For grammar and middle school aged children, Trucker Buddy International offers a fun, real-life alternative to the typical textbook learning of geography, math, social studies, and more according to the New York Times.
A nonprofit benefitting American kids
Established in 1992, Trucker Buddy International links long-haul drivers to K-8 students in classrooms nationwide, where truckers educate and mentor children, sharing knowledge of the nation’s roads and cities, enhancing learning and forming lasting relationships.
In what is essentially a pen-pal program, Trucker Buddy International connects students and truckers via postcard, email, or letter as decided by each classroom’s teacher. Some drivers even have blogs.
Bringing learning to life
“Teachers love the program because each postcard or email is an instant geography, math, history, social studies and reading lesson,” Mr. Schwartzenburg, Trucker Buddy’s executive director, explains. About 2,100 drivers, 2,300 teachers and nearly 60,000 students participate in the program throughout the continental U.S., Canada, and parts of Europe.
Challenging drivers and students alike
Going beyond pen and paper the program brings America to life through the eyes of truckers, from the wide varieties of landscapes and people to the aftermath of disasters like Oklahoma City and Katrina, connecting a variety of subjects. Trucker Buddy adds interest to learning abilities such as calculating distance, driving time, geography, and mapping routes, helps children understand the logistics and importance of transporting various goods across the country, and many other skills.
Forming lasting bonds
The program connects class after class of students with American truckers. Students write monthly, while truckers send weekly communications to students, who eagerly anticipate receiving correspondence. Over the course of many years, truckers develop a relationship with teachers as well, watching from promotion to retirement as careers progress.
Your trucking career doesn’t have to be lonely. Find out more about the latest programs and technology for staying connected, only on TruckerToTrucker.
Tennessee, ranked second only to Texas by CNBC in state road quality nationwide, is currently faced with the conundrum of growing road needs but declining fuel tax revenues. In an attempt to deal with the situation, the state is wrestling with a number of solutions for handling funding needs according to the Times Free Press. Among them: proposed taxes and fees trucking industry, about 60 percent of which utilizes Tennessee’s north-south and east-west corridors, I-75 and I-40.
Increasing technology decreases fuel revenues
Tennessee isn’t alone. Improved gas mileage, electric cars, and natural gas vehicles are resulting in dwindling state funds from fuel purchases nationwide.
Out of state trucking firms utilizing Tennessee roadways could see a weight-distance fee and fuel surcharge, expected to collectively add $140 million a year to Tennessee’s $1.8 billion transportation budget if legislation is passed. Tennessee-based firms would be able to deduct those fees from business taxes, as do firms in neighboring states.
Many states fund road repairs through trucking taxation
Surrounding states commonly collect these levies, including KY, NM, NY, and OR. The aim of Tennessee legislators is to continue providing superior highway infrastructure without overburdening state residents with taxes.
Gas and diesel fuel tax increases may also be on the horizon
Senator Ron Ramsey indicates multiple changes are necessary for a more comprehensive, long-term solution to generating transportation revenue. Gas and diesel taxes, not increased in 25 years in Tennessee, are being considered alongside trucking taxation. Fees on electric and natural gas powered vehicles, which utilize roads but are not contributing equally to funds, are being considered as well.
Will state lawmakers agree?
The future impact on the trucking industry is still unknown. The state legislative session begins January 13th, however it’s unclear whether lawmakers will come to an agreement. A variety of other issues may push the decision into 2016.
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Are You Having Trouble Finding a Place to Park Your Semi Between Hauls? Some Cities Are Imposing Limits
It’s no secret that one of the challenges many truck drivers face is finding a place to park their semis between loads. Even when you’re loaded, you have to abide by the strict regulations that are set forth by the DOT, and when it’s time to park, you have to park. Breaking the rules or altering your logbook can cause fines for your company, as well as problems for your license.
Even so, some cities are starting to impose limits on where semis can park. An article in the Hermiston Herald talks about the limits the city of Stanfield, Oregon is putting into place, and you can bet that similar limits are soon to be in place all over the country.
According to the article, two roads in particular – Coe Avenue and Highway 395 – used to be available for truckers to park for any period of time. Going forward, trucks will be able to park on Coe Avenue, but only if there are no trailers hooked to them. Trucks can also park on Highway 395, but there will be a two-hour time limit enforced. Other parking sites are opening up in Stanfield, but each of them are going to require a truck parking permit.
Officials stated that the city is going to open a parking lot specifically for trucks, but the council has not decided whether or not to impose a fee to park in the lot. A fee would help to cover the cost of the lot, but it would place a greater burden on truck drivers who need to find a place to park in order to be within DOT regulations.
Have you run into problems with parking as a truck driver? If you have, we’d love to hear your stories. Leave us your comments and thoughts about parking lots, parking on city streets, and other parking issues.
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