Todd Dills

Swift at the New York Stock Exchange

Get an eyeful of this pic, a Swift International Lonestar parked outside the New York Stock Exchange on May 25, when Swift management rang the opening bell on the exchange after a December initial public offering (NYSE-Listed SWFT) of Swift stock, which gained 27 cents a share that week. Swift, "based in Phoenix, Ariz., operates 16,100 units comprised of 12,100 tractors, a fleet of 49,400 trailers driven by company drivers and 4,000 owner-operator tractors," runs a press release accompanying company ...

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Hardage custom combo unit gets final fix

You might remember Jeff Hardage, owner of the J&C Investments small fleet, based in Garland, Texas, if you've been paying any attention whatsoever to the news coming out of the Pride & Polish competitions at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas the past several years. Most recently, I wrote about Hardage's son Eric's 1963 Mack B83 with a winch body, itself Jeff's own father's truck from the generation prior, in the December issue of ...

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Custom rig as educational shuttle — a Mack contribution to the space program

It’s not as big as its sister ships. Nor has it ever gone into orbit. But for more than two decades, the Shuttle Blake has served a very important mission -- educating students about space exploration.  Mack Trucks has been part of the story all along. In the early 1980s Bob Boehmer, a teacher at Schnecksville Elementary school just outside of Allentown, Pa., came to Mack with an old military transport bus. Boehmer’s vision was to ...

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Final season one episode of American Trucker on Speed Channel this Thursday

If you missed the news two weeks back, the final episode of the first season of American Trucker on the Speed Channel will features the production crew's documentation of the last mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery and, more particularly, the trucks that are front and center in preparations for the journey. Among them are some that have been present at space missions since the beginning of the shuttle program -- like the walking-tall Peterbilt ...

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Amsoil now on the marquee at Wisconsin dirt track

Synthetic oil manufacturer Amsoil, with a significant presence in the trucking industry, continues its support of dirt track racing in the Midwest as the new title sponsor of the Superior Speedway in its home city of Superior, Wis., at the Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds on the south end of the city. The sponsorship agreement includes naming rights to the facility, and the track formerly known as Superior Speedway will now, for a minimum of ...

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Driving Miss Crazy shoots straight

Just how Birmingham News "Driver's Side" traffic columnist Ginny MacDonald settled on the handle Driving Miss Crazy is something of a mystery. But like the friendship that evolved between the black chauffeur and the elderly Jewess in the film the handle plays on, the moniker smacks of a magnificent sense of humor. And that’s something all drivers can use, whether they’re in the front seat – or the back. MacDonald recently packed a post with insight ...

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New website aggregates links to free stuff

Ever wonder how you might get free coffee at McDonald's, Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts? Free Trucker Stuff, launched in May as a portal into free services useful to the American long-hauler, has the answer. Created by a truck stop manager to benefit drivers, the site aggregates various truck stop freebies, industry information, free entertainment and productivity resources such as various online route-planning options. The website also provides truck drivers with a menu of one-click lists of truckstops, ...

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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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