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New Motor Carrier ID Fraud Scenario

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Motor Carrier-A contacted a property broker, looking to get some freight. The broker reviewed the necessary paperwork and arranged a load.  Then Motor Carrier-A requested an advance, and provided a Bill of Lading along with a photo of their driver's license.  The broker felt comfortable and sent the money to the Motor Carrier-A.  A few hours later, Motor Carrier-B arrived with the load.  This appeared to be a double brokered load, however no one could reach Motor Carrier-A again.  After a quick Google search, the broker found another phone number for Motor Carrier-A.  It turned out, that the owner of the Motor Carrier had their identity stolen and an impostor was targeting brokers.

The impostor had contacted the DOT and changed the contact number for the Motor Carrier to a burner phone.  The impostor also, forged a certificate of insurance with an out of date policy number and an insurance agency with bogus contact information.

This all started with the identity theft of a Motor Carrier.  We recommend Motor Carriers, check the information on file with the FMCSA.  Confirm the following are all active and accurate:
  • Contact Person
  • Mailing Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
If you have any questions, please contact us at any time.

Our Commitment to the Transportation Industry

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

In 2016, we've seen several insurance companies completely cut their trucking programs. Additionally, major insurance companies are narrowing their appetite and it's putting a lot of pressure on the industry. These shifts in the industry highlight the importance of working with professionals in the trucking insurance field.

"There have been [insurance companies] entering [transportation], but not at the rate [insurance companies] have been exiting."

- Mark Plousis, VP of Underwriting at Philadelphia Insurance Co.

When searching for an insurance carrier, you want a company that is knowledgeable about the trucking industry, has been established a number of years, and is financially stable. These factors can demonstrate their ability to adequately protect you.

At Dawson Transportation Services, we are completely focused on the transportation and logistics industry. We strive to develop long-term relationships between our clients, our staff, and our insurance carriers.

As we enter 2017, the trucking insurance industry is going to continue to constrict. That being the case, motor carriers are encouraged to begin their insurance renewal process earlier than in previous years.

If you'd like to set up a meeting to go over your current program, please contact us at any time.

Changes to the NMFTA Bill of Lading

Wednesday, November 02, 2016
The National Motor Freight Traffic Association recently made headlines with its changes to the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading. We’ve received calls from brokerage companies and motor carriers alike to better understand these changes.

Most concerns are about the rewording of Section 1 (a) and the removal of the “Party in Possession” wording. Several headlines falsely stated that the liability now lies exclusively on the Designated Carrier named on the Bill of Lading. The change in wording should not diminish the liability of others involved in the transportation. [1] (i.e. Brokers are not subject to Carmack).

Additionally, the issue regarding tariffs under section 5 (a) has been raising eyebrows. Though motor carriers have not filed tariffs since 1995, they have been permitted to use tariffs that are available to shippers upon request.  These tariffs constitute the requisite notice that a limitation of liability exists.

We hope this helps resolve some of your immediate concerns regarding these chances.

If you have any questions about how this or any other legislation affects your business, please contact us at any time.

Commenting on the USDOT Speed Limiting Devices Proposal

Monday, September 26, 2016
In the continued pursuit of safer roads, the USDOT is proposing speed limiting devices on all heavy trucks.  The proposal highlights projected safety and cost benefits that will help the transportation industry.

Though the DOT is clear on the pros of lowering the speed of heavy vehicles, they are not clear on where the limit should be set.  The proposal references the top speeds of:
  • 68 mph
  • 65 mph
  • 60 mph
The comments period is open through November 7, 2016.  However, the ATA is asking for an extension.

Please make your voice heard by submitting your comments here.

Click here to view the proposal. 

Why You Need Separate Motor Carriers and Brokerage Corporate Entities

Monday, July 25, 2016

Insurance companies typically ask if your Motor Carrier and Brokerage Authorities are set up as separate entities.

The reason separate entities are important comes down to litigation issues. Under the same entity, the Motor Carrier could be found liable for the operations of the Brokerage. Law and insurance professionals are always considering the events of a loss.

• Claimants going after the “Deepest Pocket”

• Courts Don’t Hesitate to Impose Motor Carrier Liability

Separate entities for Brokerage and Motor Carrier Authorities is a best practice.

At Dawson Transportation Services, we help our logistics companies properly protect all aspects of their operation. We’d be happy to review your current program at any time.

Workers Compensation Exposure for Drivers Working Outside of Ohio

Friday, July 15, 2016
1. If you are a trucking company based in Ohio, do your employees drive or work outside of Ohio?

2. Do you have an understanding of how Senate Bill 334 in 2008 changed how the Ohio BWC adjudicates injuries to Ohio based employees incurred in other states?

3. Are you aware the Ohio BWC as of 3/1/16 is offering a Workers Compensation policy for exposures outside the state of Ohio to eligible trucking companies?

If you answered Yes to question 1 and No to questions 2 and 3, please contact us if you would like to discuss this issue further.

We recently met with Kendra DePaul, Other States Coverage Manager for the BWC to get a better understanding of how this coverage applies to Ohio based trucking operations.

We are here to assist you.

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): The Series Part 3

Thursday, June 16, 2016

After 11 years of work, on April 6th, 2016, the FDA published the Final Rules regarding the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (“STHAF” or “Rule”). The Rule apply to Shippers, Receivers, Loaders, and Carriers engaged in transportation operations for food whether or not the food is offered or enters interstate commerce. It also includes foreign entity that ship food into the United States for later consumption or distribution in the United States.

Click below for a quick reference to the key changes that will affect Motor Carriers.

Food Safety Modernization Act Webinar- Transportation Rules & Regs

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Final Transportation Rules and Regulations have been released for the FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act. 

For those who have stayed current with our blog, we are happy to report the majority of the Proposed Rules where adopted. There are a few changes we want to share with you. 

  • Trucking Companies employing less than 500 full-time equivalent employees; and/or that have less than $27,500,000 in annual receipts will be classified as Small Businesses and will have 2 years to becoming compliant. i.e. 04/06/2018
  • "Shipper" was broadened to include property brokers or any other entities that arrange for transportation of food in the United States.
  • "Loaders" is a newly defined term. Persons who load food onto a motor or rail vehicle (possible warehouse operation exposure)
  • The Motor Carrier must provide adequate training in basic sanitary transportation practices to its personnel (drivers, loaders) engaged in relevant transportation operations.
You can read all of the Final Rules here.

We will be hosting another webinar dedicated to the new rules and regulations on Wednesday, June 8th at 11am EST. It will be a 1 hour long and will allow you an opportunity to ask questions of industry experts.

If you are interested in participating, please contact:
Andy Engardio

If you have any questions, please contact us at any time.

Paper Work: Written Cell Phone Policy

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

A cell phone policy seems straight forward. Don’t Use Cell Phone on the Road. It’s the law in many states in personal autos, and it’s a written rule by the FMCSA. So why should you include a cell phone policy in your manual:

  • Drivers can face penalties up to $2,750 and disqualification for multiple offenses. Motor carriers are also subject to civil penalties up to $11,000.
  • All cell phone violations will also impact SMS results (10 Points)
  • MVR cell phone convictions are a disqualifying offense with any insurance companies
  • Cell phone records are listed as discoverable and can be used in court

When developing employee handbooks, we often think of the exposures of the drivers on the road; but what about the dispatchers? Look at (b) on the both of the rules from FMCSA:

§Part 392.80 Prohibition against texting
(a) Prohibition. No driver shall engage in texting while driving.
(b) Motor Carriers. No motor carriers shall allow or require its drivers to engage in texting while driving.
§Part 392.82 Using a hand-held mobile telephone
(a) No driver shall use a hand-held mobile telephone
(b) No motor carrier shall allow or require its drivers to use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a CMV

One of the issues is that some dispatchers text drivers in reference to updating them on loads. Our policy reflects not only the drivers’ responsibility, but the dispatchers’ as well. How do you share load information, and locations, and exposures ahead? How do you communicate with your fleet?

If you want to add a cell phone policy to your employee handbook, give us a call.

Quality Over Quantity

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

When my grandfather enlisted in World War II, his father bought him a watch. The Massachusetts farmer couldn’t afford the gift, but he believed in investing in the best tools. My grandfather wore that watch every day of his life. In contrast, I have purchased 3-4 watches over the course of my 30 years. All of the watches were relatively cheap. They worked for a time, but they ultimately got wet, broke, or just stopped working. Where my great-grandfather made one investment in a quality product, I went for affordable, and in the end will spend more money on watches than my grandfather.

With the recent changes to the FMCSA, we’ve been receiving a lot of questions about Electronic Logging Devices. As your trusted Risk Managers, we do not officially endorse any ELD Manufacturers, as we don’t endorse any Truck Manufacturers, Tire Dealers, or Shoe Brands. Each of these decisions is unique for your individual business.

When researching major purchases, we like to ask our clients the following questions:
  • Where is the Best Bang for Your Buck? – Does the product only provide the bare minimum required by the mandate or can it expand? Can you add GPS, cameras, or sensors? Will this product help grow your operation or does it simply keep you in compliance?
  •  What is the Total Cost of Ownership? – This includes installation, maintenance, repairs, ease of training, and ease of use for your drivers.
  • Who is the Manufacturer? – A lot of new companies enter emerging markets, but how many have staying power? New businesses have a high failure rate. Therefore if your manufacturer goes under, you won’t be able to service, repair, or upgrade the product, and will have to start the purchasing process all over again. Name recognition and industry experience is a great indicator of future success.

At Dawson Transportation Services, we are advocates for Quality. Like my grandfather’s watch, we believe in adding value over the long term. We are not striving to be the cheapest or the most expensive, and we don’t blanket support one ELD system. We are pursuing the best fit for your specific company. We are happy to help you in researching any products or services that can help your business grow, thrive, and prosper.

If you have any questions, please contact us at any time.

Dawson Companies
- An AssuredPartners Agency
3900 Kinross Lakes Parkway #300 •
Richfield, Ohio 44286 •
T: (440) 333-9000 •
F: (440) 356-2126 •
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