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Trucking Alliance 2019 priorities include zero deaths, expansion of ELDs

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WASHINGTON — Steve Williams, chairman and CEO of Maverick USA, and president of the Trucking Alliance board of directors Wednesday reaffirmed the organization’s priority objectives for 2019.

The alliance is a coalition of transportation carriers, logistics and supporting businesses solely focused on reforms to improve the safety and security of commercial drivers and to eliminate large truck fatal crashes.

Member carriers include Cargo Transporters, Dupré Logistics, J.B. Hunt Transport, KLLM Transport Services, Knight- Swift Transportation, Maverick USA and US Xpress.

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CAPTION FOR PHOTO

Courtesy: THE TRUCKING ALLIANCE

Steve Williams, president of the Trucking Alliance, said the trucking industry has too many large truck crashes that in the last reportable year killed 4,761 people and injured another 145,000 on our roadways. The number of truck drivers who lost their lives was the highest in 10 years, he said.

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“The U.S. trucking industry is indispensable to our economy and the standard of living we enjoy as Americans,” Williams said. “Yet, tragically, our industry has too many large truck crashes that in the last reportable year killed 4,761 people and injured another 145,000 on our roadways. The number of truck drivers who lost their lives was the highest in 10 years. For an industry that wants to improve its image, look no further than these statistics. We must aggressively address these tragic figures. But how can we when the trucking industry will deliver even more freight in 2019 over highways that are even more congested?”

A first step is to reverse priorities, Williams said.

“We must support progressive safety reforms that make sense for our country and citizens first, our industry second, and our companies third,” he said. “Second, safety groups, legislators, regulators and all segments of our diverse industry should leave their respective corners, meet in the middle, and responsibly deal with the unprecedented challenges we face.”

Williams pointed to the amount of return the American consumer has received with respect to what he or she pays to deliver goods.

“I am very proud of the millions of hardworking commercial truck drivers who make that happen,” he said. “But we must adopt initiatives to improve the truck driver’s lifestyle. We must eliminate the chance that truck drivers and their exemplary work ethic will be used against them. For example, truck drivers shouldn’t carry the burden to make up for an inefficient supply chain. Too often, giving truck drivers more ‘flexibility’ in their work day is simply code for ‘just get it there.’”

The Trucking Alliance wants to see an expansion of electronic logging devices.

“In the year since the ELD mandate finally took effect, the devices are already improving a truck driver’s work environment,” Williams said. “ELDs are making the supply chain more efficient. Most importantly, ELDs can help reverse the disturbing trend of large truck fatalities and save lives.

The alliance believes ELDs should be required in all large trucks, regardless of commodity, length of haul or whether they operate in interstate or intrastate commerce. Anything short of mandatory use of ELDs is purely political, unfair and frankly, unsafe.

Another area that needs improvement is drug testing, Williams said.

“Contrary to what you may think, like our nation, our industry has a drug abuse problem. In fact, the Department of Transportation’s only required drug test for truck driver applicants is actually missing as many as nine of every 10 lifestyle drug users,” Williams said. “We should utilize drug tests that verify an applicant has been drug free for at least 60 days. And we need a long awaited database to identify who has previously failed these drug tests. We must be able to assure the motoring public that our commercial drivers are properly rested, properly trained and drug and alcohol free.”
The Trucking Alliance has long advocated hair testing as a way to weed out prospective drivers and current drivers with a substance abuse problem.

Williams said the Trucking Alliance still wants to limit the speed of trucks.

“Excessive truck speeds increase fatalities and the severity of injuries in large truck accidents,” he said. “That’s why we must require large trucks to maintain reasonable speeds on all highways.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on speed limits for heavy trucks, but that work fell victim to President Donald J. Trump’s executive order to cut down on federal regulations.

Other priorities include:

  • Adoption of truck safety technologies. “Forward collision warning systems are available on new trucks now,” Williams said. “These systems can assist our drivers to avoid accidents, which is especially critical since distracted driving is so prevalent among the motoring public.”
  • Compensation for truck accident victims. “We must meet our promise to the victims of large truck accidents,” Williams said. “In 1980, Congress rightfully decided that a ‘commercial’ motor carrier has a moral and ethical responsibility to compensate the victims of large truck crashes. Congress set the minimum motor carrier insurance limits almost 40 years ago. But those insurance limits remain the same today and they should be dramatically increased.”
  • Elimination of all large truck fatalities. “In summary, owning a trucking company or driving a piece of equipment for a living is not an entitlement. It is a privilege. With privileges come responsibilities. What we do is important. But how we do it is much more important. No longer should anybody defend the actions of those who don’t deserve to be on the road,” Williams said. “That’s why it should be difficult for people to get into this industry. It will be increasingly hard to stay in this industry, as it should be. In so doing, we will have much safer highways for all and an economic opportunity to build a safe and efficient supply chain for the future.”

Williams said the Trucking Alliance would continue to work with stakeholders who believe that the nation can fully eliminate large truck fatalities.

“Our goal should be to achieve safety performance levels that are comparable with the U.S. airline industry,” Williams said. “Achieving that objective will require changes, and change is difficult. But let’s stop reminiscing about the way things used to be in trucking. Because, frankly, it hasn’t always been good. We have an opportunity to create a new paradigm. We must continue to build sustainable companies that can safely serve our News. By embracing the changes that are required of all of us…we will finally get the chance to properly compensate, respect and defend the work ethic of the American truck driver.”

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L.A. tops list of metro areas with most aggressive drivers

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Cars and trucks choke the San Diego Freeway in both directions during the afternoon rush hour in Los Angeles near an interchange. Los Angeles has the most aggressive drivers in the United States, according to a study published by GasBuddy. (©2019 FOTOSEARCH)

BOSTON — Honking, squeaking brakes and bumper-to-bumper traffic are common problems in many of America’s congested cities.

Frustrated drivers can get agitated quickly, and their aggressive driving habits like speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can lower gas mileage by as much as 40 percent, costing them as much as $477 per year in additional fuel consumption.

GasBuddy has revealed the major metropolitan areas in the United States with the most aggressive drivers, causing them to pay more for gasoline by making more frequent trips to the pump.

GasBuddy compiled data from its Drives feature in the GasBuddy app, examining the top 30        metropolitan areas by population as defined by the United States Census Bureau from November 2018-February 2019, noting the frequency of an aggressive event while driving, whether it be speeding, hard braking or accelerating.

The top 10 cities with the most aggressive drivers included:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Philadelphia
  3. Sacramento, California
  4. Atlanta
  5. San Francisco
  6. San Diego
  7. Orlando, Florida.
  8. Detroit
  9. Austin, Texas
  10. Las Vegas

Los Angeles consistently tops the list of having some of the most expensive gas prices in the nation, currently averaging $3.35 per gallon. Combined with traffic and congestion, the GasBuddy Aggressive Driving study revealed that the way Los Angeles motorists are driving is also contributing to a larger gasoline budget. And it doesn’t stop with Los Angeles: four of the top 10 cities with the most aggressive drivers are in California, including Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego.

“Frustration while driving in densely populated cities with high levels of congestion leads motorists to drive more aggressively and with more urgency. Interestingly, these are areas that typically see some of the highest gas prices in their respective states,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “With drivers in Los Angeles, Philadelphia,

Sacramento and Atlanta being 20 percent more aggressive than the average driver in America, it’s particularly important for commuters and rideshare drivers in these areas to work on shedding their lead foot and relax more to keep money from flying out the window each time they hit the road.”

Last year GasBuddy’s Aggressive Driving Study examined the states with the most aggressive drivers. Seven of the top 10 cities with the most aggressive drivers from this year’s study are within the top 10 states with the most aggressive drivers, including California, Georgia, Texas and Florida.

Additional findings include:

  • Frustrating Fridays. Motorists are 1.2 times more likely to encounter aggressive driving on Friday than on Wednesday. The most aggressive day on the road is Friday, with 14 percent more aggressive driving events occurring compared to the average across the United States. The least aggressive day on the road is Wednesday, with 6 percent fewer aggressive driving events occurring compared to the average across the United States.
  • Wearing Out the Brakes (All Week). The most frequent aggressive driving habit on weekdays is hard braking, followed by rapid acceleration and speeding. On weekends, the most frequent aggressive driving habit continues to be hard braking, followed by speeding and rapid acceleration.

San Diego’s Need for Speed. While cities like Los Angeles and Philadelphia take the top spots in regards to hard braking and rapid acceleration, San Diego, Orlando and Detroit take the top three spots for cities with the most speeding incidents.

GasBuddy is a company that connects drivers with the company’s Perfect Pit Stop. As a source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews.

For more information, visit .

 

 

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FMCSA issues regional exemptions to HOS because of flooding

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The map shows the states that are part of the emergency declaration that allows certain exemptions from the Hours of Service regulations as a result of recent flooding.

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this week has issued regional exemptions to the Hours of Service as a result of the recent flooding.

The declarations are for Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The FMCSA said the declaration is designed to help with recovery efforts following a severe weather and flooding event that claimed multiple lives, caused power outages, and did major damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.

The emergency declaration applies to truck drivers who are providing “direct support of relief efforts” to the flood damaged areas. The FMCSA guidelines say that “direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not directly supporting the emergency relief effort or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce.”

The exemption runs until April 18 or until the emergency is declared ended.

In addition, the FMCSA said that it will not be enforcing the Temporary Operating Authority Registration fee for truckers who are providing direct assistance to disaster victims.

 

 

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WIT names finalists for 2019 ‘Distinguished Woman in Logistics’ Award

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Women In Trucking Association is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.   (©2019 FOTOSEARCH)

PLOVER, Wis. — The Women In Trucking Association Thursday named the finalists for the 5th annual Distinguished Woman in Logistics award.

The award promotes the achievements of women employed in the North American transportation industry.

Finalists include Lindsey Graves, Sunset Transportation; Michelle Halkerston, Hassett Express; Judy McReynolds, ArcBest; Sarah Ruffcorn, Trinity Logistics; and Erin Van Zeeland, Schneider. The winner will be revealed Friday, April 12, during the TIA 2019 “Capital Ideas” Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida.

WIT President and CEO Ellen Voie said the award highlights the crucial roles of leading women in the dynamic and influential field of commercial transportation and logistics, which encompasses both logistics service providers as well as motor carriers.

Finalists for the 2019 DWLA award have demonstrated superior leadership within their company as well as with other professional, educational or philanthropic organizations, she said.

LINDSAY GRAVES

Lindsey Graves is a second-generation owner and chief operating officer at Sunset Transportation, a St. Louis third party logistics company.  In her 12 years with Sunset, she has grown through hands-on experience in every department; she now oversees operational and personnel growth, strategy, marketing and implementation at Sunset’s corporate headquarters in south St. Louis and five national branch offices. Graves was a Class of 2018, 40 Under 40 Recipient for the St. Louis For Business Journal.

MICHELLE HALKERSTON

Michelle Halkerston is president, CEO and owner of Hassett Express, a full-service transportation and logistics provider specializing in time-definite services. She joined Hassett Air Express in 2001 as vice president of strategic planning, was named president in September 2003, and purchased the company in October 2013. She is involved in all facets of the business and has steered the Hassett team through significant changes in customer needs and dynamics to achieve the most successful year in company history.  As a privately-held Certified Women For Business Enterprise (WBE), Hassett’s success is based on commitment to its employees, customers and community and on building partnerships that provide value to both organizations.

JUDY McREYNOLDS

Judy R. McReynolds is chairman, president and chief executive officer of ArcBest in Fort Smith, Arkansas. From its roots in less-than-truckload delivery, under her leadership ArcBest has transformed into a full-scale provider of end-to-end supply chain services, surpassing $3 billion in revenue last year.  In 2016, McReynolds was elected as chairman of the board of ArcBest. She has 28 years of logistics and transportation industry experience, including 21 years at ArcBest. She also serves on numerous outside boards. She is the current chair of the American Transportation Research Institute board, and a member of the American Trucking Associations board of directors and executive committee.

SARAH RUFFCORN

Sarah Ruffcorn is the chief operations officer of Trinity Logistics, a 2018 “Top 50 Companies for Women to Work for in Transportation” company. In this role, she leads Trinity’s Regional Service Center brokerage offices throughout the country, the less-than-truckload division, the advanced services division which includes warehousing, expedite, drayage, international, and intermodal services, as well as the managed services division, which includes shipper TMS and fully managed solutions services. She also serves on the Trinity Logistics board of directors, is co-chair of TIA’s Women in Logistics Committee, and is a member of the TIA Technology Committee. She was awarded the 2015 Delaware For Business Times “Best 40 Under 40” award for being one of the region’s “best & brightest young professionals.”

ERIN VANZEELAND

Erin Van Zeeland is group senior vice president and general manager of logistics services at Schneider, a provider of transportation, logistics and intermodal services.  Schneider is a $5B (2018 annual revenue) company founded in 1935 and its foundation of operational excellence is built on service, trust and reliability. In her position, she is responsible for all aspects of the company’s logistics service offering including transportation management (brokerage), supply chain management, warehousing and port dray. Within her functional responsibilities, she ensures that over 27,000 third-party carriers and service providers are effectively utilized to meet supply chain needs, service and profitability objectives across any mode of transportation and logistics services.

Finalists were selected from an immense group of high-performing women representing third-party logistics, supply chain management, and related functional disciplines.

Members of the judging panel included Dr. Stephanie S. Ivey, director of Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute, Southeast Transportation Workforce Center, and associate professor, Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Memphis; Nancy O’Liddy, chief of staff, TIA; Brent Hutto, chief relationship officer, Truckstop.com; and Ellen Voie, president and CEO, WIT.

Women In Trucking Association is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.

 

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