Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023:

J.B. Hunt awarding $8.8M in bonuses

J.B. Hunt Transport Services (CCJ Top 250, No. 3) announced that for the second consecutive year, its subsidiary J.B. Hunt Transport will award appreciation bonuses to full-time company drivers and full-time hourly maintenance and office employees. The total amount awarded will exceed $8.8 million. 

“Our people are our difference makers, and the employees receiving these appreciation bonuses have been essential in helping deliver value for our customers over the past year,” said Shelley Simpson, president of J.B. Hunt. “We want to recognize their continued drive and commitment to excellence and say thank you for contributing to the company’s success.”

To be eligible for the bonus, employees must have been hired on or before Jan. 1, 2022, be a full-time employee, and be employed on the payment date. 

In April 2022, J.B. Hunt awarded more than $900,000 in safe driver bonuses as part of its Million Mile safety recognition program.

Paccar issues recall of electric Peterbilt 579EV, Kenworth T680E trucks

Paccar is recalling approximately 46 model year 2022-2023 Peterbilt 579EV and 2023 Kenworth T680E trucks due to incorrect software in the battery-electric heavy-duty electronic stability control program that may underestimate the mass of the vehicle. 

As a result, the trucks may not comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 136, “Electronic Stability Control Systems on Heavy Vehicles.”

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents, “an incorrect estimate of the vehicle mass can reduce the performance of the stability control system and increase the risk of a crash.”

Dealers will update the software, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 17.  Owners can contact Paccar’s customer service at 1-425-828-5888 (Kenworth) and 1-940-591-4220 (Peterbilt). Paccar’s numbers for this recall are 23PBA and 23KWA. NHTSA’s recall number is 23V-007.

Walmart expanding Fleet Development Program

Walmart recently announced it is expanding a program that allows employees working in stores, distribution centers, fulfillment centers, and transportation offices to become drivers.

Last year, the company launched its Walmart Private Fleet Development Program, which saw supply chain associates in the Dallas, Texas, and Dover, Delaware, areas earn their CDLs over a 12-week program to become drivers for Walmart. 

The company is now expanding that program so that Walmart employees working in stores, distribution centers, fulfillment centers and transportation offices in participating locations will be able to take advantage of this incredible program.

Through this expanded pilot program, employees within a 50-mile radius of a participating transportation office will be eligible to apply to the Associate-to-Driver program. Then, after they complete the 12-week training course and earn their CDLs, they have a driving job ready to step into.

Drivers in Walmart’s private fleet can make up to $110,000 in their first year with the company, the company says, in addition to the suite of benefits the company offers. Drivers who have been with Walmart longer can earn more, based on factors like tenure and location, according to a statement from the company. Walmart has some 13,000 drivers.

“The Associate-to-Driver program allows participants to learn driving from the best of the best – our current Walmart driving instructors,” said Fernando Cortes, Walmart’s senior vice president for transportation in a statement on the company’s website. “Our fleet is continually recognized for its commitment to safety. In fact, the American Trucking Associations has awarded Walmart the Safest Fleet in the Over 250 Million Mile Division for six consecutive years. By training our new drivers in this program from day one, we can help guide them to approach all parts of the job focusing on the values of safety, courtesy, and pride so that we will never disappoint our fleet, customers or families.”