AT-NewsBlitz: Truckers, truckers everywhere; ex-Arrow CEO pleads guilty; impact of falling fuel prices

American Trucker’s round-up of this and that this week features some bite-size news including a map that shows that truck drivers are taking over the country; the CEO who wrecked his company pleads guilty to using business funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle; the plusses and minuses of falling diesel prices; and the high price to a trucking company of a falling bridge.

npr» According to data compiled from the U.S. Census Bureau driving a truck is the most common job in 29 of the 50 states. An interactive map and timeline created by National Public Radio’Planet Money blog shows the growth in truck driving popularity starting in 1978 when it topped the jobs list in just nine states.
Why the huge shift away from farming and secretarial jobs? Planet Money cites three reasons:

  • driving a truck has been immune to globalization and automation
  • regional job specialties have declines pushing a universal job like driving a truck higher on individual state lists, and
  • the Census Bureau defines the job quite broadly to include drivers of all kinds of trucks including delivery drivers.

» He inherited a leading flatbed trucking company, then ran it into the ground while not paying employee payroll taxes and yet spending lavishly on fancy cars and vacations for himself. Over Christmas 2009, Arrow drivers were stranded all over the country when he shut the doors without advance notice – and now he could be facing 10 years in prison.

The Tulsa World has been all over the story of former Arrow Trucking CEO Douglas Pielsticker, and the latest report covers his plea deal to charges of tax evasion and conspiracy to commit tax fraud. How nervy is this guy? After leaving behind Tulsa and some $100 million of Arrow debt, he moved to Dallas where he tried to set up a series of freight brokerages – and accumulated more unpaid bills, according to the Tulsa World.

» The fall in fuel prices should make long-haul trucking an attractive option to intermodal rail shipments – except many carriers are still having a hard time finding enough drivers. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks to some folks who have done the math – including the railroad CEO who says that low diesel prices won’t “suddenly, magically translate into more truck drivers” – and more market share for trucking.

» A bad day back in 2013 just got worse: The Washington State Department of Transportation is looking to collect $17 million from the truck driver, pilot car driver and the trucking company involved in the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge. The Puget Sound Business Journal explains the new lawsuit and old accident, which happened when a truck carrying an oversized load struck a support beam on the Interstate 5 bridge and caused a section to fall 38 feet into the river. No one was seriously injured.

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