For the Record
Crawford is approaching 4 million accident-free miles in October and sees operational flexibility as the key to on-highway safety: “Drivers are not computers and machines that can be turned off and on. You have guys sitting out here. If they don’t hit the restart exactly right, now they’re going to have to take an extra day off. Put yourself in that driver’s shoes. He’s got to feed a family — and wages are not going up in a manner consistent with the costs of everything else … Now his paycheck’s going to be $200 less this week because he could not do his restart by 1 a.m. instead of midnight?”
HOURS CHANGES AT A GLANCE
| Trucking adds 5,100 jobs | The for-hire trucking industry added 5,100 new payroll employees in December — the most in one month since March, according to preliminary numbers released Jan. 6 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compared with December 2010, trucking employment is up by 40,100 jobs, or 3.2 percent.
| Illinois truck speed limits increase | Truck speed limits on non-interstate highways in Illinois increased Jan. 1. Big rig speeds on various four-lane rural roads outside Chicago rose to 65 mph from 55 mph, matching the passenger car speed limit.
| Former FMCSA official sentenced | James H. Wood, 45, of Delevan, N.Y., former supervisor of the Buffalo office of the FMCSA, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for accepting bribes from trucking companies. According to court documents, he postponed safety audits, provided lists of Canadian companies scheduled for FMCSA inspections and initiated favorable audits for those carriers and unfriendly audits for their competitors.
| NAFTA trade up in October | Surface transportation trade between the United States and Canada and Mexico rose 12 percent in October over a year earlier to $79 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation. U.S.-Canada trade increased 14.1 percent year-over-year to $46.4 billion, while U.S.-Mexico gained 9.1 percent to $32.6 billion, BTS said.
| Class 8 Orders Increase | Preliminary North America Class 8 truck net orders increased in December, research firms ACT Research Co. and FTR Associates said. The final number will approach up to 30,000 units. December orders were up 46 percent month over month, with a year-over-year increase of 11 percent, FTR said. Class 8 orders for the final three months of 2011 annualize to 312,000 units.
Top 3 finalists selected in driver contests
Truckers News and the Truckload Carriers Association have announced the names of the top three finalists in the 2011 Company Driver of the Year competition.
The finalists are James Coles of MacKinnon Transport, Inc., Guelph, Ontario; John Moeller of Roehl Transport, Inc., Marshfield, Wisconsin; and Ronald Round of Pottle’s Transportation, Inc., Bangor, Maine.
Truckers News’ sister publication, Overdrive magazine, is TCA’s partner in the 2011 Owner-Operator of the Year contest. The three contractor finalists are Kirby Killgore of O & S Trucking, Inc., Springfield, Missouri; Larry Severson of Dart Transit Company, Eagan, Minnesota; and Bryan Smith of Art Pape Transfer, Inc., Dubuque, Iowa.
The grand prizewinners for each contest will be announced at TCA’s Annual Convention, to be held March 4-7, 2012, at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Fla.
“We are excited about partnering with TCA on this important program and are pleased to be able to honor these exemplary truckers in the pages of Overdrive and Truckers News,” says Jeff Mason, Randall-Reilly senior vice president, trucking. “And thanks to the generosity of our sponsors – Cummins and Dodge – each winner will receive a Cummins-powered Dodge pickup truck.”