Author: Vitaliy Dadalyan

8 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Ohio Eases Way for Deaf or Hearing-Impaired Drivers to Get CDLs

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Image: Ohio Governor's Office

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Ohio state agencies have teamed up to develop procedures for deaf or hearing-impaired Ohioans who qualify for a federal hearing-exemption waiver to train and test for obtaining a Commercial Driver's License.

While the process to obtain a hearing exemption waiver was instituted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2013, the three state agencies-- Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Office of Criminal Justice Services and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities-- contend that the Buckeye State is “leading the way as one of the first states to implement testing.”

Image: Ohio Governor's Office

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BMV, OCJS and OOD said on July 6 that they took the proactive step of developing the test procedures, which have been distributed to the hearing-impaired community as well as driver-training schools.

Since implementing the new CDL testing process, the agencies have seen “immediate interest from individuals with hearing impairments wanting to learn more about pursuing a CDL.” At last report, over a dozen persons were in various phases of obtaining their waiver, training or testing, with at least two individuals successfully obtaining a CDL and securing employment as a commercial driver.

OOD approached BMV to collaborate on the project as an outgrowth of the Governor's Workforce Integration Task Force. Created by the General Assembly in 2014, WIT was charged with gathering and analyzing data to make recommendations to develop effective strategies aimed at helping Ohioans who are deaf or blind reach their highest employment potential.

“This collaboration is another example of Ohio breaking down barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities,” said Kevin L. Miller, executive director of OOD. “It means jobs for Ohioans and an expanding workforce for Ohio employers.”

“We are proud that this partnership has helped set standards and guidelines for CDL testing for the hearing impaired community in Ohio,” added BMV Registrar Don Petit.

Calling truck-driving an “in-demand occupation” in the state, the agencies noted that, between April 2014 and May 2016, some 28,000 job openings with a CDL requirement were posted.

The CDL testing is available to candidates 18 years and older holding a valid Ohio driver's license. They must first secure an FMCSA hearing-exemption waiver and then a CDL Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card. The TPIC is acquired by passing vision and knowledge testing. The CDL testing itself requires passing a three-part skills test within three hours.

In addition, BMV and OOD are developing a video with American Sign Language (ASL) that explains the requirements and testing process.

The video will be available through both the BMV and OOD websites this fall so that individuals, driving schools and employers, can learn about the testing and licensure process.

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8 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

ATA Announces Major Executive Team Changes

American Trucking Associations is making some changes in its executive team in conjunction with Chris Spear taking over as president and CEO.

In an announcement from Spear to ATA members Friday, Spear thanked Dave Osiecki, Karla Hulett and Jeff Mason for their years of service to the trucking industry and to the association and wished them well in their future endeavors, saying "the leadership of ATA has taken a first step in driving ATA in a new direction."

Spear officially takes over July 9, succeeding Bill Graves, who is retiring after more than 13 years with ATA. Spear left ATA in October 2015 for a position with Hyundai after joining ATA in 2013.

Osiecki was executive vice president and chief of national advocacy. He started at ATA in 1998 as vice president for safety policy after working as a team leader at the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Motor Carriers (the predecessor of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) for more than nine years.

Hulett was executive vice president, finance and operations and COO. She had been with ATA nearly five years, coming to the association from Accenture, and was responsible for financial management, information systems management and meetings and conventions.

Mason was executive vice president, communications and public affairs, having joined ATA in 2013 as senior vice president of image and communications after a career in trucking publishing.

Osiecki, Hulett and Mason were promoted to their current positions in January 2014 as part of a restructuring designed to reorganize and streamline a number of the association's core functions.

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8 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Kenworth Offers Automatic Transmission on T880 Short Hood

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Photo: Kenworth

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Photo: Kenworth

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Kenworth has announced the option for a 7-speed Allison 4700 Rugged Duty Series fully automatic transmission on its 116.5-inch BBC T880 short hood.

The Allison transmission is available with the Paccar MX-13 engine as well as the lighter MX-11 engine. The transmission is designed to improve drivability by allowing truck operators to creep slowly and perform other low-speed maneuvers.

The Allison 4700 RDS gives a level of control that is aimed at ready-mix applications where drivers need a truck with good speed control for job site maneuverability in steep and difficult terrain. It also benefits mixer trucks that move slowly while pouring concrete for street curbs, driveways or other projects in confined spaces.

A lower first gear ratio and an optional second ‘deep reverse' make the truck more maneuverable on steep grades and in tight settings, per Kenworth. The transmission features no-power interrupts, providing full power shifts and allowing full use of an engine's horsepower.

“With the Allison 4700 RDS, customers can spec a highly maneuverable mixer of any type and benefit from greater precision of concrete delivery with no shifting required, enabling ready-mix drivers to focus on the road ahead and the jobsite around them,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “By coupling the Allison 4700 RDS with the Paccar MX-11 and the T880 short hood, truck operators get a truck with a lighter gross combination weight and an additional 6 inches of body space on the chassis for more payload.”

Related: Test Drive: Kenworth T880 Heavy-Haul

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8 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Geotab device measures, monitors off-road and trailer activity

Geotab announced the availability of GO RUGGED, developed for fleets with industrial heavy-duty and service vehicles. “Ideal for use in construction and engineering, agriculture, utilities, oil and gas, and mining, the GO RUGGED device provides users with increased visibility of location and status of equipment, powered assets and trailers; improved maintenance planning and reduced fuel costs,” the company said.

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