Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Jan. 16, 2023:

FMCSA grants one waiver from driver training regs, denies another

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this week granted an exemption from a certain provision of the Entry-Level Driver Training rule and denied another.

Rex Railsback, owner of Railsback HazMat Safety Professionals, received an exemption from the theory instructor qualification requirements, allowing him to conduct classroom training for driver trainees seeking to obtain a hazardous materials endorsement on their CDL without holding a CDL himself, as required by the rule.

Railsback said in his request that his experience and expertise in the hazmat field would be equal to or supersede theory training offered by others.

FMCSA acknowledged that for a theory instructor for hazmat training, there is no behind-the-wheel training involved, as there is no skills test for an HM endorsement, adding that Railsback has extensive experience teaching hazmat-related subjects and is a widely acknowledged subject matter expert in the transportation of hazardous materials.

The agency also denied a request from National Ground Water Association, which sought an exemption from the ELDT regs “for individuals operating class B ground water well drilling rigs.”

The drivers that would have been covered by the exemption transport water well field equipment used to access ground water.

NGWA said that increasing demands for groundwater and private water wells, along with labor and supply shortages, have contributed to delays in drilling new water wells, adding that the exemption would have allowed ground water well drilling rig operators to receive on-the-job training, which could save hundreds of hours each year for water well contractors.

FMCSA denied the exemption because, even though NGWA said it would provide on-the-job “safe driver” training to drivers covered by the exemption prior to obtaining their CDL, NGWA did not provide any details of that training or explain how such training would provide an equivalent or greater level of safety as compliance with the ELDT regs.

Roehl paid $4 million in safety bonuses last year

Roehl Transport (CCJ Top 250, No. 60) paid its truck drivers $4 million in safety incentives in 2022, the company announced last week.

Instead of having to wait to receive a quarterly or annual bonus, Roehl drivers earn additional cents per mile for each accident-free mile they drive, as they drive them.

CEO Rick Roehl noted that safety is Roehl Transport’s cornerstone value, and the company rewards drivers for their professionalism as they drive.“At Roehl, safety is synonymous with professionalism,” he said.

Roehl drivers earn accident-free pay when they do not have preventable accidents and complete all assigned training timely. Nearly 92% of Roehl drivers who were eligible for accident-free pay earned it in 2022. In addition to accident-free pay, Roehl drivers enjoyed an innovative new pay package in 2022. Roehl’s sliding mileage pay scale better rewards drivers for their time, especially when compared with traditional (flat) cents per mile plans.

[Related: Roehl Transport reinvents driver pay to compensate for time-consuming work]

Nominations open for Distinguished Woman in Logistics Award

The Women in Trucking Association (WIT), Truckstop, and the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) are seeking nominations for the 2023 Distinguished Woman in Logistics Award (DWLA). The award started in 2015 to recognize outstanding individuals for their achievements and leadership in logistics.

“Every year more women are entering the logistics industry, and this award will recognize and honor a leader who has demonstrated her passion for the supply chain as well as in advancing and empowering women along the way,” said Ellen Voie, president and CEO of WIT.

Sponsored by Truckstop and TIA, the award is open to high-performing women in any field related to logistics, including supply chain management, third-party logistics, and trucking.

The award selection committee includes representatives from WIT, Truckstop, TIA and academia.

The winner of the 2023 DWLA will be announced during the TIA 2023 Capital Ideas Conference & Exhibition, on Friday, April 21 in Orlando, Florida.

Anyone can nominate a candidate by completing and submitting the nomination form by Feb. 20.