TCA to Transport Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently made headlines due to its successful collaboration with Wreaths Across America. Now, TCA is ready to give back again, this time in working with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. TCA and the VVMF will work together to bring The Wall That Heals to communities across America. The Wall That Heals is a 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, that honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces during the Vietnam War. The wall bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.

“This partnership is a natural progression of the trucking industry’s commitment to honor our veterans and to promote education about the value of service,” said Brad Bentley, president of TCA. “It’s an opportunity for us to keep the logistics for a valuable project running smoothly by doing what we do best as an industry.”

With over four million visitors each year, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the most visited Memorial in Washington, D.C. Still, many Americans have been unable to visit the monument. Bringing the portable version of the wall to communities throughout the nation provides thousands of veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing The Wall to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities.

A man sitting at The Wall That Heals.

A man plays ‘Amazing Grace’ for 12 fallen men he knew while visiting The Wall That Heals in 2014. Picture via Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Facebook Page.

TCA is excited about the opportunity to provide its member companies and professional truck drivers with a way to continue the legacy of service present at TCA, following the success of the Wreaths Across America collaboration. TCA drivers will drive the trailer hauling the Vietnam Veterans Memorial exhibit, which includes The Wall replica as well as an accompanying mobile education center.

“Partnering with TCA will enable us to continue our mission to honor and preserve the legacy of The Wall and educate all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War,” said Jim Knotts, CEO of VVMF. “We are currently raising funds to upgrade the physical structure of The Wall That Heals, and this partnership helps immensely toward this goal.”

The Wall That Heals debuted in 1996, and has been visited by over two million people since then. It has made stops in nearly 400 communities across the United States, and has visited Ireland and Canada. The Wall That Heals features a half-scale replica of the memorial in Washington. It is nearly 250 feet in length, and takes on the Chevron shape of the original memorial.

When The Wall That Heals visits a community, it provides an educational experience for local schools and organizations on the history of the Vietnam era and The Wall. The exhibit features photos of service members whose names are found on The Wall, letters and memorabilia left at The Wall in Washington, D.C., a map of Vietnam, and a chronological overview of the conflict. The exhibits seek to put American experiences in Vietnam in a historical and cultural context.

Get more information on The Wall That Heals, including the 2015 tour schedule, on their website. For information about the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), visit the link at the top of the page.

 

Millis Transfer Updates Pay Package

Millis Transfer LogoMillis Transfer recently unveiled two new pay packages and several new programs for company drivers for 2015. Drivers for the company, a dry van carrier serving customers ranging from food and paper products to beer, are now eligible to earn one to six cents more per mile.

Among the biggest changes, Millis cut down on the number of  pay packages from four to two, in efforts to streamline the pay scale. Truck drivers can now choose between the Tax Advantage pay package or Straight Pay package. Millis hopes to offer drivers the means to meet their financial obligations while putting more money in their pockets after taxes. All truck drivers are paid on practical route miles.

Drivers on the Tax Advantage pay package are also given three weeks vacation time after one year of service with Millis. Beginning this year, drivers are now able to cash in some of their vacation time, up to one week a quarter.

Millis also launched a Detention Pay Program. Each time their drivers have an on-time arrival, and find themselves waiting to load or unload after 90 minutes of their scheduled time, Millis Transfer will pay the driver $20 per hour. The Detention pay is paid in 15 minute increments.

“We recognize that no two drivers are alike, or have the same situation at home,” said Millis Transfer’s Director of Recruiting, Reid Ransom.  “We want to provide options so each driver can decide what is best for him or her.  Some of these changes are a result of our own drivers’ suggestions.  We are all part of the same team and we make a point to listen to their ideas because ultimately it benefits everyone.”

In addition to the impressive new offerings, Millis also provides its drivers with top-of-the-line equipment, generous health benefits, 401(k) retirement program with up to 30% company match, rider program as well as safety bonus and performance pay.

* If you would like more information on the new 2015 program or how to kick off your career with Millis Transfer, visit the link at the top of the page.

Weekend Fires Strike Three Trucking Companies

It was an eventful weekend for trucking companies across the country as three were hit by fires. Luckily no injuries were reported in any of the blazes, but significant damage accompanied each one.

According to the San Bernardino County Fire Department, crews were able to extinguish a fire at a trucking supply yard in southwestern Fontana, California on Saturday, Jan. 24.

Truck fire at facility

Images of the truck facility fire in Cincinnati, courtesy of WLWT News 5.

The supply yard, which housed nearly 3 acres of semi-trucks, shipping containers, equipment and parts suffered damage. The blaze also threatened to consume dozens more vehicles and disrupt traffic along the nearby I-10 Freeway. The yard was located at the intersection of Washington and Live Oak avenues.

Luckily, the fire crews’ quick action allowed for a majority of the vehicles and equipment in the yard to be saved. Crews from Battalion 1 in Fontana received reports just before 8 p.m. of what was initially described as a vegetation fire.

A large column of smoke and flames could be seen for several miles before crews arrived. The fire crews’ efforts were complicated by winds reaching between 25-40 mph and difficulty accessing the structure due to the crowded lot. Lot employees helped firefighters to gain access, and once crews were in position, they initiated an aggressive fire attack. Crews deployed hose lines from multiple angles, and were able to bring the blaze under control in under 30 minutes.

Additionally, smoke blown across I-10 by the heavy winds did disrupt traffic, however, the firefighters’ quick actions ensured no major incidents occurred.

“The quick knockdown of the fire helped ensure no accidents occurred,” said Ryan Beckers, a public information officer for the Fire Department.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

In Cincinnati, authorities are reporting that an early morning fire resulted in nearly $1 million dollars in damages for a trucking company. By the time that firefighters made it to the scene of the blaze, along Old Ohio 32 road in Batavia, there was little they could do. The trucking company’s garage was engulfed in flames. As a result, the building and everything inside was destroyed.

The building’s roof and many of the walls were destroyed, along with five trucks.

Bonny Slone, whose home is next to the building that burned, said several explosions woke her this morning.

“The flames were just shooting out of the top — it really was fully engulfed,” Slone said.

Firefighters think the explosions reported by Slone were caused by tires popping on the trucks.

Some trucks parked outside were not damaged.

The man who runs Southern Ohio Sanitation owns the building and said that he and his family were working Monday to clean up and get power restored to the building.

Fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire. No one was inside the building at the time of the blaze.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, crews responded to a fire in the northwest part of the city early Monday morning, according to Charlotte Fire Capt. Dennis Gist. The fire started just before 5 a.m. at a trucking company’s mobile trailer, located in the 6500 block of Rozelles Ferry Road. Gist said that the trailer was about 500 feet off the road. It took 17 firefighters about 10 minutes to bring the fire under control. No one was inside the trailer at the time of the blaze, and crews are still trying to determine how the fire started. There was no word yet on the extent of the damage.

Koch Trucking Announces Referral Contest Winners

Koch Trucking Company LogoKoch Trucking just awarded its three most recent winners of the continuing Truck Driver Referral Contest. More than $27,000 was given in prize money to Jimmie Barnes, James Jones and Mardy Kennedy. These lucky guys won a certain amount according to their rank in the contest.

Barnes scored in first-place with $20,000, the largest amount given. Jones came in second-place with #5,000 and Kennedy placed third with $2,500. No matter what the amount this award is something to be proud of, congratulations truckers! The contest is open for any and all employees of Koch who want to refer any of their fellow truck drivers who were hired between August and December of last year.

Koch Trucking went above and beyond to care for its employees and awarded those who referred another driver by giving them a referral bonus and entered their names in the drawing for the contest. The Referral Contest for 2015 started January 1, and will run until June 30, 2015. Not only is Koch one of the best trucking companies to work for because of its prize-cash awards, but it is the place to drive with a long list of benefits that include health insurance, dental insurance, life and disability insurance.

Drivers will also receive a retirement plan and paid vacation. Koch has available truck driving jobs for a company driver, a lease purchase driver and an owner operator to drive for the specialized van fleet, offering a wide variety of trucking experience. Koch has locations all over the United States and is known as a “nationally renowned, quality service provider and leader since its founding in May of 1978.”

Visit their website to see a full list of job requirements and possibilities at Koch Trucking.

Cargo Transporters Truck Driver Named to ATA Road Team

ATA Road Team Truck Driver Derrick Whittle

America’s Road Team — Cargo Transporters Driver Derrick Whittle.

Cargo Transporters has proudly announced that one of its professional drivers, Derrick Whittle, has been named to the American Trucking Associations’ 2015-2016 America’s Road Team. Mr. Whittle will join 18 other professional drivers to represent the industry. The America’s Road Team program, sponsored by Volvo Trucks North America, is focused on educating the public and communities about the importance of professional truck drivers and the trucking industry.

In his 22 years with Cargo Transportation, Mr. Whittle has driven over 2.4 million miles, and received a number of distinctions. In October 2011, Mr. Whittle was named Driver of the Month for North Carolina and was recognized by ATA for 30 years of accident free safe driving from ATA. Currently, Mr. Whittle operates one of three Ride of Pride tractors at Cargo Transporters, providing community outreach services to school, veterans’ events and parades.

Mr. Whittle was selected by ATA from a pool of over 2,039 nominees for the prestigious honor. ATA narrowed the nominations to 31 finalists who competed before a panel of judges near the ATA headquarters in Arlington, Va. where he was selected as one of those to make the team.

“We are grateful to have Derrick as part of our professional driver group” says John Pope, Chairman.  “Our industry is made up of many professional ladies and gentlemen.  It is this group of people that supply our everyday needs like groceries, clothes and gasoline.  They do so in a safe and professional manner.  Derrick will do an outstanding job representing the trucking industry and Cargo Transporters as he travels the nation’s roads,” says Pope.

The nineteen truck drivers selected to serve on the team will serve as Road Captains for two years. The competition tested drivers’ knowledge of the trucking industry as well as their communication skills. Additionally, the judges reviewed their community service and safety records. Altogether, the Road Captains have 453 combined years of experience and have logged over 30.3 million accident-free miles.

For the next two years, the Road Captains will travel cross-country, acting as representatives of the trucking industry, speaking at community events and schools as well as to the media, public officials, and fellow truck drivers.

Mr. Whittle resides in Fieldale, Va. with his wife Teresa. He is a father of three and grandfather of two, and is active in his church.

To get additional information on the American Trucking Associations or the America’s Road Team, visit their website.

You may also learn more about Cargo Transporters, the largest company in Catawba County and the 20th largest employers in the country in 2013, by visiting their website through the link at the top of the page.

Con-way Truckload Names Drivers of the Year

Con-way Truckload Logo

Con-way Truckload recently announced the trucking company’s 2014 Drivers of the Year during an awards ceremony at its headquarters in Joplin, Mo.

The Driver of the Year awards are considered to be Con-way Truckload’s highest recognition and are given to company and contracted drivers based on their dedication to safety, professional service and exemplary performance. The Driver of the Year categories includes individual, team and regional awards. At awards ceremony, recipients were presented with an official Con-way Truckload jacket, a customized award plaque, a prize item of their choice, a cash prize and an official proclamation from the Missouri State Senate.

  • Company Driver of the Year Steve Denton has been driving professionally since 1991. He began driving for Con-way Truckload in 2004 and is a member of the fleet four team, with Amanda Tanner as his fleet supervisor. Denton lives in Springfield, Mo.
  • Independent Contractor Driver of the Year Eric Ard has been driving professionally for seven years and joined Con-way Truckload in 2008. He is on fleet 43, with Scott Cook as his fleet supervisor. Ard resides in Tennille, Ga.
  • Company Team of the Year Craig and Rachel Owens are on fleet 41, with David Bird as their fleet supervisor. They began driving together in 2011, and they joined Con-way Truckload in 2013. The Owens family lives in Gray, Tenn.
  • Independent Contractor Team of the Year Frances and Robert Wilder drive for fleet 20, with Erik Lynch as their fleet supervisor. Robert started driving in 1999 and joined Con-way Truckload in 2002. Frances joined him at the company in 2003. The Wilders reside in Dallas, Ga.
  • Regional Driver of the Year Mark Milasinovich drives for fleet 34, with Michele Allen as his fleet supervisor. He began his professional driving career in 1988, joining Con-way Truckload in 2010. Milasinovich lives in Clinton Township, Mich.

“As we honor these professional truck drivers, I’m reminded of the exceptional skill and commitment to safety exemplified in their daily performance,” said Joseph Dagnese, president of Con-way Truckload. “Each of these drivers sets the example of professionalism and excellence that allows our company to thrive and it gives me great pride to recognize all of them for this outstanding accomplishment.”

Congratulations, drivers! The trucking industry salutes you. Keep up the good work.

Roehl’s Superior Services Recognized With AGCO Award

Roehl Transport Trucks

Thanks to hard work and efficiency, Roehl Transport and Roehl Logistics recently received the 2014 Logistics Award from the AGCO Corporation.

AGCO presents the prestigious award to a company that provides consistent time performance, claims-free deliveries, and an overall easy business experience. Roehl was given the award at AGCO’s “Celebrating Success” dinner this past October. The event honors five suppliers for their superior performance and contribution to AGCO’s success in the areas of direct materials, indirect materials and logistics.

“Roehl Transport and Roehl Logistics continue to collaborate to meet customers’ needs. Being one of five winners, when AGCO has over 6,000 suppliers, is a top honor,” said Steve Elliott, vice president of Roehl Logistics. “The 2014 AGCO Logistics Award is great example of the two companies working together to deliver confidence and satisfaction to our customer.”

Roehl Transport currently employs more than 2,500 employees and houses more than 2,000 trucks and 5,000 trailers. Roehl Transport is known to be one of the largest and safest trucking companies in the nation. The company is headquartered in Wisconsin but has more locations throughout the United States.

Roehl Logistics is a third party logistics (3PL) provider that was founded in 2008. Roehl logistics arranges transportation for hundreds of shippers, while also offering consulting and management solutions to shipper and carriers across the United States and Canada.

From its headquarters in Duluth, GA, AGCO provides industry-leading machinery and equipment to farmers across the globe. AGCO is the world’s largest manufacturer of agricultural machinery and equipment.

Charter School Helps Ex Cons Become Truckers

Highlands Community Charter School logoWard Allen spends a lot of his time selflessly trying to find a way to welcome those who used to be criminals a way back into society. He has witnessed first hand what happens when these men and women are accepted and given another chance at life. Allen began his journey of molding the lives of these men and women 17 years ago. He has worked with different school districts to create programs for ex-criminals to earn the proper education to begin again and make a way for themselves in society. How does he do this? By training the parolees how to be professional drivers, they are able to find great truck driving jobs when they have completed the program.

In 2014, Allen partnered with three other businessmen to open a new school program, Highlands Community Charter School. The school provides encouragement and opportunity for ex-criminals and adult men and women who did not earn an education earlier in life. The school is not specified to parolees, but welcomes adults over 22 from all walks of life. Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Rivers Unified School District are the first two schools that Allen worked with almost two decades ago. Twin Rivers wants to give back by supporting Highlands Community Charter School. Twin rivers hopes to restore its adult education program from the fall outs it has experienced over the years.

Highlands Community Charter School qualified for a grant from the government for a whopping $2.5-3 million dollars. Just like any other school, the amount of funding relies on the number of those attending. And what did the school do with this money? It chose to add a truck driving school program, welcoming any parolees no matter what their circumstances are. Allen reports they are teaching the truck driving students with a two year pre-apprenticeship so the students will be able to make more money per hour when they are hired. Highlands is partnered with Senior Gleaners that recently partnered with Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. The leaders at Highlands recognize that the apprenticeship structure of their program provides an advantage for the students once they are placed in the workforce as a driver.

“It is the truck-driving program, however, that draws many parolees trying to get a fresh start and substantially boost the income they can earn in a short period of time,” said Marvin Speed, the Capitol District parole administrator with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Speed also reported that if the parolees can be put back into an everyday routine where their needs are met and they are put to a specific task, their self-esteem comes back. From there they can be reunited with their families and maintain a steady income. “They’re less likely to revert to their criminal ways because they work and they earn something tangible to them.”

The truck driving program also creates a bright future without any relapse with criminal activity for most of the attendees. Allen reported that only 7 percent of those who graduate from the program go back to their old ways. Parole officer Speed follows up by reporting that the previous lists of graduates from Highlands have been successful, speaking at orientations for parolees fresh out of prison to encourage them.

Highlands interns hard at work giving back to society.

Highlands interns hard at work giving back to society.

The partnership with the food bank creates a whole new level of opportunity for those who attend Highlands Community Charter School. The parolees have the chance to give back to society by serving as volunteers at the Senior Gleaners location. Allen worked it out for the students to be able to practice in the spacious parking area behind the facility. The interns at Highlands function as assistants to licensed drivers to gain hands on experience and make deliveries for the organization. They are allowed to operate equipment with a forklift license and their assistance goes a long way according to Rosie Cerna, director of operations and compliance at Senior Gleaners. She says the students cleared out areas she and her team were not able to focus on because they have a small team of staff members. The Highlands interns did landscaping and clearing of various items on the grounds of Senior Gleaners. Their efforts resulted in a noticeable fence that could not be seen beforehand. With the help of the students, the average cost for truck maintenance at Senior Gleaners has been cut in half and the function of the trucks is more reliable.

Kevin Benjamin is a former parolee and has worked his way up as the intern coordinator for Highlands. He has structured the program to make sure the students are available to assist the licensed drivers at any given time. He was imprisoned at pelican Bay State Prison and desired a life of genuine change once he was released. He has experienced the scrutiny some people give ex-criminals but he was accepted and valued at Highlands.Man with hands raised on a mountain top

“My last prison was Pelican Bay, and I thought I wasn’t going to leave there, and so to come here and have the trust, I have keys and alarm codes, it means a lot. It’s a special place.”

Gordon Trucking Delivers Christmas Spirit

Truck drivers in front of a truck with a wreath on the frontThe holidays are a time for giving, and Gordon Trucking delivered its fair share of joy this past Christmas. Over the holidays, Gordon Trucking volunteered its time to two Christmas-related non profits, Wreaths Across America (WAA) and Share the Joy.

For the third straight year, Gordon Trucking honored fallen soldiers by participating in WAA. Gordon Trucking’s team drivers Ed Combs and Crystal Ahlstedt hauled a load of WAA’s wreaths from Kansas to two cemeteries in Nevada. As veterans themselves, Combs and Ahlstedt were honored to join in the efforts of delivering thousands of wreaths to the graves of our country’s veterans.

“Helping Wreaths Across America place a wreath on our veterans gravesite for Christmas, it is a very small gesture for the very large price these men and woman had to pay,” said Tara Titulaer, Gordon Trucking’s director of regional operations.

Santa with a group of people and a vanOver the past two decades, trucking volunteers have come together to transport wreaths from Columbia Falls, Maine to Arlington National Cemetery and other military memorial sites. WAA was founded in 1992 and has since then placed 1.2 million donated wreaths on fallen soldier’s graves.

In addition, employees of Gordon Trucking, along with their families and Valley Freightliner, delivered gifts to 81 underprivileged children and their families.  Employees donated their time to shop for, wrap and deliver the gifts to the local families. More than 40 employees donated their time and even more donated financial contributions.

Established 28 years ago, the Share the Joy program revolves around the giving spirit of the holiday season and works to give back to local communities around Gordon Trucking’s headquarters in Pacific, Washington. With funds contributed by both Gordon Trucking and Valley Freightliner, Share the Joy coordinates with locals to seek out less fortunate families in the community and help fill their needs and wants for Christmas. The gifts include anything from clothing to toys.

4 kids with Santa Clause“Share the Joy is such a remarkable program,” said Trevor Drumm, Orientation Coordinator at Gordon Trucking and this year’s Santa.” I have been lucky enough to be involved with it the last two years and it honestly sits at the top of the list of some of my happiest moments that I’ve experienced.”

Hats off to Gordon Trucking for remembering the reason for the season and giving back this Christmas — they make the trucking industry proud!