Thursday, April 14, 2016

‘88 Mike’ back in victory lane for ChampTruck inaugural race

ChampTruck racing series driver Mike Morgan’s goal is simple.

“The only way we’re going to get to the next race is to keep winning,” he said in a phone interview with Land Line.

Morgan got off to a good start at the first race of the series at the Palm Beach International Raceway last weekend, winning four of five timed heats, including the podium race.

“We really had a good time down there,” the OOIDA member from Wartrace, Tenn., said.

A diesel mechanic at the Mack of Nashville dealership by day, Morgan moonlights as a truck racer in a series that hopes to one day do for Class 8 commercial trucks what NASCAR did for stock cars. He races a 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.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Be more than a barking dog on the sleep apnea issue

As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration continue to take steps toward making a rule regarding sleep apnea, several Land Line readers have been voicing their opposition via online comments that accompany each story.

Many drivers out there believe any sleep apnea regulation would be based more on the money it would generate to the sleep industry than safety and that the hours-of-service regulation deserves much of the blame for fatigued drivers.

These comments have merit and deserve to be heard beyond a story comment section or a Facebook post.

When the FMCSA and FRA released the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking in March, a 90-day comment period was opened. The agencies say they are seeking comment on the costs and benefits of requiring motor carrier and rail transportation workers who exhibit multiple risk factors for sleep apnea to undergo evaluation and treatment by a health care professional with expertise in sleep disorders.

Monday, April 11, 2016

(Video) Even without OEMs, MATS still draws a crowd

Most of the people I spoke to at the Mid-America Trucking Show were curious to see how the attendance would be affected after the OEMs opted to sit out the 2016 edition.

According to the official MATS post-show recap, attendance was 74,937, down roughly 10 percent from the record-breaking 2015 event, which saw attendance surge to 81,768. Our own Sound Engineer and Producer extraordinaire, Barry “Iceman” Spillman from Land Line Now predicted a 10 percent drop-off from the show floor on Friday.

Despite the lack of OEMs, the number of exhibitors surpassed last year’s total, as 1,102 exhibitors from 45 states and 12 countries putting their wares and widgets on display. According to show organizers, that’s the fourth-largest exhibitor turnout in event history.

Since it’s always more interesting to show rather than tell, how about checking out this video recap shot for Land Line, compliments of OOIDA Member “Tex” Crowley, of Texomatic Productions.

As you can see, the highlights include the light show at the Paul K. Young show truck lot, plenty of crowd shots from the north and south wings, and some OOIDA staff and members in action. Check it out.