Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Motor Transport Underwriters Award

Schilli Transportation Services would like to announce receiving the 10-Year Award for continued Partnership with Motor Transport Underwriters.

Pictured left to right:  John Sorg, MTU National Account Executive, Thomas R. Schilli, STS President, Greg Bonnell, MTU President.

Mr. Schilli is pleased to announce the acceptance of the following recognition from Motor Transport Underwriters, Inc.

Mr. Schilli would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every driver with the Schilli organizations that have contributed to the success of the companies in providing professional safe driving over the past ten years. 

"Safety of our drivers is priority one and the ten year partnership with MTU show cases that message.  Thank you to all ."     Thomas R. Schilli

Presented to Tom Schilli
Thanks for a Great 10 Year Partnership. 
Motor Transport Underwriters, Inc.
March 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

10 Things All Car & Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles

QUICK TIPS: Ten Things All Car & Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles

1. There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don't "recognize" a motorcycle; they ignore it (usually unintentionally). Look for motorcycles, especially when checking traffic at an intersection.

2. Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.

3. Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc). Take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic, whether you're changing lanes or turning at intersections.

4. Because of its small size a motorcycle may seem to be moving faster than it really is. Don't assume all motorcyclists are speed demons.

5. Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.

6. Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders, (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle's signal is for real.

7. Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off or to allow you to share the lane with them.

8. Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle's better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don't expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.

9. Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because it can't always stop "on a dime."

10. When a motorcycle is in motion, don't think of it as motorcycle; think of it as a person.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Annual CVSA Roadcheck

Annual CVSA Roadcheck

June 4-6, 2013

The annual CVSA Roadcheck is June 4-6, 2013. Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world. With approximately 14 trucks or buses being inspected, every minute from Canada to Mexico during a 72-hour period. Each year, approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial, and federal inspectors at 1,500 locations across North America perform the truck and bus inspections.

CVSA sponsors Roadcheck with participation by:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators
Transport Canada
The Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico)

Roadcheck is one of a series of activities that occur year-round whereby CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement, and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle, driver, and cargo safety and security.

Since its inception in 1988, the roadside inspections conducted during Roadcheck have numbered over 1 million, resulting in more than 220 lives saved and 4,045 injuries avoided. It has also provided for the distribution of countless pieces of educational literature and safety events to educate industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations and the roadside inspection program.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Debunking Misconceptions on Hours of Service Rules

Following are a some frequently asked questions - and misconceptions - about on-duty and sleeper-berth time, activities covered in the FMCSA hours of service rules.

Off Duty Does Not Equal Sleeper


Off duty and sleeper are interchangeable, right? Don't they mean the same thing?

No, and this is a common misunderstanding.

When drivers see that off duty and sleeper both apply to their 10-hour break (any combination of off duty and sleeper), they think they are interchangeable.  However, this is not the case.

Sleeper berth means the driver is resting (not necessarily sleeping) in the sleeper-berth compartment of the unit.

Off-duty time is when the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work.

According to FMCSA hours of service, a driver who is in the sleeper berth and logs off duty can found in noncompliance for either an inaccurate log or a form and manner violation.
If You Need to Be There, You're On Duty 

With the regulation in February 2012 that allows a driver to log “time spent resting in or on a parked vehicle” as off duty, can I now log time at a shipper or receiver as off duty if I am in the cab of my unit?

According to FMCSA hours of service, on-duty time is defined as:

“All time loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle, supervising, or assisting in the loading or unloading, attending a commercial motor vehicle being loaded or unloaded, remaining in a state of readiness to operate the commercial motor vehicle, or in giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded.”
If any of these apply, you are on duty and not driving.

Auditors and inspectors determine whether a driver had the ability to leave the facility when judging whether he or she could have been off duty.
So, if you need to be there, you are considered on duty.
Only Log Sleeper-Berth Time IN Your Sleeper Berth

Can I log sleeper-berth time if I am at a shipper or receiver?

You can log sleeper-berth any time that you are resting in the sleeper-berth compartment of your unit.

You cannot log sleeper-berth time if you are not in the sleeper berth compartment of your unit. Remember to log what you do and do what you log!

The Ins and Outs of On-Duty Time
What is on-duty time?
Following is the definition of on-duty time from the FMCSA hours of service regulations (it's Part 395.2, if you're keeping score). Please note if any of these qualifiers apply, then a driver is recording on-duty time:

On-duty time means all time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work.

On-duty time shall include: 

(1) All time at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper, or on any public property, waiting to be dispatched, unless the driver has been relieved from duty by the motor carrier;

(2) All time inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle at any time; 

(3) All driving time as defined in the term driving time;

(4) All time in or on a commercial motor vehicle, other than:

 (i) Time spent resting in or on a parked vehicle, except as otherwise provided in Part 397.5 of this subchapter;  

(ii) Time spent resting in a sleeper berth; or

 (iii) Up to 2 hours riding in the passenger seat of a property-carrying vehicle moving on the highway immediately before or after a period of at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth;  

(5) All time loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle, supervising, or assisting in the loading or unloading, attending a commercial motor vehicle being loaded or unloaded, remaining in readiness to operate the commercial motor vehicle, or in giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded;

 (6) All time repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled commercial motor vehicle;  

(7) All time spent providing a breath sample or urine specimen, including travel time to and from the collection site, to comply with the random, reasonable suspicion, post-crash, or follow-up testing required by Part 382 of this subchapter when directed by a motor carrier;

 (8) Performing any other work in the capacity, employ, or service of, a motor carrier; and 

 (9) Performing any compensated work for a person who is not a motor carrier.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Distracted Driving is Dangerous

SAN DIEGO — SmartDrive Systems, a company whose products include driving performance solutions to reduce collisions and improve fuel efficiency, said last month that the SmartDrive Distracted Driving Index study concluded that the top 5 percent of distracted drivers of commercial vehicles are distracted 79 percent of the time during a risky driving maneuver, nearly six times more often than the rest of the drivers.

Released during the National Safety Council’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the study — which explored the distracted driving rate of commercial fleets — summarizes the 2012 performance of commercial drivers observed during a benchmark period prior to and after starting the SmartDrive Safety program.

“This study provides commercial fleets with an ongoing measurement of causes and trends in distracted driving behaviors to help improve driving performance and skills, helping drivers to be safer on the road,” Steve Mitgang, SmartDrive CEO said. “The study compiles information from the in-vehicle, video event recorders that capture video, audio and vehicle data during sudden stops, swerves, collisions and other risky driving maneuvers. These events are analyzed, categorized and scored according to 70-plus safety observations.”

The SmartDrive Distracted Driving Index study evaluated more than 15.1 million video events recorded over the course of 2012.

Through in-depth review and analysis by SmartDrive Expert Safety Analysts, SmartDrive is able to quantify distractions such as mobile phone usage — texting as well as talking — eating, drinking, doing paperwork, personal hygiene and other personal activities. The percentages reflect how often a distraction was observed when a risky driving maneuver was recorded.

Top distracted drivers used mobile phones 29 times more than the rest.

Of the most distracted drivers observed, the study found that mobile phone usage continues to be a top distraction at 27 percent, which includes hands-free talking, handheld talking and texting. According to the National Safety Council, 23 percent of all collisions in 2011 involved mobile phone usage, resulting in 1.3 million collisions.

In addition, object in hand, which includes manipulation of objects, searching for objects, personal grooming, and others, is also particularly risky and a more common distraction compared to the others.

The study also found that the top distracted commercial drivers were talking on mobile phones 29 times more than the rest of the drivers as well as 19 times more texting than the rest of the drivers. This shows an habitual pattern with top distracted drivers leading to risky driving behaviors.

Mobile phone usage is the single most common distraction of all drivers during speeding, at 25 percent. Object in hand, at 27 percent, shows similar behavior pattern we’ve observed with mobile phone usage — that manipulating an object while driving continues to be the biggest cause of distractions. Interestingly, when food and beverages are combined, it represented 34 percent of the most common distractions during speeding of all drivers.