E-Log Rules — Free Webinar from JJ Keller


The ELD Proposal Webcast: Making Sense and Making Plans
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 11:00:00 AM EDT – 12:00:00 PM EDT

Recently proposed E-Log rules will:

  • Set new standards for ELDs
    Establish the mandatory use of E-Logs
    Set new requirements for supporting documents

Webcast attendees will learn about the proposed ELD standards for drivers of both property- and passenger-carrying vehicles, the benefits of ELD adoption, and the timeline for the ELD mandate.

This webinar will include a question and answer session.

Click here to register.


Truck Tire Blowout

Colleton County Fire-Rescue

Fact: tires fail. When a truck tire fails, especially a front tire, it can lead to loss of control and a crash or rollover.

Causes of Tire Failure

One study for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (TRI) found the main causes for tire failure include:

  • Road hazards— 32 percent
  • Maintenance/operational factors— 30 percent and
  • *Overdeflected operation— 14 percent.

*Overdeflected operation means a tire that was operated either underinflated or overloaded or a combination of the two, leading to tire failure.

The study noted, “Tire failure and debris . . . are rarely the cause of a truck crash, factoring in less than 1 percent of all such accidents.”  New and retreaded medium truck tires have about the same failure rates and modes.

Driver Response to a Tire Blowout

The driver must always control the vehicle. If a tire blows out, the driver may or may not hear it, but will feel the blowout either in the steering wheel, if the front tire is flat, or in the seat, if one of the “drives” goes flat.

Safety experts recommend in the case of a sudden tire failure, that the driver SHOULD NOT BRAKE and SHOULD NOT TAKE THEIR FOOT OFF OF THE THROTTLE

In a tire-failure situation, drivers should instead mash down on the throttle for such duration as to regain control of the vehicle.

This seems counterintuitive, but makes sense. Loss of a tire can affect steerability and braking or suddenly slowing down with a flat tire can result in the vehicle pitching forward, resulting in less control.

Once control of the vehicle is regained, the driver can ease off and guide the vehicle in a controlled manner.

This technique assumes the driver is not running up against the governor and has some engine power in reserve. Another study by the NHTSA noted that there are no truck tires rated over 81 MPH. The study cited high speeds and a lack of maintenance as contributing factors in fatal truck tire blowouts.


In a truck tire rapid air-loss situation, drivers should STOMP on the throttle and STEER to a stop.

Check tire pressures frequently. A tire gauge is better than a tire thumper.

Visually inspect tires for wear or damage on a daily basis.

Never make a habit of running RPMs up against the engine governor. Keep a little power in reserve for emergencies.

Always drive at reasonable speeds, based on the condition of the vehicle and tires, road conditions and weather, and type of load. Never exceed speed limits or safe speeds for driving conditions.

Remember, the goal is to arrive safely.

Email us at admin(at)part380(dot)com. Thank you for visiting.

Understanding Roadside Inspections

Roadside Inspection

According to the CVSA, about four-million commercial motor vehicle inspections are conducted every year throughout North America. Inspections are conducted on various levels, ranging from Level I North American Standard (NAS) Inspection to Level VII Jurisdictional Mandated Inspection.

What should a driver expect during a roadside inspection? How can a driver prepare?

The first thing the Inspector will make note of is whether or not the driver is wearing a safety belt and if the driver is wearing required eye glasses or hearing aids.

Some drivers say they have to unbuckle their safety belt to get to their wallet. If so, always wait until the Inspector is present before unbuckling . . . And stay in the truck.

“I’ll be doing a level three, driver inspection. I need to see your log book, shipping papers, trip receipts, tractor and trailer registration.”

The Inspector will attempt to establish a rapport with the driver and to put the driver at ease. The inspector will study the body language of the driver. The Inspector will ask a series of questions from the get-go, The inspector may ask questions as:

Where did you load? When?
Where did you last pick-up fuel?
Do you have that fuel receipt?
Do you have any other receipts for this trip?
Where is your load headed?

The inspector will generally collect any driver trip paperwork as soon as possible. All the time, the inspector is looking for information to pinpoint the driver to certain places and times during the course of the trip or the previous seven days. The goal is to build a timeline to see if driver is keeping accurate records in the log book.

The inspector will frame questions to require a narrative answer from the driver and will keep the driver engaged in conversation to gain additional information. The inspector will verify time and locations with trip receipts, other trip documents and information from driver.

The inspector is looking for red flags as:

  • A trip in the mountains or in bad weather averaging 500 or more miles per day.
  • A driver taking a whole day off— four days into a trip— if the driver is paid mileage.
  • Inconsistencies in what the driver says, body language or trip documents.

The Secret

What’s the secret to passing a Roadside Inspection?

Besides doing a good pre-trip inspection and keeping good trip records, a driver should be organized and always log accurately.





Understanding Hazardous Materials Registration

inspector, investigator

Are you required to register with the DOT as a hazmat shipper, or carrier?

Is your company an “offeror and/or transporter” of certain quantities and types of hazardous materials?

Any business (intrastate or interstate) shipping hazardous materials requiring a U.S. DOT placard must register each year and pay the registration fee. The fees for year 2015-2016 are $250 (plus a $25 processing fee for each registration form submitted) for small businesses and non-profit organizations, and $2,575 (plus a $25 processing fee for each registration form submitted) for all others. PHMSA allows one, two and three year registrations.

The current hazardous materials certificate (here is an example for FedEx) needs to be kept in the cab of each HAZMAT vehicle at all times. If you are subject to a roadside inspection or DOT audit and do not have a current certificate, then your authority to operate will be revoked and your company could be fined up to $32,500 per each day of violation.

Register your company here.

Check your company registration if it’s current here.

Click here for more hazmat registration information.

June 30, 2015 was the registration deadline for all new and expiring hazardous materials registration certificates.

Understanding the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA)


The Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) is codified as 49 U.S.C. §31105. The STAA is not a “regulation” but instead a federal law. The STAA is not administered by the US DOT but instead is enforced by OSHA.

The purpose of the STAA is to protect commercial vehicle drivers from retaliatory action by carriers if they refuse to drive due to safety concerns. STAA covers not only private sector drivers (including independent contractors while personally operating a commercial motor vehicle), but other employees of commercial motor carriers (including mechanics and freight handlers), if they are involved in activities directly affecting commercial motor vehicle safety
or security.

Commercial vehicles under the STAA :

• Have a vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle
weight of at least 10,001 pounds (whichever is
greater); or,
• Are designed to transport more than 10 passengers,
including the driver; or,
• Transport materials deemed hazardous by the
Secretary of Transportation in a quantity requiring
placarding (posting) under applicable regulations.

Retaliatory action may include:

  • Firing or laying off
  • Blacklisting
  • Demoting
  • Denying overtime or promotion
  • Disciplining
  • Denying benefits
  • Failing to hire or rehire
  • Intimidation
  • Making threats
  • Reassignment affecting promotion prospects
  • Reducing pay or hours

For STAA violations OSHA may order:

  • Reinstatement of employment
  • Back pay (with interest)
  • Compensatory damages, and
  • Punitive damages, up to $250,000
  • Expungement of the driver’s employment and *DAC Report records
  • Post notices in the workplace about STAA rights for employee review.

All new CDL drivers in interstate commerce since July 20, 2004 are required to have mandatory training in their rights under the STAA (Part 380, Subpart E—Entry-Level Driver Training Requirements).

How to Avoid STAA Troubles

  • Learn and know the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
  • Have a system in place to capture and document reports of non-compliance and unsafe conditions or unsafe vehicles.
  • Take seriously any safety reports.
  • Train dispatchers and supervisors in the nuances of what could be considered “retaliatory action” under the STAA so they are aware of and do not engage in that behavior.
  • Make sure everyone is accountable for safety.
  • Review policies and company manuals to encourage reporting of any unsafe conditions or workplace non-compliance.


*DAC Report is the Drive-A-Check pre-employment report.


10th annual Dangerous Goods Symposium in St. Louis, MO


September 9th-11th, 2015, St. Louis, MO

Labelmaster’s free Dangerous Goods Symposium is “sold out” and late sign-ups are being put on a waiting list.

Topics for the 2015 Symposium will include:

International regulations
Domestic regulations
Multi-modal regulations
DG products
Instructor skill training
Practitioner workshops

The Symposium is aimed towards instructors, trainers, and other professionals involved in the shipping of dangerous goods.

DOT Driver Qualifications and Background Checks – Webinar

Mike Coffey, SPHR

Tue, Jul 21, 2015 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

Mike Coffey, SPHR, will give a one hour presentation on DOT Driver Qualifications and Background Checks.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations list requirements for employers regulated by the federal Department of Transportation.  In this presentation, Mike will discuss the FMCSR’s requirements for the DOT application and employment background check process.

Check here for more information.

Crunch Time: Accident Documentation

Low bridge accident

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation 49 Part 390.15 requires that all motor carriers maintain an accident register and accident files (copies of the crash reports) on all “DOT reportable” accidents, for a period of three years from the date of each accident.

An “accident” is defined in Part 390.5 as:

1. A fatality;
2. Bodily injury to a person who, as a result of the
injury, immediately receives medical treatment
away from the scene of the accident; or
3. One or more motor vehicles incurring *disabling
damage as a result of the accident, requiring the
motor vehicle(s) to be transported away from the
scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle.

* Damage to a motor vehicle which prohibits the vehicle from leaving the scene in its usual manner during daylight hours after simple repairs; or
Damage to a motor vehicle that could have been driven, but would have been further damaged if driven

The term “accident” for DOT purposes does not include:
1. An occurrence involving only boarding and alighting from a stationary motor vehicle; or
2. An occurrence involving only the loading or unloading of cargo.

Required information on the register:
Date of accident
City or town, or most near, where the accident occurred and the State where the accident occurred
Driver Name
Number of injuries
Number of fatalities
Whether hazardous materials, other than fuel spilled from the fuel tanks of motor vehicle involved in the accident were released.

Best Practices Tip

I recommended that motor carriers maintain two accident registers (for the calendar year):

1. a DOT recordable accidents only register;
2. a Non-DOT recordable accidents register.

This will limit information in an audit situation, yet still provide the big picture to effectively analyze all incidents and accidents.

Accident registers may be kept electronically— if you can print a hard copy for the FMCSA upon request.

Click here for sample Accident Register in .pdf format.


Q. We are a small operation and, knock on wood, have never had an accident. Do we need an accident register?

A. Yes. If you have not had a reportable accident, then create the accident register form and write “None” on the form.



Hours of Service Compliance Webinar

Safety Webinar

July 17, 2015 | 1 PM – 2 PM CST (Fri, Jul 17, 2015 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT)
Hours of Service Compliance Webinar
Presented by: Chad Hoppenjan – ‎Director of Transportation Safety Services at Cottingham & Butler

Many companies struggle with the hours-of-service regulations on a day-to-day basis. Do you have questions regarding the hours of service regulations? The hours-of-service rules apply to all motor carriers and drivers, with specific exceptions.

Register here.

This is part of Cottingham & Butler’s 2015 Transportation Safety Webinar Series.



Driver Qualification (DQ) File – Webcast Highlights


Here are some highlights of today’s JJ Keller webcast on Driver Qualification (DQ) Files, in case you missed it.

The DQ file assists in vetting drivers. It is legal proof of compliance.

An incomplete DQ file is a DOT violation and that file will always be in violation if it is missing required documents or information.

If the DQ file is incomplete, then one may do a “corrective action.”
For example, if the original MVR is missing, then one could substitute the next oldest MVR, and document that by putting a note in the file: “DID THIS IN LIEU OF ORIGINAL MVR.”

Never backdate documents.
The corrective action should show meaningful action to offer a solution by showing safety management controls are now in place to avoid the same mistake.

All CMV drivers in interstate commerce are subject to having DQ Files.
Drivers in intrastate commerce must follow their state rules, which vary from state to state.

Keep DQ files at your primary place of business.
Records must be made available with in 48 hours of DOT request.
Records can be off-site, but you must be able to access them.
DQ file can combined with the personnel file, but you need to be able to separate the documents.

The DOT Drug and Alcohol file must be secured in a controlled access location.

Copies and scans are okay, but must be clear and readable when printed out.

Keep files until end of employment plus at least 3 years.

Driver Qualification (DQ) File Self Audits: a JJ Keller Webcast


Thursday, July 9, 2015 11:00:00 AM EDT – 12:00:00 PM EDT

This free webcast will lead you through the components of a compliant Driver Qualification (DQ) file, including:

• mandatory vs. “nice to have” forms,
• required elements on each form,
• recent changes related to medical certificates, and
• the standards for record retention.

It will also address the DQ audit process, the top DQ violations found during audits, and any DQ-related questions from the audience.

This webcast will include a question and answer session.

Register for the webcast here.