Todd Dills

Stiff wind to pay the toll: The 2011 Channel 19 year in review

What better way to start the new year than with a look back on the previous? I did it last year, after all, so let's make it a tradition, how bout? The Chinese Year of the Rabbit saw all manner of issues hopping in and out of the national on-highway spotlight, bookended by a proposed hours-of-service rule and its ultimate issuance, slightly reducing potential weekly work hours. Bound up in the discussion was, as any regular ...

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FMCSA’s hours rule justification includes, well, guess who…

You can imagine my surprise yesterday when, just as I'm perusing portions of the new hours rule's full text in preparation for a story or two I'm putting together for Truckers News and Overdrive, I get an email from a colleague making note of the fact that none other than my own reporting is sourced in part of the rule's justification. Sure enough, right there on the 13th page of the 55-page document, in response to ...

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Big Idaho Potato Tour peels out behind T660 drives

More trucking news here emerging from the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl like a shoot from a half-pound baker left on the windowsill. You'll recall my post about the fine salute Women in Trucking delivered to the females of our industry during the televised contest -- and now, check out the giant re-creation of one of those half-pound Idaho symbols of pride, set on a trailer and pulled by a Kenworth T660 supplied by the Kenworth ...

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New vids from owner-operator/songwriter Howard Salmon

I caught up with Howard Salmon at the TA in downtown Nashville a couple weeks back now -- it'd been more than a year since the last time we'd been able to meet up, and he had much to tell. His independent trucking business, hauling in a 1999 Kenworth W900 with a reefer and loading mostly brokered freight around the states, continues well, though like so many out there he's put in long rounds without a ...

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Merry Christmas, Overdrive nation!

Here's hoping someone is thinking today that you are the... ...whether you're at home or on the road today. If the latter, fire up the phone or laptop and tell the family and friends how you feel about them, too, eh? This little ornament I believe my mother found at the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte several years back, shortly after I started with Overdrive and, hey, I've been hanging it ever since in appreciation of the ...

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Truck Centers Inc.’s Christmas food drive a success

Freightliner/Western Star dealer network Truck Centers Inc. recently hosted a first-ever food drive for the St. Louis area’s largest food suppliers for shelters and food banks, Operation Food Search (OFS). The company’s Troy, Ill., headquarters kicked off a one-month can drive for OFS, also a TCI customer since the recent economic downturn has resulted in a 20 percent increase in the demand for the organization’s services, especially during this holiday season. In one short month, the ...

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A&E’s new ‘Shipping Wars’ series trailer vid — and the operators featured

There's a new reality-TV series coming January 10, with back-to-back episodes at 9 and 9:30 p.m., EST and PST, to the A&E network. You may have heard a little about it already here in Overdrive. The trailer vid for the Shipping Wars show is embedded below, and I thought I'd take a moment to introduce the hotshot haulers (and one Class 8 driver) involved. The show springs from producers' involvement with the folks behind the uShip.com ...

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Drivers’ safety conversation continues

If the handheld cell ban for drivers (which goes into effect Jan. 3) has done anything for the nation's interstate haulers, it's upped the ante on the conversation on this blog about the direction of safety in the industry. Driver and radio host Big Al Weekley is back today with a lament for the safety practices of some among the driving public, with some strong ideas for change that are heavy on veterans' personal responsibility. ...

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Former owner-operator going after MCSAC committee representation

As I've written about here in weeks prior, former owner-operator Fred Schaffner, a man with a passion for fighting for fairness in the treatment of drivers in the face of regulatory flux and with a keen eye on the regulatory process, came out of the Truck Driver Social Media Convention last October on a mission: to do his part to make drivers' voices a part of the influential, if relatively young (established in 2006), Motor ...

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A turn in the road for owner-operator R.C. Barnes

Since I shared his "Old Glory" video here on the blog, I've had the opportunity to learn more about the man behind the vid: R.C. Barnes ultimately might have more experience behind the wheel of a trucking business than any other hauler on the highway today. “I’ve heard there’s two guys out here who are as old as I am,” says the 77-year-old Youngstown, Ohio, resident, “but nobody who’s been out here as long as ...

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