Freight numbers who the effects of driver jobs

September 5th, 2014

The June freight numbers show that truck freight contributed the most, which boosts the importance of driver jobs.

U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $103.0 billion in June 2014 as all five major transportation modes – air, vessel, pipeline, rail, and trucks – carried more freight by value in June 2014 than in June 2013, according to the TransBorder Freight Data.

Of the $9.5 billion, or 10.2 percent, increase in US-NAFTA freight from June 2013, truck freight contributed the most, $4.4 billion, followed by pipeline, $2.1 billion. The trucking increase was predominately due to an increase in the value of U.S.-Mexico truck freight, which was up $2.9 billion, or 64.8 percent, of the total trucking increase.

Commodities moving by pipeline grew in value by the largest percentage of any mode, 35.2 percent. This increase is due, in part, to exports of crude oil by pipeline from the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana. Vessel freight increased 19.3 percent followed by a truck increase of 7.8 percent, an air increase of 6.5 percent, and a rail increase of 4.5 percent.

Trucks carry three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA freight and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks carried 59.5 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight in June 2014, accounting for $29.8 billion of imports and $31.4 billion of exports.

Year-to-year, the value of U.S.-Canada freight by pipeline increased the most of any mode, growing 35.1 percent. U.S.-Canada pipeline freight was valued at $7.7 billion, 94.2 percent of total U.S.-NAFTA pipeline freight in June.  Freight by vessel increased by 24.7 percent, air by 9.5 percent, truck by 5.3 percent and rail by 1.4 percent.

Highway Angel Blog

August 26th, 2014

It seems like every time we turn on the news something bad has happened. All this negativity can be very disheartening. Fortunately, there are still good people out there. People that aim to help with no expected return. These kind of selfless people are an inspiration to all.

Harry Welker, a driver for Melton Truck Lines, is one of these completely selfless people. One morning while on a route in October 2013, Welker and his trainee stopped at a rest area on I-70 in Kannapolis, Kansas. As they headed into the rest stop, they noticed a highway patrolman had a van pulled over. Welker thought nothing of it and proceeded to head into the rest area.

While Welker was in the rest stop, the officer asked for the driver’s identification. At that point the driver of the van became hostile and attacked the officer. As Welker was walking back to his truck he saw the officer and the man fighting on the ground. The main forced himself on top of the officer and began to reach for the officers’ firearm.

Welker, a former U.S. Marine immediately sprung into action. With no regard to his own safety, he ran to aid the trooper. Having special training, Welker was able to subdue the resisting man. Welker’s special training helped him detain the man without any unnecessarily violent force.

After the man was identified, the officer found that he was wanted for parole violations in another state.

Welker was recently recognized by the Truckload Carriers Association as a Highway Angel. The Highway Angel Program is an organization created to recognize professional drivers that go above and beyond the line of duty to help people whom they share the road with.

Harry Welker’s quick response and brave action could have saved the patrolman’s life. It is people like Welker and his courage acts that help make this world a better place. Welker is truly a hero and is an example of a shining light of goodness in a sometimes bleak world.

Melton Truck Lines, Inc. Raises Driver Pay

August 18th, 2014

TULSA, Okla – August, 15, 2014 – Melton Truck Lines, a premier air-ride flatbed carrier based in Tulsa, OK, is pleased to announce a driver pay increase.  All company drivers will receive at least 2 cents per mile increase in pay. Melton’s pay scale still varies depending on experience and tenure. This increase will start student drivers at 37 CPM and will give the most experienced drivers 50 CPM. These increases can boost a drivers annual pay by $2,400 or more. We also have many ways to earn additional pay. We pay $40 for tarping, 8 cpm for over-dimensional loads, 6 cpm for Canada and Hazmat loads, plus many more opportunities for bonuses.

We conduct industry pay studies and subscribe to independent annual surveys and have determined that our total package – mileage pay, bonuses, extra pay, profit sharing, and benefits — position Melton Truck Lines in the top 1% among North American for-hire trucking companies.

President Bob Peterson states, “I promise my drivers if they work hard and smart, they will be well compensated. This raise is well-deserved and just the first of many. We know that base pay is just a part of a terrific package.  Drivers want affordable healthcare coverage and an opportunity to retire comfortably.   They also want to share in the financial success of their company.  For this reason, I am committed to providing quality insurance, free onsite clinics and dentists, a 401K with a generous match, and profit sharing opportunities.”

Angie Buchanan, Vice President of Safety & Human Resources, says, “We know that our professionals drive for more than just money.  It’s about independence, adventure, and fulfilling the dream of driving a “big truck”.   Our drivers strive for excellence.  We developed a career path for those professionals who want to grow within our business, and recognize our high quality drivers with programs like the President’s Clubs, ICARE Plus Wellness Program, Driver (and Rookie) of the Month and Year, Safety Rewards Programs, Top Fuel Recognition and Top Fleets.  We challenge ourselves every day to develop and maintain programs that make drivers and their family members feel like the most important parts of our team.  We know that professional drivers have choices and we want them to choose Melton.”

Company Information

Headquartered in Tulsa, OK, Melton Truck Lines Inc. is an award-winning leader in the air-ride flatbed industry and services the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  In business for over 60 years, Melton has offices and terminals in Tulsa, Dallas, Laredo, El Paso, Birmingham and Masury, OH.  For more information, please visit

Transportation bill to help those with driver jobs

August 6th, 2014

The huge transportation bill that will help with road repairs in 21 states has just been announced, and it is sure to help those with driver jobs.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said $333.9 million in emergency funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The funds make repairs to roads and bridges damaged by storms, floods and other unexpected events.

Washington will receive $35 million for repairs to a section of S.R. 530 severely damaged by a heavy mudslide in March. Minnesota and Colorado will also receive funding to fix substantial damage to roads and bridges caused by unusually heavy rains within the last year. In addition, tens of millions in emergency relief funds will address a backlog of damages made prior to 2012.

FHWA’s Emergency Relief program reimburses states for expenses associated with damage from natural disasters or other emergency situations. The funds, which come from the U.S. Treasury’s General Fund and not the Highway Trust Fund, help to pay for reconstruction or replacement of damaged highways and bridges, to establish detours and replace guardrails or other damaged safety devices.

“These funds will help states restore their transportation networks,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “Getting life back to normal in these areas is our top priority and safe, functional transportation is at the heart of that.”

A decline in tonnage affects driver jobs

July 28th, 2014

American Trucking Association reports that advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined 0.8% in June, following a revised 0.9% gain the previous month, which will certainly affect those who have driver jobs.

In June, the index equaled 128.6 (2000=100) versus 129.6 in May. The index is off 1.9% from the all-time high in November 2013.

“June was one of those months where the data doesn’t quite match up with the anecdotal reports from fleets,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “We had heard the freight volumes were good.”

Costello added that tonnage had increased for four consecutive months prior to June totaling 4.4%.

“Despite the small reprieve in June, the second quarter was much better than the first quarter,” he said. “Tonnage increased 2.3% from the first quarter, which was the largest quarter to quarter gain since the first quarter in 2013. Compared with the second quarter in 2013, tonnage increased 3.2%, a percentage point better than the first quarter year-over-year increase.”

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 69.1% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9.7 billion tons of freight in 2013. Motor carriers collected $681.7 billion, or 81.2% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

Compared with June 2013, the SA index increased 2.3%, down from May’s 3.3% year-over-year gain. This year-over-year increase was the second smallest in 2014, following a 1% gain in January. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage is up 2.8%.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 132.3 in June which was 0.5% below the previous month.

Freight report focuses on truck driver jobs

July 23rd, 2014

The latest freight report highlighting the efforts of truck driver jobs shows that truck driver jobs have a big impact on freight and the economy.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI).

The May increase in the freight index was led by trucking, which grew rapidly for the fourth month in a row, as well as by increases in pipeline and waterborne. Growth in trucking occurred across different segments of the trucking sector, including dry van trucks as well as flatbed and tank trucks. Rail intermodal declined after three months of increases.

The freight index has now risen for four consecutive months following a bottom in January that was largely weather-related and affected the entire economy, as measured by the GDP decline in the January-to-March period.

The May 2014 index level (120.0) was 26.9 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

With four consecutive monthly increases, the index rose 3.4 percent following the weather-related low in January. In May, the index reached an all-time level (120.0), exceeding the previous all-time high (119.4) set in November before the winter decline. After dipping to 94.6 in April 2009, the index rose by 26.9 percent in the succeeding 61 months.

Driver jobs grow all around

July 8th, 2014

Transportation jobs, including driver jobs, have burgeoned all around the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Transportation and warehousing employment increased by 17,000 in June. Over the prior 12 months, this industry had added an average of 11,000 jobs per month. In June, couriers and messengers added 6,000 jobs.

Financial activities added 17,000 jobs in June, with a gain of 9,000 in insurance carriers and related activities. Employment in real estate and rental and leasing continued to trend up in June (+9,000). Financial activities had added an average of 5,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.

Manufacturing added 16,000 jobs in June, with all of the increase in durable goods manufacturing. Within durable goods, employment increased in motor vehicles and parts (+6,000) and in computer and peripheral equipment (+3,000).

In June, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.5 hours for the fourth straight month. Both the manufacturing workweek, at 41.1 hours, and factory overtime, at 3.5 hours, were unchanged in June. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 33.7 hours for the fourth consecutive month.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 293,000 in June to 3.1 million; these individuals accounted for 32.8 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has decreased by 1.2 million.

Job gains were widespread, led by employment growth in professional and business services, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and health care.

Drivers jobs and freight numbers for April

June 26th, 2014

Those who have driver jobs carried ore U.S.-NAFTA trade in April 2014 than in April 2013 as U.S.-NAFTA trade value rose to $100.1 billion, according to the TransBorder freight data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Trucks, at 60.3 percent of the April trade, and pipeline, at 8.6 percent, carried a total of 69.0 percent of the trade.

In April, commodities moving by pipeline grew the most of any mode, 27.8 percent.
Truck freight increased 0.7 percent, rail declined 1.8 percent followed by declines in air at 3.1 and vessel at 13.2. The increase in the value of freight carried by pipelines reflects both a rise in the volume and prices for oil and other petroleum products, the primary commodity transported by pipelines.

Trucks carry three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA trade and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks carried 60.3 percent of U.S.-NAFTA trade in April 2014, accounting for $30.6 billion of exports and $29.8 billion of imports.

Trade using trucks rose by 0.4 percent while air freight declined 7.7 percent. U.S.-Canada trade by rail declined 6.5 percent, with an 11.3 percent fall in imports, due in part to a decrease in trade of vehicles and parts.

Trucks carried 54.4 percent of the $55.8 billion of freight to and from Canada, followed by rail at 15.8 percent, pipeline at 14.8 percent, vessel at 4.9 percent and air at 4.2 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.9 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows.

A 4.2 percent increase in imports by truck offset a 2.5 percent decline in exports from year-to-year. Imports from Canada and Mexico both increased while exports by truck on each of the borders decreased. An increase in both imports and exports by pipeline across the Canadian border pushed pipeline’s share of total trade to 8.6 percent from 6.8 percent in April 2013.

Freight from driver jobs goes up

June 20th, 2014

The amount of freight carried by those with truck driver jobs has gone up 0.4% for the third consecutive month, according to the Dept. of Transportation.

The April 2014 index level (117.6) was 24.1 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.

The level of freight shipments in April measured by the seasonally-adjusted Freight TSI (117.6) was at the second highest all-time level and 0.1 percent below the all-time high level of 117.8 in November 2013.

The March index was revised to 117.1 from 116.7 in last month’s release. Smaller upward revisions were made for December and January.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

The April increase in the freight index was led by trucking and rail intermodal, which grew rapidly for the third month in a row.  Rail carload growth slowed after fast growth in March.  The freight index has now risen for three consecutive months following a bottom in January that was largely weather-related and affected the entire economy, as measured by the GDP decline in the January-to-March period.

The TSI has three seasonally adjusted indexes that measures changes from the monthly average of the base year of 2000. The three indexes are freight shipments, passenger travel and a combined measure that merges the freight and passenger indexes. TSI includes data from 2000 to the present. Release of the May index is scheduled for July 10.

The TSI for passengers rose 0.1 percent in April from its March level (Table 6).  The Passenger TSI April 2014 level of 119.3 was 1.5 percent above the April 2013 level.

The passenger TSI measures the month-to-month changes in travel that involves the services of the for-hire passenger transportation sector. The seasonally adjusted index consists of data from air, local transit and intercity rail.

New truck could impact driver jobs

June 3rd, 2014

A new futuristic truck from Walmart could heavily impact truck driver jobs and the future.

The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience is a tractor-trailer combination that features leading edge aerodynamics, an advanced turbine-powered range extending series hybrid powertrain, electrified auxiliary components, and sophisticated control systems all in one package, developed in support of the company’s industry-leading sustainability program.

The project aims to demonstrate a wide range of cutting edge technologies and designs Walmart is considering in an effort to improve the overall fuel efficiency of its fleet and lower the company’s carbon footprint. Although the prototype currently runs on diesel, its turbine is fuel neutral and can run on compressed or liquid natural gas, biofuels or other fuels.

Designers used extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to optimize the truck’s styling. The truck’s shape represents a 20 percent reduction in aerodynamic drag over Walmart’s current Peterbilt Model 386. By placing the cab over the engine, the truck’s wheelbase is greatly shortened, resulting in reduced weight and better maneuverability. Walmart relied on product development supplier Roush Engineering to carry out the vehicle’s construction with these detailed design specifications.

Range extending hybrids are a synergy between electric trucks and series hybrids, and their design reduces the energy storage size required for trucks to run on batteries alone. With Walmart Distribution Centers now located closer to metropolitan areas, transport vehicles have shorter transit times to their delivery destinations. These shorter trips reduce the vehicles’ average trip speed and create more opportunities to recover energy through regenerative braking. The generator and energy storage on the truck are scalable based on the range desired.

“Walmart is continually looking for innovative ways to increase our efficiencies and reduce our fleet’s emissions,” said Tracy Rosser, senior vice president of transportation at Walmart. “The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience is a bold step in transportation technologies that, although not on the road in its current form, will serve as a learning platform for the future that will accelerate our progress toward our goals.”

“We developed this microturbine hybrid electric drive system by assembling the best team of technology leaders in the industry,” said Steve Gillette, director of business development for Capstone. “We look forward to the day when these energy-saving features are standard offers for the market.”