Monday, May 2, 2016

Truck driver’s heroic deed not finished

Most of you probably either read about or watched video footage from a couple of weeks ago that showed a group of Good Samaritans rescuing a truck driver from floodwaters in Texas.

The rescuers, who consisted mostly of fellow truck drivers, included OOIDA Member Daniel Sieczkarski. The video from The Weather Channel shows Sieczkarski entering the floodwaters and dragging veteran truck driver Ronald Bumpus, who can’t swim, back to shore safely as the others pulled.

The video footage and talk of the rescue on April 18 in Brookshire, Texas, went viral on social media and received attention on several national news shows.

Bumpus, who runs a small trucking company with his son out of Murfreesboro, Tenn., avoided major injury and expressed appreciation to Sieczkarski and the others who came to his aid.

By all accounts, it was a job well done.

However, Sieczkarski isn’t finished lending a helping hand to his fellow trucker in need.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Georgia crash victim suing Snapchat over ‘speed filter’

Lawyers for a Georgia man who suffered a traumatic brain injury are suing social media app Snapchat in connection with the crash, claiming the company’s so-called “speed filter” encourages reckless driving, and was a critical cause of the crash involving the victim and a teenage driver.

Attorneys representing Wentworth Maynard, an Uber driver from suburban Atlanta, are suing the Los Angeles-based image messaging application over its “miles per hour filter” which allows users to overlay the speed at which they are traveling onto their photos and videos taken in the application.

Maynard was merging into traffic on an Atlanta highway when his vehicle was struck by a car going 107 mph. The crash has reportedly left Maynard with traumatic brain injuries and unable to care for himself, according to a statement by his lawyer, Michael Lawson Neff.

The crash occurred at approximately 11:15 p.m. when Maynard’s Mitsubishi SUV was rear-ended by a Mercedes sedan driven by Christal McGee, a waitress who was had just gotten off work and was taking three of her co-workers home. The lawsuit contends that McGee was using the Snapchat filter at the time of the wreck to post a video of herself traveling in excess of 100 mph. The speed limit on that particular stretch of road is 55 mph.

The suit seeks damages from Snapchat and McGee for negligence and loss of consortium.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Saving trucks from the ‘Can Opener Bridge’

The Gregson Street trestle bridge in Durham, N.C., is already internet-famous for peeling the tops off of unsuspecting box trucks. But officials with the state’s Department of Transportation hope they’ve finally found a system that will stymie the crashes once and for all.

The bridge, which boasts a clearance height of just 11-foot-8, is struck by overheight trucks on average at least once per month, according to NCDOT Engineer Jon Sandor, which has led to the bridge gaining quite a bit of notoriety.

Back in April 2008, Jurgen Henn, a Durham resident who works near the bridge set up cameras to record the intersection. He uploads the crash videos to his website, 11foot8.com, and to YouTube. He’s logged 105 crashes so far, including this one from March, where a fast-moving Cintas truck popped a wheelie on impact with “the can opener.” He also has a handy guide about the history of the bridge, and why the problem can’t necessarily be resolved by simply raising the bridge height or lowering the road bed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

‘Sizzle reel’ marks 100th Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb

“The Race to the Clouds” celebrates its 100th anniversary on June 26, when over 100 competitors from the world over will use cars, trucks, motorcycles and quads to sprint to the summit of Pike’s Peak.

One of those competitors will be OOIDA Member and legendary stunt driver Mike Ryan, who sent us a link to this “sizzle reel” of footage to help mark the centennial of the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb. Check it out:



For those who don’t know, the race is one of the oldest motor sports races in America. Racers compete in a variety of classes as they strive to be the fastest up the 12.42-mile course, which features more than 156 turns and climbs almost 5,000 feet to the finish line, on grades averaging 7.2 percent.

According to Ryan, this will be his 18th attempt at the mountain in a truck. He’s previously competed in the motorcycle division as well. 

Ryan survived a dramatic crash at the 2014 race, where his truck flew more than 100 feet off course and ended up landing over 30 feet down an embankment. Ryan not only survived, but was able to walk away from the wreck. He has previously described the experience of racing a truck up the steep mountain grade as “like tuning a thousand-string guitar.”

The 2016 Broadmoor Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb begins Saturday June 18 with Speed Week activities. The race itself occurs Sunday, June 26. Find more info here.

Monday, April 25, 2016

As seen on TV – The Beyond Compliance Truck Monkey

The catch phrase in the trucking regulatory world right now is “Beyond Compliance.” It’s a
congressionally mandated program that the feds are noodling around how to make it happen.

Via Suburban Auto Group's website
The gist is to reward motor carriers that go above and beyond regulatory compliance. Give them a better compliance score or something of the sort.

The wrinkle in all of this, highlighted by FMCSA representatives’ comments at listening sessions, is what is “beyond” compliance? What programs or technology achieve all this? How will it be monitored?

Enter the Truck Monkey Beyond Compliance model, inspired by Suburban Auto Group’s Trunk Monkey. You may recall the Trunk Monkey ad campaign from few years ago. It’s true internet gold. Google it. You won’t be disappointed.

Building off the functions of the Trunk Monkey, the Beyond Compliance Truck Monkey would take care of the hands-free communications truck drivers need.