FMCSA’s medical certification program under audit by DOT

Spurred by a wake of criminal charges against medical examiners who have fraudulently issued DOT medical certificates to truck operators, the U.S. DOT’s Office of Inspector General announced Wednesday it is opening an audit to evaluate the DOT medical certification program. Of focus in the audit is the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2014. Since the August 2014 onset of the National Registry, there have been eight indictments and six convictions against medical examiners who have issued fraudulent certificates to drivers. In most cases, the examiner was issuing certificates without performing a full exam and, in some cases, the examiners uploaded fake exam results to FMCSA. Read more

NHDOT WINS NATIONAL “SAFE AND SUSTAINABLE SNOWFIGHTING AWARD”

DERRY PATROL SECTION CITED FOR BEST WINTER MAINTENANCE PRACTICES ON I-93 The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) Patrol Section 528 in Derry has won the 2018 Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Award from the Salt Institute for excellence in environmental consciousness and effective management in the storage and application of winter road salt. “This is a well-deserved award for the crew operating the I-93 NHDOT 528 Patrol Section in Derry,” said NHDOT Commissioner Victoria Sheehan. “This crew over the past decade has consistently shown a great concern for both the safety of the motorists and the environmental impacts that their daily operations produce along the section of Interstate 93 between Salem and Manchester. This nationwide award is an acknowledgment of that constant and continued focus on both the environment and motorist safety.” A commendation from Governor Chris Sununu issued this week noted that NHDOT state and hired vehicles perform winter maintenance operations on over 2 million miles of New Hampshire roadways seasonally, and that the 528 Patrol Section “has successfully reduced the application of salt on the roadways they are responsible for by approximately 20 percent over the past decade, while continuing to maintain a high standard for safety and mobility along the I-93 corridor.” “Snowfighters across the country work long and difficult hours to protect both public safety and the environment, utilizing effective practices that apply the right amount of salt at the right place and at the right time,” said Lori Roman, President of the Salt Institute. “The Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Award represents the highest acclaim for public safety and the environment. Recipients must meet or exceed nearly 70 different criteria covering storage, equipment, safety, environmental protection, and service.” Only seven local and state agencies in the U.S. and Canada received this recognition in 2018. A complete list by state is available from the Salt Institute. http://saltinstitute.org/

New Training

New Defensive Driving for Professional Truck Drivers March 5, 8:30am-12:30pm New DER Training Tuesday, March 19, 8:30am – 11:30 am Collectors Wednesday, March 21, 8:30am-3:30pm CMVR for Drivers March 27, 8:00am-12:00pm DOT Audit Wednesday, March 27, 12:30pm-4:30pm Hazardous Materials April 4, 8:30am-12:30pm Pre-trip April 11, 8:30am-12:30pm Fork Truck Training Thursday, March 7, 2019, 8:30 am Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 8:30 am Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 8:30 am Thursday, June 13, 2019, 8:30 am Thursday, July 11, 2019, 8:30 am Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 8:30 am Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 8:30 am

REGIONAL TRUCK DETOUR DURING NH ROUTE 9 BRIDGE REPLACEMENT IN SULLIVAN SEVEN MONTH DETOUR BEGINNING ABOUT APRIL 1 WILL USE US 202 AND NH 101

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) announces the planned implementation on or about April 1, 2019 of a regional truck detour to allow for the replacement of the NH Route 9 bridge over Otter Brook in Sullivan. During the bridge replacement project, a planned local detour route for light vehicles will involve a narrow roadway and sharp turn that will not be easily navigated by larger trucks, large motor homes, and vehicles hauling large travel trailers. A signed detour will direct westbound truck traffic on NH Route 9 to turn onto US 202 in Hillsborough, to NH Route 101 in Peterborough and proceed west to Keene. The detour heading eastbound will be to NH 101 in Keene to US 202 in Peterborough to NH 9 in Hillsborough. This roadway reconstruction project along Route 9 begins near the Granite Gorge Ski Area in Roxbury and continues easterly for approximately 2.1 miles to the Centre Street intersection in Sullivan. Road work includes tree removal on the steep ridgeline slopes and slope reduction to improve sight distances. The project will also include significant drainage and guardrail improvements. Bridge work entails replacing the existing NH Route 9 bridge over Otter Brook, and rehabilitating the Centre Street Bridge over Otter Brook.

AMENDED REGIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION UNDER 49 CFR § 390.23 No. 2019-001

CONNECTICUT, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KANSAS, KENTUCKY, MAINE, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, MISSISSIPPI, NEBRASKA, NEW HAMPSIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, SOUTH DAKOTA, TENNESSEE, VERMONT AND WISCONSIN This Amended Regional Emergency was updated to include South Dakota. The expiration date remains the same, February 17, 2019. By execution of this amendment to the Emergency Declaration, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting heating fuel, including propane, natural gas and heating oil, and other fuel products, including gasoline, into the Affected States are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations except as restricted herein. Please keep a copy of the Waiver in the cab of your truck. Here is the link: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/esc-msc-ssc-wsc-amended-regional-emergency-declaration-2019-001-winter-storms-02-08-2019

Amended Regional Emergency Waiver Declaration extended to February 17

 Attached is the Regional Emergency Declaration from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The waiver includes heating oil, propane, and gasoline to the affected area (Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin) and is in effect for the duration of the emergency or February 17, 2019, whichever is less. This waiver is intended for interstate commerce. Please refer to attached waiver for details. Please keep a copy of this waiver in the cab of your truck.

Diesel gelling and how to stop it this winter

Diesel engines can be temperamental in the winter. Fleet owners get an unwelcome reminder of this every year. But your operation doesn’t have to hinge on the mercy of weather. Here’s what you need to know to put cold weather diesel problems on ice. There’s no worse sound on a cold winter morning than the sputter of a diesel engine that won’t start. No matter how much freight you need to deliver, it’s not going anywhere if cold weather gets the best of your rig. Read more