Channel 19

Todd Dills

A long-haul legend

| January 28, 2009

A new book by former Truckers News staffer and contributor James Beach chronicles the history of Peterbilt trucks, from the birth of the diesel engine to the recent end of production of the flagship Model 379. Featured on the hardcover’s front is the Outlaw Customs “Dead Man’s Hand” 2001 custom 379, which won best limited mileage truck at the Great American Trucking Show in 2007, and inside are a host of other beauty shots of show trucks and polished working trucks alongside the elegantly-told story. What began as Washington State logger T.A. Peterman’s WWII-era investment in the Fageol truck company quickly became, after his 1945 death and in the boom economy of the 1950s, an icon of the American highway and a symbol of aspiration for so many young truckers. The book’s a piece of eye candy you could well use on your shelf, if you can afford the $30 price tag. It’s available, though, for $19.80 via Amazon right now. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.

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Todd Dills

Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to or via phone at 205-907-2481.


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