11,000 UPS Freight drivers may go on strike on Monday

UPS Freight could find itself without 11,000 of its truck drivers by Monday if negotiations with the Teamsters Union continue to go south.

Every five years, UPS Freight and the Teamsters Freight National Bargaining Committee, the Union representing UPS’ truck drivers, negotiate a labor contract, but this year negotiations have come to a halt. Neither side can agree on a contract, so UPS Freight drivers are threatening to go on strike if an agreement cannot be reached by Monday, November 12th.

The drivers’ demands include, higher wage increases, better pay for drivers who do dock work, less requirements for pension and vacation benefits, and restrictions on subcontracting. The strike has already been approved by members, but they say they feel it is a “last resort,” reported Business Insider.

UPS Freight Drivers have been voting on what is described as the “last, best, and final offer” UPS will make with the Teamsters since November 7th but the votes will not be counted until Sunday, November 11th, and if the majority does not agree with the contract, 11,000 UPS Freight drivers will not be showing up to work on Monday.

“It is an offer that rewards our employees with wages and benefits at the top of the industry and compensates them for their contributions to the success of the company,” UPS said of the contract.

“We are disappointed that the Freight Teamsters union leaders have chosen to announce the potential for a strike, should their members vote ‘no’ on the offer. The company has now begun discussions with UPS Freight customers to inform them of the potential for service disruption and the need to arrange alternative carriers,” they added.

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Smartway Excellence Award Given To ABF Freight

Earlier today, ArcBest carrier ABF Freight reported that the company was awarded with a 2018 Smartway Freight Carrier Excellence Award on October 29 at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition in Austin, Texas.

According to sources at ABF Freight, the 2018 Smartway Award is awarded t by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to freight carriers who demonstrate company performance that is environmentally conscious as well as actions that reduce freight emissions.

“I am proud that the EPA has recognized ABF Freight and our commitment to maintaining environmental quality,” said Judy R. McReynolds, ArcBest chairman, president and CEO. “At ABF Freight and ArcBest, we are committed to promoting a greener supply chain that minimizes our environmental impact.”

ABF Freight reports that since 2006 it has been a SmartWay partner, receiving a 2014 Smartway Excellence Award.

Sources at ABF Freight report that company has taken initiatives to conserve fuel and reduce emissions since 1976, and that the company initiated more fuel-efficient trucks beginning in 1994.

ABF Freight was reportedly chosen to receive the award alongside 40 recipients, chosen from a pool of over 3,700 company and organizations that participated in the EPA Smartway Program.

“These companies inspire others in the freight sector to invest in innovative technologies and business practices that save fuel, cut costs and protect the environment,” said Bill Wehrum, assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Air and Radiation.

More information on ABF Freight may be found at the company’s site.

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National Truck Driver of the Year Awarded To ABF Freight Driver

Earlier today, Fort Smith, Arkansas-based logistics company ArcBest announced that David Boyer, company driver for the company’s less-than-truckload division ABF Freight has been named National Truck Driver of the Year by the American Trucking Associations.

Having represented ABF Freight multiple times at the National Truck Driving Championships as well as the Virginia State Truck Driving Championships, ABF Freight reports that Boyer stands as an example of excellent driving and passion for a safe driving culture.

“David Boyer is an exemplary example of a great truck driver who is passionate about highway safety,” said Tim Thorne, ABF Freight president. “David is the best of the best, and I’m very proud that he represents ABF Freight and our industry.”

ABF Freight reports that Thorne has previously been honored with the Virginia Governor’s Transportation Safety Award as well as the 2018 recipient of the Virginia Truck Driver of the Year.

Thorne has reportedly received the 2 Million Mile Safe Driving Award from ArcBest as well as a 35-year Safety Performance Plaque, in addition to participating in annual philanthropic drives such as the Mid-Atlantic Charity Fun Drive and God’s Pit Crew.

More information on ArcBest and ABF Freight may be found at the company’s site.

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Yet another local ban on truck parking

A city in Connecticut has banned commercial trucks from parking on city streets for “long periods of time.”

The long-term parking ban went into effect on October 1st in Milford, Connecticut and applies to semi tractors, tractor trailers, boats and campers on city streets and does not affect the long-term parking of cars, compact “bus-type” vehicles, and pickup trucks used for private transportation.

According to the Milford Mirror, the ordinance came about over the summer after residents began complaining about commercial trucks “parking regularly on neighborhood streets.”

“The purpose is not to restrict normal commercial activity, rather to address the issue of commercial vehicles being parking perpetually on city streets for long periods of time,” said community Alderman Frank Smith.

“It will make our city safer,” added alderman Jeremy Grant, who also believes the ban will protect the city’s waterways.

City officials assure that the new ordinance does not apply to large pickup trucks.

“This is not going to affect their [pickup truck’s] ability to park in front of their house,” Alderman Anthony Giannattasio said.

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ATA Announces 2019-2020 Road Team Finalists

Earlier in September of this year, truckers from across America met up in Texarkana, Texas at the Texarkana Convention Center in order to commemorate Burt Reynolds in an even produced by the Small Business In Transportation Coalition.

According to the SBTC, the event was organized in conjunction with a memorial ceremony and film festival honoring Burt Reynolds’ career, as well as car chase re-enactment featuring a 1976 Trans Am on Saturday, September 29th.

I wish y’all (sic) could feel the way I do right now knowing we put together a really special event for a trucking icon I am proud to call my hero,” said James Lamb, SBTC President. “So many people I know became truckers because of this man’s movies. I was so happy to see so many of my fellow Americans join us in Texarkana and waving American flags along the six-state convoy route. In these tumultuous times, we really should look for more feel-good opportunities like these to bring people together over common bonds.”

The SBTC reports that on the afternoon of Sunday, September 30th, a police-escorted trucker convoy gathered for an “Eastbound and Down Memorial Convoy” that featured more than 30 vehicles.

The convoy, which saw the vehicles travel across state lines for 13 hours was reportedly shut down in Alabama due to weather and road closures.

“We know many drivers were disappointed they had to stop so close to the end,” said Lamb. “We were equally disappointed that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency of the United States Department of Transportation, declined to process our emergency request for a waiver of the Hours of Service regulations so drivers would be exempt from the 11 hour rule for this one time memorial run.”

The event reportedly saw sponsorship from Miller-Coors as well as Travel Centers of America.

More information on the SBTC and their events may be found at the Coalition’s site.

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State insurance risk pool halves commercial auto surcharge

The North Carolina Reinsurance Facility (NCRF) will dial down the surcharge it has put on insurance policies for commercial drivers in the state.

Officials with the state’s insurance risk pool will implement a 7.83% surcharge, which will be assessed on both new and renewal commercial vehicle policies in NC, effective October 01; previously, the surcharge was 14.63%.

Transport Topics reported that the surcharge applies only to commercial liability coverages, which include bodily injury liability, property damage liability, medical payments, uninsured motorists and underinsured motorists’ coverage premiums. The surcharge will not be applied to a motor carrier’s policy for collision or comprehensive coverage.

The surcharge will be assessed on NC motor carriers, motor coach operators, taxi owners, logging truck operators, dump truck operators and others.

NCRF originally imposed the surcharge to recoup the losses it had sustained over the past four years. The facility attributes its losses to charging rates too low for uninsurable truckers and the decision to insure ineligible motor carriers.

The agency is facing a $96 million shortfall.

While some have welcomed the surcharge reduction, others are concerned that it does not improve the agency’s financial situation.

“They’re just putting it off. They’re still not managing it correctly,” said Rob Moseley, a Greenville, SC attorney whose clients include trucking companies in NC. “When you’re the one nobody wants to insure, you ought to be prepared to pay a higher rate. In North Carolina they’re not paying a higher rate, they’re paying market or better. That’s what is continuing to lead to the shortfall.”

“Rather than the people in the pool paying those losses, the people who are outside the pool also are being asked to pay the losses,” Moseley told Transport Topics.

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Logging truck insurance is hard to come by

Although the logging industry continues to get safer, it’s still consistently ranked as the most dangerous industry in the United States – and many carriers seem scared to get too involved, according to one industry insider.

Tom Buckingham, general manager of the Forest Insurance Center in Newberry, MI, said the industry is continually working to improve and innovate to be safer – to both improve conditions for employees, and also remedy a public perception about logging dangers.

But carriers, particularly for logging trucks, continue to be slim picking for insured companies, he said.

“I think what we’ve seen across the nation is that many carriers that used to offer log truck insurance are no longer there,” he said. “Many carriers that used to offer property insurance, fire insurance for saw mills, are no longer there. And that is of much concern to this group … maintaining stable markets.

“Market availability has shrunk extremely.”

In the Midwest and Pacific Northwest there are “a handful” of carriers available, but once you get into the Deep South, Buckingham said, “there are very, very few carriers available for log trucks and chip haulers, and they’re very expensive”.

The insurers that remain in the forestry space are “committed” to the industry, however, Buckingham said.

The dangerous nature of the industry – with loggers dying from felling and saw injuries, and being severely injured a long way from medical help – keeps most insurance carriers from touching the industry.

“Not everybody has the expertise to dabble in the forest products industry,” said Buckingham. “The general insurance companies in the States, many of them shy away from logging and log trucks because of the severity factor. Many insurance companies want nothing to do with that high-risk, high-hazard occupation.”

Nevertheless, though, insurance for loggers remains strong business, Buckingham said. After all, logging isn’t going anywhere.

“To put that in perspective: if you’re against logging, try using plastic toilet paper,” he said.

The industry is focussed on heightening public awareness that “wood is good,” Buckingham added.

“The industry is always looking for technical ways to become more proficient in what they do. And safety – safety is of paramount concern, for the general public as well as employees within the industry.”

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20 Least Expensive Trucks To Insure In America

We decided to profile the cheapest trucks to insure in America to help your decisions.

Unless you are swimming in cash and don’t fear a financial disaster, you may want to consider insurance premiums that you can pay for different models of trucks. This may be a major determining factor in deciding which truck is ideal for you. Once you get your truck, you will finish paying for your vehicle loan, but you will never stop paying insurance premiums until you sell your truck. If you consider this, you will need to determine what trucks are within your budget for insurance before you make a purchase decision.

If you are on a budget, you may be tempted to go for a cheaper truck in the mistaken belief that this will cost you less to insure. Generally, that might be accurate, but there are other factors that can drive down insurance rates for a higher end truck.

An upscale truck may be cheaper to insure since because of low claim rates made by others with a similar truck. As well, buying a second-hand truck will not necessarily result in cheaper rates. A truck might be prone to breakdowns, or the model may have a bad record of frequent accidents.

It would be unwise to get a cheaper truck only to end up spending so much more on insurance and other costs as compared to someone with a pricier truck. We decided to profile the cheapest trucks to insure in America to help your decisions. Check out the list here.

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Insureds misusing their personal vehicles for commercial work? They’re going to get caught

A technology data company is helping carriers catch out insureds who are misusing their policies by using personal vehicles for commercial work.

Alex Young, vice president of risk solutions at Digital Recognition Network (DRN), said the company has contracts with 11 carriers and is in talks with 15 more – which would make up 70% of the vehicle insurance market in the United States.

The company’s data recognition service has built up more than six billion data points of car license plate sightings across the country. With 2,000 car-mounted license plate readers circling the country’s streets non-stop, all day, every day, using license plate-recognition technology, the company can spot when identified vehicles are being used inappropriately.

“Every insurance carrier knows they have this problem,” Young said. “Many believe the problem is minor, and, in any case, up to this point there has been no effective way of discovering the issue. When insurance carriers see the results of DRN’s [data recording], they are generally surprised by the size of the problem.

“We have had carriers with as much as 40% of their ‘at risk’ VINs showing signs of commercial use. The adoption of this product to eradicate commercial use from the personal lines insurance carriers has been rapid.”

Young said a carrier provides a list of VIN numbers it considers “at risk” for commercial use – such as Transits, Sprinters, Econolines, large pickups – and then DRN can pull from its database multiple shots of those vehicles in various situations they’ve been spotted.

“We discover the commercial use by reviewing our pictures gathered from license plate recognition sightings and look for commercial attributes such as signage, ladders, ladder racks, tools, equipment, commercial trailers, etc.,” Young said.

“We look for vehicles that have been insured for personal use and look for indicators that they are used for commercial purposes. The reason this is important is that the risk is significantly different and can lead to losses that are not reflected in the premium charged.”

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Trucker hit by car during boot dispute in Georgia Walmart parking lot

The parking enforcement worker was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly hitting a truck driver with his Kia.

A man was arrested after striking a truck driver with his car during a dispute over a booted big rig at a Walmart in Perry, Georgia, on Tuesday.

The dispute began at the Walmart Supercenter on 1009 St. Patricks Drive around 6 p.m. when truck driver Arthur Emons called in a wrecker service to help remove the boot that had been placed on his truck in the Walmart parking lot by an employee of Buckhead Parking Enforcement.

According to a report in the Macon Telegraph, 23 year old Buckhead Parking Enforcement worker Mason Parker was trying to use his Kia to prevent the wrecker truck from leaving the scene when he reportedly struck Emons in the legs with his vehicle. Emons began yelling that he had been hit by the car.

Perry police arrived at the scene and placed Parker under arrest. He has since been charged with aggravated assault.

Emons did not seek medical treatment after the incident.

The Walmart in Perry has become infamous in online trucking communities over recent months because of their aggressive policy of booting trucks in the parking lot.

In April of 2018, it was reported that Walmart had hired Buckhead Parking Enforcement to patrol their parking lot and boot tractor trailers that are in violation of the 30 minute truck parking policy. Drivers who have been booted must pay a $500 fine to have the boot removed from their vehicles. Drivers who fail to pay the fine will have their trucks towed.

Since Buckhead began booting trucks this spring, Perry police report that they’ve been called out to several disputes in the Walmart parking lot. “Then it usually winds up in an argument, and we get called,” said Perry Police Captain Heath Dyke.

Numerous truckers have also taken to social media to express their disappointment and displeasure with the booting policy.

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