What does the inspection blitz mean for my business?

WHEN IS IT? 

June 5-7  (a 72 hour "inspection blitz")

 

WHERE IS IT? 

Nationwide

 

WHO WILL BE AFFECTED? 

Truckers and bus drivers, and consequently, the companies who depend on truckers

 

WHY DO THEY HAVE THIS BLITZ? 

This is an effort to decrease unsafe operating behavior among truck and bus drivers.  The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) wants to improve highway safety

 

WHAT ARE THEY CHECKING? 

This year, they roadside inspections will focus on hours of operation, in concurrence with the ELD.  They are also checking for cracked windshields, lights, tires, brakes, usage of seatbelts, leaking wheel hubs, etc.

 

WHY WILL MY COMPANY BE AFFECTED?

In general what happens is that many carriers will just pull their trucks off the road so they aren't caught.  The result is:

  1. much less availability

  2. more blown loads

  3. higher prices

 

HOW CAN I PREPARE? 

Simply being aware that for those 72 hours, capacity is going to be tight will help.  You'll want to give yourself an extra day or two on most loads, and be prepared to pay a little more during those 3 days.

How to come out of the Roadside Inspection Blitz unscathed

WHEN IS IT? 

June 5-7  (a 72 hour "inspection blitz")

 

WHERE IS IT? 

Nationwide

 

WHO WILL BE AFFECTED? 

Truckers and bus drivers

 

WHY DO THEY HAVE THIS BLITZ? 

This is an effort to decrease unsafe operating behavior among truck and bus drivers.  The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) wants to improve highway safety

 

WHAT ARE THEY CHECKING? 

This year, they roadside inspections will focus on hours of operation.  Because the advent of ELD's were the talk of the town this year, they decided to match their theme accordingly.  And, fun fact, it was the top reason drivers were placed out of service during last year’s Roadcheck, according to CVSA.

 

HOW CAN I PREPARE? 

Some major red flags for inspectors, that will damage your score are:

  1. Lights -- 30% of all roadside violations deal with lights. Six points can be added to a carrier’s score for a broken light, and in some cases, can result in an out-of-service violation.

  2. Tires -- 11% of vehicle violations are for tires (half of those are for tread depth).

  3. Brakes

  4. Cracked windshield

  5. Not wearing seatbelt

  6. Leaking wheel hub

An inspector from years past shared this piece of advice:  if you have a clean and orderly cab, he is more likely to pass you along and let you keep driving.  His philosophy is, if you don’t put effort into your living quarters, your truck  and compliance to regulations are going to be sloppy, too.

ELD Full Enforcement has Begun: 5 things you Need to Know

1.  April 1st marks the end of the ELD "grace period."

From December 18, 2017 to the April 1st, 2018,  we were in the soft enforcement phase of the ELD mandate's initiation.  Now, there will be ubiquitous censuring of drivers and companies who aren't compliant with the new laws.  (Source A, cited below)

 

2.  You can be dubbed "Out of Service" for not complying with hours.

"That OOS order will be in effect for 10 hours for truck drivers. At the end of the OOS period, the driver will be allowed to continue to his or her next scheduled stop using paper logs. But the driver should not be dispatched again without an ELD. If he or she heads out again without an ELD, the driver may be placed OOS yet again and the motor carrier will be subject to further enforcement action." (Source B, cited below)

 

3.  8 consecutive hours need to be spent in the sleeper berth + 2 separate consecutive hours off duty.

The "sleep berther rule" forces drivers to spend 8 hours in a row in their cabin.  Another 2 consecutive hours must be spent off duty as well, whether that's in their cabin or not.  A total of 10 hours MUST be spent off duty. (Source B, cited below)

 

4.  Time spent loading, unloading, and waiting DOES count toward the 14 hour day.

That's right!  If you're stuck in detention for 5 hours, that means you'll be driving considerably less that day.  Hopefully, this might incentivize warehouses to become more efficient -- ha!  We can always dream.  

 

 

     Keep in mind that these next few months are uncharted territory.  While the sky is not falling, we still don't know what full enforcement of the ELD mandate will truly mean for our industry.  All we can do is be compliant, and start planning accordingly. 

     Remember that drivers are only allowed to be working for 14 hours a day.  Drive time + time spent at the cons or shipper, has to be equal to or less than that.  Luckily, since we've all been preparing for this to happen, we shouldn't be thrown for too much of a loop.  Here's hoping we have a smooth transition!

 

Sources:

Article A

Article B

 

Why are delivery times being pushed back, while prices rise?

 

How the driver shortage is affecting all aspects of trucking:

 

 

What happened to all the drivers?

- They're retiring  (The average age of a truck driver is 49)

- Millennials don't want to take those open spots

- ELDs are pushing people out of the industry, and into others (e.g. construction work)

 

What does that mean for delivery times?

- 1 driver has now replaced what 3-5 drivers did before

- Less drivers on the road = more jobs for individual drivers = increased transit time for each load

 

 

>>> What once took one day, now takes two <<<

 

 

How are companies combating the increased transit times?

- Drop-and-hook services are starting to be pushed by trucking companies

- Decrease time at warehouses to try and compensate for more loads per driver

 

Is Drop-and-Hook going to be an issue?

- Not all warehouses have the infrastructure to handle that (wrong doors, not enough dock workers, etc.)

- Time saved at warehouses doesn't outweigh increased time on the road

- Prices increase per load, while delivery times are pushed back

 

 

                 Sources:

                 Trucking Companies Struggle to Find Drivers

                Trailer Order Jump