Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA
Top Company Drivers And Owner Operators To Compete For Prestigious Title In March
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), Overdrive, and Truckers News are proud to announce the finalists for its 2021 Driver of the Year Contests which recognize both company drivers and owner operators who provide reliable transportation of North America’s goods.
The finalists and grand prize winners are selected based on their ability to operate safely on public highways, their efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and their positive contributions to the communities in which they live.
Thanks to the program’s long-time sponsors, Cummins Inc. and Love’s Travel Stops, each overall winner will receive $25,000, while the two runners-up in each division will win $2,500.
“TCA is the voice of truckload, and we are committed to educating the public on the collective accomplishments of our industry,” said TCA Chairman and Incoming President Jim Ward. “It is imperative that we recognize and positively promote the remarkable achievements of our essential workers – those who set the bar for the rest of our industry.”
To be eligible for the contests, company driver nominees were required to meet strict standards, such as driving one million consecutive accident-free miles. Judges examined each driver’s operating information, work history, and safety record, as well as reviewed three 300-word essays, or video testimonials, explaining why each nominee is a “good trucking citizen,” “how they stay healthy while on the road,” and “why they should be the next Driver of the Year.”
For the owner operator candidates, judges also reviewed equipment specifications, lengthy business plans, and robust financial statements.
Without further ado:
2021 Company Driver of the Year Contest finalists:
* Robert Cole of Spring, Texas, who drives for Ryder Systems based in Miami, Florida;
* Denny Cravener of Virginia Beach, Virginia, who drives for Givens Transportation based in Chesapeake, Virginia; and
* Robert Howell of Shelley, Idaho, who drives for Doug Andrus Transportation based in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
2021 Owner Operator of the Year Contest finalists:
* Glen Horack of Elkland, Missouri who is leased to Prime Inc. based in Springfield, Missouri;
* Gene Houchin of Shenandoah, Iowa who is leased to Midwest Express, LLC based in Grand Island, Nebraska; and
* Allen and Sandy Smith of Oak Hill, West Virginia, who is leased to National Carriers, Inc. based in Irving, Texas.
The names of the grand prize winners will be announced at Truckload 2022: Las Vegas at the Wynn Las Vegas, March 19-22, 2022. For more information about the Driver of the Year Contests and their sponsors, visit www.truckload.org/DOY.
ATA Freight Forecast Shows Freight Recovering from Pandemic-Induced Dip After 2020 Decline, Freight Expected to Grow by 7.4% in 2021
Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations released its annual look at the future of the freight economy – U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast 2021 to 2032 – showing a strong rebound and continued growth for freight demand this year and into the future.
“With a focus on the supply chain this year, it is key we understand that among the many stressors on the system, the simple growth in freight demand and the economy is a significant factor,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “After falling 6.8% in 2020, freight volumes are set to surge 7.4% this year – and we will see continued growth in freight demand across all modes for the foreseeable future.”
Some key findings of this year’s Forecast:
* Total freight tonnage will grow from an estimated 15.1 billion tons in 2021 to 19.3 billion tons in 2032 – a 28% increase.
* While truck’s share of the freight tonnage will slowly decline from 72.2% in 2021 to 71% in 2032 – overall volumes will grow across all segments of the industry: truckload, less-than-truckload and private carrier. Truck tonnage should grow from 10.23 billion tons this year to 13.7 billion tons in 2023.
* The total revenue derived from primary freight shipments in the U.S. will increase from an estimated $1.083 trillion in 2021 to $1.627 trillion in 2032.
“Trucking is continuously looking forward, and Freight Forecast is a tremendous tool for industry leaders and policymakers to see what the future holds for the transportation sector,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Forecast is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in understanding not just the trucking industry, but the entire freight economy.”
U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast 2021 to 2032 is available for purchase at www.atabusinesssolutions.com.
PDA Releases 2021 Fourth Quarter Driver Data Equipment/Compensation Issues Remain Top Driver Concerns
Brentwood, TN… PDA released data today compiled from thousands of phone calls with professional truck drivers during the fourth quarter of 2021. The data was gathered as part of PDA’s efforts to help trucking companies curb turnover while providing accurate and actionable data to address their drivers’ concerns.
As in the three previous quarters of 2021, the two most mentioned concerns were equipment and compensation issues.
“Equipment issues continued to be the biggest source of frustration for drivers at the end of 2021,” said Scott Dismuke, PDA’s vice president of operations. “Equipment supply chain issues are clearly leading to driver frustration. With orders for new tractors still constrained and labor shortages, new truck orders are delayed. Many OEMS have relatively large, incomplete and unavailable inventories awaiting parts.”
Dismuke noted that PDA expects this trend to continue in 2022 and possibly beyond.
“Our data has shown that equipment issues often lead to compensation frustrations for drivers,” stated Dismuke. “When drivers are consistently in the shop, they aren’t logging miles, when they aren’t logging miles, they aren’t making the money promised. Managing this equipment issue in 2022 is going to be a challenge for both carriers and drivers.”
Overall compensation issues remained steady in Q4 at 22%, matching Q3 totals. Miles-related compensation issues in Q4 also matched Q3 totals at 40%. Dismuke noted that in a strong freight market and a very competitive driver market, drivers struggling with miles continue to be a high turnover risk.
“Industry-wide pay raises and aggressive recruiting continue, accounting for the rise in drivers frustrated with their pay rate, up 3% from Q3,” said Dismuke. “Drivers see the advertisements and know what other companies are offering. If drivers are not making the pay promised, they have multiple options to go elsewhere in this market.”
Operations issues were the third top issue for the sixth straight quarter, remaining steady at 13%, equal to where it was in Q3. Driver feedback about operations continues to center on driver manager communication issues which rose 2% from 47% in Q3 to 49% in Q4.
Dismuke notes that communication issues continue to be issues in 2021 and will be a key to retaining drivers in 2022.
“Communication and patience with driver frustration, particularly with the tractor and trailer shortage will be key in 2022.” said Dismuke. “Drivers view communication and respect as the same thing, so minimizing driver frustration is key for operations issues. Proactive and timely communication and keeping drivers in the loop not only reduces communication issues, but it makes the drivers feel respected while relieving driver frustration.”
Finally, in Q4 COVID-19 issues continued to be a concern for drivers. Personal issues were the fourth top issue in Q4 at 10%. Nearly 75% of drivers mentioning personal related issues noted concern for themselves and their family surrounding COVID-19.
“The Omicron variant became an issue in Q4,” said Dismuke. “While the Delta variant was starting to subside at the end of Q3, Omicron variant cases quickly spiked in Q4. “While Omicron continues to spread nationwide, we fully expect COVID related concerns to continue into Q1 of 2022.”
OOIDA Highways and Transit Subcom AV Hearing Letter
The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton, Chairman
The Honorable Rodney Davis , Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
2165 Rayburn House Office Building 2165 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515
Re: Subcommittee on Highways and Transit hearing, “The Road Ahead for Automated Vehicles”
Chairman Holmes Norton and Ranking Member Davis,
Since 1973, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has been advancing and protecting the rights of small-business motor carriers and professional drivers. OOIDA is a critical stakeholder for all issues affecting trucking, with a unique focus on those directly impacting small-business truckers. As the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit meets to discuss the future of automated vehicles (AVs), we urge you to consider how these technologies will impact the trucking industry, especially the vital role of professional drivers and independent owner-operators.
Professional truckers have a keen interest in the development of AVs as these technologies have the potential to drastically change the trucking industry, in particular its workforce. While we are still years away from fully automated trucks, decisions made today will have a significant impact on how AV technologies are deployed, and ultimately, on the livelihood of truck drivers and the economy at large. Elected officials, federal regulators, and our industry partners must ensure AV policies are developed in a safe and responsible manner that takes commercial drivers’ perspective into account.
We understand the desire to swiftly unleash American ingenuity in multiple transportation sectors and agree the federal government must play an integral role in balancing safety and innovation on our roads. But Congress should not pursue a one-size-fits-all legislative approach that implements the same policies for autonomous passenger and commercial vehicles. The safe operation of an automobile contrasts greatly with that of a heavy vehicle. The introduction of autonomous technology to both classes will present distinct safety challenges that should be addressed and regulated on separate paths. Naturally, the equipment and technology that works well on an automobile weighing 3,000-4,000 pounds is far different from what is needed for trucks weighing 80,000 pounds. As various Committees consider AV legislation, Congress must develop separate policies that better reflect the different safety challenges facing automobiles and heavy vehicles.
OOIDA members and millions more working in other segments of trucking face a particularly uncertain future as technology may first diminish the quality of their jobs and then threaten to displace them completely. Given the economy’s reliance on the trucking industry, Congress must consider the potential displacement of jobs, expected changes to the skills and training necessary for drivers to safely operate autonomous trucks, and how these changes would affect driver compensation. OOIDA also recommends that Congress examine the specific impact AVs would have on small trucking businesses, which account for 96% of all U.S. motor carriers. Lawmakers must also evaluate the costs associated with the introduction of various technologies, how these costs would affect the price of new and used trucks, and how price changes would impact the ability of a small businesses to purchase new vehicles.
OOIDA strongly believes that any process to advance automated technology should be met with mandatory data transparency from manufacturers. This will help educate consumers, the industry, and regulators about the actual reliability of autonomous technology. Despite the various claims that AVs will lead to zero deaths, there have been real-world situations in which automation has devastatingly failed. While AVs might improve safety under certain conditions, they create new risks with dangerous and often unknown outcomes. Regrettably, U.S. Department of Transportation proposals such as AV 4.0, the AV Comprehensive Plan, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) AV TEST Initiative have maintained a self-certification approach and promoted voluntary reporting as the way to balance and promote safety and innovation.
We supported NHTSA’s 2021 General Standing Order that now requires AV trucking companies to report crashes on public roadways. However, this safety data should be made available throughout the deployment process, not just after a crash occurs. The use of unproven automated technologies on our highways poses a significant threat to small-business truckers, and we urge you to take action to protect all road users with greater transparency and oversight of their development. Without such measures, we will never know how or why AV technology is causing crashes and fatalities. In fact, some developers have already used the legal system in hopes of keeping safety data from public view.
The potential introduction of AVs on the nation’s highways invites more questions than answers. As autonomous technology develops, OOIDA is concerned that federal regulators will push for more technology as the solution to the industry’s safety and workforce issues without considering the negative impacts of these technologies. Regardless of their potential, it is important to understand exactly how well these AVs perform. Beyond ensuring that legislation provide appropriate standards for the safe operation of AVs, Congress must consider practices and unintended consequences that might offset the potential safety, mobility, and sustainability benefits from the technology.
President & CEO
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc.
New Requirement For Entry-Level Commercial Drivers Took Effect Feb. 7, 2022
The new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule:
Beginning February 7, 2022, ELDT is required for anyone who wants to:
• Obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) for the first time.
• Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL.
• Obtain a passenger, school bus or hazardous materials endorsement for the time.
You must successfully complete ELDT instruction provided by a school or other entity on FMCSA's new Training Provider Registry (TPR) prior to scheduling a CDL skills test or taking a hazardous material endorsement knowledge test.
You are not required to complete applicable ELDT if:
• You are issued an Oregon commercial learners permit (CLP) before February 7, 2022, as long as you get your CDL before your CLP expires. CLPs are issued for one year.
• You have proof that you have held a Class A or B CDL, passenger or school bus endorsement, or hazardous material endorsement at any time in the past.
• You have received a Military CDL skills test waiver.
For more information please visit:
DOT Announces Historic Bridge Investment Under Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
WASHINGTON … The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched the historic Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program (Bridge Formula Program), made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The program, to be administered by the Federal Highway Administration, represents the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system – providing $26.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over five years and $825 million for Tribal transportation facilities. The total amount that will be available to states, D.C. and Puerto Rico in Fiscal Year 2022 is $5.3 billion along with $165 million for tribes. The FHWA also published initial guidance on the new program.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is thrilled to launch this program to fix thousands of bridges across the country – the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the Interstate highway system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Modernizing America’s bridges will help improve safety, support economic growth, and make people’s lives better in every part of the country – across rural, suburban, urban, and tribal communities.”
“This record amount of funding, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will allow states and Tribal governments to fix the bridges most in need of repair,” Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said. “It will also modernize bridges to withstand the effects of climate change and to make them safer for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. Every state has bridges in poor condition and in need of repair, including bridges with weight restrictions that may force lengthy detours for travelers, school buses, first responders or trucks carrying freight,” she added.
Nationwide, the Bridge Formula Program is expected to help repair approximately 15,000 highway bridges. In addition to providing funds to states to replace, rehabilitate, preserve, protect, and construct highway bridges, the Bridge Formula Program has dedicated funding for Tribal transportation facility bridges as well as “off-system” bridges, which are generally locally- owned facilities not on the federal-aid highway system.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes an incentive for states to direct the new Bridge Formula Program funds to off-system bridges owned by a county, city, town or other local agency.?While states generally must match federal funding with up to 20 percent state or local funding, the guidance issued today notes that federal funds can be used for 100 percent of the cost of repairing or rehabilitating such locally owned off-system bridges.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure, which will grow the economy, enhance U.S. competitiveness in the world, create good jobs, and make our transportation system more sustainable and equitable. Specific to the FHWA, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides more than $350 billion over five fiscal years for surface transportation programs.
FHWA released the first tranche of Bridge Formula Program funding to states for
Fiscal Year 2022 in addition to the program guidance. For a map of bridges, please see https://infobridge.fhwa.dot.gov/ and USDOT Bridge Formula Program Funding and Condition by State. Here is State-by-state BFP funding Fiscal Years 2022-2026.
CVSA Supports the U.S. DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy
Greenbelt, MD… The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced the launch of its National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) to address the crisis on our nation’s roadways. Almost 95% of our nation’s transportation deaths occur on our roadways and they are on the rise.
“Those lost are our family members, our friends, our colleagues, our neighbors,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Americans deserve to travel safely in their communities. Humans make mistakes and as good stewards of the transportation system, we should have in place the safeguards to prevent those mistakes from being fatal. Zero is the only acceptable number of deaths and serious injuries on our roadways.”
The NRSS incorporates the principles of an integrated Safe System approach with the goal of eliminating fatalities and injuries on our highways, roads and streets. The Safe System approach requires supporting a safety culture that places safety first and foremost in road system investment decisions. There are six principles that form the basis of the Safe System approach: deaths and serious injuries are unacceptable, humans make mistakes, humans are vulnerable, responsibility is shared, safety is proactive, and redundancy is crucial.
“The membership of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is comprised of commercial motor vehicle safety inspectors and officials and motor carrier industry representatives who are dedicated to transportation safety,” said CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney. “Our membership is committed to supporting the U.S. DOT in its commitment to zero fatalities on our roadways through the implementation of identified safety priorities and the Safe System approach.”
Some of the priorities identified in the NRSS specific to the commercial motor vehicle enforcement and motor carrier industry communities include:
* Implementation of the October 2021 final rule that requires state driver’s licensing agencies to access and use information obtained through the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and take licensing actions against commercial motor vehicle drivers who have drug or alcohol violations in the system and are not cleared to return to duty
* Improved accuracy of commercial driver’s license (CDL) driver records and the identification of additional opportunities to use these more accurate records to take unsafe commercial motor vehicle drivers off the road more expeditiously
* Increased highly visible commercial motor vehicle traffic enforcement targeting risky driving behaviors, especially speeding; the department identified speed enforcement, deployed equitably and applied appropriately to roads with the greatest risk of harm due to speeding, as a tactic that may provide significant safety benefits and save lives
* The continued commitment to identifying high-risk companies and operators of commercial motor vehicles using a data-driven and performance-based approach, including roadside commercial motor vehicle safety inspections
The department’s renewed commitment to roadway safety encompasses priority actions in five categories: safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds and post-crash care. The recent passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides substantial resources and tools to improve safety and save lives and is a prime opportunity to leverage the NRSS.
“As we embark on this reinvigorated effort, we are relying on our partners to also identify and commit to near-term actions that will help make our collective efforts to reach zero a reality,” added Transportation Secretary Buttigieg.
“On behalf of the Alliance, I’d like to thank Transportation Secretary Buttigieg and the U.S. Department of Transportation for their leadership and action in this undertaking,” said Mooney. “We look forward to working together toward our shared vision of zero roadway deaths.”
CTA, Industry Stakeholders Seek Labour Shortage Solutions with Ottawa
TORONTO, CANADA… The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and other key stakeholders participated in the National Supply Chain Summit hosted by Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra to deal with the key challenges and opportunities facing Canada’s supply chains and the actions and strategies required to support a robust economic recovery.
CTA provided the Government of Canada with the following supply chain constraint and labour shortage actions that the Alliance believes warrants priority action:
* The industry must attract Canadians to our sector. CTA would like to work with the Government of Canada to amplify a three-year national public relations and social media campaign CTA unveiled last year. Meanwhile, the trucking industry will continue to work on increasing its vaccination rates which are currently representative of the Canadian population/region they operate;
* The industry would like to work with the government to develop a training support fund for our sector, which would only be accessible for trusted, ‘known employers’ and would seek to support both pre-licensing training and onboarding/on the job training for commercial drivers;
* The industry would like to work with the Government of Canada to develop a known employer program for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and other immigration programs. Under the TFWP, CTA would also like to see the application process streamlined when it comes to Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) and to see a clear path to permanent residency available to new entrants under this program.
Supply chain constraints
* Allowing Canadian carriers to move in-transit between Canada and the US. This is a bilateral issue that we will continue to work with the Government of Canada to help resolve;
* Better utilization of trucking equipment by our customers. This is an issue between carriers and their customers, which the Government of Canada can help promote. Too often our existing drivers are severely delayed loading/unloading. Getting more efficiency out of our existing driver pool will help with our collective challenges.
* Enforcement on the underground economy (Driver Inc.). Some carriers are using unscrupulous payment schemes to mislead/encourage drivers to work in the underground economy. The presence of these carriers and schemes destabilizes the supply chain and strips drivers of their rights. A national crackdown on the underground economy would strengthen and stabilize the supply chain and help protect its labour pool. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is currently engaged in this matter in the Province of Ontario.
CTA also provided suggestions for domestic and border infrastructure that would assist the supply chain and movement of goods in the long term.
“As the old saying goes, Canada moves by truck; but a more accurate description is Canada moves by truck drivers,” says Stephen Laskowski,” president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. “Consequently, labour shortages in trucking warrants priority action by the Government of Canada to secure the supply chain and improve Canada’s economic recovery.”
The labour shortage in the trucking industry was already a significant problem before the COVID pandemic with the industry forecasting a shortfall of 55,000 drivers by the end of 2023. Current statistics show the industry is already well on its way to meeting this forecast and in the fourth quarter of 2021 has already surpassed 23,000 truck driver vacancies. It is also important to note that although vaccines are the best tool in the toolbox to battle COVID and will bring stability to the economy. However, vaccine mandates have reduced the availability of labour in all sectors including trucking.
Minister Alghabra also invited other federal ministers to lead themed discussions on the challenges facing supply chains, including: the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry; the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development; and the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.
CTA will continue to work with its members on communicating supply chain challenges and potential solutions to the federal government as this process continues.
Canadian Trucking Alliance Statement on Road/Border Protests
TORONTO, CANADA… The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) does not support and strongly disapproves of any protests on public roadways, highways and bridges. CTA believes such actions – especially those that interfere with public safety – are not how disagreement with government policies should be expressed.
Members of the trucking industry who want to publicly express displeasure over government policies can choose to hold an organized, lawful event on Parliament Hill and not disrupt the travelling public. To learn more about this process, click here: http://hill-colline.parl.ca/en/.
Otherwise, those who want to express disagreement responsibly can also participate in online petitions and write or speak to their local MPs. For info:https://www.ourcommons.ca/en/contact-us
ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 1% in December Tonnage Rose 0.3% in 2021 over 2020
Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1% in December after rising 0.5% in November. In December, the index equaled 114.7 (2015=100) compared with 113.5 in November.
“December’s gain was the fifth straight totaling 4.4%,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “In December, tonnage reached the highest level since March, but it was still 2.7% below the pre-pandemic high. This is likely due to the fact ATA’s data is dominated by contract freight. Contractor truckload carriers operated fewer trucks in 2021 compared with 2020 and it is difficult to haul significantly more tonnage with fewer trucks. But overall, we have seen a nice trend up that is reflective of a still growing goods-economy.”
November’s reading was revised down from our December 21 press release.
Compared with December 2020, the SA index rose 1.4%, which was the fourth straight year-over-year gain. In November, the index was up 1.6% from a year earlier. In 2021, compared with the average in 2020, tonnage was up 0.3%. In 2020, tonnage was off 4% compared with 2019.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 113.9 in December, 0.2% above the November level (113.8). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.5% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.23 billion tons of freight in 2020. Motor carriers collected $732.3 billion, or 80.4% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.
ATA Names 22 Professional Drivers as Newest America’s Road Team Captains
Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations announced 22 professional truck drivers who will be 2022-2023 America's Road Team Captains. The drivers will serve as trucking industry ambassadors, traveling the country to spread the message of safe driving, while teaching about the trucking industry and its opportunities.
“This industry, like our country, is diverse, hard working and patriotic, and this new class of America’s Road Team Captains reflects all of that,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “I’m proud that they will be representing the industry and ATA as our newest and best ambassadors – educating the country about trucking’s essential role in keeping America moving safely and efficiently.”
America’s Road Team, a group of professional truck drivers with superior safety records, was created in 1986 to represent the trucking industry and is sponsored by Volvo Trucks. Captains, with support from their companies, dedicate a few days each month to attend industry events, speak at schools, or meet policymakers on behalf of the trucking industry. The new Captains will tour the country in ATA's Interstate One Image Truck, an American flag emblazoned with a brand new 2021 Volvo VNL 760, featuring a state-of-the-art truck driving simulator and mobile classroom.
"Volvo Trucks is honored for the 20th consecutive year to continue our sponsorship of America's Road Team with a new Volvo VNL 760 and take part in this week's selection of the 2022-2023 Captains," said Volvo Trucks North America President Peter Voorhoeve. "America's Road Team is one of the most visible groups of professional truck drivers in the country, and we believe that their hard work to promote the profession and safety pays dividends for our industry. We thank the Captains for their strong engagement and being passionate ambassadors of this great profession. We congratulate the new class of America's Road Team Captains and wish them the best of success as they carry out their mission over the next two years."
This year’s class includes drivers from 13 companies, 17 states and drivers with more than 564 years of experience and 45,774,455 miles of accident-free driving.
The drivers were judged on their ability to express their knowledge of the industry, their skills in effective communication about safety and transportation, and their overall safe-driving record. The panel of judges included trucking executives and trade press.
"These Captains have dedicated their lives to spreading the message of safe driving. They are leaders in their communities, role models in their companies, and are dedicated to and passionate about the industry," said Elisabeth Barna, ATA executive vice president of industry affairs. "This new class represents everything we strive to promote about our industry and its professionals, especially as we face a driver shortage and challenges with the supply chain."
After receiving their signature navy blue America's Road Team blazers, the Captains will immediately begin their work.
The new America's Road Team Captains are:
* Bob Bramwell, ABF Freight System, Centerview, Missouri
* Michael Buck, Yellow, Moore, Oklahoma
* Teddy Butler, ABF Freight System, Hampton, Georgia
* Kevin Byrnes, United Parcel Service, Sparta, New Jersey
* Jesus Davila, Werner Enterprises, San Antonio, Texas
* Ken Duncan, Walmart Transportation, Gorham, Maine
* James Ellis, Grammer Logistics, Erwin, North Carolina
* Lalo Fernandez, FedEx Freight, Battle Ground, Oregon
* Richard Frazer, Yellow, Rockford, Illinois
* Charlie Fuller, FedEx Freight, Pembroke Pines, Florida
* Ritch Fundell, FedEx Freight, Tonica, Illinois
* Salvador Gonzalez, TForce Freight, Ocala, Florida
* Darrien Henderson, J&M Tank Lines Inc., Mobile, Alabama
* Gina Jones, Werner Enterprises, Peoria, Arizona
* Dean Key, Ruan Transportation Management Systems, Primghar, Iowa
* Glen Allen Kirk, Old Dominion Freight Line, Franklin, Indiana
* Jeff Rose, Yellow, Creston, Ohio
* Ron Round, Pottle’s Transportation LLC, Enfield, Maine
* David Schroeder, FedEx Freight, Bellaire, Ohio
* Eric Stein, Werner Enterprises Inc., Canajoharie, New York
* PJ Singh, Penske Logistics, Stockton, California
* Derrick Thorpe, TForce Freight, Rahway, New Jersey
To learn more about the America's Road Team and view the team's biographies, visit the official America's Road Team webpage. Follow the America's Road Team's journey on Facebook and Twitter.
ATA Hails Introduction of Legislation to Reduce Red Tape for Professional Drivers
Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations hailed the introduction of a pair of bills that will streamline the credentialing process for millions of professional truck drivers, easing a number of onerous and unnecessary burdens.
“With a shortage of roughly 80,000 drivers, we should be making the process of becoming a professional truck driver as user friendly as possible,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “By making common sense changes to the CDL testing process and eliminating redundant background checks, we can cut red tape so these hardworking men and women can get on the road navigating our nation’s highways instead of navigating its bureaucracies.”
The first of these bills, the Transportation Security Administration Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act, introduced by Reps. Adam Smith (D-Washington) and John Katko (R-New York), will allow drivers to use a single valid background check from a TSA Security Threat Assessment to satisfy the vetting requirements for participation in any TSA program, including the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, Hazardous Materials Endorsement and PreCheck programs.
“Since 9/11, the federal government has created a number of secure credentials for commercial drivers to ensure the safety and security of our country,” Spear said. “However, with multiple credentials comes increased bureaucracy and costs that professional drivers must navigate. By simply relieving drivers of duplicative background checks – and the fees associated with them – we can streamline the process and ease the burden on these hard-working, patriotic men and women.”
The second bill, the Licensing Individual Commercial Exam-takers Now Safely and Efficiently Act, or LICENSE Act, will make permanent two waivers issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seven times over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the LICENSE Act, third-party CDL skills test examiners are permitted to administer a state’s CDL knowledge test, in addition to the skills test. This provision gives license seekers additional avenues to take both required tests from a state-certified third-party, thus minimizing potential testing delays. Furthermore, the bill allow states to administer the driving skills test to out-of-state license seekers regardless of where they received their training. Lastly, the LICENSE Act allows commercial learners permit holders who have already passed the required CDL skills test, but who have not yet received their physical credentials, to drive with a CDL holder anywhere in the truck, rather than requiring them to sit in the front seat next to the qualified CLP holder. Making these waivers permanent will reduce regulatory burdens in the CDL testing process without compromising the safety of our roadways.
“From the onset of the pandemic, these waivers have reduced administrative burdens for Americans working towards obtaining their CDLs and pursuing careers in trucking. It makes sense to continue to allow drivers looking to get their CDLs to be able to do so as frictionlessly as possible, while also maintaining the safety standards required of license seekers,” said ATA Vice President of Safety Policy Dan Horvath.
The LICENSE Act was introduced in the House by Reps. Darin LaHood (R-Illinois), Troy Balderson (R-Ohio), Josh Harder (D-California) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), and in the Senate by Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) and Mark Kelly (D-Arizona).
“These simple, common sense changes will save drivers not just the time involved in submitting to multiple background checks or waiting to take their CDL tests, but potentially hundreds of dollars in fees,” Spear said. “We want to thank these Members of Congress for their foresight in introducing these important pieces of legislation and we urge Congress to swiftly adopt them.”