Monday, October 24, 2016

After accident, trucker looked to help others

Hours after a tour bus accident that killed at least 13 people, it was apparent the driver of the big rig that was struck from behind remained in shock.

“I’m blessed to be alive, and I pray for the families that didn’t make it,” the truck driver said in a cellphone video obtained by CBS News that was taken after he was released from the hospital on Sunday, Oct. 23.

According to multiple reports, a tour bus returning from a casino crashed into a semi-truck on 10 Freeway near Palm Springs, Calif. Thirteen people were killed in the accident, and 31 others were injured.

The truck driver, who identified himself as “Bruce,” in video captured by cab driver David Hirschfield during his ride from the hospital to a Palm Springs hotel, said the accident occurred without warning.

Friday, October 21, 2016

‘Movin’ On’ gets its own museum in superfan’s house

Big wheels rollin', gotta keep 'em goin' Big wheels rollin', movin' on.
It takes a special breed to be a trucker, but an even more special breed of fan to open the world’s only official museum dedicated to the trucking-themed TV show “Movin’ On.”

That’s exactly what Bill Bazen did in his Wake Forest home near Falls Lake State Park. Bazen’s tribute to the show, which starred veteran character actor Claude Akins as independent trucker Sonny Pruitt, and Frank Converse as his college-boy co-driver, Will Chandler, received a write-up in a recent edition of The Charlotte Observer.

Bazen, 52, was obsessed with the show as a boy, because his dad was also a long-haul trucker who ran up and down the East Coast. He told the newspaper the museum is a tribute to his father and to truckers.

Among the items on display are a line of trucker hats with the tag line “Do It… Like Pruitt” autographs from every guest star, original scripts, series props, and even a four-finger cigar case that Chandler’s character wore during the show.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

When DUI turns into PUI, truckers intervene

Few encounters on the road are as scary as watching a driver apparently under the influence on the road ahead of you. A video making the rounds shows a pair of truckers following an obviously impaired driver going down the interstate.

The car weaved in and out of its lane for quite a while before the driver decided to make a pit stop – right in the middle of the interstate. After the driver relieved himself in the middle of the road and attempted to get back in his car, via the passenger door, the truckers worked together to block the driver from leaving until police could arrive.

Once all potential for harm to others is eliminated, the scene turns from scary to almost surreal or comical. You’ll just have to check it out for yourself. (Other than foul language, the video is safe-for-work viewing.)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Arkansas bridge survives controlled demo, has to be tugged down

Perhaps nothing will sum up the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department’s first effort to knock down a bridge on U.S. Highway 70 in Little Rock on Tuesday quite like their own tweet.

Indeed, the bridge still stood, despite a controlled demolition that was supposed to split it up like slices in a loaf of bread, according to AHTD spokesman Danny Straessle.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pair of Little Caesars’ big rigs dedicated to charity

Tractor-trailers are tasked with providing goods and supplies to the communities that need them. While this is typically for commercial use, Little Caesars dedicates two of its big rigs to pizzas with charity in mind.

The pizza company equipped two of its trucks, which are called “the Little Caesars Love Kitchen,” with pizza ovens. The operation started in 1985 and serves communities in need 365 days a year. Two drivers are assigned to each truck.

According to the Little Caesars website, the mobile restaurants have served more than 3 million people and 6 million slices of pizza in the United States and Canada.

The mobile kitchens travel to areas that have been affected by hurricanes and tornadoes, as well as to such places as soup kitchens, Boys and Girls Clubs, food banks, rescue missions and homeless shelters.

Earlier this week, The Richmond Standard reported that one Little Caesars Love Kitchen served 275 people at the Bay Area Rescue Mission in California. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New ATA honcho calls speed limiter mandate ‘flawed’

“Be careful what you wish for …”

For more than a decade, the American Trucking Associations has lobbied Congress and the federal government to step in and mandate speed limiters on commercial trucks. Now that NHTSA and FMCSA have finally released their joint proposal to do just that, the new head of the ATA issued a statement last week saying the current proposal is flawed, and that the largest lobbying group for fleets will not support the proposal as written.

In the statement, ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said the feds’ proposal to electronically speed-limit trucks suffers from a lack of data and a lack of direction, and actually makes the roads less safe by increasing speed differentials between trucks and other motorists.

“Despite ATA's decade-old, pro-safety policy on speed, the new joint rulemaking from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposes a menu of three speed options for commercial trucks, not one. It provides insufficient data, and fails to make a recommendation regarding which of the three proposed speeds it believes is best and why,” Spear said in the statement posted on ATA’s website.

Monday, October 10, 2016

New camera system lets bosses see you in real time

Here’s looking at you, trucker. Some driver-facing cameras will soon be able to see a lot more than they used to.

Lytx, the largest supplier of camera-based technology for trucking, has introduced Unisyn, a platform that allows Lytx customers to custom configure cameras on their trucks. According to a Lytx press release, fleets “can access, review, and manage video ... when, where, and how they want, in real time, or a few days after an incident.”  

Lytx made the announcement in conjunction with the recent 2016 ATA Management Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.

Lytx Senior Director of Corporate Communications Gretchen Griswold confirmed the Unisyn customization applies to all Unisyn onboard cameras -- including a driver-facing camera if there is one. But Unisyn is really designed for cargo security, not driver monitoring, she noted.

Launched in 1998 and originally known as DriveCam, Lytx is the largest provider of video-based safety systems for trucking. DriveCam is still the name of the company’s flagship video program. Fleets using DriveCam include Swift Transportation, NFI, Dart Transit and US Foods, the sixth-largest private fleet in North America.

Griswold explained the Unisyn platform is separate from and does not apply to current DriveCam cameras.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bo knows obesity?

Picture your favorite athlete.

Maybe it’s the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James. Or maybe it’s Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. If you’re more of a baseball fan, it could be Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout.

What do these men have in common besides being superior athletes who have excelled in their respective sports?

They are all overweight or obese. Yep. Never mind that they are three of the fittest people on the planet and all likely have less than 10 percent body fat – they’re either severely overweight or obese. Well, at least according to their Body Mass Index (BMI).

And this isn’t unique to these three athletes.