The Trucker Newspaper - December 1, 2019


Vol. 32, No. 23 December 1-14, 2019

U.S., Canada Brake Safety Week inspections place nearly 1

in 7 vehicles out of service, a slight improvement over 2018

Courtesy: BOB PERRY

Shifting gears toward fitness

Bob Perry didn’t think he had a

choice. Born in Northeast Ohio,

trucking was in Bob’s blood.

Between his father and two

brothers, Bob’s family has 60

years of driving experience—or

61 if you include Bob’s one year

behind the wheel. Today, Bob’s

shifted gears to become a fitness


Page 8

Navigating the news

Hero nominations...................3

Support for road funds............4

More tolls in Connecticut?......5

Truck Stop............................12

Chaplain’s Corner.................14

Ask the Attorney...................14

Truck sales down..................17

Safety Series........................20

Bendix safety features..........23

Rhythm of the Road.............27


Putting mutts in trucks

Mobil Delvac and PEDIGREE

have teamed up to form the

MUTTS4TRUCKS program to give

drivers the opportunity to have the

companionship of a dog during

those long trips on the road … and

at home.

Page 27


GREENBELT, Md. — The Commercial Vehicle

Safety Alliance said Tuesday that inspectors

conducted 34,320 roadside commercial motor

vehicle inspections during CVSA’s Brake

Safety Week and placed 4,626 vehicles — or

13.5% — out of service after critical brake-related

conditions were identified.

CVSA noted that a majority — 86.5% — of

vehicles inspected during the September 15-21

time period did not have any critical brake-related


In 2018, CVSA said out of 35,080 inspections,

4,955 trucks — or 14.1% — were placed

out of service.

During a roadside inspection, if an inspector

identifies critical vehicle inspection item violations,

the vehicle will be rendered out of service,

meaning those violations must be corrected before

the vehicle may proceed.

Sixty jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S.

participated in this year’s Brake Safety Week.

In the U.S., 49 jurisdictions conducted 92.8%

of the total combined roadside inspections and

accounted for 93.9% of the vehicles placed out

of service. Canada, with 11 participating jurisdictions,

performed 7.2% of all roadside inspections

and placed 6.1% of the combined total of

inspected vehicles out of service.

As part of this year’s Brake Safety Week,

inspectors also collected and reported data on

brake hoses/tubing:

• 2,567 units had chafed rubber hose violations.

• 1,347 units had chafed thermoplastic hose


• 2,704 violations of § 393.45 of the Federal

Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)

and Canadian equivalent violations included

chafed rubber hoses.

There were 1,683 violations of § 393.45


WIT President and CEO Ellen Voie is securing

the support of Rep. Mike Gallagher to sponsor

a House bill similar to that introduced in the


The Trucker file photo

During a roadside inspection, if an inspector identifies critical vehicle inspection item violations, he

or she will render the vehicle out of service, which means those violations must be corrected before

the vehicle may proceed.

of the FMCSRs and Canadian equivalent violations

that included kinked thermoplastic hoses.

“Inspectors conduct more than 4 million

roadside inspections every year and checking

brake components is just one element of the inspection

procedure inspectors perform on commercial

motor vehicles every day,” said CVSA

President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware

State Police. “This inspection and enforcement

event reminds drivers and motor carriers of the

importance of properly functioning brakes and


WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin,

D-Wis. and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., members

of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science,

and Transportation, recently introduced

the Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce

Act (WTWA).

Currently, women make up 47% of the United

States’ labor force; yet, they represent 24%

of America’s trucking workforce and only about

7% of drivers.

spotlights the work done by inspectors, motor

carriers and drivers every day to keep our roadways

safe by ensuring vehicles are in appropriate

working condition.”

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s

National Highway Traffic Safety

Administration, highway crash fatality data for

2018, there was a 2.4% decline in overall fatalities,

the second consecutive year of reduced

crash fatalities. However, conversely, for 2018,

See Brake on p7 m

Senators introduce legislation to promote

women in trucking, set up advisory panel

The WTWA would support women in the

trucking industry and would establish a Women

of Trucking Advisory Board.

“In Wisconsin, we make things, and we

need to ensure we have a strong workforce to

transport our goods to market,” Baldwin said.

“Women currently make up less than 10% of the

truck driving workforce and removing the barriers

that get in the way of women pursuing and

retaining careers in trucking is key. I’m proud to

See Women on p7 m

2 • December 1-14, 2019 Nation THETRUCKER.COM T

We’ll be there for you.






AKRON, Ohio — Goodyear is accepting

nominations for its annual Highway Hero

Award, which honors truck drivers who put

themselves in harm’s way to help others.

The 2019 Goodyear Highway Hero Award

winner, Paul Mathias, a driver for System

Transport of Cheney, Wash., administered CPR

to save the life of a young passenger involved

in a car accident.

“It’s incredibly humbling to hear story after

story of the selflessness of so many of our

nation’s truck drivers,” said Gary Medalis,

marketing director, Goodyear North America.

“Goodyear’s Highway Hero Award gives

us an opportunity to share these incredible

stories and celebrate the extraordinary deeds

of truck drivers in the ordinary course of

their work.”

Nomination forms for the Goodyear Highway

Hero Award are available at

nominate.html. A copy of contest rules can

also be found online.

A panel of representatives from the trucking

industry will select the next Goodyear Highway

Hero from among three finalists identified

by Goodyear. The winner will be announced in

March 2020, coinciding with the annual Mid-

America Trucking Show, and will receive a

cash award, among other prizes. Each finalist

will also receive a cash prize and various items.

Nominations must be submitted before December

31, 2019, and meet the following criteria

to be considered for the award:

• A full-time truck driver

• Residing in the U.S. or Canada

The heroic incident must have happened

in the U.S. or Canada

• Nominee’s truck must have had 12 wheels

or more at the time of the incident

• Nominee must have been on the job – or

Nation December 1-14, 2019 • 3

The Trucker file photo

Goodyear’s 2019 Highway Hero finalists Darrell Atkins, left, Paul Mathias and Don Frederick

pose together at an event hosted by Goodyear in their honor March 28.

Goodyear N.A.’s 2020 Highway Hero

Award nominations due December 31

on the way to or from work, in his or her truck

– at the time of the incident

• Incident must have taken place between

November 16, 2018, and November 16, 2019

The 2019 winner Mathias was in his hometown

of Phoenix, starting his workday one

morning, when he stopped at a red light.

He watched as a woman in an SUV began

a left turn as the light was changing. A dump

truck from the opposite direction T-boned her

vehicle. Later, Mathias said, the driver of the

dump truck admitted he hadn’t hit his brakes at

all before the collision.

The SUV spun before coming to a stop near

Mathias’ truck. Mathias, who had his headset

on, first dialed 911. When he got to the SUV,

the driver had already managed her way out of

the vehicle and was trying to pull her unconscious

son out as well despite her own injuries.

As the woman and Mathias started performing

CPR on the boy, she told Mathias her 9-yearold

daughter was still inside.

Mathias got in the SUV and found the girl

pinned in place. The 911 dispatcher told Mathias

to check for a pulse. When he couldn’t find

one, the mother started crying, and the dispatcher

told Mathias to go back and continue

CPR on the boy.

Mathias said emergency personnel got there

within three minutes. It was too late for the little

girl, but the boy and his mother survived.

This accident was indicative of a problem

he sees everywhere, Mathias said. “When that

light turns yellow, people just gun it. The yellow

light should mean to slow down.”

This marks the 37th year Goodyear will be

honoring a truck driver with this award. Other

past Goodyear Highway Hero Award winners

include a truck driver who ripped the back door

from a burning car to save two passengers and

a driver who dove into a pond to pull a child

from a submerged car. 8




















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4 • December 1-14, 2019 Nation


Nationwide voters show overwhelming support for funding

initiatives that will generate $9.6 billion in road revenue


WASHINGTON— Voters in 19 states on

November 5 sent a decisive message of support

for transportation investment, approving

almost 90 percent of 305 state and local

transportation ballot measures.

In total, the 270 approved initiatives are

expected to generate over $9.6 billion in onetime

and recurring revenue, according to the

analysis conducted by the American Road

& Transportation Builders Association’s

Transportation Investment Advocacy Center

(ARTBA-TIAC). Two measures in Texas are

still pending.

The ballot results are a great reminder

infrastructure investment remains one of

the few areas where red states, blue states,

Republicans and Democrats can all come together,”

ARTBA President Dave Bauer said.

“It should also demonstrate to lawmakers on

Capitol Hill that the public will be on board

for the passage of a long-term bill that significantly

boosts highway and transit investment

at the federal level.”

A complete report and an all-new interactive

dashboard that filters results by state,

mode, year and type of initiative are available

at the Center’s flagship website at www.

The preliminary results reaffirm a decadelong

trend of voters strongly supporting investments

to maintain and improve their state

or local transportation networks. Voters have

approved 81 percent of nearly 2,000 transportation

investment ballot measures tracked

by ARTBA-TIAC since 2010, including this

year’s results.

“Public support for increasing infrastructure

investment continues to help local governments

and the transportation construction

community improve safety, mobility and

overall quality of life for residents as projects

get underway,” said Carolyn Kramer,

ARTBA-TIAC director.

Voters in Maine overwhelmingly approved,

by a 76 percent to 24 percent margin,

a $105 million bond measure to support

transportation infrastructure projects. The

vote was Maine’s seventh successful transportation

bond in eight years.

While transportation investment fared well

nationwide, Washington state voters endorsed

by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin a measure

that reduces or repeals certain motor vehicle

taxes and fees and removes the authority

to impose certain new fees without their approval.

This decision will cost the state nearly

$4.3 billion in state and local transportation

revenue over the next six years.

Voters in Colorado rejected by a 55 percent

to 45 percent vote a measure that would

have permitted the state to retain excess tax

collections in order to fund education and


The 305 measures tracked by ARTBA-TI-

AC is the largest number ever for an odd-numbered,

off-year election. Although historically

most transportation measures are put on the

ballot in even-numbered years when congressional

or presidential elections drive higher


Officials said the preliminary results of the November 5 election reaffirm a decade-long

trend of voters strongly supporting investments to maintain and improve their state or local

transportation networks.

turnout, an increasing number of measures are

being considered by voters during odd-numbered

years and primary elections.

There were 57 measures in 12 states that

would raise over $20 million each, compared

to 21 measures in 2017. Of that total,

89 percent were approved. Of 25 measures

that would raise over $100 million, voters

approved 92 percent. This included a bond

measure in Harris County, Texas to support

transit expansions in Houston under the

“Moving Forward Plan.”

Of the local ballot measures, most (302

of 305) were property tax increases, primarily

in Ohio (154) and Michigan (15), where

many municipalities consistently ask voters

to renew such assessments to pay for local

roads and infrastructure repairs.

Additionally, local bond measures in

Texas appeared on 25 ballots and received 96

percent approval, which will generate nearly

$6 billion. Most of these measures established

municipal utility districts.

The approved measures will support $7.7

billion in new transportation investment revenue

and $1.9 billion in continued funding

through tax extensions, renewals or protections.

The timing of the market impact of

these actions is difficult to project as revenue

approved will last up to 25 years. 8


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USPS 972

Volume 32, Number 23

December 1-14, 2019

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

trucking industry, published by Trucker Publications Inc. at

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Nation December 1-14, 2019 • 5


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6 • December 1-14, 2019 Nation


Connecticut governor proposes ambitious

highway improvement plan including tolls


HARTFORD, Conn. — A $21 billion transportation

plan proposed by Connecticut Gov. Ned

Lamont November 7 would invest $14 billion in

Connecticut’s roads and bridges plus $7 billion

in its public transit systems over the next decade.

The plan would rely on interstate bridge tolls for

part of that funding.

The governor’s plan includes a proposal to

place electronic toll gantries at 14 highway bridge

locations across the state, 11 of which are located

on interstates, including I-95, I-84, I-91, I-395

and I-684, according to a report in the Journal, the

official magazine of the American Association of

State Highway and Transportation Officials..

Connecticut’s tolling proposal matches a

similar effort instituted in Rhode Island in 2018

– an effort that survived a federal court challenge

in March – although in Rhode Island’s case, its

interstate bridge tolls apply only to heavy trucks.

The governor’s $21 billion plan, which breaks

down to $2.1 billion worth of investment in Connecticut’s

transportation system annually, is a

more than $500 million per year increase compared

to the previous level of state investment –

which is roughly $1.6 billion per year, according

to news sources.

“For generations, the state has neglected critical

investments in our infrastructure, hampering

economic growth and leaving residents in endless

hours of traffic wondering why state officials

didn’t fix these problems years ago,” Lamont said

in a statement.

Lamont said that with six of the worst traffic

bottlenecks in the country, 65% of its highways

more than three decades old and 12% of its

bridges rated in poor condition, “virtually anyone

who regularly uses Connecticut’s transportation

system agrees that the state desperately needs to

make targeted improvements that reduce congestion

and make travel quicker, safer, convenient

and reliable”

To pay for this 10-year transportation plan –

Associated Press: JESSICA HILL

Gov. Ned Lamont’s transportation plan includes

a proposal to place electronic toll gantries

at 14 highway bridge locations across the

state, 11 of which are located on interstates,

including I-95, I-84, I-91, I-395 and I-684.

dubbed Connecticut 2030 or CT2030 for short

– the governor proposes to use a mix of fiscal resources,


• $750 million in annual federal funding and


• Transportation Infrastructure Finance & Innovation

Act or TIFIA loans, loans from the U.S.

Department of Transportation’s Build America

Bureau, and Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement

Financing loans.

• State general obligation bonds

The transfer of all car sales taxes to Connecticut’s

Special Transportation Fund by 2023,

making that fund solvent while establishing a 15

percent reserve fund.

• Imposing select highway bridge tolls costing

50 cents to $1 for cars, $1.25 to $2.50 for

medium-sized trucks, and $3.50 to $7.00 for

heavy trucks. Lamont said he expects 40 percent

of those tolls to be paid by out-of-state drivers.

“For the future of our state, we can no longer

kick the can down the road on these improvements

– we must fix this long overdue

problem and move our state forward today,”

the governor said. 8

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b Women from page 1 b

lead this bipartisan effort with Sen. Moran

because more job opportunities for Wisconsin

women will lead to more economic security

for working families.”

“As the trucking industry continues to

face a driver shortage, we need to examine

new ways to recruit and retain drivers

that are delivering Kansas goods across the

country,” Moran said. “Because women are

substantially underrepresented in the trucking

industry, Congress should explore every

opportunity to encourage and support the

pursuit of careers in trucking by women. I’m

proud to introduce this bipartisan and sensible

bill with Sen. Baldwin that will lead

to new job opportunities for women and

increase equality for women already in the

trucking industry.”

The WTWA would direct the administrator

of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety

Administration to establish a “Women of

Trucking Advisory Board.” Under this bill,

the board, consisting of a maximum of seven

members, would identify barriers to entry

for women in the trucking industry, work

across organizations and companies to coordinate

formal education and training programs

and help identify and establish training

and mentorship programs for women in

the industry. The legislation also requires

Nation December 1-14, 2019 • 7

the FMCSA Administrator to submit a report

to Congress on the board’s findings and


This legislation is supported by the Women

in Trucking Association and the American

Trucking Association.

“By creating an advisory board to utilize

the expertise and resources of the Federal

Motor Carrier Administration and the

members of the board, we can increase the

opportunities for women as drivers, technicians,

owners, trainers and in other relevant

career roles,” said Women in Truck Association

President and CEO Ellen Voie. “I look

forward to working with you and your office

(Sens. Moran and Baldwin) in advancing this


“On behalf of the American Trucking Association,

I write to express thanks and support

for the introduction of the Promoting

Women in Trucking Workforce Act,” said

American Trucking Association President

and CEO Chris Spear. “Your (Sens. Moran

and Baldwin) thoughtful and timely legislation

brings important attention and focus to

the advancement of female representation

and participation in trucking.”

A House version of the bill is expected to

be introduced by Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-

Wis. Voie noted that having a congressman

and senator from the same state on-board

will allow the WIT to leverage Wisconsin’s

support, especially since WIT is based in the

state. 8

b Brake from page 1 b

large-truck related fatalities increased by


“While we applaud the decrease in the

overall number of fatalities on our roadways

last year, we’re alarmed by the increase in

the number of large-truck-related fatalities,”

Samis said. “CVSA conducts high-profile,

high-visibility enforcement events, such as

Brake Safety Week, to reduce the number of

fatalities occurring on our roadways. Roadway

safety is our number one priority and we

will continue our efforts to improve brake

safety throughout North America.”

Brake Safety Week is an inspection, enforcement,

education and awareness initiative

that is part of the Operation Airbrake

Program sponsored by CVSA in partnership

with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety

Administration and the Canadian Council of

Motor Transport Administrators. 8




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8 • December 1-14, 2019 Nation

Wellness ambassador encourages

truck drivers to remain ‘Fit to Pass’

Kris Rutherford

“Fit to Pass” capitalizes on the driver of the year

story, and while the program doesn’t encourage

drivers to wait until crunch time to get healthy, it is

designed for a “full press” as exam dates approach.

Bob Perry didn’t think he had a choice.

Born in northeast Ohio, trucking was in Bob’s

blood. Between his father and two brothers,

Bob’s family has 60 years of driving experience—or

61 if you include Bob’s one year behind

the wheel.

In 1972, family tradition called for Bob to

climb in the cab of his first (and only) truck.

He did as was expected. For about a year he

drove… and thought… and thought… and

drove some more. All that thinking allowed

Bob to reach a swift conclusion.

“Trucking just wasn’t for me,” he said. And

so ended Bob Perry’s career on the highways.

But fate had the final word. He might have

been finished driving a truck, but he was far

from finished with the trucking industry.

“I soon became involved in health and wellness,”

he said. By 1975, Bob had worked in

the healthcare industry and for several years

after managed and owned fitness centers. But

being so close to the trucking culture, he knew

drivers as people, not just anonymous faces he

passed on the interstate, and he understood the

truckers’ lifestyle.

“I realized my experience in the personal

health arena could be applied to improving

truckers’ lives,” Bob said. “Drivers don’t have

opportunities to train, join a fitness center, or

even shop at health food stores.”

Shifting gears

About 20 years ago, Bob combined his knowledge

of personal health and trucking to provide

information to medical clinics with substantial

numbers of truck driving patients. But it was a

brief encounter in 2008 that set Bob’s wheels

turning. The connection between driver health

and the trucking industry’s needs became clear.

Bob stood outside a Georgia truck stop

chatting with a couple of drivers. The subject

turned to lifestyles on the road. The drivers

weren’t particularly satisfied with their health

status, so Bob provided a few tips they could

put to immediate use. They followed Bob’s

lead and later told him those tips led to notable

health improvements.

“A couple of drivers for Covenant Transport

out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, caught

wind of the advice I offered and asked if I

could help them as well,” Bob said. “They convinced

Covenant to let me work with a couple

of other drivers. Before long I was working

with all Covenant drivers.

Bob built on his strong start and grew his list

of clients. Sherwin-Williams, Greyhound Bus

Lines, and Hogan Transportation soon signed on.

The growth really validated what I was

doing,” Bob said. His understanding of truck

drivers and their families also helped him realize

the payoff of his efforts.

“Drivers’ families depend on them,” he

said. “When parents can’t pass a DOT exam,

and the family loses a source of income, it

impacts both adults and kids.” He noted that

truck driving is a unique occupation and lifestyle.

When a driver can no longer work, adjustment

is difficult.

“Not just any job is going to provide satisfaction

to someone who has been on the road

for years,” Bob said. Even without fear of job

loss, the lonely life of driving takes its toll in

the form of depression and other mental health

issues, conditions Bob is incorporating into his


In 2009, Bob founded “Rolling Strong,” an

initiative encouraging drivers to become healthconscious.

Rolling Strong worked with fleets to

install self-administered “StayHealthy” stations

where drivers could check weight, BMI, blood

pressure, heart rate and vision. As the stations

became widely available, Rolling Strong developed

the first truck driver-focused wellness app

for the iPhone. By 2012, Freightliner took note

of Bob’s work and asked him to join them in developing

the first in-cab gym, “The Fit System.”

He soon became in great demand as an advocate

for trucker wellness.

One thing Bob has learned when presenting

health information to a group is to keep

the message simple and speak in terms that hit

home with his audience.

Rather than a narrative about the importance

of wellness, for instance, Bob may tell a group

to take a “peek under their personal hoods,”

suggesting drivers should “check their personal

oil and gauges” just like they do those in their

trucks. Or, he may compare drivers’ awareness

of truck maintenance needs to that of their

health. “If a light is out on a truck,” Bob said,

“the driver will see that it is fixed quickly. On

the other hand, if a health-related warning light

is going off, chances are they’ll ignore it.”

“My job is to help drivers make the best

choices while on the road so they can get home

safely each and every trip,” Bob said.

The 90-day window

Bob’s company, Health in Transportation,

together with Espyr ® , a provider of Employee

Assistance Programs, has launched a new initiative,

“Fit to Pass SM .” The program’s goal

is to provide drivers information to remain

healthy year-round. If they do remain healthy,

when it comes time to renew their CDLs and

pass DOT medical exams, they won’t have to

worry — something creating more stress and

adding to health problems. An example of “Fit

to Pass” success is a Truckload Carriers Association

(TCA) driver of the year who visited

with Bob, noting his poor health had resulted

in his being issued a short-term card.

“Here is a national driver of the year—he’s

been driving for 47 years with over 5 million accident-free

miles — and he’s stuck with a shortterm

card,” Bob said. “The industry can’t afford

to lose drivers with his level of experience and

skill, especially with the problems carriers have

in recruiting and retaining new drivers.”

Bob coached the driver to make some simple

changes in his lifestyle over the 90 days he

had before his renewal would be reconsidered.

The result? A loss of 35 pounds and a new

long-term card.

“Fit to Pass” capitalizes on the driver of the

year story, and while the program doesn’t encourage

drivers to wait until crunch time to get

healthy, it is designed to put on a “full press”

as exam dates approach. To increase his program’s

effectiveness, Bob has brought in Espyr’s

professional coaching resources.

“Espyr has a large, nationwide staff of certified,

professional coaches and counselors and

the ability to touch base with drivers throughout

the year,” Bob said. “Drivers can call any

time they need advice or assistance.” Espyr’s

services are available to fleets at the cost of one

dollar a month per enrolled driver.

“Based on experience, I know that we’ve

saved carriers hundreds of thousands of dollars

in driver turnover costs alone. A dollar a month

is insignificant compared to a lawsuit resulting

from an accident in which driver health plays

a role,” Bob said. He also notes that regardless

of how much money a carrier invests in technology

to increase safety, it is the driver who

makes the difference. Espyr also provides mental

health services, something Bob sought as he

looked for a partner.


Courtesy: BOB PERRY

Bob Perry says that a few simple lifestyle changes can make the difference between passing

a DOT health exam or risk losing a CDL.

Mental fitness—silent key to wellness

There is so much depression in the industry,”

he said. Espyr has provided mental health

services for over 30 years; in fact, Espyr personnel

were on-scene at the El Paso, Texas,

Wal-Mart on August 3 following the shooting

that killed 22 people and injuring dozens. The

staff offered immediate counseling to employees,

customers and first responders, helping

them process what they had witnessed and preparing

them for what they might expect in the

months and years ahead. But drivers don’t need

to witness a traumatic event to develop mental

health issues; sometimes the loneliness of the

road is enough. Solutions may be as simple as

driving with a pet companion, usually a dog.

“If I ask a group how many in the room

travel with dogs,” he said. “usually about 40%

of the hands go up. Then I ask them if they fed

their dogs that morning. The same hands go up.

Finally, I ask if they fed their dogs a donut and

a cup of coffee for breakfast, then lit up a cigarette

for them.” Bob’s point hits home. “Drivers

are more concerned about their pet’s health

than they are their own wellness,” he said.

While Bob Perry hasn’t driven a truck in

nearly 50 years, he remains on the road—or

at least in the air—logging over 125,000 flight

miles a year. He conducts orientation sessions

and classes across the country up to three

weeks out of each month. And he remains active

in promoting driver health and wellness

within the industry. Bob served two years as

vice-chair of the American Trucking Associations’

Health and Wellness working group followed

by four years in the chairman’s slot. He

remains active with the organization and is also

involved with the American Bus Association

See Perry on p9 m


Nation December 1-14, 2019 • 9

Schneider donates trucks to four schools to support CDL training programs

b Perry from page 8 b

Safety Council (after all bus drivers face the

same long hours on the road, and they carry the

nation’s most precious cargo).

OTR health in an industry taking notice

After being featured on many national television

and radio broadcasts as well as in the nation’s

largest newspapers and magazines, for

many years, Bob endorsed the full-service advantage

of TravelCenters of America locations.

In 2020 he formally agreed to become an ambassador

to TA’s health and wellness program,


“TA requires all of its locations to provide

some sort of fitness area for drivers,” he said.

“A walking trail, a basketball court, even a

horseshoe pit — anything encouraging exercise

is great.” TA also provides health clinics

at about 20 locations, with more being added.

Access to healthcare while on the road can be

problematic for truckers and often leads them

to put off seeking the care they need.

“CVS has about 1,100 locations offering

health care services ranging from DOT exams

to access to doctors,” he said, noting that at

this time the chain is probably a trucker’s best

choice when needing immediate health care.

So, the question is, as a driver, are you fit

to pass? If today is the deadline for your DOT

medical exam, can you walk in worry-free, or

would it be best if you just didn’t show up? If

your answer is the latter, that’s why The Trucker

and Bob Perry are joining forces.

In future issues of The Trucker, Bob will

write a column providing tips you can put to

immediate use to improve your health along

with information and stories to inspire you to

remain focused on wellness

As you read, remember, simple lifestyle

changes can be the difference between losing

your CDL and being “Fit to Pass SM .” 8

Jump in the driver’s seat

of a Schneider tractor and

drive your future forward.


GREEN BAY, Wis. — With the professional

truck driver shortage continuing to exceed

critical numbers, Schneider is helping

the effort to curtail the scarcity by donating

10 gently used, late model trucks to select

CDL driver training programs at community

or technical colleges throughout the U.S.

Schneider, a provider of trucking, logistics

and intermodal services, is providing

Freightliner Cascadia units that include some

of the trucking industry’s most advanced

technologies and automated manual transmissions.

Driver training time is significantly more

efficient when using an automated manual

transmission because it allows trainers to

focus on maneuverability and awareness,

rather than gear changing, according to Rob

Reich, executive vice president and chief administrative

officer at Schneider.

“In addition to hiring many experienced

drivers across the country for the many

types of positions we offer, Schneider also

recruits graduates from CDL driver training

programs,” Reich said. “We know that many

driving training programs have limited resources,

and we want the next generation of

professional drivers to train in the best trucks

in the business as they embark on new careers.”

Schneider has donated the 10 trucks to

four CDL training programs:

• Central Tech at Drumright, Oklahoma

• Fox Valley Technical College at Appleton,


• Hawkeye Community College at Waterloo,


• Houston Community College at Houston

With these donations, Schneider also expects

to attract candidates among individuals

who may not have considered a professional

truck driving career.

“Women and younger adults are an emerging

driver pool, and we believe technologies

like automated manual transmissions, safety

and connectivity will attract a more diverse

audience to the trucking industry,” Reich said.

“Learning on modern equipment spec’d with

some of the latest technologies and creature

comforts helps attract new candidates and allows

them to adjust more quickly to the new

trucks operating within our fleet.”


TIL 2020?

Don’t waste another day (or decade)

stuck in a dead-end driving job

Paid orientation starts weekly

Get earning in as little as 4 days

Information about driving careers with

Schneider can be found at SchneiderJobs.


Reich said Schneider offers one of the

broadest portfolios in the industry, noting that

Schneider’s solutions include regional and

long-haul truckload, expedited, dedicated,

bulk, intermodal, brokerage, warehousing,

supply chain management and port logistics.

For more information about Schneider,

visit or follow the company

socially on LinkedIn and Twitter: @

WeAreSchneider. 8

More types of driving jobs

38 types of driving jobs and over 50 Dedicated accounts

Recent driver upgrades

New tablets, APUs, fridges, enhanced performance pay

Give yourself the gift of a fresh start. 800-44-PRIDE “CHAT” to 28000


Small Business in Transportation exec

refutes call to stop fight against ELDs

I am writing in response to your editorial


that suggests the Small Business

in Transportation Coalition and I — and by

extension over 30,000 American truck drivers

who have signed our Electronic Logging

Device Suspension Petition should stop the

fight against ELDs.

Here is why you are wrong and why all

truckers should now join our fight by signing

our ELD Suspension Petition and by filing a

comment in support of our resubmitted ELD

Exemption Application.

On October 22 the National Highway

Traffic Safety Administration released new

data that show that in 2018, the first full year

the new ELD rule was in effect for the trucking

industry to enforce commercial motor

vehicle operators’ compliance with Hours

of Service regulations, more than two occupants

of large trucks died every single day.

This is the highest number of such deaths

since 1988, making this stat a 30-year high.

We believe ELDs have caused drivers anxiety

to such levels that many now recklessly

speed to beat the clock. These data show

FMCSA was wrong that ELDs would “save

26 lives per year.”

Independent research published in 2019

shows “there is no evidence to suggest that

the number of accidents decreased. Our results

show that accident counts for small carriers

did not fall relative to large carriers and

may have increased. Furthermore, drivers for

small carriers appear to have increased their

frequency of unsafe driving (e.g., speeding)

in response to the productivity losses caused

by the ELD mandate, which could explain

why accidents did not decrease.”

On November 6, the Journal of Commerce

reported the number of speeding violations

handed to U.S. truck drivers jumped

7.8% in 2018 and the number of violations

issued to truckers for driving 15 mph or more

above limits rose 10.3% last year.

Because of a lack of bona fide ELD certification

program, many ELDs are not encrypted.

University of Michigan researchers

successfully managed to hack into a truck

and seized control of the truck’s throttle and

engine brake controls. This poses nation security

concerns if ELDs can be hacked into

by criminals and terrorists.

The Department of Transportation is already

aware of the hacking threat because it

issued a joint warning with the FBI in 2016.

Many ELDs routinely malfunction and

are unreliable. Case in point. The recent

major crash of Omnitracs. This poses public

safety concerns if drivers have not been

properly trained on how to use paper logs as

a backup.

See Letters on p11 m

Perspective December

Slow down.

Take your time.

Look up weather

reports in the direction

you are going.

Be prepared

for winter. Extra

blankets. Food.

Water. Make sure

you have a CB.


is best thing you

can have. Don’t

over steer or over

correct. If the

chain law goes in

effect, park it. No

load is that important. Get to your destination

safety. I never use my jake brake in bad


All you super truckers can give me

all the crap you want but. I have a record

that I’m proud of. 39 years and never jack

knifed or been in the median or rolled one.

Safe travels.

— Ralph Peer

1-14, 2019 • 10

Here’s what occurred when the Lord created police officers

Lyndon Finney

Eye on


It’s time to take a break from talking

about detention, parking, driver pay and all

those regulatory matters that frequently occupy

this space.

Today, we want to relay you this article

sent to us by Sr. Trooper Monty Dial (Retired)

of the Texas Department of Public

Safety, who is without a doubt one of the

most knowledgeable persons when it comes

to commercial vehicle safety.

The author is unknown, and it goes like this:

When the Lord was creating peace officers,

he was into his sixth day of overtime

when an angel appeared and said,

“You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on

this one.”

And the Lord said,

“Have you read the specs on this order?

“A peace officer has to be able to run five

miles through alleys in the dark, scale walls,

enter homes the health inspector wouldn’t

touch, and not wrinkle his uniform.

“He has to be able to sit in an undercover

car all day on a stakeout, cover a homicide

scene that night, canvass the neighborhood

for witnesses, and testify in court the next


“He has to be in top physical condition at

all times, running on black coffee and halfeaten


Got an opinion on a key trucking issue?

Send it online to:

Last issue we asked our Facebook followers to share

with fellow drivers some safety tips about winter weather

driving. We were flooded with responses. We ran three last

issue and we’re running three more this issue.

If the roads are bad enough that I have

to chain up, I park it and wait. My load may

be late but at least it’ll get there.

— Steve Keffer

“And he has to have six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and

said, “Six pairs of hands ... no way.”

“It’s not the hands that are causing me

problems,” said the Lord, “it’s the three pairs

of eyes an officer has to have.”

“That’s on the standard model?” asked

the angel.

The Lord nodded. “One pair that sees

through a bulge in a pocket before he asks,

‘May I see what’s in there, sir?’”

(When he already knows and wishes he’d

taken that accounting job.)

“Another pair here in the side of his head

for his partners’ safety. And another pair of

eyes here in front that can look reassuringly

at a bleeding victim and say, ‘You’ll be all

right ma’am, when he knows it isn’t so.’”

“Lord,” said the angel, touching his

sleeve, “rest and work on this tomorrow.”

“I can’t,” said the Lord, “I already have a

model that can talk a 250-pound drunk into a

patrol car without incident and feed a family

of five on a civil service paycheck.”

The angel circled the model of the peace

officer very slowly, “Can it think?” she asked.

“You bet,” said the Lord. “It can tell you

the elements of a hundred crimes; recite Miranda

warnings in its sleep; detain, investigate,

search, and arrest a gang member on the

street in less time than it takes five learned

judges to debate the legality of the stop...and

still it keeps its sense of humor.

“This officer also has phenomenal personal

control. He can deal with crime scenes

painted in hell, coax a confession from a

child abuser, comfort a murder victim’s family,

and then read in the daily paper how law

enforcement isn’t sensitive to the rights of

criminal suspects.”

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her

finger across the cheek of the peace officer.

There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told you

that you were trying to put too much into this


“That’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “it’s

a tear.”

“What’s the tear for?” asked the angel.

“It’s for bottled-up emotions, for fallen

comrades, for commitment to that funny

piece of cloth called the American flag, for


“You’re a genius,” said the angel

The Lord looked somber. “I didn’t put it

there,” he said.

Thanks, Monty, and thank you to the

police officers who daily risk their lives to

make the world a better place. 8

Slow down! There’s no hurry. If you don’t

feel safe, stop. No load is worth taking a

chance. Remember, You are ultimately responsible

for the safe driving of that truck,

not a dispatcher or broker.

— Andy Keller

THETRUCKER.COM Perspective December 1-14, 2019 • 11

b Letters from page 10 b

Because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety

Administration has already granted numerous

exemptions allowing use of paper logs

instead of ELDs such as the agri exemption,

it concedes that paper logs are adequate to

ensure public safety. It makes no sense that

the safety of paper logs is contingent on the

nature of the commodity hauled. Paper logs

cannot reasonably be deemed to be safe if

you haul pigs but unsafe if you haul logs.

Therefore, a return to paper logs for the population

that would fall under the exemption

cannot reasonably be deemed unsafe or not

in the public interest by FMCSA.

Given FMCSA’s previously issued exemptions,

it is clear FMCSA believes ELDs

are not necessary to carry out the transportation

policy of section 13101.

There is no evidence that ELDs are needed

to protect shippers from the abuse of market


Over 32,000 Americans are petitioning

the White House to immediately suspend

ELDs until the unintended consequences of

the ELD mandate such as reckless speeding

can be studied.

— James Lamb

Afro-American Truckers Association

applauds parking delivery info survey

The Afro-American Truckers Association

thinks the American Transportation Research

Institute’s online survey to solicit professional

drivers in put on preferences for data

formats and delivery mechanisms of truck

parking availability information is a step in

the right direction.

Unfortunately, the lack of a credible

“driver-driven” plan, coordinated action,

prolonged foot-dragging, and old-world

thinking has made truck parking a systemic

problem and a national disgrace.

This unending dilemma has also led to

higher insurance rates, loss of profit and productivity,

more deadly crashes, traffic congestion,

and gridlock nationwide. However,

a significant reduction in the truck parking

problem depends on four key components

working together to build an ultra-modern

21st century trucker-friendly surface transportation


Federal, state, and local governments

must work together with stakeholders to

construct more truck depots, maintenance

facilities, rest havens and lodging amenities

in the growing number of high traffic zones

and inner-city communities where needed

the most. We think the bulk of new financial

investment, economic growth, and infrastructure

development must be concentrated

in and around vastly underserved inner-city

communities, especially in Alabama.

The AATA is mobilizing mass media and

political support for mass resource allocation

and substantial increase in the number of national

service providers, maintenance facilities

and first-class lodging facilities in Birmingham,

Huntsville, Montgomery, Mobile

and Tuscaloosa and throughout the depressed

Black Belt region. The long neglected big

city markets and truck transportation hubs

are experiencing a hefty uptick in foreign

investment, business development and economic

activity. Today, truck parking, maintenance

facilities and driver accommodations

are at an all-time high throughout the rapidly

increasing truck dependent state of Alabama.

The AATA, local proactive truckers and

community activists are working together

to recruit a contingent of mega-size multipurpose

Love’s, TA, Quicktrip, Sapp Brothers

and Thornton travel centers to the metro-

Birmingham area. Certainly this type of forward

thinking pro-trucking initiative will go

a long way to increase personal safety and

parking spaces, revitalize and strengthen local

communities, reduce congestion and gridlock

and accommodate the growing number

of young professional drivers, their families

and the motoring public moving forward.

— Shakir Muhammad 8

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Holland drivers Dan Runice and Robert Wolford

join 3 million safe miles club

Courtesy: HOLLAND

Dan Runice, left, and Robert “RB” Wolford both were recently honored by Holland for 3 million miles of safe driving. Runice has been a professional truck driver for 38 years. Wolford is a

third-generation truck driver.

From time to time, At the Truck Stop will feature drivers

who’ve been honored for such things as driving a million or

more safe miles, for being Driver of the Month, Driver of the

Year, Trainer of the Month, etc.

Today we feature two Holland professional drivers — Dan

Runice and Robert “RB” Wolford — who have driven over

3 million consecutive miles without a preventable accident.

To put this distance in perspective, 3 million miles is

equivalent to driving across the United States, from coast

to coast, more than 1,000 consecutive times—all without a

single preventable accident.

“We are immensely proud of Dan and his 3-million-mile

safe driving record,” said Tamara Jalving, YRC Worldwide

Inc. vice president of safety. “His safety record represents

decades of unwavering professionalism behind the wheel.

We congratulate and thank him for his commitment to safety.

Dan helps to make our highways safer while delivering

award-winning quality service to our customers.”

Runice has been a professional driver for 38 years. He’s

been with Holland for the past 25 years operating as a line haul

driver out of the Tomah, Wisconsin, service center. His routes

take him through some of the country’s most challenging

weather conditions making his safe driving record even more

exceptional. Runice is one of 33 active Holland drivers to

have reached this incredible safety milestone.

Runice attributes achieving 3-million consecutive miles

without a preventable accident to his safe driving skills and

to always being alert — with a bit of good luck thrown in.

He watches other drivers around him, anticipates traffic flow,

looks for unexpected behaviors, doesn’t crowd others and

always leaves an “out.” Traffic volumes are intense and filled

with distractions. His safety advice: “Do not risk your life

texting while driving.”

Runice and his wife Becky have three children and two

grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys watching his

grandchildren participate in sports.

YRC Worldwide, Inc. also recognized “RB” Wolford for

equalizing Dan’s achievement.

“We are tremendously proud of “RB” and his safety

achievement,” Jalving said. “His record represents decades

of unwavering professionalism behind the wheel and a

concentrated safety focus. His dedication to safety helps to

make our highways safer and helps Holland deliver awardwinning

quality service to our customers. We congratulate

‘RB’ and thank him for his continued commitment to safety.”

Wolford grew up with trucking in his blood. He’s a thirdgeneration

truck driver, inspired by his grandfather, father

and uncle. A member of the Holland Safety Committee and a

driver mentor, he believes in sharing safety knowledge.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have had good, safety-minded

mentors in my career. I’m proud to be a driver mentor for

Holland,” he said. “I’m a firm believer in giving back. No one

knows how to do it right from the get-go. It’s important to do

your part, be safety-minded and lead by example.”

Wolford has participated at the Michigan state truck driving

championships eleven times (always placing in the top three).

He was chosen Rookie of the Year at his first Michigan

truck driving championship in 2008. Wolford twice qualified

for the National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC), the

“Superbowl of Safety,” and competed for the first time in

2008 against the best of the best professional drivers in the

United States in the Straight Truck class and again in 2017 in

the flatbed class. Just to qualify for NTDC, drivers must earn

first place in their class at their state competition and remain

accident-free, regardless of fault, for one year prior.

The Michigan Trucking Association honored Wolford as its

September 2019 Driver of the Month.

Holland celebrated Wolford’s 3-million-mile safety

achievement at the Detroit, Michigan, service center with an

award ceremony where Wolford received a surprise two-car

police escort with flashing lights and sirens as he neared the

Detroit terminal in recognition of his safety milestone. 8

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14 • December 1-14, 2019 Perspective

Here we are already in December.

The Christmas season is upon us. Now we

start hearing Christmas songs such as “Here

Comes Santa Claus.”

And, of course, we hear the story “’Twas The

Night Before Christmas.”

Let’s just look at that story and see how it can

relate to Christ’s birth.

First, let’s just say:

“’Twas the night of Christmas and all thru

the town not a creature was stirring not even the

sheep in the field.

The shepherds were watching the sheep and

trying to catch some sleep when all of a sudden

the angels appeared.

The shepherds arose to see what was going

on and were astonished to hear that a baby was


The angels told them the baby was in a


“So, they hurried to see what all the fuss was

over such a birth.

They ran to the stable and opened the door.

There they saw Mary and Joseph with the

baby they adored.

“As the angels sang and their song filled the

air, the shepherds watched with amazement to see

this gift that came in the world that Holy Night.

“And as the angels left, they proclaimed to all,

‘Peace on Earth and good will to all for tonight

was born the Savior of all.’

“All the fancy ribbons and bows and all the

decorations we enjoy are not answers for Christmas.

Christ was the perfect gift that night so long

ago and still is today.

“So, as we prepare for His coming this Christmas,

let’s sing with the angels, declare the glory

of the Lord and rejoice knowing that ‘Once Upon

A Midnight Clear’ Christ was born, and the first

to greet Him were the shepherds—not the rich

and powerful—but the hard-working shepherds

from the fields.

“And just as we look to the rooftop for Santa’s

sleigh and all the presents under the tree, let’s

look to the heavens and listen for the angels to

sing again as we receive the perfect present in our


I remember years ago a program on TV called


It was a very special Christmas story that I

want to share with you.

In this episode, it was Christmas, and Sgt. Joe

Friday was called to a church about the Baby Jesus

being stolen from the manger scene.

No one had any idea of how, when or who

could have done such a thing at Christmas.

There were no clues, and no one saw anything.

A few people were questioned, but no one

knew anything.

After many hours and no clues, a little boy

pulling a little red wagon came into the church.

He pulled the wagon all the way to the manger

scene as the pastor and Sgt. Friday watched

the scene unfold. The little boy took Baby Jesus

out of the wagon and placed Him back where he


As they watched, Sgt. Friday walked over and

asked the little boy where he found Baby Jesus.

The reply the little boy gave was amazing to

both the pastor and Sgt. Joe Friday.

He said, “Oh, I found Baby Jesus right here,

and I promised Him that if I got a little red wagon

for Christmas that He would be the first to ride in

my wagon. So, I took Him for a ride and now He

needs to be here for Christmas Day.”

What a perfect “thank you, Jesus.”

How many of us would share the “first” of our

gift with the Perfect Gift to our world?


Best of the roads and all gears forward in


Rev. Marilou Coins 8


It’s December, a time for carols, songs and remembering God’s perfect gift to us

Rev. Marilou Coins




Chaplain Marilou suggests as we celebrate

Christmas that just as we look to the

rooftop for Santa’s sleigh and all the presents

under the tree, let’s look to the heavens

and listen for the angels to sing again

as we receive the perfect present in our life.

When you get bored at a Christmas party, think before asking a lawyer an off-handed question

Brad Klepper

exclusive to the trucker

Ask the


If you are willing to entertain the farfetched

notion that lawyers have friends,

you may also believe that, occasionally, we

get invited to social function. At this time of

year, that well could be a Christmas party.

When attending such an event, one of the

most common questions we get asked, other

than will you draft my will (the answer is

no), is the difference between misdemeanors

and felonies.

Before I answer that question, I should

point out that there are civil infractions as

well. For what it is worth, civil infractions

are non-criminal charges filed by a city, county,

state or federal government and usually

are punishable with only a fine. Things like

minor offenses such as speeding 1 to 10 mph

over the limit are often civil infractions.

In order to be convicted of a civil infraction,

the state must show by the “preponderance

of the evidence” that you committed the

offense. This simply means it is more likely

than not that an offense happened and you

committed the offense. This is the weakest

standard of proof for a conviction. In most

states, if you are charged with a civil infraction,

you have no right to a trial by jury. The

case is usually heard before a judge who renders

a verdict.

The next level of offenses are misdemeanors.

Misdemeanors are criminal

charges that are more serious then civil infractions

but not as serious as felonies. A

misdemeanor may result in jail time of less

than one year and bigger fines. If you have

been charged with a misdemeanor, the state

must show “beyond a reasonable doubt” that

you committed the crime. Put simply, this

means that a reasonable person would have

no doubt that you committed the crime. A

conviction of a misdemeanor results in a

criminal record, and aside from jail time and

fines, is punishable by probation and even

driver’s license revocation.

In addition, some misdemeanors may be

classified as sex offenses, and a resulting conviction

can require the defendant to register

as a sex offender and to notify the police department

of their home address. These convictions

may also prohibit an offender from

approaching schools, parks or children. Some

states have petty offenses or minor misdemeanors

punished with a fine, but jail time

can also be included.

Persons charged with a misdemeanor

have no right to an attorney if a conviction

does not result in jail time. They also do not

have a right to a probable cause hearing or a

right to a grand jury.

This brings us to felonies. Felonies are

the more serious criminal charges and have

jail time of one year or longer, the largest

fines and can even result in your being put to

death (in some states). The legal standard for

conviction for felonies is the same as misdemeanors,

“beyond a reasonable doubt.” Felonies

are the types of crimes they make movies

about. They include acts of murder, robbery,

arson and sexual assault. Conviction of a felony

will result in jail time. For some “minor”

felonies, you may be lucky and just be put

on probation, pay fines, court costs, restitution

or even perform community service. For

the more serious felonies, the death penalty

may come into play; however, this usually

requires the death of another person before

the prosecutor will make it part of their case.

If you are convicted of a felony, you will

lose some very valuable rights. These include

the right to possess a firearm, to be on

a jury or to vote in some states. In the event

you are unfortunate enough to find yourself

arrested and charged with a felony, seek legal


By the time I finish this discussion, people

who asked me the question have a little

spittle in the corner of their mouths, and

their eyes have glazed over. Trust me, nothing

kills a vibe faster than asking a lawyer a

legal question in a social setting. Interestingly,

I can’t recall the last time I was invited

to a dinner party.

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


If you asked a lawyer a question about misdemeanors

and felonies, you might want to

be prepared for a boring and lengthy answer.

to answer your legal questions about trucking

and life over the road.

For more information, contact him at (800)

333-DRIVE (3748) or

and 8


Perspective December 1-14, 2019 • 15

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16 • December 1-14, 2019 Business



December 1-14, 2019 • 17

Courtesy: NAVISTAR

The International nameplate had a 28.4% increase with sales of 4,609 in October compared

with 3,590 in September and Volvo had a 15.2% increase with sales of 2,248 in October compared

with 1,951 in September. Pictured is the International LT series.

ACT Research: Heavy-duty truck

market to see pullback in build rates


COLUMBUS, Ind. — The heavy-duty truck

market should anticipate an accelerating pullback

in build rates, ACT Research said Tuesday, and

just how much could depend on two factors: the

trade war with China and U.S. consumer activity.

The latest release of the ACT North American

Commercial Vehicle Outlook shows freight market

conditions remaining at a low ebb.

They say a picture is worth a thousand

words, and one of our favorites is an overlay of

the 12-month moving average of Class 8 net orders

and actual production data,” said Steve Tam,

ACT’s vice president. “As 20 years of history

show, where the order trend goes, build follows,

and positively, a turn in the 12-month moving order

average can be seen as starting in December,

meaning Class 8 orders in 2020 should handily

outperform 2019.”

Tam said on the downside, ACT was noting

that every trough in the order average in the past

20 years has been met with a corresponding drop

in builds.”

“Despite a high-side production surprise in

September, large new inventories and deteriorating

freight and rate conditions keep us cautious

into the end of 2019,” he said.

See Trucks on p18 m


This graph from ACT Research shows month-by-month trailer orders for 2017, 2018 and thus

far in 2019.

Truck sales have been weird all year;

October (down 18.4%) no exception

Cliff Abbott

Truck sales numbers have been weird

all year, and October was no exception.

U.S. sales of 23,346 new, Class 8 trucks fell

18.4% from September, according to ACT

Research, but it’s important to note that September’s

28,626 was an all-time high for the

U.S. market. October sales, despite the decline,

still make the month one of the best

Octobers in the past 20 years.

Of new Class 8 sales, 16,992 were road

tractors destined for the freight market, about

72.8%. That number declined from September

sales of 20,456 by 16.9%.

Vocational Class 8 trucks, those destined

for dump, trash or other body types, declined

by a larger amount. 6,354 sold in October

was a 22.2% decline from September sales

of 8,168. Pointing out that vocational sales

don’t always parallel road tractor sales, ACT

President Kenny Vieth said, “vocational sales

are more tied to the ‘day to day’ economy,

whereas sales of road tractors are often based

on the manufacturing sector.”

See Sales on p19 m


ACT Research Vice President Steve Tam said despite a high-side production surprise in

September, large new inventories and deteriorating freight and rate conditions keep analysts

cautious into the end of 2019.

Trailer orders surge in October, but

down 42% for same month in 2018

THE TRUCKER NEWS SERVICES that of September. A counterpoint to the net order

The two analytic companies that track, analyze

and report commercial vehicle orders and curring in both dry vans and reefers. Since we are

surge was continuing elevated cancellations, oc-

sales said that net trailer orders in October almost approaching year-end, it is likely that cancellations

are due to a combination of several factors.

reached 32,000.

ACT Research said orders surged 71% Some placeholder orders are likely being cleared

month-over-month, reaching 31,900.

from the system and it is also likely some production

is being shifted into early 2020, either at

FTR said the trailer ordering season was off to

a vibrant start with sales of 31,800.

OEM or fleet request.”

Both, however, quickly noted that orders were Maly said the impact of financial pressures, a

down 42% from the same month in 2018. combination of weaker freight volume and lower

Trailer orders for the past 12 months now total rates for the available freight movement, is an

241,000 units, FTR said.

overarching concern.

“After a lackluster summer, order volume has “The dramatic growth of the trailer fleet in

now surged for two straight months and is tracking

more in line with historic seasonal order patsulting

in both increased capacity and a dramati-

the past few years is also an important factor, reterns,”

said Frank Maly, director–CV transportation

analysis and research at ACT Research. “Oc-

significant capital investment by fleets,” he said.

cally younger fleet, all meaning little incentive for

tober order strength was highly concentrated in “We project softening production into early 2020,

dry vans, where orders were more than two times

See Trailers on p19 m


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18 • December 1-14, 2019 Business

b Trucks from page 17 b

There is always a risk in forecasting the truck

market and the U.S. economy broadly, in either

direction, and that risk remains the trade war with

China, Tam said.

With U.S. manufacturers and farmers struggling

to compete on the tilted global playing

field, the key driver of growth in the mid-term

outlook is the U.S. consumer, who remains wellpositioned

to keep the economy out of the ditch,

Tam said.

“With around 80% of North America’s Class

8 market and about 90% of the Classes 5-7 and

trailer markets beholden to the U.S. economy, it

is little wonder that ACT’s forecasts focus heavily

on the North American, and primarily the U.S.,

economy,” Tam said. “We are seeing weakerthan-expected

activity in the economies of Canada

and Mexico and our US growth expectations,

at 2.2%, are now below start-of-the-year levels.

Looking to 2020, GDP growth in all three North

American economies is anticipated to fall below

2%, with the US and Canada at 1.7% and Mexico

rebounding to 1.4%.”

Regarding the trade war and risk of a recession,

Tam said if President Donald J. Trump

doubles down from this point, a greater global

b Trailers from page 17 b

with slower line rates and/or reduced days in operation

at the OEMs. A market that was extremely

advantageous toward the OEMs as 2019 opened

has seen that pendulum shift rather dramatically

to ‘advantage fleets,’ meaning price levels will

likely be a major topic during ongoing order negotiations.”

The high October order totals were achieved

despite still elevated cancellations, as a few

OEM’s continue to clean up their 2019 backlogs,

FTR said, adding that October production is expected

to be down moderately on a per-day basis

due to seasonal factors, with backlogs climbing

slightly for the first time in 10 months.

downturn could ensue, with the worst outcomes

spreading beyond the impact of tariffs and into a

global currency war.

“If Schedule D tariffs are put in place in December,

the likelihood of recession rises,” he said.

ACT’s North American Commercial Vehicle

Outlook is a report that forecasts the future of

the industry, looking at the next one to five, with

the objective of giving OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2

suppliers, and investment firms the information

needed to plan accordingly for what is to come.

The report provides a complete overview of the

North American markets, as well as takes a deep

dive into relevant, current market activity to highlight

orders, production, and backlogs, shedding

light on the forecast.

Information included in this report covers

forecasts and current market conditions for medium

and heavy-duty trucks, tractors, and trailers,

the macroeconomies of the US, Canada, and

Mexico, publicly-traded carrier information, oil

and fuel price impacts, freight and intermodal

considerations and regulatory environment impacts.

ACT Research is a publisher of commercial

vehicle truck, trailer and bus industry data, market

analysis and forecasts for the North America

and China markets.

More information can be found at


“This is great news for the trailer market,”

said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial

vehicles. “Several large dry van fleets placed

requirement orders for 2020, showing they have

confidence in the freight markets going into next

year. Dry van orders were strong despite a lull in

freight growth. There still is plenty of replacement

demand present and fleets continue to need more

dry vans to move products quickly to and between

warehouses due to increased online sales.”

Ake said the vocation trailer markets, such

as flatbeds and dumps, are still struggling as the

industrial sectors of the economy weaken. Refrigerated

van orders are expected to increase soon.

The higher October orders suggest the market

will be decent in 2020. The trailer market is slowing,

but a significant downturn is not imminent,”

he said. 8


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



b Sales from page 17 b

Business December 1-14, 2019 • 19

Orders for new tractors jumped by 74%

from September, reaching 21,900 in October.

The bigger fleets are planning their truck

purchasing strategy for 2020,” said Vieth,

helping grow the order numbers.

As order numbers grew, production shrank

at most manufacturers in response to months

of low order numbers. Larger orders, however,

are not an indication that the long-predicted

economic decline is no longer a threat. According

to Vieth, “There’s a certain number of

trucks we should be adding to the fleet to support

a 2% GDP. We’ve added far more capacity

to the fleet than a 2% GDP can support.”

In the October used truck market, preliminary

Class 8 sales volumes (same dealer)

grew by 42% over September sales, according

to the latest State of the Industry: U.S.

Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT

Research. In a year-over-year comparison,

sales increased by 6.0% over October 2018.

For the year-to-date, however, sales still lag

17.0% behind the first 10 months of last year.

Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research,

explained. “The biggest volume change in almost

four years and the largest price drop in

three years call to mind how truck sellers and

buyers are behaving in today’s market.” He

continued, “For their parts, sellers are probably

getting creative, looking to markets they

do not traditionally serve in their efforts to

move inventory, while for buyers, the change

might not be as subtle.”

Tam noted that the average selling price

dropped below $40,000 for the first time in

more than two years, attracting more reluctant


Getting back to new trucks, according to

Wards Intelligence, overall new Class 8 truck

sales dropped by 18.6% over record September

numbers. At the same time, Navistar,

who manufacturers the International brand,

saw a gain of 28.4% with sales of 4,609 New

Class 8 trucks, compared to 3,590 in September.

That was good enough to claim 20.0% of

the month’s market, far better than the manufacturer’s

14.8% so far in 2019. Despite the

gain, however, October sales were 4.1% behind

sales of 4,806 in October 2018.

“Month-over-month changes in retail

sales are influenced by many variables,” said

Steve Gilligan, vice president product marketing.

“OEMs, including Navistar, may see

significant changes in month-over-month

percentages due to the industry size, major

fleet transactions which occurred, seasonal

dealer retail sales activity, and even fiscal

year end timing.” Discussing the October results,

he said, “Navistar volume and share increased

and more importantly YTD share increased.”

He continued, “We take the overall

year-to-date share growth as a positive sign.”

Volvo showed similar results with sales

of 2,248 in October, an increase of 15.2%

over September sales of 1,951. Volvo was the

only OEM to best year-over-year sales with

2,215 sold in October 2018 against the 2,248

in October this year. Volvo’s 9.8% share of

the new Class 8 market was an improvement

over their 9.4% year-to-date share but still

lags the 10.6% the builder held at the same

point in 2018.

“We came from a low September to more

average October,” said Magnus Koeck, vice

president, marketing and brand management,

Volvo Trucks North America. “There are

trucks within our dealer network waiting to

be delivered to customers and we believe we

will see two strong months in November and

December. December is normally the strongest

retail month of the year when you see

lots of registrations coming in as it’s a closeout

for the year.”

Volvo-owed Mack Truck did not follow

Volvo’s increase. Mack sales of 1,224 were

56.2% lower than the 2,794 sold in September,

good for a 5.3% share of the October

Class 8 market. Mack has been responsible

for 7.2% of new Class 8 trucks delivered in

2019, slightly ahead of the 7.1% sold through

October 2018.

Freightliner sold 7,673 new trucks in October,

down 34.2% from record September sales

of 11,654. The company’s share of the class

8 market was 33.4% in October compared to

36.8% year-to-date. Market share in the January

– October period of 2018 were 36.1%.

Peterbilt sales of 3,444 in October were a

decline of 13.0% from 3,718 sold in September

and down 7.1% from 3,707 sold in October

2018. The company claimed 15% of new

Class 8 trucks sold in October, slightly above

their year-to-date share of 14.8%. Peterbilt sold

14.9% of new Class 8 trucks sold in 2018.

Kenworth results were similar to Peterbilt’s

with sales of 3,332 declining 13% from

September’s 3,832 and 5.5% from 3,526 sold

in October 2018. The company’s 14.5% of

the October market brings their year-to-date

share to 14.7%, slightly ahead of the 14.6%

held at the same point of 2018.

Western Star sales of 471 in October were

way behind sales of 717 in September, a 34.3%

decline. Compared to October 2018, however,

the manufacturer sold exactly one fewer tractor,

a decline that is rounded to 0.2%. Western

Star’s percentage of the market has been a

consistent 2.3% for 2018 and 2019, despite a

dip to 2.0% for the month of October.

The long anticipated decline of the new

Class 8 market still looms, but strong sales of

both new and used Class 8 trucks as well as

increased new tractor orders would seem to

indicate that the industry isn’t worried. 8

Merry Christmas!

This season, we hope all Truck Drivers and their

families enjoy many blessings, a happy and safe

holiday season, and a beautiful Christmas.


Follow us on Facebook!

Search: The Trucker

20 • December 1-14, 2019 Business


Winding down the year by talking about

value of safety in trucking industry

Cliff Abbott

Safety Series

Find the comment section of any news article

about a traffic accident involving a truck

and a smaller vehicle and you’ll discover it

is filled with input from those determined to

defend the honor of trucking and truck drivers.

Someone will surely raise the point that

70% of the time (or 75% or 78.3%) the automobile

driver is at fault. Another will claim

that drivers of 4-wheelers frequently make

hazardous maneuvers that truck drivers (and

trucks) can’t react to in time. Undoubtedly,

somebody will repeat the adage that none of

us would have much if it wasn’t for trucks.

Most of the comments will be true or at least

have elements of truth in them. None of them

will do anything to make the highways safer

for a single person.

So, as we’ve done in past Decembers in

the pages of The Trucker, we’re going to

wind down the year discussing your value of


When there’s a loss of life or a serious injury

resulting from an accident, some people

will get wrapped up in determining who was

at fault. Once fault is established, then it’s

time to decide on costs.

Somebody pays for hospital bills, ambulance

rides, vehicle repairs and sometimes

repairs to roads and bridges. Values will be

placed on missed time at work, missing limbs

and even on lives lost. Somebody pays; it’s

just a matter of who pays and how much.

If you make your living behind the wheel

of a truck, there’s only one question that

matters: How can we prevent accidents from

happening? When a life is lost in a traffic accident,

does it really matter whose fault it


Every driver wants to avoid accidents.

Many are trained in various programs of defensive

driving, but the true professionals

want to make the roads safer for everyone

– even the bad drivers everyone encounters.

That’s why every driver’s value of safety

is so important. A person’s values are the

standards of behavior or principles that he

or she holds. Our values are deeply rooted,

often formed in our youth, and shaped by

family, friends, religious beliefs and other

factors. Values determine what is most important

in our lives and in many cases who

we are. Values don’t change easily, and some

don’t change at all.

Priorities are something else entirely.

They can change, depending on need and circumstance.

When you’re hungry, for example,

finding a restaurant might be a priority.

An hour later, something else is on the top of

the priority list.

That’s why making safety a “priority”

isn’t good enough. Our driving decisions

must be based on our values.

When safety is only a priority, we check

the phone to see who the text message is

from before we decide if it’s important or it

can wait. When safety is a value, on the other

hand, we don’t read text messages while driving,

period. A safety priority says we’ll drive

at the speed limit unless the load is in danger

of being late. If that’s the case, we’ll drive

faster and cut corners to make up the time. A

safety value means we’ll choose safety over

timeliness. A safety priority says we’ll go a

little long on driving hours because we’re

almost home. A safety value means nothing

trumps getting home safely, even if we need

a break to do so.

So, as the Christmas season creeps closer,

take a moment to examine your attitude towards

safety. Is it a value for you? Do you

take pride in knowing that you not only

avoid accidents, but you help prevent them

by considering the impact your driving decisions

have on other motorists? Here are some

simple things that have a great impact on the

probability you’ll be involved in a crash:

Speed does kill: Slowing down gives you

more time to react to hazards.

Following distance: Over time, it’s easy

to become complacent about following distance,

inching closer and closer to the vehicle

ahead. It’s a good idea to test yourself,

counting off the seconds it takes for the nose

of your vehicle to reach a point the vehicle

in front has already passed. If you don’t have

five to six seconds of following distance,

you’re living on borrowed time. Sooner or

later, you will be involved in a rear-end collision

with the vehicle in front.

Driving decisions: Very often, a driving

decision isn’t as simple as “safe” versus

“unsafe.” By considering the risks involved

with each available option, you can make the

choice providing the maximum benefit with

the smallest amount of risk for everyone.

Left turns are a great example. It’s easy to assume

an oncoming driver will see your vehicle

turning across their traffic lane and slow

down before colliding. What if they don’t?

Remain in control: In the left turn example,

you can’t be sure what will happen if you

put your faith in other drivers reacting as you

might expect. You can remain in control by

NOT making the turn in front of them. Absolutely,

it may mean waiting longer for a bigger

traffic gap, but it also means you’ll never

have to say, “I thought they would stop…”

As the year winds down, take some time

to think about your value of safety and how

it can apply to traffic situations. Remember

that other drivers may not have your skillset—or

your values. Your driving decisions

should help protect them as well as yourself.

After all, we all have a better Christmas

when we make it home. 8


10/24/19 3:23 PM

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December 1-14, 2019 • 23


Thanks to Bendix IntelliPark, drivers will find the iconic yellow and red parking brake valves

changed forever; yet comfortably familiar.

Peterbilt unveils enhanced technology,

service center program, OTA updates


ATLANTA – Peterbilt Motor Company

(PMC) has announced technological improvements

to its truck lineup as well as a

program recognizing service centers offering

outstanding customer experiences.

The announcements came at this week’s

North American Commercial Vehicle Show

(NACVS) in Atlanta.

Electric vehicles showcased

PMC exhibited three electric vehicles at

NACVS including applications for refuse, regional

hauling and city delivery. PACCAR, a

company designing, manufacturing and offering

customer support for several truck makes

worked with PMC to develop the vehicles.

Jason Skoog, PACCAR vice president and

Peterbilt general manager, noted the trucks

provide zero-emissions and make the technology

available to a variety of customers.

Currently, PMC has 16 trucks operating under

real-world conditions and plans to add 21

more by next summer. Orders will be accepted

beginning in the second quarter of 2020 with

low-volume production by year-end.

Depending on application, the three models

provide energy storage between 148 and

308 kWh, 335-430 HP, and ranges of 100-

133 miles. Two models use fast-charging

systems with one-hour charge times, while

the model designed for the refuse market

takes four hours to charge.

“We have designed our electric vehicles

See Peterbilt on p25 m

Bendix developing safety features

to ensure good future for trucking

Cliff Abbott

ELYRIA, Ohio — The technology of trucking

is constantly changing. Every generation of

drivers can remember big changes to trucks going

all the way back to the days when tractors

replaced horses and mules. Innovations like

air brakes, dependable diesel engines, tubeless

tires, power steering and air conditioning were

considered major advances in their day. More

recently, cruise control, then satellite radio and

GPS changed the industry.

Possibly the largest change, however, was

the introduction of computers to the mechanical

workings of the truck. Electronic Control

Modules (ECMs) opened technology gates

most drivers never even considered. Engine

Control Units (ECUs) made it possible to adjust

fuel mixtures and fuel injection timing

while the truck was being driven, increasing

both power and fuel economy. But that was

only the beginning. Electronics invaded nearly

every component, and products were created to

build on the computerized base.

One company that has been at the forefront

of safety technology is Bendix Commercial

Vehicle Systems. After acquiring the VORAD

(Vehicle On-Board Radar) system, which enabled

forward collision and blind spot warning

See Bendix on p24 m


Peterbilt announced several improvements its to truck lineup technology as well as a Platinum

Service Center program at the recent NACVS event in Atlanta. These are among the

electric vehicles showcased.

Cummins touts investing in diesel platforms;

technology will be around for ‘decades to come’

Courtesy: CUMMINS

The 2020 X15 Efficiency Series engine is designed with customers’ total cost of ownership in

mind. Base engine hardware improvements and advancements in air handling deliver up to a

3.5% better fuel economy when compared to the 2017 X15 Efficiency Series engine model.


ATLANTA — Power provider Cummins

displayed a full showcase of power solutions

ranging from advanced diesel engines

and powertrain components to connectivity

solutions, electric and fuel cell technologies

at the 2019 North American Commercial Vehicle

Show recently held in Atlanta.

“We want our customers to be successful,”

said Brett Merritt, vice president –

on-highway engine business at Cummins.

“Cummins is committed to offering a diverse

power portfolio to ensure each of our customers

is equipped with the right technology

at the right time to get their jobs done.”

Merritt said Cummins diesel engine

platforms are expanding for 2020, providing

customers with what he calls “dependable, efficient

solutions for line-haul, regional-haul,

heavy-haul, vocational and specialty applications.”

The X15 engine offering for 2020 includes

a new X15 Efficiency Series engine, a

new Productivity Series offering and the Performance

Series engine customers currently

utilize. And with the expanding availability of

the X12 engine, customers have access to the

broadest ratings in the heavy-duty diesel space.

“We believe that diesel technology will

be the best solution for many of the markets

we serve for decades to come,” Merritt said.

“That’s why we continue to invest in and in-

See Cummins on p25 m

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24 • December 1-14, 2019 Equipment

b Bendix from page 23 b

capabilities, Bendix incorporated the technology

into its Wingman ACB (Active Cruise with

Braking) product introduced in 2009. The technology

was quickly adopted, and two years later,

the Wingman Advanced was released, with

Kenworth, Peterbilt, Mack, Volvo and International

all choosing to make the system standard

on at least some truck models. The next introduction

was Wingman Fusion in 2015, adding

a forward-facing camera along with lane departure

warnings, overspeed alerts and intervention,

plus an algorithm to prioritize alerts.

The latest generation of Bendix Wingman

Fusion combines radar, camera and the

vehicle’s braking system to deliver enhanced

rear-end collision mitigation, adaptive cruise

control, distance alerts, stationary object alerts,

lane departure warnings and speeding alerts,

prioritizing them in the event of multiple alerts

so the driver reacts to the most critical first.

“Over the past several years, fleets equipping

Wingman Fusion have reported significant

reductions in rear-end collisions, as much

as 90%, and decreased severity of those that

did occur,” said T.J. Thomas, Bendix director

of marketing and customer solutions - Controls

Group in a Bendix press release.

For those concerned about autonomous

trucks taking over the industry, Thomas acknowledges

some of the technology could

eventually be used for that purpose, but it

won’t be soon, he says. “These systems are at

a zero or one,” he said, referring to the Society

of Automotive Engineers (SAE) levels of

automation published in 2016. Level ‘zero’

is complete driver control, although a system

might generate a visual or audible warning

prompting the driver to act. Levels one

through five allow the driver to relinquish

increasing amounts of control, depending on

circumstances, with Level five being completely

autonomous. “When we add steering,”

Thomas continued, “we’ll be at a two.

We’re a long way from level five.”

While Thomas talked about advances in

the Wingman Fusion system, Rebecca Carter


discussed another Bendix innovation some

drivers are seeing. She’s the Intellipark Product

Line Manager for Bendix. Intellipark is,

according to Carter, “an electro-pneumatic”

parking brake system. “No more air lines

into the dash,” she explained. “Valves can be

downstream, located where they’re easier to


The dash-mounted switches are wired to

air valves which are activated electronically.

Drivers who expect to see the familiar red

and yellow brake buttons on the dash won’t

be disappointed, however.

“When they get in, the first thing they’ll

see is the new design,” Carter explained.

“It’s aesthetically pleasing. They’re going

to see lights on the buttons, so they’ll know

when it’s engaged.”

Any driver who has experienced the

knuckle-popping sting of a brake button popping

out upon release will appreciate the ease

of flipping a switch instead.

Because the system is controlled by an

ECM, it can be tied into other vehicle systems

to enhance safety. For example, the system

can automatically apply parking brakes

when the ignition is switched off or the

driver’s door is opened, helping to prevent

accidental rollaways. When starting, the system

can be set to maintain braking until the

driver’s seat belt is fastened.

The brakes can, however, be disengaged

for maintenance purposes or towing via a

key-activated maintenance mode.

The Intellipark system is available on numerous

new vehicle models equipped with

air brakes and is also available as an aftermarket

product through the Bendix Retrofit

Upgrade Program.

According to Thomas, Bendix is always

looking for ways to improve its safety products.

“It’s a continuous improvement plan

as new sensor technology is developed,” he

said. “It will be a long, long time before we

can eliminate crashes.”

As long as truck manufacturers and owners

continue integrating safety technology

like that being developed by Bendix, the industry

can continue to progress toward safer

operation. 8

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25 • December 1-14, 2019 Equipment

b Peterbilt from page 23 b

to perform as well as a diesel powertrain

truck,” said Scott Newhouse, chief engineer

of PMC.

OTA updating technology

PMC will provide Over-the-Air (OTA)

remote updates to software allowing drivers

to use a mobile app communicating with remote

diagnostics and the PACCAR solution

portal. The app will be available for both iOS

and Android devices in December.

“Customers can download the latest software

anytime, anywhere,” said Jason Skoog.

The app will decrease visits to service centers

and can be used for individual trucks

or fleets. It will be compatible with Class 8

PMC vehicles with a 2017 engine model year

or later.

Collision mitigation system upgrade

PMC also announced enhanced features

for its collision mitigation system, a safety

feature standard on Model 570 trucks. Improvements

to both active and passive safety

systems will increase efficiency and driver

safety, Jason Skoog said.

The improvements announced apply to

Highway Departure Braking (HBD) and

Multi-Lane Emergency Braking systems

(AEB). HBD will sound an alert that warns

drivers if their trucks unintentionally leave

the highway. If necessary, vehicle speeds

will automatically reduce up to 20 mph. The

AEB system assists in avoiding both primary

and secondary collisions. When collision

braking engages and the driver changes

b Cummins from page 25 b

novate our diesel platforms.”

The 2020 X15 Efficiency Series engine

is designed with customers’ total cost of

ownership in mind. Base engine hardware

improvements and advancements in air handling

deliver up to 3.5% better fuel economy

when compared to the 2017 X15 Efficiency

Series engine model. The X15 platform

now offers industry-leading oil drain intervals

of up to 75,000 miles. Extensions of

up to 80,000 miles with the use of Valvoline

Premium Blue oil and up to 100,000 miles

through the Cummins OilGuard program are

available for improved uptime.

The 2020 X15 Efficiency Series also

boasts new EX ratings which deliver expanded

powertrain capabilities including up to an

additional 1.5% fuel efficiency increase on

top of the improvements gained through base

engine hardware and feature enhancements.

These ratings contain the full suite of powertrain

features, including not only all prior AD-

EPT features but also new capabilities such as

predictive gear shifting, predictive braking, dynamic

power and industry-exclusive on-ramp

boost, delivering powertrain performance and

driver satisfaction across an entire fleet. Many

of the powertrain features in the EX ratings are

only available with the X15 Efficiency Series

engine when paired with the Endurant transmission

from the Eaton Cummins Automated

Transmission Technologies joint venture.

The new X15 Productivity Series ratings


lanes, the multi-lane feature continues braking

if detecting blockage in the second lane.

The improved systems will be available

in early 2020. Bendix, manufacturer of both

HBD and AEB systems, notes that neither

system guarantees safety. The features complement

safe driving practices, providing

support for safety training and driver experience.

PACCAR transmission availability

The PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission

will be available on more PMC vehicles

in early 2020. While the transmission

has been in use in OTR applications for some

time, orders are being accepted for PMC’s vocational

vehicles equipped with the system.

Scott Newhouse said that vocational customers

requested the PACCAR transmission

for its performance, durability, and smooth


Dealer certification program

PMC has launched the Platinum Service

Center (PSC) program to certify dealer service

centers offering outstanding customer

service. The program qualifies service centers

using objective criteria including quality

of facilities and drivers’ lounges; PACCAR

service management and certified technicians;

expanded operating hours; parts availability

and other service offerings that reduce

driver and vehicle downtime.

“PSC dealers have dedicated significant

resources to providing customers superior

service in every aspect of their experience.”

said Jason Skoog.

Drivers searching for a Platinum Service

Center can visit the PMC website at peterbilt.

com and utilize the Dealer Locator function. 8

are designed for multi-purpose, vocational

and heavy-haul customers who look not only

for efficiency in their powertrain but also the

response and performance needed to get the

job done thanks to a wider engine speed range.

In 2020, Cummins is offering the same

X15 Performance Series engine customers

have used in the past. With no changes to the

product in 2020, the X15 Performance Series

still dominates the big-bore industry with

exceptional transient response and the most

powerful engine brakem Merritt said.

Cummins’ X12 engine continues to be

an ideal solution for customers with weightsensitive

applications. Designed for customers

with regional-haul, vocational and intermodal

truck applications in mind, the X12

engine is the lightest in its class, Merritt said.

“When paired with the Endurant transmission,

Cummins offers the lightest powertrain

in the industry, with unbeatable maintenance

intervals across the system,” he said. “This

engine rounds out Cummins’ heavy-duty diesel

offering, helping customers get the job

done, day-in and day-out.” 8

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26 • December 1-14, 2019 Equipment




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ATLANTA — Volvo Trucks North America

has introduced the new Volvo VNR 660 truck

model, expanding its offerings for regional-haul

applications with specifications related to length,

weight and driver comfort.

The new VNR 660 will be available for order

in the first quarter of 2020.

In the trucking industry, transport companies

need to adjust their operations to accommodate

regulations such as federal or state bridge laws,

length laws or weight limitations, according to

Chris Stadler, product marketing manager at Volvo

Trucks North America. The new Volvo VNR

660 offers customers a way to increase payload

capacity while still satisfying certain length and

weight requirements and features a sleeper cab;

a unique feature for truck models optimized for

regional haul, Stadler added.

The new VNR 660 truck model addresses

the needs of regional-haul customers looking

for ways to increase payloads by decreasing the

weight of the vehicle and enabling the use of longer

trailer sizes without sacrificing efficiency,”

Stadler said.

The new Volvo VNR 660 features a shorter,

164-inch bumper to back-of-cab length that offers

both weight savings from decreasing the overall

size of the truck and the option to use more versatile

tractor-trailer combinations for increased

cargo capacity.

As an extension of the Volvo VNR product

line, Stadler said the new Volvo VNR 660 combines

a high-roof configuration with a 61-inch

sleeper that will comfortably accommodate an

extra person for an overnight stop, making it ideal

for local and regional routes that utilize team


There is ample room for a refrigerator, microwave

and television with storage above the

driver and passenger seats. The new VNR 660 is


Volvo Trucks’ new Volvo VNR 660 is designed

for regional customers looking to

meet length requirements, increase payload

capacity and improve driver comfort.

available with the Volvo Premier Trim package,

which includes wood-grain trim for the dash and

cabinetry,” Stadler said.

Stadler added that other advantages of the

new Volvo VNR 660 include the shorter hood

design of the VNR product line, providing optimized

visibility for the driver and excellent

maneuverability in urban areas and easy docking

in tight spaces. The new truck model comes

standard with the Volvo D11 engine, the Volvo I-

Shift transmission and Volvo Active Driver Assist

(VADA) 2.0, the recently updated comprehensive

collision mitigation system.

“At Volvo Trucks, it’s critical for us to understand

our customers’ businesses and deliver solutions

that increase their operational efficiency,”

said Stadler. “In addition to a truck that meets

application-specific needs, our regional-haul

customers want improved living environments

inside the cab to attract and maintain professional

drivers. The new VNR 660 certainly accomplishes

those objectives.” 8




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December 1-14, 2019 • 27

Mobil Delvac, PEDIGREE partner

in the MUTTS4TRUCKS campaign

By Kris Rutherford

NEW YORK — Many people are aware

of the lonely road an OTR truck driver hauls,

especially when operating solo. Time alone

in the cab can lead to mental and physical

health problems including depression, heart

disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and more.

Regardless of how it manifests, doctors often

recommend increased exercise as treatment

for illness, but a driver’s lifestyle isn’t

one placing a priority on spending time outside

a truck. That’s why Mobil Delvac and

PEDIGREE teamed up to form the MUTT-

S4TRUCKS program.

“Mobil Delvac cares deeply about the

trucking industry, and we are committed to

doing positive things for truckers’ well-being,”

said Leah Ritter, Mobil Delvac’s brand

advisor. “The average truck driver spends

240 nights on the road, and 70% of goods

U.S. consumers purchase are delivered by

truck. We feel we need to be a force to help

improve truckers’ lives.”

Mobil Delvac and PEDIGREE use the

same New York-based agency to promote

their brands. When the PEDIGREE representative

overheard Mobil Delvac’s representative’s

discussion about improving drivers’

lives, the subject struck up a conversation.

The two realized the brands could work together

to promote both company’s goals.

PEDIGREE and Mobil Delvac have similar

brand strategies. “We want to be a force

(…sound of four fingers drumming on

mouse pad…) OK, let’s start with first things

first. If you read The Trucker even somewhat

regularly, you probably just noticed something

new—this column! But more about

me, the column and what I have to offer next


To begin, I thought we’d look back and

compare a conversation Lyndon Finney

held over 12 years ago with Dan England,

C.R. England’s chairman of the board, with

a similar conversation last month between

Mr. England and me. Dan’s comments are

proof-positive that (contrary to the average

employee’s belief regardless of workplace)

for good,” Ritter said. Her sentiments were

echoed by Steve Ingmire, brand manager for


He noted a joint effort seemed a perfect

fit for PEDIGREE’s FEED THE GOOD platform,

which promotes the idea that humans

and dogs bring out the good in each other.

The companies’ interest in the well-being

of truck drivers and dogs led the way to

MUTTS4TRUCKS, a program pairing truckers

who might benefit from some OTR company

with dogs in need of caring homes—an

effort to improve the well-being of both drivers

and dogs. In cooperation with TravelCenters

America (TA), on September 27 the first

MUTTS4TRUCKS adoption event was held

at the TA location off Interstate 24 east of

downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The Nashville

Humane Society (NHS) served as the

local cooperating partner.

“We were excited to be brought on

board,” said Becca Morris, director of development

and community outreach for NHS.

“It’s always our goal to raise awareness for

pet adoption. We were thrilled to see some

of our dogs find forever homes at the event.”

Morris added that NHS representatives had

many conversations with drivers who were

considering adopting dogs but were not yet


While the Nashville event did result in

adoptions, putting dogs in passenger seats is

only the beginning of the MUTTS4TRUCKS


executive-level opinions can change, or perhaps

“evolve” over time.

With that, let’s compare Dan England’s

2007 views on the trucking industry to those

he holds in 2019.

On the need for drivers:

Then – It is a problem and will continue

to be one until we are able to offer some very

significant pay increases. From 2003-2007,

C.R. England saw independent contractors

hauling its freight increase from 10-20% to

60%. But with the cost of equipment and fuel

on an increasing trend, Dan England noted

they would be looking at compensation issues

and how to give independent drivers

more opportunities.

Now – Over the past 18-24 months, C.R.

England has invested approximately $25

million in improving pay rates. Independent

drivers now make up only 5% of those hauling

for C.R. England, largely a result of court

interpretations of the definition of “independent

contractor” versus “employee.” Over

the past decade, lawsuits in many occupational

categories have led to fewer members


Amber Carlton-Wise, a truck driver with Werner Enterprises who has been driving for about

a month, adopted a dog at the event, noting that she often gets lonely on the road.

“We are monitoring three truckers traveling

across the country,” Ritter said. “They are

providing feedback on their daily moods and

levels of exercise using smartphone apps.” A

device is also attached to each dog’s collar to

of the workforce being classified as independent


On Electronic On-board Recorders

(EOBRs) and the possibility of the devices

becoming common in the trucking industry:

Then – C.R. England supported EOBRs

(now called electronic logging devices or

ELDs) with the condition that every carrier

be required to have them, regardless of size.

Also, Dan England mentioned that to gain

his support, the data would have to be inadmissible

as evidence in court. On the other

hand, Dan said, having EOBRs would reduce

the burden of audits and be much less cumbersome

than storing supporting documentation

on paper. In addition, Dan stated he

knew of no studies indicating EOBRs would

improve safety.

Now – Dan England’s opinion has

changed. As all fleets are required to use

ELDs regardless of size, competition is level.

Everyone plays by the same rules, and

automated compliance reporting is efficient.

Also related to technology, outward-facing

monitor its level of activity.

After just one month, Ritter said the

drivers reported improved mood levels, decreased

depression, and increased exercise.

See Mutts on p28 m

Then and now: one veteran industry leader’s evolving views of trucking

Kris Rutherford

Rhythm of

the Road

cab cameras eliminate many accident-related

lawsuits as the evidence is usually on tape.

The cameras save legal fees for C.R. England

when the evidence points to another

driver being at fault and for the party filing

the lawsuit when the carrier’s legal team

recognizes a rightful claim and negotiates a

settlement without costly, time-consuming


In summary, Dan England now says about

ELDs, “We have them. We are glad to have


On use of tolls and similar mechanisms

to fund highway construction and maintenance:

Then – Dan England stated that he was

opposed to tolls and public-private partnerships

to fund highways, instead favoring increases

in fuel and sales taxes. “I just think

we can build our highways the traditional

way,” England said.

Now – England’s opinion is unchanged;

he is still opposed to tolls and other “outsidethe-box”

highway funding mechanisms sug-

See Rhythm on p28 m

28 • December 1-14, 2019 Features

b Mutts from page 27 b

After all, when a dog exercises, so does its

human companion. That point is something

the NHS uses as a promotional tool.

“Life on the road can be great for dogs,”

Becca Morris said. “They get to be with their

owners much of the day, which makes for

lots of quality time.” She also said the regular

stops truckers make along the road provide

plenty of exercise for dogs and owners

alike. But that doesn’t mean NHS will allow

just anyone to pull up and adopt a dog. “We

screen everyone to make sure they fit the criteria

of a responsible and loving pet parent,”

Morris said. “We did the same at the MUTT-

S4TRUCKS event.”

Along with NHS’ assistance, Mobil Delvac

and PEDIGREE discussed what an OTRliving

dog needed for the unique lifestyle.

The companies provided cab harnesses for

adopted dogs, food samples and tips for drivers

about caring for dogs, pet exercise needs

and how to keep them happy and healthy

companions for the long-haul.

As for the success of the Nashville event,

a tally of truckers attending was not kept, but

all three partners were pleased with the turnout.

To bolster participation, the event wasn’t

held based on “chance” trucker drop-ins at a

busy TA location.

“We targeted truckers with social and

digital ads, along with radio ads on Sirius

XM shows popular among a trucking audience,”

Steve Ingmire said. “A month in

advance, we decked out the TA hosting the

event with billboards and in-store signage

to reach truckers frequently passing through

that stop.”

While Mobil Delvac nor PEDIGREE offer

specific objectives for the program in

terms of number of adoptions or measurements

of driver wellness, the overall goal

is to offer more adoption events around the

country, improve the public’s perception of

truckers as they meet them exercising their

dogs at rest areas and dog parks and read

stories of truckers exploits with their pets on

social media. All of these efforts will provide

a gauge to measure the program’s impact on

both drivers and dogs.

Another goal both companies hope to

achieve is to educate carriers with “no pet”

policies that allowing truckers to take their

dogs on the road is simply good business.

The MUTTS4TRUCKS program benefits

not only drivers but trucking firms

dealing with ongoing driver shortages and

increasing healthcare costs,” Ingmire said.

From the dog’s perspective, PEDIGREE is

committed to demonstrating dogs can have

a positive impact on the overall well-being

and health of humans and hopes to encourage


Happy drivers make for healthier drivers,

and in many cases, a dog in need of a

home is the answer to improving mood and

overall health for drivers. Both will increase

safety and efficiency in the industry. As for

the dogs, Becca Morris said, “It was inspiring

to see our dogs going to such eager and

loving new homes.” 8

b Rhythm from page 27 b

gested to date. He prefers to first consider

adjusting the tools in place to adequately increase

highway funding.

In 2007, Dan provided some statistics

and goals C.R. England had set for upcoming


On the C.R. England Fleet:

Then: C.R. England had 700 trucks in

its fleet and planned for an annual increase

of 8%. The fleet was primarily OTR, with a

company-focus on refrigerated shipping.

Now: The carrier owns 4,100 trucks, an

average annual increase of 40% and an overall

increase of 485%. The expanded fleet includes

OTR, dedicated route, and intermodal

vehicles. The diverse fleet not only allows

for expanded business opportunities but also

offers drivers career opportunities depending

on personal and family needs that may

change through the years. Refrigerated shipping

remains C.R. England’s bread-and-butter,

and the company is ranked second in the

nation in this carrier-category.

On company revenues:

Then: Total C.R. England revenues were

expected to reach $1 billion (up from approximately

$500 million in 2003). The revenue

from business with Mexico was $50 million

with increases expected.

Now: Company revenues are approximately

$1.5 billion, the increase driven by

factors including an 86% growth in business

from Mexico, logistics division revenues of


$350 million annually, and increased employee


Added discussion (2019)

C.R. England as a company: Today,

C.R. England employ nearly 8,000 people in

its various divisions. In terms of drivers, the

company has worked to improve retention by

increasing pay, maintaining the latest equipment

(trucks remain on the roads a maximum

of three years) and operating truck driving

schools at five locations nationwide.

Likewise, the company has continuously

worked to ensure the long-held England family

values extend to its family of drivers and their

personal and family needs. In short, C.R. England

trains drivers and teaches them the “England

way.” The “England Way” is something

Dan England says has served the company

well for 99 years, and the family-owned carrier

plans to continue managing by those principles

well beyond its 100th anniversary in 2020.

So, there you have it. Despite what most

all of us experience at some point in our careers,

Dan England’s comments suggest management

can change its views, although maybe

not as quickly as employees would like.

For those of you who have been on both ends

of the decision-making chain, you’ve likely

experienced frustrations whether screaming

for change or making the ultimate decisions.

When data (and hopefully employee input)

convinces management that change is

needed, or when an organization needs to

evolve to become competitive with those that

have remained successful in spite of outside

influences, most often it’s a win-win for all

involved. 8 December 1-14, 2019 • 29



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