TT_070119_AllPages

truckerrob

Vol. 32, No. 13

www.thetrucker.com July 1-14, 2019

Courtesy: PILOT FLYING J

Not so fit

Truck drivers, on average, are

not as healthy as people in the

general population. That’s just one

of the conclusions drawn in an

April 2019 whitepaper published

by Atlas Injury Prevention

Solutions. The paper summarizes

results from medical data collected

from over 15,000 transportation

industry workers over a five-year

period ending in 2018.

Page 4

Navigating the news

Fuel tax hike inadequate........3

Mexico trade surplus..............6

Heavier trucks suggested.......8

Truckstop..............................12

Chaplain’s Corner.................15

Truck sales still up................17

Positive freight index............20

New Bridgestone tire............25

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

Associated Press: JULIO CORTEZ

Bad, bad bridges

The length of America’s

structurally deficient bridges if

placed end-to-end would span

nearly 1,100 miles, the distance

between Chicago and Houston,

a new examination of federal

government data shows.

Page 27

Spear commits ATA to working with House panel on new

transportation bill, OOIDA’s Spencer says trucking ‘broken’

Trucking executives testify

before hearing on ‘The State

of Trucking in America’

Lyndon Finney

editor@thetrucker.com

WASHINGTON — American Trucking Associations

President and CEO Chris Spear on

June 12 told members of a House Transportation

and Infrastructure subcommittee the ATA is

committed to working with lawmakers as they

begin work on a transportation reauthorization

bill.

Meanwhile, Todd Spencer, president of the

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association,

told the committee that the state of the

American trucking industry is “broken.”

The two executives were among several witness

who spoke during the hearing — dubbed

“Under Pressure: The State of Trucking in

America” — before the Subcommittee on Highways

and Transit.

Spear also spoke to the industry’s commitment

to strengthen and grow the industry’s

workforce, as well as to maintain fair and free

trade.

“ATA pledges to help this subcommittee

write legislation that takes into consideration

the state and future of the trucking industry,

looking beyond the hood — 5, 10, 15 years

out — and how we can improve safety through

Courtesy: TRUCKING ALLIANCE

Trucking Alliance President Steve Williams

says accident statistics should alarm everyone.

Courtesy: HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear, left, told a House panel that ATA

wanted to work with lawmakers as they begin work on a transportation reauthorization bill. Seated

beside Spear is OOIDA President Todd Spencer.

Lyndon Finney

editor@thetrucker.com

WASHINGTON — Although it didn’t have a

seat at the witness table for Tuesday’s “Under Pressure:

The State of Trucking in America” hearing before

the House Highways and Transit, the Alliance

for Driver Safety & Security, better known as the

Trucking Alliance, submitted comments touching

several key areas of the trucking industry.

Among other things, the Alliance said:

• There should be no greater pressure on the

trucking industry than to reduce large-truck crash

fatalities and injuries because large-truck crash fatalities

can be eliminated.

• No industry segment should be exempt from installing

electronic logging devices.

• Thousands of commercial truck drivers are illicit

drug users

innovation; how we can grow a diverse, welltrained

workforce that shores up the very real

and well-documented shortage of talent; how

trucking can generate and invest real money

into our decaying infrastructure; and how trucking

can help you shape free and fair trade agreements

that make the United States the strongest

economy in the world.”

In his testimony, Spear said the industry is

See Hearing on p7 m

Trucking Alliance says there’s no greater pressure

on industry other than to reduce fatalities, injuries

• Truck drivers should be 21 years old or older

to operate commercial trucks in interstate commerce.

• Large trucks should adhere to a reasonable maximum

speed of 65 mph

• Collision mitigation systems should be required

on new commercial trucks

Steve Williams, chairman and CEO of Maverick

USA in Little Rock, Arkansas, who is co-founder of

the Trucking Alliance and serves as the coalition’s

president, noted that 2017, the last reportable year,

there were more than 415,000 large-truck accidents in

the U.S. in which 4,761 were killed, including more

than 600 truck drivers, and 148,000 were injured.

“These statistics should alarm every trucking

company employer, whose drivers share the road

with millions of motorists every day,” Williams said.

“The trucking industry is indispensable to the U.S.

See Alliance on p9m


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2 • July 1-14, 2019 Nation Thetrucker.com T

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Nation July 1-14, 2019 • 3

Report: Raising federal fuel tax won’t

pay for infrastructure improvements

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

WASHINGTON — Raising the federal

fuel tax won’t adequately and fairly pay for

future roadway infrastructure needs, argues a

new Competitive Enterprise Institute report released

last month.

“Our interstate highway system is crucial to

promoting commerce and Americans’ quality

of life, and lawmakers must decide how to direct

$1 trillion in needed rehabilitation and enhancement

of that system over the next two decades,”

said Marc Scribner, CEI senior fellow

and author of the report. “With rising vehicle

fuel economy and declining fuel tax revenue

per mile traveled, a new approach is needed to

support roadway investments.”

The report also highlights the fact that motor

fuel taxes are regressive, because lower-income

Americans tend to drive older, less fuelefficient

vehicles and thus pay more to drive

the same distances.

“Instead, Congress should eliminate barriers

to state, local, and private investment,

re-evaluate what transportation infrastructure

projects truly merit federal support, and transition

away from per-gallon taxation toward permile

road usage fees,” Scribner said.

The report urges Congress and the administration

to support crucial reforms for the next

federal surface transportation reauthorization,

also known as the highway bill. The current law

is set to expire at the end of September 2020.

Specifically:

• Reconsider federal priorities. Continue

funding highway freight corridors — major

roadways used by heavy trucks — but stop

funding roadways that are used mostly by state

and local residents not engaged in interstate

commerce.

• Change how roadways are funded. Instead

of a federal fuel tax, switch to a system of mileage-based

user fees whereby users are directly

charged based on the distances (and perhaps

weight of the vehicle) they drive.

• Promote local self-help. Give states increased

procurement and operating flexibility by

eliminating federal restrictions on tolling stateowned

Interstate Highway System segments.

• Harness private investment. Empower states

and localities to seek private partners by eliminating

the $15 billion lifetime volume cap on private

activity bonds used in surface transportation.

• Remove red tape. Take a hard look at procurement,

labor, and environmental rules, and

eliminate the policies that drive up costs and

create delays for no or trivial public benefit.

©2019 FOTOSEARCH

A Competitive Enterprise Institute report

on highway funding suggests that states be

given increased procurement and operating

flexibility by eliminating federal restrictions

on tolling state-owned Interstate Highway

System segments.

CEI recommendations are counter to the

beliefs of the American Trucking Associations,

the Truckload Carriers Association and the

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

that an increase in the fuel tax is needed to

sustain the Highway Trust Fund.

The report drew the immediate praise of

Patrick D. Jones, executive director and CEO

of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike

Association, the worldwide association

representing toll facility owners and operators

and the businesses that serve them.

“The CEI’s report calling on Congress to

embrace alternative sources of transportation

funding like tolling and a mileage-based user

fee is a welcome addition to the growing chorus

of voices speaking out in support of new ways

to invest and fund our nation’s infrastructure,”

Jones said. “The Highway Trust Fund is insolvent,

and Congress continues to use billions

of dollars in general purpose funds to keep it

limping along. The gas tax is unsustainable and

continues to fall well short in paying for our

roads, bridges and tunnels. Our underfunding

and underinvestment in our nation’s infrastructure

is showing in degraded roadways, deteriorating

bridges on the 60-year-old interstate

system and other highways across America. If

we continue to do nothing, or do not properly

invest in our infrastructure, the U.S. economy

and drivers will continue to suffer, slipping further

behind as a world leader.”

According to the organization’s website,

CEI is a nonprofit public policy organization

dedicated to advancing the principles of limited

government, free enterprise and individual

liberty. CEI said its mission is to promote

both freedom and fairness by making good

policy good politics. 8

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4 • July 1-14, 2019 Nation

THETRUCKER.COM

Several factors lead to obvious: driver obesity rate higher

because of dietary options, lack of sleep, irregular schedules

Cliff Abbott

cliffa@thetrucker.com

Truck drivers, on average, are not as

healthy as people in the general population.

That’s just one of the conclusions drawn in a

whitepaper published in April 2019 by Atlas

Injury Prevention Solutions, “Relationship

between Demographics and Wellness in the

Transportation Industry.”

The paper summarizes results from medical

data collected from over 15,000 transportation

industry workers over a five-year

period ending in 2018. The group included

nearly 6,000 drivers. Other workers included

in the survey were office, terminal and shop

employees.

Atlas is a provider of pre-employment

physical function screening, wellness training,

ergonomics training, healthcare support and

other health-related services.

As expected, the data isn’t kind to the driving

population. The numbers show that obesity

rates are higher for drivers than for nondrivers,

citing limited availability of healthy

dietary options, sleep deprivation, irregular

schedules and lack of physical activity as some

of the reasons for problem.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention reports that 38% of the U.S. population

meets the criteria for obesity, while the

Atlas study shows 52% of drivers meeting

those criteria.

Obesity is only a part of the problem.

The screening also measured blood pressure,

blood glucose levels, cholesterol and triglyceride

levels, all of which are more likely to be

higher than normal when obesity is present.

These conditions comprise a cluster of conditions

known as Metabolic Syndrome (MetS).

Individuals who display a combination of

three or more of the MetS conditions have an

increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes,

all potential killers.

The study showed that drivers are 80%

more likely than nondrivers to have at least

three of the MetS conditions.

Another area where drivers do worse than

their nondriving counterparts is tobacco use.

Despite years of warnings and negative publicity,

drivers are 130% more likely to smoke

than nondrivers, increasing further their risk of

diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

One major issue cited in the study is the

failure of many drivers to fully utilize available

health care options. Many receive only

the treatment necessary to pass a DOT physical

exam, qualifying them to drive a commercial

motor vehicle, while ignoring ongoing health

concerns and overall wellness. According to

the study, potential barriers to receiving regular

medical care include failure to recognize lifelong

issues, difficulty of scheduling and keeping

appointments, and cost.

Some drivers who are in early stages of

MetS don’t experience outward symptoms

of illness or don’t think the symptoms they

do experience are serious enough to warrant

medical attention. The issue with hypertension

and other conditions is that they do not

generally get better on their own. Aging and

Courtesy: PILOT FLYING J

Truckers get hungry while on the road and when it comes time for a break or to fuel up,

they are tempted by the availability of snacks and drinks that can lead to obesity, diabetes

or heart disease.

increased weight tend to make the problems

worse. Drivers who aren’t compliant with prescribed

treatment, including regular medication

and weight loss recommendations, will

almost certainly experience worsening symptoms

as time goes on.

The difficulty in scheduling and making

appointments with a personal physician can be

daunting, especially when the driver’s carrier

does not do a good job getting drivers home

for appointments. Often, the driver’s time at

home doesn’t coincide with the physician’s

business hours and, even when it does, family

business often takes priority. Then, there’s

the ever-increasing cost of health care, and the

usual confusion over what is covered and the

cost of copays and deductibles. A typical copay

for an office visit, for example, is as low

at $20 under some plans and a prescription for

several months of a generic blood-pressure

medication often sells for $10 or less. Even

so, drivers must make the appointment, pick

up the prescription and take the medication as

described, or the health issue gets worse.

Often, drivers who are obese are counseled

to change their diets and exercise more, both

difficult to achieve on the road without a total

commitment.

If improving the driver’s health isn’t a big

enough concern, the possibility of unemployment

should be. Drivers who can’t obtain a

medical card can’t legally drive commercial

vehicles, period. The newest DOT physical

exam guidelines, updated in December 2017,

give physicians much more leeway in granting

medical qualification. Years ago, a driver

with a medical problem might expect to receive

a three-month certification and might

have to simply pass a retest of blood pressure

or blood sugar levels to move up to a one or

two-year certification. These days, doctors

can request further testing and sign off from

the driver’s personal physician before granting

any certification at all, effectively suspending

the driver’s career until requirements

are complied with.

Changing jobs takes on a new meaning,

as well. While much of the text in the Atlas

whitepaper discusses improvement of driver

health, one described priority is to “assist the

person in charge of health and safety to identify

and prioritize higher-risk drivers.” While

that phrase could be interpreted to mean identification

of current drivers who may need

health care intervention, it also applies to

the increasing number of carriers who utilize

pre-employment “physical agility” testing.

While evaluating the potential driver’s ability

to perform the physical functions of the

job such as climbing, lifting, and so on, the

process can also be used to weed out drivers

who may present increased risk of expensive

health treatment or workers compensation expense.

Carriers must exercise extreme caution

when declining employment to applicants to

avoid the risk of violating labor, unemployment

or equal-opportunity laws, but testing is

often structured to collect data that is difficult

to refute.

Whether used to exclude drivers with

undesirable health characteristics or to identify

those that could benefit from health and

wellness training, data collected from drivers

clearly shows that issues exist.

Those interested in obtaining a copy of

the whitepaper or learning more about services

provided by Atlas can find more information

at atlas-ips.com. 8

USPS 972

Volume 32, Number 13

July 1-14, 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

Megan Cullingford-Hicks

meganh@targetmediapartners.com

Editor

Lyndon Finney

editor@thetrucker.com

Assistant Editor

Klint Lowry

klint.lowry@thetrucker.com

Production Manager

Rob Nelson

robn@thetrucker.com

Graphic Artist

Christie McCluer

christie.mccluer@thetrucker.com

Special Correspondent

Cliff Abbott

cliffa@thetrucker.com

National Marketing Consultants

Jerry Critser

jerryc@targetmediapartners.com

Dennis Ball

dennisb@targetmediapartners.com

John Hicks

johnh@targetmediapartners.com

Meg Larcinese

megl@targetmediapartners.com

Greg McClendon

gregmc@targetmediapartners.com

Telephone: (501) 666-0500

Fax: (501) 666-0700

E-mail: news@thetrucker.com

Web: www.thetrucker.com

Single-copy mail subscription available at $59.95

per year. Periodicals Postage Paid at Little Rock,

AR 72202-9651 and additional entry offices.

Publishers Rights: All advertising, including artwork and

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once published and may be reproduced in any media

only by publisher. Publisher reserves the right to refuse

or edit any ad without notice and does not screen or endorse

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republication for one insertion with notice received

within three days of first publication. All items subject to

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6 • July 1-14, 2019 Nation

THETRUCKER.COM

FTR notes longstanding surplus

in Mexico trade for rail, trucking

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Although the

U.S. goods trade deficit with Mexico is about

$80 billion, the U.S. has a longstanding trade

surplus with Mexico in terms of rail tonnage

and a growing truck tonnage surplus over the

past three years, according to just-completed

analysis by FTR.

Using the Freight•cast forecasting model,

FTR translated value-based trade data published

by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics

into transportation tonnage and loadings to

and from Mexico and Canada.

The forecasting firm’s analysis of crossborder

trade data has been ongoing for several

months and happened to conclude around the

time President Trump announced tariffs on all

imports from Mexico, effective June 10.

“With China continuing to be problematic,

we know that there had been some shifting of

sourcing to Mexico, so potential tariffs on Mexican

imports raise important questions,” said Eric

Starks, chairman and CEO of FTR. “Either we

lose this freight, see increased costs, or both.”

The U.S. rail sector has run a significant

surplus of tonnage into Mexico for years, but

U.S.-Mexico truck tonnage had been more balanced

until 2016, when the U.S. trucking sector

posted its first meaningful surplus since 2008.

The picture looks a bit different regarding loads

into and out of Mexico. Rail loadings are volatile

year to year, but the U.S. runs a deficit of

truck loads to the tune of about 800,000 a year.

Rail movements into and out of Mexico

represent about 3.2% of all U.S. rail moves,

and that portion has grown steadily since 2009.

Excluding intermodal, U.S.-Mexico traffic represents

about 5.5% of total U.S. rail moves, and

that number has nearly doubled since 2009.

FTR estimates that truck loads into and out

of Mexico make up just 1.5% of all U.S. truck

Associated Press: HANS-MAXIMO MUSIELIK

A truck crosses the border between Mexico

and the United States in Nuevo Laredo,

Mexico. FTR estimates that truck loads into

and out of Mexico make up just 1.5% of all

U.S. truck loadings, but that share has risen

by about 50% since 2009.

loadings, but that share has risen by about 50%

since 2009.

“Rail is more exposed than truck even

though it has a smaller portion of overall crossborder

freight,” Starks said. “Changes in freight

would be felt quicker by the rail sector. If we

assume a retaliation by Mexico, rail could be

hit further because Mexico potentially has other

ready sources for some of the most important

rail exports to Mexico, such as fuel and grain.”

With truck, while the share of overall truck

volume dedicated to Mexico is small, a big

piece of that are parts for vehicles, computers,

and machinery.

“If the trucking freight went away, that in

itself would not be a death knell for trucking,

but the broader issue is the exponential impact

on U.S. manufacturing,” Starks said.

For information on how to subscribe to

State of Freight INSIGHTS and other FTR

products, visit ftrintel.com or contact FTR by

email at sales@ftrintel.com or by phone at

888-988-1699, ext. 1. 8

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Thetrucker.com

b Hearing from page 1 b

committed to safety on the nation’s highways

and to the deployment of proven technologies

that will make the roads safer.

“Safety anchors the very foundation of

the trucking industry, shaping our core values

and decision-making,” he said. “That is why

the trucking industry invests approximately

$10 billion annually in safety initiatives, including

onboard technologies such as electronic

logging devices, collision avoidance

systems and video-event recorders.

“These investments also include driver

safety training, driver safety incentive pay

and compliance with safety regulations,”

Spear said, “and while some of these investments

are made to meet a myriad of regulatory

requirements, many of them are voluntary,

progressive safety initiatives adopted by our

members and they’re paying dividends in

highway safety.”

Spear’s testimony outlined ATA’s agenda

for reauthorization, which includes datadriven

improvements to the current hoursof-service

rules, rejection of onerous mandates

for dubious technologies, support for

proven safety technology systems, enhanced

employer notification systems, use of hair

samples for mandated drug screenings,

workforce development measures like the

DRIVE-Safe Act and increased infrastructure

investment.

Spencer shared in his testimony concerns

about the lack of driver training, truck parking

shortage, excessive detention time and

overregulation.

He said that trucking is broken, but certainly

not beyond repair, and that the most

critical components are the drivers.

“Large motor carriers are pressuring Congress

to enact unsafe policies to combat a fictitious

driver shortage, while doing nothing

to address their precariously high turnover

rates. The American economy is stronger

than it has been in years, but many drivers

are still struggling to make ends meet,”

Spencer said.

The association has long sought ways to

address one of the biggest inefficiencies in

the industry, which is excessive detention, a

problem that makes it difficult for drivers to

earn a living since they are typically paid by

the mile and not by the hour.

Spencer said OOIDA also supports robust

training standards for new entrants, including

behind-the-wheel experience. Spencer

also labeled the driver shortage as a myth,

pointing toward high turnover rates among

large motor carriers as one of the industry’s

most pressing problems.

House Transportation and Infrastructure

Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-

Ore., opened the hearing by saying the trucking

industry is reaching a tipping point.

“The policies Congress chooses to enact

to relieve this pressure will have real impacts

on public safety, carrier operations, and truck

driver wages and working conditions,” he

said. “Carriers have set the expectation that

they can and will deliver more goods faster

and at the lowest possible cost. In many cases,

drivers absorb the uncertainties of goods

movement — everything from congestion

and wait times at ports and shipper facilities

to fluctuating fuel prices.”

DeFazio said drivers who are compensated

by the mile, not by the hour, face the false

choice of getting paid or getting adequate

rest.

“They often do not see their wages rise

even as their work days get longer,” he said,

“and when states enact progressive laws to

Nation July 1-14, 2019 • 7

provide truck drivers with paid sick leave or

paid rest breaks, most of the industry works

to quash these efforts through federal preemption.”

In light of these pressures on drivers, it’s

no surprise that rigid, complex regulations

— such as hours of service — feel unworkable,

the chairman said.

“But we cannot paper over this problem

by granting exemptions and stretching drivers

even thinner through longer on-duty windows

while ignoring the underlying operational

realities,” he said.

The subcommittee’s ranking member,

Rodney Davis, R-Ill., noted the size of the

trucking industry, pointing out that trucks

moved approximately 10.8 billion tons of

freight in 2017, and the industry employs over

6 million drivers.

Safety has and must continue to be a focus

of a surface transportation reauthorization bill.

“We need to focus federal resources where

they can make the most impact and continue

to provide state law enforcement agencies

with the tools and resources they need to effectively

enforce federal regulations,” he said.

“We must also be careful to not impose burdensome

regulations that impede our ability

to move goods or that do not help us achieve

our safety objective.

“Finally, we must ensure that we make the

necessary improvements to our surface transportation

system to continue to facilitate the

safe and efficient movement of freight.” 8

Become an OOIDA member.

800-444-5791 • www.ooida.com


8 • July 1-14, 2019 Nation

S.H.I.P. advocates for heavier trucks

in states that opt-in to pilot program

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

WASHINGTON — The Safer Hauling and

Infrastructure Planning (S.H.I.P.) Coalition,

through the testimony of coalition member Pepsi-

Co, carried its message advocating an increase in

gross vehicle weight to the House Highways and

Transit Subcommittee hearing “Under Pressure:

The State of Trucking in America” held June 12.

“While PepsiCo is proud of our ability to innovate

around the current challenges facing our

trucking fleet, we believe more can be done to

advance safety, reduce emissions, and protect

infrastructure,” Rodney Noble, senior director

of transportation global procurement at PepsiCo,

told the committee. “But we are constrained by

antiquated federal laws.”

Noble is responsible for strategy development

and capacity procurement for all modes of

purchased transportation/freight, as well as North

America Fleet procurement.

The S.H.I.P. Coalition is advocating for the

increase in gross vehicle weight (GVW) limits

on the federal interstate highways in 10 states

that opt-in to the pilot program.

S.H.I.P. said a logical first step is to create a

voluntary pilot program — and in recent years

there have been truck weight pilot programs in

Maine, Vermont, Arizona, Idaho and elsewhere

— to allow a limited number of states to opt-in

and modernize the federal weight limit to 91,000

lbs. on the Interstate System within their borders.

States in the pilot would gather safety data on the

operation of those modern trucks.

“Increasing the weight limit will not mean

longer, higher or wider trucks, just more productive

trucks,” S.H.I.P. said. “Standardsized trucks

Courtesy: IOWA 80

One of the highlights of the Walcott Truckers Jamboree is the fireworks display, which traditionally

draws hundreds of onlookers.

will be fitted with a sixth axle that allows them to

safely carry more because of an additional braking

mechanism and better weight dispersal.

S.H.I.P. said GVW laws have not been updated

since 1982 despite major advancement in

vehicle safety and paving technology.

Thirty states already allow trucks above

80,000 pounds on portions of their federal interstate

highways in some capacity, and their communities

are safer because of it, Noble said.

Bringing trucking into the 21st century will

make roads safer for families, minimize congestion

on state and local roads, and reduce infrastructure

costs, saving taxpayer dollars, he said.

“USDOT has said they don’t have enough information

to know the impact of increased truck

weight with a sixth-axle on our roads, which is

why I have joined with many of my colleagues

and asked for Congress to authorize a pilot program

so we can get that information,” Rep. Mike

Gallagher, R-Wis., said during the hearing.

The S.H.I.P. Coalition is a joint effort of more

than 80 manufacturers, agribusinesses, retailers,

and trade associations who are looking for safe

and smart solutions to address the challenges that

have long plagued our nation’s freight network.

“Our diverse membership is working hard

to educate policymakers on a pilot program that

will allow a limited number of states to voluntarily

opt-in as means to study the benefits of the

modern, six-axle, bridge formula compliant truck

configuration that is already allowed on many

state roads,” said Sean Joyce, executive director

of the S.H.I.P. Coalition..

S.H.I.P. listed two points in its presentation.

• Increasing the federal GVW limit on six axles

will not only make the trucks more efficient,

it will also make them safer. A 10-year pilot in

Idaho found there was no heightened safety risk

with increased weights, and the U.S. Department

of Transportation concluded that six-axle

trucks had better braking. Likewise, a report on

a 20-year pilot program in Maine attributed a

70-year low in road fatalities to increased truck

weights.

• The Minnesota Department of Transportation

found that the addition of a sixth axle created

a 37% reduction in road wear and an overall

reduction in the number of trips needed to transport

products. Modern trucks are also federal

bridge formula compliant.

Some members of the S.H.I.P. Coalition

include Anheuser-Busch, International Paper,

Tyson Foods, the American Chemistry Council,

the Agriculture Transportation Coalition,

Thetrucker.com

Courtesy: HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Thirty states already allow trucks above 80,000 pounds on portions of their federal interstate

highways in some capacity, and their communities are safer because of it, said Rodney Noble,

senior director of transportation global procurement at PepsiCo.

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

WALCOTT, Iowa — It’s summertime and

for the professional truck driver that means one

thing.

It’s time to head to Walcott, Iowa, for the

Walcott Truckers Jamboree hosted at the Iowa

80 Truckstop located on I-80, Exit 284.

This year’s jamboree is scheduled for July

11-13. Iowa 80 says the event provides a great

place to celebrate and learn about trucking and

those big rigs.

“It’s our way of saying thank you to the millions

of truck drivers that deliver the goods we

consume, whether it’s groceries, gas, clothes or

cars — you can bet it was delivered by a truck,”

Iowa 80 said in its online promotional material.

The 40th version of the jamboree features

all the traditional events, including an antique

truck display, Super Trucks Beauty Contest,

over 150 exhibits, the Iowa Pork Chop Cookout,

carnival games, live country music, the

Trucker Olympics and a fireworks display.

Coming back this year are the Pet Contest

on Friday and a Donut Wall (in lieu of cake)

and PepsiCo, among others. The S.H.I.P. Coalition

is advocating for creating a safer and

more environmentally friendly trucking system

by modernizing GVW limits. Joyce said the

coalition is calling on Congress to create a pilot

program so states can voluntarily collect safety

data on the potential benefits of modernizing

truck weights.

S.H.I.P. advocates for a modern, six-axle,

91,000-pound truck configuration.

In 2016, a U.S. Department of Transportation

Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight

Limit Study found many advantages for this

configuration, including faster braking, a

$358-million reduction in annual congestion

costs, a 1.2 billion-mile reduction in annual

vehicle miles traveled on U.S. roads, and a 2.4

billion-pound reduction in annual carbon dioxide

emissions, Joyce said. 8

40th annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree

scheduled for July 11-13 at Iowa 80 stop

on Saturday in the Super Truck Showroom at

9 a.m.

Admission and parking are free.

Musical acts include the Davisson Brothers

Band on Thursday, July 11 at 7 p.m.; Sawyer

Brown at 7 p.m. Friday, July 12; and The Kentucky

Headhunters at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 13.

Lindsay Lawler and Natalie Stovall will open

for Sawyer Brown beginning at 5 p.m., Friday,

July 12.

“We love that we have a large area to continue

to hold outdoor concerts. The Walcott Truckers

Jamboree truly is a great part of summer and

the very best way to celebrate America’s truckers”,

says Heather DeBaillie, marketing manager.

“All three concerts will be high energy and lots of

fun. This line up is not to be missed.”

Of special interest to Jamboree attendees

in recent years has been the Iowa 80 Trucking

Museum. The museum is celebrating two

100-year-old trucks: a 1919 International and a

1919 Pierce Arrow with a birthday party at 2:30

p.m. on July 12. For more information, visit

truckersjamboree.com. 8


Thetrucker.com

b Alliance from page 1 b

economy,” Williams recently said. “But the industry

has too many accidents. More truck drivers

lost their lives in 2017 than in any year in the

previous 10 years. We must aggressively address

these tragic figures.”

Williams believes a first step is to reverse the

industry priorities. “Support progressive safety

reforms that make sense for our country and citizens

first, our industry second, and our companies

third,” he said. “Yet several trucking-specific bills

before the House Transportation & Infrastructure

Committee would propose the opposite — legislation

to benefit companies first, the trucking

industry second, and our country and citizens,

third. This committee must adopt safety reforms

to reduce large truck crashes and reject legislation

that would appease special interests but sacrifice

public safety in the process.”

Williams noted that ELDs play a major role

in reducing truck crashes, yet rather than embrace

ELDs for the safety benefits they will achieve,

certain industry segments want an exemption

from ELDs.

He said there are at least two bills before the

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

that would allow thousands of truck drivers

of agricultural goods to operate “off the grid”

and without a reliable way to verify whether

they are in compliance with on-duty regulations.

These bills would compromise public safety.

Another bill would allow any motor carrier

that operates 10 or fewer trucks to operate without

ELDs.

According to data provided by the American

Trucking Associations, over 90% of the nation’s

motor carriers have 10 or fewer trucks.

In its comments, the Trucking Alliance also

renewed its push for hair testing for substance

abuse.

Williams said the Alliance recently submitted

data to the Department of Transportation showing

“compelling evidence” that thousands of habitual

drug users are manipulating federal drug

test protocols and obtaining jobs as commercial

truck drivers.

He said the survey data compared the pre-employment

drug test results of 151,662 truck driver

applicants who were asked to submit to two drug

tests: a urinalysis and a hair analysis. Almost all

applicants held an active commercial driver license.

Williams said 94% of the truck driver applicants

tested drug-free. However, thousands of

applicants failed either or both drug tests.

“Alarmingly, the urinalysis, the only method

recognized by USDOT and relied on by almost

all trucking company employers, actually failed

to identify most drug abusers,” Williams said.

“The urinalysis detected drugs in 949 applicants,

about 1% of the population. However, 8.6%, or

8,878 truck driver applicants, either failed or refused

the hair test. Put another way, the urinalysis

missed nine out of 10 actual illicit drug users.”

The Trucking Alliance is probably the most

prominent group that is lobbying against any efforts

to allow drivers under 21 to operate in interstate

commerce.

“Most states allow teenagers between the

ages of 18-21 to operate commercial trucks within

their state boundary,” Williams said. “While

statistics are lacking, anecdotal evidence suggests

these teenage truck drivers operate lighter weight,

short trucks, such as delivery vans and straight

or panel trucks. Few teenagers actually operate

Class 8 tractor-trailer combinations within their

state. These big rigs carry a laden weight of up

to 80,000 pounds. These are the tractor trailers

used in interstate commerce. Operating these

tractor trailer combinations requires elevated

skills, considerable experience, maturity and selfdiscipline.”

Williams said the Trucking Alliance supports

a new federal safety standard that would require

all large commercial trucks to maintain a maximum

speed limit of 65 mph on the nation’s highways.

According to NHTSA, in 2017, speeding was

one of the factors for almost 27% of motor vehicle

crash deaths. The World Health Organization’s

“Report on Road Safety” estimates that for

every 1% increase in mean speed, there is a 4%

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Nation July 1-14, 2019 • 9

increase in the fatal crash risk and a 3% increase

in the serious crash risk. The top speed of large

tractor trailer combinations should be limited.

The trucking industry has historically supported

truck speed limiters.

As for safety systems, Williams said collision

mitigation systems installed in commercial trucks

can reduce large truck crashes.

He said the Trucking Alliance supports the

conclusions of a 2017 study by the AAA Foundation

for Traffic Study. The study, titled “Leveraging

Large Truck Technology and Engineering

to Realize Safety Gains,” researched four truck

safety technologies, all of which can greatly reduce

injuries and fatalities in large truck crashes:

• Lane departure warning systems, which

detect when the vehicle drifts out of its lane

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if needed

• Air disc brakes, which will eventually be

superior to traditional drum brakes, as these

systems are continually improved.

Some of the largest trucking companies

in the U.S. are members of the Trucker Alliance,

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J.B. Hunt, KLLM Transport Services, Knight

Transportation, Maverick Transportation,

Swift, U.S. Xpress and May Trucking Co. 8

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Letters

Reader says trend in newspaper seems

to be in support of younger drivers

The trend in your publication seems to be

in support of letting 18- to 20-year-olds get an

unrestricted CDL and drive everywhere.

Several articles in The Trucker seem to support

the Truckload Carriers Association, the

American Trucking Associations, etc. lie that

there is a critical driver shortage and that young

drivers are a perfectly safe solution.

Never mind that the Centers for Disease

Control, American Automobile Association and

many others irrefutably and emphatically state

that the most dangerous age demographic of motor

vehicle operators are 16- to 20-year-olds.

That under-20 demographic is three times

more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle

accident than any other age group.

One commentator went so far as to say that

of course young truckers are safe, after all we

don’t see any carnage on the roads from all the

young intrastate drivers.

What young intrastate drivers? I’m on the

roads, loading docks and truck stops 250-plus

days a year and I haven’t seen a single one.

Plus, who’s insuring these lethal young

punks? What company out there is offering

million-dollar freight and liability coverage to

teenagers? Please let me know so I can make

sure I don’t own any investments is such foolish

companies.

Tell your corporate masters that if they want

to solve their “driver shortage” they should pay

a living wage, treat professional drivers with

dignity and respect, run top end equipment and

not demand a company (slave) driver to work

2,700 to 3,000 hours per year in order to maybe

squeak out $50,000.

Thanks for reading my rant.

— Ben Lassiter

Reader points out the fact that there

are no weigh stations on toll roads

If any drivers are still under the impression

that the state is more concerned with safety

than revenue, please allow me in the following

paragraphs to dissuade them of that misapprehension.

A weigh station’s “primary function is enforcement

of tax and safety regulations.” But

one can rarely find a weigh station on a toll

road. About 15 years ago the maximum speed

limit on every interstate in Ohio was 55. Semis

were using the green stamp less and less and

that put a dent in the Buckeye pocketbook.

ODOT told us the reduced speed limit was

for safety reasons, until the bean counters informed

them of how much revenue could be

realized if they encouraged trucks to use the

turnpike by jacking up the speed limit to 65.

And so, they did. They didn’t raise the speed

limit on I-75 or I-70 or I-76 or I-77 (non-toll

roads), only on I-80, the toll road.

All of a sudden, miraculously, 65 mph for

See Letters on p11 m

Perspective July

Lyndon Finney

editor@thetrucker.com

Eye on

Trucking

We at The Trucker collaborate with the

Truckload Carriers Association to publish

Truckload Authority, the official publication of

the association that represents the interests of

the truckload industry.

The magazine is published every two

months, and the week of publication is quite

intense as we simultaneously work on the next

issue of The Trucker.

The week of June 10 was one of those

weeks, as we constantly communicated back

and forth with the fine folks at TCA headquarters

in Alexandria, Virginia, via text, phone and

e-mail.

As I sat at my desk and listened to the lively

— and never tense despite the clock winding

down toward the deadline for transmitting the

publication to the printer — banter back and

forth among our editorial and production staff,

I was reminded that I’d never paid proper homage

to one of the greatest trucking journalists

in the business.

It was her infectious laughter that became

the catalyst for this column.

I first met Dorothy Cox when I went to work

at the Arkansas Democrat in the early 1970s.

She eventually left the Democrat and moved

across downtown to the Arkansas Gazette.

Going to work for the Gazette — which

was considered one of the best newspapers

in the country and which had won a Pulitzer

Prize in 1958 for its pro-integration stance in

the Little Rock Central High School integration

crisis the year before — was the dream of

every journalist in Arkansas.

Dorothy was still working at the Gazette on

October 19, 1991, when the Democrat bought

the Gazette and its employees were ordered

under guard to remove personal property and

leave the building posthaste.

By that time, the Gazette, which had been

owned by the well-respected Patterson family,

had been sold to the national media company

Gannett, which had immense assets with which

to fight the Democrat but received criticism

for bringing in out-of-town reporters and staff

and losing the local feel of the paper. The Gazette,

nicknamed the “Old Gray Lady,” became

flashier, but critics complained that the paper

had lost the respect of its hometown readership

and ultimately the war with the Democrat.

I left the daily newspaper business in Little

Rock in 1983 and lost track of many acquaintances,

including Dorothy, a feisty lady who

was photographed on one occasion puffing on

a big cigar.

Then came one day in 2004 when I began

the interview process that led me to my current

position.

Then-publisher Laura Stacks was showing

me around the office and when we walked into

the editorial department, there was Dorothy

pounding away on one of those old-fashioned

colorful iMacs.

Between November 2004 and late last year

when she went part-time, Dorothy was our assistant

editor, finally retiring full time April 30

of this year.

1-14, 2019 • 10

Thanks for the good times, Dorothy. We certainly miss you

I can tell you why it’s broken:

the 14-hour rule, lack of

sufficient training, incredibly

high insurance rates, lack of a

livable wage, lack of sufficient

parking and federal government

overregulation. Now, to

fix it get rid of the 14-hour rule

and go back to 15 hours on

duty in a 24-hour period. Make

mandatory training a minimum

of three months and 480

hours behind the wheel before

a driver can be turned loose

on his own. Set a cap on the

amount an insurance company

can charge you to insure your

equipment. Pay drivers by the

hour for everything they do not

by the mile. Start opening up

these closed weigh stations

and shut-down rest areas to allow trucks to park. And for goodness

sake, take the paper and pencil out of the hands of the federal government

so they stop writing more and more regulations.

— Keith Becker

Fortunately for us, our management team has

given us the privilege of calling on Dorothy for

occasions such as press day for Truckload Authority,

so she was in the office June 13-14.

It wasn’t long after she arrived, something

funny happened and the room was filled with

Dorothy’s infectious laughter.

There were occasions over the years that

she laughed so hard she would lose her breath

and we’d all rush to her desk, first to make sure

she was going to be able to breath again and

second to see what in the world was so funny

it had set her off.

Dorothy’s knowledge of the industry allowed

her to talk with truck drivers about

anything and everything, and she was always

patient with callers, who were just looking for

someone to listen about their needs.

Her writing and editing skills were impeccable.

And I’ve never seen anyone to could conduct

and interview and literally type every

word the interviewee said in copy so clean that

it could have almost been printed verbatim.

When I tried to do the same, it came out some

like this…”skgd (Smith) said, adging (adding) he

sirht (might) kange (change) hid numd (mind).”

Two of her passions were the fight against

human trafficking and the desire to see more and

more women both behind the wheel and in corporate

offices.

She was a dedicated Christian lady whose

values were always evident in her manners and

her loyalty.

We will miss Dorothy.

To Dorothy, we will say what she wrote at the

end of her Around the Bend column each issue.

Be safe and God bless. 8

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association President Todd Spencer

told a House panel recently that trucking was “broken.” If you agree, why

is it broken and how do you fix it? Let us hear from you.

Know why trucking is broken?

It’s because the ATA

and OOIDA and other trucking

groups allowed it to break.

These groups were orchestrated

to keep an eye on things and

looked the other way. Big companies

got bigger without responsibility,

shady outfits became

criminal, and then there

are all the reckless accidents

that injured and killed people.

So the government stepped in

and initiated all these regulations.

Do you think membership

fees allowed OOIDA to get

as big as it is? Do you think the

ATA got as big as it did just by

donations? They got kickbacks

from these big companies to

look the other way, all based

on greed and to monopolize

the trucking industry. If groups like the ATA and OOIDA were

doing their job, we wouldn’t be jn this mess.

— Robert Rowe


THETRUCKER.COM

Perspective July 1-14, 2019 • 11

trucks wasn’t so dangerous. It was inversely

proportional: the more dough that entered

Ohio’s coffers, the safer 65 mph became.

Ohio is not alone. Just about every state has

fixed weigh stations, but they are curiously absent

from every toll road.

Oklahoma has weigh stations on I-35 but

none on the I-44 toll road. If you want to avoid

the outrageously costly Indiana toll road (about

29 cents a mile) and you get on US-20W after

leaving Ohio you are immediately confronted

with a sign, “Motor Carrier Target Enforcement

Area.” You will find no such specie of

sign anywhere along the 156 miles of the Indiana

toll road. Why? Because the keeper of

that artery wants the $56 that every 18-wheeler

must expectorate for its use.

New York has about 420 miles of toll road

and not a chicken coop to be found, fixed or

otherwise. Yet, in the past year in the Empire

State I have encountered portable scales on

I-81 and I-84. Albany makes millions of dollars

per year from that passageway. New York

should hang its head in shame lower than the

rest of the leeches because the N.Y. Thruway’s

tolls were scheduled to be removed in the

1980s as the road wasn’t built with tax money

but through a bond offering. I worked there for

three years so I know.

When entering New Jersey from Delaware

on I-95 you come to a split in the road. You can

go left and get on the I-95 toll road or you can

veer right and get on the free I-295, which parallels

I-95. Of course, if you choose the right

you will, within moments, come upon a weigh

station and those guys don’t mess around. You

learn in a hurry that you are better off paying

the N.J. Turnpike toll than subjecting yourself

and your truck to those uniformed martinets.

No matter what our lords and protectors say

about safety of the motoring public being their

primary concern, the numbers don’t lie. By any

metric employed it is clear that, as far as officialdom

is concerned, scratch trumps safety.

— Nicole DeRavin, driver

Cardenas Transfer

Newburgh, New York

65 mph speed limit would essentially

create 2 speeds for cars, trucks

I read the article about The Trucking Alliance

saying the greatest pressure on trucking is

to prevent fatal and injury accidents.

Most of what is being said in this article is

correct. However what bothers me is the 65

mph maximum speed. If imposed on all trucks,

this would essentially create a split speed limit.

These have been proven over and over again to

be counterproductive to safety.

You have disarmed the larger vehicle and

made it a sitting duck in traffic. In many states

that used to have a split speed, trucks were often

involved in being rear-ended by cars.

The real problems are that drivers still are

being pressed for time, trying to make at times

tough schedules, and having to put up with delays

at the customer.

To which many of the aforementioned

members of The Trucking Alliance say that

paying drivers $15 an hour after giving up two

hours is adequate.

They have limited drivers pay for waiting

now they also want to limit their speed, as well.

This translates into drivers being late having

to babysit loads without compensation.

The real problem for the most part is distracted

driving, people in cars who don’t know how to

drive around trucks, and horrible infrastructure.

If a driver of a large truck keeps a good following

distance in front of himself, it doesn’t matter

how fast he is traveling.

Driver sums up state of trucking:

overregulation, overregulation

I’m responding to the hearing about the

state of trucking in our country.

My comment is overregulation, overregulation,

overregulation.

Prisoners have more freedom than drivers.

After 22 years of driving I can’t wait to quit.

Between e-logs and cameras all over the truck,

who would want to do this anymore?

I used to encourage those around me to

drive, but not anymore. This is the most overregulated

industry to the point it is ridiculously

out of control.

Hire people with an IQ higher than a brick

and you wouldn’t have the problems that you do.

Stop making it easier “automatics” for

anyone to drive a truck. I have a saying, just

because you can get a CDL doesn’t mean you

should. And just because you have a CDL

doesn’t mean you should utilize it! I can say

more but, what’s the point, just like writing this

much. Good luck!

— Mike 8

Got an opinion on a key

trucking issue?

Send it online to:

editor@thetrucker.com

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12

AT

THE TRUCK STOP

PRESENTED BY CAT SCALE, VISIT WEIGHMYTRUCK.COM

This driver is finally living his childhood dream,

and living it up with his kids

The Trucker: KLINT LOWRY

Gaylon Walker is spending a good part of the summer spending quality time with his children, bringing them along so they can see what dad does when he’s away from home driving a truck.

Klint Lowry

Klint.Lowry@thetrucker.com

Do teachers still have kids write essays about

“What I did on my summer vacation”? If they

do, Gaylon Walker’s kids will have it made.

It was about 8 a.m., and like a lot of his

fellow truckers at the Petro Truck Stop off

Interstate 40, Exit 161, just east of Little

Rock, Arkansas, Walker was getting ready

for a day on the road. He approached the

food counter with a spring in his step.

“I hope you’re ready for me,” he said to

the woman behind the counter, “because I’m

hungry.”

She stood ready. He kept ordering, and

the way she kept loading up the container,

he was lucky the truck stop didn’t sell their

meals by the pound.

She set the brimming container near the

register. On second thought, Walker said, his

son Kollin is sleeping in the cab, maybe he

should get a little bit more.

“You’re just remembering you son is with

you?” the woman asked. No, that’s not it,

Walker explained. He’d been ordering for

both of them, but it’s easy to underestimate

the appetite of a 15-year-old boy.

School let out for the summer a few weeks

ago, and Walker is letting his kids see what

dad’s job is all about.

Actually, it’s all still pretty new to Walker.

He has been a professional truck driver for

just a bit over a year now. Before that he had

worked at a Kroger distribution center back

home in Houston.

“I was a truck unloader,” he said. “I worked

in the freezer for about five and a half years,

then I started unloading trucks the remaining

time I was there.” It was a setting that constantly

reminded him of a childhood dream.

“I’ve been wanting a truck since I was

for 4 years old,” Walker said. “I saw the

opportunity at 37 years old, and I took the

opportunity.”

Of course, the dreams of a 4-year-old child

are free from adult realities that can put a

damper on those dreams. But he came into

trucking with an adult perspective. The first

company he worked for wasn’t so great, he

said. But that’s to be expected.

“In the trucking industry, you might have

to go through two or three companies before

you find that one company you’re going

to stay with,” he said. He feels like he’s

found one he can stick with. About a month

ago, Walker signed on with John Christner

Trucking. “I’m buying a truck through them.

It’s a good program.”

His goal is to eventually have his own

business with three or four trucks, and if all

goes well, leasing them through Christner.

Having the maturity to know that living out

his dream was going to take some getting used

to, Walker said he’s adapted to life on the road

in his first year. One thing he realized very

quickly is that you burn a lot more calories

unloading trucks than you do driving them.

Don’t let that gigantic truck stop breakfast

fool you, he’s careful about what he eats.

He gets one meal a day at a restaurant or

truck stop. The rest of the time, he keeps a

well-stocked fridge. “I’ve got salads, I’ve

got apples, oranges, bananas, oatmeal” and a

few more fun-food type snacks to keep him

full on the road.

With 10 hours a day behind the wheel,

whenever he has a break, he makes it a point

to walk “at least a mile, mile and a half a

day” to make sure his legs stay strong.

Of course, the biggest adjustment has been

the time away from his wife and five kids.

“I call them when I’m on the road, every

day,” Walker said. “They video chat with me,

make sure I’m all right.

“They’re OK. If anything is needed at

home as far as money or my expertise they

call and talk to me. And when I’m there we

have as much fun together as we can.”

Walker is usually out on the road three

weeks at a time, and now that summer is here,

he’s bringing the kids along on an adventure.

His eldest daughter, Danaijha, just graduated

high school and is busy getting ready to join

the Navy, so Kollin got to go first. Right

now they were running a load of pork from

Washington to Alabama, through the Rocky

Mountains.

“He loves it,” Walker said. “He’s been

taking a lot of pictures.”

Kollin’s been out with him for about three

weeks. Once this run is over, they’ll head

back to Houston, 10-year-old sister Dia’ana

and 7-year-old brother Darius will get to

ride with dad. Kid sister Daphne, who’s 4,

will have to wait a few years. She’ll stay

home with mom as she tends to the family’s

barbeque business back in Houston.

Once the kids are back in school, all he

needs to do is bring a little bit of the family’s

secret family recipe pepper sauce with him

and he’ll feel like he’s right at home. 8


CATTheTrucker051519.qxp_Layout 1 5/15/19 12:31 PM Page 1

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14 • July 1-14, 2019 Perspective

OK, let’s be upfront about this. I am a lawyer

who defends CDL drivers in traffic citations.

It is what I do for a living. It puts food

on the table and a roof over my head.

With that in mind, I have had the pleasure

of speaking with 874 trillion truckers over the

years (a slight exaggeration, but not by much)

about their traffic tickets and the things they

would or would not do to keep the citation off

their record.

It seems that a lot of drivers believe that

you can just pay a traffic citation and it will

go away. Rest assured, IT DOES NOT! If you

pay a traffic citation, you are pleading guilty

to the charges against you. That conviction

goes on your Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)

which can affect your ability to get a better

job or haul for a better-paying shipper.

That conviction can affect your ability to

get a safety bonus. That conviction will definitely

affect the cost of your personal automobile

insurance for you and your family. And,

of course, that conviction may just cost you

your job and possibly your trucking career.

Accordingly, you should always fight any

citation or inspection violation that will hurt

your MVR or impact you under CSA.

In addition, some drivers think they can

scam the system by paying the fine within 24

hours of receiving the citation. Some drivers

send in $5-$10 more than the fine amount for

the citation and then never cash the check the

court sends them back for the overpayment,

thinking that will prevent the conviction from

appearing on their CDL. Also, not true.

Another of my favorites is that some drivers

think they can fail to pay the citation and it

will never show on their MVR. I really don’t

need to tell you all that this is not true, right?

The one thing that all of these drivers that

try to scam the system or fail to address the

citation have in common is that they will

not be driving trucks for long. Failure to pay

fines will result in penalties being added to

the original fine amount, suspension of driving

privileges and an arrest warrant issued for

the driver. The truth about our legal system is

this: it never forgets and it never makes a mistake

(even if it does make a mistake) — and it

works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Instead of trying to game the system, you

really need to ask yourself what you would

be willing to do protect your MVR. Would

you take a day off work to drive to the court,

another day for the trial, plus another day to

get back to your terminal? Would you give

up the loads and the money to make this happen?

Would you be able to get your company

to route you to the court with the knowledge

it could take 30 minutes or two days for you

THETRUCKER.COM

Rest assured, just paying traffic citation

will not keep violation off your record

Brad Klepper

exclusive to the trucker

Ask the

Attorney

to have your day in court? Would you do the

research on the laws you were charged with

violating? Would you represent yourself before

a judge or jury?

If you are unwilling to do that I would

suggest that you hire an attorney who knows

CDL law to represent you. Make sure the attorney

you hire is knowledgeable in the area

you need help. Do not hire a civil attorney

(wills & contracts) for criminal work such

as traffic tickets or accidents. A CDL driver

needs to hire an attorney that does a lot of

CDL defense work so the attorney will know

what will happen in the driver’s home state

and what to do in the state where the driver

received the citation.

In addition, the attorney will likely be able

to handle your legal matter without your appearance

being required and for what will

likely be less than you would pay in travel

costs to handle it yourself. I know you may

think I am being self-serving, but this is no

different than what I would tell my son or

daughter if they drove a truck for a living. In

fact, I would tell them to seek professional

advice for all areas of their life and business.

Hire an accountant to make sure you stay out

of trouble with the IRS and you know how

much money you are making. If you see your

income dropping, an accountant can help you

identify the loss, the reason for the loss, and

how to reverse the loss.

Get friendly with a banker in your home

town. Everyone needs financial help sometime.

You could need financial help because

of a big medical bill or a fire or an accident or

just about any unexpected reason. Make sure

you are in a position to ask for and receive a

loan to pull you through the troubled times.

Ultimately, the best advice I can give a

CDL driver is to follow the laws and drive

safely. Sometimes, even the very best driver

may receive a citation he does not deserve,

but protecting his MVR becomes even more

important. If you want a favor or the benefit

of the doubt from an officer on the side of the

road, your chances are much better if your

MVR is clean and you act in a professional

and courteous manner. Keep in mind that a

clean MVR is a golden ticket to the very best

jobs, the very best carriers, the very best driving

careers and the very best treatment and

respect from law enforcement.

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


THETRUCKER.COM

Perspective July 1-14, 2019 • 15

For a Christian, the greatest desire is to see

others accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior

Gaylon Taylor

Chaplain’s

Corner

As a Christian, our greatest desire should

be to see others come to know Jesus Christ

as their Lord and Savior. It is difficult to see

those we care about reject our urging to be

saved. However, we must remember that it is

not our job to save.

It is our job to sow the seeds, which is to

share the Gospel with others. In Mark 4:1-20,

Jesus used the parable of the sower to teach

his disciples the need for seed sowing. In

verse 4, he speaks of seed which fell on the

hard-packed ground and was quickly gathered

up by the birds. Verse 5 speaks of seed

that fell on rocky soil and sprang up quickly

but had no root systems and died quickly.

The seed fell on thorny ground in verse 7

and was choked out by the weeds and undergrowth.

In verse 8 he speaks of seeds which

fell on good fertile ground and grew strong

and healthy.

Let us focus on the seed that fell on the

hard-packed ground, which was quickly

picked up by the birds and never took root.

These are the people that we become discouraged

with the quickest and determine

that there is not hope for these people, and

so why should we waste our time with them?

These are the ones that we need to work

the hardest with. Just because soil is hard and

packed does not mean it cannot be made fertile.

It takes a lot of work to break up hardpacked

soil. It also takes a lot of time and

determination to make that soil ready to receive

the seed and for the seed to be able to

take root and grow.

I received a call a few days ago from a

friend and former coworker. He informed me

that a friend of ours had just a short time to

live and that hospice had been called in care for

him. We all worked for the same freight company

as line haul drivers for almost 20 years.

After my retirement from driving in 2010 we

continued to keep in contact with each other.

Over the years we had shared the Gospel with

our dying friend many times. The response was

always, “how can you be sure you are right and

everyone else is wrong?” He could not grasp

the idea of accepting Jesus by faith.

However, over the years he has been diagnosed

with cancer three times, and each time

he would ask that we pray for him. I spoke

to him just a few months ago when the doctors

told him that they would not be able to

beat the cancer this time. I ask him if he was

ready to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior

and his answer was the same as always: NO.

A few days after my friend called with the

hospice news we decided we needed to go

visit and share the Good News one more time

before it was too late. The cancer has ravaged

our friend’s body. He is only able to speak

in a mumble and is very hard to understand.

When I asked if he was ready to accept Jesus

he said what I thought was “four weeks.” I

asked his wife to help me understand what he

was saying and a big smile came on her face.

She said he accepted Jesus as his Lord and

Savior four weeks ago. I would not be honest

if I said I would not have loved to have been

the one to have shared the Word with him

and have been the one to pray with him at

that special time.

However, my friend and I could not have

been happier to hear that the one we had

been witnessing to and praying for almost 30

years is now a child of God and will spend

eternity with us in heaven.

In John 4:36-38 Jesus speaks these words

to his disciples as the Samaritans are approaching

after the woman at the well told

them she had meet Jesus: “Do you not say,

‘There are yet four months, and then comes

the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up

your eyes and look on the fields, that they are

white for harvest. For in this case the saying

is true. ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent

you to reap that which you have not labored

and you have entered into their labor.”

I rejoice that God sent the pastor to my

friend to reap the blessing of seeing him

come to Christ. I also rejoice know that my

part was to continue to work the hard-packed

soil and continue to sow the seed of the Gospel

until the Holy Spirit set that seed in my

friend’s heart. I encourage you not to give

up on anyone because they don’t accept what

you are telling them about Jesus. Just keep

working the soil and sowing the seeds. You

may never know how much your labor for

Jesus has paid off until you get to heaven and

witness to bounty of the harvest.

Have a safe trip. I’ll see you out on the

road.

The Asphalt Preacher 8

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Courtesy: NAVISTAR

The trucking industry continues to add trucks, even though the data says that freight

volumes are slowing and freight rates are beginning to fall. Picture is the International LT

series shown in farm application. International’s 2019 year-to-date market share is higher

than the same period in 2018.

Spot truckload freight volumes fail

to meet DAT expectations in May

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

PORTLAND, Ore. — Spot truckload freight

volumes failed to meet expectations in May, said

DAT Solutions, which operates the largest truckload

freight marketplace in North America.

The number of full-truckload van loads

moved on the spot market declined 12% in May

compared to April, according to the DAT Truckload

Volume Index. Van load counts were down

10% compared to May 2018. Van trailers haul approximately

70% of all truckload freight.

“Simply put, May was a disappointment in

terms of load counts,” said DAT Senior Industry

Analyst Mark Montague. “We’re accustomed to

seeing higher volumes of retail goods, fresh produce,

construction materials, and other seasonal

spot truckload freight moving through supply

Business

chains at this time of year.”

Uncertainty over trade agreements and

slumping imports from China seemed to dampen

truckload demand. Record rainfalls, flooding, and

tornadoes also hampered freight movements in

many parts of the country.

Agriculture producers saw their supply chains

disrupted by the weather, with many harvests ruined

or delayed. As a result, refrigerated volumes

declined 8.3% month over month and fell 12%

year over year.

Flatbed load volume, which includes heavy

machinery and construction material, dropped

9.3% month over month and 3.1% year over year.

Spot truckload rates continued to track well

below last year’s record levels.

See Rates on p19 m

Cliff Abbott

cliffa@thetrucker.com

New truck sales are strong but aren’t

expected to stay that way for more than a

few more months, orders for new trucks are

plummeting, and used truck inventories are

growing while sales are running well behind

last year’s rate. Those are conclusions gathered

from a variety of industry analysts.

U.S. sales of new Class 8 tractors in May

grew by 425, or 1.7%, from April sales numbers,

according to the latest data from ACT

Research. The month of May contains one

more business day than April, and that ex-

July 1-14, 2019 • 17

New Class 8 truck sales remain strong;

may stay that way only few months

tra day may account for the small increase.

Compared to May 2018, sales grew by

26.9%, or 5,278 trucks, as manufacturers

continue near-maximum production.

“We’re continuing to add trucks, even

though the data tells us that freight volumes

are slowing and freight rates are beginning

to fall,” said ACT Vice President Steve Tam.

Of the May sales, 18,303 were Class 8

tractors, compared to 17,995 in April, a 1.7%

increase. The increase over May 2018 sales

was much larger, at 31.5%, or 4,387 more

tractors. Class 8 vocational trucks experi-

See Sales on p18 m

Courtesy: DAT SOLUTIONS

This chart compares DAT Solutions spot market van volume and rates. Van load counts were

down 10% compared to May 2018. Van trailers haul approximately 70% of all truckload freight.

Data show Tax Cuts and Jobs Act had

positive impact on owner-operators

©2019 FOTOSEARCH

Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, owner-operator taxable income increased 21% while

actual tax liability increased only 12.6%, according to American Truck Business Services.

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Preliminary data

based on over 3,000 tax returns indicate that the

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act had an overall positive

impact on owner-operators in the trucking industry,

according to American Truck Business

Services (ATBS).

ATBS has observed the following statistics

related to how owner-operators fared on 2018

taxes.

First, the average owner-operator’s taxable

adjusted gross income (AGI) went from $43,093

in 2017 to $52,180 in 2018.

This was an increase of $9,087 or 21%. The

increase was predominantly related to a booming

year in the transportation industry.

During the same time, the average owner-operator

total tax liability went from $8,242 (2017)

to $9,284 (2018). This was a much smaller increase

of $1,042 or 12.6%.

The overall effective tax rate for owner-operators

went from 19.1% (2017) to 17.8% (2018)

or a reduction of 1.3%. The net result is that

owner-operator taxable income increased 21%

while actual tax liability increased only 12.6%.

Following are some of the specific reasons

for the reduction in owner-operator tax liability.

• 68% of ATBS owner-operator clients took

advantage of the qualified business income

See Data on p19 m


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18 • July 1-14, 2019 Business

b Sales from page 17 b

enced a similar increase with May sales of

6,602, compared to 6,485 in April, an increase

of 1.8%. The increase over May 2018

sales was smaller, coming in at 891 trucks,

for a 15.6% climb.

With the data indicating caution may

be best, order cancellations remain small,

around 1.5% for May. “That’s up slightly,

but still a very benign number,” Tam said.

“There’s no mass exodus and no crisis of

confidence.”

The order backlog currently sits at 7.1

months, Tam said. As the waiting time between

ordering and receiving the keys grows

shorter, Tam thinks more buyers may be

willing to cancel, losing their place in line

for new equipment. “Within a few months,”

he said, “waiting time to get back on the order

list will be down to a month or so. Giving

up your place in line won’t have the impact

it did when the backlog was approaching a

year.”

While sales of Class 8 trucks already on

the books continue in robust fashion, new orders

lag significantly behind last year’s pace.

ACT Research reported that manufacturers

took orders for 10,800 new tractors in

May, 27% lower than April orders and an astonishing

70% from May of last year.

FTR reported only 10,400 orders, the

weakest month of May since 2009.

It seems that truck buyers are confident

that they can find freight for the trucks they

have already ordered but are cautious about

ordering more.

June is typically the month in which carriers

begin ordering for the next model year,

so it will be interesting to see if orders tick

up.

Pricing of used Class 8 tractors is beginning

to stagnate, too, according to the latest

“State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used

Trucks” published by ACT Research. According

to the report, May used truck sales

declined 22% from May 2018 levels while

year-to-date sales are 16% lower than at the

THETRUCKER.COM

same point of last year. In a June 17 press release,

Tam said: “In the context of lower unit

sales and rising inventory levels, the slowing

price appreciation is a strong indication that

demand for used trucks in waning. Given a

similar story in the freight market, the development

makes sense.”

Getting back to new tractor sales, International

lost its hold as 2019’s second-largestselling

OEM with May sales of 3,168 trucks,

a decline of 10.4% from April sales of 3,537.

Despite the month-over-month decline, May

was still 30.3% better than May 2018, when

the company sold 2,431. International’s

13.0% of total Class 8 sales in May caused

its market share for the year to drop to 14.4%

of trucks sold, but that’s still ahead of the

13.3% after the first five months of last year.

Peterbilt sales of 3,855 helped the company

leapfrog International into second place

for both the month of May and the year-todate.

Only a 0.3% increase over strong April

sales of 3,842, it was enough to capture

14.9% of the 2019 new Class 8 truck market.

PACCAR sibling Kenworth saw a small

decline in month-over-month sales with delivery

of 3,653 units, a 2.7% decline from

3,755 sold in April but an 8.9% increase over

May 2018 sales of 3,355 trucks. Kenworth

sold 15.0% of Class 8 trucks delivered in the

U.S. in May and currently holds 14.0% of the

market for 2019.

Volvo sales of 2,722 Class 8 trucks in

May was a 23.8% improvement over April’s

2,199 units and 7.3% better than May 2018

sales of 2,536. Year-to-date, Volvo commands

9.6% of the new-truck market, down

from 11.2% after five months of 2018.

Mack saw May sales decline to 1,814,

down 5.7% from April’s 1,924 but still

12.9% ahead of May 2018 when 1,607 were

sold. Like sibling Volvo, Mack’s share of the

new Class 8 market is down for the year-todate,

currently at 6.8% compared to January

through May 2018, when Mack claimed

7.4% of the market.

Freightliner continues to lead all OEMs

with 38.0% of the new Class 8 truck market

in the U.S. for the year-to-date. Last year,

See Sales on p22 m

ALL THINGS TRUCKING

News • Gear • Reviews • Demos • Rig Report • How-to’s • Trade Shows

@truckbossshow


THETRUCKER.COM

b Rates from page 17 b

Compared to April, the national average

spot van rate was virtually unchanged at $1.80

per mile, including a fuel surcharge. That’s 35

cents below the average for May 2018. The

average reefer rate was $2.15 per mile, 1 cent

higher than April and 38 cents lower than May

2018. The flatbed rate averaged $2.27 per mile,

down 5 cents compared to April and 45 cents

lower year over year.

“After a lackluster May, June is shaping up

to be a pivotal month for trucking,” Montague

said. “We will know soon whether the volumes

we expected in May were simply delayed. If

so, the pent-up demand could boost seasonal

volumes at the close of Q2.”

Business July 1-14, 2019 • 19

The DAT Truckload Freight Volume Index

is based on load counts and per-mile

rates recorded in DAT RateView, with an average

of 3 million freight moves per month.

Spot market information is based on transactions

arranged by third-party logistics companies,

while contract volumes and rates are

arranged between shippers and carriers, with

no intermediary.

DAT market trends and data insights are derived

from 256 million annual freight matches

and a database of $60 billion in annual market

transactions. Related services include a

comprehensive directory of companies with

business history, credit, safety, insurance, and

company reviews; broker transportation management

software; authority, fuel tax, mileage,

vehicle licensing, and registration services; and

carrier onboarding. 8

ALWAYS

Moving

FORWARD

WITH PRIDE, INTEGRITY, AND YOU.

b Data from page 17 b

education with an average of $6,235 being deducted

from their tax liability. This was a new

deduction for 2018 as a result of the Tax Cuts

and Jobs Act.

• The average client’s standard deduction

went from $9,439 to $18,862. The number of

drivers filing the standard deduction increased

from 71% to 94%. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

essentially doubled the standard deduction for

most tax filers.

• The average owner-operator depreciation

deduction increased from $17,072 (2017) to

$20,965 (2018). The significant increase in depreciation

was a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs

Act allowing faster depreciation methods than

prior years.

• The only negative consequence of 2018

taxes was the number of drivers that paid the

Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate

penalty. In 2018, 28% of ATBS clients paid

the penalty with an average penalty amount of

$1,027. However, this mandate will no longer

be in effect for 2019 taxes.

Overall, statistics from ATBS show that

owner-operator clients enjoyed a mostly positive

impact from the changes that came with

the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

For more information, visit ATBS.com. 8

MOVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD IN 2019 AND

JOIN THE MERCER TRANSPORTATION FAMILY OF

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS TODAY!

While the industry can go through ups and downs,

experience the stability you need for your business at Mercer

Transportation. A company with proven staying power for

over 40 years, we have a large customer base and the freight

you need to keep your business moving. Mercer offers a wide

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MERCERTOWN.COM | E


20 • July 1-14, 2019 Business

THETRUCKER.COM

DOT’s freight index up 1.5% in April for second straight monthly increase

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

WASHINGTON — The Freight Transportation

Services Index (TSI), which is based on

the amount of freight carried by the for-hire

transportation industry, rose 1.5% in April

from March, rising for the second consecutive

month, according to the U.S. Department

of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation

Statistics (BTS).

From March 2018 to March 2019, the index

rose 2.8% compared to 7.9% for the previous

year.

The level of for-hire freight shipments in April

measured by the Freight TSI at 138.4 was 0.2%

below the all-time high level of 138.7 in November

2018. BTS’ TSI records begin in 2000.

The March index was revised to 136.4 from

136.2 in last month’s release. Monthly numbers

for January through March remain unchanged.

The Freight TSI measures the month-tomonth

changes in for-hire freight shipments

by mode of transportation in tons and tonmiles,

which are combined into one index.

The index measures the output of the for-hire

freight transportation industry and consists

of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland

waterways, pipelines and air freight. The TSI

is seasonally-adjusted to remove regular seasons

from month-to-month comparisons.

The BTS said the April increase in the

Freight TSI was driven by increases in rail

carloads, rail trucking, and water, while air

freight, pipeline and rail intermodal declined.

The TSI increase took place against a background

of mixed results for other indicators.

The Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production

index decreased by 0.5% in February,

with declines in manufacturing and utilities

and an increase in mining. Personal income

increased by 0.5%, while housing starts grew

by 0.6%. The Institute for Supply Management

Manufacturing index declined to 52.8,

indicating continued but decelerating growth.

As for trends, the index reached its second

highest all-time level in April following two

consecutive monthly increases that totaled a

2.1% rise. It was exceeded only by the level

of 138.7 in November 2018. The 1.5% rate of

increase from March to April was the fastest

since February 2018 and the fourth time TSI

has grown by 1.2% or more since January

2018. The index has increased in nine of the

last 12 months for a total increase of 2.8% over

its level of one year ago in April 2018. The index

was up 11.0% from April 2017 and 13.2%

from April 2016. The April index was 46.0%

above the April 2009 low during the most recent

recession. For additional historical data,

go to TSI data.

For-hire freight shipments in April 2019

(138.4) were 46.0% higher than the low in

April 2009 during the recession (94.8). The

April 2019 level was 0.2% below the historic

peak reached in November 2018 (138.7).

For-hire freight shipments measured by

the index were up 1.6% in April compared to

the end of 2018.

In the long term, for-hire freight shipments

are up 14.9% in the five years from

April 2014 and are up 46.0% in the 10 years

from April 2009. 8

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THETRUCKER.COM

Business July 1-14, 2019 • 21


Come Join the JanCo Family!

EntErtainmEnt transportation spEcialists sincE 1975

Currently hiring company drivers and owner operators.

Excellent salary and benefit packages available. Lead driver pay and cash bonuses.

Assigned late model conventionals. Company-paid life insurance.

TEAMS ARE

URGED TO CALL

WE REQUIRE

Owner-Operators

u Clean MVR

Tags and fuel surcharge program available

u Hard-working and professional

Average 70-75% of line haul

u 2 years verifiable OTR experience

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u Ability to be on the road up to 4 months at a time.

Please call our recruiting department for more details and to apply.

888.JANCO.NJ or 800.526.9085

Please visit our website at www.jancoltd.com

or like us on facebook.com/JancoLTD

22 • July 1-14, 2019 Business

b Sales from page 18 b

the company took 35.5% of the market in the

same time period. May sales of 8,517 trucks

bested April sales of 8,209 by 3.8% and was

a whopping 40.8% improvement over May

2018 sales.

Western Star, the smallest producer of

the group, sold 695 trucks in May, a 24.6%

increase over April sales of 558 and 19.0%

ahead of May 2018 sales of 584 units. So far

in 2019, 2.8% of new Class 8 trucks sold in

the U.S. carry the Western Star nameplate, up

slightly from 2.6% at the same point last year.

As predictions for the U.S. economy continue

to vary depending on the source, carriers

continue to invest in equipment. “The

trucker is the front line on this thing,” Tam

said. “Yes, there is uncertainty. Most seem

to want to wait for more data points before

changing their plan.”

Those interested in the analytical and

forecasting services provided by ACT Research

can learn more at actresearch.net. For

information on services offered by FTR, visit

ftrintel.com. 8

Find us on

Facebook

search: The Trucker

THETRUCKER.COM

Dart begins national search

for new company president

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

EAGAN, Minn. — Dart Transit Co., in its

85th year as a nationwide transportation service

provider, has begun a national search for

the position of president.

Donald G. Oren, who has led Dart for over

50 years, is currently serving as chairman and

president of the company. Oren, along with

Dart’s executive management team, will be

overseeing the process of hiring a new president.

“As we are commemorating our 85th year

in business and being a part of an ever-changing

and vital industry, we are focused on the future

and seeking to best position our leadership

team to meet the challenges ahead and make

the most of our opportunities. We are looking

forward to our search process for a new president

and bringing in fresh viewpoints that will

allow Dart to continue to move forward as a

market leader and innovator,” Oren said. “I’m

very proud of Dart’s history, but I am even

more excited about Dart’s future.”

Part of Dart’s history is the ownership by

the Oren family.

Dart was started in 1934 by Earl Oren,

Don’s father, in St. Paul, Minnesota. The company,

which is now headquartered in Eagan,

Minnesota, has grown through the years to

become a fleet of 1,800 owner-operators and

company drivers. 8

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ProFleet Transport Corp.

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Landstar

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Penske Logistics

www.gopenske.com/careers

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Schneider

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McColister’s Transportation

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PFS Brands

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24 • July 1-14, 2019 Business

THETRUCKER.COM

Recruitment

Classifieds

Recruitment

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For For ad ad information

call call (800) 666-2770

or or email email publisher@

thetrucker.com

thetrucker.com

Join the Janco Family!

Currently hiring company drivers and owner

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See our ad on page 22!

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Courtesy: CARRIERSEDGE

The “Practical Cargo Securement” course is considered the gold standard guide for cargo

securement in North America.

Equipment

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

MARKHAM, Ontario, — CarriersEdge,

a provider of online driver training for the

trucking industry, has expanded its library of

training courses.

The company recently added two courses

in its Practical Cargo Securement library,

plus a bloodborne pathogens and a spotted

lanternfly course.

CarriersEdge also said it has added Spanish

versions to two existing courses: “Lift

Truck Operator Skills” and “Distracted Driving.”

The new courses for cargo securement —

on securing paper rolls and concrete pipes —

expands the list of cargo securement courses

CarriersEdge offers to 10. All CarriersEdge

Bridgestone makes addition to Ecopia truck tire portfolio

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bridgestone Americas

has made a new addition to its fuel-efficient

Bridgestone Ecopia commercial truck tire

portfolio.

The Bridgestone R123 Ecopia tire is a

SmartWay verified trailer tire the company said

is engineered to deliver low rolling resistance

and exceptional wear in long-haul and regional

service applications.

Because of to its low rolling resistance

design, the Bridgestone R123 Ecopia tire

delivers nearly $400 in fuel savings over

100,000 miles when compared to the Bridgestone

Ecopia R197 tire, according to Kyle

Chen, brand manager, truck and bus radial

tires, U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas

Tire Operations.

“Bridgestone Ecopia tires are designed with

features that reduce fuel consumption, and they

July 1-14, 2019 • 25

CarriersEdge expands training courses

including 2 cargo securement sessions

are engineered to be fit for retreading later on,

making them a smart, sustainable business

choice for fleets on a number of levels,” Chen

said. “Fuel-efficient tires that also deliver big

on performance are a demonstration of our

dedication to help lower the total cost of tire

ownership and drive efficient mobility for all

fleets.”

Chen said the Bridgestone R123 Ecopia tire

is engineered with features such as an IntelliShape

sidewall designed to reduce the overall

tire weight and minimize rolling resistance.

The tire also uses patented NanoPro-Tech

polymer technology to limit energy loss and

help improve fuel economy, he said.

Additional innovations include:

• A fuel-efficient tread design to lower rolling

resistance and improve fuel economy

• An innovative tread pattern to increase

traction and grip on wet roads, as well as absorption

of tread edge stress to promote long,

even wear

• An optimized tread volume that allows for

long removal mileage, and

• A specialized defense groove structure that

helps establish even pressure at the tire shoulder

and minimize tread edge wear.

“Fleets can leverage fuel-efficient tires and

retreads together to extend the life of their tire

casings, further reduce fuel costs and lower the

total cost of tire ownership,” Chen said. “Designed

to maximize the total tire lifecycle, the

Bridgestone R123 Ecopia tire provides excellent

retreadability and works together with Bandag

FuelTech retreads to capitalize on tire performance

potential, drive down fuel costs and

make mobility more efficient for fleets.”

To learn more about the Bridgestone portfolio

of Ecopia fuel-efficient tires, visit commercial.bridgestone.com/en-us/index.

8

cargo securement courses are based on the

Practical Cargo Securement handbook published

by Techni-Com.

“Practical Cargo Securement is considered

the gold standard guide for cargo securement

in North America,” said Jane Jazrawy,

CarriersEdge co-founder and CEO.

“Through our partnership with Techni-Com,

CarriersEdge is the only driver training provider

with exclusive rights to generate courses

on its contents. This allows us to develop

meaningful courses that help drivers improve

their load securement practices.”

The “Requirements for Paper Rolls” securement

course details the special requirements

needed to transport one or more pa-

See Courses on p26 m

Courtesy: BRIDGESTONE

The Bridgestone R123 Ecopia is a fuel-efficient

tread design to lower rolling resistance

and improve fuel economy, Bridgestone officials

said.

Double Coin/CMA say Thai facility working

at full capacity to produce OTR, TBR tires

Courtesy: DOUBLE COIN/CMA

Built on a 3.6 million square-foot site, the Thailand facility has the capacity to manufacture

over 1.8 million TBR tires as well as over 50,000 OTR tires.

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

MONROVIA, Calif. — Double Coin and

CMA, a tire manufacturer and marketer, says

their Thailand manufacturing facility is now

working at full capacity to produce over-theroad

(OTR) and truck bus and radial (TBR)

products.

“Our new Thailand manufacturing facility

has full OTR and TBR availability and the

production capacity to fulfill container-level

orders,” said Tim Phillips vice president of

marketing operations for Double Coin/CMA.

“Not only does this production facility have

the capacity to meet the demand for commercial

tire products, we are offering them

at competitive prices since they are not subject

to anti-dumping and countervailing duties

or tariffs penalties associated with products

produced in China. With many of our

competitors having to rely on China alone,

Double Coin customers will be in an excellent

purchasing position in the face of product

shortages and higher prices from China.”

Phillips said some U.S. suppliers claim

they have production availability in Vietnam

or Thailand, but it remains to be seen if older

plants in these areas that are already running

See Tire on p26 m


26 • July 1-14, 2019 Perspective

THETRUCKER.COM

OWNER OPERATORS!

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• OPPORTUNITIES - CLASS A & B OTR & REGIONAL

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u $2,500 t

b Courses from page 25 b

per rolls with a combined weight of 5,000

pounds or more. The course covers the importance

of correctly restraining paper rolls,

describes the common methods to properly

secure paper rolls, as well as how to secure

paper rolls with different orientations.

The “Requirements for Concrete Pipes,”

course details special requirements needed to

transport one or more concrete pipes loaded

onto a flatbed trailer, using the loading method

of ‘eyes crosswise’ to prevent rolling. The

course breaks down the importance of correctly

securing concrete pipes, devices used

to properly fasten concrete pipes and things

to consider before loading concrete pipes

onto a trailer. The course also includes techniques

on how to properly secure concrete

pipes on a flatbed trailer.

Also new to CarriersEdge subscribers

is a course on bloodborne pathogens, titled

“Bloodborne Pathogens Safety Awareness.”

This course is designed to help drivers understand

the hazards associated with bloodborne

pathogens and provide guidance on

how to stay safe in potential exposure areas.

Bloodborne pathogens are disease-causing

b Tire from page 25 b

at full capacity can offer any additional TBR

and OTR products.

“The combination of our new state-of-art

manufacturing facility and warehousing in

Thailand where we can offer very competitive

pricing, Double Coin is emerging as the

clear choice for TBR and OTR tire products,”

Phillips said.

Built on a 3.6 million square-foot site, the

Thailand facility has the capacity to manufacture

over 1.8 million TBR tires as well

as over 50,000 OTR tires. The entire plant

is controlled by the Manufacturing Execution

System and is integrated with the SAP

microorganisms that are transmitted through

bodily fluid. After completing the course,

drivers will be able to identify major bloodborne

pathogens, how they are transmitted

and what to do if exposed. Drivers will also

learn ways to minimize the spread of an infection,

and how to properly dispose of contaminated

material.

For those travelling through the Northeast

region of the U.S., the “Preventing the Spread

of Spotted Lanternfly” course CarriersEdge

now offers teaches drivers how to identify

a spotted lanternfly in different stages of its

lifecycle, the threat spotted lanternfly poses,

and how to kill, remove the eggs and report

a spotted lanternfly sighting. The course also

explains how to avoid having the insect attach

to your vehicle and where it might “hide.”

The spotted lanternfly is indigenous to parts

of Asia, but has recently been found primarily

in Pennsylvania, where there is a quarantine.

The invasive insect is considered a threat to

vegetation and valuable crops in the area.

Lastly, CarriersEdge continues to offer

courses in other languages. “We just added

Spanish versions for our “Lift Truck Operator

Skills” and “Distracted Driving” courses,” Jazrawy

said. “Our goal is to help fleets become

safer, and these additions are great resources

for our clients to achieve that.” 8

management system. Plans for expansion at

the Thailand facility are currently underway.

“In addition to our production capacity

at our Thailand facility, we currently have

full capacity of Double Coin tires at our five

warehouses in Memphis, Tennessee; Rancho

Cucamonga, California; Vancouver, British

Columbia, Canada; San Jose; Costa Rica;

and Queretaro, Mexico,” Phillips said.

For more information about Double Coin

Tires, visit doublecointires.com. 8

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Features

July 1-14, 2019 • 27

Nearly 50,000 of nation’s bridges are

unsafe, in poor condition, study says

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES

WASHINGTON — The length of America’s

structurally deficient bridges if placed

end-to-end would span nearly 1,100 miles, the

distance between Chicago and Houston, a new

examination of federal government data shows.

And it’s a problem that hits close to home.

The American Road & Transportation

Builders Association (ARTBA) analysis of

the U.S. Department of Transportation National

Bridge Inventory (NBI) database reveals

47,052 bridges are classified as structurally deficient

and in poor condition.

Cars, trucks and school buses cross these

compromised structures 178 million times every

day, the data show. Nearly 1,775 are on the

Interstate Highway System.

The most traveled structurally deficient

bridges are on parts of Route 101, Interstate

405 and Interstate 5 in California, where daily

crossings are as high as 289,000 vehicles per

day.

Although the number of structurally deficient

bridges is down slightly compared to

2017, the pace of improvement has slowed to

the lowest point since ARTBA began compiling

this report five years ago.

“Sadly, this report is no April Fool’s joke.

At the current pace, it would take more than

80 years to replace or repair the nation’s structurally

deficient bridges. That’s longer than the

average life expectancy of a person living in

the U.S.,” said Dr. Alison Premo Black, the

ARTBA chief economist who conducted the

How would you like to drive where ‘road warriors’ are real and you’re the target?

I’m going to play the odds here and guess

that at some point today, or at least this week,

anybody reading this has had to put up with

some aspect of being a truck driver that they

really hate. And it’s probably something that

you have to put up with on a regular basis.

Something unavoidable. Something that’s just

part of the job or of the life that goes with the

job. In fact, I’ll bet there’s more than one thing

about the job that eats at you. Even if, overall,

you would say you like being a professional

truck driver, there are those pet aggravations

that make you wonder to yourself, “Why do I

put up with this?”

Always remember, it could be worse.

Also playing the odds, I’m guessing that at

least once in your childhood, you refused to eat

what was on your plate and some adult tried to

pull the old “There are starving children in Africa”

routine. It didn’t make the Brussel sprouts

any more appealing, but maybe it gave you an

early taste of perspective.

Putting the two together, whatever it is

about the truck driving profession that you

find unpalatable, there are truck drivers in

analysis. “America’s bridge network is outdated,

underfunded and in urgent need of modernization.

State and local governments just

haven’t been given the necessary resources to

get the job done.”

The report comes in the backdrop of ongoing

discussions between Congress and the

Trump administration about how to address

the nation’s transportation infrastructure challenges,

discussions which bogged down after

Trump walked out of a meeting after Speaker

of the House Nancy Pelosi accused him of taking

part in a cover-up.

“The best way to ‘bridge’ the infrastructure

investment gap is for Congress and Trump administration

to provide a permanent revenue

solution for the federal Highway Trust Fund,”

ARTBA President Dave Bauer said.

The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is the

source, on average, of more than 50 percent of

highway and bridge capital investments made

annually by state transportation departments.

The HTF is facing major financial difficulties.

Absent congressional action, states could see a

40 percent cut in federal investment beginning

in 2021.

“Since the 2016 election, leaders on both

sides of the aisle have regularly cited upgrading

America’s infrastructure as an area for

common ground,” Bauer said. “This report

makes clear that it’s about time Congress and

the Trump administration stop talking and start

solving this national problem.”

See Bridges on p28 m

Klint Lowry

klint.lowry@thetrucker.com

Lane

Departures

South Africa who would love to have your

working conditions. At least no one is trying

to kill you.

Have you heard about what’s going on

over there? On other parts of the continent,

they may be concerned about poachers going

after elephants and rhinos and other big game.

In South Africa, truck drivers are the endangered

species. So far in 2019, there have been

hundreds of attacks on trucks in South African

highways. The country’s Road Freight

Association — South Africa’s equivalent to

the American Trucking Associations — estimates

that in the past year fatalities from these

attacks are occurring at a rate of nearly one

per day. The attackers have used projectiles,

Associated Press: JULIO CORTEZ

A vehicle rides on Liberty Avenue ahead of a project to remodel the Route 495 bridge which

feeds into the Lincoln Tunnel in North Bergen, New Jersey. The repairs will take two years to

complete. The connection between the New Jersey Turnpike and the tunnel into New York

City is already one of the worst bottlenecks in the northeastern U.S. More than 150,000 motorists

drive daily over the 80-year-old viaduct, which is considered structurally deficient and

functionally obsolete.

dropping boulders and bricks from overpasses.

They’ve blockaded roads. And in some

parts of the country, they’ve taken to using

firebombs.

Just as the methods have varied in these attacks,

so have the motivations. South Africa

does not have a driver shortage. If anything,

they have too many qualified truck drivers. In

the part of the country where the firebombs

have been most prevalent, South African officials

have said the attacks have been in protest

of unscrupulous carriers who try to save a buck

(or in South Africa, a rand) by hiring uncredentialed

foreign nationals, keeping native-born

drivers on the sidelines.

In one incident two brothers were driving

tandem, and they decided to pull over for some

rest. One of the trucks was firebombed, and

when the driver got out and ran, a second gasoline

bomb was thrown directly at him.

But in large part the attacks are seen as being

directed at carriers, with the drivers being

collateral damage. In a recent case that has become

a stop-the-violence rallying symbol, two

men, both credentialed South Africans, stopped

their truck to rest. Someone threw a Molotov

cocktail into the cab. One man escaped. The

other died from his burns 12 days later.

Many of the attacks, especially near the

coast, have been motivated by nothing but

sheer greed in the growing chaos by gangs who

will toss something through the windshield of a

passing truck so the driver will lose control and

crash. Then the robbers swarm in like hyenas

on a wounded zebra. In one incident, it was

reported that the driver had survived the crash

but died in the stampede of looters.

The attackers have shown little or no concern

for bystanders. The South African government

has issued an advisory to all motorists to

avoid using the highways at night, when the

majority of the attacks occur.

The situation has gotten to the point that

it is having a serious effect on the entire nation.

We often talk, in hypothetical terms, of

what would happen if the trucks stopped running

in this country even briefly. Could you

imagine what would happen if they could

only move safely in full daylight? South Af-

See Lane on p28 m


28 • July 1-14, 2019 Features

b Lane from page 27 b

rica is close to not having to imagine.

What makes the situation so scary is it illustrates

just how vulnerable we all are, how much

we depend on each other to uphold and live up

to the standards of civilized behavior.

You may say, well, that’s South Africa. It’s

happening there, not here. And even if it did,

we’d quash it quick. I’m not sure I agree, but

if you believe that, it just shows we have things

better than a lot of other people do.

There is a lot of room for improvement in

the world of the professional truck driver, and

some days just seem determined to point out to

you everything that’s wrong with your career.

But never let it get you too discouraged. Every

job has its good parts and bad. At least you

don’t face the prospect of people trying to kill

you every time you hit the road.

If you do, that’s on you, brother, and yes,

you need to make some changes. 8

b Bridges from page 27 b

Including structurally deficient bridges,

there are nearly 235,000 bridges — or about

38% — in need of some sort of structural repair,

rehabilitation or replacement, according

to ARTBA’s analysis of the NBI data. The association

estimates the cost to make the identified

repairs is nearly $171 billion.

Black noted the Federal Highway Administration

changed the definition of “structurally

deficient” in January 2018 as part of a final rule

on highway and bridge performance measures

required by the 2012 MAP-21 federal surface

transportation law.

Two measures FHWA previously used to

classify bridges as structurally deficient are no

longer used. This includes bridges where the

overall structural evaluation was rated in poor

or worse condition, or where the adequacy of

waterway openings was insufficient. The new

definition limits the classification to bridges

where one of the key structural elements — the

deck, superstructure, substructure or culverts

— is rated in poor or worse condition.

States with the largest number of structurally

deficient bridges are Iowa (4,675 bridges);

Pennsylvania (3,770); Oklahoma (2,540); Illinois

(2,273); Missouri (2,116); North Carolina

(1,871); California (1,812); New York (1,757);

Louisiana (1,678); and Mississippi (1,603).

Those with the most structurally deficient

bridges as a percent of their total bridge inventory

are Rhode Island (23 percent); West

Virginia (19.8 percent); Iowa (19.3 percent);

South Dakota (16.7 percent); Pennsylvania

(16.5 percent); Maine (13.1 percent); Louisiana

(13 percent), Puerto Rico (11.7 percent),

Oklahoma (10.9 percent) and North Dakota

(10.7 percent).

Specific information from the analysis —

including rankings and the locations of the

250 most heavily travelled structurally deficient

bridges in the nation and top 25 most

heavily traveled in each state — is available at

artbabridgereport.org.

thetrucker.com

Established in 1902 and with more than

8,000 public and private sector members, the

Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA advocates for

strong investment in transportation infrastructure

to meet the public and business community

demand for safe and efficient travel. 8

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