Blogs

Behind the superhero — trucking minds at work

Brothers Nick and James Ventrillo are a pair of former truckers -- they ran XX Trucking, out of Las Vegas, earlier this decade -- at opposite ends of the IQ spectrum. The longer-term hauler of the two, Nick, has an astoundingly high 200 score. In the pair’s first work of fiction, part of their self-styled "Rick amp; Bobo" adventure series, James' character is the bozo (Bobo) who decides that the best thing to do with ...

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Manufacturing numbers strong for August

Lots of good news for trucking in today’s report from the Institute for Supply Management. Economic activity in manufacturing expanded in August, following 18 consecutive months of contraction, according to the nation's supply executives polled for the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The August numbers also show the overall economy grew for the fourth consecutive month. "The year-and-a-half decline in manufacturing output has come to an end, as 11 of 18 manufacturing industries are reporting growth when ...

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Channel 19

Rolling the dice A board game designed by Blackfoot, Idaho, resident and potato hauler Randy Cox, My Truckin’ Luck, has players seeing how far they can advance their rigs from Washington state to Florida, making money along the way. The game retails for $29.95 at mytruckinluck.com, and play includes log books and other over-the-road realities. If you advance on the board to lay over in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, you can try your truckin’ luck at ...

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What do stimulus money and beef jerky have in common?

We're not exactly sure of the answer to this pressing question here on the Channel 19 blog (other than, perhaps, that both come with a large dose of time in the preparation), but here's what prompts it: I blogged last December about a Colorado program to provide haulers stranded in the state's mountain passes in winter with emergency rations to help them ride out the cold waits. The rations included such food items as beef ...

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Small-business lending bounces back

Borrowing money isn’t the best thing for an owner-operator to do in a down economy like this. But if you must – or plan to do so as soon as the recovery becomes more evident – it’s good to know how the market is changing. Small-business lending was dead in the water last year as the credit market collapsed, but CNNMoney.com reports that it’s “managed to heal itself” without help from the federal stimulus funding. “Figuring out ...

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How low can you go

I ran across a story today about a trucker who tried to go through a tunnel in Mobile, Ala., that was only 12 feet high. Of course, that didn't work and traffic was backed up for several hours while the crews removed the damaged trailers. The driver blamed his GPS . Police say the driver failed to heed warnings from flashing lights that his rig was too high. While this was an unfortunate costly mistake for the driver, ...

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Trucks ‘Made of Gold’ by Hawaiian owner-operator

When we wrote about country singer Leland Martin in July and his partnership with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association to raise money for care packages to send to U.S. troops stationed overseas, little did we know that Hawaii resident (though he runs the lower 48 through most of the year) owner-operator Howard Salmon's These Trucks Are Made of Gold record was likewise part of some 600 of the care packages. The CD, out now (details ...

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

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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