This month, the California Labor Commissioner issued Orders, Decisions, and Awards in the amount of $855,285.62 to four port and rail drivers working for XPO Logistics’ subsidiary XPO Cartage. These drivers – like hundreds of others at XPO and other harbour trucking companies – filed Wage & Hour claims with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement alleging misclassification as independent contractors. They join more than 300 port drivers for whom the Labor Commissioner’s office has issued determinations of misclassification. These four XPO drivers remain classified as independent contractors by their employer and are continuing their fight for classification as employees
The ODAs included, for the first time, awards for “nonproductive time,” such as time spent inspecting the truck, waiting for dispatch, or scanning in paperwork at the end of the day. Each of the four XPO drivers were awarded an average of $38,000 in wages for unpaid hours, plus liquidated damages for the same amount, amounting to approximately $76,000 each, in addition to expenses, deductions, meal and rest breaks, and interest. The awards for “nonproductive time” were pursuant to California Assembly Bill 1513 passed in 2016, which requires employers to pay employees paid piece rate for nonproductive time.
Since 2011, port truck drivers serving America’s largest port complex have filed more than 800 claims with the California DLSE, which adjudicates wage claims and is an enforcement branch under the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. The DLSE has issued determinations in about 300 cases, finding that drivers were, in fact, employees.
There have been countless claims in many other jurisdictions in North America without the results now being experienced in California. Now there is a precedent in California quite likely legislators and the judiciary will be much more willing to allow similar consideration for the hundreds of thousands of small business owner operator truckers that find themselves tied to a carrier — at arms length.
CVSA Roadcheck planned for June 6-8
International Roadcheck is an annual three-day event when CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle and driver safety.
This year’s International Roadcheck needs to be on the trucking industry’s calendar for June 6-8, 2017. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s 72-hour safety blitz is in its 30th year in 2017. It is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world with nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute across North America during a 72-hour period.
Each year, International Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year’s focus is cargo securement. While checking for compliance with safe cargo securement regulations is always part of roadside inspections, CVSA is highlighting cargo securement safety this year as a reminder of its importance to highway safety.
Inspectors will primarily be conducting the North American Standard Level I Inspection, which is the most thorough roadside inspection. It is a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness.
Drivers are required to provide items such as their driver’s license, hours-of-service documentation, motor carrier registration and shipping documentation, and inspectors will be checking drivers for seat belt usage and the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
The vehicle inspection includes checking items such as the brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft, exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices (required lamps), steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, windshield wipers and emergency exits (on buses).
Since its inception in 1988, roadside inspections conducted during International Roadcheck have numbered more than 1.4 million. Roadcheck also provides an opportunity to educate industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations and the roadside inspection program.
CVSA sponsors International Roadcheck with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).
In past years, jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada have actively participated in the program and publicized the number of inspections and out-of-service orders. There haven’t been any hard numbers out of Mexico in recent years.
Earth Day, Help Do Your Part
Tomorrow being Earth Day, fleet management systems provider Omnitracs is sharing some tips on how fleets can take proactive steps to reduce their environmental impact — and boost their own bottom lines at the same time, driving efficiency and reducing costs.
The company sets it up with this image: When you think of the trucking industry 10 years ago, you probably think of something like a semi barreling down the highway, guzzling gas and leaving behind a thick trail of exhaust — an environmental disaster. But over the past few decades, between increased environmental regulations and fleet owners looking to cut fuel costs, some revolutionary changes have taken place, and there’s always room for improvement, Omnitracs notes.
Here are three tips from the company’s Cyndi Brant, senior director of product marketing and Wes Mays, director of OEM solutions.
- Monitor consistently. Use a tire pressure monitoring system to keep your tires at the proper operating inflation pressure. Not only will this ensure your trucks are properly maintained, it will also optimize fuel economy.
- Take advantage of an advanced routing system. Advanced routing systems such as Roadnet Anywhere can help minimize your total number of miles traveled, thus reducing the total amount of fuel used. Keep in mind that a few miles can add up quickly!
On average, medium- to heavy-duty trucks get 6.5 mpg. If your fleet has 100 routes a day, and you can reduce 2 miles off each route every day, that’s saving 200 delivery miles, or 30 gal. of fuel every day. Added up over a year, this eliminates more than 219,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.
- Embrace new and upcoming technology. Have you heard of platooning? If you haven’t yet, chances are you will soon. This technology synchronizes braking and acceleration between pairs of trucks through the integration of vehicle-to-vehicle communications with state-of-the-art, radar-based collision avoidance systems, enabling the trucks to travel safely at aerodynamic following distances.
Peloton and Omnitracs have partnered together to bring this technology to the roads this year, generating 4.5% fuel savings for the lead truck and 10% for the following truck in a two-truck platoon.