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Bits & Pieces

Volume 17, Edition 12

Here we are at the end of another year.  I hope Santa was good to those of you who celebrated Christmas last week. Time sure does fly by.  I assume that there are not many of you out there this week as it seems to me that everyone in the insurance industry is trying to use those vacation days before they are lost forever.  For the rest of you, hopefully this is a quiet end to the year.  We wish you all a happy and health New Year.

I hope you will give me a little leeway this month as I take a moment to remember a good friend to CAB and to me personally.  We lost Lon McCarty of Canal Insurance Company last week.  Lon was a long time cargo adjuster who simply loved this industry and enjoyed the give and take of a good cargo loss.  I worked with him for over 20 years and spent many wonderful afternoon discussing life and cargo with him.  He will be missed here at CAB and by all of you who enjoyed his banter over the years.  As you raise your glass to ring in the New Year give him a nod of remembrance.

This month we report:

INSURANCE LIMITS – In case you did not catch our email blast earlier in the month, the movement is underway to increase required insurance limits for motor carriers.  The FMCSA has not made any particular decision on the proposed limits, and instead is seeking comments from interested parties concerning the need to increase the limits. Comments are due by February 26, 2015. The FMCSA is seeking comments on issues related to premium rates, current minimum levels of financial responsibility,  the impact of increasing limits, third party compensation, information sources, timeliness of the increase, release of claim information and impact that increases will have on trip insurance, bus brokers, and self-insurance.  A complete copy of the questions can be viewed here and a review of any filed comments can be viewed here on the FMCSA web. Any change to the minimum limits will have a profound impact on your book of business and consideration should be given to whether you wish to be heard by the FMCSA by commenting on these questions.  We would be happy to discuss with any of our subscribers concerns and questions which they may have. With all of the chatter on the various social media sites, this may be a battle as small carriers and owner operators lament the impact that increased insurance costs will have on their business.

HOURS OF SERVICE CHANGE – The FMCSA has announced that effective December 16th there is a change to the voluntary 34-hour-restart.  The Collins amendment suspends two provisions – the 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. overnight provision and the restriction on using the restart once every seven days. The suspension of those two provisions will last while the FMCSA undertakes a study to determine if the changes will be permanent. Read More

Volume 17, Edition 11

I hope you all getting ready to enjoy the first holiday of the season and take time to enjoy family.   We here at CAB are thankful for you and for the new basketball game that was installed in the office.  Come visit and play a game.

This month we report:

CSA SCORES – The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has joined the bandwagon calling for a withdrawal of CSA scores from public view.  In August, 10 vehicle trade associations, including American Trucking Associations, petitioned the DOT to stop posting the scores for public view.  We will follow this as it moves through a system and possible decisions are made on the release of the scores.

CARGO THEFT – A paper released by FreightWatch International reports last year truck cargo theft activity spiked in the final quarter of the year, with a total of 242 reported incidents. It points to the fact that driver theft has increased 76% over 2012 and a 389% over 2011. The report also states that driver complicit theft is typically a crime of opportunity, taking place either directly by the driver, the driver’s voluntary collusion or complicity in the crime, or a deceptive criminal posing as a legitimate carrier resource.

DRIVER HARRASSMENT – The FMCSA released a survey on the issues of driver harassment. Ten percent of truckers surveyed on the topic of electronic logging devices and driver harassment by motor carriers say their companies ask or force them to drive while fatigued, falsify their logs, and break other rules at least twice a month. The survey denies that these forms of harassment are tied to the use of e-logs. Approximately 19 percent of drivers said carriers asked them to meet unrealistic load schedules, while 19 percent said carriers interrupted their off-duty time by messaging them at least twice per month. A third of drivers considered it harassment when asked to drive while fatigued, falsify logs, or delay a break – while 20 percent of drivers considered it harassment if they were asked or forced to wait more than two hours at the docks without pay.

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