Will Stevens has a couple of secret lives that might surprise you (and that make us especially proud that he's the Human Resources Director for CalArk).
At his day job here, he's the expert who helps our new employees and drivers understand their benefits, complete their training, and feel like part of the CalArk family.
He has also managed to complete a graduate program and create one of the world's only underwater memorials for fallen military personnel, both while working full-time.
This year Will graduated from the Seminary Extension program of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a graduate certificate in Ministries and Pastoral Education. The program took 4 years, and required that he complete 16 classes, pass 65 exams, take 16 proctored final exams, complete 7 papers, and read over 51 books.
How did he do that while working full-time? He says it was a challenge he solved by sticking to a schedule. He would get up 45 minutes early every morning to ready and study, then study during lunch breaks and in the evenings as well. He says the first two years were a struggle to find a work and study balance, but once he was able to develop a workable schedule, he completed a class every 6 to 9 weeks. He says it was only with the help of his wife and pastors that he got straight A's and achieved a 4.0 GPA.
Check out the THV11 feature here!
Will was touched by FEARLESS, the life story of Adam Brown, raised in the same small Arkansas town where Will grew up. On September 28, 2012, Will had a dream of an underwater memorial for Brown and heard a voice say he should build it. In July 2013, a group of SCUBA divers known as the Fearless Rock Dive Team placed the memorial underwater in Lake Ouachita, which is located just outside of Hot Springs, Arkansas. It is the only known underwater memorial open to all divers that honors fallen service members in the United States.
In February 2017, Brick Smith, Will's good friend and member of the Fearless Rock Dive Team died in a skydiving accident. To honor him, the group partnered with the Garland County Juvenile Drug Court to create the SCUBA Diving Scholarship. They select a member of the Court’s H.E.R.O.E.S. program to serve as a Diver Tender for the members of the Dive Team.
The winner of the scholarship serves as a member of the Dive Team and learns responsibility and the meaning of teamwork. While learning the fundamentals of SCUBA diving, they also learn of the importance of serving their community and of the sacrifices made by those before them. The scholarship also pays for their Open Water SCUBA Diving Certification and their diving gear. The members of the Dive Team get the opportunity to be part of a young person's success, and to honor the memory of their friend and fellow diver.
At CalArk we're very proud of what Will has accomplished while working full-time to welcome and equip our employees!
Last week was the CVSA's annual Roadcheck, with a focus this year on Hours of Service violations. It can be a nervous time for our dedicated safety leaders, but our drivers came through, with only a couple of safety violations for Central Hauling and one for CalArk.
We're proud to let you know all six of CalArk's inspections and all four of Central's were 100% free of HOS violations, the subject of the Roadcheck. Great job!
Be sure to keep up with pre-trip walk-arounds every single time you head out with a new load. That last once-over can be the difference between an embarrassing ding and a bonus for being at the top of your inspection game.
CVSA hasn't released this year's nationwide Roadcheck statistics yet, but CalArk's are better than the averages seen in the 62,103 inspections performed during the same event in 2017. We hope to see continued improvement as we head toward the middle of the year. Keep at it!
Thank you for everything you do to keep the wheels of American business turning!
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a non-profit organization that trains members of the trucking industry to help identify and recover victims of human trafficking (modern day slavery in which people are bought and sold for forced labor or commercial sex).
Both CalArk and Central Hauling use TAT training programs during orientation, and Leslie Stout, CalArk Director of Safety, says "we have a good working relationship with the folks over at Truckers Against Trafficking."
She adds, "Just last year Arkansas made it law that all Commercial Motor Vehicle drivers domiciled in Arkansas would have to have the TAT Certificate with them before they can obtain or renew their CDL. Both Central Hauling and CalArk have training and materials available on the topic, not just for Orientation."
We're currently at 1,210 drivers trained, and we offer the training on our Pro-Tread Training Program so our drivers can take it at any time. Just contact the Safety Department. Stout says, "It is an important and hot topic in our industry, and someone who has had the training may save a life one day."
Follow the TAT Facebook page here, or get more information at the TAT website here.
Leslie Stout, Director of Safety for CalArk, put together this useful information about Distracted Driving Awareness Month (April). Most of us know not to drive after an evening in a bar with friends, but it can seem tempting to send one quick reply to a text. Here's why I should remind myself (yes, I've been guilty of it) to pull over before letting a friend know where I'll be or checking that latest email:
For the past decade, distracted driving has taken the nation’s roads by storm, endangering not only those who drive distracted, but also those drivers’ passengers, adjacent vehicle occupants, and nearby pedestrians. Distracted driving takes many forms: talking on or manipulating the phone, adjusting the radio, applying makeup, eating, or drinking can all distract a driver from the essential task of safe driving. However, texting is one of the most common, pervasive forms of distracted driving, and too many drivers are succumbing to this deadly—and often illegal—habit. That’s why CalArk International, Inc. is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to raise awareness about the potentially deadly risks from texting while driving. From April 12 to 16, 2018, as part of the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign, law enforcement will be watching closely for distracted drivers.
• According to NHTSA, 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2016.
• In 2016, 9.2 percent of fatal crashes in 2016 were reported as distraction-related.
• Texting while driving has become an especially problematic trend among millennials. According to NHTSA, young drivers 16 to 24 years old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007.
• Nine percent of drivers 15 to 19 years old who were involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash in 2016. This age group has the largest percentage of drivers who were distracted at the time of a fatal crash.
• Handheld cellphone use while driving is highest among 15- to 29-year-old drivers, but female drivers are most at-risk for being involved in a fatal crash involving a distracted driver.
• Female drivers with a cell phone have been more likely to be involved in fatal distracted-driving crashes as compared to male drivers every year since 2012.
Safety Tips for Driving
• If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road, it is safe to text.
• Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
• Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
• Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your final destination.
Put Your Phone Away or Get Ready to Pay.
• Don’t follow the trends. When you get behind the wheel, be an example to your family and friends by putting your phone away. Texting and driving isn’t a “cool” or trendy behavior—it’s a deadly and, oftentimes, illegal activity that could kill you, a loved one, a friend, or a stranger.
• In 47 States, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, texting while driving is an illegal, ticketable offense.
• If your friends text while driving, tell them to stop. If your passengers catch you texting while driving and tell you to put your phone away, put it down.
• No one likes to be called out by a friend for doing something wrong, but it’s even worse to get caught by law enforcement and end up paying a fine.
• Remember, when you get behind the wheel, put your phone away. U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.
You may have heard CalArk will soon be offering a better pay package to our drivers. Let's get right to the details and keep it simple:
These changes will take effect April 1st, 2018. No April Fooling.
Here are the rates, by experience level and miles-per-month:
<10,500 miles/month (new base rate)
.39/mile - 1 year
.40/mile - 2 year
.41/mile - 3 year
.42/mile - 4 year
.43/mile - 5 year and up
10,500 - 11,750 miles/month:
.41/mile - 1 year
.42/mile - 2 year
.43/mile - 3 year
.44/mile - 4 year
.45/mile - 5 year and up
11,750 - 13,000 miles/month:
.43/mile - 1 year
.44/mile - 2 year
.45/mile - 3 year
.46/mile - 4 year
.47/mile - 5 year and up
.45/mile - 1 year
.46/mile - 2 year
.47/mile - 3 year
.48/mile - 4 year
.49/mile - 5 year and up
>19,000 (team) miles/month:
.54/mile - 1 year
.55/mile - 2 year
.56/mile - 3 year
.57/mile - 4 year
.58/mile - 5 year and up
Let's look at three made-up drivers to illustrate the real-life effects of CalArk’s pay raises:
Charles “Truck” Norris
Truck loves the open road and a Johnny-Cash-heavy Spotify playlist. His miles reflect it. Some months are busier than others, but he averages 13,000 miles. With five years of experience, he'll now earn $.49/mile. His annual income this year will now beat last year's by $9,360 for a total of $76,440. That’s a 14% increase.
Kristy enjoys balancing time on the road and time with her family. With five years of experience but an enjoyment of the trucking life, she drives 11,750 miles a month. Her pay rate is now $.47/mile. Before April 1st, she would have earned $60,630 but now earns $66,270. That’s a $5,640 increase (9.3%).
James Smokey Bandit
James works hard and enjoys watching videos on YouTube. He has five years of experience and averages 10,500 miles a month. His pay rate is now $.45/mile. He previously earned $51,660 annually but will now earn a wage of $56,700, so his pay went up $5,040 or 9.8%.
We know per-mile compensation is just one piece of helping drivers enjoy working for CalArk. We're rewarding the drivers who put the extra time and effort into logging more miles while keeping other perks that help our drivers feel like family. As always, we pay for loaded and empty miles, keep our headquarters welcoming to any driver who wants to know us better while passing through Little Rock, work to ensure weekly home time in many areas, encourage stopping at home for through-loads when time allows, and help motivated drivers get the most miles with the least down-time.
Any questions? We want you to feel great about working for us and ensure it's crystal clear what we can offer the people who make the wheels of American business turn. Call your dispatcher or recruiting for more information.
While the average citizen may associate stowaways with pirate ships more easily than tractor-trailers, experienced drivers know they can and do find ways to hide in or on trucks. Doing so not only endangers the life of the stowaway in the case of a fall or accident, but it can set the driver up for a long interrogation or even jail time if found guilty of knowingly allowing it.
Luckily, preventing stowaways involves staying alert for their presence, not an exhausting amount of effort. Kevin Hurtt, President of Central Maintenance Corporation, shared valuable tips to follow.
1. Always pay attention. Drivers with loads out of our Laredo location may be more likely to run into issues, but you can make an unwelcome discovery on any trip. This driver unknowingly drove 50 miles down I-65 in Indiana with a runaway Ohio teen crouched behind the cab.
2. Look during pre-trip walk-around inspections. Hurtt advises paying particular attention after stopping at fuel stops, restaurants, and rest areas where a stowaway is most likely to gain access. Don’t forget to check trailer door seals.
3. Look in the right places. The bunk area of the cab and a trailer’s under-tray can be great places to hide, but the roof fairing above the cab is an especially common choice. Hurtt adds that our CMC shops in Little Rock and Laredo can install a wire barrier to deter unwelcome guests.
4. Look for the little things. Because a person can be well hidden, it’s often something as small as a shoe, hat, or fingers that gives their location away.
5. Don’t approach. Stowaways usually hide on trucks because they’re in a desperate situation, and CalArk wants our drivers and owner-operators to put your safety first. Call border patrol (1-800-BE ALERT) or police (911), then notify dispatch.
6. Learn more. Still have questions or want to learn more about CalArk’s certification with CTPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism)? Call Connie Stroud or Leslie Stout (phone numbers listed below) or check out the description of CTPAT at the website for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection here.
Connie Stroud, Director of Safety, Central Hauling: (501) 407-3329
Leslie Stout, Director of Safety, CalArk: (501) 407-3388
Driving all day might make your New Year’s resolution to get healthy seem like an impossible task. Sitting at the wheel, not having a gym nearby, and limited dining options are all daily realities for a typical road warrior.
To gather some strategies for putting those obstacles in your rear-view mirror, CalArk asked a couple of our drivers for the tricks and work-arounds they use to make healthy choices wherever the road takes them. Here are some of our favorites.
1. Bring it with you. When you have the chance to shop on your days off, stock up on fresh fruits or veggies that last a while. You might not be able to keep strawberries on hand, but an avocado or banana will stay fresh for days.
CalArk driver Chris invested in a freezer that he stocks with healthy frozen dinners. He then uses a power inverter and microwave to cook them. He thinks it’s worth what he paid for the set-up because it saves him the cost of restaurant meals and “the only person out here taking care of me is myself.”
2. Make better restaurant choices. Nick, another driver for CalArk, also makes food in his truck but has strategies for making better choices in a pinch when he ends up needing to eat out. Instead of going for a burger and fries, for example, he’ll buy “a healthier option like wraps or salads.”
Most restaurants and fast food chains offer nutritional information on their websites. It makes it easy to find the number of calories or amount of fat in any given item, helping you choose a tasty meal you’ll feel better after eating.
3. Move. While it seems almost too easy to be effective, walking is a simple way to get muscles working and calories burning. Nick walks laps around his truck while pumping fuel or waiting for a mid-trip inspection. Chris walks during his stops, too.
Both drivers say their food choices have saved them time and money on the road, not just calories. Chris is in excellent shape, and Nick has gone from a size 50 to 44 this year, with a goal of size 38 for Christmas 2018.
If you have fitness goals for this year, don’t let the difficulties of driving keep you from reaching for better health. These two guys show small shifts lead to big changes.
“Maintaining family relationships” was one of the top three challenges with personal issues given by company drivers in a Truckers News survey last year. Especially during the holidays, being a part of the daily lives of loved ones probably matters deeply to you.
Try New Ways to Connect
Have you driven there/done that once too often to want the headache of figuring out a new app? Why learn how Twitter works if you already use Facebook or get on Skype when you already know how to FaceTime? There are a couple of great reasons to experiment with apps you haven’t tried.
Make Connecting a Habit
If talking to loved ones is only a matter of getting in touch when you think about it, you might occasionally realize it’s been too long since the last time you spoke. If you then happen to call right as your Mom is walking into the grocery store, you’ll still miss the chance to catch up.
We know you already know this, but never use your phone or device while driving. Not only is it illegal, but also your safety matters much more to your friends and family than getting that text an hour earlier.
Other Transflo Mobile Driver Training Tools:
Have you been feeling tired and can't seem to locate the cause? It may be because of lack of daily water intake? Take a moment to review below for a quick reference to reasons for staying hydrated and the recommended daily intake recommended for an average person daily.
If there are any questions pertaining to the article contact your physician with your questions pertaining to the how much water one should consume each day.
The following list is a quick summary of the importance of daily water consumption to both your health and your body:
Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb is to aim for EIGHT (YES 8) 8 ounces of water each day. More water will be needed if you’re physically active or in a hot environment.
Keep in mind that about 20% of our water intake comes from the food we eat. Foods like soup, melon, and tomatoes are high in water content, and this fluid counts toward our daily water intake.
If you’re having a hard time convincing yourself to drink more water, consider adding slices of lemon or lime to add a little flavor.
CalArk Driven Bulletin