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July 8, 2011

Driving the Longhorn Ram

Wanna make a statement? Get one of these: the Ram 3500 Crew Cab, Laramie Longhorn Edition. It’s big, it’s brawny, and at the curb it says this trucker has style and can afford to pay for it. At just a few dollars shy of $60,000, it’s an expensive vehicle. But however you measure it – by weight, by area on the parking lot, by acreage of tooled leather, by bragging rights – this is something of a bargain.

July 6, 2011

Driving Kenworths

The marketing people at Paccar twins Kenworth and Peterbilt decided a couple of years back that the money wasted at some of the truck shows could be better spent. I would have to say I agree. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach maybe 50,000 people seems such an extravagance; the same money in advertising dollars would reach as many as a million readers. But you likely hear the noise of my grinding axe ...

In the Ditch

Getting the whole thing in the ditch on a test drive is really embarrassing!

It was the first ride ‘n drive of the Navistar International MaxxForce engines for 2010 and I got off-route for the sake of a good picture. With the photo in the bag, we set off – chief engineer Aaron Peterson and myself – to regain the route by dint of some country-road reroute. Said reroute involved a back-over-the-shoulder right turn with a “Stop” sign right on the apex. Of course.

July 5, 2011

Cat Readies CT660 for Delivery

Caterpillar's own-brand highway truck for the construction industry should be reaching the dealers within the next few weeks. Designated the CT660, the 6x4 construction chassis is the first of what will be a full line of trucks and truck tractors targeted at construction and waste management operations.

Global warming, global warning

Do you like a good read? A fast-paced fiction that you can’t put down? I have one for you: Michael Crichton’s State of Fear. It is all about man-made Global Warming. And the basic story is not fiction. The premise is that there is no discernable man-made global warming. And this book pre-dates the expose of Professor Phil Jones of England’s University of East Anglia whose work has been used for years to bolster efforts by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to press governments to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Shell Rotella SuperRigs 2011

Well, we just had a post-SuperRigs conference call and concluded that the contest isn't broke and we don't need to fix it. Though a little tweaking is in order. Just in case you've never heard of it, SuperRigs is the annual truck beauty contest and this last was the 29th. It is also the event from which the Shell Rotella SuperRigs Calendar trucks are selected, so from the competitors standpoint, the event is huge, with winning recognition and prizes in the main event, or getting a calendar slot. This latter is, for most, better than a show win.