Freight, Fiscal Realities Not Recognized in Budget Plan

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The American Trucking Associations officials criticized the Obama administration for proposing a budget that not only fails to recognize the realities of freight and passenger transportation, but offers nothing in the way of long-term stability for transportation funding.

 

“Today’s proposed budget misses the mark when it comes to the transportation needs of the U.S. economy,” said ATA President Bill Graves. “It provides no real funding solutions for the long-term health of our infrastructure and proposes massive new subsidies for a mode that moves a small proportion of America’s freight and passengers.”

 

Freight railroads moved 14.7% of all domestic freight according to the latest statistics, which pales compared to the 68.5% moved by America’s trucking industry.

 

“While freight railroads and intermodal rail play small, but important roles in goods movement, the lifeblood of our economy is and will continue to be the U.S. trucking industry,” Graves said. “By mid-January, this industry moved as much freight as the railroads will move all year, and this budget proposes to re-direct funds from road and bridge projects that would improve capacity and ease bottlenecks to underwrite projects for an industry that continually crows about how self-sufficient it is.”

 

“It is also difficult to understand this Administration’s insistence on continuing to pour billions of dollars into an intercity passenger rail system that carries just one-tenth of one percent of passenger miles, while failing to provide the necessary resources to improve the safety and efficiency of the highway system, which handles 87% of passenger travel,” Graves added.

 

“Finding a long term, sustainable way to improve our nation’s roads and bridges is one of ATA’s top priorities,” said ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express. “Using the proceeds from corporate tax reform, while creative, does little to address the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund or to uphold the principle of users paying for the services they get, in this case, the federal fuel tax, which has not been adjusted in more than two decades to account for inflation and improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency.

 

“The fuel tax is, and will continue to be the most efficient and fair way of collecting revenue for highways and bridges and should be adjusted to reflect current economic conditions and needs,” Byrd said.

 

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Good stuff. Trucks Bring It!

 

SOURCE American Trucking Associations

Are You Skilled Enough?

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Surgery is a scary thing and the individual in need of operating wants to know that the doctor performing his operation is skilled and experienced in what he or she is doing. When considering a professional career in the trucking industry, the same rule of thumb applies. No trucking company wants to hire a driver who in not skilled or qualified to get behind the wheel. Vehicles that require a Commercial driving license are large and could cause bodily harm, if the driver is not properly trained. Any vehicle regardless of size has the potential to cause injury; however when it comes to driving a vehicle weighing in over 20,000 pounds, a special list of skills are needed in order for safety on the road to occur.

The Skills Tests

Driving is a skill that must be taught and the same is true when it comes to driving large trucks and trailers. In order to insure the highest of safety while on the road, one must pass the following three skills tests:

1.      Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection – this test is to help determine if you the driver are aware of whether or not the vehicle you plan on operating is safe to drive. Your inspector will walk alongside your vehicle with you watching and listening to you perform your inspection; you will need to explain to the inspector what you are expecting and the reason behind it.

2.      Basic Vehicle Control – this test will test the basic driving skills of the individual seeking licensure. He or she will be asked to perform basic driving skills such as moving forward, backwards and turning in a pre-determined area. This area will most likely be outlined with cones, barriers or chalked driving lanes as to give a visual of real obstacles.

3.      On Road Driving – this test allows for real time situations in which one will be examined on how well he or she handles real traffic situations, turns and stops.

Congratulation! With the accomplishment of each test, you are one step closer to attaining your CDL licensure and paving your way to a new career!

written by Nicole Green

Start a Career As a Professional Truck Driver

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When considering a future career in the trucking industry, one must first know what steps are needed to gain licensure. Just like any other career, there are requirements and a list of skills that one must master, if he or she desires to do his or her job to the best of his or her ability. Each state has a list of federal requirements and standards that those wishing to attain a Commercial driving license must adhere to. The first stop on the road to licensure would be passing a knowledge test.

The First Stop To Licensure: The Knowledge Test

Knowledge tests and how many tests an individual will take depends on which particular licensure he or she is wising to gain. There are more than one type of vehicle that requires a CDL license in order to operate but not every vehicle requires the same license so more than one knowledge test may be required. Below you will find a list of possible knowledge tests that are required for CDL licensing.

  • General Knowledge Test – this test is taken by all applicants seeking his or her CDL license.
  • Passenger Transport Test – this test will need to be taken by those who wish to drive a bus.
  • Air Brakes Test – the air brake test is for every applicant who will be driving a vehicle with air brakes.
  • Combination Vehicles Test – this test is for those applicants who will be working with equipment configurations with which separate power units are involved along with a trailer.
  • Hazardous Materials Test – those applicants that will be working with transporting hazardous materials and waste will need to take this test.
  • Tanker Test – the tanker test is for those truck drivers that will be hauling liquids in bulk.
  • Double/Triple Test – this test is required if the applicant will be pulling double or triple trailers.

Once the required knowledge test has been accomplished, then the individual seeking licensure is able to move forward with his or her career by participating in the second leg of his career journey – the skills aspect of licensing.

 

written by Nicole Green

CSA Impacts on Drivers Explored in New ATRI Research

Interested in know how the Compliance, Safety and Accountability is progressing. We found this report available with three year’s of research.

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, today released Compliance, Safety Accountability: Assessing the New Safety Measurement System and Its Implications – 2013 Update.  This is the first in a new series of ATRI white papers covering a multitude of research topics critical to the trucking industry.

This white paper expands on ATRI’s previous CSA impacts research among commercial drivers and enforcement personnel.  Approximately 7,800 driver responses were analyzed over a three-year period examining perceptions, attitudes and knowledge of CSA.  In addition, ATRI partnered with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance to obtain a baseline level of enforcement personnel knowledge of CSA.

On average, drivers responded to the CSA knowledge test with 42.4 percent accuracy, suggesting that after three years of implementation drivers do not have a clear understanding of CSA.  However, on a more positive note carrier-provided CSA training has increased steadily since 2011.  Furthermore, driver job security concerns due to CSA have decreased by almost 10 percent over the three-year period.

Among enforcement personnel, respondents performed with 66.5 percent accuracy on the CSA knowledge test. 

ATRI is expanding on this study’s findings by investigating driver CSA training content and frequency and the relationship these variables have to CSA knowledge.  In addition, the enforcement personnel results provide a platform for further evaluation of enforcement personnel CSA knowledge and the potential impacts this may have on enforcement activities. 

A copy of this report is available from ATRI by clicking here.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

SOURCE American Transportation Research Institute

Kenworth, Freightliner issue recalls for some ’13, ’14 model trucks

Kenworth T680 trucks manufactured between May 6 and May 17 have been recalled due to a defective ignition switch.Paccar — parent company of Kenworth and Peterbilt — has issued a recall for 2014 year model Kenworth T170, T270, T370, T440, T470, T660, T680, T700, T800, T880, C500 and W900 trucks that were built between July 1, 2013, and Sept. 17, due to potential defect that can cause stop/tail/turn lights to not work.

The recall was issued Dec. 5.

The potential problem stems from the plastic housing of the stop/tail/turn lamp, as it can shrink and the bulb can fall out of its retention ring, the recall says, which can increase crash risk.

Kenworth will notify truck owners and dealers can replace the lamps with new ones. The recall will begin this month. Truck owners can contact Kenworth at 425-468-7400.

Freightliner Cascadia

Daimler Trucks North America — parent company of Freightliner — also issued a recall in December, for 2013 and 2014 Freightliner Cascadia trucks built between Dec. 11, 2012,  and Nov. 27, 2013. The trucks are equipped with a Meritor Wabco electronically controlled air suspension, for which the wiring harness could be reversed.

The reverse connection could adjust the suspension axle hight incorrectly, the recall says, which would reduce driving traction or parking brake effectiveness.

Daimler will be notifying truck owners, and dealers can inspect the wiring and correct free of charge, the recall notes. The recall campaign will likely begin Feb. 16. Truck owners can contact Freightliner at 1-800-547-0712.

TransForce Expands Further in the Southeast

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — TransForce, Inc., the industry leader in truck driver staffing, announced that it has acquired Best Drivers based in Alcoa, Tennessee.  Best Drivers provides commercial truck drivers throughout the southeastern U.S., with operations in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Alabama.  To ensure seamless customer service, Best’s management team has joined TransForce’s leadership team and will assume key regional management roles.  The combined operations of TransForce and Best Drivers employ well over 2,000 truck drivers across the nation.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.       

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130130/PH51038LOGO )

The Best acquisition further enhances TransForce’s national footprint, providing its national customers with increased geographical coverage of their operations.    Among the new markets are those in South Carolina and Florida, two new states that will join TransForce’s current nationwide service area.  TransForce and Best Drivers have similar corporate cultures and similar approaches to risk management.  Both companies strive to provide only the safest and highest-quality commercial truck drivers. 

David Broome, CEO of TransForce says “Best Drivers is the ideal acquisition for TransForce.  Best and TransForce drivers share a well-earned reputation for quality.  Both companies have worked hard to install the processes and controls to ensure that our truck drivers meet and exceed Federal standards.  In addition, both Best and TransForce take great pride in our customer service.  We stay in constant contact with our customers to prevent surprises.” 

Brad Smith, CEO of Best Drivers adds that “The merger of TransForce and Best Drivers is an ideal match.  Our combined management team is one of the strongest in the industry.  By joining forces our ability to service a broader client base expands exponentially.”

Acquisitions continue to be a part of TransForce’s growth strategy.  “While the Company traditionally has grown organically, we believe that the addition of high-quality companies such as Best provides a further boost to growth.  It is especially helpful to acquire a company with such a strong reputation and commitment to quality as Best.  We will continue to pursue such opportunities,” says David Broome, CEO.     

About TransForce: 
Established in 1991, TransForce is the nation’s leading specialty staffing firm devoted exclusively to the transportation industry, including trucking companies, third-party logistics suppliers and private fleets.  TransForce is committed to a culture of compliance and safe driving.  Unlike other staffing firms, TransForce also offers Department of Transportation compliance services that arise from our existing compliance expertise.  The Company’s website is www.transforce.com.   

Contact: 
David Broome, CEO
5520 Cherokee Avenue, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22312
dbroome@transforce.com 
(703) 838-5580

 

SOURCE TransForce, Inc.

Trucking Calls on Washington to Have a Productive 2014

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ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With Congress returning to Washington this week, leaders of American Trucking Associations called on lawmakers and policymakers in Washington to take several steps to improve the nation’s economy and make our highways safer.

“This time of year is a good one for self-reflection and analysis,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “We hope our leaders in Washington will take the necessary steps to make our roads safer and improve the flow of goods in our economy.”

ATA’s list includes:

  • Identify sustainable, efficient and reliable funding for our nation’s roads and bridges rather than seeking out the “easy money” of tolls and privatization;
  • Advance important safety technology rules, including ones that limit the speed of commercial vehicles and electronically record drivers’ hours-of-service;
  • Be more precise in defining “large trucks” and in looking at crash accountability so the trucking industry’s safety record can be more accurately measured and understood;
  • Analyze the first phase of the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for large trucks before hastily moving ahead with a second phase;
  • Review and reconsider the recently changed hours-of-service rules – particularly the restart provision;
  • Use data and science, rather than emotions, when reviewing and establishing truck size and weight regulations;
  • Create a long-overdue clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results;
  • Improve government data and databases, from CSA to security screenings and background checks to completing the long-overdue Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey;
  • Work with state agencies to place far greater focus on commercial and noncommercial vehicle traffic enforcement rather than the current trend of more roadside vehicle inspections.

“January is a time when we take stock of where we stand and set goals for the coming year,” said ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, “and we sincerely hope that our government leaders will take some time to reflect and to take these common sense, and in some cases, long delayed actions to improve highway safety, the environment and the efficiency of our economy.”

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Good stuff. Trucks Bring It! 

SOURCE American Trucking Associations

Con-way Freight Teams Up with Elves and More of Northeast Ohio to Deliver 1,300 Bikes to Local Akron Kids for Christmas

AKRON, Ohio, Dec. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — For the eighth consecutive year, some 1,300 underprivileged kids in an Akron neighborhood will experience the Christmas spirit first-hand with the gift of a new bicycle, thanks to non-profit organization Elves and More of Northeastern Ohio, the Akron Police Department and a host of local businesses, including local trucking company, Con-way Freight.

Con-way Freight’s tractor trailers played the part of Santa’s Sleigh this weekend, rolling into an impoverished Akron neighborhood on Sunday morning and surprising children there with a delivery of 1,300 new bicycles — all given away as gifts. Elves and More and its volunteers fitted the bikes to each child, also providing safety helmets, tricycles for younger children and gift boxes for infants.
The organization has come a long way from its first surprise delivery in 2006, when it assembled and gave away 400 bikes, noted Elves and More Founder Tim House. “Everyone remembers their first bike. For me personally, it represented freedom and opportunity,” said House. “When we started Elves and More, we wanted to give local, underprivileged kids the joy of owning a bike, and to bring neighborhoods together to support those children as they grow up.”
House coordinates a team of partners to bring Elves and More to life, including the Akron Police Department, the Akron Children’s Hospital, foundations in the Akron area and local businesses. Con-way Freight became involved through House’s childhood friend, Joe Caliri, a long-time employee of Con-way Freight in Akron. “My buddy, Joe Caliri is a truck driver. He and I grew up poor in the Akron neighborhoods we deliver to now. When I started this project eight years ago, he and Con-way Freight immediately stepped up and helped make it possible.”
Con-way Freight donates its trucking services to ship the bikes across country and deliver them in time for Christmas. Its local employees also volunteer for the annual “bike build” event the weekend before, when hundreds of volunteers come together and spend a day assembling the bikes. “It is one of our busiest times of the year, but Elves and More is a cause that we all feel is well worth the extra time and effort,” said Con-way Freight’s Caliri, who’s worked with House on Elves and More since its inception. “I still remember my first bike and how it gave me the ability to start my own paper route as a kid. I learned the value of hard work and determination, which allowed me to make a better life for myself and my family.”
“Con-way Freight is proud to support Elves and More both in the volunteer time our employees give and the pro-bono services we provide to transport the bikes,” said Tom Clark, the company’s senior vice president of operations. “My family and I were personally thrilled to participate again in the bike delivery day. It reminds us all of the true meaning of Christmas, and the importance of giving back to our communities and helping those less fortunate than ourselves.”
Con-way Freight is one of hundreds of donors and volunteers supporting Elves and More in this, its eighth year of making Christmas a bit more joyous for Akron children from infants to age eighteen.
Follow Con-way Freight on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Conway_Freight
Con-way equipment images are available at http://www.con-way.com/en/about_con_way/newsroom
Elves and More is a 501(c)-3 headquartered in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. For more information about Elves and More, photos and video, visit http://www.elvesandmoreneo.org/.
About Con-way Freight
Con-way Freight is the industry’s leading less-than-truckload (LTL) freight transportation company, providing guaranteed, day-definite regional and transcontinental service with exception-free delivery, on-time service performance and faster transit times through a single, unified network of 425 operating locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Con-way Freight offers LTL freight transportation across North America and through Global LTL™ delivery in the United States from around the world. Global solutions include international less-than-container load (LCL) ocean shipments from Asia through its OceanGuaranteed® service; direct service to more than 30 Bahamian and Caribbean ports through TropicalDirectSM; and domestic offshore transportation to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Con-way Freight is a certified FAST highway carrier and is C-TPAT/PIP-, ACE- and CSA-certified.
Con-way Freight is a subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), a $5.6 billion diversified freight transportation and logistics services company. For more information, visit http://www.con-way.com/en/freight.
SOURCE Con-way Freight