Straight answers to Teamsters questions

Oops! One of Hoffa's YRCW boyz made a boo boo
And James Hoffa talks about "unsafe Mexican trucks" when he represents drivers like this?

MEXICO TRUCKER ONLINE is pleased to help educate members of the TEAMSTERS who seem to lack the wherewithal to find answers to question on their own about the upcoming Mexican Cross Border Pilot Program.

Today, they made a post titled  Truck driving champ says ‘NO’ to Mexican trucks where it appears a TEAMSTERS member and 13th place runner up in the ATA’s Truck Driver Championship (Straight Trucks) asks some questions about Mexican trucks that need answering.

YRCW driver Scott Archer posed these questions.

Will these men and women be trained as U.S. drivers? Look at the ATA 2011 Facts for Drivers book G6011. Will the Mexican truckers understand or be trained on this important material?…Will they have the following:

  • CDL license?
  • Fingerprint check?
  • Background check?
  • Medical physical card?
  • Proper insurance?
  • Commercial Cehicle Safety Alliance?
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration?
  • Hours of service log?
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?
  • TWIC cards?
  • National Transportation Safety Board?…


We really have no idea what the hell he’s talking about concerning a 2011 ATA Fact Book for Drivers. US drivers are not trained according to this publication and NO, Mexican drivers won’t be trained as US drivers. After all, they’re Mexican and training standards in Mexico are much more stringent than the non existent training standards for US drivers.

On February 17, 2011, representatives from FMCSA, CVSA and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators visited a Mexican driver license facility, medical qualification facility, and test and inspection location. During these site visits FMCSA and its partner organizations observed Mexico to have rigorous requirements for knowledge and skills testing that are similar to those in the United States. In addition, Mexico requires that all new commercial drivers undergo training prior to testing and requires additional retraining each time the license is renewed. In contrast, U.S. regulations do not currently require any specific training prior to testing for, or renewal of, a U.S. CDL.

But we’ll take Mr. Archers other concerns as he listed them.

CDL license?

Yes, all Mexican drivers will have a Licencia Federal de Conductor, with an international endorsement, which states the holder has provided the SCT with documentation  of completion of an English language course. Since a 1991 Mutual Understanding Agreement (MUA) between the SCT and the USDOT, Mexican LF were found to be significantly equal to a US CDL.

Mexican Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL). The United States’ acceptance of a Mexican LF dates back to November 21, 1991, when the Federal Highway Administrator determined that the Mexican CDLs are equivalent to the standards of the U.S. regulations and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mexico.

Fingerprint Check – Background Check?

Had Mr. Scott read the proposal, he wouldn ‘t have asked these lame questions. The Pilot Program proposal states that all drivers who are accepted into the program will be vetted by DHS (Homeland Security) which includes fingerprinting and background checks using numerous databases in the US and Mexico. In addition, Mexican drivers, unlike Canadians, must have a US entry Visa to even cross the border. These are provided by the State Department after  thorough vetting.

Security Screening. FMCSA would submit information on the applicant motor carriers and their drivers designated for long-haul operations in the pilot program to DHS for security screening. Motor carriers and/or drivers that fail DHS’s security screening would not be eligible for participation in the pilot program. Reasons a motor carrier or driver may not pass DHS security screening may include: providing false or incomplete information; conviction of any criminal offense or pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants; violation of any customs, immigration or agriculture regulations or laws; the carrier or driver is the subject of an ongoing investigation by any Federal, State or local law enforcement agency; the motor carrier or driver is inadmissible to the United States under immigration regulations, including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation; DHS is not satisfied concerning the motor carrier’s or driver’s low-risk status; DHS cannot determine an applicant’s criminal, residence or employment history; or the motor carrier or driver is subject to National Security Entry Exit Registration System or other special registration programs.


Medical Physical Card?

Of course they will as the medical certification is part of the licensing process in Mexico and is part of the Licencia Federal. As stated in the FMCSA Pilot Program Proposal:

The Secretary of Transportation will also consider that physical examinations conducted by Mexican doctors and drug testing specimens collected by Mexican medical collection facilities are equivalent to the process for examinations conducted, and test specimens collected, in the United States.
In Mexico, in order to obtain the LF a driver must meet the requirements established by the Ley de Caminos, Puentes y Autotransporte Federal (LCPAF or Roads, Bridges and Federal Motor Carrier Transportation Act) Article 36, and Reglamento de Autotransporte Federal y Servicios Auxiliares (RAFSA, or Federal Motor Carrier Transportation Act) Article 89, which states that a Mexican driver must pass the medical examination required by Mexico’s Transport and Communications Ministry (SCT), Directorship General of Protection and Prevention Medicine in Transportation (DGPMPT). This is the same medical exam performed on applicants in all modes of transportation (airline pilots, merchant mariners, and locomotive operators).
The medical examination may be completed by government doctors or certified private physicians.FMCSA examined the Mexican medical fitness for duty requirements and has found that the Mexican physical qualification regulations are more prescriptive, detailed, and stricter than those in the United States. For example, Mexican regulations address body mass index, cancers and tumors, skin and appendages, psychiatric and psychological disorders, and have specific standards for evaluation of the ear, nose and throat and the genitourinary system.
These are all areas for which the United States has no regulatory standards. The only notable difference involves vision. Mexico only requires red color vision while the United States requires a color vision test for at least red, green, and yellow. FMCSA believes that, taken as a whole, Mexico’s medical regulations are comparable to those in the United States, and provide a level of safety at least equivalent to the U.S. regulations. FMCSA also notes that Mexico’s medical examinations are performed almost exclusively by physicians at Mexican government facilities, and when performed by private doctors, those doctors are specifically approved by the SCT.

Proper Insurance?

The Pilot Program Proposal CLEARLY STATES that all OP-1MX applicants will have insurance or a surety bond posted with a US insurance or Surety company, the same as was required during the 2007 demonstration program and the same as is required for OP2-MX carriers (drayage) and “Certificate Carriers” operating in the US today.

Liability Insurance. Mexico-domiciled motor carriers participating in the pilot program must maintain a certificate of insurance or surety bond on file with FMCSA, as prescribed in 49 CFR 387.313, throughout the pilot program. The insurance or surety bond must be underwritten by a U.S. insurance or surety bond company.

Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance?

Mexico has been a full and equal participating member of CVSA for years. Furthermore, the Pilot Program Proposal states carriers must display a current CVSA decal for three years from the date operating authority is granted. These decals are must be renewed by a level I inspection every 90 days.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration?

We have no idea what Mr. Archer refers to here, other than FMCSA will have full oversight of the Mexican carriers as they do now and have in the past. Mexico’s equivalent SCT has oversight in Mexico.

Hours of Service Log?

EOBR’s, if approved, will track drivers hours of service, on both sides of the border, although like the Canadians, HOS rules are different in Mexico and should not have any bearing on a Mexican drivers performance in this country. They will comply with our HOS regulations when operating in this country, as they do now and have in the past.National

Highway Traffic Safety Administration?  TWIC cards? National Transportation Safety Board?

TWIC Cards? not mentioned in the proposal, however, it is doubtful the Mexican driver would need one. His background checks for immigration visa and the pilot program should be sufficient. However, should a Mexican driver need access to a port facility, they would fall under the same rules as those of us who do not have a TWIC. To wit: a paid escort inside the port facility. As for the NTSA and NTSB? We have no idea what Mr. Archer is referring to as it has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Truth be known, Mr Archer probably hasn’t a clue. After all, he’s a TEAMSTER and only came in 13th in the Truck Driving Championships, in the Straight Truck Division