Max Heine

May 18: Financing an owner-operator business

CPA John Turner will present "Getting Your Finances in Order" in a free evening webinar. The presentation is part of the “How to become an owner-operator” series.

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A shortage of drivers — and quality

I've been hearing since at least March that many carriers are once again scrounging for drivers. This means a return to business as usual in terms of a driver shortage, only this time it could more severe than normal. The reasons by now are well-known. The economy has been bouncing back. Imminent safety-related regulations -- notably Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 -- are expected to push a significant number of drivers out of the cab. Our friends at the ...

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‘Flatbed is particularly strong’ and other upbeat news

Lots of good economic reports all around for trucking in the last few days. If you’re not with a carrier who’s keeping you busy, figure out why or look elsewhere. Morgan Stanley’s truckload freight research report “continues to show strong trends … Flatbed is particularly strong.” Consequently, by the fourth quarter this year, on an annual basis, “rate increases of 4-5% should now be the base case. If fuel prices spike and a material restocking takes place, ...

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Send us your flood photos

Is your haul delayed due to flooding in Tennessee? Send us a photo for posting online: mheine@rrpub.com

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Let us now rant over the unfairness of safety technology

You wouldn’t normally equate a person’s economic status with the safety of their vehicle, but a recent study links them. The study, appearing in the April issue of Traffic Injury Prevention, is talking about four-wheelers. However, the same principle could apply to heavy trucks’ history with anti-lock brakes and slack adjusters, or to current trends with truck stability control systems and disc brakes. The thesis is that safety features usually are introduced on luxury vehicles first, ...

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Pride & Polish kicks off in Florida

The 2010 Pride & Polish series starts with the April 24-25 show at 75 Chrome Shop in Wildwood, Fla.

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You gotta know when to hold ’em, when to fold ‘em

Anyone who’s been to an intermodal port or seen the container ships that serve them knows there is no shortage of big colored boxes being stacked like giant Lego walls. They’re also shuffled all over the place, too often empty due to global imbalances in world trade. That deadhead costs the industry $7 billion a year, experts say. The Wall Street Journal reports, with an enviable headline, “Foldable Shipping Containers Try to Stack Up,” on a ...

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How recorders can protect you

If it seems electronic onboard recorders are becoming much more prevalent, it’s because they are. Thousands of units are in place in major carriers. The recent final rule from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration means that thousands more are on the way for fleets that rack up too many hours-of-service violations. The May Overdrive will examine what all this means. Some of the owner-operators interviewed by my colleague Todd Dills found, often to their surprise, ...

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Factories humming; inventories start growing

Today’s report on manufacturing shows it expanded in March for the eighth consecutive month, says the Institute for Supply Management, which does a monthly survey of supply executives. The good news mirrors what many in the trucking industry have said in recent weeks about freight demand – and driver demand with it – picking up. ISM also says the overall economy grew for the 11th consecutive month. “The rate of growth as indicated by the PMI (Purchasing ...

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Hours of services changes: Sooner and later

If you have any doubt about whether the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., are getting the message about needed flexibility in the hours of service revision, worry no longer. I attended part of the fifth hours of service public hearing last week in Louisville, Ky., and the calls for a more sensible approach to sleeper berth splits came through loud and clear from speaker after speaker. Whether those pleas result in wise action is another matter, ...

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