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CORRECTING and REPLACING Ten FedEx Drivers Take Home Top Honors at the National Truck Driving …

MEMPHIS, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE[1])–Please replace the release with the following corrected version due to multiple revisions, including the corrected spelling of the Grand Champion’s name Roland Bolduc.

The corrected release reads:

TEN FEDEX DRIVERS TAKE HOME TOP HONORS AT THE NATIONAL TRUCK DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express, Awarded Grand Champion Title

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) announced today that 10 drivers representing the company took home top honors at the 2017 National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC) in Orlando August 8-12. Six were crowned National Champions in their respective driving classes and Roland Bolduc of FedEx Express was named the Bendix Grand Champion, the most prestigious award at the National Truck Driving Championships. Four other drivers also received awards recognizing excellence in the written test, professionalism and best first-time performance.

“We are proud of all the men and women who competed in the National Truck Driving Championships, and particularly those who took top honors at the national level. All of these skilled professionals represent the FedEx value of Safety Above All,” said Frederick W. Smith, chairman and CEO, FedEx Corp.

Team FedEx has now won 50 National Champion, four National Grand Champion and seven Rookie of the Year titles since the inception of the Chairman’s Challenge in 2003.

The following are brief profiles of the individuals honored:

Michael Bills[2] of Durham, N.C., was crowned champion of the Step Van class. Michael is a 25- year veteran of FedEx Express with 1 million accident-free miles.

Rick Bailey[3] of Warren, Mich., took home the championship for the Straight Truck class. Rick has logged 3.5 million accident-free miles during his 36-year professional driving career, 19 of which he has spent at FedEx Freight.

Jim Duffy[4] of Madison, Wis., was crowned champion of the 4-axle class. Jim, a driver for FedEx Freight, was recognized at the Wisconsin TDC as the Ray Newberry “Mr. Safety” Award winner and has been a professional driver for 17 years, logging more than 650,000 safe-driving miles.

Wayne Crowder[5] of Louisville, Ky., took home the championship in the Flatbed class. Wayne, an America’s Road Team captain and FedEx Freight driver, has accumulated 3.3 million safe-driving miles during his 35-year driving career.

Scott Woodrome[6] of Dayton, Ohio was named champion of the Tank Truck class. Scott, a FedEx Freight driver, is an America’s Road Team Captain and was named the 2015 Driver of the Year by the Ohio Trucking Association.

Roland Bolduc[7] of Windsor, Conn., was named the champion of the 5-Axle Sleeper class, and also took home the title of Grand Champion during his 14th appearance at the competition. Roland has driven for FedEx Express for 23 of his 34-year professional driving career, logging 1.7 million accident-free miles.

At NTDC and in the trucking industry year round, safety and professionalism are paramount. Three drivers representing FedEx took home awards that demonstrate these values:

  • Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award: Dan Shamrell, FedEx Freight (Portland, Ore.)
  • Rookie of the Year: Bryce Neilson, FedEx Freight (Butte, Mont.)
  • Best Written Score: Paul Brandon, FedEx Freight (New Haven, Conn.) and Don Logan, FedEx Freight (Topeka, Kan.)

Along with the Champions of each class and the individual awards winners, 16 drivers were top finishers in their respective driving class:

  • Kailen Bronson, FedEx Ground (Portland, Ore.), 5th Place, Step Van
  • Randy Byrd, FedEx Freight (Jackson, Miss.), 3rd place, Twins
  • Lalo Fernandez, FedEx Freight (Portland, Ore.), 2nd place, 5-Axle Sleeper
  • Todd Flippin, FedEx Freight (Springfield, Colo.), 4th place, Twins
  • Ross Garner, FedEx Freight (Decatur, Ala.), 2nd place, Tank Truck
  • Brent Glasenapp, FedEx Express (Milwaukee, Wis.), 2nd place, Straight Truck
  • David Hawk, FedEx Freight (Birmingham, Ala.), 5th place, Straight Truck
  • Nick Jones, FedEx Freight (Portland, Ore.), 4th place, 5-Axle
  • Artur Lesniowski, FedEx Ground (Secaucus, N.J.), 3rd place, 5-Axle
  • Don Logan, FedEx Freight (Topeka, Kan.), 4th place, Flatbed
  • Bart Masciulli, FedEx Express (Philadelphia, Pa.), 4th place, Step Van
  • Dave Rohman, FedEx Express (Charlotte, N.C.), 2nd place, 3-Axle
  • Dan Shamrell, FedEx Freight (Portland, Ore.), 3rd place, 4-Axle
  • Chris Shaw, FedEx Express (Albuquerque, N.M.), 4th place, Straight Truck
  • Darrell Shelton, FedEx Freight (Pasco, Wash.), 5th place, 4-Axle
  • Steve Ward, FedEx Express, (Greer, S.C.), 4th place, 4-Axle

This year, 173 drivers from FedEx Freight, FedEx Express and FedEx Ground competed at the NTDC. For the second consecutive year, drivers from all the 50 states represented Team FedEx. Collectively this team of 173 individuals has 3,800 years professional driving experience and has driven 246 million accident-free miles. In order to compete at Nationals, each driver must be accident free for one year and win their respective states competition.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) sponsors the annual championships, known as the “Super Bowl of Safety,” to recognize industry leadership in safety and to promote professionalism among truck drivers. Each driver is required to demonstrate his or her driving skills and knowledge of the industry through a series of tests, including a written exam, vehicle pre-trip inspection and driving-skills challenge.

About FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $60 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 400,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com[8].

References

  1. ^ BUSINESS WIRE (www.businesswire.com)
  2. ^ Michael Bills (cts.businesswire.com)
  3. ^ Rick Bailey (cts.businesswire.com)
  4. ^ Jim Duffy (cts.businesswire.com)
  5. ^ Wayne Crowder (cts.businesswire.com)
  6. ^ Scott Woodrome (cts.businesswire.com)
  7. ^ Roland Bolduc (cts.businesswire.com)
  8. ^ about.fedex.com (cts.businesswire.com)
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Western Pacific Truck School Changes Lives, One CDL at a Time

As an instructor for Western Pacific Truck School in Centralia, John Reno loves passing on the knowledge he gained during 35 years as a truck driver.

It is a love that is deeply rooted in the many student success stories he can tell: students who refer their friends; students who come back and show them their trucks; students who call and tell him his instruction helped their career; and students who find a new direction in life and a better way to provide for their families through the program.

“I want to see them get ahead in life because I’ve been there,” Reno said. “When I got out of the military, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and this gave me something.”

Western Pacific Truck School is as much about meeting an industry need as it is about career training. According to the American Trucking Associations, national trucking revenues were $676.2 billion and American truckers moved a total of 10.4 billion tons of freight last year. Nationwide, about 9.6 million Americans are employed in some area related to trucking but there is currently a 35,000-driver shortage. The ATA estimates an additional need of 100,000 truckers over the next decade.

“Eighty-five percent of everything you have is brought by truck,” said Western Pacific Truck School of Oregon president Willy Eriksen. “If you wanted to stop the economy, stop trucking.”

The trucking school’s parent company, Nordic Enterprises, was started in California by Eriksen’s cousin 40 years ago. After leaving a job with Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi, Eriksen became vice president of Nordic enterprises in 1989 and then purchased the Portland school in 2000. He later began branches of the commercial truck driving school in Olympia, Longview and Centralia. Eriksen said it was a culture shock to go from a corporate environment to a school where even instructors wear jeans and T-shirts, but he quickly began to like the work because of the students.

“It’s rewarding because you’re helping people. In some cases they’ve been laid off and they need a job and the average truck driver makes $50,000 a year with only four weeks of training. That’s pretty good,” Eriksen said.

The Centralia location of Western Pacific Truck School held its first classes in 2009. As with its other branches, students spend four weeks with instructors preparing to test for the state commercial driver’s license test. One week is in the classroom and the next three weeks are “in the yard” learning with 10-speed trucks. Eriksen said that many trucks today are automatic, but if students learn and test in an automatic truck, they are only qualified to drive automatic trucks, which could disqualify them for some jobs.

Instructors must have a minimum 10 years of experience to teach there. Eriksen said they intentionally keep class sizes low to maintain a two-to-one ratio of students to instructors. At the Centralia location, classes average about six students.

“Some schools try to rush you in, rush you out, but I try to give them an idea of what it’s going to be like in the real world,” Reno said. “You’re not going to get rich, but you know you will make a good living. It’s an honest living, but it’s not for everybody.”

Tuition for four weeks of instruction is $4,700. Western Pacific offers financing but Reno also noted that many major trucking schools offer tuition reimbursement. Tuition fees do not include mandatory fees totaling $589.

Western Pacific students are run through simulations of what they will face in the CDL test, giving them and instructors an idea of how a student will fare on testing day. Reno said in the 3 ½ years he has been with Western Pacific, he has only had three students who did not pass their CDL.

“In the third week when they’re in the field and they’re starting to get nervous I tell them, ‘Don’t worry, if you’re not ready, we’ll continue to carry you at our cost’ because we’re not going to send someone out and set them up for failure,” Eriksen said.

“I don’t want them to get out on the highway and not know what to do when something goes wrong,” Reno said. “It can be dangerous because sometimes they’re pulling 80,000 pounds and if they’re broken down by the side of the road, they’re not making money.”

When it comes to truck-driving as a career, Eriksen said quality of life for truck drivers is increasing. About 90 percent of trucking jobs require no handling of freight, and if the driver has to off-load freight, they get paid extra. Eriksen said it also used to be that new truck drivers almost exclusively had to take “over the road” jobs, meaning three weeks away from home at a stretch. Today, Eriksen said 80-90 percent of their students are getting jobs driving locally, meaning that drivers can be home every night.

The Centralia school has a 98 percent job placement rate for new graduates.

Even so, truck driving isn’t for everyone and Western Pacific even tries to steer people who might not be good candidates away from spending their money for training. For example, even though marijuana use by adults is legal in Washington state, Eriksen explained that the trucking industry is federally regulated, so its use is not allowed by trucking companies. Many trucking companies use hair follicle drug tests, which are much more sensitive than urine tests. Another example of something that can disqualify a driver is a criminal record including DUIs or felonies. Eriksen explained that driving infractions in your personal car will cause a mark against your CDL, so even after being licensed, drivers must be careful about their activities when not at work.

“The industry has cleaned up their act,” Eriksen said. “In the last 10 years, they’ve cracked down on a lot of things for insurance reasons and public perception.”

But for those looking for a new career, Eriksen said, truck driving deserves consideration because industry reports see trucking continuing to be a growing industry. Eriksen said the next big thing in the far-off future of trucking will be self-driving trucks. Though Eriksen said he won’t be likely to see this technology be widely used in his lifetime, it will likely have an impact on trucking schools like his. He explained that these trucks will likely still have to be manned by a human, especially because the infrastructure that has been discussed is along the interstates, so local driving will still require a human touch. Someday trucking will change, but trucking schools that adapt will still be a necessary part of the equation.

“Trucking is an industry that’s going to be with us for a long time,” Eriksen said. “In our lifetime, we’re not going to see many major changes but it is going to happen.”

Learn more about the business online at www.wptruckschooloforegon.com[1].

References

  1. ^ www.wptruckschooloforegon.com (www.wptruckschooloforegon.com)
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Trooper’s cruiser collides with 2 vehicles in Casco, injuring him and 1 other

A Maine state trooper was being treated for cuts and bruises Monday after his cruiser was demolished in a crash in Casco.

Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said Cpl. Joseph Bureau was taken by ambulance to Maine Medical Center in Portland to be checked out, but his injuries were not considered serious.

Bureau was driving through the intersection of routes 121 and 11 in Casco when his cruiser hit a pickup truck that had entered the intersection. The flashing lights and siren on Bureau’s cruiser were activated at the time. He was responding to a report of a burglary in progress in the town of Brownfield.

The driver of the pickup truck was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to Maine Medical Center with serious injuries. His name has not been released yet, pending notification of his relatives.

Following the crash, Route 11 – also known as Poland Spring Road – had to be closed to traffic from its intersection with Quaker Ridge Road to Route 121. That section of road was still closed at 6:45 p.m.

According to McCausland, the police cruiser bounced off the pickup truck before striking a utility pole. The cruiser continued on and hit a stopped tractor-trailer truck. The driver of the tractor-trailer truck, which is owned and operated by Pottle’s Transportation, was not hurt.

“He saw the crash happening and came to a complete stop,” McCausland said of the truck driver.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

The Cumberland County Regional Communications Center said it started receiving calls about the crash at 3:09 p.m.

The Casco Fire Department, local ambulance crews and sheriff’s deputies responded to the crash.

Photographs by state police and those posted on social media showed the front end of the state police cruiser had been crushed. There was also extensive damage to the cruiser’s rear end.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected][1]

References

  1. ^ [email protected] (www.pressherald.com)