Todd Dills

Is large truck lemon law needed?

There's only a couple effective lemon laws in the country that actually provide protection from "defective" Class 8s for buyers. If you've as yet missed my March cover story in Overdrive on the subject, click on the images here to read, or access the text version here. Among sources was Mike Noll, a retired owner-operator in Sun Prairie, Wis., whose career ended "on something of a sour note," as runs the story's beginning. A new ...

Read More

A few extra horses power rig through snow

Sometimes, the best solutions to problems are the simplest. Or that's one way of looking at the vid below, posted to YouTube by user roush61799 on Feb. 21 and purporting to come from Amish country in Central Pennsylvania. Four horses and a farmer's cart tied to the front end of a big Peterbilt pulling a tanker were more than enough extra boost to unstick this hauler, it looks like. And there's a bonus here, too. Turns out, ...

Read More

News bytes: Diesel prices, Driving sans pants, Willie’s Place to be Petro

Commodities speculation back in the spotlight  The commodities futures positions limits problem is back in the TV news via a series on liberal populist host Ed Schultz' "Ed Show" this week. The first spot in the series distilled the history of the elimination of position limits that I've written about some over the years, most recently in a discussion of the Griftopia book as oil/diesel prices continued their long rise, which began late last summer in ...

Read More

Happiness; UK producers seek ‘World’s Toughest Trucker’

Happiness There's no other way to describe this picture, eh? It's Virginia Kirk, general manager of the TA C-store and fuel islands in Nashville, Tenn., during the location's grand reopening last week. It's "awesome" to be back up and running, she told me Friday after being closed for nine months. Kirk's addition of the "Welcome to Music City" tag above the front door into the stop, made prior to the flooding, resulted in the Music City thematics of ...

Read More

Inbound/outbound: Trucking news Monday

Strange days on the road A New Jersey-based driver last Thursday jackknifed his rig under murky circumstances on I-805 during rush hour in San Diego, Calif. He then exited the cab, laid down on pavement just next to the center highway divider and, when police arrived, asked to speak to President Obama, reported Hailey Persinger of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Law enforcement reps noted he didn't say what he wanted to talk to the president ...

Read More

FMCSA listens: PSP update clarifies co-driver inspection violations

While I'm on the subject of CSA, I thought I'd share a bit of an update to this month's Truckers News CSA cover story. In it, during dicussion of the DataQs system and Ed Webb's case (which I wrote about yesterday), OOIDA's Joe Rajkovacz raises a very particular problem with Pre-Employment Screening Program driver inspection/crash history reports that team drivers were noting. Here's the relevant text from the story, after a summary of Webb's particular ...

Read More

One driver’s war: Taming CSA and the DataQs challenge process

I finally got the the opportunity to meet Boonville, Ind.-based driver Ed Webb (pictured) in person yesterday afternoon at the newly reopened downtown TA here in Nashville (speaking of which, Aaron Tippen's performing tomorrow morning there at 10 a.m. and 12 noon if you're headed down Tennessee way today). Webb was a source in my reporting for the Truckers News cover story this month, just released, about the new CSA compliance program. Before and since ...

Read More

Truckstops = Coffeehouses with copious rig parking?

A new index tracking sales of goods and services at highway truckstops, the McLane-NATSO quarterly index, recently tracked an interesting rise in the sale of hot beverages like coffees, cappucinos and teas at truckstops. That category of sales jumped 34 percent in 2010 compared to the previous year, suggesting to me at least a little more than freight picking up. Turns out NATSO thinks so, too -- in some sense, anyway. "Truckstops ... are continuously diversifying ...

Read More

‘American Trucker’ rebroadcasts; my interview with the host

If you missed the debut episodes of the "American Trucker" series last Thursday on the Speed Channel, it's being rebroadcast tonight at 8 and 11 p.m. ET, and 8 a.m. tomorrow. The next new episodes follow on Thursday, with "Bandit and the Snowman" and "Robb and the Bear," the latter likely to include sneak-peek material about Paul Sagehorn's B.J. and the Bear rig I've written about so much here. Catch a clip from the sneak-peek ...

Read More

Notable independent Colorado truck stop closes shop; chance encounters on the road

The Rocky Mountain Travel Center just north of Pueblo, Colo., on I-25 exit 110 closed up shop yesterday, reported Carlos Mora of the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper. According to Mora's report, the owner cites a confluence of factors for the demise of the near-half-century-old family business that was the truck stop and travel plaza. Chief among them appeared to be large bank loans structured in such a way as to become untenable in repayment, owner Grant ...

Read More
Overdrive is covering MATS live all week Click here to see full coverage
Hello. Add your message here.