Roadside Attractions

Correcting the ‘B.J. & the Bear’ truck replica record

When I wrote about the new "American Trucker" TV series, premiering tonight on the Speed Channel, I mentioned their sample episode, in which host Robb Mariani runs through the build/restoration process on Paul Sagehorn's original "B.J. & the Bear" Kenworth K100 and matching trailer, and included a photo of Paul with his other, 1984 Kenworth K100 painted as a replica of the B.J. tractor and used in his owner-operator business. I'd taken the picture in ...

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Mack CEO shined as plant worker on ‘Undercover Boss’

This past Sunday, as we wrote here last week, Mack Trucks CEO Denny Slagle appeared on the popular CBS show Undercover Boss disguised in a mustache, cap, and toupee. Slagle (pictured, right) struggled to install front covers straight on 11-liter engines at the Hagerstown, Md., engine plant, took corners too fast driving a high-lifting fork truck while picking parts at a parts distribution facility near Baltimore, and managed to put a small nick in an ...

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South African driver strike approaching closure after a violent week

Always a shame to see haulers around the world taking out their on-road frustrations on their peers. The news in South Africa this morning (photo of striking drivers by Lerato Maduna) is that, after a week of work stoppage by drivers' unions in that nation that saw more than a little violence perpetrated on haulers who kept running during the strike, the unions leading it have come to an agreement for a two-year phased-in 17.5 ...

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Owner-operator John Crozman emerges from Dakota blizzard hailed a hero

"I’ve been doing this a long time, 30 years," says owner-operator John Crozman (pictured) of his long trucking career, for the past two years leased to Albertville, Minn.-based Long Haul Trucking. Over those three decades, like so many haulers, he's seen his fair share of on-highway rescue action. "It’s not a problem. You come upon accidents and try to maybe help somebody out. I think all truckers have all been in this situation. We’ve all ...

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Interviewing Dan Heister, Overdrive’s Trucker of the Year

In this month's issue of Overdrive, I wrote about the recession-surviving prowess of Boyd Bros.-leased owner-operator Dan Heister (pictured), whose mastery of his short-medium haul niche in Boyd's self-dispatch/percentage-pay Independent Express program brought him through the really bad times in 2008 to ever-greater success this year. In addition to recently purchasing what amounts to a small farm in Erin, Tenn., where he'll move the family later this year, he's Overdrive's 2011 Trucker of the Year, ...

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Nashville downtown TA back open after flooding

Since Feb. 3, haulers traversing the north side of Nashville's downtown mini-loop coming from I-40 or I-24 West may have noticed a special postcard (pictured) delivered to them in the form of a billboard just ahead of the I-24/I-40 split. For nine months, the old TA billboard there displayed the message you see below, which was changed to a "coming soon" message at the start of the new year . Well, the TravelCenters of America location ...

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Mack CEO on ‘Undercover Boss’ this weekend; Overdrive editor on magazine’s 50th anniversary

Mack prez works from the trenches Class 8 trucks come to CBS reality-TV series Undercover Boss this weekend, featuring Mack Trucks President & CEO Denny Slagle. The broadcast will be from 9-10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, Eastern and Pacific. In making the episode, as with others in the series, the company president went undercover to work side-by-side with Mack employees at the Macungie, Pa., plant that assembles every Mack truck sold in North America; the Hagerstown, Md., plant that ...

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Android ‘Freight Finder’ app from TQL

ATTN: Owner-operators. Yesterday, Total Quality Logistics announced functionality and availability of a new "Freight Finder" app for Android-based smartphones. The free application enables quick searches from current location or other location of available loads, by trailer type and within an adjustable radius of up to 300 miles. I've downloaded and done a quick run-through with the app, and a particularly nice feature is one-touch calling of the load's agent after search, likewise the ability to customize ...

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‘Safety Belts Save Lives’ — an art contest for the kids

Here's an opportunity for the arts-prone grade-schooler in your life to show his/her stuff to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Belt Partnership, a wide a collaboration of the FMCSA and various work safety and law enforcement organizations. The “Be Ready. Be Buckled” art contest for children is now in its fourth year, asking children to enter with some kind of expression in artwork of the importance of the basic safety practice of buckling up. Winning posters ...

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700,000 prophylactics yanked from cargo container

You just can't discount the humor in some cargo thefts -- long as, of course, it's not your load getting boosted. While in the cases of the zoo-bound camels and tiger heisted in Quebec or the stolen load of green highlighters in South Carolina there was at least a probability, albeit a small one, that a reader may have felt picked on, I feel pretty certain no one reading this post was the victim of ...

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