Fine for idling in Dallas, TX

do_not_idle_signLast Friday, a Mercer driver was fined $409.00 for idling more than ten minutes in Dallas, Texas. This is a new regulation and is part of a growing trend. A number of our drivers have had to pay the $300 fine for idling longer than five minutes in California. More and more states (and cities) are jumping on this bandwagon. Drivers can get a list of idle restrictions by state by going to  It is worth checking, particularly with warmer weather approaching. An APU should be on every driver's Christmas list. At some point, it will be difficult to truck without one. 

Len Dunman

Safety Director

OOS D.O.T. Inspections

Weigh_stationDid you know that a "Y" or an "X" marked in the OOS column of a state DOT inspection report damages Mercer's safety record and reduces the number of "green's" Mercer drivers get on PrePass and Norpass? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, mathematically, it takes NINE good inspections to offset ONE bad one. If you have an Out of Service item checked (regardless of whether or not you are actually put out of service, whether or not you correct it there, or whether or not you receive a ticket) on the report, the damage has been done. If nine other drivers don't get clean inspections on the day you get a bad one, we all take a step backwards and everyone is affected. I hear a lot of "I'm Sorry's" from drivers when they call to report bad inspections, like it's no big deal. In fact, it's a very big deal. The best "I'm Sorry" a driver can do is to get ten clean inspections after getting one bad one. Driver's who cannot consistently get clean Level 1,2 or 3 inspections hurt everyone else at Mercer and probably need to be trucking somewhere else. And will probably will be.


Len Dunman

Safety Director

Roadcheck 2009

Roadcheck 2009 will occur June 2-4. This is a 72-hour inspection blitz by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance law enforcement agencies in the US and Canada. All drivers operating during the 3-day period can expect intense scrutiny at inspection stations and along the roadside. Drivers should prepare accordingly.

More info on Alabama Coil Certification

ALABAMA METAL COIL TRAINING                                                                                                                        By Len Dunman

Effective June 1, any driver delivering coiled steel to a location in Alabama or picking up coiled steel from a location in Alabama must be certified to haul metal coils by Alabama. Mercer will not offer such loads to drivers who do not have the certification. The driver must go online and take a forty-five minute course, pass the test at the end, and be issued a certificate. Upon receiving the certificate, the driver MUST send it to the Safety Department to be counter signed. Mercer will make a copy of the counter signed certificate for the driver qualification file, note the driver's computer screen concerning eligibility to load/unload coils in Alabama, and send the original back to the driver. The driver must keep the original certificate with him in the truck. There are two ways to obtain the certification online. The website is the same, but the Alabama class costs $25. A link is available to other states and the Indiana Motor Truck Association (of which Mercer is a member) is offering the same course to its member companies for $15. A credit card is required for either option. the procedure for either is the same as follows:

1) Alabama Metal Coil Training, $25: Go to and click on the box that says, "Click Here to purchase Alabama Metal Coil Training." It will direct you to set up your account and then begin the test. Be sure all information fields are completed correctly;

2) IMTA training option, $15: Go to but instead of clicking on the Alabama box as above, scroll down to the US map below and click on the state of Indiana. You will be asked for a code and you should enter Indiana07. After that, you will be directed to set up your account and then go to the test.

Please note that for either option, you must set up your own account. Mercer does not have an account and will not handle direct billing or settlement deductions on this certification. This is each driver's individual responsibility. If you have any questions, contact Jeff Gibson in Truck Inspections at extension 3128. Jeff has followed this process from the beginning and is most knowledgeable about it. It is important that this be done as soon as possible. Remember, the implementation date in Alabama is June 1.

Len Dunman

Safety Director

Alabama Steel Coil Certification

Starting next week, I will be receiving specific information concerning Mercer drivers on how to comply with a new Alabama law that will take effect in June.  Any driver that plans to haul steel coils that load or unload in Alabama, will need to be certified by the state of Alabama to do so.  To get the certification, drivers will have to go on-line, take a 45 minute course, pass a test, and pay $10-$15.  Once the driver receives the certificate, he or she will need to send the certificate to Mercer, then we countersign it.  We keep a copy in the driver qualifications file, and return the original to the driver.  This is going to be an absolute must, if you ever plan to load or empty coils in the state of Alabama.  I will update you again next week with some more specific details.