Channel 19

Todd Dills

Smokestack blues

| January 02, 2009

In the trucking business, diesel stacks can come in many shapes and sizes –modified, chromed-up, hidden behind fairings, and all sorts of things. From the factory these days, though, they all share a common attribute — the gas coming out of them holds little resemblance to the sooty, particulate-laden belching commonly seen in all sorts of television broadcasts about coming green technology. Most recently, in a story about yet another start-up algae-biodiesel and alternative fuel producer on the News Hour With Jim Lehrer, an old jalopy of a cabover is pictured during a sort of montage about dirty technology, followed by your typical stack close-up, belching smoke.

Granted, I’ve seen some sooty old trucks going down the road lately, but those utilizing more recent technology are putting out exhaust that’s just as clean as visibly clean as any new auto. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.

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Todd Dills

Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to or via phone at 205-907-2481.


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