Canada ending cross-border vax requirement Oct. 1

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Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022:

Canada ending cross-border vax mandate, OOIDA urges U.S. to follow suit

The Canadian government announced on Monday "the removal of all COVID-19 entry restrictions, as well as testing, quarantine, and isolation requirements for anyone entering Canada," including both Canadian and U.S. truckers.

The move, which will be effective as of Oct. 1, ended a regulation that had caused heated, weeks-long protests to cripple the country's capital city of Ottawa earlier this year. 

Immediately following that move, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association called on the U.S. to follow suit. OOIDA cited the Canadian relaxation as due cause for President Joe Biden to "end the vaccination requirement for non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States via land ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders."

The association used Biden's own words, noting the president's recent statement on CBS' 60 Minutes that "the pandemic is over."

"With this recognition that our country has moved passed the pandemic phase of the public health crisis caused by COVID-19, we think this is a perfect time to move past these mandates," OOIDA concluded. 

The U.S. imposed its vaccine mandate on foreign drivers in January of this year, which was met with resistance from drivers and politicians alike.

OOIDA in its statement on Monday said it represents more than 150,000 drivers, including more than 1,000 from Canada. "Throughout the COVID-19 emergency, our members and thousands of other professional truckers have been risking their lives to deliver critical goods to communities throughout North America," the organization wrote. "Prior to January 2022, truckers were safely operating across the U.S-Canadian border to ensure North Americans had the food and supplies they needed without having to show proof of vaccination or disclosing any other aspects of their personal medical history."

OOIDA reiterated its stance that "commercial drivers spend the majority of their time alone in their vehicle and outside" and that "there is no evidence that truckers present a higher risk of spreading the virus," and have not been tied to any outbreaks or meaningful containment strategies for the virus. 

"OOIDA has always maintained that vaccination is a personal choice just like any health decision," the association went on, "and we have provided our members with the most up-to-date information about how they can receive COVID-19 vaccines. But for drivers who have made a decision that doesn’t comply with the mandate, it has forced them out of business or to change their operations." 

OOIDA dubbed the mandate an "enormous regulatory burden" that "adds another unnecessary obstacle" for cross-border operators. 

XPO honors driver for hitting 4 million accident-free miles

XPO Logistics (CCJ Top 250, No. 7) has announced that long-time truck driver David Frazier has exceeded four million accident-free miles in his LTL career — the highest driver safety record in XPO’s history. The company tracks accident-free miles as part of its Road to Zero driver safety program.

Frazier began driving LTL tractors in 1987 with Con-way, which was acquired by XPO in 2015. His groundbreaking four millionth mile was documented at the company’s terminal in Kernersville, North Carolina, where he has been based for over 34 years. It can take a professional truck driver nine years on average to cover one million miles, making Frazier’s accomplishment even more remarkable, given his tenure.

“David is a legend in our network and a role model in every respect, particularly when it comes to safety procedures,” said Mario Harik, president, less-than-truckload, XPO Logistics. “Our drivers have watched him operate thousands of times and learned to always do things the right way. It’s a privilege to share his milestone with the industry.”

The company has honored Frazier with a team celebration in Kernersville attended by district, region and corporate leaders. He also received the keys to a brand new XPO tractor with a customized cab design that displays his name and record achievement.

Distributor launches hot shot fleet to meet shipping needs

Frustrated by trying to find carriers to deliver its garage equipment reliably, carefully and cost-effectively to customers around North America, BendPak, Inc., started its own private fleet.

Building on that experience, BendPak has now launched Bolt Transport, a hot shot transportation provider offering nationwide delivery of freight of all sizes.

“We started Bolt Transport to serve our customers and other shippers that need to transport long and heavy, hard-to-move loads,” said Pat Weber, BendPak director of sales and business development. “Bolt’s goal is to help customers cut their shipping expenses and help alleviate the current lack of freight capacity in the U.S.”

Hot-shotting generally means delivering time-sensitive or oversized LTL (less-than-truckload) freight within a set timeframe to a single customer or location. Along with traditional hot shot service, Bolt Transport also offers small package delivery, “high touch” white glove (typically for handle-with-care packages) services, messenger services and logistics solutions. Logistics offerings include efficiently coordinating and moving materials, inventory or equipment. 

The Bolt fleet is domiciled in two locations -- Theodore, Alabama, and Santa Paula, California. The company runs medium-duty trucks and 45-foot tarped flatbeds for hot shot hauls, as well as smaller trucks for lighter-duty services. 

FleetPride acquires Houston-area heavy-duty shop

FleetPride announced this week that it has acquired the assets of Sam & Sons Truck Equipment of Houston, which was family-owned by brothers Samuel, Robert and Richard, and sister, Olivia Olivo.

Founded in 1968, Sam & Sons provided unique and specialized heavy-duty services and, now as a part of FleetPride, "we look forward to carrying on 54 years of legacy, along with our customers and employees for years to come," said owner Richard Olivo. "Sam & Sons has thrived, and we are confident we will continue to be even more fortunate with FleetPride."

Sam & Sons’ 26,000-square-foot location provides customers in the greater Houston area with expanded service capabilities, including specialized services in liftgate repair and an onsite 100-foot paint booth capable of servicing a 54-foot tractor and trailer. These capabilities are bolstered by access to FleetPride's heavy-duty parts inventory, both locally and nationwide.

Sam & Sons has a loyal customer base, many of whom have been customers for over 20 years. FleetPride will continue to support these longstanding relationships with the same 35-plus local experts and is eager to continue the legacy of the company.