Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


Trucking and the real truth about Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Mar
18,
2015
3
Obstructive Sleep Apnea- Myths and Facts

Obstructive Sleep Apnea- Myths and Facts

 

On Saturday March 21st at 6PM ET AskTheTrucker “Live’ will have one of the most informational shows for one of the most controversial and concerning topics within the trucking industry. Sleep Apnea.

Our guests will include certified DOT medical examiner Dr Randolph Rosarion and Elaine Papp, former Division Chief of the Office of Medical Programs at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Both Dr Rosarion and Elaine Papp are members of the Advisory Council for the North American Trucking Alerts.

 

 

Dr. Randolph Rosarion, MD is a certified medical examiner listed in the US DOT FMCSA National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners and received his medical degree from Stony Brook University School of Medicine. His medical practice, USDOT Medical Examiner is located in College Point, Queens, New York and specializes in Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation and Occupational Medicine. As a recognized leader in the field, he received the Best of Queens Award 2013 for Department of Transportation Commercial Driver License Medical Examinations.

Dr. Randolph Rosarion – certified medical examiner listed in the US DOT FMCSA National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

ALL your questions answered:
OSA – Obstructive Sleep Apnea

1. Sleep science background

2. Review of sleep disorders including  Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA )( prevalence, diagnosis and treatment)

3. Review of AASM practice guidelines and FMCSA MRB/MEP recommendations (polymyography, vs portable monitors) , CPAP, surgery, dental appliances

 

4. BMI. neck size and Co-morbidities , how they factor in evaluation

5. FMCSA guidance over the years to current position

6. The mechanics of sleep apnea and why weight plays a role

7. Why people who aren’t overweight have OSA

9.  Costs for Sleep Apnea-  Testing and Equipment

Elaine Papp spent 7 years as the Division Chief of the Office of Medical Programs at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), contributing to the relationship between medical conditions, their impact on safe operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and FMCSA regulations/guidance.
Ms. Papp has a broad range of occupational safety and health experience, from private industry to international organizations.
Previously, Elaine worked for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in several capacities: analyzing legislation and writing Congressional testimony, crafting regulations and compliance assistance materials, participating in on-site enforcement inspections, and conducting presentations on behalf of the Agency.

Elaine Papp- FormerDivision Chief of the Office of Medical Programs at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Elaine Papp- FormerDivision Chief of the Office of Medical Programs at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

 

WHAT ARE YOUR DEEPEST Concerns regarding Sleep Apnea?

 Please comment to this post.  We will be taking callers the night of the show, however, we expect lines to be full and we want to ensure that ALL questions are answered.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Trucking’s Myths and Facts

Saturday March 21, 2015
6PM ET
Call in to listen, comment or ask questions 347-826-9170
OR Listen from your computer

Check Out Health Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Aubrey Allen Smith on BlogTalkRadio

 

Call in to listen, comment or ask questions  347-826-9170
OR
Listen from your computer

 COMMENT  with your questions, thoughts, and concerns to this post

 

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Neglected 20 Year Old Semi arrives at MATS PKY area promoting driver health

Mar
17,
2015
0
Walk A Mile America/TruckDriversHealth.org to Use Old Semi Truck to Stress importance of Driver Hearth

Walk A Mile America/TruckDriversHealth.org to Use Old Semi Truck to Stress importance of Driver Hearth

For Immediate Release.
Louisville, KY

At  the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) this year, there will be a different kind of truck among the country’s premier truck beauty show !

Among these shined and polished working show trucks, will be the WalkAMileAmerica 20 year old neglected and abused semi ( once a “show truck” itself), displaying to everyone what happens when even the most sound and beautiful truck is neglected over time. The purpose of this is to correlate similar effects of both driver body and truck, stressing the importance of “care and maintenance for both.
WalkAMileAmerica affiliated with TruckDriversHealth.org, will be sharing the causes, effects, and also solutions for bringing the driver (and truck) back to “health”.
They will also be at Booth 32010, sharing information and literature.

The story of a driver and his truck and how it helped him and our industry become healthy

Just off the production floor, the semi truck is a gleaming specimen of craftsmanship. With proper care and routine maintenance, it can travel over the road for a million miles or more.

But neglect it, and the tractor can transform into a rusted and battered shell. Perhaps still able to function, but it may need some attention to perform at a peak level.

Over time, all semi trucks will break down, need repairs aid even need to be replaced. But they aren’t the only thing the trucking industry depends on to keep the country’s economy moving

Just like the semi truck needs maintenance, the same goes for over-the-road drivers, though the pool of them is small and even dwindling due to ongoing driver shortages, recent government regulations and the job’s notorious unhealthy lifestyle.

To drive home the importance of driver health. Walk A Mile America and TruckDrivers Health.org are taking a neglected semi truck on tour to serve as a physical representation of the continuing crisis in the transportation industry: poor driver health.

In response, the nonprofit foundation dedicated to improving the health of the nation’s truck drivers is developing a boot camp of sorts to help over-the-road drivers instill and maintain healthy habits.

Poor health has plagued truck drivers for decades. Long hours driving, lack of healthy foods, irregular sleeping patterns and the nomadic lifestyle has manifested itself in obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea and hypertension.

Statistics from the National Institute of Health indicate that not only is the truck driver population unhealthy, but it is significantly worse off than the general public. For example, more than 50 percent of truck drivers are considered obese, compared to 26.7 percent of the rest of the population. Data shows diabetes and hypertension are much more common among truck drivers, as well.

Poor health affects not only the driver, who may experience a shortened lifespan, be unfit to drive, and miss time and possibly money on the job, as a result. Companies feel the effects of drivers in poor health, too, potentially paying higher insurance premiums, missing delivery deadlines or even having to address employee turnover.

The trucking industry overall suffers as well. Not having fully recovered from a recent driver shortage, the Industry could lose many more employees because of these health problems. Drivers now are required to pass a Department of Transportation Examination to obtain a driver’s license. They must pass a comprehensive physical and meet various baseline metrics before they are approved to drive.

The Compliance Safety and Accountability Act of 2010, which addressed roadside safety violations, has added the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC), it requires drivers to earn a medical certification card, indicating they have physical and medical clearance to operate a semi truck.

These regulatory steps are important ones in addressing the chronic problem of driver health, but the Walk A Mile America program is intended to target the driver first. By reaching out to drivers through a boot camp program of sorts, they will learn to adopt and maintain tips for pursuing a healthier lifestyle.

This will yield positive benefits for their employer as they are in good health to perform their jobs, meet various regulatory standards and possibly batter healthcare premiums.

For years, poor’ health has nearly been synonymous with the trucking industry. By addressing it, hopefully that image will change and ultimately attract new drivers to the market to fill the enormous anticipated growth in moving goods.

Making this change will require reaching the driver through employers, insurance programs and direct contact.

For more information or to donate and support this cause, please visit walkamileamerica.com 405-542-5857.

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Healthy trucking groups rallying at Papa John’s lot at MATS

Mar
16,
2015
0

 

Heart Smart Highway headed for MATS- Papa John's lot

Heart Smart Highway headed for MATS- Papa John’s lot

 

 

 

 

 

 

As MATS approaches in less than 10 days, the drive for truckers to not just become healthier, but to enjoy the journey of becoming healthier increases.  The words “sacrifice ” and “diet” are no longer part of the healthy trucker vocabulary. These words are being replaced with words such as, “delicious”, “flavorful”, and “lifestyle”

Here is yet another moving FaceBook group, Heart Smart Highway, who has passionately embraced this lifestyle and is encouraging others to do the same.

Heart Smart Highway is proud to announce its coming arrival at the Papa Johns Parking lot during the Mid America Truck Show March 26th – 28th. Heart Smart Highway founder Jeannie Lennox and Les Willis of Godspeed Expediters invite you to start your MATS

Jeannie Lennox of Heart Smart Highway

Jeannie Lennox of Heart Smart Highway

Experience the MATS start off on the right note…..WITH A BLAST OF HEALTH!

Join us Thursday morning from 9-10 a.m. in the Papa Johns parking lot at the Heart Smart Highway trailer.
Look for our Banner. We will be sharing shots of refreshing Heart Smart smoothies and demonstrating the Nutribullet superfood nutrition extractor. While you are there fill out a short questionnaire and be registered to win a Nutribullet system of your own (a $100.00 dollar value). Winner will be announced via text message at 2:00 PM Saturday.

Everyone that stops by will receive a Heart Smart Highway logo jar opener made from recycled tires. Also we will be showing, on an outside monitor, Health documentaries talking about different health concerns in our industry and society.

End MATS with a BANG!

Join us Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m. at the Heart Smart Highway trailer to listen to Heart Smart Highway friends Gary and Julie Tussey playing guitar and singing songs from their new Blues and Rock CD “Big Blond Baby”. Until then safe and Healthy travels to all!

For more info please contact Jeannie Lennox
heartsmarthighway@gmail.com
615-556-3756

NOTE: Heart Smart Highway also runs monthly contests on their sister FaceBook Page Heart Smart Highway Cooking Challenge

Contestants post as many recipes with photos as they want to be entered into monthly challenge. Recipes need to be cooked on the truck and be healthy meal options.

At the end of each month a winner is announced and the winners each month receive a prize which is sent to them.
This challenge will be for the months of February thru the end of July.
The six monthly winners will be registered into a Healthy cook off challenge to be held at GATS (Great American Truck Show) in August 2015.
 
Godspeed Expediters will be the sponsor for the GATS final cook off event and offering a $500 dollar gift certificate to winner.


Related posts
Cooking in the Truck Summit debuting at MATS
Driver Health info and support for concerned trucker

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Can Texas Solve Its Road Accident Problem with Gas Taxes and Registration Fees?

Mar
16,
2015
0
Stephen C. Webster / Foter / CC BY

Stephen C. Webster / Foter / CC BY

by Eric Halsey

What truckers have known for a long time is becoming increasingly clear to the rest of the country: US roads are in dangerously bad shape.The World Economic Forum has responded by pushing the US from 5th to 16th in the world on its infrastructure rankings. This is particularly true in Texas, where decades of tax averse state administrations have resulted in a terrifying annual gap in what’s needed to maintain, let alone improve, basic infrastructure. What does this mean for the trucking industry? And what’s being done to remedy the situation? We take a deeper look below.

Don’t Just Build, Maintain!

First, how exactly did we get to this point? Taking a step back in time, the US invested heavily in its infrastructure following the Second World War as part of the Eisenhower Highway System. This took decades and billions of dollars to build, but it’s been the backbone of the US economy and transportation network ever since.

In Texas, this resulted in more than 3,000 miles of high quality interstate highways in addition to the second largest state highway system in the country. But highways must be maintained and upgraded once built. Without a new stoplight or overpass to respond to increased usage or new asphalt to fix potholes, roads can quickly become deadly. One small region around Odessa, Texas is demonstrating this with shockingly high death rates.

The oil boom in that region may be doing wonders for the local economy, but that additional economic activity is not being converted into additional revenue for maintaining and improving the local infrastructure, which is buckling under the strain of 60,000 additional residents who have arrived in the past 10 years. The results are sadly predictable: a 157% increase in traffic deaths from 2009 to 2013.

Letting Economic Growth Go to Waste

Texas as a whole has been lucky enough to benefit from higher than average economic growth for the past several years. But the trend in Austin is to stand back and let this growth develop on its own. Whatever you think of the economics of the Perry Administration though, the trucking industry knows that without government investment, that kind of growth can’t continue forever.

The worry then is that Texas is not taking advantage of this period of growth to make the kinds of investments necessary to continue it. What happens if the economy hits another rough spot, just as the state of Texas’ transportation infrastructure reaches a breaking point? This could be a deadly combination for both those on the roads and the economy as a whole.

Inaction Translates to Slashing Budgets

A common way to raise the revenue necessary to maintain road infrastructure throughout the US is through gas taxes. But this poses some problems. As cars have become more fuel efficient and mild inflation has built up over the years, the money collected from these taxes, adjusted for purchasing power, has dropped by more than half from 18 cents a gallon to 7 cents a gallon over the course of the Perry Administration.

Some would like to blame a lack of federal funding, but even that can’t fully make up for the shortfall. So, Texas finds itself in a situation where economic growth is leading to more cars putting greater strains on the roads while the money necessary to maintain those roads has effectively been cut by almost two thirds. While it may be easy to see this as a simple numbers game, it’s important to remember that this problem translates directly into high death rates each and every month. As a result, Texans are demanding action.

Citizens Demanding Solutions

In response to this growing crisis, on November 4th, Texans passed an amendment to divert some $1.7 billion dollars in gas taxes from going into a rainy day fund to directly paying for infrastructure. But this is still an estimated $4 billion short of what is needed.

Ultimately, diverting funds is simply a stopgap, and not a great one at that. What’s needed is to raise gas taxes and registration fees. Texas currently has no income tax and one of the lowest sets of transportation fees in the country. In this atmosphere of economic growth, it’s not unreasonable to see some mild increases designed to specifically put money into safer roads.

As it stands, lawmakers are simply waiting for the situation to develop into a more serious crisis, one which would allow them to finally act and overcome political pressure not to raise taxes or fees at all. But for families who have already lost loved ones and for truckers who worry a little more every time they drive through the Lone Star State, simply waiting for things to get worse is unacceptable.

What do you think about the state of Texas roads and the politics surrounding the issue? Let us know in the comments section.

Author’s Bio:

Eric Halsey is a historian by training and disposition who’s been interested in US small businesses since working at the House Committee on Small Business in 2006. Coming from a family with a history of working on industry policy, he has a particular interest in the Surety Bonding and Freight Industries and Professional Certification; he loves sharing his knowledge of the industry for JW Surety Bonds.

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Cooking in the Truck Summit debuting at MATS 2015

Mar
11,
2015
1

For Immediate Release.
Louisville, KY

Cooking in the Truck Summit March 26th 2015, at 8PM in the Papa Johns Lot at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) at the Freightliner hospitality trailer

Cooking in the Truck Summit March 26th 2015, 8PM in the Papa Johns Lot at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) at the Freightliner hospitality trailer

Linda Caffee, Freightliner Team Run Smart Pro and Tom Kyrk founder and chief blogger for Road Tested Living, will be hosting the first Cooking in the Truck Summit.
This event will be held March 26th 2015, at 8PM in the Papa Johns Lot at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) at the Freightliner hospitality trailer.

In recent years there has been a increase in the number of drivers who cook in their trucks. This is done for a variety of reasons ranging from saving money, to health, to scheduling, among other reasons. A variety of resources in recent years have became available to help encourage drivers to cook in their trucks. These range from web sites to cookbooks for truckers, and Facebook pages.

Linda and Tom would like to improve the networking and communication between these various groups as to resources available. As well as to get the word out that cooking on the truck does not have to be hard, complicated, or expensive.

The purpose of this Summit is three fold:

1)     Is to discuss ways to encourage and promote cooking in the truck.
2)     To share ideas on storage, and cooking ideas
3)     To discuss ways to work with the various companies in the trucking industry to help them understand our needs. By doing this it is hoped that the products and services we need and use will become more widely available and economical.

Anyone with an interest in cooking in their truck, or grilling outside are welcome to attend. If a member of your group is able to attend as a representative we will give them a brief opportunity to discuss what your group specialty as well as share links and resources. If someone from your group is unable to attend.

Feel free to e-mail the information to roadtestedliving@gmail.com subject line summit include the information about your group or its resources. If you have personal information or pictures of your cooking tools or storage ideas please feel free to submit it as well if you will be unable to attend.

Everyone is encouraged to submit pictures and a brief description of their favorite cooking appliances, as well as storage solutions for life on the truck. This information will be made available to anyone free of charge on the Facebook page Cooking in the Truck Summit as well as on RoadTestedLiving.com.

The ultimate purpose of this meeting is to bring everyone together to exchange ideas and encourage unity. This is not about promoting one style of cooking or way of doing things. Everyone is welcome from the expert chef to the novice who just reheats cans. There is no wrong or right way.

Linda and Tom would like to thank Freightliner for allowing us to use their hospitality trailer for this meeting. This summit is not in formal affiliation with any group. Linda and Tom are doing this on their own as they feel it is important bring as many people and ideas together as possible to promote cooking and living better on the road.

Road tested Living Founded in 2014 has the purpose to share life’s lessons in living well taken from the road. It is to show that one can lose weight and have a high quality of life despite the challenges of living and working in a small space with limited facilities. RTL also shares human interest stories and the tech reviews and information that makes life more pleasant on the road.

Freightliner Team Run Smart is an open community for all truckers who mean business. It’s where you turn to for expertise you can use right away. They operate on four pillars: Truck Smart, Fuel Smart, Business Smart, and Health Smart.

You’re in the trucking industry for the long haul in more ways than one. That’s why we’re here for you whether you drive a Freightliner or not. We’re all facing increasing industry pressures – from keeping operating costs low to staying healthier on the road. As a member of Team Run Smart, you’ll get advice from fellow truckers and dedicated Freightliner industry pros that you can use to overcome the pressures you’re facing. We’ll deliver the fresh content that can help you Run Smart.

Linda Caffee started her driver career with her husband Bob after their children left home for college in 2000. Bob started as a driver for a large motor carrier with Linda as a rider. They decided to enter the Expedite industry as team drivers in 2005 and purchased their first Freightliner. Linda has had her Class A licenses since the early 80’s starting out driving in the oil field and hauling grain as fill in driver. Linda and her husband Bob are currently leased to Landstar Express America.

Tom Kyrk has been in the trucking industry for over 9 years, working for a major over-the-road refrigerated carrier. He has done a little bit of everything: working as a campus police dispatcher, in retail electronics, and in restaurant kitchens. Out of all these jobs, he enjoys driving the most! Cooking is a close second though, as he is taking back his health with good choices and lifestyle changes. RoadTestedLiving.com chronicles his story, shares tips with drivers, and embodies the idea of learning to live well from life’s lessons on the road.

Further information, or inquiries can be obtained by contacting Tom Kyrk at roadtestedliving@gmail.com (ph) 607-201-4609.

or Linda Caffee
linda.caffee8@gmail.com

NOTE:  JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION !

Linda and Tom will be calling in to AskTheTrucker “Live” on Blog Talk Radio to discuss the Cooking Truck Summit and also to share tips about cooking and health while trucking.
Thursday March 12th at 6PM ET
Open Forum ” ‘Just Do It’: Steps to turn driver health around”
Call in number 347-826-9170

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Driver health info and support for concerned truckers

Mar
4,
2015
1
Ask The Trucker 'Live" on Blog Talk Radio Open Forum- Truck Driver Health

Ask The Trucker ‘Live” on Blog Talk Radio Open Forum- Truck Driver Health

As part of our concern for the growing concern of improving health within the trucking industry, AskTheTrucker will be continuing a series of health shows on AskTheTrucker “Live’.

We have also aligned ourselves with many within the industry who are also concerned about the increase of illness which has taken a pronounced incline, not just within the trucking industry, but throughout our nation. As it relates to trucking, the types of food drivers consume along with the sedentary lifestyle, is taking its toll on them physically and emotionally. Yet the possibility to change their habits appears for some to be too far out of reach.

Justifications often heard are, “ It’s too difficult to eat healthy on the road” and “I’m too tired to exercise after driving” and even, “I already have to fight the 14 hour clock. Although these comments hold some validity, they are merely challenges to overcome in order to reach a desired goal and are not reasons to prevent or quit trying to attain a goal with keywords being “desired goal.”

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. ~Henry Ford

The question now becomes: do you have a goal to reach regarding your health? Do you want to feel better? Lose weight? Have more energy? Lower your blood pressure, cholesterol or sugar or change your food intake for preventative medicine? For many, it could be to change your food intake to help cure an illness?

If the answer is yes to any of these, then the justifications of why one cannot achieve their goals just will not hold up. They become excuses for “wishes” because obviously, there is no magic wand or fairy godmother. But there are people to help and encourage others in the trucking industry; drivers, groups, websites, and organizations.

The best way to achieve success is through the above mentioned support. We all want to feel like we “belong” and are among those who face the same challenges and have similar obstacles and goals. Just as there are support groups such as AA, OEA and others we are all familiar with, trucking has many organizations, websites, and social media outlets which reach out and offer support and vital information to the trucking community, including the topic of Truck Driver Health.

TruckDriversHealth.org

TruckDriversHealth.org

One of the various groups we have joined forces with is the non profit TruckDriversHealth.org. We became involved with this organization a few months ago after observing the incredible story on the website written by driver and a founder of the organization, Barry Pawelek.

Basically the story is about a truck he owned, sold, and then miraculously came back full circle to him 20 years later, only after being severely neglected and abused. Being concerned with health for many years, Barry concluded that the body of a truck driver deteriorates comparably to their own truck if both are abused and neglected.

This 20 year old truck will be showcased at MATS this year for all to see, along with encouraging literature offering free sources and information. Read the full story here.

ATBS- TeamRunSmart

ATBS- TeamRunSmart

Another group which we support and also will be at MATS at the Freightliner Booth, is a group of concerned drivers, companies, and sponsors, offering free info to drivers as well a 100+ page cookbook with 7o recipes. A limited supply of only 250 copies will be available at MATS, however an ebook version will be offered free at ATBSshow.com.

Recipes in the cook book are originals from Tom Kyrk, Linda Caffee, Rolling Strong wellness coaches, staff members from ATBS and Kerri Ewing with eCapital.com. The information and cookbook can be obtained at the Freightliner Booth via TeamRunSmart and ATBS.

Trucking Solutions Group

Trucking Solutions Group

Another group at MATS are our friends over at the Trucking Solutions Groups, led by chairman, Rick Ash. Once again they will be leading the “health walk” from the Papa John’s parking lot at the OOIDA stage to Kentucky Downs and back.

 

 

tom kyrk 222

Tom Kyrk- Owner of Road Tested Living

 

The popular website Road Tested Living is owned and run by driver, Tom Kyrk, who is “driven” by his passion for educating and inspiring others. Tom is also involved in his FB groups Road Tested Living, Team Run Smart, and the Trucking Solutions Group. His recipes and advise have aided and inspired many.

Other social media groups focused on Health for truckers include:

Heart Smart Highway
Heart Smart Highway
Nutrition For Truckers
Truckin Fitness
Truckin’ Runners
Ride And Roll-Cycling On The Road
Rolling Strong

Over the Road Eating Right
Healthy living on the road and on the go/Thisishowwerolltruckingfitness

NOTE: The above is a partial list of groups. If you are aware of other groups promoting and supporting trucker health, please feel free to post in the comment section.

Another website which includes focus for Truck Driver Health is the North American Trucking Alerts. Join us Thursday 3-5-15 on AskTheTrucker ‘Live’ as we discuss with a few organizations and driver groups who we have aligned with within the industry, as to what they are doing to address driver health concerns and how they are reaching out to drivers to offer advise and support.

Are you concerned about driver health? We want to hear from you. What you are doing to address your health or how you are reaching out to others to help them?

Thursday 3-5-15
6PM ET
347-826-9170

Listen to the show from either your computer or your phone.
If you listen from your computer and want to be part of the chat room and share your website links with everyone as they pertain to health, CLICK ON THIS LINK.

Check Out Health Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Aubrey Allen Smith on BlogTalkRadio

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Trucker victory for Obstruction of Justice “Right to Sleep” court case

Feb
25,
2015
5
Trucker Driver Kenny Capell -Case Dismissed- Charged with Obstruction of Justice after being woken up during mandated 10 hour break

Truck Driver Kenny Capell – Case Dismissed- Charged with Obstruction of Justice after being awoken during mandated 10 hour break

Yesterday was a victorious day for fellow truck driver and friend Kenny Capell when he found out that his “Obstruction of Justice” case was dismissed.  Kenny immediately called to share the good news with us here at AskTheTrucker and  also with James Lamb of SBTC.

Mr Capell had been arrested on April 15th, 2014 at a scale house in Ringgold, GA for refusing to provide ID while being awoken from his sleeper berth during his federally mandated Hours of Service 10 hour break.

Kenny is a truck driver who drives team with his wife and was sleeping in the sleeper berth of his commercial truck when his wife was driving. The officer woke Kenny when his wife pulled into a weigh station, and demanded his ID.

The same officer, Leigh A. Parsons, had previously woken him up on March 28th, where at that time, Kenny had provided requested documents. This 2nd time however, he refused and was handcuffed, arrested, and jailed for 12 hours.

Kenny had requested a trial for this case where a series of trials had continually been postponed.  When Kenny sent a Freedom Of Information Act Request to the Georgia Dept. of Public Safety on 4/24/14 demanding any and all audio/video of his arrest, the GA DPS stated that there was no video, only to find out later that the internal affairs investigator had indeed seen the video.

An internal affairs investigation was initiated after  a police misconduct complaint was filed and James Lamb of SBTC wrote a letter to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division: ‘Request for ‘Pattern and Practices’ Investigation of Georgia Motor Carrier Compliance Division; Civil Application Pursuant to Title 42,U.S.C. Section 14141.

Kenny just recently heard the case was dismissed “through the grapevine”, as the  almost one year old case was actually dismissed on Feb. 9th, 2015.  Kenny learned of the decision on  Feb. 24th, through a phone call from a relative who was notified that they were entitled to their bail money back because the case was dismissed.

Kenny’s incident was originally brought to our attention last summer via Martin Hill who contacted us through email. Martin continues to report on the timeline of the case through his website Liberty Fight.

After Martin contacted us, we then contacted Kenny Capell and conducted a phone interview followed up by an AskTheTrucker ‘Live’ broadcast with both Martin Hill and Kenny Capell, describing the incident on the show: “Trucker’s Right to Sleep and the 4th Amendment.”

Prior to the radio broadcast, Kenny had been waiting for his first hearing of August 11th, only to be postponed to October 10th,  and again postponed until December 8th, finally postponed once again, which this time ended up as a dismissed case. After hearing about the  ordeal James Lamb called into the radio show and also became concerned about the trail of events which had taken place. Mr Lamb then followed up with Kenny, offering to voluntarily travel from Florida to GA to testify for Capell as an expert witness in the trial.

We invite you to Join us Thursday Feb. 26th 6PM ET for our program: Trucking Open Forum Highlights “Obstruction of Justice.”

 

Check Out Current Events Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Aubrey Allen Smith on BlogTalkRadio

We invite you to call in and offer your input to the topic via call-in number: 347-826-9170.Listeners can either listen through the link on their computer, where they can also join in the chat room, or can catch the show via their phone line calling the same number.

We will review the series of events which have taken place since Kenny Capell’s last radio interview on AskTheTrucker “LIVE.” Kenny will also share with us what he has endured this past year and why he did what he did, making a stance for all professional drivers who are trying to remain compliant while maintaining their “Right to Rest.”

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Truck driver retention and the generation gap

Feb
22,
2015
13
Truck Driver Retention

Truck Driver Retention

Although nobody will dispute the role that the deregulation of the trucking industry in 1980 had on the truck driver retention problem, the fact remains that the industry itself remains as a major player in its continuance.

As far back as 1966, the average turn-over rate among drivers was 27% and even then, the two primary reasons for drivers quitting were low pay and home time. In 1975, the average annual pay for employee truck drivers was $33,020.00, rising to $36,816.00 by 1978. In 1986 it had fallen to $29,692.00 and by the year 2000 had risen to $32,604. (1)

Today, in 2015, the average median income for a company driver is approximately $37,000 per year, closely meeting the peak income during 1978. What is interesting to note, is no amount of a raise in income takes into consideration any rise in cost of living. If this factor was considered for between the years of 1978 and 2015, the average annual pay for a company driver today would be $127,613 using the CPI-U-X1 consumer price index measuring system. (2) When one figures in inflation for the same time period, 2015 average annual pay for a company-employed driver would rise to $133,876.

However, in all fairness, one would be inaccurate to say that trucking is the only industry failing to provide their employees or contractors with appropriate modern-day wages. All industries do the same thing, thus the reason in the rise against that known as “Corporate Greed.” Regardless, this is one of the primary areas where the trucking industry is refusing to see when it comes to the decades-old problem of driver retention.

It would be unreasonable to believe a motor carrier should pay a company driver $133,000 per year, but it would be reasonable to see a minimum average skilled wage of $50,000 to $65,000 which could be accomplished through raising freight rates, commanding pay for detention time and other various points of business. In many areas of commerce, the industry seems to fail to understand that they could be in control, but it is much easier and non-confrontational to simply continue earning off of the backs of their drivers.

Motor carriers continue to focus on two areas in their combat against the high turn-over rate among drivers: (1) the so-called “driver shortage” and (2) driver recruiting tactics. Drivers, on the other hand, are still focused on the very same issues that can easily be shown to be problem areas back in the 1960’s:

  • Low Pay
  • Working Conditions
  • Long Hours
  • Not Enough Miles
  • Home Time
  • Treatment by Dispatch, Supervisors and Management

The same concerns among drivers dating back for decades are still concerns addressed today: lack of communication, no respect and feeling unappreciated and of little value; and now today, the industry faces perhaps their greatest challenge yet, and one they will have to eventually address: a new generation.

There are newer generations of not only a society, but an age of technology that will continue to work against the standard ways that motor carriers have conducted their business over the past years. Before the age of internet and the immediate ability to locate information, trucking companies could get away with the false advertising and driver recruiting tactics used to lure the uniformed novice into the vocation. With the ever-ready trucking forums and job sites such as Indeed.com and others, the savvy techies of today can instantly read reviews by drivers, relating to the potential employer. Simply put, motor carriers and driver recruiters are not able to “fool” the potential new employee as easily as they once were.

Secondly, the newest of generations see no purpose or have little desire to enter a vocation like OTR trucking, due to the very reasons that are still concerns of veteran truckers. Simply put, times have changed. This younger generation can see themselves as being much more capable of accomplishing bigger and better things than spending their lives in a truck, working for a company that provides low pay, disrespect, little home-time, along with the industry regulations and their image perception of “The Truck Driver.”

The trucking industry has failed to respond to the needs of drivers in the years gone by and the new generation is seeing it, they are reading about it and they are hearing it through the technological advances that are available today. Veteran drivers saw it coming years ago and others have addressed the issue such as Todd Dills, Senior Editor of Overdrive Magazine. Why would motor carriers be so surprised that they would not want to enter such a vocation and lifestyle?

The old, worn-out concepts and ways of conducting recruiting tactics and empty promises to bring in new drivers will not work with the new generations, at least on a large enough scale to “fix” the problem that the industry has created. Raising driver pay to .45 or .50 cpm will not work when many newcomers are still starting out at .27 cpm by those fine “starter companies” and when it is obvious that the “pay raise” is really no raise at all. These generations understand that such raises in 2015 still only barely match the USD value of the mid to late 1970’s.

The trucking industry is in fact, facing three new generations in which the largest majority see no attraction toward driving a truck: (1) the Millennial Generation, (2) Generation Z, and (3) the Generation Selfies. These are the problems and the reasons for those problems that the trucking industry now faces in their attempt to bring in new drivers.

So what is the solution?

Everyone knows that during the past decades, the industry has purposely failed to retain drivers, whether they will admit it or not. The common practice of “starving out” drivers and deliberately and intentionally “churning” them over is nothing new and has been revealed many times over, thanks to the age of social media.

The first step in retaining drivers within the industry is to first, actually want to retain them. Secondly, drivers have been advising the industry for thirty years on how to keep drivers: higher pay, more home time and treated with respect. The industry’s problem at this level is that they have not been listening or most probable, have refused to listen because for every driver to quit, companies knew there were ten waiting to replace them. Not so today.

Even with the industry facing the three generations of potential new drivers, there will always be someone wanting or needing a job. That “job” however, is going to have to change in order to meet the criteria for employment by some within these generations. Motor carriers will have to raise their own standards of professionalism by increasing pay to a much higher livable wage. They are going to have to provide these “new drivers” with greater home time and to treat them with the respect that a skilled worker deserves.

Despite the classification by the U.S. Labor Department, the CMV operator is “SKILLED” and carriers are going to have to start treating them as such and seeing their drivers as an important and vital partner within their employment.

Carriers will have to redesign their company and the image of the industry into an elite, high profile career opportunity. They will have to demand the highest expectations of professionalism by their drivers, offer higher CDL training standards and require a superior code of conduct. This code will need to be maintained at all times to combat the driver image issue which has contributed to the fall of the industry within the eyes of these generations and the general public.

Over the years, the industry created these problems that are now coming back to bite them. Many drivers as well, has played their part in the downfall but one can only take being beaten down for so long until they finally simply stop caring. In reality, the probable solution is mostly in the hands of the industry. With all the problems created and maintained by the industry over the years, they never saw the obstacle of the generation gap coming and now it is here.

Finding, hiring and retaining future drivers from the newer generations will never work on a large enough scale unless the industry commits to the measures in bringing respect and attractiveness to the vocation and addressing the issues raised by drivers for decades, once and for all.

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Oversize load regulations need an overhaul

Feb
19,
2015
0
Regulations need to be uniform, and consistent throughout North America, for all aspects of the oversize trucking industry

Regulations need to be uniform, and consistent throughout North America, for all aspects of the oversize trucking industry

by Hal Kiah

Most truckers already can tell you that the trucking industry is the most over-regulated industry in the world, a well known fact to anyone in the industry. With Federal regulations being in constant flux and change, any trucking company, along with its drivers, and owner-operators have to constantly look over their shoulder because they can’t tell when the next abrupt change is going to sneak up on them and put them into “negative” mode.

Taking into consideration those who make a living escorting oversize loads, and the drivers that haul those loads, these people are most generally people who have been behind the wheel of big rigs for a number of years, and then decided to do something different for a change, while remaining in the trucking industry. The driver that actually moves the oversize load can tell you pretty much the same thing as the Pilot car driver,  that there is no uniformity between the states  as to regulations governing the movement of oversize loads. Most every state has their own interpretation of when it is appropriate for these loads to move through their area of responsibility, and when not to move, and how.

One state will tell you in their regulations, that you can move ½ hour before sunrise, until ½ hour after sunset, while the next state may say that you have to wait ½ hour after sunrise to move, and stop the same amount of time prior to sunset taking place. Then, one state will say that you can move on the weekend, while the neighboring state says you cannot, or you can move only up to a certain point (usually 12 noon) on a Saturday, and/or Sunday. (In all honestly,…. the weekend is almost always the best time for an oversize load to move, as most people are not on the roadways, and the driver can get moving first thing in the morning, and not have to deal with rush hour traffic, and the majority of drivers in a high congestion area) And one state in particular, says that you can only move on Tuesday thru Thursday, so if you get stuck Thursday afternoon getting loaded, and have 200 miles to the state line, where you can continue to run the next day, and you only have time enough to make it about 100 miles before the sunset curfew, …. you’re stuck until the next Tuesday before you can move again! Fun, real fun.
oversized load2
Drivers and Pilot cars also have to put up with curfew times, what time of day a load is allowed to move, weekend movements, holiday restrictions in different areas. How many escorts are needed in each state, for the same load, or if the load actually needs an escort. Take for example, several states, that say that for a load of 14 feet wide or greater, you must have an escort or escorts, while trucks pulling mobile homes, or modular homes, need no escorts at all. (And many of those are far wider than other oversize loads!)

The driver and escort have to deal with the routes that states tell them they can use, that turn out to be back roads where no oversize load should be in the first place, due to the size of the roads and the limited space (if any) for oncoming traffic to get around. This can get very nerve racking, and scary, especially when you have an on-coming big rig, or worse, another oversize load the same size, or larger than the load you and the pilot car are hauling. Add to that, getting the general public to move over, or stop, or hold back, so that a load can be safely moved through an intersection or a tight corner, where the driver needs as much room as possible to maneuver.

Now, add to the plight of the Pilot car driver, their responsibility is to help get you safely moved from place to place, while holding off traffic when the load needs to avoid an obstacle on the side of the road, or when making corners, or any other number of reasons that the load needs room. Other drivers, including the general public, and even a number or so-called truck drivers, do not want to wait for oversize loads to do what they need to do, like, getting parked, making turns, moving over for vehicles broke down on the shoulder, or for police or emergency vehicles stopped on the shoulder, thereby putting the pilot car driver at high risk.

Add to the pilot car driver (or escort), the hodgepodge of regulations that they have to meet, with every state having its own requirements as to what the pilot car driver must have in their possession, how they must be in control of traffic (as if they wear a badge and gun, as a police officer does) that the next state does not require, along with differing certifications, in different states. Along with the size of oversize load signs they are required to have, and their placement on the vehicle, that can differ from state to state. These signs are the same size that Big trucks have to have, and many of today’s cars simply cannot accommodate these large signs or the placement that they have to use drastically affects the pilot car’s fuel mileage. Plus, they are required to carry spare warning flags, safety cones, first aid materials, and any number of things.

The regulations need to be uniform and consistent throughout North America for all aspects of the oversize trucking industry, with no confusion thrown in. With every state having their own idea as to how things should run, it adds to the confusion and frustration of what is required of truckers, pilot car operators, and all those who work within the trucking industry. Then add to enforcing proper driver safety among, not just truck drivers, but the general motoring public as well, or the driving problems that are faced in the country today, will only continue.

Hal Kiah/North American Trucking Alerts

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Trucker Awareness drive for Cancer Prevention

Feb
15,
2015
0

 

Support Cancer Research by joining Team Run Smart

Support Cancer Research
by joining Team Run Smart

For the last few years truck driver health has been a much greater concern for the trucking industry than it has been in the past.  As a matter of fact, the concern for better health awareness in general is becoming more prominent worldwide.  The importance of acknowledging the need to exercise more, watching what kind of food we put in our body, yearly physical exams, and being more aware of the side effects of prescription and non prescription drugs, has resulted in an accepted worldwide program for preventative disease in general, including cancer, which is the second leading cause of death.

Cancer is a disease that many have either personally experienced or know someone who has experienced the affects and outcome of. Sadly, so many more have had a loved one pass away from this dreaded disease.
Cancer Prevention is being embraced and viewed as as a need, almost  equal to the importance of a cure, with the logic, “the best cure is not to get the disease in the first place.”
Easier said than done? For many the answer is yes, especially when part of disease prevention involves voluntarily making sometimes difficult changes and modifying  your lifestyle while being an over the road truck driver.

For the life of an Over the road truck driver, exercise and eating right is one of the most difficult challenges. The good news to that however, many truckers are willingly making the necessary changes and are reaping the benefits from doing so. There are many groups and websites dedicated to the success of better health for professional drivers.

With February being Cancer Prevention month, Team Run Smart is  focusing a lot of time  discussing living a healthy lifestyle while driving OTR, paying close attention to the type of food being eaten and the amount of physical activity performed,  both being so important to preventing many illnesses, including cancer. Also part of Cancer prevention is regular health check ups.

In support of cancer prevention month Team Run Smart will be donating $1.00 to the Cancer Research Institute for each new member who signs up during the month of February.

We encourage you to invite your friends and family in the trucking industry to learn more about cancer prevention   join Team Run Smart.
By doing so you will be supporting Cancer Research.

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