Archive for March, 2009

VA Agencies To Contact RE: time limit parking enforcement

March 31st, 2009

Posted with permission of SilverSurfer_TX

We are calling upon all truckers to take the few minutes each day and hound these state agencies regarding the time limit parking enforcement, which is in direct violation with FMCSA’s regulations.

The FMCSA regulations being violated is Part 355

Governor’s Office
Tim Kaine
804-786-2211

VA DMV/Motor Carrier Services
MSCAP Administrator
804-367-0266

Secretary of Public Safety
Ms. Hazelgrove
804-786-5351

Secretary of Transportation
Ms. Evelyn Shelton or Ms. Melony Roberts
804-786-8032

Talking Points When Contacting Virginia Agencies

It has been brought to my attention to provide some help with what needs to be addressed. Here are some talking points to aid in your communication…

1. Ask for the lead person in the specific agency your contacting. Example: Secretary of Public Safety Administrator Ms. Hazelgrove. Always ask for the administrator, but expect to possibly get their assistant.

2. Be clear on why you’re calling. This is an issue of truckers being ticketed and forced to violate HOS regulations and drive tired by law enforcement. Impress upon the individual you’re speaking with the seriousness of this issue. That a situation is being created by Virginia’s law enforcement which could result in a tragic situation, and they are using a law which is incompatible with FMCSA regulations.

3. Point out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulation being violated. It is Part 355, Compatibility of State laws and regulations effecting interstate motor carrier operations. The state is required to review and determine whether state laws are compatible with FMCSA regulations. And in this specific case…a “Waiver of Determination” [355.25(d)] must be on file to allow the enforcement of the laws being enforced.

4. Remain respectful and don’t become frustrated when ignorance is being relayed back to you in the conversation. Take whatever contact info offered and follow through with contacting the individual you are told to contact. When you do…let that individual know exactly who told you to call them.

5. This is the important part…repeat call 2 to 3 times a week. Do exactly the same thing with your communication. Make it known through this process we are not going away until they abide by the laws which are already in place, and being violated.

This is a battle we can win. The law is very clear regarding this issue…and it’s on our side.

STAND UP, SPEAK OUT OR ACCEPT WHAT COMES!!!

Safe Trails and God Bless,
-SilverSurfer-

I want to thank Silver (Fred) Surfer for coming up with all this…All the hard work is just begun, but with people like Silver (Fred) Surfer on our side, it just got a little easier. With the help of some people making a few phone calls a week, WE WILL BE HEARD!
Thanks Bro~Trucker..

© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Court to Hear Clean-truck Arguments April 27

March 30th, 2009

District court to review concession requirements for ‘egregious elements’

Lawyers representing the American Trucking Associations and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on April 27 will present oral arguments in the ports’ clean-truck case.

U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles will determine if the ATA’s request for a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the clean-truck concession requirements should be granted.

The 9th Circuit court on March 20 stated that Judge Snyder last fall erred in denying a preliminary injunction based on arguments involving truck safety and port security. The appellate court instructed the district court to review the concession requirements and determine if the concession agreements in their entirety should be enjoined, or whether certain “egregious elements” should be blocked.

Specifically, the 9th Circuit indicated that the requirement in the Port of Los Angeles concession agreement mandating that harbor trucking companies phase employee drivers into their fleets appeared to violate federal law. The employee driver mandate would make it easier for unions such as the Teamsters to organize harbor truck drivers.

The 9th Circuit instructed Judge Snyder to move expeditiously, and she appears to be doing that. Both sides will file written briefs in the coming few weeks. Judge Snyder will review the written arguments and could be prepared to issue her order after hearing oral arguments on April 27.

Full Story

© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Univision’s Primer Impacto Investigates Plight of Port Drivers

March 30th, 2009

On Wednesday April 1st, Primer Impacto, Univision’s award-winning news program, will air an investigative report on the dangerous lives of port drivers. The report reveals the daily struggle these workers endure as they search for their American Dream.

Every day 16,000 drivers transport goods from the Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., ports. The workforce is largely comprised of immigrants who have come to the United States in search of a better life. Instead, they have become victims of an exploitative industry that has used a loophole in the law for decades to misclassify them as independent contractors. This tactic allows the industry to deny the drivers basic rights including access to health care, retirement benefits, worker compensation and lack of work rules and safety regulations.

“The independent contractor scheme is just a way for trucking companies to fatten their wallets at the expense of thousands of port drivers across the country,” said Ricardo Hidalgo, Lead Organizer for the Teamsters Union Ports Campaign who is featured in the Primer Impacto story.

The drivers often work 14-16 hours a day just to put food on the table for their families while paying to maintain their trucks and keep their gas tanks full. In addition to the abuse these workers endure from their employers, the job itself is inherently dangerous, leading to accidents — that often go unreported by workers who fear the financial burden of medical care — and in some cases deaths.

Primer Impacto takes a look at two families whose lives were forever changed by accidents that occurred while a loved one was working as a driver out of the Port of Long Beach. The segment allows viewers to witness firsthand the devastating impact of these tragedies that have become all too common in our nation’s ports.

Efrain Medrano worked as a so-called independent contractor for over six years before his accident at the Port of Long Beach. In March 2005 Medrano was sitting in his truck at the terminal when a container dropped directly on the cab, totaling his vehicle and injuring his back and legs. At the time, Medrano refused the port officials’ offer to call an ambulance because he believed any medical bills would only make his modest pay seem even more insufficient. However his more severe health problems would manifest later in the form of post-traumatic stress when he attempted to return to work.

Stricken by panic attacks, nightmares and constant stress, Medrano was unable to function. According to Medrano a port representative convinced him to not file a lawsuit and promised to take care of him. Medrano received paychecks and physical therapy from the company for more than a year until he was convinced to sign a settlement that waived his right to take any legal action. As an immigrant who barely spoke English, it wasn’t clear if Medrano understood what he was signing. He suffered a stroke soon after and is currently physically disabled and unable to work.

Pablo Antonio Garcia was killed on January 28 while adjusting the chassis on his truck at the Port of Long Beach. Garcia’s truck was struck by a forklift, pinning him between two chassis. He suffered massive internal injuries that proved fatal. Garcia left behind a wife and three children.

However, Garcia’s family was not left without support. As an employee driver for Maritech Trucking Inc., Garcia was a member of the Teamsters Union. He and his fellow drivers were able to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that included overtime pay, health care and death benefits.

Garcia’s family was joined by hundreds of friends and supporters at a vigil on February 11 near the accident site at the Port of Long Beach. They gathered to not only honor his memory, but to demand improvements in working conditions for all port drivers.

“The laws must be changed to protect these drivers,” Hidalgo said. “Efrain Medrano is just a single worker without any protections or a voice in the workplace. He had no chance against a company that has shown it is more than willing to exploit workers to protect its balance sheet. Pablo Antonio Garcia has been lost to us, but his example lives on. He knew the value of having rights and protections in the workplace and we will honor his memory by continuing the fight for direct employment for all port drivers.”

Website: http://www.teamster.org/

© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Are you ready? “Conflicker” worm set to phone home April 1

March 30th, 2009

The fast-moving Conficker computer worm, a scourge of the Internet that has infected at least 3 million PCs, is set to spring to life in a new way on Wednesday – April Fools’ Day.

That’s when many of the poisoned machines will get more aggressive about “phoning home” to the worm’s creators over the Internet. When that happens, the bad guys behind the worm will be able to trigger the program to send spam, spread more infections, clog networks with traffic, or try and bring down Web sites.

Technically, this could cause havoc, from massive network outages to the creation of a cyberweapon of mass destruction that attacks government computers. But researchers who have been tracking Conficker say the date will probably come and go quietly.

More likely, these researchers say, the programming change that goes into effect April 1 is partly symbolic-an April Fools’ Day tweaking of Conficker’s pursuers, who for now have been able to prevent the worm from doing significant damage.

“I don’t think there will be a cataclysmic network event,” said Richard Wang, manager of the U.S. research division of security firm Sophos PLC. “It doesn’t make sense for the guys behind Conficker to cause a major network problem, because if they’re breaking parts of the Internet they can’t make any money.”

Previous Internet threats were designed to cause haphazard destruction. In 2003 a worm known as Slammer saturated the Internet’s data pipelines with so much traffic it crippled corporate and government systems, including ATM networks and 911 centers.

Far more often now, Internet threats are designed to ring up profits. Control of infected PCs is valuable on the black market, since the machines can be rented out, from one group of bad guys to another, and act as a kind of illicit supercomputer, sending spam, scanning Web sites for security holes, or participating in network attacks.

The army of Conficker-infected machines, known as a “botnet,” could be one of the greatest cybercrime tools ever assembled. Conficker’s authors just need to figure out a way to reliably communicate with it.

Infected PCs need commands to come alive. They get those commands by connecting to Web sites controlled by the bad guys. Even legitimate sites can be co-opted for this purpose, if hackers break in and use the sites’ servers to send out malicious commands.

Full story

© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Experts worry trucks from Mexico may be at risk for attack

March 30th, 2009

It’s not just oil terminals and tankers in Mexico that create security concerns for the United States. Since Sept. 11, U.S. security experts have worried that Mexico could be used to smuggle weapons or bombs into the United States.

Mexican seaports often are used to transship cargo, meaning that containers from a third country are unloaded there, then placed on another ship bound for the United States or transferred to rail cars and trucks to cross the 2,000-mile-long land border. As many as 9,000 trucks cross from Mexico into the United States daily through a single border crossing point, at Laredo, Texas.

An internal document from a major U.S. trucking company, which McClatchy obtained, highlights those risks.

It details how inspectors didn’t detect that a seal on a container that was hauled from Mexico’s state of Puebla to the U.S. Midwest had been broken until the container reached Dolton, Ill.

The driver of a truck that was collecting the shipment in Dolton found the problem when he spotted a 3-inch by 3-inch hole in the top of the container. Inside, he found a backpack, unopened sardines, clothing, a Texas prison ID card and a jug of urine. The assumption is that one or more people had broken the seal, opened the container and caught a ride inside. The hole may have been carved for ventilation.

McClatchy isn’t revealing the name of the trucking company, to protect the identity of the person who provided the document.

Full Story

© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Big Rig Loaded With Pot Seized at Border

March 30th, 2009

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo facility arrested a truck driver after they found more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana in the tractor-trailer rig he was driving Wednesday afternoon, CBP officials announced Friday.

CBP officers encountered the 37-year-old Tijuana man at about 3:00 p.m. when he drove into the port from Mexico in a 2000 Freightliner tractor-trailer with cargo manifested as toilet paper and was referred for a more in-depth inspection, CBP officials said.

While the tractor-trailer rig was at the dock in the secondary inspectional area, a narcotic detector dog alerted to the odor of narcotics emanating from the front wall area of the trailer.

Officers found 1,080 wrapped packages of marijuana valued at about $6.5 million hidden within a false front wall compartment in the front of the trailer.

The driver was arrested by special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center to await arraignment in federal district court on drug smuggling charges.

Pulled from

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U.S. to Resolve Truck Dispute, Clinton Tells Mexican Officials

March 30th, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States is “working very hard to achieve a resolution” to a trade dispute that led to Mexico imposing tariffs on U.S. goods valued at more than $2 billion after President Obama signed a law ending a cross-border trucking plan.

Clinton spoke at a press conference during her visit last week to Mexico, where she met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa, ahead of President Obama’s trip there planned for April.

After meeting with Clinton, Espinosa said, “Both governments have expressed a clear political will to work together to find a solution that will benefit both countries and that will allow us to comply with the obligations that we have accepted” under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Also last week, in Washington, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the administration “soon” would have a proposal to reopen the border to Mexican trucks.

Full Story

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Introducing Myself

March 29th, 2009

JB & SilverSurfer

I would first like to thank ARealRedneck for the invitation to be a contributor to this blog site. And I promise y’all I won’t abuse this honor.

I am a third generation ol’ schooled trucker, and have laid down over 1.5 million miles across our great country. In ’02 I parked my rig during the attempted shut-down and drew my line in the sand (so to speak.) Decided not to return to the big road until positive change was achieved towards the betterment of the industry for truckers.

Since then my brother and I have been standing up and speaking out about issues effecting truckers. We have a site I maintain to assist truckers in their daily activities and keep y’all informed about trucking news.  I host a show every Sunday evening at 7pm est on talkshoe.com (United Group Conference,) bringing trucking news and issues to our brother truckers.  Anyone can participate in our show either in the chat, or by calling in (724-444-7444  ID: 30513#.)

We were one of the major organizers of the April 28, ’08 convoy on D.C. Representing trucker’s in Senator Sessions office that same day. We were able to get Senator Sessions to introduce legislation which addressed the fuel crisis Americans were dealing with, only to be voted down by the full committee.  We are currently taking a strong stand on the issue of VA ticketing legally parked truckers then forcing them to violate their HOS reg’s and drive tired.

I am involved in an endeavor towards true unity…reaching out to my brother and sister truckers to stand together and speak out. Regain the brotherhood which once existed strong among truckers. Nobody is going to fix the problems we face for us…we must come together and fix them ourselves. This is the reality of achieving true positive change.

I’ll not turn this into a long post..but will encourage y’all to stand up and speak out. I am not one to take a stand on ignorance, and will be the first to point out to my fellow truckers if this is the case, when called upon for help. I am of the nature of straight-forward communication, but will always stand beside my fellow trucker when needed.

My contact info is…
[email protected]
940-642-1640 (I respond to all messages)

Safe Trails and God Bless,
Frederick (SilverSurfer) Schaffner
www.TheAmericanDriver.com

STAND UP, SPEAK OUT OR ACCEPT WHAT COMES!!!

© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Show topic this week: Trucking industry news VDOT’s – update Cross-border pilot program

March 29th, 2009

You have been invited by Matthew Turner to join a live Community Call.

United GROUP Conferences (Join in)

Host: Overtime -
Episode: 3/29 United GROUP Conference
Join us…SilverSurfer, JB & Overtime…as we discuss trucking issues and unity.
Call ID: 30513

Personal Message from the Host:

Join us, Overtime (UnitedCDL), SilverSurfer & JB (TheAmericanDriver), as we discuss trucking issues and unity. Show topic this week: Trucking industry news VDOT’s actions regarding trucker’s safety – update Cross-border pilot program – update Unity efforts Safe Trails and God Bless, Frederick (SilverSurfer) Schaffner STAND UP, SPEAK OUT OR ACCEPT WHAT COMES!!!

Scheduled Time:

Date: Sun, March 29, 2009
Time: 07:00 PM EDT

How to participate:

Call in:
Dial: (724) 444-7444
Enter: 30513 # (Call ID)
Enter: 1 # or your PIN
Join from your computer:
Click here to join the call or just listen along
(Optional) Become a TalkShoe member

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