Blogs

Overdrive editor gets blogged

If you think you're into your equipment, get over to the blog of Minnesota-based photographer Chris Grey, a friend of Overdrive contributing editor Paul Hartley, the best big-rig photographer I know. Grey recently got a taste of Hartley's work shooting heavy trucks in his photo business on a dual shoot at a Minnesota International dealership. And as Grey puts it, "I’m a 'Look at that huge machine isn’t that cool?' guy while is more ...

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Truck driving championships like life, really

Werner driver Timothy Dean told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the "hardest part" of competing in the American Trucking Associations-sponsored National Truck Driving Championships, held last week in Pittsburgh, was the wait. Like a hauler sitting outside a shipper's gate, or on a dock waiting to get loaded, the competitors' anticipation of of their turn to do the various maneuvers required of their consideration for the honor of being named the best driver in the country, ...

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Learning to drive

New York PBS station WNET correspondent Miles O'Brien (pictured, right) recently went through the motions of learning to drive a tractor-trailer at Shore Tractor-Trailer Training in New Jersey. He wasn't out to probe the intricacies of training or the flood of new trainees from other industries in a down economy, though. His piece in the Blueprint America series, which airs this Friday on the NOW program on some PBS stations, is about the freight-movement prioritization ...

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Media shoutout to independent high-dollar car haulers

Last week in Monterey County, Calif., enthusiasts and wealthy buyers flocked to the area for Classic Car Week events, and among the out-of-state revelers were the truckers who brought various collectors' items to the event. Monterey County Herald reporter Laith Agha took the occasion to write an appreciative story about a few them, a group of longtime enclosed-car haulers who've combined forces to form the Independent Network of Automobile Shippers, as Agha described them "seven ...

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Building a rainy day fund

In recent months I’ve covered steps to help you survive the downturn in the economy: • Set clear written goals. • Focus on the bottom line. • Eliminate or minimize debt. Focusing on the bottom line requires looking at your profit and loss statement, and it’s time to do that again for the next step: Build cash reserves. Part of reaching the bottom line goal is to examine each line item on your P&L statement and work to lower ...

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Give that man a CDL

Give that man a CDL Little did South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford know how universal was the feeling he revealed to his Argentinean mistress in one of several e-mails released by The State newspaper. Describing an early morning excavator session on his farm, he wrote, “To me, and I suspect no one else on earth, there is something wonderful about listening to country music playing in the cab, air conditioner running, the hum of a huge ...

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Seatbelt turns 50

A week ago today was the 50th anniversary of what Volvo is calling the "most important automotive safety device ever, the three-point seatbelt." It was first used in a Volvo four-wheeler, a PV544 delivered in Karlstad, Sweden, five decades ago and today -- because the company gave free use of its patent from the time of its first use to other manufacturers, and due to the belt's obvious safety features -- is standard equipment in ...

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Honor and goodwill in a placemat

Independent Amarillo, Texas-based owner-operator Buster Beverly Jr. designed the placemat pictured here to cover a circumstance that became increasingly common after he and High Plains Tire amp; Diesel in Amarillo began to turn his trailer into a rolling "thank you" to returning vets of current U.S. wars and other survivors of battle. He tells the emblematic story of a Vietnam vet who saw the original message lettered across the back of his trailer and made ...

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Factories busier in July

Industrial production increased by a half-percent in July, the Federal Reserve announced today. While housing and other indicators with relevance to truck freight have shown twitches of life in recent months, this marked the first monthly increase in this measurement since December 2007 (not counting a hurricane-related rebound in October 2008). The manufacturing component of the index rose 1.0 percent in July. This was mostly due to a tax-revived auto industry, which saw vehicle assemblies jump ...

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Great Recession = ‘Wealthy free spenders’ learning from the majority

Truckers tuned to National Public Radio's Morning Edition program Wednesday heard a newsy repetition of the reality they've been coping with for more than a year in reporter Frank Morris' "Economic slump hits nation's truckers" story from KCUR in Kansas City. In the story, veteran truckers Dee Jones and Mac Shepherd weighed in on the status of trucking and freight while waiting at an Oak Grove, Mo., truck stop. "I've been doing this for 32 ...

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