Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

Trucker Advocacy Video Contest Winners

Truck Driver Advocacy Video Contest

Trucking Social Media Truck Driver Advocacy Video Contest

Starting in March 2016,Trucking Social Media (TSM) conducted a Truck Driver Video Advocacy Campaign, inviting all truckers to submit their video on the TSM. Videos were categorized in the Video Contest Category of TSM and were then shared through Social Media.

GOAL The media does not always accurately share the challenging circumstances which affect truck drivers. This could be because they are unaware of the truth involving much of the reality that faces professional drivers, or they only hear what “Big Industry” and/or lobbyists tell them.  This holds true for those in Congress also, who many times are surprised when they hear the “different side of the story.”  It’s up to us, the drivers, to educate everyone.

It is our goal to share the facts and reality through truck driver video regarding many of the vital issues that face the industry, specifically the issues which affect the professional driver. Another category on the TSM website is the Advocacy category.

PURPOSE of the Contest:  Because truckers continue to express their trucking industry concerns and frustration on Social Media websites, we believe the best way to reach the masses, including Congress and the general public, is through vocal expression, specifically Video.

We thank all the truckers who sent their videos for sending their strong message to share. Please continue to share their videos on Social Media. We ask you to please follow and create your own videos to share on Social Media. If you would us to help you share them, please submit your YouTube or Vimeo to us on Trucking Social Media.

We would like to thank Xypper, the game changing freight matching system for the trucking industry. Xypper sponsored the first place prize of $250.00 

Xypper App to your iPhone

Xypper Technologies

 AskTheTrucker “Live’ on Blog Talk Radio and AskTheTrucker sponsored 2nd and 3rd place winners respectively.



Toby Bogard 1st place- $250.00 Sponsored by Xypper– Freight load matching application designed to make life easier while increasing profits for Owner Operators. Upon request by Toby, Xypper will be donating $250.00 to Toby’s charity H.O.P.E. , a 501 (c) (3)

Christy Kuppler 2nd place $150.00 sponsored by AskTheTrucker ‘Live on Blog Talk Radio

Jeff Head 3rd place $100.00 sponsored by AskTheTrucker.  Upon request by Jeff, AskTheTrucker is donating his winnings to Trucker Charity, a 501 (c) (3) for truckers.

ALL contestant advocacy videos

Trucking is not all Peaches and Cream Toby Toby Bogard

Trucking Industry Rant in Driver Wages- Pay Me Hub Miles! Christy Kuppler

It Will Never Happen To Me Jeff Head

When Must Truckers Absolutely Refuse to Drive a Truck Vicki Simons

The ATA Represents truck drivers! NOT Pat Hockaday

PAY ME, When I’m at Work! Trucker Wages Smart Trucking

Truck Parking: A message to North Bend, Washington Mayor Ken Hearing Janet K. Medlock

PTAG speaks out against ELD final rule Ernesto Guitierrrez

All drivers want their voices heard about the topics concerning them within the trucking Industry. Social Media, specifically video, does just that.

Although the contest is over, we invite you to SHARE YOUR VIDEOS and continue spreading the word! Submit your video  on the  TSM website

Topics of concern for videos can include; Wages, Government, Regulations (Speed limiters,ELD’s,HOS,Sleep Apnea, etc..), Driver Health, Driver image and Behavior, Safety, CDL training, Truck Lease Scams, Detention Time, and anything trucking.

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TSG brings health, wellness, and ‘good times’ parking to GATS


TSG-GATS Health Pavilion

For the 2nd year, the Trucking Solutions Group (TSG) joins trucking’s finest to bring quality health information, products, and services to professional drivers at the

GATS Health and Wellnes Pavilion.

AUGUST 25-27, 2016 Dallas, Texas

The Landstar Health and Wellness Pavilion once again combines efforts and organized partnership with the Trucking Solutions Group

The Landstar Health and Wellness Pavilion will provide free health screenings, cooking, fitness and educational demos.

The following health screenings will again be available:

6th annual Blood Drive
3rd annual Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive
Ask a Pharmacist
Height, Weight, BMI, Blood Pressure screening
Chiropractic Assessments
Diabetes Education
Eye Acuity and Color Blindness Testing
Kidney Function Analysis
Mammogram Breast Cancer Screenings
Nutrition Screening and Advice
DOT Exams $59

The Landstar Health Pavilion Stage will provide an awesome array of cooking demonstrations, health and fitness seminars!

With topics ranging from diabetes education to food addiction, GATS attendees will be sure to take home some key health strategies and advice from this pavilion stage!

Tom Kyrk of Road Tested Living returns with his infamous cooking demos!

Tom Kyrk of Road Tested Living- Food Demos for Truck

Tom Kyrk of Road Tested Living- Food Demos for Truck


Driven to be Healthy

St. Christopher Fund Driven To Be Healthy Challenge at GATS 2016





Make It Happen USA

Rick Ash of TSG with Gals from Make It Happen USA






Les willis GATS

Les Willis of God Speed Expediters- Running the GATS 2015 Parking Lot












TSG will be  conducting their sixth annual blood drive in partnership with Carter Blood Care and their third annual bone marrow donor registry drive in partnership with Make It Happen USA.

TSG Annual Blood Drive at GATS

TSG Annual Blood Drive at GATS

Trucking Solutions Group is bringing a mobile mammogram unit to the health pavilion. Donations were collected providing mammograms for attendees of the show who do not have insurance or can not otherwise afford the screening.

New this year is sleep apnea screening with Dr. John McElligott and the St. Christopher Fund as well as DOT physicals for $59 being conducted by our new friends at AccuScreen.

Another favorite~ 5K road race out at the truck parking lot with free shuttle service to and from the convention center.

Speaking of the parking Lot,  the GATS parking lot will be “hopping”! Thank you Les Willis of Godspeed Expediters for all your hard work, making sure the parking lot will once again be an extension of the GATS excitement!

Here’s the schedule of what’s Happening in the parking lot!!

Special thanks to Sponsors One20 and Triumph Business Capital. There will be Free Beer and Bar-B-Q (Brisket & Ribs) in Truck Parking on Thursday Evening beginning at 5pm. Also the “winningest” Man in BAR-B-Q Myron Mixon will be on hand Thursday evening to sign autographs and chat it up!!  Truck Parking is at Fair Park, just follow the signs.

Available on the lot:

  • Free truck parking
  • Free RV parking (no hook-ups)
  • Free daily shuttles to and from GATS
  • On-site security
  • Showers provided by TA and Petro Stopping Centers
  • Portable restrooms
  • Smokin’ Wheelz will be providing food options for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day
  • Golf cart rentals  ( Thank you Shelle Lichti for all you do to make this happen!)

Back at the Landstar Health Pavilion Stage A new addition this year is everyone’s loved author of the book “Gut Instinct” and Health and Wellness Coach, Carolyn O’Byrne of  Carolyn will be presenting on the vital importance of your Gut Health and will be available for book signing during. There will also be a limited number of book available for sale.

Gut Instinct

Gut Instinct-by Carolyn O’Byrne of Life Coach Service

Carolyn O'byrne

Author of “Gut Instinct” Carolyne O’byrne of

Schedules for the Landstar Health Pavilion Stage

MORE information Links!!

Health Pavilion            Truck Parking Lot        Truck Parking Shuttle Service

Progressive Fit for the Road 5K                         General Information

Recruiting Pavilion                 Showers              Registation          Concert

Health Pavilion at GATS 2016 focuses on Trucker Wellness

Listen to Rick Ash and Les Willis talk about all that’s going on at GATS


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REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. to Host Inaugural Lady Truck Driver Conference Cruise


PRESS RELEASE for immediate release

MEDIA CONTACT: Kristine M. Gobbo


Lady Truck Driver Conference Cruise

REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. to Host Inaugural Lady Truck Driver Conference Cruise


REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. to Host

Inaugural Lady Truck Driver Conference Cruise

Queen of the Road on the High Seas


LAKE WORTH, Fla. (August 16, 2016) – REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. (RWIT) is hosting a conference aboard the Carnival Conquest to unite and honor women in the truck driving industry. The “Queen of the Road on the High Seas” conference, taking place Sunday, March 26 to Saturday, April 1, 2017, will include education sessions on a broad range of topics, including personal safety, discrimination, sexual harassment, and driver health. The agenda also includes a driver advocacy forum, a lady truck driver roundtable and an awards ceremony recognizing women who have overcome obstacles in the truck driving industry. The six-night cruise will depart from Ft. Lauderdale for the Eastern Caribbean with stops at Grand Turk, Dominican Republic and Nassau.

The conference will provide tools for truck drivers while advancing a voice for RWIT and its members. The sessions will include information on improving technical skills for drivers, promoting advocacy through social media, transitioning company drivers to owner-operator, and much more. A forum of truck driver advocates will also discuss issues that affect the industry. Notable speakers include Allen Smith, host of ‘Ask the Trucker;’ Anne Balay, published author of Steel Closets: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Steelworkers, a former truck driver, and writer of a recent op-ed published in The New York Times “Long-Haul Sweatshops;” and Christine Gray, Becca Kennedy and Shannon Morris, truck drivers, and advocates for the safety and success of women truck drivers.

All interested drivers, professionals within the truck driving industry, and others who encourage and support women truck drivers are invited. Families or significant others are also welcome. The conference schedule has been planned to allow plenty of leisure time to enjoy cruise activities. For those interested in supporting this important event, sponsorship opportunities are available at five levels with details provided at RWIT Lady Truck Driver Conference.

Nominations for outstanding female truck drivers, the “Queen of the Road” awards, are welcome. Awards will be presented to three outstanding women who have demonstrated dedication and tenacity in their efforts to become professional commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators. Nominees must either be past or present CMV drivers that fit the R.E.A.L. criteria, which stands for Reaching Out, Encouraging Others, Achieving Personal Success and Leadership. Nominations will be accepted beginning Thursday, September 1 with a deadline of Monday, November 7, 2016.

“This conference is important to our efforts of ‘breaking the silence’ about the treatment of women in the trucking industry.” said Desiree Wood, one of RWIT’s founders. “At the conference, we hope to provide the tools women need to be more successful in their chosen field.  Along with information sessions, participants will have the opportunity to network with fellow drivers. Learning from one another and unifying on important issues is one of our primary goals.”

REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. to Host Inaugural Lady Truck Driver Conference Cruise

RWIT was initially formed in 2010 as a 501(c)(6) membership organization

RWIT was initially formed in 2010 as a 501(c)(6) membership organization by female truckers to protest poor conditions that were not being effectively addressed by the trucking industry. “Queen of the Road on the High Seas” is the organization’s first fundraising event. Proceeds will help establish a 501(c)(3) foundation which will provide a headquarters and facilities with modest truck parking availability for members, scheduled learning conferences and advanced training for entry-level driver training students to develop their skills.

For more information, contact Desiree Wood at 561-232-9170 or, or visit Follow RWIT on Twitter: @womentruckers.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kristine M. Gobbo



– RWIT –

About REAL Women in Trucking, Inc.:

REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. promotes safety by educating the public about unsafe truck driver training and has created a network of support for women entering trucking. The mission of REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. is to deliver highway safety through leadership, mentorship, education and advocacy.

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Governed by the Clock- Paid by the Clock


Governed by the Clock- Paid by the Clock

If Employee Drivers wages go up, the rest of us will benefit with a higher labor rate.

Pat Hockaday-Truckers United


Trucker Wages- A misleading fact is that since company truckers are only paid when producing pieces,  Employee Drivers are led to believe that they are only At Work when they are producing pieces.
Wrong, their time is governed the entire time, they are NOT on Personal Time!
They are AT Work/Working the entire time-Not on Personal Time and they have agreed to be paid piece work wages that cover All Time spent “AT Work/Working.”

Drivers want more time (hours) to produce pieces which in effect floods the market with capacity thereby minimizing their pay.

Solution, Governed by the Clock, Paid by the Clock.

The trailer can not be loaded until it is unloaded and this cycle is endless. Therefore  loading/unloading is a job duty that must be preformed in order to continue the revenue stream of completing the job so as to start another job.

Drivers have flooded the market with available working hours, to the content of the carriers, by logging detention time as “Off Duty”.
A flooded market is a CHEAP Market due to supply and demand.

I would like to see all time spent being detained logged “On Duty Not Driving” as that was the original intent of Part 395.2 as the Driver is in readiness to preform work WHILE being detained.

Piece work wages for Employee Drivers actually pay these Drivers for their detention time as the Drivers agreed at the time of their employment to be paid by the mile, by weight or by percentage.

The 14hr rule prevents Employee Drivers from utilizing needed time to produce pieces when they are detained by shippers/receivers.
I would also suggest that regulatory detention and company forced detention prevent drivers from using their time to earn as well.

The Drivers time has been sold to the employer in return for the possibility of producing pieces and now that the regulations have caused the Drivers to work within a more stringent window, the Drivers have realized that they are not being paid enough for the time spent AT Work/Working.
WAITING is a job duty that must be preformed while being AT Work!

If the driver is AT work, then he ought to be PAID for being at work!
It’s either ONE or the OTHER, not switching back and forth to suit the situation.!
Dave reviews the issue.

PAY ME, When I’m at Work! Trucker Wages

The obvious solution is to offset lost production time with detention time.
Why only go after detention time spent at shippers/receivers?
The regulations prescribe the job duties that must be preformed such as the 10hr and 30min breaks.
An Employee Driver may be dispatched to go and wait for a day before loading or offloading.
Isn’t the Driver following the directions of the supervisor by doing so?
Isn’t the Driver being detained for a day prior to loading/offloading?

Again, most Employee Drivers have sold a week of their time in order to earn one day off. In the U.S., they may claim the per diem tax right off for each day that they are AT Work, Not At Home

Once again, the Solution is; Governed by the Clock, Paid by the Clock.

When the Employee Drivers are paid a fair and decent wage for their 24hr work days that may be within a multiple day or week work shift, the employers will have no choice but to charge those abusing the Drivers Time a higher rate to cover the cost of labor.

If Employee Drivers wages go up, the rest of us will benefit with a higher labor rate.
JoJo’s Paper

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ELD Mandate DOES affect ALL drivers


The ELD Mandate Appears to Affect Only the Few BUT Actually Affects US ALL!!

Truck ELD

ELD’s DO NOT keep truckers from working more that 70 hours/week

Concerning ELD’s and OOIDA’s court battle against the FMCSA, I think we need to break things down to better understand the nature of the issue.

ANALYSIS: FMCSA’s reply brief in ELD lawsuit a mixed message on driver privacy



Basically there are 4 groups of Drivers.
1-Company Drivers
2-Lease Purchase Drivers
3-Owner Operators (equipment owners leased to a carrier)
4-Independents, who are actually one truck carriers.


While OOIDA represents ALL  Truck Drivers, I feel that, on the surface, this court case pertains to the Independents more so than the rest of us.

Should an Independent have to monitor themselves? An Independent has a lot invested in equipment. They also must maintain records and all other documentation in order to have their own authority as they are subject to scrutiny at any moment by FMCSA. These Drivers have a lot on the table that could easily be lost if they don’t manage their business properly or if they gamble with the regulations. Personally, I believe that Independents have too much to lose and that burdening them with ELD’s is unnecessary.

 Company Drivers have no say whether their truck will be equipped with an ELD as it is up to the carrier to decide. I personally believe that Employee OTR Drivers are AT Work / Working the entire time that they are stationed to the truck UNLESS they have requested and have been granted personal time off. I believe that these Drivers should be paid 24/7 while they are AT Work / Working.
As these employees are AT Work, these employees should have the right to privacy no different than any other employee who is AT Work. Cameras are not allowed in bathrooms or clothes changing rooms for example. ELD’s and rear facing cameras that monitor and supervise the employee verify the fact that they are AT Work. After all, the employer does Not Monitor and Supervise the Employees When THEY ARE AT HOME!!!!
When they are AT Work, employees may be granted liberties so that they may continue to work. When employees are Not AT Work, they have the freedom to do as they please to a degree.

Understand, this job even follows Drivers home as we may not work for pay without reporting the hours we worked on our Drivers log book. The carrier expects their employees to have Available Working Hours upon returning back to work. Having these expectations asserts a degree of control over the Employees Personal Time. What other Semi Skilled Professional is penalized for having a part time job?

Pat Hockaday-Truckers United


 Lease Purchase Drivers Not meaning any disrespect, Lease Purchase Drivers are Employee Drivers who are renting a truck from the carrier. The carrier will decide if they will have an ELD or other monitoring device in the carriers truck.

Owner Operators, such as myself, own the equipment that is leased to a carrier and works under the carriers authority. Again, the carrier will dictate whether or not an ELD is to be used and it makes sense that they will utilize ELD’s as a management tool. I have grown to accept that I will be required to use an ELD as the carrier I am leased to has the operating authority that I work under. They are responsible for maintaining my log book records and an ELD makes it easier for them to do so as well as track my mileage for IFTA.
There are other advantages for the carrier as well.It’s my choice whether or not to stay an OO or to move up to being an Independent Owner Operator.

Independent Driver – If I were an Independent, operating under my own authority, I would utilize an ELD for the same reasons that carriers use them. I already know and understand that I am AT Work / Working when I am anywhere USA in the truck in order to earn a living so an ELD only becomes another obstacle to work around no different than traffic. The truck needs oil, diesel, and fuel to operate and the Driver is no different.Proper maintenance of both the Driver and the truck is crucial to the customer and for public safety.

Personal Conveyance Rules – I do believe that personal conveyance rules no longer apply as there is no such thing as “Personal” if you are being surveilled 24/7. These rules need to be modified so as to allow ALL Drivers to use the truck for commuting such as to the grocery store or between work place and resting place without penalty.I fully understand why single truck owners who have their own authority do not want or feel that they need these monitoring devices. These Drivers work for themselves and are responsible for themselves and their clients. They also must answer to the FMCSA in audits and during inspections.These Drivers have too much to lose by gambling with safety. If anyone has skin in the game, these drivers do.

Should We ALL Back OOIDA’s case against ELD’s? I believe so. I fully back OOIDA in their efforts as this is a precedent setting case. If a line is not drawn in the sand, what will come next?? I have already been made aware of watches and other body monitoring devises that are supposed to monitor the driver for fatigue. There are sensors for the seats and the beds as well as rear facing cameras that are capable of monitoring eye movement for fatigue. While I don’t like the thought of all of this invasive monitoring, I am at the pleasure of the carrier I am leased to.

If OOIDA loses this case what may we expect to come in the future? If OOIDA loses this case what precedent will be established that may affect other industries and possibly even our personal lives? So what are WE to do about all of these monitoring devices?

I think we start with the Employee OTR Drivers. We need to ensure that these Drivers are Properly Paid for ALL Time that they are being monitored and supervised while they are stationed to a truck anywhere USA. They must be ready, willing and AVAILABLE to perform the duties of the job as prescribed in the FMCSR’s while following company policy to be eligible to be paid for their time, otherwise I would consider them to be Unavailable and they should go unpaid.
An Employee OTR Driver who refuses dispatch would in effect be Unavailable for example. Paying Employee OTR Drivers for ALL Time would put an end to these Drivers being forced to work for free as they would automatically be paid for:

1. Detention time while servicing the carriers customers at the shippers and receivers
2. Company forced detention time such as waiting for dispatch or for being detained for hours or days until they may load or offload

3. Regulatory detention as the FMCSR’s require a ten hour and a thirty minute break in which the Driver may not work as required by the regulations for which the Drivermay be terminated for NOT Being In Compliance With.

Tell me of any other job where the employee may be fired for NOT Taking A BREAK?
Furthermore, an Employ Driver that is being paid for “All Time” would have no need to operate unsafely or out of compliance.

 What about “lazy truck drivers”?

The ELD Knows All That The Driver Does and terminating lazy unproductive drivers will be an option to the carriers. The Employee Drivers incentive to do a good job will be no different than any other employee, a good paying job and JOB SECURITY.

By paying Employee Drivers for ALL TIME we will put an end to Cost Effective Inefficiencies. Filling seats thereby flooding the market with capacity that Drives

Freight Rates Down holds ALL of US BACK!

Rip Off lease purchase programs that place Cheap Capacity into the market will decline or come to an end as hungry Employee Drivers would not need to fall for these scams hoping to earn more.

As the Employee OTR Driver would be earning a fair wage fitting the job, enticing a company Driver with a new truck and then not giving them the miles they need to pay for it would come to an end.

Many speculate that ELD’s will increase Drivers wages. I don’t believe so because as long as there is a Cheap Labor force willing to be manipulated into WORKING for FREE, lost capacity due to ELD’s will quickly be replaced by units filled with Employee Drivers who are paid “When the Wheels Are Turning”.


Regulations are easy to implement as the cost is minimal due to CHEAP LABOR!
Safety Comes At A Price that “We The Drivers” are paying in Lost Wages due to affordable regulations. For most, the pay is unfit for the JOB of being AT Work unable to enjoy the Freedoms that a Job Should Afford an OTR Driver!

 I have No Problem with single truck owners operating under their own authority to be exempt from ELD’s, but for the rest of US, we need to make “These Boxes Work For US!”

Pat Hockaday (JoJo)

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Attorneys discuss live 3.1M sex discrimination case


Attorneys discuss live 3.1M sex discrimination case

June 30, 2016 Thursday 6:00 pm Eastern
Listen on your phone (646) 200-0616 or via the Link
“Discrimination is not the Solution to Sex Harassment in Trucking”



Attorney Paul Taylor of Truckers Justice Cente

Attorney Paul Taylor of Truckers Justice Center

Discrimination appears in many forms and can affect numerous types of people. The most cunning type however is the when a discriminatory action professes to protect those who are being discriminated against. This was the case with  female truck driver, Deanna Roberts Clouse who felt because she was a woman, she was being discriminated against by New Prime, Inc’s truck driver training program.

Deanna  Clouse contacted  Attorney Paul Taylor of Truckers Justice Center who filed a discrimination charge.  The  lawsuit became part of a Class Action against Prime with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ( EEOC) and Attorney Taylor.

A federal district court judge found that Springfield-based Prime Inc. violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by having a policy where only men could train men as truck drivers, and only women were allowed to train women.   Their reasoning  Prime contended they was “it put the policy in place in order to protect female applicants.” Prime had lost a 2003 Sexual Harassment case with the EEOC and in 2004 placed their “Only Men can train men and only women can train women”


In May of 2016 EEOC Press Release  announced   “Prime, Inc. to Pay Over $3 Million After Court Ruled it Used Discriminatory Hiring Practices”

Trucking Giant’s Same-Sex Trainer Policy Kept Women Drivers Out of Jobs, Federal Agency Charged

Prime agreed to pay $250,000 to Clouse to resolve her claims and Prime agreed via consent decree to pay over $2.8 million in lost wages and damages for 63 other women who were denied job opportunity.

“Andrea G. Baran, regional attorney of EEOC’s St. Louis District, said, “When women break into male-dominated fields, they are often trained by men. We should not expect that these women will be sexually harassed. It is disrespectful to men everywhere to assume that they will harass women if they work together in close quarters. Rather, employers have a responsibility to adopt strict anti-harassment policies and practices and enforce them so that all employees – regardless of sex – can work and succeed together.”

EEOC St. Louis District Director James R. Neely, Jr. added, “Being male or female is not relevant to whether a person can be a good truck driver. While the trucking industry was desperately looking for drivers, Prime locked women out of their workforce rather than focus its efforts on preventing sexual harassment. Moving forward, we hope that Prime will respect the court’s injunction and provide equal opportunities to all applicants, without respect to sex.”

A new lesson in hiring from the EEOC: You can’t get away with discriminating against a specific group of applicants by improperly structuring your training program.

Join the Women Truckesr Network as they bring the lawyers responsible for winning this case on the air.

Paul Taylor – Truckers Justice Center – Plaintiff’s Attorney

Dayna Deck – EEOC Senor Trial Attorney

Jan Shelly – EEOC Senior Trial Attorney

Do you agree with the verdict? Was Prime right in their policy of “Men train men and women train women”  or is there a deeper problem that is being covered up?

June 30, 2016 Thursday 6:00 pm Eastern
Listen on your phone (646) 200-0616 or via the Link

Discrimination is not the Solution to Sex Harassment in Trucking


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Improving Trucker “Gut Instinct”


Improving Trucker “Gut Instinct”

Carolyn O'byrne

Author of “Gut Instinct” Carolyne O’Byrne of Life Coach Service

Gut Instinct: Transform your life and health with the power of your gut

So many drivers endure the numerous sacrifices of over the road trucking. Their lives include living for days, weeks, and sometimes months in a confined space without the  comforts that we all take for granted.  Besides being without” comforts”, even the most basic needs of life are sometimes more difficult to access and maintain.

Two of the most basic and vital needs for survival are Sleep and Food.

Every truck driver knows that sleep is something that’s not easy to come by when you’re running OTR, especially with the irregular schedules, waiting times, unpredictable circumstances, and the all important Truck Parking Shortage.
Today though we will talk about the other basic need – FOOD!!

Food as it relates to Health- Eating does not mean Nutritious

How the need for the book “Gut Instinct” all began

Gut Instinct

Gut Instinct-by Carolyn O’Byrne of Life Coach Service

Carolyn O’Byrne of Life Coach Service has been a part of the trucking industry for almost 20 years.  As the wife of an over-the-road truck driver, she and her husband have been associated with the trucking industry since 1999. In that time, she’s seen and experienced the very unique issues which affect professional drivers and the people in their lives.

One of those issues is poor health of professional drivers, and she has seen plenty throughout  the years; diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease, respiratory disorders, digestive problems, cancer and more.
Because of the Trucker Lifestyle, these illnesses are  greater for truckers than in many other professions. These illnesses added to the difficult trucker lifestyle, along with her own personal near death experience, has led to the her book…

“Gut Instinct- Transform your life and health with the power of your gut”

As  mentioned, the major reason drivers have such poor health is their lifestyle, which often includes poor eating habits. Because of the nature of the trucking profession, having “healthy” food on hand or readily accessible is considered a luxury. Not only is there limited space in the truck, but time, parking availability, and tight schedules make it much more difficult to access. I said difficult…. NOT impossible.

So drivers are accustomed to stopping off at truck stops, grabbing fast food, chips, coffee, snacks, soda… anything to remedy the hunger, often without thought of what the food is made of…. and doing to them.

The result is poor nutrition, eating food which is often down right harmful, and many times contributing to disease and poor health.

Carolyn’s book,”Gut Instinct”, doesn’t just tell you what and what not to eat, but rather it shares how foods affect your entire bodily system…. starting with the most important part, your Gut.
After you understand the “what and why”, the book goes on to help you with the”how and where” to do and go in order to move forward toward a better and healthier life.

Here are  just a few highlights covered in the book”Gut Instinct”

  • How your gut affects your entire health and immune system
  • What kind of foods are creating a greater risk for disease?
  • How Processed foods are killing us!
  • How you can eat 5000 calories/day and still be malnourished
  • The most common factors to be aware of in order to maintain good gut health
  • What are the major causes of “leaky gut syndrome” which is leading to sickness and autoimmune disease?
  • How can antibiotics many times do more harm than good.
  • How does your gut affect your emotional state?
  • How you can eat Healthy in a Truck…. whether you cook or not…Recipes included!!
  • What are  Genetically Modified Foods (GMO’s) and how they’re destroying our immune system! ( GMO’s are banned in most other countries!)
  • The myth accepted about eating “plenty of whole grains”
  • The #1 Food that cancer thrives on…. Stop eating it!
  • Natural cures and remedies!

Gut Instinct is available in both hard copy and a downloadable version on Life Coach Service website


Between June 22, 2016 and July 6, 2016, (2 weeks.) leave a review for “Gut Instinct”  on Amazon and be automatically entered  in the drawing for a Kindle Fire.
IF the book gets 60 reviews,  you will also receive a COVER for your kindle.  So get out there and tell your friends.  Let’s see who wins!

Carolyn will be a guest on AskTheTrucker Live Thursday 6-23-16 6PM to discuss her book and answer any health questions you may have.
Listen from your phone 347-826-9170 or via the player below.

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Why New York Chiropractors can’t perform DOT medical exams


Chiropractic Chiropractors in New York were NEVER permitted to perform DOT Physicals.

Why NY Chiropractors Can’t Perform DOT Physical Exams

There is a lot of talk and a lot of angry sentiment surrounding the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) decertification of all chiropractors licensed in the state of New York.

Chiropractors around the nation are complaining.  The Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) has called its members to bombard the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) with phone calls, emails and letters to complain.  CMV drivers are upset.  There is a lot of misinformation and rumors floating around.  People are furious with FMCSA.

Related Post FMCSA removes New York chiropractors from trucker medical examiner registry


National Registry Certified Medical Examiners

Is their anger focused on the right organization? What is really happening?  Why are chiropractors licensed in New York decertified from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry)?  Is it FMCSA’s fault? If not, then who is responsible?  Does FMCSA have a vendetta against chiropractors?

Before getting too upset with FMCSA and before spreading the rumors, it is important that you understand the full picture. The following paragraphs answer the questions above, explain the actions of the New York Chiropractic Board and FMCSA’s response to the Board’s action.

FMCSA and the National Registry

To become a Medical Examiner on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) a health care provider must:

  • Be licensed, certified, or registered in accordance with applicable State laws and regulations to perform physical examinations
  • Complete required training
  • Pass the Medical Examiner certification test
  • Maintain certification by completing periodic training every five years and recertify by passing the ME certification exam every 10 years

FMCSA doesn’t decide whether the health care professional can perform physical examinations. The State Board that issues health care professional’s license makes the determination and calls it the “scope of practice.”

The New York Board of Chiropractic

Federation of chiropractic licensing boards

In New York, The Office of Professions, State Board of Chiropractic determines the scope of practice for chiropractors licensed in their state.

I talked to a representative of this State Board on June 14, 2016.  According to him, chiropractors in New York were NEVER permitted to perform the type of physical examination required to determine a bus or truck driver’s physical qualification to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce.

So, once the Board learned that licensed chiropractors were listed on the National Registry, the Board itself took action.  They sent cease and desist letters to all the New York licensed chiropractors listed on the National Registry. These letters told the chiropractors to stop performing DOT examinations because it isn’t included in their scope of practice defined by the state of New York.   By working outside of their defined scope of practice, the New York chiropractors were performing the exams illegally.

Chiropractors aren’t the only ones who must follow their Board’s determinations.  ALL medical professionals must conform to the scope of practice defined by the state board that governs them.  Even though their state may not permit something that another state allows.

Anger toward FMCSA

FMCSA cannot list practitioners whose scope doesn’t include conducting the DOT physical. So FMCSA had to decertify the New York chiropractors. Makes sense, right? What doesn’t make sense, to me, is being angry with FMCSA for the New York State Board of Chiropractic’s decision.

I think the anger toward FMCSA is misplaced. To be upset with FMCSA and to send letters, emails and make phone calls harasses the FMCSA staff who have no control over the situation.

It isn’t FMCSA’s fault!

FMCSA was complying with their own definition of Medical Examiner and the New York Board of Chiropractic Medicine’s determination. The very definition of an FMCSA Medical Examiner is “a person who is licensed, certified and/or registered, in accordance with applicable state laws to preform physical examination.”  This means the scope of practice defined by the state must include performing the the type of physical examination required by FMCSA.  In New York the scope of practice doesn’t include conducting this type of examination. The full text of FMCSA’s definition from the Code of Federal Regulations is below.

49 CFR 390.5)

Medical examiner means the following:

(1) For medical examinations conducted before May 21, 2014, a person who is licensed, certified, and/or registered, in accordance with applicable State laws and regulations, to perform physical examinations. The term includes but is not limited to, doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, and doctors of chiropractic.

(2) For medical examinations conducted on and after May 21, 2014, an individual certified by FMCSA and listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners in accordance with subpart D of this part.

Since this means that the person performing the physical examination must be permitted by the    scope of practice to do the examination. Is it FMCSA’s fault the chiropractors are removed form the National Registry?  NO.  Does this demonstrate that FMCSA had a vendetta against chiropractors?  Absolutely not.

There is a questions to ask now FMCSA, however—
1)Why were the New York chiropractors ever permitted to be on the National Registry, if their scope of practice forbade them conducting the DOT examinations?
2) What about the CMV drivers who had examinations performed by the chiropractors before they were removed from the National Registry? Are those driver  examinations valid?

New York State Board for Chiropractic

If you want to contact FMCSA write or email about the two questions above. If you want to get involved in the New York State Board of Chiropractic decision making, you should write to them about their decision. 

by Elaine Papp of Health and Safety Works, LLC


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CPAP America assists driver Sleep Apnea needs without exploiting

Ed Frost CPAP America


CPAP America News of the Week- Their Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony at the Gloucester County Chamber Of Commerce- Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony takes place at their flagship location (943 Kings Highway West Deptford, New Jersey) on
Friday, June 17, 2016 at 10 am

Truck Driver Fatigue

For many drivers, Truck Driver Fatigue is code word for “more regulations” and is many times further disguised by combining the words, “increase highway safety.”
Finally, when all is said and done, you can almost guarantee that the outcome for drivers will end up “costing them”.

The fact is professional drivers have a demanding lifestyle and work well over the 40 hour work week, far more than that of most other professions.
A professional driver may work a legal 70 hour work, however, the way the laws are written, most over the road truck drivers can “legally” work 100+ hours. Read more
ELD’s DO NOT keep truckers from working more that 70 hours/week

Whenever there is a problem which can compromise safety, the pressure to resolve and identify the cause of the issue becomes greater. This is definitely the case with Truck Driver Fatigue. There seems to be the need to place “blame” in order to divert attention from the major causes of Truck Driver Fatigue.

Sleep Apnea -Truck Driver Fatigue

For over 10 years, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has steadily become a focus for the trucking industry and FMCSA.  Make no mistake OSA is a real and serious disease which does affect millions of Americans. The FMCSA explains, Driving when you have Sleep Apnea. 

With the greater focus on Sleep Apnea, including FMCSA guidelines, rules, and the latest Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM),  professional drivers more than ever must confront OSA.

As of now, if a DOT Medical Examiner suspects that a driver may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the driver must go for a Sleep Study Test.  If the test comes back positive for moderate to severe for  OSA, the driver is more than likely going to have to have treatment, usually a CPAP mask.
Please read more, written by DOT Medical Examiner Dr Randolph Rosarion – Trucking Controversy- Determining who is at risk for Sleep Apnea

NOTE: Many companies will require drivers to move forward with OSA treatment even if OSA study results show only MILD sleep apnea.
( FMCSA does not require treatment for drivers with MILD sleep Apnea)

On May 26th  The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI)  released the results of its sleep apnea survey, which highlights a number of issues related to truck driver screening and treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA.  Read more

Sleep Apnea-one more way to exploit drivers

One of the biggest concerns for drivers who are told they need to be tested for OSA, is out of pocket costs, especially for those without health insurance or who have high deductibles.
Many drivers also believe that Sleep Apnea has become a “money maker” for companies profiting off of the testing and equipment services they are providing truckers.

After all,  in order for drivers to be able to continue driving, they MUST follow the advice of the Certified Medical Examiner if  told they need to be tested for OSA. If not, they will not receive their medical card and their driving career can very well end.

With that being said, there are companies who can and sometimes do, exploit this situation that drivers face.

We are grateful to have have found a company that has come to the forefront AGAINST unethical practice and instead offers AFFORDABLE, QUALITY, and compliant OSA services for professional drivers.   The company is  CPAP America.
I can’t tell you enough how impressed I am with the dedication they have displayed when it comes to serving the Truck Driver Community, including those who do not have Health Insurance.

CPAP America  “one-stop-shop” for Affordability & Quality of:
sleep apnea relief, education, CPAP equipment, and Home Sleep Testing

CPAP America utilizes the latest technology, the best interfaces, and dependable yet affordable devices, putting the company at the forefront of the CPAP retail market.
Their customers get personalized care from experienced, passionate clinicians who will help them not only manage their disorder, but improve their overall quality of life. The company offers a full line of reliable CPAP machines and accessories that are easy to use.  For unbiased solutions at the best prices, customers can rest easy with CPAP America.

CPAP America News of the Week- Their Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony  at the Gloucester County Chamber Of Commerce- Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony takes place at their flagship location (943 Kings Highway West Deptford, New Jersey) on
Friday, June 17, 2016 at 10 am

Please RSVP at

Meet Edwin Frost
President and Chief Clinical Officer of CPAP America.

Edwin Frost is the President and Chief Clinical Officer of CPAP America. Frost is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and has managed 27 sleep labs. He currently sits on the New Jersey State Board of Respiratory Care and is a speaker for A&T Lectures, LLC. Frost is also the President of Aeris Consulting and Management. With over 60 facilities throughout the East Coast, Aeris is quickly becoming the leader of respiratory services in the country.

Live Sleep Apnea Q&A!! LIVE NOW!

Posted by CPAP America on Friday, June 10, 2016

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What It Really Costs to Own a Commercial Truck


What It Really Costs to Own a Commercial Truck

 Truck Cost

Truckers often dream of the day when they can purchase their own Class 8 and become independent contractors or better, owner-operators. However, commercial vehicles are not cheap, which is why many truckers continue to lease vehicles from their employers. In fact, trucks cost much more than their initial asking price, but the advantages to ownership are not insignificant. If you are struggling to decide whether you should invest in your own commercial rig, here are some facts and figures to consider.


Initial Price

Obviously, what you initially pay for your shiny new (or used) truck depends on a few variables. Your desired make and model will influence a seller’s asking price, as will the age of the vehicle and its amount of wear and tear. Almost every trucker has a distinct preference for one style of big rig over all others, and though it is wise to buy the cab you are comfortable in, you might end up paying more for certain brands. For example, Peterbilt and Volvo have reputations for luxurious trucking, whereas Mack trucks are highly regarded for their enduring toughness on the road.

Additionally, individual sellers could have vastly different prices on identical trucks. Because vehicle sales remain somewhat negotiable, unscrupulous dealers will often inflate their prices to profit as much as they can from individual sales. Finding a vendor you can trust is crucial to securing a reliable, affordable price on the truck you need.

Essentially, you should expect to pay over $100,000 for your first commercial vehicle. On average, a brand-new day cab costs about $113,000 and a sleeper will set you back about $125,000. On top of this, new trailers usually add an extra $50,000 as long as you are looking for a standard rig; specialty trucks like loggers or long-combinations will certainly cost more. Already, these numbers may seem huge, but actually, the purchase price of a truck is only a fraction of the total costs of owning a commercial vehicle.

Lifetime Price

Every new car buyer must know that purchasing the car is just the beginning of car-related payments, and that fact is even more true with commercial trucks. Estimates suggest that a big rig costs about $180,000 to operate for a single year  or $1.38 per mile on the road and that does not include the initial asking price. Independent contractors and owner-operators must be able to budget for serious recurring expenses, such as:

  • Fuel is the largest operating cost for truckers. While the average four-wheeler will consume around 500 gallons of gasoline every year, your 18-wheeler drinks at least 41 times that, which is easily more than $70,000 annually.
  • Truck repair is another significant expense. A driver’s worst nightmare is seeing smoke, and all those hours on the road will eventually put your truck in the shop. Regular maintenance adds up to roughly $15,000 per year.
  • Insurance is a mandatory expense. Fortunately, truck insurance can be surprisingly affordable. For $6,500 yearly, you can protect your investment as well as your client’s goods from dangerous accidents.
  • Licenses, permits, and tolls are often forgotten expenses. Truckers need special licenses and permits to operate their equipment, and tolls on roads throughout the U.S. will add up fast.

Ownership Benefits

Truck Cost

Admittedly, it is difficult to read these numbers, add them up, and still be eager to buy a commercial vehicle of your own. However, the benefits of owning your own truck certainly make up for the expenses.

As with homes, cars, furniture, clothes, and any other rentable commodity, ownership is ideal. By purchasing a truck of your own, you are investing in yourself, allowing you to build worth and increase your profitability.

Leasing may be a good option for companies or drivers that do not expect to remain in the transportation business for long, but if you love the industry and want to stay, owning a truck will allow you to be financially independent in the field. Plus, contractors usually earn higher wages than standard transportation employees, so the costs of the ownership will seem less when compared to your increased income.

Large motor carriers are equipped to handle the expenses of truck ownership, but that doesn’t mean individuals are incapable of gaining independence by buying their own big rigs. Though the numbers are daunting, the possibilities from owning your commercial vehicle are outstanding. Still, as you shop for your first big rig, you should keep the lifetime costs in mind, so you won’t end up buying more truck than you can afford.

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