February
Inside the Issue

Here is what you will find in this months edition!

How Much Could Trucking Benefit from Improved Infrastructure?

While some of their hard work goes unnoticed, truck drivers do receive recognition from a portion of the public..

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Carrier Looks to Improve Productivity with Cloud Technology

Technology has had a major impact on the freight industry over the years, and it doesn’t look like this trend will be changing any time soon.

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Can a Refresher Course Help Drivers Return to the Industry?

There are plenty of people who make their living as a truck driver.

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The Growth of Activism in the Trucking Industry

Activism can help to establish precedents for the legislative and economic decisions which impact the freight industry and the people who work in it.

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What Hiring Managers Look for in a Driver

Securing the perfect truck driving job is something that every driver dreams of, but sometimes this is easier said than done.

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How Quickly Do Economic Improvements Impact Trucking?

Every industry depends on the field of freight transportation to provide the products customers want.

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From our Blog: Are you a vandal?

Graffiti or art. Where do you stand.

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Does climate change affect the public's perception of truckers?

Truck driving has long been seen as a vital, but perhaps underappreciated profession.

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Senate Welcomes Chao as leader of DOT

After a brief discussion, the Senate confirmed that nominee Elaine Chao will be the next Secretary of Transportation.

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Crossword

Kill some time with our Trucker themed crossword puzzle.

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Word Search

Never be bored with our Trucking word search puzzle.

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Sudoku Fun

Are you good with numbers?

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Comics

Everyone loves a good laugh!

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Past Issues

January 2017
February 2017
March 2017

How Much Could Trucking Benefit from Improved Infrastructure?

eMedia Staff Writer

While some of their hard work goes unnoticed, truck drivers do receive recognition from a portion of the public. Even businesses and lawmakers have expressed their appreciation for those who take to the roads at odd hours and in rough conditions, all to ensure America’s economy continues as normal.

But the condition that those roads are in can play a big part in how easy it is for a driver to do their job. With many roads and bridges throughout the country wearing down, there has been a recent move to get American infrastructure the upgrades it needs. But just how much could these changes benefit the trucking industry?

Infrastructure has already been a highly-discussed topic in trucking since the beginning of the last election cycle. But now that things have settled down in Washington, many are looking into just how much drivers could gain if the plans for new infrastructure are followed.

One of the main hazards of crumbling infrastructure is that it can lead to vehicular damage. Even if infrastructure isn’t in the type of condition that would cause a risk of major accidents, carriers and drivers alike may find that their equipment is at risk when they’re required to drive on infrastructure with potholes, cracks, or other similar problems.

But another lesser-known issue that can arise due to poor infrastructure is inefficiency. Poor infrastructure can slow down a driver’s trip. This can mean higher fuel costs and less time to make deliveries in a given route. While these types of losses may seem miniscule, they add up over time – and combined, they can have a big impact on a carrier’s performance.

With improved infrastructure, drivers can enjoy safer and more seamless trips. This could make it easier for carriers of all sizes to maintain their equipment, cut costs, and grow efficiently.


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Carrier Looks to Improve Productivity with Cloud Technology

eMedia Staff Writer

Technology has had a major impact on the freight industry over the years, and it doesn’t look like this trend will be changing any time soon. But while a lot of the focus on tech in trucking deals with autonomous vehicles becoming a mainstay on America’s highways, some carriers are utilizing new equipment upgrades to make things easier for drivers and managers alike.

While a great deal has been said about new trucking equipment like engines or safety systems, one carrier is taking advantage of another available resource – the cloud. In order to make data entry and recordkeeping a bit easier, Swift Transportation is now utilizing Samsung tablets and cloud storage to ease the burden on the administrative side of things. Swift Transportation is North America’s largest full-truckload carrier, and the company has already used technology to establish themselves a standout player in the freight field. Their freight-tracker technology allows receivers to have a greater degree of insight when it comes to the transportation process.

But their newest move could simplify trip logging, while also making it easier to organize and maintain records for daily operations. Benefits of this new technology include streamlined operations and improved security. Drivers will be able to find the forms they need quicker thanks to a new interface, and the cloud structure of the system makes it easy for these forms to be accessed as needed.

The creation process for the new technology involved the carrier’s own Six Sigma process experts as well as input from consulting firm Blue Dot Operations. The company has future plans to utilize routers for monitoring the performance of vehicles.

Technology in trucking isn’t always a bad thing – while some may worry about innovations taking jobs from drivers, certain technologies can actually make a driver’s life much easier.

Can a Refresher Course Help Drivers Return to the Industry?

eMedia Staff Writer

There are plenty of people who make their living as a truck driver. But there are also many people who worked in this field at one point, but don’t anymore. Every year, many people who used to work in the freight industry look to return. But sometimes a bit of additional training may be needed if a driver hasn’t been behind the wheel in a while.

A CDL refresher course is the best option for a driver who has experienced an absence from the industry and needs to reacquaint themselves with the specifics of the job. Even those who feel confident in their skills can benefit from a refresher course, as it can also help them catch up on what they’ve missed in the industry since their absence.

Trucking can change rapidly, so anything from traffic laws to equipment standards may change. Refresher courses are designed to be concise, so they can help former drivers catch up without requiring them to spend too much time in the classroom.

In certain cases, a 40-hour refresher course can be a mandatory requirement. If a driver hasn’t been on the road in the last year they will usually be required to complete this type of course. Carriers that require a year of experience in the past three years will sometimes allow a refresher course to be substituted for this requirement. A driver may also be required to take a refresher course if they are not hired within two months of graduating. Like regular CDL A courses, refreshers courses can be financed in various ways, including specialized programs offered by the schools giving the course.

For drivers who are returning to the industry after an absence, a refresher course can be a great solution.


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The Growth of Activism in the Trucking Industry

eMedia Staff Writer

While truck drivers have always been pictured as the hard-nosed workhorses who focus solely on getting the tough job of freight transport done, the trucking industry has also excelled in other ways. In fact, recent decades have seen a great deal of activism and community involvement from the trucking industry.

With the “Trucker Lives Matter” movement looking to make it easier for truckers to defend themselves on the road and The Women in Trucking Association celebrating their 8th annual “Salute to Women Behind the Wheel” event, it is clear that many organizations are focusing on unique issues and challenges within the trucking community.

America’s Road Team is another example of the type of activism the industry has become known for. With organizations like the American Trucking Associations constantly looking to improve the image truck drivers have in regards to the businesses they deliver to across the country as well as the motoring public, it is clear that activism is not unusual in the modern trucking industry – it is a key component of it.

But what exactly does activism do for truck drivers and their line of work? One of the main purposes of this type of activity is that it helps trucking reach more people. Networking can lead to long-term business partnerships and a better perception of the industry as a whole.

Activism can also help to establish precedents for the legislative and economic decisions which impact the freight industry and the people who work in it.

While truckers are still the kinds of workers willing to take on difficult tasks required to keep the economy functioning smoothly, they’re also able to organize as effectively (if not more so) than workers from other industries. The efforts of socially active drivers and administrators over the years has had a positive impact on the freight industry, and it is likely this trend will continue.

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What Hiring Managers Look for in a Driver

eMedia Staff Writer

Securing the perfect truck driving job is something that every driver dreams of, but sometimes this is easier said than done. In a competitive industry where various drivers are often applying for the same position, it’s important to know how to improve one’s chances of being hired.

Hiring managers usually list the obvious requirements of a truck driving job in the original posting. These include things like a CDL, as well as any endorsements which may be required for the position. But there are also other things a carrier looks for when they’re seeking new members of their roster – one of these is reliability.

Carriers take a big risk whenever they onboard a new talent, and this is why most of them look for drivers with a clean driving record. Every carrier has their own requirements when it comes to the amount of preventable accidents, DUIs, or moving violations they will allow when considering an applicant. But overall, a safe driving history is a massive asset for anyone applying to a position in the freight industry.

Another one of the major things any hiring manager looks for is experience. Those who have experience from well-known carriers (and who completed said work recently) will almost always have a better chance at landing a job. But what happens if a driver doesn’t have a lot of experience, or any at all?

Some carriers will look past a lack of experience provided a driver has good references and a solid CDL trucking school education. Hiring managers want workers who are skilled, reliable, and comfortable with the demands of the job. Those who are prepared properly have a better chance of getting the trucking job they want.


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How Quickly Do Economic Improvements Impact Trucking?

eMedia Staff Writer

Every industry depends on the field of freight transportation to provide the products customers want. But this type of connection goes two ways – so when an economic slump occurs across various industries, it can be devastating for truck drivers.

But what about economic improvements? Logic would dictate that growth in the economy would always mean more growth for the freight transportation industry sooner rather than later. While a carrier will see an increase in demand as their clients begin to see an increase as well, these improvements are often slow to manifest. This is usually because companies experiencing an increase in business will likely take a bit of time to adjust to this change. Since most major carriers depend on multiple companies for the bulk of their business, and since each business reacts to increasing demand differently, carriers usually see an increase in demand of this type grow slowly over time.

2017 may serve as the starting point for this kind of increase, as numbers are already on track for the ATA’s prediction of small but steady improvement in the freight industry over the next decade.

An increase in a business’ or industry’s performance will likely have some positive impact on the trucking industry in the long-run. However, it is important to remember that these changes generally take a while to show, at least in a substantial manner. But regular growth (even if it comes at a slow pace) is always welcomed in the trucking industry.


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Are You A Vandal?

eMedia Staff Writer
“Please respect our property. Don't not write on any of the signs.”

ot write on any of the signs.” There it was. As big as I’m talking about something as day on the side of the temporary as writing in the dirt on truck were the words, “Be a irt, lift your skirt.” Sure, we truckers have seen this more times than Kim Kardashian’s butt has been photographed, but this was the rst time I had ever seen it as part of the actual paint job. As pathetically desperate as this guy is, I believe he has every right to express himself. But that’s not always the case.

The reason why it’s okay for this driver to express his belief in the Science of Pervertology is because this guy was an owner operator. But for those of us drivers who don’t own the equipment, it’s my belief that we have no right to express ourselves on company owned trucks.

And I’m not just talking about permanent expressions either.

I’m talking about something as day on the side of the temporary as writing in the dirt on the back of the trailer too. In my opinion, I’ve always considered this an act of vandalism.

Now before you go accusing me of just being a prude, I don’t think it matters if it reads, “Show your hooters” or “Jesus loves you.” The content doesn’t matter. As a God-fearing Christian, I’d love to do the latter. I just find it hard to believe that the disciples went around tagging that on the synagogue walls... let alone a bathroom stall. And that brings us to the more permanent kind.

Using a sharpie, or even worse a knife, to scribble your opinions on a bathroom stall isn’t appropriate either. You might be able to argue your case that writing in the dirt on the trailer door isn’t vandalism, there is no getting around the fact that doing on a bathroom wall is.

“If you want respect from your company, shippers/ receivers, and truck stops, quit disrespecting them...”

Again, it doesn’t matter what the content is. “Obama sucks” or “Bush sucks” are both inappropriate, as is yet another inspired “Here I sit...” poem. So are Bible verses. And or Pete’s sake, quit practicing your porno graphic novel skills while you’redoing your business. Kids use those stalls too, you know!

On the flipside, a gay owner of a trucking company would have every right to put rainbows stickers all over his/her trucks. Some people wouldn’t think that is cool, but others will think it’s fabulous. And it’s likely that those who think it’s fabulous will also think it’s fabulous that I used the word fabulous. They run the same risks as Covenant does.

But what if either of these companies wanted to put their opinion on your personal vehicle? Would that be okay? If you disagree with their statement, it certainly wouldn’t be acceptable. Even if you do agree, that still doesn’t give them the right to use your Toyota as an advertising billboard. Don’t touch my stuff, bro!

But this doesn’t just apply to controversial subjects. Would you be okay with your company putting one of their recruiting bumper stickers on your personal vehicle? I think not. So is all this starting to make sense yet?

Now I’m sure some of you are saying that your company doesn’t care what kind of stickers you put in the window or what you write on the back of the trailer, but I bet you’d be wrong about that. I don’t know though. Maybe Covenant Transport wouldn’t mind you drawing three enormous crosses in the dirt. But I’m pretty sure they’d frown on you if you went with the whole “Be a irt, lift your skirt thing.” But I’m betting if you were driving the Girls Gone Wild trailer, they probably wouldn’t mind.

It all comes down to this. If it’s not your property, don’t express yourself on it...anywhere... temporary or not. Period. If you want respect from your company, shippers/receivers, and truck stops, quit disrespecting them, dillmunch.

I was reading a billboard in a shipping of ce the other day while waiting for my paperwork. They had the normal signs providing drop/ hook info, live load procedures, yard maps, etc. Then there was one little sign right at the bottom that read, “Please respect our property. Do not write on any of the signs.” On that sign someone had inked in the words, “Okay. I won’t.” I didn’t laugh. I didn’t even grin. It wasn’t cute. And it certainly wasn’t clever.

What it was is a sign of what is wrong with truckers today. Drivers don’t have respect for anyone or anything. And that just seems odd to me for a group of people who are always whining about not getting respect.

So here’s what I propose. Just as the FMCSA now has a National Registry of Certi ed Medical Examiners, we should start a National Registry of Drivers Who Deface Other’s Property. Once the list is complete, the rest of us can divvy up the names, hunt you down, and begin scratching our personal beliefs into your car doors and scribbling our best genital drawings onto the mirror of your kids’ bathroom.

What? According to you that’s just a-okay. Right?

About the Author

I’ve been truckin’ since 1997. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it. Speaking of being fickle, my wife, affectionately known as The Evil Overlord, was my co-driver for 9 of those years... and yet somehow she managed not to smother me with a pillow. ;-) And it’s also imperative that you realize I take myself very, very seriously.

Learn More About Todd at:
AboutTruckDriving.com

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Does climate change affect the public's perception of truckers?

By: eMedia Staff Writer

Truck driving has long been seen as a vital, but perhaps underappreciated profession. While not given the same amount of notoriety as other workers who help keep America’s economy connected and sustained, drivers do play an integral role in making supply meet demand.

But economic concerns aren’t the only things making headlines in 2017. The topic of climate change is also becoming more prevalent as the impact of industries on the environment becomes more noticeable. But the question remains: given that the freight industry is known for fossil fuel emissions, does this change the public’s perception of them?

From an economic standpoint, the answer seems to be no. Truck driving remains the most popular occupation in nearly 80% of US states. The trucking industry has also worked directly with lawmakers, and worked to pursue new safety regulations for the safety of the motoring public.

Though their job does require them to burn through fuel, this is only done to meet the demands of consumers across all other industries. In this aspect, truck drivers are like any other worker who provides stability for the economy. They are simply performing a job, and an important one at that.

But it would be inaccurate to say one would have to choose between a healthy economy and a lighter carbon footprint. Many people are still unaware that the trucking industry has taken steps to reduce emissions. These include pursuing cleaner engines and in some cases even fully electric vehicles.

This type of technology is becoming more common in the industry, with Elon Musk planning to introduce solar-powered trucking technology in the future. While this transition will be slow as to offset the expenses of making such a big change, trucking continues to enjoy a positive perception to anyone who knows the positive steps they’re taking.


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Senate Welcomes Chao as leader of DOT.

by: eMedia Staff Writer

After a brief discussion, the Senate confirmed that nominee Elaine Chao will be the next Secretary of Transportation. Given her experience, she acquired committee approval with ease and received an overwhelming amount of support with a 93-6 vote.

Chao was praised by leaders and Senator John Thune (R-SD) noted that it would be hard to come up with a more qualified candidate. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) said that Chao would be great in the position as she could offer level-headed, good experience-based advice in the field of transportation moving forward.

With a great deal of confusion occurring due to the new president’s travel restrictions, many wondered how these acts will affect the transportation industry. Freight transport in particular may be affected, which is why trucking administrators and industry leaders have been involved in discussions with Chao.

American Trucking Associations’ President and CEO Chris Spear said: “Secretary Chao has a long and distinguished track record, from her time as Secretary of Labor where I got to know her best and her service as Deputy Transportation Secretary as well as with the United Way and Peace Corps. Wherever she has gone, Secretary Chao has demonstrated the kind of leadership and vision we need to address our nation’s pressing transportation issues and we look forward to quickly getting to work with her.”


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