Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


Recruiting New Truck Drivers 101

Oct
23,
2015
0

When someone mentions the term “Recruiting,” most folks wouldn’t associate marketing with it. Moreover, most people see the world of marketing and advertising as an annoying practice lacking any sense of boundaries. In the end though, marketing plays a vital role in selling products, promoting services, and even attracting professional drivers to the trucking industry.

Recruiting, Marketing. and then Retaining professional drivers

Recruiting and Marketing to professional drivers- What’s the difference?

While a truck driver is far from a new brand of cereal, some aspects of marketing remain constant. This is particularly true for trucking companies seeking to recruit new truck drivers. The problem is that marketing can be a meticulous and complex endeavor, full of different tactics and approaches.

In fact, I have outlined a few basic marketing practices that can help attract and retain drivers, if done right that is.

 

 

Who are you recruiting?

That may seem like a simple question since this post is about recruiting truck drivers. More often than not though, many marketing campaigns miss their marks. In other words, a successful marketing campaign needs to remain focused on a target audience, which in this case is truck drivers and those desiring to be truck drivers

Now that we know we’re targeting the truck-driving demographic, we can use that to create marketing material that speaks directly to that particular group. Marketing material can be anything from blog posts and articles, to classified ads, to social media advertising, and even promotional products.

Be truthful

New Drivers– This is where a problem has been and it continues to be when trying to attract  and retain professional truck drivers, especially new people to the industry.

It has been the practice of the trucking industry, when recruiting newcomers to the industry, to be less than completely truthful.
The problem is, you can’t use the same marketing approach as one would use to sell a box of sugary cereal to kids (or their parents), misleading them into thinking “it’s good for you”.
Using this approach, they (drivers) may try it, but they’re not going to stay.

The Trucking Marketing Hurdle:
Attracting people to the trucking industry and then retaining those who you convinced to enter in the first place.

For new people coming in, you MUST explain the lifestyle, it’s not easy an easy job. It may however attract and fit a specific mindset of many. Find those people.

You must also, at some point, explain that upon graduating, you will have to go to a “starter company”, a company which will finish your training, These companies are self-insured which will allow them to bypass the 2-3 year driving experience required by most carrier insurance companies. This also means they will be driving OTR and will be away from home for extended periods of time. In other words, “No, you most likely will not get a local driving job upon graduating CDl school” And “No” unless things change, you are not going to make 60K your first year.

The career of truck driving is for a specific group of individuals, it is not for everyone. The challenge of the recruiter, or “marketer” if you will, is to tap into the market of those personality characteristics which will be best suited for the profession… and then pay them well ( which is another topic)

You want to attract more people into trucking? Do a scientific study and understand what type of people would be most attracted to the lifestyle of the trucking industry, then create your ad copy highlighting the benefits which appeal to that specific group…. and then reach those specific people.

Veteran drivers are more savvy to the inflated promises in many of the hiring ads, almost to the point of sometimes being overly cynical, but can you blame them?
The advantage is, they already know the lifestyle and what to expect. The challenge is different with this group, however honesty of job description, realistic wages, benefits, treatment, and home time remains crucial if you want to retain these drivers.
Simply put, be honest and you will eliminate the problem of “trucker job hopping

Be specific…

There are many types of drivers including (but not limited too) over-the-road and long-haul, owner-operator, team, hazardous materials, certification-specific, etc… If you’re recruiting for a firm that employs a diverse array of drivers, then this doesn’t necessarily apply.

For firms that are looking for a specific type of truck driver, the marketing campaign may need to be adjusted to target only a specific type. After narrowing down the search, you can now begin focusing solely on the habits and trend of a particular niche. To do this, you need to focus on how this type of driver might encounter certain media as this will tell you which type of advertising—traditional, online, etc.—to use.

Online and Offline Marketing

In a nutshell, this is where you put your marketing to work. There are all kinds of innovative marketing techniques being used, but for the most part, marketing can be divided into two main categories—online and offline.

Offline marketing includes physical advertising mediums such as flyers and job postings, as well as promotional items like personalized luggage identifiers, trucker’s hats, and squeeze balls. Online marketing really only took shape two decades ago when the Internet began to take shape. As the name suggests, online marketing takes place virtually by utilizing blogs, websites, and social media.

While traditional offline marketing is antiquated to say the least, it has stood the test of time, proving to be a tried-and-true tactic. Online marketing has one distinct advantage though. Instead of being limited to a tangible area as with offline marketing, online marketing is broadcasted to potentially millions of web users across the globe.

In either case, the key to successful marketing, in respect to attracting and then retaining professional drivers, is honesty.
That may mean those hiring, will need to change their business model in order to keep their promises.

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DOT Announcement- Plans to gather info on Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Oct
21,
2015
0
HealthAndSafetyWorks

Elaine Papp-Founder and CEO of HealthAndSafetyWorks.net

On October 1, 2015 the US Department of Transportation published its Monthly Report of Significant Rulemaking. In that report, DOT published an announcement that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) were planning to jointly publish an advanced notice of proposed rule making (ANPRM) on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The documents Numbered 47 and 55 are entitled, “Medical Certification of Transportation Workers in Safety Sensitive Positions; Individuals Exhibiting Risk Factors for Moderate-to-Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea.”

In DOT’s October report, they announce that the FMCSA/FRA ANPRM is to gather data and information on the prevalence of moderate-to-severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the economic impact and the safety benefits of a rule making on obstructive sleep apnea.

The publication schedule for the ANPRM is December 11, 2015 with the close of the comment period being February, 2016.

FMCSA

Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings- Access to the Report -October 2015 Significant Rulemaking Report

So what does this mean for the transportation industry? for truckers? if this a concern? Will FMCSA be issuing a rule of OSA imminently?

In my opinion, the Agencies issuing a request for data and more information is a good thing. It is an opportunity for truckers and others in the industry to get involved in the rule-making — to become active.

 

The Agency is asking for information and data — They want to gather information on whether or not this regulations would have too high an economic burden? Or, if it would be have an important safety impact — They want to develop an evidence-based regulation, if they decide to do one. They want to know facts.

So drivers, if you have information about the cost of OSA testing and treatment and how it affects you, plan to participate and respond to the request for information. Drivers, carriers, safety advocates, law enforcement, researchers, if you have information on the safety impact of a rule on OSA, participate in the rule-making.

The purpose of an ANPRM is to notify the public that the Agency(ies) are
1) considering a rule making and
2) are requesting information on the topic that the Agency(ies) can utilize in their deliberations. So, Comments that are most helpful are those that give substantive information to help the Agency make its decision.

Does requesting information and data mean the OSA rule is imminent?
NO, not at all.
Once the Agencies get the information they may decide not to pursue it any further. A new President may not want to pursue this subject. It may not be part of his/her Agenda. There are lots of processes involved. This is the first step and an important one for all of us. We don’t want regulations to be developed based on a whim. The FRA and FMCSA are taking responsible steps to ensure that whatever direction they take it will be based on the most recent data and information. The best way for them to make their decision is get a lot of comments, including lots of data and information from a wide range of people in the regulated community.

So keep informed and participate!

 

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Defining the Truck Driver Shortage and the “Qualified Driver”

Oct
13,
2015
9
The Truck Driver Shortage- Defining the Qualified Driver

The Truck Driver Shortage- Defining the Qualified Driver

The Truck Driver Shortage- Part 1
Defining the Qualified Truck Driver

In the recent ATA press release, addressing the continuous “driver shortage” plaguing the trucking industry, their analysis states that the shortage has grown to nearly 48,00 and could increase more due to industry growth and the retiring truck driver community. According to analysis and if the current trend holds, the shortage may balloon to almost 175,000 by 2024

This October 6th report from the ATA raised questions about the “Driver Shortage” dilemma ,which has been a topic of discussion for as long as I can remember.
The first question that came to mind, is the definition of a driver shortage, and who is defining it, the driver or the carrier?

It is the definition of truck driver shortage which will also shape and define the cause and effects of the shortage, as ones perception of cause will also ultimately dictate their solutions for the shortage.

A drivers’ definition of a truck driver shortage “A lack of drivers willing to work for low wages”
A carriers’ definition is , “A driver shortage is a lack of qualified  drivers”

Those are vastly different definitions! In order to address a problem, such as the Driver Shortage, both sides will need to at least recognize each ones perception of the problem. If not, solutions will be a long way off.

Defining the Qualified Driver

Let’s first begin with the definition of “Qualified Drivers”
Drivers would state that a qualified driver is one with knowledge, experience, and a safe driving record.
On the other hand, according to the ATA President and CEO Bill Graves, “The ability to find enough qualified drivers is one of our industry’s biggest challenges”

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said “An important thing we learned in this analysis is that this isn’t strictly a numbers problem, it is a quality problem too,” … “Fleets consistently report receiving applications for open positions, but that many of those candidates do not meet the criteria to be hired. According our research, 88% of carriers said most applicants are not qualified.”

Understanding the difference between the terms: driver shortage and qualified driver shortage.

The ATA report goes on to say, The truck driver shortage probably seems much worse to motor carriers than the current figures suggest because of a quality versus quantity issue. Many carriers have strict hiring criteria based on driving history, experience and other factors.

We spoke to John Peroyea, president of FindATrucker.com, who reviews thousands of driver applications. We asked him the question,
“Do you find many applicants who are not qualified to be hired? If so, what are the major reasons?

This was John’s reply:

“We are certainly not seeing a lack of experienced drivers registering for our website to apply for truck driver jobs. Many drivers have years of experience in various types of driver jobs and hold many endorsements. What can hold drivers back however are the specific application requirements at various carriers.

A factor that can disqualify otherwise experienced drivers is preventable accidents within a certain time frame and/or number of jobs held within the last few years. Also, many carriers have various requirements for length of time since a felony conviction or DWI for example.

Since the criteria varies from company to company an experienced driver may meet the criteria for most companies but fall short of others.”
John Peroyea, President of FindaTrucker.com 

FindATrucker is a trusted AskTheTrucker partner providing a truck driver employment website, matching drivers to their specific job needs.

Now, I can definitely understand the questioning of “time since the last felony conviction or DWI”, but the idea of basing a drivers’ quality by “number of jobs held within the last few years”, raised my eyebrows.   Why are drivers going from “job to Job?” Are employers asking drivers this question?

What does the ATA say about that?

In the ATA’s Truck Driver Shortage Analysis it states, Turnover is a reflection of demand for drivers, with higher rates generally indicating strong demand for drivers. The vast majority of driver turnover is churn in the industry – drivers going from one carrier to another. As demand for drivers increases, trucking companies try to take drivers from other carriers by offering sign- on bonuses, newer trucks, and better routes.”

Really?  Drivers are leaving a great well paying job for a shinier truck and better route? But if the ATA says that drivers keep hopping, then why aren’t they staying with the company offering the shiny truck and better route?  Are they then leaving for a shinier truck and an even better route? Or could it be something more sinister, like higher wages, better treatment, or maybe even being paid for all hours, such as detention time pay?

The idea that a driver is considered “not qualified” because they’re seeking better employment is ludicrous, and equally absurd is that the driver moves on to this next job with better promise… and yet does not STAY with them. Why aren’t they?
Are drivers really this fickle? Do they enjoy leaving one job and going to another, or is it possible that the industry continues to make promises they don’t keep.

If the job was truly what is was described as, would drivers not stay?
So is the problem therefore retention? And what is the correct cause of such driver behavior… Is it unstable drivers or perhaps companies who paint a rosy picture but do not follow through?

If criteria of a “qualified driver” is based somewhat upon driver job stability, and yet the employers are not following through on their driver hiring expectations causing driver instability, then I say, the industry MUST admit to at least partial responsibility  of driver job hopping.
If they do, they may have to become accountable for the driver shortage problem.

For most of you reading this, this is nothing more than the age old recruiting tactics that have been going on for decades. The only difference is that they worked in the past, bringing in thousands of people to the trucking industry, only to see them leave after a short time. Turnover was not as serious a problem back in the day, it was welcome and part of the cheap labor business model.

Truck Driver Shortage is Industry Created

It didn’t matter in the past as drivers were a commodity, used for cheap labor. The difference is now, drivers are an asset and companies would prefer to retain their drivers, mainly because those now entering the industry are fewer and have higher expectations. In other words, working 70+ hours/wk, living in a truck, and being away from home for weeks at a time, all for a whopping $500.00/week, just isn’t cutting it for those entering.

Truck driver retention and the generation gap

The fact is this, drivers go to job from job because they are dissatisfied with their job. Most often the promises made by the hiring company, which looked so appealing, were not kept.  Drivers leave and continue to look for better employment.

Want to cure the number of jobs held within the last few years aspect of the “qualified driver problem”?
Answer:  Pay and treat drivers well and keep the promises you made upon hiring.

Real Solutions to the Truck Driver Shortage

Stay tuned for Part 2
The Truck Driver Shortage- Causes and Solutions

 

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FMCSA Introduces Driver Wellness Programs

Oct
1,
2015
5

by Elaine Papp

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Driver Wellness Programs

Elaine Papp- founder of Health and Safety Works, LLC

Elaine Papp of HealthandSafetyWorks.net attended joint MCSAC and MRB meeting September 21st 2015. The 2 day meeting was devoted to CMV driver wellness programs.

So, what is it all about? The FMCSA, a regulatory agency, is talking about wellness for truckers?? HMMM — should drivers be worried? Why is FMCSA doing this? Is it an attempt by the federal government to tell drivers what to do with their bodies? Are they going to regulate our exercise, smoking and weight?

These are some of the questions drivers are asking about FMCSA’s new initiative to provide wellness programs in a private/public partnership. The questions arise from an announcement about a public meeting between the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) and the Medical Review Board (MRB). Both groups are advisory committees that provide recommendations to FMCSA regarding specific questions, ideas, or concerns about commercial motor vehicle operation.

The latest joint meeting, September 21 and 22, 2015, was devoted to CMV driver wellness programs. According to the meeting announcement, “Together, the MCSAC and MRB will identify concepts the Agency and stakeholders should consider in relation to the issue of health and wellness of drivers of commercial motor vehicles and the establishment of a driver wellness initiative, a non-regulatory public-private partnership of stakeholders to improve drivers’ health. The MRB and MCSAC will discuss the structure, content, delivery, and evaluation of this initiative.”

Elaine Papp 2015

Elaine Papp, founder of Health and Safety Works, LLC, a transportation and occupational health consulting company promoting health and safety on the road and in the workplace.

I attended the first day of the meetings and listened to the presentations about current wellness program activity from OOIDA, FMCSA, American Bus Association, as well as a member of the MRB. I heard the questions of the committee members and the comments from the public. I learned statistics about the current driver health risks compared to the average American. I was impressed with the sincerity, the concern and the depth of the discussion. It is exciting to hear all the activity around helping drivers stay healthy and live longer!

Having heard the non-regulatory direction in which the Agency is moving. I applaud the effort!

A few of the statistics presented by Dr. Morris of the MRB show that a high percentage of drivers have adverse health risk factors:

 

 

  • Most Tucker’s are 40 to 54 years old
  • 86% are overweight or Obese (2007 data)
  • 69% are obese, twice that of US population
  • 8% exercise regularly, compared to 21% of adults in the US who exercise regularly.
  • 51% drivers smoke, compared to 17.8% of US population who smoke
  • Less healthy than average person
  • Many have at least two risk factors for heart disease

So knowing that the average driver is less healthy than the average American and knowing that the driver’s health status affects his/her ability to earn a livelihood, the Agency and many other organizations are moving to help drivers.

FMCSA is seeking ways to help drivers stay healthy, minimize illness and diseases complications that will cut their driving career and perhaps their life short! One part of their initiative is a new web page on driver wellness. It will be an on-line newsletter updated quarterly with articles about various health topics pertinent to drivers. It will include recipes of the month, driver success stories and healthy eating tips.   The page will also include links to other sites that will be helpful to drivers.

The Agency is also looking at ways to get more data about what drivers need and they reported on a study of driver health conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).   But, as one member of the MRB stated, “We need more biometric data,” especially to measure the programs success. So the Agency is looking to private organizations who can gather data anonymously and can report on any changes that occur over time .   Do drivers lose weight and, if so, does their blood sugar level improve? Does their blood pressure improve. If drivers exercise more do they lose weight? What is most effective in aiding weight loss?

OOIDA reported on their wellness initiative and discussed ways to expand their initiative. The American Bus Association presented information about the Bus Athlete Programs.

Group discussion brought out a lot of important information . For example the Teamsters have a long history of wellness programs but no measurements. Some organization are starting health coaching at truck stops.

My impressions from the meeting are 1) much of what is happening in driver wellness is a shotgun approach with little coordination; 2) Many of the driver wellness programs offer what they think the driver needs and they don’t measure to determine what helps, what works and what doesn’t – what approach is successful. 3) FMCSA is trying to bring some coordination and continuity to driver wellness programs, working with non-governmental organization and private industry.

During the first day of the meeting several ideas arose, such as:

  • Programs for each driver should be individualized.
  • One-to one, face-to-face contact is important in motivating people.
  • Be sure to get families involved.
  • There is a lack of literature on nutrition, health and wellness at truck stops.
  • Drivers don’t know the nutritional content of the foods served at the truck stops
  • Get all aspects of the trucking industry working together – truck stops, fleets, drivers, associations, etc.
  • Give Medical Examiners information on wellness to hand out to drivers.
  • Assist medical examiners to educate drivers on attaining optimum health and maintaining wellness.

It seems that when it comes to wellness and health we all need to trust one another and work together to help drivers and their families minimize illness and the costs associated with it, increase health and the energy that comes with it. Having an agency coordinate the effort is a valuable, worthwhile venture that can have really dramatic results for drivers.

I look forward to seeing the MCSAC/MRB joint recommendations for FMCSA. Since I wasn’t able to attend the second day of the meeting, when they developed the recommendations, like you, I will have to wait until the recommendations are published to see what transpired. But, in any case the effort is underway. It is a significant move for a regulatory agency to develop a non-regulatory program.

As soon as I learn about the recommendations and the Agency’s next steps, I will let you know in another article.

“Driver Wellness Programs and the FMCSA – What’s it all about?:

 

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Health Insurance- How expensive is it?

Sep
25,
2015
0
PayPlans & Benefits Private health insurance plans at heavily reduced costs. 1-800-459-0962 for an assisted enrollment

Private health insurance plans at heavily reduced costs. 1-800-459-0962 for an assisted enrollment

 

One of the most well known sayings is, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything”

Before you go on reading the rest of this article, think about that for a moment.  Do you believe it?

During my 35 year+ Trucking career, I’ve watched ( and include myself) drivers place their health at the bottom of the priority list. The reasons were “time off” and “expense of policy”

 

 

1) Not taking the time to go to the doctor for fear that their time off will reduce their paycheck.  As we all know, when the wheels aren’t turning, there is no money!

2) Not taking out a health insurance policy because it is too expensive.  Although many company drivers are offered group health insurance, so many owner operators and independent contractors go without.
The reason again, “It’s too expensive”

The result?  Many times drivers pay for this decision either by an eventual life threatening illness, their career, or even death, as many drivers are found in their truck deceased from not taking care of an illness, many times because not even aware that it existed or just “couldn’t afford to see a doctor”

In this article, it is our goal to show that the majority of owner operators CAN AFFORD Health Insurance.
Update:  On November 5th, Trey Walker of PayPlans and Benefits was our special guest and explained how
Owner Operators CAN afford Private Health Insurance -Including low deductibles

 

Summary for Truck Driver Health:

truck driver healthAs everyone knows, we  have put driver health as one of our priorities on the AskTheTrucker “Live” internet radio show.  Every other Thursday night we offer a health show to educate and encourage those within the trucking industry.
Saturday shows remain dedicated to other trucking topics.
As part of our research regarding driver health, we discovered just how many truckers are going without health insurance.

 

The trucking industry itself is making a huge turn for the better also.
Drivers, Carriers, Driver organizations such as the Trucking Solutions Group. Trucking Shows such as GATS, and now even the government is taking the initiative to find ways to improve ones’ health.
Drivers are joining social media groups to learn more, Carriers are offering health incentives, and recently the FMCSA posted a health related announcement on their website in relation to the issue of health and wellness of drivers of commercial motor vehicles and the establishment of a driver wellness initiative.
You can read my Comment to the FMCSA here.
However, even with all these advances, drivers are still reluctant to purchase health insurance. The reason?

“I would purchase health insurance if it didn’t cost so much”

One of the most frustrating things I’ve heard, are owner operators who have tried to enroll for health care, but are then told that they are not qualified to receive the reduced payment rate allowed by law. In other words, they are told that “they make too much money”. Unfortunately, they were told wrong,….they did qualify!

After researching this further, we found out that MANY of those who are supposed to be assisting with O/O health care enrollment, have little knowledge about how to calculate the finances ( Adjusted Gross Income) and business model of a small trucking company, including a trucking company of one truck. #FAIL

Today I’d like everyone who is going without Health Insurance because they think “it’s too expensive” or that “they can’t afford it”, to please contact Pay Plans and Benefits (PP&B) and find out for yourself, even if you have been told before that you do not qualify for a reduced premium rate. PP&B understands the trucking industry and how to correctly calculate the allowed reduced rates for your private health insurance plans!

PP&B has specialized knowledge and assistance for getting independent contractors high quality private health insurance plans for greatly reduced prices. As a matter of fact,  enrollees are saving an average of 66% off of regular plan cost, many saving even more than that.

Below is an info-graphic which explains the 5 things you should know about Affordable Health Insurance.
Click on the info-graphic and it will tale you to the website for more info.
Or call  1-800-459-0962

You and your family CAN AFFORD Health Insurance.

FiveThingsYouShouldKnow_PPB_v2

 

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Dangers and Repercussions of Heavier and Larger Trucks

Sep
21,
2015
1
Commercial Vehicle Size and Weight Program

Commercial Vehicle Size and Weight Program Trucks entering weigh station for weight compliance check

The US Department of Transportation advised Congress not to change the current truck weight and size laws as the agency lacks much needed data to make clear assessments of the impact of any alterations.

The Under Secretary of transportation, Peter Rogoff, is reported to have said that there wasn’t sufficient data available from crash reports to evaluate a vehicle’s weight at the time it crashed; the data available could not help DOT to evaluate whether the trucks, at the time of the accident were fully loaded, at legal capacity for their axle configurations, running overweight, or had unevenly distributed weight.

The DOT issued the report to fulfil a requirement in 2012’s MAP-21 highway funding law, which required the DOT’s Federal Highway Administration to issue a report on the potential impacts on safety, infrastructure and freight movement if size and weight limits permitted larger, heavier trucks
MAP-21 Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study

Additionally, long-term maintenance costs of roads and bridges, because of heavier loads, could not be ascertained at the time. The effects of larger and heavier trucks on the Federal highway system are yet to be determined.

 

Federal Size Regulations for Commercial Motor Vehicles U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

Federal Size Regulations for Commercial Motor Vehicles
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Federal Size Regulations for Commercial Motor Vehicles

Of course, there’s no denying that road transport, and the trucking industry in particular, is one of the major lifelines of any industrial development; transporting products from dockyards to warehouses, and from warehouses to stores across the nation. The trucking industry would obviously support better roads and infrastructure that support larger trucks with heavier loads, making the transportation of goods cheaper and more profitable.

While the ATA ,trucking company owners, and shippers are supporting larger trucks on the road, others, including the majority of truckers themselves are strongly against it. Drivers feel it’s just one more way to have more freight hauled without increased wage benefits for the CMV driver. Also, their concerns for adequate parking are also valid. Many of the truck parking spaces existing now are already too narrow and short.

Others opposed to increasing the weight and length of trucks include OOIDA, highway maintenance authorities, paramedical services, firefighters, and safety advocacy groups such as the Truck Safety Coalition

Many believe that there could be increased fatal consequences if larger and heavier trucks are allowed on the roads. Accidents could result in much worse fatalities, such as linking truck weights with such variables as braking distance along with the added weight and effect on truck stability or potential increase in roll-over, adding to the dangers. Still others go on to say that if a truck of such capacity was to hit a car, even at low speeds, it could result in no one surviving. Of course you could say that about a truck of 80,000 just as easily, but adding the other risk factors mentioned, it becomes a more serious and valid statement.

Another concern being raised by stakeholders is that while you may trust older, experienced drivers with larger and heavier trucks, young drivers who have little or no experience maybe more vulnerable to mishandling and causing fatal accidents.

Another question

The Department of Transportation is also concerned about the smaller roads. They believe that while some of the larger roads may be able to handle the load of heavier trucks, smaller city roads may deteriorate quicker and in turn, incur more maintenance costs.

The public has until Oct. 13 to provide feedback on the Federal Highway Administration’s 2015 study Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study.
Comments may be submitted and viewed at Docket No. FHWA-2014-0035. Click here to make a comment.

Summary

This notice announces a deadline for submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for consideration as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study Report to Congress. On June 5, 2015, DOT released for public comment and peer review the technical results of a comprehensive study of certain safety, infrastructure, and efficiency issues surrounding the Federal truck size and weight limits and the potential impacts of changing those limits. The DOT is now preparing a Report to Congress to conclude this study.

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DO YEAR-ROUND DIESEL FUEL ADDITIVES REALLY WORK?

Sep
14,
2015
0

Diesel fuels and diesel engines have changed significantly in recent years with some undesirable side-effects. This is especially true with ULSD and various blends of bio-fuels. Fleets, owner-operators, and others in the heavy-duty arena are well aware of these issues; new-generation fuel injectors with smaller orifices can clog easier, development of deposits can compromise lubricity and restrict fuel flow, and fuel gelling in cold weather.

PENRAY booth at GATS 2015 in Dallas, TX

PENRAY booth at GATS 2015 in Dallas, TX

Penray, a long-time supplier of fuel additives and cooling system products for the heavy-duty market, recently introduced a year-round product that addresses all of these issues. Penray POW-R 365® 5 in 1 Diesel Cleaner and Treatment cleans injectors improving fuel economy, enhances lubricity to prevent wear, prevents corrosion protecting engine components, lifts cetane for improved power/starts, and reduces CFPP to prevent gelling in cold climates.

 

First claim — cleans injectors and consequently improves fuel economy. Pow-R 365 contains a specific blend of surfactants (surface-active agents), which serve as detergents to clean away deposits. Diesel fuel, while it is a good solvent, only dissolves oily or waxy materials. Contaminants such as dirt, salt, and even water need the help of detergents to flush them out of the system. POW-R 365 incorporates the latest technology to provide more thorough cleaning than traditional products on the market. Clean injectors provide precise and consistent fuel spray patterns, which contribute to improved fuel economy.

 

Second claim — enhances lubricity to reduce wear. Fuel pumps and injectors contain moving parts that are subject to extremely high pressures and friction. These parts must move freely and still seal completely. Any wear or sticking can lead to big problems. Proper selection of lubricating additives is critical to prevent filter and injector plugging.

 

Third claim — protects against corrosion, thus protecting engine components. These same surfactants and lubricants, form a coating on the metal of the various fuel system components. This coating acts as a shield to prevent future formation of rust, corrosion, and other deposits.

 

Fourth claim — increased cetane for easier starts in all weather. One way to understand cetane is the functional opposite of octane for gasoline. Octane ratings refer to a gasoline’s resistance to ignition, until a spark sets it off. Cetane numbers on the other hand express how easily the fuel ignites without the need for a spark. The heat source in a diesel engine is primarily the compression of the incoming air. A cold metal engine can drain away this heat before it has a chance to ignite the fuel. Raising the cetane number of the fuel makes it easier to ignite at lower temperatures for quicker starts and less reliance on battery draining glow plugs.

 

Fifth claim — reducing the Cold Filter Plugging Point (CFPP) to prevent fuel from gelling in cold weather and blocking the fuel filter. Diesel fuel will develop wax crystals in cold weather, and when these crystals reach their “cloud point,” they form a thick, gooey gel. Penray developed a polymer blend for POW-R 365 inhibiting the growth of these crystals. It prevents gelling at temperatures as low as -10 degrees F, and reduces the Cold Filter Plug Point (CFPP) by as much as 20 degrees F. For climates that experience lower temperatures, Penray offers a separate anti-gel product that protects against gelling in the coldest climates.

So does POW-R 365 live up to its name? Absolutely and it is packaged for “one bottle one truck,” so double dosing is not a concern. In addition, Penray stands behind this product with a money back guarantee.

It’s certainly worth a try…  WATCH THE VIDEO!!

Penray POW-R 365® 5 in 1 Diesel Cleaner and Treatment

Penray POW-R 365® 5 in 1 Diesel Cleaner and Treatment

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Safety Fines Used to Track States’ Workplace Incidents

Sep
4,
2015
0
Posted on by
Rod Rehm- Senior Member of Rehm, Bennett & Moore Attorneys At Law, P.C., L.L.O.

Rod Rehm- Senior Member of
Rehm, Bennett & Moore Attorneys At Law, P.C., L.L.O.

 

Safety Fines Used to Track States’ Workplace Incidents

The U.S. Department of Labor Blog recently released a resource that encourages the continued discussion of workers’ compensation and safety in the workplace.

This blog post from the Labor Department features a safety-fine map that tracks “the number of workplace health and safety investigations that have led to high fines.” The tracking starts with January of 2015, and the cases are supposed to be updated weekly. All the states, whether administered through OSHA or an OSHA-approved state plan, are included.

I wish they would provide more context as to how $40,000 was considered the “high penalty” starting point, but they have to start somewhere, and it is an easy-to-understand measure of how a state stacks up within this category. You can also get more information on each specific situation by clicking on the inspection number provided.

Trucker Lawyers

TruckerLawyers.com are one of a select number of A-Rated law firms recognized by Martindale-Hubbell in the field of workers’ compensation and personal injury.

As of August 2015, Nebraska had two incidents: Affordable Exteriors of Elkhorn (in March) fined $75,240 and MP Global Products of Norfolk (in January) fined $54,000. Iowa had four incidents: Behr of Mason City (in January) fined $57,150; U.S. Postal Service in Des Moines (in March) fined $49,500; United Sugars in Mason City (in April) fined $68,600; and Sunrise Farms in Harris (in May) fined $227,500.

States that surround Iowa and Nebraska had the following numbers so far: Missouri: 13; Kansas: 7; Colorado: 4; Wyoming, 5; South Dakota, 1; Minnesota, 2; Wisconsin, 14; and Illinois: 38.

Since the information is a statistical snapshot at a moment of time, it may seem arbitrary, but it also shows a continued problem with workplace safety. And these were only the businesses in a handful of states that got caught and were imposed fines greater than $40,000. Just think about the challenges that may exist for workers at businesses that don’t get inspected or aren’t on OSHA’s radar until a worker is injured or killed doing their job.

As we come up to Labor Day, members of the firm will continue to advocate for workers and promote discussion of worker safety, OSHA inspections, and holding businesses accountable for injured workers. Have a safe and productive week

Rod Rehm is the senior member of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, P.C., L.L.O. He has been practicing law since 1973 with experience in a wide variety of trial oriented cases. Early in his career, he worked as both a prosecutor and defense attorney. He was a founding board member of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore and Trucker Lawyers are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Six attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 90 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska and Iowa in state-specific workers’ compensation systems. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

402-817-0464
888-857-0674 (Toll Free)

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Jason’s Law – USDOT truck parking survey leads to pledge & National Coalition on Truck Parking

Aug
24,
2015
4

USDOT ‘Jason’s Law’ Survey Reaffirms Nationwide Truck Parking Needs

In 2009 Hope Rivenburg, the young widow of murdered trucker Jason Rivenburg, vowed to change the perils of the  truck parking shortage by standing up and fighting for legislation, allowing more safe truck parking.

Hope Rivenburg is honored and the first to sign the Pledge and Commitment of the newly formed National Coalition on Truck Parking August 21st 2015

August 21st 2015 Hope Rivenburg is honored and is the first to sign the Pledge and Commitment, addressing the safety and improvement of truck parking, followed by the Deputy Secretary and the newly formed National Coalition on Truck Parking

People everywhere, including trucking, said the possibility for a bill to pass creating funding for more parking could not be accomplished. Her relentless struggle has proved them wrong.

 

 

 

There were many obstacles along the way, as are so many worth while causes, and she could have easily given up, but she didn’t. She not only didn’t give up, but Hope was able to rally the trucking community around her to ensure the goal of federal funding for more safe truck parking.
The murder of Hope’s trucker husband, Jason Rivenburg, was vowed not to be in vain.

The day long awaited for… The results of the DOT Truck Parking Survey
Friday August 21, 2015,  an exciting, satisfying, and emotional day for Hope Rivenburg, who was the focal point of the truck parking survey announcement and signing a pledge of commitment and support in Washington DC. The newly created National Coalition on Truck Parking and DOT reps, had their official briefing and truck parking commitment to support the need for more truck parking. Hope Rivenburg, DOT reps and stakeholder groups all openly signed the pledge, forming the newly created National Coalition on Truck Parking.

Participating in the announcement were federal Department of Transportation representatives: Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez, Federal Highway Safety Administrator Gregory Nadeau and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Acting Administrator Scott Darling, all agreeing that if it wasn’t for Hope Rivenburg none of this would have ever happened.

The official signing represented the pledge and commitment to resolve and address the safety of our highways, especially our nations truck drivers. The announcement and outward display supported the results of the national truck-parking survey authorized by the MAP-21 highway bill.

The “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” Act (MAP-21) required the USDOT to conduct the survey to determine if adequate parking is available for truck drivers based on the level of commercial traffic in the state. Along with state departments of transportation, the USDOT surveyed safety officials, truckers and truck stop operators, and other trucking industry stakeholders.
See more at:

Stakeholders expected to be very active in the newly formed coalition include FHWA, FMCSA the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the American Trucking Associations, the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Video of Jason’s Law Truck Parking Announcement, Signing, and Pledge


The 6 year Jason’s Law Time line

There have been many supporters of Jason’s Law, including Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY)  who first introduced the bill Jason Law to the house on April 28th 2009.
The movement for more safe truck parking  spread throughout the trucking community, leading up to a series of National Call in Days to Washington Senators and Congressman.

Jasons Law Day of Recognition and Call to Action June 28th
Grass Roots Movement for Jasons Law opens Senate Committee Doors
The Crusade for Jasons Law and Safe Truck Parking Continues
Truckers Unite for 2nd National Call in day for Jasons Law
2011 National Call in Day For Jason’s Law Set For June 23rd

Jason's Law Truck Parking Survey

Jason’s Law Truck Parking Survey

Hopes’ courageous quest and fearlessness continued even though the naysayers, ironically, many of whom were supporters, just not believers, continued. I remember one gentleman in particular,  a strong supporter of Jason’s Law and extremely active in trucking issues, emphatically said to me privately, “ It will never happen, you need lobbyists and deep pockets to get things done in Washington. Politicians want to know, “what’s in it for me” ”

So without deep pockets, but instead a burning desire and memory of her murdered husband and the 3 children (all under 3) that were left behind, Hope Rivenburg did her own lobbying, and on her dime, knocking on doors in Washington explaining Jason’s Law, her story, and the vision to save trucker lives by allowing them a safe haven to rest.

 

 

Hope Rivenburg- Winner of the 2011 "Making a Differnce Award"

Hope Rivenburg- Winner of the “Making a Difference Award” at the 2011 Truck Driver Social Media Convention

By now, Hope Rivenburg had the support of thousands, and in 2011 she was awarded the “Making a Difference Awardat the First Truck Driver Social Media Convention. .
Watch the video of Hope Rivenburg Receiving her award

 

 

 

 

Although momentum continued to grow, there were still many who said that getting Jason’s Law passed would be an impossible goal, however in 2012 Jason’s Law and the need for more safe truck parking was included as part of MAP 21, Section 1401 of the Transportation Bill. It was labeled a priority. It was a victory.

Victory for Hope Rivenburg and Truckers- Jason’s Law in 2012 Transportation Bill

“The purpose of Section 1401 of MAP-21, more popularly known as “Jason’s Law,” was to address the commercial motor vehicle parking shortage at public and private facilities along the National Highway
System (NHS)

Jason’s Law directed the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to conduct a survey and a comparative assessment to,

p vi ( 6 0f 180) Executive Summary

1.Evaluate the capability of each State to provide adequate parking and rest facilities for commercial motor vehicles engaged in Interstate transportation;
2.Assess the volume of commercial motor vehicle traffic in each State
3.Develop a system of metrics to measure the adequacy of commercial motor vehicle parking facilities in each State.”

Hope Rivenburg however, did not want to wait for the  authorized Map 21 Federal Parking Study to be conducted, so she gathered a group of passionate and knowledgeable people shortly after the authorized DOT study was included in the Transportation bill. They aided her in conducting her OWN truck parking the survey.   Special thanks to Desiree Wood who dedicated hundreds of hours aiding in the design, gathering of data, results and conclusions.
The survey and results were meticulous and detailed, so much so, that they were given to the DOT and were included in their Federal truck parking survey p 3 Jason’s Law Movement

Hope Rivenburg Truck Parking Survey Results

Then, On June 26th 2014, 30 year old OTR trucker Michael Boeglin of Ferdinand, Ind. was shot and killed in his truck as he parked at an abandoned building waiting to pick up a load from the nearby ThyssenKrupp steel plant.
Trucker shooting rekindles plea to officials for more Safe Truck Parking

A radio show on AskTheTrucker ‘Live, “Truck Parking Shortage- Drivers at Risk,”  soon followed the death of Michael Boeglin.  Hope Rivenburg, Desiree Wood, widow Ashley Boeglin, and David Clark discussed Michael and Jasons murders and the need for more safe truck parking.

In the words of Hope Rivenburg at the August 21st announcement of the DOT Jason’s Law survey results and National Coalition on Truck Parking,

” ….  There have been many drivers killed before Jason and many since Jason due to the lack of truck parking… we have educated the general public and gained support for safe truck parking. As we finish this step of the process, I look forward to the next step to correct this problem.” ….Hope Rivenburg

 Please Show your support and appreciation to Hope Rivenburg
Support
Hope Rivenburg is a single mom of three and has paid her own expenses.  She has made multiple trips a year to DC and continues to speak with numerous  agencies and trucking advocacy organizations.  Your generous support is appreciated.
Send your contribution to Jason’s Law, PO Box 121, Fultonham, NY 12017.

The Truth About Trucking network, including AskTheTrucker.com and AskTheTrucker ‘Live’ on Blog Talk Radio, have been supporting and reporting Jason’s Law since 2009. There are numerous articles on this website which follow the timeline of events, including the struggles which Hope Rivenburg endured in order to ensure that the Truck Parking Shortage would make national awareness and eventually be resolved. It has. Thank you Hope Rivenburg, an inspiration to so many.

Radio shows on AskTheTrucker “Live” -Jason’s Law:

May 17th 2009 Jason’s Law HR 2156
Feb 19, 2010 … Congressman Paul Tonko on Jason’s Law 02/18 by Aubrey Allen …
August 19, 2010  When the Big Rigs Don’t Roll –
Nov 4, 2010 Hope Rivenburg joins us in the first segment for an update discussion on the recent New York State rest area closings protest
Jun 2, 2011 Jason’s Law Update with Congressman Paul Tonko
Sep 13, 2012 Congressman Paul Tonko explains truck parking funding
Jul 16, 2014 …
Truck Parking Shortage: Drivers at Risk

Radio Shows on the Women Truckers Network- Jason’s Law

Feb 27, 2013  Improving Jason’s Law: Identifying Shippers and Receivers
Apr 9, 2013   2013 Truck Parking Survey: Hope Rivenburg

Article Searches on AskTheTrucker.com

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Truckers and their trucks – Instruments for suicide

Aug
21,
2015
1
Suicide-by-truck

Suicide-by-truck

One of the dark secrets that you may not hear about very often are the stories about the truckers and their trucks who have been the unfortunate chosen targets used as the means to end another ones life.

As suicide rates continue to rise, the ways to end ones life become more complex and creative. Waiting for a semi truck to hit you is one of those ways.

People who commit suicide usually devise a plan that will be “quick and painless” Most desire to “end their suffering” not create more. For decades people have been jumping in front of trains, trucks, and sometime cars, in order to achieve their desire to “end it all”. We often wonder what drives a person to this point? And what about the trucker or engineer or automobile driver who lives with the graphic memory, watching another human being use his/her truck, car or auto as the instrument to achieve their death.

Carolyn Magner of Overdrive Magazine has done a 4 part series on this topic, sharing the stories of both the people who chose to commit suicide, and the truckers lives that have been forever changed because they were the chosen means to an end.

Saturday night we have as our special guest on AskTheTrucker ‘Live’, the author of the 4 part series Suicide by Truck, Carolyn Magner.

We will look into the minds of those driven to such desperate and extreme acts of self destruction, as well as the other victims they leave behind, the truckers.

Join us Saturday August 22nd at 6PM ET.

Call in number 347-826-9170

“Suicide by Truck and the truckers who survive”

Call in and share your thoughts about this topic, whether it be an opinion, or your own personal experience or even near experience of “Suicide by Truck”. 347-826-9170

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