The DOT Doctor’s Blog

October 13, 2014

Fitness Determination for US Trucking Fleets

What saddens me is what I experience when working with my smaller clients. They have some clients with small and even tiny fleets (usually under 50 trucks and some very tiny – <10 trucks). Many are localized and/or generally operate a vehicle that is not subject to roadside inspections. These fleets have little to no interaction with DOT inspectors. As such, they rarely have enough inspections to rank in any category. Yet we see these New Entry companies being shut down before they even get off the ground. Why? Because they had 2 inspections and one was “bad” thus placing them in a percentile above the 35% limit for OOS. This triggers an audit and/or it is New Entry review time and they fail due to their scores or rather lack of scores and evidence that are compliant.

I recall when the New Entry audit was a training process instead of a punitive process. Now with auto fail; the doors are closed for 60 days. A small company like this has no course of recoupment. In 60 days, their accounts will be gone to their competitors. Yes, they need to know how to comply with DOT regulations. Totally in agreement here. Either make these companies pass a test, like our Canadian neighbors do, prior to obtaining their DOT number or return to the training process. Up the audit to 6 months instead of 18 months but don’t close their doors unless they are egregious violators. We need to give small business a chance. I realize we also need to protect highway safety but we need to score a balance. We cannot allow one bad inspection from an untrained, non typical CMV driver to cost a business owner their livelihood.

I have worked with 3 clients in the past 2 months that fall into this category. Ironically, 2 of them, in opposite parts of the country, are being shut down for the same violation. They failed to connect a breakaway cable or it had come loose during transit. These are pickup truck operators, not CMV drivers for the norm. They come under scrutiny when they attach to a trailer, on rare occasions. As such a DOT number is required. Often, transport driving is the last of their qualifications. These are generally service professionals (e.g. technicians) that drive this vehicle as a means of transport to their job site. These are not commercial drivers per se. They are everyday folks that happen to be in a vehicle that occasionally become classified as a CMV due to it being used while they are generating revenue performing their skilled tasks (i.e. other than truck driving).

We all know that DOT regulations are geared towards the OTR company and the CDL driving professional. All other drivers try to fit into these rules and often with much difficulty. Yes, there are exemptions but they do not always fit either. It is this one size fits all mentality that causes non traditional use of CMVs such issues. It may also be these uses that skew the numbers. Perhaps they need a category all their own with rule sets that better apply to their application. This would allow peer group comparison against true peers and not just via size of fleet. I realize that mileage weighs into the algorithm but these non-traditional fleet (i.e. non trucking companies) need their own group(s). It would benefit fleets running locally or regionally to be thus categorized as well. Bottom-line, we need to move from this one size fits all mentality into real world scenarios. This is especially true when a person’s entire business is at risk.

I look forward to seeing the outcome of this new rating proposal. Perhaps it will address some of these issues. Perhaps it will not. We need more “real people” involved in these processes and not just bureaucrats or those industry representatives that have risen so far from their humble beginnings as to forget what it takes to be a small business start up. As your own stats read the other week; most companies with DOT numbers are not the trucking giants but the small business person. Is it not time we have rules and regulations that can relate to both distinct groups?

Reference: http://www.ccjdigital.com/notice-of-new-fitness-determination-rule-in-front-office-fmcsa-safety-chief-says/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=10-13-2014&utm_campaign=CCJ&ust_id=bcb56a0182

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December 4, 2008

Ebooks now available at the DOT Doctor.com

All the elves have been working hard to complete the website. New pages have been added. Under construction pages have been completed. New content is being added daily. RSS feeds have been added to many of the pages for instant updates on what is happen in the industry. We have sound on a few of our pages now. We are very excited with all the new changes.

Stormwater Management – http://thedotdoctor.com/stormwater_plan

HazMat Handling – http://thedotdoctor.com/hazmat

Clean and Green Technologies – http://thedotdoctor.com/clean_and_green_technologies

Drug and Alcohol Training – http://thedotdoctor.com/drug_and_alcohol_plan

Logistics / Santa Countdown and Tracker – http://thedotdoctor.com/logistics

Freightbrokerage and Free Loadboard – http://thedotdoctor.com/freight_brokerage

Plus visit our updated pages via the main page – http://thedotdoctor.com

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Two mini eBooks by Dr. Andrea Sitler PhD are offered for sale on the site or on Ebay.

Dr. Andrea Sitler PhD is a published author and SME in the fields of transportation, logistics and safety.
“PU: Energy Source or Death Source” discusses the advantages of Nuclear Energy vs. conventional energy methods. Understand this value element and its benefits to the environment. The health risks, terrorist potential and proper handling of Plutonium are discussed in detail.
The transport and handling of high level hazardous material, especially nuclear waste, is covered in detail. An in-depth discussion on the benefits and ability to recycle Pu vs. bury Pu at Yucca Mountain is explored. Learn how Pu is recycled around the globe. Realize that only 3% is ACTUAL waste.
Radiation exposure in everyday life as well as the cancer risks of Pu exposure is explored. Dr. Cohen’s work is referenced and discussed. Understand the government controls on the nuclear industry and remove public fears. Learn how Yucca Mountain will be filled before it is even officially opened.
Learn how the nuclear industry is the cure to Global Warming. Explore the current state of the nuclear industry and nuclear energy is covered as well as the history of nuclear technology. Learn about breeding Pu, purity factors, risk factors and global developments. Compare and contrast the US Nuclear Market vs. the Global Nuclear Market. Discover India’s Nuclear Power Strategy, CANDU Reactor and Reactor developments and advancements.
Available at: http://thedotdoctor.com/green_download

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THE TRUTH BEHIND THE TRUCKING LIES

Before becoming an O/O or a truck driver, ask yourself and your loved ones these questions.
1. Dream of being a trucker?
2. Want that freedom of the road?
3. Like to travel?
4. Want to make the “big bucks” that drivers make?
5. Maybe, doing it your way, is your dream and so is being an O/O?
Before making that big decision, sign up to receive this free download with the truth about the trucking life.

“The Realities of Trucking Driving”
How many miles you can REALLY expect to drive per week?
What will I really make my first year?
Know if you should be paid by % or Cent Per Mile (CPM).
Dealing with recruiters; separating the facts from fiction.
What is guaranteed hometime?
Which pays better, Owner Operator or a Company Driver?
What type of freight should I haul?
Where do I find a good company?
Does my car driving record affect my ability to be hired?
Do the tickets I get as a commercial driver cost me on my car insurance?
What is DAC and why do I care?
How do I protect my DAC score?
“I Want to be an Owner-Operator; now what?”
Can I afford to become an O/O?
What money does it really take to be independent?
Where do I find work as an O/O?
How do I find insurance for my family now that I am independent?

“Truths Driving Schools Hide From Their Students”
Why new drivers have a difficult time finding and maintaining employment?
Time to make big dollars now; not!
Difference between running team and working for the teamsters.
To sleep or not?
Trucking driving is not freedom.

Available at: http://thedotdoctor.com/dac

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