Archive for October 2012

Ray Simon in YRC Freight Hall of Fame

Safe driving places man in YRC Freight Hall of Fame

After 39 years of trucking and more than a million accident-free miles, St. Cloud resident Ray Simon has been honored with an induction into the 2012 YRC Freight Hall of Fame.

Simon, along with eight other drivers from across the country, was chosen as part of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, which was Sept. 16-22.

Simon is no stranger to accolades. He is the only driver in history to win the American Trucking Association’s Grand National Championship three times.

He gives  credit to his mentor Charlie Smith, who worked with him at Yellow Freight Systems and helped him prepare for state and national competitions.

Simon also looks to his brother Bill as a great example of someone who represents the industry as a true professional.

Although Simon retired from active trucking in 2006, he remains involved in the industry. He is a driving instructor at St. Cloud Technical & Community College, volunteers at ATA competitions as a judge and mentor, and recently restored an International CO9670 tractor.

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Chicago 23 New Food Truck Stations

Chicago’s 23 Food Truck Stations A Good Start

If all goes according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan, Chicago’s  food trucks will have 23 new designated stations  from which to operate.  Obviously, because the food trucks have been a polarizing — albeit, mostly  one-way — issue for politicians and brick-and-mortar restaurateurs, it would be  impossible to distribute these spots in a diplomatic manner that would please  everyone.

That said, even objectively, their distribution seems a  little queer.

For instance, there are about eight between Wicker Park and  Ukrainian Village, but only three in the Loop. If you’re not up on your  neighborhoods, that means residential areas with low foot traffic during peak  lunching and munching hours are getting double the food-truck access than areas  packed with employee populations. Also, the farthest south they would go — again, if these proposed locations are approved — is 437 S. Columbus Dr. So, if  you’re working in Bronzeville or one of the hospitals further south, you just  can’t eat from a food truck.

“I would have liked to have seen a few more designated stands  on the South Side and some on the West Side, but this is a step in the right  direction,” said Stephanie D. Neely,   Chicago city treasurer. “Food trucks are  small businesses too, they should be everywhere and they help grow the city’s  reputation as a real foodie town.”

It would be easy to speculate about why these spots have  fallen where they have, like how they might have had to contend with existing  contracts with franchisers, for example. But this is still, at least, a start  and gets Chicago a seat at the table with other cities that have long enjoyed  the controversial luxury of walking down the street, seeing a truck and enjoying  food you purchased from it.

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How to Start a Trucking Company Video

How to Start a Trucking Company

Danube Decay Hinders Rhine to Leave Shippers Blue

Danube Decay Hinders Rhine Link to Leave Shippers Blue – Freight

European Union plans for a trade artery between the Black and North seas have stalled as an upgrade of the Danube waterway is held up by spats over funding, the environment and immigration, delaying work that would reduce transport costs for companies spanning BASF SE (BAS) to Ford Motor Co. (F).

The bickering has stymied moves to upgrade infrastructure and reverse a drop in water levels in the lower Danube, while comments from right-leaning Dutch politicians have upset plans for Rotterdam port to help modernize Romania’s biggest harbor.

Goods volumes on Europe’s longest river after the Volga are 80 percent lower than on the Rhine, the region’s busiest waterway, according to EU figures. About 45 million metric tons of cargo was transported last year, half the total moved before the disintegration of the Soviet bloc, said Manfred Seitz, director of Vienna-based lobby group Pro Danube International.

“Businesses are desperate,” said Karin de Schepper, general secretary at Inland Navigation Europe in Brussels, which promotes waterborne trade. “They’d like to use the Danube but they can’t so they’re looking at alternatives.”

Rising in the Black Forest in western Germany, the Danube– dubbed “blue” by Viennese composer Johann Strauss in his 1866 waltz — flows for more than 1,750 miles (2,800 kilometers) through 10 European countries. Its catchment area covers one-fifth of the EU and has a population in excess of 100 million.

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Chicago Food Truck Stand Locations

City announces proposed food truck stand locations

Food trucks may soon find special parking spots near City Hall, NBC Tower, Harold Washington College, Buckingham Fountain and Lincoln Park Zoo, among other high-traffic locations in Chicago.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday presented the City Council with a list of 23 proposed sites for “food truck stands,” or loading-zone-like spots where at least two food trucks may legally park for two hours at a time and serve food.

A new mobile food ordinance that passed in July allowed trucks to cook food on board but reinforced restrictions on doing business within 200 feet of a food-service establishment. The stands would be an exception to that rule.

Amy Le, co-founder of the Illinois Food Truck Association, said it “sounds incredible” that proposed locations include spots in the financial district, around State and Lake streets and near City Hall.

“Those are really ideal spots (in) areas where it’s typically been difficult to get parking,” she said.

Food truck stands are proposed in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, West Town, the Loop, the Near North Side and the Gold Coast, neighborhoods chosen for a “high density” that would make legal parking harder.

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Schneider Opens Intermodal Training Academy

Schneider National Opens Doors to Second Intermodal Training Academy

Schneider National recently opened its second U.S. Intermodal Training Academy.
Located outside Los Angeles, Schneider’s Intermodal Training Academy will provide experienced new hires the focused, hands-on training they need to be successful and safe in the rapidly growing area of intermodal transportation.

Schneider opened its first Intermodal Training Academy in Chicago earlier this year. Each new hire in Schneider’s Intermodal division completes a four-day curriculum, which includes classroom instruction, a rail yard tour and in-truck, scenario-based training with an instructor that includes both highway and rail yard driving environments.

To help ease the job transition, Schneider Intermodal driver associates who participate in the new training program will receive $400 in training and orientation pay.

Located at Schneider National’s Los Angeles Intermodal office, the Intermodal Training Academy provides technical working areas and classrooms equipped with simulators for hands-on training with two full-time instructors.

Driver Quintin Scales had zero experience in Intermodal and only one year of prior truck driving experience before he enrolled at Schneider’s Chicago Intermodal Training Academy earlier this year.

“I was nervous at first and assumed I’d be behind,” said Scales. “But the teachers were very helpful and I loved that the preparation catered to people with various learning styles; the program incorporated CBT [computer-based training], video, classroom instruction and over-the-road with a training engineer.”

In addition to his role as an intermodal driver, Scales also now trains students as a certified training engineer.

Schneider will continue to provide over-the-road training for experienced drivers and driving school graduates in its other divisions in addition to the new specialized Intermodal training.

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