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Showing posts with label FMCSA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FMCSA. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Out With The OLD And In With The ELD

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Out With The OLD And In With The ELDSince 2017, the ELD mandate has been in effect. In December 2017 fleet owner’s with Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) installed were given an extension to make the switch from AOBRDs to ELDs up until December 2019. With the new year in full swing the December 16, 2019 expiration date is quickly approaching.

At the 2019 Omnitracs annual user conference, head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Ray Martinez, urged drivers and company representatives to “prepare for this transition, if you have not done so already.”

The most strategic way to avoid procrastination when choosing an ELD is being in the know of what major differences stand between AOBRDs and ELDs.

Key Differences Between AOBRDs and ELDs

For many in the transportation business, the most proposed question that has been asked is, “why?”. The main reason behind the switch is to ensure companies are following the hours-of-service (HOS) law, which controls how much a driver can work in a day, aimed at preventing accidents and harassment of drivers. If someone has yet to make the switch from an AOBRD to a compliant ELD and are waiting to the last minute, the following differences in the two devices may be incentives to make the switch earlier.

Recording Metrics: AOBRDs does a lot of basic recording such as; location, date and time, mileage, engine hours and drive times, as well as duty status. ELDs record the same metrics plus information on the driver/user, motor carrier and vehicle including; log in and log out, engine on and off and also malfunctions.

Locations: When it comes to location AOBRDs allows users to record the change of location during each change of duty status and can be entered manually. With ELDs the location is automatically recorded every 60 minutes, whenever the engine is on or off when there is a change in duty status at the beginning and end of yard moves.

Edit History: AOBRDs record who makes edits and when and does not readily display edit history. ELDs require annotations when edits are made, with automatic events they can not be changed - only annotated and it readily displays edit history to DOT inspectors.

Driving Time: The driving time can only be edited when attributed to the wrong driver with AOBRDs and with ELDs that time cannot be edited.

Benefits of Making the Switch

The most recognizable benefit of the switch from AOBRDs to ELDs is compliance, but outside of ensuring that the trucking industry steers clear of harassment complaints the FMCSA wants to make the job of transporters a lot easier.

Low IFTA Audit Risk

The new ELD technology is driver-friendly when it comes to automatically calculating IFTA reports. The process of filing IFTA reports at the end of each quarter can be burdensome, and the overload of stress can cause human error. With this feature, the risk of facing an IFTA audit is reduced significantly.

Safety Improvement

By notifying drivers and management of malfunction issues and even identifying unsafe driving behaviors, ELDs do a great job at protecting all drivers on the road. According to FMCSA, ELDs help prevents roughly 562 injuries each year. 

Lower Insurance Rates

Because of the increase in safety ELDs provide, insurance companies are happy to offer lower
insurance premiums to ELD users. By ensuring drivers stick to HOS regulations ELDs are eliminating the main cause of driver fatigue, which is reported to be at fault for 86% of truck-passenger crashes.

Safer Roads + Fewer Accidents = Lower Truck Insurance 

Make Filing 2019 IFTA Reports Simple

If you have not made the switch from paper filing and other unconventional IFTA report filing methods, generate your quarterly fuel tax reports with a FREE account before the first quarter report deadline.

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

What You Need To Know About The UCR Delay

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Truck driving during Fall season preparing for fees after the 2019 UCR delay ends
Registration for the 2019 UCR is currently at a standstill until further notice per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s pending rulemaking process for 2019 fee levels. Following the FMCSA’s initial notice of proposed rulemaking in August to reduce UCR fees for 2019, the UCR delay was announced in October.

We’ve done some research during the “UCR waiting game” to provide you with what you need to know about the UCR delay.

What is UCR?

Unified Carrier Registration, or UCR, requires that drivers and companies who operate a commercial motor vehicle for interstate or international commerce, register their business with the state and pay an annual fee based on the size of the fleet.

Fees for this registration change annually and has been proposed to be nearly 18 percent less than the 2017 level to ensure fee revenues do not exceed the maximum statutory amount.

Proposed Annual Fee for 2019 UCR

According to the FMCSA notice of proposed rulemaking, 2019 proposed fees for motor carriers and brokers with zero to two power units would be $63, which is a decrease of $6 from the 2018 UCR fee. However, the UCR board originally anticipated the need to charge $10 more than this amount for the smallest of motor carriers.

Furthermore, the notice stated that “FMCSA proposes reductions in the annual registration fees states collect from motor carriers, motor private carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies for the UCR plan and agreement for 2019, 2020 and subsequent registration years.”

Proposed Fees for 2019

0-2 trucks..............................$63
3-5 trucks............................$187
6-20 trucks..........................$372
21-100 trucks...................$1,299
101-1,000 trucks..............$6,190
1,001 trucks and more...$60,441

Stay Informed & Be Prepared To Register

Registration along with the collection of UCR 2019 fees was scheduled to begin October 1, but will most likely be delayed until after the start of the new year. Be on the lookout for updates from ExpressTruckTax regarding final 2019 UCR fees and how to register, process, and pay for your Unified Carrier Registration.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tire Safety: Getting Ready for Roadcheck

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It’s official — the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has announced this year’s International Roadcheck will focus on tire safety! Taking place from June 7-9, this event is a joint effort of the CVSA and the FMCSA (and a few others).

So what all will Roadcheck focus on with tire safety? We’re going to break this down so that your wheels start turning.

Under Pressure


A tire which has too much or too little pressure could overheat, or it could be vulnerable to a dangerous blowout.

So how can you avoid dangerous vulnerabilities from low tire pressure?

Ideally, you want to make sure you have an accurate pressure gauge to detect under inflation. If they’re legal in your neck of the woods, you can also use a tire thumper to hear if your tires sound inflated.

Now a thumper won’t give you a precise measurement, but will let you know if you’re a wide margin off.

Tire Condition


Don’t ever underestimate the value of a visual evaluation, truckers.

What should you look for? Mainly anything that is visually wrong with your tires. Obviously, any bubbles and bumps are a sign of an impending blowout. Especially if you were to hit road debris. Speaking of, you want to also see if there is any debris between tires!

Tread Carefully


An often overlooked aspect of tire inspection is tire tread! Not just the treads themselves, but the depth and condition of the treads. Treads with a low depth can have uneven wear, and risk your exposure to blowouts and worse.

Tire Placement


Tires just go in their spots, right? It’s like building a LEGO set, isn’t it?

Well, not exactly. You need to make sure your tires aren’t mismatched. Matching tires are important! It’ll balance out your wear and tear.

And with dual tires, you need to make sure there is no contact between them. While that sounds obvious, it’s these little checks that can make a big difference.

It’s the Details


Overall, just look for little things that’ll set you back. Things to look out for include: damaged rims, missing valve stems, rusty/loose nuts, as well as oil and grease buildup/leaks.

With Roadcheck coming up, it’s a good idea to treat every pre-trip inspection like a big deal. With your tires in great condition, you’ll be able to knockout your trucking route.

As we roll closer to the HVUT 2290 and 2nd Quarter IFTA deadline, the helpful folks at ExpressTruckTax will be here to help you! Reach out to us at any time by email or by phone at 704.234.6005.

Are you ready for Roadcheck 2016?


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Thursday, March 10, 2016

5 Trucker Trends to Watch

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We’re rolling into spring, leaving winter behind, and it feels good. Right now, there’s nothing on your mind—you’re just enjoying the open road. But a voice in the back of your head says, “Hey, what are you missing? You gotta be missing something!”
So just in case, we’re bringing you an update on the latest happenings in our neck of the woods. Here are some news items and events that affect you as a trucker over the upcoming months.

FMCSA Considering Sleep Apnea Rule

The FMCSA announced that they are seeking feedback about sleep apnea in commercial vehicle drivers as an initial move towards a ruling on the condition. Basically, the rule could mean transportation workers in safety sensitive positions who exhibit multiple risk factors for sleep apnea would undergo evaluation and treatment by a healthcare professional with expertise in sleep disorders.

Are you going to MATS? See ya there!

In case you missed it on social media, we’re headed to the Mid-America Trucking Show March 31st - April 2nd! We’ll be giving out FREE tickets to the show, which you can claim here. Keep an eye out for cool prizes and the inside scoop on the latest ExpressTruckTax and TruckLogics developments.

What is Alice Isn’t Dead?

There’s a new podcast shooting to the top of the iTunes charts—and it’s about a trucker! Alice Isn’t Dead follows a truck driver on a quest to find her wife, who was presumed dead. Along the way, the trucker meets unsavory characters, ghost towns, and uncovers a dark conspiracy.

Are you ready to file your Personal Taxes?

Don’t forget, Trucking Nation, your personal taxes are due Monday, April 18th. If you’re not ready to file, head over to ExpressExtension to e-file a personal tax extension! Normally, your tax deadline would be April 15th, but that is Emancipation Day, which will be celebrated as a government holiday in Washington, D.C. So, the tax deadline was moved to Monday. (Hey, it gives you more time!) And that’s okay with us. By the way, make sure you don’t miss out on any trucker specific deductions.

There’s an IFTA Deadline, and there’s a HVUT Deadline

Don’t forget, deadlines are approaching! The 1st Quarter of IFTA ends in March, so you’ll have a payment due in April. And summer is almost here, so your 2290s are only months away. Get a head start now!

There’s always something happening in the trucking world. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest transportation news. Start planning your finances and truck taxes now, and we’ll see you at MATS later this month!

Don’t forget, our dedicated customer support team is here to answer any of your HVUT 2290 filing questions! You can reach them by phone at 704.234.6005, live chat via our website, or email at support@expresstrucktax.com.



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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What is the New Trucker Coercion Rule?

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You’ve been driving for hours, the sun long vanished behind the horizon, and you know you’re almost out of hours. That E-Log is ticking away, after all. But your dispatcher kept pushing forward, wanting you to get the freight there a bit faster. Between your lack of time and heavy eyelids, you know that feat is impossible.

You could stop now, or press on and keep driving. While you know you need to follow the rules, the dispatcher made it clear that you’re gonna start missing out on jobs if you don’t make this delivery in less hours than you have.

This is known as driver coercion.

Now thanks to the FMCSA’s trucker coercion rule, drivers can now report dispatchers, shippers, and other workers who encourage truckers to violate federal regulations to meet deadlines. With the new rule, financial penalties for shippers who coerce drivers into breaking the laws can reach up to $16,000. Basically, instead of risking your life, income, and future, the companies will now risk the coins that line their coffers.

In the words of the FMCSA:

“[The rule] addresses three key areas concerning driver coercion: procedures for commercial truck and bus drivers to report incidents of coercion to the FMCSA, steps the agency could take when responding to such allegations, and penalties that may be imposed on entities found to have coerced drivers.”

How did this rule start? Well, some commercial drivers reported pressure from shippers to violate federal safety regulations with threats of job termination, denial of future loads, reduced pay and hours, or even decreased future job opportunities.

How were drivers being coerced? The way most drivers faced it included ignoring driver hour limits, CDL requirements, drug and alcohol testing, and hazardous material transportation rules, among others.

“Any time a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, freight-forwarder, or broker demands that a schedule be met, one that the driver says would be impossible without violating hours-of-service restrictions or other safety regulations, that is coercion,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “No commercial driver should ever feel compelled to bypass important federal safety regulations and potentially endanger the lives of all travelers on the road.”

What should you do if you’re feeling coerced to break or bend a rule? First, you need to head to the National Consumer Complaint Database and file a report. While the FMCSA says the burden of proof is on the shippers, the truckers still have to provide evidence needed to sustain the fees against the violators. This means, make sure you have documentation of any incident you report, as the FMCSA will have to investigate these claims.

How does this affect you as a driver? Well, you know your limits and boundaries better than anyone else. Even if you disagree with these rules, your best call is to follow the new coercion rules, and to be upfront with the dispatchers and loaders.

Wait, still confused? Basically, the agency will now issue fines to companies who coerce drivers to break and bend laws to make deadlines.

While we can’t help you with pushy dispatchers, we can help you when it comes to filing your HVUT 2290s. If you have any questions, send us an email at support@expresstrucktax.com or give us a call at 704.234.6005.

What do you think about the new driver coercion rule?


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