Colorful Documents Keep Flying J in the News

FraudUnfortunately for Jimmy Haslam, Pilot Flying J CEO and majority owner of the Cleveland Browns, Flying J does not seem to be heading out of legal trouble or the news anytime soon. The sentencing conference for the 7 Flying J employees who actually confessed to fraud is not expected to be held until 2014. At the request of both sides, the judge in charge of their case will hold off on their conference until February of next year. One reason for the setback could be the excessive number of documents the FBI has to look through before the prosecutors can move forward.

A particularly colorful document for the FBI is the transcript created by the whistle blower inside of Flying J. With language more attributable to a sailor than a “community and philanthropy” oriented company with the interest of the driver at heart, the document should easily hold the FBI’s interest.

On record is Freeman, former Vice President, using certain expletives a good deal of times and in quite the context. One quote that stands out above the rest is “See, (Expletive) ’em early and (expletive) ’em often.” In this statement, Freeman is discussing is the importance of taking advantage of companies early on the business relationship.

Besides the aforementioned sentence enhancers, there is also the hostile language used to actually describe the scheme. One source details that the cheating was sometimes blatantly referred to as screwing the driver.

Furthermore, much dialogue from the transcripts point to Jimmy Haslam being more than aware of the theft going on throughout the company. Freeman is recorded as saying that Haslam had always known what their schemes were and undoubtedly supported them. Of course, this is in direct opposition to Haslam’s claims, so maybe the FBI can find more clarity through their investigation.

Thankfully for the Haslam dynasty, these possible indiscretions should have no effect on his National Football League team. The NFL can penalize owners who find themselves in legal trouble, but since this trouble has nothing to do with the sport, the chances of Haslam getting fined or facing any other discipline is slim.

Of course, anything can happen. Jimmy Haslam could face the same sentencing his subordinates are, but when you have the kind of prestige he has (and a brother in the governor’s house of Tennessee), you can pretty much be sure you’re taken care of.

FMCSA rethinks entry-level training

driver trainingThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has listened to feedback from the trucking industry regarding its 2007 entry-level training regulations and responded by withdrawing the rule. Instead, the agency will present a revised plan that more accurately reflects the information gathered for an effective entry-level drivers training program.

Meanwhile, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) views the withdrawal as a setback in its attempt to require mandatory entry-level driver training but also as an occasion to move forward its “Truckers for Safety” program, which contains a detailed driver training plan for long-haul truckers.

In its Sept. 19 announcement, the FMCSA cited the 2012 MAP-21 highway reauthorization, which contains wording on establishing the standards. The FMCSA wrote that a totally new rule would afford the best opportunity to begin carrying out any new regulations. The MAP-21 act requires the FMCSA to issue its final rule by Oct. 1 and outlines that any final rule direct its attention to providing knowledge and skills for operation, specific requirements for hazmat validations, and that a uniform federal standard for training be set.

OOIDA weighed in on the FMCSA’s announcement with Executive Vice President Todd Spencer saying:

“While the withdrawal is somewhat emblematic of the agency’s past approach to driver training, untargeted and low on the priority list, we are hopeful that this is an opportunity for them to have a unique perspective and follow the path on driver training that our professional and experienced members have suggested. This basic highway safety step is long overdue, having initially been a Congressional directive in 1991.”

The FMCSA said it had taken into consideration comments found on the NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), information gathered at public listening sessions held last spring, and the June report from the FMCSA as the impetus for withdrawing the rule. It also currently has two research projects to gather more information on the effectiveness of entry-level driver training.

Focus on…Charlotte

Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina, housing more than 775 thousand residents in the Mecklenburg County area. Located several miles east of the Catawba River, this “Queen City” has grown into the second largest financial center in the United States.

Charlotte, NC skyline

Established as a city in the late 1760s, residents of Charlotte led the nation in gold production until California’s Gold Rush of 1848. After the Civil War, the economy of the city flourished as a center for cotton processing, growing in importance as an East Coast transportation hub. This value has lead to increased employment in the transportation industry for North Carolina truck driving jobs.

The Charlotte area has a never ending need for truck drivers. Currently, there are ten Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the region, including the powerful NASCAR franchise. Firms such as Lowes, Nucor, and Goodrich rely on trucking companies to keep their business growing and functioning on a day to day basis.

With such diverse companies conducting business in the area, truck drivers will have the opportunity to transport steel products, industrial technology and different items for the motorsports industry across the state. As an area that is known for its growing trucking and freight transportation over the last decade, it is hard to see the negative side of becoming a part of the transportation scene Charlotte has created.

Do not let Charlotte fool you! This city is not all about work. Offering an abundance of trucking jobs, Charlotte presents a number of downtown options to escape from the road life of a trucker. From NASCAR races and Renaissance festivals to professional and collegiate baseball and football games, this lively city has something for all interests.

View the city’s profile for more information about Charlotte truck driving jobs today!

Driver swaps loadboard for chalkboard

Those who can do, and those who can’t teach. Apparently no one told Matthew Kerns that! Kerns, a former truck driver for Schneider International and recently turned full time teacher, continues to live his dream of both doing and teaching.

trucker teaches

Mr. Kerns, of Piqua, OH, knew as a young boy what he wanted to be when he grew up. With a longing for trucks, traveling, and math, he needed to find a way to marry the two career options into something he loved. Luckily for Kerns, the life of a truck driver involved more math than anyone outside the field could have imagined. Kerns found many ways during his career in a big rig where math skills came in handy. Being able to accurately determine how many miles he needed to drive in a night, or figuring out how much his load would expand if he was carrying a liquid, relied on the education he learned in his youth.

Before jumping into his current teaching position at an Ohio high school, Kerns drove for Schneider for 13 years. Towards the end of his time there, he had the opportunity to teach other drivers how to become as skilled as himself behind the wheel. For 3 years he was a driving instructor for Schneider and truly got to do two of his favorite things at once. After teaching truck driving, he decided to go back to school. He got a bachelors in Pure Math and a masters in Education in Integrated Mathematics. During this time, he also taught at the community college he obtained his commercial driver’s license from.

Now, Matthew Kerns has traded his semi for a teacher’s desk as a Piqua High algebra teacher. He loves his new career choice, but keeps his commercial driver’s license certified, in case the road calls for him yet again.

Visit Schneider International’s profile page to browse current jobs by clicking here.

 

Internal combustion engine isn’t going away anytime soon

Alternative fuel options

In 2050, two-thirds of vehicles on the road will still be using conventional fuels like diesel. So says Richard Tucker, General Manager for Technology for Commercial Fuels and Lubricants at Shell Oil. Tucker was a speaker at a press event held in Hamburg, Germany, in August.

Diesel fuel will still be in use in 35 years or so, he explained, but there will be a step up in using alternative fuel sources in the next decades. Diesel will be part of a “mosaic” of fuels, which will include natural gas, solar, electric, and hydrogen. When you also add in the fact that by 2050, there will be 2 billion more vehicles traveling the roads and highways of the world than do today, the real challenge becomes cutting the emissions of the conventional engines.

In addition to Shell’s emphasis on researching how low viscosity oils result in improved fuel economy for trucks, Tucker also said billions of dollars are being invested in researching gas-to-liquid (GTL), which has the properties of low-sulfur, a clean burn, and low emissions when converted to diesel. Shell has invested $90 billion in a GTL research facility in Qatar.

Calling natural gas (LNG) a big player in the future mix of energy sources, Tucker said it will not be an “overnight revolution,” however. Shell itself is investing in natural gas with its Green Corridor in Canada and also its partnership with TA in a cross-country LNG corridor.

“We’re putting a lot of effort into being the world’s most innovative energy company,” Tucker continued. He explained that Shell is renovating and investing in its tech centers in Hamburg, Germany, Houston, TX, and Shanghai. The company also is creating partnerships with truck and engine manufacturers to build “cost-effective packages.” That way both parties can develop a better understanding of the technical needs and issues they each are facing.

Frank Machatschek, a technology manager at Shell, acknowledged that truck manufacturers face two important challenges – the ever increasing total costs of ownership of a truck along and protection of the environment. With the feedback from OEMs coupled with research, Shell can put forth engine oils that offer extended drain intervals, proper engine protection, and increased fuel economy. All of these contribute to lowering the cost of truck ownership. As for environmental issues, Shell is addressing its products’ compatibility with alternative fuels and engines with exhaust after treatment.

Focus on…Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wis. is home to 598,916 residents and an economy that still relies on its deep brewing traditions. Situated along its numerous waterways, Milwaukee is a strategically placed port city that still remains today as one of the largest brewing cities in America. While millions flock year round to experience everything that this city has to offer, truck drivers are sure to stay busy on the roads throughout the Great Lakes region.

Milwaukee Trucking

In 1846, the city of Milwaukee was established for its location along Lake Michigan and at the connection of three rivers, the Milwaukee, the Kinnickinnic, and the Menomonee. Since the beginning, Milwaukee’s placement was thought to be the perfect location for collecting and distributing produce. With time, Milwaukee’s location did not disappoint. By the middle of the 19th century, Milwaukee was the second largest wheat producer, shipping the most wheat in the world. With an influx of German immigrants arriving around the 1850s, the city of Milwaukee began to grow and expand into different industries. The Germans were known for their love of beer and soon started setting up breweries throughout the city that would ultimately supply a nation.

Today, the second largest brewing company, Miller Brewing Company, calls Milwaukee home and employs more than 2,200 of the city’s residents. While only one major brewing company still remains in Milwaukee, numerous microbreweries and stand-alone breweries can be found throughout the city. Additionally, Milwaukee is home to five international Fortune 500 companies, along with many other notable companies. With a variety of successful businesses lining Milwaukee’s streets, Wisconsin truck drivers will have no trouble finding a reliable local truck driving job. Although Wisconsin winter conditions can often be less enjoyable, truck drivers can rest easy knowing the Milwaukee area was ranked the 4th best city for commuters by Forbes.

With a successful economy based on distribution, Wisconsin truck drivers will be anything but disappointed. For more information on trucking driving jobs throughout Milwaukee, visit the city’s profile page by clicking here.

Schneider still trucking after all these years

schneider logoOver the last 76 years, Schneider National Inc. has adapted to the many changes that the trucking industry has endured, taking the privately owned company into the 3.5 billion dollar establishment that the customers know today. The company began when founder A.J Schneider purchased his first truck back in 1935. Since then Schneider has grown into the leading provider of truckload, logistics, and international services in both North America and China.

Headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Schneider’s fleet consists of an impressive 16,000 employees and drivers who operate over 10,000 tractors and 30,000 trailers. With a trucking portfolio like no others, Schneider provides customers money saving benefits, offering options such as dry van, dedicated, regional, expedited, private, and intermodal truckload services. Each truckload is catered to fix every customer’s specific wants and needs, making it possible for the customer to visibly keep track of their shipment from start to finish.

With state of the art technology and industry leading services, truck drivers working for this business savvy company feel in control over their carrier services, delivering nothing but the best in every load. Drivers help increase Schneider’s record-breaking on time performance by finding the most effective method to deliver their freight in a timely fashion. Offering competitive pay for their associates ensures potential drivers a place they can feel comfortable with their career.

Schneider National has been built to last in the trucking industry. Adapting to changes with growing businesses and the world of trucking, Schneider has made the commitment to sustainability. The company strives to improve their fuel efficiency, upgrading their facilities in the energy department.

Schneider has shown that they are here to stay and help improve the truck driving industry for both their customers and their drivers. You visit their company profile to view current job openings by clicking here.

It’s Brake Safety Week!

Even under ideal circumstances, the braking distance for commercial trucks and buses is twice that of cars and other smaller vehicles. Brake system defects or out of adjustment air brakes further increase the safety risk of other users of our nation’s highways and, of course, that of commercial vehicle drivers themselves.

Brake-RegsBrake Safety Week is one part of an outreach campaign by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting truck and bus safety. This fall’s Brake Safety Week takes place September 8-14, and inspectors from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) along with CVSA-certified inspectors will be conducting roadside inspections with an emphasis on braking systems.

“The essential message of Brake Safety Week is clear: properly functioning brake systems are crucial to safe vehicle operation and improperly installed or poorly maintained brakes must be kept off the road,” says CVSA Executive Director Stephen A. Keppler. “This intensive, unified enforcement effort brings about a greater awareness throughout the industry, and that saves lives.”

Level IV special inspections will primarily be performed along with some Level I inspections. The inspections include visual inspections to check for loose or missing parts, air leaks or hydraulic fluid leaks, worn linings or pads, drums and rotors. Also checked will be antilock braking systems and malfunction indicator lamps. The CVSA says inspectors will visually inspect brake components and measure pushrod stroke where appropriate. Of the 21,255 trucks and buses inspected during last year’s event, one out of every seven was placed out-of-service.

As an educational tool, CVSA-certified inspectors also are encouraged to meet with drivers at roadside locations, such as truck stops, in order to familiarize them with the inspection procedure. Carriers themselves are asked to get involved by educating drivers on the importance of pre-trip inspections and proper brake maintenance.

Focus on…Omaha

Omaha, Nebraska thrives on the Missouri River in the Midwest. Known as the “Gateway to the West,” Omaha yields an impressive population of 427,872 residents making it the largest city in the state. Since its formation in 1854, Omaha’s growth continues to spur the truck driving industry, offering regional and over the road trucking jobs in Nebraska.

Omaha NebraskaOmaha’s centric location in the United States has made the area an important transportation haven for many businesses, promoting the high demand for truck driving jobs. Transportation, railroads, breweries, and tourism have been important commercial sectors for Omaha since the early 19th century. As the first transcontinental railroad crossed through the city, the Omaha Stockyards and meatpacking plants opened the doors to transport meat, livestock, and other commodities internationally and nationwide. Truck drivers became the modern cowboy equivalent that ran the cattle in and drove them back out, working intermodal hauls from farm to rail yard and back.

Today, truck driving jobs seem to appear around every corner in Omaha. Several Fortune 500 companies, such as packaged food ConAgra Foods, Union Pacific Corporation (US’s largest railroad operator), and Kiewit Construction (one of the world’s largest construction company), are among the companies employing company drivers and owner operators. Notable transportation and logistics company, Werner Enterprises, has been headquartered in Omaha’s downtown area since the company’s beginning in 1956. Truckers working for these major companies gain valuable experience with different transportation services while sight-seeing along the roads stretched out across the plains.

Relaxation, recreation and entrepreneurship, these are the ideas that Omaha instills in its residents, visitors, and businesses. In 2008, Omaha was named the third best city to live, work, and play in, and the city continues to provide truth to the notion.

Visit the city’s profile page to learn more about local truck driving jobs in Omaha!

Truck Drivers Choose Best Fleets in Annual Contest

BestFleetsLogo

Do you brag about your carrier fleet every chance you get? Are you a truck driver that is constantly taking to Twitter to let your followers know what a joy it is to work for your company? If you answered yes, maybe it’s time to turn those 140 character raves into some real recognition. By nominating your carrier in the Best Fleets to Drive For contest, you can do just that!

The Best Fleets to Drive For is a competition where satisfied drivers can nominate their business as the finest in the field. The contest managers then analyze the nominees’ policies and practices to see how they compare. The leaders in the company go through a thorough interviewing process where a variety of topics are discussed. Questions range from how many drivers are employed to how they are reducing driver turnover. Other data is gathered that is specifically relevant to driver satisfaction, like how often drivers are recognized for accomplishments and what kinds of facilities are available for drivers and their families. A random sampling of drivers from the company is also surveyed to see how they really feel about their employer.

The 20 best fleets are honored at the Truckload Carriers Association’s annual convention in March. It’s at this convention the cream of the crop are crowned.The most recent winners were Grand Island Express and Landstar System. A few reasons employees listed for loving these trucking companies were that they had great safety measures and always made them feel at home.

Not only does this competition serve to recognize deserving companies, it also provides a way that other companies can improve. By seeing the factors that make some carriers the best to drive for, other fleets can get ideas for new, driver friendly programs. The winning companies are also made aware of the methods they use that are worth keeping.

So if you drive for the best fleet in the nation, head over to Best Fleets to Drive For and make sure you submit your nomination by November 1st.