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July 2022 Newsletter

Jul 22, 2022

Federal News

July 1, 2022 – Federal Highway Administration provided $5.7 million in Emergency Relief funds to help repair bridges and roads damaged by flooding near Custer Gallatin National Forest in southcentral Montana.

July 11, 2022 – Federal Highway Administration provided $3 million in Emergency Relief funds to help the people of Idaho recover from devastating floods in the North Central and Northeast regions of the state.

July 21, 2022 – AB5 injunction lifted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The preliminary injunction has been removed and is retroactive to 2020. CTA strongly advises members that contract with independent owner-operators to confer with their counsel immediately.

VCT – Safety Trends

Days Since Last Unsafe Driving Violation: 1

Days Since Last Out of Service Order: 38

Days Since Last Injury: 30

Current Unsafe Driving CSA Percentile: 6%

Last week CVSA and State Patrol conducted Operation Safe Driver Week 2022 where they focused on education and enforcement of unsafe driving behaviors. Our team participated in two roadside inspections with no unsafe driving violations issued. We have also seen a significant decrease in overspeed events this month compared to June 2022.

“People know CVSA as the organization comprised of law enforcement officers who inspect commercial motor vehicles and remove dangerous vehicles from our roadways; however, we do much more than that. The goal of CVSA’s member jurisdictions is to reduce the number of crashes on our roadways. We know that many crashes are the result of unsafe driving behaviors and bad driving decisions. That’s why it’s so important for the Alliance to also focus on and invest in improving driver behaviors on our roadways. We want everyone to be safe when they’re traveling in their vehicle – whether that’s a truck driver or a passenger vehicle driver.” – CVSA President, Capt. John Broers, South Dakota Highway Patrol.

Our team has stepped up as true professional drivers by choosing to make good decisions behind the wheel and actively practice defensive driving. However, we have some work to do when it comes to Vehicle Maintenance. In January 2022 our Vehicle Out-of-Service percentage was 12.6%, well under the national average of 21.4% At that time we also had the lowest OOS rate out of all our competitors in the PNW. Since then, this has increased to 19%. In the last six months we have received 11 roadside inspections with Vehicle Maintenance violations, during these inspections 10 Out-of-Service Orders were issued:

· Weight carried exceeds tire load limit: 4

· Flat tire or fabric exposed: 1

· Brake hose chafing or kinking: 1

· Inoperative turn signal: 1

· Inadequate brakes for safe stopping: 1

· Number of defective brakes greater than 20%: 1

· Liquid fuel system with dripping leak: 1

Vehicle Maintenance is the only category on our CSA SMS scores that is not showing a positive trend. Current percentile 40%, up from 36% six months ago.

We urgently encourage you to help protect yourself against lost time, violations, breakdowns, and accidents by conducting thorough pre and post trip inspections. The shop also needs your help by submitting maintenance requests in a timely manner. We can’t fix it if we don’t know it needs attention. As James Lucich says: “If your equipment doesn’t work, neither can you.”

If you are unsure what to look for on a pre or post trip inspection, please reach out to your safety supervisor for additional training. Our insurance carrier also offers a very informational training video detailing pre trip, post trip, and roadside inspections which can be made available to any team member upon request.

Remember, your equipment is your responsibility. Defects are expected to be identified and reported during pre-trip inspection and corrected before traveling on a public road.

Upcoming Saturday Dispatch

7/30 – Scott 8/6 - Wade 8/13 – Ron


Everything you do reflects on each of your teammates, whether they be based out of Tacoma, Spokane, or Missoula. Every roadside inspection that results in no violations reflects positively on every other driver in the company. If we receive enough clean violations the company as a whole will receive a “pass” score when approaching weigh stations, opposed to “optional” or “inspect.” We currently hold an ISS score of 37 (out of 100) earning us the “pass” score. This is where we want to be and should strive to stay. Every CVEO has access to carrier’s SMS scores and see the same information regardless of where they are stationed and will likely not differentiate where drivers are earning violations. More violations mean more inspections.

Most of our business and a good majority of applicants desire to work with or for Veneer Chip simply due to our reputation. This is all a direct result of the actions you take every day that represent the company. Keeping our equipment clean and driving safely on the road builds trust from the motoring public and attracts qualified drivers to join our team. Conducting yourselves in a professional manner at customer facilities and following all rules put in place by customers, even if they don’t directly align with our company policy, encourages these customers to continue doing business with us or possibly giving us more.

As each of us continue to prove to be dependable, efficient, and professional, we will all continue to succeed.

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