Blogs

Trucking experts expect very slow rebound

“The economy has bottomed out, but it is going to be slow going in the months ahead.” That was the consensus of speakers at this week’s annual management conference of the American Trucking Associations, in Las Vegas, says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello in his weekly newsletter. One of those speakers, Sara Johnson of HIS Global Insight, predicts a contraction of  2.5 percent this year, followed by an increase of 2.0 percent in 2010 and then ...

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‘Trucker’ released in theaters Oct. 9

Friday, Oct. 9, is the release date for "Trucker," a so-called "small indie film" that thus will see a limited release, but perhaps it's in your area. The press for the movie, at least as run with in many outlets, traffics in some stereotyping -- "Michelle Monaghan is transformed from a hard-drinking, hard-living trucker" into a mother, said one online entertainment-show host, for instance, as if the two were impossible to contain within the same ...

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Texting re-redux — new consumer survey on DWT

That's right: it's just a hash mark away from DWI, and according to DOT, reaction times are roughly equivalent to those of a driver at the 0.08 alcohol limit. A study by the online electronics retailer and product-review site Retrevo puts the share of automobile drivers who frequently "text, use Facebook, or Twitter" while behind the wheel at a minuscule 7 percent (a more likely accurate 34 percent of drivers said they do it "sometimes"). ...

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Going back to Cali

A little California dreaming today, folks. A new story in the Riverside-based Press-Enterprise details the low volumes of pre-holiday freight coming through the L.A./Long Beach ports this year, but that's just one of the state's many trucking-related problems. The reefer unit and port-serving trucks emissions rules come online at the end of the year, and many fleets and owner-operators are now scrambling to stay in compliance. /ppMy "Ports of Confusion" feature in the October Overdrive ...

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Latest report bodes well for freight

More good news for manufacturing. A month ago, Institute for Supply Management data showed that manufacturing grew in August, for the first time since January 2008. ISM reported today that September gave an encore performance. “While the rate of growth moderated slightly when compared to August, the recovery broadened as the number of industries reporting growth increased from 11 to 13,” says ISM’s Norbert J. Ore. “Both new orders and production are growing, but at a ...

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Trucker appreciation at Johnson’s Corner Truckstop

Apologies to haulers who passed through Denver yesterday for not catching this earlier -- I was undoubtedly distracted by other things on my computer. In any case, the Loveland, Colo., truckstop Johnson's Corner celebrated their driver-appreciation day by offering various entertainment through the day and, most significantly, doling out free dogs, burgers and soft drinks to commercial drivers stopping in. Big deal, you say? Here's the rub: if you don't know it already, Johnson's Corner ...

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Channel 19

Brothers Nick and James Ventrillo have now released the first adventure novel in what they plan to be the "Rick & Bobo" series.

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Dollars and Sense: A little-known sales venue

They're still not widely used by owner-operators, but auctions offer some advantages over traditional means of trading equipment.

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Dollars and Sense: Clearing up fuel taxes

Because owners of Class 8 vehicles have to reconcile the amount of fuel burned in a state with the amount of fuel purchased in that state, the state tax owed could be more or less than the tax paid at the pump.

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Getting out of hand?

When I wrote Friday about the media ramp-up to the U.S. Department of Transportation's so-called "distracted driving summit," which begins today, noting the broad definition of on-board technology in some safety groups' analyses of in-cab distraction, little did I know that the New York Times would follow with a more supposedly in-depth look at the subject on Sunday that, well, might have given some credence at least to my "here's hoping it all doesn't get ...

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