BLOG: Channel 19

Skydiving to the ark: A Channel 19 2010 ‘Year in Review’

It's been a banner year for dramatic, contentious, weird and/or humorous trucking news here on the Channel 19 blog. I can't possibly predict how 2010 will be remembered years down the line, but read through the lens of this blog, well, it was nothing short of tumultuous, containing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. (Readers, an informal poll, if I may: what is the most memorable among the Channel 19 posts or ...

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Truck Centers Inc.: ‘We have a winner’

Remember the "12 Days of Truck Centers Christmas" sweepstakes I posted on back in late November? Well folks, we have a winner, the Illinois-headquartered dealer network reports. Or "winners," I should say, as the grand prize winner was chosen from a month's worth of daily giveaways to drivers from 12 different states stopping into any of seven Truck Centers Inc. Daimler Trucks stores, receiving daily prizes. The grand prize winner received a prize pack valued ...

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New trucking thriller from former tank-hauler manager

Set in Charleston, W.Va.'s "Chemical Valley" just after deregulation of the trucking industry, former Quality Carriers and Mason & Dixon lines (among others) rep Rowland Henry Judge's Acid Stained Steel is a murder-mystery thriller of a novel, says Judge. But that's not all, he adds. It combines those page-turning attributes with an examination of "the effect of deregulation on old-line tank trucking companies and their drivers. No one has ever really written about this in the chemical/liquid bulk ...

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Driver hours changes: Bummer of a proposal?

Expectation among many haulers leading into FMCSA's Dec. 23 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to change drivers' hours of service regulations was that at least some larger degree of sleeper berth flexibility would be reintroduced in order that, as so many have put it to me over the past year's worth of debating the issue, "truck drivers can sleep when they're tired." It doesn't appear that we've gotten that at all, in spite of all the hope ...

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Former long-hauler makes N.Y.C. Met opera debut

Carl Tanner (pictured) worked as a long-haul driver before making moves toward pursuing a career in what New York Times writer David Belcher painted as his calling in a piece published in the Times yesterday, available online here. Tanner, by the terms of his contract as stand-by in the role of Dick Johnson in Puccini's "La Fanciulla del West," will perform the role alone, scheduled, at least once. It's happening this evening, and it marks his ...

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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas — truckstop edition

"The only real difference between you and me -- I do it in one night; you do it constantly." --Santa Claus at the truckstop, to a fellow hauler in the fuel line Merry Christmas, all. Here's a little vid from the folks at driver training outfit Driver Solutions to give you a little holiday chuckle. Thanks for doing what you do. -TD

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Texas technicians rope Rush rodeo grand prizes — vids and more from the event

Sorting though the rich experience that was Rush Truck Centers' Tech Skills Rodeo, held last week in San Antonio, is I've found a task best approached over weeks rather than days. If you missed the results, read on, or see my story from last week here. It's impossible to get it all into the space of a single post or news piece, including as it did the drama of mutliple competitions, diverse educational opportunities for ...

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Auto-texting, safety-minded app available for Android, Blackberry

On the heels of the Department of Transportation's proposed rule to ban handheld cell phone use by commercial drivers, I've been hearing from haulers who object to being singled out on the issue, as seems to be the modus operandi of this department when it comes to driving behavior of late. Given the predominance of texting and talking four-wheelers on the highways today, most would prefer any ban to be on all drivers using handhelds, ...

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Three weeks: FOIA turnaround for PSP information

On November 23, I made note of an avenue toward gaining access to crash and inspection information contained on drivers' Pre-Employment Screening Program reports. Working through the official FMCSA contractor, the fee to obtain a copy of the report to guarantee quality of the information is $10, but in my November 23 "Save $10 on CSA 2010" post I made note of drivers successfully making Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain the same information without ...

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Truck stop operators Sapp Bros. pen autobiography

Sapp Bros. Travel Centers' Bill and Lee Sapp have penned their collective autobiography, out now from Addicus. The book follows from their youth among seven Sapp children in southeastern Nebraska to the near-present, with the Sapp Bros. name a veritable legend among longtime haulers, particularly in the Upper Midwest. In the year 1971, Bill and Lee, with brothers Dean and Ray, after success selling GMC trucks in Omaha, Neb., built their first truck stop before Interstate 80 ...

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