Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Proposal would fund investments for driver jobs

Monday, March 11th, 2019

A new proposal would potentially fund infrastructure investments to help driver jobs.

American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear told the House Ways and Means Committee that the nation’s infrastructure needs demand real funding solutions from the federal government, not reliance on gimmickry.

“We are no longer facing a future highway maintenance crisis – we’re living it – and every day we fail to invest, we’re putting more lives at risk. In nearly 53 percent of the highway fatalities, the condition of the roadway contributed,” he said. “Time wasted sitting in traffic – rather than at work or with our families – has skyrocketed. Motorists now pay an average of $1,600 due to repairs and congestion each year. Trucking now loses $74.5 billion sitting in gridlock. These are regressive realities and the escalating costs of doing nothing – and they are reflected in the prices we all pay. These costs are measurable and should serve as offsets for new spending on our nation’s infrastructure.”

ATA has proposed a 20-cent-per-gallon fee on motor fuels – collected at the wholesale rack – as a way of raising real funding for investment in infrastructure. This fee, called the Build America Fund, would be phased in over four years at a nickel per year and generate $340 billion over the next decade for road and bridge repair and replacement.

“Federal inaction has prompted cash-strapped states to adopt regressive revenue schemes that hurt commuters, communities and divert funds to non-infrastructure priorities,” Spear said in his testimony, citing variable tolls on Interstate 66 in Virginia.

“This is the essence of regressive and our future if you choose to devolve your Constitutional authority to the states,” he said. “In contrast, if motorists paid the average toll – the cost of a 10-mile trip over an eight-day period on I-66 would equal their cost for an entire year under ATA’s Build America Fund for all roads and bridges in the United States.”

Tonnage Index for driver jobs increases

Monday, March 11th, 2019

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.3% in January after falling 1% in December, which will affect driver jobs. In January, the index equaled 117.3 (2015=100), up from 114.7 in December.

ATA recently revised the seasonally adjusted index back five years as part of its annual revision.

“After monthly declines in both November and December, tonnage snapped back in January,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “I was very pleased to see this rebound. But we should expect some moderation in tonnage this year as most of the key sectors that generate truck freight tonnage are expected to decelerate.”

Compared with January 2018, the SA index increased 5.5%. In 2018, the index increased 6.7% over 2017, which was the largest annual gain since 1998.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 113.1 in January, which was 2.9% above the previous month (109.9). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

 Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

 ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

Bill to address truck driver shortage

Monday, March 11th, 2019

The introduction of a new bill will take a look at resolving truck driver shortage.

Bipartisan bills in the U.S. House and Senate have been introduced that would help address the nation’s growing shortage of truck drivers, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear praised the legislation as critically important to the American economy.

“The strong bipartisan, bicameral support behind this legislation demonstrates how real a threat the driver shortage presents to our nation’s economic security over the long-term – and how serious our lawmakers are about addressing it with common-sense solutions,” Spear said. “Given the broad coalition of interests backing this measure, there is growing understanding across the country that the impact of this issue reaches far beyond just trucking and commercial vehicles. It is a strain on the entire supply chain, from the manufacturers and producers on down to retail and the end consumer, who will see higher prices at the store.”

ATA is a member of the DRIVE Safe Act Coalition, co-led by ATA and the International Foodservice Distributors of America, and includes the National Association of Manufacturers, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders of America and more than 40 other national trade associations and companies.

While 48 states permit individuals to obtain a commercial driver’s license and drive trucks at age 18, federal regulations prevent those drivers from crossing state lines until they turn 21. This restriction bars a vital population of job seekers from interstate trucking, exacerbating the driver shortage, as qualified candidates are lost to other industries. The DRIVE Safe Act would allow certified CDL holders already permitted to drive intrastate the opportunity to participate in a rigorous apprenticeship program designed to help them master interstate driving, while also promoting enhanced safety training for emerging members of the workforce.

The DRIVE Safe Act would help train younger drivers far and above current standards. Under the legislation, once a driver has met the requirements to obtain a CDL, they would begin a two-step program of additional training that includes a number of performance benchmarks each candidate must demonstrate competency in.  In addition, they would be required to complete at least 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving time with an experienced driver in the cab with them. All trucks used for training in the program must be equipped with NTSB-endorsed safety technology including active braking collision mitigation systems, forward-facing video event capture and a speed governor set at 65 miles per hour.

Significantly, all of these post-CDL training, safety, and technology standards under the DRIVE Safe Act would be required on top of all the pre-CDL training benchmarks that new drivers will be required to satisfy when the Entry Level Driver Training Rule goes in to effect in February 2020, which includes 59 different topics of knowledge and behind-the-wheel training for Class A CDL applicants.

Driving school for driver jobs opens

Saturday, February 9th, 2019

A new driving school for driver jobs has been launched.

Maverick Transportation LLC, a National Transportation Institute 2018 Top Pay Carrier and also named 2018 Best Fleets to Drive For, recently announced the opening of its new driving school, Maverick Driving Academy.

The school, which is located on the company’s North Little Rock campus, held its first class in December.

“One of the biggest challenges that trucking companies face today is attracting new drivers to the industry,” said John Culp, president of Maverick Transportation. “We have been successfully training drivers for many years and are excited to announce the addition of CDL education to our curriculum. Maverick Driving Academy will offer a seamless path to employment at Maverick, for those seeking a new career as a professional truck driver.”

The company opened up its first training facility in North Little Rock in 2005 where it has provided drivers with industry-leading training and securement curriculum.

Maverick’s new driving school will be an expansion to the company’s existing programs. Here, students will receive the necessary CDL education and training to become professional drivers.

“Our new school is a way to add to the driver education that has already been a vital part of our growth and success over the years,” said Culp. “We are committed to growing our company ‘The Maverick Way’ and we’re looking forward to having these new drivers walk through our doors.”

 

Pilot program boosts military recruitment for driver jobs

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

A program recently launched with the intent to foster military recruitment for driver jobs.

The Department of Transportation has launched a pilot program to permit 18-20 year olds who possess the U.S. Military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate large trucks in interstate commerce.

“This program will allow our Veterans and Reservists, to translate their extensive training into good-paying jobs operating commercial vehicles safely across the country, while also addressing the nationwide driver shortage,” said Secretary Chao.

As directed by Section 5404 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the pilot program will grant a limited number of individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 to operate large trucks in interstate commerce – provided they possess the Military equivalent of a CDL and are sponsored by a participating trucking company.

“As our nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day, Secretary Chao and I were excited to highlight a program I helped champion to provide truck driver jobs to young veterans,” said Senator Fischer.

“This innovative program offers a way for our younger Veterans and Reservists to transition to the civilian workforce. I personally thank Secretary Chao and officials with the DOT who continue to find ways to utilize the training and talent of the men and women who served in uniform for our country,” said Congressman Bacon.

During the pilot program, which is slated to run for three years, the safety records of these drivers will be compared to the records of a control group of drivers.

 

Walmart to hire for truck driver jobs

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

Retail giant Walmart is increasing wages and hiring for more truck driver jobs.

With more than 1,400 new Walmart truck drivers added in 2018, hundreds more are slated to join the fleet in 2019.

Assessments, mentorship and a faster hiring process are all a part of new onboarding events that are filling critical new jobs created by Walmart’s business growth during an industry-wide shortage.

The revamped orientation initiatives have already cut in half the time between a candidate’s initial interview and a mandatory driving assessment, expediting the time it takes to complete a new hire.

Last year, Walmart saw same-store comp sales hit 3 percent, which is leading to increased demands on the transportation network.

In addition to the onboarding events, Walmart is raising driver pay beginning in February. A one cent per mile increase and additional pay for every arrival means that Walmart drivers will now earn on average $87,500 a year and with an all-in rate close to 89 cents per mile.

Furnell said Walmart is transforming its hiring process to give applicants the opportunity to learn the “Walmart way.”

In the past, candidates were given one opportunity to perform an assessment, during which they were evaluated for driving skills and what is known as a “pre-trip inspection,” or safety scans of a truck prior to each departure. But targeted one-on-one mentoring from veteran drivers has been introduced in the new process. Two centralized locations – Casa Grande, Arizona, and Lauren, South Carolina – serve as week-long onboarding facilities for new hires to observe veteran drivers and then practice those skills “the Walmart way.”

Diabetes and driver jobs

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) earlier last year announced a final rule revising federal regulations permitting individuals with a stable insulin regimen and properly controlled insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to be qualified to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce, a move that will affect driver jobs.

Previously, individuals with ITDM were prohibited from driving CMVs in interstate commerce unless they obtained an exemption from FMCSA.  The action removes major administrative and financial burdens for this population of CMV operators while maintaining a high level of safety.

The rule enables a certified medical examiner (ME) to grant an individual with ITDM a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, MCSA-5876, for up to 12 months.

To do so, the treating clinician – the healthcare professional who manages, and prescribes insulin for, the treatment of the individual’s diabetes – provides the ITDM Assessment Form, MCSA-5870, to the certified ME indicating that the individual maintains a stable insulin regimen and proper control of his or her diabetes.

The certified ME is then responsible for determining if the individual meets FMCSA’s physical qualification standards and can operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

“This final action delivers economic savings to affected drivers and our agency, and streamlines processes by eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens and redundancy,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.  “It’s a win-win for all parties involved.”

The final rule will eliminate the exemption program that currently requires individuals with ITDM to incur recurring costs to renew and maintain their exemptions.  FMCSA estimates this will save the nearly 5,000 individuals with ITDM that currently have exemptions more than $5 million per year more than what they would endure under the exemption program.  The final rule will also save new ITDM exemption applicants and their associated motor carriers approximately $215,000 annually in opportunity and compliance costs related with the exemption program’s waiting period.

As an agency, FMCSA will save more than $1 million per year over the next three years in costs associated with administering the diabetes exemption program.

Do companies plan to hire for driver jobs?

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

New labor predictions demonstrate that some companies may be hiring for driver jobs in the new year.

Nearly 55 percent of companies plan to hire in the coming year, according to a survey conducted by global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Fewer companies reported that economic fears and soft demand would negatively impact hiring.

Nine percent of companies stated low demand and economic uncertainty would slow hiring, compared to 24 percent of respondents who reported this in the 2017 survey.

Employers also report confidence in the economy this year, according to the survey. Over 63 percent of employers feel the economy is stronger than last year.

That’s compared to 47.6 percent who reported this in 2017.

Another 26.2 percent feel the economy is on par with last year, versus 49.2 percent who reported this in 2017.

In fact, employers at U.S.-based companies have announced 494,775 cuts through November, according to Challenger tracking.

That’s compared to 386,347 cuts announced through the same period last year. Meanwhile, 1,323 CEOs have left their posts through November, the most since 2008, when 1,361 CEOs left their posts through the same month.

Climate recommendations may affect driver jobs

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

A new statewide council addressing climate change may affect driver jobs.

The Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3), which will establish a sustainable path for achieving Connecticut’s long-term vision for decarbonizing our economy in order to address the problem of human-induced climate change. The policy recommendations are focused on three broad objectives: zero-carbon electricity generation; clean transportation; and clean, efficient, and resilient buildings.

In addition, to underscore Connecticut’s commitment to work with other nearby states on designing a regional low-carbon transportation policy proposal that would cap and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector through a cap-and-invest or other pricing program, Governor Malloy announced that Connecticut will join the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) – a coalition of nine states and the District of Columbia that will work closely over the next year to develop a proposal that can be implemented across the region.

“Do not be fooled by the climate change deniers in Washington, climate change is real and if we do not take significant action now to reduce carbon emissions the harm to our economy, communities, and the planet will be irrevocable,” Governor Malloy said. “Climate change is one of the most pressing issues the world faces today and the recommendations contained within this report will ensure that Connecticut is meeting its statutory and moral obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I am thankful to all the members of the GC3, including state agency officials, business leaders, scientists, environmental advocates who have dedicated their time in developing solutions to decarbonize Connecticut’s economy.”

“As not only a scientist, but a father, I am gravely concerned about the speed at which climate change is occurring, as evidenced from the recent United Nations IPCC Special Report and the Fourth National Climate Assessment,” Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee said. “While the recommendations contained with the GC3 report are ambitious and will require the effort of all parts of civil society, I will remind everyone that we are a nation that has done big things in the past and it is time to step up and make addressing climate change this generation’s moon shot. We have done it before, and if we do not act now, it will be too late to reverse the damage.”

In addition to Connecticut, other states that have joined the TCI include Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

“States are the incubators of great ideas,” Governor Malloy said regarding the coalition. “By working collaboratively across state lines to develop a solution to curb transportation emissions, Connecticut, along with other forward-thinking states, will design and demonstrate effective policies, so that when the federal government stops listening to coal lobbyists and returns to listening to scientists, there will be a path forward to address climate change on a national basis.”

Accidents and driver jobs

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

New data on fatalities on the road and driver jobs has just been released.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that 2017 highway fatality numbers are down following two consecutive years of large increases.  In addition, preliminary estimates for the first six months of 2018 appear to show that this downward trend continues into this year.

“Safety is the Department’s number one priority,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao.  “The good news is that fatalities are trending downward after increasing for the two previous years.  But, the tragic news is that 37,133 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in 2017.  All of us need to work together to reduce fatalities on the roads.”

In 2017, 37,133 people died in motor vehicle crashes, a decrease of almost 2 percent from 2016. While the full 2017 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data set will be available today, other notable changes include:

  • Pedestrian fatalities declined about 2 percent, the first decline since 2013;
  • For the second year in a row, more fatalities occurred in urban areas than rural areas;
  • Combination trucks involved in fatal crashes increased 5.8 percent;
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased by 1.2 percent from 2016 to 2017; and
  • The fatality rate per 100 million VMT decreased by 2.5 percent, from 1.19 in 2016 to 1.16 in 2017.

“Dangerous actions such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence are still putting many Americans, their families and those they share the road with at risk,” said Deputy Administrator King.  “Additionally, we must address the emerging trend of drug-impaired driving to ensure we are reducing traffic fatalities and keeping our roadways safe for the traveling public.”

The 1.8-percent decrease from 2016 to 2017 compares to the 6.5-percent increase from 2015 to 2016 and the 8.4-percent increase from 2014 and 2015.