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UPDATE 4th Quarter 2012


Reflections and Projections


Tim Frazier, CDS ATA Director of Safety and Member Services

‘This year our Safety & Maintenance Management Council accomplished many goals and performed many tasks and activities for the betterment of our industry.’


ach year around this time we look back over the previous months to see what we’ve accomplished, and ponder things we might have left undone. It’s a time to reflect on tasks completed and make plans for the upcoming year. This year our Safety & Maintenance Management Council accomplished many goals and performed many tasks and activities for the betterment of our industry. What follows are just a few of the highlights. We had one of the best years for our Roadside Inspection Program working alongside out state Dept. of Public Safety’s Motor Carrier Safety Unit and agents from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. We completed nearly 200 Level 2 inspections during four separate events held this year. During our October inspections, SMMC members provided grills, food, drinks and all the fixings to feed our officers and participants on site (See full stats from this fall’s inspections on page 22). This provided some great networking time for our members and also time to get to know the officers conducting the inspections. Our Fleet Safety Awards banquet was a huge success this year and attended by 170 of our members, drivers, spouses and ATA officers. The event was held at the Pelham Civic Complex where the atmosphere and food were excellent. This will once again be the venue of choice for our 2013 awards ceremony, and a few other SMMC events. Our Truck Driving Championship produced nine National Truck Driving Championships competitors this year. Our guys turned in a strong showing for the Alabama team. Gary Knuckols, AAA Cooper Transportation; Mike Umphrey, Con-Way Freight; and Scott Ward, also of Con-Way Freight, all qualified for the finals in their respective classes, with Ward finishing second in the straight truck class and Mike Umphrey winning the twins class. Great job by a bunch of true professionals! All three of our councils have a desire to see 2013 as a year we raise the bar for training opportunities during our meetings. We have set the calendars for next year, and we are excited about the subjects chosen. We will have the opportunity to hear from some of the best ex-

perts in several different areas from health and wellness to regulatory guidance throughout the year. Meanwhile, we have met with two community colleges in our state in regard to building a curriculum for a “Transportation Introductory” course, and a two year associate’s degree course. Wallace State in Hanceville and Bevill State in Sumiton are in the planning stages of putting these programs together. That could provide an opportunity for students to enter the transportation industry with actual knowledge of what it takes to move freight, and also provide opportunities for apprentice type programs for our members. The Alabama Trucking Association has teamed with The Vertical Alliance Group to provide another avenue for training for our members (See news item on page 19). Vertical Alliance offers many courses for drivers, office associates, and managers in regard to transportation topics. As members you will be able to provide training to your employees which is relevant to the daily functions, whether it’s driving or dispatching. As we all know, training is a key ingredient for a successful operation. Looking ahead for next year we have many quality training opportunities for you. With the regulatory changes we are expecting over the next few years, it is imperative we stay current with our knowledge and understanding of what’s required. As we move closer to the expected Hours of Service changes, mandatory Electronic On-Board Recorders, e-Logs and the like, we will need every opportunity available to keep our people abreast of current changes. With this in mind, I challenge each of you to plug into one of the three SMMC chapters for great career educational opportunities. As I have written before, PARTICIPATION is the key to expanding knowledge and improving your management skill set, which in turn improve your safety and/or maintenance departments. Our SMMC is proud to include some of the best and brightest fleet managers in the business, and those who stay plugged in and are willing to participate in upcoming events, take full advantage of training opportunities, and other activities will have an edge on the competition. A LABAMA T RUCKER • 4 TH Q UARTER 2012

MANAGEMENT COUNCIL NEWS SMMC annual holiday party set for Dec. 10 in Pelham The ATA Safety & Maintenance Management Council’s Annual Christmas Party is set for Monday, Dec. 10, at the Pelham Civic Center in Pelham, Ala. The event starts at 6 p.m. and dress for the event is business casual (A dinner jacket for men is suggested, but not required). Keynote Speaker is former Army Sergeant Noah Galloway, who while on his second tour of duty in Iraq in 2005, lost his left arm above the elbow and left leg above the knee in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack in Yusafiah, Iraq. He was transported to Germany to receive medical treatment and was unconscious for five days. He woke late Christmas Eve to find out he had lost two of his limbs and also sustained several injuries to his remaining leg and his jaw. Instead of feeling sorry for himself and using the accident as an excuse, Galloway has remained extremely active, constantly challenging himself physically by participating in two warrior dash events and a Barbarian Challenge. As a member of TEAM X-T.R.E.M.E he has completed three Tough Mudder competitions and the Bataan Memorial Death March. Hear his emotional and inspiring saga about overcoming obstacles and remaining positive in the face of life’s setbacks. Space is limited but if you would like to attend please call 334-262-6504 or email CVSA says brake violations on the rise At least one in seven vehicles inspected during Brake Safety Week in September had brake-related out-of-service (OOS) violations, according to new figures released by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). Commercial vehicle inspectors participating in the nationwide event said the 2012 rates were comparable to recent years, but were slightly higher for the second year in a row. Of the vehicles inspected September 9-15, the OOS rate for all brake-related violations was 15.3 percent, slightly higher than in 2011, 2010 and 2009 (at 14.2 percent, 13.5 percent and 15.1 percent, respectively), but lower than in 2008 and 2007. A LABAMA T RUCKER • 4 TH Q UARTER 2012

Dothan DPS employee tapped Examiner of the Year Driver License Examiner Carolyn Patrick of Dothan, Ala. was recently named the Alabama Department of Public Safety’s Examiner of the Year during the agency’s 17th annual awards luncheon held Oct. 24 at the RSA Plaza Terrace. The program honors exemplary work of examiners in From left, Lt. Col. Kevin Wright, ADPS Examiner Carolyn Patrick, ATA’s promoting public safety through testing and in detect- Tim Frazier, and Col. Hugh McCall ing fraudulence and other criminal activity in the licensing process. Patrick, a 30-year veteran of DPS (11 as an examiner), was praised for her work ethic, pleasant disposition and involvement in community activities, and is often responsible for finding warrants and remaining calm under pressure. Department officials added that she has a professional working relationship with other law enforcement agencies and court officials. Other nominees were Teresa Moore, of Huntsville; Danita Davis, Tuscaloosa; and Elizabeth Ferguson, Birmingham. This year’s selection committee was comprised of Alabama Trucking Association Director of Safety Tim Frazier; Harold Hammond, AAMVA Region II; Shane McMinn, R.E. Garrison Trucking; and Theresa Jones, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The Alabama Trucking Association and MorphoTrust USA co-sponsored the event. More in-depth information on the results is available on CVSA’s Web site,

Officials predict efficiency gains for onboard truck technology According to a report in Transport Topics the rapid progression of onboard technology has transformed the trucking industry, and new advances will continue to improve and drive efficiency. During a panel discussion on Oct. 8 at American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition, Brett Brinton, CEO of telematics provider Zonar Systems, predicted that fleets soon will be able to adjust their trucks’ engine settings—such as maximum speed—remotely over the Internet. “Right now, you have to go out and manually touch every truck, and when’s the last time all your trucks were in one place? Never. The ability to adjust the way your engine operates and do it with the click of a mouse is just around the corner,” He said the “networked vehicle” is enabling fleet managers to give truckers realtime feedback on their driving performance.

“The ability to get back to your drivers and not only give them coaching feedback in real time, but to reward them for that behavior, is going to change the game,” he said. The proliferation of onboard electronics is “providing tons of information that isn’t being taken advantage of in the industry,” said Greg Reimmuth, vice president of sales and marketing at Noregon Systems, Greensboro, N.C., a provider of diagnostic software. To make the most of the data, Reimmuth recommended that fleets run total diagnostic routines on their vehicles — “every truck, every time.” That allows carriers to catch problems that might otherwise be missed or misdiagnosed during preventive maintenance and repair orders, he said. Modern trucks can have about 15 different data feeds from the various onboard technologies, but in the future, truck manufacturers will become “mobile data content providers” by consolidating the data and providing them to customers and third-party technology providers, Brinton said. “No longer will you have several dis3

News parate systems on your truck,” Brinton said. “You’ll be able to buy a truck and it’ll have a system onboard that is networked to the Internet to be able to provide you with data, no matter what telematics you use, no matter what you have in your truck.” The industry’s third-party technology providers will still be present, “but they’ll be able to do their jobs better,” Brinton said. An example of manufacturers providing mobile data is Detroit’s “virtual technician,” which Zonar developed for Daimler Trucks North America, he said. The system transmits real-time remote engine diagnostics and proactively communicates with fleets and vehicle owners regarding potential performance issues and service scheduling. “You’ll see all the [OEMs} starting to adopt a similar product,” Brinton said. The path to today’s connected vehicles began with the advent of electronically controlled engines in the late 1980s, said Paul Menig, CEO of consulting firm Tech-I-M. “With that base, the march of electronics to improve the operation of our trucks started.” In the 1990s, truck manufacturers began to take advantage of all the information from the engine, and instrument clusters became electronic and attached to the data link. “That was before we even had the word ‘telematics,’ ” Menig said. “This allowed fleets to track where their vehicles were, know if the engine was running, know what the driver’s hours of service were, know if the driver was braking too hard or if he was driving poorly.”

Link discovered between driver obesity and crash risk A recent study says there’s a direct connection between a truck driver’s crash risk and his or her body mass index. Obese truckers, during their first two years on the road, are up to 55 percet more likely to be involved in a crash when compared against those truckers with a normal BMI.


Stephen Burks of the University of Minnesota-Morris, a former truck driver and behavioral economist, has been working with Schneider National for more than a decade to study truck driver health and safety. According to an article by Science Now, surveyors calculated 744 rookie drivers with Schneider National individual body mass index number (a formula based on height and weight). Those with a BMI higher than 25 are considered overweight, while those with a BMI greater than 30 were considered obese. The study followed the drivers for two years. “That’s when the data stood up and shouted at us,” Jon Anderson, a biostatistician at the University of Minnesota-Morris told Science Now. “We found really clear evidence that the highest-BMI drivers are at higher risk of having an accident.” During their first two years on the road, drivers with a BMI higher than 35 (severely obese) were 43-55 percent more likely to crash than were drivers with a normal BMI, the team reports in the November issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention. Drivers who are overweight or obese, but not severely, did not appear to be at higher risk. The study does not indicate why. “The relationship held even when the researchers corrected for number of miles on the road, geographic location, age, and other crash risk factors,” stated the article by Science Now. Some ideas behind the increased risk may include sleep apnea, limited agility, or fatigue associated with obesity, according to the article.

National ATA offers study pack on driver recruitment With the driver market continuing to show volatility, the American Trucking Associations has developed a study combo pack to educate fleet managers on recruiting and retaining quality truck drivers. “On average, trucking will need to recruit nearly 100,000 new drivers every year to keep up with demand for drivers,” according to ATA Chief Economist, Bob Costello. The pack includes the ATA Driver Compensation Study with 2011-2010 data and the ATA Benchmarking Guide for Driver Recruitment and Retention. The combo pack offers significant savings over

purchasing both products separately. For more information call 866-821-3468.

FMCSA mulls fleet credits for informal CSA inspections Transport Topics reported that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officials are exploring ways for motor carriers to begin getting credit for “good” inspector screenings and violation-free wireless inspections. FMCSA is well aware of carrier concerns that when drivers are screened but not given a formal inspection, neither they nor their carrier receives credit in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program for no violations, said Bill Quade, the agency’s associate administrator. The same is true for wireless inspections, Quade added, during his talk at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s recent annual conference in Portland, Me. “Because it’s like an inspection, it’s a snapshot of key elements of your compliance,” Quade said of wireless inspections. “The screening can be seen the same way. Capturing it is a challenge, but it’s a challenge that we should be willing to undertake.” “If I drive by a wireless inspection eight times, 10 times, and there’s nothing on the infrared screen that says my brakes are bad, do I deserve a little credit for this? Probably. How much? When? How do we mark that? How do we note it? We are willing to look at those types of issues, and say eventually, yes.” In meetings here late last month, truckers said it’s a common practice for inspectors to do spot checks of drivers’ licenses, registrations, medical cards and maybe even browse through their log books — and then send drivers on their way without doing any paperwork. “It is a legitimate issue and it’s very significant,” said Rob Abbott, vice president of safety policy for American Trucking Associations. “The reason it’s significant is that CSA scores are comparative, based on measures that are basically a ratio of the number of violations to the number of inspections.” Before the advent of the CSA program in 2010, such brief screenings were not regarded as a significant concern, several carriers said. But with carriers now closely watching their CSA safety scores, every good inspection can mean the difference between an overall good safety rating and an unwelcome letter or


visit from FMCSA auditors. The issue is especially significant for small truckers. Stephen Keppler, CVSA’s executive director, said he understands that the screenings are a concern to drivers and carriers, but that inspectors need flexibility in their efforts to enforce regulations. Last year, a proposal to have FMCSA give credit for screenings was presented to CVSA’s executive committee, but after a two-hour discussion, was unanimously rejected, Keppler said. “We said, ‘Look, we understand your concerns, but we shouldn’t be compromising the inspection process because of how the results are being dealt with,’ ” Keppler told TT. “Just because CSA is treating it differently, an inspection is an inspection. We’ve been doing it this way for 30 years based on critical items.” “It’s enforcement’s job that in order to be efficient they need to be able to have that flexibility in the field — and it’s not always an inspection. They’re not checking the brakes. They’re not checking the tires. They’re not doing the full inspection.” Gerald Krisa, vice president of safety for R&L Carriers, Wilmington, Ohio, and chairman of CVSA’s alternative compliance workgroup, said the organization needs to be careful to not favor large carriers, which have the resources to deploy costly safety technologies. “It can’t be a program for the rich,” Krisa said. “It has to be an opportunity for not only the large motor carriers or motor coaches, but also the small carriers.” At the CVSA conference, Krisa’s working group had a lively debate about how to balance the interests of small and large carriers in moving forward with an alternative compliance program, but did not come up with any specific recommendations to give to CVSA’s executive committee. “I hope to provide an update, hopefully in early December, and have something a little bit more concrete at the spring workshop in Louisville,” Krisa said. Meanwhile, in written follow-up testimony to a Sept. 13 congressional hearing on CSA, CVSA said the program now offers few mechanisms for fleets to improve their scores. “We believe it is appropriate for FMCSA to further explore this alternative compliance concept by instituting a pilot program


that would investigate the feasibility of a system that provides motor carriers CSA ‘credits’ in exchange for adoption of certain alternative compliance solutions, in essence improving their score(s) due to their voluntary investment in these life-saving technologies,” CVSA said.

ATA announces new partner for online safety training The Alabama Trucking Association is proud to announce its new partnership with Vertical Alliance Group, Inc. to offer affordable, online industry safety and government regulation training for members and their employees. Specializing in the transportation industry for more than a decade, Vertical Alliance Group offers easy Web-based training and information solutions through its Infinit-i training program. Hundreds of trucking companies and other state trucking associations are already using Infinit-i for proactive CSA training, roadside inspections, how to tackle rising fuel costs and more.

The Infinit-i program is a robust and affordable online training solution for small to medium trucking fleets. ATA fleet members in good standing receive a 10 percent price discount, and fleets with 50 units or less are eligible for low cost pricing at an even greater discount. Vertical Alliance Group does all of the work for you, from setup, hosting, designing and building your own company training Web site. Your personalized site is accessible 24/7, 365 days a year from any computer equipped with a standard Web browser and access to a high-speed Internet connection. The Infinit-i Resource Center allows carriers to import orientation and existing training materials for new drivers to review online — before a driver actually reports for on-site training. Fleet managers can choose from more than 245 titles, each only rough-

ly 4 to 7 minutes long. Online training modules are available based on the expertise of real-world instructors and other professionals. Most importantly, courses are easy to administer. Visit to learn how hundreds of trucking companies are taking advantage of Infinit-i for employee training and more. Contact Allan Hicks at for additional information and pricing details.

Navistar, Cummins finalize agreements for emissions, engines Navistar announced it has reached definitive, long-term supply agreements for heavy-duty diesel engines and emissions aftertreatment technologies with Cummins. Through these agreements, Navistar will offer the Cummins ISX15 in its International ProStar+, PayStar and 9900 models. In addition, Navistar will use the Cummins Emission Solutions aftertreatment system for the company’s proprietary MaxxForce heavy-duty big bore engines. Engineering teams from Cummins and Navistar have been working in close collaboration over the past several months to integrate vehicle, engine, and emissions aftertreatment systems. With a formal, finalized agreement, Navistar says, the teams are now focused on a swift, well-executed launch. Navistar will begin its initial pilot builds of the International ProStar+ with the Cummins ISX15 next month, with first customer shipments in December. The International ProStar+ with MaxxForce 13 and the Cummins Emission Solutions SCR-based aftertreatment system will enter initial pilot production in March 2013, with regular production to begin in April. The remaining line-up of heavy-duty truck models will transition to SCR-based clean engine technology in a phased launch throughout 2013 based on volume and customer demand. During the transition, Navistar will continue to build and ship EPA-compliant trucks in all vehicle classes using appropriate combinations of earned emissions credits and/or non-conformance penalties. —Heavy Duty Trucking


News Fall Roadside Inspections In October, the ATA SMMC chapters held their final Courtesy Roadside Inspections for the year. More than 100 vehicles were inspected between the two events. Thanks to all who participated!

Grand Bay, Alabama Roadside Inspection October 11, 2012 Level 1 Inspections – 2 Level 2 Inspections – 36 Level 3 Inspections – 3 Total Inspections – 41 OOS Vehicles – 6 OOS Drivers – 5 Violations Discovered Clean Inspections – 11 Identification Lights - 1 Pitman Arm Worn – 1 Fire Ext Not Secured - 1 Tag Light – 3 Fuel Leak - 1 6

Tires Worn – 6 Turn Signals - 3 Oil Leak – 1 Overweight Permit - 1 ABS Light – 3 Bent Wheel - 1 Trailer Inspection Expired – 2 11/14 Hr Violation – 2 Fire Ext Discharged - 2 False Log – 1 Clearance Lights – 5 Form and Manner – 2 Tail Lights – 3 ROD not current – 3

Clanton Alabama Roadside Inspection October 18, 2012 Courteous Inspections – 6 Level 1 Inspections – 0 Level 2 Inspections – 52 Level 3 Inspections – 5 Total Inspections – 63 OOS Vehicles – 11 OOS Drivers – 6 Violations Discovered Clean Inspections – 18 Low Air Warning – 1 Clearance Lights – 6 Air Leak - 2 Brake Chamber – 1

Load Securement - 1 Tires Worn – 8 Exhaust Leak - 1 Turn Signals – 2 Mud Flap - 6 Tractor Inspection Expired – 1 Tail Lights - 2 Tag Light – 3 ABS Defect - 2 Loose Dunnage – 1 Annual Inspection - 2 Over Size Permit – 1 Suspension - 2 Lugnuts Loose – 1 ROD Form and Manner - 3 Fire Ext Discharged – 1 ROD Not Current - 2 Fire Ext Mounting – 1 11/14 Hr Violation – 3 Med Card Expired - 1 A LABAMA T RUCKER • 4 TH Q UARTER 2012

SMMC Update - 4th Quarter 2012  

News and events from the Alabama Trucking Association's Safety and Maintenance Management Councils

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