Todd Dills

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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Third time’s the charm? Feds say no to tolling I-80 in Penn.

A development that could mark the end of a long saga (you could make a case that it goes back to the 1980s -- heck, even that it begins prior to the establishment of the Interstate Highway System itself) happened yesterday with the third federal rejection of an application by the state of Pennsylvania for authority to toll Interstate 80 within its borders. I first wrote about the controversy over the state's attempt to generate more revenue ...

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In praise of a good scale

A scale can be the bane of a truck driver's existence, turning a long-held friendly rural-shipper relationship sour when an inaccurate estimation of cargo weight is found faulty 50 miles down the road at the nearest weigh point. That 50-mile return trip gives a driver a lot of time to think about just who is at fault.   Though I imagine some may have thought it impossible, when you hear what Kenyan haulers are going through in ...

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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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