Archive for July, 2013

Do you love your doc??

By Jena Williams

You may have heard the buzz about changes to DOT physicals, but there are a few topics that you might want to prepare for:

  • Is your favorite or company physician registered? If not, he or she will not be able to certify your drivers. It’s worth the time to make the call or check the registry to make sure. The link to the national registry with information on testing and training site is here:
  • Also, keep in mind that DOT physicals are generally not covered by insurance. So plan to pay at the time of service.
  • And finally, have your drivers all self-certified?  All CDL holders must self-certify in person between January 30, 2012 and January 30, 2014 at your local drivers’ licensing office. This must be done in person.

National registry of certified medical examiners:

Have you certified? Medical certificates and self-certification:

Day with the Winners

By Jena Williams


Safety Professional of the Year* – Jill Snyder – Premier Transport Inc.

Friday, July 12, a special awards ceremony occurred at Cheney Stadium just before the Tacoma Rainiers Game. Although, the Rainiers may have lost to Reno 4-1, to us the real winners were the Safe Drivers and Safe Fleets represented there.

Washington is blessed with so many wonderful companies and safe drivers, but the top for 2013 were recognized for having outstanding safety records.

The Washington State Patrol handles the judging based on several factors including the driver’s nomination form, letters of support from outside the company, Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) violations, accident history, and Safety Net (an enforcement tool.)

The companies are determined based on nomination, CSA scores, Inspection Selection System (ISS) scores, accident history per million miles, Safety Net, and specialty.

Awards were presented by Assistant Chief Mike DePalma of the Commerical Vehicle Enforcement Bureau of the Washington State Patrol and Jack Morris, Senior Safety Representative for Great West Casualty Co.

Safe Drivers 


Movers Conference – Russel Wilson – Lile International.


Common Carier Conference – Richard Walsh – Interstate Distributor Co.


Private Carrier Conference – Jeffrey Maas – The Boeing Co.

Safe Fleets   


Private Carrier Conference – The Boeing Co.



Grand Champion (carrier with best overall score) AND Common Carrier under 5 million mile – Associated Petroleum Products



Log Truck Conference – McKay and Son LLC.



Common Carrier over 5 million miles – Gordon Trucking Inc.

*The Safety Professional of the Year is nominated by colleagues in the industry and is selected by an independent committee, not affiliated with the Washington Trucking Associations.

Washington State Patrol Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau:


The results are in!

By Jena Williams

Washington Trucking Associations’ Truck Driving Championships and Step Van Driving Championships were held on June 22, 2013. The nine winners from Washington will go on to compete in the National Championships held August 20-24 in Salt Lake City, UT.

In this photo, Jeffrey Maas representing The Boeing Co. is named Grand Champion. He also took first place in Flatbed. Award presented By Scott Manthey.

Special Awards
Rookie of the year: Derrick Daniels, Conway Freight

Pre-trip award: Gary Bolen, The Boeing Company

Harry Fletcher Award: Mike Dickerson, URM

Grand Champion: Jeff Maas, The Boeing Co.

The drivers photographed below took first place and will represent us at the National Competition. Awards presented by Scott Manthey.

Robert Hinds, FedEx Ground. First Place, Step Van.

Cesar Santana, Conway Freight, First Place, Straight Truck.

Mike Mygatt, The Boeing Co. First Place, 3-axle.

Gary Bolen, The Boeing Co., First Place, 4-axle and Pre-trip.

Robert Ness, Safeway. First Place, 5-axle.

Gary Nickel, The Boeing Co. First Place, Tanker.

Robert Yun, The Boeing Co. First Place, Sleeper.

Josh Jenkins, Peninsula Truck Lines, First Place, Twins.

Our second place winners!

3-Axle, David Alcaraz, Conway Freight

4-Axle, John Hnatishin, The Boeing Co.

5-Axle, John Friedges, Old Dominion Freight

Flatbed, Jacen Davidson, FedEx Freight

Sleeper, Edwin Jeffries, Safeway

Straight Truck, Christoffer Hemming, FedEx Freight

Tanker, Christopher Bates, Washington Closure

Twins, Richard Colton, The Boeing Co.

Step Van, Bradley Swensen, FedEx Ground

Our third place winners!

3-Axle, Timothy Davis, Peninsula Truck Lines

4-Axle, Derrek Daniels, Conway Freight

5-Axle, John Shmoorrkoff, Mondelez International

Flatbed, Derek Scovell, Carlile Transportation

Sleeper, Les Fox, Wal-Mart

Straight Truck, Jason Falk, Conway Freight

Tanker, Matthew Bertash, UPS

Twins, Danny Davidson, ABF Freight System

Step Van, Paul Patterson, The Boeing Company

Congratulations to all our winners. It took a lot to get you to this event. You are some of the safest drivers out there and we really appreciate your hard work!!

Special thanks goes out to The Boeing Company Boeing, for providing the facilities, Safeway for providing breakfast, and Unified Grocers for providing lunch.

More info about the National Competition:

See you all next year!

A great big American thank you!!

By Jena Williams

Perfect timing! As we celebrate our nation’s Independence Day, I’d like to thank all the veterans, soldiers and sailors out there that protect us and guarantee our freedom. Almost 240 years ago, patriots took the first steps, risking and giving their lives for freedom, while today’s servicemen and women fight to protect and keep us free.

Do you have career plans when you return to civilian life? Consider becoming a truck driver! You’ve already got the skill set, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has made it possible for you to jump past some of the red tape.

On July 3, 2013, almost $1 million in grant money was awarded to truck driving schools to retrain veterans and military families to become truck drivers, AND one of the recipient colleges is located in Aberdeen, Washington.

Your country still needs you. Consider a career as a professional truck driver!

For more information on the grants:

More information on Grays Harbor College CDL program:

When is maintenance really necessary?

By Jena Williams

I know I’ll hear agonized groaning when I say this but here goes – A company’s decision to invest in routine maintenance often falls into the same category as their injury prevention program. What category is that? I’ll call it the back burner category. It’s on the radar, but a low priority. Often, it is considered a cost with no real added benefit.

You might argue that you keep your tractors in great shape and I’ll agree with you there. But after speaking with many, many injured workers, I’m coming to realize that maintenance of trailers, dock plates, lift gates, pallet jacks and other essentials of the job are getting a back burner with many companies.

I’m not here to judge or blame. I know companies operate under a very low profit margin, and that resources are limited. I do get that, but I also see the devastation caused when people are injured by a piece of equipment that hasn’t been maintained. Rolling doors on trailers barely close and have to be forced, dock plates that don’t operate properly risking fingers, forcing pallet jacks injure backs.

If you’ve never been injured, it’s hard to imagine what it is like, but it ends up costing the worker for years to come in pain and suffering and reduced lifetime wages. It costs the employer in not meeting deadlines for delivery, in workers’ compensation, in retraining and/or light duty and especially in reputation. Preventing the injury in the first place will impact your bottom line positively.

Often, equipment isn’t maintained because it seems more like community property than personal property. Trailers are interchangeable. They seem to belong to everyone and are the responsibility of no one. If your driver is using it, then make it your business to know what shape it’s in. Ask drivers to report damaged equipment.

Injury prevention is worth the investment. Routine maintenance of non-tractor equipment is also worth the investment. The old adage “a stitch in time saves nine,” a sewing reference to repairing clothing while the tear is small before it becomes a major job, still applies. Develop a reporting and tag out policy for equipment. Make sure it is being used and not ignored. Have penalties for workers who put equipment back into service before it’s been fixed. (And yes, it happens all the time.)

I imagine this post will evoke some strong responses. Positive or negative, I’d like to hear your comments.

Who can tell me what’s wrong in the photo above? (There is a prize for the first person with the right answer.)