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Last week, you’ll remember, we were cautious about gas prices. Since then, President Obama proposed a goal to get trucks completely off oil to avoid that worry over fuel prices. And, around the same time, the SuperTruck happened.

The SuperTruck, a collaboration between Cummins Inc. and Peterbuilt, tested to have a 54 percent increase in fuel economy in real world driving conditions. While the average truck gets between 5.5 and 6.5 miles per gallon, the SuperTruck gets 9.9.

That could mean a savings of $25,000 a year in fuel costs, according to an article on the Successful Dealer website.
The truck is still in the testing phase.

Have gas prices peaked?

From mid-January to the end of February, the national average diesel fuel prices increased about 27 cents and regular unleaded gas price jumped 49 cents. When prices rise this rapidly, it makes it hard for carriers to keep up since fuel surcharges are passed on based on the previous week’s prices.

Diesel gas prices peaked Feb. 25 at a national average of $4.159 a gallon. Since then, prices have started to drop- slowly. As of the last report issued March 11, the price is down to $4.088.

But, as the American Automobile Association (AAA) pointed out in a February release, gas prices have increased in March for the past nine years.

According to AAA, higher gas prices in January and February were due to refinery maintenance, which results in a smaller supply. Future prices can be affected by the switch to summer-blend gasoline.

While prices are finally lower than they were a year ago, it is still best to be cautious. Expert planning is the key to keeping costs as low as possible.

Most of us grew up reading the words of Dr. Seuss. He inspired us to try new things on trains and boats, told us of the places we’ll go and that we can find fun everywhere. Tomorrow is his birthday.

While modes of transportation (okay, and fish) always seem to pop up in his books, one book in particular had 37. In Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!, Dr. Seuss suggests feet, a jet and a zumble-zay as just a few ways to leave.

While we love all the creative modes of transportation, we also love the lessons we can still learn as adults from his stories. In Horton Hatches the Egg, for example, we learn the rewards of being faithful.

So, whether you have a bike, crank-car or mountain mover, get your hands on a Dr. Seuss book this weekend and see how he can continue to inspire you. Not sure where to start? Here are some of the BAT team members’ favorite Seuss books:

  • Steve Barnes- Green Eggs and Ham, followed by There’s a Wocket in My Pocket
  • Ralph Blank- Wacky Wednesday
  • Lacey Carlson- One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
  • Katie Forney- The Lorax
  • Marissa Hough- Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
  • Ashley Jankowski- Fox in Socks or Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
  • Joe Kier- Hop on Pop
  • Cindy Moreno- Fox in Socks
  • Krysten Parrish- Green Eggs and Ham
  • Maureen Shea- Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

In his blog last week, US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood explained plans to help our ecomony by improving the way goods get from here to there.

“If we want our economy to continue growing, we need to move increasing volumes of freight,” he wrote. “And that means we need a more comprehensive system of arteries with smoother connections, more efficient transfer points, and planning that integrates our different modes of transportation.”

The same day, LaHood announced the establishment of a National Freight Advisory Committee to provide recommendations for improving the freight system. He also announced the creation of a national freight network, which would focus on improving existing roads for our truckers. Both are the result of the transportation bill passed over the summer (MAP-21).

Read LaHood’s blog
See the USDOT press release

Most people remember Abraham Lincoln’s role in abolishing slavery and the Civil War. But, he did something else probably still fresh on the minds of 5th graders.

The former railroad attorney connected people and resources of the two coasts of the United States with the transcontinental railroad. While he was dead before the first rails were laid, Lincoln did sign the act creating the railroad in 1862.

Read more about Lincoln and his ties to Union Pacific on the company’s website.

One 8-year-old girl in the Council Bluffs area did something that really touched us. She cut her hair.

But, that isn’t the whole story. She did it to support her father and help kids who lost their hair because of cancer.

Click here to read the story.

Click here to learn more about Locks of Love.

Union Pacific Railroad had its safest year ever for employees, the company reported yesterday. The best part? The previous best was the previous year!

Union Pacific touts its employees’ commitment to caring, as well as its innovative technology to improve safety. For more information, read the company’s press release.

Congratulations, Union Pacific!

Depending on the state and even county, a small chunk of the price on gasoline is taxes to fund projects. Thanks to people either going green or just trying to save money, the taxes haven’t raised as much as they used to lately.

As a result, lawmakers are looking at new ways to tax drivers to generate the funds needed. One idea is to tax drivers based on the miles they drive.

Read this Associated Press article about the taxes, and tell us what you think in the comments below.

Truckers are required to stop for a rest to maintain safety, but limited parking makes the task hard on drivers. Minnesota may have found a solution to the problem.

The state’s Department of Transportation is testing technology that will let truck drivers know if parking is available at the next rest stop. Testing starts this month with one rest area along I-94, and is expected to expand to the other rest stops once testing is completed in April.

For details, visit

CSX is getting noticed for its good work.

The Dividend Channel ranked the railroad company 16th on its “Top 25 Socially Responsible Dividend Stocks” list. To make the list, companies were judged on the environmental impact of business practices, as well as impacts on society.