Overdrive Magazine

May 2019

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16 | Overdrive | May 2019 A System Transport company driver from Phoenix is this year's Goodyear Highway Hero. Paul Mathias was honored at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, during the Mid-America Trucking Show in late March. The award included a trophy, a ring and an undisclosed amount of cash. The other finalists were Darrell Atkins, a driver for J.B. Hunt from Alvaredo, Texas, and Don Frederick, a driver for XPO Logistics from Kimbolton, Ohio. Each received a cash prize and a trophy. Mathias was recognized as Goodyear's 36th Highway Hero for his actions in late 2017. He had just stopped his truck at a stoplight when an SUV with a mother and two children inside was struck by a dump truck, killing one of the chil- dren, a young girl. Mathias contacted 911 and then helped the mother. He performed CPR on the other child, a boy, aid- ing him until EMTs arrived. A Navy veteran who was wound- ed in Operation Desert Storm, Mathias grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He said his family instilled in him the idea of helping others in need, and that outlook was honed by his time in the Navy. Mathias worked as a stockbroker before becoming a truck driver. He said his father had driven trucks. — David Hollis Vet named Goodyear Highway Hero Paul Mathias PILOT FLYING J surpassed its $1 million goal for the American Heart Association's "Life is Why We Give" campaign, raising $1,068,243. The contri- bution exceeds PFJ's 2018 fund-raising total of $981,000. KENWORTH AGAIN will provide a truck for the top rookie military veteran driver who has left military service to drive for a commercial fleet. The winner of the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence program will receive a T680 fully loaded with a 76-inch sleeper and a Paccar powertrain. The program is sponsored by Kenworth, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring our Heroes initiative and Fastport, an organization that helps men and women leaving military service to find jobs. Nominations will be accepted until June 30. Visit TransitionTrucking.org. TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA presented $112,946 to Truckers Against Trafficking at the Mid- America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. The donation came from TA's campaign to sell TAT gear, with $1 per purchase going directly to TAT. PROGRESSIVE COMMERCIAL launched a dona- tion campaign to benefit the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, a charity that helps drivers and their families when illness or injury force them out of work. Every time the song "Ride Along With Me" by Kevn Kinney is downloaded from TruckerTerritory.com, Progressive will donate $1 to the fund, up to $5,000. This is the fourth straight year Progressive has held the program. A TRUCK DRIVER WAS KILLED March 27 in a hazardous materials explosion on U.S. 278. Randall McDougal, 63, of El Dorado, Arkansas, was hauling a load of ammonium nitrate when the brakes of his truck caught fire. He stopped and attempted to put out the blaze, but the truck exploded, killing McDougal and injuring three firefighters. WABCO HOLDINGS entered into a merger agree- ment with ZF Friedrichshafen AG, an all-cash deal that calls for ZF to acquire all outstanding Wabco shares for $136.50 per share for an equity value of over $7 billion. Wabco said the transaction combines its capabilities in commercial vehicle safety and efficiency with ZF's expertise in driveline and chassis technologies. PACCAR, parent company of Peterbilt and Kenworth, named Preston Feight chief executive officer, effective July 1. Feight, 51, will replace Ron Armstrong, who is retiring June 30 and has served as Paccar CEO since 2014. Feight's 21 years of service with Paccar include tenures as president of DAF Trucks and vice president and general manager of Kenworth. Ohio's per-gallon tax on diesel fuel will climb 19 cents in July after the State Legislature last month final- ized a bill to increase gasoline and diesel taxes and Gov. Mike DeWine signed it. The state tax on diesel will rise to 47 cents. Ohio-based owner-operator Scott Reed, who in late March testified before the Senate in opposition of a diesel tax hike, said the increase was likely "the lesser of two evils," as the state also floated plans to toll major highways in the state, such as Interstates 70 and 75. Reed said he was disappointed the Ohio Legislature opted for such a large increase, particularly since the per-gallon gasoline tax was increased by only 10.6 cents. Reed and owner-operator Todd Campbell testified that the tax increase would hurt small busi- nesses across the state, including small-business truckers. "We were doomed to be screwed one way or the other, because if they didn't get the fuel tax increase, the next thing they were going to go to was tolling the highways," Reed said. The Ohio Trucking Association also advocated for the diesel tax increase over funding mechanisms such as tolling, vehicle mileage taxes and increased registration fees. OTA's Tom Balzar said the Ohio Constitution requires fuel tax revenue to be spent on roads and bridges, unlike the other funding methods. — James Jaillet Ohio enacting 19-cent diesel tax hike

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