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Covenant Employees donate to Chattanooga Area Food Bank

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 7, 2008

 

For further information, please contact:

Michael W. Smith

Director of Safety

Covenant Transport

Phone: 800-721-5202 x3501

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

 

 

 

Covenant Transport, Chattanooga, TN. The employees of Covenant Transport have been given many opportunities to give going into this holiday season. During their Winter Safety Blitz employees donated canned goods and packaged foods for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. The employees also donated many toys that will be shared with less fortunate families around the Chattanooga area for the Christmas Holiday. If this was not enough, the employees of Covenant Transport shared the gift of life by donating blood to the Chattanooga Blood Assurance program.

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Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc. Names Mark Fairclaugh as Instructor of the Month

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Our Instructor of the Month for November, 2008, Mark Fairclaugh teaches for All-State Career, Inc. in Lester, Pennsylvania. Mark hasn't been teaching all that long, just over a year, but he knew as a student that he wanted to teach. He drove local for three years prior to attending school. As a student, he wont the annual roadeo and then drove for three years. In his spare time, he works on a Website that he made for students as a support system.

Click here to read more...

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Covenant Transport Announces Mr. Frank Silio selected as a finalist

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
October 21, 2008
 
 
For further information, please contact:
Michael W. Smith
Director of Safety
Covenant Transport
Phone: 800-721-5202 x3501

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


Covenant Transport, Chattanooga, TN is pleased to announce that Mr. Frank Silio has been selected as a finalist for the 2009-2010, “America’s Road Team”. The road team is a national public outreach program sponsored by Volvo Trucks of North America and the American Trucking Association. It is represented by a small group of professional men and woman, who have remarkable safety records and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway. Frank was selected from a group of over 2000 applicants from member trucking companies from around the country. There are 36 finalists which will go to Washington DC in January for the final selection process to fill 15 open positions. Frank has been employed with us since 2003 and is a master trainer. He is also a member of our Executive Council and has competed in several state Truck Driving Championships. In addition, Frank also assist’s the Safety department in training and education.

 

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Covenant Transport Drivers eat healthy and give back to the community.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 8, 2008


For further information, please contact:
Michael W. Smith
Director of Safety
Covenant Transport
Phone: 800-721-5202 x3501
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Covenant Transport Drivers eat healthy and give back to the community.


Covenants Fall Safety Blitz was held at 6 terminals September 15th  - 19th, the emphasis was safe winter driving and good health.  It has long been known that many professional truck drivers suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and other health problems resulting from prolonged lack of exercise and poor food choices while on the road.   To show drivers that eating "smart" can be delicious, each day of the event, drivers were provided healthy lunch:  turkey burgers hot off the grill on wheat buns with low-fat trimmings, chicken and lean sausages cooked in chicken broth with vegetables, baked chips, fruit, water and diet drinks. 


Drivers were also given the opportunity to donate blood at the blitz September 18th.  At the Chattanooga blitz alone, drivers gave 49 pints of blood to the local Blood Bank (Blood Assurance). 


Covenant Transportation Group, Inc. is the holding company for several transportation providers that offer premium transportation services for customers throughout the United States. The consolidated group includes operations from Covenant Transport and Covenant Transport Solutions of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Southern Refrigerated Transport of Texarkana, Arkansas; and Star Transportation of Nashville, Tennessee. The group operates one of the ten largest fleets in North America as measured by revenue. The Company's Class A common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol, "CVTI".

Jackie Rooney
Healthy Diet

 

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ATA Names Covenant Transport’s Safety VP 2008 Safety Director of the Year

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

September 30, 2008

 

For further information, please contact:

Michael W. Smith

Director of Safety

Covenant Transport

Phone: 800-721-5202 x3501

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

 


ATA Names Covenant Transport’s Safety VP 2008 Safety Director of the Year

 

Chattanooga, TN – Doug Cook, Vice President of Safety at Covenant Transport, has been named the 2008 American Trucking Associations’ National Safety Director of the Year. The announcement came at the ATA Safety and Loss Prevention Management Council's fall conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The Safety Director of the Year Award is presented annually to the motor carrier safety executive whose professional qualifications, safety programs and achievements are deemed most outstanding among his or her peers. The winner must demonstrate an ability to manage successful safety programs and exhibit a devotion to a highway safety career. 

 

Mr. Cook has 30 years of transportation experience and 18 years as a safety professional. Employed by Covenant since 2003, Mr. Cook has supervised a 26% reduction in vehicular accidents and a 60% reduction in accident cost-per-mile during the period 2003-2007at the company. 

 

Mr. Cook was also named the 2008 Safety Professional of the Year by the Safety & Security Division of Truckload Carriers Association.

 

 

 

Covenant Transportation Group, Inc. is the holding company for several transportation providers that offer premium transportation services for customers throughout the United States. The consolidated group includes operations from Covenant Transport and Covenant Transport Solutions of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Southern Refrigerated Transport of Texarkana, Arkansas; and Star Transportation of Nashville, Tennessee. The group operates one of the ten largest fleets in North America as measured by revenue. The Company's Class A common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol, "CVTI".

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Are you ready? Red Flag ID theft regs must fly by Nov. 1

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November 1, 2008 is the deadline for compliance with the federal “Red Flag” anti-identity theft regulations. These regulations apply far more broadly than generally understood. Even if these regulations do not apply to your company specifically, they establish a good process for you to deploy to avoid becoming the source of identity theft risks for your customers and employees.

The “Red Flag” anti-identity theft rules were easy for utilities, medical care providers, automobile dealers, and general businesses to overlook. They were adopted under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (“FACTA”), a statute intended generally to extend and update the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Red Flag rules were issued jointly by various federal agencies that regulate financial institutions, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). As such, many businesses have assumed that these regulations are directed only at banks, mortgage lenders and other traditional creditors. But they are not so limited. Because the Red Flag rules define “creditor” very broadly, many other types of businesses that extend credit may need to comply.

Who must comply?

The Red Flag rules apply to any “creditor,” which means “any person or business who arranges for the extension, renewal, or continuation of credit” with a “covered account.” An “account” means a continuing relationship with a creditor to obtain a product or service and includes deferred payments for services or property as well as pure credit relationships. A “covered account” is (1) an account primarily for personal, family, or household purposes that involves or is designed to permit multiple payments or transactions, and (2) any other account (including an account for business purposes) for which there is a reasonably foreseeable risk to customers or the safety and soundness of the creditor from identity theft, including financial, operational, compliance, reputation, or litigation risks.

What are the Red Flag requirements?

The Red Flag rules require a creditor to develop and implement a written program having reasonable policies and procedures for detecting, preventing, and mitigating identity theft. The program must enable a creditor to:

Periodically determine whether it offers or maintains a “covered account.”
Identify relevant patterns, practices, and specific forms of activity that are “Red Flags” signaling possible identity theft.
Detect when such Red Flags are occurring in the entity's business activities.
Respond appropriately to any Red Flags that are detected to prevent and mitigate identity theft.
Ensure the program is updated periodically to reflect changes in risks from identity theft.

Under these regulations, “identity theft” means “a fraud committed or attempted using the identifying information of another person without authority.” Identifying information means any name or number that may be used alone or in conjunction with any other information to identify a specific person, including: Social Security number; date of birth; official State or government issued driver's license or identification number; passport number; alien registration number; unique biometric data; unique electronic identification number, address, or routing code; or telecommunication identifying information or address device, etc. Thus under the Red Flag regulations, the creation of a fictitious identity using any single piece of information belonging to a real person falls within the definition of “identity theft.”

Indicators of possible risk of identity theft include precursors to identity theft such as phishing (using enticing email masquerading as legitimate communications to bait the consumer into revealing sensitive information), vishing (using social engineering and voice communications to gain access to private personal and financial information), and security breaches involving the theft of personal information, which often are a means to acquire the information of another person for use in committing identity theft. An appropriate Red Flag may consist of any number of relevant facts, such as the exhaustion of lifetime benefit limits, duplicate services, fraudulent reimbursement or insurance submissions, fraudulent utility usage, or discrepancies in information collected at the time of providing services. In order to properly define and implement its Red Flags program, creditors must learn lessons from others, keeping abreast of the identity theft environment and tapping sources such as literature and information from credit bureaus, financial institutions, other creditors, designers of fraud detection software, and the business' own experience.

Your board of directors must also become involved in your Red Flags program. Each entity that is required to implement a program must (1) obtain approval of the initial written program from either its board of directors or an appropriate committee of the board of directors and (2) involve the board of directors, an appropriate committee, or a designated employee at the level of senior management in the oversight, development, implementation, and administration of your program.

Other considerations

Your potential responsibilities under the Red Flag rules touch on other regulatory compliance issues that require careful consideration, such as whether the Equal Credit Opportunity Act may also apply to your credit activities. In addition, there is much more in the Red Flag regulations that must be done in time to meet the November 1, 2008 deadline. You may not like these new rules, but they do serve business needs as well as compliance purposes, and the potential sanctions for failure to comply make compliance the clear choice.

Special thanks to my law partner, Jennifer Karron, for her comments on this article.

Mark F. Foley is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP, practicing primarily in the general litigation and information technology & outsourcing practices. Digital Lex: Exploring the intersection of law and information technology is his column for WTN News.

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In it for the long haul: Trucking industry’s down but far from out

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In it for the long haul:
Trucking industry’s down but far from out
By Laura Raines

For ajcjobs

http://www.ajc.com/hotjobs/content/hotjobs/careercenter/articles/2008/08/17/cover_trucking.html

Wayne and Claudia Curtis have owned Old Corps Trucking in Conyers since late 2002. With eight drivers and five trucks, they haul packages for FedEx in 48 states. Like all trucking companies, Old Corps is feeling the effects of a sluggish economy, historically high fuel prices and a shortage of truck drivers.

“We are definitely making a lot less than we were this time last year. People aren’t shopping and mailing things to Grandma in a tighter economy, and it’s harder to find qualified drivers — but it’s not so bad that we’re ready to close the doors,” Claudia Curtis said.

With a 6-year-old daughter, Asia, at home, she mainly keeps the books. But, like her husband, she has her commercial driver’s license and still drives some of the shorter routes.

“Wayne and I met in the Marines. He always loved trucks and wanted to own his own company,” Curtis said. “He went to school, got his CDL and began driving for a company to learn the ropes. I soon joined him.”

The couple trade off driving and caring for their daughter.

“You’d be surprised how many women drivers there are in the industry,” Curtis said. “Most of them like the independence. You’ve got your music [and] your coffee, and you roll. As long as you get to where you’re supposed to be safely and on time, you’re your own boss. No one tells you what to wear [or] when to go to lunch or looks over your shoulder.”

Since she’s been in the business, she’s seen the trucking lifestyle improve. “There are nicer trucks and truck stops with more showers and food options,” she said.

She carries a laptop to keep in touch and mostly feels welcome in what was traditionally a man’s job.

The couple love getting to see the country in all seasons — sights they wouldn’t see with 9-to-5 jobs — and they love going to the trucking shows to see the new rigs and products.

Asia has caught the enthusiasm.

“She can’t go on runs, but when Wayne is dropping off a truck at the shop, she loves to ride along. She tells me she can’t wait for Daddy to teach her to drive,” Curtis said.

Although being in the Marines proved to be good training for running a business, especially in hard times, the Curtises are well aware that other carriers are closing.

“It would definitely help if gas prices went down,” she said, “but Wayne and I can always drive [for another company] if we have to. Trucking is never going to go away. All that stuff in your house — a truck brought it.”

Invisible no more

“The trucking industry moves about 70 percent of all freight tonnage,” said Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations (ATA). “We are the dominant mode of transportation for moving goods.”

Trucking accounts for 7 percent of the gross national product, yet it’s been largely an invisible industry, said Mike O’Connell, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA), the trade association for private truck-driving schools.

“On average, a can of peas is moved five times by truck, but, as long as there is food on the shelves, no one thinks about how it got there,” he said.

That’s changing, as trucking-industry woes make headlines.

The industry is coping with three major challenges: the cost of fuel, the depressed economy and a shortage of drivers, said Tiffany Wlazlowski, director of public affairs for the ATA.

“Historically, fuel was the second-highest operating cost for carriers, with drivers being the first,” she said. “Because of price hikes, fuel is now a motor carrier’s highest cost. Fuel is the lifeblood of our industry, and we’re taking it on the chin.”

Wlazlowski noted that the industry was on pace to spend about $170 billion on fuel this year, compared with $112 billion last year. Diesel fuel prices have climbed from $2.82 a gallon to about $5 a gallon this year.

Compounding the fuel issue is freight capacity. When the economy slows down, people spend less money, and manufacturers ship fewer goods.

With more trucks than freight, trucking companies have been “right-sizing” to fit demand, Costello said. Some companies have shrunk their fleets; others have gone out of business.

Avondale Partners, an independent investment-banking firm that conducts industry research, reported 935 trucking company failures in the first quarter and 970 failures in the second quarter of this year.

“If fuel costs keep rising, we would expect to see more bankruptcies in the future,” Costello said. “Truck tonnage has increased just a little bit, and that may be a positive sign, but the numbers have been very volatile, so we may not be out of the woods yet.”

Drivers wanted

The economy and high fuel prices have given companies a temporary reprieve from what will be an acute shortage of drivers in the future. With baby boomers beginning to retire, the ATA predicts that 111,000 more drivers will be needed by 2014.

“The industry will definitely need drivers in the future. The problem hasn’t gone away,” said Todd Jadin, senior vice president and general manager of Schneider National, the largest truckload carrier in the industry.

“This has been a very challenging time,” he said. “The run-up in diesel fuel prices to the $5-a-gallon level is something that I’ve not seen in my 25 years in the industry.”

Jadin said he’s proud that Schneider National has been able to address the challenges without letting equipment sit idle or laying off drivers.

“We started a Fuel School for drivers during the fuel crisis of the late 1970s, so we already had a good fuel-conservation program in place, and we’ve made it even better,” he said.

Schneider National was a founding member of SmartWay Transport, a collaboration between the Environmental Protection Agency and the freight industry to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases.

In May, Schneider cut its fleet speed by 3 mph to a limit of 60 mph, a step that will reduce the company’s consumption of diesel fuel by more than 3.75 million gallons per year and will reduce trucks’ carbon dioxide emissions by 83.25 million pounds per year. The company has taught drivers to reduce idling-engine time and off-route miles. It has passed fuel surcharges on to its shippers when possible.

Surcharges have become much more prevalent in the industry as a way to cope with the high cost of fuel and have prevented more companies from going bankrupt, according to experts. The downside is that those costs get passed on to consumers through higher-priced goods.

Time to hit the road

Carriers are having to scrutinize every dollar they spend in this economy, Jadin said, but it is still a good time to consider a job in the industry. His advice is to choose a company wisely.

Look at the bottom line and select a company with financial stability; good wages, benefits and equipment; an excellent training program; different driving options; and a ladder for advancement, said Jim Tower, regional manager for Georgia for Werner Enterprises, a global transportation and logistics company.

“Trucking offers enormous job security. Both my grandfather and father were in the industry, and they knew that they would always be able to put food on the table,” Tower said.

During times of high unemployment, displaced workers often turn to truck driving as a transitional job or second career.

“It’s an excellent backup plan. If you’ve got a good driving record and a license, you can always get hired and make a decent salary. The problem for workers who have worked 9 to 5 and gone home to their families every night is adjusting to being on the road. Truck driving isn’t a job; it’s a lifestyle,” Tower said.

While there is some sacrifice of family time, experienced drivers can move into shorter, dedicated routes with more nights at home, or they can become trainers, dispatchers or managers.

“The rewards are that you can have a career in three weeks that will take care of you the rest of your life. This industry isn’t going away,” said David Johnson, recruiter and instructor at America’s Driving Force in Forest Park.

The accredited program offers 180 hours of instruction, and it graduated 558 truck drivers last year.

“It wasn’t a matter of whether they’d get a job, but which one they would take,” Johnson said.

Most companies train new hires (with pay) for an additional three to eight weeks before letting them go solo behind the wheel.

Johnson drove for 20 years and has taught for 10. He’s seen the industry become much more sophisticated, with high-tech equipment and a driver-friendly culture with management opportunities.

“Companies are paying drivers more now than they’ve ever paid, and the benefits are better,” Johnson said. Average starting wages are about $40,000 per year, according to a recent CVTA member survey.

“If people would only realize that this career is here and it’s real, it could be a financial solution to their problems,” he said.

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CVTA's Response to Commercial Driver’s License Testing and Commercial Learner’s Permit Standards

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These comments were filed on behalf of CVTA with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding the Issuance of Commercial Learners’ Permits.  The Comments were drafted by an ad hoc committee comprised of CVTA members that met five times over a period of nearly three months. The Association expresses its thanks to those members that participated in the drafting process.

You can download the full copy of the comments by clicking HERE.

To download the ATRI Study, click HERE.

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Eric Wiltse of Western Pacific Truck School has been named Instructor of the Month for July, 2008

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FOR RELEASE JULY 2008 BUMPER-TO-BUMPER MARKS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Publisher recognizes Instructor-of-the-Month
PORT ARANSAS, Texas

A 1996 graduate of Western Pacific Truck School, Eric Wiltse found himself out of a job when the company that he drove for closed after 30 years. He saw a Western Pacific advertisement for an Instructor and thought that it might be interesting. Fortunately for Eric and his students, he found that teaching truck driving IS interesting, he reports in a profile posted on www.bumper2bumpertruckbook.com.

Eric Wiltse has been named the Instructor of the Month for July, 2008, announced Devorah Fox, president of Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc, publishers of BUMPER to BUMPER, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of the book’s first edition. To recognize the folks who use the book every day in their work, Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc. has launched “Instructor of the Month.” Wiltse has received Master Level certification from the Commercial Vehicle Training Association - Mike Byrnes Instructor Development and Certification Program, and has also completed Western Pacific Truck School’s Train the Trainer Program.