Todd Dills

Fred: Memorializing one long-hauling dog

Condolences to Overdrive 2010 Trucker of the Year, owner-operator Mike "Mustang" Crawford, whose dog Fred passed away early this morning. She was 12 and some years old. "It's a rough day for me, " Crawford said. Fred had been running freight for Prime Inc. with Crawford for the better part of 2 million miles, all logged in Crawford's 1994 Freightliner. "I bet you there ain't another dog in history that's had that in the same truck." Crawford ...

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Diamond Heavy Haul rig/driver appearing on ‘American Trucker’ this week

When I interviewed the Speed Channel's 'American Trucker' program host Robb Mariani back in January, he was “on set” in the passenger seat of a Diamond Heavy Haul driver’s rig, hooked to a “huge electrical component” en route south across Ohio to an Ohio River port. “I think it’s probably the heaviest haul I could have imagined – the rig they have they build from scratch. It’s got 114 tires and is more than 250-ft. ...

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Language lurking in GAO’s CSA report to Congress: FMCSA hopeful to make driver data public

Tonight, a major with the Colorado State Patrol I've spoken with on a couple different occasions about his work implementing the CSA Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories at the roadside inspector level will be delivering an hour-long presentation as part of Overdrive/Truckers News webinar series. It's called "CSA: What it means to you," and features Major Mark Savage at 8 p.m. Central time tonight. Tune in free of charge via your internet connection. For ...

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Greatwide owner-operator pens one rad read in ‘Collinstown’

Greatwide-leased owner-operator Bob Grantham, based in San Antonio, Texas, calls the evocative writing in his literary Western Collinstown an “unintended consequence of being a truck driver.” At least in part, anyway. Out now from Treble Heart Books, the novel follows the intertwining lives of a current and former Texas Ranger just at the outbreak of the Civil War. Bob Cory, the elder former Ranger, is on his way back to Texas to restart his life serenely after ...

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New diesel thieves; ‘American Trucker’ visits the custom shops

High-tech diesel thieves You know fuel prices are bad when you start seeing reports such as the one published yesterday via the website of Central Florida's WFTV. "Some long-haul truckers found a new way to steal diesel, Marion County deputies said Wednesday," WFTV reported. Deputies apparently arrested three separate haulers who were passing off a gagdet to hijack fuel pumps at an I-75 Pilot electronically. Asked about the device used, Pilot manager Steven Freant told the station ...

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‘Deadliest Catch’ star to sign autographs at Louisville trucking show

The "Deadliest Catch" TV show on the Discovery Channel, chronicling the lives of fishers on Alaskan King Crab boats, might seem as far removed from the world of long-haul trucking as it's possible to be. But in a short couple weeks at the Mid-America Trucking Show at the Chevron Delo booth No. 14140, drivers from around the country will have the opportunity to meet Edgar Hansen, Deck Boss and Chief Engineer of the Northwestern (pictured) vessel and ...

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‘Here comes plug-in diesel!’

So gushed the website and weekly update of the group Hybrid Owners of America about several automakers' concept cars on display at the Geneva Auto Show last week. But in some sense, freight movement by plug-in powertrain is here, if not in the Class 8 realm, without even the diesel. Navistar recently announced expanded service points for its eStar (pictured) Class 2c-3 all-electric truck, developed in partnership with Modec EV. The new service locations include Chicago ...

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Kentucky hauler stars on History Channel w/ Larry the Cable Guy this Tuesday

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 15, at 9 p.m. ET Murray, Ky.-based driver Ben Brumley (pictured) will take Larry the Cable Guy part of the way through a tour of the long-haul life at the mammoth Iowa 80 Truck Stop in Walcott, Iowa, an episode in Mr. Cable Guy's "Only in America" series. In it, Larry sets out to explore "all that’s unique and interesting to America," and it's certain you won't find anything like Iowa 80 ...

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Is large truck lemon law needed?

There's only a couple effective lemon laws in the country that actually provide protection from "defective" Class 8s for buyers. If you've as yet missed my March cover story in Overdrive on the subject, click on the images here to read, or access the text version here. Among sources was Mike Noll, a retired owner-operator in Sun Prairie, Wis., whose career ended "on something of a sour note," as runs the story's beginning. A new ...

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A few extra horses power rig through snow

Sometimes, the best solutions to problems are the simplest. Or that's one way of looking at the vid below, posted to YouTube by user roush61799 on Feb. 21 and purporting to come from Amish country in Central Pennsylvania. Four horses and a farmer's cart tied to the front end of a big Peterbilt pulling a tanker were more than enough extra boost to unstick this hauler, it looks like. And there's a bonus here, too. Turns out, ...

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