media

Mack CEO shined as plant worker on ‘Undercover Boss’

This past Sunday, as we wrote here last week, Mack Trucks CEO Denny Slagle appeared on the popular CBS show Undercover Boss disguised in a mustache, cap, and toupee. Slagle (pictured, right) struggled to install front covers straight on 11-liter engines at the Hagerstown, Md., engine plant, took corners too fast driving a high-lifting fork truck while picking parts at a parts distribution facility near Baltimore, and managed to put a small nick in an ...

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South African driver strike approaching closure after a violent week

Always a shame to see haulers around the world taking out their on-road frustrations on their peers. The news in South Africa this morning (photo of striking drivers by Lerato Maduna) is that, after a week of work stoppage by drivers' unions in that nation that saw more than a little violence perpetrated on haulers who kept running during the strike, the unions leading it have come to an agreement for a two-year phased-in 17.5 ...

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Best jobs of 2011: ‘Truck Driver’ ranks 171st

And that's out of a total 200, listed from "best to worst" by the folks at careercast.com and publicized in a Wall Street Journal piece early in January. They claim to have based their rankings on five separate factors -- physical demands, work environment, income, employment outlook, and stress -- and "Truck Driver" ratings in those categories all stand at about the middle level. Cumulatively, the often high-stress, physically demanding highway environment, a neutral employment ...

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International ocean carriers, truckers, navigate trouble in Egypt

When I made a brief note about unrest brewing over rising food prices and the general employment situation in the North African states of Algeria and Tunisia in my post about the 2008 oil bubble (and current one, if we can consider it such -- final word still out on that), little did I know how much would change in two weeks in the reigon. Since, of course, the Tunisian dictator has decamped and, inspired ...

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Snow, snow, more snow; making the most of it

A Pilot Flying J stop on I-70 in Warrenton, Mo., is the subject of reporting on National Public Radio today, and I'd bet you can guess the subject matter. Hear audio of the story, which will be available at about 7 p.m. ET this evening. Suffice to say that truckstop employees Terri Brackney and Greg Stratton have quite a story to tell about what happened at their stop on the section of the interstate that ...

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Whole ‘lot of squealing’ on Missouri highway ramp

Yesterday, reported KMBC TV in Kansas City, Mo., a highway resounded with "a lot of squealing" after a hauler on the ramp from I-435 North to I-35 turned over rounding the curve, spilling a load of live pork. A few of the pigs reportedly perished but a larger number escaped the trailer's confines. KMBC gave the subsequent long capture efforts something of a light-hearted treatment (given that no humans were injured in the crash), with the ...

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Toll evasion = life sentence for Chinese ag hauler

After public outcry over the severity of the life prison sentence handed down to a hauler of agricultural commodities for evading road tolls in China, the Chinese government is reportedly revisiting the sentence and has put court officials who handed it down under investigation themselves, according to this AP report on the subject. The hauler, Shi Jianfeng, had apparently gotten around $560,000 U.S. worth in tolls by running two trucks with fake military license plates. Military ...

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Fair or foul?: A trucking story on Onion satirical news site

Sandwiched between satirical headlines like "Fully Validated Kanye West Retires to Quiet Farm in Iowa" and "Virgin Mary Statue Crying for No Good Reason" today on TheOnion.com was this one: "Modern-Day Cowboy Rides 18-Wheeler Full of Entenmann's Products Westward." Satirical newsmag The Onion has long been known for its lampooning of the mainstream press and, by extension, the dedicated members of its audience, and this story, about a trucker named "C.J. Hoppel," likely fictional, who hauls ...

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Former long-hauler makes N.Y.C. Met opera debut

Carl Tanner (pictured) worked as a long-haul driver before making moves toward pursuing a career in what New York Times writer David Belcher painted as his calling in a piece published in the Times yesterday, available online here. Tanner, by the terms of his contract as stand-by in the role of Dick Johnson in Puccini's "La Fanciulla del West," will perform the role alone, scheduled, at least once. It's happening this evening, and it marks his ...

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‘Who’s inefficient?’ Four wheels or 18?

So asks New Cumberland, Pa., resident and owner-operator Tom Bowers in a letter to the editor published in the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News, in response to a letter from another area resident heaping the bulk of energy inefficiencies in the transportation arena on the back of the big rigs of the trucking industry. Bowers' argument for the comparable inefficiency of the auto industry, where fuel used per-pound moved is much higher than the same rate in  big-rig ...

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