CCJ Daily Dispatch, Jan. 8: TCA’s top 20 ‘Best Fleets’ announced

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Updated Jan 11, 2021

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Jan. 8, 2021: 

Nussbaum Transportation has won TCA’s “Best Fleets” contest two years in a row – Best Small Fleet in 2019 and Best Large Fleet in 2020.Nussbaum Transportation has won TCA’s “Best Fleets” contest two years in a row – Best Small Fleet in 2019 and Best Large Fleet in 2020.

TCA names 2021 ‘Best Fleets to Drive For’ top 20
The Truckload Carriers Association, in partnership with CarriersEdge, has announced the 2021 Best Fleets to Drive For.

The Best Fleets contest is based on driver surveys and interviews conducted by CarriersEdge and seeks to recognize for-hire trucking companies that provide the best workplace experience for drivers. To be considered for the program, fleets must operate at least 10 trucks and be nominated by one of their company drivers or owner-operators. The carriers were then evaluated on various categories, including compensation, benefits, performance management, professional development, advancement opportunities and more.

Two overall winners — in small and large fleet categories — will be named during TCA’s annual convention April 17-20 in Las Vegas. The 2020 winners were Nussbaum and Boyle Transportation.

The 20 Best Fleets to Drive For for 2020 are:

  • American Central Transport — Kansas City, Missouri
  • Bison Transport Inc. — Winnipeg, Manitoba (CCJ Top 250, No. 55)
  • Boyle Transportation — Billerica, Massachusetts
  • Central Oregon Truck Company, Inc. — Redmond, Oregon
  • Challenger — Cambridge, Ontario (No. 82)
  • Chief Carriers, Inc. — Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Erb Transport — New Hamburg, Ontario
  • Fortigo Freight Services Inc. — Etobicoke, Ontario
  • Fremont Contract Carriers, Inc. — Fremont, Nebraska (No. 199)
  • FTC Transportation, Inc. — Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Garner Trucking, Inc. — Findlay, Ohio
  • Grand Island Express — Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Halvor Lines, Inc. — Superior, Wisconsin (No. 168)
  • Jetco Delivery — Houston, Texas
  • Nussbaum Transportation Services, Inc. — Hudson, Illinois (No. 209)
  • Prime Inc. — Springfield, Missouri (No. 14)
  • Thomas E. Keller Trucking Inc. — Defiance, Ohio
  • Transpro Freight Systems Limited — Milton, Ontario
  • Wellington Motor Freight — Aberfoyle, Ontario
  • Wilson Logistics Inc. — Springfield, Missouri (No. 98)

In addition to the Top 20, TCA and CarriersEdge identified five Fleets to Watch (honorable mentions). The Top 5 Fleets to Watch are:

  • AirTime Express — Mississauga, Ontario
  • Boyd Bros. Transportation — Clayton, Alabama
  • Carbon Express, Inc. — Wharton, New Jersey
  • K & J Trucking — Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Western Dairy Transport — Cabool, Missouri (No. 194)

Drivers can receive DOT physicals with expired CDL, FMCSA clarifies
A notice issued Wednesday from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration alerted medical examiners that they are authorized to conduct DOT physicals on drivers whose CDLs have expired but are still operating legally under the COVID-19 emergency declarations.

The notice from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners states that “certified [medical examiners] listed on the National Registry are authorized to conduct examinations of, and issue [medical examiner’s certificates] to, any driver that meets the physical qualification standards regardless of whether or not they have a current expired or unexpired driver’s license.”

The notice says that FMCSA has been notified that some examiners were not conducting exams on drivers with expired CDLs, even though they were operating legally under the COVID-19 emergency declaration, which allows drivers whose licenses expired on or after March 1, 2020, to continue to operate legally. That waiver is currently set to expire Feb. 28.

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FMCSA says that medical examiners are only required to use a driver’s CDL to verify the driver’s identity. “An expired license is not a reason to refuse to conduct a physical qualification examination or to not issue the qualified driver an MEC,” or medical certification, the agency adds.

FMCSA spokesman Duane DeBruyne also adds that the notice’s “content applies even after the COVID waiver expires, as the license is only used to determine the identity of the driver prior to the physical qualification examination.”

Navistar faces undue backlash in U.S. Capitol riots
Count Navistar among the collateral damage swept up in Wednesday’s siege on the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.

The manufacturer of International Trucks became the target of online harassment after photos of a man inside the Capitol building surfaced on Twitter. The unnamed man was wearing a lanyard that displayed the name of his now former employer – Navistar Direct Marketing, a Maryland-based advertising, printing and direct mail business who claimed to have since terminated him for his participation in the demonstration.

A tidal wave of mean-tweets Thursday prompted the Lisle, Illinois-based truck maker, which is in no way affiliated with Navistar Direct Marketing, to issue a statement from Navistar CEO, Persio Lisboa condemning what Lisboa called “the insurgency at the U.S. Capitol.”

“The events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol [Wednesday] are not reflective of the America that I know and love,” added Lisboa, who became a U.S. citizen five years ago.

Spirit Truck Lines acquired by Forgelight
Investment company ForgeLight has acquired dry van truckload carrier Spirit Truck Lines. The southern cross-border operation hauls outbound off the Mexican border and returning inbound from throughout the continental U.S. with more than 300 tractors and 1,200 power units.

“The Spirit team has built an impressive operation with many world class clients and their TL and cross border focus is an excellent platform for continued service expansion,” said Robert Fahrenhorst, managing director at Plethora Business, an M&A advisory firm who facilitated the transaction.