The Log Book is a weekly rundown of human-interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: TA’s Register Round Up Campaign begins, Chicago-based Loadsmart gives back to the community and ParkMyFleet’s solar car race is thwarted by a breakdown.

TA kicks off a round up campaign with St. Christopher’s

TravelCenters of America Inc. has been a supporter of St. Christopher’s Trucker Relief Fund (SCF) for the past 12 years to help its primary customers in times of need.

On Thursday, TA (NASDAQ:TA) announced the beginning of its annual Register Round Up Campaign to continue supporting the organization that helps professional drivers who find themselves in need of assistance while out of work due to illness or injury. 

Until September 6, customers will have the option to round up to the nearest dollar, at the register and at the fuel islands, to support SCF.

“Professional drivers always support each other and we are confident that when they see the point-of-sale fundraiser at TA registers across the country, they will be proud to help,”  Donna Kenndedy, director of SCF, said. “This campaign will have an immense impact for those in need.”

The non-profit organization is best known for its ability to support drivers when an ailment has kept them from providing for their families on the road, although it does offer a number of other benefits for the driver community. These programs include tobacco cessation programs, health and wellness guidance and more recently, free vaccines.

TravelCenters of America – YouTube

“TA began its support of SCF in 2010 and has since raised nearly $3 million for the organization,” Kennedy said. “We are honored and humbled by the support we receive from TravelCenters of America and its generous customers.” 

Loadsmart gives back to Chicago community

This week, Loadsmart, a digital freight brokerage and technology company, kicked off its in-person volunteer efforts with the Chicago-based Lakeview Pantry. The company’s employees, nicknamed Loadies, helped pack over 300 boxes of non-perishable goods.

Loadies volunteer at Lakeview Pantry. (Photo: Loadsmart)

“We chose Lakeview Pantry as our first 2021 volunteer event because we feel they do a wonderful job of helping at the ground floor by providing food options for the less fortunate in Chicago,” said Kameron Norton, a talent acquisition specialist at Loadsmart.

While the company aims to give back to its local community, Norton said that Loadies have been focused on giving back to other communities around the world including New York City, Brazil, El Savador and Colombia. 

These efforts have been made possible with partnerships with The Boys and Girls Club of America, Habitat for Humanity, City Meals on Wheels, Aprender Ecologia (an eco-citizenship institution), and Nu3, a pregnancy and children assistance program.

“It is important that Loadies have the opportunity to give back,” said Norton. “This was driven by our employees’ initiative to partner with organizations at the ground level so our presence can be felt within our communities, outside of our offices.”

Chip shortage derails ParkMyFleet’s solar car race

After one week on the road, the solar car racing group, Cannonball Sun, announced its cross country journey has come to an end after its car, Pink Skies, experienced an unconquerable breakdown.

The group, sponsored by the fleet technology company ParkMyFleet and Charge Across America, aimed to be the first solar car to drive 3,000 miles from New York to Los Angeles completely solar powered. 

3 college students who hoped to be the first to drive across the US in a solar vehicle faced a major technical issue on Wednesday and had to call it quits. But they still have big plans

— ParkMyFleet (@Park_My_Fleet) July 3, 2021

The team of Michigan engineering students made it 761 miles to Logansport, Indiana when the motor controller shorted and destroyed the car’s battery management system.

“There is no possible way to have the parts rushed and shipped,” said team member Will Jones of the custom-made chip that would take months to manufacture and ship from China.

The team has not called it quits on its dream to complete the cross country journey and will continue to work with its sponsors on finishing the trip in the future.

“I’m so impressed with their valiant effort,” said ParkMyFleet CEO Mike Landau in the news release. “I’m sure there are plenty of engineering students who have talked about attempting to build a solar car and drive across the country. But these guys actually went out and tried. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

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