On the Move 2021

Page 1


ON THE MOVE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 14, 2021



The trucking industry has met a wide variety of challenges during the past year with great thought and careful planning, ensuring the safety and health of both drivers and recipients of goods. Throughout the pandemic, the industry has continued to find creative solutions to keep the country’s supply chain moving.


ne year ago, there was an excessive amount of panic from consumers concerned about shortages of daily household items, such as toilet paper and paper towels. “As you might imagine, the trucking industry and our professional drivers face challenges every day,” said Brian Parke, president and CEO of the Maine Motor Transport Association. “Delivering essential goods during a pandemic has added to those challenges, but the trucking industry has risen to the occasion.” “The professional drivers here in the state of Maine have been very dedicated,

working long hours to keep the supply chains moving,” said Josh White, publicity officer for the Maine Professional Drivers Association. “Many shippers have had reduced staff leading to delays in the loading and unloading of shipments.” “I believe the most difficult part of this for drivers has been limited access to restrooms and also to rest areas across the National Highway System, to be able to park to either eat or sleep,” said White. “As early on, many of these facilities were closed and prohibited drivers from parking. This environment requires drivers to plan their trips very carefully. Making sure they have places to shower, eat and use

Continued on page 4

ON THE MOVE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 14, 2021



ON THE MOVE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 14, 2021

the restrooms.” Truck drivers have had to come up with creative solutions to these Bring It!’ I think as long as people need ‘stuff’ truck drivers will be looking forward to challenges to ensure that supply chains continue to move and goods are transported to providing that service by any means necessary. As the industrial engine of the United States begins to fire back up, truck drivers will be matching it in lock step.” their destinations in a timely manner. With states across the nation gradually reducing restrictions and opening back up, Rest area access proved to be a major concern for the trucking industry to provide a safe Parke said the industry faces other challenges. “We expect freight volumes to pick up with location to park and rest during their long, multi-day trips. states reopening, restaurant restrictions being eased and tourism showing signs of “Initially, there were concerns about acquiring PPE, rest stop closures and limited optimism. However, even before the pandemic started, our industry has been facing facility access at shipper locations. Those concerns have subsided and now that we a workforce shortage that is growing at an alarming rate. Truck drivers and know more about how to protect ourselves from the virus, the normal freight technicians in particular are retiring and we are actively looking for ways to delivery and supply chain has settled back in depending upon the commodity attract the next generation of truckers to consider careers in our industry.” hauled,” explained Parke. We know In an effort to attract more drivers, the Maine Motor Transport The state of Maine has been very supportive of the industry which the people Association has created a recruiting campaign entitled “Go YOUR has made the challenges easier to navigate. of this state Way.” The program, according to the formal announcement “Fortunately, truck drivers in the state of Maine have always online, is “an emotional ‘upstream’ digital campaign that is been ready to do what is necessary, regardless of the situation, and the nation depend designed to speak to younger people on their platforms.” to keep our economy moving,” said White. “We know the on us to keep a positive Go YOUR Way reaches out to younger people who people of this state and the nation depend on us to keep and determined attitude aren’t looking to go to higher education after high a positive and determined attitude to keep essential school. “Think young mavericks and young people freight rolling to the places it is needed most.” to keep essential freight who may want to see the world, or at least want to control To assist in the safety mandates for drivers, shippers rolling to the places it is their own destiny, and work in an industry that will always have adjusted how they do their business. “Many shippers needed most. keep them employed. When you choose a career in trucking in have gone to different forms of contactless or reduced contact Maine, there is something for everyone,” the announcement states. when loading and unloading. For the most part though, this has – JOSH WHITE For more regarding the Go YOUR Way program, explore the been a fairly smooth change,” White said. publicity officer for the Maine Professional website at GoYOURWay.com for information on the industry including White keeps a positive spirit that things will eventually return to some Drivers Association information on how to earn your Commercial Driver’s License, educational form of normalcy. “I have to say we certainly are an optimistic bunch. The videos that shine a light on the industry and may paint a more clear picture of American Trucking Association used to have a motto, ‘Good Stuff, Trucks an exciting career field, as well as endless resources to assist you in building your future. As an additional event to increase awareness of tractor-trailer trucks, the Maine Professional Drivers Association is setting up a special blind-spot demonstration and touch-a-truck event at the Owls Head Transportation Museum’s Truck and Tractor Show on July 24-25. “We will be using a tractor-trailer unit donated by one of our supporting members to show visitors at the show areas around a truck that can be difficult for a commercial vehicle driver to be able to see,” said White. “Helping the average motorist be more aware when on the road around the commercial motor vehicles.” Trucks have remained on the road as a result of the hard work and dedication of those in the industry to push forward and persevere through speed bumps and roadblocks. They will continue to navigate through any future challenges with grace as they keep in mind the motto: “Good Stuff, Trucks Bring It!”

ON THE MOVE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 14, 2021




Paul Merrill, Michael Cole and Adam Grotton (left to right) are the Maine Department of Transportation team behind those highway signs alongside Maine highways that inject humor into road safety messages. PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUL MERRILL


nyone who has driven on Interstate 95 in Maine over the past few years has seen them. In many cases, they probably elicited a chuckle as you drove past. They’re not from a witty business, a sarcastic motorist or mischievous Maine wildlife, however. They’re the clever, punny phrases that Maine Department of Transportation staff have programmed into the electronic signs that dot the hundreds of miles of federal highway that fall under their jurisdiction. And, in more recent years, they’ve been accompanied by equally funny and pun-tastic social media posts on Maine DOT’s Facebook and Instagram. Whenever there’s notable weather, a holiday, major sporting event or even just a typical weekend, DOT spokesperson Paul Merrill and his team have a carefully crafted, no more than 48-character statement for the occasion. “We have a big working document with a very long list of ideas in it for every type of category,” Merrill said. “They’re not all winners. But you know when you’ve got a good one.” The Maine DOT began writing funny highway signs just before Christmas in 2016. Maine DOT senior engineer Joyce Taylor had seen transportation departments in other states, including Arizona, Tennessee and Kansas, have a lot of success injecting a little levity into their signage and wanted to try the same for Maine. That first year, the signs simply read “Santa sees you when you’re speeding.” But in the ensuing years, Maine DOT has turned those big orange flashing highways signs into an everevolving creative writing project — a platform for its outpourings of goofy, public safetyinspired poetry. Some classics? Christmas: “The best unopened gift? Your airbag.” Valentine’s Day: “I think we click. Love, Your Seatbelt.” The Fourth of July: “Let freedom ring — hang up the phone.” During busy summer travel weekends: “A cold suppah’s better than a hot ticket” and “Camp in the woods, not the left lane.” And when the New England Patriots were in the Superbowl in 2019, the team came up with some all-time gems: “87 is Gronk’s number — not the speed limit,” and, after they won, “Both hands on wheel — admire all 6 rings.” “It’s got to be a message about safety, and it’s got to be helpful, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with it,” Merrill said. “Whether you love them or hate them, you’re talking about them, whether it’s about not using your phone and driving, buckling up, not speeding or whatever it might be about. It elevates the discussion about being safe on the roads.”

The team, composed of Merrill, photographer Adam Grotton and digital media coordinator Michael Cole, brainstorm ideas regularly, and also jot down things that pop into their heads at random, adding them to their master list of ideas. Grotton hopes that someday one of his hip hop-themed sign ideas will make it to the big time. But, given that the team prefers that the phrases appeal to all ages, it might be a while before that happens. “I still submit them, and they still get turned down,” Grotton said. “We have a wall of shame in the office where they mostly live.” There are also major space limitations. On the flashing road signs, there are just two programmed panels that the signs switch between, each made up of three lines of eight characters, including spaces. That means words like “Thanksgiving” and “Halloween” are out of the question, and that if it can’t be said in 48 characters, it just won’t work. Luckily, social media allows them unlimited space, as well as the added benefit of an entire internet’s worth of memes to parody. And the team knows that when there’s something vitally important, like dangerous weather or another safety hazard, it’s time to dispense with the jokes and get straight to the facts. There are state and federal laws around what can and can’t be posted on a highway road sign, so no matter the level of humor that accompanies it, it has to be about public safety. When the coronavirus pandemic came to Maine in March 2020, it wasn’t long after that that the Trump administration authorized transportation departments nationwide to show pandemic-related messages on their highway signs. Mask and social distancing puns, like “Stay wicked fah apaht” and “Spread facts, not germs,” became the new task for the Maine DOT team. “We collaborate with other agencies and run the proposed message by the CDC and the governor’s office to make sure they’re good with it. I know one of the ideas was Commissioner Lambrew’s,” Merrill said, referring to Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. Though they have asked the public in the past to come up with sign ideas — including one instance a couple of years ago in which they received around 1,800 submissions — Merrill, Grotton and Cole have thought up the vast majority of the signs. “We get requests from other public agencies or from businesses, but we have to turn them down,” Merrill said. “But it’s great that it’s become a topic of conversation. If we can make sure people are talking about being safe, then we have done our jobs.”

Originally from the Bangor Daily News on February 13, 2021.


ON THE MOVE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 14, 2021



t Lynch Logistics, we deliver on our promises to both our customers and our employees! We have over 30 years of experience providing integrated logistics services including our transportation, warehousing, and freight brokerage offerings to businesses throughout the US and Canada. We take pride in our ability to serve our customers safely and reliably on time, every time. Headquartered in Bangor, ME, and operating facilities in Bangor, Hermon, Veazie and Auburn, Lynch Logistics has the size and scope to link Northern New England and the Canada Maritimes and Quebec with the rest of North America while also providing the flexibility and tailored experience of a small, fast-paced company. Lynch Logistics began as a one truck start-up company, formerly known as Central Maine Transport and Consolidated Warehouse. Since then, we have grown our over the road fleet, added a flatbed division, established our brokerage business, and increased our warehouse space to over 400,000 sq. ft. Lynch Logistics has a high service reputation by being flexible, nimble, and by doing what we say we are going to do. This helps us win complex dedicated business that requires 24/7 capability. We are able to adapt to meet customer expectations and consistently receive high marks on all customer KPI’s and scorecards. Because we are multidimensional, we are able to offer a wide range of packages for our warehouse customers. This includes food grade storage, rail service, final delivery, and inventory management from start to finish with a total comprehensive plan. Lynco Inc., Lynch Logistics’ partner company, includes Central Maine Moving and Storage, a North American Van Lines agent, where we continue to lead the commercial and residential moving pack; our robust full-service records management business Records Management Center (RMC) and Shredding on Site (SOS); and a very popular final mile

division, Maine Delivery. Since our Lynch and Lynco divisions are tightly knit, we are able to share resources to always meet changing customer demands. What got us to this point is simple — our employees. Our team is the best of the best, with years of institutional knowledge, experience, and most of all, dedication. From our professional drivers to our operations team, to our office and support staff, everyone is exceptional. The Lynch Family of Companies has grown to over 140 employees, but we maintain a small, family oriented business that pulls for each other every day and celebrates together on a regular basis.


We are looking for the right people to join our growing family! Lynch currently has openings for CDL Class A drivers and experienced warehouse associates. Our drivers enjoy a laid-back atmosphere which includes the ability to bring their pets with them on the road. We offer a flexible schedule and one of the best comprehensive compensation and benefits packages around! If you are interested in learning more about our open positions for Lynch Logistics or Lynco, Inc., check out our website or call our recruitment hotline at any time! Call 207-659-3577 for more information.

ON THE MOVE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 14, 2021



ecently, American Trucking Associations applauded the introduction of the DRIVE Safe Act in both the U.S. House and Senate by a group of bipartisan legislators. The legislation addresses the economy’s growing shortage of professional truck drivers by expanding job opportunities for younger members of the trucking workforce, while also strengthening safety training and technology safeguards for select candidates looking to participate in interstate commerce early in their careers. The DRIVE-Safe Act was introduced by Sens. Todd Young (R-Indiana), Jon Tester (D-Montana), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas),

Angus King (I-Maine), Krysten Sinema (D-Arizona), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) in the Senate, and by Reps. Trey Hollingsworth (R-Indiana), Jim Cooper (D-Tennessee), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan), Jared Golden (D-Maine), Troy Balderson (R-Ohio), Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), Bruce Westerman (R-Arkansas) and Darin LaHood (R-Illinois) in the House. While 49 states permit individuals to obtain a commercial driver’s license and operate large commercial vehicles before they turn 21, federal regulations prohibit those same drivers from crossing state lines until they turn 21. These restrictions bar a vital population of job seekers from



ON THE MOVE • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 14, 2021

interstate trucking, exacerbating the driver shortage as qualified candidates are lost to other industries. The DRIVE Safe Act would allow certified CDL holders already permitted to drive intrastate the opportunity to participate in a rigorous apprenticeship program designed to help them master interstate driving, while also promoting enhanced safety training for emerging members of the workforce. “This bill has strong, bipartisan backing because it’s both common sense and pro-safety,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “It raises the bar for training standards and safety technology far above what is asked of the thousands of under-21 drivers who are already legally driving commercial vehicles in 49 states today. The DRIVE Safe Act is not a path to allow every young person to drive across state lines, but it envisions creating a safety-centered process for identifying, training and empowering the safest, most responsible 18- to 20-yearolds to more fully participate in our industry. It will create enormous opportunities for countless Americans seeking a high-paying profession without the debt burden that comes with a four-year degree.” Under the proposed legislation, after a driver meets the requirements currently in place to obtain a CDL, they can then begin a two-step program of additional training, which includes rigorous performance benchmarks. The program requires 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 advanced safety technology including active

braking collision mitigation systems, video event capture and a speed governor set at 65 miles per hour or less. Only once all these benchmarks are successfully met will the candidate be permitted to cross state lines. The truck driver shortage is expected to grow worse in the coming years as more drivers move into retirement and the demand for freight transportation increases. Over the next decade, it’s projected that the trucking industry will need to hire roughly 1.1 million new drivers, or an average of nearly 110,000 per year, to keep up with demand. The federal ban on interstate commerce for under21 drivers is a major impediment to recruitment, as local in-state routes are generally reserved for seniority. A coalition of nearly 90 companies and trade associations throughout the supply chain, including manufacturing, agriculture, retail and restaurants, have long supported enactment of the DRIVE-Safe Act. “The DRIVE-Safe Act comes at a time when the national economy is reeling from pandemic-related job losses,” said Mark S. Allen, President and CEO of the International Foodservice Distributors Association. “At the same time, the pandemic highlighted how essential professional drivers are to our everyday life, increasing the demand for this specific kind of job. The DRIVE-Safe Act will hasten our economic recovery by providing an opportunity for new drivers to enter the workforce while reinforcing a culture of safety far and above current standards.”

Selling & Servicing Quality Trucks



Thank you Truckers for your hard work and de dedication edication during these thesse unprecedented times! 439 Washington Street, 516 North Street, 2 Piper Way, Suite 1, 10 Terminal Street, WESTBROOK WATERVILLE AUBURN HOULTON 1-800-492-0601 1-866-648-2834 1-800-286-9397 1-888-500-2468 (Parts Only) (Parts Only)


422 Perry Road, BANGOR 1-800-432-7936