Old Dominion Freight Line Wants to Take You to the World Series

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How does 47,000 pounds minus 9,700 pounds divided by the weight of a baseball equal World Series tickets?

It’s all part of Old Dominion Freight Line’s “OD Seats to the World Series” guessing game sweepstakes, coming to a baseball stadium near you! (If you live near one of the MLB teams Old Dominion sponsors, that is.)

The trailer, with see-through Plexiglas windows on the sides, will travel from Miami up to the northeast, across to Chicago, down through Kansas City to Texas and all the way to Los Angeles. All along the way fans will get to see the trailer up close and take a stab at guessing how many baseballs there actually are in there. The winner will receive a pair of tickets to one game in each of the next three World Series. Sounds good to me.

Even if you can’t get out to the ballpark you can submit your best guess online. Just do it before August 31st! All the details are right here on Trucks.com.

Good luck!

Stricter Truck Emissions Good For Environment, Bad for Business?

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Category: Green Moving, Regulations

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[Synopsis: The Sustainable Freight Action Plan is long on ambition. But is the goal within reach?]

Once again, California is leading the charge in the move toward green, sustainable forms of energy.

This summer, in a move that goes about as far as anyone can reasonably imagine, Governor Jerry Brown put forth a comprehensive plan to bring the state’s commercial trucks, trains and ships closer toward a pollution-free future.

Brown’s Sustainable Freight Action Plan comes out of a multi-agency effort, and contains some lofty goals:

  • Replace 100,000 of today’s fossil-fuel-burning engines with cleaner machines by 2030
  • Increase transportation efficiency to reduce time and fuel spent
  • Create a think tank to develop cleaner, greener technology
  • Require all household goods movers to use horse-driven carriages

Okay, most of those things are true.

There are plenty of groups lending support to the governor’s plans, from the state’s Transportation Agency to the American Lung Association. Predictably, many others have reservations.

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce says overly strict limits on emissions could harm business. “To spur innovation in zero and near-zero emission technologies, California must make a business case for new investment from the trucking industry, which is already spending $1 billion a year to bring about a more sustainable freight system,” says Shawn Yadon, CEO of the California Trucking Association.

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Even those who are supportive offer a dose of realism (or pessimism) to the discussion.

“The plan is good, but the question is will this make us competitive against other states in getting federal grants,” says Hasan Ikhrata, CEO of Southern California Association of Governments.

Even the president and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air and a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District seems to be raising an eyebrow at the deal. “Plans are nice,” he says, “but they mean nothing without implementation.”

As always, it’s the implementation part that will prove the toughest step.

A zero-emission transportation industry sounds bright and sunny. To some, it also seems like a fantasy. But is the ultimate goal of the SFAP out of reach? Opinions differ. But with Governor Brown’s plan, there are dozens of small steps that, when laid out end to end, could very well create a path toward a much cleaner California.

Atlas Flexes Their Service

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[Synopsis: Atlas promises quicker, easier moves with Atlas Flex®. But how does it actually work?]

Those who do not adapt shall perish, says conventional wisdom, and Atlas Van Lines appears to be heeding the call.

Recently Atlas introduced a program called Altas Flex®, an apparent hybrid of a typical full-service move and a zippy-quick mini-move for those who don’t need and can’t wait for a tractor trailer. According to their media announcement:

“While people are moving more often, they are also moving small loads. To accommodate these consumers, the company has launched Atlas Flex®, a new program offering consumers with smaller shipments (5,000 pounds or less) the same high-quality service Atlas Van Lines is known for with much faster transportation. Atlas Flex provides much more specific transit windows and can move someone in cross country in 12 business days or less during peak moving season.”

Great. How does it work?

“First, household goods are packed at the customer’s residence by an Atlas Agent crew and taken to the agent’s warehouse. Next, a carrier arrives and transports the containerized shipment to the destination Atlas Agency warehouse. Upon arrival at the destination warehouse, delivery is scheduled to residence.”

To us it sounded like a small full-service move with an ABF truck thrown in. But instead of rely on our own potentially inaccurate assessments we contacted Atlas for more specifics.

Finally, this is what they said,

“Your household goods (HHG) would be loaded loose into an Atlas truck at origin residence. From there it would be taken to the Atlas agent’s warehouse and loaded into wooden containers, referred to as lift vans. Once crated, a third-party transportation company would haul your HHG to an Atlas delivery agent. Once a delivery date is confirmed, an Atlas crew will deliver your items to the destination residence.”

Yup. Pretty much what we figured.

They also articulate that Flex is only available in a limited amount of markets and through participating agents. We might read this to mean test markets and trials through a few selected agencies, but the bottom line seems to be this: Atlas recognizes the need to adapt to a customer base that is becoming increasingly mobile, demanding and resourceful.

Of course, we saw that years ago.

UPDATE: After completing our look into Atlas’s new service we found out that Two Men & A Truck are initiating a similar service, involving a 3rd-party transportation provider. That press release can be found here.

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