Todd Dills

TyroneMalone.net adds a Facebook page; more on driver pay

Since I wrote about TyroneMalone.net site proprietor and owner-operator Ken Harris in the October edition of Truckers News and in Overdrive in smaller form around the same time, Harris has continued to make strides keeping the memory of onetime diesel showman Tyrone Malone and his apocryphal Bandal Diesel Racing Team alive. Most recently, he's launched a Facebook page for fans to share memories and new finds of pictures and such. Check it out, or click on ...

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Willie’s Place to be Willie’s no more

Perhaps you've heard the news. On Jan. 31, the Willie's Place truckstop in Carl's Corner, Texas, will reportedly see it's last day under current ownership. The stop filed for bankruptcy last year, and since then efforts to refinance a large loan with a New Jersey bank have failed, resulting in the impending transfer of ownership to SBL Capital Funding. I talked with a former waitress in the truckstop's restaurant who still works the bar at the Whiskey ...

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Does less mean more? Driver pay in the CSA era

My feature in the January edition of Truckers News investigated a dynamic more and more fleets and their drivers are seeing coming to fruition as freight markets slowly return and, consequently, recruiting staffs expand and fleets begin to hire again. Nothing new there during a recovery, particularly, and the slow pace of this one might seem in direct contradiction to the ever-growing chorus of "driver shortage, driver shortage, oh my!" we've all been hearing for ...

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Whole ‘lot of squealing’ on Missouri highway ramp

Yesterday, reported KMBC TV in Kansas City, Mo., a highway resounded with "a lot of squealing" after a hauler on the ramp from I-435 North to I-35 turned over rounding the curve, spilling a load of live pork. A few of the pigs reportedly perished but a larger number escaped the trailer's confines. KMBC gave the subsequent long capture efforts something of a light-hearted treatment (given that no humans were injured in the crash), with the ...

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Trucking effort in Wash. state to find child

As we know, dry vans have uses ancillary to hauling freight, not least among them their advertisement potential. You need only look to this month's Overdrive to find evidence of that in a pic of sister mag CCJ's yearly Five Flashiest Fleets' winner. A fleet headquartered in Washington State is using a similar tactic toward less commercial purposes, though. Gordon Trucking will place large missing-persons notices (pictured) about Kyron Horman, who disappeared last June from his ...

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Making your voice heard on roads, hours

ROADS | The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a group whose name pretty well describes it, is calling on highway users to add input to their preparations to take highway/transportation funding recommendations to Congress. Yesterday, they began a six-week campaign via their Facebook and YouTube pages to collect ideas/input from "travelers, truckers, commuters, cyclists – anyone who uses the nation's transportation network." As the Association's executive director, John Horsley, put it, "What better ...

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Introducing the ‘American Idol of clean energy’

Not the first time the budding-popstar world of American Idol has crossed paths with trucking in this blog, the singing competition, a veritable reality-television institution now entering its 10th season, has gotten so entrenched in the cultural imagination that it's already in the business of showcasing the kitsch items marking its history, an area once the province of, well, country music museums in my hometown, among other less stationary endeavors. According to a press release from ...

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Moving business headed South

That's not as bad it sounds. Van operators, take heed. Today's news comes on the heels of a blog post by the folks at Penske Truck Rental, detailing the top 10 moving destinations in the country. Two of them are places I've left in the past -- Chicago (in 2006) and Charlotte, N.C. (1998). I don't know what exactly that may say about me, but regardless the trend overall is sending household-move loads toward the ...

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Toll evasion = life sentence for Chinese ag hauler

After public outcry over the severity of the life prison sentence handed down to a hauler of agricultural commodities for evading road tolls in China, the Chinese government is reportedly revisiting the sentence and has put court officials who handed it down under investigation themselves, according to this AP report on the subject. The hauler, Shi Jianfeng, had apparently gotten around $560,000 U.S. worth in tolls by running two trucks with fake military license plates. Military ...

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Michelin Iphone, Android roadside service apps join Blackberry functionality

The further CSA gets in ongoing rollout, the more critical repairing noncritical vehicle defects is going to get for both owner-operators and company drivers, potentially counting as they do against the former's safety ranking in the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC and the latter's employment history. More and more, service shops and OEM parts manufacturers are making it easier to efficiently obtain quick service. Today, Michelin Americas Truck Tires joins a few with its announcement of service-locator/emergency-breakdown-assistance applications functional ...

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