BOARDMAN, OH…. R& J Trucking’s Annual Safety and Awards Banquet was held on May 18th at the Holiday Inn on Rt. 224 in Boardman, Ohio. Drivers and staff members enjoyed a delicious breakfast buffet catered by TJ’s Restaurant.
Before recognizing their safe drivers, the R&J Trucking staff reviewed some safety and compliance issues.
Director of Safety Anne-Marie Naples talked about compliance with Pennsylvania’s Spotted Lantern Fly (SLF) quarantine. All carriers must have a SLF permit to enter or leave a Pennsylvania County with a quarantine in effect. Drivers were also shown what the fly looks like and where to look for it on their truck. Customers requested compliance to the quarantine and the state also imposes fines as well as putting the truck and trailer out of service for non-compliance.
HOS and Claims Manager Jean Gbur explained the company has selected Keeptruckin’ as their ELD vendor.
Risk Manager Brad Bates reminded drivers that the International Safety Week would be held on June 4-6. This year’s focus will be steering and suspension systems.
During the banquet, Tiffany Carrocce showed actual video footage from R&J trucks demonstrating the importance of Bendix’s safety direct cameras, which record events such as being cut off by 4 wheelers. The camera helps both the driver and the company to mitigate liability issues when involved in an accident.
The entire American Bulk Commodities Group, which includes R&J Trucking, John Brown Trucking and Southern Haulers, LLC is very safety-conscious and has made a significant investment in safety technologies for all of their trucks. The company has spent millions of dollars on equipment, including disc brakes, collision mitigation, roll-over mitigation and dash cameras to help keep drivers and the motoring public safer.
President Mark Carrocce spoke about the state of the company and the economy. He mentioned that the steel and aluminum industries were investing in new, updated plants and hopes that the economy will remain strong in the years to come. Mark also stated that the company was still in need of qualified drivers, particularly those with a hazmat endorsement, which would allow more flexibility in serving R&J’s customers. Additionally, Mark said that the new Keeptruckin’ software would allow the company to closely monitor excessive time spent loading or unloading at shippers and allow the opportunity to address the problem. He said that American Bulk Commodities would continue to invest in new technologies that would boost efficiency for both drivers and dispatch. He also encouraged drivers to use the company’s direct deposit for the security and integrity of their bank accounts. Mark explained that R&J Trucking provides a 50% company match on 401K retirement accounts and to date, the company has over $20 million dollars in the account for retiring drivers.
Vice President Gary Carrocce talked about the new Peterbilt sleeper tractors that are entering the fleet. The company expects to receive 90-100 new trucks in 2019, all with APUs, to upgrade the fleet.
1st year award winners for accident free driving start with embroidered company jacket and cash awards are given out for each year thereafter ranging from $50.00 up to over $1000.00.
Company wide, $59,000.00 in safety cash awards were distributed among 13 terminals.
In addition, any employee who had 25 years of working service received $1000.00 cash. Those winners were:
Dave York Jr: - Youngstown; Stan Patten – Toledo; Mike Kuron: - Toledo.
Other award winners were the recipients of 1 million and 2 million miles of accident free driving: They each received Million Mile Award Packages from the American Trucking Association. Those winners were:
1 Million Miles:
Charles Phillips- Youngstown, OH; John Allen - Marietta, OH; Terry Foster - Marietta, OH; Jon Pifer - Marietta, OH; John Everson - Marietta, OH; Roman Korkots - Lorain, OH; Drew Deck - Portersville, PA; Marvin Marin - Brewton, AL; Rickey Qualls - Brewton, AL
2 Million Miles:
Reed Hart - Youngstown, OH; Len Brewer - Canton, OH; Scot Zimmerman - Marietta, OH; Tim Abrams - Shelby, OH
R&J Trucking is a subsidiary of American Bulk Commodities, based in Boardman, Ohio. The company is a bulk hauler operating a combination of end dumps, triaxles and roll-offs. R&J Trucking was founded in 1960 by Ron Carrocce.
Director of Safety Anne-Marie Naples, in closing remarks at the banquet, said, “We are all about drivers in the safety department. You won’t find another company like American Bulk Commodities (R&J Trucking) that has owners and staff who care this much about their drivers and employees.
L-R: Million Mile Safe Driver Chuck Phillips, 2 Million Miles Safe Driver Reed Hart and Len Brewer.
L to R: Mark and Gary Carrocce present Jim Tulip with his safety award.
Dave York, Jr. has been employed at R&J Trucking for 25 years and is going on 3 Million Miles safely drive