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Pilot Flying J declares May 24 National Road Trip Day



Pilot flying j declares may 24 national road trip day
A survey commissioned by Pilot Flying J found the top reasons people take road trips are that it’s cheaper (57 percent), they have more control over the trip and plans (51 percent) and they like being able to stop whenever they want along the way (50 percent). (Courtesy: PILOT FLYING J)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Memorial Day is a time to honor the country’s fallen veterans, and it is also considered the unofficial kickoff of the summer travel season with more than 36.6 million Americans on the road last year over the long weekend visiting friends and family while paying tribute to our American heroes, according to an INRIX research study.

Pilot Flying J is marking the start of the summer road trip season by declaring the Friday before Memorial Day weekend — May 24 — as National Road Trip Day and celebrating with a discount for guests.

Consistently one of the busiest days of the year at Pilot and Flying J travel centers, locations see an increase in gas and food sales by nearly 15 percent, as well as an average of almost five million gallons of gas sold on this day based on Pilot Flying J sales data from January 6, 2017 to March 1, 2019.

To find out why so many people are road tripping, Pilot Flying J commissioned a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults who take at least one road trip per year. The study revealed that people opt for a road trip over other forms of transportation for flexibility and cost savings. Specifically, the study found:

  • The top reasons people take road trips are that it’s cheaper (57 percent), they have more control over the trip and plans (51 percent) and they like being able to stop whenever they want along the way (50 percent).
  • Almost one-third (31 percent) of road trippers say they’d hit the road more often if they had a rewards program that made it cheaper to travel by car.
  • Further, two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents say that they would be more likely to stop at a rest stop that has mobile rewards and fuel discount programs.

To help those drivers, Pilot Flying J is offering its new app to save drivers time and money with a more personalized experience tailored to their type of travel, location, preferences and needs, according to Whitney Haslam Johnson, chief experience officer for Pilot Flying J, who said there are several ways guests can save money with the app, including a 3-cent gas or auto diesel discount and exclusive offers on favorite food items and drinks when the app is used at the time of purchase.

To celebrate National Road Trip Day, drivers can enter the promo code “ROADTRIP” in the Pilot Flying J app starting May 21 to save an offer for $5 off their next purchase of $10 or more. The offer can be redeemed May 21-27 and it excludes fuel, alcohol, lottery and cigarettes.

“We are excited to celebrate the kick-off to the busy summer travel season with National Road Trip Day and to reward our guests with something to make their road trips even more enjoyable,” Johnson said. “We strive to be the perfect road trip stop, providing guests with everything they need to have a successful trip, including clean bathrooms, a large selection of snacks, food and beverage offerings, and even those easily forgotten items like phone chargers.”

The study also revealed road trippers’ must-haves for a successful trip. The majority of respondents say the essentials for a trip are food, entertainment and clean restrooms. Specifically:

  • Three in five road trippers (59 percent) say that having good snacks and drinks for the road, finding great places to eat on the way and finding clean bathrooms to use while traveling are the most important parts of a successful road trip.
  • The top “road trip essential” snacks are chips and salty foods (52 percent), freshly made, grab-and-go foods (50 percent) and fast food options (49 percent).
  • For millennials and Gen Z, it’s all about what happens in the car. They place more value on having music, audio books and/or podcasts to listen to (67 percent), good snacks and drinks (63 percent) and good conversations (52 percent).
  • Meanwhile, Gen X and boomers care about taking stops along the way, placing more value on finding clean bathrooms (67 percent), great places to eat (63 percent) and pleasant places to stop, rest and stretch their legs (56 percent).

Additionally, when making a stop for their road trip necessities, the study found that travelers primarily (58 percent) want to stop at all-in-one rest stops (offering gas, food, drinks, coffee, bathrooms, etc.) to save time and money.

“With 750 travel center locations in North America, Pilot Flying J is a convenient, one-stop shop for travelers, offering clean bathrooms, a large assortment of snacks, beverages and food, and necessities travelers may have forgotten to pack,” Johnson said. “For instance, road trippers can pick up a Pilot Coffee, one of the many made-in-house on-the-go offerings from PJ Fresh such as breakfast burritos, salads, fresh fruit cups, pizza and sandwiches, and road trip necessities like a phone charger or sunglasses.”

Two in five (42 percent) road trippers said they find travel apps very helpful when planning their trip, and the new Pilot Flying J app makes it easier than ever with its enhanced trip planner feature, Johnson said.  The trip planner helps users create their route and find Pilot and Flying J locations along the way, showcasing specific amenities, fuel prices and more.

Road trippers can download the Pilot Flying J app at

To learn more about National Road Trip Day, visit




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The Nation

House endorses adopting California AB5 provisions at federal level



U.s. house of representatives passes pro act; endorses adopting california ab5 law at federal level
Owner-operators and carriers are weary of California's AB5 morphing into federal law. Introduced as the PRO Act, the proposed legislation will have far-reaching impacts on all sectors of the trucking industry.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation similar to California’s AB5 law in that it requires employers to prove that independent contractors used in conducting business should not be classified as employees. The controversial California law, as applied to the trucking industry, is currently under an injunction imposed by a U.S. District Court judge that prohibits its enforcement. California-based carriers, the California Trucking Association (CTA) and owner-operators doing business in the state, as well as trucking organizations on national and state levels, have all publicly opposed AB5. The Trucker previously reported that industry leaders feared a law like AB5 would spread beyond California’s borders. With Congress considering the “Protecting the Right to Organize” (PRO) Act (HR 2474), those fears appear credible.

As widely discussed in trucking-industry circles, AB5 places the burden upon employers when classifying workers as employees or independent contractors. If a worker’s circumstances do not pass all components of a three-prong test, the individual is deemed an employee, a classification impacting company operations and the individual’s ability to choose working status. For this reason, many owner-operators who entered the business for its self-employment opportunities oppose AB5.

The federal PRO legislation incorporates the same tests imposed under AB5 and applies them nationwide. CTA contends that AB5 is prohibited under federal law, an argument with which the judge ruling in favor of the request for an injunction was noted as appearing to agree. With the injunction in place, the PRO Act could be considered a case of amending federal law for the purpose of allowing a state law to be enforceable.

The language in the federal act as included in Section 2(a)(2) defines an employee under the same terms as discussed in AB5. As with the California law, the sticking point relates to the (B) prong of the test. Under the (B) prong, a company cannot hire an independent contractor to perform tasks, inherent to the company’s business, which other employees already perform. A carrier in the business of moving freight and employing individuals who move freight could not hire an independent contractor to perform similar tasks.

Should PRO receive U.S. Senate approval, something political pundits doubt is possible, it would be passed to President Donald Trump to either sign into law or veto. Of the two, a veto seems most likely, as the administration has stated PRO “appears to cut and paste the core provisions of California’s controversial AB5, which severely restricts self-employment. AB5 is actively threatening the existence of both the franchise business sector and the gig economy in California. It would be a serious mistake for Congress to impose this flawed job-killing policy on the entire country.”

Truckers nationwide should remain in tune with further action on PRO. It may impact many careers.

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The Nation

OKC police confirm security guard who shot truck driver at TA has died by suicide



police lights stock photo
A security guard who discharged his weapon, shooting a truck driver during an altercation at an Oklahoma City TA Travel Center, has taken his own life.

OKLAHOMA CITY — A security guard who shot a truck driver earlier this month during an altercation with a truck driver in Oklahoma City has died by suicide.

Sgt. Brad Gilmore, assistant public-information officer with the Oklahoma City Police Department, confirmed that 45-year-old George Bischoff went to a local shooting range, Big Boys Guns, Ammo & Range, on Feb. 20 around 1:35 p.m. and took his own life with a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Bischoff had been questioned twice regarding an altercation that took place Feb. 14 around 4:30 a.m. in which he confronted a truck driver, 42-year-old Paul Sisk, at a TA Travel Center in Oklahoma City regarding a reserved parking space.

“Somewhere during that altercation, it became physical and the security guard fired one shot, hitting the truck driver,” Gilmore said. “The truck driver was transported to a local hospital, where he was treated and has since been released.”

Gilmore said the security guard was initially questioned following the incident but at that time, Gilmore said, police had not yet had a chance to talk to the truck driver.

“The security guard was brought back in and questioned again, and we were in the process of discussing the case with the district attorney’s office; and on our end, charges had not been filed,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore could not confirm whether the gun used at the range was rented or owned by Bischoff, but he said local news outlets have reported that the gun was rented.  Gilmore said the incident remains under investigation.

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The Nation

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse identifies nearly 8,000 substance-abuse violations



Fmcsa’s drug and alcohol clearinghouse identifies nearly 8,000 substance-abuse violations in first weeks of operation
FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse program is designed to improve road safety by identifying drivers who are barred from driving commercial vehicles due to drug violations. (iStock photo)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released data on Feb. 21 following the first weeks of operation of its Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The information released showed the clearinghouse has detected and identified nearly 8,000 positive substance-abuse tests of commercial drivers since Jan. 6. The clearinghouse now has more than 650,000 registrants.

“We’ve seen encouraging results from the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, but there’s still work to do to ensure we identify more drivers who should not be behind the wheel. The clearinghouse is a positive step, and the Agency continues to work closely with industry, law enforcement, and our state partners to ensure its implementation is effective,” said Jim Mullen, FMCSA acting administrator.

The clearinghouse is aimed at improving road safety by providing FMCSA and employers with the necessary tools to identify drivers who have violated federal drug and alcohol testing program requirements and are prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle. The goal of the clearinghouse is to ensure that such drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before they have the opportunity to resume driving.

Those required to register for the clearinghouse include:

  • Employers of commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders, or their designated service agents, and medical review officers who report drug and alcohol program violations that occurred on or after Jan. 6, 2020;
  • Employers or their designated service agents who conduct required queries that inform them whether prospective or current employees have drug and alcohol program violations in their clearinghouse records. Employers must purchase a query plan before conducting queries in the clearinghouse – query plans must be purchased from the FMCSA clearinghouse website only;
  • Drivers who respond to employer consent requests or would like to view their clearinghouse record when applying for a job; and
  • Substance abuse professionals who report on the completion of driver initial assessments and driver eligibility for return-to-duty testing for violations committed on or after Jan. 6, 2020.

There is no cost for registration. Commercial drivers are not required to immediately register for the clearinghouse but will need to register to respond to an employer’s request for consent prior to a pre-employment query or other full query being conducted. In addition, employers must be registered during the first year of implementation to ensure they are able to conduct the required annual query on all employed drivers.

Combatting drug abuse has been a top priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Trump Administration. President Trump has brought attention to the nation’s opioid crisis by declaring it a nationwide public health emergency and has implemented critical federal initiatives to help reduce opioid abuse.

For information about FMCSA’s clearinghouse program, including user brochures and instructional aids with step-by-step registration instructions, visit

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