Arkansas Trucking Association

When the Truck Garage Meets the Arcade

A new video game (named TMCSuperTech: The Game) by Design Interactive will offer players a chance to test their technician skills using augmented reality technology.

Design Interactive’s product is a game for Android or Apple phones and tablets that models the Technology & Maintenance Council’s National Technician Skills Competition (or TMCSuperTech), the annual two-day skills for professional commercial vehicle technicians that includes hands-on challenges that real technicians face every day. Using AR technology, vehicles navigate a fictional city with fleets of moving trucks that require virtual service. Players execute tasks inspired by TMCSuperTech events, and points are awarded or deducted for the time trucks are repaired and for the longer they remain in service.

Read more: When the Truck Garage Meets the Arcade

The Chinese and Millenials are Most Eager for Self-Driving Cars

Consumer preference for self-driving cars is set to double within the next five years, according to a new study from the Capgemini Research Institute. The report, “The Autonomous Car: A Consumer Perspective,” found the Chinese and millennials are two demographic groups that report feeling the most positive anticipation for a future with self-driving vehicles.

In a global survey of 5,000 people, researchers found that over half (53 percent) Chinese respondents described their feelings toward autonomous vehicles as positive and 12 percent reported negative feelings. While the respondents in the United States and United Kingdom had more mixed feelings (33 percent and 35 percent respectively).

Read more: The Chinese and Millenials are Most Eager for Self-Driving Cars

FMCSA Pilot begins Recruiting Young Military Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s pilot program for 18-21-year-old military truck drivers is now accepting its first applications. Approved younger drivers with the military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license will be able to operate across state lines if they are sponsored or hired by a participating fleet.

Currently, drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 are forbidden from operating interstate, but can operate intrastate. The pilot program will serve two groups: military veterans or reservists who are transitioning back to civilian life and the trucking industry that faces a shortage of qualified drivers.

Read more: FMCSA Pilot begins Recruiting Young Military Drivers

The Robots are also Recruiting Drivers

Autonomous trucking start-up Starsky Robotics is recruiting truck drivers to remotely operate commercial trucks in addition to the company’s 36 trucks that are driven by humans.

“Driving trucks is extremely tough and so is finding the right drivers to be a part of this unique opportunity,” says Starsky Robotics Founder and CEO Stefan Seltz-Axmacher. “We’re able to get to know our drivers over the course of a few months to see if they have what it takes to advance into being a safety driver and eventually into a tele-op driver.”

Read more: The Robots are also Recruiting Drivers

USDA Clarifies Confusing Hemp Transport Laws

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s General Counsel Stephen Vaden issued a memo in May clarifying that the hemp can be transported over state lines according to new provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Hemp and its seeds are no longer schedule 1 controlled substances, according to the Farm Bill, and while states and tribes can regulate hemp in their own jurisdictions, they will not be able to stop in from legally being produced in another jurisdiction and transported.

Industrial grade hemp is becoming an increasingly sought-after raw material for a growing array of industrial and consumer goods, including increasingly popular CBD oils, which are used for health purposes by many Americans. Hemp and marijuana are both types of the cannabis plant. But unlike marijuana, hemp does not contain enough THC chemicals to produce the “high.”

Read more: USDA Clarifies Confusing Hemp Transport Laws

Grand Champions Announced for State Trucking Championship

2019 Arkansas Trucking Championship Winner

The Arkansas Trucking Association proudly announces the winners of the 2019 Arkansas Trucking Championship. The best technicians and truck drivers in the state gathered July 11–13, 2019 at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, Ark. to compete in the Arkansas Trucking Championship, hosted by the Arkansas Trucking Association.

Dave Hall of ABF Freight was named the Grand Champion of the Truck Driving Championship, the Trailer Technician Champion is Steven Frye of Walmart Transportation, and the Truck Technician Grand Champion is Larry Coatney of FedEx Freight.

Read more: Grand Champions Announced for State Trucking Championship

American Trucking Associations Rebuts BOL Statistics' Denial that there is No Driver Shortage

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a working paper in March that refuted the trucking industry’s claim that it is experiencing a driver shortage despite rising wages, American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello criticized the paper and its findings.

In the Bureau’s piece, “Is the U.S. labor market for truck drivers broken?”,  authors Stephen Burks and Kristen Monaco conclude that, contrary to industry and media statements, the trucking labor market is consistent with other blue-collar occupations and while for-hire over-the-road drivers experience high turnover rates, the labor supply is not exceeded by demand.

“Unfortunately in their article Mr. Burks and Ms. Monaco demonstrated some basic misunderstandings about the trucking industry generally and how we at ATA and in the industry discuss the driver shortage,” said Costello.

Read more: American Trucking Associations Rebuts BOL Statistics' Denial that there is No Driver Shortage

DOL Revives Obama Administration's Overtime Pay Expansion with Revisions

In March, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a proposal to extend mandatory overtime pay to 1.3 million more workers after Obama administration rule that would have extended pay for 4 million workers was struck down by a federal judge.

The current rule states that workers who earn less than $23,660 a year (a threshold set in 2004) are eligible for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. In May 2016, the Labor Department under Pres. Obama doubled that maximum salary to about $47,000. However, in late Nov. 2016, just before the rule was set to take effect, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the increase was too high and would have included employees in management, supervisory, and other high responsibility roles that have been exempted from overtime pay rules.

Read more: DOL Revives Obama Administration's Overtime Pay Expansion with Revisions

Kenneth Calhoun named TMC Chairman

American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council announced that Kenneth Calhoun, fleet optimization manager at Altec Service Group,has been elected 2019-2020 general chairman and treasurer during the organization’s annual meeting.

“Kenneth has been a model TMC member and an example of the type of professional standard our council strives to set. I’m pleased to see him elected as TMC general chairman and treasurer,” said Robert Braswell, TMC executive director. “His passion for finding better ways to analyze maintenance data and develop our next generation workforce is well known and a great asset to the Council.”

Read more: Kenneth Calhoun named TMC Chairman

Arkansan Recognized with Silver Spark Plug Award

Larry Rambeaux, sales manager at Purkeys, a battery solutions company located in Lowell, Ark., was chosen this year for the Silver Spark Plug award by the Technology Maintenance Council (TMC).

“The Silver Spark Plug is our industry’s highest honor, recognizing professional excellence in commercial vehicle maintenance,” said Robert Braswell, TMC’s executive director. “This year’s winners represent the pinnacle of our industry and we are pleased to bestow this honor on them.”

Read more: Arkansan Recognized with Silver Spark Plug Award

ATA Names New Director of Safety Services

Skylar Hatfield has been named the director of safety services of the Arkansas Trucking Association, a role partially supported by funds from the Arkansas Commercial Truck Safety and Education Program (ACTSEP) to promote safety on Arkansas roadways, awarded by the Arkansas Highway Commission.

Hatfield will serve as a liaison with the FMCSA, Arkansas Highway Police, OSHA and other regulatory bodies.

Read more: ATA Names New Director of Safety Services

Louisiana Proposes Legislation to Regulate Roadside Billboards, Trucking Industry Supports the Move

Louisiana legislators debated a bill to cap the number of billboards in the state and regulate where they can be displayed to minimize distraction for drivers.

Rep. Jack McFarland proposed a resolution to increase licensing fees, double the amount of space required between billboards, prevent any new billboard construction, and ban a company from billboard advertising more than 3 miles from its place of business.

“It’s just gotten out of hand,” McFarland said. “You can’t go down a highway, state highway, or any of the interstates now without seeing a billboard every 500 feet.”

Read more: Louisiana Proposes Legislation to Regulate Roadside Billboards, Trucking Industry Supports the Move

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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