June 2015

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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14 COMMERCIAL CARRIER JOURNAL | JUNE 2015 JOURNAL NEWS • FTL Transport Services said it plans to close its Fikes Truck Line flatbed division due to financial problems that date back to the recession. Blair Logistics of Birmingham, Ala., will move into the division's headquarters in Hope, Ark., and has recruited a number of Fikes' owner-operators and company drivers. • President Obama nominated Greg Nadeauas administra- tor of the Federal Highway Administration. Nadeau, 58, would replace Victor Mendez, who last July was named deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Nadeau currently is FHWA's deputy administrator, a posi- tion he has held since 2009. • FedEx Freight city and road drivers in Chicago Heights, Ill., last month voted to reject the Teamsters Union. • The U.S. House last month voted 387-35 to approve a 60-day extension to prop up the federal Highway Trust Fund through the end of July. With last summer's short-term fund- ing extension set to expire May 31, the patch was needed until a long-term solution can be submitted. This was the 33rd short-term funding extension in the last six years. • Gordon Trucking Inc. of Pacific, Wash., won the Fleet Safety Award for the large fleet division from both the Indiana Motor Trucking Association and Illinois Trucking Association. INBRIEF 6/15 A bill introduced in the U.S. House in late April would reinforce the suspension of elements of the 2013 hours-of-service rule and block the U.S. Department of Transportation from proceeding with a rule to increase the minimum amount of liability insurance required of motor carriers. The $55 billion 2016 appropriations bill for DOT and the Department of Housing and Urban Development calls on the suspension of 2013's 34-hour restart provision – enforcement of which was halted by the 2015 appropriations bill passed in December – to remain in effect until the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration produces its study of the restart, also required by the December-passed appropriations bill. The suspended provision required that a 34-hour restart include two 1-5 a.m. peri- ods and limited the restart's use to once per week. The 2016 fiscal year appropriations bill also spells out the process for the restart rule's reimplementation. The legislation would allow the 2013 restart rule to go back into effect if FMCSA's report "establishes that … drivers who operated under the restart provisions … demonstrated statistically significant improvement in all outcomes related to safety, operator fatigue, driver health and longevity and work schedules" when compared to drivers operating under the pre-2013 rule. Per current law, the rollback will stay in effect until FMCSA produces its report or until Sept. 30, 2015 – whichever is later. The bill, if passed, also would prevent FMCSA from taking any further action on a potential rule to increase the current $750,000 minimum amount of liability insur- ance required of motor carriers. Last November, the agency issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking questions from industry stakeholders about the minimum and its effective- ness. The current limit was set in the 1980s, and FMCSA and safety groups have argued it needs to be increased to keep up with inflation and rising medical costs. Trucking groups, however, contend that only 1 percent of all trucking-related accidents see claims above $750,000 and that only a fraction of a percent sees claims above $1 million. The bill also would designate $40 billion to the Highway Trust Fund, which funds highway and road construction projects. – James Jaillet House bill clarifies 34-hour restart suspension period The bill also would bar FMCSA from increasing the minimum amount of liability insurance required of carriers.

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