Roadside Attractions

Overdrive Staff | April 01, 2012

OCT. 5-6: CHARLOTTE DIESEL SUPER SHOW, including Custom Rigs Pride & Polish, zMax Dragway Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.,




Q Are fuel additives for cleaning injectors worth using?

Post technical/maintenance questions for John Baxter at or email to

A YES     Diesel experts say deposits can interfere with an even fuel spray pattern in the combustion air.

Peter Jutras, senior accounts manager at Howes Lubricator, notes his company’s Meaner Power Cleaner “keeps carbon deposits and varnish off the injector tip.” Both can “rob the injection system of optimum performance,” he adds, interfering with proper atomization. In trucks fitted with a diesel particulate filter, good injection performance is even more critical because soot must be constantly burned off inside the DPF.

Although the product can be used to clean long-running injectors, Jutras suggests continuous use because “once carbon coking develops on an injection nozzle, it can be really hard to get rid of.” Fuel/maintenance cost savings from using an injector cleaner can be around 5 percent, he notes.




‘A suicide threat, a drawn gun,’ and 3 trucker heroes

“I thought we were going to be in trouble, which is what I told the cop at first,” Eagle Pass, Ore.-based log hauler Tony Rickman told the Estacada News in February. Instead, he and two other truckers received citizen commendations for helping a law enforcement officer stop a drunk driver near the Highway 224 entrance to Mt. Hood National Park.

“I wasn’t trying to be a hero,” Rickman added, “I was just thinking, ‘This cop is way up here by himself and what if something does happen.’” The protracted incident involved, among other things, a “thrown champagne bottle, a suicide threat, a drawn gun, and countless incidents of dangerous driving.” Find links to the full dramatic account on the Feb. 14 blog entry.



Tireless reporting on fatigue

One-fifth of all four-wheeler accidents are attributable at least partly to driver fatigue, one of many stats detailed in a fascinating infographic from about the importance of sleep. The Channel 19 blog’s Feb. 24 entry contains the full sleep graphic. It also has an archived edition of the Truth About Trucking Live online radio program featuring blog editor Todd Dills discussing the latest regulatory developments with sleep apnea. Shoot the QR to pull the post up directly on your phone or tablet.



Alert network for missing drivers

Driver-to-driver connectivity via the social networks yielded a new initiative after North Carolina hauler Mark Williams Sr. failed to make a delivery and was reported missing. Drivers and advocates launched the Missing Truck Driver Alert Network as a Facebook group. A driver’s response to a post led to the location of Williams, who had died, says network cofounder Kari Fisher. The group gained more than 1,000 members in its first two weeks, and they’ve launched the site, where you can sign up for text alerts. For our interview with Fisher, who runs with her flatbedding owner-operator husband, see the Feb. 16 entry on the blog.



For ‘the ones who don’t fit in’

This trucking novel is available for $12.21 preorder on
Scan the QR code for a video interview with Fred Afflerbach about his trucking novel.

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