BLOG: Overdrive Extra

Retail’s rebound bodes well for holidays

The economy’s still sputtering, but it looks like there will be lots of freight through the holidays. At least consumer goods and other cargo related to retail sales are doing well, based on recent reports.

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Wood production leads September growth

Manufacturing activity, and the economy in general, kept growing in September, though some related measurements tempered that good news. Wood Products was the leading manufacturing category reporting growth. The monthly analysis comes from the Institute for Supply Management, which also notes slower supplier deliveries and a contraction of new orders last month. The Purchasing Managers Index “registered 51.6 percent, an increase of 1 percentage point from August, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 26th consecutive ...

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Driver’s “beans-and-rice budget” needed in D.C.

Someone who’s experienced his own financial crisis during this period is hot-shot hauler Frank Hagwood.

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Does added hydrogen really boost fuel mileage?

Some research shows that hydrogen slightly improves diesel combustion, but the improvement may not be significant enough to warrant all the equipment necessary to separate it and meter it back in.

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After 50 years, truly independent

The important thing is that the owner-operator has come into his own as a legitimate self-employed business owner able to deal with such opposition.

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Plenty of chrome at Dallas show

There were a record 71 entrants at the Great American Trucking Show Pride & Polish in late August. See video of three contestants.

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Manufacturing expansion passes two years

Factory activity expanded for the 25th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 27th consecutive month.

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What’s going on with owner-operator pay

Got a hour to spare? That's all it would take to watch and listen to the webinar we did last week with Gordon Klemp on driver compensation. Klemp, head of the National Transportation Institute, has spent years tracking pay at mid-sized and large carriers. After talking with his fleet clients for the most recent survey, he expects owner-operator pay to rise 4 cents to 6 cents over the next 12 months. He had lots of other good ...

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The harsh realities of excessive debt

Congress has muddled through the debt-ceiling crisis, but it's obvious the problem is not solved. Not only has the nation's debt rating been lowered, but massive deficit spending remains the norm in Washington, D.C. We're still going to hell in a hand basket, just at a slightly lower pace. On a smaller scale, any owner-operator who’s worked his way out of thousands of dollars of red ink can tell you what it’s like when compounding high-rate ...

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Separating water vapor from oil

If you have technical trucking questions, let us know. Our equipment editor, John Baxter, will do his best to answer. Here's a recent exchange: Q. Why have people not looked into this device known as the Vapor Oil Separator? Sure the PCV valve does its job. But this goes beyond that and removes water vapors during the combustion process. Here's the web site and a video. -- Mike Kyes A. Mike, I'm a little skeptical as there are ...

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