News

5/5/15

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Trucking Solutions Group
To Create Health Pavilion at GATS 2015

The Trucking Solutions Group was honored late last year when they were asked by Randall-Reilly, owners of the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Tx. to create a health pavilion for the 2015 show.

At this years’ show, all attendees will be able to take advantage of an extensive menu of free health screenings, courtesy of the generous folks at Randall-Reilly for providing space to the health service providers.

Among the screenings being offered are height, weight, BMI (Body Mass Index), blood pressure, glucose/cholesterol/HDL testing, kidney function with medical consult, chiropractic nerve assessment, cardiovascular risk assessment with medical consult, eye acuity exam, nutrition screening and diabetes education.

In addition the Trucking Solutions Group will be conducting its fifth annual blood drive to benefit the greater Dallas area and will also be welcoming back their friends from Make It Happen USA who will again be conducting their bone marrow donor registration drive.

Last but not least, continuing its history of providing FIRSTS at major truck shows, the TSG will be bringing a mobile mammogram unit to the show. This is an idea that was brought to our group by our good friend Dorothy Cox at “The Trucker” publication. Dorothy has wanted to see this happen for years but had not been able to get anyone to support her efforts. It wasn’t until she brought her dream to the Trucking Solutions Group, known for being able to get things done, that her idea has come to fruition.

Stay tuned for more info on the health pavilion and the mobile mammogram unit.

3/27/15

IMG_0285TSG Chairman Rick Ash Honored as TA/Petro Citizen Driver

Trucking Solutions Group chairman Rick Ash was among five honorees to receive the 2015 TA/Petro Citizen Driver Award.

TravelCenters of America launched the Citizen Driver program in 2013 in an effort to honor the many great, hardworking professional truck drivers that keep our economy going. Citizen Drivers not only have an exemplary career in trucking, they are great examples of the kind of people who honor the great profession of truck driving. By demonstrating their good citizenship, safety, community involvement, and leadership, they are shining examples of all of the hard working men and women in this industry with whom there is pride in being associated.

The five were chosen from 19 finalists who were whittled down from 72 nominees, truckers who were nominated by their fellow drivers, safety directors, company executives, business associates, friends and family members for exemplifying true knights of the road for their safety, bravery, charity work and caring spirits.

6/1/14

IMG_0080TSG Members have Travel Centers Named in their Honor

TSG members Bob and Linda Caffee and Henry Albert recently had a TA/Petro travel center named in their honor.
Bob and Linda chose the Petro location in North Las Vegas, Nv. as their location and Henry Albert chose the TA in Laredo, Tx.
The honor was just one of the many prizes that they received for being named in the first class of recipients of the TA/Petro Citizen Driver Award. We here at the Trucking Solutions Group couldn’t be more proud of our members and can’t think of 3 more deserving recipients.

5/19/14

IMG_20140518_135325_657Congrats to TSG Friends Kenn and Beth Zelten

On may 18,2014 Kenn Zelten, a good friend to the Trucking Solutions Group, ran his first marathon in the 2014 edition of the Green Bay Marathon. This had been a dream of Kenn’s for a long time. One of the most impressive aspects of this great accomplishment is the fact that Kenn waited until he was 62 to do it. His wife Beth was there to cheer him on through the ordeal along with TSG member Jeff Clark who ran the half marathon.

Congrats again to Kenn and Beth. Your bucket list is now one item shorter.

3/29/14

P1020991FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro
Joins Us For MATS Walk 2014

The 2014 edition of the annual Trucking Solutions Group MATS Health Awareness Walk went off without a hitch. FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro and OOIDA Executive V.P. Todd Spencer joined us again for our MATS Walk 2014. We did something a bit different this year and started the walk from the Papa John’s parking lot and walked over to the beautiful and infamous Churchill Downs raceway, home of the Kentucky Derby.

Attendees took advantage of the opportunity to chat with Administrator Ferro and each other while enjoying the nice weather and getting a little exercise.

Thanks as always to our sponsor, TA / Petro for helping us promote the event and generously donating 500 “Ultra One” points to each person who joined us.

GATS is just around the corner. Start making your plans!

3/28/14

P1030009TSG Members Selected as Inaugural TA/Petro Citizen Driver Award Winners!

Congratulations to TSG members Henry Albert and Bob and Linda Caffee on being selected as three of the first seven drivers to receive the TA/Petro “Citizen Driver of the Year” award.

They were selected from a total of 88 people nominated for the award and among other gifts and surprises will have the honor of having the TA or Petro location of their choice named after them.

Henry has chosen the TA Travel Center in Laredo, Tx. as his choice and Bob and Linda have chosen the Petro location in North Las Vegas, NV as their choice.

Much more to come including related stories and pictures when the official dedication ceremonies take place during the month of May.

CONGRATULATIONS to our members. We are very proud!

3/28/14

blogger-image-1969643168TSG Member Linda Caffee Named one of Trucker Buddy’s Outstanding Drivers of the Year

Trucker Buddy International honored five of its participants as Outstanding Trucker Buddies at a press conference at the Mid-America Trucking Show on Friday, March 28.

Linda’s class is across the Atlantic in Saint-Malo, France. The teacher says the reports of what seem like everyday occurrences are almost exotic and have encouraged students to improve their English skills.

Congrats to Linda for her service and dedication to this wonderful cause.

To see Land Line magazines’ Pork Chop Diary story click here

6/30/13

Hours of Service Changes go into affect on July 1

Printed with permission from OOIDA

By Jami Jones, Land Line managing editor

In spite of requests to delay implementation of the final two provisions of the regulations by industry stakeholders, the new hours-of-service regulations will go into full effect on Monday, July 1.

While the ultimate fate of the regulatory changes hangs in the balance with the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the agency has opted to go full systems ahead and implement the regulation on its original compliance date of July 1.

The changes
Starting July 1, rest breaks will be mandated for drivers during the workday if the driver has been on duty for eight consecutive hours. The regulation also mandates that the 34-hour restart provision must include two overnight periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. in the restart. The restart is also restricted in the new regulations to only once per seven days.

“Collectively, these changes will have a dramatic effect on the lives and livelihoods of small-business truckers, changes that are unwelcome and unnecessary,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

Mandatory breaks
The new regulations have added a mandatory “break” during the 14-hour workday, which requires at least a 30-minute break after eight hours of on-duty time. Drivers may drive only if less than eight hours has passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty period of at least 30 minutes. Simply put, if you’ve been on duty for eight hours, you’ll need to take a 30-minute break before you can drive. However, the break does not stop the 14-hour duty clock.

“There is a tremendous variation in individual needs in the industry,” Spencer said.

He pointed to heavy-haul operations that are allowed to operate only during daylight hours.

“Here we are on one of the shortest days of the year with not even eight and a half hours of daylight time,” Spencer said. “These operations are now going to sacrifice 30 minutes of that available workday and then take upwards of 15 hours off duty. Now that just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

Spencer said that in other operations, this level of specificity could prevent drivers from taking a needed break, because they were mandated into taking a 30-minute break before it was actually needed,” Spencer said.

The agency did take into consideration the duties of drivers under a load that requires constant monitoring – another situation OOIDA highlighted in its comments on the proposed regs.

Those drivers may take the break while in attendance of the load. They will be required to record the break as “on-duty” time and note that the time was spent complying with the mandatory break provision.

34-hour restart
The two overnight provisions and the limitation of using the 34-hour restart provision once every seven days are going to hamper efficiencies and rest cycles of drivers.

“It is counterintuitive to limit the restart provision to once per seven days,” Spencer said. “Since a 10-hour break is sufficient for restorative rest, how is taking 34 hours off more than once in a seven day period going to put tired truckers on the road.”

OOIDA is also critical of the limitation of use and the two overnight periods.

“The agency attempted to validate these overnight restrictions with an invalid sampling. It shows a clear lack of understanding about the varied operations in the trucking industry and the sleeping schedules and needs of individual drivers.”

What’s missing
Meaningful changes start with accountability, something that OOIDA contends is lacking.

OOIDA has long held that to meaningfully improve highway safety, proposed changes would need to include all aspects of a truckers’ workday that affect the ability to drive safely. This includes loading and unloading times, split sleeper berth for team operations, and the ability to interrupt the 14-hour day for needed rest periods.

“Compliance with any regulation is already a challenge because everyone else in the supply chain, other than the driver, is free to waste the driver’s time loading or unloading with no accountability,” Spencer said.

“The hours-of-service regulations should instead be more flexible to allow drivers sleep when tired and to work when rested and not penalize them for doing so.”

OOIDA’s position is that shippers and receivers play a critical role in HOS compliance. While FMCSA has acknowledged a desire to gain authority over shippers and receivers, that hasn’t happened yet. The agency pointed to that lack of authority as the reason that shippers and receivers were not regulated in this hours-of-service version.

Next steps
The regulation will go into full effect on July 1, with the changes outlined above.

Oral arguments were heard on the pending litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals on March 15. As of press time the court had not issued an opinion on the case. The court issues its opinions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

A couple of scenarios are in play pending the outcome of the court’s ruling if history proves anything.

If the court rules that the regulation fell short in some respect, the court can rule to vacate the entire regulation or just certain provisions. FMCSA would then be forced to take steps to rescind the regulation. How long the agency would be given to comply with the court’s ruling is unclear as it’s been handled differently since the first big ruling in 2004.

In July 2004 when the court ruled against the April 2003 attempt at changing the hours-of-service regulations, the court gave the agency 45 days to rescind the regulations, allowing the industry to continue operating under them for the time being.

Eventually in 2004, Congress stepped in and gave the agency a year to formulate new regulations to comply with the court’s ruling. That also kept the April 2003 implemented regs in place to reduce confusion in the industry.

When an attempt at revising the regulations was published in August 2005, lawsuits ensued once again.

Those regs went into effect in October 2005 despite the pending litigation. Those are the regulations, that barring a few minor changes, the industry operates under until July 1.

The court ruled against the agency on procedural, not safety, grounds. The court also gave the agency until the end of 2007 to come up with another attempt at altering the hours-of-service regs. The agency opted for the industry to continue running under the then-current regulations during that process.

When the new regulations were again attempted by FMCSA in December 2007, the agency retained the 2005 incarnation of the regulations while it considered the court’s ruling and came up with a regulation to satisfy it.

In November 2008, another “new” final HOS regulation was published, which made no changes to the 2005 regs. As expected, lawsuits were filed.

The third chapter in the HOS saga kicked off when four groups filed a lawsuit asking that the current version of the regulation be tossed. Filing suit were the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Public Citizen, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and the Truck Safety Coalition.

In October 2009 FMCSA and Public Citizen were granted a joint motion by the court to delay legal action to allow FMCSA to craft new HOS regs.

That delay remained in place and the agency rolled out the new regs in December 2011. That’s when the agency published the regulations that are set to go into effect July 1.

The first lawsuit on the fourth attempt at retooling the hours of service in a decade’s time was filed in February of 2012. That’s the case on which the court’s ruling is pending.

The handling of hours of service has bounced around quite a bit.

Should the regulation in whole or in part be vacated, the agency will find a way to keep the mandatory breaks and alteration to the 34-hour restart option in place. If history proves anything, FMCSA prefers to maintain the status quo of the then-current regulations while it finds a way to try and address yet another court ruling against the agency. In this case, the status quo will be the regs that go into effect July 1.

3/25/13

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Trucking Solutions Group Adds New Member

The Trucking Solutions Group is pleased to announce the addition of its newest member Jeannie Silk. Jeannie has been a good friend of the Trucking Solutions Group for several years and a loyal supporter of our Health Awareness Walks and blood drives since the beginning so we were all very pleased when she accepted our invitation to join the group.
For more information on Jeannie please see her bio on our “About Us” page or click here. Jeannie silk Bio

3/25/13

P1020476

FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro joins MATS 2013 Health Awareness Walk

The Trucking Solutions Group was honored to have FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro join us in our annual MATS Health Walk 2013. Administrator Ferro took time out of her busy schedule which included a listening session dealing with entry level training for drivers, to join us for the 1.5 mile fun walk around the grounds of the Kentucky Expo Center. After several days of frigid weather the temperature warmed into the forties as approximately 52 walkers took part.

TravelCenters of America President Tom O’Brien and Senior Technical Advisor Homer Hogg from TA/Petro also joined us. TA/Petro is the lead sponsor of our health walks, including it as part of their StayFit program. All registered walkers received gym bags with T-shirts and other goodies provided by TA/Petro and Shorepower Technologies.

This was the fourth year in a row that the Trucking Solutions group has conducted its Health Walk. Anyone interested in promoting the need for healthy habits in the trucking industry is always welcome to attend the health walks.

Special thanks go out to Toby Young from Exhibit Management Associates for allowing us to again conduct our walk and support our goal of healthier drivers on our nations’ roads.

Click these links to see related press coverage:

Overdrive Magazine
Transport Topics
Land Line Magazine

11/14/12

NTSB - An Independent Federal Agency
NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) announces it’s Top Ten Transportation Challenges For 2013

Click here to go to the list: Top Ten Transportation Challenges for 2013

11/11/12

TSG member and Driver Health Council chairperson Linda Caffee honored as one of the NASTC drivers of the year.

Linda Caffee, Women In Trucking Association Director and owner-operator leased to FedEx Custom Critical, was recognized as one of twelve Drivers of the Year by the Na- tional Association of Small Trucking Companies in November. The conference was held in Nashville, Tennessee November 8-10. The Caffees and the other Drivers of the Year finalists were introduced during a Friday night reception before they will be treated to a night at the world famous Grand Ole Opry.

8/30/12

TSG Chairman Rick Ash featured in USA Today Article Regarding Truckers’ Health

Photo courtesy of Rick Wilking C2012

Trucking Solutions group Chairman Rick Ash and TSG member Scott Grenerth were featured in an article about truckers’ health on Wednesday August 22, 2012.
Click here to read the story:
http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2012-08-09/truckers-health/57194472/1

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8/30/2012

What a week it was at GATS!

The Trucking Solutions Group had a very successful week at this years’ Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Tx. The group held its third annual Health Awareness Walk on Friday morning August 2, 2012 at 9 a.m. We met in room D168 prior to embarking on our 1.5 mile fun walk within the Dallas Convention Center.

We were honored to have Homer Hogg, Senior Technical Trainer for TA and Petro as a special guest walking with us. T-shirts and goody bags were passed out to all and we enjoyed the opportunity to chat with each other and Homer as well. We look forward to having him walk with us again at MATS in the spring.

The Trucking Solutions Group also held its second annual blood drive in partnership with the American Red Cross on Friday August 24th and Saturday August 25th.
From the time we started taking donations on Friday morning until they turned out the lights in the convention center on Saturday afternoon, it was standing room only at our booth. We were so busy that we were taking names and cellphone numbers from perspective donors so that we could call them when we had an open donation bed. We are grateful to all those who donated and those who wanted to donate but couldn’t due to the overwhelming turnout. We look forward to next year so that we can surpass the number of blood donations collected this year.

Last and certainly not least, TSG’s own Bob and Linda Caffee took first place in their categories (2010 and newer working bobtail and aftermarket sleeper) in the annual Pride and Polish show truck competition!
This was their first time entering their truck in a competition and beat out such competition as a concept truck from Freightliner Trucks and another truck built by the boys at Chrome Shop Mafia in order to take home the trophies!!

The Trucking Solutions Group extends its grateful appreciation to the wonderful folks at Randall-Reilly, and especially Randy Davidson, for their continued generosity and support of our events. We look forward to working with them for many years to come.

8/2/2012

Trucking Solutions Group Chairman Rick Ash was featured in an article regarding truckers’ health in the USA Today newspaper on Wednesday August 22, 2012. The story appeared on the front page of the Money section and detailed the path Rick took and the challenges he faced in accomplishing his 54 pound weight loss.

Photo courtesy of Rick Wilking C2012

Click here to read the story:
http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2012-08-09/truckers-health/57194472/1

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2/6/2012

The Trucking Solutions group is pleased to announce a new partnership with TravelCenters of America (TA/Petro) in conducting the groups’ Health Awareness walks held each year at the nations major trucking shows.
TravelCenters of America will provide much needed logistical and public relations support in an effort to improve the health of our nations’ trucking industry workers.
TA/Petro’s  StayFit initiatives have already established TravelCenters of America as the nations’ leading truck stop chain when it comes to the health of our country’s truck drivers.
Much more information will be forthcoming with regard to this exciting new partnership in the near future.
Stay tuned!

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1/3/2012

Final Rule: Drivers of CMVs: Restricting the Use of Cellular Phones

The Final Rule announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood on November 23, 2011 goes into effect today 1/3/2012. For a list of frequently asked question (FAQ) about the new rule please got to our Resources/Government page or click on this link:

https://onramptohealth.wordpress.com/final-rule-drivers-of-cmvs-restricting-the-use-of-cellular-phones/

12/22/2011

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the long awaited revised hours-of-service (HOS) safety requirements for commercial truck drivers on December 22, 2011.

To view the press release please click on the following link:
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos-final/statement.aspx

To view the changes made in the HOS regulations please click on the following link:
https://onramptohealth.wordpress.com/hours-of-service-hos-final-rule-december-2011/

12/9/11

The Trucking Solutions group is pleased to announce the addition of its newest member, Scott Grenerth. Scott is an owner-operator who pulls flatbed for Fikes Truck Lines. He is also the co-creator of the Ride and Roll website (http://rideandroll.yolasite.com/) a website that provides maps/info for truckers who enjoy cycling while out on the road.
Scott recently testified on behalf of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Oct. 12 before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending on how new fuel-efficiency standards for Class 8s as well as emissions regulations will impact small business truckers.
We welcome Scott to our group and will have full bio information for Scott in the upcoming weeks.

12/8/11

U.S. highway deaths fell to the lowest level in 2010 since 1949, but truck-related fatalities rose for the first time since 2005, the Department of Transportation said Thursday.

Fatalities involving large trucks increased rose 8.7%, DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in its annual report.

NHTSA said that 3,675 people died in truck-related accidents in 2010, an increase of 295 over the 2009 figure of 3,380, ending a three-year decline in fatalities in truck-involved accidents.

American Trucking Associations said that in the 10-year period from 1999 to 2009, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes dropped by 35%, while injury crashes dropped by 48%.

At the same time, the number of registered big rigs rose by more than 3 million, or 41%, ATA said in a statement, and ATA President Bill Graves cautioned that policymakers should not jump to conclusions about the fatality figures.

“Every fatality on our highways is a tragedy, and the uptick in the 2010 preliminary report concerns up deeply,” Graves said in a statement. “Without more information and analysis, though, it is difficult to draw conclusions about what this preliminary data means.”

Overall, fatalities in both trucks and automobiles declined to their lowest number — 32,885 — since 1949, when 30,246 people died, DOT said.

That led to the lowest fatality rate ever recorded, with 1.10 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down from 1.15 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2009.

11/21/2011

The Trucking Solutions group was mentioned in a recent article in the N. Y. Times entitled “A Hard Turn: Better Health on the Highway” written by Abby Ellin. The article is about health in the trucking industry and can be viewed by clicking on the following link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/health/a-hard-turn-truck-drivers-try-steering-from-bad-diets.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all%3Fsrc%3Dtp&smid=fb-share

10/10/2011

Congratulations to Trucking Solutions Group member Timothy Weber and his wife Michelle on the birth of their fourth child, Bethany Lucille Weber. She was born Friday October 7, 2011 at 9;30 p.m. She was 6 lbs. 1 oz. and 18 inches long. Mother and baby are fine and already home. Congrats to the Webers!!

10/9/2011

Congratulations to Trucking Solutions Group member Henry Albert on becoming the newest Board Member of OOIDA.
Henry has worked diligently over the last couple years as an alternate Board Member in addition to all of his other duties as a member of Freightliner’s “Slice of Trucker Life” program, and oh yeah, he has a day job too. He drives a truck for a living like so many others of us. We are constantly impressed by how he finds the time to accomplish all of theses duties.
We are all very proud of Henry and feel very fortunate to have him as a member of our group.

Please join us in congratulating Henry and wishing him many years of accomplishing great things for OOIDA and our nations’ truck drivers.

10/5/2011

In an Oct. 5 letter, Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., urged President Obama to withdraw the DOT’s proposed rule. They noted the White House estimates the proposal would add $1 billion in costs for “not only the trucking industry, but every business shipping and receiving goods.”

Click the link to see the letter Oct. 5 letter.

10/5/2011

Here’s some great news for any of you that might be having tire wear issues or handling problems with your truck.
Mike Beckett from MD Alignment Services, one of the worlds foremost experts on tire wear and alignment has graciously allowed us to post excerpts from his book “Truck Wheel Alignment  A Common Man’s Guide” on our website.

Please click on the Mike Beckett page and start with his introduction. Then you can move on to the first installment which is Tire Wear.

For more information about Mike or the Protrak Heavy Duty Laser Wheel Alignment system or to purchase his books please visit Mike’s website at http://www.mdalign.com/.

9/9/2011

For all of you folks who are interested in eating a healthy diet we have great news.
Thanks to the generosity of Pam Whitfield and Don Jacobson over at RoadCookin’, we have some great recipes from their book Roadcookin’ that they have allowed us to post on the website. Go to our Driver Health Council / Recipes page for some great cooking suggestions.
For more info or to order a copy of their great book, go to http://store.roadcookin.com.

Trucking Solutions Group website visitors can save 15% on their entire order by using the promo code “trucksols” now through 12/31/11.”

8/16/2011

Plover, WI:  The Women In Trucking (WIT) Association recently approved the addition of two new members of the Board of Directors. Tom Nightingale, Vice President, Communications and Chief Marketing Officer for Con-way Inc. and Linda Caffee, Owner-Operator leased to FedEx Custom Critical were approved unanimously to the director positions.

Mr. Nightingale is responsible for the oversight of the global branding of Con-way and its business units. “Con-way supports Women In Trucking, and has for more than four years, because it makes the trucking industry more attractive and welcoming to women, who can make this industry even better,” he said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to show our corporate support for WIT and join the WIT Board of Directors to continue the mission to encourage the employment of women in the industry and promote their accomplishments.” Nightingale and his team are responsible for strategic marketing, public relations, advertising, digital media, communications and market research for all of Con-way’s subsidiaries: Con-way Freight, Con-way Truckload, Menlo Worldwide Logistics, and Road Systems Inc.

Ms. Caffee has been on the road for eleven years, the last six as a co-driver with her husband, Bob, “I am enthusiastic about the trucking industry and women in the trucking industry, and continue to strive to improve myself by staying involved, reading, and talking with other drivers as well as company representatives.” She added,” I look forward to a new chapter in my life furthering the growth of Women in Trucking, supporting its roles and missions, and working with the Board of Directors.” Caffee has served on the FedEx Custom Critical Contractor Council since 2006 and currently chairs the group. She has also served on the Women In Trucking driver advisory committee and is a charter member of the association. Linda and Bob are also members of the Trucking Solutions Group, OOIDA, Trucker Buddy International, and participate in the First Observer program.

“Both Tom and Linda have been active in promoting the mission of Women In Trucking since its inception,” said Ellen Voie, President/CEO, “we are honored to have their expertise to bring even greater value to our members.” Both will serve two-year terms to expire in 2013.

Women In Trucking was established in 2007 to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited to women, as 16 percent of its members are men who support the mission. For more information visit http://www.WomenInTrucking.org or call 888-464-9482.

Ellen Voie
President/CEO
Women In Trucking Association, Inc.

8/7/2011

Our good friends at Land Line Magazine have done a feature story on us in the current issue (August/September 2011). Charlie Morasch listened in on one of our weekly conference calls and this story is a result of that experience. I have to say that he has done a wonderful job of capturing the essence of our group. We’ve been together for almost three years now and it keeps getting better. A big THANKS and WELL DONE to Charlie for a wonderful article. It’s on page 56 of the magazine.

Click the link to go to online version of the article:

http://www.landlinemag.com/Archives/2011/AugSep11/Features/grassroots.shtml

8/4/2011

When Mike Beckett joined us on our weekly conference call recently (the recorded call is available on our Resources/Guest Speakers page), I asked him for his thoughts on a tire wear issue that I was having. On my way to Lafayette, In. with a load, I had the time to stop by MD Alignment to have Mike take a first hand look. He confirmed his previous diagnosis after checking out my truck. He brought out his right hand man Kevin, who crawled under my truck and jacked up the drive axles. By placing a lift bar under the tires at each axle position and pulling up, the play from loose wheel bearings was obvious. I was experiencing cupping on the inside tires on both sides of my front drive axle. The easy fix for this is to tighten the wheel bearing assembly with a torque wrench to 75 foot pounds of torque. He mentioned that most techs would tighten to 75 foot pounds and then back off on the adjustment by a quarter turn. He does NOT recommend the “backing off by a quarter turn” part of the process.

Some other things that I learned while talking to Mike:

The right steer tire wears faster than the left steer tire.

When the tread depth difference between the two steer tires reaches 3/32nds or more you should then rotate the steer tires.

The tires on the rear drive axle wear faster than the tires on the front drive axle.

When the tread depth difference between the tires on the rear drive axle and the front drive axle reaches 3/32nds or more you should then rotate the drive axle tires using the “X” pattern (right front drive axle tires go to the left rear drive axle position and the left front drive axle tires go to the right rear drive axle position etc etc.).

After spending about 45 minutes with Mike and Kevin, learning quite a bit and feeling confident that my problem was properly diagnosed, I asked Mike how much I owed him. His response was ” how about you just having a nice rest of you day”. This is typical of Mike Beckett. Not only is he the most knowledgeable tire wear and alignment person in the country but he loves to share his his knowledge. The whole time he was sharing his knowledge, that famous Mike Beckett smile was everywhere. You could even feel how much he was enjoying the sharing of his knowledge. What a great day!

For more info on Mike, MD Alignment or to buy his books please go to
http://www.mdalign.com/

8/1/2011

Henry Albert was interviewed at the recent Shell SuperRigs event in Kenly, N.C. by Jim Park, Equipment Editor of “On the Road” at Truckinginfo.com. Henry talks about 17 of the steps he has implemented on his truck to achieve 9.5 m.p.g.
Click the link to see the story and learn how achieves the great fuel mileage that he gets.

http://www.truckinginfo.com/on-the-road/detail.asp?news_id=74313&news_category_id=123

7/28/2011

The schedule of events has been announced for the 1st Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention in Tunica, Ms. on October 15, 2011. The 1st Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention will be an all day and evening event to be held on Saturday, October 15th, 2011.  Seating is limited to the first 550 and is by RSVP only.

1st Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention Schedule of Events:

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM – Welcome Introduction – Allen Smith
8:15 AM – 8:45 AM – Sponsorship, Special Attendee Recognition – Allen & Donna Smith 8:45 AM – 9:00 AM – “Making a Difference” Award Presentation to Hope Rivenburg
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM – Breakfast Buffet
10:30 AM – 11:15 AM – Guest Speaker – James McCormack – “Trucking Careers”
11:15 AM – 11:30 AM – Sponsorship Give-A-Ways with “Bobby Boofay”
11:30 AM – 12:15 PM – Guest Speaker – Eddie Gichuhi – “Winning Business Strategies” 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM – Socialize/Network Break
1:00 PM – 1:45 PM – Guest Speaker – John Osburn – “Truck Driver Health”
1:45 PM – 2:00 PM – Sponsorship Give-A-Ways with “Bobby Boofay”
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM – Guest Speaker – Paul Taylor – “Truckers Rights”
2:45 PM – 3:00 PM – Sponsorship Give-A-Ways with “Bobby Boofay”
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM – Guest Speaker – Rich Wilson – “Safety, Compliance Regulations”
3:45 PM – 4:00 PM – Sponsorship Give-A-Ways with “Bobby Boofay”
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Special Guest Speaker – Austin Walsh – “Power of Social Media”
5:00 PM – 5:30 PM – Break
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM – Open Panel Discussion / Attendee Participation
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM – Dinner Buffet – Entertainment by : John DiBattista
9:00 PM – 9:50 PM – Entertainment – The Truckers Tracks Band with Jan McCarter
9:50 PM – 10:10 PM – Entertainment Break with Jim “Bobby Boofay” McCarter
10:10 PM – 11:00 PM – Entertainment – The Truckers Tracks Band with JOHNNY NEEL 11:00 PM – 11:30 PM – Final Closing/Appreciation – Allen & Donna Smith

This is going to be a full day as you can see. I’ll be bringing my”5 Hour Energy” for sure.
For more information or to register please go to the events’ website at

http://truckingsocialmedia.com/

7/26/2011

Now that Expedite Expo 2011 is history, view a brief video summary of the Expo with Trucking Solutions Group Driver Health Council Chairman Linda Caffee featured as one of the interviewees. Our little girl is a media star!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChuaPBvx7jU&feature=related

7/15, 2011

The Trucking Solutions Group will host a workshop at this years’ Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Tx. The workshop will take place on Thursday August 25, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. in the Fit for the Road/Trucking Solutions Group booth (booth number not yet determined).
The workshop will be  an open forum discussion covering ways that drivers can eat healthy and live healthy while on the road. It is a chance for drivers to share ideas with other drivers on how they live a healthy lifestyle while trucking. All attendees at GATS are welcome to join us.

7/14/2011

Truckers News “Fit for the Road” Announces 5K Run/Walk

Truckers News “Fit for the Road” announced recently their plans for this years’
“Big Rig Run/Walk” to be held during this years’ Great American trucking Show in
Dallas, Tx. The 5K run/walk will be held on Friday August 26,2011 at 7 a.m. at Dallas’ Katy Trail, less than a mile from the Dallas Convention Center where GATS will be held.

Click here to go to the website and/or register http://www.truckersnews.com/big-rig-run/

7/11/2011

Linda Caffee and Terry O’Connell from Fedex Custom Critical wrote an interesting article on the basics of the expediting side of the trucking industry.
Click on the link to see the article:

http://www.truckdriver.com/absolutenm/templates/?a=276&z

7/11/2011

Fellow Trucking Solutions Group and Driver Health Council member Jeff Clark (the marathon trucker) was recently featured in an article that appeared in the Detroit Free Press and the Chicago Tribune. Click on the link to see the article.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sc-health-0518-trucker-health-20110518,0,1077257.story

6/27/2011

SPECIAL REPORT: Fraudulent broker practices targeted in new bill

By Jami Jones, Land Line senior editor

Friday, June 24, 2011 – The numbers tell it all. It doesn’t take long for unscrupulous and unlicensed brokers to rack up crippling amounts of unpaid freight bills.

Take for example a recent alert on Red Book Credit Services, a produce load board and reporting agency. The site lists $54.9 million owed by 1,477 broker firms. Internet Truck Stop had a similar scenario play out in a 2009 alert that had more than $5.5 million in nonpayment complaints in just a seven-month time span.

Nonpayment on brokered loads has put countless trucking companies out of business simply because many times the bonds carried by brokers are either not enough to cover the claims or are already gone, thanks to other claims, if they ever existed at all.

That is the very reason Rep. Frank Guinta, R-NH, along with Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-MO, introduced HR2357, the “Fighting Fraud in Transportation Act of 2011,” in the U.S. House on Friday, June 24.

“This law would put a stop to a system that allows ruthless brokers and scam artists to continue to operate unchecked,” says Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of OOIDA. “Too often, we’ve seen deceitful brokers get away with collecting payments from shippers but cheating truckers out of what is rightfully theirs.”

The bill, first and foremost, requires brokers and freight forwarders to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and present proof of a $100,000 bond.

Perhaps more importantly, if the bill is passed into law, it would give FMCSA the ability to actually enforce on non-compliant brokers and those who broker freight without any authority whatsoever.

“In many instances, brokers provide a valuable service to truckers and the transportation industry. However, the current system is loose enough that it provides ample, fertile ground for fraud. This has gone on far too long. It needs to stop,” Spencer also said.

The “Fighting Fraud in Transportation Act” will:

  • Increase the broker surety bond requirement from $10,000 to $100,000 and expand that bond requirement to freight forwarders.
  • Increase requirements and disclosures for any person or company seeking to obtain broker or freight forwarder authority.
  • Establish significant penalties for violations of broker regulations, including unlimited liability for freight charges for conducting brokerage activities without a license or bond.
  • Establish strict guidelines for companies that provide brokers with surety bonds and on how they administer bonds.

Guinta and Carnahan worked closely with OOIDA, the Transportation Intermediaries Association, and the American Trucking Associations in writing up the legislation.

“We appreciate the leadership of Congressman Guinta and Congressman Carnahan in drafting this legislation and introducing it in the House,” Spencer said. “It’s something the industry has needed for a long time.”

He added that the next essential step in ensuring the success of the bill is for OOIDA members to call their own representatives in support of the bill and ask that they sign on as cosponsors.

Copyright © OOIDA

6/25/2011

The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) announced their “Most Wanted List”, a program to increase the public’s awareness of, and support for, action to adopt safety steps that can help prevent accidents and save lives. Included in their items on the top 10 “Most Wanted List” are : Addressing Human Fatigue, Bus Occupant Safety and Recorders.

Click this link to see the rest of the top 10 and related stories:
http://www.ntsb.gov/safety/mwl.html

6/6/2011

The Trucking Solutions Group will again partner with the American Red Cross to conduct its second blood drive at a major truck show when the Great American Trucking Show kicks off in Dallas, Tx. this summer.
This years’ show will be held from August 25, 2011 to August 27, 2011 at the Dallas Convention Center. The Blood Drive will be held on all three days. The booth number for the Blood Drive as well as the hours have yet to be determined. We will announce that information as soon as we have it. Donors will be handled on a first come, first served basis.
The Trucking Solutions Group would like to thank the American Red Cross, The Great American trucking Show and Randall-Reilly for their ongoing support of our groups’ efforts to reach out to the trucking community and beyond.

Click on the button to register.

5/24/2011

Allen Smith (askthetrucker.com and truthabouttrucking.com) announces plans for the 1st Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention in Tunica, Ms. on October 15, 2011.

The 1st Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention will be an all day and evening event to be held on Saturday, October 15th, 2011.  Seating is limited to the first 550 and is by RSVP only.

Those involved with Trucking Social Media will meet with America’s Professional Truck Drivers, the real “Movers and Shakers” of trucking and come together to work toward a positive impact for drivers and the industry.

A day of socializing, networking  and discussing ideas and solutions for the benefit of our nations’ truckers.   This is a “First of its Kind’ event where the driver will have center stage and will be recognized as the force that keeps America moving.

For more information and to register for the event, please go to:

http://truckingsocialmedia.com/

5/13/11

Roadcheck 2011, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s 72-hour safety blitz, is scheduled for June 7-9, 2011. CVSA sponsors Roadcheck with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

5/10/2011

Among the 163 listeners that we had on our call with FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro last week was Todd Dills, Senior Editor of Overdrive, Truckers News, Severe Service and Custom Rigs publications.
Todd Dills and Randall Reilly have been ongoing supporters of our groups’ efforts and we appreciate his interest in our group and our efforts to share what we know and learn with others within the trucking industry. Thanks Todd.

Click here to read his recap of our call with FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro  on his blog at Overdrive.online Channel 19.

http://www.overdriveonline.com/channel19


May 6, 2011

FMCSA Places Additional Research Studies in Hours-of-Service Proposed Rulemaking Official Docket.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today placed four additional research studies in the official rulemaking docket for the Hours-of-Service (HOS) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The four studies are: The Impact of Driving, Non-Driving Work, and Rest Breaks on Driving Performance in Commercial Motor Vehicle Operations; Hours of Service and Driver Fatigue-Driver Characteristics Research; Analysis of the Relationship Between Operator Cumulative Driving Hours and Involvement in Preventable Collisions; and Potential Causes Of Driver Fatigue: A Study On Transit Bus Operators In Florida. FMCSA is reopening the HOS NPRM comment period to allow for public review and discussion of these studies. As FMCSA is committed to receiving and analyzing all public comments on the studies before it completes its work on the final rule, the agency will extend the final rule publication date. FMCSA has advised parties to the settlement agreement of the need for an extended rulemaking schedule. The research studies are available on the FMCSA website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov or www.regulations.gov. For more information, contact Candice Tolliver at (202) 366-9999.

5/4/2011

FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro joined us today for a hour long Q&A session covering a variety of subjects. Among the topics discussed were the goals and mission of the FMCSA, how the FMCSA decides which issues to pursue, entry level requirements for new drivers and their trainers, Cross Border Trucking and EOBRs, to name a few.
Our group is grateful for Administrator Ferro’s accessibility and her willingness to share some of her valuable time with us. We look forward to her next visit. Keep watching this website and our Facebook page for her next appearance and other future guests as well.
Visit the Resources/Guest Speakers page of our website to hear the recording of the call.

4/27/2011

On Wednesday April 28, 2011 I, along with my fellow group member Henry Albert, volunteered at OOIDA headquarters in Grain Valley, Mo. to assist in packing boxes as part of OOIDA’s “Truckers For Troops” program. Money had been collected during the recent Christmas season to purchase the items packaged for the troops. The boxes were being sent to soldiers whose names had been submitted by the employees of OOIDA, their friends and family members and also by soldiers themselves. Items included magazines, snacks, socks, sunscreen, toothbrushes, body powder and silly string (good for detecting trip wires), just to name a few. The first packing session took place in February 2011 (361 boxes packed) and the effort was completed on 4/27, 2011 (375 boxes packed). Henry was already at OOIDA to perform his duties as an alternate board member of the organization.
We had a great time packing the boxes and meeting the other folks who volunteered their time to accomplish the effort. After a break for lunch we finished up shortly thereafter. I then had the opportunity to tour OOIDA’s facilities and meet many of the wonderful people who work so hard supporting our country’s owner operators. They are some of the hardest working and nicest people I have ever met. If you are an owner operator and have not yet joined OOIDA, I strongly urge you to do so.  For photos of my day at OOIDA, please see our “Photos” page.
Thanks OOIDA for all you do for our troops and owner operators!

Rick Ash
Chairman

Click here to see the story in Land Line Magazine.
http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Apr11/042511/042711-02.shtml

4/26/2011

Our group’s newest member, Jeff Clark, who not only is a fellow trucker but also a marathon runner, is featured in “Runner’s World” magazine. Click here to see the story.
http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-243-297–13353-0,00.html

A truckload of thanks goes out to these fine folks who have helped us promote our events in their publications:

We would also like to thank Evan Lockridge of “The Lockridge Report” on Sirius/XM for interviewing Trucking Solutions Group Driver Health Council Chairperson Linda Caffee and Henry Albert. The initial interview was aired on March 15th, 2011 and rebroadcast on March 30th. Thanks Evan for your support of our events.

Todd Dills at Overdrive.online writes a nice article supporting our Health Awareness Walk and Blood Drive at MATS 2011. Thanks Todd.
http://www.overdriveonline.com/channel19

TA/Petro E-Newsletter does a nice story in their current edition on our Health Walk and Blood Drive at MATS 2011.
http://roadking.com/2011/03/drivers-walking-mats/
http://roadking.com/2011/03/give-blood-mats/z
http://sn121w.snt121.mail.live.com/default.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0

Linda Caffee and Henry Albert on the “Bubba Bo” show on 3/20/2011. I could not find a fast forward for this so download the call and use the slide bar to get to the 34 minute mark of the call:
http://a1135.g.akamai.net/f/1135/18227/1h/cchannel.download.akamai.com/18227/podcast/CINCINNATI-OH/WLW-AM/110320_1_BUBBABO.mp3?CPROG=PCAST&MARKET=CINCINNATI-OH&NG_FORMAT=&SITE_ID=1209&STATION_ID=WLW-AM&PCAST_AUTHOR=700WLW&PCAST_CAT=Talk_Radio,_Sports&PCAST_TITLE=America%27s_Truckin_Network_On_Demand

“The Trucker” writes a nice article about our upcoming Health Awareness Walk and Blood Drive at MATS 2011. Click here to go to the story on pages 22-23:
http://www.virtualonlineeditions.com/publication/?m=9293&l=1

Truckers News includes a nice article about or upcoming Health Awareness Walk and Blood Drive at MATS 2011. Click here to see the article on page 83:
http://www.digitalmagazinetechnology.com/a/?KEY=truckersnews-11-03march#page=83

“Movin’ Out” includes an article about our upcoming Health Awareness Walk and Blood Drive at MATS 2011. To see the article click on “Inside Stories” on the left side and then scroll down til you see “Drivers Start Your walking Shoes”.
http://www.movinout.com/