“Trucking always gets the first bounce in an upturn. I'm hopeful we'll see that bounce in the second quarter (of 2002). I tend to see the glass as half-full, so I think the upturn will bring a shortage of capacity because so many carriers have left the industry.”
Pat Quinn, president,
U.S. Xpress Enterprises and
2001-2002 Chair of the Truckload Carriers Assn
.



Santa's 18-wheeler

A 74-ft. white spruce from the Ottawa National Forest in Michigan is on its way to Washington, D.C., where it will stand on the U.S. Capitol's West Lawn as “The People's Tree.” Schultz Equipment and Parts Co., an International dealer in the Upper Peninsula city of Iron Mountain, MI, is moving the tree down to D.C. with an International 9900ix Pro-Sleeper tractor and flatbed trailer fitted with a special cradle. It's also providing a second truck and driver to deliver 70 smaller Christmas trees for placement throughout the nation's capital. After the Christmas season is over, the People's Tree will be milled into lumber that will be used by Habitat for Humanity to build homes in Michigan.

Time for a new name?

Michelin's famous tire man Bibendum (the name is Latin for “drinking”) may have to change his name to Purgandum (Latin for “cleaning”). The international tire maker assembled almost 50 motor vehicles of all types in Fontana, CA, for the start of its third Michelin Challenge Bibendum, an over-the-road contest judging environmentally friendly cars and light trucks on fuel economy, as well as performance, handling and noise.

The entries included vehicles that ranged from a hydrogen-powered Cobra to a diesel-powered Chevy Silverado and a Ford F150 running on alcohol (drink up, indeed). For the first time, the Bibendum Challenge also included an exhibit of medium- and heavy-duty trucks from Freightliner and Volvo fitted with the latest fuel-economy and emissions-reduction technology. For more information on the challenge, as well as the origins of Bibendum's unusual name, go to www.michelin.com.

Truckload scholars

The Truckload Carriers Assn. Scholarship Fund has bestowed scholarships worth $36,000 on family members of carrier employees. Wanda Legette-Gause has been awarded the $3,000 Kai Norris Memorial Scholarship. The wife of Nathaniel Gause, a driver for USA Truck, Legette-Gause is a junior at Voorhees College majoring in organizational management. The $3,000 Thomas Welby Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Holli Stork, the daughter of owner-operator Matt Stork, who is leased to Ellerbrock Truck. She is a senior at Buena Vista University majoring in management information systems.

The association fund also awarded $2,000 scholarships for the 2001-2003 academic year to 15 college students associated with the trucking industry.

For more information, visit www.truckload.org.

Nuts on the road

Drivers for the Planters fleet are probably sick of them, but the company's newest trailer graphics — designed to help launch a line of chocolate-covered nuts — are sure to open a whole new can of nut jokes as they roll down the road.




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