A collection of news and updates related specifically to the trucking industry and online safety training ideas.


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration gives emergency relief from hours-of-service regulations again. This is for East coast carriers involved in refined petroleum supply chains. Colonial Pipeline experienced a cyber-attack. They have extensive operations across many states.

The declaration helps all drivers and motor carriers operating in the affected region. It gives them a more secure system. Now, they have the ability to use safety information as a decision-making factor.

The declaration does not relieve certain regulations or requirements. Carriers are still required to follow drug and alcohol regulations. Commercial driver’s license and size/weight requirements still apply, per FMCSA.

Colonial Pipeline announced that it remains primarily offline after the cyberattack. The company has determined the incident involved ransomware.

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a temporary declaration. It facilitates the flow of fuel across the Atlantic seaway. This has become a source of increasing concern due to the high traffic volume.

Premier Safety Culture Advice

The turning point in trucking lawsuits often lies within the deposition and discovery phase. You and your attorney will set the tone during discovery that carries through the rest of the case. This article contains premier safety culture advice from top leaders in the trucking industry.

One of the biggest factors that can determine the outcome of the lawsuit is the existing culture of safety in your company.

What is Culture?

Let’s break it down.

Culture is a collection of beliefs or systems held common between a group of people. Widespread groups could be as big as a country or even worldwide.

Language is an example of culture. English is the cultural language in the United States. While there are many different languages spoken in the states, it is the most commonly used between this particular group of people.

Culture can also refer to much smaller groups, even within your own immediate family. Think about your traditions, your habits, or even inside jokes between the people closest to you.

For example, during Thanksgiving dinner (which is also a cultural example), let’s say a particular family will only accept cranberry sauce in the shape of a can. If homemade cranberry sauce simply will not do, the family has created a traditional culture featuring cylindrical fruit spread with lines imprinted in the side.

Silly, yes. But a clear example of how culture shifts between groups, as some families may find homemade cranberry sauce the only option. Once a culture is set and accepted by a group, it can be longstanding, even with no real foundation.

What is Safety Culture?

If you are reading this, you are likely already aware of what “safety” means in the trucking industry. For those of you who work in the safety department, this concept is woven into the fabric of your career.

But for those who think safety only refers to the safe operation of motor vehicles, you may be fascinated by this conversation. While truck drivers are expected to always drive safely, safety as a culture refers to so much more.

In trucking, safety personnel are responsible for:

Fleet-wide safe driving, clear communication, ongoing training, technology, data analysis, performance, reviews, coaching, corrective action, accountability, maintenance, federal regulations, time management, documentation, accident response, hiring and retention, orientation, and proper background check before the driver is even hired.

This is a snapshot of the job description of a safety professional. Good safety directors have policies and procedures in place to keep control of all aspects of safety. Great safety directors make sure their employees stick to their safety protocols daily.

Unbeatable safety directors make sure their company cares. That is safety culture. If a safety director can make every person in the company passionate about safety, a culture of safety will form. This culture of safety impacts everything from the company’s reputation to insurance renewal rates, even legal liability.

Why is Safety Culture Important?

A culture of safety starts when you hire the right team, hire the right risk manager, and you hire the right lawyer. Building the right team starts with you. Look for people that will be part of the safety culture you create.

Strong safety culture has even been the determining factor in some nuclear verdict lawsuits. Trucks are a big-ticket target for personal injury attorneys.

Why? Here are two scenarios. Both will take place on the same highway. Both accidents occurred under the same driving conditions, under clear skies, sunshine, and no visibility obstructions. The only difference is the day of the occurrence and the victims.

Scenario 1: A drunk driver in a beat-up, rusted, uninsured Chevy 2-door sideswipes the rear panel of a minivan on the highway. The minivan spins across two lanes of traffic and skids off the highway into a row of trees in the median.

All passengers were injured and taken to the hospital. One suffered only scratches and a stiff neck, but x rays of the other passengers revealed multiple broken bones.

Scenario 2: An 18-wheeler is traveling down that same highway, entering his 12th hour of driving that day. The driver of a giant SUV becomes distracted by an incoming text message.

The driver does not realize the trucker ahead indicated intent to change lanes a hundred yards back.

The truck driver uses the clear chance to slowly move into the other lane and never connects with the SUV.

The SUV driver, finally looking up from their phone, panics at the unfolding scenario, overcorrects the steering, and drives into the median into a row of trees.

The airbag deploys and the SUV driver is left with severe back and neck injuries that require surgery.

Which Case Would Win?

In scenario #1, the drunk driver was clearly at fault. The family may choose to sue the driver for putting them through so much pain and suffering. They may have difficulty finding a lawyer to take the case because:

  • 1. The drunk driver has likely received an intoxicated citation, meaning justice was served.
  • 2. The drunk driver was uninsured and driving an old, low-value vehicle. There is no insurance to cover the cost of a settlement.
  • 3. Even if they win the case, they will likely never recoup the verdict award.

Attorneys will pounce on the chance to try scenario 2, however, since trucking companies are required to hold at least $750,000 in coverage.

Technically, the truck driver was not at fault but was operating outside of federal regulations by driving over 11 hours that day. Even if the driver was alert and operating safely, that one detail can mean a nuclear verdict is coming.

Safety Culture Risks


Trucking has its fair share of newcomers; young drivers who did not grow up around trucking. It may be more of a job to them than a career. For a safety director, simply knowing that your company hires less experienced drivers can be a liability.

On the one hand, you can mold those drivers into proper truckers. Their lack of preconceived ideas gives you the opportunity to hire and train them based on your expectation.

The risk, however, lies in their lack of experience and perhaps their desperation to find a decent-paying job rather than their dedication to trucking.

When you bring them on, you must look for people who take pride in their work that you can build a long-term relationship. The longer they are with you, you build confidence in their performance.


A majority of trucking companies are turning to technology to make their drivers better, reduce CSA scores, and prevent accidents. Since so many companies now employ regular training, the lack of a training system can be a liability.

Learning management systems are the ideal software solution for trucking companies. Mobile accessibility is a game-changer since truckers can participate from anywhere. Now, truckers can receive training individually from their phone rather than being routed into the terminal for safety training.

Training your drivers on a regular basis proves that you are focused on safety and being proactive. The jury will see that you are taking steps to prevent accidents, rather than only responding to them.


If you have a strict termination policy in place, make sure you follow it, especially if your policy includes the words “always” or never. If you get sued for an accident that included rare circumstances, these words can wrap you up in court.

For example, your best driver could be involved in an accident while talking to their dispatcher on a hands-free device. Even if this is the first offense for a 20-year veteran, you may have to consider termination. Especially if your policy states: “Drivers will never use mobile devices while operating a vehicle.”

If you get sued for the accident, plaintiff attorneys will research your policies during discovery. If you failed to terminate that driver, ignoring your own policy, you will be in a bad spot.

They will blast you on the witness stand in front of a jury. A great attorney can paint you as an evil monster and get the jury to turn against you. This is the Reptile Theory tactic. Read more about Reptile Theory in our eBook: Avoiding Nuclear Verdicts.

Avoiding Nuclear Verdicts eBook

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Who You Need on Your Team.

Internally, you need a dedicated risk-safety individual who will stand up for you but has the temperament to handle drivers, the motoring public, lawyers, etc.

Find someone who is familiar with all the regulations, is safety-conscience, takes pride in your company. This person will represent everything your company stands for.

You will need to find the right insurance adjuster and broker, preferably a trucking expert. Your risk assessor will work with them directly to report accidents as soon as they occur. Your insurance company should advise you on accident best practices, what to document, and even how to act at the scene.

You will also need an attorney with extensive knowledge of the trucking industry. Billboard lawyers will not settle for a new bumper for their client. They want your whole company. Your attorney should be likable, personable, and partners with your risk assessor. If your attorney does not appeal to the jury, it can hurt your case.

Infinit-I Workforce Solution protects your company from nuclear verdicts.

Read More!

55 Things We Learned from an Expert Insurance Underwriter

55 Things We Learned from an Expert Insurance Underwriter

Insurance premiums and renewal rates continue to be one of the biggest expenses incurred by trucking companies. Rates have increased exponentially in recent years due to accident frequency, truck driver shortage, and the ever-present threat of nuclear verdicts. But, we are here to help. We set out to learn about the underwriting process including:

  • Assessing a Trucking Company
  • Premium Increases
  • Technology Factors
  • COVID-19 Impact
  • Safety Culture Influence

Download your free eBook from Infinit-I: Avoiding Nuclear Verdicts

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We interviewed Tony Hoff of Napa River Insurance about the underwriting process for trucking company insurance assessments. He gave the most interesting and data-packed presentation I have ever seen! I could barely keep up with all the notes.

Infinit-I Workforce Solutions presents: 

55 Things We Learned from an Expert Commercial Auto Insurance Underwriter.

Underwriting Process

  1. Fleet managers and front-line operations are the ones who must maintain the safety culture with the drivers. If they are not ‘singing the safety tune,’ no one is.
  2. Operations MUST believe in safety culture and live it every day. It is a continuation of the top-down culture that insurance underwriters take into consideration.
  3. Underwriters will not convince you that safety culture is important. You should already be living it.

“Safety is doing the right thing for a long time.” – Tony Hoff, Napa Valley Insurance

Industry-Wide Premium Increases

  1. 15-20% Increase in premiums across the industry without a horrendous loss. If you have incurred large losses, you can expect more.
  2. Underwriters consider 5 years of data history.
  3. Excess limits are more costly and difficult to fill. They are not priced to have a loss every single year.
  4. Results in commercial insurance carriers leaving the market because they can no longer afford to write commercial auto coverage.
  5. Capacity is on a steady decrease as insurance carriers leave the market. When you lose money from a loss standpoint, you don’t want to underwrite anymore.

COVID-19 Effects on Insurance

  1. In the beginning, COVID-19 slowed everything down in the commercial auto insurance market.
  2. Initial reduction in claims due to:
    • Less congestion on roads
    • Increased productivity
    • Fewer losses
    • Decreased accident frequency
  3. The trucking industry rebound has led to more claims due to the resurgence of traffic, congestion, and sudden backups.
  4. Speeding is OUT OF CONTROL!!! Unsafe Basic scores are rising across the board.
  5. “Accident rates are increasing at an unprecedented level. We need to slow these drivers down.”

Premium Increase Factors

  1. Everything is more expensive. (Claims frequency and amount, medical coverage, defense attorney fees.)
  2. Insurance companies are seeing losses where their vehicle never touched the insured truck but are still paying out.
  3. Plaintiffs are getting better at what they are doing. Ten years ago, they did not even know what a CSA score was. Not they could teach you about CSA.
  4. There is a lot of uncertainty in trying cases. Settling may be cheaper than going to court (fees/attorneys) even if you were clearly not liable.
  5. Loss development – the longer the claim is pending, the more it costs.

“A 300% increase in 6 years is dramatic. It is unsustainable. Something has to give. Who is it going to be?”

What You Can Control

  1. Know the process – know what steps of underwriting consist of.
  2. Underwriters who have time to thoroughly vet the submission feel more comfortable writing.
  3. Strongly suggest you shop early. Get ready at least 3 months before renewal. Have your documents ready.
  4. If you are going to shop with more than one broker/carrier, have a standard submission-ready.
  5. Know where you stand. Is my expectation to get a decrease? Or do I want to manage my increase?
  6. (Loss Ratio + Incurred Total Loss) / Your Premium. If you are over 65%, your insurance carrier is losing money.

Safety Culture

  1. Online continual training is key in proving your commitment to safety.
  2. Look at your drivers’ attitude. Do they accept responsibility? Are they willing to learn?
  3. It is absolutely crucial to have a remedial training program. Find drivers’ weaknesses and coach them.
  4. Insurers look at loss development, are you trending in the right direction. If you have a stellar loss history, a new loss may not significantly affect your premiums.
  5. Find the carrier that you enjoy doing business with and then figure out the pricing.
  6. Put some faith behind your trusted safety program. Invest in yourself.
  7. Let Underwriters know what makes you “Best in Class.”
  8. Be prepared for renewal, provide a packet with the following documents:
    • Financial documents and review
    • Loss History
    • Insurance History
    • Profile of Operations
    • CSA Roadside Results
    • Reportable Accidents not on Loss Run
    • Onsite Loss Control Survey

Be a Real Partner

  1. Solidify a business relationship with your Insurance Partner.
  2. You can get a quote from anywhere, be engaged.


  1. Track everything. You can’t know where you are trending unless you can track it:
  2. Turnover, Retention, Ops Performance, CSA Scores, Driver Safety Performance, Loss Trends, Accident Costs, Recordable Accident Rates, Total Accident Rates, Insurance Costs
  3. Benchmark yourself and maintain accountability.
  4. Find out what metrics are causing your losses and attack those.
  5. Use front end data to make back end decisions.

“Safety Professionals who make future decisions based on past results and analysis are the most effective. BE PROACTIVE.”

  1. “Every lawsuit involves being able to produce documents quickly. “Have you trained your drivers? Can you provide the documentation that you’ve trained your drivers?” Camera/online training combination can take a nuclear verdict and knock it out of the courtroom.” – Mark Rhea
  1. The greatest myth in trucking is that safety is too expensive. The advanced technologies that are now in place are a game changer in the industry. Technology is embraced by insurance companies because it gives us a claims “edge” that we otherwise would not have.
  1. Onboard cameras and collision mitigation are proven to influence courtroom decisions. BUT it only makes sense if you are willing to act on the data. You will need to have policies in place before you utilize these technologies.

Addition Tips from the Underwriter

  1. We will look at how many times you have switched insurance carriers in the past.
  2. If you have favorable loss history that extends beyond 5 years, and then have a bad year, it will come up at renewal. You need a relationship history with your insurer.
  3. Be 100% honest about what kind of carrier you are and what makes you the best.
  4. Bring to renewal: What do we do best? What do we need to do better?
  5. Have Best Practices in place, not the easy out. (PSP, Long-form physicals, etc.)
  6. Invest money in the onboarding process. Invest in your training.
  7. 10% of drivers cause 90% of your problems. Get them in and coach them before we lose them.
  8. Reporting the issue is huge! We track day loss happened vs. when it was reported to us.
  9. 3 things that will result in plaintiff verdict:
    • Leaving the scene of an accident.
    • Failure to report an accident.
    • Positive drug test after accident.

Insurance Take-Aways

  1. 2021 will continue to be a very challenging year from an insurance standpoint.
  2. Losses are up and so is speed. Slow your drivers down.
  3. We are living in different times and we need to adjust.
  4. What makes you an exceptional risk? Can we fix those areas that are not exceptional?

“Safety Culture = Commitment. If everyone in your organization stays committed, you WILL succeed.”

Get Your Insurance Questions Answered!

MCIEF Founder Tommy Ruke is Ready to Answer Your Most Pressing Insurance Questions. 

Learn Real Solutions to Your Insurance Problems. 

Infinit-I Workforce Solutions has partnered with the Motor Carrier Insurance Education Foundation (MCIEF.org) to help you get your insurance questions answered. Infinit-I and MCIEF have joined together to provide access to “Ask Tommy”.

This is a service provided to MCIEF members, but it is being opened up to Infinit-I visitors to give you the opportunity to ask your most pressing insurance questions.

Free Expert Transportation Insurance Advice



Hello again! Lindsay Presley here, Industry Marketer at Infinit-I. I have some very exciting news to share with you all.

Bootcamp Seminar

If you were not able to attend our first-ever Remote Bootcamp, you truly missed an amazing event full of expert advice, strategic development tools, and professional networking.

Expert Advice

Special ‘Thank you’ to Attorney Peyton Inge, Certified Safety Professional Phillip Wigginton, Award-Winning Safety Director Alisa White, and our very own Craig Hart, Mark Rhea, and Nakisha Luckey. You all brought actionable, timely, and relevant information to our attendees along with advice that will change the industry as we know it.

Strategic Development Tools

The strategic development tools were a huge hit! I heard from several attendees say they couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with all the key takeaways.

  • Boot Camp Action Plan Workbook
  • Day 1 – Insurance Benefit Calculator
  • Day 2 – Opportunity Cost Formulas
  • Day 3 – Crash Response Checklist
  • Day 4 – 2021 Game-plan

Feel free to use these tools however is most helpful for you.

If you did come to Bootcamp, but missed something, or would like to circle back, ask me for the replay link.

For those who were unable to attend but would like to experience our training management boot camp and Infinit-I, let’s make a deal. Simply request a training management demo, ask Lorenzo for access to Boot camp, and I will make sure you get an all-access pass to every, single, inspiring, motivational, actionable moment of our first-ever Remote Engage Boot camp!

Professional Networking

The networking was my favorite part. I truly appreciate the opportunity to connect with other professionals through email, the daily live Q&A sessions, and, of course, the chat window. We talked, we laughed, we connected. Thanks to everyone who attended and made Bootcamp an unforgettable experience!

Just look what they said about Boot Camp:

“Thanks for the training! I love to stay on top of safety topics, and it was great to network with other safety directors to get ideas on how to implement a better program in my office!”  

– Katie Wathen Director of Safety, Robbie D Wood, Inc.

“Today was AWESOME!  The content was spot on.  Cody and I are getting all kinds of ideas to share with upper management!  Thank you for having us.” 

– Renea Dearing Safety Director, Norton Transport

Fast Forward Series: Industry Expert Series

After an extremely successful Engage Bootcamp in November, we are back to work on our Fast Forward Series: Looking Ahead with Industry Expert Series.

In this Expert Roundtable Series, we have covered absolutely everything you need to know. My favorites, in no particular order, include:

WOW! After reviewing all these special guests and topics, even I am impressed. And I was there!

Up Next

We are bringing you, perhaps, the most interesting episode of them all. If you work in transportation and logistics, DO NOT MISS THIS EVENT!

Operation Warp Speed: As COVID-19 vaccinations become available for public consumption, truckers will become front-line heroes. Distribution is happening soon, and it will take all of us. Registration is open now.

Thursday, December 17, 2020 @ 10:30 am

Special Guest:

 Hosted by:

  • Mark Rhea, Industry Consultant
  • Infinit-I Workforce Solutions

Group for Trucking Safety Professionals Linkedin group. And of course, Infinit-I Workforce Solutions Linkedin.

Ok, back to the event: Sit in with experts during this high-level overview of procedures, regulations, and industry-wide opportunities. We are packing so much information into this presentation, I am truly wondering if we can even get to it all.


  • – How, When, and Where?
  • – The Big Players
  • – What’s a truckload worth?
  • – Qualifications and Regulations
  • – Load Security Requirements
  • – Getting Involved
  • – Truck Driving Heroes

We have limited space to register. Again, I say: If you work in transportation and logistics, DO NOT MISS THIS EVENT! This will be an Expert Roundtable discussion with live Q&A.

Bring your notepad, bring your questions, bring your colleagues.

Check out more great training management webinars to register. See you there!

Infinit-I Presents: Operation Warp Speed Webinar

·         Tractor-Trailer ·         Over the Road
·         Reefer/Dry Van ·         Local
·         Medium Duty ·         Regional/Dedicated
·         HazMat ·         Student Transportation

Engage Bootcamp is back with one change – We Are Digital! Here is everything you need to know about Remote Infinit-I Engage. 

What is Bootcamp? 

Lots of people have been asking about the return of Bootcamp, so we are bringing it back! We started 7 years ago as an in-person 2-day seminar for owners, presidents, safety directors, and trucking professionals to gather, share knowledge, and learn the secrets of success in trucking. 

Today, it’s for professionals who specialize in trucking to give advice and presentations on insurance risks, legal matters, safety issues, and driver retention. All sessions, Q&As, workshops, and even a custom content tutorial are given to attendees at absolutely no cost.   

AND, Bootcamp has always been a NO SALES ZONE! Absolutely no sales pitches, no contracts, no pressure. Attendees were there to learn and get to know us. 

This year, ware offering a 4-day event with trucking industry professionals who have promised amazing presentations.  

Why you should attend

This event is designed specifically for owners, presidents, safety directors, and professionals in the trucking industry.  

Engage Bootcamp events consist of expertly designed modules that focus on specific challenges the trucking industry will face rolling into 2021.   

In this professional seminar, our experts will show you:    

  • – Insurance risk assessment factors 
  • – Saving money with accident reductions, driver retention, corrective action 
  • – Direct legal advice on reducing liabilities 
  • – Establishing a first-class culture of safety   

 This program is the fastest way to prepare for the new year:   

  • – Owners and Business Managers – Receive actionable advice directly from experts (legal, insurance, consulting, safety)  
  • – Safety Directors – Earn you two continuing education credits Direct legal advice on reducing liabilities 
  • – Professionals – Build action plans and takeaways for every trucking company on the market

If you are interested in actionable insight on insurance pricing, legal matters, safety issues, and driver retention, delivered from industry experts specialized in trucking, then add this event to your calendar by registering here. 

Key Takeaways

Engage is here to help you strategize and position your company for success rolling into 2021. You will receive actionable information that will prepare you for challenges you and others will face throughout the next year. We view this event as our opportunity to invest in the industry by empowering the thought leaders and strategic minds of trucking. 

People who sign up will receive an action page designed to ensure they have the tools for effecting changes in their organization. Sign up now. 


The lineup of speakers is incredible! You’ll receive invaluable information from leadership across the insurance, legal, and trucking industries. These expert presentations qualify as continuing education credits for NATMI. Join us, earn credits, and receive useful education from the experts.  

Look at the agenda below: 


Topic: Insurance Risks, Trends, and Forecasts 

Guest: Phillip Wiggington of Nationwide E&S Specialty 

Overview: Insurance risk assessment factors and how to position your company in the face of emerging challenges. Discover the keys to successful safety programs (and fatal mistakes). 



Topic: Hands-On Safety, getting the most out of Infinit-I 

Guest: Alisa Whitestone, Safety Director of Whitestone Transportation 

Overview: Getting the most from Infinit-I: Maximum Benefit. Current clients talk bottom line. Save money with accident/violation reduction, driver retention, corrective action, etc.   



Topic: Legal Challenges and Risk minimization 

Guest: Defense Attorney Payton Inge, Partner  

Overview: Defense lawyer explains the top weaknesses of trucking companies. Biggest liabilities and what NOT to do in an accident. Protect your company before the discovery process begins.   



Topic: Roundtable Talks with Experts 

Guest: Mark Rhea and Craig Hart 

Overview: Industry leadership reveals the most common pain points and effective remedies. How driver participation drives improvement. Live Q&A with industry experts and Infinit-I hosts! 

Experts on Engage

Of course, we are excited! We have been looking forward to the return of Bootcamp for some time. Now that it is back and presented in a convenient format, we want to share it with the entire country!  But don’t just take our word for it; see what the experts have to say:   

“The Bootcamp we enjoyed … has been amazing. I recommend it to everyone. It will really help your fleet, broaden your horizons in safety, and help the motoring public move down the road. 

 -Timothy Galloway, Safety Manager CDT USA Inc 

“The information I learned through Bootcamp has helped us get our orientation program completely online and self-paced. In addition, we learned several ways to encourage our drivers and staff to complete this training on time, every time.” 

 -Chris Wells, Safety Director, Norton Transport 


“You’re really able to step back and take the time to fully understand what is going on at your company. It has been well worth the time.” 

 -Jeff Reed, President, Skyline Transportation 


“I’m taking back information that’s probably going to change our company forever.” 

 -Eric Nelson, Vice President, Arnold Transportation 

 Take Action:

Engage isn’t just a name; it’s a call-to-action. Come. Make a difference in your future, your safety program, your legal coverage, your driver retention, your insured carriers, your world – all at our expense. Do the following;  

  1. Register now. 
  2. Extend this value to your network with this “ready-to-go” messaging. Simply copy and paste to your social media page:Infinit-I Workforce Solutions is offering a remote event that qualifies for continuing education credit. If you are a safety professional, a president, or an owner of a trucking company, sign up now at the link below.
    #infiniti2020 https://infinitiworkforce.com/engage-event/ 





Every year, the American Transportation Research Institute releases an annual report regarding the top 10 concerns of trucking professionals for this year. The ATRI spends months gathering data through surveys, analyzes responses from all over the industry, and releases information on key focus areas for the upcoming year.

Infinit-I offers instantly deployable solutions to several of these topics. Minimize four of the top 10 trucking industry concerns today.

CSA Score

CSA Score Hours of ServiceThe CSA program ranks professional drivers based on their performance and safe driving record. CSA points are based on a truck driver’s actions based on the severity of the infraction and then awarded to the driver’s employer. It can be assumed that a company with a high CSA score employs a fleet of unsafe drivers.

An elevated CSA score will negatively impact the overall success and profitability of a trucking company, mainly regarding insurance eligibility and costs.

Infinit-I offers a comprehensive CSA module (84 videos and 7 expert webinars) specifically designed to reduce CSA scores through awareness and behavioral changes. This module is immediately deployable to your entire fleet.

Hours of Service

Frequently shifting regulations have led to confusion and misunderstandings surrounding the hours of service changes that took place this year. Drivers now question when to switch to off-duty, whether they can take an extended break, and how their detention pay will be affected.

Drivers who are not fluent in the new language presented in the HOS regulations are liable to receive violations for HOS infractions. Even simple mistakes can lead to non-compliance violations that pose a serious impact on CSA scores.

Proactivity and training are your best option to avoid violations and preserve (and even reduce) your CSA score. Our course catalog contains a 10-part series that breaks the entire concept down into easily digestible, microlearning sessions designed for knowledge retention.

Insurance Costs

Freight operators are continuously challenged by the rising cost of insurance for commercial vehicles. In recent years, numerous trucking companies have had no choice but to cease operations in surrender to rising insurance premiums.Driver Retention

One way to reduce your insurance costs is to manage your risk. Invest in your safety culture by curating the safest fleet on the road. Proper continual training of your fleet will lead to improved driver behavior and break negative behavioral patterns.

Company culture, awareness training, technology usage, etc. are all intangible factors that will influence your insurance renewal rate. Infinit-I provides you with all the training you need to prove your dedication to safety and your fleet’s performance enhancement.

Driver Retention

As with any job, adequate and competent leadership can make or break an employee’s satisfaction. This is especially true in trucking, where the number of jobs industry-wide heavily outweighs the number of drivers.

The driver shortage creates an imbalance that favors truck drivers over trucking companies. A driver can leave one company for any reason, post a resume, and have the phone ringing in minutes from quota-hungry recruiters scouring the nation for drivers.

Premier EventIn the haze of fluorescent lights, computer screens, and KPIs, we can become laser-focused on creating the safest and most efficient fleets on the road. In doing so, it is easy to forget your drivers are people. They deserve respect and loyalty, too, especially since their job takes place out on the front lines at the heart of the operation.

Your operations team and your drivers should be experiencing a fulfilling relationship: one of give and take, one of bonding, one of mutual respect. If your dispatchers and drivers aren’t experiencing a fulfilling relationship, the job is simply not worth it. They will move on.

The average onboarding cost of one truck driver hovers around $10,000. How many new drivers do you bring on per year? Most trucking companies experience between 85-105% turnover. Our safety program is proven to significantly reduce turnover rates. One extremely successful client experienced a 53% reduction in turnover after implementing our platform.

While a 53% reduction is the best-case scenario, consider how a modest 5% reduction in turnover would impact your bottom line. With a fleet of 100 trucks, a 5% reduction would save your company $50,000 annually. Use the following formula to figure your savings.

Premier Event

In collaboration with the ATRI president and COO, Rebecca Brewster, Infinit-I is proud to present effective solutions to the Top 10 trucking industry concerns rolling into 2021.

ATRI Explains – Top 10 Concerns

Award-winning performance and contribution to the trucking industry in her 27 years at ATRI

  • – Examination – Each concern is explored in-depth
  • – Impact – How each concern affects your company
  • – Preparation – What you should do now
  • – Solutions – Maximize business outcomes

Join us for expert advice on how to strategize, develop, and deploy a plan of action designed to meet safety-related challenges head-on. Learn how Infinit-I can greatly minimize at least 4 top worries of 2020.

Rebecca Brewster employs an ​unwavering commitment to the trucking industry, made apparent by her award-winning performance and contribution to the trucking industry in her 27 years at ATRI. The information presented by our featured speaker will prove to be invaluable to your company.

Want to minimize these top concerns within your company? Find out more – schedule a demo.


This is the largest verdict against a single trucking company in US History. Let that sink in. I am sure you have heard about this devastating accident. This verdict has made headlines all over the country.

The Synopsis

$411 Million Dollar Crash

Duane Washington rode his motorcycle down the interstate on this fateful day, as he often did. Further down the highway, a collision occurred. Having seen the accident, possibly seconds too late, a truck driver jackknifed his tractor-trailer to avoid the collision. A total of 45 vehicles were involved in this accident.

According to Duane Washington’s lawyer, Washington was not able to avoid the jackknifed truck because its emergency lights were not in use. If Washington had seen emergency flashers, he may not have smashed into the back of the truck and been thrown into the median. He may not have suffered life-altering injuries from which he will never fully recover.

If the driver had just turned on his lights in the emergency lane, Top Auto may still have its own authority. They may have been more defensible in court. They may have been able to settle.

This case has set a precedent for all future trials involving commercial motor vehicles.

The Advice

I spoke with a colleague of mine, a safety manager from my previous employment. We reminisced shortly before I turned the conversation to business. I wanted to know his thoughts on the latest nuclear verdict to hit the news.

Lady Justice“What if I was sitting in the courtroom when the $411 million verdict was handed over? How would I explain it to my employees, or to my boss? How would I explain it to my family?”

He went on to admit this kind of loss would be devastating for most trucking companies in operation today.

“Drivers make mistakes. Properly trained drivers make smaller mistakes.”

A simple statement, yet the sentiment echoed in my head for some time.  While it is impossible to eliminate human error throughout your fleet, you can dramatically reduce the number of mistakes committed through behavioral changes. Frequent and consistent training brings about small changes over time. Each of those small behavioral changes contributes to safer driving habits, safer drivers, and safer roadways for all.

The Solution

While hindsight may be 2020 now for Top Auto Express, it is far too late for the (no longer operating) trucking company to be proactive in driver training. However, here are a few courses that could have helped them avoid such a damaging verdict:

Collisions, Rollovers, & Jackknifing

  1. At the Scene of an Accident
  2. Driver Factors
  3. Fixed Object Collisions – High Speed
  4. Fixed Object Collisions – Low Speed
  5. Highway Factors
  6. Jackknifing
  7. Load Effects

Speed and Space Management

  1. Stopping Distance
  2. Spatial Awareness
  3. Incident Avoidance

At the Scene of an Accident

  1. Be Concerned About Litigation
  2. Trucking Companies Are Targets
  3. Do What You Say You’ll Do
  4. Responding to the Catastrophic Event
  5. What to Gather at the Scene
  6. The Care of Your Driver
  7. Accident Procedures


  1. Heavy Trucking Braking System & Braking Techniques
  2. Inoperative Taillights
  3. Inoperative Headlamps
  4. Triangle Placement
  5. Operating CMV with Lamps – Reflectors Obscured
  6. Changing Lanes for CMV Drivers
  7. Tailgating
  8. Unsafe Driving Acts of Motorists Around Large Trucks

Download your free copy of our training management LMS course catalog

Videos for every need

The courses listed above were all available on the Infinit-I platform at the time of the accident. Each of these was an opportunity to create safer driving habits for the drivers of Top Auto Express. Even if the driver had been properly trained, but was not able to avoid the accident, the verdict would have likely been much smaller if he had reacted properly.

“Drivers make mistakes. Properly trained drivers make smaller mistakes.”

The BIG Question

What would a $411 million verdict mean for your company? Join the discussion on our newest LinkedIn page for Trucking Safety Professionals.

If you are not a current client of ours, but you see value in the discussion, follow this link for a quick overview of what our platform can do for you, your company, your drivers, your owners, and other stakeholders such as insurance providers and business partners. Now, you can take advantage of the Infinit-I system absolutely free.

In just 30 days, we promise:30-Complimentary Trial

  • – Reduced Accidents
  • – Reduced Violations
  • – Reduced Training Time
  • – Reduced Driver Turnover
  • – Increased Profitability
  • – Increased Litigation Protection
  • – Fleet-Wide Communication
  • – Simplified Safety Training

Start your complimentary trial today with the most trusted, preferred, and referred learning management system in the trucking industry. Enhance your safety culture and create safer drivers with Infinit-I Workforce Solutions.


Intersections are one of the most high-risk areas for truck drivers. Two industry experts will be discussing the dangers, both preventable and nonpreventable, of intersection traffic and the threat they present to your drivers. Check out The Fast Forward Expert Roundtable Webinars.

Presentation to include:

  • – Dangers of distracted driving – and how to get your drivers to stop.
  • – Dash Cams – real-life footage of some nasty accidents at intersections
  • – Flashing yellow lights – What do they mean?
  • – The likelihood of intersection accidents:
    • – How to prevent intersection accidents
    • – How to lower your insurance risk.

In the spirit of the webinar, I felt compelled to share a personal experience that occurred during the fleet management portion of my career.

The Pre-plan

Danny P. ran on my fleet for about a year before this particular incident. During that time, we developed a working relationship in which we were truly a team. I trusted his judgment and he never let me down.

Danny was the kind of driver who could, “see the future.” He relied on his past experiences and trucking knowledge to make the best decisions possible for the company and for himself. He made my job easy as a fleet manager. I would simply call him up for a status check and let him roll.

I called him on a Tuesday to discuss his plan for the day. Our conversation surrounded the typical trip planning discussion. Did your pre-trip look good? Did you check the traffic? Are we good for OTD?

Of course, he had everything under control. “Yes ma’am, everything is great. Need to get some fuel though; didn’t see an in-network station on my route.”

I advised him to call the fuel department and ask to insert an emergency fuel stop, as that was our procedure.

The Miscommunication

The fuel department ran like a well-oiled machine. They employed algorithms and formulas; they could calculate to the mile the distance a driver could travel on the existing amount in the tank. And they rarely made mistakes.

The problem is, the fuel department did not take into account idle time spent at red lights, outside temperature variances, traffic jams, or road grade. All of which can incrementally affect a tractor’s fuel economy. It was a task considered impossible, as they sat in cubicles above the operations department and not behind a windshield.

He called me back with an urgency in his voice that thinly masked his frustration. “They won’t let me get fuel. The computer says I have plenty to get to the next fuel stop. I’m telling you, boss, I am not going to make it.”

I immediately recognized this as a communication issue between departments. I empowered my drivers to make the right decision on the road, the fuel department focused on the bottom line. Our contracts with in-network fuel stations allowed us to purchase fuel at a lower rate. The fuel departments goal: to save money. Allowing Danny to purchase fuel from an out-of-network station would impact their numbers in a negative way. However, in this instance, its more than “just business.”

I went knuckle to knuckle with the fuel department. “He is going to run out of fuel. I cannot fail this load, please let him stop out-of-network. What if he gets just enough to run to an in-network station and then he can fill up?”

“No. He has enough fuel to make it to the in-network stop.” – Fuel

It was absolute gridlock. Danny and I had a task to complete. The fuel department had metrics to meet. We could not come to an agreement; Danny would roll on until he reached an in-network fuel stop.

The Potential for Tragedy

The following conversation occurred 55 minutes later, 17 miles from the in-network fuel station he was to attend:

“Lindsay, I ran out of fuel. My tractor is sitting under the traffic light. It is blocking the entire intersection. I don’t know what to do.”

“Are you ok? Did you call 911?”

“Yes, and yes. The sheriff is on his way here. What do I do now?”

The panic in his voice added to the sound of car horns blaring and incoming sirens painted a picture of his terrifying experience. He was scared, so was I.

He repeated the question, “What do I do?”

“Ok. The sheriff will take care of the scene, leave the truck. You get somewhere safe,” I advised.

It was my best guess, as this was not a typical occurrence.

We did not have a set procedure regarding performance expectations when your tractor happened to run out of fuel in an intersection while traffic is backing up and civilian drivers are screaming at you. I had to rely on my past training and relay information based on my experiences.

After the sheriff arrived and Danny managed to calm down, I asked him to give me a description of the scene.

“Uh, my truck is sitting diagonally in the intersection, blocking 3 of the 4 lanes at the crossroad. Traffic is backed up at least a half-mile. The light has switched from green to yellow to red about 40 times since I broke down. And I have been flipped off at least that many times. The cops are directing traffic around the truck. Emergency is on the way with fuel; just enough to get to that in-network station.  We aren’t going to make this load, ma’am.”

Fortunately, no injuries occurred. This incident, however, could have turned dire in a matter of seconds.

What We Learned

We experienced a failure that day. The mechanical failure was not the only one that occurred in this particular scenario. The entire company experienced a major communication failure, which is typically easy to avoid.

We became more focused on profit than the safety of our driver and the public area through which he was hauling. This breakdown in communication was a product of our company’s cultural relationships.

Cultivating a solid safety culture as a foundation leads to increased morale, productivity, and retention. We may have saved a few dollars by prohibiting an out-of-network fuel stop, but we could have lost a driver. And we definitely lost his trust.

A solid cultural relationship ensures each department trusts each other. A solid safety culture ensures each person in your enterprise is educated and empowered enough to make the right decision.

Infinit-I is transportation’s most trusted, preferred, and referred learning management system on the market. The platform is proven to increase communications, enhance safety cultures, reduce turnover, and save lives.

Thanks for sticking with me, here’s a free demo. During this high-level overview, our safety experts will demonstrate the power of Infinit-I Workforce Solutions and how we will elevate your safety culture.

Join us Thursday, October 15 @ 10:30

Intersections are one of the most high-risk areas for truck drivers. Two industry experts will be discussing the dangers, both preventable and nonpreventable, of intersection traffic and the threat they present to your drivers. Free sign up here.

Presentation to include:

  • – Dangers of distracted driving – and how to get your drivers to stop.
  • – Dash Cams – real-life footage of some nasty accidents at intersections
  • – Flashing yellow lights – confusion, what do they even mean?
  • – The likelihood of intersection accidents:
    • – How to prevent intersection accidents
    • – How to lower your insurance risk.


My days in dispatch have provided me with many stories, insights, and anecdotes about a career spent supporting truck

The Top 5 What Ifs of Safety Management
Top 5 “What-ifs” that Keep Safety Managers Awake at Night 1

drivers. Some stories help me relate to others in the industry, some create a bond with drivers, some are told just to get a laugh.

But this story, this one will stick with me forever.

I worked with a driver named Pete Greenly. About 99% of the time, Pete was the best driver a dispatcher could ask for. His trip plans were flawless. His fuel/idle percentage was low. He was always happy and made my job easy. Pete helped me achieve operating metrics, and he told me how to advise other drivers. We made a great team.

Must Service Business

Our company coined high priority loads as “Must Service Business,” or MSB loads. Whenever a planner would pop up above the cubicle and announce, “I have an MSB with a tight schedule, who can do it?” My answer was a resounding, “Put it on Pete.”

He absolutely loved trucking and life on the road. His eyes would light up after making on-time delivery on a tight load. Or getting his truck washed. He was proud of his career and his performance, and rightly so. But that 1% where he was off his game was difficult for us both.

Top 5 “What-ifs” that Keep Safety Managers Awake at Night 2

Mr. Greenly struggled with two addictions: gambling and drinking. And when one of his demons took hold of him, he became powerless to the other.

This story is about a particular MSB load, planned almost to the minute. We were hauling for a home goods liquidator on the east coast who paid a lot to move freight but expected perfection.

“Put it on Pete.”

If there was ever a driver who could make this load on time, it was him. The route took him right through Philly, his hometown. We even planned for him to take his 30-minute break with his daughter so they could enjoy a late dinner together. If he stuck to our very tight trip plan, he would have rolled up to the receiver with a couple of minutes to spare.

I put the load on Pete, helped him plan, and let him ride. I clocked out for the evening with no issues to report to the night shift.

The Next Morning

First thing the next morning: coffee, daily safety brief, check on Pete. He never made it to the receiver. I immediately called to check on him, no answer. I sent a panic message to his truck and called again. No answer.

Top 5 “What-ifs” that Keep Safety Managers Awake at Night 3

I let the planner know we were late and would have an ETA asap. I pulled the coordinates to Pete’s truck and my heart sank. He had been parked outside a huge casino in Philly since 3 am.  He made a mistake.

As a dispatcher, I had to decide on a plan. Should I make him get the load delivered asap, as not to upset the receiver? No. I had to take care of my driver.

I called the casino and asked for security. They found Pete in the truck, awake but incoherent. I paid for a hotel room and told him to leave his keys at the front desk. I routed another driver to the casino to pick up the load.

Pete spent the rest of the day in that hotel room and was later asked to leave the company. Years of top performance from this driver were squandered in a single evening. Thankfully, everyone was safe, but I couldn’t stop asking myself, “What if?”

Top 5 “What-ifs”

What if my driver had felt pressured to deliver the load for fear of the consequences?

All too often, truck drivers feel the pressure from dispatch to perform at the top of their ability, even to their own detriment. Operations employees sometimes lose the idea that drivers are only human, with limitations, and their safety should always remain top priority. How do we keep that thought top of mind in the haze of MSB loads, on-time delivery, and pressure from customers?

If you have built an operations team that always strives to perform to the best of their abilities, congratulations to you. That is no easy task. Make sure, however, your team can weigh the pros and cons of running too hard for too long. Your team should feel empowered to make decisions together and trust one another to make the right choice.

What if my driver caused injury or death to innocent bystanders in an accident?

Of all professions, professional truck drivers are at the top when it comes to job-related responsibilities. In addition to their job duties, long hours, time away from home, etc. they are also held to a higher highway standard than most drivers. Hauling an 80,000 lb. machine at highway speeds is no easy task and always takes the drivers undivided attention.

When impaired, it becomes impossible for a driver to give his full focus to the road. To what extent are the dispatcher and the safety department responsible? This is where proactivity is key. Drivers must know the policies and procedures of your company and be reminded often. You can prove your due diligence in training by documenting their regularly scheduled safety training.

What if, in that accident, my driver lost his life?

From time-to-time in the trucking industry, fatal accidents occur. It is perhaps the most difficult scenario to navigate while simultaneously attempting to carry on business. Not only would a loss of life be a terrible situation for his family and friends, but also for his co-workers.

When a tragic event occurs, the strength of your company’s cultural relationship shines through. If you have put in the work to solidify the overall bond of your workforce, they can find the strength to overcome the tough times together.

What if my company had to face litigation because of a driver’s mistake?

Nuclear verdicts, verdicts more than $20 million, are one of the trucking industries hottest topics. When accidents occur, especially preventable accidents, these verdicts can close the doors for some less-than-prosperous trucking companies.

Professional drivers may feel that a nuclear verdict is the company’s problem. That is partly true. When a trucking company is sued, especially after injury or death occurs, it is the responsibility of upper management to take on the challenge.

What if I lose the lawsuit?

But let’s imagine that the company is sued because of an accident, loses the court case, and must pay out millions in damages. Depending on the size of the company, potentially hundreds of people could lose their livelihoods.

Hundreds of truck drivers and office staff could find themselves unemployed, all because of one mistake of one driver or dispatcher.

Infinit-I Award-Winning Training Platform – Here for You

Infiniti Workforce has business and training solutions that will decrease and/or eliminate your doubts and fears regarding these “What ifs?” Our Client Success Representatives spend their days talking to, consulting, and learning from industry professionals just like you. We gather a broad scope of industry best practices and pass that information along with the purpose of making every trucker a safer driver.

Infinit-I Workforce Client Success Team
Top 5 “What-ifs” that Keep Safety Managers Awake at Night 4

To our current clients: What are some of your “What-ifs” that haven’t been mentioned in this article? Join the discussion on our newest LinkedIn page for Trucking Safety Professionals.

If you are not a current client of ours, but you see value in the discussion, follow this link for a quick overview of what our platform can do for you, your company, your drivers, your owners, and other stakeholders such as insurance providers and business partners. Now, you can take advantage of the Infinit-I system absolutely free.

In just 30 days, we promise:

  • – Reduced Accidents
  • – Reduced Violations
  • – Reduced Training Time
  • – Reduced Driver Turnover
  • – Increased Profitability
  • – Increased Litigation Protection
  • – Fleet-Wide Communication
  • – Simplified Safety Training

Start your complimentary trial today with the most trusted, preferred, and referred learning management system in the trucking industry. Enhance your safety culture and create safer drivers with Infinit-I Workforce Solutions.

·         Tractor-Trailer ·         Over the Road
·         Reefer/Dry Van ·         Local
·         Medium Duty ·         Regional/Dedicated
·         HazMat ·         Student Transportation


The Top 5 What Ifs of Safety Management
Top 5 “What-ifs” that Keep Safety Managers Awake at Night 5

FMCSA Hours of Service changes are taking effect on September 29, 2020. We will be speaking with the president of Scopelitis Trucking and Consulting, David Osiecki, to review what the HOS changes mean for your drivers.

David J. Osiecki

If you are not familiar with the new HOS regulatory changes, a thorough explanation has been provided below. Join us for our upcoming webinar to learn how these changes will impact your fleet.

September 17, 2020 @ 10:30 am CST

The Fast Forward Expert Roundtable Webinars

Regulatory Changes

Pages 8-9 of the final ruling state the changes will include:

  • – The 30-minute Break
  • – Introducing the 7/3 Split
  • – Adverse Driving Conditions Exception
  • – The Short-haul Exception.

The 30-Minute Break

Drivers are still required to take a 30-minute break after 8 consecutive hours on duty. Previously, the break was only valid if the driver was in an off-duty status. (off-duty or sleeper berth). Now, the break is valid during on-duty functions if you are not driving.

Drivers can now legally take a 30-minute DOT break while:

  • – Watching Safety Training Videos
  • – Waiting in line at the shipper/receiver
  • – Fueling or waiting in line at the fuel pump
  • – Co-driver sitting in the passenger seat
  • – Filling out paperwork
  • – Loading/Unloading/Lumping

Just switch your status to On Duty – Not Driving.

The New 7/3 Split

The 8/2 split rule is just as complicated as it is helpful. This new HOS ruling expands a driver’s resting options. In addition to the typical 10-hour break or 8/2 split, the FMCSA is introducing the 7/3 split.

The New 7/3 SplitThe new 7/3 split rule works the same as the 8/2 split. It takes some drivers years to master the concept.

With the new rule, the driver can go into the sleeper berth for a full 7 hours. When he wakes up, he can use all the on-duty time that was leftover from before his break.

After completing his on-duty functions, he must go back into an off-duty status for at least 3 hours to complete his 10-hour break.


In essence, a split will pause the 14-hour on-duty window. When he comes back on duty, he will only have the leftovers from before his 7-hour break. So, if he drove 8 out of 11 hours, after the 7-hour break he can drive the remaining 3 hours.

When he comes out of the sleeper, the 14 starts running again. Since he was on-duty for 8 hours before the 7-hour break, his 3 hours of drive time must be used before his total 14 runs out. He would have 6 hours on duty to get in 3 hours of driving.

Adverse Driving Conditions Exception

Under this exception, two extra drive hours are available to drivers who encounter irregular and unforeseen circumstances that may have slowed your travel. This exception can now be applied to passenger-carrying CMVs.


– Sinkhole or downed powerline that causes a delay

– Traffic accident that shuts down traffic

– Sudden tornado, snow, fog, etc. that was not in the forecast.

Adverse Driving Conditions ExceptionIf you qualify for this exception, you can now drive up to 13 hours as long as you do it within your 14-hour window. Keep in mind, it does not take away your 30-minute break or extend your 14.

This exception does not extend your 60 or 70-hour clock. If you only have 4 hours left on your DOT clock, you will only be allowed to drive out those 4 hours plus the additional 2 hours.

Drivers must follow up with a full 10-hour break. You are not allowed to split rest hours after taking advantage of this exemption.


– Adverse weather you knew about or could have discovered by trip planning

– Traffic jams during normal rush hour times

– Snowstorm in the winter in North Dakota

– Loading and Unloading delays

The DOT strongly recommends you log that you were taking advantage of 395.1 Adverse Driving Conditions Exception.

Short-haul Rules

Short-haul RulesPreviously, drivers using the short-haul exemption, staying within an air radius of 100 miles, could not be on duty for more than 12 hours. Short-haul drivers within a 150-mile radius cannot drive beyond the 14 or 16th on-duty hour (depending on the number of days on duty).

This revision extends the radius from 100 to 150 air-miles for all short-haul drivers. It extends the maximum duty period allowed from 12 hours to 14 hours.

Special Offer!

For future IWS clients, we want to get you started for free. Get your free Infinit-I 30-day Complimentary Trial. No Obligation. No Risk. Simple Communication.

For More Information:

Top 6 Trucking Industry Updates for Safety Directors – Q4 2020

Drastically Reduce Detention Pay with New HOS Regulation – Split Duty Proposal

“It’s More than Rain.” Three Tractors Overturned, My Driver Made the Right Call

My Best Friend, the Trucker: How We Transformed the Dispatcher & Driver Relationship