BLOG: Channel 19

Notable independent Colorado truck stop closes shop; chance encounters on the road

The Rocky Mountain Travel Center just north of Pueblo, Colo., on I-25 exit 110 closed up shop yesterday, reported Carlos Mora of the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper. According to Mora's report, the owner cites a confluence of factors for the demise of the near-half-century-old family business that was the truck stop and travel plaza. Chief among them appeared to be large bank loans structured in such a way as to become untenable in repayment, owner Grant ...

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Correcting the ‘B.J. & the Bear’ truck replica record

When I wrote about the new "American Trucker" TV series, premiering tonight on the Speed Channel, I mentioned their sample episode, in which host Robb Mariani runs through the build/restoration process on Paul Sagehorn's original "B.J. & the Bear" Kenworth K100 and matching trailer, and included a photo of Paul with his other, 1984 Kenworth K100 painted as a replica of the B.J. tractor and used in his owner-operator business. I'd taken the picture in ...

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Mack CEO shined as plant worker on ‘Undercover Boss’

This past Sunday, as we wrote here last week, Mack Trucks CEO Denny Slagle appeared on the popular CBS show Undercover Boss disguised in a mustache, cap, and toupee. Slagle (pictured, right) struggled to install front covers straight on 11-liter engines at the Hagerstown, Md., engine plant, took corners too fast driving a high-lifting fork truck while picking parts at a parts distribution facility near Baltimore, and managed to put a small nick in an ...

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South African driver strike approaching closure after a violent week

Always a shame to see haulers around the world taking out their on-road frustrations on their peers. The news in South Africa this morning (photo of striking drivers by Lerato Maduna) is that, after a week of work stoppage by drivers' unions in that nation that saw more than a little violence perpetrated on haulers who kept running during the strike, the unions leading it have come to an agreement for a two-year phased-in 17.5 ...

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Have you seen your CSA scorecard?

Back just before the new CSA Safety Measurement System went live in December, I reported on a driver-focused CSA scoring service upcoming from the folks at CSA data mining firm Vigillo, which has been working with carriers for a long time now to develop in-house systems for tracking the progress of their efforts at improving and managing their SMS percentile rankings, in the run-up to and since the release of publicly available data on carriers. ...

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Owner-operator John Crozman emerges from Dakota blizzard hailed a hero

"I’ve been doing this a long time, 30 years," says owner-operator John Crozman (pictured) of his long trucking career, for the past two years leased to Albertville, Minn.-based Long Haul Trucking. Over those three decades, like so many haulers, he's seen his fair share of on-highway rescue action. "It’s not a problem. You come upon accidents and try to maybe help somebody out. I think all truckers have all been in this situation. We’ve all ...

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Interviewing Dan Heister, Overdrive’s Trucker of the Year

In this month's issue of Overdrive, I wrote about the recession-surviving prowess of Boyd Bros.-leased owner-operator Dan Heister (pictured), whose mastery of his short-medium haul niche in Boyd's self-dispatch/percentage-pay Independent Express program brought him through the really bad times in 2008 to ever-greater success this year. In addition to recently purchasing what amounts to a small farm in Erin, Tenn., where he'll move the family later this year, he's Overdrive's 2011 Trucker of the Year, ...

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Nashville downtown TA back open after flooding

Since Feb. 3, haulers traversing the north side of Nashville's downtown mini-loop coming from I-40 or I-24 West may have noticed a special postcard (pictured) delivered to them in the form of a billboard just ahead of the I-24/I-40 split. For nine months, the old TA billboard there displayed the message you see below, which was changed to a "coming soon" message at the start of the new year . Well, the TravelCenters of America location ...

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Mack CEO on ‘Undercover Boss’ this weekend; Overdrive editor on magazine’s 50th anniversary

Mack prez works from the trenches Class 8 trucks come to CBS reality-TV series Undercover Boss this weekend, featuring Mack Trucks President & CEO Denny Slagle. The broadcast will be from 9-10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, Eastern and Pacific. In making the episode, as with others in the series, the company president went undercover to work side-by-side with Mack employees at the Macungie, Pa., plant that assembles every Mack truck sold in North America; the Hagerstown, Md., plant that ...

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Android ‘Freight Finder’ app from TQL

ATTN: Owner-operators. Yesterday, Total Quality Logistics announced functionality and availability of a new "Freight Finder" app for Android-based smartphones. The free application enables quick searches from current location or other location of available loads, by trailer type and within an adjustable radius of up to 300 miles. I've downloaded and done a quick run-through with the app, and a particularly nice feature is one-touch calling of the load's agent after search, likewise the ability to customize ...

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