Saturday, August 1, 2009

Felton Resident is State Truck Driving Champion

DOVER, Del., July 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Keith Powell, of Felton, was named the best professional truck driver in Delaware after winning the three axle competition and receiving the highest overall score in the eight competing categories at the 2009 Delaware Truck Driving Championships. The annual event is sponsored by the Delaware Motor Transport Association, Inc.

Powell, who drives for YRC, now qualifies to compete in the American Trucking Associations' National Truck Driving Championships August 18-22, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Penn. -- also known as the "Super Bowl of Safety." The winners from each of the seven other categories are also eligible to compete in the national championship.

Nearly 400 drivers from all 50 states will compete in Pittsburgh for four days, challenging their driving skills, and knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. From 18-wheeler five axle sleepers to tank trucks to twin trailers -- they will drive a course that recreates situations truck drivers face daily. These maneuvers may include: an alley dock, a rear line stop, a side park, a scale stop, a right turn, a front line stop, and straight line driving through a diminishing clearance.

On Saturday night, August 22, one contestant will drive away as the 2009 National Grand Champion Truck Driver.

"The Truck Driving Championships represent the culmination of the industry's dedication to safety," said Delaware Motor Transport Association Executive Director Byard O'Neal. "I congratulate all the contestants and I hope Delaware roots for our drivers as they move on to Nationals in Pittsburgh."

Delaware participants at National for each category include:

Michael Conway, FedEx Ground, Audubon, N.J. (Straight Truck)

Keith Powell, YRC, Felton, Del. (Three-Axle)

Daniel Zahn, Wal-Mart Transportation, Accomac, Va. (Four-Axle)

John Powers, Wal-Mart, Pocomoke, Md. (Five-Axle)

Lafayette Ferebee, Selbyville, Del. (Five-Axle Sleeper)

Robert Baker, Jr., YRC, Hartly, Del. (Flatbed)

Rusty Pederson, FedEx Freight, Townsend, Del. (Twins)

Joseph LeBlanc, FedEx Ground, Laurel, Del. (Step Van)

ATA's Truck Driving Championships include top professional truck drivers from around the nation competing at state and regional levels to make it to the national competition Aug. 18-22 in Pittsburgh, Penn. The NTDC annually attracts over 2,000 cheering friends, family, colleagues and spectators. For more information, visit the 2009 National Truck Driving Championships website: www.truckline.com/Federation/Councils/slpmc/NTDC/Pages/Default.aspx.

The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.

The American Trucking Associations leads the effort for safer highways, focusing on greater education, enforcement and enhancement of traffic safety laws for all drivers. ATA also supports slowing down traffic through a reinstatement of a national maximum speed limit of 65 mph for all vehicles and limiting truck speeds at the time of manufacture. www.truckline.com


SOURCE American Trucking Associations

I'm trucking.....

Last night I zumbaed out doors which was a first for me. Lululemon gives free classes on Sundays and Thursdays...this July it was July Jiggle. I've loved it and it's been FREE. It also opened my eyes to a zumba studio a few towns over. 12 classes for 75.00 drop in. Heck yeah!!!!! I will be bikini bound in no time.

I peeked at the scale today and I'm going to keep my momentum over the weekend. The past few I've been down low and then BLOWN IT. I've set some guidelines. I'm also doing a little contest with a friend to see who loses 7 lbs first....I hope I beat her!

...here is my plan for the weekend:

Tonight I'm making my mexican turkey skillet and will have that for lunch tomorrow (to save me having a hotdog on the course).

Dinner tomorrow, depending on if we see friends, will be fish. Exercise=18 holes of golf. I can, if I want, have 1-2 drinks on Saturday.

Sunday, Another 18 holes of golf in the morning. I am doing NO BOOZE on Sunday to have a good Monday WI. WATER WATER WATER.

Still trucking along...

I've now been working out since Easter. That means that I have purposefully done some form of exercise at least 3x a week for a little over 15 weeks!! I've bought actual workout clothes. I have running shoes. I have more fitness apps than game apps on my phone. It's really quite bizarre!

I still can't run more than half a mile at a time (and I've only done that once!), but I am proud that I'm still doing it. It's unbelievable to me that I've stuck with something for this long.

I have an account on nikerunning.com, and update my info every time I run. I also signed up for challenges on there yesterday, and I'm very excited. The first one starts tomorrow, so I guess I'll be running on an off day! I also started thinking about if/where/when I'm going to run when we go to Disney. That's definitely something I never thought I'd be thinking about.

My weight and measurements aren't moving much, but I can tell I'm more tone and more fit than I was 15 weeks ago. I might have only lost 6ish pounds, but I definitely feel better, think I look better, and am looking forward to getting in even better shape in the future!

C’mon Time to Give Something Back

This goes right along with other favorite liberal phrases such as “It is just not fair” and “it’s for the children” and it really sets me off.

First of all I am no where near the mythical “rich” level, pretty much no matter where one puts the slippery slope sliding scale of who is rich. But that does not matter, bad ideas and faulty logic are always wrong no matter what.

In order to “Give Something Back” one must first have “taken something away” to begin with. With notable few exceptions such as Bernie Madoff, and the US Federal Government which “Takes away” 40%+ (more if you follow BBCW one man many taxes) of my income and generously “Gives back” a portion of that in the Spring, most people who have accumulated wealth have done so by doing several things. They have worked hard. I have never met a lazy rich person, I HAVE seen several lazy worthless kids of rich people. But the creators of wealth did something. They have fulfilled some need. They invented a new device or technology, or they did something better and different than someone before them.

Did Ray Kroc invent the hamburger? Nope, but he did invent cooking it faster and delivering it to the customer faster and cheaper than anyone else. Thank you McDonald’s.

These people did not start out rich, but through their work they became wealthy. They did not go around stealing everyone’s money to get that way, they fulfilled a need and other people traded their money for their goods or services. They then in turn saved more than they spent (wow what a concept) and accumulated wealth. They then, in most cases, put that wealth in a bank, which tries to grow the wealth further, by making loans to people who need business loans to create something else… it is a VICIOUS cycle I tell you.

People who create things or fulfill a need PRODUCE something. And they employ people. Which is in its’ own way “spreading the wealth around.”

Wealth is not distributed it is created.

When a rancher puts a bull and a cow in the same lot, within a year ,if everything goes right, he has three head of cattle. He produced Something (well in all fairness the cows produced something). He did not steal a cow from his neighbor. No one had to take all the cows from the cattle baron and “distribute them”. The reason that so many people fall for this lie of Wealth Redistribution and believing that in order for one person to have wealth it must first be taken from another is because they are too far from the source of production.

McNuggets do not come from the box, Nancy. They come from a chicken. The chicken was raised in a chicken house, which was constructed by someone. The Chicken house is owned by a farmer and leased to a corporate entity. That corporate entity is staffed by thousands of people and likely listed on the NYSE. The chicken house is one of several and attended to by several people in the employ of the farmer. The chicken is fed grain, grown by another farmer. Using a tractor probably green in color made in Illinois or Iowa, using union labor. And using seeds and or yield increasing products developed in a laboratory probably in Texas or Missouri . The chicken grows up and is loaded on a truck driven by a truck driver. The truck was made either in TX, WA, OR, or PA most likely. Then the chicken is *gasp* killed, cleaned, deboned, pressed, battered, cooked, and flash frozen, by several people working in a processing facility (incidentally built and staffed by other people). Put on another truck, driven by another truck driver, leased from another trucking company employing all kinds of staff people to make sure your McNugget gets to the store on time. They are stocked, and eventually opened, re-cooked, and packaged in your happy meal by either a High School student, High School dropout, a seasoned citizen , or an immigrant. and handed to you out a window while you sit in your luxury SUV (oops I mean sustainable environmentally friendly Eco Box). Who made all this possible? The EVIL rich man. How many people did it take to get your brat a McNugget? More than 500 easily. How many people were stolen from in the making of your McNugget? NONE.

What have any of these people “taken” from someone that they need to “give back”?

To further drive the point home do this experiment. The next time you are at Mickey D’s there will be a cute little girl there of about 20, she might be your kid, heck try it with a middle aged man it will probably work. Lean over while he/she is just getting ready to eat his/her McNugget and ask, “why are you eating that poor ol’ dead chicken?” they will put it down and push it away 99% of the time. Eggs are even better…think about it.

I have been asked where pork comes from. I have been asked where CORN comes from. I have shown kids …scratch that… I have shown 35 year old adults cotton in the field or brought them a cotton plant and they were AMAZED “it is just like a cotton ball” No Kidding….no kidding, it just grows like that. Remember I live in “rural” “Podunk” Missouri and people don’t know this stuff. WE ARE TOO REMOVED FROM THE SOURCE OF PRODUCTION.

Wealth is created by the sweat of the brow and the relentless pursuit of improvement through thought. It is not created by the Government.

Money is the direct result of effort. Effort takes time. Time is the essence of life. We only have so much time on earth. So in a very real non clich├ęd sense Time is Money. The confiscation of Money is the confiscation of Time, is the confiscation of Effort and essentially the confiscation of our LIFE.

Barack Obama is not going to fill up your tank, or make your house payment lady! He MIGHT, nay he WILL, take money that some farmer, factory worker, or factory owner PRODUCED from their Effort, and give to you to pay your bills or feed your children, you parasite! argh… sigh..breathe in…breathe out…goosfraba…WoooSaaa

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ontario fleets expressing increased optimism in latest OTA survey



TORONTO, Ont. -- Ontario carriers are beginning to express some optimism heading into the third quarter, according to the latest Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) Business Pulse e-Survey.

The Q3 survey suggests that fleets are divided on their expectations for the third quarter, with 32% expressing pessimism and virtually the same percentage expressing optimism. (In the previous survey, 43% were pessimistic and 27% were optimistic).



However, despite the renewed sense of optimism, 35% of respondents were still “unsure” about prospects for the next quarter.



Fifty-two per cent of respondents said they felt the Canadian economy had bottomed out, which was more than double the 25% who felt that way last quarter, according to the survey. In Ontario, however, 54% of carriers felt the economy had yet to bottom out. But in the previous survey, only 19% of respondents had felt the Ontario economy had reached its worst, so the 46% that feel that way now is a marked improvement.



Where the US economy is concerned, 66% of fleet respondents said they foresee further problems. Most carriers don’t expect an immediate improvement in north-south volumes, according to the OTA survey. However, the 26% of carriers that say they expect southbound volumes to improve over the next six months is significantly higher than the 16% who feel further deterioration is in store, another positive change from previous surveys.



Adding perspective to all this, OTA president David Bradley said “While the results may indicate that the economy is inching its way towards staunching the bleeding, things are still very uncertain, especially for Ontario. What we are seeing is an indication that economic activity may have or may be approaching the point where it has found the bottom; we are not seeing signs of meaningful growth and recovery at this point. There are so many variables right now – the US economy, the recent appreciation of the dollar, the availability of credit – that continue to overhang our view of things. I would characterize our outlook as being slightly more hopeful than optimistic at this point. “



Bradley also pointed out early indicators of a recovery have yet to translate into healthier freight rates.



“Most carriers would say recent rate discounts are way overdone,” he said. “We can blame shippers for being greedy and taking advantage of the desperation that some carriers are feeling, through using tendering processes that pit incumbent carriers against illusory rates suggested by unproven carriers who may or may not be willing and able to provide the service at those prices, or by changing the rules of the game. We can blame them for using load brokers who have no accountability to the actual cost of hauling a load.”



“But, we also need to look in the mirror. Who can realistically afford to give up 15, 25, 35% or more in revenue and expect to break even? The margins in trucking can’t support those sorts of rate decreases. Surely, it is insane to think that after 20 years of economic deregulation carriers can cut their costs by the same order of magnitude in order to preserve margin.”

Electric Trucking

In my consulting career, I was not always an environmental professional - I spent a lot of time on supply chain consulting and automation, including logistics. In those days, the issues of efficiency were all about cost reduction and waste elimination. The icons of the industry were the processes that folks like UPS and FedEx put in place - things like planning delivery truck routes with all right turns (saves gas, you don't wait at red lights as much), decisions on whether to keep engines running when leaving trucks (you burn extra fuel starting up), skylight truck ceiling panels (don't have to have lights inside the truck then), etc.

There was one thing we were missing back then - we never challenged the basic technology of the forklifts, trucks, ships, and aircraft we were analyzing. Now, one US company has done just that - and given us the electric urban delivery truck (http://www.triplepundit.com/2009/07/all-electric-commercial-vehicles-now-available-in-the-u-s/). 100 mile range, 50 mph top speed, payload of over 16,000 pounds - and an operating cost that is about 20% of diesel trucks. Sounds good on the user's end, but I have reservations about the cost numbers - I'm not sure if they include the full life-cycle cost (including battery and motor manufacturing and disposal) or not. Also, the manufacturing company is taking advantage of government programs and getting US economic stimulus funds to accomplish what they do.

It's a big splash - delivery of the first six trucks in front of the US Capitol; PR frenzies; and everyone involved wants this to look good. The US government wants it to look good because it shows stimulus at work and progress. The manufacturer wants it to look good because it makes them look good. The buyers want it to look good because they invested in these trucks and want the payback of the extra publicity. And, frankly, I want it to not just look good but be good - because I would like to see an electric vehicle solution that truly works from all sustainability angles. Unfortunately no one has broached the full-life-cycle sustainability aspect - and since no one has, I suspect it isn't there, particularly because of the emphasis in the articles about the company using existing battery technology. Existing battery technology is terrible to the environment - both in the manufacturing and in the disposal stages.

No one has broached the issue of production capacity, either - or the issues of support infrastructure (these things have to be charged up somehow, somewhere, and not by plugging in to a household plug), servicing (try taking an electric truck to your regular mechanic), or the rest of the myriad of commercial vehicle implementation issues that need grappling with. And, while the cost of operation has been trumpeted, the cost of acquisition has not - of course, the trucks having a higher list price compared to diesel options would not be surprising. All in all, a lot of issues have been left untouched - and they are ones that should be touched on in detail by anyone considering acquisition and implementation of these vehicles.

The article does say that the US government allocated $2B to electric vehicle battery research stimulus - so maybe we'll see some improvements in all this before too long. But, if all we spend the money on is a productization of technologies deployed in Europe (as the article states as the main strategy for the company that makes the electric trucks) then I fear the money will have been applied to achieve less than optimal (let alone spectacular) results. It is very disappointing that everyone seems to be spending more time making progress look like it is happening instead of making it happen.

The Highest Paid Jobs are Trucking Jobs

Trucking jobs have been and probably always will be the highest paid entry level jobs that a person can get without any experience or going to college. Not only are trucking jobs the best entry level jobs you wont be wasting four to eight years in school and spending tens of thousands in tuition and expenses.

After searching the internet for the highest paying entry level jobs I was amazed. Every website and search result on the first few pages was for college graduates and salaries for people with specific degrees! The fact is that most anyone that is searching for an entry level job with no experience is doing so because they did not go to college. 

Truck drivers can be earning money immediately with no experience. A person get into the trucking industry and get trained without spending any money out of their pocket! Most trucking schools will even pay students while they are being trained! With a little ambition and a good plan a person can get a trucking job and out perform even the top college graduate starting salaries driving a truck.

With as little as three months experience driving a truck I was able to get a trucking job with a trucking company enabling me to make over $60,000 a year with the ability to be home everyday! I have searched jobs for months and I have not found any entry level positions anywhere that will pay this type of money at an entry level without a college degree.

Not only are trucking jobs the best entry level jobs but the freedom these jobs have to offer is unparalleled. There are thousands of trucking companies and many different types of trucking jobs available each year. With a CDL and the need for truck drivers you will have job security that few industries can offer you as an employee.

All you need is a drivers license if you are looking to make college graduate type wages with one of the highest paying entry level jobs in the country. Trucking jobs are the ideal jobs for people with no experience looking to make a lot of money!


Keep on Trucking - Truth

I managed to get my paintings together for the C.A.V.E. gallery showing today. It has been super busy here in Minneapolis. I've had web design, illustration and cooking to keep me employed the last two weeks. It all seems so crazy.

I think this weekend I want to take a day or at least half a day to do nothing though. I think I deserve it. We'll see what happens, but here are the paintings:

I dig the owls. I wouldn't even have started drawing owls if it was not for Mike Mcgee. He rocks, you should check him out.

This one is for my buddy Paul. He knows why. To all the good folks out there, and most of you are indeed good folks, take care.

Peace
Mike

Arizona Trucking Accident Claims One

On Friday morning, a semi-truck crashed on I-10 near Picacho Peak and burst into flames. The driver was killed and the passenger suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The victims in this accident were a husband/wife driving team who had been driving together for about 10 years. Shari Wood Linder was driving at the time of the accident; her husband, Ricky Keith Linder, was in the sleeping compartment of the truck. They were driving a semi that was hauling two trailers. Shari was driving eastbound and for some reason veered off the road causing the semi to hit a cement barrier. The semi rolled over and exploded. Overhead power lines also caught fire from the explosion.

According to officials, the explosion resulted from the contents of the trailers, which contained flammable automotive products and cleaning products. A Hazmat team was dispatched for containment and cleanup.

The accident remains under investigation.

In the US, one in every eight traffic deaths results from a collision with a large truck. In 2007 alone, 101,000 injuries resulted from tractor-trailer accidents. Common factors in these accidents are truck driver under-qualifications, speeding to meet time schedules, and the leading error, driver fatigue.

In Arizona, there are a few select people who can make a claim for the death of another. A parent, a spouse and a child are the only classes of people who are allowed to bring these claims. Now, assuming that the Picacho Peak collision was the result of driving error by Mrs. Linder, the law gets a bit tricky here. Could the husband bring a claim against his wife, for her death? He could most certainly bring a claim against her (the claim would actually be brought against her “estate”) for his own injuries and damages. The liability insurance on the truck would provide for any payments to be made for these claims.

Depending on what the investigation shows, there are other possibilities as well. Suppose that another vehicle caused Mrs. Linder to veer and lose control? Suppose also that this could be somehow proven, but the identity of the other driver could not be ascertained. What then? If the Linders had uninsured motorist coverage on their truck, this could provide Mr. Linder a recovery for the death of Mrs. Linder. For the very few reasons mentioned, it really is imperative that people in this situation get an experienced personal injury/trucking injury attorney involved as early as possible. A thorough and early investigation, to find and preserve evidence, can be crucial to the outcome of these claims.

We send our condolences to the entire Linder (and extended) family.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


After 2 great days in Vegas, we are on our way to Kingman, AZ to pick up a load going to West Richland, Washington. We had a wonderful time in Vegas and the Gold Coast turned out to be a wonderful hotel for $4.94 a night. We still can’t believe we only paid $4 plus tax for that room. The rooms were excellent and the shuttle that ran every 20 minutes to the strip turned out to be great and convenient! I think we will definitely be checking it out the next time we are in Vegas. The shuttle dropped you off at Bill’s on the strip (right beside the Flamingo) and you could catch the monorail from there. It has been 4 years since we were in Vegas and the monorail was free at the time, but it wasn’t finished all the way from MGM to the Sahara’s, which it is now. It still isn’t bad if you buy a 24-hour pass at $12.00 or a 3-day if you are going to be there that long. Otherwise, it is $5 each way if bought individually.

We lucked upon a discount ticket station at Bill’s. We didn’t know they even had those places, but there was a line of people, and of course we were curious as to what they were standing in line for. Anyway, we ended up getting tickets to the Zumanity show for last night. We had tried to go there the last time we visited and they were booked up. The tickets were about 40 percent less than regular price. The only drawback is that you have to carry the vouchers to the actual theatre and get the seats, but we did that yesterday morning after purchasing the tickets and were given EXCELLENT seats! It was a fantastic show!

Anyway, we love Las Vegas and had a great time there once again – if it could have only been cooler!!! The temperature yesterday hit 115, and literally, it was even hard to breathe. So it goes without saying that we did most of our walking inside and tried to stay away from anything outdoors.
Today, the air conditioner in the truck seems to be working well, and hopefully we won’t have to spend any more time in a Kenworth place. Until tomorrow, ---- Nope -- 3 hours later ---- I couldn't get enough signal to load the pictures so I decided to add a few lines and a picture of the load.
We finally got loaded and have some huge plastic pipe on board. They don't weigh a lot, but are bulky. The wind was blowing so hard in AZ that it took them 2 hours to load what should have been 30 minutes. Anyway, we are headed back just like we came through Las Vegas and up through Idaho, Oregon and into Washington. We are planning on trying for Boise, Idaho tonight.
Cindy

Victim of a crime that includes internet based load boards



The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

IC3's mission is to serve as a vehicle to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime. The IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local and international level, IC3 provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet related crimes.



We encourage everyone that has been a victim of Systemes de Transport Ables, Kirill Sosounov and his companies or any other company to contact The Internet Crime Complaint Center

http://www.ic3.gov/

Mexican Truck Program Revival Clears First Hurdles

(Today’s Trucking)

A plan to allow Mexican trucks to once again cross the American border beyond the longstanding 25-mile restriction zone moved another step closer to reality. According to The Washington Times, a new proposal to reopen the border to select Mexican carriers has gone through all the interagency channels and will be passed along to Capital Hill for a vote.

President Obama has been under pressure by trucking and trade groups to reestablish a version of the Bush Administration’s two year-old, cross-border pilot program he cancelled shortly after taking office.

Saying the move was a breach of NAFTA, Mexico retaliated immediately by slapping tariffs on about 90 U.S. import products.

Now that a new cross-border program has cleared bureaucratic review, businesses interests are hoping the tariffs on $2.4 billion worth of U.S. goods will soon end.

Startling Findings Indeed

I would hever have guessed this---not in a million years.

Matt Richtel
New York Times
The first study of drivers text-messaging inside their vehicles shows the risk of a crash greatly surpasses previous estimates – and beats out by far the dangers of other driving distractions.
The new study, in which the cabs of long-haul trucks were monitored by video cameras for 18 months, found that when the drivers texted, their collision risk was 23 times greater than when not texting.
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which compiled the latest research and plans to release its findings today, also measured the time drivers take their eyes off the road to send or receive texts.
In the moments before a crash or near crash, drivers typically spent nearly five seconds looking at their devices – enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more than the length of a football field.
The researchers said that even though trucks take longer to stop and are less manoeuvrable than cars, the findings apply generally to all drivers, who tend to behave much like the truckers studied.
Compared with other sources of driver distraction, "texting is in its own universe of risk," said Rich Hanowski, who oversaw the study at the institute. The analysis was financed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which has the mission of improving safety in trucks and buses.
Another study, carried out in a lab at the University of Utah with students using a sophisticated driving simulator, showed an eight-fold increase in crash risk while texting.
Tom Dingus, director of the Virginia Tech institute, one of the world's largest vehicle safety research organizations, said the trucking study's message about texting while driving is clear.
"You should never do this," he said. "It should be illegal."
Thirty-six states do not ban texting while driving. California, New Jersey and Alaska are among the 14 that do.

Interviewing the 2009 Great American Trucking Family

This month's issue of Truckers News features the Great American Trucking Family for 2009, the Valdepenas of San Bernardino, Calif., who've been trucking for four generations. Truckers News editor Randy Grider took footage of part of his interview with Ralph Valdepena Jr. on his visit with the family out west earlier in the summer. The resulting vid is below. For more on the Valdepenas, check out the full story by Grider in this month's issue here.



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Still here

Still at home, they were unable to get me a load today.

I have one for tomorrow that does not pickup until 3:00 pm. Kind of frustrating after the long break down period, then coming home for 4 days. I need to get out and make money. Didn't happen today. I guess there are worse places I could be sitting and waiting other than at home. It's just a catch 22. Not moving, not making any money. Nature of the beast!

When you are broke down for that long, then you come home, the effect on your paycheck bleeds over for a couple of weeks. Will be tough going for the next 2 weeks, but I reckon we will survive. Feast or famine in the trucking industry.

Very rainy day here today, just about all day. Just kind of sat around and waited....and waited. I guess tomorrow is another day.

Update SYSTEMES DE TRANSPORT ABLES


UPDATE

Keep up the good work Donaldson! You are not alone in this struggle to bring awareness and justice to trucking companies. I didn't have time to read through all of this, however here are a few things I have observed about the guy. I have spoke to Able, Henry, Nas and tracked him down to a contact at a municipal garage in NY just across the border.

Additionally, he uses a website called Getloaded.com to contact trucks off of. Which in the states is under the jurisdiction of http://www.ic3.gov Getloaded is an American company and should be investigateable through ic3's authority. PLEASE report all scams to this website. If he didn't use an American internet company to contact you, please still report it. The more claims that come in, the more pressure those who were scammed can put on the American authorities to get something done. Canadian authorities and American authorities have always had a good working relationship. We can come together on this.

Another site which tries to help with prosecution is security@its.com. At the very least they will take your complaint, ask for proof, and if founded broadcast it.

I found one company that he was in the process of scamming after someone alerted me that he was calling on a specific freight lane and had called them with an offer to drop the load at a warehouse in the States. He has a good working directory of warehouses, he tells the US based carrier to bring the load to the warehouse, "luckily" located at the carriers desired destination, and he will have it delivered from there. I called the first carriers I saw posted near the pick up location and the second one had taken the load. I had to call them four times and beg them to call the shipper to find the real broker, but they finally did and figgured out they were scammed. But they were able to work out payment, get the load delivered, etc.

Another thing, if he took the load from a broker, you may have recourse through the broker as they will want to save face with their customer, so it doesn't hurt to try and find out if another company gave him the load.

Additionally, in the states ultimately, either the shipper or receiver is liable to the actual hauling company for compensations. Contact a transportation lawyer and they should be able to get you your money.

I'm sorry if this is a bit scattered, it has been a hectic few weeks and I'm short on time. If you need more information, go to www.getloaded.com and go to the forums, ask for Jess or Pam, they should be able to find posts that would answer questions.

Some Thoughts on the Waxman-Markey bill HR 2454

I would suggest anyone following this Waxman-Markey bill take a good long read of Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's book "DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW" There is a wealth of information in that book. There is so much more we could be doing right here in the USA that would benefit other then the steps in the HR 2454 bill and if we did them or found ways to make them happen, we would not only eventually reduce carbon emissions, but we would drastically lower the price of energy across the board. Gas/Diesel at the pumps would go down due to abundant supplies of oil right here in the USA (reserves bigger than all of Saudi Arabia put together) Gas reserves also here. Some say the Rocky mountains are full of gold, well in a matter of speaking they are. We have not built a nuclear plant in this country since what 1976? (around there somewhere) we fear a 3 mile island happening, or worse Chernobyl, C'mon people, the acts of safety and committment that all the new technology has out there far outweight that of any blunders that may have been caused in the past. Other countries are getting so far ahead of the USA in current sustainable methods we will eventually become the laughing stock of the world! All this Green house gas stuff, though it may be important (and I'm honestly not convinced by a good mile) but it won't matter what we do in this country as long as China and India keep doing what their doing over there. China especially doesn't give a "HOOT" about the environment and they are opening up a new COAL FIRED plant every week, there economy will (as if it hasn't already) start booming. India is doubling the size of its fuel refinery (Ramnajan) and almost complete with that. Half the reason for the high prices is we must buy from them after it is refined as we can't refine the stuff in our own country.
Now don't get me wrong, I do think we need new technologies and there are many on the horizon, but if we continue doing things the way we are and do not start using our own massive abundances for current times, we will continue to fall further behind in the great energy race. I recall a movie I saw once about Hydrogen production. They say it was clean, natural, abundant, but if you dump that technology on the world in one feld swoop, you will collapse world markets all around. It must be done at a pace the world can accept (Movie title slips me: Morgan Freeman & Keeanu Reeves)
There is so much more that could be done right here in this country and think of some of the other side effects that could be positive. Most don't realize that just a simple .03 cent increase in oil prices adds millions of dollars to the country of IRAN, well known to support Hezbollah terrorist groups. Hmmm, If we started to drill in our own country and refine in our own country, and we kept all that extra money out of Iran, who supports terror groups, you think we might get a better handle on terrorism? Iran isn't the only one either, but you get my point! The USA is a self sufficient nation, but we won't use it.
Shell Oil spent hundreds of millions in all kinds of environmental safety precautions to make sure (gosh forbid) if anything happened in ANWR it would leave little or not mark on the environment and/or be contained very quickly. You think they would be allowed to drill up there in any new wells. NOT! The leftists in this country would have you believe they are drilling in the natural pristine forests and the certains species of wildlife and their habitats would be disrupted in very negative ways. Tell you what, why don't you all go visit Shell and Mobil up there and see just how many species of Wildlife are seen daily with the current expeditions up there, then come back and answer that question again.
There is more oil slick coming up from under the ocean floor then would ever be (how to put it?) "over leaked" out by actually drilling in the ocean waters, my gosh the stuff washes up on the beaches daily. I'm not a geologist, so I could be wrong here, but if the stuff is leaking out NATURALLY now, it does make me wonder what kind of pressure is down there pushing it up? If we could drill and capture some of that oil and releive the pressure we may also be preventing some sort of catastrophe from happening later on as well. That is simply a guess on my part, but I just wonder about things that I see with my own eyes too?
More than 10 years ago, it was told the congress and senate if you allow drilling in ANWR we will better control oil pricing, but the great and ever knowing politicians said, it will take 10 years to produce enough oil to make that happen. Now it has been over 10 years since President Clinton put the kabosh on that plan, now I ask you again, had we drilled ANWR and taken the steps to secure more of our own oil over 10 years ago, would we still be in the oil crisis we are in today? I think not ?
Yes, we need new technologies in the future, but you can't just turn our entire system upside down and unless you get the entire world on board, this will be nothing more than a self defeating escapade in the very end. Right now, we are going backwards in many respects.

Carny Thrills Now Available


I have exciting news. On my visit to the local grocery store last night, I saw a fantastic scene: guess what's popped in to my little neck of the woods? Hint: lights, rides, food on a stick, Velcro shoes. That's right. The carnival is a'comin' to town!

You know these little gypsy mini-fairs--they slink into town in the dead of night, and the following day, where there previously stood only a plot of dirt, some sparse grass and enough dust to put Arizona to shame, is now a world of garish lights, obnoxious carousel music and a passel of workers each sporting shoes with a slap-down-strap and one full set of teeth between them. None of this is meant to be derogatory, of course. I myself have Carny blood that stems back to when I hawked the games at Six Flags over Georgia as the first step in my illustrious career as a professional hawker--the written word having replaced the days of bellowing to overeager kids about the ease of winning these impossible-to-win games while their parents gave me the stink eye for doing so.

For all the cheap thrills and dusty paths created in this gaudy world, I actually love these little carnivals. I don't know if it's the food on a stick, the cotton candy (I'm a sucker for cotton candy), the atmosphere, or the 30 second thrill of taking your life in your hands as you perch atop a ride that could come tumbling down like a Jinga game any second that enchants me most. I do find myself scrutinizing the nuts and bolts that hold these rides together each time I'm in line, however. Is there some sort of Carnival safety department approving the abilities and knowledge of these Carny Ride Engineers who put these things together with just a flashlight and a Leatherman tool? I'm thinking probably so.

So we'll be trotting up to the exposition soon, I feel sure, with $107 for ride tickets, my sweet tooth, and the desire to place my life in the capable hands of my Carny brethren. Bring on the fun!

Trucking news: ATA reports For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index down 2.4 percent in June

On a year-over-year basis, June 2008 tonnage sank 13.6 percent

After a 3.2 percent up tick in May, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index dropped 2.4 percent in June.

This is the third time in the last four months this index has dropped, with April and March down 2.2 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively. At the beginning of the year, the index had a promising start, with a 4.5 percent cumulative gain in January and February. The decline in the advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index to 99.8 (2000=100) was not significant enough to completely offset May’s performance, according to the ATA.

Meanwhile, the not seasonally adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, was 107.3 in June. This represents a 5.2 percent improvement from May, and if this trend were to continue it could mean that tonnage is slowly rebounding. Year-over-year NSA index data was not made available by the ATA. The NSA has shown gains the last three months.

As defined by the ATA, the not seasonally-adjusted index is assembled by adding up all the monthly tonnage data reported by the survey respondents (ATA member carriers) for the latest two months. Then a monthly percent change is calculated and then applied to the index number for the first month. Some industry analysts maintain that the not seasonally-adjusted index is more useful, because it is comprised of what truckers actually haul.

Even through the NSA showed a sequential gain, it appears there will be a long way to go before tonnage truly comes back to pre-recession levels. On a year-over-year basis, June 2008 tonnage sank 13.6 percent, which represents the biggest annual decline in this current cycle. May’s year-over-year decline was 11 percent, and April’s was 13.2 percent.

Bob Costello, ATA Chief Economist, said in a statement that it is likely tonnage levels will remain at current levels for the foreseeable future.

Read the rest of the logisticsmgmt.com here.

Nothing But Painting Today

So here I am in the state of Minnesota and I have managed to find a part time job and some contract work as a web designer, but not a heck of a lot more than that. So today I figured out that if I finish the web work that I am contracted for this week and work the hours that I am scheduled at my part time job, that I will have plenty to cover my bills.

So, of course that led me to come home and paint for the rest of the day since I don't start cooking until tomorrow. So the C.A.V.E. ends up with some better stuff than I thought. But I'll be posting it all tomorrow. It is almost done.

But just for fun today, I bring you Birdy Kenievel.

Hope you like him, and check back tomorrow for the completed CAVE pieces.

peace
Mike

Today's Non-News: Trucking, driving don't mix

Um...duh.

Someone thought it would be money well spent to do a study on how dangerous texting is while driving 18-wheelers. Are you kidding me?

A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed that truckers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to crash or get into a near-wreck than an undistracted driver, while car drivers face the greatest danger when dialing their cell phones.

I might be way off here, but isn't a car easier to control than an 8,000 lb truck?

When dialing, the chance of an accident for a truck driver is 5.9 times more likely vs 2.8 times more likely for a car driver, the study found. If a trucker reaches for an electronic device, the crash risk is 6.7 times as high, while the risk for a car driver is 1.4 times as high. Truckers only fared better while talking or listening on a cell phone, with the increased risk one time more likely compared with 1.3 times for a car driver.

Yada, yada, yada... Here's the thing: what difference does it make if it's 5.9 or 2.8 or 6.7 times more likely to have an accident while fucking around with a cellphone?

The point is that the likelihood of having an accident is higher when we're dialing or texting or doing anything else that takes our eyes off the road.

See how I just did that without a study?

____________________________________________

Following is an excerpt from the CNN report on the subject:

"Text messaging, as you can imagine, if you're engaged in a text message it draws your eyes away from the forward roadway," Rich Hanowski, director of the transportation institute's Center for Truck and Bus Safety, told CNN Tuesday. The study was based on research from 2004 to 2007, he said.

"From the study that we did, we found that it was almost five seconds out of a six-second window that we were looking at that the driver's eyes were off the forward roadway, so that's a tremendous amount of time driving at highway speeds and a lot of opportunity in that period of time to get into trouble."

In 4.6 seconds at 55 mph, a driver could travel the length of a football field.

With regards to texting, Hanowski said "it's really kind of a no-brainer" (exactly my point). "And I should point out we're scientists, we're not legislators, but when you see these kind of findings with regard to this level of risk, texting certainly should be banned. There's just no question; there's no redeeming factors associated with why a driver would be able to text and drive."

Source: CNN
Copyright © 2009, Primetime Oracle
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The all around safety of a truck including its driver and cargo is a main concern for commercial truck owners and drivers across the nation. Mechanica

The all around safety of a truck including its driver and cargo is a main concern for commercial truck owners and drivers across the nation.

Mechanical malfunctions, thefts, hijackings, and accidents, among many other unfortunate situations, cause owners and drivers to seek ways of protecting themselves, their trucks and the contents the best they can.

Commercial trucking insurance companies provide policies that can be altered to the preferences of the owner or driver acquiring the coverage.

Choosing the best policy can be a daunting task because it takes a lot of research and scrutiny to determine the risks involved.

It includes knowing what's involved in every aspect of operating the truck like the types of routes and cargo, and the truck's mechanical condition.

This is how to determine which commercial trucking insurance policy will provide the most adequate protection.

There is also a preset type of commercial trucking insurance coverage that requires no effort and which offers basic protection for the truck, the driver, and cargo.

This kind of coverage is generally modeled around typical trucking conditions and is divided into three categories: human, machine, and cargo.

Many truckers or truck owners often deal with deliveries of special cargo or are required to travel to remote destinations.

Whether these are occasional or common circumstances, if they pose a safety risk, there are commercial trucking insurance policies that will cover the risks associated with those specifications.

It is unlikely you will find a preset policy that covers every risk you face if your conditions are far from being completely typical.

This one of the major reasons why it is essential to investigate every commercial trucking insurance policy available to you and to select the one that can meet the specified needs of the truck, driver, cargo, and all related conditions.

Another reason to be extremely selective when looking for a commercial trucking insurance policy is that the rates will increase in the event of anything happening to the truck, driver, or cargo that is not originally covered in the policy.

Switching companies won't help because your former insurance company will hand over your accomplishment records which indicate your history of incidents.

The only way to avoid keeping your insurance costs as low yet as beneficial as possible is to choose a commercial trucking insurance policy that doesn't miss any details.

The best approach to this involves considering every potential risk directly or indirectly associated with the truck, driver and cargo while the truck is in operation.

The policy should cover each of those risks, and even risk of unexpected accidents like natural disasters.

Truck owners and drivers who have a solid understanding of their own needs will be able to easily select the commercial trucking insurance policy that will address those needs accordingly.

Based on all of the above, it's obvious there is no one-size-fits-all insurance policy in the
commercial trucking industry.

A responsible owner or driver would take the necessary measures, including extensive research, to use this knowledge to obtain the best coverage possible.

THIS BLOG UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT

The past author of this blog has relinquished control of the blog to me, the future author! He only required that the profile and the part about the pit bull, etc., stay the same (I do have a pit bull, too).

His professional blogging has been moved to his professional website(s) and I have a desire to express continued opinion about some of the things heretofore covered, so he relinquished the blog to its current and future author, me! I am loyal to the author and had been following the blog and thought it was worth maintaining.

This is all just FYI, in case you were familiar with this blog before 7/15/2009. Consider this now a private blog under new authorship.

Monday, July 27, 2009

YOU MAKE THE CALL

YOU MAKE THE CALL

Pondering on my past, I recall the many mistakes I have made. Growing up
with a family that was not rich but far from poor, illustrated the ups and
downs of life. The continual poor child or solely rich children have few
comparisons. The balance between comfortable and poor families, living in
the middle, seeing life's teetering edge, where realization says, life isn't
always a bed of roses or as bad as it seems.

When times got hard, my grandparents communicated resolve without violence.
If my grandparents tremendous foresight detected an approaching storm, their
preplanning counter the issues. I didn't realize then how one learns and
remembers. It was the visuals as a child that has fortified me to conquer
life's hardships. No problem was too big to overcome or an issue too small
to ignore. An understanding collated with wisdom an awareness prepared us.
Life will go south, the answers exist within your readiness.

A employer once said, "if you will take care of the big thing the little
things will take care of themselves. This doesn't mean turning away from the
little problems, it simply means, keep your peripheral vision handy.

Staying positive toward others is absolutely important to thrive. No matter
if it's your job, church, poker game, or home life, optimism and sensible
choices crucial. Human being involvement will constantly produce various
outlooks. It's the way you approach those discrepancies that will make a
difference between an argument or prompt solutions.

No matter your status in life, 99.5% of us will have a boss. Bosses are
either gentle or rude when implementing their advancements. Respecting that
authority will get you everywhere. People are more successful when they
exercise politeness, self-control, appreciation, and preparation. Even
during a disagreement ,you don't always have to be nice but you must be
polite, For the most part, Americans lack these fundamental skills.

Some of my best teachings came from being a route salesman. Most
subordinates have only one or two bosses in the work place, I had 60.
Answering my direct boss that hired me was priority. If the phone didn't
ringing and my tickets were signed and stamped, Mack and I got along well.
It was the management within the major grocery stores, drug stores, news
stands, and independent dealers that tossed you many different personalities
to contend with. That was challenging.

The first two years of that 14 year job was miserable compliments of myself.
It was my understanding boss Mack Baker,(God rest his soul), that educated
me how to survive. Mack said, you can not butt heads with 60 arrogant store
managers, you can't win.

Store managers are powerful within their companies, their supervisors will
inevitably take their side, These individuals managed stores making up to
150 million dollars a year, clearly knowing what was best. Mack told me, go
in the store, do your job the best you can, agree with the conceit even if
they're wrong. WOW! Mack was correct. I was too occupied with being right
when I was really wrong. I found, agreeing or disagreeing is not imperative,
keeping my mouth shut was. Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at
all. Also, do not forget to put the past behind you, if you don't it will
drive you stupid.

Your rich boss man can make you or break you. The choice is yours.
Disagreeing comes easy, and too can be troublesome. What's tough is looking
past the rhetoric and obeying. This is not saying to agree with everything,
but how you disagree is important. Again, you can disagree by saying nothing
at all. Body language will get the message across indirectly if used
properly. It does works if you remain patient and calm. No, this is not
manipulation, just a tactic to out fox the fox.

You must trust sound smart people. Just because they're intelligent or at a
higher status in life doesn't make them your enemy. Assertive instincts will
indicate the disingenuous. You should have little contact as possible with
these folks, remembering they're a minority group. The larger majority of
people are good and will not deceive you.

When I'm given the chance to pass on what life has taught me I will,
especially if our youth is involved. It's important to reveal to younger
adults that most people can be trusted. If you give them your word, please
follow though even if it means being behind the eight ball. Make sure to
provide them a sense of authority. Letting life's decisions be their own
will strengthen them now and later.

An example: a young man at church asked me for my advice. I tossed the
decision back to him. I was not surprised when he made the right choices. I
saw a smart young adult, that just needed confidence. Another time he was
not going to be available to help us. I told him we would cover for his
absence. He reminded me of his request the day before. Of course, I forgot.
I assure him to not be concerned. The bigger picture here is, he was not
intimidated to make his concerns known, trusting his better judgment. Did I
do something special? NO. I simply showed how upholding your words is
crucial, and to trust your own assessments. This allowing him to take
charge. He's not shy any longer.

I like helping young people see their inner strengths. A close friend much
more intelligent than myself said there was something special within me.
Chuck said one day it would just happen. I'm still waiting for my epiphany.
LOL

DO NOT forget young Americans are watching and learning. It took me 35 years
to come to my senses. Life evolves around our choices, this is what life is
made of. Too bad there's not always someone there to remind us of this. Life's
lessons are easily forgotten when running, playing, working and worrying.

THE BOOKIE
ASHEVILLE, NC

Trucking - a window into real economy - by: Kerry

The markets have been on a killer run. The earnings are coming in better than expected for many companies. All earnings are not created equal, and we need to ask ourselves - Where are these earnings coming from?

The earnings are driven primarily by cost cuts and reductions in workforce. If I look at my own steel business, net earnings were phenomenal in the 1st and 2nd quarters. They were great because of a huge reduction in workforce and massive overhead cuts that we made in 4th quarter of 2008. This is why I can tell you that no way we will meet or beat the earnings we saw in 1st half of the year going forward.

Here is the chart I receive each month from our freight companies, reflecting what is called the Freight Indexes. They measure the demand for Truckload services compared to the number of trucks on the road. The index begins in April 1994. When a reading is above prior years’ level it means there is more freight demand relative to available capacity. When a reading is below prior years’ level, it means there is less freight demand relative to available capacity.
As you can see, 2009 (Red Line) is down by a huge margin. Although we saw an uptick in May and June it is nowhere close to average.

The private company I am involved in has only recently seen the slightest of upticks in business activity - while selling for minimal or no profit margins. The steel companies have recently worked off old inventory and now they will need to see demand in order to replace that inventory.

For now that demand is seen only in a few small areas - it is not broad based. This appears to be a rebound from cost cuts and not demand-driven. Cost cuts have a one-time impact on profits until demand reappears. It should be interesting to see how things will develop now that Q2 earnings come to pass and we must look forward to Q3.

New Quebec content in french

We have received many emails over the past few months requesting a french blog with similar content found on the Canadian Trucking Watchdog. As far as we are concerned, Quebec is ground zero for some of the issues we have discussed on here. By improving communication between the many legitimate Quebec companies discussing their issues, it will make it easier for us to know what is going on in La Belle Province and make us aware of what is being done about industry today. Perhaps, it will lead us to a new chapter at the Canadian Trucking Watchdog.


http://lecamionneur.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 27, 2009

What a day!!! We were unloaded in Ft. Irwin, CA around 9:00 this morning after staying in Barstow, CA last night. The air conditioner in the truck has been having problems for over a month. It would go off, but it would come back on in just a minute so Mark knew there was a problem, but yesterday afternoon with the temperature at 111, it decided to go off and NOT come back on. We were about to die. Anyway, Mark did a little investigating and figured out that it would run if he kept the engine running high, and not turn on the air in the sleeper. We made it through the night without being too uncomfortable, but a service department was definitely on the agenda for today.

The only Kenworth dealers were in Fontana, CA or Las Vegas, NV so of course we decided to go to Las Vegas. At this time, we are still sitting in the service department lounge of the Kenworth place waiting for the truck to be fixed. We have been here for the past 4 hours, but at least they have recliners and a TV to watch. They have assured us that it will be ready in the next hour, hopefully. In the meanwhile, I have been looking on the internet at hotels in Las Vegas. Since we are here, we might as well enjoy ourselves. Get this – I found the Gold Coast for $4.94 per night and that was INCLUDING tax!! Unbelievable!!! Anyway, they haven’t found us a load so we decided to take advantage of this rate. The hotel is located between the Rio and The Palms, a couple of blocks off the strip, but they have a shuttle that goes back and forth to the strip. It should be fun and you can’t beat $10 for a couple of nights in Vegas.

Well, it is an hour later and we are still sitting, but they told Mark that they are “close”. I am not sure what that means, but hopefully, it will be soon. I am sorry, but I am not posting any pictures of the Kenworth place. I didn't think they would be too exciting! I promise to do better tomorrow.

Oh, and by the way -- I have used all of the Bath Mat facts. Some of you are probably applauding! :)

Until later,
Cindy

Pegasus Document Management Software

Pegasus TransTech has introduced TransFlo 2010, an update of its document management and imaging software for the trucking industry. TransFlo 2010 processes, stores and quickly retrieves documents - proof of delivery, bills of lading, packing lists, receipts, employment applications, accident reports and much more, the company says, including new tools that provide more management reports to enable intelligent business analysis for measuring and improving productivity.

Pegasus Trans Tech
(800) 783-8649


Sunday, July 26, 2009


It is Sunday afternoon and we are driving from Laughlin, NV to Barstow, California – very SLOWLY – I might add! We hate this 55 MPH law in California. It seems like we are crawling along!! Anyway, we are about 35 miles from there now.
Fort Irwin, where we are going to unload in the morning, is very close to there so that is where we are planning to stay tonight. We are crossing the Nojave Desert and it the scenery is pretty boring.

Yesterday, we had a great day in Laughlin. We started our day out by the pool but that only lasted until noon – it was SO-O-O-O hot! The temperature yesterday reached 109 in the shade so it didn’t take but a couple of hours and we were ready for the AC. Today, they are predicting 110 and think it made it!! You couldn’t even breathe walking across the parking lot. It was 134 on the truck thermometer when we started out because it had been sitting on pavement without any air on.

We walked across to the outlet mall (which is all indoors) yesterday, and then ate at the “In and Out Burger” down the street. We had seen several of these throughout the west, but never tried it. They were started in the 1940’s and they still do everything the exact same way – complete with fresh cut fries and fresh (not frozen) hamburger meat. They still wrap them in paper sleeves and have nothing on the menu except hamburgers and fries, literally. You can double meat or add cheese, but that is it! It is good and apparently very popular, because the line was out the door.

After the sun started going down, we walked the river walk and went through a lot of the hotels/casinos. By the time we returned, it was after midnight so we slept in this morning before heading out.
“Bath Mat Fun Fact #13” The human heart beats over 100,000 times each day. I will share some pictures that we took along the walk.
Until tomorrow,
Cindy

"Ice Road Truckers" game available

‘Ice Road Truckers’ game ready
By Jill Dunn from Trucker.com

A paid edition of the iPhone and iPod Touch application will allow users to play “Ice Road Truckers” starting today, June 28, although the light version is available free in Apple stores.

Based on the award-winning History network show, the official “Ice Road Truckers” iPhone application allows users to deliver loads on Arctic roads before time runs out.

The paid edition of the game is $3.99. The light version of the application is available in Apple's iTunes stores and has been downloaded more than 680,000 times

The game’s paid version will offer more game options, the ability to choose different routes, trucks, loads and more. Customizable options with driving helps and a time trial mode will be available.

Trucking Companies - Export-Import Management

Export and import management of physical goods, exceedingly depends upon the trucking companies of a nation. Trucks are the main components of the transportation system of a country. They act as an essential link of the logistics supply chain system of a nation. Almost every country in this world has developed special economic zones within their territories. Trucks lead to the domestic transportation of freight from these economic zones to other parts of the country and vice-versa. Thus, they indirectly contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation.
Growth and development of a country highly depends upon its export and import management. Trucking software technology has indirectly contributed in the efficient management of the export and import system across the world; by bringing systematic changes in the functioning of trucking companies. Enhancements in exports help a nation to earn enormous foreign exchange revenue. Moreover, it leads to domestic growth by widening the sales market for the domestic producers. On the other hand, import of goods enable a nation to adopt new technologies and goods imported from other nations. Imports generally leads to a healthy competition among the domestic producers of any nation. Trucking companies play a vital role in the overall orientation of the export and import system of any nation; as they are the most important factors for transporting items from one place to another.

Trucking software has not only transformed the trucking industry, but it has also triggered an impulse of efficiency in the whole system of export and import management. The remarkable features of standard trucking software have widened the opportunities for trucking companies to navigate in the arena of export and import business. Previously, trucking companies just act as suppliers of freight between two destinations, but with the advent of this sophisticated trucking software, these companies are expanding their business horizon into the domain of export and import of goods. Web based trucking software has even further induced the element of efficiency in the system of trucking business.

No one can predict, whether the trucking companies can successfully transit and transform themselves into export and import entities or not. But one thing is for sure, that we cannot undermine the contribution of trucking companies in the efficient management of export and import system of a nation. Trucking companies, with the help of trucking software are pro-actively participating in the growth and development of various nations across the globe.

One Day In July: Remembering The 1934 Minneapolis Teamster Strike



THE 1934 MINNEAPOLIS TRUCKERS STRIKE On "Bloody Friday", July 20,1934,at 3rd and 6th, 67 striking truckdrivers and their supporters were shot by Minneapolis police, acting on orders from the Citizens Alliance, an anti-labor employers' group, which controlled city government. Seventy-five years later, WE REMEMBER THEIR SACRIFICE!

This weekend Minneapolis returned to an old tradition and celebrated the 1934 general strike in Minneapolis, that brought unionism to Minneapolis. The first day was a music festival in the streets where the fighting took place. Today was a picnic attended by relatives of strikers, and representatives of the UE who took part in the Republic Windows occupation in Chicago. No known 1934 strikers are living.

Teamsters got their name from starting out organizing drivers of teams of horses. There was less time between the 1934 stike and the Civil War, than the strike and today.

By Dave Riehle

Three successive strikes by Minneapolis truck drivers in 1934 resulted in the defeat of the Citizen's Alliance, the dominant employer organization that had broken nearly every major strike in that city since 1916. The strikes also established the industrial form of union organization through the medium of an American Federation of Labor (AFL) craft union and set the stage for the organization of over-the-road drivers throughout an 11-state area, transforming the Teamsters into a million-plus member union. The strikes were notable for their almost unequaled advance preparation, military tactics, and the degree to which they drew the active participation of union, non-union, and unemployed workers in Minneapolis alike into their struggle. Veteran union militants expelled from the American Communist Party in 1928 as Trotskyists led the strikes.

Carl Skoglund and V R. (Ray) Dunne, the central leaders, had also been expelled from the AFL Trades and Labor Assembly in Minneapolis in 1925 for their political views, along with 20 other Communists. In 1931 Skoglund obtained membership in Teamsters Local 574, a small general drivers. local. The president, William Brown, was supportive of their perspective for organizing drivers, helpers, and inside workers into an industrial union formation that could break the hold of the Citizen.s Alliance.



By late 1933, working in Minneapolis coal yards, they had consolidated a volunteer organizing committee, including Grant and Miles Dunne (V.R's brothers), Harry DeBoer, and Farrell Dobbs. Dobbs, DeBoer, and Shaun (Jack) Maloney became key leaders of the over-the-road drivers' organizing campaign from 1935 to 1940.

On 7 February 1934, a strike was called in the coal yards, shutting down sixty-five of sixty-seven yards in three hours. Under the leadership of DeBoer, an innovative strike tactic was introduced for the first time, cruising picket squads patrolling the streets by automobile. Cold winter demand for coal brought a quick end to the strike two days later, resulting in a limited victory for the union. Local 574's membership rose to three thousand by April, as the organization drive continued.

In preparation for a general drivers. strike, 574 got agreement for active support from Minneapolis unemployed organizations and the Farm Holiday Association, allied with the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party. On 15 May, Local 574, now 6,000 members strong, voted to strike all trucking employers, demanding union recognition, the right to represent inside workers, and wage increases.

The union deployed cruising picket squads from strike headquarters, a big garage where they also installed a hospital and commissary. A strike committee of one hundred was elected, with broad representation from struck firms. A women's auxiliary was established at the suggestion of Carl Skoglund.

On Monday, 21 May, a major battle between strikers and police and special deputies took place in the central market area. At a crucial, point, 600 pickets, concealed the previous evening in nearby AFL headquarters, emerged and routed the police and deputies in hand-to-hand combat. Over thirty cops went to the hospital. No pickets were arrested.

On Tuesday, 22 May, the battle began again. About 20,000 strikers, sympathizers, and spectators assembled in the central market area, and a local radio station broadcast live from the site. Again, no trucks were moved.

Two special deputies were killed, including C. Arthur Lyman, a leader of the Citizen's Alliance. No pickets were arrested. On 25 May a settlement was reached that met the union's major objectives, including representation of inside workers.

In the following weeks, it became clear the employers were not carrying out the agreement. Over 700 cases of discrimination were recorded between May and July. Another strike was called on 16 July. The union's newspaper, The Organizer, became the first daily ever published by a striking union. Trucking was again effectively closed down until Friday, 20 July, when police opened fire on unarmed pickets, wounding 67, two of whom, John Belor and Henry Ness, died.

The Minneapolis Labor Review reported attendance of 100,000 at Ness's funeral on 24 July. A public commission, set up later by the governor, reported: "Police took direct aim at the pickets and fired to kill. Physical safety of the police was at no time endangered. No weapons were in possession of the pickets." On 26 July, Farmer-Labor Governor Floyd B. Olson declared martial law and mobilized four thousand National Guardsmen, who began issuing operating permits to truck drivers.

On 1 August, National Guard troops seized strike headquarters and placed arrested union leaders in a stockade at the state fairgrounds in Saint Paul. The next day, the headquarters were restored to the union and the leaders released from the stockade, as the National Guard carried out a token raid on the Citizen's Alliance headquarters. The union appealed to the Central Labor Union for a general strike and the governor issued an ultimatum that he would stop all trucks by midnight, 5 August, if there was no settlement. Nevertheless, by 14 August there were thousands of trucks operating under military permits.

Although the strike was gravely weakened by martial law and economic pressure, union leaders made it clear that it would continue. On 21 August, a federal mediator got acceptance of a settlement pro-posal from A. W. Strong, head of the Citizen.s Alliance, incorporating the union.s major demands. The settlement was ratified and the back of employer resist-ance to unionization in Minneapolis was broken. In March 1935 International president Daniel Tobin expelled Local 574 from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). However, in August 1936 Tobin was forced to relent and recharter the local as 544. The leaders of 544 went on to develop the area and conference bargaining that exists today in the IBT. Local 544 remained under socialist leader-ship until 1941, when eighteen leaders of the union and the Socialist Workers Party were sentenced to federal prison, the first victims of the anti-radical Smith Act, a law eventually found by the United States Supreme Court to be unconstitutional.
______________________________________


RENEGADE EYE

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Moving!

We have been looking to move out of the Austin area for awhile now and we have found a house and will be moving in the next week or so. With that being said I will more then likely not be posting till we finish moving. I do still encourage all to comment. Well all for now. Be safe and keep the wheels rolling! -- Backlash

Sheet-Rocking

Okay ... I pulled out like 5 lbs. of nails.

All the electrical wiring has been re-done.

And now we are putting up sheetrock .. gypsum board .. those heavy chalk things with paper covering. The real challenge is going to be holding them up in the air and screwing them to the ceiling. Oh my gosh!

We've been guzzling Powerade ... & chilled water ... and our clothes are sopping wet soaked with sweat by the end of the day. Dinner at 8 p.m. (because there isn't anymore light to keep working) was a salmon bowl with rice & veggies ... and then fall into bed. Just too exhausted to stay up and watch TV. Oh yes, the wives INSISTED on us taking showers before going to bed.

All I ate was Twix for breakfast this morning ...
breakfast of champions!

Still Hot in Atlanta, GA

Thursday we had a light day. Dropped out trailer in Harker Heights, TX west of Temple and then picked up an empty at WalMart in Temple and deadheaded up to the Dallas OC. I tried to get them to look at the a/c. Appears to be getting more sporadic. Still runs great when we're driving but at night sometimes it works and sometimes not.

They advised me to come back after our pick up at 1930 about 15 miles away, another 44,000 load of water headed for Hammond, LA. The service writer assured me by then they would be looking for work. HAH !!! Stopped back in at 2030 and got they " oh, no, we couldn't look at it until tomorrow morning." Sounds like they really didn't want to take my work, doesn't it ? We delivered our water Friday night at about 1900 then headed for a place to bed down.

Saturday we picked up a load of Castol motor oil headed for an Auto Zone distribution center in Lavonia, GA with delivery at 0800 on Monday morning. Since we were coming through the Atlanta OC I figured why not try again. At least the a/c tech was interested. I indicated we need to be on our way by about 1600 to be close to our delivery location in the morning.

We headed right through Mobile, AL - though about Dan D on the way through. Took them 4 hours to load us so we were headed right on through. I honked or farted, can't recall which, as we passed through - did you hear us Dan ?

Just went out to get lunch stuff, and they still haven't touched it but at least I've been placated for awhile.

Nine days till TAH - Rodeo time.

Worked too hard today

Spent most of my day working on setting up the new truck, and not even half way done yet. I guess it's a good thing I still have two more days to finish it.
Sara and I ran a bunch of errands this morning. Bought a real refrigerator for the truck, since I now have the APU with a 3000 watt power inverter. That is an awesome luxury!
No Harley riding today, just too busy. Tomorrow the forecast is for rain, but me and Paul are going to try and squeeze one in before the race at Indy. (#88 is starting 3rd).
I must mention all the work Sara has done since I have been gone. The kitchen counter tops are awesome, they really look great. She also has done some cabinet work, and lots of upgrade work to both sheds and the deck. It all really looks fantastic. I have no idea how she gets it all done, but it sure is impressive.
Lucky had his annual shots today, don't think he cares for the vet thing!
All else is good for now. It really is nice to be home.

American Preppers Road Trip To Self-Reliance

Probably one of the most important parts, if not "the" most important part of self-reliance is getting out of debt. And just like losing weight, getting out of debt involves two parts to the equation. When losing weight you can either be on a very strict diet, exercise rigorously, or to be more efficient, do a combination of both. Well, when getting out of debt you can either cut the fat out of your expenses, work harder and earn more money to pay down your debt faster, or to maximize your time and effort, do both.

Three years ago I was making over four times as much income as I am now, doing the same work for the same company. While we were living within our means at the time, we weren't preparing for the eventuality that would soon come with the collapsing economy. The trucking industry took a dive and soon I found myself stuck with two mortgages, tons of taxes and bills and no income to maintain it. Quickly, we lost all savings and racked up over $40,000 in debt. Now before we were buried in this landslide, and with the money I used to earn, I could have easily paid that debt off within a year had we been living a modest lifestyle. But now with my current income, we are looking at decades, unless I make drastic changes now.

In the last 7 months we have been learning how to go on a strict diet and cutting out all fat to reduce our expenses as much as possible. We're almost there in our goals as far as reducing wasteful spending as we've cut our expenses to a third of what they used to be. But that still hasn't solved the problem. I also need to "exercise" harder to bring in more income so that debt can be paid off quicker. That's what led me to this American Preppers Road Trip To Self-Reliance. I decided to turn my truck in and return home so that I can start a new job to earn more. But this time we will continue to cut expenses even as I bring in more income.

So at noon on Thursday July 23rd, I dropped my student off near Chicago Illinois so that he could go back to his home near St. Louis, MO and so that I could head to Cedar Rapids, IA to turn my truck in and rent a car to return home to northern Idaho...Sorry no pics of the Sears Tower (I hadn't thought of it at the time)

I arrived in Cedar Rapids at 5:PM, picked up a mini-van at a rental agency and loaded up all my cloths and gear into the van. By 8:PM I hit the road and drove all night across Iowa, southern Minnesota, and South Dakota and decided to take a detour through Badlands National Park.

When you first begin to cut out all the comforts of your old life, Satellite TV, Movies, Eating out, Music, Fun and entertainment, things may seem a little "desolate" in the beginning....

But as you can see below, just because something seems desolate at first, doesn't mean you won't find great "Beauty and Peace"
Badlands National Park: Friday July 24th 8:00 A.M. 850 miles into my trip


Now just because you've decided to cut out all the wasteful spending, it doesn't mean you can't take a little time and a little money to enjoy yourself from time to time, and to see and experience things you've never seen before. I'll show you just how affordable and frugal this road trip was by the end of this post.

When I rented the mini-van I had only 48 hours to return it to avoid a full extra day charge plus I had things to do at home on Sunday before starting my new job on Monday, so this was going to be a quick trip anyway...but to add to that, I wanted to see MT. Rushmore and Yellowstone National park before sundown....I had 640 more miles to go and 12 hours to do it in in order to snap a pic of Old Faithful before sundown. Just like this trip, getting out of debt requires a great deal of efficiency, determination and no time or money to waste....Now on To Mt. Rushmore.


Pictures do not do this monument justice. Like Self-Reliance, you just have to see for yourself. You'll NEVER get near the quality or liberation that you can experience by having someone else do for you.




Mt. Rushmore: Friday, July 24th 11:00 A.M. 110 miles from Badlands National Park, 960 miles into my trip.


George Washington

The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.

Thomas Jefferson

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Never spend your money before you have earned it.

Theodore Roosevelt

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.

Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.

I don't pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being.

The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.

With self-discipline most anything is possible.

Abraham Lincoln

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.

If there is anything that a man can do well, I say let him do it. Give him a chance.

In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.


Sometimes you have to give up on less important things in life to achieve your most important Goals.

I had also planned to stop at Devils Tower, but decided not to in order to make it through Yellowstone and get a picture of Old Faithful erupting before dark. I had also seen Devils tower before, but not as close as I wanted to this time.



Devils Tower: I took this picture last year




With Great Determination you will achieve your Goals



Yellowstone Lake: Friday, July 24th 7:00pm (500 miles from Mt. Rushmore, 610 miles from Badlands and 1460 miles into my trip....Sorry for the quality of the pic, I got better ones on the disposable camera)





West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone national Park





Kepler Cascades



Sometimes, even when trying to get out of debt, no matter how hard you try, things don't always work out like you planned.

I had hoped to see Old Faithful erupt before Sundown. I had arrived at about 8:30 p.m just before the sun went down, only to see a few small spurts, and thought "great, as hard as I tried to make it here this is what I got to see in the end."

Old Faithful: Yellowstone National Park Friday, July 24th 8:30 P.M.



But no matter how hard you try, if things don't seem to go your way...Never, Never, give up on Faith...Old Faithful sure didn't.



Old Faithful: Friday, July 24th 9:00 P.M. 150 ft eruption


Determination and efficiency allowed me to see 3 National Parks and cover 650 miles all in the daylight hours of a single day.

After leaving Yellowstone, the adrenaline and excitement had worn off enough to bring tiredness upon me so I stopped at a rest area in Montana for about 7 hours of sleep and finished my trip to Spokane WA the following morning and turned in the Mini-van at 3:00p.m, Saturday, July 25th. From there, my wife picked me up and brought me home.

I covered over 2100 miles in 2 days and saw 3 national parks on less than $750. That included 1-way rental car fee, gas, food, park fees and disposable camera. The rental car fee was about $450, so if I had used my own vehicle, it would have only been $300. The trip had to be done anyway, so I figured the detours through the parks only cost me about $70 for park fees and extra gas....There's no reason you can't have a Ton of Fun doing things you've always wanted to do on an affordable budget....and yes, I did it without anyone's help.


So what did I ditch my old job and cross over 2/3rds of the country in 2 days for?

better work, and better pay to climb out of debt faster so that I can achieve Self-Reliance

over 1 hundred foot wind tower blade.

Hauling Wind towers pays very well and is steady salaried work. Now, before you go slapping my hand and telling me to get out of the Cap and Tax cookie jar...there are no cookies in this jar.

1.) I've been a proponent of wind energy all my life and wanted to haul wind towers long before Congress was discussing Cap and Tax
2.) While a few more jobs may be opened up to haul wind towers, there will be far more trucking jobs lost as a result of Cap and Tax making competition to get these kinds of jobs very difficult as well as driving down the pay that a person could otherwise make.
3.) These trucks may haul wind towers, but they still burn diesel, use over 10 gallons of oil per oil change, plus all the extra tires, not to mention 5 - 6 miles per gallon on fuel. Cap and Tax will drastically cut back the potential pay that these drivers could make on an industry that was already in demand and growing before the FedGovs decided to scam us on Cap and Tax.

It will be a great job...but first I have to acquire the experience needed...I'll be starting out in the refrigerated division. (no matter how bad the economy gets people still gotta eat.) I'll be delivering meat and produce until there is an opening in the flatbed division. From there I will get into over-dimensional and overweight hauling. With my existing safety record and experience, hopefully within a year, (provided we still have a country and an economy left), I will have gotten enough extra experience that I need so that I can move into the wind tower division....I can do it. As a matter of fact, anyone can do it. With determination, you can achieve your goals

So what's next? Ditching the homestead. Wife and I have decided that the $175,000 mortgage on our homestead is too much and actually impeding our ability to be self-reliant and debt free. So we will be putting the place up for sale and my wife will live with me on the truck until all of our bills are paid off and we've saved up enough cash to buy a homestead with acreage free and clear.

Don't give up, and most of all, GET OUT OF DEBT! You CAN be self-reliant!



View American Preppers Road Trip To Self-Reliance in a larger map

Montreal bound again...

Hi all, well the run to Calgary didnt last too long, under 2 days to be precise. A switch was arranged at Nipigon as the drivers heading towards us had time off booked and needed to be back in Lethbridge. Waited for over 3hrs for them to show up which was not there fault as somewhere along the line the times got confused which meant Paul and I could of ran an extra 200 miles and the team we were switching with would of had less to do to get them home.....amazing isnt it that in this age of computers, electronic route planners and times being tapped into a satellite communications system that so much can go wrong !

So we are heading back to Montreal and as we will be early for the delivery the plan is to drop the trailer at the yard and then hopefully it wont be too long until we get a backload.

Highway 11 and 17 are beginning to become a bit of a chore plus its pretty much not stopped raining hard for the last few days which makes it harder to drive into the night. Bad roads,no street lighting,hard rain and the ever present threat of Moose make the trip so much harder and tiring.
Making the most of things at the minute and grabbing some internet time at Flying J truckstop, Kapuskasing Ontario before pushing out another 300 miles to North Bay Ontario where we will call it a night. That will leave 300 miles to run tomorrow to reach Montreal.

No new pictures today as to be honest its been so grey and miserable it hasnt been worth getting the camera out. I did stop at the Walmart and had some printed just to see how they looked on paper and I was pleased with the results.
Next time you hear from me it will more than likely be from the truckstop near to the yard in Montreal Quebec

Happy Birthday, Ronnie!

This post is gonna mean something more to any local folk who read this, but today is Ronald K. Burns' 70th birthday.

I got my start in trucking working for Ronnie - he is a custom harvester, farmer, and trucker. I was in his employ for ten years. I've got to say that he was the best person or organization to write a paycheck to me. I quit his employ (with his encouragement and approval) to work for the USPS - he couldn't begin to afford the benefits I got there, he knew it, and wanted the best for me. Perhaps had I never worked for him, I could have stomached the USPS and their attitude towards their charges, but I'd experienced being treated like a human being. That was pretty hard to give up.

I'm still friends of the family - I've spent many a holiday at the Burns residence over the years. He's a Ford fanatic, and we trade barbs during Nascar season about the inevitable Chevy vs Ford rivalry. I've always known if I need advice, he's there for me.

Always a workaholic, age has slowed him somewhat. He isn't as active in custom harvesting or trucking. He likes to do all his farming. He's had knee replacements in the past few years. Grandkids figure large in his life. He and his wife Kay have a model marriage. They started with nothing, and have made quite a life for themselves and their family.

Don't think it was all sunshine and lollipops between us. I can get pretty mouthy, and did so on plenty of occasions when I felt something wasn't right. That I didn't get mad and quit or he didn't fire me says something right there.

I'd imagine y'all can hazard a guess that I admire him greatly. I do, and I'll stand with him against any detractors. He's a hell of a guy, and the fact he's made it to seventy is a cause for celebration. Here's to many more - and if you know him at all, wish him a happy birthday and tell him I sent ya!

Oh, and he'll never see this. That household is completely internet free! I just got off the phone with him and said what needed to be said.

Con-Way, Inc. CNW the trucking company shares rises after 2Q

Con-Way, Inc.

Rochester,NY 7/24/2009 08:38 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)



Shares of trucking operator Con-way Inc. raises on Friday after the company reported that they got a profit which is better than expected and a JPMorgan analyst upgraded the stock.

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The shares gained $5.03, or 14 percent, to $40.99 while trading in the morning .

JPMorgan has raised its rating to "Overweight" from "Neutral," saying the second-quarter results indicated Con-way could be poised "for a significant turn" in earnings per share even if rival YRC Worldwide Inc. doesn't file for bankruptcy protection.

Analyst Thomas R. Wadewitz said if YRC survives but if its market share fall to 10 percent from 20 percent then it would free up about $2.7 billion of freight for other trucking companies "and it will give a strong support for Con-way growth.

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Viaducts: The High Line

After the success of the Viaduc des Arts in Paris, some New Yorkers looked at their community and realized they had a somewhat similar asset, and didn't really know what to do with it. Was the structure a blight—as it was seen by the Giuliani administration, which wanted to tear it down—or something worth saving? Like the Viaduc Des Arts, it was nearly 30 years between the abandonment of rail service and the opening of the structure to the public, but the results, in the month which it has been open, have been similarly positive.

The elevated railroad south from 34th street has an interesting history, following the use of the west side of Manhattan. It was first built, at-grade, in the 1850s. Along the Hudson were dozens of docks, and until the 1960s, New York was one of the busiest ports in the world. By the 1920s, the railroad across surface streets on the west side was the cause of so much congestion that a proposal was made to elevated the tracks south of the yards at Penn Station, and by 1934, the work had been completed: a two-track railroad (which was, in places, wider) extended for a couple of miles along the docks.

The line ended at the Saint John's Park terminal, which was built in the 1860s, and rebuilt once the elevated line was completed. The complex stood near the current Canal Street IRT and IND (1 and ACE) subway stations, a few blocks east of the Hudson. The rebuilt station truncated the line a bit, and it now ended at Spring Street, about a block east of the river—close to the docks—although it retained the name. The facility was impressive, with nearly a million square feet of floor space, eight railroad tracks, dozens of truck bays, customs offices and a connection to the docks. Speed would be improved as well; before the grade separation, trains were limited by law to six miles per hour and had to be preceded by a man on horseback. The New York Central published a pamphlet extolling the virtues of the new line.

In addition to the services to the docks, the line served factories and, especially, the meatpacking district, encompassing more than 250 slaughterhouses. The New York Central touted the relationship of the line to destinations by both ship and railroad (assuredly because they were the only possible provider of service) for factory locations, and, indeed, several were built, some of which straddled the line. During World War II, the line was used heavily to service these various industries. Within 35 years, it would be abandoned.

The decline of the West Side Line was not only attributable to the automobile, although it definitely had an effect. With automobiles and trucks, of course, production no longer needed to be as centralized. In other words, it didn't have to be on the island of Manhattan. In addition, trucks could more easily make deliveries to Manhattan (although it is still notoriously hard to deliver goods to the island, even the milk in The City expires earlier than elsewhere, due, ostensibly, to longer periods when it is out of refrigeration during transport).

But there were other factors at work in the demise of the Line peculiar to it (many railroads in the country saw major declines with the coming of the car and truck). One was the improvements made in refrigeration. In the first half of the 20th century, meat processing was best done as close to the point of consumption as possible, as refrigeration was rather rudimentary. However, major strides were made in refrigerated trucks and rail cars that by the end of the war, it was easier to process meat outside the city and ship the smaller product—just the meat—in. Thus, of the 250 slaughterhouses which once operated in the meatpacking district, only a couple dozen remain.

The other factor at work was containerized shipping. In "The Box" Marc Levinson details how shipping was extremely inefficient and costly after World War II, especially in major break-in-bulk points like New York City. Shipments would arrive on trains and have to be unloaded, sorted and then reapportioned in to ships for overseas travel. Improvements in efficiency were frowned upon, especially if they would cost the union jobs. New York still accounted for a good deal of shipping until the advent of the container. Within 20 years, the New York docks were moribund, as shipping had shifted to locations which could process metal containers, which were easily lifted from trains and truck to ships. The Saint John's Park Terminal, at the cutting edge of integrated shipping little more than a generation before, had outlived its usefulness. Factories closed up shop, and the meatpacking district became a den for prostitution, transvestites and others seen as socially undesirable.

It was about the same time that the railroad ceased to be used—the last three carloads were delivered in 1980 and it fell in to disuse. Local residents lobbied for it to be torn down in the 1980s, and it may well have been, had the city not been in such dire financial straits that a demolition and environmental cleanup were not in the cards. By the time the city was solvent enough to tear down the structure, in the 1990s, a small group of devotees and urban explorers—loosely organized as The Friends of the High Line lobbied against its demolition. Thus, while portions were torn down, it was kept intact north of Gansevoort Street. Some of the explorers of the structure, such as Joel Sternfeld (whose book of images from the line is now out of print and fetches high sums on the open market) introduced the structure to the masses, and Giuliani was unable to knock it down. Michael Bloomberg was more supportive of the project, the neighborhood through which the line runs had transformed from a den of vice to one of the trendiest parts of town, and fundraising began to open the structure to the public. The Design Build Network has a good history and description of this time frame of the structure.

Reaction to the project has generally been quite positive. The main detractors have not been those who wish it away, but those who lament the loss of the frontier aspect of the previously wild viaduct. Before it was completed, the High Line was open to a select few who climbed atop it, and wandered through a veritable prairie that was growing up in the middle of Manhattan. The current design tries to incorporate such aspects, keeping some of these plants and portions of the abandoned track, but with demarcated walkways and thousands of visitors, it is a different space entirely. Still, it was not feasible to let the structure rust in to oblivion, and keeping it as a public space is surely preferable to tearing it down, and having the landscape become a sea of condos like any other in New York.

The High Line opened to the public last month. I have not been in New York City since, but it is most definitely a destination the next time I am there. It seems to be similar, at least in the above, to the Viaduc des Arts, although more minimalist in design. How it will continue to interface with the city in the future will be interesting: it is one of the less-developed parts of Manhattan, and still has a few undeveloped parcels facing the High Line. Whether these will ever open out on to the structure is questionable: it's a rather controlled space (one that is closed at night, for example). Also interesting will be what happens underneath it. Still, it is one of the most exciting new public spaces in New York in some time.

(Part of an occasional series.)