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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sasquatch blamed for Idaho car crash

Article thanks to Links provided:

March 27,2017  
As if drivers needed another distraction these days.

An Idaho woman who crashed into a deer on the night of March 22 claims the animal was chased in front of her car by a sasquatch.

The unidentified 50-year-old from the town of Tensed apparently became just that as she was driving along U.S. 95 near Potlatch and saw a shaggy seven- to eight-foot-tall creature running after the deer on the side of the highway, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports.

The woman told police that, after speeding by, she took a look in her rear-view mirror and next thing she knew the deer ran into the road and slammed into her Subaru Forester.

Uninjured, she left the area to pick up her husband at work, and then reported the incident to the Benewah County Sheriff’s Office.

Police found no evidence of a sasquatch at the scene of the accident, which is not far from Moscow Mountain, the location of several alleged sasquatch/bigfoot sightings over the years.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trucker shot after being turned away from Coliseum lot files suit
Article thanks to Michael Bodley and Links provided:
Jan, 2017  A 73-year-old truck driver who was shot near the Oakland Coliseum while sleeping in his cab has sued the stadium authority for alleged negligence, claiming security personnel wouldn’t let him spend the night in the safety of the stadium complex’s parking lot.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Alameda County Superior Court, Jerry Lloyd Matson of Indiana says he was accustomed to spending the night in the Coliseum’s fenced lot when he made regular deliveries to the sports complex.
He would sleep in the lot, then make his deliveries in the morning, Matson said. That meant he didn’t have to doze off in the “high-crime area” around the Coliseum, the suit says.
But on Dec. 15, 2015, Matson said, security personnel “were adamant” in refusing to let him into the lot so he could make a nighttime delivery during a concert.
When Matson asked where he should park and sleep, the lawsuit says, the guards directed him to the west side of Interstate 880, across from the stadium and Oracle Arena.
Later that night, Matson awoke to banging on the door of his tractor and then the smash of the driver’s window, the lawsuit says. Matson said he jumped up to confront the intruder, and when he did, he was shot in the abdomen and seriously injured. No one has been arrested.
Because Matson had previously “reasonably relied” on the Coliseum staff to let him sleep in their parking lot, the lawsuit says, the stadium authority negligently exposed him to danger when the guards didn’t let him in.
The suit seeks compensatory damages for Matson, who said he lost wages and the use of his truck. It also seeks reimbursement for his hospital and medical expenses.
His attorney, Nick Casper, said in an interview that Matson had been in the hospital for at least a month and couldn’t work for a year after that. He’s now driving again but still has pain and can’t drive “quite as far,” Casper said.
A spokesman for the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority did not respond to a request for comment.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Oh Ye Canada!

Photo: Shuyee Lee (CJAD 800)

Story thanks to Andrew Brennan and Links provided:

The family of a truck driver—arrested by provincial police and accused of refusing to allow his 18-wheeler to be towed during the closure of Highway 13 during the big storm last week, when hundreds were stranded overnight—says we have it all wrong.
Provincial police arrested Palwinder Singh Johal at his Laval home early Saturday. He was handed over to police custody in Kingston, Ont., where a warrant was out for his arrest.
He spent the night behind bars but was released Sunday, and now he and his family are contesting that he is to blame for the bottlenecking on the highway that led to people being stranded, in some cases, for 13 hours during the blizzard.
The family of the 57-year-old truck driver have denied Johal ever refused to have his truck towed, and are offering the receipt and credit card charged for it as proof. Witnesses and sources familiar with the situation that night have said truck drivers refused to have their vehicles towed Tuesday night until about 3 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Not only was he compliant, but Johal's son, Paramjit, says Johal's truck wasn't at the front of the pack and was actually several back from the first stuck 18-wheeler.
Paramjit, himself a trucker, published a live video from the closed highway to his Facebook just before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night.


Story thanks to Richard Deschamps: Meanwhile,two separate law firms have filed documents asking the courts to authorize a class-action lawsuit on behalf of those who spent hours stuck on Highway 13 during last Tuesday's epic snowstorm.
Last Thursday, the first collective action was filed on behalf of those stuck on the highway, unable to move, while snow quickly accumulated around their cars.
At that time, lawyers were seeking $2,000 for each victim. On Monday, $500 was added to that amount, for additional punitive damages.
As many as 1,000 people could wind up filing claims.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

What Truck Drivers Miss Most About Home

Article thanks to Jim Sweeney and the RoadPro Family of Brands. Links provided:

Dave Dudley knew what he was talking about when he sang “Six Days on the Road” about a lonely trucker hustling to get back home:
Six days on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight
Well, it seems like a month since I kissed my baby goodbye
For all the talk about the freedom of the open road, long-haul trucking means a lot of nights spent away from home and family. Cabs might be equipped with electronics, appliances and other creature comforts, but they’re not home. And CB chatter is a poor substitute for real companionship.
That absence from home has broken up relationships and caused drivers to change jobs or at least come off the road.
We asked members of the RoadPro Pro Driver Council what they miss most about home and here’s what they told us:
“I always miss my daughter, she's at an age (5) where all she wants to do is learn and have fun.” – Ryan Sexton
“When I’m running solo, I miss my significant other. When I’m running team with him, I miss curling up together at night in our own bed (not one sleeping while the other drives).” – Libby Clayton
“My girls. And by saying my girls, I mean my two daughters and my wife. They are the center of my world.  My oldest daughter, who is now 24, watching her progress through life with my first grandchild, makes me beam with pride at the mother she has become. 
“My youngest daughter, now 15. She is all in with cheerleading, schools, and her friends. Watching her do competitive cheer and seeing the passion and the success she has had actually pushes me harder in my career to have the passion for safety. 
“My wife, she is my rock. She keeps me grounded and focused on what matters most, my family. She is most definitely my best friend.” – Thomas Miller 
“At the end of the day, we miss human touch and companionship the most. It’s the little things, the smells of loved ones or a hug or squeeze of a hand at the end of a long day that most of us miss the most. Yes, we can have contact with home, but it misses something, even the simple act of a loved one riding on the truck for a short period can make a huge difference.” – Tom Kyrk

“We haven't been home or off the truck (except for engine repairs stuck in a hotel room in nowhere Georgia) in over a year. The things I miss the most are having "me time," the privacy that being home gives you, where each can go do their own thing for a while. Even having a big house sleeper, after more than a year on the road, 120" of space may be big for a truck, but it feels increasingly smaller the longer we are out.
“The other thing I miss is having a full kitchen. Cooking is my passion. It helps with my anxiety. Also, I come from a Cuban family, where everything in life, from birth to death, revolves around the kitchen and food. ‘Life happens in a kitchen.’ While I make do the best I can on the truck, and even though I have more space and amenities than most, it's still not the same. I miss my kitchen and gadgets.” – Sierra Sugar, who rides with partner Allen Welcher
However much they miss home, these professional drivers make it work.

RoadPro Family of Brands

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

U-Haul truck rentals reveal Texas as number one growth state
Article thanks to Links provided:
Feb, 2017  Trucks come in handy for a lot of things, including figuring out which states are the most popular in the nation.
U-Haul revealed through its annual migration trends report today that Texas is the No. 1 U.S. Growth State for 2016.

That makes for quite a turnaround from 2015, when Texas was a net-loss state and ranked No. 39 on this list. The year-over-year arrival of one-way U-Haul truck rentals rose 4 percent last year in Texas while departures held steady.
Releases on each of the top 10 growth states and the top U.S. Growth Cities are available at Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Missouri complete the top five growth states. Illinois continues to rank 50th the top net-loss state, preceded by California’s slide to No. 49 after cracking the top five for 2015.
Growth States are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul truck rentals entering a state versus leaving a state during a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from more than 1.7 million one-way U-Haul truck rental transactions that occur annually.
While migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth, U-Haul growth data is an effective gauge of how well cities are attracting and maintaining residents.
Arrivals outpaced departures 50.8 to 49.2 percent in Texas last year thanks to locations such as Austin, the No. 2 U.S. Growth City in the 50,000-plus population category behind Madison, Wis.
Granbury, McKinney, Richardson, Temple, New Braunfels, Dallas and College Station are other notable Texas growth cities to see a bump in U-Haul arrivals in 2016.
“Everything in Texas is growing exponentially,” says Zane Rowland, U-Haul Company of North East Dallas president. “Our market is strong. Lots of major companies are moving to Texas because of the tax breaks. Between the low cost of living, the abundance of job opportunities and the ability to start a business, many people want to move to Texas.”
The Lone Star State has gained large operations, or seen expansions of existing operations, with the likes of Toyota, Apple and Amazon to increase employment opportunities.
“I am proud that Texas continues to be the state of choice for those looking for expanded economic opportunities,” Governor Greg Abbott says in response to his state’s U-Haul growth ranking. “In the Lone Star State, we recognize that increased regulations and higher taxes are barriers to success for businesses, individuals and families. That is why, as governor, I will continue to work to ensure we promote a pro-growth environment across the state that gives everyone the opportunity to thrive, leading to a more prosperous Texas.”
In 2016, U-Haul registered a net gain of about 80 neighborhood dealers across the state. This made it more convenient to access U-Haul trucks, trailers, self-storage, moving supplies, hitches, propane and other products and services.
Find U-Haul stores and neighborhood dealers in Texas at
U-Haul reports that it is the authority on migration trends thanks to its expansive network that blankets all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. The geographical coverage from more than 21,000 U-Haul locations provides a comprehensive overview of where people are moving like no one else in the industry.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

1975 F-250 Highboy is a Rolling Time Capsule

Article thanks to Brett Foote and Links provided:

From Camping in Cali to Maneuvering Through Montana Snow Storms, this Unstoppable Ford F-250 has Seen it All

March 9, 2017  We all own and use trucks for different reasons. Some folks need to pull heavy trailers, others haul heavy loads. Some people just like the idea of owning a truck or just the way they look. But whether your truck is a workhorse or a show queen, it’s capable of doing whatever you want it to, and that’s the beauty of a Ford truck. Such is the case with this 1975 F-250 Highboy, which we recently spotted on eBay.
The “do-anything” nature of Ford trucks hasn’t changed, whether we’re talking about the present day or the past. The original owner of this F-250 Highboy, an airline mechanic by trade, had his own unique reason for wanting it — to take camping trips in the deserts of California. And that’s exactly what he did, until he passed it on to his son in the 1980s.
From there, things got very complicated. The son pulled the engine with an eye toward some performance upgrades, but a motorcycle accident halted his plans. Somewhere along the way, the original 360 went missing. A family friend then purchased the Highboy, but instead of bringing it back to life, he let it sit in a carport for years. That is, until a good Samaritan interested in saving the desirable ride spotted it.
That Samaritan had a friend in Montana who just happened to love Ford trucks and also just happened to have a period-correct 360 sitting in his garage. It was a match made in Heaven, and the Highboy left its California dibs for the cold and open confines of the state of Montana. It was there that the new owner gave it the love it had lacked for decades.
After an engine transplant and a full-on mechanical refresh, the old Ford F-250 is ready to ride once again. The dry California air preserved it quite well, as you can see from the condition of the original paint and interior. Sure, there are some dents and scratches here and there, but those just add character. After all, this old Highboy has a story to tell.
You can still bid on it at the ebay link above until 9PM, Sun, 3/12/2017.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

GPS maps blamed for truck crashes on steep grade in Arkansas
Article thanks to Tom Quimby and Links provided:
Jan, 2017  GPS maps are being blamed for big-rig accidents in Arkansas where unsuspecting truckers looking for a short-cut have been burning up their brakes on a steep descent into a popular tourist destination.

Twenty years ago, before GPS maps became so popular, the river-based tourist town of Ponca, Ark. had roughly six 18-wheelers passing through each year. Now there are upwards of six commercial trucks a day that make the drop from the Ozark Mountains into the small town that draws about 1.5 million tourists each year to the nearby Buffalo National River.
“Several of them go through here with their brakes smoking or on fire,” Austin Albers, general manager of the Buffalo Outdoor Center in Ponca, told
Just north of Ponca on Arkansas 43, six tractor-trailers and a dump truck have crashed along a 2-mile section of the highway in the past 2 ½ years.
Four years ago, a trucker lost control of his rig and crashed through a lodge’s well house and shower building before ending up in the river. The trucker lost his life and diesel fuel was released into the water.
Unfortunately, GPS maps do not reveal the steep 1,300-foot drop from the intersection of State Roads 103 and 43. The hill eventually flattens out at Ponca. Along the steep grade are two large turns where trucks have crashed following brake failures.
A trucker that crashed recently while descending into Ponca had been hauling 40,000 pounds in juice beverages. He had taken the route using a GPS map to save time, according to his company, Hawkeye Transportation.
Jarred Morgan, chief deputy for the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, said GPS has been a problem for truckers traveling on unfamiliar steep grades.
“Nine out of 10 times when we have a truck get hung up on these roads they are following GPS,” Morgan told 
The state highway department plans on posting signs to warn truckers of the 3-mile section of the road which features a grade that varies from 6 to 12 percent.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Truck stops aim to be all-in-one service providers
Article thanks to Sean Kilcarr and Links provided:

Convenience is the watchword among truck stops today, with fuel, parking, and showers still the top demands.

Jan, 2017  Chris McElhaney boils the strategic planning for most truck stops today down to a single word: convenience, for truck drivers and fleets alike.
“They will do anything they can not to have to stop at three different places,” he explained to Fleet Owner.
For example, as general manager of the Flying J truck stop located on Foster Road outside San Antonio, TX, he’s hoping to add a tire shop to his facility in the near future – a key part of the new five year plan his parent company, Pilot Flying J (PFJ), announced last month.
McElhaney emphasized, however, that older truck stops like his location along Foster Road face some extra difficulties when trying to make such additions. “This is a 26-year old facility so we are constrained a bit by space,” he said, pointing out that his side is bordered a Speedco truck repair shop on one site and a hotel on the other.
Yet Marc Feole, Flying J’s region manager for south central Texas, stressed that building more amenities into truck stops – from a broader selection of fresh foods to higher quality showers and reserved parking options – remains a key strategic driver, so figuring out how to fit everything in remains critical.
“Think about when you travel,” he explained to Fleet Owner. “How many trips do you take when you don’t set up your hotel arrangements beforehand? For truck drivers, they start thinking about parking the minute they wake up. So we are doing everything in our power to let them know what parking we have in as ‘real-time’ as possible.”
Feole, who’s been with Flying J for a total of 20 years, stressed that truck drivers that frequent the south central Texas region tend to be out on the road 14 to 21 days at a stretch – long enough to where even small amenities take on greater importance.
“Think about being away from home that long and then having to wait in line for a shower; think about the lack of privacy,” he noted. “We go into a hotel room with a bathroom and shower to ourselves. A driver doesn’t get that. So we need it to be clean, no mildew, and of good quality.”
Aside from the need to refuel and park, the number one thing drivers want, Feole said, based on feedback comments, is a good shower.
“Now they also want good coffee and fresh food [and] our PJ Fresh [in-store delicatessen] is seeing a lot of demand especially for fresh fruit, eggs and salads,” he pointed out. “We’re continuing to introduce healthy food options as drivers are more health-conscious and there is more of a concern about driver weight and fitness.”
Ken Parent, PFJ’s president, noted in a conference call with reporters last month that, for truck stops today, it’s all about providing better options for truck drivers.
“How do we save drivers time? How do we make their day more productive? How do we save time fueling and get in and out of the store based on hours-of-service to meet delivery perspective?” he explained. “That’s why we’re trying to develop better and more ways to listen and address professional driver needs,” Parent emphasized. “They don’t want to get off interstate and drive though a truck stop only to find no parking is available” or there is no fresh food available.
He added that truck stops will also need to “customize” themselves after a fashion as well, since different parts of the country may experience greater or lesser need for specific services.
“In some cases there is a huge need for showers as relay teams favor certain parts of the country,” Parent noted. “You can’t take a ‘one-size-sits-all’ approach. You need to be more regionally and locally driven in terms of amenities you are trying to offer.”

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tire Spray and Snow Shovels: How to Survive Winter Driving

Article thanks to Jim Sweeney and the RoadPro Family of Brands. Links provided:

Truck drivers in Colorado last month (Jan.) got a reminder of just how bad winter driving can be. Winds topping 100 mph flipped semis on their sides on I-70 and some trucks were caught in avalanches in mountain passes.
Those are extreme examples, but most drivers have to deal with some degree of winter driving, even if it’s just a once-a-year ice storm. While avalanches and 100-mph winds will get the best of even the most careful drivers, most winter driving challenges can be met with planning, caution and know-how.
We asked the RoadPro® Family of Brands Pro Driver Council for their tips on how to drive safely in winter. Here’s what they told us:
Know what you’re driving into. There are plenty of sources for real-time weather forecasts and road conditions, so use them, says Sierra Sugar, who rides with partner Allen Wilcher. “Lastly, and I can’t stress this enough, always use your CB,” she says.
Check your mirrors. “Ice on the mirror means a good chance of ice on the road,” says Henry Albert, an owner-operator in North Carolina and member of Freightliner Team Run Smart.
Watch the temperature. This might seem obvious, but temperatures can change in a few minutes of traveling or with a rise or fall in elevation, turning that wet road into an icy runway. “Watch the outside temperature. Most trucks are equipped with temperature gauges on the dash. I watch this very closely since temperatures will change drastically from area to area,” says Joanne Fatta, a company driver in Pennsylvania.
Don’t get nervous. “If you are super-nervous or scared, you can actually be in more danger because of quick, emotional responses to sloppy conditions or sliding,” says Thomas Miller, an owner-operator who drives for Prime.
Watch the taillights. “If the taillights are glistening off the road, it means there’s a lot of ice,” says Maggie Stone, a livestock hauler in Iowa.
Check for spray. “If you don’t see road spray from your tires and the road looks wet, it is because the road is frozen,” Albert says.
Don’t push it. “The single best of advice I can give for winter driving is slow down and never overdrive your comfort level,” says Miller.
Keep your windshield clear.  “When it's real cold and your windshield wipers are icing up in the snow, stop and put your defroster on cold to freeze your windshield,” Albert says. “Once frozen, scrape it off with an ice scraper. Then put heat on your feet only and the snow will simply blow off without your needing your windshield wipers.”
Pack accordingly. Sugar has a list of must-haves for winter driving: snow shovel; rubbing alcohol for clearing windshield washer fluid lines and deicing windshields; bleach to make tires sticky; kitty litter for traction; sleeping blankets and blankets; extra water and three days of non-perishable food; extra medication; anti-gel fuel additive; waterproof matches or lighter; first aid kit and board games or cards to pass the time if you get stuck.
Look out for each other. “Not every accident or winter storm snow involves only one person,” Sugar says. “More than likely, there will be multiple vehicles, casualties and stuck travelers caught unaware and unprepared in the storm or accident. Some with children or medical problems. Be that trucker hero that is prepared to help another person in some small way, even if it’s just a bottle of water, a hot cup of coffee, a sandwich or a granola bar."