Peterbilt parade raises more money for United Way

DENTON, Texas — Peterbilt Motors raised more than $20,000 in donations at its fourth annual Pride and Class Parade at its home base in Denton last week, the company said.

The parade was part of the annual United Way Denton County campaign.

The event attracts owners of custom-built Peterbilt trucks from around the U.S. and Canada who showcase their rigs.

“The first Pride and Class Parade in 2016 was such a success with the community and Peterbilt employees that it became an annual event,” said Jason Skoog, Paccar vice-president and Peterbilt general manager.

“This year, we saw a nearly ten-fold increase in donations raised to support United Way Denton County compared to the 2016 event. We are honored by this opportunity to give back to Denton and the local community.”

Since 2002, Peterbilt and the United Way of Denton County have partnered to raise more than $6.5 million in support of the Denton County community.

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Risk Strategies acquires trucking insurance program manager Winter Group in CA

Risk Strategies has acquired Winter Group – a specialty insurance program manager focused on serving the trucking industry.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Winter Group, founded 1995, is an insurance wholesaler based in San Diego, CA. The firm offers national insurance solutions for essentially all aspects of the trucking and transportation industry – in particular, Winter Group strongly specializes in cross-border transportation risks. At present, it serves over 17,000 customers, helping brokers deal with NAFTA transportation risk management and compliance.

In addition to its San Diego office, Winter Group also has a presence in Texas, Florida, Washington, South Carolina, Atlanta, North Carolina, and Ohio. The firm also serves as a program administrator for a number of national trucking associations.

“Strong, continued economic growth is driving rapid expansion in the US transportation sector at a time when technological and road safety advances are creating new opportunities for differentiation and specialization,” said Risk Strategies senior managing director of wholesale Matthew Power. “More than ever, brokers serving this industry need more than access, they need a specialist like Winter Group on their side.”

“Risk Strategies is a highly collaborative and innovative firm,” added Winter Group managing director Phillip Winter. “Its focus on distinctly differentiated niche areas of our industry, and an acquisition strategy centered on specialty wholesale organizations, is a perfect foundation on which our team, customers and stakeholders can grow and thrive.”

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Lisa Kelly: From tomboy to celebrity trucker

DALLAS, Texas – In an episode of Ice Road Truckers, Lisa Kelly jumps off her moving 22-wheeler to save herself as the ice begins to splinter on a remote Alaskan highway.

That is the only way truckers can make a quick escape in such harsh conditions on roads where the maximum posted speed is 10 km/h with no stopping allowed.

Although that is reality TV, real trucking life in the wilderness of Alaska is not much different.

In fact, according to Kelly, 38, what she does on the show “is real life.”

That is exactly why she likes her job, a job she has been enjoying for the past 15 years.

“I love trucks,” she summed up her passion for trucking in three words in an interview at last month’s Great American Truck Show (GATS) in Dallas, Texas.

Lisa Kelly on the Delo flyer.

Kelly was there as the brand ambassador of Delo, a line of heavy-duty engine oils developed by the lubricants giant Chevron Products Co.

A longtime user of the product, she signed Delo flyers for fans at the show.

“When I open my toolbox door, it’s always Delo,” Kelly says in a Chevron commercial.

She has been working for Chevron for about three years, and she says she goes wherever the company needs her to go.

“Mostly GATS and MATS (the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky).”

Kelly was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., but raised on a small farm in Sterling, Alaska, about 220 kilometers southwest of Anchorage.

She was a bit of tomboy with a can-do attitude, and “really liked getting out of the building and driving around town.”

Kelly drove a delivery van and a school bus before realizing her dream of “driving a big truck someday,” according to a bio posted on her website.

The trucker’s job also catapulted her to stardom and fame.

On History Channel’s Ice Road Truckers, simply called IRT, she and five male drivers ferry freight on big rigs through Alaska’s frozen lakes and rivers. The show premiered in 2007, and the 11th season aired in late 2017.

She also starred in the IRT spinoff IRT Deadliest Roads. A few episodes of that show were filmed in some of the deadliest roads in India, Bolivia and Peru. In one, shot in the Indian Himalayas, Kelly hauls supplies through “pretty wild” roads.

“(It was) unlike anything I have ever experienced,” she said.

Image courtesy: Lisa Kelly

Kelly is the biggest and most popular star of the IRT. She was once called “the sexiest trucker alive” by the men’s magazine Esquire.

She has more 66,000 followers on Twitter, but fame doesn’t affect her work as a trucker.

Kelly works and lives in the truck for a couple of months before taking a break and going home to Wasilla, Alaska. One time, she said, she was able to go home only after three or four months.

“I have a very understanding husband,” she said, giggling.

“He gives me the freedom to go away for so many months, and it is amazing.”

An avid dirt biker, Kelly met her future husband Traves Kelly while buying a Kawasaki 125 motorcycle in 2004. They married four years later.

“He was motorcycle mechanic. He is a plumber now. It’s a weird life,” Kelly said.

She said her best experience as a truck driver was the “cool places” she was able to go.

Kelly is aware of the fact that not many women are working in the trucking industry, but she thinks it is changing.

“Feels like it’s been going up, a lot.”

She said many people watching the TV show or meeting her at trade shows often comment that she doesn’t look like a truck driver.

“Stereotypical ones. You don’t have to fit a stereotype. You can just do whatever you like.”

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Hub International picks up TX-based commercial truck insurance agency

Hub International has acquired US Insurance Source (USIS), as well as several of its affiliates.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

USIS, in Spring, TX is an independent insurance agency specializing in commercial insurance, which includes trucking insurance. The agency offers comprehensive coverages to help protect owner-operators, fleet managers and related freight and trucking companies.

The owner of USIS, Mark Walton, will join Hub Transportation and report to Hub Transportation executive vice-president Jerry Gillikin.

Last month, Hub acquired retirement consulting firm Sheridan Road Financial in Chicago and New York-based insurance provider The Rubin Group.

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Natural gas truck sales spiked in February: ACT

COLUMBUS, Ind. – Natural gas retail truck sales surged in February, up 44% from January, but were still down 12% year-to-date through the first two months of 2019.

ACT Research reported year-to-date sales are down 24%.

“Bucking the early decline pattern of the past few years, cumulative sales for the first two months of 2019 appear to be gaining ground,” said Ken Vieth, senior partner and general manager at ACT Research. “Despite a soft January, sales of natural gas-powered vehicles picked up in February, both month-over-month, up 44%, and year-over-year, up 13%.”

Vieth added, “Based on news released in the popular press, natural gas vehicle purchases continued to be dominated by refuse fleets, as well as transit and school bus operators. Among truckers, it appears as though the majority of incremental volume came from current natural gas vehicle users replacing units or increasing their number. That said, transportation power is no longer a one-size-fits-all proposition. All viable commercial vehicle power alternatives, from diesel and natural gas to electric of all kinds, must now be considered to accurately measure potential cost savings, while meeting future emissions, and ACT sees the development of electric vehicles growing, even while natural gas adoptions continue and diesel-powered engines increase in efficiency.”

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Peterbilt recognizes top dealers

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Three Canadian Peterbilt dealers were recently recognized as Best-in-Class award winners.

Camions Excellence Peterbilt, Peterbilt Manitoba, and Stahl Peterbilt were the Canadian recipients of awards during the truck maker’s 2019 dealer meeting. They were recognized due to their: standard of excellence scores; financial performance; parts and service performance, and utilization of Paccar training and programs.

“These award-winning dealers, and the dealer network as a whole, have invested heavily in adding and expanding facilities, hiring the best technicians, increasing hours of service and offering mobile service solutions that drive uptime and profitability for our customers,” said Peterbilt’s director of dealer development, Peyton Harrell. “The Peterbilt dealer network is the fastest growing network in the United States and Canada, and has never been stronger.”

The company also named The Peterbilt Store as its 2019 Dealer of the Year.

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Arnold Bros. celebrates 60 years in trucking industry

WINNIPEG, Man. – Today marked the 60th year Arnold Bros. Transport has been in business.

Founded in 1958 by Frank and Gerry Arnold, the Winnipeg-based carrier started when the brothers expanded the family farm with the transportation of grain.

“It’s exciting to see Arnold Bros. reach the 60-year mark,” said Gary Arnold, executive vice-president of Arnold Bros.

Incorporated in August of ’58, the family-run business now employs five generations with the youngest being 21 and the oldest 80 years old.

“The company has far surpassed what Frank and Gerry envisioned back in the ‘50s,” Gary said. “Arnold Bros. Transport hauls a variety of goods throughout Canada and the U.S. due to the multiple types of equipment we have available. We work with dozens and dozens of industries, with a loyal and long-standing customer base that relies on the quality of our service and our people.”

The company now hauls a variety of goods, including farm machinery and agricultural products, as well as operating dry van and refrigerated trailers.

In addition to its Winnipeg head office, Arnold Bros. has offices in Milton, Ont., Calgary and Edmonton, and yard locations in Vancouver, Regina, Saskatoon, and Montreal.

“You don’t reach the 60-year mark without focusing on quality, investing in your future, and appreciating your employees,” said Gary.

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Peterbilt Top Workplace For Women, Award To Be Given By Women In Trucking

Earlier today, Peterbilt Motors Company announced that the Women in Trucking Association will recognize the company as a top workplace in the trucking industry at the annual Women In Trucking Accelerate conference in Dallas Texas on November 13th.

Sources at Peterbilt report that the company has continually worked on efforts to incorporate diversity in the workplace in recent years, specifically focusing on acculturating women within trucking.

“Receiving this award is a testament to Peterbilt’s commitment to fostering and empowering a diverse workforce,” said Jason Skoog, Peterbilt General Manager. “I am excited about our progress to date, and the continued expansion across all of Peterbilt’s diversity initiatives, including the implementation earlier this year of a Veteran’s affinity group.”

In 2018, the Peterbilt’s Women Initiative (PBWIN) was launched, an effort in which the company empowered local students and residents in Peterbilt operations areas as a means of outreach to promote STEAM education in schools and promote gender diversity within the trucking industry.

More information on Peterbilt as well as the PBWIN initiative may be found at the company’s site.

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ArcBest To Celebrate 95 Years In Business

Seeing its company beginnings within the trucking industry in 1923, ArcBest reports that it will celebrate its 95th anniversary this fall, continuing its services as a provider of end-to-end supply chain services

Formed in 1923, sources at ArcBest report that the company has worked closely alongside its customers in order to develop deep relationships within the industry as well as grow within logistics providers.

“I’m very proud to be part of a company with a history full of innovation and excellence and an exciting future,” said Judy R. McReynolds, ArcBest chairman, president and CEO. “Our success at ArcBest has come from hiring creative problem solvers, developing great customer relationships, and going above and beyond every day.”

ArcBest reports that the 1930’s saw the company buy Arkansas Motor Freight with only 10 employees, three locations, two tractors and an annual revenue of $50,000 as the company grew into the 1940s.

During the 1960’s, ArcBest reportedly established an Information Technology branch that exists currently as ArcBest technologies as the company acquired other North American-based trucking lines.

With the company’s acquisition of Navajo Freight Lines in 1979, the company reportedly claimed the title of the 9th largest regulated instate motor carrier in the country.

“Our ability to continually solve and grow with our customers has been a key contributor to our longevity,” McReynolds said. “It has helped us build a rich history and a powerful foundation for our future.”

After the 2014 renaming of ArcBest Corporation, the company saw solutions offered under the ArcBest brand, with more than 13,000 employees and 240 service centers across North America.

More information on ArcBest may be found at the company’s site.

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Trucking companies in Indianapolis say the city is “almost like a third world country” as theft on trucking lots increases

Indianapolis trucking companies are saying the city has become “almost like a third world country” as small businesses are forced to beef up security in order to keep their equipment from being stolen.

Just three years ago, Taylor’s Truck and Trailer on the west side of Indianapolis, Indiana was hit by thieves who were able to make off with more than 100 tractor trailer batteries in a matter of months. Now more recently, Celadon Trucking on Raymond Street has been robbed as well and this time the thieves did more than steal batteries.

According to WTHR News, the thieves were able to take about 30 semi truck batteries from the lot and even broke into one of the trucks and used it as a battering ram to open the lot’s gates and flee the scene.

The stolen rig was discovered around one and a half miles away with serious damage some time later.

It is not yet clear what Celadon Trucking on Raymond Street plans to do about the breach in security, but Robert Woodward, owner of Taylor’s Truck and Trailer, says that his business has paid dearly for the incident, spending $500 each month just to rent an electric fence for the property.

“It’s not pretty. It doesn’t look great. It’s almost like a third world country,” said Woodward.

“I mean, they use a lot of electric fences in third world countries and that’s what this city is coming to… crimes like these hit small businesses hard.”

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