Open Road Quarter 2 2018

Page 1


O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8


Letter From the Executive Director 3

D. Chance McNeely

It’s Time to fight back 4 LMTA Pursues Legislative Relief from Skyrocketing Commercial Liability Insurance Costs by Chris Price

LMTA 2018 Truck Driving Championships 8 14 LMTA 2018 Seafood Gala April 21, 2018 | The Sugar Mill | New Orleans, LA

Truck Day at the Capitol 18 LMTA Reaches Out to State Decision-Makers

DOTD OFFICE OF MULTIMODAL COMMERCE 20 LMTA Follows OMC Developments for Trucking Industry by Steve Wheeler

It’s Worth the Investment 22 How Trucking Companies Can Be Proactive With Compliance Issues by Timothy Boone

Q&A with Allied Industry 24 Manager at Southern Tire Mart, Steve Sievert

Trucking Member Spotlight 26 President at John N. John Truck Line Inc., Bill John by Timothy Boone

New LMTA Members 2018 28 Calendar of Events 28 Looking Ahead to 2018 with LMTA

Advertisers Index 28

OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8


Letter from the Executive Director

VOLUME 10, Issue 2 Open Road is owned by the Louisiana Motor Transport Association and published four times a year. For more information, contact the LMTA at 225-928-5682.


D. Chance McNeely production editor / administrative services

Dana P. Weidman MEMBER SERVICES Rachel E. Justus

renaissance publishing editor Jessica DeBold

art director Molly Tullier Chief Executive officer Todd Matherne vP of sales Colleen Monaghan

Dear readers, As we gear up for our annual convention in August, get ready to have an exciting discussion about where we are going to take LMTA in the future. This year’s convention is about where we want to be and how we are going to get there. In my view, the sky is the limit. Join us in August to be part of our efforts to elevate LMTA so that we can do more for the trucking industry. This edition of Open Road Magazine looks back on LMTA’s work from this past legislative session and lays the groundwork for where our efforts will focus in the future. We also check in on the Office of Multimodal Commerce within DOTD, which has now filled the position of Director of Commercial Trucking, and review how an investment in a compliance strategy can pay back dividends. I hope you enjoy this edition of Open Road, and I look forward to seeing you and your families in August!

account executive Brennan Manale contributing writers

Timothy Boone, Chris Price, Steve Wheeler Photographer John Ballance COVER ILLUSTRATION Janna Morton LMTA Officers John Austin

Chairman of the Board Bengal Transportation Services Andrew Guinn, Sr. PRESIDENT Port Aggregates, Inc.

David Newman 2nd vice president Newman Transport, LLC

Gary Gobert 1ST VICE PRESIDENT Lake City Trucking

Tim Ordoyne Vice PRESIDENT at Large Kenworth of Louisiana

D. Chance McNeely Executive Director Louisiana Motor Transport Association 318-518-5367 (C)

Judy Smart Treasurer Roadrunner Towing & Recovery, Inc. Kary Bryce Ata vice president Preferred Materials, Inc.

Todd Ruple SECRETARY Preferred Materials, Inc.

Louisiana Motor Transport Association (LMTA) is a Louisiana association of trucking companies, private carrier fleets and businesses which serve or supply the trucking industry. LMTA serves these companies as a government affairs representative before legislative, regulatory and executive branches of government on issues that affect the trucking industry. The association also provides public relations services and serves as a forum for industry meetings and membership relations. For information contact LMTA at: Louisiana Motor Transport Association, Inc. 4838 Bennington Avenue • PO Box 80278 Baton Rouge, LA 70898 • Phone: 225-928-5682 • Fax: 225-928-0500

To advertise call Brennan at (504) 830-7298 or email Copyright 2018 Open Road, Louisiana Motor Transport Association and Renaissance Publishing LLC. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Louisiana Motor Transport Association, Inc. 4838 Bennington Avenue • PO Box 80278 . No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the owner or Publisher. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the magazine’s managers, owners or publisher. Open Road is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork even if accompanied by a self addressed stamped envelope.

110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Ste. 123, Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 •

OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8


Louisiana Motor Transport Association Pursues Legislative Relief from Skyrocketing Commercial Liability Insurance Costs By Chris Price During 2018’s regular legislative session, the Louisiana Motor Transport Association (LMTA) worked to advance bills that would have provided relief from increasing liability insurance rates for the state’s commercial trucking industry, arguing companies should be responsible for the true extent and actual cost of damages. House Bill 789, sponsored by Rep. Major Thibaut (D-New Roads), sought to limit the recovery for medical expenses to the amount actually paid to the healthcare provider, while Senate Bill 382, sponsored by Sen. Sharon Hewitt (R-Slidell), would have allowed juries to be told about seat belt usage in determining comparative negligence. Both bills failed to pass. “Our industry is in crisis on the insurance front,” said LMTA Executive Director Chance McNeely. “We had two very common sense pieces of legislation this year that got nowhere. These are things we can do to help bring insurance providers into the Louisiana market. The Legislature must take this issue seriously.” “For as bad as auto insurance rates are in Louisiana, it’s even worse for trucks,” he said. “I’ve never seen a crisis like the trucking industry faces today with liability insurance,” said Doug Place, retired chief financial officer of Dupré Logistics, a trucking company in Lafayette. “Providers have become scarce and rates continue to increase 4

O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8

putting Louisiana-based companies at a major competitive disadvantage to companies in other states.” Even though fatal accidents involving trucks in the United States have dropped 71 percent since 1975, and Louisiana is below the national average in fatal accidents involving trucks, rates keep going up. McNeely said the state’s commercial trucking industry has a target on its back.

“Providers have become scarce and rates continue to increase putting Louisianabased companies at a major competitive disadvantage to companies in other states.” “If you’ve ever driven down the road or watched TV in our state you understand the advertising campaigns that exist for litigation,” McNeely said. “One of the largest causes of our insurance crisis is the litigious environment that exists in Louisiana.” In Louisiana, he said, claims are routinely higher in volume and cost than the insurer anticipated. That causes insurance companies to increase premiums for everyone or stop doing

business in the state. Rep. Thibaut said the state is down to only four insurance carriers who will write policies for big rigs. That’s left truckers and trucking companies with limited options and high costs. “If this isn’t a crisis (already), it’s coming,” he said. As an industry standard, each truck operating in Louisiana carries at least $1 million in liability insurance. Some carriers have additional policies to ensure greater coverage. The environment for insurance is so bad that some trucking companies have considered moving out of state.

“One of the largest causes of our insurance crisis is the litigious environment that exists in Louisiana. Our insurance rates are astronomical and keep going up every year.” McNeely said one LMTA member, who has a fleet of 100 trucks in northwest Louisiana, was told if he moved his business across the Texas border he could save $5,000 per truck, per year in insurance premiums. “That’s $500,000 right off his profit margin,” he said. Another member carries up to $5 million in coverage. “He hasn’t filed a claim and his insurance premium went up over $200,000 this year. It’s killing the industry.” He is concerned that many in the trucking industry will move out of state or sell their businesses to out-of-state companies. “From a tax base perspective, you want those companies to not just do business in Louisiana, you want them to be here. If a company can move to Texas and keep the work they’ve had delivering in Louisiana, why wouldn’t they? They’ll earn more profit and their taxes will go to Texas.” House Bill 789 proposed limiting jury awards to plaintiffs for the actual cost of medical procedures. For instance, if someone is injured, receives medical treatment and is billed $50,000, the defendant owes $50,000. The problem is that the bill for $50,000 also included write-downs of $25,000 based on pre-established contractual agreements between insurers and providers. The plaintiff was only ever responsible for $25,000. The extra $25,000 was never paid by or owed to anyone. Under current state law, the plaintiff can recover the gross bill, not the actual bill,” said LMTA General Counsel Doug Williams. “With write offs, which nobody has to pay and nobody ever pays, you have no third party paying those amounts. The write offs and write downs are now considered part of the phantom damages, and those are what’s being recovered. This causes damage to the business community.” “We’re not trying to leave any plaintiff out of pocket,” he said. “We’re trying to limit recovery to real damages.” There were 27 green cards submitted by various business organizations in favor of the bill. Only the trial lawyers were opposed to the bill, submitting two red cards. The Chairman of the House Civil Law committee, Rep. Ray Garofalo (R-Chalmette), who supported HB 789, moved to voluntarily defer the bill as a courtesy. This gave LMTA the opportunity to try and convince

enough committee members to support the measure and then reconsider the bill. That effort was not successful. Senate Bill 382 attempted to give judges permission to tell juries if a plaintiff was wearing a seatbelt. The public policy of the state is that all negligence of all parties should be considered in determining comparative fault, but there is an exemption for seat belt usage in the law. This bill removed that exemption and could have potentially reduced the amounts paid out by defendants. “Seatbelt usage is proven to save lives and reduce injury,” Place said. “It’s about presenting all of the evidence in a case.” According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the risk of fatal injury is reduced by 45 to 60 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury is reduced by 50 to 65 percent by wearing a seatbelt. “The likelihood of more serious injury exists when you’re not wearing your seatbelt,” Hewitt said. “We think this is a commonsense bill. It certainly exists in other states. It supports current state law requiring seatbelt use. It makes sense because you’re giving the juries the best information they need to make the best decisions possible going forward.” In testifying before the senate transportation committee, Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon said, “To the extent that this bill is effective in lowering awards for failure to use seatbelts, the benefit will flow to all drivers insured in Louisiana because the first basis for rate increases is loss experience paid by insurers doing business in our state. If their losses are less, their justification for rate increases is lower.” Donelon said as many as 55 percent of Louisiana drivers are underinsured or not insured at all. The state is consistently among the top 10 most expensive states to procure auto insurance, with a 1999 AAA report citing New Orleans and Baton Rouge, respectively, the most expensive cities for auto insurance. Lawsuits are the main reason. In his testimony, he said Farm Bureau Louisiana is grouped with six other Southern states and makes up about 17 percent of the company’s business in the region, but makes up 51 percent of the company’s pending lawsuits.

“LMTA will be back every year until

we get these issues resolved. We won’t stand idly by while our Louisiana based trucking companies are pushed out of their home state.” “Our percentage of litigation over auto policies is way off the charts compared to the other states,” he said. “It’s three times our proportional share.” Donelon could not predict how much rates could be lowered by adopting the bill, but he said if it lowers awards it would lower rates. HB 382 was involuntarily deferred, killing the bill, with only Senators Jack Donahue and Danny Martiny voicing support for the measure. “LMTA will be back every year until we get these issues resolved. We won’t stand idly by while our Louisiana based trucking companies are pushed out of their home state,” said McNeely. B OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8


House Civil Law Committee – Where HB 789 Died

Senate Judiciary A Committee – Where SB 382 Died

Raymond Garofalo Jr. DISTRICT 103 (Republican)

Rick Ward III DISTRICT 17 (Republican)

Randal Gaines DISTRICT 57 (Democrat)

Jay Luneau DISTRICT 29 (Democrat)

Robby Carter DISTRICT 72 (Democrat)

Wesley Bishop DISTRICT 4 (Democrat)

Raymond Crews DISTRICT 8 (Republican)

Jack Donahue DISTRICT 11 (Republican)

Gregory Cromer DISTRICT 90 (Republican)

Ryan Gatti DISTRICT 36 (Republican)

Julie Emerson DISTRICT 39 (Republican)

Daniel Martiny DISTRICT 10 (Republican)

Sam Jenkins Jr. DISTRICT 2 (Democrat)

John Milkovich DISTRICT 38 (Democrat)

Tanner Magee DISTRICT 53 (Republican) Gregory Miller DISTRICT 56 (Republican) Alan Seabaugh DISTRICT 5 (Republican)


O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8

LMTA 2018 Truck Driving Championships March 23-24, 2018 | Baton Rouge, LA

The 2018 Louisiana Motor Transport Association (LMTA) Truck Driving Championships were held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on March 23-24. 99 drivers totaling approximately 160 million miles, participated in this year’s event. The event consisted of nine classes: Step-Van, Straight Truck, 3-Axle Van, 4-Axle Van, 5-Axle Van, 5-Axle Tank, 5-Axle Flatbed, 5-Axle Sleeper and Twin Trailers. Trophies were


O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8

awarded to the First, Second and Third Place winners in each class. Also recognized at the Safety Banquet were the Mechanics Award, Rookie of the Year, Team Award and overall Grand Champion. All first place winners will represent LMTA, and the state of Louisiana, at the 2018 ATA National Truck Driving Championships in Columbus, OH on August 15-18. B

2018 Truck Driving Championships Winners Straight Truck 1st Place Leroy Williams, Zachary 2nd Place Michael Brian, Bossier City 3rd Place Robert Carter, Homer

XPO Logistics FedEx Freight FedEx Freight

3 Axle Van 1st Place Eric Courville, Breaux Bridge FedEx Freight 2nd Place Donald Melancon, Baton Rouge Walmart Transportation 3rd Place Thomas Steen, Calhoun Old Dominion Freight Line 4 Axle Van 1st Place Louis Scaruffi, Kenner 2nd Place Corey Mitchell, Stonewall 3rd Place Guy Dodson, Shreveport

C & S Wholesale Grocers FedEx Freight XPO Logistics

5 Axle Van 1st Place Larry Peltier, Brusley 2nd Place Glen Winston, Mandeville 3rd Place Lyle Trahan, Hammond

Martin Brower C & S Wholesale Grocers Walmart Transportation

5 Axle Tank 1st Place Milton Hebert, Lafayette FedEx Freight 2nd Place Curtis McMellon, West Monroe XPO Logistics 3rd Place Donald Glover, Opelousas Walmart Transportation 5 Axle Flatbed 1st Place Joseph Vital, Port Allen 2nd Place Joseph Brown, Zachary 3rd Place Larry Smith, Baton Rouge

FedEx Freight FedEx Freight XPO Logistics

Twins 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place

Damien Hebert, Lafayette XPO Logistics Henry Bruster, Woodville, MS UPS Freight Larry Clark, Baton Rouge AAA Cooper Transportation

Sleeper 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place

Chad Rudesill, Hammond Edward Free, Port Allen Johnnie Long, West Monroe

Step Van 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place

Donald G. Williams, West Monroe Andrea Nixon, Prairieville Robin Butler, Baton Rouge

FedEx Ground FedEx Ground FedEx Ground

Mechanics Award: Leslie Gamble, Shreveport

FedEx Freight

Rookie of the Year: Warren Little, Shreveport

FedEx Freight

FedEx Ground Martin Brower Walmart Transportation

Team Trophy: XPO Logistics Grand Champion: Eric Courville, Breaux Bridge

FedEx Freight

OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8


2018 Safety Professional of the Year John Neal Hercules Transport, Inc./O’nealgas John Neal, our 2018 Safety Professional of the Year, has an outstanding commitment to safety and is well respected among his peers and the enforcement community. John plays a vital role in the quest for continued improvement in safety and compliance for his company. John is an active member of numerous safety and transportation organizations and stays well informed of any changes in the industry. He leads his company in the Responsible Care Program which increases their efficiency and safety. John’s ability to effectively communicate and lead is

2018 Driver of the Year Louis Scaruffi C & S Wholesale Services Louis Scaruffi, LMTAs 2017 Driver of the Year, has been driving for his present company for over 36 years – generating more than 2.1 million miles. Added to the accident free miles from his previous employer, Louis has a total of 2.5 million safe driving miles over a career of 40 years! He has participated in numerous local, regional and state truck driving competitions

2018 Driver of the Year Joe Monson Bengal Transportation Services Joe Monson with Bengal Transporation Services was also recognized as our 2018 Driver of the Year. Joe has over 45 years of driving experience with over 4 million accident free miles. Joe started out in the transportation industry at the age of 18, driving a winch truck. He has held many positions within the trucking industry, you name it, and he has probably been a part of it, especially if it deals with heavy haul. He is called the King of Heavy Haul – the best of the best! Back in the 90’s, Joe received the “Rookie of the Year” award for the LMTA Truck Driving Championships. He was confident that he would do the best job he possibly could, and 10

O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8

second to none. His passion for research enables his company to comply with the ever-changing rules and regulations of the transportation industry. Through his unique prospective, molded by his many years in transportation safety, John is able to offer real-world application to create greater understanding during the training process. After obtaining his degree in Personnel Management from Louisiana Tech University, our John began his career drawing extensive knowledge of the law from his 3 years of service with his local city Police Department and 25 years of service with the Louisiana State Police. Not only is he an all-around upstanding citizen, his local community now views John as a real hero since he rescued a

and is very proud to have made it to the ATA National Truck Driving Championships. Louis is a very courteous driver and has stopped several times over the years to assist motorists in need. He also makes it a point to remove debris from the highway to prevent possible accidents. Louis is truly dedicated to making our roadways safe for all motorists. Louis Scaruffi is very involved in this local church and volunteers as a mentor for the “Kid’s Hope” program. He and his wife Maria have six children, including one set of twins.

with that winning attitude, he won! Joe has hauled some big loads, one over 300 feet long, 28 feet wide and 25 feet high. He has hauled oversized and overweight, driving flatbed, lowboy, 13 axles, turntables, along with steering the dolly, dealing with securement, tie downs, outside traffic and distractions, overseeing over 16 drivers on a project, as well as mentoring his trainees emotionally and giving them the knowledge needed to become leaders in the transportation industry. Does Joe plan on retiring from the industry that he loves? Maybe one day, but for now he continues doing his job with commitment, pride and respect. For over 18 years he has had the unwavering support of his wife Janel, whom he refers to as his best friend, and his two beautiful girls, Shannon and Danielle. Joe and his family

small child from drowning in his neighborhood in April of this year. John has two children, Brody and Harper, and one stepson, Trevor. He and his wife, Janet, reside in Ruston, Louisiana. LMTA is proud to recognize John Neal with Hercules Transport/O’Nealgas as the 2018 LMTA Safety Professional of Year.

We are proud to honor Louis Scaruffi with C & S Wholesale Services as the 2018 LMTA Driver of the Year.

are members of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Denham Springs, LA. While not on the road, Joe enjoys riding his Harley, rebuilding his 1985 Chevy truck, and his most important hobby of all time would be spending time with his family. We are proud to honor Joe Monson with Bengal Transportation Services as the 2018 LMTA Driver of the Year.

LMTA Transportation Safety Section Trooper of the Year Senior Trooper James Foster LMTAs 2018 Trooper of the Year, Senior Trooper James Foster, embodies the State Police motto of Courtesy, Loyalty and Service. In late 2017, dispatchers advised all units to BOLO for a green Ford Crown Victoria that had been involved in a kidnapping. A female had been kidnapped and was possibly with the subject in a central LA Parish. The female had been kidnapped on her way to work, had not been heard from since and had possibly been transported to an adjoining parish. Tactical officers from the United States Marshall’s Task Force, Louisiana State Police, local Sheriff’s Office and Police Department were simultaneously developing a plan to get close to a residence in the area where the

LMTA Weight Enforcement Officer of the Year Officer Stephyn Prine Officer Stephyn Prine, LMTAs 2018 Weight Enforcement Officer of the Year, exemplifies the dedication of a true public servant. In early 2017, Officer Prine was on patrol when he received a phone call in reference to a previous complaint of a suspicious person in a rural community. He was advised that a male dressed in a camouflage jacket and black combat BDU bottoms was standing in the middle of the highway. Upon arrival in the area, Officer Prine radioed his location and situation to the local Troop. He then approached the subject, who was still standing in the middle of the road. Officer Prine drew his service weapon

suspect was believed to have lived. Officers on the scene had formulated a plan to have State Police Air fly over the residence in an attempt to see if the vehicle could be located. Senior Trooper Foster positioned his unit to intercept the kidnapper in the event the air unit observed the vehicle. As the air unit approached a vehicle closely matching that used by the alleged kidnapper pulled out from behind an abandoned residence in the area. Indicators led officers to believe that the vehicle was in fact the BOLO vehicle. Once all assets were in place, Senior Trooper Foster attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The driver failed to stop and continued to travel into the adjacent Parish where he jumped from the moving vehicle and fled into the woods. The suspect vehicle came to a stop after the kidnapped victim jumped into the driver’s seat and put it into park. With the

and advised the subject to stop and show his hands. The subject stopped and turned his back to the officer. The subject was ordered to drop the weapon. The subject then concealed the weapon, a machete, between his shirt and jacket, in the center of his back, then laid on his stomach further concealing his arms and hands under his body. The subject then began shouting “I’m a marine and you are going to jail for your sins.” Officer Prine continued to order the subject to throw the machete away from his location. Additional assistance then arrived on the scene and were able to take the subject into custody without incident. Further investigation revealed the subject to have a history of mental issues and violence. The subject was transported for local mental treatment.

Truck Driving Championships Sponsors AAA Cooper Transportation, Dothan, AL Associated Grocers, Baton Rouge C & S Wholesale Grocers, Hammond FedEx Freight, Houston, TX FedEx Ground, Eldorado, AR Great West Casualty Company, Arlington, TX Haynes Motor Lines, Baton Rouge

assistance of others, Senior Trooper Foster apprehended the suspect shortly after the foot pursuit began. Senior Trooper James Foster’s quick actions and training helped bring a safe conclusion to an extremely dangerous situation. LMTA is proud to recognize Senior Trooper James Foster as the 2018 LMTA Trooper of the Year.

Our Weight Enforcement Officer of the Year’s composure and quick thinking defused a potentially deadly situation. LMTA is proud to recognize Officer Stephyn Prine as the 2018 LMTA Weight Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Hercules Transport, Choudrant Martin Brower, Walker Old Dominion Freight Line, Memphis, TN Walmart Transportation, Opelousas XPO Logistics, Port Allen Equipment Provided By AAA Cooper Transportation Bengal Transportation C & S Wholesale Grocers Dupre` Logistics

Ergon Trucking FedEx Freight FedEx Express Martin Brower Old Dominion Freight Line Penske Truck Leasing UPS Freight Walmart Transportation XPO Logistics YRC Freight

OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8



O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8

OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8


LMTA 2018 Seafood Gala April 21, 2018 | The Sugar Mill | New Orleans, LA

The 2018 LMTA Seafood Gala was held at The Sugar Mill in New Orleans on Saturday, April 21st. What an outstanding event! The music was great, the dance floor was never empty and there was a continuous line for commemorative photo booth pictures. Over 950 trucking leaders and their guests were treated to boiled crawfish, fried fish, grilled oysters, jambalaya, Lucky Dogs and ice cream sundaes. As an added bonus, anyone who


O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8

purchased ten or more of the 200 Reverse Raffle Tickets sold was treated to five boiled lobsters delivered to their table… along with the opportunity for a chance to win $5,000! Members of ATAs America’s Road Team were also on hand with the ATA Image Trailer. Our guests were invited to test their driving skills – on an 18-wheeler simulator – all while being educated on the Sharing the Road and the Trucking Moves American Forward campaigns. B

OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8



O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8

2018 Seafood Gala Sponsors

Jambalaya Southern Tire Mart

Ice Cream Sundaes Crescent Trucks Hospitality Suite Roadrunner Towing & Recovery Music & Cracklins Freightliner Detroit Diesel Empire Truck Sales Lonestar Truck Group, Shreveport Truck Center Grilled Oysters Louisiana Seafood Council Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser Directory Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson Photo Booth Gulf South Insurance Agency Lucky Dogs American Trucking Associations

Major Sponsors Electronic Funds Source Guillory Petroleum Transport Peterbilt of Louisiana Port Aggregates Taylor & Martin General Sponsors C & S Wholesale Grocers Comdata Network Stranco Paccar Financial Corporation Pilot Flying J Southern States Utility Sales Patrons Environmental Rental Service J.W. Nelson Transports Northlake Moving & Storage

2018 Annual Sponsors Help, Inc. (Provider of PrePass) Regions Insurance Roadrunner Towing & Recovery Compass Compliance Management FedEx Corporation Gulf Coast Business Credit NOCS Transport

PeopleNet Southern Tire Mart UPS Walmart Stores Aeropres Corporation Bengal Transportation Services BMO Harris Bank N.A. Bruckner Truck Sales C&S Wholesale Grocers Cash Magic Truck Stops Creel Brothers Dedicated Transportation Dupre’ Logistics Dynamic Environmental Services Empire Truck Sales Ergon Trucking FedEx Freight Frisard’s Trucking Co. Grammer Industries Hercules Transport JJ Keller & Associates Marathon Petroleum Newman Transport Pilot Flying J Port Aggregates Razorback Rentals Service Transport Company SevenOaks Capital Corp Triple G Express

OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8



Truck Day at the Capitol LMTA Reaches Out To State Decision-Makers

By Maria Bowen | Photos by Patrick Dennis In May, a group of LMTA leaders helped legislators better understand the impact of trucking in Louisiana, as over two dozen members attended LMTA’s first “Truck Day at the Capitol” in Baton Rouge. The day started with breakfast at the Lieutenant Governor’s apartment in the Pentagon Barracks. Members of the House and Senate Transportation Committees were invited to join our attendees and had the opportunity to ask questions about our industry and inspect a tractor driven in by Preferred Materials in Sibley. After watching committee meetings in both the Senate and the House, a lunch buffet was served in the Governor’s Press Room at the Capitol. Members were asked to invite their personal legislators to join them and listened to remarks from House Transportation Chairman, Terry Landry; Senate Transportation Vice Chair, Sharon Hewitt; Sen. Regina Barrow, and long-time LMTA champion, Sen. Danny Martiny. Members were surprised as Gov. John Bel Edwards joined the group and made special remarks on trucking. He personally delivered


O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8

a proclamation to Executive Director, Chance McNeely, in which he declared Tuesday, May 1 to be “Trucking Day in Louisiana.” To close out the day, attendees were introduced on the Senate floor by Senate Transportation Chairman, Page Cortez and Vice Chair, Sharon Hewitt. A resolution expressing gratitude for trucking and welcoming our LMTA members to the Capitol was read and passed as members watched. One of the attendees, Cully Frisard of Frisard’s in Gramercy spoke about attending Truck Day, “This was a great experience that gave me a newfound respect for what we put our legislators there to do for our state. It was really exciting to hear some of the lawmakers speak to us about how concerned they are for the industry and to share their personal stories on how trucking has been part of their lives. It was a great event and a great education for me, and I think everyone should experience it.” LMTA plans to continue hosting Truck Day and plans to add to the day in the future. B

OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8


DOTD OFFICE OF MULTIMODAL COMMERCE LMTA Follows OMC Developments for Commercial Trucking Industry

By Steve Wheeler Recently Created by the Louisiana Legislature, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s (DOTD) Office of Multimodal Commerce (OMC) is charged with coordinating the state’s programs for Railroads, Ports, Aviation and most recently, Commercial Trucking. “We’re kind of like the ‘development’ arm of the Department of Transportation and Development,” said OMC Commissioner Tommy Clark. “Anything that moves freight and commerce and cargo, we administer.” With the creation of OMC and the addition of a Commercial Trucking Division, Louisiana’s trucking companies will now have a seat at the table when DOTD makes plans for Louisiana’s transportation systems. Stephen Holliday is the new Commercial Trucking Director for the OMC, joining his counterparts five months ago in the divisions divisions for Aviation, Ports and Railroads. Holliday, an attorney having experience with the Louisiana Public Service Commission, helps oversee multimodal transportation issues and more specifically, those that affect commercial trucking. Prior to 2016, commercial trucking issues were relegated to the Intermodal Division of the DOTD Office of Planning. Today, however, the OMC gives truckers a new voice, Holliday said during a recent interview with Open Road magazine at the sprawling DOTD headquarters building along Interstate 110 in Baton Rouge. “Trucking is the first mile and the last mile connection,” Holliday said in explaining how important the trucking industry is to Louisiana’s economic development. “Every industry had a liaison, but we had nobody representing the trucking industry. It’s wonderful to have a seat at the table for commercial trucking.,” Holliday describes his job as “regional, freight-based economic development.” IN THE BEGINNING The Office of Multimodal Commerce was created by the Louisiana Legislature in 2014 through Act 719, authored by Sen. Norby Chabert, R-Houma. In 2014, Chabert argued that DOTD was burdened by too much bureaucracy and needed a way to help the state capitalize on potential business opportunities. “If we don’t have a department that acts in a synergistic way, we are going to miss this opportunity,” Chabert said at the time. Fast forward to July 1, 2016, and Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed Clark as the first commissioner of the new office, saying 20

O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8

Tommy Clark, Commercial Trucking Director for the OMC Photo by Cheryl Gerber the appointment “comes at a crucial time in our state as we deal with a backlog in transportation projects.” “Sen. Chabert wanted to see greater collaboration between the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED) and DOTD,” Clark said. The commissioner’s job was at first designed to be a cabinet-level position, but the state constitution complicated that. There was discussion at the time about putting the multimodal commerce office in LED, but ultimately the legislature decided to place it in DOTD. LMTA Executive Director Chance McNeely holds a seat on the Multimodal Commerce Advisory Commission, which exists to advise Commissioner Clark. McNeely, who served as a Policy Advisor to Governor Jindal on transportation during the creation of the OMC and then served on the executive staff at DOTD as it became effective, said “It’s been great to be a part of the process in so many different capacities. I’m excited about the potential of the office and pleased with the direction that Tommy (Clark) is taking his team.” He also said that LMTA and OMC have the unique ability to serve as resources for one another.

Clark, whose previous work experience includes 25 years in the railroad industry and as a manager in the oil & gas industry, said one of his primary goals is to help LED attract new development to the state, either by providing transportation information to all parties ahead of a contract or assisting after the commitment has been made. “Vital Freight Corridors” Clark, former chairman of the I-49 North Funding and Feasibility Task Force, sees his job as a liaison of sorts between transportation and other industries. He cited the recent announcement that Formosa Petrochemical Corp. will build a $9.4 billion chemical manufacturing complex in St. James Parish. “How many trucks are going to be involved in that?” Clark said. “Trucks play a major role,” and the state’s transporStephen Holliday, Office of Multimodal Commerce Commissioner tation infrastructure needs to meet the demand, he said. approach. People are now coming to us and considering what Clark said port facilities along the information we have.” Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans would “I brought an issues management approach” to the job, Clark said, constitute the “largest port in the world” if they were combined. It’s adding each transportation sector has its own set of issues, most of critical to coordinate the role of trucking with ports, airports and which involve funding, or the lack thereof. “We have to identify what railroads, he said. needs to happen to address those issues,” he said. “You have to look at our vital freight corridors,” Clark said, to “There’s so much opportunity to leverage growth and make it more make sure the infrastructure demands can be met. “Where are the efficient,” Holliday said. Before the new office was created, trucking vital connections?” companies large and small “never had anybody they could call,” he As commissioner, Clark’s job is to provide information on the said. “Now they can voice their concerns.” big picture, while Holliday is focused more on the role played The OMC should be seen as a resource to LMTA and the trucking by commercial trucking. The OMC collects and disseminates industry, Clark added. “If new members are considering joining information on the truck driver shortage and other issues of importance to the trucking industry. Holliday said he will be working LMTA, they should know they have a valuable resource” in the OMC, Clark said. closely with the Louisiana Workforce Commission to come up with The OMC has about two dozen workers in ways to attract drivers to the industry. four divisions who report to Clark. Brad Brandt OMC Deputy Commissioner Phil Jones heads the Aviation Division, Randall Withers pointed out that another job of the new For more information on the DOTD Office heads the Ports and Waterways Division, DOTD office is to help prevent transportaof Multimodal Commerce, visit wwwsp. Holliday heads the Commercial Trucking tion issues from turning into transportation Multimodal/Pages/default.aspx. Division and Dean Goodell heads the Freight problems. He cited roundabouts as an area and Passenger Rail Development Division. that the OMC could have had an impact in For more information on the Commercial In 2016, when announcing Clark’s selection the past. Trucking Division of the OMC, visit as commissioner of the OMC, Gov. Edwards said “Had there been direct representation the Office of Multimodal Commerce was formed earlier on, the problems could have been Divisions/Multimodal/trucking/Pages/ Trucking.aspx. “to enhance the state’s focus on multimodal mitigated,” Jones said. “Now we can come transportation.” Clark and his office “will also in before the problems occur and address help make the case for broad and diverse those needs.” funding solutions…to address the state’s pressing infrastructure needs,” the governor said. “Culture Change” DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson said at the time that he wanted While the OMC is trying to coordinate four transportation to see the office “help strengthen the connection between modes to create a fully integrated transportation system in commerce and modal infrastructure that will translate to economic Louisiana, it’s going to take time to get everyone on board, Clark said. Clark and others at OMC realize that it’s difficult to quantita- development wins for Louisiana.” The OMC is located at 1201 Capitol Access Road in Baton Rouge. tively measure progress towards that ultimate goal, but progress is being made. Holliday can be reached at 225-379-3035. B “We’re still managing the culture change” from before the OMC, Clark said. “There is an embracing and a more ambitious OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8


It’s Worth the Investment

How Trucking Companies Can Be Proactive with Compliance Issues By Timothy Boone In some ways, enhancements in technology have changed how trucking companies approach compliance. “Ten or fifteen years ago, compliance was a mystery. Nobody knew what it was or understood it,” said Brian Stout, president of Transportation Compliance Services, a provider of custom DOT compliance and risk management consulting services. Today, everyone knows countless rules and regulations exist; now the mystery is about how to execute a proactive, comprehensive compliance strategy. In an era where everything is online, both regulators and the public have higher expectations for compliance within the trucking industry. The question is: how does the industry get there? “Every trucking company is different, so there is no “one size fits all” answer, investing in compliance really pays off in the long-term” said Stout. “Some companies have the manpower and resources to develop and execute great compliance plans in-house, some need help. Particularly for smaller carriers, the private consultant industry can be the most cost-effective approach.” “In my view, safety has to be at the top of the list and I think LMTA can do a lot more to serve as a resource to our member companies on compliance issues,” said LMTA Executive Director Chance McNeely. “I intend to have LMTA be part of the compliance solution for trucking companies, that includes connecting you with the right experts and it should also include more tangible services that we must develop internally over time.” Lenny Thompson, who serves as the regional manager for Transportation Compliance Services, said “our industry exists to help trucking companies achieve the long-term rewards of investing in compliance, and technology allows us to be efficient in how we do it.” Drug and alcohol testing and the compliance issues surrounding that are this industry’s “bread and butter”, Thompson said. That includes pre-employment screens, along with a system for random testing and examinations done after an accident or in cases of reasonable suspicion of abuse. “Qualifying a driver, making sure they are in good standing, and checking their history is extremely important,” he said. If a driver gets in an accident and it turns out their qualifying was not done properly, it can cause major legal headaches for a carrier.


O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8

Trucking companies are also required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to have a robust and systematic vehicle maintenance program. It’s important to properly document repairs on vehicles that are found to be in violation during roadside inspections, especially those that are placed out of service. Thompson said regular maintenance, such as fluid changes, needs to also be properly documented. McNeely said compliance consultants work hand in hand with trucking companies to make sure they are following rules and have proper systems in place. He said these consultants also help inform the trucking industry’s efforts to reform federal regulations, which is necessary on a seemingly routine basis. Regulators don’t always get it exactly right and neither do trucking companies. Regardless, the trucking companies that make the investment in safety tend to have safer trucks and drivers on the road. “Most trucking companies that I have come across in my career are concerned about safety on the road but they can also feel overwhelmed about where to start, and that’s where my industry can help,” said Thompson. In an era where insurance premiums go up annually, even without claims, an investment in compliance will generally make your operation safer and help to reduce claims. “It’s good for your drivers, the traveling public, and your bottom line,” said Stout. B

OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8


Q&A with Allied Industry

Steve Sievert Manager, Southern Tire Mart Harahan, Louisiana

Southern Tire Mart is a longtime member of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association and a major sponsor of events such as the annual Seafood Gala. The company has eight locations in Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Houma, Lafayette, Monroe, New Orleans, Shreveport, Sulphur and Vidalia. What type of business are you in? How did you get started in this business? How long have you been in this business? We sell tires for the trucking industry and for commercial and industrial use. I got started in the business because I was unemployed and I needed a job 40 years ago. I had three kids at home. I had to do something. How long have you been a member of the LMTA? What do you see at the greatest value you/your company bring to the LMTA? I’m thinking I’ve been a member for 25 or 26 years. We’re experts in what we do, we are the largest independently owned commercial tire dealer in the United States. Our mission is to help truckers reduce their costs. If we can reduce their costs, they will be our customer. What do you see as the greatest value you/your company receive as an LMTA member? I’m learning all sorts of things about the trucking industry and the legislative issues that affect us. Southern Tire Mart supports the trucking industry because it’s our livelihood. I don’t specifically use the LMTA to make sales calls, that’s just Southern Tire Mart’s position.


O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8

What do you predict for the future of the trucking industry within your type of business? What’s happening now for the first time in about 35 years is an influx of imported Chinese disposable tires. That’s giving us a tremendous challenge to figure out how to position ourselves for the future. For 10 years, our business has been based on selling truck tires and retreading them two or three times. It was cost effective and very safe for our customers. These disposable Chinese tires are priced 50 percent less than premium tires and they cannot be retreaded. We’re having to change our business model. What we’re finding is that in larger fleets, you can sit down and have a discussion on what’s best for them: is it price or durability? Smaller fleets might not have the financial ability to purchase premium tires at this time. What accomplishment are you most proud of in your relationship with the LMTA and the trucking industry in Louisiana? Being elected secretary and being on the executive board. I consider it quite an honor. B

Trucking Member Spotlight

Bill John

President, John N. John Truck Line Inc.

By Timothy Boone

John N. John was founded in 1925 by Bill John’s grandfather. The company became a major transporter of grain from the rice mills of its hometown of Crowley to the ports of Lake Charles and New Orleans. In the 1940s, John N. John moved into transport for the oil and gas industry. The company has more than 100 tractors and 150 trailers. What are your company goals? Our number one goal is to be cognizant of the motoring public and to hire safe, courteous employees. From technicians to drivers and all the way up to top managers. The LMTA offers a good networking system to find these qualified professionals. John N. John has been a member of the LMTA since 1940, making it one of the oldest members of the organization. How do you see the LMTA in assisting John N. John in achieving its goals? The LMTA offers a good networking system. They also have a political action group, TransPac, that they started a while back. It allows our voices to be heard on legislation. I give a lot of credit to Cathy Gautreaux (the former LMTA executive director). She’s the main reason the LMTA has grown, because it has been a voice in the legislative process. We must believe in them to have stuck with them for all this time. What do you credit John N. Johns’ longevity to? We’re the oldest family-owned trucking company in the state. That’s really cool. We have one driver who has been driving for

us for 60 years. We had a technician who just made his 50th anniversary with the company. We’re very proud of that. We’re family owned and operated and we have an atmosphere where we treat people like family. Their longevity and attention to detail are a testament to that. From our company standpoint, I drive. My family and I are on highways all day long. So we are cognizant of whom we put behind the wheel. How has the trucking industry changed over the years? I got involved with the trucking industry when I got out of LSU in 1978. We’re seeing technology coming to the forefront of truck transportation: GPS, driver cameras, lane avoidance technology. That’s been in the automotive industry for much longer than it has been in the trucking industry. What service provided by the LMTA have you found to be the most valuable to your business? I have to go back to TransPac. LMTA has our backs during the session, making sure when there is legislation that affects our industry, the legislators understand our points. They’ve made a difference on some of the fuel tax issues and using fuel taxes for dedicated highway funds. They’re our voice, not only in the Louisiana Legislature, but in Washington. The LMTA is a very important part of our business. In the political climate we live in now, we must have a voice in the legislative process. B

OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8


Q2 NEW LMTA Members Duckwater Services, LLC Clark Burton Eldorado, AR Commercial Tank Wash Meritor Bart Hakenewert Dothan, AL Truck & Trailer Manufacturer Republic Services, LLC Sharon Mann Baton Rouge, LA Private Carrier TSD Logistics, Inc. Joy J. Hanson-Hickerson Texarkana, TX Bulk Carrier Westside Oil Recovery, LLC John Cure Slidell, LA Oilfield Services

Louisiana Motor Transport Association, Inc.

2018 Calendar of Events June 21

Safety Management Council Joint LA/TX Courtesy Vehicle Inspection Greenwood Scales

July 19

Safety Management Council Courtesy Vehicle Inspection Baptist Scales

August 2-4

Annual Convention Pensacola Beach Hilton Pensacola, FL

AUGUST 15-18

ATA National Truck Driving Championships Columbus, OH

August 23

Safety Management Council Courtesy Vehicle Inspection LaPlace Scales

September 9-15 National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

Advertiser Index Cobbs, Allen & Hall.......................inside front cover & back cover Roadrunner Towing and Recovery INC ......................................2 TA Truck Service......................................................................6 Strick Trailers..........................................................................7 Wooddale Truck Repair Service.............................................. 12 United Vision Logistics........................................................... 13 Wells Fargo Equipment Finance.............................................. 13 Preferred Materials................................................................ 19 Newman Transport LLC.......................................................... 19 Transportation Compliance Services USA................................ 23 Southern Tire Mart................................................................ 25 Frisard Companies................................................................. 27 Prepass................................................................................. 27 Perkins & Associates, Attorneys at Law................................... 29 28

O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8

OP E N R OA D Q 2 2 0 1 8



O P E N R OAD Q2 2 0 1 8