Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Idaho goat herder rotates goats for alternative weed control: GoatScaping Video

Info. from youtube description:

Tim Linquist grew up on a cattle ranch and expected to continue the
family business. When his father was forced to sell the ranch, Linquist
had to reinvent himself. Inspired by his experience during college using
goats as weed eaters, he bought 25 does and began to rent them out for
brush control (often for fire prevention or noxious weed removal).

took off fast among farmers, ranchers, public land managers, homeowners
and even golf club managers looking for an alternative to weed eaters,
mowers and chemicals. After only a year, Linquist bought 225 more does.

“We Rent Goats” is a family business. All summer, Tim, his wife Lynda
and their 2 sons, follow the goats from fields to farms to overgrown
backyards. Their territory includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana,
and Nevada. “Most of the summer we spend out away from home. We travel
in a fifth wheel and we’re never home.”

Linquist doesn’t mind the
itinerant lifestyle and spending so much time with his herd. “I mean I
could sit out here and look at these goats all day… I love it, that’s
why I do it.”

We Rent Goats:

Original story:

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Barbeque with Franklin: Pulled Pork Video

 Aaron Franklin does a Texas style pulled pork.  It is covered heavily in black pepper and paprika.  The paprika is more for color than flavor.  After a recent trip I took to North Carolina, I am finding that pulled pork sandwiches are one of my favorite types of smoked meat to eat.   I really enjoy the way Franklin makes smoking and the process look so relaxed and easy.  I have found, after watching his videos, that most of his dry rubs are pretty simple and use easy to find ingredients.   I also like the way he goes over how to find these cuts of meat, as grocery stores and the meats they carry vary throughout the United States. 

Check out his website for more information:

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Expedite Now Trucking Magazine - Perrin Introduces New PowerCube Slim

Expedite Now Trucking Magazine - Perrin Introduces New PowerCube Slim
ALLIANCE, Neb., USA—Perrin Manufacturing – an award-winning engineering firm specializing in the design, testing and building of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and auxiliary power units (APUs) for vehicles – unveiled a new, more compact version of its popular PowerCube APU today. The PowerCube Slim packs the same significant HVAC muscle of its predecessor into a thinner profile that fits the mounting space requirements of the majority of North American sleeper cabs. - See more at:

Friday, December 25, 2015

Video: Add a Freight Brokerage to Your Trucking Business and Information on Trucking Costs

This video summarizes ways to start your own trucking company.   The commentator asks questions
about what may work in terms of purchasing an existing trucking company.  He is the founder of Atex in El Paso, TX.   He has extensive experience in terms of running a business and really focuses on the ways to add a freight brokerage to your existing trucking company.    He also says most brokers will want 10% to 20% for brokering freight.   I think this may be a good option for owner operators looking to cut out the middle man or woman taking a large percentage due to being a broker.    He also includes a website with more information on trucking costs.   Here is some of the info. from
 Trucking Costs
Although freight brokers don’t usually get involved in trucking costs, some own their own trucking business and then supplement their trucking business with freight brokering. Rates and costs are very different between the two. In this topic, you will have a good idea on the trucking costs side of logistics.
First let me say that the examples in this topic are strictly hypothetical. So here we go. ALL trucking costs need to be tracked, not just fuel costs. And these total costs need to be recorded, monitored and analyzed. By knowing your total costs, you can bid competitively rather than out of ignorance or emotion. And you may actually outbid your competitors by knowing your costs and profits.
Here is a formula for cost-based bidding. Again, the following are just hypothetical examples.
Your basic formula is:
Fixed costs
+ Variable costs
= Total Costs
+ Profit
=Gross Revenues
Your fixed costs are those expenses you have even if you are just sitting at home. Fixed costs include:
  • your truck payment,

  • insurance (including health insurance),

  • licenses and permits,

  • accounting and office,

  • plus other required truck costs, and
I’m going to include the fixed portion of the driver’s salary.
Your variable costs are those you have as you are “on the road”. You only incur variable costs when you are moving cargo (or deadheading). So when you are “on the road”, you have both variable AND fixed costs. Variable costs include:
tractor and reefer fuel,
maintenance and repairs,
plus other related costs and
I’m going to include the variable portion of the driver’s salary.

Cold Calling Techniques: How to Get Past Gatekeepers

This video goes over one of the most challenging aspects of brokering freight. It is presented by Caesar Rodriguez, and the information is good for anyone interested in sales and cold calling techniques.
In terms of freight brokering, this is also a very handy and informative video.

Here are some tactics I used to get passed the gatekeeper:

Keep it casual and say, "This is (your first name), can I speak to Charles (Shipping Manager)?

Usual Response:  "We don't have a shipping manager... What is this call regarding?"

"Well, I was hoping to talk to the person in charge of shipping.  Would there be a better time to call back?"

Gatekeeper: "The person in charge of shipping is Tony.   He comes in early in the morning." 

"Okay, thank you I will try back in the morning."

I don't have a great deal of tactics, but I learned a lot from the video above, and from trial and error.

Cold Calling Shippers - Easier Than You Think!: Freight Broker Training

Scott from Transportation Training Group offers ways to handle direct contact with customers. He talks about the realities associated with rejection in terms of cold calling, and the amount of calls it takes to get through. 

Some of the tips he shares:

Stay calm and don't sound like a robot.

Speak to the people like they are your neighbor or a good friend. 

Get on a first name basis with them, and stay relaxed.

Here is more info. from the site:

 Building and effective “Shipper Base” is essential as a freight broker. We teach you all of the techniques for acquiring shippers who will provide you freight opportunities. We also show you how to deal with problematic customers.

We will teach you how to talk to them, the questions to ask and how to negotiate freight rates with them. You can have a “Book of Business” in no time whatsoever

How Top Freight Brokers Make Great First Impressions: Video

This is a longer video by Ted Keyes in which he discusses way to make a great first impression as
a freight broker. The presentation is named: "Connecting with New Customers and Making a Great First Impression."

Here is more info. from his site:

Ted Keyes is dedicated to mentoring freight agents who have not yet achieved their potential. As an active and successful freight agent, Ted’s proven freight agent training and sales system provide a roadmap for what’s working today to grow a profitable freight sales agent business!

More about Ted:
-Athlete and entrepreneur from the last 30 years
-Raised on a Wisconsin farm in a family of 13 kids
-Built a host of successful businesses across the US and Canada

And now, after rising to the top of the leader board at Logistics Dynamics Inc, Ted is revealing his success secrets to a handful of
struggling freight agents.

His coaching, mentoring and training program, along with his proven success system, has helped other freight brokers develop profitable businesses.

How To Become A Licensed Freight Broker With The FMCSA: Hofer Ag. Logistics LLC

How to Obtain Your Freight Broker Authority by Scott Woods

This video goes over how to get Broker Authority.   It is Form OP-1.   It will also get authority for being an owner operator or freight broker.  I would recommend doing your research before signing up for any broker classes, or working for any truck brokerages.   Scams abound in the industry, and I can say this because I was involved in a scam with some brokers.   One of the things that bothered me most about freight brokering is the fact that truckers are usually the ones getting taken advantage of and I wouldn't be able to sleep well at night if I was taking part in shady business practices.  AKA...there isn't a place for me in the world of brokering freight.   The one place I have seen a broker that I would like as a mentor is a small freight broker in Huron, SD.  I watched the video on Hofer Ag. Logistics, and was thoroughly impressed by the ethics, respect, and knowledge of Becky Hofer.   Google Hofer Ag. Logistics to learn more about a great freight broker.

Weekly Trucking Vlog #43-Topeka/Laredo/Home: Palerider

Palerider has a weekly truck video log that I have subscribed to for the last year.  He chronicles his travels across the United States as a trucking owner operator.   He does a great job explaining the trials and tribulations associated with the transportation industry, and his laid back attitude is a great asset to making a successful trucking business.

On this episode he combines his journey from Kansas to Arkansas and back home.  The CB commentary on this episode really cracked me up, and I enjoy the views he shares from the perspective of driving.  Check out all his episodes and enjoy the point of view he shares on these great video logs.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Small Truck and Cargo Van Sleepers

Here are some pictures I have found recently on homemade and factory built sleepers:
 I am surprised by the lack of information on sleepers for expedite vans in the U.S.  I have found some pictures of homemade sleepers, but there are only a few companies I can find in the United States that make custom cargo van sleepers.

Custom Sleeper with link to company that makes them

In Europe, small trucks are much more common, and I have found some pictures of sleepers made from Lamar that are put onto Fiat Ducato.  I really like the designs and they appear to be taking fuel economy and aerodynamics into consideration.

I would also guess that by the size of the European sleepers, most of the drivers are of smaller stature than their American counterparts.   I saw a program on television comparing the road and trucker foods in different countries, and Japan appeared to have the healthiest truck stops.  Most truck stops in the United States seem to focus on big gulps and all you can eat buffett with extra gravy, but many truckers are trying to do more cooking in their rigs to avoid the unhealthy options found in most American truckstops.

Fiat Ducato with Super Sleeper

 Small sleeper on a small truck. 

More Fiat Sleeper Pictures

Small sleeper

Small sleeper
Small sleeper attached to truck

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Teachers Pay Teachers: Links to Using Podcasts in the Classroom

New Year, New Routine - Looking Forward to 2016 | Teachers Pay Teachers

I taught English for quite a few years, and I was always looking for new ideas to help engage my students.  I  get email updates from quite a few teacher websites, and I always find the info. from Teachers Pay Teachers to be helpful.

The site uses tips from teachers around the United States, and I like this latest information because of the podcast suggestions, such as  lets-podcast/, and other info. from a teachers utilizing podcasts in the classroom.   I follow many podcasts, and really like the way this free source of communication can help students and teachers learn new things.

Links to using podcasts in the classroom:

University of South Florida: Using Podcasts in the Classroom

From: : Educational Podcasting

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cornelia Cut Free! Duluth Shipping News and Pictures

We were in Duluth last weekend, and arrived in Canal Park just as a ship, the American Mariner, was leaving the harbor. 

American Mariner
 We also had a chance to see the Cornelia, a ship that has been held up by the Coast Guard  due to environmental infractions.   It was interesting to see the ship out there, but I have to admit my curiosity as to what would cause it to be held out there for forty days.  But like most information pertaining to the military and government, the information is only on a need to know basis.  Either way, it is good to hear,  via Duluth Shipping News, that the Cornelia is on her way back out to sea.  I wonder what would have happened if she would have had to spend the winter out on Lake Superior as the water was already looking extremely cold and rough last weekend.

Here is the news release concerning the Cornelia via Duluth Shipping News:
Three unique vessels found their way under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge in the last few days.
 A ship we have all come to know, or at least observe at the anchorage just beyond the Duluth piers, is the Cornelia (right). After over 40 days out there, she came in last night to get fuel and take care of some maintenance issues.

The Coast Guard reports that they “have reached an agreement. The vessel is making preparations to depart the Great Lakes prior to the seasonal closure of the locks.” She is expected to depart Duluth, under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, late tomorrow morning or early afternoon. As with any departure time, it may be later. will have updated information as soon as we find any new information on Friday morning.

Pictures courtesy of Duluth Shipping News

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Various Camper Bike Pictures

Camper Bikes!

I appreciate this design, but I feel like this would be way too much of a workout to pedal after my family and I fill it with all of our camping gear.  Plus, it would be way too big of a bummer if we encounter foul weather like rain or hail en route.

This design takes ergonomics into consideration with the built in back rest, but the rider's posture is just all wrong.

This is a nice option for one person, but could cause problems if you have a large family.  If coupled with a tent, it would still be tricky to use for a family.  Good to see the flat screen, but its placement could cause some serious neck strain.

 In all seriousness, bike campers could be a great option for homeless people or people on a fixed income.  They are  a great option for helping homeless people so they can have a place to call home.

Pictures of other Happy Campers (bicyclists)

Learning How to Broker Freight with Links

 Brokering freight is a cut throat and highly competitive way of life.  It means spending hours on the phone trying to coordinate the movement of freight with carriers and shippers. I have been researching information on the topic, but for anyone interested in this line of work, it is important to do your research and learn as much as you can from people that are experienced in transportation.  It is a huge industry with its own language, politics, and culture.

Here are some links with free information on Freight Brokering:

Becoming a Freight Broker or Freight Broker Agent PDF from Taltoa

6-things-freight-brokers-love-and-hate link

 How to Start a Freight Brokerage Business via

 Broker-startup-guide from DAT

 Here are a few load boards showing available freight and trucks in the agricultural industry:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tips for Bull Haulers, Cattle Pots, and Cow Haulers: Safe Cattle Hauling

Tips for Livestock Transport

Some helpful tips for hauling your cattle to pasture this summer
.By: Heidi Carroll, Livestock Stewardship Extension Associate, SDSU Extension

Now that pastures are starting to green up and calves are growing, many producers are getting ready to haul their cow/calf pairs to summer pastures. There are multiple factors to consider when transporting livestock and this article will review three of those factors, beginning with stocking density.

The stocking density in trailers is important to maintain cattle well-being and minimize injuries. Table 1 has loading recommendations for various weights of cattle and various trailer sizes. The Gross Vehicle Ratings should not be exceeded for trucks and trailers to ensure safe hauling. The maximum legal load limit must be followed for each state that cattle are being transported through. Additional loading recommendations for cattle pots can be found in the National Beef Quality Assurance Master Cattle Transporter Guide.

Cattle well-being should be maintained during the entire process of transporting cattle, from gathering and loading the animals to unloading. Calm, quiet low-stress handling methods should be used by everyone assisting. Sorting sticks, flags, or paddles can be used to safely sort animals and humanely encourage movement. Electric prods should only be used on stubborn animals and then put out of reach after the animal cooperates. Evaluate the facilities and trailer for distractions if cattle continually balk and refuse to flow easily instead of resorting to excessive electric prod use. A shadow, ground surface color change or a sweatshirt placed on a fence may inhibit cattle movement.

Determine the appropriate weight distribution of cattle for your specific trailer type (gooseneck versus bumper hitch) and the number of compartments within the trailer. When hauling cow/calf pairs, separate the cows from the calves in the trailer to ensure the safety of the calves. When hauling bulls, separate bulls from each other and separate bulls from cows or calves. Bulls unfamiliar with each other should not be mixed on a trailer because damage to the trailer and animals is likely to occur if or when they fight to establish a hierarchy. Horned or tipped cattle should be separated from polled, and space allowance should be appropriate for each group with respect to horn status. Balance the weight to get the best towing performance and smoothest ride. Also be considerate of the route taken and how you drive to prevent cattle from jostling or slipping. Avoid sudden accelerations, stops, or turns and pick roads that have minimal sharp turns or stops. Preparation, attention to detail, and low-stress handling ensures a safe, successful experience when hauling cattle this season.

Safe transportation of cattle starts with proper maintenance of the truck/pickup and trailer. During the busy spring season, maintenance and repairs may get pushed down the list of priorities. However, taking the time for maintenance checks will help things run smoother and safer when you begin hauling cattle.

Maintenance should include:
Inflating tires to the proper air pressure - including spare tires; replace worn or damaged tires
Checking all lights, turn signals, brakes, electrical hookups, and vehicle fluid levels
Greasing hitches and wheel bearings - if required; safety chains, gates and latches are functional and secure
Trailer ventilation or protection are appropriate for current and future weather conditions if travelling long distances
Checking flooring and ramps are safe and have appropriate traction to prevent slips or falls
Cleaning and disinfecting the trailer to prevent transmitting pathogens between cattle and locations; remove all manure and old bedding
Cleaning tires and undercarriage of truck if high risk of disease transmission
Have a safety triangle/cone, tire iron and jack capable of lifting a loaded trailer in case of a flat tire

Performing maintenance checks a few days before cattle are scheduled to be hauled provides time to fix any problems without pushing back the transport date. Maintenance will minimize the risk of devastating accidents that can damage not only the equipment, but also injure or kill livestock.

Hauling cattle to summer pasture is a satisfying task after such a long, cold winter. Take the time to check over trucks and trailers to ensure it goes safe and smooth. Review humane handling methods with family members or employees to minimize the stress on the cattle and prevent injuries.

The Best BBQ Pitmasters of the South | Southern Living

I think this will be a program I need to watch, as I am going to build a smoker this winter, and
think these gentlemen would be the place to learn the art of barbecue.  This episode visit various barbecue hot spots throughout the South.

Each area has its own unique take on the best process for producing outstanding BBQ.  Someday, I would like to visit all these different places to sample the fine victuals and learn more about producing awesome BBQ. 

After watching this show,  I am amazed at the amount of patience each one of these chefs demonstrate, and I wonder if I would have the patience to make such spectacular dishes.  I guess
"All Good Things Come to Those Who Wait" is a fitting saying for the art of making BBQ.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Pictures of Ice House Truck Sleeper

With the unusually mild fall and winter this year in Minnesota, we are off to a late start for ice fishing.  It is no surprise that many of my friends are anxious to get started on the hard water ice fishing season.   I have built quite a few permanent or framed ice houses in the past, and found that without a trailer chassis they are too much of a bother to take on and off the ice.  They also are prone to freezing on the ice, and most friends only show up when it is on the ice, and disappear in the spring when it is time to take it back off the ice!

Here are some ingenious truck sleeper ice house designs.  

The person selling this house has added some really cool creature comforts.  They left the vents on the truck sleeper, and also have some windows to let in sun light.  The door looks like it is well built and my favorite option is the small wood stove.   I am not sure if the trailer chassis is home built or purchase, but it appears to be a perfect fit for the house. 

Interior pictures of the house.   I like the small wood stove.

Entertainment and a Peterbilt sticker

It appears to be for sale! More info. on this ice house can be found here:

Friday, December 11, 2015

Priscilla Martin - Rolling CB Interview™

Priscilla Martin.   She is driving a really nice Peterbilt.  She is hauling honeydew and driving a class truck. It is so cool the different stuff drivers can haul with a reefer trailer. It is also amazing the amount of dedication and sacrifice professional drivers emanate in this profession. Sounds like a good part of owner operator trucking is being diversified in what you can haul based upon the supply and demand.  Trucking is one of the last independent American jobs, and it is a lifestyle I wish more of the general public would learn about.  The videos are produced by Chris Fiffie.
Chris Fiffie, multimedia specialist, does a great job documenting the trucking lifestyle! Show respect to truckers out on the highways.  Happy Holiday and God Bless!

Purdue University Career Search Resources Links and Video

Purdue's Online Writing Lab: Resume Workshop

  This is a great resource for job seekers or people looking to update their resume.   I have used Purdue's resources for students of all ages.

Purdue Career Resources by Major

Many college students may struggle with finding jobs that fit their major.   It is important to talk to the career counseling center at your college.   They are trained to help you find jobs that are a good fit for your academic major.  

Purdue University Career Guides

This is a great starting point for looking at specific careers and figuring out what you would or wouldn't do in terms of career working conditions.

Purdue Online Writing Lab: Job Search Writing

Another great resource for creating effective job search documents such as cover letters. 

Jaycee's Ice Fishing Extravaganza 2016: Brainerd, Minnesota

Link to Jaycee's Ice Fishing Extravaganza 2016

With this years warm weather, I am starting to wonder if they are going to announce a new date for the Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
I drive by Gull Lake every week, and lately I am surprise to see it still looks like this:

The lake has been frozen over on a few mornings, but recently it is ice free on Hole in the Day Bay.  This is the location of the ice fishing tournament, and as of yesterday, the conditions aren't looking too promising.

Either way, it is a great event that raises a great deal of money and awareness for charities, so I hope the event still takes place, but I doubt we will have enough ice if conditions don't change soon.

However, as a native northern Minnesotan, I know things can change quick!

Here is some information on the event from

History of the Ice Fishing Extravaganza

 In the early 1990s the Brainerd Jaycees had a desire to develop a signature project—a project that would rally members, raise money for local charities, and provide avenues for individual growth, personal development, and leadership. With the first contest being held in January 1991, it is certain the founders never expected this event would become the world’s largest ice fishing contest and put Brainerd, MN, on the map with a winter event that generates over $1-million in revenue for area businesses and over $150,000 for area charities annually

Paid Truck Driver Training: USA Truck hires 21 year old trainees!

The trucking industry needs new drivers to keep up with the freight demand.  Actually, the issue isn't that simple, but I have noticed some of the larger companies have now lowered their hiring age.  I also follow quite a few trucking Vlogs on youtube.   Some of the online video journals are produced by younger drivers, and they can be a great resource for anyone considering the trucking career and lifestyle.
 Popular Vlogger and trucker Allie Knight began her driving career at USA truck.   You can follow her journey by going to her Youtube Site, and starting with her earliest videos.

 USA Truck offers paid training.  As with any company sponsored training program, it is important to do your research and find out the penalties of not completing the contract, or leaving school early. Check out Driver Solutions, and compose a list of questions to ask the recruiter.   I think it is a good idea to base the questions on the worst case scenario, as it is better to know the consequences beforehand, especially when they are monetary.

 They also offer programs for recent CDL graduates.

Here is a video overview of the training program at USA Truck.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Apprenticeships in Minnesota

I think apprenticeships are a great option for students or other individuals wanting to find a good paying, in demand job. Apprentices are paid and receive training and usually don't have to incur the usual costs associated with post secondary education. Check out the article below on the transition of Minnesota's workforce, and the importance of apprenticeship programs:Click to read the entire article

By Ken Peterson
Guest Columnist

Minnesota’s workforce is experiencing tremendous transition. Thousands of our experienced baby boomers are retiring, while many employers are seeking a workforce capable of meeting increased levels of skill to operate new technologies with precision.

An emerging, yet familiar, pathway for some employers to successfully bridge that gap is registered apprenticeship programs.

Registered apprenticeship programs have been referred to as “the other four-year degree” in Minnesota since they began in 1939. Through apprenticeship, Minnesotans have built careers — without debt — by combining paid on-the-job training with focused classroom education. Both at the workplace and in class, training is customized to meet employers’ needs.

BWCA Boundary Waters Canoe Trip: Part 1

We’d already been in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area for two weeks, and my clients were black fly bitten, but I was feeling fit and pure. 
Black flies are worse than mosquitoes.  When black flies bite, they inject what seems to be a poisonous sap into the skin. 
After we received the initial bites, they swell up like a tick on a dog. For the next few days the red and elevated bit ooze this pussy sap-like substance. Like tree sap, it seems to harden when exposed to air, but this is no place to worry about how one looks.

I spent two weeks up in the BWCA, and that was quite a bit of time for my long unkempt hair and red weeping bites. I would brush my long, but thinning on top, hair at night before bed, and all kinds of critters and detritus would come out, but after this many days in the woods, vanity doesn't mean shit.  As a novice guide for some city living buddies, I tried not to complain.

I still complained but would try to convince myself not to while talking to myself aloud during long portages; my two friends had run out of booze after day three, and as daily drinkers, they were on edge for the rest of the trip. So, my complaints wouldn't have been heard, anyway.

Brainerd Lakes Live Music: Dec. 10-16, 2015

For week of Dec. 10-16; bands perform from 9 p.m. to close with no cover unless otherwise noted.


American Legion

Near Highways 371 and 87 W.

Frankie Lamb's Frankly Country Band, 2-6 p.m. Dec. 20, followed by a 4-H benefit dinner.


Coco Moon

601 Laurel St.

Bluegrass, first, third and fifth Friday of the month

Eagles Club

124 Front St.

Wayne Renn, 7:30-11:30 p.m. Friday.

Last Turn Saloon

215 S. Eighth St.

Comedy show featuring Tim Harmston, seating at 6:30 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m. today, Dec. 10; $10 per ticket.

Liquor Pigz

718 Laurel St.

Karaoke, 10 p.m. every Wednesday

Jam session/open mic, 9 p.m. every Sunday

Shep's on Sixth

315 S. Sixth St.

DJ, every Friday-Saturday in Elbow Room

St. Mathias Bar and Grill

4640 County Road 121

Old School, Saturday


Commander Bar

30279 Airport Road

Slapshot, 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday

JJ's Pub

Downstairs of the Commander

Jud Hailey, Saturday


The Bridge Tavern

26929 Highway 6

Live music every Friday; Classic Country Dinner Theater, 4-8 p.m. Sunday


American Legion

25807 Main St.

Sideways Karaoke, 7 p.m. Dec. 18


The Brickyard Bar and Grill

214 Main St.

Alan Godage & Sundown's country Christmas show, 5-8 p.m. Saturday

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Midwest Coast Transport: Paid Truck Driver Training

Visit to apply!

Hiring Area Map
Info. via

  • Paid orientation, 2 ½ days, $250
  • Advanced Driver Training Program (ADTP), Friday – Thursday, $100/day
  • Driver training lasts 3 weeks, $500/week. After driver training, you’ll be assigned your own truck and transition from training to mileage

  • We offer one of the most comprehensive—and paid—training programs in the trucking industry. Travel assistance, lodging and some meals are provided during orientation and ADTP.
    Orientation takes place in Atlanta, GA and Sioux Falls, SD.
    If you attended another school, you could qualify for our up to $6,000 in tuition reimbursement paid within 25 months.

    Career Planning for High School Students: Part 2

    When Should I Start Career Planning?

    - Is it ever too early or too late?

    I am often asked by students and teachers about the best time to start career planning. Many classroom teachers feel starting in middle school is way too early, but I have found quite a few article that suggest this is the best time to start.

    This is discussed in this post via
    Career planning is a process that should begin in 8th or 9th grade. By starting the process early, you will have ample time to research a variety of career opportunities and learn about your likes and dislikes as you grow and experience new ideas. However, you should keep in mind that it's never too late to start career planning even if you are already in college. Use these tips to help in planning your career as you go throughout high school and college.

    Based on my life experience, I started thinking about careers at an early age, and I assumed many students and individuals had the same experience. This stems from a common question in my early life:  What do you want to be when you grow up?

    I was never stumped by this question.   Some of the answers I gave included: truckdriver, professional football player, and lawyer.

    I wonder if parents and other adults still ask young kids this question in present day society.   I think it is a great question to ask, as it allows young kids to use their imagination, and to think about their dream job.   It is also a good question to ask adults dissatisfied with their current profession.

    One question every career seeker should ask themselves: 

    What is your dream job?  (Link to most common childhood dream jobs via Washington Post)

    This is a great starting place in terms of finding a fulfilling career!

    Please post your dream job(s) under comments.

    Sunday, December 6, 2015

    Cornelius, North Carolina and Lake Norman

    On my recent trip to Charlotte, NC to visit my daughter, we took a road trip north of the Charlotte metro area to check out Cornelius and a few other cities near a large reservoir named Lake Norman.  My daughter and I stopped in Cornelius to take some pictures of the library and courthouse.  I have always appreciated the architecture of the south, and this town didn't disappoint.

    The courthouse was impressive, but my daughter was wondering why anyone would take a picture of this place. I am impressed with the stately columns used to mark entrances in the South.

     This is my daughter Amrie in front of the library in Cornelius, NC.
     Picture of your truly in front of the same library.

     Down by the water at a park by Lake Norman in Huntersville, NC.   I asked some local fisherman what they were catching, and they replied:
    "Little bit of everything."
    Amrie and I enjoying the warm day by Lake Norman

    Friday, December 4, 2015

    Brainerd Lakes Live Music December 3-9, 2015

    Live Music - Dec. 3
    By BRAINERD DISPATCH on Dec 2, 2015 at 7:16 p.m.

    Live Music - Dec. 3
    Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

    For week of Dec. 3-9; bands perform from 9 p.m. to close with no cover unless otherwise noted.


    American Legion

    Near Highways 371 and 87 W.


    Usual Suspects Theater Co., three musical comedy, 5:45 p.m. Saturday; free.


    Coco Moon

    601 Laurel St.

    Bluegrass, first, third and fifth Friday of the month

    Eagles Club

    124 Front St.

    Tim Williams, 7:30-11:30 p.m. Friday.

    Last Turn Saloon

    215 S. Eighth St.

    Comedy show featuring Tim Harmston, seating at 6:30 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m. Dec. 10; $10 per ticket.

    Liquor Pigz

    718 Laurel St.

    Karaoke, 10 p.m. every Wednesday

    Jam session/open mic, 9 p.m. every Sunday

    Shep's on Sixth

    315 S. Sixth St.

    DJ, every Friday-Saturday in Elbow Room

    St. Mathias Bar and Grill

    4640 County Road 121

    TBA, Friday-Saturday


    Commander Bar

    30279 Airport Road

    Southbound, 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday

    JJ's Pub

    Downstairs of the Commander

    Mark Hailey, Saturday


    The Bridge Tavern

    26929 Highway 6

    Live music every Friday; Classic Country Dinner Theater, 4-8 p.m. Sunday


    American Legion

    25807 Main St.

    Rare Phorm Entertainment, 7 p.m. Saturday

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

    Hauling Cattle as a ... | Beef Cattle | Agriculture

    Hauling Cattle as a ... | Beef Cattle | Agriculture

    Hauling Cattle as a Business

    Beef InsiderUpdated: 02/09/2015 @ 2:30pm
    By: Raylene Nickel
    Since moving into semiretirement after selling their cow herd and farmland, Waldo and Kathy Westrum of Turtle Lake, North Dakota, now focus on their side business: custom-hauling cattle. With the purchase of a new trailer, their client base and service area has expanded, doubling their cattle-hauling miles.
    “Custom-hauling cattle is a good side business for a ranch because it provides cash flow,” says Waldo. “The extra income the business earns helps justify the purchase of a good stock trailer for our own ranch use.”Waldo bought his first gooseneck trailer for hauling his own cattle back in 1992. Soon after, neighbors began asking him to haul their cattle. The business grew from there.
    The Westrums’ new, custom-built trailer plays a key role in the present growth of their business. They took what they learned over many years of hauling and ordered a custom-built trailer that increases the ease of loading cattle.
    The following specialized features reduce their stress and labor, and help minimize breakdowns.

    • Steel construction. Relative ease of repair figured in their decision to buy a trailer constructed of steel rather than aluminum.

    “If we have to repair a steel sidewall, for instance, this can be done at a regular welding shop,” says Waldo. “Repairs to aluminum have to be done at a specialized shop.”

    • Heavy-duty undercarriage. The 34-foot-long trailer has three axles, each rated at 8,000 pounds. Wheels are heavy-duty, and the tires are 14 ply.

    “This gives us good carrying capacity, and we’ve got more stopping power with the bigger brakes,” says Waldo. “Tire blowouts are common with stock trailers, but we’ve only had two flats in the last 26,000 miles. Those resulted from two small nails we happened to pick up.”

    • Two-speed gearbox on the jack. Because the steel construction increases the weight of the trailer, the Westrums added a two-speed gearbox to the jack. The gear reduction makes it easier to crank the jack to lift the hitch out of the pickup bed.

    • Double-wall design. Smooth interior walls are easy to clean and reflect light, brightening the interior. Outside walls are of horizontally designed construction materials, which tend to deflect gravel.

    “Vertical structures on the outside catch rocks and chip the paint, giving rust a place to get started,” says Waldo. The trailer interior is 80 inches wide with straight sidewalls all around.

    • Light interior. The interior and the exterior of the trailer are painted white. “Cattle are easier to load into a trailer that’s light inside rather than dark,” notes Kathy.

    • Rubber flooring. At the factory, the floor of the trailer was coated with a ½-inch layer of a material made from recycled rubber. “It adds a layer of cushioning to the floor that makes it more comfortable for the cattle to stand on,” explains Kathy. “It’s easy to clean.”

    College Scorecard: Websites for Comparing Colleges

    Ole Miss-Oxford, MS
    For anyone interested in comparing colleges, I have found College Scorecard to be a great resource. The website allows users to easily compare college based on many different criteria, and the site uses easy to read visual aids so the information is easy to process.

    Here are some of the criteria you can compare using the basic search function:

    Find Schools
    • Compare schools now Programs/Degree
    • Programs/Degrees Location
    • Location Size
    • Size Name
    • Name 
    By using the advanced search function, it is possible to search using more specific criteria:
    • Type of school
    • Public
    • Private Nonprofit
    • Private For-Profit
    •  Specialized mission
    •  Religious affiliation
     A good starting point is to compare the costs of colleges you are interested in attending.  This site will also include two year institutions, and it is a real eye opener to see the comparison of school costs.  I am surprised by the costs associated with most four year colleges, and highly recommend conducting extensive research when trying to choose the best fit for post secondary education.
    Check out:

    Links to other sites for comparing colleges:

    Wednesday, December 2, 2015

    The Building of the Freightliner Revolution Innovation Concept Truck

    From Welcome to the Revolution. Meet the new concept in crossover cab design and see what happens when engineers get the green light to put their creativity to max with the start to finish concept, design and building of the Freightliner Revolution Innovation Truck. Hear from the researchers, engineers and product designers of the fully functional demonstration Freightliner Revolution Innovation Truck.

    The Freightliner Revolution Innovation concept truck was revealed at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) 2012 to help launch the celebration of Freightliner Truck's 70th Anniversary

    I am very interested in the way they are using technology and design to make trucks more fuel efficient.  I also like the way many new trucks are using CNG as a lighter and more efficient fuel for

    some applications.   The futuristic designs can benefit owner operators by decreasing the amount of money they need to spend on fuel.   The lack of creature comforts and space could be a big negative to most OTR drivers.

    Find Apprenticeship Opportunities- Free Career Training

    Benefits for an Apprentice (provided by U.S. Dept. of Labor)

    A paycheck from day one, guaranteed to increase over time as you learn new skills.
    helping hand
    Hands-on career training in a wide selection of programs, such as health care, construction, information technology and geospatial careers.
    An education and the potential to earn college credit, even an associate or bachelor's degree, in many cases paid for by your employer.
    With the high costs of a college education, apprenticeships can be a great option for people at all stages in their lives.   If you are graduating from high school, or looking for a career change, but face financial problems, free training can be a great way to find a high paying career.