Update: Changes in Hours of Service for Fleet Truckers!

As a fleet owner, you should be aware of the changes and updates going on in the industry. For example, did you know there was a change in hours of service?

Here is a summary of the new hours of service rules, which go into effect on July 1, 2013:

<strong<Mandatory Driver Rest Breaks: A driver may drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty period of at least 30 minutes.</strong<

On-duty time: This does not include any time resting in a parked vehicle. In a moving CMV, on-time duty does not include up to 2 hours in the passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper-berth.

Limitations on the 34 hour restart rule: The 34 hours must include two periods between 1 am – 5 am (home terminal time) and the restart can only be used once per week.

Oilfield exemption: A logbook or electronic equivalent must indicate the “waiting time” for certain drivers at oilfields as off duty. This can be identified in “remarks” or a separate line added to “grid.”

Penalties: Allowing a driver to drive 3 or more hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered a violation. Therefore, this act is subject to the maximum civil penalties. These penalties can also apply to passenger-carrying drivers.


So who will these rules affect and apply to? Pretty much anyone who drives commercial motor vehicles must follow the regulations. More specifically, if a fleet vehicle fits any of these descriptions, it must follow the new hours of service rule:

  • A vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce.
  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more.
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, not for compensation.
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers, including the driver, for compensation.
  • A vehicle considered a CMV that is involved in transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards through Interstate or intrastate commerce.

At Wolpert Insurance, we believe that knowing these new rule changes will help your company remain productive and safe. Paying attention to these kinds of updates can also help your drivers avoid fatigue while driving. If your employees were to continue driving while tired, this would put everyone on the road at serious risk of being involved in a collision. This is why you should reduce this risk by allowing for breaks as regulated and by having our fleet insurance for protection. Contact us today at 508-459-4700 for more information about our services and customizable products!


Operating a Commercial Truck Safely Around Other Vehicles on the Road

Did you know that fatality rates for all vehicles have dropped over the past 35 years? Although this is a positive statistic, there are still issues surrounding commercial trucks and cars sharing the road. As of 2010, when it came to rear-end collisions, a car hit a truck 76% of the time. The last thing you want to happen to your trucking company is a serious accident or injury to an employee or other driver due to ignoring the signs.

Truck drivers carry great responsibilities because they have to watch out for smaller vehicles. Such pressure can bring about stress. Dealing with poor drivers, heavy traffic, and long hours on the road is a normal day on the job for a trucker. However, rather than putting your fleet in dangerous situations, provide them with some of these tips to ensure a safe ride:

  • Get enough rest before getting behind the wheel. If you are drowsy, do not drive, or you will put others at risk.
  • Before each trip, you are required by DOT regulations to perform a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle and trailer. This is the first line of defense in accident avoidance and staying safe. Learn how to examine your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before traveling.
  • Other drivers on the road may not be aware of the size of your truck’s blind spots. Therefore, make it your responsibility to watch out for vehicles in your blind spots. This can help reduce crashes.
  • Watch out for signs of highway construction and remain alert.
  • Leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. In fact, you should always have an “out” or collision avoidance route planned in the back of your mind. Large trucks require more stopping distances than other cars due to their size and weight. So if you are in a situation where your “out” options become limited, it is best to slow down and provide enough space in front of your to avoid a collision.
  • Always wear a seat belt when driving and make sure your passenger is wearing one too for safety and control.
  • If you come upon an aggressive driver, avoid them as best you can and don’t give into road rage.

Participating in increasing public safety awareness of sharing the road can help reduce accidents. At Wolpert Insurance, we hope you take these tips into account next time you train and educate your drivers about sharing the road. In addition, another way to protect your trucking company from mishaps is with our custom truck insurance products and services to meet your requirements. Trust in Wolpert Insurance to find the right combination of coverage at a competitive rate. We understand the trucking business and the unique needs you have as an owner-operator. Don’t let your fleet remain unprotected any longer, get the security you deserve! Don’t hesitate to contact the agents at Wolpert Insurance today.

Are Your Truck Drivers Healthy?

As the owner of a fleet, are you worried about the health of your drivers and how that affects their safety as they travel long hours on the road? Making sure your employees remain healthy can create a more positive working environment to reduce accidents and injuries. Here at Wolpert Insurance, we believe your company not only deserves the most comprehensive and affordable fleet insurance available, but also a healthy, well trained trucking crew.

According to a study conducted by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, in the United States, physicians lead all major occupational groups in overall wellbeing at 78.0, while transportation workers have the lowest wellbeing scores at 63.3. This is most likely because truckers are in a driver’s seat all day and night, making it difficult to keep a regular fitness routine. However, it has now become easier to encourage your truckers to eat healthy and stay fit thanks to the surge in trucker-wellness programs.

Did you know there are truck stops dedicated to serving the unique health needs of your employees? Both TravelCenters of America (TA) and Pilot Travel Centers are adding new gyms nationwide, which are all aimed at helping professional truck drivers improve their health. TravelCenters of America currently has about 40 StayFit gyms and Pilot Flying J (PFJ) will be adding 100 fitness centers through a partnership between Snap Fitness and Rolling Strong.

By providing truckers with nutritional programs, health screenings, and personalized fitness routines, these organizations are potentially saving the lives of your truckers. Keep in mind that the success of your fleet might also depend on the health of your drivers. If one of your employees tests positive for a severe heart condition, high blood pressure, or a respiratory disorder, his/her livelihood and life could be in jeopardy. This is why encouraging a healthy work environment is important for you company’s overall well being. Taking the necessary steps now can make it easier in the future to prosper.

The trucking industry presents many different safety issues, which is why our fleet insurance combined with our risk management services can help ensure your fleet is not only safe, but also saving money by preventing accidents. You can trust the experienced agents at Wolpert Insurance to meet all of your New England transportation needs. Getting the coverage you deserve today by calling 508-459-4700 or filling out a free quote!

Are Your Drivers Protecting Themselves with Seat Belts?

It’s impossible to monitor your truck drivers while they are out on the road, but you can make sure that you’re doing everything you can to make sure they are following protocol especially in relation to safety. Large or small, trucks require just as much safety as driving a car and if one of your drivers isn’t careful, severe consequences may unfold. Specifically, not wearing seatbelts can be a significant detriment to driver and passenger safety, so we suggest you implement a policy saying that all drivers MUST wear seatbelts. After all, it is the law in Massachusetts.

Why are seatbelts effective ways to prevent driver and passenger injuries? For one, they obviously help halt serious injuries and fatalities. During a crash, a seatbelt helps keep the driver in place, constricting movement so the body does not move with the momentum of the vehicle. And a lesser known fact is that seatbelts also help organs from running into each other during an accident.

However…there are those who simply refuse to wear them all together. It can be a cultural or comfort thing. Some people just weren’t raised to wear seatbelts every time they jumped in a car, and others may just not like wearing them. Other reasons why seatbelts may not be used including infringing on personal freedom, too much trouble, not believing it enhances safety, forgetting or just out of habit.

So what does this all mean? It’s simple, really. Making sure your drivers are always wearing seatbelts may not seem like much, but it may pay dividends in case one of your drivers is involved in an accident with one of your trucks.

At Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management we’re here to help trucking and transportation companies get the safety help they need. For more information on trucking safety or transportation insurance, give us a call soon.

What are the terms relating to the parties involved in the transportation of cargo?

When filing an interstate cargo claim, do you know everything there is to know? To start, it may help to understand where you fall under the umbrella of transportation. It’s important to understand the difference between terms like common carrier, motor carrier, private motor carrier, and more. When you run a trucking business that deals with transporting cargo in vehicles, it’s important not only have transportation  insurance, but also the information you need. So what is the difference between types of carriers? Let’s take a look:

Broker: A broker is a person, other than the motor carrier or employee of a motor carrier, that sells or negotiates for providing transportation by motor carrier for compensation.

Carrier or common carrier: A carrier is defined as a “motor carrier, water carrier and a freight forwarder.” The ICC Termination Act deleted all references to “common carrier,” which is one that holds itself out to public as ready to carry goods for anyone who requests its services as distinguished from a private carrier.

Motor carrier: A motor carrier is defined as a person providing commercial motor vehicle transportation for compensation.

Private motor carrier: A private motor carrier is defined as a person, other than the motor carrier, transporting property by commercial vehicle in interstate or foreign commerce when the person is the owner, lessee, or bailee of the property being transported, and the property is being transported for sale, lease, rent or bailment or to further a commercial enterprise.

Consignee: A consignee is the person named in a bill of lading as the person to whom the goods are being delivered to.

Consignor: On the other hand, a “consignor” is the person named in a bill of lading from whom the goods have been received for shipment.

Freight forwarder: According to the Interstate Commerce Act, a freight forwarder is a “person holding itself out to the general public to provide transportation of property for compensation and in the ordinary course its business assembles and consolidates shipments; assumes responsibility for the transportation from the place of receipt to the place of destination; and uses for any part of the transportation a carrier subject to the jurisdiction.”

At Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management, we know that not everything is so black and white when it comes to truckers and transportation companies. We want to make sure you’re getting all the info you need, so please feel free to call us today. We’d love to speak with you!