TT_051519_AllPages

truckerrob

Vol. 32, No. 10

www.thetrucker.com May 15-31, 2019

Flatbed carrier Falcon Transport shuts down suddenly,

second flatbed carrier Williams Trucking LLC follows suit

The Trucker file photo

Operation Safe Driving

Law enforcement personnel will

be on the lookout for drivers

engaging in dangerous driving

behaviors July 14-20 for the

annual Commercial Vehicle Safety

Alliance Operation Safe Driver

Week. Drivers engaged in unsafe

driving will be pulled over by law

enforcement and may be issued a

warning and/or citation. This year’s

focus is on speeding.

Page 8

Navigating the news

J.B. Hunt celebration..............3

Infrastructure talks..................4

Florida toll roads.....................5

Work zone safety....................6

California fuel flap...................9

Minnesota cell ban...............11

Women to Watch..................13

At the Truckstop...................14

Tonnage drops off.................19

Fleet Focus...........................21

Future of electric...................25

Lane Departures...................27

Courtesy: PGT TRUCKING

Never say never

Some of Justin Shea’s earliest

memories are of riding around with

his father in an old cabover a few

days a week. He swore he’d never

get involved in trucking, [but] life

has a few twists and turns. Indeed.

Now here he is working for PGT

Trucking, the same company his

dad has driven for going on 30

years.

Page 27

Klint Lowry

klint.lowry@thetrucker.com

When flatbed truckload carrier Falcon

Transport suddenly went out of business April

27 without any explanation or prior warning

to employees, it left people around the nation

puzzled. After all, with nearly 600 employees,

Falcon was a pretty big company. It isn’t every

day that a carrier of that size simply shutters its

doors.

If people who follow the trucking industry

hadn’t still been waiting for answers to what

happened with Falcon, there may have been

scant notice four days later when small flatbed

carrier Williams Trucking LLC folded promptly

in a manner that seemed to echo the closure at

Falcon Transport.

At around 8 p.m. Eastern Time April 27,

Falcon employees received email and text messages

from Falcon Transport’s Director of Operations

Jayson Calhoun stating:

“We regret to inform you that Falcon Transport

is not able to continue operations and will

be shutting down effective today. Please stop

any work you are doing for the company effective

immediately. You are not expected to return

to work. Please be on the lookout for further

information we will be sending regarding this

situation.”

According to multiple reports, many employees

commented on social media that they

did not receive their pay Friday, and that it had

been explained that there had been a technical

issue that would soon be fixed.

Some drivers said their fuel cards had been

deactivated after the message went out, and

there were reports of drivers being stranded

around the country, along with offers on social

media to help get them home. Other now-former

employees warned that the company’s DOT

See Falcon on p7 m

800-444-5791

www.ooida.com

Courtesy: WFMJ

Nearly 600 employees for flatbed carrier Falcon Transport suddenly found themselves out of a job

April 27, when the company sent out a memo informing them that the company was out of business,

effective immediately.


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Nation May 15-31, 2019 • 3

Courtesy: J.B. HUNT TRANSPORT SERVICES

Left to right, J.B. Hunt Chief Commercial Officer Shelley Simpson; President and CEO

John Roberts and Senior Vice President of Safety Greer Woodruff hand out high-fives to

Million Mile drivers during the Walk of Fame event at corporate headquarters in Lowell,

Arkansas.

J.B. Hunt holds its Million Mile fete

complete with high-fives from execs

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

LOWELL, Ark. — J.B. Hunt Transport

Services held its annual Million Mile Celebration

event April 23 at its company headquarters

in Lowell, Arkansas, to recognize

53 drivers who recently surpassed 2, 3 and 4

million safe miles driven in their career with

the company.

J.B. Hunt awarded $750,000 in safe driver

bonuses, with each driver earning an amount

based on their total miles achieved.

“Drivers like these are the big reason why

J.B. Hunt is one of the safest fleets on the

road today,” said Craig Harper, executive

vice president and chief operations officer of

J.B. Hunt. “If you traveled to the moon and

back twice, you’d still be short of 1 million

miles. To take that level of precision and caution

in what you do each day is really amazing,

and the whole company is grateful for

their dedication.”

The elite group of drivers are based in a

variety of locations throughout the country,

representing 19 states from coast to coast. In

addition to an honorary lunch and visit with

company leadership, drivers participated

in J.B. Hunt’s Million Mile Walk of Fame,

a long-standing tradition where employees

line four flights of stairs to congratulate the

drivers with applause and high-fives. Each

driver also received additional recognition

on J.B. Hunt’s Million Mile Wall, which lists

the more than 3,600 J.B. Hunt drivers who

have achieved 1 million-plus safe miles.

The Million Mile event is one of the highest

honors for J.B. Hunt drivers and their

families.

The company implemented the Million

Mile program in 1996 and has hosted the

ceremony since 2001.

J.B. Hunt holds events throughout the

country each quarter to recognize drivers

who achieve one million safe miles.

In total, the company has awarded more

than $28 million in safe driver bonuses

throughout the program’s history.

“J.B. Hunt is committed to its drivers and

recruits the top talent in the industry, putting

thousands of skilled and well-trained drivers

on the road each year,” Harper said. 8


4 • May 15-31, 2019 Nation

THETRUCKER.COM

Trump, congressional Democrats agree: $2 trillion needed

for infrastructure, but no consensus on where to find funds

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — President Donald

Trump and Democratic congressional leaders

agreed late last month to work together

on a $2 trillion infrastructure package but put

off for later the difficult question of how to

pay for it.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

said there was “goodwill in the meeting,” a

marked departure from the last meeting between

Trump, Schumer and House Speaker

Nancy Pelosi, which ended with Trump

walking out in a huff. Schumer said the two

sides agreed that infrastructure investments

create jobs and make the United States more

competitive economically with the rest of the

world.

Most importantly, Schumer said, “we

agreed on a number.”

“Originally, we had started a little lower,”

Schumer said. “Even the president was eager

to push it up to $2 trillion, and that is a very

good thing.”

Pelosi added, “We did come to one agreement:

that the agreement would be big and

bold.”

Pelosi and congressional Democrats had

asked for the meeting with Trump to discuss

launching an ambitious building program

that’s a top priority for the party and has been

a rare area of potential bipartisan accord with

Republicans. Trump, too, has long promised

a big infrastructure plan.

The dozen Democratic lawmakers in the

meeting with the president called it a constructive

start. They said Trump agreed that infrastructure

investments should go beyond roads

and bridges and include broadband, water systems

and enhancements to the electrical grid.

Democrats also put the onus on Trump to

come up with a funding source and said they

would meet again in three weeks, when the

president will present his ideas. The nation’s

top business groups and labor unions support

increasing the federal gasoline tax, currently

18.3 cents a gallon. It was last raised in 1993.

Infrastructure is seen as the one issue with

the best chance for the two sides to work together

this Congress — and even that isn’t

given good odds for a fruitful ending.

The meeting played out against the backdrop

of high tensions over escalating Democratic

investigations following the release of

special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into

Russian meddling. Lawmakers and the Republican

president also have on eye on the

2020 elections, meaning every provision of

an infrastructure package — including how

to pay for it — will be made with that in

mind.

Still, advocates for an infrastructure package

boost see a narrow window for action.

“I think a deal can be had if everybody

is willing to put their battle-axes away for

The dozen Democratic lawmakers in

the meeting with the president called

it a constructive start. They said Trump

agreed that infrastructure investments

should go beyond roads and bridges

and include broadband, water systems,

enhancements to the electrical grid.

Associated Press: EVAN VUCCI

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., surrounded by House Speaker Nancy

Pelosi and other congressional Democrats, talks with reporters after meeting with President

Donald Trump about infrastructure at the White House on April 30.

a period,” said former Republican Rep. Bill

Shuster of Pennsylvania, who served as

chairman of the House’s transportation committee

for six years.

A compromise could offer political benefits

to both sides. Trump’s re-election prospects

are tied to a strong economy that would

get another boost from new road and bridge

projects. House Democrats have passed an

array of bills that have gone nowhere in the

GOP-controlled Senate.

Pelosi has dozens of new Democratic

House members who won in competitive districts,

said Shuster, and “they need to be able

to go home next year and say they’ve accomplished

something.”

But the two sides also have some competing

priorities that will complicate matters.

The president and Republican leaders want

to speed up the permitting process for building

energy and transportation projects and

that’s not on most Democratic lawmakers’

to-do lists. Democrats are looking for ways

to pay for greater infrastructure spending

without adding to the national debt, and that

could mean higher fuel taxes.

Committees in both chambers of Congress

have started to lay the groundwork for an infrastructure

bill through hearings, with Democratic

lawmakers hoping to have legislation

ready for consideration by June or July.

The infrastructure issue has aligned the

nation’s top business groups and unions, a

rarity in Washington. The U.S. Chamber of

Commerce has proposed increasing the federal

fuel tax 5 cents a year for five years, then

allowing it to increase with inflation.

So far this year, Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio

and Virginia have enacted gas tax increases,

although Virginia’s only applies to a portion

of the state. Some 30 states have done so

since 2013. 8

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The Trucker

USPS 972

Volume 32, Number 10

May 15-31, 2019

The Trucker is a semi-monthly, national newspaper for the

trucking industry, published by Trucker Publications Inc. at

1123 S. University, Suite 320

Little Rock, AR 72204-1610

Trucking Division Senior Vice President

David Compton

davidc@targetmediapartners.com

Vice President / Publisher

Ed Leader

edl@thetrucker.com

Trucking Division General Manager

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Editor

Lyndon Finney

editor@thetrucker.com

Assistant Editor

Dorothy Cox

dlcox@thetrucker.com

Associate Editor

Klint Lowry

klint.lowry@thetrucker.com

Production Manager

Rob Nelson

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Graphic Artist

Christie McCluer

christie.mccluer@thetrucker.com

Special Correspondent

Cliff Abbott

cliffa@thetrucker.com

National Marketing Consultants

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John Hicks

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Greg McClendon

gregmc@targetmediapartners.com

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THETRUCKER.COM

Nation May 15-31, 2019 • 5

Despite environmental concerns, Florida lawmakers pass bill to create 3 new toll roads

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Florida is on

the fast track to building three new major

toll highways in mostly rural areas under a

bill sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis by the state

House on earlier this month despite concerns

over their potential negative impact

on the environment.

The bill, passed on a 76-36 vote, creates

task forces to study the potential routes

and commits tens of millions of dollars

for eventual construction of the highways.

Supporters say the roads will spur rural job

growth, relieve congestion on Interstate 75

and Interstate 4 — the main tourist road to

Walt Disney World and other Orlando theme

parks — and create new hurricane evacuation

routes.

Republican Rep. Jay Trumbull of Panama

City, the chief House sponsor, invoked

the interstate highway system’s creation by

President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s

and the building of Florida’s Turnpike as

examples of essential and economically

successful projects.

“Could you imagine today if you were

driving through Florida without the turnpike

system?” Trumbull said. “We have the

ability today to push our state forward.”

One highway would connect Collier

County in the southwest to Lakeland, located

between Tampa and Orlando. Another

would extend the Suncoast Parkway

from Citrus County to Jefferson County at

the Georgia border. The third would extend

from the north end of the Florida Turnpike

to the Suncoast Parkway.

All would be toll roads. Construction

would begin before Dec. 31, 2022, with a

goal of opening all three highways to traffic

by Dec. 31, 2030. The task forces would

select the exact routes.

Opponents said a financial commitment

to the roads should await studies on whether

they will harm wetlands and wildlife and

spur urban sprawl. They also said the bill

amounts to a handout to the highway construction

industry.

“The bill before us today is the most

massive expansion of our highway system

since the 1950s. Let’s not green-light

a project without having the proper facts,”

said Rep. Bobby DuBose, a Fort Lauderdale

Democrat. “We are basically handing over a

blank check.”

The legislation, however, was a top priority

of Senate President Bill Galvano, a

Bradenton Republican, and was destined to

pass from the beginning of the 60-day legislative

session. Galvano said the bill requires

the task forces to evaluate wildlife crossing

design features that would protect endangered

Florida panthers and other habitat, as

well as measures that would safeguard water

quality and agricultural land use.

“These new infrastructure corridors will

help Florida strategically plan for future

population growth, revitalize rural communities,

and enhance public safety, while at

the same time protecting Florida’s unique

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natural resources and habitats,” Galvano

said in a statement.

That did not sit well with groups who say

the money could be better spent on greater

needs.

“This is why Floridians are so cynical

about government,” said Jonathan Webber,

deputy director of Florida Conservation

Voters. “Just imagine the amount of

good we could do if this money was spent

on cleaning our water, building more parks,

or finding solutions to the growing climate

crisis.” 8

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6 • May 15-31, 2019 Nation

THETRUCKER.COM

Study shows drivers distracted by smartphone

29 times more likely to be in work-zone wreck

©2019 FOTOSEARCH

With the average text taking approximately

five seconds to read, that’s at least a football

field’s worth of driver inattention.

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A vehicle traveling at

55 mph covers a distance greater than a football

field in five seconds. With the average

text taking approximately five seconds to read,

that’s at least a football field’s worth of driver

inattention.

Texting while driving is dangerous, and

possibly even fatal, especially in a highway

work zone.

Now, researchers at the University of Missouri

say drivers not paying attention — such

as answering a phone call, a text message or

being distracted by a passenger — for any

length of time are 29 times more likely to be

involved in a collision or near-collision in a

highway work zone.

The results from this study could provide

recommendations on “behavioral countermeasures”

to state transportation agencies and the

Federal Highway Administration, which are

implementing countermeasures to decrease injuries

and fatalities in highway work zones.

These recommendations include better

public education, laws to ban texting and

driving, and policies that deter driver distractions.

The results could also be used when developing

new technology, such as driverless

vehicles.

“Prior to our study, researchers analyzed

data on work zone safety by looking at one

checkbox among 70-80 different fields on a

police officer’s crash report to see if the crash

occurred inside a work zone,” said Praveen

Edara, a professor of civil and environmental

engineering at the MU College of Engineering.

“Unfortunately, crash reports do not include

detailed information about driver behavior

prior to a crash. What’s unique about our research

project is that we used naturalistic driving

study data that provides information about

how driver, vehicle, roadway and environmental

factors contribute to a crash. In other words,

we reconstructed a driver’s actions and the surrounding

environment prior to the crash from a

firsthand account.”

The study uses data from the Transportation

Research Board’s second Strategic Highway

Research Program’s Naturalistic Driving Study.

During 2006 – 2015, researchers collected data

from more than 3,000 drivers traveling more than

50 million miles. With this information, researchers

can now see a detailed firsthand account of a

driver’s interaction with the vehicle, roadway and

surrounding environment. Of the seven current

Federal Highway Administration funded projects

using this data, only MU is using the data to specifically

look at highway work zones.

“Prior to this study, we knew that narrow

lanes in work zones are less safe than wider

lanes and similarly, speeding in work zones

is correlated with injury severity,” Edara said.

“With this unique data set, it also allows us to

see the responsibility the driver has in increasing

work zone safety.”

The study, “Risk Factors in Work Zone

Safety Events: A Naturalistic Driving Study

Analysis,” was published in the National Academies

of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s

Transportation Research Record: Journal of the

Transportation Research Board. 8

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b Falcon from page 1 b

number was no longer valid, so it was illegal

for Falcon’s trucks to be out on the road.

Drivers were said to have taken the message

at its word and stopped working as soon as

they could, leaving their trucks or trailers at

the first place they could and going home.

It was in inglorious end for a company

that had been in existence for more than a

century. The company website was still up

and running more than a week later, including

a scrolling banner calling for new drivers.

According to the website, Falcon, based

in Youngstown, Ohio, was “founded in 1903

with a single horse and wagon.” Falcon was

family-owned and operated until it was purchased

by the private equity firm Counter-

Point Capital Partners, based out of Los Angeles,

in 2017.

Much of the early speculation for the

cause of the company’s demise was that it

could have had something to do with the

closing of General Motors’ Lordstown Assembly

plant, near Youngstown, in March.

A great deal of Falcon’s business had been

with the automotive industry. The Lordstown

Assembly plant had been a major client and

employees speculated that the company had

tried but had been unable to find enough

loads to replace the lost revenue.

The dust was still settling from Falcon

Transport’s sudden collapse four days later,

on May 1, when Dothan, Alabama-based

flatbed carrier Williams Trucking, LLC suddenly

announced to its workers that the company

is going out of business and that they

should stop what they’re doing and bring

their trucks and trailers back to the terminal.

According to reports by Dothan-area TV

stations, employees received a memo timestamped

6:14 a.m. Central Time telling them

that the company was closing and drivers

were to return to company terminal immediately.

The memo read, in part:

“…Clean all the stuff of out your truck

and have someone pick you up. As long as

everthing [sic] goes smooth (all paperwork

turned in, and all your equipment turned in,

all your equipment there, and no issues) you

will be paid for all your miles. We are closing

down…”

Nation May 15-31, 2019 • 7

Local ABC-TV affiliate station WDHN

aired part of a conversation with an unnamed

driver who said he’d been with the company

nearly seven years. He was among those already

on the road when he got the memo.

“Got that message and listened to it, and

I had to pull over and make sure what I was

listening to,” the driver said.

The driver went on to say that three weeks

earlier, when an office employee suddenly

quit, a fellow employee had asked management

whether there was any danger that the

company may be closing and had been told

“absolutely not.”

Like Falcon, Williams Trucking began

as a small family business. According to the

company website, John and Wanda Knopp

started the business with a single truck in

1994. The company website said Williams

had 20 company trucks and employed another

14 owner-operators.

Several now-former Falcon Transport

employees have joined in a class-action suit

seeking 60 days of pay and Employee Retirement

Income Security Act benefits, under the

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification,

or WARN, Act, which requires employers

to gives employees 60 days’ notice before

closings or mass layoffs.

Such recourse may not be available for

former Williams employees. The WARN Act

only applies to companies with 100 or more

employees. A government filing stated the

company had 48 drivers in its employ. 8

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8 • May 15-31, 2019 Nation

CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week

set July 14-20 with focus on speeding

THETRUCKER.COM

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

GREENBELT, Md. — Law enforcement

personnel will be on the lookout for drivers engaging

in dangerous driver behaviors July 14-20

for the annual Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance

(CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week. Drivers

engaged in unsafe driving behaviors will be

pulled over by law enforcement and may be issued

a warning and/or citation.

The Operation Safe Driver Program was created

to help to reduce the number of crashes,

deaths and injuries involving large trucks, buses

and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors.

The program is sponsored by CVSA, in

partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety

administration (FMCSA) and with support from

industry and transportation safety organizations.

The initiative aims to help improve the behavior

of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner

— either in or around commercial motor vehicles

— through educational and traffic enforcement

strategies to address individuals exhibiting highrisk

driving behaviors.

A press release issued by CVSA announcing

this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week cited the

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s

(NHTSA) 2015 Traffic Safety Facts report,

which found that drivers’ actions contribute to

94% of all traffic crashes, with speeding being

one of the behaviors most responsible for traffic

crashes.

The CVSA also cited other statistics regarding

the dangers of speeding:

• In 2017, speeding was a contributing factor

in 9,717, or 26%, of all traffic fatalities, according

to NHTSA data.

•According to the Insurance Institute for

Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute,

speeding has been a factor in more than a quarter

of crash deaths since 2008.

•According to FMCSA’s 2016 Large Truck

and Bus Facts, speeding was the most frequent

driver-related crash factor for drivers of commercial

motor vehicles and passenger vehicles.

•During last year’s Operation Safe Driver

Week, 16,909 passenger vehicle drivers and

1,908 commercial motor vehicle drivers were issued

citations for speeding. In addition, 17 commercial

motor vehicle drivers and 714 passenger

vehicle drivers were cited for driving too fast for

the conditions.

For these reasons, CVSA selected speeding as

the emphasis area for this year’s Operation Safe

Driver Week, and law enforcement jurisdictions

throughout North America will be endorsing,

promoting and supporting the slogan “Late won’t

kill you, speeding will.”

“For more than two decades, speeding has

been involved in nearly one-third of all motor vehicle

fatalities,” said CVSA President Chief Jay

Thompson with the Arkansas Highway Police.

“That is unacceptable, especially because it’s preventable.

We will continue to educate the public

on the dangers of speeding and we will identify

individuals who are speeding on our roadways

and may issue citations as a deterrent to future

speeding tendencies and to affect driver behavior.”

In addition to the emphasis on speeding, law

enforcement personnel will be tracking other

dangerous driver behaviors throughout Operation

Safe Driver Week, such as distracted driving, texting,

failure to use a seatbelt, following too closely,

improper lane change, reckless or aggressive

The Trucker file photo

Law enforcement officers around the country will have their eyes out for lead foots during this

year’s CVSA Operation Safe Driver Week.

driving, failure to obey traffic control devices,

evidence of drunk or drugged driving, etc.

A 2014 study titled “Do Traffic Tickets Reduce

Motor Vehicle Accidents? Evidence from a

Natural Experiment,” investigated whether traffic

violation enforcement actually reduces the number

of motor vehicle crashes. The study’s author

used one of the best-known enforcement programs,

Click It or Ticket, which focuses on mandating

seat belt use and ticketing violators. The

study found that the Click It or Ticket campaign

decreased motor vehicle crashes by roughly 11

percent and found that a 1 percent increase in

citations issued led to a 0.28 percent decline in

motor vehicle crashes. The ticketing campaign

also reduced the number of nonfatal injuries from

motor vehicle crashes.

“As unpopular as traffic citations are among

drivers, we know that driver behavior does respond

to contacts with law enforcement and

warnings and citations,” Thompson said. “Roadway

safety is our top priority and this traffic enforcement

initiative supports our goal of making

sure everyone driving on our roadways is doing

so safely.”

To find out about Operation Safe Driver Week

enforcement events going on in a given area,

contact the agency or department responsible

for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety

within that jurisdiction. 8

McReynolds wins WIT’s Distinguished Woman in Logistics award

Courtesy: ARCBEST CORP.

Judy McReynolds has been in the logistics

and transportation industry for 28 years,

including 21 at ArcBest. In 2010, she was

named to the position of president and CEO.

She was elected chairman of the board in

2016.

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

PLOVER, Wis. — The Women In Trucking

Association (WIT) has named Judy R.

McReynolds, chairman, president and chief executive

officer of ArcBest, as the winner of the

fifth annual Women In Trucking Association’s

Distinguished Woman in Logistics Award.

The announcement was made during the

Transportation Intermediaries Association

(TIA) 2019 “Capital Ideas” Conference & Exhibition

in Orlando, Florida. McReynolds was

chosen from among five finalists for the award.

Other finalists were Lindsey Graves, chief operating

officer, Sunset Transportation; Michelle

Halkerston, president, CEO and owner, Hassett

Express; Sarah Ruffcorn, chief operations officer,

Trinity Logistics; and Erin Van Zeeland,

group senior vice president and general manager

of logistics services, Schneider.

McReynolds has been in the logistics and

transportation industry for 28 years, including

21 at ArcBest. In 2010, she was named to the

position of president and CEO during a time

when the industry and economy were recovering

from the Great Recession. She took the

company from a net loss of $127.5 million in

2009 to reporting an adjusted net income of

$103 million as of year-end 2018. During her

tenure, ArcBest revenue has increased more

than 110% and employment has increased

26%. In 2016, McReynolds was elected as

chairman of the board of ArcBest Corp.

“Early on in my career, I decided I wasn’t

going to make gender an issue or allow other

people to do so. When I was named president

and CEO in 2010, I was one of very few

women in that role in the logistics industry.

Our industry traditionally has a lot of male

representation, although there is clearly a

recent trend toward more female representation,”

McReynolds said. “At ArcBest, we believe

in promoting the best person for every

role. As long as companies are focused on

putting the best people in leadership, more of

our industry’s leaders will be women.”

McReynolds serves on numerous outside

boards, including OG&E Energy Corp.,

First Bank Corp., First National Bank of Fort

Smith and the Transportation Industry Council

of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

She also serves on the dean’s executive advisory

board of the Sam M. Walton College

of Business at the University of Arkansas,

the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation Board,

as well as the University of Arkansas Fort

Smith Foundation Board, of which she is a

former chair. 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.

“Judy McReynolds has been a visible advocate

for women in the trucking industry and we

are so proud to honor her with this year’s ‘Distinguished

Woman in Logistics Award,’” said

Ellen Voie, president and CEO of WIT. “She

has embraced diversity and her company’s

performance is evidence of the results. We’ve

been tracking ArcBest’s success through our

annual WIT index of publicly traded companies,

and Judy and her team have been the

leader in promoting women in both leadership

roles and board seats, and we applaud her accomplishments.”

The Distinguished Woman in Logistics

Award was established to promote the achievements

of women employed in the North American

transportation industry. 8


THETRUCKER.COM

Nation May 15-31, 2019 • 9

California’s governor seeks explanation for state’s relatively high fuel prices

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s

governor wants to know why gas prices are

higher in his state than in the rest of the

country, blaming potential “inappropriate

industry practices” rather than the state’s

higher taxes and tougher environmental

regulations.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom asked

the California Energy Commission for an

analysis of the state’s gas prices by May

15. California drivers were paying an average

of $4.03 per gallon April 30, or $1.18

more than the national average, according

to AAA.

The same differential can be seen with

diesel prices. On Monday, the U.S. Energy

Information Administration’s weekly roundup

of fuel prices showed the price of diesel

in California to be about 86 cents more expensive

than the national average.

Higher taxes, along with a combination

of tougher gas standards and environmental

regulations, normally account for about

70 cents of that difference, said Gordon

Schremp, a senior fuels specialist with the

California Energy Commission. But the rest

is a mystery.

In 2017, the state’s Petroleum Market

Advisory Committee found that California

has had “a continuous and significant unexplained

differential compared to the rest

of the country” since February 2015. That

difference has cost Californians more than

$17 billion, said Severin Borenstein, faculty

director at the Energy Institute at the University

of California, Berkeley’s business

school.

In a letter to energy commission chairman

David Hochschild, Newsom defended

the state’s environmental standards, accusing

critics of using the high prices to “undermine

our clean air and safety standards.”

“Independent analysis suggests that an

unaccounted-for price differential exists in

California’s gas prices and that this price

Courtesy: KPBS

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM

differential may stem in part from inappropriate

industry practices,” Newsom wrote.

The commission agreed to do the price

analysis but declined further comment.

Western States Petroleum Association

President Catherine Reheis-Boyd noted that

California’s gas prices have been scrutinized

in dozens of government inquiries, “all of

which concluded the dynamics of supply

and demand are responsible for movements

in the price of gasoline and diesel fuel.”

Spiking gas prices have caused headaches

for California policymakers since the

Legislature approved a 12-cent gas tax increase

in 2016.

Last year, voters recalled a Democratic

state senator who voted for the increase and

replaced him with a Republican. But a statewide

ballot initiative to repeal the higher tax

failed with more than 56 percent of the vote.

As gas and diesel prices kept climbing,

19 state lawmakers in January asked Attorney

General Xavier Becerra to investigate

the “unexplained surcharge.”

“This mystery surcharge happens between

the refinery and retail purchase by

the consumer,” Democratic Assemblyman

Marc Levine said. “This is a punitive, abusive

practice that Californians are paying.”

But it’s unclear if Becerra’s office took

any action. Representatives from his office on

Tuesday would not confirm or deny an investigation.

8

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10 • May 15-31, 2019 Nation

THETRUCKER.COM

THE TRUCKER

News Channel

Join Dave Compton and Jessica Rose every week as they

bring you the only weekly news show just for Truckers.

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THETRUCKER.COM

Nation May 15-31, 2019 • 11

Minnesota governor signs bill banning handheld cellphone use while driving

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Motorists will be required

to use hands-free devices to talk on the

phone while driving on Minnesota roads starting

Aug. 1 under a bill that Gov. Tim Walz signed

last month intended to crack down on the growing

problem of distracted driving.

Walz acknowledged dozens of people surrounding

him at the ceremony who held pictures

of loved ones they lost in crashes caused by distracted

drivers. He said he knows their pain will

never leave but that lives will be saved because

of their years of sharing heartbreaking stories to

pass the law. Minnesota is joining 16 other states

and the District of Columbia with similar laws.

“We will reduce deaths,” Walz said. “Sons

will come home. Mothers will come home. Our

children and grandchildren will come home because

of the work that you did.”

The new law marks an important bipartisan

success for the Democratic governor and

a Legislature divided between a Democraticcontrolled

House and Republican-controlled

Senate. More diplomacy will be critical for resolving

the big partisan differences that remain

on taxes and spending if lawmakers are going to

complete their work by their May 20 deadline.

Vijay Dixit, of Eden Prairie, whose daughter,

Shreya, died in a crash caused by a distracted

driver in 2007, was there to see 12 years of his

campaigning become law.

“I hope that distracted driving, which was a

tongue-twister in 2007, will disappear from the

face of this Earth over the next few years that we

have this law in place,” he said.

The chief author in the House, Democrat

Frank Hornstein, of Minneapolis, said the “courage,

perseverance and dignity” of the survivors

changed hearts and minds at the Capitol. The

converts included the chief Senate author, Republican

Scott Newman, of Hutchinson, who said

he didn’t support the proposal four years ago but

came to realize after hearing the families’ stories

that he was in a position to make a difference.

The law bars motorists from holding and using

cellphones or other wireless devices while

driving. Built-in Bluetooth systems meet the legal

requirements that systems be voice-activated,

but so do cheap hands-free mounts sold by many

stores and online retailers. There’s an exception

for emergency calls. Drivers can still use GPS

navigation apps, stream music and listen to podcasts

if they’re voice activated or if they start

them up while they’re still parked.

The penalty for a first offense will be a $50

fine, rising to $275 for additional violations.

Minnesota already bans texting and emailing

while driving.

Separate legislation has already passed the

Senate to stiffen existing penalties for texting

while driving. That bill would also treat drivers

who kill or injure someone while texting

or talking on a non-hands-free phone more like

drunken drivers, with felony-level penalties. But

the measure is still in committee in the House,

where it’s unclear if it will pass this year.

According to the Department of Public

Safety, at least 27 of Minnesota’s approximately

380 traffic deaths last year were related to

distractions of all kinds, and officials consider

cellphones the fastest-growing distraction. Col.

Matt Langer, chief of the State Patrol, said the

real toll from distracted driving is likely higher.

Langer called on Minnesotans to start complying

with the law now rather than waiting for

it to take effect Aug. 1. The department will

now launch a public education campaign using

$700,000 in federal funds so that all Minnesota

drivers learn what they need to do to comply

with the law. 8

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Perspective May

15-31, 2019 • 12

Now more than ever it is

important to manage your

health; job may depend on it

Cliff Abbott

cliffa@thetrucker.com

“Touch your toes, turn your head and

cough, pee in the cup.” Many experienced

drivers can remember when obtaining or renewing

a medical certification was a minor

biannual inconvenience. In recent years,

however, regulations have tightened.

Passing the DOT medical exam isn’t as

easy as it once was. To begin with, medical

examiners now must be registered with

the government. The Federal Motor Carrier

Safety Administration maintains a National

Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

Unless your family doctor is listed in the

National Registry, you may have to go elsewhere

for your physical exam.

That doesn’t mean your family doctor or

primary care physician doesn’t play a role,

however. Increasingly, the FMCSA is interested

in health conditions that could impact

driving and making sure each driver is properly

treated. Your regular doctor may very

well need to communicate or provide documentation

to your physical examiner to validate

that you are complying with treatment

and that treatment is effective.

One of the oldest issues is hypertension,

or common high blood pressure. Age, weight

gain, stress and smoking all contribute to

hypertension problems. In some cases, the

driver can reverse, or at least delay, blood

pressure issues with weight loss and quitting

smoking programs. For most, however, the

problem only gets worse with time.

Fortunately, many cases of high blood

pressure can be addressed with an inexpensive,

daily pill. Unfortunately, the problem

must be diagnosed and a prescription written,

and then the driver must keep up with

prescription refills and periodic doctor visits.

Many don’t, choosing to ignore the issue

until they can’t pass the next DOT physical

exam. That’s dangerous, and dumb. Once the

driver flunks the exam or is granted a shortterm

expiration date, it may take more than

simply restarting the medication to get certified

for a year. The examiner may want to

see data that you’re following doctor’s orders

and that the medication is working over a period

of time.

Another medical condition that stops a

driver’s career quicker than a flat steer tire

is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is

another condition that gets worse with age,

weight gain and smoking. Those who suffer

from OSA may not even realize a problem

exists as their sleep is frequently interrupted

by periods of not breathing. The sufferer may

or may not remember waking up gasping for

air, but the result is poor quality sleep and

low blood oxygenation that leaves the driver

tired for the next driving shift.

See Safety on p18 m

Trip shows importance of trucking to cruise ship industry

Lyndon Finney

editor@thetrucker.com

Eye on

Trucking

Cleaning out the notebook while wondering

when it’s going to stop raining every week …

* * *

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I had

the privilege of taking a weeklong cruise on the

Carnival Dream out of New Orleans.

The ship docked at 7 a.m. May 5.

It was scheduled to leave for its final voyage

out of New Orleans at 4 p.m. that afternoon

(the Dream is being relocated to a new home

port in Galveston, Texas, and will make shorter

trips in the Caribbean.

You only have to be around a ship of that

magnitude to appreciate the role trucking plays

in that transition from inbound to outbound.

At 15 decks high and one thousand feet

long, the Dream would be the largest building

in most American cities and towns.

On a cruise, its population is larger than

most of those cities and towns.

It has a capacity of 3,646 guests and operates

with a crew of 1,367, most of whom are

working under a six-month contract with Carnival.

The ship serves over 14,000 meals a day.

Imagine the tons of meat, fruit and veggies

and paper goods that have to be loaded at the

home port, because we didn’t see any tractortrailers

on the docks at ports in Jamaica, the

Cayman Islands and Cozumel.

Bad, rough roads and highways cause

all sorts of physical harm. Your body is

shaken and bounced, your nerves are on

edge, and you are exhausted. And don’t

get me started on the way roadwork is set

up or just trying not to run over stupid car

drivers.

— Kathy Blailock Williamson

How does all that food get to the home

dock?

Mostly in big rigs, which are at the pier

when the ship docks and continue to unload

well up into the day.

In fact, as we drove away from the pier,

there were several tractor-trailers queued up

on a road leading to the port area.

I’m sure those 3.600 guests on our ship

took for granted how those goods and supplies

got to the ship.

We didn’t.

* * *

From time to time, you see articles in our

paper and on our website about Highway

Angels (Truckload Carriers Association) and

Highway Heroes (Goodyear Tire and Rubber

Co.).

Once in a while, we get a nomination from

a reader, in this case of former professional

truck driver Veronica Fiorina, who writes:

“On March 11, trucker Johnnie Gillins,

Jr., an owner-operator contracted to CFI, was

driving his truck on Interstate 4 heading east

from Tampa, Florida, on the way home to

Lakeland, Florida. He observed the driving of

a day cab swerving over the white lines into

other traffic, then returning to his lane.

“This was happening continually. He did

manage to write down the transport’s name

and truck number as well as the truck license.

“As the driver neared Exit 33, he negotiated

the off ramp at an extremely high rate of

speed and swerved to the left and drove off the

road. The day cab rolled over with trailer still

connected and the driver was wedged between

the steering wheel and floor.

“Johnnie stopped immediately, but was

Got an opinion on a key

trucking issue?

Send it online to:

editor@thetrucker.com

Talk continues about how much America needs to improve its infrastructure.

Recently, Democrats met with President Donald Trump and said they’d agreed on

a plan to spend on $2 trillion on the infrastructure, but so far, no one has come up

with a plan to fund all the work that needs to be done. How do poor roads impact the

ability to do your job and how do poor roads impact your compensation?

The poor road conditions impact my ability

to do my job by the resulting delays from

all of the lane closures and detours. We need

media to help us educate drivers on how to

keep traffic flowing better through these restricted

areas. Somebody needs to review

how many strobe safety lights are necessary,

as they hinder flow by blinding drivers — especially

truck drivers sitting four feet above

the roadways. Every day, I unsafely, suddenly

have to brake firmly because somebody

has seen a flashing light (of any color) and

dropped their anchor abruptly.

—James Stark

unable to open either door. The driver of the

day cab seemed to be unconscious and was

not replying to shouts. Johnnie called 911

and waited for professional people to arrive

to assess the driver’s injuries, secure the area

against possible fires and to give a report to

the police.

“Johnnie showed concern for a fellow driver

and took the initiative to stop. More people

should set an example and show that kind of

empathy. His company has a good driver.”

We are told the driver of the day cab was

not seriously injured and is now OK.

Way to go, Johnnie. And thanks, Veronica.

* * *

Elsewhere in today’s edition, you’ll find a

story about President Donald Trump and members

of Congress agreeing we need to spend $2

trillion to fix the nation’s infrastructure — and

were all smiles.

But they never decided where the $2 trillion

could be located.

As Yogi Berra used to say, “déjà vu, all over

again.”

Come on, up there in Washington, get

with it. 8

I am a team driver. I can’t sleep while he

is on these poor roads. It makes it dangerous

for me to drive at night when I couldn’t

sleep all day.

— Linda Simpkins


Women to Watch

13

WOMEN IN TRUCKING

WIT’s April Member of the Month Bonnie

Neal still loves driving after 40-plus years

Dorothy Cox

dlcox@thetrucker.com

Some truck drivers like to get paid to see the

U.S. Others love being their own boss with nobody

looking over their shoulder.

What Bonnie Neal has always loved about

trucking are the machines and tools involved,

adding she’s “daddy’s little tomboy.”

For this 76-year-old, trucking is all about “the

equipment. It doesn’t matter how old the truck or

the trailer, I like to listen to the engine, the actual

fun of driving.”

Neal is Women In Trucking’s (WIT) April

Member of the Month and after more than 40

years of being a professional driver, she wouldn’t

change a thing.

Not that she likes “the new electronic stuff at

all.”

She now drives part time with mostly regional

or local routes because she doesn’t want to mess

with an electronic logging device. A seasoned

driver knows when they’re tired and when they’re

rested without a device to tell them, she said. And

although she thinks forward-facing cameras have

their uses, especially to document when an accident’s

not the trucker’s fault, she’s not so sure

about cameras facing the truck driver.

Neal started driving when a chauffeur’s license

was all-encompassing whether it be for a

bus, taxi or truck, and the physical was $20.

The eldest of four (three girls and a boy), she

was born in the “little logging town” of Sweet

Home, Oregon, near lakes, rivers and the Cascade

Mountains.

It was really her father, a truck driver, who got

Neal into trucking. “My daddy started taking me

with him when I was 10 years old and I rode with

him until I was 17 and he was starting to teach me

how to drive.”

The company put an end to that. No women

drivers allowed.

But Neal married “a young man who was a

truck driver” and when he signed on with a produce

company that allowed women drivers, Neal

wasted no time in getting her license.

They hauled produce around California and to

Seattle and back and hauled greenery from Vancouver

Island (off Canada’s Pacific Coast) over to

florists in California. Then they backhauled juice

from Washington state.

There came a time, however, when Neal’s

husband didn’t want to be married to another

truck driver anymore. After they divorced, she

kept on trucking.

“I always used to drive,” she said. “I learned

how to drive a car when I was 15 on a 1930 Model

A coupe that was twice my age.” She liked the

challenge of “making the equipment be orderly

and proper.”

She doesn’t care for automatic transmissions,

preferring to shift according to the engine rpms.

“Every engine is different, and you feel it out, listen

to it.”

She’s of the school that, when backing up,

you get out and look to make sure there are no

surprises, although it’s a little easier with power

steering, she said.

And while there’s no doubt technology is one

of the biggest changes Neal has seen in trucking,

it’s the attitude of the motoring public that stands

out in her mind. And it’s not only the four-wheelers

you have to watch. Some young truckers drive

their trucks like they drive their cars, she said —

too fast.

She spent a year at a truck driving school taking

students out to test their driving skills, and

rather than just test them on straight stretches

of highway, she also took them on back country

roads and places where they had to take corners

and make allowances for the close proximity of

cars.

She’s seen the attitudes of the driving public

change over the years. Most now don’t stop to

help people on the side of the road because it’s

unsafe. Even back in the ’80s her carrier had a

no passenger policy. She broke that rule once to

help four teenage girls stranded on the side of the

road in Texas. There weren’t cellphones then and

it was getting dark. She took them up the road so

they could call their parents. She also moved the

car so it wasn’t sticking out in the road.

Neal learned about WIT at the Great American

Trucking Show in Dallas. “I looked into WIT

and they interested me,” she said. They had advice

on what drivers needed to know rather than

just a bunch of advertisements.

Neal was out of town when WIT announced

she was their April Member of the Month. And

around the same time, her little hometown newspaper

in Sweet Home published a two-page feature

spread on her.

“Well, after all this time somebody noticed

I’ve been driving trucks,” she said with a chuckle.

She plans to go on driving until she can’t pass

her physical. She never did drugs or smoked or

drank, so she’s in good health.

“I’m thankful the good Lord lets me do this.

I like knowing I’m performing a service and that

I’ve helped people.”

You can’t say better than that. 8

The Women In Trucking Association is a nonprofit organization

focused on the transportation and logistics industry. Our mission?

To encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry,

promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by

women working in the trucking industry. WIT is proudly headed up

by President and CEO Ellen Voie.

Courtesy: SARAH BROWN/The New Era

What Bonnie Neal has always loved about trucking are the machines and tools involved.

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14

AT

THE TRUCK STOP

PRESENTED BY CAT SCALE, VISIT WEIGHMYTRUCK.COM

This driver likes the expedite way of life: The loads

are light and so are his spirits

Expediter Ray Shamel says he has more quality time with his wife now that he’s driving around the country than he did driving locally back home.

The Trucker: Klint Lowry

Klint Lowry

klint.lowry@thetrucker.com

Seeing Ray Shamel standing in line at the Petro truck stop off

Interstate 40, exit 161, near Little Rock, Arkansas, you could

almost mistake him for a professional truck driver. He looks the

part. And he’s obviously at home at a truck stop.

Then again, he’s got a little more pep in his step, he’s a little

less bedraggled than most truckers are as they take care of

business and life’s necessities. He’s quick to smile and to start

a conversation wherever he finds one. He’s relaxed rather than

weary.

There’s a simple explanation for the similarities and the

differences, and he’s happy to reveal it.

“I’m an expediter,” he said with a wide grin, as though he had

just revealed a plot twist to a mystery. He’s a professional driver,

all right, but instead of a big rig, he drives a sprinter-style van

for Barrett DirectLine Expedited Service, based in Bentonville,

Arkansas.

“I haul small freight,” Shamel said. “I can haul up to

three skids.” When someone has a small load that has to get

somewhere quickly, that’s the niche expediters like Barrett fills,

anywhere in the Lower 48, although, “usually we stay in the

freight lanes, normally east of the Mississippi, mostly.”

Shamel has been driving for Barrett for about a year. Before

that, he’d driven a straight truck near his home in Davison,

Michigan, a suburb of Flint about 65 miles north-northwest of

Detroit.

“I always liked driving, but my kids were young and at home,

so I stayed at home and worked local until my kids were grown,”

he said. “So now I decided to get out and see the country, drive

and make money doing it.”

The way Shamel describes it, with expediting, he enjoys the

best aspects of long-haul driving without a lot of the headaches.

Take all that angst about Hours of Service, especially since

ELDs became mandatory. Shamel has been following the issue,

though none of it applies to him.

“We manage our own time, so we’re more able to stop where

we want,” he said. When it is time to stop, he doesn’t have hunt

for parking like he would with an 18-wheeler. His van has a

pulldown bed, so he can get a room or just park somewhere.

“If I want to pull into a roadside park and get some sleep, a

truck may not be able to get in, but I can do that.”

Ask almost any driver about the best aspects of being an OTR

driver, and they will tell you it’s the chance to see the country.

“In a van, you can get more places that you want to see,”

Shamel said. “Let’s say I’ve got a delivery near Niagara Falls,

and I’ve always wanted to see it. Once I drop that, I go out of

service for a day or 12 hours or whatever, I can go, take a look,

take some pictures, enjoy myself, enjoy my day.”

Or suppose he’s out West and wants to take a short detour

and see the Grand Canyon. Would he be able to maneuver those

narrow, winding national park roads in a semi?

No driver likes to deadhead, but with his fuel costs being just a

tiny fraction of what it would be driving a tractor-trailer, it’s not

as big a deal if he decides he doesn’t want to wait to get home.

Like any driver with a family, being away from home can

be the most depressing downside of the job. Shamel is out on

the road for three to four weeks at a time. But he and his wife

have more quality time now that he’s on the road.

“When I was working a regular job at home, I was driving

long hours,” Shamel said. “I’d get home, my wife worked third

shift. I’d get home either right after she left for work or right

before she left. And then she’d be gone all night. We had to fight

for moments to have time together.

“Now that I’m an independent contractor running through a

carrier, I’m able to come in and go out of service whenever I

want. If my wife says, ‘I have a two-week vacation in June, do

you want to do something?’ we can book a cruise. I’m able to

work it round her schedule now so every moment that she has

off, I’m able to be there with her.”

Expediters have a tight community out on the road. Shamel

belongs to a Facebook group called Transportation Life: Wheels,

Wings and Rudders. They number about 3,000 members.

“It’s like having this huge extended family of fellow

expediters,” he said. So even though you’re away from home,

you have friends that are out here. We’re able to meet up, you

know, have dinner somewhere.”

It’s a nice feeling to pull up somewhere and see a couple of

vans. “There’s a lot of women out here who are solo,” he said.

“If they’re in an area with other members of the community they

might feel safer.”

Then he added, honestly, it’s comforting even if you’re a guy

to know you’re among friends.

Shamel had been sitting in Little Rock and had just gotten a

call. In just a couple of minutes he’d be heading out to pick up a

load to take to Louisville, Kentucky.

After that? Who knows, but that’s part of the fun. 8


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16 • May 15-31, 2019 Perspective

THETRUCKER.COM

Watch out. Person conducting drug

recognition evaluation on drivers may

not have training needed to do so

Brad Klepper

exclusive to the trucker

Ask the

Attorney

Let’s be totally upfront about this. I am

vehemently opposed to anyone operating

any type of vehicle under the influence of

drugs or alcohol. I really can’t express how

strongly I feel about this. Having a license

is a privilege — not a right.

I am also a big believer in the Constitution

and due process. The 14 th Amendment

to the U.S. Constitution says, in essence, that

the States shall not deprive a person of life,

liberty or property without due process of

law. This means that the government must

follow fair procedures before depriving a

person of life, liberty or property. In other

words, everyone gets an opportunity to be

heard and a decision made by a neutral party.

All this brings me to the reason I am

writing this article. On April 20th of this

year (coincidence with the “4/20 holiday”?),

several states began conducting drug recognition

evaluations at various locations. In

short, drivers were taken out of their vehicles

and a Drug Recognition Evaluation

(DRE) was conducted. Numerous drivers

were cited under 392.4(a) and were placed

out of service based solely on the opinion

of the person conducting the DRE and in

spite of evidence to the contrary.

Not surprisingly, I received a call from a

carrier the following day. One of their drivers

had been placed out of service following

a DRE. Here is where it gets interesting.

The driver had pulled into a weigh station

when he was motioned to enter the

scale house. The driver exited the vehicle

with his paperwork and license. Upon entering

the scale house a female officer took

the driver to administer a series of tests, including

field sobriety tests and tests of his

vital signs. In the course of this, the officer

took him to a darkened bathroom to perform

pupil response tests. The officer used

a sphygmomanometer to test his blood pressure,

and had him roll up his shirt sleeves

and pant legs to inspect his arms and legs

for sign of drug injections. No injections

were found.

The driver did not like to be touched,

and the invasive personal nature of the testing

made him uncomfortable, so he requested

a breath or blood test instead. The officer

performed a breathalyzer, which read 0.0,

or negative. The officer took a urine sample,

and tested it at the scene. It also came

back negative.

A K-9 unit was led around the truck and

did not alert. The officer kept asking the

driver if he was on drugs (which the driver

denied) and performing various tests. The

entire process took between 1-3 hours and

despite the negative breathalyzer, urine

test, lack of drug injection sites and failure

of a K-9 unit to alert to his truck, the driver

was placed out of service for 24 hours for

an alleged violation 392.4(a). The out of

service was solely based on the opinion of

the officer conducting the drug recognition

evaluation.

When the carrier learned of the alleged

392.4(a) violation they reached out to enforcement

seeking some explanation as

all the tests had come back negative for

the presence of drugs. The carrier was

informed by enforcement that they were

sending off a second urine sample for testing

but regardless of the results of that test

they were standing by the opinion of the

officer conducting the DRE that the driver

was impaired by drugs/alcohol and would

not be removing the alleged violation.

See Klepper on p17 m

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b Klepper from page 16 b

This is not the first time a DRE evaluation

has been used. However, it is the first

time I have run across one being used to

evaluate a CMV driver.

As background, the Drug Recognition

Evaluation program was created by a couple

of L.A. police officers who felt that medical

doctors did not receive sufficient training in

the signs of drug impairment for street drugs

and therefore could not offer judgment about

a suspect’s condition.

In order to become qualified to perform a

DRE, an officer must attend a two-day preliminary

training course. Upon completion

of the course, the office may take the sevenday

DRE course. The course covers the 12

steps of the DRE procedure and the seven

categories of drugs covered in the manual.

Due to limited space, I am not going to

list all of the 12 steps of the evaluation or

the seven categories covered (if you really

want to know, shoot me an email.). However,

the evaluation does include a breath

alcohol test, eye exams, divided-attention

tests, dark-room examination of pupils,

muscle tone, potential injection sites, opinion

of the evaluator and a toxicology examination.

All of these test are conducted by

an officer, not a medical professional, with

nine days training.

For what it is worth, most medical doctors

believe that without formal medical training

the person conducting the evaluation is not

qualified to make the determination that a

person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In addition, factors other than drug

or alcohol use can impact the outcome of the

tests being performed. I don’t think anyone

would dispute that the stress of the evaluation

environment would be enough to elevate a

person’s heart rate, blood pressure, temperature

and can even impact a person’s muscle

tone (under stress muscles tend to be firmer).

The point I am trying to make is the person

conducting the drug recognition evaluation

may lack the scientific and medical

Perspective May 15-31, 2019 • 17

training required for the DRE to be relevant

and reliable enough to be admitted under

Rule of Evidence 702. In fact, several state

courts have case law concerning the admissibility

of DRE evidence. These include

Texas, Minnesota, Florida, Oregon and

Washington.

The rub of all of this is that if no citation

was issued there is not a court of law in which

a driver can challenge the validity of the evaluation.

Instead, the only means available is

to file a DataQ challenge. Needless to say,

there is an absence of a neutral party making

a decision on the matter. In my opinion, this

creates a due process issue.

Again, I am opposed to anyone operating

any type of vehicle under the influence of

drugs or alcohol; however, I am also a big believer

in due process. While I think the DRE

can have value I think that it is not reliable

enough to be solely relied upon in the face of

evidence to the contrary.

Brad Klepper is president of Interstate

Trucker Ltd., a law firm entirely dedicated

to legal defense of the nation’s commercial

drivers. Interstate Trucker represents truck

drivers throughout the 48 states on both

moving and nonmoving violations. Brad

is also president of Driver’s Legal Plan,

which allows member drivers access to his

firm’s services at discounted rates. He is a

lawyer that has focused on transportation

law and the trucking industry in particular.

He works to answer your legal questions

about trucking and life over the road.

For more information, contact him at

(800) 333-DRIVE (3748) or interstatetrucker.com

and driverslegtalplan.com. 8

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18 • May 15-31, 2019 Perspective

b Safety from page 12 b

Unfortunately, sleep apnea isn’t treated

with a pill. It is diagnosed through a sleep

study and, where indicated, is treated with

a Continuous Pulmonary Airway Pressure

(CPAP) or Bi-level Pulmonary Airway Pressure

(BiPAP) machine.

There is no simple test the medical examiner

can perform to determine if the driver

suffers from OSA. Instead, the physician

looks for signs such as labored breathing or

obesity along with behaviors like smoking.

When indicated, the physician will recommend

the driver contact his or her regular

doctor for a sleep study. This procedure used

to mean a night or two spent in a clinic, trying

to sleep with a mask, wires attached everywhere

and medical staff walking around.

These days, most can be performed at home

with a take-home device the doctor can recommend.

The devices not only assist with breathing

during sleep, they record important information

about breathing rates and volumes, episodes

of wakefulness and other information

that the doctor can use to determine if treatment

is effective.

That’s the problem for the driver who

hasn’t been tested — the testing may be overnight,

but the process isn’t. Your doctor may

need to see days or even weeks of data to

determine compliance with the treatment and

effectiveness. Drivers might find themselves

out of work for weeks until the examiner is

satisfied enough to sign off on the exam.

The newest condition to require personal

physician certification is diabetes mellitus,

and that’s good news. In the past, drivers

who needed insulin to regulate blood sugar

were prohibited from driving, period. The

FMCSA began pilot programs to grant exemptions

to drivers using insulin, but the

process was long and cumbersome, and few

drivers went through with it. Some drivers

who were treating their diabetes with oral

medications delayed or refused insulin treatment,

knowing that taking injections would

effectively end their driving careers.

As of November 19, 2018, insulin-dependent

drivers, like drivers with hypertension

or sleep apnea, can drive as long as their

condition is controlled as verified by their attending

physician. As with sleep apnea, however,

it’s not as simple as just taking medication

and showing up for the DOT physical

exam.

The driver will need documentation to

show the examining doctor that the diabetes

is controlled and effective. This comes with

a new form, the MCSA-5870, that drivers receive

from their own treating physician.

There are some things the driver’s doctor

will have to see in order to make the certification.

To start, the driver must provide

at least three months of ongoing blood glucose

self-monitoring records, and these can’t

come from notes on paper. A blood glucose

monitor that records dates, times and readings

and allows electronic downloading must

be used. Of course, the testing must be done

in accordance with the doctor’s instructions.

Then, there’s the HvA1C blood test,

which provides blood glucose information

from the past 90 days or so. Highs and lows

that may not show up with the periodic finger-stick

testing will show in the “A1C” test.

Here’s the kicker — the FMCSA does not

specify what the A1C reading or daily bloodglucose

readings must be. The only requirement

is that the “treating clinician” must

certify that the driver has a “stable insulin

regimen” and “properly controlled insulintreated

diabetes.” That leaves a lot of room

for professional opinion to vary, and it’s

possible that the medical examiner will not

agree with the driver’s doctor that the diabetes

is controlled.

The driver’s treating physician must also

certify that the diabetes has not resulted in

other untreated physical damage, such as

damage to nerves, kidneys, liver or retinas

in the eyes.

The MCSA-5870 Assessment Form can

THETRUCKER.COM

be obtained at the FMCSA website at fmcsa.

dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/regulations/medical/422521/itdm-assessmentform-final.pdf.

More information about diabetes

and the Commercial Driver’s License

can be found on the website of the American

Diabetes Association, at diabetes.org/

living-with-diabetes/know-your-rights/discrimination/drivers-licenses/commercialdrivers-and-diabetes-discrimination/?utm_

source=Offline&utm_medium=Print&utm_

content=CDL&utm_campaign=ADV.

The panic of passing of the biannual DOT

physical exam has been replaced by a serious

need for each driver to manage their own

health, conferring with a personal physician

to ensure that life threatening conditions are

properly treated.

Don’t wait for the next physical exam

or, worse, until a medical episode results in

death or injury to someone else in an accident.

Deal with it today. 8

Find us on

Facebook

search: The Trucker


Business

May 15-31, 2019 • 19

ATA’s Truck Tonnage Index (Seasonally Adjusted; 2015=100)

118

116

114

112

110

108

106

104

102

100

98

APR - 14

JUL - 14

OCT - 14

JAN - 15

APR - 15

JUL - 15

OCT - 15

JAN - 16

APR - 16

JUL - 16

California court dismisses lawsuit,

citing FMCSA ruling on meal breaks

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

A California court has dismissed a portion

of a class-action lawsuit brought by a

professional truck driver against the carrier

he worked for claiming the company had

failed to provide him with adequate meal and

rest periods in accordance with California’s

meal-and-rest-break-requirements.

The dismissal is the first application in a

court case of a decision by the Federal Motor

Carrier Safety Administration in December

that federal rest-break laws supersede California’s

meal-and-rest-break regulations, the

ruling possibly portends a shift in the legal

standing of the long-running issue.

OCT - 16

JAN - 17

APR - 17

JUL - 17

OCT - 17

JAN - 18

APR - 18

JUL - 18

OCT - 18

JAN - 19

MAR - 19

On May 2, the U.S. District Court for

the Central District of California dismissed

the portion of the suit, brought on in January

2016 by California-based driver Anthony

Ayala against Chattanooga, Tennessee-based

U.S. Xpress Inc., that U.S. Xpress did not

provide Ayala with adequate meal and rest

periods, per the California regulations. The

suit further claimed that U.S. Express’ mileage-based

pay system violates California’s

minimum-wage laws. That portion of the suit

is still pending.

U.S. District Judge George Wu granted

U.S. Express’ request for dismissal on the

See Meal on p20 m

Courtesy: CELADON GROUP

Paul Svindland, Celadon chief executive officer, said the sale of the carrier’s logistics division

marks an important milestone in executing Celadon’s strategic plan to simplify its business

and reduce debt.

Tonnage index shows 2019 freight

drop-off continued in March, by 2.3%

Cliff Abbott

cliffa@thetrucker.com

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American

Trucking Associations’ (ATA) advanced seasonally

adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage

Index fell again in March, this time by

2.3 percent after decreasing 1.5 percent in

February. In March, the index equaled 113.2,

or 13.2 percent higher than the baseline of

100, established for 2015. The March Index

compared with 115.8 in February, which was

down from January.

“In March, and really the first quarter

in total, tonnage was negatively impacted

by bad winter storms throughout much of

the U.S.,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob

Costello. “While I expected tonnage to moderate

in the first quarter, the late Easter holiday

and the winter storms made it worse.”

The ATA, along with the entire trucking

industry, is closely watching for indications

that growth in freight availability is slowing,

possibly signaling an economic downturn.

“It is likely that tonnage will improve in

the second quarter,” Costello said, “although

year-over-year gains will be significantly below

the 2018 annual increase of 6.7 percent.”

See Tonnage on p22 m

The Trucker: KLINT LOWRY

The dismissal of the lawsuit is the first application in a court case of a decision by the Federal

Motor Carrier Safety Administration in December that federal rest-break laws supersede

California’s meal-and-rest-break regulations.

Celadon continues streamlining strategy,

selling off logistics division to TA Services

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

INDIANAPOLIS — Celadon Group said

Monday that it had disposed of substantially

all of the assets used in its logistics business

division in an all-cash transaction.

The carrier said the move was a continuation

of its strategic plan to streamline operations,

reduce total debt and focus on its core

trucking business by completing the sale of

logistics Monday with an effective financial

transfer date of April 1.

The purchaser was TA Services, a PS Logistics,

LLC. PS Logistics is said to be a rapidly

growing full-service provider of assetbased

transportation, brokerage, 3PL, and

supply chain services.

The Celadon Logistics Division, which

provided a full spectrum of freight brokerage,

transportation management and warehousing

solutions, contributed approximately $139 million

in revenue to the company in the fiscal

year ended June 30, 2018. The proceeds were

used to pay transaction expenses, to reduce borrowings

under the company’s revolving credit

agreement and to provide additional liquidity.

Paul Svindland, Celadon chief executive

officer, said the transaction will include an

ongoing strategic relationship under which

Celadon will have access to the logistics

platform to continue to serve customers’

needs on a revenue sharing basis as well as a

commitment for the company not to conduct

independent brokerage operations.

The transition of customer relationships,

IT and other activities will be ongoing.

See Celadon on p20 m


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20 • May 15-31, 2019 Business

b Meal from page 19 b

b Celadon from page 19 b

Jon Russell, Celadon’s president, chief

operating officer and former president of logistics,

will remain a member of the company’s

senior management team while serving

as a consultant to TA Services through the

transition process.

Post-transition, Russell is expected to become

part of TA Services management team.

“The sale of Logistics marks another important

milestone in executing our strategic

plan to simplify our business and reduce

debt,” Svindland said. “Over the past several

quarters, we have divested the former Quality

business, the joint venture with Element,

our flatbed business, our West Coast dedicated

business, A&S/Buckler and now Logistics.

Giving effect to these dispositions, the

go-forward Celadon has returned to its roots

as an asset-based truckload carrier serving

the North American market, with particular

focus on the eastern half of the United States

and cross-border traffic with Mexico and

THETRUCKER.COM

grounds that, based on FMCSA’s decision,

the court did not have the authority to review

the case.

“The Secretary of Transportation’s authority

to issue such determinations has been

delegated to the FMCSA Administrator,”

the court document states. “Judicial review

of a pre-emption determination may only be

heard by a circuit court.”

California state laws require employers to

provide breaks for their employees for meals

and rest. Employees working more than

five hours in a day are entitled to receive a

30-minute meal break and, if work extends

beyond 10 hours a day, they must receive

an additional 30-minute break. Employees

are also entitled to a 15-minute break every

four hours. For years, interstate motor carriers

have argued that these and other states’

laws should not apply to them because they

are already governed by FMCSA’s Hours of

Service regulations.

One of the favorite arguments by the carriers

has been that it would be excessively

burdensome for trucks driving cross-country

to have to adhere to a “patchwork” of varying

regulations every time they crossed state

lines.

Under federal HOS regulations, drivers

are required to take a 30-minute break after

eight hours. Part of the confusion is whether

carriers should have to honor state regulations,

federal regulations or both. It is possible

that under some interpretations, drivers

would be have to take two 30-minute breaks,

along with two 15-minute breaks, in an 11-

hour shift.

On December 21, 2018, the FMCSA, in

response to petitions filed by the American

Trucking Associations and the Specialized

Carriers and Rigging Association in September,

determined that the California regulations

had no safety benefit, were incompatible

with federal regulations and caused an

unreasonable burden on interstate commerce.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth

Circuit is currently considering a suit filed in

February by California Labor Commissioner

Julie Su and state Attorney General Xavier

Becerra seeking to have FMCSA’s decision

reversed.

In the district court’s dismissal, the court

indicated it did not accept an argument by the

plaintiffs that the defendant’s request for partial

dismissal should be dismissed until the Ninth

Circuit reached a decision in its case. 8

Canada. On a pro forma basis, we remain

one of the largest industry competitors, with

key locations in approximately a dozen states

and provinces and a consolidated annual revenue

run rate of approximately $550 million.

“From a leverage perspective, this transaction

and our recent sale of our A&S Kinard

and Buckler subsidiaries have reduced our

outstanding borrowings and capital leases by

approximately $185 million. We continue to

work with existing and new financing sources

toward both an extension of our current

facility and a longer-term capital structure

that will support our ongoing operational and

financial improvement efforts.”

Svindland said he expected that TA Services’

significant existing footprint and resources,

combined with Russell’s expertise,

would provide an excellent platform for Logistics’

continued growth and dedication to

excellent customer service.

“We look forward to the ongoing strategic

alignment between our companies and are

confident in delivering continued value to our

customers as well as an excellent new home

for the Logistics employees,” he said. 8

THETRUCKER.COM


THETRUCKER.COM

Business May 15-31, 2019 • 21

Understand the terms, all the terms, before signing that equipment lease agreement

Cliff Abbott

cliffa@thetrucker.com

Making the wrong decision when choosing

which carrier to lease your equipment to can be

a recipe for business disaster. What too many

independent contractors fail to realize is that the

lease agreement is the defining document for the

contractor-carrier relationship. Forget the advertising

and the recruiter promises; a prudent business

decision simply cannot be made without

thoroughly understanding what’s included in the

lease agreement.

Unfortunately, that lease agreement is often

presented during orientation as a file document

to be signed, sometimes even included in a stack

with other tax and legal documents. Signing it

without a complete review is a mistake.

Important, even critical, information is often

buried in the amendments and attachments. Be

sure to carefully review those, too.

Compensation is usually at the top of contractor

concerns, and it’s easy to be swayed by

a higher rate per mile or a higher percentage of

load revenue. Further reading, however, often

reveals stark differences in how compensation is

calculated. What empty miles, if any, are paid?

Are bobtail miles compensated at a different rate?

Does compensation change with length of haul?

What about charges for equipment rental or

other chargebacks? Who pays for tire or other repairs

to the trailer while it is in the contractor’s

control?

When compensation is a percentage of load

revenue, it’s often a percentage of a percentage of

load revenue. Some carriers subtract costs from

each load for administrative or other purposes,

calculating the percentage paid to the contractor

on the adjusted revenue. It’s important to understand

up front exactly what the compensation will

be and how it will be presented on the settlement

statement.

Accessorial and other pay varies greatly from

carrier to carrier. The lease agreement should

clearly spell out compensation for detention, layover,

weather or other payments, including any

unpaid waiting period. Some carriers compensate

©2019 FOTOSEARCH

Important, even critical, information is often buried in the amendments and attachments of

a lease agreement. Be sure to carefully review those, too.

Fleet Focus

for accessorials only after, and if, the customer

pays. If the carrier decides not to dispute a claim

for detention, for example, the contractor doesn’t

get a say in the matter.

Fuel surcharges are an important part of compensation,

too. Some carriers pass on 100 percent

of fuel surcharges, but it’s not a bad thing if they

don’t. Surcharge agreements often vary with

customers, and a carrier may choose to pay a set

amount rather than calculate each load separately.

What’s important is that the contractor know exactly

what to expect. In many cases, a fuel surcharge

table is provided linking the surcharge to

the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s

national average fuel price, issued every Monday.

Control over dispatches can be just as important

as the compensation. Many carriers advertise

“nonforced dispatch,” a term that can be

disingenuous. According to the U.S. Department

of Labor, a forced dispatch is indicative of an employer-employee

relationship. An independent

contractor, by definition, has the right to accept

or refuse loads. Some carriers allow the contractor

to choose from available loads listed on their

website. Others let the contractor choose from

a list of a few loads they present. Some carriers

want independent contractors to run the system,

dispatching them as they do company-owned

trucks. While not strictly meeting the definition

of “independent,” this arrangement can benefit

both parties by maximizing use of the contractor’s

equipment, but it also means restricting the

contractor’s right to choose. While penalties for

refusing dispatches aren’t generally allowed under

the contractor status, unofficial penalties like

reduction in dispatched miles, longer wait times

between dispatches or assignment to the leastpopular

loads are often reported. It’s best to have

a clear understanding of how dispatch is handled

before signing the lease agreement.

Running a trucking business invariably means

taxes, permits and insurance, and the requirements,

and amounts for these can differ greatly

between carriers.

The contractor is usually responsible for any

physical damage insurance on the equipment, although

some carriers will provide the coverage

through their insurance carrier. Liability insurance

is required by law and is sometimes provided free

by the carrier. Others charge the contractor a flat

amount for this coverage, while others insist that

the contractor provide the coverage. Nontrucking

liability, or bobtail insurance, covers the rig when

it isn’t under dispatch, like when the contractor

heads home for some time off. Some carriers offer

this coverage as an option, some don’t care

where the contractor gets it, and some insist the

contractor be covered under the carrier’s policy.

Cargo insurance is another area where carriers

differ. Some provide it, while some require the

contractor get it elsewhere.

Like insurance, carriers can differ greatly on

expenses for tags and permits. Some, but not all,

provide an apportioned plate for the tractor, allowing

the contractor to pay over time or to not

pay at all if certain service requirements are met.

Some carriers obtain all the necessary permits,

and there can be many, especially if the carrier

hauls hazardous materials, alcohol products or

other commodities that can be permitted separately.

Then there’s the IFTA fuel program. Most

carriers provide the necessary stickers and keep

track of fuel taxes, adjusting amounts owed or

overpaid every quarter in a settlement.

Finally, most carriers require the contractor

to make a deposit in an escrow account. The

amount required varies between carriers, but the

funds are held to cover costs such as insurance

deductibles, cargo claims, unpaid citations and

other expenses the contractor may incur. Some

carriers require additional escrow amounts for

maintenance or other funds. It’s important that

the contractor understand exactly how much

will be held in escrow and who can access the

money. It isn’t uncommon for a misunderstanding

to occur when carrier and contractor don’t

agree on carrier withdrawals from the account.

When the contractor leaves, the carrier has legal

obligations to pay any unused escrow amounts

within a specified period of time. Disputes can

occur, however, and nobody benefits from litigation.

The risks of this and other issues can be

reduced greatly with a thorough understanding

of the lease agreement before signing. 8

DiamonD has historically kept our Drivers loaDeD, we have the freight to continue.

FUN FACT:

Working closely With Allis-chAlmers

through design, modificAtion, And

reconstruction, diAmond’s founder,

l.r.Jenkins, developed A trAiler thAt

could beused for hAuling trActors.

Call 262-554-4025 or visit www.diamondrecruit.com


22 • May 15-31, 2019 Business

THETRUCKER.COM

b Tonnage from page 19 b

Compared with March 2018, the SA index

increased 1.6 percent, down from February’s

3.9 percent gain. During the first

quarter, tonnage was up 3.8 percent from the

same period in 2018.

The not-seasonally adjusted index, which

represents the change in tonnage actually

hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment,

equaled 116.3 in March, 10.3 percent

above February’s level of 105.5.

The ATA Tonnage Index is calculated

from data supplied by the organization’s

members and is a useful tool in predicting

trucking trends. Combined with other economic

factors, carriers can obtain a better

idea where the market is heading and plan

accordingly.

In one development, the U.S. Federal Reserve

System made a policy announcement

May 1 in which it indicated concern with the

very low inflation rates the country is currently

experiencing. The Fed statement said

that that no significant cuts to interest rates

are planned for the remainder of 2019. Interest

rates are typically cut when the Fed wants

to stimulate the economy to faster growth, a

position encouraged by President Trump.

Too much growth, or a growth rate that’s too

fast, can lead to increased inflation, bringing

additional problems, prompting the Fed’s

wait-and-see attitude.

Although consumer spending has slowed

in recent months, there was an increase of

0.7 percent in March, an indication that the

economy is still growing. At the same time,

construction spending fell, with spending on

single-family homes currently at a pace 8.2

percent behind the pace at this point in 2018.

U.S. manufacturing also weakened in

March, with declines in primary metals,

petroleum/coal products and transportation

products.

As for the trucking industry, North America

Class 8 preliminary orders fell in April

from an already down March, reaching a

31-month low, according to a May 2 release

by ACT Research. Orders in April were 57

100% Owner Operated for Over 40 Years

percent lower than in the same month a year

ago. The biggest reason for the decline, according

to ACT, is the large backlog of

trucks already ordered and yet to be built.

“We continue to contend that current order

weakness has more to do with very large

Class 8 backlogs and orders already booked,

than with the evolving supply-demand balance,”

said ACT President and Senior Analyst

Kenny Vieth.

A similar situation exists with orders

for Class 8 trailers, which also declined in

March, for the fourth consecutive month.

The backlog of trailer orders is large enough

to keep the manufacturers busy for the rest of

2019, so anything ordered now wouldn’t be

delivered until some time in 2020, when economic

conditions could be much different.

Vieth spoke to some of those conditions

in the tractor-orders release, saying, “Of

course, contracting freight volumes, falling

freight rates, and strong Class 8 capacity additions

suggest that the supply-demand balance

will become an issue later this year.”

That simply means that the industry’s capacity

to haul freight is still growing faster

than the available freight is. Sooner or later,

something has to give, and that something

usually starts with freight rates.

Spot freight rates, usually the first to

change, have been falling for the past three

months in the van and refrigerated sectors

while remaining flat in flatbed, according to

a May 7 DAT Trendlines release. Both van

and refrigerated rates have shown a small increase

so far in May, which could be more

due to seasonal factors than anything. Summer

is usually great for freight, but with more

trucks added each month the usual summer

increase could be somewhat subdued. 8

ALWAYS

Moving

FORWARD

WITH PRIDE, INTEGRITY, AND YOU.

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RECRUITING at a Glance

Company Driver Owner Operator Teams Lease Purchase Flatbed Van Reefer HAZMAT Expedited Specialized Tanker

Cargill

www.cargillmeatlogistics.com

(316) 462-7220

See our ad on page 21!

FedEx Custom Critical

www.customcritical.fedex.com

(866) 729-9789

See our ad on page 11!

Mercer

www.mercertown.com

(888) 374-8445

See our ad on page 22!

P.I.&I. Motor Express

http://www.piimx.com

(855) 693-8963

See our ad on page 18!

Smith Transport

www.smithdrivers.com

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CFI

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Janco Ltd.

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(800) 526-9085

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National Carriers

www.drivenci.com

(888) 439-3196

See our ad on page 40!

ProFleet Transport Corp.

www.profleet.com

(877) 684-8787

See our ad on page 20!

Transport Designs, Inc.

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(855) 496-3039

See our ad on page 22!

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D&D Sexton, Inc.

www.ddsextoninc.com

(800) 743-0265

See our ad on page 26!

Landstar

www.lease2landstar.com

(877) 472-0097

See our ad on page 2!

Penske Logistics

www.gopenske.com/careers

(855) 235-1361

See our ad on page 16!

Schneider

www.schneiderjobs.com

(800) 44-PRIDE

See our ad on page 5!

Tribe Transportation

www.TribeTrans.com

(877) 628-6285

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CD OO T LP F V R H E S TK

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CD OO T LP F V R H E S TK

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Diamond Transportation

www.diamondtrans.net

(262) 554-4025

See our ad on page 21!

McColister’s Transportation

www.mccollisters.com

(800) 257-9595 ext. 9490

See our ads on pages 11 & 13!

PFS Brands

www.jobs@pfsbrands.com

(573) 893-1361

See our ad on page 16!

Skelton Truck Lines

www.skeltontruck.com

(800) 387-9796 ext 231

See our ad on page 5!

CD OO T LP F V R H E S TK

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“PGT wants to see their Owner Operators succeed. We are

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— J. Shea, Fleet Owner

Coast to Coast Legal

855-838-2925

www.coast2coastlegal.com

PGT Supports Your Success. Join Our

Family of Independent Contractors.

PGTTRUCKING.COM | 888.636.2154


24 • May 15-31, 2019 Business

THETRUCKER.COM

Recruitment

Classifieds

Recruitment

Classifieds

For For ad ad information

call call (800) 666-2770

or or email email publisher@

thetrucker.com

thetrucker.com

Now HiriNg

Team Owner-Operators &

Team Company Drivers

Professional Drivers Have THeir

Our COmpAny drivers and

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our story best. when you drive for

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BE SURE TO CHECK OUT

OUR AD ON PAGE 26!

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL:

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DriveC1.com


Equipment

May 15-31, 2019 • 25

Top Daimler exec says battery-electric

vehicles key to emissions-free transport

Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA

To meet the goal of an emissions-free transportation environment, the industry must work together

to establish a common battery-electric vehicle charging infrastructure, Daimler Trucks

North America President and CEO Roger Nielsen said at the ACT Expo.

Volvo says newest series of parameter updates

designed to provide more customer value

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Roger Nielsen,

president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North

America (DTNA), recently declared batteryelectric

vehicles as the solution to achieve

emissions-free commercial transportation in

North America.

Speaking to a crowd assembled in Long

Beach at the ACT Expo, Nielsen said, “The

road to emissions-free transportation is going

to be driven with battery-electric vehicles. I believe

the future is electric.”

The road to emissions-free driving, he said,

does not include plug-in hybrids for DTNA.

Near-zero-emissions natural gas medium- and

heavy-duty vehicles are currently available and

will continue from Freightliner as an interim

solution until full commercialization of the battery-electric

Freightliner eM2 and eCascadia.

The company sees potential for hydrogen

fuel cells to extend battery-electric truck range,

but does not see it as viable in the near term.

The vision of electric vehicles does not exclude

fuel cells: “I can see a glimpse of it over

the horizon, but it will not be this generation of

See Daimler on p26 m

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Volvo Trucks’

newest series of parameter updates complements

its newly-launched Parameter Plus subscription

package, which allows for up to 50 parameter updates

annually per covered vehicle.

With over 250 parameters to choose from,

this new set of updates will provide customers

with notable value in terms of cost savings, fuel

efficiency and uptime, the OEM said in a news

release.

“The enhancements we’ve made to our range

of available parameter updates demonstrates

Volvo Trucks’ commitment to maximizing uptime

for our customers through best-in-class connectivity

capabilities,” said Ashraf Makki, product

marketing manager at Volvo Trucks North

America. “Our customers are already seeing the

value in the recently introduced Parameter Plus

package, which allows owners to switch between

operating modes remotely, balancing fuel usage

and performance to optimize the truck’s transport

assignment and maximize profitability. These updates

will only add to that value.”

This new release of the parameter updates fur-

See Volvo on p26 m

Courtesy: WABCO

Jon Morrison, WABCO president, Americas, said the company is pioneering the creation of

Active Lateral Safety as it did with forward safety when it introduced its OnGuard ADAS system.

Courtesy: VOLVO TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA

With over 250 parameters to choose from, Volvo Trucks’ new set of updates will provide customers

with notable value in terms of cost savings, fuel efficiency and uptime, the OEM said.

WABCO offers new technology to help fleets

improve safety, uptime, on-time performance

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

ATLANTA — WABCO Holdings Inc., a

global supplier of braking control systems and

other advanced technologies designed to improve

the safety, efficiency and connectivity

of commercial vehicles, last month introduced

an integrated Active Lateral Safety technology

suite to help fleets reduce accidents and increase

driver control and comfort in a full range of operating

environments.

The new suite, which will be available later

this year, integrates the company’s active steering

technology with two Advanced Driver Assistance

Systems (ADAS) to establish a comprehensive

“cocoon of safety” around the vehicle.

“By combining these technologies into an

integrated safety package, we have extended

the benefits of active steering to two of the most

common critical events leading to accidents —

drifting out of the desired travel lane and failing

to detect a vehicle in the driver’s blind spot,”

said Jon Morrison, WABCO president, Americas.

“We are pioneering the creation of Active

Lateral Safety as we did with forward safety

when we introduced our OnGuard ADAS system.

Together, these solutions enhance vehicle

intelligence and protection to support the overall

success and safety of on-highway fleets.”

The new Active Lateral Safety suite consists

of three integrated safety solutions from WAB-

CO:

• Active steering system featuring a Sheppard

hydraulic power steering gear equipped

with magnetic torque overlay technology

• OnLaneASSIST active lane keeping assist

system, and the

• OnSideASSIST blind spot assist system.

Morrison said WABCO’s active steering

technology utilizes a magnetic torque overlay to

enable several new features that help maximize

safety, increase uptime and improve driver comfort

and acceptance:

• Road crown compensation

See WABCO on p26 m


26 • May 15-31, 2019 Equipment

Diesel Laptops, training centers form partnership

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

GILBERT, S.C. — Diesel Laptops and

American Diesel Training Centers (ADTC) have

formed a strategic partnership designed to address

the diesel technician shortage and the ongoing career

development that is essential to improving

employee retention.

All ADTC facilities will be outfitted with the

relevant Diesel Laptops hardware and software

products for integration into the 300-hour ADTC

training curriculum. That includes diagnostic testing

and hardware kits and cross-platform online

repair information.

Diesel Laptops and ADTC will also jointly

produce and distribute training in other modalities,

including live webinars and instructor-led

training that will be offered through ADTC’s

shop-based training facilities across the U.S.

“It is no secret that there is a real shortage of

techs coming into the industry,” said J.B. Ryan,

senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Diesel

Laptops. “Combining resources with ADTC

addresses this problem head-on while educating

them on the most critical parts of diagnostics and

troubleshooting.”

Diagnostic skills and the accompanying use

of technology are critical in attracting new entrants

into the field of diesel repair and maintenance,

Ryan said. Advancing those skills with

more in-depth training and use of the most modern

technology and services available ensures that

technicians stay current with marketplace needs,

ensuring their ability to effectively service customers

and provide a strong return on investment

for their employers.

“ADTC and Diesel Laptops essentially

have the same mission, to provide the industry

with the workforce, knowledge and technology

to most effectively keep the United States

moving and growing,” said Timothy Spurlock,

president and co-founder of American Diesel

Training Centers. 8

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b Daimler from page 25 b

engineers who will be delivering it,” Nielsen

said.

To hasten the arrival of zero-emission commercial

transport, three goals must be achieved,

Nielsen said.

First, the industry must work together to

establish a common battery-electric vehicle

charging infrastructure. Daimler AG is a

founding member of CharIN, an organization

whose aim is to standardize charging requirements

for electric vehicles, including commercial

vehicles.

Second, batteries must become cheaper,

lighter and more powerful. DTNA is leveraging

its global network to develop proprietary batteries

for its commercial vehicles that meet the

standards of quality, durability and integration

that customers demand.

Finally, the real cost of ownership for

customers must be strengthened through increased

incentives, decreased maintenance

costs and cheaper energy costs. Organizations

such as the South Coast Air Quality

Management District (SCAQMD) will be instrumental

in creating a viable business case

for electric trucks. A $16 million grant from

SCAQMD partially funds the Freightliner

Electric Innovation Fleet.

b Volvo from page 25 b

b WABCO from page 25 b

• Wheel imbalance rejection

• Return-to-center

• Adjustable steering feel

• Side wind compensation

• Active steering damping, and

• Speed-dependent steering effort.

WABCO OnLaneASSIST combines active

steering with a forward-looking camera for active

lane correction. Rather than simply warning

of vehicle drift, the system applies assistive

torque to the steering wheel, when necessary, to

help the driver stay in the lane. Once the vehicle

is again targeting the lane center, the overlay

torque is released. Drivers can override the assistive

steering input at any time.

Fleets also can choose to add optional video

capture to the OnLaneASSIST system for increased

insight to driving performance. This capability

is available through the OnLane camera

THETRUCKER.COM

The key to ensuring electric vehicles

are ready for commercialization is testing,

Nielsen said. DTNA and its global affiliates

exhaustively test their electric vehicles over

millions of miles on the track and in the realworld.

With its first electric truck already in

customer hands, DTNA plans to put nearly

50 on the road by the end of the year. This

includes a test fleet and the Freightliner

Electric Innovation Fleet shared between

Penske and NFI. Affiliated brands Fuso and

Mercedes-Benz trucks have already begun

deliveries of the battery-electric eCanter and

eActros in Asia, Europe and North America.

By the end of 2019, nearly 200 battery-electric

vehicles powered by Daimler will be deployed

for testing, co-creation and collaboration

worldwide.

“For our engineers, these early customer

partners are our test drivers. We want them

to test these vehicles to their extremes. We

want to see the failures so we can engineer

solutions,” Nielsen said.

To enable rapid scale-up of thoroughly

tested and validated electric vehicles, DTNA

said Wednesday that it will begin converting

the Portland manufacturing plant to produce

electric Freightliners. The plant lies just

blocks from DTNA’s LEED Platinum headquarters.

The plant renovations begin next

year with series production scheduled to begin

in 2021. 8

ther increases the potential of the nearly 17,000

Volvo trucks benefiting from OTA update capabilities,

delivering a higher level of accuracy and

efficiency and offering increased flexibility and

optimization. The new packages include over

250 updates in categories including road speed,

cruise control, transmission, idle shutdown and

fuel economy.

Included in these enhancements is comfort

shift, a software package that provides smoother

launches when load shifting must be minimized,

giving drivers a smoother start, changed gear shift

strategy and gentler drive. Idle shutdown is another

area of control being offered, giving authority

over minimum and maximum time allotted for

idleness.

The Parameter Plus package, introduced in

March 2019, set the stage for the release of advanced

updates such as these. A supplement to

Volvo’s Remote Programming, the new Parameter

Plus package was designed with thorough

feedback from customers to meet the demands of

their applications via over-the-air updates while

significantly increasing uptime. Average industry

time for typical parameter and software updates

can require two or more days of downtime, along

with the added administration and costs of acquiring

a supplementary truck and managing additional

driver logistics. The new Parameter Plus

package with OTA powertrain software updates

can be completed in under 20 minutes and parameter

updates in under 10 minutes. 8

and affiliated SmartDrive program.

WABCO OnSideASSIST provides a 160-degree

range of lateral radar coverage as well as

rearward reach of up to 33 feet to help drivers

avoid collisions both in overtaking and lane

change maneuvers, regardless of visibility conditions.

It has been estimated that blind spot

detection systems can prevent or mitigate up to

50 percent of driver vision-related crashes. As

an added safety feature, OnSideASSIST is designed

to detect the presence of another vehicle

in an adjacent lane and provide a bit of resistance

to the steering wheel to alert the driver

when changing lanes.

“WABCO is dedicated to helping fleets improve

safety, uptime, on-time performance and

driver retention through the mobilization of advanced

vehicle intelligence. This exclusive new

suite of technologies is engineered to meet the

current requirements of today’s on-highway vehicles

while also serving as a bridge to the autonomous,

connected and electric vehicles of the

future,” Morrison said. 8

K

s

a

K


Features

May 15-31, 2019 • 27

Keeping it in the family: Justin Shea

says PGT Trucking has a personable

atmosphere despite all its growth

Dorothy Cox

dlcox@thetrucker.com

ALIQUIPPA, Penn. — Some of Justin

Shea’s earliest memories are of riding around

with his father in an old cabover a few days a

week.

“Trucking was a family thing,” said Shea,

and “I swore I’d never get involved, [but] life

has a few twists and turns. It happens to a lot

of us.”

Indeed. Now here he is working for PGT

Trucking, the same company his dad has driven

for going on 30 years.

Shea is a terminal manager for PGT and

owns a few of his own trucks, leasing them out

to the carrier.

A bachelor’s degree in information systems

notwithstanding, Shea was a welder for

six years in Franklin, Pennsylvania, his hometown,

before deciding that yeah, maybe he

should give trucking a try.

He drove for his dad for three years before

buying his first truck and leasing it with PGT.

A mostly flatbed company that has branched

out to dry and refrigerated vans and doing business

in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, PGT

has no lack of freight. A lot of that is because

Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, is in the heart of what

has traditionally been steel country.

Established as a family company in 1981

in Industry, Pennsylvania, PGT became a core

carrier for U.S. Steel in 1983 and experienced

explosive growth through the 1990s. In 1999

they became a major carrier for National Gypsum.

They’ve made numerous acquisitions of

other companies over the years, continuing

Klint Lowry

klint.lowry@thetrucker.com

Lane

Departures

For almost my entire adult life, and that’s

a lot of living, I have been a consistent gymgoer.

Staying fit, and studying how to stay

fit, has always been an interest of mine. Very

few of you have seen me in person, so let

me assure you, I look like a classic Roman

statue.

But before I digress, way back at the very

first gym I ever joined, there was a trainer

their history as a “state-of-the-art flatbed transportation

company” hauling steel, building materials,

machinery, oil and gas, raw materials,

aluminum and automotive-related freight.

The carrier employs both company drivers

and owner-operators and has more than 1,000

power units and more than 30 terminals and

locations.

All the while, they’ve managed to keep a

family atmosphere.

Shea said that’s because drivers are assigned

a personal fleet manager who gets to

know them on a daily basis. Drivers tend to

stay at PGT because “they’re not just a number,”

he said. “A lot of them have been with us

for a long time and everybody knows everybody.

… [You get to] know their families.

“We’ve got a mix of ages, the older veterans

like my dad, who’s coming up on 60, and

I’m seeing some green guys, although not as

many as I’d like.”

Shea talks with drivers quite frequently

and said what they like about the carrier is that

they’re family-oriented, there’s flexibility to allow

drivers to get home for baseball games and

family functions, they pay well, and they offer

good health and retirement benefits. Home

time is top-of-mind for most drivers and income

is a close second, he said, with benefits

coming in third.

PGT offers the latest equipment, with recent

orders taken on 100 2020 model-year

trucks, and although most drivers like the latest

model vehicle, they don’t always like the latest

technology such as CDLs and in-cab cameras,

considering them intrusive.

What they do like are FaceTime and Skype:

Courtesy: PGT TRUCKING

Justin Shea, shown with his wife Jessica, said one of the reasons for the personable atmosphere

at PGT Trucking is because drivers are assigned a personal fleet manager who gets

to know them on a daily basis.

who told me, if you want to learn, say, how

to build big shoulders, watch the guys who

have big shoulders and see what they do.

It isn’t a foolproof strategy, but I’ve always

followed the gist of what the trainer

was saying. To this day, I pick up training

methods I’ve never seen before just by keeping

my eyes open at the gym. And then if I

see someone with a move that’s intriguing

enough, I’ll ask the person about it, and if

I’m still intrigued I’ll give it a try. One thing

most dedicated gym rats have in common,

they love to share their knowledge. I’ve

probably learned as much that way over the

years as I have reading books and magazines.

Once I got old enough to understand what

they mean by “nothing new under the sun,” I

learned that I hadn’t invented anything innovative

with this strategy. In fact, this is fairly

common advice. You can’t be an expert in

everything, so surround yourself with people

who are, that’s the way I read it in one of

those Dale Carnegie, “How to Be a Success

at Everything” type books. But you don’t

need to rely on experts.

Just like at the gym, wherever you are,

you are surrounded by people who have at

least a little knowledge about something that

you don’t. And just like at the gym, most

people like to be the smart one in a conversation,

all they’re waiting for is the invitation

to share their knowledge.

That’s one of the ways I’m so disappointed

in the so-called Information Age. True,

the internet has brought the potential to put

the accumulated knowledge of mankind at

“That’s great for the OTR driver,” Shea said.

And, some like automatic transmissions

while others don’t. Depending on their age,

some drivers are almost anti-technology, he

added.

A lot of what appeals to drivers, he said, is

feeling comfortable with the company and not

feeling connected. Plus “showing [them] appreciation

goes a long way.”

Shea and his wife Jessica have a 4-yearold

son, Aedan, and the youngster has already

shown a love for big trucks. Tongue-in-cheek,

Shea said, “I don’t know if that’s a blessing or

a curse.”

On a more serious note, however, he said

trucking is a great career because it “offers a

good way to support your family; you get good

wages and benefits and [with PGT] there’s a

good family atmosphere.”

What’s not to like? 8

Keep those comments coming, folks — well, some of those comments, anyway

our fingertips. But it’s also opened the door

for the collected but unsolicited babblings

of untold, anonymous idiots, cranks and just

plain nut jobs.

This is especially true in that most insidious

of inventions, “reader comments” at the

end of news stories. Of course, the practice

was invented to create a sense of “interactive

reader engagement.” And in theory, the

potential is there for the kind of constructive

intellectual exchange I’m sure they used at

the first pitch meeting.

Instead, what do we usually get? Barely

intelligible ramblings from people who either

didn’t read the article or misunderstood

every word of it. Other folks who want to fly

in and unload on whatever personal agenda

See Lane on p28 m


28 • May 15-31, 2019 Features

b Lane from page 27 b

that has nothing to do with the story. And

then there’s the hardheads whose minds

aren’t open to anything they don’t already

believe.

Then there is the one inevitable idiot who

writes “I’m only here for the comments,”

like he’s expecting it can get a laugh for the

millionth time.

But I have to say, compared to the world

at large, the comments I see from truckers on

our website and other truck-centric websites

tend to stay more on point and be far more

insightful. I was reminded of that recently

after we ran a story about that young driver

who lost control of his truck near Denver and

caused a 28-vehicle pileup.

That story occurred late in the week, and

I recall someone commenting early on how

they’d love to get some follow-up on exactly

what happened to cause such a horrific crash.

I told myself that when I came back on Monday,

I’d follow up and report on what had

been ascertained over the weekend.

The first place I stopped was our own

website, where I found several of our readers

had beaten me to it. They’d been following

every report they could find, and in the reader

comments they were sharing the information,

along with their own insights based on

experience. In minutes, they brought me up

to date and then some. They gave me perspective

I’d have never gotten from a news

release.

Now, that’s what all reader comments

should be like.

I’m not saying we don’t occasionally get

comments that go off the deep end. Even

among rational commenters, I get a sense

that if someone could harness the untapped

anger that permeates this industry, we could

abandon diesel, electric and hydrogen tomorrow

and run America’s trucks on pure rage.

Still, I have found that the trucking community

is similar to gym culture in that when

you open the floor to discussion, there is a lot

of insight to be had. I have found that online,

and I have found it to be the case in person.

There are endless studies and analyses

done about trucking, and I have access to

some of the most brilliant minds to dedicate

themselves to this profession. Their expertise

is been invaluable, but it’s what I pick

up from drivers that fills in the cracks the

experts and company officials leave behind.

So, in case you’re a commenter or have

thought about being a commenter and you’ve

wondered if anyone is paying attention, keep

reading, and I’ll do the same. 8

sign up

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30 • May 15-31, 2019 thetrucker.com

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