Channel 19

Todd Dills

Stiff wind to pay the toll: The 2011 Channel 19 year in review

| January 01, 2012

Drivers were objecting to some instances of the industry’s portrayal on the cable networks, and we mourned the passing of two giants, former Overdrive editor and actor Charles Napier and owner-operator Bob “Cowpoke” Martin.

Trucking smartphone apps proliferated

Finally, a trucking services company introduced something smartphone-related that was not a smartphone app, and former owner-operator Frederick Schaffner went to Washington, spurred on by discussions held at the Truck Driver Social Media Convention, to take drivers’ and owner-operators’ concerns directly to the FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee.

Meanwhile, on the Hill, Jason’s Law trucking parking legislation was being included in a Senate committee’s version of a two-year highway reauthorization. Drivers were encouraging other drivers not to view this as a victory but to continue to urge lawmakers to include the legislation in any final version to emerge (and none has, as of press time, for reasons anyone listening to/reading the national political news will be cognizant of, no doubt).

Yet another TV show involving truck drivers was in planning stages, Mack trucks were still being made in America, and drivers in ever greater numbers assisting law enforcement in combatting child prostitution via the Truckers Against Trafficking organization’s national hotline.

Overdrive 2007 Trucker of the Year Henry Albert took a picture of two people stowed away on the roof of a tractor at a Laredo, Texas, truck stop.

Children read Overdrive.

I won’t mention all that went down this month except to say that U.S. military combat personnel’s withdrawal from Iraq might have made another neat bookend, as would the hours rule, Fred Schaffner’s presence at the round of MCSAC meetings early in the month (the next round, on sleep apnea, is this week — details in the post at the previous link), MCSAC recommendations on sleep apnea treatment in the medical qualifications, the DOT’s ban on handheld cell phone use and all the conversations it’s sparked, and more.

But as you know, given the evolving nature of news, bookend they shall not ultimately be — as December’s Channel 19 posts hold the keys to the coming year’s contentions and conversations. With any luck, it will be better than last.

Cross your fingers, keep your ears on, and here’s a heartfelt thank you for reading. Expect the best I can offer in the new year.

And, oh yeah, Happy New Year!

Over and out…

  • Marc Mayfield

    Thank you, Todd. 2011 was also the year you introduced me (and, I hope, many of your readers) to the songs of Noah Collins.

    Looking forward to more Channel 19 in 2012. Cheers, All Best, HNY.

  • Mustang

    Well done Todd, excellent review!!! There were good times and bad times (especially the passing of my puppy dog Fred)and you covered more in a few lines than any of us could have done in two weeks of typing. “Yer a good blogger” You do justice to the truckin industry. HAPPY NW YEAR

  • tdills

    Appreciate it, Mustang! Stay safe out there. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.