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Summer 2017

The Official Publication of the Florida Trucking Association, Inc.

Driving Forward Carrying on the tradition of excellence set since its beginning, XPO Logistics’ RALPH CARTWRIGHT prepares to take the wheel of the Florida TDC in 2018

ALSO INSIDE: A new champ takes SuperTech Humans vs. automation Legislative scorecard

Cummins is reinventing the heavy-duty engine category with two unique X15 engines for 2017. The X15 Efficiency Series has the highest compression ratio in the industry, for unmatched fuel efficiency and responsiveness, delivering up to 1850 lb-ft of torque starting at 1000 rpm. The X15 Performance Series delivers unprecedented power, with up to 605 hp and 2050 lb-ft peak torque. Plus, every X15 engine comes with over-the-air calibration capability, a Single Module™ aftertreatment system, the most powerful engine brake in the industry and extended service intervals, for maximum uptime. Two X15 engines. Zero compromises. Learn more at Š2016 Cummins Inc., Box 3005, Columbus, IN 47202-3005 U.S.A.



From its roots at the Tampa Fairgrounds to its new digs indoors at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, the Florida Truck Driving Championships has always been in a class of its own. As leadership transitions to a new Chair, we look back on the essential spirit and purpose of the FTA’s crown jewel event. By Rosanne Dunkelberger with photos by Ryan Ketterman


SUMMER 2017 DEPARTMENTS President’s Message


Around the State FTA events 6 On the Move Briefcase announcements 41

FEATURES 2017 Legislative Wrap 9


Florida TDC: Past, Present and Future 16 SAFETY MATTERS


Catching Up on the ELD Mandate 24


On-Demand Cargo Control 26 What Automation Can’t Replace 28


TECH SPEED 2017 Florida SuperTech Champion 22 OPS SMARTS The Battle for Uptime 32


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VOLUME 71, NUMBER 2 • Q2 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. 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.

FTA Firsts 2017 will be remembered for some fascinating firsts. Let’s take a quick look. FTA has a new members-only towing agreement with Transit Pros. We are the first state trucking association to create a comprehensive service program with this leader in national roadside assistance. Not only will our members have access to the 7,000 companies in Transit Pros’ network, but you will have special pricing, a dedicated FTA 800 phone number, and strong financial support for FTA by our new partner. That agreement follows our unique FTA arrangement with Monster Worldwide and We finalized at the end of last year the contract which allows our members to gain access to special discounts and free consulting services. Again, we are the first association of any kind in the country to have this relationship with Monster. 2017 is going to be an important year as Monster and assist our members in finding qualified employees. For the first time we will hold our Annual Conference at The Diplomat in Hollywood (August 3-4), but the really cool first on this is that our after-party on Friday night will be a cruise on the Grand Floridian—complete with casino, dessert, and dancing.


Finally, this year is the first time (at least in recent years) that Florida Truck News is being produced by FTA. Tisha Keller is providing leadership and skills, but everyone on staff is pitching in to make sure that our FTA-generated magazine is a news, advertising, quality, and financial success. Please support this new move on our part by advertising, sharing potential stories, and reading faithfully. Any suggestions for improvement will also be welcome. For 2017 we will have three issues of the magazine. Keep an eye out for other new firsts coming out of FTA-world in 2017. We are certainly off to a great start.

Printed in Florida. Please recycle where facilities exist.


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PEACE OF MIND Nearly every fleet will experience major losses, but fleets that conduct business in Florida are at a greater risk than the rest of the country.

immobilizes the vehicle cutting off the power to various electrical components. Without the plug you are not able to operate the vehicle.

In addition to the system itself, the installation is meticulously performed. All of the wires are hidden inside factory wiring within the engine compartment. Every connection made is soldered and heat shrunk to The big appeal of the Ravelco system is not only maintain the best contact it's effectiveness but it's possible. simplicity. Essentially, when you remove the No bells or whistles, just 100% effective protection. Ravelco plug it Major corporations and cities such as Ryder, Penske and City of North Port have eradicated their losses by equipping their fleet with the Ravelco.






1937-2017 • ”80 Years of driving safety excellence”


9-12, 2017

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Florida SuperTech The 2017 FLORIDA SUPERTECH competition took place on March 15 at Orange Technical College – Mid-Florida Campus. For the first time in the event’s history, there was a waiting list for professional and student technician competitors! Congratulations to the station winners as well as the professional and student overall champions. Steve Remus of Southeastern Freight Lines took home the coveted “wrench ring” and custom-made trophy. He will represent FTA at the national SuperTech competition in Orlando later this year. In the meantime, Remus earned bragging rights and exclusive tickets to the Daytona 500 in February 2018. See full results of the competition at GRAND CHAMPION Steve Remus Southeastern Freight Lines

THIRD PLACE OVERALL Scott Robinson Southeastern Freight Lines

SECOND PLACE OVERALL Ben Ford Florida Power & Light

STUDENT CHAMPION Stephen Allen Orange Technical College –Mid-Florida S. Remus B. Ford


S. Allen

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Trucking Day in Tallahassee The 2017 TRUCKING DAY AT THE CAPITOL took place on March 22 in Tallahassee, and it was hugely successful.The Florida Road Team was a presence at the Capitol and also did a full day of Share the Road presentations in Tallahassee-area schools—including our first-ever elementary presentations with several second-grade classes. An additional 30 members attended the event, including Capitol visits and lunch session. Members of our Board, Public Policy and 2.0 groups made the following visits: Commissioner Adam Putnam, Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson, Senator Denise Grimsley, Representative Matt Caldwell, Representative Cindy Stevenson, FHP Colonel Spaulding, FHP Chief Troy Thompson, Florida Turnpike CEO Diane Scaccetti, Florida Transportation Commission Director Matt Ubben, FDOT Asst. Sec. Tom Byron, FTBA CEO Bob Burleson, and SSG workers comp specialist Monte Stevens. Chris Dudley of Southern Strategy Group briefed on key issues. We were on the run. The House was in session, and Rep. Halsey Beshears recognized us as part of Trucking Day at the Capitol and saluted Greg Moore (Landstar) as Highway Hero, William White (Florida Rock and Tank) as Driver of the Year, and Jared Fritts (Landstar) as Safety Professional of the Year. We had displays in the Rotunda thanks to Saddle Creek and FTA. An event like this is always a team effort (and a cookout at Tisha’s farm added some special fun). First praise, however, goes to Chris Dudley for organizing our visits and ceremonies. Thanks to all of you who attended. It was a great representation of Florida’s trucking industry.



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*Offer good for first-time PrePass customers only and does not include the tolling payment service. Service contingent upon application approval. Carriers and operators must meet the minimum Inspection Selection System safety score to qualify for PrePass. Qualified applicants will receive service transponder and one month of service at no up-front cost. Service may be cancelled at any time. At the end of the trial period, service will automatically renew at regular PrePass rates. Upon conclusion of service, transponder must be returned within 30 days to PrePass or a $100 hardware fee will be assessed.




Florida Legislative Report

It was a nail-biting session that ended largely in a lack of action for the trucking industry BY CHRIS DUDLEY

Photo by Scott Holstein


he 2017 regular legislative wrapped up on Monday, May 8. The 60-day session was extended for three additional days as members of the House and Senate needed additional time to finalize an $83 billion state budget and some significant policy bills. The bad news first: The Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles package contained some significant issues of priority for the FTA. Our efforts to move from annual to five-year renewal for apportioned plates, the creation of new criminal penalties for the use of GPS jammers, and the implementation of federal rules and regulations failed to pass the full Legislature in the final days of session. Our priority issues were not controversial, and had passed several committees in both chambers. However, at the end of the day, some unrelated vendor “food fight� tanked the bill from final passage. Under the unfinished category, I would also point out that efforts to make reforms to the workers compensation system also failed, enabling what will become a 14.5 percent premium increase to our FTA member companies. On the good news side of the ledger, the Legislature not only passed some good legislation, they killed off some potential harmful

proposals to our industry and the business community at large. The tax package provides some small relief in the reduction of sales tax required to be paid on commercial leases. If approved by the Governor, effective July 1, the new sales tax rate that applies to commercial leases will drop to 5.8 percent. The Legislature also tackled a series of issues relating to toll roads. The FDOT and the Florida Turnpike will now have to use new engineering criteria when determining how and when to implement variable tolling and the use of express lanes. The legislation will also require the Miami Dade Expressway Authority to conduct an independent analysis before raising tolls on the facilities in their area. Rebates must be provided for users of SunPass in good standing. While approved by the Florida House, the Legislature ultimately punted on making any decisions relating to Personal Injury Protection. One of the proposals would have significantly increased the requirement for minimum financial requirements. The Legislature was successful in passing the 2017 Florida Department of Transportation legislative package: The package contained several important provisions, including the additional weight variance for

use of natural gas vehicles. The key sections include: Section 2: Increases the gross vehicle weight for trucks utilizing natural gas fueling systems by up to 2,000 pounds as permitted by federal law. This change will allow the Department to discontinue the issuance of permits for this activity to ensure federal compliance. Section 7: Directs the Department to undertake an economic feasibility study relating to the acquisition of the Garcon Point Bridge. By January 1, 2018, the Department must submit the completed study to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Section 8: Exempts work program amendments related to emergency repairs which exceed the $3 million threshold from the LBC review and approval requirements in subparagraph (h). This change ensures emergency repairs can proceed to mitigate detrimental impacts to the travelling public. This exemption would relate to emergencies not covered by a Governor’s Emergency Executive Order, such as a direct bridge hit or bridge failure. Section 9: Replaces the Florida Highway Beautification Council with a grant program administered by the Department,


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2017 Florida Call on Washington TWENTY-TWO MEMBERS OF THE FLORIDA TRUCKING ASSOCIATION CONVERGED ON CAPITOL HILL May 23-25 to discuss the state industry’s priorities with our U.S. Congressional delegation. Following a comprehensive briefing by American Trucking Associations on the current status of federal legislation, regulation, and ATA’s current positions on both, FTA members fanned out across five Congressional office buildings…to the tune of three miles per day. FTA’s Public Policy Committee had determined in advance which topics we were going to focus on during the visits: a federal mandate on uniform meal and rest breaks across all states, corporate tax reform and reduction, ensuring that “infrastructure” in Congress’ mind means the same as it does in the American public’s mind (i.e., “roads and bridges”), and a more common sense, research-based approach to federal regulation. These lined up well with ATA’s positions, so we were able to present a combined front. Two years ago, during the last Call on Washington, the FTA delegation was able to see fewer than ten of the actual elected officials. This time we met with

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14, which is a very strong percentage, given the demands on their time. When we visit only with their staff members, the meetings are no less meaningful. The staff are usually even more acquainted with our issues than is the member of Congress. Our FTA visitors came away feeling that, whether Republican or Democrat, our Representatives are both supportive of and knowledgeable about trucking issues. Sitting down directly across the table from a “D” or an “R” removes much of the partisanship. The Senator or Representative knows these are folks “from home,” and they and their many employees are voters. The Congressman or Congresswoman also knows the substantial time and expense the trucking association members spent in coming to D.C. to share thoughts on one of America’s most important industries. As a general rule, FTA’s Call on Washington takes place every other year. 2019 will be here before we know it! FTA members who attended: Steve Bacalis, Tom Nehl Trucks; Carlos Currlin, Rechtien International Trucks; Terry Dicks, CDT; Michael DelBovo, Saddle Creek Transportation; James Driessen, Subrogation Division; Gary Enzor,

Quality Distribution; Philip Fulmer, Carroll Fulmer Logistics; Jamie Hammons, American Trucking Associations; Doc Hyder, Rowland Transportation; Chip Kunde, Sysco; Scott MacDonald, Harrell’s; Michael O’Leary, Fidelis Freight; Phillip Pritchett, Pritchett Trucking; Stephanie Paysse, Signature Financial; Denny Ross, Kenworth of Jacksonville; Jake Severit, Publix Super Markets; Duple Travillion, FedEx; Chris Verlander, Associated Industries of Florida; Kurt Vest, HELP Inc.; Ryan Walpole, Walpole Inc.; Kirk Williams, Proficient Auto Transport and Ken Armstrong, FTA. We met with several Florida members of the House of Representatives, including Soto, Rooney, Lawson, Dunn, Frankel, Yoho, Murphy, Webster, Mast, Rutherford, Gaetz, and Diaz-Balart. We also met with both Florida Senators, Nelson and Rubio. In lieu of the lawmaker, we briefed the House staff for: DeSantis, Castor, Posey, Wilson, Crist, Deutsch, Rooney, Hastings, Buchanan, Bilirakis, Curbelo, Demings, and Ross. So altogether, we saw 27 out of 29 possible offices.

> ADVOCACY with the Secretary of the Department making the final grant award decisions, based on input from District Grant Managers, District Landscape Architects and the State Transportation Landscape Architect. The Department would no longer be responsible for the administrative operation and travel expenses associated with the Council. Sections 10-13: Delete the restrictions on the Department’s ability to review Authority uses of state funds. Instead of providing the Department a limited time within which to review Authority procurements and contracts that rely on Department funding, the bill would require Department review and approval of Authority expenditures before the Authority enters into any contract or other agreement, or extends or renews any existing contract or other agreement, which may be wholly or partially funded with any funds provided by the Department, includ-

The Legislature not only passed some good legislation, they killed off some potential harmful proposals to our industry and the business community at large. ing the $42.1 million in operating support. The language provides a broader level of Department review and requires the Authority to promptly furnish the Department with any additional documentation or information required by the Department for its evaluation of proposed uses of state funds. The language also clarifies that the funding provided by the Department to the Authority constitutes state financial assistance. Section 14: Directs the Department to submit a report to the Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives that provides a comprehensive review of the boundaries and headquarters of each district. Along with its report, the Department must provide a study of the expenses associated with creating an eighth district with the Fort Myers urban office serving as the district headquarters. The report must be submitted by October 31, 2017. Section 15: Authorizes the Secretary to enroll the state in any federal pilot program or project for the collection and study of data for the review of federal or state roadway safety, infrastructure sustainability, congestion mitigation, transportation system efficiency, autonomous vehicle technology or capacity challenges.

Permit Fix for Containerized Cargo, Including ISO Natural Gas Containers


new FDOT permit rule went into effect on Thursday, March 9th regarding the oversize/overweight permit for containerized cargo. This issue was important for many, including the natural gas industry. Natural gas ISO tanks for export are very heavy due to the properties of the product. FDOT struck the hazardous clause from the permit entirely. Carriers may be concered about existing permits, which cost $500.00 each and include the hazardous clause. We sought clarification from FDOT Permit Administration on the issue. Existing permits will be honored and the Rule changes applied. Enforcement bulletins will be issued for FDOT (weigh station inspectors) and FHP to ensure that haulers are not cited for permits which do not reflect the current Rule changes pending no other violations exist. Also, the Rule changes for Sealed Containerized Cargo units were unrelated to the FAST Act Natural Gas Fueled Vehicles. This was handled through the FDOT legislative package which passed (see Legislative recap article on previous page). Highlights from Rule F.S. 14-26.01311, Permits to Move Sealed Containerized Loads. • A “Sealed Containerized Load” means a freight container with or without wheels, as defined in Title 49 C.F.R., Part 59, Sec 5901(4), Rev. 2008. • Sealed containerized loads being moved via a truck or trucks and rail in conjunction with a maritime shipment will be considered a “nondivisible” load, eligible for an overweight or overdimensional permit, when the following conditions are met: (a) The sealed containerized load is being moved by a vehicle qualified to do so under the provisions of this rule: 1. From a maritime port to the destination point, or 2. From a maritime port to a railroad facility for movement to the destination point, or 3. From the point of origin to a maritime port, or 4. From the point of origin to a railroad facility for movement to a maritime port; and, (b) The sealed containerized load retains the original unbroken seal from its point of origin, a seal placed by law enforcement, or a replacement U.S. Customs’ seal throughout its transit until reaching its destination point. • No Straight Trucks. Because of the nature of the load to be carried and the potential for increased wear to the highway from vehicles so loaded, no straight truck, as defined in Section 316.003(70), F.S., shall be eligible for a permit to haul sealed containerized loads.

• Trip or Multi-Trip Permits. When applying for a trip or multi-trip permit to transport sealed containerized loads, the hauler must submit an application in accordance with subsection 14-26.00411(4), F.A.C., and include: (a) Maximum gross weight of the vehicle and load; (b) Axle spacing (center to center of each axle); (c) The total number of axles and total weight on each axle of the vehicle/vehicle combination; (d) The origin and destination of the highway move (for trip permits); (e) Either the number of the packer’s cargo seal or the number of the U.S. Customs’ seal; (f) The State highway(s) requested to be traveled (for trip permits). (6) Overall Gross Vehicle Weight. Vehicles operating under a permit issued pursuant to this rule shall not exceed an overall gross vehicle weight of 100,000 pounds. (7) Axle Spacings. All vehicles operating under a permit issued pursuant to this rule shall meet the minimum axle spacing requirements described in the permit. (8) Number of Axles. All vehicles operating under a permit issued pursuant to this rule shall have a minimum of five load-bearing axles in operation at all times during movement. (9) Outer Bridge Length. All vehicles operating under a permit issued pursuant to this rule shall have an outer bridge length of 51 feet or greater.


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Truck driver’s tech wish list THE CAB of your average long-haul truck has enough electronics to outfit a Best Buy, but there’s always some new device that promises to make the job a little easier and the downtime a little more enjoyable. To gauge what drivers want, we surveyed members of the RoadPro Road Warrior Club on what new technology most appealed to them. Not surprisingly, their answers revealed a strong bent toward the practical and proven.

What Truck Drivers Miss Most About Home By RoadPro Family of Brands


ave Dudley knew what he was talking about when he sang “Six Days on the Road” about a lonely trucker hustling to get back home: Six days on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight / Well, it seems like a month since I kissed my baby goodbye. For all the talk about the freedom of the open road, long-haul trucking means a lot of nights spent away from home and family. Cabs might be equipped with electronics, appliances and other creature comforts, but they’re not home. And CB chatter is a poor substitute for real companionship. That absence from home has broken up relationships and caused drivers to change jobs or at least come off the road. We asked members of the RoadPro Pro Driver Council what they miss most about home, and here’s what they told us: “I always miss my daughter, she's at an age (5) where all she wants to do is learn and have fun.” – RYAN SEXTON “When I’m running solo, I miss my significant other. When I’m running team with him, I miss curling up together at night in our own bed (not one sleeping while the other drives).” – LIBBY CLAYTON

“My wife, she is my rock. She keeps me grounded and focused on what matters most, my family. She is most definitely my best friend.” – THOMAS MILLER “At the end of the day, we miss human touch and companionship the most. It’s the little things, the smells of loved ones or a hug or squeeze of a hand at the end of a long day that most of us miss the most. Yes, we can have contact with home, but it misses something, even the simple act of a loved one riding in the truck for a short period can make a huge difference.” – TOM KYRK “We haven't been home or off the truck (except for engine repairs stuck in a hotel room in nowhere Georgia) in over a year. The things I miss the most are having “me time,” the privacy that being home gives you, where each can go do their own thing for a while. The other thing I miss is having a full kitchen. Cooking is my passion. I come from a Cuban family, where everything in life, from birth to death, revolves around the kitchen and food. ‘Life happens in a kitchen.’ While I make do the best I can on the truck, and even though I have more space and amenities than most, it's still not the same. I miss my kitchen and gadgets.” – SIERRA SUGAR, who rides with partner ALLEN WELCHER

However much they miss home, these professional drivers make it work.

TECHNOLOGY which respondents wanted most: Smart TVs – 67% Self-service truck stop kiosks – 60% Smart watches – 40% These findings probably could be best summed up by the driver who added: “I’m just a simple person and all I need are a few things that make life a little easier on the road.” Not surprisingly, less practical technology, such as virtual reality and video games, was not as popular. We fleshed out the survey by asking Facebook friends what mobile electronics they wanted. Laptops, dashcams and tablets led the wish lists, though a number of respondents said they didn’t want any more devices. (“I can barely work my phone,” one said.) At least one driver was concerned about finding room for one more device in his cab: “I can’t think of anything else I could put in here. Didn’t get any sleep when I had a game console in here, and I don’t have any room for a bathroom/shower.” In cases like that, a multi-purpose device such as Garmin’s dēzlCam™ LMTHD, which is a trucking-specific navigator with built-in dash cam, and Rand McNally’s TND™ Tablet 80, a hybrid truck GPS and Android tablet, are the best solutions. Another driver asked for a virtual reality driving game. That guy either can’t get enough time behind the wheel or he wants to indulge in a little fantasy driving behavior that most carriers would find unacceptable. If history is any indication, drivers will continue to adopt the technology that works best for them, while skipping the stuff that’s fun, but doesn’t have a practical purpose (at least not yet!).


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9 classes 3 days 230 drivers

Nation’s biggest

state driving championship

You know what time it is. June 15–17, 2017 Ocean Center • Daytona Beach

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PASSING THE BATON Tommy Thomas (opposite page, left) began the Florida TDC and handed the chairmanship to Scott Reagan in 2015. Next year, Ralph Cartwright (this page) takes the helm of the event for at least the next two years.

Driving Forces ROSANNE DUNKELBERGER talks to three Florida TDC Chairs about the spirit and purpose of Florida’s top professional truck driving event >>>


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rganizers expect the 33rd annual Florida Truck Driving Championships (TDC), to be held this year June 15-17 in Daytona Beach, to be bigger and better than ever with 240-plus drivers representing more than 30 companies and culminating with a banquet celebration that could attract up to 1,000 people. The past, present and future chairmen of the event — Tommy Thomas, Scott Reagan and Ralph Cartwright, respectively — agree that while it’s grown to be a one of the nation’s most respected TDCs, the top priority is drivers, drivers, drivers. OK, and maybe safety, safety, safety coming in a close second. “The biggest thing I preached from Day 1 and I still do to this day is: no matter how big this thing gets, no matter how glitzy it gets, it’s always about the drivers,” says Thomas, who with the others is a member of the FTA’s Safety Management Council, which organizes the event. He’s been affiliated with the competition — at the state and national levels — for more than a quarter century and was Florida chairman for more than two decades, through 2015. “It’s never about the association. It’s never about the company. It’s never about the committee. It’s about those drivers who go out there every day and deliver the

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“We’re concerned about that guy who came in last. We want to make sure he walks away feeling like he has participated, done his best and (is) able to hold his head high because he was … a winner when he got there.” freight, put their lives on the line, put up with the traffic and put up with everything they put up with. Fortunately, everybody on the committee saw the same vision I had when it comes to the drivers … I think that’s why we were successful.” But the trio is likeminded when it comes to who gets honored once the competition is all over. “The guys who win get some tremendous recognition, and we know that,” explains Cartwright, who has served on the council with Thomas for 20 years and will take over as chair in 2018. “We’re concerned about that guy who came in last. We want to make sure he walks away feeling like he has participated, done his best and (is) able to hold his head high because he was … a winner when he got there.” A winner, because many had to vie within their own company to get to the Florida event,

but also because a requirement for even being allowed to compete is an accident-free driving record for the preceding year. “We’re committed to the individual drivers, helping to celebrate their safe driving record,” says Reagan, who is chairing the 2017 event for the third year. The goal, the three agree, is to create an event so enjoyable, it will encourage all participants to maintain their safe driving records year after year so they can return — and to build up enthusiasm within their companies when they head back home. “These are our ambassadors, these are the people who go back to the company and say ‘Hey, look, not only does this group care about safety, they care about it enough to put on this event’ to spread the word to others,” says Reagan. And when all the trophies are handed out and the applause has died down, the biggest win, they declare, is the safety of Florida roadways. “As an industry, nobody likes the safety guy until you have to talk to him,” says Reagan, safety director of Centurion Auto Transport in Jacksonville. “That’s our role, to make sure everybody gets home and back to their families safe and sound every day.” The competition is broken down into



TRUCKING THROUGH THE YEARS (Clockwise from top left): For close to 25 years, the Florida TDC was held outside at the Roadmaster Drivers School in Tampa; Cpt. Amos Santiago and Inspector’s Challenge competitor Erik McGuire in Tampa, 2011; SMC Chair Scott Reagan, FTA President and CEO Mary Lou Rajchel and FTA Chair Charlie Brown pose with a winning driver at the 2007 TDC in Tampa; The Con-way TDC team circa 2006.


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TRUCKING THROUGH THE YEARS (Clockwise from top left): Fauss Scholarship namesake and longtime FTA SMC member Herman Fauss in 2011; TDC Chair Scott Reagan explains course obstacles to volunteers at the Ocean Center in 2016; TDC competitors in 2006; banquet attendees at the western-themed 2007 TDC in Tampa.

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nine categories (or “classes”), from the longest tractor-trailers to step-vans. The stakes are high: only one winner from each class can move on to the National Truck Driving Championships, which will be held this year in Orlando from Aug. 9-12. It’s a three-part competition that begins on Thursday with a 40-question written test about general knowledge of the industry, covering topics such as first aid, fire safety, security and regulations. The next day, competitors are scored on the quality of their pretrip inspections to discover defects that could prevent a vehicle from being operated safety. The marquee event — the skills course — is held Friday and Saturday, where driving prowess is tested with a set of six obstacles that mimic real-life situations a truck driver might face, such as tight turns, backing up in an alley to a dock, straddling a repair pit or even parallel parking. The course changes every year, and drivers don’t know what they will face until the competition begins. In some obstacles, drivers are required to get as close to little yellow rubber ducks as possible without running them over, illustrating the precision required of the winners. “In any particular class, the difference between first and second could be 12 inches, 18 inches. It’s that close,” says Thomas. The move to Daytona last year allowed the skills testing to happen indoors, in the Ocean Center’s 94,000 square-foot exhibit hall. In addition to protecting contestants and spectators from the vagaries of summer weather, it also mimics the facilities that will be used in the national championship. Running at the same time as the TDC is the Florida Commercial Vehicle Inspectors Challenge, which tests the skills of Florida Highway Patrol Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers tasked with enforcing safety regulations. It’s a natural fit, even if it doesn’t seem so natural at first glance because of the oftentimes adversarial nature of the interaction between inspectors and truck drivers. “The drivers and people that enforce them get to see each other in a new light,” says Thomas. “It helps create a good working relationship between the industry and the officials that regulate our industry.” A just-for-fun Executive Challenge is sometimes included in the activities, aimed at giving trucking company officials a real-life experience behind the wheel. To participate, “you have to be a company executive without a truck driver license,” explains Cartwright. “Although they may run trucking companies, they’re not professional drivers.” With a professional at their side in the cab of a smaller truck, the competitors are

2017 Florida TDC


Registered Competitors


Banquet Tickets Sold


Square Feet of Competition Space


Hotel Rooms


Trophies Awarded


Sponsorship Dollars


Pieces of Equipment


Hours of Competition




Rounds of Golf Played at the Fauss Scholarship Tournament


Companies Competing


Meals Served

required to run through their own course. After testing their skills, “some of these people that managed these drivers every day said ‘Wow, look what these guys have to do,’” said Thomas. “It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and critique, but when you’ve got to get behind the wheel ….” Awards are handed out at the Saturday night banquet, including trophies to the winners in each class, and a special recognition for the Grand Champion of all the class winners. Top scorers in the written test and safety inspection sections also are honored as well as a “Rookie of the Year.” Winning teams of drivers for large and small companies earn trophies, too. The celebration includes inductions into the Florida TDC Hall of Fame and the naming of the Driver of the Year, chosen from those selected as Driver of the Month as part of the FTA Safety Awards, presented by the Safety Management Council. In addition, Herman Fauss Scholarships are awarded at the banquet to graduating seniors who are the child or grandchild of a truck driver. The criteria for selection include academic achievement, service to others, extracurricular activities and an essay — this year’s topic was the impact of distracted driving. The $2,500 scholarship can be used for college, vocational or technical school. “If I could wave a magic wand and have every U.S. and Florida elected official attend one FTA event to show off what we do, it would be the Truck Driving Championships,” says Ken Armstrong, president and CEO of the Florida Trucking Association. “The quality of the drivers, the commitment of the volunteers, and the sight of 1,000 people celebrating safety and driver professionalism at the closing banquet make TDC the proudest moment of FTA’s year.” Today’s TDC is a far cry from when Thomas first became involved, with maybe 50 competitors and a “banquet” that happened “right after the championship” and consisted of “a box of chicken” and a “thank you for coming, see you later.” Thomas says now the banquet is a grand — and very moving — affair. “After all the families have sat down at their tables, they march all the drivers in, in front of everybody,” Thomas explains. “They get standing ovations. It’ll send goosebumps up your spine.” The event “is a labor of love by a lot of people to make one weekend very special for the men and women in this industry who choose to come,” he says. “I would put our quality of the event up against anybody. I’m not going to say we’re the best, but we’re pretty doggone close to it.”


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Florida’s Top Tech

STEVE REMUS Southeastern Freight Lines


t was second-time-lucky for Steve Remus, who earned the coveted wrench ring in the Florida Super Tech Skills Competition, held March 15 in Orlando. Remus competed for the first time in 2016, winning the written portion of the day-long completion. But, he said, a combination of stress and fatigue prevented him from a top performance in the seven-station skills testing. This year he aced the written test again, won the fifth-wheel station and garnered enough points to be named Grand Champion in the 32-person statewide competition. This year, “I went in with the attitude, ‘this time I’m going to do the best I can and not worry about it,’’ said Remus, a veteran power technician at Southeastern Freight Lines’ Tampa service center. “I was relaxed; just having fun at it and then it came out I won. I was really, really surprised.” Not surprised was his boss, SEFL Fleet Services Manager John Mitchell. “His work ethic and the way he went about preparing himself for this was pretty impressive,” said Mitchell. “During break times … he’d be studying books and best practices manuals — whatever he could get his hands on. He kind of put his nose to the grindstone … not only for the competition but to become a better technician himself. He learned a lot.”

To remain a “super” tech, learning never ends, said Remus, who began working as an 18-year-old for Werner Enterprises in Omaha, Nebraska, moving to his SEFL job in

“His work ethic and the way he went about preparing himself for this was pretty impressive. During break times … he’d be studying books and best practices manuals — whatever he could get his hands on. He kind of put his nose to the grindstone … not only for the competition but to become a better technician himself.” — JOHN MITCHELL, SOUTHEASTERN FREIGHT LINES

2001. Over his almost 30-year career, “I went from everything being mechanical over to everything almost electronic,” he said. “You can never rest. You can never stop learning because the technology is coming in faster than you can imagine. You’re always a little bit behind until you study and get some training.

It’s a constant learning situation.” Mitchell said the culture at SEFL is like “family,” and Remus’ role has earned him the nickname “Mama” in his 13-person work group. “Because he takes care of everybody around here,” Mitchell explained. “He is my first lead man; he’s the tech in charge. So when anybody ever has a problem they go to him. He’s definitely well suited for that role. If you’ve got a question about anything, we go see Steve.” While familiarity with the competition and a more relaxed attitude helped Remus win the competition, he also credits a newfound commitment to healthy eating and exercise that saw him gain strength and lose 21 pounds. “Last year when I did it, I was exhausted at the end of the testing and I was actually messing up because I couldn’t think straight,” he explained. “This year, since I’ve been working out, I actually went through without getting tired. I was so surprised; I could think so much better. That actually proved a point to myself — that being physically fit does help in a lot of different settings.” In addition to the ring, Remus earned tickets to the next Daytona 500 and a trip to the TMC 2017 Fall Meeting and National Technician Skills Competition in Orlando.


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Are You Onboard? It’s crunch time when it comes to the electronic logging mandate — catch up while you still can. BY FLEETMATICS

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FOR FLEET MANAGERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, December 18, 2017, is an im-

portant date on the calendar. That’s the day that it will become mandatory for interstate fleets to have an electronic logging device (ELD) installed to record drivers’ hours of service (HOS). Fleets that are already required to have their drivers keep paper logs will be required to use ELDs to record HOS. This means fleets need to start taking steps today — if they haven’t already — to make sure that they’re compliant with the federal mandate. Complying with the mandate is one thing — there are numerous solutions available on the market to help fleets to meet the mandate. But simply complying may not be enough. It’s also important to have a solution that can add to the fleet’s efficiency — and one way to do this is by bundling an ELD solution with a GPS vehicle tracking solution. This will help you not only seamlessly comply with the regulations but also give you deeper insight into your fleet operations in a single, integrated view. DOES IT AFFECT ME? Broadly speaking, if a fleet’s drivers are currently using paper logs, they are required to comply with the ELD mandate. The rule also applies to commercial buses as well as trucks and to drivers who live in Canada or Mexico, but who drive in the U.S. There are limited exemptions to the rule that fleets should be aware of. These include: > Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions may continue to use timecards. Since these drivers aren’t required to keep records of duty status (RODS), they will not be required to use ELDs. > Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than eight days out of every 30-day period (a 30-day period is not confined to calendar months; it can cross months, e.g., April 15May 15). > Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered. > Drivers of vehicles manufactured prior to 2000. In addition, fleets already using an AOBRD or that implement one in its vehicles prior to the December 18, 2017, deadline will have until December 16, 2019, to implement an ELD solution. GETTING STARTED If a fleet is required to adhere to the ELD mandate and isn’t currently using an AOBRD solution, then it will need to research and choose a provider that is compliant with the FMCSA’s technical rules.

While there could be temptation to quickly go with the first ELD provider that seems to fit the bill — don’t. Even with the looming deadline, finding the right provider that is a match to your business can take time. Do your research and find the vendor that is the best fit for your fleet — this can include taking into account the operating conditions of the fleet (e.g., weather, road conditions, etc.), the operating system that is preferred by your fleet and how it integrates with the back-office.

Broadly speaking, if a fleet’s drivers are currently using paper logs, they are required to comply with the ELD mandate. The FMCSA has a list of certified devices on its website, but fleet managers should keep in mind — at the time of writing — these devices have been self-certified by the vendors and have not been verified by the FMCSA. While many of these devices may become compliant upon the FMCSA’s verification, there could be instances when a provider the fleet chooses from this list is noncompliant. If a provider is non-compliant, a fleet will have eight days from the time of notification of the provider’s non-compliance to install a compliant device. Fleet managers should address this possibility with current or potential vendors and ask what steps the provider would take to quickly implement a compliant solution. Whether you decide to implement an AOBRD or a certified ELD device, time is running out. No matter what route you decide to go, fleets must be compliant (either with an AOBRD or ELD) by December 18, 2017 or face penalties. For instance, according to the FMCSA, a driver will be cited for not possessing RODS after December 18 even if he or she has a paper log (there are exceptions to this part of the rule covering malfunctioning equipment). The best course of action is not to wait until the last minute. Take the first steps to compliance now. Fleetmatics, a Verizon company, is a leading global provider of mobile workforce solutions for service-based businesses of all sizes delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Our solutions enable businesses to meet the challenges associated with managing local fleets and improve the productivity of their mobile workforces by extracting actionable business intelligence from real-time and historical vehicle and driver behavioral data. For more information about the ELD mandate and how it may affect your business, contact Fleetmatics at 866-844-2235 or visit us at This content is provided for educational purposes only and to provide general information.


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Cargo Securement: Solved No longer tied down to an old purchasing model, cargo control suppliers can provide one-stop shopping with overnight delivery to meet tight construction and delivery schedules. BY JASMINE STANLEY


must be safely delivered on time, equipment rental and trucking industry managers as well as drivers rely on having the right tie down and cargo control gear on hand to secure the load to the trailer or flatbed. Regardless of what cargo is being hauled, there can be no compromise as to its securement over rough roads or through traffic. Improperly securing loads could lead to serious legal issues, traffic citations and unplanned project or production delays. Yet frequently, purchasing tie down and cargo control gear is left to the last minute. Often this is because it is an afterthought, or it goes missing, is damaged, or it is unclear what specifications are required for the job.

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Nevertheless, with delivery deadlines looming, equipment rental and trucking industry managers cannot waste time querying suppliers that cannot deliver the goods right away. “Quick turnaround is critical because if we need chains and tie downs, that usually means we’re out,” says Richard Wiley, owner of Minuteman Rentals, an equipment rental company in Burnet, TX. “We can’t send equipment out with a customer without safely securing the equipment to our trailer.” Traditionally, the industry has looked to a number of supply channels. This has included local suppliers, big box stores, and online retailers. The problem occurs, however, when essential equipment — such as chains, hooks, binders, D-rings, and ratchet tie downs or

straps of the required size and specification — is not available. Even many online retailers, which do not specialize in tie down and cargo supplies, lack sufficient, specialized inventory. As a consequence, equipment rental and trucking fleet managers often waste valuable time calling around to multiple suppliers trying to fill the order. Even then, they may have to wait days for the required gear to ship from another location, and be subject to extra shipping or rush order fees. Now to help make equipment rental and trucking professionals more competitive, proactive tie down and cargo control gear suppliers are following a new more responsive purchasing model. To this end, they are

offering a host of vital capabilities including “Amazon-style” variety, emergency response, expert engineering support, and custommade capabilities. AS EASY AS IT GETS IN TRUCKING In response to the need to streamline purchasing, a growing number of suppliers are implementing an “Amazon-style” approach to inventory by stocking the vast majority of required tie down and cargo securement items in-house, ready to ship. This enables busy equipment rental and trucking professionals to order all of their tie down and cargo control-related equipment without going to multiple vendors. “The trend is toward simplifying purchasing by offering the entire spectrum of products used for tie down and cargo securement,” says Tim Murphy, owner of Murphy Industrial Products (, a national wholesaler of tie down and cargo control products. “This may include not only chain and binders, ratchet tie down straps, and tie down webbing, but also D-rings and pivot links, tarps and straps, trailer winches, hooks, shackles, snatch blocks, and even specialty items like QuickBinders and Speedbinders. It can also include chain gauges for drivers to determine if their chains are safe to use, without cracked, stretched, or fatigued links, before securing the load.” This one-stop model prioritizes stocking the variety, quantity, and selection of tie down and cargo control supplies most commonly required so they can be shipped immediately, in one transaction. This requires having all needed part numbers and specifics available at the point of order, whether by phone, website, catalog or SmartEquip. It also requires having all products under one roof, logistically prepared to ship nationally as well as track without delay. “For most retailers, having a wide variety of tie down and cargo control items is not their focus, so they have spotty selection and have to special order it from distributors, if it can be found at all,” says Murphy. With many online retailers, if you need something other than standard, you are out of luck.” Because thousands of in stock tie down and cargo control items are held in inventory by some wholesalers like Murphy Industrial Products that implement the Amazon style approach and deliver nationally, same day shipping can be offered on up to 90% of all typical cargo securement orders. “Being able to order anything from routine to oddball tie down and cargo control items from one supplier is a competitive advantage,” says Wiley. “When I order, they usually have what I need in stock and get it to

me by the next day. That helps me to keep my equipment rented out without searching for required items or waiting for delivery.” RUSH AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE Without required tie down and cargo control equipment, vital shipments may not safely make it to their destinations on-time. Any safety mishap or delay in delivery might not only involve legal or worker’s comp issues for equipment rental and trucking professionals, but could also cost them their reputation. While any vendor can rush a single order, traditionally few have organized their processes to expedite orders for the majority of their customers, including rush and emergency situations. Now some tie down and cargo control item suppliers are streamlining their entire process from order to delivery around speed of response. While some websites are set up to enable one-click shopping for routine

them. For a variety of reasons, customers may have questions about their tie down and cargo control gear when they are unsure what they need to get the job done.” According to Murphy, knowledgeable and responsive inside sales staff is a good start in these cases, but engineering expertise may be required as well. “If you’re dealing with loads or equipment of an unusual size, shape or other complications, it is important to get help from an engineer,” says Murphy, whose onsite engineer is a former wire rope designer and has 40 years of experience solving unique rigging, tie down, and cargo securement challenges. GOING BEYOND TYPICAL STOCK ITEMS While there is a trend to stock all tie down and cargo control equipment under one roof, this does not mean that it cannot be modified. When equipment customization is required, such as in length, size, or capacity, this can be

Regardless of what cargo is being hauled, there can be no compromise as to its securement over rough roads or through traffic. items, for instance, some suppliers for the equipment rental and trucking industry go well beyond this approach. “When a rapid response is required, too often it may take a supplier several hours to reply to a request,” says Murphy. “If a supplier has their act together, its service reps should be able to respond to a request within minutes to an hour. They should know what their customers will likely need, and have it in stock, ready to ship the same day in most cases. Speed is critical.” Beyond this, a responsive supplier should be reachable by a variety of methods to best accommodate customers’ needs in the field. EXPERT GUIDANCE AND ENGINEERING SUPPORT Because deliveries will vary and safety is critical, expert guidance and engineering support will be necessary at times to provide the optimal tie down and cargo control equipment for the job. Purchasers may not know what specifications they need in terms of weight capacity, configuration, and options. “At times, equipment rental and trucking professionals may need help deciding what grade of chain or load binder to use with a unique or oversized load,” says Murphy. “They might be considering the pros and cons of prebuilt versus bulk chain for their application. Or they might wonder if an abrasion resistant, diamond weave ratchet tie down, could help

done quickly to suit unique circumstances. Wiley relates his experience with customizing required equipment. “We had a customer that was trying to move some large blocks that needed some custom sized nylon webbing slings,” says Wiley. “When I called Murphy, they manufactured the modified slings for us and we had them within two days.” Custom tie down and cargo control can sometimes be required when hauling unusual or oversized loads. “While 4"x30' strap is fine for routine cargo control, sometimes 4"x50' or 4"x60' strap is required for tall oilfield, utility, or industrial equipment,” says Murphy. “They may also want to vary chain size or request custom lengths. No matter how routine or custom the application, all products should be certified and meet all state and national standards.” Not only does the new model require tie down and cargo control suppliers to carry thousands of parts on demand, ready to ship, but also it allows the choice of American or international made products, depending on needs. As the equipment rental and trucking industry continues to adapt to industry surprises and ever-tighter delivery schedules, the new one-stop shop model that prioritizes wide selection, fast delivery, as well as customization will help industry professionals stay one step ahead of the competition.


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The Essential Human Researchers at The Brookings Institution find that automated trucking’s rapid rise overlooks the need for skilled labor. BY JOSEPH KANE AND ADIE TOMER Reprinted with permission from The Brookings Institution

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AUTOMATION HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MAJOR ONGOING STORIES regarding the future of the American economy. What began with the rise of robots — and loss of jobs — across manufacturing industries is now a full blown threat to traditional jobs across all industries, salary bands, and education requirements. The effects are widereaching and no job may be safe. On the surface, trucking seems to fit perfectly into this national narrative. Autonomous vehicles are one of the hottest developments in technology across the country, and an automated truck already delivered 50,000 cans of beer within Colorado last fall. Meanwhile, truckers hold the most common occupation in 29 different states. This map quickly spread around the internet. Unsurprisingly, analysts expect automated trucks to proliferate in the next five to ten years,

leading to significant job losses in the process. The only problem? The numbers do not clearly back up the predictions. In addition to the numerous regulatory and logistical hurdles that automated trucks still need to clear, generalizing the skilled work undertaken by millions of truck drivers and their peers overlooks how this industry functions. In many ways, the current national conversation on the trucking industry tends to overemphasize the technology and oversimplify the complex set of labor concerns, where many jobs are not likely to disappear anytime soon. Similar to most infrastructure jobs, truck drivers depend on a wide range of skills to carry out their jobs every day. Just as there are different types of doctors, there are different types of truck drivers – from heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers who focus on long-haul journeys to delivery truck drivers

who carry lighter loads and navigate local streets. Not surprisingly, many of these drivers are not simply sitting behind the wheel all day on auto drive. They also inspect their freight loads, fix equipment, make deliveries, and perform other non-routinized tasks. Standardized data verify this non-routinized conception of truck-driving. The Department of Labor’s O*NET database shows how truck drivers have a lower “degree of automation” compared to most occupations nationally. On a scale of 0 (not at all automated) to 100 (completely automated), O*NET surveys workers across all types of occupations, where those with simpler, repeated tasks are often better suited for automated technologies, such as telephone operators and travel agents. The average degree of automation, however, remains quite low (29.6) for all occupations, and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (22) and delivery drivers (24) rate even lower than that. Significantly, they also rate lower than some of the country’s other largest occupations, including office clerks (32), cashiers (37), and receptionists (47).

Regardless of how these automated technologies play out, truck drivers and their fellow support workers are going to still carry out several specialized tasks, which will require continued on-the-job training and familiarity with precise sets of tools. Lower automation scores by themselves, of course, do not necessarily mean that trucks may not ultimately drive themselves. And when these trucks hit the market — and they will — they very well may have an empty front seat. Yet, it also seems likely that many new complementary jobs may emerge over time too, requiring new skillsets to oversee these new trucks and complete other nonautomated tasks to support them. While it can be difficult to predict the exact positions needed, it is possible that new types of material movers and inspectors may appear within major shipping industries, or there may even be a new form of on-call trucking repair jobs. At the same time, local retailers, from restaurants to clothing stores, may need extra staff hours to unload trucks. Whatever happens, it is crucial to not confuse truck drivers themselves with their entire industry, which depends on many different types of workers who carry out tasks that are not always easily automated. The trucking industry as a whole relies


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SAFETY MATTERS on a variety of workers who are also less susceptible to automation according to O*NET. Truck drivers only make up 60 percent of the nearly 1.5 million workers in this industry. Other support workers fill roles across more than 150 different occupations, from truck mechanics to cargo agents to accountants, who have a relatively low degree of automation (25.5) on average. In this way, even as automated trucks may alter the actual shipment of goods, these technologies are unlikely to supplant all of the various technical, financial, and logistical work activities in support of that movement. Indeed, regardless of how these automated technologies play out, truck drivers and their fellow support workers are going to still carry out several specialized tasks, which will require continued on-the-job training and familiarity with precise sets of tools. O*NET tracks the particular types of tools used by individual occupations to better understand the technical skills and familiarity required to fill a given job, ranging from utility knives and two-way radios to personal computers and GPS receivers. On average, workers across all occupations nationally use about six tools to perform their jobs; however, workers in the trucking industry use about 27 tools on

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Automation is likely to change how the industry moves goods and relies on particular workers, but it will still require workers in general. average, requiring a greater depth of knowledge and training that make it more difficult to automate their activities. Some workers use considerably more tools, including automotive service technicians (173), compliance officers (108), and truck mechanics (97). Finally, there are some overarching regulations that could stall the automation impacts from driverless technologies. States currently maintain oversight for whether driverless trucks can operate within their borders — and those regulations are inconsistent from state to state. Those inconsistencies will likely limit interstate shippers from using these vehicles to easily move goods across different states until certain regulatory thresholds are consistent. You can apply the same thinking to local regulations. Without approvals for driverless trucks to operate along specific rights of way — say a busy pedestrian corridor — municipalities and counties could make it difficult for trucking firms to use the technology.

With the rise of new automated vehicle technologies, policymakers and planners must prepare for a self-driving future. And for good reason. These technologies hold promise in improving transportation across the country, including reductions in energy use, pollution, and significant safety benefits. But they also raise questions over land use impacts and economic access, among a host of other concerns. Frequently lost in this conversation, though, is talk on where workers stand. Truck drivers and Silicon Valley are at odds of how, when, and where any potential labor market effects will take place, with many running under the assumption that some changes are bound to happen nationally in the next decade, especially given the enormous geographic reach of the industry. Rather than glossing over the potential labor impacts, policymakers, employers, educators, and others should closely monitor these developments over time and link them to relevant workforce development efforts. Automated trucks are likely to change how the industry moves its goods and relies on particular workers, but they will still require workers in general and should not shift the focus away from sustaining economic opportunity.



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!

Learn more + register at


The Uptime Battle Winning the war against uptime foes: the worst enemies and the best weapons Reprinted from Fleet Owner magazine

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THE TOP CHALLENGES FOR FLEET MANAGERS IN 2016 were the shortage of skilled drivers and technicians and compliance with regulations, according to a recent study commissioned by Ryder. The study also showed that fleet managers were concerned by the overall condition of the economy, rising equipment costs, implementation of technology — including Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) — insurance costs, safety and security of employees and cargo, and traffic congestion. When it comes to solutions, managers reported taking many different approaches based on their specific situation. Indeed, many fleet owners engaged in multiple approaches — some traditional and others innovative — to meet their challenges.

A SHORTAGE OF SKILLED DRIVERS Nearly two-thirds of respondents, (the largest single group was the for-hire trucking segment) reported that they have been affected by the current driver shortage/high churn rate of drivers. When asked if the shortage was limiting their ability to serve existing customers or grow their business, 44 percent said ‘yes’, it has somewhat impacted their business and 18 percent reported that it had ‘significantly’ impacted their business. About 38 percent said the driver shortage did not have any measurable effect on their business. More than half of affected fleets have increased drivers’ base pay and/or added incentives to help recruitment and retention. For example, they have added referral and retention bonuses, added to their benefits package, and paid for training schools. Companies have also changed their recruitment methods: they have added recruiters, increased advertising, added signing bonuses, and hired more drivers than needed in anticipation of low retention. In order to keep drivers from leaving, fleet managers report buying newer equipment, adding retention specialists, implementing driver recognition programs, fostering more communication with drivers, emphasizing the benefits of working at their company, and taking drivers’ personal needs such as more home time into consideration. Some fleet personnel say they are choosing drivers more carefully in order to boost retention. “[We are] being more critical of who we hire and researching more meticulously, including use of PSP reports and other sources,” one fleet executive noted. Others are boosting working conditions: “…We made our company the absolute best place to drive for! and … We are good to our drivers. If they need time off, we let them have it with no argument. We also rotate routes so there is not so much burnout…I would love

to pay my drivers more, but the economy is not at its best.” While some observers suggest that autonomous vehicles may be an answer to the driver shortage, albeit some years in the future, respondents had a dim view of its positive impact. Fifty percent said they didn’t think that self-driving trucks are ‘feasible’ or ‘practical’ while 21 percent saw the technology as a ‘threat’ and a ‘problem’, and not a ‘benefit.’ About 30 percent of respondents, however, said they think that autonomous vehicles will ‘help the trucking industry in the future.’ Scott Perry, Vice President of Supply Management and Global Fuel Products for the Fleet Management Solutions business segment of Ryder System, Inc., sees autonomous vehicles as a game changer. “Fully connected vehicles and even connected cities will truly change how logistics and transportation takes place,” he said. “Visibility to the supply chain will have a big impact. Shippers will be able to see the role they can play in efficiency and the life of the driver. It will be extremely powerful.” A SHORTAGE OF SKILLED TECHNICIANS Just as fleet managers see a shortage of drivers, skilled technicians are also in short supply. Slightly more than half of respondents (54%) have been impacted by the shortage of skilled shop technicians. The majority of those who have been affected have not been affected ‘significantly’.

by several factors including retiring personnel and fewer people entering the industry to take their places. Also, engines are much more complex, which raises the proficiency bar, and lowers the pool of qualified techs. About 33 percent of respondents reported that “we are doing other things” to address the skilled technician shortage. Many of the tactics are similar to those used by fleet owners to recruit and retain drivers such as: higher pay, increasing advertising, checking technicians more thoroughly to make sure there’s a better fit, and increasing training programs. Fleet managers also implemented programs such as attending job fairs, and working with local schools (not training schools) to identify future technicians. Several respondents said: “[We are] partnering with local trade schools (high schools and community colleges) to do apprenticeships to build our talent pool.” “We started hiring technicians directly from technical schools and we have implemented a training program. We have had enormous success with this approach.” One tactic was to use warranties: “We try to keep late-model equipment so unexpected problems are under warranty. When we have to, we bring in outside vendors.” Pendergast offers suggestions on how the industry can address the shortage. He said: > Skill-up your technicians all the time. The younger generation of technicians is eager to learn.

“Fully connected vehicles and even connected cities will truly change how logistics and transportation takes place. Visibility to the supply chain will have a big impact. It will be extremely powerful.” — Scott Perry, Vice President of Supply Management and Global Fuel Products for the Fleet Management Solutions business segment of Ryder System, Inc.

To help reduce the effects of the technician shortage, many carriers (43 percent) are outsourcing their maintenance. However, nearly 3 in 10 respondents are not doing anything special to address the shortage issue. Of those outsourcing their maintenance, 20.3 percent are sending work to truck OEMs and their dealers, 25.2 percent are outsourcing to a 3rd party maintenance provider, and 16.3 percent are leasing their equipment and letting the lessor take care of maintenance. “The shortage of skilled technicians is absolutely real,” said Patrick Pendergast, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition for Ryder System, Inc. He suggests the shortage is fueled

> Do more and better recruiting right from high schools, trade schools and community colleges. > There are also a number of largely untapped pools of potential workers including the military. Ryder is trying to create transition assistance programs so that people leaving the military can go right to work in trucking. > A second untapped pool of talent is women. Careers in trucking are compelling for women. The job of a technician is so much more than turning wrenches. “It is clean. It is high-tech,” he said. Continued >>


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In order to keep drivers from leaving, fleet managers report buying newer equipment, adding retention specialists, implementing driver recognition programs, fostering more communication with drivers, emphasizing the benefits of working at their company, and taking drivers’ personal needs such as more home time into consideration.

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REGULATORY COMPLIANCE Regulatory compliance has always been tough for those in the trucking industry. Indeed, 49 percent of respondents said that their second biggest challenge was regulatory compliance. One issue is complying with Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions Phase II, said Perry. “GHG Phase II has so many different possible paths to compliance, and no one approach will meet the next mandate. Instead, there are 25-30 different possible technologies that will be coupled together. Part of the uncertainty [concerning this regulation] springs from this issue. People are asking, ‘Will these technologies work or will they create new operating challenges?’ ‘Will GHG Phase II trucks be more valuable in terms of residual value?’ ‘What will the drivers’ experiences be like?’ ‘Will they like to operate these trucks?’ ‘How reliable will the trucks be?’ He adds: “Most of the technologies under consideration now are viable in their own right, but what happens when these are coupled together? Think about faster axle ratios, for example. Faster axle ratios may not work well for everybody and for every duty cycle. They are okay for long-haul, but they may not work well for regional fleets. It creates a much more complex picture for fleets when you look at service, parts, and technician training.” When asked specifically about Hours of Service (HOS) rules, less than half (47 percent) of respondents said their businesses have been impacted by the HOS limits, and about half (52 percent), have taken action to address the issue. Many respondents are keeping drivers compliant with HOS by adding an ELD, which will be mandatory by December, 2017 for all carriers that now are required to use logbooks. Other fleets are also making sure that drivers understand the HOS rules, and how to best handle their time. Said one fleet executive: “We are more involved on a management level with helping drivers manage their own HOS.” Said Perry: “Our customers come to us with issues about compliance and look to us to help them understand how they will impact the equipment itself and the way that drivers interface with that equipment.” Some fleet managers are working more closely with shippers, requesting that they don’t abuse drivers’ time… “[We are] working with drivers to help them adjust starting times and more planning ahead. Also working with shippers and receivers to minimize wait time.” Still others are taking a more ‘mechanical’ approach by hiring more drivers, altering

routes, adding more routes, avoiding multipickup and drop time, keeping drivers at home until loads are in the truck and ready to go, and, as one fleet official said: “Whenever possible, we are operating under the 100mile exemption.” A few respondents are seeking relief from HOS through lobbying: “We are calling on our senators, representatives and trucking councils.” “We are a construction company, and are trying to get an exemption from FMCSA through the national AGC (The Associated General Contractors of America).” THE OVERALL ECONOMY The trucking industry has always been a bellwether of the US economy. In general, 70 percent of all the tonnage in the US is moved by trucks, and 81 percent of all freight-related dollars were paid to the trucking industries, according to the American Trucking Associations. About 38 percent of respondents listed “The Overall Economy” as their third biggest challenge last year. Overall, the economy appears to be stable albeit with GDP growth forecast for 2016 in the 2-3 percent range. In addition, a bright spot for trucking is low fuel costs which are expected to remain at low current levels for the foreseeable future. Freight volumes have been see-sawing monthly so far this year, perhaps mirroring the uncertainly of where the country’s economy is headed in light of a chaotic election season coupled with on-again, off-again signals from Fed watchers as to when and if interest rates will rise. Many fleet managers were worried that 2016 would mimic 2015 when freight volumes were down considerably. On the other hand, Bob Costello, the American Trucking Associations’ chief economist, expected capacity to tighten in 2017 as freight volumes recover.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that ELDs range in annualized price from $165 to $832, with the most popular device used today priced at $495 per truck. However, they also estimate that savings on paperwork will be around $705 per year.

RISING COST OF EQUIPMENT Thirty-three percent of respondents identified “the rising cost of equipment” as a challenge despite the fact that used truck prices are down 10 percent from 2015 and are expected to fall further, according to research firm Stifel Financial Corp. Likewise, new Class 8 prices were also lower during the first quarter of 2016 “as dealers cut prices to move aging inventory.” Some fleet managers though, may be anticipating higher upfront truck costs due to the Phase II standards to reduce greenhouse gases that will be phased in from model years 2018 through 2027. The Environmental Protection Agency predicts that the overall upfront cost to the industry would be around $25 billion, but that tractors and trailers would generally pay for themselves within the second year of Phase II. Operators would save about $170 billion in fuel over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program. TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION The cost of technology implementation is also on the minds of fleets with about 27 percent of survey respondents reporting that technology costs were a challenge. One of the costs will be for those carriers that have not yet installed ELDs. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that ELDs range in annualized price from $165 to $832, with the most popular device used today priced at $495 per truck. However, they also estimate that savings on paperwork will be around $705 per year. INSURANCE Insurance costs are an issue for some 24 percent of those who responded to the survey. Indeed, average Marginal Costs per Mile have risen from 5½ cents a mile in 2008 to 7-1/10 cents per mile in 2014, according to 2015 American Transportation Research Institute Operational Costs of Trucking 2015 report. Insurance premiums can vary widely among carriers based on miles-traveled exposure and vehicle replacement costs. The report notes that many larger companies self-insure or use umbrella policies to make comparisons to per-truck unit costs difficult to determine. These self-insurance and umbrella policies, however, are a way for larger fleets to lower insurance costs. Some of the recent increase in premiums can be pegged to Class 8 truck orders totaling approximately 375,000 units in 2014, the second highest order year in history. Replacement costs and therefore insurance premiums are higher for new trucks, the report noted. Fleet management personnel can take some comfort, though, in that the Share of the


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OPS OUTLOOK Total Average Marginal Costs has remained at 4 percent since 2009 for insurance probably because fleets are running more efficiently and safer. SAFETY AND SECURITY Fourteen percent of respondents said that safety and security for people, cargo and equipment was of their challenges. In a 2016 release, the FBI noted that 547 incidents of cargo theft were reported to law enforcement during 2014 and was worth more than $32.5 million. By a large margin, the most common area for cargo thefts from trucks is from a lot. Drivers are always instructed to leave their trucks in well-lit areas, preferably with a fence and/or security guard. They are also instructed never to reveal the contents of their cargo to anyone, even during casual conversations. Many shippers are keeping track of cargo with RFID tags connected to GPS and cell phone location services. In addition, company officials are also using geofencing to make sure that any unauthorized movements of trucks and trailers are detected. The most common targeted items are those that can be sold at street level such as portable electronic devices, clothing, and consumable items.

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“Our customers come to us with issues about compliance and look to us to help them understand how they will impact the equipment itself and the way that drivers interface with that equipment.” — Scott Perry, Vice President of Supply Management and Global Fuel Products for the Fleet Management Solutions business segment of Ryder System, Inc.

TRAFFIC CONGESTION Traffic congestion eats up $49.6 billion dollars nationwide, and the majority of respondents (54 percent) affected by congestion changed their routing or scheduling to minimize its impact. Another 19 percent purchased new technology tools such as navigation systems that identify traffic bottlenecks and find ways around them. Over one-third of those affected respondents have taken no action at all. For Perry, connectivity may help mitigate the effects of traffic congestion. He says that increased fleet connectivity may offer greater traffic flow visibility, which, in turn,

may help to alleviate gridlock. If we knew congestion was occurring ahead of a given location, for instance, we could change the controlled speed of vehicles approaching that area to spread out traffic. He said: “Why go 75 miles per hour to hurry only to sit in traffic with everybody else 20 miles down the road? Speed limiters may one day be dynamically controlled by the traffic network and take the free will away from the driver when it comes to speed.” This scenario means that trucking would compete directly with some industry segments like railroads. “Smart highways will work like virtual railroads. Does that mean we will move to triples or heavier trucks?” said Perry. Disruptive trends are having a significant impact on fleet management, transportation and logistics — making it more and more difficult for companies to manage the complexity of running their own fleets and supply chains. They face an unprecedented array of issues across technology, regulations and personnel, which often draw attention away from their core business. Ryder enables companies to outsource many of these challenges to a partner with the experience, resources and expertise to drive effective solutions while increasing business speed, reliability and efficiency.



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.

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One Call Does It All TRANSIT PROS utilizes a Qualified National Vendor Network to provide services ranging from heavy-duty towing, recovery, salvage auction, inspections and more


ransit Pros is America’s largest subhaul coordinator, specializing in medium and heavy-duty towing, transportation, and emergency roadside service. Their goal is to provide legendary customer service starting with the initial call, during the transport of your unit, and continuing all the way through the end of the billing process. Transit Pros brings a nationwide network of vendors to your business and can facilitate the efficient and timely transfer of your equipment from point A to point B.

Whether you need a basic roadside tow or accident scene recovery, Transit Pros has the expertise and resources to pick up, transfer, or store the unit for you or your client. Their integrated services are comprised of 24-hour roadside assistance, 24-hour mobile tire repair and replacement, salvage, secondary towing and emergency roadside service. Providing services by way of two call centers, they’re fully dedicated to moving your equipment as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Additionally, their online

management system provides you with realtime updates on where your unit is located, when the tow vendor has arrived, and when your unit has arrived at its final destination. Florida Trucking Association Members have a unique phone number for Transit Pros to take advantage of the great service — with savings! Call (844)-363-9642. Transit Pros team members have been fully trained to handle almost every situation imaginable; including, natural disasters (Hurricane Sandy, South Carolina floods, etc.), earth moving equipment, accident scene recovery, interstate relocation services, decal removal and reidentification of your unit, and unit inspection services to ensure the condition of your unit. Adding to the knowledge of its team members, Transit Pros also partners with WreckMaster to fully understand the type of equipment operators carry. This ensures they are sending out the appropriate service to handle your load or unit, on the first dispatch, every time. With the WreckMaster certification and 20+ years in the towing industry, Transit Pros has gained experience in understanding the importance of ensuring their clients and drivers have a carefree road side experience. Dispatch accuracy, efficiency, reassurance, and trust … that’s Transit Pros commitment to their tow partners and clients. For more information on their services, please call (816) 988-2343. Transit Pros offers FTA members special savings with an FTA-negotiated service rate.

Give TRANSIT PROS [] a call for more information. Geoff Ferguson, (816) 988-2345 or email


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Some things go together like trucks and the sun FTA ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2017 • AUGUST 3-4 • THE DIPLOMAT IN HOLLYWOOD, FL

> NEW MEMBERS SUPPLIER MEMBERS EROAD, Ric Listella, Tualatin, OR Al Purmort/Shepherd Insurance Trans. Division, Kevin Faust, Carmel, IN Instructional Technologies, Marius Karoy, Vancouver, WA ACR Solutions, Dan Hatoum, Titusville, FL First Midwest Equipment Finance Company, Carl Vitale, Elk Grove Village, IL Florida State College at Jacksonville, Joseph Lackey, Jacksonville, FL Michelin NA, Douglas Fulton, Jacksonville, FL Eco Fuel Systems, LLC, Cary Nagdeman, Boca Raton, FL EMTeLINK, Dean Massey, Tallahassee, FL Rex Trailer Repair, Alfredo Reyes, Hialeah, FL Telogis, Scott Grant, Aliso Viejo, CA Florida Ravelco, Attila Kovacs, Fort Lauderdale, FL Atlantic Logistics, Inc., Johnnie Greene, Jacksonville, FL AT&T, Dave Burns, Lake Mary, FL Waller Insurance Partners, Inc., Jimmy Waller, Winter Haven, FL Transit Pros, Geoff Ferguson, Lee’s Summit, MO Gunster Law Firm, Lila Jaber, Tallahassee, FL CARRIER MEMBERS Soil Tech Distribution, Jack Montero, Tampa, FL Shaughnessy Overland Express, Mark Shaughnessy, Marco Island, FL Stepp’s Towing & Heavy Transport, Michael Gardner, Tampa, FL MEMBERSHIP BY THE NUMBERS (03/01/17–05/31/17) Member Type





Carrier Company Individuals Supplier Company

160 1008 217

2 30 19

14 74 26

148 964 210

Welcome New FTA Members Through 5/31/17

Great Dane FlorTrucking HalfHoriz 1_Layout 1 4/26/17 4:49 PM Page 1


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

The US 1 NETWORK recently held their fourth annual agent conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. There were over 45 agents in attendance and a wonderful set of presenters. These include Ollie's Bargain Outlet, Prime, NTC, Star Leasing, and Truckstop. com. Speaking of which, the US 1 Network and have partnered together to enhance brokerage capabilities. Through their truck management system, Truckman3, agents can directly post freight onto Truckstop’s load board, seamlessly onboard broker carriers, and much more. New offices in Memphis, TN, Little Rock, AR, and Columbus, OH have also opened. Lastly, but most importantly, the US 1 Network is proud to announce that they are 100% ELD compliant! TAYLOR & ASSOCIATES, ATTORNEYS AT LAW, P.L. announces the addition of Madison Bulman and Alan Pena as associates with the firm. Ms. Bulman earned her J.D. from Barry University Duane O. Andreas School of Law in 2016, and interned with the firm while a law student. She focuses her practice in corporate and business structuring, regulatory compliance, transportation contract matters and insurance law. Mr. Pena earned his J.D. from Florida International University College of Law in 2015 and is currently in the US Army Reserves JAG Corps.

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He brings to the firm military experience in logistics as well as private practice experience in trusts and estates. Recent additions also include: Alyssa Pickles, who earned her J.D. from Stetson University College of Law in 2015. She focuses her practice in D.O.T. regulations and compliance, and handling FMCSA agency actions. Graham Hadley earned his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law in 2014. He handles civil litigation matters and supervises local defense counsel in automobile liability claims against motor carriers. “We are pleased to have the addition of these attorneys to the firm to support our clients,” said J. W. Taylor. In addition, Taylor & Associates announced that Brian Mathis and Bridgette Blitch have been named Partners. Brian K. Mathis joined the firm in 2011 and represents motor carriers, inland transportation intermediaries, third party logistics providers, ocean transportation intermediaries, warehousemen, and shippers in a wide range of areas, including transportation and logistics law, regulatory compliance, corporate and business structure, employment matters, maritime and intermodal issues, insurance law and coverage issues, transportation contract matters, and civil litigation. Recognized by Women in Trucking in 2017 as one of the Distinguished Women in Logistics, Bridgette

M. Blitch, handles a broad array of litigation matters in state and federal courts and represents clients before various administrative agencies. Well versed in representing clients in a variety of transportation-related litigation issues, she has become widely known for sharing her legal expertise with the transportation industry on The Dave Nemo Radio Show. Most recently, Bridgette has spearheaded the development of the firm’s DataQs investigation department, allowing clients to outsource responsibility for their DataQs oversight while reducing their internal payroll. “I am proud of the accomplishments of Brian and Bridgette, and together we look forward to the continued service to our valued clients,” said J.W. Taylor. THERMO KING OF THE SOUTHEAST is now a Leyman Lift Gate authorized dealer at all seven of their locations. TKSE provides sales, services, and warranty on all Leyman products. TKSE would like to congratulate Jim Thompson on 40 years of service and to welcome two new members to the sales team: Joe Valdez, who has 20 years of trucking industry experience, will be working in the West Palm Beach and the Fort Pierce markets. Rob Race, who has 12 years of trucking industry experience and is a dedicated FTA 2.0 member

> GOOD NEWS minimal training, drivers and fleet managers can monitor and record their Hours of Service with summaries and reports of onduty status, rests, and resets. The FMCSAregistered ELD includes a secure, reliable connection to EROAD’s web-based portal, Depot, where motor carriers can access upto-the-minute data, administer user support, receive real-time notifications, send messages and view reports. The ELD is built on the same proven platform as EROAD’s electronic tax, safety compliance and fleet management services, including electronic IFTA and IRP, driver safety tools and accurate fleet tracking. EROAD’s ELD is currently undergoing independent testing and verification by the PIT Group, an expert in thirdparty transportation engineering and testing — providing additional assurance to carriers that the ELD they have chosen complies with the FMCSA mandate.


recently joined the Orlando team. LANDSTAR named Lacey Crosson-Cornelius as 2016 Safety Officer of the Year. Landstar presented the 2016 Landstar Safety Officer of the Year Award to Landstar Agent Lacey Crosson-Cornelius at its annual convention in Orlando, Florida this month. Crosson-Cornelius of the Crosson Agency LLC of Gadsden, Alabama was selected from the 12 Landstar Safety Officers (LSO) of the Month winners for 2016. These monthly winners represent have very low accident and cargo loss frequency rates and continuously look for ways to improve safety. “Each LSO exhibits true leadership qualities and embraces the Landstar safety culture, providing safe, damage-free transportation service,” says Mike Cobb, Landstar vice president of safety and compliance. “As the Landstar Safety Officer of the Year, Lacey consistently showcases efforts and implements programs that standout to support and reinforce the importance of safety.” During a special ceremony held April 8, 2017, Cobb presented the award to Crosson-Cornelius, who also was recognized in February 2016 as the Landstar LSO of the Month. “I am very excited that Landstar is recognizing our agency this year. Our team at the Crosson Agency is committed to creating a safe and reliable service for our capacity

and customers by providing a complete and accurate dispatch. It is important for us to constantly be aware that the actions of every individual can make a difference,” CrossonCornelius said. EROAD recently launched a user-friendly ELD on a tethered in-vehicle device with simple display and transfer capabilities for facilitating roadside enforcement and reducing administrative time and paperwork. Designed from the ground up with the driver in mind, the ELD features a touchscreen that lets drivers view, edit and add notes to their logs, and easily present their record of duty status during roadside inspections. With EROAD


KOTTKE TRUCKING, INC. is proud to announce that Carlo Garcia has been named the 2017 First Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence recipient. Garcia was hired by Walbon & Company in July 2014 and has been a great member of the Kottke Trucking fleet since the acquisition with zero accidents and zero moving violations. Carlo’s nominator said this about him: “Carlo always has a positive attitude and is willing to help when needed. He also is great at managing his hours and sleep patterns. Carlo also makes sure he communicates with dispatch.” Thank you, Carlo, for being an awesome part of the Kottke Trucking family! The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of our first and nearly 40year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the


SUMMER 2017 | 43

ON THE MOVE quarterly Jim Doering Award of excellence are the finalists for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year which will be awarded in January 2018.

Making the Case for Full Stability.” A preview, “What’s Happened with Stability Since 2008,” authored by Andersky, is available at bendix. com and

BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS released new paper addressing fleet safety as a combination of factors, and previews a forthcoming update to its paper on stability technology: In the interest of improving safety, Bendix has released “The Fleet Safety Equation,” a two-part paper authored by Fred Andersky, director of customer solutions – Controls. Part One, “Thinking Beyond a OneStep Solution to Safety,” is available at bendix. com and “Safety is multidimensional, whether you operate one vehicle or 100,000,” Andersky says. “Bendix’s goal is to provide a starting point for thinking about fleet safety in its entirety.” Peak fleet safety performance, the paper offers, is driven by optimizing a combination of technology, drivers, culture, maintenance, monitoring, and regulatory adherence over time. Part One explores these factors, while the upcoming second segment, “Putting the Fleet Safety Equation to Work,” will consider how to assign values to the equation’s factors — and how those numbers might be used to quantify safety in practice. Bendix is also updating its 2008 paper “Roadmap for the Future:

FLORIDA ROCK & TANK LINES CHOOSES PEOPLENET: Trimble, Inc. (TRMB), a leader and provider of fleet mobility technology, announced that Florida Rock & Tank Lines, Inc. (FRTL) will install PeopleNet technology in its nearly 500-truck fleet. “We want to equip our drivers with the latest and greatest technology,” said Jim Anderson, Vice President of Safety & Risk Management for FRTL. “With PeopleNet, our individual drivers have access to solutions that make their jobs easier and allow our entire fleet to work more efficiently.” Jacksonville-based FRTL transports petroleum and other liquid and dry bulk commodities throughout the southeastern United States. FRTL currently operates 21 terminals and has a network of more than 700 drivers. One of FRTL’s primary reasons for choosing PeopleNet was its Tanker Workflow, which automates time-consuming paperwork and integrates information in real time throughout a fleet’s operation. “Prior to implementing PeopleNet’s technology, we had a very manual method of delivering petroleum,” said Anderson. “With PeopleNet’s Tanker Workflow, we have automated our

Firm supply. Flexible solutions. Pivotal LNG is committed to providing customers with liquefied natural gas supply 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Contact us to design a flexible, cost-effective solution for your fleet. | 713.300.5116 | Follow us on © 2017 Southern Company. All rights reserved. PLNG-15680

44 | SUMMER 2017


process to deliver the right amount of product each time, which not only increases the accuracy in our billing but also reduces the risk of overfilling customer storage tanks.”

PEOPLENET® announced that it is the first fleet management provider to offer a connection to 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks, now available through its PeopleNet ConnectedFleet™ platform, in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Through the ConnectedFleet platform, fleets can connect their drivers, devices and equipment in real-time to improve efficiencies and increase safety. With LTE connectivity, PeopleNet customers now have the potential for faster connection speeds and the ability to access information more efficiently in geographical areas that previously had little to no coverage. “The introduction of LTE coverage is part of PeopleNet’s continued efforts to evolve our platform to better serve the needs of our customers—both today and in the long term,” said Eric Witty, Vice President of Product Management for PeopleNet. “Offering LTE connectivity gives organizations the ability to collect data from vehicles, drivers, and devices faster and more reliably than ever before. This enhanced connectivity can enable quicker decision making when a driver is on duty and also provides more options to drivers who want to stay connected to loved ones during off-duty time.” OAKLEY TRANSPORT: In 1961, Oakley Groves began as an independent citrus fruit broker in Dade City, Florida. Soon after, Oakley Brothers was established to enter the harvest and hauling sector of the citrus industry. Over time, Oakley Brothers was merged into Oakley Transport Group, their parent company. In 1986, the Oakley family decided to diversify out of total dependence on citrus, having endured the hard freezes of 1982 and 1984. The newly formed company (Oakley Transport, Inc.) was dedicated to transporting liquid food grade products in the contiguous United States, Canada, and Mexico. With Oakley’s commitment to growth and diversification, the family decided to relocate the company’s headquarters to Lake Wales, Florida in 1986. Since that time



Oakley Transport, Inc. has established itself as a premier liquid food grade carrier. In late 2015 Oakley Transport, Inc. decided to enter into dry bulk food grade hauling and started with 50 trailers. Midway through 2016 the orders were rolling in for dry bulk and before the end of the year the dry bulk fleet was at 100% utilization. In January of 2017 it was decided by the leadership team at Oakley that another 50 trailers would be needed as soon as possible to handle the growth. The Oakley leadership team is excited to share this information with the Florida Trucking Association and its members. On February 18th, BREAKTHRU BEVERAGE held its North Florida Truck Driving Championship at the Tampa Distribution Center. Gray skies and the threat of a downpour could not dampen the spirits of the crowd as 220 drivers, family members, friends, and volunteers attended the event from facilities across the state. Drivers took a written test and competed on a skills course in straight truck and five axle tractor trailer classes. Efficiency Enterprises judged the pre-trip inspection portion of the competition and provided course obstacles. Drivers had the opportunity to cheer (or jeer!) for managers from sales, distribution, warehouse, and operations as they competed in the Manager Challenge and guests enjoyed a barbeque lunch at the end of the competition. Special thanks go out to all the volunteers who gave their time to make this event a success. Congratulations to Frankie Disla and Alto Tarver (Fort Myers), Mike Gapske (Jacksonville), Ariel Gonzalez and Carlos Sanchez (Miramar), and Bill Carrier, Richard Hagen, and Rhoan Tomlinson (Tampa) who will be representing Breakthru Beverage in Daytona Beach! Good luck on the road to Nationals!

As BLUE BLOODHOUND enters its second year in operation, the driver and motor carrier matching tool has reached a robust 27,000 truck drivers in the system. By efficiently matching motor carriers needing to fill empty runs with drivers wanting to fill their downtime and make extra money, Blue Bloodhound is on its way to quickly dispelling the ‘driver shortage’ myth. The tool is always FREE for drivers to use, and motor carriers only pay for a driver when they need it. It’s as simple as that. Visit for more information.


BESTPASS has launched its Leased Equipment Toll Solution (LETS), a customizable toll management service for leased equipment providers, including not only tractors and trailers, but also other vehicles of all shapes and sizes. The new solution is the first of its kind and includes features such as seamless rebilling from lessor to lessee; the ability to transfer transponders from leased provider to customer accounts and back again; and the ability to customize and white label the Bestpass service according to each leased provider’s needs. “LETS is a win

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ON THE MOVE for everyone involved,” said John Andrews, president and CEO of Bestpass. Bestpass customers will now have access to the Tollsmart Toll Calculator, which covers every tolled facility in the United States and Canada. Users will be able to estimate costs of multiple routes, including additional Bestpass volume discounts, and make strategic decisions about how to deploy their vehicles. “We are excited to be able to offer our customers the additional functionality of the Tollsmart Toll Calculator as part of the Bestpass service,” Andrews said. SERVICE TRUCKING, INC. would like to recognize their driver of the year Mr. Howard “B” Hunt. Mr. Hunt, affectively known as “B,” has been with Service Trucking Inc. since 2006. He is a true over the road driver as he runs all 48 states all year round. In addition, not only does he mentor our newer drivers but is also an outstanding road trainer for us. He is a devoted Clemson Tiger fan just like his father and grandfather. Service Trucking is extremely proud to have B in their family. PATRIOT TRANSPORTATION HOLDING, INC. announced in March that Thompson S. Baker II, its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, has resigned his CEO position to accept a new position as Senior Vice-President of Vulcan Materials Company. Mr. Baker will continue to serve as the Company’s Chairman of the Board. In turn, the Board has promoted Vice-President, Robert E. Sandlin, to the President and CEO position. All of these changes are effective March 13, 2017. John E. Anderson, the Board’s lead independent director, stated: “The Company has been extremely fortunate to have had the excellent services of Tom Baker as CEO for these past B. HUNT

six plus years. Under his leadership, we have become an independent public company earning excellent returns on capital in some very challenging times in the transportation industry. We sincerely thank Tom for his contribution as CEO and his continuing contribution as Board Chairman.” EASTCOAST TRANSPORT, WOMANOWNED 3PL CELEBRATES 40 YEARS IN OPERATION: “We are very fortunate to have an outstanding team of professionals that understand that each customer is unique and deserves individual custom solutions. Our job is to make our customer exceed their customer service requirements every time. Additionally, ECT is made up of a diversified group of professionals that have many years of experience in all aspects of supply chain that understands each of our customers needs,” said Tina Latta, founder and managing member. In 1977, Dan & Tina Latta opened the doors of East Coast Consolidators as a logistics provider. In January 2003, the company was purchased by PAM Transportation, Tontitown, AR and changed the name to East Coast Transport and Logistics. In 2006 the company purchased land and constructed the corporate office in Paulsboro, NJ. Then, in October of 2010 Tina, driven by her entrepreneurial passion and leadership, bought the company back from PAM and changed the name to East Coast Transport, LLC. ECT also operates offices in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Springdale, AR, Philadelphia Pa, and Baltimore, MD. CARRIER DONATIONS HELP FEEDING SOUTH FLORIDA: Supporting Feeding South Florida’s goal of providing food and services to nearly 800,000 residents each year, Carrier is pleased to announce the donation of five air conditioning split systems and a refrigerated trailer for temporary cold storage. The contributions will benefit Feeding South Florida’s new distribution and training center, Feeding Palm Beach County, which opened in Boynton Beach last October. Carrier, a world leader in high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions, is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX). “Carrier’s support of Feeding South Florida and Feeding Palm Beach County represents the positive impact that corporations can have in their communities,” said Sari Vatske, vice president of community relations, Feeding South Florida. “It’s great to have industry-specific support of our operations and facilities.” JARED FRITTS MOVES TO INSURANCE CONSULTING: Fritts recently left Landstar

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and accepted a position with Crum and Forster Insurance in their Risk Engineering division, doing safety consulting. Fritts is still based in Jacksonville and plans to continue his involvement in the FTA Safety Management Council. GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT ANNOUNCED THE APPOINTMENT OF MICHAEL J. DEW AS SECRETARY OF THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EFFECTIVE JUNE 5, 2017. Mike Dew served as Chief of Staff of the Florida Department of Transportation since January 2015. Previously, he served as the Chief of Staff of the Florida Department of Corrections from 2012-2014, and as Director of External Affairs for Governor Scott from 2011-2012. Mike received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University. He fills the position recently vacated by Jim Boxold, who moved on to a political consulting firm in Tallahassee. CARRIER

Beyond sports and the three Rs ... Students need to understand how their world moves! The Florida Teachers’ Trucking Tour is designed to give professional educators an inside look at how this vital industry works, its unique challenges, and its integral contributions to our state/national economy and daily life. With this information, educators at all grade levels will be better informed about trucking and the career opportunities that our industry offers to Florida’s students. Sponsor a teacher for the 2017 Tour! call (850) 222-9900 by July 1.


Investing in today’s classroom for tomorrow’s future... FTA’s newest trucking image and education program looks to the youngest generations to create respect for one of the nation’s most essential industries


hen considering recruting for the trucking logistics industry, companies need to think long-game. External threats such as automation and generational shifts, coupled with internal challenges including driver turnover and Baby Boomer retirement make it especially hard to imagine a future with enough qualified truck drivers to keep your fleet on the road. But, there is hope. Some say the uber-emphasis on STEM subjects has created an environment ripe for adolescents who are looking for a career opportunity directly out of secondary school — and trucking logistics can be the perfect match. This is where FTA’s school-centered image campaign comes in. In much the same way as nationwide recycling efforts began in the cradle of elementary schools (because who is more influential than a child on parents’ beliefs and habits?), we believe that by reaching children with a positive message about who truckers are and what they do will pay dividends far into the future. The Florida Teachers’ Trucking Tour is designed to give professional educators an inside look at how this vital industry works, its unique challenges, and its integral contributions to our state/national economy and daily life. With this information, educators at all grade levels will be better informed about the complexities of the nation’s most-used

48 | SUMMER 2017


freight/logistics mode and the career opportunities that our industry offers to Florida’s students. The aim for this program is to immerse a small set of Florida teachers (elementary, middle, high) in an intensive, week-long tour of the trucking industry, and then engage them to write lesson plans aligned to Florida Standards that incorporate trucking imagery, concepts, information, statistics, etc. into the class-room conversation.

“It was a fantastic program and I learned a lot, especially to bring back to the classroom,” said Timothy Mimbs, a high school teacher in Columbia County. Our inaugural Teachers’ Tour included four educators for a week-long look behind the scenes in the trucking industry. These colleagues got a glimpse of the terminals at Florida Rock & Tank Lines, UPS, JAX Port and more. They were enthusiastic about the industry and really enjoyed learning more about how goods are delivered nationwide. “It was a fantastic program and I learned a lot, especially to bring back to the classroom,” said Timothy Mimbs, a high school teacher in Columbia County.

Mimbs and his colleagues wrote several lesson plans that they used throughout the 2016-17 school year. One teacher even coordinated a Share the Road day with the Florida Road Team at her school. With her help, we taught six classes of second graders at an elementary school in Tallahassee about how to share the road with commerical vehicles — and how to make sure their parents are practicing good driving habits (with no texting and driving!). This foray into elementary and middle schools is an extension of the very successful Florida Road Team program that touches more than 10,000 students per year with the safety and positive trucking image message. We now have a Teacher Resources page on our website where educators can download free lesson plans developed during the Tour and links to other materials from our partners. The 2017 Tour is set for July 31-August 4, 2017 in conjuction with the FTA Annual Conference in Hollywood, FL. We are looking for Tour sponsors who will invest in this innovative program and provide $2,500 to fund a teacher stipend (including lodging, meals, transportation, and materials for one teacher). If you are interested in sponsoring a teacher or giving to the Florida Teachers’ Trucking Tour generally, please let us know. And, if you know a teacher who might want to apply for the Tour, please let us know!

Values Drive Performance Shared Values Can Lead to Organizational Excellence


We understand you are in business to make a profit. Our Value-Driven™ Company modules can help you reduce losses and increase profits by focusing on influencing employee behavior, changing culture, improving communication, and managing risk successfully. We believe it is everyone’s job to do what they can to prevent losses. We have developed a variety of training tools to help get all employees involved in safety. From seminars and webinars to Self-Service e-Tools and FAQs, we have solutions to fit your operations. We see “Critical Crashes” as a risk to your company. Our Value-Driven™ Driving program focuses on helping drivers do what they can to prevent these types of accidents: rear-end, loss of control, lane change, and run under. All of our driver training programs are FREE to our insureds and can be accessed 24/7 on Great West’s Online Learning Library. GREAT WEST CASUALTY COMPANY – No matter where the road takes you, you will discover that at Great West, The Difference is Service®.


Owners and fleet managers everywhere can count on us. Being there for our customers is part of our company culture. That’s why we have thousands of parts in stock and a service department that’s unbeatable. We also feature five of the most respected OEMs in the world, and offer flexible rental and leasing options. Trust us to keep you moving.

Florida Truck News - Summer 2017 issue  
Florida Truck News - Summer 2017 issue