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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Paying drivers for performance?

usxjobs.com
Article thanks to Aaron Huff and ccjdigital.com Links provided:
 
One of the timely topics discussed at the Truckload Carriers Association’s annual conference, held in Grapevine, Texas, March 23-25, was creating incentive plans for drivers.

Beth Carroll, managing principal of the Prosperio Group, presented a “Trucking in the Round” session on innovative methods for driver pay. Increasingly, she said, more fleets are creating pay-for-performance plans to motivate the new generation.
New incentive programs are less likely to gain traction among baby boomers and middle-age Generation X. Incentives come much more naturally to the younger drivers, Generation Y, whom Carroll called the “trophy generation” since they grew up expecting to be rewarded.
On the upside, younger workers are networked and “technology is wired into their genes,” she said. They may be tech savvy but they also present some challenges. When asked, fleet executives in the meeting said younger drivers want to be paid upfront for their job performance and be given immediate feedback.

Onboard monitoring systems do make it possible to give timely feedback. What the industry needs more of, she said, is “enterprise performance management systems” to streamline the administration and communication of incentive and rewards programs.
Before going into detail about how to create effective driver incentives, Carroll cautioned fleets to not overly emphasize the monetary component. Money, after all, is an external motivator. A more effective approach is to emphasize the intrinsic motivators like job mastery and purpose that give drivers satisfaction for doing what they already know to be a very difficult job.

“Make sure they (drivers) know they are contributing something to a small team, to the company and to the economy,” she said. “Build drivers up as much as you can and then put an external plan on top of it.” Otherwise an external motivator will feel like a bribe, or worse, a stick if you are taking something away.
Carroll then went through a seven-step process to explain how to create an effective driver pay-for-performance plan.

Define the results desired. Start by identifying the two or three things you want a new incentive compensation plan to fix. For instance, perhaps you want to find a way to give raises to only your top-performing drivers and to reduce costs. Once you have identified the desired results, determine the specific areas of performance that you will target for improvement such as fuel economy, CSA scores and utilization.


Gather driver feedback. Understanding the culture of a company is necessary to build momentum towards a new compensation plan. Talk to drivers and collect information through surveys. Find out what incentives may already be sacred to your drivers such as a quarterly safety bonus. “Find out ahead of time what you can change and what you can’t,” she says.

Clarify driver types. Incentives cannot be the same for all of the driver population. Fleets have to set goals relative to each type of operation such as local, regional and over the road and by the type of equipment drivers are assigned to. “It is a constant challenge to get as close as applicable to an individual as you can but not create something that is complex to manage,” she said.

Set Total Target Cash (TTC), pay mix and weights. Total Target Cash is the foundation of an incentive plan; it is the actual “cash in the pocket” that drivers stand to receive. The formula for TTC is base pay plus incentives at 100 percent performance.
Next, choose the elements of the plan. An element is what is being measured and the relative emphasis or weight of each item is given. Examples of elements include utilization, fuel efficiency and on-time performance. The weight assigned to each element shows drivers what matters and in what order it matters.

Develop plan mechanics. For each element, establish the mechanics of how performance will be measured, the length of each measurement period, the frequency of the payouts, and how pay will be delivered (cash, points, rewards, etc.).
Common types of incentive plans include giving drivers a retroactive cost per mile increase (based on all miles driven during a period), a tiered incentive with a flat payout, and a prospective change to the base rate (based on future miles driven in the next period).
Carroll also discussed an incentive plan that is becoming more popular where drivers qualify for a reward in one period but then get paid in the next period through an increase, in the cents per mile, for miles they drive in period two.
“This is about the only industry I’ve seen where you have non-concurrent payouts. Typically you do the activity and get the reward,” she says. “I think there are a lot of valid reasons; it is a great retention tool, but things are not matched up. I may have a great quarter, but if the economy tanks and mileage is not as good, the driver is not getting the benefit.”

Carroll recommends that fleets split the reward so that part of the payout is concurrent and the other part is non-concurrent.
Fleets will typically include qualifiers for each element in an incentive plan. An example of a qualifier is to have a minimum mileage threshold or to disqualify drivers from the incentive if they have an accident during the measurement period.
Whatever the elements and mechanics may be, Carroll recommends that the incentive be about 10 percent of TTC. The midpoint, or median, of the driver population should be receiving the full 10 percent based on performance. Drivers that perform in the top 10 percent of the population should be making more, perhaps 50 percent more, in incentives. Overall, about 90 percent of the driver population should at least getting something, she says.

Model the new plans. Once the mechanics are in place, evaluate the economic impact of the plan by testing the model backwards and forwards against historical shipment or trip data to identify anomalies. Carroll recommended the use of data visualization products like Tableau to help communicate with drivers their earnings under the current compensation plan and within the new pay plan. Drivers want to know the answer to one question: “What is this going to do for me?”

Roll out the new plan. To ensure driver buy in and understanding test the new plan first with a small group of drivers to make sure your assumptions work, that you are able to communicate the plan and anticipate questions before rolling it out to the larger population.
Finally, Carroll says it is important to continually reinforce the plan to sustain momentum. It usually takes a few months before drivers “get the hang of it,” she says.
Many real-world examples of the types of incentive programs that Carroll spoke about can be found by clicking on the related articles in this post. In case you missed it, here is an in-depth look at a pay-for-performance program developed by Nussbaum Transportation.








Aaron Huff

Aaron Huff is the Senior Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. Huff’s career in the transportation industry began at a family-owned trucking company and expanded to CCJ, where for the past 12 years he has specialized in covering business and technology for online and print readers and speaking at industry events. A recipient of numerous regional and national awards, Huff holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Brigham Young University and a Masters Degree from the University of Alabama.
















Saturday, April 26, 2014

Man found guilty of electronic cigarette law that does not exist

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Story written by and thanks to Jeff Sherwood and Knoxville Business Examiner
Links Provided:

On March 20, 2014, I brought you a story about the first man to ever get a ticket in the United States for using an electronic cigarette while driving. Today (Mar. 22), I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with the accused man, Jason Dewing, via a telephone conversation to get further information on the incident. His story paints a picture of the injustices that are occurring in Upstate New York and makes one wonder if “vapers” are being targeted due to the amount of controversy surrounding the e-cigarette industry.
“I didn’t know why I was being pulled over,” said Jason Dewing when I asked him what the first thing that popped into his mind was when he saw the blue lights. He went on to say, “I saw a police officer sitting at a stop sign when I pulled off the highway and the next thing I knew I was being pulled over. When the officer came up to my car he demanded to see the cell phone in my hand. I told him I didn’t have a cell phone that it was an electronic cigarette.” At that point the officer became argumentative and insisted that he saw a cell phone in Jason’s hand. Not wanting to risk putting himself in a worse position, Jason did not argue back and waited as the officer wrote him a ticket for violation of New York traffic law 1225-d.
The incident happened in November 2013; however, Mr. Dewing’s court date was set for March 20, 2014. During the trial, it was Jason’s burden to prove that he in fact did not have a cell phone in his hands when he was stopped by the New York State Police while driving through Whitney Point, NY. When the arresting officer took the stand he could not tell the judge what color the cell phone was which Jason says is a distinct shade of bright red and should be easily identifiable.
In addition, Jason Dewing used to work in loss prevention and used to do Private Investigation work. He was able to get his cell phone records subpoenaed for the court hearing. With those records Jason was able to show the court that the last time he used his cell phone prior to being pulled over was at a gas station 8 miles from the spot where he was ticketed for using his cell phone while driving. After matching those records with the gas station receipt along with the officer’s testimony the judge was satisfied that Mr. Dewing was not using a cell phone while driving; however, this is where the story takes a turn.
Since the court failed to prove that Mr. Dewing was using a cell phone, they went after him for using the electronic cigarette. “The judge asked me if I know what the ‘e’ in e-cigarette means,” said Jason. “I told him it means electronic.” At this point the judge told Mr. Dewing that he was using a portable electronic device which is a violation of New York traffic law 1225-d. Jason, refusing to let the court off that easy, told him that an electronic cigarette was not classified as a portable electronic device under the law. He says, “They were baffled. In fact, they didn't even know the law. The District Attorney had to look it up after I recited it to them. It is ridiculous that I have never been to law school and do not make it a habit of studying the law, yet I had to tell them what their own law was!” Unfortunately for Jason, the law was not known by the court until after they had already found him guilty of violating New York traffic law 1225-d.
There is a bright side to this story for Jason Dewing. “The judge told me that if I would have made them aware of the law before he made his ruling he would have dismissed the ticket, but since he already made his ruling, the only way to overturn it was to go to appeals court.” Jason feels that he has a very good chance of the case being appealed since the law that he was found guilty of breaking does not even exist. “The way the law is written, an e-cigarette cannot make a call nor can it send text or data; therefore, it cannot be a portable electronic device,” said Jason.
Jason says since the story was first reported there are a lot of people who are angry over this issue. “It is understandable that people are upset, but I count this as a win, because it gives me the opportunity to show that District Attorneys and judges here in New York do not know the laws that they are accusing people of breaking. It also gives me a way to help other people who might be accused of the same thing in the future.”
After speaking with Jason, he does not feel like he was targeted for using an electronic cigarette while driving. Jason told me, “The officer truly believed I had a cell phone in my hand when he pulled me over.” Still, those who are “vaping” while driving will feel a little on edge the next time they pass an officer while using an e-cigarette. It is a sad day in America when one driver can pass an officer smoking a tobacco cigarette and not warrant a second glance, but when another driver passes an officer “vaping” an electronic cigarette he finds himself in front of a judge trying to explain the law.
Mr. Dewing will have 30 days to submit his appeal on this case. As soon as there is new information on a final decision I will have an update right here on Examiner.com as well as on my Vol Vapors blog. Make sure you are subscribed on here as well as on my blog to get updates as soon as there is new information available.
 http://www.examiner.com/article/exclusive-man-found-guilty-of-electronic-cigarette-law-that-does-not-exist


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chevrolet Silverado Family Named Lowest Cost-to-Own Pickups

motortrend.com

 Article thanks to Bruce Smith and hardworkingtrucks.com Links provided: 

Named Best Value Truck Brand In America; Silverado Lowest Cost-to-Own 

March 26,2014  Chevrolet is the Best Value Truck Brand in America, according to data analysis firmVincentric, which also named the Silverado 2500HD a Best Value in America.

Vincntric says the Silverado family has the lowest cost-of-owenrship of any full-size pickups.
Vincentric analyzes a vehicle’s cost-of-ownership through eight different measures: depreciation, fees and taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost, and repairs.
Vincentric awards the Best Value in America Award using an analysis comparing ownership costs to a vehicle’s market price.
“With the average age of trucks on the road now more than 11 years, we know that customers hold on to their trucks for a long time,” said John Fitzpatrick, Silverado marketing manager.
“With the lowest cost of ownership of any full-size truck in the segment, the Silverado makes it easiest on our customers to do so.”
Said David Wurster, president of Vincentric: “Our statistical analysis used over 1,000 pickup truck configurations to identify the best value truck line in the United States.
“We found that Chevrolet trucks cost less to own and operate than would be expected, providing great value to truck buyers. Chevrolet and the Silverado have a long history of providing high-value trucks, and the 2014 offerings continue this heritage.”
 http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/chevrolet-silverado-family-named-lowest-cost-to-own-pickups/?utm_source=hwt&utm_medium=email&utm_content=03-27-2014&utm_campaign=HWT&ust_id=137f89555c

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Safety will be the death of us?

overdriveonline.com
Article thanks to Wendy Parker and overdriveonline.com
Links provided below:

March 26, 2014
I heard a rumor today that one of the big three in the mega-fleet business is mandating all company drivers remove CB’s from the cab of their trucks, citing safety concerns and distracted driving. I’m not going to mention which one, because I haven’t been able to get anyone in management to confirm the rumor. They also won’t deny it.
Citing safety concerns is the new way to completely control any environment someone chooses to control completely. We see it every single day in the trucking industry. It bleeds into our lives like an insidious poison every time the government removes another of our civil liberties in the name of protecting us from ourselves. Apparently no one has the sense to realize the safest a human body can be is dead and buried in the ground, and I doubt very seriously the good Lord intended us to come here to achieve only that.
Life is dangerous from conception. The new womb is a maelstrom of hormonal imbalance, and I think everyone pretty much knows how unpleasant hormonal imbalances can be. The minute you hit the ground running, it’s a race between this side of the dirt and a check for your loved ones from State Farm. Life is a dangerous and messy affair — you get dirty, you fall down, things get broken and you learn valuable lessons. And that’s just in one Saturday night at the Dew Drop Inn.
It’s our responsibility to protect future generations by passing these valuable lessons on to them. Progress of the species is retarded when there is no failure. You can’t keep someone safe from themselves: no matter how many rules you impose, there are human beings out there who will continue to test the limits. Some of them will kill innocent people in the process, some will discover new ways to improve the human race as a whole.
I realize rules and regulations are necessary. I’m by no means an advocate of frenzied anarchy, but we’ve taken it too far when we take the CB out of trucking. Seriously. That’s like taking the athletic cup out of baseball. Not everyone chooses to use one, but it’s a safety call the officials allow the players to make on their own.
I’d venture to say those who choose not to use one probably change their minds after they get nailed in the beans a couple of times, just like a driver who runs without a CB may choose to use one after they’re stuck in an avoidable traffic jam (which is the equivalent of being nailed in the beans to a trucker). The point is they have a choice.
We’ll be at MATS the rest of the week. I’ve got my ears peeled and I’ll be listening. See you in Louisville!
http://www.overdriveonline.com/safety-will-be-the-death-of-us/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=03-26-2014&utm_campaign=CCJ&ust_id=137f89555c


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Triple Turbo Cummins kills Camaro ZL1 at Las Vegas

Thanks to Jason Cannon and hardworkingtrucks.com Links Provided: 
When you trot a 580 horsepower Camaro ZL1 to the drag strip, the odds are usually in your favor. Especially when your opponent is wheeling a Ram pickup. The Ram is about as customized as they come, and the Camaro is mostly stock. So, it’s not unreasonable that the truck leaves the pony car in its wake. However, it’s still impressive as the Ram’s performance in the quarter-mile assured this race was never even close. 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bison Transport, Paramount Freight Systems Named Best Fleets to Drive For

iisd.org
March 25, 2014 By Jim Beach and truckinginfo.com Links provided:

TCA, GRAPEVINE, TX – Bison Transport, Winnipeg, Manitoba, was named the 2014 Best Overall Fleet to Drive for, company drivers, at the Truckload Carriers Association annual meeting March 25 while Paramount Freight System, Ft. Meyers, Fla., was named the 2014 Best Fleet Overall Fleet to Drive For, Owner Operators.
These two fleets were tops in driver and owner-operator survey conducted by the Truckload Carriers Association. Twenty fleets made the top in the survey with Bison and Paramount ranking highest.
The award is based on company driver or owner-operator nominations. Next, nominated fleets must complete a corporate questionnaire that collect information about programs the companies are involved in re: drivers or owner-operators. A corporate interview follows, and finally, a selection of drivers and owner-operators is surveyed about their experiences with the nominated fleet.
Also among the 20 top-ranked fleets this year were: Brian Kurtz Trucking, Breslau, Ontario; Central Oregon Trucking, Redmond, Ore.; D.J. Knoll Transport, Emerald Park, Saskatchewan; Fremont Contract Carriers, Fremont, Neb; FTC Transportation, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Gordon Trucking, Pacific, Wash.; Grammer Industries, Grammer, Ind.; Grand Island Express, Grand Island, Neb.; Halvor Lines, Superior, Wisc.; Kriska Holdings, Prescott, Ontario; Landstar System, Jacksonville, Fla.; Load One, Taylor, Mich.; Motor Carrier Services, Northwood, Ohio; Prime, Inc., Springfield, Mo.; Sue Vinje Trucking, Superior, Wash.; TimeLine Logistics International, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; TransPro Freight Systems, Milton, Ontario and Trimac Transpiration, Calgary, Alberta/Houston, Texas.
http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2014/03/bison-transport-paramount-freight-systems-named-best-fleets-to-drive-for.aspx?utm_campaign=Headline-News-20140326&utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Enewsletter


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Chicago 30-Hour Tie-Up for Buffett’s Trains Slows Coal Freight

freefoto.com
Article thanks to bloomburg.com and written by Mario Parker and Eliot Caroom Apr 11, 2014 1:16 PM MT Links provided:

Come to the west side of Chicago to find out why a power plant in Michiganis short of coal and a biodiesel maker in Brewster, Minnesota, can’t get enough grain.
The answer is found near Western Avenue, where rail cars from Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM), the largest U.S. publicly traded ethanol producer, rest idle on the track above the Dwight D. Eisenhower Expressway. A short drive away a burnt orange, yellow and black locomotive from Warren Buffett’s BNSF railway sits on an overpass as motor traffic is snarled below.
They can’t move because increasing oil production from North Dakota’s Bakken field, a record grain crop and unprecedented cold weather overwhelmed the U.S. railroad system. In part because of transport delays, coal inventories were down 26 percent in January from a year ago. A quarter of all U.S. freight rail traffic passes through Chicago, or 37,500 rail cars each day. The trip through the city can take more than 30 hours.
“Utilities are having a tough time getting the coal that they already purchased,” Ted O’Brien, vice president at Doyle Trading Consultants LLC, a Grand Junction, Colorado-based coal analytics company, said in a March 14 interview. “It would be a feeding frenzy if they had the transportation to get it.”

Coal Jumps

Transport snarls are one reason coal on the New York Mercantile Exchange has risen 5.5 percent in the past year to $60.48 a ton as of yesterday. Wyoming’s Powder River Basin coal has jumped 26 percent to $13.05 a ton. Power-plant demand for the fuel is forecast to increase 4.9 percent to the highest level since 2011. Utilities had about 132 million tons of thermal coal, used to generate electricity, in inventory in January, the lowest since 2006, data from the Energy Department’s analytical arm show.
Coal producers including the Western Coal Traffic League, whose members are shippers of coal mined west of the Mississippi River, point at inconsistent rail service as the primary culprit and railroads put the blame on Chicago. The group asked on March 24 that the U.S. Surface Transportation Board institute a proceeding to address BNSF’s coal service in the region.
BNSF said in a response to the agency that it plans to spend $5 billion this year on service. “As these resources come on line, service will gradually improve,” it said in a March 25 letter.

Untangling Tie-Ups

The railroad will need the rest of this year to untangle the train tie-ups in the corridor that serves the Bakken field, BNSF Chief Executive Officer Carl Ice said in an April 2 interview. He said the line deployed 300 additional crew members to its northern region and plans to add 500 locomotives and 5,000 rail cars to ease the congestion.
The tie-ups at BNSF will be worked out in time to handle the next harvest and it plans to increase velocity through Chicago, Robert Lease, vice president for service design and performance, said at an STB hearing on rail service yesterday in Washington.
Jeff Wallace, vice president of fuel services at Southern Co. (SO) in Atlanta told the STB March 6 that he surveyed 13 utilities and they said rail service has struggled to respond to demand and that some are running out of coal.
Midwest Energy Resources Company, a subsidiary of DTE Energy Co. (DTE), and responsible for feeding coal to the utility’s power plants in Michigan, has had problems getting rail deliveries from the Powder River Basin, Robert Sarvela, the company’s director of transportation and marketing, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Slow Deliveries

Other commodity producers have voiced similar concerns. Ethanol futures last month reached $3.517 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest level in more than seven years.
“There’s collective sentiment about inefficient turn-around times on rail cars,” said Mark Ruyack, a manager at StarFuels Inc., a Jupiter, Florida-based alternative energy broker, in an April 4 telephone interview.
Minnesota Soybean Processors, a biodiesel company, said that rail service has been so inconsistent that it has had to trim operations in Brewster.
“We’re two to three weeks behind,” said Taryl Enderson, the plant’s general manager in an interview on March 5. “We’re at 75 percent” capacity, he said.
Grain handlers say their business is a casualty of the shale boom. As horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing made the U.S. the world’s biggest shale producer, shipments by rail grew 74 percent in 2013 from 2012, American Association of Railroads data show.
Oil Expansion
“What we’re concerned about is that the oil business is expanding faster than the rail company’s ability to handle it,” Steve Strege, a vice president of the North Dakota Grain Dealers Association, said in a Feb. 12 telephone interview.
Dwell times, a measure of how long loaded railroad cars sit in a railyard, averaged about 26 hours during the first quarter, up from 21 hours during the same period in 2013, AAR data show.
Trains are getting mired in Chicago’s tangle of bottlenecks, said Charles Clowdis, an IHS Global Insight analyst in Lexington, Massachusetts.
“A lot of interchange points, like Chicago, are still a mess,” he said in an interview on March 25. “Coal has come back because of the cold winter, oil by tanker is relatively new. Now all of a sudden you have all these tank cars pulling crude oil and you just can’t get cars.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Mario Parker in Chicago at mparker22@bloomberg.net; Eliot Caroom in New York at ecaroom@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net Philip Revzin
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-10/chicago-30-hour-tie-up-for-buffett-s-trains-slows-coal-freight.html


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

TCA panel: paying drivers by the hour a ‘scary’ thought

bigcitydriver.com
Story thanks to ccjdigital.com and Aaron Huff on 
On Tuesday, March 25, a fleet executive panel at the Truckload Carriers Association Annual Convention responded to the possibility of electronic logging devices (ELDs) being a Trojan horse to reform driver pay.

Plaintiff attorneys and state agencies want to use hours-of-service data collected from ELDs to make minimum wage calculations, said panelist Josh England, president and chief financial officer of C.R. England, the nation’s largest refrigerated carrier based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“It’s not accurate to be used for that purpose,” he said, explaining that fleets do not control drivers or approve and disapprove of every hour they work. Mileage-based pay motivates drivers to maximize their driving hours in a compliant fashion. By contrast, hourly pay does not give drivers more available driving time and makes them less motivated to minimize their unproductive “on-duty, non-driving” hours.
“Those hours tend to be inflated and that becomes the basis for minimum wage calculations,” he said. “That’s why we have a production-based system.”
California’s minimum wage law adds another layer of complexity. Companies that use a piece-rate compensation formula have to pay their workers separately for rest periods. Attorneys also argue that mileage-based pay does not comply with the law to cover driver work activities like fueling and detention at shipping and receiving facilities.
“The industry argues that (paying drivers by the mile) is preemptive and full of interpretation,” England said. “When you think about the production impact of paying hourly rather than by the mile that’s a scary thought.”
Driver unions and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association are also leading a charge to reform driver pay as reported by CCJ.
“This industry is notorious for being able to move boundaries. Let’s hope that never happens. There are ways to do (hourly pay), but just not ways that you can do economically,” said panelist Clifton Parker, president and general manager of G&P Trucking Company, a 700-truck carrier based in Gaston, S.C.
“Our goal is to get miles on these guys,” said Jerry Moyes, chief executive officer and founder of Phoenix-based Swift Transportation Co., the largest truckload carrier in the nation with 16,000 drivers. “Mileage is a good incentive for the drivers as well as everyone in the company and I think we ought to continue to put our focus on that.”
The panel, moderated by Todd Amen, president and chief executive officer of ATBS, Inc., also discussed the future of the independent contractor model as state agencies and the Internal Revenue Service continue to ratchet up their efforts to re-classify contractors as employees to collect more payroll taxes.
Swift runs about 5,000 owner operators. The biggest challenge today is adopting its model to the rules of various states, Moyes said. England agreed that pressure is coming mostly at the state level to reclassify contractors as employees and mentioned a new law in the state of New York that classifies contractors as employees if they lease their equipment from a related company.
C.R. England has about 1,000 contractors today, he said, and does not plan to grow that segment of its business.
The panel also talked openly about a range of issues such as a focus on driver retention, management strategy, natural gas trucks, lessons learned from the recession and raising fuel taxes.
Todd Amen also asked some personal questions like why Jerry Moyes decided to acquire Swift before the recession using a leveraged buyout. Moyes said that of the $2.7 billion he took on in debt, $500 million was financed at 12.5 percent interest.
“The bad news is that my interest was a million dollars a day. The good news is that it was only five days a week,” Moyes joked. The leveraged buyout put an enormous financial strain on the company, but the lean years toughened Swift and forced changes that were necessary to keep its EBITDA earnings between $400 and $500 million en route to taking the company public in 2011.
Regarding how to fund highway infrastructure, all panel members agreed that raising the fuel tax is the best option and chided politicians for their lack of courage to garner support for the measure.
“I think we have to raise the fuel tax. It’s been probably 40 years since we’ve done it,” Moyes said. “This industry is in a position to pay more fuel taxes in my opinion. Through the fuel surcharge it is going to get passed on and I think that is the only answer.”
“The answer is fuel taxes,” England agreed. “It’s just a matter of politicians getting the will to pass the fuel tax increase. They seem to only be concerned about the next election so that hasn’t happened yet.”
http://www.ccjdigital.com/tca-panel-paying-drivers-by-the-hour-is-a-scary-thought/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=03-26-2014&utm_campaign=CCJ&ust_id=137f89555c&


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Is it a Miracle? You Decide!

This is a true account of my wife's aunt, who resides in Sunnyvale, Ca.  If you are not a religious person, you might want to reconsider!  Dan
Originally published 3/19/2012
She passed away on March 20, 2014
Update follows from 4/6/2014

Thanks to;
El Camino Hospital
Shane Dormady, MD
Robert Sinha, MD

Josephine – A Stage 4 Melanoma Survivor
When Josephine was in her mid-80s, she had a suspicious-looking mole on her left arm removed. Lab tests confirmed that Josephine had melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Her doctor removed the mole and the surrounding skin. Because the cancer had not spread to other parts of her body, Josephine didn’t require any additional treatment, so she went back to living her normal life.
A few years later, Josephine went in for a routine mammogram. The doctors found a lump in her breast, which, unfortunately, turned out to be stage IV melanoma, meaning the cancer had spread from her arm to her breast and other areas of her body as well. Stage IV melanoma is notoriously difficult to treat; patients like Josephine typically have only a 15-20% chance of surviving five years or more after diagnosis.
But Josephine did not give up hope. “I was never worried,” says Josephine, who immediately set up an appointment with medical oncologist Shane Dormady, MD, of the El Camino Hospital Cancer Center, to see what her treatment options were.
In March 2011, Josephine began taking temozolomide (Temodar®) pills, a chemotherapy treatment for metastatic melanoma. Although temozolomide has shown some success in temporarily shrinking melanoma, according to the American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/SkinCancer-Melanoma/DetailedGuide/melanoma-skin-cancer-treating-by-stage, the results are short-term, at best.
But Josephine has done amazingly well in the past year; since she started taking temozolomide, her results have been astonishing. A PET scan in the fall of 2011 showed that the only cancer remaining in Josephine’s body was a small spot on her lung, which radiation oncologist Robert Sinha, MD, treated with CyberKnife®, a non-invasive type of targeted radiation. A follow-up PET scan after the CyberKnife treatment showed that the cancer in her lung had completely disappeared as well.
So, today, much to everyone’s surprise, Josephine is entirely cancer-free. Although she cannot predict what the future may hold, she has gone back to living her life, spending time with family and taking water-exercise classes at the YMCA to stay active.
And, in March 2012, Josephine will celebrate her 90th birthday! She has invited Dr. Dormady to join her at the party. “Dr. Dormady has been so good to me,” says Josephine. “He is a great doctor.”
Here’s to hoping Josephine has a wonderful birthday celebration, and many, many more birthdays to come!


Update: 3/28/2014
Below is the message that was sent to all medical staff at El Camino Hospital, on 21 March 2014.
Colleagues, With permission from the family of Josephine Hutchings McCall, we share this story that all of us at ECH should be proud of: “I hope that she will be a chapter in your book of experiences," said Mrs. McCall’s daughter, of her mother who had a tiara lovingly placed on her head. Shortly after meeting Josephine’s family we learned we were in the presence of something rarer than any stone on a tiara; we were serving a WWII female Marine Corps Veteran who was among the first eighteen Women Marines sent to the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point North Carolina. With great honor, Jennipher, the palliative care nurse, pinned an American flag on her blanket and thanked her for her service. Josephine was a composer, a music director, accompanist, music teacher, and volunteer. She also had a daily radio program playing the organ, "Hammondaires with Josephine", in Idaho, during the 1940s. Her son asked if we could arrange for their mother, Josephine, to hear her grandson play one last concert for her. Through conversations with her MD, hospital supervisor, security, and the help of dedicated 3C nurses, Josephine was able to hear her grandson play that concert. The following morning she died very peacefully surrounded by family. Josephine's daughter related she could see a spread of calm wash over her mother as her grandson played for her. She expressed her gratitude for what went into making this happen for her. Sometimes, the best medicine for our patients is not medicine at all, but the compassionate care we provide with our hearts. A special thanks to the following that helped make this happen: The Family of Mrs. Josephine Hutchings McCall, Dr. Dormady, Reverend John Harrison, Jason Alexander, John Foged, Stephanie Artea, Stacy Annuli, RN, Gabby Macebo, RN, Mary Swiner, RN, Sharon Shin, CNA, Jennipher Manganaro, and the Palliative Care Team. This was a rare and lovely opportunity for the care team at ECH to surround the family and patient at end of life with such humanity, kindness, dignity and respect. Thank you. Josephine McCall and family members.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Reinventing the Beverage Fleet

truckinginfo.com
March 2014, Article thanks toTruckingInfo.com and by Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief, Links provided:

 

Shelby Green and his team at PepsiCo North America Beverages collaborate on a more efficient solution


If you think you’ve been seeing fewer of those Pepsi bay-type delivery trailers with the roll-up doors, you’re probably right.
PepsiCo North America Beverages is revamping the way it delivers its products, moving to specially spec’d dry van trailers, liftgates and pallets that were pre-loaded at the warehouse. It saves work for drivers, saves fuel, and speeds deliveries to customers.
One of the leaders of this effort and others is Shelby Green, senior fleet director.
Green started his 28-year career with PepsiCo as a fleet supervisor at its Wichita, Kan., location. Although he went through many other roles, including about six years in a headquarters role handling the marketing equipment (vending machines, coolers, fountains), when he came into the senior fleet director role about eight years ago, he was happy to be working with trucks again.
“The fleet manager is out on the front line. I enjoyed it a lot. You got to know your vehicles and the people who drove them. So I’m very proud to be in this role, because it’s kind of where I started and I know what everybody’s going through.”
Today, Green oversees a fleet of about 14,500 vehicles ranging from Class 1 through Class 8, 11,600 trailers, plus forklifts and other material handling equipment.
In a quest for greater efficiency, the company is transitioning to a new delivery style it is calling geobox.


A new way to deliver
“We’re looking to co-mingle our grocery and our convenience and gas station deliveries,” Green explains. “This allows us to make deliveries to both large and small format retailers on one route using the same truck.”
Pallets are now being created to order in the warehouse, then loaded on the truck.
“The route driver just pulls those pallets off and delivers them to the store,” Green says. “So they’re not spending so much time in the parking lot or in the dock, trying to pick all this product off their truck and take it in. It maximizes the customer’s time in terms of how long we’re there, and it improves our productivity. We definitely get in and out a lot quicker.”
“We may deliver to a grocery store with the traditional pallet deliveries, then spend the rest of the time delivering on a smaller-pallet footprint that would be in that geography, so we’re much better at routing.”
That means saving fuel by using fewer trucks for the same number of customers. “So far we’ve seen about a 15% increase in the number of customers we can deliver to on one route,” Green says. “We’re much more efficient. We’re seeing less miles and less fuel usage because we’re routing more efficiently. We’re reducing labor costs on the delivery side. We see the safety and ergonomic benefits to the delivery person in regards to their work effort they have during the day.”

The right trailer
The North America Beverages Fleet spec team worked hard to spec a tractor-trailer that would take the most advantage of this new concept, which currently is being used at more than 70 locations across the United States and Canada.
“The go-to-market team here researched the available options out there,” Green says. “There were some existing ideas that were out there, and we worked with different suppliers to pick what would work best for our system. We challenged some of our suppliers to come up with ideas.”
The team was looking at ways to make the trailer liftgates more durable, making things better ergonomically for the driver, making maintenance easier and other factors.
One of the key specs on the new trailers was developed in collaboration with SAF-Holland.
As the day goes on, that trailer gets lighter. The SAF CBX40 Auto-PosiLift automatic axle lift air-ride suspension senses when enough of the load has been delivered that a tandem axle is no longer required. At that point, one axle of the trailer tandem automatically lifts, without driver intervention.
The result is lower rolling resistance and thus better fuel economy. “You’re not scuffing as many tires, you’re not putting as much usage on the brake system,” Green says.
With the geobox system, the trucks drop 20% to 60% of their weight early on, then deliver to smaller accounts the rest of the day.
“We knew we had diminishing loads, and we knew that around 60% to 80% of the time we really only need one axle based on the average rolling payload that we have,” Green says. Once SAF-Holland offered it as a concept, he says, people got excited and put the energy behind it to come up with the final product in a very short time.
“Whenever they come to a stop or dock area and engage the parking brake system, the axle’s going to go down,” Green explains. “Once they’ve finished their stop and activated the air system and take off, it senses the weight and will raise it up.” It’s all quite seamless to the driver.
The clever lift axle wasn’t the only key to this trailer spec. For instance, it has LED lighting on both exterior and interior. For the liftgate system, there’s a battery backup system that charges while it’s moving down the road.
“That’s important that because we’re going from traditional usage on the liftgate was very infrequent, but now they’re utilizing the liftgate a lot more and there’s more draw on the battery system.”
The tire spec changed, not only to improve the fuel efficiency through low-rolling-resistance tires. And speaking of tires, the lift axle has changed maintenance procedures to rotate the tires to even out the usage. Obviously the ones on the lift axle get a lot less wear.


Collaboration is king
Of course, the PepsiCo North America Beverages fleet has a lot of other vehicles in it, and Green’s team has been innovative with those, as well. For instance, sales support vehicles are changing to Sprinter vans for higher fuel mileage. In urban areas where the stop-and-go traffic makes it feasible, service vans are using XL Hybrids’ electric hybrid technology. And it is piloting some Class 8 natural gas tractors, both CNG and LNG.
Developing equipment specs that work hand-in-hand with the beverage fleet’s changing delivery tactics is an exercise in collaboration and communication.
“We have such a collaborative spirit with all of the people within PepsiCo that have a hand in the process,” Green says. “Our go-to-market team consists of people from selling and delivery, warehouse, fleet and MEM. I think that’s the power of what we get done, the communication.”

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