Thanks to the more than forty of you folks I met with and inspected in Sunbury and Youngwood last week. I always enjoy getting out and talking trucks (and cars, and motorcycles, and grandkids) with you. I am always impressed with the quality of our trucks and our drivers. We had some great meals together and really good conversations about CARB, CSA and electronic logging devices. Several of you are in our ELD test program and I was glad to get your feedback. The volunteer numbers are increasing each week. If you have an interest in the ELD program, call Rob Curry or stop by and see him. His office is right next to my new digs.

A couple of weeks ago I moved down the hall (along with Maria and Misty) to our new offices (8th place in 31 years for me, hopefully the last). This set up is much more efficient than my old office and allows me to work next to Rob. I’ve got several more years left before I retire so I want to spend as much time with him as possible. General Manager Rick Reed is getting evicted from his old office for another project, so he’s now got my old one. No, he didn’t get the model trucks!

There are a couple of things everyone needs to be thinking about: Medical releases and maintanence reports. I hate to preach, so stay with me here:

If you are treated for an injury or illness, I require a doctors release with no restrictions before you will be placed back in service. Diana Young keeps track of the injuries. Those releases should be sent to her. She will share them with me. Misty Burgin handles illnesses and physicals. Those need to go to her. If you are in doubt, send everything to Diana. Whether you are recovering from an injury, illness, surgery or whatever, I will want to know what and how much medication you are taking, both prescription and over the counter. While I respect your privacy, the bottom line is that I have a responsibility to you and your family, to the DOT, to our customers and to the public to be certain to the best of my ability that you are fit, well and capable of safely operating your vehicle. I take that charge very seriously. Arguing about it with either Diana or Misty will not help your case. Their jobs are both difficult enough without a bunch of hassle from drivers about physicals or releases. You need to convince me. That is done through complete documentation of the event and documentation of your recovery and health.

It seems like I’m seeing a few people getting a bit lazy on monthly maintanence reports. The DOT requirement is clear. Anything you do or have done to your truck and/or trailer must be documented on your monthly maintanence report. While I understand that it may be possible to do no maintance on your equipment in perhaps one month, sending in two consecutive months of blank maintanence reports on either the truck or trailer is unacceptable. Most of you get that and do a great job. Unfortunately, a few of you apparently need some additional motivation. I have instructed Lead Truck Inspector David Sloan to compile me a list of folks who are repeatedly sending in blank maintanence reports. If you are in that category, you can expect to be routed to Louisville to explain your maintanence procedures to me in the next couple of months. You can also expect to have your equipment inspected while you are here. If you want to avoid hassle from me, do your maintanence reports.

This Sunday I’ll be doing LKY inspections in Arkadelphia, AR at the fairgrounds. You can get directions from either the HIA or HIT offices. I’ll work from about 3:00pm central until everyone is done. On Tuesday October 15 and Wednesday October 16 I will be at Dowd’s Diesel in Newberry, SC doing LKY inspections. At both places, I will be do log orientations, hazmat recertifications and will have one of our ELD units to look at. If you are going to see me at either place, be sure you call Maria and get on my list.

We’ll be doing something different in Florida for LKY inspections in November. The details will be out next week. I look forward to seeing a bunch of you in AR and SC. I appreciate each of you and the job you do. Be safe.