Blogs

Trucking industry self-policing, Montana-style

How's this for taking matters into your own hands? After a few truck accidents on Montana highways 93 and 35 around Flathead Lake in the western section of the state, one of which spilled several thousand gallons of gasoline into soil precariously near the body of water, the public called for a ban of all truck traffic on the north-south routes, but public officials have instituted a different kind of policing measure with what they call ...

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Olympic downhill skiing, brought to you by dump trailer

Ice road trucking it isn't, but I couldn't help but notice in opening television coverage of the Winter Olympics, ongoing around Vancouver, B.C., an exceptional shot of a tractor pulling a dump trailer loaded with nothing but pure white snow. That's right, while the U.S. has had no short supply of the white stuff this year, getting the slopes around Vancouver in working order required a wealth of diesel muscle. This story, in Vancouver's The Province newspaper, detailed ...

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Continental HSR rides well on uneven terrain in Super Bowl ad

If you saw Budweiser's "Human Bridge" ad during the New Orleans Saints decisive defeat of the Indianapolis Colts to claim victory in last Sunday's Super Bowl contest, you may have missed one key piece of the spot, a split second shot of a Bud truck's tires rolling over the human bridge (pictured). Says Continental Tire's Jackie Pobiega. "We were pleased to see that our HSR tire rides well on human bridges." You can watch the full commercial here.

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Owner-operator’s record hits Roots Music charts

I'll bet Overdrive October 2009 Trucker of the Month Howard Salmon, an independent you may likewise remember from a couple posts (here and here) late last year about his part in the Convoy for a Cure festivities in Texas, is having a good old time watching news of all the snow folks all over the country are suffering through. He is, after all, out in Hawaii with his wife where he lives before coming back to the continental U.S. to ...

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‘Ice Road Trucker’ comes home to thaw

When I rode with Alaskan Haul Road driver George Spears in the summer of 2006, he was planning to retire in the next year or so. However, he kept postponing the day. Then he was asked to stay for production of the third season of the History Channel's "Ice Road Truckers" during the 2008-2009 winter. It was the first time the show was done on the Dalton Highway, known as the Haul Road, between Fairbanks and ...

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Uncle Sam wants a closer look at your 1099

Your status as an independent contractor will face greater scrunity in the coming years if the federal government has its way. Several states are already strengthening their classification laws for workers. Now the Obama Adminstration would like give the movement more firepower. In his proposed 2011 budget is a $25 million "Misclassification Initiative." It would allow the Department of Labor to hire more personnel to investigate classification cases, as well as seed grants for states to address ...

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OO dispatcher takes on truck brokerage industry

Straight into battle with a large piece of the trucking world goes Mr. Paul Todd, an Augusta, Ga.-based owner-operator dispatching service provider and the subject of my February Exit Only column "Surrounding the Middleman" in Truckers News (follow that link for the story). Todd's the author of the Industry of Thieves book. Released last year, Todd's book makes the case for excessive truck brokerage charges adding hundreds in costs yearly to consumers' balance sheets, and proposes a pretty particular bit ...

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FMCSA finally listening to drivers?

On the subject of the hours of service, my entire time covering the trucking industry has been to the ever-more-visible backdrop curtain of calls (to really mix metaphors) to introduce some sort of flexibility into the current, rigid 14-hour window for drivers to take short sleeper berth periods and not risk losing valuable driving hours. The current FMCSA administrator, Anne Ferro, in her remarks to the Mid-West Truckers Association convention in Peoria, Ill., over the weekend, highlighted her ...

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

Interviewing Overdrive 2010 Trucker of the Year Mike Crawford

Always a pleasure, it is, to get a call from Mike "Mustang" Crawford (pictured), the Prime-leased owner-operator who is Overdrive's 2010 Trucker of the Year (follow that link for my story about him in our February edition). I got one such call just last week. Crawford told me about his truck's recent inadvertent inclusion in preparation festivities for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade along 54th Street in Miami. "I got down there on ...

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Is it recovery yet?

It’s hard some weeks to stack up the economic reports and figure if things are getting better or worse. This week was no exception.

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