The DOT Doctor’s Blog

April 8, 2010

A National Intermodal Shift

A National Intermodal Shift
William B. Cassidy and John D. Boyd | Apr 5, 2010 4:00AM GMT
The Journal of Commerce Magazine – News Story
http://www.joc.com/government-regulation/national-intermodal-shift (sign-in required)
This cover article speaks of the DOT’s plan to move truck traffic to ocean and rail methods. Deputy Secretary Porcari told Congress “We want to keep goods movement on water as long as possible, and then on rail as long as possible and truck it for the last miles.” That is, let’s transform the trucking industry into drayage carriers for the railroads – just what Norfolk Southern CEO Moorman called for a couple of years ago. Secretary LaHood spoke recently of how well he has been able to work with railroads, which have received a great deal of DOT funding.

Moving truck traffic to the rail would slow the delivery time. Rails, while gaining in competition, are still not able to handle time sensitive freight. Today’s inventories are leaned and set to work on JIT delivery schedules. Rail and ocean cannot accommodate this type of system. In essence, the government is telling big business to change their method of operation. Companies are leaning inventory and stock to save money, space and general overhead charges. They have invested much in the last 10 years to achieve this new structure. I do not see them changing back to the old ways willingly.
JB and Schneider embraced the intermodal methods and changed their business methods accordingly. Driver miles were cut almost in half as long haul freight disappeared to the rails. This also meant a change in client base for these carriers. Swift, who happily grabbed up the Wal-Mart account, split their transport method between rail and ground freight (truck) for JIT customers. Automotive clients always required JIT service.
While a move to rail claims to be more environmentally friendly and can save up to 30% in transportation costs, time will always be the issue. Rail is limited in its area of service and ocean is even a slower option. Claims processing through these channels are a nightmare and one of the main reasons many companies avoid these options totally.
The government explains that this would help relieve the congestion on our highways, promote safety highways and reduce the cost of infrastructure. Highways that no longer have to support the weight of heavy truck traffic are cheaper to build. It is implied that in doing so, fuel cost can be lowered due to the reduced highway funds needed. I find this hard to believe since the government is already ear marking those funds for railway improvements.
If these were to happen, inventory costs would raise along with replenishment times. This would mean consumer costs would rise to compensate for the increase. Large cities may feel a slight relief in traffic but for Main Street America, I doubt much change on the highway will be noticed.

More info – http://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/455871-Logistics_news_Maritime_DOT_unveils_effort_to_expand_America_s_marine_highways.php?nid=4283&source=title&rid=14370409

February 27, 2009

The DOT Doctor is back up and running………….. catch up with us



Friday, 27 February 2009



Want EASY access to headline and breaking news? 


Visit our Industry News page (http://thedotdoctor/industry_news) for the HOTTEST stories.  


Breaking news feed fed to The DOT Doctor’s Site.  Check out Industry News as well as a variety of our other pages for relevant and related information as it breaks!!!


Here are some samples:


  • SPECIAL REPORT: Cross-border trucking program funding in jeopardy

    Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 – With a new administration and a new Congress in place, a recent vote by the House of Representatives may mean the end for the embattled cross-border trucking program with Mexico isn’t too far off.
    more >>

     


  • Commission recommends tolls and taxes, but no reform

    As if truckers and highway users aren’t paying enough in taxes, fees and tolls to run on America’s highways, a federal commission is recommending that Congress adopt a sweeping array of new and higher user fees. Critics, including OOIDA, say the report does not address the way transportation money is spent nor does it call for reform. more >>

     


  • Illinois truckers credited for stopping bill to double base plate fee

    An Illinois state lawmaker gives credit to truckers for helping sideline a bill that would have doubled the fees for base plates in the state. more >>

     


  • Colorado House OKs road funding bill; tolls, truck fee increases included

    The Colorado House has narrowly approved a bill that includes the option of charging tolls to access existing free routes. By a margin of 34-31, House lawmakers voted to advance the bill, which is intended to raise at least $250 million a year to fix the state’s crumbling roads and bridges. more >>

     


  • Ormond Beach Love’s: 30-minute parking limit during Bike Week

    The Love’s in Ormond Beach, FL, will limit truck parking to 30 minutes starting Friday, Feb. 27 through Sunday, March 8, during Bike Week. more >>

     


  • Hackers plead guilty to broker fraud through FMCSA site

    Two Russian immigrants from Southern California have pleaded guilty to defrauding motor carriers out of at least $2.4 million through a double-brokering load scheme using the FMCSA’s SAFER Web site. more >>

     


  • From the Land Line blog: TWIC gives muleskinners the blues

    It seems that anyone who even occasionally visits a major port these days is required to possess a TWIC card. What about colonial-era clothing clad seasonal canal-boat workers, you say? Land Line’s Charlie Morasch dives into the latest mainstream news story about the Transportation Worker Identification Credential. more >>

     


  • POSTED BY: The DOT Doctor’s Webmaster AT 01:07 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  E-mail this



    Thursday, 26 February 2009



    Howdy All!


    Our new computer system is installed.  We have our new computers up and working finally.  This will hopefully end the hiatus of silence.  It is our intention to return to normal postings to The DOT Doctor Speaks (http://thedotdoctor.com/the_dot_doctor_speaks), resume our live podcasts (available on Blog Talk Radio at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/The-DOT-Doctor) and newsletters.  Be a part of our shows.  Suggest topics, call in, join our chat room…..just get involved!


    Thank you all for your understanding during these last few months as we limped through our difficulties.  Hopefully that is all now behind us with the introduction of our new IT Staff and IT Department.  This new department brings additional service offerings in the IT Field ranging from Database management, Website Development and Marketing, PC Support, Software Training including the new MS Office, help desk services, spreadsheet design, data capture systems, BETA Testing and more.  Visit our new web section – IT SERVICES (http://thedotdoctor.com/it_services).


    Remember, we are still expanding and hiring.  We openings for sales people (F/T and P/T), receptionist(s) and field consultants skilled in DOT Compliance / Matters and IT technicians.  Send your resumes to our HR department at resumes@thedotdoctor.com.


    Thank you all for continuing to join our FREE mailing lists (http://thedotdoctor.com/subscribe) and take advantage of our FREE training products  (http://thedotdoctor.com/log_auditing), FREE HR Forms (http://thedotdoctor.com/hr_services) (remember the new I-9s that came out in February….we have them here) and other services.  Many items are free for signing up to our mailing list and others can be purchased on the spot through our site via PayPal. 


    Remember we also have the new E-mall coming in April. Some stores are already in place.  Come and check out our latest shops(http://thedotdoctor.com/e_mall)  We are open 24 hours a day for your shopping convenience.  No parking hassles!  Shop in your PJs.  We are also taking applications and deposit for store fronts in our new E-mall.  Stop by and fill one out today.  Space is limited; so don’t delay.  Pre-Grand Opening rates can’t be beat!!!


    Special sales offerings, FREE magazine offerings, movies on demand, DISH TV specials, travel saving specials and more are available at our E-mall as well as on the pages throughout our site.  Check out our custom Amazon Store (http://astore.amazon.com/thdodo03-20) for a-mazing savings on a wide variety of products. Look for the sidebar ads on each page that relate to the subject matter in which you are viewing for special custom savings. 


    Stop by today and check out all the new additions to our site.   We are constantly evolving.  Be a part of our future today!  You will notice changes when you visit our site.  Some pages have new “homes” are we re-designed our website in order to add our new IT Section. We have added a Troop Picture of our Brownie Troop that we support to our main page.  Remember, it is Girl Scout cookie time.  Contact us (asitler@thedotdoctor.com) today for your annual GS Cookie order.  Don’t delay.  Flavors are selling out quickly!!!  Order direct on our Cookie Page (http://thedotdoctor.com/cookies).  To view all the fine organizations that we support; visit our About Us page (http://thedotdoctor.com/about_us).   Remember OOIDA members always receive a 10% discount.


    Be sure to look for The DOT Doctor on networking sites like: Facebook, MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/andrealsitler), You Tube, Twitter, Flickr, Word Blog, Linked In and more.  Drop by and send us a “friend” request.  We are happy to add you to our network.


    Remember Dr. Sitler’s Book Pu: Energy Source or Death Source is available through Amazon (http://astore.amazon.com/thdodo03-20), is Kindle ready and available at a special price on our website (http://thedotdoctor.com/clean_and_green_technologies).   Get your copy today!


    Catch the DOT Doctor online for a FREE Chat session.  Let the DOT Doctor answer your pressing questions via our chat link at the bottom of our Blog page and many other pages within our site.  Be sure to join our DOT HELP GROUP via Yahoo Groups and/or DOT HELP on Linked IN.  We look forward to seeing you there.  Add your comments on our services provided on our Comment page.  Our site is very interactive, as are our groups, and all work best when you interact.  Make your posting today!  Use our SHARE link on the top left of each page to post us to your favorite networking site and to share our content with  your friends and co-workers.  Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed for instant updates.  A quick click of your mouse and all of newsflash postings are at your fingertips.  Be sure to check out our Logistics page (http://thedotdoctor.com/logistics), Safety Page (http://thedotdoctor.com/safety_newletter) and various other pages for automatic updated information from a variety of global services.  Always be current by bookmarking and visiting The DOT Doctor’s Website often.  We offer free safety videos on our Safety page (http://thedotdoctor.com/safety_plan);  technical writing services (http://thedotdoctor.com/authorship),  listing of DOT Fines (http://thedotdoctor.com/dot_compliance) and don’t forget about our all inclusive NEW BUSINESS SET UP Package. This package establishes a DOT Number for your new company, provides a written safety plan and includes a year of IFTA filing, UCR filing and log auditing services as well as list of other services. Visit: http://thedotdoctor.com/business_package for all the details.  Just IFTA filing services (http://thedotdoctor.com/quarterly_ifta_filing) or Logbook auditing (http://thedotdoctor.com/quarterly_ifta_filing).  We offer a combined Presidential Package for your filing and auditing needs (http://thedotdoctor.com/quarterly_ifta_filing#presplanprice).   All this begins at just $10/truck


    These are just a small sampling of what we have to offer.  If you haven’t been to our site or haven’t been there lately; come visit us at: http://thedotdoctor.com today. 


     The DOT Doctor has the cure for ALL your compliance ills….. and more.


     


    Thank you for your continued patronage!


    Andrea Sitler, PhD


    The DOT Doctor


    asitler@thedotdoctor.com


     

    Click to join dot_help

    Click to join dot_help


    POSTED BY: Andrea Sitler aka:The DOT Doctor AT 10:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  E-mail this



    Thursday, 26 February 2009



    The DOT Doctor is now offering more than just transportation related solutions.  We have expanded to  include IT Service Offerings. 


    Our new IT DIVISION will offer:




    • Web Design


    • Web Site Maintenance


    • Web Site Marketing


    • Help Desk Support


    • PC Repair


    • Software Installation


    • Hardware Installation


    • Configuration (network, email, etc…)


    • MS Office Training


    • Database Management


    • DB import / export


    • DB Maintenance


    • System Transfer of Files


    • Backup Services

    ……….. and other related services


    Check out our new IT Page today.


    (http://thedotdoctor.com/it_services)


    POSTED BY: Help Desk for the DOT Doctor AT 10:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  E-mail this



    Sunday, 22 February 2009



    Have you seen this article from the Curiosity Shop?


     


    Lung Cancer, whats that got to do with Delivery Drivers?



    Quite a lot actually. Especially if you don’t want one of these ugly tumours on your lungs. If you are a courier, trucker or delivery driver, read through the information below, and tell me what you think.






    Lung cancer
    Image via Wikipedia

    An up to date article in News Inferno was very interesting reading and informative…



    Recent research suggests  that lung cancer risks are higher among trucking industry workers because of diesel fume exposure.  According to a new study published in the January issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, workers in the trucking industry with an estimated 20 years on the job have an elevated risk of lung cancer with each increasing year of work due to their diesel fume exposure.


    A lot of drivers are career drivers. They start in their 20s and still drive until they are retired, some often continuing part time during retirement. For many, driving for a living is something they really enjoy.


    The article goes on to say –



    Scientists have long known that diesel fumes might play a role in the development of lung cancer.  According to a report on SFgate.com, diesel fumes consist of a toxic stew of about 400 chemicals, including benzene, formaldehyde, arsenic, cyanide and lead.  Breathing large amounts of diesel fumes could cause respiratory diseases, and people with asthma, heart disease and emphysema can worsen if exposed to the exhaust. Long-term exposure leads to chronic obstructive lung disease as well as lung cancer.


    So, it’s the long term exposure that does the damage. The longer you drive, the more chance you have of getting it. A case control study was done back in 1990 and the report says at the end..



    Overall, our results suggest that diesel truck drivers have an excess risk of lung cancer compared to other teamsters in jobs outside the trucking industry. However, our findings were not uniformly consistent and our data have many limitations, the most important of which is the lack of data on exposure to diesel fumes.


    Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov


    In the US, the EPA have been making big inroads into reducing the danger. A tough task considering most areas of the US and the Uk are urbanised so diesel fumes are in every breath we take. As much as 25% of the breath we take in highly urbanised areas, more if there is a port nearby and the diesel fumes from the ships engines are in the air.



    Early in 2001, the EPA issued landmark standards to clean up dirty diesel trucks and buses, comparable to the advent of the catalytic converter on cars several decades ago. When the standards take full effect in 2007, they are expected to reduce emissions from trucks and buses by more than 90 percent, the equivalent of taking 13 million of the nation’s 14 million trucks and buses off the roads.


    Source: ENS


    The article from the ENS website goes on to outline the effort from the Bush administration. It  also clearly higlights the failings in the US – emissions trading programs. So rather than clean up their act the worst polluters get to trade credits with cleaner, greener companies. I cannot see how this would work myself, and seems like a fraudulent way of dealing with the issue.



    In addition to concluding that diesel fumes likely cause lung cancer, the EPA found that diesel exhaust triggers asthma and other respiratory effects, calling the fumes “a chronic respiratory hazard to humans.” Based on animal testing and studies of people in jobs with high exposures, the fumes were shown to be carcinogenic, or cancer causing.


    The agency did not attempt to quantify the cancer risk from exposure to diesel emissions, though the report notes that the risk is likely to be higher for people who regularly work with or around diesel engines. But even everyday exposure to background levels of diesel fumes probably puts people at risk, the EPA said.


    What can an employer do to limit diesel fumes for their drivers? Is there an efficient way of filtering the exhaust fumes so that the carcinogens are contained?


    My thoughts on this are two fold, is this coming to light now to try and encourage people to buy environmentally vehicles? Is it diesel that is doing the evil deed? Why isn’t it coal fires, petrol or another type of fuel? Or is it the sad fact that all of these contribute to it, and its our delivery drivers that are taking home the tumours.


    For excellent information and research on cancer, more information can be found on the pharma strategy blog written by Sally Church.


    Sarah


    Related articles



    POSTED BY: The DOT Doctor AT 10:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  E-mail this



    Sunday, 22 February 2009



    It’s that wonderful time of the year when we all have the opportunity to purchase fresh, wonderful Girl Scout cookies.  Not only are these a wonderful treat; they help the girls in many ways.  Brownie Troop #9376 are using their profits to attend a special Space Center Houston Camp. 


    Camping is not the only benefit for the girls when you purchase theses delicious cookies.  The girls learn leadership skills, marketing skills, sales, entrepreneurial skills, budget management and most importantly they build self confidence.  Girls in Scouting learn to stand tall and proud.  They know they are independent and believe in themselves.  This inspires them to work for their goals, attend Ivy League Colleges, participate in school activities and achieve top grades.  Girl Scouts stand in the shadows of no one and learn how to be self sufficient.  These are life skills that all girls should know and thanks to GS; learn is fun and begins in kindergarten.


    Be a part of girl’s life and future today!  Buy a box of these delicious cookies and make a difference today.


     Click here to purchase online via PayPal.  


    (http://thedotdoctor.com/cookies)


    Email me (asitler@thedotdoctor.com) if you want local pickup or case orders (mix and match 8 flavors)


    The Girl Scouts of NE Texas proudly support our Troops.  Buy a box today and we will deliver it for you to a Troop overseas.


     

    THE DOT DOCTOR PROUDLY SUPPORTS
    GIRL SCOUT BROWNIE TROOP #9376

    December 17, 2008

    FMCSA Issues Rule to Improve the Safety of Equipment Used in the Transportation of Intermodal Containers

    Filed under: Uncategorized — dotdoctor @ 1:45 pm
    Tags: , , ,

    The chassises used for hauling these containers have been in rough condition. Lights did not work. Tires were poor. They were a rolling advertisement for road un-safety. These rolling road hazards were allowed on our highways until just a few years ago when responsibility for the chassis was being passed onto the motor carrier. This helped as many companies invested into their own chassises for transportion of the ocean containers. Due to this change, most of us have noticed a large introduction of new chassises on the roadway and in the ports. This was a costly but nice change. Personally, I always felt placing this on the motor carrier was wrong.

    This new ruling shares the responsibility between the intermodal equipment provider, motor carrier and driver. Since all are responsible, in their own aspect, for highway safety; this may be a more fair method of distributing responsibility.

    …but for the Port workers who carry these containers for a living, I have to wonder if this increased responsibility along with the current Clean Air rules at the Ports in Southern CA will not have an adverse effect on the industry. Let’s see what 2009 brings!

    FMCSA Issues Rule to Improve the Safety of Equipment Used in the Transportation of Intermodal Containers

    WASHINGTON—New rules issued today will significantly strengthen safety requirements for intermodal container chassis, the special trailers that hold cargo containers when they are transferred from ship or rail to truck for final delivery, announced John H. Hill, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

    “We want to ensure that every piece of equipment traveling on our highways is operating safely,” said FMCSA Administrator John H. Hill. “These new rules will bring new safety and enforcement focus on the chassis and equipment used to haul goods on our nation’s roads every day,” Hill said.

    The new regulations make intermodal equipment providers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for the first time, and establish shared safety responsibility among intermodal equipment providers, motor carriers, and drivers.

    Beginning in December 2009, intermodal equipment providers must have in effect regular and systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance programs for intermodal chassis; they will also need to track defects reported and repairs made. By December 2010, each intermodal provider is required to identify its equipment with a USDOT number. FMCSA’s final rule also outlines inspection requirements for motor carriers and drivers operating intermodal equipment.

    Intermodal equipment providers will be subject to on-site reviews to ensure compliance with the new rules. Penalties for violating these rules range from civil fines to a prohibition on providing or operating intermodal equipment found to pose an imminent hazard.

    The final rule on this Intermodal Chassis is available for review at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/rulemakings/rule-programs/rule_making_details.asp?ruleid=257&year=2008&cat=final.

    Blog at WordPress.com.