2020 OMC Q1

Page 1

2020 1st Quarter oktrucking.org

Winter Issue Volume 29





• LOCAL OPERATIONS - NATIONWIDE SUPPORT • FACTORY TRAINED TECHNICIANS • TIMELY TURNAROUND ARDMORE 5104 West 60th Street Tulsa, OK 74107 Phone: (918) 445-5300 OKLAHOMA CITY 5301 I-40 West Oklahoma City, OK 73128 Phone: (405) 917-5009 TULSA 5104 West 60th Street Tulsa, OK 74107 Phone: (918) 445-5300 COLLISION CENTER 5651 S 49th W Ave Tulsa, OK 74107 Phone: (918) 447-4117

2020 1st Quarter | Winter Issue Oklahoma Trucking Association 3909 North Lindsay Avenue Oklahoma City, OK, 73105 (405) 525-9488 www.oktrucking.org



























Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine is a Publication of

For more information on advertising, please call us at (405) 525-9488x1.

The Oklahoma Motor Carrier (OMC) is published after each quarter recapping current national, state and membership issues. Office of publication, Southwestern Stationary, OKC, OK. Bulk Rate postage paid at OKC, OK. Please address all correspondance to 3909 N. Lindsay Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q


WELCOME TO A NEW ERA Bruckner Truck Sales has expanded to more than 28 locations in 6 states representing two 100% American built truck brands, Volvo and Mack, along with numerous high quality American built trailers. As the customer service and value leader throughout the southwestern US, Bruckner’s is the oldest Mack dealer group west of the Mississippi river and the largest Volvo dealer group in the southwest. The legacy of strong leadership established by B.M. “Bennie” Bruckner Sr. continues to inspire all of us at Bruckner Truck Sales, and the same core family values held since 1932 remain at the center of everything we do.

INTRODUCING THE MACK MD SERIES PACKED WITH FEATURES TO ENSURE A SMOOTH, STRESS-FREE RIDE Mack Trucks launches the all-new Mack MD Series of medium-duty trucks, adding to its already robust product lineup. Mack’s legendary durability and dealer support is now available in a mediumduty platform. Customers desiring Mack’s distinctive durability and reliability now have an option for lighter GVWR configurations. Available in the fall of 2020.

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TULSA EAST (Volvo) 14001 E. Admiral Place Tulsa, OK 74116 877-468-2551

TULSA WEST (Mack) 5301 W. 60th St. Tulsa, OK 74107 866-929-6225

ARDMORE (Parts only) 576 Case Circle Ardmore, OK 73401 877-236-0981

Bruckner’s represents the only truck manufacturers that assemble 100% of their trucks, engines and transmissions in the US!

T R U C K S | T R A I L E R S | PA R T S | S E R V I C E | FA B R I C AT I O N | L E A S I N G | F I N A N C I N G


ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman of Board | Jo-Don Clanton Pioneer Transport

CEO | Jim Newport (P) 405.525.9488 x3 jimnewport@oktrucking.org

1st Vice Chair | Adam Dye Southwest Trailers & Equipment

Director of Events | Rebecca Chappell (P) 405.525.9488 x1 rebeccachappell@oktrucking.org Office Assistant | Tana Mehlhaff (P) 405.525.9488 x2 tanamehlhaff@oktrucking.org

2nd Vice Chair | David Snapp Groendyke Transport Past Chairman | Bob Acker Bruckner Truck Sales, Inc. State VP to the ATA | Bob Peterson Melton Truck Lines, Inc Alternate State VP to the ATA | LaVern McCorkle McCorkle Truck Line, Inc Mario Archaga | UPS Houston Brittain | Brown & Brown of Oklahoma Inc. David Freymiller | Freymiller, Inc Zac Kannady | LuGreg Trucking Brad Klepper | Drivers Legal Plan Brian Malatka | Dolese David McCorkle | McCorkle Truck Line, Inc Bobby Smith | Premier Truck Group Chris Pape | OSSC Representative Bonne Karim | TMC Representative

THANK YOU SPONSORS Throughout the year the OTA turns to our partners to work toward successful events, programs and operations! We are thankful for each of our sponsors and would like to highlight our top donors. Without each of our members and investors the OTA would not be able to achieve its mission!

Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q


FROM THE CEO Members, Ideas Matter In the Oklahoma legislative process, a “bill” is just an idea or proposal from a legislator until it goes through the legislative process and is signed by the Governor at which time it becomes law. Not all ideas are good ones. In fact, most of us have had what we thought was a bright idea only to discover later it wasn’t so great after all. The same is true with most legislators. None of us would magically become a policy genius when we were an ordinary person one day and became elected to office the next. Many of us have been led to believe the Law is sacred and to be revered. “Don’t do that!” “Why?” “Because it’s against the LAW!” We shouldn’t encourage civil disobedience, but we should have a healthy perspective of what the law is and how it came about. Over 4,000 bills have been filed for the 2020 legislative session. The most in recorded history. By mid-March only about 1,000 will still be alive and of those, many will die before reaching the Governor. Lots and lots of bills dying along the way of the legislative process is a good thing, not a bad one. Many would argue we have way too many laws now with many of them unenforced or selectively enforced anyway. If an idea is a good one today, it will still be a good one tomorrow. Of the remaining bills that reach the Governor this session, time will often tell if the new sacred “Law” is to be revered or if it was just another not so great idea that got through the process. Where do bills (ideas) come from and why? They come from practically everywhere and are offered to serve the particular interest of the one(s) offering it. They come from business, individuals, groups, or practically anyone or anything with an axe to grind. Your OTA has pushed several trucking ideas that have benefited our industry all the way to the Governor and into law. We’ve also engaged to stop bills that were not so good for our industry. Simply put, a bill is a good bill if you are “for” it, and a bad one if you are “against” it. Lastly, let’s not forget unintended consequences. In the 2017 Oklahoma legislative session, the legislature raised taxes. They raised taxes on motor vehicles by 1.25%. They said later they never intended to touch commercial motor vehicle trailers, but the Oklahoma Tax Commission interpreted the new law to include those trailers. Unintentional or not, that was a bill that became law and a part of it went bad for the state. Like it or not, Oklahoma interstate carriers started making purchases of their new trailers outside of Oklahoma. Not only did Oklahoma not get any new tax revenue they lost much of their trailer registration fees to other states as well. You can be certain your OTA will be educating the legislature this session and every session thereafter as long as is necessary to rectify this not so sacred law. Ideas matter and so does your Oklahoma Trucking Association.

Jim Newport CEO/President Oklahoma Trucking Association


Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q

CHAIRMAN’S CORNER From Jo-Don Clanton Members and friends, I am thankful and honored to be elected as chairman of the board for the Oklahoma Trucking Association and I am excited to be working with such an exceptional staff as well as all of you. As we have moved into the new year and are now well into the second quarter, we are all working through what can clearly be considered one of the most challenging times we’ve all faced. Our truck drivers are crucial and keeping the economy moving and we recognize that even more now during these everchanging times. They are challenged to meet the demands of consumers and deliver goods and products that so many of us frankly cannot do without all the while worrying about their own health and families. To say that I am proud to be part of an industry that has such an essential role in keeping our state and nation functioning, is an understatement. As have so many others, we were forced to make the decision to cancel the Truck Driving Championship this year scheduled for June. This is very disappointing to all but especially the drivers who enjoy showing off their skills. I am certain the Oklahoma Safety & Security Council will look at ways to make next year’s event even better and I know that we will all be looking forward to it. Our Midwinter Conference was filled with new information regarding lawsuit reform efforts as well as best practices for risk management. It was great to hear Secretary Tim Gatz speak and hear what is new and exciting with the Oklahoma Department of transportation. We enjoyed a wonderful safety awards banquet where many of our men and women were recognized as leaders in the trucking industry in Oklahoma. Congratulations to each of them as well as all the award-winning companies on an exceptional year! Our OK TruckPAC continues to grow but let’s not slow down the momentum! As our membership grows, I challenge each of you to learn more about how these PAC dollars help our industry as a whole and encourage other members to consider a contribution to the PAC. It is important to repeat and acknowledge that with these times of uncertainty, it is comforting to know that the Oklahoma Trucking Association stands behind our industry which is such a vital part of keeping America and more importantly Oklahoma strong and healthy. It will be a challenging year for all of us but one I know we can overcome. Wishing you all health and safety,

Jo-Don Clanton

Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q



WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of

vehicle drivers. This proposal contains five key

Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety

updates to hours of service rules which are directly

Administration (FMCSA) recapped its 2019

based on the feedback FMCSA has received from

achievements and key priorities for improving safety

drivers across the country. The proposal is also

on the nation’s roadways with large trucks and buses.

estimated to provide $274 million in savings for the U.S. economy.

“Safety is always #1 at the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety

Improving Regulatory Efficiency: Over the year,

Administration,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary

FMCSA proposed several important regulatory

Elaine L. Chao.

reforms that result in over $366 million in savings for the American economy. In March, the

“Under Secretary Chao’s leadership, FMCSA

Agency proposed updating Entry-Level Driver

has been laser-focused on safety and reducing

Training regulations to save $18 million, and in

crashes involving large trucks. The Agency’s

August the Agency published its hours of service

accomplishments ref lect the Trump Administration’s

proposed rule that is estimated to save $274 million,

commitment to improving safety on our roadways,

and September, FMCSA proposed $74 million in

reducing regulatory burdens, and strengthening the

regulatory savings be reducing burdensome rules on

nation’s motor carrier industry,” said FMCSA Acting

commercial buses.

Administrator Jim Mullen. Critical Grant Funding: In 2019, FMCSA awarded Over the past year, FMCSA has advanced key

$77.3 million in grants to states and educational

initiatives that promote safety, reduce burdensome

institutions to enhance commercial motor vehicle

regulations, provide critical safety funding, and help

(CMV) safety. In September, the Agency awarded

more Americans find a job in the trucking industry.

$43.3 million in High Priority (HP) grants, and $32

Some of these key achievements include:

million in Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation (CDLPI) grants throughout the


Historic Hours of Service Proposal: In August

country. FMCSA also awarded $2 million in

2019, FMCSA proposed historic reforms to the

Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training

existing hours of service regulations to improve

grants to sixteen education institutions to help train

safety and increase f lexibility for commercial

veterans for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers.

Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q

Supporting Military Servicemembers: In June

upgrade their commercial driver’s license (CDL).

2019, FMCSA officially launched its Under-21

In March 2019, FMCSA proposed a final rule

Military Driver Program— a pilot program to permit

streamlining the process and reduce the costs to

18-20-year old’s who possess the U.S. military

upgrade from a Class B to Class A Commercial

equivalent of a commercial driver’s license (CDL)

Driver’s License (CDL). The final rule will save

to operate large trucks in interstate commerce. This

eligible driver trainees and motor carriers $18

program is designed to help the brave men and

million annually.

women who serve our nation the opportunity to explore quality job prospects in interstate trucking.

Exploring New Technologies: In July, FMCSA

In October, the Agency announced the creation

published an advanced rule to seek input on the

of a new job opportunities listing page which

removal of unnecessary regulatory barriers to the

contains approved motor carriers who are currently

safe introduction of automated driving systems

hiring under-21 military drivers as part of the pilot

(ADS) vehicles in the United States. The Agency’s


goal is to continue gathering information on how best to ensure safety rules are kept up to date and

Fighting Human Trafficking: In July 2019,

do not hamper the ongoing development of possible

FMCSA announced a final rule that permanently

life-saving technologies in the trucking marketplace.

bans drivers convicted of human trafficking from operating a commercial vehicle for which a

Raising Awareness of Large Truck & Bus

commercial driver’s license or a commercial

Safety: In 2019, FMCSA’s Our Roads, Our Safety

learner’s permit is required. Under Secretary Chao’s

partnership for responsible driving grew to 27

leadership, combatting human trafficking has

partner organizations across industry, safety, and

been a priority for the Department—including the

driver education stakeholders. The Agency also

creation of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on

released its “Voices of Safety” campaign—a video

Human Trafficking. Deterring human trafficking in

series and national public awareness campaign

America’s commercial transportation industry is just

designed to raise awareness among all road users

one step in the Trump Administration’s commitment

about sharing the road safely with large trucks

to fighting against these abhorrent crimes.

and buses. The 2019 public awareness campaign achieved an overall reach of more than 359 million

Helping People Find Jobs in Trucking: In

views in markets and platforms across the nation.

2019, FMCSA prioritized efforts to make it less burdensome for men and women interested in entering the trucking workforce to obtain and Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q




rlington, Virginia - The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released new research that identifies both the positive and negative impacts associated with numerous government policies, programs and regulations that target autonomous truck development and testing. ATRI’s study proposes a framework by which autonomous truck standards could be developed. This study was identified as the top research priority for the industry by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee in 2018. More specifically, the report documents the dozens of local, state and federal activities that guide and regulate autonomous truck activities. While most attempt to create a framework for the safe testing of autonomous trucks, the myriad state and local activities ultimately impede the creation of a seamless and standardized autonomous truck (AT)

network. Even those government rules that ostensibly support autonomous truck development often are too prescriptive to generate meaningful outcomes. For example, multiple vendors highlight Level 4 testing, even though regulations require constant control of the vehicles by both drivers and onboard engineers – making it difficult for motor carrier executives to accurately assess the real value of ATs. “The pace of technology development in the autonomous truck sphere is moving at lightning speed,” said Jeff Reed, Skyline Transportation President and chair of the ATA Automated Truck Subcommittee. “Our industry needs states to collaborate on seamless policies and regulations, and we need more proactive federal guidance on AT development. Government activities at all levels must be dynamic enough to address the constantly evolving technology landscape.”





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Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q




rlington, Virginia - The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released new research that documents the collection and distribution of $14.7 billion in U.S. toll revenue, representing 82 percent of U.S. toll collections. The research sheds light on many questions about tolling, including how much toll revenue is generated versus reinvested in toll facilities, and contrasts truck-generated toll revenue versus truck utilization of toll roads. This study was identified as the top research priority for the industry by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee in 2019. To better understand tolling, researchers collected public financial data from Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) published by toll systems, and attempted to standardize financial comparisons across systems. Key metrics included toll facility charges by user type, toll facility expenditures and toll revenue diversion to non-toll entities. ATRI’s research found that the 21 major toll systems analyzed collected more than $14.7 billion

in revenue with nearly 50 percent of toll revenue diverted to other uses. In addition, toll revenue increased more than 72 percent over the last decade compared to inf lation growth of just 16.9 percent. The report includes a first-of-its-kind data analysis to better understand the relationship between interstate commerce and toll road utilization. Through an analysis of truck GPS data, the researchers were able to quantify toll revenue impacts on local truck activity versus interstate commerce. “It is clear from this research that highway funding mechanisms that return our tax investments to highways are far superior to tolling,” said Darren Hawkins, YRC Worldwide Chief Executive Officer. “We need greater oversight and transparency to ensure that the billions of dollars paid by our industry goes back into the roads and bridges that generate the revenue.” You can download the report – A Financial Analysis of Toll System Revenue: Who Pays & Who Benefits – from ATRI’s website at TruckingResearch.org. Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q





ASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released data following the first weeks of operation of its Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The information released showed that the clearinghouse has detected and identified nearly 8,000 positive substance abuse tests of commercial drivers since January 6, 2020. The clearinghouse now has more than 650,000 registrants. “We’ve seen encouraging results from the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, but there’s still work to do to ensure we identify more drivers who should not be behind the wheel. The clearinghouse is a positive step, and the Agency continues to work closely with industry, law enforcement, and our state partners to ensure its implementation is effective,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen.


Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q

The clearinghouse is aimed at improving road safety by providing FMCSA and employers with the necessary tools to identify drivers who have violated federal drug and alcohol testing program requirements and are prohibited from operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle. The goal of the clearinghouse is to ensure that such drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before they have the opportunity to resume driving. Those required to register for the clearinghouse include: Employers of commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders, or their designated service agents, and medical review officers who report drug and alcohol program violations that occurred on or after January 6, 2020; Employers or their designated service agents who conduct required queries which inform them

whether prospective or current employees have drug and alcohol program violations in their clearinghouse records. Employers must purchase a query plan before conducting queries in the clearinghouse – query plans must be purchased from the FMCSA clearinghouse website only; Drivers who respond to employer consent requests or would like to view their clearinghouse record when applying for a job; and Substance abuse professionals who report on the completion of driver initial assessments and driver eligibility for return-to-duty testing for violations committed on or after January 6, 2020. There is no cost for registration. Commercial drivers are not required to immediately register for the clearinghouse, but will need to register to respond to an employer’s request for consent prior to a pre-employment query or other full query being conducted. In addition, employers must be registered during the first year of implementation to ensure they are able to conduct the required annual

query on all employed drivers. Combatting drug abuse has been a top priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Trump Administration. President Trump has brought attention to the nation’s opioid crisis by declaring it a nationwide public health emergency and has implemented critical federal initiatives to help reduce opioid abuse. FMCSA’s clearinghouse website contains important resources, including user brochures and instructional aids with step-by-step registration instructions for all users. Users can visit https:// clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov to access these resources. The clearinghouse is a secure online database that allows FMCSA, employers of CDL drivers, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and law enforcement officials to identify – in real time – CDL drivers who have violated federal drug and alcohol testing program requirements, and thereby improve safety on our nation’s roads. Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q


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Legislation Allowing Renewal of CDLs in Tag Agencies Passes House 3/10/2020 | Oklahoma House of Representatives


bill shifting renewal of commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) from offices of the Dept. of Motor Vehicles to local tag agencies passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives. House Bill 1966 was authored by Rep. Dell Kerbs (R-Shawnee). Kerbs, who holds a commercial driver’s license, knows firsthand how frustrating the renewal process is. “It’s inconvenient for our hardworking commercial drivers to spend an entire afternoon waiting to simply renew their licenses,” Kerbs said. “It slows down our companies who use commercial drivers licensed

employees and decreases their productivity. With the passage of House Bill 1966, we’re one step closer to making government more effective and helpful for Oklahomans.” CDLs are renewed every 4 years; however, if a driver is driving commercially, they are required to undergo a Dept. of Transportation physical annually. Under HB 1966, a person with a hazardous material endorsement will continue to be required to renew or replace it at the Dept. of Public Safety. House Bill 1966 passed the House 87-0 and may now be taken up by the Senate.

ADVERTISING SPACE AVAILABLE Interested in advertising in our quarterly publication? Contact Rebecca today (405) 525-9488 x1 RebeccaChappell@oktrucking.org

Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q





he Senate approved Senate Bill 1110, which would amend the Governmental Tort Claims Act to include substate planning districts, regional councils of government and other entities created under the Interlocal Cooperation Act. Bill author Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, said the measure adds clarification that these entities are political subdivisions of the state. “These organizations are listed elsewhere in Oklahoma statutes as acting governmental units,” Bergstrom said. “Adding them to the Governmental Tort Claims Act will hopefully reduce unnecessary


Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q

legal expenses and save taxpayer dollars.” The Governmental Tort Claims Act allows ordinary people to sue the State of Oklahoma and its entities, with exceptions that protect the state. Expanding coverage to substate planning districts, regional councils of government and other entities under the Interlocal Cooperation Act would give them legal protection. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives where Rep. Josh West, R-Grove, will present the measure.



HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN? My Grandpa, Joe Fitzgerald, started with a truck hauling bundles on the Montford Johnson ranch where Braum’s Dairy Farm is currently located. He received his first OCC Permit in 1940, OCC 6461. He had authority to haul agriculture, building products, coal, and used household goods. His most interesting contract was to haul German POWs during the war daily from Ft. Reno to work in the fields near Binger, OK. WHEN WAS IT FOUNDED? 1937 First OCC authority in 1940 WHERE ARE YOUR HEADQUARTERS? Minco, OK

WHO WAS YOUR COMPANY’S ORIGINAL FOUNDER? ARE THEY STILL INVOLVED WITH THE COMPANY, TO WHAT DEGREE? Joe Fitzgerald. No he passed away in 1998. He was active in the company until 1992. My Father, Larry Joe Fitzgerald joined the company in 1962 and took over active operation in 1978. He owned and operated Fitzgerald Trucking until 2006. Larry still comes by and is interested in the business, but he is very happy retiring to his cow/calf operation. Joe hauled many products that were more labor intensive, hay, coal, brick, and stone. Many of the products he bought and sold himself. In the 1960s when Larry entered the business it was becoming harder to hire manual labor for the loading and unloading of these products. That was a motivator to move into livestock. I know I heard my Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q


Dad say many times, “I don’t want to haul something that doesn’t walk on and walk off on its own. He diversified into pneumatics in 1982, but his love was always hauling livestock. He knew and still knows all of the buyers. He could walk into any sale barn in Oklahoma today and walk out with loads of cattle. WHAT DO YOU THINK SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER CARRIERS? From the very beginning we always had a small carrier mindset. Even as we grew whether it was in livestock hauling or pneumatic tankers we understood we had to be responsive to our customers and their changing needs. We also look for new ways to serve our customers adding value or new services. WHAT ISSUE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOUR COMPANY RIGHT NOW? Drivers. Any company is only as good as their employees. The challenge for trucking companies is finding quality, safe, and customer service oriented drivers. We do not have enough new entrants choosing trucking as a career and it requires years to train a new entrant into an experienced driver.


Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q

The other issue I believe is very important is tort reform and insurance. Our industry has become a cash cow for law firms and insurance companies are withdrawing from that risk. Something must be done to change this environment through legislation. Liability limits are fixed and capped for the marine industry and the railroads. The trucking industry is probably more important than either of those today. We are finding that out right now with the Covid-19 Pandemic. We need to start having that conversation with our National Leaders. As an industry we do not need to be the piggy bank for trial lawyers to break. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE GREATEST BENEFIT FROM BEING AN OTA MEMBER IS? Lobbying for our industry that OTA does and disseminating that information to the members. Our director visiting our Senators and Representatives is important, but it is even more effective if each of our members and their employees call or email their Representatives. I appreciate the updates I get and I make a point to either call or email my Senator and Representative.

WHAT SUCCESSES AND FAILURES HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED WITH YOUR COMPANY? Our greatest success is that we are still here thriving through many booms and busts in Oklahoma. A failure would be early in my career I did not place the value I should have on developing my leadership skills. I concentrated heavily on the technical side of the business because that is what I loved about it. I loved putting the puzzle pieces together through dispatch, the financial side of trucking, trucks, engines, and equipment specifications. I was the kid in Middle School carrying around Truck Market News, Southern Motor Cargo, and Overdrive. I read those cover to cover like Hot Rod magazines. I believe I could have been a more effective leader if I had concentrated on that more. My son is an Air Force officer and I see the leadership training he has and appreciate how he is benefiting from that training. HOW DO YOU MAKE AN IMPACT ON/IN YOUR COMMUNITY? Growing up in a small town I know how important it is for businesses to support the community. Many companies grow to a certain size and move to a larger city or closer to an Interstate highway. We at Fitzgerald Trucking are proud to be in Minco and support the schools and faith-based organizations. Our favorites are the Minco Education Foundation, East Gate Foundation, and Athletic Booster Clubs. I like to brag on Minco’s history. Minco was once a very large town in Indian Territory founded by the Johnson family. I enjoy promoting our history as a town of business and merchants on the Chisolm Trail, Rock Island Railroad, then later US 81. Minco has our trucking, trans-loading, and our truck sales businesses. Along with us another trucking company, an excavation and boring company and a large scale fabrication company are headquartered in Minco. They are all assets to Minco.

We started a truck sales company, Class 8 Truck & Trailer Sales, and I have really enjoyed the buying and selling of equipment. That plays to my interest in equipment specifications when I was young. WHAT DO YOU ENVISION TRUCKING TO LOOK LIKE IN THE NEXT 5-10 YEARS? I along with everyone believe we will see a level of automation taking place in our industry. I do not know what that looks like and how close we will be to fully automation. I believe there will always be a place for drivers, but it could look much different than it does today. Possibly most drivers will be regional. I work very closely with the local chapter of the American Concrete Paving Association. One of the most promising technologies I see is through Oklahoma State College of Engineering. They are studying a proposal for the FHWA to have truck only lanes along the major interstate highways for autonomous electric trucks hooked into the power grid. We would have trucks heavily loaded operating a few feet apart autonomously in concrete divided lanes from coast to coast. There would be pull off areas at intervals for a driver to pick the truck up, make a delivery and reload for return on battery power. I heard this presentation a year ago and I realized it could solve many problems. Drivers would be all regional improving working conditions and driver shortage. It would offer cleaner emissions and efficiency. It removes cars and trucks from operating in close proximity and reducing accidents. This in turn would lower risk for insurance companies. By removing most trucks from our current roads it would reduce highway maintenance and traffic congestion.

IF YOU DIDN’T GET INVOLVED IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE DOING? When I was in college, I thought possibly elevator management or grain merchandising but after a short time working in a grain elevator and visiting facilities in Kansas City I changed my mind. I believe it would be something with trucks or our industry. I have loved trucks and driving trucks since I was a very little boy. I did not play as much team sports as I should have growing up because they wanted you to practice and that interfered with going out on a truck. I imagine I might be in a truck sales capacity.

Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q


NEW MEMBERS Our diverse membership enables us to represent the interests of the trucking industry in Oklahoma. Together we are driving Oklahoma forward. Help welcome our new members today!

ALLIED MEMBERS DROVE TECHNOLOGIES Will Long, Director of Product 8232 S.W. 23rd Place Oklahoma City, OK 73128 www.DroveTechnologies.com Services Provided: Our products helps you improve fuel economy, reduce blowouts, increase tire life, and much more. FRANCIS TUTTLE TECH CENTER Brad Wake, Instructor 7301 W. Reno Ave Oklahoma City, OK 73127 http://www.francistuttle.edu/ Services Provided: education/training facility

CARRIER MEMBERS XPO LOGISTICS Barry Benedict 1325 South Central Ave Oklahoma City, OK 73129 www.xpo.com Services Provided: LTL Less-than-Truckload


Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q

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n the 90’s, we would have never guessed we would all be glued to smart phones, computers, and ordering our favorite home goodies from online services being drop shipped in just days at our homes. Ten years ago, we couldn’t imagine having videos immediately after something happened on our roadways with our drivers. And now today, we are learning about self-driving vehicles, nuclear lawsuits on what used to be argued as minor safety violations, and even being requested to self-quarantine and work from home. The only thing that doesn’t change, is change. How do you adapt to the ever-changing environment? I don’t speak for everyone, but I know many safety professionals embrace the change. Change can be good, generally speaking of course, when we get onboard and pull the same direction. It can also be detrimental to business and our way of living when we pull back too hard. The best forms of change can almost always be found in the safety arena. However, nuclear lawsuits ($10 million or more) are the specific area of my concern today. Is that a good change? In 2012, the average claim was about $2 million, while in 2019 the average claim was approximately $17 million. Between 2012 – 2015, there were 12 verdicts totaling $900 million, most of them being against the trucking industry! Plaintiff’s lawyers have grown in their skills and understanding of what trucking companies are required to do for training, and what information is available at their fingertips to help them improve. So, what are we going to do about it? Change! I have a lot of passion surrounding this great industry of trucking, and I know we will prevail. I think the most important task to guard against this risk, is to focus on training. Training can no longer be, “ride with that driver for a few days.” Be detailed, consider every task that you ask a driver to do. Complete a pre-trip, log their miles, check the weather, cut their speed to “X” amount in inclement weather, check their following distance, back a trailer, and the list goes on and on. Did you thoroughly train? Did you thoroughly document? Remember the famous words, “if it’s not documented, it didn’t happen…” The change of dollars might not be the “good change”, but if we all look at the positive, and get onboard, changing/improving how we train, how we follow up, how we improve behaviors in our drivers, can never be a bad thing. It’s time to reevaluate each detail that could be a cause of an accident. If it’s a written policy of your company, then be sure to document training on that item. When you learn of specific safety behaviors to teach, ensure each driver is trained on them. Just as important, when you find the safety behavior that needs corrected, document and prove correction. We are all human, we all make mistakes. In this world, in this this litigious environment, it’s up to all of us to get better, each day. Good luck, and safe travels. Practice for the impossible, because someday, it’s inevitable -Chris

Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q




n March 4, 2020, the Oklahoma Trucking Association hosted its annual Midwinter Conference at the Embassy Suites in Downtown Oklahoma City. With record high attendance, the agenda was packed with speakers from around the state and nation. Thank you to the following speakers: Felice J. Cotignola, Esq. from Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer LLP; Kinsey Westwood, State Chamber of Oklahoma; Tim Gatz, Secretary of Transportation; Rich Bren, Motor Carriers Insurance Education Foundation; Eric Pearson, FMCSA; Lt. Ron Jenkins #75, OHP | Troop S; and Mark Willingham, Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Felice walked the attendees through the process that can leave trucking companies disadvantaged and subject to nuclear verdicts. Kinsey offered a current legislative update regarding lawsuit reform. Rich Bren talked about the continuous rising costs of insurance for carriers and the best practices they can take to help mitigate those high premiums. Tim Gatz gave an update on Oklahoma’s roads and bridges. Up next was a panel with Eric Pearson, Mark Willingham, and Lt. Ron Jenkins. The panel highlighted the impacts of federal and state regulations that will affect OTA member companies. Throughout the afternoon sessions, attendees were provided with time for networking, socializing, and business opportunities through several sponsored exhibitor tables, including Drivewyze, EROAD, Gallagher, Purple Wave Auction and TBS Factoring. At the conclusion of the educational session the private Safety Awards Reception hosted members and spouses,


Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q

that transitioned into the Safety Awards Banquet. The Safety Awards Banquet was enjoyed with a salad, dinner, and dessert. Then the anticipation grew as One Million Mile, Two Million Mile, Fleet Safety, and Professional Driver awards were handed out. They all led up to the Professional Driver of the Year, Safety Professional of the Year, and the Grand Champion Trophy Winner. This year, the OSSC decided to bring back the award for Safety Professional of the Year. They believe that it is good practice and motivational to highlight elite safety members of our community. Safety professionals spend much of their days dealing with negatives in their companies, and often spend all hours of their days and nights putting out the fires. Their overarching goal is to get our drivers home safe, each day. This revived award is planned to be awarded each year, and in its new form, allows for companies to nominate their safety members, to be nominated by other safety professionals, or can self-nominate to receive this award. Our chair members of the OSSC review the applications and select one nominee for the honors. A few of the accolades we look for include years of safety service to the trucking industry, certifications held, membership and volunteer work in their community as well as OTA sponsored events, such as the Truck Driving Championship, safety improvement within their companies, and a focus on their ability to build safety culture that starts and ends with protecting our drivers on this great nation’s highways and in the many scenarios we place them in with loading, unloading, and maneuvering obstacles.

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Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q





Barry S. Gardiner - Action Resources

Benjamin Barker - Paul Transportation

Carl E. Benge, Jr. - John Christner Trucking

Christopher Clifton - Miller Truck Lines

Daniel Worm - Melton Truck Lines

Darrell Gamble - John Christner Trucking

David Castillo - Paul Transportation

David L. Bozard - John Christner Trucking

David Solomon - Melton Truck Lines

Douglas E. Williams - John Christner Trucking

Gary Hurd - Paul Transportation

Jerry Young - Miller Truck Lines

Keith D. Daniel - John Christner Trucking

Kelly Roman - John Christner Trucking

Kenneth Noon - Miller Truck Lines

Kevin Miller - John Christner Trucking

Larry Miles - John Christner Trucking

Michael W. Sweeten - Action Resources

Penny Saya - John Christner Trucking

Ralph Butler - Freymiller

Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q


MILE DRIVERS Larry Miles - John Christner Trucking

Michael W. Sweeten - Action Resources

Penny Saya - John Christner Trucking

Ralph Butler - Freymiller

Richard L. Butts - Action Resources

Rodney A. Elwell - John Christner Trucking

Samuel Hill - Melton Truck Lines

Scot J. Kammerer - Action Resources

Scott Nelson - Freymiller

Thad Jackson - John Christner Trucking

Thomas A. Davis - Action Resources

Thomas Compton - Melton Truck Lines

Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q





David L. Field - John Christner Trucking

Michael Darnell - Melton Truck Lines

Pamela (Pam) Freeman - John Christner Trucking

Thomas (Tom) Freeman - John Christner Trucking

Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q

Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q




Brian Zudell - John Christner Trucking

Carl Andrew - United Petroleum Transports

Clifton D. Quick - John Christner Trucking

David Lee Bozard - John Christner Trucking

Edwin Montes-Guzman - John Christner Trucking

Jackson Byrd - John Christner Trucking

Larry Miles - John Christner Trucking

Luis Estrada - United Petroleum Transports

Michael Sweeten - Action Resources

Mitchell Henize - Melton Trucking Lines


Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q

Richard L. Butts - Action Resources

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Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q


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2nd Place – FTC Transportation, Inc.

1st Place – The Waggoners Trucking

2nd Place – Pioneer Transport

1st Place - Action Specialized



2nd Place – Groendyke Transport, Inc.

2nd Place – FedEx Freight

1st Place- Freymiller

3rd Place – Melton Truck Lines

1st Place – Complete Energy Services DBA Hamm & Phillips




1st Place – AAA Cooper Transportation

1st Place – Miller Truck Lines, LLC

1st Place – BKEP Crude LLC




1st Place – United Petroleum Transport

1st Place – LuGreg Trucking, LLC

1st Place – Complete Energy Services DBA Hamm & Phillips

Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q



John Christner Trucking arry Miles was presented with the Professional Driver of the Year award for 2019. His hobbies include carpentry, plumbing, electrical, building and fixing anything. He was a member in the US Army, Combat Engineer, 4th Infantry – Charlie Company / Draftee of Vietnam. He was a War / Truck driver and combat engineer. He’s driven 7 million miles through the span of 57 years. He’s been known to stop and help and care for people on the road for car accidents. Larry’s driver manager had this to say about him: “Larry is always safe and courteous to all employees and customers, going the extra mile to keep them happy. He has been a driver before most of us were born. Larry has always been upbeat and friendly with everyone and has helped numerous people during his driving career in distress on several instances by changing tires and assisting first responders at the scene of an accident. Larry honorably served his country in the US Army as a draftee during the Vietnam War”



Coffeeville Resources his year’s award winner has been in the safety profession for nearly a decade. He is recognized with a B.S. in Industrial Safety, a Certified Director of Safety through the North American Transportation Management Institute and certified in US DOT Motor Carrier Safety Compliance from the Transportation Safety Institute. The safety council has known this individual for several years and we can all attest to his drive and commitment to safety, willingness to help out at most any cost, and is committed to growing and improving himself, and the OSSC’s outreach and dedication to driver safety.


GRAND TROPHY WINNER FTC TRANSPORTATION (Feed the Children Transportation) were back to back winners this year as they won in 2018, as well.


Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q

2020 TRUCK DAY @ CAPITOL Photos provided by Oklahoma State Capitol


ur fourth annual Truck Day @ Capitol was held on March 5, 2020 this year. As you know, advocacy at the Oklahoma Capitol is important for the trucking industry. With new lawmakers being elected, making our presence known takes a constant effort. Truck Day at the Capitol is one of Oklahoma Trucking Association’s annual events that helps get professional drivers in the legislator’s office. This year, OTA staff, carrier and allied members, as well as any professional drivers who wanted to participate, met at the Capitol to be recognized by both the House and Senate. Truck Day started off with breakfast and coffee from Panera Bread for some socializing and familiarizing with the Capitol. Things looked a little different this year as the Capitol was still under construction. Trucks were not on display because of this. However, our presence was still made known and we still got the word out on the importance of the

trucking industry in Oklahoma. While breakfast was going on, Truck Boss Show was ready bright and early to interview CEO Jim Newport. They were also able to add in some interviews from other professional drivers and Truck Day attendees. Also, everyone in attendance had the honor of hearing a brief speech from Senator Bergstrom. Senator Bergstrom reiterated the importance of trucking and the advocacy that goes on throughout the year to help fight our fights. After Senator Bergstrom, direction for the morning began. Everyone teamed up and hit the halls with trucking facts cards and let members of the Capitol know we are “The Voice of Trucking.” Then, everyone headed to the House and Senate gallery where OTA members and professional drivers were acknowledged and applauded for a job well-done the past year. Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q




rucking and Transportation by their nature are historically cyclical industries. When you add the oil wars, the COVID-19 crisis and the economic turmoil to the equation, a business may be placed in an extremely uncomfortable position. The light at the end of the tunnel, however, maybe financing, which allows a well-established, well-managed company to weather the economic storm. This “alternative” financing is called Stress, Special Situation or Rescue Financing (Stress Financing). This type of financing is intended to address the business’s cyclical market changes and other business liquidity needs. Due to the short length of this article, let’s hit some highlights: WHAT IS STRESS FINANCING? Stress Financing is financing provided when urgently needed to address (i) pending maturities under existing loans, (ii) threatened covenant defaults, such as a reduction in f leet collateral value under existing loans, (iii) liquidity needed


Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q

to fund operating cash f low shortages, including shortfalls due to market cycles or short-term business interruption, (iv) liquidity to pay off key vendors who may be past due and/or (v) existing over-leverage due to market or cycle shifts. WHAT ARE THE LIKELY TERMS OF STRESS FINANCING? Initially, we should emphasize that these alternative lenders will determine quickly if they are interested and close the loan at an accelerated pace. While the financial terms of Stress Financing will vary based upon the history and operations of the business, generally we find that Stress Financing (a) has a higher interest rate than commercial bank financing to ref lect the lender’s cost of capital in addition to a repayment risk profile, (b) has fewer financial covenants than commercial bank financing as the lenders are generally not subject to the same regulations as commercial banks, (c) provides for longer principal amortization schedules allowing the business to retain cash that would otherwise

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be used for debt principal payments and (d) will likely include a prepayment penalty relating to prepayments made during the first few years of the Stress Financing or upon refinancing. WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM STRESS FINANCING? We find that Stress Financing lenders are seeking to lend to a business (i) with a history of profitable operations that has fallen on hard times or is subject to temporary market downturns, (ii) with an experienced management team the lender believes can “weather the current storm,” (iii) that demonstrates to the lender that the business has the “staying power” with the assistance of the Stress Financing to make it through the downturn or other current situation and, upon coming out on the cycle, prosper or even add market share from the businesses not able to survive and repay the Stress Financing. Any business, even with neutral or negative cash f low, should be able to access Stress Financing if it has equity in its hard assets or equipment. WHO ARE THE LENDERS IN STRESS FINANCING? While there are various types of Stress


Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q

Financing lenders, they are generally (a) private (noncommercial bank) lenders who have raised debt funds to invest, (b) family offices that have allocated a portion of their funds to investment in loans, (c) private equity funds that have specifically raised debt funds to lend or (d) major money center commercial banks responding to an economic crisis believing that market share shifts occur during a financial crisis and are committed to growing their market share. SUMMARY Thank you to the Oklahoma Trucking Association for allowing us to inform its members that Stress Financing is available and many lenders are sitting with substantial amounts of cash looking for the right opportunities. We know who these lenders are and the types of Stress Financing they seek, and have developed strong working relationships with these lenders.

OTA ALLIED MEMBERS Are you interested in submitting an article to our publication? Please send Rebecca an email to let her know you have content to contribute: RebeccaChappell@oktrucking.org

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INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING? What better way to strategically target your market than through the Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine. • Full Color Glossy Magazine • Online Version • Ads Click to Company Page • Outreach to 4,000 • Several Pricing Options • Directly Mailed Throughout Year Contact Rebecca by email Rebeccachappell@oktrucking.org or by phone at (405) 525-9488 x 1. Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q




APRIL BOD MEETING Thursday, April 16 Location: OTA Office, 3909 N Lindsay Ave, Oklahoma City, OK NATMI CDS/CSS CERTIFICATION – APRIL Monday – Friday, April 20 - 24 Location: OTA Office, 3909 N Lindsay Ave, Oklahoma City, OK TMC SUPERTECH COMPETITION Friday, May 1 Location: Francis Tuttle Reno Campus, Oklahoma City, OK TRUCK DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIP Friday-Saturday, June 5-6 Location: Embassy Suites & OSU-OKC Driving Course, Oklahoma City, OK SUMMER SHOOT-OUT Tentative Date: Friday, June 19 Location: Rose Creek Golf Club NATMI CDS/CSS CERTIFICATION – JUNE Monday – Friday, June 22-26 Location: OTA Office, 3909 N Lindsay Ave, Oklahoma City, OK WILBURN WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP POSTMARK DEADLINE Friday, June 26 FALL CLASSIC GOLF TOURNAMENT Wednesday, September 30 Location: TBD 88TH ANNUAL CONVENTION Wednesday -Friday, September 30 – October 2 BOD Meeting - Thursday, October 1 Location: River Spirit Resort - 8330 Riverside Pkwy, Tulsa, OK 74137 NATMI CDS/CSS CERTIFICATION – OCTOBER Monday – Friday, October 19-23 Location: OTA Office, 3909 N Lindsay Ave, Oklahoma City, OK FALL CLAY SHOOT Friday, November 6 Location: Silver Leaf Shotgun Sports - 8513 S Douglas Blvd, Guthrie, OK 73044 DECEMBER BOD MEETING Thursday, December 3 Location: OTA Office, 3909 N Lindsay Ave, Oklahoma City, OK Dates are subject to change please check OTA website for updated information To learn more about our upcoming events and ways to get involved visit oktrucking.org/events, call Rebecca Chappell at 405.525.9488 x 1 or email rebeccachappell@oktrucking.org


Oklahoma Motor Carrier Magazine | 1Q


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