Todd Dills

EOBRs controversy over the national airwaves missing extant/emerging solutions

Wednesday, National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" program ran this piece on the issue of the proposed federal mandate for electronic on-board recorder use for hours-of-service monitoring. If it goes into effect, virtually all interstate haulers will be required to use an EOBR for logs. You can still comment on the proposed EOBR rule, through May 23. In the NPR piece, owner-operator Terry Button is featured (click the photo thumbnail of him here, by Maggie Starbard, for ...

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Waste-haul fleet — and more — featured in latest ‘Severe Service’ Overdrive supplement

Bridgeport, Conn.-based Enviro Express, providing solid waste collection, transfer and recycling services for several area municipalities, is in the process of converting most of its fleet of tractors to liquefied natural gas (LNG) power with a recent purchase of 18 Kenworth T800 LNG tractors. A dozen of the fleet’s trucks were displayed at the December opening ceremonies for a LNG and compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station, which the company will operate for its fleet ...

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Truckster app ‘by and for drivers’

From the Maine Morning Sentinel newspaper comes news of the former hauler, 42-year-old Leigh Gagnon, who created and launched in 2009 the Truckster app for the iPhone and Android phones. Available for $3.99 in the Android market and iTune App Store, the multifunction app provides a searchable platform to the majority of truckstops the nation over, with current fuel prices, various amenities, and more. Also searchable by location are rest areas, Wal-Mart locations, weigh stations, hotels, ...

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TA Petro: ‘For drivers by design’

Last week when I wrote about my brief meet-up with expediters Phil and Diane Madsen, I mentioned the pair's assessment of updated showers at TravelCenters of American locations systemwide, with particularly high marks for the La Vergne, Tenn., location where we met. As I noted in that post, the improvements were begun last year, as TA Petro had noted them in June of last year publicly. I was curious about the genesis of the improvements ...

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Rhetoric on Tony the Truckstop Tiger boils over into truckstop villification

It's been a little while since I checked in on the efforts by animal-rights activists and others -- including a large coterie of truck drivers -- to force owners of the Tiger Truck Stop in Gross Tete, La., to give up their caged Bengal tiger, Tony. The latest efforts including a lawsuit filed this week whose plaintiffs are the "Animal Legal Defense Fund and former state Rep. Warren Triche Jr.," reported the Associated Press. Plaintiffs are ...

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‘Something new every day': Meeting Phil and Diane Madsen

Phil and Diane Madsen haul expedited in this 2006 Volvo with 132-inch ARI sleeper and 16-foot box. Over the past several years, I've called on the pair several different times for perspective on all manner of topics, from truck maintenance/warranty issues to unique hauls to examples of the many owner-operators out there taking to the web to write and publish. I profiled Phil as part of the "Trucker webmasters" piece in the September 2010 edition ...

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‘Is it a 10-speed?’

What's that line at the end of the Canadian slapstick classic Strange Brew? It's on the tip of my tongue... Oh wait, I remember. The McKenzie Brothers, Bob and Doug, played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, are given the keys to a big rig loaded with beer after saving the brewery's day by averting an evil brewmeister's plot toward world domination. Someone asks, "Do you know how to drive one of these things?" "If it's a 10-speed..." ...

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UPDATE: ‘Hats for heroes’ special delivery, take two

You will recall my story here about the genesis and progress of Marten Transport driver Candy Bass' "Hats for Heroes" program of providing an outlet for a wide array of trucking industry participants to honor the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers. Well, the past year's volume of hats was significant enough to require more than just a single load of donated hats for the wounded delivered. Owner-operator Brian Chute (pictured here), based in Kansas City, delivered ...

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New Frito Lay trailer wrap supports Women in Trucking

Last week in Louisville, the Women In Trucking Association went for the Guinness World Record again for the largest gathering of female truck drivers with their second annual Salute to the Women Behind the Wheel. You may recall my reporting on last year's unsuccessful attempt. This year, the gathering drew 204 professional female drivers (last year, the number was just under 300) on Saturday, April 2, and though that number failed to break the record, the event ...

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Back to the past: $4 diesel returns

Well it's official, folks. The Energy Information Administration's weekly diesel report this week showed the national average with 3 cents of the $4 mark, reaching the highest point yet in the now near nine-month run-up in price we've seen since last August, by now oh-so eerily reminiscent of the 2007-08 run (an Overdrive headline in April 2008 read, "No April Fool's joke: $4 diesel"). This blow-up is ever more remarkable in what it's been revealing about the glacial ...

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