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  • Safety Groups Unite to Promote Safe Driving

    by Anna Mischke | Apr 13, 2018

    Driver News 041318Distracted driving has caught the nation’s attention, particularly that of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Safety Council (NSC) and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute (ERSI). The groups are turning their efforts onto raising awareness around distracted driving in April, National Distracted Driving Month. NHTSA data shows that a staggering 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted driving in 2016. 9% of these crashes were reported as distraction-affected accidents.

    NHTSA estimates that 660,000 drivers are using electronic devices while driving during the day.  Hoping to decrease this number, the administration rolled out a $5 million national media buy for the ‘U Drive. U Text. U Pay’ enforcement campaign targeting motorists aged 18-34, the population most likely to be killed in distracted driving related crashes. The campaign includes multi-lingual television spots, digital ads, and radio time.

    The NSC and ERSI started #justdrive on social media, reminding drivers “to put away their phones and #justdrive”, said president and CEO of the NSC, Deborah A.P. Hersman. 

    Their message reminds motorists that staying alert when driving is extremely important when operating around emergency scenes. Responders working to help injured victims and clearing the roadway are particularly susceptible to distracted drivers on the road along with other drivers, their passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

    Even with the high amount of fatalities tied to distracted driving, the majority of states do not have texting while driving or total mobile phone bans for teens and novice drivers.  The NSC shared in their State of Safety report that only 16 states have laws in only one of the two areas.

    The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Operation Safe Driver week has been set for July 15th through the 21st. Supported across the country, law enforcement, the transportation industry, and safety organizations work together to call out unsafe driving behaviors by commercial and passenger drivers while educating all drivers in how to improve safety through educational and traffic enforcement strategies.

    Distracted driving doesn’t only involve mobile phones and technology, either. Doing anything that diverts attention while driving such as eating, drinking, looking in the mirror, or selecting music can cause a distraction-affect accident. Focused, distraction-free driving is of utmost importance for all motorists – and particularly imperative when operating commercial vehicles as a professional.

  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on Melody Nave

    by Anna Mischke | Apr 06, 2018

    062817 Customer NewsMelody may only have six years of professional driving under her belt, but her skill, dedication, and attitude make her someone to admire in the industry. One of the only two graduating students from a class of twelve, she sees herself as a future truck driver running her own company and creating a family business. With influence from her brother, Frederick, and insight from her instructor, Dan, she’s made trucking a career that allows her to explore the country, become self-sufficient, and enjoy the freedom that is so important to her.

    After moving to Tennessee, Melody was recruited by top transportation companies, hoping to add the skilled driver to their ranks. While taking the time to go through the application process with four other companies, Melody decided Centerline was the strongest fit and would get her working the quickest due to her recruiter’s swift connection.  Since then, she has appreciated the support she receives from the people around her and has had so many positive experiences while on the road. She explained that being a driver is satisfying because there are so many facets to the industry: you can work for great companies, begin your own business, or even move into the logistics side.

    Previously an avid and skilled basketball player, Melody enjoys watching Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers, and exercising daily. When she’s not behind the wheel, on the court, or with family – she might be found enjoying a birthday surf and turf dinner at Red Lobster. Centerline is fortunate to work with such capable and dynamic people on a daily basis and thanks Melody for her commitment and being part of the team.

  • Are Fleets ELD-Ready?

    by Anna Mischke | Mar 30, 2018

    shutterstock_642736369As fleets and drivers prepared for the ELD mandate, compliance rates rose 10 points to 92% the week before full regulation execution. Drivers who have not made the implementation by the April 1st deadline will experience a 10-hour service outage penalty before being allowed to proceed to their delivery and potentially additional consequences if they refuse to comply.

    Although the industry as a whole creeps closer to full compliance, there is still expected to be a high number of drivers out of compliance. A survey conducted by CarrierLists shows that roughly 10% of smaller fleets – less than 20 trucks - have yet to equip their trucks with electronic logging devices.  Many owner operators were late to adopt ELDs, with more than half (53%) of those utilizing ELDs only installing in the past three months.

    There is concern surrounding the late implementation of the technology; like any new process, ELDs will take some familiarization and likely trial and error. While the devices come with manuals and tutorials, understanding how to properly operate the ELD in terms of rules and regulations generally takes additional guidance in person or over the phone.

    Still, a recent poll conducted by DAT Solutions reports that the “vast majority” of owner-operators are ready for the mandate, although “unhappy” about the regulation – saying they decrease productivity, cause more difficulty in locating parking for trucks, and a reduction of income.

  • Self-Driving Vehicle Involved in First Pedestrian Fatality

    by Anna Mischke | Mar 23, 2018

    Driver News 032318On Sunday, March 18th a self-driving Uber fatally struck pedestrian, Elaine Herzberg, in Tempe, AZ. Since then, Uber has pulled their self-driving vehicles off public roads in the Phoenix metro area, San Francisco, Toronto, and Pittsburgh. Tempe’s mayor, Mark Mitchell, called Uber’s decision to suspend autonomous testing a “responsible step”.

    The vehicle, a Volvo XC90 SUV, was in autonomous mode traveling around 40 miles per hour in a 45 mph speed zone; officials said the vehicle did not appear to slow down before impact.  A human safety driver was behind the wheel and the car was not carrying any passengers. Neither driver nor victim showed any signs of impairment. At about 10pm, Herzberg was struck as she pushed her bicycle across the road near Mill Avenue and Curry Road and was transported to the local hospital where she died from her injuries.

    Tensions are high surrounding the accident as lawmakers, automobile manufacturers, and many others effected by the event scramble to state their cases on the safety or dangers of autonomous vehicles. While self-driving cars are widely expected to be safer than human-driven cars, there are many ways hardware and software can fail.

    Uber is cooperating with the local authorities, and upon investigation, Tempe Police Chief, Sylvia Moir, says the crash was “unavoidable” and that “Uber would likely not be at fault in this accident.” This accident appears to be the first pedestrian fatality caused by an autonomous vehicle on a public road. Sarah Abboud, Uber spokeswoman, said in a statement “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family.” 

  • Employment Numbers Soar in February, Wage Gains Trickle

    by Anna Mischke | Mar 19, 2018

    Driver News 031618The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in February the trucking industry added jobs at the fastest rate since 2015. Overall, employers added a substantial 313,000 jobs with strong gains in retail, construction, and manufacturing and the trucking sector provided 5,600 jobs.

    However, the industry remains to face the ubiquitous challenge of the driver shortage and near 100% turnover rate. Additionally, average hourly earnings increased a mere .1% from January and only 2.6% higher than this time last year and amid discord due to some regulations, that rate does not seem to be keeping pace with the need for drivers in a tightening labor market.

    The unemployment rate endures at a 17-year low of 4.1% for the fifth consecutive month with labor participation rates climbing back to the 63 percent mark. While the report figures will be revised twice more, the U.S. economy is wholly seen as fundamentally strong.

  • OOIDA Survey Shows Negative ELD Impact

    by Anna Mischke | Mar 12, 2018
    Driver News 031218

    Following the soft enforcement of the ELD mandate implementation in December 2017, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) released a survey to gather direct feedback and examine the initial consequence of the rule. In less than two weeks, nearly 2,000 responses were received from owner-operators under their own authority (39%) or leased on to a motor carrier (40%) and others described as company drivers and fleet owners. Roughly 35% of respondents have yet to purchase and install an ELD in their truck.

    The basis behind the ELD Final Rule is to increase compliance around hours of service, presumably decreasing the risk of fatigue-related crashes. According to the OOIDA, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) “constructed their entire regulatory impact analysis by using data from two carriers who had voluntarily installed AOBRDs because of their poor HOS ratings, and three carriers who agreed through settlement agreements to install AOBRDs in lieu of paying civil penalties for their habitual HOS compliance violations.”

    According to the survey, 79% of respondents said that the ELD mandate has decreased safety overall, 75% felt more pressured to speed, 72% were more fatigued, and 44% felt more harassed. Some members shared that they feel forced to drive longer hours and at a faster pace than before the rule went into effect while others felt pushed to operate even in dangerous conditions.

    In addition to perceived decreased overall safety, members have reported experiencing financial strain and “economic adversity”. Due to expenses directly tied to electronic logging devices and loss of gross income due to missed loads and delays, 54 percent of members overall were restricted from expanding their businesses. 

  • Self-driving Cars Allowed on California Roads

    by Anna Mischke | Mar 02, 2018
    Driver News 030518

    Starting April 2nd, self-driving cars with no human backup physically behind the wheel will begin trialing and transporting the public legally in California. Jean Shiomoto, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) director, shared “This is a major step forward for autonomous technology in California.” Autonomous vehicles have been approved to drive on the state’s public roads since September 2014 as long as a trained safety driver is seated behind the wheel and prepared to take manual control.

    While test vehicles may be on the road without a human located in the car, a human operator will still be required to oversee remotely and “must be able to communicate with law enforcement as well as passengers in the event of an accident”. For public transport, the car is required to have a data recorder, defenses against cyber-attack, and “false vehicle control commands” along with “the ability to display or transfer vehicle owner and operator information in the event of a collision.”

    Shiomoto assured that “Safety is our top concern and we are ready to begin working with manufacturers that are prepared to test fully driverless vehicles in California.” The DMV has issued permits to 50 auto-makers and tech companies, including Tesla, Honda, Ford, BMW, Apple Inc., Subaru, and Lyft, Inc. Companies interested in testing autonomous vehicles on public roads will be required to secure a permit from the DMV and currently only apply to consumer passenger vehicles. According to Reuters, the remote-control technology is currently being employed by NASA and the US military and “seen as a way to more quickly usher in the commercial rollout of self-driving cars.”  

  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on Derrick Hayes

    by Anna Mischke | Feb 23, 2018
    Derrick Hayes

    When you’re a people person, life behind the wheel may not seem like the best career fit, but for Derrick Hayes, an affable personality has meshed well in his work as a professional truck driver. Quick to thank those around him for the encouragement it takes for a sometimes taxing job; he is clearly grateful for the people he comes face-to-face with on a daily basis.

    For the past 15 years, Derrick has followed the lure of the trucking world. Seeing the big trucks moving gracefully on the highway spurred him to join the industry and since then has come to realize the vital impact trucking has on the country’s economy.  Derrick recalled his first time in the driver’s seat of a truck describing “the power, the weight, and the responsibility of it all,” and the respect he felt for the drivers who paved the way before him.

    A small, intimate class at Niagara Falls Trucking School in New York helped him obtain a CDL in an environment where he felt genuine camaraderie. When he first began his career, Derek and his family had just moved to Texas where they had yet to build a network. Luckily, he had the support of his first boss, Terrence, who taught him the ins-and-outs of the industry while instructing and being patient with him as a new recruit. Derrick also expresses thanks to his good friend Alex, who he considers to be more like a brother.

    Derrick spoke of the impression of the individuals he encounters: customers, supervisors, and his co-workers. They make his days memorable and the enjoyment of the conversations he has, brief or lengthy, makes his career all the more worthwhile. Derrick shared that he appreciates when his friends and those around him know that he is willing and able to talk and help in any way that he can when they’re in need. Whether in a fleet or a friendship, the world could use more people like Mr. Hayes. 

  • New Infrastructure Plan Focuses on Private Sector Subsidy

    by Anna Mischke | Feb 16, 2018

    Driver News 021518President Trump’s long-awaited infrastructure proposal was released Monday, February 12th with mixed bipartisan reaction. Calling for heavier funding from the private sector, states, and localities rather than federal spending – the administration hopes that a $200 billion spend will “spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments” to upgrade the county’s highways, railroads, and airports. He has hopes that the package will let America “build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land” – but there are questions surrounding how the plan will do this.

    Currently, interstates and other routes are supported on a basis of an 80-20 federal-state split and federal transportation infrastructure is chiefly financed by the 1993 gasoline tax set at 18.4 cents per gallon. With inflation and collectively increasing fuel efficient vehicles, the per capita value of that funding has steadily decreased. In addition to increasing the diesel tax by 25 cents, the new package would repeal the current bar on interstate tolling while pushing for commercialization of federally funded rest stops and urge spending from local governments. Former Transportation Secretary and ex-Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., said “that idea just probably won’t work because the states and local governments don’t have any money.”

    Several anti-toll groups including the American Trucking Associations (ATA) have expressed displeasure around the plans. Chris Spear, ATA President and CEO, said about a previous leak of the plan that “so-called ‘creative financing’ tools are a road to nowhere, as study after study shows the shortfalls of tolling and the unintended consequences that tolls impose on motorists and surrounding communities.”  The remainder of the $1.5 trillion after $200 billion will be placed on localities and the private sector, a burden that some believe will not play in the best interests of the general public and rather in the benefits of investors. 

    The overwhelming support for restoring the United States’ infrastructure remains strong; talks continue of how the costly work will be financed.

  • Lawmakers Band Behind OOIDA in ELD Exemption Request

    by Anna Mischke | Feb 09, 2018
    Driver News 020918

    Twenty five Congressional lawmakers requested in a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that the organization support the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s (OOIDA) appeal for an ELD exemption. This exemption would apply to motor carriers classified as a small business by the Small Business Administration (SBA) who have no record of attributable at-fault crashes and do not have an “Unsatisfactory” Carrier Safety Rating.

    Rep. Brian Babin, who headed a bill delaying the mandate by two years, shared via Facebook, For the last six months, I have led the effort in Washington to try and delay the implementation of this mandate, and it has been my honor to fight for independent truck drivers in Texas and across our great country. Unfortunately, with the mandate now in effect, the only realistic option for relief is through a waiver issued by the FMCSA.”

    Acting president of OOIDA, Todd Spencer, thanked the representatives in a letter “for recognizing that small-business truckers that have already proven their ability to operate safely should not be subject to purchasing costly, unproven and uncertified devices.”

    As of now, the ELD mandate remains in full effect for the majority of carriers and the final rule does not change any of the basic hours-of-service rules or exceptions. For an introduction to the Omnitracs ELD, visit Centerline’s helpful video here.

  • Centerline Pre-Trip Inspection

    by Anna Mischke | Feb 02, 2018
  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on Terence Brown

    by Anna Mischke | Feb 02, 2018

    A self-described family man with a penchant for good food and the feeling of freedom on the open road: Terence Brown has found his calling as a professional driver. Terence has been a trained and certified driver since 2009 and chose the industry after spending his time in roles that left him unfulfilled and feeling under a microscope.

    Terence first connected with Centerline when another driver, Travis, referred him. Travis heard that Terence was aiming to end his time driving Over the Road and recommended Centerline as an option. Terence was exhausted from spending time away from his family and beginning to tire of the demanding schedule. He was pleased when he met with a recruiter, Candis Barr, who instantly made him feel part of the Centerline family. Since joining the team, Terence has been able to truly enjoy the freedom his career allows by staying local and near his wonderful family: Nikita, Darius, Christopher, and Jasmine.

    While he finds his family time important, there are definitely joys on the road for Terence, particularly good food. “I’m a foodie,” said Terence. Terence has visited different areas of the country and delights in experiencing the different flavors that come with each region. He’ll research food options in advance and find specific stops to seek out the best fare. He enjoys a good buffet, particularly the TA in Flagstaff where he tasted his first combination of salsa and omelet Terence has found that some of the most memorable meals he has had have been in hole-in-the-wall stops that he sometimes can’t even remember the name of: chili burritos, fried fish, and of course- more buffets.

    Terence is fortunate to have had strong mentors throughout his career and he mentions Al Whitman as one of them. They spent time together on a trip from Florida to Atlanta and Terence marveled at Al’s ability to make truck repairs look simple. They stay in contact and Terence turns to him when he has trucking problems. Terence hopes that more people in the trucking industry will take the time to understand what it is like to drive a commercial vehicle. Whether obtaining their own CDL or participate in ride-alongs, he believes it would open up communication and consideration to the hard-working life of a trucker. He finds satisfaction as a driver- and recommends that new commercial drivers commit to their career 100%: being a truck driver can be taxing, but the community is there waiting to embrace you, guide you, and help you.

    The trucking community wouldn’t be the same without Terence – and we can be sure that he will find his place as a mentor to other drivers…maybe even sharing a chili burrito or two while exploring the open road.

  • State Highway Safety Enforcement Ranked by Advocates

    by Anna Mischke | Jan 26, 2018

    Driver News 012618Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released its “2018 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws” recognizing the states that perform best and worst when referring to highway law enforcement. Fifty states and the District of Columbia are graded on the implementation of sixteen traffic safety laws that the Advocates have chosen as crucial to road safety.  These rules address helmets, child safety seats, and impaired driving among others.

    Cathy Chase,  president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said that several states were “significantly advanced” in their law enforcement including Rhode Island, Washington, Oregon, California, Delaware, Louisiana, and The District of Columbia. Chase said “only six states and D.C. earned this highest rating” while Arizona, Florida, Montana, Missouri, Wyoming, South Dakota, Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, Iowa, Ohio, Vermont, and New Hampshire ranked the lowest, earning a “red” rating for being “dangerously behind in the adoption of optimal safety laws.” South Dakota was given the lowest score having implemented only two of the sixteen recommended laws while Rhode Island received a well-deserved “green” rating after enacting thirteen laws.

    Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) spokesman, Charles St. Martin, said they will not slow in their efforts towards safer roads and that while over the past fifteen years, “state legislators have worked diligently to create a safer roadway environment for all residents and visitors and this report reflects those dedicated efforts”, that fatalities have still increased and that “vigilance to safety must remain high and intense.” 

  • ASE to work with public schools to recruit future diesel techs

    by Anna Mischke | Jan 19, 2018

    Driver News 011818The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that there will be a 9.2 percent increase in the need for heavy truck service technicians by the year 2022 with over 67,000 positions anticipated available. As students begin considering what they hope to choose as their career path, Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is working to reach the potential workforce in the classroom.

    Senior vice president of ASE, Mike Coley, shared with Tom Quimby of CCJ Digital that “ASE along with our education foundation and other industry partners are working with organizations like TechForce to try to get younger people – even down to the middle school level – interested and aware of opportunities in transportation service industry”, specifically in diesel technician roles, and that they “hope to raise awareness” to attract new talent towards the trucking industry.

    The previous generation of technicians are beginning to retire out – leaving a demand for new experts and operators in the field. Other skilled trades such as plumbing, construction, and electrical compete for a younger workforce – and transportation already has its work cut out for the industry with the looming driver shortage. Coley explains that the industry must be proactive in their approach to recruiting new people to join the industry.

    Statistics provided by the BLS show that in 2016, Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers earned a median pay of $43,590 per year and $20.96 per hour – with these numbers increasing yearly, due to inflation and in part to the driver shortage. The estimated employment in 2016 was 1,871,700 and the projected employment numbers for 2026 are 1,985,500. Trucks move roughly 70% of the nation’s freight by weight and gross $726.5 billion yearly.  

  • Mobile Phone Fact Sheet: What can I do to prevent fatalities?

    by Anna Mischke | Jan 12, 2018

    Driver News 011218It can be tempting to use your mobile phone when behind the wheel – but the statistics are telling us clearly that it’s not worth it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that “each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.” In autumn on 2017, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released crash data for the previous year showing 37,361 lives lost on U.S. road, an increased 5.6 percent from the previous calendar year. The odds of being involved in a crash or safety-critical event such as a near-crash or unintentional lane deviation are six times greater for drivers who use a mobile phone while driving.

    The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule restricting the use of all hand-held mobile devices by drivers of commercial vehicles aims to cut back on these fatalities. Understand the rules of the road, be a safety advocate and stay off your mobile device, and potentially save lives.

    Still unclear of what the definition of using a mobile telephone is? The FMCSA describes using a mobile telephone as:

    • Using at least one hand to hold a mobile phone to make a call;
    • Dialing a mobile phone by pressing more than a single button; or
    • Reaching for a mobile phone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt.

    The monetary risk is one thing – up to $2,750 for drivers and $11,000 for employers – and the potential of a fatality causing crash is another. If necessary and allowed by your employer, make sure that if you are making a call – you are following the below as explained by the FMCSA:

    • Use an earpiece or the speaker phone function.
    • Use voice-activated dialing.
    • Use the hands-free feature. To comply, a driver must have his or her mobile telephone located where he or she is able to initiate, answer, or terminate a call by touching a single button. The driver must be in the seated driving position and properly restrained by a seat belt. Drivers are not in compliance if they unsafely reach for a mobile phone, even if they intend to use the hands-free function.

    Using a cellphone while driving violates Centerline’s Zero Tolerance Cell Phone Policy. Be the safest driver on the road. 

  • Professional Driver Winter Driving Tips

    by Anna Mischke | Jan 05, 2018

    The holidays may be over, but the winter weather has just begun. When on the road, it’s imperative for professional drivers to be the safest ones behind the wheel. Ensure your driving skills are sharp and your focus is on the road, particularly when in inclement weather. Being constantly aware can make the difference between a harmful accident and getting home safely.

    • Remove ice and snow from your vehicle to ensure maximum visibility. Falling ice and snow from your vehicle can also be hazardous for drivers around you.
    • Always wear your seatbelt. The simple lifesaving move is also a law.
    • Brake and accelerate lightly. Sudden and strong movements may cause your vehicle to spin out of control.
    • Decrease your speed. Chances of a crash triple when driving faster than the traffic around you and icy roads only increase the risk.
    • Watch out for ice. Just because the sun is out does not mean ice isn’t present.
    • Be patient. While it may be frustrating to wait behind a larger truck, they are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop. Don’t cut in front of large trucks and make safe decisions when navigating around other large vehicles.
    • Hold your steering wheel firmly. Guarantee you have control over your vehicle; sharp and sudden moves can cause loss of control.
    • Use extra caution when approaching and crossing overpasses and bridges. These tend to freeze first and are many times not treated.
    • Complete a pre-trip inspection. Before getting on the road check your truck and make sure that it is in driving-ready conditions. Check the windshield wipers and fluids before departing and make sure all systems are functioning.
    • Be prepared. Just as important as prepping your truck for travel is ensuring you are fit to drive. Distracted driving causes a majority of accidents. Being tired is also a distraction, so get enough sleep and fuel up your energy levels with healthy snacks and plenty of hydration.
    • Avoid impaired drivers. While they have chosen not to be safe and respectful on the road, it doesn’t mean you have to.
    • Map your route prior to driving. Knowing exactly where you are headed and the moves you are going to make eases the stress of getting to your destination on time.
    • If stranded, stay in your vehicle. Sometimes a storm can come out of nowhere and while it may be tempting to get out and seek help, but it can be easy to get lost in a storm. Keep your exhaust pipe clear of snow and open a window slightly for ventilation if weather permits to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

    Visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website for more helpful adverse weather driving tips.

  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on John Roach

    by Anna Mischke | Dec 29, 2017
    Customer News 074117

    Wisdom comes with experience, particularly when behind the wheel; John Roach has gained that wisdom from his own miles on the road. John gave us insights into everything from the ELD mandate to best safety practices while administering advice to green drivers beginning their careers.

    Referred to Centerline by a prior employee, John has been with the team since early 2017. Since then, he’s worked on several assignments for customers ranging from large corporations to smaller operations. John clearly has a passion for driving and gives his career a lot of thought. The industry is fortunate to have drivers like him in the cab and can thank other drivers for peaking his interest back when John was in highschool. He started his CDL career working for a small freight company and then began over the road trips. Now a veteran driver, John sees the newer drivers on the road and remembers what it was like when he first joined the business. He observes these younger drivers and hopes that they understand the responsibility of driving a fully loaded trailer; safety is key and when precautions aren’t followed there are serious consequences. Innocent lives lost, termination from a position, and the inability to find another- these are just a few things he knows can happen and he recommends that new drivers give courtesy and space to other drivers on the road. He is clear when he says negative confrontation on the road is not worth it and that it’s best to “keep cool, keep calm, and manage your temper” and when faced with trouble, “always walk away if you have the opportunity”. Sage advice to be followed by new and experienced drivers.

    Because of John’s understanding of what goes on in the industry, he explained that while he agrees that ELDs may aid in safety and that he isn’t necessarily against driver monitoring, there should be exceptions to the rule, potentially a compromise. For example, John explained that since some items considered perishable like food and medical supplies need to make it to their destination, a driver should have the opportunity to reach out to another driver that is within the legal limits of the ELD so they may continue the run of the supplies. John is wary of the new regulation: while it’s a great concept, he knows that there will still be those who skirt the lines and find loopholes. He hopes there ends up being a solution for everyone that won’t negatively affect the bottom line of the drivers and the companies who source the reefer loads. 

    John has a strong appreciation for the connectivity within the driver community. He shared of an experience he had once while at a truck stop when he and others saw a driver damage a brand new truck. They banded together to ensure that the person causing the damage did not flee the scene as they attempted to. He says that the driver community is like a club and that the members take care of one another, whether they know you or not. He knows the importance of having respect for others on the road and that following the rules and code, written or unwritten, is part of what makes the community as strong as it has been in the past.

    The ability to be part of such a community is a perk that John finds while being a driver along with the freedom and the liberty of being your own boss. He relishes being able to take videos and photos while on the road, listen to satellite radio and when he has the chance, to stop at the beach to feel the sand between his toes. When he isn’t working, John will take time to go horseback riding.

    It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to speak with a driver with so much perception when it comes to his vocation. John has great instincts and following them will continue his already positive career. He loves his craft, he’s dedicated, and overall – he hopes everyone in the industry will appreciate it as much as he does. 

  • Fatal Train Derailment Bolsters Trump’s Plan for Infrastructure Improvements

    by Anna Mischke | Dec 21, 2017

    Driver News 122117After an Amtrak passenger train derailment on December 18th that left at least three dead in Washington State and injured dozens, President Donald Trump reiterated his plans on devoting funds and energy towards the country’s infrastructure.

    Trump tweeted, “The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly.” He continued that “Seven trillion dollars [is] spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!”

    The derailment occurred as the high-speed train traveled for the first time on newly-built tracks and closed all southbound lanes on Interested 5 in Pierce County near Mounts Road reports the Washington State Department of Transportation. Trump tweeted in a follow-up “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the train accident in DuPont, Washington” and “Thank you to all of our wonderful First Responders who are on the scene. We are currently monitoring here at the White House.” The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident, said a spokesman for the agency.

    Trump has expressed interest in implementing a $1 trillion plan to improve public infrastructure including bridges, tunnels, airports, and roads. A senior administration official said that the White House plans on releasing their strategy in January of allocating at least $200 billion in federal funds over the next ten years hoping to spur $800 billion in investment by states and the private sector.

  • FMCSA Medical Review Board Receives 2 Year Renewal

    by Anna Mischke | Dec 15, 2017

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Medical Review Board has been renewed for a continued two years. The MRB will continue to offer recommendations and advice to the agency and the five members include persons from medical institutions and private practice and specialize in areas relevant to commercial drivers.

    The MRB recommends action and gives advice on medical standards and guidelines for the physical qualifications of commercial drivers. The board will also provide medical insight and medical examiner education.

    For details on pending tasks, you may visit the MRB’s website.

  • Proposed Bill Extends 18-21 Year Old Truckers to Drive Across State Lines

    by Anna Mischke | Dec 08, 2017

    Claudia Tenney, New York congresswoman, has introduced legislation that would create a pilot program allowing approved 18 to 21 year olds to drive across state lines via truck. Titled the Waiving Hindrances to Economic Enterprise and Labor (WHEEL) Act, the program would fall under the FAST Act which currently allows only veterans or active duty members of service between 18 and 21 to drive trucks across state lines.

    Tenney finds that the age demographic poses difficulty in recruiting and she hopes the legislation would expand the potential for young drivers to participate in the program. Currently, drivers in this age group may acquire a CDL but cannot cross state lines when driving a commercial vehicle. Tenney shared that “The WHEEL Act is a common sense measure that would ease the burden” on truck operators by “sensibly expanding the interstate truck driving pilot program authorized by the FAST Act, while maintaining strong standards for participants.”

    Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) supports Tenney and shared in a letter that the bill “is a critical step towards addressing the trucking industry’s growing driver shortage” and that the ATA supports the change. The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit is reviewing the bill.