Channel 19

Traffic blows up

Mathematicians at MIT have built a model to describe "how and under what conditions" so-called "phantom traffic jams," those without any obvious cause like a wreck or disabled vehicle, form on the roadways. An article about the research into "jamitons," as the researchers dub traffic jams of this type , appeared at the MIT news site here after the researchers reported findings in the Physical Review E online."Key to the new study is the realization ...

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Border backups

A recent report in the Maktoob Transport Business journal noted a huge hold-up for truckers driving into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates as Saudi officials reportedly began fingerprinting all drivers coming into the country, allegedly part of ongoing Saudi efforts to stem drug-trafficking.It was interesting in light of ongoing congestion issues on the U.S. southern border (northbound trucks pictured on the Laredo World Trade Bridge) recently highlighted in a conversation I had with ...

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A great guy still going

Overdrive Trucker of the Year for 2005, Ted Chapman (pictured), made it into print again -- this time for his adoration of the Peterbilt trucks he has driven in his more than 7 million accident-free miles and 50 of the 70 years the company has been in business.Chapman, along with owner-operators Ronald Colvin, Steve Cudeck and Anthony Goolesby, are featured in the summer issue of the company's newsletter, "First Class," celebrating the truck maker's 70th ...

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N.H. ‘truck museum’ puts classics up for auction

Heavy-equipment operator Richard Kemp of Hillsborough, N.H., passed away in September of 2007 at age 76, but his informal truck museum, with a collection of seveal vintage Macks, Internationals, Sterlings and other trucks and pieces of equipment, lived on past his death as a stopping point for collectors and part-time truck and vintage equipment enthusiasts in the northeast and beyond long after he died. A May 18 story in the New Hampshire Union-Leader detailed the ...

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‘Our trucks can move a ton of freight…’

You've heard the ads, running typically something like this: "our trains can move a ton of freight 436 miles on just a single gallon of fuel," as goes a frequent one aired on National Public Radio by CSX. I've tried to reverse-engineer what I've guessed to be the logic in the underlying calculation here and came up with one for trucking companies: if a typical sleeper truck at around 26,000 lbs. can move 27 tons of ...

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NASCAR = Medieval Joust?

I've heard the old "modern day gladiator" description of a NASCAR driver, a comparison that calls up ancient Rome, but Wall Street Journal writer Amy Chozick in May called attention to Northern Michigan University prof Karyn Rybacki's essay in the book The Sporting World of the Modern South in which she makes a perhaps more valid comparison between NASCAR and medieval joust, "a sport that involves two opponents trying to unhorse each other with a ...

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The aggro lead — USA Today’s latest

"Debate is heating up over an issue likely to strike terror in the heart of any driver," wrote Larry Copeland in the lead of a USA Today story last week. He wasn't talking about terror among truckers, though, only those who had ever "spied an 18-wheeler looming in the rearview mirror as into the slow lane."While the truck-driver community has its speeders, for certain, I imagine you'd take exception to the assumption made here: ...

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One for the little guy

From the blog of Bruce Smith, editor of Overdrive sister magazine Custom Rigs, Wednesday came this piece about the Bow, New Hamphire, Berube's Truck Accessories 6th Annual BBQ and Truck Show-Off, upcoming June 28, 2009. "They tell their customers to leave their wallets in their pockets," Smith writes, "and the trailers parked at home. Just bring your tractor, the family, and a good appetite."The Berube’s shop shuts down for the day, and the focus is ...

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Sleep apnea, trucking and Swift driver Kenneth Armstrong — at MSNBC.com

Swift driver mentor Kenneth Armstrong is the lead source in JoNel Aleccia's story this week on MSNBC.com about fleet efforts to address sleep apnea among their drivers to face down what many see as coming government regulation of drivers with the condition. The story, not a bad look at the subject in spite of its woefully exaggerated title ("Heavy, drowsy truckers pose risk on the road"), is here. For more on proposed and potential regulation, ...

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Cross-border trucking — a ‘comical tragedy’?

So says San Antonio Express-News columnist David Hendricks, finding hilarity in the fact that current transportation secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. President Barack Obama (as they attempt to restart some version of U.S.-Mexican cross-border trucking) both voted against the cross-border demonstration project while in Congress; tragedy in the fact of the hurt U.S. exporters are feeling at Mexico's retaliatory tariffs, imposed in March when the administration signed the bill that effectively ended the program.A close-to-equivalent ...

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