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Klint Lowry

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Klint Lowry has been a journalist for over 20 years. Prior to that, he did all kinds work, including several that involved driving, though he never graduated to big rigs. He worked at newspapers in the Detroit, Tampa and Little Rock, Ark., areas before coming to The Trucker in 2017. Having experienced such constant change at home and at work, he felt a certain kinship to professional truck drivers. Because trucking is more than a career, it's a way of life, Klint has always liked to focus on every aspect of the quality of truckers' lives.

Lane Departures: Recent sleep study should be a wake-up call for drivers

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It’s funny how coincidences can almost make life feel like it’s scripted, or it’s like in that Jim Carrey movie, “The Truman Show,” where everything is conveniently placed in front of you by some unseen director. In the long-running hit that is my life, this is one of those weeks that come along every so often that I imagine everyone can relate to. You’re so busy you feel like the only way you can get through it is just to put your head down and run with the ball, mission-focused, and just keep moving forward. There’s no time to relax,...

Jayne Denham to perform at ‘Accelerate!’ expo as WIT’s new ambassador

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There’s no question who the “First Lady of Country Music” is. That’s easy, Loretta Lynn. Or, wait, is it Tammie Wynette? Did someone just say Patsy Cline? Or what about Dolly Parton? OK, maybe there is some question about who the first lady is. But there’s no doubt that Jayne Denham is the ambassador. On September 19, Women In Trucking announced that the country music star and trucking advocate has been chosen to be the organization’s ambassador for one year, beginning her duties at the 2019 Accelerate! Conference & Expo September 30 through October 2. “Jayne Denham’s songs tell a story, and her story...

Lane Departures: Why would California lawmakers saddle trucking with the ABC test?

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  Well, he said he’d do it. If you look elsewhere on this website, you’ll see a story I did about a week ago about AB5, a bill passed by the California Senate on September 10 into the waiting arms of Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had long telegraphed he was looking forward to signing it. Yesterday, he did it. And come the new year, trucking is going to have to live with it. AB5 — the full name is the “Employees and Independent Contractors” bill — is ostensibly intended to prevent employers from exploiting workers and skirting expenses by relying on “independent contractors”...

California governor expected to sign bill greatly restricting independent contracting

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California Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign a bill into law that could have a significant — and some fear devastating — effect on the trucking industry in that state. On Sept. 10, the state Senate passed the “Employees and Independent Contractors” bill, or AB5 as it is more commonly referred. The law makes standard what is known as the ABC Test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. The bill passed by a vote of 29-11 along party lines, with Democrats favoring the measure. According to reports, Newsom, a Democrat, has expressed he intends...

Lane Departures: Those self-driving truck stories aren’t automatic anymore

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What makes news “news”? That’s a question that journalists are first asked in college, with the presumption that they will keep asking themselves that same question throughout their careers. We were asking ourselves that question a few weeks ago, when we came across a new story that seemed awfully familiar. Maybe you saw it somewhere.  A company called Kodiak Robotics, a relatively recent entry in the self-driving truck technology race, had begun using its trucks to make regular, semi-autonomous deliveries between Dallas and Houston. The story described the runs, clarified just how autonomous their trucks really are — where and how much...

FMCSA proposes permanent crash preventability determination program

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WASHINGTON – For two years, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been conducting a crash preventability demonstration program to see if it could more accurately recognize possible safety risks on our nation’s roads. Of primary importance to truckers, the program aimed to examine the feasibility, costs, and benefits of determining and displaying the preventability of certain types of crashes. It appears the agency has seen enough. Back in March, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, while speaking at the Mid-America Trucking Show, said that based on the data that had come in since the demonstration program began in August, FMCSA...

FMCSA to conduct study on harassment, assaults of female and minority drivers

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Statistically speaking, professional truck driving is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in America. But those statistics deal with on-the-road dangers. For some drivers, not all the hazards are encountered behind the wheel. In an announcement July 23 in the Federal Register, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said that while it doesn’t currently “provide materials or training to truckers, including minority and female truckers, on how to protect themselves from being stalked, harassed, assaulted, or robbed,” the agency is interested in moving in that direction, and the first step is to clarify and quantify the problem. FMCSA said...

Lane Departures: Here’s where ‘road warriors’ are real and you’re the target

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I’m going to play the odds here and guess that at some point today, or at least this week, anybody reading this has had to put up with some aspect of being a truck driver that they really hate. And it’s probably something that you have to put up with on a regular basis. Something unavoidable. Something that’s just part of the job or of the life that goes with the job. In fact, I’ll bet there’s more than one thing about the job that eats at you. Even if, overall, you would say you like being a professional...

At the Truck Stop: Driver is living his childhood dream, with his kids

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Do teachers still have kids write essays about “What I did on my summer vacation”? If they do, Gaylon Walker’s kids will have it made. It was about 8 a.m., and like a lot of his fellow truckers at the Petro Truck Stop off Interstate 40, exit 161 just east of Little Rock, Arkansas, Walker was getting ready for a day on the road. He approached the food counter with a spring in his step. “I hope you’re ready for me,” he said to the woman behind the counter, “because I’m hungry.” She stood ready. He kept ordering, and the way she...

Starsky Robotics runs 18-wheeler on Florida Turnpike with no human on board

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In the race to develop autonomous truck technology, Starsky Robotics separated itself from the pack June 16, when the company ran one of its automated 18-wheelers on a 9.4-mile stretch of the Florida Turnpike near Orlando without a human being on board. Instead, a safety driver sat at a console at the company’s facility in Jacksonville, watching a collection of monitors fed by the truck’s onboard cameras. The console was equipped with a small steering wheel and accelerator and brake pedals with which he could perform last-mile and other operations. Now, whether the feat truly qualifies as “autonomous,” “self-driving” or “driverless”...

Truck Driver: A job for some, a game for others

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When people ask me about my job, one of the most common questions is where we get stuff to write about. I wish I could say we keep our company Lear Jet on permanent standby to whisk us from Little Rock to wherever the action is.  The truth is nowhere near as cool. We get most of it right here at our desks.  Some of it comes to us in the form of press releases. We find other stuff on the news wire services, like Associated Press. A lot of the rest of it, we get from Googling.  If we...

I’ve had some secondhand second thoughts about those 18-year-old drivers

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In my last column, I mentioned something about looking at online reader comments, and how truckers tend to do a better job of staying on topic and making actual contributions to whatever the story is about compared to what you find on the internet in general. I also said something about regularly checking our reader comments to see what drivers have to say about whichever topic is taking its turn as one of the “hot” ones of the moment. These days, the question of whether 18-year-olds should be allowed to drive commercial vehicles interstate has been getting a lot of attention,...

TuSimple’s self-driving trucks go postal, on 2-week trial with USPS

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“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Most people think that is the official motto of the U.S. Postal Service. It isn’t. It was engraved over the entrance of a New York City Post Office branch in 1914, and it just sort of caught on everywhere. Actually, the phrase was written by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, describing the couriers who served the Persian army in a sixth-century war with the Greeks. So with no ancient Greek copyright laws to worry about, after 1,500 years the motto may soon need...

ATA’s Costello: The biggest problem with 2019 is it had to follow 2018

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We’ve all experienced it. You’ve been driving 70 mph for a while. Suddenly, you’re forced to slow down to 45 mph. It feels like you are crawling, even though a part of you knows if you were going this fast on a residential street, you’d feel like you were blazing. Bob Costello, chief economist and senior vice president of international trade policy and cross-border operations for the American Trucking Associations, has noticed that a lot of people in trucking are having a similar sensation when they look at the economic health of the industry. Costello was in Little Rock, Arkansas, May 15...

Keep those comments coming, folks — well, some of those comments, anyway

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For almost my entire adult life, and that’s a lot of living, I have been a consistent gym-goer. Staying fit, and studying how to stay fit, has always been an interest of mine. Very few of you have seen me in person, so let me assure you, I look like a classic Roman statue. But before I digress, way back at the very first gym I ever joined, there was a trainer who told me, if you want to learn, say, how to build big shoulders, watch the guys who have big shoulders and see what they do. It isn’t a...

At the Truck Stop: This expediter’s loads are light and so are his spirits

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Seeing Ray Shamel standing in line at the Petro truck stop off Interstate 40, exit 161, near Little Rock, Arkansas, you could almost mistake him for a professional truck driver. He looks the part. And he’s obviously at home at a truck stop. Then again, he’s got a little more pep in his step, he’s a little less bedraggled than most truckers are as they take care of business and life’s necessities. He’s quick to smile and to start a conversation wherever he finds one. He’s relaxed rather than weary. There’s a simple explanation for the similarities and the differences, and...

Jury awards trucker $80M from former employer after fatigue-induced crash

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EDINBURG, Texas — In a case that proves “going the extra mile” isn’t always a good thing, for anyone involved, a Texas jury awarded a professional truck driver $80 million Wednesday after it decided a 2015 crash in which the driver was severely injured was due to his employer having coerced him into falsifying his log book and driving beyond what federal Hours of Service regulations allow. The jury in the case, held in 93rd District Court in Edinburg, Texas, awarded Lauro Lorenzo Jr. $5 million in compensatory damages for the loss of income as well as the injuries and...

224-mile detour set for Arizona bridge repair project on I-15

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Construction detours are never welcome. But at least in developed areas they won’t take you too far out of your way. When they happen in more remote areas, you can be forced to take the scenic route. That could be the case for some truckers using the busy Interstate 15 corridor over the next year. I-15 only runs for 29 miles as it cuts across the northwest corner of Arizona, but bridge work in a three-mile section of that span will send some drivers will send some drivers on a 229-mile detour, bypassing the state altogether. Starting May 29, crews will...

2nd flatbed carrier in less than a week shuts down suddenly, leaving questions

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Small businesses go belly up all the time.  On Wednesday, when Dothan, Alabama-based flatbed carrier Williams Trucking, LLC suddenly announced to its workers that the company is going out of business and that they should stop what they’re doing and bring their trucks and trailers back to the terminal, few people not directly affected might have taken notice. But the fact that the manner which the sudden shuttering occurred seemed to echo what happened just days earlier with a large flatbed carrier makes the move by the smaller carrier much more noticeable. According to reports by Dothan-area TV stations, employees received...

Old Dominion donates 12,000 baseballs to group that helps kids take the field

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THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Old Dominion Freight Line stepped up to the plate recently and donated 12,000 baseballs to an organization that works to make sure kids who want to take to the diamond can do so, even if they can’t afford equipment. Founded in 2005, Pitch In for Baseball & Softball (PIFBS) helps give boys and girls access to recreation and contributes to positive youth development by providing baseball and softball equipment to children around the world. Over the past 14 years, PIFBS has helped to eliminate equipment as a barrier for more than 900,000 boys and girls in the...