Focus on…Baltimore

City of BaltimoreBaltimore, the largest city in Maryland, is home to an economy that relies on the waterways that outline a large portion of the city’s borders. With over 2 million people residing in the Greater Baltimore area, there is always a steady flow of goods traveling through Baltimore’s ports and down its major roadways to supply Baltimore’s constant demand. Baltimore’s prime location along Chesapeake Bay and the Patapsco River makes it the ideal supplier to the East Coast and much of the United States. For this reason, Baltimore is home to the second largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic region.

After the establishment of the Port of Baltimore in 1706, the town of Baltimore was founded on July 30, 1729 for its strategic location along the East Coast. As Baltimore grew so did its importance in the sugar and tobacco industries. Although Baltimore’s economy no longer solely relies on these industries, they continue to play important roles in the establishment of this modernizing city. As the birthplace of Babe Ruth, our country’s national anthem, and railroading, Baltimore is rich with history that is added to daily. With almost three hundred years of history, the city houses a unique culture and atmosphere that offers an endless amount of possibilities.

Finding the best that Baltimore has to offer is easy when you’re a Maryland truck driver. Whether you want to experience Maryland’s top tourist destination, the National Aquarium, or visit the revived downtown area, the “Charm City” offers a variety of opportunities that will satisfy every truck driver. A city that once solely focused on the production of steel, shipping, and auto manufacturing, Baltimore is now seeking ways to diversify its economy. Putting its attention on different markets such high-technology and tourism has attracted new businesses and provided an abundance of trucking jobs. With Washington D.C. only 40 minutes away, dependable truck drivers are always needed in the Baltimore area.

Learn more about trucking jobs in Baltimore by clicking here.

OOIDA challenges FMCSA’s DataQs again

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) driver records and DataQs appeals process is being challenged for the second time with another law suit filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).

The FMCSA’s DataQs system is a process that allows drivers to appeal any violations that they feel were received in error. The driver can enter a DataQ challenge, which is then returned to the state where the violation in question was issued. Drivers are especially concerned about violations that they perceive as unwarranted, because the FMCSA’s safety records are used by the agency’s Pre-Employment Screening and Compliance, Safety, Accountability programs.

OOIDA’s current petition was filed on May 10th in the U.S. District of Columbia appeals court. OOIDA member Fred Weaver received what he and the association believe to be an unfair violation citation. Montana authorities had cited him for failure to stop at a weigh station. Weaver did indeed miss the stop but immediately turned around and went back to the weigh station.

A Montana court subsequently dismissed the ticket without prejudice, and the citation has been removed from his motor vehicle record in Montana. The FMCSA, however, has denied the request from Weaver and OOIDA to remove the incident from its own Motor Carrier Management Information System database. OOIDA is asking the Court to make the removal of the alleged violation from the FMCSA’s records a requirement.

In its previous law suit against the FMCSA and its driver data and dispute resolution system, OOIDA said the agency’s policies are non-compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Privacy Act, and the 2005 highway appropriations law. OOIDA says records of alleged violations were released by the FMCSA to possible employers before drivers had a chance to defend against possible wrongful citations. The association also says that the FMCSA refuses to delete violations, even after the Court exonerates them. The case is still pending.

It is the FMCSA’s policy not to comment on pending litigation.

Landair Transport attracting owner operators

Landair Transport says it is offering a top-of-the-industry experience for owner operators with its competitive pay package and the necessary extensive support owner operators need to assure a successful business.  The Greenville, Tenn.-based dry van carrier is a privately owned company operating mainly in the eastern half of the U.S.

Owner operators can expect to average 2,400 – 3,000 miles per week and earn up to $1.05 per mile, empty and loaded, along with a current fuel surcharge. Landair’s other offerings include 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.

“We understand that trucking is not an easy job so we do whatever we can to make sure our drivers get their job done,” says Sasha Catron, operations manager for Landair, in a recent press release. “We have an experienced group of people here who understand how important it is for everyone to work together to accomplish our goals.”

The company boasts of being able to offer owner operators a more personalized driving experience because each driver manager oversees only about 30-35 trucks. This allows managers to form close relationships with each of their drivers and to pay more attention to the owner operator’s individual needs when it comes to mileage and home time.

Additionally, owner operators have the same access to company resources as company drivers do, further facilitating driver success. These resources include discounts on fuel, fuel routing systems, and an in-house maintenance program.

“Landair has been very successful in turning some of our company drivers into owner operators,” continues Catron. “Drivers considering coming to Landair can certainly speak to a recruiter, but we like putting them in touch with some of our own drivers so they can hear straight from someone who’s been out there.”

To be a part of its team, Landair requires that owner operators have at least one year of recent OTR driving experience and a good driving record. A HAZMAT certification is preferred but not necessary. The company provides truckload, dedicated and contract trucking services, commercial and content warehousing, fulfillment, store stockroom management, transportation management, and total supply chain solutions.

For more information on career opportunities, visit Landair’s company profile or call 1-800-330-7269.

Focus on…Pittsburgh

The city of Pittsburgh, nicknamed the City of Bridges, serves well as a bridge itself that joins Appalachia to the Midwest. Hemmed into the western side of Pennsylvania by the Appalachian Mountains, Pittsburgh generally aligns closer to Ohio’s cities in grit, experience, and determination than it does with Philadelphia and Allentown across the state. As a part of the Lake region instead of the Atlantic, Pittsburgh has planted its roots deep into the shale soil that has brought about its growth. Historically strong in steel and oil production, Pittsburgh is a city marked by its hard work and strong backs.

Pittsburgh PA skyline

The city’s interstates and waterways make Pittsburgh a vital part of the transportation industry in the region. The Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers A-frame the downtown area where they meld together to form the Ohio River. Every truck driver in the region knows the importance of the Ohio to transporting goods further inland. Pittsburgh is a hub for intermodal and international trade. Whether it comes out of Canada and through Buffalo down I-90, or from the Atlantic seaboard ports and across the interstates, much of America’s import goods pass through Pittsburgh as they move further inland to reach barge, train, and truck.

So much about Pittsburgh serves as a reminder of its industrial steel legacy from their football team to the towering steel framed skyscrapers that cast its skyline. In recent decades, the city has been undergoing an industrial transition that turns its formerly thriving, now vacant factories into renovated office spaces for technology, healthcare, and retail businesses. Despite this shift in economic pursuits, Pittsburgh continues to remain strong as city for developing innovation. Many nationally recognized brands and companies are headquartered in the Pittsburgh area, adding to the strong number of trucking jobs in the city.

Click here to learn about truck driving jobs in Pittsburgh.

Iowa DOT partners with Truckers Against Trafficking

On May 8th, the Iowa Department of Transportation announced their recent partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) in the state’s continuing efforts to prevent human trafficking.  The Iowa DOT’s involvement stems from the initiative set forth by the state’s Attorney General’s office. The AG office began the Human Trafficking Enforcement and Prosecution Initiative to aggressively tackle trafficking issues in Iowa.

Iowa DOT’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement officers have been given information and training needed to properly identify a human trafficking situation. Instructional guides for commercial truck drivers are widely accessible at all state-operated scales. In a recent press release, MVE Chief David Lorenzen stated, “Our agency has daily contact with the trucking industry. We fully embrace the efforts of TAT and will continue to work with them to get the information out to all professional drivers.”

The Iowa DOT will begin hanging posters and distributing informational materials in all state-operated rest areas. Additionally, the DOT is partnered with Iowa Motor Truck Association to supply all truck stops with TAT wallet cards and window decals.

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 100,000 – 300,000 children in the United States are at risk of being sold into sex trafficking. This estimate does not include the nearly 20,000 international victims who are smuggled into the US every year.

The Iowa DOT joins several other state associations across the country who have joined with TAT in the fight to end human trafficking crime. Individual truck drivers are called upon to spot and report potential trafficking situations.

Truckers Against Trafficking is a program created to educate and empower the trucking community to identify and respond to instances of human trafficking. For more information on how you can become involved with TAT, visit their website www.truckersagainsttrafficking.com.

To report human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.

 

New Mexico inspection program receives top award

New Mexico’s Smart Roadside program, a high-tech commercial vehicle screening system, has been recognized as one of the “Top 25 Innovations in Government” by the Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. The electronic sensoring program identifies high-risk vehicles and targets them for inspection.

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety, Motor Transportation Police Division’s Smart Roadside program began in 2009 as an answer to commercial vehicle law enforcement officers not being able to keep up with truck inspections due to growth in traffic volume. Also, constant and often unnecessary inspection stops were slowing down the flow of commerce.

New Mexico roadThe intelligent roadside sensors stationed throughout New Mexico’s roadways collect the data from passing trucks for the system’s software. The information is then compared to state and federal databases to produce red alerts for law enforcement. The Smart Roadside system becomes a real-time tool to reveal high-risk vehicles and provides a solution to limited manpower and ineffective screening operations.

The Smart Roadside system includes mobile inspection systems with military-class thermal imaging technology that can identify trucks traveling with unsafe equipment. In addition, Smart Roadside trailers are equipped with electronic screening systems that check trucks for compliance with safety and security regulations. Advanced imaging systems identify a vehicle based on its license plate and carrier information displayed on the side of the truck.

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, which recognized the program for its innovation and effectiveness in 2012, Smart Roadside produced 4.7 million alerts on trucks traveling through New Mexico in 2011 alone.

In Overdrive magazine’s recent CSA’s Data Trail analysis, New Mexico ranked 7th among states for inspection intensity. The study reveals there were 18 inspections per lane-mile of National Highway System within the state’s borders since the kickoff of the Compliance, Safety Accountability program. Due to the selection efficiency provided by the Smart Roadside Inspection system, roadside driver and vehicle inspections greatly outnumbered fixed-location inspections.

At least a dozen North American Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) agencies have since followed the lead and implemented the same model provided by Smart Roadside’s success in removing unsafe trucks from roadways and, subsequently, saving lives.

C.R. England works through grief

C.R. England has risen to success as one of America’s largest trucking companies in large part, because the company has been able to maintain their focus and strong leadership through highs and lows. These characteristics have served them well through the recent unexpected death of CEO Wayne Cederholm.

Mr. Cederholm was a part of C.R. England’s growth for over 30 years, serving in many capacities throughout the company. In his time, the trucking firm grew from an $18 million business to a powerhouse of $1.5 billion. President Dean England stated that Mr. Cederholm “left a mark on this organization that will be imprinted forever. In spite of our sorrow we honor him and pay tribute to a life well lived.”

It is in spite of their sorrow that C.R. England continues to forge on. The Salt Lake City-based transportation giant has worked quickly and efficiently to adjust through their loss and carry on with eyes ever-forward. The executive level has been reorganized with several England family members stepping into new roles. Each executive has been an active part of the company, beginning their trucking industry careers at entry level positions and usually from the time they were old enough to ride along in a truck or work in the warehouses.

The C.R. England commitment to excellence for their customers begins with their own family and employees striving forward with quality, hard work, and integrity. These traits have been displayed by the England family since Chester Rodney England purchased his first truck to provide farm-to-market delivery for his farming neighbors. Today’s trucks are a far cry from that first Model T with a homemade bench in it; Freightliners, Peterbilts,and International tractors form a strong fleet of well-equipped trucks.

C.R. EnglandTo find more information about C.R. England and their current truck driving opportunities, view the C.R. England company profile here.

Arguments against cross-border program unpersuasive

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) U.S. – Mexico cross-border trucking program has been found not to be violating any federal statutes or regulations. That was the ruling of a U.S. appeals court concerning the seven separate arguments against the cross-border pilot program laid out by the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) along with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The arguments contended that the same strict safety standards U.S. drivers must adhere to were not being required of the Mexican carriers participating in the pilot program. U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh, speaking on behalf of the three-judge panel, said that none of OOIDA’s arguments were found to be persuasive in concluding that the program does not require equal safety standards of both U.S. and Mexican carriers.

The Teamsters argument centered around its belief that because the program currently involves only 22 drivers from ten participating Mexican carriers, there was not sufficient participation to give meaningful evidence of any findings concerning safety.

Judge Kavanaugh wrote, “Federal statutes, not the pilot program, enable Mexico-domiciled truckers to use their commercial drivers’ licenses, and the pilot program complies with applicable U.S. drug testing regulations. And the agency reasonably concluded that those requirements are designed to achieve an equivalent level of safety.”

As for the Teamsters’ argument, the court believes that since the FMCSA does not limit participation in the program, it cannot control how many applications for participation it receives. “Therefore, the FMCSA has met its obligation to include a sufficient number of participants so as to yield valid results,” wrote Kavanaugh.

OOIDA will resume their argument next month before a different set of judges to contest that the FMCSA is wrong for allowing cross-border program participants to operate in the U.S. without a current medical certificate issued by a registry examiner. This occurs despite the fact that a year ago the FMCSA began the National Registry of Medical Examiners. The FMCSA requires CDL holders to have a current medical certificate issued by a registry examiner.

Meanwhile, the Teamsters plan to consider any further options they may have as to the ruling that cites a Department of Transportation Inspector General’s report. The DOT report expressed concern that the cross-border program may be risking its goal of “providing an adequate and representative sample of Mexico-domiciled carriers and inspections necessary to assess the impact on motor carrier safety.”