Blogs

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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Penske tractor hauls U of M solar car racing team

A Penske tractor is the truck of choice for the University of Michigan Solar Car team. The UM Wolverines, of the famous Maize and Blue, are based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Students prepared for the World Solar Challenge (a five-day race across the Australian Outback to be held in October) by conducting a U.S. mock race through the Midwest, about which there is a great pictorial-and-text account at the team's site.The Wolverines captured their fifth ...

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Russian immigrant sentenced in large trucking fraud case

Monday via Wired magazine came a story about the sentencing of 34-year-old Russian immigrant, hacker and Asberger's syndrome sufferer Viachelav Berkovich, who managed to operate a profitable but fraudulent trucking business "over a three-year period," wrote Wired reporter Kevin Poulsen. Berkovich and his codefendant in the case, Nicholas Lakes, also a Russian immigrant, had managed to hack DOT site Safersys.org repeatedly to "temporarily change the contact information for a legitimate trucking company to an address ...

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A recovery of one’s own — grassroots indicators

Fort Gratiot Express owner-operator Cliff Hagedon was featured last week on Public Radio International and WNYC's The Takeaway program in a segment on economic indicators with a human life behind them. Hagedon noted increasingly favorables ratios of available trucks to available loads on public load boards in any given area as evidence that the economic slump was at least beginning to improve for him in some areas of the country. "Right now, I am looking ...

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Waupun Truck-N-Show celebrates 20th anniversary

The Beaver Dam, Wisc., Daily Citizen newspaper reported on the successfully pulled off 20th installment of the Waupun Truck-N-Show in Waupun, Wisc., this weekend. Part of the draw of the annual event is the Ride of Pride convoy of trucks that hits the streets of the small town Saturday. This year, the parade included nearly 200 trucks from around the country. Keep an eye on the show's site for details about next year's event.Among other ...

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Small business still hurting

 If you’ve caught the business news in recent days, you know there have been some positive signs. Home prices and sales, employment and other indicators are looking better, possibly meaning a bottoming out of the downturn. But when it comes to small business and credit, it’s still a mess, reports CNNMoney.com: “Bank lending is down, credit card interest rates are up, and the country's largest small business lender, CIT Group ... is hanging by a thread.” ...

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Distracted transport secretary announces distracted driver summit

In the wake of the publication of results of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute's analysis of long-haulers' texting behavior while driving, the calls for a nationwide ban on the practice have now reached the metaphorical level of deafening, one might say. It'd be pretty easy, thus, for you to have missed a somewhat timid announcement from the U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, Tuesday that gave little detail about a supposed "summit" late in September dedicated ...

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Are All-Makes Parts Right For You?

Obama ‘on Ice Road Truckers’

Unless you're talking about dissatisfaction with rising government expenditures, such as the prevailing view over on CDLofit surrounding pending health care/insurance legislation, or Teamsters' campaigning efforts, you don't hear the words "Obama" and "truckers" associated in media very often. Late-night comedy shows are another story. Check out this post on PurePolitics.com detailing a night's worth of jokes after Obama's health care press conference from a week and a little extra back. Among the nuggets delivered ...

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Dollars & Sense – August 2009

In recent months I've covered steps to help you survive the downturn in the economy: · Set clear written goals. · Focus on...

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