Truckers Against Trafficking – Trucker participation has the potential to disrupt this perilous criminal enterprise!

Truckers Against Trafficking met with us last week to discuss how DashCams might be incorporated into their strategy.  Truckers with dashcams are able to inconspicuously document what they are seeing to provide details to law enforcement. The conversation expanded to cover many aspects of the organization and the impact they are having. We are thrilled to be able to share their story!

By Lyn Leeburg, TAT Communications Director and Co-Founder

republished with permission

Truckers Against Trafficking has provided us with the following post to share.  We are honored to be able to bring attention to the work they are doing to expose and someday put an end to human trafficking.

When working on a strategy to fight human trafficking, one of the first steps should be to determine which groups of people have the greatest opportunity to spot human trafficking as it is happening. In other words, who could serve as the primary surveillance? In comes, Truckers Against Trafficking, or TAT as they are known.

When it comes to this crime, those front-line people include such groups as medical personnel, who treat victims in medical clinics; service personnel in local neighborhoods (such as postal workers, and cable, electrical, and water providers), who come by homes on a regular basis and would notice if something unusual was going on; restaurant and hotel personnel, who might see trafficking taking place in their establishments; and members of all segments of the transportation industry, including airport employees, because traffickers are continually transporting victims to sell them in a variety of places.

Truckers Against Trafficking – What Started It All?

Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) began as an initiative of Chapter 61 Ministries in 2009 to work with the trucking industry, because it’s 7-million strong. Truckers are trained to be extremely observant. The trucking industry is composed of people already entrusted with caring for other people’s goods, which speaks to the character of the industry when it comes to caring for others-especially when the interest of others might be in trouble.

Members of the trucking industry are everywhere, covering the entire United States. Lastly, traffickers wanting to make fast money often target truckers at truck stops and rest areas (because they’re everywhere and easy to reach right along highways) to sell their victims. This is evidenced by the number of victims rescued from truck stops by the FBI.

The members of Chapter 61 Ministries believed that if the trucking industry were empowered with education and equipped with tools to fight human trafficking, they would be quick to mobilize against this crime. They could do their part to see victims recovered and perpetrators arrested. Members of the trucking industry could be everyday heroes in the course of their jobs and make a significant impact against the criminal activity of human trafficking. Perhaps they might even have a greater impact than the average person, because of their mobility and training. They were a critical front-line group to recruit.

How it Works

Using tools such as an informational website (www.TruckersAgainstTrafficking.org), on-demand webinars, a trucking-industry-specific training DVD, wallet cards with signs to look for and questions to ask, and social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter), TAT began making contacts throughout the trucking industry to build relationships and state the case for trucking members to join the abolitionist movement.

TAT also began having a presence at major trucking shows as well as providing free presentations wherever requested by members of the trucking industry. The trucking industry began responding positively. By 2011, TAT had grown so much and was making such an impact in the industry that it needed to become an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization in order to sustain its efforts.

Members of the trucking industry, who had witnessed the prostitution of women and minors at various places throughout the United States for years but who had not known what it was -forced prostitution and modern-day slavery-began calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline to report what they were seeing. Since Dec. 7th, 2007, when the hotline began, the national hotline has received 2782+ calls from truckers, which have opened 715 likely cases of human trafficking involving 1303 people.

Truckers Against Trafficking Partnerships

Major travel plaza and truck stop organizations joined TAT by making a commitment to train their employees with TAT materials and to make those materials available for trucking customers across the United States. Truck-driving schools, national and state trucking organizations, trucking companies – both large and small -individual truckers, trucking organizations of all types, and trucking media have also joined forces with TAT.

TAT works to create relationships between state and federal law enforcement and members of the trucking industry through half-day events called coalition builds. These events provide a more effective localized response to human trafficking by gathering law enforcement agencies (state, federal and local) and local anti-trafficking resources (task forces and local non-governmental organizations) in the same room with key industry stakeholders, including general managers of truck stops and representatives of state trucking associations and carriers.

Using TAT materials, the Motor Vehicle Enforcement division of the Iowa Department of Transportation has created a model for other states to follow in working with the trucking industry. They place TAT materials in their state scale sites, state rest areas, and state truck stops. They are also working with major carriers in the state to train their employees with TAT materials.

Why Truckers?

Watching the TAT training DVD readily answers that question. With one phone call, a trucker who saw some under-aged girls working a truck stop not only facilitated the recovery of those girls, but also that of seven other minors. Thirty-one offenders were arrested and a 13-state prostitution ring was broken.

Training and working with front-line responders in the United States in the fight against human trafficking is a strategy that can and does yield big results … and members of the trucking industry are some of the leading front-line responders.

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Instant Pot Meals on 18 Wheels

Instant Pot Cooking on the Road

Instant Pot cooking would not seem to be an appropriate post for a fleet management blog, but all is not what it seems to be. Before we are done we will touch on driver safety, morale, health, giving back to the community, and return on investment.

I first heard about Randy from a co-worker that belongs to a Facebook group that he is active in. His story peaked my interest so I contacted him to learn more. He quickly agreed to do an interview. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Introducing Randy

Randy drives a 2020 Peterbilt for Western Distributing in Colorado. He used to prepare his meals using a lunch box oven as many truckers do. That, and fast food are what truckers are often stuck with due to the demands of their work. He could not make pasta or rice, and the lunch box oven is not the greatest way to prepare vegetables. He was very limited in what he could prepare in it and found himself bored with the limited menu. Meals took a long time to prepare and were not very appetizing.

Randy's Kitchen
Randy Garza

Typical Lunchbox Ovens Used by Truckers

typical lunch box oven

All of that changed when his sister gave him an early Christmas gift in Colorado around November 25th of last year, his first Instant Pot. He picked up an inverter in Las Vegas, installed the inverter in Guymon, OK, and finally used his Instant Pot around December 2nd or 3rd. The first meal he cooked was spaghetti, something that just can’t be done in a lunch box oven.

Now he uses it daily and has added more Instant Pot products to his in cab home. He can cook just about anything with his collection that includes the dual lid for air frying, another 3 quart Instant Pot, an Instant Vortex Plus and an Ace Nova blender.

Instant Pot Meals on 18 Wheels
Instant Pot Meals on 18 Wheels
Instant Pot Meals on 18 Wheels

Real Meals on 18 Wheels

Randy told me he eats healthier and life is easier with the Instant Pot appliances. He can cook almost anything on the road. His favorite is making pancakes on saute. He stocks up on produce every few days and meat weekly. The hardest part he says is parking his tractor-trailer at the grocery store.

Instant Pot products have saved him time and money while expanding his diet to include pretty much anything at all. He can pressure cook, air fry, bake, steam, roast, saute, and even make soup. With so many homeless people on the road, he gets great satisfaction doing little things like baking a cake or providing a meal for a homeless person in need.

Instant Pot Meals on 18 Wheels
Instant Pot Meals on 18 Wheels
Instant Pot Meals on 18 Wheels

Healthier Drivers are Safer Drivers

What impresses me most is Randy’s desire to change the way people eat. He believes that when drivers eat healthier and get a wider variety of fresh foods, they will be stronger, happier and more alert, making the road a healthier and more comfortable workplace for truckers and a safer place for all of us.
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Phones Down, Eyes Up Benefit Concert

The Phones Down Eyes Up Campaign

Phones Down, Eyes Up was initiated in honor of Brandon Walli. Sadly, Brandon lost his life at the age of 23 while crossing the road in 2016. It was thought that he had been texting and walking at the time. Brandon’s father, Tom Walli, and Geotab are hosting this free concert and informational event to shed light on managing device distraction in everyday life.

Phones Down Eyes Up Virtual Concert

It’s a Global Event

At this year’s Phones Down Eyes Up Benefit Concert, Geotab is switching things up by going virtual. Viewers from around the world will join together for a fun-filled evening with musical performances made by Geotab’s employees. The virtual concert will help to continue Geotab’s efforts to raise awareness surrounding the dangers of distracted driving and the responsibility we all have in helping to reduce traffic and pedestrian-related accidents.

Join viewers from around the world and enjoy live music while supporting a great cause!. The virtual concert will continue the company’s efforts to raise awareness surrounding the dangers of distracted driving and the responsibility we all have in helping to reduce traffic and pedestrian-related accidents.

For every person that watches the virtual benefit concert, Geotab will donate $5 to Brake, a registered charity with various global initiatives that strive to promote road safety, sustainable transport, and supporting victims of road crashes.

We hope to “see” you at the Phones Down Eyes Up global virtual concert!

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What are you thankful for?

Being Thankful in 2020

What are you thankful for? Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to reflect on all of the things we have to be thankful for. Considering the challenges we have all faced in 2020, we think it appropriate to pause this week and share some of the things we acknowledge our gratitude for.
What are you thankful for?

As an organization, we are grateful that…

  • The great majority of our clients are surviving the impact of this unprecedented pandemic.
  • We were able to help many of our clients who were impacted, and that many of our suppliers stepped up to help us help them.
  • The people in our community have heeded the guidelines to minimize the risk. We have had no reports of employees having had the virus.
  • That we are able to help our customers improve safety & save lives.
  • Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant are readily available.

We asked our staff what they are thankful for and received the following responses.

I am thankful for the long partnerships with have with our customers.
Eron Iler

President, Fleetistics

No matter how big or small, I am grateful for them all… our customers! I am also very grateful for our amazing staff who work so hard to provide excellent customer service.
Amy Anderson Iler

VP of Finance, Fleetistics

My health, the health of my family, friends, co-workers and customers.
Amy Naylor

Director of Customer Relations, Fleetistics

Clients that continued to do business as usual in spite of COVID 19.
Brandon Santiago

Sales Manager, Fleetistics

I am thankful for my children.
Sergio Pardo

Sr. Solutions Technician, Fleetistics

To work with such a great group of people that care about so much more than just themselves.
Lynn Rios

Solutions & Communications Specialist, Fleetistics

For working with a staff that truly cares about customers.
Darryl Arnold

Director of Product Development, Fleetistics

For being in good health.
Christine Reisig

Shipping Administrator, Fleetistics

That my home family and work family have been safe, and there for one another throughout this turmoil that has been 2020.
Kim Thoman

Business Analyst

For God, my kid, and technology allowing for remote work.
Josh Holcombe

IGTech365

For having a job through COVID with flexibility for personal time off.
Richard Snell & Jesse Smith

IGTech365

So what are you thankful for?

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High Tech Solutions for COVID 19 Safety

High Tech Solutions

High Tech Solutions to Win

Recent high tech solutions we are seeing are proof positive that we are well on our way to overcoming the obstacles created by the COVID 19 crisis. It’s high time to get us all back to work, and innovation is the American way.

 

High Tech Solutions from Ford

Ford Motor Company is at the top of that list with a system recently featured on Government Fleet. This new software uses existing systems for a new purpose, to neutralize the virus in police vehicles. It is available immediately on all 2013-19 Police Interceptor Utility vehicles. The system uses heat generated from the vehicle’s powertrain and climate control systems. It raises the temperature in the passenger compartment to over 133 degrees for 15 minutes, long enough to help disinfect the surfaces that are touched by officers and passengers.

 

High Tech Solutions for Law Enforcement

Predictive Analytics

Inspired by events following Hurricane Irma, USF has been working on a project to bring predictive analytics to health care staffing needs. The idea is to create a high-tech tool to help provide nursing homes with a way to predict and plan for staffing. Ultimately, this model could be applied to other industries when a crisis is looming.

 

High Tech Solutions in Retail

According to businessreport.com, Magnolia Bakery in NYC is encouraging patrons to pass through a UV chamber similar to the airlocks outside biohazard labs. A 20 second UV exposure is thought to be lethal for viruses and bacteria, but safe for humans.

 

Partners for High Tech Solutions

Computerworld recently posted a list of high tech companies offering development assistance, products, and online forums to assist all kinds of businesses to adapt to new social distancing and operational protocols. Help is available for everything from business solutions to adapt for a remote workforce, to virtual classes and meetings, to crowd sourcing to feed the homeless and hungry. Businesses, individuals like Bill Gates, and organizations like the USO are all finding and sharing ways to overcome the challenges presented by COVID 19.

 

All of this is evidence that the American spirit is strong and innovative. We will more than survive. We will thrive!