Ask the expert in trucking

Ask the Expert in Trucking: Ask Your Tough Questions!

After the excellent response to our “Ask the Regulatory Expert” webinar last month, Spireon is creating a new feature, “Ask the Expert in Trucking.” We have asked leading experts to answer your questions on a variety of subjects in a monthly blog post. The experts answering your questions include:

Ask the Expert in Trucking

Have a question? Submit your question for the experts at any time–just click below.

Question 1

What impact do you think the election will have on the “peak” season this year?

The impact of the election on peak shipping season will be determined by:

1. How well COVID-19 is under control

2. How confident consumers are about their financial stability and getting back to some form of normalcy.

We may in fact, have already experienced “peak” season. As we look at the market in mid-August it’s clear our economic recovery will largely be determined by how well we control the virus, and that will determine more about what the rest of 2020 looks like than anything else.

The impact of the election could have more impact on the supply side of the trucking industry through lack of regulatory progress on key issues including hours of reform and truck parking. As the election draws closer we don’t expect lawmakers to have much appetite to tackle complex regulatory reform including the proposed hours of service changes due on September 30. There is an increasing view in Washington these much-needed rule changes could be delayed into next year.

Answered by Dean Croke, Chief Industry Analyst, DAT

Dean Croke, FreightWaves

Dean Croke has a long history in the trucking industry. Now at DAT, Dean was previously Chief Insights Officer at FreightWaves, where he was active in vehicle telematics, data analytics, data science and standards development at BiTA. Prior to joining FreightWaves, Dean was Vice President of Data Products at Spireon and head of Omnitracs Analytics prior to that. He has over 40 years of experience in trucking, fleet ownership and management, supply chain management, data analytics and insurance risk management. Dean still holds a CDL and has completed over 2 million miles as an over-the-road driver in Australia prior to moving to the U.S. in 2000.

Question 2

If a driver isn’t looking to change employers, does he/she need to register as a driver on the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse?

This is a common question around which there is considerable confusion and misunderstanding. The simple answer is, no. Unlike carriers, drivers are not required by the rules to register for the Clearinghouse. They will, however, need to register in order to log in to the Clearinghouse and grant consent whenever an employer or potential employer is required to perform a full query. There are two primary reasons a driver would need to consent to a full query:

1. They are applying for a new job for which a CDL is required; and

2. They have drug or alcohol violation on their record (even if it’s been resolved).

If a driver has a drug or alcohol violation on his or her record, the employing carrier will be required to conduct a full query annually to ensure the driver is still qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Drug and alcohol violations remain on a driver’s record for five years from the violation, or until the driver completes the return-to-duty process, whichever is longer.

Of course, a driver is not prohibited from registering for a Clearinghouse account even if a driver is not looking to change employers.

Answered by David J. Osiecki, Scopelitis Transportation Consulting

Ask the Regulatory Expert Dave Osiecki

David J. Osiecki spent 20 years at the American Trucking Associations in Washington working on behalf of the trucking industry in safety, policy, regulatory and advocacy-related positions. Mr. Osiecki rose to Executive Vice President for ATA, and represented the industry before State legislatures, federal agencies, the U.S. Congress and in the national media, including appearances on national network news programs. He now serves as president of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting, LLC.

Ask the Expert in Trucking

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