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Amber Alert

Friday, November 28, 2008

Trukz simulation game is almost as real as it gets

If you have ever wondered what it was like to be a truck driver, hauling loads up and down the highway. If you have ever wanted to do this and didn't want to quit your job and do it for real, then Trukz - A trucking simulation game is for you. I would bet it to be the best game about truck driving I have ever seen.
There are games out for truck driving, but not simulated truck driving. Where you have to actually pretend to purchase, your truck, CB radio, GPS unit, tools, tires, wheels, fuel filters, etc. the list goes on and on.
I am a truck driver in real life and it is almost just like having two different jobs!

I am a driver at this company Eagle Logistics , it by far is the best company I have seen on Trukz. I have been here for a couple of days, and already have money saved up. All the senoir drivers are very helpful, and there is no BS that goes along with games and such. Or at least I have not seen any yet.

I started playing this game a couple of weeks ago. I found a link to it on truckersforum.net, it is a addicting game. It is the most realistic game about truck drivers, and what we do that I have ever seen.
The best part of it all is that it is free to play! When you join you name your truck driver, and then they deposit $5500.00 into your account. This so you can buy your first truck and accessories to help you haul loads to different cities in the USA, Russia, Australia there may be more continents but this all I have seen so far.

When you first join TRUKZ, it also has a private message system for the game. You will receive a few pm's from company recruiters asking you to join their company. Just like in real life! You do not have to join a company if you do not want to, you can be a independent operator if you like. But joining a company will make you more money, as they can offer discounts for purchasing trucks, fuel, repairs, accessories, even tickets! They also get contract loads which really make you the BIG bucks!
The game has been online for a year or so, but I still believe it to be the best one for truck drivers and want to be's ever!

Remember to check out Eagle Logistics when you go to Trukz and register.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Final rule makes no changes to hours-of-service regs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has answered the Court and its critics, crafting an hours-of-service regulation that leaves all of the current requirements intact.

The final rule, expected to be published in the November 19, 2008, Federal Register, continues to allow property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers to drive up to 11 hours within a 14 hour, non-extendable window, following at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. The rule also allows motor carriers and drivers to continue to restart calculations of the weekly on-duty limits after the driver has at least 34 consecutive hours off duty.

The rulemaking is in response to a July 2007 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that vacated the 11-hour driving limit and 34-hour restart provision. The Court’s decision was the result of two court challenges filed in early 2006 by groups headed by Public Citizen and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).

FMCSA issued an interim final rule in December 2007, keeping the regulations in place while the agency gathered public comment and additional data. In the final rule, expected to be published tomorrow, FMCSA cites numerous studies and surveys as well as data gathered for the 2007 interim final rule and 2005 final rule as justification of the current limits. FMCSA has set a January 19, 2009, effective date for this final rule.


California’s reefer rule won’t be enforced beginning next month after all

The California Air Resources Board announced Tuesday that it was delaying enforcement of its “Transportation Refrigeration Unit” rule until at least June.

The rule affects all owner operators and motor carriers pulling reefers in the Golden State – no matter if they are based in California or not.

California is the only state allowed to create emissions standards stricter than federal ones, although it must obtain a waiver from the EPA. After such a waiver is granted, other states can adopt California regulations.

The state has waited on the EPA for two years. Some media reports have speculated that the new presidential administration will lead to several California waiver requests being approved next year.

On Tuesday, CARB said the rule will be enforced by June, or six months after the waiver is granted after Dec. 31.

To comply with the rule, reefers operating in California must meet CARB’s “in-use performance standards,” which phase in requirements every year for reefers 7 years and older. For instance, on Dec. 30, 2008, transport refrigeration units and TRU gensets built in 2001 and earlier must meet the new standards. In 2009, 2002 and older models must meet the new standards.

Also, owners of reefer units must register with CARB and report information back to CARB’s headquarters. The reefer registration will be required by late January.

More information about the TRU rule is available at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru.

Monroe County deputy dies in crash with tractor-trailer

Traffic Enforcement Deputy Nick Pham was in a festive mood Wednesday, talking about holiday plans with co-workers at lunchtime before getting into his unmarked Monroe County Sheriff's Office car to patrol the Florida Keys' roads.

At 12:20 p.m., Pham, 38, died in a collision with a tractor-trailer while apparently making a U-turn to chase a vehicle violating a traffic law, according to witnesses and the Florida Highway Patrol.

''It was just very unfortunate,'' said Debbie Tousignant, who witnessed the accident while she and three family members were driving east on U.S. 1 near mile marker 62. ``The car turned in front of the truck, a U-turn, and that was it. There was no time for the truck to stop.''

The 2007 Freightliner 18-wheeler driven by Thomas S. Hollingsworth, 43, of Sarasota, slammed squarely into the driver's side of the 2008 Dodge Charger driven by Pham.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Contractor for Boston’s Big Dig may pay $21 million in damages

One of the largest contractors on Boston’s underground highway project has agreed to pay $21 million in damages – if it can come up with the money.

The Insurance Journal reported that Modern Continental Construction agreed to the settlement in connection with a fatal ceiling collapse in a Big Dig tunnel and the expense of repairing leaks throughout the tunnel complex.

Modern Continental, however, is now in bankruptcy court so it will be up to a judge to decide how much the settlement will amount to.

Speed limiter regulations published in Ontario

Provincial officials in Ontario have officially published regulations for mandatory speed limiters on heavy trucks.

As previously confirmed by transportation officials, speed limiters will be mandatory beginning Jan. 1, 2009, on all trucks 1995 or newer with a gross weight exceeding 26,000 pounds. The regulation applies to trucks that travel Ontario highways regardless of where they are from.

The regulations, published online on Monday, Nov. 10, require the maximum setting of a speed limiter to be 105 kilometers per hour, or 65 mph. Ontario’s major highways have a maximum speed limit of 100 km/h, or 62 mph, but other provinces and U.S. states have higher speed limits.

The regulations will appear in the Nov. 29 edition of The Ontario Gazette, the official publication for government rules and regulations.

Ontario officials say enforcement of the regulations will begin with a six-month education period. After that, officers can cite truckers caught going faster than 105 km/h for not having a working speed limiter.

Owner-operator associations in Canada and in the U.S. oppose government-mandated speed limiters. Large motor carrier associations tend to support a government mandate.

Officials with the U.S.-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association are preparing to file a formal “notice of intent” to challenge the regulation on a federal level in Canada.

Click here to read the Ontario regulations.

E-ZPass and truck discounts coming to Ohio Turnpike

Truckers who have E-ZPass toll accounts will see a slight decrease in tolls when E-ZPass goes live on the Ohio Turnpike in late 2009, officials said.

The Ohio Turnpike approved a plan Monday, Nov. 17, to incorporate E-ZPass discounts for heavy trucks into a plan to increase tolls for passenger vehicles and all cash-paying customers in 2009 and again in 2012.

Ohio Turnpike Executive Director George Distel said the toll plan is about increasing revenue in a tough economy while keeping heavy trucks on the turnpike.

“Obviously, we’re trying to increase the use of E-ZPass and also encourage the heavy trucks to use the turnpike and discourage them from using roads that run parallel to the turnpike, so that’s the idea behind reducing the rates slightly for the heavier trucks,”

Distel said the commission hopes to have E-ZPass up and running by the fourth quarter of 2009.

Between now and then, the commission will have three public hearings regarding the proposed rate changes. Commissioners hope to sign off on the new rates by March 2009, Distel said.

A turnpike spokeswoman said the current truck toll for a 240-mile trip on the turnpike is $33.50. When E-ZPass goes live, truckers with E-ZPass accounts will pay $32 for the same trip, while truckers paying cash will pay $40.

Passenger-vehicle tolls are schedule to increase under the plan, but will not be as steep for E-ZPass account holders.

Click here for more information. Scheduled public hearings are:

  • 6:30 p.m., Dec. 10, City of Toledo, One Government Center, Toledo, OH;
  • 6:30 p.m., Dec. 16, Board man Administration Building, 8299 Market St., Youngstown, OH; and
  • 11 a.m., Jan. 12, 2009, Commission Administrative Building, 682 Prospect St., Berea, OH.

The Ohio Turnpike Commission is also accepting public comments via e-mail at toll.comments@ohioturnpike.org, or by regular mail or fax at the following address and phone number:

Ohio Turnpike Commission
Attn: Public Affairs Department
682 Prospect St.
Berea, OH 44017

Fax: 440-234-3881

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Kenworth plant in Renton, WA, to lay off 430

The plant that builds Kenworths in Renton, WA, is laying off hundreds of workers until the economy turns around.

The Seattle Times reported that, as of last year, the company was building 18 trucks a day in Renton. A Paccar spokesman estimated that retail sales of heavy-duty trucks will reach only 150,000 in the U.S. and Canada this year, down from 176,000 in 2007 and 322,000 in 2006.

The director of economic development for the city of Renton said that as many as 430 workers will be sent home.

Dispatcher warns truckers in Pennsylvania to reroute or face fines

A truck dispatcher for a company near Parkesburg, PA, said she’s tired of watching truckers being targeted by local police for mistakenly turning onto a “no truck” route.

She said she’s seen as many as four trucks in one day pulled over and cited by police for turning onto Route 372 into Parkesburg on their way to the industrial park in Atglen, PA. She said the problem is that there are no signs posted that it’s a no truck route until after they’ve “committed to the turn.”


More truckers band together to bypass Mount Vernon fuel stops

Since two Texas-based trucking companies announced last week they were no longer going to fuel up in Mount Vernon, IL, because of the 2-cent-per-gallon tax on diesel – but not on gasoline – several other trucking companies and owner-operators have made the same decision.

Even though some admit they may be taking a risk and paying a little more for fuel a little further down the road, truckers said they are bypassing Mount Vernon because they are tired of being “picked on” as a revenue source while their trucking businesses struggle to stay afloat.

In September, the Mount Vernon City Council imposed the tax on diesel and an increase in their restaurant/beverage tax – both affecting truckers – which is expected to generate nearly $900,000 in additional revenue. Mount Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley told Land Line Magazine in August the money was to be used to fund an overpass interchange project.

However, Mount Vernon City Manager Ronald R. Neibert told Land Line Magazine recently that the additional revenue was needed for the city’s emergency services. He said in the past two years the Mount Vernon Police Department assisted truckers at least 784 times, including those who “have been robbed or harassed by prostitutes and drug dealers.”


Trucking community mourns loss of photographer Bette Garber

If Helen of Troy’s face launched a thousand ships, Bette Garber’s lens immortalized a thousand trucks.

The distinguished trucking photojournalist died unexpectedly Thursday, Nov. 13, following a persistent illness. She had been an OOIDA member since 2002.

From her home base in Thorndale, PA, Garber spent a long career roaming U.S. highways shooting stunning photos of what she described as “objects of beauty, power and majesty.” Garber’s stock photography business, “Highway Images,” offered an impressive body of work that established her as a photographer who made shooting semi trucks an art form.


Friday, November 14, 2008

More than 500,000 U.S. jobs lost in one week

More than half a million workers in America lost their jobs this past week according to the latest unemployment report from the government.

It’s the fastest rise in joblessness since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks seven years ago. And the total number of people on benefit rolls jumped to the highest level since 1983, according to Bloomberg.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Volvo cuts 1,000 more jobs in wake of withdrawn orders for trucks

Officials with Volvo announced the company is cutting almost 1,000 more jobs on top of the 1,400 layoffs it had already announced this fall.

About 900 of the new round of cuts will be in Sweden at the company’s powertrain unit, according to The Associated Press. Another 65 workers at the Volvo powertrain plant in Hagerstown, MD, will also be laid off. The unit makes engines, gear boxes and rear axles for trucks. A company spokesman told The AP that a number of consultants in Sweden could also lose their jobs.

Volvo officials have also amended their forecast for North American truck sales this year, switching from a prediction of “flat” sales to a forecast of sales being down by 10 percent.

MarketWatch reported in recent weeks that Volvo posted a 36 percent drop in third quarter profits this year compared to 2007 and that company officials had said that sales growth decelerated much faster than they had expected.

“The financial turmoil and credit tightening has led to a very cautious approach among customers when it comes to deciding on investing in new trucks,” the company officials statement.

According to MarketWatch, Volvo’s net order intake in Europe amounted to only 115 trucks, down from 41,970 trucks, as customers withdrew orders.

Livestock trailer with $13 million among booty from Mexican cartel bust

A massive federal take down of a Mexican drug cartel resulted in 41 individuals being charged and hundreds of kilos of drugs being seized – along with the discovery of a creative way to transport cash.

On Oct. 28, federal prosecutors in Atlanta charged 41 people with alleged ties to a large-scale drug distribution and money laundering scheme in Georgia and Texas.

Among those tied to the organization were one sheriff’s deputy in Georgia who tried to use his badge to get out of a traffic stop, and a livestock hauler. The livestock hauler used a hidden compartment under the livestock and a pulley system to store more than $13 million in drug proceeds.


Pilot opens new travel center in Iowa

Pilot Travel Centers recently opened a new location in Atalissa, IA, on Interstate 80 at Exit 265.

The new Pilot will include 60 truck parking spots with for drivers wanting to take their 10-hour breaks. There is no time limit on how long trucks can park there. The new travel center has 11 diesel islands, two restaurants, showers and a CAT scale, as well as other amenities.

“We believe our familiar Pilot sign will be a welcome sight for professional drivers,” wrote Vincent Barrett, general manager for the Atalissa location, in a press release.

Pilot, headquartered in Knoxville, TN, has more than 300 locations in 41 states and in Canada.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nov. 30 is deadline for Goodyear Highway Hero nominations

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. is starting its second quarter-century of celebrating heroic truck drivers. The company announced in recent days that the search is on for U.S. and Canadian drivers to be nominated for the 26th annual Goodyear North America Highway Hero Awards. Nominations will be accepted through Nov. 30.

To be considered for this year’s award, the following criteria must be met:

  • Nominee must be a full-time truck driver;
  • Nominee must be a resident of the United States or Canada;
  • Incident recognized must have occurred in the United States or Canada;
  • Nominee must have been on the job or on the way to or from work, and in his or her rig at the time of the incident;
  • Nominee’s truck at the time of the incident must have 14 wheels or more;
  • Incident must have taken place between Nov. 16, 2007, and Nov. 15, 2008, to qualify.

“Too many times, we only hear about the negative news of our world. That extends to truck drivers, who are truly misunderstood for the role they play in moving freight from the factories to our homes,” said Joe Copeland, vice president for Goodyear commercial tire systems.

“We see today’s truck drivers as the brave men and women who make our highways safer and drive our economy. They truly are America’s unsung heroes, and we want to honor them. Anyone can nominate a truck driver for this high honor.”

Nomination forms and program details may be obtained by calling the Goodyear Highway Hero Hotline at 330-796-8183. The nomination form also is available on the program’s Web site at

Ontario trucker caught with more than $2 million at U.S. border

A Canadian trucker is behind bars after what border patrol agents at the Ambassador Bridge say was the biggest cash-smuggling attempt in eastern Michigan history.

The Detroit Free Press reports that 52-year-old Eskender Mafarani of Richmond Hill, Ontario, told agents he was entering the U.S. with $700 in cash. But a scan of his truck revealed hidden compartments that contained more than $2 million in cash, wrapped in 138 separate bundles. They also found six cell phones and $1,2000 in Canadian currency.

It’s illegal to conceal more than $10,000 when entering or leaving the U.S.

Mafarani is accused of smuggling and making a false statement to officers.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Truckers boycotting Mt. Vernon diesel

MT. VERNON — A Texas-based trucking company has sent out a memo to its 200-plus drivers and leased drivers advising them to boycott Mt. Vernon diesel, a move the city believes is unwarranted, as the city has provided protection and services to truckers who visit the town.

Earlier this week, an article published in the trade industry publication, Land Line Magazine, quoted Clark Freight Manager David Schnautz of Pasadena, Texas as saying he sent a memo to his drivers and leased drivers advising them not to take on diesel in the city in protest of the 2 cent per gallon tax implemented in September.

In addition, city officials also received an e-mail from Debbie Sprouse of Sprouse and Sprouse Trucking that the city should “have your town own up to their responsibilities in their community.”

Schnautz also asked what truckers are getting for the additional 2 cents, also stating he believes the trucking industry is an “easy target” for taxes, and that, “It is beyond me why government seems to go after the trucker first in order to make up additional revenue to run a city or state.” Schnautz also said truckers are, ... tired of being taxed every time they turn around … because the local municipalities can’t keep their own house in order.”

A response from the city said the comments about what the truckers are getting for the additional tax are “disturbing.”

“The city of Mt. Vernon has provided emergency and protective services to the trucking industry for many years both on Interstates 57 and 64 as well as at the local truck stops,” the response states. “In the last two years alone, the (Mt. Vernon Fire Department) has responded to 114 emergency calls at these locations saving trucking lives and property. In addition to their frequent patrols, the (Mt. Vernon Police Department) has responded to 784 calls to the local truck stops assisting the truckers who have been robbed or harassed by prostitutes and drug dealers.

“Unfortunately for all concerned, the cost of providing these services has increased beyond the ability of our revenue sources to support. The city of Mt. Vernon held off implementation of this tax as long as it could and still provide a high quality of services to those who both live and travel through Mt. Vernon. The city of Mt. Vernon considers the truckers coming through Mt. Vernon part of our community and will continue to provide these emergency and protective services to the trucking community.”

Schnautz commented in the magazine article that truckers should go to Effingham or Marion for fuel.

“Additional comments made by Mr. Schnautz of Clark Freight Lines about buying fuel at Marion and Effingham are distressing from the fact that Marion has had a 2 cent diesel tax since July 2002,” the response stated. “Also, a recent check of fuel prices of the major truck stop websites available via Doug Geeting’s (Keltingco Trucking) website indicate diesel prices in Effingham are 2 to 3 cents higher than in Mt. Vernon.

“We are curious to know that if purchasing decisions are made by the amount of taxes paid or the total price?”

Old man winter comes to southern Manitoba in full force

WINNIPEG — Winter has come early to southern Manitoba, where forecasters predict up to 20-centimetres of snow in many areas of the Red River Valley.
Driving has been treacherous over the past two days in the Winnipeg area, where about 2,000 collisions are blamed on slick roads.
In Winnipeg, volunteers were asked to show up at Canad Inns Stadium to shovel snow to prepare the stadium for today’s CFL Eastern semi-final game between the Blue Bombers and Edmonton Eskimos.
About 130-kilometres west of Winnipeg, police are recommending against using the westbound Trans-Canada Highway between Austin and Carberry.
Forecasters predict it could be another five days before the daily high in Winnipeg climbs above the freezing point.
South of the border, the same storm blasted the Dakotas, where at least one metre of snow has buried an area near Deadwood, South Dakota.
A 280-kilometre stretch of Interstate 90 from central South Dakota to Wyoming was closed for much of Friday to allow authorities to remove dozens of vehicles stranded by heavy snow.