Trucking Biz Buzz

OOIDA offers Truck to Success business class March 12-14

If you have you have considered becoming an owner-operator but aren’t sure where to start, a class offered by OOIDA may help.

Truck to Success, OOIDA’s business education training, is a 2½-day intensive training for those ready to take their first steps toward becoming an owner-operator.

Truck to Success is scheduled for March 12-14 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Blue Springs, Mo. The class features true trucking experts who have worked and do work for the largest trucking association dedicated to helping drivers in all areas be successful. The training consists of expert trainers and interaction among participants. Some homework is required for full participation.

The training is designed to follow a logical path of information on the transition from a company driver to an independent contractor. Topics include:

  • Developing a business plan that works for you.
  • Buying a new or used truck.
  • Equipment financing.
  • Insurance.
  • Pros and cons of running under your own authority or leasing on to a carrier.
  • New entrant safety audits and compliance reviews.
  • Drug and alcohol testing requirements.
  • Permits and licensing.
  • Taxes and business structures.
  • Brokers and factoring.
  • Current issues affecting the industry.

Registration is open to anyone – you do not have to be a member of OOIDA to participate in the classes. The cost is $495 per person and that includes breakfast, lunch and snacks. Lodging is not included. However, participants can book a room at the Courtyard by Marriott and receive OOIDA’s corporate rate. Participants who register before Feb. 1 will receive a year’s membership for free.

To register, visit OOOIDAOnlineEducation.com.

Band Together campaign raises nearly $250k for trucking charity

The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund’s annual Band Together campaign generated nearly $250,000, according to a news release from TravelCenters of America.

Running from Aug. 15 through Sept. 30 at TA & Petro Stopping Centers nationwide, the Band Together campaign, along with raffles and other fundraisers throughout the year, received donations for the trucking charity totaling $244,849.80. The campaign provided wristbands, window clings and keychains to donors in exchange for contributions of $1 and $5.

The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that helps truck drivers and their families when an illness or injury has caused them to be out of work.

“We are always honored to have the opportunity to help drivers in need,” Barry Richards, president of TravelCenters, said in a news release. “We know full well it’s the patronage of our customers and employees, year over year, that assist these efforts. We couldn’t be more proud and thankful to them for their ongoing support.”

As of July 2018, the trucking charity has helped more than 2,300 truck drivers and their families with monthly bills, including utilities and mortgages totaling $2.3 million. TravelCenters has been a supporter of the St. Christopher fund since 2010.

“I want to give thanks to TravelCenters for another year of Band Together,” said Donna Kennedy, executive director of the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund. “This campaign is such a great example of how easy it is for people to help people. We always love to see the generosity of drivers and employees.”

Trucking jobs on pace for five-digit increase for the year

Net transportation jobs significantly increased yet again in October after a large increase in September and August. The transport sector gained nearly 25,000 jobs because of high increases in the warehousing, couriers, support activities and trucking industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of more than 2,000 jobs in October after the industry gained nearly 6,000 in September and nearly 7,000 in August. Numbers for October and September are preliminary and are likely to change in the coming months. So far, trucking jobs are up nearly 32,000 for the year.

Warehousing/storage and couriers/messengers both experienced the largest increase in the sector with 7,600 jobs added each, followed by support activities for transportation and trucking with 4,800 and 2,400 more jobs, respectively. Rail transportation suffered the only monthly job loss with 300 fewer jobs.

In 2017, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 3 million jobs. In every month except January there was a job increase compared to the previous month. September accounted for the largest one-month increase, with more than 25,000 jobs in the sector added to the economy. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net gain of 9,400 jobs in 2017.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector was $24.50 for October – a 5-cent increase from September. Earnings were up 49 cents from October 2017. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees went up 8 cents to $22.09 from the previous month and up 57 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $27.30, a 5-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 3.1 percent, or 83 cents.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations dropped to 4.8 percent, compared with 5.2 percent in October 2017. However, the rate increased slightly from 4.62 percent in September. The overall unemployment remained stagnant at 3.7 percent. The number of long-term unemployed was also unchanged at 1.4 million, accounting for 22.5 percent of the unemployed.

Pilot Flying J donates $2M to 23 charities

Pilot Flying J is donating a total of $2 million to 23 charities, including the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, Trucker Buddy International, Truckers Against Trafficking, and Truckers Final Mile.

The donations are part of the truck stop chain’s celebration of its 60th anniversary.

“We are grateful to the millions of guests and thousands of team members who have fueled our business for 60 years,” James A. Haslam II, founder and chairman of Pilot Flying J, wrote in a news release. “To celebrate this great achievement, we wanted to say thank you in a meaningful way that honors our history and will make a positive difference in the communities we serve.”

The list of charities receiving donations from Pilot Flying J includes:

  • A21
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America
  • Bunker Labs
  • Convoy of Hope
  • Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
  • Feeding America
  • First Baptist Church of Corbin, Ky.
  • Fisher House of Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Folds of Honor
  • Hire Heroes USA
  • Interfaith Health Clinic
  • Knoxville Habitat for Humanity
  • National Safe Place Network
  • No Kid Hungry
  • Restoration House of East Tenn. 
  • Safe Families for Children
  • St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund
  • Teach for America
  • Thrive Lonsdale
  • Trucker Buddy International
  • Truckers Against Trafficking
  • Truckers Final Mile
  • Trucking Cares Foundation
August was another strong month for NAFTA truck freight

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in August trucks moved more than 62 percent of NAFTA freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. All five modes experienced an increase in freight year-to-year for the fourth consecutive month.

The value of freight hauled across the borders increased by nearly 6 percent compared with July, when freight decreased by nearly 5 percent from the previous month. This is the largest month-to-month increase since March when NAFTA freight rose by nearly 13 percent. Compared to August 2017, freight was up nearly 10 percent. This marks the 22nd consecutive month of year-to-year increases.

In 2017, March had the largest month-to-month increase (16 percent) since March 2011, when NAFTA freight was up more than 22 percent compared to February 2011. NAFTA freight declined by nearly 11 percent in July 2017, the largest decline for the year.

In March 2017, the index reached more than $100 billion for the first time since October 2014 before going back below that mark in April. That landmark was revisited in October and maintained through November before dipping below the $100 billion mark again in December. March marked the first month in 2018 to reach beyond $100 million, which has been maintained through at least August so far.

Trucks carried nearly $67 billion of the nearly $107 billion of imports and exports in August.

Year-to-year, Canada truck freight increased by 2.4 percent and Mexico freight rose by 8.5 percent. Top truck commodities were computers and parts, electrical machinery, motor vehicles and parts, plastics and measuring/testing instruments.

Freight totaled $106.897 billion, up nearly $6 billion from the previous month and an increase of more than $9 billion from August 2017.

Vessel freight accounted for the largest increase at 59.7 percent after an increase of 42.4 percent in July. Trucks accounted for an increase of 5.7 percent, the third largest increase behind a 26.2 percent increase in pipeline freight. Truck freight experienced increases of 11.2 percent in July and 5.3 percent in June.

Approximately 56 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 16.2 percent. Of the $53.6 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried 68.6 percent of the loads.

British Columbia installs new oversize/overweight travel restrictions

Beginning Nov. 19, truckers driving on provincial highways in British Columbia will need to reevaluate their trucks’ weight and size for larger loads. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure recently announced new travel restrictions during inclement weather.

More specifically, the restrictions apply to provincial highways that are designated as “Carry Chains” routes for commercial vehicles or “Winter Tire” routes for passenger vehicles any time those routes are under a travel advisory.

Travel restrictions will apply to loads that exceed 100,000 kilograms gross combination vehicle weight, approximately 220,000 pounds or 110 U.S. tons. Restrictions also apply to trucks that are 4.4 meters in overall width, which is approximately 14 feet.

Commercial vehicles exceeding 100,000 kilograms or more than 4.4 meters in width must not be dispatched during extreme winter conditions and travel advisories, the Ministry advises.

The Ministry will make all Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement inspection stations available to commercial vehicles that are in transit during travel advisories for staging and chaining up.

Questions about the new restrictions may be directed to commercial.transport@gov.bc.ca or to Jan Lansing, manager commercial transport, at jan.lansing@gov.bc.ca.

TA Petro to donate $5 to Folds of Honor for every oil change through Nov. 13

In honor of Veterans Day, TravelCenters of America, operators of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers brands, and Mobil Delvac have teamed up to offer truckers a chance to give back to those who sacrificed while serving in the armed forces. For every oil change, $5 will be donated to Folds of Honor.

From now through Nov. 13, $5 will be donated to the Folds of Honor organization for every Mobil Delvac oil change conducted at a TA Truck Service stop. As a thank you, truckers who participate will receive a Folds of Honor hat.

Folds of Honor is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members, according to its website. In the last decade, the organization has awarded nearly 20,000 education scholarships to the families of these American heroes.

Every customer who purchases a Mobil Delvac oil change through Dec. 31 will receive a limited edition Folds of Honor hat, while supplies last.

Locate the nearest TA Truck Service stop by clicking here.

Goodyear accepting Highway Hero nominations through Nov. 29

For more than three decades, Goodyear has honored truck drivers who go the extra mile to help others.

The tire company is asking the public’s help to find the next batch of truckers who are worthy of its annual Highway Hero Award, which recognizes truckers who risk their own safety for the public good. Goodyear is accepting nominations through Nov. 29.

The Goodyear Highway Hero Award was established in 1983 to recognize drivers who have put themselves in harm’s way to help others.

Past winners include a truck driver who rescued a law enforcement officer being strangled by a prisoner he was transporting, and a trucker who dived into a pond to pull a child from a sinking car.

Frank Vieira was presented the 2018 award during a ceremony in March at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky. Vieira, a truck driver from Canada, helped save the life of a motorist who suffered a severe injury after crashing his vehicle into the back of a truck.

Goodyear will announce the 2019 recipient in March. The winner will receive a special ring, a cash award and a trophy. Each of the other finalists will also receive a cash prize.

To be considered for the Goodyear Highway Hero Award, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a full-time truck driver.
  • Must reside in the United States or Canada.
  • The heroic incident must have happened in the United States or Canada.
  • Nominee’s truck must have had 12 wheels or more at the time of the incident
  • Nominee was have been on the job or on the way to or from work in his or her truck at the time of the incident.
  • Incident must have taken place between Nov. 16, 2017, and Nov. 16, 2018. 

The winner will be selected by a panel of trucking media members.

Volvo becomes fourth truck manufacturer recalling trucks for Cummins engine issue

Volvo Trucks North America is recalling more than 3,000 VNL trucks for an issue related to a potential fuel line burst. This is the same defect that led Paccar, Daimler Trucks North America and Navistar to recall approximately 80,000 trucks.

More specifically, Volvo is recalling 3,138 VNL trucks model year 2016-19 and equipped with Cummins ISX15 or X15 diesel engines. In certain driving conditions, such as on a long down-hill grade, the fuel line may burst if the fuel pump cooling circuit screen becomes restricted, according to NHTSA.

Consequently, fuel may leak onto the road resulting in a roadway hazard for other motorists. The engine may also stall without warning, resulting in the vehicle's inability to restart, increasing the risk of a crash.

Owners will be notified by Cummins. Dealers will replace the single-screen filter banjo bolt with a dual-screen filter banjo bolt at no charge. Recalls are scheduled to begin on Oct. 31. For questions, call Volvo customer service at 800-528-6586 with Volvo’s recall number RVXX1802. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-668.

Just the day before Volvo’s recall, Paccar issued a similar recall over the same defect for nearly 50,000 of its trucks. In August, the same recall was issued for 4,500 Freightliner/Western Star trucks and more than 26,000 International trucks.

Paccar recalls nearly 50,000 trucks with Cummins engines for fuel line issue

Paccar is recalling tens of thousands of Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks for an issue related to a potential fuel line burst, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall documents.

More specifically, Paccar is recalling 48,896 trucks of various models that are model year 2017-19 and equipped with Cummins ISX15 or X15 diesel engines. In certain driving conditions, such as on a long down-hill grade, the fuel line may burst if the fuel pump cooling circuit screen becomes restricted, according to NHTSA.

Consequently, fuel may leak onto the road resulting in a roadway hazard for other motorists. The engine may also stall without warning, resulting in the vehicle's inability to restart, increasing the risk of a crash.

Affected trucks include (all model year 2017-19):

  • Kenworth C500
  • Kenworth T600
  • Kenworth T660
  • Kenworth T680
  • Kenworth T800
  • Kenworth T880
  • Kenworth W900
  • Peterbilt 367
  • Peterbilt 386
  • Peterbilt 389
  • Peterbilt 567
  • Peterbilt 579
  • Peterbilt 587

Owners will be notified by Cummins. Dealers will replace the fuel pump cooling circuit screen at no charge. A recall schedule has not been provided as of publication time. For questions, call Paccar customer service at 940-591-4220 with Paccar’s recall number 18E081. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-657.

In August, the same recall was issued for 4,500 Freightliner/Western Star trucks and more than 26,000 International trucks. Combined, nearly 80,000 trucks with Cummins ISX15 or X15 engines have been recalled due to the fuel line issue.

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