Hours of service waived for Kentucky flood-relief haulers | Owner-op wins brand-new Volvo VNL

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, August 1, 2022: 

Devastating flooding in Eastern Kentucky prompts hours waiver for relief haulers

In response to record flooding in Eastern Kentucky last week, Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray issued an order to exempt some truckers from hours of service regulations.

The order applies to commercial vehicles actively engaged in relief efforts. It exempts drivers from limits on hours of driving and having to stop at weigh stations if they are delivering fuel and other needed supplies or engaged in debris removal and restoration of power. It also exempts the vehicles from fees for overweight/over-dimensional permits.  

Gray's order follows a state of emergency declared by Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday, July 28.

The exemptions will remain in effect through 12:01 a.m. EDT on Aug. 15.

To ensure the safety of the traveling public, contracted drivers must comply with safety requirements and have a copy of the order in their vehicles.

Shelli Conaway-Waugh, CEO of nonprofit Trucks with Room to Spare, told Overdrive that with more rains expected in the affected Kentucky region, her organization could use extra help, including drivers to deliver aid. 

"Currently, we're working with other nonprofits, community groups and business owners to collect and transport what supplies we can get into the area," she said. "We need drivers to help transport loads. As this progresses, there will be more help requests for transportation." 

The disaster-relief nonprofit is currently working with some "shipments from Louisiana, the United Cajun Navy's supplies coming up into the community," she said, "so please let other drivers know that we’re here and we’re helping and they can get involved." 

Conaway-Waugh said that trucking is big in that part of Eastern Kentucky, which is near her own hometown, and that the Mudflap company had donated $10,000 worth of diesel fuel to aid her organization's efforts. Drivers who work with her group won't be paid by the nonprofit, but will receive confirmation of their donation to the nonprofit, which can go towards tax savings. 

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[Related: Trucks with Room to Spare turns chaos into relief after deadly Kentucky tornadoes]

Owner-op wins giveaway truck in annual program

Owner-operator James Johnson celebrates at the moment he was announced as the winner in Landstar's annual All-Star truck giveaway event.Owner-operator James Johnson celebrates at the moment he was announced as the winner in Landstar's annual All-Star truck giveaway event.

Landstar-leased million-mile safe operator James Johnson, of Arlington, Texas, is the lucky winner of a sky-blue 2023 Volvo VNL860, including all registration fees and taxes, in the most recent truck giveaway held by Landstar at its 2022 Landstar BCO All-Star Celebration held earlier this month in Orlando, Florida. It marked the 45th truck giveaway by Landstar, the company said.

Johnson, who was inducted as part of the new Landstar class of Million Mile Safe Drivers during the event, has been leased with Landstar since 2004. He said the new truck will allow him to take loads to and from more parts of the country. Johnson, who plans to pass his business down to his son one day, hoped this new rig would bring his business and family success for many years to come. 

Johnson was one of four finalists randomly drawn from the pool of Landstar’s more than 1,100 eligible BCOs, Landstar’s term for independent truck owner-operators leased to a Landstar motor carrier. Onstage at the ceremony, the finalists each selected one of four boxes, one of which contained a replica truck key.

“I picked Box No. 2," Johnson, "because I was drawn second as a finalist, and I took that as a sign to which box I should choose. ... All I can say is, God is good.”

JX dealer group acquires Total Appearance, Amcan Truck Parts

Dealer group JX Enterprises announced the acquisition of both Amcan Truck Parts, an online aftermarket parts retailer, and Total Appearance, specializing in truck collision repair and customization, including paint designs and vehicle graphics and show-truck quality aftermarket parts and installation.

Total Appearance was founded in 1983 and is based in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, nationally recognized for its expert truck body repair, custom paint and graphics, as well as its wide selection of premier brand cosmetic accessories. Those accessories are sold through Amcan Truck Parts -- including chromed-appearance grilles and exhaust stacks, interior cab upgrades such as premium shifters and gauge and instrument accents. While TA specializes in heavy-duty trucks, it has a deep customer portfolio of passenger and light-duty vehicles, municipal fleets, construction and agricultural equipment, even boats.

The addition gives the network of JX Truck Centers "yet another opportunity to serve customers in a unique way,” said Eric Jorgensen, President and CEO of JX Enterprises. “It provides us with new growth opportunities and is essentially a one-stop destination for owner-operators and fleets to personalize their vehicles and create a standout brand through industry-leading customization.”

Jorgensen noted that TA’s existing employees are expected to continue working at the company. 

Through Amcan Truck Parts, customers will have the ability to browse, select and purchase the wide range of truck accessories online -- which can be installed by TA and throughout the JX Truck Center 28-location network. It will be integrated with JX Enterprises’ all-makes, all-models parts infrastructure, including the company’s exclusive Alltrux Parts product line, the company said. 

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