Some regular readers will be familiar with the Florida-based 49-year-old, his truck and trailer leased to Landstar Ranger. He’s pictured here this Saturday at the TravelCenters of America location in downtown Nashville, where I took some time mid-afternoon for a conversation that ranged over a number of different subjects:
Philmon’s somewhat odd load, a series of empty ammo crates picked up at a manufacturer in Cleveland and bound for the Anniston, Ala., weapons depot (“They’re going to put stuff in them”)
Camping: While this reporter is still sleeping on the ground when he goes off to sundry state parks on downtime camping with wife and child, Philmon told of his own plans to hitch up the camper and head to a South Georgia spot with his wife for the Christmas holiday (note to self: investigate pop-up campers)
Philmon’s 2005 Peterbilt 379 and potentials for the engine and/or trade (gflider kit from Fitzgerald’s?) in future — it’s got around 900,000 miles on it, lubricated only with Delvac, Philmon says, and is still running strong.
The fried chicken (“Best you can find”) at the truck stop on exit 122 off I-75 in Unadilla, Ga.
CSA and the potential importance of a working-together mindset among owner-operators leased to the same carrier (“We’re all grouped together — what one of us does now hurts the others. If a driver’s damaged goods… his record will stay with the carrier when he leaves.”)
Among others, of course — I thought you’d enjoy these photos of his truck and trailer (48-ft. Transcraft), taken before we parted ways, myself on to cook dinner (ribs) with my daughter (she’s a smoked-pork fan — daddy’s girl), Philmon off to enjoy one or another of the many music venues a $5 cab ride away from the truck stop. Nice setup, don’t you think? (Gallery below.)
Over the past four to five years, a lot has been written about the shift away from big-bore 15-liter engines to medium-bore (11-liter to 13-liter) engines. This was particularly true among truckers looking to minimize fuel costs.
New data shows that many of the industry's trend-setters have discovered the truth in the old saying, "there's no replacement for displacement." They've come to understand the benefits of new technology in the big-bore engines, and have been making the switch because it saves them money. The comeback has been dramatic.
Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at OverdriveOnline.com. His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to email@example.com or via phone at 205-907-2481.