Todd Dills

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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Dynamic Dozen

Independent Howard Salmon has been in the same Kenworth W900 since he bought it new in 1999. There are many reasons for that, but a key one ha...

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Behind the superhero — trucking minds at work

Brothers Nick and James Ventrillo are a pair of former truckers -- they ran XX Trucking, out of Las Vegas, earlier this decade -- at opposite ends of the IQ spectrum. The longer-term hauler of the two, Nick, has an astoundingly high 200 score. In the pair’s first work of fiction, part of their self-styled "Rick amp; Bobo" adventure series, James' character is the bozo (Bobo) who decides that the best thing to do with ...

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Busting myths: owner-operators here to stay

a href="http://www.digitalmagazinetechnology.com/a/?KEY=overdrive-09-08augustamp;title=Overdrive+July+09#page=21"img style="MARGIN: 0px 0px 10px 10px; WIDTH: 300px; FLOAT: right; HEIGHT: 150px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5376533440426695346" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/Sp1IrY-kWrI/AAAAAAAAAZE/9siuYsrblRo/s320/hazardousduty.jpg" //aWith so-called "mythbusting" a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/08/31/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5278111.shtml"dominating headlines/a this Sept. 1 and no doubt propagating some new myths of its own, I thought I'd take the media moment to point you to the August a title="Overdrive+July+09#page=" href="http://www.blogger.com/" key=""emOverdrive /emcover story/a in case you missed it, about resurgent rumors of the owner-operator's impending demise, greatly exaggerated in most cases, ...

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What do stimulus money and beef jerky have in common?

We're not exactly sure of the answer to this pressing question here on the Channel 19 blog (other than, perhaps, that both come with a large dose of time in the preparation), but here's what prompts it: I blogged last December about a Colorado program to provide haulers stranded in the state's mountain passes in winter with emergency rations to help them ride out the cold waits. The rations included such food items as beef ...

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