It’s been almost a year since Hartsville, Tenn.-based small fleet operator Mark White left a message on Overdrive‘s general line to the office in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He was hearing that more and more carriers, much like his own, were having issues getting out from under Conditional safety ratings handed down within the last several years — and that such ratings, he’d seen firsthand, increasingly held a large import to the business’ success.
He wondered in his voicemail message whether there was an untold story there — his message made its way to my email inbox, but in that chaotic fall season (recall: Ride for the Constitution, CARB deadline approaching, Obamacare worry), the message escaped my attention for a short while.White and I finally talked early this year, and following some investigation into the issues he raised, this month his story is out in the magazine. The day prior to my visit to Old Time Express’ headquarters in March, the carrier got out from under the Conditional rating.
You can read the story of the small carrier’s odyssey through the regulatory cogs via this link (part 2 will run tomorrow), or listen to White tell part of it in his own words, frankly, via the video below. Part 2 of the video I’ll share on the blog tomorrow.
[youtube ijnTt56vd9E nolink]
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.