Archive for August, 2012

Who’s going to bring it?

By Jena Williams

The news still abounds with articles lamenting the lack of long-haul drivers. At a time of high unemployment, how can the industry convince quality workers to invest in truck driving as a career? And we all know it is an investment to pay for the education required to obtain a CDL. We all share this quandary. Is there anything we can do as an industry to entice future drivers? What are you doing to fill the ranks?

Article on trucking jobs:

Get up, work hard and learn to be better!

Doug Stiffarm

By Jena Williams

So says Doug Stiffarm, this year’s winner of the Safety Professional of the Year award at the Washington Trucking Associations’ Day with the Winners.

As a second generation truck driver and a 27-year employee of Miles Resources (formerly Woodworth & Co.), Doug has worked his way up through the ranks and understands the concerns of employees at all levels. After working as driver, paving foreman, dispatcher, and purchasing manager, he applied for and accepted the challenge of a leadership role in safety in 2004. Doug believes doing your best, being respectful and accountable are especially important in the trucking industry.

When asked about his philosophy on safety, Doug said, “Safety is not an act or a rule. It is personal to each employee. I believe we all want to go home each night as healthy as we came to work.”  He has an open-door policy regarding safety, “God gave us two ears for a reason – we need to listen 50 percent more than we talk. You will be amazed how much you can learn.”

Doug teaches his new employees to never to be in a hurry, never second guess yourself, and always trust your gut as it is usually right. He also tells them to listen to the senior drivers because they have seen and experienced it all.

“You drive a rolling billboard and your actions, both good and bad, will reflect on your company’s success and failures,” he says.

When new federal or state legislation changes a policy or practice, Doug takes the time to explain and educate employees. He says it can be a challenge to get experienced employees to change a routine practice that they have never been hurt doing, but open communication and thorough training makes buy-in easier.

Doug is modest about his win, crediting all safety professionals for their efforts to keep trucking industry workers safe.

“I come to work each day to learn how to be better. I am successful at safety not because of me personally, but because of the people who work safely each day.”

The Safety Professional of the Year award is presented to the safety professional whose company and colleagues believe that he or she has made an impact on safety in their company and in the industry. The individual must have a passion for safety that is shown by their dedication and ethics.

SHIFT into Health Gear

By Jena Williams

Several Washington trucking companies are currently participating in the SHIFT study. In the picture is Dr. Ryan Olson (principal investigator) and Kevin Bransford (graduate student in exercise physiology and research assistant) standing in front of the “RV of Science.”

SHIFT stands for “Safety & Health Involvement for Truckers, ” and it is focused on total worker health (eating, exercise, sleep, and safety). SHIFT is based at Oregon Health & Science University with funding from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

Since April of 2012, the RV of Science has been visiting trucking terminals on the I-5 corridor to enroll drivers. This study, which is projected to be the largest of its kind in U.S. history, plans to enroll 20 trucking terminals; 10 of those terminals will be enrolled by the end of 2012.

The main purpose of this five-year study is to learn how drivers manage their health and body weight over time. The project will also discover how stress and social support impact driver body weight and health.

So what’s in it for drivers?  At participating companies, each driver who volunteers will receive three free health assessments over an 18-month period.

Drivers are also paid for their time, get a SHIFT “swag bag,” and are entered into lottery drawings.  Based on random selection, some drivers also participate in a supplemental weight-loss competition and health-promotion program.

For more information and for public links to driver-health resources, please visit To participate in the SHIFT study, companies must operate at least two terminals with 50-100 drivers each.

While the majority of terminals have already been selected for the study, interested company leaders may contact Dr. Olson directly to discuss study requirements and opportunities at

Plan to meet us there…


By Jena Williams

TIRES will be at the first ever Truck Safety Clinic and Inspection at the Port of Seattle on Saturday, August 18th. Entrance to the event is free and it is hosted by the Port of Seattle, the Washington Trucking Associations and the Washington State Patrol.

This will be an excellent opportunity to make sure your truck is in top shape without being concerned about receiving a citation. At the same time, you can get some great safety training information for yourself or your company. TIRES will be there demonstrating our simulation training tools.

The Truck Safety Clinic and Inspection will have

  • Free inspections with no citations for violations. (Note: Out-of-Service violations must be repaired before leaving Terminal 25. Violations count toward CSA score.)
  • On-site repair services.

Additional information will include

  • Driver’s qualification file.
  • Accounting and bookkeeping.
  • Drug and alcohol testing.
  • Importance of daily vehicle inspections.
  • Federal Motor Carrier CSA review.
  • Tire maintenance and safety.
  • Port of Seattle RFID tags.

Bring with you

  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Medical card

We hope to see you there!


Terminal 25, Port of Seattle

3225 East Marginal Way South.

August 18th, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For more information contact

Mike Southards

Safety Director of the WTA