Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Safety & Maintenance Council Meeting on June 20th, 2023 for a day of insightful discussions and tours at Covenant. Your presence and participation contributed to the success of the event, and we hope it was an enriching experience for all.

One of the highlights of the June 20th meeting was covering the SLUG Method, a comprehensive approach to safe driving practices. The SLUG Method emphasizes several key steps that drivers should follow to enhance their safety on the road.

S – Scan in the Distance: This step reminds drivers to consistently scan the road ahead, allowing them to anticipate potential hazards and react in a timely manner. 

L – Look at Your Mirrors: Regularly checking your mirrors is crucial for maintaining situational awareness. 

U – Use Your Peripheral: Utilizing your peripheral vision is essential for capturing important visual cues outside your direct line of sight. 

G – Glance at the Speedometer: Monitoring your speed is fundamental to safe driving. 

If you’d like to revisit the content or access additional information, we are pleased to provide you with the materials from Tuesday’s meeting. We hope these resources serve as a valuable reference for future development opportunities.


Download Covenant SAFE Slideshow Presentation  |  Download SAFE Elements PDF



With the success of the June 20th meeting behind us, we are excited to announce that the next South East Tennessee Safety & Maintenance meeting is scheduled for July 18th, 2023. We encourage all attendees to mark their calendars and join us for another engaging and informative event.



The Southeast TN Council held another virtual meeting today, 7-28-2020, in place of our in-person meetings. We had 25 participants join on the meeting.

The presenter for this meeting was Joseph Sentef MD, MPH, MBA, MRO, the Chief Medical Officer for the FMCSA and Chief MRO for CMS. He is also a longstanding Chattanooga area physician.  He has been in Washington DC for nearly two years trying to help the trucking industry.  He was able to present general information about FMCSA updates on topics such as Sleep Apnea, Hair and Oral Drug Testing, and Clearinghouse trends.

Two interesting facts to note that the presentation kicked off with:

  • University of Central Arkansas verified the Trucking Alliance Study showing 275,000 (about 8.5%) drivers would fail the hair testing.
  • Oral Fluid testing will give you results within one hour, which made these tests a favorite of Mr. Joseph Sentef over urine tests.

Joseph Sentef was able to cover a large amount of information regarding sleep apnea as well as answer many questions from our participants. We really appreciate the time he took out of his day to meet and talk with us! 

Eston Pyle, Chairman

Matt Holmes, Vice Chairman

Grady Phillips, Secretary


The Southeast TN Council continued to have virtual Zoom meetings today, 6/23/2020, in replacement of our typical in-person meetings.

This month’s meeting was a discussion on items such as, the New Hour of Service Rules, Cameras and FMCSA Audits. Matt Holmes, Southern Champion Tray and Kevin Galbreath, Galbreath Consulting Services will be discussing some of these items. We also had time for everyone to share what they are doing and/or ask questions of the group.

Other topics discussed include what issues are being faced with ELD systems, and facility parking availability, unforeseen circumstances with the New Hours of Service Rules.


Eston Pyle, Chairman

Matt Holmes, Vice Chairman

Grady Phillips, Secretary


The Southeast TN Council was excited to have our first virtual Zoom meeting today, 5/19/2020, in replacement of our typical in-person meetings.

This month’s meeting was a Panel Discussion on Back to Work Strategies, Onboarding New Drivers, Recruiting Efforts, and New Hour of Service Rules and what they mean to us. Moderator Donna England, TTA. Panelist, Dave Huneryager, TTA, Lindy Henley, Tranco, Grady Phillips, CMS and Jeremy Reymer, DriverReach.

We were able to cover many COVID-19 highlights and questions answered by our panelists. Some key takeaways of this meeting included Dave Huneryager’s advice for what the TTA is doing during COVID-19. He states that we communicate, communicate, communicate. When it comes to COVID-19, every single resource that we can use and get information from, it’s our responsibility to get that out to our members. We will get out the best and the most up to date info out to you.

Grady Phillips also says the CDC guidelines “Do’s” for COVID-19 include social distancing, wearing masks, practicing good hygiene, and proactively encouraging employees not feeling well to work remotely. Wearing masks stops you from spreading the virus through water droplets. “The only real “Don’t” of COVID-19 he discusses, is Don’t NOT have a policy. Companies need a policy for the employees to go by during this pandemic.”

Other topics discussed included the FMCSA’s clearinghouse, the rise in TN crash fatalities, drug testing of employees during COVID-19, taking temperatures of employees, the difficulties of hiring / drivers getting their CDL’s during COVID-19, ELD’s, etc. The Southeast TN Council was pleased to still be able to carry on our meetings among this pandemic and look forward to our future meetings and discussions.

Eston Pyle, Chairman

Matt Holmes, Vice Chairman

Grady Phillips, Secretary



Joe Deering, TDOT was our speaker at this month’s meeting. Joe updated us on traffic in and around Chattanooga, TN, also speaking on work zone crashes. They are asking us for help. Please be talking to your drivers and staff about driving safely in work zones. You can download the TDOT Presentation. The presentation was too big to upload with the video. You can watch it here.