trucking, snowplow contest

Trucking: The best names from MN’s Name a Snowplow Contest

This year, Minnesota DOT held a “Name a Snowplow” contest and some of the names to come from it are… creative.

According to Minnesota Department of Transportation, over 60,000 people voted on their favorite name among the 60 options. They compiled some of the best and funniest names that were submitted and the winning eight will be on actual snowplows in the state of Minnesota. Here are those eight in order from first to eighth.

  • Yer a Blizzard, Harry
  • Blizzo
  • Clearopathtra (my personal favorite)
  • Better Call Salt
  • Han Snowlo
  • Blader Tot Hotdish
  • Scoop! There it is
  • Sleetwood Mac

More names were produced in this contest, for better or worse

The list does not stop at the winning eight, as Minnesota DOT released the full list of 60 names, their rankings, and how many votes each received. For example, the name that received the lowest number of votes was “As the Snow Flies.” Boring. Here are some other noteworthy names from the list.

  • Taylor Drift
  • Hippoplowtamus
  • Alice Scooper
  • Clark Blizzwald
  • I Came, I Thaw, I Conquered
  • Plower to the People
  • Blades of Flurry
  • Queen El-ice-abeth II

In reality, it’s just a contest to see who can come up with the worst snow-related puns with no lack of submissions. My personal favorites are “Clearopathtra,” “Better Call Salt,” Blades of Flurry,” and “Alice Scooper.”

Trucking, Winter

7 clothing tips for truckers to stay warm in the winter

Generally speaking, those who work in the trucking industry can stay warm pretty easily. Almost all trucks on the road have a heating unit and can maintain a comfortable temperature while truckers are driving from point A to point B.

That said, truckers can’t always stay in their trucks. Depending on where you work and specific circumstances, all truck drivers will spend some time outside of their vehicle. In the winter months, this can be excruciating. But there are things you can do about it.

Here are 7 things you can do to ensure a warm winter as a truck driver

1. Know your fabrics. The type of fabric that you wear makes a big difference. If you wear cotton, you’ll lose insulation value as soon as it becomes wet — this makes it a better middle layer than inner or outer layer. Wool, silk, and most synthetics, on the other hand, retain their insulation even when wet. These should be used for outer layers.

2. Wear at least three layers of clothing. An inner layer of wool, silk, or synthetic to wick moisture away from the body, a middle layer of wool or synthetic to provide insulation even when wet, and an outer wind and rain protection layer that allows some ventilation to prevent overheating.

3. Wear a hat or hood. Up to 40% of body heat can be lost when the head is left exposed. Wearing a hat or a hood is one of the most important things you can to do stay warm.

4. Wear insulated boots or another suitable type of footwear. If necessary, wear thicker than normal socks on cold days.

5. Keep a change of dry clothing available in case work clothes become wet or unusable.

6. Avoid wearing tight clothing other than the wicking layer. Loose clothing will allow for ventilation of heat away from the body.

7. Be aware of the wetting effects of perspiration. You’d normally think that you’re trying trap heat and get your body as warm as possible. This can backfire at times. If your body isn’t properly wicked or vented, trapped sweat can actually cause you to become colder and is often a bigger issue than rain or snow.

Saints Row 3 Trucking

How did this video game get this trucking detail so wrong?

Semi-trucks are well-represented in the media. There are countless films, commercials, and advertisements that feature 18-wheelers as a key piece in their storyboard. Truckers and semi-trucks are a huge part of pop culture and gaming is no exception to this.

Many of these games are hyper-realistic, like American Truck Simulator or any game in the Forza series. Generally speaking, these games do a good job of recreating semi-trucks down to specific details in the engine.

Sometimes, however, the creators of these games do a bad job. No — scratch that — sometimes, they do a terrible job.

Saints Row: The Third put all of the semi-trucks backward into the docks

If you haven’t already, go look at the image above from r/Truckers on Reddit. If you’re a trucker, you’ll immediately spot the issue.

That’s right, the trucks are somehow forward-facing to the docks in this screenshot of Saints Row: The Third Remastered. It’s unclear just how anybody would rationalize the positioning of these trucks, as it would be pretty much physically impossible to get them into the docks without backing them in. A Reddit user jokingly mentioned that the trailers might be double-sided.

Here’s the positive — sometimes games like this do things incorrectly on purpose. As an example, Grand Theft Auto V has stats that show each car’s acceleration, speed, and handling. These stats are known to be completely made up. Why? The developers thought it would be funny.

Let’s hope that this is another example of a gaming developer trying to be funny. Otherwise, it’s one of the sillier-looking mistakes that I’ve ever seen in a video game.

And the worst part? This game was remastered, meaning that the developers updated all of the graphics in the game. This means that they had the chance to fix this error and once again, left the trucks facing the wrong way into their respective docks.

Trucking, Bribe

Trucking: Former FMCSA employee was caught accepting a bribe

The United States Department of Transportation can be notoriously stingy. As a trucker, if you do a single thing wrong, they can and will make your life extremely difficult. The department is known for being extremely strict with rules and regulations.

Sometimes, this doesn’t necessarily apply.

In this case, Patrick Gorena, a former border investigator for the FMCSA,

Patrick Gorena was a border investigator for the Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Spoiler — he’s not anymore. In fact, it’s looking like Gorena never will be again, as he was recently caught accepting a bribe from an undercover law enforcement officer.

Patrick Gorena, a former DOT employee, admitted that he failed to report violations

Patrick Gorena originally put himself on the radar by demanding $3,500 from a trucking company. In exchange, he would look past violations that could potentially cause fines or even loss of DOT license. He would eventually be targeted by law enforcement, who would catch him accepting a $2,000 bribe from an undercover officer. This is what would lead to his eventual demise.

Extortion of this degree doesn’t seem to be very common in the industry in the United States. When it does happen, it seems like the perpetrator is always caught.

In Gorena’s case, he was caught and has pled guilty to extortion under color of law as recently as this week. Is your career really worth $3,500?

Truck Driver Wins Lottery

This truck driver just won $1 million lottery jackpot

A truck driver from Pittsylvania County stopped to get some food in Virginia. He would leave with $1 million… sort of.

According to the Virginia Lottery, a truck driver stopped at Mills Grill and Grocery for a BBQ sandwich. While he was there, he purchased two tickets for the state’s New Year’s Millionaire Raffle. He won.

The truck driver, Tim Allen, said that it was his first time doing the raffle and described his emotions as “pure excitement.” But he’s not the only truck driver who has won the lottery this year.

Truck drivers have a history of winning the lottery

You’ve probably seen more than a handful of headlines that are very similar to the one above — that’s because it has happened many times before. In fact, it seems like truck drivers are always winning the lottery. Just look at the anonymous lottery winner from Illinois who won $1 million earlier this year. The driver claimed that he frequently drives through Michigan and always buys tickets when he’s in the state.

And perhaps that’s the secret to winning a lottery ticket — access. Truckers are constantly passing through new areas and stopping at gas stations and rest stops. Lottery tickets are, in all likelihood, staring them in the face at all times.

Just a few years ago, a truck driver from Brooklyn cashed in nearly $300 million after winning the Powerball. Taxes would reduce it all the way down to $114 million but still. That’s over $100 million.

Trucking Fires, Arson

The trucking industry has an arson problem

If you keep up with the trucking industry, you’re no stranger to the plethora of stories involving the arson of a trucking terminal, fleet, or shop. At this point, the total number of fire-related accidents in the industry is starting to seem suspicious. With each new debilitating fire, we seem to find a new suspect who began it.

The most recent victim was Gentry and Sons, a prominent YouTube channel and trucking company. Tim Gentry, the owner of the company and channel, recorded the fire and his reaction to the fire. It’s extremely sad to watch. As things stand, there is no known cause for the fire and no true reason to believe that it was done by an arsonist.

Still, it brings up an important topic that isn’t frequently discussed in trucking — why are there so many fires? To take it a step further, you could even begin to ponder why so many of these fires lead back to an arsonist, or someone who intentionally began the fire.

Why are people burning down trucks, fleets, and shops?

Most people probably remember the Michigan man who set fire to 25 Swift Transportation trucks over roughly a two-year period. If he is found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison. It turns out that this man, who would be identified as Viorel Pricop, had been involved in other criminal activity such as transporting illegal goods. Swift is the company that helped put him behind bars, giving him a reason to retaliate.

But he’s not the only one who has set fire to a truck recently.

Anthony Dick, a 39-year-old former Estes Express employee, set three small fires which eventually would cause damage to a handful of trucks and trailers. He is also facing legal issues. Dick claims that the fires were set “accidentally” but law enforcement contradicted this by stating that there is no way that the fires were an accident.

Just last month, Patrick Excavating and Trucking took serious damage by fire. Another fire devastated a trucking company in Iowa, causing up to an estimated $4 million in damage. The list goes on and on.

At some point, the question has to be brought up — should something be done about arson and fires in the trucking industry? It seems like every week, there is another company devastated by a fire.

Trucking Fire

Most of this trucking YouTuber’s shop was taken out by a fire

A prominent trucking YouTuber’s shop was taken out by a fire, leaving his business in shambles.

Gentry and Sons Trucking may not be the most exciting name for a YouTube channel. That said, the relatively small trucking company has developed a very large audience on YouTube. The owner, Tim Gentry, works with his son Braxton to create custom truck builds, developing an audience of over 200,000 fans over the past few years.

Those projects may soon be coming to a halt, as an accident at the company’s shop quickly turned to disaster.

Gentry and Sons Trucking literally and figuratively burnt to the ground overnight

The situation began when Gentry and his wife were in their home at 11:00 PM having a normal night. But things quickly turned for the worse, as he would receive a call from the police, alerting him of smoke coming from the company shop. The couple would quickly turn on a camera and head down to the shop.

And just like that, eight years of business goes down the drain.

Gentry notes that the cost involved with getting back to work is upwards of $400,000 to $500,000. He goes on to mention that while the company does have insurance, there are a couple of obstacles. For one, it’s really difficult to make a claim and it takes a long time. Even if this claim does go through, it’ll only cover roughly an eighth of the damage.

The couple recorded their reaction as they approach their burning shop. The video posted to their YouTube channel is extremely depressing to watch.

The two noted that you can help by either purchasing their merchandise or going to their GoFundMe to donate. So far, over $44,000 has been raised, though their goal is much higher, sitting at $250,000. This would cover just half of Gentry’s estimated $500,000 to get his business back in action.

trucking, california

This California trucking law just banned over 200,000 semi-trucks

The trucking industry in the United States is very dependent on laws, rules, and regulations. These laws, rules, and regulations often determine how long a driver can drive, how much money a driver can make, and even where a driver can work.

They completely control the trucking industry.

And unfortunately for a lot of truck drivers, a new 2023 law will be impacting their livelihood. Thankfully for Whiteline Express drivers, this law is specific to California and mostly owner-operators.

Trucks made before 2011 are no longer allowed on California roads

Financially speaking, new laws can turn out to be a big negative for a truck driver. In this case, over 200,000 trucks will be impacted — this means that tens of thousands of truckers will be impacted, too. Possibly even hundreds of thousands.

To keep it simple, trucks built in 2010 or earlier will no longer be allowed on California roads. This has been coming for a long time and is a result of clean air regulations set in place by California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) back in 2008. According to MotorBiscuit, big rigs make up for just six percent of vehicles but account for about half of the state’s total emissions. This number increases as trucks age.

For many owner-operators, this change will have devastating consequences.

There are exceptions to California’s new law, but not many

Before all drivers are sent into a panic — there are acceptions to this rule.

For example, if you have a truck that was built before 2011 but has never been used, you can continue to drive it. I’m not sure about the specifics of this rule going forward, but if the vehicle has less than 1,000 miles per year of use since its original acquisition, it can still be used.

Another example is that of vehicles that have had their engines replaced with one built past 2010.

Trucking, Texas

5 mind-boggling numbers about the trucking industry in the US

The trucking industry is one of the largest industries in the United States. To take it even a step further, logistics is something that will always be necessary — even if technological changes take place, items need to get from point A to point B.

As a result, some of the numbers that you see in reference to the trucking industry are truly appalling. Today, I’m going to give you five interesting numbers about the trucking industry.

5 mind-boggling numbers in the trucking industry

1. The trucking industry brought in $875.5 billion in total revenue in 2021

Yes, you’re reading that correctly. The highest-earning logistics company in the world is UPS, which has an annual revenue of roughly $24 billion. Total revenue in the industry continues to grow.

2. The most common state for truckers is Texas, where there are around 172,000 drivers

There are almost exactly one million truck drivers in the US as of the most recent census. The most common state is Texas, where there are just over 172,000 drivers in an industry that is looking to grow. 15 of every 1,000 jobs in the Lone Star State is a trucking job. Other common states for truck drivers include California, Florida, and surprisingly, Pennsylvania.

3. US truckers moved over 10 billion tons of freight in 2021

So if there are one million truckers in the United States that work year-round, there must be a lot of freight. . . right? If you’re thinking that, you’d be right — in fact, over 10 billion tons of freight is shipped each year in this country, which is especially impressive considering the DOT’s gross weight limit is 80,000 pounds.

4. The trucking industry moved 71.6% of all goods in the US last year

According to CFS, that 10 billion-pound total of freight has a dollar value attached to it. That value is $10.4 trillion dollars. . . that’s right. Trillion. This accounts for 71.6% of all goods in the country.

5. 97.4% of trucking companies have fewer than 20 trucks

Even though the trucking industry is huge, the companies with it in aren’t necessarily giant corporations. In fact, an extremely high percentage of logistics companies are very small, with 97.4% of these companies having fewer than 20 trucks. Take an even closer look and you’ll see that around 91% have fewer than seven trucks.

Trucking, Mexico double tractor-trailers

Trucking: Why Mexico almost banned double tractor-trailers

The trucking industry in Mexico is often thought of as being a bit sketchy. Trucks are notoriously not monitored as much as they are in the United States, with plenty of vehicles driving over weight limits and without proper upkeep. It’s not so much a negative about Mexico — rather, this is a testament to just how strict the US Department of Transportation is.

That said, the Mexican government is constantly working to improve these driving conditions.

A strong example of this is their attempt to ban double tractor-trailers, an initiative that officials have been wrestling with for the past couple of years. The reader’s digest version of this story is that some believe the elimination of double tractor-trailers would reduce fatal car crashes. Some officials have gone so far as to claim that up to 8% of car crashes are caused by double trailers, though that number is not substantiated.

Mexico decided to shoot down the elimination of double tractor-trailers in the trucking industry

There was no immediate explanation on why the push to ban double-trailers was dropped but here’s how CANACAR announced it.

“Lara announced that, in the coming days, an update of the NOM-012 will be carried out, with technical and mandatory measures for greater road safety for all, without [double tractor-trailer] restrictions.”

They would later explain why this initiative could actually have a very negative effect on the very things that they are trying to improve, stating that it would require “37,100 new tractor-trailers and 106,000 [box] trucks, which would also have implications for mobility, road safety, and the environment.”

It looks like everything will stay the same for trucking in Mexico.