Todd Dills

Techs win thousands in Rush contest

Chris Zweifel was named heavy-duty grand champion in the Rush Tech Skills Rodeo, as 65 top truck technicians competed.

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Scenes from the 2010 Rush Tech Skills Rodeo

I'm in San Antonio, Texas, this morning at the site of Rush Truck Centers' fifth annual Tech Skills Rodeo, which pits 65 (out of more than 700 entering) of the truck dealer/service center network's best diesel technicians against each other and a set of bugged vehicles. On the heavy-duty side of the competition, 15 techs each trying to beat the clock in Cummins, Caterpillar and Eaton categories -- with 45 minutes to troubleshoot rough running ...

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Top road-trip songs at Custom Rigs, from Pioneer

Overdrive custom Class 8 dedicated magazine Custom Rigs recently reported news of Pioneer Electronics' first-ever poll of its customers that asked for the best "Road Trip" song. Willie Nelson's "On the road again" took top billing, while Pioneer reported, the guys were more likely to choose the the no. 2 track, "Born to be wild," while unmarrieds the nation over chose AC/DC's "Highway to hell." I guess I might go for the Doors song from this, ...

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‘Who’s inefficient?’ Four wheels or 18?

So asks New Cumberland, Pa., resident and owner-operator Tom Bowers in a letter to the editor published in the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News, in response to a letter from another area resident heaping the bulk of energy inefficiencies in the transportation arena on the back of the big rigs of the trucking industry. Bowers' argument for the comparable inefficiency of the auto industry, where fuel used per-pound moved is much higher than the same rate in  big-rig ...

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Custom Volvo Class 8 VHD pickup makes splash

Volvo Trucks is offering customers the experience of a lifetime at the company's New River Valley manufacturing plant in Dublin, Va., a little more interesting with the addition of a severe service model VHD built in modified pickup truck form. The bright orange, one-of-a-kind Volvo VHD chassis has a full-size crew cab and a pickup bed.  The four-door, five-seat vehicle is powered by an EPA 2010-certified 500-hp Volvo D13 engine and features an I-Shift transmission. It was designed and ...

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Fair or foul? Self-examination via the four-wheeler perspective

We've brought it up from time to time here, no doubt -- no secret that the large majority of on-highway accidents involving large trucks follow an initial mistake made by the driver of a four-wheeled vehicle of one sort or another. By and large, truck drivers are justified in holding a desultory opinion of the piloting abilities of the motoring public writ large, and most keep it high in their minds navigating the nation's highways, ...

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Wikileaks offers window into Iranian trucking community

However you feel about the WikiLeaks organization's recent and ongoing release of classified U.S. diplomatic cables, there's no doubt that many of the releases offer fascinating windows into the ways of world power -- and more. Not least among the latter was the view a series of cables detailed at the Eurasianet.org site, dedicated to dissemination of news from Central Asia, gives of cross-border Iranian long-haulers' view of their country's leadership and the U.S. The points ...

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Tony ‘the truck stop tiger’ — calls from the driver community to uncage him

Nearly two years have passed since I first wrote about efforts by animal-rights activists (post from January 2009 originally on old Channel 19 blog home on Blogger.com) to require Gross Tete, La., Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin to relocate the caged Bengal-Siberian tiger on the site of stop. It's been there as an attraction to curiosity seekers for years, and several predecessor tigers have made the stop a sort of institution along I-10 in the ...

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Over the canyon rim — a grand, prize-winning truck driver’s photo — and more

This stunning view off the U.S. 89 bridge over the Colorado River near Page, Ariz., was shot by Gordon Trucking company driver Ron Nikirk, based in Oakland, Ore. Gordon becomes our fifth winner since we launched the contests in July via The Photographer: Truckers News Photo Group on Flickr.com, a development that followed nearly three years of slow build in group membership. Membership levels continue to rise, thanks to your interest in the contests and ...

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Rotella SuperRigs calendar now available…

On the cover of the annual Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar this year is the custom 2007 Kenworth W900L of Myerstown, Pa.-based Scott Diller. Featured also on the December 2011 page in the calendar, Diller's clearly going for an old-school '70s hot-rod look with the truck's mods, which include 34-inch quarter fenders and smooth side panels. The photo's tranquil setting is Mateer Bridge in Rockbridge County, Va., where the 12 trucks were photographed after Shell held ...

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