TMC Transportation driver wins Trucking’s Top Rookie

TMC TransportationTMC Transportation driver and war veteran, Kyle Lee, received the honor of recently being named Trucking’s Top Rookie at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. Lee, 25, of Ottawa, Kan., was chosen out of 10 finalists from five different fleets to win the third annual contest.

Lee’s prize package included $25,000 in cash and prizes including a $10,000 check from Randall-Reilly; $1,000 cash and 100,000 MyReward points from Pilot Flying J; a custom plaque; a year’s supply of 5-Hour Energy; a CB radio and GPS unit from Cobra electronics; an American Trucking Associations “Good Stuff Brings It” package; and a Rand McNally Motor Carrier Road Atlas.

Accompanied by his family, Lee became TMC’s first driver to win the award. TMC is the largest privately-held flatbed trucking company in the U.S. and employs over 2,750 employees. Since 1972, TMC has employed quality drivers that strive to be the best at everything. With the help of its advanced training program, TMC provides drivers with the opportunity to succeed.

Like many of TMC’s drivers, Lee has military service under his belt, with four years in the U.S. Army and current enlistment in the National Guard. While serving time overseas, he learned how to drive heavy machinery, which ultimately helped start his trucking career. After returning stateside, Lee attended MTC Truck Driving Training in St. Louis before he started with TMC.

TMC is proud to offer opportunities to current and former military personnel in every job category available. Currently, TMC’s world-class fleet contains 30 percent military veterans. Having recently pledged to hire 500 veterans by 2014 through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Hiring Our Heroes” program, veterans will have no problem finding a trucking job at TMC.

If you’re a veteran, TMC is happy to offer the chance to enroll in its VA approved OJT program today. To find out more on how to join the TMC team, visit the TMC Transportation trucking jobs page by clicking here.

Frustrated truckers block Port of Oakland

trucker blockadeTruckers have had enough with logjams that keep them trapped in their rigs for hours and port workers who do not treat them with respect at the Port of Oakland. In protest, they blocked access to one of its major terminals and shut down five berths last Monday.

Not only do the long waits decrease profits for owner-operators who are paid by the load, they also cause unnecessary hardship on truckers who are required to stay in their trucks once in line at the terminals. Truckers reported to local news sources that the waits are as long as six hours. “We are not allowed even to go to the bathroom,” said Cesar Parra, one of the roughly 100 members of the blockade. Echoing those sentiments is Gloria Stockmyer, of Stockmyer Trucking, who said, “Nowhere else in America would we accept people getting treated the way these guys get treated at the port.”

The Port of Oakland has a history of long wait times for truckers, and a similar blockade occurred in 2004. Recently, however, five berths were consolidated by SSA Marine and a different numbering system was implemented, making it more difficult for longshoremen to find containers. “Everything is slow now because we are not acclimated to the system,” said Melvin MacKay, a former president of a longshoremen’s union.

SSA Marine Senior Vice President Bob Watters disputes that the consolidation has caused longer waiting times and says the turnaround times remain the same as before the changes were made. “It is unfortunate that a small fraction of the trucking community … is inconveniencing all the port’s customers and workers,” he stated.

Truck drivers participating in the blockade said they explained their complaints in a letter to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan but received no response. On the day of the blockade, Chris Lytle, executive director of the Port of Oakland met with some of the fed up truckers. Oakland police worked to restore movement at each entrance.

In response to the blockade, Port of Oakland spokeswoman Marilyn Sandifur said, “We understand it is important for trucker turnaround time to be as short as possible. We’re working with our partners to see what other steps can be taken to make this happen.”

EEOC must pay CRST court costs

court hearingIn what is believed to be a record fee-sanction against the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), $4.7 million in legal costs must be paid by the agency to CRST Van Expedited, ordered by U.S. District Judge Linda Reade. The award is to compensate the Iowa-based truckload carrier for legal costs due to what Judge Reade deemed dozens of unreasonable or groundless claims of sexual harassment.

“We’re deeply disappointed in the decision and we’re definitely considering next steps, which may include appealing,” said EEOC spokeswoman Christine Nazer.

It all started in 2005 when truck driver Monika Starke alleged that she was the victim of continuous sexual remarks and crude behavior after being paired by CRST with a fellow company male truck driver. When a settlement was not reached, the EEOC subsequently filed a class-action lawsuit in 2007 on behalf of CRST female drivers who claimed to have been recipients of offensive comments, groping, and even assaults by male trainers and driving partners on long haul trips. Following the filing of that lawsuit, the EEOC brought claims representing 270 women and said CRST had a record of not hindering such behavior.

CRST denied the allegations and set forth its system for reporting and then investigating sexual harassment claims. Judge Reade dismissed the EEOC claims for various legal reasons and ordered the EEOC to pay $4.5 million in legal costs to CRST.

Later, that ruling was overturned by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the original claim by Monika Starke was restored. The court did rule, however, that the EEOC had to first investigate individual claims and seek good faith settlements before filing class-action lawsuits.

CRST settled the claim with Starke, which also allowed the company to seek recovery of their costs for claims that are without foundation.

Delivering literacy with Scholastic

ScholasticAs the summer winds down and schools across the country are back in session, Scholastic truck drivers are busy at work. With numerous book orders and upcoming book fairs, driving opportunities at Scholastic are on the rise as truck drivers are needed to deliver books from warehouses and into the hands of children and teachers.

Established in 1920, Scholastic has long been dedicated to providing children, teachers, and parents with quality books and educational materials to help instill the importance of literacy. Scholastic’s years of experience coupled with its commitment to the next generation have made this company into an overwhelmingly successful business. Today, Scholastic is the largest publisher and distributor of children’s books in the United States and employs 9,500 employees worldwide. In addition, Scholastic serves 90 percent of the schools in the United States and annually earns approximately 2 billion dollars in revenue. Helping over half of U.S. teachers with its teaching resources, Scholastic is able to offer many children a bright and promising future.

Scholastic Commonly known for its renowned books such as Harry Potter, The Magic School Bus, The Hunger Games, and Clifford the Big Red Dog, Scholastic has been in the schools and homes of children for more than 90 years. While Scholastic continues to offer the same quality books, magazines, and educational programs promised from the start, the company continues to grow. Scholastic currently operates in over 150 countries and assists customers in 45 languages.

With such continuous growth, local truck driving jobs at Scholastic are always available. Scholastic offers full-time and part-time CDL trucking jobs to deliver and pick up book fairs efficiently. While employed by Scholastic, truck drivers are able to take pride in the fact that they are helping deliver literacy to children around the world.

Because the ability to read is one of most crucial skills of the 21st century, the importance of Scholastic and its employees are more essential now than ever before. To help spread literacy through truck driving, visit Scholastic’s company website by clicking here to learn more.

Focus on…Boston

Founded by Puritans in 1630, Boston has continuously grown as a place of opportunity and new beginnings, excelling in the transportation industry. Boston is both the largest and the oldest city in Massachusetts, possessing a rich social history filled with political changes, tourism, international trade, and empire companies that have dramatically changed the landscape of trucking in New England, always adding more truck driving jobs in Massachusetts.

Boston has earned its rank among the top 30 economically powerful cities in the world. Always a town of stubborn ambition, Boston is an industrial hub for academia, medical innovation, and technology companies that push growth. Economic growth always carries through and is reflected by the trucking industry. These rich business mines have built their skyscrapers along the waterfront that has truly driven Boston’s economy since its beginning.

Port of Boston

© Richard Cavalleri

Proof of the strength in its roots, Boston is the oldest industrial and fishing port of the Western Hemisphere still in operation. As a major seaport along the East Coast, the Port of Boston continues to promote increasing economic growth the city has experienced since its establishment. Incoming cargo has been the Port’s major staple for trucking occupations. The imports and exports that pass through the Port of Boston include natural commodities of petroleum, natural gas, automobiles, and fish across the states and internationally.

No matter what a driver’s choice may be, there are Boston trucking jobs that fit every niche in the industry. The heavy amount of shipping provides a number of intermodal driving jobs in and around the city. Truck drivers can find hundreds of jobs hauling biotech equipment or transport industrial and fishing products to and from the Port of Boston.

Visit the city’s profile page to learn more about local truck driving jobs in Boston by clicking here!

Court says long-haul HOS rules to stay

court hearingA ten-year struggle over long-haul truck drivers’ hours and rest time regulations may finally be at its end with the August 2 ruling by Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to uphold the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Hours of Service (HOS) rule.

The HOS regulations first proposed in 2000 were officially set forth by the FMCSA in 2011 and became fully effective this July 1. The changes to HOS now stand firm at limiting the use of a 34-hour workweek restart to just once in 168 hours (seven days) and its requirement that it include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods. In addition, there are mandatory 30-minute breaks required after eight on-duty hours.

The court rejected arguments by safety advocacy groups to reduce the 11-hour driving limit and eliminate the restart provision altogether. However, one exception to the HOS rules being upheld by the court is the requirement of 30-minute breaks for short-haul drivers.

The FMCSA issued the following statement in reaction to the ruling:

“We are pleased with the court’s decision to uphold the department’s Hours of Service requirements for truck drivers. The ruling recognizes the sensible data-driven approach that was taken in crafting this important regulation to increase safety and reduce driver fatigue – a leading factor in truck crashes. The ruling also provides added certainty for all affected, moving forward.”

From the beginning, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) had challenged the FMCSA’s HOS regulations, arguing that the FMCSA’s cost-benefit analyses that the rules are based on were flawed. Several industry analysts believe the impact of the new rules will take a toll on driver productivity while producing a rise in carriers’ cost structures.

ATA senior vice president of policy and regulatory affairs Dave Osiecki stated that, “While we are disappointed the Court chose to give unlimited deference to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s agenda-driving rule-making, the striking down of the short-haul break provision is an important victory.”

Knight refurbishes rider policy

Over the last 23 years, Knight has adapted to the many changes in both the trucking industry and to their customer’s truckload needs. Knight has become experts in various types of truckloads including dry van, reefer, dedicated, intermodal, port, and rail services. As an innovative company, employees are granted a rare opportunity to advance their careers in the truck driving industry. Employees feel as though they have hit the jackpot working in a “small town business” atmosphere with the amazing benefits of a large corporation. Knight is dedicated to their workers, challenging them to become breadwinners for not only themselves but for their families as well.

Embracing the culture of trust and respect, Knight works every day to ensure that their driving associates are happy while on the road. One happiness driver’s long for on the road is the companionship of their loved ones, human and pet.

Knight Transportation recently announced the refurbishment of their rider policy. Jason Jones, Director of Driver Development & Recruitment, stated that the company’s success mostly depends on their drivers. This realization had the corporation change the rider policy into one that was beneficial to the comfort of the drivers.

The new policy states that domesticated animals will be allowed to ride with Knight’s drivers for a security deposit. Also, guests, whether immediate family or not, over 18 years old will be able to ride with drivers for a minimum of 30 days instead of the previous 90 that were required.

Operating a financially strong company allows Knight to back their promises the company makes to their drivers. Allowing furry riders on the road is just one step towards showing the company’s commitment to the well-being of their drivers and employees.

Sensible growth, customer satisfaction, goal oriented, and financial strength are just a few of the sentiments that Knight Transportation has to offer to the world of truck driving. View Knight’s company profile here to browse trucking jobs near you.

FMCSA proposes no new No-Defect DVIRs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has put forth a proposal to void the requirement for commercial motor vehicle operators to submit — and carriers to keep on file — driver-vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) without any vehicle defects or deficiencies.

no-defect DVIR No-defect DVIRs submissions create a substantial paperwork burden and take up a great deal of time with no real benefits. The FMCSA estimates truck drivers spend about 47.2 million hours each year completing no-defect reports and translates those wasted hours into a monetary value of $1.7 billion per year.

“This proposed rule would remove a significant information collection burden without adversely impacting safety,” states the proposal. “This proposed rule responds in part to the President’s January 2011 Regulatory Review and Reform initiative. Finally, this proposed rule harmonizes the pre- and post-trip inspection lists.”

The current zero-defect DVIRs submissions rule is based on the requirement that drivers complete both pre-trip and post-trip vehicle condition reports. This provides a continuous record of the vehicle’s condition that is up to date. Under the new rule, drivers still must perform both inspections, but will not be required to file a report if no defects are found.

The FMCSA offers four arguments to support its request to void no-defect DVIRs:

  1. The more recent SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Act: A Legacy for Users) only requires DVIRs for known defects. Congress could have added a requirement to file no-defect DVIRs but did not.
  2. There is a significant risk that a large volume of no-defect DVIRs will overwhelm the 4% of DVIRs that do contain defects.
  3. Data transmission, processing, and storage requirements for no-defect DVIRs add unnecessary costs with no offsetting benefits.
  4. No-defect DVIR submissions add to driver productivity losses and delays.

Commercial vehicles will still be subject to complete periodic or annual inspections. They also will remain subject to roadside inspections under the new proposal.

“In short, the existing regulations place shared responsibility on drivers and motor carriers to ensure that CMVs used in interstate commerce are in safe and proper operating condition. This proposed rule does not change a driver’s obligation to report on the condition of the CMVs and to report to the motor carrier any defects or deficiencies that could affect the safety of its operation.”

Public comment is being accepted on the proposed rule until September 3.

Focus on…New Orleans

Claiming to be the nation’s “most unique” city, New Orleans is home to an atmosphere that reflects the city’s historical roots and international culture. New Orleans is located on the banks of the Mississippi River and lies close to the Gulf of Mexico, which in turn easily allows goods to pass that supply the numerous amount of tourists that experience the city year around. From the music that fills the infamous streets to the annual celebrations and festivals, New Orleans offers a variety of possibilities to tourists, and truck drivers, year round.

New Orleans map

From the beginning, New Orleans was intended to be an influential city, and for most of its history, the city has been. New Orleans was founded on May 7, 1718 by the French and was named after the then Regent of France, Phillip II, Duke of Orléans. New Orleans’ strategic location along the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico was selected for the relatively high ground and short distance from the trade route. This forward-thinking placed the city in prime position as a prominent trade hold.

Today, New Orleans houses two of the largest and busiest ports in the world, the Port of New Orleans and the Port of South Louisiana. Barges loaded with Midwest crops still clog the river banks, waiting for trucks and ships to take the next step. And in the same way, cargo ships come from around the word to deliver their wares. If you’re a truck driver looking for reliable truck driving jobs in Louisiana, intermodal trucking offers plenty of opportunities. Known for its rich and multicultural environment that caters to the tourism and shipping industries, New Orleans’ historic French Creole architecture and the soul food serving neighborhood restaurants call the crowds. To help supply this constant demand, truck drivers find themselves in constant demand as well.

As one of the most visited cities in the US, New Orleans provides a great number of local trucking jobs for every truck driver. With a steady flow of goods and tourists, truck drivers are sure to stay busy in the Big Easy. As they say down there, let the good times roll! And the trucks too!

Visit the city’s search page to learn about New Orleans truck driving jobs by clicking here!

Green Future for Trucking

C.R. EnglandC.R. England continues to try new and contemporary techniques to lessen the environmental impact of the trucking industry. Committed to utilizing the best in clean and efficient energy, the company rolled out a new fleet of natural gas trucks in January of this year. This newest fleet runs on Compressed Natural Gas, or CNG.

Drawn from the depths of the earth’s surface, CNG is natural gas compressed to 1% of its volume. This gas is a safer, cleaner, and cheaper alternative to gasoline and diesel. If it is somehow spilled on the ground while refueling, the vast majority of it will evaporate, decreasing the chance for fire and ground contamination. CNG produces very little emissions and significantly less carbon monoxide than diesel and gasoline. Also, CNG has shown to be less expensive than gasoline and leads to fewer maintenance issues on vehicle engines.

Only time will tell what the future of green trucking looks like. Yes, natural gas is less expensive and cuts down on carbon monoxide leaks, but the risk of leaked methane is not without consequences. Methane, a major component of natural gas, can cause serious damage to the atmosphere. More dangerous than carbon monoxide, the chance for leaks occurs primarily during production and transportation.

This is not the first time C.R. England has taken a huge step in reducing their carbon footprint. In 2011, they launched their first fleet of cab tractors fueled by Liquid Natural Gas, or LNG. Due to the West Coast’s abundance of LNG fueling stations, this fleet primarily runs from Ontario, CA to Las Vegas, NV. LNG is like CNG in that it is a natural gas, but is stored at or below -184 degrees Fahrenheit in liquid form. C.R. England invested in LNG fuel anticipating a higher cost benefit but has noticed CNG operations running a bit cheaper.

C.R. England’s environmentally friendly trucks will be on display at the company’s first Natural Gas Shipper Symposium. Scheduled for August 6th in Park City, Utah, the event will focus on the future of natural gas in trucking and transportation and introduce two more CNG trucks to the C.R. England line.

There may never be a perfect fuel, but with companies like C.R. England taking the lead, more and more consumers can be sure their goods are being delivered in the greenest way possible.