Kids learn with Trucker Buddy

Trucker Buddy International is a non-profit organization that was started in 1992. The program is dedicated to help educate and mentor school children through pen pal relationships with professional truck drivers.

Trucker BuddyTrucker Buddy pairs classes of students, grades K-8, with professional truck drivers who serve as ambassadors of the trucking industry. Each week the truck drivers share  their adventures on the road with their class through blogs, postcards, and letters, enhancing school subjects such as writing, history, and math.

American trucker buddies reach France

Through the Trucker Buddy website, a French teacher asked to be connected with an American truck driver; this was the organizations first time to truly go international. Bob and Linda Caffee, owner operators from Missouri, were partnered with a class of 10-12 year olds in St. Malo, France.

The French children love receiving postcards and emails from Team Caffee. The postcards allow the students to write reports on the different geographical areas of the United States in English.The partnership also helps the school children with their mathematics by converting the Caffee’s reported mileage on trips.

Out of the classroom and into the truck

Former middle school science teacher, Sonya Terrell, now trucks for Old Dominion Freight Lines. Her father drove trucks for a living, and she always loved hitting the road alongside him while growing up. After being laid off from teaching, Sonya decided to give trucking a try for herself. Now she partners with a fourth grade classroom through Trucker Buddy, continuing to teach children via the interstate.

Sonya runs a website for her classroom buddies to interact through blogging. Her regular posts includes maps of her routes, pictures of her travels, and personal accounts of her works. The students comment with their questions, and Sonja is quick to respond.

Connecting the older students

Trucker Buddy also offers a program called Trucking Mentor that partners professional truck drivers with driver education instructors at high schools across America. These mentorships help student drivers learn how to maneuver on roads alongside big rigs.

Trucking Mentors bring their trucks to schools and show youthful drivers how to prevent accidents by avoiding common driving mistakes. When students meet the professional drivers behind the wheel of a truck, respect develops for truck drivers and the trucking industry. Students begin to understand that truck drivers are real people with families, friends, and hobbies.

Drivers, if you are interested in becoming a Trucker Buddy or a Trucking Mentor visit the Trucker Buddy International website for more information.

Focus on Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City is centrally located, not only within the state but also the country, sitting equal distance between Los Angeles and New York. As the capital, it is the largest city in Oklahoma, encompassing 500 square miles of area. With over 300 days of sunshine per year, a growing population, and a number of companies looking to capitalize in downtown Oklahoma City, this city is a great place for truck drivers to have a strong career.

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City has steadily grown since its early founding in Indian Territory, but with the oil boom of the late 1920s also came a population boom. The successful oil industry lured in a great number of Oklahoma’s families who were seeking wealth on the prairie, and oil continues to thrive in the state. Several companies offer great trucking jobs in the oil fields. Oil, natural gas, and propane make Oklahoma oil production the largest grossing industry for the state.

Growth and development continue to rise in the Oklahoma City area, carrying the trucking industry along with it. With as many as thirty trucking companies in the state, around eighteen of those serve Oklahoma City alone, allowing for plenty of local truck driving jobs in OKC. These companies include, but are not limited to, Freymiller Inc., Rapid Dispatch Services, and Road Runner Auto Transport. There is no doubt that the future for Oklahoma City is bright.

Once a major hub for the cattle trains, OKC now uses more trucks to move livestock out of one of the world’s largest markets. Modern day Oklahoma City is an intersection for some of America’s most trucked interstates: I-35, I-44, and I-40. These roads continue to expand the reach of the city beyond its limits.

For the off hours, Oklahoma City has become known for its urban renaissance. From upbeat city life in the Bricktown Entertainment District to the country honky-tonks along the edges, Oklahoma City has something for every type of person. Take in a Thunder game, catch a live music act, or enjoy some relaxing time at one of the city’s beautiful parks. Oklahoma City remains a solid place to build a home and maintain a career.

Review Oklahoma City’s profile for local trucking jobs in OKC.

ELDs one step closer to the trucks

With a goal of decreasing federal paperwork burdens and preventing fatigued drivers, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on March 12 its proposal to require interstate commercial truck drivers to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in their vehicles. The ELDs are meant to improve compliance with the number of hours a truck driver may work during a specified time.

ELDsThe ELDs would not only improve the quality of logbook data by making it more difficult for drivers to falsify their time on logbooks but also reduce the heavy paperwork required by hours-of-service recordkeeping. The FMCSA says that the paperwork burden required of truck drivers is one of the largest in the federal government, second only to tax-related filings.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stated:

“Today’s proposal will improve safety while helping businesses by cutting unnecessary paperwork – exactly the type of government streamlining President Obama called for in his State of the Union address. By leveraging innovative technology with Electronic Logging Devices, we have the opportunity to save lives and boost efficiency for both motor carriers and safety inspectors.”

Although the date of when the rule will become effective is still not known, the proposal says it will go into effect two years after the final rule is issued, which is expected to be later this year. That would make 2016 the likely time for the mandate to go into effect. The cost of compliance on a yearly basis will be between $165 and $832 per truck, according to the rule.

The FMCSA also believes that the proposed rule will reduce crashes by fatigued drivers. Its analysis shows that it could prevent approximately 20 fatalities and 434 injuries each year, which translates into an annual safety benefit of $394.8 million. “By implementing Electronic Logging Devices, we will advance our mission to increase safety and prevent fatigued drivers from getting behind the wheel. With broad support from safety advocates, carriers, and members of Congress, we are committed to achieving this important step in the commercial bus and truck industries,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro.

The proposal includes the following provisions:

  1. Respect driver privacy by making sure that ELD records stay with the carriers and drivers only. ELDs will be made available only to FMCSA personnel or law enforcement during roadside inspections, compliance reviews, and post-crash investigations;
  2. Protect drivers from harassment such as carriers pressuring drivers to exceed hours of service limits and include a mute function to protect drivers against disruptions during sleeper berth periods;
  3. Increase efficiency for law enforcement personnel who review driver logbooks, making sure ELDs can be displayed and reviewed with potential violations flagged.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO Bill Graves said of the mandate, “ATA supports FMCSA’s efforts to mandate these devices in commercial vehicles as a way to improve safety and compliance in the trucking industry and to level the playing field with thousands of fleets that have already voluntarily moved to this technology.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), on the other hand, says it knows of no device that can automatically record a driver’s duty status as it believes Congress required in MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century). It is also concerned with harassment issues, the cost to truckers, what specific technical requirements are called for and if there is any showing of a direct safety benefit between ELD/EOBR use and reduced crashes.

Focus on Richmond

Established in 1731, Richmond, VA has successfully ventured into a progressive approach as a developing modern city with a historical twist that retains its strength as a primary contact in the transportation industry. Richmond offers a nice combination of beautiful suburbia scenery paired with a flourishing city atmosphere along the James River, serving as a port for importing and exporting goods. This allows for businesses and Fortune 500 companies to produce more merchandise and increase the need for drivers to fill the many trucking jobs in Richmond. Trucking is where the city will continue to find the necessary transportation for the overflow of its booming economic growth on the river.

Richmond

Finding historical importance from its beginning as a Powhatan confederacy village, Richmond’s centralized location between the Piedmonts and the Atlantic tidewaters has only served to increase its role throughout American history. Patrick Henry gave his historical “Give me liberty or give me death” speech that sparked the American Revolution within Richmond long before it was named as the capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Though modes of transportation have changed, Richmond continues to be a primary American hub that joins ships, rails, and trucks together, uniting the North and South along the eastern coast.

Retaining its capital status, Richmond has been noticed for its growth with a “new economy” mindset. This has allowed the city to create new jobs in old markets, such as the tobacco and food industry, while making room for advancements in new industries like biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. With an impressive success rate in difficult economic times, Richmond has the ability to offer truck drivers a wide range of opportunities for work. As Richmond lies between the intersection of Interstate 64 and Interstate 95, the city is in a perfect location for the trucking sector to continue prospering.

View the city profile for more information about Richmond truck driving jobs and find great jobs close to home today!

 

FY 2015 DOT budget brings controversy

FY 2015 DOT budgetAfter releasing the budget for fiscal year 2015, President Obama and his administration are receiving criticism from the trucking industry for failing to recognize the importance of freight and passenger transportation.

The proposed 3.9 trillion fiscal budget provides a total of $91 billion in discretion and mandatory budgetary resources for the Department of Transportation (DOT). The FY 2015 also includes a request for a $302 billion four-year surface transportation reauthorization. While the President’s request of $49 billion provides the Federal Highway Administration with what some would deem sufficient, others would disagree. Officials from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) are claiming that FY 2015 doesn’t take notice of the influence that the trucking industry has on our economy.

ATA President Bill Graves said in a new release that the “proposed budget misses the mark when it comes to the transportation needs of the U.S. economy. It provides no real funding solutions for the long-term health of our infrastructure and proposes massive new subsidies for a mode that moves a small proportion of America’s freight and passengers.”

The modes of transportation that Graves is referring to is freight railroads and intermodal rail. The fiscal budget proposes increasing the Federal Railroad Funding from $3.4 billion to $5 billion. The money will be invested in rail safety, passenger, and rail investment programs.

“While freight railroads and intermodal rail play small, but important roles in goods movement, the lifeblood of our economy is and will continue to be the U.S. trucking industry,” Graves said. “By mid-January, this industry moved as much freight as the railroads will move all year, and this budget proposes to re-direct funds from road and bridge projects that would improve capacity and ease bottlenecks to underwrite projects for an industry that continually crows about how self-sufficient it is.”

According to statistics provided in an ATA news release, America’s trucking industry was responsible for moving 68.5 percent of all domestic freight, while freight railroads was only responsible for 14.7 percent.

Additionally in the FY 2015, the president’s budget requests $17.6 billion in funding for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). As stated in the fiscal budget, this money will be used for grants to construct new public transit systems; purchase and maintain transit vehicles and equipment; oversee transit safety; support regional transportation planning efforts; and, improve the technology and service methods used in the delivery of public transportation services.

“It is also difficult to understand this Administration’s insistence on continuing to pour billions of dollars into an intercity passenger rail system that carries just one-tenth of one percent of passenger miles, while failing to provide the necessary resources to improve the safety and efficiency of the highway system, which handles 87% of passenger travel,” Graves said.

Although Graves makes a good point, parts of the $22.6 billion that will be invested into passenger railway and freight railroads many feel is necessary.

In recent years, the volume of crude oil being shipped has soared causing the Obama administration to take note. With train derailments that led to fires in North Dakota and Alabama, in addition to a train derailment and fire in Canada that killed 47 people last year, it’s hard to disagree that some sort of investment isn’t needed. The FY 2015 proposes a $40 million budget in effort to decrease the rising safety issues currently surrounding the transport of crude oil. The new fund will enhance safety inspection levels, offer more safety inspectors, include investigative efforts along with research and data crunching, and provide training and testing for high risk areas, according to the FY 2015.

While both parties can debate whether or not the FY 2015 adequately allocates the transportation funds, the budget is still yet to be approved. One thing is for sure though, both the nation’s surface transportation system and crude oil transportation system need to be updated. Together, Republicans and Democrats can agree on this.

Anne Ferro set to speak at MATS Fleet Forum

Anne Ferro, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration chief, is set to speak at the upcoming Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville. Ferro will give an update on federal trucking legislation and regulations when she speaks at the Fleet Forum, along with other prominent fleet executives. The MATS Fleet Forum is a conference designed for fleet executives and heavy duty/commercial vehicle industry representatives. Combining resources and expertise of Heavy Duty Trucking and Fleet Owner magazines and the largest trucking trade show, Fleet Forum offers an in-depth look at the future of equipment and trucking.

Mid America Trucking Show Logo

In addition to Ferro, Fleet Forum will feature many other speakers including Tom Sanderson, CEO of the third-party logistics provider Transplace, and Thomas E. O’Donnell, managing partner of the law firm Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary. They will be highlighting changes they’ve noted in trucking business regulations. Following the speakers, there will be a moderated panel discussion. All three speakers will share their opinions on the current regulatory climate as well as answer questions from the audience.

Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT Research, will also speak at the Fleet Forum. He will offer an economic review. Afterwards, a panel discussion with Heavy Duty Trucking magazine’s Fleet Innovators, where they will speak on various topics, including regulations, changing freight patterns, fuel economy, alternative fuels, going digital, finding and keeping drivers, and more.

The Fleet Forum will take place on March 26, the day prior to the MATS kickoff. Both the Fleet forum and MATS will take place at the Kentucky Expo Center. More information on the Fleet Forum can be found on their event page. Tickets and registration for the Mid-America Trucking Show can be found here.

ATFI fights for toll free interstates

A national coalition, which includes many trucking companies and trucking trade groups, has been launched to keep interstates toll-free. The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI) was formed to make known its belief that a sustainable solution to the United States’ transportation funding should not include placing new tolls on existing interstates. ATFI’s goal is to educate the public about the negative impact tolling places on communities and businesses.

toll roads

The alliance already includes FedEx, UPS, Old Dominion, the American Trucking Associations, all 50 state trucking associations, The Truckload Carriers Association, Quality Transport, H&J Trucking,and NATSO as well as associations representing restaurants, travel plazas, and the vehicle rental industry. Concerns arose when three states developed pilot programs that would allow tolls on existing interstate lanes, which is contrary to federal law. In addition, ATFI says the tolling industry is pressuring lawmakers and policymakers to change that law. ATFI wants to prove that tolls are “unreliable, expensive and inefficient” tools for generating funds for the U.S. infrastructure.

Additionally, many other states have been spending millions of dollars seeking Federal Highway Administration approval of the pilot programs. Public opposition has contributed to no state being able to implement tolling under the pilot program, and ATFI is asking Congress to repeal the pilot program entirely.

Representative for Old Dominion, Bill Cranfill said, “Tolls are an inefficient method of funding, would increase the cost of moving goods and would decrease efficiency by pushing interstate traffic onto less safe and slower local roads. The concept of unrestricted movement is a pillar of the modern economy.”

Studies conducted to measure the impacts of tolling existing interstates have revealed that tolls create notable numbers of traffic diversions onto secondary roads, have significantly high administrative costs, and negatively affect local and regional economies around the toll facilities. ATFI has made available a video about tolls and the damaging impacts they would have on the U.S. transportation system.

Jay Perron, ATFI member and vice president of Governmental Affairs and Public Policy for the International Franchise Association, said:

“Since its inception, the Federal Interstate Highway System has facilitated unrestricted commerce and travel throughout the country. It is vital to the U.S. supply chain and has revolutionized the way America does business. Tolling existing interstates would reverse this progress, raising costs for travelers, businesses, and consumers, and harming the many businesses and communities located along interstate routes subject to new tolls.”

California lets the cameras roll

California State Senator Jerry Hill called into question continuous videotaping surveillance of truck drivers on the job. Hill argued that the continuous taping may be in violation of California’s Labor Code 1051. dashboard camera

Upon review, California’s attorney general, Kamala Harris, has concluded that in-cab videotaping is not in violation of the code when the video is inspected by a third party hired by the driver’s employer and that only the employer receives the video for discipline and training purposes.

At issue was the practice of some carriers contracting third party companies to record their employee drivers. The video is usually recorded in a continuous loop that overwrites itself unless the truck experiences an issue such as hard braking, swerving, or collision. In that event, the camera saves the footage. The video company makes the marked recording available to the driver’s carrier for review to be used for training or disciplinary purposes.

California code allows videotaping companies to only store up to 30 seconds before and after an event. The contracted company must keep the recordings confidential except to the driver and their employer. The recordings must also be made available to the driver’s bargaining representative if the video is used in any subsequent disciplinary actions.

Labor Code 1051 prohibits the taking of fingerprints or photographs for the purpose of furnishing them to other employers or third parties. Harris concluded that in these instances, the videotaping company and the carrier want the images only for the purpose of sending them back to the driver’s own employer.

California lawmakers voted to allow attachments to truck windshields or rear mirrors in 2012.  Lytx, formerly DriveCam, a provider of driver safety and compliance systems, requested an extension of the exemption. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted a two-year extension in the spring of 2013.

Focus on Columbus, OH

Columbus, Ohio, the state’s capital, is also the fifteenth largest city in the United States. The city was first laid out in 1812, and in 1816 was chosen as the capital because of its central location within the state. Flowing through the central part of Columbus is the heart of where the Scioto and Olentangy rivers meet. The easy access to major transportation routes, primarily through the rivers, made Columbus a prime location for the capital. With a wide variety of sports, entertainment, and booming industries, Columbus offers truck drivers opportunity for work and play!

Columbus OH

Primary transportation sources for Columbus include planes, trains, and trucks. The Port Columbus International Airport sits on the east side of Columbus. Transportation has come a long way since the city’s founding, but the rivers that run through Columbus remain a primary cog in the machine that moves goods between the East Coast and the Midwest. With over 12,500 trucking companies located in Ohio, most of them locally-owned, truck driving supports businesses both large and small. Well over three-fourths of Ohio’s communities are served exclusively by trucks. Local truck driving jobs in Ohio are directly impacting all goods for freight, supply, and stock.

Columbus has Interstate I-70 and I-71 running through that combine in downtown for 1.5 miles better known as “The Split.” Along with interstates I-270 and I-670 also running through the heart of Columbus. These interstates also provide easy access to Pennsylvania Indiana, and West Virginia.

Entertainment and culture fill the streets of Columbus year round. Whether you want to visit a museum, go to a sporting event, or enjoy a festival, Columbus holds it all. Home of baseball minors team Columbus Clippers, Major League Soccer team Columbus Crew, and the National League Hockey Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus is a hot spot for sporting events through all seasons! Festivals of all interests are well known in Columbus, such as the Columbus Food Truck Festival, The Arnold Sports Festival, Columbus Jazz & Rib Festival, and the Columbus Arts Festival. The Columbus Museums of Art and the Center of Science and Industry are two museums you don’t want to miss out on if you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon while enjoying some home time.

For the truck drivers who make their home in Columbus, there are a number of trucking jobs available. View Columbus truck driving jobs for local, regional, and over the road opportunities near you!

Daily Express launches Daily Expedited division

Daily Express Logo

Daily Express, Inc. has announced the launch of a new division within their company. Daily Expedited, an open-deck, high-mileage division of Daily Express, opens up a host of new opportunities to both clients and drivers. As the name implies, this new division will provide delivery that is prioritized, on time, dependable, efficient, and above all, safe. The Daily Expedited division will still transport construction and agricultural equipment.

Daily Expedited drivers will receive a host of benefits by becoming involved in this new division. Owner operators who become a part of this new fleet can count on having minimal down time between loads and reliable home time. Each truck in this new division can expect to travel between 110,000 and 130,000 miles each year moving both legal and less than 12’ wide loads on stepdeck and lowboy trailers.“Our customers have an abundance of this type of freight and expect us to move it with the same Daily Express standard of excellence that they know and appreciate,” CEO Todd Long said in a press release.

Greg Brook has been named the Daily Expedited Coordinator. He has extensive experience in third-party logistics and therefore knows the importance of timeliness to shippers. Daily Express will need to hire approximately 30 owner operators to man the fleet. In addition to the awesome incentives noted above, Daily Express’ website states that all new owner operators are eligible for a $1000 sign-on bonus.

“We are all looking forward to the many challenges, opportunities, and successes that this operation will present. It will allow us to move a lot more of this type of freight and that’s something our customers would like us to do. Additionally, our fleet will be able to hire a new class of drivers who will be the future specialized and special equipment truck drivers of Daily Express.”

For more information on the Daily Expedited fleet contact Erik Thompson 717-240-2188 or visit www.dailyrecruiting.com