Roadside Attractions

Overdrive Staff | February 01, 2011

Power Pickup

This customized VHD is powered by a 2010 500-hp Volvo D13 and features an I-Shift transmission.

Sorry, you can’t visit your local Volvo dealership to pick up one of these muscular pickups. But visit the company’s New River Valley manufacturing plant in Dublin, Va., and you might get to ride in this severe service model VHD that’s been customized to pickup form. The vehicle has five seats, a full-size crew cab and a pickup bed. Volvo plans for the truck to give customers and visitors a first-hand sense of the brand’s comfort and performance as they tour the facility or are transported to and from local hotels and the airport, says Volvo Senior VP Ron Huibers. And if you happen to know of a monster truck rally in the vicinity and can convince Ron …

Hats for Heroes

Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson, ARNORTH PAO

Con-way Truckload driver Bill Compton, 72, greets a wounded warrior at Fort Sam Houston’s Warrior and Family Support Center. Compton drove the last leg of a shipment of donated hats for wounded service members at the center in San Antonio, Texas. With the help of a Trucker Buddy liaison to a group of Special Olympians in Grand Island, Neb., and the local American Legion, a record 1,500-plus caps were collected. The program, in its fourth year, is the brainchild of Marten Transport hauler Candy Bass. “I want to let them know we didn’t forget them,” she says.


CHIP LOVERS, GET BAKED. Leaving junk food behind can be hard. Start with an easy step: Replace your normal potato chips with baked potato chips. Cut the calories, not the crunch.

FIND YOUR PACE AND GROOVE WITH IT. Create on an iPod or other device a 30-minute exercise playlist of songs whose rhythms match your speed of walking or other workout. Studies show that exercise comes easier when done to music.

SHIFT THE BRAIN TO IDLE. Set the parking brake, relax, close your eyes. Picture yourself in a serene setting. Just five minutes of daily meditation can make a dramatic difference in your energy level.

Flying Fingers

Think watching a fifth wheel being taken apart is like watching paint dry? Think again. As part of Rush Truck Centers’ fifth annual Tech Skills Rodeo in San Antonio, Texas, in December, Jost fifth wheels reps put technicians to the test in their “Fastest Hands” fifth wheel disassembly/rebuild competition. The winner, Jerry Carpenter (pictured) of Rush’s Charlotte, N.C., International Trucks facility, completed the job in just under 100 seconds, taking home $500. For a video of the first competitor and more scenes from the rodeo, see the Dec. 22 entry on the Channel 19 blog.

“Back then the trucker was King Kong. By that I mean he was a powerful giant in the eyes of truck stop operators, who did everything they could to please him… He bought lots and lots of diesel fuel, and we appreciated it.”

– Bill Sapp, in “The Sapp Brothers’ Story,” from Addicus Books. The Sapps built their first truck stop before Interstate 80 through Omaha was finished. To read more about the book, marking the 39th anniversary of that first stop, see the Dec. 17 entry on the Channel 19 blog.




‘The source of aggravation’

MSN Autos’ correspondent Charles Plueddeman isn’t shy about his knee-jerk perceptions of highway safety. He wrote that trucks “are frequently the source of aggravation and even fear.”

For a link to Plueddeman’s full story and to a trucker-penned book for the motorists in your lives about driving around big rigs, see the Dec. 8 entry on the Channel 19 blog.

He composed a list of what exactly annoys four-wheelers most about truckers, drawing on the expertise of Dr. William Van Tassel, AAA driver training programs manager. Here is the wisdom of Plueddeman: strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.