Todd Dills

Truckers key in averting mix-up in Granite Falls, Wash., bypass

In the Everett, Wash., Daily Herald newspaper late last week a story appeared about two roundabouts being constructed on a new bypass of the growing Granite Falls, Wash., community in the central part of the state, very near vast National Forest areas. According to the story's writer, Bill Sheets, truckers were instrumental in pointing out a fatal flaw for any bypass route, for certain -- "they were too narrow for some trucks" -- well after construction had already begun. At ...

Read More

Fillmore, Ill., trucker carves wooden truck models with lifelike detail

Profiled in the Dectaur, Ill.-based Herald-Review, Jeff Miller is a truck driver who wields a wood-carving knife with considerable skill, building wooden models of classic truck-tractors.

Read More

Satirical news mag picks up on texting ban ironies

Humor mag The Onion is known for picking apart the news of the day, and the news business, in often satirically cutting fashion -- in a story published years ago in its pages it ran a picture of an orange-jumpsuited prisoner wearing a crown of thorns with the headline "Christ kills two in abortion-clinic bombing." It picked up on the ironies inherent in last week's ban on the practice of texting while driving in this faux man-on-the-street series ...

Read More

Conway Truckload VP Randy Cornell jumps out of plane

Though it's unclear how exactly this is a safety-improvement motivator, Randy Cornell, safety VP with Joplin, Mo.-based Con-way Truckload, sky-dived from 10,000 feet after the fleet's drivers met a safety challenge to get its "accident rate down by a creditable 34 percent in just five years," as reported at HandyShippingGuide.com and elsewhere. "The figure equates to less than 8 accidents per million miles driven according to the company’s strict definition -- any incident when a truck connects with people or property and ...

Read More

More local fame for driver/songwriter Larry Morris

The Missouri-based Daily Dunklin Democrat newspaper once again featured a driver I had the pleasure of meeting in Nashville late last year. Campbell, Mo.-based Double G Trucking hauler Larry Morris's "Cotton Fields to Nashville" song was selected as the title track for a Johnny Cash tribute record, a coproduction of TRS Music Group and Plush Records. The companies' heads, A.J. Siegler and Charlie Ray, respectively, showed up unexpectedly at Morris's Campbell home to present him ...

Read More

Ban eating while driving too?

Though the writer played it as an example of distracted driving, could it be an argument for more flexibility in the hours of service? Whatever the case, given today's news that a nationwide texting-while-driving ban is in the offing, I guess it couldn't be helped that Joseph Rose of the Oregonian newspaper wrote on the Hard Drive blog of 45-year-old Los Angeles-based trucker Andrew Quintero's accident on I-5. Quintero's truck and trailer crossed the median and came to rest ...

Read More

Blow dealt to industry ‘bad actor’

As someone who talks to proud and professional owner-operators and company drivers on a daily basis, I'm no stranger to a particularly common sentiment: the notion that the actions of a very few within the trucking industry strike huge blows to the collective image of the many. Whether it's a criminal broker-fraud scheme, a big mistake that leads to a deadly accident or just a bad joke at the expense of an industry newbie we're ...

Read More

25-year-old trucker makes it past ‘American Idol’ judges

At American Idol auditions in Orlando, Fla., 25-year-old Matt Lawrence breezed past the judges with a soulful rendition of Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble." What most viewers might not have noticed was Lawrence's occupation -- he's a manager with his father's trucking company in Starke, Fla. Less sanguine, perhaps, is the fact that he's also done time for bank robbery (at age 15). In any case, below is the interview Idol interview conducted with him after judges ...

Read More

New indexing tool helps OOs/carriers determine what freight rates ‘should’ be

Tools like Transcore’s Rate Index Pro and Internet Truckstop’s Fuel Desk Plus have in recent years offered for users of the load board services and other subscriber owner-operators access to real-time load market data along individual lanes and in specific regions, leading to a broker-carrier negotiation situation where, for the first time in history, individual owner-operators and larger carriers can tap into a huge amount of information about markets. Today, “carriers have the ability to ...

Read More

‘Truck’ front and center in MA Senate victory

National media, at the behest of the candidate/soon-to-be-senator himself, are putting a GMC Canyon pickup at the center of his (some say) upset victory over the Democrat running against him for Senator Edward Kennedy's former Senate seat in Massachusetts. If eTrucker.com polls we conducted in August and December are any indication, it's appropriate that a truck (if, admittedly, only a pickup) should be responsible for putting in ever more murky light the possibility of health ...

Read More