Channel 19

Todd Dills

‘The Drive’ owner-operator-focused three-day conference; NPR radio and truckers

| August 22, 2017

Hosted by Kenny and Elizabeth Long, the host (Kenny) of the Trucking With Authority podcast and owners (Kenny and Elizabeth) of the Patriot Star small fleet, a new three-day educational conference program for owner-operators kicks off the third week of October. Set for October 17-19 Harrah’s in North Kansas City, the three-day conference is centered around building a business with motor carrier authority, including a bevy of general sessions that are designed to be of use to any owner-operator, wherever they are in their business history.

Says Patriot Star Vice President Elizabeth Long, “Our goal with our conference is to provide business training and a networking atmosphere for our attendees. Being the owners of a small fleet …, we know that it is easy to feel isolated in our industry and as though we are the only ones struggling with certain aspects of our business.”


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While social media can ease some of the isolation — the Longs host a “Motor Carrier Meetup” Facebook group for verified owners with authority — “oftentimes,” Long adds, “people are only displaying facades” for public consumption. “Our desire is to help other owner-operators or small carriers learn, grow and improve their business through training sessions and discussions and facilitate face-to-face, real-world networking with like-minded professionals in our industry.”

The conference grows out of smaller programs intended for members of the Motor Carrier Meetup group solely, which the Longs have hosted in the past. “This year, we are opening the event up,” Elizabeth says.

Standard pricing for the event is $747, the Longs note, and there are some special pricing, such as $1,194 for two registrations from business partners, spouses or other family members to attend together.

“We believe in strengthening the ‘team,'” Elizabeth says.

There’s also a special rate for current members of the Motor Carrier Meetup group.

Find more about it all via this link to the event website:

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“It’s high praise when truck drivers — who spend long hours on the road and do more listening than just about anyone else — say they listen to NPR.”–NPR spokesperson Isabel Lara, quoted in this story about truckers’ relationship to the national radio network

There’s more than one familiar name in a story published recently by the news and opinion website for purveyors of public-supported media. One of them, household-goods hauler Finn Murphy, whom regular readers will remember from a discussion of his recent memoir on the business, noted the basic logistics of hauling across multiple states in and out of stations’ frequency ranges and the generally engaging nature of the talk programming driving much of the interest. “Every single driver I’ve ever talked to listens to NPR,” Murphy told reporter Alan Yu.

As a listener myself — I have long believed that it’s one of the few non-niche, mainstream talk outlets that hews fairly close to lived reality, regardless of whatever hyper-partisan balloon may be floating around in talking points at any given time — I’ve also seen evidence that what Murphy says is probably close to a truth, however exaggerated it may be.

Yu’s story is worth a read. In the lead you’ll find Overdrive‘s current “Most Beautiful” champ trucker Stephanie Klang, who notes a very rare speeding ticket she got was partially the result of being engrossed in an NPR-program story. “It was worth it for the story,” she joked with Yu

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