DON’T LOSE IT! – Medical Certification Required for CDL Drivers

You could be at risk of losing your CDL
Tanker Truck on the Highway

Tanker Truck on the Highway | Click to Enlarge

Effective January 30, 2015, all drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) must have a current medical certification registered with the Texas Driver’s License Agency, Department of Motor Vehicles Division. That includes oilfield drivers working in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Original Deadline was January 30, 2014, and that has been extended to January 30, 2015

Download the Texas CDL Self-Certification Affidavit HERE

All CDL holders must provide information to their state driver’s license agency (SDLA) regarding the type of commercial motor vehicle operation they drive in or expect to drive in with their CDL. Drivers operating in certain types of commerce will be required to submit a current medical examiner’s certificate to their SDLA to obtain a “certified” medical status as part of their driving record. CDL holders required to have a ”certified” medical status who fail to provide and keep up-to-date their medical examiner’s certificate with their SDLA will become ”not-certified” and they may lose their CDL. [Read more…]

Don’t Let Eagle Ford Drivers Be Put “Out-of-Service”

Carriers Can Be Put Out of Service For Operating Beyond the Scope of Registration
Drivers Daily Vehicle Inspection Report

Drivers Daily Vehicle Inspection Report – Copyright Mike Byrnes & Associates, Inc | Click to Enlarge

In trucking, “out-of-service” criteria define a set of physical conditions under which a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) or commercial driver may be prohibited from operating. An out-of-service violation removes the driver and CMV from the roadway until the violation is corrected, which obviously means no work gets done and no one gets paid. In addition, out of service violations are sometimes punishable by fines.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is serious about getting unsafe trucks off our roads and penalizing drivers and owners who fail to follow the regulations. In recent years, there have been more trucking companies and passenger bus companies placed out of service than ever before. The MAP-21 highway funding law that went into effect doubled most fines for serious violations.

Sharing the Blame

New rules that went into effect Oct. 1, 2013, allows the agency to place an entire carrier out of service for operating vehicles “without or beyond the scope of registration,” according to the regulation, whereas previously only the unregistered vehicle itself could be placed out of service. Now both the carrier as well as the vehicle can be penalized. Carriers and drivers who fail to comply with the state and federal regulations can be more easily be prevented from operating.

You can imagine this puts an even greater emphasis on thorough vehicle inspections and preventive maintenance which would catch potential risks to safety before they can cause accidents. A diligently-performed daily vehicle inspection will disclose such potential problems as faulty brake systems and bald tires.

Out-of-service penalties can also be levied against drivers without proper licensing and training. A CMV driver without a CDL or one that has expired can be just a serious a safety liability as brakes that won’t hold or tires ready to blow.

Activity in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas has increased truck traffic tremendously and statistics show trucking related accidents are up 41 percent.

Keep Eagle Ford Roadways Safe

In November, 2013, Sergeant Villarreal with Corpus Christi Department of Public Safety (DPS) spoke at the National Association for Publicly Funded Schools Region 4 “Keeping Our Roadways Safe” Conference at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi. Sergeant Villarreal indicated that the top three violations DPS officers see when pulling a commercial vehicle over in the Eagle Ford Shale are:

  1. Vehicle Inspections performed improperly or not at all
  2. Log Book Violations
  3. Driving a truck without a valid CDL license.

Keep Eagle Ford Drivers Trucking

Now that carriers as well as vehicles can be put out of service, here are five tips to help keep drivers “in service” and safely on the road:

  • Repair broken equipment.
  • Hire qualified drivers that have been properly trained with a valid CDL.
  • Have a strict pre/post trip vehicle inspection policy and hold drivers responsible for conducting and reporting them.
  • Have a no tolerance policy on faulty log book violations.
  • Conduct weekly or monthly safety meetings and reward employees for good audit results and discipline drivers that do not.

Must-Know Items for Truck Drivers in the Eagle Ford

Invest in Adequate Driver Training

Earlier this year we wrote a series of stories about the federal government’s efforts to regulate the training of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators. For 28 years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has attempted to standardize training requirements for entry level drivers (ELDT). [Read more…]

Truck Driving in the Eagle Ford Shale Play

Is it a good career move?
Mission Well Services Frac Spread

Hundreds of trucks used in oil & gas operations | Click to Enlarge

Even those who are not in the trucking industry have an inkling of an idea about the driver shortage. Ads for jobs for holders of commercial driver’s licenses pepper the newspaper classifieds. Recruitment ads fill television and computer screens not to mention the Job Board on this site, suggesting to even the casual viewer that drivers are in demand. [Read more…]

Give Me Some Space! Trucks Need More Room

Sharing the Road With Large Vehicles

In July of 2013, the Houston Chronicle reported that 12 people had died in Eagle Ford Shale area traffic accidents, an increase of 12 times the number of fatalities reported to the Texas Department of Transportation. This past spring, the San Antonio Express reported that Texas Department of Transportation data showed a 40 percent increase in fatal traffic accidents in the Eagle Ford Shale region last year. [Read more…]

Hours of Service “Merry Go Round”

Keeping Track of Time in the Eagle Ford Shale Play, Part Two
Running Clock

Hours of Service

On July 1, 2013, hours of service (HOS) regulations went into effect that had been published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as a final rule in December of 2011. The implementation was despite a lawsuit that was submitted by American Trucking Associations, a lawsuit that’s still pending.

Read the first part of this two part series in the article Riding the Hours of Service “Merry Go Round”

To recap, as of July 1, 2013 commercial drivers are only allowed one 34-hour restart per seven days. Further, they must take an additional three-minute break when driving for eight consecutive hours. This must include two periods between 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. home terminal time and may only be used once per week. [Read more…]

MENU