Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA
ATA Applauds White House Announcement on Association Health Plans
Arlington, Virginia… The American Trucking Associations praised President Trump for signing an executive order allowing individuals to purchase health insurance through association health plans.
"After laying out the case for how tax reform benefits our industry, today President Trump is taking substantive action to improve the lives of millions of Americans, including the 7.5 million employed in trucking-related jobs," said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. "By allowing people to pool together to purchase health insurance plans that are sponsored by larger associations and groups, the administration is helping to lower health care costs and improve access."
Spear, along with ATA Chairman Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express Inc., Dayton, Ohio; ATA member Harold Summerford Jr., CEO of J&M Tank Lines Inc., Birmingham, Alabama; and professional truck driver Danny Smith, Big G Express, Shelbyville, Tennessee, represented the trucking industry at the White House signing ceremony.
"Most trucking companies are small businesses, with nine in ten carriers having fewer than six trucks. The types of plans the President announced today will allow those companies to pool resources and offer affordable health care options that meet the needs of their employees," Spear said.
"One of the primary things I'm responsible for as a fleet executive is the welfare of my employees," Burch said. "Today's announcement will make it easier for employers across the country to provide good, affordable health plans to their employees and that is a good thing."
"The trucking industry is a path to a middle class salary and benefits like health insurance. This announcement will make providing insurance to my drivers and for millions of other Americans," said Summerford.
"Being a safe, professional truck driver has not only been a tremendous career for me, it has allowed me to see the country and to provide for my family – including providing health insurance," Smith said. "Reducing the cost of that insurance is very important so I'm happy President Trump is taking steps to do that."
Become a Rolling Ambassador for Wreaths Across America
COLUMBIA FALLS, ME… National nonprofit Wreaths Across America announces a new sponsorship opportunity — Rolling Ambassadors — available to professional truck drivers, bikers, police officers, first responders and all those whose living finds them traveling our nation’s highways.
For a sponsorship of $125, a Wreaths Across America’s Rolling Ambassador will sponsor two Remembrance Wreaths and receive a special package valued at over $160. This package includes a Wreaths Across America sweatshirt, window cling, embroidered patch, baseball cap and pin. In addition, as a sponsor of this important group of volunteers, your name will be added to a social media graphic highlighting this year’s Rolling Ambassadors during the week of the convoy of wreaths and you’ll receive a $25 coupon good toward the purchase of aTrucking Patriot Pair. Most important, you become part of Wreaths Across America and the Rolling Ambassador’s mission to ensure no veterans are forgotten.
To sign up for a Rolling Ambassador sponsorship, please visit www.rollingambassadors.com.
Each holiday season an Honor Fleet made up of volunteer drivers and donated equipment carry hundreds of “truckloads of respect.” These loads are filled with more than a million Remembrance Wreaths to be placed on veterans’ graves all over the country to thank them for their service and sacrifices made to protect our freedoms. By signing up to be a Rolling Ambassador sponsor, individuals who drive our nation’s roads each day for a living, can now help fill those trucks with Remembrance Wreaths.
“Every year we have so many professional drivers, bikers, police officers and other first responders, asking us how they can get involved, even if they can’t transport wreaths,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America. “This program is designed for these dedicated men and women. By becoming a Rolling Ambassador sponsor, Wreaths Across America is entrusting drivers to proudly wear the logo and share the importance of the mission to Remember the Fallen, Honor those that serve, and Teach our children about the true cost of freedom.”
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. For more information, to sponsor wreaths or to sign up to volunteer, please visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.
Bennett International Group's Dave Begley - Pulls Fellow Driver from Mangled Vehicle
ALEXANDRIA, VA…. Dave Begley, of Elkhart, Indiana, a professional truck driver for Bennett International Group of McDonough, Georgia, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). He is being recognized for assisting a fellow truck driver who had crashed into a wooded area.
On July 12, 2016, Dave was driving west on I-80 near the 51 mile marker at about 1:30 p.m. in Clarion, Indiana, when he heard over the CB that a truck had been in an accident further up the highway. Drivers on the road reported seeing the truck plow off the road into the woods.
When Dave arrived on the scene, he pulled over, grabbed his fire extinguisher, and raced to the truck where three other drivers were already trying to help the trapped driver. Acting quickly, Dave was able to help remove the driver from the truck. The cab was so mangled, the rescue drivers had to cut the man free and pull him from the passenger side of the cab. The men carefully helped the injured driver walk from the cab to the shoulder of the road where they administered first aid with supplies provided by a volunteer first responder. Dave and the other drivers cleaned the driver's cuts and scrapes.
When the ambulance arrived, Dave helped the driver into a neck brace, lifted him onto a board, and then into the ambulance. The injured driver was talking and said that he could not remember how he got from the cab to the shoulder.
The EMTs decided that the injured driver needed to be taken to a location where he could be airlifted to a Pittsburgh medical facility about 60 miles away. Sadly, the driver died the next morning from internal injuries.
For his willingness to assist his fellow driver, TCA has presented Dave with a certificate, patches, lapel pin, and truck decals. Bennett International Group also received a certificate acknowledging Dave Begley as a Highway Angel.
EpicVue sponsors TCA's Highway Angel program. Since the program's inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job.
Diverse, Growing Coalition Asks For Delay Of ELD Mandate
Grain Valley, MO… A diverse group of industries have formed a coalition that is growing in membership while making an appeal to delay a federal regulation requiring trucks to be equipped with electronic logging devices.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is just one member of the group of 31 organizations in the coalition (listed below). Industries represented include agriculture, pyrotechnics, utility contractors, livestock and several others that will be negatively impacted by the mandate.
“The electronic logging device mandate is written so broadly that it has far reaching implications well beyond the traditional trucking industry,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA.
The group supports a bill proposed by U.S. Representative Brian Babin (R-TX-36) that would delay the ELD mandate for two years. Babin’s bill, H.R.3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017, would extend the current implementation date from December 2017 to December 2019.
The coalition says the mandate should be delayed until the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) addresses numerous unresolved issues identified by impacted stakeholders.
There are significant technological and real-world concerns that have not been addressed by FMCSA. These concerns include the certification of devices (or lack thereof), connectivity problems in remote areas of the country, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and the ability of law enforcement to access data. The FMCSA’s inability or refusal to resolve these issues makes the enactment of H.R. 3282 unquestionably necessary.
The ELD mandate is estimated to cost impacted stakeholders more than $2 billion, making it one of the most expensive federal transportation rulemakings over the last decade. This is a massive unfunded mandate that provides no safety, economic, or productivity benefits for most ensnared by the mandate. Notwithstanding the significant costs associated with the rule, it simply will not be ready for implementation on December 18, 2017.
H.R. 3282 will provide FMCSA and impacted stakeholders more time to work out fundamental problems associated with the rule.
Commercial truck drivers are restricted to a limited number of working and driving hours under current regulations. The FMCSA’s mandate requires that truck drivers use ELDs to track their driving and non-driving activities even though such devices can only track movement and location of a vehicle. OOIDA contends that requiring electronic monitoring devices on commercial vehicles does not advance safety since they are no more reliable than paper logbooks for recording compliance with hours-of-service regulations.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the only national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 150,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.
LIST OF COALTION MEMBERS
Agricultural Retailers Association
American Pipeline Contractors Association
American Pyrotechnics Association
Associated Equipment Distributors
Distribution Contractors Association
Livestock Exporters Association of the USA
Lucas Oil Products
Mid-West Truckers Association
National Association of Chemical Distributors
National Association of Small Trucking Companies
National Aquaculture Association
National Corn Growers Association
National Cotton Council
National Electrical Contractors Association
National Federation of Independent Business
National Grain and Feed Association
National Ground Water Association
National Hay Association
National Motorists Association
National Precast Concrete Association
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
New England Fuel Institute
North American Wood Pole Council
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Petroleum Marketers Association of America
Power & Communication Contractors Association
Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
Southern Pressure Treaters’ Association
United States Cattlemen’s Association
Pride Transport Rolls Out New Pay Program For Company Drivers And Teams
Salt Lake City, UT… Pride Transport, a family-owned and operated Utah-based carrier, recently announced its innovative and unique Point-to-Point Program for OTR company solo and team drivers. This new pay program allows drivers to earn more for their time than ever before.
“Our new Point-to-Point Program pays drivers for the distance of the leg they drive, not just the total length of the load,” said Steve Schelin, director of recruiting. Pride Transport Inc. “We’re ensuring that drivers truly get paid for their time and don’t fall short. We want drivers to know that they can get the pay they deserve here at Pride Transport.”
Pay under the new program comes out to a higher pay per mile for drivers – up to 55 cents per mile. This pay program includes pay for deadhead miles at up to 20 cents more per mile than the base pay. Pride Transport’s unique point system allows drivers to earn more the harder they work and the more experience they have. For instance, having three years of driving experience equals 30,000 career points to increase pay. Points are also given for miles, fuel efficiency and on-time delivery each month.
Company drivers at Pride Transport can earn a $2,000 sign-on bonus, opportunities for safety and MPG bonuses, in-cab DirecTV, affordable healthcare plans and paid orientation. Pride Transport also has 100% no-touch refrigerated freight, state-of-the-art equipment, paid holidays, paid vacation after a year, and pet and rider programs. For more information about a career with Pride Transport, visit www.driveforpride.com.