Fab Lab 64b02a8ae587e

Five Good Things: Fabulous 'Fab Lab' fosters future engineers

July 14, 2023
This week in good trucking news: Chevron and Florida A&M team up for STEM education, a major OEM's parts distribution wins major awards, and one equipment company raises money for cancer research.

There's always more to learn that can be applied to trucking, and there's no better time to learn than when a person is young. This week's blog of good trucking news looks at the efforts of a major university to foster a lifelong interest in science and technology in young people, as well as the efforts and successes of others in the industry.

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Chevron sponsors student STEM education with 'Fab Lab'

Chevron has sponsored Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University to join the growing list of U.S. colleges boasting company-sponsored on-campus fabrication laboratories for STEM education.

“This is the first Fab Lab that Chevron has sponsored at a Historically Black College and University,” said Karen Rawls, Chevron's senior social investment advisor. “Our goal is to create a community of learning and maker space for innovation and collaboration in Tallahassee, Florida.”

The partnership is an example of a project under the company’s $15 million racial equity initiative.

The laboratories boast an arsenal of digital fabrication tools and prototyping devices, including laser cutters, 3D printers, vinyl cutters, and milling machines.

“The beautiful thing here is that young people are learning STEM without even realizing it because they’re having so much fun,” Rawls said. “The Fab Foundation is all about sparking creativity.”

See also: Five Good Things: Students trucking toward the future

 "It's good for the economy too," she added. "We hire people to work in the lab, and we hire interns during the summer."

Chevron contributed $550,000 to Florida A&M's Fab Lab for equipment and staffing. Another $150,000 was provided by the Fab Foundation for Fab Lab creation, management approaches, curriculum, research activities, and renovations. Chevron has partnered with the Fab Foundation since 2014.

The Fab Lab is scheduled to open in August.

Navistar wins No. 1 Top Heavy Equipment Supply Chain in company first

Navistar's parts distribution center (PDC) network was named the Top Heavy Equipment Supply Chain by industry solutions adviser Ducker Carlisle during a recent Carlisle North American Parts Benchmark (NAPB) Conference. Two Navistar PDCs also received additional accolades during the conference.

See also: International SuperTruck II hits 16 MPG

Navistar ranked No. 1 on the Top Heavy Equipment Supply Chain list for the first time in company history, unseating the previous multiyear winner. For the sixth consecutive year, Navistar's Edmonton, Alberta, PDC in Canada ranked number one on the list of Top Performing Warehouses in the Truck and Heavy Equipment category. The Edmonton PDC in Acheson, Alberta, and Navistar's Eastern Canada PDC in Hamilton, Ontario, were finalists for Most Improved Warehouse among all PDCs that participated in the conference this year.

"Our recognition as Top Heavy Equipment Supply Chain is a major milestone for our evolving business," said Joseph Lopez, director of North American Distribution. "Given the supply chain challenges in recent years, we appreciate the efforts of our colleagues at these PDCs who earned this award. This honor affirms our efforts to grow our business along with our customers through greater investment, improved practices, and distribution technology in enabling a more efficient and sustainable operation."

Dill Air Controls Products raises money for breast cancer research

Dill Air Controls Products has kicked off its annual breast cancer awareness fundraiser this year by offering its pink tire pressure gauges, from which 100% of sales will be donated to breast cancer research.

Dill produces pink gauges each year in its Oxford, North Carolina, plant. Gauges arrive in tubs of 50.

See also: Rohlwing: What trucking can learn about TPMS from the passenger experience

TCA Highway Angel saves fellow truck driver from heart attack

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has named truck driver Virgil Hunter, from Tyrone, Pennsylvania, a Highway Angel for helping rescue a fellow trucker when he was having a heart attack. Hunter drives for Ward Transport out of Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Ward Transport driver Dan Brennan was driving when he suddenly realized he wasn't feeling well. Brennan noticed that his arm hurt earlier in the day but assumed he had pulled a muscle. It wasn't until later that his arm suddenly went numb while driving. Brennan pulled over in a grocery store parking lot and began having chest pains. He attempted to call a nearby driver when he realized he had no cell phone reception.

Virgil Hunter, also a Ward Trucking driver, noticed Brennan's truck pulled over and quickly stopped to check on the driver.

 "He was sitting on the side of the road," Hunter said. "I saw his left arm out the window waving me over, so I pulled in front of him and walked back. He asked me where my phone was—I said it was in the truck. He said, "I need you to call 911. I think I'm having a heart attack."

See also: TCA's Heller: Is there a better way to govern HOS?

And it turned out he was. Hunter immediately called 911 and stayed with Brennan until the ambulance took him to the hospital. He contacted Brennan's family and informed them of everything happening. Hunter was also quick to contact the terminal location and inform them of the situation taking place. Throughout the entire process, Hunter stayed in contact with Brennan's wife. Hunter's quick actions to stop and check on Brennan possibly saved his life.

"He was calm—he knew all the symptoms," Hunter said. "I just showed up at the right time—the good Lord put me in his presence."

ATA opens online store for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

In advance of this year's National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, the American Trucking Associations announced today it is opening the official NTDAW Store

"Truck drivers are extraordinarily dedicated, maintain the highest safety standards, and are committed to professionalism in everything they do. National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is a chance to publicly express how much we value these hardworking men and women who keep our economy on the move," said Sue Hensley, ATA's EVP of communications and public affairs. "Each year, truck drivers travel hundreds of billions of miles to transport life's essentials and modern conveniences from coast to coast. This year's theme, 'Miles of Gratitude,' underscores the need for our appreciation to match truck drivers' enormous contributions. NTDAW is a reminder of the respect and recognition that we owe these essential workers year round."

See also: ATA establishes Women in Motion Mentorship Program

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, which will be celebrated Sept. 10-16 this year, is an annual event that formally recognizes the efforts of the 3.5 million truck drivers who drive the economy forward. Friends of the industry will be able to purchase merchandise showcasing their support for the men and women who deliver our nation's goods. 

The NTDAW Store features an array of products carrying the new 2023 National Truck Driver Appreciation Week logo designed with professional truck drivers in mind. Items for sale include T-shirts, baseball caps, banners, and more. The website also includes press and social kits for organizations and individuals to join in the NTDAW celebration.

The Allied Committee for the Trucking Industry, ACT1, is the premier sponsor of this year's NTDAW.

About the Author

Scott Keith

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