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Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

By PMTA

May, 2019


CVSA's New 2019 North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria is Now in Effect


Greenbelt, MD… Starting April 1, 2019, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) 2019 North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria is now in effect. The 2019 out-of-service criteria replaces and supersedes all previous versions.

The North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria is the pass-fail criteria for roadside safety inspections. The purpose of the criteria is to identify critical safety violations. Those violations render the driver, vehicle and/or motor carrier out of service until the condition(s) or violation(s) can be corrected or repaired.

In accordance with CVSA bylaws, the changes were proposed to the Class I Members of the Alliance on Oct. 22, 2018, and subsequently ratified on Oct. 31, 2018. Voting members approved 12 changes to the out-of-service criteria which are effective as of April 1, 2019.

The following changes were made to the out-of-service criteria: 

1. Amendment to Part I, Item 4. DRIVER MEDICAL/PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS, a. Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate by modifying the language. A driver who possesses a valid Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) but is not complying with the SPE requirements should be placed out of service.

2. Amendment to Part II, Policy Statement regarding how to deal with expired CVSA decals. It was determined that removing old decals before applying a new one is most appropriate.

3. Amendment to Part II, Item 1. BRAKE SYSTEMS, g. Brake Drums and Rotors (Discs), (2) by adding language and a picture for cracks in structural supports of a brake rotor. If there are cracks through the vents in rotors, a collapse of the rotor is imminent; therefore, the vehicle should be placed out of service.

4. Amendment to Part II, Item 2. CARGO SECUREMENT, a. through f. by adding subheadings to each out-of-service condition. Subheadings were added to the Cargo Securement section of the out-of-service criteria to provide uniformity with the rest of the criteria and to make it easier to distinguish between subsections.

5. Amendment to Part II, Item 2. CARGO SECUREMENT, TIEDOWN DEFECT TABLE by adding defective condition language for the Doleco USA Textile Link Tiedown Assembly. Language was added to the Tiedown Defect Table in the out-of-service criteria so that an inspector can adequately determine if the Doleco USA Textile Link Tiedown Assembly is defective once it is in use.

6. Amendment to Part II, Item 4. DRIVELINE/DRIVESHAFT, b. Universal Joint, (3) by adding a bearing strap to the out-of-service condition. A bearing strap was added to the out-of-service criteria and a descriptive label was added to the current picture of a bearing strap to help identify and clarify the component.

7. Addition to Part II, adding new Item 5. DRIVER’S SEAT (MISSING), a. to provide an out-of-service condition for a missing driver’s seat. Drivers using a temporary seat rather than a permanent seat that is secured to the vehicle in a workmanlike manner was added to the out-of-service criteria.

8. Amendment to Part II, Item 6. EXHAUST SYSTEMS, a. through d. by adding subheadings to each out-of-service condition. Subheadings were added to the Exhaust Systems section of the out-of-service criteria to provide uniformity with the rest of the criteria and to make it easier to distinguish between subsections.

9. Amendment to Part II, Item 7. FRAMES, by adding subsection (5) to the existing NOTE. It was determined that subsection (5) should not pertain to monocoque-style frames.

10. Amendment to Part II, Item 10. STEERING MECHANISMS, h. Tie Rods and Drag Links, (3) to add an out-of-service condition for a non-manufactured hole. A non-manufactured hole in a drag link should be placed out of service.

11. Amendment to Part II, Item 16. BUSES, MOTORCOACHES, PASSENGER VANS OR OTHER PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLES – EMERGENCY EXITS/ELECTRICAL CABLES AND SYSTEMS IN ENGINE AND BATTERY COMPARTMENTS/SEATING, by adding (TEMPORARY AND AISLE SEATS) to the Critical Vehicle Inspection Item title. This amendment allows vehicles with manufactured seating violations that do not qualify as an out of service condition to receive a CVSA decal.

12. Amendment to Part III, Items 1. through 10. by adding some subheadings and removing unnecessary language. Revisions were made to Part III of the out-of-service criteria to follow the same format as the rest of the out-of-service criteria.

The CVSA Training Committee, the Education Quality Assurance Team in Canada and the National Training Center in the U.S. will incorporate these changes, as appropriate, into North American Standard Inspection training materials, along with several updated inspection bulletins, inspection procedures, operational policies and training videos.

The North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria is updated annually, effective April 1 of each year, with the release of that year’s edition of the handbook. The "North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Handbook and Pictorial" identifies critical vehicle inspection items and details the criteria that can prohibit a motor carrier or driver from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a specified period of time or until the condition is corrected. Print and electronic PDF versions of the 2019 edition of the handbook are available for purchase through the CVSA online store. The 2019 out-of-service criteria app will be available this week by searching "CVSA" in the Apple or Google Play stores.

CVSA hosted a webinar on Feb. 13, 2019, outlining the changes to the 2019 out-of-service criteria. The webinar/presentation is available for viewing at any time and for annual in-service/refresher training. CVSA members can access webinar archives through their online CVSA member portal. Once logged in, click on the "My Video & Webinar Library" tab at the top of the page to view a listing of all past webinars.

ATA Appeals Dismissal of Challenge to Unconstitutional Truck Toll Program

VA… The American Trucking Associations, along with three motor carriers representing the industry, appealed the recent decision by the federal district court in Rhode Island to dismiss their challenge to Rhode Island’s RhodeWorks truck-only toll scheme, on procedural grounds.

In its challenge, ATA contends that Rhode Island’s truck-only toll scheme is unconstitutional because it discriminates against interstate trucking companies and impedes the flow of interstate commerce. In its March 19, 2019 decision dismissing the case, the district court did not address the merits of that constitutional claim. Instead, it held only that ATA’s challenge could not proceed in federal court.

“Since RhodeWorks was first proposed, the trucking industry has been strong and united in opposition to this extortionate plan. We’ve warned politicians in Rhode Island that these truck-only tolls were unconstitutional and should be rolled back,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “It is unfortunate that Governor Raimondo and her administration did not heed those warnings. While we are disappointed the district court’s decision means further delay in seeing these tolls rolled back, our appeal of the dismissal of our case on a technicality should demonstrate to the state that this fight is by no means over, and we look forward to establishing the unconstitutionality of Rhode Island’s discriminatory tolls on the merits.”

In its suit, ATA, along with Cumberland Farms Inc., M&M Transport Services Inc. and New England Motor Freight, argues that the RhodeWorks plan violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause by discriminating against out-of-state trucking companies, and by designing the tolls in a way that does not fairly approximate motorists’ use of the roads.

“From the outset of this debate, Rhode Island’s trucking industry and business community stepped forward as viable partners for long-overdue infrastructure investment in our state,” said Chris Maxwell, president of the Rhode Island Trucking Association. “Instead of considering our perspective, Rhode Island’s leaders, led by Governor Raimondo, marginalized us, dismissed us and chose the unfortunate path of designing, building and executing an unlawful and unequitable scheme of truck-only tolling. Meanwhile, Rhode Island continues to invest already scarce infrastructure resources on toll gantries knowing they are likely to have their toll scheme overturned by the courts.” 


ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 0.2% in February Index 5.4% Higher than February 2018

 

Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was down 0.2% in February after increasing 2.5% in January. In February, the index equaled 117.4 (2015=100) compared with 117.6 in January.

“After a strong January, I’m a pleasantly surprised that the index didn’t fall much last month,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “I continue to expect tonnage to mod

erate like other indicators, including retail sales, manufacturing activity and housing starts. Additionally, the level of inventories throughout the supply chain have increased, which is a drag on truck freight.”

January’s reading was revised up slightly compared with our February press release.

Compared with February 2018, the SA index increased 5.4%, down from January’s 5.8% gain. In 2018, the index increased 6.7% over 2017, which was the largest annual gain since 1998.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 106.9 in February, 5.7% below January’s level (113.3). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes. 

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators. 


IBTTA Statement on the Dismissal of the Truck Tolling Lawsuit in Rhode Island 

 

WASHINGTON, DC… With the dismissal of the truck tolling lawsuit in Rhode Island, Patrick Jones, the Executive Director and CEO of the InternationalBridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), the worldwide association representing toll facility owners and operators and the businesses that serve them, released the following statement: 

“IBTTA supports the state of Rhode Island's plan to use truck tolls as one of many revenue streams to rebuild major bridges in the state. Large majorities of Americans support greater investment in infrastructure. While the judge who dismissed the lawsuit did not address the merits of the case, we remain hopeful that no court will deny Rhode Island, or any state, the ability to assess user fees including tolls to rebuild its vital bridges and highways.”

For more information, please contact Bill Cramer, Communications Director at [email protected] or 202-210-2962.


International Roadcheck Set for June 4-6 With Emphasis on Steering and Suspension

Greenbelt, MD… The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) International Roadcheck will take place June 4-6. Over that 72-hour period, commercial motor vehicle inspectors in jurisdictions throughout North America will conduct inspections on commercial motor vehicles and drivers.

Each year, International Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year's focus is steering and suspension systems. While checking vehicle compliance is always part of the North American Standard Inspection Program, CVSA is highlighting steering components and suspension systems this year as a reminder of their importance to highway safety.

"Steering and suspension are safety critical systems for any commercial motor vehicle," said CVSA President Chief Jay Thompson with the Arkansas Highway Police. "Not only do they support the heavy loads carried by trucks and buses, but they also help maintain stability and control under acceleration and braking, keeping the vehicle safely on the road. Furthermore, they keep tires in alignment, reducing chances of uneven tire wear and possible tire failure, and they maximize the contact between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling."

During International Roadcheck, CVSA-certified inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Inspectors may opt to conduct the Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection.

The vehicle inspection includes checking critical inspection items such as: brake systems; cargo securement; coupling devices; driveline/driveshaft; driver's seat (missing); exhaust systems; frames; fuel systems; lighting devices (headlamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, turn signals and lamps/flags on projecting loads); steering mechanisms; suspensions; tires; van and open-top trailer bodies; wheels, rims and hubs; windshield wipers. Additional items on buses, motorcoaches, passenger vans or other passenger-carrying vehicles include emergency exits, electrical cables and systems in engine and battery compartments, and seating (temporary and aisle seats).

Drivers will be required to provide their driver's license (operating credentials), Medical Examiner's Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (if applicable), driver’s record of duty status and vehicle inspection report(s) (if applicable). Inspectors will also check drivers for seat belt usage, sickness, fatigue and apparent alcohol and/or drug impairment. 

If no critical vehicle inspection item violations are found during a Level I or Level V Inspection, a CVSA decalwill be applied to the vehicle, indicating that the vehicle successfully passed a decal-eligible inspection conducted by a CVSA-certified inspector; however, when a rear impact guard is required and violations are present, a CVSA decal shall not be issued. 

If an inspector does identify critical vehicle inspection item violations, he or she may render the vehicle out of service if the condition meets the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. This means the vehicle cannot be operated until the vehicle violation(s) are corrected. A driver can also be placed out of service for driver credential-related issues or driver conditions, such as fatigue or impairment.

Out-of-service orders and the number, type and severity of safety violations affect a motor carrier’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score and its Safety Fitness Determination rating. CSA is the safety compliance and enforcement program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) designed to improve safety and prevent commercial motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities by holding motor carriers and drivers accountable for their role in safety. 

"International Roadcheck is a high-visibility, three-day commercial motor vehicle and driver inspection and enforcement event," said Chief Thompson. "However, aside from the increased inspections, we are not doing anything differently than any other day. The inspections performed during International Roadcheck are the same inspections that are conducted the day before International Roadcheck starts and the day after it concludes, as well as any other day of the year."

Chief Thompson added, "It's important to remember that inspections are conducted 365 days a year. We publicly announce the dates of this three-day enforcement and awareness initiative in advance because we want all vehicles on our roadways to be safe and compliant." 

International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with around 17 trucks and buses inspected, on average, every minute in Canada, the United States and Mexico during a 72-hour period. Since its inception in 1988, more than 1.6 million roadside inspections have been conducted during International Roadcheck campaigns.

International Roadcheck is a CVSA program with participation by FMCSA, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) (Ministry of Communications and Transportation) of Mexico.


Nonviolent Ex-Offenders Offer Potential Labor Source for Trucking Industry


St. Petersburg, FL… According to the American Trucking Association, this country’s long-haul trucking industry needs about 51,000 more drivers than it currently has to meet demand for shipping capacity from companies like Amazon and Wal-Mart.1 Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.0% in January, its lowest point in a decade and less than half of its recession-era level of October 2008.2 “At the same time,” says John Kearney, CEO, Advanced Training Systems LLC, “there is a segment of the population looking eagerly for employment.” Kearney, whose company is a leading designer and manufacturer of virtualsimulators for driver training, among other applications, adds, “Formerly incarcerated people, who currently have a 27% unemployment rate3, are a largely untapped resource that could help the U.S. trucking industry fill its urgent need for new drivers.”

A frequently raised objection to hiring ex-offenders is the recidivism issue. More than half a million people are released from federal and state jails and prisons in the United States each year, and of those, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice, about two-thirds will be rearrested within three years.4A joint study by America Works and the Manhattan Institute, however, notes Kearney, showed that recidivism rates dropped significantly for nonviolent offenders who became employed shortly after leaving prison. In prison-to-work programs in six cities across the country, in fact, in states with overall recidivism rates ranging from about 31% to 70%, the rates for those placed in jobs shortly after their release ranged from 3.3% to 8%.5

While a criminal record was once considered a knockout factor in evaluating a prospective employee in many jurisdictions, there is now a wide range of state and local regulations regarding the use of criminal records in offering or refusing employment. The practice of removing the criminal record question from employment applications is commonly called “Ban the Box.” In some places, Ban the Box regulations are applicable where the employee lives, and in others where they work is performed. Never, says industry consultant Lana Batts, do they apply to where the employer is domiciled. “The very nature of trucking,” says Batts, “makes compliance with a diverse grab-bag of Ban the Box rules a significant challenge; the trucking in industry, which keenly understands the costs of the driver shortage, needs a national Ban the Box solution applicable wherever a driver might find himself or herself in the course of completing a shipment.”6

Another important factor in integrating ex-offenders into the driving workforce, notes Kearney, is a reasonably streamlined training process. One important component of streamlining is the use of computerized simulation to familiarize new drivers with the proper way to handle situations too dangerous to attempt in conventional behind-the-wheel training.

“As with the shortage of school bus drivers,” says ATS’s Kearney, “also a growing source of concern7, advancedtraining simulators offer an economical and highly effective approach to increasing the available supply of long-haul truckers. The technology can both reduce the cost of training and produce better, safer drivers.”

Advanced Training Systems (ATS) is a high-tech simulator technology and engineering firm that has revolutionized the design and manufacture of advanced training systems to improve training and create safer drivers. ATS, the holder of multiple patents in high-tech training simulation, has as its mission to provide this cutting-edge adaptive training to all involved in the transportation industry at an affordable cost, resulting in safer drivers/operators. For more information, visit www.atstrainingsystems.com

1. Long, Heather, “America has a massive truck driver shortage. Here’s why few want an $80,000 job,” Washington Post, May 28, 2018.

2. “National Employment Monthly Update,” National Council of State Legislatures, February 1, 2019.

3. Straight, Brian, “In search of truck drivers, are felons the answer?” FreightWaves, October 24, 2018.

4. “Recidivism Rates ‘Unacceptably High,’ says Sessions,” The Crime Report, April 9, 2018.

5. Cove, Peter and Bose, Lee, “Immediate Access to Employment Reduces Recidivism,” Real Clear Politics, June 11, 2015.

6. Batts, Lana, “Opinion: Trucking Industry Needs ‘Ban the Box’ Solution,” Transport Topics, August 25, 2017.

7. Osunsami, Steve, “School-bus driver shortage across US sparks growing concern,” ABC News, August 15, 2017.


OOIDA Thanks FMCSA For Including Trucker’s Concerns For Hours-Of-Service Changes, Need For Flexibility


Grain Valley, MO… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association thanks the federal government for taking into consideration its concerns regarding hours-of-service regulations for a newly announced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The announcement was made by Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

OOIDA had petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2018 regarding changes needed to the regulations that govern commercial truck drivers and the hours they work and drive. FMCSA did not provide specific details on the rulemaking today, but OOIDA is optimistic the NPRM will provide drivers with much needed flexibility in their daily schedules. 

“We have long supported efforts to reform and modernize hours-of-service regulations,” said Todd Spencer, President of OOIDA. “Current regulations are overly complex, provide no flexibility, and in no way reflect the physical capabilities or limitations of individual drivers,” said Spencer. 

OOIDA members, which are small-business and professional truckers, have said for years that current regulations force them to be on the road when they are tired, during busy travel times and in adverse weather or road conditions. 

The announcement from the Secretary also included anticipated plans for addressing other industry issues such as the shortage of truck parking, improved infrastructure, a crash preventability program and military truck drivers.

“We thank the Secretary and the agency for hearing the concerns of our members,” said Spencer. “We look forward to working with them on finalizing solutions that meet the realities of freight movement and truly improve highway safety.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 161,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.


OOIDA Will Appeal Ruling In PA Turnpike Case


Grain Valley, MO… Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association will appeal a ruling announced in a class-action lawsuit regarding tolls on users of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The lawsuit was brought last year by OOIDA and the National Motorists Association in the federal court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The associations made up of truck drivers and other motorists challenged the constitutionality of the excessive tolls imposed upon drivers on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Judge Yvette Kane granted the motions to dismiss of the defendants, which included the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Governor Tom Wolf, and Leslie Richards, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Transportation.

OOIDA expressed disappointment over the ruling, but is clearly not discouraged. 

In the opinion, the judge acknowledged that plaintiffs’ complaint “credibly alleges that Pennsylvania’s policy decisions related to transportation have resulted in a statutory scheme that disproportionately burdens Turnpike travelers with the costs of a state-wide transportation system that is of no direct benefit to them.”

“It’s pretty clear she understands the situation,” noted Todd Spencer, President of OOIDA. “But she also stated quite clearly that no definitive controlling precedent supports either side.”

“It appears to us that she chose to apply a standard from a Supreme Court case from back in 1970 that focused on burdens imposed under a state’s regulations about agricultural products, rather than a standard from more recent in Supreme Court cases that spoke directly to user fees, which is what the tolls are in Pennsylvania,” said Spencer.

The Association says the case is now poised for review by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Our case has been widely reported in the press and incorrectly linked with other reports alerting the public to a looming transportation crisis, driven in part by the same statutory scheme that our lawsuit challenges,” said Spencer.” 

Act 44 and 89, passed in 2008 and 2013 respectively, ordered the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to send $450 million a year to PennDOT. The Turnpike is in debt approaching $12 billion, and the Auditor General has labeled the state's transportation funding system “unsustainable.”

“This lawsuit is far from over,” Spencer continued. “And win or lose on appeal, the turnpike’s debt crisis and the Commonwealth’s transportation emergency aren’t going away either. This is a crisis created by the legislature’s decisions, not our lawsuit.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 160,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.


The Seven Deadly Sins- Failing to Mitigate After a Traffic Accident

By Kelsea Eckert

According to the UMTRI, more than 71% of truck driving accidents are caused by passenger vehicle drivers. Only 16% of all truck driving accidents are the truck driver’s fault. If you’re in a traffic accident, the guy that hit you should have to pay to fix your truck. He should also have to pay your lost income while you’re down. 

The catch is you can’t just sit back and expect to get paid for doing nothing. You have a duty to move if you expect the bad driver’s insurance company to pay your downtime losses. You are expected to get your equipment repaired and back on the road as soon as possible. Limiting your losses is called mitigation. If you don’t mitigate your damages, don’t expect full reimbursement. 

Small trucking companies and owner operators often commit the following seven deadly sins:

Lust

Shiny, sexy, state-of-the-art new trucks can lure buyers who can’t really afford them. It’s tempting to start a business with the best of the best. However, financial stability is very important when buying expensive equipment. Not having deep financial resources and a backup plan when there’s an accident is short-sighted and dangerous. If two or three weeks down will put you out of business, you might be in the wrong truck. Slow, careful growth of a business is often the healthiest path.

While equipment is down, it’s important to rent or borrow equipment if possible. Sometimes that means using equipment that isn’t quite as pretty or as useful as yours. 

Every owner operator needs to have a contingency plan so in times of an accident, the business can make it through. Additionally, a conscientious owner will proactively work closely with their insurance agent to understand the insurance coverage they have. It’s important to know what coverage is included in a policy. This may include physical damage, bobtail, cargo, downtime and towing coverage. 

Gluttony 

While television ads make it seem you’ll win a million dollars if you’re in an accident, that’s not often the case. If you’re the victim of an accident, get professional legal advice. Don’t have an unrealistic expectation of a windfall settlement or the time it takes to get paid. 

If a trucking business is not financially sound, an accident can cause a domino effect of financial crises. However, every bad event that happens after an accident may not be legally attributable to the at-fault party. If the accident settlement takes a long time, some accident victims could lose their homes and prized possessions. Divorces and other personal problems could develop. While this may have happened because of the accident, many of these costs cannot be legally attributable to the bad driver. Damages must be “consequential” or directly related to the incident to be considered as recoverable.

A better idea is having realistic expectations of the process; and proactively provide documentation, photos, and accurate calculations of real losses to the adverse party. Getting back on the road, even by filing a claim with your own insurance company or paying for the repairs out of pocket is better than allowing the dominos to fall.

Greed 

Greedily cashing a check from the other side without careful review is short sighted. Don’t be too quick to accept the first offer, sign a release, or cash a check. By signing a release or cashing a check with release language, you might be giving up your rights to any more money, including downtime income, a bodily injury settlement, diminished value monies, your deductible, and your insurance carrier’s subrogation claim.

Ask your attorney whether it’s safe to settle your claim. It’s also important to work with your insurance company, your accountant, and other experts to get good advice before acting on impulse and cashing a check. 

Sloth

Sitting on the couch and watching TV isn’t a valid way to mitigate losses. It’s important to keep the claim moving along. Even though you’re the victim, you can’t just wait for the other side to handle everything for you and fix your equipment. You have to actively participate.

Make temporary repairs if possible and get back on the road. When damages are more significant, rent other equipment if possible. If rental isn’t possible, keep records of every attempt to get your equipment back on the road ASAP. 

A careful claimant will keep a timeline of everything done to get back on the road. Gather documents proving attempts to rent, as well as any roadblocks, like motor carrier agreements which don’t allow for rentals. Include any written denials by rental companies and proof of specialized equipment which cannot be rented. 

Wrath 

Anger, hatred, revenge! Bad behavior can damage a good claim. Be very careful what you say at the accident scene. Be careful what you say during the claims process. Adverse insurance adjusters look for reasons to deny claims. While the process may be frustrating, procedures must be followed before checks are issued. Insulting or agitating an adjuster may delay a valid claim.

Consider being thankful for no bodily injuries from the accident. While the adverse adjuster is going to take care of their insured, they may not necessarily be your enemy. Often, by speaking respectfully to the adjuster and providing requested documentation, you’ll make progress towards resolving the claim quickly.

Envy

“My buddy was in an accident and he got a bunch of money, really quickly. Why didn’t I?”

You and your buddy’s claims may be like apples and oranges. There are many factors that go into settling a claim. Every insurance company handles claims differently. Even if the two cases were against the same insurance company, each will be determined on its own merit. Focus on your own claim and make sure you mitigate your damages so the other side has little reason to deny your request.

Pride

“Well, it’s the principal of the matter!” This statement is often said in the heat of the moment. It may be said without thinking through the entire claim or having professional advice. A person that says this may be too proud to settle, as well as blind to the consequences. Going to court solely based on principal can be an expensive and sometimes disappointing process.

A better course of action may be to resolve the matter for a reasonable figure, even if less than desired, and get back on the road again. Time is money. Getting back to work will help not only your profit margin, but your mental health.

Hopefully, you will avoid all accidents. But if someone does hit you, make sure you protect yourself legally and mitigate your damages so you can collect your entire losses.



Truckers And Other Organizations Oppose Size And Weight Increases

 

 

Grain Valley, MO… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association cosigned a letter along with a coalition of organizations opposed to increasing size and weight restrictions for commercial motor vehicles. The letter was sent to all members Congress, asking them to oppose legislative language that would increase maximum truck size or weight limits on federal highways.

“Heavier trucks put additional stress on our already deteriorating highways and bridges as well as endanger highway users,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA President. “We think proposals to increase sizes and weights should be rejected, as has been done over and over by both lawmakers and policymakers in the past.”

The letter, which was signed by 14 organizations, points out that increasing size and weight limits on federal highways would have negative consequences for state and local roads that are less capable of handling longer and heavier trucks. OOIDA agrees that letting that happen would put even more pressure on state and local governments to find funds to maintain and repair those routes.

“And, it’s likely trucks would be disproportionately targeted to generate the additional revenue,” added Spencer.

OOIDA has long opposed efforts to increase size and weight limits for commercial trucks and suggests that proponents consider alternatives that do not hasten deterioration of roads and bridges or jeopardize highway safety.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 160,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.