Todd Dills

New heights for American pride?

Driver David Ray Thornburg took matters into his own hands, reported Steve Stoler of WFAA in Houston, when he saw a barren flagpole at a truck stop in Denton, Texas, on Memorial Day. Thornburg, a military veteran, with video camera running, drove his truck down to a nearby Wal-Mart, got the store to donate a flag and took it back to the truck stop, where he hung it himself. The stop then took it down, citing ...

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Bogan case: More reasons to choose a carrier carefully

The Bogan case may be best viewed in the context of tried-and-true advice: be smart and choosy about who you run for. You never know when you may need the boss to go to bat for you rather than hanging you out to dry by being forced out of business.

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Truckers’ attorney Paul Taylor, FMCSA rep at social media meeting

The folks with the Truck Driver Social Media Convention are gearing up for their second annual meeting -- and have been sharing highlights of the two-day program in process for Oct. 27-28 in Kansas City via the AsktheTrucker.com blog. Among the presenters this year will be Elaine Papp, Division Chief of the FMCSA's  Office of Medical Programs. Got a question relative to driver medical qualifications / FMCSA's plans to regulate the sleep apnea condition? Given the ...

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Leaving long-haul: Operators migrate to oil/gas

I talked to a pair of recently former team owner-operators late last week who, like owner-operator Mike Mace, leased to Reed Trucking, have truly rediscovered their old love of trucking -- in this case as company drivers in service operations surrounding new natural gas wells enabled by hydraulic fracturing technology. The strong demand for capacity in oil and gas services is bringing in competition to local markets as large as, you guessed it, Schneider National. The truckload ...

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Memorial Day fun with Heister’s hot rod — and a new truck

Yesterday, owner-operator Dan Heister invited myself and the family out to his new place in Tennessee Ridge, Tenn., near his former home in Erin, for a cookout with various other friends and family. Something of an early Memorial Day celebration, as Heister was setting out today with a northeast-bound load of rock in his new 2004 International (pictured, replacing a model of similar vintage but much higher mileage), he took some time out of the ...

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Amid big fleet investments, operators stare down high truck prices

Something is going right for the Jacobson Companies 3PL -- Mack Trucks announced yesterday that they took delivery of an order of 259 built-in-the-U.S. Mack Pinnacles, 139 daycabs and 120 sleeper trucks, and they're hiring dedicated company drivers for runs based out of their Des Moines, Iowa, headquarters. Any owner-operators out their run freight for them on occasion or regularly? The new tractors (some of which are pictured), Mack says, were delivered to Jacobson locations throughout ...

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DOT orders shutdown of Demco Express

FMCSA has ordered Demco Express, employer of the U.S. driver detained in Mexico, to shut down its operation immediately.

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Imagine running for the same fleet for 50 years…

Can you? We’ve heard no shortage of stories of independents who’ve stayed active that long leased to different carriers or on their own, but never with the same company. (If you have, I'm all ears!) I can't think of a company driver who's done it, either (though Wisconsin-based Butch Mueller is getting pretty close), and as far as UPS knows, Springboro, Ohio, resident Ron “Big Dog” Sowder (pictured) “may be the only in the trucking ...

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Xantrex: 3 inverter installation tips

1. Installation best at the factory or authorized dealer aftermarket: If you're considering an aftermarket inverter installation to an older truck or mulling options on a new vehicle, take it under advisement that leading inverter manufacturer Xantrex Technology reps have formally recommended inverter installation by a truck OEM or an authorized dealer. According to Xantrex, inverter shipments have risen sharply since 2005, and the company expects sales to increase at least 40 percent in the next ...

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One child’s dream come true, in a truck

If you've never participated in one of the Make-a-Wish convoys -- which pair children with trucks to make dreams come true and support the work of various Make-a Wish Foundation chapters around the nation -- take a look at the smile on the face of Nicholas Cropper here, pictured in the passenger seat of owner-operator Henry Albert's Freightliner Cascadia. Also, get over to Albert's blog, where just post-Mother's Day, he wrote about his participation in this ...

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