Industry News

| December 11, 2008

On Dec. 7, on their way east from California to deliver a load to Russellville, Ark., Jimmie Dale Palmer and his wife, Laura, stopped, as they do twice a week, at the Route 66 Casino in Albuquerque, N.M.

They walked in truckers and walked out millionaires.

Palmer is the casino’s first million-dollar jackpot winner. He fed the Millioni$er penny slot machine for 40 minutes before he won big.

After the win was confirmed, the Palmers went back to work and completed the haul to Russellville.

“I didn’t tell anybody for a day or so, and then finally when I told my dispatcher, she called me a liar, said I was crazy and on drugs,” Jimmie Palmer said.

Three days after their win, the Palmers bought a house in Russellville.

The Palmers also have bought a 2004 Dodge pickup and a 2005 Chrysler. Before the win, they already had paid off the Freightliner they bought in 2001.

On the night of Dec. 9, when Mark Taylor Davis’ single-engine plane developed engine trouble over Texas, he tried to set it down on I-10 – and landed on Raymond Bennett White’s 18-wheeler instead.

Davis and his wife, Mercedes, were returning to their El Paso home from Austin when their plane developed engine trouble, says Tom Vinger, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman.

Davis landed atop White’s trailer about 20 miles east of El Paso, Vinger says.

“The trucker didn’t know what was happening,” Vinger says. “He said when the plane hit, it felt like a gust of wind.”

White then saw the plane in his mirror and began decelerating. “When he did that, the plane flipped off the top and landed upside down on the roadway,” Vinger said.

The plane did little damage to the trailer. “There were just scratches on the top,” said Lucila Torres, of the Texas Office of Public Safety. No one was hurt, either.

After a six-year pilot project, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration formally has exempted Werner Enterprises drivers from keeping paper logs of their hours of service.

Werner becomes the only U.S. trucking company to be granted such an exemption. Instead of paper logs, the FMCSA will require Werner to record drivers’ hours using the carrier’s global positioning system.

Werner drivers now document their hours of service with a GPS-based paperless log system using Qualcomm equipment and truck-tracking software.

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