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  • April Regulation Round Up

    by Charlotte Freed | Apr 19, 2019

    Centerline Regulation Round UpCenterline is committed to keeping professional drivers up-to-date on hot button issues. Each month, we will provide you with summaries of changes or introduce new regulations that you should keep an eye on. Click on the links provided to read more:

    HOS Regulations: Rule Changes are coming

    Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao announced that the DOT intends to propose a rule that would change federal HOS regulations for truck drivers. Because the rule is still under review, Chao was unable to provide too many specifics. She stated that “The Department understands the strong interest in increasing flexibility and is giving it serious consideration.” The Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) was sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in March. Drivers should be aware that announcements of these changes could take months, as many members of the OMB were furloughed during the partial government shutdown, creating a backlog of work.

    In Other News: New Transportation Leader Confirmed by Senate

    At the end of March, the Senate easily confirmed and cleared President Trump’s nominee, Nicole Nason, to become the new administration of the Federal Highway Administration. Nason will be in charge of overseeing the country’s highway infrastructure which is in need of massive improvements. Learn more about Nason and the challenges the FHWA face in 2019.

  • The 8 Incidents that Will No Longer Effect Your CSA Score

    by Charlotte Freed | Apr 12, 2019

    rear end crash
    The Crash Preventability Demonstration Project, which launched in August of 2017, will become permanent this August. The project allows truck crashes in which the driver was not at fault to be listed as “not preventable” in Compliance, Safety Accountability program scores.

    To be considered for a “not preventable” rating, a crash must have resulted in a fatality, bodily injuries requiring immediate medical treatment away from the scene, or a vehicle being towed from the scene. Under this program, eight types of crashes will become eligible for review:

    1. A crash in which a CMV is struck by a motorist driving under the influence
    2. A crash in which a CMV is struck by a motorist driving in the wrong direction
    3. A crash in which a CMV is struck in the rear
    4. A crash in which a CMV is struck while legally stopped or parked
    5. A crash in which a CMV strikes an individual attempting to commit suicide by stepping or driving in front of a CMV
    6. A crash in which a CMV is damaged when striking an animal in the roadway
    7. A crash in which a CMV is struck by objects such as falling trees or rocks
    8. A crash in which a CMV is struck by cargo or equipment from another vehicle

    The DOT will review other possible scenarios which means more categories may be added in the future.

    To be classified as a “not preventable” crash, a carrier must submit a request for data review through the agency’s DataQs system, attaching documentation that establishes the carrier could not have avoided the crash. This makes it even more important for drivers to fill out accident reports accurately. Check Centerline’s safety blog regularly for updates on CSA information and accident safety protocol.

  • Are You Driving Towards an Accident?

    by Dafne Rangel | Apr 05, 2019

    CSA points explained

    Distractions are everywhere on the road, both inside and outside the vehicle. From tuning the radio to adjusting the rearview mirror, drivers are constantly battling to stay focused on the task at hand. Unsurprisingly, distractions are a leading cause of accident related injuries and death.

    Ranked below are the leading cause of distracted driving related crashes in the trucking industry:

    1. Lost in thought: The biggest cause of distracted driving fatalities in the United States is allowing the mind to wander long enough to lead to a collision. 62% of all distracted driving related crashes are the result of being “lost in thought.” If you have ever been surprised to find you have already reaching your destination, and you do not remember the journey there, you could have been driving on “autopilot.” Drivers typically switch into autopilot on longer routes or familiar routes.
    2. Cellphone use: The second leading cause of death due to distraction-related car accidents is cell phone use. Texting or dialing the phone divert a driver’s eyes from the road for an extended period of time. While this distraction only accounts for 12% of distracted-related accidents, it should be taken seriously, as experts compare using a cellphone while driving to driving under the influence.
    3. Rubbernecking: Looking at something or someone outside of the car – like an accident – is the third leading cause of distracted driving related crashes. Curiosity can cause drivers to “rubberneck,” diverting attention from the road. Even just a quick glance can increase the likelihood of a crash. Rubbernecking accounts for 7% of distracted driving related accidents.
    4. Adjusting vehicle controls: Tuning the radio or adjusting the A/C are just a few examples of adjusting vehicle controls which accounts for 2% of all distracted driving related accidents. Make adjustments before starting your trip to avoid the temptation while driving.
    5. Eating or drinking: Eating and drinking leads to 2% of all distracted driving related crashes. From unscrewing the cap on a water bottle to reaching for another chip, eating or drinking can cause a driver to lose focus of the road. This split second distraction can have deadly consequences.

    Programs and measures have been enacted to help reduce distractions on the road; however, curiosity and temptations still remain. Understanding the effects of distractions and how to avoid them will help make the road a safer place. 

  • Update: Out of Service Criteria for 2019

    by Charlotte Freed | Apr 05, 2019

    Truck driver inspectionEach year the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) updates the North American Standard Out-of-Service criteria. Updates cover everything from brakes to cargo securement devices. As a professional driver, it is important to stay up-to-date on these changes, ensuring you know what to look for in a pre-trip inspection to help keep you and your vehicle on the road.

    Below you will find a summary of the CVSA’s updated out of service criteria:

    • Decals: exposed expired decals could cause a vehicle to be placed out-of-service. Drivers must remove decals rather than covering them with newer versions. This will prevent confusion if expired decals are not completely covered.
    • Bearing Straps: a broken bearing strap could leave a vehicle out-of-service, as a broken strap would have the same imminent hazard as a missing, broken or loose retainer bolt.
    • Brakes and Rotors: cracks through vents indicate that a collapse of the rotor is imminent. Vehicles can be placed out of service for having cracks in rotors in the vent area.

    These are just a few of the many changes that can place either a driver or a vehicle out of service. To be prepared for CVSA’s annual road check, which takes place from June 4-6, review all of the CVSA’s updates.

  • “I Can do This” – the Mantra of a Female Driver

    by Charlotte Freed | Mar 29, 2019

    Toni Payment - Centerline Driver
    “I can do this.” These are the words Toni Payment repeated to herself when she quit her job as an armed security guard. These are the words she repeated as she enrolled in trucking school. These are the words she continues to repeat as she enters her sixteenth year on the road.

    Toni entered the trucking world fully aware of the male dominated industry. She understood that as a woman, being a professional driver would be a challenge due to perceptions and the current landscape. For Toni, the desire to pursue a career out of the ordinary was stronger than the difficulty, she explains, “I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something that was mostly dominated by men – if not as good, then better.” Once obtaining her CDL, Toni was met with skepticism and gender bias. Men would heckle her, saying that trucking wasn’t for women or asking why she wasn’t at home. These statements only fueled her passion to succeed, saying she never wanted her male peers to say “told you she couldn’t do it.”

    Toni silenced some of the nay-sayers by being a self-starter and a problem solver. Like other drivers, Toni hates being sidelined due to a break down and she’s more than willing to get her hands greasy to keep her truck running. In one instance, when a shop told her it would cost too much to fix a line on the truck, Toni called her company’s mechanic and had him walk her through the steps to get the truck up and running again.

    While Toni operates with the mindset of many of her male counterparts, there are moments that remind her she’s a minority in the field. Toni admits that when she first started driving, she was nervous to be alone on the road as a female. And there’s good reason for her concern. “I’ve had times where people have tried to break into my truck while I was sleeping because they saw me in the truck by myself,” Toni shares. She goes on to explain that as a female truck driver, you have to take precautions and be careful depending on where your route takes you.

    Even being precautious, Toni has been able to let her guard down and make friends on the road. Some of these friends have motivated her to keep moving forward with her career. A key motivator in Toni’s career was another female driver and coworker, Jennifer. Deaf in one ear, Jennifer earned her CDL with determination and the ability to overcome obstacles: an inspiration to Toni.

    Since obtaining her CDL, Toni has visited all forty-eight states in the continental US. She’s had numerous adventures along the way and wants to see more women involved in the industry. Toni encourages other female drivers to set their own goals and remember that “you’re not proving anything to anybody but yourself.”

    With years of experience and miles to go, Toni’s message is simple, always remind yourself: I can do this.

  • March Regulation Round-Up

    by Charlotte Freed | Mar 22, 2019

    Centerline Regulation Round Up
    As a career coach, Centerline is committed to keeping professional drivers up-to-date on hot button issues. Each month, we will provide you with summaries of changes or introduce new regulations that you should keep an eye on. Click on the links provided to read more:

    HOS Regulations: Driver Concerns lead to Overhauls

    HOS Regulations have been an area of major concern for drivers due to their lack of flexibility. This concern was expressed in over 5,200 comments during a public comment period. Now, FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez says it’s time for reform. Martinez hinted that areas of reform would be centered on increasing flexibility for on and off-duty time. Learn more about possible HOS Regulation reform here.

    Under 21 Pilot Program: Bipartisan Support for Younger Drivers

    ATA President Chris Spear was excited to see politicians work across the aisle to support legislation that would allow truck drivers under the age of 21 to operate commercial vehicles over interstate lines. Those in support of the bill hope to see continued support as it faces continued hearings before becoming law. Learn more about the DRIVE Safe Act, and track its progress here.

  • Are you Driving Inattentionally Blind?

    by Charlotte Freed | Mar 15, 2019

    Look but didn't see accident
    It is impossible to absorb and retain everything we hear or see. Instead, our mind prioritizes what we see and our expectations fill in the gaps. Focusing on other safety tasks combined with events outside of our expectations can cause “inattentional blindness.”

    What is inattentional blindness? For starters, it’s different than distracted driving. Distracted driving involves prioritizing objects or events other than the road when operating a vehicle. Inattentional blindness, on the other hand, occurs when focusing and prioritizing safety and missing something in plain sight, often causing “looked-but-didn’t-see” accidents.

    As a professional driver, it is important to take steps to minimize driving while inattentionally blind.

    1. Maximize your attention by eliminating distractions unrelated to safety
    2. Be a proactive driver by anticipating decisions made by non-professional drivers
    3. Anticipate what may be ahead by using cues from your surroundings, such as road signs

    There is no cure for inattentional blindness, but as a professional driver, it is important to minimize any and all distractions. At Centerline, your safety is our top priority. Whenever possible, plan for the unexpected.

  • What's Impacting Truck Accidents?

    by Dafne Rangel | Mar 14, 2019
    Collisions happen. From a minor fender bender to a full-on collision, roads seem to be more and more dangerous every day. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), truck accidents have increased by 20% over the past two decades. Commercial truck drivers are generally considered above-average drivers because of their extensive training, but no one is exempt from the hazards of being on the road. Below we have outlined a few of the most common factors that contribute to accidents involving commercial vehicles.  

  • Younger drivers are coming

    by Charlotte Freed | Mar 08, 2019

    New driving law supports younger drivers
    Lawmakers are rejoicing over the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE)-Safe Act. The bipartisan backed bill is designed to facilitate interstate driving for truckers under the age of 21. Transportation experts and fleets around the country are hoping it could provide some relief to the escalating driver shortage.

    Under this law, drivers are referred to as apprentices. As apprentices, drivers will need to earn their CDL and complete at least 400 hours of on-duty time. These apprentices will also be subject to additional regulations: operating a CMV no higher than 65 miles per hour, operating a CMV with active braking collision mitigation systems, and operating a CMV with forward-facing video cameras. 

    40 national trade associations and large companies have signed on to support the bill, saying it is a common sense solution that will help address the driver shortage. ATA President Chris Spear believes this support demonstrates “how real a threat the driver shortage presents to our nation’s economic security over the long term.”

    Supporters will continue to lobby as they work to push the bill across the finish line and into law.

  • Handling Accidents of Any Size

    by Dafne Rangel | Mar 07, 2019

    Wet weather drivingBeing involved in an accident can be alarming and disorienting, but an accident involving a commercial truck can be downright frightening. Who do you call? What actions do you take? It’s important to be prepared and informed before a wreck occurs, because the steps you take afterwards can become critical down the line. At Centerline, our drivers’ safety is our top priority. We strive to arm our drivers with the knowledge and resources needed to tackle even the hardest situations. Below we have outlined the steps truck drivers should take after a collision.

    Step 1: Move to Safety

    After an accident, it is important that you move out of harm’s way to prevent further damage. Place your reflectors out on the road. This will alert other drivers of the incident and help secure the scene. Take some time to calm your mind, and remember to never admit fault or apologize for the accident.

    Step 2: Make the Right Calls

    Call the police and seek medical attention, whether you are injured or not. The moments following a crash can be very disorienting. You may not notice or feel any pain or injuries. Remember, if your vehicle requires towing or if an accident results in a party requiring immediate medical attention or a fatality, your crash qualifies as a DOT recordable accident.

    Step 3: Document Everything

    Regardless of the results of the accident, it is important to make sure you are protected. Always report an accident, no matter how small. Police officers that arrive at the scene will also be completing their own report – always ask for a copy. Take pictures from every angle of the truck, and make sure to get close-ups of any damage, including damage to other vehicles. The goal is to tell the story of what happened if things progress legally.

    Fill out an accident report as early as possible so you don’t miss a single detail. Reports should include at a minimum: information about physical injuries or property damage, a diagram showing lane assignment and cross streets, the cause, and your role in the incident. Don’t forget to capture contact and insurance information for the other parties involved.

    Accidents can and do occur, leaving even the most experienced drivers feeling on-edge. The most important thing to remember is to remain calm and follow the steps above. Remember, Centerline has your back.

  • Driver Spotlight: Tips for Maintaining Relationships on the Road

    by Charlotte Freed | Mar 01, 2019

    Maintaining relationships for truck drivers
    Driving can often be a thankless job that puts stress on home and family life. Long hours or odd shifts make it hard to see the ones you love, or can cause you to miss some of life’s biggest moments. We recently sat down with two Centerline drivers, Shaun and Guillermo, to discuss the importance of maintaining relationships while on the road.

    Guillermo learned the importance of maintaining relationships quickly as an over the road driver. He explained that he was on the road for months, and it became “tough being away from everyone I cared about.” This distance is what eventually motivated Guillermo to pursue a career as a local driver.

    For Shaun, driving becomes difficult when he’s away from his 3 children, ages 7, 3 and 1. “I try not to miss anything,” explains Sean, “luckily I’ve only ever missed one thing – a father-daughter dance.” Sean let us know that no matter what, he makes an effort to see and talk to his kids. Whether a simple phone call, or a video call, Shaun always wants to be present.

    And it’s not just personal relationships that matter. Both Shaun and Guillermo, drivers with over 10 years of combined experience, discussed the importance of keeping in touch with mentors and friends. Trainers and other drivers not only provide important information on changes in the industry, but can keep you abreast of great opportunities. Shaun explained that, “You should never be too proud to take advice. We’re all in this together.” Adding to this sentiment was Guillermo, saying, “It’s important to keep relationships – you can never make too many phone calls to friends or family.”

     Centerline is your career coach, dedicated to helping you find driving jobs that best fit your schedule and lifestyle. Let us know how we can help you maintain those important relationships by finding jobs that keep you close to home.

  • Accidents happen every day. Do you know why?

    by Dafne Rangel | Feb 28, 2019
    Safety sign on highway

    Collisions happen. From a minor fender bender to a full-on collision, roads seem to be more and more dangerous every day. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), truck accidents have increased by 20% over the past two decades. Commercial truck drivers are generally considered above-average drivers because of their extensive training, but no one is exempt from the hazards of being on the road. Below we have outlined a few of the most common factors that contribute to accidents involving commercial vehicles.  

    1. Time:

      Traffic accidents can occur anytime. The probability of being involved in an accident dramatically increases at certain times. Out of all crashes, 83% happened on weekdays, and 35% occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. More drivers on the road during evening and overnight routes create stress leading to negligent collisions. Dim lighting can also impact drivers’ ability to handle unexpected risks.

    2. Place:

      60% of crashes involving commercial vehicles occur on rural roads.  Highly populated areas provide more hazards, therefore drivers are more attentive. In rural areas, there are fewer people making the roads seem emptier which may result in drivers being more careless with driving habits.

    3. Demographic:

      Accidents are not limited by age. They can happen to anyone; however, accidents are more likely to occur when a driver is between the ages of 18 to 34. The odds increase in this age group due to distracted driving. Other factors include lack of experience or time on the road. Driving expertise comes with more time and extensive training.

    4. Why?
    5. Although every collision on the road is different, many can be attributed to two main causes: driver fatigue and equipment failure. Most drivers are on the road for many hours, covering long distances with very little rest. Combine this with pressures of the job, and it’s no surprise that 87% of crashes were due to driver fatigue.

      10% of crashes are due to poorly maintained trucks and equipment. Poorly maintained trucks and equipment can result in an array of accidents regardless of the driver’s capabilities. Trucks should ideally be in top condition before hitting the road but this is not always the case. Always conduct pre and post trip inspections to ensure your vehicle is ready for duty.

    At Centerline, our priority is our driver’s safety. Accidents happen, that’s why being informed is the first step in being prepared.

  • February Regulation Round-Up

    by Charlotte Freed | Feb 25, 2019

    Centerline Regulation Round Up
    As a career coach, Centerline is committed to keeping professional drivers up-to-date on hot button issues. Each month, we will provide you with summaries of changes or introduce new regulations that you should keep an eye on. Click on the links provided to read more:

    ELD Mandate: Early Results

    ELDs were implemented to reduce driver fatigue, therefore creating safer roads. Recent studies have shown that this is not the case. While HOS violations decreased, accident rates appear unchanged and unsafe driving behaviors have increased. Learn more about recent ELD findings here.

    HOS Regulations: Exemption Updates

    A federal spending bill extended a livestock haulers’ exemption from using ELDs until September 30th. These drivers were already exempt from complying with the mandate to ensure animals have access to food, water, and proper temperatures. In addition, the FMCSA announced it has granted another exemption requested by the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA). Learn more about recent ELD exemptions here.

  • Understanding CSA Point Values

    by Charlotte Freed | Feb 15, 2019

    CSA points explained
    Compliance, Safety and Accountability Points
    (CSA Points) were created to ensure that drivers and their employers comply with safety standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Anytime a violation occurs, points are assessed and added to a fleets’ overall score. Points range from 1 to 10 with 1 being the lowest.

    Why Should You Care

    CSA points remain on a drivers’ individual record for up to 36 months. While it is unlikely the FMSCA will take action against a driver, a high score could impact your job search. Driver points are added to a fleets’ overall CSA score – fleets strive to have the lowest CSA score to ensure they receive a high ranking from the FMCSA. Fleets will be unlikely to hire a driver who they deem a safety risk.

    How Do I Earn Points?

    Because CSA Points could impact a driver’s job search, it is important that drivers understand CSA violations and the points associated with them.

    There are 5 major categories of CSA Point violations that truck drivers need to be aware of:

    1. Driving Violations: Everything from speeding to failing to meet physical qualifications are covered in this category.
    2. E-Log and/or EOBR Violations: Failure to submit electronic on-board computer information can affect your CSA score in this category.
    3. Hours of Service Violations: Operating a vehicle fatigued or failing to comply with HOS rules will earn you serious violations.
    4. Mobile Device Violations: Using a mobile phone, whether speaking or texting, could cost you 10 points.
    5. Paperwork Violations: Failure to ensure your license or logs are up-to-date and correct could cost you anywhere from 1 to 8 points.

    For a more detailed outline of the violations can be found online. Review this outline, and never hesitate to reach out to Centerline for help understanding these violations. As your career coach, we’re here to help you navigate the rules of the road.

  • Safety’s Most Wanted List

    by Charlotte Freed | Feb 08, 2019

    Safety sign on highway
    Each year, tens of thousands of people are injured or killed in transportation accidents and crashes. The goal of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an independent federal agency, is to reduce this number by determining the probable cause of transportation related accidents and promoting transportation safety. Earlier this week the Board released its Most Wanted List – a tool intended to identify top safety improvements that can be made to prevent accidents and minimize injuries.

    This year, a majority of improvements on the list related directly to truck drivers and the trucking industry. Here are the topics the Board wants to tackle this year and why:

    1. Eliminate Distracted Driving: Distractions prevent individuals from staying focused on safely operating their vehicle. This increases risks for pedestrians and other motorists.
    2. Implement a Strategy to Reduce Speeding-Related Crashes: Speeding-related crashes are costly, killing more than 10,000 people and resulting in $52 billion in damages annually. Speed not only increases the likelihood of a crash but intensifies the severity of injuries.
    3. End Alcohol and Other Drug Impairment in Transportation: Impairment in transportation is not limited to just alcohol, though it is a leading cause of highway crashes. Impairment by other drugs, both legal and illicit, is becoming a national problem.
    4. Increase Implementation of Collision Avoidance Systems in all New Highway Vehicles: Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States. Many of these injuries and deaths could be prevented with collision avoidance systems – this technology is already available but is not yet standard.
    5. Reduce Fatigue Related Accidents: Fatigue prevents people from staying alert, meaning they will be less likely to meet the demands of safely operating their vehicle. Education will help operators learn about sleep disorder treatment and ways to stay compliant on regulations intended to help combat fatigue.
    6. Require Medical Fitness:Medical issues such as Sleep Apnea can be deadly if undiagnosed. Mandatory screening and treatment will help prevent accidents.

    At Centerline, your safety is our number one priority. Stay up-to-date on rules and regulations and safety information by reading our blog regularly. You can review the NTSB’s Most Wanted List here for more information on the specifics of their plan.

  • Setting Goals with Centerline Driver Chris Happel

    by Charlotte Freed | Feb 01, 2019

    Chris Happel
    At the start of each New Year, people all across the globe sit down to set New Year’s resolutions. These goals, whether personal or professional, help guide everyday choices. These can make a profound difference throughout the year – as long as those resolutions are followed. After sitting down with seasoned Centerline Driver Chris Happel, we learned that his career has been defined by meeting the goals he continually sets.

    Chris started his career in transportation helping offload trucks at the Los Angeles airport, LAX. After interacting with some of the truck drivers he worked with, Chris decided to obtain his CDL and has been driving ever since. After spending some time as an OTR driver, Chris now primarily drives local routes as they allow him to spend time focusing on his personal and professional goals.

    Chris described the job of a professional truck driver as both physically and mentally challenging. That’s why two of Chris’ personal goals are to destress and focus on his health. “Some days I work up to 14 hours,” Chris explains, so when he completes his route he likes to socialize with friends and dance away the day’s frustrations.

    Chris explains that a focus on health is “an ongoing process.” He tracks progress by how he feels, but makes conscious efforts to improve what he eats on the road. Chris explained the struggles he experienced as an OTR driver, “The one thing I didn’t like about over-the-road was that the truck stops catered to fast food and eating on the go. We’re not in an office where we are running around. We’re in a truck.”

    Now driving local routes, Chris packs snacks and adds them to healthier for-purchases items. For example, Chris typically plans his route to end at a Subway where he can purchase a salad and then adds his own avocado and some trail mix to add flavor while staying on a budget.

    Local routes also give Chris the ability to focus on professional goals. Currently, Chris puts in the time to improve with technology. He’s concentrating on becoming knowledgeable with computer programs that will one day help him transition into an office environment within the transportation industry.

    Chris left us with some advice for planning, setting, and meeting goals. Whether a driving goal or a personal goal, “Plan your route.” Be aware of your surroundings, potential complications, and the overall trip: with foresight and planning, you can overcome roadblocks and make it to success.  

  • ELDs vs AOBRD: An Improvement for Drivers

    by Charlotte Freed | Jan 25, 2019

    ELD exemptions causing headaches
    A few weeks ago, Centerline Drivers reported that the open road was still plagued with a number of ELD exemptions. One such exemption that continues to puzzle drivers is the use of AOBRDs; however, this exemption will officially come to an end on December 16, 2019. To prepare for the end of the AOBRD era, Centerline is committed to helping drivers learn the key differences between the two devices.

    One of the reasons AORBDs are being phased out is because of their limited technology. While their physical connection to a truck’s engine provides information needed to ensure drivers are HOS compliant, the outdated technology is easy to tamper with. This means supervisors can change logs without driver approval.

    An ELD synchronizes to a truck’s diagnostic port, ensuring more accurate readings. The chance of tampering with reporting is reduced as well - the technology requires a drivers’ approval of the log and allows for alterations and annotations to help with clarification. Plus, drivers are required to approve any and all changes submitted by supervisors or other back-office personnel.

    Centerline urges drivers to participate in ELD training offered by your fleet. Knowing your device will help in the event you are asked any questions during a road side inspection.

  • Truckers key to Preventing Human Trafficking

    by Charlotte Freed | Jan 18, 2019

    Truckers Against Trafficking
    January is National Slavery and & Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and professional truck drivers are in a unique situation to help prevent these horrific acts.

    Human Trafficking is often described as modern-day slavery, and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or act.  A staggering 18,000 individuals are trafficked into the United States every year, and more than 300,000 children are trafficked within the United States annually. As these numbers grow each year, traffickers exploit our nation’s highways to illegally move individuals.

    Organizations like Truckers Against Trafficking are equipping the nation’s truck drivers to be the eyes and ears of the road. Through educational materials, professional drivers are learning to identify the signs of trafficking and how to report suspected occurrences at truck stops or elsewhere on their routes.

    Centerline urges drivers to know the signs of trafficking:

    • An individual is not in control of their ID/passport
    • An individual is not allowed to speak for themselves
    • An individual is dropped off at a truck and picked up 15-20 minutes later
    • Signs of branding or tattooing of trafficker’s name
    • A van or RV that seems out of place

    Remember – never confront a trafficker. If you suspect you are witnessing a crime, contact law enforcement or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

    If you are interesting in learning more about how you can help prevent Human Trafficking, visit Truckers Against Trafficking to get started.

  • Too many exemptions! CVSA Writes to FMCSA

    by Charlotte Freed | Jan 11, 2019
    ELD exemptions causing headaches

    Things are getting confusing for roadside commercial vehicle inspectors – and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is making sure federal trucking regulators know it. In a letter to FMCSA Administrator, Ray Martinez, CVSA Executive Director, Collin Mooney, says too many motor carriers are being given exemption from the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate.

    Mooney says these exemptions cause further rifts “when motor carriers are aware of an exemption before the enforcement community, setting up a scenario where conflict may arise roadside.” He continues that the near-50 exemptions the FMCSA has granted result in  “confusion and inconsistency in enforcement” and these exceptions bypass “a critical safety requirement designed to help combat fatigue on our nation’s roadways and designed to level the playing field for motor carriers seeking to operate safely within the hours-of-service rules.” A longtime opponent of exemptions from the mandate, the CVSA says “in short, exemptions should be the exception, not the rule”. The organization also requests more influence in the decision-making process along with their local and state partners. 

    In a separate letter, the CVSA asked the FMCSA to put a limit on driver personal conveyance mileage and/or time, arguing that the agency’s revised guidance is open to interpretation dependent on the inspector, increasing the potential for “driver fatigue and risk on our roadways.” The FMCSA has confirmed receipt of the requests and are currently under review.

    The American Trucking Associations (ATA) spokesperson, Sean McNally, says they believe “the best way to address exemptions to the hours-of-service rules is by moving forward with their ongoing review of the current rules” and that “ensuring the rules are flexible and recognizing the trucking industry’s diversity is the best way to reduce the number and scope of exemption requests.” The ATA will continue reviewing the CVSA’s petition on personal conveyance and will provide feedback upon request.

  • FMCSA Allows Camera System to Replace Mirrors

    by Charlotte Freed | Jan 04, 2019

    Truck driver mirrors
    Are rear-view mirrors becoming old news? New allowances may be pointing in that direction. Stoneridge Inc. has been given a five-year exemption by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) to install their in-monitoring system in trucks in place of traditional rear-view mirrors. Their “MirrorEye” technology uses integrated external digital cameras and digital monitors within the cab, expanding the field of view and providing full-color night vision and the ability to continuously track the end of the trailer.

    The FMCSA anticipates that the MirrorEye system will “achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety” that mirrors currently provide. The association also believes the system may also decrease driver fatigue “by requiring less head movement by drivers compared to the number of head movement needed to use conventional mirrors.” Other companies utilizing similar systems cite additional benefits, such as higher fuel efficiency and improved aerodynamics.

    Currently an aftermarket product, the FMCSA’s allowance may create the opportunity for MirrorEye and similar systems to be built into new trucks. Still, the CVSA questions whether the technology will provide a sustained safety benefit and potentially “undermine consistency and uniformity in compliance enforcement.” 

    Centerline Drivers will keep professional drivers up-to-date on newest trends in the trucking industry: from tech to finance to driving jobs that meet your lifestyle.