Define your terms

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposes to amend the regulations for “Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation,” and “Inspection, Repair and Maintenance,” of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) in response to several petitions for rulemaking from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA), and two safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Specifically, the Agency proposes to add a definition of  ”major tread groove” which we think is a great idea.   As writers of instructional material we always endeavor to give accurate definitions of terms. The agency also proposes to:

  • revise the rear license plate lamp requirement to provide an exception for truck tractors registered in States that do not require tractors to have a rear license plate;
  • provide specific requirements regarding when violations or defects noted on a roadside inspection report need to be corrected;
  • amend Appendix G to the FMCSRs, “Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards,” to include provisions for the inspection of antilock braking systems (ABS), automatic brake adjusters, and brake adjustment indicators, speed-restricted tires, and motorcoach passenger seat mounting anchorages;
  • and amend the periodic inspection rules to eliminate the option for motor carriers to use a violation–free roadside inspection report as proof of completing a comprehensive inspection at least once every 12 months.

In addition, the Agency proposes to eliminate introductory text from Appendix G to the FMCSRs because the discussion of the differences between the North American Standard Inspection out-of-service criteria and FMCSA’s periodic inspection criteria is unnecessary.

The FMCSA invites you to comment on or before December 7, 2015. You may submit comments identified by docket number FMCSA-2015-0176 using any one of the following methods:

  1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  2. Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  3. Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.
  4. Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about this proposed rule, call or email Mr. Mike Huntley, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, telephone: 202-366-5370; If you have questions about viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket Services, telephone 202-366-9826.

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Editing your AOBRD record

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued regulatory guidance concerning the editing of records created by automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs), otherwise known as electronic logging devices or ELDs.

The guidance makes clear that, within certain limits, a driver must be allowed to review his or her AOBRD records, annotate and correct inaccurate records, enter any missing information, and certify the accuracy of the information. The AOBRD must retain the original entries, and reflect the date, time, and name of the person making edits to the information. Drivers’ supervisors may request that a driver make edits to correct errors, but the driver must accept or reject such requests. Driving time may not be edited except in the case of unidentified or team drivers, and when driving time was assigned to the wrong driver or no driver. All prior Agency interpretations and regulatory guidance on this subject, including memoranda and letters, may no longer be relied upon to the extent they are inconsistent with this guidance.

This regulatory guidance is effective October 2, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, Driver and Carrier Operations Division, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, phone (202) 366-4325, email

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FMCSA Update

With three months left in 2015, FMCSA Acting Administrator T.F. Scott Darling, III shared this update on the agency’s top five priority initiatives for the year:

“Safety Fitness Determination (SFD)
FMCSA is in the final stages of publishing a Proposed Rule that would increase the use of inspection data in making Safety Fitness Determinations for motor carriers. This rule would propose important changes to the Agency’s process for assessing the safety performance of truck and bus companies, focusing on incorporating current on-road safety performance data (i.e., roadside inspection and crash data) and evaluating carriers based on their own performance. We will be seeking public input on the Proposed Rule and look forward to hearing your views as we develop a Final Rule.

Inspection Modernization
FMCSA launched a new version of our inspection software program – Aspen 3.0. It features a new look and feel and enhanced capabilities. Many of the functions needed at roadside are now integrated into the Aspen system without requiring external software. Law enforcement personnel are also able to obtain direct access to out-of-service notices. We launched a series of training webinars this month that go into great detail on the many improvements.

Unified Registration System (URS)
FMCSA will implement a new, revamped system designed to improve the accuracy and timeliness of the information in our database of registered motor carriers based on our 2013 Final Rule. URS will streamline manual processes and combine several forms that regulated entities are required to submit into one unified registration – the electronic “smart form.” It is important that we get this right. As such, we will move forward with a new phased implementation that will ensure a successful launch. A Federal Register Notice will be published in October that will provide details on the updated implementation timeline. 

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Phase III
In preparation for a successful launch of the final two CSA interventions – offsite investigations and cooperative safety plans – we are lining up the necessary training for Federal and State investigators and outreach to the industry. Two important things to note:

  • The Agency is also moving forward on a new type of investigation – the crash BASIC investigation – that focuses on identifying trends in carrier crash behaviors. 
  • FMCSA will be fine-tuning the SMS algorithm to better identify carriers for investigation so that we can intervene more quickly with those found to be at greatest risk. A second Federal Register notice announcing the preview of the changes will be published in the coming months.

Electronic Logging Devices (ELD)
A Final Rule on ELDs is being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget and is scheduled to be out later this year. Although we cannot discuss the provisions of a Final Rule before it is made public, I can say that the rule is designed to benefit everyone by:

  • By improving hours of service (HOS) compliance, which we estimate will prevent about 20 fatalities and over 400 injuries each year; 
  • Helping businesses cut paperwork and save money; 
  • Protecting drivers from harassment; and
  • Making it easier for law enforcement and safety inspectors to review driver HOS records.” 

T.F. Scott Darling, III – Acting Administrator

United States Department of Transportation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE Washington DC 20590

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Drum roll, please

Bumper to Bumper Kindle editionWe are proud to announce (drum roll, please) that Bumper to Bumper, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations, is now available on Kindle.

Yes, you can now read Bumper to Bumper on a Kindle. Not only that, you can download free apps from Kindle so you can read the Kindle edition on all these devices:

Fire Tablets

  • Kindle Fire(1st Generation)
  • Kindle Fire(2nd Generation)
  • Kindle Fire HD(1st Generation)
  • Kindle Fire HD 8.9″
  • Kindle Fire HD(2nd Generation)
  •  Kindle Fire HDX
  • Kindle Fire HDX 8.9”

Free Kindle Reading Apps

  • Kindle for Android Phones
  • Kindle for Android Tablets
  • Kindle for iPhone
  • Kindle for iPad
  • Kindle for iPod Touch
  • Kindle for Mac
  • Kindle for PC

Just download the free app from the Kindle store to read the Bumper to Bumper Kindle edition on phones, tablets and computers. You’ll find a link to those reading apps on the page where the print and Kindle editions are sold. Just click on this link. 

The Bumper to Bumper Kindle edition is a “print replica” so it looks just like the book you’re familiar with, including all the illustrations, charts and test questions. It was an immediate hit on release and ranks #1 in the Kindle store in its category.

Schools can distribute the Bumper to Bumper Kindle edition to their students. Just purchase a license for the number of copies you want, then share them wirelessly using Whispercast. 

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ELDTAC Achieves Consensus – CVTA

At last, an important agreement has been reached regarding mandated training standards. ELDTAC Achieves Consensus – CVTA. Now rulemaking can move forward.

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Seven Tips for Improving CSA Scores – Whitepaper – GPS / Telematics – Whitepaper – Automotive Fleet

Seven Tips for Improving CSA Scores – Whitepaper – GPS / Telematics – Whitepaper – Automotive Fleet.

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FMCSA set to increase fines for some safety reg violations | Overdrive – Owner Operators Trucking Magazine

FMCSA set to increase fines for some safety reg violations | Overdrive – Owner Operators Trucking Magazine.

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FMCSA offering up to $2k for participating in hours-of-service study | Overdrive – Owner Operators Trucking Magazine

More than 2¢ for your time FMCSA offering up to $2k for participating in hours-of-service study | Overdrive – Owner Operators Trucking Magazine.

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Entry-level driver training

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announces the meeting schedule for the Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee (ELDTAC), established to complete a negotiated rulemaking on Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) for individuals who want to operate Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs).

ELDTAC is a negotiated rulemaking committee established to develop a
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to implement section 32304 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) concerning ELDT standards for individuals applying for a commercial driver’s license
(CDL) or CDL upgrade.

The meetings will be held Thursday-Friday, March 19-20, April 9-10 and 23-24, and May 14-15 and 28-29, 2015,  from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time (E.T.), on Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., E.T., on Fridays at various locations in Washington, DC, and Arlington, VA. The meetings are open to the public for their entirety.

Specific locations and an agenda for each meeting will be posted in
advance of the meetings.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Shannon L. Watson, Senior Policy Advisor, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 366-2551,
Services for Individuals With Disabilities: For information on
facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request
special assistance at the meeting, contact Eran Segev at (617) 494-
3174,, one week prior to each meeting.

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FMCSA: ELD Final Rule Slated to Publish on Sept. 30 – News –

FMCSA: ELD Final Rule Slated to Publish on Sept. 30 – News –

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