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Winter Weather Tips

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Trucking is both one of the most crucial jobs in America and, unfortunately, one of its most dangerous.Time Magazine ranked truck driving number 8 on its 2014 list of the ’10 Most Dangerous Jobs’. To make matters worse, too many drivers on the highways do not alter their driving skills, when driving in poor weather conditions, on snow-covered or icy roads.

To keep you aware and moving, as we roll into this wintry season, here’s a list of truck driver safety pointers perfect for both drivers new to their vehicles and savvy pros looking for a quick refresher.

1.) BE PREPARED

It’s important to be ready for whatever you run into. Make sure you pack:

  • warm clothing
  • A flashlight
  • A blanket
  • food and water
  • A bag of sand or salt and extra windshield washer fluid
  • A windshield scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire chains or traction mats
  • Maintain at least a half tank of gas at all times during the winter

2.) DO YOUR PRE-TRIP INSPECTIONS

Professional drivers are required to inspect their vehicles before every trip. We do a visual, hands-on inspection and check all important items, including tires, wiper blades and fluid and lights. Check your vehicle often to make sure everything is running correctly before heading out.

3.) SLOW DOWN

Many accidents occur because drivers are going too fast for road conditions. A slower speed gives you more time to react if something occurs. Extra patience and care for other drivers can help a lot.

4.) GIVE YOURSELF EXTRA SPACE

Allow for more room between yourself and other vehicles. You should always have enough space and time to move out of harm’s way.

5.) HOLD YOUR STEERING WHEEL FIRMLY

Sudden, sharp moves can quickly cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Keep your vehicle steady through ruts in the road, heavy wind and on ice.

6.) WATCH FOR BLACK ICE

Black ice is a dangerous road condition. It is a thin layer of transparent ice that forms when the temperature is close to freezing and sometimes makes the road look slightly wet. It is difficult to spot, so when the temperature gets close to freezing, look for clues:

  • Ice build-up on mirror arms, antenna or the top corners of the windshield
  • The spray from tires on vehicles in front stops

 

7.) BRAKE AND ACCELERATE LIGHTLY

Try not to do anything forcefully in bad weather. When you need to slow down quickly in slippery conditions, try lightly pumping your brakes. This reduces your chance of locking your tires and spinning out of control.

If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), press and hold the brake down as far as possible in an emergency. The ABS prevents the wheels from locking, enabling you to steer around obstacles.

8.) BE CAREFUL ON BRIDGES

Elevated structures, such as bridges and highway overpasses, usually freeze first, and many are not treated with ice-/snow-melt materials (salt, sand) like the rest of the road. I’ve seen many vehicles traveling fine on the highway, but as soon as they get on a bridge, they spin out of control. Bridges often have black ice.

9.) OBEY TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES

A simple, yet effective tip. Safety authorities post this information for a reason. I’ve seen many drivers get into trouble just by ignoring a sign.

10.) IF STUCK, STAY IN YOUR TRUCK!

If you get stuck in a bad storm or blizzard and you can’t see a close place to seek assistance, stay put! It’s easy to get confused in a bad storm, and you may get lost.

This is a time to use those supplies mentioned in Tip 1. You should also keep moving to stay warm. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and open a downwind window slightly for ventilation. Run your engine for only 10 minutes each hour.

11.) IF CONDITIONS LOOK BAD, GET OFF THE ROAD.

Don’t push your luck. Use your best judgment. Listen to weather reports and warnings and react appropriately. This tip can help you avoid having to use Tip 10.

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Hauling the ‘SmartWay’

Davis Transfer Company, Inc, Renews with the U.S. EPA SmartWay® Transport Partnership

Carnesville, GA – Davis Transfer today announced that it has submitted and received approval for their 2014 data update with the SmartWay® Transport Partnership, an innovative collaboration between U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry. The SmartWay Transport Partnership provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply chains.

Davis Transfer will continue to contribute to the Partnership’s savings of 144.3 million barrels of oil, $20.6 billion in fuel costs, 61.7 MMT of carbon dioxide (CO2), 1,070,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 43,000 tons of particulate matter, the equivalent of taking 13 million cars off the road. Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, and nitrogen oxide is an air pollutant that contributes to smog. By joining SmartWay Transport Partnership, Davis Transfer demonstrates its strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.

“At Davis Transfer, we strive to better ourselves each and every day. It is our responsibility as a company, to ensure that we are doing all we can to leave a positive impact on the roads, the people we meet, the world we live in, and the future generations.” Brittany Britt, Director of Safety

Developed jointly in early 2003 by EPA and Charter Partners represented by industry stakeholders, environmental groups, American Trucking Associations, and Business for Social Responsibility, this innovative program celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2014. Partners rely upon SmartWay tools and approaches to track and reduce emissions and fuel use from goods movement. The Partnership currently has over 3,000 Partners including shipper, logistics companies, truck, rail, barge, and multimodal carriers.

Davis Transfer has operated as a transportation company for almost 60 years. They have terminals in Carnesville, GA, Valdosta, GA, and Lakeland, FL.  For more information about Davis Transfer, visit www.davistransfer.com or call 706-384-2030.

For information about the SmartWay Transport Partnership visit www.epa.gov/smartway.

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Watch out, Santa! Davis Transfer is coming to town!

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“ThPicMonkey Collagee Angel Tree is a unique program that started in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1979. It involves the community in a direct way allowing them to become personally involved by sharing with those less fortunate in their community. The program provides gifts of new clothing and toys to thousands of children who otherwise might not have anything for Christmas.

Children who are recipients of Angel Tree gifts are from families who have applied for Christmas assistance through the Social Services program of The Salvation Army. During the application process, the clothing sizes and special needs of the children are determined and written on the application and is then transferred to paper “angels” along with the child’s first name, age and sex.

The “angels” contain a code number which corresponds to the client’s application number. All children in a family have the same code number, followed by “1” for the first child, “2” for the second child, etc.”

This year, Davis Transfer adopted 6 angels to assist for the holidays. As a company, we raised over $450. This money was used to purchase clothes, shoes, blankets, and (of course) toys! “I love working with colleagues that care so much for others.” says Brittany Britt, a member of the safety team in Carnesville. “We are all so blessed- it feels good to give back.”

The donations were donated to the Toccoa branch of the Salvation Army on December 7th.

 

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BBBC Charity Update

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“We held the check presentation for St Mary’s Hospital this past Saturday.  Our BBBC charity was able to raise $75,000 this year to help the fight against breast cancer locally in Athens Ga.  This money is used to buy new equipment and to provide free mammograms for women in need in the Northeast Georgia area.  I would like to thank everyone for the continued support each year.  The Davis Transfer family is a big part of this adventure every year and a huge reason for our continued success!”

– Dwight Standrige, Davis Transfer Planner/BBBC Advocate

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To learn more about this charity, please check them out at the BBBC Website.

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Davis Transfer: HOS Benefits Beyond Compliance

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Davis Transfer Recognizes Benefits Beyond Compliance with Omnitracs’ Hours of Service
Ground Floor Adopter of Technology Experiences Increased Efficiency, Safer Fleet Operations, and Improved Customer Satisfaction

DALLAS, Sept. 2015—Omnitracs, LLC, a global pioneer of fleet management solutions to transportation and logistics companies, today announced that leading, dry truckload carrier Davis Transfer Company, implemented Omnitracs’ Hours of Service (HOS) application well in advance of the pending electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, and, as a result, has realized significant benefits beyond basic compliance. Having first adopted Omnitracs’ onboard mobile information system nearly 25 years ago, Davis Transfer deployed the HOS application across its fleet of 250 trucks as a core component of its comprehensive safety program. Since the adoption, the carrier is not only fully compliant with FMCSA Hours of Service regulations, but has also experienced increased efficiency; more alert, safer drivers; and increased satisfaction from shippers.

An ELD is used to electronically record a driver’s Record of Duty Status (RODS) and replaces antiquated and error-prone paper log books. With a targeted publication date of Sept. 30, 2015, the ELD mandate—which is expected to affect more than three million vehicles—will specify exact use requirements for drivers, fleets, and law enforcement. While wanting to ensure compliance with federal regulations, Davis Transfer quickly recognized the many benefits of early adoption of ELDs, which extend well beyond adherence to the mandate. Omnitracs HOS not only automates the accurate capture of hours driven, but has also enabled the fleet to capitalize on a number of other benefits in support of business objectives, such as ensuring drivers are well-rested for improved safety; demonstrating a commitment to safe fleet operations, which is increasingly important to many shippers; and enhancing efficiency through a reduction in manual data entry and paperwork errors.

“From day one, the leadership team at Davis Transfer has recognized the strategic value of the ELD mandate and has embraced the benefits this technology offers to our drivers, customers, and fleet operations,” stated Todd Davis, president of Davis Transfer Company. “In addition to being the right thing to do, our adoption of Omnitracs Hours of Service application has enabled us to meet and exceed our compliance, safety, customer satisfaction and efficiency goals. Furthermore, our company is well positioned to ‘maintain business as usual’ in light of a major industry transition.”

With an accurate record of hours driven, Davis Transfer can ensure that its drivers are well rested and alert. Additionally, the HOS application allows fleet managers to more efficiently assign routes, making sure that drivers have sufficient driving hours remaining to complete the delivery. The carrier’s drivers have embraced the value of the system—adequate rest that allows them to perform safely when on the job and the elimination of cumbersome paperwork enables them to focus on what they do best, driving, both of which contributed to improved fleet efficiency.

“As an early adopter of ELD technology, Davis Transfer has set itself up for continued success and growth and has been proactive in realizing the many benefits of our HOS solution that extend beyond regulatory compliance,” noted David Vice, chief sales officer at Omnitracs. “We are thrilled that Davis Transfer has surpassed its initial goals with the use of HOS and can serve as a model for other fleets that have yet to take action in advance of the pending ELD mandate.”

Choosing to be ELD compliant has also positively impacted Davis Transfers’ value proposition as a service- and safety-oriented company among its customers. As shippers are becoming more aware of their brand’s exposure and liability in relation to the freight transportation firms they partner with, it is not uncommon for them to research Department of Transportation information and review CSA scores as a factor in carrier hiring decisions. Based on its CSA scores—and thanks, in part, to its early adoption of the HOS application, Davis Transfer ranks among the top three carriers, which has enabled the company to stand out among competitors and increase business.

“Early on, we viewed the adoption of Omnitracs’ HOS as a significant turning point for our safety program and as a strategic investment in the future success of our business,” continued Davis. “Every aspect of the implementation—from installation and training, to driver and back-office use—was so well supported by our management and Omnitracs, that the transition was easy and was met with very little resistance.”

Available on all of Omnitracs’ Mobile Computing Platforms (MCPs), as well as the XRS Relay Platform, the HOS application provides near real-time tracking of drivers’ hours, increased reporting accuracy and compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.

For more information about the ELD mandate and to stay up-to-date on news with expert commentary and advice, join the conversation at www.eldfacts.com and sign up to receive alerts as critical information is posted to the site.

 About Davis Transfer Company

Davis Transfer Company services the dry, truckload market with a fleet of more than 200 tractors and almost 800 trailers. The company has been in the trucking business for more than 50 years and in the dry, truckload sector for more than 20 years, and is committed to taking care of its customers and drivers. Davis Transfer Company operates terminals in Carnesville and Valdosta, GA, and Lakeland, FL.

About Omnitracs, LLC

Omnitracs, LLC is a global pioneer of fleet management, routing and predictive analytics solutions for private and for-hire fleets. Omnitracs’ nearly 1000 employees deliver software-as-a-service-based solutions to help more than 40,000 private and for-hire fleet customers manage nearly 1,500,000 mobile assets in more than 70 countries. The company pioneered the use of commercial vehicle telematics over 25 years ago and today its intuitive technologies, including solutions for safety and compliance, fuel efficiency, driver retention, fleet productivity, GPS fleet tracking, route planning, scheduling, and fleet maintenance, enable customers to solve common fleet problems and achieve their business objectives. Omnitracs, LLC includes Roadnet Technologies, XRS, Sylectus, Omnitracs Analytics, and Omnitracs Mexico. Omnitracs is part of the Vista Equity Partners portfolio of companies.

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Davis Transfer Company Improves Safety Score by 43 Percent

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Armed with SmartDrive Safety Program, Davis Transfer Company Improves Safety Score by
43 Percent

Truckload Fleet Achieves 73 Percent Reduction in Mobile Device Usage and 66 Percent Improvement in Seatbelt Compliance in First Two Months

SAN DIEGO—September 2015—SmartDrive Systems, a leader in driving performance solutions that reduce collisions and improve fuel efficiency, today announced that Davis Transfer Company, a leading dry, truckload carrier serving the Southeastern United States, has adopted SmartDrive’s video-based safety program across its fleet of more than 200 tractors. In the first two months following deployment, the fleet experienced remarkable improvements in key driver safety indicators, including a 73 percent reduction in handheld use of mobile devices while driving and 66 percent improvement in seat belt usage, both of which contributed to a 43 percent improvement in its safety score.
A family-owned company with terminals in Carnesville and Valdosta, GA, and Lakeland, FL, Davis Transfer Company made a strategic decision to invest in technology as the backbone of its safety program. Prior to deploying SmartDrive, the company had already embraced mobile fleet management and trailer tracking solutions in support of fleet safety and operational efficiency, but was lacking clear visibility into what was happening inside the cab and on the road. Davis Transfer selected SmartDrive as a complement to its existing safety initiatives and to augment its data insights for critical decision making.
“In our evaluation of video-based safety solutions, we were particularly impressed with SmartDrive’s team of safety experts, who were clearly committed to the success of our program,” stated Todd Davis, president of Davis Transfer Company. “Other key differentiates that stood out were the innovative coaching and analytical components of the SmartDrive solution, which equip our managers to engage constructively and collaboratively with our drivers to improve outcomes. Drivers are looking for a company that is dedicated to safety and SmartDrive helps us meet this commitment to our employees, customers, and the general public.”
Davis Transfer knows that supporting drivers is critical to delivering exceptional customer service, and its focus on safety is core to the company’s success. The addition of the SmartDrive program to an already robust safety culture enhanced fleet-wide safety performance, with metrics that include a 67 percent reduction in stopping observations—such as incomplete stops and failure to attempt a stop—and a 19 percent reduction in unsafe following. Davis Transfer credits SmartDrive’s video-based solution with visibility to drivers’ skills in on-road situations, which improves driver coaching and overall safety outcomes.
“Davis Transfer has long recognized the correlation between safety and customer satisfaction, driver retention, and business success, so we are thrilled to partner with this highly respected fleet,” said Steve Mitgang, CEO of SmartDrive. “The metrics speak for themselves—a 43 percent improvement in Davis Transfer’s safety score in just eight weeks demonstrates the value of SmartDrive’s solution and serves as an example of how quickly fleets see measurable results when using our system.”

SmartDrive is the industry’s only video-based safety program that identifies unsafe driving with an extensible platform, integrating video, vehicle data, audio and driving data for a unified and comprehensive view of risk. The program automatically offloads footage for expert review and analysis, and prioritization for coaching. This saves fleets time and resources, which can then be focused on delivering increased value to their customers; measured in on-time delivery, accuracy and specialized customer service.
About Davis Transfer Company
Davis Transfer Company services the dry, truckload market with a fleet of more than 200 tractors and almost 800 trailers. The company has been in the trucking business for more than 50 years and in the dry, truckload sector for more than 20 years, and is committed to taking care of its customers and drivers. Davis Transfer Company operates terminals in Carnesville and Valdosta, GA, and Lakeland, FL.
About SmartDrive Systems
SmartDrive Systems gives fleets and drivers unprecedented driving performance insight and analysis, helping save fuel, expenses and lives. Its video analysis, predictive analytics and personalized performance program help fleets improve driving skills, lower operating costs and deliver significant ROI. With an easy-to-use managed service, fleets and drivers can access and self-manage driving performance anytime, anywhere. The Company has compiled the world’s largest storehouse of more than 80 million analyzed risky-driving events. SmartDrive Systems is based in San Diego, Calif., and employs 450 people worldwide.

 

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Davis Transfer poised for growth in trucking business

by By Chris Starrs (news@onlineathens.com) • September 12, 2010

This time last year, Todd Davis was among many in the trucking business feeling the pinch of tough economic times. Unlike a number of companies, however, Carnesville-based Davis Transfer was able to survive a grueling 2009 and is poised for growth this year.
“The freight recession really started back in the 2007-08 time frame,” Davis said. “We went into the recession early when the economy was still experiencing some growth. We’re a first-in, first-out industry, but if we go back a year, we were still very conservative with any growth, and we were just making sure our banking relationships were in place. There were a lot of firms that went out of business and a lot of capacity was lost during the recession/depression.”
Mack Guest, president of Watkinsville-based LAD Truck Lines, agreed with Davis that the challenges of 2009 were plentiful.
“It’s been a challenge both years,” Guest said. “Our market has been a lot like the stock market – up and down. The biggest challenge has been the inconsistency of lanes of freight and the lack of volume of freight.
When asked for his observations on the industry’s troubles, Guest said, “No. 1, demand is down. Honestly, the construction business hasn’t bottomed out yet and that does affect everything. Our frozen-food and perishable business has been steady and we’ve seen an uptick in our dry freight and van freight, so we’re cautiously optimistic for the rest of the year.”
Still truckin’
Even in bad times, America keeps on trucking. The industry employs some 8 million people, including 3.5 million drivers, according to TruckInfo.net. With more than 2 million tractor-trailers on the road and some 500,000 transport companies in the United States, more than 400 billion miles a year are logged, with approximately $670 billion worth of goods on the move.
And as is the case with Davis, Guest and many in the business, things are looking better this year. TruckingInfo.com reported in early September that local transportation trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada increased more than 37 percent in June from the same time the year before.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said surface transportation trade reached almost $70 billion in June, a 4.6 increase over May, but still 5.8 percent below numbers achieved in June 2008.
Davis, whose grandfather founded Davis Transfer in 1959 in Toccoa, said he did what he could to make ends meet in 2009, but has seen some growth this year.
“Our goal was to stay strong,” he said. “We weren’t looking to grow very much, but to keep offering good service. There was no market for rate increases and no market for passing along additional cost increases. We were very much staying the course. Our business really picked up in the late part of spring. We’ve really been busy. We’ve grown the business and picked up some good customers and we’re in strong demand.”
Davis added that in terms of operating equipment, his business has grown some 20 percent this year, which he admitted required “some planning and a little gambling.”
“We grew from around 150 trucks to about 190 – we grew about 40 trucks,” he said. “It was a lot of work getting equipment in. We put trucks on order six months ago. We committed back in the early part of spring. What was happening was we were getting to the end of our cycle on a lot of equipment we had. Some equipment we’ve kept and not turned back in, so we’ve increased the fleet as new trucks came in.”
Worn-out rigs
Some colleagues and competitors who haven’t been able to retire old equipment have had to turn in their keys, Davis said.
“Other companies going out of business was a big part of our growth,” he said. “A lot of companies weren’t replacing older equipment – they may have had trucks on the road, but gradually, those trucks wore out. Capacity was either lost when companies exited through bankruptcy, and a lot of capacity was lost by equipment wearing out.”
Davis Transfer moved from Stephens County to Franklin County about 15 years ago, Davis said. The company, which also has offices in Valdosta and Lakeland, Fla., employs approximately 230 people, and Davis feels there’s room for additional growth in the next few months.
“We’ll get up to 220-230 trucks by the end of the year,” he said.
Guest, a former player on the University of Georgia’s 1976 Southeastern Conference championship team and a member of the Oconee County Board of Education since 2007, has worked in the transportation industry for nearly 30 years. He established LAD Logistics in 1997 and LAD Truck Lines two years later. The company also offers considerable warehousing space, which Guest said has remained constant through rough economic times.
“We have about a 150,000-square-foot warehouse space where we store various products,” he said. “That part of the business has been steadier. We’ve been most fortunate there. The warehouse part of the business is definitely up from the year before, when everybody reduced inventory.”
Specializing in transporting frozen-food and perishable freight, LAD Truck Lines employs about 25 people and is, as Guest said, “strictly an owner-operator company.”
Like Davis, Guest said 2010 has been better than 2009, but his company didn’t undertake the same rate of growth as Davis Transfer.
“We’ve had slight growth as compared to last year, but we haven’t grown at levels we’ve seen in past years,” Guest said, asserting that many companies were forced out of business in the last year. “I’d say attrition has been a little more than normal. I think everyone has been trying to maintain and take advantage of market conditions when the market will allow.”
Many factors go into the successful trucking equation, but perhaps the biggest is the price of fuel, which hasn’t been overwhelming this year, but has been potentially devastating in earlier times.
Cash flow, gas flow
“When fuel gets over $3 a gallon, things start slowing down everywhere,” Guest said. “And when it hits $4 a gallon like it did two years ago, it really slows things down. But it also teaches all the truckers how to add and subtract. They learn a lot about cash flow, I can assure you that.”
One challenge Guest and Davis both share is a frustration when it comes to finding folks to get behind the wheel.
“As always, it’s difficult for us to find drivers,” Davis said. “We struggle to find qualified drivers. It’s still a tough market, looking for drivers. Typically, there’s always been a lot of turnover in the industry. Since we saw the market peak a bit, we got right back into driver-shortage mode. The predictions have been that our industry would be at a driver deficit for many years. A lot of drivers have retired and we’re not bringing as many new drivers into the industry.”
“Things are better this year than last year, but one big concern I’ve got is there’s still a lot of people out of work,” Guest added. “That’s another thing that’s got to come around. But there’s always a constant challenge to find good, qualified drivers to haul product.”
As far as the future is concerned, Davis and Guest agreed the economy would work itself to a more even keel, although Guest thinks better times will come starting in November with Election Day.
“I think the markets are going to be strong,” Davis said. “I think with the capacity that’s been lost the last couple of years and with a little bit of growth, not strong growth like the economists are predicting (1percent to 2 percent gross domestic product growth), that’s enough to keep our business flush. We may not be under capacity. Our industry has typically functioned for many years over capacity. There were always too many trucks and too little freight. We just want to reach equilibrium with supply and demand (that) pretty much gives us a good market.”
“Hopefully in November, everybody will get out and vote and we can have some new direction and excitement in the overall economy and (the) state of affairs in our country,” Guest added. “If not, we’re going to have a tough two years. … We’re very aggressive and excited about what the fourth quarter is going to bring, like we are every year.”

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Davis Transfer becomes SmartWay Partner

Contributing to reducing the carbon footprint by 66 million tons

by Catullus • August 27, 2008

By improving its freight operations, Davis Transfer will contribute to the SmartWay goal of reducing carbon dioxide by 33 to 66 million metric tons and up to 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxide per year by 2012. Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, and nitrogen oxide is an air pollutant that contributes to smog. By joining the SmartWay Transport Partnership, Davis Transfer demonstrates its continued strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.
“Davis Transfer is delighted to become a SmartWay partner and to demonstrate our commitment to operate our trucking service in an environmentally responsible manner”, said Todd Davis, President. “As one of the leading trucking services provider in the southeast, we know that our actions can have a substantial impact on our environmental footprint.”
Joining the SmartWay partnership also qualifies Davis Transfer to use the SmartWay brand to advertise its environmental excellence.
About the SmartWay Partnership
Launched in February 2004, the SmartWay Transport Partnership aims to achieve fuel savings of up
to 150 million barrels of fuel per year. The Partnership brings together major freight shippers, trucking companies, railroads, and logistics companies to pursue mutually beneficial efficiencies that result in emissions reductions and other environmental improvements, as well as cost savings to the companies. The Partnership currently has just over 350 Partners. For information, visit
SmartWay

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