Todd Dills

Flex time — ATA lays down support for sleeper berth/HOS flexibility in comments to feds

The latest wrinkle in the ongoing debate over potential changes to trucking hours-of-service regulations, for which so many drivers have offered various proposals for injecting flexibility into the system, is the biggest trucking-company organization in the nation's support for codifying split rest in the sleeper berth. "Allowing shorter documented sleeper berth periods  would promote safety and health," ran a portion of the American Trucking Associations' comments on the questions posed by the hours-of-service listening session ...

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Introducing Wayne Dollar, a story-telling quilter who loves trucking, too

Though he perhaps needs no introduction, since you may have met him at his booth at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas last year, owner-operator Wayne Dollar (pictured), 54, not only stitches his own quilts, he's been winning awards with three of his uniquely themed creations since he started making them last summer. A trucking-themed quilt, with the moniker "Trucking Around" (also pictured), won first place at the Tri-State Fair in Amarillo, Texas, last year, and The ...

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Truck driver for governor: “Singin’ Sam” Little’s Alaska campaign song

Since I blogged about "Singin' Sam" Little's campaign launch for the governship of the northernmost U.S. state, Little (pictured, left, with his wife, Denise, and Pat Holt) has been laying the groundwork for the run, part of which included a visit to my home city of Nashville, Tenn., where he met Tennessee's Lieutenant Governor, recorded a new campaign record at Pat Holt's studio and picked up what is fast on its way to becoming his campaign coach, a Prevost, made ...

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Joy of sharing — win some diesel oil, Nascar VIP tickets, maybe a portable toilet?

A new sweepstakes put on by Shell Rotella opened today and is asking drivers to share what they feel is the toughest road in America by the end of August. The company's "Road-Tested Challenge," in exchange for operators' stories, offers a chance for drivers to win a VIP NASCAR experience with Richard Childress Racing, along with hundreds of instant prizes, including Shell Gift Cards and Shell Rotella-branded merchandise. Click here for the sweepstakes entry page -- no purchase ...

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A modest proposal for hours flexibility: ‘Gold Card drivers’

Trucker/marathoner/blogger Jeff Clark offers a well-thought-out idea for hours-of-service flexibility, giving the stellar, safe drivers out there a new name and the freedom to use their status to run how they please: "Gold card drivers" are "drivers who do not get into accidents," he says. "They don’t get moving violations. They don’t get out-of-service violations, and they do not do drugs. These drivers deserve to be recognized. They also have a lot to teach new ...

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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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