Channel 19

Todd Dills

Skydiving to the ark: A Channel 19 2010 ‘Year in Review’

| December 31, 2010

But the month wasn’t without lighter fare, including a funny vision of how one might trick an EOBR and one Texas reefer carrier’s van-side advertisements for homegrown country music talent. A phone headset maker, furthermore, uncovered perhaps a surprising driving distraction in a survey of customers: “sex or other sexual acts.” Yikes.

June
Since the Jason’s Law truck parking availability and security legislation was first introduced in Congress following the early 2009 slaying of N.Y. truck driver Jason Rivenburg, drivers around the nation have advocated for its passage. This month saw movement on the issue, with drivers staging a national call-in day to express support to legislators and to note the united front — with industry organization from the American Trucking Associations to the OOIDA and the Teamsters Union all expressing favor of the law — the trucking world had put behind the bill. Ultimately, the year would expire with little real movement on the issue.   

We announced new Truckers News photo contests, to start in July, just as Jazzy was finishing her run this month. An infamous Trucker of the Year wore his SpongeBob Squarepants boxers into the truckstop coffee line, and an Alaskan Haul Road driver had a close encounter, caught on camera, with a bear (again, Lisa Kelly was not mentioned). We had our own near-miss of Oklahoma City flooding while talking trucking history with a dealer network chairman and drove our first Class 8 at a large carrier’s 75th-anniversary celebration. Lisa Kelly was mentioned, dubbed the “Sexiest Trucker Alive” by Esquire magazine.

July
More driving distractions reared there heads, namely dentistry, as a Canadian driver was pulled over for erratic driving and discovered to have just completed employing the vibrations of his rolling truck’s cab, paired with a string, to pull a troublesome tooth. Trucking music was on offer in a Convoy for a Cure-inspired song by country crooner Terry Wooley and Jason’s Law- and other issues-inspired tunes by the duo of David Ayers and Barry Clark.

Increasingly, the music of trucking is both written and performed in part by working drivers, a phenomenon I covered throughout the year, particularly with coverage of (pictured) owner-operator Howard Salmon‘s continuing efforts as well as the crew of drivers contributing to the Truckers Tracks series, from Keys Trucker Jan McCarter to Stephen Cohen.           

A former trucker was reduced to tears by a double rainbow, and an owner-operator told me (big news) that he preferred electronic logs.

August
The driver-health and health regulation issues became national news for a day and saw driver direction action at the Dallas Great American Trucking Show in health walks and runs staged there, among other happenings at one of the biggest trucking events of the year. Women in Trucking head Ellen Voie got a tattoo live on the show floor to show her appreciation for members, and Channel 19-covered artists got their due in a live show in the truck parking lot.

The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan enabled by the health-care reform bill became available, truck cargo theft was dubbed the “21st century’s signature crime” and a swarm of honeybees got their ultimate revenge on a bear.    

September
The cargo theft problem continued to be of concern, as Truckers News’ cover story on the issue was released and drivers posed Jason’s Law as a potential at least partial solution. A service launched offering truckers and motorists the somewhat bizarre option to “prepay traffic tickets,” and owner-operator Dick McCorkle (pictured) recounted his 9/11 NYC delivery on the occasion of the attack’s anniversary.

Weeklong truck-traffic jams appeared to be plaguing Chinese roadways, and a British haulier was caught in the camera lens eating a bowl of cereal (yes, using both hands) while shuttling around London’s loop highway (pictured, below). The fallout from Arrow Trucking’s closure continued with a plea to the driver comunity from a former driver advocate with the company, and an affordable option for electronic logging was hiding in plain sight.

October
Many people were talking about there not being enough of you. I met Bobbie Boofay and got to wear his glasses (pictured, below) the same month he got famous with other YouTubing truck drivers on National Public Radio. More scenes from Nashville accompanied the news, these from the first annual Chrome & Class Truck Show at the Rush Truck Center location in Smyrna, Tenn. Not to be outdone, Memphis was the site of another first show in the Memphis Trucking Expo.

The CSA 2010 era for employment was under way. Concerns about the FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program, giving carriers access to prospective hires’ inspection histories for the first time, reared their heads, chief among them the notion that the PSP could be fraught with the same kind of difficulties long plaguing “DAC Report” employment histories.

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