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Local Trucking Companies Impacted by Blizzard: Some Drivers Stra - KOAM TV 7

Local Trucking Companies Impacted by Blizzard: Some Drivers Stranded

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  Local trucking companies deal with delays and stranded drivers after the east coast blizzard.

Companies watched the forecast and tried to keep truckers out of the storm but in some cases they still got stuck.

At Unimark Transport,  drivers learn how to stack load  truck cabs.

When they make a delivery, they leave the truck. And fly back to a terminal.  But the east coast blizzard left a driver stranded in an airport.

Account manager Stephanie Johnston says, "As you know flights were delayed and trying to get drivers on new flights is a big deal, trying to get taxis, and (get them) to where they need to go."

Another driver is stuck in Pennsylvania.

Johnston says, "The actual lot where he's delivering is full of snow and they can’t get a snow plow to come and plow.  So they said we cannot accept delivery. Your driver’s gonna have to go to a hotel."

XPO logistics dispatchers work to get their network of drivers back on track. The operations manager says fewer than five percent of his drivers were stuck in east coast snow.

Dustin Quesenberry, XPO director of operations says, "When a winter storm hits a particular part of the country, all the trucks are trying to get off the road. So parking is always a challenge for us."

When truck traffic can't roll on the highways, there's a cost to companies.

Johnston says, "It’s costly because we have to pay drivers down time, we have to pay drivers for the hotel and customers aren't getting their trucks delivered."

Quesenberry says, "We're trying to get in and make deliveries, as well as for trucks that have delivered in those regions, we're trying to pick up and get out of those areas as well. So we see an impact on pickups and deliveries in an area where we've seen severe weather."

Joplin’s XPO terminal runs twenty-five hundred drivers communicating with forty dispatchers but officials here say it’s  the driver who is the captain of the ship.

Greg Horn, an XPO driver says, "They let us determine if we need to shut down or if it’s safe to go."  

Danny Spiva, driver instructor at Unimark says, "That's they're decision, they're determination, because they're the only ones out there. So, they're the only ones that can make that decision."

Horn adds, "No freight or cargo is worth your life."

   

Both companies say they alert drivers to bad weather. XPO drivers are told to fill up on fuel and supplies. They can stay in their trucks which are sleepers. Unimark drivers don't sleep in trucks because they belong to the customer.

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