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Four Reasons Your Drivers Trust Their Devices

Four Reasons Your Drivers Trust Their Devices

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Technician Shortage

Technician Shortage

Technician Shortage

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President of Veriha Trucking

President of Veriha Trucking




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A Duie Pyle

CVSA’s Brake Safety Day is Sept. 7, 2017

Greenbelt, Maryland (June 20, 2017) – Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, is Brake Safety Day, an enforcement and compliance campaign where law enforcement agencies across North America will conduct inspections on large trucks and buses to identify out-of-adjustment brakes, and brake-system and antilock braking system (ABS) violations as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Airbrake Program.

The goal of Brake Safety Day is to reduce the number of crashes caused by poorly maintained braking systems on commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) by conducting roadside mechanical fitness inspections, and identifying and removing vehicles with critical brake violations from our roadways.

In addition, outreach and educational efforts by CMV inspectors, motor carriers and others are integral to the success of the campaign. Brake Safety Day activities seek to educate drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake maintenance, operation and performance.

Properly functioning brake systems are crucial to safe CMV operation. CMV brakes are designed to hold up under tough conditions, but they must be routinely inspected and maintained carefully and consistently so they operate and perform properly throughout the vehicle’s life. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce braking efficiency and increase the stopping distance of trucks and buses, posing serious risks to all highway users and public safety. Antilock braking systems help the vehicle, and thus the driver, maintain control in certain situations, which reduces the risk of some types of crashes.

Brake-related violations comprised the largest percentage (representing 45.7 percent) of all out-of-service violations cited during Operation Airbrake’s companion International Roadcheckcampaign in 2016, which focused on inspections of both commercial motor vehicles and drivers.

On Brake Safety Day, inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, which is a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Inspections conducted will include inspection of brake-system components to identify loose or missing parts, air or hydraulic fluid leaks, worn linings, pads, drums or rotors, and other faulty brake-system components. ABS malfunction indicator lamps are also checked. Inspectors will measure pushrod stroke, where applicable. Vehicles with defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will be placed out of service.

Furthermore, in the 10 jurisdictions using performance-based brake testing (PBBT) equipment, vehicle braking efficiency will be measured. PBBT systems include a slow speed roller dynamometer that measures total vehicle weight and total brake force from which braking efficiency is determined. The minimum braking efficiency for trucks is 43.5 percent, required by U.S. federal regulation and the CVSA out-of-service criteria.

This year’s Sept. 7 Brake Safety Day follows up on CVSA’s May 3, 2017, unannounced Brake Safety Day and replaces the seven-day Brake Safety Week campaign from previous years.

More than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected since the program’s inception in 1998.

Brake Safety Day is part of the Operation Airbrake Program, sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).



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Righting a Wrong

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Important Info for D class Holders Operating in US

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Cargo Securement Regulations Do Not Apply Just to Flatbed Carriers!

Anything and everything carried on a truck must be properly secured to prevent loss of control or falling cargo from injuring drivers, passengers, or pedestrians.

While safe cargo securement principles (and of course regulations) apply to every single item carried for delivery, they also apply to anything else on the truck, including dunnage, tools, and equipment you need to get your job done. Shovels, blocks, webbing, chains, spare tires, brooms, forklifts, pallet jacks, winches, ratchets, etc., all must be secured.

  1. Know the regulations—Cargo securement standards represent the minimum safety requirements for general cargo and some specific commodities. They are available at no charge from FMCSA in the U.S. and from Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators in Canada.
  2. Invest in the illustrated cargo securement handbook, which includes both U.S. and Canadian regulations for reference. Click on CVSA’s store at and order a copy of Practical Cargo Securement: Guidelines for Drivers, Carriers & Shippers, 406 pages, USD$30
  3. Download the FMCSA Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Securement and provide a copy to your drivers.  Integrate the handbook sections that apply to your type of operation in your Driver’s policy and procedures manual.
  4. Properly secure all equipment as well as your load—one of the most frequently cited violations is for improper securement of dunnage or equipment, such as tarps, blocks, chains or other tie downs, spare tires, brooms, forklifts, pallet jacks, winches, ratchets, etc.
  5. Inspect tie downs for wear and damage. CVSA’s North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria includes the tie down defect tables for chain, wire rope, cordage, synthetic webbing, steel strapping, fittings or attachments and anchor points. If worn out, tie downs should be discarded.
  6. Brace and block cargo properly within sided or van trailers. Loads that shift can cause not only crashes but damage to your equipment. And they indicate violations that will affect your company’s safety rating.
  7. Use best practices or due diligence. There may be best practices, established by consensus by those who haul what you’re hauling, that are worth following. If your shipment is more unique, do your research, as the rules are established for a reason. Ensure your load is contained, immobilized or secured so that it cannot: (a) leak, spill, blow off, fall from, fall through or otherwise be dislodged from the vehicle, or (b) shift upon or within the vehicle to such an extent that the vehicle’s stability or maneuverability is affected. If needed, hire a professional specializing in vehicle loading.

Top 20 Cargo Securement Out-of-Service Violations

Failure to properly secure cargo or equipment on a commercial vehicle is the fourth leading category of violations (after violations for Brakes, Lights, and Tires) that result in vehicles being placed Out-of-Service.  Drivers and motor carriers should know about the importance of ensuring everything on their vehicles is properly and safely secured from shifting, tipping, sliding, or falling, even during a panic stop or rapid evasive maneuver. These violations represent over 80% of cargo related OOS violations and 13% of all OOS violations. Carriers should take care to avoid these common mistakes.

Ranking by # OOS Cargo Violations FMCSR Violation Code Violation Description Percentage of OOS Cargo Violations
1 392.9A2 Failing to Secure Vehicle Equipment 14%
2 393.100A Failing to Load/Equip Vehicle to Prevent Load Shifting/Falling 12%
3 393.100B Leading/Spilling/Blowing/Falling Cargo 10%
4 393.110B Insufficient Tiedowns; Without Headerboard/Blocking 8%
5 392.9A Failing to Secure Load 7%
6 393.104F3 Loose/Unfastened Tiedown 6%
7 393.130 No/Improper Heavy Vehicle/Machine Securement 5%
8 393.104B Damaged Securement System/Tiedowns 5%
9 392.9A1 Failing To Secure Cargo/ §§ 393.100-393.136 4%
10 392.9 Driver Load Secure 3%
11 393.100 No Or Improper Load Securement 2%
12 393.134B3 Rear of Container Not Properly Secured 2%
13 393.126 Fail to Ensure Intermodal Container Secured 2%
14 393.100C Failure To Prevent Cargo Shifting 2%
15 393.134 No/Improper Securement of Roll/Hook Container 2%
16 393.128B1 Vehicle Not Secured – Front and Rear 1%
17 393.116 No/Improper Securement of Logs 1%
18 393.110 Failing To Meet Minimum Tiedown Requirements 1%
19 393.106B Cargo Not Immobilized or Secured 1%
20 393.110C Insufficient Tiedowns; with Headerboard/Blocking 1%

Article Courtesy of Automotive Fleet:


Charting Fleet Accidents by the Numbers

August 2016, by Chris Wolski –

The past several years have seen an increasing priority on fleet safety, and for good reason. Crashes are traumatizing for the driver, they are expensive for the fleet (sometimes costing millions of dollars in liability payments), and damaging to the company’s overall reputation with the public. As the following infographics show, the efforts of fleet managers and their drivers to operate their vehicles more safely have been bearing fruit.

This year’s Fleet Accident Management Survey, conducted by CEI and Fleet Response, show that some accident statistics have remained the same. There have been some surprising shifts in how accidents are occurring and the driving group is most to blame.

However, while, in general, there is little argument vehicles are becoming safer (as are many fleet drivers), thanks, in part to advanced technology, such as anti-collision braking systems, blind spot detection, rear view cameras, and telematics, the statistics show, alarmingly, that overall driving remains a dangerous activity in the U.S. In fact, motor vehicle fatalities increased 7.7% in 2015 (the latest year for which there is data) to an estimated 35,200 people, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2014, the U.S. had an estimated 32,675 reported fatalities. Many of these fatalities involved bicyclists and pedestrians.

At A Glance

The results of the 2016 Fleet Accident Survey show a number of changes in the type of crashes and the personnel who are involved, including:

  • Fleet drivers who are in crashes are getting older
  • Crashes caused by distracted driving are continuing to slowly increase.
  • The most common accident type is now rear end collisions.

Demographic Shift

For the first time in at least five years, drivers between the ages of 36 and 45 years old did not report the highest percentage of accidents, coming in at 29% of drivers involved in an accident in 2014 vs. the 29.5% of drivers between the ages of 26 and 35 that were involved in an incident in 2014.

The reason behind this shift may be purely generational, according to to Allison Lanzilotta, executive vice president for Fleet Response.

“These numbers don’t take into account the ratio or percent of each age group that is employed in a driving position, which is important to remember. While the 36-45 age group has the highest percent of accidents, they are also likely the largest population of employees with a driving position. Changes in age demographics of drivers could have an impact on the percent with accidents,” she said. “Many vehicles also contain increased amounts of onboard technology, which can be a benefit but also a distraction, and it is something the younger generations are generally more familiar with, which may aide them in lowering accident ratios verses the older generations.”

Distracted driving is perhaps the biggest scourge facing fleets and the general public alike. Fleet drivers crashing while on a cell phone has continued to inch up from 2014. While the number is low, overall, the fact that it’s increasing at all should be cause for concern.

“Distracted driving in general and texting from the behind the wheel are cultural problems, and it is going to take a change in our national culture to rein them, just like the way drunk driving and not using a seat belt were. But it took decades for those changes to occur,” said Brian Kinniry, senior director, Strategic Services for CEI. “But fleets can’t wait for the national culture to change — it’s in their interest to take charge as cultural change agents within their own part of the world. According to studies we’ve seen, the best practice is to make texting cause for dismissal, write that into their safety policies and do their utmost to enforce it. Holding drivers strictly accountable and raising their awareness of the dangers of texting while driving are keys to changing a fleet’s safety culture. We’ve seen fleets strengthen their safety culture in these ways, but the question is how long it will take to minimize texting while driving. Nobody knows, but let’s hope that in fleets it can happen sooner rather than later.”

Defeating ‘Damaged While Parked’

Damaged while parked incidents dropped off as the top cause of reportable accidents replaced by “other party hit rear or driver.” Another one of the surprising changes in this year’s survey. The cause of this change is unsurprising.

“There is a consensus among traffic safety experts that the increase in rear-end collisions, about 60% of which appear to be preventable, is due to more distracted driving, which includes everything from texting and talking on cell phones to adjusting air conditioning and radio controls, reaching for objects, eating and grooming,” said Kinniry of CEI.

Interestingly, Lanzilotta of Fleet Response noted a technological shift that may see this statistic changing in the coming years.

“We’re seeing more cars being ordered or installed with rear and front end sensors. Companies are making these updates and looking to track the impact that it may have over the upcoming years on their accident ratios,” she said.

Another shift in the accident statistics was a double digit drop of 17% for accidents occuring on clear days, though this continues to be the most common weather type that involves a crash.

While crashes may have a seeming inevitability, there are things that fleets can do to beat the statistics.

“There are several keys to improving a fleet’s safety culture, and fleets that do the best job at reducing their accident rates use them,” said Kinniry. “They include getting full and visible backing from senior management in making fleet safety a priority; having clear, comprehensive, and up-to-date safety policies that are widely communicated and enforced in a timely and consistent manner; and increasing their safety programs to ‘market’ safe driving to their drivers.”

Article Courtesy of Automotive Fleet:


Canadian results of 2016 International Roadcheck revealed

July 15, 2016

OTTAWA, Ont. – Results of Canada’s 2016 International Roadcheck were released this week and according to the numbers, in Canada, nearly 82% of commercial vehicles inspected this year passed CVSA’s on-road inspection criteria.

The three-day blitz took place June 7-9, 2016 across Canada, the United States and Mexico. In Canada alone, inspections were carried out at random at 146 sites across the country. In total this year, 1,698 commercial vehicle enforcement officers conducted more than 8,100 Level 1 inspections (the most thorough of the on-road inspections). Results show that 7,736 of the trucks, trailers and passenger carrying vehicles were issued new decals to show they met the highest degree of safety and mechanical fitness according to CVSA

In total, 1,480 trucks were placed out of service during this year’s Roadcheck in Canada. Close to half (46%) of those placed out of service were due to brake system defects and brake adjustment issues. CVSA said that despite the efforts placed on brake-related defects, it continues to be the number one issue during roadside inspections. In addition, just 2% of drivers were placed out of service for logbook, driver qualification or paperwork problems.

Broken down by province/territory, Alberta had the highest out-of-service average across Canada.  In Alberta this year, 463 trucks were inspected during Roadcheck and 167 were placed out of service, bringing their OOS average to 36.1%, well above the national average.

On the flip side, New Brunswick had the lowest out-of-service average in Canada. In New Brunswick, 241 vehicles were inspected and just 28 were placed out of service, meaning they had an average of just 11.6%.

Ontario had the highest number of vehicles inspected during Roadcheck with 3,397 truck inspections completed. Of those, 530 were placed out of service, bringing the Ontario OOS average to 15.6%.

In total, the national truck OOS average for this year’s blitz was 18.8%, the same as 2015 results.

“Enforcement and industry officials alike know that education and awareness are key to improving commercial vehicle safety,” the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) said in a release. “As such, CVSA Region V officials strongly encourage governments, industry associations and individual carriers and drivers to take an active part in the upcoming 2016 Brake Safety Week planned for September 11-17 as well as Operation Safe Driver (OSD) Week October 16-22. Both events are hallmarks of CVSA and have been identified as best practices key to enhancing knowledge, regulatory compliance and overall highway safety. All industry players – carriers, drivers and enforcement officials alike – are urged to continue working together to achieve a sustained incremental drop in the CMV out-of-service rate nationwide in the years ahead.”

Article Courtesy of Truck News: 

Canadian results of 2016 International Roadcheck revealed

When the media comes calling

June 22, 2016 by Rebecka Freels

The trucking industry shares its workplace with the public and tractor-trailers are de facto rolling billboards for the company that owns them. Such risk exposure and visibility puts fleets in a tough place should a high-profile incident take place at roadside.

Regardless of who is ultimately responsible, a carefully thought out crisis communication plan will help fleets stay on the right side of the media, customers, employees and other key stakeholders.

In the court of public opinion, reputation is a perishable commodity.

In today’s age of outrage culture, the risk of harrowing headlines and social media, even the very best organizations can instantaneously be vilified. Public opinion is an elusive and fragile commodity. It is hard to move people toward a strong opinion on anything.

Moving them away from a viewpoint is even harder. In spite of this, PR disasters can sometimes (not always) provide an opportunity to build credibility with key audiences. Here are some things to keep in mind to tackle a PR crisis:

Plan ahead: If you don’t prepare, the hit you take will be far worse than it needs to be. A shoot from the hip approach rarely works. Arm yourself with a crisis communications plan.

Stay connected: It’s smart to establish positive relationships with the community and media as part of your approach to business. Be involved in supporting good causes, hold an open house and make your company leaders available to comment on the state of the industry. Establish a strong and positive profile and reputation for your organization before it is created for you.

Identify your crisis team: It is vital to identify who will form the organization’s crisis communications team. Ideally, the organization’s CEO will lead the team and be the spokesperson. A communications advisor, legal advisor and other key members should be an integral part of the crisis communication’s planning team.

Practice: Organizations hold fire drills to ensure emergency equipment is working properly and everyone knows what their role is in a crisis. Same goes for a communications plan – test it periodically to ensure the plan is still relevant and reflects organizational changes.

Key messages: A key message is a statement you would say if you only had 10 seconds in which to say it. It’s what you want the audience to remember. The organization’s crisis communications team should regularly review key messages to see if they need to be revised or updated.

They aren’t your friends: Journalists should not be confused with helpful allies or friends. They have a job to do and that job is to create compelling news stories. They are looking for quotes and clips that encourage emotional investment from viewers and readers. If handled well, this can work to your advantage, if not, it can be disastrous.

Be the first to share the details: A vital part of crisis management is telling your story. Don’t let anyone else tell your story except you.

No comment: During a crisis, it is human nature to clam up. While it may seem prudent not to say anything, this kind of reaction can land an organization in public relations hot water that is potentially damaging. If you don’t like the question being asked, you don’t have to answer it. But you must respond. Reply with a bridging statement such as, “I can’t speculate on the reasons for this, but what I can tell you is…”. Or, “So what is important to remember is…”.

Driver as spokesperson: Drivers and other front-line employees who have just been through a traumatic incident should not provide comment to the press. Part of the planning process should include developing a policy on employee interaction with the media.

Be human: Your audiences will be looking for a human response, an acknowledgment that demonstrates your organization cares about what happened. When bad news breaks, organizations need to say something even if, initially, it is just to acknowledge the unfortunate event that happened and that the organization is deeply saddened by its occurrence.

Tell the truth: Don’t try to minimize an unfortunate incident or sweep it under the rug. Never blame anyone for contributing to the situation, and don’t reveal the names of anyone killed or injured. Taking responsibility is not the same as accepting blame.

Say what is going to happen next: Managing bad news, in part, means trying to minimize the length of time your company is in the headlines. If you are cooperating with authorities or launching an internal review, make sure you say so.

It’s not always possible to completely avoid a crisis, but you can manage the overall impact by planning ahead, crafting well thought out key messages and by showing the organization’s human face.


Rebecka Freels, former CTA and OTA communications director, operates a Calgary-based marketing, communications and events practice with clients in the transport industry. Reach her at

Article Courtesy of Truck News: 

When the media comes calling

How trucking eats its young

June 21, 2016
by Al Goodhall

‘Work the first two weeks without pay and then we’ll pay you 10 cents per mile while training.’ That was an offer made to a newly licensed driver by a potential employer. This information came to me through a trusted associate.

‘I was told by a potential employer that I had to pay a $100 fee when I did my road test. They would refund it to me if they hired me.’ That was from a thread in a trucking Facebook group posted by a Canadian veteran transitioning to the trucking industry.

‘With over 30 years’ experience, a clean driving record, and loyalty to my employer, why am I being paid the same rate per mile as new hires, some with little experience and a dirty driving abstract?’ Again, from a driver commenting in a Facebook trucking group.

I could go on with comments like these gleaned from social media and fellow drivers I have come to know over the years. The hand wringing about the driver shortage continues, but to those of us who work the front lines, it is obvious where the problem lies. It is all about how drivers are treated. It’s about respect, or rather, the lack of it. For those of us who work for legitimate professional carriers that treat drivers as partners in their businesses, not pawns, we shake our heads in dismay.

I do my best each month when I sit down to write this column to put a positive light on the career I have chosen, not because I feel it is my duty but because I love what I do. My career in trucking has been my salvation both personally and financially. It’s a great way to earn a living. But if I had not cast my lot with J&R Hall Transportation 13 years ago, where would I be today? I am truly grateful to be where I am.

It is difficult to address the negative hiring practices and poor treatment drivers receive at the hands of employers.

Where does a new recruit to the industry turn when faced with a situation they recognize as questionable, but have no knowledge or industry experience to guide them? The fox has been minding the henhouse for a long time but drivers are becoming much savvier in their ability to weed out the shady operators.

Social media groups are not only sharing experiences and rating carriers through their own commentary but are also helping newly licensed drivers to maneuver their way around government Web sites and use CVOR and CSA scores to weed out the carriers with poor safety ratings. If a carrier isn’t taking the time to do things right on the operations and maintenance side of their business, it is a strong indicator they probably don’t take the time to maintain and nurture their human resources.

Training and certification. It is long past time to recognize this truck driving profession as a skilled trade. I know I sound like a broken record; every month I come back to this same theme. But it is the one issue that cuts across all lines of the trucking industry. If we had a system in place with the same approach to training and certification as other trades do, we would be able to tackle this issue of a driver shortage in earnest.

We have to face the fact that there is no shortage of people wanting to earn a decent living but there is a shortage of people that will accept being treated like crap.

Let’s go back and look at the example of the newly licensed driver looking for work. This individual has been unemployed for a period of time, has scrimped, saved, and tried to source funding for the $6,000-$8,000 they need to complete a legitimate training course.

They have been told by recruiters there is an abundance of good paying jobs with on-the-job training. But upon graduation the sharks are circling ready to pick off their victims one by one.

Many of these new graduates are hungry for work, any work, because the bill collectors are at the door, the rent needs to be paid, and their family needs to be cared for.

I have been there myself. Desperation can easily cloud sound reasoning.

So unfortunately many new recruits accept these sub-standard offers of employment and many of them don’t last in the industry.

They end up driving crappy equipment at a poor rate of pay and their expectations of a new and exciting career are shattered.

It is easy to sit back and say that people don’t need to accept to work under those conditions. But that does not fix what is broken.

We need to train, certify, and recognize our drivers as professionals and make sure the wages and benefits reflect those skills and training.

It’s the right thing to do. Period.


Al Goodhall has been a professional long-haul driver since 1998. He shares his experiences via his ‘Over the Road’ blog at You can also follow him on Twitter at @Al_Goodhall..


Comments of Mike Kroetsch July 6, 2016

Transportation Safety & Compliance Solutions

I have been in the industry for over 44 years and enjoyed it for the most part but I have to say that it is becoming less true every day.

I agree with what you are saying about the way drivers are treated and the way they are paid.  I have seen dispatchers, mechanics, mangers and even company owners call drivers names and flat out humiliate these people.  This does not take place behind closed doors often times it is right out in front of other drivers or even customers.  Drivers are promised the money by recruiters and when the first pay day comes they are trying to find someone in payroll to attempt to correct a problem.  For some drivers this is a weekly event.

Yes there needs to be training and you see it out there every day there are people driving trucks that have no right to be behind the wheel of a truck.  Interesting today I had lunch with a friend that is getting his registered driving school up and running.  He has gone to the government and has been approved to take drivers on through unemployment.  The Government will give them the 6 to $8,000.00 to go to a truck driving school.  Interesting he told me that he thought he had the world by the tail when he was approved to take on drivers through a government paid program.  In his experience this has been a bigger hassle than it is worth.  Many of these people do not show up for class, complain about having to go and get a medical and so on.  How the heck are these people going to survive in the 60 hour trucking work week world.

As well I see that somebody is painting a bad picture of this industry to the drivers about what trucking is all about.  Is it maybe the driving schools?  Drivers are told that you can make 60 or $80,000.00 or more.  They do not tell you that you are most likely going to have to break the law to do it or be the senior driver.  Entry level drivers do not understand that a local run at one fleet may a 1,000 mile radius of the home terminal and the next carrier a local run is 60 miles of home.  In all fairness the driver should know this and as an entry level driver they do not know to ask these questions.

A few weeks ago an owner of a smaller fleet told me that after having a driver go through 6 weeks of in cab company training he abandoned the truck on a Friday in South Carolina and the company owner spent his weekend bringing the truck and load home.  He treats his drivers well, promotes a good safety culture and he gets burnt.  I have to side with the owner on this one it is a hard pill to swallow.

I make it sound like there are no hard workers out there that want to be truck drivers or there are not any good trucking companies and that is not true.  It is just a matter of finding the right fit for both the driver and the company.

The truck transportation industry is in a sad state to say the least from every aspect.  At one time I would say if I was 18 again and looking for work I would be a truck driver.  Today I would not be able to answer that question so quickly and for certain.

Drivers need to be more educated on the industry.  Fleets need to be more aware of the driver and the way that drivers are treated.  Maybe it is time to sit down and review your program and business plan for hiring and mentoring the new driver.

Article Courtesy of Truck News: 

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