What you need to know about the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) COVID testing and vaccination rule

by Miranda Brooks 4. November 2021 18:42

As you may know, on September 9th, President Biden presented a plan aimed at fighting the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Through OSHA, this plan becomes effective immediately, although certain deadlines for compliance do not occur until December 5 and January 4. OSHA’s rule calls for companies to require either weekly COVID-19 testing or proof of vaccination for most of their employees.

 

As we and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) interpret the rule, it exempts certain employees based on their individual duties and working conditions. This includes most, but not all, of our professional truck drivers.

 

However, office and shop employees as well as some professional commercial truck drivers will not be exempt. We will know more soon about who this includes, but here’s what we know so far: 

  1. Vaccination is not a requirement to work at U.S. Xpress. It is your choice.  
  2. If you choose to not get the vaccine, we will provide company-paid weekly testing.   
  3. The new OSHA rule requires that anyone who is not vaccinated wear a mask when indoors, effective December 5th. 
  4. New drivers coming into orientation will need to comply with the OSHA rule while they’re in orientation. Either being tested and wearing a mask or showing proof of vaccination. 

 

There are many moving pieces—we’ll keep you updated as we learn more information about the scope of this rule. We’re doing the best we can to remain compliant with the new OSHA rule while making options available for everyone within the U.S. Xpress family of companies.

 

Q&A 

Q: Am I at risk of losing my job if I do not get vaccinated? 

A: No! As a responsible industry leader, we will comply with the OSHA rule. But we’ll also make as many options available to our people as possible. Everyone will have the choice to perform weekly COVID-19 testing (and masking indoors) or show proof of vaccination. 

 

Q: How long will this rule be in place? 

A: We do not currently know how long this rule will be in place.  It may be revised or updated as OSHA continues to monitor COVID-19 trends. Legal challenges to the Rule may also affect how long it remains in place.

 

Q: What about Team drivers? Will they need to comply with the OSHA rule? 

A: Since Team drivers are, by definition, working in close proximity to other people (their teammates), they are required to comply. We are still working on details about how we’ll comply with the OSHA rule with our Team fleet. 

 

Q: Will the company pay for weekly testing? 

A: Though not required by the OSHA rule, U.S. Xpress and our family of companies will pay the cost of weekly testing for those employees affected. 

 

Q: Is there a medical or religious exemption I can request? 

A: There are medical and religious exemptions as an alternative to being fully vaccinated. But should you remain unvaccinated, no matter the reason, you’ll still need to comply with the weekly testing and mask-wearing while indoors. 

 

Q: What if I work at a customer location that has vaccine requirements? 

A: Our customers, and all private businesses, have the right to require vaccinations for entry to their sites. So, if our customers require vaccinations to be onsite, we will all comply with their wishes. 

 

Q: Do I need to have a booster to be compliant with the OSHA rule? 

A: At this time, the OSHA rule requires one Johnson & Johnson vaccine, two shots of either Moderna or Pfizer OR weekly testing and masking inside facilities. No booster shots are part of the requirement at this time. 

 

Q: Should I send in my vaccine card now? And where should it go? 

A: Sit tight. We’re working on an electronic solution for gathering proof of vaccination. We’ll let you know when we’re ready for people to send in their cards and how to do that. 

 

Q: Will U.S. Xpress provide paid time off for getting vaccinated or recovering from any side effects of vaccinations? 

A: Yes, we will provide paid time off for people who need time to get vaccinated and/or recover from any side effects that could be associated the vaccine. 

 

Q: Do Lease/Purchase or Owner/Operators need to comply with the OSHA rule? 

A: We believe that they will also be exempt, but are not sure yet. 

 

Q: Will positive testing for COVID-19 antibodies suffice in place of vaccination?

A: OSHA does not consider positive antibodies as a substitute for FDA-approved vaccination. But if the new rule applies to you and you choose not to get vaccinated, you always have the option to get tested weekly and wear a mask when inside one of our facilities.

 

 

 

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Are you a Veteran? Send in your photo to be featured by Friday Nov. 5th

by Miranda Brooks 3. November 2021 19:41

Veterans Day falls on Thursday, Nov. 11, and we are looking forward to honoring the men and women who have given their time to help defend America.

Are you a veteran or currently serving in the U.S. Military? We would love the opportunity to recognize you for your service to our country. Please send a photo of yourself either from your time in service or a recent selfie to USXCommunications@usxpress.com to be featured in a slideshow that will be displayed on our office/service center TVs, on our intranet, and on social media. Don't forget to tell us your branch of service. Please be sure to send in your photo by Friday, November 5th. 

 

Thank you to all of our veteran and active-duty team members. We look forward to recognizing you!

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What do you do when a law enforcement officer needs to see your ELD?

by Miranda Brooks 2. November 2021 11:58

Law enforcement officials often ask to see driver ELDs. As you know, DriverTech units can’t be removed from your truck cab. So, what are your options? Fortunately, you can access “enforcement view,” which allows you to mirror your ELD screen on your phone, allowing you to pass it off to the officer.

In this course, you’ll learn how to handle these situations with minimal stress or speed bumps. Just visit www.USXpressway.com, where you’ll find a direct link titled “Professional Driver Development Site.”

New to the Professional Driver Development Site? Click here for a view on how to access the course.

If you have any questions about your Professional Driver Development,  please reach out to your manager or the Professional Development team at professionaldevelopment@usxpress.com.

 

And, as always, thanks for driving with us!

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Need to Weigh a Load? Locate a Scale from your DriverTech.

by Miranda Brooks 1. November 2021 12:18

Easily locate a scale on your route right from your DriverTech navigation. Simply press the blue road sign button on your DriverTech navigation screen, select "Scale", and your DriverTech unit will then begin searching for options based on your current route. When the search is complete, up to four optimal scale options will display on your screen, and you can select the one that best suits your needs. 

 

If you have any questions about locating a scale in your DriverTech navigation, reach out to your manager. Thanks for driving with us! ​

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Benefits Enrollment is Oct. 25–Nov. 12

by Miranda Brooks 31. October 2021 16:17

Whether you've added a new bundle of joy to your family this year, are concerned about certain health conditions, or just want to be better prepared for the future, now's the time to look at your employee benefits options and make changes to protect you now and in the years ahead.

We've invested more than $2 million in an enhanced benefits package that offers you more options than ever in 2022. This is the only time you can make changes for next year (unless you have a baby, get married or have another qualifying life event) so it's important to act during the enrollment window, Oct. 25–Nov. 12.

It takes just three steps:

  1. Look for the 2022 Benefits Guide mailed to your home in early October and get familiar with your benefits options.
  2. If you're adding a spouse or dependent to your coverage, fax dependent documents —marriage certificates for a spouse and birth certificates for children — to 866-231-9165. Be sure to include a fax cover sheet with your driver ID on it.
  3. Call 866-895-8677 between Oct. 25 and Nov. 12 to enroll. The enrollment line is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday.

New benefits for 2022 include:

  • High-deductible health plan and health savings account  — This lower-cost alternative to health care may be more beneficial depending on your personal situation and expected annual health care expenses.
  • Increased 401(k) match — We've increased our 401(k) match to 50% of 5%. You're eligible to participate in this program on the first of the month following only 90 days of service.
  • Pet insurance — Our new partnership with FIGO offers customized plans to ensure your pet is covered in the event of unexpected illness or injury.  
  • Scholars Edge 529 plan — A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged way for you to save for a loved one's future education expenses.
  • Increased company-paid life insurance — We've increased company-paid life insurance from $10,000 to $50,000 for drivers.
  • Enhanced employee assistance program — You can take advantage of up to five confidential sessions with a licensed professional. The EAP also offers help from finding child care to deciding whether to buy or lease a vehicle to help support the everyday stresses and challenges you and your family face.
  • Increased limits for employee-paid short-term and long-term disability — Choose coverage of up to $1,500 a week or 60% of your base salary for both short-term and long-term disability insurance.

Updated adult orthodontia coverage  There's no longer an age limit on adult orthodontia, so all ages are covered. 

Questions about your benefits or open enrollment? Join our Zoom call to learn more.

 

We look forward to answering any questions you may have.

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Truckers Against Trafficking

by Miranda Brooks 30. October 2021 16:16

Victims of human trafficking are often found in locations frequented by truck drivers. These victims need our help, and that’s why U.S. Xpress has partnered with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT). TAT is a nonprofit organization that trains truck drivers to recognize and report instances of human trafficking. By learning how to identify the signs and report incidents of trafficking, you can play a vital role in rescuing victims. Since 2009, professional drivers like you have reported over 2,000 cases to TAT’s national hotline and freed over 1,000 people.

You can help victims of human trafficking with a TAT-certification course that involves a 26-minute video, followed by a 10-minute quiz. 

Access the training one of three ways:

  1. On www.USXpressway.com, there’s a direct link with a button titled “Professional Driver Development Site”.
  2. Or, if you’re already logged into U.S. Xpressway, you can find the Learning System listed under MY TOOLS.
  3. Or, you can go to our main website, www.usxpress.com. At the bottom of the main page, you can click “PROFESSIONAL DRIVER DEVELOPMENT” to access the platform.

 

Once you’re in the Learning System, look for “Truckers Against Trafficking” in your list of assignments, and click on the video. ​

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Are you a Veteran? Send in your photo to be featured.

by Miranda Brooks 29. October 2021 16:12

Veterans Day falls on Thursday, Nov. 11, and we are looking forward to honoring the men and women who have given their time to help defend America.

Are you a veteran or currently serving in the U.S. Military? We would love the opportunity to recognize you for your service to our country. Please send a photo of yourself either from your time in service or a recent selfie to USXCommunications@usxpress.com to be featured in a slideshow that will be displayed on our office/service center TVs, on our intranet, and on social media. Don’t forget to tell us your branch of service.

 

Thank you to all of our veteran and active-duty team members. We look forward to recognizing you!

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September’s Drivers and Trainer of the Month are here!

by Miranda Brooks 28. October 2021 17:28

We think all U.S. Xpress drivers are some of the best professional truck drivers out there. Every day you help support the supply chain and keep everyone in the country going.

 

But we want to recognize a specific few who have been beyond relentless. These drivers were nominated by their managers and chosen as winners by company leadership based on their outstanding safety records, hours of service compliance, and overall good reputation. Each of them will be recognized with a plaque, a $150 gift certificate to the company store, and an entry to become the 2021 Driver/Trainer of the Year.

 

Now let's get to it! September’s winners are:

 

Jeffery M. – Dedicated Solo Driver of the Month

“Jeff has shown consistent reliability and is able to adjust to our industry’s constantly changing needs on the fly.” – Chris Pemberton, Account Supervisor

 

Brian H. & Johnny M. – Dedicated Team Drivers of the Month

“Brian and Johnny have been a cornerstone on the Team side. They have been extremely flexible in filling the gaps across multiple accounts to help cover whatever may break loose and prevent service failures. They are both extremely self-motivated and seem to know exactly what to do before it needs to be done. They continue to strive to go above and beyond the call of duty, proving themselves time and time again as a top-tier team.”  – Tim Smith, Account Supervisor

 

Mickey R. – Dedicated Slipseat Driver of the Month

“Mickey has nearly 20 years of tenure with U.S. Xpress. He is reliable, dedicated, and willing to help other drivers whenever needed. Mickey is a positive role model on our team in Tipp City.” – Aaron Howard, Account Supervisor

 

Michael J. – Dedicated Owner Operator of the Month

“Michael has been with the company for over a year now and has been a great addition to the Target Newton team. He has an outstanding work ethic and is always willing to help other drivers when needed. He is a pleasure to work with and one of the most reliable drivers we have. I can always count on him to get every load there on time and provide great customer service. He definitely has a relentless attitude, and his work performance is a true result of that. Michael is very deserving of the Driver of the Month award, and we are very proud of him!” – Sidia Witherspoon, Account Supervisor

 

Timothy C. – OTR Solo Driver of the Month

“Tim is an excellent asset to our Tractor Supply Waco tour. We can always count on him to deliver the service and respect that U.S. Xpress strives for. Thank you, Tim, for everything you do!" – Kelsey Hood, Operations Manager

 

Cynthia P. & Mark P. – OTR Team Drivers of the Month

"Every time their number is called, they step up and knock it out of the park!" – Joshua Borin, Operations Manager

 

William B. – OTR Owner Operator of the Month

"Bill has been with us for several years now and has a very strong reputation with our fleet staff and customers alike. We appreciate Bill and his continued efforts to deliver service." – Kelsey Hood, Operations Manager

 

Fernando O. – Trainer of the Month

 

Join us in giving a big congratulations to all these drivers for their hard work, dedication, and relentless attitudes as they help keep us rolling.

 

 

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