Blogs

Let us now rant over the unfairness of safety technology

You wouldn’t normally equate a person’s economic status with the safety of their vehicle, but a recent study links them. The study, appearing in the April issue of Traffic Injury Prevention, is talking about four-wheelers. However, the same principle could apply to heavy trucks’ history with anti-lock brakes and slack adjusters, or to current trends with truck stability control systems and disc brakes. The thesis is that safety features usually are introduced on luxury vehicles first, ...

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Lester “Buckshot” Winfree rises from owner-operator to 2010 person of the year

Lester "Buckshot" Winfree (pictured) has come a long way from his start in trucking in the 1960s. When he launched the Winfree Cattle & Rice company with two trucks late that decade, writes Record Newspapers reporter Robert Hankins in a story accompanying the newspapers' naming of Winfree as Orange County, Texas, "Person of the Year" for 2010, Winfree couldn't have imagined that he would rise to chairmanship of the board of the Port of Orange, on which he's served since ...

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Flex time — ATA lays down support for sleeper berth/HOS flexibility in comments to feds

The latest wrinkle in the ongoing debate over potential changes to trucking hours-of-service regulations, for which so many drivers have offered various proposals for injecting flexibility into the system, is the biggest trucking-company organization in the nation's support for codifying split rest in the sleeper berth. "Allowing shorter documented sleeper berth periods  would promote safety and health," ran a portion of the American Trucking Associations' comments on the questions posed by the hours-of-service listening session ...

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Introducing Wayne Dollar, a story-telling quilter who loves trucking, too

Though he perhaps needs no introduction, since you may have met him at his booth at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas last year, owner-operator Wayne Dollar (pictured), 54, not only stitches his own quilts, he's been winning awards with three of his uniquely themed creations since he started making them last summer. A trucking-themed quilt, with the moniker "Trucking Around" (also pictured), won first place at the Tri-State Fair in Amarillo, Texas, last year, and The ...

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Truck driver for governor: “Singin’ Sam” Little’s Alaska campaign song

Since I blogged about "Singin' Sam" Little's campaign launch for the governship of the northernmost U.S. state, Little (pictured, left, with his wife, Denise, and Pat Holt) has been laying the groundwork for the run, part of which included a visit to my home city of Nashville, Tenn., where he met Tennessee's Lieutenant Governor, recorded a new campaign record at Pat Holt's studio and picked up what is fast on its way to becoming his campaign coach, a Prevost, made ...

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Joy of sharing — win some diesel oil, Nascar VIP tickets, maybe a portable toilet?

A new sweepstakes put on by Shell Rotella opened today and is asking drivers to share what they feel is the toughest road in America by the end of August. The company's "Road-Tested Challenge," in exchange for operators' stories, offers a chance for drivers to win a VIP NASCAR experience with Richard Childress Racing, along with hundreds of instant prizes, including Shell Gift Cards and Shell Rotella-branded merchandise. Click here for the sweepstakes entry page -- no purchase ...

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A modest proposal for hours flexibility: ‘Gold Card drivers’

Trucker/marathoner/blogger Jeff Clark offers a well-thought-out idea for hours-of-service flexibility, giving the stellar, safe drivers out there a new name and the freedom to use their status to run how they please: "Gold card drivers" are "drivers who do not get into accidents," he says. "They don’t get moving violations. They don’t get out-of-service violations, and they do not do drugs. These drivers deserve to be recognized. They also have a lot to teach new ...

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Grassroots victory over proposed NY truck ban

Since the New York State protest convoys of November 2008, organized in part by the Mohawk Valley Truckers and Citizens United chapter, the issue of a big plan of truck-route restrictions on state highways in New York has seen growing opposition, with large groups among various industries joining trucking groups in decrying the state's plans to get as many through trucks as possible onto Interstate highways in the state. The opposition was so big, about a ...

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Doyle Blackerby writes his life in trucking

The Gadsden Times in Alabama published a rich story this past Sunday by correspondent Harry D. Butler about a great American original in Doyle Blackerby, 38-year commercial hauler, born in lower-state Leeds, Ala. His career followed the development of the interstate highway system, beginning just out of the Army in 1950 (where he'd served as a driver) with a small company based in Leeds and then for Howard Hall of Birmingham and other Magic City outfits. (Handle: Dandy Rabbit.) Blackerby's been ...

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You gotta know when to hold ’em, when to fold ‘em

Anyone who’s been to an intermodal port or seen the container ships that serve them knows there is no shortage of big colored boxes being stacked like giant Lego walls. They’re also shuffled all over the place, too often empty due to global imbalances in world trade. That deadhead costs the industry $7 billion a year, experts say. The Wall Street Journal reports, with an enviable headline, “Foldable Shipping Containers Try to Stack Up,” on a ...

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