Monthly Archives: March 2016

New Laws in Tennessee Will Crack Down on Texting-While-Driving Bus Drivers

Bus Seats


Tennessee is currently in the process of increasing the penalties for bus drivers who are caught texting while driving. What prompted a change to the law was a crash in December 2014, where two school buses collided and resulted in the deaths of two children and a teacher’s aide.


Currently, there is a law in place that prohibits bus drivers from texting while driving, or from using their smartphones to make calls while there are children on the bus and/or the bus is in motion, other than if there is an emergency. If a bus driver is caught violating the current law, they only face a Class C Misdemeanor with a $50 penalty.




Lawmakers feel this punishment is not significant enough to get bus drivers to stop texting while driving a bus full of children and/or people. As such, new legislation was introduced to make the punishment more severe for bus drivers caught texting or on their smartphones. The bill has already flown through Tennessee’s State Senate unopposed, and it has won approval from every senator. Now the bill has to make its way through the Tennessee House of Representatives, where it is currently under review.


Under the new law, should the bill pass and take effect, any bus drivers caught texting or talking on their smartphones while driving, after July 1, 2016, will face a minimum $1,000 fine and a minimum of 30 days in jail. In addition, the bus driver would no longer be allowed to operate a bus in the State of Tennessee. It will be interesting to see if the bill will pass and if other states will follow suit in increasing the severity of their laws, too.


For all of your bus transportation seating and bus seat parts, to keep your drivers comfortable and safe while they are transporting children and/or people, call SuburbanSeating & Safety today at (844) SAS.SEAT (or 844-727-7328).


FMCSA Proposes More Driving Hours for CDL Licensing

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) recently proposed changes to the rules for obtaining a CDL license and training procedures. If the proposed rules are passed and put into place, new CDL applicants would be required to log a set number of hours before they would be able to obtain their CDL license.


Replacement Truck Seats


The FMCSA has created two different minimum driving hour requirements based on the type of CDL license the applicant seeks. For instance, in order to obtain a CDL Class A license, which allows you to operate tractor trailers and vehicles with gross weights equal to or more than 26,001 pounds, you would need to successfully log a minimum of 30 behind-the-wheel hours during a FMCSA-compliant truck driver training program. A minimum of 10 hours must be completed on a closed driving practice range.


For a CDL Class B license, you would need to log a minimum of 15 behind-the-wheel hours before being able to apply for your CDL license. A Class B license is required to operate buses, dump trucks, box trucks, and other straight trucks. A minimum of 7 hours must be completed on a closed driving practice range.




Besides new CDL applicants, the proposed changes in the mandatory driving hours would be enforced when upgrading a CDL or if drivers had previously lost their CDL through disqualification and are reapplying to have their CDL reinstated. Additionally, the FMCSA would not require firefighters, farmers, or military truck drivers to obtain the new minimum driving hour requirements.


The reason the FMCSA is considering increasing the mandatory number of driver training hours is because a driver who has logged more training hours is a safer truck driver. Whether you are current truck driver or are in process of obtaining your CDL, you can make sure your ride is always comfortable with replacement truck seats from Suburban Seating & Safety. Give us a call today at (844) SAS-SEAT or 844-727-7328 to learn more about our customized solutions.



Sleep Apnea Testing for Truck Drivers

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and the FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) are both considering taking first steps to address potential OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) testing for truck drivers and railway operators. Currently, the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has made recommendations to the Department of Transportation (DOT), that there should be specific processes in place for the screening and treatment of those in the transportation industry for sleep apnea.


Custom Truck Seats


What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?


OSA is a condition where you stop breathing, briefly, while you sleep. There can be several causes, such as being overweight, having high blood pressure, or smoking, which can contribute to causing OSA. When breathing stops, the muscles in the chest and diaphragm work harder to force the body to take in air.


Most people are not aware they suffer from this condition, yet it is estimated that more than twenty percent of people working in the transportation industry suffer from OSA. In addition, a person with OSA who gets a full eight hours of sleep tends to be less rested, compared to a person getting four hours of continuous, uninterrupted sleep.


Why Test Transportation Operators?


The underlying symptoms of OSA include several symptoms that can impact those driving trucks or operating trains. People with OSA can experience fatigue, feel tired, and have problems concentrating, and they are more prone to drifting off to sleep during their normal waking hours. As such, truck drivers and railway operators who have OSA present higher safety risks.




The FMSCA and FRA have opened up taking comments for the next three months as to how mandatory testing would impact the transportation industry. Should mandatory OSA testing be implemented, it would become part of regular medical screenings for medical certifications required in the transportation industry.


While it may be some time before mandatory testing is required, if you are a truck driver or train operator, it does not hurt to get your own diagnosis and treatment to help reduce the potential of falling asleep on the job. For all of your replacement seat needs, please feel free to contact Suburban Seating & Safety today by calling (844)SAS-SEAT or 844-727-7328.



Sleeping Tips for Professional Truck Drivers

Custom truck seats

Of all of the things that professional truck drivers have to deal with, sleep may be one of the hardest to manage adequately, and yet it’s one of the most important things to consider when you spend long hours on the road. From custom truck seats to the very place you park your truck when it’s time for you to get some shut-eye, there are a lot of things you can do to try to get the most out of the time you have to sleep.


Healthy Driving Habits


It’s difficult for your body to rest if you are in pain or if you lack any kind of physical activity throughout the day. Consider investing in truck seats that treat your back well so that you don’t have to worry about putting more strain on your back than is necessary while driving. Whenever you get the chance to engage in physical activity, do so. This isn’t even about tiring the body out in preparation for sleep, but helping your body properly circulate the nutrients and chemicals that it needs to keep you healthy.


Truck seats


Lighting for Sleep


Your body regulates its sleep schedule according to the light it is exposed to, but it may not be possible for you to sleep at night and drive only during daylight hours. However, you can still help your body manage light.


  • Install blackout curtains. They are thick enough to black out any light from the sun or other vehicles so that your body thinks it’s nighttime.
  • Avoid electronic light. Take a break from social media and your cell phone a couple of hours before you climb in the sleeper.
  • Use dim lights. If you feel like you need to read before you sleep, use dim lights in the sleeper to prepare your body for rest.

Try to avoid parking in high traffic areas so there isn’t a lot of noise to bother you when you climb out of one of your truck seats and into the sleeper. Remember to be safe: Any time you feel that you are getting tired, pull over and take at least a brief nap.