Roadside Attractions

Overdrive Staff | June 01, 2012

Nurse – my birthing kit, please

How many roadside midwives do you know? Such is the description that can be applied to NFI driver Mike Hawthorne of Somerdale, N.J., who delivered the third roadside baby of his trucking career, this time March 28 on I-30 in Texas. Hawthorne’s mother and grandmother were midwives, so he learned the basics of delivery in his youth. Since his first delivery in 1999 at the TA East in Ontario, Calif., the two-time TCA Highway Angel has come prepared. In the kit on board the Pete he drives you’ll find the items listed above.

He didn’t need the shoestring or scissors this time – an ambulance arrived just after delivery. Find the full account in the May 1 entry on

• Sharp, sterile scissors

• Rubbing alcohol and alcohol swabs

• Suction device to clean mucus from mouth

• Pair of latex gloves

• Shoestring for tying off the umbilical cord.



‘Off like the Hindenburg’

A commenter on Overdrive’s Facebook page characterized the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s April 19 proposal on sleep apnea as a “trial balloon that went off like the Hindenburg.” The proposal asked for comments on proposed mandatory testing of drivers with a body mass index of 35 or greater. Citing a “clerical error,” FMCSA withdrew the proposal shortly after posting it. Search “sleep apnea” at to find the most recent elements of the ongoing coverage of regulatory efforts surrounding the condition, and join in the conversation among readers there.

“Anyone needing this treatment should seek it out. It shouldn’t be forced on anyone, as it’s expensive and it’s not easy to adapt to.” – Don Lanier


“My life has been improved in so many ways with sleep apnea under control. But I do not agree with government requiring this testing. More times than not, it is the car driver that needs this test done, not the truck driver they hit.”

– John Wilcox



Finally, some respect for bedbugs

Asked on Overdrive’s Facebook page for the funniest thing he’d ever seen at a weigh station, owner-operator Robert McConnell didn’t hesitate: “Many years ago at a Colorado scale, when you used to have to go in and get your little yellow paper, a fellow mover was there and, when asked what he was hauling, replied, ‘Bedbugs.’” A young officer “proceeded to write him up a livestock permit,” McConnell added. An older officer let him do it just until he was ready to collect the $5 fee, then explained that “bedbugs” was common slang for household goods. “My friend was bummed,” said McConnell, “because he was going to take the permit home and have it framed.”

Got a good story to tell yourself?

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This Jazzy has wheels

Driver Jim Beine named this Central Point, Ore.-based Oldland Distributing 2001 Peterbilt 379 he drives “Jasmine.” It’s in honor of Jasmine “Jazzy” Jordan, whose 2009-10 cross-country run raised money and awareness for the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund and the health care needs of truckers.

“Any young person who is willing to sacrifice so much to help the American truck driver deserves to be recognized,” says Beine.

Since the run, Jordan’s had two foot surgeries for bunions that resulted from the run. “I would never regret what I did,” says Jordan, who was recovering from her March 2 surgery when she heard about the naming of Beine’s rig.

Hear more from the Overdrive interview with her in the April 19 entry on the Channel 19 blog.


Rating the rigors and routines of the road

Atlas Van Lines’ King of the Road driver survey covered lots of trucker preferences, such as favorite snacks and motels. The company produced a handy infographic of the survey results, which you can find in the April 10 entry on the blog.

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