by: Paul Gerou on

From all of us here at BarOle Trucking, we are thankful for the wonderful men and women in our fleet.

Thanks to each for caring, for operating safely and for putting your heart and soul into being out on the road, every day, bravely navigating through the difficult traffic conditions.

Blessings to all for safe travels and a wonderful meal spent together this Thanksgiving!

Please note, in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, BarOle Trucking’s office will be closed, Thursday, Nov 22nd.

Happy Thanksgiving wishes to all of you!

Mike Rowe

by: Paul Gerou on

Note: This letter by the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe is in response to a May issue editorial written by ISHN Chief Editor Dave Johnson about Rowe’s comments on workplace safety. Click here to read Johnson’s piece.  

Hi Dave -

 Mike Rowe here, Dirty Jobs, etc.

I’m writing to thank you for your article in May’s edition of ISHN, and for sharing with your readers a few of my comments on workplace safety. Over the years, I’ve learned that some Safety Professionals do not always welcome criticism, especially from a smart aleck TV Host. I don’t blame them. No one likes to be second-guessed by a wise guy who needs a bath and has no credentials. Thanks for keeping an open mind, and providing some context for my comments. Here’s some additional background that you’re welcome to share with your readers, if you think it would be of interest.

The comments you attributed to me first appeared in a blog called Safety Third, which I wrote for my website back in 2008. Safety Third told the stories of my various encounters with over-zealous Safety Officers. The first one I recall, involved a very cranky gentleman who demanded I wear a harness while working on a scaffold that was maybe four feet off the ground. When I pointed out that the safety line attached to the harness was longer than the distance between the ground and me, he said, “Don’t argue! Safety First!” Later that same week, a Safety Officer with The Department of Natural Resources interrupted our shoot to insist I put on a life jacket while installing a culvert in a run-off pond. The water in the pond was less than a foot deep. When I asked him to explain the need for a grown man to wear a life jacket in ten inches of water, he offered the same words of wisdom -“Safety First!”

I have never understood the point of ranking virtues and values in order of their importance. If Safety is First, what is Second? Or Fifth? Or Ninth? In the Boy Scouts, we used to say “Safety Always,” which made a lot more sense to me. Safety Third became my default reply whenever someone acted as though my Safety was their responsibility. On Dirty Jobs, I met many such people. And for a while, I actually believed them.

From 2004 to 2008, the Dirty Jobs crew visited more hazardous sites than any other crew in the history of television, from crab boats to coal mines the very tops of the tallest bridges, to crocodile infested swamps. During that time we sat through close to a hundred mandatory safety briefings. We all became intimately familiar with all the basic protocol - lock out tag out, confined space, fall hazards, respiratory precautions, PPE, the endless checklists, etc., etc. Through it all, trained professionals were on hand to remind us, (and our cameras,) that our safety was their top priority.

For a while, it worked. We managed to deliver three seasons of Dirty Jobs with no accidents. Then things started to unravel. Stitches, broken bones, sprains, contusions, falls, a damaged eardrum, second and third degree burns, and many more near misses…it was weird. The job sites were no more dangerous than they’d always been, but the mishaps among my crew were skyrocketing. Then one day, a man was killed while we were shooting in a factory near Pittsburg. He was crushed by the door on a giant coke oven. In the break room, where I was told of the accident, a large banner said, “We Care About Your Safety!” That got me thinking about things like unintended consequences, and the dangers of confusing compliance with real safety.

I found a study on traffic accidents that claimed the most dangerous intersections were those with signs that told you when to walk and when to wait. Intersections with no such signs were statistically safer, apparently because people were more likely to look both ways before crossing the street if there was no blinking sign to tell them when it was safe to do so. According to the theory of Risk Compensation, people subconsciously maintain their own level of “risk equilibrium” by adjusting their behavior to reflect the changes in their surrounding environment. Thus, when the environment around us feels unsafe, we take fewer chances. And when that same environment feels safer, we take more chances. That got me wondering – if companies and Safety Professionals tell us over and over that our safety is their priority, wouldn’t that tend to make us feel safer? And wouldn’t that in turn, prompt us to take more risk, therefore making us…less safe?

I’m no expert, but I think that’s exactly what happened to my crew and me. Over time, we had become convinced that someone else was more committed to our wellbeing than we were. We became complacent. We were crossing the street because the sign told us it was safe to do so. But we weren’t looking both ways.

In 2009, Discovery agreed to air a one-hour special called Safety Third. On Safety Third, I talked candidly about mistakes we’d made on Dirty Jobs, and the unintended consequences of putting Safety First. I argued that many compulsory Safety programs discouraged personal responsibility in favor of Legal Compliance. I asked viewers to consider all the amazing progress that would have never occurred had Safety been valued above all else. (I also pointed out that if big companies really believed that Safety was First they would wrap their employees in bubble pack and send them home.) I concluded by saying that Safety Third was a lot more honest than Safety First, but ultimately, too important and too personal to be reduced to a platitude. But if we had to have one, my vote was for “Safety Always.”

Well, hell. I might as well have suggested that we replace steel-toed boots in favor of flip-flops. Or outlaw hardhats. I got a nasty letter from OSHA, and a flood of angry mail calling me a “bad role model.” NASA was pissed. So were several Labor Unions, and dozens of Fortune 500 companies who took exception to my “irreverent tone.” I even got a snippy letter from PETA, though I’m still not sure why.

Safety Third had ruffled a lot of feathers, but I was thrilled by the response.  I answered all the angry mail, and went to speak personally to those organizations and companies who were most offended. For the most part, skeptics came to agree that the underlying concepts of Safety Third – common sense and personal responsibility – were still worth talking about, and conceded that any resulting conversation which might lead to heightened awareness would ultimately be a good thing. Your piece, Dave, is now a part of that conversation, and I’m grateful.

As for the rest of your article, there is one thing I need to address directly. While it’s true that I am “macho” far beyond the accepted definition, I am not as you suggest, “America’s number one blue-collar guy.” I have no “blue collar bona fides” to offer, and no permission to speak for anyone but me. It’s important to be clear about that, because my opinions are not necessarily those of Discovery, Ford, Caterpillar, Kimberly-Clark, Master Lock, Wolverine, VF Corporation, or anyone else with whom I may do business. In fact, I should thank all those companies for their patience with me, as many of my comments on this subject have been taken out of context, and have no doubt caused some internal discomfort.

The truth is, Safety Third has caused me all sorts of headaches over the years, but I still think it’s a conversation worth having. Everyday, workers fall through the cracks of a one-size-fits-all safety policy. Complacency is the real enemy, and I’m pretty sure the way to eliminate it will not involve more rules and more soothing assurances that an individuals safety is someone else’s priority. Workers need to understand that being “in compliance” is not the same as being “out of danger.” That’s not going to happen by repeating the same dogma that’s been out there for the last hundred years, and forcing people to watch thirty-year old safety films that would put a glass eye to sleep.

I realize that Safety Third sounds subversive and irreverent. It’s supposed to. But it’s not a call to completely dismantle accepted procedures and protocols. It’s an attempt to improve upon them, and generate a conversation around a topic that really does affect everyone; hopefully, a conversation that will lead to fewer injuries on the job. A few ruffled feathers seem a small price to pay.

Thanks again,

Mike Rowe

ELD Enforcement Date Approaching Fast!

by: Karol Smith on

The FMCSA Released the below reminder today.  BarOle Trucking has been moving towards compliance with our ELD system for over a year and embracing the changes that have come with this new technology. The below information is great information for all to know as this will affect all trucking companies, customers and consignees whose freight has to be moved by trucks with electric logging devices. 

Beginning April 1, 2018, if a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver is stopped and found to be operating a CMV without a required electronic logging device (ELD) or automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD) the following procedure will be followed:
1. The driver may be cited for failing to have the proper record of duty status.  
2. The driver will be placed out-of-service (OOS) for 10 hours in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Out-of-Service Criteria. (Passenger carriers would be placed OOS for 8 hours, noting en-route inspections of passenger carriers are prohibited.)  

3. At the end of the 10 hours, the driver will be permitted to continue the trip to their final destination, provided the driver has documented their duty status using paper logs and has a copy of the inspection report and/or citation. 

4. The driver shall not be dispatched again until they are equipped with a compliant ELD.  

5. If the same driver is stopped following the next dispatch and found to still not be equipped with a compliant device, the driver will again be placed OOS for 10 hours (8 hours for passenger carriers), then permitted to continue using paper logs, as outlined above.  

6. Violations will be counted against a carrier’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) scores, which will drive the FMCSA’s carrier selection for investigation program. 

The Agency will monitor the data to determine appropriate additional action against non-compliant motor carriers.


by: Paul Gerou on



we will be closed 

Monday 12-25-2017  ( Christmas day ) 


Monday 1-1-2018 ( New Year's Day ) 

Happy Thanksgiving!

by: Karol Smith on

The BarOle offices will be closed Thursday, November 23rd, 2017. 

Our Operations will re-open Friday, November 24th at 8am. 

We wish everyone a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve

by: Karol Smith on


CONTACT:           Karol Smith, CDS

                                BarOle Trucking, Inc

                                Phone: 651-366-6019

                                Email: ksmith@baroletrucking.com


Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve

BarOle Trucking, Inc urges consumers to plan a sober ride

St Paul, MN – As millions of Americans get on the roads to travel home and spend the Thanksgiving holiday reconnecting with friends and loved ones, BarOle Trucking is serving them a reminder: “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve.”

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is a cultural phenomenon called “Thanksgiving Eve,” an evening associated with drinking and a big night for bars. From 2012 to 2016, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6:00 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it the deadliest holiday on our roads.

BarOle Trucking and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be running a blitz social media campaign, “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve.” On Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving, all of [organization’s] social media channels will be exclusively sharing content on the importance of not drinking and driving, and planning ahead for a sober ride home – a true takeover. Social posts, Instagram images, and tweets with hashtags #buzzeddriving and #designateddriver will be available for organizations to participate and help distribute this critical message.

BarOle Trucking is urging the public and the media to help spread the word, and to take precautions, so everyone can make it to the table this Thanksgiving by:

Planning ahead and designating a sober driver before the first drink.

Using public transportation, a taxi, ride share service, or your community’s sober ride program to get home safely.

Be prepared. Register and reserve a ride thru DDI. They drive you and your car home. Safe. Reserve your ride at https://youdrinkwedrive.org/

 If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the MN State Patrol by dialing 911. Whether riding or driving, always wear your seat belt.

Happy Labor Day!

by: Karol Smith on

Wishing all of you a safe and restful Labor Day weekend. 

The offices of BarOle Trucking, Inc will be closed in observance of Labor Day Monday, September 4th. 

We will re-open at 8am, Sept 5th, 2017. 

The Steel Box That Changed Global Logistics

by: Paul Gerou on

Container ship at the Port of Long Beach. Photo: Jim Park

Did you know a trucking entrepreneur invented the modern shipping container?

A dockworker from the 1950s would not recognize a modern cargo port, where huge gantries move steel boxes full of cargo from all over the world between ships, trains, and trucks.

As part of a series on 

powerful dockworkers' unions -- because containers would mean fewer jobs (although it also would make loading ships safer; In a large port, someone would be killed every few weeks.)

When I recently interviewed Andrew McAfee, an MIT scientist who studies how technological progress changes business, the economy, and society, about the future of autonomous trucks, he pointed to the automation at ports as an example of how the march of technology continues to mean the loss of jobs in some areas and the gain of jobs in others.

In 1937, longshoremen at ports in New York transfer bananas from a conveyor that carries them from the hold of the ship onto the dock and then load them into freight cars. Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
In 1937, longshoremen at ports in New York transfer bananas from a conveyor that carries them from the hold of the ship onto the dock and then load them into freight cars. Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Other obstacles? Trucking companies, shipping companies, and ports couldn't agree on a standard size. And separate sets of U.S. regulations kept tight control on how much  shipping and trucking companies could charge.

"The man who navigated this maze of hazards, and who can fairly be described as the inventor of the modern shipping container system, was called Malcom McLean," notes the BBC article. A trucking entrepreneur, "He knew plenty about trucks, plenty about playing the system, and all there was to know about saving money.... As Marc Levinson explains in his book, The Box, McLean not only saw the potential of a shipping container that would fit neatly onto a flat bed truck, he also had the skills and the risk-taking attitude needed to make it happen."

In the 1950s, McLean exploited a regulatory loophole to gain control of both a trucking company and a shipping company, and when dockers went on strike, he retrofit old ships to new container specifications.

As the World Shipping Council reports, "On 26 April 1956, Malcom McLean's converted World War II tanker, the Ideal X, made its maiden voyage from Port Newark to Houston in the USA. It had a reinforced deck carrying 58 metal container boxes as well as 15,000 tons of bulk petroleum. By the time the container ship docked at the Port of Houston six days later, the company was already taking orders to ship goods back to Port Newark in containers. McLean's enterprise later became known as Sea-Land Services, a company whose ships carried cargo-laden truck trailers between Northern and Southern ports in the USA."

But the real breakthrough came in the last 1960s, says the BBC, when McLean convinced the U.S. military that container shipping was a far faster way to get equipment to Vietnam. The "backhaul?" Goods from Japan. Trans-Pacific trade began in earnest.

One transformation McLean couldn't navigate, however, was deregulation in the early 1980s. As reported in HDT's 1998 book "100 Years of Trucking," McLean's eponymous North Carolina-based trucking company was one of the first to fold in the new highly competitive era. However, Sea-Land Services was eventually split into three entitities, according to Wikipedia, and the international container shipping business today is part of the Maersk Group.

Happy 4th of July!

by: Karol Smith on

BarOle Trucking offices will be closed on Tues, July 4th in observance of the 4th of July Holiday. 

Wishing you and yours a safe and Happy 4th of July Celebration! 

What is YOUR Super Power?

by: Karol Smith on

Professional Drivers Super Power

It’s been said that common sense is so uncommon these days it could be considered a super power. Being a top-notch professional driver in today’s rapidly evolving world also involves possessing a few super powers. Worsening congestion and ever-increasing time pressures take a huge toll on professional drivers and they need every advantage they can get.

Safety Directors should look for drivers who possess some of these super skills, or strive to develop them in drivers who may need improvement. What are some of the best driver superpowers?

  1. Being Super Cool. The ability to remain cool, calm and collected in chaotic environments such as intense traffic conditions, messed up loads and working with other people who are out of control.
  2. Having Super Seeing Skills. The ability to see and predict the moves and responses of others in traffic situations, being 10 steps ahead of the rest of those on the road
  3. Having Super Decision-Making Skills. The ability to read a wide variety of conditions, rapidly diagnose the proper responses and make the correct decisions given an infinite variety of changing road and weather conditions.
  4. Protecting Others: The ability to protect the lives of others on the road by making the types of decisions that protect others, even when those others don’t seem to care about their own lives.
  5. Seeing the Future: The ability to anticipate the unexpected and to have the knowledge and skills to properly react when the unexpected inevitably arises.
  6. Controlling enormous force and energy: Keeping an 80,000+ lb. vehicle under control, upright and connected to the roadway at all times.
  7. Ability to coordinate and control the electronic maze: Safely juggling and staying on top of a myriad of electronic devices every day.

Drivers who have these super skills are those who will earn million-mile safe driving achievements and enjoy long, safe careers. The more of these skills a driver has, the better. And the best part is that anyone can develop them and make them their own.

Leo Hughes, CDS, ARM
Sr. Safety Representative
Great West Casualty Company