Blogs

Excuses, excuses

It's funny and sad. For all my good intentions of getting in better shape and getting to the gym, actually getting there and doing it seems to fall to the wayside far too easily. I'm probably one of the world's biggest excuse makers, and I can come up with some doozies. "Oh, well, I can't go the gym after work, because the dogs will staaaaaarve if I don't go feed them right now." "It's raining, and I don't ...

Read More

Running Naked

It’s not what you think. You are wearing clothes. People tend to get caught up in performance tracking. I ran 5 miles Tuesday in 45 minutes. Today I ran the same distance in 46 minutes. What’s wrong?  Nothing, but that type of thing can get frustrating. It may even cause you to give up. Of course it's fun to track improvement. But at 51 years old and 5 years of running there is just not ...

Read More

Amid industry discussion of EOBR rule, smartphone logging apps proliferate

Though the FMCSA's just-published limited-mandate and performance-standards rule for electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) for logging did next to nothing to open up the market for tools beyond the paper log and expensive devices tethered to the truck's ECM, smartphone applications with similar functionality continue to proliferate. The UDrove app and online storage service, released earlier this year (functional on iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices) enables owner-operators to log hours, track mileage for tax purposes, record fuel and business expenses, and ...

Read More

Third time’s the charm? Feds say no to tolling I-80 in Penn.

A development that could mark the end of a long saga (you could make a case that it goes back to the 1980s -- heck, even that it begins prior to the establishment of the Interstate Highway System itself) happened yesterday with the third federal rejection of an application by the state of Pennsylvania for authority to toll Interstate 80 within its borders. I first wrote about the controversy over the state's attempt to generate more revenue ...

Read More

In praise of a good scale

A scale can be the bane of a truck driver's existence, turning a long-held friendly rural-shipper relationship sour when an inaccurate estimation of cargo weight is found faulty 50 miles down the road at the nearest weigh point. That 50-mile return trip gives a driver a lot of time to think about just who is at fault.   Though I imagine some may have thought it impossible, when you hear what Kenyan haulers are going through in ...

Read More

Trucking through hours-of-service flexibility and EOBRs

With a new rule mandating electronic on-board recorders for a boosted number of hours-of-service (HOS) noncompliant carriers, the ongoing HOS listening sessions and FMCSA review of the current hours rule and the expectation among industry parties that an across-the-board EOBR mandate may be in the offing several years down the road, the issue of work time and outside control of that time has been front and center of late. Bison Transport driver Tom Balaz of Winnipeg, Manitoba, ...

Read More

Mack plant on ‘American Loggers’ tonight

The Discovery Channel's 'American Loggers' series, as you may remember, features in part the Pelletier Logging family, whom I last wrote about here when their friendly business rivals the Crawfords' played one particularly funny battery-powered prank on them of an early March morning. Before that, I happened upon pictures from the Discovery crew's filming at Mack's Macungie, Pa., facility, as they traveled with the Pelletiers late last year to tour the plant and pick up two new ...

Read More

Driving without pants!

Dear Carolyn, I’ve been driving a truck for 5 years and have never had an accident or a speeding ticket. The secret to my success is that I never wear pants when I drive. Ever! It gives me such a wonderful sense of freedom that I wanted to share my idea with your readers. Men and women, take off your pants! Driving pant-free is the way to go! Hope you have a good day! Jim Dear Jim, Oh, I love ...

Read More

Factories humming; inventories start growing

Today’s report on manufacturing shows it expanded in March for the eighth consecutive month, says the Institute for Supply Management, which does a monthly survey of supply executives. The good news mirrors what many in the trucking industry have said in recent weeks about freight demand – and driver demand with it – picking up. ISM also says the overall economy grew for the 11th consecutive month. “The rate of growth as indicated by the PMI (Purchasing ...

Read More

New play brings ‘respect’ for drivers to the stage

"It's been more than 30 years since Hollywood had White Line Fever," wrote Denver Post Theater Critic John Moore in this article, "'Diesels' Fuels Respect for Truck Drivers,' about the Denver Center Theatre Company's production of their in-house-written new play, "Mama Hated Diesels," that premiered March 25 and is running through early May at the Stage Theater in Denver. And, Moore adds, it's taken an equivalent amount of time to beat the "tired old rap" of the pop-culture image of the driver ...

Read More