Roadside Attractions

Overdrive Staff | February 01, 2012


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Reactions to news of the handheld cell phone use ban ranged from muted support to the most common theme – that the safety problem handheld phones represent might be better addressed via an act of Congress aimed at all drivers. Nabisco company driver Buddy Wenners resorted to satire in the form of a dare. He urged regulators to impose an outright ban on truck driving. Sound absurd? Well, be thankful, Wenners says, that he waited till he got home from a long run to cool down before he wrote his proposal and posted it to Overdrive‘s Facebook page. “Otherwise it would have been longer and a little ‘crazier,’ ” he says. Check out his truck ban proposal on the Dec. 9 Channel 19 blog entry, plus responses it spawned from readers in the entries for Dec. 12 and Dec. 15.




Who got occupied at the ports?

The Occupy Wall Street movement claimed solidarity with West Coast port owner-operators in early December during protests blockading ports. But some news reports told a different story, with truckers voicing frustration with the blockade at Oakland, where a reported 600 protestors converged Dec. 12. One independent noted occupiers “should be targeting the offices of corporations and politicians, not blocking independent truckers such as himself from doing business at the port,” wrote Jeff Shuttleworth of Bay City News. For links to Shuttleworth’s reporting, the open letter and more, check out the Dec. 13 entry on the Channel 19 blog.



Trucking’s top troubadour

Leland Martin’s “Workin’ Class” record, inspired in part by the owner-operator and his rig, pictured on the cover, is available for order via

Among today’s trucking songwriters, Leland Martin brings a lifetime of guitar picking, with no shortage of truck driving, to boot. His new “Workin’ Class” record is inspired in part by specialized owner-operator Colin Stuart’s “Working Class” work and show rig. Stuart and Martin met at the 2010 Walcott Truckers Jamboree and have been talking since – many of the “Workin’ Class” songs are direct descendants of those conversations. For links to a longer feature about the record, visit the Jan. 5 entry on the blog, where you’ll also find the title track’s video, shot at the Iowa 80 Truck Stop in Walcott. Smartphone users, scan the QR here to pull up the video.

For more of the interesting and odd parts of trucking, visit Senior Editor Todd Dills’ Channel 19 blog at




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MARCH 11: DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME BEGINS, Move clocks forward one hour.

MARCH 22-24: MID-AMERICA TRUCKING SHOW, Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville,, (502) 899-3892.

APRIL 13-14: ATHS CHAPTERS SOUTHEAST REGIONAL TRUCK SHOW, I-40 exits 392 or 394, Knoxville, Tenn., (865) 789-7771.

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APRIL 28: ATHS NORTHWEST CHAPTER ANTIQUE TRUCK SHOW, Harold E. LeMay Marymount Museum, Spanaway, Wash., Roy Friis, (360) 866-7716. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.