Todd Dills

Heads-up: NY Times on truckers’ health

The U.S. newspaper of record, the New York Times, devoted significant ink to many truck drivers' moves toward improving their health in their Monday edition. The primary feature, by Abby Ellin and well-illustrated with pictures of many of the drivers she talked to, charts a rise in concern among industry associations, trucking companies, truck stops (a TA fitness room is pictured here) and others for the industry's drivers -- all well and good (and true, ...

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The next generation of trucking fanatics

Jeff and Lynette Lynd of Ft. Collins, Colo., sent in this picture of their six-year-old great niece, Zoe, relaxing before going to bed with her princess blanket, fishing pillow and her favorite magazine, Overdrive (our 50th anniversary issue). "She got really excited when we got the current issue," Lynette says. "She had to read it while she was eating her cereal and said, 'I love my trucking magazine.'" We've got stiff competition in the Lynd home, too. ...

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John Deere pedal car grand prize in Trucker Charity benefit raffle

And what's best about it all is that the proceeds will go toward benefiting trucking families in need at Christmastime via Trucker Charity's Christmas Group. Tickets to enter the raffle for the car (pictured), which was donated by Freedom Air Filters, can be purchased through Paypal via the Trucker Charity website for $3 for a single chance to win, $10 for 11 chances, and $20 for 25. The organization, whose tagline is "Truckers helping truckers," ...

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Heads-up on new partnership that could change the leasing game

This month in Overdrive, I examined a couple different alternatives to traditional leasing models carriers and their advisers are exploring for ways to avoid what some see as long-term growing challenges to the independent contractor business model. Two models in particular stand a chance to take hold in the future, one being the conversion of a fleet of leased owner-operators to a contract fleet of true independents, running under their own respective authorities. In this model, ...

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Cabover extra in ‘Real Steel’ film to be auctioned Dec. 8

Joyce Smith, co-owner of Ron Smith Trucking of Breckenridge, Mich., shuttered the company about a year ago, a month after her husband passed away. The small fleet's equipment will be auctioned off on Dec. 8 at their place in nearby Wheeler. Among the 17 tractors on offer (among livestock, flatbed and other trailers as well as other equipment) is the pictured 1994 Freightliner cabover, which holds the distinction of not only being a fine-looking, long-running piece ...

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Stowaway diary: Keep an eye on your roof fairing in Laredo

What's wrong with this picture? Taken by owner-operator Henry Albert, with whom we just checked in last week, it shows a desperate attempt by a couple to stow away on a rig on its way from the border zone into the U.S. interior. A testament to the value of drivers looking out for each other, Albert posted it to his blog late last week, after one of his regular runs from the Charlotte, N.C., area, where he ...

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Mack Trucks on ‘Made in America’ TV Tues., Nov. 15

The Made in America series will feature Mack Trucks in an episode Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. Mack continues to build every truck it sells in North America -- and every truck it exports -- in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Made in America host George Motz (pictured with a Mack Pinnacle tractor) and a Travel Channel video crew made their way to Bulldog country and, in the episode, will get up close and ...

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‘Talented truckers’ TV show looking for … talented truckers

A television production company has a rather off-the-wall idea it's helping one of the major cable channels develop -- it wants to create a talent-competition-type series (a la American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, et al) that plays out on location at, well, a truck stop. And in the spirit of radio truck driver talent hours and other such showcases, they want  the crooners, musicians, comedians, dancers, jugglers, you name it, among the nation's long- ...

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New vid for ‘I am the flag,’ by Ron Terry

On this Veteran's Day, a new video care of owner-operator Howard Salmon -- the tune, "I am the flag," appears on his and Ron Terry's "These Trucks Are Made of Gold" record and consists of a somber reading of the Terry poem by the poet himself. As its title suggests, it's a poetic narrative of the American flag's journey through history on various battlefields with the men and women who serve in the armed forces. Enjoy ...

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Jason’s Law: Time for action is now

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works unanimously approved a two-year transportation authorization bill (S. 1813, or MAP-21) extending current funding levels and making other enhancements that could lead, said Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, to new jobs. Of chief interest for trucking advocates is the inclusion in this bill of Jason's Law, intended to fund various initiatives to expand and ensure the safety of truck parking on the National Highway System. In a hearing ...

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