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What's the Skinny?

By on January 1, 2009
RoadKing Mag

Any trucker knows that sitting on a stuffed wallet for long periods of time is pretty uncomfortable. Since there seems to be a plastic card that goes with just about everything these days, not to mention stacks of receipts, it doesn’t take long before a wallet is pushing past maximum capacity.

For Kiril Alexandrov, founder and president of Big Skinny, that constant discomfort inspired him.

“Every Christmas I would get a couple of wallets and some of them look thin when they are empty, but once you start putting stuff in them, they get worse and worse,” he says.

So he invented the Big Skinny, a machine-washable wallet that weighs less than an ounce empty, and is lined with rubber so nothing falls out.

“I tried 70 different materials before I found something that was strong enough, durable like leather and good looking,” he says

The average man carries 16 plastic cards in their wallet — with some guys lugging around considerably more. “The most I’ve seen is 64,” Alexandrov says.
The best part about the Big Skinny is that men won’t have to cut down on their cards to notice a difference.

“They don’t have to change their lifestyle,” he says. “It’s the wallet that changes.”

We know what’s going on with those speed limits

Drivers are a lawless bunch. But only because the government made them that way.

Back in 1974 the speed limit was dropped nationwide to 55 mph in an effort to reduce fuel consumption during an oil embargo. Interstate highways were designed for driving at 70 mph. A study, funded by federal agencies, reveals that moment as a turning point.

The accident rate went down along with fuel consumption. As a result, a lower speed limit was deemed safer, and it’s likely that some governing bodies adjusted limits downward even after the fuel crisis was over.

Realizing that, drivers became cynical about posted speed limits.

Researchers at Purdue University interviewed drivers and found that more than a third of respondents figured that another 20 mph above the posted  speed limit is a safe driving speed. About 43 percent felt secure at 10 mph over the limit.

But here’s the kicker. A second study looked at driver behavior when speed limits were raised based on engineering judgement rather than preventative strategy. When the speed limit reflected reality, drivers stayed in the legal limits.


Just as International followed three drivers in new LoneStars, filming them for an extended commercial/ movie, Freightliner is letting real drivers do the talking for them. In a program called “Slice of Life,” veteran truckers Dick McCorkle, Kurt Grote and Henry Albert were each given 2009 Cascadias to test drive for a year, and are blogging about it at www.sliceoftruckerlife.com.

For example, Grote recently wrote about heading into 25-30 mph winds: “I was very impressed with the way the truck handled. I’m not sure if it’s the rack-and-pinion steering or the way they have the cab set up or maybe the width of the cab. But the handling was just rock solid!”

Readers get a peek at the day-to-day of a trucker. Plus, the website has a real-time “Where they are now” map that shows exactly where each of the trucks is located. 

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