There wasn't nearly enough room in my story on "7 Ways to Improve Trucking's Image" for the November issue of HDT to showcase some of the great examples of what companies are doing.
FedEx Freight driver educates drivers of all ages about driving safety around big trucks.
FedEx Freight driver educates drivers of all ages about driving safety around big trucks.
Here are some recent ones:

Sharing the Road

In Harrison, Ark., a three-day Community Safe Driving Rally hosted by FedEx Freight and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance taught drivers of all ages the importance of sharing the road safely with tractor-trailers and avoiding the dangers of distracted driving.

Representatives from FedEx, CVSA, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, National Organization for Youth Safety and the Arkansas Highway Police shared remarks emphasizing this importance of safe driving habits during a special presentation on Tuesday, Oct. 16. After the presentation, drivers were encouraged to sign a pledge that they would not text while driving.

Captains from America's Road Team led attendees through several educational demonstrations. Participants were able to climb behind the wheel of a tractor to view the truck's blind spots. The captains also demonstrated tractor-trailer stopping distance, the effects of a roll-over crash and proper seat belt use, in addition to leading distracted driving and impaired driving simulators.

Media coverage helps drive the maximum effect from such events. The FedEx event resulted in an image gallery and slide show on the website of the Harrison Daily Times.

Helping Haiti

Arpin Group recently teamed up with the Rhode Island retail chain, Ocean State Job Lot, to help two local teenagers carry out their effort to transport 20 boxes of donated soccer equipment to children in Haiti.

Cassandra and Christiana Layman, both soccer players, and their SoccerRecycle program, collected the boxes of soccer gear this summer, with plans to ship them to Haiti for the children affected by devastation in that area.

Ocean State Job Lot contributed to the effort by donating 3,200 athletic shoes.

The young women created SoccerRecycle out of a concern that many uniforms were used only a few times and then tossed out or put on the shelf, never to see daylight again. Giving the uniforms and equipment a "second life" became their goal. Nearly 400,000 Haitians are still living in settlement camps, following an earthquake in 2010. New soccer gear, the teens hope, will brighten many children's lives.

The young women contacted Matt Dolan, Arpin Group's chief operating officer, and asked if Arpin could transport the donation to North Carolina, where the U.S. Soccer Foundation's shipping center is located. The foundation will ensure that the donated items are delivered to the children of Haiti sometime in the next few months.

Arpin has helped transport donations in the past and happily agreed to transport the extra large shipment to North Carolina for free.

A press release mentioning Arpin's role in the effort was run on the website of the NorthKingstown (RI) Patch.

Think Pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and a number of fleets have devoted pink trucks to the effort.

Mack Trucks this week is displaying a pink Mack Granite MHD dump truck in front of its corporate headquarters in Greensboro, N.C. The truck display concludes a month of breast cancer awareness activities for employees, including a Think Pink Awareness Fair and a Pink 5K Celebration.

The Granite is owned by Virginia Paving Company, a division of The Lane Construction Corp., and was sold by Tidewater Mack in Chesapeake, Va. The truck participates in local parades and events in support of breast cancer awareness.

The truck is part of the Virginia Paving Company's Norfolk Plant fleet and is driven by female driver Kendra Speller. It's just a show vehicle; it is part of the company's everyday operations.

Virginia Paving Company regularly paints some of its trucks to support charitable causes as a part of the "Dump Trucks for Charities" program. The program provides sign space to local groups on company dump trucks, which are seen by thousands of motorists every week on area roads. The 15-inch-high by 36-inch-wide aluminum signs affixed to truck tailgates will help increase awareness for charitable groups.

The company's "Dump Trucks for Charities" program has garnered a number of local media stories over the years.