34-Hour Restart Requirements Revert To Pre-July 1, 2013 Rules

On Tuesday night (12/16/14), President Obama signed  the Fiscal Year 2015 Omnibus Appropriates Bill into law, which results in officially suspending the two restrictions on the use of the 34-hour restart.

Effective immediately, the 34-hour restart will revert to its pre-July 1, 2013 version. More specifically, the requirements for two periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. and the limit on using the restart  more than once every 168 hours is officially suspended. The bill requires the FMCSA to begin a study of the impacts of the restrictions on highway safety. It is important to note that all other Hours of Service regulations remain in effect. There has been no change to the daily driving limits or 30-minute rest break provision.

For more information, click here to visit the American Trucking Associations Website.

Truckers Make the Holidays Happen

tractorDuring this busy holiday season, truckers are blanketing the roadways as they deliver toys, decorations, food, appliances and everything else that makes it possible for people everywhere to shop, entertain, celebrate, help others and give joy. Without the great service that truckers provide, the holiday season would simply not be as merry and bright.

Santa’s Helpers and More

As “Santa’s Helpers”, truckers make sure that each toy on everyone’s list arrives at the stores in time. They deliver the fixings for the holiday feasts, the family gatherings and the big parties. They also bring the trees, the garlands, the wreaths, lights and ornaments that deck the halls. And, they deliver donations of toys, coats, blankets, food and more to charity organizations working to give a little of the holiday spirit to those who need it most.

Thank You from TransForce

We want to thank truckers everywhere for their service and for taking time away from home during the holidays to ensure that everyone has the best holiday season ever. Happy Holidays from all of us at TransForce. We wish you a season of peace, joy and love.

 

Honoring All Who Have Served

Happy Veterans Day from your friends at TransForce!

The entire staff at TransForce would like to express our deepest gratitude to all Veterans and to the men and woman currently serving in our Nation’s Military.

Do I Need a CDL to Get a Job as a Truck Driver?

Trucking Thinking of getting a driver’s job, but not sure if you need a CDL? There are some types of driving jobs in the U.S. that do not require a commercial driver’s license (CDL), but it is a requirement for almost all professional truck driving jobs. When you have A CDL, you have a key that can open plenty of doors to professional opportunities.

What Is a CDL?

A CDL is a special driver’s license that is a federal requirement for anyone operating any type of vehicle weighing 10,001 or more pounds for commercial use, that transports quantities of hazardous materials that require warning signs on the vehicle or that is designed to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation or 16 or more passengers (including the driver) for non-compensation. This includes, but is not limited to tow trucks, tractor trailers and buses. Although there are Federal guidelines in place for obtaining a CDL, each state has its own set of application procedures and training regulations.

Why CDLs Are Required

Before implementation of the CDL Program in 1986, licensing requirements for driving larger vehicles and buses varied from state to state. Many drivers were operating motor vehicles that they may not have been properly trained or qualified to drive. This lack of standardized training resulted in a large number of preventable traffic deaths and accidents. The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was intended to ensure that truck drivers and drivers of tractor trailers and buses are qualified to drive Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs), and to remove drivers that are unsafe and unqualified from the highways.

Types of CDL Licenses for Professional Drivers

There are various types of CDL licenses, depending on the vehicle being operated and what it is carrying:

  • Class A: Required to drive any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GWVR) of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B:  Required to drive any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
  • Class C: Required to operate single or combination vehicles designed to hold 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or a relatively small vehicle that is hauling hazardous materials.
  • Class A Covers All:  Required to drive any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is placarded for hazardous materials.
    (Many states make exceptions for farm vehicles, snow removal vehicles, fire and emergency vehicles, and some military vehicles).
  • Endorsements: There are also specific endorsements that may be required to operate special vehicles, such as those hauling hazardous materials, tandem (double) trailers and more.

Best Ways to Obtain Your CDL

You can legally get your CDL without attending a legitimate truck driving school, but it is very hard to get a good job with a CDL that is not from a recognized school. You’ll find many more opportunities if you get your training through a company-sponsored CDL training program or a private truck driving school.

Great Job Opportunities for CDL Drivers

One of the best job opportunities for a CDL driver is working for a staffing company. Different from a temp agency, staffing companies offer more stability, flexibility, competitive compensation packages that include good benefits, paid time off and long-term assignments. When you work for a staffing company, you can expect to work for a much longer period of time, often on regular runs that last a year or more. Plus, with well-run staffing companies, you get the luxury of being able to decide when and where you want to work. You can choose your schedule so that you get more time at home, more weekends off, and the ability to take care of your family while working full-time. They should also care about your safety and should be proud to show you their safety record.

At TransForce, we find out what YOUR dream assignment is and match you to a great run. Qualified CDL drivers can find rewarding job opportunities with TransForce Driver Staffing Solutions.

Operation Safe Driver Week: October 19-25

Operation Safe Driver Week 2014 is this week (October 19-25). During this week, activities will be held across the United States, Canada, and Mexico all with one common goal in mind: to increase safety awareness of both commercial and non-commercial motorists.

Operation Safe Driver Week is sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and with support from industry and a number of other transportation safety organizations. TransForce Inc. is a proud, active member of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Join us not only this week, but all year long in helping to promote commercial vehicle safety awareness and safe driving.

For more information, click here to visit the Operation Safe Driver webpage.

 

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Truck Drivers Face Risk of Skin Damage From Years of Sun Exposure

The famous 2012 photograph of the sun-damaged truck driver.

The famous 2012 photograph of the sun-damaged truck driver.

If you’re a professional truck driver, you get a lot of sun exposure every day, and it’s mostly to the left side of your face. Even in the winter, you are exposed to UVA rays all day long. And, even if the sun doesn’t feel warm, it can still damage your skin. The UV rays are not diminished by the cold temperatures. So, even when it is 20° below zero, there are still harmful UV rays penetrating the skin and causing damage. When there’s snow on the ground, these rays actually reflect off the snow and become more intense. Even cloudy weather does not offer much protection. Up to 80% of UV radiation can penetrate cloud cover.

What Extreme Photo-Aging Looks Like

A famous study released in 2012 by the New England Journal of Medicine documented a Chicago truck driver who had driven a delivery truck for 28 years. The 69-year-old man presented with a 25-year history of gradual thickening and wrinkling of the skin on the left side of his face. Doctors concluded that the UVA rays transmitted through the truck’s window glass had penetrated the epidermis and upper layers of dermis, causing extreme photo-aging. Almost every news outlet picked up the story, along with the dramatic photo of the patient. This unretouched, actual photo demonstrates the effects the sun can have on aging of the skin. The right side of the man’s face is smooth, while the sun-damaged half is crevassed and pruned beyond his years. His condition is called unilateral dermatoheliosis.

Why Preventing Skin Damage is Important

Why is this story about a trucker with wrinkles on one side of his face important?  Because, while you may not care about wrinkles, you should care about skin cancer. The harmful UV rays that cause photo-aging skin damage are the same rays that cause skin cancer. These UV rays penetrate glass, causing skin damage without you even realizing it. The Skin Cancer Foundation reported one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Skin cancer is very common, especially in people whose jobs expose them to more sun, like truckers, construction workers, landscapers and painters. Fortunately, skin cancer is easy for doctors to spot, and when caught early, is highly treatable. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it as a casual concern.

How to Spot Signs of Skin Damage

Without protection, just a few minutes of sun exposure each day can eventually cause noticeable changes to your skin. Freckles, age spots, spider veins, rough or leathery skin, fine wrinkles that disappear when stretched, loose skin, and a blotchy complexion, can all be caused by sun exposure. Over-exposure makes the skin lose its ability to repair itself because the skin’s collagen is broken down and the synthesis of new collagen is impaired.

How to Protect Your Skin

Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the sun all day while you’re in your cab:

  • Wear sunscreen every day: According to the FDA, sunscreen with spf 30 is the best option. Anything above spf 30 is not necessary, and anything below 30 spf is not effective enough. Reapply the sunscreen often throughout the day.
  • Install a UV shield: Your window does not filter all UV rays, but there are products you can put on your window that will. UV shields provide protection from the harmful UV rays. The UV shield won’t protect you from the sun when you step outside your cab, so it’s a good idea to also use sunscreen even if you have a UV shield.
  • Wear sunglasses: UV rays can also damage your eyes, even causing cancer. As a driver, your eyes are one of your most important assets.

Take measures to protect your skin and eyes from the harmful UV rays you are exposed to as a professional truck driver. Not only will you be preserving your youthful good looks, you will also be helping to diminish your risk of skin cancer.

 

“Thank You” to all Truck Drivers

This week (September 14-20) marks National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. During this week, the trucking industry takes time to say “Thank You” to all truck drivers who drive each and every day dedicated to safety and quality service.

At TransForce we would like to take this opportunity to say “Thank you” to our 2,800 drivers and to show our appreciation for what you do for TransForce all year long. Our offices are frequently complimented on your driving skills, your concern for safety, your professionalism, your customer service and your willingness to make our customers happy. All TransForce branches have planned special appreciation events throughout this week to honor our drivers. In addition, we extend our sincerest gratitude to the hundreds of thousands of truck drivers operating on the roadways today.

Please join us in appreciating professional truck drivers during this special week.

 

 

 

 

Tips for Finding Truck Driving Jobs

BLD017099Take a drive on any US highway and you will see trucks galore, many of them with an advertisement on the back that says their company is hiring qualified drivers. Have you ever thought about getting a truck driving job? With so many opportunities for good pay and benefits, the flexible hours, and the variety of runs available, driving a truck can be a rewarding career. But many truckers will tell you that you shouldn’t think of truck driving as a job — you should think of it as a lifestyle. And, there is a lot of information you’ll need to know if that lifestyle — and the job — is right for you.

The Truck Driving Lifestyle

Truck drivers enjoy decent pay and benefits and can expect to work at any time of the day or night. As a truck driver, you’ll have quite an erratic sleep schedule. You will have a lot of solitude as you make the long haul to places far away. You might not have the luxury of being home on weeknights or weekends. It’s not a career for everyone. But for some, life on the open road suits them perfectly.

Qualifications Needed for Truck Driving Jobs

Driving Record: Trucking companies need to know that they can trust you, and that you have a proven track record of responsibility. You’ll need a clean driving record that is free of accidents, DUIs and other moving violations. With rising insurance costs, companies can’t afford to hire employees who are liability risks.

Criminal Record: Trucking companies look for honest and trustworthy individuals to haul hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment and freight, with the lives of the motoring public in their hands. That being said, having a criminal record will not immediately disqualify you, based on your record and the company’s policies. If you have a previous felony conviction, it is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with recent convictions (within the previous seven years) related to operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs and alcohol, reckless operation and/or vehicular manslaughter being considered as potentially disqualifying.

Job History: A poor work history can pose a problem when looking for a truck driving job. Be prepared to explain any long periods of unemployment. Having a verifiable work history is very important and trucking companies will go back 10 years if you already have experience in trucking, or 3 years if you’re brand new to the industry. If you were laid off, trucking companies will require proof. If you were working under the table, you will have to find a way to verify your employment during that time. All employment must be verified somehow, and trucking companies will give you verification options when you apply.

Education Level: The required level of education for a truck driver is normally a high school diploma or GED. Although this is not legally required, the overwhelming majority of truck driving schools and trucking companies will not accept anyone without a diploma or GED.

Training: Although you can legally get your CDL without attending a legitimate truck driving school, you will find it to be nearly impossible to land a job after obtaining your CDL. It’s better to get your training through a company-sponsored CDL training program or a private truck driving school, as they are all considered legitimate truck driving schools.

Additional Minimum Standards: To get an idea of other specific qualifications you will need, you can look to TransForce, the nation’s leading specialty staffing firm devoted exclusively to the transportation industry:

Truck driving can be an awesome career if you’re the right person for the job. A good driver is a valuable asset to any company. Because, while anyone can learn how to drive a truck and get a job, not everyone can learn how to operate a truck safely and keep that job. That’s why there is always a demand in the trucking field for skilled, trained drivers.

Roadcheck 2014 Results

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has published the results of the 2014 Roadcheck that took place on June 3-5. During this 72-hour enforcement period, inspectors across the nation completed 73,475 truck and bus inspections. Of the 73,475 total inspection conducted:

  • 49,656 were North American Standard Level 1 Inspections
  • 23% included Out-of-Service (OOS) vehicle violations.
  • 72,415 driver inspections were conducted
  • 4.8% included Out-of-Service (OOS) driver violations.
  • 825 seatbelt violations issued
  • Over 10,000 inspectors participated at approximately 2,500 locations across North America

For more information regarding the 2014 event, click here.

TransForce Inc., is an active member of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and continues to maintain a culture of safety, quality, and compliance.

2014 National Truck Driving Championships: August 12-16

Best of luck to all drivers competing in the 2014 National Truck Driving Championship this week in Pittsburgh, PA! 426 professional truck drivers are expected to compete in the 77th annual NTDC which kicks off this week. TransForce is a proud sponsor the NTDC, and our entire staff would like to wish “best of luck” to all competitors vying for Grand Champion this year. Good Luck!!

For more information about this event, visit the ATA NTDC webpage.

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