Todd Dills

Grassroots victory over proposed NY truck ban

Since the New York State protest convoys of November 2008, organized in part by the Mohawk Valley Truckers and Citizens United chapter, the issue of a big plan of truck-route restrictions on state highways in New York has seen growing opposition, with large groups among various industries joining trucking groups in decrying the state's plans to get as many through trucks as possible onto Interstate highways in the state. The opposition was so big, about a ...

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Doyle Blackerby writes his life in trucking

The Gadsden Times in Alabama published a rich story this past Sunday by correspondent Harry D. Butler about a great American original in Doyle Blackerby, 38-year commercial hauler, born in lower-state Leeds, Ala. His career followed the development of the interstate highway system, beginning just out of the Army in 1950 (where he'd served as a driver) with a small company based in Leeds and then for Howard Hall of Birmingham and other Magic City outfits. (Handle: Dandy Rabbit.) Blackerby's been ...

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New video: The perils of promising to run with Jazzy…

"Promising to run with Jazzy is like making a promise to God, but God will forgive you if you break your promise." --Lee Jordan, small fleet owner and father of 17-year-old runner Jasmine "Jazzy" Jordan, currently running across the U.S. to benefit the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund And so, for those who might have needed it, below find at least a little moving-pictures proof that it happened. Yes, I ran with Jasmine "Jazzy" ...

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Newton’s laws of motion at work on NYSE?

Every driver knows, at least intuitively, Newton's third law of motion, right? Or is it the first? In any case, it typically runs something like "for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction," and is meant to describe momentum and the interaction of objects. The wheels and tires, propelled by the truck's engine, give it momentum enough that the consistent resisting force of the pavement doesn't slow the truck down. . . . When I ...

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Amid industry discussion of EOBR rule, smartphone logging apps proliferate

Though the FMCSA's just-published limited-mandate and performance-standards rule for electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) for logging did next to nothing to open up the market for tools beyond the paper log and expensive devices tethered to the truck's ECM, smartphone applications with similar functionality continue to proliferate. The UDrove app and online storage service, released earlier this year (functional on iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices) enables owner-operators to log hours, track mileage for tax purposes, record fuel and business expenses, and ...

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Third time’s the charm? Feds say no to tolling I-80 in Penn.

A development that could mark the end of a long saga (you could make a case that it goes back to the 1980s -- heck, even that it begins prior to the establishment of the Interstate Highway System itself) happened yesterday with the third federal rejection of an application by the state of Pennsylvania for authority to toll Interstate 80 within its borders. I first wrote about the controversy over the state's attempt to generate more revenue ...

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In praise of a good scale

A scale can be the bane of a truck driver's existence, turning a long-held friendly rural-shipper relationship sour when an inaccurate estimation of cargo weight is found faulty 50 miles down the road at the nearest weigh point. That 50-mile return trip gives a driver a lot of time to think about just who is at fault.   Though I imagine some may have thought it impossible, when you hear what Kenyan haulers are going through in ...

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Trucking through hours-of-service flexibility and EOBRs

With a new rule mandating electronic on-board recorders for a boosted number of hours-of-service (HOS) noncompliant carriers, the ongoing HOS listening sessions and FMCSA review of the current hours rule and the expectation among industry parties that an across-the-board EOBR mandate may be in the offing several years down the road, the issue of work time and outside control of that time has been front and center of late. Bison Transport driver Tom Balaz of Winnipeg, Manitoba, ...

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Mack plant on ‘American Loggers’ tonight

The Discovery Channel's 'American Loggers' series, as you may remember, features in part the Pelletier Logging family, whom I last wrote about here when their friendly business rivals the Crawfords' played one particularly funny battery-powered prank on them of an early March morning. Before that, I happened upon pictures from the Discovery crew's filming at Mack's Macungie, Pa., facility, as they traveled with the Pelletiers late last year to tour the plant and pick up two new ...

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New play brings ‘respect’ for drivers to the stage

"It's been more than 30 years since Hollywood had White Line Fever," wrote Denver Post Theater Critic John Moore in this article, "'Diesels' Fuels Respect for Truck Drivers,' about the Denver Center Theatre Company's production of their in-house-written new play, "Mama Hated Diesels," that premiered March 25 and is running through early May at the Stage Theater in Denver. And, Moore adds, it's taken an equivalent amount of time to beat the "tired old rap" of the pop-culture image of the driver ...

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