Todd Dills

Trouble at ground zero for economic recovery

This week, two new wrinkles quickly scaled over and cracked along the surface of what many have seen for some time now as the forefront of economic recovery and roadway safety -- bridge infrastructure and the potential to both expand and maintain it as our roads age.1. NEW YORK. That's right, the state that's given us so much -- from high tolls to continual threats of local alternate route restriction and engine brake laws -- ...

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Ochs Trucking driver channels his inner Ken Patera

If you're younger than, say, 35, it's doubtful you remember the finishing move of professional wrestler Ken Patera, active in the 1970s, '80s, and into the '90s. Suffice it to say that Missouri-based Ochs Trucking driver Jason Poirrier is at least old enough to deploy Patera's signature full nelson, minus the pro's classic swing, as the Southeast Missourian newspaper recently reported. On layover in Oregon, Poirrier "noticed police officers separating a child from a middle-aged ...

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Driving while smoking: the cutting edge of in-cab distractions

Not only did one truck driver in Ontario this weekend likely enter the history books as the first hauler ticketed for smoking in his cab in contravention of a provincial piece of legislation-turned-law called the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, he may well stand at the vanguard of the recent hyper-attention to in-cab distractions provided by the profusion of communications gadgetry.Driving while smoking might well qualify as the next driving while texting.As the Canadian newspaper of record ...

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October Trucker of the Month live at Convoy for a Cure USA

In all the effort spent to get to the reality of one particular independent owner-operator's business and life as a musician, I somehow missed one important detail: Overdrive October Trucker of the Month Howard Salmon, whom you'll remember from this post from last week, is performing live at the Convoy for a Cure for breast cancer event at Carl's Corner truckstop (I35E exit 374 in Carl's Corner, Texas) October 24. Click on the poster for ...

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‘Trucker’ released in theaters Oct. 9

Friday, Oct. 9, is the release date for "Trucker," a so-called "small indie film" that thus will see a limited release, but perhaps it's in your area. The press for the movie, at least as run with in many outlets, traffics in some stereotyping -- "Michelle Monaghan is transformed from a hard-drinking, hard-living trucker" into a mother, said one online entertainment-show host, for instance, as if the two were impossible to contain within the same ...

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Texting re-redux — new consumer survey on DWT

That's right: it's just a hash mark away from DWI, and according to DOT, reaction times are roughly equivalent to those of a driver at the 0.08 alcohol limit. A study by the online electronics retailer and product-review site Retrevo puts the share of automobile drivers who frequently "text, use Facebook, or Twitter" while behind the wheel at a minuscule 7 percent (a more likely accurate 34 percent of drivers said they do it "sometimes"). ...

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Going back to Cali

A little California dreaming today, folks. A new story in the Riverside-based Press-Enterprise details the low volumes of pre-holiday freight coming through the L.A./Long Beach ports this year, but that's just one of the state's many trucking-related problems. The reefer unit and port-serving trucks emissions rules come online at the end of the year, and many fleets and owner-operators are now scrambling to stay in compliance. /ppMy "Ports of Confusion" feature in the October Overdrive ...

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Howard Salmon — owner-operator, musicmaker, and so much more…

a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/SsYic-UZO7I/AAAAAAAAAbc/EGO7ipcYaoU/s1600-h/howardwithtruck.JPG"img style="MARGIN: 0px 0px 10px 10px; WIDTH: 400px; FLOAT: right; HEIGHT: 268px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5388031885355596722" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/SsYic-UZO7I/AAAAAAAAAbc/EGO7ipcYaoU/s400/howardwithtruck.JPG" //aDid I mention emOverdrive /emTrucker of the Month for October? Howard Salmon (pictured), the part-time Hawaii resident and full-time reefer-hauling independent whose first country-music record a href="http://channel19.blogspot.com/2009/08/trucks-made-of-gold-by-hawaiian-owner.html"I posted about/aa href="http://channel19.blogspot.com/2009/08/trucks-made-of-gold-by-hawaiian-owner.html" here/a several weeks back, had a rough go of it in mid-September, just as we were putting to bed the October Trucker of the Month story ...

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Trucker appreciation at Johnson’s Corner Truckstop

Apologies to haulers who passed through Denver yesterday for not catching this earlier -- I was undoubtedly distracted by other things on my computer. In any case, the Loveland, Colo., truckstop Johnson's Corner celebrated their driver-appreciation day by offering various entertainment through the day and, most significantly, doling out free dogs, burgers and soft drinks to commercial drivers stopping in. Big deal, you say? Here's the rub: if you don't know it already, Johnson's Corner ...

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Getting out of hand?

When I wrote Friday about the media ramp-up to the U.S. Department of Transportation's so-called "distracted driving summit," which begins today, noting the broad definition of on-board technology in some safety groups' analyses of in-cab distraction, little did I know that the New York Times would follow with a more supposedly in-depth look at the subject on Sunday that, well, might have given some credence at least to my "here's hoping it all doesn't get ...

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