Medical examiners perform approximately three million examinations of commercial truck and bus drivers each year. A DOT medical exam looks at a range of conditions to determine a driver’s medical fitness, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory and muscular functions, vision and hearing.
— Todd Dills
DALLAS-AREA TORNADOES delivered significant damage to a Schneider National operating center and minor damage to two Pilot Flying J locations in April. No deaths or serious injuries were reported. Schneider said it had 254 trucks and 204 trailers on site at the time of the storm and its equipment received “massive damage.”
TRUCKING DROPPED 1,900 jobs in March after gaining roughly 20,000 jobs in the three months prior, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Payroll employment in for-hire trucking, however, is up by 41,400 jobs since March 2011, a 3.4 percent change.
J&A TRANSPORTATION posed an imminent hazard to public safety, said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the fleet has been ordered to halt operations. FMCSA placed the fleet out of service due to multiple hours of service, driver and vehicle maintenance violations.
USED TRUCK PRICES dipped 1 percent in February from January, says ACT Research Co. Net orders for van trailers in February were down 32 percent from January, but orders for all other trailers increased 31 percent, ACT said.
Woman’s rescuer named Highway Hero
Mike Schiotis, who saved a woman from a gun-wielding attacker, was named winner of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s 29th North America Highway Hero Award.
The other finalists were an Ontario driver who pulled a motorist from a car minutes before it exploded; a Minnesota driver who came to the aid of an elderly couple who had been trapped in a car during a raging snowstorm; and an Ohio driver who rescued a trapped motorist whose car had plunged into a pond.
On Nov. 1, Schiotis was driving in Pennsylvania when he saw a woman walking with a man close behind her. When Schiotis observed the man was pointing a gun at her, he stopped his truck and she began pounding on his door, screaming, “Help me! He’s going to kill me!”
Schiotis jumped out of his truck and stood between her and the assailant. He helped the woman into his rig and began driving.
The gun-carrying man followed Schiotis, who notified the Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol and used his CB radio to tell other truckers what was transpiring. Another driver heard and drove with him side-by-side, weaving to prevent the gunman from closing in on Schiotis’ tractor. This gave troopers time to catch up with the man and arrest him.
The other three finalists were:
• John Crozman of Albertville, Minn., who drives for Long Haul Trucking. While driving in a snowstorm near Summit, S.D., Crozman noticed a candle flickering inside a parked car. Crozman stopped, found an elderly couple inside and let them spend the night in his sleeper cab.
• Melville Farnell of Shelburne, Ontario, a driver for Tupling Farms Produce. A car slammed into Farnell’s truck head-on, causing his tractor-trailer to jackknife and leak fuel onto the highway. Farnell broke the driver’s side window and pulled the motorist to safety minutes before the car exploded.