Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

July 22nd, 2014

Open Letter from company President, Joe Dagnese

As part of my onboarding at Con-way Truckload, I decided it would be best for me to learn what we do from the ground up by taking a truck trip. I set up the week to spend five or six days out on the road with Mr. Frank Merrill, one of our professional Driver Finishers. We had a mix of tough days with short miles, mechanical issues with our trailer, and axle weight distribution problems on an automotive parts load, but we powered through, logging a total of 2,327 miles – not bad for a rookie.

My experiences from the trip were humbling and helped validate the key areas we are working on to improve our company. We have to think differently about how we approach what we do, and how we do it. One of the most important things I realized was that engaging management with our driver workforce is critical.

I discovered, during a long conversation with Frank one night, that management and drivers don’t always communicate well with each other. For example, a question was posed by one of our drivers in a “Your Voice is Heard” call, which, although the senior management team answered the question, they didn’t really answer the true underlying question. It took Frank and I almost 30 minutes of back and forth to get at what was really being asked. We, the management of the company, need to take more time to truly understand what the driver issue or need is. I have asked our management team to ensure we are addressing the true root of the questions being asked. I would also ask that you, our professional driver, try to frame up questions as transparently as possible. If you see an improvement opportunity, state the problem and reason it is an issue. Of course, your suggestions and input as to how to address the problem are absolutely welcome. To submit a question or issue, email communications@conwaytruckload.com.

Frank and I also discussed the Smith Key Principles of Safety in detail as part of creating a safe driving environment, which is the foundation of our culture. What I found is that these same principles apply to how we need to think about transforming our company to make it stronger.

1. Aim high in your steering = Aim high in your goals for success.
2. Get the Big Picture = Every employee at Con-way Truckload should know how their job fits into achieving our company goals.
3. Keep your eyes moving = Have eyes for improvement to eliminate waste and inefficiencies. Do not accept “this is the way we have always done it” unless it is proven to be true.
4. Leave yourself an out = Our key focus priorities will change with the landscape of the market. It is imperative we stay ahead of what is happening around us.
5. Make sure they see you = Be a relevant company in our industry and with our customers.

I appreciated both Frank’s time and honesty. The trip opened my eyes to some important issues facing our drivers, company and industry and my purpose is to ensure that we continue grow stronger as a whole. I ask you all to share your thoughts and ideas to help us all improve. Thank you for your commitment to safety and to Con-way Truckload.

Stay safe out there,

Joe Dagnese
President, Con-way Truckload

April 15th, 2014

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so we wanted to take a moment to share some facts about distracted driving in the hopes of encouraging people to be as safe on the road as we know our drivers are. Together, we can help spread awareness and make the roads safer for everyone.

As you likely know, the most legislated and potentially dangerous distraction on the road is texting/having phone conversations while driving. It is estimated that at any given time during daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating some type of electronic devices while driving. Because texting requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most serious distraction.

Eating and drinking while driving comes in a close second behind phone use in terms of frequency as a distraction to drivers. Also on the list of potential accident-causing distractions are conversations with passengers, grooming (especially application of makeup), reading (including maps), using a navigation system, watching a video and adjusting a radio or audio player.

The statistics are sobering. In 2012, an estimated 421,000 people were killed or injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. Engaging in the visual – manual – cognitive tasks of operating a phone increases the risk of an accident three times. While texting, a driver’s eyes are off the road for an average of five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field, but blindfolded.

At Con-way Truckload, our number one priority is safety. We emphasize cooperative efforts to increase safety and efficiency, promote personal and professional safety standards and help educate the general public on the hazards posed by distracted driving. We are proud to note that our drivers are some of the safest on the road and we thank all of you for your commitment to safety.

Help us get the word out and make the roads a little safer for all drivers by talking to your friends and family about the dangers of distracted driving. After all, who better to discuss safe driving than professional truck drivers?

April 10th, 2014

As over the road drivers, it’s important to stay on top of industry and economic news that may affect your business as an Owner Operator and career as a company driver. The trucking industry is a constantly evolving its rules, regulations and technologies that can leave the uninformed driver in the lurch.

Among the topics of interest are financial and business advice, including updates on the latest technology, tips on taxes, insurance, fuel economy and budgeting.

Every trucker needs to keep abreast of current changes in highway rules and regulations. We’ve provided a few of our favorite news sources below provide up to the minute reports on a variety of legal issues pertaining to the industry including weight limits, truck classifications, fuel prices (and what is driving them), OSHA’s Motor Safety Report, emission standards and hours of service.

Interesting and informative discussions, tweets, blogs and articles furnish timely messages related to road conditions, weather advisories, health and wellness, job opportunities, advice on what to do in case of emergencies on the road; even the best places to eat. Check out some of the outstanding news sources for drivers below and let us know if you have any other recommended sources!

Road Dog on SiriusXM Satellite Radio (Sirius/Channel 128) is an excellent source of information to access while on the road. The hosts of the various programs are all experienced, industry experts who approach trucking not just as a business, but as a lifestyle and appreciate it for contributions made to American culture.

TheTruckersReport.com is the largest online trucking community in the country, connecting thousands throughout the trucking industry. You can also access them on Twitter at twitter.com/Truckersreport.

Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine contains award-winning articles on a vast number of issues affecting the industry. Check out their Facebook page or contact them at twitter.com/HDTrucking.

Finally, try Transport Topics or twitter.com/TransportTopics. Whichever venue you choose, you’ll stay up-to-date and informed on all aspects of our great industry. If you have a favorite news source, please share with us.

More news resources for drivers: