Roadside Attractions

NEW VIDS: Explorations of ATDynamics’ TrailerTail

At bottom, find a vid from ATDynamics featuring its new trailer-tail design for vans with rear roll doors, but along the way I thought I'd share some video from my meeting late last year with Brett Tobin (pictured), independent owner-operator of Tobin Trucking, based in the Pacific Northwest. Tobin was featured in my fellow Overdrive Senior Editor Max Kvidera's feature on truck-trailer aerodynamics last October for his investment in ATDynamics' skirts and tail technology for ...

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Hours debacle covered at news site Politico

**(Overdrive editor Max Heine is posting updates from the Truckload Carriers Association annual meeting via the OD Twitter feed and Facebook page today. Expected to be included among the news are company driver and owner-operator of the year awards. Stay tuned.)** Click through the thumbnail of the graph here for Politico writer Adam Snider's brief dissection of the debate over the new hours rule, his reporting tracking primarily in the divisions over what exactly is wrong ...

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Channel 19 week in pictures: Northern lights, NASCAR

Lights, camera …Carlile Transportation driver Dave Johnston photographed his rig and the Aurora Borealis "just north of Coldfoot," he says, on Alaska’s Dalton Highway, where he runs three times weekly from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay. With sunspot activity at a peak this winter, the northern lights have been particularly strong. Johnston shared this photo (and another: link here) in Overdrive sister magazine Truckers News’ photo group on Flickr.com, with which regular readers will be familiar. ...

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Let the (fuel-mileage) games begin!

When owner-operator Henry Albert proposed that he test speed's effect on fuel mileage on his blog Feb. 22 by dropping his top speed from 65 to 60, he sparked a wellspring of commentary from his readers. At first, he marveled at all the reaction. In the end, however, it's easily explained: simple, quantifiable results are what any business owner wants and needs to help ensure the success of any change or investment. It's no less understandable ...

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Back to basics in apnea debate: The importance of sleep

Last night on the Truth About Trucking Live online radio program of fuel hauler Allen Smith and his wife, Donna, discussion of the FMCSA's Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and Medical Review Board's joint work on the issue of sleep apnea gave way at a crucial moment to a reiteration of the reality of the sleep apnea condition. It was delivered by a driver listener who, as I've heard from many other drivers out there ...

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More than a typo? Split sleeper wishful thinking

Trans Products / Trans Services Regulatory Manager Rich Wilson, during a break between sessions of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee meeting in Alexandria, Va., early this month, pointed out a couple curious problems with the medical forms some states are using. One, he pointed out, defined stage 3 hypertension as a blood pressure reading of, yes, greater than or equal to "10/90." A typo, definitely, that could easily be fixed. In the context of the hours ...

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British TV show features female hauliers…

The new Mother Truckers TV show on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom pitches in its intro a looming takeover of the industry there by drivers of the female sex -- as one reviewer put it, however, that only works if 2 percent of drivers being women qualifies as looming takeover. Nonetheless, the fact that the show exists is at least an interesting development across the pond. How long before we have our own here, I ...

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VID: Cracking Evel’s safe with Robb Mariani, Brad Wike

And, most importantly, small fleet owner Wike's lead mechanic Frank Phipps (pictured), who did the vast majority of the heavy lifting with a blow torch and drill, Wike himself with the plasma cutter, at Wike's place of business in Lincolnton, N.C., on Saturday. As with many such endeavors, the process of it all was much more adventurous and interesting than the end result. That's right, in spite of the lore I mentioned in my post from ...

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Safe-cracking time: The Evel Knievel haul rig restore-in-progress

If all goes well, says American Trucker host Robb Mariani, tomorrow he, North Carolina-based Brad Wike and the rig's owner will at least attempt to crack a gallon-size safe found under a cabinet in the floor of the Evel Knievel haul rig Mariani located and featured on his show last year (check out the "Finding Evel" episode via that link). I'll be there for it, so expect an update. "The story is Evel had some jewelry ...

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Visiting with Evel Knievel in N.C.

This morning I'm headed out to Brad Wike's "Brad's Classic Trucks" shop and home of his BPW Transport company, both of which have gotten the feature treatment on the Speed Channel's American Trucker show, hosted by Robb Mariani. Mariani helped engineer part of the reason I'm headed to Wike's shop: Wike's doing a partial restoration on the Evel Knievel haul rig (pictured), a custom-built 1974 F Model Mack cabover that Mariani sought out in the ...

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