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
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.