Overdrive Extra

Factory growth picks up from September

Cars, computers and exports are leading some of the most recent manufacturing growth, according to the latest report from the Institute for Supply Management. Only two areas (Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Furniture & Related Products) shrunk during October, says ISM, while 14 showed expansion. October was the 15th consecutive month for manufacturing to expand, and the overall economy grew for the 18th consecutive month, ISM reports. And last month’s growth measured 56.9 percent on ISM’s scale, up 2.5 ...

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Dollars and Sense

Here are two key points in shopping for used trucks.

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When the Midnight Cowboy changed his name

Renowned trucking DJ Bill Mack hadn’t planned on being a liaison between spouses when he went on the air decades ago, but he learned that when you open the phone line for truckers and their families, you never know what to expect.

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So you want a good deal on a low-mileage truck…

Sales of trucks, like everything else, slumped badly during the recession. Now there’s a shortage of used trucks in the sweet spot of four to five model years old, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

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Learning from a crash course

Such opportunities will increase as the economy struggles to get on its feet, and trucking already is ahead of the curve. It’s easy in the flush of good times to forget lessons so clearly illustrated during hardship. It’s best not to.

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Rebounding factories slow a bit in September

The recovery is still on, but it’s getting winded. That’s the conclusion of the Institute for Supply Management, which released its monthly manufacturing report today. While ISM’s Purchasing Managers Index “reading of 54.4 percent is still quite positive, the overall picture is less encouraging,” says ISM’s Norbert Ore. “The growth of new orders continued to slow... Production is currently growing at a faster rate than new orders, but it typically lags and would be expected to ...

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Dollars and Sense

You shouldn’t care much about gross revenue, but rather how much of that revenue you get to keep after expenses.

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Old Mack bulldog learns some new tricks

The old Mack bulldog has something to bark about: His website was named one of “10 Great B-to-B Sites” by BtoB (as in business to business), a marketing magazine.

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If you got it, a Russian might have trucked it

Driver demand has been slowly swelling all year. It’s likely to get hotter in 2011, even if the economy only crawls forward in fits and starts. By this time next year, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s talk of where to find new driver pools. Whenever this has come up in the past, one response has often been: immigrants. Immigrants don’t dominate trucking in the way Indians and others do cab fleets in New York City, but ...

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Confidence lackluster, but factories humming

Tuesday’s report on consumer confidence was a bit sour, even though the index was up a tad. “Overall, consumers remain apprehensive about the future," said an official with The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, which manages the survey. But, hey, that’s just a survey of how people feel. A report this morning shows that manufacturing, which has a more direct impact on trucking, continues to improve. One of the most active manufacturing sectors was transportation equipment, ...

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