Fast Facts: 5 Things to Know About the FAST Act

1. It’s Been A Long Time Coming

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act is actually a compromise between the Senate’s Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act that was passed in July and the House’s Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRR) Act that was passed in November. According to the Department of Transportation, this five-year, $305 billion plan intends to: “reform and strengthen transportation programs, refocus on national priorities, provides long-term certainty and more flexibility for states and local governments, streamline project approval processes, and maintain a strong commitment to safety.”

2. It Has An Ambitious Set of Goals

Quoted directly from the Department of Transportation, the goals of the FAST Act are to:

  • Help ensure that Americans can get where they’re going more safely and spend less time sitting in traffic.
  • Help raw materials and products can get to their destinations more efficiently.
  • Ensure that the cost of goods and services we depend on every day are not needlessly inflated by poor infrastructure and freight bottlenecks.
  • Ensure that programs work better for states and local partners.
  • Help American businesses can be more competitive and enabled to create more jobs.

3. A Lot of “Big News” Provisions Were Removed

Throughout the last quarter of 2015 there was hot debate over several proposed provisions of the highway bill. It seems that many of these were thrown out of the final version of the FAST Act, including:

  • The proposed increases in maximum weight and length were both thrown out. These provisions faced opposition from major groups like the Truckload Carriers Association and Truck Safety Coalition, who cited increased investment for limited benefits and safety concerns, respectively.
  • The provision that would have encouraged brokers and shippers to hire carriers based off of a set of criteria was thrown out. If this provision had passed, over 450,000 motor carriers would have potentially lost business based on just one criterium- a “Satisfactory” safety rating. Data suggests that nearly half a million small trucking companies and owner-operators are simply unrated and would have been disqualified unfairly.

4. Major Changes are Possible Depending on Research

While quite a few widely discussed provisions were thrown out, others were placed in a sort of legislative purgatory: pending dependent on the result of research.

  • The provision that would have essentially allowed individual states to create compacts with one another to allow motor carriers under the age of 21 to cross state lines was not in the final version of the bill. Instead, the FMCSA will conduct a controlled study on under-21 drivers who served in the military or who serve in the reserves to determine safety and
  • The FMCSA is also required to do research on how detention time impacts drivers, their schedules, their pay and how it impedes the flow of U.S. freight.
  • The FMCSA will also be conducting research to determine whether or not there should be a raise in the minimum $750,000 in liability insurance required for general freight haulers.
  • The FMCSA had to make the compliance and safety scores of drivers private. They must now  commission a Transportation research board to “study of the accuracy of the CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) in identifying high-risk carriers and predicting future crash risk and severity.”

5. Many are Happy With the Provisions that Were Passed

While no one expected anyone to be completely satisfied, many expressed satisfaction with the measure that were passed, including: a path to reform the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA safety monitoring system, potential for the use of hair testing for federally mandated drug tests, an easier process for veterans returning from service to transition into the  trucking industry, and dedicated funds for important highway freight projects.

  • American Trucking Associations’ President and CEO Bill Graves said in a statement that “[Tuesday]’s announcement that House and Senate leaders had reached an agreement on a long-term highway bill is welcome news to those of us in the transportation world. While we all, of course, wish there was more money to be had, this bill takes important steps to re-focus the program on important national projects and takes critical steps to improve trucking safety and efficiency.”
  • Anthony Foxx,  Secretary of Transportation and a long-term advocator for improvements in infrastructure said in a statement that, “After 36 extensions, hundreds of congressional meetings, two bus tours, visits to 43 states, and so much uncertainty, it has been a long and bumpy ride to a long-term transportation bill. It’s not perfect, and there is still more left to do, but it reflects a bipartisan compromise I always knew was possible.”
American veterans are saving the trucking industry

How Veterans are Saving the Industry

How Veterans are Saving the Industry

Each Veterans’ Day Americans take time to reflect and honor all of those who served their country. What many fail to realize, however, is that thousands of veterans continue to serve their country in a different way after coming home. A growing number of military veterans have decided to hit the road as motor carriers to do what they do best- keep America running smoothly.

Why Veterans Make Great Truck Drivers

As of 2013, there were 22,000 active-duty truck drivers and 10,000 who had recently separated from the military.

As Bill McLennan, CEO of FASTPORT told FleetOwner.com, “There’s a lot of similarities between what [servicemen and women] do in the military and what the trucking industry does, and that’s regardless of what their military occupation or specialty is.”

He’s right- to work as a truck driver requires extensive training and discipline, leadership and independence, all of which are skills inset by the military. On top of that, many veterans worked in similar positions while on active-duty, and already have the skills and knowledge needed to safely and efficiently operate a truck.

Why the Industry Needs Veterans, and Vice Versa

It’s no new news that there’s a driver shortage in the industry. The American Trucking Associations predicts that we will need 175,000 new drivers by 2024 to avoid chaos. It’s also not news that there is a huge number of unemployed veterans in the United States. In 2014, the veteran unemployment rate dropped to 5.3%, however, that still left 573,000 veterans without a job. To combat both issues, the government has started giving colleges and schools federal grants, specifically to pay the tuition of veterans who wish to become truck drivers. In addition, most states now offer skill test waivers to veterans who have two years of safe driving experience while on active-duty.

Veterans and the Trucking Industry 

Veterans and the trucking industry have a mutually beneficial relationship, anyone can see that. Hopefully in the upcoming years more veterans will learn about the opportunities being a truck driver presents, and we can begin to reduce the number of unemployed veterans in the United States. For those who are veteran motor carriers, Loadsmart thanks you for your service on both fields.

Win a $5,000 Vacation at MATS.

We are so excited to finally present our app and website at MATS booth #74196 but we just got more excited because we’ve been working hard and need a vacation. Yokahama Tire is giving away a $5,000 vacation giveaway at booth #14124! The winner will be announced Saturday March 28th.

Each day they will be giving away iPad Airs. To enter take a selfie and send it to their Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #IamYokohama. For guaranteed goody bags come to our booth #74196 to get some truck shaped stress balls, koozies, beer openers, pens and more!!! Also trust me guys, you’re gonna check out the kick ass app we just developed for you guys.

For more on us go to https://loadsmart.com

Which “Ice Road Tuckers” Star is Coming to MATS!? Find out here

Double Coin and CMA (a tire manufacturer) is bring Alex Debogorski to MATS March 26-28! Debogorski will be signing autographs from 2-5pm on Thursday and Friday (3/26+3/27) and from 1-3pm on Saturday (3/28) at booth #18068. Besides being on the History Channel reality show, Debogorski is a journalist, blogger, and author of the best selling book “King of the Road”

LoadSmart.com will also be at MATS at booth 74196, where we will be giving out free stuff and giving sneak peaks on our awesome product!

Here’s a little preview ABOUT US!

“No need to fumble through your typical load board. Get ready
for the fastest way to find business and get paid instantly!
LoadSmart brings you a powerful fleet manager with light-speed
contract intermediation to boost shipping productivity and quality of
the trucking service. Upgrade your business with LoadSmart today.

Goodyear’s 32nd Highway Hero Will Be Announced At The Mid-America Trucking Show, Read Their Stories.

The reputation of all truck drivers are getting elevated with the stories of these three highway heroes. The three finalists (all truck drivers) are Clinton Blackburn from Morehead Ky, Mack Guffey from Gainesboro Tenn, and David Fredericksen  from Windermere, Fla. All three of these drivers deserve recognition for risking their lives to save others while on the road. Some of their valiant actions include saving a law enforcement officer from being strangled by a prisoner, saving a woman and baby from a burning car and pulling a semi-conscious man out of a burning SUV. Their stories will be further evaluated by truck industry journalist and their decision will be announced Goodyear’s 32nd highway hero Thursday, March 26 at the Mid-America Trucking Show. 

LoadSmart.com will be at the Mid-America Trucking Show and we can’t wait to see these heroes win some will deserved awards.

The 32nd highway hero will receive a $5,000 award, a special ring and crystal. The other finalists will also receive cash prizes and other items.

 

LoadSmart’s Quick Fact

Truck crashes caused 3,912 deaths in 2012, and the fatal-crash rate increased each year from 2009 through 2012, reversing a five-year trend, according to federal data. The hours-of-service regulation was expected to prevent 1,400 truck crashes a year, saving 19 lives and avoiding 560 injuries.- Bloomberg

Top Stories of the Week

Congress has Suspended HOS Rule

Although it is temporary and will most likely not last this suspension in HOS rule has mixed reviews with the ATA and department of transportation on opposing sides.

DOT Gets Rid of Requirement for Drivers to Fill Out Daily Reports That Costs Us $1.7B

Starting December 18th truck drivers will no longer have to file daily reports pre- and post- trip inspection. Getting rid of this rule will save the trucking industry $1.7 billion and 46.7 million hours a year.

15 Days Before Christmas: Tips For Winter Driving By Ryder System Inc.

Ryder Systems Inc has got some helpful tips for truck fleets this winter from basic tips like regenerating the engine when the lights come on and not letting your trucking idle to more advanced tips.

The 6 Things Shippers Look For in Freight Brokers

From how you choose your carriers to your strategic business model check out the 6 things shippers ask freight brokers before doing business with them.

9 important things to ask when shopping around for commercial auto insurance.

Broken down into three categories: Claims, Service and Coverage. It is the need to know when shopping for commercial auto insurance.

Last Week’s Top Stories

Problem Replacing Our Aging Workforce, the Average Age of a Trucker Has Risen

In 2013 the average age of a truck driver was above the national workforce average at 46.5 and 52 in the private trucking sector. Difficulty replacing our aging workforce is only one of the factors in our driver shortage, find out one of the reason only 4.9% of our truckers are between the ages of 20-24 years old.

A Nicaraguan Canal, Changing Not Just the Trucking Industry but The Dynamic of The Worlds Super Powers.

This canal could potentially quadruple our shipping capacity in 10 years while giving more influence to China in South America.

C.H. Robinson is Buying Freightquote.com For $365 Million

Freightquote.com has been around for 15 years, they have 1,000 employees and are one of the top internet freight broker sites, they have officially been acquired by C.H. Robinson.

Technological Trends in Trucking that Are Revolutionizing the Industry.

Data on what’s popular with truckers and motor carriers is shaping the future of trucking technology.

 

Technological Trends in Trucking that Are Revolutionizing the Industry.

Around 70% of drivers now own personal devices to keep them connected on the road. Lets face it, the technological advancements have seemingly happened overnight and it will most likely continue to grow at an overwhelming rate. CCJ has the top five trends changing the trucking industry.

1. Drivers Using Their Own Devices-  Drivers with technology in their trucks prefer to handle their business with their own personal smartphones and tablets once they are off the road.

2. New Vehicles Making It Easier to Stay Connected- New vehicles are now have the technology to keep you connected to smartphones, other vehicles, and infrastructure.

3. Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE)- Companies still want to have a handle on your data.

4. Virtual Fleets- making it easier to find loads.

5.  Apps are The Way to Go.


For more go to CCJ>>