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FMCSA Withdraws Increase of Financial Minimum Proposal

Monday, June 26, 2017
In 2013, we began sharing information about the House Bill to increase bodily injury/property damage insurance for motor carriers from $750,000 to $4.4 Million. We promised to keep our clients and friends informed.

On May 19th of 2014, our own John Burtch made a presentation to Congress regarding the proposed increase for financial minimums for motor carriers. He highlighted the history of the financial requirements, and how there was no data analysis to develop the current requirement. The limits were picked in order to force insurance carriers providing the limits to increase their scrutiny of the safety efforts of their motor carrier policy holders.

“If no cost analysis was utilized when setting the current rates, then how can an index factor be applied to a number that was not data based?” -John Burtch

Earlier this month, FMCSA officially withdrew the proposal to increase the financial responsibility for motor carriers. They provided the following explanation:

“FMCS has determined that it has insufficient data or information to support moving forward with the rulemaking proposal at this time.”

As result, we are happy to wrap up our four-year coverage of this topic.

If you have any questions, 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. 

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.

Anti-Indemnification Language

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

We are proud to report that Ohio has become the 44th State to enact Anti-Indemnification Language for Motor Carrier Contracts.

Some shippers have been passing their liability onto the trucking industry and forcing the motor carriers to bear the weight of the shippers’ actions, as they have the power in the relationship. This Bill will help level the playing field for trucking companies when negotiating contracts.

Dawson Transportation Services’ President, John Burtch, provided testimony as part of the process and is pleased with the outcome. 

“We are very excited regarding the passage of this legislation and proud the Ohio Trucking Association, under the leadership of Tom Balzer, spearheaded the effort. Tom asked our office for some case support and for personal testimony, which we were happy to provide. This legislation is fair and brings Ohio into line with several other states that have passed similar laws. Kudos to Tom B and his staff at the OTA for a strong lobbying effort.”- John Burtch

The law will go into effect in March 2016.

If you have any questions regarding any of your contracts, please contact us at any time.

Dawson Transportation Services

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): The Series Part 2

Monday, November 09, 2015

Last month we hosted a webinar to explore the current status of the FSMA. Jonathan Stringer, Sr. Corporate Cargo Claims Attorney for Great West Casualty Insurance, did a great job breaking down the proposed rules and answering some of the participants’ most pressing questions. We wanted to share the highlights of the presentation with you. Click the link below to learn more.

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): The Series Part 1

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

On March 31st 2016, the FDA will submit the finalized rules for the FSMA to the Federal Register.   The proposed rules will address the sanitary transportation of both human and animal food traveling via motor or rail vehicle, by specifically defining requirements for: 

  • Vehicles and transportation equipment
  • Transportation operations
  • Information exchange
  • Training
  • Records
  • and Waivers

We, here at Dawson Transportation Services, will spend the next few weeks breaking down the new rules and showing what it means for modern trucking operations.

The History

  • January 4th, 2011, President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, into Law. 
  • This is the first food safety law in over 70 years
  • The Purpose: To better protect human and animal health by helping to ensure the safety and security of the food and feed supply.

The focus of the FSMA, is to prevent food safety problems before they occur. The FSMA is to establish criteria and definitions that would apply in determining whether food is adulterated as a result of it being transported or offered for transport under conditions that are not in compliance with the sanitary food transport regulations.

The 6 Focuses of the Food Safety Modernization Act

  1. Preventive controls requirements for human food
  2. Preventive controls requirements for animal food
  3. Standards for produce safety
  4. A foreign supplier verification Program for importers
  5. A program for accreditation of third-party auditors to conduct food safety audits
  6. To Focus mitigation strategies to prevent intentional tampering to cause large-scale public harm

What to Expect

The Food Safety Modernization Act will affect all aspects of the current transportation landscape.  The rules on the horizon will address:

  • Vehicles and Transportation Equipment – requirements for the design and maintenance to ensure that it does not cause food that it transports to become contaminated
  • Transportation Operations – defining steps to ensure food is not contaminated during transportation (i.e. adequate temperature controls)
  • Information Exchange – Standardized procedures to share information between shippers, carriers and receivers, regarding prior cargos, cleaning of equipment and temperature controls
  • Training – Carrier personnel sanitary transportation practices and documentation of the training
  • Records – Requirements for maintaining written procedures and records related to equipment cleaning, cargo history, and temperature control
  • Waivers – Procedures by which the FDA will waive any of the above requirements

Over the next few months we will breakdown the definitions, requirements, and procedures as they are released.   Additionally, Dawson Transportation Service will be offering a 1-Hour Webinar on October 21, 2015 to discuss the FSMA and its implications for the modern trucking company.  Please sign up here: Webinar Registration Site

For more information, please contact

Possible New EPA Requirements for Storage Tanks in 2015

Thursday, March 05, 2015

The EPA is working to expand its prior requirements to include all tanks to have double walled construction, replace piping to double walled, and require more frequent inspections of above/underground storage tanks. We realize a good amount of our clients may be currently affected by this and will continue to monitor the situation. Please feel free to give us a call with any questions on the matter.

For questions, please contact us at Dawson Transportation Services 


House Bill 71 Introduced in Ohio

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dawson Transportation Insurance wanted to let everyone know that House Bill 71 was introduced to the Ohio House this week. We believe this will be an important bill to follow regarding anti-indemnification agreements in transportation contracts. Feel free to contact Dawson Transportation Services with any questions regarding this bill.

See Bill Information at Ohio Legislature Website

For questions, please contact us at Dawson Transportation Services


Dawson Companies
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