In this show we cover…

– Trucker has stash of pipe bombs

– Toll workers losing their jobs

– Getting $10 a mile the hard way

– Iowa 80 joins Hall of Fame

David Compton:

Hi, I’m David Compton. In a follow-up to last week’s story about a trucker who was killed in a standoff with police, now the FBI finds numerous explosive devices stockpiled at his home. And with all the talk about cheap freight recently, I’m going to show you a trucker getting $10 a mile. Unfortunately, his cargo’s going to cost him some time spent in prison.

Tucker Russ:

Hey, there truckers. I’m Tucker. Pennsylvania state’s automating employees out of their jobs. Howes Hall of Fame is adding a famous truck stop to their Class of 2020. And in our tech segment, Rand McNally rolls out their new TND Line. That’s just some of the stories we’re covering, along with our Cat Scale Rig of the Week on this edition of The Trucker News Channel.

David Compton:

Last episode, we covered a story about 58-year-old truck driver, Joshua Blessed, who was killed following a police pursuit and a gun battle in New York. Police were puzzled on why a routine traffic stop turned into a deadly gun battle. Now several days later, they have their answer. FBI and Virginia State Police began searching his Rockingham County, Virginia home and found a stockpile of a dozen pipe bombs. Based on the weapons cache and stockpile, police believe that Blessed was planning a large-scale attack. Authorities looked into Blessed’s social media posts and believe that he had become radicalized. His Facebook feed featured numerous anti-law enforcement posts.

Tucker Russ:

More job loss in 2020. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has voted to lay off 500 fare collectors and other toll workers, making the entire interstate network a cashless system. The cuts are the latest development in the agency’s multi-year transition from a system that largely relied on workers stationed in toll booths to collect cash to one that uses E-ZPass as well as automated license plate readers that generate mailed bills. The job losses will begin June 18th, and the Commission said some health benefits will remain in place for two years.

David Compton:

Over the past couple weeks with the trucker protest in Washington, we’ve been hearing a lot about truckers not wanting to haul cheap freight and freight rates plunging below one dollar. Well, here’s a guy that’s getting more than $10 a mile. However, it doesn’t work out very well for him because in the end it cost him his freedom. Truck driver Arne Arvidsson Ewens, 63, is now facing federal charges following a big rig drug bust in Simpson County.

The Department of Homeland Security had a tip about a white 2015 Kenworth T600 that was parked at the Key Stop gas station on Nashville Road in Franklin. Authorities tailed the big rig on Interstate 65, where it was stopped at the inspection station at mile marker three. It was there that Ewens gave verbal consent for his tractor and his trailer to be searched. Well, a canine at the scene found 15 bundles of cocaine that were located inside a large metal container under the bunk of the tractor.

Ewens confessed to the officials that this was the first time he’d ever transported narcotics, and he was given instructions to transport the drugs from Elsa to Winchester, Kentucky, which is approximately 1,340 miles. Also, further confessed he was paid about $13,608 or put another way, that’s more than $10 a mile.

Tucker Russ:

A few weeks ago, we did an interview with the founders of Howes and their new virtual online Hall of Fame that celebrates those who have impacted the trucking industry. Well, the company has added another inductee. Iowa 80, the world’s largest truck stop, rounds out the inaugural Class of 2020. Located in Walcott, Iowa, the iconic truck stop has been serving truckers since 1964.

Iowa 80 is also the home of the Walcott Truckers Jamboree, which has been going on since 1979. Last year’s attendance hit a record 44,000 attendees. Unfortunately, this year’s event was canceled due the pandemic. Open 24/7 and offering 42 gas islands, 16 diesel lanes, a seven-bay truck service center, a three-bay Truckomat Truck Wash, a certified Cat Scale in a parking lot that can hold 900 trucks, Iowa 80 is the perfect addition to Howes Hall of Fame. Congratulations Iowa 80.

Commercial:

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David Compton:

This week’s Cat Scale Rig of the Week goes to David McKinney and his 2016 Peterbilt Pride & Class 389 they call Part-Time. The rig was a white Fitzgerald glider kit when he purchased it and McKinney added accent stripes inside and out. Then he matched it with a Big Bubba aluminum trailer that also had matching accents.

The family has participated in quite a few truck shows, winning multiple awards. In fact, in 2019, McKinney offered his wife, Connie a choice between a trip to the beach or a truck show in Virginia. She chose the truck show. The whole McKinney family contributes to the 14 truck business. Connie’s the bookkeeper’s, son Dalton’s the dispatcher and youngest son [inaudible 00:05:26] manages the maintenance. Nice rig McKinney family.

If you have a rig you’d like to have profile here on the Cat Scale Rig of the Week, send us an email to RigOfTheWeek@TheTrucker.com

Tucker Russ:

Time for a tech segment. Rand McNally has launched the next generation of its TND line, which includes advanced navigation as well as upgraded features. The TND 750 and the TND 550 trucks-specific GPS devices are available in stores now. Both devices include Rand Navigation 2.0, the company’s proprietary new navigation software that features technologically sophisticated truck routing, a modern clean interface, crowd-sourced POI review, and striking new visuals, such as 3D cities and landmarks. The TND 750 has a high definition, seven-inch screen, and the TND 550 offers a vibrant five-inch screen. The two offerings mark the sixth generation of dedicated truck-specific GPS devices for professional drivers.

David Compton:

That’s it for this edition. If you’re watching this on YouTube, make sure to click that little red subscribe button below. You can also go to TheTrucker.com to read the latest breaking news. That’s all. So on behalf of Tucker and myself and everybody else here at The Trucker News Channel, thank you for watching.

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