KIRKLAND Wash. — Kenworth, Fastport and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative are joining together for the fourth consecutive year to promote the trucking industry and discover America’s top rookie military veteran driver, who has made the transition from military service in the U.S. Armed Forces to driving for a commercial fleet.
Under the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” recognition program, Kenworth will again provide the top award – a Kenworth T680 fully loaded with a 76-inch sleeper, and the Paccar Powertrain, which includes the Paccar MX-13 engine, Paccar 12-speed automated transmission, and Paccar 40K tandem rear axles.
“We understand the vital importance of supporting our veterans in honor of their service to America. One way to express our appreciation is by donating our on-highway flagship Kenworth T680 – the Driver’s Truck – as the ‘Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence’ award for 2019,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “We urge fleets in America to nominate their best drivers who have served to protect our country, and we encourage those transitioning from military service to consider the trucking industry as their future career.”
“About 200,000 veterans transition from the military into the private sector annually. Our mission at Fastport is to inform and educate veterans about the real career opportunities in the nation’s trucking industry,” said Brad Bentley, president of Fastport. “Part of our effort is to showcase the best available equipment. As ‘The Driver’s Truck,’ the Kenworth T680 is a truck that certainly attracts attention. Again this year, a well-deserving veteran will receive the keys to Kenworth’s T680 – courtesy of Kenworth, as America’s top rookie military veteran in the industry.”
“Hiring Our Heroes helped more than 150,000 transitioning military service members and veterans connect with career opportunities in trucking and other high-demand career fields through its events and programs,” said Eric Eversole, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and president of Hiring Our Heroes. “The 2019 ‘Transition Trucking’ award campaign provides a much-needed platform to highlight the positive impact veterans are making in the transportation industry and introduces a new generation of veterans to the excellent economic opportunities offered by a career in trucking.”
The top driver will be determined by an expert panel of judges. To qualify, drivers must meet four eligibility requirements:
- Must have been active military or member of the Newsal Guard or Reserve.
- Must have graduated from PTDI-certified, NAPFTDS or CVTA member driver training school, with a valid CDL.
- Must be employed by a trucking company that has made a hiring commitment and pledge to hire veterans on the Trucking Track Mentoring Program website ().
- Must have been first hired in a trucking position between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.
The nomination period began March 19. Nominations will be accepted until June 30, 2019. Full criteria and online nomination forms can be found on the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” website (www.transitiontrucking.org).
Hiring Our Heroes hosts nearly 100 hiring events for service members, veterans, and military spouses throughout the year, with veteran hiring fairs slated to take place this year on military bases and at professional sports venues in cities with a high population of veterans. The Kenworth T680 Advantage will be on display at selected events to inform and inspire those considering a possible career in trucking.
For more information, visit the websites of Fastport () and Hiring Our Heroes ().
Mack Trucks doubles down on debut of RoadLife 2.0
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Mack Trucks is doubling down on the debut of RoadLife 2.0 with the launch of two episodes on .
Featuring the grueling efforts of Alaska Department of Transportation snowplow drivers to clear one of the snowiest highways in the U.S., to the challenge of building a modern logistics business from the ground up, RoadLife 2.0 picks up from last season, sharing the stories of everyday people doing extraordinary things.
“Our first episodes feature Alaska DOT and Full Tilt Logistics, two organizations with very different missions,” said John Walsh, Mack Trucks vice president of marketing. “Yet in both of their stories, a number of commonalities emerge: hard work, dedication and the ability of Mack trucks to help them achieve success.”
The Richardson Highway is the only road in and out of Valdez, Alaska, the terminus for the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline, and Alaska DOT relies on two Mack Granite model snowplows to keep the road open.
Battling in the neighborhood of 400 inches of snow annually, Alaska DOT relies on the trucks’ brute strength to clear the road, as well as some high-tech tools to make sure they stay on the road, even in whiteout conditions. A sophisticated differential GPS system with an in-cab display shows drivers where the truck is located to within less than an inch.
“Now, it’s almost like a video game,” said Mark Hanson, Alaska DOT terminal manager in describing the differential GPS system. “If I start going over the centerline, the indicator on screen turns red to tell me I’m not where I need to be. If I’m in a white out, I still know where I’m at in the road.”
Reno, Nevada-based Full Tilt Logistics takes the meaning of a family business to the next level. Starting with just three trucks, five members of the Novich family quickly grew the business into a 16-truck fleet hauling high-value loads across the western United States.
Full Tilt operates with the Mack Anthem model.
“When we were first starting out, I was doing some research into the driver shortage, where it’s at now and where it’s going,” said Cris Novich, managing director, transportation for Full Tilt Logistics. “It became abundantly clear that our No. 1 customer is the driver. If we keep them happy, they will want to come work here.”
Additional RoadLife 2.0 episodes will premiere throughout the summer and into the fall. Viewers can watch RoadLife episodes on and Amazon Prime Video, with additional content featured on Mack Trucks’ social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
WIT, Freightliner seek nominee for Influential Woman in Trucking Award
PLOVER, Wis. — Women In Trucking Association and Freightliner Trucks are seeking candidates for the 2019 Influential Woman in Trucking award.
The award was created in 2010 and recognizes women who make or influence key decisions in a corporate, manufacturing, supplier, owner-operator, driver, sales or dealership setting.
The winner must have a proven record of responsibility and have mentored or served as a role model to other women in the industry.
“The Influential Woman in Trucking Award recognizes exceptional women leaders who have been advocates and role models to others,” said Ellen Voie, president and CEO, Women In Trucking. “Each year, I am thoroughly impressed by the caliber of women nominated.”
Now in its ninth year, the award honors female leaders in the trucking industry.
Past recipients include Marcia Taylor, CEO of Bennett International Group; Rebecca Brewster, president and COO, American Transportation Research Institute; Joyce Brenny, president, Brenny Transportation/Brenny Specialized; Rochelle Bartholomew, CEO, CalArk International; Kari Rihm, president, Rihm Kenworth; Ramona Hood, vice president of operations, planning and strategy, FedEx Custom Critical; Daphne Jefferson, former deputy administrator at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and Angela Eliacostas, founder and CEO, AGT Global Logistics.
“When I first started my career, there were very few women in the trucking industry let alone in leadership positions,” said Kary Schaefer, general manager, marketing and strategy, Freightliner Trucks and Detroit Components. “It’s amazing to see how the industry has changed and women are now a driving force in all areas of trucking. Freightliner is proud to sponsor this award and recognize those women who are not only making a difference in their own roles but for all women in the trucking profession.”
Nominations will be accepted through August 1 at .
The winner will be announced at the WIT Accelerate! Conference & Expo held in Dallas September 30-October 2.
Each finalist will be asked to serve as a panelist for the “Influential Women in Trucking” panel discussion. Those who nominate a candidate need to ask the nominee to save the date for this event if she is named a finalist.
Women In Trucking Association, Inc. 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. Membership is not limited to women, as 17 percent of its members are men who support the mission.
Group pushes FMCSA for rulemaking before changing crash preventability program
WASHINGTON — A coalition of 10 trucking-related organizations has petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for a rulemaking if the agency intends to change how it analyzes and publishes data on motor carrier crashes.
The petition was filed on June 14, 2019, by the Motor Carrier Regulatory Reform (MCRR) coalition, which includes organizations representing more than 10,000 carriers, shippers and brokers.
David Gee, chairman of Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation (ASECTT) said FMCSA officials have indicated that they plan to make permanent as a matter of enforcement policy its crash preventability pilot program, the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program, which has been in place for nearly two years.
As of the end of the first quarter this year, carriers had submitted nearly 11,000 requests for crash preventability determinations under FMCSA’s narrowly defined program since August 2017. However, Gee said the program has not been subject to a formal rulemaking process.
On its website, the FMCSA said the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program is expected to last a minimum of 24 months.
The agency plans to make the program permanent, Transportation Elaine Chao said during an appearance at the Mid-American Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, in March.
“As you know, this program is a response to industry concerns that crashes caused by factors outside of a driver’s control are still shown on the driver’s record,” Chao said. “Based on positive feedback from industry stakeholders, the Department will propose to make this demonstration program permanent. And, the Department of Transportation will propose to add even more of these scenarios for prevention reviews.”
The demonstration program got its impetus after motor carriers complained that there was no method in place to determine who was at fault for accidents involving big rigs, and drivers were getting penalized on their CSA scores and motor vehicle records, and carriers were getting penalized on their CSA scores.
In its explanation of the program on its website, the FMCSA said studies show that crash involvement is a strong indicator of future crash risk.
“The Crash Preventability Demonstration Program allows FMCSA to gather data to examine the feasibility, costs, and benefits of making crash preventability determinations on certain crash types,” the website says. “FMCSA will use the information from the program to evaluate if these preventability determinations improve the Agency’s ability to identify the highest-risk motor carriers.”
Drivers and carriers alike believe that about 75 percent of the crashes involving tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles are the fault of the driver of the passenger vehicle.
In its petition, the MCRR coalition argued that FMCSA must conduct a rulemaking before adopting any permanent program to call balls and strikes on crashes.
Publication of preventability metrics would, among other things, constitute a violation of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and federal executive orders intended to protect the industry against bureaucratic overreach in the name of guidance, the coalition told the agency.
The petition said a key problem with FMCSA’s approach is that the term “preventability” is an artificial construct that does not equate to carrier fault, much less to a systemic violation of safety regulations.
The MCRR coalition argues that the publication of preventability data and metrics would result in increased insurance rates and lost business by carriers that the FMCSA acknowledges are fit to operate and, therefore, fit for shippers and brokers to use.
The subjectivity of the preventability standard and its lack of due process suggest that adopting the trial program as policy guidance would hurt the industry, especially small carriers, the petition said.
The Motor Carrier Regulatory Reform coalition is an affiliation of organizations that frequently weigh in with FMCSA and Congress to promote reasonable regulation and enforcement affecting motor carriers and their business partners. The coalition membership varies slightly depending on the particular issue.
For purposes of the crash preventability rulemaking petition the coalition includes the Air and Expedited Motor Carriers Association, the Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation, the American Home Furnishings Alliance/Specialized Furniture Carriers, Apex Capital Corp., the Auto Haulers Association of America, the Newsal Association of Small Trucking Companies, the Tennessee Motor Coach Association, The Expedite Alliance of North America, the Transportation & Logistics Council, and the Transportation Loss Prevention & Security Association.