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Free Advice and Worth Every Penny
By Gary Serago
Job 2:9 - Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (NKJV Bible)
I am sure that we have probably all received some free advice from someone and it was worth every penny. Mrs Job would get a first place vote from me for the number one all time piece of bad advice saying when she said to her husband, “Curse God and die!”
You have got to be kidding me. Really, that is the best advice you can give to someone who has just gone through some of life’s worse trials? You are going to tell them to curse God and die? I want to briefly recap what has just happened in Job’s life. Satan has attacked Job with a fury. He had his livestock stolen, and killed. He had all of his children killed at the same time. I would say that would be enough suffering to bring you to your knees. What does Job do after the lost of all his cattle and children? He worships God (Job 1:20).
Then he makes a statement that has been quoted for centuries: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21 NKJV).
Job thinks one way and behaves accordingly and his wife thinks another way and she behaves accordingly. My question for us to think about today is this: How would we react if we just lost everything?
Would we be able to pray the prayer of Job or would we be more inclined to curse God and want to die?
Here is another question for us to ponder. Why was Job able to pray this prayer? The answer is because he was a man of integrity and God said so in Job 2:3. His belief system was wired like this. If I receive good things from God that’s okay and if I receive bad things in life that is okay for God is still God?
In our world today there are some who believe if bad things happen to them then God must be mad at them. You know it could be that when bad things happen to you they have happened to you because you made the devil mad at you.
Here is a lesson I have learned from this scripture. When you are a person of integrity you will have troubles in this life and there may be someone who will give you free advice on what you should do. If the free advice goes against your beliefs as a man or woman of integrity, you will stick to your belief system as did Job and disregard the free advice, which again I repeat, is worth every penny.
The best way to become a person of integrity is to allow God’s Word to direct your steps in this life. How cool would it be to know that God has called you a person of integrity like He did Job? It is possible. God sees everything and He doesn’t change. He complimented Job and just may be complimenting you as well. Do yourself a huge favor and live according to His Word and you will be known as a person of Integrity.
Think on this: Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat or steal, then you know he never will.
ATLAS LAUNCHES NEW SHUTTLE FLEET, SEEKS TO FILL MORE THAN 100 DRIVING JOBS FOR THE FLEET AND COMMERCIAL TRUCKLOAD DIVISION
EVANSVILLE, IND. — Atlas announces the launch of its new Shuttle Fleet and plans to fill more than 100 driving jobs by June 2012 within the new fleet and its Commercial Truckload Division. Through its new DriveAtlas™ initiative, Atlas is offering sign-on bonuses and several other incentives, including a lease-to-purchase tractor program for new owner operators or those looking to upgrade their equipment. For the new Shuttle Fleet, Atlas is currently filling both over-the-road and regional driving jobs, allowing flexible home time for drivers in this fleet.
“For more than six decades, Atlas has earned its reputation through our expertise and care in full-service moving and transportation,” said Jack Griffin, president and COO of Atlas Van Lines. “The Shuttle Fleet positions we are filling are very specific to the transportation of loaded trailers, which means the drivers we are seeking will truly be responsible to just drive. As an addition to the existing agent fleet, this new fleet allows more ways in which Atlas will grow, succeed and deliver on the promises we make to our clients.”
Shuttle Fleet drivers are strictly responsible for drop and hook trailer delivery service and are paid by the mile. Drivers receive an average of $1.52 per mile, which includes fuel surcharge and payment on loaded and empty miles. Drivers signing on by May 1 will also receive a $5,000 sign-on bonus that will be paid in $1,000 installments to be issued at the contract signing and then at 30, 60, 90 and 180 days from the date of lease with Atlas.
The Commercial Truckload Division’s no-touch freight drivers are eligible for a $5,000 bonus as well, which will be paid in installments throughout the first year of employment. Drivers in this division receive an average of $1.64 per mile.
Benefits offered to new drivers in these two divisions include a discounted fuel program, weekly pay with direct deposit option, free PrePass, free truck washes, optional health, dental and life insurance coverage, fuel-saving light loads, cell phone allowance, maintenance and passenger programs and more.
For each position, Atlas is looking specifically for owner operators, team drivers and recent graduates; those still attending school will be considered for the Shuttle Fleet. A Class A CDL License is required. Drivers will also be offered 2,100 to 2,500 miles per week, depending on the division, and 3,100 to 4,000 miles per week for teams.
Atlas is also working with representatives of Freightliner of Evansville and other third-party partners to offer lease-to-purchase tractor programs for various makes and models. Both new drivers and existing drivers looking to upgrade equipment are eligible, and little to no down payment is required (depending on make/model). The programs’ basic parameters include 2006-07 tractors with a mileage range of 450,000 to 550,000 miles and financing through Daimler.
Half Empty, Or Half Full?
Find Opportunities In Adversity
Lately, there has been no shortage of bad news for truckers. Between misguided efforts to shove through new legislation, continued instability of fuel supplies and pricing, and equipment performance being adversely affected by existing regulatory schemes, it becomes more and more difficult to see things in a positive light.
However, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, somebody who saw more than his share of tough times, a pessimist sees adversity in every opportunity, and an optimist sees opportunity in every adversity.
The current economic adversity encourages the truck operator to look inwardly to cut waste and inefficiency. When times are booming, the focus naturally tends to shift toward meeting increased demand, but when business slows, both the time and the incentive to improve operations are present.
Through efficient routing, every mile that isn’t driven is that much less fuel that needs to be purchased, at prices that are about as stable as a Michigan weather forecast.
Look at your equipment and operations. What can you improve now, that you didn’t have the time to address when things were busy? Take the optimist’s view and find opportunity in adversity.
Glancing Back, Moving Ahead
Unresolved Issues Shouldn’t Outweigh Potential for A Prosperous 2012
As we prepare for the year ahead, it’s time to clean out my cluttered notebook. First, the hours-of-service final rule was left hanging at press time. Despite a target date to publish the final rule by Oct. 28, as part of a settlement between the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Teamsters, Public Citizen and other groups, it was postponed.
FMCSA is considering whether to reduce the daily driving limit from 11 hours to 10 hours and to limit the 34-hour restart provision by requiring it include two periods from midnight to 6 a.m. and limiting its use to once per week The next action was supposed to come by Nov. 28, 2012 when the two sides were to file status updates with the court.
Considering the White House Office of Management and Budget just got the proposed rule Nov. 2 and its reviews can sometimes take up to 90 days, it seems we may not have a resolution by the time you read this. With the growing opposition to changing the hours rule, even an expedited publication of the rule in the Federal Register won’t be the end of the issue. We support keeping the current rule, but no matter what FMCSA decides, it will only pave the way for the next round of litigation. The only question is who will be the plaintiff.
And electronic onboard recorders haven’t gone away despite a court ruling earlier this year that vacated the required use of EOBRs for the worst HOS violators. In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit threw out the proposed rule citing the potential that device could be used to harass drivers.
While FMCSA isn’t appealing the ruling and has deleted from its 2012 schedule a proposed rulemaking to mandate EOBRs for all trucks, one of the agency’s subcommittees was busy in late October working on technical specifications for electronic recorders. While the court ruling may have sent FMCSA back to the drawing board to reconsider regulatory wording, its continuing to work on the tech aspects means it hasn’t given up on electronically monitoring hours compliance.
In another matter, the Obama administration added fire to the decades-old controversy when it reopened the U.S. border to Mexican trucks in October. The cross-border trucking program is eerily similar to the one former President George W. Bush implemented during his tenure only to be shuttered by Congress during the first months of the Obama regime. In fact, Transportes Olympic was the first Mexican carrier approved to haul beyond the 25-mile commercial zone, in both cross-border programs.
The most noticeable differences this time around is that Mexican carriers will be sporting electronic recorders courtesy of American taxpayers, and Mexico has withdrawn about $2.4 billion in retaliatory tariffs placed on U.S. exports when the Obama administration killed the almost identical previous cross-border program. Go figure. With so much passion on both sides of the issue, the border war is far from over.
Another big issue is clean-air regulations in California (specifically those imposed by the state’s powerful Air Resources Board, which is this country’s de facto environmental regulatory agency,) have for years impacted trucking nationwide. Many states end up copying and implementing many California regs. CARB deadlines are looming in 2012 and for years to come. Many will impact you as a long-haul driver whether you live in the Golden State or elsewhere.
These were just a few of the issues left unresolved as we closed 2012. Overhanging all of this is the economy, which continues to be a wild card going into 2012. On the positive side, operator pay is beginning to increase as carriers struggle to find quality drivers. Good driving records will be the punch card to even better compensation in the future.
The next 12 months offer both apprehension and promise. We hope the upside far surpasses the downside. Stay tuned!
Randy Grider is editor of Truckers News, a sister publication to Pro Trucker. He is the son of a career trucker and holds a CDL. Write him at