Get a CDL and so much more!

Since 1987, Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc. has been helping to launch and grow successful commercial motor vehicle operator careers with outstanding training and reference tools that are enjoyable and easy to use.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Medical certificate update

Did you know an important law affecting commercial motor vehicle drivers goes into effect May 21, 2014?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reminds interstate CMV drivers that they will soon be required to have their medical examinations performed by a Certified Medical Examiner listed on the FMCSA’s National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

If you’re an interstate CMV driver, you already need a valid medical certificate signed by a medical examiner. The only change is that after May 21, 2014, you’ll need to go to a certified medical examiner for your medical certificate. If you’ve already had an exam and have a current certificate that certificate will be valid until its regular expiration date.

You can find certified medical examiners in your area, or anywhere in the country, by following these steps:

  1. Visit the National Registry Web site and search by Zip Code, State, or examiner name.
  2. Choose a certified medical examiner from the list and call to make an appointment.
  3. If your preferred health care professional isn’t on the list, simply refer him or her to the Certified Medical Examiners page to learn more about getting certified.

Be sure to find a Certified Medical Examiner by May 21st. Find more information in the Fact Sheet for Drivers or by going to the National Registry Web site.

Posted in regulations, safety, truck driving | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Topical Tuesday: Driving Jobs

Topical Tuesday: Different types of truck driving jobs

Topical Tuesday: thoughts on trucking-related subjects by contributing writers

Mike Green in his dad's truckby Mike Green

My dad had a dedicated run.

He drove from where we lived to Chicago and back on a regular basis.

“I just drive to Chicago to pick up my check,” I remember him joking. “If I could get them to mail it to me, I wouldn’t have to go.”

I had a number of different types of truck driving jobs and eventually ended up teaching truck driving to others at truck driving schools.

Through the years I learned of the many different types of truck driving jobs that are available now from local jobs where you’re home every day to Over-The-Road (OTR) jobs where you may be gone for weeks at a time.

I also learned about jobs as a “driver trainer” or “mentor” at many companies where you can teach others on-the-job as well as opportunities to become an Owner/Operator (O/O) and have even more control over your career.

For those who want to get off the road, there are also jobs in “operations” and “safety” as well as “teaching”.

The wide variety of jobs in the trucking industry may not all be available to you from the start, but as the miles roll by you will find that more and more of the doors begin to open. As you learn about the industry and develop a safe driving record, you may find an area that you want to specialize in.

I know we all get tired of “paying our dues” again, but it’s like my dad used to tell me, “The only job I know about where you can start at the top – is digging a hole.”

A driver for many years (that’s Mike in the photo as a youngster in his dad’s truck), Mike Green went on to direct truck driver training programs and served as a Third Party tester from the beginning of the program in Arizona. He is now “semi”-retired (and if you know him, you know the pun is intended) from HDS Truck Driving Institute in Tucson, Arizona. As a freelance writer and editor, he has been a regular contributor to Bumper to Bumper, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations. He says that although he enjoyed all those years of teaching, he loves retirement.

Posted in truck driving, trucking jobs | Tagged | Leave a comment

Electronic logging regulation proposed

It’s finally here. The proposed regulation regarding electronic logging devices has been published in the Federal Register as of March 28, 2014.

If the regulation passes interstate drivers who fill out paper logs will be required to switch to electronic logs. Carriers will have two years to comply with the requirements. Carriers that already have recording devices that meet current specifications would have an additional two years to bring their devices into compliance with the new specifications.

The agency will accept comments on the proposal for two months. Follow the link to the Federal Register for details about this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and information on how to comment on Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0167.

 

Posted in regulations, truck driving | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mandated EOBRs closer to reality

The proposed rule mandating electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) has cleared the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. You can read the details here.

This makes it more likely that a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be published by the end of the month.

The rule would

  1. require drivers who now keep records of duty status to use an Electronic Logging Device (aka Electronic Onboard Recorders)
  2. detail the performance and design standards of EOBRs
  3. noteany  supporting documents that drivers will still need to carry
  4. address driver harassment concerns

It’s the last item, concern that EOBRS can be used to harrass drivers, that derailed the last  rule. Details about the regulation will be available once it’s published in the Federal Register.

 

Posted in regulations, truck driving | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Be ready. Be buckled.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it is extending the deadline for submissions for the 2014 “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” student art contest until March 15, 2014.

Organized by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Partnership, the contest is open to students in kindergarten through sixth grade with relatives or sponsors in the commercial truck and bus industries. The contest educates kids about highway safety and urges commercial drivers to buckle up on every trip. Artwork will be evaluated in two categories: one for children in kindergarten through second grade, and another for children in third through sixth grade. Twelve winners will be selected in March 2014 and their artwork will appear in the 2015 “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” contest calendar. All 12 students will also be honored at a ceremony at USDOT headquarters to be held in the spring. To learn more about the “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” contest, visit: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/safety-belt/index.htm.

Posted in safety, truck driving | Tagged , | Leave a comment

More delays

Overdrive magazine reports that the re-release of the Department of Transportation (DOT) rule mandating the use of Electronic Logging Devices (or EOBRs) which was expected for Feb. 27, 2014 may be delayed yet again.

DOT had expected that the proposed rule mandating recorders would clear the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Feb. 14 and then be published for public comment Feb. 27. However according to Overdrive’s report the rule hasn’t yet cleared the OMB. Given the amount of time it should normally take for that agency to clear the proposed rule, the Feb. 27 publication date is very likely to be missed.

Posted in regulations, truck driving | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Action mandated for drivers and carriers

There’s been several developments in the regulatory arena that you may want to know about.

The Department of Transportation has moved the projected date of publication for a rule mandating Electronic Logging Devices (also known as Electronic Onboard Recorders) for all drivers subject to keeping records of duty status to Feb. 27.

However, a proposed rule establishing a database of CDL holders who have failed or refused to take a drug test was published today by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will implement the database and require carriers to upload positive drug test results to FMCSA and require them to check the database when hiring drivers. You can read the details at the FMCSA Web site.

 

Posted in regulations, truck driving | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Topical Tuesday: Back in the bunk

Topical Tuesday: My dad crawled into the bunk … and went to sleep.

Topical Tuesday: thoughts on trucking-related subjects by contributing writers

Mike Green in his dad's truckBy Mike Green

My dad crawled into the bunk … and went to sleep.

As simple as that sounds, that was my graduation ceremony from truck driving school. Me alone at the wheel of an eighteen wheeler rolling down the highway and my dad sleeping in the bunk behind me.

I rode with my dad during the summers when I was a kid and as I got older he began to put me in the driver’s seat. This was long before the current Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program was in place, by the way.

As I became more skilled through the years, he would occasionally go into the bunk and keep an eye on me from there. On the day of my graduation though, it was a little different. Before entering the bunk, he gave me several directions in advance about which roads to take. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but made a mental note of the directions.

After I had been driving down the road for a few miles, I heard him snoring. I realized he was asleep. After the initial anxiety of knowing that now only two eyes were watching instead of four passed, I began to feel proud that he had that much confidence in me.

Remembering his previous admonition that pride goeth before the fall, I didn’t let the heady moment last too long and focused instead on the very serious job of driving.

Things sure look different when you have to make all of the decisions yourself. Just like the CDL tests of today, I was never more careful to brake smoothly and to not grind gears, so I didn’t wake him up.

Hours later I pulled into a truck stop and my dad woke up. He never mentioned the fact that he had been asleep for quite some time. But I knew. He slept through my graduation.

A driver for many years (that’s Mike in the photo as a youngster in his dad’s truck), Mike Green went on to direct truck driver training programs and served as a Third Party tester from the beginning of the program in Arizona. He is now “semi”-retired (and if you know him, you know the pun is intended) from HDS Truck Driving Institute in Tucson, Arizona. As a freelance writer and editor, he has been a regular contributor to Bumper to Bumper, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations. He says that although he enjoyed all those years of teaching, he loves retirement.

Posted in Topical Tuesday, training, truck driving | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Breaking the pattern

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration amends its regulations to enable the Agency to suspend or revoke the operating authority registration of

  • for-hire motor carriers that show egregious disregard for safety compliance
  • or who permit persons who have shown egregious disregard for safety compliance to exercise controlling influence over their operations
  • or who operate multiple entities under common control to conceal noncompliance with safety regulations.

These amendments implement section 4113 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), as amended by section 32112 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), and are designed to enhance the safety of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operations on our nation’s highways.

This will be effective February 21, 2014.

Posted in regulations, the economy, truck driving | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Scam alert

It is a new year and we have a new scammer.

We have been notified by the Commercial Vehicle Training Association about the following from both Western Pacific Truck School and TransAm Trucking:

A Michael Phillips called a school saying he is with TransAm Trucking and needs 3 drivers this week and 10 next week, offering $1500 sign on bonus and Insurance after 90 days. Phone 817 921 3431, he spoke to several students last couple days but now the phone number goes to a clinic for refills on medications.

So it would appear that this individual is NOT with TransAm Trucking as he claims. Please be very careful with the information that you provide over the phone.

Thanks to CVTA, Dean Cochran and Maralyn Chavez for the heads up.

Posted in truck driving, truck driving student job scam, trucking jobs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment