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  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on Shirley Purl

    by Anna Mischke | Oct 27, 2017

    steve and shirley2In It for the Long Haul

    A match made by good friends, Steven and Shirley Purl finally met after many long conversations when he drove across the states to surprise her at her work. Seven years later, they’re still together and happier than ever.

    Shirley has been a strong advocate of Centerline since her husband, Steven, began working with us in April 2016 after nineteen years of driving. We wanted to better understand her life as a significant other of one of our drivers and we couldn’t think of anyone better to chat with than Shirley. She shared the history of trucking in her life, from her brother Richard who was “born to be a trucker”, a grade-schooler who was reprimanded for making loud truck noises in the school hallways! Shirley is proud to have family who work so diligently in a sometimes challenging industry that literally moves the country. 

    Shirley shared an example of how she felt Centerline was different from other trucking companies they had worked with in the past. When Steve began the hiring process, they thought it was lengthy and daunting at first but soon found it was for the benefit of everyone involved. They began to understand that Centerline chooses only the best drivers to place behind the wheel and because of this, are confident when Steve goes out on the road. They felt that the recruiter, Tracy Hunt, had their best interest at heart and encouraged Steve throughout the employment process.

    Before Steve joined the Centerline team, he was involved in a terrible accident. The asphalt under his truck gave way and crumbled and he fell through, strapped in his truck with the seatbelt around his neck. He was airlifted to a hospital in Memphis where Shirley drove an excruciating eight hours to see him. During the entire ordeal, not once did she hear from the company he was driving for, only strained calls from worker’s comp. She was disappointed to say the least, so when Sheila Castaneda called Shirley directly after Steve began working for Centerline, it was a welcome and appreciated change.

    Sheila wanted to ensure that Shirley felt comfortable with Steve taking a long term assignment which would require him to be away from home for an extended period of time; for someone who had experienced loneliness when her SO was on the road, it meant the world to be asked. Even her brother was flabbergasted that a driving company would be so considerate. Shirley used to worry about Steve driving for too many hours with the potential of faulty equipment, a few texts messages was the only way to connect with each other. She says that since Steve has been with Centerline, she has been less worried. She makes sure to share their personal experiences with Centerline on a Facebook group page for the significant others of truck drivers.

    Not only does Shirley feel like Steve is being taken of, she feels supported as well. She shared a personal experience of theirs that she remembers well. Shirley celebrates another year of sobriety every June 18th and for the 10th year, Steve gifted her with a gorgeous motorcycle. When the big day came to reveal her gift, Steve was willing to share the reasoning for the special occasion when he requested time off. When he was given the day off to celebrate, they both felt completely supported by their family at Centerline: something they were extremely appreciative of.

    Over time, Shirley has gotten used to the ins-and-outs of life alongside a truck driver. She would go for days without hearing from her brother and before text messaging and cell phones were as prevalent as they are now, she would stay at home waiting all day for his call. Things are easier now with the evolution of technology allowing more communication. Now, she will occasionally take time to visit Steve wherever he is, she’s visited all but three states: Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii. Her favorite being Minnesota, for hosting landscape to so many stunning lakes, particularly Lake Superior. Shirley hopes to visit Santa Ana to connect in person with the Centerline team: to meet Sheila, Annie, and Jimmy - the faces at Centerline that make her feel like family.

    Shirley’s parting words of wisdom for anyone whose other half just began their time in the trucking industry: try and go out with them and see what their day-to-day is like. You’ll have a stronger appreciation of their intense, sometimes dangerous work, worry less when they can’t pick up the phone, and help you connect with them as they continue to move America.

  • Healthy Eating: On the Road, at Home, and Every Day

    by Anna Mischke | Oct 19, 2017

    Driver News 101817Finding healthy food at affordable prices can be difficult when you’re on the road. Planning ahead and knowing your choices in advance can help make eating well and boosting vitality a simpler, and even enjoyable task.

    Long-lasting Chow

    While a candy bar or handful of chips are definitely a treat to enjoy once in a while, they won’t keep you full and satisfied for long. Opt for foods that will get you through the day and taste great: nuts, vegetables, boiled eggs, fruits, granola bars, and string cheese are great options. They’re easy to pack and give an extra boost of energy throughout the day without a sugar crash. Substituting sugary energy and soft drinks can also make a noticeable difference: hydrate with water and you’ll notice a natural, sustainable rise in energy over time.

    Guide Yourself

    Use a nutrition guide to help understand the best ways to plan ahead when you plan to eat at restaurants on the road: there are delicious options on the menu that serve as great alternatives to sodium and fat heavy choices. You can visit nutrition guides like this to check the nutritional value of items on hundreds of menus.

    Portion Power

    It can be easy to overeat when sitting at a buffet or browsing the dollar menu: remember that while your eyes might be as big as your stomach at one moment, it could impact your health later. Try and eat frequent, small meals throughout the day. Foods like soup, lean and baked meat, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains are tasty options. You can check recommended portions from the American Heart Association here.

    Game Plan

    Before grocery shopping, make a list and stick to it. Plan your meals for the week ahead of time, this lets you ensure your meals are balanced while staying in budget.

    • Using a grocery list steers you away from impulse buys.
    • Don’t shop hungry! Make sure you’re not planning on shopping on an empty stomach: it’s more likely you’ll buy items solely because your stomach is grumbling.
    • Shop seasonal items. Fruits and vegetables in season are generally priced lower- and you can continue to add variety to your diet with the changing produce.
    • Compare brands: sometimes a store brand will offer the same quality good for a lower price.

    Have Fun

    Healthy doesn’t have to equate to boring. You may be surprised at how you can adjust some of your favorite meals such as pizza and pasta to include healthful options. Learning about new ingredients and varieties of foods can keep things interesting while adding nourishment to your diet. When you eat well, you feel well.

  • Safe Lifting with Centerline

    by Anna Mischke | Oct 17, 2017

  • Grants from FMCSA Focus on Safety and Streamlining CDL Process

    by Anna Mischke | Oct 12, 2017

    Driver News 101117The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently gave millions in state-level grants with the purpose of improving driver safety, and accelerating the commercial driver’s license process for drivers.

    $30.7 million was dedicated to the Commercial Driver License Program Implementation and divided among 43 recipients on Sept. 26. The grant provides funding to state and organizations with the intention of improving compliance with FMCSA regulations surrounding the standards of commercial driver licenses. Tom Keane, director of the FMCSA, shared that compliance projects vary from monitoring of third-party testers, upgrading IT systems, and hiring data entry analysts and test examiners.

    Keane also explained that compliance at the state level will make the licensing system increase efficiency while “streamlining the processes” and “yield safety benefits…which indirectly benefits the drivers who apply for CDLs and are trying to get jobs. It removes, to some degree, those barriers to getting your license and being able to work.”  While improving the process is important, Keane stresses that safety is the “main focus”.

    The FMCSA says that CDL compliance has improved since the grant program was introduced over a decade ago, with Keane stating that “with the maturation of the CDL regulations, it’s all trended in a manner in a manner that’s resulted in a much more uniform process…partially due to this grant program.” 

  • Trained for Rain: Driving Safety Tips

    by Anna Mischke | Oct 09, 2017

    Driver News 092117When driving in the rain and inclement climates, it’s important to remember that severe weather significantly increases the risk for dangerous driving conditions. While professional drivers should always practice safe driving on the road, extra care and attention should be paid in situations that are potentially dangerous for other drivers as well. Give your full attention when behind the wheel and focus on your surroundings.

    Slow Down

    Avoid hydroplaning by slowing down, especially right after it begins to rain when oil makes roadways particularly slick. Slowing down and delaying a trip by a few minutes will be far less time consuming than dealing with an accident.

    Give Space

    Allow a few extra seconds of follow time when driving in inclement weather; this gives you more time to react. Allow other vehicles and yourself a wide breadth. Slow down early to stop, for intersections, making a turn, or adjusting to traffic.

    Don’t Panic

    If your truck does begin to hydroplane, try not to panic; hitting the brakes too hard can make it difficult to regain control of your truck. Slow down and continue to steer in the direction you want to go. Take deep breaths and concentrate: you will be grateful for that extra space you gave yourself.

    Lights On

    Poor visibility for drivers can be at its worst in heavy rain. Make sure your headlights are on: other vehicles should be able to clearly see you, even with a cushion of space. Some states require lights to be on in the rain, even in daylight.

    Be Aware

    Keep a keen eye on your surroundings, particularly other large vehicles; they are more prone to have difficulty staying in their lane during high wind.

    Two Hands on the Wheel

    Keep both of your hands on the wheel as gusts of wind can move your vehicle. Give yourself maximum control of the truck and avoid any type of distraction like drinking or eating. Also remember that Centerline has a zero tolerance cell-phone policy.

    We can’t control the weather, but we can use our best judgment as professionals behind the wheel. Prevent dangerous situations by thinking ahead, communicating well with your team, being attentive and alert, and using your best judgment.

  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on Ron Senceses

    by User Not Found | Sep 28, 2017

    There is no ‘I’ in Team

    Centerline Driver Ron SencesesCenterline is beyond fortunate to work with some of the greatest drivers on the road; Ron Senceses is an ideal example of that. Ron’s positive attitude matched with unparalleled work ethic make him an exceptionally valuable part of the team. Ron’s reputation for being a hard worker follows him from the time he served in the Army, where he was promoted quickly for his dedication, focus on teamwork, and fierce desire to do the job right.

    When Ron left the army due to shrapnel severing his Achilles heel, he decided in his down time to enroll in EMT classes. During the course, Ron’s natural leadership style led him to teach and train others, ultimately landing him a job offer from the class captain; Ron declined. Rather than joining the EMT team or spending his time in a cubicle in an office job elsewhere, Ron decided to attend trucking school where he described himself as a “sponge”, taking his learning very seriously. He quickly rose to the top of his class and was soon training others. At one point, his CDL instructor asked Ron if he already knew how to drive commercial vehicles as he picked up his coursework so quickly!

    Over the course of Ron’s trucking career, he has worked with a variety of equipment: he can operate flatbeds, has a specialty in heavy haul and steel hauler, and holds a heavy equipment license. He recognizes his father for the encouragement to become a jack of all trades. Ron thanks his father for the work ethic he instilled in him and his siblings, showing his love and support by being an example of strict discipline and giving them the tools and resources to become successful. He shared that if his father saw that something wasn’t done correctly, he would make sure that the task was remedied- even if it was the middle of the night- and that his father explained “if you are in the public eye doing a job, your employer is going to want you to do it right.”

    Now, Ron is the father of three; a dream after his time in Iraq. After being in the war, he appreciates every little aspect of life from “the simple liberties” he has to “seeing all the wonderful landscapes this country has to offer” as he drives. On the road, Ron appreciates the ever-changing environment as he drives and he listens to a favorite playlist and comedy and Jiu-Jitsu podcasts to stay focused. When he’s not driving, Ron will spend time in the gym to relieve stress and stay in shape.

    Ron’s motto is, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” He displays evidence of this through the advice he offers to new drivers: always keep an open mind and be prepared to listen and learn from those who are in charge of teaching. “It doesn’t matter if you are older, younger, or the same age as your trainer. It doesn’t matter if you have more, less or the same amount of experience as your trainer. A person should always be open. That way, the trainer and trainee have an opportunity to learn from each other.” It looks like we could all learn a lot from Ron Senceses; he is truly an esteemed part of the industry.

  • Vitamins for Vitality

    by Anna Mischke | Sep 21, 2017

    Driver News 092117_2With the seasons shifting and a particularly busy time of year coming, maintaining your health is a top priority. As flu viruses and colds make their rounds, having a strong immune system will help combat the illnesses attempting to wear you down. When you’re in the midst of a demanding season and time won’t stop for a sore throat or runny nose, you’re going to want to avoid getting sick by any means possible. Of course a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and exercise are the best ways to combating sickness- but living in the real world, we know getting all three isn’t necessarily easy. This is when you can turn to vitamins to help boost your immunity, lend extra energy, and protect yourself from potential fevers, coughs, and aches.

    The easiest way to ensure you are getting the adequate amount of vitamins throughout your day is through the form of a supplement. The best, most natural way of getting the vitamins the body needs for healthy functioning is adding foods to your diet that help nourish the body and taste delicious. Start by adding a multi-vitamin to your daily routine and try your hand in the kitchen: you may be skipping the cough syrup this year!

    Vitamin C

    According to Harvard University, more than 2 million sailors died of scurvy due to lack of vitamin C. While it’s unlikely you’ll fall prone to the grasp of scurvy in this modern age, vitamin C helps in the production of tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and protein in your bones while protecting you from free radical damage. Foods rich with vitamin C are citrus such as oranges and grapefruit along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale.

    Find a favorite vitamin C-rich recipe here.


    The common cold is pesky- and you have a much better chance of fighting it off with zinc in your diet. In small amounts, zinc helps with hormone production, growth, and digestion. It is also an anti-inflammatory that can help aid chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Good sources of zinc are spinach, pomegranates, lean grass-fed beef, shrimp, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, and cashews.

    Find a favorite Zinc-rich recipe here.

    Vitamin E

    This fat-soluble antioxidant protects cell membranes and may even prevent LDL cholesterol from forming into plaque on arteries. Vitamin E may also aid in eye disorders like cataracts. Sunflower seeds, tomatoes, tofu, almonds, avocado, and salmon are strong sources of Vitamin E.

    Find a favorite vitamin E-rich recipe here.

    Vitamin B

    The group of 11 B-complex vitamins include riboflavin, biotin, and folate as well as B-6 and B-12; vital in helping the body metabolize protein, fat, and carbohydrates. B vitamins help with the production and repair of DNA and others help with mind-related matters such as mood and migraines. You can find the various types of vitamin B in fortified whole-grain cereals, dark leafy greens, ham, chicken, eggs, peanuts, potatoes, pasta, shellfish, and bananas.

    Find a favorite vitamin B-rich recipe here.

    Vitamin D

    Vitamin D, usually associated to the sun, helps the body absorb calcium and works toward supporting the immune, muscle, and nerve systems. It can also help aid against depression and cystic fibrosis. Vitamin D can be absorbed through the skin, from food, and from supplements. Since staying in the sun for too long can lead to dangerous skin cancer and it can be difficult to come by in the winter months, eating vitamin D rich foods such as egg yolks, fish like sardines and canned tuna, mushrooms and some fortified cereals can be a great source of this important vitamin.

    Find a favorite vitamin- D rich recipe here.

    Omega-3 Vitamins

    Commonly known as Fish Oil, omega-3s are important in maintaining a healthy heart and strengthening brain productivity. Omega-3s aren’t necessarily easy to come by in natural foods (such as fish and walnuts), but the vitamin helps reduce inflammation, lowers triglyceride levels, and improves gastrointestinal functionality. Omega-3s can be found in Mackerel, Herring, Tuna, Sardines, Anchovies, and flaxseeds.

    Find a favorite Omega-3-rich recipe here.

    Vitamin A

    Vitamin A helps the body regulate its cells and is a powerful antioxidant. Overall health is effected by this vitamin as it helps reduce inflammation, builds stronger bones, and supports immunity by helping the body produce white blood cells to fight away illness and infections. Add vitamin A in your diet by eating carrots, cabbage, goat cheese, hard-boiled eggs, sweet potatoes, cod liver oil, and liver (lamb/beef/goose).

    Find a favorite vitamin A-rich recipe here.

    As always, make sure to speak with your doctor if you are on any other medications before adding any new supplements or vitamins to your diet. Every individual reacts differently to different substances, natural or not.

  • ELD Mandate to be Phased-In Through April 2018

    by Anna Mischke | Sep 15, 2017

    DRIVERS NEWS 091517The ELD mandate will go into effect starting December 18th. The new rule moves forward full-steam ahead despite pushback from numerous opponents, drivers will have time to adapt to the new implementation; truckers will not be put out of service (OOS) until April, 2018 due to the ruling by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).

    Collin Mooney, executive director of the CVSA, shared a letter to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration deputy administrator, Daphne Jefferson. The letter stated that the association opposes delaying enforcement, the group hopes that the deferral will “ease the transition” and “help those motor carriers that have not prepared for the ELD requirement. While the delay aids in the changeover, Mooney makes it clear that “It is time to move forward with this regulation.” He added that “despite what opponents of the mandate may argue, the enforcement community is ready to begin enforcement of the requirements on December 18, 2017” and that “inspectors and roadside enforcement personnel will begin documenting violations on roadside inspection reports and, at the jurisdiction’s discretion, will issue citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers operating vehicles without a compliant ELD.” The CVSA also notes that “a motor carrier may continue to use a grandfathered automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) no later than Dec. 16, 2019.”  

    The FMCSA studies report that the utilization of ELDs reduce motor carriers’ crash rates by 1,844, saves 26 lives annually, and prevents 562 injuries along with hours-of-service violations and has cut back more than $1.6 billion in paperwork costs for motor carriers and law enforcement.

    Starting April 1, 2018, inspectors will begin placing commercial drivers without an ELD out of service. 

  • Celebrate Driver Appreciation Week with Centerline

    by Anna Mischke | Sep 08, 2017

    NTDAW LOGO_px resizedTruck drivers are the thread that weaves the economy together daily, and seldom do they receive the recognition earned. During National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (NTDAW), this year from September 10th through September 16th, these unsung heroes will receive the gratitude deserved.

    The American Trucking Associations (ATA) revealed a new National Truck Driver Appreciation Week logo earlier this year. ATA Chairman, Kevin Burch sharing that “National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is an opportunity for America to show our gratitude to the core of the economy, our professional truck drivers, and to set aside this week for them as they have earned it through their hard work and commitment to the industry.”

    Whether over the road or last mile, each driver plays a strong role in ensuring that day-to-day needs for the entire country are met: over 70% of all freight tonnage is transported via trucks. We’ll be showing our appreciation for the 3.5 million professional drivers with the rest of the nation during a week-long celebration. How can you make sure to enjoy every bit of it as much as you can?

    Find Your Supporters

    Understanding the organizations that truly value your service as a driver can help you feel like your work is genuinely acknowledged. Getting to know the groups that recognize drivers is the first step in finding involvement in the community. The ATA kick started the annual NTDAW, the non-profit provides research and insight into the trucking industry throughout the year. The largest national trade group in the United States for trucking, the group is comprised of trucking associations for every state and work toward recognizing truck drivers and advocating for them on a nationwide level.

    Enjoy Freebies

    Treat yourself to some of the perks offered by various restaurants, companies, and truck stops over the course of NTDAW (and many throughout the entire month of September). Many truck stops boast free food for truckers along with discounts and sales.

    • Denny’s is hosting a month-long giveaway from a $1,000 Denny’s gift card to scratch cards with prizes to free Denny’s Grand Slams for a year while giving a 10 percent discount to truckers every time they visit until the end of the year.
    • Love’s Travel Stops celebrates the entire month of September with My Love Rewards points prizes and sweepstakes at each location.
    • Rudolph’s Southern Recipe is offering $1,000, pork rinds, and gear for their ‘Rig on the Road’ daily trivia
    • Select TA and Petro locations present CDL wellness consultations: more info here.
    • Pilot Flying J will award drivers with a combined 100 million myRewards loyalty points- valued at $1 million- and give away more than 65,000 prizes to drivers along with local in-store celebrations

    Take Time for Self-Care

    The tasks of the job can be strenuous. Make sure to give yourself some time- whether a few minutes or a full day- to pamper yourself. Enjoy your favorite food, take a stroll somewhere that makes you happy, or watch that movie you’ve been eager to see! It’s important to take the time to appreciate yourself and the hard work you put in every day. The finest things in life don’t necessarily cost anything: call a friend that you haven’t spoken with in a long time or spend some quality time with your trusty pet. Reflect on this past year and all of your achievements- big and small: they make a difference.

    Spread the Love

    Connect with other individuals who know how important your role on the road is to everyday life. Whether your fellow drivers, familiar faces at your long-time carrier, or a friendly dispatcher- each of these people have their hand in the trucking industry alongside you. Share your appreciation and show a fellow driver your gratitude. Send a quick text saying “thanks for all you do” or a dozen cookies to the people in your life who make your job possible and profitable. When we support each other, the industry only becomes stronger.  

  • Nationwide Inspection Blitz Slated for September 7

    by Anna Mischke | Sep 01, 2017

    Driver News 090117The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Day, is approaching quickly as part of the Operation Airbrake Program and is set to take place on September 7th. Sponsored by CVSA with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the goal of the inspection spree is to reduce the number of crashes caused by faulty brakes. Mechanical roadside inspections to identify and remove vehicles with critical brake violations is the main goal during the weeklong run of inspections.

    Law enforcement agencies across North America will predominantly conduct Level 1 inspections- a 37-step procedure- and Level IV brake inspections for truckers, checking for out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system and antilock braking system (ABS) violations along with malfunction lamps. Inspections will review brake system components to look for missing and/or loose parts, leaks, worn linings, pads, drums or rotors and other faulty brake system components.

    The CVSA reports that brakes violations are the biggest cause for out-of-service violations and represent 45.7 percent of all out-of-service violations during last year’s International Roadcheck. 2016’s Brake Safety Week, now replaced by Brake Safety Days in May and September, pulled almost 4,000 trucks out-of-service for violations.

    Brake Safety Day activities intend to “educate drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake maintenance, operation and performance” shared the CVSA and that “proper functioning brake systems are crucial to safe CMV operation.”

    Over 3.4 million brakes have been inspected since the initiation of the Operation Airbrake Program in 1998.

  • ATRI Requests Driver Involvement in 2017 Survey

    by Anna Mischke | Aug 24, 2017

    Driver News 082317The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) annually requests insight into commercial driver experience through the Top Industry Issues Survey, first released in 2005 and commissioned by the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Understanding the most crucial difficulties drivers face allows the research firm to conduct studies, which focus on the issues such as highway safety and infrastructure.

    Driver feedback helps identify the strongest points of concern and Rebecca Brewster, ATRI president and COO described driver involvement as “critical” in the organization’s research, stating “We encourage drivers to spend a few minutes completing the online survey so that driver opinions are included in the research on these timely issues.”

    The top concerns in trucking according to the survey last year was the ELD Mandate, Hours of Service Regulations, The Cumulative Economic Impacts of Trucking Regulations on the Industry, Truck Parking, and The Economy. CSA Scores, The Driver Shortage, and Driver retention were also raised as major areas of anxiety. The results of this year’s survey will be shared during the ATRI Management Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, FL from October 21 to 24.

    Over 500 driver surveys were collected at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), drivers are also urged to share their thoughts on crucial problems via online survey.

    Share your thoughts with the ATRI here.

  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on Ben Fakes

    by Anna Mischke | Aug 18, 2017
    2 Million Miles Safely and Counting

    ben fakes

    Most drivers can’t say they’ve driven 2 million miles, and of those drivers even less can say they’ve driven 2 million accident-free miles in a truck: Ben Fakes can.

    The incredible driver, with Boise since 1995 and Centerline since 2012, reached 2 million accident-free miles this May, a feat to be proud of. He said, “I may not be the safest driver on the road, but I am certainly trying to be.”

    Ben’s experience in the army kick-started his passion to learn. His First Sergeant would ask Ben questions that he knew Ben didn’t know the answer to: Ben wouldn’t stop searching until he found the answer. This mentality has crossed over into his driving career. When he sees an accident on the road Ben will take the time to consider how the accident may have occurred, and how he would avoid a similar situation. Ben constantly drinks-in his surroundings, checking for new road signs, paving, and other factors that play into driving safely. While he learned the rules of the road on the Autobahn where there is no general speed limit and the environment posed numerous challenges, he continued to absorb insights from new drivers that he eventually began to instruct. Ben shares that he is never too proud to learn from others: no matter how little experience someone has, they may have some insight that could be helpful like a safer route.

    Though safety may be second nature for Ben, it isn’t necessarily always easy. He says that it takes energy to stay alert and maintain safety on the road. He constantly assesses his surroundings and heightens awareness if in a more precarious area. Whether in challenging weather or high risk environments, Ben focuses 100% of his attention on driving. He finds that it’s crucial to plan your route correctly, and many times driving a few miles further has gotten him to a delivery location more safely and often faster. Breaks are Ben’s best friend when it comes to maintaining focus, he recommends stopping for five minutes to refresh even if it’s simply getting out of the truck to walk around. He finds that helps to bring his focus back to the road. If he wants to make a phone call or have a coffee or eat a snack he’ll pull over to the side of the road, never allowing distractions in his cab. Ben said, “You will never find me eating a sandwich in heavy traffic. It is just not the time or the place to do that.”

    The independence on the road allows Ben freedom to truly enjoy his work. Driving past a pond at dawn, mist floating above the water, encountering a majestic moose similar to an image from a magazine, or witnessing an airborne Volkswagen (due to hitting an alligator), you can understand Ben’s appreciation for life behind the wheel.

    Humbly, Ben admits that there is no denying that luck plays a part in his safety achievement. He understands that conditions vary for everyone and some may face more hazardous roads, but he doesn’t allow that to impact his discipline of continuous learning and safety awareness. Support from the client management team at Boise has also bolstered Ben’s ability to safely navigate the roads; if he ever feels unsafe driving anywhere, the team wouldn’t ask him to carry on. The reasons to be safe are worthy: the community, his company, and his family. 

  • Hundreds of Drivers Out-Of-Service After 2017 Roadcheck

    by Anna Mischke | Aug 11, 2017

    Driver News 081017In Texas alone, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck pulled 1,938- or 23.6 percent- of commercial vehicles and buses off the road. From June 6th through the 8th, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) inspected 8,182 commercial vehicles. Brake issues proved to be the most prevalent violation, according to the department, with faulty vehicle lighting contributing to the out-of-service orders.

    The DPS issued 1,994 citations and 22,346 warnings over the three day blitz. These numbers may reflect what truckers in other areas of the country experienced during the roadcheck as well. Some of the busiest highways in the nation are in Texas, and last year 22.5 percent of inspected vehicles were displaced during the Roadcheck while inspectors nationwide ordered 21.5 percent of inspected vehicles out-of-service.

    Hours-of-service violations, false logs, and improper endorsement led to 225 (3.4 percent) drivers being placed out-of-service for non-compliance with federal and state laws.

  • Hands Raised in Concern over Autonomous Vehicles

    by Anna Mischke | Aug 03, 2017

    Driver News 080417A study by the Center for Global Policy Solutions estimates that introducing autonomous vehicles too rapidly could result in a loss of 4 million jobs in the United States. Truck, taxi, and bus drivers would be the groups most impacted.

    As legislations fast track toward self-driving vehicles being allowed on the road, labor leaders are advising against their rapid movement - urging lawmakers to keep in mind the potential negative effect on many union jobs and the mass unemployment it would cause for some industries. Additionally, worker safety is at the forefront of their concerns as driverless vehicles hit the road. 

    James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters- which touts 1.4 million members - stated “If anyone needs to be at the table for a discussion on self-driving technology, it’s the package car driver, the long-haul truck driver and the taxi driver.”

    Larry Willis, President of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Division, an alliance of 32 unions, believes “While the committee has tried to improve this bill, more needs to be done to make sure we adopt the right regulatory and labor policies governing the introduction of autonomous vehicles into the economy” and that autonomous vehicles “are likely to cause massive job dislocation and impact worker safety.”

    As unions successfully lobbied a bill to include a 10,000-pound weight limit that precludes autonomous semi-trucks and commercial vehicles from being dispatched in the same way as passenger vehicles, many are concerned about the stage driverless passenger cars set for commercial transportation. Willis explained that “once you set the precedent in this bill, I think it’s very likely that you are going to see the same type of regulation migrate to commercial vehicles more broadly.”

    While officials in the auto industry expect that it will be decades before autonomous vehicles are widely used, many companies have begun planning for deployment. 

  • Bill Presented to Delay ELD Mandate

    by Anna Mischke | Jul 26, 2017

    Driver News 072617As implementation of the ELD mandate nears, attention is being focused from all directions toward this new game-changing rule. While the FMCSA tours the country for a six-stop educational event series, a bill named The ELD Extension Act of 2017 was recently introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. If passed, the bill would delay the compliance date by two years to December 2019, allowing owner-operators two years to make the move to mandatory usage of electronic logging devices.

    Texas Republican Representative and member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Highways and Transit Subcommittee, Brian Babin, presented the bill after the U.S. Department of Transportation was urged by a House panel to study whether a “full or targeted delay” of the mandate is necessary. The panel also addressed the encumbrance of the new mandate for small carriers in addition to questions targeting technological concerns and following up on execution. Babin stated, “While technology like ELDs have great promise, I didn’t come to Washington to force those ideas on small businesses… If trucking companies want to continue implementing and using ELDs, they should go right ahead. But for those who don’t want the burden, expense, and uncertainty of putting one of these devices into every truck they own by the end of the year, we can and should offer relief. ”

    The Extension Act has a long way to go before becoming law and must be approved by the House and Senate in addition to being signed by President Trump. The bill can be attached to larger regulations or passed as a standalone bill as well.

  • The FMCSA Begins Countrywide Tour on ELDs

    by Anna Mischke | Jul 19, 2017

    060817_Customer NewsIn anticipation of the ELD mandate going into effect December 18th, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a six-stop tour across America beginning mid-July. The tour aims to provide insight to carriers and drivers, the goal is for participants to fully understand the mandate and how to comply. The ELD Implementation National Tour features “subject matter experts [leading] driver-focused presentations and panel discussions on ELD implementation.”

    With heightened concern and confusion regarding the mandate, the FMCSA is aiming to deliver clarity surrounding the rule. FMCSA staff members are partnering with industry trade events to answer questions and provide compliance-related materials.

    The upcoming five ELD Implementation National Tour stops include:

    August 24-26: Great American Trucking Show (Dallas, Texas)

    September 25-27: North American Commercial Vehicle Show (Atlanta, Georgia)

    October 14-15: California Trucking Show (Ontario, California)

    October 21-24: American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition (Orlando, Florida)

    November 6-8: Women in Trucking Accelerate! Conference & Expo (Kansas City, Missouri)

    As this shift takes place, it is vital for all to understand their role in remaining compliant. It is recommended to visit the FMCSA’s registry of approved devices, compare pros and cons, stay communicative with vendors and other drivers, and remain up-to-date on ELD news.

  • Hands Free for Safety: Cell Phones on the Road

    by Anna Mischke | Jul 14, 2017

    Driver news 071417With numerous rules surrounding cell phone use on the road, it can be difficult to understand what applies to you as a professional driver. Can you use your phone while stopped at a light? What about texting with one hand only? Does it matter if you read a text even if you don’t respond?

    Safety comes first when you’re behind the wheel- read on for a breakdown of cell phone usage.

    • Don’t use a hand held mobile communication device while operating a commercial motor vehicle that is in motion. If you’re able to initiate and terminate a call by using a single button you’re using a hands free device, and it’s safe to continue use.
    • Only use a hand held mobile communication device if you can make or end a call using only one button.
    • You may use a voice activated, hands free device to make and end calls.
    • Always make sure that it is safe to make a call, even if it is on a hands free device or only requires one button to call/end.
    • Never text, email, or use social media (Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.) on a hand-held mobile for any reason when on the road: driving or stopped.

    Recent studies show that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event such as a crash or unintentional lane deviation are 23.2 times greater for drivers who text while driving, and those dialing a call on their mobile phone while driving are six times more likely to be involved in a safety critical event. Texting drivers take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, this equates to a driver travelling the distance of an entire football field without looking at the roadway!

    Some states have additional rules in place so make sure you fully understand all laws pertaining to cell phone use while driving.

    Centerline has a Zero Tolerance Cell Phone Policy and if violated, may cause up to $2,750 in fines and termination.

  • Pack It Up: On the Road Essentials

    by Anna Mischke | Jul 06, 2017

    Driver News 070517Even if you’re on a shorter trip, ensuring you have some key items on hand when driving can make a huge difference, day-to-day. Keep these essentials with you so you’re well prepared for the trek ahead!

    Cleanliness is Next to godliness

    When making a delivery, you encounter all types of bacteria and germs whether from the things you touch (door handles are the worst), the people you shake hands with, and simply sitting in your truck. While washing hands with warm, soapy water is the most effective way to keep germs at bay - you won’t always have a sink handy. Keep illness away with an occasional squirt of hand sanitizer throughout the day.

    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

    Staying hydrated is key in feeling energized, alert, and healthy throughout the day. While it may be tempting to quench your thirst with a sugary, carbonated beverage or another cup of coffee, be sure you’re drinking at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day (two liters or a half gallon). Your body and mind will thank you!

    Snack Attack

    If you prepare yourself with healthy snacks at the ready, it’s less likely you’ll stop for a greasy burger or sodium rich chips when your stomach starts to growl. Smart snack choices will give you longer lasting energy, keeping you from feeling lethargic (no more food coma), and fills you up for hours. Some favorites for easy carrying and full flavor:

    • Trail mix
    • Bananas
    • Hard boiled eggs
    • Whole grain cereal bars
    • Nuts
    • Yogurt or cottage cheese
    • Turkey jerky

    Protected Peepers

    Tired eyes can be a safety hazard on the road; arming yourself with professional grade sunglasses are important for your safety. Choose a pair that have quality lenses, 100% UV ray protection (preferably polarized), stiff frames that don’t bend, scratch resistant lenses, glare reduction. This one seemingly small addition to your drive can make an enormous difference.

    Wipe It Away

    You never know when you’ll need to clean up a spill, wipe your hands down, or additional backup in a restroom emergency. Make sure you’ve got a pack of baby wipes with you: a small investment for so many uses!

  • The Importance of Three Points

    by Anna Mischke | Jun 29, 2017

    062817 Driver NewsClimbing in and out of your truck is part of your daily routine, but special care and attention should be paid each and every time to avoid injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finds that nationwide, falls account for roughly 15% of workplace fatalities, only second to auto accidents. Unsurprisingly, 70% of falls from equipment occur at the bottom step which is easily preventable when caution is taken. Many of the injuries that occur to the back, knee, and ankle occur when jumping onto uneven ground and/or objects.

    Following the 3 Points of Contact Rule greatly decreases the risk of falling: always have one foot and two hands, or one hand and two feet in contact with a handle, piece of equipment, or ladder.

    The 3 Points of Contact Rule gives maximum stability and reduces the potential of slipping or falling.

    In tandem with the 3 Points of Contact Rule, here are additional basic safety tips to follow that help prevent injury.

    • Evaluate every truck and piece of equipment prior to using
    • Inspect climbing surfaces for ice, snow, grease, mud or other hazards
    • Give extra care when working in inclement weather
    • Always look at the ground before stepping down
    • Never jump down: follow the 3 Points of Contact Rule when mounting/dismounting
    • Always mount or dismount facing the truck/equipment
    • Never mount or dismount with anything in your hands
    • Take your time when climbing in and out of your truck
    • Ensure you have a strong grasp on handles and rails
    • Do not use the doorframe or edge as a handhold
    • Do not use tires or wheel hubs as a step surface
    • Wear proper footwear for support and slip resistance

    Ensuring that you follow these basic safety guidelines could help you avoid unnecessary injury, literally a pain in the neck!

  • FMCSA to Provide Two Webinars Reviewing ELD Mandate

    by Anna Mischke | Jun 21, 2017

    DRIVER NEWS SHUTTERSTOCKThe Supreme Court rejected the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s (OOIDA) petition against the upcoming ELD Mandate slated to go into effect December 18, 2017. The OOIDA claimed that the requirement violates truck drivers’ right to privacy and while driver response was split, the rule will indeed be implemented.

    The FMCSA explains that the rule is intended “to help create a safe work environment for drivers and make it easier and faster to track, manage, and share records of duty status data.” The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will host two, hour-long webinars regarding ELDs in July.

    Live question and answer sessions will take place on Thursday, July 6th from 10-11 a.m. EST and July 13th from 1-2 p.m. EST. You can register on a first-come-first-served basis for the webinar on July 6th here and July 13th here. Each session is limited to 200 participants and registration is required online, the webinar may also be accessed by phone as well. Drivers may also watch a prerecorded webinar as recommended by the National Training Center prior to the live webinars, and email any ELD-related questions in advance to