Thursday, March 29, 2012

Holland Driver Don Quist Named Michigan Driver of the Month

Holland is proud to announce that professional driver Don Quist has recently received the Driver of the Month Award from the Michigan Trucking Association. This is the second time the 24-year Holland veteran has received driver of the month honors.

"I congratulate Don for putting safety first in his work. His safety record reflects his commitment to protecting himself and the people around him. Holland employees understand our responsibility to the general public as well as to each other. Safety ensures our employees go home to their families after every shift. We are also a better transportation provider because of employees like Don. Every mile our drivers safely travel increases the value Holland brings to our customers," said Holland President Mike Naatz.

Don's safety achievements were integral in Holland securing the Great West Safety Award for outstanding achievement in highway safety from the Michigan Trucking Association. As winners in the general commodities category, Holland professional drivers in Michigan logged an astounding total of 21 million miles with the safest record in the region.

In addition to multiple accolades from the Michigan Trucking Association, Don has reached the elite safety milestone of driving 2.8 million consecutive miles without a preventable accident.

Based at the Holland facility in Grand Rapids, Mich., Don's ever-changing routes take him all over the Midwest from South Bend, Ind., to St. Louis, Mo., and everywhere in between.

When asked how he maintains such high levels of safety, Don stated that awareness is key: "You need to be aware of your vehicle and the others around you. Be patient, and stay alert."

Is a YRC Worldwide Turnaround In Sight?

YRC Worldwide has been on the financial operating table for nearly half a decade now, and is currently trading at its 52-week low.

Like any such emergency patient, the nation's second-largest trucking firm has lost a lot of financial blood.  It's one-half the size it once was. It nearly perished twice, in 2009 and again last year. Needless to say its financials are a horror show. How about losing $409 million last year on revenues of $4.87 billion. Ouch.

Yet there is hope. CEO James L. Welch, who has been on the job just nine months, knows the company well having started with it in 1978 when it was called Yellow Transportation, and he's been busy chopping down big expenses. Over the last several months, the company has gotten out of China, gotten out of overnight delivery and has been dumping a number of c-level executives who are no longer needed.

Despite this, Welch is not out of the woods. YRCW is expected to lose another $68.9 million this quarter, Credit Default Swaps (CDS) taken out on the company show an 87% chance of default, and Goldman Sachs, which was credited by former CEO Bill Zollars with helping it stay solvent last year before he left, is no longer making a market. Even its auditor has expressed "substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue."  Full Story........

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Teamsters highlight contradictions in Mexican trucks case

The Teamsters have apparently caught the Obama Transportation Department in several contradictions in the two sides' continuing fight over the agency's pilot program to let selected Mexican trucks roll on all U.S. roads.

For example, the union's legal brief filed with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C., says the agency admits the pilot program will produce between 2,800 and 4,100 inspections every year of the Mexican trucks, and it admits those trucks also do not meet U.S. environmental rules.

Yet at the same time, the government argues that the extra pollution from the Mexican trucks will have no impact on U.S. pollution - or U.S. truck drivers who, more than other drivers, are exposed to hazardous fumes on the roads.

The brief, filed last month, is part of the union's long battle with the government over letting trucks from selected Mexican companies roll on all U.S. roads. NAFTA, the controversial U.S.-Mexico-Canada "free trade" treaty, said any Mexican truck could roam anywhere in the U.S.  Full Story........


Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today said the House of Representatives should stop stalling and pass the Senate’s surface transportation bill. The House is considering a 60-day extension.

“We need more than another eight weeks of uncertainty about our long-term transportation needs,” Hoffa said. “The American people don’t need more deadlock in Congress, they need good jobs. We need to rebuild and repair our roads and bridges, and we need to do it with American workers and American materials.”

The House remains deadlocked while the Senate recently passed a surface transportation bill by a vote of 74-22. The Senate bill, which is fully paid for, maintains current funding for highways and public transportation, consolidates two-thirds of all highway programs, eliminates earmarks, establishes a national freight program and improves safety. The House bill rolls back safety and worker health protections.

Unless Congress passes another extension by Friday night, the current surface transportation program expires, putting 3 million jobs at risk.

“Passing the Senate bill will help speed our economic recovery, improve safety and create 3 million jobs that American workers desperately need,” Hoffa said.

“America’s working families deserve better than obstructionist politicians who ignore their needs,” Hoffa said. “Members of Congress need to come together and work to solve our country problems, including unacceptable levels of unemployment and failing infrastructure.”

Officers and UPS driver roust families from burning Baldwinsville building

A UPS driver, two Baldwinsville police officers and two Onondaga County deputies rousted eight families out of a burning apartment building Monday night.

Darryl Cooper, a UPS Freight driver, said he was driving home from work on Oswego Street at around 11 p.m. when he saw smoke in the area.

He said at first he thought it was someone burning leaves.

"Then “I happened to be coming up over the hill when I saw flames start going through the roof,” Cooper said Tuesday afternoon.

Cooper said he pulled into the Town Square Apartments complex at 116 Oswego St. and began knocking on the doors of apartments in the building that was on fire.

He found a woman in the hallway. “I don’t think she realized the fire had spread as much as it had,” said Cooper, 40, of Lysander.

He and the woman began knocking on doors, Cooper said.  Full Story.......