What’s Good Liquid Trucking? Welcome to the Liquid Trucking Podcast. Episode six. I am your host, Marcus. Thank you all so much for being here today. If you want to help this podcast succeed, one of the most important things for us is that you hit that little subscribe button. Uh on any platform that you’re listening to the subscribe button is huge for us. It lets us know that you’re listening to the podcast and it also lets you know every single time there’s a new episode. Uh If you see us out there on any of Liquid Trucking social media accounts, uh plug in the podcast, please like the post, share it with your friends, uh Comment on it. That’s another way that you can get in touch with me directly. I’ll be reading all those comments. So if you have somebody or something that you want to hear on this podcast, we are always open to suggestions. So hit us up on those socials and let us know how you feel about your brand new shiny podcast. On episode six, we are going to be discussing something that is paramount across all trucking. And uh before I even tell you what it is if you’re a driver out there, I’m sure you know where I’m headed with this, but we don’t get off the ground without it. We don’t move forward without it. We don’t come home without it. And that is safety. We’re going to be discussing the complexity of safety in tanking today. And, uh, I’ve got some really great interviews live. Signed up for you, Dave Blotzer, safety Manager from Liquid Trucking is going to join us, Jason Eisenman, Vice President of Human Resources and Safety will join us as well. And we’ll also hear from Nick doty Fleet Maintenance manager about safety and the importance of that from a maintenance perspective. Plus, we are going to bring in a safety expert for you to hear from his name is Doug Fletcher. You’ve probably met him before. Uh He likes to do these mock OSHA inspection. So a great tool to have for Liquid Trucking to make sure that everyone stays safe out there on the road. And also he’s gonna make a great podcast guest because he has a podcast of his own. It’s called What’s The Hazard. And uh we’re definitely gonna be plugging that later on when we’re talking to Doug and letting you know where you can find that podcast uh because he is a former uh manager for OSHA. And so he is very tuned in to exactly what you need to have in place to stay safe, not only out there on the road but all over uh the operational uh area that is liquid trucking. So big episode today. Lots of content coming your way. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll just remind you once again, hit that subscribe button and stay tuned for episodes of the Liquid Trucking Podcast every single week. Let’s get to the interviews. Welcome to the gold standard of podcast for the gold standard of drivers. This is the Liquid Trucking podcast with your host Marcus Bridges. Joining me now here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast is Director of Fleet Maintenance, Nick doty. Uh Nick, thanks so much for being here, my friend. As always, thanks for having me for sure. Now, we’re talking about the complexity of safety in today’s episode and uh director of Fleet Maintenance seemed like a pretty important guy to get on. Uh Can you talk to me a little bit maybe about the uh the trucks that we buy here at Liquid and uh some of the safety systems that are included in said trucks. Yeah, man. Hey, before I dive into that though, as we talked about last time, you know, we, we touched on pre trips and I think that’s the start of everything, right? Um So safety all starts there making sure you’re doing a good pre tripp lights, tires inflated, checking all that stuff. Not getting back to your, your direct question. Uh The trucks we’re buying now has, has uh they have a lot of safety features on them. We’re talking, collision mitigation, um, lane, keep assistance, side, guard assistance. A BS, they have a couple of radars in the front of the front of the trucks. Lots of safety and lots of uh lots of engineering intelligence uh electronically in these trucks. How do you see the drivers respond to the um innovation and technology with the trucks? II, I go back to some of the drivers that I’ve talked to that have been on the road for 30 plus years and you know, the automatic transmissions might bug them a little bit. But I’m always curious as to how they respond to something like forward collision mitigation and, you know, lane keep, assist things like that. Do they feel like it will dull in their sharp senses or do they feel like it’s just another tool in their tool belt to help them stay safe out there? I don’t think it really makes them feel dull or an extra tool. And I think when you have somebody who’s been driving for 30 years, they know how a truck feels. They know how the road is. They know the cargo they’re carrying. I think they just get used to that. Just like with anything change. Nobody, nobody likes change. So I don’t think it’s really any, any of the above. If I’m being honest with you, I think it’s just getting familiar and comfortable with it and how it operates how the truck drives compared to how it used to drive, you know, for collision mitigation. It is just that, so if you’re following too close or something happens, there are times where the truck was to apply the brakes without really a lot of notice to the driver. So that can sometimes be scary or confusing to those guys and gals out there driving these trucks. So I don’t think it really, it really do their field. I think it’s just something that cha, that changes, that they need to get used to for sure. No, I mean, you’re, you’re 100% right. I’ve driven, you know, a passenger vehicle or four wheeler with, uh with forward collision mitigation and yeah, sometimes all of a sudden it kind of snaps you back into reality when those brakes touch or maybe it, you know, it beeps at you or something like that. So, I mean, it’s all in the name of, of being safe a lot like what you were saying and, and you know, a good pre tripp inspection, that’s very important. That’s the most important thing after that. You’ve got to be ready to get out there on the road and then, you know, make sure that you get from point A to point B safely. That’s obviously the, the biggest priority here. Are there any other, uh you know, safety systems that you want to talk about on the trucks that you guys buy real quick while we still have a few minutes. I mean, I think, I think we kind of touched on all of them. I, I could dive into some of them uh in more detail. I mean, just like, for example, all this, I just touch on the, the uh front radar and the, and the collision mitigation part of it. Um So something that, that a lot of the fleet might not know. So our new cascade is that have the cameras and the windshield as part of the Detroit insurance package. When you have your cruise control set, those cameras will actually, they’ll view both lines on the road, right. So they’re, they’re making sure you’re staying between the lines, but they’re also looking at topography so it can see if your cruise control set and you’re getting ready to climb a slight uh incline. The camera sees that and it starts changing different calculations, whether it downshifts or it adds another mile per hour on your, on your cruise control to help compensate for the, for the hill it’s about to climb. And that’s kind of a cool piece of information. I think it’s insane how intelligent some of these devices can be um when they’re functioning properly. Um And, and so that kind of always blows my mind that the truck can see a hill and know that it needs to do something different to maintain the same speed climbing that hill or to attempt to maintain the same speed. Yeah, that’s amazing. I had no idea that, that the, the trucks were capable of such things. And, I mean, that’s, you know, there’s so many things that happen out there when you’re driving and, and they spent, and these drivers spend so much time doing it that some things become second nature. And, uh, I, I imagine from time to time you just, maybe you don’t see the slight, you know, hill coming up in front of you. Maybe you don’t know that the downgrade is gonna be quite as steep as it is. So all of this stuff is just put in there to help make the driver more efficient, better and safer. It sounds like that’s exactly it. That’s great stuff, Nick. Well, I really appreciate you joining us here. I know you’re a busy guy. So I’m gonna let you get back out. But before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to, uh, the drivers or any of the, uh the staff there at Liquid? Keep up the good work. Simple, short and sweet. I like it. Nick doty Fleet Maintenance Director at uh Liquid Trucking. Thank you so much for being here. You bet. Thank you. Next up here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast. It’s the safety director from Liquid Trucking Dave Blotzer. Dave. Thank you so much for joining me today. Well, I’m glad to be here. You have a great radio voice. Has anybody ever told you that before, uh, years ago I heard that once or twice. Um, I actually thought about interviewing one of the radio stations in Omaha was looking for a DJ. I thought about it for a little while but I just never did a follow up on it. Well, you’re probably better off as the safety director with liquid because as a former radio employee myself it’s a little bit of a dying medium, which is why you’re on a podcast right now. So. Well, it would have been interesting. I, you know, uh I don’t know how, you know, longevity is in that type of a career, but it would have been kind of neat to try it, but probably not gonna do it at this stage in my life. Now, I hear you. Uh, longevity in that career is, uh they like you until they don’t, they don’t tell you when they don’t like you anymore. They just fire you. So that’s, uh, that’s the long and the short of it. I think your job security is probably better off there at Liquid and, and as the safety director, you hold a very important part in this episode that we’re doing because the whole episode is sort of surrounding the complexity of safety uh that you guys deal with there at Liquid. Can you talk to me a little bit about all of the things that go into making a safe trip for Liquid trucking? I mean, obviously there’s millions that we could talk about but maybe hit some highlights here on the important things for drivers to remember right off the top of your head. Well, it’s, it’s really interesting. It’s changed a lot over the years. I started here in 2003 and pretty much everything we did was on paper nowadays, pretty much everything is sent electronically to drivers and, uh, well, they have to really, um, pay attention to what they’re doing out there when we really had to start stressing safety even a lot more over the years. Oh, due to the fact of some of these nuclear verdicts that come out in these accidents. So, uh, you know, the guys, uh, you know, they get on their, their, uh, electronic logging unit in the morning and that’s how they, uh, message back and forth with their, with their dispatchers and they have to make sure they’ve got their trip plan and their day planned and everything and, and respond in kind, you know, to their dispatcher to make sure everything is going well and then of course, we can follow them on their, on their log to see how they’re coming along. But, you know, but as far as the safety thing goes, it’s, you know, it’s just gotten, it’s gotten more thorough over the years and, and the, the, the nuclear verdicts are probably the biggest reason for that. And a lot of, you know, a lot of this stuff has turned into, uh you know, yes, the driver has to check over his equipment and be safe on the road. But there’s also electronic systems that, um, you know, that the uh insurance companies have been requiring due to these verdicts. You know, we’ve got lane departure systems, collision avoidance systems, uh cameras in the trucks and the speed monitoring systems. So, uh you know, on the safety end of it, we can actually look and see who’s going over the speed limit, you know, and how often they’re doing it. You know, you obviously we check their logs daily to make sure they’re not, uh, running over the allowable hours. It’s not just the drivers and the safety department that are involved in this, your shops are also involved. Um, you know, they’ve got to make sure the equipment’s ready to go and then, uh, you know, if we do get some sort of an equipment violation on the road, we have to get that trailer or tractor into the shop right away and get that fixed. So, you know, if something would happen where we, let’s say we, we had a violation out on the road and, uh, we didn’t get that equipment fixed and then we got into an a, into an accident, you know, you’re talking your liability jumping up and, and, you know, getting pretty scary because they, you know, they’re gonna, you know, if we do have a serious accident, they’re gonna look through all of our maintenance files, all of our safety, you know, logging, um, pretty much everything we have all of our training. And if they find, uh, you know, if they find some stuff missing that, that is required, you know, all of a sudden they can throw some punitive damages at us. So, you know, I don’t know if a lot of the drivers out there are aware of the, the giant lawsuit that Warner got hit with a couple of years ago. It was out in the snow. I’m not sure what state it was in, but a driver crossed the median and hit a Warner truck going the other way. Well, Warner got stuck with that because it was proven that they didn’t train their drivers well enough in, uh, driving in those type of conditions, snow, snow and ice. So I think, uh, case got settled for around $60 million. Oh, my God, that is unbelievable. And that really shook us up around here quite a little bit, you know, seeing that. So, you know, we’ve even stepped up our safety program since that, that case came out. And, uh, you know, it’s scary, you know, it would be really tough to, to be an owner of a company like this, you know, and even be able to get any sleep at night. I don’t know how they do it. I don’t, I don’t either. Dave, and, and, you know, it’s funny that you brought up all of the, the electronic stuff, you know, all of the lane departure and the collision mitigation and speed monitoring and things. Uh When I talked to Nick doty on the podcast earlier, Director of Fleet Maintenance, he mentioned all that stuff, but the one thing that he came back to and said it all starts with a good pre and post trip inspection and that I think is uh is kind of paramount where it comes to, you know, making sure that you’ve got all those ducks in a row, making sure that everything is in is in its place and there’s a place for everything. There’s, there’s so many different factors that can come in to just a, a quote safe trip. It, it’s very interesting to me all the requirements that you guys have to uh fit within all of the things that you have to make sure that’s logged and, and followed and everything like that. You really do a great job of it to not have these lawsuits come out of the sky all the time when you really think about it. Well, it, um, you know, it is definitely something that, that, uh we, you know, we depend on our drivers to really take good care of that equipment and make sure it’s ready to go every day because these, you know, these trucks and traders are really well say they’re, you know, let’s say you’re a carpenter, you’re, you’re not gonna go to a job knowing some of your uh tools are not working. This is, this is the kind of the way I like to look at it. The truck and trailer are just a tool only, you know, on a little larger scale than say, uh carpentry tools. So, um, and these guys, you know, their life also depends on it because, you know, they’re going down the road at 70 miles an hour and they’ve got, uh, 80,000 £80,000 and, uh, you know, one little thing goes wrong and you can have a lot of trouble. So, uh, you know, as a driver, you know, we stress how important it is for them to maintain their equipment, make sure it’s ready to go and, and, you know, we also stress to them, you know, if you’re not doing these things, you know, and something happens, you know, imagine the phone call we may have to make to, uh, your family telling them that, uh, you’re entered badly or maybe you’re not coming home at all. So that’s the, that’s the last thing that we want to have to do on our end. 0 100%. I can’t imagine. I mean, even hearing you just talk about it in the hypothetical sense, shivers down my spine. So, um, last thing I’ll ask you before we, uh, we let you go here because we are up against the clock a little bit. Are there any trends that you’re seeing right now that you’d like to, uh, clean up in the safety department. Well, I think on, on our end, um, what we focus on really hard and have, and have, have started to focus on even more, uh, is overall speeding liquids are a little different animal. When it comes to, um, big rig trucking, you have actually a moving product in your trailer. So, um, you know, even at, even at, uh, 0, 45 miles an hour, if you’ve got a loaded trailer, uh, let’s say the speed limit says 45 miles an hour, you’re, you’re much better off doing 35. Um, because just, just because of that, that trader can roll very easily. So one way to, you know, we, we’ve looked at this years ago and figured a real good way to maybe get guys to slow down as we started paying by the hour. Uh, most of your long haul trucking pays about a mile. So, you know, if you’re paid by the mile, you know, you’re getting, you’re jumping in that truck in the morning and you’re trying to do as many miles as you can in a day here. You know, we, we tell the guys you’re paid by the hour, take your time getting to your destination and we want you to get back here in one piece. So that, that’s, that’s probably our number one focus right now and it’s always been a focus but we’ve really, really started hitting that a lot harder here lately. That’s a great idea to, to let the drivers just get paid for the time that they’re out there. I know that there’s probably a bunch of, of drivers that work for other companies that would love that. So that they don’t have to feel like they’ve got to have their foot in the radiator just to get paid what they want to make. You know? Well, that’s exactly right. We’re one of the few long haul trucking companies that does, that does pay by the hour. So when we hire a driver, you know, most of these guys come from a, a company where they were paid by the mile. So getting them, getting them to change their mindset, uh, is kind of tough to do. It usually takes a little while for them to get used to it. And we, you know, we, we send out a safety message daily and we reiterate, uh, the speed thing and the, and the, the fact they’re paid by the hour frequently. So, you know, we hope it sinks in and it usually does. Sometimes it just takes a little longer than, than you like. But, uh, once the guys figure it out, they, they really do like it. We, we rarely lose anybody over money here. So, you know, we think it’s a good fair program and, and I think most of our drivers do too and I think that’s really helped us with our retention rate. Yeah. Well, I, I look forward to talking to even more drivers than I already have, but the ones that I’ve talked to so far give Liquid Trucking incredibly high marks and, uh, there’s good reason for it. You guys got a great staff there. Uh, people like yourselves working behind the scenes to make sure that, uh, that these drivers are safe out there, good equipment on the road and uh and, and just uh well oiled machine there at Liquid Trucking Dave. And uh we really appreciate your time here. Uh Coming on and sharing all this insight and knowledge with us. Um The voice is just magical. I’ve just been sitting here listening to you the whole time. So you’re coming back on this podcast, my friend, we’ll get you back on soon. Ok. Ok. Well, we really appreciate it and, uh you know, to our drivers out there, you know, we want you to be safe. We appreciate everything you do and, and you know, anytime we can do anything more for these guys, we, we’d love to do it, you know, as long as naturally, as long as we can afford it or if it’s reasonable, you know, but um good employees make for good companies and, and our drivers really, really have helped us be successful here, so we’re very happy to have them all. Well said sir, that’s Dave Blotzer Safety Director for Liquid trucking. Appreciate you, Dave. We’ll talk to you soon. Ok. You bet. Thank you. We’ll talk to you soon. All right. It’s time for a little news here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast. I don’t know what it is. I could listen to that all day, every day. Something about that little, uh, that little tune right there. Just, uh, it makes me happy. It gives me all the good chemicals if you know what I mean? Uh The American Transportation Research Institute, otherwise known as the A tr I has released its annual critical issues in the trucking industry report. So they come out with a top 10 list every year. They have all this aggregate data, all these trucking companies and drivers and employees and everything like that, share their information and their data with A tr I and A tr I compiles it into a nice report about the issues that the trucking industry is facing throughout the year. I’m gonna read you just a short excerpt here from the top of the report and then we’ll get to those top 10 critical issues for the trucking industry. It says this year has been one of economic challenges for the trucking industry and all Americans high inflation drove up costs for consumers and producers alike. Yet rising interest rates raised both borrowing rates and the cost of capital. Meanwhile pricing in all trucking sectors fell steadily over the year, hampered by soft performance in key industries including a poor produce season, generally flat housing and manufacturing output and retail sales that were outpaced by inflation as retailers remained overstocked. The total number of jobs in the industry began to fall over the summer for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the number of registered carriers remained nearly flat after years of growth. It was also a year of disruptions in trucking. After a short term decline in spring, fuel prices began another steep rise in summer due to a combination of geopolitical and environmental factors. The bankruptcy of one of the largest companies in the industry. Yellow displaced 30,000 employees and shook up the less than truckload sector by releasing 9% of the market share union activity which contributed to tensions at yellow Ups and Mac trucks mounted in the fall when the UAW began striking at the big three assembly and parts distribution centers. So there you have a little bit of a background on what the uh kind of the zoomed out take on the year has been. Um But this is where I think it really gets kind of down to business. We’re gonna start with number 10 and move our way through all the way to the uh the very top critical issue according to a tr I coming in at number 10 making its first appearance on the list is zero emission vehicles. Now you might wonder like how is that a critical issue? For trucking. Well, let’s go down here and see what they have to say about it real quick. Zero emission vehicles is on the top 10 list for the first time this year. And its emergence as a top industry concern is not a surprise given the new focus of state and federal agencies on very aggressive timelines for transitioning the nation’s vehicle fleet away from internal combustion engines. The impacts for the trucking industry are particularly challenging. Given the extremely high high costs of zero emission vehicles and the lack of changing infrastructure nationwide coming in at number nine is detention and delay at customer facilities. It says detention and delay at customer facilities experienced the largest drop in ranking among the top 10 this year down to number nine overall from number six in the 2022 survey, like several other issues in this year’s top 10. This drop in ranking may be a function of softened freight demand which can reduce the time spent loading and unloading freight. However, this temporary lessening of detention does not mitigate the fact that this is a long standing perennial challenge for the supply chain. In recognition of the need to identify solutions. A tris Research ad uh advisory committee prioritized detention Research for 2023. Moving on to number eight is driver retention. Look, I’m not gonna read their whole paragraph here on this because I think this one is pretty self-explanatory driver retention has always been a problem. It, it is a very high turnover industry. If drivers aren’t happy, they head from one company to the next and who can blame them. Uh But right now, the job market is not great out there. So driver retention is becoming ever so more important to each company as they look to hang on to the drivers uh that are really good at their jobs moving up to number seven is driver distraction. Driver distraction first appeared in the top 10 list in 2014. Ranking 10th overall. It ra rose to a peak of seventh overall concern in 2018 and then did not make the top 10 list again this year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uh NHTS A reports that 3522 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2021 that were found to be distraction affected crashes and 410 of those individuals died in crashes involving at least one driver who was engaged in cell phone related activities. I don’t need to tell you drivers this, that’s a big one. Let’s stay off the cell phones. Number six is lawsuit abuse reform also described as tort reform is once again climbing in rank as a top industry concern this year. Ranking sixth overall and third among motor carriers. Lawsuit abuse reform is one of three issues along with fuel costs and driver shortage that were ranked as top 10 concerns in the inaugural top issues survey in 2005 and remain there today. 2005 is a long time ago, almost 20 years. This issues been on the board. Driver compensation comes in at number five. Data from the A tris 2023 operational costs of trucking. Research showed that driver wages increased 15.5% over the previous year with the combined driver wage and benefit figure at 90 cents per mile, achieving a record high since the operational costs. Research first launched in 2008. However, the current ops cost report uses 2022 data and it is very possible that the softer freight demand this year negatively impact wages. We just don’t have that information yet. So stay tuned for that. Uh Coming in at number four is driver shortage. Interesting driver shortage, driver retention. They both show up on the list. Driver shortage pops in at number four. It dropped in rank though for the second year falling to number four overall. The estimates for shortages this year were down from previous years with an estimated 64,000 drivers needed when freight demand is as soft as it was in late 2022 and into 2023 fleets will slow driver hiring and in some cases lay drivers off. The last time that the driver shortage experienced a similar drop in ranking in this survey was the great recession of 2008, 2009. Number three. Fuel prices again. We do not need to go all over the fuel prices here. Uh, I think you guys understand this just as well as anyone does, if not better than anyone does. Diesel’s over six bucks a gallon in California right now. I know that’s one of the most expensive places, but you want one of the most expensive places not to keep climbing and climbing and climbing and climbing. Of course, there’s a lot of legislation that goes into why those diesel prices are where they are in California. But what you worry about is if that’s going to slowly spread across the United States, you know, they say stocks only go up over time. Well, uh kind of looking like diesel prices are doing the exact same thing. Number two on the list, truck parking did not expect to see this issue come in this high on the list, but it’s something that plagues the industry. The lack of available truck parking first appeared as a top 10 overall concern in 2012 and has been a top five issue since 2015, reaching its highest ranking this year as the number two concern overall. However, this issue had been identified as an industry concern as far back as 1992 when the US Senate directed the Federal Highway Administration to study the adequacy of truck parking at public rest areas and private truck stops. Several decades later, the signing of the infra infrastructure investment and Jobs Act in 2021 has led to an increased focus on expanding truck parking capacity in including the recent announcement by the US Department of Transportation of $80 million in high priority grant awards including a 65% increase in funding for truck parking projects over the previous year. What’s interesting to me here, how is it that we’ve put all this money in? We’ve put this legislation in and still over the years, truck parking is a critical issue has been climbing. That means that we’re not fixing the issue. Addressing the issue I think is a fun way to say. We don’t understand how to fix this problem. Look, I’m no engineer, I’m no data analyst. But one thing I can tell you is it would be pretty easy to fix this problem when the problem can be addressed with just more parking. If we do have these high priority grants in place, let’s get them to the people that need them. So we, you can get some truck parking opened up at these rest areas and private establishments and finally coming in at number one on the list. No big surprise here. The economy concern over the state of the nation’s economy rose four spots this year to be the top ranked industry issue from inflation, rising interest rates and diesel prices to reduced freight demand and declining rates. The economy impacts motor carriers and drivers alike showing up as a top 10 concern for both the outlook for the remainder of the year remains uncertain given the challenges like the impact on consumer spending from resumption of student loan payments and the temporary stop gap funding of the federal government set to expire in November. We’re all feeling it out there guys. Uh, I know drivers and, uh, and, and trucking companies alike. Uh, it’s been a full year of this. I mean, this isn’t the only podcast that I do and I can tell you right now that the drivers, uh the top brass, everybody’s concerned about it. You’re seeing companies shutter up like yellow. We already talked about that 1 9% of the LTL market just slams its doors shut. Now, there is uh some reason in the fact that maybe yellow was kind of mismanaging funds a little bit. Maybe they uh were biting off more than they could chew as far as loans were concerned. But listen, that’s one case. I think something that’s affecting the trucking company or the trucking industry overall as, as hard as the economy has, should be the number one concern. And it shows here in the A tr I top industry issues report for 2023 that’s gonna do it for your news today on the Liquid Trucking podcast. Let’s roll back into some fun stuff with some more interviews. Joining me. Now, here on the Liquid Trucking podcast is Vice President of Safety and human resources from Liquid trucking. Jason Eisenman. Jason. Thank you for your time. I appreciate you being here today. Absolutely. Always a pleasure. Now, we’re talking about the complexity of safety when it pertains to liquid trucking today. And uh I know that you have a little bit more to say on kind of the culture and mindset side of things where that’s concerned. So let’s just jump right in. Um, what, what types of things can you tell your drivers or perspective drivers about the mindset when it comes to safety and and the culture there at liquid when it comes to safety. Thank you for that because it really is, you know, acidity is basically the part of the day or the week or the month because it can put hurdles, you know, extra steps, it could slow you down, but it could also save your life, your limb, your body, part coworkers, people on the road with you. So that uh that mindset to get everybody to think about safety is not maybe an annoyance or something that’s gonna slow your day, day down, but a part of your day and to build it in so that you and us and everybody work with and everybody work around, get to go home in the same fashion that they came to work with everything that they brought. That’s always been kind of the mentality. So when we get people that come to liquid trapping and they’re used to being around out of the mile or a percentage of load or any sort of payment metric that’s based around speed or productivity. Don’t get me wrong. We also like to be productive and efficient. We like to pay our driver as well. But we also wanna put a key motivator in there to encourage them to slow down and take their time and not be penalized for that from any perspective. So paying by the hour and encouraging, I know everybody that think about it. All of questions. Uh Those are really big on our mind every day and the way we pray. Sure, I, I’m gonna use a little bit of an anecdote from my own life here to kind of uh sum up what you’re saying a little bit, but I grew up as a, as a wake boarder, always out on the water. Uh a little bit reckless, um, really didn’t have much of a mind for safety. And then one day I almost got hit by another boat, uh, after I had crashed and everything in my life changed from that. I was so focused on everyone’s safety when we were out on the water. And uh I think that the important lesson to learn through that story is not that, yeah, you should be safe out on the water. It’s dangerous. We all know that we’re a life jacket. We’re not stupid here. You don’t want to have to have a bad incident to, to, to get to that mindset that you’re talking about. You want to start with that mindset so that you avoid those incidents. Yeah. Being, uh, proactive versus reactive, I think is what you’re talking about there and, and trucking full of reactive scenarios. In fact, the industry allowing a lot of work scenarios are, but it’s a big deal. You know, that is a, as each individual worker performs their duties during the day, that could be an Ank was worker that could be a truck mechanic, a training mechanic or one of our truck drivers, they have all these things that’s affecting their day that could possibly make something go wrong and then they’re challenged with putting this constant and of everything that’s happening and, and if your mind is motivated wrong in your, in the culture is the thought process about how I’m gonna approach the situation isn’t kind of lined up with how I’m gonna prevent something in my current situation to a lot of ale. Right. The little thing could have enormous ripples on the pond too. 11 small oversight could lead to really big problems. And so it’s, that’s kind of where the whole complexity of the safety comes in, I think is that little small things that you might not think are important are vitally important in every aspect of tanking. Yeah. And then from like our here, when we’re looking across the whole book of business, everyone’s roles from Sioux City to Ola and, and drivers and all those positions I mentioned, you know, we, we work with all these people and at the end of the day, we’re all, all, we still people and we all believe the same. But what we don’t want to have happen is we don’t want to see the people that work with us and, and live with us in the community and get hurt because now to change that conversation from safety and, and training and, and, and preaching all that culture to actually see someone hurt or in pain because something bad happened and that’s the impact that it can have on a company coworkers. You don’t wanna see somebody actually get hurt. And uh that, that’s, you know, I always use the adage. Uh Walmart sells a lot of stuff. They don’t sell a replacement balls or, or arms, we can buy more equipment and trucks, but we can’t buy more people or parts for people. So when they say safety is important and number one and everyone’s job, you know, those are the lines you see printed on everything, you see them in factories and books and, but at the end of the day, safety is making sure people aren’t hurt and they stay exactly as they are and get to go home to their families every day. Exactly how they can be worked very well said, uh something that, uh you know, it is written everywhere and almost written so much that it might be kind of back of mind awareness type stuff, but it’s written everywhere so that it continues to reinforce the importance of, of paying attention to it. Great stuff. Jason here and I have to say because I was talking to Dave, uh Blotzer earlier and he’s got one hell of a radio voice. You also have one hell of a radio voice. Have you guys thought about getting together for a podcast or something like that? Because, uh, the, the, the tones coming out of my headphones right now are, uh, frankly intoxicating Jason. I don’t want to make it weird. But no, no, I mean, uh I do participate in a separate podcast, a podcast but radio program, but separate from that, you know, but just, just, just talking as a person, you know, I probably talk too much, you know, day to day, but back to the safety thing when you were talking there. Um The great, I would have it in a movie, the deal that I encourage everybody to go to youtube and search and he calls it Safety Third. And yeah, everyone knows Mike from like doing the shows like dirty jobs. But, uh, and in all those dirty jobs, he gets to see all sorts of unsafe situations. So I think that’s for this conversation in the video about safety third in his beginning, goes back to that, you know, safety preached everywhere. And if you were to take a minute and watch that. Safety third. It’s the right culture and mindset. Um, you putting better in that as well. I love Mike Rowe. He’s, he’s great, uh, you know, really highlighting some of the uh less glamorous jobs out there in the world and always, uh got a mind for safety. That guy. It’s, it’s like he’s done everything at this point and uh somehow he’s come out with his limbs still intact, you know, and I kind of got like a personal mission statement that I’ll share with you. Yeah, but we have to serve our employees. Well, we have to provide everyone a great, you know, work environment you get in and we have to serve the company. Well, you know, we all want a job in the future where we want to come to grow and prosper. And we have to provide uh excellent customer service and partnerships to all of our customers that we have today and have in the future and safety is paramount to all of that without that not knowing that they happen correctly. Um And finally, the last part of that mission statement is everyone has to go them safely at the end of the day with everything they brought us to the heart of the day. So if you can, you know, kind of live by that mentality every day and you and you take that to each coworker, you plant that you out and you, you kind of start to demon that same culture to others. You know, it’s contain it, spread it. Absolutely. Well, it’s one hell of a culture that you’ve got working there at uh Liquid Trucking Jason. I know you’re an instrumental piece behind that. Before I let you go. Anything else that you wanna, that you wanna say to your drivers or to the staff? Uh Before we jump off here today, just thanks for always taking everything we put out there. I know we preach a lot of stuff in our daily messaging in our uh online video training. We, we definitely don’t preach it because we want people to. Just so we’ve appreciated everyone’s time and effort doing that stuff because hopefully a little bit about today, you know, I’m listening to this, understands our overarching goal and mission to keep everybody safe and, and doing all that stuff helps uh with that every day and that goal that’s Vice President of Safety and human Resources, Jason Eisenman. Thank you so much for being here. Jason really appreciate the time and we’ll have you on again very soon next up here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast. I’m very excited about this. We’ve got a safety expert on to help us talk about the complexity of safety. His name is Doug Fletcher. He’s a retired area director for OSHA and has his own podcast called What’s the Hazard? Doug? Thank you so much for being here today. Yeah, Mark. Is it a pleasure, man? Thanks for having me. Of course. Now, um, you are, uh, just an expert on safety. That’s, that’s the best way that I can really characterize it because you’ve got so much experience. But tell us a little bit about your experience with OSHA and then also tell us about how you got into podcasting. Oh, absolutely. Yeah, man. You know, I’ve been doing safety for about 10 years. I, I dropped out of college and needed a job. I developed all those bad habits like living indoors and stuff, you know. So I, I took a job with the Department of Defense actually and started doing industrial hygiene, which is the health side of safety and health with the dod back in the eighties. And that was in Columbus, Ohio and I was living out there and I got married and we moved back to Omaha, Nebraska, which is my home and I took a job with the Department of Labor at that time, OSHA, they were hiring compliance officers. And so I got on board with OSHA as a compliance officer just making inspections in workplaces. Uh I did that for a number of years and then I transferred over to a job called Compliance Assistance, which was more outreach and education and voluntary compliance programs which I enjoyed. But at the end of my career, I moved over into management. So I was uh assistant area director for a few years. I had a team of compliance officers that worked with me. And then my last year, I was the acting area director for the State of Nebraska. My boss was being promoted. And so I got into that area and director position in an acting capacity. So I did that for about a year. And then at the end of that time, I just, you know, I thought maybe it was time for me to move on. So I left OSHA after 17 years and just started my own consulting business. And that’s all I got to know the folks at Liw Trucking. I’ve been consulting with them for a few years now and, and really enjoy it. I’ve learned a lot about trucking. Certainly things I didn’t know before. Uh, but I spend most of my time with the shop guys. You know, the guys when truck shop, uh, trailer shop wash made in both Plattsmouth and then up in South Sioux City. Ok. Got you. So you’re hanging out with Nick Dody and be Whipple and the guys from the shop out there. Love those guys. Love those guys, man. Yeah. You know, you mentioned it before. We actually came on how great all the people that work at Liquid Trucking are. And, uh, it, it makes me feel so good to hear you, uh reinforce that thought because ever since I started doing this podcast for them, I’ve really felt that, uh, just some really good people looking out for one another wanting everybody to get home safe. I mean, that’s why we’re all here at the end of the day. Right. Everybody wants to make a buck and get home safe. Totally agree. And, uh, yeah, very good people. You know, as, you know, it’s a family owned business. Um, I work specifically for games, you know, he runs that side of the business and, but then all the guys that work for game and, uh, I, I really enjoy working with small family owned businesses. I don’t, you know, I do some work with larger, you know, corporate types of organizations, but I just really like the feel of this and there was definitely a family feeling to it, the complexities of safety. You know, when you consider uh all of the different technical aspects of safety as well as the human behavioral aspect of safety, it’s really challenging. And so I think having that intimate family relationship within the workforce really makes it much easier to look out for each other and care for each other. So I, I like that environment personally. Oh, yeah, 100%. I agree with you there for sure. Now, Gabe’s got you doing some, some mock ocean inspections for Liquid. Is that correct? Um That’s kind of what we do. I, I go down and visit. In fact, I’m going down there. I think I am a visit down there tomorrow. I’ll be down in plats but, but we will walk through the facilities and So it’s kind of like a mock ocean, you know, inspection of sorts. I’m looking for uh, hazards that the employees might encounter. We’re looking for compliance related issues that we need to stay on top of. We do a little bit of training, you know, at every visit just to keep the guys, you know, fresh and the current thinking about things that are significant to them and those work areas. And so it’s primarily driven, it intended to be, um, kind of a compliance assessment of sorts, you know, but ultimately, what I do is just about relationships, you know, like you said, the guys that you mentioned, Nick and Bo and all of those guys that I’ve gotten to know Evan and my God, you know, stay on the list is really long and, you know, you start, uh, oddly, you know, you start to care for these guys that they become part of your family after a while and you really want to make sure that they’re being cared for and looked out for. And so that’s kind of what I do. I get to go every month. So I visit the Bartow facility up in South S Suny once a month and I visit the facility down in Plattsmouth once a month and I just kind of keep, I just kind of pushing them a little bit, keeping them moving them in the, in the right direction. And then of course, Gabe and his team take care of the day to day stuff. So it’s, it’s really been a good, a good combination. I really enjoy the collaboration with these guys. It sounds like a great marriage for sure. Now I have to ask this question because uh just in my limited experience working in different places, uh when the ocean inspector came through, it was always, uh you know, the vibe was off. Everybody was kind of looking over their shoulder. Now that you’re doing these mock ones. Are they happy to see you when you show up? Well, happy might be a stretch, you know. But, but they know I’m on their team. Right. I’m there to make sure that things are going well and that they’re being, you know, they’re protected and they’re doing the right thing. So, it is worse and worse than it used to be. Let’s just say that to the right. Oh, yeah, man. I mean, at least they pretend to like me now, you know. Well, everybody used to just leave in the old days I’d show up and the whole place would just be deserted in a few minutes. And so at least they stick around, which I, I take that as a victory. Yeah, absolutely. That’s great. Well, tell me a little bit about what’s the Hazard? Your podcast. Uh, you’ve been doing it for four years now. This is a, a safety based podcast. Am I correct there? Yeah, exactly. You know, when I started doing it four years ago. It was just something that I’d always, you know, much like you, man. I mean, you’ve been in this industry for a long time and I, I just really wanted a way to contribute and give something back. I, I have had the good fortune of having some really incredible mentors along the way. And uh now as the old guy myself, I just wanted to do something that I could give him back to younger safety professionals and small business people. So we started doing it about four years ago. We do an episode every Friday and much like you. I mean, I’m just interviewing people that are either safety professionals or have leadership skills or maybe they’re vendors or particular products that are, that might be useful, things like that. And so, um it’s been fantastic man. I personally, I’ve learned a lot just speaking with these professionals and these subject matter experts. And so it’s, you know, it’s all kind warehoused on the internet if people are interested. I don’t know that it has a broad appeal necessarily, but anybody that is interested in safety or leadership or things like that, you know, can give it a listen. I’ve had some really incredible guests and so, you know, I just flip back and let them go and uh you know, really enjoy it. So I really keep doing it. You know, I’ve got a few people that have stepped up and helped me flung the podcast. In fact, Liquid Trucking is a sponsor of the podcast, which I sincerely appreciate. And so we’ll keep doing it as long as it doesn’t bankrupt me. I hear you there, man. It’s easy to spend a lot of money on some of the equipment just to talk to somebody, you know. Oh my God, it’s crazy. And you know, the people that I work with are much like you, they are a former radio folks. And so this is kind of the evolution, I guess in some respects of talk, you know, conversation and talk radio. So it’s been a lot of fun. We enjoy it. I’ve got an episode coming up this Friday with a buddy of mine that is a safety manager at a large, he brought that the facility, which is a really interesting environment, you know. So I’m sure he’ll, he’ll have a lot of interesting things to share about that. So, that’s awesome. Well, for our listeners out there, go check out, uh, what’s The Hazard Podcast, uh, with, with our friend here Doug Fletcher. I’m sure that you’ll learn so much on that podcast just based on the short conversation so far. And, you know, you touched on something there that I kind of wanted to, to speak to it. I don’t think that the people that don’t do podcasts themselves, whether it be a hobby or something you do professionally, really have a, a good handle on how much those of us that do host podcasts, get out of hosting podcasts because of who we get to talk to. If you can learn to sit there and have an open ear, you can learn everything. I, I mean, I, I, I’m not an expert in trucking at all. I’ve, I, you know, my dad used to manage a sawmill when I was a kid. So I was around some truckers from time to time. But I have learned so much in just, I mean, we’re only in episode six right now and I feel like I could go to Liquid and actually, you know, have a conversation with people and sort of know what I’m talking about. It’s one of the benefits of doing what we do. It’s wonderful, man. I have truly enjoyed it. And you’re right, if you are, if you were capable of listening and willing to listen, you know, for in the beginning, I was just so enamored with the sound of my own voice, but I’m not sure I was even listening, but I’ve gradually learned to be a better listener and you, you’re obviously an excellent listener and I, you know, I watch other podcasts and, you know, the really outstanding interviewers, men, you know, that I just, they just sit and listen and man, you can just soak up so much information. I mean, truly, uh you know, blessed to be able to do that and, you know, to have you know, these people all give up their time generously and willingly and nobody gets compensated for it. They’re lucky by buying breakfast, you know, and, uh, they do, they do it anyway. And I’m just amazed at how generous people are, particularly in the safety community. But, you know, really in any, any line of work, you know, people just, they love to share their experiences and maybe pass along some information that might be valuable. It’s really amazing. It is, you know, I, I would have told you that you were crazy back in 2003 when I was at, uh my freshman year in college, one of my journalism professors podcasted every class. So if you miss the class, you could go listen to it and podcasts. And he was telling us in 2003, this is gonna be huge. You guys don’t understand this yet, but this is gonna be h and we all laughed at him and now everybody in their dog has a podcast and, uh it’s one of the best mediums out there. So, um I, I can’t say enough good things about it. And also thank you for the compliment. Uh I’ve been working on the craft, but I totally understand that being obsessed with your own voice, I had about a decade in radio to be able to get over that. I actually had the problem where for the first three years of my radio career, I couldn’t wear headphones on both ears because I hated the way my voice sounded in my head so much. I, I really, man, it’s like a little getting used to. I, I have to admit, II, I always came across sounding like an idiot. I just, that really just drove me crazy. So I totally get it. I will say though that, you know, I do a lot of driving much like, you know, you know, the folks at Liquid drudging, they spend a lot of time on the road and if you are intellectually curious at all, you can listen to podcasts all, I mean, I, I have learned so much about other subjects, you know, unrelated to safety necessarily that, that I’m interested in and it’s just amazing how much information was out there. So, you know, I haven’t listened to music probably in years because I just, I’m picking podcasts all the time, for sure, for sure. Well, uh, listen, I have a couple of questions here. I wanted to hit on kind of the, the safety side of things if I could, where it pertains to Liquid Trucking. Um, do you ever see any trends, especially as, as the weather starts to turn towards winter or anything like that in, uh, in, in the trucking company, specifically Liquid Trucking that, you know, it’s just something that we should always be thinking about every year as the weather starts to change a little bit. Anything that comes up in these mock inspections that you kind of expect. Well, that’s really good. That’s a great question. Um I don’t work specifically with the drivers but I know, you know, getting in and out of the tractors in bad weather, inclement weather becomes even a bit of a challenge for those guys, you know. So I just spoke with a company, a different company who’d had a driver slip and fall while getting out of the tractor and sprained an ankle pretty badly. So the weather particularly in the Midwest where we are can be a real challenge for the drivers in the facilities, you know, like the wash bay, for example, you know, they’re cleaning the inside and outside of these tanker trucks and these, you know, the trucks are coming in from the outside, they’re opening the overhead doors, bringing vehicles into the wash bay. And so you’ve got this weird environment where it’s freezing cold outside during the winter, open up the door. You come into this hot steamy wash bay environment and you know, that immediate change from cold to hot and then back to cold creates a lot of slip and fall hazards. So we really try to pay attention with slipping fall issues when the weather turns specifically in the wash bay. But, you know, they’re bringing vehicles in and out of the truck shop and the trailer shop. And so there is a, there is a lot of emphasis on slip and fall hazards and you know, these guys work up at the heights occasionally. So they’re getting up on top of the trailers, getting into the trailers occasionally for cleaning purposes. But even the maintenance guys down in the trailer shop, getting up and down off the trailers. And so again, you know, when you are mounting or dismounting a trailer and the weather has been a little bit inclement or there might be ice on the ladders, man, we just have to be really careful about that. So that’s kind of what we start talking about here this month. You know, the slipping fall issues making sure the surfaces are, you know, as clean and dry as possible. Usually ice melt where appropriate. So, but they do a great job. These guys work really hard at it. They’re aware of these in season. So they, they work hard at it. And so we’ve made, I think a lot of progress in the last few years. Hopefully, that’s great. II I have to say, you know, you touched on the, the guys at the tank wash, they took me up on one of those catwalks to look down into the tank and there’s steam pouring out of this thing and the guy’s on a harness and he’s just about to drop down and go in there. I gotta say, man, I, if there was 10 jobs that I didn’t want to do that would be nine of them. I, I mean, unbelievable things that these guys are doing and, and, and spaces that they’re working in, I imagine, uh, their job is as hard as any. And it’s funny because we’re always talking about, uh, drivers being safe while on the road. You’re the first person to ever come on this podcast or any of them that I’ve done and say, you know, you gotta be careful getting in and out of your truck. It’s a big truck. Those steps can freeze, the ground, can freeze. It’s something I didn’t even think about it. Yeah. You know, and again, I’m not a dot Guy, I don’t know anything about on the road safety other than what I personally experienced, but I do know, you know, getting up into the cab and out of the cab and if you’re rushing, you know, rushing was always a contributory factor, it seems like, you know, trying to maintain, you know, you know, keep your hands on the cab and make sure your feet are set before you shift your weight, those kind of things. Yeah, it doesn’t get a lot of attention. But man, you know, I mean, it’s not good for anybody. If they’re, you know, blowing out a knee or twisting an ankle or something, they’re not able to work or drive or whatever the case might be. So sometimes it’s even those little things if you attend to, to those little things and the big things seem to be a little bit easier to pay attention to as well. So, you know, just, just little, little reminders periodically, you know, we all get in a rush from time to time. So, absolutely. And that’s why, you know, that’s why we’re here, us podcasters doing, uh, podcast related to safety. Uh, little reminders every now and then and maybe a laugh here and there if we’re lucky. Exactly. That’s exactly right. You’re right, man. And, uh, so you’re a UG Oregon guy. So you’re a duck. Is that true? You know it, you know, it, 13 year season ticket holder. I’m an alumni and I’m very proud of that. Right on, man. Very good. Well, welcome to the big 10 brother. I’m an Ohio State guy. So, uh, and a Nebraska guy, obviously, so welcome to the Big 10. It’s gonna be, I can’t imagine, you know, having the four pack, 12 teams that are coming in. It is gonna be, uh an incredible game every week. So that’ll be fun. It really will be fun. And I’ve had a lot of fun trading punches already with all my midwest friends. Uh, because, you know, it, it’s funny as an Ohio State fan, you’ll remember this, but the rest of the big 10 forgot that Oregon came into Ohio State and, uh, and took one out of there a couple of years ago and I gotta keep reminding them, you know, they say, oh, are you ready for Big 10 football? It’s like, are you ready for us? Is my question. No doubt, man. My wife was at that game and, uh, my wife is a big Buckeye fan. So she goes out to the games. I personally just like to watch it from my couch, but she was out of that game and I told her she could never go back to another game if you’re there and they’re gonna lose. And, uh, yeah, I remember when Oregon came in there and beat us. Yeah. So thanks for bringing that up. Hey, no problem. Anytime you need it, you’ve got my number, you just call me and we can talk. Ok. Absolutely, man. No, it’s gonna be very exciting. I’m looking forward to it. I am too. I am too doug, well, listen, we’re up against the clock here. I’m gonna let you get back to uh, what you’re doing. I know you’re a busy guy but, uh, tell us where we can find what’s the Hazard Podcast once again real quick before I let you go. Yeah, man. I mean, you can find it on any of the, uh, broadcast platforms like itunes or Spotify, Google podcast. It’s also on youtube. So we’ve started doing some, if you can stomach looking at me or, you know, I have some good looking guests from time to time. You can go to youtube. Uh, it’s also on all of the episodes that are posted on my website which is just Fletcher, safety.com So check them out. Some of them are really interesting. I think everybody would find one that they could relate to you. So I appreciate that. Thanks for mentioning that Marcus. Oh, of course. And uh you’ve got a golden voice, Doug, I don’t know how you missed out on being a broadcaster from the word go because uh this, this uh this episode has been jam packed with people with very good radio voice and I’m worried if I keep having too many of them on, I’m gonna be out of a job here before too long. They’re just gonna let Dave Blotzer do it because he’s got such a great voice. So, uh I know, man, I hear you. No, you’ve got a great voice for it too, buddy. And, um, what I’ve always had trouble with is just kind of modulating the two voices because nobody’s as loud as me. But you are. So you shouldn’t have any trouble. You shouldn’t have any trouble keeping this one, you know, so that they can hear both voices. But half the time I have people that come on that are really soft speakers and you can barely make them out against my, you know, screaming. It sounds like. So you gotta say it with your chest, man. If you have something worth saying, say it with your chest. Right on. Right on Doug Fletcher from Fletcher, safety consultants and the, what’s the Hazard podcast? Thank you so much for being here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast today. I appreciate it, Marcus. Thank you. All right, that’s gonna wrap up episode six of the Liquid Trucking Podcast and put a nice little bow on it. I want to thank everybody for listening today. Uh We can’t do this without you the listener. So again, just a little bit of homework here before I let you go home and go to bed tonight, make sure to hit that subscribe button for us. That’s the best way that you can help us also interact with us on all the socials and uh share this with your friends, your uh your fellow drivers, your family, if you’re on the podcast, you know, it’s one thing that I don’t hear a lot of drivers uh mention when I talk to them. But, you know, this is a cool thing for your family to listen to while, uh while they’re out or while you’re out on the road and you’re not with them. Uh They get to hear your voice, they get to hear some of your stories and uh just hear a little bit about what goes on behind the curtain at work. So share it with your families too. We know that there’s some perspective. Liquid drivers out there that really want to work for this fine company. Share it with them as well. We’d love for them to understand how things work, how the sausage gets made at Liquid. If you will that’s really all I’ve got for you today again. Thank you for being here. Big thanks to Nick doty Dave Blotzer, Jason Eisenman and Doug Fletcher made for some great interviews today and some really good information in this episode. I’m really excited about where this podcast is going and you’re coming there with me. I’m your co driver on this thing. Uh You guys be safe out there, keep the shiny side up and we’ll see you next week. Thanks for tuning in and being the gold standard of drivers on the road. Be sure to like and subscribe to the channel and tune in next week for another episode of the Liquid Trucking Podcast.