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Compliance, ELD, Transportation, Uncategorized

ELD data: Take control of yours to avoid IFTA, IRP audit fines

If you’re in the situation of many owner-operators and small fleets and trying to squeeze a little return-on-investment out of an ELD, tread carefully with players new to the trucking industry getting into the partial automation of International Fuel Tax Agreement and International Registration Plan data collection for tax-reporting purposes. Buyer beware, say reps of the National American Transportation Services Association, whose member companies collectively work with more than 75,000 carriers who operate more than a million trucks.

Current NATSA President Dave Gray, also president of compliance services provider Glostone Trucking Solutions, emphasizes different standards for ELDs’ hours-of-service compliance support functions and IFTA data’s needs, particularly in the realm of long-term record-keeping.

State IFTA and International Registration Plan auditors, should you be audited by either, will want records going back four to nearly seven years, respectively, far and away beyond what’s needed for hours of service. If you end up utilizing an ELD service provider for IFTA/IRP data collection, don’t purge mileage and/or trip data you download from the ELD provider yourself, and make sure your agreement with the provider gives you ready access to that data years down the line if it’s stored primarily in a cloud account.

Have you ever been through an IFTA or IRP audit?

As recent polling above shows, most owner-operators have been through an IFTA or IRP audit (or both), often triggered by a substantial reduction in annual reported mileage or a significant rise in miles-per-gallon efficiency, according to some.

Other differences between ELDs’ hours-related data requirements and IFTA needs are in the area of “distance and accuracy” for tracking purposes, Gray says. “An ELD doesn’t need to [by law] be nearly as precise as what IFTA and IRP require.” Though many ELD providers do in fact go beyond well beyond the minimums required in the ELD rule, if they don’t, the minimum hourly ping of location specified in the rule isn’t going to be enough to satisfy what an IFTA or IRP auditor will want to verify your tax/registration filings.

Tracking standards for some special driving categories within ELDs, particularly personal conveyance, are required to be relaxed as well, and could complicate the need to track all miles – what IFTA and IRP ultimately want.

If you’re like many owner-operators and record your odometer readings at state line crossings, don’t stop doing that when switching to utilizing an ELD’s record-keeping services. Validate the distances the ELD records “against your odometer reading” at state-line crossings and elsewhere, Gray says, “to make sure every mile is captured” before putting your full trust in any solution.

If not, you could easily end up reporting your state miles short, and an auditor could have a field day re-creating your trips and calculating interest on short payments, notes Gary Markham of ProMiles, also a NATSA member company.
That’s not to mention fines. At the end of the day, carriers are the party ultimately responsible for their miles/gallons-reporting accuracy, not a service provider.

The crazy quilt of intrastate hours logging and ELD mandates

States failing to adopt an e-logging mandate. Hours of service regs differing from the federal rule. ELDs missing state-specific features. For the intrastate driver required …

Mike Riegel, president of relatively new low-cost ELD provider Blue Ink Technology, one of the few BYOD-type devices without an ongoing monthly subscription, well understands the differences in what’s required for IFTA/IRP versus the ELD spec for hours recording.

His company is developing its IFTA collection/report-generation service now for ELD customers. As also noted above, “distance data needs to be recorded more frequently in order to get a good resolution inside of a state line, so for IFTA we will take position information once a minute,” Riegel says.

Blue Ink is offering ELD customers free use of its IFTA service through the end of the year, likewise a fault-code-reading function also in beta stage. “Once these services are out of the beta stage they will be $10/month per truck.” During the testing phase, Blue Ink will be looking to verify its service’s accuracy and “take the users’ feedback about once or twice a month, provide them with reports and use that feedback to format the reports and the app in a way that other drivers can easily read and record their data for IFTA. This will let us know what drivers expect out of their IFTA service.”

| June 16, 2017

View Original Article HERE

Provisio Circle can help you with IFTA, IRP, and ELDS (electronic logs).  Contact us today to find out more information.


Five Things Your Drivers Don’t Know About Roadside Inspections

Andy Blair was a municipal police officer for 26 years and received DOT training through the Pennsylvania State Police. He inspected trucks for his last 11 years on the force. Blair is DOT-certified in cargo, tank and hazmat, and he also was a weighmaster. Now retired from law enforcement, he operates DOT Checkups, a York, Pennsylvania company that fleets hire to inspect their trucks before they hit the road. He conducts 300 to 400 inspections of all levels every year.

Here’s what he wants drivers and managers to know about roadside inspections.

1 – A tidy cab can often mean ‘move along.’ “I can’t inspect every truck that comes my way so I have to use my discretion and experience. Certainly, I look at your BASIC scores, and maybe you’ve got a light out – that’s a no-brainer –  but beyond that  I look inside the truck.  I realize that some guys are on the road quite a bit.  I get that. And some of them, to a degree, live in their truck or certainly spend a fair amount of time in it.  But when I see what looks like a pigsty on the inside of the truck, my thoughts are ‘that’s how this guy is going to  maintain his truck,’ assuming he’s the operator.  Even if he’s not, it may be an indication of how well he keeps after the company to fix things.  I’m not talking a couple items of trash or a McDonald’s bag laying around. We’re not expecting that Mr. Clean just came by and visited you. I’m talking about something that looks bad and smells bad. We’re talking some heavy disarray, not just something thrown in a corner. So, right away I’m thinking, ‘Okay, I get it. This guy really doesn’t keep after things too well.’ The chances of me finding something wrong with the truck are probably better.”

2 – Make your documents easy for me to inspect.  “I’ve stopped you, I’ve pulled you in, and I’ve made a quick assessment of what you truck looks like. I’m now asking for your documents. If you’re one of those guys that just can’t find your stuff, or you’re handing me papers from 2009,  2010 and 2011, then you know what? Pull it in; you’re going to be here for a while. Probably the best presentations that I see are when the driver takes the time to put the documents in something like a ring binder – medical card, registration, all that. It makes it easier to look through.  If it’s a rainy day, I don’t have to worry about dropping them and the wind blowing it away. It just keeps it neater and cleaner, and it looks good. If so, you may be on your way. I stopped a lot of trucks and I didn’t inspect every one of them. If a guy looked like his truck was in good shape and his documents looked good, too, then chances of me going further were diminished.”

3 – Attitude counts. “It’s totally my discretion as an officer who I pick to inspect. Don’t do or say anything to volunteer yourself [for an inspection] by doing dumb stuff. I don’t want to hear: ‘What’d ya stop me for? I didn’t do anything wrong.’ If you can do anything to mitigate the chances or likelihood of being held up and inspected, it’s probably worth your time to do that, even if you don’t feel like it. At this point, I’ve looked in your cab, checked your documents, and seen how you handle yourself and how you answer my questions. Right now, I’m going to make my decision: throw you back in the pond or reel you in, which brings us to the next item…”

4 – I don’t have a quota for citations, but I have a quota for inspections. “Even if you look good, I still may inspect your truck, because I need to get some inspections done. There are never any requirements to write a ticket, but there are requirements to do a minimum number of inspections [per quarter] to keep my credentials current. There are times that you may have a great truck and you have all your documents and the inspector still says, “We’re doing a level one.” That’s just how it goes.”

5 – If you’re chosen for inspection, grit your teeth and go through it with some grace. If you’ve got a good truck, you might get an ‘atta-boy’ as I like to call it. The more you cooperate with the officer, the better you’ll get through the inspection, because the officer has the full discretion to write, or not to write, and to cite you or cite the company. It’s not etched in stone, but usually the equipment stuff I would write to the company. The pre-trip stuff, I would cite to the driver.  Once I’ve decided that we’re going through with an inspection, I ask ‘is there anything wrong with your truck today that you know from your pre-trip inspection?’  If the answer is ‘no, I’ll say, ‘Good for you. I’m going to do your pre-trip again.’ I’ve had owner-operators who, when I asked for their fire extinguisher and triangles, didn’t know where they were. Some triangles would be missing or the fire extinguishers would be covered with dirt and discharged. On the other hand, every driver that told me right up front, “I did my pre-trip today and I found this and this wrong,” I’ve never written a citation.  I might write the company but I didn’t write the driver.  I understand that between the terminal and the inspection area a light can go out, and so I don’t get all that excited. But you can’t tell me that you left the terminal 80 miles ago and that your tire went completely smooth in 80 miles.”

In summary, Blair says: “A lot of this is common sense. If the truck looks half decent, if the driver is prepared, if they have their documents, if they have everything ready to go, and they’re decent about it, have a good attitude – even if they’re gritting their teeth – they reduce the likelihood and chances of the officer going further. I can’t say it prohibits it, but you have a better chance of not being held up and getting on your way faster.”

A Former DOT Inspector Tells All
View Original Article HERE

Inspection Blitz June 6-8 – Are you ready?


International Roadcheck, in its 30th year in 2017, is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with nearly 15 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute across North America during a 72-hour period.

International Roadcheck is an annual three-day event when CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle and driver safety.

Since its inception in 1988, roadside inspections conducted during International Roadcheck have numbered more than 1.4 million. Roadcheck also provides an opportunity to educate industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations and the roadside inspection program.

CVSA sponsors International Roadcheck with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

This year’s International Roadcheck will take place June 6-8, 2017.

Sources say this year’s focus will be on cargo securement.

According to the numbers provided by CVSA, in 2016 a total of 62,796  inspections were done in a 72 hour period.  Of those, 21.5% were placed out of service, including 3.4% of drivers.

Contact us to learn more about how you can keep your fleet on the road and in compliance!


Searching for the perfect ELD….

KeepTruckin ELD Officially Certified by the FMCSA

KeepTruckin is on a mission is to build the most powerful and reliable ELD system on the market. The foundation of that mission is full compliance with the 516 pages of requirements in the ELD mandate. After extensive product development and exhaustive testing, we are thrilled to announce that KeepTruckin is now officially certified by the FMCSA as an approved ELD vendor.

One of KeepTruckin’s core values is transparency — below are the exact steps we’ve taken to ensure that our ELD is fully compliant with DOT regulations. As you evaluate ELD vendors, ask them to prove to you that they can deliver on each one of these features — if they can’t, you won’t be compliant with the ELD mandate.

Unidentified Driving

The ELD mandate requires that all vehicle motion is tracked by an engine-connected device. For those times when a driver has not specifically logged into the ELD to associate the vehicle’s operation with their logs, that time must be recorded and attributed to an “unidentified driver”.

Upon logging in or connecting to a vehicle, a driver should be shown the unidentified driving segments that have been accumulated on that vehicle over the past 24 hours and 7 days. We prominently display this information to drivers, which makes it easy for them to claim their Driving time.

Continue reading “Searching for the perfect ELD….”


Latest ‘uber for trucking’ launches app — this time, it’s from Uber itself

“Uber for trucking,” long considered a freight-matching unicorn, has come to a kind of fruition, with the ride-sharing giant today unveiling its brokerage’s Uber Freight matching app aimed at the owner-operator market with a focus on dry van and reefer loads.

The unveiling comes as one of the company’s other initiatives, its autonomous vehicle development subsidiary Otto, is embroiled in a lawsuit with Google, who claims Uber and Otto stole trade secrets related to autonomous truck tech.

Uber Freight Senior Product Manager Eric Berdinis says the company leaned on its expertise in matching supply and demand and building pricing algorithms in the passenger market, transforming that process into matching freight with owner-operators and small fleets.

“We’re technically a brokerage,” Berdinis says, “and we do that so we can take ownership of the freight and pay our drivers and carriers quickly.”

That aspect, Berdinis says, is what Uber Freight believes will differentiate the company from similar services already in the marketplace.

“We value [prompt payment for delivery] as one of our big promises to our app users,” he says. “Regardless of when the shipper pays us, we’ll pay out for any load that is taken out on our app within a couple days, no questions asked.”  Read More


Virginia Trucking Companies, Execs Indicted for Hours of Service Conspiracy

Two Virginia-based trucking companies and their executives have been charged with conspiracy, falsifying records, false statements, wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy related to hours of service and labor violations.

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Beam Bros Trucking Inc. (BBT) and its parent company, Beam Bros Holding Corp. LLC (Beam Holding); Gerald Beam, president and CEO; Garland Beam, vice president; Shaun Beam, operations manager; and Nickolas Kozel, chief financial officer, were charged in U.S. District Court, Harrisonburg, Virginia, in a 126-count indictment.

BBT is one of the nation’s largest contract carriers of mail for the United States Postal Service, according to the U.S. DOT Office of Inspector General. The company and its executives allegedly conspired to defraud the United States “by impeding the lawful government functions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Department of Labor, and USPS.”

To read more click here


More money for military defense means less for food defense

Editor’s note: This column includes information from an “Advocacy at a Glance” posting by the Alliance for a Stronger FDA and analysis and commentary by Steven Grossman, deputy executive director of the alliance, both republished here with permission.

President Donald Trump is proposing shifting $54 billion from domestic to defense programs in fiscal year 2018, which begins Oct. 1.

The proposal, unveiled in a speech to Congress on Feb. 28, calls for an approximate 10 percent increase for defense programs and an approximate 10 percent cut for non-defense discretionary programs. At this point we have no indication how the Food and Drug Administration would be treated in the president’s proposal. However, for reference purposes, a 10 percent cut in FDA’s appropriation would mean a loss of $272 million in program funds and take FDA back to approximately its FY 2012 level.

A number of non-defense programs are likely to be protected in the President’s proposal, such as veterans’ programs and border security. Thus, to pay for the defense build-up, the president’s proposal could well include cuts for non-protected programs that are closer to 12 percent to 14 percent. The percentage could be even higher if the president proposes that non-defense programs be cut further in order to pay for proposed new initiatives, such as the border wall or rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.

While Congress has final say on appropriations, FDA stakeholders should be very concerned, but not panicked.What the president described is just a general proposal, to be fleshed out with more details when he sends his budget outline to Congress in mid-March and his complete budget proposal in late April or May. Congress will make the final decisions. However, regardless of the actual numbers in the president’s proposal, the tone and direction threatens FDA’s appropriation and the agency is at risk. We need to advocate for FDA to be one of those protected programs that are not subject to a 10 percent to 15 percent cut because they are considered a national priority.

As described in the Feb. 24 Analysis and Commentary from the Alliance for a Stronger FDA, there are really only two ways to pay for a defense build-up: take the monies from non-defense programs —   mandatory or discretionary — or increase the federal deficit, which is very unlikely.

Thus, we are likely into a “guns vs. butter” fight this year, with strong policymaker sentiment in both directions and most members of Congress yearning for a way to avoid choosing. Congress thought it settled this question through FY 2023 when it passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, creating a decade’s worth of budget caps specific to defense and non-defense spending. While the Alliance will not be taking sides in this larger battle, the downward pressure on all non-defense programs will be enormous. There is no question that FDA is at risk.

What the President must decide — in his budget outline before mid-March and then reinforce or modify in the full budget request by late April-May — is into which of three buckets to assign every non-defense federal program. The first bucket will contain programs slated for larger cuts based on policy or ideology. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is clearly going to be in this bucket, as will foreign aid programs and support for the arts and humanities.

The second bucket will contain programs slated for an average cut — think 10 percent to 15 percent, probably across-the-board — in order to generate the monies necessary to pay for defense and for which the Administration sees no justification for giving special treatment. The bulk of federal programs will be in this second bucket.

The third bucket will be a select group of programs for which the Administration will be advocating for a smaller cut, level funding or possibly an increase. I anticipate this bucket will include the FBI, border security, veteran’s programs and maybe air traffic controllers.

Read More Here


High driver turnover correlated with higher OOS, crash volumes and CSA scores

The Vigillo data firm, counting around 2,000 trucking fleets as customers for their compliance data mining and monitoring services, recently completed an analysis of clients’ rates of driver attrition, or turnover, and found a correlation between carriers with high turnover rates and generally more negative numbers in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s compliance measurement/ranking program. Speaking at Conversion Interactive Agency’s Recruiting and Retention conference last week, Steve Bryan, president and founder of Vigillo, laid out the results for the audience of recruiters.

The analysis was meant to ask these questions, he said: Does high driver attrition impact CSA scores? And more to the point: “When you’re battling the turnover problem – does it matter” where the rubber hits the road in true safety?

Granted, CSA as it exists at present has no shortage of problems, all of which led to Congress ordering the FMCSA to pull SMS scores from public view and retain the National Academies to analyze the program for improvements, as Bryan outlined in his presentation. Setting those issues aside for the moment, however, Bryan urged his audience to consider what he sees as “strong correlations” between the broader “safety culture that exists in a motor carrier — I’m going to propose that it can be measured in CSA — and turnover rates.”

CSA scores behind the curtain — what’s next?

Following FMCSA’s pull of the CSA SMS from public view, some signs that the CSA bell will continue to ring in carrier selection processes from …

Vigillo’s service allows the company visibility into client carriers’ driver-employees as they enter and exit in the company’s database. He and data scientists at the company measured all client carriers’ turnover rates on the basis of such entries and exits, discarding those who fell in the middle and looking at the difference in compliance performance for equivalently-sized groups in the 25 percent with the highest turnover versus the 25 percent with the lowest turnover. Results showed that in all 9 analyzed metrics, high turnover carriers performed significantly worse than low-turnover carriers.

Here’s how the SMS scores in the seven CSA BASICs worked out, with high-attrition/turnover carriers represented by the orange bar in each pair, the low turnover fleets by the blue:

Read more information here


FMCSA clarifies ELD compliance extensions, non-compliant devices

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last week issued new guidance on the use of older logging devices that, while lacking compliance with the agency’s electronic logging device stipulations, afford carriers two extra years — until December 2019 — to fully comply with the ELD mandate.

The agency also published last week clarification for carriers whose devices turn out to be non-compliant after they’re in use.

As reported by Overdrive when the ELD mandate was published in December 2015, carriers using so-called automatic onboard recording devices can continue running the devices to comply with the mandate until Dec. 16, 2019, as part of the ELD mandate’s “grandfather” clause. That’s two additional years beyond the Dec. 18, 2017, compliance date for the ELD mandate.

Read more here Overdrive


FMCSA Shut Down in North Carolina

FMCSA Shut Down in North Carolina

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it has ordered Hendersonville, North Carolina-based Leslie Erickson, doing business as Les’s Tree and Stump, Inc., USDOT No. 2512204, to immediately cease all intrastate and interstate operations after a federal investigation found the carrier to pose an imminent hazard to public safety.  Leslie Erickson was served the federal order on March 8, 2016.

In early February 2016, Leslie Erickson was subject to a federal compliance review investigation.  FMCSA safety investigators found the company to be in violation of multiple federal safety regulations including:

  • Failing to conduct pre-employment background checks on drivers;
  • Failing to ensure drivers were qualified before dispatching them in commercial operations;
  • Failing to properly monitor drivers to ensure compliance with hours-of-service requirements;
  • Failing to conduct random drug and alcohol tests on drivers, and;
  • Failing to ensure that its vehicles were regularly inspected, maintained and repaired and met minimum safety standards.

Leslie Erickson’s continued use of unsafe vehicles and failure to adequately oversee drivers to ensure compliance with federal safety regulations substantially increases the likelihood of serious harm to its drivers and to the motoring public.

Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order may result in a penalty of up to $25,000, operating without necessary authority may result in a fine of not less than $10,000, and operating without a USDOT number may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000.  A violation of this order may also result in a criminal penalty, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment not to exceed one year.