Blogs

Latest in distractions: One word, three letters, rhymes with ‘text’

Earlier this week, as Kansas became the 26th state to enact a behind-the-wheel anti-texting law applicable to all drivers, the folks at hands-free headset-maker Jabra released results of a survey/study conducted in April that threw a little wrench (and more!) into all the late discussion of worrisome activities drivers engage behind the wheel of fast-moving vehicles. While 28 percent of survey respondents admitted to text-messaging while driving, more than half that number, a full 15 percent of respondents, said they ...

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Trucks on Pakistan’s Grand Trunk Road

If you missed National Public Radio's recent reporting along the Grand Trunk Road, an historic connection between far eastern and western sections of the Indian subcontinent, from Bengal to Peshawar in Pakistan, you probably missed this report by John Poole from a truckstop outside Islamabad. The stop, a rather informal spot on the Grand Trunk Road from his description of it, serves not only as stopover point but also as a sort of bazaar where artists ...

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Colorful codriver, trucking blues, health care reform and more in this month’s Truckers News

If you've missed the May edition of Truckers News on the racks out at the truckstops this month (I know copies in the more popular stops tend to go quickly), check it out online. Many great stories therein, including an examination of the health-care reform bill (the upshot: jury's still of course out on how the bill will affect the benefit programs of trucking businesses large and small, though parties from both are hopeful) and ...

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New trucks follow driver demand

We’ve been hearing that driver demand is coming back, so it’s not surprise that carriers are buying trucks for them. PayNet, which tracks lending activity across six industries, “found that the dollar value of new loans made to trucking companies that have never owed more than $10 million rose six percent in the first quarter of 2010 over first quarter 2009 levels,” reports DCVelocity.com. “The first-quarter results represent the first year-over-year increase in dollar-based truck lending ...

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Hauler narrowly averts disaster at I-24 Middle Tennessee sinkhole

As if the Tennessee Department of Transportation didn't have enough problems already, considering the damage recent flooding did to infrastructure in the middle part of the state, Tuesday earlier this week a reportedly 25-foot-deep, 40-foot-wide, 18-foot-long sinkhole opened up on I-24 eastbound between Nashville and Chattanooga (pictured, Courtesy TDOT) that nearly swallowed up a big truck, folks on the scene reported. Luckily, TDOT employee David Shelton was in the very next vehicle on the scene and quickly pulled over and flagged drivers behind him ...

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Feeling lucky

“Mr. Clark, you’ve had a heart attack.” Whoa! Those aren’t words anyone looks forward to hearing from a doctor. It can’t be. I run 25 miles per week. It’s not fair. Fair? He was telling me and not my widow. Alright, I’ll settle. OK! It was not a heart attack. On Sunday night that is what they told me. That is what they thought. I had troponin in my blood. When that happens, they immediately treat it ...

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Mission USA’s July I-75 “Tour of Hope”

Ed Eubank, pastor of a nondenominational church in northwest Martin, Tenn., is hoping he can "make a better connection with truckers so that we can better serve the people out there in genuine need." Eubank, see, is also the primary man behind the humanitarians at Mission USA (www.missionusa.org), an organization providing relief to families and individuals displaced on the nation's roadways.  "We’ve got  a 40-foot motor home with dry foods," Eubank says. "If we see a family with children who are ...

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Running below the E-O-B-Radar…

In my research for the cover story of the current edition of Overdrive, "Getting on board," about the growing use of electronic onboard recorders for logging among many major carriers throughout the United States, I had a conversation with expediting husband-wife team Bob and Linda Caffee about curiosities of their electronic logging system. “We drove to a military base,” Bob said of a particular pickup, “stopped and went on-duty not driving. We had to go to another ...

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The Future Is Arriving Fast: Cummins Redefining Tour

A shortage of drivers — and quality

I've been hearing since at least March that many carriers are once again scrounging for drivers. This means a return to business as usual in terms of a driver shortage, only this time it could more severe than normal. The reasons by now are well-known. The economy has been bouncing back. Imminent safety-related regulations -- notably Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 -- are expected to push a significant number of drivers out of the cab. Our friends at the ...

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To toll or not to toll: In PA I-80 controversy’s wake, debate over road privatization re-emerges

When a Devon, Penn., lawyer representing big commercial construction contractors insists that "Nobody's against this," referring to tolling major interstates as a method of funding their upkeep and expansion, I suspect he's not talked to anyone among the nation's long-haul owner-operators and drivers. Opposition to tolling, in my experience, is near universal among the former, particularly, and it's no surprise: the diesel taxes the states and the federal government levy are an ever-present reality in the business of hauling, ...

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