Safe and Efficient Transportation Act Update

Here's a quick link to click on https://mercertownblog.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/safe-and-efficient-transportation-act-of-2009/.

Now that you are caught up on the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, and what it means, check this link out:  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bipartisan-senate-bill-gives-states-option-to-raise-interstate-weight-limits-100035029.html.

Looks like they are going to get away with passing this bill, and if you read that first link...you know how I feel about it.  Please share your concerns in the comment section.


PILOT / FLYING J UPDATE #?

Pilot / Flying J Update

Mercer has just completed negotiations with Pilot & Flying J on new cost plus pricing.   Mercer contractors now receive cost plus 5 or retail minus 5 cents pricing from Pilot / Flying J locations.  Libby is in the process of updating the Mercertown website to include this new agreement.   In order to receive this pricing, you must purchase the fuel with the TCH card.

The TCH card now works at all the major truckstops (Flying J, Loves, Petro, Pilot & Travel Centers of America), many of the smaller chains and independent truckstops also accept the TCH card. To see a complete listing of sites that accept the TCH card, go to www.tch.com.

You can also view a history of all your TCH card transactions by clicking on the E-Manager Log-in, entering your card & pin number and then clicking on the Cash Advance Report.

Loves / Pilot Travel Centers

TCH has assured me the problems have been corrected at the Pilots & Loves Travel Centers. If you have any issues using your TCH at these locations, please let me know.


CASH ADVANCES

It was brought to my attention today that Flying J is now charging customers for a Cash Advance when not purchasing fuel. This applies to all fuel cards (ComData and TCH).


TCH UPDATE

TCH Update

TCH has joined the Star Debit Card Network. Mercer contractors can now use their TCH card at places like Wal-Mart or any other retail outlet that accepts the Star debit card. TCH will not charge a transaction fee for the feature.

In order to help prevent fraud and theft, Mercer has requested TCH to place limits on your TCH cards. The limits are as follows:

Daily Transaction limits 10 swipes of the card $5,000 per day

Weekly Transaction limits: 20 swipes of the card $10,000 per week

Monthly Transaction limits: 40 swipes of the card $20,000 per month

I can change the limits on an individual card basis, at your request. The purpose of these limits is not to limit your purchases but to eliminate the possibility of theft.


PILOT / FLYING J MERGER

Effective July 1st, the merger of Pilot & Flying J was completed. The Mercer discount is now Retail minus 10 cents per gallon at both the Pilot & Flying J.

In order to receive this point of sale discount, you must purchase the fuel with the Mercer issued TCH card.

Unfortunately, discounts are only available at Flying J / Pilot if you are using your TCH card.  We do not know when Flying J / Pilot will allow us to receive a discount with the ComData card.


TCH UPDATE

All Love's Truck Stop locations are now accepting the TCH fuel card.  The following chains that accept the TCH card are:  T/A, Petro, Love's, and Flying J.  Pilot is the only major chain that does not accept the TCH card.

There is still no final word on the Flying J/Pilot merger, but I am hearing rumors that Flying J may start to accept the ComData fuel card in the near future.  Stay tuned!


CROSS BORDER TRUCKING PROGRAM, PART 2

If you have followed my posts on the Cross-Border Trucking Program, which allows Mexican trucks to enter the United States, then this link is a must read.  Click on the link below to see why quite a few congressmen are against the program.  It is definitely a step in the right direction.

http://www.defazio.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=573


CROSS BORDER TRUCKING PROGRAM

Looks like we are one step closer to seeing Mexican trucks cross the border into the U.S. again.  Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, met with top Mexican transportation officials on Monday.  Their goal is to establish a working group to consider the next steps of the controversial and long-delayed cross-border trucking program.

According to a press release, the groups are focusing on the importance of cooperating in areas of mutual interest to ensure the safety, reliability, efficiency and sustainability of the two transportation systems.

You can read more on this topic from my previous posts: https://mercertownblog.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/mexican-truckers-sue-the-u-s-for-6-billion/

https://mercertownblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/random-friday/


FMCSA WILL REQUIRE EOBRS

Some big news today, as I read that the FMCSA is working on a plan, that will require companies to equip all trucks in their fleet with Electronic On Board Recorders (EOBRs, or Black Box).  This plan will go into effect on June 1st, 2012.

The EOBRs will only be required by the FMCSA if the carrier violates the H.O.S. rules more than 10 percent of the time.  It is believed that carriers that frequently violate H.O.S. rules have a much higher risk of causing a crash.  Along with CSA 2010, the FMCSA will use this to crack down on unsafe drivers, and carriers.

I know that most of you have very strong opinions about this issue.  I expect the comment section to be hopping today.  Keep in mind that I do not know how this plan is going to effect us as an Owner-Operator company, or you as an Owner-Operator. The big question would first be, where do O/O's find the money to put an EOBR in their truck?  As soon as we can gather some more info, we will update you all.  Stay safe, and go Mercer!

Here are some related links:

http://www.trucknews.com/issues/story.aspx?aid=1000366347

http://www.thetrucker.com/News/Stories/2010/4/2/DOTissuesrulerequiringEOBRsforcompanieswithseriousHOSviolations.aspx

http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=69964