Blogs

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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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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Quebec filmmaker debuts ‘Vapeurs diesel (Diesel fumes)’ documentary web series

Quebecker Alain Fournier (pictured, of a fashion) is a filmmaker focusing his efforts on fantasy work and -- this is where we come in -- online documentary. His first big web series, on YouTube and titled "Vapeurs Diesel" or "Diesel Fumes," looks at long-haul truckers, among them the character of "Big John," featured in the snapshot you'll see below. Though the portrayal of John in this clip lacks much depth, and the wisdom imparted is ...

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Online Interface Makes it Easier for Drivers to Find Need-it-Now Parts

Doggie online social networking; Nashville flood update

Let's put the disclaimers up top, how bout? "No humans were harmed in the making of" the www.k9friendsunited.com doggie social-networking website, says founder Diarmuid Scullin, a long-hauler who started out with a simple, if somewhat off-the-wall idea. "Have you ever noticed that the vast majority of dog owners tend to be warm, open and friendly people but maybe because of time or other commitments you rarely see two walking together, talking together or getting a chance ...

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Cross-border trucking restart coming soon?

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood Thursday told a Senate subcommittee on May 6, that an announcement of a new cross-border trucking program is in the works. “President Obama’s team has worked very hard to put a program together,” LaHood said following a question from Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development about the ongoing dispute between the United States and Mexico. “We will be announcing it very ...

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