Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Meeting in the Park

We passed this lovely house yesterday on the way to the park. It sits on top of a hill and the view from the 2nd floor balcony is fantastic.
The park has expanded their play equipment area ... so it really attracts a lot of children ... and the occasional oddball parent ... nuff said.
This is Mrs. & Mr. W and a couple of their daughters.
JIM showed up without his BIG blue Great Danes.
Two sisterly types enjoying a brisk outing.
Nothing quite like cousins getting together ...


It was pointed out to me that my previous blog photo was bad enough to frighten small children and could perform in some sort of pest control function. Hence while the Christmas cameras were flashing I was able to find a better photo. It still doesn't make me into a beefcake, but I guess photos can do only so much. :))

I took a small break from my vacation and took the tractor over to the local Freightshaker dealer to get an oil leak fixed. I think I made a mistake when I told them I was on vacation, but we will see.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and will Have a prosperious New Year

Bookerz out

Trucking new GPS today

Are you maintaining your employees with the Teletype GPS trucking 710,060

"All work and no play makes the employees to escape - or so they say. It seems that would work well in this economy far from a good job that they can from suffering through the trials of the gas and avoid the high cost of feed is. But it hurts to be able to relax during work time. That is why many companies do everything to reduce in order to create an environmentTurnover. But how carriers can create this beautiful environment, with its staff on the street? Although they are not able to fine a home environment with Internet access and offer free snacks throughout the day, what some consider to offer a wide awake on the road - Teletype GPS 710,060th

Of course you know that the main advantage of a GPS system - able to orient easily and quickly from one place to another. However,710,060 Teletype GPS system gives you a little 'more to its customers, because it created specifically for the truck industry. Where you can also be used for traditional GPS system to help you navigate through the streets, this system offers special features, which takes into account all the requirements of a truck.

For example, when drivers travel through the country, making deliveries, it can be difficult to take into account the entire truck --Restrictions that might fall along the traditional routes increased. But this navigation system while knowing that the truck restrictions or break a trip to make, may request that check before leaving the program in action and trucks, to determine the best route, when you arrive at your destination contention without having to return or distraction. So if you are in the past, problems with the load limits had one-way street designations, deck height, privileges, duties anddangerous turn restrictions, be sure to avoid them.

In addition to the truck routing restrictions, the ticker 710,060 GPS system features a 7-inch touchscreen, preloaded maps of the United States and Canada, text-to-speech, turn-by-turn voice navigation, over 12 million points of Interest (POI), and the ability to store waypoints. But this is not the fun part. As mentioned above, all employees are working hard to enjoy the opportunity to earn a bit, "and with this device,we came to do exactly that, with the following characteristics:

Picture Viewer

One of the main advantages of this navigation system is the image viewer, that the employees can gather and access their digital photos. With your employees spend so much time on the road and away from their families, the possibility can be checked on the little jets of growth and need only a little because I came home for a few days or weeks. And what is even better, with yourDrivers who travel destinations such as unique, were able to send photos over the network every city, so you wait to know where the offers. This little perk can certainly add a little "fun and a sense of home that could not otherwise be heard, with a standard navigation system.

MP3 Players

Who does not enjoy a good song? Most people who are especially while driving on the street to entertain the love of their favorite artists. Obviouslyalways listening to the radio for a quick solution, but as a truck driver who constantly travel to new cities where they work, how to find them to be handed over to the next step. It is here that the CD will be of benefit. However, there are only so many songs that fit on a single disc. Therefore found the MP3 player 710,060 on the ticker system is so useful. It provides the ability to store hundreds of songs on your player so you can listen to your favorite music from the earlyEnd of your trip - no matter how long it takes.

Video Player

Another great feature of the ticker's video player, the truck driver to see the films if you allow a break with a stop at once their hotel for the night. Sure, you can not see the player during the trip, but it's nice to know they can have their breaks as they want.

If you plan on GPS systems for your company to upgrade to the much better todayTechnology, it's a good idea to check the teletype 710,060 GPS system. It not only provides navigation works very well, but also a way to help staff devoted to relaxation. Why do they want in the systems of telecommunications equipment for your business?

Recommend : Canon Camera Lens Sharp Televisions

I'll Be Home For Christmas‏

I had to work on Christmas Eve. Our company never closes except for Christmas Day. They do however let us off two hours early on Christmas Eve, which I suppose is better than nothing, but as I sit at my desk and think about my loved ones getting a jump start on the holiday I get a little bitter. ;-) And of course I didn't save any vacation days for the holidays. That would have made too much sense. So I arrived at 9 on Christmas Eve, but only had to work until 4. I already had most everything packed and in the car since I hadn't been home for a week due to dog-sitting. I just needed to run home, grab a few odds and ends, get my presents for the family, and Jax (Sylvest had already arrived in Decatur via Mom & Courtney on Sunday). The forecast for Thursday was snow. The weather forecast called for snow and said it would start in the afternoon/evening. It actually started snowing pretty early in the day and the flakes were big. At first it didn't look like it was sticking but the more it snowed the more it started to accumulate. I kept looking out our 4th floor window as the snow progressed (see pics below). It was fun to watch and was definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

My family called early on in the day to say it was snowing there, an hour away. Around 1 they told me the roads were starting to get a bit slick and wondered if I could leave early. I think they were pretty worried I wouldn't make it home for Christmas. I popped off and told Courtney that Jax and I would make it even if it took us 5 hours. Little did I know that this would ring somewhat true. My supervisor and VP were off on Thursday so I went to our sister team's supervisor and asked if there was anyway I could take off early due to the weather. He told me the roads weren't bad (because they really weren't too bad in our area at the time) and said that he couldn't let me leave because we had so much work to be done. I didn't argue and just told my family I couldn't leave early and that I would call them when Jax and I left town. I jumped up and walked out at 4, gathered up stuff at my apt, and was on the road to Decatur at 4:38. The snow was piling up here but the roads didn't seem icy at all. I hopped on the tollway and drove a bit slower than normal, but it really wasn't too bad. I thought "Oh good, my family over-exaggerated, these roads are fine". I was making good progress. The snow was falling pretty heavy and the wind was whipping it across the road but other cars had made pretty good ruts and I was doing fine. My family continued to call me quite often as they had done all afternoon while at work. Something you must understand is that my father is a worry wart. He comes from a LONG line of worry warts. He's also a retired Highway Patrolman. He's seen all the bad stuff and it's pretty much never left his mind. So when one of his own is in a potentially dangerous situation he goes into worry overdrive. Mom said she didn't even have to worry because he was doing enough for the both of them. Anyway, the phone calls kept coming to check on my progress. I made it to Denton and the snow started to get thicker, it was getting dark, and the ruts were much harder to see, but I was still trucking along fine. Slow, but fine. Jax would NOT hush. He meowed the entire way. He'd been alone for 2 days since I was away dog-sitting and the minute I got home I grabbed him up and put him in a crate. He did not care for this. He's also not the best traveler and tends to meow a lot anyway. Let me tell ya, this did NOT help my nerves. Somewhere along the way I noticed that my windshield had cracked. As if I needed any more drama. I had a small knick in the windshield and with the combo of ice, snow, using my windshield wipers, and defroster it cracked. :( I was happy to be getting closer to Decatur. I was getting VERY tired (as I hadn't had a lot of sleep lately) and visibility was getting worse and worse. I just wanted to be done with this. Dad called to see where I was and I told him I was coming up on Imperial (a company on the outskirts of town). All of a sudden I topped a hill and all I could see was a stream of break lights. As far as the eye could see it was break lights. Dad & I figured someone must have had a wreak. We hung up and I sat there. I sat, and sat, and sat, and sat. It was awful. Dad called back to say he'd called the police dept. (of course he had) and they said it was very slick in that section of the road and people were jack-knifing. Crap! I'm already super stressed out, I have no clue how long this is going to take, and I have GOT to pee. I sat there for what seemed like forever and didn't move. The line of cars started to move forward finally but the Dodge pickup in front of me was having issues. His back wheels were just spinning on the snow/ice and he wasn't moving anywhere. I backed up to give him some room but no matter how much backing he did he couldn't get any traction. After a few cars started to go around him I joined in. I felt bad leaving him behind but there was nothing I could do for him. Of course we get around him and then sit forever again. We move just a little bit and then sit. A BMW was having lots of issues as well. The guy driving couldn't get any traction either and his back tires just kept spinning. A man up ahead got out of his truck to try to help him and the minute he stepped out he slipped and was face down on the road. He laid there for a few seconds and then tried getting up with the help of someone else. At this point the sand truck arrived. OUR HERO! The truck started dispersing sand along the road and specifically on the BMW, which was FINALLY able to go after all the sand. We slowly but surely inched along and made it into town.

I was dying. At one point I thought I might have to use the bathroom in my car so the minute I got to the Shell station I hopped out and went in. I didn't know how much longer it might take me to get to mom and dad's since I didn't know what was up ahead of me. I hopped back in my car and tried to take off but I couldn't get out of the parking lot. I had HAD it. This freakin' sucked! I called my parents and started to cry. I couldn't get out of the blasted parking lot and all I wanted to do was be home. My dad said he would jump in the car and come get me. I really didn't want him to have to do this. We didn't both need to be out in this mess. I tried to leave the parking lot in a different direction and this time I made it would, got onto the highway, flipped around and slowly headed to mom and dad's. I pulled in the driveway at 7:45. It had taken me over THREE hours to get there when it normally takes me one. It was awful. I was stressed to the max and in the worse mood. Everyone came out to help me unload. Mom & Dad's drive way was full on huge snow drifts and the yard was covered in deep snow. The official report is that Decatur got 5". The ground was still really covered when I left for work this morning and we are supposed to get more snow on Tuesday. I will not be doing any traveling then!

Celebrity Night in Saginaw

Press Release

(Saginaw, MI) Tickets remain for the Saginaw Spirit Celebrity Night, presented by Causley Trucking! Detroit Red Wing Alumni and Stanley Cup Champion Dallas Drake will be appearing on December 29, 2009 when the Spirit host the Erie Otters at 7:11 PM. The former NHL'er will be participating in a ceremonial puck drop and signing autographs for fans during the game, courtesy Causley Trucking.

"The Saginaw Spirit are honored to host Dallas Drake and are thankful to our sponsor Causley Trucking for allowing us to present another Stanley Cup Champion. Dallas was the first Red Wing Player that Captain Nicholas Lidstrom handed the Cup to for the Stanley Cup Celebration Skate," Stated Spirit President and Partner Craig Goslin, "We invite our fans to come down to the Dow Event Center on December 29 to hear a few stories from him regarding the Red Wings 07-08 Stanley Cup Championship Season."

Dallas Drake was part of the Stanley Cup winning Detroit Red Wings team that beat the Pittsburgh Penguins for the NHL title in 2008, which saw him retire shortly thereafter to cap off a career that spanned fifteen seasons and 1099 NHL hockey games. He posted a total of 177 goals and 300 assists in 1009 regular season NHL hockey games, 14 goals and 19 assists in 90 post season NHL hockey games. The Trail, British Columbia native played with the Detroit Red Wings (1992-1994; 2007-2008), the Winnipeg Jets/ Phoenix Coyotes (1994-2000) and the St. Louis Blues (2000-2007). The Red Wings, who drafted Drake into the NHL with the 116th overall pick in 1989, re-signed the gritty winger for the 2007-2008 season. Prior to the NHL Drake played four seasons in the NCAA with Northern Michigan University, helping the Wildcats win the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship in 1991.

For more information or to get your tickets for the December 29 Spirit home game, please contact the Spirit at 989-497-7747 or visit the Official Saginaw Spirit Ticket and Merchandise Store at 5789 State Street in Saginaw.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Pulling for J.C. Penney

After unloading Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet tissue at Foley's, Inc. in Archdale, North Carolina this morning at 7:00 AM EST, we were routed to Avgol Distribution in Mocksville, North Carolina (photo above) to pick up rolls of raw material used in the production of diapers by Procter & Gamble at their plant in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania. We were routed here a day late, however; the material was loaded on a different carrier Sunday.

SNI took us off this load and sent us to a J.C. Penney distribution center in Statesville, North Carolina (photo below), where we dropped our empty trailer and hooked a preloaded trailer filled with store merchandise bound for a sister Penney's DC in Manchester, Connecticut, near Hartford. We're parked tonight again at the SNI OC in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Hope to deliver at J.C.P. in Connecticut Tuesday afternoon.

Wow. Merry Christmas to you too.

Arrow Long Haul Truck Drivers Wake to Nightmare before Christmas
Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009 –
On Tuesday, as many as 1,400 truck drivers for Arrow Trucking Co., based out of Tulsa, OK, have been frantically trying to figure out their next moves as the company unexpectedly announced it was "suspending all operations" that day.
Truckers started calling in to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and Land Line after they were awakened with phone calls from their dispatchers alerting them to the grim news that the company was shutting its doors and that their instructions were to turn in their trucks to the nearest Freightliner dealership. However, no instructions were given for drivers of International trucks. Drivers have been instructed to drop their vehicles off at the nearest Freightliner dealership and to leave their keys with an attendant there or at a truck stop if they are out of fuel.

If YRC Trucking Stops Everything Stops

There is a tremendous amount of reasons why you should be paying attention to the trucking industry at the current moment. Arrow Trucking just went down the drain on Thursday, December 24, 2009--- halting all operations, canceling fuel cards, and telling drivers (by direction of Daimler Financial who funded the entire fleet of trucks) to return their rigs to the nearest Freightliner dealer and get a bus ticket home. I have recently seen this article concerning YRCTrucking (YRC Worldwide) and that GOLDMAN SACHS IS TRYING TO BANKRUPT YRC through bad derivatives and credit default swaps. Keep in mind that YRC(W) is the largest, most comprehensive network in North America and one of the largest in the world for that matter. IT IS OF GREAT CONCERN to pay attention to such a matter.

Trucking Bankruptcies threaten 3 major necessities:
Goods/Materials (commodities necessary for everyday life [-life essentials/non-life essentials])
Fuel Delivery
Why the concern that I insist?..........

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Farewell, Friend

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of Donald P. Head of Cotati, CA. Here's the
otati resident Donald B. Head spent most of his life driving trucks, even after he and his wife purchased a Cotati bar more than four decades ago. Here's the story from the Press Democrat. .art_main_pic { width:250px; float:left; clear:left; }
Click to enlarge Donald B. Head

Head died Tuesday at his home after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.

Head spent many years driving big rigs, including his own truck. Even as the owner of the Cotati Beer Gardens, he regularly drove a special wrecker for Andreoli Trucking that could tow tractor trailer rigs.

“He drove the tow truck until he was 72,” said his wife of 47 years, Joan Head.

Born in Eureka, Head grew up in Oakland and Richmond. His father drove trucks for West Transportation, a company the son eventually also worked for.

Head served in the U.S. Army’s 11th Airborne Division during the Korean War.

He came to Cotati about 40 years ago. In the early 1970s his wife and he purchased a bar and renamed it to the Cotati Beer Gardens. They owned it until the late 1980s.

Family members described Head as strong and independent, someone who enjoyed people but also could work alongside police to handle an unruly bar patron.

“He was such a man’s man,” said his daughter, Danise Head of Cotati.

But he also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. And Joan Head said he raised her son Everett Wicker as his own from the time the boy was 2-years-old. Wicker died in 1996.

Head was a member of Berean Baptist Church in Rohnert Park. With his family, he belonged to the Rancho Riders horse club.

Along with his wife and daughter, survivors include another daughter, Ladona Rossiter of Cotati, a sister, Marilyn Cramlett of Hercules; a brother, Robert Head of Mississippi; and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Dec. 12 at Berean Baptist Church.

The family prefers memorial contributions in care of the church to the Berean Baptist Christian Academy.

— Robert Digitale

Trucker Found in Truck Stop after Leaving Accident Scene

A trucker fled the scene of a truck accident but was later found by Ontario police at a truck stop.

According to Ontario police, Francisco Lecaro of Perris of California left after hitting two people who were chaining up their own truck on a freeway off-ramp in Eastern Oregon.

Milton Belton, 49, died at the scene while Miguel Victorio-Alvarez, 45, sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Lecaro just made his situation even worse by running from the scene of the accident.
Instead of just worrying about civil liability lawsuits that could be taken care of the trucking company and its insurance company, he chose to leave the scene.

As a result, he gave the city a reason to prosecute him criminally.

The truck accident even resulted in death which means he could at be charged with vehicular manslaughter.

We all have a duty to stop after a vehicular accident. Not only because it is required by law but because it’s the right thing to do.

If he had stopped, he could have assisted the injured parties and could have avoided the death of Belton.

Instead, he left the scene and now he might be facing some serious jail time for his choices.

Illinois to Raise Truck Speed Limit

Effective January 1, 2010, Illinois joins other Midwest states in allowing trucks to legally travel up to 65 MPH on rural interstates. This is welcome news to truckers who've risked speeding fines over 55 MPH when entering Illinois from any of the surrounding states that already have a higher limit.

SNI tractors are governed at 60 MPH on cruise control (62 MPH for teams) to save fuel, but the extra 5 MPH above 55 makes a world of difference when you drive 500+ miles a day.

Only California and Oregon retain the 55 MPH limit for trucks. You can read more about state speed limits at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website.

5 Questions About North Carolina Truck Accidents Answered

Will Owens is a member of the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, which is a national association of committed lawyers who have joined together to help eliminate unsafe and illegal interstate trucking practices.
1. What is a "commercial truck"?
A commercial truck is a vehicle used in the course of business and/or for the transport of commercial goods. Examples are eighteen-wheeler tractor trailers, tanker trucks, delivery vehicles, and other large freight trucks.

2. What are some of the common causes of tractor trailer accidents?
• Aggressive drivers
• Unrealistic schedules
• Failure to inspect tires, brakes and lights
• Tailgating
• Long work-shifts
• Driver fatigue
• Cell phone use
• Failure to install blind spot mirrors
• Jackknifing
• Speeding and ignoring reduced truck speed limit

Added hazards include the absence of rear and side bumpers and high front bumpers that punch into automobile passenger compartments. Together these factors account for the high percentage of serious injuries and deaths in these crashes.

3. Who makes sure that big trucks and trucking companies are following the rules?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is in charge with promulgating regulations to keep us safe on the road. The rules are expansive and cover all aspects of commercial driving including the driver (e.g. training, drug and alcohol testing and licensing), the vehicle (e.g. transportation of hazardous materials, inspection and repair) and the carrier (e.g. insurance, records and maintenance). In North Carolina, enforcement of these regulations, and other state laws, falls to the State Highway Patrol’s Motor Carrier Enforcement.

4. What are the “hours of service” rules?
Under federal “hours of service” regulations, which took effect January 2004, interstate commercial drivers are not allowed to drive more than 11 consecutive hours or drive after 14 hours on duty until they have had a 10-hour break. In addition, according to federal regulations, commercial truck drivers cannot drive after accruing 60 work hours during a 7-day period or 70 work hours during an 8-day period.

5. Are there any state or federal regulations governing truck drivers?
There are many regulations, both state and federal, that trucking companies are required to follow. Some of those laws include the following:

• Trucking companies are required to follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulations concerning equipment and hours of service.

• Truck drivers are required to maintain a driver’s log.

• Federal regulations require commercial trucks to carry certain levels of insurance coverage, depending on the nature of the materials hauled. These regulations protect victims of large truck crashes from truck owners who may not have the financial resources to pay damages out-of-pocket.

• The Commercial Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program requires that individual States, and other political jurisdictions unify to develop and implement programs that will ultimately improve motor carrier, CMV, and driver safety and establish a safer and more efficient transportation system.

• Commercial driver’s license standards are federal regulations in place to reduce or prevent truck accidents and resulting injuries and/or deaths by requiring drivers of certain vehicles to obtain a single commercial motor vehicle driver's license.

• Both North Carolina State and / or federal law, depending on whether the truck was involved in intrastate or interstate transport may govern truck accidents.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Risk of Loss, Holding Title

CASE: In this commercial contract, KLT Knitwear was contracted to deliver 20,000 pounds of yarn to GFG Inc. GFG hired a trucking company to pick up the yarn from KLT. KLT identified the yarn and placed the goods on the truck. From that point, risk of loss was transferred to GFG. The truck hired by GFG was hijacked and all the yarn was stolen. When GFG heard about the incident, they stopped payment they made prior to delivery, and then sued KLT claiming they must pay for the goods since they bore the risk of title.

F.O.B. or free on board means the selling price of a good includes transportation to the place named in the contract. The seller pays expenses and carries the risk of loss to the place named. If a contract is “F.O.B. seller”, it is a shipment contract and the buyer pays shipping expenses and carries the risk of loss. In an “F.O.B. buyer” contract, the seller pays expenses and carries the risk of loss until the goods are delivered to the buyer; this is a destination contract.

Prior to the hijacking, GFG sent a purchase order to KLT that stated the price for yarn was F.O.B. seller. This means the contract between the GFG and KLT is a shipment contract. In a shipment contract, the title to the goods is passed to the buyer (GFG) once the seller (KLT) delivered the goods to the designated location, in this case, the carrier. If the price for yarn was F.O.B. buyer, then KLT Knitwear would assume title until the yarn was received by GFG who would also then assume risk of loss.

In this case, the trucking company hired by GFG was hijacked. Since buyers have some legal recourse against carriers, GFG would have to seek compensation from that company. That is of course assuming that they insured their shipment.

I think the courts would find that GFG Inc defaulted on the terms of their contract with KLT Knitwear. The contract obliged KLT to deliver the conforming goods (20,000 pounds of yarn) to GFG and GFG to accept and pay for it. KLT completed their end of the contract. They put 20,000 pounds of yarn on a truck hired by GFG. In my opinion, the fact that GFG hired the truck further proves that they were assuming the title of the goods. This shipment contract determined that GFG had ownership of the yarn. They assumed the risk of loss the minute they picked the yarn up from KLT.

What protection would companies like KLT have if they had to assume risk of loss even when a buyer picked up their own goods? What legal recourse would they have to protect them against scamming buyers? It would just be bad business practice to send goods off with a trucking company hired by the buyer if they had to assume the risk of loss. This is why I think GFG doesn’t have a leg to stand on. I am not saying that they committed any crime, but laws are created to protect against such crimes and hold people accountable. I one hundred percent believe KLT will win this case.

Instructor's Notes: Excellent questions at the end. Protection in a commercial contract is the key. In this contract title passes upon the trucking company hired by the buyer receiving goods in conforming condition. FOB seller means the seller bears risk. To minimize situations like this either party who assumes risk should purchase an insurable interest in the merchandise. The key to prevent loss is the determination of interests and risk. The party who assumes risk has the insurable interest - a concept that is important in contract carrier cases.

Turn the Page

On a long and lonesome highway
East of Omaha
You can listen to the engine
Moanin' out his one note song
You can think about the woman
Or the girl you knew the night before

But your thoughts will soon be wandering
The way they always do
When you're ridin' sixteen hours
And there's nothin' much to do
And you don't feel much like ridin',
You just wish the trip was through

Here I am
On the road again...

Bob Seger, 1973

Jobs: Bring back the WPA, ...Just Do it!


Since today is President Obama's Jobs summit I thought I'd discuss what I believe needs to be done for our country.

(Executive Summary: I believe we need a new version of FDR's "WPA-Work projects Administration", that will be focused on training, service, and helping our country. I contend that this massive stimulus package can help re-focus our economy, and also make our nation less energy dependent.

There are several inter-related problems

1) Job Availability
2) Job Training and Retraining
3) Education
4) Green Economy / New "Manhattan" Project

1) I believe that the entire United States economy has been destroyed by its transformation from a supplier of GOODS, into a consumer based SALES economy. Availability of jobs, both traditional, blue collar, to high tech (technology) have fled from the United States overseas.

It is NOT an option to re-introduce trade barriers. It's too late for that. However, we can STILL overcome this, and make a great number of skilled trade jobs available. By undervaluing blue collar, and not encouraging manufacturing of any sort anymore, we have eliminated a huge number of potential jobs.

2) Job training and retraining:
Detroit. 'nuff said? I think so...
seriously, job losses and jobs exported ALSO is very high in the technical (computer) sector.
besides overseas call centers, web and computer programming, almost everything, including technical support, can and IS outsourced to other countries.

We need programs to help newly graduated, as well as unemployed, (and even) OLDER 50 and older workers learn new trades.

3) There are a great deal of studies about how our educational system has failed a great deal of inner city and urban students. For argument's sake, lets just say that 80% of the urban HS population graduates, but does not go to college.

What are the realistic job prospects for these newly graduated teenagers? The Service industry.
Not a lot of skilled labor there. If I wanted to become a plumber or electrician, becoming an apprentice is the only difficult way to achieve this.

What we need is the ability to have someone learn a skilled trade, that will allow this person to become a productive member of society, that will earn a living wage. I say living wage, because this is also a key problem in our current service economy.

4) Green Economy / New "Manhattan" Project
The opportunity to re-engineer our entire country, and create a national 'home' grid, as well as re-creating the national highway system are potential recipients of this labor.

What I am proposing is simple:
We will create a new job program (I call it the training corp), that will take workers, and depending on their talents and interests, help to train them, apprentice them, and then become skilled journeymen craftsmen in their chosen fields.

This program will take both volunteers, and eventually, all HS graduates (or over 17, which-ever comes later) for a three year, gradual program to teach these new skills.

Several aspects of the program will be familiar. The concept of military boot camp will be useful to teach new survival skills to those who may not have previously had the best learning environment.

The concepts of the "Military Academy" (West Point, Annapolis, etc) is also a key goal, as is the concept of the permanent career (just like in the military...)

Many of these "military concepts" can help to guide these programs. An example of a new service path would be for those interested in becoming engineers, or architects (for the large number of future projects).

The Manhattan Project (for Energy)
Here's a key infrastructure project that will make our country much more competitive:

It cannot be implemented using the current private US rail system, but would inter-act and exchange cargo with it.

But first:
When I recently took a trip down the NJ Turnpike (Route 95-South), on a Sunday night at about 11PM, I counted over 500 tractor trailers in one 1/2 hour period. Imagine what could be achieved if we had a new national rail system.
This new rail system would become a brand new expansion of the existing Eisenhower Interstate Highway system (Originally created to speed military operations if needed inside our country).
One of the critical factors would be to create 4 lanes (2 heavy and 2 light rail) railroad tracks, that would run down the highway, and allow trucks to offload (or even entirely load the entire truck itself) onto newly designed rail cars.
As another example, you might get onto the highway (again Route 95) after the George Washington Bridge. You (or your Car/Truck), or (eventually, just your cargo trailer) would get onto the train, and the train would carry you, your cargo, and your car or truck to your desired stop.

Cargo (as well as cars/buses/etc) would be tracked with High tech RF-ID tags, to help enable automated routing to your final destination.
A system this complicated will take almost as long to be built and implemented as the National Interstate highway system did in the 1950's, 60's and 70's. It isn't for the faint hearted.

But that's why I say it is PART of a "Manhattan Project" for energy independence. The crews, the skilled labor, (yes, pouring concrete accurately and perfectly IS ALSO a skilled trade!!!) as well as the ability to put a great deal of our young people to work in jobs that will help our country become a new model for the world is something that is visionary.

No, we won't have to develop a bomb. But eliminating Trucking via diesel rigs will be a huge step to controlling pollution, reducing our oil usage, as well as making transportation a new industry that can help our country become more competitive again.

Additional steps besides research for R&D (and to develop new types of small power generators (think solar and wind) as well as plans for deploying them across the country will help our economy better then paying bankers, or Car manufacturers.

Part of this plan would be to commercialize and economize a solar panel, so that an average house could become energy neutral, if not a major energy generator.

Combined with new energy distribution networks (grids), as well as positive (or negative) metering and billing, we can pray that we can reduce our country's addiction to coal fired power plants.

XYZZY. Oh. You're already inside.

Is this just a dream? I hope not.

Please take the time to comment, critique, and make suggestions!

thanks again..

Catch up time.

Hi everyone, its been a while so I thought I should bring you up to date. As you may be aware I was Cardioverted just over a month ago which is where my heart was zapped with an electric current...pretty much the same as you see on the emergency room Tv programmes. The out come was that the heart immediatley began to beat normally and held that rythm for round about a month until it decided for no reason to revert back to doing as it wished. Luckily I had an appointment with the cardio clinic at the hospital the next day and the doctors confirmed that indeed it had took a step backward so I was prescribed some new drugs which I would need to take for a month. The next day, for no reason again my heart began to beat normally so at the minute I am waiting for another visit to the hospital to give them the good news.
I have no idea as to when I will be returning to Canada, the initial plan was for January but its anybodies guess at the minute.
The following pictures are from Bonfire night again only this time from Gainford which is were my parents live. Coming up soon will be a post on my visit to York which I totally forget to tell you about and happened ages ago.

All pictures taken at really long shutter speeds, sometimes over 6 seconds.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Glossary of terms in the load

Freight has a unique vocabulary, mostly rooted in a history of long trips. The vocabulary can be a bit "overwhelming and confusing for a newcomer.

Analyze some of the terms used here:

Discount - A discount for any damage or overloading

Accessories - Some services that are not considered "standard" and incur additional costs. This may, within delivery, insurance, lift gate service and otherServices

Load (BOL) - shipping documents is important that the names and addresses of places of origin and destination, description of the goods delivered, money orders and other relevant information, it appears

Booking - Organization for the carriage of goods by a carrier

Boxcar - An enclosed car freight train

- The amount of transporter that has agreed to move freight by railTruck, ship, airplane, or a combination of these two modes

Carthage - local (as opposed to interstate and international), the trucks with goods

The demand - a demand on the carrier for the payment of damages or other losses resulting from the negligence of the carrier for transport, handling

Classification - assign rating to a particular type of product can, determine the size, value and the difficulty of transporting the goods. Thecorrect class is imperative for an accurate freight quote

Consignee - The person or company to which the freight is shipped

Consignor - The person or company identified as the shipper of freight

Container - A large metal box resembling a truck trailer body that can be shipped via vessel or rail and then attached to a trailer chassis for further transport, containers come in many sizes and types

Deadhead - If a truck with a load and then runs a leg of a trip without cargo

Declared value - a magazine can sometimes qualify for a lower rate if you declare a lower value, for a real object can be dangerous in case of loss

Density - The weight of cargo per cubic foot, this measure is important for an accurate freight quote

Double Drop - A follower of the open deck with a raised section in the front and rearand some below average, which can be used for the transportation of goods exceptionally high

Drayage - Transportation Local Trucking Carthage Same

Dry Van - Refers to a trailer 53 ', which can be heated or ventilated, but not chilled

Exception: If an item found by a carrier (usually management) is received, the freight forwarder has anomalies or suspected, the firsttransport

Freight - Used in several different manners, can refer to the actual cargo or to the charges assessed to a shipper by a carrier for hauling that cargo

Gross Weight - Cumulative weight of cargo, packaging and freight car or container

HAZ MAT - Hazardous Material

Intermodal - Use of multiple modes of transportation to move containers of cargo - can include sea, rail, road and air freight Travel

LTL or truck - vessels when the goods are not of importance to need a truck for himself, the LTL shipments generally in the range £ 100 £ 20,000

NMFC - National Motor Freight Classification (see classification above)

Piggy Back - An agreement of intermodal transport, which are loaded in truck trailers, placed on a cart and moved to a destination

PRO- The tracking number assigned by the carrier for a specific transfer

Proof of delivery - On receipt of a shipment for delivery

Puppies - A short trailer with another small trailer used to a double-tandem-trailer to create or

Summons or citation - an offer of goods at a price based on the shipping and some of the terms defined

Reefer - refrigerated orPendants

Stack train - a special car that the stacked containers can take up two

Step left deck - a trailer was a standard apartment in the front section and a section on the back, used to transport goods more

Curb weight - The weight of the empty wagons or empty containers, sea, or intermodal transport

Tariff - A publication of the rate-setting and the needs ofTransportation Company-specific

Organized Terminal - An area where the freight is and prepare for loading and shipment to its destination, the cargo terminal is often accompanied by a backing, after they collected and put into another container or trailer for transportation and intermodal freight is often unloaded at a terminal, before the declaration and the final delivery default

TL - Truckload freight (if the amount of loadenough to fill in order to be a trailer or a container filled

- Tractor unit of power, and used to tow trailers

Trailer - The part of the truck, in which the goods are loaded, transported

Ventilated Trailer - A trailer with small openings in walls to allow air flow through the outside air when the doors are closed

Luggage storage of goods

While this list may seem long, there are hundreds of otherIndustry terms and expressions that can be run over. If you are a beginner or the sender of the experience, you can hear a new term, from time to time. Do not hesitate to contact us to see what all the burdens associated word is always possible.

SkyWatch Canada

SkyWatch Canada
September 15, 2009

Since early March of 2009 the skies over Canada’s Capital City have been littered with chemtrails dispensed by jets that resemble Boeing passenger 747’s. It all started about a week or so before Swine Flu news hit the mainstream. From that point on, the amount of chemtrails being sprayed in to the skies has gradually intensified.

So the question that needs to be asked is what is being sprayed into our skies, and why ? It is known amongst certain groups of people, that chemtrails consist mainly of Barium salts and Aluminum. This cocktail appears as a white spray (similar to a contrail, but lingers in the sky) and once dispersed can easily be mistaken for high altitude clouds. Some have even witnessed planes spraying a brown substance from low altitudes. This substance which has been observed, lands on the ground as a stringy/sticky gel. This gel has previously been analyzed by the Washington State Department of Heath and AmTest Laboratorie. It appeared to be composed of red blood cells mixed with biological agents. What are the implications of such incidences and what have they become more frequent in recent months ?

In addition to increased chemtrail activity, the skies in the Nation’s Capital have seen a drastic change in flight patterns of what appear to be commercial 747s or look alikes. Planes have been flying lower than they ever have in the last 20 years. These jets make rounds over residential neighborhoods flying at altitudes as low as 500 ft. Neighborhoods that are a good 40 km away from the Ottawa airport. They seem to leave the airport fly in a circle over the city at extremely low altitudes and go back where they came from. The frequency of this type of occurrence in drastically increasing. The people need to ask why ? How come there are planes are flying low over houses every 5 minutes ? There certainly aren’t that many commercial flights coming in and out of Ottawa. Are the citizens being acclimated for some future event ?

On the topic of Barium, it is known that it is toxic to humans. Not only does it disrupt digestive tract function, but it affects the immune system. The immune system destroys pathogens by producing T-Cells. Barium in known to bind to T-Cell receptors and effectively deactivate them (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1541830). Is it just a coincidence that we are being warned about a deadly re-emergence of A/H1N1 this fall and our immune systems are being assaulted on a daily basis with Barium ? Probably Not.

In regards to low flying jets. Is it possible they are practicing to release a bioweapon over densely populated areas ? It has been said that biological agents must be released at lower altitudes to ensure they aren’t damaged by the low temperatures found at high altitudes. Everybody knows the NWO crowd likes to acclimate the sheep. This sets the stage for a coordinated release of some biowepon as Steve Quayle has previously spoken of.

There are actually reports coming in that such an event may be in the works. Most pieces of evidence are mere eye witness accounts; but such is the world of intelligence. This kind of information would never make it into mainstream news. In March 2009, a youtube video was released of a call someone made to a radio show called the Power Hour.

The caller had been in touch with a truck driver, working on contract for the Department of Homeland Security. He was getting paid $500 USD a load for trucking bird flu vials to various destinations within the US. All of the deliveries were made at night, and the truck(s) were all escorted by armed undercover ex-cops/private security. Many of the loads were either picked up or dropped of at underground missile silos. The personnel receiving the deliveries were often in full Hazmat gear. The truck driver and his family were inoculated for ‘protection’ against bird flu. This truck driver was paid at a Bank of America branch in a back room. He anonymously gave a number to the bank and was paid in cash on the spot. He was summoned randomly by DHS for meetings at 3am, and examined regularly to make sure he had not contracted the virus. One of his colleagues who owned an especially long flat bed was hired as part of the operation to haul an 80 ton missile across the country. The extremely heavy load blew his breaks and DHS promptly reacted and had them immediately fixed so he could complete the delivery. Many of the truck driver’s deliveries were extremely mysterious in nature. He was often told to drive an empty truck from one location to another and then was stopped at a random site and led down a private road to a dropoff point, (many of which were underground missile silos) so if interrogated he could not divulge sensitive information. At one of his deliveries, he deliveried clear, refrigerated vials containing white liquid which were then loaded into a military C-130 plane. The driver earned at least a hundred of thousand dollars delivering these loads. He and and his family have since been relocated to safe housing on a military base. The woman who called in this information to the radio show has presented it to the local Police and the FBI. The response from both of them was , “this thing is so big we won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole”. Obviously something big is afoot.

In addition to the truck driver’s story one of Steve Quayle’s credible intelligence sources divulged the following information on August 25th 2009: “One notable report from the Flaming Gorge Recreation Area in Utah, Wyoming, and near Colorado cited large numbers of Italian men in one cabin and large numbers of French men in another all speaking only in Italian and French . Also this report included excellent detail of some of these getting on Harley Davidson motorcycles after a Chinook Helicopter passed over the lodge. They were seen riding out to meet the Chinook and receiving something from it which then was taken back to the lodge. Noticeable were the large numbers of coolers at these respective cabins….perhaps the type that might keep samples of some Virus or Flu cool enough for preservation until samples were to be distributed?”

(http://www.stevequayle.com/News.alert/08_Hawk/090825.fraction.wars.html )

With all of the clues available is it possible to conceive that after unsuspecting citizens have consumed excess amounts of Barium which has made It’s way from the clouds into the sewer systems and back into drinking water, that we are caught in a globalist conspiracy to lower our immune systems for the coming “second wave” of the so called swine flu ? Will there be a synchronized aerosol release of weaponized influenza on the masses , or will there be live virus (in addition to deadly amounts of Squalene)inside the H1N1 vaccine, or both ? In terms of a method to achieve population reduction, bioweapons can theoretically be the most effective (only second to nuclear fallout) because after the initial release it continues to spread and multiply among humans. It’s evident from all of the mainstream propaganda about swine flu these days that we are being prepared for something big, even if the current swine flu outbreak up to this point has been no more than a joke. Time is running out for Obama and the NWO crowd to seize dictatorial control of North America. The masses are awakening at an unprecedented rate. How will the next few months unfold? Who will be victorious ?

God Save The Republic.

Untrusted Teamster Leaders to Members: A "No" Vote Could Doom YRC Worldwide, Up to 40,000 Could Lose Jobs

It's considered the 'Last of the Mohicans' in the world of big Teamster-represented less-than-trailer load (LTL) carriers, all the rest having been doomed to the scrap heap of uncompetitive unionized trucking companies.

Now it seems, however, the question is not "if," but "when" YRC Worldwide will be closing up shop.

YRC Worldwide, which is the combination of Yellow Freight's 2003 acquisition of Roadway and its later merging of operations, has around 40,000 employees nationwide, the majority of them represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

For a variety of reasons (the economy, fuel costs, as well as its union obligations), the company has been struggling to survive for more than a year now. In fact, the company has had to go to the Teamsters' leadership twice for concessions in their labor contracts.

All told, the Teamsters leadership has agreed to wage cuts of 15% and the company has gotten the union to agree to an 18-month suspension on pension fund payments, saving the company an estimated $35 to $45 million per month.

[Note: The primary pension plan that YRC had been contributing to is the critically underfunded Central States Pension Plan (see the movie Casino as a reference).]

According to the Houston Chronicle, YRC had "$1.69 billion in liabilities and $1 billion in assets as of Sept. 30. It has sold real estate, cut thousands of jobs and taken other steps to keep operating. The company lost $158.7 million in the third quarter."

In November, YRC closed its big Richfield, Ohio terminal, sold part of its logistics unit, and launched a debt-for-stock swap in order to try and stave off bankruptcy.

Now, there may be even more trouble on the horizon for the company which, in short order, may drive YRC straight off a cliff. Union members are beginning to have serious doubts about their union leaders.

In Chicago, Teamster-represented workers are rebelling at the union leadership's insistence that they vote to agree to the concessions that were already negotiated.

According to a forum for Teamster members, one unidentified member exposed the mistrust between the Teamster leaders and the members by 'reporting' on what happened when IBT leadership visited Chicago on Tuesday:

Tyson Johnson and the Flynn crew visited the Chicago Terminal of Holland today, well lets just say they didn't the welcoming they expected. The members were told that 39,000 jobs rest on the shoulders of 710 and 705 members to except the MOU! Flynn had stated that YRC will probably close regardless, and that by voting no it will just be sooner, well lets just say, they were told to stick it in a place...

Tyson and Flynn told the members that its all about the pension (how funny, because Flynn told everyone that the pension was no concern anymore) and without
710 and 705 accepting it that they are still responsible for the pension. Then Flynn had the nerve to stand there and tell everyone that he has never lied to them, "but he just did" Oh! "he probably forgot about the lie at the meeting prior to the last vote that stated its only about the 5 percent" ....

Well lets just say that at the end of the meeting they were all directed where to go!! Well guys I guess there you have it, they admitted its about the pension, the company wants out, and we better accept it. Pat Flynn gave a member his word that they will put back into it in 18 months or he will vote no to it himself, "I feel so warm and cozy inside, when the union stands behind us"!

According to the Teamsters for a Democratic Union (a dissident group within the Teamster' union) union leaders are threatening members that, if they don't vote to accept the cuts, the entire company may shut down:

YRCW will close if 1500 Teamsters in Chicago don’t take a $1.16 per hour pay cut: that’s what IBT Freight Director Tyson Johnson and IBT vice president Pat Flynn have told the YRC Teamsters.

On Dec. 1-2, YRC management gave time to Flynn and Johnson to offer a hard sell to Local 705 and 710 Teamsters at the four Chicagoland YRC and Holland terminals.

On Dec. 8, Local 710 dock workers will vote for a third time on the concessions, and Local 705 for the second time. Both groups previously rejected them by a 2-1 margin. The vote will be held at the terminals, not by mail.

This follows Hoffa’s power grab of November 24, when the IBT claimed the power to dissolve the Local 705 and Local 710 contracts, which do not expire until 2013, into the national freight contract. That move gave the IBT total control of the bargaining and disbanded the union bargaining committees. But they feared imposing concessions without a vote because it would lead to a lawsuit to protect members’ right to vote.

Across the nation, in Washington and Oregon, Teamster members at YRC's Reddaway have also given a 'thumbs down' to the concessions.

Reddaway Teamsters in Washington and Oregon have narrowly rejected a proposed
contract which the IBT and YRC agreed to.

By a vote 214-208 the Teamsters at YRC’s regional carrier said No, and will retain their contract wages and benefits until a contract is ratified.
It seems as though, it is only a matter of time before YRC declares bankruptcy. It could be a matter of days, weeks, or months.

However, when YRC does get tossed into the scrap heap of so any other Teamster-represented trucking companies, while many will point to the economy as the cause of the company's demise, it will be misplaced blame. The economy will have only exposed a company already vulnerable due to a union whose leaders are not trusted by their members.

For the Teamsters, it will be especially humiliating when YRC crashes since the union that Jimmy Hoffa built with companies like Yellow and Roadway will be losing one of its biggest players while Hoffa's son is in control.

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

Container Terminals Introduce TruckTags to Comply with Port of Oakland’s Ban on Dirty Trucks

OAKLAND, Calif., December 2, 2009 – Beginning Tuesday, December 15, 2009, the container terminals at the Port of Oakland will require trucks to be equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) devices called TruckTags and be registered in eModal’s TruckerCheck system.
In order to reduce air pollution, the Port of Oakland has announced that as of January 1, 2010, it will ban from marine terminals all drayage trucks with engine year models earlier than 1994. Model year 1994 to 2003 trucks must be retrofitted with diesel particulate filters or engines that meet equivalent standards. The ban requires the Port of Oakland’s container terminals to deny entry to drayage trucks that don’t meet these standards, which are set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Tags are required by December 15 to allow for testing and ensure operational capacity in advance of the January 1, 2010, deadline.
With TruckTags, the port’s container terminals are using RFID technology to meet the heightened air quality requirements while maintaining the efficient flow of cargo through the Oakland port and minimizing truck idling time. Similar to E-ZPass and FasTrak automated toll systems, RFID tags installed on the truck’s driver-side rearview mirror are automatically read at the port using specialized scanning antennas that validate the CARB clearance of the truck.
Trucking companies should complete the following steps to prepare for the January 1, 2010, clean trucks requirement:
• Register in eModal’s TruckerCheck system.
• Obtain tags by logging onto www.emodal.com and selecting "Trucks/RFID/Buy RFID Tags."
• Once you receive your RFID TruckTag, register the tag numbers in the eModal TruckerCheck system, which will activate the TruckTag in the system.
• Install the RFID TruckTag using the instructions included with the tag.
• Register your truck in CARB’s Drayage Truck Registry (www.arb.ca.gov/drayagetruck).
More information about the TruckTag program is available at the website of The Oakland Marine Terminal Operators Association, http://www.oakmtoa.org , www.emodal.com and www.portofoakland.com.

From support_oak7th@mtcorp.com

Cross our fingers...

...and hope for the best.

That's what the hubs and I are doing right now with his new job. It doesn't sound or so far seem all that great and I honestly don't think he'll be there for very long but they were the only trucking company that offered him a job and after pretty much 2 months of no job, he (we) jumped on it.

The kids & I took him to Montgomery, Ala. late Sunday where the company had a Greyhound bus ticket waiting on him. (He was thrilled, let me tell you!) From there he would go to Nashville, Tn. to the Western Express trucking terminal, be put up in a hotel for their 2 day orientation and then be given a truck to be on his merry way. Sounds like it would go smoothly, but of course, it didn't.

We found out on the way to Montgomery that they only provide lunch and if he gets up at 5AM, he can grab a Continental breakfast. Let me just say that this company does not pay the drivers for going to orientation (as others do). They also don't pay safety, fuel and retention bonuses (as others do). BUT again, they offered him a job so I should just stop complaining- NOT. Anyhoo, the first day of orientation lasted from 6 AM to 9 PM. The last shuttle from the terminal to take people to eat was at 8 PM. Hmmmm, what are these guys supposed to eat? So hubs walked to the nearest food joint, a Waffle house, at 9:45. I stayed on the phone with him b/c I was worried about him getting mugged or something.

After his orientation was over, which hubs says was crap (but this is the 3rd company he's worked for in 3 yrs.- 2 layoffs due to gas prices- so really what more could they have to go over besides their company policies?) they scooted him outta the hotel to sit in the terminal lobby for hours on end waiting for another trucker to come pick him up to take him to his assigned truck-in Kentucky. He was the last guy from his "class" to not have a load out of there.

He arrived at his truck, which had been left by the previous driver (reason it was in Kentucky), at around 3:30 AM. The truck was dead so he had to call for someone to come jump it. He then received a message over the CallQuam that that will be a charge of $160. WTF?! Finally he gets that taken care of and now he is sitting. Waiting for a load back to Nashville so the truck can be serviced and cleaned. What a crock of shite.

So it looks as if he won't be getting any loads the rest of this week. We're hoping he gets some good ones next week b/c that's Christmas money....of course he found out at orientation that they run off of a star system and the guys with the highest stars get the loads offered to them first. A new guy obviously, has no stars.

Here we go with it. WWWWHHHHHEEEEEEEEE................


By the time I got to the half point (heading out of town) the in bound side was starting to get backed up. Sweet! good timing and all that. Finishing my journey into Laurinburg, NC I got my next work assignment. Taking a load down to Statesboro, GA for a 7am delivery. Just a bit of rain on the way down but nothing impedingly heavy.

That brings my total for the week upto 4100 miles and 150.00 in detention and tarp pay. That would be fantastic if Uncle Sam didn't grab such a large chunk when the miles spike like that. Over all it will still be a nice bump right before christmas.

Got to get to sleep. Getting up at midnight to secure and drive the load down.

Have a nice day

Bookerz out

Snow Plow Preparation List , Before The Storm

Everybody may have a different way to check their snowplow Equipment before
the storm but this works for me. The first thing I do is what is called a
Pre-trip inspection just like you would on a tractor trailer.

Lift the hood on your plow truck , check the engine oil, power steering fluids, windshield washer fluids , and battery connections are tight, check the belts be sure they are not cracked, check the coolant level, (with the truck cold), check the brake fluid and If low it either means your pads need to be changed, or there is a leak. The fluid went some where! Look around in the motor compartment for any loose wires, be sure they are not touching or rubbing through anywhere. OK, now close the hood and proceed to the rest of the inspection.

Get in your snowplow truck check and see that the horn works, the wiper works the heat works, put the truck in 4wd and drive forward a few feet you should feel the difference of resistance when you turn the wheel and drive forward . Then disengage the 4wd and put the transmission back into park. Check that the parking brake is working and releases, check that the brakes are working.

Now check the lights, put on the low beam headlights, parking lights, start at the drivers door out side of your vehicle and walk counter clockwise around your plow truck check the tire lugs, tire pressures, grab the mirrors make sure they are not loose check that the lights are working. Now go back and check high beams and left, right signal lights and brake lights. When you are done with this now we can go on to checking the plow out.

We can now begin to check out the plow. You want to make sure everything is working before you go to work. You want to make sure everything is working fine and not faulty when you need to start snowplowing.
Time is money and we do not want you to have any break downs if we can help it.

Start the vehicle and raise and lower the plow a few times
Check the controls are not loose and cycle the plow with the controls
When you are doing this watch the amp gauge for not over excessive amp draw down in the system.
Raise the plow up and leave it up for a few minutes to make sure it does not drift down
Check the snowplow high beams and low beams are working and adjusted right.
Check the turn signal lights are working and not loose
With the plow down get out and inspect the chain is not worn
Check around all hydraulic cylinders for leaks or dents in the cylinders
Check the snowplow hoses and hose connections
Check the center pivot of the plow for play
Check the plow frame bolts are tight and not loose
Check for any cracks on the welds of the plow
Inspect the snowplow cutting edge, shoes and springs
Look at the snow plow pins and the plow retainer rings

OK now that you inspected your snowplow. Let’s go over a few things you should have
in the truck with you, flashlight, gloves, extra plow pins, extra hose and quick connectors, hydraulic fluid,
Box of fuses, a relay for you plow, Electrical tape, 2 cans of fix a flat, and road flairs.

I have used this list for over 20 years and it has saved me many times. I hope it saves you Happy plowing From Edgeolite.com

Click here for more information




"Hot august night.And the leaves hanging down.And the grass on the ground smelling --" *

-- like raw sewage!

On a hot August night in 2006 more than 200 of the 1,300 people who live in East Brunswick, Pennsylvania gathered inside a barn owned by Dr. Glenn Freed.

Almost one-fifth of the rural township's population showed up, despite the stifling heat and sticky humidity.

They came because they were afraid.

People were talking.

Something wasn't right in their neighborhoods.

They'd heard too much.

They'd smelled too much.

They were worried.



About sludge.

Sewage sludge.

The solid poison that's left after the water is removed from the stuff people flush down their toilets and throw down their drains.

Sewage sludge.

Used by local farmers to fertilize their fields.

Used because it was cheap.

Sometimes free.

Sewage sludge.

Used in spite of it's high toxicity.

Used even though it could pollute the water that people were drinking.

Used because waste-dumping corporations swore it was an "environmentally friendly fertilizer."

Waste-dumping corporations that were highly paid to haul the poison away from sewage treatment plants and then dump it on farmers' fields.

Ever since the deaths of two children, and countless reports of illness and livestock loss, rural Pennsylvanians say they oppose the dumping of sewage sludge.

They say they want to decide whether it should be legal to use sludge to fertilize farms in their townships and boroughs; their cities and towns.

They say all government is local.

But the folks who make state and federal laws say different.

Pennsylvania law says big corporations don't need community permission to drop pesticides overhead from airplanes...

Or to withdraw water from local aquifers...

Or to site unwanted refineries near schools and churches...

Or to dynamite coal or limestone out of land more than 2,500 feet from peoples homes...

Or to dump sewage sludge in your home town.

State agencies issue "permits" to dump the sludge.

State legislatures take away local communities' right to stop them.

Stop them from poisoning their fields and their water.

Stop them from destroying their towns.

So, on that hot August night, the folks in East Brunswick asked this question:

"If those people who are directly affected by rules and regulations are denied the rights to make those rules, do we really have a democracy?"

Those perspiration-soaked citizens - American citizens - citizens of East Brunswick Township in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - decided to support a cutting-edge ordinance; one that not only asserted their rights to make rules that govern where they live (like banning corporations from hauling and dumping sludge) — but also would invalidate the Constitutional "rights" claimed for corporations by their highly paid lawyers.

The people organized.

They fought back.

And by December 2006, the ordinance was passed.

But that wasn't the end of the story.

In fact, thanks to Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, it was only the beginning.

Corbett, who is supposed to be "the peoples' lawyer," fought against the people and for the corporation.

Corbett argued that the citizens of East Brunswick Township had "no inherent right to local self government."

Corbett, who previously served as a waste management corporate lobbyist, filed a lawsuit against East Brunswick to overturn their ordinance.

Did you get that?

Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is paid by the people of Pennsylvania - the people of East Brunswick - to be their lawyer - to represent their interests - instead chose to defend the interests of the sludge-dumping corporations.

Old habits die hard.

Corbett's empathy for the sludge-dumpers was rooted in his service as a Senior Executive and lobbyist for Waste Management Corporation - the largest importer of trash into Pennsylvania.

During Corbett’s time at Waste Management, the firm repeatedly was fined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for committing environmental and safety violations - violations that included the surreptitious and illegal dumping of hazardous medical waste.

During Corbett’s four-year tenure at Waste Management, the company and its subsidiaries were fined more than $3.7 million for various violations at its landfills.

During Corbett's stint as lawyer and lobbyist for Waste Management, Corbett defended these practices.

For example:

In May 2001, the Pennsylvania State Police and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) ran a week-long campaign - called "Operation Clean Sweep" - to crack down on unsafe and environmentally unsound trash trucks.

Of more than 40,000 inspected trucks, the state found more than 11,000 safety and environmental violations.

The biggest violator -- and the region’s biggest waste hauler -- was Waste Management Inc., with 339 environmental violations and 554 safety violations.

The DEP said as much as 65 percent of the Waste Management truck fleet was put off the road for repairs.

Waste Management also was caught illegally dumping hazardous medical waste.

On the first day of “Operation Clean Sweep’, a trailer truck owned by Kephart Trucking was stopped for a safety inspection by state police at the Mifflinville rest area on Interstate 80 in Columbia County.

Police noticed a reddish substance leaking from the trailer, opened it and discovered medical waste hidden under a thin layer of municipal waste.

The hospital waste -- which included syringes, bedpans and wound dressings -- had been picked up by Kephart at a Waste Management Inc. transfer station in the Bronx and was headed to Shade Landfill in Central City, Somerset County.

Shade Landfill was not permitted to accept raw, unprocessed medical waste.

Tom Corbett also took the lead for Waste Management in fighting Republican Governor Tom Ridge’s attempts to limit out-of-state garbage dumping in Pennsylvania.

When Ridge attempted to restrict the amount of waste coming into Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett led the fight for Waste Management against Ridge's initiative.

Tom Corbett's record on the environment:

Corporations over communities.

Sludge over safety.

Profit over people.

*Lyrics from "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show," by Neil Diamond

Frank LaGrotta served 20 years in the PA House of Representatives - 16 years on the House Appropriations Committee, where budgets are drafted. He presently is holed up in Dick Cheney's old bunker working on a new book about how government REALLY works - or, should we say, does NOT work. You can email him at frank.lagrotta@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @LaGrotta12.

No sign of June either...

The Skyline Drive is part of the Shenandoah National Park. There are campsites, cabins, nature trails and information points, you could spend a month there quite happily. The road runs along the Ridge bit of the Blue Ridge Mountains and bends and curls about for just over 100 miles and contains 75 lookout points where you can pull off the road, gawp and take photos. It took all day to drive, but we weren’t complaining. Happening to drive it as the trees were turning colour in that part of the world (Canada’s ‘fall colour’ season has been and gone) every bend brought a new orange carpet to look at. We quickly realised that stopping at each lookout would mean extending our journey by a day or two and became a bit selective.

There were deer. Apparently there are bears too, but we had no pickanick basket, so they left us alone. Hundreds of people drove and walked and there was no noise, no litter. Occasional signs advising us not to feed the wildlife (and giving sensible explanations why) were the only evidence of a truly remarkable workforce of rangers and researchers who appear to maintain the park safely for sharing between us and the real inhabitants. We had paid $15 to get in, this would have been the same had we wanted to camp for a week or just drive through, and I am happily convinced that we got our money’s worth. It made our awful foggy night drive on the way down worth it in the end; we knew there were mountains here. A glorious day, impeded only slightly by my truly terrible Laurel and Hardy impressions.

And then it was just about the last leg home. A night somewhere obscure and hilly in Pennsylvania and back into New York State, onto the toll road I90 and following signs for the border. The Canadian jobsworth quizzed us in routine manner, She didn’t care where we’d been or what we’d been up to. ‘Where do you live? How long have you been away? Are you importing any goods? Welcome to Canada.’ And we were home.

I like home. Kilometres, litres, French translations, Tim Horton’s coffee, resentful cat. A grand expedition suddenly over. When we first discussed the totally insane prospect of taking a wedding cake to Florida I thought it might be a bit of a fun wheeze. Then I thought it was impossible. Then I thought I’d do my best and see what happened. What happened was one of those journeys that make life worth living. I can’t thank Cherry and Ron enough for their brilliant hospitality.

Twelve days and 5,000 kms. The car needs a bit of a clean and my habit of nibbling trail mix on long hauls means the inside rather resembles a birdcage. But it’s evidence that we made it, so I’m reluctant to remove all traces of a grand adventure. I do have my NASA coffee cup though, to remind me on the very back-to-normal days that we went somewhere extraordinary. It is the most perfect piece of design I have ever owned. It may only be a coffee cup but it is engineered down to the last detail, to deposit the coffee in your mouth while on the move, as opposed to down your clothing or all over the car. I suppose that sort of thing matters in space.

I have my book too. It’s a wonderful read, I challenge anyone to get to Chapter 2 without making plans to visit Savannah. Or, in my case, revisit. What else has changed? Well, I managed the driving hours without collapse, maybe I’m strong enough to get back to trucking sometime soon. That would be nice.

Is there a 'war on trucking' afoot?

Such was the question Michael Regan, board member of the National Industrial Transportation League (NIT is primarily a shippers' group), aimed to answer in his piece in Logistics Management magazine. There, he detailed a recent conference call about the state of freight transportation with logistics professionals. Is there a war? he was asked on that call.

His answer is yes. "Beyond record low freight volumes," Regan wrote, "trucking companies are looking at potential legislation and federal rule-making procedures that could significantly increase their cost of doing business."

For his story, in which he make the case that a veritable "war" is real, click here.

More interesting was the response of Transportation Business Associates President Jay Thompson, via the glgroup.com site. Thompson there breaks down on a per-mile basis added costs that potential regulatory changes -- hours of service, emissions devices, Cap and Trade Legislation, CSA 2010 -- could have across the industry and comes up with a good 25-plus cents per mile cumulative addition per mile, no small hike in operating costs, as any owner-operator can attest.

Thompson's an analyst with a great sense for historical trucking trends and big-picture sorts of implications. And you know what they say about predicting the future -- you've got to know where we've been to see where we're going. Keep an eye on his GLGroup page for other of his analyses of industry articles.

Sound off in Overdrive forums

Already I'm ranting about trucking

It's been a week since I reported how my trucking idea was going.

I had a truck picked out in Atlanta for $25,000. They were/are working on getting $13,000 financed for me. Since I have not worked in the industry for 5 years and I'm out of work currently lenders are skeptical about lending money.

I'm not worried. It's not like I have to go back to trucking tomorrow. In fact that is exactly what I don't want to have to do. If or when I go back I want it to be on my terms.

So in the mean time I signed up to "Internet Truck Stop" to start watching where loads are at and how much there paying. It's pathetic!

Right now there are 957 flatbed loads posted in a 60 mile radius of Augusta, GA.
Of those loads some actually post the rate. For example:

AUGUSTA GA - T0 - COURTLAND AL $550.00 410 miles
That is $1.34 per mile.

If I averaged 55 miles per hour it would take 7 1/2 hours to get there and that ain't including going to get the load, getting it loaded, strapping/chaining or tarping it down. That would leave me $341 after I took out fuel. Take out meals, insurance, maintenance, internet service so I can book loads from on the road, $3 per page for faxes that truck stops charge so I get the load in the first place, then another $9 to scale out my truck to make sure I'm under my legal weight limit.

If you don't have a truck payment you may be OK with rates like that but so many driver have new trucks or lease agreements so after they take those things out and along with their high truck payment they are left with nothing but their truck they live in.

The last company I worked for was not a trucking company.
I drove a standard GMC van that averaged 18 miles to the gallon and cost about $12,000 used when they bought it.
When I made a service call they billed $1 per mile plus $65 per hour while I traveled to and from the site and time on site.
So if I went 50 miles to make a service call and was on site for 1 hour they charged
$100 mileage
$195 labor.
Total of $295 for 3 hours. That is if I didn't use any parts.

Now - Back to driving. Driving an 18-wheeler with a commercial driving license brokers try to dictate how much I should make. Many drivers take loads like that and they are driving down rates or keeping rates low. It pisses me off.

Not all are that bad. Here is another load going from:
MODOC SC - to - MOUNT MEIGS AL $450.00 for 299 miles
That breaks down to $1.50 per mile.
No load in my opinion should pay less than $2 per mile.

I found another truck on Ebay that was repossessed. It's in West Virginia. Actually it was a flatbed trailer I was looking at. When I called about it I asked if they had any trucks that they were looking to get rid of and he told me yeah, the one hooked to the trailer. He said it is a 1999 International with 1-million miles. He said he would let it go for $7000 and the trailer for $5000. Then he said he could let the package go for $11,000.
He gave me the phone number of where the truck was and when I called about it the manager woman said there not selling trucks on the internet so I sent her the link to the trailer off Ebay and gave her guy's name and phone number.

She said she would get back to me and send me an Email to trucks there auctioning so I could bid if I wanted to. So in the meantime I thought I'd write about it.

Also since I signed up with Internet Truck Stop I have been getting calls to haul loads from brokers. Right after I signed in I accidentally listed my truck in Augusta and a lady called within 2 minutes for me to haul 1 of 3 loads she had. I asked her how much they paid and it was about as much as the loads listed above, not to much. I quickly took my truck listing off and have received 2 more calls from the some man, one last night and one today, asking me if I had a truck available in Augusta. I said no, I don't have a truck listed. I checked and it's not listed.

Now I almost want to buy a cheap truck and trailer just so I can sit home and list it and cuss out someone wanting me to haul for for a crappy $1.30 a mile load. If it wasn't for having to pay $130 a week for insurance I would.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Keep on trucking...

That's what I tell myself nowadays so I can continue with my job search day after day...

I have a couple pots boiling right now... so hopefully, something comes to fruition.

Also, I told my friend that I am cutting him off in terms of market research help. It was hard for me to say "no", but I had to for my own sanity.

In the meantime, I am playing more... I recently made a t-shirt with ironed on wings after I realized I couldn't find one in the store that I liked... also made healthy turkey pesto paninis with my grill pan... its very cool...

Also, I am gaining weight... which I haven't done for the past 5 months... maybe its from all that walking I have been doing... who knows.

Trucking - December 2009

Trucking - December 2009 (UK)English | 132 pages | PDF | 56.80 Mb

Trucking is Britain best-selling road-transport magazine. Appealing to all levels of the industry it offers a unique mix of news, features, commentary and truck road tests. Many of Trucking writers and photographers are professional truck drivers. Reader involvement is high, with a free legal advice service, competitions (we have given away everything from hot drink flasks to a 44-tonne truck) and a popular letters page. There humour, nostalgia and the classified advertisements are the UK's biggest haulier market place.

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Biggest Trucking Companies in the US

Looking to become a tucker? There are tons of carrier companies out there to work for, but most likely, you'll be working for one of the really big companies that represent the backbone of the U.S. trucking industry. To familiarize yourself with the business, here are the top five largest carriers in the U.S. as of 2003.

1. United Parcel Service - You may know them best as UPS or, as "The Brown Machine." UPS is headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia and UPS delivers more than 15 million packages a day to 6.1 million customers in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Ironically, this massive company was started in 1907 by two teenagers as the American Messenger Company. They capitalized the start-up with a $100 loan and grew it into a multi-billion dollar company.

2. FedEx Ground - This shipping juggernaut was created to take advantage of new bar code, material handling and computer technologies and has expanded to cover the entire United States. As of 2009, FedEx ground employs over 70,000 people.

3. Schneider National - It is the largest privately-owned truckload carrier in the United States and is headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Schneider National operates 14,000 tractors, 40,000 trailers, and has partnerships with over 6,000 carriers. Schneider drives more than five million loaded miles per day, and provides services to more than two-thirds of the companies in the Fortune 500.

4. Roadway - Through its full-service network, consisting of 349 service centers, and with its 32,119 trailers and 8,426 tractors, Roadway is able to deliver over 49,000 shipments per day. Roadway employs over 23,000 people and their trucks are easily recognizable by their ROADWAY logo that is printed boldly across their trailers.

5. Yellow Transportation Inc. - Originally founded as the Yellow Cab and Transit Company, a bus and taxi company that served central Oklahoma. Why are Yellow's vehicles actually orange, you may ask? Because in 1929, a study was done for safety concerns which determined that the color of the swamp holly berry would be most visible from the greatest distance. Swamp Holly Orange became the color used on all company tractors.


These were the thought that went through our heads when Mushroom got a call from the Placement Advisor - that he had set up an interview for a truck driving job for her. Hey, Mr. Life Time Placement man - a person could starve to death waiting for you to call. And truth be known - we should have been in interviews with companies through out the school - another hint that our school might not have been held in high degree by the trucking industry. OK, here is the poop - long after we graduated - 30 Minutes did a special on schools who were part of a group of schools who got fraudulent student loans and Pell Grants. Yep, you guessed it, our alma mater was a featured school. But that was in the future - back when she got the call all we knew was that she finally had an interview for a driving job.

We drove to the interview - it was a trucker looking for a trainee to be his co-driver. I guess she aced the interview - because the next day she went to the company's office and filled out paperwork. I don't remember her telling me that she had to take a driving test or drug screen - all standard in the industry - but it has been a long time ago and maybe she did.

About a week later she gets a call from the driver telling her she has been hired. He gives her instructions on where and when to meet him to get on the truck. So, Mushroom makes arrangements at work to take some time off - just in case - packs her bags and at the arranged time I drive her, her suitcase, and her favorite pillow to meet up with her new trainer.

This one fact I am certain of. She did not attend an orientation class. Something every trucking company does - well all the good ones. I don't remember how long she drove with this guy but I do know it was long enough for me to get a letter. Yeah a letter. Before the Internet - people use to actually write letters. Back then you had something in your mail box other than bills and advertisement. Boy do I miss those days.

I still have the letter - but I don't need to have it in front of me to remember what she wrote.
"This guy is crazy. I woke up today hearing a tap - tap tap - tap tap tap. I opened the curtain and here this dope is dry shaving while he sits at the steering wheel and tapping the razor on the steering wheel. He will almost never stop at a truck stop. We deliver today - and then will not have a load until Monday. So I will be spending it at a truck stop - whether he knows it or not. Besides it is a major football weekend."

I don't know what she did but true to her word they spent the weekend at a truck stop. You just can't keep a football fan away from their games. I am not privy to all that happen that weekend. But I do know that come Monday all shit hit the old fan. That is when Mushroom called the company. "What are you doing on the truck?", they asked, "You have not been hired yet!" I am willing to bet you could have heard Mushroom in the next county. I know her and that would have been a ballistic moment. After some threats on her part the company agreed they owed her some money - and sent some to the truck stop via EFS check. EFS is a system that trucking companies use to get money to their drivers. Don't ask me how it works - maybe an early version of Pay Pal - I don't know. I also know this. Mushroom got her stuff off the truck and gave that driver what for. I am not sure what the company did - I know our company would have fired him on the spot - but who knows what happen. So there she is on the East Coast with some money in her pocket. A sensible person would have hopped that plane, or train, or even the bus with Gus and headed back to Dallas. And Mushroom is for the most part a sensible person. But, and this is what you have to love about her, there are times when she gets an idea in her head and she is going to stick with that idea, even if it means cutting off her nose to spite her face. You guessed it, she decided to cut off her nose. OH MY GOD you say what did she do. Well she decided that she got to the East Coast by truck - she was damn well going to return to Dallas on a truck. SOOOO, she started to catch rides from truckers. All was going real well, she would call me with updates, I mean it was going real well until she caught that ride with the trucker headed for Dallas. It should have been the last leg in her journey. But as the story goes - the best laid plans of mice and men. About Memphis this trucker decides he has not seen his girl friend for awhile so he veers south. Now Mushroom finds her self in a dumpy truck stop in Mississippi. Well - the guy couldn't actually visit the girl friend with a female tag-a-long - now could he. So there she is in Mississippi somewhere off the beaten track and try as she might she can't hitch a ride to save her sole. After two days - she gave me a call at work. You can hear it in her voice. She is give out plain and simple. "Do you want me to come get you?", I said, because after all what are friends for and this really is a joint venture. "Please", she replies. "Well, after work I will go home and get my dogs and we will head that way.", I tell her. Well after all it is Friday - what else did I have planned for the week end? I drove all night and arrived in the wee hours of the morning. I don't remember seeing a more pathetic sight. I have seen a wet cat that looked better. She was one bedraggled mess. "Let's get a room", I suggested, "my treat." Okay, I will be honest, I was not only thinking of Mushroom. I mean after all you could tell she was not up to driving to Dallas - and I had been up for 24 hours. So to a motel we went. I immediately fell asleep. Mushroom took a shower and then hit the sack. We slept like dead men. Sunday, we get up bright eyed and bushy tail. You can't keep a good woman down for long, and we hit the trail bound for Dallas. You would think that maybe her little adventure would have dampened her spirit for trucking - but Mushroom was and is a game ol' gal. So on the way back she starts talking to drivers on the CB. She asks them about their companies, the benefits, where they run, their training programs - see even from your mistakes you learn something. In this case she learned the questions to ask. We stop in North Little Rock to check out a trucking company. As we leave there we start talking to a driver who drove for US Express. A big trucking company in OKC. By the time we reach the west side of Little Rock, Mushroom decides she likes what she is hearing.

"I'll tell you gals what", he says. "Let's stop at the 106 JJ's Truck Stop - they have real mash potatoes - and talk". So we stop at JJ's. Back then the hot roast beef sandwich was really good, the potatoes were as promised real. JJ's is still there - but I have not eaten there in a long time - so if you are in the area you will just have to check it out yourself. By the end of the meal, it is decided Mushroom will apply for a job at US Express. We run with our new friend the rest of the way to Dallas. Hey, my load is ready, so I have to hit the road - you will have to wait for the next Post to learn of Mushroom's 2nd Trucking Adventure.

NAFTA's Commercial Trucking Provisions: Background and Implementation History

NAFTA set forth a schedule for implementation of its trucking provisions that would have opened
the border states to cross-border trucking competition on December 17, 1995, and all of North
America on January 1, 2000. However, because of known safety concerns with Mexican trucks,
the provisions were never implemented. The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT)
decided that until safety concerns about Mexican trucks were resolved, the trucks would continue
to be restricted to the commercial zones just along the border. (These commercial zones generally
extend from about 3 miles to 20 miles into the United States at official ports of entry so that
Mexican trucks, after clearing customs, can continue on to make local deliveries).1 Mexican
trucks, inspected from January 1996-December 1996, were put out of service 45% of the time
compared to a U.S. truck out-of-service rate of 28%.2 At the time, Mexican drivers operated
without hours-of-service limits and maintained no driver log books. In addition, Mexican trucks
reportedly were not required to have front brakes and were allowed a gross vehicle weight 17,000
pounds heavier than allowed on U.S. roads. The wage differential between Mexican and U.S.
long-haul drivers was also an issue of concern. Some labor unions and their supporters expressed
concerns that the wage differential would lead to a loss of jobs for U.S. commercial truck drivers,
especially in the border states and along the major highway trade corridors in the United States.

Despite ongoing bilateral consultations aimed at bringing the Mexican trucks and drivers up to
U.S. safety requirements, no agreement was reached and in 1998 Mexico protested the
postponement of NAFTA trucking provisions under NAFTA dispute settlement procedures. The
final report of the arbitration panel concluded that the blanket refusal to process the applications
of Mexican motor carriers was in breach of the NAFTA obligations of the United States and that
alleged deficiencies in Mexico’s regulation of commercial trucking did not relieve the United
States of its treaty obligations. The panel did, however, state that the United States could subject
Mexican carriers to different requirements than those that apply to U.S. and Canadian carriers.3

The Bush Administration originally set the end of 2001 as a goal for the U.S. Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to begin processing Mexican applications seeking
operating authority throughout the United States. Congress, however, included 22 preconditions
for opening the border beyond the commercial zone to Mexican trucking in the FY2002
Department of Transportation Appropriations Act (P.L. 107-87). Among the 22 preconditions in
the act were the following requirements:4

• all Mexican motor carriers must undergo U.S. DOT safety examinations prior to
being granted provisional operating authority, with at least 50% of such carrier
examinations to be conducted on-site in Mexico;
• Mexican carriers applying to operate beyond the commercial zone must have a
distinctive U.S. DOT number (that distinguishes them from Mexican trucks
certified to operate within the zone only) and must undergo safety monitoring
initially and during an 18-month provisional period;
• Mexican motor carriers must all pass a full safety compliance review prior to
receiving permanent operating authority;
• federal and state inspectors must verify the validity of the license of every driver
carrying hazardous materials or undergoing a Level I safety inspection, as well as
the licenses of 50% of all other drivers;
• Mexican carriers, operating under provisional authority, and for three years after
receiving permanent authority, must display a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
inspection decal (which are good for 90 days), verifying satisfactory completion of
a safety inspection;
• weigh-in-motion scales must be installed at the ten highest volume crossings;
• Mexican trucks may only cross at border crossings where a certified motor carrier
safety inspector is on duty; and
• a number of other safety reviews and studies must take place.

These requirements are in addition to requirements that predate the enactment of P.L. 107-87,
including requirements that Mexican carriers meet all U.S. safety (hours of service and log book
rules, alcohol and drug tests, etc.) and insurance requirements.5

On November 27, 2002, then Secretary of Transportation, Norman Y. Mineta, announced that all
the preconditions mandated in the FY2002 Appropriations Act had been met and directed the
FMCSA to act on the applications of Mexican motor carriers seeking authority to transport
international cargo beyond the U.S. border commercial zones.6 On January 16, 2003, however,
the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Public Citizen v. Department of Transportation, delayed
implementation pending completion of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
environmental impact statement (EIS) and a Clean Air Act (CAA) conformity determination.
FMCSA began the EIS process and has also filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to review
the 9th Circuit Court decision in Public Citizen v. DOT.7 On June 7, 2004, the Court reversed the
9th Circuit Court’s decision.8

In January 2005, the U.S. DOT Inspector General (DOT IG) issued a report that the FMCSA had
sufficient staff, facilities, equipment, and procedures in place to substantially meet eight of the 22
requirements which Congress had requested the DOT IG to review as specified in section 350 of
the DOT FY2002 Appropriations Act (P.L. 107-87).

In February 2007, the U.S. and Mexican Secretaries of Transportation announced a demonstration
project to implement certain NAFTA trucking provisions. As stated in the Federal Register on
May 1, 2007,9 the project was to demonstrate the ability of Mexico-based motor carriers to
operate safely in the United States beyond the commercial zones. This would be accomplished by
the Mexican-based carriers adopting certain safety programs and by the monitoring and
enforcement activities established by U.S. DOT. Up to 100 Mexico-domiciled carriers would be
allowed to operate throughout the United States for one year and Mexico would allow the same
for up to 100 U.S.-based carriers. The Mexican carriers and truck drivers were required to comply
with all U.S. regulations applicable to trucking, including those related to safety, customs,
immigration, vehicle registration and taxation, and fuel taxation. These trucks were to be
carefully monitored by FMCSA and state law enforcement, a joint U.S.-Mexico monitoring
group, and an independent U.S. evaluation panel. Data would be collected and evaluated at the
end of the demonstration project before considering further implementation of NAFTA trucking

On April 30, 2007 the U.S. DOT announced that the demonstration project would not start until
Mexico was ready with its reciprocal program to allow U.S.-trucks into Mexico.10

On May 24, 2007, with passage of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery,
and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 (P.L. 110-28, section 6901), Congress
mandated additional requirements before the project could begin. Among them was the
requirement that Mexico have its program to allow U.S. trucks to cross into Mexico ready to
proceed, that the FMCSA first seek public comment on five aspects of the demonstration project,
that the demonstration project meet the same requirements of a “pilot program” as defined at 49
U.S.C. 31315(c), and that the DOT IG review the U.S. DOT’s program as to whether sufficient
measures were in place to ensure the safety of Mexican trucks.11 This act also prohibited Mexican
carriers of hazardous materials and buses from participating in the demonstration project. On
August 17, 2007, the FMCSA announced its intent to proceed with the project, once the DOT IG
issued its review.12 On September 6, 2007, the DOT IG issued his report and U.S. DOT issued a
letter to Congress addressing the issues raised by the DOT IG. The demonstration project began
the same day.

On September 27, 2007, U.S. DOT announced that it would outfit long-haul Mexican trucks
operating in the United States with GPS devices (as well as U.S.-based long-haul carriers
operating in Mexico) in order to enforce hours-of-service and cabotage13 prohibitions, as well as
to time and date stamp border and state crossings. The U.S. DOT entered into a contract with the
DOD for $500,000 to install these devices and as of October 2008, almost all of the Mexican
trucks participating in the demonstration project had been outfitted. The U.S. DOT did not pay for
full GPS capability; the GPS units provide periodic (every 30 minutes or more) tracking “pings”
instead of continuous tracking.

In December 2007, Congress passed the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 110-161)
which included a provision prohibiting any funding from being used “to establish” a cross-border
trucking program. The Administration concluded that the demonstration project could continue
because it had already been established. The Teamsters Union and environmental groups filed suit
in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and in oral arguments in February 2008
argued that the demonstration project should end, but a decision is still pending.

On March 11, 2008, marking six months of the project, the U.S. DOT testified before the Senate
Commerce Committee regarding the demonstration project and stated that FMCSA was
“checking”14 100% of the long-haul Mexican carriers as they crossed the border to check that the
vehicles have the proper safety decals (as a result of passing a pre-authority safety audit), the
driver has a valid license, and that the driver is proficient in English.15 (Statutorily, the FMCSA is
only required to check 50% of the drivers at the border for a valid license). A Mexican driver’s
English proficiency is tested by asking a series of questions in English and requiring the driver to
answer in English. The driver is also shown a set of U.S. road signs and the driver must explain
their meaning in either English or Spanish. The U.S. DOT also stated that since 1995, the
FMCSA had spent more than $500 million to improve border inspection stations and hired 125
federal safety inspectors, 149 auditors and investigators, and that the southern border states had
hired an additional 349 inspectors. The DOT IG also issued a six month interim report.16

On August 4, 2008 the U.S. DOT announced a two year extension of the project because only 29
Mexican carriers had participated thus far.

In October 2008, an independent evaluation panel (IEP) appointed by the FMCSA released its
report evaluating the demonstration project after one year.17 The panel consisted of a former U.S.
Representative, a former U.S. DOT Deputy Secretary, and a former DOT IG.

In March 2009, Congress passed the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 111-8), which
included a provision with unequivocal language terminating the demonstration project. In
response to the abrupt end of the program, the Mexican government announced that it would
retaliate by increasing duties on 90 U.S. products with an import value of $2.4 billion. The tariffs,
effective as of March 19, 2009, range from 10% to 45% and cover a range of products that
include fruit, vegetables, home appliances, consumer products, and paper.18 The Obama
Administration has stated it is working on a new program to satisfy the concerns of Congress and
the country’s NAFTA commitments.19


1 The commercial zone is defined at 49 CFR 372, subpart B. A map of the zones and further details are available.

2 Roadside inspectors target trucks that appear to have a deficiency, so out-of-service rates would be higher than if
trucks were randomly chosen for a roadside inspection. U.S. General Accounting Office (now the U.S. Government
Accountability Office). Commercial Trucking: Safety Concerns About Mexican Trucking Remain. GAO/RECD 97-68.
Washington, GAO, 1997. p. 1-4. See also U.S. DOT, Office of the Inspector General, Motor Carrier Safety at the U.S.-
Mexico Border, Report Number: MH-2001-096, Washington, 2001. The IG found that the Mexican out-of-service rate
had improved to 37% for FY2000.

3 North American Free Trade Agreement Arbitral Panel Established Pursuant to Chapter Twenty in the Matter of Cross-Border Trucking Services; Final Report of the Panel. Washington, NAFTA Secretariat, 2001. p. 81-82.

4 U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration final rules for implementation of the NAFTA trucking provisions
may be found here, here, and here.

5 Mexican carriers, planning only to operate in the commercial zone along the border, had to apply by October 20,
2003, for provisional Certificates of Registration. FMCSA made efforts to publicize this deadline to new and existing
Mexican commercial zone certificated carriers. The provisional Certificate cannot be made permanent for at least 18
months, until the carrier has passed a safety audit.

6 U.S. Department of Transportation. U.S. Transportation Department implements NAFTA Provisions for Mexican Trucks, Buses.

7 See U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. NAFTA Environmental Analysis; U.S. Department of Justice. Office of the Solicitor General. United States
Department of Transportation, et al., Petitioners v. Public Citizen, et al., on Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Docket no. 03-358. Washington, the Department. 27 p. Available here; See also DOJ Supreme Court Appeal in
Mexico Truck Case Puzzles Activists. INSIDE Cal/EPA. Sept. 12, 2003. p. 14.

8 The Supreme Court’s decision reversing the 9th Circuit Court’s decision is available here.

9 72 FR 23883.

10 U.S. DOT Press Release, DOT 43-07, April 30, 2007.

11 see 72 FR 31877-31894, June 8, 2007 for the request for public comment.

12 see 72 FR 46263 – 46289, August 17, 2007.

13 Mexican-based carriers are not allowed to transport cargo from a U.S. origin to a U.S. destination, i.e. engage in U.S.
domestic transport of cargo.

14 The FMCSA used the word “checking” to describe this process because it is different than the process associated
with an “inspection” which is defined in regulations.

15 Written statement of Mary E. Peters, Secretary of Transportation, before the Senate Committee on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation, March 11, 2008.

16 DOT IG, Report # MH-2008-040.

17 Independent Evaluation Panel (IEP) Report to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, U.S.- Mexico Cross-Border Trucking Demonstration Project, October 31, 2008.

18 For further information on the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship, see CRS Report RL32934, U.S.-Mexico Economic
Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications, by M. Angeles Villarreal.

19 The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, March 16, 2009.
See also, Lisa Caruso, “Jump Starting Mexico’s Trucks,” The National Journal, March 28, 2009; and “LaHood To
Share Mexico Trucking Proposal With Congress Soon,” Inside U.S. Trade, May 1, 2009.