Thursday, April 7, 2016

Caution necessary when confronting a bald eagle

A pair of stories involving drivers striking bald eagles with their vehicles recently made the news.

Gary Jorgensen, a 62-year-old construction company owner from Union, Wash., reportedly swaddled an eagle in a safety vest and called 911 after hitting the protected bird with his pickup truck on Tuesday, April 5, on Route 16 near Tacoma, Wash.

Washington State Trooper Russ Winger posted a photo on
Twitter of Gary Jorgensen swaddling a bald eagle in a safety
vest after hitting it with his vehicle.
Washington State Trooper Russ Winger posted photographs of Jorgensen holding the eagle on Twitter.

“This awesome raptor was flying too low this (morning) on SR16 and collided with a truck,” Winger tweeted. “Hopefully, we can save him.”

The eagle, which hit off Jorgensen’s windshield, later died at a rehab facility despite the driver’s best efforts.

Truck driver Dawn Gifford posted on Facebook in March that she hit a bald eagle while traveling near Ashton, Iowa. According to a report from KTIV, motorists alerted authorities to the injured bird.

The eagle was taken to Saving Our Avian Resources Rehabilitation Center. But in addition to the injury it suffered from the accident, the eagle was also suffering from lead poisoning and eventually needed to be euthanized.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

ChampTruck's '88 Mike' seeking sponsors for return to Victory Lane

OOIDA member Mike "88 Mike" Morgan, the 2015 ChampTruck Racing Series champion with his newest fan, 10-year-old Douglas Wood, son of fellow OOIDA member Robert Wood, of Centreville, Mich.
You’d think the toughest challenge for the inaugural ChampTruck racing series champion Mike “88
Mike” Morgan would’ve been winning the championship itself, without the backing of high-level corporate sponsorship.

But if he wants to repeat as champion in 2016, he’s going to once again have to do so without the deep pockets so many of his competitors have at their disposal.

Appearing at the Bosselman Truck Shops booth at the Mid-America Trucking Show on Thursday and Friday, Morgan spoke about how he hopes to continue racing in 2016, if he can get some more sponsorship. Bosselman Truck Shops sponsored him for a portion of the 2015 racing season.

“I think we’re going to take it by storm again, we just need to get a little help back behind us,” he said. “I can’t sneak up on anybody this year, but I’m just gonna drive by them. We’re gonna blow the doors off.”

An OOIDA member from Wartrace, Tenn., Morgan is a diesel technician at the Mack of Nashville dealership by day. He uses his off time to spec and race his very own big, black Mack, dubbed “Mack Vader” by his son Mikey. His handle, “88 Mike” is a nod to the military term for truck driver, which he chose in tribute to his family members and friends who have served in the armed forces, and for his favorite NASCAR driver, Dale Jarrett, now retired.

“We’re fighting for sponsorship,” he said. “I have two independent owner-operators who are going to help us out for the first race. From there forward, I’m not sure what we’re going to do.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Canadian Trucking Magazine crew on road to recovery

We wanted to give a shout-out to our friends at Canadian Trucking Magazine, who suffered serious but (thankfully) non-life-threatening injuries in a car crash on their way home from the Mid-America Trucking Show on Sunday.

According to a report in the Faribault Daily News, the four-person crew from CTM, including editor Dave MacKenzie, Robert MacKenzie, Daniel Belinski, and his daughter, 15-year-old Hannah Belinski – all of Manitoba, Canada – were all injured when their SUV was struck head-on at 4:14 p.m. Sunday by a passenger vehicle on Interstate 35 near mile post 55 in Faribault, Minn.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The people are what make MATS special

They say you’ll always remember your first.

That is definitely a true statement when it comes to my first trip to the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

My first MATS adventure is one I’m still attempting to recover from days after returning to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association headquarters in Grain Valley, Mo.

From the time I left for Louisville with OOIDA “Spirit of the American Trucker” driver Jon Osburn on Monday morning, the week was a whirlwind.

But it was the good kind of whirlwind.

Riding in the Spirit, which was my first long trip in a big rig, was an eye-opening experience into what it takes to be a true professional truck driver. The job requires a significant amount of skill, patience and perseverance. Drivers like Jon are going to every length in order to keep our highways safe.

Once we arrived in Louisville, it didn’t take long to realize I was about to take part in something huge. By Tuesday, the show trucks began to roll in, and the displays inside the Kentucky Exposition Center took shape.

The sheer size of the show was difficult to comprehend. One can only guess how many miles my shoes logged from Tuesday through Saturday. I spent the whole week at MATS, and I don’t think I even came close to seeing everything.

What I did see was remarkable.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

And The Winners Are...

With more than 90 trucks in competition, the trucks in the Paul K Young Truck Beauty Championship had a bling-packed parking lot behind the West Wing.  Whatever your favorite brand or style, it was likely represented there.  Antiques and cabovers, big hoods and sloped noses, everyday working trucks, and exceptional examples of imagination and creativity  there was something for everyone.

Clean and sparkling in the sunlight, polished to a mirror shine and painted in places you wouldn't expect  every inch of these trucks from the tips of their stacks to the tiniest nut or bolt was meticulously detailed.

After five years of competing at MATS, OOIDA member David Foster once again brought his 2005 burgundy Kenworth W900L to the show.  A soft-spoken, hard-working family man from Joplin, MO, Foster was visibly moved as his name was called for Best of Show Working Bobtail.

Chad Berry brought out his 2012 black and purple Peterbilt 386, pulling a 2017 MAC curtainside trailer.  The crowd cheered as he was awarded Best of Show Working Combo.