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UPS asks for exemptions from two parts of new driver training rule

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UPS said that if it must comply with the instructor qualification requirements in the ELDT rule, it would not be able to use 25% of its current certified driver instructors, at minimum. Looking ahead two more years, that number would likely increase to 50% because of its changing workforce. (Courtesy: UPS)

WASHINGTON — United Parcel Service has applied with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for an exemption from two provisions of the entry-level driver training (ELDT) final rule published in December 2018 — (1) the requirement that a driver training instructor have two years’ experience and have held a CDL for two years as set forth in the definitions of behind-the-wheel (BTW) instructor and theory instructor and (2) the requirement to register each training location for a unique Training Provider Registry (TPR) number.

The implementation date of the final rule in February 7, 2020.

UPS told the FMCSA that it has a driver training school (DTS) that trains its employees to become driver instructors, describing the DTS as a success because it has trained hundreds of driver instructors, many of whom did not have previous CDL experience.

UPS said its DTS instructors have on average 20 years of UPS experience, hold a CDL of the same (or higher) class and with all endorsements necessary to operate a CMV for which training is provided, have completed the DTS program, have maintained their DTS certification through quarterly additional training, and are employed by UPS as supervisors or managers.

UPS said the DTS conducts an eight-week program designed to train supervisors and managers in UPS’ long-haul operations to deliver driver training to drivers at their “home” worksites with the curriculum covering all the topics set forth in the new ELDT rule.

The UPS instructor trainees are assessed in progress reviews at days five, 10 and 15, and a current DTS instructor monitors the quality of the training and trainee progress.

According to UPS, the DTS program produces highly qualified driver instructors. Additionally, all UPS driver instructors are required to be recertified every 90 days to demonstrate the same skill level shown for their original DTS certification. UPS further performs internal quality assessments to validate that instructor skillsets are maintained throughout the organization.

In its request for exemption, UPS states that if it must comply with the instructor qualification requirements in the ELDT rule, it would not be able to use 25% of its current certified driver instructors, at minimum. Looking ahead two more years, that number would likely increase to 50% because of its changing workforce. UPS sees an increase in growth through volume demand, as well as an aging workforce that will lead to retiring CDL drivers and certified driver instructors. Without an exemption from the [ELDT] trainer requirements, UPS’s inability to use its current driver instructors will impede substantially its ability to meet the demand for new drivers, the request said.

UPS said that the exemption is needed to meet union contractual requirements, as under its collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Teamsters), six current UPS employees must be provided with a promotion opportunity for every new hire.

As for the requirement to register each training location for a unique TPR number, UPS said training for new drivers takes place in many locations.

In each location, instructors who have been trained in the same way pursuant to UPS’ DTS program will use a common FMCSR-compliant curriculum developed at a corporate level.

UPS is operating a single training program in multiple locations. UPS said that it needs this exemption because of  the significant administrative burden that would result if it had to register every UPS location at which a new driver could be trained. In addition, having separate TPR numbers for multiple locations offering essentially the same training could create internal confusion for UPS, drivers, and the agency. UPS new driver training may occur at as many as 1,800 separate locations a year. UPS estimates that the cost to register all of these locations would be substantial, and that it would incur additional costs to keep track of the various registrations, file updates, and new driver registrations.

UPS offered its “train the trainer” program within its DTS to assure an equivalent level of safety. According to UPS, its DTS produces highly skilled instructors who know how to drive tractor-trailers and how to teach others to operate tractor-trailers in a safe manner. UPS believes that graduates of its DTS training program are better prepared to impart knowledge and skills on new drivers than someone who has had two years of driving experience.

The FMCSA is requesting comments on UPS’ request.

To submit comment online, go to www.regulations.gov and put the docket number, “FMCSA-2019-0139” in the “Keyword” box, and click “Search.” When the new screen appears, click on “Comment Now!” button and type your comment into the text box in the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit.

Deadline to submit comments is July 19.

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JK Moving modernizes moving with mobile app and virtual AI estimating options

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The JK mobile app enables clients to go onto the app to receive and review estimates; accept and edit estimates; make payments; communicate with their sales consultant and move coordinator; and prepare for the move day. (Courtesy: JK MOVING)

STERLING, Va. — JK Moving Services, a global moving, storage, relocation and logistics enterprise, says it has added new technologies to further modernize the move experience for customers, including a mobile app to help the customer manage the move process and software to do virtual estimates with either a real person or by an artificial intelligence interface.

“Great technology makes for better moves and that’s why we invest in cutting-edge solutions. Mobile apps and AI are now part of our customer tool kit,” said CEO Chuck Kuhn. “Giving clients choices in how they work with us helps us meet a variety of customer needs and styles.”

Kuhn said JK’s tech team had created a downloadable mobile app that enables clients to go onto the app to receive and review estimates; accept and edit estimates; make payments; communicate with their sales consultant and move coordinator; and prepare for the move day. The app is monitored 24/7 by the JK team.

Since this custom app was developed in-house, JK is able to incorporate feedback and improvements quickly, Kuhn said, adding that the mobile app complements new estimating software that clients can use to get a virtual estimate.

The client gives a tour of their house with their phone to their choice of a real or AI representative. The AI estimating software recognizes shapes of objects and makes an inventory list. From that tour, JK can provide an estimate and send it to the mobile app. Estimators still are available to come to someone’s house if that is what the client prefers.

“Going mobile improves our customer offerings since many clients want products that are seamless, easy and quick. We’re receiving terrific feedback for our new mobile app and virtual estimating. These tech advancements put us at the forefront of the residential moving business,” said David Cox, executive vice president, residential, JK Moving.

Cox said the mobile app also reduces the use of paper, which is good for the environment. Environmental stewardship is part of the JK culture and a consideration in many of the company’s innovations.

“In fact, JK was one of the first on many environmentally friendly practices, including: ordering Tesla semi moving trucks, embracing new technologies that will further its aggressive carbon emissions-reduction goals, leading with box-less moves and major recycling efforts, and starting a chemical free community farm,” he said.

Another recent modernization includes the addition of dashcam technology in its whole fleet. These cameras are installed in the truck cabs. When a trigger event happens, such as a sudden stop or jostling movement, a 12-second video clip gets sent to DriveCam, a third-party vendor that monitors and evaluates the incidents. DriveCam sends JK feedback when opportunities arise to improve driving behaviors, enabling JK to provide customized training to drivers. The dashcams have resulted in employees improving their driving skills and experiencing fewer triggering events, resulting in fewer accidents and a reduction in claims.

 

 

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Reddaway celebrates centennial anniversary while continuing its evolution

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One hundred years after its founding, Reddaway operates with 5,000 trailers, 1,500 tractors, and is now part of YRC Regional Transportation, along with Holland in the Midwest and Southeast, and New Penn serving the Eastern United States (Courtesy: REDDWAY)

TUALATIN, Ore. — Reddaway, the longest continuously operating Oregon-based regional less-than-truckload carrier, is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year.

Founded in 1919 in Oregon City, Reddaway continues to advance its services for the 21st century while remaining the premier service provider in the Western United States and Canada, according to Reddway President Bob Stone.

Reddaway’s founder, William Arthur Reddaway, began the company with one Ford Model T truck primarily serving Portland and Oregon City. One hundred years later, Reddaway operates with 5,000 trailers, 1,500 tractors, and is now part of YRC Regional Transportation, along with Holland in the Midwest and Southeast, and New Penn serving the Eastern United States.

“It’s humbling to think about the legacy of innovation, continuous improvement, exceptional reliability and the personalized support that have not only carried us through the past 100 years, but have allowed us to thrive,” Stone said. “I have had the pleasure of witnessing it firsthand for the past 25 years. I’m honored to work alongside the dedicated people who make Reddaway a company that our customers enjoy doing business with. It’s this culture and our people who help us continue to thrive into the next century.”

As part of the company’s 100-year celebration, Reddaway will be hosting appreciation events in the Tualatin office as well as field offices to recognize and thank the thousands of loyal employees who work hard to take care of the customers they serve, Stone said.

The western U.S. provider of LTL services, Reddaway currently employs over 2,800 people and operates more than 40 service centers. With high on-time reliability and one of the lowest claim ratios in the west, Reddaway continues to lead the industry in customer satisfaction.

Reddaway has earned multiple distinctions over the years, including these recent awards such as the 2018 West Coast Regional Carrier of the Year from Worldwide Express, 2018 LTL Carrier of the Year from DHL Supply Chain and the 2018 Carrier of the Year, West Regional, by GlobalTranz.

For more information, visit www.reddawayregional.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Weak finish to 2nd quarter

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The June Pricing Index at 43.8 (seasonally adjusted) recovered a good bit of last month’s sharp decline, up from 38.8 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index (June data) showed nearly across-the-board declines, with capacity again the lone exception.

The Volume Index dropped further into negative territory, falling to 43.2 (seasonally adjusted) in June from 46.7 in May.

The June Pricing Index at 43.8 (seasonally adjusted) recovered a good bit of last month’s sharp decline, up from 38.8 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history.

“Volumes and utilization have been down seven of eight months, and the supply-demand balance has been loosening for eight straight months,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “In line with several second quarter earnings warnings from truckload carriers this week, this is further confirmation of a weak freight environment. May’s Pricing Index looked a little anomalously bad, so it was good to see that pick back up, though still not a great level in June.”

Denoyer said volumes reached a new cycle low in June, likely due in part to rapid growth of private fleets, the slowdown in the industrial sector and some inventory drawdown.

“This coincides with most other freight metrics,” he said. “The supply-demand balance reading loosened to 41.4, from 42.1 in May. The past eight consecutive readings have shown a deterioration in the supply-demand balance, with June the largest yet.”

ACT is a publisher of new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market. ACT’s CV services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, major trucking and logistics firms, as well as the banking and investment community in North America, Europe, and China.

 

 

 

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