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Archive for July, 2014


Trucking Solutions Group assisting in NEW life saving registry drive at GATS

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The Trucking Solutions Group (TSG) will once again be busy at the Great American Trucking Show this year. The show is being held on August 21-23, 2014 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (formerly Dallas Convention Center).

TSG Annual Blood Drive at GATS

TSG Annual Blood Drive at GATS


Trucking Solutions Group Health Awareness Walk

Trucking Solutions Group Health Awareness Walk

The  TSG group will be holding its annual blood drive in partnership with the American Red Cross in booth #23080 on all three days. No appointment is necessary.





Also, once again TSG will be conducting their annual Health Awareness Walk on Saturday morning at 9 am. This year the group is going to walk over to Dealey Plaza, location of the former Texas Book Depository building from which President John F. Kennedy was shot.

Bone Marrow donors are needed desperately to help save the lives of those suffering from leukemia and other blood cancers.

This year The Trucking Solutions Group is also partnering with Make It Happen USA , a bone marrow donor registry organization. TSG will assist Make It Happen USA in increasing the number of people registered in the national bone marrow donor registry.


Make It Happen USA, partnered with Delete Blood Cancer, has a simple goal. To recruit more individuals to become registered donors.

Make It Happen USA, partnered with Delete Blood Cancer, has a simple goal. To recruit more individuals to become registered donors.

Registration will  take place in the Trucking Solutions Group booth #23080. Fill out a form and have your mouth swabbed, which will be used to detect a possible match in the database of needed stem cell or bone marrow donors.


Ethnicity and heritage are very important factors. Patients are most likely to match someone of similar ethnicity or heritage. Potential donors with diverse ethnic heritage are severely lacking on the registry. Adding more ethnically diverse members increases the likelihood that all patients will find a lifesaving match.

How do I become a bone marrow donor?

The first step to becoming a bone marrow donor is to register.

Only 2% of the US population is part of the registry. Every 3 minutes a child or adult is diagnosed with a blood cancer. It’s quick, easy, painless and free!
A registration form, some education and a mouth swab. And it can all be done at the TSG booth! 

If you can not make it to GATS feel free to contact Tom Kyrk at to find out how to get your FREE kit to do at home. This great service they are willing to offer drivers who can not make the event.

Great American Truck Show Hours:
Thursday August 21- 12pm-5
Friday    August 22- 10 am-5 pm Saturday. August 23- 10 am-5 pm

Make It Happen USA
25761 E. Orchard Dr.
Aurora, CO 80016 Phone: 303.667.6657

Related Posts
“Doing For Others”  by Tom Kyrk  of Road Tested Living


© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: Blood Drive, Bone Marrow Donors, GATS, Make It Happen USA, Road Tested Living, stem cell donors, Trucking Solutions Group

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Resolving High Freight Loss Claims

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Photo courtesy of: Maren Guse,

Operating as an independent, small broker or a carrier with 5 to 20 trucks, one high damage freight claim can make the difference between maintaining a successful trucking business to having to shut the doors completely.

With the rise of cargo theft increasing by an overall average of nearly 600% within the last few years, the average loss value across all categories of incidents was $161,676 per quarter as last reported in August, 2013.

In fact, on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest for theft risk, the United States sits at a scale of 4 with “deceptive pickup” still being one of the highest forms of methods used by thieves. This method represents 6.4% of cargo theft incidents.

Should a small carrier or independent find themselves in such a situation where they are at a loss of tens of thousands of dollars, what happens if their insurance carrier does not pay the high damage claim? In many cases, the smaller carrier and independent will find that the insurance company will deny the claim due to what is known as “Intellectual Act of Driver.”

Case in point:

A small broker turned over a high, over-sized load to a small carrier operating around 20 trucks. The driver of the flatbed was told by the pilot car driver in front that he was good to go for clearance to an upcoming bridge. Unfortunately, he was mistaken. The truck driver ended up topping out the bridge, causing nearly $30,000 in damages.

With a high damage claim and the insurance company denying coverage due to “Intellectual Act of Driver,” $30,000 could prove to be the end of a business for both broker and independent. Such incidents can result in the smaller broker not being able to pay such a large claim and fines, unable to pay the carrier and driver as well as not capable of paying the bond.

Same can be true for cases involving “deceptive pickup.”  How easy is it for someone posing as a driver or associate for a carrier to enter a shipper claiming to be the pickup for a particular high value load?  Shippers rarely confirm a driver’s identity or even the markings on the truck, such as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). By not doing so, how can the shipper be absolute certain that the vehicle used for pickup is valid?

Smaller brokers also find themselves the target of cargo thefts by not confirming the VIN and/or identity of the driver and vehicle. Because of this, it remains that cargo theft is a serious cause of brokers and independents taking the responsibility  for such high damages, fines and claims which can ultimately lead to the failure of their business.

Out of court settlements for brokers and independents

In the case of the above over-sized load incident, the broker was caught in a serious “who to blame” scenario. The broker needed the claim paid but the insurance company denied it; the truck driver pointed at the pilot car operator while the operator pointed at the truck driver. Having to take the issue to court would only further compound expenses for all parties involved.

An important lesson to learn for small brokers, as well as independents, is that in serious cases such as these where claim damages, fines and the possibility of court costs could ruin their company or seriously damage their business profitability, Network FOB can help all parties involved to settle the damages without having to go to court.

In the over-sized load claim, Network FOB assisted the agent by offering an affordable finance plan to cover the cost of the $30,000 damage claim. Specializing in the handling of freight loss claims, the Network was founded by Executive Chairman, Tim Taylor and offers services for truckload, heavy haul, LTL, inter-modal, international, expedited and small parcel.

By offering the smaller agent in this case a payment plan for 11 months at 8%, resulting in a monthly payment of $2,900, the agent was able to pay the claim and not fear losing the business. Where claim settlements are usually based on a 50/50 split, as in the past when it was often seen at 55/45 and even 60/40, NetworkFOB has offered the ratio of a 80/20 split, easing the burden for many brokers and truckers when faced with a high damage claim where the insurance company denies coverage.

In my interview with Mr. Taylor, he also offered advice for shippers, brokers and drivers in order to further assist in the battle against truck cargo theft:

“It’s a matter of wising up. Brokers and shippers need to check the certificate of insurance. They need to verify the VIN on the truck, the markings on the truck and trailer. The shippers especially have to get more involved. As a broker, how do you know that the driver and truck VIN and markings are valid? We just can’t take their word for it when they are on the phone, a thousand miles away. Have them email or fax you the required documents and then relay that information to the shipper.

“Drivers must keep up on their paperwork and documents. They need to be careful when talking on the phone with the broker or shipper, taking down all the load information. These cargo thieves will stand by, listening, taking down your notes and load info and beating them to the shipper. They have all the info the driver just provided for them; why would the shipper not believe them?”

“The shippers have to get more involved by checking the vehicle markings and numbers, as well as the information on the so-called pickup driver. This will play a major role in combating cargo theft.”

You can read more about their services via the NetworkFOB press release.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: broker, cargo theft, carrier, claims, damages, drivers, freight loss, high claims, independent, insurance, NetworkFOB, shipper, Tim Taylor

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Funding and Support for Family of Murdered Trucker Continues

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Trucker Michael Boeglin and his wife, Ashley. (Photo from Fox 2 Detroit)

Trucker Michael Boeglin and his wife, Ashley. (Photo from Fox 2 Detroit)

On June 26th 30 year old OTR trucker Michael Boeglin of Ferdinand, Ind. was shot and killed in his truck as he parked at an abandoned building waiting to pick up a load from the nearby ThyssenKrupp steel plant.

The family is trying to pick up the pieces from the devastation of this tragedy, however as you can imagine, it has not been an easy journey so far nor is the road ahead expected to be either.

The trucking community  has since shown its support for the family through a variety of ways, including 3 Funding Options to aid widow Ashley Boeglin and her unborn child.  The family is also registered with CrimeStoppers and funds collected through the options below will also be used for the reward to aid in the capture of these cold blooded murderers of fellow trucker Michael Boeglin.

Please choose one if the options to place your donation, there is NONE too small.
All 3 Options have been verified and approved by the Boeglin Family.

Option 1–  GoFundMe  “Michael and Ashley Boeglin Family Fund”  initiated by  MissyLadyTrucker of  The page was created by David Clark along with this message: “Today was close to the toughest day in my Life! Mike was buried today ~ the service was great ~ all of the people were wonderful and very supportive, I just NEVER imagined that WE, the Families and Friends of Mike would EVER have to experience the loss, and the devastation of whatever this is~! I know i’m just not making any kind of sense ~ it’s just so senseless! Thank you for the support ~ but WE have a long way to go for Ashley and the baby ~ please help~!!!!!  ”

Option 2–  Small Business in Transportation Coalition started by James  of SBTC, is calling for donations to be made from companies and individuals within the trucking industry. Mr. Lamb will present the family the collected funds  along with the names ( not amounts) of those who participated in this funding drive.

Options 3–  The German American Bank  Donations can be made by calling 812-367-2288  Ashley Boeglin gave this number out the night of our radio show when we asked her if there was a donation line people could call into.

David Clark and Ashley Boeglin also request that we ALL maintain awareness for the murder of Michael and not allow it to be swept away and forgotten.

They have since spoken with Hope Rivenburg of Jason’s Law and have become strong supporters for more safe truck parking.

The family believes that had the shipper, ThyssenKrupp, allowed Michael to park while he waited to load, this tragedy could have been avoided.

You can listen to the replay of the show with David and Ashley, ” Truck Parking Shortage: Drivers at Risk” below.

Popular Current Events Internet Radio with Aubrey Allen Smith on BlogTalkRadio


Also, please review the Truck Parking Survey which sheds lights of the dangers truck drivers face because of the serious shortage of safe truck parking.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: Ashley Boeglin, David Clark, German American Bank, Jason’s law- H.R.2156 S971, Michael Boeglin, murdered trucker fund, SBTC, truck parking shortage

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Respecting the Sanctity of Sleep- Introducing the “COMMUNITY-ORIENTED” APPROACH

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 Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC).

Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC).

By James Lamb

As a former New York Department of Transportation (DOT) Motor Carrier Investigator who used to perform Federal Level Three Driver Inspections throughout New York State, I am astonished to hear stories of how local law enforcement officers routinely wake up interstate drivers who are engaged in Federally-mandated rest under the Hours of Service (HOS) section of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and demand identification for no legitimate reason and under color of law. In most instances, this practice essentially amounts to an unlawful vehicle stop and constitutes unwarranted harassment in violation of the trucker’s civil and due process rights.

During my years in state government DOT service, I would have never even thought to wake a driver up merely to conduct a DOT inspection. Our normal operating procedure was to stop vehicles already in motion at a weight station in the normal course of state government business and deal with them one-by-one as they rolled in. Waking drivers up was not something we were ever trained to do and it appears such a practice is being engaged in by rouge law enforcement officers in an arbitrary and capricious manner, constituting an abuse of power.

Recently, thanks to veteran professional driver & trucker advocate Allen Smith (and his partner-in-time wife Donna) of Truth About Trucking, this issue has been getting special attention in the context of the more broad issues being discussed by members of the Industry such as: safe truck parking, driver pay, HOS, driver harassment, and E-logging proposals. Indeed, drivers are quick to point out the sheer hypocrisy of a police officer waking a driver up in the middle of their sleep period to perform such a DOT inspection to determine if the driver is in compliance with HOS.

Driver in Sleeper Berth courtesy of <a" width="300" height="235" />

Driver in Sleeper Berth
courtesy of

Imagine, if you will, how that conversation must go:

 Officer: “OK, boy, rise and shine… time for a DOT Inspection.”
Trucker: “What? Now? I’m in the middle of sleeping”
Officer: “That’s right, son, it’s inspection time… so break out that log book so I can see if you are in compliance…”
Trucker: “Well, I WAS in compliance… until you woke me up! Now I’m in violation because I am talking to you.”

Sometimes, it’s not so toned down and there are downright verbal confrontations… and in certain instances, the trucker even gets arrested for “obstruction of justice” if he protests the timing of the enforcement action. That’s “justice” you ask? Well, not really. But usually either the courts or the more reasonable administrators of police agencies have a way of sorting things out and setting things right… but only after much unnecessary stress and frustration that could have been easily avoided with a little common sense and, well, courtesy. It’s an understatement to say addressing this issue is a long time coming…

As most of us in the Industry know—especially the professional OTR truck driver, under 49 CFR Part 395, operators of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) over 10,000 lbs, with certain exceptions, may not lawfully drive a CMV more than 11 hours following 10 consecutive off duty hours and they may not drive after having been on duty for more than 14 hours. The HOS rules have been in a state of flux for years but this has been the essence of HOS for some time now.

Police officers reading this article should be familiar with the concept of “Community-Oriented Policing,” which has been around for a few decades now. According to the U.S. Department of Justice:

 “Community Policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime (see:; emphasis added).”

Essentially, it’s a kinder, gentler, friendlier form of policing that makes police and citizens partners in addressing the underlying causes of society’s problems. So, if we can do this in policing, then why not apply this to trucking to address industry problems? SBTC thinks WE CAN!

What Can Be Done

National Truck Parking Survey- Hope Rivenburg-2013 Truck Driver Social Media Convention

National Truck Parking Survey- Hope Rivenburg-2013 Truck Driver Social Media Convention

Accordingly, SBTC is pleased to introduce into the Transportation Industry the phrase “Community-Oriented Parking,” (COP), part and parcel of a more broad term we are coining called: “Community-Oriented Trucking,” (COT) based on forming similar partnerships. With respect to an issue like safe truck parking, then, what we are essentially saying is we need more “COP” in the equation.

Now, what do we really mean by Community Oriented Parking? Well, it’s simply a matter of forming partnerships between police and truckers to defeat the real enemy, namely, driver fatigue that is the culprit behind some (not all, but some) CMV-related motor vehicle accidents. As Allen Smith and other drivers report, the answer to driver fatigue is very simply “sleep.” And if sleep is the answer… then anything and anyone who interferes with sleep is, well, part of the underlying problem. Case-in-point: not being able to find a safe parking area interferes with sleep.

To embrace the ‘community-oriented’ approach, first, both police officers and drivers need to be involved and committed to the program. On the one hand, officers need to be sensitive to– and exercise restraint out of respect for– the driver’s need for sleep to defeat driver fatigue. In turn, drivers need to respect the property they are on and the other members of the community around them. Keyword: “respect.” Indeed, mutual respect is the key ingredient. It’s a pretty simple concept and is the right formula for improving driver-officer relations and driver-community relations in general.

As the Chairman of the new Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC), I am therefore calling on law enforcement agencies and law enforcement management groups throughout the United States to institute sensitivity training when it comes to taking enforcement action that unnecessarily and unreasonably interferes with CMV drivers’ sleep. Just like the “texting can wait” campaigns we see currently in progress in some states like New York these days, SBTC suggests that enforcement can wait”. That driver’s log book will still be there when he or she wakes up.

We are also asking law enforcement benevolent organizations to embrace this call for deference to the need to sleep as a matter of promoting public safety and mitigating officer liability. If that driver gets awoken, stressed out over a ticket, and then can’t fall back to sleep as a result then the police agency and the officer could be held liable for a resulting accident later that day if it can be proven that the driver fatigue was actually caused by the enforcement action!

We therefore ask organizations that look out for the welfare of officers to similarly put out the call for officers to respect the sanctity of sleep for the operators of long haul, over the road truck drivers. What’s more, we think respect for driver sleep should be formally codified in law, rules, and police departmental policies to ensure rouge officers who knowingly and willfully violate the sanctity of sleep are held accountable for such violations as matters of law and justice.

SBTC is currently working with FMCSA in the spirit of industry-government partnership to identify and solve industry problems and their underlying causes. Safe parking is at the top of our list. How can truckers help? By taking individual responsibility in the form of how they conduct themselves in public and how they interact with fellow drivers and members of the communities they are guests in. Only through driver accountability are we to successfully convince shippers and receivers to assume a role in driver safety.

For more on this, look for the SBTC’s new “Trucker Watch” program in coming months (currently under development) geared toward simultaneously enhancing and promoting safe parking scenarios for drivers, improving drivers’ image and reputation in the eyes of both law enforcement and the public, and “proactively address(ing) the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.”


Haven’t heard much about the SBTC yet? Well, you will… We are the up-and-coming new small business oriented trade group for “the little guys” in the transportation industry who believe we– as truckers, carriers, brokers, and shippers– are all working in partnership on the same supply chain team. If you are looking for an alternative to OOIDA to represent your interests, one that offers a professional, common-sense, no-nonsense and positive approach to industry problems– and you believe in forming partnerships rather than inciting negativity and promoting conflict, then SBTC is the right group for you. Visit us online at .


/s/ JAMES P. LAMB, Chairman

Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC)

© 2014, James Lamb. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: community oriented policing, department of transportation, DOT, driver sleep, FMCSA.trucker fatigue, hours of service, James Lamb, SBTC

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Trucker shooting rekindles plea to officials for more Safe Truck Parking

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National Truck Parking Survey- Hope Rivenburg-2013 Truck Driver Social Media Convention

National Truck Parking Survey- Hope Rivenburg-2013 Truck Driver Social Media Convention

The infamous Truck Parking Shortage has once again risen its UGLY and Deadly head as yet another trucker is murdered because of inadequate safe truck parking.

Insufficient Truck Parking has been a serious problem for decades, confirmed by numerous FMCSA studies. The following was issued by FMCSA in 1996 and recently updated in 2014 “FHWA Commissions Commercial Driver Rest and Parking Requirements Study”  

Federal Highway Administration’s Truck Parking Initiatives Slideshow from FHWA Truck Parking Activities

On June 26th 30 year old OTR trucker Michael Boeglin of Ferdinand, Ind. was shot and killed in his truck as he parked at an abandoned building waiting to pick up a load from the nearby ThyssenKrupp steel plant.

Trucker Michael Boeglin and his wife, Ashley. (Photo from Fox 2 Detroit)

Trucker Michael Boeglin and his wife, Ashley. (Photo from Fox 2 Detroit)

These words are eerily similar to the ones we heard 5 years ago in March of 2009 as OTR Truck Driver Jason Rivenburg had parked to rest at an abandoned gas station in South Carolina before his early morning delivery. Both OTR drivers wives’, pregnant at the time of their husbands murders, Hope Rivenburg giving birth to twins in 2009 shortly after the homicide of Jason and Ashley Boeglin, wife of recently shot trucker Michael, is due to give birth in November 2014.

What is another similarity for both of these murders? The LACK OF SAFE and Adequate Truck Parking, protecting professional drivers from harm’s way as they run a 14 hour clock, being compliant with FMCSA Hours of Service rules.

It’s now been 5 years since U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko first introduced the original bill “Jason’s law” to the House in April of 2009 .  The bill, HR 2156, was introduced shortly after the March 5, 2009 fatal shooting of Schoharie County OTR driver, Jason Rivenburg and was designed to allow states to receive requested funding in areas where truck parking was most needed.

Widow Hope Rivenburg led the 3 year crusade, tirelessly lobbying for more safe truck parking until the bill, Jason’s Law, was passed and included in the 2012 Transportation Bill.

  • Language on Truck Parking can be found in Section 1401 of MAP-21 (PL 112-141) entitled “Jason’s Law”.

Hope Rivenburg went the extra mile after Jason’s Law was included in MAP 21 by playing a major role in HER National Truck Parking Survey.  The results of the survey answered many of the questions of where and why truck parking is such an issue for professional drivers.  The Survey, taken by almost 5000 professional drivers, sheds light to why drivers are forced to park in isolated and dangerous locations.
Read the drivers comments on how shippers and receivers refuse safe haven for them as they “wait”.  If you want to understand the true obstacles and challenges that drivers face, then reading the results of this survey is a must.  Also read:  TRUCK PARKING SPECIAL REPORT by Desiree Wood of Real Women in Trucking

Small Business in Transportation Coalition

Small Business in Transportation Coalition

Now the trucking industry is calling for unity regarding the plea for more safe truck parking. Ask A Veteran Driver, led by MissyLadyTrucker,the creator of the truckers helping group, first reached out to David Clark, and helped set up the GoFundMe raising over $10,000. A Memorial Convoy link can also be found through the same website. Along with the above mentioned family GoFundMe fundraiser authored by Michael’s father in law, David Clark, the Small Business in Transportation Coalition led by James Lamb is calling for additional funding from the trucking industry.

The purpose of this 2nd fundraiser ( also approved by the Boeglin family) is to:
1 Raise funds for widow Ashley Boeglin and unborn child
2 Create industry wide concern and awareness for additional truck parking
3 Display support for professional drivers, standing  in unison, and demanding the follow through for funding of Jasons Law in the Transportation bill.

Small Business in Transportation Coalition (“SBTC”) Sets up Fundraiser for Murdered Trucker’s Family

James Lamb General Manager, 12PL; President, AIPBA;

Dear Group Member,

I know you probably get hit up often for donations, but this time it’s different. This one is for the benefit of a fallen member of the trucking family: Michael Boeglin.

Read James Jaillet’s July 7th story “Trucker found shot in truck in Detroit, rig burned” in Overdrive here:

Then, please consider donating here:
In setting up this fundraiser, we hope to garner both trucking and mainstream media attention to spotlight the issue of safe parking for truckers.

While some have declared this story is “not newsworthy, ” let’s show them how trucking takes care of its own. The amount collected will be announced at the SBTC’s Industry at Sea event in September ( Donors* will be recognized on SBTC social media and websites (amounts donated will remain confidential).

I am starting off the fundraiser personally with the first donation…
Please donate what you can. Even just $5 (the cost of a Subway foot long) will help.

James Lamb, Chairman
Small Business in Transportation Coalition (“SBTC”)

*The SBTC pledges that 97% of all monies collected will be sent to Michael Boeglin’s widow for the benefit of her and her unborn child (three percent will be earmarked for administrative expenses such as credit card processing fees).

Hopefully the display of INDUSTRY support which is taking off will send a message to Washington telling our government officials that enough is enough!  Michael Boeglin may not be a celebrity, demanding high profile attention of mainstream media, he is however a father, son, husband, son in law, and a valuable and loved member of his family and the trucking community.

Remember, after the recent tragic fatal Walmart crash killing James McNair and injuring celebrity Tracy Morgan, Politicians began yelling for stricter HOS and ELD’sWho in Washington is yelling for more safe truck parking now that a “truck driver” has been killed?  IS ANYBODY LISTENING?

Note: In conversation with Overdrive’s Wendy Parker, Hope Rivenburg stresses the need for drivers to continue to press their legislators on areas where truck parking is sorely lacking and/or unsafe. 


© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: Ashley Boeglin, hope rivenburg, James Lamb, jason rivenburg, Jason’s law- H.R.2156 S971, Michael Boeglin, safe truck parking, SBTC, Small Business in Transportation Coalition, truck parking shortage, truck parking survey, Trucker fundraising, trucker murdered

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog
Jul Murdered Trucker Story Not Newsworthy

Posted by Comments Off on Murdered Trucker Story Not Newsworthy, an online news network serving over 20 million monthly readers across the world, apparently considers the recent murder of truck driver, Michael Boeglin as “Not Newsworthy.

As a writer for the Examiner since May 7, 2010, my most recent article: “Another trucker murdered while Congress ignores transportation funding” was denied publication due to the above given reason. An incredible example of how mainstream news media controls the content intended for the general public.

Therefore, due to this manipulation, I will provide the article here for future reference:

Another trucker murdered while Congress ignores transportation funding

Safe Truck Parking

Safe Truck Parking

It is a terrifying replay of the heart breaking story of Hope Rivenburg which led to her three year battle to implement Jason’s Law, a law passed under the Highway Restoration Bill to provide funding for safe truck parking. This time however, the truck driver’s name is Michael Boeglin, and similar to Hope Rivenburg, his wife Ashley is expecting their first child.

As in the case of Jason Rivenburg who stopped at an abandoned gas station, Michael parked his rig at an abandoned building to wait to pick up his scheduled load. According to Detroit police reports, Michael was shot and his rig set on fire. It is another horrible reality of what professional truckers face while living life on the road which offers limited safe and secured parking areas.

Although Jason’s Law was passed through the Senate as part of the $109 billion transportation bill, no further action by the House or Senate has been taken to fund safer parking areas for truckers. Also incorporated into MAP-21, the law not only allowed funding for more safe truck parking eligible under the NHPP, STP and HSIP programs, (Ref: MAP-21, page 5) but also required the Department of Transportation to perform a study and assessment of truck parking facilities by April 1, 2014. A study and assessment that was not completed at the required time. (Ref: MAP-21, page 9).

The DOT survey, conducted under the efforts of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently concluded receiving comments from drivers as of May 2nd, 2014.

Not wanting to wait for D.O.T. to perform their study, Hope Rivenburg stepped up once again and launched her own truck parking suvey which was presented to the DOT to be used in conjunction with their own. The 2013 Jason’s Law Safe Truck Parking and Focus Group Presentation has thus far received over 15,000 views via Hope’s Slideshare presentation. The lady who fought endlessly for safe truck parking funding, continues to do the work of Congress.

Most recently, professional trucker, Desiree Wood, founder of Real Women in Trucking, includes in her reporting that as Congress went home over the 4th of July holiday, the funds which have been legally set aside for Federal Transportation money will begin to “dry up” within a matter of weeks. The news links to Washington Post reporter, Ashley Halsey III July 2nd report: Countdown to a shutdown of federal transportation funding.

To the wife and family of Michael Boeglin, truckers across social media outlets send their condolences, yet nobody more than Hope Rivenburg can understand the pain they are going through. Through the Jason’s Law Facebook page, Hope once again raises her voice in standing up for the right of truckers to have a safe place to park while they continue in their efforts to keep America moving:

“I have to vent and no it will not be politically correct!! A few weeks ago all we got to hear from all the political big wigs, and “powerful people” on all the major news outlets how HOS need to be tightened due to the semi hitting a limo which had a “star” in it. Really tightening more stupid rules is not going to solve the problem. Let’s use some common sense if the trucks don’t have a place to park how are they going to obeyed by these “rules?”

“Most of us have heard about the senseless murder of driver Mike Boeglin (which if anyone did research is the 4th murder done this way in the past 30 days in Detroit). But you don’t see any of the people or media stations that was calling for stricter HOS saying anything about how we need to get shippers and receivers’ to let drivers park on the property, or just simply proved these men and women with safe parking. What a concept. Might make it so these drivers have less fatigue, and actually can obeyed by the HOS and return home safely to their loved one.”

“I am sure most of these “powerful” people live in up scale neighborhoods, so they don’t have to worry about criminal activity. I wonder how they would “rest” if they knew prostitution, drug deals, and murders were happening outside their homes while they were “resting”? Wake up people EVERYONE no matter what their social status had SOMEONE that love them. Everyone’s life is just as important as the next persons.”

“Mr. Schumer seeing you were one of the people calling for tougher HOS’s how about you help get implanted a bill you introduced back in 2009 like Congressman Tonko is trying to.”

“To the family of Mr. Boeglin I am so very sorry for your loss. I am sorry your child will grow up only knowing their father from stories. I am sorry a very happy time in your life has been darkened with sadness.”

Since 2012, when Jason’s Law was passed, the House and Senate continues to ignore the serious impact of the lack of safe truck parking across the country. Not only are they allowing the funds to dwindle away into obscurity, but they choose to sit idly by while our nation’s drivers like Jason Rivenburg and Michael Boeglin and others who’s names will never be known, are murdered.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags:, hope rivenburg, Jason’s law- H.R.2156 S971, MAP 21, Michael Boeglin, truck parking

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

The Absolute Cure for Driver Fatigue

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Truck Driver Fatigue

Truck Driver Fatigue

With the most recent FMCSA mandated 30-minute break requirement for Class A CDL drivers, the continual attempt to control truck driver fatigue is ongoing.

Although one fatal crash is too many, studies by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has shown that only 1.4% of fatal truck accidents were the result of fatigue.

Safety groups continue to push an exaggerated 30% figure into the mainstream media which is seen as truth by the misinformed general public.

Constantly pushing for and implementing additional regulations to combat truck driver fatigue will continue to prove unsuccessful as an industry attempts to establish a one cure-all solution for a group consisting of millions of “individuals.”

The ultimate responsibility in managing fatigue is up to the individual driver and once brought to the attention of the dispatcher, the proper action must be taken to correct the problem. All too often the driver is told by dispatch to: “Roll down your window to get some fresh air,” “Drink a lot of coffee,” “Turn your radio on,” “Get out and walk around your truck,” or “Splash some water on your face.”

Although these dispatching professionals may consider these options as “words of wisdom,” none of these will have any direct or long-lasting effect in combating truck driver fatigue. In fact, they will have no lasting effect on fatigue, period and most often they will assist in making matters worse.

A driver experiencing fatigue could run around the truck 30 times while drinking 5 gallons of coffee and dumping a barrel of ice-cold water over their head in below-zero temps and 20 miles down the road be falling asleep at the wheel. As one comes to understand true human fatigue, eventually, the body will make you shut down.

No matter the little “tricks” we use or the number of regulations placed on professional drivers, in the end, fatigue will always win. Not even a 30-minute break will fight off human fatigue. To actually overcome driver fatigue, the proper step has to be taken by the individual and accepted by dispatchers and all others who play an active role in driver safety.

The only absolute cure for driver fatigue is sleep.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: 30 minute break, dispatch, driver fatigue, fatigue, FMCSA, regulaitons, Safety, sleep, truck driver

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Industry at Sea Event To Promote Trucking Partnerships

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Industry at Sea

Industry at Sea

Hosted by the Small Business in Transportation Coalition, (“SBTC”), 2014 will mark the 2nd year for the Industry at Sea event which works to bring together trucking professionals from all areas of the industry including truck drivers, property brokers, freight forwarders and shippers, agents and motor carriers.

Designed to promote a “transparency” business model among all parties of the industry, the event, a three-day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, is sponsored by DOT Authority and 12PL, a property broker stating their mission as:

“To provide quality and affordable logistics services for shipper clients by formulating partnerships among the players in the supply chain through an ethical policy of transparency in transportation.”

Transparency, ethical business practices and an overall trust-respect partnership between all parties of the industry is something that Truth About Trucking, LLC and this blog has been promoting since its inception in 2000. It was our main theme behind the Truck Driver Social Media Convention as well.

In order to build a lasting, professional business relation among drivers, brokers, carriers, shippers and all parties involved, action must be taken by each individual group. At some point, the “constant rhetoric and arguing” must stop and the “action” to be taken is meeting, sharing and networking together as a “team” with all working together toward the same goal: a successful career for all.

I recently had the opportunity to correspond with a planned attendee of the event, Tim Taylor, Executive Chairman of Network FOB, a leader in logistics and freight forwarding. The following is an article by Mr. Taylor which for me, establishes the mindset which all in the industry should be focusing upon. It is a great example of the caliber of people who will be attending the Industry at Sea conference:

Donna and I have already booked our cabin and are attending the Industry at Sea event in September. We look forward to discussing important driver issues with all attendees, including a tentatively scheduled guest from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

To join the event, please visit: and we look forward to meeting everyone there.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: brokers, event, FMCSA, freight forwarders, Industry at Sea, motor carriers, NetworkFOB, shippers, Small Business in Transportation Coalition, Tim Taylor, truck drivers, Trucking

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

How to Submit Comments to FMCSA

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Many times drivers want to be a part of the Rule Making Process of the FMCSA or be a part of the public comments of the FMCSA ‘s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) however, they are intimidated by the process.  It can appear to be an overwhelming process and many are tempted to throw their arms up and say something like, ” What difference will it make?”  I can assure you however, you do make a difference.

Although public comments are allowed at the actual meeting itself, truckers find difficulty being able to attend the meetings in person either because of their work schedule or the inability to easily park in the meeting location near DC ( Arlington, VA)

Below is a video showing how to submit comments online to FMCSA’s MCSAC committee.
MCSAC is charged with providing advice and recommendations to the FMCSA Administrator on motor carrier safety programs and motor carrier safety regulations


VIDEO 2 This website contains valuable information for those concerned about the rule making process of the FMCSA

Included on the site:
What can I find on this site?
How do I find a rule?
How do I submit a comment?
How do I find my comment?
Do my comments make a difference?

Submit your comments on proposed regulations and related documents published by the U.S. Federal government. You can also use this site to search and review original regulatory documents as well as comments submitted by others.

Want to know more about regulations? Regulations 49 CFR Parts 300-399

Watch the video below to aid in the process of “How to submit comments to the FMCSA”


Audio Version of “How to Make Comments to FMCSA”

During the time the FMCSA was taking comments on our current Hours of Service, the Truckers For A Cause Group hosted an educational conference call with Jim Hill, the former Secretary of the FMCSA and Joe Rajkovacz, who at that time was working with OOIDA, to discuss the most effective methods of making comments to the FMCSA. Although some of the content will be outdated, the principles remain the same.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: Federal Motor Carrier Administration, FMCSA, how to make comments, MCSAC, motor carrier safety advisory committee, Trucking

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog