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. Like BUMPER TO BUMPER®, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations. Five stars, ranked in the Amazon Top Ten trucking books. You can’t go wrong.

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Blown away

We were quite literally blown away by Hurricane Harvey. We are still in recovery mode, still trying to get our office back to normal operations. However, be assured that if you need books, we can get them to you promptly and we can answer questions and provide the support that you need. Call 361-749-4007. If we don’t answer, please leave a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

We thank you for your patience and greatly appreciate your hanging in there with us.

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Down but not out

Mike Byrnes and Assoc. and Bumper to Bumper books were driven from our offices and homes by Hurricane Harvey. Mandatory evacuation scattered our staff across Texas. As of this writing we still can’t return to the office and some of us still can’t return home.

However, we want to assure you that we are still in business. If you need books, we can supply them. If you have questions we can answer them. Contact us on our mobile phones:

  • Devorah Fox at 361-658-0223
  • John Rojas at 361-442-9552.

We appreciate your patience and your loyalty. We may be down but we’re not out. We’re committed to help you to deliver the finest truck driver training.

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ELD Mandate Compliance

Guest post courtesy of  Track Your Truck.

If you’re a CDL driver, you should have Dec. 18, 2017 circled on your calendar. That’s the day on which commercial drivers must be in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s mandate for using electronic logging devices (ELD). After that date, drivers are subject to penalties and fines if they are not found to be in compliance with the mandate.

The ELD mandate is proposed to convert CDL drivers’ hours of service and other material from pencil-and-paper logs to electronic records. Through the use of ELDs, drivers will be able to log basic information directly from the engine of their trucks as well as information they log themselves such as trailer numbers and shipping documents. This allows such information to be logged automatically and more accurately than on paper.

Being in compliance with the ELD mandate means CDL trucking companies need to be aware of which devices count under the new rules, how to ensure those devices remain in compliance, and how to confirm the devices are being used in accordance with the law. For example, carriers need to be aware that any action they take that they know will lead to drivers violating their hours of service rules constitutes harassment — they can face stiff penalties for such transgressions. These actions considered harassment of drivers include interacting with the driver while the driver is supposed to be sleeping and falsely editing records on the ELD. Carriers also need to be sure their drivers carry all of the required materials related to their ELDs, including user’s manuals, instruction sheets and paper logs in the event of an error.

The future is now for the trucking industry, and carriers can’t afford to wait much longer to bring their trucks and drivers into compliance with the ELD mandate. The consequences for overlooking the deadline for compliance may be annoying at best and devastating at worst for carriers. It’s in a CDL company’s best interest to make sure everything is taken care of earlier than the deadline. The slideshow below from Track Your Truck features what you need to be aware of regarding the future ELD mandate deadline, so make sure you’re ready for Dec. 18.

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Regulatory actions

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently taken a couple of actions of interest.

First,FMCSA proposes to amend its rulemaking procedures by revising the process for preparing and adopting rules, petitions, and direct final rules. Also, the Agency adds new definitions, and makes general administrative corrections throughout its rulemaking procedures. These proposed actions are authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

Comments on this document must be received on or before October 6, 2017. You may submit comments identified by Docket Number FMCSA-2016-0341 using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.

To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods.
See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting
comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bivan R. Patnaik, Chief,
Regulatory Development Division, Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001
or by telephone at 202-366-8092 or Bivan.Patnaik@dot.gov. If you have
questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact
Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

Next, note that the FMCSA and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) (collectively, the Agencies) withdraw the March 10, 2016, advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) concerning the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation, and its potential consequences for the safety of highway and rail transportation. The Agencies have determined not to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking at this time.

Therefore, as of August 8, 2017 the ANPRM published on March 10, 2016, at 81 FR 12642 is withdrawn.

For further informationa about this, contact:
FMCSA: Ms. Christine Hydock, Chief of the Medical Programs Division, FMCSA, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, by telephone at 202-366-4001, or by email at fmcsamedical@dot.gov.
FRA: Dr. Amanda Emo, Fatigue Program Manager, Risk Reduction Program Division, Office of Safety Analysis, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, by telephone at 202-281-0695, or by email at amanda.emo@dot.gov.

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CDL guidance for states

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued Regulatory Guidance Concerning the Issuance of Commercial Learner’s Permits.

FMCSA announced today regulatory guidance clarifying that State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) may agree to facilitate the commercial learner’s permit (CLP) application process and to administer the commercial driver’s license (CDL) general knowledge test to individuals who are not domiciled in the State.

Today’s guidance makes clear that SDLAs may accept applications for CLPs and administer the general knowledge test to individuals taking commercial motor vehicle driver training in that State, but who are not domiciled there, provided that: The SDLA administering the general knowledge test transmits the test results directly, securely, and electronically to the applicant’s State of domicile; and the State of domicile agrees to accept the test results and issue the CLP.

While today’s guidance is in answer to general knowledge testing as addressed in FMCSA regulations, note that this regulatory guidance is consistent with the Agency’s
October 13, 2016, final rule which amended the CDL regulations to ease the transition of military personnel into civilian careers driving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).

Per the FMCSA’s guidance, the agency clarifies that State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) can agree to facilitate the CLP application process and administer the CDL general knowledge test for those individuals not living in that state.

The regulatory guidance is applicable August 3, 2017. The guidance expires August 3, 2022.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Nikki McDavid, Chief of the Commercial Driver’s License Division, Office of Safety Programs,
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Phone: 202-366-0831; email:
nikki.mcdavid@dot.gov.

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More regulatory proposals

FMCSA proposes to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to allow States to issue a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) with an expiration date of up to one year from the date of initial issuance. CLPs issued for shorter periods may be renewed but the total period of time between the date of initial issuance and the expiration of the renewed CLP could not exceed one year. This proposed amendment would replace the current regulations, which require the States to issue CLPs initially for no more than 180 days, with the possibility of an additional 180-day renewal at the State’s discretion.

You may comment on this notice. Comments on this notice must be received on or before August 11, 2017.

You may submit comments identified by Docket Number FMCSA-2016-0346 using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.

To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Selden Fritschner, CDL Division,
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, by email at selden.fritschner@dot.gov, or by telephone at 202-366-0677.

Also, a proposed rule would rule would allow State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) to waive the requirements for the commercial driver’s license (CDL) knowledge tests for certain individuals who are, or were, regularly employed within the last year in a military position that requires/required, the operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

You may comment on this proposal and these comments are also due by Aug. 11. Use the same methods listed above, but reference Docket Number FMCSA-2017-0047.

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Finally, a Final rule

Entry Level Driver Training

After several delays, FMCSA has finally published the Final rule on Entry Level Driver Training. All training providers and jurisdictions must comply with the rule prior to February 7, 2020.

This is a major accomplishment since leaders in the industry such as American Trucking Association (ATA), Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA), and The National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools (NAPFTDS) have been pushing FMCSA for over 30 years to implement minimum standards to training to improve the quality of skilled commercial drivers entering the trucking industry.

In short, this Final Rule requires anyone seeking a Class A or Class B CDL after February 7, 2020 to receive training from a certified training provider. Training providers must register and be listed on the FMCSA’s training provider registry (TPR). Students will be required to score at least 80% on a classroom assessment and demonstrate proficiency in specific BTW maneuvers and overall BTW safety. Training providers must certify that students have met the theory and BTW requirements before the student can sit for the CDL skills test. Only training providers listed on the FMCSA’s TPR will be authorized to certify students for the CDL skills test. Students who receive instruction from schools not listed on the TPR will be prohibited from taking the CDL skills test.

Mike Byrnes & Associates Inc. truly believe this is a major accomplishment for the trucking industry.

Our textbook, Bumper To Bumper, The Complete Guide To Tractor Trailer Operations, was first created to outline the original Commercial Vehicle Training Module Curriculum back in the mid 80’s. Since then we have updated the textbook accordingly to FMCSA standards. Our textbook is very thorough in all subjects and complies with all FMCSA’s standards published in new rule.

Online Training

The new training standards will enforce training providers to enhance their training materials to assure their students obtain the proper knowledge prior to taking their driving skills tests.

Mike Byrnes & Associates Inc. has specialized in providing training curriculum to the trucking industry for 30 years and we have been preparing to assist schools in complying with the new standards. As the premier CDL textbook of choice, we are the best resource to create the most effective online CDL training. Our network of writers, editors, educators, artists and field specialists represents extensive truck driver education, writing and editing experience. Bumper to Bumper curriculum is proven to increase your students’ knowledge and improve their pass and completion rates.

On September 1st 2016 we implemented the most effective online CDL training program available. Bumper To Bumper “EASY CDL” online training was created by using the entire textbook’s contents with new and improved animation and video. To assure the most thorough curriculum available for truck driver training online program was the best in the industry we partnered with the best software designers in the industry, ieLinks, the creator of eCampusLynx School Management Software. ieLinks has been providing innovative web-based technology solutions to Higher Education since 2000.

Bumper To Bumper Easy CDL is best online training and tracking system that meets all proposed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandatory training standards. This innovative technology allows your students and staff to access training anywhere, anytime. Train with results, save money, and track student progress all from your computer anywhere, anytime.

For more information about the new FMCSA Training Requirements or to receive a free 30 day trial of Bumper To Bumper EASY CDL online program.

Contact:

John Rojas

Mike Byrnes & Associates Inc.

Education Specialist

361-442-9552

Or

info@easycdl.net

Also on the Regulatory Front: Split Sleeper Berth Time

Pursuant, FMCSA proposes a pilot program to test split sleeper-berth time. Temporary regulatory relief from the Agency’s sleeper berth regulation, for a limited number of commercial drivers who have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL), and who regularly use a sleeper berth to accumulate their required 10 hours of non-duty work status, will be allowed. During the pilot program, participating drivers would have the option to split their sleeper berth time within parameters specified by FMCSA. Driver metrics would be collected for the duration of the study, and participants’ safety performance and fatigue levels would be analyzed. This pilot program seeks to produce statistically reliable evidence on the question whether split sleeper berth time affects driver safety performance and fatigue levels. The Agency proposes criteria for participating drivers and carriers, outlines procedural steps and a data collection plan, and requests comments on these elements.

Comments must be received on or before August 7, 2017. You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2016-0260 using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Instructions: All submission must include the Agency name and the docket number.
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Trucking Tips For Novice Drivers

Trucking Tips For Novice Drivers

Guest post by Larry Labelle

As an inexperienced truck driver, you are probably still learning a lot about the industry. In addition to all the necessary rules of the road, there’s a lot you need to know about the business that you may not have learned in trucking school. For drivers who have been on the road for years, all of this is second nature, but it may take you a while to become fully acclimated to all the ins and outs. Sometimes, however, learning by experience can be painful. Rather than get an education through an aching back, an angry customer or a moving violation, consider the following advice from veterans of the road and you’ll feel like an old pro in no time.

Stay Healthy

Because you will probably spend most of your workday behind the wheel, you might not believe your job requires a physical fitness regimen. However, regular exercise is crucial for keeping your mind alert and for avoiding fatigue when you’re driving for hours on end. Just 15 minutes of exercise twice a day can make a huge difference in how you feel. Your diet also is important — always remember to eat a balanced meal when you’re on the road, and try to make breakfast your biggest meal so you can stay focused for more of the day. Don’t think you can get away without sleeping, either: Studies have shown that the driving skills of someone who has been awake for 24 hours are comparable to someone who’s drunk.

Safety First

There were more than 3,600 fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses in 2014. The sooner you can adopt safe driving habits on the road, the less likely it will be that you will be involved in any kind of collision on the road. Inexperienced drivers like yourself are anxious to make good time, but speeding or otherwise aggressive driving only put you at greater risk for collisions or getting pulled over. Also, make sure you always get out and look for obstructions before backing out of a parking space. Regular inspections of your truck’s brakes, tires, reflectors, oil level and fuel level are also good driving habits to get into early in your career.

Manage Your Time

The trucking business is all about timing, and the best way to make your life as a trucker difficult is to be late. Be sure to leave early whenever possible to give yourself plenty of time and account for the inevitable traffic jams you’ll run into along the way. If your route is going to take you through a major metropolitan area, do your best to time it so you’re passing through town when traffic is going to be light — not at 7 a.m. or 5 p.m. Sitting in traffic doesn’t just waste your time, but fuel, too. One useful tip that many veteran truckers live by is getting used to going to bed early and rising in the middle of the night. When you hit the sheets at 6 p.m. and hit the road by 3 a.m., you not only put yourself in position to avoid a lot of traffic, but you also make it easier to find a place to park at a truck stop or rest area before they get filled.

Make Friends

You’re out there on the road all by yourself most of the time, but that doesn’t mean you’re alone. Successful truckers know that forming connections with other truckers and co-workers is a big part of a successful career. Get to know your dispatcher and make sure you have a good working relationship with him or her — you’ll be more likely to get good loads as a result. Make sure you have a good relationship with your company’s safety officers, because you never know when you might need their help. Finally, form bonds with veteran truckers out there on the road. An experienced mentor is a great source of advice and encouragement when things get tough out there, which they almost certainly will sometimes.

The trucker life is not for everyone, but it can be a rewarding, highly satisfying career for the right person in the right circumstances. By paying attention to these simple rules, your first year behind the wheel will go by smoothly and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a long career on the road.

 Larry Labelle is Marketing Manager for Verduyn Tarps, an international leader in the tarp system industry. Labelle utilizes his creativity and background in sales to deliver solutions for the company’s branding, message and marketing strategy. 

Continue reading “Trucking Tips For Novice Drivers” »

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Vote for “Detour”

Have you enjoyed meeting Archie Harlanson, trucking’s newest hero, in Detour, A Big Rig Thriller?
This novel tells the tale of a truck driver who starts out planning to meet his girlfriend’s parents and stumbles upon a plot to harm the president of the United States. Those in the trucking industry will appreciate seeing a CMV driver portrayed in a positive light. Readers will get an idea of what a working truck driver’s job and life are like.

Detour has received five star reviews and has been voted one of ten thrillers for 50 Best Indie Books of 2016. Your vote will name it Number One. Plus, just for voting, you become eligible to win an amazon gift card. So please cast your vote for Detour by Devorah Fox in the Mystery/Thriller genre. Voting ends Friday, December 16, 2016. Just click on this link: http://www.readfree.ly/vote-50-best-indie-books-2016-mysterythriller

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APUs and weight limits

APUs and Weight Limits

a guest post by Robert Hall

APUs (Auxiliary Power Units) are used by many truck drivers to help limit fuel use since they reduce the need for trucks to run their engines on idle while parked. But seeing as they typically weigh a couple hundred pounds, they may be a problem for drivers who frequently carry close to the maximum weight limits. With the president’s recent expansion of the MAP-21 bill dealing with state-by-state APU regulations, this may be confusing to drivers crossing state lines.

A guide put together by Track Your Truck, a GPS vehicle tracking company can inform drivers exactly how much weight is exempt in each state.

Check it out:

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