Follow by Email

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Moose detection system out of order
Story thanks to CBC News

Posted: Apr 13, 2013 7:17 AM NT Link provided below:

Part of a high-tech moose sensor system designed to warn drivers that animals are near or on the highway has been out of order for weeks.
The Newfoundland and Labrador government spent $1.5 million installing two sets of columns with infra-red sensors on the Trans-Canada Highway in 2011; one outside St. John's and the other near Grand Falls-Windsor.

The sensors are supposed to trigger warning lights if they detect moose, but the system near St. John's is not working.

"Actually, now it's the joke of the town," said Eugene Nippard of the Save Our People Action Committee, a group that has been lobbying the province to take action to reduce the number of moose-vehicle collisions on the province's highways.
Nippard, who lives in Grand Falls-Windsor, said the sensors are a failure.
"It's a false sense of security and it's sad to have to say that."
The island of Newfoundland has the highest concentration of moose in the world, and collisions often leave people dead, or with life-altering injuries.

Group wants fences

Nippard said his group wants a simpler but more expensive solution: fences, similar to the hundreds of kilometres of wildlife fences installed along the highway in New Brunswick.
The province installed fences along a small stretch of highway in western Newfoundland as part of its pilot project.
Irving Filatre of the west coast community of Barachois Brook said he thinks the fence works.
"Driving back and forth to Corner Brook, I've seen quite a few on the inside of the fence, running along the fence," said Filatre. "Moose, winter time, you could sure see the tracks there. You know they're trying to get across."
Provincial officials said they are waiting for parts and a software upgrade to bring the problem sensors back online.
They're reserving judgement on the effectiveness of the sensors until the end of the pilot project later this year.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jumpstarting a Vehicle’s Dead Battery
Should be a simple task, but this is a good reminder of how to "properly" do it. Thanks to Link provided below:

Jumper cables are a must-have in any fleet vehicle’s emergency kit. But because drivers use them infrequently, it’s easy to forget all the precautions and steps in the jumpstarting process – and their exact order – when the need for a jumpstart suddenly arises.
So here’s a list of steps, offered by Ford, which you can pass along to your drivers as a friendly reminder.
  • Do not disconnect the disabled battery – this could damage the vehicle’s electrical system.
  • Do not let the assisting (booster) vehicle and the disabled vehicle touch. Park the boosting vehicle next to the vehicle with the dead battery.
  • Turn off the ignition of both vehicles, set their parking brakes on and set them in P (Park).
  • Turn off all lights, electronic devices and any other items that can drain power (it’s a good idea to remove any portable items plugged into your cigarette lighter/outlets as well).
  • Remove any terminal covers and excessive corrosion from the battery terminals before connecting the cables.
  • Clamp the red positive (+) cable onto the disabled vehicle’s red positive (+) battery terminal.
  • Next, connect the other end of the red positive cable to the booster vehicle's red positive battery terminal.
  • Now connect the black negative clamp to the booster vehicle's black negative (-) terminal.
  • Connect the other end of the black negative cable to a large, unpainted metal surface within the engine area of the dead vehicle, away from the battery and the carburetor/fuel injection system. Make sure cables are clear of any possible moving parts.
  • After a final check, start the booster vehicle. Then start the disabled vehicle. Allow them both to run connected for about three minutes.
  • Without turning off the jumpstarted vehicle’s engine, disconnect the cables in the reverse order that they were attached and close the hoods.
  • Allow the jumpstarted vehicle’s engine to run for several minutes.
 For a demonstration, watch this video produced by Advance Auto Parts.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Another Ryder Salt Lake City Driver named Driver of the Year!

(Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune) Craig Vorwaller, a Ryder truck driver for Swire CocaCola, checks his side mirrors while hooking up a trailer to his truck before heading out on a transport in West Valley City on April 25, 2013. Vorwaller has been recognized by Ryder for driving 3.1 million miles over his 34-year professional driving career.

Yes! Another of our Salt Lake City Ryder drivers is selected for our company's national "Driver of the Year" award. Congratulations to Craig Vorwaller, a driver that I have had the privilege of working with for 20 years!  Story thanks to Dawn House of the Salt Lake Tribune. Link to their site provided below: 

After 3 million miles, Utah trucker has advice for the roadways

Driving » Honored nationally for safety, he’s seen it all in 34-year career.

It’s not unusual for Craig Vorwaller to see motorists texting, talking on cell phones or even reading books during his run from Salt Lake City to Reno.
The veteran trucker can only shake his head — and stay out of the way.
Unlike drunks who drive slowly, distracted motorists have a tendency to drift into other lanes while they’re speeding down the highway.
"I appreciate courteous drivers," said Vorwaller, who has racked up more than 3.1 million miles over his 34-year driving career. "The others, you just wonder how they made it this far."
Vorwaller, 56, has been named Driver of the Year by Ryder System Inc., a leader in transportation and supply chain management services. He drives a Ryder truck for Swire CocaCola out of Salt Lake City.
The award honors those who have demonstrated exemplary safety performance, customer service and citizenship throughout their careers.
Vorwaller, of West Valley City, said he is conscious of the entire roadway when he’s behind the wheel, trying "to see what’s coming up, what’s going to happen before you get there."
"You leave some space between you and the other guy," he added. "You try to do their thinking for them, you try to know what they’re going to do before they do it. It can be difficult, but it comes with experience."
The first rule of defensive driving is to be patient, he added, and to ignore discourtesies. Vorwaller can’t count all the times that motorists have raced ahead of him and nearly cut him off — just to rush to a freeway off-ramp where they must slow down while the traffic they sped around continues down the road.
Vorwaller says he must guard against fatigue. Before he gets tired "to the point of being stupid," he knows to pull off for a 20-minute rest or catnap so he can refresh himself, and stay alert.
He grew up in Magna, but instead of working in the nearby mine or an office, he opted for the open roadways.
Through the years, the most feared drivers have been those who are young and inexperienced, he said. They have a tendency to speed and to concentrate on just about everything but the road. Vorwaller said young drivers gave him pause when it came time to teach daughter Amanda, now 27, how to drive.
"It’s not just boys, it’s girls, too," he said. "They have a tendency to speed, to text, to not watch what they’re doing. They change lanes too often and they’re not looking where they’re going."
He insisted that his daughter learn to drive a manual transmission, with its driver-operated clutch and movable gear stick. He thinks manuals gives drivers a better feel for the power of the engine and that they won’t be caught off guard if the situation demands such knowledge.
Wife Janet, a Fillmore native, learned to drive farm equipment at an early age and is a veteran driver, he said.
After all these years on the road, Vorwaller says he’s learned to stay out of motorists’ blind spots and that when he’s courteous to another motorist, "people appreciate it." And they’re usually polite in return.
Photo Gallery of Craig and his Ryder/Coke truck


Friday, April 26, 2013

The Greatest Perks of Being A Trucker in 2013

Following is a guest post thanks to and written by Mark Kinsel of Driver Solutions. If you're interested in a driving career, check links in the article to see how they may be able to help. Following that is a February post on the 20 best fleets to drive for in 2013. And then, links to a seven part series I wrote on how I got started in the trucking industry 30 some years ago!

Mark Kinsel is the President of Driver Solutions and for the past 19 years has passionately shared his knowledge and experience to help young truckers find their way. When he isn't showing a trainee the ropes of the road he writes for Driver Solutions, a company dedicated to finding the best truck driver jobs in the nation.

The Transport business is never-ending, plain and simple. The demand for goods and supplies will only increase with the population and with it, the perks of those who work so hard to get them to us. In the past trucking has been commonly labeled as a lonely or tedious way of life. This could not be more wrong today as truckers are beginning to see more and more benefits in appreciation for what they do for our nation. While other job markets remain bleak or low in demand young kids out of high school are beginning to look at trucking as a more viable career option. Here are some of newest perks that are motivating more people to take up an office in a rig and a career on the road.

  • Training for A Guaranteed Job
A lot of companies nowadays will train you with the stipulation that you drive for them for a year after completion. This allows you to gain experience on the road by working with the people who taught you the very skills you are applying. Some people prefer to go to another company or even go into business for themselves but the experience and security of a job is very valuable to new truckers, especially young kids just getting out into the working world.
  • Signing Bonuses
More and more companies are giving out signing bonuses for joining their fleet. Obviously if you are a more experienced driver this bonus might be bigger than someone who is only a year out from getting their CDL but with an experience and a track record of efficiency you dollar figures will grow.
  • Upgraded Truck Stops
In the past truck drivers were known for having an obesity problem. When you make a living driving for hours at a time every single day you aren’t given much free time for exercise. This is in addition to the fact that truck stops didn’t always serve the most health-conscious food fifteen years ago. Now not only do many truck stops have a wider variety of healthy food options, they also have fitness centers to help truckers stay in shape and burn off the frustrations that can pile up on the road.
  • Improved Quarters
So many people are surprised when they hear how homey some drivers’ rigs are nowadays. Many companies have their trucks wired for internet and can now enjoy the perks of having a lap top. This is not to be confused with the on-deck computer that tracks the truck and helps with directions. Upgraded technology to know where they’re going is a much welcomed upgrade, but nothing compares to being able to connect face-to-face with family and friends in your downtime. This also allows truckers to surf the internet and watch DVDs. These things can provide good entertainment when posted up for hours at the docks or anywhere else they might be waiting for a load.
  • Pay
More companies than ever are paying by the hour instead of by the trip. Mishaps and accidents always happen on the road and nothing cuts into a trucker’s wallet like a delay. Being paid by the hour allows truckers to be less affected by the unforeseeable disasters that can occur on the road or at shipping yards. More importantly this decreases the risk of accidents as it dissuades truckers from driving through dangerous weather or going days without sleep to get paid and move on to another job.
  • Opportunity to Be in Business For Yourself
After working a few years for a company you may want to go into business for yourself. As mentioned above truckers are always in demand and if you are set enough in your finances you can make your own schedule, decide your own rates, and even drive your own truck. Rigs are definitely not cheap but there are companies that will help you finance and good deals are found all the time at sites like

20 Fleets named "Best to drive for!" in 2013

Links to my seven part series "Deciding on a Trucking Career"
Deciding on a Trucking Career - Part I
Deciding on a Trucking Career - Part II
Deciding on a Trucking Career - Part III
Deciding on a Trucking Career - Part IV
Deciding on a Trucking Career - Part V
Deciding on a Trucking Career - Part VI
Deciding on a Trucking Career - Part VII

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Don't mess with a black belt Mormon Bishop carrying a samurai sword!

You may have to change your shorts before turning yourself in! Story thanks to Fox13 news out of Salt Lake City. Link provided below:

Posted on: 3:09 pm, April 23, 2013, by Mark Green, Brittany Green-Miner and Scott McKane, updated on: 05:03pm, April 23, 2013

MILLCREEK, Utah – An LDS Bishop with a samurai sword was one of several neighbors who came to a woman’s aide after a man assaulted her and tried to get into her home on Tuesday morning.

Lt. Justin Hoyal, Unified Police Department, said they responded to the incident shortly after 7 a.m. near 2165 East Claybourne Ave.

Hoyal said 37-year-old Grant Eggertsen assaulted a 35-year-old female victim and tried to get inside her home as she was leaving. Hoyal said the two had a professional relationship in the past, and when that deteriorated the victim had obtained a stalking injunction against Eggertsen.

The victim screamed and ran from the home. Eggertsen gave chase, and a physical altercation took place. The victim tried to pepper spray Eggertsen, but that was not effective.

Several neighbors heard the noise and came outside and confronted Eggertsen. One of those neighbors was Kent Hendrix, who is a bishop with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a black belt in karate.
Hendrix says his teenage son alerted him to the incident going on outside.
“He comes running in pounding on my door saying, ‘Dad, someone’s being mugged in front of our house.’ So I threw my clothes on, grabbed my sword and out I came,” Hendrix said.
Hendrix came outside with a samurai sword, and he wielded the weapon while he and other neighbors confronted and then chased Eggertsen away. Eggertsen ran to his car and drove off.
“As he was coming through the fence, this is where I drew down on him and told him to get down on the ground,” Hendrix said. ”His eyes just got huge and he was taken aback that he was staring down 29 inches of razor.”
( "Seeing a big razor blade pointed at him, he jumped back into the ivy and said, 'I'm leaving,' " Hendrix said. 
At that point, the attacker fled on foot. Hendrix said he chased the man, not wanting him to get away. Ultimately Eggertsen fled in a car.
Hendrix said he picked up some chapstick the man dropped and yelled, "I have your DNA and your license plate; your're done."

According to Hoyal, the man turned himself in to Unified police within an hour.
Hendrix has studied martial arts for decades and owns his own academy. He says he’s thrilled to use his training for good.
“I’ve never had to use my martial arts until today, in anger, happy things worked out well,” he said.
Eggertsen turned himself in within an hour of the incident. He was charged with violation of a stalking injunction, trespassing, attempted burglary and robbery.
“There were several neighbors that came out to this victim’s aide, one of which was carrying a sword,” Hoyal said. “And ultimately, as a result of the efforts of these neighbors, hopefully caused this suspect to give up the attack on this victim and take off running.”
The victim had minor injuries from the assault, and she refused medical treatment at the scene of the incident.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Behind the scenes with Lisa Kelly
|April 05, 2013

Article thanks to Jack Roberts and Link provided below:
A couple weeks ago, as the Mid-America Trucking Show was winding down in Louisville, my friends at Volvo Trucks grabbed me in the media room and asked if I’d be interested in doing an exclusive interview with Ice Road Trucker star Lisa Kelly as she test-drove a Volvo VN tractor. Volvo was helping Lisa spread the word on WorldTrucker – a website and app designed as sort of social media/travel resource for truck drivers — and this looked like a win-win-win all the way around.
It was a no-brainer, so of course I (we) said yes. You can see the whole interview – which is really more of a conversation with Lisa – here.
Ever since my little chat with her wrapped up, everybody’s been asking me what she’s like. I think that fascination is always there when you run across a celebrity. But more so in the case of Lisa, because she, like so many “reality show” stars these days, isn’t a celebrity in the conventional sense of the word.
For example, when you see Harrison Ford onscreen playing a treasure-hunting archaeologist, you know that he’s an actor getting paid to portray a role and bring that character to life. The line blurs when you’re confronted by one of the Ice Road Trucker stars or one of the crewmen from Deadliest Catch. These are people doing real, readily identifiable jobs with a camera crew following them around. So, viewers naturally wonder, is a person like Lisa Kelly more of a truck driver, or more of a TV star?
Now, I only spent a couple of hours around Lisa. But that was enough time to learn a few things about her. And what I discovered was a pleasant surprise.
First off, she’s really smart and knows her stuff. Every now and then you’ll hear somebody mutter that the IRT guys decided they needed a woman on the show, went out and found Lisa, rushed her through a driving school and threw her behind the wheel. But as I rode with her, I discovered that she’s actually a damn good driver with an inherent understanding of machinery and a passion for machinery, engines and making them perform as efficiently as possible. Her take on automatic transmissions coming on strong these days is illustrative of this point: She’s not sold on them yet because she prefers to monitor her RPMs and select her shift points on her own. She doesn’t really care if a computer can do it better or not. She wants to reserve that level of control for herself.
Next, she’s really smart. Ice Road Truckers has given her the opportunity to travel the globe, but it’s pretty obvious that she’s observing and taking in everything that’s going on around her. Of course we had technical issues when we were setting up for the interview (when do we not?), and  Lisa was ready with good advice and tips to help us muddle through the problems. And she knows a thing or two about sequencing a shoot and on-camera presentation. She gave me several tips that I’ll be sure to keep in mind next time my bosses decide somebody needs to point a camera at me.
Now, if you’re a journalist, from time to time you find yourself interviewing someone who is – how shall I say this? – not particularly bright. And any journalist will tell you, these interviews can be downright painful; more akin to pulling teeth than anything else I could compare them to.
That wasn’t the case with Lisa. She’s bright, articulate, opinionated and not afraid to defend or debate a point. She’s also a professional. It was an early morning shoot. And between the time changes and the crazy schedule she was keeping at the truck show, Lisa was pretty beat. She’s not a morning person, and neither am I. So I could totally relate. But the minute the camera snapped on, she was completely on her game and focused on doing a good job. We didn’t do a single re-take. Not one. They weren’t needed.
The bottom line I think is this: Lisa’s a breed of person, a beautiful young lady – and that doesn’t hurt when TV producers are talking to you — but at her core she’s just a rough-and-tumble girl from Alaska. She loves animals and grew up wanting to race and drive cars, trucks and motorcycles. The morning we talked her wrist was in a cast because she’d taken a spill on her motocross bike back home after IRT filming wrapped up. She wants to get into truck racing and stunt driving. And while she’s a TV star, you get a definite sense that on a core level she really doesn’t get what all the fuss is about. Nowhere does this become more apparent than when she’s talking about women in trucking today. She doesn’t say it, but it’s clear she can’t believe that in this day and age, with some many women drivers out on the road working hard every day, that fact that an attractive lady is behind the wheel of a big rig is still a thing worth commenting on.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Oklahoma trucker awarded $2.2M
April 8, 2013 By Evan Lockridge of Link to their site below:

Jurors in a St. Louis federal court have handed down a more than $2 million dollar decision to a truck driver as a result of injuries he received while unloading.
Gregory Baird of Oklahoma was unloading his rig in late 2007 when a box weighing nearly 40 pounds fell on his head, leaving him unconscious along with neck and back injuries. It happened inside the trailer, in dark conditions, while at the Dollar General store in Troy, Mich.
The verdict in U.S. District Court was for $4.6 million to Baird and $250,000 to his wife, but the jury also determined he was 52% at fault, reducing the amount proportionally.
In an interview with Baird’s attorney, John D. Anderson, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports jurors believed the trucker should have used some light and not unloaded in the dark.
Anderson told the paper that Baird is still suffering from injuries he received in the mishap.
During the trail, which took 11 days, 10 doctors testified on behalf of Dollar General that Baird was not injured. Dollar General also presented testimony that Baird could have unloaded the next day in the light, but Anderson said his client had just started a new job with his employer, Hogan Trucking, and said if he had waited to unload he would have been fired.
The suit was originally filed in 2011.
Anderson says Baird has filed for workers’ compensation benefits but has never been paid.
Dollar General has yet to publicly comment on the outcome, including whether or not it will appeal. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

FMCSA ALERT Hiring Fraud perpetuated on Drivers and CDL Training Schools

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) would like to make you aware of attempts to defraud CDL drivers seeking employment and CDL Training schools who are attempting to help students find jobs. 

The fraudster promises employment in return for monetary payments to fraudulent “recruiters”. Please read below for more details about this “scam”.

The way it works: A caller represents himself or herself as being a recruiter for a known and 
legitimate motor carrier to a representative of a truck driving school or driver. The caller has an 
air of urgency and “must hire” several CDL holders immediately or as soon as a student 
graduates from Driver Training and receives his or her CDL. The fraudster is also known to 
solicit truck driving school instructors to provide his or her call back number to trainees or 
recent graduatesfrom truck driving schools. 
When a driver seeking employment calls the “recruiter” he or she is offered an immediate 
position with higher than industry norms pay and benefits for a new driver and is often told 
there will be a “waiver” for previous criminal or DUI convictions older than three to five years.
The caller then tells the driver candidate he or she must prove financial solvency to the carrier 
by sending a wire transfer of $350 or more to the “recruiter”. Recently the “wire transfer” 
instructions were to procure a Walmart money transfer purchased at the closest Walmart store 
and sent to the “recruiter” for pick-up at another Walmart store, usually in another State. Past 
fraudulent “recruiters” have directed money transfers through other common money transfer 
services such as Western Union.
Victims are directed to travel to a location, often in another state than his or her residence, to 
be picked up by a company trainer and the pick-up does not occur.

Risk Mitigation for Driver / Driver Training Schools: Telephone the PUBLICLY LISTED telephone number of the motor carrier offering employment and verify the recruiter is a duly authorized representative of the Carrier.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Salt Lake City’s peregrine falcons have returned

Article thanks to Tracie Snow of Salt Lake City. Be sure to check out the links to the two live cams. Link to their site provided below:
SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City's peregrine falcons have returned for the 2013 nesting season and you can watch the eggs hatch live via an HD bird camera. The new cameras were installed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so bird watchers and environmentalists can study the birds up close.
The falcons have been nesting in downtown Salt Lake City since 1984 and their favorite spot is a little nook the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Peregrine falcons make scrapes (a shallow depression) instead of creating nests from grass or twigs.
Last year, three of the four eggs in the Joseph Smith building hatched two females and a male. One of the female birds did not make it, but the brother, known as Primo, was released into the wild on Antelope Island last month.
"He took a few turns around the field and landed on a far fence rail," wrote Liz Schubert, member of the SLC Peregrine Falcon Watchpost Team and author of the Salt Lake City Falcons blog. "He was still there when we left."
The first egg of this year was laid on Friday, Apr 12. Two more eggs have been spotted in the nesting box for a total of three. Schubert will update the blog every time there is a new egg.
For see what the peregrine falcons are doing right now, you can watch the two live HD bird cams here.
Links thanks to and courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Tracie Snowder, Reporter

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ask a cop: What happened to polite drivers?

Interesting article from a cop's point of view, thanks to of Salt Lake City. Link to their site provided below:
SALT LAKE CITYAs I drive around the Salt Lake Valley and the state, I wonder what happened to polite drivers. I’m pretty sure I remember some when I was younger. They were the ones who had a lot of patience for me as I learned a manual transmission in an ’80s Subaru. For you younger readers, that’s where the driver had to change gears for the car via an extra pedal (clutch) and a stick where your Big Gulps go.
People would let others into their lane without impatience. They would never speed past everyone in a merging lane just to wedge themselves in at the last second. You would move out of the passing lane (left lane) when not passing someone. You wouldn’t sit there like you planted your flag on new territory and it was now your lane.
I drove to a small town and everyone was waving as I passed by, whether in a vehicle or walking. I didn’t know what to make of it. I asked my wife, who is from a small town, and she said that’s just the way those people are. I liked it. I come from a town where people look the other way or wave with only one finger.
I think it's because in a small town everyone knows everyone else. You can't get away with cutting someone off and never seeing them again. They will come to your house after work or bump into you at the feed store. I think we hide our impolite driving behind a veil of anonymity. What if everyone had to put their name on the side of their vehicle, like fighter pilots. We would probably start seeing a lot more very specific status updates on Facebook about how crappy that person's driving is.
I see people driving when they realize that they are about to miss their turn. Regardless of who may be in the lane they need to be in or lighting, they are going to make that turn. They have no backup plan. Heaven forbid they go to the next block and make the turn. “Good luck everybody!” they shout as they swerve across three lanes to make their turn.
Stop eating cereal while you are driving! I'm talking to you, guy driving with his knees, while you try to stay in your lane. I drive an unmarked police vehicle so people drive as they would normally and don’t stack up behind me waiting for me to exit the freeway. I constantly see adults on a cellphone, operating it at eye level, or applying makeup or reading a paper or legal documents (I’m not kidding). Remember when the first priority of driving was driving? Sometimes I pull them over and give them a friendly warning. I'm watching you.
One of the moves I think is extremely impolite is the first or second car at the left green turn arrow who either doesn't notice when it turns or takes their sweet time making the turn, which inevitably causes the people in the back to not make the light and have to wait another cycle or two to get through the intersection.
Why does everyone think they are the only one in a hurry? Why does everyone think they are the best driver on the road? Guess what, everyone has somewhere to be and are just as important as you are. We are all in it together. Let's help each other out and get to wherever we are going safely.
Your job is not to teach other drivers how to drive while you are driving. Everyone’s job should be to be as polite as possible and lead by example. Especially cops. I hear a lot of complaints about the way we drive. How do you differentiate between a cop going to a call and a cop going to the 7-eleven? It's tough to do, so we need to police ourselves for the most part.
Don't get me wrong, there are several checks and balances to keep us driving politely. Most cop cars have a type of GPS unit in them and administrators can check our driving behavior, especially when there is a complaint made. You may see the terrible driving but not the end result. I know many a cop who has lost his vehicle for up to a year and had to work the desk or take telephone calls at the police station.
Maybe it's not the best idea to have a cop who just lost his car answer phone calls from the public, but they have to do something! Realize that most cops driving quickly are driving to your call for service, especially when it involves possible injury or crimes in progress. People always tell us we took forever responding to their call. We are always trying to balance responding quickly to the call and still following the rules of the road.
So to the person who just has to have their Wheaties or the person who is in charge of the car-pool lane, try to be a little more polite when you are traveling the roadways and we will try not to hit our lights every time we hit a red light, just for fun.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Meet the Man Who Won His Trial vs. Red-Light Cameras in St. Louis

Gant Bloom
Thanks to the Riverfront Times of St. Louis post last week about a St. Louis judge fighting his ticket from a red-light camera generated a great response from reader Gant Bloom.

His comment?
"I won my red light ticket."
Yes, earlier this year the 38-year-old Bloom -- an IT professional at the Washington University School of Law -- became one of the first individuals in St. Louis who has demanded a trial after getting a ticket from a camera. (See a transcript of his trial at the end of this post.)

Bloom's case is even more special in that he defended himself (he's not an attorney) and won!

As Bloom tells Daily RFT, he honestly didn't know whether he or his girlfriend was driving his BMW last year when it ran a stoplight on Skinker Blvd. The ticket he received for the offense only provided a photo of his car and not an image of the driver.

Bloom went to court maintaining his innocence. A traffic judge wasn't buying Bloom's argument so he asked for a trial. In February of this year St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Hogan ruled Bloom innocent after the defendant made a mockery of the cop and red-light camera representative who testified against him in court.

Check out the transcript of Bloom's case on the following page. It makes for an entertaining read and provides more than a few pointers for anyone wanting to fight their ticket in court.

P.S. Bloom says he is now convinced that he was truly innocent of the traffic violation as his girlfriend has received two red-light camera tickets over the past year.

P.P.S. Bloom's girlfriend is no longer allowed to drive his car because of those tickets.

Click here to join the National Motorists Assosiation

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Breaking News - FBI and IRS raid on Pilot Flying J

Truck stop competitor of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says Pilot Flying J rebates harm small businesses By John Caniglia, The Plain Dealer 

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The rebates that Jimmy Haslam says are at the heart of a federal criminal investigation into his company have made it impossible for smaller, independent truck stops to compete against Haslam's massive Pilot Flying J, a trucking industry official says.
Burt Newman, the vice president of Professional Transportation Partners, said rebates are a standard practice in the trucking industry. What makes Haslam's company, Pilot Flying J, different is that the company's rebates are so ridiculously better than other competitors that few can put up a fight, Newman said.
"They offer rebates that are outrageous and impossible to compete against,'' Newman said. The company can offer such rebates because they have about 600 truck stops/travel centers across the country.
But Newman said he doesn't understand Haslam's explanation for the reason federal agents would raid Pilot Flying J. On Monday, FBI and IRS agents used four search warrants to obtain evidence from Pilot Flying J at its Knoxville location.
Haslam met with reporters Tuesday and said that the investigation stems from rebates that were owed to "a very insignificant'' number of small trucking companies that were never paid. Haslam said his company disagrees with the assessment. 
He explained the rebate system like this: A trucking company that buys 50,000 gallons of fuel from Pilot Flying J receives a certain amount of money as a rebate. If it buys 100,000 gallons, it receives another amount. 
Haslam denied wrongdoing and apologized to Cleveland. Haslam is the owner of the Cleveland Browns.
"At this time, I just don't buy it," said Newman, whose Tennessee company represents about 100 independent truck stops across the country. "If what Mr. Haslam is saying is true, then there is a problem with the federal government. Especially with something as minor as this. I think there might be more to be said."
He said companies with more than 100 trucks seldom look elsewhere for business, as they go with Pilot Flying J for its fuel. The rebates can be paid in the form of checks each month or they can be paid at the point of sale.
One Midwest trucking executive who declined to give his or his company's name said he doubts the federal raid at Pilot Flying J will impact the trucking industry.
"We electronically track the costs of gas daily," he said. "If they have the best price, they'll get our business. If someone else has the best price, then we'll go someplace else. That's it, exactly."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Two Idaho Companies Offer Yamaha Police Motorcycles

Photo courtesy Steve Beaudry
Story thanks to Link provided below:

4/11/2013 Two Idaho-based companies have introduced differing law enforcement versions of Yamaha's FJR-1300 sport-touring motorcycle.

Steve Beaudry, who offered the Kawasaki Concours 14P motorcycle is prepping the 2013 Yamaha FJR-1300AP for law enforcement use. Like the Concours 14P, the cycle is a conversion of a retail bike. Beaudry tells POLICE Magazine the motorcycle will include features to handle the rigors of police work.
Separately, Enforcement Motors is offering the Yamaha FJR-1300P. Agencies can build a police motorcycle from the company's standard Law Enforcement package and add other needed accessories and equipment, according to the company's website.
Beaudry's Yamaha FJR-1300AP will arrive with a Whelen LED emergency lighting system (with 32 flash patterns), hidden Whelen 100-watt three-tone siren system, dual-linked battery system with 12 fused police-only circuits, front and rear 12-volt accessory sockets, front and rear protection bars, and height-adjustable solo saddle with heated seat option.
Both cycles retain several features from the civilian version such as anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic cruise control, a "wet" hydraulic clutch, 6.6-gallon tank, and removable saddle bags.
Photo courtesy Steve Beaudry
The cycle is powered by a four-cylinder, 1,298cc inline engine that generates 150 hp to propel the bike from 0-60 in 3.18 seconds. The Yamaha FJR-1300AP is being considered by the Michigan State Police for their annual police vehicle testing in September.
The motorcycles will sell for between $17,000 and $22,000 depending on configuration. Enforcement Motors has an exclusive right to sell its version of the motorcycle in Arizona.
By Paul Clinton
Updated 4/12/2013 with new information about Enforcement Motors' vehicle.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Find free Wi-Fi quickly

Nice tip from Kim at Link provided below:

Leaving your house doesn't have to mean losing Internet access. All you need is a wireless ht spot and your laptop or tablet will be back online in time. It doesn't even have to cost you anything.
Many businesses offer free Wi-Fi. All you need to do is plan ahead to make sure you always know where the free hot spots are. This service can help.It's called The Wi-Fi FreeSpot Directory, and it shows you thousands of free Wi-Fi hot spots in the U.S. and other countries. You can find hot spots by state, company, airport, lodgings and campground. There are listings for RV parks, vacation properties and even buses.
You'll find all the free Wi-Fi you need. It also supplies addresses, so you can map the locations ahead of time.
- See more at: