Safety and Compliance

FMCSA Revises Guidance on Driver Logs Generated by Software

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published a revision to its regulatory guidance concerning records of duty status (RODS or driver logs) generated by logging software programs on laptop computers, tablets and smartphones. 79 Fed. Reg. 39342 (July 10, 2014). These logging software programs are used by certain drivers to help them prepare RODS, but the computers, tablets and smartphones with such software do not meet FMCSA’s current requirements for automatic on-board recording devices.

The revision of the guidance clarifies the relationship between the agency’s policy concerning the use of logging software programs and the agency’s January 4, 2011, regulatory guidance concerning electronic signatures by removing the requirement that drivers print and sign paper copies of RODS generated through such logging software, provided the driver is able to sign the RODS electronically at the end of each work day and display the electronic record at the roadside.

FMCSA Updates Hazardous Materials Route Registry

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published an updated version of its registry of hazardous materials routes. 79 Fed. Reg. 40843 (July 14, 2014). The National Hazardous Materials Route Registry is a listing, as reported by State and Tribal Government routing officials, of all designated and restricted road and highway routes for highway route controlled quantities (HRCQ) of Class 7 (radioactive) materials and non-radioactive hazardous materials transportation. This notice also provides the limitations for using these routes.

This is the first update of the hazmat route registry since December 2000; the revision is intended to clarify and improve the functionality of the route listings. For example, instead of continuing to separate information on radioactive and non-radioactive-HM restricted routes into separate tables, FMCSA has combined the information into a single table to present all HM route restrictions in a State. The FMCSA will take public comments on the revised route registry through September 12, 2014.

FMCSA Extends CDL Exemption for Military Veterans

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted an exemption to all state driver licensing agencies to extend to one year the 90-day timeline specified in 49 CFR 383.77(b)(1), thus enabling them to waive the CDL skills test described in 49 CFR 383.113 for up to a year after separation from military service for veterans regularly or previously employed in a military position requiring operation of a commercial motor vehicle. 79 Fed. Reg. 38645 (July 8, 2014). This exemption is effective from July 8, 2014 to July 8, 2016.

Thoriated Tungsten Electrodes Update

The American Welding Society (AWS) updated a fact sheet on thoriated tungsten electrodes back in March of this year. The fact sheet covers several issues regarding handling, use, exposure and shipments. It points out that as of August 27, 2014, manufacturers and importers of thoriated tungsten will need a specific Nuclear Regulatory Commission license. The license will impose requirements for labeling, quality control, reporting and record keeping. All persons shipping thoriated tungsten electrodes in the United States need to comply with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. DOT requires the thoriated tungsten electrodes to be properly packaged and labeled. The surface of the package must be monitored for radioactivity. The fact sheet also gives information about shipping via the Post Office. In order to meet the DOT and postal shipping requirements, you will need to measure the radiation level of the package on all sides with a Geiger counter. For these reasons and the exposure concerns, most companies have moved away from thoriated tungsten to other versions of tungsten electrodes.

You can read the AWS Fact Sheet #27 at this website: http://www.aws.org/technical/facts/fact-27-201405.pdf

If you have any questions, you can contact AWS directly or Michael Dodd at MLDSafety@hotmail.com or 573-718-2887.