Red Eye Radio Announces MATS Line-up

red eye radio logoRed Eye Radio will be in attendance at this year’s Mid-American Trucking Show that will take place March 27-29th in Louisville, Kentucky. The show booth will be the primary spot for the celebrities who will be in attendance. Red Eye Radio host, Eric Harley, will be introducing country music singers Craig Morgan, also the host of “All Access Outdoors,” and Sara Evans to drivers and attendees who swing by the Red Eye Radio booth during the show.

Evans emerged in the 1990’s and has since had an abundant recording career. Evans has sold more than six million albums. Among those albums, four are ensuing RIAA certified Gold, Platinum, or Multi-Platinum albums. Evans has also been recognized with rewards from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, and Billboard Music Award. Along with these awards, Evans has had nominations for two Grammy Awards, five CMT Music Awards, and 10 American Country Awards.

Craig Morgan also holds an impressive recording career. He may be best known for “Redneck Yacht Club,” “International Harvester,” and “Bonfire.” Morgan will be at the Red Eye Radio booth and those in attendance will have admittance to see Morgan’s route and adventures with his team throughout North America, all with the hope of unforgettable hunting experiences.

“Deadliest Catch” Deck Boss, Edgar Hanson will be at the Red Eye Radio booth during the entire show and will be connecting with the drivers. Those who are at the show will have the opportunity to sign up for GPS Units, CB Radios and a multitude of other prizes.

Red Eye radio is geared toward the trucking industry and is aired on over 200 stations across the nation. The station also has an extensive five-hour conversation show that consists of talking to truck drivers, updates in the industry, and continued chances to win things outside of the Mid-American trucking Show. For further questions, take a look at RedEyeRadioShow.com.

 

TCA names Colston Highway Angel

The Truckload Carriers Association has recognized its most recent Highway Angel. Thomas L. Colston of Burleson, Texas received the award for his actions helping the victims of a November 2013 multi-vehicle crash.TCA names Colston Highway Angel

Colston has been driving for over 18 years and currently drives for Frito-Lay, Inc., based in Dallas. On November 22, 2013, Colston was driving eastbound on I-20 heading towards Dallas. Around 10:20 p.m., he saw a pickup truck speeding towards his truck. The driver had apparently lost control of his vehicle on the slick roads. Acting quickly, Colston managed to steer out of the way of the oncoming vehicle. The truck flew past him, hit a retaining wall, and went airborne, landing upside down. During its journey, the truck hit another pickup truck and a tractor trailer.

After coming to a safe stop, Colston called 911 and then sprang into action, assisting all drivers involved. After determining that the drivers of the tractor-trailer and second pickup truck seemed to be uninjured, Colston focused his attention on the first pickup, which was beginning to catch fire. The driver was trapped inside, his leg stuck under the dash. Another motorist got the fire extinguisher from the tractor trailer and gave it to Colston, who bravely used it to smother the flames and ensure the safety of the driver of the pickup until authorities arrived.

Luckily, Colston had some experience dealing with emergency situations, having served as a police officer in the past.

“People freeze in their footsteps when they see something happen like this,” Colston explained. “But I could hear the guy screaming for help… it would have been very bad for him if we hadn’t gotten those flames out.”

As a recipient of the Highway Angel award, Colston will receive a certificate, patch and lapel pin. Frito-Lay will also be given a certificate acknowledging that one its drivers was the recipient of the distinguished award.

TCA began the Highway Angels campaign in 1997. Since the program’s start, a number of drivers have been recognized for everything from “simple acts of kindness, such as fixing a flat tire, to heroic life-saving efforts, such as pulling someone from a burning vehicle and administering CPR”,  per the TCA website.

If you know a driver you’d like to nominate, or wish to learn more about the Highway Angel program and its honorees, visit the website. You can also find them on Facebook. For any other additional information, contact TCA at (703) 838-1950 or by emailing angel@truckload.org.

 

Obama seeks tighter standards

ObamaOnce again, President Barack Obama is seeking more stringent regulations for medium- and heavy-duty trucks in order to raise fuel efficiency and cut down on carbon emissions. He is instructing the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency to put forth a first draft of the new regulations by March 2015. He also calls for the rules to be finalized a year later.

Obama believes that helping trucks use less fuel would have the triple benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, making the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil, and helping consumers save money. “It’s not just a win-win, it’s a win-win-win,” he said.

The latest announcement, which took place at a Safeway distribution warehouse in Maryland on February 18, was a continuation of the president’s Climate Action Plan. The plan was established in June 2013 and builds upon the first-ever fuel efficiency standards established in 2011 for 2014-2018 heavy-duty truck models. Those fuel standards called for a 20 percent reduction in truck emissions by 2018. The White House projected that the reduction would save 530 million barrels of oil, or $50 billion for the trucking industry. The new round of regulations will set standards for truck models later than 2018 and will save the average truck owner $73,000 in the typical lifetime of a truck, says the White House.

Saying medium- and heavy-duty trucks are the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions within the transportation sector, the White House hopes the plan will “spur manufacturing innovation and lead to the adoption of new fuel-efficient technologies on trucks and semi-trailers” and act as a catalyst for improvements in engine and powertrain efficiency, weight reduction, tire rolling resistance, hybridization, automatic engine shutdown and more.

While larger fleets say the efficient fuel standards will save money by cutting fuel costs, many truckers worry about the costs of upgrading to cleaner vehicles offsetting any benefits. “ATA hopes the administration will set forth a path that is both based on the best science and research available and economically achievable,” said Bill Graves, president of the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

The White House says it also wants to continue working with manufacturers in building concept trucks like the Super Trucks.

Focus on Phoenix

The state of Arizona may be known as the home of the Grand Canyon and countless other tourist attractions including Heard Museum, Chase Field, and the Phoenix Art Museum. The state’s capital, Phoenix, is an economic powerhouse with rich history and lasting longevity.

Phoenix

The rapid growth of Phoenix can be traced back to its roots in the second half of the 19th century. By March of 1868, a man by the name of Jack Swilling organized the Swilling Irrigation Canal Company. The company succeeded in building canals that redirected the water from the Salt River to the valley of the land we now know as Phoenix. From that point, the population and resources skyrocketed.

With a growing population of more than 4.3 million, Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the United States. Averaging only 40 days per year without sunshine, the city offers nearby access to many outdoor recreation activities including skiing, hiking, and boating. Tourist attractions include professional sports arenas and concert venues to those who reside in Phoenix.

Phoenix is an ideal home for truck drivers desiring an affordable lifestyle and a consistent flow of business. In the past nine years, the workforce in Phoenix has grown in the categories of transportation, construction, durable goods, manufacturing, trade, and finance. Phoenix also houses a multitude of well-established companies in software development, aerospace, bio-science, and IT industries.

Of the top ten largest employers in the state of Arizona, seven of those businesses are located in Phoenix. As Phoenix continues to grow so will the need for more truckers to transport the industry supplies.

If you are interested in local truck driving jobs in Phoenix, please visit Phoenix’s profile for trucking jobs.

Drivers, Company Shutdown by FMCSA

Two drivers have been declared imminent hazards to public safety by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in recent weeks. Tennessee-licensed truck driver Ricky L. Hatfield and his company, Hatfield Trucking of Tazewell, Tenn., have been ordered to immediately cease operations. Also, Florida-licensed truck driver Devon L. House has been ordered not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

Company in Tennessee closed

While operating his tractor-trailer on Interstate 81 in Franklin County, Penn. on November 19, 2013, Hatfield crossed onto the highway shoulder and collided with a car, striking two pedestrians. His tractor trailer continued out of control, hitting a dump truck before overturning across Interstate 81’s northbound lanes. Hatfield immediately ran from the scene of the accident.

Later found hiding behind a nearby building by Franklin County law enforcement officers, Hatfield was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, aggravated assault by a vehicle, failure to stop at an accident involving death or personal injury, and other miscellaneous charges. He was taken into custody in Franklin County by the officers.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stated, “Safety is our highest priority, and that includes every motor carrier, big or small, along with all other drivers on the road. We will not tolerate illegal and unsafe behavior by commercial drivers.”

This is not the first time Hatfield has been in violation of highway laws. In 2009, he was also convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in the state of Utah. He attempted to flee from the scene at that time, too. The FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order not only applies to Hatfield as an individual but to all of his company-owned vehicles as well.

FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro stated in a news release, “Interstate truck and bus companies and their drivers should have no doubt that we will vigorously enforce all federal safety regulations to the fullest extent possible by law. Carriers and drivers who flout the safety rules put the public at risk and will be shut down.”

Florida driver ordered to stop

The second driver recently determined by the FMCSA to be an imminent hazard to pubic safety, Devon House, is a commercial driver’s license holder living in Casselberry, Fla. He has been charged with alcohol-related violations while operating a commercial motor vehicle on three separate occasions in the past six months. He may no longer operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

Commenting on House’s order to cease operating commercial vehicles, Foxx said, “Commercial truck and bus drivers that put the public at risk will not be tolerated. We will not allow safety to be compromised, and unsafe commercial driers who endanger the public will be removed from our nation’s roads.”

ABF Freight Systems driver named Highway Angel

tcalogoThe Truckload Carriers’ Association has named their most recent Highway Angel. David Flaherty, a professional commercial driver for ABF Freight Systems, Inc. from Walkertown, NC, received the award earlier this week after his alertness and quick action helped ensure the safety of another driver.

Flaherty was driving on I-85 near Concord, NC on November 10, 2013 at 11 p.m. when he noticed a flash of orange light ahead in the darkness. After Flaherty managed to catch up to the vehicle emitting the light – a tractor trailer hauling doubles – Flaherty realized the source of the flashes. The flickers he saw were actually embers of scorching metal falling from an area near an inside tire.

Flaherty sprung into action, flashing his lights and honking for about 10 minutes to get the attention of the fellow driver who was unaware of any danger. Once off the road, Flaherty assisted the driver in using fire extinguishers to put out the embers. When the fire extinguishers were unable to completely smother the potential fire, Flaherty and the other driver improvised, using drinks in their vehicle to keep the embers under control until the fire department arrived.

Without Flaherty’s alertness and initiative, the trailer could have caught fire, destroying the load inside and putting the driver in harm’s way. Flaherty knew that time was of the essence when deciding to act.

“It’s amazing how quickly a tire fire can burn a truck to the ground. They generate a ton of heat,” Flaherty said. “Another 10 minutes and that fire would have burned through the floor of the trailer and destroyed the load. I’ve seen it before … it goes up like a torch.”

TCA presented Flaherty with a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch to commemorate his award. ABF was also presented with a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.

TCA started the Highway Angels program in August 1997. Since the program’s start, hundreds of drivers have been recognized for everything from “simple acts of kindness, such as fixing a flat tire, to heroic life-saving efforts, such as pulling someone from a burning vehicle and administering CPR”,  per the TCA website. TCA says that the program “seeks to promote greater public recognition of all Angels through the placement of select Angel stories in industry trade press and social media”.

If you know a driver you’d like to nominate, or want to learn more about the Highway Angel program and its honorees, visit the website at http://www.truckload.org/Highway-Angel. You can also find them on Facebook. For any other additional information, contact TCA at (703) 838-1950 or by emailing angel@truckload.org.

FMCSA study says new rule is good

In long anticipated action, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) finally released the results of its real-world hours-of-service study on January 30th. The main finding of the research says that the current hours-of-service restart rule for truck drivers is a better deterrent for driver fatigue than the rule it replaced. The controversial rule requiring truck drivers to take two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. rest periods in the 34-hour restart provisions was found to more effective in producing safer driving and better rested drivers. The study was conducted by the Sleep Performance Research Center in Washington State University in Spokane, Wash., and Pulsar Informatics in Philadelphia, Pa.

Anthony Foxx

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

Safety is our top priority, and this new study shows more data-driven evidence that our safety standards help truckers stay well-rested, alert and focused on the road,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The hours-of-service rule is helping to reduce truck driver fatigue and making every traveler on our highways and roads safer.”

The researchers measured sleep, reaction time, sleepiness, and driving performance in 106 drivers, ages 24 – 69, who were studied in two duty cycles and during the 34-hour restarts on each side. Drivers who began their work week with just one nighttime period of rest (not the two nights in the new 34-hour restart rule) exhibited:

  • more lapses of attention, especially at night;
  • greater sleepiness, especially toward the end of their duty periods;
  • increased lane deviation in the morning, afternoon, and night.

The study is one of the largest real world studies ever conducted on truck drivers and was based on 1,260 days of data and 415,000 miles of driving.

FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro stated, “This new study confirms the science we used to make the hours-of-service rule more effective at preventing crashes that involve sleepy or drowsy truck drivers. For the small percentage of truckers that average up to 70 hours a week, two nights of rest is better for their safety and the safety of everyone on the road.”

The FMCSA says analysis shows that the rule will prevent approximately 1,400 crashes, 560 injuries, and 19 lives each year. Moreover, 85 percent of drivers will see little to no change in their schedules as a result. Only drivers working more than 70 hours in one week will be affected.

Studies by the American Trucking Associations’ American Transportation Research Institute and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association concluded that drivers and carriers would lose productivity and revenue due to the new rule and that drivers actually were less rested on the whole under it.

The FMCSA study was required by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which said the FMCSA must prove the validity of imposing a new restart provision of the hours-of-service rule for truck drivers. The report was supposed to be  issued by September of 2013, thus prompting criticism by some members of Congress of the FMCSA for not releasing the results until now.

Focus on Boise

While Idaho might be best known for its potatoes, the bustling city of Boise shows that in this state there is much more to be celebrated than just the popular vegetable. Idaho’s capital and largest city, Boise, is home to 210,673 people and has an impressive economy to match its large population. Paired with breathtaking views, impressive cultural attractions, and various possibilities for recreational activities, Boise is an ideal location for truck drivers to live, work, and play.

Boise jobs

Established on the banks of the Boise River in 1863, Boise is famous for its booming economy. The city is strengthened by large companies in a variety of sectors, making Boise an ideal location for a truck driver to find work. Known for having a strong presence in the technological and industrial sectors, Boise is home to Micron Technology, a prominent employer and large producer of semiconductor devices that relies heavily on the use of truck drivers to transport their goods across the Northwest and beyond. As technology continues to become even more essential in all parts of life, the number of trucking jobs transporting these goods is sure to grow as well.

Boise’s main interstate, I-84, allows for easy transportation not only within city limits but readily connects Boise to the rest of the Western region. Easy access to Oregon and Utah make Boise an ideal location for truck drivers to haul goods between ports, fields, and depots. Idaho’s shared border with Canada makes Boise an important city for international trade as Governor Otter has been advocating for increased exports with Canada and abroad. More exports mean more trucking jobs in Boise.

Boise offers a home with plenty of recreational opportunities for everybody. Outdoor enthusiasts love their water sports on the river while art lovers take in the large number of museums, musical venues, theater groups, and an active classical music scene. And who could think of Boise without Boise State University’s (in)famous blue football turf? In addition to BSU athletics, Boise has lots to offer on the sports entertainment front, including minor league baseball, soccer and hockey teams, and a semi-pro football team. This long list of sports attractions makes Boise a sports fan’s paradise. Complete with an aquarium and zoo, Boise has plenty of attractions that make it an exciting place to call home.

Boise offers tremendous opportunities for both work and play to all who call the city home. If you’d like to get your driving career started in this exciting city, view Idaho’s profile for truck driving jobs.

Warning: This Trucking Job is not for the Faint of Heart

Coupling the complex environmental issues concerning the North American oil fields with the psychological impacts on its workers, oil fields and the companies mining these fields have increasingly become scrutinized. At first appearance, these oil fields can appear harmless, but after some investigation, they may not be what they seem.

Oil sands

Although the pay can be good, the North American oil fields come with a harsh reality. Before you move yourself, and even your family, to the booming towns in North Dakota and Canada for a trucking job, read and learn a little more about these mysterious oil fields. Warning: this trucking job is not for the faint of heart.

The Personal

Meet Jonnie Cassens, a 38-year-old truck driver. She moved to North Dakota with the hopes of pursuing the American Dream. Coming to North Dakota with only unpaid hospital bills, student loans, and a commercial driver’s license, Cassens easily found a job in the oil industry as something similar to a round-the-clock delivery driver. All too soon, she found that this promised dream may be nonexistent. Cassens’ life offers a bit of a different perspective about the up-and-coming North Dakota oil fields.

For this reason, The New York Times decided to make Cassens the subject of an Op-Doc video. In the video, Cassens shares her struggle to make a life for herself in a land full of men. While the work is steady, she only earned $34,000 last year. Coupled with her loneliness, Cassens often questions the life she has made for herself in North Dakota.

Another perspective comes from the recent documentary filmed in Canada’s oil sands. Oil Sands Karaoke offers a rare view into the lives of five oil patch workers living in Fort Murray, Alberta. Instead of centering his film on the environmental issues that everybody has heard about, Vancouver director Charles Wilkinson has decided to focus on the mental landscapes of oil sands workers, a subject that he feels hasn’t been given previous attention. According to straight.com, Oil Sands Karaoke, which was released on January 17, is the second feature to his environmental trilogy. Wilkinson first brought people’s attention to the oil sands in his first documentary, Peace Out.

While on a Peace Out screening tour, Wilkinson discovered a karaoke bar in Fort McMurray. After seeing how the bar brought a variety of people together, Wilkinson was inspired to see why this was. Wilkinson’s documentary quickly started to fall in place, and it wasn’t too long before he realized people’s reservations about the work they were doing in Fort McMurray.

“Almost everyone expressed doubts about what they’re doing. And I thought that was super-poignant to be willing to reveal that about what they do to make a living, that they have misgivings about it,” said Wilkinson.

In the documentary, Wilkinson uncovers another underlying issue: social deprivation.

“It’s just such a lonely place to be,” said Wilkinson. “The shift work is crushing. People spend 12 hours at work, usually an hour or possibly more commuting, depending on where they’re staying… So piece together how difficult it would be to form a relationship, even just a friend, a buddy… His shift starts at a different time than yours—when are you going to see him?”

Upon exposing these hidden mental issues, the karaoke bar finally made sense. These people weren’t there to just karaoke, they were there to escape their day-to-day lives. While, yes, this documentary is about a karaoke contest, it’s also about so much more.

“The question that the film is fundamentally asking is ‘If we are in so much trouble, how come we aren’t able to do anything about it?’” said Wilkinson. “And of course the answer is we’re all busy competing in a karaoke contest.”

The Environmental

When researching the topic of oil fields, numerous stories can be found about the environmental issues. It’s difficult to write a piece about issues of the North American oil fields without mentioning something about its controversial environmental impacts.

Alberta’s environmental record is anything but clean. Emissions continue to climb, yet not much is being done to control the oil sands continuous unclean development. Most recently, a surprising voice against these issues has appeared. Brian Jean is a former Conservative MP for Fort McMurray who has just resigned from the Harper Government and is now speaking out against the oil sands development.

According to Jean, what concerns him the most is the deteriorating quality of life because of the rapid development. “It seems like we are trying to get every bit (of oil) out of the ground right away, but the oil isn’t going anywhere… Do we need to do it at the cost of people’s lives?

“It seems like we are trying to get every bit (of oil) out of the ground right away, but the oil isn’t going anywhere,” Jean told the Edmonton Journal. “Do we need to do it at the cost of people’s lives?”

On April 24 and 25 in Lake Lenier, the Premier Alison Redford will host 100 decision-makers at a regional conference of the World Economic Forum. The group will discuss energy, climate change, and the environment.

As you can see, the North American oil fields are not for everyone. It takes a lot of personal sacrifice, a strong tenacity to hang with it, and willingness to roll with the punches. While it may not be your typical trucking job, the pay is good, and the work is steady.

FMCSA adds propane haulers to HOS exemptions

FMCSA tanker exemptionsDue to the rare winter storms and record freezing temperatures across the southern region of the U.S., some extra measures are being taken to help Midwestern and Southern residents keep warm. The latest hours-of-service (HOS) exemptions from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) include operators in southern states and propane haulers throughout the country.

HOS exemptions in the Midwest and Eastern parts of the U.S were already in place. The FMCSA issued more exemptions on Jan. 21, which cover propane haulers in  Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The FMCSA’s emergency declaration says:

“The emergency exemption is issued as a result of extreme arctic cold weather conditions causing shortages and interruptions in the availability and/or delivery of propane and other home heating fuels throughout the States ….. This declaration provides for the regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations while providing direct assistance supporting the delivery of propane and home heating fuels into the affected areas and consumer in the above mentioned states during the emergency. Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not directly supporting the emergency relief effort.”

The FMCSA exemptions last until Feb. 11. Those drivers operating under the exemption must have a copy of the FMCSA declaration with them. The FMCSA’s declaration takes precedence over any other previously issued state exemptions.

The exemptions were issued in response to the National Propane Gas Association’s (NPGA) call for action by the FMCSA, saying that propane shortages were due to transportation and distribution problems – not a shortage in the propane supply. Also the NPGA said that previous waivers issued by individual states had created a patchwork of waivers, which was not effective enough to fully address the distribution problems.

Currently, other states with exemptions include: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Wisconsin. These exemptions also expire on Feb. 11.