Todd Dills

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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Handling with care

a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/Spgoxz-2GUI/AAAAAAAAAY8/ibOjlArc9DY/s1600-h/Hummel.gif"img style="MARGIN: 0px 0px 10px 10px; WIDTH: 200px; FLOAT: right; HEIGHT: 318px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5375090991499188546" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/Spgoxz-2GUI/AAAAAAAAAY8/ibOjlArc9DY/s320/Hummel.gif" //aa href="http://overdrivedigital.com/"emOverdrive/em/a's Trucker of the Month for August was Maverick-leased flatbed owner-operator David Hummel (pictured). In business for 20 years, Hummel's always hauled large plate glass nearly exclusively, and tarping that cargo is a complicated job, as he explains in the vid shot by emOverdrive/em staff below. For a look into the secrets to his success ...

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Trucks ‘Made of Gold’ by Hawaiian owner-operator

When we wrote about country singer Leland Martin in July and his partnership with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association to raise money for care packages to send to U.S. troops stationed overseas, little did we know that Hawaii resident (though he runs the lower 48 through most of the year) owner-operator Howard Salmon's These Trucks Are Made of Gold record was likewise part of some 600 of the care packages. The CD, out now (details ...

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Overdrive editor gets blogged

If you think you're into your equipment, get over to the blog of Minnesota-based photographer Chris Grey, a friend of Overdrive contributing editor Paul Hartley, the best big-rig photographer I know. Grey recently got a taste of Hartley's work shooting heavy trucks in his photo business on a dual shoot at a Minnesota International dealership. And as Grey puts it, "I’m a 'Look at that huge machine isn’t that cool?' guy while is more ...

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Truck driving championships like life, really

Werner driver Timothy Dean told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the "hardest part" of competing in the American Trucking Associations-sponsored National Truck Driving Championships, held last week in Pittsburgh, was the wait. Like a hauler sitting outside a shipper's gate, or on a dock waiting to get loaded, the competitors' anticipation of of their turn to do the various maneuvers required of their consideration for the honor of being named the best driver in the country, ...

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Learning to drive

New York PBS station WNET correspondent Miles O'Brien (pictured, right) recently went through the motions of learning to drive a tractor-trailer at Shore Tractor-Trailer Training in New Jersey. He wasn't out to probe the intricacies of training or the flood of new trainees from other industries in a down economy, though. His piece in the Blueprint America series, which airs this Friday on the NOW program on some PBS stations, is about the freight-movement prioritization ...

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Young rock pickers score at GATS

a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/So789a_QZYI/AAAAAAAAAYc/W00vWl5LqnY/s1600-h/Andy+Wiley+rock+picker.JPG"img style="MARGIN: 0px 0px 10px 10px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: right; HEIGHT: 246px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5372509537646437762" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/So789a_QZYI/AAAAAAAAAYc/W00vWl5LqnY/s320/Andy+Wiley+rock+picker.JPG" //aAndy Wiley (10) and Brody Yeary (12) are quite the entrepreneurs. The young duo, armed with nothing more than a screwdriver and a business sense, roamed ema href="http://www.overdrivedigital.com/"Overdrive/a’s/em Pride amp; Polish display area at the Great American Trucking Show mid-week offering to remove rocks from tire treads, which are deducted points when found by judges. The ...

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