Home>>Truck Blog

Commercial Truck Insurance Blog for Truckers Only

  • Attention Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Drivers and Carriers:


    Did you know an important law affecting you goes into effect May 21, 2014?
    To keep America’s interstate CMV drivers healthy and our roads safer, all interstate CMV drivers will soon be required to have their medical examinations performed by a Certified Medical Examiner listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
    If you’re an interstate CMV driver, you already need a valid medical certificate signed by a medical examiner. The only change is that after May 21, 2014, you’ll need to go to a certified medical examiner for your medical certificate. If you’ve already had an exam and have a current certificate that certificate will be valid until its regular expiration date.  
    You can find certified medical examiners in your area—or anywhere in the country—easily by following
    1.       Visit the National Registry Web site and search by Zip Code, State, or examiner name.
    2.       Choose a certified medical examiner from the list and call to make an appointment.
    3.       If your preferred health care professional isn’t on the list, simply refer him or her to the Certified Medical Examiners pageto learn more about getting certified.
    Please spread the word and encourage your fellow CMV drivers to find a Certified Medical Examiner by May 21st. They can find more information in the Fact Sheet for Drivers or by going to the National Registry Web site, so pass it along!
    Thank you for keeping America moving and for your commitment to safer roadways.






    Todd E. Smith, President         

    Thomas Wilson Group, LLC 






    Mission Statement

    "Thomas Wilson Group's goal is to treat each individual as a potential lifelong customer, through communicating a professional image that embraces honesty and integrity"


    Privileged, confidential, patient identifiable information may be contained in this message. This
    information is meant only for the use of the intended recipients. If you are not the intended recipient, or if
    the message has been addressed to you in error, do not read, disclose, reproduce, distribute, disseminate
    or otherwise use this transmission. Instead, please notify the sender by reply email, and then destroy all copies of the message and any attachments.



  • Evidence builds to support capacity crunch in trucking industry

    Supply squeeze has arrived, with higher rates likely to follow, experts say.
    After several years of false starts, it seems the trucking capacity crunch is finally arriving.
    The latest evidence came today from consultancy FTR, whose monthly index of trucking conditions showed "unprecedented capacity constraints" in February, similar to the month before. Severe winter weather amplified an already-tight supply situation, and FTR expects a sellers' market for truckload services to persist for the rest of 2014.
    When taking the bad February weather into account, the monthly reading represented the "tightest truck market on record," FTR said.
    Jonathan Starks, FTR's director of transportation analysis, said the imbalance is driven largely by changes in the regulatory landscape that have compressed driver and rig supply. However, he added in an email that "demand has held up pretty well so far this year."
    In a statement accompanying the results, Starks said shippers and carriers "have to be on the lookout for a potential tipping point when freight demand is able to keep [up] the current high level of truck use well into the summer months." If that scenario unfolds, shippers will be forced to bid up rates to ensure they have adequate capacity during the fall shipping season, Starks said.
    The first two months of the year saw dramatic spikes in spot-market rates as shippers who were unable to get contracted capacity were forced into the premium-priced category to get their loads moved. The current combination of moderating demand and the spring thaw has eased fears of a full-blown capacity crisis, Starks said. But he warned that it would only take a relatively modest and short-lived uptick in industrial production to tighten up the market yet again.
    The good news for carriers—and conversely a warning for shippers—was also found in a first-quarter survey of small and large carrier executives issued last week by the consulting company Transport Capital Partners (TCP). About 77 percent of respondents said they expect volume increases over the next 12 months, up 74 percent from the fourth quarter 2013 consensus, the group said. Four out of five carriers expect rates to increase over that period, a 62-percent jump from the prior quarter, TCP said.
    Because of the powerful spikes over such a short time span, Richard Mikes, a TCP partner, leader of the survey and long-time industry veteran, said in a statement that the "literal mother of all rate increases may be here in 2014." Through the first half of the year, rates will rise at a mid single-digit pace rather than by a low single-digit amount as forecast earlier by carriers, Mikes projected.
    About 60 percent of carriers reported that their days sales outstanding (DSO) had not increased, according to the survey. This trend indicates that shippers are paying with reasonable promptness so they don't fall out of favor with their carriers, TCP said. Mikes said he expects DSO to continue narrowing as capacity tightens further.
    During the past several months, shippers and carriers alike have complained about a shortage of qualified drivers and available rigs. While the capacity problem was most acute in the winter months, the dilemma is starting to take on a secular feel. Howard Mingo, who runs transportation out of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s LaGrange, Ga., facility, about 60 miles south of Atlanta, told an industry conference last month that attracting drivers who fit the retail giant's specifications—Wal-Mart does not hire drivers without a certain amount of logged miles under their belt—is a growing problem.
    "It's difficult to get drivers nowadays," said Mingo, who supervises 165 drivers that run, on average, about one million miles per month. Apparently, though, it's not for a lack of supply; Mingo said he has received as many as 753 applications for one driver opening.
    Mingo said he tries to get his drivers home every week, and offers a 5-cents-per-mile bonus for drivers who work over a weekend.






    Todd E. Smith, President          

    Thomas Wilson Group, LLC  
    5214 Maryland Way, Ste. 303
    Brentwood, Tennessee 37027



    615.277.0751
    615.277.0754 fax

  • Bike Week in Ormond Beach: Truckers must 'fuel and go' at Love's

    By Land Line staff
    At Love’s Travel Stop in Ormond Beach, Fla., truckers will have to fuel up and keep on rolling March 7-16 during Bike Week. Long-term parking won’t be available at this Love’s at I-95/U.S. Highway 1 during this time.

    Thousands of motorcyclists will converge on the Daytona Beach/Ormond Beach area Friday, March 7, for the start of the annual biker event known as Bike Week. Daytona Harley Davidson, located next door to the Love’s in Ormond Beach, is a major participant of the annual motorcycle event and rally, which causes unusually high traffic volume in and around the area.

    In past years, the increased traffic volumes for truckers waiting to fuel – combined with the significant influx of cars, trucks and motorcycles – has caused severe traffic jams, forcing state police to close the exit. Love’s wants to provide the necessary fueling for professional drivers. In order to ensure that it is still available, Love’s is asking drivers to continue moving in and out at that exit.

    Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK. The chain has more than 200 locations in more than 30 states.

    For more information, visit the Love’s  website or  Facebook page.






    Todd E. Smith, President          

    Thomas Wilson Group, LLC  
    5214 Maryland Way, Ste. 303

    Brentwood, Tennessee 37027
  • Treacherous winter conditions expected to continue


    The polar vortex has made sure this winter will be a memorable one. Our faithful groundhog has even forecasted six more weeks of the cold season, so we need to stay on our toes when it comes to safety on the roads.
    Although the overall amount of traffic is significantly reduced in severe weather conditions, a University of Iowa study found that accidents in some states are as high as 33 times more likely to occur.* Drivers have to battle reduced road friction, loss of vehicle maneuverability, travel delays and road closures, all of which increase their risk of crashing.
    With unpredictable road conditions upon us, here are a few tips that will help you reduce the risk of an accident and conquer the snowy and icy roads:
    • Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Remember, the larger the vehicle, the longer the stopping distance.
    • Drive for the conditions. This means slower speeds, slower acceleration, and pump your brakes and shift into neutral to avoid sliding when slowing down. Always be mindful of black ice, which is a strong possibility and nearly impossible to see.
    • If you find yourself sliding, turn into the slide to correct the vehicle.
    • Have enough gas in your car to keep you warm if you are stranded and also to prevent your gas line from freezing. Condensation can build in a near-empty tank and cause it to freeze.
    • Load your car with winter gear such as an ice scraper/brush, jumper cables, phone charger, snacks, gloves and blanket.
    • Four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles do not stop or steer better on ice.
    • Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady spots.
    Cars driving on a very snowy road
    Also, keep in mind that the riskiest time to be on the road is often right after it starts snowing or sleeting because road maintenance activities such as snowplowing or salting icy roads may not have started yet. Road maintenance crews typically focus their initial efforts on highways and areas with higher traffic congestion before local roads. Snowplows and other road maintenance vehicles must be given plenty of space to do their job.
    *"An Investigation of User Costs and Benefits of Winter Road Closures."
    Thomas H. Maze; Michael R. Crum; Garrett Burchett; Iowa State University






    Todd E. Smith, President         

    Thomas Wilson Group, LLC 






    Mission Statement

    "Thomas Wilson Group's goal is to treat each individual as a potential lifelong customer, through communicating a professional image that embraces honesty and integrity"


    Privileged, confidential, patient identifiable information may be contained in this message. This
    information is meant only for the use of the intended recipients. If you are not the intended recipient, or if
    the message has been addressed to you in error, do not read, disclose, reproduce, distribute, disseminate
    or otherwise use this transmission. Instead, please notify the sender by reply email, and then destroy all copies of the message and any attachments.