Todd Dills

Former Overdrive editor, actor Charles Napier passes on

Character actor and former Overdrive editor Charles Napier passed away at a hospital in Bakersfield, Calif., on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Napier's perhaps best known for his role as one of the Good Old Boys in the Blues Brothers film as well as an intelligence officer in the Sylvester Stallone vehicle Rambo: First Blood Part II. But he served as an Overdrive editor at a time when the magazine's popularity and profile among the nation's owner-operators ...

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Truck Stop Missouri redux; American Trucker GATS episode tonight

Truck Stop Missouri a 'trucking ambassador' in reality? After my interview posted yesterday with Joe Bechtold, General Manager of the Midway Truck Stop and Travel Plaza that is the subject of the Truck Stop Missouri TV show on the Travel Channel, a longtime commenter on the Channel 19 blog took issue with Bechtold's characterization of the show as a positive for the image of the trucking industry generally -- and the American driver in particular. Bandit, ...

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A trucking ambassador: Interviewing ‘Truck Stop Missouri’ star Joe Bechtold

The Truck Stop Missouri series on the Travel Channel has been running for a couple of months now, featuring the goings on in and around the 12 business that make up the Midway Travel Plaza between St. Louis and Kansas City in Missouri, I-70 exit 121. Midway General Manager Joe Bechtold (pictured) has seen his expectations realized in many respects. "Has it brought in more business?" I asked him yesterday. "Yes. Definitely," he said, simply, as ...

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Fighting the ‘cold war’ with Ted Nugent

With winter weather well on its way, and with it the looming threat of a gelling stranglehold on your fuel tanks, Power Service Products hope's you'll take note of their "Buy American/Made in the U.S.A." winter campaign, featuring none other than rock legend Ted Nugent (pictured). An "Uncle Ted Killer Offer" promotional campaign to help you fight the cold war is coming to a truckstop near you -- four bucks back on an 80-oz bottle of ...

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October photo challenge: Interiors

Our October photo contest prize is publication in the magazine and a copy of Ben Long's "Complete Digital Photography" guidebook. Find entry rules in the notes section of our Facebook page or at our Flickr.com group.

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Toolbox system made in the USA by and for owner-operators

Veteran owner-operator Jeff Zehrer of Minnesota (trucking since 1983) had long known the difficulty of finding the perfect-sized toolbox to fit in his sleeper's side compartment. After 28 years of frustration, he decided to rectify the situation by designing his own. He wanted a toolbox that was sturdy, easily accessible, and could hold all his important tools. The first Cubby Buddy prototype was born, and Zehrer and his wife Debbie launched sales of the toolbox systems ...

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Driver John Irish wins Carhartt sweepstakes

Remember the "Art you Carhartt tough?" sweepstakes? I wrote about the two finalists earlier this year, both of them with some behind-the-wheel experience. John Irish (pictured, middle), the ultimate winner, Carhartt announced, and his wife took the Grand Prize trip in August to Oregon for a competitive lumberjacking event covered by ESPN. Working long days as a truck driver delivering shingles to construction sites, Irish’s job requires him to catch and lift thousands of pounds per ...

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New health audiobook, convoy for cancer cure, Project 351 gets low

Joe Martin, whom you'll no doubt remember as the operator behind the Truckercise DVDs I wrote about earlier in the year (Martin's pictured, right, with Alex Debogorski of Ice Road fame), announced recently that a new truckers' health strategies audiobook that he contributed a chapter to is out and available. The book, Truckers' Road to Health, is a production of the Man in White health care discount broker service for truckers without insurance, in conjunction ...

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Citizen to accident lawyers: Lighten up on anti-truck ads

"How many times a day do you hear on TV ads from lawyers making statements such as, 'big trucks can cause serious injuries?'" So asked a reader, Bill Hughes, of the Tennessean newspaper, based in my home base of Nashville. I know the folks he's talking about, of course, as I'm sure do you in whatever television market you happen to be. Despite the real message such ads deliver -- that truckers and trucking companies can ...

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Fitting insurance to the operator — trends in usage-based pricing

If you missed a feature about insurance costs I wrote for the August edition of Overdrive, it contained a brief item relative to how insurance companies determine customer risk -- and as a result of that risk determination, premium rate pricing. Canal Insurance Chief Underwriting Officer Paul Brocklebank made brief mention in the piece about the fact that the consumer auto insurance industry writ large is moving toward more frequent rate updates, utilizing GPS and other vehicle ...

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