Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Super Cantenna -- Extend Your Wi-Fi Network Range

Originally Posted on Wed, Apr 30 2008 @ 2:21 PM [EST]

As we all know, the wi-fi hotspots at some truck stops have pretty poor signal strengths particularly if you are parked in the back of the lot. Well here is a possible solution to this problem; the Super Cantenna by Wireless Garden, Inc.

The Super Cantenna is a directional 2.4 Ghz wireless network antenna that can be connected to a wireless router, access point or network card as long as they have a removable antenna or an external antenna jack. Of course, most laptops do not have a removable antenna nor do they have an external antenna jack but there are several types of wireless network cards, including PC Cards or USB, that you can get and use with the Super Cantenna.

One reviewer ( was able to access his home wireless network from 1.2 miles away. Now the range is going to depend on what is between you and the access point but any improvement is better than nothing.

The Super Cantenna retails for $39.99 from their web site ( You may also need a wireless card to allow you to hook the Cantenna up to your laptop but they aren't that expensive either.

Here is some information that I found over at B&H Photo and Video

The Super Cantenna from Wireless Garden is a powerful directional antenna that is designed for use with 802.11b/g wireless networks. The antenna features a tight 30° signal pattern, allowing for much further range than traditional omnidirectional networking antennas. This allows you to connect to public hotspots or to eliminate dead spots in your home network.

Key Features

• Targeted Long Range Signal
The Cantenna produces a targeted 30° signal that can be used to transmit and receive data over much longer distances than traditional omnidirectional wi-fi antennas. This is ideal for users who would like to connect to a public hotspot for Internet connectivity or create a shared network with neighbors.

• Eliminate Dead Spots
There are some areas of your home where traditional antennas will simply not reach. You can use the Cantenna to better target your wireless signal, eliminating dead spots and providing more complete wireless coverage for your home or home office.

• Better Than a Pringles Can
Many hobbyists have handcrafted antennas similar to the Cantenna using Pringles potato chip cans. The Cantenna takes that concept and applies careful engineering, for a much more practical antenna solution. Not only is the Cantenna fabricated from lab-tested materials, it includes a professional tripod and RF connectors for a hassle-free installation.

I haven't tried the Super Cantenna YET but you can bet I will. If you've tried one or if you end up trying one, let me know what you think.

Here are some links to some other reviews:


I got tired of the wifi so I went with the air card from Sprint. Now I can be online almost anyplace. As long as there is a cell tower in range I can surf the web. I can be at a shipper or receiver or anyplace in between and not worry about getting kicked off like happens allot at the truckstops wifi.
Comment By: Roadhzrd on Wed, Apr 30 2008 @ 7:57 PM [EST]

What kind of plan do you have with Sprint? I know that Verizon's "unlimited" plan really isn't unlimited. Once you reach 5GB transfer they downgrade the speed. If all you are doing is surfing and e-mail, 5GB isn't a problem, but if you do any videos or cam then that can eat away at 5GB pretty quickly. Me, I'm considering going with both. Use the air card when I can't get a wi-fi signal (I should say a reliable signal) and us the wi-fi for any data intensive stuff like sending a video message or something.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Thu, May 01 2008 @ 12:19 PM [EST]

We have unlimited use and we do mainly use it for surfing and emails. It's handy for keeping track of the weather. I check radars when I know I'm heading toward possible bad weather. Some of the wifi sites at the truck stops will actually kick you off after using so much. Even though you paid for so many hrs or days. Even with just surfing the web you can get kicked off. Thats why I quit using the wifi. Most of the wifi's out on the road only have room for so many users so you will find you can't get on even though you have a good signal.
Comment By: Roadhzrd on Fri, May 02 2008 @ 2:43 PM [EST]

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stand Alone or Car Cassette MP3 Player

Originally Posted on Wed, Apr 23 2008 @ 9:46 AM [EST]

Are you stuck in a truck without a CD player or without an auxilary input for your MP3 player. Now you have a solution. I found this over at

Will the cassette tape ever die?

In between the beloved LP record and the now familiar CD, there was another music media format - the cassette tape. It was very popular during the 80's and one thing that definitely made it standout was that, unlike a LP, you could easily record onto a cassette tape. Before that your recording options were primarily limited to reel-to-reel tape machines, which were usually pretty large and sometimes not so friendly. Being able to record onto cassette tape also lead to the ever popular "mix tape" - which was usually a collection of kick ass songs you'd give to your wannabe girlfriend or someone else you were trying to impress.

This MP3 player is built into a standard cassette tape, letting you use it as either a
uniquely old-school-style MP3 player, or with any car cassette or cassette player to play your music. You will have no problems listening to hours of your favorite songs via the built-in SD card slot, and you can easily change to different songs if you have multiple SD Cards. If you are into retro style looks but with a new technology upgrade, this is a MP3 player worth adding to your gear.

No internal memory - you must supply a memory card
External memory: compatible with SD/MMC card (max. 2GB)
Earphone jack: 3.5mm
USB 2.0
System: compatible with Windows 2000/XP
Battery: built-in 450mAh lithium battery
Recharge battery via USB cable
Use like a normal cassette in a car cassette player or cassette player
Use as a stand alone MP3 Player
Repeat playback mode
7 button interface
Dimension: 2.5" x 4" x .45"
Memory card shown is not included


Cool gadget..I have comments on your previous post..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sun, Apr 27 2008 @ 3:33 AM [EST]

I thought that was pretty cool as well. I appreciate your comments VM. I look forward to meeting you in person some day soon.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Tue, Apr 29 2008 @ 2:52 PM [EST]

Nice blog, I saved it to my bookmarks... You're right, that DOW chemical plant in freeport is HUUUUGE! When I entered, it's almost as if they have their own highway system. I stayed far away from the actual plant because my trailer was in the drop yard but I still had to drive quite a ways from the guard shack and scales near the entrance. I would love to go explore places like that. Theres some paper factories in Washington and Oregon that are equal to that size and they want you to maneuver a truck and trailer through the streets... tons of fun!
Comment By: Trucker Chris on Tue, Apr 29 2008 @ 9:28 PM [EST]

The DOW plant does have it's own highway system. They have work trucks that have special license plates and the trucks never leave the plant. The place is unbelievable big.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Wed, Apr 30 2008 @ 9:22 AM [EST]

I just noticed something. Does then second picture look a man's hand but with a bunch of bracelets on? I know that some guys do wear bracelets but those don't look like what you would normally see a guy wear.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Thu, May 01 2008 @ 12:21 PM [EST]

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Baffle Them With Trucking Facts!

Originally Posted on Thu, Apr 17 2008 @ 6:33 PM [EST]

I thought this was interesting. Enjoy!


Driver Lifestyles
Baffle Them With Trucking Facts!
By Jeff Jensen, Editor
Apr 1, 2008 - 2:26:20 PM

Have you ever been in a discussion about trucking and found yourself grasping for a
needed statistic to drive home your point and win the debate?

Or, have you ever elucidated on a topic before an audience of other drivers at a restaurant table and astounded them with your knowledge of general trucking facts and stats?

Well, your search for those golden nuggets of statistical information is over. The following is a compendium of salient factoids about the trucking industry ever, uhh, compendiumed.

Armed with these tidbits of knowledge, you'll easily win any argument and be the envy of your peer group!

*Number of tractor-trailer drivers in the U.S.
The U.S. trucking industry employs over 9 million Americans with over 3 million of these employees being truck drivers, Over 1 million are long haul drivers who own and operate their truck. 70 percent of them are leased to carriers, while the remainder have their own operating authority.

It is estimated that 300,000 new drivers will be needed each year for the next 10

* Number of women truckers
About 12% of owner/operators and nearly 10% of company drivers are ladies. More than 3 quarters of lady owner/operators are part of a driving team, typically husband and wife.

*Number of trucking companies in the U.S.
There are over 500,000 companies and 80 percent of them have 20 or fewer trucks. It is estimated that owner-operators make up about 70% of the interstate driver population.

*Trucking numbers
As of 2004 the U.S. trucking industry carried 11.6 billion tons of freight, generating $574 billion in revenue, representing a 24% increase of 1994 revenue of $463 billion.

By 2008, the trucking industry will haul 9.3 billion tons, or over 64 percent, of total U.S. freight tonnage. and also by 2008, 87 cents out of every dollar of U.S. freight revenue will go to the trucking industry. 70 percent of U.S. communities depend solely on trucking for delivery of their goods and commodities.The trucking industry
grows an estimated 5% every year.

The total distance driven by commercial trucks in the U.S. exceeds 150 billion miles each year - equivalent to about 640 trips from the Earth to the Moon.

The average truck in the United States travels an average of 64,200 miles per year, the equivalent of driving almost two and a half times around the world. The average
trip for heavy trucks is about 420 miles one way.

The trucking industry accounts for 12.8% of all the fuel purchased in the U.S. Automobiles and light vehicles accounted for 63% of the fuel purchased.

*The Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and much of the trucking industry's growth can be attributed to the interstate system. The interstate system is so essential to trucking that no list of trucking statistics would be complete without the following factoids:

-There are 46,677 road miles of interstate highway, the largest highway system in the world. One fourth of all U.S. roadway traffic is carried on this system. The price tag (adjusted for inflation was $425 billion in 2006 dollars and it took 35 years to complete.

-The most heavily traveled area of the Interstate Highway System is the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, California, with a 2005 estimate of 382,000 vehicles a day.

-The least traveled section is Interstate 95 just north of Houlton, Maine (near the Canadian border), with 1,880 vehicles a day. (2001 estimate).

-The longest Interstate highway is Interstate 90, which runs 3,099 miles (4,987 km) between Boston, Massachusetts and Seattle, Washington.

-The shortest signed Interstate is Interstate 375 in downtown Detroit, Michigan, at 1.06 miles

*Causes of breakdowns on the road
Tires - 51.3%
Jump or Pull start - 7.6%
Air Line or hose - 4.7%
Alternator - 4.1%
Wiring - 3.9%
Fuel Filter R/R - 3.7%
Fuel - 3.5%
Brakes - 2.4%
All others - less than 1%

*Trucking safety
-In two-vehicle crashes involving a large truck and passenger vehicle, driver-related crash factors were coded for 26 percent of the truck drivers involved. In contrast, driver-related factors were coded for 82 percent of the passenger vehicle drivers involved.

-Drivers of passenger vehicles involved in fatal collisions with trucks were more likely than the drivers of trucks to be under 26 or over 65 years old, to have invalid drivers licenses, to be legally drunk, and to be cited for driver-related crash factors.

-In fatal crashes, three-fourths (76%) of truck drivers were using their seat belts, compared with only half (49%) of passenger vehicle drivers.

-It is more than twice as likely in fatal crashes between large trucks and passenger vehicles that the truck is struck in the rear than that the passenger vehicle is struck in the rear.

-In 89% of fatal head-on passenger vehicle/truck crashes, the passenger vehicle crossed the center line into the truck's lane, while in 11 percent of these crashes, the
truck encroached into the passenger vehicle's lane.

-35 percent of fatal passenger vehicle crashes occur in the four blind spots surrounding large trucks. In 71 percent of crashes, the police assigned one or more crash factors to the passenger vehicle driver and none to the truck driver.

-92.2 percent of fatigue-related crashes involve drivers of passenger vehicles. Of all
fatigue-related fatal crashes, only 6 percent involve truck drivers.
(From the American Trucking Associations)

*Driver demographics
Nearly half of owner-operators and more than half of company drivers have at least some college. Nearly 87% of owner-operators and 90% of company drivers have a high school diploma or better. This is a higher level of education than among the
general population age 20 and over, in which 83% are high school graduates or more.
(Profile of the Interstate Trucker, Newport Communications,1999)

The average age for owner- operators is 49.6 years, and 48.6 years for company drivers; surveys indicate that owner- operators drive an average of 114,847 miles per year, while company personnel drive 120,640 miles;

Home ownership among owner- operators is at 89.7 percent, and 78.9 percent for company drivers;

Company drivers smoke more than owner-operators, with averages reflecting 38.9 percent and 29.9 percent respectively; and 52.1 percent of owner-operators use computers for business, compared to 32.2 percent of company drivers who use them for this purpose.
(OOIDA 2004 member profile)

*American Trucking Association (ATA)
*Bureau of Transportation Statistics
*Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau
*National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
*FMCSA's Motor Carrier Management Information System
*Fatality Analysis Reporting System

© Copyright 2005 by Expediters


I imagine allot of these so called safety groups will disagree with most of these facts. Can't have actual facts get in the way of their agenda!!
Comment By: Roadhzrd on Fri, Apr 18 2008 @ 3:48 AM [EST]

I got a bone to pick with those figures since I deal with truck breakdowns...I deal with breakdowns on a daily basis and I'd have to say 80% have to do with wiring..Either a relay gone bad or a short..I rarely get a call about a blown tire I'd say about 10%..The main thing I have to deal with is..No brake lights..No tailights...Which the company I work for has a policy of no go..The biggest problem I have is electrical..Thanks to the Golden State of road repair all the vibration of potholes take a toll on the wiring..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, Apr 26 2008 @ 7:08 AM [EST]

By the way fuel filter do also go bad more than your figures lead on..I'd say that is more around 20%..Trust me, I deal with this on a daily basis.. I coordinate repairs with our mechanics day in and day out..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, Apr 26 2008 @ 7:12 AM [EST]

By the way, I smoke, so does Lennut..You can get some useful advice whilst smoking it up among senior drivers..Like NEVER BREAK THE RPM'S..When passing hang back until an opportinity arise's then build your momentum up and they'll think you got a monster of an engine..I passed this one trucker last night like he was standing still because I hung back until I saw my window..VM-out again...
Comment By: VM on Sat, Apr 26 2008 @ 7:18 AM [EST]

Thanks for the comments guys. Remember, not my figures. =-) Just passing them alone. I will keep it in mind. I also smoke and do find that you CAN learn a lot in the smoking area.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Tue, Apr 29 2008 @ 2:51 PM [EST]

Tires go bad all the time, but its what you consider a "breakdown" to me is how I'm basing my figures..Tires usually have a slow leak and can be repaired at an area and time that is not gonna set your schedule back to far..What normally happens is a guy tells me he's been adding air to a particular tire for days now and it keeps going low..So when his shift is done I call our tire people and have it fixed..Hell they're faster than domino's..They are ususally there in 30 minutes..and fix it about that fast too..VM-out! Blowouts do occur but not too often..
Comment By: VM on Wed, Apr 30 2008 @ 6:24 AM [EST]

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Truckers protest high fuel prices

Originally Posted on Tue, Apr 01 2008 @ 9:02 PM [EST]

I do not believe these protest will be affective enough to make a difference. I think the best we can hope for is that Congress will actually open their eyes during there investigation of the oil company's profits and realize that there is a BIG D@MN problem.

Truckers protest high fuel prices
Independent haulers snarl traffic, idle rigs
The Associated Press
updated 7:51 p.m. ET, Tues., April. 1, 2008

TRENTON, N.J. - A convoy protesting high diesel prices pulled out of a truck stop south of Atlanta about 30 strong, and got a lot stronger.

By the time the truckers reached a section of Interstate 285 east of the city Tuesday morning, there were about three miles of tractor-trailers, headlights on, caution lights flashing, puttering along at about 20 mph.

“We picked up drivers all along the way,” said Danny Ashley, an independent driver who organized the protest. “A lot of drivers rode by and didn’t stop, but we got a lot of owner-operators who joined in.”

Independent truckers across the country protested fuel prices by pulling off the road or slowing to a crawl. Participation was scattered in the loosely organized protests, fed by Internet postings and CB talk, and the slow-speed demonstrations might have gone unnoticed in places where traffic was bad already.

Truckers hoped the action might pressure President Bush to stabilize prices by using the nation’s oil reserves.

“The gas prices are too high,” said Lamont Newberne, a trucker from Wilmington, N.C., who along with 200 drivers protested at a New Jersey Turnpike service area. “We don’t make enough money to pay our bills and take care of our family.”

On the Turnpike, southbound rigs “as far as the eye can see” staged a short lunchtime protest by moving about 20 mph near Newark, jamming traffic on one of the nation’s most heavily traveled highways, authorities said.

Outside Chicago, three truck drivers were ticketed for impeding traffic on Interstate 55, driving three abreast at low speeds, the state police said.

Near Florida’s Port of Tampa, more than 50 tractor-trailer rigs sat idle as their drivers demanded that contractors pay them more to cover their fuel and other costs.

“We can no longer haul their stuff for what they’re paying,” said David Santiago, 35, a trucker for the past 17 years.

Major trucking companies were not on board, and Teamsters union officials and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association denied organizing the protests.

Federal law prohibits the association from calling for a strike because it is a trade association.

Meanwhile in Washington, top executives of the five biggest U.S. oil companies said they know high prices are hurting consumers but deflected any blame and argued their profits — $123 billion last year — were in line with other industries.

Clayton Boyce, spokesman for the American Trucking Association, said diesel prices are the worst he’s seen but said his organization does not support or condone the strike.

His group is pushing for a number of measures to keep the prices down or to otherwise help truckers, including allowing exploration of oil-rich areas of the U.S. that are now off limits and setting a 65 mph national speed limit.

Newberne, one of the New Jersey protesters, said a typical run carrying produce from Lakeland, Fla., to the Hunt’s Point Market in The Bronx, N.Y., had cost $600 to $700 a year ago. It now runs him $1,000.

Charles Rotenbarger, 49, a trucker from Columbus, Ohio, said he felt helpless.

“The oil company is the boss, what are we going to be able to do about it?” said Rotenbarger, who was at a truck stop at Baldwin, Fla., about 20 miles west of Jacksonville. “The whole world economy is going to be controlled by the oil companies. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

Jimmy Lowry, 51, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and others said it costs about $1 a mile to drive one of the big rigs, although some companies are offering as little as 87 cents a mile. Diesel cost $4.03 a gallon at the truck stop.

Rather than join the protests, some truckers were forced to sit idle because of shippers’ fears of a possible strike.

In western Michigan, independent trucker William Gentry had been scheduled to pick up a load and take it to Boston, but his dispatcher told him there was a change of plans.

“She told me that her shipper was shutting down,” fearing that someone would sabotage deliveries if their drivers worked during the protest, Gentry said at the Tulip City Truck Stop outside Holland, Mich.

He and Bob Sizemore, 55, a 30-year veteran trucker, decided to return to their homes in Ohio, 280-mile trips that would cost each one about $200 of their own money for fuel alone.

“We can’t ride around here looking for freight,” said Gentry, 47, a driver for 23 years.
If something isn’t done about fuel prices, the cost of consumer goods will shoot up, Gentry said. “People aren’t seeing that the more we pay, the more they’re going to pay.”

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Related Pictures:

A man walks through an area of parked trucks near the Port of Tampa, Tuesday morning, April 1, 2008, in Tampa, Fla., in protest of the rising cost of diesel fuel. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association says many of its members believe diesel prices at more than $4 a gallon is making it difficult for them to stay in business.
11:56 a.m. ET, 4/1/08

Diesel trucks roar past a truck stop where the price of diesel fuel has reached 4.09 a gallon Tuesday, April 1, 2008 in Bolingbrook, Ill. Top executives of the five biggest U.S. oil companies were pressed Tuesday to explain the soaring fuel prices amid huge industry profits and why they weren't investing more to develop renewable energy source such as wind and solar.
3:19 p.m. ET, 4/1/08


These drivers are hurting big time. But my question is what have some of these guys been doing about it over the years. I have a awful lot of trucks blowing by me at 70+ mph. That means they are putting more money in the tank. Slow that truck down to about 60 or 65 and don't run the truck when your not in it. So many drivers, company drivers included, will park the truck and leave it running while inside getting something to eat and or take a shower.WHY???? Even when it's cold outside this truck is shut down whenever possible. On sunny days when sitting in the truck it gets shut down. With windows rolled up and fans turned off it will stay nice in here for a long time even if it is bitter cold outside. Too many people don't want to be inconvenienced so the truck stays running so it is nice and toasty when cold or nice and cool during warm weather
Comment By: Roadhzrd on Wed, Apr 02 2008 @ 10:26 AM [EST]

Where were these protests when fuel hit $2 and when it hit $3. It just doesn't make sense to me why people wait until the last minute to try to do something. There was talk over a year ago that fuel would get this high.
Comment By: Roadhzrd on Wed, Apr 02 2008 @ 10:31 AM [EST]

I agree with you. It isn't like we went from $1 / gallon to $3-$4 / gallon over night. It has been building for 3, 4, 5 years now. I do believe that carriers should be charging higher surcharges for fuel and in turn should be paying the O/O's higher surcharges. From the outside, it appears that a lot of carriers want to go on like it is business as usual. Charge the higher surcharge and pay the higher surcharge...period. I know this makes it harder for the smaller carriers because they don't have the profit margins to dig as far into as the larger 'mega' carriers and if the price of fuel continues to go up, we are going to see more of the small guys have to close down. This is nothing new. It is just like the small stores facing the 'mega' stores like Wal-Mart. It is the way business is. Most of us would prefer dealing with smaller carriers or smaller stores but our society isn't that way any more.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Wed, Apr 02 2008 @ 1:28 PM [EST]

It would help if these big companies would give 100% of the surcharge to the ones paying for the fuel. The companies and brokers are keeping a healthy chunk of the surcharge and the little guy gets what's left. That's part of the reason these big companies can afford to runwith the cheap rates.
Comment By: Roadhzrd on Wed, Apr 02 2008 @ 10:17 PM [EST]

It's a battle over..Who's got th deepest pockets..The deeper pocket wins everytime..Bye..Bye..independents..And goodbye professionals...Bring in the cheap flunkies..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, Apr 12 2008 @ 8:03 AM [EST]

I agree this didn't happen overnight. I don't believe a one day or week or month "STRIKE" will work in the long run.I also agree that we should be shutting the truck off while we aren't in it. I do.I think the best thing to do is conserve fuel.Slow down run Legal don't take loads you can't do legally.When we are doing this the driver shortage wil be even greater and then something will have to be done.Your company can't fire you for being safe and running legal.Only ONE log book.Yes you will make less money for awhile but you will not lose a week or two pay as a traditional strike.The economy is so bad now most drivers can't afford to take even one day without pay.We also can't afford to lose our job because we refused to work.That's for company drivers.Can O/O afford to lose a contract because they refused to pull a load while on strike?I don't want to get started on saying no to cheap freight!O.K. i rambled enough.Roadhzrd/VM do u have a blog here?
Comment By: dmsperl on Wed, Apr 16 2008 @ 11:59 PM [EST]

dmsperl ... Thanks for the comments.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Thu, Apr 17 2008 @ 6:42 PM [EST]

dmsperl, we both do in the company driver section.
Comment By: Roadhzrd on Sun, Apr 20 2008 @ 4:07 AM [EST]