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Dart celebrates opening of operating center in Atlanta metro area

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Dart Chairman Don Oren talks with drivers near the window in the Ellenwood Driver’s Lounge. In the foreground, Dart VP of Marketing & Communications Russ Moore, chats with Ellenwood Operation Center Supervisor Darnell Wilson, as Dart Director of Southeast Sales John Pinyard, right, listens. (Courtesy: DART TRANSIT CO.)

ELLENWOOD, Ga. — Dart Transit Co. has opened a new operating center in the metro Atlanta area.

The facility here is located close to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport south of Atlanta and it will provide the company with the opportunity to grow its customer base in the state and region.

Prior to opening the doors in Ellenwood, Dart operated from a location in Buford northeast of Atlanta.

Along with its strategic new positioning in the metro area, the Ellenwood Operating Center is larger than the previous Buford location and Dart has incorporated the latest in amenities for owner-operators and company drivers in the Dart Network.

“Trucking and logistics have become the bread and butter for Clayton County, particularly because we have four interstates going through the county. Dart has a national presence, and to have them here will be great for Clayton County,” said county Chamber of Commerce President Jeremy Stratton, one of the dignitaries attending Dart’s open house event. “I have had the opportunity to visit a number of truck facilities over the years, and I am very impressed with what I’ve seen here at Dart. The attention to detail in terms of the layout, the technology and the amenities — giving the employees what they need — is awesome. They have obviously put a lot of thought into the plans, and the finished product has turned out well. This will be a great place to work for a lot of people.”

Dart’s Ellenwood facility features 21,000 square feet. The building has 10,000 square feet of office space, which includes an operations center, conference rooms, a driver orientation area and a drivers’ lounge with laundry facilities. The on-site shop covers 11,000 square feet, with a layout that can accommodate simultaneous service on nine trucks and seven trailers. Dart’s Ellenwood property encompasses 10 acres, providing ample space for truck and trailer parking. The facility has a state-of-the-art, 24-hour security system.

“We began this project about 15 months ago. It’s awesome to see it today with everyone here, especially when you think back on how everything has come together,” said Dart Vice President of Maintenance Brett Wacker, who oversaw the company’s development of the Ellenwood Operating Center. “We built this with our people in mind. We wanted to provide a nice, comfortable facility, with good amenities and plenty of space. It’s been great to see people’s reactions as you go through the building.”

Wacker was part of the company’s executive leadership that made the trip to Ellenwood from Dart’s corporate headquarters in the Twin Cities. Chairman of the Board Donald Oren and President James Langley led the visiting group. In addition to touring the new facility, Oren and Langley spent time with the office staff, shop technicians, owner-operators and company drivers in Ellenwood.

“The facility is very impressive, and I give Brett Wacker a lot of credit. He made the decisions on how to lay things out here, and that’s really important because it has to be efficient and it has to be safe for the people who work here,” Oren said. “It was a great event. It’s always fun to meet the drivers and spend time with everyone here. There’s always something to learn.”

 

 

 

 

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Newsal Safety Council to employers: address employee fatigue immediately

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For the trucking industry, sources vary widely on the percentage of large truck crashes are the result of driver fatigue. On the low end, it’s 13 percent. On the high end, it’s approaching 40 percent. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

ITASCA, Ill. — Newsal Safety Council says according to its own research, 90 percent of America’s employers have been negatively impacted by tired employees.

Forty-three percent of employees admit they may be too tired to function safely at work.

With fatigue becoming an increasingly common workplace hazard, the Newsal Safety Council is calling on all employers to implement comprehensive programs — known as fatigue risk management systems — that can help prevent the roughly 13 percent of workplace injuries attributable to sleep problems.

As for the trucking industry, sources vary widely on the percentage of large truck crashes are the result of driver fatigue.

On the low end, it’s 13 percent. On the high end, it’s approaching 40 percent.

The council has outlined key elements of a fatigue risk management system in its paper .

Another report from the Campbell Institute — the center for EHS excellence at the Newsal Safety Council — details results from a pilot study conducted among world class safety organizations to assess worker fatigue and effective countermeasures. In , the Campbell Institute identifies a persistent gap between how employers and employees view fatigue and makes the case for changing culture to enhance safety.

To emphasize the importance of the issue, the council and the Campbell Institute also are gathering fatigue experts and researchers from around the globe in Seattle for a symposium that will focus on eliminating fatigue-related risks in the workplace.

“In our 24/7 world, too many employees are running on empty,” said Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager for fatigue initiatives at the Newsal Safety Council. “Employees are an organization’s greatest asset and addressing fatigue in workplaces will help eliminate preventable deaths and injuries.”

Whitcomb said fatigue not only hurts employees’ wellbeing and safety, but it also carries a significant price tag.

Fatigue costs the U.S. economy more than $400 billion annually.

An employer with 1,000 employees can expect to lose more than $1 million each year in missed workdays, lower productivity and increased healthcare due to employee fatigue.

“Even employers with state-of-the-art safety programs feel the negative effects of fatigue,” said John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute “As employers work to eliminate risks, we encourage them to implement fatigue risk management systems and lean on the Council and the Campbell Institute for help.”

Workplace practices and policies that contribute to worker fatigue include working night shifts and overtime, a lack of time off between shifts and inadequate rest areas within the workplace for employees to take breaks.

Whitcomb said strong fatigue risk management systems blend employee education and training with improvements to workplace environments, culture change and data-driven programs.

Additional information about workplace fatigue is available at .

 

 

 

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Wheaton Van Lines acquires Stevens Worldwide Van Lines

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The combination of van line networks will create capacity and growth for agents, drivers and customers, Wheaton officials said. (Courtesy: WHEATON VAN LINES)

INDIANAPOLIS — In a move to expand the Wheaton Van Lines network, Wheaton is acquiring Stevens Worldwide Van Lines. The new partnership will immediately expand the capacity and capabilities of the four brands under the Wheaton group umbrella:

  • Wheaton World Wide Moving
  • Bekins Van Lines
  • Stevens Worldwide Van Lines
  • Clark & Reid

The Stevens family will continue to own and operate Stevens International Forwarding and Focused Logistics. Their three local agencies will continue to be agents of the Stevens Worldwide Van Lines brand in Saginaw, Michigan, as well as Toledo, Ohio, and Cleveland, and will maintain a significant hauling fleet within the new network.

“I think this partnership is a huge opportunity for all parties involved,” said Morrie Stevens Sr., Stevens Van Lines chairman of the board and CEO. “Joining the Wheaton Van Lines network gives all of the drivers and agents in the Stevens network more opportunities for growth. I’m particularly excited for our corporate clients that will gain access to more capacity when they need it the most. I’ve admired the Wheaton network for a long time. Wheaton has proven to be a steady, stable, smart and consistent network that understands how to build upon the success it’s had for the past 74 years.”

Wheaton will continue to operate all four of its brands throughout the United States.

This is Wheaton’s third acquisition since 2012 when it acquired Bekins Van Lines and, a year later, Clark & Reid, making it the fourth largest van line group in the country.

“Stevens and the agents in the Stevens network are a stellar fit for our growing company,” said Mark Kirschner, Wheaton Van Lines CEO. “It’s clear that our philosophies align and that we both see this as an opportunity to bring more to our drivers, agents and customers. I’m excited for our partnership moving forward.”

Wheaton Van Lines is partner to approximately 400 Wheaton, Bekins, Stevens and Clark & Reid agents nationwide.

The United States military is one of the company’s largest customers.

To learn more, visit .

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ACT Research: Freight rates and trucker profits pressured In 2019

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ACT Research’s report indicated that at present the slowdown seems to be more a story of the second-half 2018 order pull-forward and large backlogs, and less about freight cycle and capacity issues. (The Trucker file photo)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — While overall economic conditions are better balanced than they were a month ago, freight data remain soft, according to ACT Research’s latest State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Report.

“Slower freight growth, an easing of driver supply constraints, the resumption of the long-run freight productivity trend, and strong Class 8 tractor fleet growth will increasingly pressure rates, and by extension, trucker profits in 2019,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s president and senior analyst. “Regarding Class 8, orders have decelerated sharply over the past several months, with net orders in January reaching 16,089 units, the lowest monthly order intake since October 2016.”

The report indicated that at present the slowdown seems to be more a story of the second-half 2018 order pull-forward and large backlogs, and less about freight cycle and capacity issues.

Regarding the medium duty markets, Vieth said, “January’s Classes 5-7 net orders were a virtual carbon copy of December, at around 23,000 units, and medium duty orders have been a model of consistency the past ten months. However, they are entering a period of tough year-ago comparisons.”

ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.

More information can be found at .

 

 

 

 

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