More than 71,000 people from 50 states and 61 countries braved a freak spring snowstorm to attend the 2018 Mid-American Trucking Show (MATS), held March 22-24 in Louisville, Kentucky. This year’s show, which featured 1,008 exhibitors and covered more than a million square feet of the Kentucky Exposition Center, once again focused on truck owner-operators and small- to medium-size carrier fleets.
At FreightCenter, while LTL freight is handled by larger, dedicated LTL carriers, our Truckload service frequently uses owner-operators and small- to medium-size carriers.
Post Show Recap
New technologies and driver recruitment efforts were prominent throughout the shows events, exhibits and seminars, but for a few drivers the highlight of the show was receiving some well-deserved attention.
Goodyear Highway Hero Honored
Frank Vieira of Ancaster, Ontario was the recipient of the 35th Goodyear Highway Hero Award. His story will amaze you.
A loud crash alerted Vieira to what could have been a tragedy in the making. A car on the other side of the road had piled into the back of a stationary roll-off truck. The driver of the car was thrown against the steering wheel with great force, causing it to break. Vieira parked his truck and went to see what help he could provide. He found the driver of the car bleeding profusely, with a piece of the steering wheel embedded in his neck.
With one hand Vieira applied pressure to the wound while calling 9-1-1 with his free hand. Adding to the intensity of the moment, the driver of the roll-off truck arrived to assess what had happened. He saw the bleeding driver being attended to by Vieira and passed out, hitting the ground with one of his legs extended out into the road. So, with one hand on the car driver’s neck and the other holding his phone, Vieira used his leg to hook the roll-off driver’s leg and pull it out of the lane of traffic to safety.
Both men were transported to the hospital by emergency personnel, and both survived, thanks to Veiera.
For his fast-thinking and courageous acts, Goodyear presented Frank Vieira with a Highway Hero Ring and a cash prize.
Members of the trucking trade press served on the independent panel that chose Vieira as this year’s Goodyear Highway Hero Award. He was selected from a field of the three finalists. Brian Bucenll of Richmond, Virginia and Ryan Moody of Tacoma, Washington were the other finalists. Brian and Ryan were also recognized by Goodyear at the award ceremony.
Congratulations and thank you to all three driver heroes.
Peterbilt Gives Away Its Millionth Truck
Peterbilt Model 567 Line
When the one-millionth vehicle it has produced since 1939 rolled off the assembly line recently, trucking stalwart Peterbilt Motors Company knew just what to do with it—give it away. To find just the right recipient for this special vehicle, Peterbilt held a SuperFan contest that drew 1,500 stories, video and photo entries from across the US and Canada.
Rick McCerkin of San Jose, California was named the ultimate SuperFan and was presented the keys to his new Peterbilt Model 567 Heritage truck at MATS. Four runners-up each received $10,000, courtesy of the contest’s key sponsors, and a special commemorative gift from Peterbilt.
Congratulations to Rick and the four runners-up!
- Jake Bartos of Columbus, Nebraska
- Cathy Bauder of Harmony, Pennsylvania
- Josh Hainstock of Albertville, Minnesota
- Sheldon Hyatt of Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada
FMSCA Officials Face Angry Drivers
Regulatory officials of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted listening sessions with drivers on Friday and Saturday to hear drivers’ complaints and concerns about Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) that have replaced drivers’ paper logs. ELDs track the number of miles and hours that drivers work in an effort to improve highway safety.
Both sessions were dominated by angry drivers who shared similar complaints, including:
- ELD counts time spent waiting to unload at terminals as work hours, when in fact, drivers are doing no work at all while waiting—sometimes for hours. This cuts into the 14 hours they are allowed to work each day and reduces their incomes significantly.
- Exemptions to ELD regulations given to agriculture haulers and some large carriers cherry picks winners and losers. An FMSCA official pointed out that those exemptions were created by statute, not regulations, and could only be changed by Congress.
- Lack of truck drivers on FMCSA.
Ray Martinez, recently confirmed as FMCSA Administrator, responded to complaints by saying that he wants to listen to the drivers. He further stated that it appears to him that the problem might not be the ELDs at all, and that hours of service might be the main issue. According to Martinez, that is an issue that regulators might be able to address.
ELDs are a hot topic, and they are here to stay. And it’s clear to see that these issues will not be going away any time soon.
This is just a brief glimpse of what went on at this year’s Mid-American Truck Show. Want to take a closer look? MATS 2019 is slated for March 28-30. Start making your plans to attend.