Todd Dills

Blind driving just around the next corner?

Today's topic of note calls for a modification of the last line of novelist Ralph Ellison's 1950s book Invisible Man, which concludes with the book's protagonist a little closer to visibility perhaps than when he started setting down his story. In this case, a technology may well make the revised sentiment a possibility, which has all to do with bringing the activity of driving into the hands of a significant subset of individuals previously locked ...

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Air cargo pilots looking for the bathroom

Pilots for air-cargo company Amerijet are on strike, alleging already bad and deteriorating working conditions. Among those conditions, detailed by a couple striking pilots interviewed by an independent journalist in the video below, via YouTube, is the fact of the small bags the pilots must use to relieve themselves, then storing the bags at the back of the cockpit for the course of their up to 18-hour shifts. They also claim that when they arrive ...

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Latest engine-brake quandary

Engine brakes -- followed in a close second by idling -- might be the No. 1 bugaboo of localities around the nation when it comes to trucking. They're loud, residents say, a veritable scourge to peaceful living, and have been approached occasionally by attempted bans of trucks from long-used routes in different areas around the nation.The latest controversy brakes was remarked upon by a letter writer to the News-Transcript in the Freehold, N.J., area, about ...

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Small world: from Birmingham Pilot on back to childhood

In this month's issue of ema href="http://truckersnews.com/"Truckers News/a/em, my colleague Max Kvidera a href="http://digitalmagazinetechnology.com/a/?KEY=truckersnews-09-09september#page=35"discusses costs in his monthly round-up on beginning owner-operator issues/topics of interest/a. Along the way toward the succinct but spot-on piece, he ran across 10-year trucking vet Robert Jacobs, who has fairly recently transitioned to leasing a rig after a long stint as a company driver. As Kvidera, based on the West Coast, prepared the piece, I got the opportunity to ...

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One truck cranks with football season

The equipment truck for the University of Alabama football team, a 2004 International 9900 decked out with Crimson Tide insignia, triggered almost as much hoopla as a season-opening kickoff when it pulled into a dealership in the veritable heart of the heart of Crimson Tide country (and the home of Overdrive offices), Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a needed part last Thursday afternoon.Before Covan World-Wide Moving dedicated driver Jack Vickers had the 53-ft. Kentucky trailer loaded with ...

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Convoy for a Cure, across North America

The Convoy for a Cure organization jumpstarted last year on the efforts of a Quebecker long-haul driver looking to raise money and awareness, respectively, for breast-cancer research and the challenges of its sufferers. The first, all-female-driver convoy subsequently took place in Ontario, Canada, and inspired others in both Canada and the U.S. Upcoming this October are three more Convoy for a Cure events in Texas, Alberta (Canada) and New Brunswick (Canada).The last of these (see ...

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Owner-operator couple raises money for breast cancer victims

Owner-operators Tom and Debbie Berkel (pictured) had the only truck at the Great American Trucking Show festooned with hot pink roses and sugar-pink ribbons. The couple’s 1995 Kenworth W900L was a popular exhibit that ended up enlisting $825 in raffle ticket donations for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer awareness campaign.The Berkels, leased to Mercer Transportation as team drivers together for 28 years today, have been raising money for others in need for four years, ...

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Learning to conduct — on the rail trail

My "Learning to drive" post from last week about the then-upcoming Blueprint America series special on the rail/truck debate garnered thoughtful comments that, since the special's release, appear that much more prescient. "Little" David Obermark, who blogs here, noted the historical precedent for the inadequacy of rail to handle increased volumes of freight -- at least with the dollars it now generates to reinvest on its own. "Back during the Clinton economy," he wrote, "back ...

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Hard financial choices

Buy a truck or lease it? Few owner-operators lease a truck. All things being equal over enough years, buying leaves you with more in y...

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Channel 19 – September 2009

Rolling the dice A board game designed by Blackfoot, Idaho, resident and potato hauler Randy Cox, My Truckin' Luck, has players seein...

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