Todd Dills

‘The Backhaul’ — excerpting Fred Afflerbach’s ‘The Bison & the Butterfly’ novel

This excerpt from Fred Afflerbach's new "The Bison & the Butterfly" comes from the beginning of the second big section of the book, "The Backhaul," following 70-year-old small fleet owner-operator Ubi Sunt and his teenage grandson, Jeremy, across their trek from Texas toward Jeremy's home in Philadelphia.

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Freight and trucker pay should get a boost in 2017, analyst says

Strong indications of growth in the economy in 2017 should put upward pressure on freight volume and trucker pay, says Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations.

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Out now: ‘The Bison & the Butterfly’ — rollicking sequel to former owner-operator Fred Afflerbach’s ‘Roll On’ novel

A road novel of the classic sort, the new book builds on the foundations laid by its predecessor -- Afflerbach's empathic, often hilarious, moving depiction of two generations of men coming back together through lived experience after separation and loss is a master turn in the literary arts.

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Reefer rates follow van to winter lows, particularly out West

With last week's spot market update, it looked like van rate averages on many lanes might have been near the bottom for this slow season. It’s looking that way for reefer rates now, and spot market volumes have been relatively constant in the segment.

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Reader: ELDs set to exacerbate existing parking, detention issues

"I don't think anyone has really considered what making all trucks go ELD will do and all the problems it will cause. There isn't enough parking now." --reader Josiah Gonzalez, via email. And: A little personal conveyance wiggle room.

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A night in jail on account of an unloaded pistol in the truck

Fred Afflerbach recalls the state of Massachusetts' treatment of carrying out-of-state firearms round about 1980 -- and more voices on issues of parking and personal protection on the road.

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Alert to DOT: Industry shows unity against safety-rating change in light of CSA’s problems

A recent letter, urging DOT to scrap the Safety Fitness Determination rulemaking as premature, brings in a large variety of state and private industry associations as signatories, including ATA, OOIDA, NASTC and WSTA. The broad nature of the coalition should "indicate how seriously everyone views this issue."

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Livestock haulers’ efforts to secure hours changes in light of ELD mandate, stalled

"We're 100 percent dependent on road transportation of our cattle. Take that away from us and we're back to cattle drives." --Tim O'Byrne of the American Cattle Transporters Advisory Group, a coalition hoping to liberalize split-berth/14-hour regs for livestock haulers in light of ELD mandate.

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Rest-area commercialization and parking preservation: A view from the truck stops

What happened to the sales figures for a downstream business when the I-95 state-run Delaware House service plaza closed for restoration several years back. NATSO CEO Lisa Mullings illustrates some of the issues around potentially expanded commercial services at rest areas.

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Winter doldrums in the spot market for vans, reefers

Van rates may have hit bottom for the season, says DAT's Ken Harper. "There are reasons to be cautiously optimistic, however, for spot freight. "Volumes on the top 100 van lanes were up 2.5 percent over the previous week, and about the same month over month."

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