Carrier Registration System Changes and What that Means for Your Trucking Company

At Wolpert Insurance, we make every effort to remain updated on changing regulations for your trucking company. Our commitment to protecting you from the unique risks is priority, and part of this mission is understanding what the regulation alterations mean. This is especially true when they have to do with your safety.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will release the revisions to the Unified Registration System for trucking operations soon. What does this mean? Although not all the details to the final version are available, we know the new regime will combine several programs that track identification, registration, and financial responsibility into a single process. This will be functional online, and will require registrants to update their information every two years.

The administration proposed to identify carriers by their Department of Transportation number. In addition, it suggested that carriers use their Motor Carrier numbers for business and advertising. This means you would not have to remove number from your trucks, but until the new rule is finalized, it may be best to not include them on new or painted vehicles.

Another proposal being discussed is for private carriers that haul hazardous materials to show that they meet financial requirements. Carrying these kinds of materials is very dangerous should an accident or collision occur on the road. The administration realizes this fact, which is why they have been pushing this rule. It is part of an effort to help keep better track of “chameleon” carriers, or those who go against the system by re-registering under a different identity.

Our agents hope this information helps you prepare your company. In addition to staying updated on regulation changes, you should also make sure your fleet insurance is sufficient. The friendly team here is happy to help you by answering any of your questions or concerns. Contact us today to receive a policy you expect and deserve!


Protecting Your Cargo From Theft

Did you know that the average value of a theft rose 27% in the second quarter of 2013 compared to 2012′s second quarter? According to a report from FreightWatch International, 194 thefts were recorded with an average loss value per incident of $164,594. As the owner of a trucking fleet, the last thing you want to happen is a theft to your cargo. Don’t be part of these statistics. Instead, take the proper precautions to prevent such risks and financial devastation to your commercial vehicles and employees.

The study also indicated that food and drink loads accounted for 31% of the thefts, including meats, fruits, and energy drinks. In addition, electronics accounted for 11% of the stolen loads. If your trucks carry this kind of cargo, then you should train your drivers to be prepared in case they find their truck missing cargo. Before sending your employees out to make a shipment, make sure they follow these procedures to prevent theft:

  • Invest in a variety of locks to secure the vehicle and the cargo. Intrusion can be limited by seals as well and alert the driver that the doors have been damaged.
  • Have some sort of surveillance on all your vehicles. This should be done on and off the road, parked, and within view of the shipping facility.
  • Your drivers should immediately report all suspicious activity and/or theft. Have them contact you and law enforcement officials. Make sure the issue is responded to quickly and efficiently.
  • Create a relationship between the carrier and driver so the scheduled to pick up the cargo is verified and done so smoothly. In addition, monitor the delivery routes and watch out for overdue shipments.
  • Install a security system on your trucks such as sirens, cameras, and automatic locks.
  • Make sure driver teams know that one person must remain with the truck at all times.

At Wolpert Insurance, we hope these tips help you monitor your cargo in an efficient way. You never know when an unpredictable event of theft could occur. In addition, rather than leaving your cargo at risk of being stolen, you need cargo insurance from us. Our agents understand your industry and will be happy to support you through the coverage process. Contact us at 888.596.5344 for more information today!

An Increase in Minimum Injury and Property Damage Insurance is Causing Tension

Have you heard that Rep. Matt Cartwright is fighting for all motor carriers to increase their minimum injury and property damage insurance coverage by almost 500%? Some believe this legislation is essential to protecting the nation’s highways as well as ensuring that victims receive the proper amount of compensation for their losses. However, many others believe this is a misguided solution.

The proposal by the Pennsylvania Democrat will require fleets to carry about $4.4 million in coverage instead of the current minimum of $750,000. Larger fleets most likely already carry the new requirement, but for smaller fleets and independent owners, this could cause much more harm than good. So the struggle comes with owner operators deciding whether they should have this kind of coverage to protect their own assets and to meet the demands of their customers.

According to Prasad Sharma, general counsel of American Trucking Associations, 91.7% of truck-involved collisions are settled for less than $25,000. In addition, only 0.19% of truck crashes cost the fleet company involved more than $1 million in insurance coverage. Therefore, Cartwright’s belief that the system is out of whack because the federal insurance requirement hasn’t been raised since 1980 could cause many businesses to suffer on their bottom line.

At Wolpert Insurance, we want to assure you that your trucking company will be protected with comprehensive insurance from us. Our team of experts can help any size fleet with their unique needs. The reliable customer service you will get from our agency is unmatched. Contact us today for more information about our trucking insurance policies and how you can save on your bottom line with quality protection.

Tips to Save on Gas as the Massachusetts Governor calls for change in the Transportation Bill

Did you hear that Gov. Deval Patrick tried to alter the transportation bill? Although he was heard out on his proposition, legislative leaders rejected the governor’s attempt to change the bill. If it were passed, it would have allowed gasoline taxes to increase if tolls were removed from the western part of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

The bill promised $800 million in new annual revenues for transportation within five years. Yet, the administration believed that the legislation fails to account for the estimated $135 million in revenue that would be lost if the particular tolls were eliminated. Therefore, Patrick announced that he could not sign the bill in its current form. He returned the bill to lawmakers so they could come up with other tax or toll options.

Whether or not the bill passes, you know your employees are always traveling across the country, and eventually, they will need to fill their tanks with gas. So what other ways can you save money besides hoping prices will go down? Here are some tips on ways to improve mileage on your trucks:

  • Decreasing speed from 75 to 65 mph on a commercial truck can result in an increase of one mile per gallon in fuel usage. This adds up when traveling long distances.
  • You can improve gas mileage by having a trailer that is aerodynamic. This can help improve gas mileage greatly so you can save money at the pump.
  • Don’t leave commercial trucks idling for a long period of time. In this position, the engine is still running, so it can use one gallon of fuel per hour.
  • Install special tires on your fleet to help improve gas mileage. These tires also have lower repair costs and require less maintenance.
  • Before heading out on a transport, make sure to find and take more fuel-efficient routes. Keeping up with routine maintenance can allow things to running smoothly as well.

At Wolpert Insurance, we hope these tips help you recognize the importance of saving fuel and money on the road. As you know, trucking is a dangerous profession, so keeping your employees and equipment safe should be priority. Our team can help you maintain an efficient operation with our reliable trucking insurance, which can protect you from the unique risks you face. To find out more about this policy and other risk management packages, contact us today!

Distracted Driving is Even Possible with a Hands Free Phone!

With technology advancing so quickly, many people are now able to talk on their cell phones in a hands free, voice activated way. This method sounds like it would be safer for your truckers, right? Wrong. A recent study announced at the Fleet Safety Conference stated that in 2011, about 1.1 million crashes involved cell phone conversations, showing there is no benefit to them being hands-free. How can you help your drivers change their bad habits so they can remain alert and safe on the roads?

The change starts with you, the owner of the trucking company. Show your employees that you vow to not use your cell phone while driving both on the job and in your personal live. It is easier for most people to understand the physical distractions of texting and dialing a number on a cell phone, but the cognitive distractions of a hands free cell phone is a little trickier. Although your eyes remain on the road, that doesn’t mean you are totally focused on what you are doing. Instead, you are multitasking, which could present more dangers to your drivers than you realize.

Most likely, your employees spend hours on the phone during a long drive to help pass the time. But once they are done on the phone, do they ever remember the town they passed through last? When talking on a cell phone, this becomes the primary task and driving becomes the secondary task. Studies have shown that people talking on a cell phone while driving stop scanning their environment in order to identify potential hazards. In this instance, they have ultimately developed tunnel vision.

At Wolpert Insurance, we hope none of your truckers ever get into an accident, especially due to cell phone usage. With our trucking insurance, you can protect your company, but how can you prevent this sort of risk from continuously occurring? While interstate truck drivers and all hazmat commercial drivers are forbidden by law to text or use handheld devices while driving, hands free cell phones remain legal to use. It is your job to help employees understand the danger of being on the phone while driving, so become an advocate for safety. You can also think about using different technologies

Advanced Batteries could Result in a more Efficient Fleet!

As an owner of a trucking company, you should always be looking for ways to improve your services, your commercial trucks, and the productivity of your employees. However, what if a new test could result in cost savings, reliable travel, and more efficient vehicles? This is what the volt Lithium-Ion batteries could do in the near future.

In recent news, the U.S. Army has awarded Calstart a contract to test twelve volt Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries in commercial trucks. The chemistry involved could result in fuel savings and greater electrification of trucks. This is the first time a military battery configuration will be tested in commercial fleets. By conducting thorough tests and research on the electric cell, this data could lead to improved energy efficiency and reduced dependence on oil for tractor trailers.

Calstart will begin by testing different Li-Ion chemistries made by three different manufacturers in order to assess which delivers the best performance and reliability on multiple terrains. If the estimations are accurate, this batter technology should withstand the long hours on the road along with fewer replacements, which is what trucking companies need. If the switch to these containers occurs, then productivity could increase as well as timely transports and exports by trucks.

As a professional in the trucking industry, it is your job to make sure all your truckers are safe on the road, especially when it comes to the operation of the battery. Although these changes won’t happen for a couple years, would your drivers know how to handle an issue involving the battery? In addition to training them to solve this kind of problem, your entire fleet should be thoroughly covered with the truck insurance to avoid serious financial loss due to an accident or injury.

At Wolpert Insurance, we have access to U.S. Department of Transportation fleet safety inspectors to help make sure you avoid fines due to failing to comply with federal regulations. If an accident, injury, or liability issue arises due to a mishap, you can be confident in our team to help you find affordable, comprehensive coverage options.

Fire Safety for Your Trucking Company

What if a fire occurred at your trucking company, causing destruction to your vehicles, property, and more? Not only do you need a comprehensive truck insurance plan from Wolpert Insurance, but also an understanding of what precautions to take in order to prevent such a disaster in the first place. Unfortunately, one local company was ignited with damages and losses due to a blaze.

According to the Martha’s Vineyard Times, Carroll’s Trucking of Shrewsbury suffered from severe damages due to a fire caused by a boat parked behind the company. As workers were demolishing the watercraft, it set off a blaze, which damaged a boat nearby and a truck.

The employees were using an excavator to break up the fiberglass boat when a spark ignited gas inside the fuel tank. This resulted in a fiberglass fire, producing thick, heavy, toxic smoke. The tractor trailer truck that was destroyed contained lumber and railroad ties, heightening the fire. Luckily, there were no injuries, but the fire was difficult to put out since the sole fire hydrant was located far away from the scene.

Has your trucking company taken the necessary preparations to prevent such an incident from occurring? Here are some tips to ensure the safety of your business, equipment, and employees:

  • Create an emergency fire plan which includes a communication system to alert employees of a fire, explains evacuation routes, extinguisher usage, and prevention controls.
  • Regularly review the plan to ensure everyone understands it and can execute it correctly.
  • Inspect your facility for fire hazards and if risks are discovered, correct them immediately.
  • Install a building sprinkler system and test it on a regular basis.
  • Place the appropriate number of fire extinguishers around the facility and in each truck.
  • Enforce a “no smoking” policy on the premises and while driving for your employees to reduce the risk of fires.
  • Keep your trucks on a maintenance schedule so equipment can operate safely.

Remember, if a fire does occur within your trucking company, contact the fire department immediately. Once the blaze has died down, it is a good idea to give one of our agents at Wolpert Insurance a call. We can guide you through the process of moving forward from such an accident. No matter how small or large the damages may be to your property, the losses will be covered with one of our reliable solutions. Trust us to protect you no matter what happens.

Bike Lanes in Boston Calls for Safer Driving from Commercial Trucks

At the end of May, it was announced that the city of Boston will be getting more bike lanes and Hubway bike share stations. Since bicycles are one of the main forms of transportation in the bustling metro, it is important to find safer means for travelers to get around. However, with increased bike lanes comes more precautions for drivers, specifically for commercial truckers who navigate through the city.

Boston plans to add up to 20 miles of new bike lanes, 20 new Hubway kiosks, and potentially install cycle tracks on major roadways from Roxbury to the Public Garden. Also in the works are more divided bike lanes, which separate bicyclists from motorized traffic. In March, officials announced plans to install new warning signs, reflectors, and lane markings along busy streets to keep bicyclists safe following a number of accidents. Boston Police Capt. John Danilecki said most of the recent fatalities have involved large trucks or buses.

What if one of your commercial fleet drivers got into an accident with a bicyclist? This is an incident you don’t want to happen for many reasons. Rather than leaving your trucking company exposed to such risks, you should protect it with fleet insurance. In addition, you should train your drivers to have heightened awareness in the city as well as around those on bikes. Here are some tips to help avoid potential accidents:

  • When you come to a stop sign, do not pull out too far. If you do so, you could risk hitting a cyclist by failing to yield or turning in front of an oncoming bike. To avoid this accident, as you approach an intersection, stop with enough room for a bicycle to get by.
  • Truckers or even bicyclists who ride without their lights on at night put themselves in danger of a collision. This is because it will become harder to see anything, let alone a cyclist, on the road with no light. To avoid this accident, make sure your truck headlights function properly and stay extra focused on the road at night.
  • If your truckers travel to the city often, they may be required to make stops along side streets. Since bicyclists enjoy riding down these smaller roadways, they may be very close to the truck. This is why when opening the commercial vehicle’s door, you should be extra cautious and not swing it wide open. The last thing you want to do is hit a cyclist going by.

At Wolpert Insurance, we these tips help your fleet remain safe on the city roads. As a truck driver and owner of a commercial trucking company, keeping your safety in mind could help you avoid major collisions and injuries.

Potential Frozen Federal Truck Size and Weight Limits? What this could mean for Your Trucking Company

As you know, operating an overweight truck is very dangerous. So much so, it has caused many accidents within the past year. Due to such tragedies, families and survivors of trucks crashes joined the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) a couple weeks ago for the Sorrow to Strength conference. The event included meetings with members of Congress and U.S. Dept. of Transportation officials. These discussions worked to promote the group’s truck safety agenda.

The safety advocates established more support for the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA), sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. James McGovern (D-MA). If the bill were to pass, it would freeze current federal truck size and weight limits. This could in turn end the operation of overweight trucks as well as enforce and ensure accountability.

A national poll conducted by Lake Research Partners revealed to conference goers the positive support for truck weight limitations:

  • 68% opposed heavier trucks, with 47% strongly opposed.
  • 88% of Americans did not want to pay higher taxes for the damage caused by heavier trucks with 75% strongly opposed.

In addition, TSC released a report ranking the states on truck crash fatalities for 2011. The top 10 worst states in order were: North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico, Kansas, Indiana, and Alabama.

Do any of your truckers drive through these states? As a transportation company, you are responsible for the safety and the outcome of each delivery made. If you are sending out trucks that are overweight, you are putting your vehicles, employees, cargo, and others in lots of danger.

At Wolpert Insurance, we hope you understand how important it is to follow weight laws and regulations. You must make sure each and every commercial vehicle meets their required weight. If they are overweight, this could cause the vehicle to take longer to brake, making it more prone to a roll over in a crash and cause damage to roads and others due to the heaviness.

Don’t leave your drivers or business exposed to risks you can control. Your trucking company requires specialized insurance and we can offer these solutions to you. There are many unique dangers, hazards, and mishaps you could face out on the road. We can help you find the appropriate plan to match your distinct needs. Get the protection you deserve with our fleet insurance by contacting us at 888.596.5344 today!

Public Safety and Your Trucking Company

On April 26th, a safety fair was held in Marshfield. This event was open to the public, featuring law enforcement, military, and safety department boats, aircraft, and vehicles. The event has turned into a family-friendly day, with food, children’s activities, and police dog demonstrations. The Marshfield Airport was one of two venues for the event.

Marshfield Safety Day ran from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the airport and at the Marshfield town pier. At these spots, vessels from the State Police, Marshfield harbormaster’s office, Marshfield Fire Department dive team, and Plymouth Police Department marine unit were on display for the community to learn about.

Families also were able to tour the boats and view a variety of helicopters, airplanes, Humvees, boats, and all-terrain vehicles. In addition, different trailers from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and NStar put on safety demonstrations.

Was your trucking company able to participate in this event? Whether or not you were there to view the sights or hold a demonstration, it is important that your employees are aware of how their job affects the safety of the public. Operating a large fleet vehicle takes a lot of responsibility, which is why safety training and having fleet insurance is so necessary. Some examples of risks your drivers could face while operating their commercial trucks include:

  • Dangerous intersections
  • Traffic issues
  • Distractions while driving
  • Staying safe distances between vehicles
  • Drugs and alcohol abuse on the job
  • Backing up the truck
  • Moving at too high or too low of a speed
  • The vehicle’s operating condition
  • Changing lanes
  • Fatigue and sleepiness
  • Entering or leaving a parking lot

At Wolpert Insurance, we hope your company abides by good safety procedures so that the risk of accidents and injuries to your drivers and the public can be eliminated. To help everyone become even more aware, you could become a public safety advocate by holding defensive driving training classes, learn to conduct a risk management assessment, and understand vehicle maintenance procedures. Having these policies communicated to all of your employees and the community along with quality protection will benefit your trucking business greatly!