Todd Dills

Fair or foul?: A trucking story on Onion satirical news site

Sandwiched between satirical headlines like "Fully Validated Kanye West Retires to Quiet Farm in Iowa" and "Virgin Mary Statue Crying for No Good Reason" today on TheOnion.com was this one: "Modern-Day Cowboy Rides 18-Wheeler Full of Entenmann's Products Westward." Satirical newsmag The Onion has long been known for its lampooning of the mainstream press and, by extension, the dedicated members of its audience, and this story, about a trucker named "C.J. Hoppel," likely fictional, who hauls ...

Read More

‘Recognition from the DOT': uShip’s viral parody of ‘Social Network’ movie trailer

Perhaps you've seen it. The Social Network film about Facebook's founding told the story of company cofounder Mark Zuckerberg's success "taking the entire social experience of college and putting it online." The film's trailer, which pairs a choral version of Radiohead's "Creep" with scenes from the film, was expertly parodied by the folks at uShip with the title "The Shipping Network," a funny little vid originally put together by company staff for their annual Christmas ...

Read More

‘American Trucker’ premieres on SPEED channel Feb. 24 — with a familiar face

Imagine my surprise when, upon clicking over to a YouTube preview of SPEED's upcoming "American Trucker" series, I came upon a familiar face within the first several seconds. That face was Sparta, Wis.-based Paul Sagehorn (pictured here with his father, Craig), owner-operator of two classic pop-culture Kenworths, one employed in the filming of the Movin' On TV series in the 1970s, the other, more recent acquisition (and which I've written about extensively in the past ...

Read More

Hats off for heroes at Fort Sam Houston. . .

My Truckers News Exit Only column this month details the long efforts of Marten Transport driver Candy Bass to grow a program she designed several years ago to send a positive message to wounded veterans of U.S. wars -- namely, that American truck drivers haven't forgotten about them. This year the annual program of hat donation, as I detailed in the magazine and in a previous post to the blog here, at upward of 1,500 ...

Read More

Skydiving to the ark: A Channel 19 2010 ‘Year in Review’

It's been a banner year for dramatic, contentious, weird and/or humorous trucking news here on the Channel 19 blog. I can't possibly predict how 2010 will be remembered years down the line, but read through the lens of this blog, well, it was nothing short of tumultuous, containing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. (Readers, an informal poll, if I may: what is the most memorable among the Channel 19 posts or ...

Read More

Truck Centers Inc.: ‘We have a winner’

Remember the "12 Days of Truck Centers Christmas" sweepstakes I posted on back in late November? Well folks, we have a winner, the Illinois-headquartered dealer network reports. Or "winners," I should say, as the grand prize winner was chosen from a month's worth of daily giveaways to drivers from 12 different states stopping into any of seven Truck Centers Inc. Daimler Trucks stores, receiving daily prizes. The grand prize winner received a prize pack valued ...

Read More

New trucking thriller from former tank-hauler manager

Set in Charleston, W.Va.'s "Chemical Valley" just after deregulation of the trucking industry, former Quality Carriers and Mason & Dixon lines (among others) rep Rowland Henry Judge's Acid Stained Steel is a murder-mystery thriller of a novel, says Judge. But that's not all, he adds. It combines those page-turning attributes with an examination of "the effect of deregulation on old-line tank trucking companies and their drivers. No one has ever really written about this in the chemical/liquid bulk ...

Read More

Driver hours changes: Bummer of a proposal?

Expectation among many haulers leading into FMCSA's Dec. 23 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to change drivers' hours of service regulations was that at least some larger degree of sleeper berth flexibility would be reintroduced in order that, as so many have put it to me over the past year's worth of debating the issue, "truck drivers can sleep when they're tired." It doesn't appear that we've gotten that at all, in spite of all the hope ...

Read More

Former long-hauler makes N.Y.C. Met opera debut

Carl Tanner (pictured) worked as a long-haul driver before making moves toward pursuing a career in what New York Times writer David Belcher painted as his calling in a piece published in the Times yesterday, available online here. Tanner, by the terms of his contract as stand-by in the role of Dick Johnson in Puccini's "La Fanciulla del West," will perform the role alone, scheduled, at least once. It's happening this evening, and it marks his ...

Read More

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas — truckstop edition

"The only real difference between you and me -- I do it in one night; you do it constantly." --Santa Claus at the truckstop, to a fellow hauler in the fuel line Merry Christmas, all. Here's a little vid from the folks at driver training outfit Driver Solutions to give you a little holiday chuckle. Thanks for doing what you do. -TD

Read More