House Bill Would Require Pilot Program for DOT Hair Testing for Drugs

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By Truckinginfo Staff

Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wisc.) introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives requiring the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct a pilot program to evaluate the use of hair samples to test commercial drivers for illicit drug use.

American Trucking Associations applauded the move.

For many years, ATA has supported improving drug and alcohol testing procedures for commercial drivers, ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. Hair testing, which research and experience shows can be much more effective than current, conventional sampling and testing methods."

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) is cosponsor.

No fleet wants to put the safety of the public at risk by putting an impaired driver behind the wheel of one its trucks, said ATA Chairman Mike Card, president of Combined Transport, Central Point, Ore. More effective drug testing procedures can help us make sure that doesn't happen.

Major fleets such as Schneider National, C.R. England and J.B. Hunt require drivers to undergo hair testing for drugs, but those results cannot be shared with other prospective employers like urine testing can.

The practice of defeating and falsifying urine tests is widespread enough in the trucking industry to have prompted a Government Accountability Office investigation in 2007 that uncovered some disturbing problems.

Undercover investigators were able to use bogus commercial driver's licenses at 24 drug-testing sites, proving that a driver could easily send a substitute in with a fake ID. In addition, 22 of the 24 sites did not follow testing protocols, which opened the door to further cheating, GAO found.

Hair testing for drugs is on the agenda of the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, known for short as The Trucking Alliance, which originally was formed to lobby for mandatory electronic onboard recorders. Its agenda for the next two-year congressional cycle includes promoting hair testing for drugs, creation of a drug and alcohol clearinghouse, and other issues.



Member Alert - 12-5-2012

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From: Richard Hidalgo
Subject: Scam Alert
To: "Larry Hobgood", "Gary Strube"
Date: Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 10:11 AM
Just got a call from a Michael Hayes 615 268-4393 who claimed to be from Covenant Transport. He said he was in need of drivers so I started to ask him a bit about himself. He hung up on me when I asked who his supervisor was. Now I ask you was he a scammer?

Thanks for the Heads up Rick! Mr. Hayes is back please, make your schools aware.


CSA Update: December 2012 Improvements to the SMS Have Arrived!

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The Safety Measurement System (SMS) enhancements are here. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is announcing the implementation of 11 changes to the November snapshot of SMS. These changes reflect public input, following a preview period that began in March 2012. During that period, more than 19,000 carriers and 2,900 law enforcement personnel viewed the SMS preview data and provided comments.

For more information about these most recent changes, see the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Website ( or the FMCSA news release under News & Alerts ( Motor carriers can keep track of their data on the SMS Website ( and find out more about the SMS improvements.

FMCSA remains committed to CSA and making enhancements in an open and transparent manner to further reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. The Agency values the input of all safety stakeholders and actively seeks constructive input and new ideas that will further improve safety on our Nation’s roadways. To submit a question or contact a member of our team, visit


Truckers Told Nat Gas Growth Depends on Related Changes

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By Rip Watson, Senior Reporter
This story appears in the Dec. 3 print edition of Transport Topics.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The emergence of natural gas as a viable fuel for trucking is dependent on progress in overcoming infrastructure hurdles such as a dependable fuel supply network, a new generation of engines and driver acceptance, industry experts said last week.

“The big question is timing,” James Haslam II, chairman of Pilot Flying J, said when he addressed the American Trucking Associations’ Summit on Natural Gas in Trucking here on Nov. 29... Continue reading. (Log-in to TTNews is required.)


Federal Highway Administrator Visits Volpe, Discusses Innovation

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VMendez.jpgVictor M. Mendez, U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway (FHWA) administrator, recently spent a day at Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center, to learn about Volpe's FHWA work portfolio and talk to staff about innovation. During the administrator's visit, Volpe experts briefed Mendez on a variety of efforts, including Volpe's role in the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) and efforts in economic analysis, professional capacity building, transportation planning, environmental stewardship, and program evaluation.

Mendez shared his perspectives on the challenges FHWA is currently facing and also spoke to the Volpe community about innovation. "One of my favorite topics is innovation," said Mendez. In today's world, with limited resources and safety challenges, there is a need to find ways to innovate the transportation industry and implement great ideas.

Mendez paved the way for just that when he launched Every Day Counts, an initiative designed to identify and deploy innovative technologies that shorten project delivery, enhance the safety of our roadways, and protect the environment. Every Day Counts is a partnership between the Federal Highway Administration, state DOTs, local governments, and the construction and consulting communities.

"The essence of good inventions is looking at the world in a different way—coming forth with new ideas and not necessarily new inventions," said Mendez, who spoke during Volpe's Straight from the Source lecture series on October 25. A key element of Every Day Counts is that it seeks innovative input from all employees, opening channels and providing a venue to bring new ideas to the table.

Every Day Counts is designed to shave years off the delivery process, including conventional highway projects, which take roughly 14 years to build. "People cannot wait 14 years, and I do not think we should have to wait 14 years to enjoy the benefits of a safer infrastructure," said Mendez.

A proponent of design-build, Mendez spoke about local communities knowing what works best for their projects, using the Fast 14 project as an example. Under Fast 14, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation replaced 14 bridges over a 10-weekend period. Traditionally, this would have taken three to four years to complete. This is the kind of innovation that we are looking for, he said. As a result of using the accelerated bridge construction approach, traffic congestion was minimized and safety was increased by working weekends: an innovative solution that helped improve people's lives.

Congress has taken notice of the innovative solutions offered by Every Day Counts and brought many of these ideas into MAP-21, a law authorizing $105 billion for surface transportation through 2014. It is anticipated that in the next 5 to 6 years, bridges will be built using a similar design-build approach rather than the traditional approach.

Our transportation system affects the lives of people every day and is a major economic driver in our country, Mendez said. One challenge that our system faces is that our workforce is facing a transition—the trend of more experienced people nearing retirement and leaving the industry. By making innovation part of the basic culture of transportation, though, it creates a culture that lasts and continues long after those that depart the workforce. It is important to address this issue by keeping the pipeline filled with talented people with innovative ideas.
Mendez concluded by saying that with limited resources, we need to improve to be better, work smarter, deliver transportation projects sooner, and encourage states to use new technologies. At a time when we are experiencing challenging constraints, Every Day Counts touches on creating jobs, maintaining infrastructure, enhancing safety, protecting the environment, and growing the economy.


Highway Angel Lindsay to Perform at Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting

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Standing Tall” – The U S Capitol Christmas tree AND our American soldiers. To hear the winning song go to and scroll down.

For Immediate Release
November 30, 2012
Contact: Michael Nellenbach, Director of Communications
(703) 838-1950 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TCA Highway Angel Spokesperson Lindsay Lawler to Perform

December 4th at Lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree
Lawler wrote the theme song for 2012 tree project

Alexandria, Va. – The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is pleased to announce that its official Highway Angel spokesperson, country music singer Lindsay Lawler, will perform December 4th at the lighting ceremony of the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree. She will also sing at three associated receptions, including one for Congressional representatives.

The 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree is a 73-ft. Engelmann Spruce that was harvested near Meeker, Colo., in early November. For 23 days, it traveled to towns and cities across the U.S. on a custom-decorated, Mack Pinnacle truck driven by former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. TCA and several industry partners sponsored stops in Dallas and Nashville, both of which included performances by Lawler. She also sang at the initial kickoff celebration in Colorado.

Lawler became involved with the tree when she wrote a song that was chosen as the project’s official theme for 2012. Beating out nearly 300 competitors, “Standing Tall” describes the tree’s journey across America and its symbolism as a “light in the dark for us all.” The lyrics also praise those who fight for freedom so that Americans can continue to live the American Dream. To listen to the song, visit the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree’s Web site at

According to Lawler, “I was thrilled to write the winning song, one that speaks to the importance of the People’s Tree. It’s a beautiful symbol of unity for our nation. The fact that the tree has traveled from Colorado to Washington by truck makes this project even more important to me, because I love being affiliated with the trucking industry through TCA. I am proud to say a truck was the vehicle that delivered this wonderful tree to the people of the United States.”

Chris Burruss, president of the Truckload Carriers Association, and Deborah Sparks, TCA’s vice president of development, plan to escort Lawler to the tree lighting ceremony and her other performances. “We’re very proud that our Highway Angel spokesperson is playing such an important role in a nationwide celebration,” said Burruss. “When it comes to showing the general public a positive side of trucking, Lindsay is a terrific role model.”

The 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree continues a hallowed American tradition that originated nearly 50 years ago. The tree lighting ceremony takes place at 5:00 p.m. on December 4th. Afterward, visitors can view “The People’s Tree” nightly from dusk to 11 p.m. throughout the holiday season. For more details, visit


Member Alert - 11-28-2012

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From: Nona McDonough
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:11 PM
Subject: Scam
I just received a phone call from Dorothy Campbell of Wichita Truck Driving School.  She advised that her students are receiving phone calls from a "fake" recruiter named, Wayne Bishop from phone # 615-284-4332.
Wayne is charging people large amounts of money telling them he can get them jobs especially if they have had a DUI, felony, or misdemeanor.  He is telling them that he can get felonies/misdemeanors approved within 5 years and DUI's within 3 years.  Then, he promises them that they are only out 14 days and home 4 days.
Dorothy stated that he has called some students and advised that he worked for Prime.  Now, he is saying that he works for Covenant Transport.  After he collects their money, he calls them back and says, "You've just been scammed."
Dorothy wanted to make everyone aware of the situation.  She also advised that anyone can call her at 316-838-3336 or her cell # @ 316-579-3379 if they hear anything from "Wayne Bishop".  She is trying to track as many of the calls as possible.
Nona McDonough, Covenant Transport.
Thanks for the Heads up!