Roadside Attractions

Overdrive Staff | December 01, 2011


The other ‘victim’ in accident lawsuits

“How many times a day do you hear TV ads from lawyers making statements such as ‘big trucks can cause serious injuries?’ ” asked Bill Hughes, a reader of the Nashville-based Tennessean newspaper. “I think it’s high time that these lawyers lighten up on their ads.”

One commenter on the letter at the newspaper’s website, identified as “Witch_Doctor,” said it’s a shame such ads don’t include testimony from the lesser-known “victim” that can result from such lawsuits, such as: “Due to an accident I was involved in, I received $666,000, and my attorney, Mr. A., received his cut of $333,000 for his/her 85 hours of work, most done by his secretary, while not suffering one ounce of pain.” See the Sept. 28 entry on the Channel 19 blog for links to the letter to add your own 2 cents.

For this driver, it’s CSA

Rich Wilson tells of a fleet that passed its compliance review, though a driver was fined.

Think FMCSA isn’t serious about added driver responsibility for violations in this Compliance, Safety, Accountability era? During the Truck Driver Social Media Convention in Tunica, Miss., Oct. 15, Trans Products/Trans Services regulatory manager Rich Wilson spoke of a carrier who’d recently undergone a CSA intervention equivalent to a full-blown compliance review. A driver with the carrier was assessed a $1,400 bill from the agency for a 70-hour violation uncovered during the review. Former owner-operator Wilson called the occurrence unprecedented in his many years of dealing with regulatory issues. “I’ve never seen the drivers” fined so directly after a compliance review, he noted. The carrier passed the compliance review with flying colors. For more from the October meeting, see the Oct. 15 and 21 entries on the blog.

Whoa there, puppy!

Is a television show about truck stop life good for the industry’s image?

Absolutely not, says Bruce “Bandit” Wieser, proprietor of the Dispatch Me Home social website. He says the “Truck Stop Missouri” show on the Travel Channel is a “grossly poor supposed look at the trucker and trucking industry” and likened it to a local circus atmosphere. One of a few episodes he watched, Bandit says, focused on the heat and employees’ efforts to “curb a dog that felt the need to urinate on the corner of the Travel Stop building.”

On the other hand, Joe Bechtold, general manager of the Midway Travel Plaza truck stop that’s featured on the show, says it presented a positive image.

Decide for yourself: You can hear more from Bechtold, as well as Weiser’s responses, by checking the Oct. 5-6 entries on the blog.


Plum Crazy

Husband and wife Charlie and Jeanetta Wilson of Tamms, Ill., dubbed this 2000 Kenworth W900L Plum Crazy for the touches of purple on its body and on the 525-hp Caterpillar under the hood. With a 13-speed transmission, the engine powers the Wilsons’ produce hauls between Michigan and Georgia, Florida and Washington.

The Young Gun

“I just got my CDL less than a year ago,” says owner-operator Jim Pettus of the name of his 2003 Peterbilt 379. After someone called him young gun, “it just kind of stuck.” The 21-year-old Reinholds, Pa., resident hauls regional loads with 525 horses of Caterpillar power and a 13-speed transmission. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.