Truck driving course gets you on the road to a career

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KatlawImagine training, passing a licensing test and having a new job in about a month. That’s entirely possible, says Ed Tanksley, general manager of Katlaw Truck Driving Schools.

“There is zero unemployed in the truck industry,” Tanksley said. “This is something you can learn pretty quickly then go out and make a good income doing.”

The sluggish economy has made driving a tractor trailer an attractive job occupation — so much so that the typical profile of the 30- to 40-year-old white male driver is disappearing, Tanksley said.

“Everybody is doing this now,” he said. “In the past few months, I’ve had three guys here who were around 70, and we put them right to work. I’ve now got several females in class. There are a lot of career changers, people coming out of the construction industry and retirees who aren’t happy being retired. Our demographic is just about everybody, from every kind of background imaginable.”

Since 1996, the Austell-based school has been preparing drivers to hit the road. The intense program includes 160 hours of what students need to know to pass the state’s licensing exam and earn a commercial driver’s license. Classes start at the beginning of each week and include sessions on handling 10-speed transmissions and double clutches, six back-up maneuvers and the details of a 96-point inspection. All of Katlaw’s training is conducted in full-sized sleeper cabs, so students get a feel for the physical space... Continue reading...

The school is in the Threadmill complex (5000 Austell-Powder Springs Road) in Austell.
For information, call 678-945-1900 or go to

Client Alert! New CCFs on October 1

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of September 19, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The new (2010) Custody and Control Form goes into full-time effect on October 1. If you haven’t already changed over, now is the time.

This week’s Fast-Fax is a special edition Client Alert for all DOT drug and alcohol testing clients, including FMCSA, FTA, PHMSA, USCG, FRA, and FAA clients.

The 2010 Federal Custody and Control Form — which was introduced in October of last year and run in conjunction with the 2000 CCF for the last 12 months — will become the only Federal CCF allowed by the regulations on October 1.

The new CCF contained a number of changes most obviously, it includes a number of boxes to identify the DOT mode of the donor (found in Step One, Section D).

Review Your CCF

We have taken efforts to refit our clients with new CCFs in time for the regulatory change. You, however, should still check to make sure that you are using the correct CCF.

Review your stockpile of CCFs:

  • If you have both old CCFs and the new CCFs discard the old ones, you will no longer be able to use them.
  • If you have DOT CCFs that DO NOT include the boxes identifying DOT mode call Foley Carrier Services at 1-800-253-5506 ext. 0867 and we will furnish you with the correct forms. Once you have received your new forms, discard the old ones.
MRO Changes

While you are reviewing your CCFs please review the MRO information found in Step One, Section B. Discard the forms if your MRO information still reads as the following:

Frederick J. Pope, MD, MRO
Foley MRO Services
655 Winding Brook Drive
Glastonbury, CT 06033

Call Foley Carrier Services immediately at 1-800-253-5506 ext. 0867and we will furnish you with new CCFs.


If you have any questions or if you need assistance in identifying CCFs please call a customer service representative at 1-800-253-5506 ext. 0867.

Transportation Ticker

DeFazio Slams FMCSA Over Mexican Trucks. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has openly attacked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration over the issue of Mexican trucks traveling on US highways. DeFazio, in a letter made public this week, challenged administrator Anne Ferro over the agency’s failure to respond to issues brought up during an audit of the plan to allow Mexican trucks across the border.

DeFazio also posited that FMCSA was over-reaching; going beyond the limited mandate from Congress to allow Mexican carriers to operate in the United States.

The full text of DeFazio’s letter is available on the Transportation Ticker Blog.

To view it and for the rest of the top indsutry news, visit

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • • Vol. 111, No. 705 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

Werner Enterprises Takes Part in NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony

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Greg Werner and Derek LEathers in Times Square

Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ: WERN), a premier transportation and logistics provider, participated in the NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony Sept. 19, 2011 at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City's Times Square. In honor of the occasion, Greg Werner, vice chairman and CEO of Werner Enterprises, rang the Closing Bell with several key customers in attendance.

"We are very proud to have been able to celebrate our history and achievements by ringing the NASDAQ Closing Bell," Greg Werner said. "As we celebrate our 25th anniversary as a publicly traded company, we are proud of the relationship we hold with our customers, investors and associates. We look forward to reiterating our commitment to all these key stakeholders for many years to come."

Since becoming a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ stock exchange 25 years ago, Werner's total shareholder return has delivered 943 percent, exceeding the total returns of both the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 index during this same period by more than 100 percentage points.

Greg Werner and Derek LEathers in Times Square

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. is the world's largest exchange company. It delivers trading, exchange technology and public company services across six continents, with more than 3,500 listed companies.

Werner Enterprises, Inc. was founded in 1956 and is a premier transportation and logistics company, with coverage throughout North America, Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and Australia. Werner maintains its global headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska and maintains offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and Australia. Werner is among the five largest truckload carriers in the United States, with a diversified portfolio of transportation services that includes dedicated; medium-to-long-haul, regional and local van; expedited; temperature-controlled; and flatbed services. Werner's Value Added Services portfolio includes freight management, truck brokerage, intermodal, and international services. International services are provided through Werner's domestic and global subsidiary companies and include ocean, air and ground transportation; freight forwarding; and customs brokerage.

Demand for Drivers Brings Changes in Trucking Profession

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By Stephanie Siegel
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

katlawTractor-trailer drivers are in so much demand that shipping companies have made both the trucks and the lifestyles more comfortable, local truck driving instructors say.

The biggest trucking companies have tractor-trailers with automatic shifts, said Katlaw Driving Schools general manager Ed Tanksley.

“They’re big, comfortable trucks you can sit in and drive all day,” he said. “They’re new trucks, every two or three years, so it’s not going to be broke down on you all the time.”

And these are the companies that hire his graduates, because they carry enough insurance to hire entry-level drivers, he said.

katlaw“They’re knocking down the doors for our students,” Tanksley said. “There is zero unemployment in the truck driving industry for people willing to be gone a little bit. Most have six to 10 offers before they graduate. In the first year they typically make $40,000 with a full benefits package.”

While new drivers won’t be home every night, they usually will get home at least once a week — “more than they used to,” Tanksley said.

These are all reasons the career attracts more women than it traditionally did.

katlawKatlaw, near Austell’s Intermodal Terminal and Thornton Road, teaches women and men in three weeks to pass their commercial driver’s license test.

“The females are a lot of times better than the males are,” said Dave Belmont of Douglasville, a career adviser at Katlaw.

Sometimes a husband and wife decide to drive as a team, some after retiring from other careers, he said. They plan stops... Continue reading...


Maverick Transportation Announces Tuition Reimbursement Program

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August 3, 2011
Contact: Spring Dixon
(501) 955-1255
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Maverick Transportation, LLC, recently announced that they will begin a tuition reimbursement program for qualified student drivers. The objective of the new program is to ease the financial burden for new commercial driver’s license graduates employed by Maverick. It also ensures that Maverick maintains strong relationships with valued training facilities throughout the country.

“This rounds out Maverick’s student program and is the final step in assembling the most competitive student training compensation program in the transportation industry,” said Director of Recruiting Brad Vaughn.

Maverick currently has opportunities for new CDL graduates and drivers with experience. There are a variety of over the road and dedicated positions available.

Based in Little Rock, Arkansas and operating over 1,200 units, Maverick provides OTR and dedicated service to the flatbed, glass, dry van, and temperature controlled transportation markets throughout North America. To learn more visit their website at

Pressure Builds for Cell Phone Ban

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Sep 19, 2011 10:40 AM, By Sean Kilcarr, senior editor

Widespread support for a complete ban on cell phone use by commercial truck and bus drivers – both handheld and hands free – is rapidly increasing, following an accident follow-up report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) last week urging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to speed up efforts to put such a ban in place.

The NTSB’s recommendation follows its investigation of a March 2010 crash that killed 11 people, which found the tractor-trailer driver cited for causing the accident used his cell phone 69 times in the 24 hours prior to the crash, with four calls made in the minutes leading up to the fatal collision.

“The NTSB determines that the probable cause of this accident was the truck driver’s failure to maintain control of the truck-tractor combination vehicle because he was distracted by use of his cellular telephone,” the group said in its report, adding that poorly designed median barrier and lack of adequate guidance to the states in the form of high-performance median barrier warrants contributed to the severity of the crash.

Though FMCSA already proposed placing such a ban on cell phone use by both commercial truck and bus drivers last December, many feel that effort is moving too slowly.

The National Safety Council (NSC) is one group strongly urging faster adoption of the NTSB’s proposed ban on cell phone use by commercial vehicle drivers, noting that its research indicates that 23% of all crashes each year involve cell phone use.

“We strongly support the NTSB recommendation for a total ban,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO, in a statement. “We called for a national ban on all cell phone use among drivers in 2009, recognizing that research shows no safety benefit from hands-free devices. The distraction to the brain from cell phone...
Continue reading...


NTSB Recommends Banning All Cell Phones in Trucks

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of September 12, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that all cell phone usage — including hands free — be banned in Commercial Motor Vehicles.

The National Transportation Safety Board, an independent government body, made its recommendations to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and to the states earlier this week. The NTSB does not actually have the power to create regulations itself. Instead, it makes recommendations to FMCSA based on detailed studies that it performs.
In this case, the NTSB was investigating a crash that occurred in March 2010. Ten people died when a tractor-trailer hit a van holding 11 people. NTSB investigators say that cell-phone usage was a primary factor in that crash. The driver of the CMV was killed in that accident and was not charged. (Driver fatigue and the failure of highway crash barriers were also key factors in the accident).

Are These New Laws or Recommendations?

This is just a recommendation for now. However, FMCSA does tend to follow the NTSB’s recommendations in the majority of cases. This particular case has a reasonable chance of becoming regulation as the distracted driving is somewhat of a favorite cause of the Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood.

LaHood’s tenure in the position has been marked with a strong crackdown on distracted driving with numerous new laws and advertising campaigns against the use of cell phones — particularly texting — while driving.

Another interesting note about the NTSB’s recommendation is that it jibes with what the general consensus from safety experts has been for a long time: that it is the conversation that is distracting, not the holding of a cellphone. The experts have long advocated that hands free cellphones should be banned as well as hand held.

What is Currently Banned?

Currently, the regulations ban hand-held cellphone usage and ‘texting’. The texting definition is particularly broad.

Texting means manually entering alphanumeric text, or reading text from an electronic device.
This action includes, but is not limited to, short message service, e-mailing, instant messaging, a command or request to access a World Wide Web page, or engaging in any other form of electronic text retrieval or electronic text entry for present or future communication.
Beyond that, the majority of states have laws regarding cellphone usage while driving. Below is an updated edition of the State Laws grid first featured in Fast-Fax 695. When in an unfamiliar state, our recommendation is always to pull over before using a cellphone.

Cell Phone Ban by State

Transportation Ticker

I-64 Bridge in Louisville Closed. The I-64 bridge in Louisville, KY — a major thoroughfare, especially for truckers — has been closed indefinitely. A crack was found during a routine inspection necessitating that the structure be closed to traffic. The bridge is operated by the Indiana DOT, who have already indicated that there will be no problem fixing the crossing, however a timetable has not yet been offered.

Obviously, this is going to cause some serious issues in regards to crossing the Ohio river. The best advice is to use the I-65 bridge further upstream and use I-265 to link between I-64 and I-65. Baring heavy traffic, this should only add about half an hour to your journey.

A map is available on the Transportation Ticker Blog. To view it and for the rest of the top indsutry news, visit

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • • Vol. 111, No. 704 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011