Channel 19

Convoy for a Cure, across North America

The Convoy for a Cure organization jumpstarted last year on the efforts of a Quebecker long-haul driver looking to raise money and awareness, respectively, for breast-cancer research and the challenges of its sufferers. The first, all-female-driver convoy subsequently took place in Ontario, Canada, and inspired others in both Canada and the U.S. Upcoming this October are three more Convoy for a Cure events in Texas, Alberta (Canada) and New Brunswick (Canada).The last of these (see ...

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Owner-operator couple raises money for breast cancer victims

Owner-operators Tom and Debbie Berkel (pictured) had the only truck at the Great American Trucking Show festooned with hot pink roses and sugar-pink ribbons. The couple’s 1995 Kenworth W900L was a popular exhibit that ended up enlisting $825 in raffle ticket donations for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer awareness campaign.The Berkels, leased to Mercer Transportation as team drivers together for 28 years today, have been raising money for others in need for four years, ...

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Learning to conduct — on the rail trail

My "Learning to drive" post from last week about the then-upcoming Blueprint America series special on the rail/truck debate garnered thoughtful comments that, since the special's release, appear that much more prescient. "Little" David Obermark, who blogs here, noted the historical precedent for the inadequacy of rail to handle increased volumes of freight -- at least with the dollars it now generates to reinvest on its own. "Back during the Clinton economy," he wrote, "back ...

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Behind the superhero — trucking minds at work

Brothers Nick and James Ventrillo are a pair of former truckers -- they ran XX Trucking, out of Las Vegas, earlier this decade -- at opposite ends of the IQ spectrum. The longer-term hauler of the two, Nick, has an astoundingly high 200 score. In the pair’s first work of fiction, part of their self-styled "Rick amp; Bobo" adventure series, James' character is the bozo (Bobo) who decides that the best thing to do with ...

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What do stimulus money and beef jerky have in common?

We're not exactly sure of the answer to this pressing question here on the Channel 19 blog (other than, perhaps, that both come with a large dose of time in the preparation), but here's what prompts it: I blogged last December about a Colorado program to provide haulers stranded in the state's mountain passes in winter with emergency rations to help them ride out the cold waits. The rations included such food items as beef ...

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Trucks ‘Made of Gold’ by Hawaiian owner-operator

When we wrote about country singer Leland Martin in July and his partnership with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association to raise money for care packages to send to U.S. troops stationed overseas, little did we know that Hawaii resident (though he runs the lower 48 through most of the year) owner-operator Howard Salmon's These Trucks Are Made of Gold record was likewise part of some 600 of the care packages. The CD, out now (details ...

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Overdrive editor gets blogged

If you think you're into your equipment, get over to the blog of Minnesota-based photographer Chris Grey, a friend of Overdrive contributing editor Paul Hartley, the best big-rig photographer I know. Grey recently got a taste of Hartley's work shooting heavy trucks in his photo business on a dual shoot at a Minnesota International dealership. And as Grey puts it, "I’m a 'Look at that huge machine isn’t that cool?' guy while is more ...

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Truck driving championships like life, really

Werner driver Timothy Dean told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the "hardest part" of competing in the American Trucking Associations-sponsored National Truck Driving Championships, held last week in Pittsburgh, was the wait. Like a hauler sitting outside a shipper's gate, or on a dock waiting to get loaded, the competitors' anticipation of of their turn to do the various maneuvers required of their consideration for the honor of being named the best driver in the country, ...

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Learning to drive

New York PBS station WNET correspondent Miles O'Brien (pictured, right) recently went through the motions of learning to drive a tractor-trailer at Shore Tractor-Trailer Training in New Jersey. He wasn't out to probe the intricacies of training or the flood of new trainees from other industries in a down economy, though. His piece in the Blueprint America series, which airs this Friday on the NOW program on some PBS stations, is about the freight-movement prioritization ...

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Media shoutout to independent high-dollar car haulers

Last week in Monterey County, Calif., enthusiasts and wealthy buyers flocked to the area for Classic Car Week events, and among the out-of-state revelers were the truckers who brought various collectors' items to the event. Monterey County Herald reporter Laith Agha took the occasion to write an appreciative story about a few them, a group of longtime enclosed-car haulers who've combined forces to form the Independent Network of Automobile Shippers, as Agha described them "seven ...

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