From:                              Idealease <>

Sent:                               Friday, January 16, 2015 3:35 PM


Subject:                          Idealease Safety Bulletin - Do you have a career path for your employees?



Idealease Safety Bulletin






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Do you have a career path for your employees?


Our industry continues to struggle with finding enough drivers and technicians to service and drive trucks.  When is the last time you heard a young boy or girl say "when I grow up, I want to be a truck driver or truck technician?  There is not a week that goes by that someone is asking me what they can do to recruit new drivers and technicians.  My first response to that question is "what are you doing to keep the good drivers and technicians that you currently have?"  In today's employment environment if you are not actively working to retain your employees someone else is actively recruiting them from you!  


There is no one clear answer to driver and technician retention but there are a number of proven methods that you can implement to reduce turnover.  One is to develop a career path for all of your employees to follow.  Another common term used for career path is driver or technician elevation program.  If an employee does not have a clear vision of what they can achieve with your company, they are likely to become dormant and will eventually leave the company.  Both drivers and technicians will leave a company for a pay rate that is slightly higher than what they are currently receiving.   I would recommend that you tie training and pay increases together.   


We have implemented a career path program in our Atlanta facility and have tied pay increases to the amount of training that a technician has completed.  The technician has the opportunity to increase their pay by completing training and passing examinations.   This has proven to be a benefit to us the employer and the employee.  We benefit by having technicians who are higher skilled and educated to repair and service our units and technician turnover has been reduced. The technicians are able to repair and service the units more efficiently with a lower occurrence of comeback repairs. Technicians are able to increase their pay and enhance their careers with education.  Imagine the savings you could have with all employees at the highest level of education and pay!!!



What does the FMCSA say about having a Horn in a commercial motor vehicle?

The horn on a commercial motor vehicle is a safety device that can be the sole item that can prevent an accident by sounding an alarm and communicating your presence to another vehicle.  However, we all know of drivers that have abused the use of a horn and may in fact cause an accident by startling another motorist.  There have been instances of road rage documented that all started with the misuse of a horn. The sounding of a horn is one of the few actions taken by a driver that can make an intrusion into the driving compartment of another vehicle.  Horns on commercial vehicles vary in size from small electric (city horns) to large exterior mounted chrome trumpeted air horns.  Novelty horns are also popular that play familiar tunes to college football fight songs. 


So what does the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration say about a horn?


The Answer is found in CFR§393.81:Every bus, truck, truck-tractor, and every driven motor vehicle in driveaway - towaway operations shall be equipped with a horn and actuating elements which shall be in such condition as to give an adequate and reliable warning signal.


§393.81 DOT Interpretations

Question 1: Do the FMCSRs specify what type of horn is to be used on a CMV?

Guidance: No.

Question 2: Are there established criteria in the FMCSRs to determine the minimum sound level of horns on CMVs? 

Guidance: No.



Can I drive my commercial motor vehicle if the horn is not operational?

Answer: NO, Section: CFR§392.7 Equipment, inspection and use.

No commercial motor vehicle shall be driven unless the driver is satisfied that the following parts and accessories are in good working order, nor shall any driver fail to use or make use of such parts and accessories when and as needed: Service brakes, including trailer brake control, Parking (hand) brake., Steering mechanism, Lighting devices and reflectors, Tires, Horn Windshield wiper or wipers, Rear-vision mirror or mirrors and Coupling devices.



As states legalize the use of medical marijuana, does this affect the FMCSA regulations prohibiting its use?



The FMCSA makes it perfectly clear that it remains unacceptable for an employee performing a safety sensitive activity to use marijuana.

The Department of Transportation's Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation - 49 CFR Part 40, at 40.151(e) - does not authorize "medical marijuana" under a state law to be a valid medical explanation for a transportation employee's positive drug test result.


That section states:


§ 40.151 What are MROs prohibited from doing as part of the verification process?

 As an MRO, you are prohibited from doing the following as part of the verification process:

You must not verify a test negative based on information that a physician recommended that the employee use a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. (e.g., under a state law that purports to authorize such recommendations, such as the "medical marijuana" laws that some states have adopted.)

Therefore, Medical Review Officers will not verify a drug test as negative based upon information that a physician recommended that the employee use "medical marijuana."  Please note that marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.  It remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation's drug testing regulations to use marijuana.


How long does a detectable amount of Marijuana stay in your system?

The most common period of time is anywhere from 3-30 days, depending on your metabolism and the amount of marijuana that you've smoked.


To view the regulations of states have enacted laws that legalized medical marijuana click on the following link:  



January 16, 2015



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The Deep Freeze is Here!


A large part of North America will be experiencing extremely cold weather conditions this weekend and the following week.  Many locations will experience below zero temperatures that have not been seen in the recent years.  Advise your employees that will be subject to the elements to be aware of the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Exposed skin can freeze within one minute at wind-chill equivalent temperatures below -25 F. 




Frostbite affects the extremities, such as fingers and toes. If a body part has been frostbitten once, it is more susceptible to frostbite again, even in milder conditions. Redness and a burning sensation are indications frostbite will occur unless the extremity is warmed. Numbness is an indication that frostbite has already taken place. If frostbite is discovered, hold the affected part tightly against the warm skin or another part of the body; (for example place frozen fingers under arm). When thoroughly warmed, keep covered and make an effort to keep area from freezing again.





Under conditions of prolonged exposure to cold, the body may begin to lose heat faster than it can produce it. A condition called hypothermia begins to develop. The symptoms become very apparent, and include:

uncontrollable shivering,

vague, slow, slurred speech,

memory lapses, incoherence

immobile, fumbling hands,

frequent stumbling, lurching gait, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.


If frostbite or hypothermia is suspected, begin warming the person slowly and seek immediate medical assistance. Warm the person's trunk first.  Arms and legs should be warmed last because stimulation of the limbs can drive cold blood toward the heart and lead to heart failure.  Put person in dry clothing and wrap their entire body in a blanket.  Never give a frostbite or hypothermia victim something with caffeine in it (like coffee or tea) or alcohol. Caffeine, a stimulant, can cause the heart to beat faster and hasten the effects the cold has on the body. Alcohol, a depressant, can slow the heart and also hasten the ill effects of cold body temperatures.




Registration is Now Open Online for the 2015 Idealease/NPTC Safety Seminars!


Idealease, its members and the National Private Truck Council NPTC will again be hosting safety seminars in 2015. The one day seminars this year will focus on basic safety and compliance, regulation changes and CSA.  The seminars and will be provided to all Idealease customers, potential customers and NPTC members at no charge.  The seminar provides important information applicable for both the novice and experienced transportation professionals. To register for an upcoming seminar in 2015 CLICK HERE



2015 Idealease Safety Seminar Schedule:


March 4

Portland, OR

March 5

Seattle, WA

March 17

Chattanooga, TN

 March 18

Atlanta, GA

March 19

Nashville, TN

March 24

Houston, TX

March 25

Lafayette, LA

March 26

Mobile, AL

March 31

Kansas City, MO

April 1

St. Louis, MO

April 2

Memphis, TN

April 7

Cincinnati, OH

April 8

Columbus, OH

April 9

Elkhart, IN

April 14

Linden, NJ

April 14

Phoenix, AZ

April 15

San Leandro, CA

April 16

Lodi, CA

April 21

Santa Fe Springs, CA

April 21

Harrisburg, PA

April 22

Ventura, CA

April 22

Landover, MD

April 23

Baltimore, MD

April 28

Oklahoma City, OK

April 30

Milwaukee, WI

May 5

Kelowna, BC

May 6

Lexington, KY

May 7

Denver, CO

May 12

Tampa, FL

June 25

Santa Rosa, CA

October 22

San Martin, CA





The Idealease Safety Bulletin is provided for Idealease affiliates and their customers and is not to be construed as a complete or exhaustive source of compliance or safety information. The Idealease Safety Bulletin is advisory in nature and does not warrant, guarantee, or otherwise certify compliance with laws, regulations, requirements, or guidelines of any local, state, or Federal agency and/or governing body, or industry standards.



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