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November 1, 2016
This Issue
Featured Articles

Safety & Compliance

Member News

News from GAWDA

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Popular Content
Ready for next month's new federal overtime rules? GAWDA consultant Rick Schweitzer shares details on the change and what options your business may want to consider. Read more here. 
 
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Send us your news! Held an open house? Hired a new employee? Share your events, employee promotions, new or renovated facilities and other company news with GAWDA members. Submit your news here.

Featured Articles

Membership Renewal Notices Are In the Mail

Membership renewal notices have been mailed out from GAWDA headquarters.

The GAWDA Board of Directors has approved a 15 percent discount for all membership renewals paid before December 31. Members who renew after that date must pay the full amounts. There will be no extensions.

For questions about membership renewal, the 15 percent discount or other matters dealing with membership, contact Membership Services Manager Stephen Hill at 954-367-7728 ext. 220, or shill@gawda.org. You can also contact Accounting Associate Bruce Ellenbogen at  954-367-7728 ext. 230, or bellenbogen@gawda.org.

Redesigned 2016 Members Only Buyers Guide Arrives

The 2016 Members Only Buyers Guide has begun to arrive at member companies.

The 152-page, spiral-bound annual has been redesigned, incorporating color logos from member companies.

Supplier members are listed in the directory alphabetically, by category and geographically.

In his introduction to the 2016 edition, GAWDA Executive Director John Ospina called the Buyers Guide, "a top-notch, single-reference source of essential information about the leading manufacturers, suppliers and service providers in the welding and gases supply channel."

Much of the content of the Buyers Guide is also available online through GAWDA.org. Additionally, a limited number of hard copies of the Buyers Guide are available for purchase from GAWDA at a nominal cost.

Safety and Compliance

FMSCA Proposes Changes to Safety Measurement System Website 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) has proposed a number of changes to the public display of motor carrier information on the agency’s Safety Measurement System (SMC) website.  81 Fed. Reg. 69185 (October 5, 2016).  The FMCSA will not implement the changes until after the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) completes its review of the SMS methodology in the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program and the FMCSA submits to Congress a Corrective Action Plan for its CSA program based on the recommendations in the NAS report.
 
Several of the proposed changes were set out in a Federal Register notice on June 29, 2015:
 
1. Changing some of the SMS Intervention Thresholds to better reflect the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories’ (BASICs) correlation to crash risk.

2. Two changes to the Hazardous Materials Compliance BASIC:

A. Segmenting the Hazardous Materials Compliance BASIC by Cargo Tank and non-Cargo Tank carriers; and
B. Releasing motor carrier percentile rankings under the Hazardous Materials Compliance BASIC to the public.

3. Reclassifying violations for operating while Out of Service (OOS) under the Unsafe Driving BASIC rather than the BASIC of the underlying OOS violation.
 
4. Increasing the maximum Vehicle Miles Traveled used in the Utilization Factor to more accurately reflect the operations of high-utilization carriers.

In addition, the FMCSA is proposing two additional changes to the SMS in this notice:

5. Increasing the minimum number of crashes used to establish the data sufficiency standard in the Crash Indicator BASIC from two to three.

6. Assigning BASIC percentiles in the Hours of Service Compliance, Vehicle Maintenance, HazMat Compliance, and Driver Fitness BASICs only to carriers that have had an inspection with a violation in the past year rather than the past two years.

A preview is now available on the Compliance Safety Accountability website at: https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMSPreview/Index.aspx. Companies will be able to log in through the CSA website or the portal to see how the proposed enhancements may impact their SMS results. The public will also be able to view the enhancements using example carriers.
 
FTC Gets Injunction Against Deceptive Trucking Registration Services

A federal court has granted the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a preliminary injunction against two individuals and their companies for allegedly tricking small trucking businesses into paying them for federal and state motor carrier registrations by impersonating government transportation agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).  Federal Trade Commission v. DOTAuthority.com, Inc., No. 16-62186, S.D. Fla., decided September 29, 2016. 
 
According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants have taken in more than $19 million from thousands of small businesses by sending misleading robocalls, emails, and text messages that create and reinforce the false impression that they are, or are affiliated with, the USDOT, the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) system, or another government agency. As noted in the FTC’s complaint, the defendants used official-sounding names, official-looking websites, warnings of $1,000 in civil penalties or fines for non-compliance, and threats of imminent law enforcement to trick consumers into using their registration services instead of using official government website services.

The complaint charges that the defendants deceptively disclosed the total amount charged, without telling consumers the cost included the defendants’ service fees that ranged from $25 to $550 or more. The FTC also alleges that many consumers who paid the defendants’ UCR fees were automatically enrolled, without their knowledge or consent, in “SafeRenew,” the defendants’ annual renewal program for UCR fees.
 
Defendants James P. Lamb, Uliana Bogash, DOTAuthority.com Inc., DOTFilings.com Inc., Excelsior Enterprises International Inc. and JPL Enterprises International Inc. are charged with violating the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers Confidence Act.

Member News

TechAir Purchases Operations in Florida and New Jersey

IWDC Gives Bob Jackson Award to Joe Greco

Praxair Adds Facility in North Dakota

GAWDA News

GAWDA National Meeting Dates Set for 2017

GAWDA members looking to fill in their calendar for 2017 can fill in dates for the Spring Management Conference and the Annual Meeting.

The Spring Management Conference will be May 11 through May 13 in Boca Raton, Fla., at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. For more information, click here.

The Annual Meeting in 2017 will take place in New York City. It's set for Oct. 1 through Oct. 4 at the New York Marriott Marquis, a block from Times Square. More information will be available at www.gawda.org.

New Products

FIBA Manufactures Largest, H2 Tube Trailer
 
Using the longest tubes ever manufactured by FIBA (42-feet long), in August FIBA Technologies built a trailer with the largest, hydrogen payload for the 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) limit of the USA.  Conventional hydrogen trailers hold between 125,000 and 135,000-scf.  The FIBA trailer can transport between 145,000 and 150,000 scf. 
 
This is potentially a payload increase of 2 percent, which is quite significant for FIBA’s customers.  Furthermore, without special permits, the UN tubes used on FIBA trailer provide an immediate 10-year requalification cycle. To see the new trailer, click here.

For information on having your New Product featured here, contact Tim Hudson at Timh@datakey.org.

 
Upcoming Events
May 11 - 13 •  Boca Raton, Fla.
2017 Spring Managment Conference
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Welding & Gases Today is the official magazine of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. 

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The GAWDA Connection is distributed on the 1st and 15th of each month to all GAWDA members as a membership service of GAWDA, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association, One Oakwood Blvd, Ste 195, Hollywood, FL 33020. Neither GAWDA nor Data Key Communications, their Data Key Communicationsofficers, directors, members and staff are responsible for contents or opinions other than those concerning Association activities. Copyright © 2016 Data Key Communications. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher.
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