Editorial: On Stones and Glass Houses

Rep. Frank Wolf’s angry: at American Trucking Associations, at most truckers and at his own party’s leadership.

The Virginia Republican is very unhappy because the people who run Congress these days — and who sit on the same side of the aisle as Mr. Wolf — had the audacity to reach into the 4,000-page piece of legislation that details how the government will spend more than $500 billion over the next year, and pluck out his latest brainstorm.

And they did it, in large part, at the request of ATA.

EPA Fines Diesel Engine Makers

Diesel engine manufacturers have agreed to pay record fines of $185 million and make significant design modifications to settle Environmental Protection Agency claims that they broke clean-air standards.

Engine recalls are not part of the deal. But manufacturers will have to retrofit any engines they rebuild.

The federal agency estimates the costs to manufacturers of design modifications and retrofitting will exceed $850 million.

Teamster Pension Fund Probe Looks at Returned Money

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Teamsters pension fund in Chicago was repaid more than $729,000 for questionable fees credited to a small Michigan brokerage firm.

The fees have been the subject of a federal investigation and the source of recriminations within the divided union.

The money was returned voluntarily in June by Fleet Financial Group Inc., which said a review of records kept by a bank Fleet acquired in 1996 indicated that fees paid to East West Capital Corp., in Harper Woods, Mich., may have been improper.

Hauling Heat: Louisiana Fleet Claims Hottest Cargo

CROWLEY, La.

t’s safe to say that just about everything in Louisiana is hot: the jambalaya, the weather, the jazz. It turns out some of the trucks are pretty hot, too, and we’re not talking about paint jobs and chrome.

We’re talking temperature.

Just ask John N. John III, vice president and co-owner with his brothers of John N. John Truck Line. At 500 degrees Fahrenheit, he said, “our tank trailers have the highest temperature rating in the country.”

Mr. John Goes to Washington

WASHINGTON

s a boy, when he was not breaking tires or washing trucks, Chris John canvassed the Louisiana countryside with his father, who was trying to get himself sent to Baton Rouge by the local voters.

Trucking executive John N. John Jr. ran for office three times before he secured a seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1972.

Safe Driver of Year, One of Roadway's Elite

ORLANDO, Fla. — James E. Sheriff of Roadway Express topped off an eventful year with one of trucking’s highest honors: the National Driver of the Year Award from American Trucking Associations.

Earlier in 1998 he was named Illinois Driver of the Year, and he also was one of 55 drivers recognized and rewarded by his company for a career total of 3 million accident-free miles (TT, 8-24-98, p. 7).

The award for state driver of the year was a repeat; he also had won in 1992. And he was nominated for the Goodyear Highway Hero Award in 1995 and 1996.

ATA Names Winner of First Scholarship Award

Jason Malufau, the son of American Trucking Associations employee Toni Malufau, is the recipient of the first ATA Scholarship Fund award, a $4,000 grant for college expenses.

The fund was established last year by then-ATA president Thomas J. Donohue and his family in support of the organization’s employees and their families.

Mr. Malufau’s mother is an administrative clerk in the ATA Graphic and Printing Services Department. She has been with the association since 1989.

No End to Consolidation Trend

Consolidation continues to dominate the financial scene in trucking. In the past week alone, three truckload carriers, a leasing company, a distribution firm and a truck parts distributor announced deals.

• M.S. Carriers, Memphis, Tenn., will buy certain assets of Interstate Trucking Corp. of America, a dry van truckload carrier based in Merrill, Wis.

Bering Truck Selects First Dealer

FRONT ROYAL, Va. — Bering Truck Corp. selected Central Truck Center in Landover, Md., as its first dealer.

The dealership owned by Jim Burgess will sell the complete line of Class 3 through Class 8 Bering trucks in the Washington, D.C., area. The trucks will be sold from a new facility adjacent to an existing dealership that includes a body shop and full-service leasing center.

Rep. Wolf Vows To Pursue Shift

Rep. Frank Wolf will not give up his campaign to move jurisdiction over trucking’s most important federal agency, the Office of Motor Carriers, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

t a Capitol Hill press conference Oct. 21, the Virginia Republican vowed to resurrect the idea next year.

“OMC has not been doing a good job,” he asserted.

“Trucking accidents, fatalities and fatality rates have been increasing at an alarming rate.”

Office of Motor Carriers Stays Put as 1999 Spending Bill Is Enacted

In passing the $520 billion spending bill that will keep the federal government going until next October, Congress last week left the Office of Motor Carriers sitting where it is, under the Federal Highway Administration’s wing.

President Clinton signed the 4,000-page omnibus legislation without fanfare Oct. 21, only hours after the Senate’s 65-29 vote. The House had given its approval the day before by a 333-95 margin.

ATA Convenes New Era

The road to the 21st century for American Trucking Associations begins this week in New Orleans.

More than 4,250 industry executives and their spouses are expected to attend the 1998 ATA Management Conference & Exhibition and witness the beginning of a new era for the trucking federation.

UPS Invests in Software Firm

ATLANTA — United Parcel Service will invest in TanData Corp. and jointly market transportation software designed to make it easier for companies to conduct electronic commerce.

Tulsa, Okla.-based TanData produces software that allows businesses to collect and share information about shipments from multiple sources without the need for separate proprietary systems.

Dale Hayes, vice president of electronic commerce marketing for UPS, said TanData’s application programming interface could become a standard for transportation systems integration.

Pages