Posts Tagged “Jimmy DeMatteis”

As We Plow Right into 2018, Wishing You Much Happiness and Health!

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BillMartinDaneBasham (2)I’m not sure where 2017 went, but ready or not I’m plowing right into 2018!

I’ve been very blessed in many ways, one of which is the way continues to have more folks signing up for our free subscriptions.  This tells me you are finding worthwhile information here relating to produce hauling, as well as other news such as the health benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

There have now been over 1900 posts published on the website since it was launched on January 12, 2012.  Six years! Where has the time gone!

The primary sponsors of HaulProduce –  Allen Lund Co., Cool Runnings, and DMTB, I have personally known the owners a combined 105 years!  They are all good, honest people that I can’t say enough good things about.  The bottom line is they care about maintaining impeccable business reputations and they truly care about the trucking industry and particularly the hard working Americans that deliver well over 9o percent of the fresh produce to destinations across North America.

So, here is a shout out to 3 of the finest men I’ve ever known – Allen Lund, Fred Plotsky and Jimmy DeMatteis.

It looks like we are entering another cycle in the trucking industry.  If you are old enough you have witnessed several of these over the years.  The economy slows down, excess equipment is out there and freight rates plunge.  Luckily, it looks like what started in 2017 is just really getting started with this new cycle in trucking.  The economy is picking up, equipment and qualified drivers are harder to find, and freight rates are on the rise.

Of course, we can always count on the federal and state governments to put a damper on things, particularly with more rules, regulations and taxes, most of which seem to do more harm than good, and often increase costs of operation.

I continue to be amazed, especially with the owner operators and small fleet owners, that continue to persevere.

This is wishing each of you much happiness and health in the New Year. – Bill Martin





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Some Solutions to the Worsening Driver Shortage

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Robert Lawton+1According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA) our industry currently needs another 30,000 qualified drivers.  The number is expected to rise to 200,000, over the next 10 years.  Drivers are getting old.  The average age for -hire is about 49; about 55 for less-than-truckload drivers (LTL) and private carriers.  Average turnover rate is 115-120%.

Hauling more than 70% of all freight in the US, trucking is a vital component to economic growth of the country.  But there is not enough capacity to handle the anticipated growth.  The result is that everything slows down.

Being away from home for long stretches is a major drawback to attracting recruits to drive trucks.  The age requirement, restrictive regulations and demanding work schedules are further deterrents.

Des Moines Truck Brokers (DMTB) President Jimmy DeMatteis pointed out that “The driver pool is being pinched from both ends.  Baby boomer drivers are retiring.  But we have also lost young people who elected to go into the work force right out of high school.  They used to be allowed to drive interstate at the age of 18.  Now that age has been raised to 21.

“By the time they are in the labor market for three years, young adults can be well on their way to a career in construction, retail or service.  They are not interested in starting all over again from the bottom as a brand new truck driver.  Raising the age limit has been a major blow to driver recruitment.”

There is a move afoot to convince insurance companies to create training standards that would allow young drivers behind the wheel.  DeMatteis notes, “At the age of 18, they are allowed to go into combat and fly a plane and drive a car.  With the proper training, they should also be able to drive a truck.”

Driver pay must be increased if the capacity shortage is to be addressed.  In real dollars, drivers today earn less than they made in 1990.

Solving the driver shortage will undoubtedly cause an increase in the cost of shipping.  It will also take innovation and a dose of reality as shippers and carriers face the problem head-on, in 2015.

Reprinted with permission from  the 2015 February issue of Dashboard, which is published by Des Moines Truck Brokers.

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Jimmy DeMatteis: Takin’ It to the Streets Fighting the Feds

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JimmyDeMatteisWhen it comes to being proactive in working for improvements in the trucking industry, by speaking out and pushing for improved, if not fewer regulations, Jimmy DeMatteis certainly seems to do his share.

You might say he’s takin’ it to the streets fighting the bureaucracy in an effort to improve the trucking industy for everyone.

As the president of Des Moines Truck Brokers in Norwalk, IA, his company was named in 2009 as the National Broker of the Year by the National

Jimmy DeMatteis                                       Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC).  DeMatteis serves on the executive committee of ASECTT (Alliance for Safe Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation) and  is chair of the Transportation Intermediaries  Association (TIA) Political Action Committee.

While involved in these groups, not to mention others, he recently led a $12 million building project that now is the new headquarters for Capital City Fruit and Des Moines Truck Brokers.

A lot of DeMatteis’ efforts have been through the ASECTT trying to get some sanity put into the CSA-210, which is administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  In the past he has blasted federal bureaucrats over the program which rates the safety of motor carriers.  It also ends up rating many safe carriers as being unsafe, he states.

“The CSA scores are unproven, unreliable and based on factors the FMCSA doesn’t even understand,” DeMatteis states.  “There has been  massive amounts of costly research conducted and proven to be faulty.  Yet every motor carrier on the road is subject to the CSA score at any given time.  This could result in them being black balled from hauling freight.”

DeMatteis accuses the FMCSA of refusing to recognize their responsibility in this whole equation.  His problem with this federal agency is it wants to “deputize” the trucking industry to police and do the job the bureaucrats should be doing.  Instead, the FMCSA expects shippers and brokers to judge  carrier fitness.

He points out  FMCSA bases its safety program on percentages and no matter how many bad carriers are removed from the industry, there are always going to be 35 percent that are going have “alerts.”  This is because the system only allows 65 percent of carriers to be considered safe operations at any one time.

As a result, DeMatteis contends some shippers are including requirements in contracts based on CSA scores that blacklist many good, small trucking companies.  This results in many of these good small fleets going out of business because shippers and brokers refuse to work with them, due to so-called unsafe scores.

In the April issue of  Dashboard, DTMB’s online newsletter, it lists goals of the ASECTT regarding CSA-210.  They are:

Short Term Goal:

 To require the FMCSA to redact publication of CSA 2010 methodology pending rulemaking or to otherwise affirm that data cannot be used in a court of law to establish vicarious liability and that shippers and brokers may rely upon the Agency’s current fitness determination of satisfactory, unsatisfactory or unrated (which is equivalent to satisfactory).

Long Term Goal:

To reestablish primacy of FMCSA for certifying safety, including preemption of state law.

For more details, visit



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