Todd Dills

Meet owner-operator of the year Larry Severson

Leased to Dart Transit since the late 1970s, Truckload Carriers Association/Overdrive Independent Contractor of the Year Larry Severson's longevity with the company beats that of even some of the Oren-family management. Dan Oren, grandson of the company's founder and one of three brothers who continue to be active participants among the company's family ownership, remembers riding along with Severson (pictured) in his 1978 Ford LNT9000 conventional, powered by a Detroit 6V92, the second truck Severson ...

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Stories from MATS: Perkins on a heavy haul

  Perkins Specialized Transportation has launched the biggest series of hauls in its history. The Northfield, Minn.-based company specializes in super loads -- the biggest, longest, heaviest cargo allowed on the nation’s highways. Over 40 years the firm has grown from a dozen workers and trucks to 65 employees and 22 heavy-haul rigs. It hauls everything from steam turbines and bridge beams to dryers for ethanol plants and gun mounts for destroyers. In 2011 Perkins faced one of its biggest challenges when it ...

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Classic Trucker’s Jumbo sandwich overhauled

Today's post by Overdrive Managing Editor Lucinda Coulter The Trucker’s Jumbo hoagie at Ray’s Steel City Saloon in Tallahassee, Fla., used to be full of bologna -- fried bologna Pittsburgh-style, that is -- with everything else piled inside. A tradition of the Steel City’s mill districts, the Trucker’s Jumbo was first prepared for truckers and steel workers on break with coleslaw and french fries stacked inside so that that laborers and haulers could eat the meal in ...

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Meet Leon ‘Butch’ Mueller and his 1971 Pete 358

Yesterday at Roehl Transport, after a day of talking with TCA/Truckers News Company Driver of the Year John Moeller (pictured here behind me in one of his Roehl Freightliner Coronado's drives' hubs), Roehl President and COO Rick Roehl and I were talking about owner-operator Bryan Dax as I prepared to head off to Two Rivers, Wis., this morning to visit with him. Dax is owner of the 1990 Diamond Reo “Red Giant” truck I saw ...

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One driver’s Wisconsin idyll — photos from the road

On the road yesterday in Wisconsin I happened into this moment of contented beauty -- in the backyard of 56-year-old Roehl Transport flatbed division driver John Moeller. Moeller was named the TCA/Truckers News Company Driver of the Year just weeks back at the TCA annual meeting in Florida, and his prize Cummins-powered Dodge Ram 2500 is looking well at home in his driveway, I might add. Rolling into Marshfield, Wis., enjoying the unseasonably warm March Monday, ...

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What are owner-operators’ top five problems?

Readers, I'm beginning research on a story I'm preparing for Overdrive's June issue on which I need as much owner-operator input as is possible. It's one that will probe the five biggest problems owner-operators face in the industry today, offering practical and forward-looking ideas/examples toward solutions to those problems. My main problem, at this point, is how exactly to determine what the top five problems are? There are many pressures on owner-operator businesses today, from the ...

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J.J. Keller-sponsored musher wins Iditarod

The folks at trucking-industry publisher J.J. Keller & Associates announced this morning the awesome culmination of the company's investment in young competitive musher Dallas Seavey (pictured from the trail), who came out on top in the Iditarod Alaskan sled-dog race finish Tuesday. With the win, Seavey's Keller-sponsored team's performance allowed him to become the youngest musher in history to win the Iditarod. The 40th-annual Iditarod was completed with Seavey's win Tuesday, March 13, at 7:29 p.m. ...

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The haps at MATS: Rounding up driver-led efforts

I'll make an attempt, at least. So much is going on at next week's trucking show in Louisville it will be next to impossible to catch it all in this space today, but here are a few of the highlights folks have reached out to me about these last few months: Health walk-and-talk, blood driveAs at the last two year's events, the owner-operators behind the Trucking Solutions Group have organized the third annual MATS Health Awareness Walk, ...

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Overdrive trucks to NYC today

Overdrive editor Max Heine and I are doing a little air-trucking this afternoon to NYC for the Jesse H. Neal awards banquet put on by American Business Media. My two-part feature on the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is one of three finalists in the Best Series category for 2011. The banquet, scheduled for Friday, will see winners in several categories announced. The CSA stories, which you may recall and ...

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‘Outcast Kustoms’ TV show to debut March 26

If you give a look at the March 26 schedule on Discovery's Velocity Channel website you'll find a listing that may well ring a bell or two for the custom-truck enthusiasts among you. Listed at 9 p.m. on that date is Episode 1 of a show called "Outcast Kustoms," which will feature Kelvin and April Locklear of the custom build shop of the same name. The Locklears are the longtime customizers behind the K&L Chrome ...

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