Todd Dills

‘Leave Tony alone’ — An owner-operator on the truck stop tiger

Animal rights advocates are a vocal bunch, as I've found out over the course of the last several years. Write word one about Tony, the tiger at the Tiger Truck Stop in Gross Tete, La., and you can pretty much place your bets on a blizzard of commentary coming your way. Until recently, much of that commentary, including some of it from actual driver readers of the blog here, has taken the side of the ...

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‘Monkey gouger’ Jimmy Ardis beats the odds to 4 million safe miles

Owner-operator Jimmy Ardis of Sumter, S.C., leased to Moultrie, Ga.-based Sapp Trucking, learned to drive "in a 1971 International 4070 cabover with a 250 Cummins in it," he says, running to the West Coast and back. He'd driven farm tractors prior to that. "I pretty well had it mastered by the time I went over the road." This might be a story emblematic of so many owner-operators', but for the fact that, as is well evident ...

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Trucking fruit in Obama’s energy, manufacturing messages

If you missed last night's State of the Union address, the President followed in predecessors' footsteps by detailing a veritable laundry list of election-year policy initiatives with no small measure of specific requests for the deadlocked Congress -- many of which, it's sure, will not see the light of day this year. All the same, Obama's vision for boosting American economic prospects holds potential good news for drivers in the area of future infrastructure rebuilding, and ...

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Divine intervention at its best: A truck accident in Guam

What happens when a loaded straight dump loses its brakes on a downhill run and collides head-on with a tanker truck loaded with jet fuel? Not what you might expect. Reporter Brett Kelman, writing in the Pacific Daily News, reports that Guam Governor Eddie Calvo (pictured) was proclaiming the relatively ho-hum aftermath, with mostly minor injuries, as an act of God. On the way to the big collision, the dump missed the governor by a mere ...

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New blog from Women in Trucking

The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) recently launched an online forum at womenintruckingblog.com, to add a more interactive blog to their long-extant online presence at womenintrucking.org. “Drivers are some of the most technologically advanced people I know and many of them interact via social media each day,” said Ellen Voie, WIT’s President/CEO.  “By offering this forum we can give our members the opportunity to connect with others who share their involvement in trucking and to learn ...

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Meet the maker of the Cubby Buddy truck toolbox

I've written about the toolbox before, which you may remember. Since then, says Debbie Zehrer, wife and business partner of owner-operator Jeff Zehrer (both pictured), the Cubby Buddy toolbox system has added models, with a total 10 to choose from. If you've been looking for a good system for your truck, you can give them a look at CubbyBuddy.com. I had the great opportunity yesterday to talk with Jeff and Debbie. Leased to small fleet Hensley ...

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Make accident victims pay for traffic tie-ups?

  A letter writer to the Chattanoogan newspaper last week proposed to fine drivers of large trucks involved in accidents per hour of required cleanup or per mile of backed up traffic. Specifically:   $5,000 per hour of cleanup or per mile of backed up traffic, whichever is greater, to be paid by the trucking companies, and $1,000 per hour of cleanup or per mile of backup, whichever is greater, to be levied against the truck driver. You can ...

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Are you happy with your insurance company?

Consumer insurance portal Insure.com recently tracked customer satisfaction by polling users of the site as to their happiness -- or lack thereof -- with their auto, home, life and health insurers, evaluating these keys areas; customer service, claims experience and value for the price paid. They also asked whether customers planned to renew their policies and whether they would recommend their companies. ...

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ATHS Music City Chapter kicks off the new year

Thanks to Rhonda Reagan (pictured) for the invite to the American Truck Historical Society Music City Chapter's year-beginning meeting and auction this past Saturday, Jan. 14. Held at an elementary school in Lebanon, Tenn., the event drew a crowd near 100 strong, made up of members and their families as well as representatives from other regional ATHS chapters like the Smoky Mountains chapter in Knoxville, among others. All told, says Reagan, the organization nearly doubled ...

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Tony the Truck Stop Tiger: Legal limbo

There have been so many back-and-forth motions in the battle over the fate of the Siberian/Bengal tiger, Tony (pictured), at the Tiger Truck Stop in Gross Tete, La., it would be next to impossible for me to summarize them. At once, it's been quite a while since I posted an update, so here goes: The most current action, as far as I can tell, has been that Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin has sued the ...

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