With so many ways to newtork where do YOU start?
I will start by apologizing for all of the acronyms in this post. The DOT techie side came out as I wrote it. lol
Recently I attended the CVSA annual conference in Biloxi Mississippi. It was awesome to be able to be in the same room as Deputy Administrator, Alan Hanson, from the FMCSA; Canadian officials from the CCMTA, and General Salomon Elnecave, from the Mexican Motor Carrier Enforcement. Not to mention enforcement officials from almost every state and over 300 individuals from industry. If you cannot see value in a conference like that then I suggest that you clean your glasses and try again.
I would like to give everyone a quick over view of what we covered throughout the week and encourage you to consider joining the CVSA as an associate member. This is one conference that I do not mind leaving early Sunday morning and getting home late Thursday night for. The value it provides and the networking opportunities are endless, you are only limited by your own fear. Let me give you a quick rundown on just a few of the people I held personal conversations with: PHMSA director Bill Quade and talked about his recent change from FMCSA to PHMSA and how much he has enjoyed the change. The fact that he recently went to Dubai & some of the new regulations that PHMSA is working towards. FMCSA director of IT and his wonderful wife. Major Chris Nordlow from the “republic of” Texas is a slight cowboys fan, lol. Nicole who works in the motion picture industry and is working with all of the major media studios to help them support and learn what CMV drivers are and what regulations they must follow to be legal. Dan and Abigail with the American Trucking Association. Abigail has been to several countries and loves hiking. She is also a next level expert in OSHA, HOS, and who knows what else. I can’t forget Mike with the Arkansas Trucking Association. He is a great guy and very knowledgeable on every topic in the realm of DOT. I could keep going for days on all of the networking that happened in five short days.
Nevertheless, it is not just about networking it is also about having open honest conversations with the enforcement agencies. Getting to see their perspective on some of the issues they are seeing on the front lines of highway safety with commercial vehicles. In addition, when Industry has an issue like being cited for not having spare fuses when the truck I equipped with circuit breakers. We are taking action to try and get it to where an officer will have to note in the violation what specific “critical” item is powered by a fuse, and that there was not a spare fuse for that component. It may not seem like much but there are over 5000 no spare fuse violations annually, that is can be a huge help to industry. We also help to shape the Out of Service Criteria hat officers use to place vehicles out of service at a roadside inspection.
Here is a big one that CVSA voted to support and is going to draft a letter to be sent to FMCSA. We decided that it would be advantageous to industry and enforcement to have ELD providers in the United States go through a certification process. This would help industry and enforcement know that the units are functioning properly and by the law. Currently there are several ELD providers that are not compliant with the ELD mandate, but they are being sold as ELD’s. To top that off the providers have self-registered with the FMCSA so industry would not know if the ELD is compliance until after the units are installed and in use. Personally, I support this and was excited to see it come through the committee. Then the board of directors passed the motion as well.
On the note of Canadian regulations. They have come out with and ELD law and it will take effect 2021. They will be publishing the law in the beginning of 2020 and ELD providers will have go through a third-party certification prior to be authorized to sell their product to any trucking units running in Canada. Also note that if you are a USA trucking company and run in Canada then you will have to comply with this new regulation. They will also be publishing a study on the use of cannabis since it was legalized.
It is also extremely refreshing to know that FMCSA regulators are common sense driving individuals and are trying to do everything within their power to help de-regulate the industry and keep it as safe as possible. Hence the reason for HOS reform. They also take massive amounts of notes from industry back to headquarters to see what they can do to help. Not to mention if you ever have a question, I now have contacts in every aspect of FMCSA. Passenger, IT, Weights and measures, Load securement, Vehicle, PHMSA. How awesome is that to have contacts at the highest level of the administration?
Currently we have approximately eight working groups and industry holds three voting spaces in each committee. I am one of those 24 people horned to have a voting responsibility.
Here is my request from you, if you would like to have a representation at the CVSA please reach out to me. There is a small fee to be a member of the CVSA; the ROI will come in the first 6 months of membership. If your company would like to have a voice please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Second, if you have any concerns that need to be brought up to FMCSA, PHMSA, or the enforcement industry. Please reach out to me and let me know that concern. I can either get you in touch with the right people from your region, or reach out to them myself to find an answer for you.
If you would like to know about the conference, reach out to me today I will be more than happy to give you all of the information that I have.