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On The Horizon - February 26, 2024

FMCSA Warns About Fake Safety Audit Scam

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is warning motor carriers of an email phishing scam involving a fake DOT safety audit.

An email is being sent to registered motor carriers by someone pretending to be FMCSA and notifying the recipient that they need to schedule a safety audit. The link to request the safety audit has what appears to be a SAFER URL and mirrors FMCSA’s MC-150, but includes fields to enter a PIN #, EIN #, and Social Security Number.

Phishing e-mails masquerade as being from reputable companies or entities in order to get the recipient to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. In this case, some of the information being requested is not only sensitive personal information that could be used for purposes such as identity theft, but this information would also allow the unauthorized party to gain access to your FMCSA account. Read More

FMCSA Renews Warning Flag Waiver for Auto Transporters Following ATA’s Advocacy

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration today announced a six-month provisional extension of a warning flag waiver for stinger-steered automobile transporters, which is expected to be extended for five years at the end of the provisional period. The waiver renewal was championed by the American Trucking Associations’ Automobile Carriers Conference.


FMCSA’s waiver, which was first issued in February 2019, exempts stinger-steered automobile transporters from being required to affix “warning flags” to vehicles that overhang trailers. In issuing its initial determination, FMCSA correctly noted that this regulatory relief would “…provide a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.” Read More

4 Good Reasons to Retorque Your Truck Wheels

Do truck operators really need to perform a wheel retorque some short time after every wheel installation? The short answer is yes — unless you have a clearly defined wheel-installation procedure in place, coupled to a wheel-nut torque monitoring program.

In simple terms, unless a wheel is correctly installed on a hub — by the book, using fasteners of predictable performance — it’s anybody’s guess how much clamping force is actually imposed by the nut or whether the wheel is even properly seated on the hub.

It’s one thing when we’re talking about new wheels mounted on new hubs with new fasteners. It’s quite another when installing previously used wheels and fasteners on in-service equipment. The repeatability is not there, so you need a back-up plan: retorquing. Read More

ATRI Issues Call for Motor Carriers to Participate in Annual Operational Costs Data Collection

The American Transportation Research Institute today issued a request for motor carriers to participate in ATRI’s annual update to its Operational Costs of Trucking report.


ATRI’s Operational Costs of Trucking is one of the most trusted resources in the industry for benchmarking costs and operations. ATRI collects data confidentially from for-hire motor carriers of all sectors, regions, and sizes – from 1-truck owner-operators to 10,000-truck fleets – to produce insights on key industry trends that guide decision-makers of all kinds.


Cost metrics requested by ATRI include driver pay, insurance premiums, and equipment lease or purchase payments. Carriers and owner-operators can submit these costs for the year 2023 on a per-mile or per-hour basis with an easy-to-use online data entry form or an emailed PDF form. Additional questions cover operational metrics such as the percentage of empty miles, dwell time per stop, and driver turnover.


All participating motor carriers receive a customized report that compares their fleet’s costs and operations to peer carriers of the same sector and size, as well as an advance copy of the full report.


“We contribute data to ATRI’s Operational Costs every year because its findings are indispensable to our operations,” said Jason Higginbotham, Ozark Motor Lines Chief Financial Officer. “The customized peer-group analysis provides us an essential update on how our fleet performs, while the full report allows us to identify industry-wide trends and communicate them to our partners.”


For-hire motor carriers are encouraged to provide operational cost data to ATRI by Friday, April 26, 2024. ATRI’s data collection form is available online here, along with a sample customized report and FAQ. All confidential information is protected, and it is published only in anonymized, aggregate form.

Will's Safety Tip

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Drivers

Hard Hat

First of all, you have to have a hard hat. This one gets forgotten a lot of the time. Truck drivers should always wear their hard hats whenever stepping outside of the truck cab. Depending on what you haul, there are different situations you might be in that require more safety equipment than others. At mills, plants, wood yards, or in the woods on the side of the road, drivers should always wear their hard hats both for safety and for visibility.

Protective Eyewear

You only have one set of eyes, so do your best to protect them. Regular sunglasses or prescription eyewear does not meet the industry standards for protective eyewear. According to MEMIC, who are Partners for Workforce Safety, for the glasses to meet the standard, they must have ANSI z87.1 stamped on the frame. "The ANSI Z87.1certification provides a system organized based on encountered hazards. With this standard, the choice of safety eyewear revolves around what best represents the protection needed for the specific hazards encountered in the workplace. The hazards for this standard are: blunt impact, radiation, splashes and droplets, dust, and small particles. 

Hauling different types of loads has its own reasons for protective equipment, so make sure to watch for hazards and protect yourself accordingly.

High Visibility Clothing/Safety Vest

To be safe, you have to be seen. The high visibility safety vests, which have reflective material sewn onto the orange fabric, must be worn while driving, pulling off on the road, or at a work site. Drivers are most at risk of danger when on the ground entering a work zone of an operating piece of equipment without being seen.         


Protective Gloves

Leather palm gloves are your best friend for loading and unloading, hooking trailers, and just keeping your hands safe for nonhazardous materials. Wear your gloves whenever exiting the cab, whether that be for some maintenance and repair procedures, or just to keep the cab clean. Having greasy or contaminated hands and then carrying that into the truck is never fun to clean.

Safety Boots

Steel-toed boots with a steel shank or a non-skid sole in the bottoms are the preferred and required choice of footwear for truck drivers. Your footwear needs to be able to stand up to objects falling on your feet or even rolling objects. They should also protect your ankles and provide adequate traction in all conditions you are exposed to.

Hearing Protection

Last, but not least is hearing protection. Much like our eyesight, when you lose your hearing, it's gone. Ear protection must be available at all times and is required if the driver is operating or is near a loader, or a chipper, or any other large equipment. 

Stay Safe! 

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