winter edition 2018
The Official Publication of CVTA© LEADERSHIP CORNER | 3 CVTA President & CEO, Don Lefeve WASHINGTON UPDATE | 4
Retirements Make Control of House of Representatives Uncertain after 2018 | 4 President Trump Starts 2018 by Signing Human Trafficking and Veterans-focused Legislation into Law | 4-5 AROUND THE NATION | 5
New York is the Latest State to Experience Uptick in Skills Test Delays | 5 AVOIDING A “MECHANICAL FAIL” AT THE DMV | 7 by Christoff Barfield, Gardena CDTC CVTA NEWS | 9
Chairman Appoints New Committee Chairs | 9 Call for Editorial Content| 9 UPCOMING CVTA EVENTS | 11 BOARD OF DIRECTORS | 11 IN THE DRIVERS SEAT | 13 Top 5 Tips for Staying Healthy Over the Road & at Home by Bryan Celestine, TMC Transportation 2017 TRANSITION TRUCKING: DRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE AWARD | 15
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© 2018 Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA). All Rights Reserved.
LEADERSHIP CORNER A Message from CVTA’s President & CEO
Due to several Board vacancies resulting from Directors changing positions, the Board adopted a new vacancy policy that allows it to choose to fill the current vacancy with the runner-up from the previous election. The decision to temporarily appoint someone before the next annual meeting to fill the Director vacancy is at the Board’s discretion. This new adopted policy states that if the Board does appoint someone temporarily before the next conference where an election will take place, the appointment should be the runner-up from the previous election.
I hope members are surviving the cold winter and will join us in sunny Florida for our Spring Conference in May. I want to update members about policy and bylaws changes as approved by the Board of Director in 2017. Since some of these actions occurred recently, we want all members to be aware of them. Please note that all policies, codes of conduct, and bylaws are found in the 2018 Handbook, which we will make available soon.
Bylaws Changes The CVTA Board made several changes to the bylaws in 2017. While most of the changes were minor, there are a couple of changes relating to Board member elections and the Executive Committee that we want to bring to your attention. In November, the Board amended our bylaws to eliminate “staggered terms” for Board members. Board seats that are up for election at this year’s Spring Conference will be for only one (1) year as opposed to the typical two-year term. The following year, 2019, the entire Board will be up for election and all Directors will be elected for the same two-year term (Emeritus Directors and the NAPFTDS representatives are not subject to this as they are not elected). The Board believed CVTA officers (Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Treasurer/Secretary) should be a cohesive unit and able to serve their terms without an election potentially disturbing their term. While we looked at ways to accomplish officer term synchronization without changing the staggered Board terms, ultimately the easiest way was to amend the bylaws.
Executive Committee Charter Approved, New Member Added The Board also approved an Executive Committee Charter, which formally sets forth the authority and responsibilities for Committee acting between Board meetings. The Executive Committee has always comprised of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer/Secretary, and Immediate Past Chairman. The Board recently added an Emeritus Director to the Executive Committee and voted Emeritus Director John Diab to join this committee. The Committee has been used sparingly and is typically used when Board decisions are needed quickly, but time does not permit to schedule a full Board meeting to make a decision.
Updates to Director Vacancy and Conference Policies Earlier in 2017, the Board of Directors approved several policies to formally interpret bylaws regarding Director vacancies and to formally adopt conference policies that have been customary practice within CVTA for over 10 years.
The Board also adopted several conference policies. The first policy is that non-members may request to attend more than one conference. Historically, CVTA has allowed non-members one conference to attend before joining. With change occurring in the industry, new leadership among school organizations, the Board implemented a policy to allow non-members, who may have attended a previous conference, to request a waiver from the Board in the event they would like to attend another CVTA conference. Similarly, the Board approved a formal CVTA conference policy, including refunds, cancelations, changes, etc.
CVTA Moves Forward with Apprenticeship Program CVTA’s Board approved a decision for the association to submit its paperwork to the Department of Labor to formally offer a registered apprenticeship for its motor carrier members. Among other things, apprenticeship is a workforce recruitment and retention strategy that begins with related training instruction (a pre-CDL school or program) and continues on the job learning within the apprenticeship (motor carrier). If approved, CVTA carriers, including ones with their own apprenticeship program, can opt into CVTA’s national standard of apprenticeship. By offering an apprenticeship program, our carriers and schools will be more competitive in offering workforce solutions and partnerships to potential drivers.
ICP Changes and Carrier Finishing Pilot Program Over the past year, CVTA has received feedback from its members about the new ICP program. Member comments have generally centered around the complexity of initially navigating the online system, and the inability to print the material so instructors can physically hold, touch, look, and read the content. To be responsive to member’s needs, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, we should have all the course material available in PDF format by the end of January. All tests and quizzes, however, will still need to be taken online. While we have taken steps to streamline the process and help instructors navigate the online system through a tutorial, CVTA will continue looking at ways to simplify the process further over the next few months. Last, we are piloting a motor carrier finishing program. Like the ICP, this pilot program is a train the trainer program that seeks to help motor carrier finishing school instructors become better teachers. If successful, CVTA intends to offer this for our motor carrier members. If you are interested in this program and would like to participate, please contact Cindy Atwood at 703-642-9444.
WASHINGTON UPDATE Retirements Make Control of House of Representatives Uncertain after 2018 Maintaining a majority is hard work. It’s especially more difficult when a large number of Republicans in the House of Representatives announce their retirement. As Republicans look to maintain their majority in the House of Representatives, 2018 is going to be an interesting year. To date, 29 GOP House members have announced their retirements or have already left Congress. Given these early and planned retirements, Republicans are at risk of losing their majority in the House. Several retirements are going to create vacancies in key committees that are important to CVTA’s policy priorities, particularly those members who serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee or House Education and Workforce (Ed&W) Committee. The retirement of Representative John J. “Jimmy” Duncan (R-TN-02) is a loss for transportation industry, and for the commercial driver training industry in particular. Congressman Duncan has been a tireless advocate for truck driver training providers. In 2014, he led a bipartisan effort urging the General Accounting Office (GAO) to conduct a study on CDL skills test delays, resulting in a 2015 GAO report identifying more than a dozen states that were a major problem for CDL applicants waiting to take the skills test, earn their CDL, and get to work. Leveraging this report, Rep. Duncan and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) then sponsored Section 5006 in the FAST Act, which requires the FMCSA to collect data on skills test delays annually. Another retirement from the T&I and Ed&W Committees, is Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA-11). Mr. Barletta is running for Senate against current Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). The Congressman’s in-depth knowledge of the trucking industry, education and workforce issues is also a loss for the House of Representatives.
T&I Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA-09) is retiring at the end of his term. House Republican rules dictate term limits for committee chairman, which makes the Congressman ineligible for another two years at the helm of the committee. Currently, T&I members Sam Graves (R-MO-06) and Jeff Denham (R-CA-10) are actively seeking the T&I Chairman gavel. Both Congressmen are strong on motor carrier issues, with Rep. Graves being chairman of the T&I Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, and Rep. Denham actively sponsoring legislation that preempts states from drafting labor laws that affect interstate truck drivers. Of course, if Democrats take the House after mid-term elections the chairmanship would go to Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), currently the T&I Committee’s Ranking Member. DeFazio is a moderate Democrat who has been a T&I member since 1987. His command of transportation policy is impeccable and has been a strong advocate for stronger wages for truck drivers, though his stance on cross-border trucking issues causes concern among those in the industry. In addition to the retirements of Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ02) and Frank Farenthold (R-TX-27), there are no less than five vacant Republican seats on the T&I Committee after 2018. Furthermore, at least two T&I Republicans will have competitive races this year, Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50) and Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10). In addition to the T&I retirements, there will be no less than six vacant seats on the Ed&W Committee with the retirements of Reps. Charlie Dent (R-PA-15), Jared Polis (R-CO-02), Carol Shea-Porter (R-NH-01), and Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12), in addition to Rep. Barletta.
President Trump Starts 2018 by Signing Human Trafficking and Veterans focused Legislation into Law The start of the new year saw three transportation-related bills become law that focus on human trafficking and hiring
Veterans. The No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act (S. 1532) directs the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to disqualify for life, any individual who uses a commercial motor vehicle in committing a felony involving an act or practice described as “severe forms of trafficking in persons.” Another human trafficking-related bill – Combating Human Trafficking Commercial Vehicles Act (S. 1536) – directs the DOT to designate an official to coordinate human trafficking prevention efforts across all modes and take into account the unique challenges of combatting human trafficking within each different transportation mode. The legislation would also expand FMCSA’s outreach and education program and DOT’s Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation Financial Assistance Program. In addition, the legislation also establishes an advisory committee on human trafficking. Both above-mentioned bills were signed into law on January 8th. On January 3rd, President Trump signed into law the Jobs for our Heroes Act (S.1393) that now allows medical professionals employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be included on the Certified Medical Examiners (CME) registry. Since 2015, only medical professionals on the CME registry are permitted to conduct DOT physicals on CDL holders for purposes of renewing their medical certificates to operate in interstate commerce. There is a high volume of truck drivers who are military veterans or active-duty reservists, and they are prohibited from seeing a VA doctor to renew their medical certificates, forcing them seek outside medical professional to renew their medical certificates. This often comes at a personal cost that otherwise wouldn’t occur with access to a VA doctor. The bill would allow any VA medical practitioner with a state
license to conduct DOT physicals for CDL holders who are military veterans. In addition, the bill also exempts qualified active duty military personnel and reservists from having to take the CDL exam if they operate commercial vehicles as part of their military duties. Currently, federal regulations allow qualified military veterans an exemption from the CDL exam up to one year from date of discharge.
AROUND THE NATION New York is the Latest State to Experience Uptick in Skills Test Delays According to CVTA members in New York State, CDL applicants applying to take the skills test have been waiting several weeks longer on average since late fall 2017. The increased wait times are the result of changes to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) compliance with federal regulations. Prior to the changes, CDL applicants could expect to wait 2-3 weeks in most parts of the state to take a skills test from the time they registered for it. Since the changes were implemented, CDL applicants can expect to wait 4-6 weeks or more before they can take the skills test. Texas was faced with a similar problem in 2016, when the state’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) made similar changes to the CDL exam that resulted in wait times of up to 80 days in addition to increased failure rates. Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s (R) office responded by permitting third-party examiners to conduct CDL exams on behalf of the DPS, which has provided relief.
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A V O I D I N G A “ M E C H A N I C A L F A I L” A T T H E D M V The California Department of Motor Vehicles’ Commercial Skills Test can be a challenging and time-consuming endeavor for many drivers. Prior to a road test, applicants have held their commercial learner’s permits for the mandatory 14-day waiting period, made an appointment for a drive test, secured the use of a vehicle that is representative of the class of license they have applied for and, in most cases, found a licensed driver to accompany them. Unfortunately, many arrive at the DMV on the day of their appointment and are unable to complete all segments of the test because of malfunctioning equipment on their vehicle. The most common cause of a “Mechanical Fail” – the phrase used to denote a drive test that is postponed by equipment problems – is simply malfunctioning brake lights and turn signals. For this reason, it is highly recommended to inspect all vehicle lights the day before a drive test. This will give applicants time to make necessary repairs, find an alternate vehicle or, in some cases, reschedule their appointment – without the inconvenience and lost time and resources associated with a test postponed for mechanical reasons. In addition to brake lights and turn signals, here is a list of other items to inspect before a commercial drive test: • Tires/wheels: Make sure all tires are properly inflated and not damaged. Any nails or bolts embedded in the tires should be removed and repaired. Hub oil and axle seals should not be leaking. • Dashboard gauges: Make sure that oil pressure, water temperature, ammeter/voltmeter and air pressure (if equipped) gauges are functional. Watch to see that gauge needles rise when the vehicle is turned on. • Seats/safety belts: Make sure all seats are secure and that all safety belts fasten correctly and are not damaged. (Note: buses often do not have passenger seat belts). • Horns: Make sure that the city and highway horns are functional. If the city horn is not working, the highway horn may be used instead. • Leaks: Check for excessive fluid leaks, as well as air leaks on air brake equipped vehicles. Excessive leaks could cause a postponement of the Basic Control Skills and the Road portion of the drive test.
If the testing vehicle has components or systems built to a manufacturer’s specification that differs from testing standards as outlined in the California Commercial Driver Handbook, it is important to explain this to the DMV examiner. A lack of information can delay tests in these types of vehicles. It is in the applicant’s best interest to provide any information or manuals regarding specialized or imported vehicles that would help to distinguish between a manufacturer’s specification and an actual mechanical problem. After studying and practicing to obtain their commercial driver license, the last thing applicants want are equipment-related issues. As always, vehicle registration, insurance and Motor Carrier permits must be up to date and in good standing. Good luck and safe driving.
AUTHORED BY Christoff Barfield Gardena CDTC
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CV TA NEWS Chairman Appoints New Committee Chairs Since becoming CVTA’s Chairman of the Board last October, Brad Barber has been actively engaging members to increase participation in the associations’ committees. The following CVTA members have agreed to serve as Chairs and Vice Chairs for the committee’s listed below. We thank them for their participation and efforts. Associate Member John Rojas, Chairman Davida Rogers, Vice Chairwoman Communications Marilyn Surber, Chairwoman Deborah Rischel, Vice Chairwoman Conference Jerome Redmond, Chairman Jill Balleh, Vice Chairwoman Legislative & Regulatory Larry Marsh, Chairman Brad Ball, Vice Chairman Membership Services Larry Marsh, Chairman Don Lane, Vice Chairman Membership Gary Pressley, Chairman Paul Rasmussen, Vice Chairman
Call for Editorial Content Fancy yourself a writer and a knowledgeable, thought provoking industry leader with views you want to share with your peers? If you answered yes to both, then we’d like to hear from you! We’re currently seeking original content from our members for consideration to appear in a 2018 issue of Get-in-Gear’s quarterly publication or our upcoming blog on CVTA’s website. What are we looking for you ask? We’re interested in bylined articles focused on industry issues and trends, best practices, tips and tricks, new technology, just to name a few. Also, we welcome suggestions on what topics and issues you would like covered in a future quarterly publication or blog post.
Motor Carrier Gary Pressley, Chairman Marilyn Surber, Vice Chairwoman
CVTA has an Editorial Guidelines document that will provide further details on content, length and the review process.
Nominating Gary Strube, Chairman John Diab, Vice Chairman
If interested in submitting content or topics, contact CVTA’s Director of Communications Kristine Gager at kristine.gager@ cvta.org or 703.642.9444.
Oversight Nadia Speney, Chairwoman Ed Tanksley, Vice Chairman CVTA strongly encourages all members to get involved in a committee. If you are interested in learning more and serving on a committee please contact CVTA. Members of the staff are available to provide information and assist you in finding a committee that fits your interests.
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UPCOMING CVTA EVENTS TAT Human Trafficking Program January 31 2-3pm ET ( WEBINAR) Commercial Insurance and Risk Management February 21st 2-3pm ET ( WEBINAR) HILL DAY February 27-28th 2018 Washington, D.C. 2018 SPRING CONFERENCE May 2nd-4th Clearwater, FL Want to be the first to know? Check our social media sites for updates & details
Brad Barber Chairman of the Board Georgia Driving Academy Larry Marsh Vice Chairman JTL Truck Driver Training Gary Strube Immediate Past Chairman DrivePro Stuart Bowman Treasurer/Secretary Career Path Training Corporation
DIRECTORS Gary Pressley Heavy Metal Truck Training School Jerome Redmond American Truck Training Nadia Speney PIA Jump Start Program John Rojas Mike Byrnes & Associates, Inc. Davida Rogers J. Smith Lanier & Co. a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company
Paul Rasmussen Paschall Truck Lines Marilyn Surber Melton Truck Lines Martin Garsee NAPFTDS Bruce Busada Diesel Driving Academy Emeritus Director John Diab, Sr. Smith & Solomon Emeritus Director Louis Spoonhour (Ret.) Emeritus Director R. Wade Murphree (Ret.) Honorary Board Member
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I N T H E D R I V E R ’ S S E AT TOP 5 TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY OVER THE ROAD & AT HOME Let’s face it, when you’re a truck driver and on the road, there is very limited time to work out and limited options to eat healthy. As an over-the-road truck driver, I found myself overweight and not able to keep physically fit. At some point, I decided to get in shape and healthy, as well as begin a lifestyle change that has kept me motivated to this day. I like to consider myself a health and fitness enthusiast. As the New Year brings about change, it’s a perfect time to set manageable and realistic goals for yourself, especially around diet and exercise. Will there be setbacks in the number of pound you want to lose? Sure. However, with grit and determination, as well as a positive mindset on it’s not a quick fix but rather a lifestyle change that takes time to see results. After my own struggles with poor eating habits, weight gain and being physically unfit, here are a few things to think about when taking the step towards a more healthy and productive lifestyle. I believe that other drivers, and even those who aren’t behind-the-wheel, can benefit from these takeaways.
decision every day to make better choices for your health is one of the first big steps that will soon turn into a habit. It’s good to prep meals ahead of time whenever you can, and also have healthy options available when you’re in a pinch. 3. Planning is half the battle. A big part of being an overthe-road driver is time management. On the days that you can work out, incorporate that time into your clock whenever you can. Whether it’s during a break or when you’ve finished securing a load, strive to use all this time productively. If it’s important to you, you will make time for it. 4. Find a support system. A main motivator is enlisting friends and/or colleagues that can really push you and each other. This form of encouragement will help everyone strive to be better. The daily challenges you receive from your support system will motivate you to keep going and work harder. 5. Always strive to keep learning. You learn every day, and you can never out-do yourself; just like in trucking. It is important to find new ways to reach your goals and work to connect with others who are striving to do the same thing. Of course, there are always going to be obstacles and curves. You just have to find that inner motivation to make it happen.
AUTHORED BY Bryan Celestine Truck Driver/Fitness Enthusiast TMC Transportation 1. Do your research and set goals. Internet searches are the first step in figuring out the body type you are looking to achieve and what foods and exercises will help you reach those goals. Knowing what you want will help you to set those goals. 2. Not a diet, but a lifestyle choice. Don’t refer to eating and meal planning as dieting. Rather, call them a lifestyle choice. By making the conscious
2017 TRANSITION TRUCKING: DRIVING F O R E XC E L L E N C E AWA R D CVTA congratulates Stevens Transports’ driver and U.S. Army veteran, Gregg Softy for winning this prestigious industry award. We would also like to congratulate runners-up U.S. Xpress’ Wayne Roy (U.S. Marine Corps veteran) and Melton Truck Lines’ Daniel Shonebarger (U.S. Navy veteran). Wayne Roy, Gregg Softy & Daniel Shonebarger
Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award winner Stevens Transports’ Gregg Softy
Stevens Transport’s Angela Horowitz and Gregg Softy
Brad Bentley & Gregg Softy
Photos taken by U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Ian Wagreich
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