Thursday, March 17, 2011

A brief rant about CSA 2010. Or 2011.

One of my drivers came to me a few days ago and asked to be considered for a warehouse or desk job.  When I asked him why, he said "I'm tired of government son of a bitches telling me how much damn money I can make."  (Somewhat edited to delete 90% of the profanity.) 

Here's what is at stake.  The Department of Transportation is rolling out a new program called CSA 2010.  It claims to be a safety program with a system that tracks each driver's and each company's safety record.  Every driver and every company gets a score based on roadside inspections, accidents, driver fitness, and lots and lots of paperwork. 

The purpose of the program?  To create jobs for goverment parasites. 

The purpose of the program? To make it easier for top-heavy union employers to compete against lean and mean upstart companies. 

The purpose of the program?  Safety.

Despite being named CSA 2010, the program hasn't been implemented yet.  I think they've pushed it back twice.  The government keeps having computer issues and nobody's score is accurate.  The trucking industry has been fairly patient with these delays, and I wonder if our Lords and Masters in the Department of Transportation will be as patient with companies that take as long to comply? 

Anyway, you can go here to read about the program. 

If that picture reminds you of the scary old Hillarycare flowchart, well, it should.  They both sprang forth from the same mindset.  My email system is plagued by entrepreneurial ex-DOT employees who have started companies and programs designed to help get me into compliance with this mess.  (For the low, low price of $999.00 !!!!) 

Now you would think that an organization that couldn't roll out something named "2010" until late "2011" would be modest about rolling out additional regulatory crap. 

Well, you're wrong.  Here's what else they're cooking up.  Imagine the paperwork, the mind-numbing regulations, documents, time stamps and civil service leeches necessary to guarantee compliance with this next set of hoops to jump through.  There are going to be extensive roadside Talmudic discussions between truckers and highway patrolmen that last for days:

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today issued a regulatory proposal that would revise hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for commercial truck drivers.

This new HOS (hours of service) proposal would retain the "34-hour restart" provision allowing drivers to restart the clock on their weekly 60 or 70 hours by taking at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty. However, the restart period would have to include two consecutive off-duty periods from midnight to 6:00 a.m. Drivers would be allowed to use this restart only once during a seven-day period.

Additionally the proposal would require commercial truck drivers to complete all driving within a 14-hour workday, and to complete all on-duty work-related activities within 13 hours to allow for at least a one hour break. It also leaves open for comment whether drivers should be limited to 10 or 11 hours of daily driving time, although FMCSA currently favors a 10-hour limit.

Other key provisions include the option of extending a driver's daily shift to 16 hours twice a week to accommodate for issues such as loading and unloading at terminals or ports, and allowing drivers to count some time spent parked in their trucks toward off-duty hours.

God help us all. 

People don't understand what this kind of uncertainty does to a business.  Freight companies build their terminals a certain number of hours apart, based on the government regulations in place at the time.  They set up local driver routes to comply with Hours Of Service regulations. 

And then it all changes.  Because of.....????  Have the number of accidents been increasing?  An increased percentage of fatatlities?  Has there been a public outcry for more paperwork?  Nope. 

Your employees (the government ones) just need something to do. 

Be sure to check out the chart shown here.  Big Oil, of course, gets some exemptions.  Not because they're safer, or different, or better.  They just get them. 


Stephen M. Smith said...

CTPAT, Lacey Act, EAR, and I should get together to do a comprehensive analysis of the regulatory burden associated with just the logistics industry. We'll just need a few years to compile the data...

Tim Lebsack said...

I propose that we apply similar regulations to passenger vehicle operators. One can never be safe. Their is always room for improvement.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

We would need a couple of years to keep compile what is on the books NOW, much less the new travesties they're considering.
Hope you're doing well in California, we miss you around here.

I honestly had never considered that until now. Will rant about it in the future. I mean, is a semi-tractor driven by a pro that much more dangerous than, say, a Buick driven by an 80-year old?