Todd Dills

On Memorial Day: A trucker to remember

Minnie Spotted Wolf never encountered combat in World War II, yet she blazed trails as, most likely, the first Native American woman to serve in the Marines – as a truck driver, nonetheless. A native of Heart Butte, Mont., she sits proudly atop a 1940s-era supply truck in a photo, courtesy of her daughter Gerardetta England, for a story in the Great Falls Tribune that commemorated her service. She joined the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in September ...

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Trucking continues coming to Joplin aid

The stories about relief efforts in Joplin keep coming in. Before I get to a couple more, I thought I'd take a moment to note that I will be out of the office through June 7, though Channel 19 will continue to bring all manner of side routes and byways into the industry in my time away. Definitely keep ears on Monday for an awesome Memorial Day dispatch by Overdrive managing editor Lucinda Coulter. (If ...

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Driver accountability under CSA: a video talk with owner-operator Robert Shumate

I met Robert Shumate researching my two-part feature on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, in the April and May editions of Overdrive. In the vid, selected from the in-person portion of our interview, conducted at the Rush Truck Centers location in Nashville where Shumate had stopped in on his way home to Union City, Tenn., to visit with dealer personnel, Shumate echoes many owner-operators in his position, leased to a ...

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Prime driver hauls in national swimming championship

Leased owner-operator Siphiwe Baleka, with Springfield, Mo.-based Prime Inc., won two national championships at the 2011 U.S. Masters Swimming Spring Nationals in Mesa, Ariz., on Friday, April 29. Baleka, who joined Prime three years ago, won first place in both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle with the second fastest times of the year. He also placed third in the 100-yard breaststroke, sixth in the 200-yard freestyle and 14th in the 50-yard butterfly. “I was just hoping to ...

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Keys Truckers on Joplin relief mission; Open weather webinar tomorrow

Last time I saw Keys Truckers Jan (pictured, with Rocky) and James McCarter they were right here in Nashville for the grand reopening of the downtown TravelCenters of America location, which had been closed since the flooding last May. Today, the Keys sent word out I thought Midwest haulers may well be able to act on. They posted to their website that they'll "be arriving at the Oak Grove Petro" with their "Truckers Tracks Touring ...

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Driver rides out Joplin tornado at Flying J

You've probably seen the pictures from the horrific tornado that rammed through Joplin, Mo., hitting the Pilot Flying J off I-44 at U.S. 71 yesterday. Ozark Mountain Leasing driver Todd Arnold, who lives far northeast in Maine, just weeks after missing the Glade Spring, Va., tornado that devastated the Petro Stopping Centers location there by three hours, was sitting in the Joplin Flying J's restaurant with his wife, Jamie, just as the storm was bearing ...

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Mack Pinnacle powers Hollywood ‘Cars 2′ tour, with some home time

A Mack Pinnacle tractor is leading the way in State Farm’s “Agents on a Mission” tour for the Cars 2 movie from Disney-Pixar, which hits theaters June 24. It stopped in early May in  Allentown, Pa., to show off life-size models of three of the film’s main characters – Lightning McQueen, Mater and, new to Cars 2, British super spy Finn McMissile – each roughly fifteen feet long, about seven feet high and weighing between 1,760 ...

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Mexico’s big human-smuggling bust; Truckers Against Trafficking makes industry headway

Technology makes a dent As this photo, released by the Mexican state of Chiapas and making news around the nation yesterday, makes abundantly clear, the issue of human smuggling is a multivalent and complex one. The photo shows would-be migrants to the U.S. in a van trailer in southern Mexico, caught in Mexican authorities' X-ray imaging devices. All in all, a total of 513 people were being transported in two trailers, in this case paying ...

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Prize-winning trucking photo, very happy geese at Wyoming TA

In April, Robinson Transport driver Bob McGilvray claimed his second top spot in Truckers News' monthly photo challenge with this shot, "Bedtime at Sideling Hill Plaza," taken on a quiet night at the Sideling Hill service plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike last summer. I wrote about the big win here in Truckers News. (This month's contest, open through end of day May 31, asks for pictures of "Birds and barns," not necessarily in that order ...

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Trucker Weather Watch storm spotters want you

Former long-hauler and current Traffic Control Supervisor/Driver for Stripe Rite, based near Seattle, Sean Kiaer in April 2006 was a front-line witness to the formation of a tornado in Tennessee. He called 911 from the cab at the time to report the storm, which was headed directly for the town of Newbern, Tenn., but realized his own and the 911 operator's limitations in getting information about the tornado out to the people who needed it most, ...

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