Let’s start the fall on the right foot! We are kicking off our first walking program on Monday, September 24th. Take a few days to familiarize yourself with the pedometer and program—steps will start counting toward your incentive on October 1st. We believe this team challenge is an important step to continuing a healthier lifestyle as well as a good way to stay motivated!
WALKING CHALLENGE RULES:
- The deadline to upload your steps for the current month is the end of day on the 6th of the next month. For example: To log your steps for your October incentive, you must upload your steps by the end of the day on Nov. 6th.
- All employees are eligible to participate.
- All participants must read and agree to the Assumption of Personal Risk & Waiver of Liability before signing up for the program.
- Each participant will receive a pedometer along with a USB port. Participants are responsible for their own pedometer; replacement can be requested by emailing email@example.com at $40/pedometer.
- Each participant will be expected to download their steps at least once a month at the driver’s room computer (or your personal one).
HOW TO SIGN UP:
The online sign up deadline is Sunday, September 23rd. You must register over the phone after September 23rd.
1. Go to www.chcw.com
2. Click the ‘First time logging in?” link on the homepage and enter program code 1531ADS681.
3. Enter required information. Then select ‘Return to Homepage’.
4. Once you are in your personal profile page. Click on the ‘Follow-up Programs’ tab.
5. Click the ‘Path & Step Based Walking Program’.
6. Agree to the waiver of liability and click ‘Submit’. Click ‘Join Program’ in the top right. You will know that you have joined the program when a ‘Team Tracking’ tab appears. OR Call 847.380.1167 and sign up over the phone.
HOW TO TRACK YOUR PROGRESS:
When you login to your CHCW portal click follow-up programs on the left side of your screen then path& step-based walking—this allows you to see your steps and miles statistics throughout the walking program. To see your monthly incentive—click incentive tracking on the left side of your screen.
- Each participant that walks an average of 6,000 steps per day each month will receive a $25 gift card. Gift cards will be distributed by the HR Dept.
- Each participant will receive a top of the line pedometer along with a USB port that will allow them to upload their steps with ease.
- Participants will be able to track their daily steps, aerobic steps and calories burned.
- Participants will also be able to set their own pace level within their CHC Wellness online profile and monitor their individual and team success throughout the challenge.
If you have any trouble signing up or additional questions contact Anna Khomutova
at 847.380.1167 or firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s finally here – National Truck Driver Appreciation Week! Now is the time to accept the thanks that will surely be offered to you by those who appreciate your job as a truck driver.
Members of the public who know how important the trucking industry is may feel compelled to thank you for your efforts in this field. But many truck carriers are also taking the time to appreciate their drivers in various ways.
What Can You Expect This Week?
Truck carriers and shippers are offering everything from personal thank-yous and cards to paid time off and videos expressing thanks. They are also offering freebies that may include free food, coffee, and health checkups. Luncheons and other acts of appreciation for truck drivers will be offered through the week, too.
In fact, we at ADS Logistics are treating truck drivers to a few fun events of our own. We have been hosting activities at our Chesterton office to show our appreciation all week. If you come to this location on Thursday, Sep. 20 and Friday, Sep. 21, we are hosting free lunch at 11 am, so be sure to stop by our Chesterton office this week!
Why Should Drivers Get an Appreciation Week?
You may already know the answer, but some may still be unclear on this important point. To clear up this question, Transport Topics reported that the president of ATA, Bill Graves, attested to the following facts about truck drivers:
- 2011 saw almost 400 billion miles driven by truckers
- Almost 70% of the country’s cargo is routinely transported by drivers in this industry
- These drivers are simply invaluable to our current economy
If you didn’t already know, it should be clear by now that you have something to be proud of as a truck driver. That’s why you should enjoy the week devoted to appreciating you, whether that involves eating free donuts or attending luncheons held in your honor at ADS Logistics!
The White House recently honored Ellen Voie for her efforts at drawing attention to women in the trucking industry. She is the president and founder of Women in Trucking Association, which is why US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood sent her an invitation to the White House with 12 other people.
The point of the event was to honor Americans who have shown leadership in the transportation industry. It was part of the Champions of Change program, which celebrates the accomplishments of regular citizens going above and beyond for the industry they are part of. Different people are invited to the White House every week, depending on the industry they participate in.
Ellen started Women in Trucking Association in 2007, and in 2011, the group created the Women in Trucking Scholarship Foundation. The point of the foundation is to help fund the dreams of women who wish to become involved with various areas of the trucking industry. Considering that Ellen will soon be visiting Sweden to discuss women in trucking at a major trade fair, it is safe to say she has already had a major impact on this field.
Ellen has said that there are almost 200,000 women in this industry, so the stereotype of a male truck driver is not always accurate. In fact, one of the main missions of Women in Trucking Association is to change this incorrect idea the public often has that women cannot be truck drivers, since this very misconception may be keeping many women from entering the field.
Other goals for this association include the following:
- To persuade women to think about entering the trucking industry.
- To honor the women already working in this field.
- To address the trials women often have to deal with as truck drivers
Since women are not the only ones who can help with these goals, there are even some men in this association. Membership should appeal to anyone who is passionate about getting more women involved in the trucking industry, whether they decide to take on positions involving driving, maintenance, or safety.
Many women have a wide range of talents that the trucking industry could benefit from, especially considering the shortage of truck drivers but stereotypes may be keeping them out of this field. For this reason, it is important to celebrate the fact that some females have entered this industry, and groups like this can persuade more to do the same.
Most truck drivers around the country have felt disrespected or even insulted by others at one time or another. Whether it’s by drivers on the road who do not want trucks traveling through their city, or by people dismissing the entire industry, the insults are uncalled for. In fact, without trucks running even for a day, there would be serious consequences for everyone.
The green movement is just one possible threat to the trucking industry, meaning that a shortage of trucks on the road could be a possibility in the future. Unfortunately, this would have major consequences for this country, and even for other countries that rely on the U.S. in some way.
The American Trucking Associations performed a study to find out just how much the U.S. would be affected if trucks were to stop running for anywhere from one day to an entire month. The findings would scare anyone.
As any truck driver of medical supplies already knows, hospitals and clinics would be out of commission within days if trucks were off the road. Supplies would dwindle, and any medications that remained would expire if trucks could not arrive to replace them. Put simply, within days, most medical centers would not have the necessary supplies and medications to treat patients. Clearly, this could have a devastating outcome for those who rely on regular medical care.
One of the biggest issues would be a lack of fuel. If trucks were to stop for even a few days, there would be long lines at gas stations as the fuel would be considered even more of a precious resource than it currently is. Many people dislike the current gas prices, and hate to wait for more than a minute at a gas station. Such people would be simply irate if the prices and wait times were to increase, or even worse, if the fuel were to run out completely. This is a distinct possibility if trucks had to stay off the road for even a week.
Of course, without trucks running regularly, grocery stores and restaurants would be out of food within days. Even the water supply would be dangerously low, and the amount of clean water available could run out within weeks. Clearly, this would affect everyone.
Mail, Trash, and Package Delivery
People who are used to getting their mail every day would be disappointed if trucks were to get off the road, since this service would stop. Anyone who relies on their trash being picked up every week would be burdened with having to figure out how to get rid of it on their own. And of course, online shoppers would be inconvenienced by having to drive to pick up their own packages if trucks were to remain off the road for long.
If you have ever felt disrespected or dismissed by others because you drive a truck, try reminding them just how important trucks are to their well-being.
If you are not happy with the most recent Hours of Service (HOS) changes, you are not alone. Some people contend that the rules are now too restrictive, while others say they are not strict enough. That’s why these issues will be addressed in court in July.
One of the most vocal opponents of the HOS changes is American Trucking Associations (ATA). The main argument is that the rules are not as safe as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has claimed. In fact, the ATA attests that there are more downsides to the HOS than positive aspects.
Why Does the ATA Oppose the New Rules?
Only certain components of the HOS rule have changed. For example, there were previously no limitations on the 34-hour restarts. But now they can only be used once per week, and they must include two periods of sleep between 1 and 5 am.
In addition, after eight hours of driving a truck, drivers must take a 30-minute break. It is this rule, along with the rule about restarts, that the ATA has a problem with. In addition, both the Truckload Carriers Association and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association support ATA’s claims that the HOS rules are now too stringent, which could affect productivity for most truck carriers.
Complaints from Safety Advocates
On the other hand, some groups complain that the HOS rules are not restrictive enough. Both Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and Public Citizen want to see stricter regulations in order to improve the wellbeing of drivers. For example, one claim is that the restart rule is not safe the way it is since it allows drivers to forgo the sleep they need to drive safely.
Additionally, these groups want to see the workday of drivers cut from 11 hours to 10 hours. Since the HOS rule has not made this change so far, safety advocates claim it has not gone far enough.
There are several lawsuits developed by those who oppose the new HOS rules for different reasons. The U.S. Court of Appeals has lumped together many of the lawsuits on both sides of the issue, but it could be a long time before you see any changes to the HOS rule.
While the briefs are due in court on July 24, the final briefs are not due until November, so do not expect a decision before then. Meanwhile, you will likely hear various arguments from groups on either side of the issue.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) could be losing a major supporter if things do not change soon. This is because many in charge of American Trucking Associations (ATA) are unhappy with the way the FMCSA has been operating lately.
Problems with the CSA
The main complaint from ATA is that FMCSA has been ignoring the concerns of many carriers regarding the Compliance, Safety Accountability (CSA) program. The CSA was meant to keep drivers safe on the road, but it has actually led to some carriers being punished for things not in their control. In fact, FMCSA insists that certain events indicate the likelihood of crashes in the future, which is why it records these details in the CSA.
For example, accidents are recorded and count against carriers when their drivers are involved. This means some carriers have been punished for accidents supposedly caused by their drivers, even when they did not cause them at all. The CSA does not have a way to record whose fault an accident was, which is why it tends to punish anyone who was in an accident, whether it was a truck driver’s fault or not. This is a major issue since these records can have such an impact on carriers.
FMCSA’s Lack of Response
ATA takes particular issue with the fact that FMCSA apparently refuses to discuss the faults of the program, let alone change anything. Even though the concerns held by the staff of many carriers have been brought up, FMCSA has not taken steps to acknowledge or improve the issues. Though both groups claim to always put safety first, ATA officials do not appear to believe FMCSA is going about this the right way, and they have commented that they will do anything necessary to change that.
In short, those in charge of ATA hope to change FMCSA in the following ways:
- Allow CSA records to show whether a truck driver was at-fault in an accident.
- Encourage FMCSA to pay more attention to the public’s concerns.
- Help the agency meet its goals when it comes to improving safety on the road.
ATA officials want to make it clear that they agree with the objectives of FMCSA, which is why they want to see some improvements in how the goals are carried out. In addition, the concerns mentioned here are just some of the most recent ones, since carrier officials have been voicing their problems with FMCSA and the CSA for a while now. It remains to be seen if FMCSA will finally respond to the concerns.
April is the time to focus on the consequences of distracted driving, which means you are encouraged to focus on eliminating the bad habits you may have while driving. There is a wide variety of actions that can distract you from driving safely, so chances are good that you can improve your driving by taking a few suggestions into account.
According to End Distracted Driving, many Americans, especially teenagers, want to improve their safety while driving. They frequently just do not know where to start since many distracting actions are so commonplace.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes in stopping distracted driving so much that its officials created a website to help the cause. Distraction.gov features statistics on distracted driving, including the following facts:
• About 16% of fatal car accidents in 2009 were caused by distracted driving.
• Drivers who text message may be 23 times more likely to get into a car accident.
• Cell phone usage while driving is as dangerous as having a blood alcohol level of .08.
• Almost 5500 people were killed in car accidents with distracted drivers in 2009.
Many drivers see these facts and ignore them because they assume they will be the exception to the statistics. However, the creator of the Casey Feldman Foundation admits to driving distracted at times, until his daughter was struck by a distracted driver as she used a crosswalk. Joel Feldman, along with others who have been permanently changed because of distracted driving, hopes it does not take a tragedy to put a stop to bad driving habits.
The following are the most common ways that people are distracted while driving:
• Text messaging.
• Talking on the cell phone, whether it’s handheld or has an earpiece.
• Applying makeup or combing hair.
• Changing CDs, radio stations, or mp3s.
• Paying attention to a navigation system.
• Talking to others in the car.
• Reading paper maps or directions.
Of course, the drivers of passenger vehicles are not the only common offenders. Truck drivers often display these same habits, and the results are frequently even deadlier due to the size of their vehicle. When you consider how long truck drivers spend in their truck, it makes sense to urge them to take the same kind of stand against distracted driving that many teenagers are.
The good news is that reports show that the majority of drivers are aware that the listed distractions are not good habits to have. However, the trouble is getting them to stop displaying these bad practices. Hopefully campaigns like this one will eventually turn the grim statistics around so that fewer people are injured or killed as a result of drivers eating, texting, or practicing other distracting habits.
There is some good news for both the trucking industry and the economy—truck tonnage increased by 0.5% in February of this year and is up by 5.5% compared to February of last year. This positive increase indicates that more freight is being hauled, which not only points to an economic advantage for trucking companies, but also suggests that the economy is beginning to rebound.
These numbers are adjusted to account for each season. However, when not seasonally adjusted, truck tonnage was up by about 1.3% compared to the month before, and 9.7% compared to February 2011.
According to Logistics Management, those numbers make sense because it seems that the housing and manufacturing industries are gradually recovering from the recession, which should equal increased cargo.
Bob Costello of the American Trucking Associations made some predictions for the near future that include the following:
• Cargo volume will increase a bit faster this year than the capacity available to hold it
• Carriers will be working to rebuild fleets in anticipation of more cargo
• Higher gas prices may reduce consumers’ spending money
• But higher employment rates may provide a balance so consumers can continue spending
There is no guarantee that these changes will occur, but the numbers point to the possibility. This would be positive overall for the trucking industry, so carriers should look forward to these possible improvements.
Why Do the Numbers Matter?
As you have probably guessed, the latest tonnage increase should matter to both the public and carriers because it suggests improvement in the economy. In fact, according to The Sacramento Bee, trucking can be considered a good gauge of the entire economy in this country. About 2/3 of this nation’s cargo is hauled by trucks, so when freight increases, it is a hint that production and sales are likely also increasing.
One of the many expected changes is a better housing market, which means that homeowners may begin building equity in their property. This ensures that they eventually have more cash to spend on buying other goods that need to be hauled.
Of course, as more houses are purchased, more have to be built, providing jobs for construction workers and more cargo to be hauled by carriers. Therefore, the increased tonnage that has been reported represents a good thing for not just one industry, but the general public. Hopefully the next report is just as good so we can witness a positive trend when it comes to these numbers.
On March 14, the Senate passed a two-year mass transit bill that intends to improve safety in the trucking industry while also increasing funding for several transportation projects. The $109 billion bill is called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21. The Senate voted for it 74-22, and it has support on both sides of the political divide, since it was sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. It has also garnered the support of American Trucking Associations.
One of the main points of the bill is to increase safety on the road. Among the most affected industries involves vehicles that travel long distances, including tour buses. According to Fox News, some of the proposed changes to buses include the following:
• They will need to have seat belts
• The roofs will be strengthened
• Anti-ejection window glazing will be added
• Systems that seek to avoid rollover crashes will also be added
The trucking industry, of course, will be affected, too. According to TruckingInfo.com, the bill is supposed to do the following:
• Require electronic onboard recorders in trucks
• Develop an agency that records alcohol and drug test results from commercial drivers
• Mandate a written exam for new drivers
Other Effects of MAP-21
This bill focuses on more than just safety. It also seeks to cut the amount of federal transportation programs by 2/3 to make them easier to keep track of and reduce confusion. In addition, it is supposed to get rid of earmarks and try to improve the process of freight distribution. According to American Trucking Associations, the bill will also speed up approval of transportation projects.
Much of the money to pay for this bill would come from reductions to other government programs, in addition to the revenue made from fuel taxes. However, the federal Highway Trust Fund would also need to be used to pay for the bill, and advocates have yet to figure out how to keep the fund from being used up within the next couple of years. The idea of adding tolls to certain interstate highways was considered by some, but ultimately rejected.
A main issue with the bill is that the revenue from federal fuel taxes has decreased due to the increased fuel efficiency of many vehicles in the last few years. While that may be great news for the public, it means there is less money to pay for MAP-21.
Thus, the details are not yet completely figured out for this bill, as the House is still struggling to determine which financial resources to use for funding.
While many people are against the updated Hours of Service rule, others believe that the new regulations do not go far enough to help prevent driver fatigue. In fact, the following groups will be challenging the new rules in court in an effort to see an improvement from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:
- Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
- Public Citizen
- Truck Safety Coalition
- American Trucking Associations
Though the latter association is of the opinion that the Hours of Service update is unnecessary, and plans to say so in court, the others will be fighting to make the rules stricter. According to Truckinginfo, key points amongst these safety groups include:
- The new rule did not decrease the 11-hour maximum on consecutive hours spent driving.
- Reducing the limit to 10 hours makes sense if the intent is to decrease the amount of accidents caused by driver fatigue.
- The 34-hour restart provision was not eliminated like they had suggested.
- The restart practice leads to cumulative fatigue among drivers since they are allowed to drive much longer than they should each week.
- Many drivers using the 34-hour restart have been driving for more than 70 hours in a span of 8 days, according to Fleet Owner.
Drivers used to be allowed at least 48 hours of rest after working this long, but the 34-restart rule has reduced that amount of time off. Now trucking safety advocates want to increase that number, especially since surveys have shown that about half of all drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel before.
Of course, many drivers are aware of the danger of driving too much and sleeping too little, but they cannot always change the issue on their own since companies may require them to work as much as possible under the current rules. In addition, even when given a choice, many drivers choose to drive while tired because they need the money and assume they can make it safely to their destination.
According to Canadian Transportation & Logistics, the American Trucking Associations continues to oppose the updated Hours of Service rules since the group believes they have not been proven to increase safety in the trucking industry.
The new rules do not take effect until July of 2013, so there is some time for the court cases to be resolved before this date. Until then, it is hoped that those with differing opinions on the regulations will be able to work it out in court to come to an agreement that suits both sides.