Hello friends and supporters,
We are excited to share this 2nd quarter newsletter with you. So much has happend in the last three months, and we continue to move forward in our goal of equipping the trucking industry to recognize and respond to child exploitation and human trafficking. We do that with your help and support, and it's amazing to see what a difference each of you are making in the fight against human trafficking!
Every call makes a difference. Every driver trained on recognizing the signs of human trafficking makes a difference. Every wallet card in the hands of those of you that are the eyes and ears of our nation's highways makes a difference. Thank you for the work you do. We are privileged to be a part of it.
Truckers Against Trafficking
United Nations honors truckers and trucking industry for anti-human trafficking efforts
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) has been named one of the top 100 practices for combating human trafficking by the United Nations' 2013 Protection Project Trafficking in Persons report.
Included in the report's section on "The Role of Civil Society," TAT is described as follows:
TAT is an organization of members of the trucking and travel plaza industry who are committed to eliminating human trafficking by designing and participating in education and awareness campaigns aimed at truckers and the trucking industry.
To spread information, TAT has designed posters, brochures, and flyers that are placed at truck stops, as well as wallet cards to be distributed to every trucker in the United States. Those items call on truckers to contact the National Anti-Trafficking Hotline when coming across cases of human trafficking. Between December 7, 2007, and May 31, 2011, the hotline reported more than 125 calls from truck drivers. Of those, 60 percent were the direct result of the TAT awareness campaign.
TAT has created a training DVD that features (a) truckers who have seen human trafficking taking place on their routes, (b) a trafficking victim rescued from a truck stop through the call of a trucker, (c) actual footage of prostituted women at a travel plaza, and (d) information on concrete ways that members of the trucking and travel plaza industry can fight this crime in the course of their daily work. The training DVD can be used as part of the orientation for all truck stop and travel plaza employees, all students of private and public trucking driving schools, and all truck drivers who are employed by major carriers or are owner-operators.
"We commend every member of the trucking industry who identifies as a trucker against trafficking," said Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, "and feel it is an honor well earned by all of them. We believe the trucking industry is proving itself a leader across the entire transportation industry when it comes to fighting human trafficking."
Colorado coalition build deemed successful event
"One of the most satisfying activities we're involved in is building partnerships or coalitions between law enforcement and members of the trucking and travel plaza industry," commented Kendis Paris, TAT executive director. "Seeing relationships develop between these two front-line groups, as well as trust and mutual understanding of how to best work together to fight human trafficking, is powerful."
To that end, TAT participated in its third coalition-build event between law enforcement and members of the trucking industry in Denver on March 14.
"TAT would like to thank the FBI, the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, iEmpathize, Praxus, the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, the Southern Colorado Human Trafficking Task Force and the Denver Metro Crimestoppers for their fine support and promotion of the event," Paris said. "I received good comments from those who attended and believe everyone walked away with a greater understanding of the problem and what to do to fight it."
General managers from TA/Petro, Pilot/Flying J and Tomahawk attended, along with many law enforcement agencies, including the Denver Police Force, Wheat Ridge, Commerce City and the Douglas County Sheriff's office.
The half-day conference provided training on human trafficking, with a specific emphasis on domestic sex trafficking and how it presents itself at truck stops, as well as an opportunity to forge connections for the creation of next steps in the fight against human trafficking. Trafficking survivor Audrey T. helped participants understand the realities facing those who are trafficked by sharing her personal story.
Previous coalition-build events in which TAT has participated have been held in Southern California and in Ohio in recent months, with more being planned. The events seek to build relationships and greater cooperation between law enforcement and the trucking industry for more effective work in the fight against human trafficking in that area.
TAT invited to participate in human trafficking awareness training for law enforcement
On the recommendation of the FBI, TAT was invited to provide joint training with Ray Herndon, founder of Diamondback Training, LLC to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol on how to spot human traffickers during a routine commercial motor vehicle (CMV) stop.
Diamondback Training, LLC is a cutting-edge law enforcement training organization specializing in CMV criminal interdiction. Criminal interdiction addresses many facets of criminal activity, including domestic terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and cargo theft, to name a few.
Herndon is a nationally recognized veteran law enforcement officer who has had a parallel career in the trucking/transportation industry for over 25 years, both as a business/small fleet owner and employee/driver.
"We've partnered with Truckers Against Trafficking to help create a proactive partnership between law enforcement and the transportation industry to provide quality standardized human trafficking training to both law enforcement officers and transportation industry workers," Herndon commented.
"It's imperative that both sides receive similar training, so we're all on the same page," he continued. "Communication is key, and a breakdown in that communication may cost a human trafficking victim their only chance at freedom. We, all, as human beings, are obligated."
Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, concurred, "TAT is very pleased to be partnering with Ray and Diamondback, as his vast experience in both law enforcement and the trucking industry enable him to deliver a wealth of information on the subject of human trafficking. When members of the trucking industry and law enforcement are on the same page, we know there's a much greater chance of criminals being caught and victims being rescued. So we welcome the opportunity, whenever possible, to work with and help facilitate the training for each group."
She continued, "TAT actually sponsored (thanks to a special donation from the Pattens) his appearance at the National Crime Enforcement Association in Tulsa, Oklahoma in March, where over 1000 law enforcement officers heard about TAT from Ray. Mark Brown, TAT chairman of the board, ran the TAT booth at the event, speaking with many law enforcement officers and distributing TAT materials."
Diamondback Training, LLC is now sporting the TAT logo on one of its latest trucks used in law enforcement training as yet another way to get the message out there that the trucking industry is working to end the crime of human trafficking along our nation's highways, roads and streets, and wherever they see it.
TAT continues to grow as more trucking associations join
In the past few months, the Massachusetts Motor Transportation Association (MMTA) and the Motor Transportation Association of Connecticut (MTAC) have come on-board with TAT.
In the letter it sent to members, MMTA said, "The association was very involved in efforts made to pass this legislation in Massachusetts, and by joining TAT, MMTA hopes to raise awareness of this problem and educate the industry on what to look for if they suspect a human trafficking incident, what specific information is needed for local law enforcement and how to report any suspicions."
In addition to these latest two state associations, other state associations already working with TAT in their states are Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana and Oklahoma. Nationally, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC) and the North American Truck Stop Network (NATSN) have all joined TAT, along with numerous trucking companies and truck-driving schools.
What is TAT?
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a non-profit organization that exists to educate, equip, empower and mobilize the trucking industry to combat human trafficking as part of their regular jobs. To a great extent, domestic sex trafficking occurs along our nation's highways and at its truck stops, where traffickers can sell their victims to a transient population they believe are less likely to attempt rescue. In response, TAT is asking the 3.5 million domestic truckers, as well as other members of the trucking industry, to become aware of this issue, and, when they suspect a human trafficking case, to call the national hotline and report it.
Hello friends and supporters,
By Timothy Cama, Staff Reporter
This story appears in the April 8 print edition of Transport Topics.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will miss an October deadline set by Congress to mandate electronic logging devices in all trucks, according to Administrator Anne Ferro.
Instead, the agency will publish a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking for the mandate in September, and the mandate itself will likely be finalized a year later, Ferro said during a chat at the Mid-America Trucking Show late last month. The requirement will probably be implemented in 2016.
That timeframe is later than what Congress asked for in MAP-21, last year’s transportation funding law, which called for the regulation to be finalized by Oct. 1 and to take effect two years later.
Continue reading at: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=31692
By Laura Raines
If you’ve ever felt the pull of the open road, this is an excellent time to consider a truck-driving career. Trucking added the most jobs of any transportation sector in February 2013, increasing its employment by 5,600 positions, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
“There is no unemployment in truck driving. In fact, there’s a shortage of drivers,” said Ed Tanksley, general manager of Katlaw Driving Schools in Austell. “Trucking slowed down at the start of the recession, but when factories start producing more goods, those goods have to be moved to consumers. Trucking usually leads a recovery.”
The demand for commercial truck drivers is expected to grow by 21 percent through 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tanksley sees that demand from the 30 companies that actively recruit his students.
“Most of our graduates have six to 10 job offers before they even finish their training,” he said. “Truck driving is one of the few careers that you can train for quickly and make $40,000 to $45,000 in the first year, with benefits.”
Metro Atlanta is a transportation hub and one of the nation’s top 10 areas for truck-driving jobs , according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To get started, you’ll need to meet the requirements and pass the test to obtain a commercial driving license permit from the Georgia Department of Driver Services . To earn a CDL permit, drivers must pass standard written and driving tests at a state examination site.
You can’t apply for a CDL if you’ve had your driving license revoked, suspended, canceled or been involved in a chargeable accident during the two-year period immediately prior to applying. Applicants will be restricted to drive in Georgia only until they are 21.
“With a permit, you can enroll for training at a private school or one of Georgia’s technical colleges,” Tanksley said. “Most insurance companies and carriers won’t hire entry-level drivers unless they’ve taken a training course.”
You can find recommended schools on the GDDS website (www.dds.ga.gov).
Approved by the Commercial Vehicle Transportation Association, Katlaw Driving Schools has been training drivers for 14 years. The most popular program is the 160-hour, three-week program in Class “A” Tractor Trailer Training. It’s also offered in an eight-weekend format. Tuition is $3,195 ($2,895, if paying in cash), and financing options are available.
The program has been approved for VA, GI Bill and Workplace Investment Act funding.
“Our classes typically take six to 12 students. We have trained a lot of career changers, retirees, former military people and business owners who want to start a second career,” Tanksley said. “About 5 (percent) to 8 percent are women. There are a lot more women in trucking these days and they do very well because they are safety-conscious and well-organized.”
Truck-driving students begin in the classroom where they learn federal regulations, record-keeping technologies, safety measures and time-management strategies. On the road, they learn how to operate 10-speed transmission vehicles; how to conduct a 96-item pre-trip checklist of a vehicle; and how to back up and park different types of trucks and trailers. They also practice driving safely at night and in inclement weather.
“Not everyone is cut out for truck driving. You need to be a self-starter and able to work with no supervision,” Tanksley said. “You also need to be comfortable being away from home and family for stretches at a time, although many regional and over-the-road companies now guarantee you’ll be home on the weekends.”
Working conditions for truckers have improved over the years, Tanksley said.
“People perceive it as a lonely, hard and dirty job,” he said.
But today’s trucks are much more comfortable and equipped with televisions and computers. Truck stops have clean showers, better restaurants and other amenities.
“You just aren’t as isolated as you used to be on the road, and more retired couples are choosing to travel together,” Tanksley said.
The industry offers opportunities for pay raises and advancement, Tanksley said.
“Salaries climb faster than in other careers,” he said. “By the third year, truck drivers should be making well into the $50,000s, and some couple teams are pulling down six figures. Some drivers choose to become owner/operators, or start their own trucking companies.”
In large, multinational transit corporations, drivers may move into warehousing, safety inspection, instruction, recruiting, or management positions.
“There’s no shortage of jobs or opportunities in transportation,” Tanksley said. “We put 375 to 400 Georgia residents to work every year.”
By Timothy Cama, Staff Reporter
This story appears in the April 1 print edition of Transport Topics.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Truck drivers and instructors told Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officials they should mandate far more training for new drivers than currently required.
Many of the two dozen or so speakers at a listening session here were in agreement that too many driver training programs teach only basic skills and put drivers out on the road too quickly, which is hurting the entire industry’s image.
There was, however, no exact consensus on what the proper number of training hours should be.
Continue reading at: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=31632
Arlington, VA – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today launched a survey to update the 2012 Operational Costs of Trucking report. The brief on-line survey seeks to capture basic cost information from for-hire carriers such as driver pay, fuel costs, insurance premiums and lease or purchase payments. Carriers are asked to provide full year 2012 cost per mile and/or cost per hour data.
The results of this survey, combined with the previous Operational Costs of Trucking reports, will yield five full years (2008 – 2012) of trucking cost information derived directly from fleet operations. This research provides carriers with an important high-level benchmarking tool and government agencies with real world data for future infrastructure improvement analyses.
The operational cost data that for-hire motor carriers provide will be kept strictly confidential. The survey is available online at www.atri-online.org and results will be available later this year.
By MATT KOESTERS
SELLERSBURG — It’s hard to find good help these days, and no one knows it better than Brandon Briscoe.
Briscoe is vice president of sales and operations at Talon Logistics, a Sellersburg-based trucking company. Talon first hit the road in 2003, and it now has about 120 employees. It could have a lot more, though.
Talon is just one of numerous area trucking companies with open positions it can’t fill because of a lack of willing, qualified candidates.
“We’re always having trouble finding quality drivers,” Briscoe said.
Across the state, 1,200 open trucking positions remain unfilled, while between 20,000 and 25,000 drivers are needed nationally, Barry Miller, director of safety for the Indiana Motor Truck Association, recently told the South Bend Tribune. An American Trucking Association study released this year claims that 90 percent of for-hire truckload carriers cannot find enough drivers who are capable of meeting Department of Transportation requirements.
And for companies like Talon, simply meeting DOT requirements isn’t enough, which further complicates the search.
“We’re pretty strict on our regulations on who we’re going to get — to get a guy who can really give the service you want to portray and represent your company out there,” Briscoe said. “It makes it kind of difficult right now, and it seems to get tougher and tougher each month to get that. I mean, capacity on the whole has really tightened up, especially in the last few weeks.”
Jeffersonville-based Mr. “P” Express is taking a proactive approach to finding drivers. It offers a 160-hour training course that prepares new drivers for entry-level trucking positions, and it’s not shy about trying to get the word out.
“We recruit drivers through television, through newsprint, through word of mouth — various means to get people who are unemployed, who are displaced through attrition or companies downsizing,” said Mr. “P” President Cindy Collier. “You’d be surprised at the people we have who come through the school that simply don’t have work and they decide, ‘You know what? I’m going to drive a truck.’
“We’ve worked with the folks at Fort Knox trying to get veterans in here. We’re interested in getting veterans in here, but we train our own drivers, and that’s our means of combating the shortage.”
WHY THE SHORTAGE?
The fact of the matter is that trucking isn’t a glamorous profession, Collier admits. Add that to the fact that a large number of drivers are approaching retirement age, and you’ve got a recipe for a shortage.
“We’ve got all of these thousands of drivers that are ready to retire, and then the younger generation is just not taking hold and deciding they want to be in the trucking industry. And it is a very hard life. It’s hard physically on drivers — the sleep patterns, the eating on the road.”
Briscoe agreed, adding that time away from friends and family can lead to burnout among younger drivers, which leads his company to lean more and more on partner carriers to pick up the slack. Combating turnover has been the key to minimizing the pain of the shortage, Briscoe said.
“Once a guy gets with us they typically stay because we have more of a family atmosphere and really try to appeal to their needs and the way they want to be treated,” he said. “So when you get a guy, you can’t lose guys. The best way to not [hurt] your business is keep who you hire and then when you add new people, make it an appealing opportunity for them to stay.”
And that means working with the truckers. Mr. “P” Express and Talon offer home time to their drivers, and both give the option of working over-the-road hauls or staying close to home.
A truck driver can make anywhere from $35,000 to $80,000 a year, dependent on the driver’s willingness to take long hauls. But the money alone isn’t attracting drivers, and DOT regulations on operators is making the squeeze even more painful, Collier said.
“I have some of my customers that say to me, ‘You’ve been telling us the driver shortage was critical forever. Don’t you have a new song and dance?’” Collier said. “But the fact of the matter is, it really is critical, and the more and more stipulations that the government puts in place on us with the regulations, the hours and so forth, it just makes it that much harder, because we need more drivers than ever now because of the new regulations that are in place.”
And that hurts everyone in the end, she said.
“The shortage, people do not believe or understand that it is affecting everyone, because when you look around — when you walk into Walmart, everything that you see in there was trucked in there. That’s how it got there,” she said.
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