Why a copy of your driver’s CDL isn’t enough

We recently had a client that asked us for some advice and we thought it might be good to share. They realized they didn’t have a driver’s license on file for one of their drivers so they asked him if they could make a copy. He said he had gotten ticket and they had taken his license but he had the ticket… would that work? We suggested Read more of this post

Sun Tzu’s Tale of Three Healers…for today’s safety consultants

Sun Tzu Says. . .

Or, if Sun Tzu were alive today and doing my job. . . Read more of this post

Smoking pot nearly doubles risk of serious crash

Remember memorizing these math equations?

E=Mc squared

A squared + B squared = C squared

Well, here’s a new one to add:

Smoking Pot = Risk of a Serious Crash TIMES TWO

Can’t say it’s surprising, but this is an interesting article none-the-less.  Read more of this post

Hours-of-Service (HOS) for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers 2011 Final Rule

1. Why is this rule being issued? Read more of this post

What to do if applicant DA information comes in during the hiring process

A customer recently sent me this scenario:

“Need some guidance…While an applicant had gone to do his drug test, I was processing his paperwork.His MVR came up with a CDL disqualification on 11-9-11. I called the local driver’s license office and the officer told me it was for failing a drug test and his CDL will be disqualified effective 12/11/11. When the applicant came back I asked him about it and he kept saying he had no idea what I was talking about. I told him that I could not use him with a CDL disqualification showing up and that I would not be hiring him.

Well, my TPA called this morning saying that his drug screen came back with an “altered speciman” and the MRO wants him to come back for a direct observation test. I am not hiring this person at all now, no matter what. I created a file with my notes regarding his application process and what happened. What do I need to do now?

Do I have to send him back and pay for the test even though I’m not hiring him? Does the DOT require that I send him SAP info?” Read more of this post

Firing a Driver (for HOS issues) is like Killing the Messenger

Firing a driver is like killing the messenger – it’s a kneejerk reaction and it does not solve the underlying problem.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this: “This driver lied on his logs – so we fired this driver.” Or, “ALL three of those speeding tickets were from one driver – so we fired that driver.”

A motor carrier must have a system to ensure logs are not falsified. A motor carrier must have a system to ensure drivers comply with state and local laws.

Firing one driver will not solve a problem when that problem is non-compliance in either of these areas.

Let’s say you are Acme Trucking: There was a driver who lied on his logs. Then you fired him.

Now the FMCSA is looking at your logs and they are STILL going to threaten you with fines Read more of this post

Are Owner-Operators also Independent Contractors?

In a recent discussion, someone brought up the pros and cons of paying drivers by the hour.

Specifically, the question asked was, “Are there any concerns or benefits to this method of payment?” and the inquiry was specifically directed at those fleet managers who have owner-operator drivers.

The next 2 – 3 comments had to do with concerns about paying Owner-operators by the hour, because if they are paid by the hour, it is difficult to justify calling them Independent Contractors.

I interjected that, apparently, one or two participants in the discussion were assuming all owner-operators are independent contractors. A response was quickly posted, along the lines of “Aren’t all owner-operators also independent contractors? What other kinds of owner-operators are there?”

The following was my response: Read more of this post

Chameleon Carriers

Yesterday, in response to an article about the FMCSA’s latest attempt to prevent, or at least discourage ‘chameleon carriers’, someone who is apparently the owner of a small trucking company posted a comment that went something like this: Read more of this post

Out-Of-Service Guide: Why You Need It

Someone in another forum stated:

“Law enforcement makes up reasons all the time to take drivers out of service or use as a reason to start an inspection!”

Regarding this person’s remark, I pointed out the following: Read more of this post

Drug Testing Law’s 20th Anniversary

DOT Marks 20th  Anniversary of Transportation Drug Testing Law

“The U.S. Department of Transportation today marked the 20th anniversary of the statutory authority to conduct drug and alcohol testing for workers entrusted with the safe operation of our nation’s transportation system.  The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, signed into law on Oct. 28, 1991, was enacted to reduce the abuse of alcohol and illegal use of drugs by employees such as Read more of this post