20 • April 15-30, 2018 Perspective thetrucker.com Many myths abound about CSA DataQ; here is the truth about what to expect Jim Klepper exclusive to the trucker Ask the Attorney Most drivers are aware of the CSA program and that when they receive an inspection, points are assessed for the violations on it. The DataQ process is the only way to challenge the validity of these violations. This process is completed through an online portal, usually over the course of a month or two. It is reviewed by a senior officer or Department of Transportation official to determine whether the facts and supporting documentation provided give enough information to warrant a change or removal in the violations. If found to be wrong or coded incorrectly, the reviewer makes a correction. If sustained, the reviewer usually gives a detailed explanation as to why the violation will stand. Myth Only the company can file a DataQ challenge. Fact The DataQ system is set up so that at least three parties can file challenges: the driver, the carrier, and the public (e.g. a registered entity such as a law firm). Each of these can file up to two DataQ challenges per inspection. Myth Points are only removed from the record of the person or entity filing the challenge. Fact When a challenge is filed and violations are changed or removed, the change is reflected on the profiles of all parties to the inspection. Usually this is both the company and the driver; however, there are instances where CSA points are assessed only to the company, or even to the intermodal equipment provider. Myth Court outcomes do not affect CSA challenges at all. Fact Pursuant to new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations passed on August 23, 2014, inspection violations with tickets must be amended to reflect the results of judicial proceedings. Violations will be removed in the event of a not guilty verdict or a dismissal without costs. If a violation is reduced or amended, then the CSA record will reflect the original violation, but it will be noted “convicted of a different charge.” The point value of the code itself will be set to 1 and any associated out-of-service flags removed. If the ticket is pled or adjudicated guilty, there will be no relief on associated inspection violations. Myth DataQ challenges are not time sensitive. Fact Inspections must be returned within 15 days to the local FMCSA branch of the state in which they were given. For most inspections, DataQ challenges can only be filed up to two years from the date they were received. Several states, including Louisiana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, have enacted greater time restrictions on filing challenges. Additionally, violations are subject to a time-weighted severity modifier which multiplies the points assessed to each violation by three for the first year, by two for the second year, and by one for the third year. As a result, challenges should be filed as quickly as possible to have the maximum impact. Filing a challenge and what to expect Each inspection should be reviewed immediately and a challenge filed as quickly as practicable. For violations with associated tickets, the challenge will likely have to wait until the court outcome to achieve any relief, and official court documentation will be required for violations to be removed or changed. For violations without tickets, any type of supporting documentation is crucial. Logbook pages, repair invoices, toll receipts, pictures, or any other paperwork can make the difference between a challenge succeeding or not. Response time after filing a DataQ challenge can range from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the state and volume of DataQ challenges filed for review with their FMCSA branch. Typical suggested time is 3 to 4 weeks. If you are unsatisfied with the results of your challenge, you do have the option to call and ask for clarification from the reviewer of your challenge. This can be useful either to help you better understand why a violation was not removed or changed, or to help the reviewer better understand your position on the matter. When considering whether or not to file a second challenge, keep in mind that it will be reviewed by the same person as the first, and repeating the challenge will likely be ineffective. Why are challenging inspections important? Inspections can affect insurance rates for drivers and companies. The higher your CSA score, the more likely you are to be charged higher insurance rates. In addition, shippers look at carriers’ safety scores, and will view high scores as a liability to their business. Jim C. Klepper is President of Interstate Trucker Ltd., a law firm dedicated to legal defense of the nation’s commercial drivers. Interstate Trucker represents truck drivers throughout the 48 states on both moving and non-moving violations. He is also president of Drivers Legal Plan, which allows member drivers access to his firm’s services at discounted rates. He is a lawyer that has focused on transportation law and the trucking industry in particular. He works to answer your legal questions about trucking and life over-theroad and has his CDL. For more information contact him at (800) 333-DRIVE (3748) or interstatetrucker.com and driverslegalplan.com. 8 Cargo Security Solutions HIGH SECURITY LOCKING SYSTEMS ENFORCER SECURITY KIT ENFORCER SEAL GUARD TM LOCK COVERT GPS TRACKING TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE. Transport Security, Inc. TransportSecurity.com 952-442-5625
Women to Watch 21 Dorothy Cox firstname.lastname@example.org Elkhart, Indiana-based CWRV Transport, Camping World’s exclusive RV transporter, calls Sharyl Snider its No. 1 female driver. Women In Trucking (WIT) calls her its March Member of the Month. Sharyl calls delivering RVs something she loves to do. But she had to be talked into it first. Born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, Sharyl had been working at various RV manufacturing facilities in the area for 12 years. But in 2002, she had an “ah-ha” moment: Her career was going nowhere. Sharyl and her husband Ernie, a union contractor with a Class A CDL, had a friend in the RV delivery business and long story short, Ernie cajoled Sharyl into delivering campers with him. “He said did I want to go hauling RVs with him and off we went.” Soon afterwards, he bought her a truck, and since 2013 — when she signed on with CWRV — she’s been delivering campers and loving it. Not that it didn’t take some getting used to. “At first, it was a little intimidating as I had never hauled anything before,” she said. “With zero experience in commercial driving, it was scary, to say the least. But with my husband’s patience and my fortitude, I began and successfully pursued what is now my life’s passion.” She now considers herself a pro, thanks to Ernie, who patiently guided her through the nuts and bolts of RV delivery, such as logging trips and getting through weigh stations. Although Sharyl has hauled 40-foot trailers, she said the trailer and the fourwheeled truck combined weigh under 26,000 pounds, which doesn’t require a CDL. Still, Sharyl puts millions of miles on her four-wheel trucks —she retired the last one at 2.2 million miles. One of the high points in her career was delivering FEMA units for victims of hurricanes Rita and Katrina, Sharyl told WIT. The devastation stayed with her and Sharyl said she’s grateful for the chance to help provide housing for those left homeless by the catastrophes. Several years into their RV delivery work, Sharyl’s husband decided to return to his union construction job, so it was up to her to deliver the units by herself. Far from being intimidated, Sharyl took women in trucking WIT March Member of the Month Sharyl Snider finds support, excitement in RV hauling everything in stride and the move has certainly paid off. “This is my sixteenth year,” she said, adding that she’s thankful she’s not still working in a factory. Hauling RVs has enabled her to see all 48 states and almost all territories in Canada. “I even took my truck and a camper numerous times to Vancouver Island and Newfoundland by boat,” she said. “Except for getting seasick, the whole experience was so exciting.” She loves to drive all over the U.S. but “I love Montana and California and I loved visiting Las Vegas — I love anyplace out West.” Ernie encouraged her every step of the way, but in December 2016 he was killed in a motor vehicle accident, and Sharyl’s life took a drastic turn. They had been married since 1982 and had raised two children and welcomed four grandchildren into the family. “My life has since changed dramatically,” she said. “I stay pretty close to home now and usually take runs that get me home every night. But my passion for delivering campers remains. It’s what keeps me going.” In addition to providing an enjoyable way of making a living, CWRV Transport has provided emotional support to Sharyl when she needed it the most. CWRV proudly says on its website that 74 percent of its staff are women and 9 percent of its driving fleet are women. “I know I’m an independent contractor, this is my own business, and I am my own boss,” Sharyl said. But it is “the steadfast support that CWRV provides behind the scenes that keeps me going.” She said more women should become truck drivers and that RV hauling is a sector that needs women drivers as well. “I really believe we need more women in this sector, and CWRV is a great place to begin such a business that offers such great opportunities.” And like truck drivers, she values the freedom her job has provided since “You don’t have a boss, per se.” She points out that “I would never have seen all the wonderful places I have been if I didn’t do this type of work. And for that, I feel very blessed. “Ernie told me that if anything should happen to him to keep on going” hauling RVs “and that’s what I’ve done.” 8 Courtesy: WIT WIT March Member of the Month Sharyl Snider says her company, CWRV Transport, provides support that keeps her going. The Women In Trucking Association is a nonprofit organization focused on the transportation and logistics industry. Our mission? To encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. WIT is proudly headed up by President and CEO Ellen Voie.