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Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

By PMTA

May, 2018

SelecTrucks Launches Roadside Select, 24/7 Emergency Roadside Assistance Program

PORTLAND, OR… SelecTrucks is excited to launch a new premier heavy-duty emergency roadside assistance program, Roadside Select. This program is powered by Roadside Masters, North America’s largest 24/7 roadside assistance program for commercial vehicles, currently serving thousands of owner-operators and fleets. Roadside Masters is widely trusted among owner-operators for their quick response times, coast to coast support and top-notch customer service.

With response times under an hour, Roadside Select enables owner-operators and drivers to get back on the road as quickly as possible. Roadside Select accommodates drivers who speak different languages via multilingual call centers. Roadside Select is available for all used semi-trucks purchased at any one of the 24 SelecTrucks centers across North America.

Every used truck customer is unique, and SelecTrucks is proud to offer this program to provide peace of mind, no matter where their route takes them.

“Roadside Select is a helpful tool to protect our customers in the unfortunate event of an emergency” said Bryan Howard, director of sales and distribution. “It is just one more way that we at SelecTrucks are looking out for our customers’ best interests.”

The services provided to Roadside Select members include:

Best-in-class towing: Your truck and trailer will be towed together for up to 50 miles, the greatest distance offered nationwide.

Mobile mechanic: If your truck can be fixed roadside, a mechanic will be brought to you in lieu of towing. 

Flat tire assistance, tire replacement, and tire repair

Delivery service: fuel, oil, fluids and replacement parts

Jump starts and pull starts

Lock-out and replacement key services

To contact your nearest SelecTrucks Center, go to www.SelecTrucks.com.


Enforcement Personnel on the Lookout for Unsafe Commercial and Passenger Vehicle Drivers During Operation Safe Driver Week, July 15-21

Greenbelt, MD… The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week will take place July 15-21, 2018. Traffic safety personnel will be on the lookout for unsafe driving behaviors by commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and passenger vehicle drivers as we work toward zero deaths on our roadways.

Unsafe driver behaviors by CMV drivers and passenger vehicle drivers continue to be the leading cause of crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” cites driver behavior as the critical reason for more than 88 percent of large truck crashes and 93 percent of passenger vehicle crashes.

Examples of dangerous driver behaviors that enforcement personnel will be tracking throughout Operation Safe Driver Week are speeding, distracted driving, texting, failure to use a seatbelt while operating a CMV or in a passenger vehicle, following too closely, improper lane change, failure to obey traffic control devices, etc.

CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Program was created to help to reduce the number of crashes, deaths and injuries involving large trucks, buses and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors. During Operation Safe Driver Week, there will be increased CMV and passenger vehicle traffic enforcement.

Operation Safe Driver Week is sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and with support from industry and transportation safety organizations, and aims to help improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner - either in or around CMVs - through educational and traffic enforcement strategies to address individuals exhibiting high-risk driving behaviors.

To find out about Operation Safe Driver Week enforcement events going on in your area, contact the agency/department responsible for overseeing CMV safety within your jurisdiction.



Peterbilt Announces Two 2018 Rebates For Owner-Operators

Denton, TX… Peterbilt Motors Company has announced the availability of two cash rebates for owner operators for the 2018 calendar year.

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) members are encouraged to take advantage of a $1,500 cash rebate on Models 579, 567 and 389 when spec’d with a sleeper. Peterbilt’s dedication to owner operators is deeply rooted in the company’s heritage.

Landstar members are invited to take advantage of a similar cash rebate for the purchase of Models 579, 567 and 389.

“OOIDA and Landstar and their owner-operator members are a vital piece of trucking in the United States and Canada and we are proud that Peterbilt remains their truck of choice,” said Robert Woodall, Assistant General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Peterbilt Motors Company. “As part of our on-going support of these organizations and their members we are pleased to offer these rebates as a thank you for their continued loyalty and enthusiasm for the Peterbilt brand.”

Members must be in good standing with OOIDA or Landstar for a minimum of 90 days prior to delivery. Rebate checks will be mailed directly to the customer from Peterbilt. Customers are limited to three unit rebates per calendar year and rebates cannot be combined with any other offers directly from Peterbilt.


PennDOT, Pa. Turnpike, Penn State University to Collaborate On State-of-the-Art Safety, Training and Research Facility

PITTSBURGH, PA… Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary and Pa. Turnpike Commission (PTC) Chair Leslie S. Richards announced at the Pennsylvania Automated Vehicle Summit that the two agencies are partnering with Penn State University (Penn State) to commence site planning and design for the Pennsylvania Safety, Transportation and Research Track, or PennSTART — a state-of-the-art facility envisioned to benefit emergency responders, transportation organizations and research institutions.

The aim of PennSTART is to address safety, training and research needs in six key areas: traffic incident management (TIM); tolling and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technology; work zones; commercial vehicles; transit vehicles; and connected and automated vehicles. Information on the facility, including a draft rendering and video simulation, is available at www.PennSTART.org.

“As we make advancements in highway safety and transportation technologies, we need to be sure that our teams, researchers and students and first-responder partners have as much knowledge as possible about these tools as they develop,” Richards said. “PennSTART will provide Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region with access to innovative technologies for testing and education purposes.”

Examples of technologies for which safety and operational testing as well as training could be conducted at the facility include:

•TIM training;

•testing and hands-on training for new ITS, tolling and signal equipment;

•safe, simulated training for higher-speed and mobile work-zone operations;

•safety certification training opportunities;

•simulated environments for temporary traffic control device testing and evaluation;

•smart truck-parking applications and other opportunities for commercial-vehicle technology partnerships; and

•controlled environments to test various connected and automated vehicle technologies for transit buses, infrastructure equipment and other applications.

“We as highway operators have a responsibility to adapt to growing traffic and emerging technology in a thoughtful way while also being mindful of the speed at which these changes are taking place in our industry,” said PTC CEO Mark P. Compton. “The testing and training that will be available at PennSTART will give the commonwealth a huge head-start on ensuring the continued safety of travelers and responders on our highways both today and well into the future.”

”Penn State is pleased to partner with PennDOT and the PTC to begin exploring potential sites and design specifications for this much needed facility,” said Penn State Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey. “As envisioned, the PennSTART facility would provide a wonderful facility for teaching and research while ensuring the safety of our highway workers, improving traffic flow and advancing safe vehicle automation.”

The need for better and collaborative TIM training, a joint operational policy and other recommendations were identified in a Traffic Incident Management report by the Pennsylvania State Transportation Advisory Committee. Additionally, 2018 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data shows that more than 54,000 emergency/incident responders in Pennsylvania need to be trained on Traffic Incident Management compared to roughly 9,000 who have been trained.

A feasibility study reviewing a TIM training center was conducted by the PTC with funding assistance through the Pennsylvania State Transportation Innovations Council, a collaboration among PennDOT, the PTC, FHWA, and other transportation stakeholders. More information on the council is available at www.penndot.gov/innovation. The feasibility study ultimately identified the need for a safety, training and research facility and served as the pathway for the PennSTART partnership.

The PennSTART facility represents the next in a series of steps that PennDOT, the PTC and other partners have taken to improve TIM. In 2016, the agencies held a TIM Summit with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Pennsylvania State Police and participants from dozens of responder groups to discuss and establish policies and partnerships to improve TIM in Pennsylvania. As a result, the Pennsylvania Traffic Incident Management Enhancement initiative was formed in 2017, and a joint operational policy outlining training, technology, quick incident clearance principles and more was developed.


New Survey Data Reveals Increases in Driver Compensation

Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations released data from its latest Driver Compensation Study, showing driver pay has climbed as rising demand for freight transportation services has increased competition for increasingly scarce drivers.

“This latest survey, which includes data from more than 100,000 drivers, shows that fleets are reacting to an increasingly tight market for drivers by boosting pay, improving benefit packages and offering other enticements to recruit and retain safe and experienced drivers,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.

According to this most recent study, the median salary for a truckload driver working a national, irregular route was over $53,000 - a $7,000 increase from ATA’s last survey, which covered annual pay for 2013, or an increase of 15%. A private fleet driver saw their pay rise to more than $86,000 from $73,000 or a gain of nearly 18%.

In addition to rising pay, Costello said fleets were offering generous signing bonuses and benefit packages to attract and keep drivers.

“Our survey told us that carriers are offering thousands of dollars in bonuses to attract new drivers,” Costello said. “And once drivers are in the door, fleets are offering benefits like paid leave, health insurance and 401(k)s to keep them.

“This data demonstrates that fleets are reacting to concerns about the driver shortage by raising pay and working to make the job more attractive,” he said. “I expect that trend to continue as demand for trucking services increases as our economy grows.”


NATSO Foundation Names Delia Moon Meier As 2018 Chairman of the Board and Slate of Directors

Alexandria, VA… The NATSO Foundation, the research, education and public outreach subsidiary of NATSO Inc., announced that it has named Delia Moon Meier, owner and senior vice president of Iowa 80 Group and CAT Scale Co., its 2018 Chairman of the Board. Iowa 80 Group, based in Walcott, Iowa, owns and operates four large truckstops - Iowa 80, Joplin 44 Petro, the Oak Grove 70 Petro and the Kenly 95 Petro. CAT Scale Co. operates a nationwide network of more than 1,600 certified truck scales.

Andy Rebholz, Chief Executive Officer of TravelCenters of America, assumes the role of Secretary/Treasurer in 2018, replacing Tom O’Brien who retired in 2017. Lisa Mullings, President and CEO of NATSO, rounds out the Foundation’s slate of officers, continuing as the NATSO Foundation President.

Tom Heinz, President of Heinz Inc. and Coffee Cup Fuel Stops & Convenience Stores, who is a past chairman of the NATSO Foundation, returns to the foundation’s board in 2018 as a director. Craig Barr, Trucking/Heavy Duty National Accounts Executive, USA, Mobil Delvac; James Greer, Truckstop/Government Sales Manager, Bridgestone Commercial Solutions; and David Young, Vice President, Channel Partner Sales, Valvoline LLC, also joined the NATSO Foundation Board as new Allied Directors.

Meier is a second-generation truckstop operator and has served as a NATSO board member, a NATSO committee member, and Chairman of the NATSO Government Affairs Committee. This marks Meier’s third time as the NATSO Foundation Chair, having previously served in the position in 2003 and 2004.

Meier - who succeeds Jenny Love Meyer, Vice President of Communications at Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, as NATSO Foundation Chairman - has been a longtime advocate for the truckstop and travel plaza industry. “Delia has made more than 20 trips to Washington, D.C., to advocate for the industry, and her passion for the industry translates over into all that she does,” said Lisa Mullings, president and CEO of NATSO and president of the NATSO Foundation. “She cares deeply about the truckstop and travel plaza industry and the people we serve. She is committed to giving back to this community and the entire industry, and we will all benefit from her leadership within the NATSO Foundation.”

Meier also serves as president of Iowa80.com, the online and retail division of Iowa 80 Group that is responsible for purchasing and the management of six retail stores, an online store and distribution center that serves both Iowa 80 and CAT Scale Co. She also serves as director of the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, a privately funded museum located at Iowa 80 that preserves antique trucks and showcases the evolution and importance of trucking in the United States.

Meier is the founder and president of the Truckstops of Iowa Association and the Truckstops of Iowa PAC. She serves on the Iowa DOT Freight Advisory Committee and was appointed to the Iowa Economic Development Authority as well as the Eldridge and Walcott Economic Development Committees.

She currently serves on the Figge Art Museum Board, the Supply Chain Management Advisory Committee for Western Illinois University and the Board of Iowa YPO Gold Chapter. Meier is a past board member of Bettendorf Chamber of Commerce, past chair and long-term member of the Chamber Government Affairs Committee, a past Rivermont Collegiate Trustee, past board member of the Iowa Underground Storage Tank Board and past board member of AMBEST.

Meier is a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Eldridge, Iowa. Meier received her BBA from the University of Iowa. She and her husband, Dave, have three daughters.

Returning members of the NATSO Foundation Board of Directors for 2018 are: Don Quinn, Chairman, NATSO; Whitney Johnson, Chief Experience Officer, Pilot Flying J; Sean Flynn, Owner, Flynn’s Truck Plaza; Fred Jubitz, Owner and President, Jubitz Corp.; Heather DeBaillie, Marketing Manager, CAT Scale Co.,; J.T. McMahan, National Retail Sales - Convenience Retail Director, The Coca-Cola Co.


NATSO Announces 2018 Chairman of the Board and Slate of Directors

Alexandria, VA… NATSO, the national association representing truckstops and travel plazas, has reappointed Don Quinn, former President of Sapp Bros., as the Chairman of the NATSO Board of Directors for 2018. Quinn has served as NATSO’s Chairman of the Board since 2016. Tom Heinz, President of Heinz Inc. and Coffee Cup Fuel Stops & Convenience Stores, will retain his seat as Past Chair. Andy Rebholz, Chief Executive Officer of TravelCenters of America, has been appointed Secretary/Treasurer, replacing Tom O’Brien who retired in 2017. Bob Wollenman, Managing Partner of Deluxe Truck Stop, will serve as Chair Elect, and NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings will continue to serve as President of the NATSO Board of Directors.

“Don’s industry experience and guidance have proven invaluable to the NATSO Board, to me and many others in our industry,” said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. “Don has graciously served our industry for many years, and I am grateful that he will continue to offer his time, service and wise counsel for another term.”

As 2018 Chair of the NATSO Foundation Board of Directors, Delia Moon Meier, Owner and Senior Vice President of Iowa 80 Group and CAT Scale Co., also has joined the NATSO Board of Directors. Robin Puthusseril, Vice President, Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza, joined the board as a newly-elected At-Large Director. Tim Campbell, Director of Sales, Western Region, Mclane Co., was appointed to the Board in late 2017 as an Allied Director.

Additional members of the NATSO Board of Directors for 2018 are:

Robert Lake, Senior Vice President Acquisitions, Randall-Reilly Publishing;

Bob Bolduc, Founder, Pride C-store and Truckstop;

Jim Miller, Owner and President, Ports to Plains Travel Plaza;

Jim Hays, Owner, Dodge City Travel Centers;

Charlie Bosselman, President, Bosselman Travel Center;

Gerald Danniel, Chief Operating Officer, Liberty Petroleum;

Frank Love, President and Chief Operating Officer, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores;

Jimmy Haslam, Chief Executive Officer, Pilot Flying J.


E-ZPass Sales Now At I-95 Welcome Center

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) announced that E-ZPass will now be available at the Welcome Center in Richmond on I-95 North between exits two and three.

The new sales area was established to make it easier for tractor trailers to get an E-ZPass in anticipation of activation of the tolling gantries on I-95 now in the test phase. Tourists and residents will also be able to purchase the passes.

Purchases can be made between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cost is $20.95 and only credit cards will be accepted. In addition, the purchaser must put an additional $25.00 on his or her account to pay for tolls. RITBA reminds new users that the transponder won’t work for 24 hours in Rhode Island and won’t work for 48 hours out of state from the time of purchase.

Transponders can also be purchased at the RITBA offices in Jamestown at 1 East Shore Road, Jamestown, RI, 02835. Please note that commercial transponders cannot be ordered online. Personal and commercial transponders are not interchangeable.

For more information about E-ZPass call 1-877-743-9227 or go to the E-ZPass website www.ezpassritba.com


Drivers Operating a CMV Without an ELD Will Be Placed Out of Service

Greenbelt, MD… Starting April 1, 2018, property-carrying commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers operating their vehicle without a required registered electronic logging device (ELD) or a grandfathered automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD) will be placed out of service for 10 hours; passenger-carrying CMV drivers will be placed out of service for 8 hours.

Violations will be recorded on a roadside inspection report and the driver may be cited (e.g., issued a violation ticket or a civil penalty) for failing to have a required electronic record of duty status.

After 8 or 10 hours out of service, the driver may continue to their final destination, provided the driver has accurately documented their hours-of-service requirements using a paper record of duty status (e.g., log book, daily log or log) and has a copy of the inspection report and/or citation.

If the driver is stopped again before reaching his/her final destination, the driver must provide the safety official with a copy of the inspection report and evidence (e.g., bill of lading) proving that he/she is still on the continuation of the original trip.

After reaching their final destination, if the driver is re-dispatched again without obtaining a compliant ELD, he/she will again be subject to the out-of-service process outlined above, unless the driver is traveling back to the principle place of business or terminal empty to obtain an ELD.

All ELD violations will be counted against a motor carrier’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) score, which will drive selection for investigation within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. FMCSA will determine appropriate action against non-compliant motor carriers.

Please note that motor carriers that installed and used an AOBRD prior to Dec. 18, 2017, may install and use additional ELD-capable devices with complaint AOBRD software after Dec. 18, 2017. These AOBRDs may be used until Dec. 16, 2019, and must meet the requirements of 49 CFR 395.15.

The ELD footnotes 11-14 in Part I of the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria are now in effect, which means that drivers operating CMVs with violations related to ELD compliance in those footnotes will be placed out of service for 8 or 10 hours, then permitted to continue, as outlined above.

Remember, the ELD mandate does not change the underlying hours-of-service requirements.

For more information, visit FMCSA’s ELD implementation website. 


Lawmakers Introduce DRIVE Safe Act

WASHINGTON, DC-…Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.), with support from the International Foodservice Distributors Association and the American Trucking Associations, have introduced the DRIVE Safe Act, critical legislation that addresses the massive driver shortage affecting the movement of commerce in our country, while also promoting enhanced safety training for emerging members of this growing workforce.

“This legislation paves the way for new drivers to sustain a safe and efficient supply chain for the more than one million restaurants and foodservice outlets in the U.S.,” said Mark Allen, president and CEO of IFDA. “This bill creates opportunity while reinforcing a culture of safety to provide our nation’s youth with the critical skills they need to operate a truck in the 21st century.”

A shortage in drivers has disproportionately impacted the foodservice distribution industry, which requires the timely delivery of tens of thousands of products each day. Further complicating matters, commercial drivers are currently stymied by laws, which in most states allow individuals to obtain a commercial driver’s license at age 18, but prevent those operators from moving goods from state to state until they are 21. This restriction on interstate deliveries is particularly problematic in regions like the greater D.C. metro area where an emerging driver would be prohibited from making a quick trip between Arlington, Virginia and Bethesda, Maryland. But the same driver could haul a load from Arlington to Norfolk, Virginia, a more than three-hour drive.

“This is a common-sense proposal that will open enormous opportunities for the 18-21 year-old population, giving them access to a high-paying profession free of the debt burden that comes with a four-year degree,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Moreover, this bill would strengthen training programs beyond current requirements to ensure safety and that drivers are best prepared.”

“One of the top challenges facing motor carriers across the state is the driver shortage, which tightens capacity and squeezes our economy,” said Gary Langston, president of the Indiana Motor Trucking Association. “We thank Congressman Hollingsworth for his leadership on introducing this bill - a commonsense measure that will create new job opportunities and career pathways for young Hoosiers and keep our economy moving forward in a safe and efficient manner.”

The DRIVE Safe Act will help train younger drivers far and above current standards. Under the legislation, once a driver has met the requirements to obtain a CDL, they may begin a two-step program of additional training which includes rigorous performance benchmarks that each candidate must achieve. The program will require these drivers to complete at least 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving time with an experienced driver in the cab with them. All trucks used for training in the program must be equipped with safety technology including active braking collision mitigation systems, video event capture and a speed governor set at 65 miles per hour or below.


EPA Takes First Step To Roll Back Car And Truck Standards, Raise Costs For Consumers

WASHINGTON, DC… The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a new final determination reversing its previous conclusion that the greenhouse gas standards for light-duty vehicles set for 2022-2025 are appropriate and do not need to be re-evaluated. Unfortunately for consumers, this signals the first step towards lowering emissions and efficiency goals for new cars and trucks. Such a rollback will cost consumers up to $100 billion more to keep their gas tanks full.

“EPA’s decision defies the robust record and years of review that show these targets are reasonable and appropriate,” said David Friedman, Director of Cars and Products Policy and Analysis for Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports. “Undermining these consumer protections will cost consumers more at the pump while fulfilling the wishes of the auto industry.”

Since the standards were initially set, automakers have invested in fuel saving technologies for new cars and trucks while also delivering more comforts, safety, and horsepower. All of these efficiency technologies pay for themselves and more. Were this progress to continue through model year 2025 vehicles, new vehicle buyers would save about $3,200 per car and $4,800 per truck or SUV over the life of that vehicle even after accounting for the cost of adding the fuel saving technologies. Lowering emissions targets now will erode these consumer savings.

Surveys from Consumers Union show that car and truck buyers care about fuel economy and want to spend less on gas. CU’s latest survey found that over 70 percent of Americans want the government to continue to set higher fuel economy targets for cars and trucks. Nearly 80% of Americans, many of whom have gravitated toward crossovers, trucks and SUVs in recent years, want to see continued efficiency improvements in larger vehicles.

“The fuel economy program is working to save consumers a lot of money and accelerate innovation within the auto industry,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, Senior Policy Counsel for Consumers Union. “Thanks to emissions and efficiency standards, consumers have saved billions of dollars on fuel over the last 5 years. And if the standards were protected instead of undermined, consumers could expect to save a lot more over the next decade. It would be wasteful to discard those consumer savings, but EPA now appears poised to do just that.”


Critical Driver Shortage Affecting U.S. Trucking Industry: Requires Hyper-Realistic VR Training to Meet Commerce Needs

St. Petersburg, FL… According to a report from the American Trucking Association (ATA), the trucking industry—responsible for transporting more than 70% of goods consumed in the U.S.—faces a serious shortage of drivers, with a need to hire nearly 900,000 new operators over the next decade just to maintain the current workforce. In addition to the sheer lack of drivers, says the American Trucking Associations (ATA), fleets are suffering from a dwindling supply of qualified new drivers, compounding the industry’s difficulties.1 “Part of the problem is generational,” says John Kearney, CEO of Advanced Training Systems, a leading designer and manufacturer of simulators. “Figures from the American Transportation Research Institute2 show that one in four of today’s drivers are 55 years of age or older. The industry needs to recruit younger drivers, and doing that will require the kind of high-tech, high-quality training that younger candidates expect.”

The stakes are high—not just for the trucking industry, but for the economy as a whole—in the race to find and qualify new drivers. Retailers and manufacturers grappling with an unusually tight trucking market are paying the steepest prices in years to keep their goods moving. By early January, just one truck was available for every 12 loads needing to be shipped, the most unbalanced market since October 2005, just after Hurricane Katrina. According to online freight marketplace DAT Solutions LLC, the cost to hire the most common type of big rig had shot up to $2.11 per mile, including a fuel surcharge, a 3.5-year high.3

A key element both in attracting younger candidates and producing safe, road-ready drivers, notes Kearney, is the growing use of training as an adjunct to traditional behind-the-wheel (BTW) instruction. Just as in military and airline pilot training, the use of a simulator can teach the proper response to events too rare or too dangerous to be included in BTW instruction—for example, a steering tire blowout or an unexpected patch of black ice.

Simulators have also proven themselves valuable in teaching more everyday trucking skills. A recent study has found that driving simulators can be as effective as a live teacher in training truck drivers for tasks such as backing and shifting gears. Simulator training also offers benefits from a cost-effectiveness perspective; one major trucking and logistics company reports a savings of $40/hr in fuel costs alone.4

“As in practically every area of digital technology today, rapid improvements are being made in driver training simulators,” says Kearney. “At Advanced Training Systems, we have developed hyper-realistic, virtual reality-based programs that combine realistic feedback and sensation, instantly interactive training, stress management and motion simulation to produce a ‘real’ driving experience—while all but the motion sickness common with other simulators.”

Trucking is a well-paid occupation in urgent need of a new generation of well-trained and motivated drivers, and it’s also an essential component of today’s economy.

ATS’ mission is to bring together an opportunity and a rising workforce and, through technology and in partnership with fleet and driving-school clients, help to ensure a safe and prosperous future for American commerce and the drivers who serve it.

Advanced Training Systems (ATS) is a high-tech simulator technology and engineering firm that has revolutionized the design and manufacture of advanced training systems to improve training and create safer drivers. ATS, the holder of multiple patents in high-tech training simulation, has as its mission to provide this cutting edge adaptive training to all involved in the transportation industry at an affordable cost, resulting in safer drivers/operators. For more information, visit www.atstrainingsystems.com.


Nominations: Do You Know a Truck Hero or Driver of the Year in Your Fleet?

Truck drivers quite literally keep our industry rolling. Any fleet manager knows how critical they are to driving commerce, building a customer network and representing the industry to the public and decision makers. Now, it’s time to tell their stories.

OTA is has launched the search and is accepting applications for the best drivers in your fleet worthy of either the 2018 Volvo Trucks Canada-OTA Driver of the Year Award or the OTA-Bridgestone Truck Hero Award.

Each year the Driver of the Year Award goes to a professional transport driver who has a collision-free driving record and is an exemplary truck driver both on and off the road. The winner receives a keepsake plaque and a cheque courtesy of Volvo Trucks Canada.

The prize also includes a trip to the OTA Convention in Toronto in November. Winners will also be eligible for next year’s national CTA Driver of the Year contest.

Click here to download a nomination form: 2018-OTA nomination-form_public.

Be sure to check out the YouTube links below to see what kind of driver is ‘Driver of The Year’ material.

OTA is also searching for a brave Ontario truck driver or owner-operator who has demonstrated courage, quick thinking and integrity in the face of emergency or as part of his duties on the road. The winner of the OTA-Bridgestone Truck Hero Award will also be honoured at the OTA annual convention and presented with a cash prize.

Please see the following link for rules and regulations and to nominate a driver or owner-operator for this award: 2018-Bridgestone-Ontario-Truck-Hero-Application_public.

See below for videos of the most recent Truck Hero winners.

The deadline to send applications for both the Driver of the Year and Truck Hero awards is May 4, 2018. You can print out and mail the nomination form to 555 Dixon Road, Toronto, M9W 1H8; fax to 1-866-713-4188 or fill out and scan the.pdf and email to marco.beghetto@ontruck.org.


Bestpass Surpasses 400,000 Active Transponders and 200,000 Daily Transactions for Commercial Fleet Customers

ALBANY, NY… Bestpass, a company that provides single source payment and streamlined toll management services to commercial fleets, recently surpassed 400,000 active transponders on the road, facilitating more than 200,000 seamless transactions each day for customers on the company’s nationwide toll coverage network.

“We’ve been able to increase our transponder count by more than 100,000 each of the past two years, which is a testament to the value of our commercial toll management service and an indication that we still have a lot of room for growth,” said John Andrews, president and CEO of Bestpass.

To keep pace with increased demand for the Bestpass service, the company hired approximately 20 employees in 2017, bringing the total number of employees to more than 70, and nearly doubled the size of its Albany offices. Bestpass is currently hiring for several additional positions, including software developers.

“We’ve saved our customers more than $86 million in toll-related costs since our inception, including more than $20 million in 2017 alone,” said Andrews. “We are addressing a critical need in the commercial transportation industry, where toll is, at best, a drain on company resources, or, at worst, completely unmanaged. That’s where Bestpass comes in, and it’s also why we are experiencing such explosive growth.”

Bestpass is in the business of saving commercial fleets and drivers time and money. Founded in 2001 by the Trucking Association of New York, Bestpass provides nationwide streamlined toll management services, including consolidated billing, volume discounts, violation processing and a single service compatible with more than 40 tolling groups and all transponder-based weigh station bypass networks. With more than 400,000 deployed transponders and more than 200,000 toll transactions every day, Bestpass is a trusted partner both on the road and in the back office. To learn more, visit www.bestpass.com


Auto Dealers Respond to Threat of EU Car Tariffs

Alexandria, VA… The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) shared dealers’ concerns over recent statements made by President Trump regarding a brewing trade conflict with the European Union. Citing a “big trade imbalance,” the President has threatened to place a tax on vehicles imported into the U.S. from Europe. In fact, such a tax already exists – a relic from a trade war fought in the 1950s. Consumers already absorb a 2.5 percent tariff on cars and a whopping 25 percent tariff on light trucks imported into the United States.

“More tariffs won’t help American businesses or families,” said AIADA President and CEO Cody Lusk. “Tariffs are taxes, and the result will be more expensive vehicles – effectively erasing any positive change Americans saw from the 2018 tax reform bill. Auto sales, which are already slowing, will be hamstrung by these tariffs. America’s 2,500 European branded dealerships and their 175,000 employees will be less competitive. The resulting trade war will undoubtedly spread to include other industries, including American agriculture. No one wins a trade war.”

President’s Trump’s latest statements follow his Friday announcement that he will implement a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. An analysis of tariffs on steel imposed in 2002 found that the Bush steel tariffs cost 200,000 jobs, including 30,000 in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania alone.

America’s 9,600 international nameplate auto dealers, the majority of which are family-owned businesses, employ more than 577,000 Americans, resulting in a payroll of $32 billion and an additional 527,000 indirect jobs. Last year, they sold 8.4 million vehicles to American consumers – 59 percent of total U.S. retail vehicle sales. For more on the impact of America’s international nameplate dealers on our economy visit AIADA.org/our-impact.