Roadside Attractions

Overdrive Staff | October 02, 2011

A trucking addict tells all

“In the Driver’s Seat” is available via Amazon in print ($13.05) and for Kindle ($2.99). For a lengthy excerpt from Marc Mayfield’s book, see the Aug. 20 entry on overdriveonline.com/channel19.

“You’re a run junkie. Just what we’re looking for.” That’s what Marc Mayfield’s main terminal manager told him just weeks into his 10-year on-highway career. Retired since 2001, Mayfield has chronicled his million-plus-safe-mile highway addiction as company driver and leased owner-operator in his memoir, “In the Driver’s Seat.” Among the highlights: A marriage is stretched to the breaking point. Trucks are leased, hit in parking lots, sold. Lies are told, truths by the truckload revealed. Recounting his odyssey as “three-dimensional and in full color” was part of Mayfield’s recovery challenge. Now, “I’d like to know if somebody wants to punch me in the nose and tell me I’m full of bull or that I nailed it. I’d love to hear from drivers.” If you’ve got a non-violent response for Marc, write him at: marc@inthedriversseat.net.



Q What are the normal intervals for changing differential and transmission oils?

A When you use synthetic lubes, it’s usually at least 300,000 miles, and may be 500,000-600,000, depending on the exact specification of the fluid. Your owner’s manual should specify all details. Mineral lubes need to be changed much more often (100,000 miles at least) because they break down from the heat, and normally don’t make sense to use unless you need to change frequently because of contamination.

SEND US YOUR EQUIPMENT QUESTIONS. Stumped by a vexing maintenance or equipment problem? Get them answered by longtime Equipment Editor John Baxter. We’ll be sharing the Overdrive Extra blog space with John’s advice to readers. Email questions to tdills@rrpub.com or post in comments on the blog: overdriveonline.com/overdrive-extra.

 

Big futz over ‘truck nuts’

So-called “truck nuts,” fake bull testicles that are available for purchase in various colors and finishes, are a common sight hanging from hitches of pickup trucks, and have been spotted for sale at more than one trucking show. They were also seen hanging from the pickup of 65-year-old Virginia Tice in Bonneau, S.C., in July. She was ticketed $445 for the hanging nuts by Bonneau Police Chief Franco Fuda. He cited state law prohibiting public displays of “sexual acts, excretory functions, or parts of the human body” that are offensive.

Charleston law firm Savage and Savage is representing Tice in a case both attorney Scott Bischoff and representatives of the plaintiffs requested go to a jury. “We’ll let a jury decide whether this is really criminal behavior,” Bischoff told reporters, adding: “I don’t want to take anything away from the importance of free speech, but this is really comical.”



GAUGES

Truck trade cycles increase

Nearly half of owner-operators own a truck that is at least nine years old, according to Overdrive research. Trade cycles have lengthened in recent years due to the recession and the introduction of new emissions technology, which drives up prices for new trucks.


Freight in a slide

Dry Van - Red, Flatbed - Yellow, Reefer - Blue

Dry van and flatbed rates each dropped 6 cents from July to August, while reefer rates decreased 5 cents during the same period, after dropping as well from June to July.





FUEL SURCHARGE INDEX (www.FuelSurchargeIndex.org) prices are collected daily from more than 5,500 truck stops and averaged along specific routes.

 

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