Photo: Eleanor Lamb/Twitter
Louisa Swain

Five good things that happened in trucking this week – Sept. 3

Sept. 3, 2020
The trucking industry continues to recognize the good in the community as well as the country.

Making a difference in the community is not a new concept to the trucking industry. Over the past six months, the industry has seen a collective coming together from across the country through free lunches for truck drivers, financial assistance, and more. As we head into September, we do so with the certain knowledge that our community is not alone. Here are five good things that happened in trucking this week.

ATA celebrates women’s right to vote with the Louisa Swain Convoy

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first ballot ever cast by a woman anywhere in the world. It happened on September 6, 1870, in Laramie, Wyo., when Louisa Swain, a 69-year-old housewife, would cast a vote. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment.

This week, American Trucking Associations partnered with the Louisa Swain Foundation and the Wyoming Office on Tourism on a special initiative: the Louisa Swain Convoy to remember, preserve and honor her legacy. On Monday, Aug. 31, a specially wrapped tractor-trailer embarked on a week-long, cross-country journey, beginning at the U.S. Capitol and that will end in Laramie during Labor Day Weekend.

Leading the convoy will be four female professional truck drivers: April Coolege, Walmart Logistics; Rhonda Hartman, Old Dominion Freight Line; Tina Peterson, FedEx Ground; and Dee Sova, Prime Inc. Having pursued careers in a traditionally male-dominated industry, these women, in addition to all women in transportation, are pioneers, the ATA affirmed. They sought the opportunity for a better living, undeterred by what barriers stood in their way. In doing so, they too have set an example—opening doors for future women to follow in their path.

You can join them virtually on this journey by following along on social media and at for daily updates.

Truckers heed safety warning ahead of Labor Day Weekend

This Labor Day, the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program (NCGHSP) is joining forces with the North Carolina Trucking Association, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety also known as (NETS), the North Carolina Highway Patrol and members of more than 500 law enforcement agencies around the state to help curb impaired driving.

“This Labor Day, as we continue to monitor drunk-driving trends, we are calling on our partners in law enforcement to help remove drunk drivers from the roadways,” said Mark Ezzell, the director of the NCGHSP.

In addition to high-visibility saturation patrols across all 100 counties, the NCGHSP is utilizing the voices of those who travel the most roadway miles across our state — truckers.

“I’ve seen a lot of bad decisions made behind the wheel; people getting dressed, texting, reading the newspaper, and putting on makeup,” said D. Luke Mallory, a road team captain with the North Carolina Trucking Association. “Some are even using prescription drugs, illegal substances and drinking while driving.

"Impaired and dangerous driving affects me and the other hard-working men and women who have been stretched thin working hard to replenish our supply chains,” Mallory continued. “I’m personally asking people this Labor Day to make better decisions behind the wheel.”

Last day to vote for BF2DF

Friday, Sept. 4, is the last day to nominate the Best Fleets to Drive For (BF2DF). Produced by CarriersEdge, in partnership with Truckload Carriers Association, BF2DF is an annual survey and contest that identifies the for-hire carriers operating 10 trucks or more in the US or Canada and providing the best workplace experiences for their drivers.

To participate, the company must be nominated by a company driver or owner-operator currently working with the company. 

Only one nomination per company is required to start the process. Click here to see if your fleet is already on the list.

Federal grant helps veterans get CDLs

On Aug. 19, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it has awarded nearly $80 million in grants to states and educational institutions to enhance commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety. Of that $80 million, $2 million is granted to 20 educational institutions to help train veterans for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers. Institutions are already seeing those funds make a difference.

On Aug. 25, the DMACC Transportation Institute was awarded an $86,299 grant from the FMCSA.

DMACC Transportation Institute director Dave Pfiffner said this “Trucking with the Troops" grant as it is affectionately known, will cover up to 100 percent of the program costs for individuals to take the seven-week class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) training program, including tuition, books, fees, equipment and DOT physical exam costs.

"Truck drivers are in demand and the need for drivers is expected to increase over the next several years," Pfiffner said.  “Iowa Workforce Development projects more than 1,300 openings each year for truck drivers in Iowa through the year 2024. Veterans and current service members from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, including National Guard members and reservists, and their spouses and children are eligible to apply for funds."

On Aug. 27, the Northampton Community College (NCC) received a $163,200 grant from the FMCSA to provide free Class A truck driving training to 40 current or former members of the United States Armed Forces, their spouses and adult children.

“Students coming out of the CDL Class A program will be highly employable in a high demand, high priority occupation,” said Tracey Johnson, NCC grants director. “Veterans are particularly successful in our CDL Class A Truck Driving program and get jobs at local companies such as FT Silfies, Lily Transportation, XPO Logistics, Heller Gas, Pocono Pro Foods, and more, along with regional and national companies." 

UPS celebrates 113 years

This week, UPS celebrated 113 years as a company. In a tweet on Aug. 28, CEO Carol Tomé had a simple message to all UPS employees:

“Especially now, in the face of historic challenges, I have a simple message: Thanks for all you’re doing to keep the world moving forward.”

About the Author

Catharine Conway | Digital Editor

Catharine Conway previously wrote for FleetOwner with a Master of Science in Publishing degree and more than seven years’ experience in the publishing and editorial industries. Based in Stamford, Conn., she was critical to the coordination of any and all digital content organization and distribution through various FleetOwner and American Trucker channels, including website, newsletters, and social media. 

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...

Fleet Industry Benchmarks: How does your fleet stack up?

Discover how your fleet compares to industry benchmarks and gain insights from a 2024 Benchmarking Report on maintenance spend, turnaround time, and more. Join us to identify ...

Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees and Risks

Fleets looking to effectively manage their operational costs should consider their tolling costs. Download the PrePass whitepaper, “Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees...

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...