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Amber Alert

Friday, March 28, 2008

Been trucking all week

Well, I did survive my first week back as a OTR driver. It has been 5 years since I did any kind of over the road driving. But I did manage to survive the first week back, I only ran about 1500 miles but it was enough to put me back in the groove.
Boy, has a lot changed since I was out on the road. Seems there is a lot more trucks on the road than used to be. Maybe it is just me, but seems this talk of strikes has got MORE trucks on the road.

My company is just a small company of about 10 trucks, and as far as I know we are not shutting down. Although the owner would like to shut down, but for now they are making money. So it seems pointless to do it now to them. As for me, well I have no say in the matter as I just got back to work I need to keep rolling.

But anyway back to me being back on the road now. If you comment to anything on this blog, and I don't see it before Sunday it will not get posted until the following Friday. I don't have a lap top yet, so posting here will only be done from the house.

I read somebodies comment on another post that said the poster didn't believe I was a truck driver, that he thought I was a desk jockey...The poster also said it was because I didn't allow the comments to show up until I moderated them...

I want to clear this up. The reason when you comment on the blog it goes into moderation, is because I don't think you as readers would want to read how to enlarge your penis in 5 days or something like that. Or get a bunch of links to porn posted on here. I set the comments to moderation to keep out this kind of internet trash!

All comments so far have been posted, and will get posted as soon as I am home. Sorry but this is how it has to be.

Anyway thanks for reading, and posting your comments some have been a riot and others have been eye opening keep them coming!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Rant about some wannabe Truck Driver advocates

A advocate as defined by Wikipedia is - one who speaks on behalf of another person, especially in a legal context. Implicit in the concept is the notion that the represented lacks the knowledge, skill, ability, or standing to speak for themselves.

I have visited many, many truck driver related forums over the passed few years. I have seen all kinds, from ones who believe they are gods gift to truck drivers to others who just want to make a dime off of truck drivers, visitors etc. whoever will click their advertisements. I thought I had seen them all, but apparently I had not.

I have never indicated to anyone, that I was or planned to try to be a advocate. I am a truck driver just like the rest of you all who have read my blog. I know it seems that I have been blogging more than I have been driving, but that is a whole other discussion. I through this blog together just so truck drivers did not have to spend precious time searching the web for various news of interest to them.

Yes I do have ads listed on this site, but hey why not everyone else is doing it as well and sometimes some pretty neat stuff pop up on the ads.

I joined one particular truck driver related forum a few years ago. I thought it was the best thing ever. I ended up making several post and contributing to it, and was given a position as a moderator. But in order to moderate even the slightest thing that i would see wrong had to be "discussed" between the other up teen million mods on that site before a decision was made.

OK, so I played along with their games. But then it came down to where I was thinned out as "not being a team player" in other words some other mods and the admin were mad because I was online to much and was catching many of the spammers, and quote from the owner "Not spreading the work around". Meaning nobody else got to do anything.

So I asked to be demoted to a regular member. Well upon doing so, this "owner" of this forum talked me into purchasing my own forum software and starting a CB Forum. I agreed to only if he would help me get it started and he agreed. I myself do not have many skills at html and things.

I purchased it, along with a domain name and hosting and he installed it for me. OK, now I started posting and fixing it the way I wanted, it was mine. He ran his forum for truck drivers, he talked me into starting a CB Related forum, what else would come to mind with CB radio's? Truck drivers! so I posted a section for truck drivers. He was furious, and asked me not to go against him with this section of the forum.

It became time to upgrade the forum software and I asked him to do this or at least help me with it, his answer was he was too busy and that I should do it myself. So I had no choice but to try and do it myself, well that didn't work as I succeeded in causing my forum to go offline. So I went in search of someone else to help me out. I found someone and explained to them what happened. They agreed and helped me (it took maybe 5 minutes).

In return the other forum admin "banned" me from his site, said I stabbed him in the back! WTF? I asked him to help me he said he was too busy so I searched and found someone to help me, in which he found several thing's this so called friend had done to my forum that were completely wrong.

I finally figured out what was wrong, he didn't want any competition. Because it would cut his pay he was getting off the members of his forum.

He always since he opened his forum, kept preaching he would keep the forum free for ever or shut it down. Well I see he has a donation link up, and also has started getting paid advertisers to join, pay him some big money so they can advertise to the members. Use to be listed on his forum if you joined then the ads were not shown to you. Guess what the ads are still there even after you join, because he gets paid big money for this.

Oh another thing when you look at who is online at his forum, it will read like there is 800 online or some big ass number. Folks there is a setting in the software that will allow for a user to be shown online for as long as the admin wants. This is a tactic to elude visitors that there are a lot of members online all the time. But if you scroll down and look out of the 800 or so that maybe online only 50 or 60 maybe 100 had posted that day. Folks, looks can be very deceiving.

He claimed to have started the forum because of JB Hunt a company that he says he drove for....for 3 weeks. How can you tell how any company is in just 3 short weeks? I will not mention what forum this is, because many will figure it out anyway. I don't have to mention who the owner is, because that is easy to figure out.

But now as fuel prices are outrageous, and many truck drivers going broke as well as companies. He stated several times he WILL NOT support the shut down until it gets bad enough. I think he stated fuel would have to get to $5.00 per gallon! Then he goes on to post how truck drivers today are nothing but whining wussies and did not have the balls to come together and stand up and fight for what is right.

But then he turns right around and wants to poll the members asking if they favor a strike. Again saying truckers are spineless and not enough balls to do it. But says if the poll turns out for it he would back them and support it. Yea, only as far as getting a bunch of new members to come into his site, to make him more money.

Then he turns on the biggest advocates (OOIDA) truck drivers have, and calls them spineless, that they are only in it for the money. Because they will not support truck drivers shutting down. But before he always pushed for everybody to join, because he got fringe benefits for getting people to sign up using his name and number. I know because I did too when i was a member. I forget what it was but you get so much off your membership the next time around if someone signs up using your name and number. I really can't remember I only had about 4 to sign up using my name and number.

I suppose it paid him some money after his membership was paid for. Folks if truck drivers shut down and get what they are asking for, you are still going to need a voice in Washington and OOIDA is just that. OOIDA can't tell you to shutdown they could and would be sued for doing so. This is something you the drivers are going to have to do on your own.

I want to add one last thing, be cautious of A LOT of forums as they are only out for two things. That is members and to make money off members.

Friday, March 21, 2008

April 1 2008 Truck driver Shutdown is it going to happen?

This same subject comes up every year, about the same time of year. When freight is slow and drivers are worried about payments and such.
A group of Truck Drivers have tentatively set a date of April 1, 2008. Will this be enough time to get any action done?
Is this the right thing to do? A lot of talk has surfaced about a Truck Driver Shutdown for April 1,2008 and I believe there will be a lot of truckers shut down by this time vac, and days off will be taken.
If you are thinking of joining this, then you need to at least deliver the freight you have on your truck. You can be held liable for the load if it is not delivered. This will affect everyone us in one way or another.
If you are not going to join or you cannot join in, then you can still do your part. You can slow your truck down, to about the speed limit or maybe 5 mph under. This will get everyone's attention, and will save on fuel. You run your log book just like if you were being stopped every 5 minutes by the DOT.
Run it legal and log it legal, while sitting waiting to unload or load log it on line 3 (on duty not driving) this will burn your hours, in turn you will have to stop and pull over and take a break.

Show your support Drivers!

Some independents are still making it, but I'm guessing they are making it, from pay check to pay check. These guys are living on a dream, they probably got really small truck payments or no truck payments at all.
Are they going to be able to fix a major repair to their tractor if it happens? What about if it is time for them to replace the equipment? Can they afford to do so? I doubt it, I mean yea while they were out there driving that "older" truck that was paid for. Now they are having to make payments on a newer truck. Well that eats what profits they were getting up.

You might sit and read this and say, will shutting down really cause the price to go down? Will the pump owners really care?
It doesn't matter if they care or not.

This is a really good piece I saw on a forum earlier to answer the above, I will quote it.

The point of shutting down is to force the government and the public to take notice and respond to what is going on. The oil companies won't be the first to scream. Those who want to get their freight moved will be.

The rich folks who are investing in oil and driving the price up will be quickly moving their money to something else, as a result oil prices will drop.

Remember, just in the past week, gas consumption dropped only 1/10th of 1%, and oil prices dropped from 112.00 to 104.00 per barrel in a matter of a couple days. If investors think there will be a serious shutdown, they will be yanking their money out between now and April 1st. Just watch the price of oil between now and then.

ATA chief advocates speed limiters to reduce fuel in letters to feds

ATA President and CEO Bill Graves has written letters to the heads of two federal agencies promoting speed limiters as a way to cut fuel costs and to the Bureau of Land Management advocating development of oil shale and tar sands resources in the U.S. to increase domestic oil supplies.

In his comments to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator John Hill and National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Nicole Nason, the American Trucking Associations chief noted that trucking could pay up to $135 billion for diesel this year, compared with $112 billion last year, adding that “One highly effective way to reduce fuel use by the trucking industry is to lower vehicle speeds.”

He added that ATA in October of 2006 had submitted petitions to FMCSA and NHTSA requesting that newly manufactured trucks be required to install speed limiters set at no higher than 68 mph.

“For each 1 mph that a truck’s speed is reduced, there is approximately a 0.1 mpg increase in fuel efficiency,” he wrote, adding that ATA “requests that NHTSA and FMCSA immediately grant ATA’s petition and expedite rulemaking in order to take advantage of both the fuel and safety benefits that a speed limiter requirement will produce.”

In his letter to the Bureau of Land Management, Graves said, “To ameliorate the volatility of diesel prices, ATA believes that the federal government must take immediate steps to increase the domestic supply of crude oil and refined diesel fuel in an environmentally responsible manner.”

One way to do that would be to develop oil shale and tar sands resources in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, he said.


5 tractor-trailers pile up near Wendell; 3 injured

WENDELL - A collision involving five tractor-trailer trucks caused a colossal mess and many headaches for motorists on U.S. 64/264 near Wendell on Thursday afternoon.

Three people sustained injuries that were not considered life-threatening as a result of the pileup, but eastbound traffic backed up for nearly five miles, investigating State Trooper D.C. Pate said early Thursday evening.

The wreck occurred about 3 p.m. on U.S. 64/264 near Wendell Boulevard, the Highway Patrol reported.

Two rigs that were each hauling another rig had come to a stop in traffic when they were rear-ended by another tractor-trailer flatbed hauling steel beams.

"It was a mess," Pate said.

Three of the rigs that were hit sustained a total of about $20,000 in damage, and the impact caused diesel fuel to leak onto the roadway. Emergency workers quickly contained the spilled fuel, and none of the vehicles were carrying hazardous materials, Pate said.

The steel beams on the tractor-trailer flatbed shook loose during the wreck and crashed into the cab of the truck, causing about $30,000 to $40,000 in damage, the patrol reported.

The four rigs were headed to White's International Trucks in Wilson, where they were to be sold. The tractor-trailer that troopers say caused the accident is owned by Watkins Trucking Co. of Birmingham, Ala., Pate said.

The driver of that tractor-trailer and his wife, Milton Lewis, 51, and Cathy Lewis, 38, were both taken to WakeMed's Raleigh Campus. Emergency workers also took one of the rig drivers, Marvin Krohn, 59, of Sylvania, Ohio, to the hospital, Pate said.

Milton Lewis was charged with failure to reduce speed, Pate said.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Owner-operator organizes fuel protest Monday near Pittsburgh

Owner-operator Don Waltenbaugh of Pennsylvania has organized a daylong event to demonstrate just how bad it’s getting out there for truckers struggling with high fuel prices.

Waltenbaugh, an OOIDA member from Vandergrift, PA, has organized a 24-hour protest – a “shutdown” in his words – scheduled for Monday, March 24, on his property on Alternate 66 between Vandergrift and Ford City, PA, northeast of Pittsburgh.

“This is a one-day shutdown for solidarity,” he told Land Line.

Waltenbaugh said he has parking for 60 trucks and would like to see people from multiple sectors of trucking and hauling.

“I want people from all facets – towing, dealerships, the excavation business. I want them there,” he said.

Source Continues

Pilot Travel Centers opens medical clinic for truckers

Pilot Travel Centers LLC and Roadside Medical Labs and Clinics held a grand opening today for a retail medical clinic at the Pilot center at 7200 Strawberry Plains Pike near the Interstate 40 interchange.

Knoxville based Pilot, the largest travel center operator in the country, and Alpharetta, Ga.-based Roadside Medical announced in December plans to create a national network of clinics to meet the needs of professional drivers.

In a statement on its Web site, Roadside Medical says the “clinics meet the specific needs of the trucker while driving down healthcare costs for the entire industry through regular preventive care, practical lifestyle and wellness programs, and full DOT compliance testing and reporting.”

Pilot and Roadside opened their first clinic in Cartersville, Ga., in January.

The clinics are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Arkansas Trucking Association Calls for Hearings on Diesel Fuel Prices

The Arkansas Trucking Association said Thursday that it is petitioning the U.S. Congress to investigate "record high diesel fuel prices" that "threaten the cost-effective flow of goods in the United States and the general economy."

The associations' board of directors voted unanimously Wednesday to seek congressional oversight hearings into the causes of diesel prices that have reached about $4 per gallon.

Lane Kidd, association president, said Congress should act now to ward off an economic crisis.

Story Continues

I-95 Reopened in Philadelphia

Authorities have reopened a three-mile stretch of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia after a more-than-two-day closure to shore up a damaged concrete support pillar.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Gene Blaum says crews are being told to move aside the barricades and allow grateful Thursday morning rush hour commuters to roll onto the major East Coast artery for the first time since Monday night.


Motorcyclist Dies, Truck Driver Arrested

Texas truck driver Peter Mbugua was arrested Tuesday, for 2nd degree manslaughter for a fatal traffic accident that happened earlier this month in Boone County.

Mbugua, 60, was arrested in Wylie, Texas on a warrant obtained by investigators through Boone County Circuit Court, after a collision between his tractor trailer and a motorcycle claimed the life of a motorcyclist.

At approximately 1:35 p.m. March 4, police said, Mbugua was driving a tractor trailer owned by Safari Trucking of Texas, exiting southbound I-75 at Richwood, when he realized he couldn’t stop for the red light at the end of the ramp.

According to police, Mbugua steered the rig onto the left shoulder to avoid ramming the stopped traffic on the ramp and attempted to go straight through the intersection and onto the entrance ramp directly across the road.

Joseph Lonneman, 22, of Walton, Ky., was eastbound on Richwood Road/KY 338, riding his 2002 Honda motorcycle approaching the intersection.

Police said that Lonneman, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, laid the motorcycle down in an attempt to miss the truck but was hit in the intersection.

Lonneman was taken to University Hospital where he died at approximately 4 p.m.

The initial indications were that the accident was caused by faulty equipment on the truck and trailer.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department Accident Reconstruction Unit determined Mbugua was aware of the faulty brakes prior to the accident.

Second degree manslaughter is a Class C felony, punishable by 5-10 years in the state penitentiary.


Lawsuits fly in Pharr bridge inferno

PHARR - Grieving families of the four people killed in a fiery truck crash on the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge are lobbing accusations at nearly every party that could have been involved.

The trucking companies, the rig drivers, the city of Pharr and even the paving company that placed concrete barriers on the bridge face legal action in a group lawsuit involving at least 15 different legal firms on behalf of the four families.

"It's become a bit complicated. There's just so many lawyers," said Douglas Dilley, a San Antonio-based attorney representing a widow and children of one of the dead - Mission resident Hugo Oswaldo Hinojosa, who was in the pickup truck that flipped off the bridge.

"I've never seen this before."

On Jan. 10, a tractor-trailer driver smacked a concrete barrier, lost control of his rig and jackknifed into oncoming traffic, bursting into flames and causing the accident that killed four, according to a Pharr police accident report obtained last week.

The new report is the first official detailed account of that fiery night.

Source continues

Accident on US 24 in Henry County kills 1

Courtney L. Hooton, 23, of Toledo was traveling east on Rte. 24 near County Road 3 at 8 p.m. when her vehicle went left of center and struck the trailer of a semi, driven by Boris Linetski, 48, of Ottawa, Canada, who was traveling westbound on Rte. 24.

Hooton's vehicle spun and struck a second vehicle traveling behind Linetski's semi and driven by Michael S. Fitzpatrick, 37, of Fishers, Ind.

A semi tractor/trailer traveling west behind Fitzpatrick driven by Michael Matusevitz, 45, of Ottawa, Canada, went off the left side of the roadway, and struck the ditch and several trees to avoid a collision with Hooton's vehicle.

Hooton was reported dead at the scene and transported to Henry County Hospital by Liberty Rescue.

Linetski, Fitzpatrick and Matusevitz were not injured. Hooton's vehicle and Matusevitz's semi sustained severe damage, Linetski's semi was disabled and Fitzpatrick's vehicle sustained moderate damage.

Deputies are continuing to investigate the crash. This marks the first fatality on a Henry County road this year.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Speed limiter legislation introduced in Ontario

Ontario’s Transportation Minister introduced legislation that if passed will cap the speed of commercial trucks at 105 km/h by making speed limiters mandatory.

Jim Bradley’s legislation would require the electronically controlled speed limiter to be active on all big rigs operating into, out of and within the province. A speed limiter microchip that has been installed on virtually every new heavy truck engine built since the mid-1990s.

Nearly two and a half years ago the Ontario Trucking Association proposed the idea of mandating the activation of speed limiters on heavy trucks. The argument for speed limiters has been twofold: safer highways and cleaner air.

Whether or not speed limiters will make good on both those claims has been widely debated, but those are the reasons the minister stuck with while pushing the legislation forward.

"Slowing down big rigs on our highways would make our air cleaner and keep traffic moving at a safe speed. Speed limiters are another step in working together to build a cleaner, greener and stronger province," says Minister Bradley.

Naturally, the OTA welcomed the news of the legislation moving forward.

“It just makes sense,” says David Bradley, president of the OTA. “Not only is there a direct relationship between speed and the severity of crashes, but there is a direct payback in improved fuel efficiency from operating at lower speeds and that in turn reduces costs and GHG emissions.”

Source continues

TDOT prepares for yearlong shutdown of I-40 section in Knoxville

When a section of Interstate 40 at downtown Knoxville closes for more than a year beginning this summer, it will mean a change of plans for thousands of motorists on the major cross-country corridor.

The closure between James White Parkway and Hall of Fame Drive begins May 1.

Tennessee Department of Transportation contractors are working on letting drivers know how to negotiate the detour with about 270 sign changes leading into the city.

The detour will carry motorists on I-640 around the city, which means signs are being posted in advance miles away on I-40, 75, and 81.

“There are so many signs, we can’t just snap our fingers and do all this in one weekend,” Mark Dykes, TDOT’s regional safety coordinator, told The Knoxville News Sentinel.

“We plan to have all the signs in place by May 1. So you may see the signs up a week before May 1. You may be directed by signs to 640 but the downtown route is still open.”

Crews with Tennessee Guardrail Inc. will be erecting 18-by-14-foot signs in Greene, Cocke, Roane, McMinn, Loudon and Jefferson counties to warn them of the closing. They will be covered until May 1.

Source continues

Pine Grove man killed in Interstate 81 crash

State police said Ernest D. Beltz Jr., 26, of Bayberry Lane, Pine Grove, was a passenger in a pickup truck that rear-ended a tractor-trailer parked alongside the highway.

Police said the crash occurred at 5:40 a.m. near the Grantville rest area in East Hanover Township.

The driver of the pickup truck, who was identified by police as Kevin Snyder, Spring Glen, and another unidentified male passenger were seriously injured and taken to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Hospital officials confirmed that Snyder was in fair condition Tuesday night, but no information was available about the unidentified passenger.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, John Misiak, 57, address unknown, was also taken to the Hershey medical center after the crash. He was treated and released for minor injuries Tuesday afternoon, hospital officials said.

Police closed I-81 near the area of the crash for about three hours after the accident. On Tuesday night, police said the accident was still under investigation and were unable to provide further details about the crash.


MoDOT worker dies in crash

A 21-year-old MoDOT worker checking on flooded roads early Tuesday was killed when his truck collided nearly head-on with a tractor-trailer.

Joshua L. Slatten of Springfield was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which took place about 5:15 a.m. on U.S. 65 east of Fellows Lake.

Bob Edwards, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Transportation, said Slatten was a seasonal employee in his third year with the department. "He started back the first of January."

Edwards said Slatten was on duty when a rainstorm moved into the area early Tuesday morning.

"He was one of many MoDOT employees who were out checking roads and setting signs when roads got flooded and had to be closed,"Edwards said.

"He was on his way north of Springfield to check a number of locations."

Slatten was alone and driving north in a one-ton MoDOT dump truck when the collision occurred.

The Missouri Highway Patrol reported it was still investigating the cause of the crash, which blocked U.S. 65 near Farm Road 68 for several hours.

Robert D. Christian, 32, of De Soto was driving the southbound tractor-trailer and suffered moderate injuries in the crash. He was taken to St. John's hospital for treatment.

Source continues

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And It Starts Middle Georgia Truckers Strike

Over 85% of all manufactured freight in Georgia is moved by trucks. Everything from wood to toothpaste travels from manufacturers to your local stores thanks to the owners and operators of trucking companies like Greg Hobert, owner of Hobert Trucking. All of that may change, however, since Greg and his fellow owner/operators are now on strike.

Greg emphasizes, "I'm here because of these fuel prices, they're just outrageous, ridiculous...it's to the point where my fuel prices are more than my profit. That way, I'm working backwards. I mean, if I can't take home nothing, then what's the point of working?"

Thanks TruckersForum.net for posting this!

EZ Pass coming to Ohio turnpike August of 2009

New fare system to be in place by August of 2009.....

"EZ Pass" is finally coming to the Ohio Turnpike!

The Turnpike Commission has agreed to go with the system that allows drivers to quickly move through tollgates without getting fare tickets or paying tolls with cash.

A transponder in your car deducts from a pre-paid account, and allows easy traveling through 21 states with toll roads that already use EZ Pass.

Turnpike Spokesman Lauren Hakus says they hope to have EZ Pass up and running in August of 2009. EZ Pass is already in use on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Indiana plans to start it this year.

The plan is to have dedicated EZ Pass lanes, as well as some mixed use lanes. There will likely be a gate that will rise when it reads your transponder. If you don't have EZ Pass, the gate will remain down until a fare ticket can be issued.


Seat belt likely reason semi driver walked away from 40-foot fall

Police says a lap and shoulder seat belt is likely the reason a Texas semi tractor-trailer driver walked away after his cab fell nearly 40 feet off Interstate 380 Monday afternoon.

Joseph Karichu, 41, of Colony, Texas, was taken by ambulance to St. Luke's Hospital and later released after the freak accident.

Police say Karichu was traveling north on I-380 near the curve just before the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Rapids when he swerved to miss a car and hit the guardrail sending the semi up and over the railing.

Source Continues

Dallas to begin enforcing new idling law April 1

The City of Dallas will begin enforcing a new anti-idling law on April 1. Violating the five-minute idling limit may result in penalties up to $500.

The city passed an ordinance in May 2007 prohibiting motor vehicles that weigh more than 14,000 pounds from idling longer than five minutes during the annual peak ozone period of April 1 through Oct. 31.

Use of such idling-reduction options as auxiliary power units, direct-fired heaters and electrification are permitted to provide driver comfort.


Well I guess a Date has been set for a Truckers Strike or Shut Down March 24,2008

Well, I guess we all knew this day was coming. I didn't really think it would catch on too much. But I have been hearing a LOT of talk about this particular date.

The DATE IS March 24th, 2008 a lot of Truckers are calling for a shut down for the week. They are asking mostly Owner/Operators to participate, BUT all are welcome! Most company drivers will not be able to participate in this, as they do not own their trucks, and have to do as the company says.

I wish all who participates good luck with it. I will try to participate if I can, but I am also a company driver, and if I am told to go then i must go down the road.

You can go to a couple different sites to get information on this. Go here and here .

More heavy rain and severe weather


The combination of severe thunderstorms and flooding rain will threaten areas from Central Texas to the Lower Mississippi River Valley today.

In addition, gusty winds will complicate matters over much of the South as the area of low pressure strengthens.

The thunderstorms will evolve into a squall late tonight into tomorrow with damaging winds and hail becoming the primary threats, although a few tornadoes may still be possible.

Locally heavy rain will also be a threat tomorrow and tomorrow night, but rainfall intensity is not expected to be quite as great as today and tonight.

By Thursday, all that will be left of this system in the South will be some isolated storms over the Florida Peninsula.

More rain is expected to move into the region over the weekend: Saturday in Oklahoma, and Sunday from the Rio Grande to the Virginia Coast.

Highs today will range from around 50 in North Central Texas to the 80s in Deep South Texas and much of the Florida Peninsula.

Highs tomorrow will range from around 50 in northwestern Tennessee to the 80s in the Rio Grande Valley, the Florida Peninsula and the Georgia and southern South Carolina Coast.

Midwest -

Heavy rain will inundate parts of the Ohio Valley over the next 36 hours, where five or more inches of rain is possible through Wednesday evening.

Flooding will be a concern with rivers already near bank full from heavy rains and snow melt over the last couple of months.

Rain should wrap up by Wednesday evening, with some lingering snows near the Great Lakes on Thursday.

A pair of weak systems will bring a chance of rain and snow over the region late week and over the weekend.

Highs today will range from the 30s in the Upper Mississippi Valley and near the western Great Lakes to the 60s in the Ohio Valley.

Highs tomorrow will range from the 20s in northwestern North Dakota to the 60s in the Central Plains and eastern Kentucky.

Northeast -

Rain and snow will begin to move into the interior Northeast today.

As the system in the Central U.S. approaches tomorrow, rain will increase in intensity especially over western Pennsylvania.

Snow in the mountains will change to rain, with snow and a wintry mix possible in Northern New England.

Precipitation will change over to snow late Wednesday night into Thursday, with some lingering snow showers near the Great Lakes on Thursday and Friday.

The weekend should be mostly dry, with a few showers near the Mason-Dixon Line.

Highs today will range from the 30s in northern Maine and northern New York State to the 60s in western West Virginia.

Highs tomorrow will range from the 30s in Northern New England and northern New York State to around 70 on the Delmarva Peninsula.


A persistent westerly wind will continue to pump moisture into the Pacific Northwest, and keep the chances of rain and mountain snow going all the way through the weekend.

Snow levels are expected to stay around 3000 feet over the next couple of days in the Cascades.

The Southwest should remain dry through the weekend with warmer than average temperatures.

Highs today and tomorrow will range from around 30 near Yellowstone National Park to the 80s in the Lower Colorado River Valley.

Highs will approach 90 in southwestern Arizona tomorrow.


Cracked pillar shuts down portions of I-95 in Philadelphia PA

Traffic snarled Tuesday around a two-mile stretch of Interstate 95 that was ordered closed for at least two days for emergency repairs of a crack in a concrete support pillar of the major northeast corridor.

Repairs to the crack, which ranges from 2 inches to several inches wide, required closure of both northbound and southbound lanes of the highway north of the city's central business district, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Gene Blaum said Monday.

"Obviously, we feel it could compromise the strength of that section of the highway," Blaum said.

The section of the interstate carries about 190,000 vehicles a day, making the repair "a major undertaking," he said.

Traffic jammed at exit points as motorists were sent on detours around the closed area during the morning commute Tuesday. The stretch of I-95 was shut down after midnight. Mayor Michael Nutter said officials hoped to have the damage repaired in two days.

"Fortunately it was found, we're on top of it, and we're taking care of the situation," he said.

A smaller crack, about a half-inch wide, was first noticed by an inspector last fall. The same inspector happened to be in the area Monday and decided to check on the support, Blaum said.

"This crack has grown considerably since October," Blaum said. "It was very fortuitous that he took that look today."

Concrete at the top of the column had crumbled, making reinforcing rods visible from the street below, and brick-sized chunks of concrete lay at the base of the pillar.

Source Continues

CVSA Roadcheck 2008 - June 3-5

June 3-5, 2008 is the date that has been announced for Roadcheck 2008. For those who don't know about this event, an increased effort is made toward the inspection of trucks and buses.

Thanks to Admin at Truckers Forum.Net for posting this information.

Swift-owned trailer’s $8 million in pot sets California record

The California Highway Patrol reportedly found $8 million worth of marijuana after pulling over a Swift Transportation-owned truck and trailer on Tuesday, March 11, in Calexico, CA.

The 11,000 pound bust was the largest CHP troopers could recall, the Yuma Sun reported.

“That’s the largest one that I’m aware,” the Sun quoted Sgt. Mark Kirchhof of CHP’s Calexico inspection station.

CHP officers pulled over a 2001 Freightliner that was headed through the Calexico Inspection Facility after entering the U.S. from Mexico.

The trailer was supposed to be hauling water heaters, but drug dogs sniffed out boxes of marijuana near the trailer’s rear doors. Eventually, officers said they found marijuana filling most of the top half of the trailer.

The Sun reported that driver Ricardo Torres Villa, 28, of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, was booked for felony possession of marijuana and felony transportation for sales.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Two Elbert County dispatchers die in wreck

Two men who died in a multivehicle traffic accident near Calhan on Sunday worked for Elbert County as dispatchers and were heading home after finishing a shift.

"The staff is very subdued," said Steve West, director of communications for Elbert County. "Right now, everybody is actually still trying to come to terms with this."

Killed in the accident were Todd Sielaff, a 45-year-old shift supervisor who has been with Elbert County for five years, and Richard "Joe" Rockwell, 57, a retired Army veteran who started as a dispatcher in December.

West described both men as "professionals" who were dedicated to public service.

Sielaff is survived by a wife and three daughters, one whom is in college, West said.

Both men, from Simla, were heading home in separate vehicles when the accident happened at about 2:30 p.m. on U.S. 24.

Fog and limited visibility may have contributed to the crash, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

A pickup driver trying to pass at least one other vehicle while heading east got clipped by a westbound semi, trooper Gilbert Mares said. The semi then hit three other eastbound vehicles, killing the two men, Mares said.

The pickup driver, Donald Massmann, 38, was arrested on suspicion of driving too fast for the foggy conditions, Mares said.

West said Sielaff and Rockwell were in the last two vehicles that were hit. Another driver, 48-year-old Terry Jaques of Limon, was not hurt.

The tractor-trailer driver, 51-year-old Stanley Strock of Wooster, Ohio, also was not hurt.

Source Continues

Truck Driver killed in big-rig wreck

A man died Friday when the big rig he was driving overturned on Jamestown Road north of Golf Links Road.

The man, whose name has not yet been released, was driving a 1999 Freightliner tractor pulling a 1973 trailer south on Jamestown Road at about 10:05 a.m., said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Jim Jacobs.

The man lost control of the truck, which left the road and rolled into a power pole.

"We don't know why," he said. "It's still under investigation."

The victim was wearing a seat belt and alcohol is not suspected to have contributed to the wreck, he said.

The road was closed for about five hours during the investigation and while crews towed the truck away, CHP Officer Tom Wills said. A commercial inspection was required to see if faulty equipment contributed to the accident.

The truck rested against the power pole, part of which was split in two from the force.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company crews arrived on scene at about noon and worked on fixing the pole throughout the afternoon and evening, said Nicole Tam, a PG&E spokeswoman based in Stockton.

The company rerouted electricity to its customers, but there were periodic outages for 3,252 customers in the western parts of Sonora on Friday afternoon.

It was the first death on Tuolumne County roads so far this year, Wills said.

Source continues

Central Refridgerated Semi falls 40 feet off I-380

A semi tractor-trailer was involved in an accident this afternoon with the trailer still on Interstate 380 northbound and the cab coming to rest some 40-feet below on First Avenue West.

The accident happened at 2:55 p.m. and the semi was the only vehicle involved.
At this time, the trailer is on I-380 and the tractor is on 1 Ave NW.

There appears to be minor injuries only. The driver of the semi, not yet identified, was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Source continues and pictures

Harvard student killed by tractor-trailer

A Harvard graduate student was dragged to his death this morning after being hit by a tractor-trailer in Central Square in Cambridge.

Police say a bystander ran after the driver of the truck yelling for him to stop.

The victim, identified as Isaac Meyers, 28, was dragged about 25 feet, Cambridge police said, before the truck came to a halt.

Cambridge police said Meyers was hit by a Shaw’s truck in Central Square at 6:45 this morning. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:20 p.m.

State and Cambridge Police shut down Mass. Ave for several hours in their investigation. The police have not announced any charges.

Harvard’s Michael Simon, associate director of the Harvard Hillel, said the on-campus Jewish organization is mourning the loss of Meyers.

An informal gathering will be held at the Harvard Classics Department tonight, where Meyers was a student.

Shaw’s spokeswoman Judy Chong said in a statement that "Shaw’s is cooperating fully with state and local authorities who are investigating. Our thoughts are with all parties affected by this tragic accident."


Passing motorist saves truck driver from burning wreck

A 43-year-old truck driver was rescued from his burning vehicle by a passing motorist this morning after the tractor-trailer rig he was operating crashed into a large tree along Interstate 205 and burst into flames.

The driver suffered serious injuries, including second- and third-degree burns, but survived and was taken to Legacy Emanuel Hospital.

According to a news release, the driver tried to get out of the rig by himself after the crash but became entangled in his seat belt. But a passing motorist, as yet unidentified, rescued him as fire consumed the cab of the tractor, including the driver's seat.

Source continues

Sirius Satellite Radio Announces Line Up For Mid-America Trucking Show

SIRIUS’ lineup at this year’s Mid-America Trucking Show features live broadcasts for Road Dog Trucking Radio and Blue Collar Radio.

Road Dog Trucking Radio, SIRIUS channel 147, is the exclusive 24-hour channel just for the drivers who keep America moving. Road Dog Trucking Radio features news, information and entertainment designed to lighten the load.

Road Dog shows Freewheelin’ with Meredith Ochs and Chris T. and The Lockridge Report will broadcast live from the SIRIUS booth #16116. SIRIUS’ Blue Collar Radio will also air a live on-site MATS broadcast.

Freewheelin' with Meredith Ochs and Chris T. is a daily call-in show covering news and entertainment. Every day Meredith and Chris T cover trucking as a lifestyle, as a culture, and as one of the most important jobs in the country. Celebrity guests visit often, from governors to actors, from rock 'n' rollers to writers, but truckers are always the stars of the show.

The Lockridge Report is an independent, authoritative voice for the professional driver. Birmingham, AL-based, award-winning trucking journalist Evan Lockridge tackles the tough issues facing truckers today - putting industry heavyweights on the hot seat, keeping you on top of the breaking news and giving you a say on important topics.

Blue Collar Radio SIRIUS channel 103 features favorites from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour and as well as everyman humor from great comedians and hilarious new stand-ups.

Highlights of the SIRIUS Road Dog Trucking Radio MATS lineup this year also include an exclusive Friday evening screening of Big Rig, an acclaimed trucking documentary, followed by a Q&A with director Doug Pray and producer Brad Blondheim, as well as an on-air appearance and autograph session with Grammy-award winning singer Kathy Mattea on Saturday afternoon.


Thursday, March 27
11:00 am – 2:00 pm ET
Freewheelin’ with Meredith Ochs and Chris T.
Broadcasting LIVE on SIRIUS Road Dog Trucking Radio (Booth #16116)

2:00 – 4:00 pm ET
The Lockridge Report with Evan Lockridge
Broadcasting LIVE on SIRIUS Road Dog Trucking Radio (Booth #16116)

Friday, March 28
11:00 am – 2:00 pm ET
Freewheelin’ with Meredith Ochs and Chris T.
Broadcasting LIVE on SIRIUS Road Dog Trucking Radio (Booth #16116)

2:00 – 4:00 pm ET
The Lockridge Report with Evan Lockridge
Broadcasting LIVE on SIRIUS Road Dog Trucking Radio (Booth #16116)

4:00 – 6:00 pm ET
Special live broadcast of Blue Collar Radio show Mark Says Hi
Host Mark Seman will interview truckers, fans and MATS-attendees.
Broadcasting LIVE on Blue Collar Radio (Booth #16116)

6:00 – 8:00 pm ET
SIRIUS presents Big Rig film screening
Screening to be held in Room B104, complimentary tickets available from SIRIUS Booth #16116
An exclusive MATS screening of the acclaimed documentary film Big Rig, featuring Q&A with director Doug Pray and producer Brad Blondheim.

Big Rig is a broad portrait of modern America as seen through the eyes of long-haul truck drivers.
Spanning 21,000 miles, 45 states, and dozens of truck stops.

Saturday, March 29
11:00 am – 2:00 pm ET
Freewheelin’ with Meredith Ochs and Chris T.
Broadcasting LIVE on SIRIUS Road Dog Trucking Radio (Booth #16116)

12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
Kathy Mattea, Grammy-award winning singer. Mattea is the singer-songwriter of the truckers’ favorite “18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses.”
Her 15th album Coal will be released April 1.
LIVE appearance on SIRIUS Road Dog Trucking Radio & Autograph Signing (Booth #16116)

2:00 - 4:00 pm ET
Special live broadcast of Blue Collar Radio show Mark Says Hi
Host Mark Seman will interview truckers, fans and MATS-attendees.
Broadcasting LIVE on Blue Collar Radio (Booth #16116)

Stop by the SIRIUS booth for information on MATS special discounts on SIRIUS receivers and accessories. For more information, updated guest appearances and Road Dog Trucking Radio news please visit www.sirius.com/roaddogtrucking


Man arrested in semi smash-up

A 24-year-old man from Lloydminster faces several charges after he allegedly stole a tractor-trailer and damaged three other vehicles.

The man was charged Thursday with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property and failure to remain at the scene of an accident following a series of hit-and-run collisions in the border city.

He fled the scene on foot but was later apprehended by police.
There were no injuries reported and the cost of damages is unknown at this time but is estimated to be in the thousands.


Millions of Bees Loose on Calif. Highway

Millions of swarming honey bees are on the loose after a truck carrying crates of the insects flipped over on a California highway.

The California Highway Patrol says 8-to-12 million bees escaped Sunday from the crates in which they were stored and swarmed over an area of Highway 99 and stung officers, firefighters and tow truck drivers trying to clear the accident.

CHP Officer Michael Bradley says a tractor trailer flipped over while entering the highway on its way to Yakima, Wash. The flatbed was carrying bee crates each filled with up to 30,000 bees.

Bradley says several beekeepers driving by the accident stopped to assist in the bee wrangling.

The bees had been used in the San Joaquin Valley to pollinate crops.


Interstate 70 closed in Columbus after accident

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating an accident with a tractor trailer and a motorcycle that left the motorcyclist dead and closed Interstate 70 in Columbus.

Officials say the westbound lanes of a major east-west interstate through Columbus would be closed for several hours Sunday while they investigate. Police say a motorcyclist fell off his bike and was hit by the tractor trailer.

The ramps from Interstate 270 onto Interstate 70 were briefly closed but reopened about two hours later. The accident happened about 6 a.m. near the Brice Road exit on the city's east side.


Trucking industry will spend record amount on diesel in 08: ATA

The trucking industry will pay a record amount for fuel in 2008, according to projections from the American Trucking Associations.

The US-based trucking industry lobby group projected the industry will shell out US$135 billion for fuel this year, up US$22 billion compared to 2007.

The association's president and CEO said the industry is experiencing the highest prolonged fuel prices in history. Fuel is beginning to surpass labour as a fleet's largest operating expense, he pointed out.

"The trucking industry is making great strides in its efforts to reduce overall fuel consumption. But an affordable supply of diesel fuel is imperative to keep our trucks moving," said ATA president and CEO Bill Graves. "There is little to suggest that fuel prices will decline any time soon. Yet every day, ATA hears new stories from its members about how escalating fuel prices are hurting their businesses and affecting their livelihood."

Over the past five years, the cost of filling up a tractor-trailer has surged 116%, the ATA reports. The association is calling on US Congress and President George W. Bush to increase diesel supplies to counter further price spikes.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why doesn't OOIDA call for a Strike?

It’s a trucking nightmare – 16 states averaging above $4 fuel. Calls for a shutdown are common, and here at OOIDA we are slammed with phone calls and e-mails from truckers whose businesses are suffering. This week, 90 percent of the thousands of calls we’ve received are about the cost of fuel. Many are asking why OOIDA does not call for our members to strike.

As a trade association, it is not possible for OOIDA to organize a shutdown because it would be a violation of federal anti-trust laws. Criminal penalties could be imposed, those businesses and individuals who claim to be adversely affected by a strike action could initiate civil lawsuits, and the existence of the Association could be jeopardized.

From land line blog

Time to go to work...

Well, I guess the time has come for me to go to work. I have loafed around here too long. I am leaving tomorrow for Florida, to begin a new job. I will be going back over the road, as a truck driver.

I know I have mentioned a few times of not wanting to return to driving. But I think this is all I am cut out to be. At least this time I will be driving a fancy peter car!

Indian River Transport

I mean, at least i will be working now. Indian River Transport seems like a good company to work for. They are just like all the other companies out there, they expect you to work.

I will be staying 2 to 2 1/2 weeks out on the road. This will take me a little getting used to again. It has been about 5 years since I have had to stay gone for more than 2 weeks. But once I get back into the swing of thing's it will just fly by I'm sure.

Also I will not be updating this blog except when I get home. I know how will you guy's survive? Well there are 333 post in this blog, that should take you all some time.
But when I get back every 2 or 3 weeks I will update it then. Hopefully with some pictures from the road, and some good stories anyway.

Well I probably will update this Monday morning, then it will not get updated again for a couple weeks. So hang in there with me, and visit often.

P.S. If you leave a comment it will not be seen for 2 or more weeks. In a few weeks I hope to buy a laptop to carry with me. Then it will be almost everyday again!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Diesel: Fuel for Inflation?

Truckers Face Record Pump Prices to Get Goods to Stores

Lee Klass was hauling 41,000 pounds of hairspray from Florida to Quebec yesterday when he pulled into a truck stop in North Carolina to fill his tank with diesel. The price: $3.999 a gallon.

"Diesel prices are terrible, and they're not getting any better," the 60-year-old Klass, an independent trucker, said in a cellphone interview as he filled the 240-gallon tank. The final tab: $960.

The auto club AAA reported yesterday that both diesel and gasoline prices smashed previous highs. Gasoline rose to a nationwide average of $3.246 a gallon for regular unleaded. Diesel, which has been setting records almost daily for the past three weeks, hit a nationwide average of $3.876 yesterday.

The average price of diesel fuel has been shooting up even faster than that of gasoline, rising more than 50 cents in barely two months. That is not only squeezing profit out of the trucking business but is also driving up the cost of delivering all kinds of goods to American consumers.

Source Continues

Drivers may park trucks due to cost of diesel

The high cost of fuel has hit everyone hard, and it doesn’t look like the prices are going to come down any time soon.Fed up with the high price of diesel fuel, truckers are talking about parking their trucks for one day, Monday, March 24.“It’s spreading like wildfire across the CB,” said owner-operator Tom Bark of Apple Valley.

“Coast to coast, they’re talking about it.

“I guess the American people have to wake up and realize that without trucks, everything is going to come to a stop. If we stop rolling, we’ll be in trouble.”

Bark, who spoke with the News on Thursday from Baltimore, was in the midst of a 4 1/2-day run from California to Maryland. After spending the last 32 years driving, Bark said he’ll park his truck on March 24.

“I’m like all these other guys; I’m fed up and I’m going to park the truck,” he said. “My wheels are turning, but I’m just spinning.”

Bark said the run from California to Maryland used to pay $8,000; now, it pays $2,200, about $1 a mile. To break even, Bark said he needs to make about $3.20 a mile; to make a profit, at least $4.

read more | digg story

Friday, March 14, 2008

Tractor Trailer Torn In Half By Train In Kings Mountain

A train slammed into a tractor trailer after it became stuck on the tracks in Kings Mountain early Friday.The crash happened around 8:30 a.m. at the intersection of Oak Street and Battleground Avenue.

The trailer portion of the vehicle was split in half. A witness said the metal pallets inside, which weigh between 250 and 300 pounds, were tossed like toys.Two similar accidents have happened at the crossing in the past two years.

Carol Norris, who lives half a block away from the crash site, said she heard the impact.“That was my first thought, ‘Not again.’ They need to close the crossing,” Norris said.The tractor trailer driver said he was just following his Global Positioning System, which led him to the crossing that trucks are not supposed to use.

He’s been charged with obstructing a railroad crossing.Police said they are interested in finding out how they can get the road shut down.


FedEx Driver killed in PA. Turnpike accident

The driver of a FedEx tractor-trailer died this morning in an accident on the westbound Pennsylvania Turnpike between the Mid-County and Valley Forge interchanges.

Around 9:15 a.m., traffic resumed on all westbound lanes - the direction in which the accident occurred, the State Police said. Eastbound traffic had resumed shortly after 6 a.m.

Shortly before 8 a.m., the road seemed unlikely to reopen quickly, since the tractor-trailer was still "connected ... to a crumpled Dodge pickup," according to Rick Freas, 38, a tow truck driver from Valley Forge.

"They just removed the body a few minutes ago," he said.

"The cab is completely crushed in," he said of the FedEx truck.

The accident, which occurred at 3:53 a.m., also involved a second tractor-trailer, state police said.

The driver of the pick-up truck was injured.

Traffic on the southbound Blue Route (I-476) was slowed as well, because of motorists being detoured from the turnpike.

Four state police cars, four tow trucks and three fire trucks were at the scene, near a shopping center with a Cosco, Speas said.


NxtGen :: New Technology to Reduce Diesel Emissions

Officials from the Government of Canada, EnCana Corporation TSX: ECA NYSE: ECA and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) announced today they are committing $5.5 million in financing to a NxtGen Emission Controls project which demonstrates an innovative diesel emission reduction system.

NxtGen's syngas technology will assist diesel trucks in complying with stringent global emission reduction regulations and has the potential to enable manufacturers to increase fuel economy. When retrofitted onto existing trucks, NxtGen's system is expected to reduce particulate emissions by 85 percent and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 65 percent.

This new technology for diesel trucks is similar to catalytic converters for gasoline vehicles."This technology is an example of the kind of forward thinking that will help ensure Canada remains at the forefront of clean technologies, that will reduce air pollution and our greenhouse gas emissions," said the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources.

"The partnership we see here is a great example of how our Government is encouraging innovation, making sure Canadians have the opportunity to enjoy the full environmental and economic benefits of these technologies."The project supported by EnCana and SDTC involves field trials of NxtGen's diesel emission reduction technology on medium and heavy duty trucks.

The systems are being retrofitted onto 12 trucks in three fleets across Canada, including three heavy duty trucks owned by Mullen Trucking LP, one of EnCana's key transportation providers in Alberta."NxtGen looks forward to working with EnCana and SDTC as we put our diesel emission control technology to the test in real world operations," says Jeremy Holt, NxtGen Emission Controls President and CEO. "

The support provided by EnCana and SDTC comes at a pivotal time for NxtGen. The field trials will enable us to demonstrate the effectiveness and reliability of NxtGen's syngas emission reduction system for diesel trucks."

read more | digg story

Truckers fret over NAFTA “renegotiation” talk

Is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dying? Both Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama have made campaign promises to “renegotiate” the 14-year-old trade agreement that generally has resulted in a boom for U.S. trucking and railroad interests.

Since NAFTA was adopted in 1994 under the first Clinton administration, it basically created open trade, free of duties and tariffs, among the U.S. Mexico and Canada. But both Democratic candidates have sounded a protectionist tone during their campaign, threatening to renegotiate NAFTA and other free trade agreements to make them more favorable on labor and environmental grounds.

It’s hard to tell whether this is merely campaign rhetoric or an actual threat to NAFTA existence. One thing is for sure. Any talk of renegotiating NAFTA makes truckers nervous.ldquo;Since 1993, when the other Clinton signed the agreement, we’ve been in favor of NAFTA and free trade acts in general and that hasn’t changed,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves told Logistics Management. “Free trade is generally good for the American consumer and we support that.”

It also has been good for the U.S. trucking industry. Some companies, such as Indianapolis-based Celadon and Con-way’s CFI unit, garner more than 40 percent of their revenue from the lucrative north-south trade in and out of Mexico.

read more | digg story

Winnipeg show & shine to feature tons of glitz

The Winnipeg Truck Show will have 30 of the best show trucks anywhere prepped and ready for display on Edmonton Street.

Interested in showing your beautiful rig? Show & Shine details and applications are available online at www.winnipegtruckshow.com.

Edmonton Street will be closed to traffic both days, so you’ll be free to wander. Saturday afternoon, these chrome-laden chariots will form a convoy and parade through town. It’s a way of shouting to the world that The Winnipeg Truck Show is back and better than ever.

The New Winnipeg Truck Show -- now owned and operated by Newcom Business Media (the publisher of this magazine) -- rolls into Manitoba’s capital city May 23rd and 24th, 2008. With more than 125 exhibitors on a 120,000-plus-sq.-ft. exhibit floor, the Winnipeg Truck Show brings the entire industry to one location for two full days.

Visitors will find the latest in trucks, trailers, heavy-duty parts and accessories, engines and power-train components, service-shop equipment and supplies, tires, fuels, financial services, and many other products and services that are crucial to the trucking industry.

Who’s going to be there? Everybody. Transport company owners, fleet managers and drivers, owner-operators, managers and purchasing agents, service-shop owners, private carriers, garage personnel, government transport officials and heavy-duty parts jobbers will all attend the show.

A series of need-to-know free seminars will also be offered to the expected 8,000 industry professionals from across Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario and Saskatchewan who will converge in Winnipeg for this important industry event.

And don’t forget the fun part: Exhibitors and visitors are invited to a Friday evening party featuring a Johnny Cash Tribute band.


Tire change may have preceded fatal I-15 mishap near Las Vegas

Northbound Interstate 15 is reopening after two people were struck and killed early this morning in a hit-and-run fatal just south of Las Vegas.

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Kevin Honea says traffic is still going to be funneled down to one lane past the site of the 5:10 a.m. double fatal south of Silverado Ranch Boulevard.

All northbound lanes had been closed at Saint Rose Parkway for about nine hours.

Investigators think a man was changing the left rear tire on a black Toyota Tacoma pickup truck on the shoulder of the road, and a woman might have been trying to wave traffic away, when both were struck and killed by at least one tractor-trailer.

Honea says the pickup truck was sideswiped in the pre-dawn crash.

Honea says investigators were questioning drivers of 4 trucks at various locations around Las Vegas.

He says anyone else who saw what happened should call the NHP at 702-432-5219.


Chickasha man was killed Thursday

A Chickasha man was killed Thursday in a two-vehicle crash that forced Oklahoma 8 in Blaine County to close for more than six hours, from 3:20 to 9:30 p.m.

Leon D. Smith, 74, died in the accident that happened at 3:10 p.m. four miles south of Hitchcock, according to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report.

Smith was driving a Freightliner tractor-trailer loaded with 32 round bales of hay south on Oklahoma 8, according to the report, when he failed to negotiate a curve at a high rate of speed. His truck rolled one-quarter time, coming to rest on its side in the northbound lane.

The cab of Smith’s rig then was hit by a 2001 Ford pickup driven by Robert H. Banks, 43, of Enid, according to the report. Banks and his two sons, Allen Henry, 20, and Andrew Lee, 20, were not injured.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Mack vocational a Titan of a truck

Mack Trucks says its newest heavy-haul vehicle is the most powerful truck the company has built in its 108-year history.

The Titan by Mack is designed for extreme-duty transport and heavy construction applications, and is powered by the mighty new Mack MP10 engine, a 16-liter modern-day workhorse with a top rating of 605 hp and a massive 2,060 lb-ft of torque.

Mack introduced the Titan model at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2008 Exposition in Las Vegas this week.

The company boasts that the Titan is also the boldest-looking Mack model ever. It was designed to deliver "the attitude and torque required for hauling the heavy loads," while incorporating advanced engineering for excellent visibility, productivity and driver comfort.

Source continues

Will a Truckers Strike work?

I was siting at home this AM, and I was thinking about my last 10+ years of driving a tractor trailer. When I first started driving back in 1996, fuel cost $.89 per gallon locally.Now that same station does not even sell diesel anymore because of the outrageous price. Today the avg price of a gallon of diesel fuel is over $3.50!
What is wrong with this country? Why is diesel so expensive?

Diesel is so expensive because all the big oil companies are controlling it.

This is ridiculous! We need to quit taking the kick in the ass and start doing something about it!
You drivers out there, hauling this cheap freight are not helping. Actually I can't say much to company drivers as it is their companies fault for pulling this cheap freight!
But you owner operators out there that are still not getting the picture, STOP pulling that freight for nothing, just to get home or get into another area.
You are not helping yourself, when you pull a cheap load in order to get a better load.
The fuel you have wasted on that cheap freight is eating the profit away from the good load you got now. Let Swift or JB Hunt, or some of them other cut throat companies grab that cheap freight.
You, use to be able to grab a cheap load just to get out in a better area. Fuel was not $3.50+ a gallon. It did not hurt as much in the end.
Now it is killing everybody. I have seen a bunch of trucks parked lately with for sale signs in the windows.
I would rather sit and not make any money, as spend $700.00 dollars in fuel, and make -$200.00 on a load.

I swear I hear all these drivers talking about how a strike would not work. They say it will take every truck and company to get it done. I don't see how it would take every company and driver.

I guarantee that if half the companies would stop for a week you would see a difference. Probably, a lot more companies would join in after seeing a few stop.

It would have to work, because most of these companies we deliver to never keep enough stock product to operate for more than a couple days at a time. I have seen companies who don't order product but every day, they operate from day to day. To keep operating cost down, or they don't have the storage space.

I talked to a terminal manager yesterday that said they have quit hiring drivers further than 50 miles from their terminal because they quit paying the drivers to drive their trucks home.
TA is even filling the effects as they announced a layoff of 190 workers with more to come.

What's going to come out of this?

Fuel costs clog truck companies; dire steps taken to save pennies

With the cost of diesel fuel having risen at the pump almost 80 percent in the last three years, trucking company owner Tony Tomase crowed about finding a penny on his garage floor yesterday.

"We're fighting for pennies. You've got to," said Mr. Tomase, owner of GetGo Transportation Co., a trucking company employing more than two dozen drivers in Lake Township. "You make your money on pennies per mile."
Across the nation, independent truckers are shutting down their rigs and trucking firms are scratching their heads for new ways to save fuel as the ballooning price of diesel flows its way through the economy.
"It's affecting consumers. It's affecting owner-operators. A lot of guys are shutting their trucks down," explained Dave Swartz, director of sales and co-owner of Premium Transportation Logistics, in South Toledo. "The cost of everything is going to go up, because everything moves on a truck."
According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, the average cost for a gallon of diesel fuel in the Midwest this week was $3.78, up more than $1.11 from a year ago and $1.67 a gallon from the same week in 2005. Gas price Web site, www.Gasbuddy.com, yesterday reported diesel prices in the Toledo area as high as $4 per gallon.
Like their counterparts in the airline industry, trucking firms and owner-operators have asked clients to pay fuel surcharges to offset some of those increased costs - but with limited success.
"It's putting a serious hurt on our members," said Norita Taylor, a spokesman for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents approximately 160,000 independent truckers.
"We've heard of a lot of them who are selling their trucks and signing on as a company driver, or simply sitting until they can get a rate that's worth turning a wheel."

Source continues

Driver killed after car clips semi on I-25

An Aurora man was killed Wednesday on Interstate 25 in Douglas County after he apparently tried to pass in front of a semi but clipped the truck instead.

David M. Harford, 39, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident happened shortly before 10:54 a.m., in the southbound lanes of I-25 at mile post 175. Harford was driving a 1991 Toyota SR5 in the left lane behind a 1999 Freightliner tractor-trailer, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

Troopers said Harford apparently accelerated and moved to the right lane, cutting off another vehicle in the process but making no contact with it. He continued to accelerate while in the right lane and attempted to move into the left lane again, in front of the Freightliner.

Instead, the Toyota's left rear struck the right front of the semi, causing the car to spin counterclockwise as it went off the left side of the road and onto the center median.

The car crashed into the cable safety barrier before rolling a number of times, ejecting the driver. Harford was not wearing his seat belt, troopers said.

The driver of the semi, Oliver R. Harvey, 37, of Colorado Springs, was unhurt. He was wearing his seat belt.

Alcohol, drugs and speed are not considered factors in the crash, the State Patrol said.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

City crash leaves two dead

Two women are dead following a collision between a car and a tractor-trailer on the Charlottetown bypass highway Wednesday afternoon. A third woman, who was driving the car, was rushed from the scene to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with undetermined injuries.The collision occurred at approximately 1:45 p.m. at the intersection of the arterial highway and Malpeque Road, near the Sears mall.

The force of the collision took the vehicles a few hundred feet from the intersection, with the tractor-trailer coming to rest partially off the highway.
One of the dozens of fire, ambulance and police personnel on the scene described the scene as horrific.

“We don’t usually see it this bad,’’ said the emergency service provider.
Deputy Police Chief Richard Collins said it appears the collision took place in the intersection.
“You can see the point of impact here at the (traffic) lights,’’ Collins said at the scene. “It’s obvious something went awry and the two vehicles collided in the intersection.’’
Collins said police know the tractor-trailer was travelling east on the arterial highway towards Mount Edward Road at the time of the collision but it wasn’t clear which direction the car was travelling.

“Whether the car was westbound and turning or southbound and turning, we don’t know at this point and time.’’ One woman, who was killed in the front passenger seat, was described by police as a woman in her mid-20s. The other woman killed was sitting in the back seat and described as in her mid-40s.

Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to extract the woman sitting in the back seat, who was pinned by the force of the collision. The male driver of the tractor-trailer, which had Nova Scotia plates, was not injured. Police were asking the media not to identify the make of the car until next of kin were notified. Dr. Charles Trainor, the province’s chief coroner, was at the scene as were two police traffic analysts and an accident reconstructionist.

“That indicates the severity of it,’’ Collins said.
Both Charlottetown fire department stations responded to the crash with emergency vehicles and fire apparatus. Debris from both vehicles, light standards and street signage littered the ground for hundreds of feet.

Police sealed off a large radius around the accident site for most of the afternoon, blocking traffic at Mount Edward Road-arterial highway, University Avenue and Malpeque Road, Sherwood Road and Malpeque Road, as well as the arterial highway and Upton Road.
Collins said it could take a while to determine exactly what happened.
“This is going to take a while to do,’’ the deputy chief said.


Operation Safe Trucking

You drive next to them everyday and your child's school bus shares the roadway with them. - Commercial trucks that weigh thousands of pounds. What if that truck had bad brakes or bald tires? Cape Coral police officers are hitting the road--trying to stop truckers, with unsafe rigs.

"We've had trucks go off the road here, lose control, blowing tires," says Mikal Johaaski of the Cape Coral Police Department.

Johaaski and other officers are trying to keep trucks like that off the road and out of commission.

It's called operation safe trucking. Officers randomly stops commercial vehicles driving through the Cape.

"We'll look for vehicles out of inspection or over weighted," says Officer Dan White.

"I've seen some trucks with more than 30 violations on it," says Johaaski.

"The most important thing, make sure they are safe," says White.

If something isn't up to code, the driver is told to fix it or he or his company faces a fine.

"They can go from $15 to $20 dollars to thousands," says White.

If a hefty fine doesn't deter companies maybe another stop will. Officers plan to do operation safe trucking once a month.


Aaron Phelps gets 15 years in prison

The 17-year-old Valparaiso boy who was charged as an adult after police said that he drove a car into a semi while fleeing a detective in August 2007—an accident in which one of his passengers died—has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In January Aaron Lee Phelps pleaded guilty to two of the six charges filed against him: resisting law enforcement by use of a motor vehicle and causing the death of another, a Class B felony punishable by a term of six to 20 years in prison; and resisting law enforcement by use of a motor vehicle and causing serious bodily injury to another person, a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years in prison.

Phelps was facing a maximum of 28 years in prison. On Monday Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper sentenced him to 15 years: to 18 years on the Class B felony, three years suspended; and to seven years on the Class C felony, one year suspended. Phelps will serve the two sentences concurrently.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Bennett told the Chesterton Tribune on Tuesday that, to avoid putting the families of the victims through the rigors of a trial, he agreed to drop four of the six charges filed against Bennett and then further agreed to cap the sentence imposed at a maximum of 20 years, with the Class B and Class C felony sentences to run concurrently.


Oglethorpe man killed in wreck on Ga. 26

An Oglethorpe man died this morning in single-vehicle accident on Ga. 26 inside the city limits of Montezuma, the Georgia State Patrol says.

Donald C. Patterson, 40, died in the 10 a.m. wreck near Spaulding Road, said GSP Communications Equipment Operator Brandon Watts.

Patterson was driving a commercial dump truck east on Ga. 26 when it went off the north side of the roadway, struck a utility police, a business sign and a parked "bobtail tractor-trailer" that was not occupied, Watts said.

It's believed that Patterson had some medical problems that caused him to lose control of the vehicle and crash, Watts said.


Driver dies in single-vehicle accident on U.S. 30 Tuesday

A semi driver died Tuesday afternoon when his truck struck a median guard rail on U.S. 30 near Ohio 61. But the exact cause of death is unknown at this time.

According to the Bucyrus post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, James D. Both, 46, of Elkhorn, Wis., was westbound on U.S. 30 at approximately 2 p.m. when his 2000 Mack tractor-trailer rig went left of center, struck a guard rail and remained in the median.

A dispatcher for the highway patrol said Both’s body was taken to the Lucas County coroner in Toldeo where an autopsy will be performed. No other vehicles were involved and the accident remains under investigation.


308 Around the Golden Gate

We are being tormented (probably unintentionally) by a CB radio operator who calls himself "308 Around the Golden Gate." We receive him on the telephone, we hear him on the stereo, and even on the computer speakers.

Not only is he loud, he's boring. Today he just kept saying, "Hellllo, Heeellllllllllloooooo, Helllllllllllllllllooooooooooo" over and over again, until I gave up trying to use the phone.

If anyone reading this knows who the guy is, please let him know.


Toronto Man Shaken By Near Miss When Ice Smashes Windshield

A Toronto man was shaken but alright after a massive chunk of ice slid off the back of a truck and into his windshield at Highway 427 and Derry Rd. Tuesday.

The piece of ice, described as "pizza-sized," slipped off the tractor-trailer he was driving behind and crashed into the passenger side of his windshield shattering more than half of it.

The driver, Mike, said he never had a chance to swerve out of the way.

"The tractor had just entered the highway so he was going like 90 (kilometres) and I was going 90 behind him" the young man recalled. "I don't even want to change lanes because there could be another car beside me ... I'd rather get hit than get into a big accident."

Experts say that sort of thing is hardly uncommon and that during periods of fluctuating temperatures when lots of snow has fallen it's always a good idea for drivers to leave plenty of extra space between them and large trucks.


2 dead in crash on I-635 in Dallas

Two people were killed in a thunderous collision on Interstate 635 in Dallas early Wednesday.

The accident was reported around 3:20 a.m. in the westbound lane of the freeway between Marsh Lane and Midway Road.

Police said the sound of the wreck was so loud that it woke neighbors living near the busy, noisy highway.

A small car ran underneath a tractor-trailer truck and the two vehicles wound up on the shoulder of the freeway, investigators said.

Traffic was being diverted around the investigation scene.

Police had not released the names of the two people who died in the wreck Wednesday morning.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Border patrol finds 85 illegal aliens among tractor trailers in Texas

Federal authorities arrested 85 illegal aliens last month as they were being smuggled into the U.S., including as many as 15 Mexicans packed into the sleeper of one big rig.

According to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement news release, four tractor-trailers were stopped in a five-hour span as they prepared to enter the U.S. from Mexico at Laredo, TX, on Feb. 15.

During routine Customs and Border Patrol inspection, agents noticed suspicious activity from inside the trailers and were alerted by on-site canines. That prompted the agents to send drivers for secondary inspections.

Fifteen Mexicans were found hiding inside the first truck’s sleeper berth at 7 p.m., followed by 12 Mexicans and three Guatemalans found in the second truck’s sleeper. Before 11 p.m. agents found 32 illegal aliens locked in a truck’s trailer “with no means of escape,” the release stated.

Only a few minutes later, agents discovered 20 Mexicans, two Hondurans and a Salvadoran locked in a different trailer.

“All those discovered inside the trailers appeared to be in good health; they declined medical attention,” ICE officials reported.

Will a Truckers strike fix the high fuel cost

No, and I will tell you why a strike won't do it. I here this 15 times a year, WE NEED TO STRIKE to get fuel cost down.
Then in the next breath I hear the same driver bragging about running down the road at 75 mph. Huh? Did I just read that right? Yea, my friend I am afraid you did.

Why would you complain about the fuel prices, and then in another sentence blab about running 75 mph? Most trucks are set to run at around 55 mph for optimized fuel economy. When you decide to speed you are just wasting fuel.

There is no reason why you can't survive and still make a decent living if you would just slow down and run the speed limit. Oh yea and stop pulling this CHEAP freight. I swear these fools who run down the road pulling $.95 cpm freight should go bankrupt. That kind of freight should be left for the bottom feeder companies, like JB Hunt, Swift, etc. you guys know who I am talking about.

An owner operator should these days be getting at least $.51 cpm fuel surcharge. Do you know how to charge for fuel surcharge? Those who don't know how to do this need to click on that link, it is from OOIDA and is pretty useful information.

There is another reason why a strike won't work. there are too many "cut throat" companies out there waiting on the freight that you will be refusing to pull, if you were to strike. There is no organization among truck drivers. There will never be any kind of organization among truck drivers. I know too many drivers out there that if you were holding a "blue ink pen" in your hand they would swear it was a "red ink pen".

In all reality it is up to you guys/gals out on the road, to be able to adapt and make ends meet. The first thing I would do if I were you was to slow down and quit wasting fuel. It makes a difference.

Truck Slams Into Bridge, Dives Into River

Des Moines IA -The driver of a tractor-trailer was killed after his truck punched through a bridge guardrail, caught fire and landed in the Middle River.The accident happened at 2:41 a.m. along Interstate 35 at mile marker 55 near Bevington closing part of the roadway for about an hour.

Southbound lanes were reopened after about four hours at 7 a.m.The State Patrol said Manuel Johnson, 42, of St. Louis, was the driver of the truck who died.

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3:25 p.m. Arizona man charged with negligent homicide in wake Joplin family’s deaths

An Arizona man has been charged with four counts of negligent homicide after he allegedly caused a vehicle accident that killed a Joplin family in Oklahoma on Sunday.

James C. Buchholz, 53, of Mesa, Arizona, was arrested and charged today, said Sgt. Brent Crittenden of the Pryor (Okla.) Police Department. Buchholz was driving a tractor trailer that rear-ended a vehicle containing Robert Hayes, 52, his wife, Melissa, 41, and sons Tyler, 15, and Colby, 14, of Joplin, on Sunday afternoon.

Witnesses reported that the Hayes’ vehicle stopped at about 1:15 p.m. for a traffic light at U.S. Highway 69 and Southeast 49th Street when Buchholz’s truck failed to stop and slammed into the back of the vehicle.


Danger of Flying Tires

A wheel flew off a semi-truck near Milwaukee and crashed into the windshield of a minivan, and it was caught on video.

A tanker truck lost two tires on Interstate 94 Monday. The tires rolled across several lanes of traffic and over the median, eventually hitting an oncoming van.

The driver of the minivan was treated at a hospital and released. Four passengers were unharmed.

This wasn't the first time a tire fell from a large truck and endangered other drivers on the road.

"These tires weigh several hundred pounds each," Sergeant Mark Abrahamson of the Wisconsin State Patrol noted, "so if the tire were to leave a vehicle, it would, it could cause serious injuries or fatalities if not major property damage."

Late last week in South Minneapolis, two tires fell off a garbage truck going south on 35W. One of them went bouncing over the median barrier and smashed into the windshield of a red truck, killing the 56-year-old driver.

A similar incident in Milwaukee last November killed a 55-year-old doctor. That wheel came off a tractor-trailer heading south on Interstate 43.

The National Transportation Safety Board hasn't compiled national data on the number of accidents caused by wheel separations since 1992, but it said then that there were between 750 and 1,050 accidents a year.

That's a small fraction of the nearly 350,000 accidents involving trucks in the U.S. every year.

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International introduces new set-back axle dump truck

International unveiled its newest heavy-duty truck model at CONEXPO, held in Las Vegas this week.

The PayStar 5900i set-back axle dump truck made its debut at a nearby quarry, located outside of Las Vegas, where it was put on display, a demonstration that showcased the truck's interior and exterior design features, engine capability and its maneuverability.

"The reason for the 5900 set-back is really the completion of the PayStar product line," said Phil Christman, vice-president and general manager of International Truck's Severe Service Vehicle Centre, who described this new model as a step up from the original PayStar 5500 and 5600. "This is the granddaddy of them all: from a gross vehicle weight; from maneuverability; from a visibility standpoint."

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Monday, March 10, 2008

DOT attempts defense of cross-border program

Monday, March 10, 2008 – A press conference staged by the Department of Transportation in defense of the cross-border trucking program with Mexico drew immediate criticism from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

In a press conference today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters contended that now is not the time to halt efforts to implement trucking provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Peters said a group of more than 69 U.S. companies and agricultural and business organizations support the program because of the benefits it provides to U.S. exporters who every year ship billions of dollars worth of products and produce into Mexico.

In a press release following the press conference, Peters hinted toward retaliation by Mexico if the program is stopped.

If the program is stopped by Congress, Mexico has the right under the rules of NAFTA to impose fees and tariffs on U.S. goods that would surely result in lost business and lost jobs, she stated in the written release.

“It’s a sad attempt at economic fear mongering,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer in a press release. “Despite their lip service, they well know the pilot program is outside of the law.”

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