Windows XPocalypse Approches


An unusual compliance date will arrive in April. This is it; the extensions are over. As of April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer support the Windows XP operating system (OS). Microsoft announced in 2007 they were ending support of Windows XP

Windows XP OS runs about 40 percent of all business computers.

Without the support of Microsoft updates and fixes, your Windows XP computers will no longer be secure to cyber attacks. As of April 8, your computer should function, but it will be at risk of viruses, spyware or malware. This may result in crashes or, even worse, the theft of your personal information.

What to do?

  1. Upgrade to Windows 8.1
  2. Buy a new laptop/desktop with Windows 7 installed.
  3. Stay off of the Internet.

To upgrade to a newer OS, your computer should have at least:

1 GHz processor
1 GB Ram
16 GB Harddrive storage
1024 x768 Display Resolution screen

If buying, a low end price option is the Chomebook at around $200.

If you buy through the Microsoft Store, Microsoft is offering $100 off the price of a new PC running a new version of Windows, if you’ll switch. See more at:

Are you ready for the Windows XPocalypse?


Biennial Update: MCS-150 Registration Renewal

Biennial Update Notice

On October 2, 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) — an agency of the United States Department of Transportation — distributed an email message to motor carriers encouraging them to update their registration, including the following:

“Failure to complete a Biennial Update may result in deactivation of your USDOT number and civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day, not to exceed $10,000.”

What is the DOT “registration?”

Registration refers to the process of obtaining (and maintaining) a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number (the number on both sides of most trucks and buses in North America).  The purpose of the USDOT number is to mark and track trucks for safety. The requirements for DOT registration are found in 49 CFR 390.19

After the initial DOT registration, a motor carrier needs to update the registration information every two years.

Note: If there is a change in your fleet in the number of power units — tractors or straight trucks — before the two year period, then the motor carrier should update the information immediately. Don’t wait for the statutory two-year period. The number of power units affects your CSA scores, so keep it current.

Some states may require annual registration renewal at the time of license plate renewal.

How is the registration updated?

The recommended way is online. Alternatively, paper forms may be sent to:

Mail Forms to:
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Attention: Office of Registration and Safety Information
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590

If you renew online, you will need your personal identification number (PIN) and you may need a credit card — for identification purposes (there is no charge or fee for a DOT number or to renew/update a DOT number).

Carriers need to complete the Motor Carrier Identification Report (Federal Form MCS-150) or, if a hazardous materials (hazmat) carrier, the Combined Identification and Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Application (Federal Form MCS-150B).

After a carrier begins operations it needs to update at least every 24 months, according to the following due-date schedule:

If your USDOT number ends in:   You need to file by last day of:

1                              January
2                             February
3                             March
4                             April
5                             May
6                             June
7                             July
8                             August
9                             September
0                             October


If the next-to-last digit of its USDOT Number is odd, the motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider shall file its update in every odd-numbered calendar year.


If the next-to-last digit of the USDOT Number is even, the motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider shall file its update in every even-numbered calendar year.


Always be sure to update according to the above due-date schedule.

Intermodal Equipment Providers (IEPs)

Intermodal Equipment Providers are unable to update online at this time and need to mail in the Intermodal Equipment Provider Identification Report form (Federal Form MCS-150C). Be sure to go online and double-check your information for accuracy in about four to six weeks.

Registration Pitfalls, Traps and Minefields

(1) If you mail in the form(s):

Important note for hard copy registrations: Forms must be received by FMCSA on or before the date your Biennial Update is due to avoid deactivation of your USDOT number and the assessment of civil penalties. Please allow ample time for mailing.

(2) Always update any operational changes:

  • In the number of active power units;
  • In carrier status: interstate to intrastate or the reverse;
  • In business/operations status: if no longer in business, file a final report.

(3) Always file even if no changes have occurred, but within the provisions and requirements of the due-date chart above.

How can I check my registration date status?

You can follow these easy steps to check your Official US DOT number to see if you need to update your Biennial Report:

If the MCS-150 Form Date is more than two years old, you should immediately update your information. Do not expect any further notice from the DOT.

The renewal process should not take more than 30 minutes, if all of the information is available. When done, a printable confirmation page will indicate that the update has been made. It is a best practice to keep a copy of any confirmations for your records.

November 1, 2013 was the compliance date for the biennial update requirements.

Are you in compliance?

CSA Effects

As the total number of power units and/or mileage are used in the CSA enforcement program, accurate information is necessary for precise calculations of your CSA scores. Inaccurate or stale data may impact your CSA Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) in a negative manner.


Renew and update your US DOT registration in a timely manner. Be aware of the changes that require an immediate update. Always be sure to update according to the above due-date schedule.


Visit the website here.

What are the qualifications or standards to administer company D.O.T. driving tests?

What are the qualifications or standards for individuals who administer company D.O.T. driving tests?

Per Part 391.31, every driver should be road tested, as part of the Driver Qualification (DQ) process and given a Certificate of Driver’s Road Test. If the driver does not have a CDL but is driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV), he or she must be road tested.  Owner-operators or non-CDL owner-drivers (referred to by the DOT as “a driver who is a carrier”) need to be road tested by someone other than themselves.

Ideally, the most experienced driver in your organization would conduct the road test. The regulation states in (b):

“The test shall be given by a person who is competent to evaluate and determine whether the person who takes the test has demonstrated that he/she is capable of operating the commercial motor vehicle, and associated equipment, that the motor carrier intends to assign him/her.”

After the successful completion of the road test, a copy of the Certificate of Driver’s Road Test should be placed in the Driver Qualification file, and a copy given to the driver.

Certificate of Driver's Road Test

Certificate of Driver’s Road Test

When can the Road Test be administered?

The road test may be conducted before administering the DOT pre-employment drug screen. After receiving results of the drug test and after a job-offer, if required by company policy, a DOT physical can be administered.

What should be covered on the Road Test?

A well-administered road test should address these aspects:

  • The driver’s skills (technical, mechanical and physical) associated with                  driving a commercial vehicle;
  • The attitude of the driver, while driving a commercial vehicle.

How is a Road Test done?

A road test should begin with a full pre-trip or “walk-around” or safety inspection as required by §392.7. The driver should explain what is being looked at during the inspection, for example, any possible safety defects, as he or she observes and checks the vehicle.

The driver should demonstrate his or her range skills including steering, stopping, shifting and backing exercises. Coupling and uncoupling of combination units should be included, if the equipment he or she may drive includes combination units.

Safety Tip: The driver’s range proficiency (the parking and backing portion) should be adequate enough to determine that the applicant will drive safely during the on-the-road portion of the test.

The actual road test should be over a predetermined route of approximately 45 minutes of in-traffic driving, including the following:

1. Four left-hand and four right-hand turns.

2. A straight section of road in or near a business district.

3. Three or more intersections with various controls and rights-of-way as stop, yield, a yellow caution light, etc.

4. A railroad crossing.

5. At least one tight curve.

6. A five mile section of limited access highway or expressway or a stretch of rural two-lane highway.The applicant should demonstrate lane changing during that part of the test.

7. A downgrade long enough to allow the driver to demonstrate downshifting and /or stopping without rolling.

8. An upgrade (hill) to show stopping/starting without rolling backward.

9. An underpass or bridge with a posted weight limit or some other hazard which the driver should see and identify to you when asked.

If the above features are not locally available, then it may be possible to simulate that portion of the test. For example, if no railroad-highway grade crossing is near, the road-test administrator can say, “At the sign (or some landmark) ahead, I would like you to simulate a rail crossing.” Document why any portion of a road test was not done. All tests should be conducted in the same manner for all drivers.

Click here for a road test evaluation form in .pdf format. This form is placed in the driver’s DQ file at the end of the test.  JJ Keller has commercially printed forms.

Doubles/triples or tank vehicle endorsement on a CDL

A copy of the CDL alone is not sufficient for any driver required to have a double/triple trailer or tank vehicle endorsement. These CDL drivers need to be road-tested.

CSA Impact

While no specific CSA points for a Part 391.31 violation are allocated in Table 3. CSMS Driver Fitness BASIC Violations of the CSA Methodology, keeping inadequate safety records or failing to provide records can result in fines of varying amounts.


Road test every driver as part of the qualification process. All non-CDL CMV drivers must be road tested, as well as CDL drivers required to have a double/triple trailer or tank vehicle endorsement. A driver cannot roadtest himself. A competent driver in your organization should conduct the road test. Conduct every road test in the same manner. Give the driver a copy of the Certificate of Driver’s Road Test and put a copy in the DQ file along with a copy of the Road Test Evaluation form.