Congressional leaders reached tentative agreement on a highway bill, agreeing to maintain current federal transportation levels for 27 months, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
The measure also drops a Republican-backed provision for approval the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the Associated Press reported. House Republicans had pushed for that but the White House threatened to veto the bill if it was included, AP reported.
“The bill is funded at current levels and will protect and create three million jobs,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Environment Works and Public Works Committee, said in a statement.
House and Senate conferees are expected to pass the measure before the end of the week, prior to the expiration of the current extension of transportation funding on Saturday, the House Transportation Committee said in a statement... Continue reading.
Congressional leaders reached tentative agreement on a highway bill, agreeing to maintain current federal transportation levels for 27 months, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Swift Transportation will soon start awarding ranked company drivers a new Quarterly Performance Pay bonus of up to 6 cents per mile.
Swift company drivers are currently ranked based on their safety, service and productivity level. This new program begins on July 1, 2012, and bonuses will be paid at the end of each fiscal quarter to ranked drivers who are employed the entire quarter.
The new Quarterly Performance Pay is in addition to the current pay and motivates drivers to improve their ranking through focused attention to safety, on-time service and miles driven, the company explains. The higher the driver's rank, the higher the Quarterly Performance Pay will be. Based on the driver's performance, they can earn up to 6 bonus cents per mile - if they have achieved superior performance for an extended period of time.
The program is designed to reward driver performance that helps the company achieve its goals. The cost of the quarterly bonus is expected to be approximately 1 cent per company mile - without taking into consideration the positive impact from further improvement in productivity, customer service and safety.
"As you can see from this new plan, we are serious about retaining and rewarding the best drivers in America," says Richard Stocking, president and COO.
For more information, go to www.joinswift.com.
This article is from
Fast Lane, The Official Blog of the US Secretary of Transportation
As Independence Day approaches, many Americans will gather to "Ooh" and "Ahh" at the sparkling explosions of traditional fireworks displays that light up the sky from coast to coast. We have so much to celebrate in this nation, and the bursts and booms of fireworks are a perfect way to demonstrate our pride and love of country.
But fireworks are also dangerous, so we at DOT want to do everything we can to keep people safe.
Even sparklers pose a fire hazard
To protect you and your family from dangerous fires, three teams at DOT are working hard to make sure Americans enjoy a safe Fourth of July.
The Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Aviation Administration have taken steps to alert the public to the dangers of buying and transporting fireworks.
Consumer Fireworks Safety AlertIn addition to a safety alert that covers the transport of consumer fireworks, PHMSA has also provided guidelines for getting these explosives home in your vehicle. These include:
Never attempt to light a firework within your vehicle
Do not smoke near fireworks
Transport fireworks in a spark-proof container and place them in the trunk of your vehicle
Keep fireworks out of direct sunlight
As a reminder from the FAA, air travelers should know that fireworks of any kind are not allowed on commercial airlines whether in checked or carry-on baggage. The FAA also offers an informative "Hazardous Materials" website.
And, from June 28 through July 8, our Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will conduct a nationwide roadside inspection sweep to ensure that commercial motor vehicles transporting fireworks are operating in full compliance with federal and state safety standards. FMCSA inspectors--in partnership with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and state law enforcement agencies--will carefully examine the driver, vehicle and load.
Community fireworks celebration
Fireworks on the Fourth of July are an American tradition; they're just a terrific way to celebrate the anniversary of our independence. They light up the awe-inspired faces of our children and grandchildren, and they can even turn adults into kids again. But it's important to use them safely.
So, if you're transporting fireworks this week, please treat them with care.
And however you plan to celebrate the holiday, I wish you and your family a safe and happy Fourth of July.
etrucker.com by CCJ Staff
Published June 25, 2012
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Monday, June 25, announced that 287 commercial bus and truck drivers were removed from the roads and 128 companies face enforcement actions as a result of the agency's annual drug and alcohol strike force sweep that occurred from April 30 through May 11.
"Our message is clear - we will not allow commercial bus and truck drivers operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol to stay on the road," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "All drivers and their passengers deserve to be confident that bus and truck drivers are safe and sober."
FMCSA said that during the two-week sweep, nearly 200 federal investigators examined the drug and alcohol safety records of commercial drivers employed by bus and truck companies, including school bus drivers, interstate passenger carriers, hazardous material transporters and general freight long-haul trucking companies.
Their goals were to identify motor carriers in violation of federal drug and alcohol testing requirements and to remove from other road commercial truck and bus drivers who jump from carrier to carrier to evade federal drug and alcohol testing and reporting requirements... Continue reading.
GREEN BAY, Wis. - (June 27, 2012) - The national Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) has chosen Schneider National, Inc., one of the nation's most decorated employers of current and former military personnel, as its first-ever recipient of the Extraordinary Employer Support Award.
Criteria to win the award included having five years or more of sustained excellence in supporting National Guard and Reserve troops. Eligible recipients were also required to have had the honor of earning the Freedom Award, a distinction Schneider achieved when the Secretary of Defense presented the inaugural award in 1994.
"It's very special to receive recognition for something we've not only been practicing for decades, but for a mission we're truly very passionate about," says Mike Hinz, a vice president at Schneider and a retired member of the U.S. Army and Reserve. "We're proud to be providing great jobs to both current and former members of the military."
Hinz remarked that Schneider, one of the nation's largest truckload carriers, understands what makes military members successful drivers and transportation professionals at Schneider. "We know what current and former military members are going through," he said. "They're wondering, 'Is what I decide to do next ever going to compare to my meaningful, exciting and diverse work in the military?' For me, to be able to complement or extend a career to those individuals at Schneider is fulfilling because I know firsthand how dynamic and meaningful the work here is. That feels good."
ESGR recently honored Schneider National with a reception at Joint Force Headquarters in Madison, Wis. In attendance were Jim Rebholz, national chairman of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin, and Richard Vallin, Wisconsin ESGR chair, among others.
"I had to smile, because we just celebrated Schneider's 20th anniversary of commitment to military members," Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar said. "I think if you looked up 'employer support to military members' in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of Schneider National right there."
Rebholz added: "Schneider National's longstanding commitment to giving back to current and former military members is indisputable. It's refreshing to see a company that is so genuine about its purpose and serves as a role model for other companies out there."
Supporting the Red, White and Blue
In May Schneider pledged to hire 650 military veterans throughout the U.S.
in 2012. Schneider also works extensively with the transportation industry, government officials and Veterans Affairs to improve and streamline hiring procedures for current and former military members. Over 21 percent of Schneider's hires currently serve or have served in the military.
Schneider was also recently named a Most Valuable Employer for MilitaryR Finalist on CivilianJobs.com's Annual List for the second consecutive year.
The company was the only truckload carrier on the list. Moreover, 2012 marked the sixth consecutive year Schneider National was named to G.I. Jobs' Top 100 Military-Friendly Employers List.
Last year the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accepted Schneider into its exclusive Apprenticeship Program. During their first year at Schneider, veteran drivers are eligible to earn a monthly educational benefit check from the VA in addition to their paycheck - up to $1,069 each month depending on the number of years of service.
Other military-specific benefits Schneider offers include guaranteed home time for weekend drill and annual training for Guard and Reserve members as well as extended benefits and differential pay during deployment.
Photos are available to download at http://bit.ly/LW8CQI. To learn more about career opportunities available at Schneider National or to apply, visit www.schneiderjobs.com or call 1-800-44-PRIDE (1-800-447-7433). For more information about the military-specific benefits offered by Schneider, select "Military" under either the Company Drivers or Owner-Operators menus on schneiderjobs.com.
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense
(DoD) organization. It is a staff group within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs (OASD/RA), which is in itself a part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).
The nation's Reserve components (referring to the total of all National Guard members and Reserve forces from all branches of the military) comprise approximately 48 percent of our total available military manpower. The current National Defense Strategy indicates that the National Guard and Reserve will be full partners in the fully integrated Total Force. Our Reserve forces will spend more time away from the workplace defending the nation, supporting a demanding operations tempo and training to maintain their mission readiness.
About Schneider National, Inc.
Schneider National has exceptional career paths for professional drivers and truck school graduates. Solo and team opportunities exist for company drivers and owner-operators in Schneider's Regional, Over the Road, Dedicated, Tanker, Oil Field Transportation and Expedited lines of business. Local and regional solo opportunities also exist for company drivers in Schneider's Intermodal division.
A $3.4 billion company and one of the largest truckload carriers in North America, Schneider has been a top choice for drivers for more than 75 years. Schneider provides drivers great weekly miles, steady freight and the comfort of knowing that "safety first and always" is the cornerstone of the company's philosophy. Schneider is ranked a top-paying carrier by the National Transportation Institute and has been nationally recognized for its support of veterans, Reservists and National Guard members. For more information about Schneider National career opportunities, visit www.schneiderjobs.com. You can also connect with Schneider on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jobsatschneider and Twitter at www.twitter.com/schneiderjobs.
Delayed deliveries and high unemployment - nationwide, truck companies say a shortage of 18-wheeler drivers is taking a toll. Drivers say they're looking for work but new government regulations are preventing them from being hired.
Most companies are looking for experienced drivers with clean driving records. That's becoming harder to find according to Don McMahan, who's been driving for 17 years.
"Little tickets, we used to get just warnings. Warnings go on our work record now, on our history now," McMahan said.
He says the Department of Transportation has adopted new safety laws, meaning truckers are getting more tickets than ever for things like having a tail light out or not wearing a seat belt. McMahan says the law now says truckers must use hands-free devices inside their cabs. He says if they are caught on a cell phone, the driver is fined $2,750 and the company they work for could face fines of up to $11,000.
With that in mind, McMahan says no company is going to hire workers if that's what comes up on their driving record. He adds, that's just part of the reason for the slowdown in truckers taking on jobs.
"The economy's not good. Fuel is high. We're not getting the freight rates we need. There's not places to park. Trucks are hard to find."
Jean-Luc Cummins, the director at Diesel Driving Academy in Baton Rouge, says that means hiring experienced drivers may be a thing of the past and first-time drivers can take those jobs.
He says in six months time a person can be taught, licensed and leave with a $40,000 job... Continue reading.
Employment of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is projected to grow 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average of all occupations.
As the economy grows, the demand for goods will increase, and more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving. Trucks transport most of the freight in the United States, so as households and businesses increase their spending, the trucking industry will grow.
CITATION: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm
Downturns Follow Oil’s Slide to Below $80 a Barrel
Diesel fell for the 11th straight week, dropping 5.1 cents to $3.678 a gallon, a 16-month low, while gasoline dropped almost a dime, the Department of Energy said Monday.
Gas fell 9.6 cents — its biggest decline in more than a year — to $3.437, its lowest price in five months, DOE said following its weekly survey of filling stations.
The diesel downturn left trucking’s main fuel 21 cents below the same week last year, while gasoline is 13.7 cents under a year ago.
Diesel’s national average pump price has plunged 47 cents in the past 11 weeks, while gasoline has plummeted 50.4 cents in 12 straight declines.
Diesel’s price is the lowest since it was $3.573 on Feb. 21, 2011, and gas is at its lowest since it was $3.389 on Jan. 23 of this year... Continue reading.
Special agents from U.S. Homeland Security Investigations have broken up another illegal driver’s license ring.
U.S. Prosecutors unsealed indictments against 30 people in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and five people in New Mexico on Wednesday.
The defendants are accused of transporting aliens across state lines, conspiracy to transport fraudulent documents, and helping people in the U.S. illegally pass driving tests.
Papers filed in court allege ring organizers on the East Coast paid New Mexico residents to allow their “customers” to use local mailing addresses for utility bills and used private MVD business employees to notarize false documents.
The state has attracted illegal operators because it does not require proof of U.S. Citizenship.
Only KOB Eyewitness News 4 crews were on the scene as agents swarmed Old School Driving, 111 Coors Blvd. NW, in Albuquerque Tuesday morning.
They were looking for Alfredo Saenz, 39. When he wasn’t found, they raced to his home where he was arrested.
Saenz, Victor Alvarez, 25, Elizabeth “Betty” Lopez, 42, and Ivon Bara-Lujan, 31 were booked by mid-day.
Alvarez and Lopez worked at Speedy MVD a private business inside the El Mesquite Mall at San Pedro and Central Blvd. SE... Continue reading.
By Paul Davidson, USA TODAY
Attention out-of-work Americans: Want to be a trucker?
A worsening shortage of truck drivers is pushing up freight rates and delaying some deliveries, defying the weak economy, high unemployment and falling gasoline prices.
"It's getting harder to get drivers," says Mike Card, president of Combined Transport of Central Point, Ore., and incoming chairman of the American Trucking Associations. "I could hire 50 guys right now." He now employs 393 drivers.
Many Baby Boomers are retiring and fewer young people are interested in long-haul-trucking careers that often require drivers to be away from home for weeks at a time, says Ben Cubitt, senior vice president of Transplace, which manages freight delivery for businesses.
Despite the 8.2% national jobless rate, many unemployed construction and factory workers can't afford the $4,000 to $6,000 cost of a six-week driver-training course, says Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst of consulting firm Delcan.
In addition, she says, truck drivers must be at least 21, leading many 18-year-old high school graduates who might consider trucking to instead pursue plumbing or other trades... Continue reading.
- Trafficking in Persons Report
- TIGER 2012 Projects Highlight Critical Need for Transportation Solutions
- Circle of Safety - En-route
- DOT Announces Assistance for Veterans Seeking Jobs in Transportation
- Schneider has been selected by Freightliner for the Ride of Pride
- First Quarter Results Show Strengthening Trucking Industry
- Drivers Divided Over EOBR
- As a generation of truck drivers retire, few want to replace them
- The House Transportation Measure Fails
- Survey Says: Concern About CSA Continues