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Trucking Training & Safety Evaluated Following Multi-Fatality Crash

Trucking Training & Safety Evaluated Following Multi-Fatality Crash

A devastating crash involving 28 cars and a long-haul truck driver has left the trucking industry re-evaluating safety protocol involving trucker training and vehicle inspections.

The accident – which occurred in April in Lakewood, Colorado, turned deadly when a driver for Castellano 03 Trucking LLC of Houston stated to police the breaks of the truck failed on a downhill grade. The driver – who has a clean driving record, was charged with three dozen felony counts and could face prison time.1 According to records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 30 violations were reported out of 19 inspections spanning two years – some of which were directly related to brakes.2

“Exactly what happened and how remains a matter for the courts to determine,” said John Kearney, CEO of Advanced Training Systems, a leading designer and manufacturer of virtual simulators for truck driver training. “This tragic incident makes clear the importance of stringent enforcement of truck safety regulations and the best possible training for operators.”

“Trucking is thus a linchpin of the economy,” Kearney said. “It is also an industry under intense pressure to manage explosive growth within tight financial margins.”


With trucking moving a reported 70 percent of total freight in the U.S. by American trucking associations, 3 trucking companies are undoubtedly feeling the pressure to provide training while meeting market demands. Additionally, it’s reported the industry is in need of 50,000 more full-time drivers.4 The challenge is recruiting, training, and deploying drivers quickly and safely.

The real question asks if simulator training is the next best step in addressing the challenges and extreme pressures present within the industry. Simulator training provides room for learning without incurring damages and risking lives on the road.

“It’s a key component of training, but not the only component,”  Kearney said. “Classroom instruction still is essential, along with behind-the-wheel training with an experienced operator in a real truck. This is exactly the mix of mandatory training modalities used by the airline industry, which also should be mandatory in the trucking industry. As delivery schedules shorten, highway congestion and the demand for highly skilled truck operators will only increase. It’s to everyone’s benefit to make sure those drivers have had the best training possible.”

This report was provided by Advanced Training Systems LLC and includes the following references:

1 Helsel, Phil, “Truck driver in fiery Colorado crash charged with 40 counts, may face decades in prison,” NBC, May 3, 2019.

2 Miller, Blair, “Company that I-70 crash driver works for has past federal violations for brakes, English proficiency,” The Denver Channel, April 29, 2019.

3 “Reports, Trends & Statistics,” American Trucking Associations, 2019.

4 “Pressure’s on the Trucking Sector,” Insurance Journal, November 15, 2018.


Air Partner Announces Houston Location

Following the most recent opening of its Los Angeles office, global aviation group Air Partner confirmed the opening of its newest headquarters in Houston, Texas this week. The new Woodlands office supports the company’s vision to continue efforts in expansion to better serve its clients in various regions.

“We are excited to open an office in Houston as we expand our reach and services across the U.S., providing local Air Partner representation to both established and new customers,” said David McCown, president of Air Partner U.S. “Houston is one of the fastest-growing major cities in the United States and is a hotbed of economic activity.  We see massive potential for growth in the region.”

In addition to extending reach for customers, the Houston office is in favorable proximity to the major oil and gas hub in the region, creating opportunities for Air Partner to extend its freight and corporate jet shuttle programs. With the Port of Houston currently serving as a top foreign trade zone, the company’s strategic location for the new office will also provides ample opportunities for the expansion of large freight and cargo operations.

The London-based company offers services including air charter,cargo services, private air travel solutions, specialist travel management, emergency planning, aircraft remarketing and aviation safety consultancy and training, including air traffic control and wildlife management

Air Partner currently has U.S. office locations in Fort Lauderdale, New York City and Washington, D.C. and shows no plans of slowing down expansion efforts in key regions.

New Interjet Service Links Houston and Monterrey, Mexico

Houston, TX – Interjet has officially began flight operations linking George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas with Monterrey International Airport in Monterrey, Mexico.

The airline will now offer passengers a choice between two daily flights Monday through Friday and one daily flight on Saturdays and Sundays.

Depending upon demand, the airline will feature service aboard its 150-seat A-320 and its 93-seat Superjet 100 aircraft, with passengers departing from Terminal D at the airport’s Mickey Leland International Terminal.

Interjet’s daily service will include service twice a day Monday through Friday, and once a day on Saturday and Sunday.

The arrival of Interjet is the latest example of an unprecedented level of growth for international air travel in Houston.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport is currently on pace to see more than 10 million international passengers in 2014, a number never  reached in the facility’s 45 year history.

10/23/2014

Houston Handles Record Steel Shipments

Houston, TX – The Port of Houston handled more steel shipments in July than in any month since 2008 as 844,000 tons of the product were handled at the port, according to Executive Director Roger Guenther.

Addressing the most recent meeting of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority (PHA), Guenther also noted that the port had achieved a record with operating revenues in July 2014 of more than $24 million.

Steel and bulk cargo grew by “a solid 5 percent” in July, he said, adding that more than 22 million tons of cargo moved across PHA docks during the first seven months of the year.

Container volume was relatively flat compared to last year, but recorded a four percent increase in the number of loaded boxes year to date.

This was offset, Guenther said, “by a reduced number of empty containers being imported through PHA terminals due to an increase in loaded imports.”

Combining the strength in revenues and controlled spending, PHA has generated more than $65 million in operating cash flow for the year, a growth of 5 percent, he reported.

Following the first two quarters of 2014, the PHA said that it’s prepared a “re-forecast budget” for the remainder of the year, reflecting a $5.8 million increase in annual operating revenue, a decrease of $2.1 million in annual operating expense.

“This revenue generated will be reinvested in the infrastructure assets needed to increase capacity and provide for increased economic activity and job growth for the region,” said Guenther.

09/11/2014