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Pilot Flying J accepting nominations for Road Warrior honoree

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Winners of the Road Warrior competition will be announced during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week in September. (Courtesy: PILOT FLYING J)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pilot Flying J’s annual Road Warrior program returning and is accepting nominations to recognize professional drivers in the U.S. who demonstrate superior efforts in the trucking industry.

Anyone can nominate a professional driver at RoadWarrior.PilotFlyingJ.com from July 8-21 for the chance to be named the 2019 grand prize Road Warrior winner and receive a $10,000 prize.

Through hard work and dedication, more than 3.8 million professional drivers deliver goods each day to the country’s smallest towns and biggest cities, making sure all are safe along the way, according to Ken Parent, president of Pilot Flying J. The sixth annual Road Warrior program will honor these unsung “heroes on the road,” who show dedication to the industry and go above and beyond in their profession, by accepting online story submissions for a chance to win big cash prizes. Last year, the Road Warrior program received nearly 1,000 nominations.

“Each year, we are excited to celebrate professional drivers and show appreciation for their tireless work and commitment to delivering the goods that make daily life possible,” said Ken Parent, president of Pilot Flying J. “The Road Warrior program is our way of thanking and recognizing the many exceptional drivers that are critical to the industry and our economy. We look forward to reading the inspiring stories that are shared with this year’s nominations.”

In August, Pilot Flying J will invite its social media community to vote among the top three finalists to determine the grand prize winner. The 2019 grand prize Road Warrior winner will receive $10,000. Second and third place finalists will receive $5,000 and $2,500, respectively. Winners will be announced during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week in September. Nominators of the grand, second and third place winners will also receive a $500 prize.

Victoria Andrade, a UPS driver and full-time mom, was named the 2018 grand prize Road Warrior winner. Andrade was recognized by Pilot Flying J for her dedication to the industry and her family. She began working at UPS as a part-time car washer to help support her eight siblings and pay for her college education. Andrade graduated with her degree and remained with UPS, working her way up to be the first female in South Texas to become a feeder driver for UPS.

“I was beyond words to receive such recognition for my daily efforts. As a single mom and UPS employee, I am honored,” Andrade said. “To my peers on the road, I say, ‘Stay focused, be aware of your surroundings and take pride in your daily work.’”

Entering the Road Warrior contest is fast, free and easy, Parent said. To nominate a professional driver, learn more about the Road Warrior program, view complete contest rules, read about previous winners and follow inspirational submissions, visit RoadWarrior.PilotFlyingJ.com. To join the Road Warrior conversation, follow #RoadWarrior.

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot Flying J has more than 750 retail locations in 44 states, roadside assistance available at over 135 locations nationwide and growing as part of its Truck Care program, 44 Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers, and 34 Boss Shops. The Pilot Flying J network provides drivers with access to more than 72,000 parking spaces for trucks with Prime Parking at more than 400 locations, 5,200 deluxe showers and more than 6,200 diesel lanes with 5,200 offering Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the pump. Pilot Flying J is currently ranked No. 14 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies. Visit https://pilotflyingj.com/ for more information.

 

 

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The Nation

Can you say oversized load!

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That is big!

 

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The Nation

Diesel prices all but stagnant nationwide, less than 2-cent shift anywhere

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The average price for a gallon of diesel nationwide fell by 0.7 cents for the week ending July 22, to currently stand at $3.044 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The lack of movement in diesel prices continues a pattern that has been going on for the past month. On June 24, diesel was at 3.042, with changes of less than 1.5 cents every week in between.

Though tiny, the movement in diesel prices was nearly unanimous this past week, down in all but one region of the country.  That one exception was the Rocky Mountain region, where diesel rose 0.3 cents, to $2.978. Year-to-date, diesel prices are lower in every region, with the Rocky Mountain region again being the standout, having the greatest difference, 39.1 cents from this time last year.

California made it a clean sweep for lower diesel prices year-to-date with a drop of 1.3 cents this past week, to $3.939, still by far the highest in the country, but 0.4 cents below this time last year.

Along the rest of the West Coast, diesel dropped 1.1 cents to $3.198, bringing the overall West Coast average to $3.611 per gallon.

The average along the East Coast is currently $3.072, with prices highest in the Central Atlantic, where diesel is going for $3.259 after a 1.3-cent drop. Diesel is $3.122 in New England following a decrease of 0.9 cents over the past week, while in the Lower Atlantic region diesel slipped by 0.4 cents to stand at $2.937 per gallon.

That’s still slightly better than the Midwest, where diesel is going for $2.948 per gallon after a drop of 0.8 cents. Meanwhile, the Gulf Coast, the low-price leader in diesel, fell by the same 0.1 cent it gained the week before to stand at $2.804.

On Monday, increasing tensions between Iran and Western countries failed to produce a sharp reaction in the crude oil markets. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 98 cents, or 1.57%, to settle at $63.45 a barrel. U.S.-based West Texas Intermediate crude rose 59 cents, or 1.06%, to settle at $56.22 a barrel.

Click here for a complete list of average prices by region for the past three weeks.

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The Nation

DOL opinion letter: Time in sleeper berth does not count as compensable time

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The Department of Labor says the time a truck driver spends in the sleeper berth is not compensable time. Pictured in the Peterbilt 579 UltraLoft sleeper berth. (Courtesy: PETERBILT MOTORS)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor said Monday said it had determined that time spent in the sleeper berth by professional truck drivers while otherwise relieved from duty does not count as compensable time.

The DOL issued the determination in a written opinion letter by the department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the individual person or entity that requested the letter.

The American Trucking Associations lauded the opinion.

“ATA welcomes Monday’s opinion letter from DOL Wage and Hour Division Administrator Cheryl Stanton that concluded time spent by a commercial driver in the sleeper berth does not count as compensable hours under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, unless the driver is actually performing work or on call,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This opinion, which is consistent with decades-old DOL regulations, the weight of judicial authority, and the long understanding of the trucking industry, clears up confusion created by two recent court decisions that called the compensability of sleeper berth time into question.

Significantly, this opinion letter provides new guidance, the DOL said.

Under prior guidance, the DOL said WHD interpreted the relevant regulations to mean that while sleeping time may be excluded from hours worked where “adequate facilities” were furnished, only up to eight hours of sleeping time may be excluded in a trip 24 hours or longer, and no sleeping time may be excluded for trips under 24 hours.

“WHD has now concluded that this interpretation is unnecessarily burdensome for employers and instead adopts a straightforward reading of the plain language of the applicable regulation, under which the time drivers are relieved of all duties and permitted to sleep in a sleeper berth is presumptively non-working time that is not compensable,” the opinion letter said. “There may be circumstances, however, where a driver who retires to a sleeping berth is unable to use the time effectively for his or her own purposes. For example, a driver who is required to remain on call or do paperwork in the sleeping berth may be unable to effectively sleep or engage in personal activities; in such cases, the time is compensable hours worked.”

The ATA commended Acting Secretary Patrick Pizzella and Stanton for adopting a straightforward, plain-language reading of the law, rather than the burdensome alternative interpretation embraced by those outlier decisions.

“ATA also commends the department for making guidance like this available through opinion letters, which provide an opportunity for stakeholders to better understand their compliance obligations prospectively, rather than settling such matters only after the fact, through costly and wasteful litigation,” Spear said.

 

 

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