It’s long overdue, but finally the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has eased the requirements for active duty and military veterans to obtain their commercial driver’s license. This is exciting news for military personal and trucking companies. Too many of our brave and selfless veterans struggle to find good employment when they retire, even in jobs that would utilize the skills they have mastered, such as driving trucks and other heavy machinery.
Skills Test Waiver Extended, Redundancy Reduced
The first step for active duty or military vets who have CMV driving experience in the military is to take a skills test. This opportunity used to be available only for 90 days, but the waiver has now become available for a full 12 months from the date of discharge.
On top of that, CMV training will now be credited towards the applicable CDL training and knowledge requirements. This eliminates many of the redundant hoops vets must take to obtain their permit and license.
Talks about the growing demand for infrastructure updates began well before the 2016 presidential election. While anyone who drives on our nation’s roads, bridges, and highways can see that there are obvious areas of opportunity—not everyone is taking the time to consider the big picture. For example, the nation’s lousy roadways cost the trucking industry well over $50 billion dollars in delay-related costs. Don’t think that affects us all? Think again.
What Makes a Roadway Poor?
There are many factors that contribute to the quality of the highways and roadways we drive on. This could include local roadways that need more lanes, or need lights or roundabouts to help control traffic. Some of these could include highways that require better on and off ramps and lane management. This can also include any roadway or bridge that has damage or wear and tear that makes driving with comfort and ease a challenge. In other words, if the roads aren’t keeping up with population growth, or the volume of peak traffic times—there is always room to improve.
While it is illegal for anyone to drive under the influence of drugs, truck drivers may lose their job if they test positive—even if they aren’t high when driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have strict rules regarding drug testing for truckers, and for anyone who applies for a job where a Commercial Driver’s License is required. Here are some of the basics you need to know.
When are Truck Drivers Drug Tested?
Before you can be officially hired, you must pass a pre-employment drug test. After that, trucking companies must have a system in place for random testing, scheduled testing, post-incident testing, and pre- and post-suspension drug screening. Urine tests are the most popular, but since hair follicle testing is a bit more in-depth—you can expect either. At present date, the drug test screens for amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and PCP.
Properly tying down your load is essential for safe and legal transport. It helps to protect your truck and bed, as well as the integrity of the products you are transporting. Below are some basics in terms of securing your cargo.
Know Your Weight Limits
Most states have an 80,000-pound loading limit, but odds are your load will fall well beneath that limit. Avoiding overloading means you will be safer, not putting undue pressure on your axles, and not risking the costly fines that come with being overweight. Your goal is to transport your full load, but always err on the side of caution. It is also imperative that you check the load limits on your truck tires, and never pass a required weighing station, even when you are close to capacity.