This month marks the 80th anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition after 13 long, dry years.
An economic impact study has found that America’s independent beer distributors fuel more than 345,000 direct and indirect jobs, add $54 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product and offer far-reaching benefits to brewers, retailers, consumers and government agencies at all levels. And to a journalist or two, one might add.
A spokesperson for the National Beer Wholesalers Association – which represents 3,300 independent beer distributors in every state and congressional district in the U.S. – tells HWT the average fleet is made up of 62 hard working trucks, according to NBWA’s 2013 Distributor Productivity Report.
Ladies and gentlemen, this blog’s for you. Keep up the good work.
• A follow-up to the recent HWT post of the video featuring action movie icon Jean-Claude Van Damme in a spot for Volvo: “The Epic Split” apparently has become the most viewed automotive commercial on YouTube ever, logging 59 million views in only four weeks.
“It is quite overwhelming. Sure, we were hoping for a success, but we didn’t expect it to be this big or come this fast,” said Per Nilsson, PR Director for the Volvo Trucks brand in Europe.
The story behind the video, as well as the stunt, can be seen here.
• Forty-eight automotive journalists from the United States and Canada voted the Acura MDX, Chevrolet Silverado and Jeep Cherokee the finalists for the 2014 North American Truck/Utility of the Year.
The award recognizes the most outstanding vehicle of the year based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.
The winner, along with the 2014 North American Car of the Year, will be announced at a news conference at the North American International Auto Show on Jan. 13. The list of eligible vehicles included 18 trucks/utilities.
• It’s one thing to use trucks to sell trucks, but to use trucks to promote a PBS period drama about the trials and tribulations of English aristos and their servants? A Downton Abbey-themed food truck is tooling around New York this week, giving away free tea and biscuits.
Fans can also get their photo taken in front of a backdrop of castle, featured in the truck’s design.
• Of course, most readers of HWT probably have better things to do than watch British soap operas. But the people who contribute to The Lego Car Blog (who knew?) seem to have more free time than most. Nonetheless, a visit to the site is an appropriate activity on a Fun Trucks Friday.
This great looking Lego logger was tweeted this week by Western Star. And it works.
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• Finally, competition to real trucks now comes from the sky. While the 60 Minutes interview with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos generated a lot of buzz for his plan to use small, flying drones to deliver packages, Bloomberg reports that a mining company is looking to giant zeppelins to ferry equipment into remote, roadless regions.
The thinking is simple enough: Roads and bridges strong enough to support giant earth movers are very expensive to build. Why not fly? Is the mining company’s plan any more far-fetched than Amazon’s? Time will tell.
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