The last word

From pucks to LEDs Eric Morris, a one-time hockey player for the Detroit Red Wings, is celebrating his 30th anniversary with trucking supplier Grote Industries, which he currently serves as president & COO. Morris left his hometown of Stratford, Ontario, at age 15 to play hockey for the Detroit Red Wings. After his career on ice, he went to work in the auto industry, first joining Fram Canada Ltd.

From pucks to LEDs

Eric Morris, a one-time hockey player for the Detroit Red Wings, is celebrating his 30th anniversary with trucking supplier Grote Industries, which he currently serves as president & COO. Morris left his hometown of Stratford, Ontario, at age 15 to play hockey for the Detroit Red Wings.

After his career on ice, he went to work in the auto industry, first joining Fram Canada Ltd. for an 11-year stretch. He joined Grote Canada Ltd. in 1978 as general manager and rose to president of the Canadian operations before moving to Grote headquarters in 2000 to become executive vp. He was named to his current post in 2003. “This is just the beginning,” remarks Morris. “I have enjoyed my career with Grote and I am excited to continue bringing Grote's innovations to the global marketplace.”

Red going green

Chinese bus maker Beiqi Foton Bus just delivered 30 city buses featuring Eaton's hybrid powertrain technology to the Guangzhou Yiqi Bus Co., which runs about half the transit buses in Guangzhou, a city of 12 million in Guangdong province. The bus operator expects the hybrid units to get 27% better fuel economy while reducing particulate and NOx emissions by a similar amount. “Vehicle makers, fleets and users in China are working hard to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases in their cities, and we are excited about being involved,” said Kevin Beaty, leader of Eaton's hybrid power unit.

Fleet names we love

Long Gone Express Ponder, TX

Snappy one-liner

The Waggoners Trucking Co., Billings MT

LETTER OF THE MONTH

I just read Wendy Leavitt's column titled “Ultra Accountability” (F0, 9/07, pg.73). I have been in the trucking industry for over 30 years, learning how to drive on my father's knee. I am currently a maintenance manager for a Washington State-based fleet. Trustworthy drivers or employees are trustworthy as a matter of conscience — something they do when no one is watching or when someone is … On the other hand, someone who you can monitor or have to and is not trustworthy will only find ways to get around the monitoring …

I have always felt that we are creating less-experienced drivers/employees, and the fault lies with owners of business when they do not make sure their employees are properly trained up, relying on too much technology and not proper training. A large amount of the loss that we experience today is caused by lack of training. I do not believe that smarter trucks or equipment makes a smarter driver … Technology is great but keep it in its place. Personnel relationships and great training are where it's at, coupled with technology.

Brad Weddle
Di Pietro Trucking
Kent, WA

Best of the best

Six drivers at the former Contract Freighters Inc. (CFI), now known as Con-way Truckload, have been named 2007 “Drivers of the Year” for the Joplin, MO-based carrier. The honorees are George Cook, Michael Beam, Billy Weaver, Joe Smith, and Allan and Marian Bruton.

The six award winners — representing solo drivers, teams and independent contractors — were singled out for exemplary performance, commitment to safety and professional service. The winners received a commemorative plaque, wristwatch, custom jacket and cash prize. The Missouri State House of Representatives also recognized them with a proclamation .

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