BLOG: Channel 19

Ode to a well-stacked weekend warrior

As we head into Memorial Day weekend it's likely some of you out there will enjoy a rare round of golf with a friend or relative in town for once in a while. My father's coming to town, so I know I will, and it will be a perhaps more-than-rare round indeed. I don't play much -- or well -- that's sure. If only I could tool around the course in the golf cart you see ...

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Grascals tour bus driver ‘Stubob’ Myrick’s Nashville flood tale

Stuart "Stubob" Myrick (pictured) of the Gallatin, Tenn., area paid his driving dues behind the wheel of several dump trucks, in the late 1970s, then logging miles over the road with a grocery-distribution outfit pulling vans and, most recently, a flatbed loaded with empty containers in the private fleet of a container refurbishing company. In short, he's well earned his current gig: "semi-retired," he says, dedicated driver of the Mobil Delvac-sponsored 2001 Prevost coach -- powered by a 500-hp Detroit ...

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Latest in distractions: One word, three letters, rhymes with ‘text’

Earlier this week, as Kansas became the 26th state to enact a behind-the-wheel anti-texting law applicable to all drivers, the folks at hands-free headset-maker Jabra released results of a survey/study conducted in April that threw a little wrench (and more!) into all the late discussion of worrisome activities drivers engage behind the wheel of fast-moving vehicles. While 28 percent of survey respondents admitted to text-messaging while driving, more than half that number, a full 15 percent of respondents, said they ...

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Trucks on Pakistan’s Grand Trunk Road

If you missed National Public Radio's recent reporting along the Grand Trunk Road, an historic connection between far eastern and western sections of the Indian subcontinent, from Bengal to Peshawar in Pakistan, you probably missed this report by John Poole from a truckstop outside Islamabad. The stop, a rather informal spot on the Grand Trunk Road from his description of it, serves not only as stopover point but also as a sort of bazaar where artists ...

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Colorful codriver, trucking blues, health care reform and more in this month’s Truckers News

If you've missed the May edition of Truckers News on the racks out at the truckstops this month (I know copies in the more popular stops tend to go quickly), check it out online. Many great stories therein, including an examination of the health-care reform bill (the upshot: jury's still of course out on how the bill will affect the benefit programs of trucking businesses large and small, though parties from both are hopeful) and ...

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Hauler narrowly averts disaster at I-24 Middle Tennessee sinkhole

As if the Tennessee Department of Transportation didn't have enough problems already, considering the damage recent flooding did to infrastructure in the middle part of the state, Tuesday earlier this week a reportedly 25-foot-deep, 40-foot-wide, 18-foot-long sinkhole opened up on I-24 eastbound between Nashville and Chattanooga (pictured, Courtesy TDOT) that nearly swallowed up a big truck, folks on the scene reported. Luckily, TDOT employee David Shelton was in the very next vehicle on the scene and quickly pulled over and flagged drivers behind him ...

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Mission USA’s July I-75 “Tour of Hope”

Ed Eubank, pastor of a nondenominational church in northwest Martin, Tenn., is hoping he can "make a better connection with truckers so that we can better serve the people out there in genuine need." Eubank, see, is also the primary man behind the humanitarians at Mission USA (www.missionusa.org), an organization providing relief to families and individuals displaced on the nation's roadways.  "We’ve got  a 40-foot motor home with dry foods," Eubank says. "If we see a family with children who are ...

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Running below the E-O-B-Radar…

In my research for the cover story of the current edition of Overdrive, "Getting on board," about the growing use of electronic onboard recorders for logging among many major carriers throughout the United States, I had a conversation with expediting husband-wife team Bob and Linda Caffee about curiosities of their electronic logging system. “We drove to a military base,” Bob said of a particular pickup, “stopped and went on-duty not driving. We had to go to another ...

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To toll or not to toll: In PA I-80 controversy’s wake, debate over road privatization re-emerges

When a Devon, Penn., lawyer representing big commercial construction contractors insists that "Nobody's against this," referring to tolling major interstates as a method of funding their upkeep and expansion, I suspect he's not talked to anyone among the nation's long-haul owner-operators and drivers. Opposition to tolling, in my experience, is near universal among the former, particularly, and it's no surprise: the diesel taxes the states and the federal government levy are an ever-present reality in the business of hauling, ...

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Quebec filmmaker debuts ‘Vapeurs diesel (Diesel fumes)’ documentary web series

Quebecker Alain Fournier (pictured, of a fashion) is a filmmaker focusing his efforts on fantasy work and -- this is where we come in -- online documentary. His first big web series, on YouTube and titled "Vapeurs Diesel" or "Diesel Fumes," looks at long-haul truckers, among them the character of "Big John," featured in the snapshot you'll see below. Though the portrayal of John in this clip lacks much depth, and the wisdom imparted is ...

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