Texas

Greatwide owner-operator pens one rad read in ‘Collinstown’

Greatwide-leased owner-operator Bob Grantham, based in San Antonio, Texas, calls the evocative writing in his literary Western Collinstown an “unintended consequence of being a truck driver.” At least in part, anyway. Out now from Treble Heart Books, the novel follows the intertwining lives of a current and former Texas Ranger just at the outbreak of the Civil War. Bob Cory, the elder former Ranger, is on his way back to Texas to restart his life serenely after ...

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News bytes: Diesel prices, Driving sans pants, Willie’s Place to be Petro

Commodities speculation back in the spotlight  The commodities futures positions limits problem is back in the TV news via a series on liberal populist host Ed Schultz' "Ed Show" this week. The first spot in the series distilled the history of the elimination of position limits that I've written about some over the years, most recently in a discussion of the Griftopia book as oil/diesel prices continued their long rise, which began late last summer in ...

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Willie’s Place to be Willie’s no more

Perhaps you've heard the news. On Jan. 31, the Willie's Place truckstop in Carl's Corner, Texas, will reportedly see it's last day under current ownership. The stop filed for bankruptcy last year, and since then efforts to refinance a large loan with a New Jersey bank have failed, resulting in the impending transfer of ownership to SBL Capital Funding. I talked with a former waitress in the truckstop's restaurant who still works the bar at the Whiskey ...

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Texas technicians rope Rush rodeo grand prizes — vids and more from the event

Sorting though the rich experience that was Rush Truck Centers' Tech Skills Rodeo, held last week in San Antonio, is I've found a task best approached over weeks rather than days. If you missed the results, read on, or see my story from last week here. It's impossible to get it all into the space of a single post or news piece, including as it did the drama of mutliple competitions, diverse educational opportunities for ...

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Positives in trucking dog days in Truckers News — and more

Since I blogged about musician Susanne Spirit's weekly shows at the TA East in Ontario, Calif., back in March, Spirit has continued to make great strides in combining her trucking-music act with her concern for the welfare of abandoned dogs in kill shelters. Her "Musical Truckin' Dog Adoption Program," conducted in concert with the Ramona Animal Shelter of Riverside County, Calif., in just a year, all told, has matched near 500 dogs with truck drivers ...

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Scenes from the 2010 Rush Tech Skills Rodeo

I'm in San Antonio, Texas, this morning at the site of Rush Truck Centers' fifth annual Tech Skills Rodeo, which pits 65 (out of more than 700 entering) of the truck dealer/service center network's best diesel technicians against each other and a set of bugged vehicles. On the heavy-duty side of the competition, 15 techs each trying to beat the clock in Cummins, Caterpillar and Eaton categories -- with 45 minutes to troubleshoot rough running ...

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Old Dominion opens service centers

A 38-door service center in South Houston, Texas, and a 44-door facility in Kalamazoo, Mich., opened recently, Old Dominion Freight Lines Inc. announced. The Kalamazoo service center will staff 15 employees and is southeast of the city, near the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport. The South Houston facility will employ 30 staff members and is near the William P. Hobby Airport. For details, go to http://www.odfl.com/ or call (800) 432-6335.

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U.S. Army’s self-driving truck a long way from the action

Check out the latest edition of the DTI, or Defense Technology International, journal, and you'll get an electronic whiff of the latest experiment in a self-driving truck -- this one from Lockheed Martin and steered by the company's Convoy Active Safety Technology, or CAST, being employed on a few prototype U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center trucks on Ft. Hood, Texas. Like the VORAD systems on some commercial rigs on the roads ...

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Country artist showcased on Texas fleet’s reefer vans

Baldwin Distribution Services of Amarillo, Texas, launched its refrigerated operation in 1981 with 5 tractors and 7 trailers. Today, Baldwin boasts more than a dozen times those numbers, and operates nationwide -- lucky for them, and also country artist Brian Milson, whose new "Saltwater Cowboy" single is being promoted nationwide with floor-to-ceiling billboards on the sides of many Baldwin dry vans. Milson (pictured, with Baldwin Distribution president & CEO Dudley Baldwin) was born and raised in Odessa, Texas, and ...

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The 5,000-mile pet-rescue haul

Musician Susanne Spirit's shows three times weekly at the TravelCenters of America-East location in Ontario, Calif., are a combination of country performance and public outreach to and from the nation's truckers, with one of their prime components offering pet-adoption services to drivers, finding loving, rolling homes for those cast away. Spirit and co. recently found a high-profile pet of its own in Jackson, a Weimaraner/Pit Bull mix adopted from the Rancho Cucamongo, Calif., animal shelter that partners with Spirit's ...

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