Focus on North Dakota

Oil Rig

Home of the “World’s Largest Buffalo,” North Dakota sits in the Upper Midwest region of the United States. In 1889, North Dakota became the 39th state admitted to the union. Today, North Dakota is home to 723,393 residents.As the third least populated state, North Dakota offers a laid back environment with plenty of employment for truckers.

North Dakota’s earliest industries were fur trade and agriculture. Agriculture remains a major part of North Dakota’s economy. Ranking 18th in the country for total value of agricultural products sold, truck drivers in North Dakota are necessary for the leading crops of barley, canola, and oats.

East of the Missouri River lies the state’s capital, Bismarck. I-94 connects Bismarck to Fargo, North Dakota’s largest city. Williston sits off of US-85 in the northwestern corner of the state where the Bakken shale lies beneath the ground.

North Dakota’s economy has skyrocketed in recent years due to the Bakken oil boom. In 2001, North Dakota was ranked 38th in per capita gross domestic product (GPD) and today North Dakota has the highest GPD in the United States. The Bakken boom has propelled North Dakota into the second position of oil producing states in the country. This boom has created the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

The Bakken oil producers rely on trucks everyday, increasing the demand for truck drivers in the state. Each new well estimates that 2,300 truck trips are required for development of every Bakken well. Projections suggest that at least 40,000 wells could be drilled in the Bakken and surrounding areas over the next 20 years. Trucks and truck drivers are expected to be a key requirement for well service and maintenance.

Over half of North Dakota’s communities are served exclusively by trucks and nearly 70 percent of manufactured tonnage moved within the state is transported by for-hire carriers, according to the North Dakota Motor Carriers Association (NDMCA).

According to the NDMCA the average truck driver salary is $42,000, but the oilfield truck drivers make double, sometimes triple, the average salary. The demand for truck drivers is high, but experience is key when it comes to working in the oilfield industry.

Britton Transport has made hiring and recruiting veterans a priority. Partnering with Bison Transport, Britton has developed the Britton Transport Finishing Program that provides new drivers with in-cab instructor training for nine weeks, followed by other training phases that provide truckers with experience in the oil fields.

The oil boom is bringing in new employees from around the world, but other industries, such as housing, are unable to keep up with the rising demand. Many men and women head to the Bakken oil fields for work live in rapidly assembled trailer parks known as “man camps” or their vehicles. Man camps oftentimes house prefabricated structures that resemble military barracks. These camps recently made news when a tornado struck earlier this week.

The increased populations create high demands for all kinds of goods and services. Sadly, human sex trafficking is one of these demands. North Dakota residents have began noticing the increase of prostitution throughout the state with over 100 complaints involving trafficking within the past 6 months. North Dakota law enforcement and trucking agencies are working with Truckers Against Trafficking to spread awareness of human trafficking in the area.

Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a non-profit organization that gives trucking companies resources for truck driver education on how to help stop and prevent human trafficking. Partnering together will not only help those within the sex trade but will lower crime within the state.

If you are interested in North Dakota trucking jobs, view the state profile for more information on truck driving opportunities.

Mack Trucks’ Rolling Tribute Joins the Thunder

This past Monday, Memorial Day, our country set aside a day to honor the memory of soldiers who have served in the past and to rally in patriotism for those that continue to serve today. Amidst the picnics and water sports, the family gatherings and beginning of summer celebrations, there were those who gathered at war memorials, cemeteries, around SmallTown Main Street flagpoles for speeches, parades, and moments of silence to remember the fallen, mourn the missing, and encourage the serving.

Mack Trucks Rolling ThunderTrucking is an industry that does not shy away from a close relationship with the military. Several trucking companies have programs to assist veterans into driving jobs and participate in Wreaths Across America. Even the federal government recognized this tight bond, passing a bill last year that made it easier for veterans to maintain their CDLs between states and accept their military experience in the trucks.

Mack Rolling ThunderTrucking isn’t only about the driver though. There’s room for truck manufacturers as well. Mack Trucks, Inc. celebrated this past Memorial Day with a paint job unveiling that commemorates the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The truck-side mural captures the Normandy beach invasion from land, air, and sea. Blending with the battle scene a bald eagle and the Stars and Bars bridge the scene from Normandy to Arlington Cemetery. It is a strong image on the side of a powerful truck.

Mack employees on motorcycles accompanied the muraled rig from Lehigh Valley, PA to another of the company’s locations in Maryland for a memorial service and dedication. From Hagerstown, the team rode on to join Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom Rally taking place in Washington D.C.

Now in its 27th year, Rolling Thunder is a motorcycle ride and rally that began as a remembrance of the soldiers in the Vietnam War who were prisoners of war or missing in action. In the ride’s last 27 years, Rolling Thunder’s purpose has grown to serve as more than a demonstration for Vietnam’s forgotten. The rally now serves as a display of gratitude and respect for all military members who have served and continue to serve in America’s military.

In the spirit of Mack Trucks’ patriotism, thank you to all in military service.

Sylectus announces “Driver Stories” contest

Whether you have only been driving for a few months or are retired from driving after a storied career, it is  likely that you have a story or two about your adventures as a carrier driver. Sylectus, a business unit of Omnitracs through Omnitracs Canada, Inc., and industry leader in web-based transportation management software for progressive fleets, has announced a contest that could allow drivers to win exciting prizes for telling their tales from the road. Launched on May 13 and running until June 6, Sylectus wants to hear compelling stories about drivers’ time on the road through submissions to its Driver Stories contest. The contest is open exclusively to current and retired drivers of carriers subscribing to Sylectus’ services.

sylectus driver stories contest

The Driver Stories contest has three categories. The first, Improving the Common Good, focuses on stories about helping the human race at large. The Uplifting/Moving category, will include stories that center around assisting in a time of need. The final category, Humorous/Funny, will detail the many antics that can happen on the road.

All submissions must be at least 1,000 words. Drivers can submit up to 3 entries. The judging panel will choose first, second, and third place winners in each category. Winners will be announced at the Expedite Expo in Wilmington, Ohio, July 25-26, 2014. First place winners in each category will win an iPad, with second place taking home an iPhone and third place receiving an iPod.

President and general manager of Sylectus Stu Sutton explained the motivation behind the contest in a press release.  “Drivers play a vital role in keeping our economy humming and the supply chain in motion. With this contest, we want to shine the spotlight on these humble, unsung heroes—hearing some of their interesting stories and rewarding the best ones. We look forward to hearing about drivers’ inspirational, witty and unique adventures on the road.”

For more information about the contest and to submit your story, please visit https://www.sylectus.com/DriverStories.aspx. All submissions are due Friday, June 6, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. To find out more about Sylectus, visit their website.

Driver fatigue concern for Champion of Change winner

The numbers are shocking, scary. Almost 400 truck drivers and motorists are killed in large truck crashes every month and each year in the US, there are an estimated 55,000 accidents that are a direct result of driver fatigue. Driver fatigue is a major issue for all drivers, but seems to be even more of a problem for truckers, who spend the most time on the road traveling the longest distances. With major safety concerns for not only truck drivers themselves, but all others who share the road with them, those in the trucking industry have made combating driver fatigue a top priority.

The most recent recipient of the Transportation Champion of Change reflects the trucking industry’s dedication to safety. Daphne Izer, the founder of Parents Against Tired Truckers, was recently recognized by the White House and the U.S. Department of Transportation for her work advocating to combat driver fatigue. Izer founded Parents Against Tired Truckers 20 years ago, after her seventeen year old son, Jeff, along with three of his friends, were killed after being hit by a truck driver who was over his hours fell asleep at the wheel.

Daphne Izer prized for fighting driver fatigue

On their way to a haunted hayride, Jeff Izer and his friends had pulled over into the emergency lane before a driver, who had been over his hours, fell asleep while driving and ran over their vehicle. 4 out of 5 teens in the car were killed. They ranged in age from 14-17.

After Jeff’s death, Izer decided to channel all of her sadness and anger into fighting against driver fatigue, or as she calls it, her and her husband’s “second careers”. She founded Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT) in 1994. Both Izer and her husband Steve have dedicated their lives to fighting for changes to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue, as well as offering support to those impacted by driver fatigue related accidents.

In a press release sent out by the Department of Transportation, they credited Izer as being an instrumental part of helping the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration gain traction for the use of electronic logging devices, or ELDs. Izer lobbied for all drivers to begin using ELDs to keep track of their hours instead of the paper logbooks that drivers have used for years, noting that ELDs allow for hours to be kept more accurately.

The DOT also credited Izer with bringing the issue of truck driver fatigue to the attention of those in the trucking industry. “Daphne’s efforts to improve highway safety have created an awareness of truck driver fatigue and enabled FMCSA to gain support for our Electronic Logging Devices proposal,” stated DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx. “I’m proud to say that in March, FMCSA announced our proposal to require motor carriers to use Electronic Logging Devices to improve the quality of logbook data and compliance with Hours of Service safety rules. The uniform use of Electronic Logging Devices is an important step for saving lives and preventing serious injuries.”

In addition to lobbying for the increased use of ELDs, Izer has also lobbied for the new Hours of Service rules. Foxx said that the new rules include “commonsense, data-driven changes to reduce truck driver fatigue and improve safety by reducing the maximum average work week for truckers to 70 hours to 82 hours and requiring a 30 minute break during the first eight hours of their shift”.

Another issue important to PATT is focused on changing the way that drivers are paid. From the very beginning, Izer has made it a point to listen to the concerns of truckers. She noted that their method of payment seemed to be lending itself to more dangerous driving habits.

“We started hearing from truck drivers… truckers were being pushed in many cases to get loads delivered. They’re paid by the mile not by the hour… They get behind the wheel, they’re fatigued, people get killed. We want drivers driving less time. They should be paid for all time worked… by the hour.”

Drivers echoed Izer’s concerns, describing how the pressure to log as many miles as possible can lead to unsafe driving habits. In a recent article concerning driver safety issues, drivers described that some truckers drive erratically because they are paid by the mile rather than an hourly wage. Driver Victor Shotko described the thought process of many of his fellow truckers. “It’s just, ‘I’m in a hurry; get out of my way … I’m on mileage pay. I’m just sick of all these guys getting behind the wheel and killing people.”

Alarmingly, Shotko wasn’t the only driver in the article to make this point. “Someone should be looking into how these truckers are paid,” wrote Ken Dando of Allentown. “Obviously, their form of compensation is encouraging them to make their runs in the shortest amount of time possible, encouraging needless risk-taking.”

While the changes have been controversial, Foxx was quick to remind all about the reasoning behind the new rules and regulations. “Analysis shows that these changes will save 19 lives and prevent approximately 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries each year.”

After founding PATT, Izer decided to join forces with The Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) to form the Truck Safety Coalition. The Truck Safety Coalition is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, providing compassionate support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims, and educating the public, policy-makers and media about truck safety issues.

truck safety coalition works to combat driver fatigue

According to their website, the Truck Safety Coalition is currently working to foster changes regarding Hours of Service rules, use of ELDs, increased parking spaces for tractor trailers and a change in policy to allow drivers to be paid for all hours worked. The Truck Safety Coalition is also focused on freezing truck size and weight limits at current levels as well as educating legislators on issues related to truck safety regulation, among other issues.

In addition to lobbying for changes in safety regulations, The Truck Safety Coalition focuses on offering support to victims and survivors of truck crashes. One visit to the Truck Safety Coalition’s website and many stories similar to Izer’s can be found.

The leaders of the Truck Safety Coalition, including Izer, make it clear that their push for more regulation does not make them anti-trucking. Recently, while speaking in Washinton, Izer noted the importance of these changes to truck drivers themselves.“Trucks are necessary to the movement of goods, and I am not against trucking or truck drivers. I am a strong proponent of safe trucking and I know that we can and should do more to require the safest possible trucking and the best outcomes of the safety of our families and for truck drivers. Not suprisingly, truck driving is consistently listed in the top ten most dangerous jobs.”

Jennifer Tierney, a CRASH board member who has lobbied in Washington for years after her father was killed in a truck crash echoed Izer’s sentiments. “We are not anti-trucking, we are pro safe-trucking. Trucking is an aspect of our economy, it’s an aspect of our life. We’re not trying to do away with trucking, but no one should expect anything less than for our government and the industry to do everything they can to prevent crashes and fatalities.”

For more information on the work of the Truck Safety Coalition, visit their website or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Tyler named most recent Highway Angel

As Robert Tyler, a driver for Smokey Point Distributing, was heading home on February 13 to his company’s terminal, he came upon a car blocking a lane on 172nd St. in Arlington, Wash. He saw that several cars had been maneuvering around the stopped vehicle and were driving on.

Robert TylerAs he neared the vehicle, he sensed something was wrong even though the car’s brake lights were on. Pulling near the driver’s seat, he saw the driver slumped over the car’s center console. Stopping his truck a few feet ahead, Tyler went to investigate the situation. The man driving the car was now unconscious with only the shoulder strap of the seat belt holding him up. The car was in drive, but the man’s foot was pressing against the brake. He began convulsing and gasping for air every 40 seconds or so. All of the doors and windows were locked.

Fearful that the man’s foot might slip off the brake thus sending the car into the driving public, the quick-thinking Tyler ran back and moved his truck in front of the car so as to be a barrier. He then brought a metal bar from his truck, smashed the rear window in the driver’s side, unlocked the doors, and turned the car off. Some other bystanders had stopped and helped Tyler pull the man out the car and onto the ground. One of the bystanders was a nurse who administered CPR to the victim until the paramedics arrived.

“All I could think was this car is going to take off and slam into oncoming traffic if his foot slides off that brake,” said Tyler. “So I placed my truck in front of his car without touching it, just enough so if it started moving, it could only go a few inches.”

The Truckload Carriers Association named Tyler, a professional driver for 30 years, as one of its Highway Angels. He received a certificate, patch, and lapel pin. Smokey Point Distributing also was presented with a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers had been honored with the designation. Drivers are recognized as Highway Angels for showing unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage to others while on the job.

It turns out this is not the only time Tyler has acted on behalf of victims. He once helped a seriously injured motorcyclist who had crashed into a concrete barrier, and Tyler helped to dig his neighbors out of the recent Oso, WA mudslide.

To nominate a driver as a Highway Angel or to receive more information about the program, visit: http://truckload.org/Highway-Angel.

Highway Rhythm | Night Rider

To the one who rides through the night to meet stressful deadlines, this one is for you. We know it’s a tough life that isn’t for the faint of heart. That’s why, in this addition of Highway Rhythm, we’re recognizing the night rider.

Many truckers choose to drive at night mainly because there is less traffic, and it’s easier to find parking. Not to mention, it’s a great alternative to dealing with the crazy drivers that come out by day. But, it’s not an easy task.

With that black sky, comes tired eyes. And often times, truckers turn to the radio to help them keep trucking along. There isn’t a great selection of music during that time of night though. For this reason, we created a playlist for the night rider.

The genres vary, but every song has something to do with the mission at hand. So let these songs be your motivation, and start you trip off right.  Get in your truck, fasten your seat belt, sit back, and let the city’s neon lights and this playlist guide you to your destination.

Midnight Rider – The Allman Brothers Band

“Midnight Rider” may just be our favorite songs for the night rider. The song was first recorded by The Allman Brothers Band for their 1970 album entitled Idlewild South. “Midnight Rider” remains an American classic and has since been covered by likes of Willie Nelson and Bob Segar.

Drive – Incubus

A more recent choice, “Drive” offers the trucker a more mellow option. The song became widely popular after its release in November of 2000. It is considered Incubus’ biggest hit, having eventually reached #1 on the Billboard’s modern rock chart and the award for Modern Rock Single of the Year.

Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones

When it’s time to get going, leave it to The Rolling Stones to help a trucker get started on a night ride. “Start Me Up” first appeared on The Rolling Stone’s album Tattoo You in 1981. The song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached #1 on Australian Kent Music Report.

In the Midnight Hour – Wilson Pickett

“In the Midnight Hour” was released in 1965 by Wilson Pickett and currently ranks as the 106th greatest song of all time. Besides the fact that it’s a great song, it’s perfect for trucking in the midnight hour.

Wheels Rollin’ – Jason Aldean

In need of some motivation to keep you going? “Wheels Rollin’” by Jason Aldean is it. Aldean released this song on his Night Train album in 2012. If you find yourself counting the lines on the highway, just turn on this country single.

Truckin’ – Grateful Dead

The name says it all. Truckin’ was featured on the Grateful Dead’s album American Beauty in 1970. In 1997, the song was recognized by the United States Library of Congress as a national treasure, but is best recognized for the lyrics “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

Back in the Saddle – Aerosmith

With Areosmith playing, getting back in the saddle is easy. “Back in the Saddle” was first song on Aerosmith’s favored album Rocks, which was released in 1976. When it’s time to start your night ride, let this song be your anthem.

In the Air Tonight – Phil Collins

One of Phil Collins best hits, “In the Air Tonight” makes for great addition to this playlist. The song was recorded in 1980 and appeared on Colin’s 1981 solo album Face Value. Since then, the song has repeatedly been used in advertisements, TV shows and movies.

Midnight in Montgomery – Alan Jackson

Released in 1992, “Midnight in Montgomery” was written about Alan Jackson’s visit to Hank Williams grave in Montgomery. The song has a haunting quality that adds to the overall darkness of the song, which is perfect for a night ride. Especially, if you are driving through Montgomery. The song peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart and remains today as a country classic.

Black Betty – Ram Jam

“Black Betty” is an instant mood booster. Don’t let the drag of the night get you down. Turn up the music, and let Ram Jam brighten your dark night. “Black Betty” is best known for its modern, rock recording by Ram Jam in 1977.

Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight & the Pips

Let Gladys Knight & the Pips take you back with this 1973 number-one hit single. The song won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus. When the night gets long, turn this on and get to reminiscing.

CARB debate splits truckers

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) exists in order to enforce the rules put in place to prevent diesel pollution. The requirements were first established in 2008. These rules have created a divide within the trucking industry. Many truckers complied in 2008 and many truckers from small firms and owner operators have a harder time affording the means to comply with the rules.

CARB exhaust emissions

CARB is requiring the purchase of new trucks, replacement of engines, or the modification of equipment with diesel particulate filters that can cost up to $20,000. According to CARB, the trucks are one of the top sources of nitrogen oxides. These restrictions were put in place in 2008 to reduce exposure to cancer-causing diesel soot and curb smog. These rules apply to roughly all 1 million heavy-duty diesel trucks. The goal for the air board was to cut diesel emissions by a total of 85 percent below 2000 levels by the year of 2020.

The issue now at hand is whether or not CARB should relax on the regulations in order for small firms and owner operators to have more time to comply with the rules.

Trucker Chris Torres is president of F&L Farms Trucking Inc. and does not think the state of California should back down on the diesel rules. Torres has been faced with the environmental rules for years. He and his employees met the requirements by paying $1 million in the past two years to replace most of the trucks in its fleet in the Colusa County community. If the air board puts a lax on the rules it would impact the ability for Torres to provide a decent living for his employees.

The California Construction Trucking Association filed a lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board in August 2013 in relation to the regulations CARB set in place regarding motor carriers.

CCTA filed its first lawsuit against CARB standards in 2011 stating that the standards were occupied by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act. FAAAA prohibits states from executing any law that affects the “rates, price, or services” of motor carriers.

CCTAstates that “legal challenges ought to be settled before any further damage is done to California’s trucking industry- for both large and small fleets.”

CCTA advocates for owner-operators and small business truckers and believes the rules CARB wants to enforce are in violation of federal law. CCTA has members on both sides of the issue and the organization states that “any perceived unfairness should be blamed on a poorly constructed and implemented set of rules… small business truckers are bearing the brunt of the multi-billion dollar expense to unnecessarily replace trucks originally built and certified to United States Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards.”

CCTA reminds the Air Resources Board that at least 50 percent of its members own and operate off-road and portable diesel powered equipment.

“Our case is the only active legal challenge to the truck and bus rule, which threatens the future of all small and medium-sized motor carriers and bus company owners in the state — and the rule will be adopted by other states if our case is unsuccessful. If we are successful in this litigation, it will open the door to challenges of all the other California diesel regulations, so the stakes are too high to be ignored.”

In regards to the environmentalists’ side of the issue, CCTA believes the basis of these regulations comes from illogical scientific claims that lack an adequate association between diesel exhaust exposure and increased mortality. Environmentalists presented a legal argument that CARB regulations are an effective federal regulation and do not violate any state regulations.

Clean-air advocates state that this is “the biggest step California has ever taken to reduce health risks from air pollution.” CARB states that the postponed deadline would ensure that more truckers have the time to access more loans and grants in order to make the upgrades for their trucks. The changes would only slow the state’s progress on air quality and achieve 93 percent of pollution cuts anticipated through 2023.

The lawsuit between the California Construction Trucking Association and the California Air Resources Board is still pending.

National Carriers proves it’s “the ‘Elite’ fleet”

National Carriers, Inc.Drivers at National Carriers, Inc. are proving that this trucking company is indeed “the ‘Elite’ fleet.”

Known for its diversified motor carrier services, National Carriers provides a place where employees can grow and improve themselves. In attempts to do so, National Carriers provides its truck drivers with achievement and recognition programs, in addition to customer’s driver appreciation days. At National Carriers, truckers won’t find anything less than a place that feels like home. And for that reason, drivers are thriving here. Just this month, National Carriers recognized three drivers for their achievements.

Bobby Barton was awarded with the Million Mile Safe Driving award. He received the award after driving over one million accident free miles at National Carriers. He received an embossed plague, embroidered hat, and a personalized embroidered jacket during his recognition. Barton lives in Shawnee, Oklahoma and operates his truck on National Carriers 48 state lease.

Bobby Barton

In addition, National Carriers recognized Miguel Fonseca for five years of safe driving and service. Fonseca was awarded with a ruby ring, a five year service hat pin, and a five year safety cap. Fonseca has driven for National Carriers since March of 2009. He currently lives in Liberal, Ks with his three children.

Miguel Fonseca

Among the other two drivers recognized is David Ritchie. Ritchie was named Driver of the Month for April. Ritchie was nominated by his compliance clerk, Kalee Goodson, for his superior customer service and safety consciousness. Debra Gilbert, his Driver Manager, seconded his nomination. Richie was presented with a $500 check, along with the opportunity to be named Driver of the Year. Ritchie has been with company since December 2012 and said he was not expecting the award. He and his wife live in Palmdale, CA and have six grown children.

David Ritchie

It’s National Carrier’s mission “”to be the safest, most customer-focused, and successful motor carrier in our class.” As we can see, the company’s elite professional drivers are putting that mission into action.

To learn about how you can become a part of National Carriers’ family, visit the company’s profile page.

Trucking not looking forward to GROW bill

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx

Last week, Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary, released the Obama administration’s transportation bill that is being sent to Congress. The $302 billion, four-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal is being presented to the House and Senate for their consideration in the hopes that a decision can be made before the Highway Trust Fund runs out of money this summer as has been projected.

The GROW AMERICA Act – Generating Renewal, Opportunity and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America – will create millions of jobs, lay a foundation for long-term competitiveness, rebuild crumbling roads and bridges, and provide certainty for local and state governments while addressing the country’s future needs. For funding, the Act will rely on pro-growth business tax reforms which will be designed to create incentives for companies to invest in the infrastructure projects.

“Failing to act before the Highway Trust Fund runs out is unacceptable – and unaffordable,” said Secretary Foxx. “This proposal offers the kind of job creation and certainty that the American people want and deserve. I have been pleased to see that members of both parties are already working together to solve these challenges, and I look forward to continuing our discussion and to supporting and building on the good work that’s already been done.”

However, the trucking industry is unhappy with issues identified in the bill such as placing tolls on existing federal highways. Foxx says the act would make more tolling possible by allowing states to have more flexibility. Adding to this thorn in the side of trucking associations is the fact that the proposed bill would not restrict toll revenue to highways. It could be allocated to mass transit and other forms of transportation.

“Any proposal that moves away from a user fee funded transportation system is not going to be acceptable to the American trucking industry, period,” said ATA (American Trucking Associations) President and CEO Bill Graves. “Furthermore, we have real questions about the viability of the administration’s plan to use one-time proceeds from an unspecified and unlikely to pass corporate tax reform idea, along with inefficient highway tolling or private capital financing. The focus must be on real, long-term funding answers…”

ATA also cites the fact that while trucks move nearly 70 percent of all U.S. freight, the proposal only uses the words truck, trailer or motor carrier 91 times, whereas the words train and rail are used 581 times.

Sounding off for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Executive Vice President Todd Spencer stated, “Our interstate highways are the foundation of trucking and our nation’s interconnected modern economy.”

Con-way Freight announces new Texas service center

Con-way Freight is pleased to announce the grand opening of a new service center in Robinson, Texas. The new service center will serve as Con-way’s local hub, the central location from which the company will provide daily freight services for commercial and industrial businesses in Central Texas, including Waco and Robinson.

 Con-way opens new service center

Complete with 48 freight-loading doors, the new service center is almost twice the current 22 door Waco service center, which has been in operation for more than 25 years. The new $3.7 million service center also boasts an 18,870 square foot dock. The new facility will help Con-way to better meet the needs for the hundreds of Central Texas businesses that they serve by providing increased capacity, flexibility and operating efficiencies.

 “We are proud to make this commitment to the Central Texas area, and invest in capacity and jobs that will allow us to better serve the needs of our customers in Robinson and the Greater Waco metro area,” said Greg Lehmkuhl, president, Con-way Freight. “The Central Texas market has experienced significant business growth over the past several years. We have been part of the Waco community for over 25 years, and we are excited to celebrate this major milestone for our employees here as well as our national network.”

 

Conway partnered, MDM Holdings, the Gummelt family, broker Jon Spelman, Pearson Construction and the city of Robinson in order to make the service center a reality. Architectural, engineering, and construction planning were led by the team of Bill Thomas Designs, J&S Structural, Bob Curry Engineering, and The Wallace Group, with whom Con-way Freight has signed a long-term lease.

 

In addition to increased capacity, the new service center will allow Con-way Freight to add 15 new jobs in the area, generating an annual payroll of more than $3.1 million for the local economy. The city of Robinson is happy about the new facility and all that it should offer to the city.

 “We are extremely pleased that Robinson has been selected for this expanded freight operations center,” said Bryan Ferguson, mayor of the City of Robinson. “We embrace this opportunity to welcome Con-way Freight and the economic boost that is so important to the increased vitality of our local, regional and state economies that this business represents.”

Get more information about Con-way’s current job postings here or by visiting their website.