Schneider National Shifts into Automatic Manual Transmissions

schneider truckIf you are new to the trucking industry or considering a career as a truck driver, there is one key to being a success. You have to know how to drive a big rig. In the past, tractor trucks came standard issue with an 18-speed transmission. This required you to learn how to shift those gears before you could get a commercial driver’s license. This was not a problem for most newbie truckers, since a good portion of passenger cars came with a stick shift. Not the case anymore, and trucking companies like Schneider National are following suit. By transitioning to automatic transmissions, truckers who don’t have manual driving experience are better positioned to be able to drive a big rig.

Benefits of Going Automatic Manual in Trucking

Why would a company as big as Schneider, currently ranked No. 6 among the Top 100 for-hire carriers, spend the money to make all trucks automatic manual? According to Schneider VP of Equipment, Maintenance, and Driver Recruiting, Rob Reich, “We have been testing various versions of automated transmission tractors since 2007, so we had a lot of experience behind us when we made the decision in 2015 to start transforming the fleet.” There are also several benefits in doing so including:

  • Automatic transmissions are more energy efficient, which means they use less fuel and give off fewer diesel emissions making the trucks on board with environmental expectations.
  • Automatics are easier to operate especially for the millennial trucking generation that didn’t grow up using a stick shift.
  • An automatic transmission requires less maintenance compared to standard manual transmissions.

By choosing to convert more than half of its fleet with automated manual transmissions, Schneider is hoping to improve its trucking capabilities. In addition to spending less on fuel, the company is striving to spend less on job recruitment and driver turnover. Equipping new drivers with less taxing and tedious trucking equipment will in turn give them less cause to want to quit their trucking job at Schneider and go somewhere else.

Schneider’s AMT Plan

Furthermore, Schneider National expects to have its entire fleet converted to AMTs by 2019. This would make Schneider the biggest trucking company in the US that will have gone completely automatic. So how do truckers and higher-ups feel about this transition in transmissions?

Reich notes that, “Ever since [we started transitioning], we have been very impressed with the dependability of these tractors. In fact, we’ve had fewer maintenance issues with them than we’ve seen with the manual-transmission tractors, which is not what we expected. We’re extremely pleased with the performance of these vehicles—and more importantly, so are drivers.”

Jim Czachor, a long time Schneider truck driver, who was on board with the pilot test for the program, said, “At first, I was wondering what I got myself into, so I asked my dispatcher, ‘If I absolutely can’t stand this, can I have my 10-speed manual back?’ Well, long story short, there’s no way I’d ever go back to a manual transmission.”

Among the newer truck driving recruits, there is even more enthusiasm for the switchover. Pam Taylor, Schneider National truck driver, added, “I learned how to drive on a manual at a truck driving school, but I’ve been driving an automated [transmission] since shortly after joining Schneider. Once I got in it, I was in love with it, and I prefer it over a manual any day! It’s easier to drive, and I also feel safer behind the wheel because it allows me to keep my focus on the road. I don’t have to shift down if something jumps out in front of me.”

Future of Truck Driving

We can expect to see more trucking companies, especially the larger carriers with a bigger budget for retrofitting and upgrading trucks, move toward AMTs in the future. There are too many pros for automatic manual transmissions in the trucking world to let this type of equipment be left by the wayside. As the trucking industry continues to increase its need for truck drivers, while looking for ways to cut fuel costs, automatics fit the bill and then some. Bottom line, if truck drivers are willing to operate an automatic with little resistance, then you can bank on other carriers taking up this more efficient, easier-to-operate type of transmission in big rigs.

Source: Schneider – Newsroom

CFI Appoints New Senior Vice President for Sales and Operations

cfi truck out in the desertCFI has recently named a new leader in its team of logistics administrators. Greg Orr comes to CFI with extensive truck driving leadership experience. Orr has stepped in as Senior VP for the Sales and Operations department in Joplin, Missouri as of July 2017. He will report directly to Tim Staroba, the President of CFI. Meet Greg Orr and find out how you can get a job in trucking at CFI now that Orr is on the job.

Meet Greg Orr of CFI

Greg Orr comes with a long list of job experiences that make him well suited for this senior VP position. He has worked in the following leadership capacities in the trucking industry:

  • Vice President and General Accounts Manager for Schneider National
  • Vice President of Operations for Greatwide Dedicated Transport of Dallas, TX
  • President and VP of Operations at Conway Multimodal at the Frisco, TX location
  • President of Action Resources, which is a hazmat and bulk chemical hauling trucking company in Birmingham, AL

He worked as a Regional Operations Manager for Wal-Mart prior to his expansive trucking leadership roles. Orr graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. While attending, he played for the college baseball team all four years.

According to Richard Metzler, Chief Marketing Officer for uShip, “Greg is a quality-driven leader who had good balance between the customer, the team and the bottom line. He is one of those guys where you knew that even the toughest business challenges were in good hands. I have met few others in my career who had the judgment and perspective to drive a balanced business perspective forward.” CFI has provided Orr with a position that will hopefully allow him to showcase his leadership skills to propel this trucking company toward even greater days.

About CFI

CFI was founded in 1951 in Joplin, MO, and today the company has five locations throughout the US:

  • Dallas, TX
  • Joplin, MO
  • Memphis, TN
  • Laredo, TX
  • Taylor, MI

The company also has truck driver facilities in several states of Mexico via CFI Logistica, as well as in Canada. Additional facilities in the US are in:

  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Joseph, MO
  • Pocahontas, IL
  • Kansas City, MO

These strategic locations include drop points in Southern California, New Mexico, and Arizona. The trucking company of CFI provides valuable hauling that includes LTL hauls, full truckload services, and package/courier, as well as logistics management.

Dry Van Trucking Jobs at CFI

CFI is a leader in dry van trucking jobs in the US with more than 2,400 company truck driving positions. The carrier also hires independent contractors to the tune of 8,000-plus drivers. Additionally, CFI hires the following types of truck drivers:

  • Solo truck driving jobs
  • Team-driving positions
  • Dedicated truck driving jobs
  • Company truck driver positions
  • Independent contractor jobs

The company also hires student drivers who can go to trucking school at several sponsored schools, including the Truck Dynasty Driving Academy in Springfield, MO.

Team Driving Jobs at CFI

Currently, the trucking company is looking to expand its workforce of OTR team drivers. As a result, CFI is offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus for team drivers with experience. Team driving jobs earn 46 cents per mile split by the team, as well as up to 4 CPM for a safety bonus. If you are a team driver in the Northeast region, you can earn even more money thanks to a bonus pay option for drivers in this area.

OTR Truck Driver Perks and Benefits

If you are considering a trucking job at CFI, you’ll want to know what kind of benefits the company gives to new hires. CFI offers full trucking school reimbursement to cover your loans taken out to pay for trucking school. The company also allows for free riders, and CFI has a pet program, so you can take your furry friend along for company over the road. CFI provides its drivers with consistent home time, plenty of freight to haul, and weekly settlements. Consider a career at CFI today to start earning more as a truck driver.

Source: CFI – News

Ruan Transportation Celebrates Best Truck Driver and Operation for 2016

ruan truck on the highwayIn July, Ruan Transportation Management Systems held its annual award ceremony for the company’s Driver of the Year. This year, the truck driver earning that top prize was Robert Moore of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Also, the trucking company’s operating terminal of the year is their Chester, Virginia facility. The Operation of the Year award ceremony will be held in Chester later in the year. Let’s take a look at this year’s Driver and Operation of the Year at Ruan Transportation to see what it takes to be the best in trucking.

Driver of the Year Robert Moore

Robert Moore has been driving a big rig for Ruan Transportation since 2011. However, Moore is a trucker with nearly 40 years behind the wheel covering more than 3.8 million miles as a commercial truck driver. Since Moore has been hauling for Ruan, he has not been in any preventable trucking accidents giving him a stellar driving record.

To be selected as the Driver of the Year, Ruan went on a search among 300 trucking operations nationwide to find the top drivers. The company started with a pool of 177 truckers who were nominated based on:

  • Customer service
  • Safety performance
  • Length of driving career with Ruan

Among these 177, there were 15 drivers chosen to be in the Winners’ Circle. These honorees all attended the Driver of the Year award ceremony in Des Moines where the top winner, Moore, took the prize. For his dedication and hard work, Moore won a cash prize and trophy. He can also add Driver of the Year to his trucking resume, if he were ever to need to look for a trucking job.

According to Ben McLean, CEO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems, “This recognition is our way of honoring your dedication, professionalism and ongoing commitment to Ruan. When you think about it, each one of us who works at Ruan defines the company by our actions each and every day. The fact is, our professional drivers are the most visible to our customers. Our customers judge the quality of our company on the service provided by their drivers.”

Trucking Operation of the Year in Chester

Ruan Transportation also chose their top operating facility for 2016, which is located in Chester, Virginia. This operation is managed by Fred Saunders, and it is the primary provider of freight hauling for Airgas Merchant Gases. There are 36 people working at the Chester facility. Among those, Ruan truck drivers cover more than 3.6 million miles annually. These truckers are providing tanker trucking jobs that haul chemical freight and gasses including argon, nitrogen, and oxygen. If you are interested in hauling for a gas company that requires a tanker and hazmat endorsement on your CDL, then Ruan is the place to go.

Driving Jobs at Ruan

What does it take to get hired by Ruan Transportation Management Systems as a truck driver? As noted, you need to get your CDL endorsement for hazmat and tanker haul types.  If you have these endorsements, you can find trucking jobs in:

  • Martinsburg, West Virginia
  • Joliet, Illinois
  • Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • East Chicago, Indiana
  • Chester, Virginia
  • Holstein, Iowa

If you are interested in relocating for trucking jobs, then Ruan may offer you a relocation package depending on your current location.

To qualify for Ruan trucking jobs, you’ll need to meet the following qualifications:

  • At least one year of over-the-road trucking experience within the last three years
  • CDL endorsements for hazmat, doubles/triples, and tanker hauls

Experience hauling hazmat and tanker loads, as well as in doubles/triples.

Benefits at Ruan

When hired at Ruan, you are eligible for top truck driving benefits. In addition to an average salary of $65,000, the company also provides you with sign-on bonuses and regular home time. In fact, more than 60 percent of drivers at Ruan are home every single night. You also receive full benefits after 60 days on the job. Ruan provides ongoing safety training for truck drivers to ensure you will be prepared to handle the specialized freight and hazmat hauls.

If you are interested in joining Ruan, a company that’s been around for more than 85 years, then submit your trucking job application today!