CRST Int’l opens state-of-the-art driver training facility

CRST InternationalApril 22 marks the date of the grand opening celebration of CRST International’s new driver training and truck repair facility. The nearly 19-acre site is located in the Agua Industrial Park in Riverside, California.

Replacing a much smaller operation in Fontana, Calif., and almost a year in the making, the $13 million campus is home to a state-of-the-art training and maintenance facility that employs 60 people. CRST International is one of the largest privately-held transportation companies in the United States.

Drivers in training will find themselves in a relative lap of luxury in CRST International’s new 30,000-sq.-ft. training center that includes not only classrooms but also a cafeteria offering affordable meals and inexpensive vending, entertainment, a spacious outdoor patio, a medical exam room, and dormitory-style living.

The repair facility is greatly reducing downtime, boasting 16 advanced truck and trailer bays. Ninety to 100 trucks can undergo repairs, which is double the capacity of the former facility. Special lanes dedicated only to inspections speed up state and federal requirements.

Drivers can take a front row seat in a comfortable lounge to view the repairs being done to their vehicles on large monitors and receive updates on projected repair completion times. A large, secure parking lot with capacity for up to 175 trailers and a new truck wash complete the experience.

In a recent press release, Cameron Holzer, president of CRST Expedited, says of the new facility, “It’s truly been designed and built to make everything easier for our drivers, who are our top priority. We’ve put everything in one place to increase efficiency and get them back on the road quickly.”

In addition to the new Riverside facility, CRST has a similar training and maintenance complex near its headquarters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where two hundred drivers are trained each week. Oklahoma City, Okla., Carlisle, Penn., Morton, Ill., and Rockport, Ind., are home to the company’s other maintenance operations.

Adds Holzer, “We anticipate the new Riverside facility will assist CRST with driver recruiting and that the training facility will maintain about a 98 percent occupancy rate. In addition, the expanded capacity for maintenance and training will enhance the outstanding service offering to our valued customers.”

CRST International offers diverse trucking services, including expedited van, flatbed, dedicated services, brokerage, transportation management, moving services, and expedited temperature controlled team services. It currently employs more than 5,100 drivers and office personnel along with an additional 2,700 independent contractors. The company operates more than 4,450 tractors and 7,300 trailers.

Visit CRST’s company profile for information about their current trucking jobs.

Focus On… Minneapolis

The largest city in the state of Minnesota, Minneapolis is a regional power in the Great Lakes region of the United States. The Minneapolis-Saint Paul area is often called the “Twin Cities” due to the close proximity of the cities; the combined metro population of 3.3 million spreads out on both sides of the Mississippi River.Minneapolis truck driving jobs

Previously inhabited by Indian tribes, the city of Minneapolis was incorporated in 1867. For much of the late 19th century, Minneapolis relied on hydropower from the Mississippi River to power its varied production industry. Mills of flour, woolen, cotton, and paper were all powered by the river.  After dealing with racial tensions for much of the early 20th century, the later 20th century saw urban renewal take over downtown, as many of the historic buildings were destroyed in favor of newer, more modern facilities.

As the second largest economic center in the Midwest, behind Chicago, the Minneapolis area has a large need for truck drivers. Five Fortune 500 corporations have made their headquarters within the city limits of Minneapolis, and all of these companies rely on truck drivers for their day to day operations to be successful. In addition to these large corporations needing drivers, industries such as health care, milling, food processing, automotive production, and agricultural products have a need for truck drivers as well. Add in the fact that Minneapolis occupies an ideal location in the center of the country, and it’s hard to see a downside of being a truck driver in Minneapolis.

In addition to offering an abundance of truck driving jobs, Minneapolis also offers a great number of escapes from life on the road. Minneapolis is a beautiful and diverse city, with a young and vibrant population. Whether it’s professional sports teams, live music, museums, or world class restaurants; Minneapolis offers something for everyone. Check out the available truck driving jobs in Minneapolis here!

American Red Cross looking for truck drivers

Normally, we feature trucking companies that have recently been in the news for one reason or another. For this blog, however, we have departed from this practice to put the spotlight on the American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross truck driver. Although not a trucking company, the Red Cross has made news over the last few days. It just so happens that they are also looking for truck drivers to hire as well!

The American Red Cross has been around since 1881 and provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, and health and safety education inside the United States. The American Red Cross serves a vital need in our society, and although we don’t normally think of the Red Cross as being related to the trucking industry, they do need materials transported quickly and efficiently, as highlighted by the recent tragedies in Boston and West, TX. The response of the Red Cross to both events has been outstanding. In Boston, the Red Cross has provided about 500 blood products to hospitals in the area, served approximately 7,000 meals, and provided emotional, mental, and spiritual care to those affected. The response in West, TX has been similarly remarkable: within hours of the explosion, the Red Cross had opened a shelter and began providing physical and mental health support to the community.

The American Red Cross is currently looking for Truck Drivers/Mobile Unit Assistants to work in the Northern New England region. The jobs entail supporting the American Red Cross in their blood and plasma collection efforts by driving blood collection vehicles to transport required supplies, equipment, blood products and staff to and from mobile sites. Additionally, the position will involve loading, transporting, setting up and maintaining supplies and equipment in a state of readiness. and to ensure compliance; operating assigned vehicles according to applicable regulations; and performing vehicle checks; and completing DOT paperwork per established protocol.

Because of the nature of the work that the Red Cross does, these positions would clearly be a change of scenery from what most truckers are used to. Drivers can expect to drive varying routes based on different emergency situations and calls to action. Drivers can also expect a competitive salary, which is a plus for most because it is much more stable than getting paid per mile.

Visit the American Red Cross website for more information about their current job opportunities by clicking here.

FMCSA warns drivers of false recruiters

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) has issued a warning about fraudulent recruiters to CDL drivers seeking employment and to CDL training schools helping students find employment. Victims of the scam find themselves out $350, sent on a wild goose chase, and without a job.

According to the FMCSA, the scam works like this.  A driver, or a truck driving school representative, receives a call from someone identifying themself as an authorized recruiter for a well-known legitimate carrier. Speaking with a sense of urgency, the caller says several CDL holders must be hired immediately. A phone number is left for either drivers or soon-to-be CDL holders to call immediately. Some truck driving school instructors have also been left the number to give to students.

When the “recruiter” is contacted, an immediate position is offered to the caller with top of the industry or better wages and benefits. A claim also is made that there will be a waiver for any previous criminal activity or DUI convictions.

To be hired, the potential driver need only prove his “financial solvency” to the carrier by wiring a $350 money transfer that can be purchased at a local Walmart and then sent to another Walmart in another state for pickup by the “recruiter.” Western Union has also been recommended for the money transfer.

At the point of the wire transfer, the job-seeking driver is instructed to travel to a specified location in another state to meet and be picked up by a company trainer.  Of course, the pick-up does not happen.

How can you be sure this doesn’t happen to you? The FMCSA suggests that anytime you are contacted by a recruiter, always call the publicly listed phone number of the carrier he or she says they represent  – not the phone number the recruiter gives you – to verify that that the recruiter is indeed an authorized representative of the company.

Focus On… Seattle

Seattle is both the largest city in Washington, and the center of industry in the Pacific Northwest region.  Located on a narrow isthmus between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Seattle sits about 100 miles south of the Canadian border.

After being inhabited for roughly 4,000 years by Native Americans, Seattle was settled by the Denny Party in 1851. Originally relying on the logging industry, Seattle quickly diversified its economy, and by the late 18th century the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center. It also acted as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. Seattle continued to grow, and by 1910 was one of the 25 largest cities in the country. The late 20th century saw Seattle develop as a center of technological innovation, as software, biotechnology, and internet companies all made their headquarters in the city, leading to a huge boost in the economy.

As a major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the 8th largest port in the United States and the 9th largest in North America in terms of container handling. As you might expect, this leads to an enormous demand for truck drivers, as cargo needs to be transported to and from the ports. Additionally, truckers will be excited to learn that many trucking companies have set up shop in Seattle, making it an ideal place to call home.

Now noted for its commitment to sustainability, Seattle is praised for its many parks, green spaces, and plethora of outdoor activities available to its inhabitants. World class ski resorts and hiking trails alike sit within an hour drive, ensuring nonstop action for those that love adventure. Seattle is also famous for its lively music scene; the home of Pearl Jam and Nirvana is a sure stop for any touring musicians.  Overall, the combination of opportunities available to truck drivers, and the unmatched fun to be had in and around the city, make Seattle a truck driver’s paradise!

 

Landair expands team with owner operators

In an effort to give owner operators the opportunity to be a bigger part of its team, Landair Transport is offering top-of-the-industry pay and an unmatched benefits package to lure this group of professional drivers. Staged for new growth, the Greenville, Tenn. based carrier is also touting its ability to afford owner operators dependable loads on a consistent basis.

Landair Transport, a privately-owned dry van carrier, operates mainly in the Eastern half of the U.S. offering truckload with dedicated services as well as logistics, yard management, warehousing, and distribution services.

The driving experience for owner operators at Landair Transport will come with the expectation of averaging 2,400 – 3,000 miles per week and earning up to $1.05 per mile, empty and loaded, as well as a current fuel surcharge. Owner operators can also expect the added benefits of being a company driver – no forced dispatch with 99 percent no-touch freight, bonus opportunities, paid plates and permits, discounted tires and fuel programs, and major medical, dental, and vision insurance – with the freedom of owning their own business.

“We enjoy partnering with skilled professional owner operators to help us grow,” says Joey Ballard, recruiting director for Landair, in a recent company press release. “Our owner operators find that Landair has the best the industry has to offer with our strong customer relationships and our premium treatment when it comes to pay and benefits.”

For owner operators to qualify to drive for Landair, at least one year’s experience of recent OTR driving and a good driving record is required. A HAZMAT certification is preferred by the company.

Landair was born in 1981 when former airline pilot Scott Niswonger partnered with Ed Sayler to form a small trucking company that focused on serving the airline industry, thus inspiring its name. Through its steady growth over the years, the company has evolved into an all-inclusive supply chain management provider and has been recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the “Top 200 Small Companies in America.”

Niswonger remains at the helm of Landair as its chairman, while John Tweed serves as president and CEO with Gary Funk as vice president of truckload operations.

For more information on career opportunities, view Landair Transport’s profile page by clicking hereYes.

3rd Annual TDSMC gets truckers’ voices outside of cabs

Details for the 3rd Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention (TDSMC) have been announced and registration is open. The event will take place October 11-13, 2013, at Harrah’s Resort & Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo., and is for professional truck drivers and all those in the industry who support them. TDSMC is a unique gathering of people at all in the trucking industry who understand the importance and impact of social media in the industry and their ability to make positive changes through various social media channels.

This convention will act as a forum for attendees to actively participate by sharing concerns, ideas, and solutions to today’s challenges facing U.S. truck drivers. Then through various platforms of social media, the voices of the American truck driver will be shared beyond their cabs. This philosophy is proudly displayed in this year’s theme, “Inspired People Generate Positive Action.”

TDSMC 2012

David Hancock gives a social media presentation at TDSMC 2012

Also, many of today’s drivers from all over the country have acquired both personal and professional relationships with each other through social media. TDSMC provides the opportunity to meet face-to-face with each other and share their opinions and experiences in an atmosphere of synergy and camaraderie.

The convention takes a time out from informative speakers and symposiums to honor CDL drivers for the contributions and professionalism they bring to the industry and beyond. A packed schedule promises to be worthwhile and includes such events as the “Making a Difference Award,” the “Pride in Your Ride Truck Contest,” and live entertainment.

Reasons to attend the 3rd Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention include:

  • Social media Q & A Panel Session
  • Honor and recognition of professional CDL Drivers
  • Active participation in an open panel discussion on the issues and solutions concerning the professional driver
  • Receive valuable information from experts in various fields of trucking
  • Engage with like-minded individuals
  • Socialize, network, dine, and be entertained
  • Establish important contacts with other drivers and industry professionals

Those who register before April 15th, receive a reduced conference fee of $79, a savings of $20. Registration forms can be found at truckingsocialmedia.com.

If you would like to register or find out more information about the event, contact Allen and Donna Smith at (352) 465-7476 or e-mail info@truckingsocialmedia.com. Of course, there can also be reached at their social media accounts as well. Twitter: @TruckConvention Facebook:Truck Driver Social Media Convention

BTC raises pay for drivers

In some good news for Builders Transportation Company (BTC) drivers, an increase in pay per mile has been announced by the Memphis, Tenn. based company. BTC company drivers will now have the opportunity to receive up to 45 cents per mile.

The upgraded pay structure has the flatbed carrier paying company drivers with 3-12 months of experience 43 cents per mile, while drivers with one to two years’ experience will receive 44 cents per mile. Finally, those with more than two years of experience will earn 45 cents per mile.

Started in 1961, Builders Transportation Company is a family-owned business headed up by Frank P. Phillips, Sr., along with his three sons, Frank P. Phillips, Jr., John P. Phillips, and Gene B. Phillips as vice presidents. BTC owns or leases approximately 400 tractors, mostly Mack Pinnacles. The fleet is filled out by the company’s 48 foot air ride spread axle trailers and 45-65 foot extendable trailers.

Builders’ reach extends from Memphis throughout the United States as they operate in the lower 48 states. Carrying for customers such as Alcoa, American Cast Iron Pipe, Thomas and Betts, and U.S. Steel, BTC transports principle commodities that include coil steel, wire products, structural and sheet steel, aluminum products, building materials, cast iron and steel pipe, as well as machinery.

Strategically, BTC’s marketing plan focuses on targeting a consistent customer base of financially stable shippers with multiple locations, thereby allowing Builders Transportation to load and unload in the same place. One of Builders’ staying powers is their ability and willingness to adapt in a changing industry, as demonstrated by increasing pay at a time when retaining drivers is a difficulty for many top haulers.

Just as truck drivers have expectations of the company that they contract with, so should that company of them. BTC has high expectations of its drivers for safety, performance, and customer service. In turn, they offer a safe environment, state-of-the-art equipment, substantial home time, and many opportunities for above-average wage earning. They also boast of a fully automated dispatch process that includes Qualcomm along with a low driver to dispatcher ratio.

For more information about current jobs with BTC and their company, take a look at their profile by clicking here.