BLOG: Overdrive Extra

For the newly jobless, driving never looked so good

Recent trucking news has reported the reversal of the driver shortage, which had appeared to be, as Jesus said of the poor, with us forever. Friday’s Wall Street Journal highlights how the competition for drivers is worse than ever partly because of people recently unemployed from car plants or construction and desperate for a paycheck.   At Prime Inc., even white collar workers are knocking on the door, a recruiting director told the Journal. The company ...

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When boxcars come to stay

Railroads were advertising a lot during last year’s period of rising fuel prices, touting their good cost-per-mile for moving a ton of commodities. Lest you think the super-heavy-duty engines are stealing your livelihood, consider this anecdotal evidence from the Wall Street Journal: Boxcars used to be a “fleeting sight” in the town of New Castle, Ind. For the past year, though, 100-plus yellow boxcars have been parked in the middle of town. The line stretches for ...

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Planets aligning

Owner-operator Zak Hargraves, after a note pointing to a Thursday piece on emWired/em magazine's site about a certain milk hauler's biogas-powered trucks, has this blogger contemplating the cosmos for signs of a strange alignment. Seems that, the day I was posting about the tech magazine's a href="http://channel19.blogspot.com/2009/02/lonestar-gets-wired.html"piece on the new International Lonestar/a, emWired/em was running with a story about the same subject I'd written on the day before -- a href="http://channel19.blogspot.com/2009/02/trucks-running-on-runs.html"dairy farmer Rob Hilarides two ...

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The Loading Dock canceled

The Road Dog Trucking Radio Network, the newly combined Sirius Channel 147 and XM Channel 171, comes with an unfortunate cancellation -- the long-running Loading Dock show with Mark Willis, one many of us here at a href="http://www.overdrivedigital.com/"Overdrive/a and a href="http://www.truckersnews.com/"Truckers News /aHQ (a href="http://channel19.blogspot.com/2008/12/breaker-breaker.html"including this blogger/a) participated in over past months and years, will no longer lead Sirius 147's lineup in the A.M. With the Sirius and XM merger, consolidation of programming seems to ...

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LoneStar gets ‘Wired’

a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/SZ13dq5KaNI/AAAAAAAAANc/2yJ_UEB47V4/s1600-h/lonestar_truck.jpg"img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5304527287726270674" style="FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 0px 0px 10px 10px; WIDTH: 200px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 100px" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/SZ13dq5KaNI/AAAAAAAAANc/2yJ_UEB47V4/s200/lonestar_truck.jpg" border="0" //aemWired/em magazine's a href="http://blog.wired.com/cars/"Autopia blog/a, a forum devoted (as it sounds) mostly to new technology in the realm of cars and other personal transport, a couple weeks back had a href="http://blog.wired.com/cars/2009/01/how-a-couple-of.html"this story/a about International's new LoneStar tractor (pictured). Run under the headline "An 18-wheeler That Feels Like Home," the writers picked up on a growing trend ...

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Some stimulus trickle-down for trucking

The $787 billion economic stimulus doesn’t offer much for leased operators other than hopes of better roads and, with federal aid to banks, easier credit. Some tax provisions, though, can benefit carriers, including small owner-operator independents, and to a lesser extent leased operators with an extension of capital expenditures deduction. The American Trucking Associations reports that the package: • Extends bonus depreciation, allowing businesses to make a tax deduction of 50 percent of the cost of depreciable ...

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Trucks running on the runs

Is that manure I smell or is your DPF on the fritz?br /br /At the World Agricultural Fair last week, reps of Hilarides Dairy announced that the company is converting cow waste to fuel generators and, you guessed it, big trucks. Rob Hilarides, a fourth-generation dairy farmer and the firm's owner, earned a $600,000 grant from the California Air Resources Board’s Alternative Fuel Incentive Program along the way to realizing the current situation: two heavy-duty ...

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More striking drivers

a href="http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j8IIKbeFvf0RRiRCYKSmsyi3VoMg"img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5303777886097083874" style="FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 0px 0px 10px 10px; WIDTH: 200px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 133px" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/SZrN4wRjjeI/AAAAAAAAANU/w_tJi9HF3WI/s200/mex.jpg" border="0" //aFollowing a large, somewhat successful fuel-price strike a href="http://channel19.blogspot.com/2009/01/diesels-not-down-everywhere.html"by Indian truck drivers in January/a, yesterday an estimated 500,000 Mexican truck and bus drivers staged a one-day shutdown in an attempt to get the government to reduce fuel prices from "$0.50 per liter ($1.90 per gallon), to its January 2008 price of $0.42 per liter ($1.60 per ...

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Caterpillar jobs: Two accounts

In case you missed the news from last week’s foulup about Caterpillar and the economic recovery plan, you can see and hear the remarks yourself. President Obama, visiting Caterpillar in Peoria, Ill., claimed Cat CEO Jim Owens said “that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off." Whether the president was just overeager or there was some miscommunication, Owens later set the record straight ...

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Spanish-language record of the road

a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/SZl_SYui3fI/AAAAAAAAANM/hRGMYSyVM8g/s1600-h/mileson.bmp"img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5303409990057516530" style="FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 0px 0px 10px 10px; WIDTH: 110px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 110px" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/SZl_SYui3fI/AAAAAAAAANM/hRGMYSyVM8g/s200/mileson.bmp" border="0" //aAvailable in MP3 format at Amazon.com, a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001R64D40/ref=dm_sp_adp?ie=UTF8amp;qid=1234794879amp;sr=8-2"Back to the Road/a is the latest release of Spanish-language rock/country crooner George Mileson, released by Barcelona-based a href="http://www.roadtriprecords.com/"Roadtrip Records/a. Two tracks on Mileson's first album, emOne/em, were described by the a href="http://www.urbanspectrum.net/"Denver Urban Spectrum/a as in the "pure American Rock tradition 'The Road Is Mine,' a ride ...

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