Roadside Attractions

Overdrive Staff | June 03, 2011

OCT. 15: TRUCK DRIVER SOCIAL MEDIA CONVENTION, Gold Strike Resort & Casino, Tunica, Miss.,

Adequately muffled and looking sharp at 50

The nickname for Jacobs Vehicle Systems’ technology has become so synonymous with engine brakes that city noise ordinances use “Jake Brake” in their signage. (Though as Overdrive’s Lucinda Coulter pointed out in her August 2009 story, any significant noise is typically due to a faulty muffler.) This year, Jacobs joins Overdrive in celebrating a half-century of existence. The makers have revamped to coincide with the milestone and showcase the company’s evolution. If you missed Overdrive Equipment Editor John Baxter’s piece on the Jake Brake, visit and click “More Equipment Innovations.”

For more of the interesting and odd parts of trucking, visit Senior Editor Todd Dills’ Channel 19 blog at


‘Truck of the Year’ gets its gear

This 1:53 scale model Kenworth T700 is among almost 50 items in the Kenworth Merchandise collection.

What’s it like to be a celebrity truck? Well, if you’re the Kenworth T700 with the Paccar MX engine – named the 2011 American Truck Dealers Commercial Heavy Duty Truck of the Year – it means appearing on lots of merchandise. The truck is represented on a cap, T-shirt and key chain, and the MX on a jacket, cap, polo shirt, mug, water bottle and more. Visit or call (877) 705-3314 to order.

Black Magic

 Terry Carnahan of Huntsville, Mo., hauls feed, grain and fertilizer with his 1995 Kenworth W900. After a friend dubbed it “Black Magic,” Carnahan added decals to make it official. The truck is equipped with a 500-hp Cummins and a 13-speed transmission. “It looks like an old truck with a pissed-off attitude,” Carnahan says. “A lot of guys say it looks like something out of a movie.”

Heavy hauling

Uncasville, Conn., resident Matthew Frechette uses his 2001 Peterbilt 379 and a 2009 Talbert trailer to haul specialty machinery, jet engines and other equipment in the Northeast. The truck is powered by a 500-hp Caterpillar and an 18-speed transmission.




Steel and equipment hauler Jim Stannard runs the Great Lakes region in his 2003 Peterbilt 379, which is powered by a 475-hp Caterpillar and an 18-speed transmission. The Brownsville, Ontario, resident says he lavishly decked out the inside with a black and blue interior, vinyl-wrapped dash, hardwood flooring and low-rider seats. Of the truck’s name, he says, “It makes everybody laugh.”

SUBMIT YOUR PHOTO: To display your truck online and have it considered for Overdrive’s Truck Gallery, go to the Reader Truck Gallery at

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