Archive for the Category Tractor Trailer Safety


FMCSA Proposes Alteration to Vehicle Inspection Report Requirements

In a bid to reduce costs, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration might remove a rule requiring that commercial vehicle inspection reports be filed after each trip even if no defect was identified.  Fleets that operate more than one vehicle are currently required to file such reports, but the FMCSA, at the behest of the White House, is seeking to remove this distinction to save truckers around the country as much as $1 billion total every single year.  A proposal notice has been issued, with the FMCSA explaining that they don’t believe the change in rules would affect the safety of commercial vehicles.  Although inspections would still be carried out after the trip, only those which identify defects would need to remain on file.

Click here for more about the proposed rule.

Stay Safe Around Big Rigs This Memorial Day Weekend

If you are headed out onto the road this Memorial Day weekend, then you might want to consider some of the tips provided by the California Highway Patrol in a new report.  The advice was touted during a recent event held by the CHP, the California Trucking Association, and the California Insurance Information Network that sought to impress upon drivers the importance of taking necessary precautions around big rigs.  Automobile drivers should always pass trucks as quickly as possible on the lefthand side, where blind spots tend to be smaller.  Smaller vehicles should never stay for an extended period of time in a trucker’s blind spot, because if they can’t see you, the threat of a crash becomes far greater.  If you’re traveling behind a tractor trailer, make sure to give it up to 25 car lengths of space.  Also give yourself plenty of room at intersections, as a truck in the midst of a turn requires a lot of space to navigate properly.

For more information, follow this link.

Senate Bill Would Limit Size and Weight of Trucks on Highways

Numerous trucking groups have come out in support of a measure recently introduced in the Senate that would limit the size and weight of trucks traveling along all highways.  Known as the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act, the bill would limit tractor trailers to 53 feet or less and place a weight cap of 80,000 pounds.  At the moment, only those trucks which travel on interstate highways are subject to such rules, but the proposed bill would change things so that trucks on any highway are privy to the restrictions.  That would extend the restrictions to 220,000 miles of highway, up from the 44,000 miles currently covered.  Triple tractors would also be disallowed.  Persons impacted by truck crashes, as well as such groups as AAA and the Truck Safety Coalition, have come out as proponents of the law.

Follow this link for more about the bill.

Trucking Rep Asks Officials to Combine Inspections With Enforcement

In Louisville, Kentucky today, a meeting of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will be held, and one aspect of the event is focused on the allotment of resources of those entities that police the trucking industry.  The vice chairman of American Trucking Associations is concerned that not enough is being done to enforce laws that are in place to ensure safe driver behavior.  He cites data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which shows that such enforcement in combination with inspections can be three times as effective as relying solely on inspections. He acknowledges that this could require officers to realign their priorities and cut efforts elsewhere but that such a move would be worth it.  He also calls for better policing of standard automobiles, whose drivers the ATA claims are in error in crashes with trucks seven out of ten times.

Follow this link for more information.

Volvo Trucks Safety Award Seeks Eligible Commercial Fleets

Those commercial trucking fleets with at least one Volvo in service are being encouraged to enter a contest which aims to find the safest fleet in Canada or the Untied States.  Every year for the past five years, Volvo Trucks and Michelin have teamed up to bestow two fleets with the Volvo Trucks Safety Award.  The contest is designed to encourage road safety by bringing to light those companies with the best safety records and programs meant to ensure that safety remains paramount into the future.  In addition to simple bragging rights, the winners also receive $25,000 earmarked for future safety measures.  The categories encompass fleets with less than and more than 20 million miles, and companies have until the end of this month to declare their eligibility.

Click here for more information.

Sparse Commercial Truck Parking a Serious Issue

Our highways continue to be inundated with commercial trucks hauling equipment to and from destinations, but the amount of parking available to such vehicles has not expanded thusly.  A survey conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute found that this was a chief concern among commercial drivers.  Not having the appropriate number of truck parking spaces could actually harm highway safety, as those truckers in need of rest or who need room for staging might not be able to find an adequate spot to do these things.  The Transportation Department and the Trucking Industry Mobility & Technology Coalition will thus hold a webinar on December 6 on this very topic.

For more information, follow this link.

Commercial Drivers Must Adhere to New Physical Exam Rules

Starting in May 2014, commercial drivers will no longer be able to go to just any physician in order to get the physical that allows them to keep their license.  Instead, a good portion of drivers will be required to go only to those doctors who have been certified to carry out this particular physical exam.  At this moment in time, it’s possible for commercial drivers who fail with one doctor to simply go to a new doctor who might not know the necessary standards and thus would pass the person.  The government hopes that this new rule will allow for a reduction in the number of crashes that take place because the person at the wheel of a commercial vehicle has sustained an adverse medical event.

Click here for more about this effort.

Minneapolis Holds North American Inspectors Championship

Last week saw 50 roadside commercial vehicle inspectors descending on Minneapolis, Minnesota for the North American Inspectors Championship and the National Truck Driving and National Step Driving Championships held by the American Trucking Associations.  The event provides recognition to those persons whose abilities have made the country’s roads a safer place through inspections.  It’s a way to give thanks to the individuals for improving upon commercial vehicle safety and promoting proper techniques among all inspectors.

To learn more about the event, follow this link.