Todd Dills

Soul/funk icon Syl Johnson started with a solid foundation

I bet you can guess just where, right? Syl Johnson (pictured) is a Mississippi-born singer-songwriter who came of age in the late 1950s and 1960s in Chicago -- he's perhaps best known for the "Is It Because I'm Black?" single penned and released in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in the late 1960s but today has fallen into relative obscurity in spite of his clear contribution to early funk. National Public Radio ran ...

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Growing mode for cartel drug trafficking: Class 8 trucks, says NPR

In a story that aired on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" program Monday, John Burnett dropped what is to my thinking a recently developing bombshell on hopes from some that a resolution to the U.S.-Mexican cross-border trucking stalemate would be soon in coming. "In Nuevo Laredo," he wrote, site of the high-volume trade border crossing in the World Trade Bridge (pictured, from U.S. side), "the Gulf Cartel is battling the Zetas for control of ...

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Women in Trucking go for Pepsi Refresh grant

In a presentation at the Truckload Carriers Association/ACS "Perfect Storm" conference in Nashville, sponsored by Overdrive's owners, Randall-Reilly Business Media and Information, Women in Trucking's Ellen Voie (pictured) talked about her organization's work identifying and remedying difficulties some women, particularly new entrants, face in the industry, in particular opportunities for harassment that arise in training situations. "We are working with J.J. Keller to come out with a white paper on best practices," she said, for ...

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Living with diabetes — behind the wheel of new book ‘A Life of Control’

November is national diabetes month, and as such today we bring you a story included in a new book about the difficulty of living with the disease, Published by Vanderbilt University Press. The excerpt -- from A Life of Control: Stories of Living With Diabetes, by Alan L. Graber MD, Anne W. Brown RN and Kathleen Wolff RN -- tells the story of a now-retired truck driver who, in order to keep his job (with ...

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CSA 2010 to bring increase in driver pay?

The news over at the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday included a release from editors at J.J. Keller, emphasizing the reach of CSA 2010 beyond just for-hire truck carriers. "When the term 'motor carrier' is used," says Transportation Management Editor Robert Rose, "many people immediately connect this to mean only 'trucking companies.' In actuality, applies to all carriers with a US DOT number engaged in the furtherance of interstate commerce, no matter what 'type' of ...

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Tow-truckers echo long-haulers on Discovery’s ‘Wreck Chasers’

In many ways, tow-truckers are the absolute opposites of long-haulers. The tow-truckers of the Discovery Channel's new "Wreck Chasers" series, on a three week trial run that began with two half-hour episodes Monday, are trying to beat their competitors to the sight of a wreck, of course. In Philadelphia, among whose tow-truckers the story is set, all still operate on a first-come, first-serve basis, making competition much fiercer than in most U.S. cities of comparable ...

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Reefer-unit pioneer to be honored tomorrow

News from Thermo King today is that Frederick McKinley Jones, a company pioneer in the development of portable refrigeration units, will be honored  for his contributions to science and technology at the Tekne Awards gala Wed., Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Jones passed away in 1961, but his "invention of portable refrigeration systems for the transportation industry revolutionized the food industry into a multibillion-dollar annual market," Thermo King says, enabling "improved ...

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Trucking up out of the water with Nashville fleets

While the story of the disastrous flooding my hometown experienced last May is still being written in many respects (the downtown TravelCenter of America location, as you'll note from the picture, is still closed), there have been some recent bright moments. Vice President Tim Smith with TCW told me a couple weeks back his carrier's terminal on heavily-affected Visco Dr. in Nashville had been fully rebuilt and was well operating, for instance. And last Wednesday's ...

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Collective trucking effort donates caps for wounded soldiers

When Marten Transport driver and 3 milion safe miler Candy Bass (pictured) saw a documentary on the Walter Reed Army Medical Center a few years ago, she was so affected by the scenes detailing the lives of wounded veterans that she determined to do her part: 1) She wanted to do something that would be of practical benefit to soldiers dealing with the personal physical legacy of service to the country, and 2) Perhaps more importantly, ...

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YouTubing truckers hit NPR Charlotte station

Julie Rose of Charlotte, N.C., NPR affiliate WFAE.org (a voice I remember from my times south of the city in Rock Hill, S.C.) picked up on the phenomenon of the YouTube community of truck drivers with a story, available at the WFAE.org site this past Monday, that features some familiar faces. Among them was included good ol' Bobbie Boofay and Keys Truckers James and Jan McCarter, featured in Overdrive's September issue, but in the lead of the ...

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