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Overdrive Staff | February 01, 2011

The American Trucking Associations Jan. 12 announced captains of the 2011-2012 America’s Road Team. The million-mile, accident-free drivers will spend two years representing the industry and delivering its safety message to the community, news media and public officials.

The captains are Willie Atkinson and Danny Fuller of Con-way Freight; Gary G. Babbitt of Central Freight Lines; Joe Allen Boyd and Kenny Lowry of Wal-Mart Transportation; David Boyer, Nate McCarty and Tim McElwaney of ABF Freight System; Randall Dee Briggs and Alphonso Lewis of YRC; Samuel Douglas Lee of Old Dominion Freight Line; Dennis Martin and Roger L. Nicholson UPS Freight; J.W. Ray of Werner Enterprises; Dion Saiz and Brooks Washburn of FedEx Freight; Jeffrey Wade of Southeastern Freight Line; and Robert L. Weller of Hahn Transportation.

– Staff reports



Firm charged with defrauding truckers

The operator of South St. Paul, Minn.-based trucking companies Danner Inc. and Bull Dog Leasing Inc. was indicted Dec. 22 in federal court in Minneapolis for allegedly defrauding contracted truck drivers. He is charged with getting drivers to return to him funds related to settlement between the operator and the Minnesota Department of Transportation over underpayment of drivers used in a federally funded highway project.

Marlon Louis Danner of Inver Grove Heights was charged with six counts of wire fraud, four counts of mail fraud and one count of making a false statement. The indictment alleges that from February through June 2010, Danner operated a scheme to reclaim money he agreed to distribute to truck drivers as part of the settlement.

An investigation found Danner had failed to pay the mandated rate in 2008 and 2009 on a federally funded project. In February 2010, MnDOT and Danner reached a settlement under which Danner agreed to pay more than $185,000 to approximately 27 drivers. Danner provided the checks to MnDOT, which mailed them to the drivers in early March.

Danner allegedly called many drivers in late February, instructing them to return the settlement funds to him on the grounds that MnDOT was incorrect in concluding they were underpaid. Drivers contacting Danner’s office regarding how to return the funds allegedly were told to make payments to various companies controlled by Danner.

– Staff reports



SHORT HAULS

CLASS 7 RIGS were added to the Port of Long Beach’s Clean Trucks Program. The Long Beach Harbor Commission also decided to penalize trucking companies that switch cargo between trucks outside port terminals. The Port of Los Angeles adopted similar measures previously. Under the Clean Trucks Program, Class 8 trucks are subject to strict emissions standards, and older models have been banned progressively from terminals since the program began in 2008.

COMMERCIAL TRAILER net orders of 21,314 units in November increased 23 percent over October, which was the strongest month in more than two years, ACT Research Co. said. November net orders more than tripled from the same month last year.

NOVEMBER FREIGHT as measured by the Freight Transportation Services Index fell 0.3 percent from October, after increasing the two previous months, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported. BTS reported the Freight TSI has increased in 14 of the last 18 months. Through the first 11 months of 2010, the index declined 1 percent.

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION trade between the United States and Canada and Mexico in October increased 15 percent over October 2009, hitting $70.6 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. U.S.-Canada surface transportation trade totaled $40.7 billion, up 12 percent from a year earlier. U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $29.9 billion, up 19 percent from October 2009.

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