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Pilot Flying J adds paid, gender-neutral parental leave to benefits package

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The U.S. Department of Labor said in the retail industry, where many employees are part-time and hourly only 7% of employees have access to paid family leave. In addition, seven in 10 fathers in the U.S. that took parental leave only used 10 days of leave or less. (Courtesy: PILOT FLYING J)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Flying J, the 14th largest private company in America according to Forbes 2019 America’s largest private companies list with more than 28,000 team members, is adding paid, gender-neutral parental leave to its benefit package.

Effective September 1, the benefit provides 100% paid parental leave for six weeks to all team members, both full- and part-time, who have at least one year of service and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months previous to the leave.

“As a family-owned business that is one of the country’s largest private companies, it is critical that we support our team members with growing families,” said Ken Parent, president of Pilot Flying J. “We recognize the importance of focusing on your family’s well-being and that welcoming a new family member can be an exciting and stressful time. We strongly believe that paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers is a much-needed benefit, especially for hourly workers in the retail and convenience store industries and we are proud to provide this benefit to our team members.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as of March 2018 only 17% of all civilian workers had access to paid family leave. In the retail industry, where many employees are part-time and hourly, this number is even lower at 7%. In addition, seven in 10 fathers in the U.S. that took parental leave only used 10 days of leave or less.

Pilot Flying J’s workforce is comprised of a wide variety of full- and part-time roles across its locations, including the headquarters in Knoxville, offices in Texas, and the more than 650 travel centers across the U.S.

In addition to paid parental leave, Pilot Flying J team members enjoy excellent benefit packages, including:

  • Weekly pay
  • Paid time off
  • 401k contributions
  • Tuition assistance
  • Comprehensive and affordable medical plans for full-time team members, including a $10 per week plan for hourly team members

As a company committed to its people-first culture, Parent said Pilot Flying J invests in the development and wellness of its team members with access to mentoring programs, a career pathing tool and professional skills development.

The company also provides a fully equipped gym at its headquarters, low cost gym membership plans, and a well-being app with challenges and sweepstakes to engage with team members in their commitment to health.

“Pilot Flying J is looking for more incredible people to join its team,” Parent said. “There are opportunities for friendly, team-oriented individuals at select travel center locations and more than 60 experienced maintenance technicians at the Truck Care Service Centers.”

The company also plans to hire more than 50 professionals in digital and technology innovation.

For more information about the culture, benefits and employment opportunities at Pilot Flying J, visit jobs.pilotflyingj.com.

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ACT Research freight forecast: TL contract rates turn lower with more to go

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This chart provided by ACT Research shows that after two years of rates favoring motor carriers, truckload rates in 2019 have generally favored the shippers. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — ACT Research released the November installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report covering the truckload, intermodal, LTL and last mile sectors and the gauge still shows the rates favoring shippers.

The ACT Freight Forecast provides three-year forecasts for volumes and contract rates for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal segments of the transportation industry, and for the truckload spot market, the report forecasts the next twelve months. The Freight Forecast provides unmatched detail on the future of freight rates, helping businesses across the supply chain plan for the future with confidence.

Based on ACT’s For-Hire TL Carrier Database, TL contract rates fell to $2.28 per mile in Q3, down 2% year over year, following a 3% increase in the second quarter.

“We’re seeing evidence that a bottoming process is beginning in the truckload cycle from truck order and survey data,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “It will be gradual, but we think spot rates will turn positive in mid-2020. Meanwhile, for-hire freight volume continues to be soft, pressured by ongoing private fleet capacity additions, so we don’t think we’ve seen the worst of the contract rate pressure yet.”

Denoyer cautioned carriers not to jump to the conclusion that capacity is tightening because of carrier failures.

“Those are not unusual in this business and the fact is U.S. fleets bought more new Class 8 tractors in September than any month in history,” he said. “So, capacity is not yet tightening, and build plans are still above replacement for the next six months. Rather, roughly 10k net new tractors were added to US highways in September, mainly by private fleets.”

Denoyer said freight had softened since the September 1 tariff imposition, because in part of the temporary strike at GM, and declines have broadened to every major rail category except petroleum.

“As GM ramps production back up, the major declines in fourth quarter to-date rail volumes should moderate somewhat,” he said.

ACT Research is a leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.

More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

 

 

 

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FTR, ACT Research report Class 8 orders in October at 22,100 units

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Class 8 orders were the star of October, rising to an 11-month high, according to ACT Research President and Senior Analyst Kenny Vieth. (Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

The two companies that track and analyze the large truck market both reported North American Class 8 October orders at 22,100 units.

FTR said the order level was the highest since November of 2018, but still far below a year ago.  October 2019 order activity was the weakest performance for an October since 2016.

FTR said that while October orders were the highest this year and up 79% month over month, they were 51% lower than October 2018, signifying a subdued beginning to the traditional start of the ordering season.

FTR said the order level was boosted by a couple of big fleets placing large orders into 2020, but otherwise smaller orders were placed for the first quarter build.  Cancellations are expected to remain elevated as OEM’s shake out excess 2019 orders from the backlog. Class 8 orders for the past 12 months have totaled 192,000 units.

“Orders increased in October as expected, however, caution prevails,” said Don Ake, vice president commercial vehicles. “The trade and political turmoil are producing a highly uncertain business environment. Fleets are only ordering for their immediate needs. They are not willing to speculate much beyond the first quarter of next year. The OEMs have plenty of open capacity right now, so carriers are willing to approach 2020 a step at a time.”

Ake said orders were fair in October.

“Freight growth is flat, as the industrial sector slows and manufacturing struggles a bit. Orders are expected to stay in this range for a few months until there is more confidence in the economy and less turbulence in the trade war and political arena,” he said.

Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analysts, noted that the industry kicked off  “order season” in an encouraging fashion with preliminary order rising to a six-month high in October.

“Class 8 orders were the star of October, rising to an 11-month high,” he said. “While freight market conditions remain weak, the market is arguably benefiting from a substantive change in the “must-have” tractor spec.”

Regarding the medium duty market, Vieth said the fade that started in medium-duty orders during the summer lingered into the start of quarter four and if the preliminary order read stands as printed, October will represent a 40-month order low.

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Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems named one of America’s safest companies for 2019

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Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems is one of only 16 companies to earn distinction from EHS Today, honoring commitment to employee safety and health, environment management and risk control. (Courtesy: BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS)

ELYRIA, Ohio — Coming off the safest year in its nearly 90-year history, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has been honored with a major corporate award recognizing its pursuit of safe operations.

The company was named to EHS Today’s 2019 list of America’s Safest Companies, an annual award recognizing the safest companies in the United States. Bendix joins 15 other companies to be selected by the publication’s editors.

EHS Today, a magazine for environment, health and safety leaders, founded America’s Safest Companies in 2002. Since then, more than 250 companies have earned the distinction. At a ceremony that was part of its 2019 Safety Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas, EHS Today presented the award to Bendix and the other 2019 honorees.

“From the operations floor to the executive suite, employees throughout the Bendix organization strive to maintain the highest possible standard of safety, a value deeply held in our company culture,” said Carlos Hungria, Bendix chief operating officer. “This is an important part of our journey to operational excellence, and we are truly honored to be named among America’s Safest Companies with our 15 fellow recipients. The award reflects our unwavering commitment to ensure the well-being of each and every individual who sets foot inside a Bendix facility.”

To be considered one of America’s Safest Companies, companies must demonstrate transformational environmental, health and safety leadership in the form of support from management and employee involvement; innovative solutions to safety challenges; injury and illness rates significantly lower than the average for their industries; comprehensive training programs; evidence that prevention of incidents is the cornerstone of the safety process; excellent communication internally and externally about the value of safety; and a way to substantiate the benefits of the safety process.

An attitude of no compromise best describes Bendix’s pursuit of safe operations, which is built around the goal of zero injuries, Hungria said. In 2018, that unified mindset helped the company achieve its safest year ever. Of Bendix’s 18 North American locations, nearly all achieved significant safety milestones, and cumulatively experienced a 30 percent reduction from 2017’s injury rate. At the heart of the results are preventive and corrective safety programs, as well as processes and rituals that empower employees to help improve safety.

Bendix has implemented mature safety processes, which continue to drive noticeable improvement in year-over-year safety results, Hungria said, adding that part of the long-term strategy of the Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) team, these processes include a 24-hour incident notification and containment policy; Safety Shares, a practice begun in 2019 involving the sharing of a personal safety lesson at the start of each meeting; lessons learned from incident sharing across all of Bendix’s plants to identify and eliminate similar risks; among others.

In addition, engagement opportunities through the Safety STARS (Safety Top Achievement Recognition System) program enable employees to take on a key role in identifying unsafe conditions, unsafe behaviors, and safety improvements.

Key to the success of the safety program has been the integration with the Knorr Production System (KPS) quality, productivity, and continuous improvement culture. KPS is practiced worldwide throughout the Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse Group, of which Bendix is a member. KPS tools and rituals have helped quantify improvement activities, increase visibility to safety losses, escalate safety concerns, and drive team-level ownership of safety.

“We’re so proud of our team members in Bendix blue who come to work every day 110 percent committed to performing their jobs safely,” said Maria Gutierrez, Bendix director of corporate responsibility and sustainability. “Their dedication made the America’s Safest Companies recognition possible. We look forward to reaching more milestones as we continue on Bendix’s safety journey.”

 

 

 

 

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