Senate Bill Would Allow Heavier Trucks

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Measure Backed by ATA, Shippers’ Group

A trio of senators introduced a bill that would allow states to increase the maximum weight for trucks operating on their interstates beyond the federal limit of 80,000 pounds.

Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) said in introducing the Safe Efficient Transportation Act that states would be allowed to “opt in” and increase their weight limits to 97,000 pounds.

The legislation is identical to a bill introduced in the House last March by Reps. Michael Michaud (D-Maine) and Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) and would require the new, heavier trucks to have six axles in order to diffuse the added weight.

“This bipartisan legislation strikes the right balance between productivity and safety,” Kohl said in a statement.

The bill is backed by American Trucking Associations and the Coalition for Transportation Productivity, a shippers’ group, the two said in statements Thursday.

“ATA supports a number of reforms to federal truck size and weight regulations as part of our Sustainability Initiative,” said ATA President Bill Graves.

“More efficient trucks, like those allowed under this legislation, will significantly reduce the trucking industry’s carbon output,” he said in a statement.

Fleets Raising Driver Pay

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Recruiting Challenges Spur Sharp Increases

By Rip Watson, Senior Reporter

This story appears in the July 26 print edition of Transport Topics.

The number of fleets that raised driver pay in the second quarter increased sharply, and continuing difficulties in attracting new drivers could spark another round of increases in the third quarter, several industry experts have said.

About 20% of truckload fleets increased pay in the second quarter, compared with 1.7% in the first three months of 2010, said Gordon Klemp, principal of the National Transportation Institute, Kansas City, Mo.

More than a third of flatbed carriers raised pay in the second quarter, followed by 20% of refrigerated fleets and 11% of dry van operators, Klemp said. That trend was a sharp turnaround from June 2009, when at least one-third of fleets cut pay to stay afloat during the recession.

"Before the end of the third quarter, at least one major carrier will make a bold move to attract drivers with pay and kick off a significant round of pay increases," Klemp predicted, without identifying the fleet or fleets.

More increases are expected because the number of fleet requests for special pay studies rose 50% in the first half of this year, Klemp said. Based on past experience, at least 70% of the carriers that ask for those studies decide to raise wages.

Klemp, who publishes his report based on a survey of nearly 400 fleets, said pay rose an average of 4.5 cents a mile in the flatbed sector, more than twice the increase at dry van and refrigerated fleets.


U.S. Xpress announces new student team pay

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U. S. Xpress, Inc. is proud to announce effective immediately the following pay student team pay:

After a student has successfully completed his or her finishing program and would like to run team the following will apply effective immediately:

Student Teams without a Haz-Mat endorsement will earn .44/mile (split between the drivers).

Student Teams that both acquire a Haz-Mat endorsement will earn .48/mile on every load whether it is a Haz-Mat load or not. (split between the drivers)

Please remind your students to keep their receipts because USX will reimburse them up $100 for obtaining their Haz-Mat endorsement.

If you have any questions please call 800-879-7737.





Werner’s 2Q Income Improves

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Werner Enterprises said late Wednesday its second-quarter profit rose, as freight shipments strengthened and overall industry capacity fell.

Net income improved to $20.9 million, or 29 cents a share, from $12.7 million, or 18 cents, a year ago. Revenue rose 15% to $463.5 million.

"More of the improvement in the freight market over the last six months can be attributed to a decreasing supply of truck capacity rather than rising demand," Werner said, adding that "both factors are helping the freight market improve."

Freight shipment load counts continued to strengthen throughout each month of second quarter, following growth earlier this year, the company said.

Average revenues per total mile increased 2.2% from a year ago, and 2.3% sequentially from first quarter of this year.

Werner Enterprises is ranked No. 14 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.


Four Covenant Transport Drivers Join an Elite Safety Group

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Professional drivers Steve Goodwin, Theresa Goodwin, Jeff Johnson and Tina Weaver achieved career milestones in July 2010 by being inducted into Covenant Safety Department's 40 Club.  Each 40 Club member has driven one million consecutive miles for Covenant without a preventable accident, equal to 40 times around the globe.

Steve Goodwin Theresa Goodwin Jeff Johnson Tina Weaver

Pictured above (L to R):  Steve Goodwin, Theresa Goodwin, Jeff Johnson & Tina Weaver


Covenant Transport Drivers Compete at the ATA Nationals

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Two Covenant Transport drivers will compete in the American Trucking Associations' National Truck Driving Championships in Columbus, Ohio August 3 - 7, 2010.

Professional drivers Charles "Chuck" Norris and George Jefferson will represent Covenant Transport and the states of California and Tennessee, respectively, in the Sleeper Berth Class at the American Trucking Associations' National Truck Driving Championships in Columbus, Ohio August 3 - 7, 2010.  Participation in state and the national truck driving championships requires that drivers be accident-free and employed by one company during the previous 12 months.  Chuck is a 12-year veteran with Covenant and a member of Covenant's 40 Club for exceptional safe driving. He is from Fairmont, West Virginia. George has been with Covenant nine years and is from Buffalo, New York.

Chuck Norris George Jefferson