House advances bill that would block reforms to 30-minute break in HOS regs

The House has moved a step closer to passing a bill that could impact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration‘s attempts to alter portions of federal hours of service regulations. Tucked into a budget bill that cleared the House’s Appropriations Committee on Tuesday is a provision that would, in effect, protect the 30-minute break within current hours regs. The bill, a Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill for the 2020 fiscal year, would prohibit FMCSA from eliminating the 30-minute break. As reported by CCJ last month, the bill could set up a clash between lawmakers and regulators at FMCSA. It’s still unknown whether FMCSA’s hours proposal will attempt to remove or alter the 30-minute break requirement, but it was a key topic of consideration in last year’s public debate on hours regs. Read more

CSA scores would be made public again under House bill rider

The House’s 2020 Department of Transportation funding bill, in addition to its policy riders on hours of service, would require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to make carriers’ scores within the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability program publicly available once again. The bill, the annual Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations package, cleared the House’s Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, and it now heads to the full House for consideration. Scores were pulled from public view in December 2015 by the FAST Act highway bill, due to concerns about the data’s efficacy and whether the system accurately portrayed carriers’ safety performance and safety risk. Read more

Ex-Tesla, Uber engineers ready testing of autonomous parcel delivery vehicle

Parcel logistics company OnTrac on Thursday announced a partnership with last-mile logistics and automation startup Boxbot to test a new autonomous delivery system. Founded by veteran Tesla and Uber engineers Austin Oehlerking and Mark Godwin, Boxbot allows recipients to schedule delivery at a time of their choosing. When Boxbot’s autonomous vehicle arrives, customers receive a text alert with a unique code that can be used to retrieve packages from lockers onboard the vehicle. Read more

Drivers play a key role in load security

Drivers don’t have a lot of input on their company’s anti-theft strategy but they do play an important role. EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants Vice President of Transportation & Logistics Risk Control Michael Nischan says vehicle inspections, along with precise monitoring of Hours of Servicestatus, are good measures that keep the truck moving and reduce the likelihood of theft. “Make sure the company has good pre-trip and post-trip inspection processes, good loading and unloading processes, that [the driver] sticks to maybe a 200 mile red zone – doesn’t stop within 200 miles if it’s a high-target type of commodity – those type of things all in unison,” he says. “It’s up to that driver to follow policies and procedures, to be consistent and to never make exceptions.” Read more