A story about entrepreneur Samir Latic was recently published in the Macomb Daily, and it’s a story we hope those with CDL trucking jobs will feel inspired by.

Refugee entrepreneur starts own cCDL carrier companyLatic was a refugee from Bosnia, and writer Gina Joseph tells his journey of becoming “one of the biggest small companies in the trucking business.” Latic’s CDL truck driving story began when he arrived at the Detroit, Michigan airport, Joseph writes. The industrial community he settled in, Hamtramck, wasn’t the idyllic landscape of his American dreams. But it promised a new beginning.

Hamtramck had a community of Bosnians who arrived before them.

One family even took them in until they were able to buy their own home. The brothers also found work and not long after purchasing a home were able to buy a semi-truck.

“I wanted to drive a truck and save as much money as I could and go back to school,” Latic said, holding onto the idea of becoming a dentist.

But one truck led to two trucks, some good contracts and by 2004 the brothers were in the trucking business. Despite his day job, however, Latic managed to squeeze in enough classes at Wayne State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in public affairs and a master’s degree in international relations.

Latic has been in the trucking industry for 11 years now.

His company, Midwest Freight Systems of Warren, has more than 200 trucks and employs more than 250 people, 40 percent of whom are refugees. Joseph quotes Latic as saying:

“Follow your dreams, stay the course and you will get there. I don’t think we as a family would have been able to do what we’ve done anywhere but in the United States.”

Even though Latic came to America hoping to be a dentist, he was still able to create a new life for himself and his family. Read more about Latic and his journey on the Macomb Daily here.


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fleetowner.comOn the hunt for a phone earpiece that will stand up to the demanding environment of trucking? One from ToughTested Safe Driving Mono Earbud is marketed toward people with CDL trucking jobs, so Fleet Owner gave it a closer look. How did it fare? Here’s what the magazine found:

This ToughTested earpiece comes with a notable five-year warranty

This indicates a vote of confidence well beyond typical clauses backing consumer electronics. It’s got Kevlar on the inside of the cord — which is coiled in two places to help prevent hanging wire from getting snagged and tangled — and polyurethane on the outside, and the maker says it has “reinforced stress-relief” to provide 10,000 uses.

It’s also certified protected from dust and splashes of water

In addition, it features a very significant outside noise reduction capability of up to 23 decibels. All that, and the thing retails for $39.99.

You start by choosing your earpiece end from two included “Flexfoam” and two “tree tips” — one large and one smaller of each — with the tree tips being the tiered, soft rubber variety often found on earbuds. Those offer what may be a more comfortable fit but less noise isolation. However, the Flexfoam ends resembles earplugs commonly used in shops. You pinch and roll with your fingers before inserting into your ear.

The product offers plenty of volume and noise isolation using a Flexfoam end to hear phone conversations.

In even the loudest noise —  that’d be some wind, road and water-spray noise coming at my left ear as well as vehicle noise at highway speed — the earpiece stayed in place and I could hear (and be heard), and the earpiece’s volume wasn’t even dialed up all the way.

Read the rest of the Fleet Owner review here to learn what its weakest points were.


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The No. 1 pain for people with CDL driver jobsIf your CDL driver job gives you aches and pains, you aren’t alone. Sitting in a cab for about 10 hours a day will definitely impact your body. And it turns out the vibration that truck drivers experience at the wheel does more than hurt. As a recent article in Go By Truck explores, if you have a CDL driver job, the vibration might affect your job performance.

“Whole body vibration” (WBV) results from a truck traveling over a rough surface, the article says.

It can cause sore lower backs, as well as pain in the neck, arms and legs. If the pain is bad enough, it can limit or cut short a driver’s career,” the article states.

A study presented at the 2014 American Conference on Human Vibration examined how whole body vibration affected drivers’ performance. The study featured the Bose Ride active suspension seating system, which uses sensors and electromagnetic motors to greatly reduce vibration.

The limited study concluded, “it appears whole body vibration exposures and the magnitude of them may adversely affect the vigilance of truck drivers and potentially contribute to cognitive fatigue. A 2015 RAND Corp. review of 24 studies found that 18 of them reported “a significant association” between WBV and driver fatigue and sleepiness.

The article also states that CDL truck drivers who used Bose Ride experienced less WBV than those with air-ride seats. After three months, the Bose Ride group reported a 30 percent reduction in lower back pain. A number of carriers are retrofitting their fleets with Bose Ride systems, including R+L Carriers of Wilmington, Ohio.

“The feedback has been great,” said R+L CEO Roby Roberts.

Read the rest of the Go By Truck story here.

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The very devices that distract drivers on the job could also make CDL driver jobs safer, said a panel of tech experts recently.

In an article for Fleet Owner, Cristina Commendatore reported on the Vision Zero Fleet Safety Forum, where a panel of technology pros explored how new technologies can eliminate vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

The panel featured Jon Coleman, fleet sustainability and technology manager at Ford Motor Co.

Michael Backman, vice president and general manager of U.S. operations at Mobileye; and others who are striving to make CDL driver jobs safer by creating new cutting-edge technology.

Backman’s company develops collision avoidance systems. Overall, he noted that every year in the U.S. around 33,000 people die in preventable crashes. Also, he added that 93% of all accidents occur due to human error. Overall, driver inattention being the primary cause.

Mobileye’s technology involves a vision sensor, a valuable asset to truckers.

According to Fleet Owner, it’s situated on the windshield and looks out at the road “in real-time, artificial vision.”

The system identifies potential threats, pedestrians, and unintentional lane departures. Also, it identifies speeding and tailgating, alerting the driver of risky events or behaviors.

Panelists touched on other tech breakthroughs, too.

Ben Englander of Rosco Vision Systems discussed the Shield+ system. It alerts drivers when pedestrians are present and highlights trouble spots along driving routes. In addition, it uses 360-degree cameras to give drivers full visibility.

“A lot of the issues that relate to safety have to do with congestion and people not knowing what the traffic is going to do,” [Ford’s] Coleman said. “Do we design vehicles for the occupants, operators, or the asset owner? How the vehicle integrates with the environment becomes very important.”


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In a recent article, writer Bill Georgemphasizes that “authenticity has become the gold standard of leadership.”

But he maintains that many business owners misunderstand what it means to lead authentically. That applies to trucking company executives as well. In a November 10 article, George sought to clarify the definition of an authentic leader and reiterate why you should strive to be one in today’s business climate, no matter what your industry may be.

George writes:

Authentic leadership is built on your character, not your style. My mentor Warren Bennis said, “Leadership is character. It is not just a superficial question of style. It has to do with who we are as human beings and the forces that shaped us.

Authentic leaders are real and genuine. You cannot “fake it till you make it” by putting on a show as a leader or being a chameleon in your style. People sense very quickly who is authentic and who is not. Some leaders may pull it off for a while, but ultimately they will not gain the trust of their teammates, especially when dealing with difficult situations.

Authentic leaders are constantly growing. They do not have a rigid view of themselves and their leadership. Becoming authentic is a developmental state that enables leaders to progress through multiple roles, as they learn and grow from their experiences.

Authentic leaders match their behavior to their context, an essential part of emotional intelligence (EQ). They do not burst out with whatever they may be thinking or feeling. Rather, they exhibit self-monitoring, understand how they are being perceived, and use emotional intelligence (EQ) to communicate effectively.

Authentic leaders are not perfect, nor do they try to be. They make mistakes, but they are willing to admit their errors and learn from them.

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