2015 Motor Carrier Trucking Summary
As another year in trucking slips into the history book, I would like to summarize 2015 in the context of NASTC’s ongoing development and, look behind the curtain on what lies ahead in 2016 and beyond.
It’s been another banner year for NASTC and our 27th consecutive year as a “positive growth company.” That is, one that grows by 20+ percent per annum.
Since 2010, we’ve doubled the number of companies we represent and currently have 6,168 members as of December 1, 2015.
Our Quality Plus Fuel Program continues to grow in every way, confirming the fact that our program is not only the largest program, but by far, the best. In 2015 (the last 12 months), we delivered an aggregate return of $103,026,003.32 in discounts, an annual average of 33.4 cents per gallon, and an average daily volume of 980,434 gallons. There is no doubt that QPN is our most dynamic success story in our quest to level the competitive playing field for our members.
Our drug and alcohol program continues to shine and expand. We administer this program for more than 2,000 companies, and we have less than 10 who have an issue with that BASIC in CSA. Our pricing usually represents a real dollar savings, we turn around tests in 24 hours 99% of the time, and we advocate strongly for on-site collections which reduces rejected specimens, chain-of-custody errors, and substituted urine on random tests, not to mention further cost savings. We also employ real and talented people who answer the phone when there is a question. In addition, this program is the cornerstone of a new department in NASTC called Driver Health and Wellness that will automatically include our drug testing companies in our Apnea Solution and provide an in-cab driver portfolio that will include a driver medical log, a prescription list, any apnea related information, and a copy of our Certified Medical Examiner Directory. There is no better time than January 1, 2016 for you to enroll in our Driver Health and Wellness Program. We will assist you in helping all your drivers deal with their responsibility to be cleared medically so they can continue to drive for you.
We have just completed our 7th year providing New Entrant Survival Training and to date have seen 2,525 people and 1,565 companies come through that process. Our data is indicating that our NEST graduates improve by 400-500% their chances not only of survival, but also success and growth. From this curriculum has sprung our Management and Safety Program (MSP), which is a proven and cost effective risk management protocol that improves safety numbers, driver retention, insurance losses, claims, and premium costs, and over time, will result in better paying freight opportunities, while also reducing operating ratios. The performance data shows that companies on MSP are twice as likely to have healthy CSA numbers as those of like size who are not on MSP. I think all NASTC member-companies, including our larger and more sophisticated carriers, should familiarize themselves with all the elements of MSP and consider including some of these elements a la carte in their existing safety programs.
Our five-year long relationship with The Dave Nemo Show on Sirius/XM radio, channel 146 every Monday from 9:00AM to 10:00AM, CST, has improved our creditability and name recognition in the industry. We reach several hundred thousand drivers each week through our NASTC sponsored program, “Safety, Compliance, and Common Sense.” Rick Gobbell and Jim Edwards join me as regulars on this driver-call-in show that allows us to stay very close to issues from the prospective of the most important individual in the logistical equation, the DRIVER.
It is absolutely true that there is strength in numbers. Every time we add a member or, an existing member goes on a NASTC program, we exponentially improve our advocacy pertinence and we quietly and sometimes, not so quietly, play a significant role in truck related issues, particularly as they relate to small carriers.
• We were one of 26 entities named to the committee that drew up the negotiated rule making on entry level driver training requirements.
• I was invited to represent the small trucking perspective at the Fall Commercial Carrier Journal Symposium on a Point- Counter-Point Presentation pitted against Lane Kidd who heads up the so called “Alliance.” Their sole purpose for existence is political in nature and there is little, if anything, on their agenda that NASTC agrees with. To say the least, it was a lively debate.
• Dr. Jim Edwards is full time with NASTC and represents our positions actively in the halls of Congress. We have played a significant role in conjunction with Henry Seaton, Rick Gobble and many others in finally getting CSA data out of public view (as of December 4th 2015), getting Congress to insist that the agency not make obstructive Sleep Apnea policy without a formal rule making, that onerous language concerning “interim hiring standards” in the highway bill was not included, that the 34-hour restart rule in The Hours of Service be restored to its original form until a study was performed that proved the changes would be beneficial to safety, and we, at least for the time being have slowed down the absurd movement to increase minimum insurance coverage levels. The next big challenge is to win the argument on the safety value (or lack thereof) of mandated speed limiters.
On almost all of the above issues we were first to cry out in dismay at the continued “un-intended consequences” of the regulatory onslaught by the current administration and the debilitating effects it would have on small trucking companies. There seems to be no end to the lengths that large trucking entities will stoop to try to competitively stifle our membership, to garner our million-mile drivers, and our freight. I must say that on most of these issues, our only consistent ally has been OOIDA who outside of NASTC is the only organization that truly understands that it is all about “THE DRIVER.”
Going forward into 2016, as you well know, an election year , be prepared for more of the same on the regulatory front, with possibly an increase in intensity brought on by hopefully, the realization that 2016 will be the current administration’s final year in power. FMCSA will not go without a fight on any of the issues above, including a CSA re-do that is more than badly needed. Please understand the serious threat represented in FMCSA extending its authority and power base by imposing control over many areas that are the domain of the market place, such as driver pay , “best practices” for safety, the independent contractor model, insurance levels, mandated ELD’s and mandated Speed limiters. Let’s all make a New Year’s Resolution to cease and desist from looking to the central government to solve our problems. They screw it up every time.
HAPPY TRUCKING NEW YEAR!
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