Op-Ed: Increasing Safety Through Driver Training

By Ellen Voie, President/CEO, Women In Trucking, Inc.

EllenVoieRecently a young (23-year-old) professional driver maneuvered her loaded tractor-trailer onto a 19th century bridge in Paoli, Indiana. The driver held a commercial driver’s license (CDL), but apparently the definition of what constituted a ton was not part of the training curriculum. The bridge was posted with a six ton weight limit while the loaded tractor-trailer weighed closer to 30 tons, or 60,000 pounds.

She admitted that she did not understand the definition of a ton, which she should have learned in a grade school math class as “a unit of weight equivalent to 2,000 pounds.” The driver had taken a wrong turn and was using the bridge to get back on track and demolished the bridge, the truck and her career in the process. Read more

BIT Update: A New Way to Check Carrier Inspection Results

Reform of the California Highway Patrol’s BASIC Inspection of Terminal (BIT) will also change how brokers, shippers, motor carriers, and others validate participation in BIT (while the acronym is unchanged, it is no longer called the Biennial Inspection of Terminal program).

Many brokers and motor carriers as part of their carrier selection process (sub-hauler checklist) ask for proof of enrollment in BIT, it’s important to note there is no longer an enrollment application (or even fees to be paid to CHP). Proof of enrollment in BIT is having an active Motor Carrier Permit (MCP) since DMV collects those fees now when renewing or applying for an MCP. BIT fees are actually now called a Carrier Inspection Fee (CIF). You will still want to check DMV’s active list of MCP’s to make sure the permit is valid; we have seen phony photo-shopped MCP’s. Read more

Work Smart in 2016: Protect Your Investment and “Trust but Verify.”

In all the years that I’ve been reaching out to truckers while helping them with their businesses, the number one complaint is slow pay or no pay at all.

Trying to keep the doors open for any trucking company, small or large, can be very challenging. Whether you work in only California, which happens to be the most overregulated state in the union, or if you operate throughout the country trying to keep up with all the rules and regulations can be overwhelming. Staying up to date on all the rules of the game sometimes results in taking your eyes off the folks you work for and whether you’ll get paid, this is the main subject of my article.

Perform your due diligence and investigate the brokers and contractors you work for, after all good brokers and contractors are checking you out too. One of the great benefits of being part of this association is having the resources and contacts to get some history on the good and bad brokers and contractors. Take advantage of chapter and board meetings and network with your fellow truckers in order to get some feedback on a potential new customer. Read more