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Accuracy Is a Significant Issue With Hair Testing

The “Drug Free Commercial Truck Driver Act of 2015” is a bill that would allow the Department of Transportation to authorize hair testing instead of urinalysis.

Critics of hair testing claim that science doesn’t support hair testing, and that it’s simply not as accurate as urinalysis for detecting controlled substances by an operator.

The bill currently is receiving support from bi-partisan co-sponsors, along with support from the American Trucking Association along with some fleets.

According to Dr. Kent Peterson, president of Charlottesville, Virginia Occupational Health Strategies and Former Exec. Vice President of American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM):

“Hair testing has a window of testing for the previous months or weeks. If you take one and a half inches closest to the scalp it will give an indication of drug use for the past 90 days,” he says. “Hair testing may be used for pre-employment screening to show long-term use but it gives no indication of current use or recent impairment.”

Some critics argues that hair testing unfairly biases some drivers. According to Peterson,

“Curly haired and persons of color are more likely to test positive [because they have more melanin in their hair which binds more strongly with markers]. It’s believed that if hair testing were to be used and brought to court, it would be thrown out on that basis alone.”

It will be interesting in the coming months to see if the bill will garner additional support and pass into law, as it seems that the science justifying the bill isn’t concrete.

Interested in earning your CDL? Apply to Progressive Truck School.

Congress Rolls Back Federal Trucking Rule

A regulation which trucking companies claimed was far too restrictive for drivers is now being eased.

According to federal rules, the restriction would have required a drivers’ 34-hour restart to include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods and would limit the use of a 34-hour restart to once per week.

The two provisions of the 2013 changes to hours-of-service regulations for truck operators will be suspended at least until Sept. 30, 2015, and FMCSA will be required to further study the rules and their impact before the rules can take effect again.

Both the House and the Senate passed a new provision to suspend the Hours of Service rule. U.S. Representative Richard Hanna, who led the suspension effort, believed the mandated 34-hour restart rule would negatively impact trucking businesses in the Southern Tier.

Representative Hanna also believed the rule would hurt small businesses who relied on the trucking services.

Interested in a career in trucking? Apply to Progressive Truck School!

Owner-Operator Has a Once-in-a-Lifetime Load: The Capitol Christmas Tree

Elwood Higdem has a very important responsibility this year: transporting this year’s capitol Christmas tree from it’s harvesting point in Minnesota across the country to the nation’s capital: Washington D.C.

According to Higdem, hauling this holiday icon has been “one of the best experiences of my life.”

Higdem won’t be making the journey alone. His wife, Joan, is accompanying him on his trip. Higdem works for Willie Transport, which is the carrier contacted this year to haul the tree.

“I’ve never really been in a situation before where I drive for an hour or two and then stand in front of cameras and be interviewed two or three times and asked a bunch of questions about what it’s like to haul the nation’s Christmas tree,” Higdem said. “I kind of like the attention.”

capital christmas tree truck

Higdem is transporting the 75-foot white spruce in a custom Kenworth T880 wrapped in special Capital Christmas tree graphics.

The tree will be lit Nov. 20 by Speaker of the House John Boehner. 

Happy National Truck Driver Appreciation Week!

America Lives By Truck!

September 14-20 is when America takes the time to honor all professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in tackling one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs. These 3.2 million professional men and women not only deliver our goods safely, securely and on time, they also keep our highways safe.

 

We’re proud of all of our 50,000+ graduates. It’s a great time to be a driver!

To learn about how you can become part of this high-demand industry, contact Progressive Truck School at 773.736.5522.

Transport America, U.S. Express, and Con-Way Raising Driver’s Pay

Three of the largest trucking companies: Transport America, U.S. Express, and Con-Way have announced significant increases to driver pay in 2014.

Now, earning a CDL through training like that offered at Progressive Truck School has become even more profitable for drivers.  Effective Aug. 25, 2014., U.S. Xpress is raising its base mileage pay for over-the-road, solo, non-dedicated truck drivers by an average of 13 percent.  Con-way Truckload is also raising per-mile pay, effective Sept. 7, for both company drivers and independent contractors.

Transport America, one of the U.S. branches of Canadian trucking giant TransForce has also increased driver pay: owner-operators will receive a two-cents per mile increase in pay, team drivers will receive a one- cent per mile increase and hazmat pay will increase by four cents per mile. Newly hired drivers can start as high as 40 cents per mile and drivers with more than four years of experience can start at 43 cents per mile.

With trucking jobs becoming more and more lucrative, large companies are competing to hire qualified drivers, like those trained by Progressive Truck School.

“The new pay structure keeps Transport America as a leader among industry pay and one of the first to increase pay among the larger fleets,” said Transport America CEO Scott Arves.

Con-way drivers can also gain additional earning through an annual bonus of between 1.5 cents and three cents per mile, on miles driven over the previous 12 months from their anniversary date. The company is also increasing layover pay from $60 to $75 per day.

This move will likely put pressure on the other trucking companies to increase pay and benefits to their drivers as well. With wages on the rise, now is a great time to earn a Commercial Driver’s License from Progressive Truck School.

Call Progressive Truck School today to learn about CDL training: (773) 736-5522

A Record 55 Drivers Were Nominated for 2014 Trucking’s Top Rookie Contest!

Encompassing the spirit of the lucrative and exciting career in trucking, there were a record 55 nominations for Top Rookie in Mike O’Connell’s Memorial Trucking Top Rookie award.

Introduced in 2011, the contest was created to increase pride and professionalism between new drivers in the trucking industry and promote truck driving as a career. Over $25,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded!

These are the entry-level drivers who were nominated to be the 2014 Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie. We at Progressive Truck School wish them all good luck!

  • Kevin Carpenter, C.R. England
  • Joe Boyle, Veriha Trucking
  • Phillip Alley, Epes Transport System, Inc.
  • Joshua Andrews, Stevens Transport
  • Freelin Berry, Transport America
  • Dion Blair, TMC Transportation
  • Ashley Bowers, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
  • Elisee Carnelli, Hogan Transports, Inc.
  • Derek Fischer, H.O. Wolding
  • Jonathan Chastang, Dart Transit
  • William Childers, Cargo Transporters, Inc.
  • Jason Dulier, Hogan Transports, Inc.
  • Rommel Duran, TMC Transportation
  • Kyle Friauf, Transport America
  • Matthew Frisbee, Stevens Transport
  • Clarence Gillespie, Hogan Transports, Inc.
  • Lyle Grant, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
  • Paul Hedge, Werner Enterprises
  • Byron Kilgore, Transport America
  • Brandon Hooten, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
  • Othello James, Werner Enterprises
  • Steven Jameson, Dart Transit
  • Alex Jusino, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
  • Amanda Kidd, Cargo Transporters, Inc.
  • Daniel Mota, C.R. England
  • Sean Klarer, TMC Transportation
  • Michael Kline, Roehl Transport
  • Dominick Krajewski, TMC Transportation
  • Jason Kiser, Stevens Transport
  • William Mills, Britton Transport
  • Richard Mullen, D&D Sexton Inc.
  • Julie Matulle, H.O. Wolding
  • Jeffrey Nace, Stevens Transport
  • Joel Nelson, Dart Transit
  • Carlos Nordquist, Werner Enterprises
  • Cheryl “Charlie” Naujokas, C.R. England
  • Reg Polante, H.O. Wolding
  • Karl Sall, Dart Transit
  • Adam Sanford, Core Carrier Corporation
  • Sandy Schultz, C.R. England
  • Chad Sears, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
  • Byron Simpson, Epes Transport System, Inc.
  • Fred Smith, Roehl Transport
  • Roger Wright, Transport America
  • Ryan Sparks, Boyd Bros. Transportation Inc.
  • Cartha Speed, Transport America
  • John Spofford, Premier Crude, LLC
  • Jordan Steffens, Norseman Express Trucking Inc.
  • Robert Strong, Roehl Transport
  • William Steinmetz, C.R. England
  • Michael Towler, Roehl Transport
  • Nico Turner, C.R. England
  • Joseph Watson, C.R. England
  • Robert White, Werner Enterprises
  • Joel Wieland, Britton Transport

Call Progressive Truck Driving School to discuss how you could start a career in an in-demand field: (773) 736-5522