Todd Dills

CSA: Compliance plus or safety politics?

Below, a new vid below from my reporting on the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. But first, a note about the storms that ripped through the Southeast yesterday, with a particularly large tornado moving straight through the southern part of Tuscaloosa, Ala., the town where Overdrive and Truckers News offices are located. I'm based off-site in Nashville, so my read on the situation there is from afar, but I'm happy to report at least that the ...

Read More

Popular Mechanics seeks ‘Worst Road’ nominations

Make your voice heard! No, I'm not talking about the proposed mandate of electronic onboard recorders for hours of service compliance (for more about that: comments are open through May 23). Popular Mechanics editors are seeking out the "worst road in the USA," they say at the magazine's website. Who better to nominate it than the truckers of the USA? We well know -- Overdrive's own Highway Report Card survey for more than a decade ...

Read More

Freight on your smartphone: TransCore app on the way

Coming in just a couple weeks is the My DAT Truck Stop app (pictured) from freight matching service provider TransCore, operator of the oldest load-board service out there in the DAT boards. My DAT will be initially released for Android phones, providing drivers and owner-operators up to 25 nearby loads per search from Transcore’s DAT network, in addition to convenient access to truckstop information, alternative parking data and point of interest info. “There’s a call button integrated ...

Read More

The great tomato heist — Cargo thieves still operating in plain sight

I missed this report from the New York Times a week and a half back, about a sophisticated cargo-theft ring operating a seemingly legitimate trucking company in Florida, with a twist. The freight targeted wasn't consumer electronics or cigarettes or pharmaceuticals. "The high price of produce, especially for tomatoes after the deep winter freezes," reporter William Neuman leads the Times piece, "has attracted more than heightened attention from consumers. A ring of sophisticated vegetable bandits ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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, ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

‘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 ...

Read More