This week’s roundup of bite-sized news from the wide world of trucking features a local newspaper’s generous look at the industry; a trucking business legend’s last convoy; refiners and the ‘first mile’; higher speed limits in Ohio; and, last but not least, trucking, toilets and wind tunnels.
Trucking in the MSM: It’s always good to see a local newspaper, or any mainstream media outlet, take a fair look at the trucking industry. The Bowling Green (KY) Daily News has an extensive write-up in an article called, “Keep on truckin': Trucking industry moves America, region.”
The feature outlines the importance of trucking to the economy, a discussion of the driver’s working life and wages, and safety concerns.
Trucking in MSM, part 2: A column in The Times of Northwest Indiana pays tribute the owner of Jack Gray Transport, calling the recently deceased John S. Gray the “region's trucking business legend.” Gray was instrumental in the development of the local Great Lakes port, the column noted.
And “his funeral procession was led by one of his company's red semi trucks guiding the hearse all the way to his family's burial cemetery,” the farewell said.
Trucking in the oil patch: U.S. petroleum refiners are increasingly getting into the trucking business, buying tanker trucks to better manage “the first mile” aspect of crude oil delivery, according to a Reuters report. The object isn’t to cut logistics costs by cutting out the middle man, it’s to take control of their supply chains “to secure a more predictable, consistent stream of crude.”
Shipping crude by truck has become a fast-growing necessity in some areas, particularly newly productive shale oil patches without by a local pipeline network. As a result, the report notes, truck deliveries direct to U.S refiners have surged to nearly 400,000 bpd nationwide in 2013, doubling since 2010, government data show.
Trucking in Ohio: Ohio is looking to increase the speed limit to 75 on major highways and turnpikes. But, as the Dayton Daily News reports, the trucking industry opposes such a move.
“Our highways are already congested, why are they trying to raise the speed limit,” Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express Trucking in Dayton and the second vice chairman of the American Trucking Assns., told the newspaper.
And Burch said speed differentials on highways that allow cars to travel at faster speeds than semi-trucks “are a recipe for disaster.”
Trucking in school: A high school student’s truck aerodynamics project has garnered awards and may result in a trip to China, according to the Burlington Times News. The punchline: In wind-tunnel tests, her research project (“Cost Effective Passive Flow Control for Bluff Body Vehicles”) showed that the most effective aero trailer was the model represented by a large toilet float.