Highway Rhythm | Highway 61 Blues – Truckers Paradise for Entertainment

U.S. Route 61 is more than just a road. It’s a highway engulfed with blues music. From years past until now, Highway 31 has remained as an inspiration to all blues artists. “Highway 61 Blues” by Roosevelt Sykes was the first song ever recorded about the road in 1932, but it certainly wasn’t the last. Today, Highway 61 continues to appear in an array albums, as it did Bob Dylan’s critically acclaimed album “Highway 61 Revisited” in 1965.

Highway 61 begins in New Orleans, Louisiana and stretches along the Mississippi River to as far as Wyoming, Minnesota. All along the way, the legendary highway symbolizes the genre of music best known as the Delta blues. From Muddy Waters to B.B. King, Highway 61 is deeply rooted in some of the greatest blues musicians’ albums and lives. Growing up in the Mississippi Delta often made for tough life. Music, especially blues, seemed to be a bit of an escape from the widespread poverty, as was the highway. Musicians from the area viewed Highway 61 as a way to find better opportunities, and ultimately bring their music to other parts of the country.

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Take a drive down Highway 61, and you will see for yourself why this road has influenced musicians since its development. Anything from soul, gospel and R&B can be found playing in juke joints, churches, and on front porches. For the ultimate experience down Highway 31, be sure to stop in the bigger cities to see even more blues.

Starting off in New Orleans, truckers will find an array of ways to celebrate and pay tribute to the musical pioneers who helped shape American culture with their music. If you’re looking to pass the time away and grab a bit to eat, stop in the House Of Blues. The House Of Blues is a premiere New Orleans restaurant that mixes great food and live music with a causal atmosphere. World famous musicians, including Fats Domino and Eric Clapton, have even performed there.

If you happen to be in New Orleans on October 17-19, be sure to mark your calendars for the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival. This free event is hosted in Lafayette Square and will feature some of the most renowned blues artists on two stages. The headliners for this year’s show will include Bobby Rush, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Little Freddie King, Los Lobos and Mel Waiters.

It’s all right if you can’t park and stay in New Orleans for more than a few hours. Just by walking through the streets, you can experience plenty of soul-stirring music, thanks to the street performers.

Now, hop in your trucks because we’re headed northbound up Highway 31 and making our next stop in Memphis. This city is widely known for its distinct style of blues music that was created between 1910’s and the 1930’s. Since then, blues musicians have come from all around to perform under the bright lights of Beale Street.

As a trucker, you will find many places to pass the time away. For starters, you can grab a bite to eat at the Blues City Café. With quality Memphis style food and music to match, you won’t leave disappointed. Over the years, the Blues City Café music venue, the Band Box, has hosted many world-famous musicians, including B.B. King and Hank Williams Jr.

If time is not on your side, take a stroll down Beale Street and see where it all started for blues artist like W.C. Handy. Numerous shops and street performers will make you wish your down time was just a little longer.

Buckle up, lastly, we’re headed up Highway 61 to St. Louis. The style of St. Louis blues is a more piano-based and can easily be found throughout the city. While in St. Louis, don’t miss out on visiting the National Blues Museum. Here, truckers will find a museum dedicated to exploring and preserving “the historic significance of the Blues as the foundation of American music.” The museum also “celebrates the genres various styles and recognizes the musicians who created, sustain and advance the art form.”

With time permitting, drivers can purchase a single ticket to see the St. Louis Blues, the city’s NHL team, play. If you’re looking to experience the city’s blues firsthand, consider visiting one of St. Louis’s many blues clubs. BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups is often referred to as the city’s best blues club. Famous blues musicians such Willie Akins, Big George Brock and Boo Boo Davis have performed there.

While we’re only featuring three of the major cities on Highway 61, there are numerous blues attractions along the 1,400 mile route that can be found in both small town and big cities. With a quick Google search, no matter where you are on Highway 61, you can find something suiting for your down time. So next time you’re trucking down “The Blues Highway,” don’t overlook the history of the route that helped pave many blues musicians’ careers.

Wyoming Looks to Better State Freight

wyomingTruckers often spend countless minutes at weigh stations and ports of entry when they could be trekking across the United States. Instead of transporting their freight across cities and states they’re standing in line to get their paperwork approved in order to enter a new region of the U.S.

Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is addressing their first statewide freight management plan this year. The Wyoming Statewide Freight Plan (SFP) will be a document that addresses an expansive spectrum of issues from speeding up the port of entry process to rail travel. Also, it will become a gathering point for all statewide freight routes and issues.

The plan will enable WYDOT to implement a broad approach to statewide planning to integrate freight elements into the Statewide Long Range Transportation Plan. Expanding economic development opportunities for grants and public-private partnerships, and improving network safety and efficiency.

Ed Fritz, a policy and planning analyst with WYDOT said,

“A statewide freight plan looks at how freight movement is working across the state, if there’s issues out there. That’s primarily what we hope to identify, what are problems or impediments in areas we can have an effect on.”

One of the next steps that WYDOT is taking is to create a statewide freight advisory committee to obtain feedback and recommendations on Wyoming’s SFP vision. This committee will set the standard for all things freight and transportation.

WYDOT has made a huge effort to get citizens input to the SFP. Making several forums available to the public to provide thoughts and ideas for the plan. Also, SFP hosted a meeting for the public to learn more about the plan and give thoughts on the states freight transportation.

Wyoming is paving the road for other states to implement a similar plan for freight. If each state follows the model that Wyoming is setting then many challenges truckers continue to face state to state on the road can be minimized. Easing the job of truck drivers across the nation.

Morgan crash with Wal-Mart puts HOS in spotlight

A high profile crash involving a well-known comedian and a Wal-Mart truck has put the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) hours-of-service (HOS) rule into the national spotlight. Amid reports that the driver involved in the crash had not slept for 24 hours, some lawmakers, as well as some celebrities, are subsequently condemning a recently proposed amendment by the U.S. Senate. If enacted, the amendment would suspend the HOS provision that limits drivers with one 34-hour restart in a 168-hour period that includes two consecutive 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods. The amendment also includes a requirement that the FMCSA conduct a field study in conjunction with the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Inspector General to ascertain whether or not the provisions are justified. A report of its findings would then be presented to Congress.

Tracy Morgan photo

Comedian Tracy Morgan

The crash occurred when actor / comedian Tracy Morgan, who was a regular on Saturday Night Live for seven years and was later nominated for an Emmy for his role in 30 Rock, was headed back to New York City with other comedians after a stand-up performance in Delaware. The group was traveling in a 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter luxury van heading northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike in Cranbury Township when a Wal-Mart tractor trailer slammed into the back of the van about 1:00 a.m. on June 7. The van overturned, setting off a chain reaction involving four other vehicles. Morgan was critically injured; another comedian, James McNair, was killed; and three others in the van were injured.

The driver of the Wal-Mart tractor-trailer, Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Ga., was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. The preliminary investigation by state police found that Roper failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead of him and attempted to swerve away but still struck the van.

Wal-Mart Chief Executive Bill Simon issued a statement saying:

“This is a tragedy and we are profoundly sorry that one of our trucks was involved. We are working quickly to understand what happened and are cooperating fully with law enforcement to aid their investigation.”

Roper is accused of driving recklessly, going 20 mph over the speed limit, and falling asleep at the wheel after allegedly having gone 24 hours without sleep. Roper has pleaded not guilty and currently is free on $50,000 bond.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued its preliminary report on the crash June 19 saying the 2011 Peterbilt truck owned by Wal-Mart was traveling at 65 mph for the 60 seconds before the crash. A sign one mile before warning that lanes were closing ahead for construction was allegedly ignored by Roper as was a sign a half-mile later that reduced the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph. Morgan’s van had slowed down due to the congestion formed from the center and right lanes being shut down for work being done on a large overhead sign some three miles down the road.

wal-mart trailer and truckAccording to the NTSB report, there was no violation of federal HOS rules despite reports of Roper having not slept for 24 hours. Roper reported to work at 11:22 a.m. on June 6. He then made deliveries to Wal-Mart stores in New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania before the wreck, which occurred 13 hours and 32 minutes later. Federal rules say commercial drivers must rest after 14-hour shifts. Also, his total driving time was 9 hours, 37 minutes, which is under the 11 hour federal limit. A spokesman for the NTSB, Keith Holloway, said these findings were based on computers aboard the truck that record, speed, engine performance, brakes and more information.

At issue, however, is how long Roper was awake and driving before he reported to work that day, which is a point the HOS rule doesn’t cover. Roper lives in Georgia but is based in Delaware. That means he commuted more than 700 miles to his trucking job in Smyrna, Delaware.

Wal-Mart spokesperson Brooke Buchanan said the company believes Roper operated within federal rest guidelines the day of the crash but Wal-Mart would take full responsibility if the investigation reveals that its truck was at fault. “The details are the subject of the ongoing investigation, and we are cooperating fully with the appropriate law enforcement agencies,” she added.

On July 10, Tracy Morgan, along with three others, filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey. The complaint says:

“Wal-Mart was careless and negligent in the ownership and operation of its motor vehicle, which caused Mr. Morgan to suffer severe personal injuries. As a direct and proximate result of said collision, Mr. Morgan was caused to sustain severe painful bodily injuries, including but not limited to multiple fractures which required multiple surgeries, extensive medical treatment and will require significant physical rehabilitation.”

The lawsuit writes that Roper was fatigued at the time of the accident and that “Wal-Mart knew or should have known” that Roper had been “awake for more than 24 consecutive hours” at the time of the crash. Citing the fact that Roper had commuted 700 miles to a Wal-Mart facility before even beginning his shift, the lawsuit says that Wal-Mart does not do enough to ensure that its drivers are following FMCSA shift limit regulations. “Walmart not only failed to condemn, but condoned this practice of its drivers routinely violating the FMCSA Regulations,” continues the lawsuit.

The suit also claims that the Wal-Mart private fleet failed to factor in driver commutes into its scheduling. “Wal-Mart had a custom and practice of recklessly and intentionally allowing its drivers to drive for prolonged and unreasonable periods of time, making them exceedingly vulnerable to suffer from fatigue,” reads the suit. It also says that Wal-Mart “recklessly and intentionally failed to take proper measures to combat driver fatigue.”

Also at issue in the suit is the allegation that the Wal-Mart truck involved in the crash was equipped with an autonomous braking system, which did not deploy prior to the accident. Wal-Mart “knew or should have known” the autonomous braking system was “compromised,” the lawsuit says.

Joining Morgan in the lawsuit seeking compensatory, statutory and punitive damages plus legal fees, are his assistant Jeffrey Millea, Millea’s wife Krista Millea, and comedian Ardie Fuqua.

In reaction to the high-profile crash, the American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves said in a written statement that the accident put “the issue of highway safety, and in particular the safety of the trucking industry… at the forefront of the national conversation.” He also sent condolences to the victims and families involved in the tragic crash and stressed that every crash on the highway is a tragedy and that’s why “the industry places safety as our highest priority.”

Graves also said that the HOS regulations “only place limits on driving and on-duty time and require that between work periods drivers take a minimum of 10 consecutive hours off-duty.” But he also stressed that “they do not dictate what drivers do during that off-duty period.” Graves affirmed his support of the Senate’s proposed amendment to suspend some of the HOS regulations from 2013.

Calling out the Tracy Morgan crash as an example to support its position, the Teamsters, came out in opposition to the proposed amendment, however.

Shaffer Trucking Offers Truck Drivers More

While their cargo stays cold, there aren’t many trucking companies that can match the warmth Shaffer Trucking shows their employees. Shaffer is able to boast one of the lowest turnover rates among drivers in the trucking industry, due in a large part to the respect for their employees. Valuing a driver’s time, the refrigerated trucking company has made some recent announcements in their pay plans and regional areas that mean more for drivers.

Shaffer Trucking advertisement imageShaffer’s national over the road drivers received a 2 cpm raise that carries up to 4 cpm for owner operators. The average earnings for a Shaffer driver come to $56,000 per year, but the top 50% of all drivers earn upwards of $62,000 per year. This is a trucking company that understands the value of their employees’ time and demonstrates it through respect.

In keeping with a healthy respect for a driver’s time, Shaffer Trucking allows their drivers to choose which type of route they prefer to drive in order to accommodate their home time needs. National, regional, dedicated, and home weekly routes are all options made available to drivers. Growing business has led the company to develop two new regional areas to better serve the increasing freight demand.

Shaffer Trucking blue truckThe newly minted regional areas cover the Northeast and Pennsylvania. The Northeast regional area works from the northeast end of Maine down to the southwest corner of Maryland. Beginning pay for drivers in this neck of the woods is at 48 cpm, and drivers are guaranteed to be home weekly. In fact, 60% of that home time can be expected over the weekends.

The hiring for drivers in Pennsylvania’s region is more narrow, requesting truck drivers who live within 200 miles of New Kingstown, PA. Fortunately, these drivers won’t be delivering outside of that 200 mile radius, allowing for home time every 2-3 days. Drivers filling these trucking jobs will earn $170 per day and work 5-6 days per week.

Commenting on the Shaffer’s recent expansion, President Jack Peetz has said:

“In addition to increasing driver pay rates, we are experiencing much stronger demand for our services which has also resulted in increased miles for our drivers. Growing our fleet will benefit both our drivers and our customers.”

Beyond route choice and increased pay, driver benefits at Shaffer include a generous rider program for more time with family, a pet policy, and a healthy benefit plan. Truck drivers interested in the open driver seats at Shaffer can apply for their truck driving jobs online.

Maverick Announces Changes to Driver Compensation Plan

Big changes are taking place at Maverick Transportation when it comes to their driver pay scale. The changes include substantial mileage pay increases and will impact all incoming drivers, from those just coming out of driving school to those with years of experience.

Under Maverick’s previous policies, new drivers had to be at the company for several months before being able to participate in Maverick’s Pay for Performance (PFP) program. Now, all incoming over the road drivers will receive an introductory PFP rate, which raises their mileage pay by $0.02-$0.04/mile across the board after going solo. These increases will bring Maverick’s starting pay to $0.35-$0.53/mile depending on drivers’ experience level and division.

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Drivers coming straight out of driving school will receive an additional $0.02/mile while drivers with 6-11 months of experience will see an increase of $0.03/mile. Those will 1 year or more of experience will see a pay increase of $0.04/mile. These new pay increases, paired with Maverick’s 1st year incremental pay raises means that by the end of their 1st year of employment, drivers just out of driving school will effectively have received an additional $0.02-$0.04/mile increase in starting pay, a pay raise after 3 months, another pay raise at 6 months, and finally, another after 1 year. Students are also eligible for and $800 graduation bonus, tuition reimbursement, and paid Orientation/Training.

Students aren’t the only drivers eligible for additional pay raises. Since 2013, all experienced Maverick drivers have been on the PFP plan. This unique bonus plan allows for drivers to be paid additional mileage pay bonuses based on a key set of metrics. The bonuses range from $0.01-$0.06/ mile and are paid on all miles in the following quarter. “This plan was created to reward those drivers who deliver the highest level of service and safety,” said Vice President of Operations, John Coppens. “It’s been extremely well received by our current fleet with over 70% of our fleet receiving some type of PFP bonus,” added Coppens. “Drivers can also check their real time PFP ‘scorecard’ via in cab technology, their mobile device, or their home computer.”

“Most, if not all, tenured Maverick drivers are reaping the financial rewards of the PFP program. Now all drivers can reap those rewards, including new hires,” said Director of Recruiting, Brad Vaughn. “This basically bridges the gap between when a new driver is hired and when he/she becomes eligible to participate in Maverick’s PFP program. It’s an introductory PFP rate until such time the new driver can earn his/her own rate.”

This is the second pay raise Maverick has announced in the last 30 days. These pay changed come on the heels of an announcement in June that Maverick would be increasing pay in their USA division by $0.02/mile across the board. The increase brought Maverick driver’s first year earnings to over $57,000 for all experience levels in the USA division. “This is an average, so you have to keep in mind that a driver in this division with over 1 year of experience will be closer to the $60,500 mark, while drivers right out of driving school will be closer to the $53,000 mark,” said Vaughn. Maverick hopes that the increase would compensate those drivers who are away from home for longer periods of time than their regional fleet.

Maverick pay changes

For more information on starting your career at Maverick, and being eligible for all of the awesome pay raises, check out the link at the top of this article. You can also call the recruiting department at 800-289-1100, or visit the website at www.maverickusa.com.

Trucking Titans Clash Over ELD Mandate

There were no surprises when the comment period for the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate ended June 26. Trucking associations lined up either in favor or opposed to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) proposal just as expected. If passed, the rule is likely to go into effect in late 2016.

Four parts make up the electronic logging device rule:

  1. the requirement to use ELDs;
  2. protection against driver harassment;
  3. hardware specifications for the devices; and
  4. the hours of service-related supporting documents drivers must continue to carry after the mandate.

An ELD must be used by drivers who are required to keep records of duty status in eight or more days out of every 30 days. Trucking companies and drivers will not be required to install or use an ELD until two years after the final rule becomes effective.

ELD EOBRAs major holdup in past ELD proposals, driver harassment will be addressed with safeguards including expanded driver access to records, precise wording to carriers about driver harassment, an implemented complaint procedure, stiffer penalties for those who do harass drivers, “edit rights” for drivers, tighter restrictions on location tracking, mute functionality for the devices, and the protection of driver confidentiality during enforcement proceedings.

As for hardware specifications, ELDs will be integrated with the truck’s engine and will use location information. They will be tamper-resistant but also will allow drivers or carriers to explain or correct records. The ELDs must “present a graph grid of a driver’s daily duty status changes” either on the units themselves or in printouts.

Either paper or electronic documents will still be required to be maintained as documentation verifying drivers’ hours of service (HOS) records. Driving time documents would not be kept, but documents verifying periods of drivers’ on-duty non-driving time must be kept. Supporting documents can include: bills of lading, itineraries, dispatch records, expense receipts, electronic mobile fleet management system records, or payroll records.

The rule also says the annual cost of compliance will be between $165 and $832 per truck.

OOIDA Makes a Statement

At the time this most recent ELD mandate was first proposed, the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) expressed great concern over the driver harassment issue. Also at issue were concerns about the cost to truckers and the association’s belief that the FMCSA has yet to show any safety benefit correlation between ELD use and reduced crashes.

In its 50-page comment explaining its opposition to the mandate, OOIDA again said no device is capable of fulfilling the actions the FMCSA describes in its proposal. An ELD still needs drivers to manually input changes of duty status, thus resulting in no increase in HOS compliance.

OOIDA wrote in its comment:

“While it is true that ELDs can measure an individual’s driving time, those devices cannot determine compliance HOS rules any better than paper logbooks. Nor can they determine whether a drive has had an opportunity to obtain restorative sleep in order to eliminate fatigue.”

Pointing out what it believes to be another flaw in the process, OOIDA adds:

“Today, (ELD-equipped) vehicles are often waived through the inspection process by officers who are unable to deal with electronic RODS (record-of-duty status) and/or who make the unwarranted assumption that drivers operating vehicles with ELDs must be in compliance with the HOS regulations.”

It also is the association’s claim that not enough action is taken to prevent harassment and coercion of drivers by carriers or others in the trucking industry. “FMCSA’s proposal on harassment is not carefully conceived and provides no effective rules to ensure against harassment. OOIDA is incredulous that FMCSA has put off for another day specific regulations dealing with coercion. The concepts of harassment and coercion are closely intertwined. The pressure put on motor carriers by shippers and receivers to follow unrealistic delivery schedules favors addressing the problems of harassment and coercion comprehensively in a single proceeding.”

OOIDA also takes its objections to the level of the U.S. Constitution saying the rule restricts rights to movement without respecting a person’s due process rights. It believes the monitoring of drivers’ movement and locations with electronic devices should have approval by court proceedings. “The proposed rule’s imposition of electronic monitoring is an unconstitutional deprivation of a driver’s freedom of movement,” the association writes in its comments. “If adopted, the proposed rule would afford truck drivers fewer constitutional protections than the courts currently afford accused sex-offenders under federal law. “

Other Trucking Groups Make a Case for ELDs … Sort of

Meanwhile, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) continues to support the FMCSA’s efforts to improve safety and compliance in the trucking industry by mandating ELDs. The ATA also feels it levels the playing field for the thousands of fleets that have already voluntarily implemented the technology. The ATA does, however, want a longer grandfather period (now four years after the effective date) for carriers who switched to older forms of ELDs such as EOBRs (electronic on-board recorders). It also deems the requirement that up to 10 supporting documents be supplied for each day the driver is on duty to be excessive and unnecessary. The association believes ELDs “all but eliminate“ the need for documents backing up the logs.

The Trucking Alliance, which is a coalition of businesses in support of technologies, policies, and legislation to promote safer highways, a cleaner environment, and an improved economy, said in its comment that “the ELD rule will mark the most significant change in the operation of the U.S. trucking industry since Congress deregulated the industry in 1980. More importantly, this ELD rule will improve compliance with the federal hours-of-service rules for commercial drivers and ultimately reduce truck driver fatigue and the number of highway accidents driver fatigue causes on our nation’s highways.”

“The benefits of the ELD rule to the American public will be reduced highway accidents, saved lives and injuries avoided.”

It also believes the streamlined automated system of ELDs will relieve the burdensome and tedious paperwork for drivers and carriers alike.

Earlier in May, OOIDA also questioned a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) for the FMCSA, which purported that ELDs would lower truck crash rates. The association felt that the study’s conclusion was flawed “because it included all other types of crashes except those that supposedly would be prevented with electronic logging devices,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.

Although the study’s premise that the safety benefits of electronic hours-of-service recorders (EHSRs) would increase HOS compliance, which subsequently would reduce driver fatigue and fatigue-related crashes, data that compared DOT-recordable or fatigue-related crashes was the result of small sample sizes of trucks with EHSRs and trucks without EHSRs by the VTTI’s own admission.

“The possible changes that hold the most promise in improving highway safety are things like driver training, better working environments, support systems and safe parking,” said Spencer. “We’d like to see well-trained drivers put into trucks instead of unproven technology. It is the hallmark of a bureaucracy to embrace billion-dollar mandates in the name of safety while all but ignoring the absence of even basic driver training for new drivers entering the industry.”

8 Truck Stops Worth a Pit Stop

If you’re just starting out in the trucking industry, or you’ve been at it for a while now, you need to know where the best truck stops are located. Below we’ve listed eight of the best truck stops around the country. Some we know you’ve heard of, while others are hidden gems you may have not ever heard of. Check them out, and let us know if we missed any!

Iowa 80

Iowa 80 Truck StopIn 1964, Iowa 80 Truckstop was founded by Bill Moon before Interstate 80 was completely built. With consideration for truckers needs, the Moon family has turned the once small white enamel building into the largest and most respected truck stop in the world. At Iowa 80, truckers will enjoy convenience at its finest. The truck stop includes a 300-seat restaurant, 24 private showers, a dentist, a barber shop, a 60-seat movie theater, a chiropractor, a Verizon store kiosk, a trucker’s lounge, a workout room, and laundry facilities. In addition, Iowa 80 also houses a food court featuring Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, Orange Julius, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Caribou Coffee. But wait, that’s not all. Iowa 80 also has a convenience store, 16 diesel lanes, a 7-bay truck service center, a 3-bay Truckomat truck wash, a CAT Scale, a Dogomat Pet Wash, a custom embroidery and vinyl shop, and the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum. If you’ve yet to experience Iowa 80, plan your next haul around the place that truckers call the ultimate truck stop.

Address: 755 W. Iowa 80 Road, Walcott, IA 52773

Porky’s Truck Stop (South of the Border)

South of the Border

If you’ve never stopped by South of the Border, you’ve certainly seen the road signs leading up to this roadside attraction. Amongst the Reptile Lagoon, Pedroland Amusement Park, and the 200 feet high Sombrero Observation Tower, truckers will find Porky’s Truck Stop. While the truck stop itself is nice, the main reason to make a stop at Porky’s is all the unique attractions that surround it.

Address: 3346 Highway 301 North, Hamer, SC 29547

 

Boise Stage Stop

Boise Stage StopYou won’t find nicer people than the ones that work at the Boise Stage Stop. Known for its hospitality and excellent food, this truck stop offers an atmosphere like no other. With over a 100 years of business, the Boise Stage Stop is able to provide one-of-a-kind service that is always catered to the needs of the trucker. From large, clean showers to a free gym and theater room, the Boise Stage Stop meets every trucker’s need. Stop in whenever, and see for yourself why both truckers and travelers call it their favorite truck stop.

Address: 23801 S Orchard Access Road, Boise, ID 83716

 

Jubitz Truck Stop and Travel Center

JubitzGasStationDeemed the “World’s Classiest Truck Stop” by the Travel Channel, Jubitz Truck Stop and Travel Center offer truckers both hospitality and entertainment. No matter what you’re looking for, this truck stop has it. At the Ponderosa Lounge, truckers can watch live bands on the weekend and even take country music dance lessons. If a good night’s sleep sounds better, Jubitz provides truckers with discounted lodging at the comfortable Portlander Inn & Marketplace. For those just looking to fill up and grab a bite to eat, be sure to swing by the Cascade Grill before heading over to Jubitz’s modern, 10 lane gas station facility. Whether you’re looking to stay awhile or get in-and-out, Jubitz makes life on the road easier with its wide variety of services.

Address: 10210 N. Vancouver Way, Portland, OR 97217

 

Alamo Casino and Sparks Petro

AlamoFor truckers looking to experience a little bit of Las Vegas on their haul through Nevada, Alamo Casino and Travel Center is the place. Home to a full casino and a full-service bar, the Alamo Casino offers truckers a place unwind during their down time.  With plenty of parking, a hotel, and great meals, in no time, the worries of the road will be long gone.

Address:1950 East Greg St. Sparks, Nevada 89431

 

Little America Travel Center

Little AmericaLocated on over 500 acres of pine forest, Little America offers truckers a comfortable truck stop in Northern Arizona. At Little America, truckers will not only find an inviting travel center, but a relaxing resort with dozens of amenities. This welcoming hotel offers day passes for truckers who want enjoy to pool or the fitness center before heading back on the road. If truckers have more than a day, they can book a room at the luxurious hotel and enjoy Little America’s natural beauty a little longer. While this specific Little America is located in Flagstaff, the chain also has another location in Wyoming, which is equally as nice.

Address: 2515 E Butler Avenue, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

 

Bosselman Travel Center

bosselman (2)Bosselman Travel Center is one of the most satisfying, full service travel facilities in the Midwest. Open 24 hours a day, the Bosselman Travel Center is designed to meet the needs of today’s trucker. This truck stop houses an array of amenities including a movie theatre, a chiropractor, 21 showers, a masseuse, and 400 parking spots. In addition, Grandma Max’s Restaurant, Little Caesars and Subway are conveniently located at this Grand Island truck stop. With friendly and personal service, truckers will drive away satisfied.

Address: 3335 W Wood River Road, Grand Island, NE 68803

 

Clearwater Travel Plaza

Clearwater Travel PlazaFill up your truck and your stomach at Clearwater Travel Plaza. With a world-famous restaurant and a fuel center conveniently located on-site, you won’t leave empty. At Clearwater Travel Plaza, truckers will not only find a convenience store that serves everyone’s needs, but the Nelson Bros. Bakery, Restaurant & Pub.  Bakers at Nelson Bros. work around the clock creating delicious artisan breads, homemade pies, doughnuts, pastries, and of course, their famous fritter bread. If you’ve never tried Nelson Bros. fritter bread, add it your bucket list. While the bakery is amazing, so is the restaurant. The diverse menu features a number of fresh and tempting items. Don’t pass by this hidden gem next time you’re in Minnesota, you’ll be missing out!

Address: 950 Minnesota 24, Clearwater, MN 55320

Jamboree Marks Iowa 80 Truck Stop’s 50th anniversary

For 35 years, the trucking industry has gathered in the parking lot of the Iowa 80 Truckstop during a warm weekend in July to celebrate professional truck drivers at Walcott Truckers Jamboree. This year marks a special anniversary for the Iowa 80 Truck stop as it celebrates 50 years in service to truckers with birthday cake for everyone at 2:30 on Saturday.

Iowa 80 Truck StopThe festivities of 2014 kick off today and will roll through this Saturday with plenty of free entertainment for drivers and truck enthusiasts. Last year’s jamboree drew more than 42,000 spectators over the 3 day period, and this year should be just as big. Each day includes carnival rides and games, an Iowa pork chop cook out, live music, and plenty of new and antique show trucks to ooh and aah over.

The daily fun begins each morning and continues through the day until the fireworks show that will cap Thursday and Friday evenings. Exhibits and the museum will be open all day while special events like the Trucker Olympics and a monument dedication will be highlights of the weekend.

Before the fireworks, concerts sponsored by CAT and Mobil Delvac bring up and coming country singer Chris Janson to the main stage on Thursday night and John Anderson (“Seminole Wind” and “Just ‘A Swingin’”) on Friday. Lindsay Lawler, trucking’s sweetheart for her song “Highway Angel”, will warm up the crowd before Anderson takes stage.

Commenting on the Jamboree, Senior Vice President Delia Moon Meier stated:

“Without truck drivers doing the job they do, our economy wouldn’t function. We appreciate their hard work and the Walcott Truckers Jamboree is our way of saying Thank You.“

Before the fun draws to a close on Saturday at 5 pm, join the trucking industry in wishing Iowa 80 Truckstop a happy anniversary. Here’s to many more!

BTC Truck Drivers Make More Cents

Builders Transportation Company (BTC) is a flatbed carrier based in Memphis, TN that operates throughout the country and has a core value of family first for its employees. Those who drive for BTC have as much time at home with the family as they need all the while driving late-model trucks.

BTC has yet again put its drivers first by increasing pay to 50 cents per mile or increasing percentage pay to 29 percent of the freight revenue for professional drivers who have two years worth of experience. Any experienced flatbed drivers who join the company now have the opportunity to receive a $3,00 sign-on bonus. BTC Logo

“Our professional drivers are worth so much to us – we’re always looking for ways to give back to them and, really, it’s never enough. We always want to do more,” says John Phillips, Vice President of BTC. “Whatever we can do to help make their job better is our priority.”

BTC is constantly working to develop the conditions and options for truck driving jobs by meeting the personal preferences of the drivers. BTC stands by its motto of family first for its employees. Whatever matters to the drivers, matters to the company. And if that means family before the job, then BTC will make it happen. John Phillips says that keeping a driver within 300-500 miles from home is a priority so the drivers will be at home with their families every weekend if they so desire.

BTC also offers longer miles of travel and more freight for the truckers who prefer that workload. Whether on mileage pay or percentage pay, the company works to give the best miles and loads to the drivers. There are over 400 late-model trucks that are under warranty in order for the lease operators to start off in a reliable truck that they are comfortable with.

The owner operators who use their own trailers receive 75 percent of revenue from their loads while those who use a BTC trailer earn 65 percent revenue of loads. BTC has a broad range of customers including U.S. Steel, Worthington Steel, NCI Building Systems and Nucor that will always be able to keep the trailers loaded.

NTB Inc. Trucking Strives for Excellence

NTB Inc.’s mission is to be the best trucking company in their region, striving to provide exceptional service while maintaining the personal relationships and care that their customers deserve.NTB trucking logo

NTB has continued over the past 35 years to serve their employees with dignity and respect, focusing on how they can better their employees career and lifestyle. NTB devotes great care for their drivers within the company showing constant appreciation and striving to impact drivers and their families.

NTB Inc. service area map

Corporate offices are located in Grand Rapids, Michigan with the primary terminals in Tipp City, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan.

NTB recently announced that they are implementing a pay raise of $.04/mile across the board for their incoming and experienced over-the-road drivers.

David Barge, Vice President of Operations said,

“Increasing driver pay demonstrates our ongoing commitment to offer one of the best compensation packages and one of the best truck driving jobs in our region.”

NTB stated that along with the pay increase, they will continue to offer practical mileage pay from driveway to driveway, two consecutive days home per week, per diem, detention pay, safety bonuses, referral bonuses, short haul premium pay, profit sharing, weekend premium pay, tuition reimbursement and complete medical benefits.

Recently NTB announced  production based incentive opportunities. The growth within the company has allowed NTB’s team to grow corporately. Serving the upper Midwest with both dry van and refrigerated trailers, NTB operates over 200 power units within the United States.