Wanted: 400,000 Truck Drivers

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Reported by: Marci Manley, KARK 4 News
Thursday, November 03 2011

"I'm feeling pretty confident when I graduate I'll be ready to hit the road," he said standing in front of a big rig.

When the economy tanked, it cost Scott Harper his way of life.

"The company I worked for, a tire business, it shut down," he said. "It basically took a toll on us."

Now, he's on the way to getting a steady paycheck in an industry with high demand for those willing and ready to work.

"I've been hired by seven different companies, so I can just take my pick on who I want to go with," Harper said. "When you enroll in the Diesel Driving Academy they do a pre-hire application. Based on that, I already have a job when I leave here."

Joel Easley is a senior instructor at the Academy, and he said his students are in demand.

"There is a shortage of drivers. Drivers are needed.," he said.

"That's one of the major reasons I am this way, cause I knew there was a demand for drivers," Harper said.

Take a look at these numbers. Nationwide, approximately 400,000 truck driving positions are currently open.

In the Natural State, anywhere from 2,500 to 10,000 drivers need to be hired.

And your starting salary will be at least $35,000 a year.

"It's a good stable job that you can put food on your family's table and put a roof over your head," Easley said. "Even when the economy is in a crunch, trucks are still running. You'll see gasoline tanker trucks on the roads because this country is going to drive, and you're going to see refrigerated trucks because this country is going to eat. There's job security in that."

In a strapped economy, with thousands looking for a place on the payroll, a steady paycheck offers almost as much freedom as the open road.

Getting the certification can take several months, but there are programs from both employers and the state where you don't owe a dime in the end... Continue reading...


Werner Enterprises featured in Bloomberg article

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Allen Parker of Werner
Allen Parker, driver for Werner Enterprises, had to stop one delivery 15 miles short of the customer due to trucker work rules. Photo: Werner Enterprises
Werner Enterprises was recently featured in an Oct. 27 article, “Tired Truckers Versus Efficiency is Focus of Regulation Fight.”

The article, which appeared in the business wire conglomerate, Bloomberg, discussed the proposed Hours of Service (HOS) change by President Barack Obama’s administration who, according to the article, predicts the change will save billions of dollars in health-care costs, reduce accidents and add 39,000 jobs.

In the article, Derek Leathers, president and chief operating officer, and Steve Phillips, senior vice president of operations, dispute that.

Derek Leathers of Werner
“If we are continuously improving our accident rate as an industry, which we are, and fatalities are continuing to decrease, which they are, taking away this flexibility just doesn’t intuitively sound like a smart idea,” said Derek Leathers, president and CEO of Werner Enterprises. Photo: Werner Enterprises
Leathers said taking away flexibility isn’t a smart idea – given the industry has improved its accident rate and fatalities are continuing to decrease. Phillips said the Company expects the new HOS rule would mean a loss of between 3 and 5 percent in productivity and 5 to 7 million miles per year. Phillips also said the Company would have to purchase 50 to 60 new trucks and hire 120 drivers.

Allen Parker, a 24-year veteran of Werner Enterprises and a native of Fairbury, Neb., also was featured in the article. Parker experimented with the proposed change by driving 10 hours a day instead of 11 hours. He discussed the difficulties caused by the change – including stopping 15 miles short of a delivery, spending a half hour in a Wal-Mart parking lot because of a mandatory break, sleeping during the day, waking up at 2:30 a.m. to make deliveries and $5,700 in lost wages annually.


To read the full article, click here.

FMCSA Misses Deadline, HOS Rule Delayed

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On Friday, October 28, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released the following statement regarding the publication of the Hours of Service regulations: “The petitioners have agreed to extend the October 28, 2011, deadline for publication of a final Hours of Service rule. FMCSA will continue to work toward publishing a final rule as quickly as possible. The parties to the settlement agreement will file their next status report with the Court on November 28, 2011.”

In a statement American Trucking Associations said it hopes the agency will “use the extra time to consider the overwhelming input it has received from thousands of drivers and law enforcement officers that the current rule is working. There’s no need to break something that’s not broken.”

For more information on the proposed hours-of-service change, visit

Digest Dispatch e-Newsletter - October 2011

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Welcome to your October issue of the Randall-Reilly Digest Dispatch e-Newsletter.

In this month’s issue, we highlight the driver shortage with the latest information and statistics from Truck Gauge, our new industry research product. We also examine the boom in social media and how Randall-Reilly is building products to connect with you and your potential drivers and owner operators

We continue to develop new solutions for our customers, including our monthly webinar series from Randall-Reilly editors and industry experts. For October, we highlight working with onboard recorders.

As always, we bring you recruiting and retention tips from nationally known speaker, teacher and trucking consultant Dan Baker. This month, Dan advises you to control what people hear about your company, and he emphasizes how to deal with differences among your drivers.

Click here to view your October issue of Digest Dispatch e-Newsletter.

The October 2011 Issue Includes:


Riding The Social Media Wave

Recruiting Tip of the Month

Retention Tip of the Month

November Webinar Focuses on Working With Onboard Recorders

Randall-Reilly Recruiting Media

Click Here to
View Magazine

I hope you enjoy this e-newsletter and I welcome any feedback you have for future issues. Also, if someone else at your company could benefit from the content, please send me their email address so they can be added to the distribution list.


Scott Miller
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FMCSA to Question Motor Coach Passengers on Safety

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of October 17, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced plans to question motor coach passengers about whether they received a voluntarily-administered pre-trip safety briefing from the carrier.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced this week that they would be increasing their scrutiny over the motor coach industry. This would especially include the enforcement of and compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Before the agency can start however, it needs to gather certain information and make an assessment.

FMCSA unveiled its information collection mission in the Federal Register. The purpose of collecting this information is to assess the current levels of voluntary compliance by motor coach operators to provide pre-trip safety awareness and emergency preparedness information to passengers and to obtain passenger opinions of the implementation of the pre-trip program and any recommended improvements.

Once this information has been gathered the Department of Transportation will work to enact policy; filling in gaps that the study reveals with new regulations.


2011 has been the year of the crackdown for passenger carrying motor carriers. Due to several high-profile fatal bus crashes, FMCSA — at the behest of an angry Congress — has been focusing on removing poorly-performing carriers. The root of this particular issue, however, goes back to the 1990s. After a series of fatal crashes back then, the National Transportation Safety Board performed a study that concluded that, in the immediate post-accident environment, passengers were panicking and unsure of what to do. After consulting with the industry and with FMCSA, it was decided to recommend to carriers that that perform a voluntary pre-trip safety briefing.

What Information Are They Collecting?

According to the Federal Register entry: “FMCSA is concerned about the accuracy of self-reported data provided by motorcoach operators and requires third party validation of industry efforts to provide this information to passengers, as well as the effectiveness of the means by which the information is being provided. Currently, compliance is measured during FMCSA’s National Passenger Carrier Strike Forces. The data received from these Strike Forces has shown increased adoption levels, however this data is based solely on input from the motorcoach companies and not actual passengers.”

Essentially, FMCSA is concerned that it is being lied to. Without checking with the passengers, FMCSA inspectors are being forced to take the carriers at their word. Obviously, for the safety-conscious carrier, this isn’t a problem. FMCSA, however, is not really interested by the good carriers. They want to investigate the carriers with poor safety records. These are the carriers who are more likely to be in accidents. These are also the carriers who are more likely to lie about performing safety checks.

Where Does This Go From Here?

Once it has gathered the information that it needs, FMCSA will be able to put together a detailed study and present its recommendations. In all likelihood this will result in new regulations. Indeed, given the depth and breadth of safety regulations for passenger carriers, it is surprising that this was not already a regulation. Similar rules have long been common practice for the airline industry and for certain modes covered by the Federal Transit Authority, such as ferries. The timeframe of such an action, however, is probably relatively far into the future. FMCSA has to begin its studies, collect the information, provide a report to Congress and THEN begin the rulemaking process. It should be noted, however, that FMCSA has requested emergency processing of the matter. This action, performed in deference to the number of people killed in motor coach accidents in 2011, means the entire process may be accelerated. FMCSA granted itself powers to fast-track new regulations deemed non-controversial; it is likely that this proposal would be included in those regulations. Passenger carriers should prepare themselves for both the increased questions and the questioning of customers in the short term. In the long-term, carriers should expect new regulations.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • • Vol. 111, No. 710 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

Dan England Elected ATA Chairman

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GRAPEVINE, Texas — American Trucking Associations’ Board of Directors elected Dan England, chairman of Salt Lake City-based C.R. England Inc., its 67th chairman.

The board voted at ATA’s annual Management Conference & Exhibition, which adjourns here on Tuesday.

“I’m honored to have been chosen by my peers in this great industry to represent America’s motor carriers, drivers, independent contractors and employees,” England said in a statement.

“The last few years have been difficult for our industry and our nation, but I’m confident that regardless of our challenges, trucking and ATA will continue to lead the country toward economic recovery,” he said.

Refrigerated carrier C.R. England is ranked No. 21 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers, and is the largest refrigerated carrier.... Continue reading...