WIT Announces Image Team Will Improve Trucking’s Image

These selected applicants make up the 2015 Image Team.

Ingrid Brown, Stephanie Klang, WIT President Ellen Voie, Carol Nixon, Allyson Hay, Wyzeena Heeny.

The Women In Trucking organization has announced the launch of its Image Team. The goal of the Image Team is to further represent the mission of WIT while creating more awareness about the need for more women drivers and the obstacles they have to overcome working in a male dominated industry.

The Image Team will participate in a variety of exciting industry events such as ride along trips for legislators, regulators and industry leaders to inform the public of the deeper issues behind the obstacles they face. The women on the Image Team will also have the opportunity to speak the media and their fellow drivers at public events and trade shows for the trucking industry.

The applicants for the Image Team were required to have a valid commercial license and must be a member of WIT for at least one year along with writing a 250 word essay explaining why she is the best pick to be a member of the Image Team. Applicants also had to answer questions about their safety records from the past, awards or recognitions prior to applying and volunteer and community service experience.

A totally of twenty-five applications were submitted to Women In Trucking. From those twenty-five the association selected ten finalists. From there, a selection committee interviewed the finalists over individual conference calls. The final five women to be the members of the Image Team were chosen from the ten finalists.

The five lucky gals who were chosen for the 2015 Women In Trucking Image Team are the following:

Stephani Klang, Con-way Truckload

Allyson Hay, Walmart Transportation

Wyzeena Heeny, Covenant Transport

Carol Nixon, Walmart Transportation

Ingrid Brown, Rollin’ B LLC

Mark Rousseau, Director of Logistics and Transportation, Frito-Lay, North America, WIT Board Member and an Image Team judge, said the board is looking forward to the implementation of the Image Team.

“These drivers will help the WIT Association advance our mission. In addition, the WIT Image Team will assist the Industry in improving trucking’s image by changing perceptions about truck drivers and their jobs. These women are true pioneers for not just WIT, but for the trucking industry. We congratulate them on their selection to this very impactful role,” Rousseau added.

The 2015 Image Team was announced at sixth annual Salute to Women Behind the Wheel event that took place in Louisville, Kentucky, hosted by the Women In Trucking Association. This event serves as a way to honor the female truck drivers in the industry making it the perfect time to make the announcement with about 400 people in attendance.

Decker Truck Lines Names Drivers of the Month

Decker Truck Line logo

Decker Truck Line recently announced five of its drivers who were chosen as the February 2015 Drivers of the Month. Dan Stuhr, Lyle Turville, Georgio Johnson, Donn Wako and Curtis Mcardle were all recognized due to their dedication to Decker and safe driving, Decker said in a press statement.

Decker Driver

Decker Driver of the Month Dan Stuhr.

Don Stuhr was the winner of the Fort Dodge/Ft. Wayne Reefer/Van Division. Stuhr, who has been with Decker for 10 years, was nominated by his fleet manager Diane Turner. “Dan always does an excellent job,” said Turner. He always delivers on time and is very safety oriented.”

Decker Driver of the Month Lyle Turville

Decker Driver of the Month Lyle Turville

Lyle Turville won the Missoula Reefer/Van Division. Turville’s fleet manager Greg Brown nominated Turville, saying “Lyle is a great communicator and a safe driver. He makes a trip plan for every load and lets me know if he sees any issues in advance.” Turville has driver for Decker for 2 ½ years.

Donn Wasko was the winner of the Ft. Dodge/Hammond Flatbed Division. Wasko has been with Decker for 12 years. “Donn is a good driver. I have had no issues with him,” said Sue Anderson, Wasko’s fleet manager who also nominated him for the award.

Decker Driver of the Month Georgio Johnson.

Decker Driver of the Month Georgio Johnson.

Georgio Johnson represented the LeMars Reefer/Van Division. Johnson has only been with the company for 6 months, but has already made his presence felt. Paul Easton, Johnson’s fleet manager who nominated Johnson for the award, gave Johnson rave reviews. “Georgio is like a ninja warrior. I never hear a thing from him but just see macros roll over with all the work he is performing.”

Decker

Decker Driver of the Month Curtis Mcardale.

Curtis Mcardale was the winner from the Bessemer Flatbed Division. Mcardle was nominated by his fleet manager Rick Nesbitt. “Curtis is always on time and in a good mood,” said Nesbitt. He is a major asset to the company.”

Each winner won a Decker gift certificate with their award. Additionally, each of the drivers is now on the running for the Driver/Owner-Operator of the Year award. The Driver/Owner-Operator of the Year Award recognizes one driver from each division, and brings with is a 1-cent-per-mile pay increase for twelve months.

Decker’s Drivers of the Month are selected by fleet managers.

Fleet managers choose drivers based on overall performance within all areas of the trucking company, including operational productivity, safety record, and maintenance/care of equipment.

Decker Truck Line, founded in 1931, is a diversified carrier, transporting flatbed, refrigerated and dry van freight all across the 48 contiguous United States and Canada.

If you would like to learn more about Decker Truck Line, visit their website at the link above.

Chinese Businessmen Tour Port of West Memphis

bridgesIn 2012 the city of West Memphis, Arkansas received a $10.9 million grant to expand the rail infrastructure at its port. This funding served as a means to advance the expansion of the West Memphis Intermodal project that was intended to advance the industrial and shipping effectiveness in the area. The grant was specifically given to bolster the rail system for heavier cargo loads, along with expanding the rail spur by 13,500 feet. This expansion allowed for truck and convoy access to the Port of West Memphis. The expansion of the shipping capabilities was seen as a pertinent aspect of creating more jobs in the area, according to U.S. Senator Mark Pryor, who was beyond thrilled to receive these funds.

The Department of Transportation’s TIGER V (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) provided the grant. This program “invests in transportation projects that will have a significant economic impact on the region and nation.”

Now just three years later, nine businessmen came to America all the way from Shenzhen and Shanghai to take a look at the rail, freight and trucking availability in West Memphis. Representatives from half a dozen logistics companies, one representative from a payment institution and two representatives from a supply chain management organization collaborated for a long-term effort created by the city of West Memphis to recruit Chinese businesses.

The director of economic development for West Memphis said the city is a place the Chinese wish to do business because of the hundreds of thousands of containers that are handled from China by the Union Pacific Intermodal Yard in Marion, Arkansas. West Coast ports are highly sought after right now because of recent labor distributions and provide alternate routes for containers.

“The Port of West Memphis is the only deep-water municipal port in the area that offers the Chinese an alternative gateway for container traffic to access the nation’s logistical heart by way of the Port of New Orleans and the Panama Canal,” Wimbish said.

West Memphis is currently in the process of creating a rail-served container yard near its port.

American Central Transport Raises Driver Pay

American Central Transport trucking company logo

American Central Transport is ready to “Raise the Standard” by raising pay for its company drivers! As of March 25, 2015, American Central Transport company drivers can now earn a maximum of $.50 per mile for all miles plus a fuel bonus.

Phillip Wilt, ACT Chief Operating Officer said that the increase in pay is a reflection of ACT’s desire to attract the very best drivers. “Taking care of our drivers and their families is one of ACT’s Core Values,” Wilt said. “Top pay along with a market-leading 401k retirement plan that matches up to 2 cents per mile and a Blue Cross Blue Shield medical plan round out our outstanding total compensation strategy for our company drivers. In addition, ACT offers holiday pay, free family ride along passes and a full menu of other health benefits.”

“From our open-door policy to our complete compensation package, we are working hard to make sure ACT offers a culture that values our truck drivers and their support team at home,” Wilt said.

American Central Transport is a dry van truckload carrier that serves shippers all across the eastern United States. American Central Transport was founded in 1926 as E.K. Motor Service, and was later renamed when it was purchased by the Kretsinger family, who still run the trucking company today. American Central Transport is frequently recognized for its top-notch service, an extension of the company’s “Raising the Standard” motto.

If you would like more information about how to start your career with American Central Transport, give them a call at 888-HAUL-ACT (888-883-2809) or visit their website.

 

Dot Foods Says “Earn While You Learn”

Dot Foods

As Dot Foods continues to grow, it has announced an exciting opportunity for aspiring professional drivers. The company is launching an “Earn While You Learn” program, where the company will pay new drivers to attend professional driving school through its distribution center in Wayne County, Indiana.

Dot Foods hopes to hire around 50 truck drivers for the program. Students in the Earn While You Learn program will earn $500 a week while attending truck driving school at SAGE at Ivy Tech Community College in Muncie, Indiana.

“This is the first program of its kind within our company,” Becky Reynolds, Dot Transportation’s assistant transportation manager in Cambridge City, said in a press release. “As our business continues to grow, so does our need to hire drivers.”

The Earn While You Learn program – and programs like it – could be helpful in responding to the truck driver shortage plaguing the trucking industry in recent years. The American Transportation Association said that currently, the driver shortage sits at around 35,000 drivers. This number is expected to grow to nearly 200,000 drivers by the year 2020, and 240,000 by the year 2024.

Reynolds was quick to highlight why the new program might appeal to drivers. “We are not only paying for our new employees to obtain their truck driver’s license, but we are also giving them a salary in the interim without a commitment or contract,” she said.

Driver Jeff Logan was one of the first to complete the Earn While You Learn program, and was very happy with the experience.

“Honestly, to me, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life,” Logan said. “I love what I am doing.”

Logan, 49, had worked at a company for nearly 15 years when his well-paid position was eliminated. After spending the next couple years working at a job that, in Logan’s words paid enough to survive.

Ready for a steadier job, Logan began researching jobs that would have high levels of job security well into the future, and trucking was at the top of the list. A friend told him about the Dot program. After completing the interview process, Logan was invited to be the first student in the Earn While You Learn Program.

Logan was very happy to learn that in addition to earning a paycheck while training, his schooling, which is valued around $5,000, would also  be free.

After completing his driver training in November of 2014, Logan began working at Dot. Logan reports that his benefits package at Dot is better than previous trucking jobs and he has had the opportunity to earn higher salary and bonuses during his time as a driver.

Before becoming a truck driver, Logan had some concerns that being a truck driver would require him to make long trips that would force him to be away from his family for long periods of time. However, with Dot, Logan is home between two and three nights a week, a schedule both Logan and his family have adapted to quickly.

Additionally, with his new steady paycheck, Logan was finally able to set a wedding date with his fiancée, after being engaged for over a year.

“It worked out great,” Logan said. “Dot is a great place to work.”

Dot’s Earn While You Learn Program could be a great option for many of those looking for a new career. After completing the program, drivers will receive a Class-A CDL license and hazmat endorsements for Indiana. Students then continue to train with Dot until they are fully qualified.

In order to qualify for the program, drivers must live within 50-75 miles of the Dot Cambridge City facility. This area includes Richmond, Muncie, Rushville, Connersville, Portland, Anderson, Brookville, Hartford City, Winchester and Liberty in Indiana. Applications are currently open online at www.DriveforDot.com.

 

Arpin Group wins Clean Energy Award

It’s time for The Arpin Group to celebrate! The Arpin Group, an industry leader in full-service moving and storage solutions, was recently named the winner of the 2015 Clean Energy Future Award for its leadership in sustainable energy practices. The award was presented by U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Congressman James Langevin, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and other Rhode Island state leaders.

Arpin Group accepted the award at a ceremony hosted by the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, during the Rhode Island Home Show Energy Expo. Six leaders in clean energy from a variety of Rhode Island municipalities, schools, non-profits, and private businesses were recognized at the ceremony.

“Today we honor innovative Rhode Island businesses and individuals who have helped us take important strides in the march towards a clean energy future,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed. “As we continue to address pressing issues like climate change and high energy costs, we are reminded that some of the greatest ideas to advance energy conservation and sustainability are being developed right here at home. I salute this year’s honorees for their contributions and commitment to finding smarter energy solutions.”

Arpin Group Partner Peter Arpin accepted the award on behalf of the company. Arpin Group says that Mr. Arpin has been the guiding force in the company’s commitment to sustainability. Additionally, Mr. Arpin hosts a leading business sustainability network ReNewable Now. The network, which is broadcast over a number of mediums, focuses “the business side of green”.Arpin

Over the last decade, Arpin Group has been proactive in adopting environmentally friendly technology and developing programs to reduce its carbon footprint. Some of the company’s most impressive accomplishments include:

* A series of “green” renovations to its West Warwick, R.I., headquarters.

* Investment in the research and development of solar panels for moving trucks to reduce engine runtime and fuel consumption.

* Partnership in the launch of the first electric car charging station in Rhode Island.

* Hosting several e-waste recycling collections, preventing over 92,000 lbs. of electronics from entering state landfills.

* Implementation of a low-interest “green loan” program for its employees to be used for energy-saving home improvements and hybrid vehicle purchases.

* Awards for its leadership in conservation including the John H. Chafee Conservation Leadership Award and the Audubon Society 2014 “RI Business of the Year” Award.

To get more information on the 2015 Clean Energy Future Awards and the Energy Expo, click here .

Arpin Group is the holding company of Arpin Van Lines, Arpin International Group, Creative Storage Solutions, Arpin Associates, Affiliated Transportation Systems and Arpin Renewable Energy, and is headquartered in West Warwick, Rhode Island. If you would like to learn more about the Arpin Group, visit their website or connect with them on Facebook.

CRST Expedited announces $10 million driver pay increase

CRST Van Expedited has announced a second $10 Million Driver Pay Increase. The increase went into effect on January 15 and comes a mere 15 months after CRST’s first $10 million increase in driver pay.

“The raises are designed to reward experienced drivers and incent driver tenure in a highly competitive marketplace,” said Cameron Holzer, President of CRST Expedited in a statement. “As the driver shortage worsens the competition for qualified, experienced drivers continues to increase. As CRST continues to grow, we need to invest in our drivers to retain and grow our fleet.”

CRST also announced a new initiative aimed at improving the driver experience and reducing driver turnover. The Gold Rules initiative promotes a corporate culture focused on meeting the needs of drivers, providing regular home time and increased pay. The initiative is proving to be effective, and has resulted in a 20% decrease in driver turnover since going into effect eight months ago.CRST

“We believe that the combination of our culture-changing Gold Rules initiative, plus the pay increase will make CRST a great place for drivers to build their careers” said Holzer. “Additionally, we believe, the entire trucking industry will need to increase wages for drivers in order to ease the perpetual driver shortage.”

Over the past several years, CRST has invested in their drivers in a variety of ways. CRST is especially committed to training new drivers. The company built a state-of-the-art driver training and truck repair facility in Riverside, Calif., expanded the driver training facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and launched a Commercial Drivers’ License training academy, the North American Driver Training Academy, in Cedar Rapids.

Each week, CRST trains nearly 250 new drivers in their facilities. The facilities offer on-campus lodging, classrooms, affordable quality meals and entertainment for trainees. The company also offers top-notch safety training to its drivers. CRST has become one of the trucking industry’s largest driver training organizations.

Through acquisitions and organic business growth, CRST has grown tremendously over the last few years, becoming one of the largest and most diversified trucking companies in the U.S. The company’s projected 2015 annual revenues are expected to exceed $1.5 billion. Currently, CRST employs more than 7,000 drivers, independent contractors and office personnel nationwide.

LBCC receives grant for trucking program

Long Beach City College (LBCC) is already known for being a leader in educating truckers who serve the ports in the area. Now, Long Beach City College has received a two year, $220,000 grant to expand the training program and serve even more truckers.

The grant was given to LBCC by Jobs for the Future and the Walmart Foundation as part of the $3 million national Delivering the TDL Workforce program, focused on increasing access to middle-skill jobs in the Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics sectors. LBCC will use it’s grant money to recruit more women to the local trucking workforce, LBCC said in a statement.

“Transportation and logistics are major industries in our city and vital to the economic strength of our region and nation,” said LBCC Superintendent-President Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “With this grant, Long Beach City College will be able to further strengthen our efforts to prepare our local workforce for well-paying careers in these industries.”

Jobs for the Future says they are happy to be helping to train workers to be a part of the TDL workforce.

“Jobs for the Future is excited to be a part of Walmart’s Opportunity Initiative, which is creating economic mobility for the U.S. workforce,” said Jobs for the Future senior vice president Maria Flynn in a statement. “These investments will promote diversity in the TDL workforce by designing recruitment and retention strategies to help more women move into these in-demand jobs that are critical to our nation’s infrastructure.”LBCC

The college will be able to train 300 additional drivers in Long Beach City College’s 14-week Driver Training Program using funds from the grant.

The LBCC Driver Training Program was developed in partnership with the Harbor Trucking Association two years ago. Students who complete the program will receive a short-haul California Class A Commercial license, a DL51A Medical Card, a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), and Certificates of Completion in Clean Truck Operations, Entrepreneurship, and Driver Safety, and will have clearance to operate within local port complexes. The program also includes training in hazardous freight endorsement and CSA2010 safety review. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared for a career as port containerized freight haulers. LBCC also assists graduates with job placement within local drayage companies part of the HTA partner network after graduation from the program.

If you would like more information on the LBCC Truck Driver Training Program, call (562) 938-3064 or send an email to wfdev@lbcc.edu. Interested applicants are responsible for providing eligibility documentation that may require a processing fee, plus a DMV testing and licensing fee.

 

KLLM unveils new Ill. driver academy

Every day, it seems, the truck driver shortage is making headlines. The good news: this means that truckers are going to continue to be in demand for many years to come. In fact, the ATA projects that nearly 200,000 new drivers will be needed to keep up with trucking industry demands through 2020. However, all of these drivers must go through the necessary training before they can begin their career. KLLM Trucking, has announced a new way to train some of these drivers.

KLLM Trucking, in partnership with Prairie State College, is building a large driver training facility in Glenwood, IL, located just outside Chicago. The new 40,000 square feet campus will include residential dorms and administrative and dispatch offices. With the addition of dorms on-campus, KLLM will be able to recruit candidates from all across the Midwest to train at the facility, leading to more widespread job creation.

“Candidates will train for three weeks in the classroom on truck operation and mechanics, then spend eight to nine weeks on the road with an experienced driver for ‘real life’ training,” said Glenwood’s Mayor Kerry Durkin. “At the student’s one-year anniversary of employment with KLLM, their educational debt is completely forgiven and they have a viable career to support their families.”KLLM Driver Training

Other large driver training facilities similar to the one to be built at KLLM have proven successful in a number of other states.

Durkin stated, “KLLM is providing solid, long-term careers for thousands of Americans and we are pleased that Glenwood will be their home.”

The KLLM Driving Academy is a great choice for anyone who is ready to make more money in a new career. In just 22 days, you can be on the road as a Class A truck driver, and you are guaranteed a job upon completion of the program. Students also qualify to have tuition costs forgiven after driving for KLLM for one year. During students’ time on the road with a trainer, they will receive a $400/week minimum salary. The KLLM Driving Academy also will feature state of the art tractor-trailer simulators, as well as a refrigerated trailer lab and computer lab. Students will train in the same equipment that they will use as a KLLM truck driver, making the transition into a new career seamless. Students will train in late-model tractors, complete with modern technology. Those that stay to drive at KLLM will qualify for a comprehensive benefit package after 3 months of employment and a 401(k) retirement plan after 6 months of employment.

To get more information about how to begin your training at the KLLM academy, check out the driver academy website or connect with the company on Facebook.

 

Con-way Partners With Holy Joe Café to Deliver Coffee to Troops

Conway Freight logo

Con-way Freight has officially partnered with the military charity Holy Joe’s Café to aid in transporting coffee to U.S. troops deployed overseas.

As the charity’s national transportation sponsor, Con-way will deliver thousands of pounds of donated coffee from suppliers to military bases across the country for free of charge.

“Our nation’s soldiers work tirelessly to keep our country safe, and our goal is to put a simple cup of coffee in their hands and give them a reminder of home,” said Thomas Jastermsky, founder of Holy Joe’s Cafe, a nonprofit coffeehouse chaplaincy ministry serving U.S. troops. “Logistics and transportation are expensive, and without the generous contributions of companies like Con-way Truckload and their strong commitment to supporting our military overseas as well as when they return stateside, the mission we carry out at Holy Joe’s simply wouldn’t be achievable.”

For the first time last June, Con-way donated its transportation services to Holy Joe Café. Throughout 2014, Con-way delivered more than a dozen shipments of coffee, an in-kind donation valued at $50,000. In 2015, the trucking company plans to increase load movements for the military charity.

The coffee transported to stateside U.S. military bases by Con-way Freight is donated by Keurig Green Mountain.  There’s an estimated 400,000-500,000 Keurig K-Cups and a pallet of Keurig coffeemakers in every truckload. The shipments of whole- and ground-bean coffee, K-Cups and coffeemakers are packaged at the military bases and then sent via military transport to units of troops deployed overseas. From there, on-site military chaplains receive the shipments and set up informal on-base cafés to offer soldiers a “taste of home” through fresh coffee.

In addition, the “café ministries” give soldiers the opportunity to engage in conversation with a chaplain and also receive spiritual counsel to help cope with the difficulties experienced during deployment. The program supports over 150 military chaplains deployed overseas.

“With 15 percent of our employees either U.S. armed services veterans or members of active reserve units, we take great pride in supporting our nation’s military through charities like Holy Joe’s, as well as being an employer that embraces veterans for their maturity, work ethic and leadership,” said Bert Johnson, vice president of human resources at Con-way Truckload. “By helping organizations like Holy Joe’s – and by providing good, solid jobs for our veterans when they return home – we hope to demonstrate our appreciation for and commitment to those who have sacrificed for our freedoms, and to be a strong voice for the ongoing support of our troops.”