JANUARY 7, 2020
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System overload mars FMCSA clearinghouse debut
Users report delays, error messages
Operators experiencing difficulties are encouraged to document their efforts with screen captures, etc., to show attempts at compliance.

by Ken Presley

Washington, DC - By most reports, the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse is off to a bumpy start. UMA members report long delays and error messages as they attempted to register or submit queries. Although registration opened in October, many companies waited until the last week, including Monday, to register. Most of those experienced significant problems.
One report said it appeared that a high volume of users may have crashed the system and the call volume at FMCSA was 10 to 20 times higher than normal.

Beginning January 6, 2020, all new driver applicants must be screened through the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse and all CDL drivers applying for new driving positions are required to register. The new process is designed to close a major loophole that previously allowed drivers with drug or alcohol violations to get hired by passenger carriers by simply lying about past test failures.

FMCSA has acknowledged they experienced connectivity issues due to the high volume of traffic; however, they report that as of 7:45 PM last night, the Portal was operational and there were no issues logging into the Clearinghouse with a Portal account.

FMCSA reports the vast majority of the difficulties motor carriers have had with registering in the clearinghouse are a result of not having “DACH Admin” role designated in the Portal.

The attached guides were prepared by FMCSA to assist you in navigating the new requirement:

FMCSA reports that most questions regarding the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse can be answered by reading and understanding the regulations. We recommend members review and understand. For your convenience please review the following:

If you consistently experience problems, it may be the web browser you are using. Many have discovered that using an alternative browser got them right in.

Finally, inasmuch as the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse regulation is now in effect, if you incur difficulties accessing the website for queries and/or registration, DOCUMENT YOUR EFFORTS!

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40 Under 45 Roundtable will convene in Nashville
NTSB: Motorcoach had no seatbelts, struck median barrier in PA tour bus crash
WLTW TV | January 6, 2020

A Cincinnati-bound tour bus was involved in a crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike early Sunday morning that left at least five people dead, officials confirm.

Approximately 60 people were taken to area hospitals, according to a spokesperson from the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The National Transportation Safety Board discussed the crash publicly Monday on their investigation into the crash, which occurred at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Officials said driver of the bus lost control and set off a chain reaction that involved three tractor-trailers and a passenger car.

Jennifer Homendy, an NTSB board member, said a motor coach passed a FedEx truck and then later struck a concrete median barrier, came back across the travel lanes and eventually rolled onto its side, blocking the road.
Homendy said there were no seat belts on the motor coach.
Managing risk to survive the 'polar coaster'
Winter weather is a factor on the roads no matter what you're driving, so here are some tips from the trucking industry on ways to minimize risk when the roads are icy.

FleetOwner.com | Jan 7, 2020 | By John Luciani

The weather outside may be frightful this winter for many areas of the U.S., but no matter what the elements may bring, the freight shipments critical to our economy and livelihood still require prompt transportation and distribution. With computer forecast models calling for  colder than average  temperatures for northern and eastern states, and the  Farmers’ Almanac citing an unpredictable polar coaster  of highs and lows, fleet owners and supply chain professionals should take the appropriate measures for securely weatherproofing their operations.

Winterizing operations is a full-spectrum effort: protecting employees with the right equipment and training, ensuring preventative maintenance is current on all power and trailing equipment, preparing warehouses for freezing temperatures, and offering services that protect temperature-sensitive shipments help form a solid groundwork for success. As colder temperatures settle in, fleet owners can follow the tips outlined below to protect from harsh winter conditions.
4 big changes coming to HR in 2020
Job Application Hiring Document Form Concept
A low unemployment rate means more companies are leveraging data and tech for hiring purposes--and bringing people with nontraditional backgrounds into their human resources departments.

Inc.com | January 7, 2020 |by Brit Morse

Your company is only as good as your employees, but finding and keeping  high-quality talent  is one of the most challenging aspects of running any business. And it's not getting any easier.

In April  the unemployment rate in the U.S. fell to 3.6 percent , a nearly five-decade low, which has led some businesses to take creative approaches to recruiting, retention, and other human resources functions. More and more, they're leveraging new technology to cut costs, and relying heavily on data to make decisions about hiring, raises, and promotions.

Here are a few ways HR will evolve in 2020 and what business owners should do now to prepare for those changes.
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Pennsylvania bus operator sentenced and fined
Motorcoach Industry Calendar
Don't miss out! Sign up now!
  • 15 Maryland Motorcoach Association Legislative Reception, Gov. Calvert House
  • 19-23 UMA Motorcoach EXPO, Nashville, TN www.motorcoachexpo.com
  • 21 National Association of Motorcoach Operators Semi Annual Members Meeting, Nashville, TN (During UMA Motorcoach EXPO)
  • 27-29 Tennessee Motorcoach Association Convention and Marketplace, Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa, Florence, AL https://tnmca.net/


MARCH 2020
  • 5-7 Northwest Motorcoach Association Annual Mechanics & Tech, Location TBD www.northwestmotorcoach.com
  • 19-22 Ontario Transportation EXPO, The International Centre, Mississauga, ON, Canada www.omca.com

JUNE 2020
  • 21-24 PBA Annual Meeting, Wind Creek, Bethlehem, PA Details
  • 25-28 New England Bus Association Annual Conference, Northfalmouth, MA www.newenglandbus.org


Remember, as a UMA member you have the power of discounts on the best products and services, access to relevant education, targeted professional resources, and colleagues all over the map. Remember to consult your member directory when you need help on the road, access to more vehicles to meet demand, or services out of your area. We are UMA! Want to find other members to do business with? Use the online directory.

Reach the UMA staff by calling (703) 838-2929 or by email at info@uma.org . We love to hear from our members!