Tag Archives: owner operator

LANDSTAR NAMED AMONG TOP 20 FLEETS TO DRIVE FOR

For the sixth consecutive year, Landstar is among the “Top 20 Fleets to Drive For” according to the latest survey conducted by Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and CarriersEdge.

The nomination process began in 2016, with transportation companies evaluated in a variety of categories including professional development opportunities, career path/advancement opportunities, annual turnover rates and fleet safety record.

TCA and CarriersEdge interviewed each nominee’s representatives and executives about their company’s direction, policies and programs. Those comments were compared to a selection of each fleet’s drivers or owner-operators surveyed and then incorporated into the fleet’s final score.

“We are proud that the owner-operators leased to Landstar feel they have freedom, opportunity and the support services they need to successfully run their own businesses,” said Landstar Executive Vice President of Capacity Development Rocco Davanzo. “We appreciate all that Landstar owner-operators do to provide customers with excellence in safety and service, helping to make Landstar an industry leader.”

This is the ninth year of the survey which is open to all U.S. and Canadian fleets that operate 10 or more trucks. To be considered, fleets must be nominated by either a company driver or an owner-operator.

According to the TCA, phase two of the evaluation will divide the highest scoring fleets into small and large categories, from which two overall winners will be selected. The overall winners will be announced during TCA’s Annual Convention, March 26-29, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.

For more details, visit www.BestFleetsToDriveFor.com. Click here to download a PDF of this story.

Safety Thursday: Winter Driving Safety Tips

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Driving in winter weather means cold, wet and sometimes freezing road conditions. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), taking proper, preventative safety measures on the roads during the winter keeps professional drivers safe, as well as other vehicles on the road.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recommends these tips to professional drivers to stay safe on the roads this winter:

  • Reduce your driving speed in bad weather conditions. Adjusting speed to match weather and road conditions is imperative helps decrease the risk for fatal crashes.
  • Reduce speed when turning and before entering an exit or entrance ramp. A large percentage of crashes happen when large trucks or buses are making a turn or traveling on a curved ramp. Reducing speed helps drivers maintain control of their trucks.
  • Drive slowly with a loaded trailer. Large trucks with fully loaded trailers are 10 times more likely to roll over than those with empty trailers.

While traveling this winter, the National Safety Council recommends drivers always:

  • Prepare your truck for winter. Do a pre-trip inspection and be sure to check your truck’s brakes, wiring, hoses and fan belts, spark plugs, batteries, tire wear and pressure, antifreeze level and freeze lines.
  • Have emergency supplies in their trucks. It is recommended that drivers ride with a shovel, tire chains, tool kits, first aid kits, blankets, matches, scrapers, triangles, flares, a flashlight and extra batteries.

Join Landstar on the Safety Thursday Conference Call on Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 12 p.m. ET. Call 877-717-5921.

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

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We appreciate truck drivers 52 weeks a year, but during this year’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week from September 11-17, 2016, we’re showing some extra love to the professional drivers who help move America.

Landstar Business Capacity Owners (BCOs) – our term for independent owner-operators – play a huge role in transporting goods safely and on time. So, we ask that everyone join us in saying “thank you” to the men and women professional truck drivers who are on the roads each day.
Attend our online celebration all week by following Landstar on Facebook and Twitter.
We’ll have fun posts to share, prizes to win and photo tributes. Use the hashtag #ThankYouBCOs to participate in this online G - BCO-appreciation-Hipphigh-five with the Landstar family.

Also throughout the week, Landstar BCOs are invited to visit any of Landstar’s Orientation Centers for lunch. The free meal will be served at Noon, Monday, September 12 through Friday, September 16 at our Orientation Centers in: Fort Worth, Texas, Jefferson, Georgia, Indianapolis, Indiana, St. Augustine, Florida, Lewistown, Pennsylvania, Reno, Nevada, Rockford, Illinois and Burlington, Ontario.

rocktruckTo top off National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, BCOs are invited to join us at our service center in Rockford, Illinois for Landstar BCO Appreciation Days on Tuesday, September 13 and Wednesday, September 14. The event offers BCOs the chance to connect with Landstar executives, attend education and safety meetings, and network with fellow professional drivers. Also, one lucky BCO will drive off in a 2017 T680 Kenworth – the grand prize in the Landstar Truck Giveaway, powered by Comdata.

From everyone in the Landstar family … Thank You BCOs!

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August Star of Quality Awards Announced

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Every day members of the Landstar family go above and beyond the call of duty, and deserving BCOs and agents are honored with Landstar’s Star of Quality Award.  Qualified award winners receive a bronze, silver, gold or platinum colored lapel pin that recognizes their extra efforts.

Hats off to our Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Star of Quality winners for August 2016!

Platinum:

Ryan James Stip

The Platinum Award is given only in exceptional circumstances and intended for Landstar’s Heroes of the Highway.

Gold:

Joseph E. Donovan, Jonathan E. Damm*, Richard O. Davis*, Tom Herlston, Christopher W. Patton, Jeanette Simpson*

*Going beyond the Gold – recipient has received multiple Gold Star Awards.

Silver:

Harlan Brian Boswell, Stephan Lawrence Brown, Gale Edward Choffin, Phillip M. Herlein, Richard Hill, Mark Steven Huff, Anthony T. Mitchell

Bronze:

Foster Okyere Agyepong, Constance Ilene Christy, William Carl Christy, Hussein Hassan Dirshe, Dwight A. Everett, Gerard Matthew Greenhouse, Roderick Eugene Hayden, Jeffrey Alan Hickman, George L. Hinkley, David B. Jackson, Charlotte F. Johnson, Raynold Mahotieres, Rudy T. McFowland, Carl M. Meclean Sr., James Morris, Tom Ndungu, Timothy M. Nezbeth, James Terry Reed, Stanley B. Rice, Jeffrey P. Russell, Charles Savage, Beretania Smith, Sandy Lee Smith, Keith Snyder, Darreyl D. Thomas, Kenneth Ryan Wilkins, Brian Scott Yoder

Safety Thursday: Health & Fitness

The challenge for owner-operators to stay healthy is everywhere, from selecting healthy food on the road to getting enough exercise and sleep.

Sleep: The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults 26 to 64 years old get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night and adults 65 years and older get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Too little sleep effects daytime alertness and performance. Sleep apnea also affects performance. The disorder disrupts breathing during sleep and can cause low blood oxygen levels, which can lead to hypertension, heart disease, as well as mood and memory problems, and increases the risk of drowsy driving. Anyone who snores loudly, has a hard time staying awake and is tired even after they think they got a full night’s sleep should consider consulting a doctor. HealthyFood-540x330

Diet: Unhealthy eating habits can impact an owner-operator’s overall health in a negative way. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion eating healthy foods with appropriate calorie levels and maintaining a healthy weight will dramatically reduce risk of chronic disease. Consuming foods that are low in added sugars, saturated fats and sodium helps keep your diet on track and reduce your risk for disease. Because it’s more challenging to make healthy choices on the road, consider planning ahead and cooking healthy meals ahead to take with you on the road or cook in the truck so you’re not be faced with high calorie and high fat choices often found at truck stops.

Exercise: Research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that people who are physically active live longer and have lower risks for a variety of diseases and conditions. Fitting exercise into your schedule regularly is important and can help overall health. The CDC recommends adults between the ages of 18 and 64 get at least 2 and a half hours of moderate to intense aerobic activity every week.12_15_Walking_Blog

According to the CDC, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help:

  • Control your weight
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Reduce your risk of some cancers
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mental health and mood
  • Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult
  • Increase your chances of living longer

Learn more about these benefits at: CDC.gov 

*Check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.

Health and Fitness are this month’s Safety Thursday topics. Join us on the Safety Thursday Conference Call: dial 877-717-5921 August 18, 2016. The call starts at 12 p.m. EST.

Sources:

The Sleep Foundation 

The Sleep Foundation: Disorders, problems 

Nutrition.gov

Health.gov 

CDC.gov: Physical Activity 

CDC.gov

 

Landstar BCO Gary Buchs on Overdrive Online

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Landstar owner-operator Gary Buchs tells Overdrive Online that things really started to come together for him after he formalized his plan for selecting loads and set some financial goals. Overdrive Magazine’s Todd Dills interviewed Buchs about everything from his successful business strategy as an owner-operator to his decision to lease on with Landstar when the reporter rode with him this summer.

You can hear the whole interview on Channel 19 Todd Dills’ podcast: http://www.overdriveonline.com/owner-operator-evolution-through-education/

Read more about Gary Buchs plan for success here: http://www.overdriveonline.com/video-owner-operator-gary-buchs-plan-for-success/

And, find out why Gary says using ELDs is beneficial to his daily operations: http://www.overdriveonline.com/owner-operator-using-elds-finds-operational-benefit/

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Landstar’s All-Star Truck Giveaway

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One lucky Landstar All-Star will drive home from the Annual BCO All-Star Celebration with a brand new 2017 Peterbilt 579. The galaxy silver Peterbilt 579 features a PACCAR MX-13 engine and a 10 speed Eaton Fuller transmission, improved aerodynamics and new chevron grille with classic Peterbilt styling. IMG_7879

The truck’s spacious, ergonomic cab and generously sized 80 inch sleeper were designed with operator comfort and productivity in mind.  The interior of the truck features an audio system equipped with satellite radio as well as MP3, USB and iPod options.

The Model 579 is built to last. According to Peterbilt, the cab is solid and durable with high quality fit and finish. The in-mold process Peterbilt uses, is designed to embed color directly on to the dash and give the interior of the truck a long-lasting finish, eliminating fading, scratching and peeling.

IMG_7882The Landstar All-Star Truck Giveaway will be the grand finale of the 2016 All-Star Celebration being held at the World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida July 1st – 3rd. The event is held each year to honor Landstar Million Mile Safe Drivers and Landstar Roadstars for their safe driving records and professionalism.

Safety Thursday: Summer Hazards

Safe Lane Usage

Driving through a summer heat wave may be preferable to owner-operators when compared to driving through a winter-whiteout but, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), summer driving is the most dangerous and the most deadly. During the summer months, there are more drivers on the road meaning more factors that make summer time driving more dangerous. The NHTSA is urging drivers to be aware of the dangers and take proper precautions on the roads this summer.

More Drivers:

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), there are more teen drivers and drivers in general on the road during the summer.  Record low fuel prices this year mean an increase in summer travel plans and traffic.  Travel grid-lock can be unpleasant, but the AAA reminds motorists to plan ahead and be patient on the roads this summer.

Tire blowouts:

Always remember to inspect your tires before a long trip, but especially in the summer heat. Hot weather causes the air inside tires to expand which can lead to a blowout.  The AAA suggests checking tires regularly and having a tire inspection done monthly throughout the summer to avoid blowouts on the road.

Construction:

Be cautious when driving in construction zones.  Summer time is the most popular time for construction on the road and, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), fatal work zone crashes occur most often in the summer.  The FHA recommends drivers be extra alert in construction zones, never tailgate and obey the posted work zone speed limit.

Sun and excess heat:

Even on the road, staying cool and avoiding heat-related illness is crucial during the summer months.  The National Weather Service recommends drivers be well hydrated before and during a long trip by drinking plenty of water and wear light-weight, light-colored clothing which helps the body maintain temperatures.

Join us on the Safety Thursday Conference Call Thursday June 16, 2016 at 12 p.m. EST call 877-717-5921.

Hotshot Demand Continues to Grow

CMoore_HOT_SHOT_Blog_4When hotshot BCO Chris Moore leased on with Landstar in 2015, he brought with him 5 years of experience in transporting freight using his Ford F-350 and 40-foot gooseneck trailer. Before that, the 26-year-old owner-operator spent some time behind the wheel of a big rig.

“Operating the big truck was expensive and I couldn’t do it anymore, so I started doing hotshot transports with my truck and found there’s no comparison. The ease of getting in and out of places as a hotshot isn’t possible with a big truck,” explained Moore.

The demand for hotshot trucking in the transportation industry continues to grow and, with that demand, Landstar’s utilization of hotshots is also expanding – giving more agents the option to use hotshot owner-operators to get loads hauled. CMoore_HOT_SHOT_Blog_1

“There’s a niche for hotshots in our industry. Sometimes the customer will even request the smaller trucks because there are some new job sites that bigger trucks just cannot get into,” noted Carla Johnson with the Donna Daniels Agency.

What started as just a handful of hotshot owner-operators has quickly turned into a small, but mighty, hotshot fleet.

“Hotshots increase Landstar’s platform capacity and open more opportunities for our agents who are able to better serve their customers,” said Landstar Vice President of Capacity Development Scott Ray.

For Moore, that means hauling pipe loads and driving on scenic back roads, which allows him to see even more of the United States.

“For me, driving means getting to see places I’ve never seen before like Wyoming.  It’s a beautiful state and because I am a hotshot owner-operator and don’t have a weight restriction, I can take back roads and see even more of what these states have to offer,” said Moore.

Aside from getting into places an 18-wheeler cannot and not being restricted by a weight limit, Moore says, other factors aid in his success as a hotshot.

“Operation costs on the Ford versus a big truck are so much lower. I get 11 miles to the gallon on fuel, and have an additional fuel tank on the truck, so I can keep going and don’t have to stop often to re-fuel,” explained Moore. CMoore_HOT_SHOT_Blog_3

Agents or owner-operators who would like more information on Landstar hotshots should contact BCO Recruiting at 1-800-435-4010.

Summer Holiday Cargo Alert from Landstar

A load at rest is a load at risk!

Cargo thieves do not take holidays off, they use the holiday season to capitalize on poorly coordinated dispatch. Cargo thieves are always on the lookout for unattended equipment loaded with High Risk Cargo (HRC) or other lucrative cargo which is easily marketed for a quick profit. It takes less than 5 minutes for a cargo thief to steal your truck, trailer and load.

With approaching holidays in Canada and the United States, Landstar is reminding all BCOs, Carriers and 3rd Party Logistics providers to be mindful of their trucks, trailers and cargo during this high-risk time.

Businesses will be closed as Canada celebrates Canada Day on Wednesday July 1st and Friday, July 3rd for Independence Day in the U.S.

Here are some tips to keep you secure:

  • Verify your shipper’s and receiver’s holiday schedule.
  • Remember to use your locks!
  • HRC cannot be taken home for any reason.
  • Secure yards available across the country, but they fill up quickly around holidays.

If you need assistance, contact Landstar Security and Cargo Loss Prevention at 800-872-9103.