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From the shop to the road: One operator’s 359

This 1986 Peterbilt 359 is the result of a three-year project conducted from 2007-10 by owners Wayne and Kelly Ziegenfuss, today leased to Bennett Motor Express and hauling mining equipment to Arizona, coming back with copper, on a step deck from a Hendersonville, N.C., home base. I met the pair at the Southeastern Regional Truck Show in April. They located the base truck in Virginia and did all the work themselves putting it back into operating/show ...

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Bogan case: More reasons to choose a carrier carefully

The Bogan case may be best viewed in the context of tried-and-true advice: be smart and choosy about who you run for. You never know when you may need the boss to go to bat for you rather than hanging you out to dry by being forced out of business.

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Leaving long-haul: Operators migrate to oil/gas

I talked to a pair of recently former team owner-operators late last week who, like owner-operator Mike Mace, leased to Reed Trucking, have truly rediscovered their old love of trucking -- in this case as company drivers in service operations surrounding new natural gas wells enabled by hydraulic fracturing technology. The strong demand for capacity in oil and gas services is bringing in competition to local markets as large as, you guessed it, Schneider National. The truckload ...

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Memorial Day fun with Heister’s hot rod — and a new truck

Yesterday, owner-operator Dan Heister invited myself and the family out to his new place in Tennessee Ridge, Tenn., near his former home in Erin, for a cookout with various other friends and family. Something of an early Memorial Day celebration, as Heister was setting out today with a northeast-bound load of rock in his new 2004 International (pictured, replacing a model of similar vintage but much higher mileage), he took some time out of the ...

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Amid big fleet investments, operators stare down high truck prices

Something is going right for the Jacobson Companies 3PL -- Mack Trucks announced yesterday that they took delivery of an order of 259 built-in-the-U.S. Mack Pinnacles, 139 daycabs and 120 sleeper trucks, and they're hiring dedicated company drivers for runs based out of their Des Moines, Iowa, headquarters. Any owner-operators out their run freight for them on occasion or regularly? The new tractors (some of which are pictured), Mack says, were delivered to Jacobson locations throughout ...

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Imagine running for the same fleet for 50 years…

Can you? We’ve heard no shortage of stories of independents who’ve stayed active that long leased to different carriers or on their own, but never with the same company. (If you have, I'm all ears!) I can't think of a company driver who's done it, either (though Wisconsin-based Butch Mueller is getting pretty close), and as far as UPS knows, Springboro, Ohio, resident Ron “Big Dog” Sowder (pictured) “may be the only in the trucking ...

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One child’s dream come true, in a truck

If you've never participated in one of the Make-a-Wish convoys -- which pair children with trucks to make dreams come true and support the work of various Make-a Wish Foundation chapters around the nation -- take a look at the smile on the face of Nicholas Cropper here, pictured in the passenger seat of owner-operator Henry Albert's Freightliner Cascadia. Also, get over to Albert's blog, where just post-Mother's Day, he wrote about his participation in this ...

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The drones keep coming — for your freight?

Apologies for a post-less Tuesday, which regular Channel 19 readers no doubt noticed. I had a mini-vacation with friends and family -- hearing news of the SpaceX launch in the auto on the way home to Nashville, I couldn't help but think of owner-operator blogger Phil Madsen's greatest post of all time, which in my view may well have been this one. In it, Madsen imagines a nighmarish future of airborne DOT drones policing all manner ...

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Log-haulers, Bastrop County TX wants you

In addition to the Lost Pines Log Pull competition Bastrop nonprofit Logs to Lumber is hosting this coming weekend to add competitive spirit to their efforts harvesting viable timber from an area devastated by wildfires last year and help more than 1,700 homeowners rebuild, Jamaica Morz, working with the organization, could also use a little timber/lumber-hauling help. "We are currently working with a grassroots organization, Logs to Lumber, that has made an arrangement with a sawmill ...

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iPhone or Android? Titans neck and neck among drivers

It’s neck and neck between the two smartphone giants among fans of Overdrive’s Facebook page weighing in on a proposed choice between the iPhone or one among many of Google Android-powered devices (Motorola Droid Razr pictured) available today. “This one I want to follow,” the very first commenter noted when we asked the "iPhone or Android?" question several weeks back, “coming from a guy with a ‘flip phone’ and a Blackberry for work that I ...

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