Thursday, August 13, 2009

L.A. man sentenced for defrauding trucking companies of millions.

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A 34-year-old Los Angeles man has been sentenced to almost five years in prison and tentatively ordered to pay $2.7 million in restitution for using a federal Web site to defraud trucking companies.

Viacheslav Berkovich was sentenced in District Court in Los Angeles for mail and computer fraud after he pleaded guilty last February.

In a plea agreement, Berkovich admitted to registering fake trucking brokerage companies at the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System (SAFER) Web site of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, arranging for another trucking company to make shipments, and depositing payments but never paying for shipments made.

As an example of a fraudulent transaction cited by the U.S. Attorney’s office, in January 2008 Lakes and Berkovich accessed the Internet Truckstop “loadboard” and obtained information about a trucking load being brokered by Dallas-based Stevens Transport.

Using the name of Vega Trucking, one of the fictitious companies they had registered on the SAFER website, Lakes and Berkovich agreed with Stevens Transport to transport the load for $3,400.

Lakes and Berkovich then used the name of Barkfelt Transport, a fraudulent trucking brokerage, to double-broker the load by hiring victim RK Trucking to transport the load for $4,000. RK Trucking transported the load, but never got paid for its work. Lakes and Berkovich, however, received a $3,390 check in the mail from Stevens Transport.

Berkovich's partner, Nicholas Lakes, was sentenced to nearly six years in prison and fined $4 million in June. The U.S. government has already recovered $1.4 million from Lakes.

Truckers warned of mob-related fraud

CALGARY -- Several truckers across the country have been repordedly ripped-off by carrier-brokers, some with allegedly Eastern European mafia links.

On its website, the Alberta Motor Truck Association claims a carrier, formerly of Dartmouth, N.S., has been double-brokering freight for several months.

Over a dozen carriers have reported them for non-payment. According to AMTA, independent security companies have investigated and noticed loads were double-brokered to several carriers for as much as $1,900 more than the original price.

There are unverifiable reports in the trucking industry that this case has similarities to other occurrences last year in the Montreal area. It's suspected that the Montreal-area fraud could be linked to Russian organized crime.

Truckers are prime targets for criminals who purchase struggling carriers with good credit rating. They then attempt to double-broker as much freight as possible in a three to four-month period and often take cash advances on the freight, explains the trucking association.

The loads end up being hauled by carriers and truckers who won't get paid.

In the past two years there have been several similar cases in the Metro Montreal and Ottawa area.

Carriers who think they've been victims of this scam are encouraged to call the RCMP Fraud department at 1-800-771-5401.

Article from

Thomas Donaldson reporting...

We finally have one of the big trucking publications in Canada paying attention to what's happening in the brokerage industry. We need as many people as possible to get involved which could lead to the arrest of some of the people involved and perhaps some of the stolen funds can also be recovered. If you have been a victim of crime relating to double brokering with the intention of non-payment please come forward with your story. The RCMP are not yet familiar with this type of crime. Our investigations so far have clearly revealed that millions were stolen from truckers nationwide and in the U.S. from groups of individuals with ties to organised crime. If the people that are responsable for these crimes are not convicted, it will be a failure of our justice system in Canada and will demonstrate to criminials that Canada is open for business.
RCMP 1-800-771-5401

August - September Trucking Calendar


2009 Great Salt Lake Truck Show - Saturday, August 15, 2009
Location: Lehi, UT

CVSA NAIC 2009 - Monday, August 17, 2009
Location: San Jose, CA

CVSA Summer Executive Commitee Meeting - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Location: San Jose, CA

ATA National Truck Driving Championships - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Location: San Jose, CA

2009 Great American Trucking Show - Thursday, August 20, 2009
Location: Dallas Convention Center - Dallas, TX

19th Annual National Toy Truck 'N Construction - Friday, August 21, 2009
Location: Adam's Mark Hotel Indianapolis IN
19th Annual National Toy Truck 'N Construction Show & Auction August 21, 22 & 23, 2009 Adam's Mark Hotel Indianapolis IN

AAMVA Annual International Conference - Sunday, August 23, 2009
Location: San Diego, CA


ATA Technical Advisory Group Meeting - Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Location: Linthicum, MD

TCA Independent Contractor Division Meeting - Friday, September 11, 2009
Location: Chicago, IL

2009 Big Iron Classic - Friday, September 11, 2009
Location: Kasson, MN

ATA Fall Meeting & SuperTech - Monday, September 14, 2009
Location: Raleigh , NC

NATDA Trade Show & Convention - Friday, September 18, 2009
Location: Kentucky Expo Center - Louisville, KY

CVSA 2009 Annual Conference - Saturday, September 19, 2009
Location: Baltimore, MD

15th Annual Fleet OPIS Fueling Conference & Exhib - Sunday, September 20, 2009
Location: Omni Hotel at CNN Center Atlanta, GA
E-mail: The transportation industry faces more challenges than ever before. Make your plans to attend the 15th Annual OPIS Fleet Fueling Conference & Exhibition on September 20-22, 2009 in Atlanta and get solutions to your toughest fuel and fuel-related challenges. Visit or call 866-620-5940 for more information and learn how you can save $100 by registering now!

CVSA 2009 Brake Safety Week - Sunday, September 20, 2009
Location: Nationwide

Worlds Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics - Friday, September 25, 2009
Location: The Sioux Empire Fairgrounds, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Foto Story Friday #62 --- Short term pet

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

A while back we went branding.... like June. Scott was given a freshly caught horny toad lizard and well after creating a home/cage for him out of a cut-down water bottle and some grass, he was set on the back of the truck for safe keeping. When he went back to check on him, he's fallen off the truck and gotten free. Scott was SO sad because he was sure the oldest son of the people we were branding with had eaten him. Yeah the teen had been teasing Scott, and poor Scott thought he was serious.! Well, his dad felt bad about the teasing and promised he's catch him..... true to his word, he stopped by with a present for Scotty:
I was ever so thankful to him for keeping his promise..... NOT! This lizard was much larger and Scott wasn't quite as sure about it.
It is very difficult to keep a lizard warm without a heat lamp or heat rodck, so we improvised for the night and put him in the room with the water heater for the house heat system. He must have stayed warm enough, cause he was still kicking in the morning. We could not keep him.... I didn't even know what he should eat! So we wrapped him gently in a towel and set off for Makoshika State Park on a walk.
I kept telling both Scoot and EmmaLece that we couldn't keep him and he would be much happier in the park with the other lizards.
I thought they understood, but they didn't! We set him down and said good-bye and they both CRIED! I was a bit surprised, we'd had him for less than a day! But ya know Scott did name him: Leafy.
We then set him up on the side of the hill said good-bye again and
Walked home to a chorus of sniffles and whimpers! Who could have thoughtthey would become attached in such a short time span?! Just today EmmaLece was telling me how she missed Leafy!

My Home in the Trees

I did a sketch of this piece a while ago in a very small moleskine that I was working in at the Village Pizza. I loved that original sketch but have really been wanting to do something more with this idea. I either wanted to make it into a t-shirt or into a new painting or both.

Since I've had my epiphany with the Artstream Studios Dwellings show though, I've realized that several of these would work out really well and be a really cool option. It also serves as an excellent opportunity to use more hand-drawn type, which I've been into ever since I have been in contact with Racheal Anilyse. You should check out her typography. It's amazing.

I intend to get a couple more sketches up this week, this is actually the almost complete drawing on board.
Soon I'll be painting this sucker up.

Keep in touch folks, let me know what you think, and if you are in NH be planning on attending the show at Artstream Studios. It is going to be awesome.


Much Needed Inspiration

You know when you read a verse that you have read a million times & for some reason it just clicks right then & there? Not that you didn't think it had never clicked before but it just spoke to you, God wrote that verse on your heard. Well, today as I was doing my Bible study I came across Colossians 1:9-12 & it just spoke to me more than I think it ever has.

I am so incredibly blessed in my life but I have had a hard summer just with everything that has happened & so much has been going on in my life. I am constantly trying to make sure I am on the right path, doing what God's will is for my life, trying to figure out what His will is and it just gets exhausting. I am so worried sometimes about everything being right & perfect & I don't always take the time to just stop & listen. I spend time being lonely & questioning & I just don't listen, I don't take the time to let it all seep in. Then other times I am completely fine & know that I am content with where I am & giving it all up to God. I swear I have issues, haha. I guess the right term is just trying to "make" it, make it with God, not on my own but then being content with where I am at this moment knowing that it is for God that I am where I am and just trying to follow Him.

Well today I came across Colossians 1:9-12 that says:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

I know this is Paul talking and I can just picture him talking to me, him praying for me as I know my Heavenly Father is praying for me. To me this is almost like a promise, a promise to keep trucking on, to bear fruit in my good work, to learn the knowledge of His will, Paul basically speaks the words I have been trying to figure out, basically my prayer for myself and everyone else. That we may all have knowledge of God's will for our lives and that we live a life worthy of the Lord. Why do I spend so much time worrying {which in itself is a lack of faith} when as long as I am seeking knowledge of God's will & carrying it out then I know I am living a life worthy of the Lord. When I meet Him I want Him to say, well done child and although I may have days where I backslide I know that He loves me & that He is proud of me & that I need to keep trucking on no matter how hard something may seem because it will all fit together in ways I cannot even imagine for a much greater purpose.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New York Gov. signs off on truck ban

OOIDA reported that the Governor of NewYork has signed off on a regulation that would ban trucks from seven different routes in the Finger Lakes region of Northern New York. OOIDA along with other local trucking associations are planning to counter propose the ban. The ban would force all commercial trucks off these roads and onto the thruway. NYSDOT said it estimated it would cost truckers a estimated 10 million dollars more per year in fuel and tolls. Below is the routes to be affected. If you travel these routes then a meeting has been set up to plan steps to oppose this ban. If you are interested in attending then contact OOIDA. A link to their site is listed in the links section. Be safe and keep those wheels rollin'! -- Backlash

41 in Cortland and Onondaga counties
41A in Cortland, Cayuga, and Onondaga counties
90 in Cortland and Cayuga counties
38 in Cayuga County
79 in Broome, Tioga, and Tompkins counties
89 in Tompkins and Seneca counties
96 in Tompkins and Seneca counties

Rollin West

Got unloaded this morning and headed over to Battle Creek, MI. Load was ready when I got there, grabbed it and headed west for California.

I am currently in Des Moines, IA. A routine 586 mile ride through Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and into Iowa. This is a photo of the Iowa 80 truck stop. It is the largest truck stop in the country. It is like a shopping mall inside. It can park over 800 trucks. I did not really have time to stop today, but it is no problem killing 2-3 hours in this place.

I will leave here about 4:00 am, and do 600 to 650 miles tomorrow. I gotta be in California on Friday afternoon.

Sara is kicking ass on the kitchen! She sent me a couple of photos. Take a look at them. She will send me more when she is completely done, but looks awesome so far. Don't know how you do it all honey, but you are truly amazing.

Still working on improving this blog site with the photos from Flickr. Please bear with me as I am still learning.

LA hacker with Asperger's receives 55 months in prison for participating in multi-million dollar computer-fraud scheme


A Los Angeles hacker received a slightly reduced sentence August 10 of 55 months in prison for participating in a multimillion-dollar computer-fraud scheme, after a federal judge took into account the man’s diagnosis with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Viachelav Berkovich, 34, received five months less than the minimum recommended by the probation office and prosecutors, and 23 months less than the minimum under federal sentencing guidelines. Co-defendant Nicholas Lakes, 36, was sentenced last month to 70 months for masterminding the scheme.

“The court tried to make a fair sentence … and gave us some of what we asked for, and did accept that Mr. Berkovich suffered from Asperger’s,” says Kiana Sloan-Hillier, Berkovich’s defense attorney. “But at the same time felt that this was serious and that a substantial prison sentence was called for to deter others.”

The sentence comes barely a week after British hacker Gary McKinnon lost his High Court appeals to avoid extradition to the United States, where he’s accused of cracking nearly 100 Pentagon and NASA computers in 2001 and 2002, and allegedly causing $700,000 in damage. McKinnon’s lawyer, and legions of British supporters, have decried the extradition request as inhumane because of McKinnon’s own recent diagnosis with Asperger’s — a mild form of autism that makes social interactions difficult, and sometimes leads to obsessive, repetitive behavior.

Berkovich and Lakes are Russian immigrants who pleaded guilty in February to executing a man-in-the-middle attack that let them run a profitable trucking company without having to drive trucks.

For over three years the pair hacked into a Department of Transportation website called, which maintains a list of licensed interstate-trucking companies and brokers, according to an affidavit (.pdf) filed by a DOT investigator. There, they would temporarily change the contact information for a legitimate trucking company to an address and phone number under their control.

The men then took to the web-based “load boards” where brokers advertise cargo in need of transportation. They’d negotiate a deal, for example, to transport cargo from American Canyon, California, to Jessup, Maryland, for $3,500.

But instead of transporting the load, Lakes and Berkovich would outsource the job to another trucking company, the feds say, posing as the legitimate company whose identity they’d hijacked. Once the cargo was delivered, the men invoiced their customer and pocketed the funds. But when the company that actually drove the truck tried to get paid, they’d eventually discover that the firm who’d supposedly hired them didn’t know anything about it.

Based on the high losses and the number of victims in the case, federal sentencing guidelines recommended a range of 78 to 97 months for Berkovich. But in a pre-sentence report, the probation office suggested a reduction to 60 months, owing to Berkovich’s lessor role in the conspiracy: He was recruited by Lakes, who paid him a “very small” percentage of the proceeds from the fraud, says Sloan-Hillier. (Lakes’ attorney declined to comment.)

Berkovich was particularly susceptible to recruitment because he suffers from Asperger’s, Sloan-Hillier says. “We’re not excusing his behavior,” says Sloan-Hillier. “He’s taken responsibility, and he knows that he shouldn’t have gotten involved with this…. But some people are more vulnerable than others.”

Born in Novosibirsk, Russia in southwestern Siberia, Berkovich grew up a loner, and suffered beatings by street thugs, the lawyer says. In 1999, he immigrated illegally into the U.S. and settled in the Los Angeles area, but found himself unable to maintain serious employment. He was flirting with homelessness when Lakes befriended him and eventually pulled him into the computer fraud, according to court filings by Sloan-Hillier.

Sloan-Hillier asked a psychiatrist to examine Berkovich after noticing mannerisms that she recognized as possible signs of a disorder. She filed the doctor’s findings under seal, and asked U.S. District Judge John Walter for a sentence of 24 months.

Walter gave Berkovich a much longer (though still reduced) sentence, and ordered the Bureau of Prisons to give him an evaluation.

The judge also ordered Berkovich to pay $2,773,074 in restitution to approximately 300 victims. “He actually offered to drive their trucks for free and paint their houses,” says Sloan-Hillier. “Obviously, that’s not how the system works.”

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles say they’ve recovered $1.4 million from Lakes.

Monday’s sentence suggests that federal courts are willing to consider Asperger’s as a factor when handing down a hacking sentence, but still begin with the sentencing guidelines, which use financial loss and the number of victims as the primary factors in setting a sentence.

British hacker Gary McKinnon faces anywhere from six months to six-and-a-half years in prison under the guidelines, depending mostly on how much damage he caused, if any. (His supporters, and the British press, tend to inflate the possible sentence to 60 or 70 years.)

McKinnon rejected a written plea offer in April 2003 that would have given him six months to a year in a low-security U.S. prison, followed by a transfer back to the United Kingdom, where he would have been eligible for parole six months later.

The Meaning Behind the Markers

I love cemeteries. Always have. Sort of an odd thing to love, I know. But I guess it's the history of them, the silent tales told by names and dates etched in stone and flanked by flowers typically fake but still indicative of someone's love for the person below. Cemeteries are quiet places as well and in today's times, I welcome the solitude.

Most particularly, I enjoy strolling through very old cemeteries--those with markers that aren't simply rectangle boxes short in stature but rather, mini monuments to the deceased. Markers that are centuries old are usually tall structures, often ornate, and indicative of the person or surviving family's wealth or social standing. Sometimes there are fences marking off the section, with elaborate landscaping. There are all sorts of things I infer about the person from the style and detail of their marker and gravesite. And then there are the really, really old cemeteries like in Boston and Savannah, Ga. The ancient markers in those are again rectangle, usually, but they are huge slabs of concrete that spell out paragraph after paragraph about the people they each represent: a mini biography of the dearly departed. Savannah has some super cool ones that are so old, many of the stones so weathered, the etchings are barely discernible and you have to jump from word to word, filling in the blanks with what makes sense.

I enjoy reading all these markers, envisioning what the person must have been like in their time. I calculate how long he lived, how much longer he lived than his spouse (if that marker is beside his own), how many children they perhaps had (often obvious by looking at neighboring gravesites). How did he/she dress, what did they eat, what did the area around them look like then as opposed to now? Did they live and die during wartime, famine, an epidemic? Did they themselves perish due to an epidemic that no longer or rarely exists today such as Yellow Fever, Scarlett Fever, Spotted Fever, Polio, Small Pox, etc. What that must have been like when a town was infected with such a silent killer. I would bet folks hovered indoors, trying to stay away from whatever caused these deadly diseases, and what must it have been like to learn that someone in your family was showing symptoms. I'm fascinated that vaccinations were discovered after people realized someone who had experienced one of these illnesses and survived could then treat others without becoming sick again.

Walking among cemeteries, taking in the names of people long gone and speculating about their lives is a way of honoring their memories even though I didn't know them personally. But what gets to me most in cemeteries far and wide, recent or old, are those tiny plots with small markers noting the children who lived too few days or none at all. Sometimes you see them with matching birth and death dates. Some have full names, others might simply say "Baby" before their family name. It's more disheartening to calculate the time lived in these cases, realizing it's a matter of months, a year, maybe three. How devastating for the family members who endured the tragedy of losing a child before they'd even entered school. And I always think: I just can't imagine it. How did the parents cope, how did they move on with their own lives after watching a toddler die before he knew so much of what life has to offer. And then, like all the other markers, I move on past.

Now, however, I've seen firsthand what losing a child so young does to you. There is so much more that goes on behind the dates etched in stone. My close friend's niece battled leukemia for almost a year and finally succumbed to the tremendously aggressive disease last Sunday, just one week shy of her second birthday. Sobbing with grief so deep it shakes you to the core...watching her parents say their goodbyes and then figure out how to move on is tragic and heartbreaking beyond words.

And I realize that as much as I thought I understood, while pausing at the smallest of grave markers in cemeteries, how horrible it must have been for the family and friends to endure such a loss, I really didn't know the half of it. Now I do.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Truckers Implicated in Missing and Murdered Women Cases

Thanks to MacDonald Stainsby for sharing this link from today's Province. Note that the headline in the Province says "Is a Trucker Responsible for Missing Women on Highway of Tears?" - but the story reports involvement of multiple long-haul truckers in cases already solved by the FBI. Truck-driver is as common an occupation for men as secretary is for women, so clearly most truckers are not murderers; however, trucking could offer advantages for predatory sex murderers including mobility and mobile privacy. Maquiladora factories on the Mexico-US border are also destinations for truckers - hundreds of women workers from such factories have been murdered as well.


Police investigating the disappearance of missing and murdered women across this country are being urged to take a long, hard look at the trucking industry, following an FBI investigation that has linked serial killings to long-haul truck drivers in the U.S.

It's a call that Angela Marie MacDougall is taking across Western Canada — and one that's being echoed by an international expert on serial killers.

MacDougall is the executive director of Battered Women's Support Services in British Columbia, and she has been touring the Prairie provinces for the last two weeks, speaking with women's support groups, sex-trade workers and relatives left shattered by the disappearance of their loved ones.

She's trying to form a coalition to bring forward a report this fall on the disappearance of women in Canada.

On her tour, MacDougall is taking with her a report released earlier this year by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, explaining the work done in the U.S. to link truck drivers to serial killings.

Analysts have compiled a list of more than 520 homicide victims who have been found along or near highways in more than 40 states, as well as a list of 200 potential suspects.

"The suspects are predominantly long-haul truck drivers," the FBI said this spring in its report publicizing the Highway Serial Killings initiative.

It said the victims, many of them drug addicts and prostitutes, are often picked up at truck stops, sexually assaulted, murdered, then dumped along a highway.

So far, 10 suspects believed to be responsible for 30 killings are in custody, the FBI said.

The FBI uses a massive database for violent crimes. A unit of 23 analysts goes through the system, looking for links among crimes that have been submitted by state investigators.

Last year, the FBI took the program online, making it available to law-enforcement agencies across the U.S. But participation is still voluntary, so much of the agency's work is convincing police forces across the country to use the program.

. . .
If long-haul truck drivers are behind any of the missing-women cases, it would instantly reframe the issue as a Canada-wide problem, rather than a province-by-province phenomenon.

"It's our intention to encourage law enforcement, and encourage the (trucking) industry to take some responsibility for ensuring women's safety," she said.

"We're also talking about women who got away from long-haul truck drivers," MacDougall said, adding she knows of eight B.C. women who she said have been attacked, but escaped.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


We had expected to be on the road Saturday, but when we called Friday afternoon to let them know we were back on the board, they didn't have anything for us, and told us to call back on Saturday at 9am. We didn't expect that.

So on Saturday morning, before we even had a chance to call in, Craig received a phone call letting him know of his assignment, only it wasn't until Sunday with a pick up in Kennewick, WA at 11am. Knowing that we now had an extra day off, we settled back into our chairs, and then the power went out in the neighborhood. We didn't expect that either.

After waiting an hour to see if the power would come back on, it didn't, we went about packing up our stuff and loading the truck for our eventual return to the road. With no power, that meant no water pressure, so we knew we would be taking showers at the yard when we got there. It seems that just the day before, the brand spanking new driver's lounge was open for use, with three state of the art shower rooms, and a new laundry facility. We really didn't expect that.

After cleaning up and organizing the truck, we went to the local Wal Mart to buy some groceries for the next few weeks. While I went about trying to find a place for everything we bought, Craig went over the check list of the things he had put in a request to get fixed on the truck. Everything was completed, except the QualComm computer, which still doesn't work. We didn't want to expect that, but what can you do?

This morning we got up, grabbed a fresh cup of coffee out of that new driver's lounge, enjoyed our breakfast in the truck, and then did the pre trip inspection of the truck and trailer. All looked well, and so Craig pulled up to the fuel island to fill up. While I walked around the trailer to empty the garbage can, I noticed a rather large bald spot on the right rear tire which had been hidden on Craig's initial inspection. Time for a tire change at the trailer shop, and we didn't expect that delay.

We are now finally back out on the road, albeit with a handful of unexpected set backs and delays. I can only hope that that will be the last of them for a while to come, but to be honest with you, that's what makes life just that much more interesting. We like to roll with the punches.....that's just what we do, and would you expect anything else?

Freight Glossary

shipping - refers to the act of transfering products and goods from one party to another using means of transportation like trucks, planes, or trains.
freight - means of transporting goods.
logistics - the management of details of an operation.
shipping company - Any company that can provide shipping services.
shipping container - A shipping container is any cell that can be used to transport goods.
trucking companies - Any company that provides trucking services such as truckload, ltl, air freight, or intermodal freight.
air freight - Air freight refers to shipping goods via airplane or cargo plain.
freight forwarding - A third party logistics provider. Typically arranges shipment for both carrier and shipper.
shipping companies - Any company that provides shipping services.
train freight - Also known as intermodal freight. This is freight that is moved by train.
trucking freight - Refers to moving freight by means of trucking. This includes truckload, ltl, and flatbed.
international freight - Refers to shipping outside of the united states.
ocean freight - Shipping by means of ocean. This could be cargo liner or any other freight by sea.
rail freight - Also known as intermodal freight. This is freight that is moved by train.
cargo freight - Any freight shipped by cargo ship or plane.
freight brokers - A person who buys and sells freight to third parties.
freight container - Any cell used to ship goods.
freight service - Any services provided by a company that can be used in freight.
road freight - freight by means of road.
freight carriers - Carriers that provide freight services.
ltl freight - Less than truckload freight. This refers to shipping items via truck that cotains multiple seperate shipments
freight insurance - Insurance that is covered for shipping your freight items.
international freight forwarders - a third party logistics provider who primary ships to international countries.

Tennessee Truck Driving Champion Crowned

Nine Drivers Continue on to National Competition

Terry Certain, of Murfreesboro, was named the best professional truck driver in Tennessee after winning the three axle competition and receiving the highest overall score in the nine competing categories at the 2009 Tennessee Truck Driving Championships. The annual event is sponsored by the Tennessee Trucking Association.

Certain, who drives for Con-way Freight, 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 eight 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 Tennessee Trucking Association President Dave Huneryager. "I congratulate all the contestants, and I hope Tennessee roots for our drivers as they move on to Nationals in Pittsburgh."

Tennessee participants at Nationals for each category include:

Shaune Robles, H.B. Phillips, Inc., Memphis, Tenn. (Straight Truck)

Terry Certain, Con-way Freight, Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Three-Axle)

Terry Jones, Averitt Express, Inc., Johnson City, Tenn. (Four-Axle)

Thomas Vandivort, Martin-Brower, Dickson, Tenn. (Five-Axle)

Thomas "Dale" Williams, Con-way Freight, Strawberry Plains, Tenn. (Five-Axle Sleeper)

David Magee, FedEx Freight, Huntington, Tenn. (Tankers)

Steven Heinz, Con-way Freight, Morristown, Tenn. (Flatbed)

John Lawrence, UPS Freight, Jackson, Tenn. (Twins)

Brady Todd, FedEx Express, Drummonds, Tenn. (Step Van)

One crappy day

I arrived in Murray, KY at about 3:30 pm this afternoon. Got to Pella Windows and found the place pretty well shut down. I was told to drop it in there this afternoon, but took me 1 1/2 hours to find a human being with absolutely zero help from my company which was located about a mile away.

There are 2 kinds of people in this world. The ones who go to work each day, care about their job and look out for the people that work for them. The other kind is the one who just shows up, does not give a damn and is just stealing the governments money by drawing a paycheck. Guess which one I dealt with today?

Anyway, I got rid of my load, and then got dispatched on a load for tomorrow that only goes 290 miles to Indiana. Not exactly what I was looking for, and I let that fact be known. Mama said there would always be days like this. What should have been a simple day, turned out to be a real pain in the ass!

The trucking industry....under appreciated and under paid!!

Tomorrow is another day. Will go get my load off the terminal drop yard and head to Indiana. Should be up there and parked by 2:00 pm, on a load that does not deliver until Monday at 8:00 am.

Oh well. The Yankees took their 3rd straight from the Red Sox today.

LIfe in the Trucking World

Well, I'm now with Covenant Transport and have driven across the country 4 or 5 times in the last month. There are some things I like about this company and some things I don't. Like my dispatcher doesn't like it when a driver wants to go home.
Even after he's been away from his family for 3 or 4 weeks. My co-driver wanted to go home last week and our dispatcher gave him a hard time. Of course, he lives in Missouri. So that may have had something to do with it. or maybe our dispatcher wanted us to stay out longer.
Either way; it really upset us. The dispatchers go home every night to thier families but as they get paid by how many miles the drivers they have get- they don't want us home cause then we're not making money for them.

A bit of a winge.

Throughout the time I have been doing this blog I have received numerous emails and comments from perspective drivers looking at moving to Canada and I have always told them the truth when replying to there questions. I dont know if the information I gave them helped them to make up their minds but never the less they found out more about the company from the free advertising that I gave by talking about my job and posting pictures.
So, due to the already implimented pay cuts I will be withholding not only mentioning the company name but also posting pictures of the trucks. It may seem petty but its my way of disputing the reductions placed upon me. Free publicity will be reinstated as soon as my salary reductions have been revoked.
The wage cuts themselves are not massive, a few dollars taken from your loading/unloading bonus and a huge chunk from the already infamous and dreaded layover. Its now expected for you to sit for 24hrs at the companies whim waiting for a job for $50 less, the 12hrs layover which was $75 has been done away with altogether. Also a bonus for delivering into New York city markets has been done away with totally, thats another $100 lighter in the pocket.
I do understand that cuts have to be made to keep the company efficient and would like to know if the same has been applied to other departments or once again has the sh*tty end of the stick been handed to the drivers.
I will of course, continue to take plenty of pictures in the hope that the wage cuts are reversed but until that day.....the company I work for is.....the company !!!!