Sean Kilcarr

Ride of Pride

Over a decade and a half ago, Freightliner shift manager and Vietnam War veteran Ed Keeter proposed a special project as a way to honor current and prior members of the U.S. military: custom-build a unique highway tractor every year decorated with one-of-a-kind graphics highlighting the history and heroism of America’s fighting forces.

Gearing up for truck convoy training

When you are tasked with handling combat logistics for the U.S. Marin Corps, trucks are but one of the tools you need to use to fulfill that mission. Delivering food, water, and ammunition to the front lines under fire and in bad weather is no easy task, so the Marines engage in regular training to ensure their motor transport troopers know what to do in such situations.

Expressing personality via highway iron

The passions that drive truck owners and operators are as different and varied as the freight they haul to make a living. Yet often many of them express their particular "trucking personality," if you will, through the rigs they drive: turning their equipment into rolling tributes to  comic book heroes and sports teams, or by customizing them with unique designs, lights, and chrome accents. Here are few such examples from our travels to industry trade shows. (All photos: Sean Kilcarr/American Trucker)

The ELD delay: Will it happen?

NASHVILLE, TN. Efforts to legislatively delay the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate by two years will have to wait until Congress return from its summer recess in September, but for now, at least, the chances of the delay succeeding seem to be remote at best.

Canada prepares for its version of the ELD mandate

NASHVILLE, TN. Though it has been a long time coming in Canada – almost six years by one reckoning – an electronic logging device (ELD) mandate similar to the one in the U.S. is poised to be issued by the close of 2017 if all goes as planned.

Getting cabover crazy

Ah the cabover tractor; a nickname derived from its more officious body style designation as a cab over engine (COE), cab forward, or forward control (a term used in the U.K.). As we all know it is a body style of truck that sports a vertical front or "flat face," with the cab of the truck sitting above (or forward of) the front axle, right over the engine. It’s a style of truck that’s largely been consigned to trucking’s history in the U.S., where over-the-road operations are concerned.

Military logistics calls for military truckers

They are called “support soldiers” or “logistics units,” yet those dull titles often obscures the vital importance of their work sustaining the troops on the front lines doing the fighting. "We are dealing with all logistical supplies from ice to water, to class ones, which are your rations, to tanks,” Explained Maj. Anthony Cannon, the support operations officer for the 106th Support Battalion from the Mississippi Army National Guard. “We look at it as a one-stop-shop to get all of your commodities.

Safety Tech: Analyzing the Value

Fred Andersky will tell you that when one looks back over much of the century-long history of the trucking industry, safety technology largely served a completely mechanical role on commercial vehicles—especially when it came to brakes.

That all began to change nearly 30 years ago, however, when electronics began being incorporated in braking systems, a development that, in his words, meant “adding a brain” to the brakes.

Ultimate Build-out!

A lot of folks would be called crazy if they said they were going to set out, all on their own, to build a replica of the Optimus Prime truck seen in the movie Transformers: Age of Extinction. That’s because the truck in the movie, a Western Star 5700 tractor, to be exact, is shaped with details not publicly available.
But that didn’t stop Joe Fiduccia.

A longtime fan of the Optimus Prime character, Fiduccia spent nearly a year poring over photos and video of this one-of-a-kind truck to wrinkle out its cab dimensions, wheelbase size, etc.

Freight looking good long term

Though near-term trucking tonnage dipped in June – part of a “seesaw” pattern of freight activity over the last several months – the long-term outlook for cargoes and revenues holds nothing but promise for the industry.

According to analysis by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), some 15.18 billion tons of goods are expected to be moved by all modes this year, climbing 36.6% to 20.73 billion tons by 2028.

Rotating a cave-dwelling task force

Tucked inside a group of caves located somewhere in the snow-bound hillsides of Norway lie 500 pieces of U.S. Marine Corps military equipment – tanks, light armored vehicles and, yes, more than a few trucks – that is “pre-positioned” for rapid deployment in case an emergency arises. Every so often, though, this gear must be rotated with fresh equipment brought into Norway via ship. The Marines recently rotated their Norway force equipment back in June; is an inside look at that logistics effort. (All photos courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps)

A visit to 4 State Trucks

A few years back, American Trucker got a chance to spend a day at the famous 4 State Trucks facility outside Joplin, MO; home to the Chrome Shop Mafia. It’s a business where you can find just about any truck part imaginable, as well as a place where you can turn just about any type of big rig into a rolling work of art. (Photos: Sean Kilcarr/American Trucker)

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