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FMCSA hosting public session at MATS

Updated Mar 17, 2022

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, March 14, 2022:

FMCSA schedules public session at MATS

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will host a session at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, next week.

On Friday, March 25, at 10 a.m., the agency will host an “FMCSA Update” in the ProTalks Theater (Room B104) at the Kentucky Expo Center.

Topics that will be discussed include the Entry-Level Driving Training rule, human trafficking, drug and alcohol regulations, and the Crash Preventability Determination Program. There will also be an opportunity for questions.

Following the information session, FMCSA will hold a joint session with the Department of Labor to discuss the potential of DOL Registered Apprenticeship programs in the trucking industry and will feature a panel discussion of industry leaders who took the 90-Day Apprenticeship Challenge in partnership with Fastport.

Women in Trucking names Driver of the Year finalists

The Women in Trucking Association announced recently its three finalists for the 2022 Driver of the Year award, sponsored by Walmart Transportation. The third annual award recognizes outstanding female truck drivers who lead the industry in safety standards while actively enhancing the public image of the trucking industry.

The 2022 Driver of the Year finalists are Peggy Arnold, Francis Hernandez and Courtney Ohlandt.

Peggy ArnoldPeggy ArnoldArnold, a company driver at Yellow Corporation for nearly 30 years. She received Yellow's Million Mile Safe Driving Award with nearly 1.9 million accident-free miles. Arnold serves on Yellow’s leadership team, the Women's Inclusion Network Employee Resource Group and is also part of the safety team. Arnold has been named a 2022 Top Women to Watch in Transportation by WIT, an American Trucking Associations America's Road Team Captains Finalist 2022, received Yellow's Road to Excellence Award 2021, and was named a Certified Safety Trainer 2021.

Francis HernandezFrancis HernandezHernandez has been a driver with Waste Management for 25 years without a single accident. “I put safety above everything while I am behind the wheel. I want to be sure that I get home safe to my family each day and that those who share the road with me do also,” she said. Hernandez is a mentor and a certified trainer. She enjoys giving new drivers a solid foundation to be safe and productive for the company she works for. Hernandez also participates on the Green Team, helping with disaster clean up across the country. Supervisors and peers describe her as someone who leads with safety at her forefront, has a team attitude, is dependable, and customer oriented. 

Courtney OhlandtCourtney OhlandtOhlandt pulls 28-foot triple trailers for FedEx Freight. During her 28-year career at FedEx Freight, she has logged more than two million safe-driving miles and has joined the ranks of the Master President’s Safety Team. Ohlandt started her career in the industry when she was just 18 years old with encouragement from her father. She has always been up for a challenge and worked in a variety of roles such as hostler driver, management, pick-up and delivery driver, and road driver. Supervisors describe Ohlandt as dedicated to safety and efficiency, reliable and inspiring for those around her. 

The winner of the award will be announced at the Salute to Women Behind the Wheel event hosted by WIT on Friday, March 25 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

Driver named Highway Angel for helping fellow trucker after crash

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has named truck driver Bruce Stremmel, from Macomb, Michigan, a Highway Angel for rescuing a fellow trucker after a pre-dawn crash during a blinding snowstorm. 

Bruce StremmelBruce StremmelJust before 6 a.m. on January 7, in Benton Harbor Michigan, Stremmel was driving on his regular route from Detroit to Chicago, traveling westbound on I-94. With low visibility from heavy snow, he encountered an accident; a wreck of another truck, heading eastbound on the same highway.

Stremmel quickly pulled over, called police and ran to the crashed vehicle. The driver was severely injured with what appeared to be a broken leg. Stremmel carefully extracted the man from the cab, helped him over the guard rail, and to his own truck, where they waited for police. A truck driver for over 17 years, Stremmel said he sensed the peril surrounding the encounter. 

“It was a pretty dangerous night,” he said. “I was scared – I’m like, ‘we’re in a bad situation. If another truck loses control, we’re done.’” 

Stremmel has been driving the Detroit to Chicago route for about nine years, and said he has seen his share of accidents, but this was his first time assisting with a wreck.  

“I didn’t think twice about doing it,” he said. “I never thought about my own safety or anything.” 

TCA has presented him with a certificate, patches, lapel pin, and truck decals. His company, Tom Maceri & Son, has also received a letter acknowledging him as a Highway Angel.

Five female truckers recognized in Rolling Strong, WIT competition

Trucking-focused health and wellness program provider Rolling Strong and Women in Trucking have announced the winners of their Women Driving Wellness competition.

More than 30 drivers took part in the competition held during February by logging nutrition, fitness, hydration, sleep and coaching sessions in the Rolling Strong mobile app. The participants competed against each other for most points accumulated and a chance to win prizes.

“Our mission is to bring better health and wellness to our industry's drivers which will, in turn, keep them on the job,” said Stephen Kane, president of Rolling Strong. “This competition with gave everyone the chance to see that when you have an easy tool such as the Rolling Strong app that supports eating well, keeping hydrated, getting enough sleep, and exercising, it all comes together in an enjoyable and friendly environment. We appreciate the support of our partner, Women in Trucking, and its leadership in advocating for driver wellness.” 

The first-place winner of the Women Driving Wellness competition was Dolores Thigpen Guerra, from Mesilla Valley Transportation, who received a Garmin Forerunner 45 running watch and fitness tracker.

Second place in the competition went to Diane Wadsworth of Hermann Services, who received a Fitbit Versa 2 fitness tracker and a smartwatch. 

The third-place winner in the competition and the recipient of a Garmin Forerunner 35 smartwatch and fitness tracker was Donna White of Hermann Services.

Rounding out the top five points earners in the Women Driving Wellness competition were Michelle Johnson of United Transport and Sherri Brumbaugh of Garner Trucking. All five winners also received Women in Trucking stocking hats and socks.

“As part of our effort to support the industry's mission to retain and attract drivers, we strongly advocate for ways to improve their fitness and health,” said Ellen Voie, president and CEO of WIT. “We have enjoyed hosting competitions with Rolling Strong over the last few years and have seen the resulting growing enthusiasm and positive health benefits for drivers.”

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