Archive for July, 2014

Preventing and treating heat exhaustion

By Jena Williams


As high temperatures continue, it’s important to stay vigilant in preventing and treating heat-related illness. Since truck drivers generally work alone and their health can affect others on the road, it’s important that they keep hydrated by drinking non-caffeinated beverages throughout the day.

Sip water frequently because by the time you feel thirsty, you are already somewhat dehydrated.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you may already be experiencing heat exhaustion:

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:

  • Muscle cramping
  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

What You Should Do:

  • Move to a cooler location.
  • Call someone to let them know the situation.
  • Lie down and loosen your clothing.
  • Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.
  • Sip water.
  • If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.

If not treated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke which is life threatening.

Most importantly, don’t keep working your shift until you get your symptoms under control. Your safety is more important than your delivery. If your symptoms don’t subside call 911.

Source: CDC

We are saddened to report the loss of another Washington truck driver

By Jena Williams

Wayne Eldon Hostetler, 61, of Port Angeles died on Monday morning when his tractor-trailer left Highway 104 and hit several trees. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

More information:

How’s your hazard assessment coming along?

By Jena Williams


We’re in the full swing of the moving season which is generally defined by long hours and often temporary or new workers. Therefore, it’s especially important to take extra time to review potential safety hazards.

Last year we published Setting up a hazard free job including team carry strategies for the Moving and Storage sectors. It includes a sample Hazard Assessment Sheet to document hazards and solutions and confirm the team is aware of them.

Have you used the guide and did you find it helpful? If this is the first you’ve heard of it then please feel free to implement it right away. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Link to setting up a hazard free job:

Link to tool box safety training for movers:

Company president shares the pain of losing an employee to an on-the-job fatality

By Jena Williams

Lonnie “Homie” Olsen. Photo provided by Kathy Olsen and Tacoma Motorfreight Service from their celebration of his life.

Lonnie “Homie” Olsen. Photo provided by Kathy Olsen and Tacoma Motorfreight Service from their celebration of his life.

Lonnie “Homie” Olsen was a star employee who always put his customers first, and his customers loved him for it. Homie would joke that president Marty Johnson might own the company, but that he “Homie” was the CEO. He was a fast, efficient worker and a fun-loving practical joker who loved his job and his family. Homie had been with Tacoma Motorfreight Service (TMS) for 10 years when tragedy struck.

Marty shares that TMS is a family owned company that has never had even a crippling injury in their 100 years of service. That is until February 21 when he received the horrifying phone call.

Marty still can’t believe that it happened at all, much less to Homie. Homie was so good at his job that he was often the one to train new workers. He valued his customers so much that when the company gave Seahawks tickets out to the employees, year after year, Homie would take a different customer from his route. His customers were everything to him.

But something happened on that Friday night. Speculation runs that as he was hurrying to get home on the last day of the week, he noticed that he had left the landing gear down and in his haste forgot to set the parking brake when he went to crank it up. Without the parking brake, the slight grade was all it took for the truck to shift and roll. He was trapped between two trailers and killed instantly.

A co-worker, who was a former police officer, was the one who found him. He heard the music coming from Homie’s truck, saw the door open and in his gut, he knew something was wrong. Being a truck driver, the first thing he did was set the parking brake before he went back to find his friend and confirm that it was too late.

A few minutes later, Marty Johnson received the call that something had gone terribly wrong. As he rushed to the scene, he thought of Homie’s wife Kathy, who was also an employee of the company. What would he tell her? What would he tell the other employees? Theirs was a small, tight-knit company of 25. This would impact everyone.

Marty remembers the commotion of the scene and working with the local authorities to get someone to Homie’s house to tell his wife Kathy. As the minutes ticked into hours, he shared how he regretted not driving immediately to their home to give Kathy the news. It took the authorities too long as they lived outside the local jurisdiction. Finally the call came in on his cellphone. It was Kathy. She wanted to know why her husband hadn’t come home and hadn’t called and why no one was telling her anything. Marty still regrets breaking the terrible news over the phone.

He and other managers made call after call that weekend, delivering the news to each employee. Marty confided that he couldn’t bear the thought of sharing the news on Monday morning with the expectation that drivers would need to work all day after receiving it. Their company is a family and he knew they’d need time.

As Marty tells the story, you realize for him, there will never be enough time.


People make mistakes, but this is a good opportunity to remind your workers to always set their parking brakes. Here is a poster that you can print and hang to help as well:

Also use chocks when parked on an incline. Since a slight incline may be hard to detect, a best practice is to always use chocks.

And the winners of the WTAs’ Truck Driving Championships are…

By Jena Williams

I might be biased, but I kinda think we have the best drivers here in Washington, but since we can only send 9 to the National Competition, we have to find some method to skim the cream off the top.

June 21st was the the Washington Trucking Associations’ Truck Driving Championships and it was a beautiful day to go out and cheer for your favorite driver.

The top driver in each category will proceed to the National Truck Driving Championships to be held August 12-16, 2014 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Have you waited long enough for the results? The first place winners that will proceed to the nationals are:

First place winners

First place winners

Rick Colton, The Boeing Co., Twin Trailers

Gary Nickell, The Boeing Co., Tank Truck

Michael Mygatt, The Boeing Co., 3-Axle Van

Robert Hinds, FedEx, Step Van

Roy Garcia, Peninsula Truck Lines, Inc., 4-Axle Van

Lisa Bry, The Boeing Co., Straight Truck

Gary Bolen, The Boeing Co., 5-Axle Van

Jeffrey Maas, The Boeing Co., Flatbed

Not shown: Russell Miller, Safeway, Sleeper Berth


Second place winners

Second place winners

Chris Bates, Washington Closure Hanford, Tank Truck

Richard Corpinen, FedEx Ground, Step Van

Tracy Puthoff, The Odom Corporation, Straight Truck

Joshua Freidges, Old Dominion Freight Line, 5-Axle Van

Peter Lugar, The Boeing Co., 4-Axle Van

Paul Diavolkis, Walmart Transportation, Sleeper Berth

Tim Davis, Peninsula Truck Lines, 3-Axle Van

Josh Jenkins, Peninsula Truck Lines, Twin Trailers

Not shown: Jamie Dearn, Con-way, Flatbed


Third place winners

Third place winners

Joseph Grillo, Safeway, 5-Axle Van

Lindsey Garberg, FedEx Express, Step Van

John Pino, Brown Line, Sleeper Berth

Edwin Jweffeis, Safeway, Flatbed

Johnny Malone, Safeway, Twin Trailers

John Hanatishin, The Boeing Co., 4-Axle Van

Bill Franklin, Carlile Transportation Systems, Tank Truck

Gabe Jones, Safeway, 3-Axle Van

Not shown: Caesar Santana, Con-way, Straight Truck


Lisa Bry

Lisa Bry

The Grand Champion this year is Lisa Bry of The Boeing Co.


Tracy Puthoff

Tracy Puthoff

Rookie of the Year is Tracy Puthoff of Odom Corporation.


Congratulations to all the winners!

More information on the National event: