 30-day commitments made in the Trucking Action Plan, DOT and DOL are announcing next steps on several new initiatives that will support drivers and improve driver retention while expanding access to quality driving jobs now and in the years ahead. These initiatives include:

  • Expanding Registered Apprenticeship programs — more than 100 employers and industry partners have stepped forward to work to expand Registered Apprenticeships in the last 30 days.
  • Creating the Women of Trucking Advisory Board mandated in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • Creating a new task force, mandated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to investigate predatory truck leasing arrangements with DOL and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Beginning two studies to explore the issues of truck driver pay and unpaid detention time.
  • Launching the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot –an under-21 pilot program for truck drivers mandated in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • Over $32 million in funding to states to improve CDL licensing process.

“In some parts of the trucking industry, 90% of drivers turn over each year. Making sure truck drivers are paid and treated fairly is the right thing to do, and it will help with both recruiting new drivers and keeping experienced drivers on the job,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

“In the 30 days since the Administration’s Driving Good Jobs Initiative was launched, there is new energy and enthusiasm behind the effort to ensure jobs in the trucking industry are good, safe and sustainable jobs attractive to new generation of truck drivers who will remain in the industry over the long term,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Industry has to and is stepping up to partner and in the last month, we are already working with more than 100 employers to expand Registered Apprenticeships for drivers, an important step to making this shift a reality.”

“Too many American truckers are set up to fail with financing schemes or coerced into paying junk fees. To keep our economy moving, we must ensure that truckers who work hard don’t face financial ruin,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. 

Last summer, Secretary Buttigieg and Secretary Walsh co-wrote an op-ed that detailed high turnover in the trucking profession and ways to address it. Today’s announcement marks key next steps for the federal government to begin to address some of the challenges truck drivers face in their profession, while expanding access to quality driving jobs now. Below are more details on what’s being announced today:

Registered Apprenticeship Accelerator  

  • The Departments of Labor and Transportation launched the 90 Day Trucking Apprenticeship Challenge to accelerate the expansion of Registered Apprenticeships as a proven workforce strategy for helping employers and organized labor partners develop and retain a skilled workforce.
  • Since the launch of the Challenge just 30 days ago, more than 100 employers and industry partners have stepped forward to expand Registered Apprenticeships.
  • For example, more than 20 employers are already close to launching brand new apprenticeships, which will put thousands of new skilled and safe drivers on the road in good trucking jobs trained using the ‘earn while you learn’ Registered Apprenticeship model.
  • Over the next 60 days the Departments of Labor and Transportation and industry partners will continue to host informational meetings and work with employers, industry groups and labor organizations to further support the development of Registered Apprenticeships across the industry.

Women of Trucking Advisory Board 

  • The Advisory Board will help inform efforts to increase the number of women in trucking by reviewing and reporting on the current challenges facing woman drivers and those interested in joining the profession, such as barriers to entry, on-the-job safety risks, mentorship, quality training, and opportunities for advancement.
  • USDOT’s Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration (FMSCA) will begin soliciting nominations for the Advisory Board to ensure that the composition of the Board represents a cross section of women in the trucking industry.
  • This week, the White House is convening a virtual roundtable to gather input on how to build a more inclusive and equitable workplace for women in the trucking industry.

Truck Leasing Task Force  

  • Along with FMCSA, the DOL and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will form a Truck Leasing Task Force that will review leasing arrangements to identify actions that could make leases more equitable and transparent.
  • The Task Force will be focused on reviewing and reporting on:
    • Common truck leasing arrangements, with a specific focus on inequitable terms and transparency.
    • Truck leasing arrangements for ports that involve a requirement for trucks to convert to zero emissions.
    • Loans and other arrangements between incoming driver trainees and training schools and/or trucking companies to understand the extent to which these result in outsized and unanticipated debt for incoming drivers.
    • Looking into predatory truck leasing arrangements with DOL and in coordination with the CFPB.

Detention Time Study 

  • FMCSA released a scope of work to begin a study on driver detention time and its impact on safety and compensation.
  • Unlike past studies on the impact of driver detention time, this study will use a cross section of electronic logging device data to provide a much more detailed understanding of wait times for drivers across jurisdictions and industry sectors. Data used will be aggregated and anonymized to ensure driver privacy.
  • In addition to quantifying detention time the study will also review how detention time influences the likelihood of a crash or an hours-of-service violation.

Compensation Study  

  • FMCSA has begun partnering with the Transportation Research Board to conduct a study of the impacts of various methods of driver compensation on safety and driver retention.
  • Specifically, the study will review the safety effect of payments made to truck drivers per load or per mile versus payments per hour. The study will also review the amount of time a truck driver spends away from home, driving and detained to determine true working hours, and then determine true hourly wages.

Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot (“SDAP”)

  • FMCSA notified the public that it will be screening motor carriers to determine their eligibility to participate in the SDAP if they meet strict safety standards.
  • In the coming days, FMCSA will publish a Federal Register Notice that outlines the program safety requirements, including a requirement that participants meet the qualification standards of the Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship program.
  • FMCSA will also conduct outreach to motor carriers with excellent safety records inviting their participation in the program.

Funding to States for CDL Licensing 

  • DOT and FMCSA are supporting state departments of motor vehicles as they return to—or even exceed—pre-pandemic commercial driver’s license (CDL) issuance rates, which is helping bring more truck drivers into the field.
  • As part of the Trucking Action Plan 30-day commitments, FMCSA announced over $30 million in funding available to help states expedite CDLs.
  • The FMCSA has also sent all 50 states a toolkit detailing specific actions they can take to expedite licensing and will work hand-in-hand with states to address challenges they are facing.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

United States Department of Transportation


MDOT MVA Bills Impacting Commercial Trucking Industry Takes Effect In October

October 1st, 2021

The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) is highlighting several new bills taking effect October 1 that address the commercial trucking industry, traffic safety and driver penalties.

Introduced by MDOT MVA leadership, passed by the Maryland General Assembly and signed into law earlier this year by Governor Larry Hogan, Senate Bill 291 accommodates truck platooning – a practice that utilizes vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology hosted by radar, GPS and Wi-Fi to allow two or more vehicles to be electronically synced with one another.

Other bills going into effect on October 1 that are related to motor vehicle operations and the MDOT MVA include:

HB 519Vehicle Equipment – Safety Glass – Replacement Standards requires MDOT MVA to establish standards and requirements for aftermarket safety glass replacement.

HB 0115/SB 0020: Vehicle Laws – Canceled, Revoked and Suspended Driver’s Licenses – Penalties alters certain penalties for a person who displays a canceled, revoked or suspended driver’s license, and requires that a person who violates certain sections of the law must appear in court and may not prepay the fine.

SB 0681: Motor Vehicles – Inspection Certificates – Exception allows transfer of a used vehicle from a business to a majority owner of the business without the need to obtain a motor vehicle safety inspection certificate, if the vehicle is primarily driven by the majority owner and the business has been dissolved or is in the process of dissolution.

THE FOLLOWING BILL HAS AN IMPACT ON ALL COMPANIES:

HB 1074/SB 0140: Vehicle Laws – Commercial Motor Carriers – Safety, Inspection, Performance and Insurance Information, also known as James Cohran’s Law, requires employers of commercial motor vehicle drivers to provide certain information to a prospective employee driver. This law ensures prospective employees receive information on an employer’s safety record and crash data. Companies will be held accountable via civil penalties if they do not comply.

DOT Compliance Consultants, LLC News


National Truck Driver Appreciation Week — September 12-18

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is September 12-18, 2021.  This is an initiative designed to celebrate professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in undertaking one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs. Almost every aspect of daily life in America is impacted by our truck drivers as these 3.5 million professional men and women not only deliver our goods safely, securely, and on time, they also keep our highways safe.


New State Laws Impacting Truckers To Take Effect In Maryland In October

September 9th, 2021

As we roll into the Fall of 2021, there are two new state laws set to impact ALL companies operating trucks in Maryland.

The new requirements, starting October 1st, 2021, will be:

Preventive Maintenance Inspections for Trucks: Current Maryland laws require an annual Preventive Maintenance Inspection for registered commercial motor vehicles to be done annually or every 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

• Annually or every 35,000 miles (whichever comes first) for Class F tractors that are no more than 5 years old.

• Annually or every 50,000 miles (whichever comes first) for Class E straight trucks that are no more than 5 years old and are powered by a zero-emission fuel source (e.g., electric or hydrogen).

• Vehicles that are older than 5 years will continue to need a PM inspection annually or every 25,000 miles consistent with current law.

Mandatory Information Sharing with Prospective Drivers: FMCSA regulated employer with more than one driver and a place of business in the state must provide a driver with its U.S. DOT number and the URL for FMCSA’s Safety and Fitness Records system (https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/) when it makes an offer of employment. This applies to any driver of a commercial motor vehicle over 10,000 lbs.

There are several ways in which companies can comply with these regulations. These methods include printing your company’s DOT number and the SAFER web address (https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/) and including them with your application, offer letter, or other documentation given to a prospective driver.


FMCSA Awards More Than $76 Million in Grants to Improve Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

September 9th, 2021

U.S. DOT SealThe U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it has awarded more than $76 million in grants to states and educational institutions to enhance commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety.  All 50 states, the District of Columbia, plus the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are slated to receive federal funds.

“At FMCSA and USDOT our mission is to ensure that all road users, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, reach their destination safely,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi.  “Together these grants represent the Administration’s commitment to supporting strong state and local partnerships to reach our national goal of reducing commercial vehicle-involved crashes and saving lives.”

In addition to these grants, USDOT is one of the leaders of the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, where they are working to address truck driver retention issues.  In July, USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, and FMCSA’s Meera Joshi hosted a roundtable to discuss truck driver recruitment and retention. After the roundtable Secretary Buttigieg and Secretary Walsh wrote an Op-Ed detailing how truck drivers are essential workers and what USDOT is doing to support driver retention

The FMCSA grant announced today include:

$45.2 million in High Priority (HP) grants to enhance states’ commercial motor vehicle safety efforts, as well as advance technological capabilities within states.  The High Priority (HP) grant program consists of HP-Commercial Motor Vehicle (HP-CMV) grants and HP-Innovative Technology Deployment (HP-ITD) grants.  HP-CMV grants are designed to provide financial assistance to state commercial vehicle safety efforts, while HP-ITD grants provide financial assistance to advance the technological capability and promote the deployment of intelligent transportation system applications for CMV operations.  A full list of this year’s HP grant recipients is available here.

$29 million in Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation (CDLPI) grants to enhance efforts by states to improve the national commercial driver’s license (CDL) program.  The Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation (CDLPI) grant program provides financial assistance to states to achieve compliance with FMCSA regulations concerning driver’s license standards and programs.  Additionally, the CDLPI grant program provides financial assistance to other entities capable of executing national projects that aid states in their compliance efforts, which will improve the national CDL program.  A full listing of this year’s CDLPI grant recipients is available here.

$2 million in Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training (CMV-OST) grants to 21 educational institutions to help train veterans for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers.  The Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training grant program awards grants to a variety of educational institutions that provide commercial truck and bus driving training, including accredited public or private colleges, universities, vocational-technical schools, post-secondary educational institutions, truck driver training schools, associations, and state and local governments, including federally recognized Native American tribal governments.  A full listing of this year’s CMV-OST grant recipients is available here.

In addition to the grants noted above, in May/April 2021, FMCSA awarded more than $304 million in Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) grants supporting state and local law enforcement agencies to utilize approximately 12,000 enforcement personnel toward reducing the number and the severity of crashes and hazardous materials incidents involving commercial motor vehicles.  A full listing of Fiscal Year 2021 MCSAP grants is available here.

In total, nearly 60 percent of FMCSA’s funding is provided to states and local communities through grant funding – all intended to enhance commercial vehicle safety.

To learn more about FMCSA grants, visit https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/mission/grants.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration


DOT Compliance Consults, LLC Announces New Location In Crofton, MD

DOT Compliance Consultants, LLC - Crofton, MDTroy Smith of DOT Compliance Consultants, LLC is pleased to announce the official opening the company’s new office in Crofton, Maryland. The new office, strategically located in the central business district of Delmarva region, brings the company closer to its clients in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, while strengthening the company’s overall presence.

“We are excited about our new office in Crofton, and we’re ready to enhance our offerings to the region.” —Troy Smith, DOT Compliance Consultants, LLC

Our team of experts is the region’s leading experts in the safety of commercial vehicles and drivers. We offer the commercial vehicle industry peace of mind in meeting all rules and regulations pertaining to FMCSA’s requirements. The services provided by our DOT Compliance Consultants, LLC will assure your company is maintaining the proper paperwork, meeting all trucking and driver safety requirements, and providing you with the most up-to-date information in rules and regulations. Our highly certified consultants have built a reputation as one of the leading agencies in the commercial vehicle industry.

For more information regarding the new Crofton office, contact us at 443-829-5937.