Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Riding shotgun on the Spirit truck

The grand finale of our 2013 MATS trip was a strange one – how to get home.

As we were enjoying the annual spectacle in Louisville, Mother Nature laid a whopper on us in the form of a massive snowstorm back home in western Missouri. It engulfed the KC metro area, and on the weather radar we could see it heading west and spreading south as it developed.

So after the show, our OOIDA staff took off in a convoy of minivans for a nasty trip that included slugging through the zero visibility and heavy snowfall much of the way home.

I got particularly attached to Sassy
during the trip
I rode home in OOIDA’s tour truck – the Spirit – with driver Jon Osburn. We didn’t tag along with the rest of the group. We left later, after all the booth stuff was loaded up. Our challenge was to route the Spirit around the mess, so Jon and I swapped the short way home for the long way around in a gamble the roads would be better.

We went way south through Kentucky all the way down to Paducah, across the Missouri bootheel and over to Springfield, MO. We were hoping to skirt the big storm and had our fingers crossed that by the time we snaked up through Missouri late Sunday night, the roads would be clear. It was a good call on Jon’s part. Although we got cold rain and fuel-mileage-sucking wind, we dodged icy roads and big snow.

Twelve hours on the truck was a blast for me, riding up high in the Pete, feeling pretty cool. Jon’s half-Schnauzer half-Jack Russell (Sassy) nestled on my lap. I’m taking in every mile of the trip. When we crossed the Mississippi River, it seemed to me that we turned and crossed it again. I looked at the signs.

I say to Jon: “Now we are in Illinois!”

He immediately says to me: “Now we are out of Illinois.”

Yep. It was that place where in one short mile you drive three states – Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri. You truckers all know where that is, but it kinda threw me off.

We pulled into a TA at I-55 and Hwy 80 in Matthews, MO, and eased up to the pump right by the building. It was getting dark, but the lights of the building lit up the Spirit Truck like a massive spotlight. I thought to myself how awesome it looked. I ran inside while Jon was fueling up. It was not a big bustling place. Five or six truckers stood in line. Everyone seemed quiet, tired, wet and cold. I got back to the truck, and Jon went in to pay. He was gone awhile, and when he got back he was laughing.

I say to Jon: “Still a line at the fuel desk? I saw there was just one girl on the job.”

He says to me: “Yes, she was doing something for someone, so I signed up a new member.”

We rolled past Springfield, MO, and headed north, closing in on home. On MO 13 south of 50 Hwy, I’m texting Jami Jones who is keeping track of where everyone is, what the weather is, etc.

Jon is swearing and muttering about some circles. Sassy leaps to her feet, alerted to shifting gears. Then I saw it: a dreaded traffic circle. No one gave a single thought to a truck when they designed this one. I think they used a pattern from a grade school playground dodge ball circle.

Jon maneuvers the 53-foot trailer around the danged thing, gritting his teeth and muttering under his breath. As he was explaining to me how much he hated traffic circles, we came upon another. In the dark, on snow-covered roads, he eases around a configuration made for a tricycle. A short distance later, another. We were in traffic circle hell.

Would you believe we did four of these little traffic donuts before we pulled onto 50 Highway? FOUR.

The journalist in me pondered who the heck came with this idea that was supposed to be a safety enhancement and why they didn’t ask how handy they would be for the tractor-trailers that run the SAME roads. But after we came out of the fourth one last night, I stopped overthinking it and simply agreed with the way Jon explained it. They were invented by evil forces … really stupid evil forces.

Miles and smiles, trucker spirit reigns at MATS

Simply put, there are no strangers at MATS; there are only friends. The ones we already know and the ones we have yet to meet.

And while it’s easy to get caught up in the preparations, the cool new products and the overall buzz of the grand poobah of truck shows, make no mistake; the Mid-America Trucking Show is and always will be about the people.
Sandi Soendker, Dave Nemo, Joyce Brenny, Donna Kennedy

It starts long before we hit the floor running on Wednesday during show week – i.e., Press Day – and it doesn’t end until we’ve made our Saturday round of handshakes and hugs at the trophy dash in the Kentucky Expo Center or out in the annex parking lot at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

It’s fun, and it’s work. It’s the best kind of work. The smiles are genuine.

Ask any one of us what we do when we get new calendars. We open them up to March and block out the Mid-America Trucking Show. It’s a spring ritual, even if the weather this year didn’t feel very spring-like. We faced and raced a Midwest snowstorm on the way home, but that couldn’t dampen the spirit of the show.

John Miller, Bob Miller, Howard Dobbins
Family and tradition is very important to many patrons and presenters. Take OOIDA Life Member Bob Miller and son John of Mount Pleasant, IA, for example. They stopped by the Association’s booth to get John’s membership renewed and to talk about the latest goings on. Big Land Line readers, they never miss a beat. When the truckers say the economy is getting better out there, we have got to believe it is because they are the first to notice the changes.

Life Member Howard Dobbins, a friend of the Millers, showed me a photo of his ’59 Mack and ’51 Fruehauf trailer. He says he intends to bring that classy combo to a certain show coming up later in the year.

Dave Tanner, Gordon Johnson
Gordon Johnson, life member from Fredericktown, OH, said his home state could soon see its “Slowhio”
nickname go by the wayside. He dropped by the booth to tell us he’s been watching the state budget bill that includes a 5-mph increase in many highway speed limits.

While roaming the Expo Center for some photo opportunities, I met Tom and Joyce Henry from Jeffersonville, IN. Tom had an expediting business at one time. They were showing their grandson Trent around the show. 

Trent gets a fake tattoo from Katie Nelson
Trent seemed a bit shy, or at least in awe of the chrome and music filling his senses, but he did like the fake tattoo stuck on him by the gals at the Detroit Radiator booth. It was one of the many “truck show moments” we were fortunate to see or be a part of, and it made for a cute photo.

Robin Clark, Sandi Talbott, Jimmy Ardis
While Trent was on the shy side, shy is definitely not in the vocabulary of one outspoken Jimmy Ardis – a senior OOIDA member and owner-operator who goes by the handle Carolina Monkey Gouger. In fact, the first thing he said to me was, “Want to take a picture of the best-looking truck drivers you ever seen?”

How could one pass that up? Friends Robin Clark, a Carolina barbecue aficionado who drives for Salem Carriers, and Sandi Talbott, an OOIDA life member leased to Cargill, had “Monkey Gouger” nametags. Never a dull moment around these folks.

Speaking of shining moments, I was very pleased to meet OOIDA Member Marlaina Betnaza face to face. 

Marlaina Betnaza
We’ve talked and corresponded about bridge heights and GPS issues in New York. She and husband Greg write and post some outstanding photos on their blog, Life with No Fixed Address. I was very impressed with Marlaina and their passion for life on the road.
Paul Hartley, with Jami Jones

You can’t talk about outstanding photos without giving a shout to Paul Hartley of AddMedia. This guy hits the floor running every year at MATS, and is one of those first-to-arrive and last-to-leave guys. Very dedicated.

Dave Tanner, Joanne Ritchie
Dedication is what makes Joanne Ritchie tick as well. Joanne is the executive director of the Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada, or OBAC. I shared a little known fact about Joanne with a gentleman at Detroit’s engine exhibit, and she thinks I made “much ado” about it. But not everyone can quote Shakespeare at will and apply it to everyday situations. I know I’m not so good at it. I’m the type that thinks “Out, damned spot!” is someone giving their dog a scolding.

Leash purchase?
With that, we’ll turn to pets. Many truckers travel with pets, and there are pet charities, grooming and pampering going on in many places. We saw a cat on a leash in the Papa John’s lot. The best I could come up with is that it was on some kind of “leash purchase.” I digress.

The spirit of charity was in full swing at the show. We know many of the folks who drive the St. Christopher Fund, and it was good to see them.

Out at Papa John’s, burgers and brats on the grill mean valuable dollars going into jars and containers to help others.

Medical issues of truckers or truckers’ families fuel the engine under many of the charitable causes.

Little John with Yogi's truck
“Little John” Leistra, a member from Mount Brydges, Ontario, pulled me aside to tell me a story about the truck he’s currently driving.

“I have been entrusted with the care of Yogi Bear’s truck,” he said. Yogi, aka Ron Terry, is currently out of trucking, but folks like Little John wanted me to wish him well in the blog.

The late Dale “The Truckin’ Bozo” Sommers and Rusty “Yoda” Wade were in the hearts and minds of many on the lot. Their efforts to help others, especially truckers, are legendary. Many a dollar was given in their name during show week.

Becky Black, Buck Black, Shelle Lichti
We ran into more friends out on the lot. Buck Black, a therapist and relationship specialist from Indiana, was catching up with a few truckers. We’ve met Buck at several events recently, and he knows how tough it can be to be out on the road for long periods of time.
We can all use a bit of grounding or a word of encouragement from time to time, can’t we?

One thing that always encourages us at the truck shows is the amount of support we see for OOIDA and Land Line. We know who we work for, and that is the members. It’s always great when we meet new members or see familiar faces.

Richard Moran
You don’t see many OOIDA life member stickers on pilot cars or pickups, at least according to Life Member Richard Moran of Cheboygan, MI. It was worthy of a picture as we made our way through the lot.

But just as I had taken a snap of Richard and his pickup, I was whisked away by another life member, Doug Weber. Actually, he rarely goes by Doug. He’s the “Stray Cat.” And he has no leash.

“I’ve got a new name for the show out here (on the lot),” he said. “Pork Chop Diaries: The Burgers and Brats Edition.”

Not bad, Stray Cat. Not bad.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Women In Trucking draws 200 female pro drivers

OOIDA Life Member Idella Hansen and teen truck
 photographer Ciara "ShortStacks" Sleeth

Each year the Women In Trucking Association hosts an annual “Salute to Women Behind the Wheel” honoring female professional drivers for their service to industry. This year WIT Executive Director Ellen Voie welcomed nearly 200 female professional drivers to the event at MATS.

The female drivers were recognized for their years in the industry and have a group pic taken by Paul Hartley and his hard-working camera crew.

The women were honored by the years they'd spent as a professional driver. A couple of the women were featured for their more than 40 years as professional drivers. Paula Dmyterko has been trucking 40 years. Idella Hansen was noted as having the longest career with 46 years of driving. Hansen is an OOIDA life member from Camden, AR.

Other notables on hand for the event included NASCAR driver Jennifer Jo Cobb (thanks to Arrow Truck Sales) and Lisa Kelly of Worldtrucker.com. Kelly also appeared on the History Channel’s “Ice Road Trucker” series.

Rebecca Brewster, this year’s Influential Woman in Trucking recipient, was there for the event as was Stephanie Klang, driver for Con-way Truckload and a member of America’s Road Team.

Sandra Ambrose-Clark, president of ESJ Carrier Corp. and Without A Doubt Truck & Trailer Repair in Fairfield, OH, was the keynote speaker. Ambrose-Clark was a finalist in this year’s Influential Woman in Trucking award.

She spoke to the group about her experience running her father’s trucking company after his death and how she established a truck and trailer repair shop.

“I went to pick up some of my trucks from a repair facility, and I heard them say ‘here’s that woman who knows nothing about trucks,” she told the group. “When I left I said ‘maybe this woman who knows nothing about trucks will start a repair garage to compete with you!”

She did just that. She established her garage – Without a Doubt Truck Repair – in 2007 in Fairfield. Today she has an eight-bay garage and 16 diesel mechanics.

And Ambrose-Clark had a special message for the drivers. If you are in the Cincinnati area and need a safe place to park, food, coffee, shower and even a quiet room to get away from the world, come on by.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Save the tatas

Raising money and raising awareness of the need for a cure for breast cancer, the folks at PDI and 25 other companies donated their time, efforts, services and products in building an iconic truck that has run the country for the past year - selling raffle tickets at truck shows and rodeos, parking lots and parade grounds.

What separated this effort from so many others is that 100 percent of the funds raised goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Their efforts resulted in a check for $100,000 to assist in the fight against breast cancer.

Today, the Secretary of the State of Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes, drew the award-winning ticket. And the winner was Art Pflughoeft, a Wisconsin native. He bought raffle tickets in honor of his grandmother, Lucille, who died of breast cancer. The truck will be named to commemorate her.

Feels like love, looks like trucks

Feels like love, looks like trucks. Holy cow, it's a parking lot filled with dreams come true: Peterbilts and Kenworths, Macks and Internationals, and I think I spy a Volvo.  Old trucks, new trucks and new trucks that look old school. It's all that and it's all right here.

I have so many favorites I've run out of fingers and toes. Doug Simpson's 2000 black and green Peterbilt 379 is a day cab jewel. While the rest of the Fearless Leasing fleet hauls oversize equipment,  this dandy ride hauls hay and farm tractors, as well as parade floats, and is used for special occasions.

Canadian Phil Langevin has been bringing trucks to MATS for years. He's a guy who never gives up. He runs a fleet of awesome trucks and develops something new and different every year. This year's entry is a 2012 Peterbilt gilder kit with a 550 Caterpillar under the hood  an ode to old school. The rounded grille shell makes you question the year; the newly made 60" stainless Mecury-inspired sleeper surely says old. With diamond-tucked interior and real chrome wheels, and the APU condenser mounted on the roof reminiscent of an air conditioning unit of days gone by, you can enjoy retro styling with an up-to-date flair.
Much will be made of the dynamic team of Todd & Beth Roccapriore and Jerard Wittwer, Tyler Murray, Jed Howard & Karson Bartschi.  Their cross-country build of an edgy off-the-hook rolling work of art combined a rolling chassis and C-18 motor putting out 1800 hp, 5800 lbs ft torque with straight over the top design and attention to detail. According to Roccapriore, "It all starts with the visor. That becomes the eyes of the truck and the window to its soul."

And the themes and ideas found there are repeated, reinforced and replicated in the curves of the tool boxes and the air tubes under the hood and every inch of the truck from top to bottom. A 5,000-watt stereo system kicks it into orbit and catches up to the beat of your heart as detail after minute detail is revealed.  The mirror brackets are mind boggling; the door latches are not left to chance. The trucks sits 1-1/2 inches off the ground and if you could fit underneath, you'd see the bottom was painted, chromed and covered in the same attention to detail. Best of Show Limited Mileage Bobtail and the People's Choice Award are just the tips of the icebergs of the avalanche of attention this truck will receive.

I feel like I'm at a feast.

Charting a longer-haul course for natural gas

Diesel fuel isn't going away any time soon, but there are companies out there paving the way for natural gas alternatives. These companies include Chart, which has developed a large tank to suit regional and even long-haul applications for heavy-duty trucks.

We caught a glimpse of the 108-inch tank, which holds enough liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to equal 100 diesel equivalent gallons. It's more than a baby step in this field, as those spec'ing longer-haul trucks have questioned the range of natural gas trucks. The LNG tank answers some of those questions, and is more realistic for longer hauls than compressed natural gas, or CNG, would be.

The new tank from Chart  holds LNG at 100 psi at minus-200 degrees Fahrenheit, for 10 days without any release of gas due to warming or expansion, Chart Product Manager Peter Murray told Land Line during the Mid-America Trucking Show. Previous versions of LNG tanks would begin losing small amounts of gas after seven days.
Even if the truck sits for a few days, an hour's worth of drive time will always return the gas to 100 psi at minus-200 degrees.

"When the engine takes in fuel, it extracts heat and cools it," Murray said.

More and more regional and longer-haul operations, including over-the-road, are waiting on natural gas fueling infrastructure to be in place before they make the leap to new trucks and tanks. The move is not going to be for everyone.

Questions about tank weight and payload remain concerns for owner-operators and trucking companies.

Right now, most LNG fueling stations including those built with Chart technologies reside with municipal vehicle fleets, refuse companies and the like. Public fueling is on its way, according to many OEMs and folks at Chart who are in the know.

"You will see Chart equipment at public fueling stations," said Paul Sjogren of the company's Minnesota plant. Chart is based in Cleveland, OH, with manufacturing plants in Minnesota and Georgia employing about 2,000 people. They are currently equipped to manufacture about 100 tanks per day, but the Chart folks say they could easily upgrade their facilities to reach the thousands if and when the demand hits.

Fueling stations currently hold about 6,000 gallons of LNG, but upgrades to 16,000 gallons are on the way so tankers can deliver full loads.

Fueling Chart's new 108-inch, 100 diesel-equivalent-gallon tank takes about five minutes, a much shorter duration than a CNG fill.

Murray says Chart LNG tanks have made it onto many OEMs' trucks including Navistar, Mack, Volvo, Peterbilt, Kenworth and Freightliner models.

Oh, and about the cost? While the company won't give specifics, they hinted at numbers "under $35,000" for the new LNG tank. That may seem expensive, but considering that companies can lock into a fixed price for natural gas for up to 20 years and that natural gas trucks could save 30-50 percent in fueling costs over the life of a truck, the payback could be quick.

"They would see a 12- to 18-month payback," Murray says.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pros say safety, not profit, should drive new training rule

Experienced trucking professionals took to the podium Friday to reaffirm their commitment to highway safety and to help the FMCSA shape a rule on entry level driver training standards.

What the industry doesn't need, many said, is for inexperienced trainers to be in charge of inexperienced drivers hauling freight right out of trucking school.

"Before somebody can be a trainer, they have to be through all four seasons," said 38-year trucking veteran and OOIDA Life Member Lee Strebel, during a public listening session convened by  a panel of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officials, including Administrator Anne Ferro and Deputy Administrator Larry Minor.

The session, held during the Mid-America Trucking Show, was part of FMCSA's outreach on driver training standards as the agency prepares a final rule as mandated in the highway bill MAP-21, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century.

"You have to give that student the big picture," Strebel said.

Jerry Fritts, Greg Petit, Jeana Hysell, Sam Mitchell, Sandi Talbott, D.J. Brown, Dick Pingle, Scott Grenerth and OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer took to the microphone in the afternoon session to talk about the need for trained drivers with experience to replace those leaving the industry.

Administrators acknowledged that many older, experienced drivers are leaving the industry, and that schools have varying level of standards for training new drivers.

Some trainers and carrier representatives at the session said the FMCSA should allow them to keep doing what they're doing graduating thousands of CDL applicants and getting them to work quickly to fill the so-called "driver shortage." Numerous schools and companies were represented and obviously do not deserve to be lumped together as many had ideas that furthered the discussion about accreditation, cost and turnover.

Truckers, however, cautioned against two- to three-week training courses some even shorter than that that promise CDLs and a job. Many talked about colleagues or discussions around the truck stops that have thrown up red flags about training programs and promises of steady work for good pay.

"You can train anyone to go down the road," Spencer said. "You want to train a driver for when things go wrong, because things go wrong every day."

The experienced group offered up various suggestions, varying from three to five years experience behind the wheel before someone can become a trainer to train other drivers. Many said that a trainee needs six months at the wheel with an experienced trainer before being turned loose.

Drivers highlighted the recruitment strategies of carriers, the so-called "driver shortage" and the turnover rate in an effort to shed light on the need for commitment by the federal agency on tighter training standards.

"There is no oversight on the turnover rate," Sandi Talbott said. "As a veteran driver and as a taxpayer, I feel if the FMCSA truly cared about safety they would have a cap on how many students could be recruited by a training carrier per year."

An official representing a group of schools that graduate about 50,000 entry level drivers each year said they supply most of those drivers to a group of large carriers. The carriers with relationships with those schools own a combined 60,000 tractors. The numbers illuminate what truckers know firsthand in terms of driver turnover in the industry.

Fritts cited a recent study that said the LTL sector had only 9 percent turnover, far lower than the 100 percent turnover of some carriers despite the fact that the drivers are essentially doing the same work.

"New drivers are really being exploited by trucking company management," Fritts said.

The panel asked about simulators as a training tool. Brown and Grenerth said that while simulators can teach certain things, there's no substitute for real-world conditions, including weather, traffic, hours of service, separation from family and other stresses.

"Getting a CDL is not being an experienced driver," Grenerth said.

"I don't think anything is going to teach me what that road is going to teach me," said Brown.

The FMCSA intends to publish a rule on entry level driver training standards in the near future, as per the mandate. Administrators said they were grateful for the input from experienced drivers on the issue.

Ferro and O'Brien lead health walk

Rick Ash, Scott Grenerth, Anne Ferro,
and Joanne Ritchie hit the pavement.
TravelCenters of America CEO
Tom O'Brien leads the walk. 
Along with members of the Trucking Solutions Group, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro and TravelCenters of America CEO Tom O'Brien stepped out today to lead the annual Health Awareness Walk. 

It was a cold sunny afternoon in Louisville, and dozens of walkers joined in the non-competitive 1.5-mile course around the Expo grounds. Each one got a T-shirt and cool goodie bag from TA.

The 4th annual MATS Health Awareness Walk was sponsored by Trucking Solutions Group and TravelCenters of America.

Soendker honored with TWNA Lifetime Achievement Award

Sandi Soendker

Sandi Soendker, editor-in-chief of Land Line Magazine, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA) at the 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show. Soendker, who has been covering the trucking industry for 26 years, is the latest recipient of this award celebrating a person who exhibits the highest standard of journalism or communications within the trucking industry over a career.

“This is the highest award bestowed by TWNA, and we are pleased to be presenting it to Sandi this year,” said TWNA Executive Director Tom Kelley. “Her dedication to our industry is unparalleled.”

Based in Grain Valley, MO, Land Line Magazine’s editorial policy encompasses informing truckers, the trucking industry and various government agencies about issues related to the industry.

A reporter/editor for more than 40 years, Soendker has worked for daily newspapers, small town weeklies and horse magazines. But it is at Land Line where she developed her passion for the industry and discovered the role that advocacy journalism plays in trucking.

When interviewed for an article on What it Takes to Be a Good Reporter Soendker explained, “I am a cause-oriented person. I always have to have a cause, be fighting for the little dog, to right wrongs, expose bad people, to shine a light in dark places. Trucking is full of wrongs, unjust rules and regulations, overworked drivers and in general ugliness.”

“Advocacy journalism in this industry is a niche that is custom-made for a person like me,” Soendker continued. “Covering this industry from my unique corner office at OOIDA headquarters is like riding with the James Gang. You need a fast horse and the ability to get in close, but not get shot.”

In addition to serving on the board of directors of OOIDA and the board of directors of the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Research Fund, Soendker is also a member of Truck Writers of North America, Women In Trucking, Kansas City Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists, Missouri Quarter Horse Association, and the American Quarter Horse Association.

Sandi has interviewed countless subjects over her career. Her favorite, however, was in 1978 at Claiborne Farm in Paris, KY, with a 16-2 hands race champion – Secretariat. And he never said a single word.

Previous winners of the TWNA Lifetime Achievement Award include Rolf Lockwood, Don Alles, David A. Kolman, Tom Berg, Mike Pennington, Jim Winsor, Paul Abelson, RJ Taylor and Bob Deierlein.  

OOIDA media receive 19 awards in TWNA annual competition

The TWNA Communication Awards are the centerpiece of the organization’s annual Industry Awards Banquet. Now in its ninth year, the Communication Award program generated 78 entries ranging from newspaper and magazine articles to covers and layouts to press events.

More than 60 of the top scoring entries received awards this year. Winners included magazines, publishing companies, public relations firms and individuals. The competition recognizes excellence in trucking industry journalism in both the trade and the mainstream press, as well as excellence in communication by public relations professionals.

The Communication Awards include categories for writing, graphics, broadcast, websites, and internal communications, just to name a few. Virtually everything from feature articles to press kits to marketing brochures to magazine redesigns are all included in the scope of the program. Nearly everything except advertising is eligible for entry.

The award program is administered by Elaine Haessner, co-founder of the International Automotive Media Awards. The entries are peer-judged against a thoroughly refined and tested standard scale. TWNA membership, although encouraged, is not required to submit entries.

The following are awards received by OOIDA’s media outlets, Land Line Magazine and “Land Line Now.”

Bronze Awards
  • Land Line Magazine - Failure To Launch - Clarissa Kell-Holland
  • Land Line Magazine - In A Perfect World - David Tanner
  • Land Line Magazine - 2011 Chain Advisory - Jami Jones
  • Land Line Magazine - 2012 Legislative Guide - Keith Goble
  • “Land Line Now” - Aaron Tippin - A Truck Driver Who Made Good - Terry Scruton & James Fetzer

Silver Awards
  • Land Line Magazine - Cracked Carols - Bill Hudgins
  • Land Line Magazine - One Gargle Over The Line - Charlie Morasch
  • Land Line Magazine - In Harm's Way - Clarissa Kell-Holland, Charlie Morasch, Nikohle Ellis & Greg Holmes
  • Land Line Magazine - Tapping Into Power On The Road - Xantrex Technology
  • “Land Line Now” - Joplin Copes W ith Damage From Historic Tornado - Patsy Terrell & Barry Spillman
  • “Land Line Now” - Radioactive Cars - The Wave Of The Future? - Reed Black & James Fetzer

Gold Awards
  • Land Line Magazine - July 2011 Issue - Land Line Staff
  • Land Line Magazine - Pork Chop Diaries - Land Line Staff
  • Land Line Magazine - Truck Of The Future - Paul Abelson & Jami Jones
  • Land Line Magazine - What Happened To Bette Garber's Pictures? - Suzanne Stempiniski & Sandi Soendker
  • “Land Line Now” - Zombie Apocalypse? You, too, can be prepared. - Mark Reddig & James Fetzer
  • “Land Line Now” - Anne Ferro - Getting The Lowdown - Terry Scruton, Jami Jones, David Tanner & James Fetzer

The following awards were selected from all entries receiving 98 points or more on the 100 point scale used to judge each entry. There are five best of division categories: public relations, total publication, radio, magazine graphics and magazine writing. The following entries were deemed best in division among qualifying entries.

Best of Division Awards

“Land Line Now” - Anne Ferro - Getting The Lowdown - Terry Scruton, Jami Jones, David Tanner & James Fetzer

Magazine Writing
Land Line Magazine - Truck Of The Future - Paul Abelson & Jami Jones