Roadside Attractions

Overdrive Staff | August 07, 2011

Flooding across the nation’s midsection created all manner of hassles for drivers this year. One hauler in April documented his traverse of shallow waters on I-29 in North Dakota. The resulting video, posted to YouTube, has a soundtrack that includes the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Can’t Stop” as the driver and others slosh through high water. Shoot the QR code on your phone for the vid or visit the June 27 entry on the Channel 19 blog.

The National Weather Service wants you

In April 2006, Sean Kiaer was a long-haul driver and witnessed the EF3 tornado that went on to devastate Newbern, Tenn. Kiaer then made it his mission to better equip himself to be able to report severe weather from the road, and launched Trucker Weather Watch. Today, the growing group comprises drivers who’ve gone through National Weather Service SkyWarn training as severe weather spotters. Kiaer has spearheaded development of online training to make it more accessible to truckers. To apply for the courses, contact Kiaer at And for more on TWW, see the May 18 entry on the blog.

Can you drive 69?

Would a sign like this get your attention – and your foot off the accelerator? The Kansas Olathe News wrote in June about a public art project/series undertaken in Roeland Park, Kan., by architect Joel Marquardt, including a 34-mph sign posted on Roe Boulevard between W. 48th Street and I-35. Definitely novel on a public roadway, we imagine it’s turned a few heads, if not slowed drivers down. Shopping malls have been doing this sort of thing for years, with signage for limits as low as 3 miles per hour to get drivers’ attention. For pictures of the actual sign and a link to the Olathe News story, see the June 24 entry on the blog.

Tribute to a pioneer driver

Minnie Spotted Wolf never encountered combat in World War II, yet she blazed trails as the first Native American woman to serve in the Marines — as a truck driver, nonetheless. She joined the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in 1943 and served four years. The trucks she drove, based in Hawaii and California, most likely included International M-5H-6s and Chevrolet WAs, says Kater Miller, of the Marine Corps National Museum. After military service, Minnie Spotted Wolf got a college degree in education, married, had four children and taught school in Montana for 29 years before her death in 1988 at age 65.

“She wasn’t in the military just for herself but for the Indian people,” her daughter told the Great Falls Tribune in a tribute published in 2009. She was a proud patriot, often wearing her Browning American Legion Post 127 uniform and carrying a flag for annual Indian Days celebrations, according to the Tribune. 

— Lucinda Coulter

Devising a PM plan

About 60 percent of owner-operators and company drivers say they develop maintenance plans based on their own experience, Overdrive’s 2011 market research shows. Nearly 16 percent say they form a plan based on their truck manual’s recommendations.

Reefer rates rise

Reefer rates jumped 15 cents a mile from May to June. Dry van and flatbed rates also rose, by 9 cents and 5 cents, respectively, during the same period. Analysts attribute the reefer uptick to demand for produce.

July 7, 2011 diesel price averages

FUEL SURCHARGE INDEX prices are collected daily from more than 5,500 truck stops and averaged along specific routes. (


AUG. 11-13: SALT LAKE TRUCK SHOW, Thanksgiving Point, Salt Lake City, Utah, (800) 877-1320.

AUG. 14: ATHS TWIN TIERS CHAPTER TRUCK SHOW, Brockway Truck Museum, Cortland, N.Y., (315) 696-8353.

AUG. 19-21: NAST BIG RIG TRUCK SHOW, Eau Claire, Wis., (715) 832-6666 or (800) 727-4488.

AUG. 19-21: SAM CROUCH MEMORIAL TRUCK & TRACTOR SHOW, Falmouth Fairgrounds, Falmouth, Ky.,

(859) 472-2817.

AUG. 20: WATT’S TRUCK CENTER TRUCK & EQUIPMENT SHOW, New Alexandria, Pa., (888) 304-6225.

AUG. 20-21: GRANITE STATE NATIONALS, Sandwich Fairgrounds, Center Sandwich, N.H., (800) 753-3978.

AUG. 21: ATCA MID HUDSON CHAPTER ANNUAL SHOW, Orange County Farmer’s Museum, Montgomery, N.Y., (845) 888-7613.

AUG. 25-27: GREAT AMERICAN TRUCKING SHOW, Dallas Convention Center, (888) 349-4287, Includes Custom Rigs Pride & Polish National Championship,

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