Todd Dills

Staring down coming CARB regs

A great story in the California-based Porterville Record highlighted the difficulties being faced by a particluar 5-truck fleet in Ducor, Calif., Andromeda Transport, owned by Dave Schwartz. Schwartz (pictured, right, with his mechanic), as he told reporter Sarah de Crescenzo, considers himself a "modern-day environmentalist" in his commitment to keeping his older trucks in tip-top operating condition, thus enhancing their longevity, of course, and keeping them out of landfills and hard at work doing what they ...

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CSA 2010 — questions of accountability, fairness

A video interview with driver Steve Bugg about this Georgia-based carrier's experience in the CSA 2010 pilot test program. CSA 2010, set to go online nationwide, changes the model for safety rating and enforcement in many ways for both carriers and drivers. Bugg questions the very basis of the program, at the same time acknowledging the legitimacy of his carrier's new strict approach to driver speeding warnings, tickets and more, given the new regime.

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Saying goodbye to Michigan’s Te-Khi and Tekon independent truckstops

Soft freight and high fuel got you down? You're not alone. Though business for the nation's truckers has picked up since the extremely slow period we all saw last year, difficulties continue for many, and for two independent truckstops in Michigan the pressures were just too much. Writing in the Battle Creek Enquirer, Andy Fitzpatrick told a story today at once of long-running business difficulties brought to the breaking point and rich, well-remembered history.   The Te-Khi Travel Court ...

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Runner for truckers’ health passes halfway mark

It's been a wild haul for Jasmine "Jazzy" Jordan, the 17-year-old Olympic-caliber cross-country runner who recently reached the halfway, 1,500-mile mark in her run across the U.S., carried out to raise awareness for truck driver health and health-insurance availability. You will remember Jazzy from my post in November, about her appearance on the Internet radio show TruckStar. She's on her way to Memphis today, and in a few weeks will be passing through my home base of Nashville, ...

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The costs of waiting out the storm

Beth Brelje, writing in the Pocono Record of Pennsylvania, visited with several truckers waiting out a snowstorm in a Wal-Mart parking lot off I-84. Such waits have been legion for the nation's haulers this season, with record amounts of snowfall hitting places where a snow deluge is not such a common thing. It may be common enough in the northern state of Pennsylvania, of course, but not such that authorities didn't move to ban truck ...

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Channel 19

Choking on food while driving, invalid fishing licenses and a contestant with a record are among the oddities discussed.

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Truck driver/author Tim Costello remembered in NY Times

I missed the news of the passing Tim Costello (pictured) in late December last year. Coming across it via the website of the New York Times, which had ran a nice roundup in the paper of his life and work, I'm struck as always by what so many individual haulers are able to accomplish in addition to keeping American supplied in their long paths across the nation's roadways. Costello, 64 when he succumbed to pancreatic cancer last year, spent ...

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Ruan Transport founder remembered at memorial ceremony

The $2 bill, you may not have known, was a calling card of Ruan Transport founder John Ruan, who passed away at age 96 on Sunday, Feb. 14, and was remembered fondly by many in a lighthearted tribute ceremony in Des Moines attended last week Thursday by more than 600 people. After the celebration, reported David Elbert in the Des Moines Register, "guests were presented with $2 bills bearing Ruan's signature and a small caricature of ...

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Word from the Magic Man: ‘Let’s get this show on the road’

In the November issue of Truckers News, my editor and colleague Randy Grider wrote about Michael Mooney (pictured) in his lead column, "Magic Man." Mooney, a performer based in Cartersville, Ga., is deft with all manner of magician's tricks, but he also has a compelling story to tell, which he never misses the opportunity to do. One of his regular haunts, the TravelCenters of America location in Cartersville, offers plenty such opportunity, in addition to what he views ...

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Piling on — overweight fines reaching new heights

If the headline seems too outlandish to be true of a truck that actually had some sort of permit -- "Truck bound for drilling site 49.7 tons overweight" -- think again. Enforcement officers in Towanda, Pa., reported the Star-Gazette of Elmira, N.Y., have cracked down hard of all manner of weight infractions due to, some in the trucking business suspect, the area's uptick in big-move traffic care of a large Chesapeake natural gas drilling site ...

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