BLOG: Overdrive Extra

Get your horntone on

a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/SYr53CM9OsI/AAAAAAAAAL8/iQTnC_35wVc/s1600-h/horntones.jpg"img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5299322635434146498" style="FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 0px 0px 10px 10px; WIDTH: 200px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 84px" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/SYr53CM9OsI/AAAAAAAAAL8/iQTnC_35wVc/s200/horntones.jpg" border="0" //aThe folks at a href="http://www.dimoramotorcar.com/"DiMora Motorcar/a, making a luxury car the company says is the "world's first hand-built, $2 million, sixteen-cylinder production automobile," are hyping the availability of an MP3-enabled horn from the a href="http://www.horntones.com/"Horntones company/a. The system (pictured) allows users to customize their horn's sound, naturally, in a manner similar to that currently torturing the ...

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Will haul crutches for food

One wee bit of good news from the Institute for Supply Management today: The service sector is shrinking slower than it was in December. "The NMI (Non-Manufacturing Index) registered 42.9 percent in January, 2.8 percentage points higher than the seasonally adjusted 40.1 percent registered in December, indicating contraction in the non-manufacturing sector for the fourth consecutive month, but at a slightly slower rate,” reports ISM. Even better news is for those tied to two sectors: Health ...

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Keen on green

The latest incursion of the word emgreen/em into the contemporary lexical landscape comes via the a href="http://ooida.com/"Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association/a, who invoked an old environmentalist’s term to describe the American Trucking Associations’ January pitch to Congress for speed limiters and heavier vehicles. “‘Greenwashing’ speed limiters, heavier trucks is dangerous,” read the headline of the a href="http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2009/Jan09/012609/013009-01.htm"press release/a. Derived from emwhitewash/em, emgreenwashing/em is usually used to describe a large corporation’s attempt to mask the danger of ...

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10,000 pounds is a light load

Slate.com writer Seth Stevenson a href="http://www.financialpost.com/executive/story.html?id=1244262"expressed skepticism/a over an ad for the Toyota Tundra pickup that aired during the Super Bowl, mainly because of the use of the word emtranny /emfor transmission. To wit: span style="color:#000000;""I am puzzled by the announcer's contention that 'truckers know towing 10,000 pounds up a steep grade ain't good for your tranny.' I'm picturing a post-op sex change patient standing in the pickup's bed, hands on hips, displeased with the ...

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Fixing the credit score mess

The silly rules that credit card companies play by have gotten plenty of airing in recent years. Be a day late on your electric bill, and wham! That’s the sound of extra percentage points piled on top of an already high rate. Your credit score suffers, too. The good news is that Fair Isaac Corp., which developed the FICO score method of rating credit histories, will introduce a new version this spring called FICO 08. ...

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The price of ingenuity

A perhaps unique scam comes to light via NorthJersey.com, in a report on 50-year-old trucker Allan Flores, who in January was charged with "theft of services and deceptive business practices," as reported. What he allegedly did was avoid a cumulative $1,200 in tolls on the George Washington Bridge to Manhattan via a manual flip-up rig controlled from that cab that was tied to his front plate, allowing him to manually hide his number from video ...

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Clogged warehouses a bad sign for freight

Friday’s bad report on the fourth quarter’s Gross Domestic Product bodes ill for those who want to make a living moving freight in the coming months.   The economy contracted 3.8 percent in the final three months of 2008, according to the Commerce Department. But strip out production that merely inflated inventories, and the economy would have contracted 5.1 percent. Even with companies lopping off production like dead limbs, it wasn’t fast enough to compensate for ...

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When oil abounds, prices fall

Plug the low price of diesel and gasoline into the supply-and-demand formula, and it tells you supplies are plentiful. True enough, and they’re getting more plentiful by the day. U.S. commercial crude oil inventories jumped 6.2 million barrels from the previous week, almost twice what was expected, according to Wednesday’s report from the U.S. Energy Department. That’s thanks to the anemic world economy, which is requiring less energy. At this week’s NATSO Show 2009 in Nashville, truck ...

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Twitches of life in housing

Housing’s been down so long that it’s not hard to imagine it could begin to look like up. A few recent stats give that appearance, as a Wall St. Journal blog points out.   One is existing home sales rising 6.5 percent in December. The inventory of homes for sale has been dropping since July, and fell 13 percent in December.   Still, flatbedders don’t need to start whistling “Happy Days Are Here Again.” With tens of ...

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Next target: Heavy-duty trucks?

One of President Obama’s first moves was to prod the two agencies with the most influence over highway emissions into further tightening the regs.   On Jan. 26, he directed the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish higher fuel efficiency standards for carmakers' 2011 model year. He also asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review whether to grant California and 13 other states the right to impose a 30 percent reduction in vehicle emissions following the ...

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