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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. 

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.

Certified Driver Trainer (CDT) Designation Course Coming to Dayton

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
We just wanted to let everyone know that there is a Certified Driver Trainer (CDT) designation course coming to Dayton, Ohio at the end of this month. Here are the details:

June 30 and July 1, 2015

Drury Inn & Suites North
6616 Miller Lane Dayton, Ohio 45414

$900 Course Tuition
Participants will be responsible for their own travel, room costs and meals.

For additional details please contact:

Or visit:

E-Logging Update

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
It appears that the FMCSA is close to releasing proposals which will require electronic logging devices to be placed in all trucks. They are hoping to have these out within the next 30 days. As many of us are aware, this has been in work in progress for years now.

We currently have a list of clients who have already installed ELD’s into their fleets, and the feedback has been very positive. They have helped improve HOS issues and driver morale has been very positive after the switch.

We will keep you updated as more information is released. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Dawson Transportation Services with questions regarding feedback on ELD’s.

Lower E-Logging Prices - Time to Hop On?

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

In the September 2nd edition of Transport Topics, an article summarized how electronic logging device makers believe the federal government’s plan to require most truckers to use the devices will cost the industry less than anticipated. Previously the cost of these ELD’s were around $2,000.  Now you can get them for as low as $300.

We have spoken with some of our clients who have already installed ELD’s into their equipment, and they couldn’t be happier about their decision. It has increased productivity, accuracy in their logs, and satisfaction among employees. Not to mention, it has also helped improve their current HOS score.

Now let’s put an insurance spin on this…

When it comes to renewal time and an insurance company is either looking at renewing a policy or writing a new policy, what is one of the first steps an underwriter will take? You got it - they are going to get on the SAFER website and take a look at the policyholder's HOS score. This information is one of major factors that an underwriter takes into consideration when determining the appropriate cost of an insurance program.

Also, let’s not forget that while other carrier’s scores in your same peer group are improving, it has an adverse effect on the other members of the same group.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns with how ELD’s are impacting your current peer groups' scores in the HOS arena.

Great West Casualty's Value-Driven Learning Library

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Well, those folks over at Great West Casualty are at it again. Effective June 1, Great West has introduced an online video library. The Value-Driven Learning Library will be available to all Great West clients via the internet 24/7. This library includes some of the hottest safety issues which truckers encounter on a regular basis. Feel free to click on the link below, which gives a more detailed description of the library, and also the list of available titles.

Value Driven Learning Online Library Catalog

For any questions on how to access these videos, please feel free to contact us here at Dawson Transportation Services.

Hours-of-Service Regulations

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Below are some of the key updates regarding the upcoming changes to hours-of-service regulations. We will continue to monitor this matter and keep everyone updated as more information is presented to us.

  • Effective Date & Compliance Date- This rule was effective in late February 2012, and the new “on-duty” definition, the oilfield exemption change, and the egregious violations provisions became effective then. Interstate motor carriers and drivers are not required to comply with the remainder of the new rules (the restart changes and the rest break requirement) until July 1, 2013.
  • Oilfield Exemption- Waiting time at an oil well or natural gas site will not count toward calculation of the 14 hour window. However, certain drivers at oilfields must be shown on logbook or electronic equivalent as off-duty and identified by annotations in “remarks” or a separate line added to “grid.’
  • Egregious Violations- A driver, who exceeds, and/or motor carrier that allows a driver to exceed, the driving time limit by 3 hours or more is considered to have committed an egregious violation and be subject to the maximum civil penalties.
  • Mandatory Rest Break- Drivers will not be permitted to drive if 8 hours or less have passed since their last break of 30 minutes or more. (Only 1 break may be required depending upon timing).
  • Restart- Any restart period must consist of two consecutive nighttime periods (from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.), and must be at least 34 consecutive hours long. Drivers are permitted to use the restart provision only once in any seven calendar days.
  • On-Duty Time- Does not include any time resting in a parked vehicle (also applies to passenger-carrying drivers). In a moving property-carrying CMV, does not include up to 2 hours in passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper-berth.

HOS Announcement

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has refused to delay the effective date of the hours of service (HOS) regulations set to take effect July 1st, 2013. The American Trucking Associations along with Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, NIT League and others had requested the delay until legal challenges to the rules had been decided. This means carriers, shippers and law enforcement will have to train individuals immediately to make the July 1st deadline.

For more information about federal HOS regulations, please visit:  FMCSA Summary of HOS Regulations.

U.S. Rules Spur E-Log Use

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Pressure from safety regulations and the latest transportation bill (MAP-21) is pushing more carriers to make the switch from written driver logs to electronic logging, according to fleets and vendors (Clevenger, 2013).

It appears that potential customers are starting to review CSA scoring when making a final decision on a carrier. Hours-of-service problems are among the most common driver violations under the FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. Two of the most frequent HOS driver violations are: 1) Form and manner log violations 2) Record of duty status not being current. Together, they make up 26% of total violations according to FMCSA data. These violations are virtually eliminated just by using electronic logs (Clevenger, 2013).

There are other benefits to electronic logging besides improving your company’s CSA score. It will eliminate the need to review drivers written logs. Having to review each driver’s logs and correct any mistakes can take up a large chunk of time (Clevenger, 2013).

MAP-21, the $105 billion transportation funding law signed by President Obama in July, requires FMCSA to develop a final EOBR rule by October, with the rule taking effect in 2015.

However, some are projecting that the final regulation won’t be finalized until the end of 2014 and would likely be followed by a four- to five-year implementation process.

Clevenger, S. (2013, January 14). U.S. Rules Spur E-Log Use, According to Fleets, Vendors. Transport Topics . American Trucking Association, Inc.

Distracted Driving

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Most of us are quite aware of the dangers associated with distracted driving, but for some reason we still do it  every day. Whether it’s texting, eating food, or checking email, drivers are putting themselves and others at risk. John Burtch, President of Dawson Transportation Services recently did a seminar on the dangers associated with distracted driving. Attached to this post you will find a copy of the presentation that John put together. Please feel free to share this with friends, family, and co-workers. If you are interested in Dawson Transportation stopping out and speaking with the company drivers about the risks associated with distracted driving please feel free to contact us.

Click here for a PDF copy of the Distracted Driver presentation slides.

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