Spotlight Shines On 25th Anniversary Celebration
January 31, 2011
The transportation industry media spotlight has been shining brightly upon U.S. Xpress and the January 21st event commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Company's first load. Six of the leading transportation media outlets are publishing stories highlighting the Company's history and our growth from a small fleet to one of one the leading transportation providers in North America. Some of those stories have already made it to the Internet and the links are listed below.
The celebration of this milestone for the Company also earned the attention from a number of local and state leaders. Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield issued a special proclamation in honor of Company Co-Chairmen and Co-Founders Max Fuller and Pat Quinn. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Edd Wilson also spoke to those in attendance about the important contributions that U.S. Xpress has made toward providing jobs and helping to enhance the quality of life in our community.
The 25th anniversary event offered one of the first opportunities for new Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann to address a group in Chattanooga. Both Mayor Coppinger and Congressman Fleischmann had great praise for U.S. Xpress. Congressman Fleischmann also spent a moment talking about the importance of taking on the regulations in Washington that are hurting our industry.
In taking a moment to look toward the future, the Company announced during the event that we will become a gold-level sponsor of the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans who have been injured while serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Brea Kraztert, the Manager of Strategic Partnerships, traveled from the WWP home office in Jacksonville to take part in the announcement.
U.S. Xpress, Inc. President John White, Chief Financial Officer Ray Harlin and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wardeberg made a presentation to Max and Pat on behalf of the executive team and all our employees. Jeff summed up the vision and leadership provided by Max and Pat with the following observation:
"From my perspective, the one trait that I think best describes the journey that both of you have taken over the past 25 years is that neither of you is ever satisfied. It's instilled in all of us that we can always do better. If we keep that hunger, there is no reason that this company won't continue to celebrate anniversary after anniversary well into the future. Thank you for all the hard work, your leadership and your sacrifice."
You can see Jeff's speech as well as the other presentations at the 25th anniversary celebration through the video links below. For your convenience, we have divided the coverage of the 25th ann iversary event in two parts with a running time of approximately 13 minutes apiece.
Transportation Industry Media Coverage Links:
To read the coverage from FleetOwner Magazine's online edition, please click on the following link: FleetOwner Magazine Article #2
To read the coverage from Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine's online edition, please click on the following link: Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine Article
To read the coverage from the Commercial Carrier Journal's online edition, please click on the following link: Commercial Carrier Journal's Article
For more information, please visit www.USxpress.com.
WASHINGTON - Future tractor-trailers, school buses, delivery vans, garbage trucks and heavy-duty pickup trucks must do better at the pump under first-ever fuel efficiency rules coming from the Obama administration.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department are moving ahead with a proposal for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, beginning with those sold in the 2014 model year and into the 2018 model year.
The plan is expected to seek about a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption from longhaul trucks, according to people familiar with the plan. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to speak publicly before the official announcement, expected Monday.
Overall, the proposal is expected to seek reductions of 10 percent to 20 percent in fuel consumption and emissions based on the vehicle's size. Large tractor-trailers tend to be driven up to 150,000 miles a year, making them ripe for improved miles per gallon.
The rules will cover big rig tractor-trailers, "vocational trucks" such as garbage trucks and transit and school buses, and work trucks such as heavy-duty versions of the Ford F-Series, Dodge Ram and Chevrolet Silverado.
The White House has pushed for tougher fuel economy standards across the nation's fleet as a way to reduce dependence on oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions tied to global warming.
The fleet of new cars, pickup trucks and SUVs will need to reach 35.5 mpg by 2016, and the government is developing plans for future vehicle models that could push the standards to 47 mpg to 62 mpg by 2025.
Medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks are much less fuel-efficient than conventional automobiles; the fleet of tractor-trailers typically get about 6 mpg to 7 mpg, while work trucks can achieve 10 to 11 mpg. But they still consume about 20 percent of the transportation fuel in the U.S.
Margo Oge, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told reporters last week the proposed rules would be a "win-win situation for the country, the economy, climate change and energy security." She declined to release details.
President Barack Obama was joined by truck manufacturers in the Rose Garden in May when he said the government would release the first-ever proposed standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency for large trucks this year. Obama estimated then that the fuel efficiency of tractor-trailers could be improved by 25 percent using existing technologies.
"This is going to bring down the costs of transporting - for transporting goods, serving businesses and consumers alike," Obama said on May 21, flanked by executives with Daimler Trucks, Volvo, Cummins and Navistar, and trucking industry and union officials.
The improvements in fuel efficiency will come through a combination of more efficient engines, improved aerodynamics and better tires.
Environmental groups have pointed to a National Academy of Sciences report this year that said the trucks could make broad improvements during the decade through existing technologies. The report found that using advanced diesel engines in tractor-trailers could reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent by 2020 while hybrid versions of garbage trucks and buses could see a 35 percent cut in fuel use by 2020.
"Whether you are a company or an individual truck owner, you will be saving money on day one because you'll be saving more on fuel than increased loan payments on a big truck," said David Friedman, research director for the clean vehicles program of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Background check inquiries supported by U.S. Supreme Court - The United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously on January 19, 2011 that NASA's background check inquiries into contract employees' behavioral conduct did not violate the employees' right to informational privacy. more ...
Executive Order seeks improved regulation and regulatory review - On January 18, 2011, President Obama signed an Executive Order advising agencies to propose and adopt regulations only when the proposed benefits justify the costs, seek public input, and coordinate regulatory activity across agencies to reduce wasted effort. more ...
Female employee fired because of her age - An age discrimination case brought by the EEOC has been settled with two Houston-area adult-oriented businesses. According to the EEOC's suit, the businesses violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by harassing and ultimately firing a waitress because of her age. more ...
Here at Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc., we've been writing short "how to" pieces for publication on various Web sites. Our first piece was "How to Climb into a Truck Cab." .. . Since then, we've done several others: "How to Test Trailer Air Brakes for Leaks," "How to Adjust Fifth Wheel Trailer Height" and our latest, "How to Hook Up a Tractor Protection Valve." Collect 'em all. Just click on the links to view the stories. You can easily email them, share them and even print them out using the buttons at the top right of the Web page.
If you've got an iPhone, iTouch or iPad, check out our latest release, BUMPER TO BUMPER ® Easy CDL, an app for the iPhone. It's a great supplement to a formal training program. Students at even the best truck driving schools might appreciate a little extra review and opportunities to practice with the sample test questions so we've attached a poster about it. Download the poster and hang it in the classroom to let your students know about this resource.
It's also a great tool for CDL holders who want to add Endorsements to their license. We're hearing that applicants for the Haz Mat Endorsement are especially nervous about that written test. Easy CDLBUMPER TO BUMPER ® Easy CDL in the iTunes store or go to Study By App on the Internet. (A celebrity does the audio; can you guess who it is?) We'd love to hear your reactions and, like others who have downloaded the app, you can also leave your comments right on the iTunes Easy CDL page.
Annual Safety Belt Partnership Art Contest Extended:
The annual Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Safety Belt Partnership “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” art contest for children of relatives in the truck and bus industries in grades K-6 (ages 5-12) has been extended. The new deadline is February 28, 2011.
The “Be Ready, Be Buckled” art contest focuses on urging truck, bus and all drivers to buckle up to saves lives and reduce injuries. This year’s theme focuses on the motto “Safety Belts Save Lives!” Children with a relationship with individuals or organizations in the trucking and bus industries can participate as per entry requirements.
Published January, 20 2011
At an event marking the one-year anniversary of FocusDriven, the first national nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for victims of distracted driving, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood reaffirmed his commitment to putting an end to distracted driving.
Joined by family members of distracted driving victims, including FocusDriven President Jennifer Smith, and representatives from Safeway and the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, LaHood unveiled a number of new public education initiatives and discussed the important leadership role businesses play in promoting safe driving behavior.
“Distracted driving is a deadly epidemic, and when it comes to road safety, we will not take a backseat to anyone,” LaHood said. “That’s why distracted driving will continue to be a major part of DOT’s robust safety agenda. Together with advocates like FocusDriven and NETS, and employers like Safeway, we can put an end to this deadly behavior and save lives.”
To show the devastating real-life effect of distracted driving, DOT unveiled the latest in its “Faces of Distracted Driving” video series, which explores the tragic consequences of texting and cell phone use while driving. The video features people from across the country who have been injured or lost loved ones in distracted driving crashes. This week’s video features 17-year-old Emily Reynolds. Emily’s older sister Cady was killed in 2007 when a teen driver texting on her cell phone struck Cady’s car in Omaha, Nebraska. To watch, or find out how to submit a video, visit: www.distraction.gov/faces.
Also at Thursday’s event, FocusDriven President Jennifer Smith launched a new anti-distracted driving PSA. Titled the “5500 campaign,” the 30-second public service announcement includes pictures of hundreds of distracted driving victims, putting faces to the fatalities that occur on American roadways.
“In our new PSA, we want to remind people that each and every distracted driving fatality is someone’s loved one, and that person’s family is in tremendous pain,” said Smith. “Our new campaign will urge the public to put down the phone and focus on the drive. We cannot wait until others are killed or injured to take action. The statistics show that it’s no longer ‘if’ someone you know will be affected by distracted driving, it’s ‘when.’ ”
On the employer side, Shannon Campagna, vice president of Federal Government Relations for Safeway grocery stores, spoke about the company’s decision to institute an anti-distracted driving policy for all Safeway truck drivers. The policy prohibits Safeway’s 1,525 truck drivers from talking or texting on cell phones, or from using hands-free devices while driving.
“The safety of our employees, customers and residents in the communities where we operate is and always has been of the utmost importance to Safeway,” Campagna said. “This policy not only helps keep our employees and customers safe, but we believe it is a good business practice as it ensures that our products arrive safely and on time. Implementation of policies limiting use of phones and mobile devices by more private companies will help minimize distractions for drivers and keep Americans on the road safe and healthy.”
Bill Windsor, NETS chairman, also announced the results of their 2010 Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) campaign. The campaign, which promoted anti-distracted driving employer policies, reached 5,000 public and private organizations representing more than 20 million U.S. employees. Of the 4,690 unique organizations that downloaded the NETS electronic tool kit, 88 percent currently have or expect to have a cell phone policy in place within the next 12 months.
“Employers can make a real difference in keeping their associates safe both on and off the job by educating them about the dangers of distracted driving and adopting policies to prevent it,” said Windsor.
While public awareness about America’s distracted driving epidemic has grown in recent years, the problem still looms large. In 2009, nearly 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver. To learn more about DOT’s efforts to stop distracted driving, go to www.distraction.gov.
DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of January 17, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance
In this week’s issue, Fast-Fax will answer the most common questions we’ve received about the new CSA website, including how to log in.
As you may know, in December, FMCSA released (a limited amount of) CSA information to the general public. At the same time that the public information was released and CSA was formally ‘switched on’, FMCSA made a number of key changes to how the information is presented. (They also enacted some other changes to the system, such as, changing the name from CSA2010 to CSA). We’ve had a number of calls and emails from confused carriers trying to find their information.
The first change is that the web address of the CSA portal has changed. To view your information you now need to go to http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/. (If you visit the old CSA page, look for a link for ‘SMS Data’ to find the new site).
Another change to the web interface is that, by and large, FMCSA is referring to the CSA data as SMS data. SMS — the Safety Measurement System — is the name of the CSA system that actually measures carrier compliance.
How To Find Your Information
When you arrive at the SMS page you will see, prominently placed at the top right hand side of the screen, a log-in box asking for your DOT Number or your Motor Carrier Number. This is actually the public log in. If you were to use this, you would only receive the limited information available to the public. To get the full CSA information available to motor carriers, you need to do the following:
Step One: Log into FMCSA’s Portal
- Scroll down to where it says “Click Here To Log In With Your USDOT Number and Motor Carrier PIN Number.”
- Where prompted, input your DOT number and then your PIN Number.
Step Two: Return to the CSA Page
- To view your information you will actually need to log in again.
- Go up to the main login, type in either your DOT number or MC number. Your DOT number may automatically appear in the box.
- Click search.
This will open up the SMS data site. At first glance it will look identical to the public site however, on closer inspection, you should see that the Cargo-Related and Crash Indicator BASICs are viewable.
Problems With The Site
One criticism of the new site is that it is very graphics heavy. It may be slow to load on older computers. You should also be sure that your Flash and Java plug-ins are up-to-date. If you are having a problem, look for a message from your browser telling you you need to update (often found in a yellow drop-down bar at the top of the page).
Changes in Terminology
If you checked your information during the data preview this fall you may have seen the terms ‘Deficient’ and ‘Investigative Deficiencies’ being used to describe BASICs with percentiles above the threshold. You may also have seen a logo that looked like a red spray painted X.
Since the public launch, FMCSA has made the terminology and appearance of the CSA information less aggressive. If you are deficient in a BASIC you will now see a box that says ‘ALERT!’ We have had several questions on this matter. Please note that ‘ALERT!’ is the same as ‘Deficient’. Some carriers have been working under the assumption that ‘ALERT!’ was a more mild status message; again, it is not, ‘ALERT!’ is the same as ‘Deficient.’
The logo has also been removed (it just has a text ‘ALERT!’ now) and the colors have been changed from red to orange. This was an effort to allay concerns that outsiders to the industry would be unduly concerned by FMCSA’s previous choice of terminology.
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