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Bakersfield Protester Finds Her Car Burning

June 24, 2020

Bakersfield Protester Vonnesha Harris found her car burning where it was parked outside of her apartment earlier this month. She had attended a peaceful rally in the downtown area Sunday, May 31st. The next evening, a neighbor knocked on her door around 9 PM to inform her that her car was burning in the complex’s parking lot.

Once the fire was extinguished, Harris found racial slurs written on her car door. Some of the messaging revolved around the BLM movement. Basically the only word appropriate to reprint was “die.”

Bakersfield Protester Worries About Safety

The Kern County Fire Department and Sheriff’s Office collaborated on an incident report. Currently, the KFCD continues to investigate possible arson. But without answers, Harris finds herself questioning whether it’s safe for her to return to protests. “I don’t know if I should feel threatened or not because I don’t know what this was, what this was intended to do.”

Harris did not believe that she was followed Sunday night. Thus, she worries about how much of her personal information the perpetrator has. She feels someone would need her address to know exactly which parking spot and car belonged to her. The intimate size of Bakersfield also concerns her. “(The fire) just made me realize that all of this is real. We see this happen in bigger cities and bigger states, and we’re just a little small town. Now we know that we have these types of people out here that will do this to us.”

The frightening event brought some good news as well, though. Many Bakersfield residents have reached out to show her support. Additionally, her friend created a GoFundMe to help replace the 2009 Chevy Impala. Harris has modestly said she does not expect much and would be grateful just for help affording a bus pass. “I don’t need anything extravagant.”

Fortunately, the GoFundMe page has collected over $8,000. So Harris will either be able to afford a car to get her to and from work, or she’ll be able to ride the bus for a while to come.

Oil Prices Mark Slow Comeback

May 28, 2020

Oil prices have hit a record-breaking low during COVID-19. With the basic principles of supply and demand, many big oil companies have run the industry far below the $0-dollar mark.

For a long time, it wasn’t certain when the industry would pull-out of its price free fall. Now, a light has been showing at the end of the tunnel. States that are starting to reopen have now seen an active increase in fuel purchases.

Oil Prices Dropped Below $0 Per Barrel

COVID-19 threw a stick in the wheel of virtually every industry on the planet. For big oil, this is devastating.

Two of the worlds largest producers of oil (Saudi Arabia and Russia) went into a heated production war. With each country bidding to be the highest producer, the expectation was to lower the price of oil. This would remove the cap that each country had and allow them to produce an infinite amount of fuel.

This happened just before COVID-19 hit the world. With everyone staying inside, the oil industry felt the painful sting of low demand. One of the largest global industries was now beckoning for people to go out, travel and drive. Most importantly the airline industry has seen an 88% decrease in travelers. With such a high supply of oil, the cost took a nosedive.

State Reopening Cause Oil Consumption

While states are currently reopening, many are hitting the road. Transportation to and from multiple places across the country is increasing as well as fuel consumption. Many citizens in cities that are slow-opening are getting back into the daily routine and are back at the pump.

With this new process, the oil industry is starting to see its extensive reserves moving back into the world. Where companies like WTI have had to pay just to have another company take oil, they are starting to see the excess oil starting to flow.

Bakersfield Car Sales Decrease

April 30, 2020

Car sales have slowed globally. Bakersfield is now different from the rest. With money being tight, consumers are opting to save rather than spend.

These actions have hit the economy pretty hard. Since the start of the stay-at-home procedures, shops have been closed and work has been limited. In California alone the states unemployment now supersedes the employed.

Car Sales Offer 0% APR

Auto sellers have had to resort to offering extremely low incentives just go get people in the door. For many, all but the best employees have been let go. This is to save what is left for companies across the country.

Offering low rates such as 0% APR and now down payment, as well as no payments for extended periods of time have helped sell cars, but the low cost comes at the price of the seller.

They have also gone so far as transporting the car free of charge. As many have opted out of walk-ins, many have gone to online buying. This has helped promote car buying during this time of crisis.

For others, this has only gone to hurt their business. As many decide to stay away from social interactions, many are left shopping from home as well as holding off on any large scale spending. As rent hasn’t changed, many are focusing their efforts on just keeping a roof over their heads.

Sales Plummet

Businesses have seen a drastic shortfall for the month of April. The typical auto seller has seen approximately 40-60% decrease in auto sales and they continue to fall. This is but a only one way that COVID-19 has put a halt on all operations.

It might take a while for this industry to bounce back, but it will in time. For now, many are left riding out the storm.

Business Travel: Won’t Bounce Back Soon

April 22, 2020

Business travel has undoubtedly taken a hit. Due to the global pandemic that is COVID-19 travel closure is now extremely limited. For the US, this even means closing travel between countries like Mexico and Canada.

According to reports, travel restrictions have been pushed further. For those who travel to these countries for business, this means that your national meeting will be withheld to a later time. For many already struggling to keep their businesses open, this has the potential to be the nail in the coffin.

Post-COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

As of right now, current restrictions will be held in place for an indefinite amount of time. These restrictions are creating a large deficit for the airline industry who relies on a good portion of business travelers to help keep them afloat.

For other countries like China, they have opened their travel lines in hope to lure people back to the country. Unfortunately, this can cause a lot of problems.

For airliners to open, there needs to be individuals filling seats. This won’t be enough to help bounce back considering a few key points.

The first is that, even though China has lifted their restrictions, the rest of the world hasn’t. This means that even though they can have people flying in, they won’t.

The second factor is that China was the hot spot for COVID-19, which has spread around the world and continues to spread. Whoever decides to pack up and travel to another country might think twice about their destination. As for containing the pandemic, China is the first to curve the spread. Unfortunately, other countries and citizens crossing the boarder have a high potential to bring the disease back to form a second wave.

Business Travel At A Stand Still

Businesses aren’t sending their employees to other countries. This is for the obvious reason that no company wants to be responsible for their employees to get sick. This leaves them with a moral dilemma as well as a financial one.

For many who rely traveling for their income, the ability to go back to work will be held off for an indefinite amount of time.

Will Trucking See An Increase In Hiring?

April 1, 2020

Hiring has been one of the largest issues facing the trucking industry over the past few years. A number of factors have gone into why this has happened. From skilled and longstanding drivers leaving for retirement, to the lack of interest or appeal to many young adults to COVID-19, the industry has been facing a list of challenges. With truck drivers currently strained and working long hours due to the global pandemic, the question remains: When will trucking see an uptick in hiring and new skilled drivers?

2018-2019 Trucking Crisis

During these past few years, the trucking industry has seen a massive influx of retiring drivers. While many have put their hard hours to rest and have engaged the life of their dreams, many businesses were left with significant gaps to fill. On top of that, the interest for truck drivers has dwindled. The reputation of the hard-working truck driver has been replaced with the public view of them being lower on the totem pole. This is simply not the case.

Public interest has dwindled in the industry. The hours are long, the job is tough, and the pay isn’t great. All of these act as big deterrents for many looking for an optimistic career path.

Short Supply/ Large Demand

With so many positions available, the industry has taken note. The high demand for new and skilled drivers has been met with an increase in pay as well as benefits. With many of the larger trucking businesses looking to fill slots with new drivers, the majority of small to medium trucking companies have had a hard time keeping up with the new hiring requirements.

For many small businesses, having a small staff of extremely skilled and diligent drivers means more than having a larger number of unskilled drivers. The core of these small businesses is reliability and when you have a small number of reliable, but over-exhausted drivers, problems can occur.

COVID-19 Adding Another Variable To Hiring

The COVID-19 crisis has pushed the trucking industry even further. With countless store shelves empty due to panic-buying the already extended truckers have to face even further challenges. From closed truck stops, rest stops and gas stations, too many of them being undersupplied to due lack of stores being stocked. Many drivers are working 14 plus hours a day to make their deliveries on time.

Current Hiring

Currently, there has been a small uptick in hiring. Many women are looking into becoming truck drivers due to the increase pay and benefits. Of new hires, they make up a significant percentage. With shifting tides of the industry more and more people are learning to adapt to the new change and start a fresh new career path that not only helps the current situation, but also provides workers with the support of an essential industry.

Will Biofuel Remain Top Dog?

March 11, 2020

The biofuel industry has taken massive strides in the fight for alternative energy and climate change. With electric cars now spearheading the consumer industry, will we likely see a decrease in biofuels?

How Biofuel Changed The Industry

During the ’70s the oil industry made a hard left turn. Oil embargos threatened gas prices exponentially. Consumers who were interested in bigger badder V8 engines now looked at smaller gas efficient forms of transportation. With the price of gas skyrocketing, an alternative was rediscovered by the alternative culture. Hippies would convert their VW Microbus or Bug diesel engines into biofuel burners to run recycled vegetable oil. This was the start of many environmentally friendly eco-people doing the same.

Fast forward to the early 2000s. Drastically increasing oil prices forced many into rethinking how we depend on oil. All of a sudden, people were converting their old Mercedes 300 series into french fry engines. So much so that a cult following was formed where drivers were caught raiding restaurant oil traps for more fuel.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the consumer side that made the greatest push for alternative fuels. Although it created social awareness that things can change, the Trucking industry has remained one of the most prominent users of biofuel.

Biodiesel In Trucking

With the midwest providing the United State major food production, many who frequently drive back and forth will see biodiesel pumps everywhere. For trucking, the use of diesel engines is important. They are longer-lasting, durable and provide more effective fuel consumption. The diesel engine is important due to these factors. With cast iron head gaskets, any sort of oil can run through with little to no issues.

Biofuels have been utilized and are part of the oil economy throughout the US. The addition of vegetable byproduct to diesel fuel has improved emissions performances and the impact of the environment. With trucking acting as one of the largest consumers of diesel in the US, many trucks have been able to utilize this alternative fuel source.

Biofuel Across The World

For European countries, many have been utilizing this method for much longer. Places like Norway have completely switched over to biofuels for their public transportation system. On top of that, the use of public transportation is far superior and functions much better than cities in the US. With fewer people using their vehicles to get to and from work, the carbon emissions and ecological footprint of European countries are far lower.

Electrics Rise and the Future of Biodiesel

In the public eyes, electric cars have been the focal point. Without paying outrageous gas prices in states like California, many have opted for the electric route. Modern consumers aren’t necessarily keen on purchasing older vehicles either. Maybe a hand-me-down Mercedess 300 from your uncle would be a cool project car for alternative fuels, but if you have the money to throw down on a Tesla, then that is definitely the better route. The automotive industry has definitely shifted gears away from standard ICEs. Engines are “a thing of the past” for the modern consumer and are going to see a drastic increase in electric vehicles within the next 5 years.

In response to the trucking industry, Tesla has announced that it will take orders for a limited production of a fully electric Semi Truck. Now, implementing a complete revamp of the trucking industry will take almost as much time as a complete consumer market, but the concept is now on the table. Biofuels aren’t going to be leaving anytime shortly and will continue to be utilized in almost every form of transportation, but in the far future, we will inevitably see the decline of their use. Until then, they will continue to help benefit the ecological standings of the automotive industry.

Understanding CHAdeMO Charging

February 19, 2020

CHAdeMO has become one of the most popular forms of fast charging for EV’s. With European automotive industries developing CCS (an alternate and more widely universal form of fast charging), the Asian automotive industry uses its own specific type of fast charging system.

You might have been to the recharging station and have taken note of the different outlets for charging vehicles. These are due to the charging standards of the three major electric players. CHAdeMO (short for Charge de Move) is simply another form.

Why Does The Japanese Market Use CHAdeMO?

A simple history lesson: Japan was the first country to introduce electric vehicles. While GM had its first American electric car in the early 2000s the island of Japan had been developing large scale charging stations for some time prior. CHAdeMO is actually one of the first fast-charging ports invented. By 2010 it was adopted as an industry-standard charging unit.

Charging Port Competition

What separates the CHAdeMO charging system from the rest is its availability. Where a company like Tesla boasts its numbers for charging stations across the US and the world, so does the folks across the Pacific. The current numbers for this type of charging station far outnumber both CSS and Tesla. This method has become the most widely used within the world and the increase in charging ports between 2015 to the end of 2019 is staggering.

The Numbers:

10,000 Charging Stations worldwide
Asia: 5,974
Europe: 2,755
North America: 1,400

16,000 Charging Stations Worldwide
Asia: ≈7,100+
Europe: 4,600
North America: 2,200
Other Countries: 2,000

25,300 Charging Stations Worldwide
Asia: 7,600
Europe: 9,200
North America: 3,200
Other Countries: 5,000

An Industry Standard

This method of charging has become the most common method and incorporates itself primarily with the Japanese auto market. Automakers like Nissan, Honda, and Toyota all use this method. Even Tesla has presented its own CHAdeMO adapter.

Truck Driving Songs: Lookin’ In The Rearview

January 29, 2020

Truck driving songs used to sell. The trucking industry has changed from its inception – dramatically. Back in the day, you would have countless musicians writing about what it’s like to be on the road. This steeped into one of the most common professions for the time, truck driving. We all know who Bob Seger is (which is why we put him as the opener) but what was the other rootin’ tootin’ truck driving songs of the time?

Dave Dudley – How Fast Them Trucks Can Go

This song is a timeless classic. Dave Dudley captures a truck stop to the T. The lyrics to the song start out talking about stopping at a truck stop “cause if truckers go there, it must be good”, then it transitions into “talkin’ with the guys” about “Woman and stuff like that…and how fast them trucks can go.” The song itself is pretty genuine as the narration moves to the truck driver thinking about his woman at home and how she “wiggles when she walks” then he’s off his way back on the road.

The Willis Brothers – Give Me Forty Acres

A very common issue with truckers. Getting to the city is no problem. When you’re in the city, its another story entirely. This unfortunate tale is about a driver who has an easy ride into Boston…then he arrives. The city landscape in unfriendly to the common trucker. Getting pulled over for going down a one way, the cop tells him to turn around. The truck driver then proceeds to tell the cop that some truckers can turn on a dime, and some truckers can do it blindfolded, but this particular truck driver needs “Forty Acres” to turn around. The song continues along this unfortunate driver’s trip through Bean Town. Each stop he makes, he messes up and has to turn his rig around. By the end of it, he’s off and on his way home to Alabama, only to see that he’s going north.

Jimmy Martin – Widow Maker

This song hits a solid trucking nerve. The song talks about a truck driver, Billy Mack, and his rig “Widow Maker” who falls in love with a local girl, Wanda Anne. After they have their little “meet and greet” ole’ Bill hops in his rig and heads to LA. The entire time, thinking of Wanda Anna. Unfortunately, due to a truck full of kids, he sends his big rig off a cliff, his last thought before getting crushed under 20-tons of steel is sweet Wanda Anne. The song takes a chapter for the truckers handbook:

“One life for ten
Has always been
A diesel drivers code
That’s why Billy slung that Widow Maker off the road “

It gives a prominent appreciation for the trucker. They have the responsibility of keeping the roads safe. Ole’ Bill or 10 kids, Ole’ Bill chose to save the kids (as an honorable man should). Poor Wanda Anne will unfortunately never see her man.

The life as a trucker can be summed up in a bunch of different songs, but the lonely road heeds to no man. Truck driving songs emphasize the epitome of what it means to be a heavy hauler.

Street Racing: Bakersfield Residents Say “No”

January 8, 2020

Street racing has been in the public eye ever since The Fast and The Furious hit theaters almost 20 years ago. Bakersfield has been known for its underground speed freaks and many town residents are saying “no more”.

Why Do People Love Street Racing?

Street racing dates back to the prohibition era. Many illegal alcohol makers would need to have suped-up cars in order to outrun the police. It also helps that the old cars of the time could potentially run on what those “boys in the boons” were cooking up. After prohibition ended, many moonshiners had turbo-charged cars that didn’t necessarily need to outrun the cops. What did they do now that they had nobody to outrun? Outrun each other. Where car racing had been around earlier, those races were a town-wide and sanctioned event. The post-prohibition moonshiners still weren’t necessarily looked at by townsfolk as adequate members of society. This meant no sanctioned races for them, which meant they had to do it on their own. The idea of rebelliousness with the now addicted speedfreaks became a main staple in American society.

Bakersfield Residents Are Fed up

The town itself seems to be at witts end when it comes to street racing. Every Thursday at 11 pm, the race is on! With anywhere from 20-100 cars flying down the street, engines blaring and music blasting. The main issue that residents are facing is that these underground speed demons are whipping through neighborhood streets where families live. The cause for concern is more than there, and residents have complained, but their complaints are falling on deaf ears.

The Police Aren’t Solving The Street Racing Problem

As much as town residents have complained, the local police officials have their hands tied. It appears that there isn’t much that the police can do to offer assistance to residents with this problem. Pedestrians have called out for help but it appears to have fallen on deaf ears. With one family offering to have their 10-year old girl scout direct traffic. Other than that, the police haven’t necessarily gone out of their way to stop anything.

Residents Are Scared

Many residents have pointed out that Bakersfield, itself, is host to the 7th most deadly city in America for pedestrians. With 21 deaths at the start of 2019 alone as opposed to the 20 deaths for the full years of 2017-18. As of December 2019, there were 4 deaths alone. The noise makes it hard to sleep for may residents.

Will BPD Do Anything?

Perhaps. Maybe if even more people complain then they will do something but in the meantime, the question remains: How many more bystanders are going to be in danger due to lack of enforcement?

Yamato Express: Leading Trucking Company

December 13, 2019

Yamato Express is a name you might have heard before, or not. When researching the Forbes Global 2000 list for this year, we came across the trucking section to find that a US company was not at the number 1 spot. In fact, the largest rucking company in the world hails from Tokyo.

One of the Oldest Trucking Companies in the Tokyo

Yamato has its roots in the early 20th century. In 1919, Yamato was founded by Koshin Kogura, who began with ¥100,000 in capital and four new trucks. The planning for the company was crucial due to the rapid expansion of Japanese trade and shipment. Within the course of a few years, Yamato had established itself as a premier parcel carrier service. At that time, it was contacted by Mitsukoshi, one of Tokyo’s premier, high-end caterer of goods. Within a few months, they had gained an even further reputation by becoming appointed by the Imperial household as their main courier provider.

Yamato Express Moves Forward During Wartime

By the mid 19th century, the looming threat of WW2 hung over the heads of many. With the United States firebombing of Tokyo, Yamato stepped up as the main delivery service for the city. When the war was over, Yamato became the number 1 provider for goods and services for postwar restructuring. The American efforts to restabilize Japan’s devasted establishment meant an opening for shipping products outside of the mainland. This began international shipping across the Pacific. Yamato established its first logo which is their primary logo today. The logo consists of a yellow background with a black cat. The black cat is seen carrying a smaller cat. This symbolizes that they take great care of their shipping of goods and parcels. By the 1950s, their logo was widely recognizable from Tokyo to New York City.

Post War – Now

Since the establishment of Japan’s finest courier service, the company has made immense strides and branching out to further its international services. From the post-war on, Yamato has established a pretty consistent timeline of success.

1960:Yamato begins handling freight to New York, in conjunction with Japan Airlines and other airlines.

1969:The company computerizes all of its operations.

1971:Yamato opens a representative office in New York.

1976: Introduction of Yamato’s Takkyubin service.

The early 1980s: Partnering with UPS. This establishes a worldwide delivery service.

1986:Yamato introduces its collection service.

1996:The company establishes a logistics unit to help companies with their distribution.

1998:Yamato creates an online mall for retailers who need shipping services.

1999:Yamato forms an alliance with a Taiwanese company to provide courier service to Taiwanese consumers.

2000:The company spins off its logistics unit, forming a new subsidiary.

2001: Yamato begins courier service in Taiwan.