Bigger and better

| October 05, 2005

Henry Albert, an independent owner-operator who pulls a flatbed on the East Coast, was more blunt. “It’s going to go right back to court now,” he said when he heard the news. “They didn’t change enough.”

Albert was pleased, however, by the change in the sleeper rule. “That’s a very abused thing, the split sleeper berth,” he said. “It’s used way more for time spent at shippers. That’s a massive hole they closed up. If nobody could do it, you’d have to charge accordingly for that.”

Albert calls mandatory recorders “inevitable.” “I wish we didn’t need one,” he added. “As soon as that happens, there will all of a sudden be plenty of places to park. People would have to pay to park, and then someone could make money from it. Make the market, and it will come.”

Immediate reactions to the new rule from other truckers was mixed.

“I want the government to stay out of my truck,” said Lester Nicholson of Centreville, Ala., who drives for Crete. “I’m 59, and I have never slept eight straight hours in my life.”

In agreement was Jacinto Costilla of San Jose, Texas, who drives for STS Transport. “How are you going to get eight straight hours of sleep? You can’t force your body to sleep.”

Mark More of Cartersville, Ga., who drives for Georgia Southern Transport, said he preferred the old hours regulations. “Everybody was used to them,” he said. “Not everyone can drive like the experts think they can.”

George Kelly of Milwaukee, who drives for American Eagle, sees good and bad in the new rule. “It cuts back on the drive time,” he said, “but it is good safety-wise.”

On the other hand, Joey Williams of Augusta, Ga., who drives for Club Car, said, “I think it’s fine. If I run 14 hours, I take 10 hours off anyway.”
-Randy Grider, Avery Vise, Lance Orr

Outdoors-themed Truck Wins Big Rig Redo
The green team – Texas Christian University design students Stacey Berman, Lizzie Hyde and Christina Beene – won the third annual Freightliner Big Rig Redo contest with a hunting/fishing-themed interior and exterior.

Before and during the Great American Trucking Show, Indiana Custom Trucks worked with the two teams competing to redesign the two Freightliner trucks inside and out.

ICT provided a custom exterior paint makeover, and the design students used $500 to redesign the interiors. GATS vendors supplied bonus bells and whistles.

The winning conversion, which was valued at $15,012.25, involved removing the factory cabinets and bed; upgrading the cab with a Gaucho bed with a fold-down table, customized as a fishing lure shadow box; installing rear overhead cabinets; installing a natural wood-finish vinyl floor; setting up a 20-inch flat-screen TV with a built in DVD player; and fabricating and installing antler door handles, in addition to other improvements.

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