Meet Michael, our newest Account Manager!

Meet Michael, our newest Account Manager.

Mike enjoys spending time with his wife and son, lifting weights, hiking, reading, and video games.

Mike’s favorite food …. Pizza!

Favorite Vacation spot… Captiva Island (Florida)

He has a German Shepard named Phoenix and a Yellow Lab named Barkley.

His favorite movie(s)…. Lord of the Rings trilogy

His favorite TV show is ….. Seinfeld (a CNS favorite)

Stop in to say hello to Michael and if you are a Proactive Safety Management client you will be hearing from him soon enough!

Meet Hoyt, our new Project Coordinator

Meet Hoyt, our new Project Coordinator.

Hoyt’s favorite hobbies and pastimes include spending time with his wife Melanie, son Rhys and daughter Karys. He enjoys playing fantasy football, reading, working out and wrestling(especially Penn State’s team)

Favorite Food…. is 5 Guys – Burgers and Fries, as well as Pizza!

His Favorite Vacation spot…… is going to the NCAA wrestling championships each year..

Hoyt has one cat named Max and a turtle named Flash.

Favorite Movies…. To name a few among many favorites… Mad Max- Fury Road, The Big Lebowski, and Requiem for a Dream.

His Favorite TV show is….. Real Time with Bill Maher

If you do not survive a DOT Safety Audit- Compliance Review, you may be looking forward to meeting Hoyt sooner than you think!

Continue reading “Meet Hoyt, our new Project Coordinator”

New Agency Director at NIS

Northern Insurance Specialists (NIS) recently hired Ron Haws as the new Agency Director. With years of experience managing complex business operations in the hospitality industry, Haws believes he is uniquely suited to bring value and exceptional customer service to the commercial trucking industry.

One of his initial goals in his new role as Agency Director is to help truckers reduce operating expenses by enhancing compliance rates. Haws says, “The [trucking] industry is highly regulated and insurance is often one of the largest expenses a trucking company has to manage. Our role at NIS is to help truckers understand the importance of proper compliance with DOT regulations and the need to be vigilant and safe on the roads. Even the smallest DOT infractions can be very costly for truckers.”

As Agency Director, Haws will be responsible for helping both small and large commercial trucking companies meet their insurance needs. Haws added “I am excited to be part of such a strong team of professionals. NIS and our sister company Compliance Navigation Specialists, which specializes in safety and compliance management, are quickly working their way to the front when it comes to insurance and compliance for the trucking industry.”

With autonomous trucks on the horizon and increasing demand for transportation services due to a thriving economy, including demand from e-commerce, NIS is poised to become an industry leader in educating truckers on how to cut expenses through increasing their compliance to regulations. In a time of extreme industry flux, NIS is confident Haws will bring strong leadership to the business unit.


Future of Autonomous Trucks

Imagine driving down a road and looking into the window of a truck and seeing no driver.  That is starting to become the reality of the trucking industry! The invention of autonomous trucks are becoming more popular as the technology improves.  The use of radar and cameras on trucks are helping the truck to be more safe, but there is still a long road ahead.

Autonomous trucks driving down the road are more popular than ever
Trucking is becoming human-less. Autonomous trucks are becoming increasingly popular and being led by Uber and other technology firms.

There are fewer and fewer drivers pursuing a career in trucking every year. The FMCSA says that by 2024, there could be 175,000 less truck drivers on the road.  For this reason, trucking professionals and industry leaders are trying to get ahead by technology. Some trucking companies are using radar technology, while others are using cameras as their primary safety control and radar as backup.  

The technology already exists for trucks to drive on highways but when it comes to urban areas, there are more issues because of pedestrians, right-of-ways, traffic lights, stop signs, etc.  This is tougher to program because there are so many unknowns and it can be very dangerous for pedestrians crossing the street. The truck must also understand all rules of the road and be as alert as a real truck driver before it can become more popular.  

As of October 2017, there have been autonomous trucks delivering for FrigidAire.  They are currently making 650 mile trips from Texas to California only, but are looking to increase the number of places that they drive and the distance that they drive. FrigidAire uses companies that use radar technology.  

Companies such as TuSimple use cameras to pinpoint where on the road they are, and where there are other vehicles.  They equip the truck with about 10 cameras and use radar as backup. These cameras can detect danger 300 meters which provides the truck plenty of time to stop in case of an emergency.  

While both of those technologies still use a human to override control if needed, the real future of the industry is eliminating the human element, and that is what Uber is aiming to do with their technological strides.  Currently, their trucks drive a distance on the highway, but as soon as the truck exits the highway, a driver enters the truck to in to take it the rest of the way.

The trucking industry, regulated by the FMCSA, always tries to keep up with the newest technology to keep their truckers and other people on the roads safe.  Autonomous trucks are the newest technology in the industry and can help solve the issue of a declining number of truck drivers. Technologies such as radar technology and cameras on trucks will eventually be able to eliminate the need for trucker drivers behind the wheel.

4 Reasons to Become a Truck Driver

Truck driving may be a great career choice for you. There are many benefits to becoming a truck driver. With the shortage of truck drivers, Class A CDL licensed drivers are making more money than ever before in addition to the great benefits that they are receiving.

1. The pay is above average

Class A CDL drivers are making an average of $45,000 per year, which is well
above the average factory worker. This is due in part to the shortage of drivers that are available. Qualified drivers are earning more every year.

2. The benefits can help you and your family

Many trucking companies will give you benefits such as dental, medical, paid
time off and a 401k. These benefits can help you stay safe and healthy, while also enjoying your time off with your family.


3. Get paid to travel the country

Being a truck driver means you are getting paid to drive. Imagine all the things
that you could see while you were driving. If you are driving a load from New
York to Texas, you would be driving through so many different states and seeing so many cultures and landscapes.


4. Meet new people from all over the country

Traveling across the country and stopping at different rest-stops, along the way,
means you will have the opportunity to meet new people. It can be a great
opportunity to make connections and network. Another opportunity to meet people will come when you get to your final destination and drop off your load.

There are many benefits to becoming a truck driver and the benefits are only increasing. As less people are becoming truck drivers, the benefits continue to increase in order to attract them. Qualified drivers can earn well above the average and get the opportunity to travel.

Continue reading “4 Reasons to Become a Truck Driver”

Advantages of having ELDs for Drivers

ELDs are the new technologically advanced system for tracking driver safety and hours on the road.  While they may take some time to get used to, it can be done.  Read about some of the advantages of the new federally mandated law and learn why you should see it as an advantage instead of an annoyance.

Systems like the Pedigree ELD system can track your driving habits to help you stay safe and compliant with the new laws.

  1. An ELD can lead to more money for you!
    It has been estimated that drivers spend over 20 hours per year filling out paper logs of their driving.  With an ELD system the driver no longer needs to fill these out, eliminating approximately 15 minutes each day just for paperwork while still staying compliant.  You can also round your driving to the nearest minute instead of 15 minutes.  While these amounts of time may seem small they definitely do add up.
  2. ELDs eliminate the lengthy inspection process.
    The results are clear cut for the officer.  There are no questions because everything is in one place and tracked digitally.
  3. No more pesky paperwork for the truck driver
    Most truck drivers hate filling out all the paperwork after each drive. With the addition of an ELD system, drivers no longer have to fill it out because they just need to quickly login to the system and then they are done!
  4. Get a warning when you are getting close to your maximum time
    ELDs will tell you when you are getting too close to breaking a rule whether it be missing your 30 minute break or driving too long in one day.  The system is designed to help you stay safe and compliant and avoid fines that could cost you.
  5. Build a resume for yourself!
    ELD systems allow a driver to have documented proof of their safety record.  When they are applying for new jobs they can show the new potential employer how safe they are.


There are so many advantages of the new ELD system.  Between making extra money and building a resume for yourself, the new system is helping more drivers to stay safer than ever and be able to prove that they are.


Does all this sound complicated?  Having a company that will consult with your ELD management system will help save you time and hassle.  Give us a call today!



Driver Shortage Hits Consumers in the Wallet

Shipping costs have skyrocketed in the United States in 2018, a sign that an economy warming up after a recession might be starting to overheat.

Higher transportation costs are beginning to cause prices of anything that spends time on a truck to rise. Amazon just implemented a 20 percent hike for its Prime program that delivers items to customers in two days. General Mills said prices of some of its cereals and snacks are going up because of a rise in freight costs. Tyson Foods, a large meat seller, also recently announced they will increase prices, blaming higher shipping costs.
The trucking industry shows that an extraordinary labor shortage in one corner of the economy can spill out and affect the economy as a whole.

Why can drivers not be found?

The United States has had a truck driver shortage for years, but experts say it’s hitting a crisis level this year. Young Americans ignore the shortage because, though necessary for a growing economy, the job is not well respected and it requires time away from friends and family. Freight companies continue to incentivize with sign-on bonuses and substantial raises.

“It’s as bad as it’s ever been” to find drivers, said Bob Costello, chief economist at the American Trucking Associations. “Companies are doing everything they can to make drivers happy: increasing pay and getting them home more often, but that means they aren’t driving as many miles.”
America had a shortage of 50,000 truck drivers at the end of last year, Costello found, up from a shortage of 36,500 in 2016. He says “without a doubt” it’s going to be even higher this year.


Congress Considering Allowing Drivers to Pause the 14-hour Clock Up to 3 Hours

A bill filed in the U.S. House Thursday by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) would allow drivers to take one break per day — up to three hours — that does not count against their 14-hour on-duty time, set forth by the hours-of-service limitations. The Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers Act (REST Act) would still require drivers to log 10 consecutive off-duty hours before beginning their 14-hour on-duty period. The bill mirrors a petition filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which calls for an option for drivers to pause their daily 14-hour clock up to three hours, and the removal of the required 30-minute break.

Last March, FMCSA removed the requirement that drivers’ 34-hour restarts include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods, which is a core component of an hours of service overhaul instituted back in July 2013. The mandatory 30-minute break was also added then. The 30-minute break remains in place, despite other portions of the rule being gradually removed by Congress.


CVSA Roadcheck set for june 5-7: hours of service focus

The CVSA has released the focus of the 2018 summer roadcheck, planned for June 5-7 – Hours of Service. Are you ready?

Regardless of Electronic Log Device compliance or exemption, the CVSA expects drivers’ to be compliant to hours of service regulations.

From the press release: “Although the electronic logging device (ELD) rule that went into effect on Dec. 18, 2017, does not change any of the underlying hours-of-service rules or exceptions, the ELD mandate placed a spotlight on hours-of-service compliance,” said Capt. Turner. “We thought this year would be a perfect opportunity to focus on the importance of the hours-of-service regulations.”