Each week we run across many stories in the mainstream media that are about trucking or related to trucking in some way -- more than we can report on. Here are some of the most interesting from this week, from haunting truckstop photos to driverless trucks to cross-border trucking.
Curl up next to a trucker in these night photos of rest stops
Within the trucking community, the phrase “seeing the black dog” is used to describe hallucinations that occur as a result of sleep deprivation.
“When truckers see black dogs scampering across the highway they know to pull over and get some sleep,” says photographer Michael Massaia, who made the hunt for the black dog a personal photographic project, spending many a night at New Jersey Turnpike truck stops.
When an 18-wheeler’s engine fell silent and the trucker climbed into the cab to slumber, Massaia would haul his 60-pound large-format camera from the bushes, close in, and capture the moment “the dogs melt away.”
Read more and see the photos at Wired.com.
For commercial truck drivers such as Charles Ryser, when the wheels aren't turning, you aren't earning.
Until July, Ryser and his father — who drive in a team from a base in Forsyth, Ga. — worked on their own terms. Charles took the day shift, while his father, David Ryser, got behind the wheel at dusk.
But because of a Department of Transportation crackdown on fatigued drivers, Ryser now has to comply with rules that lead to more downtime and force him to switch shifts regularly with his father, breaking his rhythm.
Read more from The Modesto Bee.
The first driverless cars will actually be a bunch of trucks
Thanks to the blogosphere hype machine, most people associate automated, driverless vehicles with the cute, self-driving Google car. Google’s technology is charming, and suggests an idyllic morning commute in which we’re all chauffeured to work by robots. But the future of driverless vehicles is much more mundane.
Trucks. The future of driverless driving is all about trucks. So forget about that sensor-equipped Volkswagen Passat, and get ready for a 40-ton Peterbilt 18-wheeler.
Read more at TechHive.com.
Research shows cellphone use may not cause more car crashes
For almost 20 years, it has been a wide-held belief that talking on a cellphone while driving is dangerous and leads to more accidents. However, new research from Carnegie Mellon University and the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests that talking on a cellphone while driving does not increase crash risk.
Read more at ScienceBlog.com.
EDITORIAL: Mexican trucks should keep on trucking in US
It’s been two years since the Obama administration opened U.S. roadways to Mexican freight trucks, amid protests from protectionists, truckers’ unions and others who insisted that Mexican trucks and those who drove them, weren’t fit to be on our U.S. roads.
But those fears have not proven to be true.
In fact, it’s likely that most drivers haven’t noticed any difference between Mexican commercial vehicles and their U.S. or Canadian counterparts motoring alongside them.
Read more in The Monitor (McAllen, Texas).