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Fall 2017

The Official Publication of the Florida Trucking Association, Inc.

MissionMinded FTA’s new Board Chair ROB SANDLIN plays an important role in trucking and industry advocacy

ALSO INSIDE: Cultivating Relationships with FHP Florida’s 2017 Driver of the Year Truck Parking Help

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.



Association executives agree the new FTA Chair and Florida Rock & Tank Lines President and CEO Rob Sandlin has the know-how and the connections to make things happen in Florida — and beyond. By Rosanne Dunkelberger with photos by Ryan Ketterman

FALL 2017 DEPARTMENTS President’s Message


Around the State FTA events 6 Industry Gear Major awards 35 On the Move Briefcase announcements 38 FEATURES


6 33

Meet the 2017 Florida Driver of the Year 16 Truck Parking Availability System 20 Hail and Farewell at FHP 33 SAFETY MATTERS


Upping Your Relationship Game 24 Sleep Apnea Rule Update 30


TECH SPEED Truck Platooning Coming Soon to Florida 28 OPS SMARTS Cypress Truck Lines Wins with Video 22


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VOLUME 72, NUMBER 3 • Q3 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, Kayla Hagen


350 E. College Ave. Tallahassee, FL  32301

EDITORIAL Editor, Tisha Keller Editorial Assistant, Kayla Hagen Social Media Manager, 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.

Impact of Irma In 1953, the National Hurricane Center began giving hurricanes female names. By 1979, the complaints from women caused the conversion of the list to both male and female. The list of names rotates every six years, unless a name (e.g. Katrina and likely Irma) gets “retired” for obvious reasons. Irma was a monster. The fact that she covered virtually the whole state of Florida…and impacted virtually all of us…is symbolic for trucking. Irma proved once again that “we are all in this together.” That’s a message we have been preaching at FTA for years upon years. Ordinarily when we say it, we are thinking about one piece of bad trucking news damaging us all, or one piece of legislation or regulation affecting us all. But Irma made it clear that what impacts one can impact all. I hate that not every trucking company in the state was using our website or texting back and forth with me. I love that Florida Rock and Tank Lines got two loads of diesel down to Publix because FTA raised the red flag and made the connection. I love that Pritchett Trucking could use us as a resource in getting information on weight exemptions for Irmarelated waste disposal in Florida and Georgia. The relationships that FTA maintains on a daily basis, and then new ones that spring up in times like these, are a form of mutual aid and assistance. Trucks helped Florida get ready, and trucks will be the primary tool to help Florida rebuild. I know many of you got hit hard. But bear in mind that trucks will be front and center in hitting back. Thank you for what you do every day.

BRUISED BY IRMA (top to bottom): Cars displaced by hurricane Irma behind the Big Pine Key Welcome Center; Emergency response vehicles move along Overseas Highway, still littered with debris, in Marathon; Property roof collapsed in a neighborhood in Ramrod Key; Gov. Rick Scott meets with federal, state and local officials, including Monroe County Mayor George Neugent (left) and FEMA Field Coordinating Officer Willie Nunn (right) inside Marathon City Hall.

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. Major corporations and cities such as Ryder, Penske and City of North Port have eradicated their losses by equipping their fleet with the Ravelco.

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 The big appeal of the soldered and heat shrunk to Ravelco system is not only maintain the best contact its effectiveness but its possible. simplicity. Essentially, when you remove the No bells or whistles, just Ravelco plug, it 100% effective protection.

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) I-95 and I-4 Truck Parking Availability System Brevard, Flagler and Seminole Counties FPID: 438096-1-52-01

Project Description

At a Glance

Commercial truck drivers traveling Interstate 4 (I-4) and I-95 in Central Florida will soon have extra help locating available parking spots. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is installing a Truck Parking Availability System (TPAS), which detects available spaces at welcome centers, rest areas and weigh stations, and sends alerts to drivers via message boards.

Contractor: SICE, Inc. Contract Amount: $1.8 Million

The work involves installation of in-ground and other wireless detection systems, closed circuit television cameras, ground-mounted signs, and embedded electronic dynamic messaging systems, along with all associated Intelligent Traffic Systems infrastructure.

Start Date: October 2017 Estimated Completion: Spring 2018

The system will be installed at seven locations: Brevard County: 1

I-95 northbound rest area located about 5 miles south of State Road (S.R.) 514 (Exit 173)


I-95 southbound rest area located about 4 miles south of S.R. 514 (Exit 173)


I-95 northbound rest area located about 2 miles north of S.R. 46 (Exit 223)


I-95 southbound rest area located about 3 miles north of S.R. 46 (Exit 223)









Daytona Beach

Flagler County:



I-95 northbound Truck Comfort Station located about 2 miles north of S.R. 100 (Exit 284)


I-95 southbound Truck Comfort Station located about 3 miles south of Palm Coast Parkway (Exit 289)



4 415




Seminole County: 7


Palm Coast






I-4 eastbound rest area about 2 miles east of S.R. 434 (Exit 94)


Titusville 408

Construction Impacts Commercial drivers are advised that construction will require about half of the truck parking spaces at each location to be closed for a short time for installation of the in-ground sensors within the parking space. Only one location at a time will have parking space closures.



Orlando 528




Cocoa Beach A1A

Kissimmee 1



Work is expected to begin in October and be completed at all seven locations by spring 2018. @MyFDOT_CFL For more information, contact Carolyn Fitzwilliam, Public Information Coordinator, (386) 740-3566 or

95 Palm Bay 2



Florida TDC 2017 The 2017 FLORIDA TRUCK DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS took place at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach on June 8–11. This was our second year at the beach, and the third event for outgoing TDC Chair Scott Reagan. This year’s competition was huge by any measure: 243 registered competitors, 1,004 banquet seats, 1,566 hotel rooms, $64,000 in sponsorship dollars, 97 volunteers, and 24 companies represented with drivers competing. FedEx Freight (Orlando) driver Tommy Forrest was named Grand Champion after winning the 5-Axle class. At the conclusion of the awards banquet, incoming TDC Chair Ralph Cartwright (XPO Logistics) took the helm for the 2018–2019 event. Forrest and his eight class champion peers advanced to the National TDC in Orlando (August). 2017 FLORIDA TDC WINNERS

TANK TRUCK John Kinchen Publix Super Markets

GRAND CHAMPION Donald “Tommy” Forrest 5-Axle, FedEx Freight 3-AXLE CLASS Danny Bradley Walmart Transportation, Rookie 4-AXLE Larry Taylor Publix Super Markets

TWINS Robbie Stanford UPS Freight

T. Forrest

STEP VAN Daniel Stapleton FedEx Ground ROOKIE AWARD Danny Bradley 3-Axle, Walmart Transportation

5-AXLE Donald “Tommy” Forrest FedEx Freight










WRITTEN EXAM AWARD Henry Mahler Tank Truck, YRC Freight

FLATBED Patrick Kutenits Publix Super Markets SLEEPER Edward “Eddie” Pennington FedEx Freight STRAIGHT TRUCK Scott Hamilton FedEx Freight

PRE-TRIP AWARD Adam McCann Step Van, FedEx Express LARGE TEAM AWARD Publix Super Markets SMALL TEAM AWARD Florida Rock & Tank Lines


Florida Kenworth dealers

“Start Your Engine” and Course Obstacle Sponsors: International Dealers of Florida

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Landstar Transportation Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits Breakthru Beverage Group Davis Express

FedEx Freight AAA Cooper Transportation Rowland Transportation Vertical Alliance Group PrePass/HELP Ryder System Michelin Centurion Auto Logisitcs

Crawford Company YRC Freight Oakley Transportation UPS Florida Rock & Tank Lines Martin Brower Company NextGen Driver Training JJ Keller & Associates



2017 Florida Safety Awards The 2017 FLORIDA SAFETY AWARDS, PRESENTED BY THE FTA SAFETY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL, were announced during the 2017 Florida TDC awards banquet on June 11, 2017. The audience of 1,000+ looked on as the Daytona Beach Hilton ballroom filled with drivers, fleet managers and safety professionals from around the state. The winners for 2017 are:

2017 DRIVER OF THE YEAR Dennis Rollins, Florida Rock & Tank Lines



FedEx Freight >16 million miles – First

Dennis Rollins Florida Rock & Tank Lines

Southeastern Freight Lines >16 million miles – Second Breakthru Beverage Florida <16 million miles – First Old Dominion Freight Line <16 million miles – Second

2017 SAFETY PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR Scott Labay, Breakthru Beverage Florida

Anthony Hilllman Breakthru Beverage Florida Timothy Mercer Saddle Creek Transportation


Michael Milioto Florida Rock & Tank Lines

Trans-Phos >5 million miles – First

Gerald Gay Davis Express

C.W. Roberts Contracting <5 million miles – First Grammer Industries, Inc. <5 million miles – Second TL DIVISION Grimes Trucking Services <5 million miles – First Landstar Express America <5 million miles – Second Postal Fleet Services, Inc. 5–10 million miles – First Davis Express 5–10 million miles – Second Davis Transfer Company 10–20 million miles – First Landstar Inway, Inc. 10–20 million miles – Second

William McCormick Centurion Auto Transport Edwin Huggins Saddle Creek Transportation Oma Lee Florida Rock & Tank Lines Ralph Lancaster Cool Way Direct Wayne Smith Publix Super Markets Bradley Konopinski Saddle Creek Transportation Carlos Freire Breakthru Beverage Florida

Wal-Mart Private Fleet >20 million miles – First Landstar Ranger >20 million miles – Second



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2017 FTA Annual Conference The 2017 FTA ANNUAL CONFERENCE was an action-packed two days at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida. On August 3–4, more than 286 FTA members and guests enjoyed a full agenda of sessions, golf, membership meetings, gavel exchange ceremonies and more. In terms of sponsorship, this year’s revenue exceeded expectations—again—and garnered $373,000 in support for the event and FTA’s year-round programs. The event opened with CEO Circles, which allowed attendees to spend 15 minutes at a round table with the CEO or industry thought leader of their choice. This new component was perhaps the most popular agenda item of the 2017 event. Day two showcased Ken Armstrong’s conversation with Kevin Knight of Knight Transportation (one of the new FTA member companies of 2017), a keynote address by Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam, and more. The closing banquet’s centerpiece was the passing of the gavel from outgoing Chair Jeff Day to Rob Sandlin (Florida Rock & Tank Lines), the 2017–18 FTA Chair. The event wrapped up with a dessert, dancing and casino cruise on the Intercoastal.

Day and Sandlin

K. Knight

L. Hicks (right) listens to K. Walpole during the CEO Circles



PLATINUM PLUS: Kenworth Dealers of Florida, Oakley Transport, Thermo King, Vertical Alliance Group, Walpole


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PLATINUM: Bynum Transport, FedEx Corporation, Freightliner Dealers of Florida, Indian River Transport, Nextran Truck Centers, Performance Peterbilt, Quality Distribution, Subrogation Division


GOLD: Boulevard Tire Center, CDT, Continental Tire, Cummins, Cypress Truck Lines, Davis Express, EMT E-Link, Florida Rock & Tank Lines, Florida Utility Trailers, Goodyear, Great Dane, Great West Casualty, Instructional Technologies, InTouch, JJ Keller & Associates, Landstar Transportation, Lytx, Mack Trucks, Meritor, McGee Tires, Omnitracs, Palm Peterbilt, Pilot/Flying J, Quickload, Rowland Transportation, Saddle Creek Transportation, Smartdrive, Sunbelt Transport, Sunpass, Supervision,

TRALA, USI Insurance, Verizon Telematics, Volvo Trucks SILVER: Bestpass, Breakthru Beverage Group, Bridgestone, Carroll Fulmer Logistics, Comdata, Eaton, EFS, Integral Energy, McTyre Trucking, Michelin, Optym, Orbcomm, People’s Capital & Leasing, Raven Transport, Reliance Supply, Signature Financial, Sleepsafe Drivers, Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, Southern Strategy Group, TA/Petro, Taylor & Associates, UPS, Walmart, Yokohama


ON THE ROAD John and Patricia McTyre

Celebrity Roast ‘n’ Toast of John McTyre The CELEBRITY ROAST ‘N’ TOAST OF JOHN MCTYRE was an occasion to celebrate the contributions of former FTA Chair John McTyre (McTyre Trucking) to our association and to gently rib him with comments from a “roaster panel” of long-time friends and colleagues. The annual Roast is a fundraiser event for FTA programs and took place as the concluding event of the 2017 Fall Round-Up in Jacksonville, October 11–12. The roasters (pictured below, left and named left to right) were event emcee Chris Dudley (Southern Strategy Group), Joel Dandrea (Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association), Jimmy Ellzey (FDOT, retired), and Tim Konrath (McTyre Trucking). John McTyre (center) and Ken Armstrong (right) are also pictured. McTyre’s passion for fishing and hunting were the comedic topic of the night, and the roasting was fun indeed. Many thanks to the presenting sponsor, Maudlin International Truck and Trailer, for their generosity, as well as the contributions of our other event sponsors: PRESENTING: Maudlin International Truck and Trailer PRESIDENTIAL: Kenworth Dealers of Florida, PrePass, Walpole, Vertical Alliance Group TABLE: CDT, Cummins, Davis Express, Florida Utility Trailers, McKee Oversize, McTyre Trucking, Nextran Truck Centers, Rowland Transportation, Rush Truck Centers, Standard Concrete Products, Trail King Industries.

T. Forrest

McTyre and his roasters

Share the Road Blitz in Duval County schools On October 9–10, members of the Florida Road Team brought their SHARE THE ROAD presentation to the high schools in Duval County (Jacksonville). Elite drivers such as Tommy Forrest (FedEx Freight) took their commercial trucks to area schools and teamed with the Florida Highway Patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement bureau to share information with early drivers. The program includes information about the dangers of distracted driving, sharing the road safely with commercial vehicles and Florida’s Move Over law. Overall, more than 1,000 students were educated and sat in the seat of these semis for a first-hand experience of what a commercial driver “sees and doesn’t see” on the road. Special thanks to the Troopers who participated and the area schools who invited us in: Wolfson High School, Paxon High School, Mandarin High School, Peterson Academy and First Coast High School. We are grateful also to the companies who supported our Florida Road Team event: FedEx Freight, Walmart and AAA Cooper.


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J. J. Keller and your State Trucking Association are partners in compliance.


Enforcement Guidance Issued for Natural Gas Vehicle Weight Variance DURING THE 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 865 which provided an additional weight allowance for vehicles equipped and fueled primarily with a natural gas fuel system. House Bill 865 was intended to provide the same additional weight allowance for natural gas vehicles as authorized in the 2015 FAST Act. Specifically, the law now allows a natural gas vehicle’s legal weight to be increased by the difference of the written certified weight between the natural gas tank and fuel system and the comparable liquid fuel tank and fuel system. The written certified weight must originate from the vehicle manufacturer or the installer of the natural gas tank and fuel system. The maximum weight provided by the natural gas vehicle provision cannot exceed the difference of the natural gas certification, up to a maximum weight of 82,000 pounds. In addition, natural gas vehicles also equipped with a functional idle-reduction unit, known as an auxiliary power unit, will be allowed additional weight up to the maximum certified weight of the idle-reduction technology, or a maximum of an additional 550 pounds. The additional weight provision for natural gas vehicles and idle-reduction technology applies to external bridge, internal bridge, gross and

axle weights. The additional weight provision does not apply to registration, tax class, permit and low-limit road/bridge weight limits. As written, the law does not limit natural gas vehicles to a written certification weight difference of 2,000 pounds; but, only limits gross weight to 82,000 pounds. The additional weight provisions for natural gas vehicles and idle-reduction technology vehicles do not apply to vehicles identified in section 316.545(6), Florida Statutes, known as Table 3 vehicles. FHP roadside protocols Recently, FHP released enforcement guidance for their roadside inspections. When conducting weight enforcement on a Table 1 or Table 2 vehicle/vehicle combination, FHP will determine whether the vehicle is equipped with a natural gas tank and fuel system and/or idle-reduction technology. If equipped with a natural gas tank and fuel system and/or idlereduction technology, the Trooper will determine if the vehicle has a written certification for the natural gas tank and fuel system and/ or idle-reduction technology. Troopers will determine if the vehicle/ vehicle combination exceeds the legal weight provided in section 316.545, Florida Statutes, for a registration, tax class, permit and

low-limit road/bridge violation. They will then manually deduct the written certified weight of the natural gas tank and fuel system and/or idle-reduction technology from the weight calculated on the power-unit’s drive axle/drive axle grouping, and will then determine if the vehicle otherwise exceeds the maximum external bridge, internal bridge, gross or axle weight provided in section 316.535, Florida Statutes. If an overweight violation is determined, the Trooper will assess the largest weight violation pursuant to the provisions in CVE Procedures 1.03- Weight Enforcement, 1.04- Enforcement of CMV Registrations and 1.05- Overdimension and Permit Violation Enforcement, including procedures related to load shifts and off-loads. When the vehicle/vehicle combination that is operating under the natural gas vehicle or idle-reduction technology provisions is cited for an external bridge, internal bridge, gross or axle weight violation, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Citation/Permit will document the manually deducted weight in the axle/ axle grouping fields so the citation will properly calculate the penalty. The Trooper will identify the original weights, the amount of manual deduction, the type(s) of written certification (natural gas vehicle/idle­-reduction technology) and any other special circumstances in the Remarks section of the citation. When the vehicle/vehicle combination that is operating under the natural gas vehicle or idle-reduction technology provisions is cited for a registration, tax class, permit or low­limit road/bridge violation, the Trooper will document the actual weights in the axle/ axle grouping fields on the citation so the citation will properly calculate the penalty. The Trooper will identify that the actual weights were documented in the weight fields and will identify any external bridge, internal bridge, gross and axle weight violations that would have existed after manual reductions were applied. When Troopers encounter a written certification for a natural gas tank and fuel system that exceeds 2,000 pounds, they will honor the certification up to a maximum external bridge weight of 82,000 pounds. They will make a copy of the certification and will forward the certification and citation, if applicable, to the Chief of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement via the chain of command. FDOT developed a template for a natural gas-fueled vehicle certification that is available as a courtesy from the FTA. Companies are not required to use the FDOT template, and may create their own certification form as well.


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Fueling the Future ROSANNE DUNKELBERGER sat down

with FTA’s new Board Chair and discussed how he sees safety, golf and the power of association from his unique vantage point.


INDUSTRY PARTNERS Rob Sandlin oversees one of the biggest petroleum distributors in Florida as the CEO of Florida Rock & Tank Lines. As the new Chair of the FTA Board, he sees nothing but an “all-in-it-together” future.

n work and play, Rob Sandlin is known for his intensity. And it’s something the president and CEO of Jacksonville-based Florida Rock & Tank Lines is expected to bring to the boardroom as chair of the Florida Trucking Association. Tops on his list for his 2017-18 tenure are continuing to grow FTA membership and amplifying the association’s voice in the state political arena. “I think what we want to do is … grow our membership and continue to add value for members so we can continue to grow and strengthen the organization,” he said. “Ken Armstrong has done a really nice job providing great leadership and membership growth. I think the Board and the members have continued to provide assistance and been energized by Ken and the staff, so we’ve made some really good headway.” The FTA currently has about 400 members, and the association’s goal is to rapidly move to 500, said association president and CEO Armstrong. As a Board member, Sandlin has already proven adept at helping FTA recruit new members. “I remember about a year and a half ago I had made a pitch to a set of leaders in our association that I needed their help building membership, and it wasn’t two days before Rob contacted me to report that he had opened the door for the FTA to contact one of


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> LEADERSHIP the largest tanker fleets in the country,” Armstrong recalled. “Rob had just picked up the phone and called to talk to his counterpart up there and had asked one of the people on his team to reach out to his peer there, so we had a double entry. That was all it took. They joined immediately and have been a good member ever since. “It’s not just that he thinks it’s good for FTA to have more folks, he thinks that membership in FTA is mutually beneficial for others,” Armstrong said. Part of that mutual benefit relates to Sandlin’s other goal — making sure lawmakers hear the concerns of the trucking industry nationally, and particularly in the state arena. “The Florida Trucking Association lends a voice that can be much louder as a group than it can be with us as individuals,” he said. “When we … go to the Legislative Session and show up as business executives or business owners who are employing their constituents; when we show up there as a group, it sends a much more powerful message.” In the upcoming session starting in January, worker’s compensation will be a top-ofmind concern. “Two Florida Supreme Court rulings last year really have set us up to have rising workers comp costs and litigation and our only solution for that right now is a legislative answer,” he said. “We’re going to need the help of the folks in Tallahassee to put some new laws in place that help us control those costs. Doing nothing is not an option. It’s really going to have a negative impact on Florida and the business environment. To me, it is really important that we keep our eye and our focus on that. Legislatively, we’re staying in tune with what’s going on and what can help our industry and, frankly, industry in general in Florida.” Association executives agree Sandlin has the know-how and the connections to make things happen in Florida — and beyond. “Rob is very politically aware. Actually, the whole company where he works is politically savvy and politically connected,” said Armstrong. “He’s one of the people who knows that getting one person elected or creating a relationship with a person at the state level or the federal level can really make a difference. His political savvy is going to be helpful to us. Not just this year, but particularly during this year.” Another witness to Sandlin’s political acumen is Dan Furth, president of the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC), an advocacy group based near Washington, D.C. Furth credited Sandlin, who is on the board of the NTTC, with one of his association’s biggest legislative victories ever — relating to the regulation of wet lines on tanker trucks, an issue that had been going on for

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more than 30 years. “Rob played a huge role in that,” by contacting members of the Florida delegation, Furth said. “When Rob’s reaching out to Sen. Nelson or Rob’s reaching out to a congressman or congresswoman, he’s getting heard. We’re getting heard.” The NTTC is again counting on Sandlin to be at the forefront of F4A legislation, to determine whether truckers will follow one set of federal regulations, or be subject to differing regulations between states.

“He is specifically very, very good at synthesizing issues. Making it plain. Making it understandable [to the politician] as to how it applies to the people who live in the district. It’s very important [for the association].” ­— D an Furth, President,

National Tank Truck Carriers Association

“Sen. Nelson is the senator with the jurisdiction here, and what we’ve learned from Rob’s past is if we need something from the Florida delegation, the first call has to be to Rob. He’ll understand the issue immediately and he’s also able to get (Congress members’) ear for the amount of time that’s required to explain how this affects his employees,” Furth said. “He is specifically very, very good at synthesizing issues. Making it plain. Making it understandable as to how it applies to the people who live in the district. It’s very important.” Making His Own Way Sandlin grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but he was born in Lake City, where his father played football at Columbia High School before moving on to play at the University of Tennessee. Like his father, Sandlin attended UT and

continues to be an avid Volunteers fan and season ticket holder. “I still get up to five or six games a year,” he said. “I’m not real fond of the Gators. You can put that in quotations,” he said with a laugh. “As I tell all my friends (who) say ‘You have an unhealthy hatred,’ I say, ‘You go live in Knoxville as a Gator fan for about 25 years and you’ll have the same feeling that I do.’” The 56-year-old earned his college degree majoring in business, with a focus on transportation and logistics. Within a year after graduating, he joined Florida Rock & Tank Lines and moved to Jacksonville in 1993, where he has lived ever since. Unlike many trucking companies, Florida Rock & Tank Lines is not family owned and operates under the umbrella of the publicly traded company, Patriot Transportation Holding, Inc. (on NASDAQ as PATI). Earlier this year, he was named president and CEO of Patriot in addition to holding the same positions at Florida Rock & Tank Lines. While his father did work in the petroleum industry and the company he worked for had tank trucks, his entry into the business wasn’t preordained and he didn’t have a family connection to Florida Rock & Tank Lines. “That just kind of happened,” he explained. “It wasn’t that I was targeting a career in the tank truck industry but the tank truck industry field was growing pretty rapidly and moving toward logistics.” Sandlin’s company started as a dump truck business that was part of Florida Rock Industries in the 1960s, but evolved into a tank trucking concern that spun off from the parent company in 1986. Currently, his Jacksonville-based company operates 21 terminals in the Southeastern U.S. and employs more than 850 people — about 625 of them truck drivers. The vast majority of the company’s business — 82 percent — is petroleum tank truck-related. The other 18 percent is divided between dry bulk materials and liquid chemicals. Last year, Florida Rock & Tank Lines had $120 million in revenue. Priorities Above All Else While safety is always important in the trucking industry, it is of particular concern to Sandlin because Florida Rock, for the most part, carries flammable and hazardous materials. While his executive-level involvement with FTA began in the last six or seven years, Jim Anderson, Florida Rock’s vice president of Safety and Risk, has been involved with FTA’s Safety Management Council for decades. “We’ve got that added sense of responsibility to our employees and to the public to make sure we do it right and make sure we

LEADERSHIP < Patriot Transportation Holding, Inc. is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2015, the company became a publicly-traded company under the ticker symbol “PATI” on the NASDAQ exchange.

ON THE BIG STAGE Sandlin took the opportunity at the bell-ringing of the stock market last year to recognize FRTL’s first Florida Driver of the Year in Times Square.

The company currently has one operating subsidiary, Florida Rock & Tank Lines, Inc. (FRTL), which serves the southeastern United States as a premier bulk tank carrier. FRTL specializes in hauling freight consisting mainly of petroleum products and other liquid and dry bulk commodities. FRTL has 22 terminal locations spread throughout the southeast, including: Jacksonville, Orlando, White Springs, Tampa, Pensacola, Panama City, Charleston, Wilmington, North Augusta (SC), Montgomery, Birmingham, Knoxville, Albany, Atlanta, Bainbridge, Columbus, Macon, Augusta, Dalton and Savannah.


“Do things right the first time and do it right every time. That’s pretty simple.” — ­ R ob Sandlin don’t mess it up,” Sandlin said. “And frankly to our shareholders, because there’s a huge cost associated with accidents. In our organization, we focus on driving down the frequency of events. We feel like if we drive down the number of incidents we have, we’re going to drive down severity because you’re having fewer incidents.” For the past two years in a row, Florida Rock & Tank Lines has produced multiple winners in the FTA’s Safety Award Program, with Drivers of the Month and the “Driver of the Year” in both years. William “Butch” White earned top honors in 2016. In a 40-plus-year driving career (30 of them with Florida Rock), White has driven four million accident-free miles. Dennis Rollins was presented the top prize for 2017 at the Safety Management Council’s awards dinner in June, for 32 years of safe driving over 2 million miles. (Read more about his Florida Driver of the Year win on page 17.) Discussing the future of the industry, Sandlin referred to the 2017 FTA Annual Conference in Hollywood in August and discussion with Kevin Knight, CEO of Knight Transportation. “He said, ‘I see a driver in my truck.’ I think there’s certainly going to be a place for autonomous vehicles, but it’s not going to be for every part of the industry. I think there’s still going to be an industry for truck drivers. I don’t sit here visioning the future and see a tank truck with gasoline in it going down the road without a truck driver. There’s too many

things that can happen.” “I think the exciting things that are going on are all the different safety tools that you put on these trucks, that are of benefit to truck drivers — whether it’s lane departure or the adaptive cruise control. My car today tells me if I’m getting out of my lane — my seat vibrates — and that type of technology on our trucks assists the professional truck driver to be even more safe if they lose focus for a second.” Sandlin’s also a fan of electronic logs that will be mandated by December. “While everybody’s not in favor, I think it’s a great thing for the industry,” he said. “It forces people to know what their driver is doing and how many hours they’re driving. We have electronic logs on all of our trucks and have for quite a long time. I see a huge safety benefit to it, and it helps us operate our business. We’re notified electronically if a driver runs over hours.” In and Out of the Office Sandlin is married and has two 20-something daughters. The elder swam competitively at Florida State University, and the younger “followed the family tree” and graduated from the University of Tennessee. Both are now “gainfully employed” in Atlanta. “Mom and Dad are happy,” he deadpanned. When it comes to recreation, golf is the name of his game. “I spend a decent amount of time playing golf,” Sandlin said. “My wife and I both play

golf and travel with friends. It’s a good vacation when we can go do that.” His association colleagues say Sandlin is self-effacing about his prowess on the links. “He’s smart enough not to tell you. Did I mention he’s a scratch golfer? He’s like a pro. When he tells you he shot 70 at Cypress from the back tees … that’s different from the 171 the rest of us would shoot,” said Furth. Golf tournaments are usually part of NTTC events, and Sandlin invariably wins. “I have desperately tried to bring him down,” Furth related. “I’ll give him three people who have never played golf before in their lives, and they’ll still win. I can’t stop him.” Armstrong concurs, saying Sandlin’s golf game is an extension of his personality. “Rob’s intense. He is comfortable, but intense,” Armstrong said. “So, you feel comfortable going out there, but when he steps up and addresses the ball, you wouldn’t want to be the ball. …. He’s a very intense man and very driven … but one of the most reliable, responsive people I know. You can really count on him.” Sandlin, on the other hand, said he’s “really not that intimidating,” describing himself as “firm, but fair.” When asked if he had any last word about the value of FTA membership, here’s what the new chair had to say: “I think the main message to our membership is to continue to get behind the FTA. If they call on us to help, we should do what we can to help the organization continue to grow and prosper so that, when we do have issues that need to be addressed, we’ve got a voice. “There are a lot of educational opportunities where we can get our employees — whether they’re technicians or safety professionals or executive management — involved and interacting. I think it’s so easy to get busy in your day-to-day work and say ‘No, I’m not going to go to that,’ but it’s important for people’s businesses and it’s important for the for the Florida Trucking Association. “If you build a good team, which we have at FTA and I have at my company here, you set the goals and expectations and then you expect everybody to execute. I had my group of folks here last year read “The Energy Bus,” a book by Jon Gordon that focuses on building a positive culture, a positive energy and eliminating negativity (with) everybody on the same bus understanding what it is they’re supposed to do every day — and then expect them to go do it. That’s true of FTA, and it’s true of any organization. “If you were to ask me to boil it down to just one thing, I would say ‘do things right the first time and do it right every time.’ And that’s pretty simple.”


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afety Management C FTA S oun 7 1 cil 20

Florida Driver of the Year A leader on the job, in the community and in the trucking industry, Dennis Rollins earns top honors in FTA’s primary safety nomination program. BY ROSANNE DUNKELBERGER EVEN THOUGH HE WAS IN THE MIDDLE of a work day, Dennis Rollins, the FTA’s 2017 Truck Driver of the Year, was interviewed for this story on his lunch break. Although the DOT allows drivers to talk on the phone using earpieces, his company, Florida Rock & Tank Lines, has a strict phonefree policy while on the road. And he’s just fine with that. “One of the things that really bothers (me) is you see so many people on their phones and not paying attention,” he says. “Mostly they’re young people, but there’s older people as well. It’s exploded. “If we take a line of 20 cars, I’m going to say 17 of them are going to be on their phone.” Safety, one of the major factors in determining the Driver of the Year, is of primary importance to Rollins, who has been a professional truck driver for 33 years and tallied more than two million accident-free miles — not that he’s counting. “To be truthful and honest with you, I don’t really keep track,” says the 53-year-old. “Any day I get out of my truck at the end of the day and walk away from it and everyone around me was safe on the road and I was safe (and) able to go home to family, it’s a good day to me. That’s always been my goal and accomplishment.” He has a simple philosophy that supports his safety-first attitude. “I think of everyone who is riding around me as family. If they’re my family members

driving around me, how would I drive? And why should I drive any different? It’s someone’s family member riding around me.” Rollins was one of 12 drivers recognized as a Driver of the Month at the FTA’s Truck Driving Championships in Daytona Beach in July and was announced as the winner during a banquet that attracts 1,000 drivers and family members, as well representatives from the industry, law enforcement and related industries. The monthly winners were judged on their long-term records for safe driving as well as their contributions to the profession and their communities. Rollins has served as an instructor for new drivers in his company and is active in his church Sunday school and youth programs and other civic activities, including builds for Habitat for Humanity. However, Rollins remains humble about his accomplishment. When a coworker jokingly suggested he should tell other drivers, “I’m the driver of the year and you’re not,” Rollins had this to say: “I could never do that, because to me any one of them that gets out here and drives safely around my family, and does their job professionally, and gets home safely to their families — they’re the drivers of the universe to me,” he says. Rollins also was supposed to be recognized at the FTA’s annual conference in August, but he had to skip the affair — for the best of reasons. His daughter unexpectedly

had their first grandchild on the day he and his wife, Susan, were supposed to travel to Hollywood for the event. “The car was packed we were ready to go,” he recalls, but at an office visit, he daughter’s doctor decided an immediate C-section was required. “Part of me thought I was letting down my company because I was representing them, but they were really understanding about it.” FRTL is heavily involved in FTA’s Safety Management Council, and FRTL President and CEO Rob Sandlin has served on the association’s Board of Directors for the past several years and is now board chair. Rollins has been named FRTL’s Driver of the Quarter several times, as well as being honored by the National Safety Council for his professionalism. He has participated in several Florida Truck Driving Championships and was previously recognized at the FTA’s Driver of the Month. “Dennis is one of those people who is always willing to do whatever he can to help other drivers, to help dispatch — anything that he can do, he’s always there to do his part and more,” says Jim Anderson, vice president of Safety and Risk Management at Florida Rock & Tank Lines. “We all speak about how we wish we would have 200 of a certain type of driver,” he continues. “This guy is that driver. He will proudly and to the highest degree represent our company and industry.”


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Save these FTA Dates!

Trucking Day at the Capitol


Florida SuperTech

Spring FTA Event

January 2 9 29–30

FTA office re-opens Legislative Session opens Trucking Day at the Capitol

February 19 22–23

FTA office closed FL Road Team Selection

March 9 Regular Session ends 27–28 Florida SuperTech April 11–12 16

Truck Driving Championships

FTA Spring Event Driver of the Year Selection

May 28 FTA office closed June 4–8 Florida Teacher Tour #1 6 Fauss Golf Tournament 7–9 Florida Truck Driving Championships July 2–4 FTA office closed 20–Aug. 3 Florida Teacher Tour #2

Annual Conference

August 2–3 FTA Annual Conference 15–18 National Truck Driving Championships September 3 FTA office closed 9–15 National Truck Driver Appreciation Week 15–20 National SuperTech

Fall Round-Up

October 17–18 27–31

Fall Round-Up ATA MC&E



FTA office closed


24–Jan. 1 FTA office closed


FALL 2017 | 19


TPAS to the Rescue 20 | FALL 2017


FDOT’s truck parking availability system is coming to Central Florida BY STEVE OLSON

Vehicle counter


Parking space sensor

EAST-CENTRAL FLORIDA SITES WERE RECENTLY CHOSEN for the first permanent installation, as commercial drivers traveling Interstate 4 (I-4) and I-95 will soon have extra help locating available parking spots. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is installing a Truck Parking Availability System (TPAS), which detects available spaces at rest areas and weigh stations and alerts commercial drivers via message boards. The first seven locations to have this technology permanently installed in Florida are in Brevard, Flagler and Seminole counties in Central Florida. The specific locations are: Brevard County: > I-95 northbound rest area located about 5 miles south of State Road (S.R.) 514 (Exit 173) > I-95 southbound rest area located about 4 miles south of S.R. 514 (Exit 173) > I-95 northbound rest area located about 2 miles north of Exit S.R. 46 (Exit 223) > I-95 southbound rest area located about 3 miles north of S.R. 46 (Exit 223) Flagler County: > I-95 northbound Truck Comfort Station (Weigh-in-Motion station) located about 2 miles north of S.R. 100 (Exit 284) > I-95 southbound Truck Comfort Station (Weigh-in-Motion station) located about 3 miles south of Palm Coast Parkway (Exit 289) Seminole County: > I-4 eastbound rest area about 2 miles east of S.R. 434 (Exit 94)

The TPAS will use in-ground sensors in the truck spaces at weigh stations and rest areas, as well as detection devices at the entrances and exits to monitor the number of available truck parking spaces. The system will interface with the state’s SunGuide system, which will allow the information to also be available to drivers through the state’s website and mobile apps. Construction on the $1.8-million project began in mid-October, and will be completed by spring 2018. Initial work involves placing conduit off the main roadways, requiring only occasional shoulder closures. The contractor is expected to perform this work at multiple locations simultaneously. In-ground sensor installation will require about half of the truck parking spaces to be closed at a time. Electronic message boards will be used to alert drivers when spaces are closed, and updates will be available on FDOT’s Central Florida website The schedule is weather permitting and may change due to unforeseen circumstances. Drivers need to use caution, abide by posted speed limits and stay alert for trucks entering and exiting the roadway, while driving through active construction zones. Companies and drivers can check www. for updates about this and other Central Florida projects.

Signal repeater FLORIDA TRUCK NEWS

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The Proof Is in the Can Cypress Truck Lines, Inc. sustains significant ROI and safety benefits with video-based safety program BY ALISON SALINGER


ypress Truck Lines Inc., a family-owned and operated flatbed carrier based in Jacksonville, Florida, has reported significant improvements in safety following adoption of a video-based safety program in 2014. Although safety has always been a top priority for the fleet, it was impossible to monitor what was actually happening on the road and how drivers were performing prior to a video-based solution. Cypress looked to a video-based safety solution to provide this insight and chose a program based on the time and resources it saved the management team. Within two weeks of adopting the program, Cypress saw a 57 percent improvement in its overall safety score (as measured by the provider), with 58 percent and 48 percent reductions in speeding and distracted driving, respectively. In the three years since adopting the dual-camera configuration, and with steady, sustained progress, Cypress has improved its safety score by 80 percent overall, and the fleet has reduced instances of exceeding the maximum fleet speed by 100 percent. Detailed prescriptive analysis provided by the video-based safety program helps Cypress improve driver coaching programs and safe driving practices, preventing accidents

and resulting insignificant ROI. The videobased safety program pinpoints specific areas of risk for Cypress’ management, and provides exacting, multi-layered data highlighting the precise skills each driver needs to improve to reduce risk. Cypress also credits the multifaceted insights provided by the program with improving seat belt use by 89 percent, reducing unsafe following by 78 percent and reducing handheld mobile phone use by 96 percent. The management team at Cypress has developed a robust driver coaching program based on the comprehensive data provided by the video-based platform. Because footage and analysis are provided in real-time, coaches can sit down with drivers on an asneeded, individual basis. Cypress has also created a safety bonus program using safety scores assigned to each driver, which fluctuate based on individual performance. Drivers can also track their personal score on a mobile app, giving them the opportunity to learn and self-correct. Those who demonstrate consistently strong driving skills with no-fault incidents, as well as those who show solid improvement, are rewarded. “By having in-cab as well as

forward-facing cameras, we can prevent accidents through proactive coaching on the skills our drivers need to be safer,” says Matthew Penland, vice president of risk management at Cypress. “The driver-facing cameras give us insight into what our drivers are doing at the time of an incident so our safety team can address and correct dangerous habits, leading to a direct improvement in driver safety behind the wheel.” Cypress is a prime example of a forwardthinking, innovative fleet taking advantage of the best safety technology solutions available. The culture of safety at Cypress reverberates throughout the entire organization, from the C-suite executives to each individual driver. Penland hosted a webinar, “Leveraging Video Safety to Incentivize and Reward Drivers” on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.

Alison Salinger is a San Diego-based senior field marketing manager for SmartDrive Systems, Inc., a leader in driving performance solutions that reduce collisions and improve fuel efficiency. The SmartDrive video analysis, predictive analytics and personalized performance program helps fleets improve driving skills, lower operating costs and deliver significant ROI.


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Forging Key Relationships with the Law 4 tips for working with commercial vehicle enforcement agencies to improve safety and bypass rates BY EVAN LOCKRIDGE


hether you’re a trucking fleet executive, safety director, company driver or an owner-operator, if your safety scores aren’t where you would like them to be, you’re probably not getting bypass green lights as often as you wish. But there is a solution—and it’s nearly as close as your back yard. Commercial vehicle enforcement agencies, especially at the state level, say they are often readily available to help trucking operations improve their level of safety, with realworld advice from the men and women who enforce the rules and regulations every day. We talked to one current truck safety officer, as well as two former ones, who suggested a number of ways truck fleets and owner-operators can work with law enforcement to find out what they need to do to improve safety. Join your state trucking association and attend its events: Every state has a trucking or motor carrier association. And most, if not all, have at least one or two major events each year, attended by not only people in trucking, but also frequently by those in commercial enforcement. In many cases, these events focus on truck and driver safety. Greg Kindle, a former major with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said his agency frequently sent officers to events hosted by

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the Missouri Trucking Association. He’s now a regional director for HELP Inc., the nonprofit parent of PrePass, overseeing PrePass operations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin. “We made ourselves available to the trucking industry if they had questions about what they needed to do to improve their fleet safety,” Kindle said. According to HELP Inc. Regional Director Jennifer Brown, who spent more than a decade as a lieutenant with the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Enforcement and Compliance Division, this can also include attending state truck driving championships and fleet safety awards. She said at such events, enforcement agencies will often explain to participating companies what enforcement officers are looking for when it comes to truck inspections. “I think this is a big benefit for carriers, because everybody is on the same page with those communication lines. Because ultimately safety is everyone’s number one priority,” Brown said, who oversees PrePass site operations in seven western states. Ask for truck inspections: Whether you’re a new trucking operation with little

safety history or one with a past that might not what you would like it to be, one easy way to improve safety scores is to get more “clean” inspections. But how? According to Lt. Tracy Barker, an enforcement officer with the Motor Vehicle Division of the Iowa Department of Transportation, it’s not uncommon for drivers to come into a scale house and ask for a truck inspection. However, you need to keep in mind that if an officer is willing to do this, you do run the risk of getting bad marks on an inspection if problems are found. In other words, you want to be sure your truck is in tip-top shape before asking for an inspection at a weigh station or other inspection facility. But that’s not the only way to get more inspections. Some law enforcement agencies will pay a visit to your fleet, if invited, and perform inspections. If problems are found, they can tell a fleet what’s wrong without there being a penalty. While this won’t improve a fleet’s Inspection Selection System (ISS) score, which is one factor used to determine whether or not a truck gets a bypass at a weigh station or a highway inspection site, it can help you develop a plan of action so you get better inspection results in the future.


If companies would take the time and look at where their trucks are being inspected and noticing what those deficiencies are ... they are going to improve their ISS score and are more apt to get a bypass at a truck inspection site. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; G. Kindle


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> SAFETY Other states, such as Iowa, specifically reach out to new carriers, but there is no enforcement penalty for not passing a voluntary inspection, according to Lt. Barker. “Officers look at how they (the carriers) are operating, what they are doing, how they’re running their log books, how much their people are working, and basically break down their whole system and guide them,” he said. “If we find something they’re doing wrong, we don’t write tickets, but rather we guide them to help improve their business model so they are doing things accurate and consistent.” Take advantage of outreach programs: Barker said fleets can ask about free outreach programs from law enforcement, which he described as being “big” in Iowa. “If you’re a carrier and call up and say, for instance, ‘Hey, we want a load securement program. Can you guys come in and from an enforcement officer’s perspective, go through load securement, deliver an instruction message to the drivers and other members of the carrier so that we know exactly what you’re looking for?’ that can be done at no cost to the carrier,” he said. Kindle said enforcement officers can address many issues when meeting with trucking companies and drivers. Sessions can cover topics such as being more aware

26 | FALL 2017


Talking to enforcement officers at association events is a big benefit for carriers, because everybody is on the same page with those communication lines. Because, ultimately, safety is everyone’s number one priority. — J. Brown of four-wheelers and moving around them, brake adjustments, pre-trip inspections, and hours of service, just to name a few. Brown believes that, if fleets used such programs that would help them identify where they’re running into problems during truck inspections, “They could pinpoint whether it was the driver or whether it’s mechanical and make improvements.” Use data to begin discussions: Fleets can also take safety data from inspections as a point to begin discussions with law enforcement about items that are getting their attention during inspections of the carrier’s trucks, said Kindle. This can come from what is recorded in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety

Administration’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System, or what they can access free of charge as a PrePass customer in the InfoRM Safety Intelligence system www., which provides carriers with information about their ISS scores that impact bypass rates. “If companies would take the time and look at that and see where their trucks are being inspected and noticing what those deficiencies are ... they are going to improve their ISS score and are more apt to get a bypass at a truck inspection site,” said Kindle. According to Brown, InfoRM is “a very good tool for a carrier to monitor its fleet and drivers on their journeys and can aid in communicating with law enforcement and working together to improve those safety scores.” The ultimate goal of any of these steps is to prevent safety issues at the terminal and take care of them before the truck leaves the premises. Said Kindle: “It’s a lot better than handling it out on the road.” Evan Lockridge is a freelance writer, photographer and broadcaster who has been reporting on the trucking industry for more than 25 years. He has written for Heavy Duty Trucking, Transport Topics and hosted a daily news show on SiriusXM’s trucking channel. You can find him online at


2017 Transportation Summit B

y 2030, nearly 26 million Floridians will call Florida home and Florida will welcome 4-5 million new drivers — that’s more than 150 million daily vehicle miles added to Florida roads. Disruptions in technology will also bring new innovations in the way people and goods move — and with them new challenges and opportunities for our state. From hard infrastructure like railways, seaports, airports and space ports, to the 1,000 miles of coastlines and more than 3,000 miles of highways — is Florida ready for the future of transportation?





The Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2017 Transportation Solutions Summit will bring together business leaders, industry experts and elected officials to discuss these issues and more that will impact Florida’s future between now and 2030.


December 12, 2017 LOCATION:

Port Canaveral, Florida TO REGISTER, VISIT SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE For more information, contact Jane McNabb at FLORIDA TRUCK NEWS

FALL 2017 | 27


Platooning Up in Florida

Florida DOT, Turnpike set to pilot driver-assisted truck platooning BY KELDA SENIOR


collaboration between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and the University of Florida has resulted in a pilot project to test the safe use of driver-assisted truck platooning technology in the state. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Florida Highway Patrol will also provide input and support for this pilot project. State officials will use this pilot project to evaluate how operating driver-assisted truck platooning could impact infrastructure, enforcement, permitting and surrounding traffic. Trucks equipped with driver-assisted platooning technology are connected via wireless and dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) which allows the trucks to keep a distance of anywhere from 40 to 75 feet from each other. Both drivers of the connected trucks control steering, while the front driver controls acceleration and braking. This configuration improves aerodynamic drag, leading to lower fuel costs and reduced CO2 emissions. With connected driving, braking is automatic with virtually zero reaction time compared to human braking. The result? Safer roadways. Piloting is expected to begin on the Turnpike mainline this fall. Florida’s driver-assisted truck platooning pilot project will be done in coordination with the Central Florida Automated Vehicle Partnership—one of ten regions selected in the country as a proving ground for autonomous vehicle testing.

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“The Central Florida AV Partnership has been very active in recent months working on a number of projects and initiatives, as well as formalizing the partnership, said Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, Executive Director for Florida’s Turnpike. “We’re excited to be collaborating with other US DOT-designated AV proving grounds around the country. Our driver-assisted truck platooning pilot is just the beginning.” After publishing its request for information in the summer of 2017, the FDOT received responses from several trucking companies and technology vendors interested in participating in the pilot. The Turnpike will perform the pilot in two phases: a demonstration phase and an operational phase. In the demonstration phase, participating companies will show procedures such as forming and dissolving the platooning operation as well as the ability of the platooning vehicles to respond to cut-ins by other vehicles. The state of Florida has identified 148 miles of the Turnpike Mainline as one location to perform the operational phase. This phase will include observing between 1,000 to 2,000 miles of driver-assisted truck platooning in action under various weather and traffic conditions. Turnpike officials estimate two to three weeks of data collection before an official report of the pilot findings is presented to the state legislature. The FDOT’s ultimate goal is to implement full-time driver-assisted truck platooning on the Turnpike’s system by fall 2018.


 DRIVER-ASSISTED TRUCK PLATOONING is defined in Florida statute 316.003 as “Vehicle automation and safety technology that integrates sensor array, wireless vehicle-to-vehicle communications, active safety systems, and specialized software to link safety systems and synchronize acceleration and braking between two vehicles while leaving each vehicle’s steering control and systems command in the control of the vehicle’s driver in compliance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rules regarding vehicle-to-vehicle communications.”  SUNTRAX, which will be located off of I-4 in Auburndale, is a 400acre site that will include a 2.25-mile long oval track, which will provide high-speed testing and 200-acre infield to test tolling and automated and connected vehicles technology.


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Without having this kind of specific guidance, the referrals and treatment requirements will be seen as subjective and the industry will continue to question the validity and motives behind them.

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Sleep Apnea Rule: What’s changed? Unfortunately, nothing.

Industry safety expert opines that rule withdrawal keeps things murky BY STEVEN GARRISH, CDS


ver the past few months, you’ve probably read about the Trump Administration withdrawing a variety of proposed regulations. This included the withdrawal of one that would have provided clearer direction on how operators in the trucking and rail industry, should be identified and treated for moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). How does the withdrawal affect the operators and the companies they work for? The answer: It doesn’t. Nothing changes–the original FMCSA guidance that this rule was to help clarify is still in place. No matter your position on the proposed rule, there will be no real change to the current way patients are identified, tested and treated for OSA. And really, the withdrawal might just add to the confusion …. A Certified Medical Examiner (CME), can and will still determine if a person in a safety-sensitive role like truck or rail operator is at risk for OSA. Once identified, they will be referred to a sleep specialist to be tested for the condition. The problem with the original guidance is just that, it’s guidance and there are no standardized approaches, each CME can address the condition as they see fit. Over the years in different roles within industry safety departments, I would speak to drivers as they returned from physicals with different CMEs and there seemed to be no continuity in any individual assessment. Referrals for these tests rose dramatically after the May 2014 CME Requirements were published and became part of the training for doctors performing fitness for duty exams. They have continued at a brisk pace to this day and will continue going forward. The science supporting the value of OSA treatment is overwhelming. Again, whether you agree there is enough evidence or not doesn’t

matter, those referrals will continue. The real question is not whether there will be changes in frequency and volume of these referrals for OSA testing post rule withdrawal. It’s actually; Does having a regulation help or hurt the current undiagnosed and untreated operators? I, along with other industry leaders, expect the quantity of referrals to remain the same, but believe the focus should be on the quality of these referrals. Standardization for health and safety should be, well, standard. If you take a look at what the FMCSA and FRA’s Medical Review Board proposed back in October of 2016, (a great Transport Topics article on this subject can be found here: there are clearly defined measures and factors that every doctor should use in determining whether to send a patient for sleep apnea testing. Best practices around using more affordable Home Sleep Testing, confirming compliance and other cost-saving measures were all part of the discussions which informed these final recommendations. Without having this kind of specific guidance, the referrals and treatment requirements will be seen as subjective and the industry will continue to question the validity and motives behind them. Basically, we’ll continue living in the wild west—no uniformity, no checks and balances—to who is or isn’t referred for OSA testing. Like any great old western, when you have no law, chaos ensues and people do their best to make it up as they go along. The fleets and rail operators who care about their employees, want to save healthcare costs and diminish risk will continue to be “proactive” and help get their employees tested and on therapy.

FMCSA, FRA and the Medical Review Board went to great lengths to gather data, medical opinion, industry insight, driver feedback, etc. The proposed rule would provide a greater sense of clarity and reduce the possibility of abuse or fraud. Ironically for years, some in the industry asked for additional clarity in the form of a “formal rule”. Yet when it was close to fruition, the very same folks fought it tooth and nail and some even resorted to spreading misinformation. I believe that regulation can often stifle business, but this regulation would have protected individuals and made sure that the market as a whole would be treated fairly. So, while we continue to debate a rule, the truck drivers and rail operators continue to be negatively impacted by an unregulated industry that is costly, confusing and time consuming. The wild west of unchecked professionals, high insurance charges and inconsistent approaches to care will continue. To beat every inch out of the wild west metaphor, the proposed rule would have kept the outlaws from swinging those saloon doors open, saying dance. I, for one, believe our nation’s transportation professionals and those of us on the roads and rail every day deserve better.

Steven Garrish the SVP of Safety and Regulatory Compliance at SleepSafe Drivers, is a 20-year veteran of the Transportation & Logistics industry. Steven’s work experience includes 15 years with JB Hunt Transport Company, Inc., where he held a variety of roles in Human Resources Operations and Safety. He also spent 5 years supporting the the Private Truck Fleet at Walmart, holding various positions in safety during his tenure, including Senior Director – Private Fleet Safety.


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dollars for drivers scholarship for 2017 seniors/ High school seniors graduating in 2018, who are children or grandchildren of commercial vehicle drivers employed by current Florida Trucking Association (FTA) member companies, should apply today for the Herman Fauss Scholarship. The scholarship is provided by the FTA-Safety Management Council and makes a one-time $2,500 payment to the college or technical school of the recipientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s choice. The scholarship must be utilized within 2 years of award. Certain restrictions apply.

Apply by April 6, 2018

Call FTA at (850) 222-9900 or visit to download an application. Fauss Scholarship 2018 ad.indd 1

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11/7/2017 10:02:36 AM


Chairman for the Enforcement and Industry Modernization Committee within CVSA. The Enforcement and Industry Modernization Committee is designed to identify technological advancements that can be leveraged to improve commercial motor vehicle safety by enhancing the performance, quality and uniformity of commercial motor vehicle inspections. Chief Barrs holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from Flagler College, where he is active alumni.



Hail and Farewell

The commercial vehicle enforcement torch passes from one pair of trusted hands to another BY TISHA KELLER

ON NOVEMBER 3, 2017, Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Director, Colonel Gene Spaulding announced Major Derek Barrs as the Chief of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. Chief Derek Barrs is a 26-year law enforcement veteran who has most recently served as the Troop Commander of Troop J with the Florida Highway Patrol. He takes over the post following Chief Troy Thompson’s October 6, 2017 promotion to Lt. Colonel Florida Highway Patrol Director. In this new role, Lt. Col. Thompson focuses on overall patrol management and out of the commercial vehicle enforcement area. FTA members will know Chief Barrs as a familiar, trusted face at our educational and safety events and competitions for the past decade. Chief Barrs began his career in law enforcement in 1991 with the Madison County Sheriff ’s Office as a Deputy Sheriff. In 2001 he accepted a law enforcement officer position with the Florida Department of

Transportation’s Office of Motor Carrier Compliance where he rose to the rank of law enforcement captain. Chief Barrs has been with the Florida Highway Patrol since July 2011, and in October of 2015 he was promoted to the rank of Major, serving as the Troop Commander for Troop J, within the Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. In 2005, Chief Barrs earned a Life Saving Award and was named the Law Enforcement Officer of Year in 2006. Throughout his career, Chief Barrs has served in many roles, including community and volunteer involvement as well as professional memberships. Chief Barrs has also been serving on the Florida Highway Patrol Promotional Assessment team since 2011. Chief Barrs is an active member of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and is the recent past Program Chairman for International Roadcheck, a position he has held for three years and is now currently serving as the Committee

Thompson recognized for exemplary leadership “Lieutenant Colonel Thompson is a forward-thinking leader who is dedicated to accomplishing the mission of the Patrol,” said Colonel Spaulding. “Lt. Colonel Thompson will help secure the agency’s vision of A Safer Florida and carry on its proud traditions.” Lieutenant Colonel Thompson began his career with the Florida Department of Transportation’s Office of Motor Carrier Compliance promoting to the rank of Captain. Since July 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Thompson has been with the Florida Highway Patrol and in September of 2013, was appointed to serve as the commander of FHP’s Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. During his career, Lieutenant Colonel Thompson has served in many roles as a field trainer, first-line supervisor and commander. In each of these roles, Lieutenant Colonel Thompson developed his knowledge and skills by volunteering for additional duties such as training, coordinating outreach events and participating in specialized committees. In 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Thompson was awarded the Department of Transportation’s Engineering & Operations Leadership Award and in 2011, was named to the Florida Trucking Association’s Hall of Fame for his outreach efforts with the industry. From April 2013 – September 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Thompson served as the Region II President for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) where he served on CVSA’s Board of Directors and Finance Committee. Lieutenant Colonel Thompson holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Florida and is also a graduate of the 2008 Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy, Class 234. We look forward to continuing the strong partnership with FHP and these law enforcement professionals who work tirelessly to keep our industry accountable and informed.


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#TruckerLife Melissa Ernst, SVP of Human Resources and Driver Services at Quality Distribution and FTA Treasurer talks shop and her love of sunrises with Florida Truck News.

What’s something you do really fast? Change my mind. Give me one new fact and I may change how I think about something.

What was your least favorite subject in school? Home Economics (I don’t think that is even a thing anymore).

What’s something that you love, that most people hate? Getting up early in the morning.

What do you love about your job? Hands down, the people with whom I work.

What’s your typical Sunday morning? I work out and then do my Publix shopping for the week. Where were you between 9-10 am this morning? In a meeting with all of our company Terminal Managers at our corporate office in Tampa. What’s better: Asking questions or giving answers? Asking questions. What’s on your nightstand? Lamp, glasses and three books. One word to describe yourself: Determined. Last thing you took a photo of: My family. How long have you been in your job? Company, 16 years; current job, 4 years.

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What’s the best advice you can give someone coming up through the ranks in trucking? Raise your hand for the toughest assignments and then work like you have something to prove. What’s your favorite beverage on ice? Vodka, soda and lime. Significant other, kids, pets: Husband – Chuck, Daughter – Marina (14), Dogs – Cooper and Coco. Are you a procrastinator at home? At work? Definitely not a procrastinator at work but I am at home. Famous person you’d never trade places with. Difficult question to answer because I would never want to be famous.


Welcome New FTA Members Through 10/31/17

SUPPLIER MEMBERS > ClaimDOC, Tim Hyde, Stuart > Commercial Credit Group, Julie Murphy, Charlotte, NC > Conlan Tire Company, Alex Conlan, Mulberry > EkoStinger, Aaron Flajsing, East Rochester, NY > eServices Company, Alexa Phelps, Peabody, MA > FirstSource Solutions, Bernadette Coffey, Chalfont, PA > Hunter Engineering, Arnie Williams, Nokomis, FL > InTouch, Angela Stivers, Lakeland > Iron Apple US, Geoff Sanford, East Mountain, NS > John H. Martin Company, Ryan Dalby, Taylors, SC > Manac Trailers USA, Jerry Rothwell, Sarver, PA > Mickey Truck Bodies, Tom Arland, High Point, NC > Optym, Jim Handoush, Gainesville > Quick Load, Brian Reisman, Miami > Regions Insurance Group, Jason Ellis, Orlando > Shea Barclay Group, Mike Shea, Tampa > Southern Petroleum Resources, David Simpkins, Atlanta > Zonar Systems, Valerie Hayeck, Seattle

CARRIER MEMBERS > FSR Trucking, West Palm Beach > Imperial Foam & Insulation Manufacturing, Ormond Beach > Palm Express, Sunrise > Pro Transport, Pembroke Pines > Sabal Transport, Bartow > Suntecktts, Jacksonville SAFETY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL (SMC) MEMBERS > Jianna Baker, FSR Trucking, Inc., West Palm Beach > Theresa Broadbent, Landstar Transportation Logistics, Jacksonville > Harry Merryday, Imperial Foam & Insulation Mfg, Ormond Beach > Joey Riceputo, FSR Trucking, Inc., West Palm Beach > Gene Williams, Cypress Truck Lines, Jacksonville TECHNOLOGY & MAINTENANCE COUNCIL (TMC) MEMBERS > Gary Huysman, Publix Super Markets, Lakeland > Chris Maccio, Peterbilt Motors Company, Denton, TX > Joey Riceputo, FSR Trucking, Inc., West Palm Beach 2.0 MEMBERS > Chris Maccio, Peterbilt Motors Company, Denton, TX

MEMBERSHIP BY THE NUMBERS (06/01/17â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10/31/17) Member Type





Carrier Company Individuals Supplier Company

150 958 213

7 104 23

0 0 0

157 1062 236


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

OAKLEY TRANSPORT, INC., has become the first liquid food grade transportation company in the world to acquire International Standards Organization (ISO) certifications 9001:2015 and 22000:20005. ISO certifies that a management system or manufacturing process/service meets all the requirements for standardization and quality assurance. Oakley Transport recently received two derivative certifications of ISO 9000 (QMS), ISO 9001:2015, a standard for superior management systems, and ISO 22000:2005, a standard for food safety management systems. Both confirm Oakley’s consistency in products and services and their ability to meet and exceed customer and regulatory requirements. “Achieving ISO certification symbolizes our determination to be the best in the industry,” stated Allen Warner, Oakley Transport’s Quality Director. “It establishes a baseline performance level that we are all committed towards and sets Oakley apart from our competitors.” To ensure they meet proper ISO criteria, Oakley is devoted to systematizing operating procedures, providing proper training and focusing on performance. Not only does this reiterate their commitment to exceptional service and encourage customer confidence, but it also shows their dedication to delivering the product to the customer in the same quality as it was entrusted to them.

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“Oakley Transport has redefined excellence in the food transportation industry,” stated Thomas Oakley, founder and owner of Oakley Transport. “ISO certification reflects our dedication to customer satisfaction, food safety and the integrity of our customers’ product. We have raised the bar for the entire industry and that is something of which we are very proud.” C.H. ROBINSON, a global leader in third party logistics (3PL), announces a low cost electronic logging device (ELD) solution to help small contract carriers comply with the ELD mandate. The company is collaborating with ONE20, a truck driver based membership community, to provide a program that will include discounted ELD hardware for carriers with zero subscription fees and additional value-added services offered only to C.H. Robinson contract carriers. CYPRESS TRUCK LINES INC. has significantly improved its road safety after partnering with SmartDrive, a video-based safety program. In the three years since adopting the program, Cypress has improved its safety score by 80 percent overall, and the fleet has reduced instances of exceeding the maximum fleet speed by 100 percent. Cypress has developed a coaching program for its 530-plus drivers based on the actionable

data produced by the SmartDrive platform. Because footage and analysis are provided in real-time, the coaching team spread across Cypress’ service area can meet with drivers on an as-needed, individual basis. Matthew Penland, vice president of risk management at Cypress stated, “By having in-cab as well as forward-facing cameras, we can prevent accidents through proactive coaching on the skills our drivers need to be safer. The driverfacing cameras give us insight into what our drivers are doing at the time of an incident so our safety team can address and correct dangerous habits, leading to a direct improvement in driver safety behind the wheel.” With an aim of creating a positive company culture focused on safety and retaining its quality drivers, Cypress has created a safety bonus program using the individual safety scores assigned to each driver. Those who demonstrate consistently strong driving skills with no-fault incidents, as well as those who show solid improvement, are rewarded. MAUDLIN INTERNATIONAL TRUCK & TRAILER is gearing up to celebrate the Grand Opening of their new facility in Orlando, Florida late in the 4th quarter of 2017 which happens to coincide with their 20th year of success! In order to keep up with demand, “Maudlin International felt it was necessary to invest in a new dealership facility

> GOOD NEWS in Orlando,” stated Mike Maudlin, Vice-President. The new facility covers 9 acres of premium property along I-4 in Orlando. It has 43 service bays that open to 40,000 square feet of shop space, a 25,000 square feet parts warehouse, and a beautiful building housing their corporate headquarters and sales floor. The new facility will provide Maudlin International with the space and relief that has been needed not only by the company but also by their customers. With the addition of this new dealership facility in Orlando, Maudlin International plans to continue their community involvement and educational training. They have dedicated different areas of the facility for training rooms and shop space. Maudlin stated, “One of our core principles has always been community involvement. We enjoy relationships with local educational institutions such as MechTech, Universal Technical Institute (UTI), and also Mid-Florida Tech who all thrive in pushing the needle forward developing the transportation industry.” Community involvement is obviously important to Maudlin International and with this new facility they plan to host many future educational courses to help others learn more about maintaining these trucks, their parts, and their overall life. The new 5-star international dealership is slated to open in December 2017. BESTPASS has partnered with PACCAR Leasing (PacLease) to implement a new nationwide toll management program, PacToll, for PacLease’s lease and rental customers. PacToll was created by Bestpass to provide businesses a way for customers to have the convenience of automatic toll billing and collecting. Bestpass traditionally provides single-source payment and streamlined


national toll management service to commercial trucking fleets. The new PacToll program includes features such as seamless rebilling from lessor to lessee and the ability to transfer transponders from leased provider to customer accounts and back again. The program will also result in a reduction in violations, which benefits PacLease, its customers, and the tolling authorities. “PacLease is one of the fastest growing commercial leasing companies in transportation, and we are thrilled to be able to provide them with a value-added program that will allow them to better serve their customers,” said John Andrews, president and CEO of Bestpass. “We developed our Leased Equipment Toll Solution specifically to meet the challenges inherent in managing toll for leased equipment, and we look forward to helping everyone involved save time and money on toll.” All PacToll customers will have access to national toll coverage via Bestpass, including 100 percent of the major U.S. toll roads and more than 40 tolling groups. HELP INC. President and Chief Executive Officer, Karen Rasmussen, is the 2017 recipient of the prestigious J. R. “Bob” Halladay Award from the Trucking Associations Executive Council (TAEC). Presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to assist and support the work of the 50 state trucking associations that comprise the ATA Federation, the Halladay Award is only awarded when a TAEC region hosting the annual meeting deems an individual worthy of recognition. The award was presented to Rasmussen at the 2017 TAEC Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “Karen Rasmussen’s dedication, loyalty, hard work and endless efforts in the trucking industry are unprecedented. She is a consensus builder

and believes in what is best for highway safety,” said Chief David Lorenzen, Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Enforcement and Chair of HELP. She was recognized for her support of state trucking associations and for her keen sense of how to bridge gaps that can occur within industry, law enforcement and the legislatures both within states and nationally toward positive solutions. “Receiving the Halladay Award is one of the most meaningful milestones of my career,” Rasmussen said. BESTPASS would also like to recognize Alison Knowlton for her recent promotion to senior director of the company’s newly created Customer Experience division that includes several Customer Service teams and the Marketing and Communications team. Previously the director of marketing and communications, Knowlton will now be responsible for the oversight, success and leadership of the Customer Service and Marketing and Communications teams while ensuring that the company’s customers are consistently considered in every business decision and by every department across the company. “I’m really excited for the opportunity to elevate our customers’ experience by facilitating conversations throughout the company, identifying areas for improvement, and working with people from every department to make sure that they have everything they need to do their jobs well,” said Knowlton. “We are the leaders in the commercial tolling space in large part because of our service, but we can always make things even better for our customers.” COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SAFETY ALLIANCE (CVSA) announced the winners of the 25th annual North American Inspectors


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ON THE MOVE bestow upon a fellow NAIC inspector who exemplifies the high standards and unwavering dedication to the profession. This year, NAIC contestants voted to present the John Youngblood Award to Erick McGuire with the Florida Highway Patrol. Awards were also given for first, second and third place for selected inspection categories. In celebration of 25 years of NAIC, each of the competing inspectors and registered volunteers received an exclusive commemorative 25-year anniversary challenge coin. “The challenge coin not only acknowledges the NAIC anniversary, it’s also a thank you to the competing inspectors for the hard work they do every day to make our roads a safer place,” said CVSA President, Julius Debuschewitz, of Yukon Highways and Public Works. MCGUIRE

Championship (NAIC), the only event dedicated to testing, recognizing and awarding commercial motor vehicle inspector excellence. This year, local member Rommel Garcia of the Houston Police Department earned the highest combined score in six competition categories to take home the top prize, the Jimmy K. Ammons Grand Champion Award. Another award, the John Youngblood Award of Excellence, is an honor NAIC contestants

This year also marked the first year that the Alliance presented the Sean McAlister High Points Canada Award, renamed to honor the memory and contributions of Sean McAlister, a well-known leader in the commercial motor vehicle safety community throughout Canada and the United States and a strong supporter of NAIC. McAlister was instrumental in establishing and maintaining the Canadian Education Quality Assurance Team (EQAT) and served as chair of CVSA’s International Legal and Regulatory

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Affairs Committee, now called the Policy and Regulatory Affairs Committee. Last year, he passed away after a 15-month battle with lung cancer at the age of 57. Progress is underway for JAX LNG’S liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility located outside of Jacksonville, Florida. This new state-of-the-art LNG facility is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2018 and will initially have daily liquefaction capacity of 120,000 gallons of LNG per day and 2 million gallons of storage capacity, with truck and marine loading capabilities. JAX LNG also has the acreage at the site to expand storage and liquefaction capacity. By constructing this plant, JAX LNG LLC, a partnership between Pivotal LNG, part of the Southern Company family, and NorthStar Midstream, a midstream energy company, furthers the availability of safe, reliable, clean-burning LNG in the southeastern United States, where the industry is seeing a steady growth in demand. In August, JAX LNG achieved a major milestone receiving a Letter of Acceptance from the U.S. Coast Guard for the operation of a waterfront LNG facility and the approval to conduct ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operations with TOTE’s Marlin class ships and the LNG barge, Clean Jacksonville. Located along one of the country’s busiest shipping routes and the Jacksonville Port Authority, the new LNG facility will be outfitted with dual truck loading bays with scales and dockside loading capability. The truck loading bays allow JAX LNG to fill tankers and deliver LNG anywhere in Florida where diesel is used. Once operational, JAX LNG’s Dames Point plant will be a prime fueling location for trucking, marine, rail, mining, power generation, commercial and industrial markets. TMW SYSTEMS’ Executive vice president, operations and technology, Timothy Leonard, was recognized as 2017 “Data Visionary” in the Americas Data Heroes Awards program sponsored by Hortonworks. The award was presented in San Jose, California in conjunction with the DataWorks Summit/Hadoop Summit, an annual technology conference focused on big data best practices among the world’s most successful companies. Leonard was selected for the award based in part on TMW’s leadership in the development of advanced business analytics and big data solutions that help drive actionable intelligence for commercial and private fleets, third-party logistics providers, freight brokers and other transportation enterprises. Leonard also has authored several white papers and presentations documenting opportunities for transportation businesses to

> GOOD NEWS use information technology to solve an array of competitive challenges. His most recent paper, “Transportation Institution vs. Information,” examines the use of master data management and other strategies in meeting the needs of shippers in an omni-channel business environment. “Under Tim’s leadership, our BI team is helping carriers, 3PLs and other customers revolutionize their use of data in assessing business performance and identifying emerging opportunities,” said David Wangler, president of TMW Systems. “We are pleased and very proud that his achievements have been recognized by such a distinguished community of technology professionals.” Leonard, who joined TMW in 2015, is a former technology executive for General Motors and chief technology officer and vice president of information management for US Xpress Inc. His responsibilities span all TMW operations and solutions, including business intelligence, transportation management solutions, carrier decision support/optimization solutions, routing and dispatch, and fleet maintenance software. LANDSTAR SYSTEM, INC. launched the new Available Loads mobile app, which gives owner-operators leased to Landstar access via their smart phones to thousands of Landstar loads available at any given time. The enhanced mobile app will enable owner-operators to rapidly search, save and book loads. After gathering input from what Landstar calls business capacity owners (BCOs), the mobile app was designed to provide quick access to frequently used features of Landstar’s online load board. In addition, there are now new functions created specifically for smart phones so users can easily navigate the app. “Every minute an owner-operator spends searching for a load is time away from him or her moving freight and making money, which is why we designed a mobile app to help owner-operators find loads more efficiently and effectively. We understand time-savings can add up for small-business owners like our BCOs,” said Landstar Transportation Logistics Executive Vice-President of Capacity Development, Rocco Davanzo. Approximately 70 percent of Landstar’s nearly 9,000 BCOs have downloaded the app in its beta and pre-launch phase since early August 2017. To navigate the mobile load board, you simply swipe to the left or right on a specific load, which allows users to hide or save the load. Users can also instantly call a Landstar agent to book a load by tapping on the listed load’s blue phone icon. The app includes precise search parameters that allow users to work ahead by using the search “Loads at Destination” feature.


TROPICAL SHIPPING driver Joseph McGovern was presented with the Tropical Shipping President’s Award for Heroism at the company’s headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida. He received this award after taking care of a gunshot victim inside a local Dunkin’ Donuts. After realizing the man had been shot, McGovern had the victim hold one apron to the mouth wound, while he applied pressure to the other wounds on the torso. “I used gloves to prevent germs on my hands from infecting the wounds. Most people who die under these circumstances,


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ON THE MOVE (Left to Right): Peter McLean (Director of Safety and Compliance), Chris Whitney (President and CEO), Michael Smith (OneMillion Mile Safe Driver), Captain B. Ezra Folsom (Florida Highway Patrol), Jerry Humphries (One-Million Mile Safe Driver), Terry Young (One-Million Mile Safe Driver), Neil Whitney (Executive Vice President and COO) and Raul Polanco (Field Safety and Operations Supervisor)

technicians who took ASE tests in the last year. Part of the parameters set by Snap-on for this award are that the winner must be ASE Master Certified and have taken one or more tests in the truck test series in any administration in the preceding 12 months. He or she must also have the highest average passing score across all truck series tests taken in the last 5 years. Remus will receive his award at the awards banquet held at the Marriott Mission Valley in San Diego, CA on Wednesday, Nov. 15th.

actually die from wound infections. I told him to apply pressure to his face wound, because it helped me keep track of whether or not he was conscious. As his arm started dropping away from his face, I would try to engage him, keep him awake” said McGovern. Once police and medics arrived, McGovern’s first though was: he had to get to work. McGovern states, “I’ve worked with real heroes, and I don’t count myself with them. I’ve seen regular people do incredible things. Extraordinary things.” Later, it was discovered that the victim is a food truck driver who was shot and robbed while stopping to get his morning coffee. Thankfully he survived the attack. SMARTDRIVE SYSTEMS announced that Sunstate Carriers, a premier refrigerated truckload carrier operating throughout the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest, has adopted the SmartDrive® video-based safety platform. “Having tested multiple videobased safety systems at another company and selecting the SmartDrive program due to its ease of use, customization and nearimmediate results, I didn’t hesitate to implement it at Sunstate without a pilot,” commented Josh Fulmer, Sunstate Carriers vice president. “I liked the ability to start with an exoneration-focused product that fits our fleet’s needs today and allows me to move to a proactive safety and coaching program when we are operationally ready. The combination of the easy-to-work-with single

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platform and the exceptional customer service minimized the changes for the team and allowed me to see results immediately.” Based in Florida, Sunstate Carriers operates 130 power units with 150 refrigerated trailers and specializes in transporting temperaturecontrolled, time-sensitive products. A customer service-oriented company, Sunstate is committed to safety and efficiency, and recognized the power of the SmartDrive platform to reduce collision frequency, boost driver performance, exonerate drivers when not at fault, and impact the bottom line. Drivers throughout the fleet were accepting of videobased safety. “We knew that our drivers were already putting cameras in their vehicles and were familiar with the technology,” explained Fulmer. These employees understood that the program’s purpose is to show what caused a critical event and is designed for their own safety first and foremost. With already having had two accidents that were not Sunstate’s fault, Fulmer is glad to have the SmartDrive program to protect the company and support their safety culture. SOUTHEASTERN FREIGHT LINES diesel technician Steve Remus was selected as the Snap-On Automotive Service Excellence Master M/H Truck Technician of the Year based on his outstanding performance on the ASE tests that he recently took and specific parameters set by Snap-On. Remus was selected from a database search of all

Three TRANS-PHOS drivers were recently recognized by the Florida Trucking Association and the Florida Highway Patrol for driving 1 million safe miles in the state of Florida. Captain B. Ezra Folsom of the Florida Highway Patrol presented letters of recognition to Trans-Phos drivers, Michael Smith, Jerry Humphries and Terry Young. During the ceremony, Cpt. Folsom read a personalized letter from Chief Troy Thompson, Florida Highway Patrol: Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement in which he addressed the three drivers specifically. “It is my understanding that you have recently achieved one million accident free miles of commercial motor vehicle driving throughout your career,” wrote Chief Thompson. “This is truly an amazing accomplishment especially considering that many of these miles were recorded on some of the busiest and congested roadways in America. I am proud to award you this certificate on behalf of the Florida Highway Patrol and all the citizens of Florida. I would like to thank you for your professionalism and commitment to safety.” The ceremony took place at a Trans-Phos’ Company BBQ in honor of Driver Appreciation Week. More than 100 drivers and employees received a BBQ meal cooked by COO Neil Whitney and served by CEO Chris Whitney, alongside all Trans-Phos leadership team members in appreciation for their drivers. Trans-Phos is a family-owned and operated trucking company providing trusted bulk transportation services with world class service and safety since 1973.

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Investing Today for Tomorrow Another group of Florida teachers earned new respect for the state’s most essential industries BY BEN SCHULTZ


he 2017 Florida Teacher Trucking Tour expanded from a group of four in 2016 into 10 teachers from across the state and a variety of grades and subjects. These educators were selected from more than 250 applicants. They were eager and enthusiastic to learn about the trucking industry and the careers within. The tour included stops at Breakthru Beverage, the Deerfield Publix distribution center, Ryder System, The Martin Brower Company and the FDOT Martin scale facility. At each location, presentations and tours explained the day-to-day operations, company history and some ways that made each stand out. The teachers observed a variety of jobs at each location. “I learned about drivers, diesel technicians, safety managers, pickers, logistic engineers, and yard jockeys,” said Deborah Peters, who teaches sixth-and-seventh-grade math and science in Manatee County. Teachers asked many questions during the tours about jobs: what a student needs to be qualified, starting salaries, age requirements and opportunities to advance. Every teacher was surprised about the salaries that can be earned in the trucking industry. Now, they can share that information with their students. When students are graduating high school

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and thinking about possible jobs, they will be informed about opportunities in the trucking industry. At the FDOT Martin Scale facility, members of the Florida Road Team gave a Share the Road Safely presentation. This was especially important because this presentation is given to schools all over Florida, and after seeing it for themselves, many of the teachers wanted the Road Team to bring the road safety message to their school. Teachers then toured the scale facilities to learn about its operations and importance. They even got to inspect a truck from underneath in “the pit.”

“I learned about drivers, diesel technicians, safety managers, pickers, logistic engineers, and yard jockeys.” — Deborah Peters, Manatee County

The teachers participated in two ridealongs, one with the Florida Highway Patrol Commercial Vehicle Enforcement unit and the second in Charlie Demchock’s pristine Walmart truck. During the ride-along with FHP, teachers learned about how the troopers work with the trucking industry to meet

a shared goal of road safety. In the Walmart truck, the teachers got a whole new perspective of what it feels like to be high up in such a large vehicle. “My favorite part (of the tour) was when we went to the weigh station,” Mary Lichtenberger, a ninth-grade math teacher from Hillsborough County, said. “It was so interesting to see the electronic weighing tools. Going to the pit, riding in the big rig, riding with a trooper. Everyone was so excited to show us everything, and I learned so much in such a short time.” As the tour culminated at our Annual Conference, the teachers got to meet and interact with many FTA members. They attended the social at Bristol’s and breakfast and lunch at the conference on Friday. With each tour stop and each interaction with FTA members, the same thing was repeated over and over: “everyone here is so nice.” It may seem like a trivial detail, but everything the tour group heard and did on the tour influenced their overall views of the trucking industry. Each teacher produced two truckingthemed lessons plans for their grade and subject area. These lesson plans will be used in their classrooms, shared with local teaching teams and are available to other teachers via the FTA website. When the teachers evaluated their experiences, 100 percent of them found their perspective on the trucking industry changed during the tour. They mentioned the high level of professionalism, efficiency and overall importance of the industry to our state. The group of 10 teachers were excited to go back to their home town and tell friends, family, and especially their students about their experience on the 2017 Florida Teacher Trucking Tour. The second Florida Teacher Trucking Tour would not have happened without the support of its sponsors: Breakthrough Beverage Florida, Florida Rock & Tank Lines, Florida Utility Trailers, Proficient Auto Transport, Quality Distribution, Reliance Supply, T. J. Stidham, Wal-Mart, Walpole Inc., Wayne T. Fellows Inc. and the FTA Safety Management Council. Growing this program from four teachers in 2016 to 10 teachers in 2017 was possible because of the generosity of some great FTA members. Sponsorship grew from $10,180 to $21,937 in one year. Special thanks to the tour leaders and teams that made the teachers feel welcome at each stop: Breakthru Beverage Florida, Tracy Linhart; Martin Brower Company, Everett Summerville; Ryder System, Scott Perry and Ed Tobon; Publix distribution center, Corey Brooks; Lt. Steven Gove, Florida Highway Patrol; and Paul Clark and the entire staff at the FDOT Martin scale facility.

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Florida Truck News - Fall 2017 issue