Channel 19

Don’t mess with Texas

Texas has been on a five-year winning streak in the Best Roads category in Overdrive's Highway Report Card survey, out this month (in the digital magazine, flip to p. 24). That doesn't mean, however, that its high-traffic highway network hasn't seen a disproportionate share of controversy in recent years. Just a couple days ago, though, the Texas Department of Transportation ">scrapped" the flash point for much of that controversy. The Austin Business Journal, among several ...

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One jarring ride through Detroit

It's January, which means it's ">Worst Roads" time for us at Overdrive, and ">Worst Roads" week here at the Channel 19 blog. Our yearly Highway Report Card survey, approaching its second full decade of existence, gives our owner-operator readers the chance to rank states and segments according to their level of washboarding, hobby-horsing, potholes, tolls, you name it. Michigan was back in the top five in the Worst Roads category, and a report from the ...

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‘Trucker’ somersaults truck — on purpose

The BBC reported this weekend that New Zealand-born Rhys Millen, 36, was the first "trucker" to "back-flip an off-road truck in the air." Turns out that Millen is not our kind of long-hauler, but the nephew of IMSA GTS racer Steve Millen and son of Rod, both well-known in the European racing world. Rhys is likewise a ">drifting" champion himself in the U.S. and now lives in California. He's run many off-road and various modified ...

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Diesel’s not down everywhere

International news has centered this weekend and today on a large driver strike -- involving ">tens of thousands," according to Reuters -- that began Monday in India, driven by the Indian trucking industry's demands for cheaper diesel (by 10 rupees per liter, about 21 cents), reduce taxes and equal treatment as India's government bails out other industries there. ">India cut prices of petrol and diesel on Dec. 8 after crude oil tumbled," Reuters reported, ...

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Smokestack blues

In the trucking business, diesel stacks can come in many shapes and sizes --modified, chromed-up, hidden behind fairings, and all sorts of things. From the factory these days, though, they all share a common attribute -- the gas coming out of them holds little resemblance to the sooty, particulate-laden belching commonly seen in all sorts of television broadcasts about coming green technology. Most recently, in a story about yet another start-up algae-biodiesel and alternative fuel ...

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Jim Harper could have been Ron Carey?

When former Teamsters president Ron Carey passed away earlier this month, reading the obituaries I was struck by the differing trajectories of two men whose beginnings closely resembled each other. UPS driver Carey rose to the position of Shop Steward in his Queens, N.Y., local in 1956 looking to improve member services (a decade later he'd become secretary of that local). That same year, Jim Harper (pictured with his wife, Mary, in 1953, the year ...

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Double-mind the blind spots in Houston

"What Do They Call 'Chutzpah' in Texas" is the title of a blog post from a week or so back over at the Social Services for Feral Children blog about a case against Texas box-truck driver Lance Bennett recently filed by a woman convicted of DUI after a crash she and Bennett were involved in. Elizabeth Shelton, the woman in question and daughter of judge Pat Shelton in Harris County, home of Houston, Texas, seems ...

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Breaker breaker

Anybody hear this blogger this morning, 8-9 a.m. EST with Mark Willis on the "Loading Dock" show, Sirius Channel 147? (It immediately precedes, incidentally, the ">Freewheelin'" show with Meredith Ochs we blogged about last week.) Thanks to all the folks who called in to talk about year-end maintenance and tax issues, the subject of Truckers News' December cover. We also got in a small plug for the blog, here, so a big shout to all ...

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Meredith Ochs talks big trucks on NPR

Meredith Ochs, known best for her cohosting slot with Chris T. on Sirius Road Dog's "Freewheelin'" show, talked a bit about her love of rolling in rigs on NPR's Fall Music Preview back in September. (We've gotten behind a bit on our All Songs Considered free podcast subscription, sorry.) She and Chris have in fact broadcast their show live from big rigs in the past. In the Fall Music Preview show, she had this to ...

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Merry Christmas from Paul Hartley/ADD Media

You might recognize the credit in the title from the pages of Overdrive. Hartley's our resident photographic genius, the man responsible for the Pride amp; Polish beauty shots you'll find most years in our calendar. The image above is his specially designed Christmas card, the text of which reads, ">Visions of sugar-plums might be fine for some, but we prefer a slightly heavier type of eye candy." Indeed, indeed.Merry Christmas from all of us ...

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