Roadside Attractions

| July 03, 2012

 

 

A National Day – for your sacrifices

 

A self-proclaimed “proud trucker’s wife” of Prime-leased owner-operator Jim Peranteau of Sunbury, Pa., has been circulating an online petition. Melissa Peranteau hopes to take the petition with 1,000 signatures to Washington, D.C., to create a Sept. 16 National Truck Driver Remembrance Day. It would be a public holiday, says Melissa Peranteau, in text accompanying the petition, and would remember not only the daily, unpublicized sacrifices, but drivers “that we lost,” whether in accidents, crime on the road or in other ways. As of early June, the petition had 103 names. Find links to it – and an interview with Peranteau – on the May 7 post to the blog.

 

 

For more of the interesting and odd parts of trucking, visit Senior Editor Todd Dills’ Channel 19 blog at OverdriveOnline.com/channel19.

 

 

‘IRT’ minus Lisa Kelly = bummer

 

With the sixth season premiere of “Ice Road Truckers” on the History Channel in June, many fans were crestfallen at the absence of the star Esquire magazine dubbed the “Sexiest Trucker Alive,” Lisa Kelly. On Overdrive‘s Facebook page (facebook.com/overdrivetrucking), one commenter went further: “Looks like this will be the worst season ever. Hot dogs, hot heads, and idiots,” he wrote. “The show has run its course.” On our sister mag Truckers News’ page, commenters were more split on the premiere, best exemplified by a driver who called perceived reckless behavior of drivers on the show a “slap in the face” to hardworking professionals, then adding, “but yeah, I’m gonna watch it.”

 

 

GAUGES

 

How much do you spend each year on maintenance?

 

Owner-operators’ average annual maintenance spending was $12,275, according to a 2011 University of Arkansas survey. At the top end, 4 percent of respondents said they spend more than $30,000 a year.

* Figures add to less than 100 percent due to rounding

 

Reefer leads rate increases

 

DRY VAN -Red FLATBED –Yellow REEFER –Blue

 

Rates for reefer loads jumped a whopping 57 cents per mile from February to May. Smaller hikes occurred in dry van, spiking 35 cents in the same time period, and flatbed, up 20 cents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diesel prices spike, then slack

 

National average diesel prices fell below $4 a gallon as summer approached and reached a five-month low June 4. The peak of $4.15 in March was the highest national average since August 2008.

 

 

A broken heart and a sweet deal

 

Owner-operator John Randolph runs a five-truck fleet based in Rock Hill, S.C.

John Randolph, whose small fleet has been hauling used equipment to Florida for export, noticed a lot of it is old Mack trucks. “It breaks my heart to see them go,” he says.

His own 1990 Mack Superliner, powered by a 500-hp Mack E9 and an 18-speed transmission, benefited from a four-year restoration, completed when he put the truck in service in 2001.

The 41-year-old’s father, the original partner in Randolph Transportation, initially scoffed at the improvements. “That chrome won’t make you any more per mile,” he said. Yet when Randolph finally backed the finished rig out of the shop, his father said, “I think we’re going to do my truck like that.”

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