Transport Topics, Week of July 18, 2016
Please join us in congratulating the 10 finalists for the Trucking’s “Top Rookie of the Year” award.
After an expert panel of judges sifted through countless submissions for the Trucking’s “Top Rookie of the Year” award, 10 finalists have been named. Named in honor of the late CVTA Executive Director Mike O’Connell, this award recognizes the best truck driver who has been on the job for less than a year. The 10 finalists include:
- Mario Cardenas of TMC Transportation (Roadmaster Drivers School)
- Brian College of Carbon Express, Inc. (Commercial Drivers School)
- Chris Crowell of Werner Enterprises, Inc. (CDS Tractor Trailer Training)
- Brandon Douglas of Melton Truck Lines, Inc. (American Truck Training)
- Shawna Froehlich of Dartco, Inc. (Heavy Metal Truck Training)
- Dave Honbarger of Maverick Transportation, Inc. (TransTech)
- Willis Robinson of Cargo Transporters, Inc. (Future Truckers of America)
- Kenneth Strother of Stevens Transport (Diesel Driving Academy)
- Marc Walther of Wil-Trans (Northeast Technical Institute)
- Kenneth Youmans of Dutch Maid Logistics (Professional Drivers Academy)
The winner will be announced next month at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.
CVTA would like to congratulate all the nominees on their hard work, grit and determination, as well as wish them all luck on this coveted award.
Lifetrack named Heavy Metal Truck Training as its 2016 Community Builder of the Year for its outstanding service to job seekers who aim to pave their way into the high-growth industry of commercial trucking.
Each year, Lifetrack presents a Community Builder of the Year award to a local business that demonstrates advocacy, support and dedication toward Lifetrack participants who are looking for employment. By sustaining strong partnerships with local businesses, like Heavy Metal Truck Training, Lifetrack is able to offer job seekers skills-training, connections and support so they can attain better employment and become active participants in our economy. This award honors the work of businesses that play an essential role in helping to eliminate economic and employment disparities.
“Heavy Metal Truck Training leaders Gary Pressley and Lisa Wiger have proven to be advocates for Lifetrack’s employment participants,” said Liberty Mickelson, Manager of Employment and Training at Lifetrack. “They’ve worked closely with the Lifetrack team and meet one-on-one with every new participant to ensure that they succeed throughout the training... Continue reading.
The Trucking’s Top Rookie contest is a partnership between Commercial Vehicle Training Association, Truckers News, the Truckload Carriers Association, Rand McNally, Pilot Flying J, Progressive Commercial Insurance, National Association of Publicly Funded Driving Schools, American Trucking Associations and the Red Eye Radio Network.
Nominations open May 16 and close at 5 p.m. on June 24.
A check for $10,000 and a package of prizes will be awarded to one skillful professional truck driver when Trucking’s Top Rookie is named in August.
The award, named in honor of the late Mike O’Connell recognizes the best professional truck driver who has been on the job for less than a year.
Nominations may be made online at http://truckload.org/rookie
A panel of seven judges will review each nominee and select 10 finalists. The winner will be announced Friday, Aug. 26 at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.
The winner receives:
- $10,000 cash
- $1,000 cash and 100,000 Pilot Flying J MyReward points
- A custom plaque from Award Company of America
- Interview on Red Eye Radio Network with Eric Harley
- A feature in Truckers News
- $1,000 worth of DAS Products merchandise featuring the RoadPro Getting Started Living On-The-Go Package
- American Trucking Associations “Good Stuff Trucks Bring It” package, which includes a logoed polo shirt, baseball cap, model truck and utility knife
- A dash camera from COBRA Electronics
- A GPS unit and a Motor Carrier Road Atlas from Rand McNally
The nine other finalists receive:
- $1,000 cash
- 50,000 MyRewards points from Pilot Flying J
- A custom plaque from Award Company of America
- $100 worth of DAS Products Merchandise, featuring the RoadPro MobileSpec Portable Life Package
- American Trucking Associations ‘ “Good Stu Trucks Bring It” package which includes a logoed polo shirt, baseball cap, model truck and utility knife
- A CB radio from COBRA Electronics
- A GPS unit from Rand McNally
Last year’s winner was Frederick Weatherspoon, a 52-year-old veteran of three branches of the military and a driver for Dartco. Other previous winners include:
2014 Julie Matulie
2013 Kyle Lee
2012 Keith Redvay
2011 Derek Paul
The late Mike O’Connell was formerly the executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, and originated the idea of honoring a top rookie driver to help show new drivers they are important to and appreciated by the trucking industry.
House Holds Roundtable Discussion of Fast Act’s Trucking-Related Provisions
Last Wednesday, the Highways and Transit Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, held a roundtable policy discussion focusing on the implementation of Title V of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Participants of the roundtable included, in addition to members of the Subcommittee: Bill Quade of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA); Dave Osiecki, of the American Trucking Associations (ATA); Todd Spencer, of Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA); Bill Blankenship, of Greyhound Lines, Inc.; Collin Mooney, of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA); and Cathy Chase, of Advocates for Highways and Auto Safety.
Title V contains the motor carrier provisions of the FAST Act, including numerous provisions that are of particular importance to our members. To name a few, Title V includes the requirement that the FMCSA provide an annual report on CDL testing delay times in each state (Section 5506), a requirement that DOT create a pilot program to study the feasibility of allowing certain veterans between ages 18 and 21 drive commercial motor vehicles interstate (Section 5404), a provision allowing motor carriers to use hair testing as an acceptable alternative to urine testing (Section 5402), and a provision requiring FMCSA to prioritize the completion of the Entry-Level Driver Training Rule (Section 5302). Title V also contains numerous provisions aimed at deregulating the industry while maintaining safety on U.S. roads.
Though much of the discussion focused on how FMCSA uses data to regulate the trucking industry, participants also discussed FMCSA’s proposed entry-level driver training rule, as well as the driver shortage.
Specifically, ATA and most other participants expressed their support for the FAST Act’s requirement that FMCSA prioritize certain rulemakings – including entry-level driver training standards – before moving on to other proposed rules. (CVSA, however, expressed concern that a requirement that FMCSA prioritize these more controversial rulemakings before moving on to others would prevent or delay completion of others.) Cathy Chase, of Advocates for Highways and Auto Safety, expressed her support for the “long-overdue” entry-level driver training rule and its requirement that new drivers complete a minimum amount of behind-the-wheel training hours. Ms. Chase explained that the minimum number of requisite hours agreed upon during negotiations – 30 – was agreed upon with all members at the table. When explaining why, she stated that “if you talk to a person outside of this room” and tell that that the minimum entry-level driver training requirement has no actual behind-the-wheel requirement, “they’ll think you’re crazy.” Todd Spencer, of OOIDA, also touched on the importance of the rule when describing his concerns that many of FMCSA’s extensive regulations do not actually produce safety. He pointed out that extensive enforcement proposals abound, but this entry-level driver training rule marks the “first time ever [that] we are actually going to require a driver to have some meager primitive experience operating that truck.” Ms. Chase also expressed her support for the proposed rule’s establishment of a national registry of approved training providers, which she said would address the problem of CDL mills.
Industry leaders and members of congress also touched on the national driver shortage and expressed a general agreement that there should be some sort of effort to look into this issue in more detail, including the ways that improving retention rates could help to address the shortage.
U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security Warns that Internet Connected Cars Could be Targets for Hackers
According to an April 13, 2016 Washington Post Article, John Carlin, U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security, spoke last week about his concerns regarding the extent to which internet-connected cars are vulnerable to hackers. Carlin, who was speaking at an auto industry conference in Detroit, stated in reference to internet-connected and driverless cars that “[t]here is no Internet-connected system where you can build a wall that’s high enough or deep enough to keep a dedicated nation-state adversary or a sophisticated criminal group out of the system."
To read the story in full, click here.
American Transportation Research Institute Launches Commercial Driver Survey To Gather Information on Sleep Apnea
According to an April 14, 2016 press release issued by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the organization has begun work on “Understanding the Impacts of Sleep Apnea on Commercial Drivers,” which ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee identified as one of its top research priorities for 2016.
As one of the first steps in this research, ATRI has launched an online survey, which seeks input from commercial drivers “on their perspectives, personal experiences, and knowledge of sleep apnea.” The survey also “solicits information on sleep apnea assessments and treatments that drivers may have received, as well as the perceived effectiveness of those treatments.”
The online version of the survey will be available through mid-May and can be found here.
FMCSA Requests Comments Regarding Missouri’s Application for Limited Exemption from Federal CDL Requirements
The Missouri Department of Revenue (Missouri DOR) has submitted a request for a limited exemption from FMCSA’s requirement that drivers pass the general knowledge test before being issued a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). Specifically, the Missouri DOR would like FMCSA to exempt certain qualified veterans who participated in dedicated training (i.e. trained military truck drivers) from the requirement that these drivers take and pass the knowledge test in order to obtain their CLP.
Among its arguments in favor of this exemption, the Missouri DOR maintains that this exemption is appropriate because “qualified veterans who have participated in dedicated training in approved military programs have already received numerous hours of classroom training, practical skills training, and one-on-one road training that are essential for safe driving.”
To read FMCSA’s notice in full, or to submit a comment, please click here.
Despite Concerns from Some Industry Leaders, NHTSA Moves Forward with Six Month Plan to Develop Regulations for Autonomous Vehicles
The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues to move forward with its development of federal guidelines for automated cars. As part of DOT’s efforts to publish draft regulations for automated cars by July of this year, NHTSA announced that it would hold a series of public hearings meant to “gather information on a series of issues related to safe operation of automated vehicles.”
The first of these public hearings was held on April 8 of this year. Though some automakers expressed concerns regarding the aggressive timetable for the development of these regulations in April’s public hearing, NHTSA representatives defended the six month plan, pointing to the fact that, absent regulations, “people are going to just keep putting stuff on the road with no guidance on how we do this the right way.”
NHTSA is now moving forward with the second of its two scheduled hearings, announcing last week that its second hearing would be held on April 27, 2016 in Stanford, California. According to its official announcement, NHTSA is seeking input from the public “on those aspects of automated vehicle (AV) systems that would benefit from operational guidelines.”
To register for this hearing or to find out more, please click here.
As part of our ongoing effort to build relationships with key lawmakers on Capitol Hill, CVTA runs a campus tours program, in which we invite lawmakers to visit a CVTA school in their district. These visits educate them on how commercial drivers are trained and how the industry works to get students good jobs.
This is precisely what Jerome Redmond, President of American Truck Training, did when he was on Capitol Hill for CVTA’s Hill Day last month. As you can see below, Congressman Steve Russell accepted Jerome’s invitation and visited American Truck Training’s campus in Oklahoma City last week.
Jerome said the visit provided him with an opportunity to speak with the Congressman directly regarding problems relating to CDL testing inconsistencies and the need to expand third-party testing in the State. An invaluable opportunity to say the least!
CVTA’s Campus Tours Program is designed to connect CVTA members with legislators so that our member schools can educate and build strong relationships with lawmakers. These tours help lawmakers understand just how important CVTA member schools are to their districts, to motor carriers, and beyond. Tours provide real life examples of how driver training schools are able to connect individuals with the skills they need to obtain well-paying jobs that are in-demand across the country and crucial to the economy.
By Larry Marsh, Chairman, Member Services Committee
The Member Services committee is primarily responsible for overseeing CVTA’s Instructor Certification Program (ICP) and also overseeing additional programs and services which enrich a CVTA Members’ experience in our Association. Our committee has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes that I think will serve all members moving forward.
Since last year, the Committee has been reviewing our current ICP program’s content and delivery method. While the content is still very relevant, the committee believes that our members deserve fresh content delivered via an on-line format. To this end, we are in negotiations to update the ICP program. Our mission remains to provide our schools and instructors with a first class training program to improve their teaching skills, which embraces the latest content and presentation.
We have asked ten Senior Master Instructors to review the first 10 courses of the prospective new ICP content. Once the instructors complete their evaluation, we will then review the results of the evaluations to determine if this new content should replace our current ICP program. At this point, we are optimistic we have a viable program that will meet the needs of your school and your instructors.
I would like to thank those instructors who have volunteered to evaluate the courses, in advance. It is a time consuming and important job.
Roundtables and Best Practices
CVTA will once again conduct it “Roundtables” session at the Spring Conference in San Juan, PR. For those who didn’t participate last time, the Roundtable are interactive sessions where members get together to engage one another on diverse set of topics. For example, it will ask school, motor carrier, and associate members to discuss a range of subjects from training, marketing, job placement, etc. This was a big hit in Memphis and numerous members told me that it was the best session of the conference. We will again be conducting the Roundtable sessions in San Juan, but it will be slightly more focused.
The purpose of the Roundtables is to identify those best practices and publish these best practices later this fall. Our members have a great deal of expertise and experience to better aid all institutions, training, safety, and most importantly, our students. In this effort, I encourage members, who are willing to lend their expertise, to participate in the creation of the Best Practices. Specifically, the Best Practices to specifically address issues which they are seeing, problems, opportunities, but also ask specific details on the following topics to identify best practices. The topics are:
- Equipment Maintenance
- Safety Awareness
- Community Relations/PR
- Instruction and Assessment
- Career Services/Placement
We are in the process of forming subcommittees to discuss the above issues. If you have suggestions for the committee to consider, or if you are willing to help serve on a subcommittee, please let Don or Cindy know.
During our Roundtable sessions at the Spring Conference we would like to focus a portion of the discussion on three of the nine areas: Instruction/Assessment, Career Services, and Admissions/Recruitment. We will be sending detailed questions so all participants can think through the questions and provide meaningful input.
We look forward to a great conference in San Juan and great ideas from the round table discussions for the “Best Practices”.
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