Paying too much for too little
“If you looked at each individual 18-wheeler and the taxes that the trucker pays – fuel, tolls, this and that, permits and all the crap they have to put up with – we ought to be able to pave every inch of the U.S. with the money we get from truckers. But … only 20 to 30 cents of each dollar goes toward something truckers need. It’s just ridiculous.” — Charlie Daniels
Actor with ‘square jaw’ once wrote for Overdrive
Actor and former Overdrive correspondent Charles Napier died in Bakersfield, Calif., Oct. 5. He was 75.
Napier was in his mid-30s when he worked as a correspondent for Overdrive, a job he took after appearing in the 1970 flick “Moonfire,” a trucking-themed movie produced by Overdrive founder Mike Parkhurst. He’s perhaps best known for his roles as one of the Good Old Boys in “The Blues Brothers” and the lead intelligence officer in the “Rambo: First Blood Part II.”
If you’ve been tempted to text while driving, you’ll appreciate the clever message from high school science teacher Marsh Carroll. ZoomSafer, a fleet software provider, commissioned Carroll to do a song and video supporting the anti-texting message. Carroll, a stand-up comedian in his spare time in Manitoba, Winnipeg, went to his science students, who put together drawings that told of a truck driver’s journey through the temptation of texting across the United States. Carroll, with his son Gil on guitar, did the music. Scan this code to view the video on your smartphone, or search “Won’t Start Texting” on youtube.com.
Chicago leads nation’s bottlenecks
Routes in Chicago, Fort Lee, N.J., and Houston head 2010’s worst bottlenecks for truck freight, says the American Transportation Research Institute. With I-290 at I-90 and I-94 in the Windy City being the most congested road, trucks crawled at little more than 22 miles per hour during rush hour. Over last year, 250 locations were monitored to document chokepoints at peak travel times.
“The impact of traffic congestion on truck travel is well-known, but rarely in a fashion where we can pinpoint projects for resource allocation and reconstruction,” says Keith Bucklew, Indiana DOT’s multimodal planning manager.
Ten most congested highways
Chicago I-290 at I-90/I-94
Fort Lee, N.J. I-95 at SR 4*
Houston I-45 at U.S. 59
Houston I-10 at I-45
Houston I-10 at U.S. 59
Gary, Ind. I-65 at I-80
Austin, Texas I-35
Chicago I-90 at I-94 North
Atlanta I-285 at I-85 North
Chicago SR 60 at SR 57
Shipping rates fell by 3 cents and 1 cent in the flatbed and reefer segments, respectively, from August to September, while jumping 3 cents in the dry van markets.
Oct. 3, 2011 diesel price averages
Credit where credit’s due
When John “J.W.” Jackson joined George Bennett Truckline in 1960, he was part of a five-truck fleet. More than 50 years later, Jackson’s still there with what is now Bennett Motor Express and 575 drivers.