Channel 19

Anonymous trucker heroism after officer’s high-speed injury

When Eastern Adams County, Pa., officer Richard H. Phillips, 40, caught the back end of a tractor-trailer at the intersection of U.S. 30 and state road 94 south of Harrisburg in rural eastern Pennsylvania, he was in pursuit of a small car flying eastbound on 30 for unreported reasons, and when his vehicle burst into flames he suffered what is being described as a "critical" injury. But the account published at the law-enforcement news site Officer.com suggests ...

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Allis-Chalmers on-highway engines? — Ted Streit’s restoration adventures…

Mercer leased owner-operator Ted Streit also happens to be the owner of a shop doing custom and restoration work in Suring, Wis., called Fast Transport. More than a year ago, he called me up after seeing some coverage of fellow Wisconsin resident (Sparta) and owner-operator Paul Sagehorn's restoration of two original TV KWs, one from the Movin' On series and the other a last-season B.J. and the Bear rig I followed from discovery to the finish (you ...

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Driver-led health walk at MATS; video interview with O/O Dick McCorkle

At the "It's a Teams Life" blog home of expediters Bob and Linda Caffee, you'll find all manner of good information about the business of trucking, from the singular point of view of this versatile and experienced couple. But a recent item caught my attention, as it reminded me of three fairly recent conversations I've had with the Caffees, 2007 Overdrive Trucker of the Year Henry Albert and Perkins Specialized leased owner-operator Dick McCorkle. Albert and the Caffees are part of ...

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The grand gesture — rival Maine log-hauling families spar

The Pelletiers and the Crawfords of Maine are known far and wide for their success in the log-hauling business in the north woods, the Pelletiers the subject of the Discovery Channel's American Loggers series, which I wrote about in December when they took delivery of a couple new Mack Titans. The Crawfords, meanwhile, deserve and have gotten plenty recognition of their own. Their mostly Western Star fleet trucks are not strangers to media treatment. I wrote ...

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Watermelon Slim’s on-the-road ‘Escape From the Chicken Coop’

Clarksdale, Miss., resident, longtime Oklahoman and North Carolina-reared blues musicmaker Bill "Watermelon Slim" Homans plays a mean slide guitar. And "I was an above-average harp player," he says of his early years making music, his first record of work-song blues coming out in 1972. But when he hears what young blues players like Craig Lawler and Jason Ricci can do with the harmonica today, he knows from his 61 years ever more clearly why he spent so many of them working ...

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Staring down coming CARB regs

A great story in the California-based Porterville Record highlighted the difficulties being faced by a particluar 5-truck fleet in Ducor, Calif., Andromeda Transport, owned by Dave Schwartz. Schwartz (pictured, right, with his mechanic), as he told reporter Sarah de Crescenzo, considers himself a "modern-day environmentalist" in his commitment to keeping his older trucks in tip-top operating condition, thus enhancing their longevity, of course, and keeping them out of landfills and hard at work doing what they ...

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CSA 2010 — questions of accountability, fairness

A video interview with driver Steve Bugg about this Georgia-based carrier's experience in the CSA 2010 pilot test program. CSA 2010, set to go online nationwide, changes the model for safety rating and enforcement in many ways for both carriers and drivers. Bugg questions the very basis of the program, at the same time acknowledging the legitimacy of his carrier's new strict approach to driver speeding warnings, tickets and more, given the new regime.

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Saying goodbye to Michigan’s Te-Khi and Tekon independent truckstops

Soft freight and high fuel got you down? You're not alone. Though business for the nation's truckers has picked up since the extremely slow period we all saw last year, difficulties continue for many, and for two independent truckstops in Michigan the pressures were just too much. Writing in the Battle Creek Enquirer, Andy Fitzpatrick told a story today at once of long-running business difficulties brought to the breaking point and rich, well-remembered history.   The Te-Khi Travel Court ...

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Runner for truckers’ health passes halfway mark

It's been a wild haul for Jasmine "Jazzy" Jordan, the 17-year-old Olympic-caliber cross-country runner who recently reached the halfway, 1,500-mile mark in her run across the U.S., carried out to raise awareness for truck driver health and health-insurance availability. You will remember Jazzy from my post in November, about her appearance on the Internet radio show TruckStar. She's on her way to Memphis today, and in a few weeks will be passing through my home base of Nashville, ...

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The costs of waiting out the storm

Beth Brelje, writing in the Pocono Record of Pennsylvania, visited with several truckers waiting out a snowstorm in a Wal-Mart parking lot off I-84. Such waits have been legion for the nation's haulers this season, with record amounts of snowfall hitting places where a snow deluge is not such a common thing. It may be common enough in the northern state of Pennsylvania, of course, but not such that authorities didn't move to ban truck ...

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