Your APU Weight Exemption Guide

Auxiliary Power Units (often referred to as APU’s) are used by truckers to limit fuel use, since they eliminate the need to run their trucks engines on idle while parked. But seeing as they usually weigh a few hundred pounds, they may be a problem for drivers who routinely carry close to the maximum weight limits. With the president’s latest expansion of the MAP-21 bill dealing with state-by-state APU regulations, this may be confusing to drivers who cross state lines on a steady basis.

This table, put together by Track Your Truck, can aware drivers how much APU weight is exempt in each state.

Check it out: Trackyour truck

The Meat Behind the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

A few weeks ago, the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) announced it is establishing the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse).

This new database will contain information pertaining to violations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) controlled substances (drug) and alcohol testing program for holders of commercial drivers licenses (CLDs).

The Clearinghouse rule requires FMCSA-regulated employers, Medical Review Officers (MROs), Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs), consortia/third party administrators (C/TPAs), and other service agents to report to the Clearinghouse information related to violations of the drug and alcohol regulations in 49 Code of Federal Regulations, parts 40 and 382 by current and prospective employees.

The Clearinghouse will also require the following:

  • Employers will be required to query the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees’ drug and alcohol violations before permitting those employees to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads.
  • Employers will be required to annually query the Clearinghouse for each driver they currently employ.
  • State driver licensing agencies will be required to query the Clearinghouse whenever a CDL is issued, renewed, transferred or upgraded.

The Clearinghouse will provide FMCSA and employers the necessary tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a CMV based on DOT drug and alcohol program violations and ensure that such drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before operating a CMV on public roads.

Specifically, information maintained in the Clearinghouse will enable employers to identify drivers who commit a drug or alcohol program violation while working for one employer, but who fail to subsequently inform another employer (as required by current regulations).

Records of drug and alcohol program violations will remain in the Clearinghouse for five years, or until the driver has completed the return-to-duty process, whichever is later.

In 2012, Congress directed the Secretary of Transportation to establish a national Clearinghouse containing CMV operators’ violations of FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing program in Section 32402 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). This rule implements that mandate and also responds to earlier recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board.

This information collection supports the DOT Strategic Goal of Safety by ensuring that drivers are qualified to operate trucks and buses on our nation’s highways.

THE REGULATORY LANDSCAPE WIDENS

RECENT REGULATIONS IN EFFECT

SELF-CERTIFICATION: January 30, 2014 Effective Date Background: As of Jan. 30, 2014, all commercial driver license (CDL) holders in the U.S. must self-certify (formally disclose) to the State Licensing Agency (DMV) what type of work he or she does, using one of the following four categories:

•  Non-Excepted Interstate: Driver is engaged in RECENT REGULATIONS IN EFFECT SELF-CERTIFICATION: January 30, 2014 Effective Date Background: As of Jan. 30, 2014, all commercial driver license (CDL) holders in the U.S. must self-certify (formally disclose) to the State Licensing Agency (DMV) what type of work he or she does, using one of the following four categories:

• Non-Excepted Interstate: Driver is engaged in interstate commerce and must meet the federal Department of Transportation (DOT) medical card requirements

• Excepted Interstate: Driver is engaged in interstate commerce and does not have to meet the DOT medical card requirements • Non-Excepted Intrastate: Driver is engaged in intrastate commerce and must meet state driver qualification requirements

• Excepted Intrastate: Driver is engaged in intrastate commerce and does not have to meet the DOT medical card requirements Drivers who work in interstate commerce will also need to provide a medical certification (DOT physical) to prove they are qualified to drive. Failure to present valid medical documentation will result in the denial of the issuance or renewal of the CDL.

Impact: Any driver who is not currently self-certified or fails to bring their newest medical certification to the DMV will have his or her CDL downgraded to non-CDL status, putting them out of commission until resolved.

COMMERCIAL DRIVERS LICENSE REQUIREMENTS FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL:

Final rule published October 12, 2016 Background: In recognition of the truck driver training received while serving our country, the federal government is looking to ease the transition of military members into civilian careers by reducing onerous paperwork and simplifying the licensing process.

The proposal includes:

• Extending the time period for applying for a skills test waiver from 90 days to 1 year for   recently separated military

• Requires states to accept the military commercial vehicle license of certain military   personnel in exchange for a CDL

• Allowing active duty military members to apply for their Commercial Learner’s Permit   (CLP) or CDL in their current state of residence with the CLP or CDL being issued by  their state of domicile

Impact: This process has been placed in a temporary exemption since 2014, and the final rule  made it permanent.

Call us today if you have any questions!