We are excited to share a summary of VP of Safety, Security and Driver Training, Amy Lokken’s Live Chat from Facebook. Please see the chat summary below or you can simply visit our Facebook page "US Xpress Drivers", click on the Notes tab. it is titled "Vice President of Safety, Security and Driver Training, Amy Lokken Live Chat 3.4.15 ". Take a look! Other drivers might have asked questions you would like to know the answers to.
Amy Lokken’s Introduction
Hello everyone! Amy Lokken, VP of Safety, Security and Driver Training here at US Xpress. I am looking forward to hearing your questions and feedback today. I wanted to first give you a bit of detail about my background and the team that I have working with me. I have been a proud member of the US Xpress family since May 2013. I have been involved the Safety and Security areas for over 20 years, working in a variety of organizations. Within my team I have a lot of diverse backgrounds, including many who have been professional truck drivers prior to becoming a part of the Safety, Security and Driver Training team. These diverse backgrounds help us to bring many different perspectives into consideration as we do our work. You are welcome to ask questions about any area that my team has responsibility for, but there are a couple of areas that I would really like to get your thoughts on. First is our new annual safety recognition program and the awards site. You are now eligible to get a safety award for each and every year that you qualify. When you receive an award – you receive points that can be used on the usxpressrewards.com site. I would love some feedback from those of you who have been on the site. Recognizing and thanking you for being a safe driver is very important. Also, you may have seen that we have an upcoming pilot program that we will be doing on sleep apnea. We would love to get your thoughts and ideas on how we can make that program successful. And of course, I am sure that many of you have questions and suggestions related to our training program. We are working on a lot of ideas on how we can not only make the program better, but make it the best program in the industry. Any ideas that you have on how we can accomplish that would be appreciated. Again- I am looking forward to chatting with all of you! Have any of you redeemed rewards on the usxpressrewards.com site? If so, can you share your thoughts and experience? Everyone has a login. Check out our Safety site, safetycenter.usxpress.com and watch the training for additional information on how to login.
Driver Question: If a driver is feeling fatigued how can we express that to our FM without the fear of being fired, giving a service failure or even transferred?
Amy Lokken’s Answer: Your question is a good one, so I wanted to be sure and get back with you. Under 392.3 a portion of which reads “No driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause as to make it unsafe for him/ her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle.” As a professional driver, it is your responsibility to assess your readiness to drive. If your physical or mental condition is such that you cannot safely operate a commercial motor vehicle, you must alert your FM. If you ever feel as though someone is pushing you to drive, although you believe cannot safely operate the vehicle, please contact safety immediately. Your safety and the safety of the motoring public is our top priority.
Driver Question: I just graduated from Chautauqua tractor trailer institute. I have a prehire through the company and am considering coming for orientation. My question is I was told I could get into a dedicated route and have home time every weekend. Is this true and would I be teamed with someone in same area I live in during training so I could be home on my trainers down time to.
Amy Lokken’s Answer: Congratulations on graduating! On dedicated accounts, we try to place students on accounts they have been hired into for training, but this is not always possible. Because of this, we cannot guarantee that you would get home time during the trainers downtime. We hope that you decide to come on with us. If you do, please be sure to reach out and say hello!
Driver Question: Does safety take any interest in all the unsafe trucks and trailers (especially the trailers) we have because it is so hard to get ahold of breakdown to get anything fixed these days so some of our drivers just run with the problems so they don't miss out on getting a paycheck?
A good example was last year I was issued a trailer with a bad tire at the Springfield terminal, the shop was backed up, they cancelled my load, issued the illegal trailer to another driver who took it out on the road where he risked getting stopped, inspected, and CSA points for both him and USXpress.
Amy Lokken’ s Answer: If you have noticed over the past couple of months, we have done a lot of education and communication on trailer safety to make sure everyone is aware and knowledgeable of issues that can make a trailer unsafe or illegal. The best time to capture items like this is during your pre and post trip inspection processes. If any issues are noted, you should then contact XRA. Please visit and tell others to visit the Safety Center website, safetycenter.usxpress.com for all of this training. We expect that all drivers would be as vigilant as you in identifying these sorts of issues.
Driver Question: I can't log on to the safety center on my driver tech.
Amy Lokken’s Answer: On the Driver Tech, you can access a limited number of courses through "Driver Services" under "Xpress Training". The link safetycenter.usxpress.com can be accessed from anything with an internet connection (like a PC or smart phone), and will provide you to full access of all courses available.
Driver Question: What is USX looking at doing in regards to safety at drop yards that have no restrooms? Also when a driver is forced to spend a 10 hr. break in an unsafe area due to his or hers 14 hr. clock expiring what is the company policy on this...move to a safe location and go into violation? I’m not a fan of gun shots less than a block from the truck
Amy Lokken’s Answer: If a driver feels that they are in an unsafe situation, please call into Safety. Your safety is our top priority.
Driver Question: My question and/or concern are about trainers. If I tell my TC that a student is not ready for upgrade, I'm still expected to bring that student in. That sets them up to fail immediately. The TC’s need to actually listen to the trainer. I'm not in it for the money. As Daniel Horton had pointed out, the money isn't all that great. I really want to help someone to become a professional driver that will serve US well.
Amy Lokken’s Answer: It is our policy that the training coordinator takes the feedback from the trainer and seeks to understand why the trainee may need additional hours. If needed, the student’s training time is extended by 50 hour increments. If you experience that the process does not work this way, please reach out to Darlene Crabtree or myself.
Driver Question: What is the company doing to eliminate bad trainers? Also what is USX looking at doing as far as a pay package? $20 Dollars a day while student is on the truck is an insult. Why not a pay package that makes it worth a trainer’s time. For example am extra. 07cpm for the first 2 students a trainer upgrades then a .01 cpm every 2 students to a maximum of .12cpm for all miles the truck runs.
Amy Lokken’ s Answer: I want to take a second to thank you and all of our other trainers who are helping build the next generation of drivers. We have been discussing different ways to change our trainer pay package and recently have gotten feedback from our Driver Advisory Council on trainer pay, and we will continue to look for opportunities to get feedback from trainers such as you. We will add your suggestions to our idea bank on trainer pay. Thank you so much for participating in today's chat.
Driver Questions: Trainers pay. Yes I know we get more hours with students and that can be more hours teaming with students. But some trainers don't like running teams with students. So is there going to be a change in pay. What about Dollar Tree account and Dollar General account? Dispatcher's try to force you to unload in a 110 degree trailers and if you try pace so you don't get hydrated and pass out they get mad you took a little longer. Plus dollar tree trailers are still loaded to the door, where you can't have three points of contact. When you try to put rollers in the back of the trailer, because everyone doesn't have a roller rack. If u can't fit them in the trailer they tell u put them in the sleeper, they can hit u in the head and knock you out. And Dollar General is still load containers overweight 800 to 1,000 pounds and with broken wheels try push that straight up hill can pull your back out. Plus unloading in the dark is problem sometimes with things fall hit u on the head or in bad neighborhoods. Are they going to start recognizing safe haven rule? In case of shipper or receiver ran you out of hours. Because it is dangerous parking some spots around shippers and receiver. With cargo thieves on the rise, drivers get robbed plus drivers get mugged or possibly killed.
Amy Lokken’s Answer: I appreciate all that you do for us. On trainer pay, please check out the response I provided in an earlier question . If you have any specific suggestions, please provide them here or send them to me directly. Proper hydration is very important at all times, especially during summer months and when doing physical activity. We continuously work with our customers to ensure that loading practices are not creating unsafe situations for our drivers. I'm going to have someone from our log department reach out to you to make sure we understand your question regarding the Safe Haven rule. Thanks for participating today!
Information provided by Amy about the Million Miler program:Did you know that U.S. Xpress will provide you credit for up to 5 years of verifiable safe driving from another carrier towards your Million Miler status? In the past, we counted 11 years as being a Million Miler, and as of January 2015, we will now count the actual miles to determine a drivers million mile status. We are very excited about this. It actually came from feedback from our drivers and with your recommendations, we were able to make this change. Thank you for your feedback!
Amy Lokken’s closing
Well everyone, it looks like we are at the end of our time. We really appreciate the job that you do for us. While this forum is coming to a close, you are always welcome to reach out to me to share your thoughts and ideas. By working together, we can make sure that everyone at U.S. Xpress is safety S.M.A.R.T. (Safety Means Actions Require Thought). Thanks again to all of you for participating!