Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, March 9, 2022:
FMCSA removes repetitive requirement for drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is amending its regulations to remove the requirement that truck drivers prepare and submit a list of their convictions for traffic violations to their employers annually. The final rule, to be published in the Federal Register March 9, takes effect May 8.
FMCSA says the requirement is “largely duplicative of a separate rule that requires each motor carrier to make an annual inquiry to obtain the motor vehicle record (MVR) for each driver it employs from every state in which the driver holds or has held" a license over the year.
For drivers who are licensed by a foreign authority rather than a state, FMCSA is requiring that motor carriers make an annual inquiry to each driver’s licensing authority where a driver holds or has held a CMV operator’s license or permit.
To maintain consistency within the regulations, FMCSA is also making changes to the hiring process. Under the new rule, carriers will be required to obtain a driver’s MVR from anywhere the driver has held a CDL or permit in the preceding three years when hiring a driver.
Additionally, drivers will be required to provide on their employment application the issuing driver’s licensing authority of each unexpired CDL or permit so carriers can make the required inquiries.
Hino launches new end-to-end EV assistance program
Hino Trucks is working to simplify the path to zero emissions with the introduction of Hino INCLUSEV, a portfolio of end-to-end electric vehicle solutions available exclusively from Hino’s dealer network.
The program includes customer EV consulting, intelligent charging options, warrantied infrastructure, Hino electric trucks in development, 24/7 customer service and a bundled financing product.
“A first of its kind solution, Hino INCLUSEV keeps the dealer and customer unified through the ownership journey, leveraging Hino Trucks’ leadership in delivering the ultimate ownership experience,” said Dominik Beckman, director of brand experience for Hino. “Unlike other programs, our dealers are engaged every step of the way and consult with customers from start to finish.”
Beckman said Hino dealers will help determine if electric trucks are a good fit for a fleet and if so, support in setting up what is needed – including a site evaluation, charging solution spec’ing, grant applications, financing, installation, maintenance, optimization and service.
Two CDL testing rule proposals withdrawn
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is withdrawing two proposed rulemakings that would have eased the process for drivers to obtain a CDL.
One proposed rule being withdrawn would have allowed driver applicants to take their CDL knowledge tests in a state other than their state of domicile.
The agency said the proposal was meant to provide further flexibility in the CDL issuance process. However, after receiving comments on the proposal, FMCSA discovered that state driver’s licensing agencies would need to implement significant changes to be able to receive out-of-state knowledge test results.
“Given states’ security and operational concerns surrounding out-of-state knowledge testing, including remote delivery of the CLP credential, FMCSA concludes the proposed change is not advisable at this time,” the agency said.
The other proposal being withdrawn would have allowed third-party skills test examiners to administer the CDL skills test to applicants to whom they also provided skills test training.
FMCSA said it acknowledges the rulemaking’s potential to increase efficiency and flexibility in the skills testing process, but after receiving comments on the proposal, the agency was persuaded that the proposal had potential for “undermining the integrity of the CDL skills testing process and negatively impacting highway safety.”
The agency said commenters cited concerns of fraud, conflict of interest, and examiner bias for reasons they opposed the proposal.
Walmart plans new fulfillment center in Pennsylvania
Walmart announced Tuesday plans for a new fulfillment center in southern Pennsylvania to support the retailer’s rapidly increasing supply chain network and e-commerce capabilities. The 1.8 million-plus square-foot Shippensburg facility will be located at 2281 United Drive and is set to open this spring.
“We are proud to open a new state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Shippensburg, which will be instrumental in providing our customers with increased access and faster shipping on millions of every-day low priced items,” said Steve Miller, SVP Supply Chain Operations, Walmart U.S. “In addition to faster shipping, our investment in Shippensburg will bring a positive impact to the community by bringing even more employment opportunities to a growing local economy.”
Walmart fulfillment centers are an important part of the retailer’s supply chain network. Unlike distribution centers, which are focused on receiving, storing, and distributing product to Walmart stores, fulfillment centers are focused on storing millions of items that are picked, packed and shipped directly to customers as soon as next-day.
The facility is part of a broader initiative to add more capacity into Walmart’s supply chain as the retailer prepares for growth. In Q4 of FY22, Walmart U.S. e-commerce cited 70% growth over the past two years.