What is fleet management?

What is Fleet Management?

Fleet management includes cars, aircraft, trains, ships as well as vans and trucks. Fleet Management is the operation of providing transportation financing and maintenance, tracking and diagnostics of cargo, speed, fuel, driver health, and safety of the driver and his cargo. Through the use of tracking and diagnostics it makes it possible to increase the efficiency of timely delivery and productivity, enhanced safety on the job, and lowering operating costs to pass the savings to the customer all while being 100% in compliance with government legislation.

How many trucking companies in the USA?

How many trucking companies in the USA?

There are over 500,000 trucking companies in the United States with over 15 1/2 million trucks on the road with 2,000,000 being tractor trailers. 80% of these trucking companies are regarded as small businesses totaling 6 trucks or less.

How big is the trucking industry?
The trucking companies, warehouses and private sector in the U.S. employs an estimated 8.9 million people employed in trucking-related jobs; nearly 3.5 million were truck drivers. Of this figure UPS employs 60,000 workers and 9% are owner operators.  LTL shippers account for around 13.6 percent of America’s trucking sector.

How many trucks operate in the U.S.?
Estimates of 15.5 million trucks operate in the U.S.. Of this figure 2 million are tractor trailers.

How many truckers are there?
It is an estimated over 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S.  Of that one in nine are independent, a majority of which are owner operators. Canada has in excess of 250,000 truck drivers.

How many trucking companies are there in the U.S.?
Estimates of 1.2 million companies in the U.S. Of that figure 97% operate 20 or fewer while 90% operate 6 or fewer trucks.

How many miles does the transportation industry transports good in a year?
In 2006 the transportation industry logged 432.9 billion miles. Class 8 trucks accounted for 139.3 billion of those miles, up from 130.5 billion in 2005

What is the volume of goods transported by the trucking industry?
The United States economy depends on trucks to deliver nearly 70 percent of all freight transported annually in the U.S., accounting for $671 billion worth of manufactured and retail goods transported by truck in the U.S. alone. Add $295 billion in truck trade with Canada and $195.6 billion in truck trade with Mexico .

Source: TruckingInfo.net

What is a transportation company?

What is a transportation company?

What is a transportation company?A transportation company is a business that transports freight from one location to another which is a key in the value chain in manufacturing. As time passes on in the industry the distance between production and consumption (delivery) has been increasing every year which makes the demand for transport continue to grow and resulting in driver shortages.

The entire process of transporting products from the producer to the consumer which includes storage, transportation, warehousing, handling, packaging, and the exchange of information is called logistics.

Even though less than one percent of world transport is done by airline it accounts for forty percent of the value and becomes a valuable step in the logistics process.

If you are in need of a job contact our team on our career opportunities page or if you need logistics solutions contact us to see what we can do for you.

Avoid Winter Breakdown Frustrations

For Starters, Focus on the Big 3

by: Homer Hogg, MANAGER OF TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT for TA-Petro

IF YOU’RE INTENT ON PREVENTING BREAKDOWNS AND CONTROLLING SEASONAL INCREASES IN YOUR COST PER MILE THIS WINTER, FOCUS ON THE BIG-THREE SYSTEMS: CRANKING, FUEL AND BRAKES.

Cranking system problems can be the most frustrating for two reasons: they are the easiest to prevent, but can be repetitive if not properly addressed. It is not uncommon to have your truck jumpstarted on a bitter cold morning, just to call for service again two days later. One thing to remember is that your alternator is not designed to charge dead batteries. It is designed to maintain already charged batters and support your truck’s electrical loads once the engine is running. When I was a technician, I ran countless service calls to jumpstart a truck engine, just to watch in frustration as the driver immediately took off down the road without correcting the problem.

Operating a jump-started vehicle without correcting the problem will likely have one of two outcomes: Either the alternator will fail, because it overheated trying to charge dead batteries, or once the driver turns the engine off, the engine will not crank. It is very important to always locate the root cause, and have it repaired. This will help you avoid additional costs and delays. The good news is that cranking system problems are relatively easy to diagnose and repair. Modern testing equipment provides TA Truck Service technicians with accurate test results and is less stressful on the battery. This same battery testing equipment can be used to check the integrity of cables, connections and alternator performance.

Fuel system defects are major contributors to winter breakdowns. As your fuel gets colder, the wax in the fuel starts to reform and slows or prevents fuel from flowing. To add insult to injury, any water in the fuel will freeze. That may starve the fuel system and cause poor performance, or the engine may not run at all. To help avoid these conditions be sure your fuel heaters are operable, and your fuel-water separator is hooked up correctly and functioning as designed. Some fuel-water separators are heated in the winter by engine coolant that is routed to them via heater hoses. If your engine is running too cold, you’re likely to have more severe fuel freeze ups and/or fuel gelling.

Finally, your brake system is inherently prone to freeze ups. As hot air leaves the air compressor and heads towards the air dryer, the air inside the line starts to cool. This cooling causes any moisture in the air to condense. The air dryer, if it is functioning properly, will remove a large amount of this moisture. However, some moisture will remain in the air, causing new condensation in the line to the air wet-tank, as well as within the wet-tank. A diligent driver who drains the air tanks daily will greatly reduce the amount of moisture entering the rest of the air system, but know that some moisture will inevitably make it to your brake system.

When the temperature drops below freezing, any remaining moisture will freeze and restrict or prevent airflow within the brake system. This will likely result in a service call and could take several hours to correct. To help keep moisture in your air system to a minimum, be sure your air-dryer filter (desiccant) is replaced per the manufacturer’s recommendation. Also, be alert to an excessive amount of moisture coming from your wet tank when drained daily. If you add deicing agents to your air system, be certain to pour them down stream from the air dryer. The moisture-absorbing material in the air dryer can only hold a limited amount of moisture, so, if added upstream, the deicing chemicals will over-saturate the air dryer and eliminate its capability to dry the air.

If you haven’t already done so, now would be a good time to practice some preventive maintenance by having your cranking, fuel and brake systems inspected before Old Man Winter stops your truck in its tracks.

The post Avoid Winter Breakdown Frustrations appeared first on RoadKing Magazine.

Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

No substitute for knowledge, experience and presence of mind

BY: David A. Kolman, Senior Editor

YOU MAY NOT GIVE MUCH THOUGHT TO SLIPPING, TRIPPING AND FALLING; YET, YOU SHOULD. HERE’S WHY. Of all workplace safety incidents, slips, trips and falls (STF) have the highest frequency. Falls are the second largest source of injury following vehicle accidents, and a significant number of falls involve workplace related vehicles, including trucks.

You may be surprised to know that falls from as low as four feet can result in serious injury, possibly even death. The average person’s reaction time is about half a second. That’s all it takes to fall four feet. As you fall, gravity quickly increases your speed, and impact forces increase as well.

Research indicates that a person falling from a height of four feet will hit the ground with impact forces as high as 12 times body weight. Take a 250-pound male trucker, for example. He would hit the ground with a force of up to 3,000 pounds. Safety officials say STF are typically due to workers acting hastily, inattention to the task at hand, complacency, fatigue and horseplay. What’s more, they note that truckers’ overall fitness and health can affect their dexterity and agility.

While STF are the most common incidents, they—and their resulting injuries—are also among the most preventable. The keys are moving carefully and remaining alert and conscious of slip, trip and fall hazards.

Common Hazards

The various slip, trip and fall hazards truckers face every day can be placed in four categories:

1. Mounting and Dismounting Vehicles

Lack of a three-point contact on the vehicle

Accessing the trailer for inspection, loading/unloading, tarping/untarping and securing/loosening the load

Climbing on the vehicle to clean lights and windshields and connect/disconnect air and electrical lines

Improper footwear

All too often, note safety officials, truck drivers fail to maintain three-point contact. Keep three of your four limbs in contact with the vehicle at all times—two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand, so only one limb is in motion at any time. Having three points of contact provides maximum stability and support, otherwise, a driver is unstable and easily imbalanced, so any misstep or faulty grip could result in an accident.

2. Loading Docks

Gaps between the truck and dock

Climbing up/down the dock ladder

Debris, obstacles and clutter, such as metal bands, shrinkwrap, pieces of lumber, skids, trash, etc.

Frequently crowded, heavy-traffic areas

Metal dock plates and ramps that are worn smooth and slippery

Dock plate edges

Changes in elevation leading into a warehouse.

Loading ramps leading into a trailer

Uneven surfaces

Poor lighting/visibility

Environmental conditions such as: snow, ice, rain, mud, grease, morning dew

3. Trailers

Not keeping doors under control when opening/closing

Slippery and wet floors

Improper use of pallets or freight as stepladders

Unsecured loads

Unstable/shifting freight when loading/unloading

Improper attaching/releasing chains or straps


4. Parking Lots, Walking Surfaces, Fuel Areas

Unfamiliar location

Sloped, uneven, loose, irregular surfaces

Poor lighting/visibility

Environmental conditions

Spilled fuels, oils, lubricants, etc.

Wet restroom and shower floors

Working in transportation presents many types of slip, trip and fall hazards. Three keys to being safe are:

1. Be aware of hazards and know how to deal with them

2. Pay attention to your surroundings

3. Stay focused on the task you’re performing

The 12 tips on the next page serve as great STF reminders. Please share them with others in your organization as appropriate.

12 Stay-Safe Tips

  1. Wear appropriate footwear with good foot and ankle support and slip-resistant soles and heels.
  2. Face forward and always use the three points of contact when climbing onto or down from a vehicle.
  3. Keep tools, gloves, brushes, fire extinguishers, etc., in their proper places and out of the cab entry/exit path.
  4. Observe walking surfaces, looking for any holes, raised elevations, slippery or slick surfaces, obstructions, etc. Use extra caution in adverse conditions, such as snow, ice, rain and mud.
  5. When walking around a truck at night, always use a flashlight.
  6. Never jump off freight, vehicles or loading platforms.
  7. Watch out for “bad housekeeping” such as loose materials, trash, discarded shrink wrap, cargo bars, broken pallets, clutter, etc. on loading docks, parking lots, terminals, etc.
  8. Use extreme caution securing/loosening a load on a flatbed.
  9. When inside bodies and trailers, be alert for slippery spots and loose material.
  10. Because loading docks and ramps are dangerous areas:
    Be conscious of uneven surfaces between the truck/trailer bed and the dock or ramp
    Ensure that dock plates/ramps are properly placed
    Be careful on dock plates/ramps that are worn smooth or may be slippery
    When walking along a loading dock or through a warehouse, be aware of powered material handling equipment
  11. Always check to make sure your truck is finished being loaded/unloaded and that any and all vehicle-restraining devices have been removed before pulling out.
  12. Move cautiously and deliberately because inattention, fatigue, stress and haste can increase the risk for a slip, trip or fall.

The post Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls appeared first on RoadKing Magazine.

Invisible, Invasive, Invaluable?

Addressing Privacy Concerns About Data & Video Collection

BY: LAUREN DOMNICK, DIRECTOR OF ANALYTICS & MODELING, OMNITRACS

Factory floors all across North America are awash in production-enhancing data collection that yields abundant performance metrics about machines and their operators. That’s not necessarily been the case with the trucking industry, a critical and enormous contributor to our economy. While the emphasis on logistics has resulted in efficiency improvements, what happens inside the cabs of a fleet’s rolling assets has largely stayed there. Depending on your perspective, one of the “inv” words to the left may best express your feelings when the subject of in-cab data and video collection arises.

Applied technology is providing greater visibility into rolling asset assessments and truck driver efficiency measurements. As with measuring many of today’s business investments, metrics is a key piece of the logistics puzzle that many might identify as a black hole. But what does this mean for those of you driving the trucks? As a provider of fleet technology, companies such as Omnitracs realize they sound biased when saying there’s nothing to fear about gathering and analyzing driver data.

With technology, everything that’s happening with a truck, from drivetrain to the driver, can be evaluated. With the right software and the right data, routes can be optimized for the best fuel efficiency. With video in the cab, critical event monitoring has proven useful in protecting companies from litigation, as well as enhancing driver safety training. For carriers, these new capabilities provide better cost control, less paperwork, improved safety, and increased profitability per mile. These benefits provide more efficient operations and protection of margins.

For many drivers, however, the appearance of invasiveness results in objections. This infusion of technology can feel a bit like Big Brother trying to keep an eye on driver habits and behaviors. Everyone in the industry understands this concern. Still, the technology is here to stay, and is less about operating stricter and more about operating smarter.

Following are five things you should know that might ease some of your concerns.

1. What is Collected and Why?

When it comes to data, many carriers don’t share what is being collected with their drivers, and, in the absence of information, worst-case scenarios are assumed. This has led to many misconceptions. Some drivers think that personal data such as credit scores and Social Security numbers are being used in ways that are not approved. None of that is true. For things like predictive modeling—which can improve driver safety, help carriers run more efficiently, and keep drivers happier behind the wheel—data is necessary, but carriers don’t collect data they don’t need.

Also, drivers should be aware that the data is made anonymous and stored only as long as it’s needed. It’s also important drivers recognize that social media and our increasingly digitally driven lifestyles are significantly more intrusive and collect far more personal data than common telematics platforms.

2. Satisfaction and Quality of Life

Most in-cab camera solutions honor the driver’s privacy during hours when not on duty. A respectful fleet owner recognizes that the cab is also the driver’s off-hours living room, dining room, bedroom and refuge. Companies should never invade privacy in those private moments when drivers communicate with their families, eat their meals and are relaxing and resting.

Many driver-facing cameras are already set to only record based on duty time, so they aren’t going to capture things that happen when you’re off the clock. Also, it’s important to recognize that you and your company can use these cameras to protect against wrongful litigation in much the same way that a forward-facing camera can. Knowing that most accidents aren’t the fault of drivers, cameras are proving that drivers were doing everything they should be doing when incidents occur.

3. All Duty-Hour Video Not Stored

While some products offer live-monitoring capabilities, most in-cab cameras don’t. They are only triggered to record when something out of the ordinary happens, so there isn’t someone sitting on the other end of a monitor just waiting to catch the driver breaking a rule or bending a regulation. By figuring out what happened after an incident, the intent of video is more forensic.

4. Cameras Improve Culture of Safety

Driver satisfaction and driver safety go hand in hand. Many drivers choose a carrier because they are impressed with an observed culture of safety. They might like the trucks they’d be driving because they’re well maintained and regularly updated. Perhaps the culture of safety matches their own personal safety philosophies.

Additionally, for the companies that provide trucks and equipment to the drivers, cabs are their workplaces, and cameras in workplaces are already prevalent. They are widely used in most yards, and few seem to have a problem with that. Installing cameras in cabs is merely an extension of what is becoming commonplace in every aspect of our daily lives.

5. Great Tool for New Drivers

Most drivers have probably noticed new hires that have come onboard with minimal training or witnessed others who could use additional coaching. Cameras enable managers to train these inexperienced drivers, helping the overall safety record of the fleet and improving driver reputation as a whole within the company. By documenting new driver behavior, managers can provide constructive feedback. Additionally, having video of a driver handling a critical event poorly only helps all drivers become safer.

Conclusion

Technology in trucks will become more prevalent, and yes, some drivers will object to implementation of new systems. The best carriers will keep communications open, because frankly, some of those concerns are legitimate—and all of them deserve to be heard. Successful adoption of new technology requires cooperation from the people who will be using it daily. That is only achieved when drivers and carriers openly express their concerns, everyone has been educated on the technologies being put in place, and the benefits they provide to drivers and fleets are understood.

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Love Affairs in the Making

Join in the Fun of a 45-Year Lovefest

Our Mission: To preserve the history of trucks, the trucking industry and its pioneers

As its name and mission statement imply, the non-profit American Truck Historical Society has fostered a 45-year love affair involving trucks and their owners. You can’t have one without the other. Fans and supporters of the trucking industry form another contingent that satisfies their curiosities by being interested onlookers. If you own an old truck, restored or not, or just enjoy the sights and sounds of old trucks, you should join the lovefest that helps you fantasize about what life on the road must have been like back in the day.

For less than a dollar a week, you can become a participant in shaping and preserving the history of those who came before you. Whether you like to see the 18-wheelers of yesteryear, the Divco home-delivery trucks that you or maybe your parents grew up with, or any size and shape of vocational truck you can imagine, you’ll see them all at American Truck Historical Society shows, on the ATHS website and in its top-quality publications. From restored beauties to recent barn finds, trucks of the past help you understand the deep roots that fostered the industry’s growth, while shaping your livelihood today.

Incorporated in 1971, the original American Truck Historical Society headquarters was established in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. When Mr. Harris Saunders, Sr. (Saunders Truck Leasing) became president of the organization in 1977, he relocated the headquarters to Birmingham, Alabama. He hired his daughter, Mrs. Zoe S. James, to oversee the library, archives, and membership.

ATHS Today & Tomorrow

In 2001, the ATHS purchased a 30,700-ft2 building and more than nine acres of land in Kansas City, Missouri to permanently house the Society’s headquarters and the Zoe James Memorial Library & Archives. The library boasts a collection of more than 100,000 photographs; 35,000 pieces of sales literature; 45,000 books and periodicals, along with a large collection of scale model trucks.

Today, the ATHS has become an international organization with members in all 50 states and 23 countries. Also, ATHS has almost 100 local chapters, including five Canadian, one Australian, and three divisional chapters. One of the many benefits of ATHS membership is the great friendships that are made and the camaraderie that characterizes local, regional and national events.

What the future holds is yet to be written, but with the solid support of a dedicated board of directors, staff and the ongoing relationships with ATHS chapters around the world, the future looks bright.

Spectacular Annual Event

An annual convention has been held each year since 1972, and an antique truck show, open to the public, was added in 1980. These shows have grown from a handful of trucks during year one to more than 1,000 trucks, buses and RVs, military and special interest vehicles, and fire apparatus in 2016. Approximately 15,000 ATHS members and other truck lovers attend each year.

Trucks of nearly every vintage and make are represented at the show, from the high-spokers of the early 1900s to the big rigs like you drive. To be considered antique, trucks must be at least 25 years old, however, all working and show trucks are welcome. Many truck-related vendors are onsite selling memorabilia, books and manuals, photos, model trucks, parts, and more.

Using a three-year rotation, the show moves between the Eastern, Western and Midwestern regions of the county. The next three ATHS Annual Conventions & Truck Shows are already scheduled as follows:

  • 2017 – Des Moines, Iowa, May 25-27 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds
  • 2018 – Lexington, Kentucky, May 31-June 2 at the Kentucky Horse Park
  • 2019 – Reno, Nevada, May 23-25 at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center

Assisting Future Generations

Last year, the American Truck Historical Society announced the formation of the George Schroyer Memorial Scholarship Fund. Shorty Whittington, CEO of Grammer Industries, located in Grammer, Indiana, and a long-time supporter of ATHS, donated seed money on behalf of his family and company to start the scholarship program. ATHS has begun the process of raising funds for a permanent endowment. Scholarships are available to children, stepchildren and grandchildren of ATHS members.

“Our father had been in the trucking business for his entire life,” says Dave Schroyer, ATHS Board President, on behalf of himself and his brother Mark. “He was also an avid collector of truck and trucking memorabilia and anything related to the truck transportation industry, and that is why he served as a volunteer leader and was an avid supporter of ATHS for many years.”

The first two scholarship winners—Ben Wild, diesel mechanics and Casey Vanderlinden, veterinary science—were chosen in July 2016. Initially, the $1,000 scholarships ($500 per semester) were awarded at the start of the fall semester. Although starting at a modest level, this program is expected to grow substantially over the next few years. More details and application information are available on the ATHS website or contact the office.

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WIN A FREE ATHS MEMBERSHIP

If your love of old trucks and the forerunners who helped build this industry pique your interest, the editorial staff of RoadKing would like to hear from you. Five lucky RoadKing readers will win a free one-year ATHS membership. To enter, please provide the following: your name, street address, mailing address (if different), city/state/zip, phone number and a 50 to 75-word statement why you would like to win the ATHS membership. Please email your entry to Warren Eulgen at Warren@HighVelocityCommunications.com. Or you can write your entry on a sheet of paper and mail it to:

RoadKing ATHS Free Membership
High Velocity Communications
Suite D
1720 Dolphin Drive
Waukesha, WI 53186-1489

Mailed entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2017 and be received by March 31, 2017. To be eligible to win one of the five free ATHS memberships, all requested information must be provided including your 50 to 75-word statement. The publishing and editorial staff of RoadKing magazine will judge the entries. All entries will become the property of High Velocity Communications. No phone calls, please. The five lucky winners will be announced in the May-June issue of RoadKing magazine.

Give a Great Gift

Whether for yourself, a parent, a grandparent or anyone else who appreciates the role of trucks in building this great country, why not give the gift of a free ATHS membership. Members receive the bi-monthly Wheels of Time magazine and Show Time, an annual full-color publication of the antique trucks registered for the annual National Antique Truck Show. ATHS members also have exclusive access to a “Members Only” section of the ATHS website. Membership also opens the door to ATHS Chapter membership, enabling you to participate in local activities, share experiences and network with other antique truck and truck history enthusiasts in your area.

To learn more about joining the American Truck Historical Society or giving a gift of membership, call 816.891.9000 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Central time or visit the website at www.ATHS.org.

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New Commercial Tire Network™

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TA-Petro has announced the formation of the TA Truck Service Commercial Tire Network™

TA has been a leader in the truck stop tire business for more than 40 years. The TA Truck Service Commercial Tire Network enables TA to meet increased customer demand for flexible, efficient sourcing of commercial tires.

“We have significantly expanded the ways in which we sell tires, as well as the brands that we sell to our customers,” said Tom O’Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters. “In addition to our traditional retail and ‘national account’ offerings, we have already added tire brands, including Cooper Tire Roadmaster®, Goodyear Marathon® and Kelly®, and expect to add others soon, including BF Goodrich®, Pirelli® and Formula® by Pirelli. We have also expanded the array of tire brands available through our RoadSquad™ emergency roadside service and our growing OnSITE™ mobile maintenance service.

“Many of the tires in our lineup are also available for pick-up by customers, delivery at customer locations, and through direct sales. We believe that the TA Truck Service Commercial Tire Network is the largest independent commercial tire dealer in the United States. To provide the best combination of product choice, flexible delivery, install capability, and competitive pricing to our customers, we also believe that we have assembled a leadership and dedicated sales team that may be unparalleled in the commercial tire business.”
As easy as One, Two, Three
With the TA Truck Service Commercial Tire Network, purchasing tires has never been easier. Select from steer, drive and trailer tire options at three different price points.

Just name your price, brand and location and get back on the road quickly. Buying new tires for your trucks is now as easy as one, two, three! In addition to the brands listed below, watch for other brands to be added throughout 2017.

Now available:
Goodyear
Goodyear Marathon
Kelly Tires
Yokohama
Continental
Roadmaster by Cooper Tire
Coming soon:
Pirelli
Formula by Pirelli
BF Goodrich

Looking for More Options?
TA Truck Service locations also offer Goodyear premium and economy retread lines. These high-quality retreads deliver long mileage, reliable service and excellent performance at a fraction of the cost. Whatever your unique needs, Goodyear retreads are the right total solution for your fleet. Choose from a wide selection of innovative commercial truck retreads and enjoy lower overall ownership costs, matching tread designs and even DuraSeal and Fuel Max technologies.

You can save even more with the national casing credit program or by checking out the consistently and affordably priced used tires offered throughout the TA Truck Service network. You can be confident in your used tire purchases because TA Truck Service will repair or replace (at our sole option) any used tire purchased at one of our facilities that fails due to defects, excluding road hazards, within 30 days of purchase.

National Tire Account Member?
TA Truck Service honors all major National Tire Accounts with the exceptional expertise and customer service you expect. Stop at any TA Truck Service location to purchase tires on your preferred truck tire supplier’s National Tire Account, and then have them installed quickly and professionally by ASE and TIA certified TA Truck Service technicians. You can also choose to have your National Tire Account purchases installed during a RoadSquad roadside assistance service call. TA Truck Service participates in National Tire Accounts with the following suppliers:

Goodyear
Yokohama
Continental
Michelin
Bridgestone

For more information on National Tire Accounts, contact a representative of your preferred tire brand.

TA Truck Service technicians are distinguished by more than 2,000 ASE certifications. The TA Truck Service network includes 243 truck service facilities, 1,079 repair bays, nearly 3,000 technicians, more than 1,600 RoadSquad Connect™ emergency roadside assistance vehicles and a growing fleet of OnSITE™ mobile maintenance vehicles.

Make the TA Truck Service Commercial Tire Network your preferred source for all of your truck tire needs.

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The Spirit of America’s Story, The Wall

Traveling Exhibit Commemorates Ongoing Fight for Freedom

Team drivers for V-3 Transportation, Ron Smith and Patricia Sexton of Sandusky, OH have a deep passion and understanding of the military and the pride that goes with it. They collaborated to bring The Spirit of America’s Story – The Wall to life. It is a richly illustrated visual story of America’s struggles for freedom, a visual walk through our country’s history and our fight to be free, from 1775 forward.

President and co-founder Ron Smith is a 13-½ year Marine Corps veteran. Co-founder Patricia Sexton is the wife of Army Sgt. David Sexton, who lost his life while serving in Vietnam during 1971. His remains have yet to come home. The passion they share for all branches of the military and the members of military families becomes quickly evident in just a short conversation.

Their connections to this project are much more than personal. From dream to reality, they have invested countless hours and personal resources over five years to bring this project to life. The Wall project has become an ongoing visual diary of our nation’s fight for freedom that’s still being written. The passion they share for this project is seen in their presentations, each and every time The Wall is displayed. Their dream has evolved into a part of everyone’s life that has seen it.

Project Description

The Wall, when fully completed, will be comprised of 10 pieces of artwork that Smith and Sexton designed in 10-ft. x 92-in. panels. They fit into custom-made frames that create the 100-ft. long panoramic mural, when connected. The custom built panels and structure are completely mobile and can accommodate any size space, indoors or outdoors.

To date, 70 feet of The Wall from 1775 to the Persian Gulf War are completed and currently being shown. The three remaining panels from 9-11 to the current war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan have been designed, but are not yet painted. The Wall is targeted for completion by May 2017, if fund raising proceeds as planned. The Wall is the first of its kind and stands as a powerful, visual reminder of this country’s sacrifices in the pursuit of freedom. Smith and Sexton want to ensure that their legacy will continue to inspire and educate future generations.

The mural enables viewers to experience history through a visual time line that reflects America’s story and documents the many technological advancements, as well as the great sacrifices in the ongoing quest for peace. The blended images and dramatic transitions reveal the struggles and challenges the military, police and fire fighters of this country have faced for the protection of the rights and freedoms every citizen enjoys. To call it just a mural would be like calling the Grand Canyon just a hole in the ground.

Nationally known artist Raymond A. Simonis shared in the passion as his paintings presented the essence of this powerful message. He is known for his ability to capture moments in time, blending them together, and painting the stories of life. The NFL, NHL, The Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Department of Defense and many others have commissioned his works.

The Creators’ Words

“Our goal is to capture and preserve the spirit, the sacrifices and rich history of the American people,” said Smith. “We do this by honoring those men and women in uniformed service who have and are currently serving and protecting our way of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, both here and abroad. We’ve shared the message of this unique display with many audiences across Ohio and beyond.”

“We are solely a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the immeasurable sacrifices individuals have made in the name of freedom,” continued Sexton. “Unlike other memorials, The Wall teaches through a pictorial timeline, covering the past 230 years. We accompany The Wall wherever it is displayed in an effort to inform and educate young and old alike.”

Any Assistance Appreciated

The estimated cost of the finished Wall project is $98,000. From April 2015 to present, corporate and public contributions totaling $40,000 have been raised. Smith and Sexton are so passionate about this traveling tribute Wall that they have personally invested $40,000. If they are unable to raise the remaining $18,000 through contributions, they will continue to travel and raise funds for The Wall. You can learn more about The Spirit of America’s Story – The Wall at SpiritofAmericasStory.com and by viewing additional linked photos for this story in the January-February 2017 digital version of RoadKing posted for your easy viewing at RoadKing.com.

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