January 1, 2018 DOT Mandates Drug Testing For Opiods

January 1, 2018 the Department of Transportation will be testing truck drivers for 4 additional synthetic opiods. The testing will include pre-employment and post-accident screening. The Medical Review Officer (MRO) will test for Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxymorphone, and Oxycodone. These synthetic opiods are to manage pain, but are highly addictive. It is a crisis in the United States, and the DOT is taking measures to help insure the safety of the public. The problem has many faces, but the biggest hurdle for the MROs is that these medications, in most cases,are  prescribed by a doctor. The MRO will have to make a determination that can affect the future of the driver. Excessive use can cause decreased reaction time and sleeplessness. There will be a fine line between legitimate pain management and drug abuse.

 

source:ttnews

The ELD Debate

Analysts in the trucking industry believe that with the mandated ELDs, freight capacity will tighten, along with rising rates. Some say the rates will increase between 5-15%. Industry pricing analysts feel the most impact will on one day hauls of more than 450 miles. In some cases the trip will take a second day. That means that the back-haul will have to be rescheduled. The mandate will have other effects on the industry. Some say drivers will be asking for higher pay per mile because they will be driving fewer miles. It may also force some companies to ship by rail. However it shakes out, the bottom line is that it is going to effect the industry….some positive….some negative. Two things are for sure….it will level the playing field for all involved, and December 18 ,2017 citations will be written.

 

source:transport topics/trucker news

 

Mandated Electronic Logging Devices Deadline Looms

 

 

After years of much debate, the federal government mandated law of electronic logging devices is set to go into effect on December 18, 2017. The law will require carriers to record drivers’ hours of service (HOS) electronically, rather than in paper logbooks. Proponents of the mandate say that the number one reason for the law is to make the trucking industry safer. Drivers that currently have been using Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRDs) have until December 16, 2019 to replace them with ELDs. If trucks that use paper logbooks operate without ELDs, law enforcement can place the vehicles out of service after April  1, 2018. Who is exempt? (1)  Shorthaul drivers that run under a 100 mile radius. (2) Drivers that run no more than 8 days in a 30 day period. (3) Trucks with engines manufactured before 2000. (4) Drivers of trucks rented for less than 8 days.( 5) Drivers where the truck being driven is the commodity being delivered.

 

Diesel Prices

The price of diesel fuel across the nation rose on average three cents on 12/4/2017. The retail price climbed to $2.915 a gallon. It is the highest price of diesel since March of 2015. The price is 47.2 cents more than it was at this time last year. California is again the highest region in the country at $3.585 a gallon. The lowest is in the Gulf Coast region where the price is $2.713.

 

Diesel Highest In Two Years

The average retail price of a gallon of diesel fuel in the United States rose 2.2 cents to $2.915. It is the highest price since July 6, 2015. Speculation is that production cuts will continue into 2018 after a meeting of OPEC countries this month. California ranks the highest at $3.610. In contrast, the Gulf Coast Region is again the most economical at $2.697 per gallon. With these higher prices, fleets are looking at alternatives to reduce their costs. Some reefer fleets  have turned to battery-powered refrigeration units with solar panels. With no end in sight, everyone will have to be creative to solve this problem.

source:transport topics