The Pre-Employment Screening Program is a screening tool that allows motor carriers and individual drivers to purchase driving records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). Ok, so the Federal Government is maintaining information on truck drivers. That probably sounds terrifying to most drivers. I know it does to me. So naturally it raises a lot of questions and we’ll answer em here.
With new technology, tighter enforcement, and new legislation, it has become more and more difficult for drivers to cheat the logbook and run the miles they used to be able to run. So what will companies do in the coming years to get more productivity out of their trucks, and how much of it will come at the expense of the driver? The answers are not what truck drivers will want to hear.
Driver Cynthia Ferguson was illegally fired for shutting down due to hazardous travel conditions and won a lawsuit against her company New Prime, Inc. A driver’s decision to shut down to due safety concerns should never, ever be questioned by anyone. But when you dig below the surface there are a lot of extenuating circumstances in this case that are critically important for drivers to understand, and many lessons to be learned by all.
CSA 2010, as is typical of any government-run program, is already full of misconceptions, contradictions, and confusion. Trucker drivers are obviously concerned about their safety rating and how that will affect their current job, and prospects for truck driving jobs in the future. Well, oddly enough, the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration) claims there is not going to be a safety rating assigned to individual company drivers at all. And yet they clearly state that when a carrier gets audited, their driver’s safety records will be reviewed. They also have a pre-employment screening program in place to allow trucking companies to get driver safety information before hiring a driver. Will this pre-employment screening and safety rating system apply to owner-operators only? What effects will CSA 2010 have on company drivers? Let’s take a look.
Congress, along with many trucking industry insiders, are claiming victory regarding the effectiveness of the new logbook rules that came out several years ago. I disagree with the conclusion that it’s the new logbook rules that have made things safer on the highways and I’ll explain why. Let’s take a closer look at some of the myths out there and bring to light some important facts that paint a much different picture of what’s really going on, and where we should go from here.
There is always a healthy debate that ensues when people begin considering whether or not new laws should be enforced in the trucking industry. But the debate tends to take on a more robust tone, and sometimes becomes borderline riotous, when the idea of enforcing personal lifestyle choices on drivers becomes the topic of debate. There are a number of trucking companies that have begun to enforce weight restrictions as a hiring criteria in recent years and I believe we’re going to hear a lot more about this in years to come, especially if the economy remains below par and the standard requirements for truck driving jobs remains higher than it has been in the past. The question is, should body mass index be allowed to be a criteria for hiring?
It was just announced recently that the DOT has passed a law stating that airlines are only allowed to hold passengers on a plane on the tarmac for a maximum of three hours, after which carriers must deplane passengers or face fines. The rules also require airlines to provide food and water to passengers within two hours of a delay, keep the lavatories functional, and provide medical attention to passengers who may need it. How does this apply to the trucking industry? It doesn’t, yet. But it sure could lay the groundwork for some much-needed relief from a problem that has plagued the trucking industry for many years.