HDNet's 'Dan Rather Reports' Hits the Road With Big Rig Truckers

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

June 7th, 2010

via press release:

HDNet's 'Dan Rather Reports' Hits the Road With Big Rig Truckers

Tomorrow's program is the latest installment in a series of stories on the trucking industry - Tuesday, June 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET

DALLAS, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Tuesday night's "Dan Rather Reports" takes to the highway to look inside the business of big rig trucking, and how the long haul life - that used to be lucrative and adventurous - is now one in which long and arduous weeks are spent away from home and the truckers are barely able to pay for the rigs they are driving.

"I haven't been home for two and a half months," said Richard Ulrich, an independent trucker who spoke to "Dan Rather Reports." "I have to work twice as hard now to make the money that I made 30 years ago to support my family."

Due to deregulation in the trucking industry, things have changed for drivers. In 2005, the average trucker was earning just over $35,000 a year, down more than 30 percent from 1980. For independents, the average take home was $22,000.

"Dan Rather Reports" rode shotgun through five states and three time zones on a real-life run with Don Wagner, a long haul trucker from Nevada.

Wagner, a small businessman who got into trucking later in life, loves The Job, but he's scrambling more and more and earning less and less. At this point, he's just trying to do everything he can to keep his big rig business afloat.

Like most truckers, Don Wagner gets paid by the mile. When his wheels aren't turning, he's not making any money, but his bills are piling up. His wife Leslie stays behind and runs the home office of Wagner's Trucking. Day after day, she stakes out the computer -- trying to book hauls for Don using electronic want ads for truckers called load boards.

"I turn [the computer] on as soon as I get up in the morning," Leslie Wagner told us. "Because if a good load comes and he's in an area that hard to get out of - you have literally two minutes to call and make contact."

So, who is making all the money in this 650 billion dollar business?

Big corporate middlemen and Wall Street investors are banking the big profits in this world of nearly two million big rigs moving more than ten billion tons of freight each year. In this high-volume, low-margin business, it's a cut-throat contest of more than 200,000 trucking companies and some 12,000 middle men known as freight brokers.

"Dan Rather Reports - Haul or High Water" airs Tuesday, June 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET and will re-air at 11:00 p.m. ET to accommodate West Coast Prime Time.

About HDNet

HDNet (www.hd.net) is the independent network with unique and provocative content that appeals to men of all ages and is delivered in true high definition.

HDNet is the exclusive, high definition home for popular, original programming, including television's only HD news feature programs "HDNet World Report," and the Emmy Award winning "Dan Rather Reports," featuring legendary journalist Dan Rather. Only HDNet goes beyond the headlines to deliver real news that is redefining the way we look at our world. HDNet News is provocative, sometimes controversial and always relevant - telling the important stories of our time in-depth, with attitude and with independence.

HDNet presents championship sports coverage featuring five regular season games from the Premiere Season of the United Football League. HDNet also features the best of Mixed Martial Arts with its Friday night series, "HDNet Fights" (www.hdnetfights.com). "HDNet Fights" works with leading MMA promoters including DREAM, Sengoku, King of the Cage, XFC, M-1, K-1, K-1 Max, MFC, Adrenaline and more. HDNet produces more live Mixed Martial Arts events than any other network and HDNet's "Inside MMA" is the hottest Mixed Martial Arts program on television, giving MMA fans their weekly fix for everything MMA, while "Fighting Words with Mike Straka," goes one-on-one with some of the biggest names in the sport.

HDNet also delivers the world's largest and most diverse concert line-up through the HDNet Concert Series. The HDNet Concert Series features leading artists and bands including Paul McCartney, Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Nickelback and more. HDNet also features revealing lifestyle programming featuring "Art Mann Presents," "Girls Gone Wild," "Deadline" and "Get Out!" HDNet is also the exclusive high definition home to critically acclaimed and award winning documentaries as part of the InFocus series. "NASA on HDNet" presents all live shuttle launches through 2010.

Only HDNet Movies (www.hdnetmovies.com) delivers exclusive Sneak Previews of new movies before they hit theaters. The HDNet Movies Sneak Preview series features top Hollywood stars in critically acclaimed performances including Gwyneth Paltrow, Joaquin Phoenix, Demi Moore, Michael Caine, Tom Hanks, Vera Farmiga, Parker Posey, Brian Cox, Matthew Broderick, Brittany Snow, Eric Bana, John Malkovich, Emily Blunt, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger.

In addition to being the exclusive home of Sneak Previews, HDNet Movies viewers enjoy the best films from the classics of the 1950s-1970s, to favorite films from the 1980s and 1990s, to recently released theatrical films.

HDNet Movies offers subscribers a premium movie viewing experience in true HD, and more original movies shot entirely in HD than any other network.

Launched in 2001 by Mark Cuban and General Manager Philip Garvin, the HDNet networks are available on AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Insight, and Verizon FiOS.

The HDNet networks can be followed via Facebook at facebook.com/HDNet, facebook.com/HDNetFights and facebook.com/HDNetMovies and via Twitter at twitter.com/hdnet, twitter.com/hdnetfights and twitter.com/hdnetmovies.

Source: HDNet

 
© 2014 Tribune Digital Ventures