Electric Truck, Tesla

Elon Musk’s Tesla Truck Just Ran 500 Miles With Over 81,000 Pounds

Remember the whole electric truck thing? Yeah, well… it’s actually happening. After years of talks and countless claims by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, it looks like the company is finally springing into action and rolling out some effective electric trucks.

Earlier this week, Musk tweeted about a 500-mile trip performed by an electric truck.

If true, this is the most impressive trip by an electric truck to date.

Elon Musk and Tesla just began an electric truck empire that he plans to expand

Tesla is releasing two trucks. One will cost $150,000 — that’ll get you 300 miles on a single charge. The other is $180,000, which will drive you 500 miles. This is presumably the semi-truck used for the trip referenced in this tweet.

And this is the start of a plan to produce 100 trucks by the end of the year. By the end of 2024, Musk wants that number to grow to 50,000. For the drivers who are tired of paying $4.00 per gallon, this will be good news down the road. Granted, those prices won’t stay consistent, but if electric semi-trucks are normalized, gas won’t be a concern for anybody anymore.

Elon Musk and Tesla were not the first to complete electric vehicle deliveries

Believe it or not, Tesla was not the first to get going with electric semi-trucks. In fact, Volvo may have snuck its way ahead of Musk with its subsidiary company, Renault, which has already “implemented electric trucks for delivery” for Coca-Cola.

Musk doesn’t plan to implement his until December 1st. Here’s the timeline given by CDLLife.

“Musk’s tweet comes just days ahead of a planned delivery event to be held December 1 at the Tesla Gigafactory located east of Reno, Nevada. December 1 is the planned date for PepsiCo to begin to accept a delivery of 100 Tesla Semis that the company pre-ordered in 2017.”

Trucking, Gas Prices

Here’s Why 91% Of Trucking Companies Could Shut Down

It’s a bad time to be an owner-operator in the trucking industry, as gas prices don’t look like they’re coming down anytime soon. After a couple of years of a booming economy for OOs, it may be time for some of these drivers to settle down and drive for a big company.

It’s simple, really — gas prices continue to surge and OOs pay out of pocket for these expenses. While the larger trucking companies can take on expenses like this, it leaves OOs earning lower pay than they would like. With other expenses on their budget, profit margins are looking low for many of them.

But it’s not just OOs. In fact, some would consider OOs pretty lucky, as they’re still making really solid money. But small trucking companies are not and as gas prices continue to surge, we’re starting to see more and more of these companies shut down.

91% of companies are at risk of shutting down due to high gas prices

I just said smaller companies are at risk — so let’s define what a smaller company is. South Carolina Trucking Association CEO Rick Todd defines it as a company with “six or fewer” trucks. Perhaps even more terrifying — companies of this size account for 91% of trucking companies, according to Todd via Fox News.

If you’re a company driver, there is good news here.

The good news is that you won’t have trouble finding a job; at least not in the immediate future. There’s still a major shortage of truck drivers and even though you likely will not have the same available CPM rate, there are plenty of high-quality companies out there thriving like Whiteline Express, which continues to increase its pay for over-the-road drivers.

But for more than a handful of companies, profits are not high enough to do this. A lot of the same companies that are advertising 75-80 cents per mile for company drivers will not be able to offer those same prices. Actually — scratch that — they won’t even exist anymore.

A lot of these companies are shutting down with no warning, too. Look at Freon Trucking, a company that filed for bankruptcy after failing to pay their employees for weeks. Apparently, the company owes up to $16,000 to some employees. And Freon wasn’t even a tiny company — their company had around 25 drivers. This is the unfortunate risk you run when you drive for a smaller company in 2022.

If you’re a company driver, be careful out there. Until the economy, and specifically gas prices, stabilize, only jobs at large companies are safe.

Trucking Strike

Employees Are Saying Freon Trucking Isn’t Paying Them

If you’ve been in the trucking industry for a long time, you’re likely familiar with a few sketchy companies. Even though the industry can be sturdy and reliable, there will never be a shortage of scammers or irresponsible employers.

This week, a new company may have just been exposed in this light.

According to KGET, double-digit employees joined together to stand outside of Freon Trucking and demand pay that has been missing. There have been other issues too — one driver said that he had to pay his own money for a new tire in order to get back home in his truck. A few drivers found themselves stranded on the highway, as the company did not pay for their gas. Here are all of the details that we know about this situation.

Freon Trucking recently filed for bankruptcy, but have they already done too much damage?

Prior to this week, Freon Trucking has a totally clean record. According to Bakersfield Now, the company has had no prior cases filed in the past eight years. So what gives?

It seems like the company has totally fallen apart, allegedly trying to spread a small number of trucks among 25 drivers. An employee named Joel Juarez said that sometimes the drivers will be paid and sometimes they won’t. He continue by detailing how much the company owed him and others. Here’s what he said.

I have a couple colleagues that haven’t been paid over a good few weeks even months, two months I heard the most. It’s been for a couple of my colleagues it’s been over $12,000, $16,000 that have been owed. As for myself I’m owed $2,000 which is a little bit but still I need that money to pay my bills. Take care of the stuff at home. You know I have a family to take care of.

Apparently, the company promised to pay back workers for lost wages before realizing that the bank had frozen their accounts.

Many trucking companies are struggling right now, but this is not a good look for Freon Trucking.

Pilot Flying J

Trucking: Pilot Flying J Is Releasing a Unique Thanksgiving Meal

The trucking industry has more than a handful of perks. You don’t have to sit in an office and you get plenty of alone time. It’s currently a driver’s job market, so you can really earn your worth at the right company.

Still, there are also a few downsides to the profession.

The most notable, perhaps, is the lack of consistency in your schedule, especially if you’re an Over-the-Road driver. Oftentimes, America’s truck drivers are out working during national holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the 4th of July. It’s not ideal, but all drivers know this going in.

Pilot Flying J is releasing a unique Thanksgiving meal for drivers that can’t be home for the holidays

Thankfully, some trucking-adjacent companies are looking out for drivers. One of those companies is Pilot Flying J, which has been making a handful of moves to make truck drivers happier, including a project that will launch the re-haul of hundreds of locations across the country.

This time around, Pilot Flying J is giving drivers a Thanksgiving Meal during the holidays. Here’s what it will look like, according to PRNewsWire.

“Pilot Flying J’s new Thanksgiving entree includes a delectably sweet, brown sugar-glazed ham, made-to-perfection mashed sweet potatoes, and classic cornbread stuffing.”

Pilot Flying J will be selling this meal all through November and December, giving out special deals near the end of the year. Anybody with the myRewards Plus app will be able to get 25% off of this meal from November 21-27th. They’ll also extend their 10-cent gas discount through the end of December.

Green Goblin, Maximum Overdrive

This Man Recreated the Green Goblin Truck From Maximum Overdrive

It’s Halloween time. In the trucking industry, that means… well, almost nothing. Still, it’s a fun time to look at some of the spookier things in the industry — and what better to remember than a blockbuster horror movie involving a semi-truck?

That’s right — I’m talking about Maximum Overdrive, the 1986 Stephen King film starring Emilio Estevez.

The film featured a possessed truck that chased after the protagonist and other characters. The movie received terrible ratings, though it was extremely memorable for many. Apparently, it was memorable enough for one man to make a recreation of it.

A man recreated the “Green Goblin” semi-truck and brought it to the Guilty by Association Truck Show last year

In October of last year, a man named Nate Lawrence showed up to the Guilty by Association Truck Show with a Green Goblin truck. Granted — it wasn’t THE Green Goblin truck — but it was a near-perfect recreation of the antagonist of Maximum Overdrive.

According to Land Line, Lawrence is an expert in the field. He has spent years building haunted houses and movie sets across the United States for years. The Green Goblin truck came naturally.

The truck quickly became a favorite at the show, drawing audiences from all around. Apparently, some people traveled to Missouri from as far as Omaha, Nebraska for the sole purpose of seeing the Green Goblin truck.

“I had a fan come up and tell me they drove all night from Omaha, Neb., just to see the truck. And another hundred people have told me this truck is the reason they came to the show. There are a lot of beautiful trucks here, so for somebody to say that it’s really humbling.”

As of a year ago, Lawrence also planned to recreate the school bus from the very same movie.

American Truck Simulator

This Trucker Plays American Truck Simulator While Parked

The trucking industry is one of the older industries in the United States but remains one of the most unique. What other job allows you to travel across the country for a living?

For many, the tough part about trucking is how monotonous it can become. Sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle for up to 11 hours a day can be treacherous, no matter how patient of a person you are. For this reason, some truckers are extremely active outside of their normal driving position of a vehicle.

Some, however, really love trucking. Like… a lot.

This trucker plays ‘American Trucking Simulator’ while their truck is parked

In order to be a truck driver, you have to enjoy driving. Heck, most normal people enjoy driving but still — there’s a limit for most. For some, it’s a couple of hours to another state. For others, it’s a normal work day for a truck driver. Some push the limits and drive up to 70 hours a week in their truck.

Either way, being a CDL driver can be exhausting. Logically, you want to find a unique hobby to do in your free time… right?

Not u/BlueJDMSW20 on Reddit. Here’s what this user posted on Reddit, captioned “Anyone else play Truck Simulator when the truck is parked?”

American Truck Simulator
Truck Driver plays American Truck Simulator during their free time. (Photo Credit: Reddit r/Truckers posted by u/BlueJDMSW20)

That’s right, they’re playing American Truck Simulator. On a break. From trucking.

If you’re looking for answers on why somebody would want to do this, you’ve come to the wrong place. You’d think after countless hours of driving, the last thing you’d want to do is drive a truck virtually. But hey — to each his own.

A few replies seem skeptical of the hobby as well, with one user replying to the question by saying “f*ck no.” Another user said, “I drive enough IRL (in real life) no need to do it virtually when I’m off.”

Though it’s an undeniably strange hobby, American Truck Simulator is actually a great way to familiarize yourself with the mechanics of a truck. It’s not a perfect game, but it can help new CDL drivers get a good feel for the tricker parts of driving a 70-footer.

Pilot Truck Stop

Trucking: Pilot Just Upgraded 8 of Their Truck Stops

Pilot is clearly trying to cement itself as the premier truck stop destination in the United States. The company is currently planning a $1 billion remodeling project across 400 Pilot and Flying J locations. Here’s what the press release said about it:

“The three-year $1 billion New Horizons project marks the company’s most significant investment in store modernization to date. It will fully remodel more than 400 Pilot and Flying J travel centers and make additional upgrades at several more locations across the country.”

This is good news for truckers that work for companies in the Pilot/Flying J network. That means you, Whiteline Express drivers.

These are the upgrades that Pilot has already made to 8 truck stops

The upgrade plan is already in effect, with eight truck stops getting first dibs on this expansion plan. According to Yahoo!, here are the locations and what is upgraded at each spot, respectively.

  • Altoona, IAUpgraded restrooms and bathrooms, an expanded deli menu, and new Cinnabon kiosk
  • Boonville, MOA new breakroom for team members, new kitchen to serve guests their favorite homecooked meal, and four self-checkouts
  • Florence, SCNew kitchen for team members to prepare an expanded menu of fresh food and grab-and-go cold items, fully remodeled Wendy’s, and four self-checkouts
  • Gordonsville, TNBrand new restrooms and showers, newly remodeled Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Hope Hull, AL: Newly added deli with grab-and-go options, an expanded beverage selection, and new Southern Tire Mart at Pilot Flying J service center
  • Joplin, MOUpgraded food and beverage selections, fully remodeled Wendy’s, and four new self-checkouts
  • Palmdale, CABrand new location featuring a full deli with freshly prepared pizza, homestyle meals, and grab-and-go options, Subway, Cinnabon, four self-checkouts, five shower rooms, 55 truck parking spaces, 142 gasoline fueling positions, and 7 diesel lanes with biofuel, DEF, and high-speed pumps for quicker refueling
  • Pontoon Beach, ILFully remodeled restrooms, bathrooms, showers, kitchen, and Cinnabon kiosk

What hasn’t been mentioned so far is the entirely new addition in Palmdale, California. The location will feature a full deli, five showers, a Subway, a Cinnabon, five showers, 55 truck parking spots, and more. Unfortunately for Whiteline drivers, this is not in our area.

Pilot is offering 25% off at a few of their new locations. These locations include Hope Hull, ALJoplin, MO, and Sullivan, MO. The company is also offering a 10-cent gas discount and three free drinks per week to professional truck drivers if they use Pilot’s myRewards app. This is an extension of their Driver Appreciation benefits.

Semi-truck, Trucking

This Man Jumped on a Semi-truck and Traveled 100 Miles

Hitchhiking is one of the oldest forms of transportation around. Though it can be dangerous at times, there will always be pedestrians with their thumbs out on the side of the road looking to hitch a ride from a passerby. With luck, somebody will stop and let that person into their car and drop them off at the nearest possible location.

This is distinctly different than train hopping, where a person will jump onto an empty (or empty-ish) freight car and travel that way. This is unfortunately illegal, with obvious safety concerns being the issue.

For the first time in recorded history, somebody combined these two concepts. Okay — it might not be the first time this has been done, but it’s still an interesting story.

A man was arrested in Oklahoma for jumping onto a semi-truck and riding it 100 miles to a different state

Again, there are many options that somebody can choose to travel long distances without any existing form of transportation. Legal or illegal, the list is pretty long. This guy just added to it on his 100-mile trip from Wichita, Kansas to Logan County, Oklahoma.

Last Monday, a 30-year-old named Dustin Slocum decided to hop onto the back of a semi-truck and hope for the best. The truck traveled over 100 miles on the highway, receiving multiple 9-1-1 calls along the way. The calls were so ridiculous-sounding that police troopers didn’t believe it at first. Here’s what Eric Foster of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

“When you get a phone call like that, you’re like, oh, is that what they’re really seeing or is there something else going on?”

How did he do it? Apparently, it was extremely simple — he was just hanging from the back of the truck. The “joyride” came to a stop when other drivers on the road repeatedly waved the semi-truck driver down, which eventually prompted him to pull over. He was completely unaware that Slocum was clinging for dear life on the back of his vehicle.

Trucking, Taco Bell

Why the Trucking World Is Getting Excited Over This Taco Bell

In trucking, you’ll find a wider variety of news than virtually any other industry. Truckers have a way of getting their names in headlines for good and for bad. One recurring theme among headlines, however, has to do with drive-thrus.

For most truck drivers, going through a drive-thru isn’t an option — the trucks are simply too big, as most establishments have a maximum height of around nine feet. Clearance bars are usually placed at locations to avoid property damage, preventing large vehicles from bumping edges of buildings.

Even so, some are completely unnecessary. Some fast food companies are realizing this and taking steps to cater to trucking companies.

This Taco Bell removed it’s clearance bar entirely, allowing semi-trucks to pass through and order food

It’s what all truckers want — fast food access at all times. There is a very small number of places that cater to truckers but generally speaking, they’re out of luck. Fortunately, those who pass through Nebraska will now have the option to get fast food.

A video posted to YouTube by Natasha Trucking showcased a Taco Bell that knocked down the clearance bar, allowing truck drivers to pass through the Taco Bell drive thru.

Unfortunately, as seen in the video, the speaker system at this Taco Bell has not been altered, so drivers have to open the door and step down to order and receive their food.

Still, it’s pretty convenient for big-rig drivers who are used to parking and ordering inside of restaurants.

Trucking Yard

This Simple Trucking Issue is Contributing to the Driver Shortage

The trucking industry is as steady as any industry in the world. As long as goods need to be shipped around the world, which should be forever, there will always be trucks driving around. Unfortunately, there are at least two obstacles here — autonomous driving and the current driver shortage.

Are these two issues connected?

So far, it’s not entirely clear why people aren’t as eager to drive trucks as they used to be. The numbers are clear — there will be an estimated shortage of 160,000 drivers by 2030 — but if companies knew how to combat this issue, it wouldn’t be an issue. So where do these companies start?

The issue of Gen Z not wanting to join the industry is simple — the solution is not

The one common denominator in trucking, which all drivers will attest to, is the emergence of technology. In the industry, technology threatens to take away jobs by introducing autonomous driving. This is a concept that would make any prospective driver weary of joining the industry. After all, the primary benefit of becoming a truck driver right now is that you have your pick of the litter when it comes to companies due to the shortage.

If that’s taken away, what is left? How do you sell driving positions as a company? Perhaps this is what is going through the minds of Gen Z, a generation that refuses to join skilled trade industries. According to CCJ, for every six retiring baby boomers in a skilled trade position, two people from younger generations are joining positions. This is concerning, as nearly half of the workforce consists of Gen Z or Millenials, according to FreightWaves.

But it still doesn’t add up.

There are obvious layers to this. Members of Gen Z tend to be more stagnant than those of the generations before them — this means more time spent on their phones or looking at screens and less time adventuring out in the world. There’s also not a necessity for younger people to learn skilled trades. A large portion of Gen Z is working to go through college and find a salaried position. But is this the right path?

The beauty of the trucking industry is simple in that there are more than a handful of jobs available. Once again, I’ll point to the 60,000+ driver shortage that is anticipated to triple over the next seven years. If you want a job in trucking, you can be out on the road in a matter of weeks with no prior experience. Many companies will pay for your CDL training, so it seems like a pretty attractive deal.

Apparently not.

As things stand, trucking companies are still scrambling to figure this out. The leading theory is that advancements in technology in trucks will attract the younger generations.