Archive for May, 2009

Truck-stop chapels deliver services to drivers on the go

May 31st, 2009

Some truck drivers are on the road and away from friends and family for up to eight weeks at a time. And that means they’re also away from their church.

Truckstop Ministries brings church to the truckers by having chapels at truck stops around the country.

Here in Knoxville, there are two locations for Truckstop Ministries. The chapel at the Petro’s truck stop on Watt Road off Interstate 40/75 opened 1999, and the chapel at the Pilot station on Strawberry Plains Pike off I-40 opened June 1, 2008. Both chapels are part of a larger ministry based out of Jackson, Ga., and founded by Joe and Jan Hunter. There are more than 70 locations nationwide.

The chapels hold services for the truckers every Sunday morning and evening as well as every Wednesday night. There are eight chaplains that serve in Knoxville, five at Strawberry Plains and three at Watt Road. “This is the biggest collection of different personalities in one ministry I’ve ever seen” stated Steve Johnston, the lead chaplain at the Watt Road Chapel. “We are trans-denominational and each of the eight chaplains attend different churches.”

Of the eight chaplains, two are retired and the other six hold down full-time jobs. They volunteer their time for the services on Sundays and Wednesdays on a rotating basis. Each has a different story of how he became involved with Truckstop Ministry, but they all echo the sentiment of Chaplain Harold Cox. “I’m not content with the souls we’ve saved. One more soul for Jesus. That’s why we’re here,” he said.

Full Story

Truckstop Ministries also accepts monetary donations both in person and online. Truckstop Ministries is always looking for more Chaplains and helpers. To volunteer, contact them via the Web site,

© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Church to host program on human trafficking

May 31st, 2009

April Vanover’s regular job is part-time supervisor for the Fremont UPS office, but the Tiffin resident devotes her free time to help adult victims of human trafficking.

According to, 27 million people are enslaved in the United States. A member of Restoration Ministries in Tiffin, Vanover has arranged for a program on human trafficking at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Tiffin Mall.

“Our speaker is Nadia Lucchin from Not For Sale. She’s the state director,” Vanover said.

Lucchin had started out on the staff at Rahab’s Hideaway, a Columbus shelter where she and Vanover were working. Shortly after that, Lucchin was named state director of Not For Sale, a non-profit organization of activists based in Montara, Calif.

Lucchin remembered Vanover and agreed to give the talk in Tiffin.

Restoration Ministries also is organizing an “antislavery store” with products made by former trafficking victims. The proceeds are to be used for skills programs to help victims find gainful employment. “Free to Play” T-shirts are to be for sale, as well as jewelry from an organization in Cambodia, and fair-trade soccer balls.

Vanover said soccer balls not made by fair trade companies are made mostly by slave labor. Church members also are donating items to be sold.

The Sisters of St. Francis have invited Vanover to be on the newly-formed advisory board for Clare’s House. She also remains affiliated with Rahab’s Hideaway.

Named for Rahab, the biblical prostitute, the facility opened in 2008 for women ages 18 and older. Vanover said it is the second such shelter to open in Ohio. The first was Second Chance in Toledo, founded by Cecilia Williamson.

Information at states its mission is “to reach and rescue victims of human trafficking.”

Those who seek help receive basic necessities and education to help them find employment and eventually live independently.

As a volunteer, Vanover helps Marlene Carson, the shelter’s founder and director, with a variety of tasks, including counseling, event coordination, ticket sales and public presentations.

Full Story

© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Truckers say new regs won’t jam borders

May 30th, 2009

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Americans returning from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and parts of the Caribbean will need more than a driver’s license to get back into the USA beginning Monday — and efforts are underway to prevent that from turning into a truck backlog at the borders.

Commercial truckers in this border state, home of one of the nation’s busiest border crossings, are among those who will be affected by the more stringent documentation requirements, the latest in a series of anti-terrorism efforts put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. Their imposition fulfills one of the key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, a blue-ribbon panel of experts convened after the attacks.

About 80% of Canadians and Americans crossing the nation’s northern border now have the necessary documents to cross the border, said Thomas Winkowski, assistant commissioner for field operations at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. But he said travelers don’t seem to be as prepared along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In implementing the new requirements, the Department of Homeland Security faces a tricky balancing act: trying to secure the nation’s 5,000 miles of border with Canada and 1,900 miles of border with Mexico while not disrupting trade. On an average day last year, Customs officers processed more than 70,000 truck, rail and sea containers.

The goal is “to strengthen our borders while we facilitate legitimate travel,” says Joanne Ferreira, a spokewoman for Customs and Border Protection, an arm of the homeland security department.

Truckers here say they’re prepared for the new regulations.

“All my trucks are bar-coded, and all drivers have two forms of ID,” said George Barrett, president and owner of Barrett Trucking in Burlington. During the winter his fleet of trucks crosses the border upward of 20 times a day to haul road salt south from Sainte-Catherine, Quebec, to Vermont.

The border crossing at Derby Line, Vt., was the 10th busiest for truck traffic along the nation’s northern border in 2008, according to figures compiled by Customs.

The trucking industry is “well prepared” for the change, said Clayton Boyce, vice president of public affairs for the American Trucking Associations.

The Arlington, Va.-based association has been preparing for a year and a half and Boyce said many truckers already have Free and Secure Trade Program cards, known as FAST, to ease their border crossings. But he noted that other travelers, who may not be familiar with the new rules, “could cause backlogs at the border that could affect our members.”

“Whenever the government does something new, there is always a good chance something will go wrong,” Boyce said. “That’s not a slam on the government. They find out, by doing, what the problem is.”

Full Story

© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Exploding tire kills employee

May 30th, 2009

PITTSGROVE — A 36-year-old Cumberland County man was killed instantly Friday morning when a retreaded tractor-trailer tire exploded as he filled it inside Advanced Treads Inc. on Landis Avenue.

Trooper James Clay said an autopsy concluded multiple blunt trauma injuries were the cause of death.

But it was the force of the escaping air that caused the fatal injuries, rather than flying parts of the tire, he said.

An exploding tire is such a violent event that it sometimes is quantified in terms of how much exploding dynamite would approximate it.

The tire in this case was a Goodyear G134 Unisteel. The air pressure probably was between 105 pounds per square inch to 110 PSI when the tire exploded.

Clay said the death is accidental.

Full Story

I been complaining to my company about this ever since they started having us to check the air pressure in our tires. This is the second time this has happened in a couple months. My condolences to this young mans family.

© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Mexican Truck Drivers are going to take your job?

May 30th, 2009

Did you know this? Well, now you do I just told you this. So now you need to do something about this problem. Yes, the Mexican Truck drivers are going to be coming back into the US and they are going to be taking your freight from you.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is going to make sure they get back into the US. Did you know that LaHood is claiming to be “green” and promoting all the “green” initiatives, but he wants to allow Mexican trucks running high sulfer fuel into the US.

The same companies that out sourced millions of jobs to Mexico for cheaper labor, are the same companies pushing to get the ban lifted so they can haul their cheap ass products back into the US and sell it at Walmart.

Have you guy’s and gal’s seen an avg. Mexican Tractor Trailer? It’s something that WILL NOT pass a DOT inspection by a long shot. It is usually a truck we have put to rest here in the US, but it somehow makes it into Mexico.

You thought drugs and such were bad now in the US. Wait till they allow them to haul into the US freely? Also, you think we have a lot of them living here now. I read somewhere there is an estimated 10% of Mexico’s population lives here now. Mexico gets a big kick back for them over here working. Of course they are going to push hard to get them trucks back into the US.

I like this statement from

Michael Cutler ~ Anyone who cannot see the potential for those trucks being used to carry drugs or other contraband is either dumb or blind (or both)!

We need to start calling our senators and representatives and telling them they need to go against letting the Mexican trucks back into the US. Contact your Elected Official is an easy way to do this, but sending them an e-mail is probably the least effective way. Calling them and talking to them is the most effective way. Besides driving to Washington and seeing them in person.


© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Readers blend bathroom humor into Va. slogan

May 29th, 2009

If the Virginia Tourism Corp. ever gets a hankering to replace its 40-year-old advertising slogan, Virginia is for Lovers, it can look to The Roanoke Times readers for alternatives.

Many, of course, are bladder-in-cheek ideas sought by my column last week. And the majority were spurred by the Virginia Department of Transportation’s recent decision to close down 19 of 41 rest areas along interstate highways throughout the commonwealth, around the kickoff of the summer tourism season.

For that reason, you need to be willing to tolerate a bit of bathroom humor — or stop reading right here.

First up is Steve Moeller of Roanoke. His fecund mind produced a motto that could both relieve drivers and fertilize our roadsides at the same time.

“Virginia: Pee On It.”

Unfortunately, Steve, VDOT is also cutting back on highway grass trimming. Your nitrogen-rich plan might make our shoulders look even shabbier.

Debbie Quick-Conner of Floyd County liked my suggestion,” Virginia is for Bladders.” To augment that, she suggests, “use an adult diaper as the image (this is not obscene).” She also knows the perfect spokesperson: “The astronaut who drove from Texas for Florida allegedly wearing a diaper to stalk her ex-lover.”
Full Story

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YRC Worldwide sells HQ to load up more cash

May 29th, 2009

YRC Worldwide Inc.’s headquarters has joined the assets the trucking titan has been shipping off to raise cash.

But it didn’t go far. A group of local investors led by Ken Block and Steve Block, principals of Kansas City real estate firm Block & Co. Inc. Realtors, bought the Overland Park headquarters in a sale-leaseback deal that includes a potential 30-year lease for YRC. The company did not disclose the price or buyer, and Ken Block said he couldn’t comment because of a confidentiality agreement, but a YRC Securities and Exchange Commission filing suggests the purchase price was $22.5 million.

Johnson County lists the property’s appraised value at close to $25 million.

“The monetization of real estate assets is a part of YRC Worldwide’s ongoing financial strategy to weather the (economic) recession and enhance its liquidity position,” YRC said in a statement e-mailed to the Kansas City Business Journal. “The YRC Worldwide corporate headquarters is and will continue to be located in the Overland Park, Kan., location.”

YRC said the deal was part of $176 million in property sales and sale-leasebacks completed in the first quarter, which ended March 31. But according to the Johnson County Appraiser’s Office, the deal closed May 1. The lease has an initial term of 10 years, plus two 10-year renewal options, YRC said.
Full Story

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Economic Boycott for Virginia

May 29th, 2009


The Rest Areas in Virginia are going to close. VDOT has recommended 19 of 25 Rest Areas to be closed. The people that run VDOT, say they don’t have the money to maintain the rest areas anymore. We had previously asked VDOT to take a look at the problem of officers going into these rest areas and waking tired truckers and threatening them with a ticket or jail time for being parked for more than TWO hours. The American Driver [dot] com has filed a petition to remove Virginia from its Federal Funding, for violating these federal laws.
After the petition got filed, VDOT made a recommendation of removing the signs from the rest areas for the “TWO HOUR” parking limit. VDOT then replaced the signs with “NO OVER NIGHT PARKING” signs. Well, my friends this is unacceptable this still puts us in the same boat as before. If, a driver is caught in the rest areas taking his/her full mandatory 10 hour break, they can be ticketed. All we have asked VDOT to do is to allow our brother and sister truck drivers a safe and secure place that they can get the rest needed and required to be safe on the highway. 10 hours is federally mandated for a truck driver to be rested.

We are calling on all citizens, travelers, vacationers, and truckers to join our ECONOMIC BOYCOTT of Virginia

For the citizens, even though you live in the state you can still order most food items via the internet. When possible, especially when living close to the borders you can cross state line and do your shopping, buy gas and other essentials. We need to bring them to their knees, hit them where it hurts the most. Hit them in the pockets, they will fold and back down and realize we do have the power to make changes.
Travelers, vacationers and so on, yours is much simpler just plan on NOT traveling in Virginia and pick another wonderful state to Vacation in. If, you must travel through Virginia. Then be prepared to not stop in the state unless absouloutly necessary. You can usually have enough gas to drive straight through the state. You can pack lunches in coolers, and soft drinks and water. The Rest area closures affect you just as much as it does a truck driver. Also, one thing for you travelers and residents to think about is. The next time you are driving down the road in Virginia, and you see a tractor trailer think about it for a minute. Ask yourself, has that driver rested enough? Or did Virginia run him off, and make him to continue to drive.
Truck Drivers, you guys and gals can have the most economic affect on this of all. If, you must go into Virginia, prepare to not get FUEL or FOOD, or DRINKS in Virginia. Buy fuel from the adjoin states have your food and drinks already purchased from another state, to get you through Virginia.

© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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County board shows support for logging industry

May 28th, 2009

A league of local logging legends spoke on behalf of their industry Wednesday evening.

Among them were Martin Nygaard, Jay Browning and Herb Olstedt.

The loggers aren’t lamenting the loss of the lumber industry yet, but they warned that if something isn’t done soon, it will go the way of the fishing industry – regulated nearly out of existence.

They spoke to the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners, which approved a resolution in support of the timber industry at its regular meeting in the Judge Guy Boyington Building.

Things have changed a great deal in the forests of Clatsop County, said Browning, owner of J.M. Browning Logging Co. Logging operations across the county are closing down because of the economy, he said.

He said his own company shrank from 130 to 80, then shrank more last week when Weyerhaeuser “shut down.” Since Thanksgiving Weyerhaeuser has had periodic production stoppages based on low market demand.

In addition to the troubled economy is the call from environmentalists to let forests grow.

“Do you consider yourself an environmentalist?” asked Board Chairman Jeff Hazen.

“Very much so,” replied Browning, who has become familiar because of his role in the television series “Ax Men.” “We tried to get that across, doing the TV show. A lot of that ended up on the cutting room floor.”
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Trucking Chief “Nervous” as New Border Documentation Deadline Looms

May 28th, 2009

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – May 28, 2009) – With the June 1st deadline for the implementation of new US border documentation requirements only days away, the trucking industry is on edge about how the requirements will be applied to truck drivers delivering Canada’s exports to the United States.

Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, or WHTI, commercial truck drivers from Canada have a number of alternative ways to demonstrate their citizenship and identity to US border officials. They can present a passport, a frequent traveler card issued under the Canada – US NEXUS program, a security enhanced drivers’ license, or a security card issued under the bilateral Free And Secure Trade program, commonly referred to as FAST. The trucking industry has long felt that FAST cards, which have been issued to tens of thousands of commercial truck drivers on both sides of the border, would be the alternative of choice, and the Canadian Trucking Alliance has actively promoted its use within its membership.

Nevertheless, some concerns remain. In the months leading up to WHTI implementation, US Customs and Border Protection and the Canada Border Services Agency have been replacing existing FAST cards with a newer generation card with enhanced security features. And while US officials assured CTA as recently as last week that both the new and old versions of the card will be acceptable, there are concerns that this message may not have filtered down to all of the front line officers who make the ultimate determination of who is permitted entry to the US.

“The trucking industry has worked diligently to prepare for the new documentation requirements” commented CTA Chief Executive Officer David Bradley. “We are hopeful that there will be no surprises come Monday, but a lot depends on matters that are out of our control at this stage. We have good lines of communication to senior US border officials, and we will call upon them to address any problems that may emerge quickly so that truck traffic and trade is not disrupted.”

About Canadian Trucking Alliance – CTA is a federation of provincial trucking associations. We represent a broad cross-section of the trucking industry-some 4,500 carriers, owner-operators and industry suppliers. With our head office in Ottawa and provincial association offices in Langley, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Moncton, CTA represents the industry’s viewpoint on national and international policy, regulatory and legislative issues that affect trucking.

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