How the government shutdown is affecting the transportation industry

government shutdown trucking DOT FMCSA

The news has been going wild with reports of the government shutdown, which began on December 22, 2018. Many people have been affected by the partial shutdown, and it still seems unclear how long the shutdown will last. The DOT, like many government agencies, has been affected by the partial shutdown, although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration have not been greatly impacted. We’ll explain how the government shutdown has affected the DOT, the FMCSA, and the FHWA.

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What is the FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP)?

The FMCSA has a Pre-Employment Screening Program.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) keeps driver safety records contained within a program it calls the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). The data contains the safety record of each individual commercial driver, industry service provider, and carrier. Anyone with the proper credentials can access the MCMIS website 24 hours a day. This federal program is separate from driver data kept by individual states. Most state governments refer to driver data as a motor vehicle record (MVR). We’re going to explain a bit about the FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program.

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What is a DOT Number and Who Needs One?

Do you need a DOT Number to operate your truck?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires a Department of Transportation (DOT) number for trucks and other carrier vehicles that meet certain criteria. These typically pertain to weight, whether the vehicle carries paying customers, and whether the carrier vehicle routinely crosses state lines. In addition to the federal regulations, 37 of the 50 states require a DOT number. (The FMCSA has a list of the states that require a DOT Number.)

It can be confusing, especially as a new operator, to understand if the regulation pertains to you and whether you need to obtain a DOT number. We hope that the FMCSA regulations below will bring more clarity to this issue for you.

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7 Safe Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

Winter trucking presents extra challenges.

According to the Department of Transportation, bad weather causes 21% of vehicle accidents. A DOT study shows that heavy snow can slow freeway traffic down by 5-40%, and even light snow can decrease speeds by as much as 13%, increasing your drivers’ risks of having an accident. Taking steps to prepare your drivers for the increased challenges of winter will help keep your drivers safe and deliveries reaching their destinations on schedule.

So, check out these 7 winter truck driving tips not to overlook.

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3 surefire ways to know if you have the right commercial truck insurance

Check out these tips for getting the right commercial truck insurance.

Commercial truck insurance provides coverage for injuries or property damage sustained in a truck accident. Commercial truck insurance is different than a personal auto policy because it usually offers different coverages than a regular auto policy.

Read more3 surefire ways to know if you have the right commercial truck insurance

Looking ahead: Trucking trends coming your way in 2019

Check out these trucking trends that will be coming your way in 2019.

From concerns about the shortage of qualified drivers (which will continue to grow as Baby Boomers retire) to the continued development of autonomous vehicle technology, 2019 is all about technology and people. What can you expect to hear about in the year to come – and which trucking trends will directly impact your business? A few of the most prevalent are outlined below.

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What do autonomous trucks mean for the trucking industry?

Autonomous trucks could affect the trucking industry.

Tesla, Uber, Volvo, and GM have all either rolled out an autonomous truck or have one in the works – and they are not alone. Most automotive brands are including some form of autonomous vehicle for deliveries in their coming lineup. What does this shift towards self-driving capabilities mean for the industry and for drivers? A few key points to consider about autonomous trucks are detailed below.

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Progressive rolls out Smart-Haul program for ELD-based truck insurance

Progressive recently launched an ELD-based insurance program.

Progressive Insurance recently rolled out a new program called Smart Haul® that gives qualifying truckers a discount on their commercial truck policy for signing up and sharing their Electronic Logging Device (ELD) driving data. The program provides a three percent discount for sharing ELD data. According to Progressive, most customers save an average of $1,384 a year with the Smart Haul® program. But, should you sign up?

Read moreProgressive rolls out Smart-Haul program for ELD-based truck insurance

How UPS Significantly Lowered Its Accident Rate

UPS has lowered its accident rate.

In the US, on the job fatalities rose 7% last year. The transportation industry accounts for a whopping 40% of these fatalities. That far exceeds any other industry.

As important as it is to prevent a fatality, that’s not the only cost. Injuries, property damage, damage to your own trucks, potential downtime and increased insurance premiums cost you.

You have trouble keeping your trucks and drivers on the road. Here’s how UPS has been tackling this problem head-on. And these are the results.

Read moreHow UPS Significantly Lowered Its Accident Rate