“In the real world, no way,” wrote the reader. “Too many cutthroats out here.”
All the same, a little solidarity among operators could go a long way, Madsen suggests. If you’re not as “protective of your profits as your carrier is,” he wrote, carriers and customers alike will continue to “take full advantage of your generosity without the slightest concern for your financial well-being.”
A true inside job
The new Kenworth T680’s integrated sleeper design turned heads at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March. It also caught the attention of more than one reader of Overdrive’s Facebook page. For more about the new truck, see Page 50 or find a picture gallery in the March 22 post on our Overdrive Extra staff blog:
Still milking miles from his ’71 Pete
We found this vintage 1971 Pete 358 just outside Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., at the home of Leon “Butch” Mueller and his wife, Janet. Semi-retired and with a son driving for Ruan, the 76-year-old Mueller still makes intrastate milk runs two or three times a week in the rig.
He’s been behind the wheel of the truck as company driver for Tom Gullickson Inc. of Deerfield, Wis., since it was new. It was “the first or second Peterbilt conventional they sold out of Peterbilt of Waukesha,” he says. Mueller’s logged every one of his almost 4 million miles with this rig, powered by a 350 Cummins Big Cam, the rig’s second engine.
“I always dreamed of driving a Peterbilt conventional,” he says he told Irving Gullickson (Tom Gullickson’s father) when he bought it. “This is the last truck I’ll ever need.”
Find more from our visit with Mueller in a picture gallery in the March 21 post on the Channel 19 blog.
How to grease the skids with inspectors
Fishing for a compliment from officers at the scale house? Landstar-leased owner-operator Gordon Alkire says he’s got just the thing. Utilizing fellow operator Bill Marciniac’s DIY design, Alkire installed a “closed greasing system.” It makes central greasing points for all the fittings associated with his drive and steer axles. Costing a mere $75 in parts, not only does it keep you off the ground when doing your greasing, says Alkire, but it helps avoid tickets for excess oil and grease.
“Yes, you can get a ticket for excess grease and/or oil on the truck,” he says, which is “stupid” but possible among cash-hungry towns and states.
He offered a how-to on it as an extra for our March “CSA-proof your rig” cover story in the March 9 entry on Channel 19. Next step, he says: easier greasing for the suspension of his 48-foot dry van.
For more of the interesting and odd parts of trucking, visit Senior Editor Todd Dills’ Channel 19 blog at OverdriveOnline.com/channel19.
SuperRigs 30th anniversary The Shell Rotella SuperRigs show in Joplin will culminate three decades of some of the best in show trucks. Pictured here is Jerry Heiderscheit’s 2011 Best of Show 2003 Peterbilt 379, also featured in the 2012 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar. Enter your truck in the show for a chance to appear in the 2013 version.