January 2022 Newsletter

Jan 14, 2022
This month's featured member:
Dan Payne

Federal News

1/13/2022 – The Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that the Secretary of Labor lacked the authority under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to impose the Emergency Temporary Standard 29 U.S.C. 1910.501 (vaccine mandate) requiring employers with 100 or more employees to establish minimum vaccination and testing requirements.

The court disagreed that COVID-19 is a “work-related danger” or “occupational hazard,” as opposed to an infection that “can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather.”


VCT – Safety Trends

Days Since Last Unsafe Driving Violation: 24

Days Since Last Out of Service Order: 140

Days Since Last Injury: 4

Current Unsafe Driving CSA Percentile: 22%

2021 was the first full calendar year since 2014 where VCT has not exceeded the intervention threshold for Unsafe Driving.

Our Vehicle Maintenance scores have remained below the intervention threshold for 24 consecutive months.

It cannot be expressed enough how impressive theses scores are and your performance has been. VCT is only successful because of the integrity, discipline, and professionalism of each of the drivers. It is the reputation that each of you have built with our customers that allows them to know they can count on VCT to get the job done.


VCT – Why We Matter

We would like to remind all team members the great importance of the job you do every day. Not just as a CMV driver, but specifically as a professional driver in the bulk residual industry.

You have a direct impact on the daily lives of residents of the Pacific Northwest and readily help solve logistical supply chain issues throughout the region.

Most obvious is our refuse division hauling household trash to various landfills throughout the region. Though we do not receive appreciation from the public as we are not picking up trash door to door, our role is equally important. City trucks haul trash from your house to the transfer station, transfer stations load our trailers, we haul to the landfill, and the landfill buries the trash. If any one of the links in this chain goes down or is delayed, the entire system fails.

Seattle is currently suffering from the cascading effect of the inclement weather experienced before the new year combined with the recent Republic Services union strike. Some neighborhoods have not received curbside trash pickup for over three weeks. These unsanitary conditions can quickly lead to detrimental health hazards within our communities.

The pulp chips we haul to paper and pulp mills have an unfathomable abundance of potential applications.

WestRock is a global leading producer of container board including grocery bags, butcher wrap, protective packaging, linerboards for graphic printing needs, paper, tissue, toilet paper, hygiene products, and every type of food grade container.

Cosmo Specialty Fibers uses a different method of breaking down their pulp chips to create various forms of man-made cellulose fibers. These are used frequently in fabric and apparel production both throughout the country and overseas.


VCT – Helpful Tips

Drivers may receive assistance more efficiently when directed to the appropriate department.

Load or mill issues, delays, directions, and traffic or road conditions:

Wade Hooper – 5:30am – 3:30pm

Scott VanSickle – 10:00am – 8:00pm

Payroll, paperwork, medical, and benefits:

Jennifer Parsons – 6:00am – 4:00pm

Equipment malfunctions or breakdowns:

Mike Denny – On Call

Accidents, injuries, citations, and regulations:

Rob Senter – On Call



Upcoming Saturday Dispatch Schedules:

1/15 – Scott 2/5 - Rob

1/22 –Wade 2/12 - Scott

1/29 – Ron 2/19 - Wade




From The Team – Dan Payne

(Truck 2137s Yakima, WA)

Dan Payne joined our team in June of 2019. Formerly the Logistics Coordinator for Jeld-Wen Windows & Doors in Yakima, Dan had little driving experience aside from occasionally moving trailers to and from their loading bays. After their office closed down, he was offered a position at a location in Oregon; but Dan had no desire to move. He was referred to VCT by a family member with close ties to the company. Dan admits he did not expect to enjoy driving as much as he does. While he truly enjoys his job, he quietly admits that the money is significantly more attractive here as well.

Based in Yakima Dan started his career at VCT driving a sleeper cab hauling loads of sawdust from Tacoma to Wallula for almost a year. The sleeper cab was issued primarily has a precautionary measure based on his location and the length of his average run. It was anticipated that on occasion, especially during winter months, he may not always have enough hours to make it home depending on weather, road, traffic, and pass conditions. Dan said he loves his sleeper cab; he just doesn’t like to sleep in it.

He was however more than willing to put his sleeper to use when VCT called on him for help. After acquiring a contract for a new haul from LaGrande Oregon to Longview Washington, a dependable driver willing to stay on the road away from home throughout the week was needed. Dan excelled on this haul for over two months despite difficulties planning his arrival during the very narrow load and dump times allowed by the customer.

Running trash loads for the East Side from Cle Elum, Ellensburg, and Spokane to Wenatchee has made Dan a very well-rounded driver and extremely valuable asset to the team. As a testament to his character and desire to see the company succeed, he has expressed interest in pulling dry vans if or when needed.

Dan reflected on his least enjoyable day at VCT, which also happened to be his first day on his own. He suffered a blown tire near the Tri Cities, which led to being pulled over, and the following roadside inspection yielded six violations, a citation, and a vehicle out of service order. Jon Lucich and Josh Melton happened to be in a meeting at Wallula during the ordeal and made the drive to make repairs to Dan’s equipment on the side of the road.

When asked if there were any lessons learned from his experiences he would like to pass on to his teammates, Dan expressed his strong confidence in the abilities of his fellow drivers and their resilience to problem solve any specific situation they may find themselves in.

After some reflection, Dan wanted his teammates to know this; “I have learned that it’s best to just do what’s asked of you and not complain about the work I’m asked to do. Always help those who need it and never cut corners. I try to be safe and efficient so that I can be productive every day.”