It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

I remember growing up watching this cartoon.  We all couldn’t wait for it to come on.  I remember watching the clock and counting down for that time.  Nowadays, the kids don’t know anything about Charlie Brown and what he meant to us.  A lot of the things Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the gang were going through, made us laugh.  My granddaughters watched the episode for the first 5 minutes then turned the tv to “Dog With a Blog”! (as if)

Charlie Brown is the best thing on TV as far as cartoons are concerned.  There is no violence involved. With every episode, there’s a lesson to be learned.  But, poor Linus, never got to see the Great Pumpkin, but he never gave up!

NTSB says FMCSA oversight, hands-free phone usage to blame for violent 2013 crash (with video)

|October 23, 2014

http://launch.newsinc.com/?type=VideoPlayer/Single&widgetId=1&trackingGroup=69016&siteSection=latimes_hom_non_sec&videoId=27906877

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should restrict the hands-free use of portable electronics and lapsed in its oversight of a problematic carrier, according to a recent report by the National Transportation Safety Board, who says both factors contributed to a May 2013 truck/train crash that caused a train derailment that led to an explosion.

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NTSB released its report Oct. 22, saying the driver of the tractor-trailer that hit the train was distracted by a hands-free phone conversation.“Current laws may mislead people to believe that hands free is as safe as not using a phone at all,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “Our investigations have found over and over that distraction in any form can be dangerous behind the wheel.”

FMCSA oversight, however, also contributed to the accident, NTSB says. Its report concludes that the carrier had shown a “consistent and serious pattern of noncompliance” with federal safety regulations and that FMCSA was aware of the problems but failed to “take adequate steps to ensure” compliance.

“We continue to be concerned with FMCSA’s new entrant program,” Hart said. “Problem operators keep falling through the cracks.”

NTSB last year called for an audit of FMCSA and its regulatory oversight, saying the agency consistently allowed problematic carriers to slip through the cracks, leading to several deadly crashes.

Keith and Vickie Sampson’s 156-inch ARI sleeper

Todd Dills|October 04, 2014

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You may have seen the video above already — Trucker Talent Search winner Keith Sampson’s on the cover this month attendant to a larger story about him we’ll be publishing online quite soon. Meantime, though, as I believe I promised at some point in the recent past here, get a load of Keith and his team owner-operator wife, Vickie’s, 2014 Volvo:Keith and Vickie Sampson's 2014 Volvo

The pair sent me this picture several days after the end of the Great American Trucking Show two months back, where we’d talked about the 53-foot van — it was at that moment in the shop getting a fresh coast of red to match the truck and 156-inch ARI sleeper. Striking color, no doubt — keep an eye out for them on the highway.

Sampsons' ARI interiorThe Sampsons note they ordered the truck via the GATR Truck Center in Des Moines, Iowa, near the beginning of this year, collaborating then with ARI in Northern Indiana to build the sleeper. The “Dark Persimmon Metallic and Black Sable” paint from the factory was matched after the fact on the boxes and fenders. The trailer paint work was done by Keith’s Collision in Justin, Texas, to match.

Sampsons' ARI interiorThe sleeper has all the amenities of home, they say: shower, toilet, 32-inch flat screen TV/DVD, onboard in-motion-capable satellite with Direct TV, two-burner cook-top stove, microwave convection oven, sink, full dinette that easily folds up against the back wall, “giving us a queen size bed.” The shorepower option enables the couple to “drop our trailer and plug in at an RV park, which we do quite often.”

The fully automatic transmission along with a preference for light loads helps the unit net an average 6.8 mpg — with the light loads they typically get more than 7 mpg driving 62-65 mph.

Stay tuned for more in future, no doubt. I’m hopeful the pair may get through Nashville at some point under a load. Safe hauling this weekend, everyone!

OOIDA’s New York HUT tax lawsuit certified as a class action

9/8/2014

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OOIDA‘s New York HUT tax lawsuit certified as a class action
By Land Line staff

OOIDA’s lawsuit against the state of New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance was certified Sept. 1 as a class action by the state’s Supreme Court, which is the state’s trial court. The lawsuit challenges certain highway taxes as unconstitutional and discriminatory against out-of-state truckers who have paid the taxes in order to do business in New York.

The court found that a class action was appropriate due to the potential number of trucking businesses affected.

OOIDA’s attorneys filed the complaint nearly a year ago in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Albany. The action names the defendants as the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Thomas H. Mattox (individually and in his official capacity as commissioner), along with the State of New York; and Andrew Cuomo (individually and in his official capacity as governor of the State of New York).

Named plaintiffs in the case are OOIDA and OOIDA Members Bryan Spoon dba Spoon Trucking, Steve Bixler, Jack McComb and William “Lewie” Pugh.

The class action lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of taxes that impose $15 for a certificate of registration and a $4 decal charge on all trucks using New York state highways. The taxes are imposed not only on New York-based trucks, which are driven proportionately higher miles in New York, but also on trucks based outside of New York, which are driven mostly in states other than New York.

OOIDA President Jim Johnston says that trucks owned and/or operated outside of New York travel fewer miles on New York highways than trucks owned and/or operated in New York. The imposition of the challenged taxes results in a higher per mile tax rate being imposed on out-of-state trucks.

OOIDA charges that constitutes an undue burden on interstate commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Johnston says that OOIDA’s action asks the court to declare those taxes unconstitutional and therefore invalid and not enforceable. The complaint also asks for injunctive relief, refunds and other appropriate relief on behalf of the plaintiffs.

OOIDA’s legal action will represent a class of all interstate motor carriers who reside and operate trucking equipment primarily outside New York who have paid or will pay the taxes.

Johnston called the certification of the class action a “very positive development.”

– See more at: http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=27616#.VDhisv50wdU