Todd Dills

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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J marks the spot: Running with Jazzy in Nashville, Tenn.

Or, actually, Donelson and Hermitage, both part of Metro Nashville, and then into Mt. Juliet briefly on a trek that was a personal best for me in terms of uninterrupted, long-distance running. I achieved 4.6 miles over the course of the first 50 minutes Jasmine "Jazzy" Jordan ran Tuesday morning. The 17-year-old is on her way across the United States to benefit the St. Christopher Truckers Development & Relief Fund and highlight trucking industry health needs. ...

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Long-haul quilting bee

This blog, in addition my Exit Only column in Truckers News, has been in part devoted to the off-highway pursuits of the nation's haulers. It'd be impossible for me to count the drivers I've talked to engaged in advocacy, trucking image-buiding efforts, music, arts, new-media activities and so much more. But the Wall Street Journal has just scooped me big-time by highlighting a driver pursuit that might be about as far away from your father's downtime activity as is possible. ...

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Don’t miss the ‘Class Act’ on the show lot at MATS

“Class Act,” a 1995 Peterbilt 379 (pictured) in the Paul K. Young Memorial Truck Beauty Show competition ending today in Louisville, isn’t your typical truck show entry. It’s not the creation of an owner-operator, custom shop, fleet or dealer. The folks who beautified this truck, in some cases, don’t even have their driver’s license. “Class Act” was restored from scrap condition (see before pic below) by 35 high school students from the Clarion County Career Center ...

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Highlighting cargo theft

One week after St. Patrick’s Day,  on Wednesday my hometown newspaper, the Rock Hill, S.C., Herald, reported that a locked trailer hooked to driver Barry Cousar’s tractor, parked at the Lake Marian Truck Stop on U.S. 21 at I-77, was burglarized. Bandits made off with $28,000 worth of green highlighters, prompting reporter Kimberly Dick to ask the obvious question of the thieves' intent. Among numerous jokes about marathon fume huffing at the paper's website, one commenter quipped, “The ...

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Volume 3 of ‘Truckers Tracks’ — and a new song for Jazzy Jordan — debuts

When Doug Jones moved to Nashville, Tenn., from Delaware in the 1990s, he was a musician, but the guitar and harmonica player was in town at the invitation of longtime friend and former late-80s-era Allman Brothers keyboardist Johnny Neel, who had launched his Straight-Up Sound Studio on Nashville’s south side to do session and production work. “I was a musician,” says Jones, “but I didn’t know much about the business of music.” You might remember from ...

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Local fame for Goodyear highway-hero finalist

The Gloucester Times of Gloucester, Mass., reported on the heroic achievements of one of the town's own this weekend -- Stephen Page, driver for Pit Bull Trucking, was on I-80 July last year near Clearfield, Pa., when he noticed fire along the roadside and inspected it to find a tractor pulling doubles on having run off the road and burst into flames. The driver was unconscious. Page, with the help of another driver, managed to ...

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Health care bill offers immediate changes

The majority of the structural changes to the health insurance system will take effect in 2014.

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