smartphones

Stiff wind to pay the toll: The 2011 Channel 19 year in review

What better way to start the new year than with a look back on the previous? I did it last year, after all, so let's make it a tradition, how bout? The Chinese Year of the Rabbit saw all manner of issues hopping in and out of the national on-highway spotlight, bookended by a proposed hours-of-service rule and its ultimate issuance, slightly reducing potential weekly work hours. Bound up in the discussion was, as any regular ...

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Kicking the habit: Why a blanket cell-phone ban won’t work

As if hearing the plethora of truck drivers' objections to the prohibitions on handheld cell use in-cab while driving, minus any similar prohibition for the motoring public and given the wide problem of motorist distraction on the highways, the National Transportation Safety Board formally recommended that all personal electronic devices be banned from use while driving by everyone in all 50 states and D.C. (except in emergency situations and unless they aid the driving task). All ...

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Modest proposal: ‘Ban truck driving’

The comments on the news of the handheld cellphone ban while driving for the interstate pilots of the nation's tractor-trailer rigs continue to come in. (Read them for yourself here, including among them at the very end a reaction by driver Wayne Leverton to witnessing a state patrol officer in Washington State use both hands to manipulate a mounted laptop over a mile or two of straight highway.) Reactions run the gamut from muted support to ...

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Travel stop app upgrade available

Free upgrades and new features are now available on Love's Connect travel app for iPhone, Android and Blackberry smartphones, Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores said. New features on the app include dispatch service for roadside assistance, bulk diesel exhaust fluid prices and the number of available parking spots at Love's truck stops. In addition to the enhancements, the app features a locator map for the travel center chain with real-time updated fuel prices, ...

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Want a first look at TruckersEdge’s new mobile site?

All owner-operator subscribers to the TruckersEdge.net load-board service from TransCore can look forward to a new smartphone-optimized mobile site to launch officially late this year or early next, says Transcore product manager Scott McCollister. The screenshots here from the html5 app that enables the enhanced look and feel of the board on all major smartphone platforms will give you an idea of the added ease with which you'll be able to navigate the TruckersEdge tools -- ...

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New freight-finding Android app from ATS

A new freight matching app for owner-operators and other carriers comes by way of Anderson Trucking Service's brokerage wing, ATS Logistics. It didn't arrive in time for my cover story in the November edition of Truckers News, a survey of on-highway apps making life easier for drivers on the road today, so I'm sharing here. Similar to many of the other freight-finding apps detailed in the online supplement to the cover story, available here -- from ...

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Fitting insurance to the operator — trends in usage-based pricing

If you missed a feature about insurance costs I wrote for the August edition of Overdrive, it contained a brief item relative to how insurance companies determine customer risk -- and as a result of that risk determination, premium rate pricing. Canal Insurance Chief Underwriting Officer Paul Brocklebank made brief mention in the piece about the fact that the consumer auto insurance industry writ large is moving toward more frequent rate updates, utilizing GPS and other vehicle ...

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Texting temptation: A little ditty — and more — to help you resist

A little good humor today -- with a safety message to boot. Admit it: We've all been tempted when it comes to texting while driving, right? What will it hurt to answer the spouse's question with a quick "N-O" or, yes, the opposite? Next time that thought fires in your head, Winnipeg, Manitoba-based high school science teacher and viral-video maven Marsh Carroll, along with the folks at ZoomSafer, are hoping you'll hum a little ditty Carroll put ...

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Scale It: The platform-scale axle-weights app, designed by a driver

John Christner Trucking driver Jerry Wilks is the programmer/developer of an application that, if you're packing an iPhone and find occasion to use platform scales, could be of great use. Launched early in 2010, the Scale It app for the iPhone is a quick cheat that allows you to input the different weight readings you get as you roll onto the scale, then does the math for you to determine axle weights. "It's not hard math," ...

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Breaker-breaker: Thursday Channel 19 news round-up

Tonight on American Trucker on the Speed Channel: You The third episode of the second season of the American Trucker documentary show on the Speed Channel is called, simply, "Independent." It will explore, well, guess who? The episode runs at 10p.m. eastern time, with replays throughout the week. See the full schedule. Or if you've as yet missed it, click on the cover image here to read Truckers News editor Randy Grider's story about the ...

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