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…]

Riding the Hours of Service “Merry Go Round”

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

Hours of Service

In December of 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a final rule for hours of service (HOS) that is scheduled to go into effect on July 1st 2013 regardless of a pending lawsuit that was submitted by American Trucking Associations.

This is not the first time the FMCSA has changed HOS regulations and it’s not likely to be the last. How long drivers should work before taking a break is a bone of contention among several parties. Safety activists want shorter work periods and longer, more frequent rest breaks while those in the industry want to make the most of their time on the road. In an effort to arrive at the best solution, regulations have been changed only to be changed back. [Read more…]

Defensive Driving 101 For Commercial Drivers

South Texas Roads Are Shared With Trained & Untrained Drivers

Commercial drivers face many challenges every day. You’re under a lot of pressure to transport goods on time, without damage and without risking your own safety or the safety of those with whom you share the road. Getting around the Eagle Ford Shale region would be easy if commercial vehicles had their own highways to maneuver through but unfortunately you have to share the roadways with everyone else. [Read more…]

Training To Drive In The Eagle Ford – Part II

Part Two of Two
DMC Instructor & Student

DMC Instructor & Student | Click to Enlarge

Truck drivers with commercial driver’s licenses are in high demand in the Eagle Ford Shale Play. However, getting that CDL license could get much more difficult in the near future. If you’re planning on getting, or offering, training, you need to keep an eye on the proposed regulations for entry level driver training. (ELDT).

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding ELDT. If this becomes a final rule, all CDL training programs will have to meet those standards.

Last month we reviewed the long history of mandatory training standards proposals. What does the current NPRM mean for prospective drivers and for those in the training industry? [Read more…]

Training to Drive Trucks in the Eagle Ford Shale

Part One of a Two Part Series
Tanker Truck on the Highway

Click to Enlarge

Truck drivers with commercial driver’s licenses are in high demand in the Eagle Ford Shale Play. However, getting that CDL license could get much more difficult in the near future. If you’re planning on getting, or offering, training, you need to keep an eye on the proposed regulations for entry level driver training (ELDT).

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding ELDT. If this becomes a final rule, all CDL training programs will have to meet those standards.

[Read more…]

Good CDL Drivers Needed in the Eagle Ford Shale Play

Good Training Programs are Important in Making Sure Safe Drivers are on the Roads
18 Wheeler Side Shot Del Mar College

CDL Training Truck | Click to Enlarge

South Texas has had a huge CDL driver shortage even before Eagle Ford Shale. Currently there are 150,000 CDL drivers needed nationwide. The American Trucking Associations have predicted the driver shortage will jump to 300,000 by the year 2014. Many companies are finding it more and more challenging to attract experienced CDL drivers due to the huge demand. CDL holders are held to a much higher standard than regular licensed drivers and must keep their driving records in good standing.

Hiring good experienced drivers is very challenging because companies have to be especially strict about driving records, accidents and Department of Transportation violations. This is because of CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores. CSA was established to keep accurate statistics of accidents, DOT violations, unsafe equipment and driving habits. CSA scores the safety performance of both the driver and the driver’s company. If a driver receives an unsatisfactory vehicle inspection and receives a violation, it will stay on the individual’s CSA score for three years and the company  that employed the driver at the time for two years. Under CSA’s new system that score will travel with the driver to whatever company the driver may transfer to over those three years. Having a negative CSA score increases the chance of receiving a DOT audit and can be very costly to both the driver and the employer. [Read more…]

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