Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit – too soon to talk about long term impact

Brexit. If you are on social media or flipped through the channels on your television, catching glimpses of news reports, you may have seen that term dominating headlines. But what does it mean?

Brexit is short for “Britain exit,” referring to the referendum that determined whether Britain would remain in the European Union or leave. It was put to a vote on June 23. Voters decided to leave the union.

Whether the outcome is good or bad is a matter of politics that I will leave to the individual to decide. However, there are some economic consequences that are less subjective, and we’re seeing them just hours after the voting results were made official.

At the opening of the stock market on June 24, the Dow Jones plummeted nearly 500 points almost immediately and closed on Friday down more than 600 points.  Oil investors reacted in a similar fashion, with a $2 drop in both WTI and Brent oil futures early in the session.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dashcam captures water jug smashing trucker’s windshield

Police in Alabama have released dashcam video of a May incident in which a trucker was seriously injured after his windshield was smashed by a jug of water thrown from a passing vehicle.

The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office told Fox10TV that they hope the video’s release will lead to a tip that investigators can use to locate the suspects who ambushed trucker Charles Jones.

Jones, a trucker from Mississippi, was eastbound on Highway 98 in Mobile at around 2 a.m. on May 21, when the jug of water was apparently deliberately launched from a red truck by an individual hanging out of the back window on the driver’s side. The impact, which is captured in the dashcam video below from NBC News affiliate Local 15 shows the glass shatter, and Jones attempting to safely bring the vehicle to a stop. A driver behind also stopped and called 911.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Trucker babysits daughter’s doll and internet goes wild

Entertaining a request from his 9-year-old daughter has transformed truck driver Trent McCain into a bit of an internet sensation.

McCain, an OOIDA member from Colby, Kan., recently gave into his daughter Joselyn’s wishes by babysitting her doll, Abbie, while delivering shipments of corn in western Kansas. After pictures of the doll hanging out in the cab surfaced on Facebook, news of the trucker with a soft spot for his daughter quickly spread.

The original Facebook post on the McCain Trucking & Harvesting page with photos of Abbie’s day on the road has received more than 212,000 likes and more than 91,000 shares.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ask A Veteran Driver unites new, old truckers

Joan Raby, an OOIDA member from Zephyrhills, Fla., doesn’t believe she got much out of her commercial driver’s license training course. To make matters worse, she said fellow drivers were reluctant to answer her questions when she was starting her truck driving career in 2009.

“I had a pretty rotten training experience,” Raby said. “It was one of those things I suffered through instead of learning. After training, I noticed a trend over the next couple of years that it was very difficult to ask a veteran driver questions on the road. There was a resentment building up between the new drivers and the experienced drivers. For a new driver to try and get help on the CB or at a truck stop was almost impossible.”

Raby said she noticed that many of the new drivers were turning to social media for their questions.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Trucking in 1994

The last time I spent any serious time in a truck was 22 years ago. I rode with a veteran owner-operator named Richard in his forest-green Freightliner leased to Transport America. He wanted to be called Richard, not Rich or Dick. I was a freelancer for Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine. Richard and I spent five days on the road and I kept notes, cataloging where we went, what I saw, and Richard’s comments along the way. Here are just a few observations from 1994:

Richard and I amused ourselves crossing Pennsylvania on I-80 recalling the once-familiar names of carriers that had vanished after deregulation 14 years earlier. Between the two of us, we must have remembered 100 or more.

A few union carriers were still in business in 1994. We saw two of them. CF Motor Freight and Carolina Freight had pup trailers spotted at J.C. Penney in Wauwatosa, Wis., where we picked up an empty 53-footer. Carolina Freight would sell out to Arkansas Best a year later. CF, once known as Consolidated Freightways, would struggle on until 2002 when it finally collapsed in bankruptcy, though Con-Way, Consolidated’s non-union divisions, would survive.

Some things that are troubling now were troubling then, too. “The truck stops and rest areas are full at night. You can’t go over hours, but you can’t stop either,” I wrote.