Monday, July 27, 2015

Why we no longer care about the Minnesota Transporter Plate

"Effective immediately per Minnesota DOT, we no longer need to run Minnesota transporter plates.  Any vehicles and trailers with a combined GVW under 26,000 need to have our Indiana Transporter Plate on..." 

Transporters know the old story....Indiana Transport Plates are good in every United State and Canadian Province, except one: Minnesota. For years, Minnesota did not recognize Indiana Transport Plates (and, as one may suspect, Indiana decided not tor recognize Minnesota Transporter plates). This agreement, or lack thereof, is called "reciprocity." Reciprocity, basically, is an agreement between two bodies that if one recognized the other's laws, then that recognition will be returned. 

So for years, Minnesota Transporter plates have not been reciprocal with any other state or province. This could actually result in fines for people using Minnesota Transporter plates outside Minnesota. 

On July 22, 2015, Minnesota's Department of Public Safety issued a statement, recognizing a change in Minnesota Statute. 

During the 2015 legislative session the Minnesota legislature amended the drive-away in-transit law (also known as the transporter or DRW plate).  Effective July 1, 2015 the Minnesota DRW plate will be issued only to Minnesota-based transporters and the restriction that the plate be used only within the state of Minnesota has been removed.To assist out of state transporters driving through Minnesota, there are reciprocity agreements between Minnesota and 14 states and one Canadian province. Under the terms of these reciprocity agreements, an out of state transporter may travel on Minnesota roads using their home-based DRW plate. 

This means that te Minnesota plate is no longer required to be used in Minnesota for Synergy RV Transport. It also means that Synergy drivers CAN NO LONGER USE Minnesota plates.  

Minnesota Revisor Of Statutes 2015
Letter from Minnesota Dept. of Public Safety Subject: Minnesota Drive Away In-transit transporter licenses

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Supporting Documents

Hello Everyone,

We have been struggling to get everybody to turn in at least one supporting document for each log that shows driving. FMCSR 395.8(k)(1) states ”Each motor carrier shall maintain records of duty status and all supporting documents for each driver for a period of six months from the date of receipt.” At this time we are only asking for one supporting document a day, we’ll worry about all supporting documents later. We need to get on board with complying with this regulation.

Starting August first any logs that show drive time that do not have a supporting document of some type shall not be processed. It will be returned to the driver through the files in in the driver room and if the driver has logs missing that are more than thirteen days old the driver will be locked until the logs are turned in satisfactorily.

Tom Gibson
Synergy RV Transport
574-537-1860 x 119

Notice how the supporting document, an ATM receipt, shows that the driver was in Goshen at 3:21 PM Eastern time, just like his log says.

FMCSR 49 CFR 395.8 : "(k) Retention of driver's record of duty status. (1) Each motor carrier shall maintain records of duty status and all supporting documents for each driver it employs for a period of six months from the date of receipt."

75 Federal Register 32984, June 10, 2010 : According to DOT enforcement personnel, "Supporting documents are the records of the motor carrier which are maintained in the ordinary course of business and used by the motor carrier to verify the information recorded on the driver’s record of duty status. Examples are:
  • bills of lading,
  • carrier pros,
  • freight bills,
  • dispatch records,
  • electronic mobile communication/tracking records,
  • gate record receipts,
  • weight/scale tickets,
  • fuel receipts,
  • fuel billing statements,
  • toll receipts,
  • toll billing statements,
  • port of entry receipts,
  • cash advance receipts,
  • delivery receipts,
  • lumper receipts,
  • interchange and inspection reports,
  • lessor settlement sheets,
  • over/short and damage reports,
  • agricultural inspection reports,
  • driver and vehicle examination reports,
  • crash reports,
  • telephone billing statements,
  • credit card receipts,
  • border crossing reports,
  • custom declarations,
  • traffic citations,
  • overweight/oversize permits
  • traffic citations. Supporting documents may include other documents which the motor carrier maintains and can be used to verify information on the driver’s records of duty status."

FMCSR 49 CFR 395.8(k)(1);
FMCSR 49 CFR 395.8 Guidance Question 10
75 Federal Register 32984, June 10, 2010

What kind of a drivers license do I need?

This is a very common question from drivers, and the answer is both complicated and simple. Basically, you need the lowest "for-hire" license that your state offers. A "for-hire" license allows you to drive for hire, basically to get paid for driving. A commercial driver license from any state, regardless of class, allows you to drive for hire, although different classes allow you do drive larger or smaller combinations.

If you do not have a CDL, then your state may issue a specific for-hire license. Or your state may not. If your state does not offer a for-hire license, then, by default, a standard operator's license from your state of residence will work.

States that do offer a for-hire license are as follows:
  • Alaska - Chauffer License
  • Georgia - Class C License
  • Illinois - Class C License (For Driveaway Only)
  • Indiana - Chauffer License (or Operators with F Endorsement)
  • Iowa - Chauffer License
  • Lousiana - Chauffer License
  • Maryland - Chauffer License
  • Michigan - Chauffer License
  • Mississippi - Class D License
  • Missouri - Class E License
  • Nebraska - Chauffer License
  • Nevada - Operators license with a J-Endorsement
  • New York - Class E License
  • North Carolina - Class C License
  • Tennessee - Operators license with an F-Endorsement
  • West Virginia - Chauffer License
As more states' rules evolve toward a CDL only, these regulations may change. Verify that this list is correct for your state before attempting to drive commercially. Ask your license branch representative what minimum license is required for you to drive commercially in interstate commerce.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Logging Updates - Company Speed Limit and More

I met with our compliance company yesterday afternoon and would like to let you all know they are very eager to work with us to help us improve.  

1. They have assigned us our own tech to work on our logs.  So from now on we have one point of contact to resolve any problems that may come up.  This means that errors on the violation letters from Compliance should go down. 

2. On logs where the log show you EMPTY the company speed limit has been removed.  I need to emphasize, if you have any load information on the log at any point in the day the company speed limit is in force for the entire day!  However on days where you are returning empty and that is what you enter in the load data the company speed limit will no longer apply.  

3, We are looking into why we have so many PTI violations.  Please keep in mind that Synergy requires a Pre-trip and Post-trip Inspection every day. We will keep you posted what we find on this issue.  

One issue that we need to improve on is missing logs.  Our discussion here was simple and to the point; we know that there are problems with logs coming up missing after we ship them and we held them accountable for that.  However we also have a problem with logs coming in on time.  As usual, the vast majority of our drivers a great about getting their logs in on time but we have “some” who need to step it up and pay a little more attention to this portion of the job.  Synergy policy requires that logs be turned in with every run.  If you are not taking loads then you need to submit logs once every seven days.

As you can see, not only do we want to see improvement from our drivers, we want to see improvement from our compliance company and ourselves.  If we all work as a team, the Synergystic effect will get the job done.

Tom Gibson