Roadside Attractions

Overdrive Staff | April 01, 2012

New life for old classics

This 1974 Evel Knievel haul rig is only one of the classic truck restoration projects taken on by BPW Transport owner Brad Wike.

Daredevil Evel Knievel used a 1974 Mack Western series FS700 while on tour, making many of his historic motorcycle jumps in the 1970s. After the rig sat for decades in Florida gathering pine needles and corrosion, BPW Transport small fleet owner and truck restorer Brad Wike began restoring it, spearheaded in part by an appearance on the American Trucker TV show last year.

What do you do if you find a safe in the floor of the Evel Knievel haul rig? You open it, of course. We joined Robb Mariani (pictured) with Brad Wike and Wike’s lead mechanic, Frank Phipps, for a little safe-cracking fun. Shoot the QR code for video of the process or see “Overdrive videos” at OverdriveOnline.com, where you’ll also find a video tour of the truck and trailer. Photo galleries are in Feb. 17 and 20 posts at the Channel 19 blog: OverdriveOnline.com/channel19.
VIDEO

Wike’s career as an owner-operator began in 1990 in Taylorsville, N.C., where he became a dedicated hauler for a local wire manufacturer. He added another truck in 1993, continuing to grow to five Peterbilt 379s today.

He also diversified. In 1997 he immaculately restored a 1963 Mack B61 tractor. Today he owns the rig used in the film “Duel,” a Smokey and the Bandit Kenworth tribute tractor-trailer he customized, and other treasures. He buys and sells American classics here and overseas.

His property in Lincolnton, N.C., hosts the annual truck show for his region’s chapter of American Truck Historical Society. Find more at BradsClassicTrucks.com. –Todd Dills

 

 

 

 

 

Make a Love’s connection

Since its debut last year, the Love’s Connect app for iPhone, Blackberry and Android smartphones has undergone upgrades aimed at streamlining connections to Love’s Travel Stops’ services. The app not only provides an efficient stop locator, but drivers can quickly access Love’s nationwide roadside assistance service, info on fuel and bulk DEF prices, and parking availability for each stop. The app also comes with weekly deal alerts sent directly to drivers’ phones. To get the software, scan the QR code with your smartphone, then click “Download Our App.”

 

 

Lights, camera…

Carlile Transportation’s Dave Johnston photographed his rig and the Aurora Borealis on Alaska’s Dalton Highway, where he runs three times weekly from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay. With sunspot activity at a peak this winter, the northern lights have been particularly strong. Johnston shared this photo in Overdrive sister magazine Truckers News’ photo group on Flickr.com. Visit flickr.com/groups/truckersnews to share your photos from the road.

 

 

GAUGES

Truckers 3rd in Fatigue Survey

In a National Sleep Foundation survey, 27 percent of truckers say their irregular schedules don’t give them adequate time to sleep. Even larger numbers of train operators and pilots say their schedules cause sleep problems. Fourteen percent of truckers say they have had a “near miss” accident because they’re sleepy. “Employers should put more effort into designing work/rest schedules that facilitate sleep and minimize workers’ exposure to irregular, variable schedule changes,” says Patrick Sherry, a sleep researcher.

 

 

Freight heads up

DRY VAN -- red FLATBED-- yellow REEFER -- blue

Dry van and flatbed rates recovered, 3 cents and 2 cents respectively, from January to February after the historically low seasonal dip in January. Reefer was down 2 cents from January to February.

 

 

 

 

 

March 6, 2012 diesel price averages

 

 

 

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

 

 

CALENDAR

APRIL 13-14: ATHS CHAPTERS SOUTHEAST REGIONAL TRUCK SHOW, I-40 Exits 392 or 294, Knoxville, Tenn., (865) 789-7771.

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