The 2014 TeamOne Transportation Roundtable was held on November 13th at the Embassy Suites in Alpharetta, GA. This year’s focus was on key issues impacting today’s trucking industry, with additional presentations looking into the future. Below are summaries of five of the roundtable highlights.
GMTA VP Guy Young: The State of the Industry
Vice President Guy Young presented several informative industry updates for the attendees at the Transportation Roundtable.
“For 83 years, the Georgia Motor Trucking Association has been a respected leader at the State Capitol for the trucking industry”, said Young. “With GMTA leadership over the years, the Georgia General Assembly has passed legislation that saves the average trucking company thousands of dollars every year,” he added. He also noted GMTA has some of the best resources for trucking safety and compliance issues in the nation, i.e, on-going safety training and education classes, certifications for safety and maintenance personnel, protection against shipper negligence, and cargo and equipment theft protection. Here are a few key points from Young’s presentation:
- During the recession, motor carriers took a significant amount of capacity offline and retired aging equipment.
- Demand for truck services is increasing and will continue to grow thourghout 2015.
- Medium and heavy duty truck orders, usually driven by the equipment replacement cycle, have been strong in 2014 and will continue to grow in 2015.
- Although truck freight rates will remain weak for the rest of 2014, look for the rates to increase approximately three percent in 2015.
- Diesel fuel prices, the second largest expense for trucking companies, seem to have peaked for now and may remain stable for the foreseeable future.
- Most publicly traded trucking companies’ stocks are at or near 52 week highs as of September.
Georgia Motor Carrier Compliance Division Officer Anthony Hudson: Roadside Inspections
Officer Anthony Hudson is a part of the Georgia Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD) in the Georgia Department of Public Safety. MCCD conducts safety inspections of commercial motor vehicles (primarily trucks and buses), inspects highway shipments of hazardous materials, and performs compliance reviews (safety performance audits) on motor carriers. The Department adopts and enforces driver and vehicle safety regulations and hazardous materials regulations as part of this program. Here are a few focal points from Officer Hudson’s presentation which educated attendees who are commercial motor carriers and new entrants into the trucking industry:
Commercial Driver Requirements
- Be in good health and physically able to perform all duties of a driver
- 21 years of age
- Know how to safely load, block, brace and secure the cargo
- Complete an application for employment and possess a valid medical certificate
- Be able to make legible entries on reports and records
Physical Requirements – A person should not drive a commercial motor vehicle unless he/she is physically qualified to do so.
- Determine whether the cargo being transported has been properly located, distributed, and secured
- Familiar with methods and procedures for securing cargo
Disqualification – A driver can be disqualified if convicted for:
- Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) while under the influence of durgs, controlled substances, or alcohol
- Transporting or possessing a drug or controlled substance
- Leaving the scene of an accident that involves a CMV
- Using a CMV to commit a felony, violate an Out-of-Service Order, and violate the railroad-highway grade crossing rule
- A first offender is disqualified for one year following conviction or forfeiture (6 months for possession of a controlled substance)
- For a second offense within three years, a driver is disqualified for three years
TeamOne Logistics Director of Safety Michael Smith: Safety and Risk Management
Safety is a priority for TeamOne. The goal of TeamOne Logistics Director of Safety Michael Smith is to prevent all types of accidents, especially majors or “critical crashes.” To successfully accomplish this objective, he presented the following material to attendees he uses to train and manage drivers:
New Hours-of-Service Regulations (Two Important Dates)
- February 7, 2012 – Effective February 27, 2012, drivers resting in a legally parked vehicle and not using the sleeper berth — whether a bus or a truck — are allowed to log the time as “off duty.” In addition, truck drivers can log off duty for up to 2 hours riding in a passenger seat on a moving vehicle immediately before or after spending at least 8 consecutive hours in a sleeper berth.
- July 1, 2013 – As of July 1, 2013, the driving of a property-carrying CMV is not permitted if more than 8 consecutive hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last rest break of at least 30 consecutive minutes. If the driver has not had at least a 30-minute break by the end of his/her eighth hour, the driver must take a 30-minute break before driving. A lunch break or time resting in the sleeper berth will satisfy this in most cases, but the break must be spent “off duty” and/or in a sleeper berth. The biggest change on July 1st was a reduction in the number of hours a driver is allowed to log in a 7-day (168-hour) period, due to changes in the 34-hour “restart” provision. The previous rule allowed a driver to work right up to his or her 60- or 70-hour limit, take a 34-hour restart, and then go again. This allowed drivers to accumulate up to 82 working hours in a 7-day period.
Electronic HOS Compliance
FMCSA recently extended the comment period to June 26 on this rule, which will require all truck drivers who currently must keep records of duty status to use an electronic logging device (ELD). Carriers will have two years from when the rule becomes final to get the devices. Smith urged carriers looking to add ELDs prior to the final rule to use caution when selecting manufacturers. Many products on the market say they meet requirements when they really don’t.
- Improved CSA SCores
- Management Control
- Imporved Manager/Driver Communication
- Reduce Paperwork
- Peace of Mind
- Training Required
- Profit Loss
- Driver Retention
- Customer Service Failures
Ogletree Deakins Greg Hare, Esp: Employment Law
Attorney Greg Hare’s presentation focused on encouraging companies to develop proactive human resources strategies that are designed to minimize exposure to costly litigation and disputes. According to Mr. Hearn, this commonly includes “conducting comprehensive employment law compliance audits, employment policy design and review, management training and counseling, and simulated problem solving workshops.” The following are key takeaways from Hare’s presentation:
- Always have a proactive plan to deal with difficult workers: uderstand mangement’s role, understand legal mandates, properly manage discipline matters, and get advice to avoid mistakes.
- Managers are always on duty: 24/7/365, no such thing as “off the record,” and You are the Company.
- Be deliberate in developing a mangement culture that is constantly vigilant: train your management team and reduce legal exposures (discrimination/harassment, wage claims, disability/worker’s comp).
- Managers and supervisors need to know when to act and when to ask: have a working knowledge of employment laws and spot the issues.
- Understand the value of an employee handbook: sets expectations for employees which reduces chance of violations, helps you defend yourself in event of challenges, and destroys “deniability.”
- Establish and publish complaint procedures: Supervisor/Manager/HR; consider having a “hotline,” decide who will lead the investigation, zero tolerance, and get signed acknowledgement.
TeamOne Logistics SVP of Operations Jeff Hudson: Recruiting and Retention
“Driver availability has ranked as the number one problem in trucking since March 2012,” according to TeamOne’s SVP of Operations Jeff Hudson. The American Trucking Association estimates the industry is currently facing a shortage of 30,000 drivers. If this trend continues, the driver shortage can grow to over 200,000 over the next decade. Hudson provided attendees with a wide-ranging discussion of strategies to find and keep drivers. Here are a few main features from the presentation:
Retention Starts with Recruiting
- Start with Great Ads – readable and relevant, show off strengths while downplaying weaknesses, minimize or eliminate hassle, and do not misrepresent
- Finding The Right Driver – build a database, stay in touch with past employees, perform exit interviews, driver referrals, target under represented groups, and job fairs
The Internal Recruiting Process: One Chance to Make an Impression
- The driver is the most important person in the world
- Sell yourself, your company, and the position
- Ability and training to differentiate your offering
- Know details of the position
Culture: Get Company Culture Working for You
- How does your company view drivers?
- How do drivers view your company?
- Listening goes a long way
- Find a way to include spouses
Benefits and Compensation
- Access to quality benefits is key to attracting and retaining quality employees
- Health insurance has become an integral part of recruiting as companies compete for quality drivers
- Compensation: understand the market (geography) and what the market is paying, pay structure is important, and consider sign-on bonuses when necessary
- Well designed retention programs encourage loyalty and retention over time
- Seniority based benefits – lower medical premiums, additional home time, stock options/profit sharing, newer equipment, longevity bonuses, and seniority based work
- Posted by Page Siplon
- On November 26, 2014
- 0 Comments