FM mode gets approved by FCC for CB Radios

FM mode has been requested by CB users for decades. FCC signals FM CB will be permitted on 27 MHz soon. What the Memorandum Opinion and Order on Reconsideration Would Do: Grant Cobra’s Petition requesting that the Commission allow FM as an optional modulation scheme for all existing 40 CB Radio Service channels (with AM remaining mandatory).

What are your thoughts? RELATED ARTICLE HERE

Will you buy a new CB that has FM?
This Stryker SR-447HPC2 with a Wilson 1000 antenna can reliably communicate long distances and throughout most industrial worksites. Yes, it does have FM, and yes I am a HAM radio operator.

Warning Letters Criteria Changed for Unsafe Driving BASIC Results

FMCSA recently changed which carriers are sent warning letters based on Unsafe Driving BASIC results. Previously, carriers could receive warning letters for this BASIC if they met the threshold for interventions or further monitoring (50% for passenger carriers, 60% for HM carriers, and 65% for all other carriers). As of September 24, 2021, all carriers may receive warning letters for this BASIC if their percentile is at 50% or above. FMCSA is sending warning letters to more carriers based on Unsafe Driving BASIC results, so they have the chance to improve their safety performance and compliance sooner, and without further intervention.

CSA Scores: Effects on Your Fleet and How to Improve - Fleetio
The Seven BASIC’s

The percentile thresholds for prioritization did not change. Carriers that have BASICs with an “Alert” symbol (gold triangle with an exclamation point) may be prioritized for interventions or further monitoring. This is simply an update to when carriers are eligible to receive warning letters for the Unsafe Driving BASIC. The prioritization thresholds are still used as the basis for sending out warning letters for the other BASICs.

CSA Points Values: Unsafe Driving

10 Point unsafe driving violations

1. Violation Group: Texting

  • Failure to comply with 49 CFR Section 392.80 Texting While Operating a CMV When Transporting Select Agents or Toxins or HM Requiring Placarding (Section 177.804B)
  • Operating a CMV while texting (Section 390.17DT)
  • State/Local Laws – Operating a CMV while texting (Section 392.2-SLLT)

2. Violation Group: Speeding

  • State/Local Laws – Speeding 15 or more miles per hour over the speed limit. (Section 392.2-SLLS4)
  • State/Local Laws – Speeding work/construction zone. (Section 392.2-SLLSWZ)

3. Violation Group: Reckless Driving

  • Reckless driving (Section 392.2R)

4. Violation Group: Phone Call

  • Failure to comply with 49 CFR Section 392.82 Using a Handheld Mobile Phone While Operating a CMV When Transporting Select Agents or Toxins or HM Requiring Placard (Section 177.804C)
  • Using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a CMV (Section 392.82(a)(1))
  • Allowing or requiring a driver to use a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a CMV ( Section 392.82(a)(2))

7 Point unsafe driving violations

1. Violation Group: Speeding

  • State/Local Laws – Speeding 11-14 miles per hour over the speed limit. (Section 392.2-SLLS3)

2. Violation Group: Seat Belt

  • Failing to use a seat belt while operating a CMV (Section 392.16)
  • Operating a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle while all other occupants are not properly restrained. (Section 392.16B)

5 Point unsafe driving Violations

1. Violation Group: Dangerous Driving

  • Failure to obey traffic control device (Section 392.2C)
  • Following too close (Section 392.2FC)
  • Inattentive Driving (Section 392.2-INATƱ)
  • Improper lane change (Section 392.2LC)
  • Failure to Maintain Lane (Section 392.2-MLƱ)
  • Improper passing (Section 392.2P)
  • Railroad Grade Crossing violation (Section 392.2RR)
  • Improper turns (Section 392.2T)
  • Failure to yield right of way (Section 392.2Y)
  • Failure to stop at a railroad crossing – Bus transporting passengers (Section 392.10(a)(1))
  • Failure to stop at a railroad crossing – CMV transporting Division 2.3 Chlorine (Section 392.10(a)(2))
  • Failure to stop at a railroad crossing – CMV requiring the display of HM placards (Section 392.10(a)(3))
  • Failure to stop at railroad crossing – HM Cargo Tank vehicle (Section 392.10(a)(4))
  • Commercial Vehicle failing to slow down approaching a railroad crossing. (Section 392.11)
  • Failed to use caution for hazardous condition (Section 392.14)

2. Violation Group: Speeding Related

  • Scheduling a run which would necessitate the vehicle being operated at speeds in excess of the prescribed (Section 392.6)
  • State/Local Laws – Speeding 6-10 miles per hour over the speed limit. (Section 392.2-SLLS2)

4 Point unsafe driving violation

1. Violation Group: Speeding

  • State/Local Laws – Speeding 6-10 miles per hour over the speed limit. (Section 392.2-SLLS2)

3 Point unsafe driving violations

1. Violation Group: Misc Violations

  • Headlamps – Failing to dim when required (Section 392.2DH)
  • Lane Restriction violation (Section 392.2LV)

1 Point unsafe driving violations

1. Violation Group: Other Driver Violations

  • Operating a Motor Coach or other Passenger Carrying vehicle with seating, secured or unsecured, in excess of the manufacturer’s (manufacturer, remanufacturer, or final stage manufacturer) designed seating capacity. (Section 390.33-XSY)
  • Unlawfully parking and/or leaving a vehicle in the roadway (Section 392.2PK)
  • Failing to use hazard warning flashers (Section 392.22(a))
  • Unauthorized passenger onboard CMV (Section 392.60(a))
  • Unsafe bus operations (Section 392.62)
  • All standees on a bus are to be rearward of the white standee line (Section 392.62(a))
  • Driving of vehicles – Transportation of Migrant Workers (Section 398.4)

1. Violation Group: HM (Hazardous Materials) Related

  • State/local laws ordinances regulations (Section 397.3)
  • Smoking within 25 ft of HM vehicle (Section 397.13)

UPDATE: On the Vaccine Mandate

COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine and Syringe

On Thursday, OSHA and the White House announced that the vaccine mandate applying to private businesses with 100 or more employees will take effect on January 4, 2022.

We have also received word from ATA that the exception for employees who exclusively work outdoors or remotely and have minimal contact with others indoors does exempt solo truck drivers from the mandate. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is on record saying so. ATA will continue to advocate for the broader workforce as well.

Love’s offers free hot dogs next week!

National Hot Dog Day!

Professional drivers and other travelers will have an opportunity chance to get a free hot dog at Love’s Travel Stops Wednesday, July 17, National Hot Dog Day.

Customers who present a barcode at checkout can enjoy a free hot dog or roller grill item. Customers can access the barcode for their free hot dog or roller grill item on, the Love’s Connect app or Love’s social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn) from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. July 17.

Registered Love’s Connect users will receive a notification with the barcode.

“Our customers are always moving, and love food options that are perfect for on the go,” said Mark Romig, director of merchandise for Love’s. “We’re delighted to meet those demands and show gratitude to Love’s amazing customers on National Hot Dog Day with free items.”

TA Petro also BOGO on National Hot Dog Day

Visit any TA and Petro Stopping Center or TA Express Wednesday, July 17 — which is, of course, National Hot Dog Day — and get two hot dogs for $1, or a free hot dog with your UltraONE kiosk coupon.

What do you mean I have to make my bed?

I just had a driver ask me this since he was shown a video where another driver was pulled over, and the officer was talking to him about issuing him a citation for his bunk not being made up.

Now you have to take several parts down below, put them together to get that interpretation, but the officer can write you up for this. There is another violation for your cab being dirty when you have garbage all over the place, but that is for another post. Anyways, I have included the regulation for you below. You can look this up and read it in your “Green Book”. The picture above shows several violations.

§393.76   Sleeper berths.

(a) Dimensions—(1) Size. A sleeper berth must be at least the following size:

Date of installation on motor vehicleLength measured on centerline of longitudinal axis (inches)Width measured on centerline of transverse axis (inches)Height measured from highest point of top of mattress (inches)1
Before January 1, 1953721818
After December 31, 1952, and before October 1, 1975752121
After September 30, 1975752424

1In the case of a sleeper berth which utilizes an adjustable mechanical suspension system, the required clearance can be measured when the suspension system is adjusted to the height to which it would settle when occupied by a driver.

(2) Shape. A sleeper berth installed on a motor vehicle on or after January 1, 1953 must be of generally rectangular shape, except that the horizontal corners and the roof corners may be rounded to radii not exceeding 1012 inches.

(3) Access. A sleeper berth must be constructed so that an occupant’s ready entrance to, and exit from, the sleeper berth is not unduly hindered.

(b) Location. (1) A sleeper berth must not be installed in or on a semitrailer or a full trailer other than a house trailer.

(2) A sleeper berth located within the cargo space of a motor vehicle must be securely compartmentalized from the remainder of the cargo space. A sleeper berth installed on or after January 1, 1953 must be located in the cab or immediately adjacent to the cab and must be securely fixed with relation to the cab.

(c) Exit from the berth. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, there must be a direct and ready means of exit from a sleeper berth into the driver’s seat or compartment. If the sleeper berth was installed on or after January 1, 1963, the exit must be a doorway or opening at least 18 inches high and 36 inches wide. If the sleeper berth was installed before January 1, 1963, the exit must have sufficient area to contain an ellipse having a major axis of 24 inches and a minor axis of 16 inches.

(2) A sleeper berth installed before January 1, 1953 must either:

(i) Conform to the requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section; or

(ii) Have at least two exits, each of which is at least 18 inches high and 21 inches wide, located at opposite ends of the vehicle and useable by the occupant without the assistance of any other person.

(d) Communication with the driver. A sleeper berth which is not located within the driver’s compartment and has no direct entrance into the driver’s compartment must be equipped with a means of communication between the occupant and the driver. The means of communication may consist of a telephone, speaker tube, buzzer, pull cord, or other mechanical or electrical device.

(e) Equipment. A sleeper berth must be properly equipped for sleeping. Its equipment must include:

(1) Adequate bedclothing and blankets; and

(2) Either:

(i) Springs and a mattress; or

(ii) An innerspring mattress; or

(iii) A cellular rubber or flexible foam mattress at least four inches thick; or

(iv) A mattress filled with a fluid and of sufficient thickness when filled to prevent “bottoming-out” when occupied while the vehicle is in motion.

(f) Ventilation. A sleeper berth must have louvers or other means of providing adequate ventilation. A sleeper berth must be reasonably tight against dust and rain.

(g) Protection against exhaust and fuel leaks and exhaust heat. A sleeper berth must be located so that leaks in the vehicle’s exhaust system or fuel system do not permit fuel, fuel system gases, or exhaust gases to enter the sleeper berth. A sleeper berth must be located so that it will not be overheated or damaged by reason of its proximity to the vehicle’s exhaust system.

(h) Occupant restraint. A motor vehicle manufactured on or after July 1, 1971, and equipped with a sleeper berth must be equipped with a means of preventing ejection of the occupant of the sleeper berth during deceleration of the vehicle. The restraint system must be designed, installed, and maintained to withstand a minimum total force of 6,000 pounds applied toward the front of the vehicle and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle.

ATA Insists Driver Shortage Is Real Despite Govt. Report Saying It Isn’t

Drivers both needed and wanted

Last month, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published a report based off of their research into the ‘truck driver shortage.’ The researchers stated that BLS “does not find evidence” that the shortage exists. The American Trucking Association (ATA) has responded, saying that it does exist and accused the researchers of having “some basic misunderstandings.”

The report can essentially be boiled down to this: The trucking industry follows the basic laws of economics. If you increase driver pay, more workers will become truckers and more truckers will stay in the industry for longer.

In their response letter, the ATA disputes that claim, saying that the problem isn’t finding drivers, it’s finding ”qualified” drivers who meet “age requirements, CDL testing standards, strict drug and alcohol testing regimes and… clean driving records.”

But that response doesn’t address the high turnover and burnout rate among truckers. If carriers can find applicants to hire, but can’t keep them from leaving, complaints about “barriers to entry for new drivers” ring hollow.

One thing the ATA does not address in its response letter is the assertion in the report that large carriers may actually be creating and maintaining a driver shortage as a deliberate “cost-minimizing response.” That is, keeping wages low so that experienced drivers quit the industry, allowing carriers to hire less expensive rookie drivers.

If true, this would allow large carriers to undercut their competition with cheap freight rates. That would make it harder for carriers who pay their drivers well to compete, driving them out of business. The large carriers could then eat up that market share and replace the well-paid drivers with cheap rookies, again driving down average freight costs and starting the cycle all over again. This could theoretically lead to large carriers hauling a much greater percentage of freight, earning large carriers more money and allowing them more influence in the marketplace.

But despite the findings of the report, ATA’s leadership continues to assert that the driver shortage is real.

Tim’s thought on this:

At the end of the day go ask trucking companies and go ask for-hire truckload carriers if they can find enough drivers. At the company I work at right now, we have enough drivers. We treat them well, compensate them well, and seriously respect them. We do not have the issues the rest of the industry does because we do not partake in that nonsense. Maybe the rest of the industry should do the same.

Should you use rub rails for cargo securement?

Some would call this improper load securement, – and I would be one of them.

This has been a long going discussion with drivers. This is also a topic that I have witnessed first hand give major grief to many a driver when the rub rail failed. The decision is yours to make, but there are good reasons NOT to route tie-downs on the outside of the rub rails or attach them to the rub rails:

  • If your chains or straps are located outside the rub rails and you rub the trailer against a wall, barricade, or another object, your tie-downs — and not the rub rails — could take the brunt of the impact. And it goes without saying that damaged tie-downs are dangerous, potentially leading to an out-of-service vehicle, damaged cargo, and/or a serious accident.
  • Rub rails are normally designed to protect tie-downs, not support them. In fact, most rub rails are not rated by the manufacturer for cargo securement purposes. Given the abuse many rub rails are subject to, they may not be strong enough to serve as anchor points, especially when constructed of aluminum which can bend and crack easily. Stake pockets are a better choice for securing tie-downs.
  • I have even seen overwidth violations because the chains and binders were outside of the width of the trailer. Overwidth is overwidth.
  • I have watcher loaders hit the rub rail, and do damage to chains and straps during the loading process. Again, this is why the rub rail is there, to protect your cargo securement devices.

Of course, there are times when you have no other choice but to route tie-downs outside the rub rails or attach them directly to the rub rails. Drivers must use their best judgment when determining how best to route and attach tie-downs. But they should always keep the risks in mind: tie-downs routed outside the rails could become damaged, and rub rails to which tie-downs are attached could fail.

There are many resources out there to learn about cargo securement. Here is one link that I think really gives a good understanding of the whole process. I am not endorsing this link but I do feel that you may learn a thing or two.

Securing the Load: A Guide to Safe and Legal Transportation of Cargo and Equipment

Download a printable PDF of this publication.