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The Official Publication of the Florida Trucking Association, Inc.

Spring 2017

Friend of the Family CHRIS DUDLEY advocates for the trucking industry with a passion all his own

ALSO INSIDE: 2017 Legislative Issues Apnea’s Biggest Cost Thinking Beyond Pay Remembering Rountree

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As in his personal life, political power broker Chris Dudley chooses carefully the issues—and industries—closest to his heart. As the lobbyist of record for the Florida Trucking Association, he keeps an eye out for the issues that will affect your business and helps staff gain coveted access with lawmakers and regulatory chiefs statewide. By Rosanne Dunkelberger with photos by Scott Holstein

“When people ask me about the clients I love, it’s rare not to start with the truckers. These are second-, third-, fourth-generation families, so everybody knows the business.”

SPRING 2017 DEPARTMENTS President’s Message


Gear Guide


Around the State FTA events 6 On the Move Briefcase announcements 30 FEATURES Chris Dudley, Trucking Advocate 8


2017 Legislative Issues 13 Remembering Rountree 36



SAFETY MATTERS Apnea’s Biggest Cost 14 Thinking Beyond Pay 21


Truck Driver 2.0 24 TECH SPEED Aerodynamic Futures 29


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VOLUME 70, NUMBER 1 • Q1 2017 STAFF: President and CEO, Kenneth S. Armstrong Vice President, Tisha Keller Director of Operations, Angela Cundiff Executive Assistant, Dot Butler Coordinator of Special Projects, Ben Schultz Social Media Manager, Marcela Romero Graduate Assistant, Blake Bowman


350 E. College Ave. Tallahassee, FL  32301

EDITORIAL Editor, Tisha Keller Editorial Assistant, Blake Bowman Social Media Coordinator, Marcela Romero ADVERTISING Sales: Ben Schultz DESIGN & LAYOUT Art Director, Tisha Keller © 2017 Florida Trucking Association. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the FTA. For subscription information, please contact the FTA at 850-222-9900.

“You get out of it  … .” The thing about clichés is that they’re usually true. FTA is going to do its absolute best to provide value for you throughout 2017, but in the end, you will receive exactly as much of that value as you take advantage of. Certainly much of that value you can get electronically. Heaven knows, we provide a constant flow of information and insights. But there’s no substitute for you and your team participating in person at one of our many events during the year. See page 7 for a full list. Here are some insights: TRUCKING DAY AT THE CAPITOL | March 22, Tallahassee You are likely receiving this issue of Florida Truck News as we are delivering our message to key legislators and agency heads in the Capitol. If they don’t see you and your colleagues here, it is easier for them to disregard our positions. SPRING ROUND-UP | April 20, Lakeland The educational sessions and keynote will be on the 20th, but we bundle other great opportunities the day or two before. Our best learning/networking event until summertime. As a bonus, ouir in-depth ELD Seminar will feature national experts and will cap off our SRU. CALL ON WASHINGTON | May 23-25, Washington, D.C. Every couple years, we make a loud and clear statement to the Florida legislative delegation about our federal legislative and regulatory priorities. FLORIDA TRUCK DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS | June 15-17, Daytona Beach OK, we admit it … we are show-offs. We like to show off the incredible skills of our fantastic drivers from our phenomenal companies! Why wouldn’t you want to be there to celebrate … and have your people participate? ANNUAL CONFERENCE | August 3-4, Ft. Lauderdale The beautiful Diplomat Resort and Spa will host us for the first time ever. Every single topic of prime importance to the trucking industry in Florida will be focused on … not to mention the great time we have with friends old and new. We’ll have many other opportunities, including Fall Round-Up and Educational Institute, to get together during the year. But I wanted to make sure you got these on your calendar right now. You and your company will be better for participating. I promise.


Postmaster: Address changes to Dot Butler, 350 E. College Avenue, Tallahassee FL 32301 Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the authors of the articles contained in Florida Truck News magazine are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Florida Trucking Association or its member companies. Printed in Florida. Please recycle where facilities exist.


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Spring into Gear

We’ve curated some things to help you survive and thrive in the office, on the road and even at home.


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A PERFECT REMINDER “I’m Nagbot and I’m here to nag.” Nagbot is a funny assistant that will regularly text asking you whether you did something—and keep track of your answers. It’s free to use and allows one nag per phone number. Set up your custom nag and level of sass online at

THE PERFECT PUTT Putt-A-Round is an effective putting aid that catches the ball from any direction, allowing for 360º putting practice in the home, office, or on the green. It is made in the U.S.A. of sturdy anodized aluminum, giving it a sleek expensive look. Choose from a variety of base colors and even customize the flag with a logo. $29.97 at

HIGH-TECH HANDS-FREE The zoodi is the first handsfree protective case for iPad Air/Air 2 designed with a strap, eliminating the need to hold a tablet in one hand while typing with the other. The device also provides drop protection and handy carrying by just slinging it to the side. In addition to the hands-free option, zoodi can be propped up on a tabletop and comes in several fun, trendy color combinations, as well as two traditional color schemes. $24.99 at

HANDSOME WRIST WEAR Jorg Gray’s Presidential Collection is worn by POTUS amongst other dignitaries from across the globe, and commands attention with timepieces of uncompromising quality and functionality. The aviator-style instrument is encased in a silver or rose gold stainless-steel finish, the scratchresistant mineral crystal or sapphire crystal timepieces wear comfortably with alligator-pattern or buffalo-grain Italian leather straps, or a stainlesssteel bracelet. $895 at


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Spreading the Word The FLORIDA ROAD TEAM gave “Share the Road” presentations in nine Tampa/Hillsborough County-area schools on January 25, 2017. This annual event aims to present video, lecture and hands-on safety tips and driving information to high school students in Drivers Education and P.E. classes. Statewide, the Florida Road Team invites between 8,000–10,000 participants annually to let them sit in the truck and see what the professional driver sees—and doesn’t see. Troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement units help deliver top-quality, engaging information for today’s youth.

TAMPA/HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY “SHARE THE ROAD” EVENTS (Clockwise from top right): Walmart Transportation truck and FHP patrol car set up in the Share the Road formation to teach about a commercial vehicle’s blind spots; Eddie Pennington (FedEx Freight, Jacksonville) explains to a group of girls at Brandon High School about how to properly enter and exit the driver’s seat; Equipment at Alonso High School; Florida Road Team members Eddie Weeks (AAA Cooper Transportation, left) and Mark Shallar (MPS Transportation) at Wharton High School.

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The Year: Chock Full LEARNING, NETWORKING, LEADING ... EVENTS FOR EVERY ONE The FTA calendar is filled with events that can help your career and your team—and benefit the industry at large in terms of image and professionalism. Take a minute to pencil in these dates now and spread the word to your colleagues far and wide. DATE EVENT


Mar 14–15

Florida SuperTech Competition & TMC Membership Meeting


Mar 22

Trucking Day at the Capitol & RT “Share the Road” Blitz


Mar 31

Annual Safety Management Awards applications DUE

Apr 1–30

Pinwheels Truck Tour (statewide)

Apr 4

Safety Roundtable Orlando

Apr 7

Fauss Scholarship applications DUE

Apr 19–20

FTA Spring Round-Up Vehicle Inspection A (Seffner, I-4 WB) SMC Membership Meeting Educational Sessions ELD Seminar (separate registration)

May 19

Florida Truck Driving Championships regular registration deadline

May 23–25

Florida Call on Washington

May 31

Florida Truck Driving Championships final registration deadline

Jun 14

Herman Fauss Scholarship Golf Tournament at LPGA Int’l.

Daytona Beach

Jun 15–17

Florida Truck Driving Championships Includes annual SMC membership mtg, 2017 Driver of the Year award presentation 2017 Herman Fauss Scholarship presentation

Daytona Beach

Aug 3–4

FTA Annual Conference

Hollywood, FL


Washington, D.C.

Full calendar of events available at


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Photo by Scott Holstein


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Friend of the Family As in his personal life, political power broker Chris Dudley chooses carefully the issues—and industries—closest to his heart. BY ROSANNE DUNKELBERGER


eo Durocher not only claimed the quote “nice guys finish last,” it was the title of his autobiography. In his obituary, The New York Times called him “perhaps major league baseball’s best example of the win-at-all-costs manager … . Durocher always placed heavy reliance on physical and psychological intimidation of the enemy, the army of foes … .” While it sounds like an apt job description for a no-holds-barred lobbyist facing opponents in the hallways of the state Capitol, when it comes to the FTA’s representative in governmental affairs, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Chris Dudley has a reputation as a nice guy—and last year was named Lobbyist of the Year by INFLUENCE Magazine. Brandi Brown, who worked on former Gov. Jeb Bush’s recent presidential campaign, described Dudley’s modus operandi in the publication’s article about the top honor: “As a lobbyist, he wins the right way, with decency and class and honesty.” A managing partner at Southern Strategy Group, one of Florida’s perennial Top 3 lobbying shops (and FTA advocate of record since 2003), the 45-year-old has worked with the FTA since 2006 and, for several years now, has been the lead lobbyist for the Association.

In his position with the firm, Dudley oversees the work of 26 partners, which requires a nodding acquaintance with all its 200-plus clients. But there are a dozen or so he is actively involved in lobbying for, and the FTA is one of them. His long tenure has given him a great respect for the people, companies, and suppliers the Association represents. “When people ask me about clients I love, it’s rare not to start with the truckers,” Dudley says. “These are second-, third-, fourth-generation families, so everybody knows the business.” More than once he’s worked with multiple generations of trucking business owners. “Look at Terry Dicks in Lake City or Keith Walpole down in Okeechobee or Jimmy Davis in Starke—all of those are family businesses these guys got from their dads or worked with their families in trucking and have really grown and expanded and professionalized and got immersed in technology. It’s fun to watch that evolution.” While big companies can be sterile and focused on ROI, Dudley is impressed by the “family” attitude found in most trucking companies. “They wake up every day and they’re figuring out where the next contract’s coming

from, where’s the next load they’re taking, and how their drivers are doing,” he says. Which is not to say trucking companies aren’t successful. “These are big companies and they make a lot of money, but they’re not flashy,” Dudley relates. “These aren’t people who roll into a conference in a Bentley. That’s just not their way and I like that about them too, they’re very humble.” Serving as master of ceremonies for the FTA’s annual roast has been what Dudley calls “just as much fun as I’ve ever had. I relish doing it.” Although he’s given up on digging up any stories racy enough to push the festivities past the PG-level entertainment. “These guys are from rural communities. You can’t be a lobbyist in Tallahassee and call somebody and say ‘Hey give me some dirt … because I want to roast him.’ They just hang right up on you.” The Process is a family affair that stretches back to Dudley’s adolescent years. His father, Fred Dudley, was first elected to the Florida House in 1982 and both Dudley and his brother, Charlie, attended campaign events in the Fort Myers district he represented. Charlie Dudley, who is 2½ years older, beat his brother to the lobbying business, staying in the capital city after graduating


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time as Dudley. “He kind of taught me how to lobby and how to do the process right. How to engage the members. How to communicate with them … how to be able to articulate both sides of an issue hopefully be more persuasive on your side than the other,” says Dudley of the man he calls his mentor. “Speaker Thrasher was such a statesman. I was really blessed to learn this process from him.” The admiration is mutual. “He’s an honest broker over there,” says Thrasher. “He lobbies with integrity and he lobbies with the facts.” Thrasher also praised Dudley’s ability to break down complex issues and focus busy legislators with many interests competing for their attention on what’s important to his clients. Dudley occupies a second-floor corner office in a choice building just a block away from the Capitol. There’s a large TV, tuned in to broadcasts from the legislature when it’s in town and ESPN or political channels when it’s not. His office décor also includes a collection of signed baseballs and memorabilia from the New York Yankees. “They spring train in Tampa and I was in college in Tampa so I think I had a kind of affection for them for that,” he says. But Dudley’s top priorities are obvious in

the three large photographs that take up most of one wall—his wife, Susanne, and two sons, ages 5 and 6. He and Susanne met during the Jeb Bush re-election campaign in 2002—she was the Central Florida regional political director—and they celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary last December. “I married well, which is probably 80 percent of being successful in life,” he claims. Dudley plans most days so that even during his busiest times he can take his boys to school in the morning and get home in time to play with them before their bedtime. “I’ll get up at 5 a.m. and meet anybody for breakfast lunch or whatever,” he relates. “I don’t travel a ton because I like to be here. It’s just been kind of finding balance.” He’ll wake up at 4 a.m. to get in a workout and sort through the morning’s emails. In order to make that early morning alarm, bedtime is pretty early—around 9 p.m. —and he reads before light’s out, Florida authors almost exclusively. And another timesaving habit he has developed is putting his cell phone in the closet to charge at night. “I’ll look at it for the calendar to see if I need to wear a suit the next day, but I’m not

PHOTO: Ashkey Daniell Photography

from Florida State University’s law school, working for the Florida Cable and Telecommunications Association while his dad was still in office. Charlie Dudley is now managing partner at Floridian Partners, another top-rated Tallahassee lobbying firm. Chris Dudley graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in political science. “I did not go to law school,” he says. “My dad is a lawyer, my brother is a lawyer. I was happy to get done with school.” Fred Dudley continues to practice law and all three Dudley men live in close proximity to each other in Tallahassee and speak often—although it’s not usually shop talk. “I don’t get as much social time with my brother as I like,” Charlie Dudley said in a June 2016 interview with “So when we do have time to get together, the last thing we want to do is talk about Floridian Partners and Southern Strategy.” Chris Dudley started his career working as a legislative aide in his hometown, then worked in several positions for Frank Brogan during his years as education commissioner and lieutenant governor. Dudley would then move on to become assistant to the chief of staff and deputy chief of staff to Gov. Bush, who praises him as “a great guy with incredible people skills. His nickname (he had a few of them) was Hondo, named for Hondo Havlicek, the legendary sixth man for the Boston Celtics,” Bush says. “Like John Havlicek, you could always count on Chris to deliver.” He would move from public service work to the private sector when he joined Southern Strategy Group in November 2000, within the first few months of the firm’s creation. His introduction to lobbying was aided by the firm’s founders, Paul Bradshaw and David Rancourt, as well as others who were former legislators and state government administrators. He ticked off names like former House Speaker and president of Tallahassee Community College and Florida State University T.K. Wetherell, Tom Herndon (“Tom had a government resume unlike anybody I’ve ever seen in my life and probably ever will see.”), state ACHA and Medicaid chief Tom Arnold, and former FDLE head Tim Moore. “My colleagues, my peers in the lobby world have just never had that ability to keep their mouth shut and listen to people like that talk,” Dudley says. “What they know about the process and what they know about public policy and issues, that’s really, I think, been the key for me having folks like that to learn from.” But he reserves special praise and respect for former Senator and House Speaker John Thrasher—now president of Florida State University—who joined the firm at the same

PHOTOS: (Top): Tisha Keller; Jared Rhodes


messing around on social media—which will just zap all of your time, Dudley says. “I don’t tweet a lot …. I have learned I could sit in front of the TV for two hours and look through Twitter and Facebook and my whole night’s gone, so I just stopped doing it.” In addition to his work duties, Dudley has or is serving on several boards of directors, most notably the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, which administers grants for residential and non-residential facilities for youngsters who are runaways, truants, lockouts or victims of domestic violence. “A lot of these kids go back to their families, they go back to their schools, they’re able to get the kind of services they need—which I think is really cool,” he says. “We can keep them out of the system.” There is another passion in Dudley’s life: tennis, both watching and playing. Last year he was appointed to a national board for the U.S. Tennis Association dealing with player development. A large part of his tenure has been involved with the construction of the USTA National Campus, a $100 million center in Orlando that opened in January. It features 100 courts and is inclusive for players of all levels, from kids to recreational players to top pros. “It’s an amazing facility and I really have enjoyed being a part of that,” he says. Dudley usually plays two or three times a week with neighbors and friends. He’s not part of a league and doesn’t know what official level he plays at. Not because he’s not competitive, but because he’s too competitive. “I’m so competitive I’m worried that if I got into one of those leagues or the ladder

that my family would never see me because that’s all I would do,” he admits. There are similarities between the sport and lobbying, he says. “I tell folks that’s one of the reasons I’ve really grown to love tennis is it’s a very individual sport,” Dudley explains. “It’s hard for me to do anything else out there but focus on the little yellow ball and I love that about it. I stay really intense … but with tennis you’re going to lose all the time and you’ve just got to learn how to do that and how to get better the next time and win. “You can’t do this job unless you want to win. I hate to lose. I think I do it gracefully.” Because of term limits, at least one-third of the 160 legislators turn over every two years, so Dudley says his job of educating members on issues is an ongoing process— and a challenge. “Let’s be honest,” Dudley says, “there’s 160 members of the Legislature, probably none of them like to drive on highways with trucks, right?” The lobbyist says his early visits are twofold: “One is education on the industry, how big it is. I think if they’re not engaged in the business, like a lot of things, it doesn’t dawn on them and you tell them that 90 percent of the stuff in this office was on a truck at some point. “And then you start talking about the number of jobs,” he relates. Like tennis, every effort isn’t a win, but the trick, he says, is to bounce back. “You’ve got to be willing to learn and adapt and if you don’t get it done the first year, what did you

INDUSTRY AMBASSADOR Dudley is often at the microphone as the intermediary between FTA and Florida lawmakers. (Opposite): He addresses members at the FTA Annual Conference in 2016; (this page, top): Hosting FTA representatives at the 2016 Trucking Day at the Capitol in Tallahassee; acting as an on-point and hilarious emcee at the 2016 Roast ‘n’ Toast of Jimmy Davis fundraiser.

do wrong? How do you get it done the next year? Does your team need to be bigger? Does your approach need to be bigger? Did you not spend enough time with the members you should have to get them passionate about it or educate them? You’re constantly doing that kind of evaluating of your approach to dealing with them and your message.” Perhaps more important than lobbying legislators the FTA is forging relationships with state agencies, Dudley says. “Not a lot of things require you to move a bill through the legislative process. A lot of it is working with other agencies and communicating with them, whether it’s the Department of Transportation, the toll agency, the Highway Patrol who now has the oversight on commercial motor vehicles. That’s just been a really big change in the Association, where they’ve engaged those entities.”


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What We’re Watching at the Capitol Chris Dudley explains the 2017 Session begins March 7, and it’s set to be a wild ride. As we finished an unpredictable 2016 in politics, and enter an unpredictable 2017 regular session of the Florida Legislature, I am reminded that when you live in the greatest democracy on earth, you realize that decisions are made by elected citizens from all walks of life. Facts are sometimes gleaned from 140-character tweets; And sometimes perfect really is the enemy of good. The 2017 Session will be led by two exceptionally capable, conservative and passionate lawmakers: President Joe Negron (R-Martin County) and Speaker Richard Corcoran R-Pasco County). Both men are veterans of the legislative and political process. And both men have identified top priorities that will identify their legacy in office. In a politically purple state led overwhelmingly by the GOP, economic development, job creation, lower taxes and less regulation will be the bedrock for the next two years. This upcoming session, which starts officially on Tuesday, March 7th, you will hear great debate about the issues of expanding gambling, implementation of the medical marijuana constitutional amendment, guns on campus and open carry, chipping away at the walls of the three-tier system for beer, wine and alcohol, and tax credits and incentives used for economic development. Legislators will also be faced with their one and only constitutional duty—that of crafting an $85 billion state budget. More than $10 billion will be spent on the state’s transportation infrastructure—building and maintaining roads and bridges and expanding seaports and airports.

The Florida business community will also have a very busy session on some key issues: WORKER’S COMPENSATION: Two 2016 Florida Supreme Court decisions have resulted in the approval of an increase in worker’s compensations rates by 14.5 percent. The business community, led by Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, has made fixing these decisions the number one business priority for the 2017 session. PRE-JUDGEMENT INTEREST: Bills moving in both the House and Senate would expand the ability of prevailing plantiffs to recover pre-judgement interest in noneconomic damages awarded, including attorney fees. These bills are the number one priority of the Florida Justice Association and strongly opposed by the business community. MEDICAL MARIJUANA: With the overwhelming passage of Amendment 2 in November, the Florida Legislature is now tasked with implementing a vastly expanded scope for the use of medical marijuana that now includes treatment for the terminally ill, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis. POLLUTION NOTIFICATION: The release of over 200 million gallons of contaminated water at a phosphate plant in Polk County this summer raised questions about the state’s pollution notification law. An overreaching emergency rule promulgated by

the Governor and the Department of Environmental Protection was overturned in January, setting the stage for legislation filed by future Senate President Bill Galvano to address the issue. At issue will be not the only the reporting structure to the state and the size and type of spill, but how this notification will appear to the public and media. SPECIFICALLY FOR FTA, we will focus on our priorites: protecting the state transportation trust fund, finding ways to ease regulations and requirements on our member companies—such as the approval of multi-year apportioned license plates, enhancing the penalties for cargo theft and tackling the complicated issue of additional truck parking throughout the state. While all of these issues will provide for a engaging and interesting legislative session, the specter of the 2018 election cycle will remain on the minds of elected officials at both the statewide level and the legislature. In 2018, the Governor’s office and the other three cabinet seats will be wide open with no incumbents eligible to run. The seat of current US Senator Bill Nelson is up for grabs. All 120 members of the Florida House will be on the ballot. And half of the 40 senators will be on the ballot. It will also be the first mid-term election cycle for President Donald Trump—and these elections are always seen as a reflection of the population’s view of the current President. So, stay tuned….


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Without great drivers, our supply chain would not function. We owe it to our own families and our companies to take care of those who take care of us.

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Apnea’s Biggest Cost A glimpse into the life of a sleep-deprived trucker BY MARY CONVEY


ecently I had the pleasure of meeting and assisting a driver whose medical examiner had required an evaluation for sleep apnea that would include a sleep study before issuing his medical card. I met Nickolas Telesco (Nick) and his safety manager Kelly McDowell of Oakley Transport after dinner at Hampton Inn in Lake Wales one breezy November evening. Nick gave me permission to tell his remarkable story because it is very similar to the experiences of many other drivers I’ve met. Sitting in a private corner of the hotel dining room, we talked about Nick’s recent medical experiences since he was looking to become professional driver for Oakley. Nick began sharing his story with me. He is 40 years old, 5'9" and weighs 325 lbs. with a rather large neck. He had been through uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UP3) surgery last February to clear the airway of excessive tissue and hopefully open it up and (hopefully) alleviate his snoring that, in his words, “rocked the house.” When the ENT physician talked to Nick before surgery, he explained that he had never seen such large tonsils blocking a patient’s airway. Nick feared he would “die on the operating table” because his neck was so large and had so much tissue obstructing his breathing. Six months, later Nick was still “rocking the house” and found himself tired every day,

even after he had completely healed from the surgery. He was so tired, in fact, that during his new-driver orientation he fell asleep on several occasions and could not sit for more than 10 minutes without nodding off. Much to the chagrin of his training class, he turned down the thermostat to a very cold temperature just to try and stay awake. At one point during a driver-training run, Nick fought to stay awake at a red light. On an average night, he said he slept about 8 hours but was up 4–5 times a night to use the bathroom and would always wake up exhausted. Other drivers and trainers noticed Nick’s dozing and encouraged him to get tested for sleep apnea. Nick had been driving trucks for over 18 years and is experienced in working for companies and owning his own trucks. He recalled the days when he could pull over for a one- or two-hour “power nap” and then get back on the road feeling rested. Little by little, bad eating habits and life on the road began to take a toll on his weight and health. During a recent DOT exam, the physician asked Nick to show him how he put on his socks because his belly was so large he did not believe he could bend over. Nick’s health began spiraling downward with increases in blood pressure and cholesterol—at one-point his blood pressure >>


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There’s more treatment options than you might think! CPAP: You sleep with a mask with a hose that is attached to a machine kept at the bedside. Masks and machines may vary depending on your treatment and comfort needs. ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY: An oral appliance is a device that fits in your mouth over your teeth while you sleep. It may resemble a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. SURGERY: The most common options reduce or eliminate the extra tissue in your throat that collapses and blocks your airway during sleep. WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: In some cases weight loss can help improve or eliminate your sleep apnea symptoms if you are overweight or obese. POSITIONAL THERAPY: Some people have sleep apnea primarily when sleeping on their back. Positional therapy may involve wearing a special device around your waist or back. It keeps you sleeping in the side position. LIFESTYLE CHANGES: There are a variety of lifestyle changes that you can make to help you reduce your snoring and improve your sleep apnea symptoms, such as quitting smoking or not drinking alcohol. Information from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine,

was 150/99 (normal BP is 120/80) and his blood sugar level was 124—indicating pre-diabetes. Kelly McDowell from Oakley Transport felt strongly that Nick was a good hire. He knew trucking, had a great background that included safety experience and leadership qualities that were hard to pass up. Kelly recommended a thorough physical by a physician to take a closer look at Nick’s health issues. During the examination, the examiner suspected Nick was in congestive heart failure (CHF), based upon listening to his heart and seeing the fluid pooling around his ankles. She sent him directly to the emergency room. After a complete exam, the physicians concluded Nick was not experiencing CHF, but needed to adjust his hypertensive meds to include a diuretic to help flush out excess fluids. They also referred him for a sleep study. Nick was both relieved but scared all over again. Often within the transportation industry, this pre-hire medical exam would lead to disqualification or a provisional medical card—sometimes resulting in companies simply passing over these drivers. Not Oakley Transport: they had a greater vision. They wanted to intervene and help Nick get the treatment he needed so they could retain his talent, rather than pushing the problem down the road. McDowell called me to help Nick get a sleep evaluation.

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As I sat with Nick, listening to his life story and all the hard work he has done to take care of his teenage daughter, I was inspired and became more and more committed to help this nice guy take control of his health and get his life back on track. I educated him on sleep apnea with a focus on obstructive sleep apnea, which is very common in folks who have extra weight, particularly in the tissue surrounding their necks as well as in the muscles that hold the airway open that “obstructs” or closes off the airway when lying down. I explained that waking up more than six times a night to urinate (nocturia) is a recognized symptom of sleep apnea. When your airway closes off, you stop breathing, oxygen decreases, carbon dioxide increases, the blood becomes more acidic, the heart rate drops and the body is alerted that something is wrong. The sleeper must then wake up just enough to reopen the airway, but this awakening is so brief that the sleeper will not be aware of waking up. Suddenly the heart is racing and the sometimes the sleeper may also experience the need to visit the bathroom. This is because sleep apnea causes a hormone to be secreted that makes the body want to eliminate sodium and water. This often happens repeatedly throughout the night causing multiple trips to the bathroom. We talked at length about his increased

risk for heart attack and stroke by leaving sleep apnea untreated. Then I took him through how our sleep apnea program works. I showed Nick our home sleep testing unit that he could wear home or in the back of his truck. It would record his snoring, breathing, oxygen levels, chest and abdomen movement, heart rate and body position. Basically, it’s wearing a cell-phone-sized device on the chest with a couple of straps and sensors. Nick would have a consult with a boardcertified sleep specialist and then, if appropriate, wear the device one night for testing. Nick was all set and ready for testing, so I told him I would follow up with him the next morning after the test and meet him for breakfast. He said “Great, but I want to go to the local diner—not this hotel food again.” I smiled, “Sure thing, see you at 7 a.m.” The next morning, I met Nick at the diner for breakfast: T-bone steak, potatoes, large orange juice and a Coke. I ordered an egg-white and spinach omelet with fruit. Now, I am not saying I am always a healthy eater, but I do try. As Nick was eating his T-bone, we discussed the test. He said it sounded easy enough and could not wait to hear the results. Admittedly, I have a reputation in my family for being a bit assertive or as my sisters and nephews might say—bossy. As you can imagine, I could not resist giving Nick a tad of “Bossy Aunt Mary” advice about eating, health, exercise, sleep and being around to walk his daughter down the aisle someday. I mean, he is only 40s and the path he is on does not look good! He finished his T-bone and proceeded to eat my leftover omelet—not exactly what I was referring to when I said “healthy eating.” Back at the office, we received the results from the sleep specialist. Nick had stopped breathing numerous times during the night. He had an AHI (apnea hypopnea index) of 88; which means that he stopped breathing or had very shallow breathing 88 times per hour during the night. “No wonder you are tired, my friend,” I said. “You are never reaching the healthy, restorative sleep you need and deserve. If I came in and woke you up 88 times an hour, do you think you would feel rested the next day?” Nick was trained and placed on an Auto CPAP and nasal mask that automatically delivers the right amount of air to keep his airway open throughout the night, helping him get the best sleep possible. He talked to a respiratory therapist in my

> T-SED company who coached him on getting used to his new machine and mask. Our team wirelessly receives feedback data from his machine each night, indicating how effective Nick’s therapy is for him. The first night on APAP, Nick slept a full eight hours. He was shocked at how well he slept without interruption and he felt rested. Once he experienced the great rest from that first night, Nick has consistently used his APAP every night since. So, how is he doing? Nick wakes up every day feeling alert, has

much more energy and no longer struggles to stay awake during his workday. He reports he has lost 51 lbs., is eating healthier, his blood pressure is under control at 128/85 and he is no longer pre-diabetic. He decided to cut out bread and takes his own healthy food, nuts, veggies and protein shakes on the road with him. When he does eat out, he makes better choices. For example, at Subway, instead of the sandwich bread, he asks for a wrap with the 10-calorie flaxseed flatbread. He reports he is much more rested, alert

The Economics of Sleep Apnea Testing and Treatment PAYBACK PERIOD: The medical and accident-avoidance savings resulting from a sleep apnea testing and treatment program will likely cover the cost of the program within a four- to ten-month payback period. On-going compliance programs mean trucking companies will continue to reap greatly reduced costs year in and year out. The relatively high proportion of fleet drivers with sleep apnea provides significant opportunity to return money to the bottom line. Through a well-executed, proactive testing and treatment program, fleets: > Can reduce risk > Improve the health of their drivers > Reap significant savings in reduced Worker’s Comp payments > Reduce sick-day expenses > Reduce liability and insurance costs over time > Improve driver retention Studies have shown that every $1 invested in testing and treating drivers with sleep apnea nets $3 of savings. A multi-year sleep study with J.B. Hunt, published at the 2014 SLEEP Conference, documented: 53% reduction in accidents 55% reduction in hard braking 56% reduction in medical costs WHERE’S THE MONEY? While your experience may vary, ROI targets for SleepSafe are generally: > Medical cost reductions of 50% or $ 8,400/year > Accident reductions of 50% or $ 2,706/year > Reduced turnover of 270% or $ 2,816/year > Totaling $13,922/year

and drives with hands firmly on the wheel verses hanging over the top of the wheel— which he attributed to being tired and barely hanging on. Nick was sure he was going to die before he made the decision to get treatment and adopt his new healthy living habits. He says the Lord knew of his condition and provided a solution where there was none. He clings to the verse, “My King heard my plea and answered my prayers in his perfect timing.” His personal mantra has become Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” There is currently no FMCSA regulation in place laying out specific guidelines for addressing sleep apnea. Medical recommendations suggest a driver is to wear his or her PAP device four hours or more for 70 percent of the nights. Companies like mine provide daily compliance oversight (through wireless feedback from the device) and coach patients on how to get the best results from their therapy. Compliance is also reported to the Certified Medical Examiner and the company, so treatment can be verified for purposes of maintaining physical qualification to drive. This wireless reporting capability removes the hassle for drivers who go in to be re-certified. Instead of having to keep up with a card, or take in a paper printout of their compliance report to the doctor, they simply call us, and the team sends over the report to the doctor. As leaders within the transportation and logistics industries consider how to attract and retain great qualified drivers, addressing the real need of health and wellness must be at the foundation of those plans. Much like our friend Nick, there are countless numbers of drivers who need compassion and support to help them live a long, productive life for themselves, their families and for the well-being of our nation.

This information was compiiled using SleepSafe™ Drivers Testing to Treatment Program for Sleep Apnea data and costs.

Without great drivers, our supply chain would not function. We owe it to our own families and our companies to take care of those who take care of us. Choose, like Kelly McDowell did, to make a difference, and you’ll make the world a better place and ensure our future for years to come. MARY CONVEY is Director of Key Accounts and Risk Mitigation at SleepSafe Drivers and a long-time FTA member and content expert based in Tierra Verde, Florida. She can be reached at or (727) 417-3848.


SPRING 2017 | 17

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z z z


Pledge now to Stop the Snore and take action on sleep apnea. How do you know if you should talk to a doctor? According to the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, here are five warning signs for sleep apnea:


Besides being a nuisance to your bed partner or roommate, loud and frequent snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea.

Choking or gasping during sleep

When snoring is paired with choking, gasping or silent breathing pauses during sleep, it’s a strong indicator of sleep apnea.

Fatigue or daytime sleepiness

Sleep apnea can leave you waking in the morning feeling tired, even after a full night’s sleep.



Obesity An adult with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher is considered to be obese, and the risk of sleep apnea increases with the amount of excess body weight.

High blood pressure Between 30 and 40 percent of adults with high blood pressure also have sleep apnea, and getting treatment for sleep apnea is a proven means of decreasing blood pressure.

Ready to take action? Visit to pledge to #StoptheSnore and find a local sleep specialist. This infographic was supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number 1U50DP004930-01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.



safety training Industry headline topics with details presented directly by pros for pros. You won’t want to miss this unique event! | Creating a Safety Culture | HOS, ELDs and All Things Log-Related | Drug/Alcohol Testing Best Practices | Overcoming Cargo Securement Issues | New Laws and Final Rules | Cyberliability Issues and Fixes | And more!

Best Practices for Truck Safety Summit: Making the Pros Even Better Saturday, July 22 12:30 – 4 pm Gaylord Palms Resort, Orlando Part of the Sunshine Expo, Powered by the Florida Retail Federation. Attendees get free access to the onsite Sunshine Expo Tradeshow, Florida’s #1 show for food, fuel and beverage retailing on July 23!

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20 | SPRING 2017



Thinking Beyond Pay Retaining drivers in the modern-day economy BY MAX FARRELL


ave you ever filled up an air mattress, fallen asleep on it, only to wake up and most of the bed was deflated overnight? You have a few options when this happens: 1. Throw the air mattress away; 2. Keep putting more air in the mattress; or 3. Find the leak and patch it up. Now why are we talking about air mattresses in a trucking magazine? Because the retention issues the industry faces are right in line with how we deal with the air mattress. Now let’s put this problem in the context of trucking. Most carriers can’t keep drivers (the American Trucking Association states the annual turnover is 97% across the industry). So when drivers leave there is one of three choices: 1. Don’t replace the departed driver and take on less freight; 2. Keep recruiting new drivers to replace the departed ones; or 3. Continue to find where the biggest issues are internally and improve them to make drivers want to stay with your carrier. In this context, we’re certainly not going to pursue the first option because we want to improve profitability, but let’s think about the other two. New drivers can be recruited from an

ever-dwindling pool of drivers, but like filling the mattress with air, this does not necessarily stop the shortage or turnover, it merely prolongs it. Recruiting more drivers has become the de facto approach to tackling the biggest issues that keep many executives up at night, with millions of dollars being poured into a variety of recruiting campaigns to reel in new drivers. Some carriers shared they recruit as many as 300 drivers a week! The other option: working to improve the driver experience and the culture of the organization to keep more drivers is the topic I want to dig into. This option doesn’t have a silver bullet, but it’s the silver buckshot all carriers should be firing to make a difference in their companies. Trucking traditionally has been a “best practice” industry—one where carriers wait for others to explore new approaches to business and then follow suit. The problem with this idea of “best practice” is that best practice means everyone is doing it, and it’s probably mediocre. Right now, the best practice is implementing the best ways to recruit drivers. Almost every company now offers a signing bonus

for joining its fleet, which only encourages the cyclical nature of drivers hopping around —the current “best practice” many carriers rally around. This begs the question: “What about keeping the drivers?” Pay tends to be the primary argument for retaining drivers. Executives constantly stated that pay is the biggest issue, sharing “we’ve got to find a way to pay the drivers more.” This is true to an extent, as drivers need to make a livable wage, but the Harvard Business Review has shown there is merely a 2% overlap between pay and job satisfaction levels. Pay matters and is an influencer of employee engagement, but consistent pay wins the day, as a lack of pay does create a barrier to engagement. All of this talk of pay (good or bad) could ultimately have a negative effect on drivers’ perceptions towards work. The people that focus too much on how much they make could be preventing themselves from enjoying their jobs. A 2010 MIT study showed that this indeed the case to keep employees happy: professionals must receive enough money to take the issue of compensation off the table, something that has been a challenge for the


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> T-SED industry since deregulation. An increasing number of carriers like Covenant Transport are setting minimum weekly payments to drivers to let them know they aren’t running a $300 a week operation. This falls right in line with the study: if pay is no longer the primary focus, drivers can focus on doing their best work. But there are a number of ways, beyond pay, that are differentiators in keeping drivers. According to Harvard Business Review, “employees who are intrinsically motivated are three times more engaged than employees who are extrinsically motivated (such as by money).” This goes to show that carriers that go beyond pay win the day. In talking with dozens of drivers, many highlighted the joys of barbecues at terminals, open-door policies and driver advisor councils as a few ways carriers build strong sentiment with their drivers. However, when it came down to the biggest reasons drivers thrive with their carrier, as opposed to continuous departures, it comes down to purpose and respect. When it comes to establishing the purpose of a carrier, the first question that should be asked by everyone, whether executive or employee, is “why do we do what we do?” If the first answer that comes to mind is profitability, an immediate concern should arise. As the workforce increases with millennials, the purpose of an organization will take center stage. Understanding the rallying cause of “why this company is in business” is vital. The purposes to think through are around “who do we serve as our customer?” and “how do we enrich the lives and communities around us?” As all of us know, trucking carries with it a tremendous purpose, but sometimes we get lost in the dollars and cents to remember the stories and sacrifices of the drivers and the customers they serve. When the purpose is bigger than the paycheck, people will go out of their way to make a difference. Instead of having a fleet of individual drivers, there’s a fleet rallying for the same cause. One carrier that has taken this approach is Roehl Transport. On their website they prominently display “Driving America”, an interactive page where viewers can see specific examples of what Roehl hauls and the impact it has on society. Companies like FedEx and UPS have reported stronger driver retention because their drivers feel “closer” to the customer. Simply knowing the story behind the freight and “why” we show up to work can go a long way. Too often, drivers have shared that “the

only difference is the name on the side of the door” in their experience with carriers. A stronger purpose can start to change that. The second key needed to retain drivers is respect. Some studies show that up to 15% of driver departures are a result of “lack of respect” from the carrier. Respect comes in a number of different forms, especially giving drivers a voice and recognizing their efforts. When it comes to having a voice, drivers want to help the carrier improve, as everyone wins when this happens. Annual surveys won’t cut it here, as the majority of drivers will turnover by the time the survey comes around. Some carriers have started to do continuous surveys, checking in every month or quarter to evaluate driver feedback. One method that has become popular with carriers is the “driver advisor council,” a select team of drivers that gathers the biggest issues from the pool of drivers and visits with the company’s leadership about how to improve the driver experience. Eyes get opened on both sides when this sort of experience is shared. With both of these options, carriers can act on driver feedback and then make decisions “based on what drivers said” as opposed to informing the fleet of changes without cause or warning. Having just a little bit of say truly goes a long way. Recognition is another area that drivers embrace, and carriers across the U.S. have responded accordingly. Whether million-mile awards, celebrating truck driving championships, giving surprise hand-written thank you notes or driver of the month awards, drivers are thrilled when recognized. This kind of delight influences an entire company culture. When drivers want to stay, everyone wins. The trucking industry is ripe for a makeover, not only for how drivers are embraced, but also for how entire companies perform. The “best practices” of today will not win the challenges of tomorrow, so carriers must be open to innovative approaches to how business gets done. Going the extra mile to make drivers feel valued in unexpected ways will make drivers remember who they drive for, not just the fact they are a driver. That can go a long way to keeping the driver for the long haul. MAX FARRELL is co-founder and CEO of WorkHound, a software platform built to help carriers keep drivers and improve the truck driver experience. Truck drivers use their smartphones to share feedback and ideas with the carrier, which WorkHound aggregates and turns into actionable insights to help manage and retain drivers. He can be reached at

Keep Those New Year’s Resolutions January is the time when we resolve to quit bad habits and adopt good ones; resolutions that often last no longer than February. There’s a reason our good intentions melt away before the snow does; psychologists call it “willpower depletion.” Most of us have only so much willpower, the theory goes, and it can be drained from overuse. Your willpower can be depleted every time you have to exercise it to avoid temptation, like not smoking a cigarette or ordering a salad instead of a Big Mac. Confront too many of those situations and your willpower is likely to give out, no matter how determined you are. But don’t give up. Willpower is an amazingly powerful force; and the more you believe in it and yourself, the more likely you are to succeed at your resolution. Here are some tips that will help you turn those resolutions into permanent changes: Do one at a time Quitting smoking, changing your diet and exercising more are all difficult; trying to do all three at once is nearly impossible because of our limited willpower. So pick one and pursue that. Pick the one where success will benefit you most, make you happiest and most proud. When you succeed at that, you can go after the others, armed with the knowledge that you can change. Set mini-goals along the way If your ultimate goal is to lose 50 pounds, don’t make it all or nothing. Start by losing five pounds, then another five, then 10 and so on. Having goals along the way makes it easier and allows you to celebrate those accomplishments. Set a realistic timeframe It’s rare for a smoker to quit cold turkey or for someone to start jogging 40 miles a week. Serious lifestyle changes take time, and a too-short deadline doesn’t allow for that or for the occasional backsliding. Get help There is a lot of free, helpful information out there to help you along the way. Find out what’s been proven the best ways to quit smoking or lose weight. See what’s worked for other people. There’s no need to go it alone. Make notes It’s been proven that charting your progress will help keep you on track. Count calories or the number of cigarettes you’ve smoked. Apps and fitness trackers make it easier than ever to monitor your progress. Don’t go it alone Share your goals with others and look for a partner who’s trying to accomplish the same thing. Discussing your resolution with someone—and maybe even competing with them—will keep you strong. Family and friends also can provide support. Forgive yourself You’re going to slip up, skip a workout or have another smoke. That doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it just proves you’re human. Acknowledge the mistake and get back with the system. In fact, studies have shown that scheduling cheat days or small “rewards” will help keep you moving toward your goal. — Via RoadPro


SPRING 2017 | 23

What Drivers Want Thinking beyond pay may include things like gift cards, hotel upgrades, equipment trade-ins, snack boxes, and more. Here’s


what drivers in a national survey said they love—be creative!

24 | SPRING 2017



Truck Driver 2.0 ATLAS VAN LINES finds that truck drivers

are increasingly implementing healthy habits and technology while on the road

ANDROID OVER APPLE, bananas over candy and Texas Roadhouse over a local restaurant— these are a few of the latest findings from the Atlas Van Lines 2016 King of the Road survey, which provides insight into drivers’ preferred brands, use of technology and healthy habits while navigating the roads. As the world moves to become more techsavvy, so does the trucking industry. A recent study found that 93 percent of professional truck drivers use smartphones, which is up from 66 percent in 2013. In addition, drivers are becoming increasingly health-conscious while on the road, with water and fresh fruit topping the charts as favorite snacks over processed, sugary options. “Our experienced professional van operators (PVOs) log millions of miles on the road each year and serve as the backbone of our company,” said Glen Dunkerson, chairman and CEO of Atlas World Group. “We find our King of the Road survey extremely valuable, as it offers insights into the latest industry trends and allows our PVOs to share their expertise with others on the road.” These increasingly tech-savvy drivers, who average more than 35 weeks per year on the road, report that they access email, internet and social media at least once per day while on the road. A mere one percent of drivers say they never access the internet, further proving the importance of technology to drivers. These technological advances allow drivers to stay connected to work, family and friends no matter where they are. The survey

also showed the drivers preferences regarding technology, in that 57 percent of drivers prefer Android to Apple and 46 percent prefer Verizon Wireless over a 24 percent preference for AT&T. When not checking their Facebook feed, emails or simply browsing the internet, drivers are opting for healthier eating choices than ever before. The results found that more than 99 percent of drivers said eating right and exercising is by far the most difficult part of being on the road, therefore, drivers are picking healthier options to compensate—such as choosing water and tea over soda, and fresh fruit and mixed nuts over potato chips. While eating right may come easier for drivers, Atlas Van Lines found that finding time to exercise may not be so easy, so drivers have to get creative. They integrate everyday activities, such as moving furniture, as a part of their exercise routines, as well as implementing walking and exercising breaks in between drives at rest stops across the country. Some truckers choose to exercise in hotel gyms after a long day of driving. Regardless of the exact form of exercise, more drivers are dedicated to leading healthy lives than ever before. The Atlas Van Lines survey also showed that truckers definitely play favorites with their brand preferences—their top choices including Subway, Texas Roadhouse, Android and Michelin. Drivers also reported that Dunkin’ Donuts offers the best coffee of any competitor and Wal-Mart is their grocery store of choice. Unsurprisingly, drivers also

favored more national brands to local ones, enjoying food from large fast food restaurants such as Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A and Taco Bell. The survey also found that drivers love the Sunshine State, with Florida appearing in several answers throughout the findings. Florida took the number one spot as the state with the best rest stops in America, with 31 percent of respondents in favor. Of restaurant locations, Florida was the third favorite place for food. When it came to relaxing, Florida was no stranger in this category either, taking the third place spot of vacation destinations. Several specific Florida destinations also made the list including Key West, Clearwater, Cocoa Beach, Pine Keys and more. Finally, the state was also listed as a top scenic spot in the Southeastern United States. Additionally, results found that the life of a truck driver is not a boring one at all. When asked about the most interesting thing drivers have had on theirs trucks, nothing could be ruled out. Drivers answered with an array of crazy objects such as a 12-foot giraffe, items from Apollo 15, a covered wagon, a pirate ship and even maps drawn by Christopher Columbus. To tow these items, 43 percent of drivers said they preferred Kenworth tractors to any other brand. Drivers also preferred Shell Rotella motor oil to get them there and Michelin tires to support them on their long drives. For the 2016 study, Atlas Van Lines received responses from 401 Atlas van operators across the U.S.


SPRING 2017 | 25




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I think of collaboration, the word cooperation immediately comes to mind. At Digital Movers, we deal with many groups of customers such as retailers, their supply chains, plus transportation carriers and 3PLs). A common theme I see is the desire to maximize sales and minimize costs at each point in the chain (the “Goal”). While each company in the chain strives for the Goal individually, to get to it most efficiently, it must be a collective effort. The Goal is a process that cannot be done in a vacuum, hence the reality of the buyer, the seller, and their warehouse and transportation companies working in cooperation with one another. Let’s just take the subject of inventory control. Ideally (costs and practicality aside), all parties would like to always know what they have and where it is. And (again ideally), when a retailer’s customer buys the last item on the shelf, a new shipment arrives to replenish that item, countering what would otherwise be an out-of-stock condition. If we focus on the seller, his job is to take hundreds of data points into consideration (sometimes months in advance of actuality) and make decisions that maximize sales and profitability.

If we focus on the shipper, there’s myriad decisions that affect the cost and timeliness of goods arriving at the right place at the right time. A large number of these data points are provided on a weekly (or even daily) basis. For example, these can be sell-thru, on-hand (inventory), or on-order positions that help the seller maintain a perpetual inventory at the various buyer locations. Coupled with data from shippers and 3PLs, it represents a huge volume of worthwhile (often businesscritical) data. And, like all things, it’s a scenario that’s both good and bad. Good, in that it embodies a wealth of valuable information; bad, if you can’t (or won’t) act on it in a timely fashion. Fortunately, a lot of this data is delivered electronically (via EDI). The quicker you can amass and process all the relevant data, the faster you can react to “bad things happening.” One of the most deficient areas our customers’ have experienced is the lack of capabilities their ‘back-office” (ERP) systems have in handling and analyzing this type of data. This results in people sifting through data in spreadsheets, sending emails, or making calls in an attempt to move inventory from one place to another to achieve the Goal. We’ve been studying this phenomenon

for several years. Of late, new technologies have allowed organizations to build sophisticated databases and mine this voluminous data into meaningful, actionable items that can help make good, solid business decisions. Technically, these databases are called “cubes” since they refer to the multi-dimensional aspects of processing data into “roll-​ up” or aggregate groups. We now have the power to “slice and dice” data very quickly via your internet browser or through “intelligent spreadsheets.” Quick answers turn annoying problems into opportunities which can spell the difference between profit and loss. And, specific to the subject of your costs, Digital Movers offers highly discounted EDI Value-Added Network (VAN) mailboxes. Our Hosted EDI Services, and our new FAX2EDI Services are products that can reduce costs, increase reliability and visibility of your business and move the burden of EDI from your shoulders to ours, letting you concentrate on your core business. Many of you are still required to use Value Added Networks (VAN) to exchange EDI transactions, and many of you are overpaying for these services. For over 25 years, Digital Movers has provided transportation and logistics companies with premier hosted EDI services. We offer the lowest VAN prices with the most flexible billing program available—no monthly minimum volume commitments, no long-term contracts. Digital Movers offers FTA members a free, no-obligation analysis to see how much savings you can earn through a special FTAnegotiated EDI VAN rate.

Give DIGITAL MOVERS [] a call for more information. Matt Konikowski, Global Sales 973-860-0610.


SPRING 2017 | 27


Wind Tunnel Tech for Trucks New trailer equipment helps tackle GHG2 standards

28 | SPRING 2017


The first aerodynamic tail in the U.S. to feature automatic deployment and retraction, WABCO’s OptiFlow AutoTail is also the first product to earn EPA SmartWay verification from the prestigious National Resource Council (NRC), the Canadian government’s premier research and technology organization. WABCO’s OptiFlow AutoTail deploys and retracts tail panels based on driving speed as determined by sensors linked to trailer Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS). WABCO’s OptiFlow AutoTail automatically deploys at vehicle speeds of 45 mph ensuring that the device is consistently used at speeds that maximize aerodynamic fuel savings. The tail panels automatically retract at a vehicle speed of 10 mph. OptiFlow AutoTail delivers fuel savings of up to 4.3 percent at highway speeds based on SmartWay test protocol, and reduces CO₂ emissions by up to 4.8 tons per trailer per year. Automatic retraction also improves maneuverability and enhances safety by ensuring panels are folded in city centers, loading docks and other areas where trailers are in close proximity to pedestrians or objects. WABCO also featured its OptiFlow Tail for the first time in North America. Easy to deploy and retract manually, WABCO

EMISSIONS IMPROVED BY AERONAUTICS WABCO recently introduced its OptiFlow™ AutoTail, the first aerodynamic tail in the U.S. to feature automatic deployment and retraction. The device delivers fuel savings of up to 4.3 percent at highway speeds.

OptiFlow Tail provides identical fuel savings as OptiFlow AutoTail. It features a lightweight design that is straightforward to install and retrofit. OptiFlow Tail is easily upgraded to OptiFlow AutoTail. Both OptiFlow Tail and AutoTail are made from automotive grade thermoplastic, an extremely lightweight, durable and long-lasting material that resists wear from weather, vibration and everyday hazards of the trucking industry. The injection-molded panels offer a unique, curved shape and smooth surface that reduces air resistance. In addition, OptiFlow aerodynamic solutions enhance vehicle appearance and provide an attractive platform for branding customization.



he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued new greenhouse gas phase 2 standards that are expected to slash CO₂ emissions from a wide range of commercial trucks, buses and cargo vans by approximately 25 percent compared to current levels. Jointly developed by the EPA and the Transportation Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the regulations prompt manufacturers to achieve reductions through a mix of various technologies, including aerodynamics, weight improvements and tire solutions. Regulators expect that the additional cost of complying with the standards will be offset by fuel savings. Aerodynamic products reduce air drag of heavy-duty trucks and trailers traveling long distances at highway speeds. Thereby, aerodynamic solutions lower vehicle fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions. In addition, they help to empower tomorrow’s fleets by improving their operational efficiency and environmental performance. WABCO recently premiered its most advanced aerodynamic solutions for trailers in North America. The company introduced its OptiFlow™ AutoTail and Tail at TMC Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition in Nashville, TN.

> NEW MEMBERS SAFETY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL Josh Tidmore, Knight Refrigerated, Lakeland FL CARRIER MEMBERS Pallet One/Sun One Logistics, Bartow FL – Terry Borglund Knight Refrigerated, Phoenix AZ – Josh Tidmore Everett Distributing Company, Inc., Hollister FL – Jolene Everett DM World Transportation, Orlando FL – Abdul Razikov SUPPLIER MEMBERS Orange County Technical College Mid Florida Campus, Orlando FL Florida Merchant Services, Orlando FL Comdata Corporation, Brentwood TN Holland & Knight LLP, Jacksonville FL Rivero, Gordimer & Company, P.A., Tampa FL PMG Custom Branded Products, Winter Haven FL Clifton Larson Allen, LLP, Orlando FL PMA USA/Washington National Insurance, Jacksonville FL Agile Distribution, Santa Rosa FL Berkley Agri Business Risk Specialist, Green Cover Springs FL Digital Movers, Mashpee, MA EPG Solutions, Largo FL Rockland Flooring, Redwing MN USI Insurance Services, Tampa FL MEMBERSHIP BY THE NUMBERS (01/31/17–02/28/17) Member Type




Carrier Company Individuals Supplier Company

155 1090 211

4 17 5 10 3


Welcome New FTA Members

160 1119 217

Through 2/28/17


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Moves +News Update on people and places in the FTA membership

LANDSTAR moves to expanded, newly built U.S./Mexico logistics service center in Laredo: Landstar System, Inc., a worldwide provider of integrated transportation management solutions and specialized transportation logistics services, recently opened a U.S./Mexico Logistics Service Center in Laredo, Texas. Their new 31,000-square-foot logistics facility sits on 50-acres and accommodates 450 trailers. It’s a highly-secured C-TPAT certified site that includes a 30-bay cross-dock and transload facility, and a dedicated platform and Heavy/ Specialized freight area with a custom 120ton, stand-alone bridge crane. “The 120-ton bridge crane is unique to the cross-border market. It is used to transfer oversize, heavy and specialized loads between various types of platform equipment coming to and from Mexico,” said Landstar Transportation Logistics Vice President of Mexico Operations Steve Wisnieski. The crane has a clearance area of 35 feet high and 37 feet wide which grants Landstar the ability to easily transload large super loads. According to Eric Meyer, Landstar Transportation Logistics Executive Vice President of Operations, the facility will better serve Landstar’s customers, capacity providers and agents, and propel Landstar forward as the premier freight transport provider of cross-border operations. The logistics center is one of the largest facilities of

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its kind in Laredo. It also features conference rooms, meeting spaces, and a business capacity owners (BCOs) area with a lounge, media center, computer room, and much more. FOUR STAR FREIGHTLINER breaks ground on Midway facility: On January 24th, Four Star Freightliner, Inc. broke ground on a new facility in Midway, Florida. Four Star Freightliners’ dealer principal Jerry Kocan, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Midway Mayor Ronald Colston, several other officials, and Four Star


Freightliner employees joined together for the ceremony. The new facility will open late summer, it’s located at 1800 Brickyard Road East and will replace the current facility located on Capital Circle in Tallahassee. Kocan believes Four Star Freightliner will be able to better support transient customers by being easily accessible to Interstate 10 and the two largest truck stops in the area, all while supporting their customers’ needs for parts, sales, and services. It’s a $2.5 million capital investment that will add an additional ten

> GOOD NEWS becoming a stronger company, we’ve also become safer and more energy efficient.” At the American Trucking Conference in Las Vegas this year, Davis shared some significant numbers documenting their improvement. Their fleet data shows that since the adoption of Smart Drive, a California-based company that specializes in video safety programs; they’ve increased their following distances, decreased speeding violations, increased complete stops, and increased seatbelt usage. Davis attributes the success to getting data quickly and training employees on the importance of safe driving as soon as a coachable event is received. “We can educate them on the laws and they immediately see where they can improve.” Britt also stated that she accepted a “2016 SmartWay Excellence Award” at the conference. According to the EPA’s website, this award honors


jobs to their current staff of 18. Four Star Freightliner is also partnering with Gadsden Technical Institute in establishing a diesel technician training program. The program will be taught inside the Midway facility for now. Cooperation between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Gadsden County, and the Gadsden County Development Council made everything possible for this investment in the city of Midway. XPO drivers’ Orlando million mile awards: XPO Logistics awarded two drivers with Million Mile awards on January 19th. The awards went to Francisco Gonzalez, a driver for XPO since 1994 and currently working in nighttime line haul. The other Million Mile award was given to Richie F. Buitrago, a driver for XPO since 1997, and is currently working in daytime line haul.

of Florida Rock & Tank Lines, spoke with a NASDAQ representative at their annual meeting where he mentioned Butch. Butch then had his name and award posted on a giant billboard in the middle of Wall Street! Davis Transfer Makes Big Strides: “2016 was an exciting year for Davis Transfer,” states Brittany Britt, Director of Safety and Personnel for the company. “In addition to


Bus crash closes State Road 52 lanes in Pasco: Last month, four people—including three children—were hurt in a crash involving a school bus and a semi-truck. The crash occurred on State Road 52 at the Interstate 75 overpass in San Antonio, Florida. Immediately following the incident, Denny Johnson, FedEx Freight driver and Florida Road Team member, was seen hopping into the school bus to assist those inside. Johnson’s truck wasn’t involved in the incident. Florida Rock & Tank Lines Driver Butch White On Wall Street: In recognition of William “Butch” White being crowned the Florida Trucking Association’s 2016 Driver of the Year, Rob Sandlin, President and CEO


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ON THE MOVE SmartWay partners that are “moving goods efficiently, with the lowest levels of CO2, PM and NOx emissions reported among all other SmartWay partners.” She expects Davis Transfer to hit the mark again in 2017. Davis Transfer wrapped up 2016 by purchasing 40 new Freightliner Cascadias with DT-12 engines. Davis hopes that the trucks will continue assisting with their emissions output. The tractors also come fully equipped with creep mode, skip shift, hill start aid, auto neutral, dash warning chimes, eCoast, active brake assist, lane departure warnings, and multiple other features to ensure these trucks get to their destination safely and on time. “The drivers really like them, too,” Britt noted. “When you invest in your fleet and your drivers, good things happen.” Bestpass Surpasses $450 Million in Toll Volume, Completes National Tolling Solution, and Adds 13 Employees in 2016: Bestpass, a company that provides single-source payment and streamlined toll management services to commercial fleets, reached several significant milestones in 2016, including expanding toll coverage to include Oklahoma and completing the first truly national tolling solution for commercial fleets; hiring 13 new employees; and adding more than 1,000 new accounts and more than 100,000 new active

transponders. The company currently has 50 employees and processes more than $1.2 million in tolls per day for more than 3,700 customers in the U.S. and Canada with more than 295,000 active transponders. In 2016, total toll volume surpassed $450 million. John Andrews, president and CEO of Bestpass said, “Everything that we’ve accomplished this year shows the value of our toll management service and our solid position as the toll experts for commercial fleets.” Bestpass covers new Ohio River bridges tolling system: Commercial fleets can use Bestpass to pay for toll on the three Ohio River bridges that started all-electronic tolling on Dec. 30, 2016. Connecting Louisville, Ky., and Southern Indiana, the three bridges are the new I-65 Abraham Lincoln Bridge, the I-65 Kennedy Bridge and the new Lewis and Clark Bridge. RiverLink estimates around 16,000 trucks will use the toll bridges daily and save time, money, and fuel. Every day, more than 80,000 vehicles use the bridges. Bestpass customers who are already covered for E-Zpass toll are automatically covered for the Ohio River bridges. John Andrews, President and CEO of Bestpass said, “We already cover nearly every tolling facility in the country, and extending our coverage to the Ohio River bridges system is yet another

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way that we can add value and continue to provide a comprehensive tolling solution for our commercial fleets.” Kottke Trucking Promotes Ada Brewster to National Sales Manager: Kottke Trucking is based out of Buffalo Lake, Minnesota with offices in Eagan, Minnesota and Wildwood, Florida. They have been in business since 1938 and for the past three decades the primary business is to transport dry, refrigerated and frozen food items. The thirdgeneration owned company mainly operates in the Midwest, South and Southeastern parts of the United States. Kottke Trucking is proud to announce that Ada Brewster, former Southeast Regional Sales Manager, has been promoted to National Sales Manager. She has been with Kottke since April 2014. As the National Sales Manager, she will play a critical role in planning and execution throughout the United States. Kottke Trucking names Jeff Bass as winner of the Duane and Connie Kottke distinguished driver of the year: On January 7, 2017, Kottke Trucking held its third annual Driver of the Year program at Jackpot Junction Casino and Hotel in Morton, MN. The third annual Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year award was given to Jeff Bass. Bass has been with Kottke Trucking since July 13, 2004. He was named the Second Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence winner which qualified him for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year. The Distinguished Driver of the Year award is named after Kottke Trucking’s second-generation visionaries: Duane and Connie Kottke. Jim Doering was Kottke Trucking’s first long-time driver and stayed with them for over 35 years, and the quarterly awards are named in his memory. Palm Peterbilt Truck Centers’ new openings: Palm Peterbilt is excited to announce that they have recently opened two new facilities. One is located at 7206 Belvedere Rd. in West Palm Beach—a service facility providing service and parts for all makes and models. They also opened at 111 S. San Benito St. in Clewiston with a mobile truck repair and 24/7 emergency road side service. Taylor and Martin Auctioneers designs new territories and appoints reps: In effort to provide better service and develop a better relationship, Taylor & Martin has designated territories for each of their sales representatives. Erich Hauser has been given the responsibility of the southeast region including the state of Florida. Taylor & Martin has established auction locations across the U.S.



with Atlanta, Tunica, MS and Charlotte, NC sites serving the southeast region. TA techs post record-breaking performance at national TMC SuperTech: TravelCenters of America (TravelCenters), operator of the TA/Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, set a recordbreaking performance at the annual TMC SuperTech, North America’s premier professional commercial vehicle technician skills competition, held here recently. Five technicians from TA service facilities throughout the U.S. earned titles in 11 hands-on skills challenges and ultimately swept first, second, and third overall in the inaugural trailer competition and won fifth overall in the SuperTech category. A TA Truck Service student technician also claimed a hands-on skill challenge title in the associated TMC FutureTech competition. All five TA Truck Service technicians that won are ASE-Certified Master Technicians. They include: Scott Davidson (trailers,


First overall, and others), Robert Anderson (trailers, second overall, and others), Michael Kerfoot, Jr. (trailers, third overall, and others), Mike Gavrielides (SuperTech fifth overall, and others), Justin Munoz (trailer 7-pin receptacle skills challenge winner), and Adam Sprock (TMC FutureTech Competitor won the precision measuring skills challenge). Tom O’Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters said, “So much goes into constructing a successful truck service technician team, starting at the beginning with the recruitment process. Our extensive training program coupled with on-going mentoring builds strong quality technicians and this competition recognizes their hard work and dedication to our brand. These wins represent the commitment TA Truck Service has to seek to hire the best technicians.” TravelCenters of America/Petro Stopping Centers would also like to congratulate Manager of Technical Development, Homer Hogg, who was voted to

the ASE Board of Directors last year. Saddle Creek Logistics Services’ TCA Driver of the Year finalist: Saddle Creek driver Bill Poteet finished as one of three finalists for the Truckload Carriers Association Driver of the Year award. Maudlin International Truck and Trailer announces new products: Maudlin International Truck and Trailer is now an authorized distributor of Wabash trailer and truck body products as well as Transcraft (steel and combo) and Benson (aluminum) flatbed and drop deck trailers. They have become an Aurora Parts Dealer, and their service departments are gearing up with tooling and training. They have also partnered with various Wabash Warranty Approved Service Centers providing an extension of support throughout the state. Additionally, they are in the process of updating their website to include information for these new product offerings POTEET



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ON THE MOVE and the enhancements made to both Parts and Service Departments. Landstar’s First Truck Winner of 2017: Landstar BCO Ralph Hall won a brand new Peterbilt 579 in a random drawing held on January 26th in Jacksonville, FL. Hall was one of five finalists randomly selected from the 170,000 entries. The truck giveaway was the highlight of Landstar’s annual BCO Appreciation Days, a two-day event held to thank the independent owner-operators leased to Landstar for providing excellence in safety and customer service. “I drove it home and I’m still in disbelief. Nothing like this has ever happened to me,” said Hall. The Tennessee resident was also surprised that his 5-year-old grandson’s prediction came to pass. “Trenton said he saw ‘Papa Ralph’ winning a big red truck,” Hall says, explaining that neither he nor the child knew the color of the giveaway truck, which is Pierce Red, before the event. Landstar President and CEO Jim Gattoni said, “ “It is an honor to award BCOs like Ralph Hall with a brand new truck that can significantly and positively impact their lives.” The second truck giveaway of 2017 will be in July during Landstar BCO All-Star Celebration, an annual event held exclusively to honor Landstar Million Mile Safe Drivers and Landstar Roadstars, the company’s highest honor for BCOs. Idealease opens new location: Idealease recently celebrated the grand opening of their new state-of-the-art truck leasing and rental location in Tampa on January 20, 2017. Over 228 people attended the event. CTL Transportation: CTL Transportation has been a recipient of the annual DOW Gold Safety award for the past four years. In

2016, they experienced zero DOT preventable accidents. They attribute their success, in part, to their truck safety systems, ELOGs and annual mock DOT audits. Drivewyze now offers bypass service in most of I-95 corridor: Truck fleets and drivers traveling along the I-95 corridor will now find weigh station bypass opportunities on most stretches of interstate from Maine to Florida,” said Brian Heath, president of Drivewyze. Qualified carriers can also use Drivewyze to bypass Florida’s agriculture interdiction sites after the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement (OALE) approved its use there two years ago. Joining its service network of more than 600 weigh stations and inspection sites across the United States, the new sites are located on U.S. Interstates 20, 26, 77, and 95, plus U.S. Highway 17. C.H. Robinson Presents its first annual carrier awards: For the first time, C.H. Robinson is recognizing six of its North American truckload contract carriers with the Key Carrier of the Year Award. These carriers, as well as the others with key status in the program, have exceptional service levels, have demonstrated efficiencies through automation and have established relationships with dedicated carrier representatives. The companies include: Billy Reese, Rowlett, TX; Road Hogg Transport LLC, Hilliard, OH; RiteWay Express, Inc., Etowah, NC; CJ Transportation, El Paso, TX; Midnite Express, Inc., West Fargo, ND, and Cargo Transporters, Claremont, NC. “The North American truckload contract carriers we are recognizing with the 2016 awards are committed to building their business, establishing strong relationships IDEALEASE

with C.H. Robinson and continuing to deliver exceptional service,” said Bruce Johnson, director of capacity development at C.H. Robinson. “It is businesses like these who help keep supply chains moving forward.” Trinity Risk acquired by Crum & Forster: Crum & Forster continues its growth and expansion with the acquisition of Trinity Risk, based in Middlefield, CT, as part of the Crum & Forster Accident and Health division. Trinity Risk is a provider of alternative workers’ comp solutions and has enjoyed a strategic partnership with C&F’s Accident and Health team—led by Gary McGeddy—for the past five years. “We are excited to welcome Trinity Risk to the Crum & Forster family and to further expand our group with such talented individuals,” said Gary. “We are very excited to enter this new chapter of our story,” said James M. Obregon, CEO of Trinity Risk. “This acquisition will allow us to build upon Trinity Risk’s growing business and add both experience and product capabilities that we believe will be tremendously valuable to our clients.” “We’re thrilled to join the Crum & Forster team,” said David Kaplan, President & Chief Underwriting Officer of Trinity Risk. “This partnership will help expand our national footprint and offer additional opportunities to provide unique trucking and non-trucking related insurance products and risk management solutions to the U.S. marketplace.” Drivewyze debuts bypass service in South Carolina at 11 locations: Drivewyze now offers weigh station bypass service at 11 permanent and mobile sites in South Carolina which increases the number of states it now serves to 38. Sun State International technician wins national award: Sun State International is excited to announce that Dennis Gillispie, a certified school bus technician at their Sarasota location, was awarded the Navistar/ASE Master School Bus Technician of the Year award. They would also like to congratulate Mike McCullough, who is now the new Executive Operations Manager for Sun State Bus Centers. Lastly, they welcome John Primiano and Jose Murillo to their Trailer Sales team. Primiano will handle strategic accounts as well as the Central Florida territory, and Murillo will cover South Florida. Armellini Express Lines adopts Bendix technology fleet-wide: Armellini Express Lines is proud to announce its latest fleet purchase of trucks that include: 24 International® ProStars equipped with Bendix® safety technologies, including its flagship driver

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> GOOD NEWS assistance system, Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™. “Our safety culture is top to bottom,” said longtime Armellini safety exec Jeff Drury. “Orientation, regular driver meetings and safety training, safety awards—everything we can possibly do. If we think it will improve safety, we’re going to try it. Given our years of experience with Bendix, when Wingman® Fusion™ came out, we said, ‘Let’s go with it.’” Omnitracs donates to Wreaths Across America: December 2016 marked Omnitracs’ seventh consecutive year of supporting Wreaths Across America, providing wreaths for the graves of 2,500 veterans. To date, Omnitracs has donated $175,000 toward the cause. Omnitracs’ support of Wreaths Across America is part of the company’s larger philanthropic program, Omnitracs Gives Back, which is committed to supporting the needs of the community by electing companysponsored charities, allotting employee volunteer time off-hours, and organizing charitable activities. Omnitracs launches mobile application: In January, Omnitracs announced the addition of a mobile application to its Virtual Load View (VLV) product, a solution that replaces manual tracking of shipments by providing access to real-time data, including the ability to improve tracking and identify when loads are falling behind schedule. Roadnet Anywhere v4.4 released: Omnitracs released Roadnet Anywhere v4.4 in February. The latest version of Roadnet Anywhere incorporates tools to quantify savings and analyze effectiveness of route optimization practices. Additionally, updates to the Roadnet mobile app provide drivers with real-time views into their route progress. Omnitracs hosts Outlook User Conference: February 26–March 1 marked Omnitracs’ third-annual user conference, Omnitracs Outlook 2017. The conference provided fleet executives, managers and owner-operators the opportunity to engage with product experts to learn about industry trends and new product innovations. Key areas of focus for 2017 included regulatory compliance and preparation for the ELD mandate, as well as a new, hands-on product-training track. An innovative routing game, Route Race, was also introduced, and can be found online at WABCO unveils new technologies, industry collaborations at IAA Commercial Vehicles Show: WABCO showcased a number of new technologies and announced new

partnerships at the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2016 show in Hanover, Germany. Debuting at IAA was OnGuardMAX™, an advanced emergency braking system (AEBS) for trucks and buses that provides up to full braking from highway speeds when confronted with stationary or moving vehicles ahead. Also showcased was WABCO’s OnCity™ Urban Turning Assist system, the commercial vehicle industry’s first collision avoidance system that uses LiDAR to detect and distinguish moving and stationary objects. The show also saw the introduction of the next-generation OptiFlow™ AutoTail, which now features automatic deployment and retraction of aerodynamic tail panels based on speed to greatly improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions. Also making its debut was the OptiFlow™ TrailerSkirt™, a lightweight aerodynamic system for commercial vehicles that has demonstrated significant fuel savings. The introduction of OnHand™ marked the commercial vehicle industry’s first standalone parking brake control and serves as a building block toward autonomous driving. WABCO at IAA also announced collaborations with Peloton Technology, a provider of connected and automated vehicle solutions, and Mobileye N.V., a leader in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Driving

(AD) technologies. Kyle Kottke selected for Heavy Duty Trucking 2016 class of Emerging Leaders: Kyle Kottke, General Manager of Kottke Trucking, has been selected for the Heavy Duty Trucking 2016 Class of Emerging Leaders. “I find myself telling the trucking story everywhere I go. There’s a perception sometimes that it’s a slow, stale environment, and I find myself correcting that. You find yourself often correcting that perception and educating the public on how much technology we’ve already seen and what’s on the horizon,” he said. NBI Truck Driver Training director celebrates 25 years: Sherry Sapp, NBI Truck Driver Training director since 2004, recently celebrated 25 years with the company. She started at NBI in 1996 as a CDL Tester. In 2004, she became director. She is an active member with the FTA and sits on CareerSource Polk and CareerSource Heartland Workforce Boards.

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A.L. “Lavern” Rountree 1927 – 2016 Founder, Rountree Transport & Rigging, Inc.

A.L. (Lavern) Rountree died peace-

fully at home on Christmas day in Earleton, FL. He was born on January 1, 1927 in Fort Lauderdale and on New Year’s Day 2017 he would have celebrated his 90th birthday. His proud parents were A.F and Ila G. Rountree. Lavern is survived by his wife of 67 years, Alice Jane Klee Rountree and their four children: Susan and her husband Patrick Gallaway of West Cornwall, CT; Marilyn and her husband Thomas Runck, Jr. of St. Johns; Michael and his wife JoAnne Rountree of Flagler Beach; and James (Jim) and his wife Bridget Rountree of Earleton. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Mr. Rountree’s brother, Devon and grandson Stephen, preceded him in death. Enlisting at 17 years of age, Lavern served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. While stationed in Hawaii and to his total surprise, Lavern was assigned to the 10th Army Division for the invasion of the Japanese island of Okinawa, participating in the first wave of the amphibious assault on the island and continuing with the 10th Army Division as a communications specialist for the duration of the Okinawa campaign. After his discharge from the Navy, Lavern

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returned to Fort Lauderdale and completed his education, graduating from St. Anthony’s High School and attending Broward College School of Business. Lavern joined his father in 1945 to establish a moving and storage business—Rountree Transfer & Storage. Lavern spent his entire working life managing and growing the business into a successful heavy and specialized hauling and rigging company and was a member of the committee responsible for establishing a standardized rate structure with the Florida Public Service Commission for transportation of goods prior to deregulation. He was a pioneer in the industry and with his innovative style, the company transported concrete poles and pilings over the top of the cab of the truck due to their length, long concrete bridge beams using two tractors (one on each end with the rear tractor traveling backwards) for weight distribution and maneuverability. The company also was the first to transport a load weighing 152,000 lbs. after the roadways in the Florida Keys below Florida City had been restricted to a maximum weight of 80,000 lbs., using a new style nineaxle transporter that distributed the weight over a longer wheel base.

Long before Lavern’s retirement in 1999 from Rountree Transport and Rigging, Inc., the Florida-based business had expanded its operations throughout the Southeastern U.S. with a variety of other loads and jobs too numerous to mention. He was most proud of working alongside all of his children and his son-in-law in the business. The company operates today as a family-owned, fourth-generation business with terminals located in Jacksonville, Orlando and Ft. Pierce, FL. Business affiliations included membership with the Florida Trucking Association, serving as Chairman of the Specialized Carriers & Riggers Conference, members of the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association and membership with the Florida Pre-Stressed Concrete Association. Lavern’s community involvement included the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Florida Jaycees and Elks Club. Lavern, and since his retirement Mr. Tom Runck, Jr., were active members of FTA and long-time friends to many in our industry. Our sympathies go out to Tom and Marilyn Runck and the entire Rountree family and staff.

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Florida Truck News Spring 2017  

Premier publication for Florida's trucking and logistics industry

Florida Truck News Spring 2017  

Premier publication for Florida's trucking and logistics industry