E-Communicator Article

The President's Column

by Steve Weitekamp

February 2013

January 31, 2013, ended a second year of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) reporting deadline for all On-Road Diesel Engines operating in California. This process is one that caught some carriers by surprise and left several wondering if they needed to report. My perspective is that CARB, like many regulators, has done a less-than adequate job of outreach to the impacted industry. I have little faith that a company that is not aligned with an Association like CMSA would have enough knowledge to proceed with compliance prior to a costly enforcement action. Hopefully, you have reported your fleet if you are taking advantage of any fleet options or have printed out a certificate of compliance for your van line to expedite a possible roadside inspection.


There are more CARB deadlines ahead, and recent events have me thinking of the impact on small fleets; this class includes contractors, which are vital to our industry. Small fleets (one to three diesel trucks) that have taken advantage of delays as a result of their reporting to CARB will be required by January 1, 2014, to install an expensive PM filter costing up to $18,000 on one of their trucks or replace their truck(s) with a compliant unit(s). The question that we all need to ask is: What will be the impact of this deadline on our fleets and van line capacity?


Transportation in general, and our industry in particular, faces a shortage of drivers. Issues related to CARB regulations, changes in the Hours of Service (HOS) rules and implementation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program only exacerbates an already difficult challenge. Freight has advantages in hiring over moving for several reasons: the work is less physically demanding, the learning curve is much shorter, and greater volume and turnover has helped to increase hiring efficiencies.


With AMSA taking the lead, I am pleased to report that CMSA is also a participant in working to address the driver shortage issue. AMSA has created a Driver Recruitment and Retention Committee, chaired by respected industry leader and CMSA member Bev Klein, President of NC Moving and Storage Solutions. One of the primary goals of this committee is the implementation of an AMSA driver development program, the Registered American Moving Professionals (RAMP). The challenge for RAMP will be to identify and train new van operators. AMSA’s innovative program partners with a Kentucky community college and a regional job program, which takes advantage of federal funds to put people to work.


If you have joined us for any of 2012-2013 CMSA Chairman Rick Hosea’s chapter visits, you are aware that he started in this industry in 1984 by attending a three-week Mayflower driver training program in Carmel, Ind. Upon completion of this brief program, he started his career as a driver for the Mayflower corporate fleet. We can only hope that the RAMP program will produce drivers who develop into quality operators and potential leaders.


Like the cover page comments of CMSA’s officers, I encourage you to join us at your Association’s upcoming 95th Annual Convention in beautiful Santa Barbara. Please take a moment to complete and return the registration materials included with this issue.

February 2013 - CMSA Communicator

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